Title:
Variable Angle Mastic Applicator and Method of Applying Mastic
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A variable angle mastic applicator features a first panel and a second panel pivotally connected thereto to allow pivoting of the second panel relative to the first along an axis extending therealong. A delivery passage communicates at opposite ends with opposite sides of the first and second panels to allow delivery of mastic from a source side of the panels to an application side of the panels. The pivoting of the second panel relative to the first panel allows change of an angle at which the first and second panels diverge. A method of applying mastic involves changing the angle at which the first and second panels diverge to generally match a corner angle defined by two sheets of drywall and then delivering mastic through the delivery passage of the applicator with each panel having been placed against a respective one of the sheets of drywall adjacent the corner.



Inventors:
Henningson, Terry R. (Winnipeg, CA)
Application Number:
12/103373
Publication Date:
10/15/2009
Filing Date:
04/15/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/741.41
International Classes:
E04F21/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
OLIVER, BRADLEY S
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ADE & COMPANY INC. (WINNIPEG, MB, CA)
Claims:
1. A variable angle mastic applicator comprising: a first panel; a second panel pivotally connected to the first panel to allow pivoting of the second panel relative to the first panel along an axis extending along the first panel; and a delivery passage communicating at opposite ends with opposite sides of the first and second panels to allow delivery of mastic from a source side of the first and second panels to an application side of the first and second panels; the pivoting of the second panel relative to the first panel about the axis allowing change of an angle at which the first and second panels diverge from one another.

2. The applicator according to claim 1 wherein the second panel is biased to pivot about the axis in a direction reducing the angle at which the first and second panels diverge, measured on the application side of the fist and second panels.

3. The applicator according to claim 2 wherein the second panel is biased by a torsion spring connected between the first and second panels on the source side thereof.

4. The applicator according to claim 2 wherein pivoting of the second panel relative to the first panel is limited to prevent increase of the angle at which the first and second panels diverge to more than 180 degrees, measured on the source side of the first and second panels.

5. The applicator according to claim 1 further comprising a diverter carried on the first and second panels on the application side thereof to guide mastic delivered through the delivery passage laterally outward therefrom in directions transverse to the axis toward an outer edge of each panel distal to the axis.

6. The applicator according to claim 1 wherein the delivery passage extends through only the first of the first and second panels.

7. The applicator according to claim 1 wherein the first and second panels overlap at an inner edge of each panel proximate the axis, the axis being offset from the inner edges of the panels to the source side thereof.

8. The applicator according to claim 7 wherein the first panel overlaps the second panel on the application side of the first and second panels.

9. The applicator according to claim 8 wherein a portion of the first panel overlapping the second panel curves about the axis toward the inner edge of the first panel.

10. The applicator according to claim 1 wherein each panel comprises a retaining lip projecting to the application side of the first and second panels along an end of the panel oriented transverse to the axis.

11. The applicator according to claim 10 wherein each retaining lip has a first leg projecting outward from a base surface on the application side of the panel and a second leg projecting along the base surface at a distance therefrom from an end of the first leg opposite the base surface.

12. The applicator according to claim 1 wherein each panel comprises a rail extending along an outer edge of the panel distal to the axis on a base surface on the application side of the panel.

13. The applicator according to claim 12 wherein each rail projects further from the base surface at one of the rail than at an opposite end of the rail.

14. The applicator according to claim 1 further comprising a stop carried on the first panel on the source side of the first and second panels to limit the pivoting of the second panel in a direction decreasing the angle at which the first and second panels diverge, measured on the source side of the first and second panels.

15. The applicator according to claim 1 further comprising a connection body carried on the first and second panels on the source side thereof and adapted for connection to a mastic delivery device.

16. The applicator according to claim 15 wherein the connection body comprises a socket for receiving a ball end of the mastic delivery device, the delivery passage communicating with the socket on the source side of the first and second panels.

