Title:
Caulking gun and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A caulking gun includes a cartridge-holding component, a trigger assembly, a telescoping extension assembly, and a telescoping actuator rod assembly. The telescoping extension assembly includes an outer tube, an inner tube extending telescopingly within the outer tube, and a compression fitting on the outer tube that is adapted to function as means for securing the inner tube in a desired position relative to the outer tube. The telescoping actuator rod assembly includes a tubular member, a rod extending telescopingly within the tubular member, and a plurality of locking components at spaced apart locations on the tubular member that are adapted to be screwed into engagement of the rod for purposes of securing the rod in a desired position relative to the tube. The outer and inner tubes of the telescoping extension assembly define a plurality of openings at spaced apart locations on the outer and inner tubes that enable access by a user to the plurality of locking components for length-adjustment purposes. One embodiment includes a brush component that is adapted to be mounted on the nozzle of the cartridge. The brush component defines a passageway such that user operation of the trigger assembly causes the compound to flow out of the nozzle, through the passageway, and between the bristles of the brush in order to enable application and finishing of the compound with the same tool.



Inventors:
Hunt, Christopher J. (Lake Elsinore, CA, US)
Salas, Juan F. (San Jacinto, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/233092
Publication Date:
03/04/2004
Filing Date:
08/28/2002
Assignee:
HUNT CHRISTOPHER J.
SALAS JUAN F.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
401/282
International Classes:
B05C17/01; (IPC1-7): A46B11/06; A47L13/22
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Primary Examiner:
WALCZAK, DAVID J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mr. Loyal M. Hanson (Fallbrook, CA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A caulking gun, comprising: a cartridge-holding component, a trigger assembly, a telescoping extension assembly having a distal end portion connected to the cartridge-holding component and a proximal end portion connected to the trigger assembly, and a telescoping actuator rod assembly extending within the telescoping extension assembly from the trigger assembly to the cartridge-holding component; the telescoping extension assembly including an outer tube, an inner tube extending telescopingly within the outer tube, and a compression fitting on the outer tube that is adapted to function as means for securing the inner tube in a desired position relative to the outer tube; the telescoping actuator rod assembly including a tubular member, a rod extending telescopingly within the tubular member, and a plurality of locking components at spaced apart locations on the tubular member that are adapted to be screwed into engagement of the rod for purposes of securing the rod in a desired position relative to the tube; and the outer and inner tubes of the telescoping extension assembly defining a plurality of openings at spaced apart locations on the outer and inner tubes that enable access by a user to the plurality of locking components on the tubular member of the telescoping actuator rod assembly for length-adjustment purposes.

2. A caulking gun as recited in claim 1, further comprising a brush component having a bristle-holding component that is adapted to be mounted on the nozzle of the cartridge and a plurality of bristles mounted on the bristle-holding component, which bristle-holding component defines a passageway such that user operation of the trigger assembly causes the compound to flow out of the nozzle, through the passageway, and between the bristles of the brush in order to enable simultaneous application and finishing of the compound.

3. A brush component for finishing a caulking compound, comprising: a bristle-holding component that is adapted to be mounted on the nozzle of a cartridge containing the caulking compound; and a plurality of bristles mounted on the bristle-holding component; the bristle-holding component defining a passageway such that when the caulking compound flows out of the nozzle, the caulking compound flows through the passageway and between the bristles of the brush in order to enable simultaneous application and finishing of the compound.

4. A method of finishing a caulking compound, comprising: providing a brush component having a bristle-holding component that is adapted to be mounted on the nozzle of a cartridge containing the caulking compound and a plurality of bristles mounted on the bristle-holding component, which bristle-holding component defines a passageway such that compound flowing out of the nozzle flows through the passageway and between the bristles of the brush; mounting the brush component on the nozzle of the cartridge; dispensing the caulking compound out of the cartridge through the nozzle of the cartridge, through the passageway in the bristle-holding component, and between the bristles of the brush; and finishing the caulking compound by wiping it with the bristles of the brush.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Technical Field

[0002] This invention relates generally to building construction equipment, and more particularly to a caulking gun and method for more efficient application of caulking compound and the like.

