Ghosts in the machine??

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Forum topic by Mainiac Matt posted 07-29-2013 04:07 PM 816 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mainiac Matt

6141 posts in 1838 days

07-29-2013 04:07 PM

I think I have a ghost in my shop…. and it’s possessing my old Milwaukee 10” SCMS.

The saw is ~16 years old and has been used pretty hard over the years (it definately doesn’t really owe me anything).

After several years, the electric motor brake stopped working…. which wasn’t that big of a deal.

Then about three years ago… the saw would fail to turn off, after releasing the trigger. Which was definately a bit disconcerting…. but if I let the trigger snap off of my finger just right, it would shut off. I read that this could be due to worn or dirty brushes, so I cleaned them up and the problem largely went away.

Just recently, it’s started doing it again, but last night it freeked me out big time.

I’d spent a couple hours working on a hope chest for my daughter, and I had wrapped up for the night, cleaned up and was sitting on my stool thinking about what needed to be done next… it was 11:30 pm… then all of a sudden, totally out of the blue, the saw turns on :^o

I instantly got a huge jolt of adreneline, with incredable tinggles going up and down my neck and spine.

So now my shop is haunted… and I need to trouble shoot the saw.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

13 replies so far

View Manitario's profile


2413 posts in 2392 days

#1 posted 07-29-2013 04:13 PM

when you open your bedroom door in the morning is the saw sitting outside of it? If you turn your back to the saw and then turn around quickly is the saw a little bit closer to you???

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Handtooler's profile (online now)


1389 posts in 1642 days

#2 posted 07-29-2013 05:05 PM

Until you solve the problem, PLEASE un-plug it each time you’re finished your work for the day and before retiring into the house. With a careful thorough teardown I’m certain you’ll solve the problem. It may take a part or two if they are still available.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343

View Gary's profile


8972 posts in 2942 days

#3 posted 07-29-2013 05:10 PM

I understand things like that seem to happen to those who snort too much sawdust, especially while there is an open container of solvent or spirits around..

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

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Dave Rutan

1504 posts in 1698 days

#4 posted 07-29-2013 05:12 PM

I had a Ford Ranger pickup once that would occasionally wash the windshield all by itself. A little disconcerting, but at least it wasn’t dangerous. I hope your exorcism is successful.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

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Mainiac Matt

6141 posts in 1838 days

#5 posted 07-29-2013 05:54 PM

Saw is unplugged….

Switch and new brushes are both available… $32 + S&H

Religious icons cost extra :^o

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View bondogaposis's profile


4115 posts in 1861 days

#6 posted 07-29-2013 06:10 PM

Yeah, unplug your saw and if plugs itself in at night then you really gotta call these guys.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View crank49's profile


3987 posts in 2480 days

#7 posted 07-29-2013 08:03 PM

I don’t see how brushes would do anything except make the unit fail to start sometimes, not the other way around.

Saw dust in the switch could cause both the bad brake and the failure to shut off. Could even cause the ghostly start up. I would definitely be investigating the switch.

Think I might be needing more than a switch if one of my tools started by itself, late at night in the shop. Probably would have a cleaning bill to deal with.

-- Michael: Hillary has a long list of accomplishments, though most DAs would refer to them as felonies.

View fredj's profile


185 posts in 1327 days

#8 posted 07-29-2013 08:19 PM

If cleaning the switch doesn’t work, I’d replace it. Outside of that you may want to consult a shaman

-- Fredj

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Bill White

4490 posts in 3470 days

#9 posted 07-29-2013 08:27 PM

You caught me.


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Mainiac Matt

6141 posts in 1838 days

#10 posted 07-29-2013 08:27 PM

A little detective sleuthing around type work reveals that the original p/n for the switch, was superceded by a new p/n… for both the newer models and retroactive for my older model.

Translation = design flaw and defective switches replaced with ones of new design….

Switch appears to be a sealed unit… so I’ll likely replace / upgrade.


Well as I said… the saw really doesn’t owe me anything. I like the newer 12” double miter models a lot better… but for that kind of money (which I don’t have to spend these days anyways) I’d rather upgrade my 16 year old Delta lunch box.

-- Pine is fine, but Oak's no joke!

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5839 posts in 3095 days

#11 posted 07-29-2013 09:26 PM

Sounds like a dust build up in the switch quite common fault with dusty machines unplug open switch and clean with air if you have it or lightly brush taking care not to pull out any wires.It is always best to take a few pictures with a camera so if this happens you can put it all back but basically a fifteen minute job as said,a quite common fault.Have fun and be safe it’s not ghostie posties or anything like it LOL Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View DIYaholic's profile (online now)


19234 posts in 2184 days

#12 posted 07-29-2013 11:33 PM

Sounds more like you had a loooog night with a different “Old Milwakee”....





-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procrastination a bad thing?

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404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 2479 days

#13 posted 07-29-2013 11:35 PM

Call a priest.

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