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Title:
Pipe groover
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Disclosed is a manual pipe grooving tool. The preferred embodiment of the tool includes a substantially C-shaped housing having a base portion, a foot portion, and a head portion; a threaded bore extending through the base portion of the housing; a threaded screw matingly disposed within the threaded bore; guide means affixed to the threaded screw; and a groover wheel rotatingly and releasibly attached to the head portion of the housing.


Inventors:
Brougham, Richard F. (Cambridge, WI, US)
Perman, Kathleen A. (Cambridge, WI, US)
Application Number:
10/105174
Publication Date:
09/26/2002
Filing Date:
03/25/2002
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B21D17/04; (IPC1-7): B21D3/02
View Patent Images:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DEWITT ROSS & STEVENS S.C. (8000 EXCELSIOR DR, MADISON, WI, 53717-1914, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A pipe grooving tool comprising: a substantially C-shaped housing having a base portion, a foot portion, and a head portion; a threaded bore extending through the base portion of the housing; a threaded screw matingly disposed within the threaded bore; guide means affixed to the threaded screw; and a groover wheel rotatingly and releasibly attached to the head portion of the housing; wherein the housing is dimensioned and configured to accept a cylindrically-shaped workpiece therein and when the threaded screw is advanced, the guide means and the groover wheel are urged against an outer diameter of the workpiece at points substantially diametrically opposite on the outer diameter of the workpiece; and further wherein no element of the pipe grooving tool contacts the inner diameter of the workpiece.

2. The pipe grooving tool of claim 1, wherein the guide means is a pair of placement rollers rotatingly attached to the threaded screw and dimensioned and configured to engage the outer diameter of the workpiece.

3. The pipe grooving tool of claim 1, wherein the groover wheel includes a raised portion dimensioned and configured for impressing a groove into the workpiece.

4. A pipe grooving tool consisting of: a substantially C-shaped housing having a base portion, a foot portion, and a head portion; a threaded bore extending through the base portion of the housing; a threaded screw matingly disposed within the threaded bore; guide means affixed to the threaded screw; and a groover wheel rotatingly and releasibly attached to the head portion of the housing.

5. The pipe grooving tool of claim 4, wherein the guide means is a pair of placement rollers rotatingly attached to the threaded screw and dimensioned and configured to engage an outer diameter of a cylindrical workpiece.

6. The pipe grooving tool of claim 4, wherein the groover wheel includes a raised portion dimensioned and configured for impressing a groove into the cylindrical workpiece.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority under 35 USC ยง119(e) to U.S. provisional patent application serial No. 60/278,341, filed Mar. 26, 2001, the entirety of which is incorporated by reference herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The invention relates to a tool for forming grooves in pipe, and particularly to a hand-held manual tool for rolling engaging grooves in the end of pipes or tubes.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Pipe groovers are used by fire protection automatic sprinkler fitters, steamfitters, and plumbers in the construction of residential and commercial buildings. Pipe groovers are essential for the construction of fire protection sprinkler systems and other plumbing systems, as well as in the repair and replacement of plumbing components in buildings, homes, and civil infrastructure. Pipe groovers allow two pipe or tube ends to be joined end-to-end, with or without soldering.

[0004] Typically, pipe groovers used in most construction projects utilize gas or generator-driven motors. These require plumbing systems to be grooved and pre-assembled at a point distant from their final installation point, and then ultimately installed into a wall or ceiling. Motorized pipe groovers are large and heavy, and cannot be lifted to groove a pipe that is already installed in a wall or ceiling, as when making repairs to an existing plumbing installation. Thus, when making repairs using a motorized pipe groover, the damaged elements and the surrounding plumbing must be removed and the replacement plumbing newly grooved at a point removed from the existing installation. The repair cannot be made leaving undamaged elements in place because these elements also must be re-grooved and this simply cannot be done in place using a motorized groover too.