17. A method of applying mastic to a corner defined between two sheets of drywall, the method comprising the steps of: (a) providing a variable angle mastic applicator comprising a first panel, a second panel pivotally connected to the first panel to allow pivoting of the second panel relative to the first panel along an axis extending along the first panel and a delivery passage communicating at opposite ends with opposite sides of the first and second panels to allow delivery of mastic from a source side of the first and second panels to an application side of the first and second panels; (b) pivoting of the second panel relative to the first panel to change an angle at which the first and second panels diverge to generally match a corner angle defined by the sheets of wall drywall; and (c) delivering mastic through the delivery passage of the applicator with each panel of the applicator having been placed against a respective one of the sheets of drywall adjacent the corner.

18. The method according to claim 17 wherein the second panel of the applicator is biased to pivot about the axis in a direction increasing the angle at which the first and second panels diverge, measured on the source side of the first and second panels, and step (b) comprises forcing panels of the applicator against the respective sheets of wall drywall to overcome the biasing of the second panel and force the angle at which the first and second panels diverge to change to generally match the corner angle.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to the application of mastic at corners defined between converging adjacent sheets of drywall, and more particularly to the application of mastic at corners of different angles, including non-right angle corners.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In houses and other buildings, drywall is commonly used as interior wall finishing. Large sheets of drywall are fixed to the wall framing in adjacent positions to cover the framing, cracks or gaps between adjacent drywall sheets being subsequently covered with tape and mastic that is allowed to dry and then sanded to form a smooth joint between the drywall sheets to finish the interior wall covering. A number of tools have been developed for applying a relatively controlled, clean and consistent later of mastic, some designed for application between parallel drywall sheets at flat wall sections, other designed for application along corner edges defined between two converging sheets of drywall.

The latter type of tools includes tools designed for use at frequently found ninety degree corners. Tape and mastic application at a number of corners of varying angles thus has conventionally involved using common ninety degree tools at the more typical or standard ninety degree corners and performing manual application of mastic using a knife or similar tool at other corners. Such manual application relies on skill and experience to form a clean, uniform deposit of mastic along the corner to provide an aesthetically pleasing joint, and typically requires significantly more time than tool-assisted application at standard ninety degree corners.

One proposed solution to reduce the time needed to manually finish non-right angle corners has been to create corner finishing tools for particular non-right angle corners, for each such tool the two faces at which the mastic is applied against the two drywall sheets diverging at a predetermined angle corresponding to the particular non-right angle of the corner in which the tool is to be used. While a person could obtain a number of such non-right angle tools for use at a number of particular corner angles, the person would still need to rely on manual application at other non-standard angled corners and would need to incur the cost of obtaining a plurality set of mastic application tools. Using this approach, switching from one mastic applicator to another is necessary on a jobsite having a number of differently angled corners.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to a first aspect of the invention there is provided a variable angle mastic applicator comprising:

a first panel;

a second panel pivotally connected to the first panel to allow pivoting of the second panel relative to the first panel along an axis extending along the first panel; and

a delivery passage communicating at opposite ends with opposite sides of the first and second panels to allow delivery of mastic from a source side of the first and second panels to an application side of the first and second panels;

the pivoting of the second panel relative to the first panel about the axis allowing change of an angle at which the first and second panels diverge from one another.

Preferably the second panel is biased to pivot about the axis in a direction reducing the angle at which the first and second panels diverge, measured on the application side of the fist and second panels.

Preferably the second panel is biased by a torsion spring connected between the first and second panels on the source side thereof.

Preferably pivoting of the second panel relative to the first panel is limited to prevent increase of the angle at which the first and second panels diverge to more than 180 degrees, measured on the source side of the first and second panels.

Preferably there is provided a diverter carried on the first and second panels on the application side thereof to guide mastic delivered through the delivery passage laterally outward therefrom in directions transverse to the axis toward an outer edge of each panel distal to the axis.

