New Table Saw Switch

Now that I’ve been in my workshop again, it’s time for some table saw upgrades I’ve been wanting to do. The bigger project I had planned for yesterday couldn’t happen because of part damaged during shipping, so I went with the easy one. Here’s the old switch on my saw.

It worked fine, but I wanted something cooler and safer, so I ordered one from Amazon for about $13. The hardest part was finding an electrical box to would work with the location where I wanted to install the switch. Then I built a simple scrap wood box around it and wired everything.

The START button is recessed and you really have to push it, so there is almost no chance of accidentally turning on the saw. The STOP paddle is a big target and at knee height, which will make it easy to turn off the saw without moving my eyes or hands if an operation becomes dangerous.

New Dimmer Switch

I’ve never seen a dimmer (brights / high-beams) switch on the floor until I bought the 1968 Chevy C10. The old switch was rusty and ugly so I ordered a new one as well as a bezel for the hole in the carpet.

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One of the bolts was extra rusty and stuck, so it stripped right away. After trying several other things, I drilled through the top of the bolt until the head popped off. Then I was able to remove the switch and used locking pliers to twist out the bolt.

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I put a new pad on the brake pedal, which was also much harder than expected!

A huge box of parts arrived on Friday, so I’ll be making a lot of upgrades over the next two months.

Lamp Repair: Replace Touch Control with a Switch

My Mom’s bedroom lamp was malfunctioning so I told her to send it down with my Dad and I’d take a look at it.

The lamp uses a very common TA-306A touch control unit and the BT134 thyristor on the board often gets fried. I think this might have been my bedroom lamp when I lived with my parents 20 years ago, so there is no sense buying parts for it. I replaced the touch controls with a switch I salvaged from a different lamp.

3-Way Smart Wi-Fi Switch

Last year I installed a bunch of Lutron Caséta switches and remotes with dimming functionality. At the time I forgot to test the ceiling fan in my bedroom. So when I went to use it this summer, I got this nice surprise (turn up the sound)…

Ceiling fans don’t like dimmer switches. I’d done a little searching here and there for a smart 3-way switch alternative, but hadn’t been able to find anything. Then one day while walking through Home Depot I noticed some Leviton Decora Smart switches. I did some research when I got home and ordered a DW15S-1BZ and a DD0SR-DLZ. No dimmers on these. Installation was easy and I can use the ceiling fan again. Check out the difference.

I will mention a few negatives with this Leviton switches. The “remote” is wired in, unlike the Caséta remote which can be placed anywhere. It costs a bit more as well. The last thing probably won’t be a big deal for anyone, but it seems like the system is using a relay because I can hear it click back and forth from across the room when I trigger the switch. The clicking may not be the best for a baby’s room.

Other than those things, the Leviton switches work well so far. Check them out if you’re looking for a 3-way switch.

3-way Switch Wiring

I get confused every time I work on a 3-way switch. After I remember to make a diagram to lay out all of the wires I have it makes sense. This was for a Wi-Fi connected switch and “remote” pairing I installed yesterday.