Title:
Pneumatic carpet setter
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A carpet setter is provided. The carpet setter has a gripping head having a plurality of prongs extending downwardly therefrom wherein the plurality of prongs are adapted for engaging a carpet, at least one handle, and a mechanical system for providing an impact type force to the gripping head, the force being generated within the system by mechanical means.



Inventors:
Hakim, George (Kelowna, CA)
Application Number:
10/873492
Publication Date:
09/08/2005
Filing Date:
06/22/2004
Assignee:
HAKIM GEORGE
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
294/8.6
International Classes:
A47G27/04; B65H77/00; (IPC1-7): B65H77/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MARCELO, EMMANUEL MONSAYAC
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HOUSTON ELISEEVA (LEXINGTON, MA, US)
Claims:
1. A carpet setter comprising: a gripping head having a plurality of prongs extending downwardly therefrom wherein the plurality of prongs are adapted for engaging a carpet; at least one handle; and a mechanical system for providing an impact type force to the gripping head, the force being generated within the system by mechanical means.

2. The carpet setter according to claim 1 wherein the system comprises: a fluid cylinder adapted for receiving a fluid; a slidably movable piston within the fluid cylinder, the slidable movement within the fluid cylinder in reaction the provision of the fluid to the fluid cylinder; a shaft in mechanical communication with the gripping head wherein the shaft receives the impact force from the piston; and a fluid provision system, the fluid provision system, when operating in conjunction with the cylinder, provides the impact type force to the gripping head.

3. The carpet setter according to claim 2 wherein the carpet setter further comprises: a housing having a forward end and a rearward end; a sleeve affixed to the forward end of the housing and wherein the shaft is slidably moveable within the sleeve; a travel stop attached to the shaft and being adapted to contact the sleeve and thereby determine a forward limit to the motion of the shaft; and at least one spring adapted to slidably move the piston from the forward limit to a rearward position.

4. The carpet setter according to claim 2 wherein the carpet setter further comprises a fluid supply system appropriate for the provision of the fluid to the fluid cylinder, the fluid supply system comprising: a first fluid conduit for supplying fluid; a switch appropriate for controlling the provision of fluid to the fluid cylinder and the switch receives fluid from the first fluid conduit; and a second fluid conduit for the provision of fluid from the switch to the fluid cylinder.

5. The carpet setter according to claim 2 further comprising; a first handle adapted for engagement by a first hand of an operator of the carpet setter; a trigger integrally attached to the first handle; and a second handle adapted for engagement by a second hand of an operator of the carpet setter.

6. The carpet setter according to claim 2 wherein the fluid is air.

7. The carpet setter according to claim 3 wherein the carpet setter further comprises: a lower surface of the housing; and a plurality of prongs affixed to the lower surface proximal to the rearward end of the housing.

8. The carpet setter according to claim 5 wherein the switch and the handle are arranged such that the switch and handle are adapted for operation by a single hand of an operator.

9. A method of setting a carpet with a carpet setter, the method comprising the steps of: aligning the carpet setter such that a plurality of prongs of a gripping head comprised by the carpet setter are aligned appropriately for engaging the carpet; engaging the carpet with the plurality of teeth; providing a supply of fluid to a fluid cylinder of the carpet setter to thereby slidably move a piston contained within the cylinder; and communicating the sliding movement of the piston to the plurality of teeth such that the carpet is stretched.

10. The method according to claim 9 wherein the carpet setter is aligned such that a front most edge of the gripping head is spaced within about several inches from a wall adjacent to which the carpet is being set.

11. The method according to claim 10, wherein the carpet setter is aligned such that the lower surface thereof is substantially parallel to a plane defined by the carpet to be set and a plurality of prongs on the lower surface of the carpet setter engage the carpet to be set.

12. The method according to claim 10, wherein the carpet setter is aligned such that the lower surface thereof is at an angle to the carpet to be set.

13. The method according to claim 9 wherein the fluid is air.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates generally to carpet setters, and more particularly to carpet setters wherein the force for stretching the carpet is provided by mechanical means.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Carpet setters for the installation of carpet are known in the art. Such carpet setters allow the carpet to be placed under tension prior to being nailed down to a tack board that is located at the perimeter of the floor being carpeted.

A first group of carpet setters encompasses those that use a “kicking” action for the application of force to the carpet. The simplest of these comprise a knee pad, on to which the operator applies a kicking force with his or her knee, a gripping head that engages the carpet being stretched and a ram between the knee pad and the gripping head. A carpet setter of this type is outlined in U.S. Pat. No. 2,631,403 to Hopkins et al. Hopkins et al. disclose a solid ram between the knee pad and the gripping head.

