The new table saw switch arrived yesterday and I got around to installing it today. The trouble with the original switch was that I could turn it on fine, but the red OFF switch in the photo below would jam sideways and I would be forced to bend down with the saw running and wood often still on the table to push the switch more squarely to turn it off. I always envisioned a piece of wood kicking back and driving through my left temple into my temporal lobe. Not scary at all.
I discovered that this switch had actually been recalled by Ryobi and contacting them would have resulted in a new, free switch being sent to me. I wish I had known this before I ordered it, but it wasn't that much - certainly worth the new safety standard it sets at Tortuga Ancient Instruments Worldwide Headquarters.
Once I pulled the old switch off, I discovered that it had two connectors while the new one had four. Because I know less about electrical matters than I do about building a harpsichord from scratch, I was in a serious dilemma, so I engaged my fallback strategy and posted a request for help on Facebook.
In response to my somewhat pathetic plea for help, Dr. Jerry Schlesser's wife, Christine, notified me that Dr. J is a wizard with all things electrical (in addition to many other things too numerous to cover here) and that I should call him for help. Once I called the Good Doctor, he instructed me to break out the multimeter to check continuity on the poles of the new switch.
It turns out I only needed to use one set of two connectors, or poles, on the new switch for it to work properly. Once I got the connections secured, I went ahead and installed the little bugger.
As you can see, it's a simple rocker switch with a cover that rolls the switch off when I tap it (it's natural position will be closed, resting the square on the cover on the O of the switch - I opened it for the photo). This is awesome. I can turn the machine on and off now without fear of a plank being driven through my skull. Not a bad thing at all.
Now, we wait for the other parts to arrive. Perhaps I should start a pool and invite my Facebook friends to participate. I see some holiday money arriving in my very near future, probably before the rest of the parts.
Until next time...