A pallet for supporting a metal burial casket shell during trimming, lining, final inspection, warehousing, transportation and delivery to a funeral home.
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What is claimed is
1. A pallet for supporting the metallic shell of a burial casket that has a plurality of sockets formed in its bottom member, said pallet comprising:
2. A pallet as specified in claim 1 in which the cross members are composed of wood and have downwardly opening half-lap sockets on each of their ends.
3. A pallet as specified in claim 1 in which the side rails are composed of wood and contain upwardly opening half-lap sockets.
4. A pallet as specified in claim 1 in which the interengaged means consists of half-lap members on the rails and cross members engaged together to support the members on the rails.
5. A pallet as specified in claim 1 in which the angles are secured on the ends of the rails by thumb screws threaded into plates fixed into counterbores in the rails, said thumb screws permitting easy assembly and disassembly as required.
6. A pallet as specified in claim 1 in which the sockets in the shell are formed by lock plates which are fixed on the bottom of the shell and have a central portion spaced from said bottom to define the sockets.
7. A pallet as specified in claim 1 in which the rails contain upwardly opening recesses in which the locking tongues are secured with the distal ends of the tongues projecting beyond the edges of the rails.
8. A pallet as specified in claim 1 in which the distal ends of the locking tongues are inclined upwardly to draw the shell tightly upon the cross members as the tongues are moved into the sockets.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates to the manufacture, storage, transportation and delivery of burial caskets. In the manufacture of such caskets the sections thereof are stamped out of sheet metal and joined together by welding to form the body or shell of the casket. The welds are ground smooth and the shell is then degreased and painted with the required number of primer and finish coats of paint. The paint is dried in suitable ovens through which the shells pass, preferably on a slow moving conveyor. After the shells emerge from the drying oven they move through a trimming station where handles, corner ornaments and the like are added, and then to a lining station where the shells are lined and equipped with a mattress and a pillow. The casket thus formed moves into an inspection station where it is examined and if found to meet the specification under which it was built is ready to be moved in the factory warehouse preparatory to shipment from the factory.
It will be apparent that the steps in the manufacture of the casket require that the shell be moved through several stations after it leaves the drying oven. The danger of the shell being scratched or otherwise damaged during such movement is sufficiently great to warrant employing means to reduce or eliminate the danger of such damage.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The present invention eliminates such damage by providing a pallet with which the shell is registered and to which it is secured immediately after it emerges from the drying oven. The conveyors which move the shell through the casket forming station engage only the pallet and since the shell does not engage such conveyors, the danger of scratching or otherwise damaging the shell is lessened or eliminated. The casket remains on the pallet during storage, transportation and delivery to a funeral home.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The invention will be best understood by reference to the accompanying drawings wherein a preferred embodiment is shown as an example and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a casket fixed upon a pallet;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the pallet;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along the line 3--3 of FIG. 2 following in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary cross sectional view taken along the line 4--4 of FIG. 2 looking in the direction of the arrows;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a lock plate;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a pallet tongue;
FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view of a casket showing a lock plate attached thereto;
FIG. 8 is an end elevational view partly in section of a casket with the side rail of the pallet disposed alongside;
FIG. 9 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view along the line 9--9 of FIG. 7 showing the pallet tongue registered with the lock plate;
FIG. 10 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along the line 10--10 of FIG. 7; and
FIG. 11 is a plan view of the pallet collapsed for return to the factory.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Referring now to the drawings in more detail where, in FIG. 1, it will be seen that when a casket, indicated generally at 10, is registered with and secured on a pallet indicated generally at 11, the pallet extends beyond the edges of the casket on both sides and both ends thereof.
As will be seen in FIG. 2, 3 and 4 the pallet consists of side rails 12 preferably composed of wood and joined together by angle irons 13 attached to the members 12 by thumb screws 14 which are threaded into threaded plates 15 fixed in suitable counterbores in the side rails. The result is a hollow rectangular structure of proper dimensions.
Each side rail 12 of the pallet contains an upwardly opening half-lap notch 17 and a pair of cross members 16 contain at both of their ends a downwardly opening half-lap notch 18. Registering these half-lap notches together supports the cross members 16 in the side rails.
Each side rail 12 contains upwardly opening recesses 20 which in the preferred embodiment of the invention are two in number. As will be seen best in FIGS. 6, 8 and 9 a locking tongue 21 is disposed in each recess 20 and secured therein in suitable manner such as by rivets. It will be noted that the distal ends of the tongues 22 extend slightly beyond the inner edges of the side rails 12.
As will be seen in FIG. 7 the bottom 30 of a casket contains stiffening beads 31 located inwardly from the sides and ends of the bottom and elsewhere are required. The bottom also contains indentations 32 which in order to adapt the casket to the pallet of the present invention are four in number.
As will be seen in FIG. 5 the lock plate 33 contains an offset central portion 34 and when the lock plate is disposed in the indentation 32 and secured therein in suitable manner such as by spot welding, a socket is formed between the central portion 34 of the lock plate and the bottom of the indentation 32. To secure the casket upon the pallet 11 the casket is supported upon the cross members 16 and a side rail 12 with one or more of the thumb screws 14 removed therefrom is brought alongside of the casket and the tongue 22 registered in the socket. It will be noted that the distal end of each tongue 22 is bent upwardly so that as the tongue engages the section 34 of the lock plate, that plate will be drawn downwardly and the casket will be secured tightly upon the cross members 16. When both side rails have thus been registered with the cross members, the angles 13 are reregistered with the side rails and thumb screws 14 reinserted in their respective plates to complete the assembly of the pallet with the casket thereon.
In the practice of the invention, when the casket shell emerges from the drying oven, it is immediately placed upon the pallet and secured thereto. The shell is then moved by suitable conveyor to the trimming station and since the pallet extends beyond both sides and both ends of the casket shell, the conveyor does not at any time engage the shell. After the external trim, such as handles, have been attached to the shell, it is moved by conveyor to a lining station where the mattress, the lining and the pillow are inserted. After this the casket is moved to a final inspection station where it is checked to see that it complies with the specifications under which it was manufactured.
If the casket passes the final inspection, the pallet is then placed upon a suitable shipping container bottom preferably composed of double face corrugated and forming no essential part of the present invention. The casket is then covered with a shipping cover which is registered with and secured to the bottom of the shipping container. The casket is then moved to the factory warehouse where it remains until it is shipped out either to a distributing warehouse or to an undertaking establishment as the case may be. In any event the casket remains in its protective cover until it reaches the funeral home at which time it is removed therefrom.
In removing the casket from the pallet the thumb screws 14 are withdrawn and the side rails 12 moved laterally out of engagement with the lock plate on the casket. Since the casket is supported upon the cross members 16 the danger of the tongues 22 engaging the casket body and scratching or otherwise marring the same, are very remote. Thus it will be seen that through the use of the present invention the casket body shell which has been painted is fully protected from damage so long as the casket remains under the control of the manufacturer and shipper.
As will be seen in FIG. 11 after the casket has been removed from the pallet and the thumb screws 14 reregistered with the side rails 12, the pallet can be collapsed so as to occupy minimum space during its return trip to the factory for reuse.
While I have chosen to illustrate my invention by showing and describing a preferred embodiment of it, I have done so by way of example only as there are many modifications and adaptations which can be made by one skilled in the art within the teaching of the invention.