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-   -   Scroll Saw Foot Switch Question (https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/scroll-saw-foot-switch-question-49757/)

dodgeboy77 03-18-2013 01:36 AM

Scroll Saw Foot Switch Question
So I got a good deal on this nice, nearly new DeWalt 788 scroll saw and decided a foot switch would be a good accessory for it. I figured I'd buy a 'dead man' style N/O type switch for the saw. Then I got to thinking that constantly having to hold my foot down on a switch might be less than convenient.

Maybe I want a push-on, push-off switch? I can see the deadman style being a safety feature for something like a router table or a DP, but in the hierarchy of hazardous tools, the scroll saw seems more on the level of a screwdriver or chisel.

What do you serious scrollers use?


johnnie52 03-18-2013 02:30 PM

I'm not an expert by any means. However, after trying both types at the local Wood Craft store, I decided on the deadman type rather than the on/off type for one reason. My leg is mostly useless due to a stroke and trying to get on and off the switch repeatedly during the cutting process would be nearly impossible for me. With the deadman switch I can operate it much like the gas pedal in my truck which gives me far greater control.

Your mileage may vary:smile:.

Alchymist 03-18-2013 03:01 PM

1 Attachment(s)
If you're worrying about shutting it off quickly, an emergency stop switch (big red push to stop button type) mounted up front would be a good start. Regular on/off switch anywhere, but just whack the emergency one to cut power quickly.

woodnthings 03-18-2013 03:14 PM

as you said, it's not a hazardous machine
If a blade snaps or other issue, I would think a timely shutdown using the machines built in switch would be practical, no need for all these other solutions. :no:
I have the STOP switches on my table saws, jointers, and router tables, where I may have a large piece to mange and not be able to use my hand on the switch so I bump it with my thigh or knee. I used them many times in that manner. :thumbsup:

Gary Beasley 03-18-2013 04:23 PM

I've been told by a hardcore scroller the on off switch is way preferable to the deadman. Kinda like cruise control you won't get leg cramps holding the switch down while wrestling your project around the blade.

dodgeboy77 03-18-2013 06:56 PM

Thanks guys! Like woodnthings figured, safety wasn't my top consideration on this foot switch idea but ability to keep both hands on the workpiece is. These saws, in my opinion, are one of the safer tools in the shop, plus the power switch is large and mounted right up front, anyway.

I heard from Kenbo in the meantime and his strong recommendation was a dead man's type switch. I looked at one at the local Harbor Fright store and theirs seemed to have a pretty light touch to it. That wouldn't end up giving me a cramp like Gary mentioned. I think I'll give one of them a try. If I don't like it I can always change it to another tool like the router table.


woodnthings 03-18-2013 07:03 PM

here's a completely different idea
I use these on my shop vacs for dust collection. You just need the clicker close at hand:

dodgeboy77 03-23-2013 12:31 AM

Just a followup: I picked up a Harbor Freight 'dead man' style floor switch for $15 minus the 20% coupon. I did a puzzle project on the saw tonight and the switch idea worked really well. It helps to be able to have both hands on the stock when powering up the saw and it's fairly intuitive to lift my foot to turn things off. The switch is easy to hold down and if it doesn't prove to be reliable I'll get something better when it quits.


Kenbo 03-23-2013 08:13 AM

The deadman type switches do not have a lot of resistance in the pedal which makes them very easy to use IMO. There is more resistance in the gas pedal of a vehicle and I'm sure that we drive more than we scroll. Either way, I'm glad you got your switch and I'm sure that you will be happy with it.
Good luck on the scrolling and I'm looking forward to seeing your next project.

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