Panavise Cast Weighted Base
An alternative to bolting down a vise
Like probably everyone who comes to Cool Tools, I’d love to have a big shop, lots of room, big heavy work benches, gigantic vise, all that. But I don’t. In my efforts to get stuff done anyway, I’ve got a Panavise, the typical version in a typical mount. It’s a very handy thing; most of you already know about them. There are an assortment of bases: Table-edge clamp, round simple base, vacuum-base, and a weighted base. I find the round base too light and scoots around when I try to use a Panavise. The vacuum base might work well on a suitable surface, but they’re sorta costly and limited to those ideal surfaces. The clamp is probably okay but not always suitable (and having that clamp bit under the table edge can be a hazard to happiness). Mine has the five-pound cast iron base ($30) under it, with some robust rubber feet. It certainly stays where I put it, goes anywhere, doesn’t mar whatever it’s set on, and does the job very well. I haven’t tried to put a mower blade in it – I think that’s asking for disappointment – but for everything else so far, it’s been great and really adds to the concept of working with a Panavise. I see that there are some units that shipped without holes! Mine came with all its holes & parts (screws & rubber feet), and went together without issue – though a single burr I knocked down with a coupla swipes with a file. I understand some may think the whole stack of three pieces (base, mount and vise) may be costly, but it’s way cheaper than moving to somewhere with a proper shop. If I ever get into a shop, this will be at home there too.