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?
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
Something like that might work with the scroll saw, where it would be in
the same place all the time.
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.
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.
Also check with both Graingers and McMaster-Carr. They would be my
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
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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