Title:
Hand warmer device known as "Z" muff
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine device and Method to Use is presented. The machine is comprised essentially of a way to slit sheet metal to a pre-decided width; a series of mating rollers to form the sheet metal; a manner to convey and “pull” the sheet metal through the slitter and forming rolls; a way to cut the formed panel to a length; a manner to unload the cut panel; and a way to support the entire machine. The device and method solves the needs of the deck and construction industry and provides an effective manner to make various sizes quickly and accurately at the jobsite.



Inventors:
Marstall, Don (Anderson, IN, US)
Application Number:
11/895377
Publication Date:
03/06/2008
Filing Date:
08/24/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65H35/02; B65H29/46
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BESLER, CHRISTOPHER JAMES
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RITCHISON LAW OFFICES, PC (Anderson, IN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent is:

1. A specially configured device for use as a sheet metal forming machine, comprising: (a) a means to load the sheet metal into the device from a roll of the metal; (b) a means to initiate the metal sheet into the device; (c) a means 34 to slit sheet metal to a pre-decided width; (d) a means to form the sheet metal; (e) a means to convey and “pull” 39 the sheet metal through the slitter 34 and forming means; (f) a means to cut 36 the formed panel 44 to a length; (g) a means to unload 37 the cut panel; and (h) a means to support 38 the device; whereby the machine device is used to form various panel width of sheet metal at a job site in a timely manner.

2. The object according to claim 1 wherein the metal formed is aluminum.

3. The object according to claim 1 wherein the metal formed is steel.

4. The object according to claim 3 wherein the steel is pre-coated with an anti-corrosion coating.

5. The object according to claim 1 wherein the means to load the sheet metal into the device is a material roll.

6. The object according to claim 1 wherein the means to initiate the metal sheet into the device is a feed unit 33.

7. The device according to claim 1 wherein the means to form the sheet metal is a series of mating rollers 35 to form the sheet metal;

8. The object according to claim 7 wherein the series of mating rollers 35 are three (3) rollers with 30, 60, and 90 degree mating configuration.

9. The object according to claim 1 wherein the means to support 38 the device is a heavy steel weldment.

10. The object according to claim 1 wherein the means to support 38 the device is a composite material.

11. A method for forming sheet material into an under deck panel in a controlled manner comprising: a) STEP 1: Load the material roll into a feed unit 33 which holds a roll of flat sheet metal; b) STEP 2: Adjust a slitter unit 34 which is easily adjusted to provide a quick and easy field adjustment for cutting the deck panels 44; c) STEP 3: Form the sheet metal in a series of form rollers 35 that permit sides of a panel 44B to be formed; d) STEP 4: Cut the panel 44 by a means 36 to cut the panel 44 to a prescribed length; and e) STEP 5: Unload the panel 44 at an unload station 37.

12. The method according to claim 11 wherein the material is a composite material.

13. The method according to claim 12 wherein the composite material is plastic.

14. The method according to claim 11 wherein the material is a metal.

15. The method according to claim 14 wherein the metal material is steel.

16. The method according to claim 14 wherein the metal is aluminum.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/840,180 filed Aug. 25, 2006 by Don Marstall, and titled “Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine and Method to Use”.

FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention relates to a Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine and System to Use for manufacturing metal panels. These metal panels are made and installed under decks to protect anything stored under the deck from “drip-through” of water between the boards of the deck. The under-deck panels may be used for the original construction of the decks or as after-build improvements to existing decks. Therefore the special panel machine may be used by original general and sub-contractors, by remodeling contractors that specialize in building improvements, or by franchisers that are focused on under-deck panel installations.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

None.

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM

None.

BACKGROUND-FIELD OF INVENTION AND PRIOR ART

The new device and method has been developed for use with manufacturing under-deck panels. The machine and system provides an effective and economical way to make under-deck panel manufacturing possible at the jobsite or point of installation. It is important to note that many variations and configurations wooden and synthetic decks may use this versatile machine and system with little or no modifications to the standard machine.

