Fall's patents pick 5 article

U.S. Patent No. 2,623,269 Convertible material working machine

The Reliable Shopsmith

By Dale Shaw, Deputy Director Stakeholder Outreach and Patents Ombudsman

Right about now, woodworkers and woodcrafters who desire to be “Holiday Helpers” for the upcoming holiday seasons begin excitedly sketching ideas. The planning process allows them to begin working on making unique holiday gifts from selected pieces of wood. These items will be made for special family members and friends.  And depending up the scale and scope of the holiday wood project, the woodworker must start well before Black Friday to complete the handcrafted item. Below are five of my favorite items invented to help woodcrafters. 

Convertible material working machine
U.S. Patent No. 2,623,269

U.S. Patent No. 2,623,269 granted to Hans Goldschmidt on December 30, 1952, is the basis for a five and one multi-tool. The device can be set up as a table saw, a disc sander, a lathe, a horizontal boring machine, and a drill press. This tool could be set up a fixed piece of equipment, or with legs with casters, allowing the machine to be moved throughout the workspace. Interestingly, this device made a guest appearance on the TV show NCIS during season 10 episode 5, where Agent Gibbs, who is a woodworker, purchased this type of device from a pawn shop.

Saw Fence
U.S. Patent No. 4,658,687

U.S. Patent No. 4,658,687 issued to Charles J. Haas, Dale Timman, and John H. Stolzenberg on April 21, 1987, is for a saw fence. A saw fence is used with a table saw when ripping a piece of wood, meaning that you are sawing with the grain of the wood. When ripping, the board is placed against the saw fence and with other accessories (like the Featherboard and Straddle block cited below), a nice straight cut is achieved. 

Adjustable Featherboard
U.S. Patent No. 4,476,757

U.S. Patent no. 4,476757 issued to David S. Morris in October 10, 1984, for a feather board that does not have to be attached to a saw table via a C-clamp. The Featherboard is used to keep a piece of wood tight against the rip fence, permitting a nice clean, straight cut. This Featherboard is mounted in a track and then adjusted to fit the cuts that are being made.

Adjustable Straddle Block
U.S. Patent No. 4,485711

U.S. Patent No 4,485,711 issued to John W. Schnell, on December 4, 1984, for a safety device known as a straddle block. The straddle block keeps the hand of a user a fixed distance away from the blade of the table saw, while holding down against the table while sawing, shaping and making groves into a thin piece of stock.

Saw Guard System
U.S. Patent No. 4,721023

U.S. Patent No. 4,721023 issued to Robert L. Bartlett, John G. Legier, and Harold E. Folkerth on January 26, 1988 for a saw guard, which encloses the lower portion of a saw blade or a sanding disc. This safety feature was not included on the original patent listed above, but is still being used today. In addition, the saw guard also includes a vacuum port, where one can attach a vacuum hose, to help keep the workshop dust free.

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The USPTO gives you useful information and non-legal advice in the areas of patents and trademarks. The patent and trademark statutes and regulations should be consulted before attempting to apply for a patent or register a trademark. These laws and the application process can be complicated. If you have intellectual property that could be patented or registered as a trademark, the use of an attorney or agent who is qualified to represent you in the USPTO is advised.