Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
BLADE FOR MOTORIZED TROWEL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2002/068773
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A trowel machine has replaceable blades. In a preferred embodiment, the blade (12) can be replaced separately from its backing bar (20), and the same fasteners (28) that secure the blade (12) to the backing bar (20) also secure the blade (12) to the trowel arm (18) of the machine. In a preferred embodiment, the blade (12) is deformed in the area of the mounting holes (30), providing a clamping surface (36) recessed from the working surface of the blade (12) to provide retention of the blade on the trowel machine, even as the blade wears.

Inventors:
Kelsay III, Gordon M. (1531 Finney Road Glasgow, KY, 42141, US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2002/005819
Publication Date:
September 06, 2002
Filing Date:
February 26, 2002
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
Kelsay III, Gordon M. (1531 Finney Road Glasgow, KY, 42141, US)
International Classes:
E04F21/24; (IPC1-7): E04F21/24
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Camoriano, Theresa Fritz (Camoriano and Associates 8225 Shelbyville Road Louisville, KY, 40222, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS :
1. A blade assembly for a motorized trowel, comprising: a substantially flat sheet of material forming an elongated blade, having a top surface and a bottom surface and defining a plurality of inline holes spaced at intervals along the length of the blade ; wherein the sheet is deformed upwardly surrounding the holes to form a tapered depression in the bottom surface surrounding the holes and a tapered projection in the top surface surrounding the holes ; and a backing bar having a substantially flat bottom surface and defining a plurality of openings aligned with the holes in said blade, said openings being countersunk to receive the projections on the top surface of the blade ; wherein at least one of the openings and holes defines a noncircular cross section portion.
2. A blade assembly for a motorized trowel as recited in claim 1, wherein said noncircular cross section portions are in said openings of said backing bar.
3. A blade assembly for a motorized trowel as recited in claim 2, wherein the countersunk surfaces of the backing bar have the same tapered shape as the tapered projections on the top surface of the blade so as to receive the projections with a snug fit.
4. A blade assembly for a motorized trowel as recited in claim 3, and further comprising a plurality of fasteners extending through the blade into the backing bar, each of said fasteners having a head, extending up into the respective tapered depression of the blade and clamping the tapered projection of the blade against the countersunk surface of the backing bar, and a noncircular cross section shaft portion extending through the respective noncircular cross section opening portion in the backing bar such that the shaft is prevented from rotating relative to the backing bar.
5. A blade assembly for a motorized trowel as recited in claim 4, and further comprising a motorized trowel arm including a plurality of through holes, wherein said holes in said blade are aligned with the through holes in said arm and with the openings in said backing bar, and said trowel arm through holes receive said fasteners which extend through said through holes to fasten said blades and backing bars onto the trowel arm.
6. A trowel blade for a motorized trowel, comprising: a backing bar, having a substantially flat bottom surface and a substantially flat top surface, and defining a plurality of openings extending from said bottom surface to said top surface, said openings defining noncircular cross section portions, wherein said bottom surface defines indentations surrounding said openings; a blade, defining a plurality of holes aligned with the openings in said backing bar, said blade having a substantially flat top surface and a substantially flat bottom surface; and a plurality of bolts, each bolt having an enlarged head, a threaded end portion, and a noncircular cross section neck portion between the head and the threaded end, and each bolt extending upwardly from the bottom surface of said blade, through its respective hole in the blade, and through its respective noncircular cross section opening in the backing bar, wherein the noncircular cross section neck portion of the bolt is sized and shaped to prevent rotation of the bolt relative to the noncircular cross section opening in the backing bar, and wherein, when the bolt is tightened, the head of the bolt clamps the blade against the backing bar.
7. A trowel blade for a motorized trowel as recited in claim 6, wherein the surfaces of the blade surrounding the holes are deformed upwardly, defining projections in the top surface of the blade, which project into the indentations in the backing bar, and defining recesses in the bottom surface of the blade which receive the bolt heads that clamp the upwardlyprojecting portion of the blade against the respective tapered indentation in the backing bar.
8. A trowel blade as recited in claim 6, and further comprising a motorized trowel machine including at least one trowel arm defining a plurality of mounting holes, wherein said holes in said blade and said openings in said backing bar are aligned with the trowel arm holes, and said bolts extend through said trowel arm holes ; and a plurality of nuts securing said bolts to said trowel arm.
9. A trowel blade as recited in claim 6, wherein the top surface of said backing bar also defines indentations surrounding said noncircular cross section openings, and wherein the indentations in the top surface have a smaller diameter than the corresponding indentations in the bottom surface.
10. A motorized trowel, comprising: a rotary drive motor, having an output shaft; a plurality of elongated trowel arms projecting radially from said output shaft, each of said trowel arms defining a plurality of holes and defining a top surface and a bottom surface; at least one trowel blade, having a substantially flat bottom surface and defining a plurality of holes, said blade being fastened to its respective trowel arm; and a plurality of bolts fastening said trowel blade to said trowel arm, each of said bolts extending upwardly from the bottom surface of its respective blade, through said trowel blade, through a corresponding hole in said trowel arm, and through a respective nut on the top side of the trowel arm.
11. A motorized trowel as recited in claim 10, and further comprising a backing bar lying between the trowel blade and the trowel arm, wherein said backing bar defines openings having noncircular cross section portions aligned with the holes in the respective trowel arm and trowel blade, and said bolts have noncircular cross section neck portions which fit into the noncircular cross section portions of the openings in the backing bar to prevent the bolts from rotating relative to the backing bar.
12. A motorized trowel as recited in claim 11, wherein said backing bar defines recesses in its bottom surface surrounding the openings, and wherein said blade is deformed adjacent to its holes, defining recesses in its bottom surface and projections in its top surface surrounding its holes, and wherein the projections on the top surface of the blade are clamped into the recesses in the bottom surface of the backing bar portion by the bolts.
13. A blade for a motorized trowel as recited in claim 1, wherein the openings in the backing bar which receive the projections have substantially the same shape as the tapered projections so as to receive the projections with a snug fit.
14. A blade for a motorized trowel as recited in claim 13, and further comprising a plurality of fasteners extending through the holes in the blade into the openings in the backing bar, each of said fasteners having a head, extending up into the respective tapered depression of the blade and clamping the tapered projection of the blade against the backing bar, and a noncircular cross section shaft portion extending through the respective noncircular crosssectional shape portion of said blade and backing bar such that the shaft is prevented from rotating.
15. A blade assembly for a motorized trowel as recited in claim 1, wherein said noncircular crosssectional portion is in the hole of said blade.
16. A blade assembly for a motorized trowel as recited in claim 15, and further comprising a plurality of fasteners extending through the blade into the backing bar, each of said fasteners having a head, extending up into the respective tapered depression of the blade and clamping the tapered projection of the blade against the countersunk surface of the backing bar, and a noncircular cross section shaft portion extending through the respective noncircular cross section opening portion in the hole of said blade such that the shaft is prevented from rotating relative to the blade.
Description:
BLADE FOR MOTORIZED TROWEL BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION : This application is a continuation-in-part of U. S. Patent Application S. N.