Preferably the delivery passage extends through only the first of the first and second panels.

Preferably the first and second panels overlap at an inner edge of each panel proximate the axis, the axis being offset from the inner edges of the panels to the source side thereof.

Preferably the first panel overlaps the second panel on the application side of the first and second panels.

Preferably a portion of the first panel overlapping the second panel curves about the axis toward the inner edge of the first panel.

Preferably each panel comprises a retaining lip projecting to the application side of the first and second panels along an end of the panel oriented transverse to the axis.

Preferably each retaining lip has a first leg projecting outward from a base surface on the application side of the panel and a second leg projecting along the base surface at a distance therefrom from an end of the first leg opposite the base surface.

Preferably each panel comprises a rail extending along an outer edge of the panel distal to the axis on a base surface on the application side of the panel.

Preferably each rail projects further from the base surface at one of the rail than at an opposite end of the rail.

Preferably there is provided a stop carried on the first panel on the source side of the first and second panels to limit the pivoting of the second panel in a direction decreasing the angle at which the first and second panels diverge, measured on the source side of the first and second panels.

Preferably there is provided a connection body carried on the first and second panels on the source side thereof and adapted for connection to a mastic delivery device.

Preferably the connection body comprises a socket for receiving a ball end of the mastic delivery device, the delivery passage communicating with the socket on the source side of the first and second panels.

According to a second aspect of the invention there is provided a method of applying mastic to a corner defined between two sheets of drywall, the method comprising the steps of:

(a) providing a variable angle mastic applicator comprising a first panel, a second panel pivotally connected to the first panel to allow pivoting of the second panel relative to the first panel along an axis extending along the first panel and a delivery passage communicating at opposite ends with opposite sides of the first and second panels to allow delivery of mastic from a source side of the first and second panels to an application side of the first and second panels;

(b) pivoting of the second panel relative to the first panel to change an angle at which the first and second panels diverge to generally match a corner angle defined by the sheets of wall drywall; and

(c) delivering mastic through the delivery passage of the applicator with each panel of the applicator having been placed against a respective one of the sheets of drywall adjacent the corner.

Preferably the second panel of the applicator is biased to pivot about the axis in a direction increasing the angle at which the first and second panels diverge, measured on the source side of the first and second panels, and step (b) comprises forcing panels of the applicator against the respective sheets of wall drywall to overcome the biasing of the second panel and force the angle at which the first and second panels diverge to change to generally match the corner angle.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the accompanying drawings, which illustrate an exemplary embodiment of the present invention:

FIG. 1 is a front view of a variable angle mastic applicator.

FIG. 2 is a rear view of the variable angle mastic applicator.

FIG. 3 is an overhead plan view of the variable angle mastic applicator with a spring clip removed.

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the variable angle mastic applicator as taken along line IV-IV of FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The figures show a mastic applicator 10 of the type having a generally hemispherical hollow socket cavity 12 therein for receipt of a ball-shaped outlet of a mastic delivery tool (not shown) so that mastic discharged from the delivery tool exits therefrom through an outlet port in the ball into a delivery passage 14 of the applicator communicating with the socket 12. The applicator 10 improves on prior art applicator's of this type in that the faces of the applicator 10 at which the mastic material is applied to a pair of drywall sheets defining a corner at the border defined between the drywall sheets at adjacent edges thereof are defined by two panels 16, 18 that are pivotally interconnected to allow an angle at which the panels diverge from one another to change to facilitate the use of the applicator 10 at corners of different angles.