[0005] Motorized pipe groovers may also produce exhaust and smoke, limiting their use in enclosed areas. They may also require messy and volatile fuel, which creates a hazard for construction workers, particularly on sites where pipes are being soldered. Additionally, as with any piece of industrial equipment, motorized pipe groovers can only be safely operated by specially trained workers, and cannot be safely used by low-skill day laborers or untrained workers. Use of motorized devices such as pipe groovers also require the construction company or contractor to invest in additional ear and eye protection for workers, driving up construction costs. Further, motorized roller groovers that run on electricity require generators or a local power supply that is often absent or inconveniently located on construction sites. Thus, there is a need for an easy to use, lightweight manual pipe groover.

[0006] Conventional manual pipe groovers pre-date motorized pipe groovers. See for example U.S. Pat. Nos. 397,563; 1,810,342; 1,816,117; and 2,975,819. However, these conventional manual pipe groovers are typically heavy, cumbersome, and difficult to use effectively in grooving pipes, particularly when working overhead or within walls. This is because they require a portion of the pipe groover tool itself to be inserted within the inner diameter of the pipe to be grooved. Inserting a groover into a pipe is often problematic because the worker cannot see into walls or ceilings to find the center of the pipe quickly. Obstructions, such as existing plumbing, also inhibit mounting the groover on the terminal end of the pipe where the groove is to be formed. The pipe may also be corroded or have deposits in the interior, making the job cumbersome. In many instances, using prior art devices, the pipe cannot be grooved in place, but must be disassembled and removed from the installation site, grooved, and then re-installed.

[0007] Further, conventional pipe groovers, both manual and motorized, also require separate adaptors, attachments or die sizes to form grooves in pipes of different diameters. This requires the pipefitter to carry numerous adaptors to each job, and requires the contractor or pipefitter to invest in numerous dies for each size of pipe. Many conventional pipe groovers also require separate adaptors for each type of pipe; that is, forming a groove in a steel pipe might require a larger and stronger die than when forming a groove in a copper pipe of the same dimensions.

[0008] Thus, there is a long-felt and unmet need for a manual pipe groover that can form a groove in a piper of any size, while contacting only the outer diameter of the pipe into which the groove is being formed. The tool must securely engage the pipe only about its outer diameter, and must be adjustable to groove pipe of different diameters, without the need for attachments, adaptors, and the like.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] The invention, which is defined by the claims set out at the end of this disclosure, is intended to solve at least some of the problems noted above. A pipe groover is provided that preferably is lightweight, portable, easy to use by unskilled workers in enclosed quarters, and quickly provides accurate and effective grooves to pipes. Thus, unlike previous pipe groovers, the pipe groover described herein does not include a portion that is inserted within the inner diameter of the pipe to be grooved. Instead, the pipe groover disclosed and claimed herein is securely engaged only to the outer diameter of the pipe. This provides a much easier method of grooving a pipe, particularly when working overhead or inside walls. It is also much easier to groove pipes of small diameter.

[0010] More specifically, the present invention is directed to a pipe groover used for pipes that are installed or in place in walls, floors, and ceilings of buildings and thus have minimal or obstructed clearances around them. The invention is designed to groove commonly used standard-sized industrial pipes such as steel, copper, and the like, accurately and quickly.

[0011] The present invention is also directed to pipe groover for grooving pipes with small amounts of pipe exposure, and can groove pipe exposures of several inches or less. This invention is also capable of grooving pipes of all diameters because it does not contain any internal pipe inserts. The invention can be adjusted or dimensioned to accommodate pipes of all sizes.

[0012] In the preferred embodiment, the present invention also utilizes a universal head size, and can thus accommodate pipes of all diameters and compositions without additional dies, adaptors, or attachments, however, a pipe groover with attachments, dies, or adaptors is foreseen by this disclosure, and is within the scope of the invention.

[0013] In an alternate preferred embodiment of the invention, a pipe cutter can be incorporated into the design of the pipe groover at the base.