A. Introduction of the Problems Addressed

It is common in the industry to build the deck, then measure all the needed pieces. The measurements are then used at a remote manufacturing location to make the panels, normally from sheets of metal or plastic. The time delay between deck build and under deck panels delays the deck from being complete. Also, any missed pieces, missed measurements or damage to the remotely made panels delay the completion even more. Time delays cost money and impede cash flow in the construction process. The Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine allows right at the jobsite. No delays. A missed panel, measurement or damaged panel is corrected immediately by being able to make panels at the jobsite. The variations of deck widths and configurations if support joists are “custom” made at the site.

B. Prior Art

Historically, under deck panels were largely metal sheets of thin gauge steel or aluminum. Some had surface coatings, others were painted or treated after installation. Sealing at the interface of support joists and the under deck sheets has always been a concern. Likewise the delays from completing the full deck job has traditionally been accepted since no method or machine allowed jobsite fabrication.

Examples of prior art for moisture protection of the sort addressed by the new device and method begins with U.S. Pat. No. 1,562,346 issued to Peter C. Leidich (1925). This teaches a simple drip shield for porch floors. It does not address under panels for drips and moisture that migrates between the floor boards of a deck or porch. Another device for decks was issued to Mickelsen, et al. as U.S. Pat. No. 4,860,502 (1989). It teaches a complex sheet metal gutter-like configuration. It is for mounting beneath the surface decking of a wooden deck between adjacent wooden joists. The deck gutter includes “J” shaped hangers that are mounted along an incline with respect to facing adjacent joist surfaces. A uniform cross-section gutter panel is mounted between the “J” hangers for receiving rain water through the cracks or spacing between adjacent decking boards for conveying the water away from and protecting the space below the deck surface. The complex “Z” section allegedly helps with and bowing of the wood portions of the deck. There are not sealing configurations beyond the surface attachment to the decks and no teaching of onsite fabrication of the panels.

A drainage system for decks in U.S. Pat. No. 5,511,351 was issued to Moore (1996). It teach a drainage system for a conventional deck assembly made of flexible material and mounted beneath the surface decking between adjacent deck joists. The drainage system is designed to collect water leaking through a plurality of water channeling members formed from flexible material mounted side-by-side in succession and mounted in an overlapping relationship, straddling adjacent deck joists thereby removing the deck joists from view. The system is surface mounted to joists and does not teach site preparation and fabrication of the system. Another U.S. Pat. No. 5,765,328 was issued to Moore (1998) teaching a similar drainage system. However, this also teaches fairly complex configured gutters and diverters to compensate for the surface mounting and allegedly provide better assurance of no moisture intrusion. Again, the system is mounted to joists and does not teach site preparation and fabrication of the system.

A Rain water diverter system for deck structures was shown in U.S. Pat. No. 6,212,837 issued to Davis et al. (2001) that taught a combination of elements that are combined on site to create an under deck system. The assembly is comprised of a plurality of peaks and valleys configured to allegedly simplify installation. The system is mounted with nails or screws fastened to the joists. The sheets “bow” upward and slip into a joist cap which is also surface mounted. The versatility and ease of construction is not comparatively simple as the product afforded by the Marstall Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine and method. Another rain water diverter system for deck structures is taught in U.S. Pat. No. 6,260,316 again issued to Davis, et al (2001) that teaches a complex system which attempts to improve and support the center of the panels. It also provides some adjustment for the wide variations and non-uniform distances between joists. This sheet system and installation is complex and more expensive than the method and machine shown by Marstall, herein.

As far as known, there are no other machines or methods for under-deck panels at the present time which fully provide these improvements as the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine and System to Use. It is believed that this device is made with improved configuration, of a durable design, and with better integrity as compared to other machines or methods used for under-deck protection.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine has been developed for use with manufacturing under-deck panels. The machine and system provides an effective and economical way to make under-deck panel manufacturing possible at the jobsite or point of installation. It is important to note that many variations and configurations wooden and synthetic decks may use this versatile machine and system with little or no modifications to the standard machine.

In the actual field of constructed deck, the sizes and shapes vary from deck to deck. Also, the spacing of the support joists vary by the contractor, architect and physical needs of the specific home or commercial installation. The result may be a deck that has joist spacing that generally varies from 9 to 24 inches center to center for the joists. When a new or retrofit under-deck panel system is desired, these variations make pre-fabrication of panels difficult and expensive—both as a cost and a time to complete the installation. The Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine and System to Use addresses the needs of the deck and construction industry and provides an effective solution to these needs to make various sizes quickly and accurately at the jobsite.

