Title:
Carpet rolling and unrolling apparatus for use by a solo carpet installer
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Method and apparatus for enabling a solo carpet installer to unroll, cut, and reroll large floor covering rolls such as carpet rolls. The cutter-free apparatus is designed so that it can be easily transported and moved by a single individual, eliminating the need for a second installer at small installation sites.



Inventors:
Murphy, Cecil (Caldwell, ID, US)
Application Number:
10/929639
Publication Date:
05/11/2006
Filing Date:
08/30/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65H35/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LEE, LAURA MICHELLE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Huntsman Law Group, PLLC (Boise, ID, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A system for cutting carpet in a carpet installation environment comprising: an unroller system, a blade free cutting support, a reroller system, wherein carpet placed on the unroller system is unrolled to a desired length, the unrolled carpet is collected and the desired length of carpet is rerolled on the reroller system.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein the unroller system further comprises a plurality of discrete unrollers and the reroller system further comprises a plurality of discrete rerollers.

3. The system of claim 1 wherein the blade free cutting support, each discrete roller and each discrete unroller is weight limited.

4. The system of claim 1 further comprising a hand-held knife wherein the carpet is cut to a desired length.

5. The system of claim 1 wherein at least one roller is powered.

6. The system of claim 2 wherein the blade free cutting support, each discrete roller and each discrete unroller is weight limited.

7. The system of claim 2 further comprising a hand-held knife wherein the carpet is cut to a desired length.

8. The system of claim 2 wherein at least one roller is powered.

9. The system of claim 6 further comprising a hand-held knife wherein the carpet is cut to a desired length.

10. The system of claim 6 wherein at least one roller is powered.

11. The system of claim 9 wherein at least one roller is powered.

12. A method for cutting carpet in a carpet installation environment comprising the steps of: associating an unroller system with the environment, associating a blade free cutting support with the environment, associating a reroller system with the environment, wherein carpet placed on the unroller system is unrolled to a desired length, the unrolled carpet is collected and the desired length of carpet is rerolled on the reroller system.

13. The method of claim 12 wherein the unroller system further comprises a plurality of discrete unrollers and the reroller system further comprises a plurality of discrete rerollers.

14. The method of claim 12 wherein the blade free cutting support, each discrete roller and each discrete unroller is weight limited.

15. The method of claim 12 further comprising a hand-held knife wherein the carpet is cut to a desired length.

16. The method of claim 12 wherein at least one roller is powered.

17. The method of claim 13 wherein the blade free cutting support, each discrete roller and each discrete unroller is weight limited.

18. The method of claim 13 further comprising a hand-held knife wherein the carpet is cut to a desired length.

19. The method of claim 13 wherein at least one roller is powered.

20. The method of claim 17 further comprising a hand-held knife wherein the carpet is cut to a desired length.

21. The method of claim 17 wherein at least one roller is powered.

22. The method of claim 20 wherein at least one roller is powered.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Carpet rolling and unrolling devices are well known in the art. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 3,391,940 (the '940 patent) describes a sophisticated apparatus for unrolling, measuring, cutting, and rerolling rolled floor covering material such as carpet. A well known limitation of such devices is that they are large and require two or more people to move and are designed for a warehouse rather than a job site. A machine requiring two people is not a severe limitation for large commercial jobs, but a machine requiring two people to operate would be severely limiting for smaller residential jobs. Smaller installation shops often consist of a solo carpet installer. It is not cost effective for solo carpet installers to own and deploy solution like the '940 patent. The device taught by the '940 patent is designed and is generally useful in a warehouse setting, but is too large for a solo carpet installer and is not designed to be taken to a job site.

Other techniques have been deployed to make carpet unrolling and rolling devices more portable. However these so-called portable machines are still designed for warehouses and are too large to take to a job site. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4,105,169 (the '169 patent) teaches of such a device. The device taught by the '169 patent, although still very large, has wheels so that the device can be moved to different locations at the warehouse.

Another carpet unrolling and rolling device is the device taught by U.S. Pat. No. 4,817,882 (the '882 patent). The '882 patent teaches of a device for receiving, measuring, and cutting rolled floor coverings such as carpet rolls. The device of the '882 patent has a sophisticated mechanism for receiving and rerolling carpet and a cutter bar used to cut the material to the desired length. The '882 is described as a portable device in that it can be configured to fit inside of a standard installation van.

