Title:
Turf stapler
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A turf stapler is disclosed having, in one embodiment, a reciprocating, manually operated plunger with a pin that engages a recess in a reciprocating ram, causing the ram to eject staplers into a ground cover and the ground.



Inventors:
Myrowich, Mark (West St. Paul, CA)
Maruschak, Peter (Winnipeg, CA)
Application Number:
11/214936
Publication Date:
03/23/2006
Filing Date:
08/31/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F04B53/12
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
LOPEZ, MICHELLE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Blank Rome LLP (Washington, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent of the United States is:

1. A turf stapler comprising: a receiver; a magazine; a ram; and a plunger; said receiver including a track within which said ram reciprocates; said receiver further including a barrel within which said plunger reciprocates; said plunger including a pin; said ram including a recess; said pin engaging said recess such that reciprocating motion of said plunger controls reciprocating motion of said ram; wherein said ram is a close sliding fit in said track and said plunger is a loose sliding fit in said barrel; and wherein said pin is a loose fit in said recess.

2. A turf stapler comprising: a receiver; a magazine; a ram; a plunger; said receiver including a track within which said ram reciprocates; said receiver further including a barrel within which said plunger reciprocates; and a means for engaging said plunger with said ram such that reciprocating motion of said plunger controls reciprocating motion of said ram.

3. The turf stapler of claim 1, wherein said ram is a close sliding fit in said track and said plunger is a loose sliding fit in said barrel.

4. The turf stapler of claim 1, wherein the sliding removal of said plunger from said barrel causes the sliding removal of said ram from said track.

5. The turf stapler of claim 1, wherein the plunger further comprises a pin formed in at least one end of the plunger.

6. The turf stapler of claim 5, wherein the pin is oriented to be perpendicular to the major axis of the plunger.

7. The turf stapler of claim 5, further comprising a flange removably attached to the plunger.

8. The turf stapler of claim 7, wherein the flange is attached to the plunger by a pin disposed within a hole formed through the flange and the plunger.

9. The turf stapler of claim 7, further comprising a handle attached to the flange.

10. The turf stapler of claim 8, further comprising a coil spring which surrounds the plunger wherein the coil spring biases the handle away from the barrel.

11. The turf stapler of claim 2, wherein the plunger further comprises a pin formed in at least one end of the plunger.

12. The turf stapler of claim 11, wherein the pin is oriented to be perpendicular to the major axis of the plunger.

13. The turf stapler of claim 11, further comprising a flange removably attached to the plunger.

14. The turf stapler of claim 13, wherein the flange is attached to the plunger by a pin disposed within a hole formed through the flange and the plunger.

15. The turf stapler of claim 13, further comprising a handle attached to the flange.

16. The turf stapler of claim 15, further comprising a coil spring which surrounds the plunger wherein the coil spring biases the handle away from the barrel.

17. The turf stapler of claim 2, wherein the sliding removal of said plunger from said barrel causes the sliding removal of said ram from said track.

18. The turf stapler of claim 2, wherein an end plate of said magazine on an end opposite that of said receiver is removable for accessing a follower that is at least partially enclosed within said magazine.

19. The turf stapler of claim 2, wherein said ram is a close sliding fit in said track and said plunger is a loose sliding fit in said barrel.

20. The turf stapler of claim 2, wherein the sliding removal of said plunger from said barrel causes the sliding removal of said ram from said track.

21. The turf stapler of claim 2, wherein said magazine comprises a follower that is constructed to be engaged with a cartridge of staples in a first position and to be cocked away from a staple output for loading said staples in a second position.

22. The turf stapler of claim 21, wherein said follower is held in said second position by a stop formed on a hollow tube within said magazine, said tube constructed such that said follower can slide along said tube.

23. A method of stapling a ground cover to the ground, comprising: placing a ground cover on an area of ground to be stapled; placing the turf stapler of claim 9 on the ground cover; moving the handle of the turf stapler toward the ground wherein the plunger is moved downward through the barrel, forcing the ram to contact a first staple in the magazine wherein the first staple is moved away from the magazine through the ground cover and inserted into the ground.

Description:

The present application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/605,524, filed on Aug. 31, 2004, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention is an improved turf stapler for stapling netting, ground cover, seams, sod, mats, blankets and the like used in gardening, landscaping, grounds keeping, and erosion control.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In landscaping, gardening and grounds keeping, sod and other ground covers are often laid over prepared areas. When freshly prepared ground is seeded, various ground covers and mats may be placed over the newly seeded ground to protect it and preserve moisture. At construction sites and similar areas where land is disturbed, ground covers, including plastic or resin mats or nettings, are placed over the disturbed ground to control erosion and promote the growth of natural foliage and grasses.

