Everybody wants to save the earth, nobody wants to help mom do the dishes.  --P.J. O'Rourke

Monday, August 10, 2009

Automatic Power Tool Vacuum Switch

One of the biggest PITA of home improvement projects is cleanup, ( well, that and previous owners). Dust intensive power tools like sanders and routers can really make an awful mess and I often hook them up to a shop vac to keep the dust down. Hi end wet dry vacs are often equipped with a special switch which turns the vacuum on whenever you turn on an attached power tool for just this reason. The problem is that you have to buy a $300-$400 vacuum to get this capability. Lee Valley tools (whom I have had good luck with in the past) sells a stand alone switch for $40 which can turn on any vacuum into a tool vac. What is different about this one is it's ability to drive a 30 amp load by plugging each of the two cords into a different outlet on a different circuit. More...There are a lot of uses for this thing other than it's intended use though, you could hook it up to your TV and plug a power strip into the vacuum outlet and plug the VCR, cable box, DVD player and whatnot into the strip so that when you turned on the TV everything else would go on. Other than making life easier for the audio/visual technophobe, it has the added benefit of making sure all the "Vampire" appliances were deprived of power. A few caveats are in order though, the attached electronics would probably loose their setting (like time/date), and I am not sure if the TV current draw in a standby mode would inadvertently turn on all the switched components. Might be worth playing around with though.


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