Bruce Keiffer set up an extra cutoff switch (see inset) for the outlets and retractable power cord he uses for portable power tools.
Although most stationary machines have switches that reset to the off position if the power is cut, that’s mostly not the case with portable tools. Plugging in a portable power tool, especially a heavy, larger one, with the switch in the on position can be an accident waiting to happen to even the most experienced woodworker. Bruce Keiffer of Keiffer Custom Furniture Inc. in Minneapolis, Minn., came up with a solution that takes the danger out of the equation.
When he was working out the electrical design for his newly built shop, he put in a retractable overhead electrical extension cord and a number of outlets, both in the wall and in the bench. He also put in an on/off switch that is kept in the off position. It is only after the tool is plugged in to the retractable cord that the switch is turned on (and a red light goes on), giving the woodworker an added measure of control in preventing injury with a switched-on tool.
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