Fidget Switch : the Power Is in Your Hands




Introduction: Fidget Switch : the Power Is in Your Hands

About: Just an ordinary person who loves #thinking and #tinkering

What is today's trend? Fidget, yes. I love the way techydiy make his LED FIDGET SPINNER. I am making one with combination of power tools and hand tools I have. Accuracy is so-so. I enjoy the making process.

But I willl not make a dummy fidget that only spins. I see the fidget with imagination of the ancient key to enter a tomb (Tomb Raider addicted). This idea comes when my kids visit my WorkFice (workspace+office) a lot. Circular saw, power jigsaw, trimmer are considered dangerous to my below-ten-years-old kids. They are curious just like me and I can't keep my eyes on them all the time. Then I decided to make this switch for my WorkFice's power sockets.

Without this little fidget, no one can power nothing in your room. Isn't that cool for safety problem? That's why I added : "The POWER is in your hands" at the title.

As I was warned by Killekillen, I added this note that this is a prototype and WIRING SAFETY should be taken into SERIOUS consideration.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

  • A small bearing for skate.
  • Two metal dowels. 12 mm in length.
  • Brass connectors from broken socket.
  • A small hinge.
  • Degreaser or multipurpose WD-40.
  • A trimmer/router.
  • A power drill.
  • A power jigsaw/handsaw.
  • Hand files/sander.
  • Chisel.
  • Wood glue.
  • Some 5 mm and 16 mm plywood.
  • Some clamps.
  • Mallet.
  • Hot glue.
  • Solder.
  • Some wires and/or AC plug and socket.
  • Cutter/pen knife.
  • Ruler.
  • Math Compass.
  • Pen/pencil.

Well, it's a long list but some are optional. You will know what you need when you have read till the end.

Step 2: Degreasing the Bearing

Bearing comes with some grease installed inside to keep the metal balls rolling fluently for a very long time and prevent rust. But it also blocks the bearing to spin freely with one force. So, let's remove the grease inside.

There are many types of bearing. Some with rubber/plastic caps are easier to remove. One with metal cap is harder. You need to pry with a sharp knife from the inner circle. This will surely leaving a dent on the cap, but we don't need the cap at all. Without the cap, it is easier to clean/lubricate the bearing once a while.

There are many videos on youtube showing how to remove the cap. In short, stab you knife from the inner circle and pop up the cap. That's it. Spray the degreaser/multipurpose WD-40 on the balls and clean them up with small toothpick or you can use toothbrush and soap. After it is clean, spray the WD-40 one more time and let it dry, to prevent rust.

Step 3: The Fidget

  1. Sketch on 5 mm plywood. I roughly need two pieces of 4 x 10 cm. It is hard to work on a small pieces of wood, so I work on a larger piece of wood before I trim the edges off.
  2. There are two circles in it. Cut off the center circle with a trimmer/router. This circle is two millimeters smaller than the diameter of your bearing.
  3. Trim the second (outer) circle half way (half the thickness of your bearing). This circle has the same diameter of your bearing, so that your bearing can sit inside.
  4. Cut the edges with trimmer/router or jigsaw. If you are using trimmer/router, cut the last joining area with handsaw or hold the piece with your hand, or it will kick in and resulting a bad cut, and you have to do it all over again from the beginning. I took my time repeating this process three times :D
  5. Drill holes for the metal dowels. Metal dowels have wider flanges in the middle but don't you worry. Simply drill holes at the size of the dowels, then hit it with mallet. The flange will get into the soft plywood.
  6. Put the bearing in. Put the dowels in. Spread some mayonnaise ups... wood glue. Your burger is ready ;D Clamp and let it dry.
  7. File or sand every sharp edge.

If you have no trimmer/router, drill holes around the circle and use hand files to make a perfect circle for the bearing to get in tight. This will take more time and effort for sure.

Step 4: The Socket

I use 16 mm plywood. Why plywood? Because it is soft and easy to shape and work with. And I love the burger style (plies) at its side. I worked with two pieces of 100 mm x 125 mm plywood.

