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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just put my portable table saw into a more permanent table, which left the power switch a little inconvenient to get to, so I wanted to put a paddle switch on the front of the table. I found one that has male and female plugs wired in, but that one was about 40 bucks. Then I saw this style which is intended to be hardwired into a saw (I think it's basically a replacement switch):

http://powertecproducts.com/71007-paddle-switch-110-220-v/

If I use this switch, could I cut an extension cord in half and wire the two sides to the back of the switch? Then I could plug my saw into the female half, and plug in the male half? I only know the basics of electric work, so I wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something that would end catastrophically. Thanks!
 

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Great, I'll get an electric box as well. Should any extension cord work, as long as it's rated for 15 amps (that's what my saw is listed as)?



Thanks
I'd buy a heavy duty cord, something like 12 awg. If you can find one with a round cable, you can use the appropriate cord grips for the cord to enter the box you mount the switch in.

A cord like this (buy longer if you need longer):
https://www.homedepot.com/p/US-Wire...ension-Cord-with-Lighted-Plug-99015/313024334

And cord grips like these:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Halex-1...-Strain-Relief-Cord-Connector-27693/202077093

I don't know if that grip is the right size... you'd have to measure or find the diameter of the cord you buy and purchase the appropriate sized cord grip.

Sent from my new phone. Autocorrect may have changed stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'd buy a heavy duty cord, something like 12 awg. If you can find one with a round cable, you can use the appropriate cord grips for the cord to enter the box you mount the switch in.

A cord like this (buy longer if you need longer):
https://www.homedepot.com/p/US-Wire...ension-Cord-with-Lighted-Plug-99015/313024334

And cord grips like these:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Halex-1...-Strain-Relief-Cord-Connector-27693/202077093

I don't know if that grip is the right size... you'd have to measure or find the diameter of the cord you buy and purchase the appropriate sized cord grip.

Sent from my new phone. Autocorrect may have changed stuff.
Sounds good, I'll make sure it's a heavy duty cord. Couple of questions:

1. For the cord grip, is that different from the screw down ones I see used with electrical boxes? Wasn't sure if one is better than the other for this type of use.

2. I usually plug my saw into an extension cord, since it's in the middle of my garage. I've never really thought about the extension cord, how many amps it can take, etc. If it was only rated for, say, 13A, would the cord just fail when I use my 15A saw? I'm never sure if these numbers are how much the tool uses always, or just the max it might use, or if the cord has some leeway, etc. Would it fry? Melt? Trying to figure all this out! Will a cord usually be labeled somewhere with its amp rating? Don't remember where or when I bought it.

Thanks again!
 

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Sounds good, I'll make sure it's a heavy duty cord. Couple of questions:



1. For the cord grip, is that different from the screw down ones I see used with electrical boxes? Wasn't sure if one is better than the other for this type of use.
Yes, these cord grips are different from cable clamps.
Here is some more information about grips for flexible cord/cable/extension cord wire
Only connectors approved for the cord should be used. Using a connector that's normally used for NM cable will work, but isn't the right connector. You could spend only a few dollars on one like I linked, or more than $50 for one with a mesh grip... but the one I linked will work fine. If it were me, I'd probably use an expensive one, but I also build things overkill.


2. I usually plug my saw into an extension cord, since it's in the middle of my garage. I've never really thought about the extension cord, how many amps it can take, etc. If it was only rated for, say, 13A, would the cord just fail when I use my 15A saw? I'm never sure if these numbers are how much the tool uses always, or just the max it might use, or if the cord has some leeway, etc. Would it fry? Melt? Trying to figure all this out! Will a cord usually be labeled somewhere with its amp rating? Don't remember where or when I bought it.



Thanks again!
There are tons of articles on selecting the correct extension cord. Here is an example of one. Google "selecting the right extension cord" for more results
Let's say you use a 14awg cord (the AWG will be marked on the jacket of the cord somewhere) that is 25 feet long for the table saw. Using this will produce a voltage drop, which in turn will cause the table saw to work slightly harder. Now use a 14awg 50' cord with this example, and it can be enough to have the thermal overload trip to protect the motor (trust me... we've done this a few times with the tablesaw).

Now using a 12awg cord will have less voltage drop for the same load. This will reduce the likelihood of the thermal overload tripping (I say reduce because if you have 300' of cord, it becomes an issue... I've also done this).

Honestly, we don't keep anything less than 12awg in our trucks. We have 14awg cords, but we use them for small loads like hand drills, belt sander, LED lighting, battery chargers, etc.

For a woodworking shop, I'd use 12awg for all large power tools such as the table saw, radial arm saw, planner, etc.

Because you mentioned you already use an extension cord with the table saw, it might be worth it to buy the length you need for your tablesaw to make the switch out of. Then you'll have cord with it all the time. The downside is if you move it and need less cord.

Sent from my new phone. Autocorrect may have changed stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yes, these cord grips are different from cable clamps....
Thanks for all that info! I was imaging just the cord failing from too many amps, but didn't think about the saw having to work harder as well. I'll make sure the cord from the saw to the wall is rated high enough and not too long. I know the ones I have laying around are 25' and 50' which I'll leave for the leaf blower, air compressor, etc.

Thanks
 
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