Powermatic Remote Switch Problems


Not long after I purchased my remote switch from Powermatic, it quit working. The paddle arm would move, but the lathe would not turn on. I first tried calling Powermatic and the tech was very helpful. He offered to send me another switch. When it arrived, I discovered that he had sent two switches which was appreciated. Unfortunately, while otherwise almost identical, they were standard type lever switches and therefore weren't as convenient as the paddle design of the original.


With the new switch operational, I felt comfortable in tearing apart the original one. What I discovered is that they are fairly easy to disassemble and all that was required was to remove the shaving that had worked their way into the contacts. After instaling the now clean original in the switchbox, I placed a medium sized sandwich bag over the top part of the switch box and used a large rubber band to hold it in place. The sandwich bag cover almost eliminates the need to clean the switch although it needs to be replaced occasionally due to wear.


Below are a few images of the original switch to give you an idea of what to expect if you need to clean yours.


Powermatic lathe switch assembled The clips that can be seen at each end hold the base to the switch. Use a screwdriver to hold them back so that the base can be removed.

Powermatic lathe switch side view Here's a side view with the base removed. The shavings can be seen filling the plastic cover over the pins.





Powermatic lathe switch upper and lower sections Here's the base and switch together.





Powermatic lathe switch closeup of lower section And a closeup of the base. The two rockers in the base are the heart of the switch. The two pins shown in the side view above slide over the rockers as can be seen from the wear streaks on the rockers in this photo. That movement is what makes and breaks the electrical contact. Shavings somehow get into this area and either get between the contacts or otherwise keep the rockers from making contact.


Powermatic lathe switch closeup of rockers Here's a close-up of the top and bottom of the rockers.



Powermatic lathe switch closeup of switch specifications

Here's a photo of the switch specifications should you wish to replace it. It is a J-9301A with two sets of specs: 20-12A-125/250VAC and 19-12A-125/250VAC