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Philosophy behind stationary power tool design

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Forum topic by Lee Barker posted 01-14-2012 06:37 PM 973 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2317 days


01-14-2012 06:37 PM

Let us narrow this discussion to floor tools like drill press, table saw, jointer, line borer, belt sander etc.

There is one company which comes to mind which approached the general design of its products in a way that sets it apart.

Ritter.

I have owned a Ritter dowel boring machine, line borer, and edge sander (4×132; still have it). All of them display this concept: Use aluminum instead of cast iron or steel where possible.

I don’t think the goal was to reduce the weight. I think it was about the ease of manufacture, but that’s theoretical.

They use massive stock or castings, in size, to accomplish what would be smaller in steel or iron. And I have enjoyed and used all these tools and found them to be functional, dependable and bulletproof. No adjustability or tunability is compromised.

The legs on the sander are steel, and each is held on with two bolts. The fit is sloppy, but the result is, the moose-of-a-tool settles on any surface very solidly. Quite different from lots of tool bases. Here's a pic of one (not mine).

My question is, are there other manufacturers, living or dead, which have strayed successfully from the norm in material selection, design or manufacture?

I’m not talking about innovation here. These tools each do a simple task of turning electrical energy into cutting of some kind. It’s more about the individual component parts and rethinking them in some way.

Looking forward to hearing your insights, both current and historical.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"


3 replies so far

View PeteMoss's profile

PeteMoss

207 posts in 2936 days


#1 posted 01-14-2012 06:48 PM

Oneway and Steel City come to mind.

-- "Never measure......cut as many times as necessary." - PeteMoss

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 2317 days


#2 posted 01-14-2012 07:57 PM

Steel City did the granite tops, right? Excellent example. Who would think, hey, I can make this out of rock instead of iron?

Oneway I don’t know. Whazzit?

L.

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View Loren's profile

Loren

8313 posts in 3114 days


#3 posted 01-14-2012 08:17 PM

Oneway lathes: used a big steel pipe for the spine of the lathe bed –
parallel steel ways welded on top with standoffs, instead of an iron casting.

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