Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Choosing And Siting A Wood Lathe's On/Off Switch

I've restored a decrepit old wood lathe recently, and chose to site the on/off switch right by the headstock, facing up, like so.

In using the lathe, I found that switch location and orientation to be ideal; the switch was right handy to my left hand at all times -- a good safety feature.

But there was a downside; the rocker-style switch tended to get loaded up with dust and shavings something awful.

Dust and shavings would sift down into the switch's innards, and render the switch inoperative. A blast of compressed air, and some ferocious switch toggling, would clear up the problem for awhile, but it was an unacceptable nuisance. A more-or-less dust-proof switch was in order.

A style of switch that's relatively dust-proof is a shank-mounted, bat-handled toggle switch, like this one.

You just have to be certain of choosing one that's capable of operating the load involved. The pictured switch is rated for 16 amps, 1 hp, so it's quite adequate for the 1/2 hp motor on the lathe.

A rectangle of aluminum sheet provided for a reworked switch mount, that accepted the shank-mounted switch in place of the original rectangular switch.

And here's the switch all wired up and where it belongs.

And that should be an end to the fouled switch nonsense.

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