Remote Switch for Powermatic 3520B

One of the first modifications I made to my Powermatic 3520B was a remote switch.  I had one on my previous lathe and had grown comfortable with it.  I like to keep the switch on the lathe bed by the tail stock, so I don’t have to reach through the “line of fire” if I need to switch the lathe off in a hurry.

Most of the instructions you find on the internet for making a remote switch involve relocating the on/off switch only.  I wanted to relocate both the on/off switch and the variable speed dial.  Being somewhat “electronically challenged”  I also needed a simple method that didn’t involve a lot of rewiring.  After much searching I finally found the following set of instructions on the AAW Forum.

http://www.aawforum.org/vbforum/showthread.php?p=51600#post51600

It was pretty simple to do.  Once I had sourced the various parts it took me about an hour to assemble everything.  In essence all you are doing is putting a longer wire between the control panel that holds the on/off switch and speed dial ant the wires in the head stock.  I have been using it for over a year now and have not experienced any problems.

I removed the control panel from the head stock and took a couple pictures with my cell phone so that I would have a reference of which wire went where.

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Then I went shopping in the electric department at Home Depot.

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Conduit box.

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Male and female disconnects.

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Spade terminals and snap connectors.

Next stop was NAPA auto parts.

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10 feet of trailer wire.  They did not have 5 conductor wire, so I got some 6 conductor and didn’t use one of the wires.

Total cost was around $35.  $15 at Home Depot and the trailer wire cost $2 a foot.

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Push the wire through the hole at the back of the head stock.  Remove the grommet from the hole first.  It’s a very tight fit.  I couldn’t get the grommet back in the hole fully, you might have better luck.

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 Connect all the wires at the headstock side.

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Put the connectors on the remote side of the cable.  I made the red plug from some scrap rubber.  Cut it to fit the conduit box and drilled a ½” hole in it to accept the cable.

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I cut the back outlet thingy off the conduit box at the band saw.  Then I cut a piece of scrap wood the size of the conduit box.  Epoxied six ½” x 1/8” rare earth magnets into the wood and then screwed the wood to the backside of the conduit box.  You need some strong magnets.  The on/off switch on the control panel takes quite a bit of force to pull out and if the magnets are not strong enough you will pull the remote box off the lathe trying to turn the lathe on.

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The back of the box.

I gave the conduit box and cover a coat of appliance paint and let it dry overnight.  Before I painted the cover plate I drilled the holes with a ¼” bit and kinda elongated them by pulling them against the bit.  The spacing on them is a little close to fit over the holes on the headstock and so some tweaking was needed.

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 The headstock with the conduit cover in place of the control panel.

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The remote switch.  It sticks in the horizontal position better than in the vertical position due to the curved sides of the lathe ways.

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