Title:
Polishing device for stone and other hard materials
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is directed to a portable polishing device for stone or other hard materials. The polishing device includes a motorized sander and a polishing block attached to the sander. The polishing block comprises an abrasive surface which is shaped to fit the profile of an edge or surface to be polished or sanded.



Inventors:
Carpenter, Stacey Melvin (Cornelia, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/190330
Publication Date:
06/14/2007
Filing Date:
07/27/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B24B27/08; B24D99/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RACHUBA, MAURINA T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ALSTON & BIRD LLP (CHARLOTTE, NC, US)
Claims:
1. A polishing device comprising: a motorized sander; and a polishing block attached to the sander; the polishing block comprising an abrasive surface which is shaped to fit a profile of a surface to be polished or sanded.

2. The polishing device of claim 1, wherein the polishing block is comprised of aluminum, rubber, or plastic.

3. The polishing device of claim 1, wherein the abrasive surface is comprised of natural or synthetic diamonds, aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, alumina zirconia, iron oxide, ceria, cubic boron nitride, garnet or combinations thereof.

4. The polishing device of claim 3, wherein the abrasive surface is comprised of synthetic diamonds.

5. The polishing device of claim 1, wherein the abrasive surface is a 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500 or 3000 grit surface.

6. The polishing device of claim 1, wherein the surface to be polished or sanded is a contoured surface.

7. The polishing device of claim 1, wherein the surface to be polished or sanded has a demi bullnose, full bullnose, ogee, triple waterfall, or flat polish profile.

8. The polishing device of claim 1, wherein the sander comprises a pneumatic or electric motor.

9. The polishing device of claim 1, wherein the sander is a straight line air sander.

10. The polishing device of claim 1, wherein the sander is an orbital air sander.

11. The polishing device of claim 1, further comprising a water outlet for providing water to the abrasive surface.

12. The polishing device of claim 11, wherein the water outlet is located on the abrasive surface.

13. The polishing device of claim 1, wherein the surface to be polished or sanded is comprised of stone, wood, fiberglass, quartz, cement, concrete, porcelain, ceramic, or acrylic.

14. The polishing device of claim 13, wherein the surface to be polished or sanded is comprised of granite.

15. The polishing device of claim 1, wherein the device is portable.

16. A polishing device comprising: a motorized air sander; and a polishing block attached to the sander; the polishing block comprising an abrasive surface which is shaped to fit a profile of a contoured surface.

17. The polishing device of claim 16, wherein the abrasive surface is comprised of synthetic diamonds.

18. The polishing device of claim 16, wherein the contoured surface has a demi bullnose, full bullnose, ogee, triple waterfall, or flat polish profile.

19. The polishing device of claim 16, wherein the sander is a straight line air sander.

20. The polishing device of claim 16, wherein the sander is an orbital air sander.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

This invention relates to power driven tools, and more particularly, to a device for polishing or abrading a stone surface.

2. Description of Related Art

Power driven tools are used to perform many different functions, including sanding, polishing and stripping. One of the most popular types of these tools is the power driven sander or polisher. These sander/polisher devices are typically powered by pressurized air and comprise a suitable working surface for abrading or polishing a material. The tools typically include a motor and drive assembly that rotate or oscillate upon the working surface at a high velocity. Although these devices have proven useful for polishing or abrading relatively flat surfaces, they are not effective and are difficult to use on contoured surfaces. Accordingly, a need exists for a power driven polishing/sanding device that is lightweight, easy to use and effective in polishing or sanding contoured surfaces.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

The present invention solves the above-described problem by providing a polishing device having an abrasive surface specifically designed for polishing or sanding contoured surfaces as well as flat surfaces. The polishing device of the present invention includes a motorized sander and a polishing block attached to the sander. The polishing block comprises an abrasive surface, and the polishing block and abrasive surface are shaped to fit the profile of an edge or surface to be polished and/or sanded.

More particularly, the polishing block is comprised of aluminum, rubber, wood, plastic or other like material and the abrasive surface is comprised of a hard abrading surface such as synthetic diamonds. The polishing block and abrasive surface may be shaped to fit a contoured or flat edge or surface, including a demi-bullnose, full bullnose, ogee, triple waterfall or flat polish profile. Typically, the abrasive surface is a 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500, 3000 or other common grit surface.

In addition, the polishing device is portable. Preferably, the motorized sander is a commercially available straight line air sander or orbital air sander. The polishing device preferably includes a water outlet for providing water to the abrasive surface during operation. The polishing device may be used on a variety of surfaces including, but not limited to, stone, wood, fiberglass, quartz, cement, concrete, porcelain, ceramic, or acrylic. The device of the present invention is especially useful for polishing granite. Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent upon reading the following detailed description of embodiments of the invention, when taken in conjunction with the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The novel features believed characteristic of the invention are set forth in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, as well as a preferred mode of use, further objectives and advantages thereof, will be best understood by reference to the following detailed description of illustrative embodiments when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a polishing device made in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention;

FIGS. 2a-2f are side views of edge and surface profiles of the polishing device of the present invention; and

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a polishing device made in accordance with an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In the descriptions that follow, like parts are marked throughout the specification and drawings with the same numerals, respectively. The drawing figures are not necessarily drawn to scale and certain figures may be shown in exaggerated or generalized form in the interest of clarity and conciseness.