The preferred embodiment of the Under-deck Panel Making Machine is comprised essentially of a means to slit sheet metal to a pre-decided width; a series of mating rollers to form the sheet metal; a means to convey and “pull” the sheet metal through the slitter and forming rolls; a means to cut the formed panel to a length; a means to unload the cut panel; and a means to support the device.

The newly invented Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine is configured to aid in fast, efficient and high quality manufacturing of under-deck panels at the point of use. In operation, the new device may be easily and quickly transported and set-up at a job site for immediate and local production of the needed panels. The Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine is easy to use and simple to modify the sizes of the panels produced.

OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

There are several objects and advantages of the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine and System to Use. There are currently no known under-deck panel systems that are effective at providing the objects of this invention.

The following TABLE A summarizes various advantages and objects of the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine and System to Use. This list is exemplary and not limiting to the many advantages offered by this new device.

TABLE A
Various Advantages and Objects
ItemDescription of Advantage and Object
1Versatile and able to manufacture various sizes of under-deck
panels. Can make panels exact to fit the joists spacing.
2Simple and easy to use.
3Fast and simple set-up of the equipment.
4Relatively small in size and easy to transport to the jobsite.
5Sized to eliminate bending and lifting and is ergonomically
friendly.
6The device is economical and affordable for general contractors
and specialized sub-contractors.
7Uses a combination of known and proven mechanical components
to make the machine. Replacement and repair parts available.
8Saves scrap - cut and bend at jobsite.
9Eliminates panels made elsewhere and damaged in transit to
the jobsite.
10Panels may be easily removed and replaced for cleaning purposes
if needed

Finally, other advantages and additional features of the present Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine will be more apparent from the accompanying drawings and from the full description of the device. For one skilled in the art of devices and improvements for manufacturing and using under-deck panels, it is readily understood that the features shown in the examples with this mechanism are readily adapted for improvement to other types of panel systems.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Figures

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate a preferred embodiment for the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine and System to Use. The drawings together with the summary description given above and a detailed description given below serve to explain the principles of the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine and System to Uses. It is understood, however, that the device is not limited to only the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.

FIG. 1 is a flow chart showing the general machine operation for the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine and the general specification for the device.

FIG. 2 is a TOP VIEW of the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine at the forming stations.

FIG. 3 is a TOP VIEW of the whole Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine.

FIGS. 4 A through 4 D are drawings of the support table and other features.

FIGS. 5 A through 5 C are drawings of the forming rollers on the support table.

FIG. 6 is an example of a forming roller assembly and components.

FIGS. 7 A and 7 B are sketches that show the prototype forming roller.

FIGS. 8 A and B are an isometric sketch and details of the formed under-deck panels.

FIGS. 9 A and 9 B are sketches of the side and end support channels.

FIG. 10 is a sketch of a prototype mock-up of the system.

FIG. 11 is a specification for how to mount the channels and the under-deck panels.

FIG. 12 are sketches of the first prototype panel and channel system and how to install the same.

FIG. 13 are additional sketches of how to install the panel and channel system for under-deck protection.

FIGS. 14 A and B are sketches of alternative embodiments as for new installations and for “grooved” installations.

FIGS. 15 A through 15 C are sketches showing the operation and installation of an under-deck panel system with its various support components.

FIGS. 16 A through 16 D are additional sketches showing an under-deck panel system with its various components.

FIGS. 17 A through 17 E are more sketches showing the installation of an under-deck panel system with its various components and a special tool for confirming the required panel widths.

