Who invented laminate trimmer (palm router) - Router Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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Default Who invented laminate trimmer (palm router)

Hi. I am new to this forum, and have always been interested in the history of powertools. Was just curious to see if anyone knew who invented the laminate trimmer.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 04:29 PM
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Hi Bill and welcome!

Interesting question! I'm not really certain how easy it is the separate the router from the laminate trimmer, but maybe someone will know which firm first advertised a tool specifically referred to as a "laminate trimmer". All I know is that Formica, the original decorative laminate, was invented in about 1912. although the coloured (melamine) Formica we tend to associate with the name weren't in production until about 1938. The oldest machine I've ever seen was a 1950s Stanley, but there must be earlier examples somewhere

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 04:59 PM
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Welcome to the forum, Bill

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I don't mind if other members disagree with my comments.
I don't profess to know everything, and I may learn something new.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-23-2012, 05:05 PM
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Air trimmers were probably first. Sioux was making them in 1958.
Rockwell was making them with electron power at about that time.
Air trimmers were products in WW2 but who was first?
I don't know.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 08:33 AM
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You may be able to determine the answer to your question by visiting the US Patent & Trade Office website United States Patent and Trademark Office You should use Boolean search techniques, which utilize AND, OR, NOT. It is pretty straight-forward to locate something. By the way, find any laminate trimmer or router and search the patents used in the comparative - there will be a complete listing on each patent.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 08:43 AM
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Hi Otis

Would a laminate trimmer necessarily have a patent, though. Electric routers were being manufactured in the USA prior to WWI and a laminate trimmer is essentially just a compact router. Similarly the use of bearing guides, as in this sort of set-up
which pre-dates the bearing guided cutter



was commonly used on overhead routers fro the 1920s onwards so probably couldn't be patented

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Phil
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 03:29 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info- fascinating stuff! How bout this- out of dewalt, Bosch, and porter cable, who was the first to come out with the laminate trimmer/palm router? I haven't had much with the patent search unfortunately.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-24-2012, 07:00 PM
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@Phil, The answer depends on how the first patent is written. If it was "bulletproof" then there may not be a patent. I can remember people trimming edges of laminate with rat-tail files, but that doesn't mean everyone was doing it the same way. For a patent to be "bulletproof" it must have numerous claims that are as close to "all-encompassing" as possible. Patents with only one or two claims are usually easy for someone to get around. In the past, I have actually "lost-out" and "benefitted tremendously" by the ways some patents have been written. Patent writers need to be imaginative to get as many claims accepted as possible, but getting thorough patents can take 2-3 years after all of the USPTO requirements are met. I do not know which company first offered which products first, but that, in and of itself; really doesn't prove anything.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 05:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatbill View Post
Thanks for all the info- fascinating stuff! How bout this- out of dewalt, Bosch, and porter cable, who was the first to come out with the laminate trimmer/palm router?
Hi Bill

You may be looking at the wrong names, there. Bosch bought Stanley in the USA in the late 1970s - prior to that they hadn't really made routers except for the little POF500/GOF600 in Germany. Similarly deWalt manufactured static (industrial) woodworking machinery, mainly radial arm saws in the USA and Italy until the 1980s when their parent company, took over Elu in Germany. A few years later all Elu and Black & Decker Industrial tools were merged under the deWalt banner. Porter-Cable and their former owners, Rockwell, were around a long time before that. But so were firms like Ingersoll and Sioux (to mention just two) with air trimmers.

Regards

Phil
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-25-2012, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil P View Post
Hi Bill

You may be looking at the wrong names, there. Bosch bought Stanley in the USA in the late 1970s - prior to that they hadn't really made routers except for the little POF500/GOF600 in Germany. Similarly deWalt manufactured static (industrial) woodworking machinery, mainly radial arm saws in the USA and Italy until the 1980s when their parent company, took over Elu in Germany. A few years later all Elu and Black & Decker Industrial tools were merged under the deWalt banner. Porter-Cable and their former owners, Rockwell, were around a long time before that. But so were firms like Ingersoll and Sioux (to mention just two) with air trimmers.

Regards

Phil
Ah yes, and we have to thank elu for the plunge router. But since it may be nearly impossible to determine who really made the first laminate trimmer since so many companies have merged and disappeared , the next best thing to know would be to know out of all the current manufacturers of laminate trimmers (Bosch, ridgid, porter cable, dewalt, Makita and any others I missed), who was the first of those to come out with one. I know Ingersoll Rand, Sioux, and Chicago Pnuematic among others have their old air tools, but I'm mostly talking about electric corded laminate trimmers. Btw, thank you guys for all of your replies- I have learned so much, and hope to learn more.
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