Carpet setters of the above type are widely used due to their ease of use. However, there are known disadvantages associated with the use of these carpet setters. First, the “kicking” action with the operator's knee may lead to injuries due to the impact stress placed on the knee. Second, the force applied to the carpet can be sufficient to result in tearing of the carpet.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,627,653 to Koroyasu discloses a carpet setter of the kicking type that implements an air cylinder between the knee pad and the gripping head. This system is designed to provide shock absorbing capabilities thereby reducing the stress on the operator's knee. The system is also designed to reduce the tearing that may occur due to the magnitude of the applied force arid of the acceleration of the gripping head during the use of the carpet setter. The carpet setter of Koroyasu continues to use a “kicking” action to provide the mechanical force required to stretch the carpet.

A second group of carpet setters implement some form of mechanical force for the stretching of the carpet that is not provided through a “kicking” action of the operator. Generally this type of carpet setter uses a “pulling” force to stretch the carpet. Carpet setters of this type generally comprise three basic elements: a means for engaging the tack board to which the carpet will be affixed, a gripping head to engage the carpet and a mechanical means for reducing the distance between the first two elements. Numerous mechanical means and setter arrangements have been used to provide the pulling force and then transfer this force to the carpet.

For example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,980,274 and 3,963,216 to Ebert and Victor, respectively, implement a lever mechanism. An implementation that uses an air cylinder is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,042,211 to Hammond et al. Finally, U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,145,225 and 6,371,446 to Mullel et al. and Gauthie et al., respectively, disclose the use of pneumatic cylinders as a means of generating the force for stretching the carpet. These latter two carpet setters again use a pulling arrangement to stretch the carpet. Generally, the carpet setters of this type are more awkward to use than the kicking type of carpet setters. In particular the required engaging of the tack board adds complexity to their operation as carpet setters.

U.S. Pat. No. 4,084,787 to Kowalczyk discloses a mechanical type carpet setter that can stretch the carpet in either pulling or pushing mode of operation. In the former mode the carpet setter uses an anchor that engages the tack board to which the carpet is being attached while in the latter mode a pole that is abutted against the wall opposite to that where the carpet is being stretched is implemented. Kowalczyk discloses that the mechanical force can either be generated by a hydraulic system or a motor and gear system. Further it is disclosed that the switch controlling the above systems allows for the selection of “forward” and “reverse” directions. From the above it is apparent that in the system of Kowalczyk the movement of the ram/gripping head is slow with gradual acceleration and the gripping head does not automatically return to its initial position.

Therefore, there is a need for a carpet setting device that is used in a manner similar to kicker type carpet setters and does not require the operator to strike the carpet setter for the generation of the force required to stretch the carpet. Further, there is a need for a carpet setter that develops a force that is similar to that generated by a kicker type carpet setter.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention is directed to a carpet setter that is used in a manner similar to kicker type carpet setters and uses means other than the operator to generate an impact type force for stretching the carpet.

In accordance with an aspect of the invention a carpet setter is provided. The carpet setter comprises a gripping head having a plurality of prongs extending downwardly therefrom wherein the plurality of prongs are adapted for engaging a carpet, at least one handle and a mechanical system for providing an impact type force to the gripping head, the force being generated within the system by mechanical means.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention a method of setting a carpet with a carpet setter is provided. The method comprises the steps of aligning the carpet setter such that a plurality of prongs of a gripping head comprised by the carpet setter are aligned appropriately for engaging the carpet, engaging the carpet with the plurality of teeth, providing a supply of fluid to a fluid cylinder of the carpet setter to thereby slidably move a piston contained within the cylinder, and communicating the sliding movement of the piston to the plurality of teeth such that the carpet is stretched.

Other aspects and advantages of the invention, as well as the structure and operation of various embodiments of the invention, will become apparent to those ordinarily skilled in the art upon review of the following description of the invention in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a side view, of a pneumatic carpet setter according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2a is a top view, of a pneumatic carpet setter according to another embodiment of the invention, with the pneumatic cylinder in the retracted position;

FIG. 2b is a top view, of a pneumatic carpet setter according to another embodiment of the invention, with the pneumatic cylinder in the extended position;

FIG. 3a is a side view, presenting detail of a cover for a carpet setter according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3b is a side view, presenting detail of a cover for a carpet setter according to one embodiment of the invention wherein the carpet setter has been “fired”; and

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of the air circulation system according to one embodiment of the invention.

Like numerals are used to represent like elements in the Figures.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The invention provides a carpet setter whose form factor is similar to that of kicker type carpet setters. The invention further provides a carpet setter where the force for stretching the carpet is an impact type. In the current exemplary embodiment the force is provided by a pneumatic cylinder.