[0003] 2. Description of Related Art

[0004] Caulking compound and other compounds (i.e., materials) are commonly packaged in a cartridge from which a user dispenses the compound with the aid of a caulking gun. Those components are well known. The term “cartridge” refers to a component having a hollow body that functions as a container for the compound (e.g., typically 1.875inches diameter and 8.5 inches long). Applying pressure against a piston member disposed within one end of the hollow body forces the compound out a nozzle on the other end. The term “caulking gun” refers to a handheld apparatus (e.g., about one foot long) having a cartridge-holding component, a trigger assembly, and an actuator rod extending from the trigger assembly to the cartridge-holding component for applying pressure to the piston according to user operation of the trigger assembly. The term “caulking of structures” refers to the procedure of dispensing the compound from the cartridge with the caulking gun to a wall, ceiling, or other part of the structure.

[0005] Some caulking guns include a tube or other extension member of adjustable length disposed intermediate the cartridge-holding component and the user-held trigger assembly. The extension member adds length to the caulking gun to facilitate caulking of elevated structures that are otherwise out of the user's reach, without resorting to ladders, scaffolding, or the like. One problem with providing such an extension member is that the actuator rod must also be adjustable in length and existing caulking guns designs with telescoping extension members and telescoping actuator rods within them can be somewhat complicated, expensive, and unreliable. Thus, existing caulking guns need improvement in that respect.

[0006] Another problem relates to the task of finishing a bead of the compound after it has been applied to the structure. The user does this by hand using a wet brush, finger trowel, other small tool, or his finger. With a wet brush, for example, the user wipes the bead with the brush to smooth the bead and to remove excess compound. The problem is that even though an extended caulking gun facilitates caulking without ladders and scaffolding, the user must often rely on ladders and scaffolding nevertheless for finishing the bead of compound. Thus, users also need a better way for finishing a bead of compound located out of reach at elevated heights.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] This invention addresses the concerns outlined above by providing a caulking gun that includes an extension member with simplified length adjustment components. In addition, one embodiment includes a bead-finishing brush that is adapted to be mounted on the nozzle of a cartridge. User operation of the trigger assembly causes the compound to flow out of the nozzle and between the bristles of the brush for application and finishing of the compound with the same tool. Both operations can be accomplished without the need for ladders, scaffolding, extension poles, or other additional tools.

[0008] To paraphrase some of the more precise language appearing in the claims, a caulking gun constructed according to the invention includes a cartridge-holding component, a trigger assembly, a telescoping extension assembly, and a telescoping actuator rod assembly. The telescoping extension assembly has a distal end portion connected to the cartridge-holding component and a proximal end portion connected to the trigger assembly, while the telescoping actuator rod assembly extends within the telescoping extension assembly from the trigger assembly to the cartridge-holding component. Those components may be similar in some respects to existing caulking guns.

[0009] One aspect of the invention concerns adjustability. The telescoping extension assembly includes a compression fitting on the outer tube that is adapted to function as means for securing the inner tube in a desired position relative to the outer tube. The telescoping actuator rod assembly includes a plurality of locking components at spaced apart locations on the tubular member that are adapted to be screwed into engagement of the rod for purposes of securing the rod in a desired position relative to the tube. The outer and inner tubes of the telescoping extension assembly define a plurality of openings at spaced apart locations on the outer and inner tubes that enable access by a user to the plurality of locking components on the tubular member of the telescoping actuator rod assembly for length-adjustment purposes. That arrangement achieves more reliability while being somewhat less complicated and less expensive.

[0010] According to another aspect of the invention, there is provided a brush component having a bristle-holding component and a plurality of bristles mounted on the bristle-holding component. The bristle-holding is adapted to be mounted on the nozzle of the cartridge and it defines a passageway such that user operation of the trigger assembly causes the compound to flow out of the nozzle, through the passageway, and between the bristles of the brush. That arrangement enables simultaneous application and finishing of the compound.

[0011] In line with the above, a method for caulking a structure includes providing a brush component as described above. The method proceeds by mounting the brush component on the nozzle of the cartridge, dispensing the caulking compound out of the cartridge through the nozzle of the cartridge, through the passageway in the bristle-holding component, and between the bristles of the brush, and finishing the caulking compound by wiping it with the bristles of the brush.

