The Coolest Cutting Board Ever?
The Essential Tool Chest
Hinge Mortises on the Tablesaw
Smoothing Plane Tips and Techniques
Drawbore Your Mortise-and-Tenon Joinery
Simple Tape Trick for Tight Fitting Through-Mortises
Workbench Tool Storage Solutions
A Woodworker's Guide to Grain Direction
Customize Your Router for Centered Mortises
Speed Up Handplane Honing with Your Ruler
Finishing Technique for Greene and Greene Furniture
How to Sharpen Hollow Chisel Mortising Bits
Capture More Dust from Your Router Table
How to Sharpen a Spokeshave
Simple Cabinetry with Pocket Hole Joinery
Festool Dust Extractor Power Outlet Modificationcomments (5) January 10th, 2012 in Jigs
This upgrade could be a violation of the warranty but it is a huge improvement:
It is a known problem that Festool dust extractors have a junk power receptacle. It was very frustrating to click on my sander or saw only to find that the power cord across the room had fallen out. I tried taking apart the receptacle and bending the contacts to create more friction; the change was noticeable but the holding strength was still inadequate. Finally, I decided to modify the system...
You can see the result in the photo. I have three grounded outlets with a power indicator light. The receptacles have five times the holding strength and the flexibility of the extension makes it so my cords never fall out. I didn't damage any of the original parts so I could easily return it to its original configuration.
Parts you will need:
2ft heavy duty multi-outlet extension cord
3 female 12 gauge terminal connectors (crimp style)
carlon 2-gang electrical non-metallic box cover (you may be able to find one with a 3/8" knockout but I just used a 7/8" forstner bit to drill my own)
3/8" twin-screw non-metallic cable connector
Tools you will need:
T15 Torx bit + driver
Allen key set
7/8" forstner bit (unless you find a cover plate with a knockout)
Put it together:
Pop the flip-up cover off the vac with a flathead screwdriver. Remove the four surrounding screws with a torx driver. Remove the four screws from each corner of the main faceplate. Remove the two large allen bolts from the center of the faceplate. Do not pull the main faceplate more than an inch or so off the frame. You will see a white plug that connects hot neutral and ground. Note the wiring pattern before you remove the plug. It should be black(hot), white(neutral), green(ground) in the order top, middle, bottom. You will need to use a long flathead screwdriver to help ease the plug off the connections.
Cut the extension cord, strip back the cable sheath to expose 3-4" of wire. Strip 1/2" of each wire and attach female terminal connectors to each wire. Crimping is adequate but a little solder never hurts. You will also want to wrap each connection with electrical tape or use heat-shrink tubing. Use the foam dust-seal from behind the old outlet as a template on your plastic cover plate to layout the square shape and four holes. Drill the 7/8" hole for the cable connector and the four holes for the screws. Finally, cut the cover plate to size.
Thread the extension cord trough the locknut, through the cover plate, through the dust shroud and finally through the twin-screw connector. Tighten the assembly. Insert the terminal connectors into the outlet opening and connect black to black, white to white and green to green. Replace all screws.
When you plug your dust extractor into the wall, the LED power indicator light should illuminate on your extension block. Now you can have multiple tools plugged in at once and never have to worry about cords falling out or coming loose!
posted in: Jigs, festool, dust, Extractor
Save up to 51% on Fine Woodworking
Become a Better Woodworker