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Router History

This is a discussion on Router History within the Portable Routing forums, part of the Routers category; Hi everyone -does anyone know the history behind the portable router . Why how who ...


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Old 04-10-2006, 02:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi everyone -does anyone know the history behind the portable router . Why how who where when etc.

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Old 04-10-2006, 10:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes we do.

We keep it in a well guarded jar on funk and wagnals front porch and only a person who has passed many many tests is ever allowed to see the information.

The first test is to find a copy of a book like "the new router handbook" by patrick spielman (isbn 0-8069-0518-2) then look at the historical overview. The second test is to read the information contained within that or another suitable publication. This is followed by enjoying the rest of the day knowing you know what you know.

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Last edited by reible; 07-15-2006 at 12:57 AM.
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Old 04-11-2006, 10:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Ed - The problem is that I fall off the porch and broke the jar, then I foumd it was the wrong porch. Thanks again
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Old 05-06-2006, 10:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Invented by Elu (now part of deWalt) in Germany in the late 1940s.
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Old 05-06-2006, 10:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Invented by Elu (now part of deWalt) in Germany in the late 1940s.
Nice try but... the first commercially produced router sold in 1905 made by Kelley in Buffalo N.Y. The Carter was also from N.Y. and started selling routers during WWI, they sold 100,000 of them in a ten year period. About 1928 the motor housing/motor had a 16 thread per inch design thus one revolution moved it 1/16". Carter sold the business to Stanley in 1929 and they continued making them until the early 80's.

Porter Cable didn't start making routers until in the 1940's (1946)... darn new comers.

Now Elu did introduce the plunge-type router in 1949 (in Germany) but world wide distribution didn't start until 1951.

Of course this was after router planes and the Barnes foot powered one... you had speeds up to 2000/2500 rpm with that and the cutters could rotate in either direction.... no more grain problems.

The other facts that are interesting is that the early Carter routers had from 1/7 HP all the way to 1-1/2! All this and weights of 3-1/2 pounds all the way to 35 pounds!

Some light reading for you.

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Last edited by reible; 07-15-2006 at 12:31 AM.
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Old 05-07-2006, 01:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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ELU for plunge router.
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Old 05-09-2006, 06:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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i found this info on routers i found this on the old wood-working machines

http://www.owwm.com/MfgIndex/detail.asp?ID=987
This company was the very first to make a handheld routeróa monstrous router that was specialized for routing stair stringers. The router was invented in 1906 and was first sold by Stevenson Machine Co., which apparently became Kelley Electric Machine Co. by 1909. The company survived until at least 1920.

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The router was patented by George L. Kelley in 1908 (the application was submitted in 1906). The patent was assigned to Stevenson Machine Co. Given the purported 1906 genesis of the Kelley Electric Machine Co., router, it is likely that Stevenson Machine Co. was a predecessor of Kelley Electric Machine Co.
An ad in a 1920 issue of The Wood-Worker shows their "Kelley Router" - a handheld router that looks to be at least twice the size of any hand-held router available today. The bit rotates at 6500 RPM. The ad says that they have been selling their product for fourteen years, which puts their genesis at about 1906.
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Old 05-09-2006, 07:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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some more good reading https://www.onsrud.com/xdoc/about
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Old 07-15-2006, 03:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The first known US portable electric router was patented by George L. Kelley of Buffalo, NY on Jan. 28, 1908. The patent had two (2) router bits (spindles) and was designed primarily to use with a template to rout stair stringers. The first patent for a single spindle router was to Ray L. Carter of Syracuse, NY by US Patent No. 1,514,894 on Nov. 11, 1924. He moved to Phoenix, NY and founded the R. L. Carter Co., which he sold to The Stanley Works in late 1929. This beats the ELU claim by years.
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Old 07-25-2006, 05:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have this monster of a router with a rl carter name plate, sounds like an airplane engine, also have an overarm attachment and a stair jig made by the same- great peice of history
-I dont know how to do this pic thing but I have lots if anyone is interested

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The first known US portable electric router was patented by George L. Kelley of Buffalo, NY on Jan. 28, 1908. The patent had two (2) router bits (spindles) and was designed primarily to use with a template to rout stair stringers. The first patent for a single spindle router was to Ray L. Carter of Syracuse, NY by US Patent No. 1,514,894 on Nov. 11, 1924. He moved to Phoenix, NY and founded the R. L. Carter Co., which he sold to The Stanley Works in late 1929. This beats the ELU claim by years.
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