[0012] Thus, the caulking gun and method of this invention significantly facilitate caulking of structures at elevated heights that are otherwise out of the user's reach. The following illustrative drawings and detailed description make the foregoing and other objects, features, and advantages of the invention more apparent.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0013] FIG. 1 of the drawings is an elevation view of a caulking gun constructed according to the invention;

[0014] FIG. 2 is an enlarged elevation view of the caulking gun with the telescoping extension assembly and telescoping actuator rod assembly in a minimum length configuration;

[0015] FIG. 3 is an enlarged elevation view of the caulking gun with the telescoping extension assembly and telescoping actuator rod assembly in an extended length configuration;

[0016] FIG. 4 is a further enlarge portion of the caulking gun, showing the telescoping extension assembly and telescoping actuator rod assembly in cross section as viewed in a vertical plane containing a central axis of elongation of the telescoping extension assembly;

[0017] FIG. 5 is a top view of the portion of the caulking gun shown in FIG. 4, with portions foreshortened to expose the inner tube of the telescoping extension assembly along with the tubular member and the rod of the telescoping actuator rod assembly;

[0018] FIG. 6 is an elevation view of cartridge-holding component portion of the caulking gun, showing the brush assembly mounted on the nozzle of a cartridge held by the cartridge-holding component; and

[0019] FIG. 7 is an enlarged cross sectional view of the brush as viewed in a vertical plane containing a central axis of elongation of the brush.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0020] FIGS. 1-7 of the drawings show various aspects of a caulking gun 10 constructed according to the invention. Generally, the caulking gun 10 includes a cartridge-holding component 11, a trigger assembly 12, a telescoping extension assembly 13, and a telescoping actuator rod assembly 14 (FIGS. 1-3). These components are similar in some respects to components of some existing caulking guns. The cartridge-holding component 11 is adapted to hold or cradle a typical 1.875-inch diameter, 8.5-inch long caulking cartridge 15 having a 3.0-inch long nozzle 16 (FIG. 6). The telescoping extension assembly 13 has a distal end portion 17 connected to the cartridge-holding component 11 and a proximal end portion 18 connected to the trigger assembly 12 (FIGS. 1-2). The telescoping actuator rod assembly 14 extends within the telescoping extension assembly 13 from the trigger assembly 12 to the cartridge-holding component 11 along a central axis 19 (FIG. 1) that is common to both the telescoping extension assembly 13 and the telescoping actuator rod assembly 14.

[0021] To dispense caulking compound from the cartridge 15, a user grasps the trigger assembly 12 and squeezes a trigger 12A portion of it repetitively to dispense caulking compound contained by the cartridge 15. Squeezing the trigger 12A causes the actuator rod assembly 14 to rachet forward toward (i.e., to advance toward) the cartridge 15 from the withdrawn rearward position shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 to the deployed forward position shown in FIG. 1, and that action results in the actuator rod assembly 14 forcing the caulking compound out of the nozzle 16.

[0022] Unlike existing caulking guns, the telescoping extension assembly 13 and telescoping actuator rod assembly 14 of the caulking gun 10 include simplified length adjustment components. In addition, the caulking gun 10 includes a bead-finishing brush 20 (FIGS. 6 and 7) that is adapted to be mounted on the nozzle 16 of the cartridge 15. Caulking flows out of the nozzle 16 and between the bristles 21 of the brush 20 for simultaneous application and finishing of the compound without the need for ladders, scaffolding, extension poles, or other additional tools.

[0023] Concerning the length adjustment components of the caulking gun 10, the telescoping extension assembly 13 includes an outer tube 13A (e.g., a 1.25-inch outside diameter metal tube), an inner tube 13B extending telescopingly within the outer tube 13A (e.g., a 1.125-inch diameter metal tube), and a compression fitting 22 on the outer tube 13A that is adapted to function as means for securing the inner tube 13B in a desired position relative to the outer tube 13A. The compression fitting 22 is a known type of component that may be similar to the locking components on adjustable-length painting poles. The user grasps and rotates the compression fitting 22 one way to loosen it so that he can move the outer tube 13A longitudinally along the axis 19 relative to the inner tube 13. He rotates the compression fitting 22 the other way to tighten it and thereby secure the inner tube 13B relative to the outer tube 13A. The user can thereby adjust the length of the telescoping extension assembly 13 to a desired length between the shortest length shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 (e.g., about 4.0 feet long) and the extended length shown in FIG. 3 (e.g., about 6.5 feet long). Of course, one of ordinary skill in the art can configure the telescoping extension assembly 13 for even greater lengths within the scope of the related claims and without departing from the inventive concepts disclosed.

