A table saw is not exactly the safest power tool in the workshop.
More than 30,000 accidents happen with a table saw worldwide every year.
When I think about the moment an emergency would occur while working with my table saw, I know for sure that turning my table saw off wouldn’t be as easy and quick as expected.
Even when I’m just working with the table saw and want to turn it off, I have to feel deep under the table where that damn switch is.
Doing that, for a moment my attention weakens, and my focus is away from the saw blade.
That’s when a potential accident can happen.
For that reason, I made this safety switch and I want to motivate you to do the same.
Thanks to this safety switch, I no longer have to feel where that button is, and even better, I can now switch off the table saw without using my hands.
This kill switch is very easy to build and to adapt to other power tools such as a router table, a belt sander, and many other power tools in the woodworking workshop.
Check out how I made this safety switch and make it yourself thanks to the free template available for download in this blog.
- What do you need to make a power tool safety switch?
- Watch the video here & learn how to make a safety switch
- How to make a safety switch step by step
What do you need to make a power tool safety switch?
To prepare you for building this safety switch, I have made a few handy lists.
In addition to a few personal protective equipments that I use*, I also list the materials as well as the (power) tools you will need to build this safety switch.
* Safety is always your own responsibility!
Safety first! Protect yourself!
Materials I used for this safety switch
(power)Tools I used for this safety switch
Watch the video here & learn how to make a safety switch
Here you can watch the video and see how to make the safety switch.
After watching the video, you can continue reading the step-by-step guide to making this safety switch yourself.
How to make a safety switch step by step
Step 1 | Metal bracket
I started by making the bracket.
If you also have a Makita table saw, you need a 2 × 15 cm metal place for the bracket. If you have another brand of table saw, you may need to adjust these sizes.
1 cm or 0.39” from the outside, I made 2 openings on both sides, through which the screws that hold the safety switch goes.
In the middle, I made a hole through which the screw of the switch will go. That screw will hold the bracket in place by clamping the bracket between the switch of the table saw and the table saw itself.
When the holes were made, I could fold the ends at a distance of 4.5 cm or 1.77″.
If you do this, the ends should be folded over until they make an angle of 90 degrees.
Step 2 | Making the safety switch
After finishing the bracket, it was time to make the switch itself.
With the template that you can download on this page, you can draw the dimensions on your piece of wood. That is exactly how I did this, too.
How long this safety switch will be, you can determine yourself.
All you have to do is make sure that you cut the outer edges diagonally inwards so that the top of the safety switch fits perfectly between the opening of the bracket.
In other words, the template that you can download in this blog serves as a starting point for your own tailor-made safety switch.
I made the sloping sides on this safety switch by clamping the wood with my homemade hold-down clamps on my crosscut sled and made those cuts.
That is the safest way to make these cuts.
If you don’t have a crosscut sled you can find a step-by-step guide and free downloadable plans on this blog.
If you want to build the same hold-down clamps as mine yourself, you can check out how to do that here.
Once I had made the sides of the switch, I drilled a pilot hole for the screws to connect the safety switch to the bracket.
Also, note that I made a right-angle cut on both sides of the top.
That way you get the best connection with the bracket.
At the height of the switch, I drilled a hole completely through the wood with a 26 mm Forstner drill.
The hole should be different for each brand of table saw, so keep the safety switch in place of where it will be when it’s finished and determine where the hole should be drilled.
After forming this safety switch and drilling the holes, I chamfered all edges with a 45-degree chamfer bit on my router.
This not only made the edges stronger and more resistant to impact, but they also became less sharp so that I cannot get hurt.
Step 3 | Painting
Now it was time to paint.
I gave the safety switch 3 coats of red paint from a spray can.
Between each coat, I left about 1 hour of drying time.
When you spray paint from a spray can, don’t spray too much at once. Apply thin layers and keep adding layers until you achieve a nice and uniform color.
When the last coat of red paint was completely dry, I wrapped the safety switch completely with masking tape.
I did this so that no paint spray drift could reach the red color when I went to spray the white paint.
Once I had completely wrapped the switch in masking tape, I attached the template on top of it and could cut out all the letters and shapes.
To secure the template I taped it in place with some masking tape.
When cutting out the letters and shapes, I pressed the knife hard enough so that it cut through the painter’s tape.
After cutting, all excess painter’s tape could be removed so that all shapes and letters were visible.
To form these letters I sprayed white paint from a spray can over the safety switch.
I painted this safety switch with white paint in 2 layers, each time, with 1 hour drying time in between.
After the last coat of white paint, I removed all the painter’s tape and let the paint dry overnight.
To make the paint and the safety switch stronger, I treated it with 3 layers of varnish the next day. Again, I left 1 hour of drying time between each coat.
Step 4 | Installing the safety switch
Now it was time to install the safety switch.
When you install the bracket, Always unplug the power tool before opening the switch of your power tool!
Installing this bracket is super easy.
Loosen the two table saw switch screws and place the bracket between the table saw switch and the table saw itself.
Once it is in the right place, you can tighten the screws again.
All you can do now is attaching the safety switch to the bracket with two screws.
The safety switch is now ready for use.
This safety switch improves the safety of your table saw, but still be careful when using the table saw or any other power tool.
Safety is always your responsibility.
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I hope this information on how to make a safety switch was helpful, and that this blog and video inspires you.
Let me know in a comment below.
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It will be much appreciated.
I’m looking forward to seeing you soon in another blog or video.
Christophe, founder of Christofix.com
Woodworking | DIY | Home decoration
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