Title:
Beaded opening in sheet metal framing member
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A punch (42) is used to form a circular opening (46) in the web (28) of a framing member (26). A first tool (50) is provided having a head (56) with a first end and a circular cross section that increases in diameter as it extends from the first end axially inwardly of the tool (50). The first end of this head (56) is inserted into the circular opening (46) and the tool (50) is rotated and is moved axially into the opening (46), for stretching the metal surrounding the opening (46) and forming a flare (60) that surrounds the opening (46). A second tool (62) is provided having a head (68) with a first end and a circular cross section that increases in diameter from the first end axially inwardly of the tool (62). The first end of this tool is inserted into the flare (60) from the second side of the web (28). The tool (62) is rotated and moved axially so that the head (68) will further stretch the metal surrounding the opening and form the flare (60) into a bead (60) that surrounds and become the periphery of the opening (46).



Inventors:
Surowiecki, Matt F. (Seattle, WA, US)
Application Number:
11/706795
Publication Date:
08/14/2008
Filing Date:
02/14/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/741.1
International Classes:
E04C2/52; E04B2/58
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
EKIERT, TERESA M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
VANTAGE LAW PLLC (ISSAQUAH, WA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method of forming a beaded opening in a frame member having a web, comprising: forming an opening in the web of the framing member; introducing a forming tool into the opening from a first side of the framing member, and using said tool to flare the metal immediately surround the opening; causing said flare curving convexly from the first side of the framing member inwardly into the opening; introducing a forming tool into the flare from the second side of the framing member and using said forming tool to reverse curl the flare and form it into a bead that becomes the periphery of the opening; and causing said bead presenting a convexly rounded inner surface in the opening positioned to be contacted by any object that is inserted into and through the opening.

2. The method of claim 1, comprising supporting the framing member on a support member that includes a punch receiving opening; bringing a punch against the web on the side of the web opposite the support member; positioning the punch in alignment with the opening in the support member; and extending the punch to punch an opening through the web of the framing member, moving the punch through the punch opening in this support member.

3. The method of claim 1, comprising providing a frame member having a channel cross section composed of the web and two flanges, said web extending between and interconnecting the two flanges, and introducing the punch against the side of the web on which the flanges are located.

4. The method of claim 3, comprising introducing the first framing tool into the opening from the side of the web on which the flanges are located.

5. The method of claim 4, comprising introducing the second forming tool into the flare from the side of the framing member opposite the flanges.

6. The method of claim 1, comprising forming a circular opening in the web and providing a tool with a head having a first end insertable of the circular opening and a circular cross section throughout its length which increases in diameter as it extends from the first end axially inwardly of the tool head, and rotating said tool and moving it axially into the circular opening for spin forming the flanges that surrounds the opening.

7. The method of claim 6, comprising providing a tool with a head having a first end and circular cross section increasing in diameter from the first end axially inwardly of the tool, and inserting the first end of such tool into the flared opening from the second side of the framing member and rotating said tool and moving it axially inwardly to form the flare into a bead that becomes the periphery of the opening.

8. A framing member having a channel shape cross section formed by a pair of spaced apart flanges and a web that extends between and interconnects common edges of the flanges; at least one beaded opening formed in the web of the framing member, said beaded opening being circular at its center and having a bead at its periphery; said bead curving convexly as it extends from one side of the web into the opening and then curving convexly from the center of the opening as it continues to extend away from the web, whereby the beaded opening presents a rounded convex surface leading into the opening followed by a rounded convex surface leading out from the opening.

9. The framing member of claim 7, where in the bead is on the side of the web that is opposite the spaced apart flanges.

10. The framing member of claim 7, comprising a plurality of axially spaced apart beaded openings formed in the web of the framing member.