The '882 is an attractive solution for larger companies and carpet installation teams. However, the cost and size of the '882 patent, while an improving over older solutions such that taught by the '940 patent, is too feature laden, making it both too costly and too large for solo carpet installers. The '882 is also limited in that it performs the rerolling, measuring, and cutting functions of carpet installation but is not integrated with a device to unroll the carpet, thereby requiring the installing to come up with second device or platform for managing the unrolled carpet. Although the '882 is somewhat portable, it is too large for a single individual to move easily, and its portability is compromised when combined with a device for unrolling carpet, making it too large too large to fit inside a standard installation van.

These well known devices all work well in situations where a team of installers are available, but, because of their size and cost, are not practical for a solo carpet installer. A solo carpet installer needs a device specifically designed to allow a single individual to manage large carpet rolls. What is needed is a carpet rolling and unrolling device that can be transported to a job site, operated, and relocated easily by a solo carpet installer.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention overcomes limitations of traditional carpet rolling/unrolling devices and realizes new benefits by teaching a new carpet rolling/unrolling device that can be operated by a solo carpet installer and easily transported to a job site. Specifically, the present invention teaches a device wherein each component is weight limited so that it can be transported when necessary by a single individual. The present invention further avoids the prior art use of a large cutting blade and instead teaches a system designed for efficient utilization of a hand held knife for a carpet cutting device.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 show generally the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates the use of a hand held cutting device in conjunction with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The preferred embodiment of the present invention is generally described in FIG. 1. Referring to FIG. 1, the preferred embodiment generally comprises an unroller 10, a cutting support 15, and a reroller 30. In order to enable the apparatus to be moved and handled by a single individual, the unroller 10 is comprised of several smaller discrete rollers 20, 20′, and 20″. The smaller discrete rollers 20, 20′, and 20″ are arranged linearly, end-to-end, to form a single logical unroller 10. Each discrete roller is weight limited to approximately 50-70 pounds so that the unroller 10, too large to be moved as a whole by a single individual, can be moved by moving each subroller separately. Likewise, the reroller 30 is comprised of a number of discrete rerollers 35, 35′, 35″, 35′″, and 35″″, each which is also weight limited.

The cutting support 15 is a flat surface that is also weight limited to a weight that can be moved by a single individual. Unlike prior art cutting supports, the cutting support 15 itself is knife free, having no cutting mechanism at all. The lack of any cutting device enables the cutting support 15 to be sufficiently weight limited. Instead of including a large cutting blade, the carpet is cut along the cutting support 15 by the use of a handheld cutting system 55. FIG. 2 show an enlargement of the handheld cutting system illustrating the use of a handheld knife 60.

In the preferred embodiment, the unroller 10 and the reroller 30 are unpowered. In an alternate embodiment, a power device 50 is added to the unroller to facilitate power unrolling of a carpet roll.

To use the invention, the system is disassemble into pieces, each piece weight limited so it can be lifted, loaded, and unloaded by a single individual when desired. The system can then be transported to the job site by a low cost vehicle such as an automobile, pickup, van, or trailer. Upon reaching the job site, the system is assembled as shown in FIG. 1 at a convenient location. Alternatively, the device can easily be assembled and transported in a standard utility van, An unroller carpet roll 40 is placed on the unrollers 10. Carpet is unrolled to a desired length, across the cutting support, and the section to be installed is rerolled into a new smaller roll 45 by the reroller 30. The unrolling process is generally done manually, although in the alternate embodiment, the power supply 50 provides for power unrolling and rerolling. Once the measured amount is on the reroller 30, the operator stands on the cutting support 15 and, while walking along the cutting support 15 uses the handheld cutting device 55 to cut the carpet. The rerolled portion 45 is then carried to the actual installation site at the job site.

This description is provided for purposes of illustration, not limitation. As one skilled in the art will appreciate, several aspects of the invention could be implemented in different ways without affecting the spirit of the invention. For example, the illustrations show the unroller divide into 3 discrete motors, but the actual number deployed could be large or smaller, as long as each discrete unit is weight limited. Likewise the unroller is depicted as five discrete pieces, but the actual number, is not important. In addition to the knife 55 shown, a variety of alternate cutting technologies could be deployed in the spirit of this invention.

This invention is only to be limited by the claims below.