In each of the above instances, it is important that the ground cover chosen remain in place until the desired grasses and foliages are established, or to maintain erosion control. Consequently, the ground cover chosen must resist the effects of wind, precipitation or animal activity. Steel or resin staples can be used to keep ground covers in place. These staples are used to staple the ground cover to the ground itself. Various staples and staplers are commercially available to accomplish this task, including manual staplers with extended handles that may be used to staple ground covers from a standing position.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect of the invention, a turf stapler is provided which comprises a receiver, a magazine, a ram, and a plunger, wherein the receiver includes a track within which the ram reciprocates, the receiver further includes a barrel within which the plunger reciprocates, the plunger includes a recess, and the pin engages the recess such that reciprocating motion of the plunger controls reciprocating motion of the ram. In this aspect of the invention, the ram may be a close sliding fit in said track, the plunger may be a loose sliding fit in the barrel, and the pin may be a loose fit in the recess.

According to a further aspect of the invention, a turf stapler is provided which comprises a receiver, a magazine, a ram, a plunger, and a means for engaging said plunger with the ram such that reciprocating motion of the plunger controls reciprocating motion of the ram, wherein the receiver includes a track within which the ram reciprocates. The receiver further includes barrel within which said plunger reciprocates. In this aspect of the invention, the ram may be a close sliding fit in the track, the plunger may be a loose sliding fit in the barrel, and the pin may be a loose sliding fit in the recess. Further in this aspect of the invention, the sliding removal of the plunger from the barrel causes the sliding removal of the ram from the track.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side view of an embodiment of the turf stapler invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the ram of the turf stapler invention;

FIG. 3 is a sectional side view of a turf stapler in accordance with a first exemplary embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 3A is a sectional side view of a turf stapler in accordance with a second exemplary embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 is a cross section of an embodiment of the turf stapler invention along line A-A of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a cross section of an embodiment of the turf stapler invention along line B-B of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a sectional side view of the first exemplary embodiment of the turf stapler invention shown loaded with a cartridge of staples;

FIG. 6A is a sectional side view of the second exemplary embodiment of the turf stapler invention shown loaded with a cartridge of staples;

FIG. 7 is across section of an embodiment of the turf stapler invention along line C-C of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 8 is a top-down view of the second exemplary embodiment of the turf stapler invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

An embodiment of the turf stapler 1 of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 1. This embodiment includes a longitudinal receiver 10, of approximately square cross section with a base 11. Longitudinally disposed within the receiver 10 is a ram 12. Ram 12 is free to reciprocate longitudinally within the receiver 10. A cylindrical longitudinal barrel 14 is permanently affixed to the receiver opposite the base 11 such that its major axis is parallel to the major axis of the receiver 10. A rod shaped plunger 16 is longitudinally disposed within the barrel 14. The plunger 16 is a loose sliding fit within the barrel 14. A pin 18 is formed in one end of the plunger 16. The pin 18 is perpendicular to the major axis of the plunger 16. The pin 18 loosely engages a recess 20 located in a boss 22 formed at one end of ram 12. A flange 24 is removeably attached to the other end of plunger 16 by a pin 26, which is disposed within a hole 27 bored through both the flange 24 and plunger 16. A removable spring bale 29 locks pin 26 in place. A handle 28 is attached to flange 24. A coil spring 30 envelops plunger 16 and is disposed between the flange 24 and the barrel 14. The spring 30 biases the handle 28 away from the barrel 14.

Referring to FIG. 4, a track 50 is formed in the receiver 10 to accommodate the reciprocating movement of ram 12 within the receiver 10. Track 50 is formed by a central cavity 52 of a rectangular cross section, two inward facing slots 54, and an aperture 56 facing the axis of the barrel 14. Two shelves 58 are formed by the surfaces of the two slots 54 adjacent to the aperture 56. Referring to FIG. 2, the ram 12 is a longitudinal member with a rectangular cross section. A longitudinal tongue 32 is located along one broad side of the ram 12, forming two longitudinal ears 34 on each narrow side of the ram 12. The ears 34 of the ram 12 engage in the two slots 54 formed in the receiver 10, and the tongue 32 of the ram 12 protrudes through the aperture 56 formed in the receiver 10. The ram 12 is a close sliding fit within track 50.

Referring to FIG. 3, a longitudinal channel 76 is attached to receiver 10 opposite the aperture 56 and is disposed perpendicular to the major axis of receiver 10. The web 78 of the channel 76 is flush with the base 11 of the receiver 10. A tube 80 of a substantially square cross-section is also attached to receiver 10 opposite aperture 56 and is disposed parallel to the channel 76.

In accordance with a first embodiment, an end member 82 of rectangular cross-section is attached to the channel 76 and tube 80 opposite the receiver 10. This end member can be welded to the tube. Alternatively, as shown in FIGS. 3A and 6, the end member 82 is not welded to the tube 80. Rather, two pieces, end member 82 and a secondary end member 82B are held in place with securing means, such as a cap screw 82D. In addition, extending from the second end member 82B is a circular protrusion 82C fits snuggly into tube 80, holding the second end member piece 82B in place. The fastening used for end member pieces 82, 82B in accordance with this embodiment allows for easy unfastening and removal, which in turn, provides access to the follower 40, which can be useful for servicing or replacing the follower 40 when needed.