[0024] The user must also adjust the length of the telescoping actuator rod assembly 14 according to the length of the telescoping extension assembly 13. For that purpose, the telescoping actuator rod assembly 14 includes a tubular member 14A (e.g., a 0.375-inch outside diameter metal tube), a rod 14B extending telescopingly within the tubular member 14A (e.g., a 0.25-inch diameter metal rod), and a plurality of similar locking components at spaced apart locations on the tubular member 14A that are adapted to be screwed into engagement of the rod 14B for purposes of securing the rod 14B in a desired position relative to the tube 14A. One such locking component, a locking component 27, is shown in FIGS. 2, 3, 4 and 5. That arrangement enables the user to set the length of the telescoping actuator rod assembly 14 to a length corresponding to the desired length of the telescoping extension assembly 13.

[0025] The outer tube 13A of the telescoping extension assembly 13 defines a plurality of similar outer tube openings (e.g., 0.375-inch diameter holes) at spaced apart locations along the outer tube 13A indicated by axes 23, 24, 25, and 26 in FIG. 1 (e.g., spaced apart about 10 inches). One such outer tube opening, an outer tube opening 28, is shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. The inner tube 13B defines a plurality of similar inner tube openings at similarly spaced apart locations along the inner tube 13B. One such inner tube opening, an inner tube opening 29, is shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. The user loosens the compression fitting 22 and adjusts the longitudinal position of the outer and inner tubes 13A and 13B relative to each other in order to align the outer tube openings with the inner tube openings. Doing so allows the user to access the locking components on the tubular member 14A of the telescoping actuator rod assembly 14 by moving the telescoping actuator rod assembly 14 to the withdrawn rearward position shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. In that position, the locking components are aligned with the axes 23-26 shown in FIG. 1. With the inner tube openings and outer tube openings also aligned with the axes 23-26, the user has access to the locking components for purposes of adjusting the length of the telescoping actuator rod assembly 14.

[0026] Each of the locking components is similar to the locking component 27 in FIG. 4. The locking component 27 includes a collar 30 (e.g., metal) that is welded or otherwise suitably attached to the tubular member 14A. A set screw 31 screws into the collar 30. The user inserts a tool (e.g., an allen wrench) through the aligned outer tube opening 28 and inner tube opening 29 in order to screw the set screw 31 into engagement of the rod 14B. Doing so secures the rod 14B relative to the tubular member 14A to thereby set the length of the telescoping actuator rod assembly 14.

[0027] With the length set as desired, the user withdraws the telescoping actuator rod assembly 14 to the withdrawn rearward position shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. Next, he inserts the cartridge 15 into the cartridge-holding component 11 (in the position shown in FIG. 6) and thereafter he advances the telescoping actuator rod assembly 14 slightly to lock the cartridge 15 in place. Then, he raises the caulking gun 10 so that the nozzle 16 is adjacent a location he desires to caulk and he squeezes the trigger 12A repetitively to dispense caulking compound through the nozzle 16. When the need arises for a different length caulking gun, he adjusts the length with the simplified, less expensive, and more reliable adjustment components described.

[0028] When desired, the user mounts the bead-finishing brush 20 on the nozzle 16 before caulking. That way, he can finish the beads of caulking he lays using the caulking gun 10 instead of a separate extension pole, or ladders or scaffolding. The nozzle 16 of the cartridge 15 tapers in a typical manner from a 0.625-inch outside diameter to a 0.4375-inch outside diameter, and the brush 20 is configured to mount on the nozzle 16 after the user has first cut the nozzle 16 in order to allow caulking compound to flow out of it.

[0029] The brush 20 includes a body 32 (e.g., metal or plastic) that holds the bristles 21. The illustrated body 32 is about 1.5 inches long and the bristles 21 are about one-inch long, but those dimensions may vary without departing from the inventive concepts disclosed. The body 32 has an interior wall 33 that defines a passageway 34 such that the passageway 34 fits on the nozzle 16 and such that it extends to the bristles 21. Caulking compound flows out of the nozzle 16, through the passageway 34, and past the bristles 21 to the location being caulked. Once the user has laid a bead of caulking, he typically dips the brush 20 in water and then wipes the caulking bead to finish it. Preferably, the body 32 includes an interior thread 35 that engages the plastic nozzle 16, for purposes of holding the brush 20 on the nozzle 16, although the body of the brush 20 can be configured for a tight force fit on the nozzle 16 instead.

[0030] Thus, the invention provides an extension member with simplified length adjustment components that are less expensive to fabricate and more reliable. In addition, one embodiment includes a bead-finishing brush so that both caulking and finishing can be accomplished without an additional extension pole and without ladders or scaffolding. Although an exemplary embodiment has been shown and described, one of ordinary skill in the art may make many changes, modifications, and substitutions without necessarily departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.





 
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