  1. Sketch your fidget on the wood.
  2. Clamp the wood with two pieces of other wood with 90 degress corner. Make sure your trimmer/router can move freely without blocked by the clamps.
  3. Set your trimmer half your fidget thickness (5 mm in my case).
  4. Trim your wood and let your fidget sit inside.
  5. Drill in a little at the dowels' positions so that your fidget can sit in properly.
  6. Trim a line from one dowel to about 10 mm from the side of the board (see the last photo and notes on it). This is where we put the brass connector plate.
  7. Drill a hole from top of the board to the trim line. This is where we run in the cord. One note, clamp your board before drilling from the side of your board or it will crack. It is wise to drill pilot holes before using a large bit. We will run the cords and solder the connectors later after installing the hinge.

Step 5: The Hinge

The easiest way is installing the hinge from the outside. Well, sometimes I just wanted the hard way :D I wanted to hide the hinge from outside, so I put it inside. This way I need to cut the boards with chisel. With the hinge inside, I can't open the boards into 180 degrees. It is somewhere around 90 to 100 degrees.

Before installing the hinge, I filed all the corners, removing sharp edges. Filing more on top corners will give you few degrees at opening the boards.

I screwed the hinge at 90 degrees, this way the hinge is perfectly in when the boards is flip closed. If you install the hinge at 180 degrees, the hinge's bar will show up half when it is flip closed. It's okay, just the matter of how you want the feel and look.

Step 6: Running the Wires

I use extension cable so that I can easily plug this switch wherever I wanted. Or easily unplug without cutting and joining my power line installation.

  1. Cut one wire of the extension cable. Well, cut the red one and run it through the hole we drilled in.
  2. Run the other red wire in at the top board.
  3. Solder the wires to the brass connectors.
  4. Apply some hot glue at the wires' end to keep the connectors in places.

Done. The black wire simply lay outside the boards, you can glue it on one of the boards or leave it as is.

Wiring safety should be taken into serious consideration. As I was warned by Killekillen, I tried to cover the metal connector more with a thin wood, leaving only the 5 mm holes for the dowels to get in and touch the brass connectors to avoid touched by fingers. Also think about double insulated cable regulation in your country.

Step 7: The Lock

Once you installed the connectors, the board will pop up a little when your fidget is laying inside. You need a lock to keep the boards tight, to keep the dowel touch the connectors perfectly all the time. I was thinking of tuning fork at first time, but I never own one.

Then I saw a power plug. Two round prongs plug. They are produced in universal size. 4 mm prongs and 19 mm distance between prongs. Just drill two holes and use any plug to lock. Again, clamp the boards before drilling on the side of boards, and also drill 1 or 2 mm pilot holes before the 4 mm.

The idea of using universal plug is telling joke about wireless plug that powers the electronics in my WorkFice :D

Step 8: Testing

Use a multitester set on continuity test. Test the connectivity of the extension cable's prongs with and without the fidget in the socket.

  • The black wire will be connected all the time.
  • The red wire will not be connected without the fidget inside the socket.
  • The red wire will be connected with the fidget inside the socket through the metal dowel.

This is a demo. Always lock your box to avoid damage to your electronics or short circuit caused by unstable connection between connectors.

Step 9: Final Look

This is it. Safety is the main purpose of this project. Keep dangerous tools away from kids and keep some fun in the protection ^^

Now you can proudly say : "The POWER is in MY hands."

Woodworking Contest 2017

Participated in the
Woodworking Contest 2017

1 Person Made This Project!


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2 Discussions


3 years ago

I mean immediately. Seriously.


3 years ago

I may have misunderstood something, but this looks very far from safe. The metal connector in your box is unshielded when the box is open. If the box is connected to an outlet you may easily get an electric shock when you touch it. Furthermore the cables only have one layer insulation. I don't know what the law says where you live, but that is illegal in many countries. You need double insulated cables. Especially in a workplace like that. Have an electrician install a safety switch to your outlets if you are worried about your kids using the tools. And throw away that box immefoately before someone is electrocuted.