FIG. 1 is a side view of a pneumatic carpet setter according to the current exemplary embodiment of the invention. A carpet setter 10 includes a body or housing 12 and a cover 14. The housing 12 includes a forward end 15 and a rearward end 17. Attached to the cover 14 are a forward handle 16 and a rear handle 20. The forward handle 16 and the rearward handle 20 are affixed to the cover 14 at a raised portion 21. The handles 16 and 20 allow an operator to hold the carpet setter 10. By holding the handles 16 and 20 of the carpet setter 10 the operator becomes the primary means of maintaining the position fo the carpet setter during its operation. Attached to and integral with the forward handle 14 is a trigger lever 18. The trigger lever 18 is adapted for operation by the hand of the operator that is holding the forward handle 16. Protruding from the front end of housing 15 is sliding shaft 36 and a fixed sheath 38. The sliding shaft 36 is slidable within the fixed sheath 38, which is affixed to the housing 12. A gripper head 22 is affixed to the sliding shaft 36. Extending downward from the bottom of the gripper head 22 is a plurality of gripping prongs or teeth 24. The gripping teeth 24 are appropriate for engaging a carpet. An adjuster 26 adjusts the distance the gripping teeth 24 extend from the gripper head 22. A second set of gripping prongs 27 is provided at the rear of the carpet setter 10. The prongs 27 are designed to also engage the carpet. The prongs 27 assist in arresting the carpet setter 10 from sliding backwards during operation. An air inlet port 28 is present at the rear of the housing 12. An air exhaust port 29 is also provided at the rear of the carpet setter 10.

A top view of the carpet setter 10 with the cover 14 is removed from the carpet setter 10 is shown in FIGS. 2a and 2b. Thus FIG. 2a details features of the carpet setter 10 according to the current exemplary embodiment including features that are internal to the housing 12. Central to the carpet setter 10 is a pneumatic cylinder 30. The pneumatic cylinder 30 is affixed (not shown) to the housing 12. A piston 31 is located within the pneumatic cylinder 30. The piston 31 is appropriate for receiving pressurized air within the pneumatic cylinder 30 and providing a sliding mechanical force to a ram 32, which is attached to the piston 31. The pressurized air used in the current embodiment may be provided by any appropriate means external to carpet setter 10. In the current embodiment an air compressor provides the pressurized air to be to pneumatic cylinder 30. The ram 32 extends from one end of the cylinder 30. The ram 32 is shown in a retracted position in FIG. 2a. The arrangement of the piston 31 in FIG. 2a is for illustrative purposes only. One of skill in the art will appreciate the arrangement of the piston 31 within the cylinder 30. The invention encompasses all means of converting the force associated with pressurized air within the cylinder 30 to a slidable mechanical force that is provided to the ram 32.

When in the extended position the ram 32 contacts a proximal end of the sliding shaft 36. Affixed to the proximal end of the sliding shaft 36 is a forward travel stop 34. The forward travel stop 34 determines the distance travelled by the sliding shaft 36 and in turn the gripper head 22 as shown in FIG. 2b. This distance is set such that any wrinkles in the carpet being set are removed while not being large enough to possibly damage the carpet. Connected between the sliding shaft 36 and the housing 12 are springs 40. The springs 40 return the sliding shaft 36 and the gripper head 22 to a retracted position after the ram 32 has returned to a retracted position. The invention is not to be limited by the use of springs. Other means of returning the sliding shaft 36 to a retracted position will be apparent to one of skill in the art and are encompassed by the invention.

Detail of the cover unit components is presented in FIGS. 3a and 3b. A firing arm 42, a pivot point 43, a pneumatic switch 44 and a return spring 46 are within or directly under a region defined by the raised portion 21 of the cover 14. The firing arm 42 rotates about the pivot point 43. During rotation about the pivot point 43, the firing arm 42 engages a contact point 48 of the pneumatic switch 44. FIG. 3a illustrates the state where the trigger is unfired and FIG. 3b illustrates the state where the trigger is fired. When “fired” the firing arm 42 engages and displaces the contact point 48 of the pneumatic switch 44. The return spring 46 is initially in a retracted state, as seen in FIG. 3a. Once “fired” the return spring 46 is extended and will return the firing arm 42 to its original state once the trigger 18 is released.

FIG. 4 is a schematic diagram of air supply system 51, which is the system of the current exemplary embodiment that supplies pressurized air to the pneumatic cylinder 30. A conduit 50 is attached to and receives the pressurized air from air inlet port 28 that extends from the rearward end 17. The conduit 50 is in turn attached to and supplies air to the pneumatic switch 44. Conduits 52 and 58 are attached to and receive air from the pneumatic switch 44. The conduit 52 is attached to a quick exhaust valve 54 while the conduit 58 is attached to a rear port 59 of the air cylinder 30. A conduit 56 is attached to and receives air from the quick exhaust valve 54. The conduit 56 provides air to a front port 57 of the cylinder 30. Thus air is provided to the cylinder 30 via a front port 57 and a rear port 59. The cylinder 30 that is appropriate for use with such an air supply system will be apparent to those of skill in the art.

