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Thread: Delta Contractor Saw- paddle switch conversion

  1. #1

    Delta Contractor Saw- paddle switch conversion

    Hello all

    Long time reader of this forum. I have searched the forums and have seen questions similar to mine but not quite enough information.

    I have a late 80's or early 90's Delta Contractor Saw with a Unifence, a router table extension , and a nice mobile base. I purchased it close to thirty years ago from

    a gentleman who had just married a "trophy" wife and she wanted to clear out his shop to make a rec room... makes me I glad I have KEPT my wife of 45 years.

    The saw was virtually brand new and I doubt it had been used for more than an hour or two. It is quite adequate for my household projects and my new job as toy builder for

    the grand sons.

    Anyhow---- here is my question. The saw has a dual voltage motor that has been wired for 220 and indeed it has always run dependably on my 220 single phase line. BUT, the on - off switch is

    a tiny toggle switch. It does not appear to be anything special with relays or any other means to shut off both legs off the 220. Is it possible that it is only shutting down one leg of the 220 circuit?

    I want to replace it with a paddle style switch- at 75 it will give my old eyes a lot larger target to swat at. I have searched online sources and see a lot of Chinese made cheap switches...

    What would the FORUM use, any specific recommendations.... I would mount it in a box on the left front, where the tiny toggle is now.

    Thanks for any input and help.

    Mike B

  2. #2
    What I would (and do) use on my Unisaw is one of those Grizzly magnetic motor start switches. The are around $100 and come in various voltage and hp configurations. I personally prefer magnetic switches on my stationary tools, although I have some 120V machines with non-magnetic switches.

    Otherwise Grizzly also carries non-magnetic switches with big paddle off switches. They are sized to fit an electrical box. They have 120V and 240V versions and are around $15-$20. They would probably be just fine for a contractors saw.

    Your saw probably has a double pole switch for 240V; at least it should if it does not.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Alberta
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    2,145
    Mike I currently own a saw just like yours . I have owned several of these saws and replaced the switch on them with switches from an electrical supply. The switch I use now has a metal enclosure and is rated for up to 2h.p. 240v. it is made by Leviton. I used to get a starter from Furnas that was a simple push button on/off that worked great. Unfortunately they quit making them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    New Hampster, USA
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    53
    Mike,

    If you find a magnetic switch that is an easy replacement for the stock switch then please post the details. I also have one of these Delta contractor saws wired 220 with the original switch and have been thinking about installing a magnetic switch.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Central North Carolina
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    1,800

    A good reliable machine tool power switch for 1 phase 240 volts

    I have used several of these on my woodworking power tools, and though they are not a magnetic starter type, they do offer two pole capability for turning off both legs of the 240 volt power. They will require an electrician's type single gang Handi-box to mount it in though. It is rated for 3 hp, so it will handle 2 hp very well. I now have one of these on my Jet 6" belt sander and one on my 16" Delta drill press. Other than size and shape it is the perfect replacement for the 2 pole toggle switch that came in your Delta Contractor Saw, and only about $11.

    Charley

    amazon.com/POWERTEC-71008-Single-Phase-Switch/dp/B00KPEFL2I/ref=sr_1_8?crid=2KUWTEG9591R2&keywords=table%2Bsaw %2Bpower%2Bswitch&qid=1643056306&s=hi&sprefix=tabl e%2Bsaw%2Bpower%2Bswitch%2Ctools%2C88&sr=1-8&th=1

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
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    7,194
    If the existing switch works the easy way is to install the new magnetic switch where you want it and just plug in the saw to that. Leaving the toggle switch on at all times.
    Bill D

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,194
    At age 62 I would install a contactor and a separate stop/start pushbutton station. Maybe add an extra stop switch on the back end. My lathe has four stop switches but only one on switch.
    A mercury contactor is not expensive, used, and totally sealed dustproof.
    Bill D
    Last edited by Bill Dufour; 01-24-2022 at 5:39 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    New England
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    2,105
    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Seemann View Post
    Otherwise Grizzly also carries non-magnetic switches with big paddle off switches. They are sized to fit an electrical box. They have 120V and 240V versions and are around $15-$20. They would probably be just fine for a contractors saw.
    This is what I used to replace the toggle switch on my Delta Contractors saw from the mid 70's. It has worked without issue for 3-4 years now. A big benefit of placing it in the same spot as the old switch is that you can bump it with your left leg to turn it off. Really helpful when you have a problem like binding and don't want to let go of the wood or back it out. I used a deep work box mounted to the front to extend it forward to make that easier to reach. Wish I had done it sooner.

    Also- my toggle switch had failed and sometimes wouldn't turn off on the first try. That spooked me into thinking it could maybe turn on by itself and I replaced it immediately. I would definitely do it.

  9. #9
    Thank you all for the replies and advice... I ordered a switch from Grizzly that should be here tomorrow. Hopefully I can send some pictures
    of the installation and success over the weekend.

    Mike B

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