A connection body 20 includes a solid block 22 having a rectangular vertical planar rear face 24 from which the hemispherical socket 12 projects into the solid block 22 at a position inward from the perimeter of the rectangular face 24. A first vertical side 26 of the block 22 projects perpendicularly from the rectangular rear face 24 to the rear side of the first panel 16, as shown in FIG. 3. The solid block 22 is fixed to the first panel 16 with a vertical front face of the solid block fit flush against the vertical rear face 16a of the first panel 16. The front face of the solid block 22 and the first panel 16 fixed thereto are not parallel to the rear face 24 of the block 22. Instead the front face diverges obliquely away from the rear face 24 as it extends away from the first side 26 of the block 22 at an end thereof opposite the rear face 24. A second vertical side 28 of the block 22 forms a fourth side of the block's periphery closing about the perimeters of the block's equally sized and shaped horizontal end faces, this second side 28 extending between the block's front and rear faces at an oblique angle relative to the rear face 24 so that the block 22 narrows from the rear face 24 toward the front face generally thereopposite.

Two channel defining projections 30 of the connection body 20 extend along respective opposite sides of the rear face 24 where the sides 26, 28 of the block 22 connect to the rear face 24. Each projection 30 has an L-shaped horizontal cross section, with a first leg 30a projecting perpendicularly from the rear face 24 and a second leg 30b projecting parallel to the rear face 24 inwardly thereover toward the opposite one of the two projections 30. This defines an elongate channel 32 between the rear face 24 and the second leg 30b. The two parallel channels proximate opposite sides of the rear face 24 house two respective legs of a spring clip 34. The legs of the spring clip 34 are bent toward one another to jut slightly inward over the hemispherical socket 12 opening into the block 22 from the rear face 24 thereof at diametrically opposite positions thereabout just inward from the channels 30. The spring clip 34 thus functions in a known manner to retain the ball of a mastic delivery device in the socket 12 after the ball is forced against the spring clip legs to force them apart and slide into the socket 12. The spring legs are biased to move apart, thus holding the clip 34 in place against the first legs 30a of the projections 30 at opposite ends of the channels 30 where the bent shape of each leg curves outward past the closed side of the respective channel 32 defined by the respective first leg 30a.

Above and below the connection body 20, the second panel 18 is pivotally connected to the first panel 16 to facilitate relative pivoting of the two panels about a vertical axis parallel to the two vertically oriented panels 16, 18. The first and second panels 16, 18 feature top and bottom flanges 36, 38 projecting horizontally rearward from the top and bottom ends of the panels so that the two flanges 38 of the second panel 18 are positioned between the two flanges 36 of the first panel 16, the connection body 20 being positioned between the two flanges 38 of the second panel 18. A pivot pin 40 passes through each of the two flange pairings at the top and bottom of the panels 16, 18. That is, one pivot pin passes through the first panel flange and the second panel flange at the generally aligned top ends of the two panels 16, 18 and another pivot pin passes through the first panel flange and the second panel flange at the generally aligned bottom ends of the two panels 16, 18, the two pivot pins being axially aligned with one another and thus defining the pivot axis of the panels. In the illustrated embodiment, each pivot pin 40 is defined by a screw extending through the respective pair of flanges and fixed in place with a nut on the side of the flange pair opposite the screw head.

A torsion spring 42 is mounted atop the top end face 44 of the solid block 22 of the connection body 20 and biases the second panel 18 about the pivot axis into a distal position, best shown in FIG. 3, spaced angularly furthest from the second side 28 of the solid block 22. Coils of the torsion spring 42 wrap around a circular cylindrical post 46 projecting perpendicularly upward from the top end face 44 of the solid block 22. A circular disc 48 having a greater diameter than the post 46 is concentrically fixed to the top end thereof so as to project radially outward therefrom past the inner diameter of the spring coils to block sliding thereof off the post out of the spring's position atop the block 22. First and second legs 42a, 42b of the torsion spring 42 extend from opposite ends of the coils to extend horizontally along the rear faces 16a, 18a of the first and second panels 16, 18 respectively so that the second leg 42b fixed to the second panel 18 exerts a resistive force thereon when the second panel is pivoted out of the distal position to move the rear face 18a of the second panel toward the second side 28 of the solid block 22 of the connection body 20. The spring 42 thus tends to close the two panels 16, 18 together on a side of the applicator 10 opposite the connection body 20, or in other words tends to increase the angle at which the panels diverge from one another, measured on the side of the panels at which mastic provided to the applicator through the connection body by a delivery device during use of the applicator.

