25 Year Old Dremel Foot Switch




Introduction: 25 Year Old Dremel Foot Switch

About: Just a mild mannered programmer by day and a wannabe evil mad genius by night.

This is a foot switch I made for my Dremel tool back in 1990. I got the case from an electronic supply store. I believe it was in City of Industry, CA, or at least somewhere in the vicinity of City of Industry. The switch I got from Radio Shack, I'm not sure if they still sell these ones. It's a big red single pull single throw momentary switch. On the rear of the enclosure I have an outlet and a hole for the cord which I used a grommet/strain relief to hold the cord in place. I believe the grommet also came from Radio Shack and again not sure if they still sell them. And I'm too lazy at the moment to look it up. The cord, probably from an old power tool that quit working, I don't buy these I accumulate too many from vacuum cleaners, and other like appliances. As you can see I labeled the switch. These are just dry transfer letters. These ones came in a VHS video labeling kit that was at least 5 years old when I used them on this switch. I recently used some of these same kits for another project I am working on, but I did have to go buy some cause I didn't have all I needed. (another instructable perhaps), but I use the model railroading try transfer letters nowadays.

Step 1: Tricky Holes

This is the back of the switch, as you can see I drilled a round hole for the cord strain relief and cut a square hole for the 120 VAC receptacle. The hole I drilled for the switch was probably done by using a bunch of round holes and eventually using a hack saw to round it out. I did not have a jigsaw at the time and I don't think I used my Dremel. I might have used my Dremel to smooth out the hole though.

To open this enclose there are 4 tiny screws you get to from the bottom of the enclosure. Just undo those and it opens up.

Step 2: Inside Inspection

Here is 2 different views at the inside. As you can see I simply used crimp on connectors to connect the wire to the devices. The ground from the cable goes straight to the ground terminal on the receptacle and the black wire also goes straight to the receptacle. I used an ohm meter to make sure the polarity of the plug went to the correct socket in the receptacle. I think back then I had an electrical outlet tester that shows if the polarity is correct along with a few other issues the tester can alert someone too. If I did have one and even today whenever I do anything with electrical outlets I use that tester to check the outlet is wired properly. The white wire goes to the one terminal of the switch and the other terminal of the switch goes to the receptacle.

This switch has not seen much use and I have less then 35 hours of use on my Dremel which I'd say all but 5 or 10 has been with this switch. Maybe someday I'll check craigslist and if someone is selling/giving away a power thread injector (sewing machine), I might have to get it and use the foot switch from it to power my Dremel.

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    6 years ago

    So many great uses for this! I'm sure that a push button for an arcade machine would work great if Radio Shack doesn't have those anymore.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I'm sure it would, just watch the rating of the switch and what you plan on controlling with it. If I was to make a dead man's foot switch for a table saw or drill press I would definitely look into an enclosure that is suited more for a factory floor.


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    thanks! but it really has spent most of it's time in a tool box.