Referring to FIG. 1, shown is polishing device 10 comprising motorized sander 12 and polishing block 14 attached to base 16 of sander 12. Polishing block 14 includes abrasive surface 18 located on working surface 20 of polishing block 14 for sanding or polishing an item having a flat or contoured surface. Polishing block 14 may be comprised of any suitable material including, but not limited to aluminum, rubber, wood, or plastic. Preferably, polishing block 14 is comprised of a durable material such as aluminum, rubber, or plastic. Polishing block 14 may be attached to sander 12 via any means capable of maintaining polishing block 14 against stander 12 in a securely fastened position during use. For example, polishing block 14 may be attached to sander 12 via bolts, screws, wing nuts, or other similar fastening means. Preferably, polishing block 14 is attached to sander 12 via wing nuts such that polishing block 14 may be easily detached from sander 12, wherein a second polishing block having a different abrasive surface 18 or profile may be attached to the sander for subsequent use.

Polishing block 14 preferably has a length not greater than about 15 of the length of sander base 16. In addition, polishing block 14 preferably has a width not greater than about 3 inches of the width of sander base 16. In one embodiment, as shown in FIG. 1, the length and width of polishing block 14 is equal to the length and width, respectively, of sander base 16.

The thickness, or height, of polishing block 14 is preferably between about ⅛ of an inch and about 2½ inches. More desirably, the thickness of the polishing block 14 is between about 1½inches and about 1¾ inches.

Any abrasive surface 18 known to those having skill in the art, and useful for polishing and sanding, may be used in the present invention. For example, abrasive surface 18 may be comprised of a resin with abrasive particles embedded therein. Abrasive particles useful in the present invention include, but are not limited to particles comprising natural or synthetic diamonds, aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, alumina zirconia, iron oxide, ceria, cubic boron nitride, garnet and combinations thereof Preferably, abrasive surface 18 is comprised of a resin with synthetic diamond particles embedded therein. More preferably, abrasive surface 18 is comprised of synthetic diamond polishing pads which are attached to working surface 20 of polishing block 14 with an adhesive such as glue.

Abrasive surface 18 may range from a very coarse to a very fine grit surface. Desirably, during operation of polishing device 10, the edge or surface of a material should be sanded and/or polished with a series of polishing blocks, each having progressively finer grit surfaces in the following order: 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500 and 3000.

Polishing block 14 and abrasive surface 18 are shaped to fit the profile of an edge or surface to be polished or sanded. As a result, polishing device 10 of the present invention provides effective and uniform polishing/sanding of contoured as well as flat surfaces. FIG. 2 illustrates examples of edge or surface profiles polishing block 14 and abrasive surface 18 may be shaped to fit, and that polishing device 10 may be used on. These profiles include, but are not limited to, a demi bullnose (FIG. 2a), full bullnose (FIG. 2b), 2 cm ogee (FIG. 2c), 3 cm ogee (FIG. 2d), triple waterfall (FIG. 2e) and flat polish (FIG. 2f). It should be understood that the profiles illustrated in FIG. 2 are merely representative edge and surface profiles that polishing device 10 may be used on. Accordingly, polishing block 14 and abrasive surface 18 may be shaped to fit any edge or surface in addition to those identified in FIG. 2.

Polishing device 10 preferably includes conduit 22 having a fluid inlet (not shown) and a fluid outlet 26. A fluid may pass through conduit 22 and exit through outlet 26 to provide fluid to the abrasive surface 18. The polishing device may also include valve 28 for controlling fluid flow through conduit 22. The fluid aids in keeping abrasive surface 18 cool during operation of polishing device 10, and also serves to wash away debris that is polished or sanded from a given surface. Preferably, fluid inlet 24 is attached to a water source such as a faucet, and water passes through conduit 22 and exits through fluid outlet 26. Ideally, fluid outlet 26 is located on abrasive surface 18. Conduit 22 may be attached to polishing device 10 by any means or device known to those skilled in the art, including but not limited to a clamp. Conduit 22 is preferably between about ¼ inch to about ¾ inch in diameter. More preferably, conduit 22 is about ⅜ inch in diameter.

Any motorized sander known to those having skill in the art may be used as motorized sander 12 in polishing device 10. As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3, commercially available sanders 12 typically include housing 30 and)one or more handles and/or palm grips 34 for directing the device. A motor (not shown) and drive assembly (not shown) are located within housing 30, and operate to rotate or oscillate base 16 of sander 12 at a high velocity. In the present invention, because polishing block 14 is attached to base 16 of sander 12, the motor and drive assembly operate to rotate or oscillate polishing block 14. Sander 12 may comprise an electric or pneumatic (air-powered) motor, though an air-powered sander is preferred in the present invention.

Polishing device 10 illustrated in FIG. 1 comprises straight line sander 12, wherein base 16 and polishing block 14 move in a reciprocal action traveling back and forth in a straight line during operation. Polishing device 10 comprising straight line sander 12 produces long abrasive strokes and is useful for polishing or sanding large surfaces. A preferred commercially available straight line sander that has proven to work well in the present invention is the Hutchins Hustler Straightline Air Sander 2000 made by Hutchins Manufacturing Co., Pasadena, Calif.

FIG. 3 illustrates a polishing device comprising an orbital sander 12, wherein base 16 and polishing block 14 move in an orbital path during operation. Polishing device 10 comprising orbital sander 12 is particularly effective for polishing or sanding surfaces having a tight radius curve or difficult areas to access. A preferred commercially available orbital sander for use in the present invention, is the Jitterbug Air Orbital Sander made by Hutchins Manufacturing Co., Pasadena, Calif.

Polishing device 10 of the present invention is useful for polishing or sanding a wide variety of materials including, but not limited to stone, wood, fiberglass, quartz, cement, concrete, porcelain, ceramic, or acrylic. Polishing device 10 is particularly useful for sanding or polishing stone, including granites, limestones (such as marble), shale (including slate), sandstones (including quartz), and basalts.

It should be understood that the foregoing relates to exemplary embodiments of the invention and that modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the following claims.