My co-workers branded me with a nickname in the 1990s after I took apart our shop’s Bosch plunge router and replaced the brushes on its commutator.
After reassembling the Bosch and putting it back in the tool cabinet, I returned to my desk for an exciting day of editing comma errors. The next day a fellow editor grabbed the Bosch. When he pulled the trigger, a shower of sparks (and he claims, flames) spit from the router’s vents.
As a result, I was referred to as “Sparky” whenever my power-tool acumen came up in conversation.
Last week, I earned my nickname anew when messing with the Dremel Moto-Saw I bought off eBay. I plugged the saw in to the power strip in my office during a staff meeting to demonstrate its vibro-massage function. I pulled the trigger. The saw shorted, my desk light flickered and the saw scorched my hands and jeans.
Today I vowed to fix the saw. I purchased short, pin-ended blades for the saw from Sears that fit quite well once I bent the saw’s spring back to its original position (thank you, patent drawings).
The short was caused by frayed wires at the end of the handle. So I disassembled the handle to replace the cord. It was going smoothly until I got to the place where the power entered the saw’s electromagnet. Like lots of 50-year-old tools, the insulation around all the components had turned to dust. I gingerly lifted one of the wires to blow out the insulation and the wire’s connection to the magnet disintegrated.
In fact, the connection was so far gone I couldn’t even tell how the wire was originally connected. I inspected the wire on the other side of the magnet. It was almost kaput as well. I pinched it and wiggled it. It popped off.
The Moto-Saw was now like all my other coping saws , cordless. I installed the blade anyway and decided to cut some 1/2″ cherry.
- Christopher Schwarz