Shop Safety #1: knee switch my version Dec 2009

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Blog entry by burkelyn posted 01-02-2010 02:03 AM 1438 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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I’d like to detail exactly what I did so if anyone wants to recreate this for their saw they would have some exact guidance. Firstly I noticed that the power switch was on the left… I felt this was dangerous. I knew that the adjustment for the saw blade angle was on the right, but I felt it was also necessary to move the power switch to the right. I notice that the angle iron which supports the rail on my saw had two predrilled and counter sunk holes on the far right so the move was on. I have only a small table on my saw and walking around to change the angle was no big deal as I don’t often do that anyway. I hired an electrician to do this as my saw is a 3 hp single phase 230 volt and personally I don’t mess with 230 power.

Details .. where to begin: I measured the difference between the angle iron and the fence rail that sits on it. I found to my pleasure that I had about an inch between the edges. Thus my wood was cut to 1 1/2” wide and 1/2” plywood was used because of what I feared to be was a weight issue with plywood.

First I removed the rail and used Turtle Tape so there is no leakage which could create an unwanted bond between the angle iron and the rail. Replace the rail being sure to align it and the fence correctly. Moving the rail slightly will help adjust the fence and the rail squarely. Just a couple of bolts to loosen and twist. Next how to attach the piece of wood under the rail? I could have drilled, but that seemed like a lot of work so I chose to use a two part epoxy made by a company called Elements formerly known as Hardman Inc. Although I put it in the middle of the 1/2 plywood, it still oozed when clamped. Clean this immediately… and be sure that you have roughened both the wood and underside of the rail for best bonding.

I was pleased to find that this worked so well, but it requires at least 12-24 hrs to dry.

Next the hinges. I found that the non-mortise hinges worked the best. I used Stanley 3” or 76 mm and although I used the smaller square interior part I had to grind it a bit to make it fit so that the holes would center. Again I had to decide how long to make the pieces that hung down from the hinges and based on your height it could be 16 to 18 inches long.

I changed the Shop Fox Magnetic Switch because its STOP button was too small for my use in this project. In its place I chose a paddle switch from Grizzly which was # 8423 because my saw is a 3 hp single phase.

I used the Kreg 1” sps#-C1 to connect the pieces of wood to other wood. Further to make sure that I was close enough to trip the switch when needed. I added a piece behind it as it did not line up evenly across the front of the board and the front of the switch.

I used Peach Tree Zero Insert which fits either Shop Fox or Grizzly…check the number of your machine. I also inserted Micro Jig Splitter for a fine blade and Board Buddies to complete my saw protection package.

I will be selling my Shop Fox 3hp Magnetic Switch for single phase… let me know if you want to buy it

I have included pictures in hopes that everyone will be able to use this to create their own safety switch.

Happy New Year.

-- Peter J. Blake, Auburn, ME

4 comments so far

View johnnymo's profile


309 posts in 3382 days

#1 posted 01-02-2010 02:08 AM

ingenious! good job! Thanks for the tutorial.

-- John in Arizona (but it's a dry heat!)

View JimDaddyO's profile


575 posts in 3255 days

#2 posted 01-02-2010 02:25 AM

Nice job! I really like how the saw can get shut off from anywhere.

-- my blog: my You Tube channel:

View burkelyn's profile


31 posts in 3255 days

#3 posted 01-24-2010 11:48 PM

Someone said that I created a problem in the blog, but I don’t know how to fix it if it exists.
So, does someone want to check that out and let me know? Thanks

-- Peter J. Blake, Auburn, ME

View a1Jim's profile


117279 posts in 3753 days

#4 posted 01-24-2010 11:51 PM

Hey Peter
That’s one great knee switch

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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