The air supply system 51 and the pneumatic cylinder 30 are designed to provide for rapid acceleration of the ram 32. They are further designed such that the magnitude of the force provided by them, in conjunction with the acceleration of the ram 32, provide for an impact type force. This force provides for a movement of the ram 32 that is similar to that provided by a kicker type carpet stretcher. In the kicker type carpet stretcher this movement is provided by the impact of the operator's knee striking a knee pad. Further, the air supply system of the current exemplary embodiment allows for the return of the piston, and in turn the ram 32, to its original position automatically.

The operation of the carpet setter of the instant invention according to an embodiment of the invention will now be considered. In this embodiment the carpet is a jute backed carpet. A narrow strip of wood with upward facing tacks or “back strip” is arranged around the perimeter of the floor on which carpet is to be laid, adjacent to the walls at the edges of the floor. The carpet to be laid is trimmed to fit the floor to be carpeted, as will be apparent to one skilled in the art. One edge of the carpet is secured to a tack strip adjacent to a wall of the room in which carpet is to be laid. The carpet setter according to an embodiment of the invention is then set on the carpet at an edge opposite to that anchored to the tack strip. The setting of the carpet setter is such that the front most edge of the gripping head 22 is spaced within about several inches from the wall. The gripper adjuster 26 is adjusted such that the teeth 24 penetrate the desired amount into the carpet, as will be apparent to one skilled in the art. In this embodiment the carpet setter 10 is held such that the prongs 27 engage the carpet.

With the carpet setter aligned as above the operator who is using the carpet setter of the current invention kneels to the side of the setter. One hand of the operator engages the forward handle 16 while the other hand engages the rear handle 20. The operator engages the trigger lever 18 to “fire” the carpet setter. With the “firing” of the carpet setter a portion of the carpet in the vicinity of the carpet setter is stretched such that it is taught. The carpet is then secured to the tack board over which the carpet is being stretched. Alignment of the carpet setter such that the prongs 27 engage the carpet assists in preventing the carpet setter from moving backwards during operation. Once the carpet is secured to the tack board the operator moves an appropriate amount in a direction parallel to the wall to a portion of the carpet that has not been stretched. The carpet setter is then used to stretch this portion of carpet.

The operation of the various components of the carpet setter described above will now be discussed. When the trigger lever 18 is engaged the trigger lever 18 moves toward the forward handle 16 as shown in FIG. 3b. With this action the firing arm 42 rotates about the pivot point 43 and thereby engages the pneumatic switch 44. The return springs 46 are extended with the above operation.

The operation of the air supply system will now be discussed with reference to the schematic diagram of FIG. 4. Elements of the system that supplies air to the pneumatic cylinder 30, according to the current exemplary embodiment, are shown in FIG. 4. Pressurized air enters the supply system via an air inlet 50. The air inlet 50 begins as inlet port 28. Apart from a portion of the air inlet 50 that forms the air intake 28 the air supply system is contained within the housing 12. The pressurized air is supplied from the air inlet 50 to the pneumatic switch 44. When the pneumatic switch 44 is triggered through the engagement of the trigger lever 18 the air is supplied to a quick exhaust valve 54 via the conduit 52 and the rear port 59 via the conduit 58. Air travels through the quick exhaust valve 54 and is supplied to a front port 57 via the conduit 56. Pressurized air is supplied to both sides of the piston 31. The quick release valve 54 then provides for the rapid release of pressurized air from the cylinder 30 through the front port 57 allowing the piston to slidably move in the cylinder 30 such that the ram 32 extends from the cylinder 30. The air exhausts from the quick exhaust valve 54 and exists the carpet setter 10 at a port 29. Details of the operation of pneumatic cylinder 30 and will be apparent to those of skill in the art.

As shown in FIG. 2b the “firing” of the carpet setter causes the ram 32 to extend outward from the cylinder 30. During the above extension the ram 32 slidably moves the sliding shaft 36 and the gripper head 22 forward.

In an alternative embodiment the fluid cylinder 1 is appropriate for operation with a liquid such as oil or water.

In a further alternative embodiment the air supply system 51 is any system that is appropriate for, in conjunction with the cylinder 30, providing an impact type force to ram 32.

In a further alternative embodiment the carpet setter 10 is held such that the rearward end thereof is raised above the carpet.

In a further alternative embodiment the cylinder 30 and fluid supply system is appropriate for the supply of fluid to the cylinder 30.

In a further alternative embodiment the carpet is any carpet for which the stretching of the carpet is a step in the laying of it.

While the invention has been described according to what is presently considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiments, it must be understood that the invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments. Those ordinarily skilled in the art will understand that various modifications and equivalent structures and functions may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the claims. Therefore, the invention as defined in the claims must be accorded the broadest possible interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent structures and functions.