HOPPTool was started in 2019 as a spark in the imagination of Jeff Hoppe, our company’s founder. Jeff had been using the 504 belt sander in cabinet making for many years, and had always been impressed with the quality and durability of the sander.
The 504 Belt sander worked year after year in faithful service, while he witnessed other brands work, then get old, then break, then get thrown away. Companies were spending thousands of dollars on new equipment every year, but the good ‘ole 504 kept chugging on.
That’s when Jeff said – I’m going to manufacture this thing and get it back on the market. That’s when the HOPPTool brand was born. Jeff partnered up with his good friend Jamie Bass, and went to inquire of Porter Cable to get manufacturing rights. The Porter Cable company had been bought a few times since the 504 sander had gone out of production, so after Stanley / Black and Decker checked everything out, they couldn’t find the blueprints or manufacturing molds for any of it. They said there were no hindrances to HOPPTool remanufacturing the product, as long as the Porter Cable, Stanley, or Black and Decker names were not on it, we could do whatever we want.
That was stellar news! Jeff got busy and engaged with the University of Southern Indiana (USI) advanced manufacturing group. They have a 3D laser scanner and reverse engineering team who scanned the 504 Belt Sander and built a Solid Works model. With a digital model in hand, the rest is history.
Jeff sourced all the commercially obtainable parts he could find, then he set out to manufacture the parts that couldn’t be obtained. He then put together the repair parts sales team, and then got to work on putting together the sander refurbishment program.
As it stands today, we’re working on prototypes in preparation for our full scale production of the 504 Belt Sander and the Annual Maintenance Kit. Join with us as we make a tool that can be maintained forever – It’s good for man, and good for mankind!