Friday, December 30, 2011

Panavise Review and Use

   One of the primary tools that I use is a Panavise.  This highly adaptive tool performs it intended function flawlessly.  The size and ease of operation, its quality and high level of accuracy plus wide range of accessories allows the user to configure the vice to their specific needs making this an excellent choice for any model builder.

   I use my Panavice to hold the primary sub-assemblies (hull, turret, etc), allowing me to utilize both hands as required, especially when attaching small parts.  Additionally the vice is utilized during the painting and fishing process as well.  Since the vice is designed to rotate through nearly 360 degrees of multiple axis allowing you to position your model in almost any angle that is needed.  When mounted onto the five pound (2.3kg) base you are assured that your model will not move on you while working on it but is not permanently mounting it to your work surface, allowing you set it aside when not in use.

   Panavice offers a wide range of sub-assemblies thus allowing you to build your vice in any configuration that best suitable for your building and finishing style.  The vice is comprised of two required components; the head and the base.  Optionally you can also use a base mount, which I did.  For my configuration I chose the follow items to make-up my vice. The Model: 203 PV Jr. HeadModel: 305 Low-Profile Base and finally the Model: 308 Weighted Base Mount.

The Vice come in three boxes and goes together quite easily and in a matter of minutes.

The photographs below give the general dimensions of the vice in its full extended and lowered positions.  

After a short time of using the vice I discovered that if I wished to hold a turret from the inside by the turret ring the jaws of the vice would need to be modified a little. 

The next few photos show how I use the vice to hold the major assemblies of the lower hull and turret. For the lower hull using the modified jaws allows you to utilize an inside grip and the groves allow for an outside grip.  And once more the turret held from the inside.

WARNING: When using this method apply only the enough pressure to hold the item.


In a previous build I used a plastic cylinder fitted with shims to attach to the bottom of the turret.  I then placed the cylinder into the vice and tightened just enough to firmly hold it. 

My preferred method of holding the model in the vice is to attach the lower hull to a block of wood. This prevents any possible deformation/warping of the parts. However there are some draw backs.  A hole is drilled through the bottom of the hull so that an attachment screw can be used to fix the build to the block. And if you are planning to do an interior with complicates the building process. The following photos show how I use this block method.

My hope is that you have found this informative and has provided ideas on the use of a vice in your own model building.  There are many other types of vices and brands that can be used besides the Panavice and I suggest that they should also be considered as possible options. 

These last photos show the vice in use. 

If you have any comments and/or question please feel free to leave a comment.
Enjoy and Happy Modeling 


  1. Very interesting. It is all a little over my head, but I am glad you have shared this so I can follow what you will be doing over the next few weeks/months/years!

  2. Excellent ideas and pix. Tank looks fantastic!! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hey E ,

    Nice start on this lil Sure Shot. I'm lookin forward to watchin' this build !! Smokin' job on th Shermie ! I dig th Work spaces !! Nice Cabinet/Bench !! It's like th Bat Cave ! I gotta get ME one of those Vices ! ALthough if you ask some people They'll tell ya that I have enough Vices ! lol ...... Lookin forward to th next update !!