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Flex shaft rheostat foot pedals


Greetings all,

As always, I’m thankful for this resource and I thank those who
respond in advance!

I’ve been using a carbon resistance pedal for my flexshaft for a few
years. I purchased two of them on ebay. They work fine but over time
(especially with daily use)… the carbon discs crack and break
eventually. Since I have two pedals, I could use the carbon discs in
the one pedal to replace the broken ones in the other… but I have
to do this maintenance every so often which is a pain, and
eventually, I’ll run out of discs.

My question: Is there another rheostat like pedal that I can
purchase (hopefully one that isn’t too terribly expensive)… that
doesn’t work on the principle of carbon disc resistance? I see the
foredom pedals say “electronic”… does that mean they don’t require

Thanks in advance for any input!

Andy G.


I really love the Lucas rheostat/foot pedal. They are easy to use,
regulate speed beautifully. I know that the manufacturer is selling
them directly…think I saw an ad in Jewelry Artist and/or Art

Linda Kaye-Moses


Sure they are electric without the carbon discs and are much better.
The question you will have to have answered is to make sure the
connections of the electric cords are compatible with the motor.

best of luck,



I once fought with those disks in a shop with at least 4 pedals, I
had a stash of disks. When I ran out I’d stick a 6-32 or 8-32 hex nut
in the stack to use up space. Seemed to work just fine.

One of my pedals uses a linear sliding light dimmer grafted onto an
old pedal box. Some creativity required and I believe those dimmers
come for either lights or motors. I use the cheaper light ones, I
think that in a couple of decades I have destroyed 2 on 3 on four
different speed controls. (no smoke and excitement, they just stop
working) I bet none of this is govt approved :slight_smile:

Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing


Hi Andy,

The variable speed foot pedal controls that are most commonly used
now have an electronic trigger switch that has a push button which
operates electronically like a mechanical rheostat by providing more
voltage as it is depressed. The trigger switches usually last for
many years and are easily replaced for under $12.00. The foot pedal
speed controls vary in price depending on what brand and dealer you
purchase from. To give you an idea of the price the Foredom plastic
C.FCT foot pedal control have a retail price of $35.00 and the cast
iron C.SCT foot pedal control retails for $65.00. Both controls have
the same trigger switch with just different housings.

Mike Zagielski
Sales Manager
Foredom Electric, Zona Tool


The “trigger switch” found in most foot speed controls (Foredom,
Lucas, Grobet, etc.) is called that because this electronic variable
motor speed device was originally designed for use in variable speed
electric drills and those drills are shaped like a pistol with the
"trigger" the speed control.

The Jewelry Equipment Dr.


Good morning to all Orchid Members,

I noticed on a recent Orchid discussion that the topic was Flex
Shaft Rheostats and I would like to offer some input on this item.

I represent the LUCAS Dental Co., Brooklyn, NY who manufacturers a
Solid State SCR Variable Speed Foot Rheostat which is all cast
aluminum, (not plastic)

It is known in the trade as the LUCAS #9 LowBoy Rheostat and they
sell them directly to the retail trade for $36.00 each. (this is Not
a dealer item)

For additional LUCAS Dental can be reached by Email or by
Toll-Free 1-(800)-332-5573.

Additionally, LUCAS is also known Worldwide as a leading Manufacturer
of Centrifugal Casting Machines.

Thank you for your time,
Dick DeLuca…customer service…Lucas Dental Co.