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Thread: poor man's fein/festool vac load sensing switch

  1. #1

    poor man's fein/festool vac load sensing switch

    Does anyone know of plans or is anyone smart enough to design a load sensing switch like those in the fein and festool vacs that turn the vac on when it senses a load from your tool that is plugged into the outlet that is part of the vac?

    I would guess a simple relay could do this, but I'm too ignorant to figure it out myself. Does someone make a power strip or extension cord with this feature built in?

    Thanks!

    Sam

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Sam,

    Do you mean like this?
    I have one from Rockler (Woodcraft also has it) and it is GREAT!

  3. #3
    Exactly like that, but not $35. The relays only run $10ish from grainger, and outlets and plugs and boxes are pennies. Maybe $15 to make one - if you have the smarts (which I do not in regards to relays.)

  4. #4
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    So let me get this straight. You don't want to spend $400-$500 on a vacuum and someone suggests $35 and you still ain't happy?

  5. #5
    $19.99 I found one in a sears hardware store.
    http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...TOOL&ihtoken=1

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alister Orme View Post
    $19.99 I found one in a sears hardware store.
    http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...TOOL&ihtoken=1
    There you go...saving another $15......
    Gary K.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Monroe, MI
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    Sam, you would need more than a relay to make one. The Sears one works great. I briefly had one before I bought my Festool vac.

  8. #8
    I've also used a couple of the Sears $19.99 units - a good price for not having to reverse engineer the thing. It has a 5 second clean-out delay and allows for 2 vacuums/accessories.

    Here is my 'Festool' setup:
    Last edited by Todd Jensen; 08-08-2007 at 5:11 PM.

  9. #9
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    Sam - I was thinking of making the same thing some time back. I vaguely remember reading an article in one of the WW magazines, believe Fine WW, that showed how to make one. But when I searched through my old magazines I of course couldn't find it. Some searching on the web didn't turn anything up either. But I'm almost positive a plan is out there somewhere.

    Does anyone else recall seeing this article?

  10. #10
    I'll check out sears. I thought it might be a good opportunity to save a few bucks and learn something. You know - a side project type thing.

    The link to sears has an expired cookie. It's item number 00924031000 "craftsman auto switch"

    And, yes, I am that CHEAP!

  11. #11
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    I can't for the life of me figure out how you would do this with just a standard relay. Relay's essentially sense potential (i.e. voltage.) For this application you need to sense current. There are current sensing relays, but I couldn't find them at Grainger.

    The fact that the commercial units run the vac for an extra couple seconds is a significant advantage too, especially with something like a biscuit joiner.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Alister Orme View Post
    $19.99 I found one in a sears hardware store.
    http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...TOOL&ihtoken=1
    THats what I use.


  13. #13
    Here is the Sears information:
    Sears item #00924031000 Mfr. model #24031

    and it looks like this:


    http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/produ...at=Tool+Safety

  14. #14
    Join Date
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    Poor Man's fein/festool switch

    After two days of looking, I found the magazine article describing how to make this bugger. Fine WoodWorking Issue # 143, August 2000.

    Gary Curtis

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Curtis View Post
    After two days of looking, I found the magazine article describing how to make this bugger. Fine WoodWorking Issue # 143, August 2000.

    Gary Curtis
    In 2000, current sensing device from SSAC was about $40, relay from Grainger was about $15, and cube timer (delay on off) was about $20. so for about $75 (in 2000 dollars), you can build a device that retails for $15- $20. Wow, what a savings! I have this very set up in my panel to control DC unit. Never have to look for a remote. Comes on automatically and goes off the same.

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