This Panavise Jr. Speed Winder Should Be In Every Maker’s Toolbox


Like many makers, [Chris] has a Panavise Jr. on his workbench that he uses for just about everything. The tiny vise is great for all sorts of tasks, and is often considered an indispensable tool. The only problem with the vise is the amount of time it takes to open and close the thing.

[Chris] estimates that it takes somewhere between 2 and 3 million turns of the crank to move the vise’s jaws from fully open to the fully closed position. He figured that his drill is far better at mindlessly turning circles than he is, so he sat down and designed a bit in Google Sketchup to spin the vise’s crank knob.

He fired up his MakerBot and printed out his first “Speed Winder” drill bit. It was decent, but he thought it could be better. After a handful of revisions, he was finally happy with the results. He says it works great, and has posted the model on Thingiverse so that everyone can print one of their own.

Continue reading to see how [Chris] created the bit along with how much time this thing saves him.[youtube=]

34 thoughts on “This Panavise Jr. Speed Winder Should Be In Every Maker’s Toolbox

  1. Awesome idea, but for those of us without a 3d extrusion/assembly unit, there is an alternative.

    Cut the end off of a used tube of caulk (silicon sealant) and cut 2 notches in the wider portion.

    If you need extra durability/torque, just leave the end of the tube filled with dried caulk before cutting.

    I’m sure it’s not as durable s his option, but I’ve used this trick with 1/2 inch wingnuts with no problem.

    1. Exactly. Another fine example of over-engineering. As an aside, how did it take several revisions to make one that works “better”? How can it work any better than by turning the handle, which, assumably the first one did.

  2. This is a great gadget. That little knob can be a real pain to turn.

    Which is why I think I’d remember if it took 2 or 3 million turns to open or close the thing…

    The Jr. opens to 2.875″. Even if the thread is really, REALLY, ridiculous, say 1000 TPI, that’s still less than 3000 turns to fully open or close. (It’s probably less than 100 turns.)

    1. (At the end of the video, the drill closes the vice in about 7 seconds. Two million turns in seven seconds works out to a somewhere north of 17 million RPM. That’s quite a drill.

      Is there some other, more reasonable, interpretation of “between 2 and 3 million turns to move the jaws from fully open to fully closed” that I’m blinded to?)

      1. The “between 2 and 3 million turns to move the jaws from fully open to fully closed” is purely in jest, an exaggeration. Unless your level of written(typed?) English belies your comprehension of it, it should be pretty obvious that the author is exaggerating to imply that it is very slow to open and close.

      2. thanks I needed the laugh. When I read 17million rpm I was wondering how fast you have to rotate before atoms start flying off and what the relativistic effects would be. I also wondered whether or not you would get a flash of light while approaching this speed.
        BTW nice project. I have often used a drill to give my hands a rest on long screw shafts.

  3. Looks like a BS ad for makerbot to me.
    I think it’s rather Obvious that you could just replace the screw with something better, or make a similar thing from things everybody has at hand or can squire for pennies.

    1. Or an obvious use for a 3D printer.
      And I would assume the guy had a 3D printer “lying around”, rather than going out specially to buy one for this project. So why should he not use it?

      Any discussion about use of a 3D printer is a “blatant advertisement” for one. Just like any other tool.

      But what does “everybody” have lying around?

      Someone mentioned the end of a caulk gun. I don’t have one of those.

      One could use a stepper motor, a micro controller, an intricate set of hand cut gears, and a few buttons I suppose, but that would be slightly overkill. Essentially a CNC panavice..
      And yes. I have those parts lying around.

      I also have a wood lathe. I could turn a similar shape, cut a few slots in it, and get the same effect. In hand polished hardwood no less. And someone who has access to a milling machine or metal lathe would make it on that. All depends on what tools and materials one actually has lying around.

      Of course.. I don’t have a panavice, so I would be unlikely to make it at all.

  4. I could really do with something like this to ‘speed wind’ guitar tuning pegs. I’ve seen a great video on YouTube showing a Taylor employee using one to speed-wind the pegs on a guitar whilst re-stringing; would certainly speed up the process but a quick Google search didn’t turn up any consumer versions…..

  5. why not just make a 2-way switch with it attached to a small motor if its going to be something you will use time and time again… from a broken drill would be best too. this works but i question the durability bc i do not know up front the type of plastic used.

  6. A rather over-engineered and cumbersome build, I feel. I do not think that material will hold up for long in this application, especially if subjected to some heavy torque impacts.

    Why not simply take a 15MM bolt tightner piece and attack it with an angle grinder? That should be faster, equally functional and strong enough to launch midgets.

  7. Why not buy a better vice ?

    You can get a vice with lever on that disengages the screw so you can slide it in and out like a draw then let go of the lever and tighten the least couple of turns.

  8. Nice work, and another reason to get/make a 3-d printer!

    Two alternatives I could do with stuff in my basement right now-
    – JB Weld a nut to the end of the turn handle on the vice, and then use a nut driver bit on my drill
    – Cut notches in a door knob bit I bought 5 years ago, and have not used since

  9. I did something like this when working on my car the other day. My floor jack is too high to fit under the car so it has to be started with the screw jack that came with the car, which takes a huge amount of cranking to travel to full height. Pulled the handle off, chucked the cordless drill down on the jack, and went to town.

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