FIG. 18 is a sketch of tests in very cold weather to determine ice and snow loading on the panels.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Reference Numerals

The following list refers to the drawings:

TABLE B
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Ref #Description
30Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine
31General flowchart of the Special Under-deck Panel
Making Machine
32Specification for the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine
33Material feed roll
34Means to slit sheet - a Sheet slitter
35Means to form the sheet - Form rollers
 35A30 degree form roller
 35B60 degree form roller
 35C90 degree form roller
36Cut to length means
37Means to unload - an Unload station
38Support base
39Material movement or pull means
40Adjustable width means
 41ATop Forming Roller
 41BBottom Forming Roller
42Support Weldment
43Support Bearing Means
44Panel
 44APanel Width (variable)
 44BPanel side returns
 44CWork piece, sheet material being processed into a panel
45“L” - Channel (high end panel angle)
 45ABroken angle for “L” support
 45BMeans to attach “L” channel or support to joist
46“J” - Support channel (side channel support for panel)
 46ASide and bottom configuration
 46BMeans to attach “J” channel or support to joist
 46CModified “J” channel for mating to joist groove
48Original directions on installing panels
49Deck Joists
 49ADeck end plates
 49BReceiving groove for modified “J” channel
50End trough gutter(lower end of panel system)
51Gutter down pipe
52Ice and snow build-up
53Joist cap for new installations.
54Deck boards
55Spacing Confirmation Tool
56End U-Tangs
57Tool Body - left and right
58Means to movably and slidably connect two tool bodies

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present mechanism is a Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine 30 and System to Use that has been developed for use with the construction industry. The preferred embodiment of the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine is comprised essentially of a means to slit sheet metal to a pre-decided width; a series of mating rollers to form the sheet metal; a means to convey and “pull” the sheet metal through the slitter and forming rolls; a means to cut the formed panel to a length; a means to unload the cut panel; and a means to support the device.

The improvement over the existing art is providing a device that:

    • a. is versatile and able to manufacture various sizes of under-deck panels. Can make panels exact to fit the joists spacing;
    • b. is simple and easy to use;
    • c. is fast and simple set-up of the equipment;
    • d. is relatively small in size and easy to transport to the jobsite;
    • e. is sized to eliminate bending and lifting and is ergonomically friendly;
    • f. is economical and affordable for general contractors and specialized sub-contractors;
    • g. uses a combination of known and proven mechanical components to make the machine and has replacement and repair parts readily available;
    • h. saves scrap—cut and bend at jobsite;
    • g. eliminates panels made elsewhere and damaged in transit to the jobsite; and,
    • h. permits panels to be easily removed and replaced for cleaning purposes if needed.

There is shown in FIGS. 1-18 a complete operative embodiment of the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine 30 and Method to Use. In the drawings and illustrations, one notes well that the FIGS. 1-18 demonstrate the general configuration and use of this invention. The preferred embodiment of the improved device 30 is comprised of special machine components and means for processing sheet materials.

The preferred embodiment of the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine 30 is comprised essentially of a means 34 to slit sheet metal to a pre-decided width; a series of mating rollers 35 to form the sheet metal; a means to convey and “pull” 39 the sheet metal through the slitter 34 and forming rolls 35; a means to cut 36 the formed panel 44 to a length; a means to unload 37 the cut panel; and a means to support 38 the device.

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate an embodiment of the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine 30 and System to Use that is preferred. The drawings together with the summary description given above and a detailed description given below serve to explain the principles of the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine 30 and System to Use. It is understood, however, that the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine 30 is not limited to only the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.

FIG. 1A is a flow chart showing the general machine operation stations or steps for the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine 31. The general components include a material roll and feed unit 33 which holds the roll of flat sheet metal such as aluminum; a slitter unit 34 which is easily adjusted to provide a quick and easy field adjustment for cutting the deck panels 44; a series of form rollers 35 that permit the sides of the panel 44B to be formed; a means 36 to cut the panel 44 to a prescribed length; and an unload station 37. The whole machine 31 has a material pull means 39 to convey the material through from the raw material roll to the form station 35. All the stations and the pull mechanism is supported by a base 38. Drawings for the machine 31 are explained in the descriptions below. In FIG. 1B the general written specification 32 for the device is provided. This is self explanatory.

FIG. 2 is a TOP VIEW of the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine 31 at the forming stations. The outline of the support base 38 and the adjustable width means 40 is shown. The base 38 is shown in several other views, but is basically a welded flat steel top plate of appropriate thickness with legs (such as square steel tubing or steel channels). The top view of the forming roller mechanism 35 is shown. The degree and number of the form rollers may vary. Shown as preferred is a three step process with thirty degree (30°) 35A, sixty degree (60°) 35B, and ninety degree (90°) 35B, and ninety degree (90°) 35C forming rollers. These rollers are precision machined with bearing supports and hardened surfaces to maintain the formation size and provide a durable, long life tool. Additional views of the former 35 and stations are shown and described below. One skilled in the art of metal forming well appreciates the plethora of types of forming mechanisms available. This Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine 31 provides a new and unique combination of metal working stations that may be accomplished with some other devices and still be in the scope and spirit of this special device 31.

