Switches on 30 y.o. tools

Many of my old Craftsman power tools have the switches going bad and they don't carry them anymore. Most of the stuff is from the '60's and early '70's - circular saw, scroll saw with the rotating blade shaft and a nice small router. I am mostly interested in the scroll saw because it's the best of the three. Actually, come to thinkof it, I can replace the router switch with a standard SPST electronic switch (think, your first car's dashboard with the under-dash lights). Is it salvageable?
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I recently cut out the old switch on my lathe-turned-sander. To control it, I hooked a 20A light switch to a duplex outlet (also 20A--most stuff is 15A) and connected a plug to the other end. Now rather than messing with a bad on/off switch, I've got a good light switch. As a bonus, I can plug the vacuum in to the outlet and turn them both on at the same time.
Something like that might work with the scroll saw, where it would be in the same place all the time.
Puckdropper
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Puckdropper wrote:

A light switch is probably OK for a scroll saw but be aware that they are derated for motor use--a 20A Leviton industrial switch for example is rated for 1 HP at 120v and 16A max motor load (fwiw you can find the Leviton industrial catalog at http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/ibcGetAttachment.jsp?cItemId=u4XWH2gnFVIs9yeepxlPkw&label=IBE&appName=IBE&minisite021 or http://tinyurl.com/yzslmh7 .
Grizzly has switches intended specifically for power tool use for under 20 bucks that are rated for 2 HP at 110V and up to 35A. http://www.grizzly.com/catalog/2009/Main/243 and http://www.grizzly.com/catalog/2009/Main/244

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Seriously, I have found switches all kinds of places for various tools. I noticed a lot of my older power tools had standard production switches that I was able to find from third parties or in some cases the OEM manufacturer. Its going to take some looking, and of course you are going to have to open up the tool to see what it has. If it's a built to suit switch it may not be replaceable, but if it was a generic production switch I am sure you can find a replacement.
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wrote:

If you look in the hardware section of most chain hardware stores, such as Ass and Turd Value, they often have a selection of these switches in the "specialty" drawers.
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Hey! We had a True Value Hardware store for many years. Ok, we had a country hardware and auto parts store with a True Value franchise so we could buy stuff through their name. We actually had as many lines direct using the True Value name to get to the manufacturers as we had from the True Value catalog.
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The sitch is like a trigger and built into the grip. It's sort of a rocker being hinged on the forend of it and the back swings up when squeezed. I'm guessing that I'm hosed.
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Maybe, and maybe the plastic trigger operates a regular old switch internally.
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wrote:

It that the actual switch? In most tools, that trigger swings up to press on a little generic switch inside the handle.
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Thanks for the thought, salty and Bob. I'll tear into it after C.mas but the Craftsman circ saw had a similar looking switch and it was a specially made switch. Thanks again.
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wrote:

Also check with both Graingers and McMaster-Carr. They would be my final answer.
There really isn't much incentive for a tool designer to use anything other than an off-the-shelf switch. You just need to find the right shelf.
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Portable stuff is a problem - it usually involves machining up an adapter block and a well-rated microswitch inside.
For fixed stuff, or table-mounted routers, then it's time to upgrade to a mgnetic contactor with two buttons, no-volt release and easy addition of emergency-off knee paddles. An isolator switch too.
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