Ruminations, Philosophy, and Workshop Antics.......... #3: Nearly done with the table saw switch..........

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Blog entry by Jim Bertelson posted 11-02-2009 05:10 AM 1387 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Running late, but the switch mechanics look good......I hope Part 3 of Ruminations, Philosophy, and Workshop Antics.......... series Part 4: A little progress on the table saw switch »

I am nearly done with building my table saw switch mechanism using the original toggle switch. CHEAP, fun, and interesting. My rules are…. no new purchases allowed. Scrap box and odds-and-ends. Not done enough for pictures, lost a lot of time today for a variety of reasons, but did get some of the Sketchup stuff done, and got the mechanism to the point that a couple of hours will have it on the saw. The concept has been established in wood and a tiny bit of metal and works well. Mind you, this is just mechanics, not electricity. I am using the original toggle switch for the electrical part.

I will be posting Sketchup plans, photos etc.

So why do I do this silly stuff? Got it from my Dad. Great excuse. Bet a bunch of you out there have used that one….............

For instance:

My dad bought a new wringer washing machine, so he retrieved the motor from the old wringer washer. That was a long time ago, while I was in grade school. He used the motor to power a grinder, belt driven, for knives, axes, etc. Then he made it into an electric lawn mower with a wooden chassis that he built with hand tools, painted that chassis green. I used that to mow the lawn for about 5 years while growing up. Finally he bought a gas mower, so he made the lawn mower into a scrubbing machine for the floors at the department store he worked in. He found a better method for floor scrubbing, namely he and I using a sprayed on strong soap solution and mops, very effiecient, and I made some money. So the motor became a grinder again, that my brother used for about 20 or more years. That motor should be gold plated and immortalized…............... I think it had a 40 to 50 year life time of usefulness.

Nothing like old motors…......

So my toggle switch is soon to be encapsulated in wood, some aluminum tubing bearings for the dowel that moves the toggle (with a washer as a bearing surface), attached to my saw with some angle iron, oak, and plywood…...all, and I mean all, is from left overs and scrap…....CHEAP… long as you don’t count my time, most of it spent in design…......

.......well, just one picture…...... Aren’t pictures wonderful? Yeh, I like them too… can understand most anything you want to from pictures…....and a lot of things you don’t want to understand too…......

This is the original toggle switch handle, now controlled by a dowel with a washer bearing. It is screwed with tiny screws to the dowel. There is a shallow hole in the dowel. The washer is inset into the dowel with a shallow depression created by a Forstner bit. Note the aluminum bearings. Still have some work to do with them. Actually, that is most of the work left. The mount to the saw is finished.

........tomorrow…..............and more pics!

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

4 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117063 posts in 3544 days

#1 posted 11-02-2009 05:12 AM


-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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Jim Bertelson

4170 posts in 3131 days

#2 posted 11-02-2009 05:20 AM


You are the fastest out of the starting gates, I can always depend on you for a comment, and it is appreciated. Have a good evening. I think this thing is going to work well. Don’t know if anyone else will want to do it, but I will post the plans….....

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3301 days

#3 posted 11-02-2009 01:07 PM

You are such a tease with that one picture Jim!

I really enjoyed the story about the wringer washer motor. When I grew up my father, a businessman, bless him, didn’t have a clue about any kind of craft at all. On the other hand the folks on my mother’s side of the family were very handy indeed, several of them being high precision machinists and darned good woodworkers when that was called for too. I more or less followed my father’s trajectory, but did do quite a bit of DIY after being married. I didn’t forget my craftsmen genes though, so I took up woodworking after retirement and I am having fun, but it doesn’t come easy for me. It’s a wonderful thing when children’s parents are handy and can show them that they can make a lot of stuff and solve problems on their own. This carrys over into just about everything they will do in life, so it’s a wonderful gift for parents to pass along. It seems you got that from your father.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

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Jim Bertelson

4170 posts in 3131 days

#4 posted 11-02-2009 05:27 PM

I have to admit that I will probably enjoy tinkering around with the shop toys as much as making “projects” in this hobby. My grandfather on my father’s side made money in the depression remodeling houses while living in them and reselling them. He owned a small saw mill, and a small coal mine over the years. Never wealthy, but died with money in his pocket at age 87.

Making wood working my main hobby has a lot of advantages… expands my opportunities for tinkering, allows me to continue doing computer stuff with a new focus, and increases the legitimacy of my hold on the back half of the garage…..although my wife is slowly clearing out the triangular shaped storage area behind it, and laying claim to it. Close call there…............

-- Jim, Anchorage Alaska

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