FIG. 3 is a TOP VIEW of the whole Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine 31. This view includes all the stations previously described in FIG. 2, above, and expands to show the material roll 33 and the material pull mechanism 39. The material roll 33 is essentially a free rolling shaft with bearings and end plates. The whole device 33 is configured to accept a roll of flat sheet metal such as aluminum. On the opposite end of the device 31 is a pull mechanism 39. This is a powered unit with variable speed drive and sufficient power and torque to pull the material through the slitter 34 and the forming station 35. One skilled in the art of machine design appreciates well that the pull mechanism 39 may be calculated to a design value, but the same skilled person well appreciates that many if not most machine drives are ultimately sized after practical tests and empirical data revealed during machine validations indicate a drive size. This size is normally increased somewhat for wear and safety factors. As to the configuration, a plurality of rollers are mounted on two shafts (paired opposite) which trap the material 44A between the rollers. The configuration permits one or more of each pair to be adjusted to the needed width and engage the formed material. The rollers may be of various materials such as knurled metal, urethane, plastic, composite material, or the like. The preferred embodiment is a series of paired urethane rollers or “pulleys” to provide the grip mechanism for the puller 39 on the formed material 44A.

FIGS. 4 A through 4 D are drawings of the support table 38 and other features. In FIG. 4 A a side view of the general support table 38 is shown. FIG. 4 B shows an end view. The vertical support legs 38A for both views are steel tubes, channels or equal structural members. The structure has lower later supports 38 C and a top plate 38B. These members and plates are also preferred as steel. All these members may have a coating such as powder coat, zinc, chromate, paint, or other rust inhibitor since the machine device 31 will be exposed to the weather elements. One skilled in materials appreciates that the various members may be fastened in a number of ways such as welding, fasteners, or the like. Also, as materials continue to be developed, this Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine 31 anticipates other materials such as composite and reinforced plastics and resins to suitable to provide a sound structural base for the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine 31. In FIG. 4 C, the support 38 shows the section of the slitter 34. FIG. 4 D is a side view that demonstrates the material roll 33 and the pull through device 39. Finally, this unit anticipates field use for a general or subcontractor. Therefore, the support system 38 may be modified for easy field adaptability such as a roller system, skid system or truck or trailer bed mounting to facilitate the field use. Since each contractor may desire a different mounting of the support means, no preferred method beyond the support base 38 is preferred.

FIGS. 5 A through 5 C are drawings of the three (3) forming rollers on the support table. The specifics of the roller stations 35A, 35B, and 35C were stated above in FIG. 2. One skilled in the art appreciates that more or fewer form stations 35 may serve to accomplish the desired panel 44, but the preferred embodiment is for the three stations as shown.

FIG. 6 is an example of a forming roller assembly and components. The forming station for a thirty degree (30°) form 35A is shown as an example, not a limitation. The station is supported by a weldment 42 which allows the station 35A to be mounted to the support plate 38B (not shown here, see above). The top form roller 41A mates to the bottom form roller 41B. Both are configured with limited and tight clearance for the panel sheet material. Each of the hardened rollers 41A and B have a bearing and support means 43 that movably attaches the rollers 41 A and B to the support weldment 42 and ultimately to the top plate 38B of the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine 31.

FIGS. 7 A and 7 B are sketches that show the prototype forming roller 42 A and B. The top roller 41A and bottom roller 41 B are supported by the bearing support 43. The supporting weld block 42 is shown. The panel material 44C is shown being formed by the station.

FIGS. 8 A and B are an isometric sketch and details of the formed under-deck panels 44. These sketches show the resultant panels 44 and details some of the attachment means. Shown are sketches of the formed panels 44. The varying widths 44A and turned side returns 44 B are demonstrated. The total width and heights 44A and two times 44B is controlled by the slitter 34 setting. The formation angle between the flat width 44A and the returns 44B are determined by the formation roll 35 settings but is generally approximately ninety degrees (90°)—perpendicular. The material for the panels is a light gage aluminum or steel which may have a surface coating such as powder coat or other surface treatment to reduce effects of exposure to weather elements such as moisture and temperature changes.