The solid block 22 of the connection body 20 fixed to the first panel 16 helps limit the pivotal motion of the second panel 18 relative to the first panel 16. The pivoting of the second panel 18 about the pivot axis against the bias of the torsion spring is limited by eventual contact of the rear face 18a of the second panel 18 with the second side 28 of the block 22. Pivoting of the second panel 18 in the opposite direction about the pivot axis is limited by eventual contact of an inner edge 18b of the second panel 18, parallel and nearest to the pivot axis, with the same second side 28 of the block 22 along the edge defined at the meeting of this second side 28 and the front face of the block 22 where the block is fixed to the rear surface 16a of the first panel 16. The block 22 of the connection body 20 thus acts as a stop limiting the pivoting of the second panel 18 relative the first panel 16 in each direction about the pivot axis.

Horizontally along the vertical plane in which it lies, the rear face 24 of the solid block 22 of the connection body 20 is generally centered between the outer edges 16c, 18c of the panels 16, 18 when the second panel 18 is in its biased distal position spaced furthest from the second side 28 of the block 22 and the socket cavity 12 spanning generally fully between the projections 30 at the opposite sides of the rear face 24 is horizontally centered on the rear face 24. The delivery passage 14 extends generally perpendicularly and cylindrically from the first panel 16 through the solid block 22 of the connection body into the generally hemispherical socket cavity 12. The delivery passage 14 extends through an opening in the first panel 16 having the same shape as the cross section of the delivery passage, thus fluidly communicating the socket 12, where mastic is to be delivered by a suitable source such as a plunger-equipped tubular handle with a ball-forming outlet-equipped end, with the opposite side of the panels 16, 18 where the mastic is to applied to drywall during movement of the applicator along a corner defined between adjacent drywall sheets.

The axis of the generally cylindrical delivery passage 14 is not aligned with the axis of the generally hemispherical socket cavity 12, but rather is generally perpendicular to the front face of the connection body's solid block 22 and the first panel 16 fixed flush thereon. As a result, the axis of the delivery passage is oblique to the rear face 24 of the connection body's solid block 22 within a horizontal plane perpendicular thereto, as illustrated by the visibility of delivery passage side wall 14a nearest the second panel 18 in FIG. 2. At the front face of the block 22, the delivery passage is situated just beside the edge defined at the connection of the front face and the second side 28 and opens through the first panel 16 at a position between the inner edge 16b thereof parallel and nearest to the pivot axis and the parallel opposite outer edge 16c.

To prevent the opening of a gap between the panels 16, 18 during relative pivoting therebetween, the panels 16, 18 overlap each other at their inner edges 16b, 18b, the first panel 16 being positioned on a side of the second panel 18 opposite the connection body 20. Over its full height between its pivot flanges 36, the first panel 16 traverses the pivot axis and then curves concentrically about the pivot axis for a relatively small distance approaching the inner edge of the panel 16b. About the pivot axis, the curve radius of this edge portion 50 of the first panel 16 defining the inner edge 16b is slightly greater than the arcuate path followed by the inner edge 18b of the flat second panel 18 during pivoting thereof about the pivot axis. As a result, the inner edge 18b of the flat second panel moves along the curved inner edge portion 50 of the first panel 16 in close proximity thereto or light contact therewith to prevent significant leakage of mastic between the panels from the application side thereof back through to the opposite source side where it was initially delivered to the applicator in the socket 12. The arcuate length of the curved portion 50 of the first panel 16 and the amount of pivoting allowed before the rear surface 18a of the second panel 18 contacts the second side 28 of the connection body's solid block 22 cooperate to prevent movement of the second panels inner edge 18b past general alignment with the parallel vertical inner edge 16b of the first panel about the pivot axis.

