For many welders, a third hand is a device they can't live without. For some others, they might be scratching their head.

Ultimately, a third hand is a device with a sturdy base and rigid arm that, through the weight from the device, holds together metal substrates to be welded in place or together. It removes the welder's hand from the equation, and because it can typically be put together with workshop scrap and little effort, has become an invaluable tool for many welders.

Of course, there are manufactured versions of these that can also serve as a "fourth hand" if needed, but to basic or amateur welding, a DIY approach is fine. This also permits some customization, provided the metal supplies a ground and non-sparking contact points with the substrate.

YouTuber and DIYer Mr. Inventor recently published a simple video where he cobbles together a third hand device for basic welding projects. Hopefully this takes the mystery away for fabricators who have yet to see one of these.

(Learn more about welding equipment and supplies on GlobalSpec.)

To contact the author of this article, email kharrigan@globalspec.com