Reversing Switch Options

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My Chinese forward / reverse switch burned up. Seems I need more from my Grizzly than the 8Amp switch that it came with was willing to handle. It's a 1HP motor stock. Never having dealt with the Dayton 'Barrel' type of switch, I wasn't ready to spend the money to find out how it could be adapted for my use. As Dale Derry points out, "Our solutions tend to stem from what we have laying about." (Paraphrased) So, I looked around at what I have & found a collection of retired GE SB-1 switches that I thought would make great light switches in my future shop.

They are large & can break 30A DC loads all day. I just need up to 20A AC, so these are a no brainer. My Van Norman mill uses 1 of these & it still looks brand new after starting a 3ph 480V 3HP motor for 60 years!

Just throwing out an option & showing pics.


Several different handles are available & the number of contacts is not limited. 6 contacts are shown above - perfect for a reversing switch!


Unfortunately, if you want higher amp ratings, size will increase. I have the little switch that needs replacing in the pic for reference & a very long 18 contact version of the SB-1 as well. Below is the SB-1 stock on my VN mill.


Good stuff to have!


You can also run a lighter capacity switch by using magnetic contactors to open and close the circuit. Most newer and larger machines use that approach, and it works well, making mounting locations much more versatile for achieving the best place for the operator to reach and find the switch, and for it being out of the way at the same time. The more often you use a machine, the more annoying a switch can be.
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I should have named this thread "In Praise of GE's SB-1". My Forward / Reverse switch has snap action 'off' . I went ahead & made up another switch for Off - Lathe - Lathe + Aux. Just planning ahead as I want to include a tool post grinder soon.

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