A follower 40 of a substantially “U” shaped cross section is disposed to envelop the tube 80 such that the side plates 44 are disposed within the rails 84 of channel 76. A guide 42 is fastened between the side plates 44 of the follower 40. Together, the side plates 44, guide 42 and web 46 of the follower 40 form a bore 48 that guides the follower 40 allowing reciprocating movement along the tube 80. A stop 38 is attached to the tube 80, serving to limit the travel of the follower 40 away from the receiver 10.

As shown in FIG. 3, in accordance with a first exemplary embodiment of the invention, a tab 36 is attached to the web 46 of the follower 40. As an alternative, and as illustrated in FIGS. 3A, 6A and 8, the tab 36 can be replaced with a grasp 36A. When the grasp 36A is used, the follower 40 can be cocked, such that it is pulled back beyond the stop 38, which then holds the follower 40. This operation allows for staples 70 to be easily loaded into the magazine.

A first hook 62 is attached to the guide 42 opposite the bore 48. A second hook 64 is attached to the end member 82 and is disposed between the rails 84 of the channel 76. Referring also to FIG. 4, a recess 86 is formed within the receiver 10 facing the end member 82. A pin 90 spans the recess 86. Referring back to FIG. 3, a tension spring 88 is attached to the first hook 62, is threaded around the pin 90, and is attached to the second hook 64. The tension spring 88 biases the follower 40 towards the receiver 10. Referring also now to FIG. 6, two flat covers 92 are attached to opposite sides of the end member 82 and to the anvil 51 forming a cavity 85 for the tension spring 88. These covers 92 may be attached with screws or the like to allow them to be removed affording access to the tension spring 88. Together, the channel 76, tube 80, end member 82, and covers 92 comprise a magazine 96.

Referring to FIG. 5, a feeder opening 60 formed in the wall of the receiver 10 opens to the magazine 96. The feeder opening 60 defines an inverted “U” shape with respect to the base 11. An anvil 51 is formed by the wall of the receiver 10 bordered by the feeder opening 60. The magazine 96 and receiver 10 are appropriately dimensioned to accept staples of an elongated, inverted “U” shape with respect to the base 11 of the receiver 10. Such staples are commercially available either individually or in cartridges formed by gluing, spot welding, of otherwise temporarily affixing the staples together. Referring to FIG. 7 and back to FIG. 3, round guide bars 77 are attached to each rail 84 of channel 76. These guide bars 77 cooperate with the tube 80 and covers 92 to guide staples along the magazine 96 and into the feeder opening 60. It will be understood that the turf stapler of the invention can be modified to accept staples of different shapes and sizes.

Referring to FIG. 6, The turf stapler 1 is loaded by removing the housing 98, using tab 36 to displace the follower 40 away from the receiver 10, and placing a cartridge 70 of staples in the magazine 96. The staples are sized such that they envelop tube 80, extend over the covers 92, and extend between the guide bars 77 and the rails 84 of the channel 76. Once the cartridge 70 is placed in the magazine 96, the follower 40 is released. Upon release of the follower 40, the cartridge 70 is biased by the tension spring 88 towards the receiver 10, until a first staple 72 facing the receiver 10 is arrested by the shelves 58. As an alternative, a plurality of individual staples may be loaded in the magazine. The housing 98 is then replaced over the magazine 96.

In operation, the turf stapler 1 is lifted by the handle 28 and placed on the ground cover 2 to be stapled to the ground 3. Handle 28 is forced down towards the ground 3 by the operator, forcing the plunger 16 down through the barrel 14. The engagement of the pin 18 of the plunger 16 with the hole in boss 22 of the ram 12, forces the ram 12 down towards the first staple 72. As the ram 12 is forced downward it contacts the first staple 72 and displaces it downward through the ground cover 2, stapling it to the ground 3, and the first staple 72 is sheared away from the cartridge 70 by the shearing force exerted by the ram 12 and the anvil 51 on the cartridge 70.

When the first staple 72 is completely lodged into the ground 3, the downward motion of the ram 12 is arrested by contact with the ground cover 2 and ground 3. Over-travel of the ram 12 is limited by the complete compression of the spring 30 between the flange 24 and the barrel 14. When the operator releases the downward pressure on the handle 28 and spring 30 causes the plunger 16 and ram 12 to move upwards until the boss of ram 12 contacts the stop 15 placed on receiver 10. Once the ram 12 reverts to its upper position, the follower 40 forces the second staple 74 against the shelves 58, placing the second staple 74 in position for stapling.

The ram 12 may be removed from the turf stapler 1 for replacement, maintenance or to clear a jam. Pin 26 is removed freeing flange 24 from the end of plunger 16. Next, spring 30 is lifted off the plunger 16, and the plunger 16 and ram 12 are moved towards the base 11 of the receiver until the ram 12 slides clear of the receiver 10. The ram 12 is then disengaged from the plunger 16.

It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the particular embodiments disclosed (or apparent from the disclosure) herein, but only limited by the claims appended hereto.