In the late ’60s, big machines on wood flooring job sites were all drum sanders, which were prone to chatter and had to have sheets of sandpaper carefully inserted just so into the slots on their drums. Belt sanding machines existed, but only in large-scale industrial applications. Enter Eugen Lägler, a German machinist who decided a belt machine was the way to go, and sanding on wood flooring job sites changed forever. Lägler faced several challenges, including the fact that until that time, the roller assembly for belt machines was as big as the drum, and that his new design required cloth-backed abrasives, which weren’t commonly available. Today, the company he started is worldwide, with his son Karl Lägler at the helm at the Güglingen, Germany, headquarters, and the company still works to refine a machine whose core design is the same as the first one produced back in 1969.

Kim Wahlgren

Kim M. Wahlgren is the longtime editor of Wood Floor Business. Based in Madison, Wis., she manages the day-to-day operations of the WFB print magazine, website, E-News and social media. She holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin in journalism and Spanish. Away from the office, she’s busy enjoying her family, including two beautiful children, a sassy ex-racehorse, an extraordinarily silly black Labrador mutt and her husband, Brent, whom she met at … yes, wood flooring school.