Router Table in need of switch...need help

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Blog entry by Al posted 02-18-2009 12:27 AM 10792 reads 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I recently built a router table and base. (great fun) However I’m trying to determine the best way to adapt a switch for convenience. A friend suggested an in-line switch but I’m not crazy about that idea. I was thinking of mounting a box with a combination plug outlet/switch to plug the router into and use a replacement cord that ties everything together and plug that into a outlet. What do you think??? Also, do they make after market switches like those on tablesaws? Thanks for your help again. Al

-- Al Meriden, Connecticut

11 comments so far

View ajosephg's profile


1880 posts in 3524 days

#1 posted 02-18-2009 12:33 AM

Get a Rockler (or equivalent) Safety Power Switch. It has a pig tail that the router plugs into and an approx 6 foot long power cord to plug into an outlet. Works great because it has a big stop thingy on it, you don’t have to reach under the table to mess with the router switch. Best of all there is no electrical wiring or other boxes, switches, plates, etc. to deal with.

-- Joe

View EEngineer's profile


1098 posts in 3576 days

#2 posted 02-18-2009 12:55 AM

Here’s one from Highland:
Deluxe Router Table Switch
Ooops, out of stock. Here's another

It (the first one) happens to be the one used on my router table. No problems so far. This was actually mounted on the table before I bought it (see My Projects for the story).

When I rewired my table saw I used the Model H8238 from Grizzly and wired it up myself.

Don’t use a simple in-line switch (like those that work with lights) – probably not enough current. Seems like all the ones above are rated for at least 15 amps.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2781 posts in 3401 days

#3 posted 02-18-2009 02:05 AM

All these switches are great and costly. I have two recommendations.
1. if your router doesn’t have speed control look for a speed control. It has a switch and of course speed control. p.s. they don’t work with soft start routers.

2. Many of my power tools are wired with house switches. One reason is that they cost a couple of bucks. For hand held tools they are just fine and will last for years. If you have a larger motor in a power tool then get a 220 switch like they use for hot water heaters or furnaces. More than enough current handling capability for 110 volts. I know this sounds very unusual but the switches won’t burn up and they are easy to flip.

Those Grizzly ones do look good though.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 3717 days

#4 posted 02-18-2009 03:50 AM

This is what I did.

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3612 days

#5 posted 02-18-2009 03:59 AM

Thanks for the OP and for the links EEngineer and sIKE – I’m in the same boat and will go ahead with the Grizzley switch… heck, why not make it pretty :)

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View EEngineer's profile


1098 posts in 3576 days

#6 posted 02-18-2009 04:28 AM

Daniel – I’ve used house switches on some tools and lost 1 once. For an extra buck or so, you can get ones rated at 20 amps – highly recommended! Not sure I believe the 15 amp rating on cheap ones anymore.

sIKE – Here’s what I did. I plan to add the same capability to router table soon (if it ever gets warm again). It’s just convenient to switch on the tool and the shop vac for dust collection at the same time.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

View Karson's profile


35111 posts in 4364 days

#7 posted 02-18-2009 05:30 AM

I use a foot switch. It’s a deadmans switch. I remove my foot and it turns off. use my foot and it turns on. I find that very handy that way I can keep my hands on the table and don’t have to let go of my wood when I want poser or no power.

They also make the push on and push off. I bought one of them to try but haven’t done it yet.

Just make sure that you unplug the foot switch when done and you keep your foot away from the switch when you are working with the router bits.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View matt garcia's profile

matt garcia

1892 posts in 3635 days

#8 posted 02-18-2009 05:50 AM

Before I added my Rockler router table extension to my tablesaw, I owned a small Craftsman router table. The switch on it had a switched 115v plug next to the router plug. When you flip the router switch, the router, and my shop vac came on simultaniously. I liked it so much, I bought that same switch for my Rockler router table extension. You have to deliberately lift the off paddle to flip the switch on, and just bump the big red paddle to turn it off. Brilliant!!!


-- Matt Garcia Wannabe Period Furniture Maker, Houston TX

View sIKE's profile


1271 posts in 3717 days

#9 posted 02-18-2009 07:19 AM

I should up date my blog. My cabinet is wired for 110V 20 Amp. The plug and the cord was the most expensive part of the system. I am planning to add a double gang box to the side. One outlet will be switched and the other will be constant. I am going to add a downdraft box that will sit on the cabinet in place of the route table top. I will plug my sanders in that box and if I decide to go with a shop vac I will plug both in to the switched outlet and and use it to turn both on and off….

-- //FC - Round Rock, TX - "Experience is what you get just after you need it"

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3837 days

#10 posted 02-18-2009 10:27 PM

I love the safety switches from Grizzly.

They have a few different versions for 110v, 220v, etc.

-- Happy woodworking!

View EEngineer's profile


1098 posts in 3576 days

#11 posted 02-19-2009 01:16 PM

Be careful with your switch selection from Grizzly. See this

The H8241 and H8242 seem to be momentary switches suitable for a magnetic switch design but not a standard power switch.

I have personal experience with the H8238 and I know it is a standard power switch. You push START and it delivers power to the motor; you push STOP and it removes power. You’ll have to talk to tooldad or sawdust2 about their experiences.

-- "Find out what you cannot do and then go do it!"

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