As the curved inner edge portion 50 curves rearward from the flat or planar rest of the panel about the pivot axis, it prevents pivoting of the second panel 18 into an aligned parallel position with the flat portion of the first panel. A front face 18d of the second panel comes into contact with the first panel's inner edge 16b at the curved inner edge portion 50 as the inner edge 18b of the second panel comes into contact with the solid block 22 of the connection body 20 at the connection thereof to the rear face 16a of the first panel during movement of the second panel 18 into the biased position where the divergent angle of the flat second panel 18 and the flat portion of the first panel 16 outward from the curved inner edge portion 50 on the same side as the connection body 20 is at its maximum and the rear face 18d of the second panel is accordingly at its angular furthest from the second side 28 of the connection body's solid block 22. The stop defined or carried on the first panel 16 to block pivoting of the second panel 18 past this position is thus defined not only by the connection body's solid block 22, but also by the first panel itself, at the rear or source side of the first panel at or proximate the inner edge 16b, thus at the curved edge portion 50 in the illustrate embodiment. It will be appreciated that other embodiments may make use of only one of these two stop configurations and still act to define one of the two limits of the second panel's pivotal motion range.

At the front faces 16d, 18d of the panels 16, 18, opposite the rear faces 16a, 18a and facing away from the connection body 20, a pair of rails 51 are provided, each extending along a respective one of the outer edges 16c, 18c of the two panels 16, 18 from adjacent the horizontal upper end of the panel to a position spaced upward from the opposite horizontal bottom end of the panel 16. As shown in FIG. 4, each rail 51 tapers in a downward direction, its front surface 51a being obliquely sloped relative to its opposite rear surface fixed flush against the front surface of the respective panel, so that the rail projects further from the panel at the top end of the rail 51 than at the bottom end of the rail. Failing to extend the full height of the two panels of generally equal height, each of the two generally equally dimensioned rails 51 leaves a span of empty space between itself and the bottom end of the respective panel. The front surface 51a of each rail 51 presents a flat planar surface suitable for sliding along a sheet of drywall against which the respective panel of the applicator 10 will be pressed during use. In the illustrate embodiment, the rails 51 are fixed to the panels by screws passing into the rails from the rear faces 16a, 18a of the panels 16, 18 without passing fully through the rails past their front surfaces 51a.

At the front face 16d of the plate forming the first panel 16, opposite the rear face 16a and thus facing away from the connection body 20, a diverter 52 is positioned over the opening in the panel 16 at the respective end of the delivery channel 14, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 4. The diverter 52 is made of a sheet or plate of material, which may be the same sheet or plate material from which the panels are formed, that has been bent to form a shallow generally U-shaped cross section when cut in a vertical plane, as shown in FIG. 4. A central portion 54 of the U-shaped section is carried generally parallel to the panel 16 at a perpendicular distance from the front face 16b thereof by a pair of legs 56 at opposite ends of the central portion 54 above and beneath the opening of the delivery passage 14 at the first panel 16. At an end of each of these legs 56 opposite the central portion 54, a mounting flange 58 extends along the front face 16b of the panel and is fastened flush thereto, by screws 60 in the illustrated embodiment. Uncovered spans of the first panel's front face 16d are left vertically between the diverter 52 and a retaining lip 49 at the top of the panel 16, horizontally between the diverter 52 and the rail 51 at the outer edge 16c of the panel 16, and vertically between the diverter and the bottom end of the rail 51 above the bottom end of the panel 16.

