I'm building a router table. I'm going to put an electrical outlet
and switch on the table so the router can be turned on using the
switch instead of having to reach under the table to find the router
switch. I'll unplug the router from the table's outlet to change
bits. All this wiring I can handle.
Here's my question - I'd like to have a light that shows whether the
router is plugged in - just to make sure that the router can't be
powered on (like if the switch is accidently turned on) while I'm
changing a bit. The light should be on whether the switch is on or
off, but only if the router is plugged in.
Is this possible?
Instead of a complicated electrical circuit, how about designing
some simple mechanical "flag" which would have to be manually
raised in order to insert the plug.
Or, attach a magnet to the cord plug and let it actuate a
reed switch (burglar alarm contact) and a small lamp.
That's a real good Idea, and I can see how it would be nice,I don't know how
you would wire it up, its almost like you would need a separate voltage tap
for the indicator light, and a switch that would be closed by the plug it
Actually, though, I have the setup you are planning,(minus the 'pilot light)
and as I kneel down to change the router bit, you have a pretty good "eye
shot" at the outlet/ plug, to see if it is plugged in or not. I put a
"unplug router B-4 changing bit's" sign on my table.
To show if it's plugged in, you will need to tap into the circuit between
the plug and the router motor. Personally, I would consider soldering a
couple ~20 gage wires to some terminals inside the router's plastic casing,
and let those lead to a 120 V LED of choice, which you can get at Radio
Shack. You could even put a another connector somewhere near the outside of
the plastic case so the long wire would be removable.
However - I think what you really want is something just showing if the
circuit/outlet has power. I think Home Despot or someone else probably
sells a lighted, switched outlet. ie, switch, light and outlet in 1 single
position box. I certainly know lighted 120 V rocker type panel switches are
commonly available from places like radio shack, so at the least, you could
put one in before the outlet. Just make sure it can handle the 15-20 amps
Woods Industries makes a lighted adapter (No. 2525) that will plug into the
receptacle, then plug the router into the lighted adapter. Great for making
a lighted extension cord out of a regular extension cord too. Check your
local hardware store(s).
The OP stated that the outlet and the switch will be mounted on the table.
How hard is it to glance at the lighted adapter before changing a bit, or
even a (preferably red) lighted indicator switch? In addition to seeing
that power was available or not, would he not also SEE that the router is
plugged in? I think what he's really looking for is a quick way to safely
change a bit, in which case he may want to consider purchasing more than one
router if he wants to be Quicks Draw McGraw.
I don't think you understand my intent. The lighted outlet only shows
whether the switch is on or off. I already have a great way to tell
if the switch is on - the router is on.
Here's the scenario I'm trying to avoid - Turn off the switch, start
changing a bit without unplugging the router, accidentally hit the
switch, router puts nice dado in finger.
The lighted outlet doesn't help - it's off whether the router is
plugged in or not. It's on when the switch is on, which doesn't help
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Michael Press wrote:
OK, now that everyone else has had a shot at this from an electrical
angle, here's a near zero cost mechanical solution:
Fasten the open end wrench you use to loosen the router's collet nut to
the line cord with a six inch piece of stout twine, tied on tightly just
behind the cord plug. Apply a few overlapped turns of an adhesive tape
to the cord right behind that tie to keep it from working its way up the
If that doesn't solve your problem I seriously suggest you take up safer
hobby, like perhaps stamp collecting. (Ducking.)
Just my .02,
Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)
"If you can keep smiling when things go wrong, you've thought of someone to
You could also wire up a key switch to the table or lockup the panel.
Nothing gives good piece of mind like yanking the plug though. I never
trust the magnetic switch on my table saw even if it is **supposed** to
be safe. The same thing goes for my drill press and router table which
both have key switches and switch covers as well. I still always yank
It is possible, but not easy.
You would need double throw switch. One way puts 1.5vdc through the router
and a flashlight bulb in series; the other way puts 120vac through the
router and a nightlight bulb in parallel.
I am assuming here that 1.5vdc will not hurt your router; I don't actually
know that and suggest you confirm it before doing it.
But frankly it seems like way too much trouble. I make it a point to unplug
my router before changing bits and have not yet had a problem remember (that
I am aware of).
a simple way to force the issue is to tie the collet wrench to the plug
with a shortish string - short enough not to reach the router when
plugged in, but long enough not to interfere with wrench usage when
Maybe he could put a clip on the back of the table to hold the plug
while using the wrench so the plug isn't flapping around in the work
area. bad da bing badda boom.
This is also 100000000000000X safer than the light idea.
total time for job: 45 seconds.
the part of < firstname.lastname@example.org>
was played by maxwell monningh 8-p
Off hand the only way I can think of to do this is using a 5 wire plug and
receptacle (NEMA L22-20P and L22-20R 20 amp). You didn't mention the
amperage and voltage of your machine, but I'm presuming it is 120 volts.
Wire the ground pin like you normally would. Use 2 pins for the feed for
the router. Put a jumper in the plug between the 2 unused pins. That
jumper will act like a switch whenever the plug is put into the receptacle.
Of course this creates a dangerous situation (Dead short) if you were to
plug this into a normally wired 5 wire receptacle. If this is a residence
it is unlikely that you will have many 5 wire receptacles around.
Inside of the junction box housing the receptacle you will need to wire the
corresponding pins for the power feed to the router. The receptacle pins
for the indicator light should have the hot leg looped through the plug.
I suggest that you use the same circuit for the light as well as the router.
I strongly advise against doing it this way. I would use a pilot light
switch and also a plug with a pilot light in it.
A real simple answer, attach the router chuck wrench to the power cable,
up near the plug.
This way you can not (unless you go through extremes) change the bit,
without unplugging it.
Works real good on drills as well, to keep from loosing the chuck key.
You can purchase single pole electrical switches for household wiring
use that illuminates when in the "on" position.
This isn't quite what you wanted, but it might work for you--and it
would be cheap.
- Nehmo -
If the router has a ground wire. Connect like this:
Ground inside receptacle------LED--Battery----Ground wire inside router
When the router is unplugged the circuit is incomplete and the light is
off. When the router is plugged in, the ground wires connect and the
light goes on.
A dead battery will also produce a light-off condition. So unplug the
router when not in use and use a lithium battery. It will last a long
time that way.
I'm assuming the router would be semi-permanently mounted to the table.
I would remove the routers original cord completely then make a
new cord with a handy box in the middle. Mount a light in the box
and wire it between Line and Neutral. I wouldn't want to rely on
a light to tell me if the router was unplugged though. Lights can burn
out, especially with the routers vibration.
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