11. The framing member of claim 9, where in the beads are on the side of the web that is opposite the spaced apart flanges.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates to sheet metal framing members, such as sheet metal studs or the like. More particularly, it relates to the provision of a beaded opening in the framing member for receiving an elongated article, e.g. an electrical cable, metal or plastic conduit or the like.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Framing walls are typically constructed from a plurality of horizontally spaced apart vertically extending studs that are connected at their upper and lower ends to horizontally extending members termed “tracks”. Some framing is constructed from wood members and other is constructed from sheet metal members. When wood members are used, it is common practice to drill a series of holes in the studs for receiving an electrical cable, water pipe, etc. that must extend through the interior of the wall of which the framing is a part. When sheet metal frame members are used for the framing, it has been the practice to stamp holes in the webs of the studs and extend the electrical cable, conduits, etc. through these holes. A problem experienced when this method is used is that the stamped openings have sharp edges that cut the electrical cable and/or conduit that is inserted through the openings. A principal object of the present invention is to eliminate this problem by eliminating the sharp edges at the periphery of the openings.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The method of the invention comprises forming an opening in the web of a framing member then introducing a framing tool into the opening from a first side of the framing member and using said tool the metal immediately surrounding the opening, causing the flare to curve convexly from the first side of the framing member inwardly into the opening. Next, a forming tool is introduced into the flare from the second side of the framing member and used to reverse curl the flare and form it into a bead at the periphery of the opening. The bead is formed to present a convexly rounded inner surface in the opening positioned to be contacted by any object inserted into and through the opening.

In one embodiment, the framing member is positioned on a support member that includes a punch-receiving opening. The punch is moved against the web on the side of the web opposite the support member, in alignment with the opening in the support member. Then, the punch is extended to punch an opening through the web of the frame member. After forming the opening the punch moves through the punch opening in the support member.

In preferred form, the frame member has a channel cross section composed of the web and two flanges. The web extends between and interconnects the two flanges. The punch is introduced against the side of the web on which the flanges are located.

In preferred form, the first forming tool is inserted into the opening from the side of the web on which the flanges are located. The second forming tool is inserted into the flare from the side of the framing member opposite the flanges.

In preferred form, the opening formed in the web is a circular opening. The tool that is used to form the flare has a head with a first end and a circular cross sectional shape that increases in diameter from the first end as it extends axially inwardly of the tool. The tool that forms the bead has a head with the first end a circular cross section that increases in diameter as it extends from the first end axially of the tool. This flare forming tool is rotated as it is moved axially into the opening to form the flare. The bead forming tool is rotated as it is pushed axially into the flare to form the bead.

Other objects, advantages and features of the invention will become apparent from the description of the best mode set forth below, from the drawings, from the claims and from the principles that are embodied in the specific structures that are illustrated and described.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

Like reference numerals are used to designate like parts throughout the several views of the drawing, and:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary pictorial view of a region of a sheet metal stud that includes a prior art opening in which an electrical cable is received;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary elevational view of the stud and the electrical cable shown in FIG. 1, taken perpendicular to the web of the stud, with the cable shown in section;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view of a sheet metal stud with its web on a support showing a circular punch moving through the web and an opening in the support member;

FIG. 5 is a view like FIG. 4, but showing a forming tool being rotated and moved axially into the punched opening in the web so as to flare the opening and create a flared lip that surrounds the opening;

FIG. 6 is a view like FIG. 5, showing a second tool being rotated and moved axially through the flared opening from the opposite side of the stud, for reversing the curl of the flare and forming a bead at the periphery of the opening;

FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken through the stud at the location of a beaded opening, such view including a broken line showing of an electrical cable or other elongated member extending through the beaded opening; and

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary pictorial view of a portion of a stud that includes two beaded openings, such view showing an electrical cable extending through one of the beaded openings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

U.S. Pat. No. 5,127,203, granted Jul. 7, 1992, to Robert F. Paquette, and U.S. Pat. No. 6,854,237, granted Feb. 15, 2005, to Matt F. Surowiecki, show framing walls composed of upper and lower, horizontal, channel members, termed “tracks”, and spaced apart, vertical studs extending between the upper and lower channel members. Both of these patents disclose wallboard sheeting secured to the opposite sides of the framing wall.