FIGS. 9 A and 9 B are sketches of the side “J” 46 and end “L” 45 support channels and angle sheets. FIG. 9A demonstrates a side and end view of the end support channel 45 which is a “lazy L” configuration. The support 45 has two legs 45A. The Support channel 45 for a retrofit system is affixed to a joist 49 by an attachment means 45B such as a nail or screw with an adhesive or epoxy material. This view shows sketches of the system components and sketches of the prototypes for the lazy “L” angle 45. FIG. 9 B is similar for the side channel 46. Here the general configuration is a “J” channel with sides 46A and an attachment means 46B. Again, sketches of prototype “J” supports 46 are shown.

FIG. 10 is a sketch of a prototype mock-up of the system. The joists 49 of the deck system, the under deck panel 44, the collection gutter 50, and the deck boards 54 are shown in this sketch as a general reference for the following sketches of the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine 30 and Method to Use.

FIGS. 14 A and 14 B demonstrate alternative embodiments for the under deck panel system 31. In FIG. 14 A, an easy installation for new decks is shown. A “J” channel 46 is fastened to the joist 49. Next, a simple “U” channel 53 caps the top of the joist 49. The under deck panels 44 may then be placed and finally the deck boards 54 attached too the joist. If desired, the under deck panels may be placed later, after the boards 54 are in place by cutting and forming the deck panel 44 to size and sliding into the already placed “J” channels 46. A sketch of a prototype assembly is shown with other sketches for clarity. In FIG. 14 B an alternative system for attach the “J” channels is shown. Here a shallow groove 49B is saw cut on a slight angle into the joist 49. The standard “J” channel 46A is then modified and formed with a slight mating angle on the back plate. This creates a modified “J” 46C which then may be placed into the groove 49B. In these and all cases, the weatherproof adhesive and/or epoxy may be used to provide further sealing of the systems.

FIGS. 15 A through 15 C are sketches showing the operation and installation of an under-deck panel 44 system with its various components. In FIGS. 15 A and 15 B, the side channels 46 and end “L” channels 45 are fastened to the joists 49. FIG. 15 B shows the panel 44 as it is starting to be moved between the support channel 46 and lazy “L” angle 45. In FIG. 15 C, a sketch of an actual end channel 45 is shown with the “J” support 46. The “J” channels 46 are under the panels 44 and the “L” channel 45 is on top of the panel 44.

FIGS. 16 A through 16 D are additional sketches showing an under-deck panel system with its various components. In FIGS. 16 A and 16 B, the end “L” channels 45, the side “J” channels 46 and the panel 44 are shown being integrated to form the Special Under-deck Panel system. One sees how the panel 44 is wedged between the support 46 and the top lazy “L” angle 45. In FIG. 16 C the full prototype sketch shows the various components in place as the system. In FIG. 16 D, the sketch is from the underside of the deck. One sees the deck 44 is clearly contained in the “J” channel 46 at all places. The “J” channel 45 is in turn connected to the joists 49 of the deck system. For a new installation, the “U” channel 53 (not visible) is placed over the joist 49. For a retrofit, the “J” channel 46 is attached to the joist 49 and has a bead of caulk or all weather epoxy between the back of the channel 46 and the joist 49.

FIGS. 17 A through 17 E are more sketches showing additional components for the installation of an under-deck panel system and sketches of a special tool for confirming the required panel widths. FIGS. 17 A through 17 C show the panels 44 and the gutter 50 from various views. In FIG. 17 D and 17 E, the variable panel width 44A is addressed. A measuring tool 55 is shown in FIG. 17 E that permits confirmation of the needed width for a panel. Empirical results from field trials show that the space between joists 49 may vary significantly from natural “bowing” of the wood structural members or from exposure to heat and moisture. The special tool 55 anticipates end tangs 56 that are securely attached to tool body members 57. The tool body members 57 are then slidably and movably connected to each other. The tool bodies 57 may have a simple measurement indicator on its side to provide the variable width. The tool is simply moved down the channels 46 from one “high” end to the other “low” or gutter end. The width is recorded and the panel is then cut and formed accordingly.

