Foot pedal for scrollsaw?

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Vitamin K
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Foot pedal for scrollsaw?

Post by Vitamin K » Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:45 am

So, I'm already thinking ahead to this years' derby season (our races are in January, so will have to start earlier), and I really want to have my kids do more on their own. I'd like to let them use the scroll saw (they are 8 and 9, respectively), with close supervision. One thing I'm thinking about would be a foot pedal switch, so that the saw doesn't operate if my foot isn't on the pedal, and if I see something amiss, I can take my foot off of the pedal and shut it down.

Has anybody used a product like this? My saw is a cheapie from Harbor Freight...there's no reason to think that a cut-off switch would be harmful in any way to it, is there?



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Re: Foot pedal for scrollsaw?

Post by BallBoy » Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:21 pm

Vitamin K wrote:My saw is a cheapie from Harbor Freight...there's no reason to think that a cut-off switch would be harmful in any way to it, is there?
I believe that unless you go with a much lighter gauge wire, and additional switch won't be harmful to the machine.

I think a dead-man switch may give a false sense of security. Though I haven't timed it, my scrollsaw takes about 5 seconds to stop from the time I turn it off. So, at the time you decide to kill power, you will still have the danger exist for several seconds. I suggest a hands-over-hands approach so that hands can be kept from danger and you can remove them in the event of a dangerous situation.

Also, if you are part of a Cub Scout pack, the Guide to Safe Scoutingdoesn't permit the use of power tools for those under 14.



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Re: Foot pedal for scrollsaw?

Post by whodathunkit » Mon Jul 28, 2014 8:09 pm

Vitamin K,

I do a lot of scroll sawing plus I use the foot pedal switches alot.
One of the biggest reasons I use the foot pedal switches is so that I don't have to take my eyes off my hands or the work piece while powering up or shutting off the saw.
Most scroll saw accidents, as far as cutting or nicking fingers, happen while taking your eyes off the work piece to shut down the saw, or when a blade breaks, to turning it back on.

Here's a photo of a Dewalt scroll saw model 788 that I use most.. I'm useing an on/off type of pedal.
It only takes about 2 sec for this saw to come to a stop when I lift my foot off the pedal.
The time it takes for stoping of the saws could very depending on the brand names and or motor types.
Image
This scroll saw also has a variable speed control built in on the saw so there is no need
for a variable speed foot control pedal.
The brand name for the on/off foot pedal I'm useing is made by Conntrol.. cost for this type pedal is around $15.00 .
However, there are also variable speed control pedals for saws that don't have variable speed,
but you'll need to check your motor to see if it can handle this type of pedal.
Image
This variable speed model is made by Foredom.
The cost for this type of foot pedal will run you anywhere between 35 to 55 dollars.
Check with Rockler or Woodcraft for these types of foot pedal switches.
You won't regret using them.. I know I sure don't.

Mark


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

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Re: Foot pedal for scrollsaw?

Post by Vitamin K » Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:49 am

BallBoy wrote:I think a dead-man switch may give a false sense of security. Though I haven't timed it, my scrollsaw takes about 5 seconds to stop from the time I turn it off. So, at the time you decide to kill power, you will still have the danger exist for several seconds. I suggest a hands-over-hands approach so that hands can be kept from danger and you can remove them in the event of a dangerous situation.
There's going to be some risk involved yes, so this is a calculated decision. We did hand-over-hand last year, and I want them to have the experience of learning to work on their own (supervised) this time. That means clearly defined safety rules and constant supervision. I'll also change out the blade on the saw for a finer one, so that means slower cutting, but a lesser chance of a deep gouge if fingers get too close. I'd never do this with something like the bandsaw, that could remove a finger, but I feel that the scrollsaw is less violent to the degree where the kids will be able to use it. The killswitch isn't a failsafe, but it is a lot faster than trying to get to the button with my finger.
Also, if you are part of a Cub Scout pack, the Guide to Safe Scoutingdoesn't permit the use of power tools for those under 14.
This would be family-sanctioned, not scout-sanctioned. When I have scouts over to work on their cars, all power tool use is done by the parents.



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Re: Foot pedal for scrollsaw?

Post by whodathunkit » Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:16 pm

Vitamin K,

Will your kids be cutting cars out of the PWD kit blocks (Full Size Block)
Or will you be using a thiner material that is cut out of the kit block to start your kids off with on the scroll saw?

The reason I'm asking this question is because with a lot of scroll saws, to cut the thicker material such as the PWD kit block, the material hold down foot /blade guard has to be removed alot of times.

You probably already know this, but since you're concerned about safety I decided to ask anyway.
The risk of cutting a finger or fingers on a scroll saw is greater with the material hold down foot guard removed.

At least with the dead-man style foot pedal switch you'll have some control over stopping the saw a little bit quicker with out haveing to take your eyes your work table to find the power switch on the saw.
Or to getting a finger or fingers in the way of blade path with the hand holding the work...
while trying to shut it down with what ever hand you free up to do so.

You'll actually have 3 safeguards in place now.. lifting your foot off the foot pedal to kill the power to the saw and then you can turn off the power switch on the saw to make sure the foot pedal can't accidentally power the saw when trying to change a blade, plus you can always un-plug it from the power source etc.

Not only will the deadman style foot pedals work for just scroll saws there also handy for..
Disk/belt sanders, Drill presses, Routers, Airbrush compressors and so on in the shop.

Make it fun.. And as safe as you can for them while learning how to use the scroll saw.

Hope this helps!


What type of automobile can be spelled the same forwards & backwards?

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Re: Foot pedal for scrollsaw?

Post by dna1990 » Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:14 pm

While it may vary based on saw, blade, material, feed rate, etc - cutting power in the middle of an operation can cause the blade to grab differently, often 'pulling' the workpiece up with it and then chattering on the surface until fully stopped or pulled away. On other tools as well, esp if they 'let go' because you are killing the power, the piece can go flying around or spin around some big spade bit, etc.

While not a pure safety issue in of itself (scroll saw chatter), if this were to occur, a child (or any of us) could very well be startled, and make some move leading to a more serious outcome.

I have such master power cutoffs in the shop too (my kids are much older), but they are used for controlling when work begins. Once at full cutting speed, I don't use them to stop an operation. We do have a old very bright orange/yellow looking light - that I turn on when I want everyone in the shop to stop doing what they are doing (which means to safely stop the op and power down that machine). I found that yelling over machine noise, is also another distraction that can make an operator loose sight or control of their workpiece.

But at a younger age, I was a hand-on-hand person. There is probably just not enough reaction time any other way. And this will sound sorta morbid or off-kilter, but I always thought that if something were to happen to my son's finger, I would have wanted my finger on top in the same predicament. Know what I mean?



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