Referring to FIGS. 1-3 of the drawing, sheet metal studs 10 comprise a web 12 that extends between and interconnects one set of edges of a pair of flanges 14, 16. The other set of edges of the flanges 14, 16 are connected to lips 18, 20. The web 12 and lips 18, 20 are substantially parallel with each other and are substantially perpendicular to the flanges 14, 16. Thus, the flanges 14, 16 are substantially parallel to each other and are substantially perpendicular to the web 12 and the lips 18, 20. It is a known practice to form openings 22 in the webs of the studs 10 for receiving and accommodating an electrical cable 24 or some other elongated member (e.g. metal or plastic tubing) which must be housed in the framing wall. FIGS. 1-3 show a prior art opening 22 which is formed by a punch. A problem with this type of opening 22 is that the punching process leaves sharp edges at the edges of the opening 22, one of which is designated 26. The electrical cable 24 is fed through the openings 22 which are usually at the same elevation in all of the studs 10. As the electrical cable 24 or other object is being pulled through the stamped openings 22, its surface rides on the sharp edges 22 of the openings 22. Quite often the sharp edges 24 cut into and damage the electrical cable 24 or other object.

Referring to FIG. 4, a stud 26 is shown to comprise a web 28, a pair of flanges 32, 34 and a pair of lips 36, 38. The web 28 extends between and interconnects common edges of the flanges 32, 34. The opposite edges of the flanges 32, 34 are connected to lips 36, 38. The web 28 and the lips 36, 38 are substantially parallel to each other and substantially perpendicular to the flanges 32, 34. The flanges 32, 34 are substantially parallel to each other and substantially perpendicular to the web 28 and the lips 36, 38. As shown by FIGS. 4-6, this gives the framing member 26 a lipped channel cross sectional shape.

FIG. 4 shows the framing member 26 with its web against and supported by a support member 40. A suitable tool or punch 42 is moved against the web 28 in alignment with a punch-receiving opening 44 formed in this support member 40. The punch is used to stamp or punch a circular opening 46 in the web 28 by removing a disc shaped piece 48 from the web 28. Next, a suitable tool 50 is moved into the opening 46 from the open side of the member 26. This tool 50 is used to flare the opening 46. By way of example, the tool 50 is a rotatable forming member 52 that includes a shaft 54 that is connected to a rotary driver (not shown). Tool 52 also includes a forming head 56 that has a forming surface 58 shaped to flare the material 60 surrounding the opening 46 as the tool is rotated and moved into the opening. After the flare 60 is formed, a second tool 62 is introduced into the flared opening 46, from the opposite side of the member 26. By way of example, this tool 62 may be a rotary forming tool 64 having a shaft 66 that is attached to a rotary driver (not shown). Tool 62 includes a shaping head 68 which is shaped to curl the flared portion 60 of the web 28 so as to form it into an annular bead 60′ that surrounds the periphery of the opening 46. The bead 60′ starts curling as it extends inwardly of the opening from web 28. The curling continues through the opening 46 and beyond the opening 46 so that the bead 60′ is substantially torus in shape. It is not necessary that the bead 60′ be curled as much as is illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8. It is only necessary that it be curled to the extent that the wire cable 24 or other elongated object 24 will contact a rounded surface at the periphery of the opening 46. A sharp edged periphery for the opening 46 is eliminated.

The illustrated embodiments are only examples of the present invention and, therefore, are non-limitive. It is to be understood that many changes in the particular structure, materials and features that are disclosed may by made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, the framing member may be punched and the flare formed and then the bead formed by the use of successive tools which are mounted on rollers through which the sheet metal member passes. Also, the bead may be formed on the inside of the web rather than on the outside, as illustrated. Therefore, it is my intention that my patent rights not be limited by the particular embodiments that are illustrated and described herein, but rather are to be determined by the following claims, interpreted according to accepted doctrines of patent claim interpretation, including use of the doctrine of equivalents.