As shown in FIG. 1, the central portion 54 of the diverter's U-shaped section does not extend very far horizontally past the delivery passage 14 toward the rail 51 on the first panel 16, but extends further in the opposite direction toward the opposite rail 51 on the second panel 18, projecting slightly past the inner edge 16b of the first panel as it does so. At a distance outward from the delivery passage along the front face 16d of the first panel 16 toward the inner edge 16b thereof, the central portion 54 of the diverter 52 curves generally concentrically with the curved edge portion 50 of the panel 16, as shown in FIG. 3, to maintain a generally uniform distance from the front face 16d of the first panel 16 over the central portion's horizontal length. The leg 56 of the diverter 52 above the delivery passage 14 spans the full horizontal length of flat part of the central portion 54, leaving the space between the central portion 54 and the first panel's front face 16a open at the top only at the end portion 54a curving about the pivot axis. The other leg 56 below the delivery passage 14 on the other hand spans less than half the length spanned by the top leg above the passage, leaving the space between the central portion 54 of the diverter 52 and the panels more open from below on the side of the bottom leg nearest the second panel 18.

When mastic is delivered through the passage 14, it is diverted laterally outward to both sides along the first panel 16, with the diverter-defined path being more open on the side nearest the second panel 18 so that more mastic will flow in that direction. This arrangement aims to more evenly distribute the mastic over the front panel faces 16d, 18d, as the positioning of a single delivery channel at the first panel 16 only may otherwise tend to cause a build up of mastic on the application side of the first panel 16, with the second panel 18 receiving less mastic. As shown in FIG. 4, the spacing between the front face 16d of the first panel 16 and the central portion 54 of the diverter 52 is small enough that the diverter 52 does not project from this face further than the first panel's rail 51. When the second panel 18 is pivoted against the second side 28 of the connection body's solid block 22, a perpendicular distance from the plane of the second panel's front face 18d to the rounded end of the diverter's central portion similarly does not exceed the projection of the second panel's rail 51 from this face 18d at the diverter's vertical position along the panels between the ends of the rails 51.

Toward the outer edge 16c of the first panel 16, the diverter extends just past the respective side of the delivery passage 14, leaving an uncovered span of the first panel's front surface 16d between the diverter 52 and retaining lips 49 that are provided to block mastic from leaking out over the top edges of the panels after being delivered to the application side thereof during use of the applicator. Each retaining lip 49 extends from adjacent the top pivot flange of the respective panel fully outward to the respective rail 51 and features a first leg 49a projecting perpendicularly from the panel to the same side thereof as the rail 51 at the panel's top edge and a second leg 49b projecting downwardly along the front surface of the panel or the rail 51 from an end of the first leg 49a opposite the panel.

The illustrated embodiment adapter 10 is arranged for use on inside corners, as the angle at which the panels diverge away from one another, measured on the same side of the panels as the connection body 20 where mastic is delivered from a source to the applicator 10, does not increase to above 180 degrees. This angle may minimize to a value of approximately 90 degrees when the second panel 18 is pulled fully out of the biased position into engagement against the second side 28 of the connection body block 22, as conventionally constructed homes and buildings tend to feature inside corners of 90 degrees and larger. In use, the applicator 10 is mounted on the end of a mastic delivery device by cooperation of the applicator's socket 12, the delivery device's ball connector and the spring clip 34 in a known manner so that operation of the delivery device will force mastic from the source enclosure of the device through an outlet in the ball connector thereof for subsequent flow through the delivery passage 14 communicating through to the opposite side of the first panel 16.

By using the delivery device to apply force against the applicator 10 at the ball and socket connection, the two panels 16, 18 are pushed against respective ones of two drywall sheets defining the inside corner to which the mastic is to be applied. Provided that the corner angle, measured on the side of the drywall to which the mastic is to be applied, is less than the corresponding divergent angle of the panels, thus measured on the source side thereof (the same side as the connection body), with the second panel in its biased position, the opposition of the walls to the force applied on the applicator toward the corner pivots the second panel 18 out of the biased position toward the second side 28 of the solid body 22 of the connection block 20 until the panels 16, 18 have taken on a position relative to one another in which their divergent angle on the source side of the panels matches the corner angle. Maintaining a force on the applicator sufficient to maintain this orientation between the panels, mastic is delivered through the delivery passage 14 into the space between the front faces 16a, 18a of the panels and the drywall sheets and bound at the sides (outer edges of the panels) and top of the applicator by the rails 51 and retaining lips 49. Still maintaining the force to overcome the torsion spring bias and keep the panels 16, 18 and rails 51 held against the drywall, the applicator is slid up along the corner, applying a layer of mastic to each sheet of drywall along the bottom of the respective applicator panel below the rails 51.

