My Palm Sander Is Possessed!

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Forum topic by gfadvm posted 06-10-2012 01:54 AM 2851 views 0 times favorited 30 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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14940 posts in 2652 days

06-10-2012 01:54 AM

Topic tags/keywords: sander self starter

My wife just took her dog out, came back in and asked me what I had left running in the shop. I went out, unlocked the shop to a loud vibrating noise that I couldn’t identify. I finally found the source: my DeWalt palm sander was lying on its side on the shelf under the workbench vibrating away! This is the least used tool in my shop and I sure would have noticed the racket when I left the shop tonight. How did this thing turn itself on? I won’t sleep well tonight wondering what tool will turn itself on next and burn my shop down! Makes me want to throw the main breaker every time I leave the shop. Anyone else had this experience?

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

30 replies so far

View lew's profile


12016 posts in 3718 days

#1 posted 06-10-2012 01:56 AM

Maybe you should call those guys from the SciFi channel- Ghost Hunters!!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

28899 posts in 2300 days

#2 posted 06-10-2012 01:58 AM

Nothing like a palm sander. Air compressors should always have power off at night, never heard of portable power tools.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Roger's profile


20923 posts in 2766 days

#3 posted 06-10-2012 02:16 AM

If it was left plugged in, maybe a little power surge could of turned it on???? I don’t know. I do know that my Dewalt Jig saw has a sticky trigger, that won’t shut off some time. I need to call Dewalt about that because it is dangerous as hell. Excuse the explitive. Anyway, just my 2-cents Andy. Good luck finding out what happened. One more thing, and that is I may be a bit anal about what I’m about to say, but, I have a habit of unplugging my power tools when I leave the shop and done fiddlin around out there. I’ve lost to many electronic things from power surges, and sure don’t want to loose any of my woodworkin tools.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View eddie's profile


8565 posts in 2576 days

#4 posted 06-10-2012 02:27 AM

it could be some animal knocked it over and came on

-- Jesus Is Alright with me

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2652 days

#5 posted 06-10-2012 02:31 AM

I can’t imagine a power surge turning on a tool with a mechanical switch (but what do I know?). Unplugging all my power tools would be a colossal undertaking. Flipping the master breaker would mess up the clock every day but is doable. I’m just baffled how this happened. I still think it’s possessed!

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View patron's profile


13600 posts in 3303 days

#6 posted 06-10-2012 02:48 AM

have you treated any old horses lately
that didn’t make it

maybe just un-plug the sander for a while
and see if anything else comes on

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View devann's profile


2246 posts in 2655 days

#7 posted 06-10-2012 02:56 AM

Andy, I have the same problem with my small air compressor that I use in the shop. I know good & well that I turn it off, but it would come back later and it’s on again. At first I thought maybe I was wrong and forgot to turn it off. But the other day I turned it off, cleaned the shop for a couple hours and then, poof it came back on! I now believe that something is wrong with the switch. Turns out it will come back on if I shut it off and don’t bleed the air pressure down below 80 psi.

-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with

View nomercadies's profile


589 posts in 2301 days

#8 posted 06-10-2012 03:02 AM

I bought out the screen repair section of a hardware store that was closing its doors. In the pile of stuff I bought was an electric powered stapler. Much later I had the chance to fire it up and found the hair trigger went off on its own. There was some scrambling as the staples shot around the front porch with folks trying to decide where to hide from the stapler from hadies. I must question my friends to see if anyone is having trouble with theft. It would be great to have a thief plug that thing in.

-- Chance Four "Not Just a Second Chance"

View CharlieM1958's profile


16274 posts in 4181 days

#9 posted 06-10-2012 03:17 AM

If it has a rocker-type switch, maybe it wasn’t all the way off. It may have been sitting somewhere in the middle, and eventually sprung over to the “on” side.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2652 days

#10 posted 06-10-2012 03:24 AM

Yep, Charlie, it has a rocker type switch but it hasn’t been used in recent memory.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View longgone's profile


5688 posts in 3271 days

#11 posted 06-10-2012 03:31 AM

Andy…next thing you know you will go to your shop one morning and a few extra boxes will be completed that weren’t there the night before. The shop elves might just be hard at work.

View CartersWhittling's profile


453 posts in 2636 days

#12 posted 06-10-2012 03:34 AM

Hand tools can’t be possessed and turn themselves on. More proof that power tools are the dark side of woodworking, haha.

Perhaps the tool switch was ON, but the breaker for the outlet was off until someone turned it back on?

-- And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord... Colossians 3:23

View a1Jim's profile


117060 posts in 3539 days

#13 posted 06-10-2012 03:44 AM

Don’t worry about it if you have spirits or ghost just leave something out for them to sand. :))

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View TexasMark's profile


1 post in 2153 days

#14 posted 06-10-2012 04:02 AM

My Dewalt 5in sander comes on on occasion…. But only if I’ve been using it lately. The switch gets a bit funny at times

View rance's profile


4255 posts in 3123 days

#15 posted 06-10-2012 05:21 AM

A couple of the DeWalt ROS’s in the classroom do the same thing. They always get unplugged after class though. My Jet mini lathe has a problem of late with the on/off switch too, and it is getting worse. I need to replace the switch. I should also unplug that one tool when leaving the shop until I get it fixed.

Carter is right, hand tools won’t come on, but they will fall off the shelf in the middle of the night from time to time.

As for the rest of you all, I think ya’all are getting old-timers.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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