DIY REMOTE POWER SWITCH
Making a magnetic base remote switch for the "Mustard Mistress".
SHOP OWNER: Ray Lanham
LOCATION: Dallas, TX
Powermatic has a magnetic remote on/off switch that they sell for the 3520B. If you’d like to have one but can’t afford the price, here is an idea that you might like if you like to tinker, have a little time, and some spare parts in your junk box. This will probably work for any lathe but you’ll have to be the judge of that. Make certain you have a wiring schematic for your particular lathe, just in case.
Home Depot (or any good electrical supply) sells an outdoor non-metallic toggle switch cover plate manufactured by Carlon that fits a Carlon outdoor electrical box. The cover plate is $3.48 and the weatherproof box is $5.83. They are available in grey or white plastic. The switch is a simple 15 or 20 amp single pole light switch and sells from $1.50 to $3.50. A magnetic ground block (used in welding applications) is available at most hardware stores or at Harbor Freight for $3.50-$5.00, depending on the current price. Total outlay should be less than $20.00 and an hour of your “tinkering” time. You’ll appreciate not having to reach around a rotating hunk of wood just to turn off your lathe.
Remove the bolt and the two hex nuts from the magnetic ground block and use a hacksaw to cut ¼” off the length of the solid brass bolt. This will allow clearance for the switch after the block is mounted to the back of the box. Drill appropriately sized holes to fit the bolt and the wire you use to connect to the switch in the lathe headstock. Use only one hex nut to mount the magnetic block to the back of the box and tighten the nut as tight as possible.
Screw a 3/8” electrical clamp connector for NM cable (part #20511) into the threads on the bottom of the box and tighten the two screws on the clamp to secure the wire to the box. Six to eight feet of wire should be long enough. I used part of an old extension cord. Grounding is not required because you are simply wiring in the remote switch “before” the switch in the headstock. The headstock switch must be in the on position for the remote switch to operate.
As you can see, I recently upgraded the Carlon switch and cover plate with a paddle type switch and plate available from Grizzly. Good luck with your upgrade. If you have any questions on the construction of this remote switch, you may email me.
. . . Ray Lanham