How To: Build the Arms of Assistance

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How To: Build the Arms of Assistance

Aoa 1.6

Circuit board vises are great, but you may find yourself repositioning the head too often trying to get an ideal view of your project. With just a little additional hardware, it’s possible to raise a Panavise Jr. to eye level and free up some valuable bench-top real estate.

If you find yourself reaching for more than ‘hands’ for ‘helping’, check out this quick and easy guide to building – The ARMS of ASSISTANCE! –Link


Aoa 1.0

5/8″ Microphone Surface-Mount Flange (Radio Shack #33-332)

13″ Gooseneck Microphone Extension (Radio Shack #33-330)

Panavise Jr. Head – from Model 201 or standalone 203

3 self-tapping screws (#6~#8 size)

~7/64″ drill bit

Philips head screw bit

Power drill

Step 1 – Mark!

Aoa 1.1

Mark the holes for the mounting plate on your prospective surface

Step 2 – Drill!

Aoa 1.2

Drill holes with 7/64″ bit

Step 3 – Screws!

Aoa 1.3

Send in the screws. (and set ’em straighter than this one)

Step 4 – Gooseneck!

Aoa 1.4

Twist the gooseneck on good and tight to ensure a stable connection.

Step 5 – Vise head!

Aoa 1.5

Here’s the hackiest bit – Insert the free gooseneck thread between the loosened vise mount clamp. Straighten the connection by eye and then tighten it up while keeping it aligned. (It may seem an awkward fit, but don’t sweat it – I’ve found the end result to be quite reliable.)

Step 6 – Use!

Aoa 1.7

There you go – one arm fully installed . . . and it even has a stylish ‘modern’ aesthetic (aka – chrome).
Observe your newfound verticle freedom and visibility! It feels good to liberate that table space for parts, documentation, elbows, etc. (I find myself creating far fewer random component piles now.)

Plus – you can now easily raise your PCB to eye level to avoid hideous eye/neck/back strain – healthy!

++Arm > Arm;

Aoa 1.8

Don’t let him go lonely. If you’ve got the budget, add a second arm for concurrent work, testing, and enhanced workspace luxury.


13 thoughts on “How To: Build the Arms of Assistance

  1. Steve says:

    That is absolutely brilliant!

    How much weight can it hold before it starts sagging?

  2. Collin Cunningham says:

    Hmmm . . . Not too much before the gooseneck flexes.
    2lbs maybe? that’s a shot in the dark – I’ll test it.

  3. Prozacgod says:

    If you need extra strength, I stuffed some solid coper wire inside a build of my that was similar to this, works a treat!

  4. Capitan Obvious says:

    Hello, I am Capitan Obvious, and I approve of this post.

  5. twin says:

    Any idea where one might find the gooseneck and mounting flange in Canada?

  6. Collin Cunningham says:

    well there’s always ebay

    or perhaps pro-audio / guitarcenter type shops.

  7. Terry says:

    Have you thought about adding a couple LEDs to this?

    A hole could be drilled through the flange and a wall-wart could be plugged-in below.

  8. Terry says:

    Have you thought about adding a couple LEDs to this for illumination of the project in the vise?

    A hole could be drilled through the flange and a wall-wart could be plugged-in below.

  9. Gareth Branwyn says:

    Great job on this, Collin. I might actually want to do one of these on my new workbench.

  10. mike says:

    I really liked this post, I modified it a little using some coolant hose instead of gooseneck and added some attachments. You can check it out at this instructable:

  11. David Murphy says:

    I have had an incredibly difficult time finding gooseneck for different projects I’d like to make. Still haven’t found any good source. I go excited when I saw this, but unfortunately radioshack doesn’t have it listed anymore. I suppose I should just see whats listen on amazon, but It always seems too expensive.

      1. David Murphy says:


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