[0014] Thus, a first embodiment of the invention is directed to a pipe grooving tool. In this embodiment, the invention comprises a substantially C-shaped housing having a base portion, a foot portion, and a head portion. A threaded bore extends through the base portion of the housing and there is a threaded screw that is matingly disposed within the threaded bore. Guide means are affixed to the threaded screw and a groover wheel is rotatingly and releasibly attached to the head portion of the housing. In this embodiment, the housing is dimensioned and configured to accept a cylindrically-shaped workpiece. When the threaded screw is advanced, the guide means and the groover wheel are urged against the outer diameter of the workpiece at points that are substantially diametrically opposite on the outer diameter of the workpiece. No element of the pipe grooving tool contacts the inner diameter of the workpiece.

[0015] A second embodimet of the invention is a pipe grooving tool as described above, the tool consisting of a substantially C-shaped housing having a base portion, a foot portion, and a head portion; a threaded bore extending through the base portion of the housing; a threaded screw matingly disposed within the threaded bore; guide means affixed to the threaded screw; and a groover wheel rotatingly and releasibly attached to the head portion of the housing.

[0016] The objects and advantages of the invention will appear more fully from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment of the invention made in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0017] FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of the preferred embodiment of the pipe groover according to the present invention.

[0018] FIG. 2 is an axial cross-sectional view of the groover wheel according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0019] A preferred embodiment of the pipe groover is illustrated in FIG. 1. The pipe groover comprises a generally a C-shaped or U-shaped housing 10 having a base portion 12, a foot portion 14, and a head portion 16. The foot portion of the housing is provided with a threaded bore 18, extending generally parallel to the base portion 12, for the receiving a complementarily-threaded screw 20. The threaded screw 20 is provided with a handle 22, and extends through the threaded bore 18 essentially parallel to the base 12, and terminates in an attachment to guide means 24. The guide means 24 serves to position a pipe or tube 32 during grooving. The pipe or tube 32 is a work piece and forms no part of the claimed invention. The purpose of the guide menas 24 is to prevent any variation in the groove formed by the device. The guide means also bias the groover wheel 36 against the outside diameter of the pipe 32, thereby forming a groove in the pipe.

[0020] As shown in the drawing figure, the guide means 24 comprises placement rollers 28 and 30 rotationally disposed on axles 34. Placement rollers 28 and 30 attached to the threaded screw 20, and can be urged against the pipe 32 by rotating the screw 20 within the bore 18. The guide means 24 moves translationally in a slot 26 defined within the foot portion 14 of the housing. In short, the guide means 24 can be urged against the outer diameter of the pipe 32 or removed from the pipe, by rotating the threaded screw 20. The guide means 24 travels in a path that is essentially parallel to the foot portion 14, and perpendicular to the base portion 12 and head portion 16.

[0021] Rotationally mounted at the head portion 16 of the housing 10 is a groover wheel 36. The wheel is releasibly mounted to the housing. This is accomplished via a slot between, and defined by, supports 38 and 40. Supports 38 and 40 generally extend inwardly from the head portion 16 of the housing 10, thereby defining a slot to accommodate the groover wheel 36. The groover wheel is rotationally and releasibly mounting within the slot by means of a pin 42 that passes through complementary bores in the groover wheel 36 and support 38 and 40.

[0022] FIG. 2 is an isolated view of the groover wheel 36. The wheel includes a raised portion 42 for impressing a groove into the pipe 32.

[0023] Thus, in operation, the housing 10 is placed about the outer diameter of a work piece pipe 32. The handle 22 is then rotated to urge screw 20 through threaded bore 18. This urges the placement rollers 28 and 30 against the outer diameter of the pipe 32, which is to be grooved. Simultaneously, the groover wheel 36 is urged against the pipe 32 at a point roughly diametrically opposite from placement rollers 28 and 30. The entire housing 10 is then manually rotated about the pipe 32 a number of times. The placement rollers 28 and 30, and groover wheel 36, cooperate to ensure that the groover wheel remains in registration each time it is rotated about the pipe 32. The handle 22 is then rotated further to urge the groover wheel still more forcefully against the pipe. The entire housing 10 is again manually rotated about the pipe 32. By reiterating the process a number of times, and tightening the screw 20 after each few passes, a groove is quickly and surely formed into the pipe 32.