It will be appreciated that as an alternative to biasing the panels into relative positions at which their divergent angle on the application side is at a minimum, it may be possible to provide other embodiments in which the panels instead are lockable into any one of a number of preselected relative angular positions, for example by using locking pins passable through an aperture in each the first panel's pivot flanges 36 that aligns with a respective one of a plurality of apertures arcuately spaced about the pivot axis in the second panel's respective pivot flange 38 in each of a plurality of angular positions of the second panel relative to the first. However, the use of spring biasing in the illustrated embodiment to cooperate with user applied force on the applicator allows adjustment of the applicator to any angle within the second panel's range of movement, rather than to a limited finite number of angular positions, thus providing the best fit for any corner in which the applicator is to be used, rather than the best available approximation selectable by the user.

From the forgoing description, it should be appreciated that the terms vertical and horizontal are used with reference to the illustrated orientation of the applicator in the figures, in which the generally flat panels are oriented vertically, but that in use of the applicator on corners defined between adjacent vertical walls the panels will be positioned in nearly vertical upright orientations, but not completely vertical due to the slope of the front surfaces of the rails 51 that sit flush against and slide along the vertically oriented drywall sheets. It will also be appreciated that the applicator can be used in corners of other orientations, for example between a vertical wall and a non-horizontal sloped ceiling section.

Although the illustrated embodiment is arranged for use on inside corners, it may be possible to produce a similar applicator for use on outside corners. In such an embodiment, rather than a hinged or pivoting pair of panels having a divergent angle between them on a source side of the panels opposite a connection body 20 fixed to one of the panels being adjustable through a range defined between 90 and 180 degrees, this angle could instead be adjustable through a ranged defined between 180 and 270 degrees, a torsion spring again biasing these panels in a closing direction tending to increase this angle to an upper limit of its range and the connection body being shaped to define a stop to prevent movement of the movable panel past a position at which this angle is at a lower limit of its range. This way the angle on the application side of the panels opposite the connection body is adjustable within a range of 90 and 180 degrees to accommodate a corresponding range of outside or exterior corner angles between the panels. In such an arrangement, a hinge may be used to pivotally connect non-overlapping inner edges of the two panels to position the pivot axis adjacent the front faces of the panels, nearer thereto than the pivot axis of the illustrated embodiment which is offset from the panels by the flanges 36, 38. A diverter may still be used to guide mastic flow laterally outward when exiting the delivery passage on the application side of the panel fixed to the connection body, but extending toward the inner edge of this fixed panel only so far as to leave sufficient space between this end portion of the diverter and the front face of the pivoting panel when moved to its angular position about the pivot axis nearest to the front face of the fixed panel to allow mastic to flow out from channel defined between the diverter's central portion and the front face of the pivoting panel. The angles between the panels of this alternate embodiment on the application side not exceeding 180 degrees like in the illustrated embodiment, the end portion of the diverter's central panel should not curve about the pivot axis. The stop defining the lower limit of the second panel's pivotal range, at which the angle between the panels on the application side is at a minimum, may be defined by contact between the flat panels near their inner edges.

Since various modifications can be made in my invention as herein above described, and many apparently widely different embodiments of same made within the spirit and scope of the claims without department from such spirit and scope, it is intended that all matter contained in the accompanying specification shall be interpreted as illustrative only and not in a limiting sense.