All of the details mentioned here are exemplary and not limiting. Other specific components specific to describing a Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine 30 and Method to Use may be added as a person having ordinary skill in the field of panel making machinery and the construction industry well appreciates.

OPERATION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine 30 and Method to Use has been described in the above embodiment. The manner of how the device operates is described below. One skilled in the art and field of panel-making machine and installation methods will note that the description above and the operation described here must be taken together to fully illustrate the concept of the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine 30 and Method to Use.

The preferred embodiment of the new Under-deck Panel Making Machine 30 is comprised essentially of a means 34 to slit sheet metal to a pre-decided width; a series of mating rollers 35 to form the sheet metal; a means to convey and “pull” 39 the sheet metal through the slitter 34 and forming rolls 35; a means to cut 36 the formed panel 44 to a length; a means to unload 37 the cut panel; and a means to support 38 the device.

Essentially, a roll of sheet material is loaded onto the material roll 33. Next, the material slitter 34 is set to the needed width for the field application. The sheet material 44A is then fed to the slitter 34 and into the formation rollers 35. Next, the formed panel 44 is fed into the pull system 37. The next step is to cut the material to length by the cut-off 36 and then to the manual or automated unload means 37.

This overall method for forming sheet material into an under deck panel in a controlled manner may be summarized as

TABLE C
STEPDESCRIPTION
1Load the material roll into a feed unit 33 which holds a roll of
flat sheet metal.
2Adjust a slitter unit 34 which is easily adjusted to provide a
quick and easy field adjustment for cutting the deck panels 44.
3Form the sheet metal in a series of form rollers 35 that permit
sides of a panel 44B to be formed.
4Cut the panel 44 by a means 36 to cut the panel 44 to a
prescribed length.
5Unload the panel 44 at an unload station 37.

FIGS. 7 A and 7 B are sketches that show the prototype forming roller. Here the material 44C is pulled through the forming rolls 41A and B by means of the puller 39. After the panel is formed, it is cut to length by a cut-off means 36 which may be manual or automated.

FIG. 11 is a specification for how to mount the channels and the under-deck panels. This shows how to use the panel 44 once it has been formed by the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine 31. The instructions are self explanatory. Further details are in the Addendum to this specification.

FIG. 12 are sketches of the first prototype panel 44 and channel system 45 and 46 and how to install the same. The instructions for the system in FIG. 11 describe essentially how the various components are used with the deck joists 49 to form the under-deck panel system 31. The “J” channel 46 runs along the panel 44 and along the end joist 49 and end plate 49A. The various components have been described above and are incorporated by reference. The “J” channel is below the panel. The “L” channel 45 lays on top of the panel 44.

FIGS. 13 A through E are additional sketches of how to install the panel 44 and support channel 45 and 46 system for under-deck protection. These are described by the instructions in FIG. 11. The various components have been described above and are incorporated by reference. Important to note is how the “J” channel 46 essentially runs the perimeter for the space between the joists 49 and end plates 49A. Then the panel 44 is supported by the “J” channels 46. Finally, The “L” channel 45 attached to the end plate 49A is above the panel 44. All the moisture runs through wood deck and onto the under-deck panels 44 or “L” channel 45, then into the “J” channels and ultimately the end trough 50 and gutter downspout 51. Therefore under the deck remains free of water and moisture.

FIGS. 15 A through 15 C are sketches showing the operation and installation of an under-deck panel system 31 with its various components. FIGS. 17 A through 17 C are additional sketches showing an under-deck panel system 31 with its various components described above. FIGS. 17 D and 17 E show a tool to assist in pane measurement and is described above.

FIG. 18 is a sketch of tests in very cold weather to determine ice and snow loading on the panels. Here the panels 44 are shown attached to the joists 49. The ice build-up 52 indicates the viability of the Special Under-deck Panel system to resist even ice build-up and perform to keep the area beneath the deck dry.

With this description it is to be understood that the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine 30 and System to Use is not to be limited to only the disclosed embodiment. The features of the Special Under-deck Panel Making Machine 30 and System to Use are intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the description.