LumberJocks

Table saw foot switch

  • Advertise with us
Project by Mikhail posted 03-10-2014 03:04 AM 1842 views 11 times favorited 22 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is momentary on foot operated switch. It maintains a fairly low profile and is built around a flush rocker AC switch has been glued (construction adhesive) down allowing the body to rock in on and off positions. A spring holds the switch in the OFF position until the foot pedal is depressed. Its stays on only as long as the pedal is held all the way down. This is in series with the power switch of the table saw/router. I added some rubber tabs on the bottom of the switch to prevent it from sliding.

I like that the full down position requires and supports my full weight with out putting any excess pressure on the fairly fragile wall switch. I have been using it for about a 3 weeks and it is working well.

Other than construction adhesive and a trimmed small spring, it didn’t require any special components to build and went together fairly quickly.

I have had a commercial foot switch in the past, and like not having to release my materials or divert my attention to cut power to the power tool.





22 comments so far

View Vertigo's profile

Vertigo

817 posts in 334 days


#1 posted 03-10-2014 03:08 AM

Good idea is that wire PL’d into the box? Would hate to see it pulled out and arc out or worse light your foot up. All new meaning to hot foot lol. But I love the idea

-- Greg - Ferdinand and Son Construction: Do it right the first time. Like us on Facebook

View Mikhail's profile

Mikhail

27 posts in 388 days


#2 posted 03-10-2014 03:37 AM

Yes there is a mechanical connection (plastic strap screwed into the pine side) just before the wire leaves the box (not shown in picture). As well I used a heavy gauge wire with rubber insulation that fits very very tightly when the lid was attached.

View Vertigo's profile

Vertigo

817 posts in 334 days


#3 posted 03-10-2014 03:45 AM

Good deal bud. I really like it. Does your normal switch still work or you have to use the foot switch. The reason I ask is it’s gotta be a nightmare ripping Sheet stock with a foot switch

-- Greg - Ferdinand and Son Construction: Do it right the first time. Like us on Facebook

View Mikhail's profile

Mikhail

27 posts in 388 days


#4 posted 03-10-2014 03:58 AM

The normal switch still works fine. The foot switch connects to the table saw thru a normal wall socket in a external enclosure…I can always just plug the saw directly in to the supplied power and bypass the foot switch. This is how I have the saw AND the router operated via the foot switch as well as there own switches.

View Vertigo's profile

Vertigo

817 posts in 334 days


#5 posted 03-10-2014 04:13 AM

Very nice setup.

-- Greg - Ferdinand and Son Construction: Do it right the first time. Like us on Facebook

View exelectrician's profile

exelectrician

1676 posts in 1124 days


#6 posted 03-10-2014 07:40 AM

Am I correct in thinking that any heavy object falling on the switch will turn it on? If so, then maybe a simple guard to prevent this happening while also allowing access to a shoe would be an improvement. We all should guard against accidents.
Having the switch enclosed in a flammable material is not exactly the perfect enclosure, hate to rain on your parade but at the same time can’t endorse this.
This is a safe optionhttp://www.amazon.com/TEMCo-Heavy-Duty-Switch-CN0003/dp/B00EF9D2DY/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1394437422&sr=8-9&keywords=industrial+foot+switch

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View JJohnston's profile

JJohnston

1586 posts in 1988 days


#7 posted 03-10-2014 12:19 PM

That foot switch doesn’t have a guard to protect it from a dropped object, either, but here’s one that does. I had no idea there were so many available until just now.

http://www.amazon.com/Momentary-Industrial-Antislip-Pedal-Switch/dp/B00899BW7O/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1394453833&sr=8-5&keywords=industrial+foot+switch+with+guard

-- "Sometimes even now, when I'm feeling lonely and beat, I drift back in time, and I find my feet...Down on Main Street." - Bob Seger

View Mikhail's profile

Mikhail

27 posts in 388 days


#8 posted 03-10-2014 01:11 PM

I like BOTH those commercial products! Reasonable pricing and good use of aluminum. I like the lever setup of the second one especially. Thanks for the links.

The switch only operate once I shit a GOOD portion of my weight on to it fully. I know this because while I have it depressed if I shift my stance too much the switch turns off before I am done with the cut. To have it activate by something dropping on to it, would require something heavy enough that I would question what it was doing suspended over the saw area. The switch activates JUST as the foot pedal is fully depressed.

