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Old 06-19-2012, 11:13 AM   #1
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New Cords for Old Power Tools?


I scored some cool old power tools in the free pile at a yard sale last fall, and a few of them actually work! I got an old Craftsman circular saw that is in great shape, an old rotary tool, and a few other things.

The commonality is that they all have rotten power cords, so much that I'm not really excited about using them until I replace them.

Where would one procure items such as this? I don't have pictures right now, but I can get them this weekend.

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Old 06-19-2012, 11:35 AM   #2
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New Cords for Old Power Tools?


Lowes, Home Depot carry genaric power cords all made up.
Any tool repair place will have exact replacements but cost far more.
If there's a strain relief on the cords you have now most just slide off the old cord so they can be reused.

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Old 06-19-2012, 11:54 AM   #3
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New Cords for Old Power Tools?


In the past I have used an extension cord. I like the cords on my tools to be 8' long.
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:01 PM   #4
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New Cords for Old Power Tools?


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Originally Posted by Mort View Post
I scored some cool old power tools in the free pile at a yard sale last fall, and a few of them actually work! I got an old Craftsman circular saw that is in great shape, an old rotary tool, and a few other things.

The commonality is that they all have rotten power cords, so much that I'm not really excited about using them until I replace them.

Where would one procure items such as this? I don't have pictures right now, but I can get them this weekend.
Ayuh,.... Anything I throw away,... goes Without it's power cord...

Got a nice ole Fridge plug/ cord on my ole B&D 1/2" two-handed power drill...

Vacuum cleaner cords are longer, but light...
microwave cords, of course, short, 'n stout...
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:04 PM   #5
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New Cords for Old Power Tools?


When I buy a new power tool such as a circular saw, drill, sawzall, etc, I remove the stock cord and replace it with a 25' extension cord of the appropriate gauge.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:39 PM   #6
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25' cord on everything? Not me. I rarely need anything more than 8' for most jobs. Any more than that and it makes for more hassle stowing the tool and carrying it.

Congrats on scoring a haul of tools, cheap. Shouldn't be too much work to replace the cords. The hardest part is the strain relief. If you can re-use the existing one (if they have any) that's ideal. But if not you want to make sure you've got something inside the tool to keep the cord from being pulled out. Sometimes there's enough room to knot or otherwise bunch the cord. Or if there's not I've used a zip tie (or three) to hold the cord tight inside the case, not attached to anything, just as a wedge to keep the cord from being pulled out.
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Old 06-19-2012, 08:45 PM   #7
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New Cords for Old Power Tools?


Hmm, I never really thought that a cord is a cord is a cord. For the most part. I guess I'll look around at what I already have, sure beats the heck out of the rotted cords that are on there now.
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Old 06-20-2012, 06:52 AM   #8
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New Cords for Old Power Tools?


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When I buy a new power tool such as a circular saw, drill, sawzall, etc, I remove the stock cord and replace it with a 25' extension cord of the appropriate gauge.
Well don't get caught with them on a job site.

That's a big OSHA no no.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:25 AM   #9
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Well don't get caught with them on a job site.

That's a big OSHA no no.
Well, I've been doing it for 30 years and no ones had a problem yet. It's fast, convenient and safe.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:51 AM   #10
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Fast? It takes longer to coil all that wire up, that's hardly convenient. Nor is carrying all that extra wire on each and every tool. And it's definitely less safe. Something goes wrong, like someone tripping over a wire and a reasonable length one will just part the connection. A long one is more likely to get caught up on someone or something.

But hey, it's working for you.

Just don't pretend it's wise advise to give others.

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Old 06-20-2012, 10:03 AM   #11
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New Cords for Old Power Tools?


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Well don't get caught with them on a job site.

That's a big OSHA no no.
Where does OSHA say anything about the length of cord on a power tool? I can't find anything about it and am curious. I only see restrictions on the replacement and modifications with regards to double-insulated tools. For the rest, AFAIK so long as the cord is grounded and undamaged you are OK.

I normally just replace things with large-gauge computer cords. Working in IT I always have spares that are of good gauge and heavily insulated. Most are 3-8' long which is perfect; however it's always easier to make 'em shorter if need be.
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:40 AM   #12
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New Cords for Old Power Tools?


Well, the chances of these tools ever being on a jobsite are about nil, so I'm thinking I'll be okay. And while OSHA does a great job keeping us safe, they do go a bit overboard at times.
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Old 06-21-2012, 11:06 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
Fast? It takes longer to coil all that wire up, that's hardly convenient. Nor is carrying all that extra wire on each and every tool. And it's definitely less safe. Something goes wrong, like someone tripping over a wire and a reasonable length one will just part the connection. A long one is more likely to get caught up on someone or something.

But hey, it's working for you.

Just don't pretend it's wise advise to give others.
Fast? Yes. It's faster than digging out and putting away extension cords.
Safe? Yes. You are no more prone to tripping over my 25' cord than you are an extension cord.
I've never used my circular saw without having to connect it to an extension cord, so what is your problem with permanently attaching one?
An if you don't like my advise than ignor it and do your own thing.
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:07 PM   #14
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New Cords for Old Power Tools?


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Where does OSHA say anything about the length of cord on a power tool? I can't find anything about it and am curious.
I was called on it before by OSHA (years ago) but that is a good question because until now I never tried to look it up.

The best I could come up with is that power tools must be UL approved and any modifications to a tool must also be a UL approved modification for that tool. Obviously hard wiring an extension cord to a power tool would not qualify.

What I remember being told at the time was that you needed to be able to easily unplug the tool if something went wrong and with a long hardwired cord you would not be able to do that.

It made sense to me at the time and never questioned it because all I received was a warning. I could not find anything (today) on the OSHA site specific to this other than the UL thing.
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Last edited by kwikfishron; 06-21-2012 at 08:32 PM.
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Old 06-21-2012, 06:18 PM   #15
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New Cords for Old Power Tools?


The age old cord debate.......

I just finished my OSHA 30hr course and I can't recall anything specific in regards to cords.

My boss insists all cords be replaced with same gauge, grounded/non grounded cords that are purchased from a store. How thinking is that if there is a problem about cords he can always point the finger at someone else!!

Milwaukee has got a perfect racket when it comes to cord replacement.....the twist lock replacement cord!!

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