111 years of family company history.
The sliding table saw came into the world in 1906 when craftsman Wilhelm Altendorf developed the first Altendorf in Berlin. Wilhelm had not long before set himself up as the owner of a factory for office and shop equipment in the imperial capital. Berlin was booming at this time and there was no shortage of work to be had finishing and fitting out commercial premises. The existing table saws were not really up to the job as far as Wilhelm was concerned, however, as they lacked the accuracy necessary for precise trim cuts. His solution was to build a saw that allowed the material to be fed past the saw blade while firmly supported on the sliding table so that an initial square cut could be made. This is still the defining feature of the sliding table saw principle. This first innovation has been followed over the intervening 111 years by a great many more innovative developments that together make life very much easier for over 150,000 Altendorf customers working with a sliding table saw and ensure that wherever in the world they are based, they have the tool they need for optimal productivity (remember an Altendorf can deliver productivity gains of up to 35%). The first 40 years of the Company's existence saw two world wars, which together lasted a whole decade. Wilhelm Altendorf decided in 1919 to relocate the Company to his home town of Minden because of the crushing effect on business of the political unrest in Berlin around the time of the birth of the Weimar Republic. When the father of the sliding table saw died in 1948, his sons Kurt and Willy Altendorf took over the management of the Company. Eight years later, in 1956, they decided that the Company should concentrate solely on manufacturing sliding table saws in the interests of productivity. This move paved the way for the global success of the "Altendorf". A third generation of the Altendorf family joined the Company at the end of the 1950s in the form of Erika and Wilfried. Wilfried Altendorf and his brother-in-law Siegfried Thiele followed a consistent strategy of continuous international expansion during their time at the helm, as a result of which the Altendorf name is now recognised as synonymous with the sliding table saw in more than 130 countries around the world. Tom Altendorf – representing the fourth generation of the family – took the reins in 2002. Tom shares operational responsibility with Jörg F. Mayer (Managing Director with responsibility for sales) and Wolfgang Ruhnau (Managing Director with responsibility for business administration).