Also it SUPPLEMENTS the main power switch, which is turned off after each use…so an accident activation as unlikely as that is, would be unlikely to activate anything.

But a drop test WOULD be interesting. I will explore that.

A guard is a neat idea though, but I wanted to keep a low profile for the switch. The switch lives under the TS when not in use.

The electrical contacts and any arcing is contained in unmodified household switch. Having it in a wooden enclosure does not frighten me. Having leads housed in a conductive metal enclosure scares me more. And THAT is industry standard. Or the petroleum product known as plastic.

This works for me. YMMV.

Edit: hmmm….if a 3×3 metal surround was placed OVER the switch, with the switch glued to a metal faceplate for it, and then a wooded top plate to capture the foot lever was screwed in after…..hmmm

View SparkyWood's profile

SparkyWood

21 posts in 271 days


#9 posted 03-10-2014 01:46 PM

Hmmm, Don’t think thats code compiant

-- Anything worth doing, is worth over-doing.

View Mikhail's profile

Mikhail

27 posts in 388 days


#10 posted 03-10-2014 02:04 PM

Great feedback guys. This is WHY I frequent this site.

NOW I want to redo it and not run ANY power to the switch. Just use it to activate 240VAC relays. THOSE can be in a full metal enclosure.

The wife wonders why I spend more time working ON the shop, instead of producing furniture.

Oh well. Sigh.

View Mikhail's profile

Mikhail

27 posts in 388 days


#11 posted 03-10-2014 03:43 PM

Um, by code compliant you are referring electrical building codes right? Correct me if I am mistaken somewhere, but this isn’t a building or any part of a building. Its a tool. As far as I am aware most corded power tools (ie drills) do not have a full metal outlet enclosure around the switch element.

3 foot drop test involving medium contractor squares, large tape measures, medium box of screws, milwalkee cordless drill, accusquare, and medium can of paint failed to trigger switch. My stuff and the switch is a bit more beat up now, but hey its good to know.

View savan's profile

savan

94 posts in 1088 days


#12 posted 03-10-2014 07:47 PM

This is a nifty little switch, it might be a little problematic tho if you try to walk a long piece of stock through. I cant think of a good (aka safe) solution for that off hand.

View SparkyWood's profile

SparkyWood

21 posts in 271 days


#13 posted 03-10-2014 07:53 PM

You are correct, building codes don’t apply to tools…

I was referring more to the fact that its surrounded entirely by flammable material with relatively high current going through the switch. Using the switch to operate a relay is a better idea.

Just my 2 cents… Thats’s why we post on here right?

Also, The reason we have metal boxes is so any arching inside the box wont melt the box (like it would plastic, or burn wood). I understand your fear of the conductive metal box in case of a fault, but thats what a ‘ground’ is for, to short it out and trip the breaker (killing power and telling you somethings wrong).

-- Anything worth doing, is worth over-doing.

View ic3ss's profile

ic3ss

260 posts in 1473 days


#14 posted 03-10-2014 08:49 PM

It doesn’t have to comply to building code like you said, it’s not installed on your house, it is a temporary device connected to a temporary device(the saw). As for the falling object safety thing: if you don’t want your saw to turn on accidentally for safety reasons, then we all know to unplug the saw from power which makes the footswitch useless.

I like the idea but for my work I’d be afraid that I would trip over it or step on it when I’m walking around. But if you are at the saw doing lots of on and off quick cut work, this would really be a back saver.

Wayne

-- "I am endeavoring, ma'am, to construct a mnemonic memory circuit using stone knives and bear skins."

View smitdog's profile

smitdog

79 posts in 802 days


#15 posted 03-10-2014 09:23 PM

Correct me if I’m wrong Mikhail, but you said you ran this in series with a regular switch? So it wouldn’t matter if you accidentally stepped on it as long as the saw’s regular switch was turned off, right? I would think that your chances of accidentally triggering the saw would be slim to none while you were actually working at the saw, you’d just have to remember to flip off the main switch before walking away from the saw. Then it would basically be like you pulled the plug like Wayne said. I’ve considered a setup similar to yours as I feel that it’s much safer since you can keep your hands and eyes on the saw at all times through a cut without worrying about hitting that switch. I was also considering something I could bump with my hip or a knee but if you mount that in one place it keeps you from hitting it depending on what you’re cutting. I think this is more flexible, I like it!

showing 1 through 15 of 22 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase