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Project by tyvekboy posted 05-13-2017 04:19 AM 11173 views 15 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch
MODIFYING PADDLE SWITCH for NEW UNISAW STARTER SWITCH • No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
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May 13, 2017

Disclaimer: This is not an approved replacement and just what I did.
Sooner or later we all have to face this problem … our old UNISAW starter switch will give up the ghost and FAIL. You press the GREEN button and nothing happens. Mine has been failing off and on but finally I couldn’t fix it and it was time to order a new one. The problem is you can’t get an exact OEM replacement from Delta cause they are no longer made. However there is a replacement that was suggested by a Delta service agent.

My solution was to buy one that would work and I found one rated for 1 ph 230v on Amazon for $64.12. The price was right but there were no instructions other than the stickers inside the cover.

Although the name plate on my motor says 12 amps this switch is rated 18-26 amps I’m hoping it will work.

Just for your information, there are 3 other options that you can choose from:

One from Grizzly rated at 21-25 amps and cost $93.95. The wiring diagram however is helpful for wiring the switch that I used. I don’t think it would be a good choice due the the higher amp ratings.

One from Jet with no amps information cost $178.88.

And the one advertised as a Delta replacement part with no amps information cost $266.95.

Hopefully this is helpful to anyone facing this dilemma.

Please note that all these switches are magnetic switches and are the only type of switch that should be used to replace your Unisaw failed switch. For safety this switch will not stay in the ON state if power is lost at the circuit panel. When the power is restored the saw WILL NOT START if it was running when the power was lost until the ON button is pressed.

Just for those choosing my path of switch replacement here is how I installed the new magnetic switch. Make sure you unplug the saw from the outlet before working on the saw starter switch.

First I removed the original Unisaw magnetic switch and disconnected the wires for the power supply and motor cables. Then the NEW Unisaw magnetic switch was prepared.

There are knockouts on the top and bottom of the plastic switch housing. I chose the ones on the bottom and knocked out the plastic center.

I used these cable clamps without the nut. They were screwed into the threads (around the hole knockouts) as tight as I could by hand and then the power and saw cables were clamped securely.

This is what the cables looked like when clamped in place. The yellow cable is the power and the black cable goes to the motor. Their location made routing the wires in the box easier.

The black and white power cables is attached at the RED arrows. The black and white motor cables is attached at the BLUE arrows. The ground wires are attached at the GREEN arrows. Before attaching the cover the green dial at the YELLOW arrow which controls the thermal protection was turned to the lowest setting. On this switch it is 18 amps.

NOTE: To make it easier to attach the cables in the cable clamps of the switch, remove the white plastic cover. Be sure to replace it after your cables are clamped in place.

To mount the box to the bracket that held the original Delta switch I had to first find a machine screw with a head small enough to fit into the hole that the screw that attaches the switch cover screws into. I chose to use the lower hole on the existing Unisaw switch bracket but had to drill a hole for the upper screw. To help me locate where to drill the hole, I used a piece of aluminum foil. I placed the foil over the holes in the back of the switch and rubbed the foil to get an idea of the spacing for the new hole.

After the hole was drilled I attached the wired switch to the bracket with machine bolts, washers and nuts.

The cover was then attached with the plastic cover screws, the plug was inserted into the outlet and the saw was tested. It worked!



You can look at the original post of how I made the paddle switch.

However, with this replacement switch, there is no mushroom shaped STOP button to fit into the recess on the back of the stop paddle..

I cut a 2 inch diameter disk out of 1/2 inch baltic birch plywood that would fit into the recess snugly. I used a hole saw to make my disk which cut the disk a little larger than the recess. I lightly sanded the edges of the disk until I achieved a snug fit.

I marked the back of the stop paddle where the top, bottom and sides of the STOP button on the new Unisaw switch was located.

I inserted the disk into the recess and used the guide marks on the back of the stop paddle to make a square on the disk that represented stop button location on the new Unisaw switch.

After drawing diagonals to locate the center of the stop button on the disk I drilled a 7/8 inch diameter hole about 1/4 inch deep with a forstner bit.

The black alignment arrows on the paddle and disk aids in reinserting the disk in the proper orientation.

I then made a 7/8 Inch diameter “finger” 3/4 inch long to fit in the recess of the disk. A flat head wood screw was used to secure the “finger” to the disk. The finger can be made from wood but I made mine out of plastic. If you make your “finger” out of wood you can glue it in place instead of using a screw.

This is the front view of the modification.

This is the Back view of the modification.

The modification is then inserted into the recess on the back of the safety paddle and it is ready to be installed.

I added a spacer bar to the top threaded rod of the safety paddle to the switch enclosure box to make positioning the safety paddle easier. This should be in place before marking the location of the stop button on the new Unisaw switch on the back of the safety paddle.

Also, the top of the safety paddle (where the pivot pins are located) may have to be reduced by 1/8 – 3/16 inch to allow the paddle to swing freely. The switch enclosure box seems to be a little smaller than the original switch.

This is the modified safety paddle installed on the new Unisaw switch. When installing this safety paddle, don’t over tighten. Make it tight enough so that it isn’t loose and stays in place on the new Unisaw switch.

This is the safety paddle showing you the “finger”.

NOTE: If you have a switch like this one on one of your power tools and need to add a safety paddle, don’t drill the recess in the back of the safety paddle as described in the original project posting. Just locate the stop switch and add the “finger” to the back of the safety paddle centered on the stop switch location.

Hope you enjoyed this description of the modification and the information on the switch replacement.

Thanks for looking. Favorites and all comments welcomed.

Have a good Mother’s Day.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

18 comments so far

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5505 days

#1 posted 05-13-2017 05:55 AM


You really searched for the Right price! Good thing you did… prices were all over the place!

COOL Paddle setup…

Looks like you’re going to have to modify it to match the Stop button… couldn’t tell for sure…

Happy Mother’s Day to Y’all too!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View DocSavage45's profile


9071 posts in 4295 days

#2 posted 05-13-2017 06:34 AM

Looks like you’ve got a winner. Good luck!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


9454 posts in 2274 days

#3 posted 05-13-2017 10:05 AM

Great looking paddle switch, tyvekboy. A work of art in it’s own right.

I must admit I have never been a fan of mag-switches especially in a one man workshop where deviations from the “norm” cannot jeopardise others. With mag-switches fitted, you cannot control the machine remotely using remote power points (in particular dust extractors) or foot switches (drill presses). With safety a consideration, I have swapped out some of my mag-switches where practical for that same reason, though I will emphasise not all.

Having said that, I think you’ve done a great job in hunting down and customising a replacement to maintain your status-quo. When I first saw the wiring of a better quality mag-switch, I freaked out, so you’ve done a great retro job.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

8638 posts in 4806 days

#4 posted 05-13-2017 10:42 AM

Your intelligence is showing Tyvekboy Your efforts are truly brilliant!
Thanks for sharing I may need to do this soon. I’ve got a switch that is not cooperating 100% of the time.

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

27688 posts in 4558 days

#5 posted 05-13-2017 12:14 PM

Very cool modification, Alex. I love it!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View bondogaposis's profile (online now)


6183 posts in 3804 days

#6 posted 05-13-2017 12:20 PM

Very cool, thanks for posting this. My Unisaw switch is getting sticky I may need to make this upgrade soon.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View bushmaster's profile


4180 posts in 3735 days

#7 posted 05-13-2017 01:01 PM

Very informative, and well illustrated, will save this information.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

View BurlyBob's profile


10427 posts in 3718 days

#8 posted 05-13-2017 01:16 PM

That’s outstanding. I’m saving this one for future use if you don’t mind?

View Mauricio's profile


7170 posts in 4604 days

#9 posted 05-13-2017 02:29 PM

Really cool Alex!

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View steliart's profile


2895 posts in 4141 days

#10 posted 05-13-2017 02:37 PM

love your idea and what you did. I’m gonna keep that in mind for a foot start button on my DC… thanks

-- Stelios L.A. Stavrinides: - I am not so rich to buy cheap tools, but... necessity is the mother of inventions !!!

View kiefer's profile


5852 posts in 4120 days

#11 posted 05-14-2017 01:13 AM

Good price on the switch and great job on the safety switch that all should work well for you .


-- Kiefer

View Schwieb's profile


1925 posts in 4914 days

#12 posted 05-14-2017 10:54 AM

Good work Alex.

-- Dr. Ken, Florida - Durch harte arbeit werden Träume wahr.

View splintergroup's profile


6918 posts in 2675 days

#13 posted 05-14-2017 01:31 PM

Multi HP magnetic motor switches on power tools are always a confusing situation, no two ever seem to be the same 8^)

That “stop” panic bar is a great addition. I routinely hit the stop button with my thigh on my table saw as it lets me keep my eyes and hands attentive to the saws gnarly bits. Glad I placed it where it is.

View fromaway's profile


80 posts in 3403 days

#14 posted 05-14-2017 05:07 PM

Thanks for all this. I have an old Unisaw and have restored it to working order and modified the dust collection (should post what I did at some point). I’m going to hang on to your description as my switch is a little temperamental but still functional – for now.

-- Nothing is impossible for those that don't have to do it themselves

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4257 days

#15 posted 05-15-2017 11:21 PM

Good stuff Alex

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

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