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  • Foot switch

    Where can you buy a foot switch for a scroll saw or can you make one? I have tried all the local stores and they don't have one, feel like I may be able to make one from local items, maybe, know a little about making switches like a wall switch etc. What to use as an on/off device?

  • #2
    Re: Foot switch

    You can get them at any of the big scrollsaw sites like RBI Hegner, or Dewalt. If you have a woodworking show coming up you can get them there. You can get them any tool supply company. Just do a web search. If you are going to build one which I think is not worth the effort but that is my opinion you need a momentary normally open contact switch that is rated at 20 amperes.
    John T.


    • #3
      Re: Foot switch

      Jordan, here's two 'do-it-yourselfer' switches.

      #1 Pickup an old sewing machine foot switch, works excellent with any power tools for on/off/variable speed.

      #2 Get a plain old door bell switch (button), wire it up to a 110 electric outlet mounted in a box, with a power cord to plug it into the wall be sure to use the ground!!!!!. Plug your saw in, apply pressure to the switch, the saw runs, remove pressure the saw stops. CAUTION: Be sure to unplug this when not in use. You wouldn't want a little one (or yourself) to have an accident!


      • #4
        Re: Foot switch

        I am sorry I can't remember where I bought mine, but if you do a search you will find numerous tool suppliers/woodcarving suppliers, scrollsaw suppliers etc have them....I might have gotten mine from but not sure...but whatever, check a number of sites as I found the prices usually run about 19 to 25.00 and sometimes more, but I believe I got mine for 15.00...sorry I can't remember where? been several years :


        • #5
          Re: Foot switch

          A word of caution. The sewing machine switch is ok but the door bell button is not because the contacts are not rated for 110 volt use and will arc. With a dust situation not a good idea that is why I would recomend a true foot switch for they are rated for the amps and are enclosed to protect from dust.
          John T.


          • #6
            Re: Foot switch

            As the clockman says, the doorbell switch is definitely out. As for the sewing maching foot control; it all depends on your saw motor. Some motors will no handle reduced voltage operation well, especially under load. Power = Current times Voltage. To provide a certain amount of power if you reduce the Voltage the Current will increase. If it increases beyond what you motor, or other circuitry can handle, ooooops, a meltdown or other unqood things could be the result.

            In short buy a foot switch designed for the purpose. Or, build one from the proper components, which will usually end up costing you more.


            • #7
              Re: Foot switch

              Ed I have to disagree
              If it increases beyond what you motor, or other circuitry can handle, ooooops, a meltdown or other unqood things could be the result.
              The only way voltage can increase from the switch is a power surge from the power company which you would get with or without the switch. Also, the sewing machine footswitch and power tool footswitch are identical in that they both provide the variable speed function by the amount of pressure applied to the switch!

              As for the doorbell button - I would recommend that any disbelievers take a trip down to their local hardware store and read the specs on the package, doorbell switches are rated at 120 volts AC! Yes it is true they operate at 12 volts supplied from the transformer/regulator connected inline between the switch and chime itself, but the switches are rated at 120 volts!!! A foot switch built yourself as I suggested will cost under $10 and be as safe to use as any provided the builder is competent to correctly assemble it with quality components!


              • #8
                Re: Foot switch

                Didn't say the voltage would increase ... if the voltage is decreased the CURRENT must increase to provide the same amount of power. Some motors can handle this and some can't. As for the doorbell switch some are and some aren't. As you indicated, the builder must be competent to build it properly with quality components. If one has to ask, is one qualified???


                • #9
                  Re: Foot switch

                  I am with Ed on this unless you know what right equipment and what you are doing, when it comes to electricity it is not worth it. For $20 you get a piece of equipment that is designed for what you want and you do not have to worry about if you did everything properly and spend that valuable time scrolling and making sawdust. Just my opinion, good luck!
                  John T.


                  • #10
                    Foot Switch

                    I recieved my foot switch when I purchased my RBI...after about 5 minutes of use, I don't know how anybody would want to operate a scroll saw without one...there GREAT !!!

                    If you have a Rockler Store or a Woodcrafters Store near you they would carry them in addition to the big companies previously mentioned.

                    Spend the $20-25 you won't be disappointed

                    Jim Paskett
                    RBI HAWK 220


                    • #11
                      Foot Switch Source

                      Originally posted by jordan
                      Where can you buy a foot switch for a scroll saw or can you make one? I have tried all the local stores and they don't have one, feel like I may be able to make one from local items, maybe, know a little about making switches like a wall switch etc. What to use as an on/off device?

                      You can get a very nice foot switch and other nice scroll products at: I have used them for years. The Sloans are very nice people to order from. No, I don't work for them!



                      • #12
                        jordon, has two different foot switches, the one you have to hold your foot down on to turn on and take your foot off to stop for $16.99. The other your step on and off to turn it on, step on and off to turn it off for $17.49. The second one I have mounted on the front of my saw stand at knee height, I just bump it with my knee to turn it on, bump it again to turn the saw off. Mick.
                        Mick, - Delta P-20

                        A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.


                        • #13
                          I got mine from Rockler ( It is called a Router Table Foot Pedal but it works just fine on my scroll saw. I really like it. It cost $17.50.

                          My saw is a DeWalt788 Measure twice; cut once; count fingers after cut


                          • #14
                            i bought a dedicated rotory power carver flexshaft from harbor freight it was $69.00 on sale for 40.00 it came with 110v inline a veriable speed foot switch...
                            i got a brainy idea one day that i dont ever use the power carver and my veriable speed dremel 1680 scrollsaw at the same time i could use the foot switch on my scrollsaw as well ...
                            well for the most part its correct, but..
                            . there must be a capasitor in the saw that isent axcessed by lower voltage.

                            if i set my saw for 1/4th speed and plugged straight into the wall the saw starts at 1/4 th speed when the switch is flipped, with the saw plugged in to the foot switch the switch wont work unless the saw is turned on full speed, then the foot switch dont creep up on speed like soft start it bursts into fullspeed then you can back down,,

                            so for grins i took an old sewing machiene foot switch i had hanging around and plugged the saw up through it and with the saw at full speed the foot switch did soft start and creep up on the speed--or it worked as it should have...

                            but the sewing machiene foot switch is made with lamp cord where the scroll saw i UL 8 awg wiring.. didnt look at amps but the light zip strip cord has to be too light to run the saw ? correct?

                            drawbacks after changing the cord.
                            the sewing machiene foot feed-switch. gets hot. enough to blister bare feet,, take it from me, still healing.
                            becuse of the reostat it uses.

                            I Need input your thoughts, is my saw able to be used with a foot switch without hurting it,,,?

                            or am i headed off into oblivian here...
                            the foot switch makes it so much easier to controll the blade like when you have to change hand positions to turn a fragile project, or controlling a tight curve when doing compound cuts.

                            Dremel 1680 & Delta ss250 shopmaster


                            • #15
                              my problem,and reason why i never tried a footswitch is because i tend to dance around,or constantly moving my feet around while im cutting. Think of a little kid with a coloring book.think about his little tongue wiggling all over while he colors....thats my feet when scrolling!!!!!!! Happy New Year!
                              Dale w/ yella saws


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