09/793,932, filed February 27,2001. The present invention relates to motorized trowels for smoothing concrete, and, in particular, to a new trowel blade. In the prior art, each trowel blade is riveted onto a backing bar, which, in turn, is bolted onto an arm of the motorized trowel machine. There are problems with that arrangement. First, as the machine rotates the blades to smooth the concrete surface, the bottom surface of each blade wears, and the head of the rivet also wears. The head of the rivet is flush with the bottom of the trowel and contacts the blade only along the thickness of the blade, which is a very small area. As the blade and rivet wear, the blade can come loose from the machine, which is undesirable. Second, when the blade wears out (and these blades wear out frequently, approximately every two weeks for a machine that is in regular use), the entire blade, including the backing bar, must be thrown out in order to replace the blade, which is expensive.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION : The preferred embodiments of the present invention provide a more secure retention mechanism between the trowel blade and the backing bar and permit the trowel blade to be removed from its backing bar when the blade wears out and a new blade to be inserted in its place without having to replace the backing bar. Thus, as the blade wears out, it will not come loose from the machine, and replacing a worn blade is substantially less expensive and less wasteful of material than in the prior art.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS : Figure 1 shows a motorized trowel machine on which are mounted trowel blades made in accordance with the present invention; Figure 2 is an enlarged view showing one of the blades of Figure 1;

Figure 3 is a sectional view of a prior art blade mounted on a machine of the type shown in Figure 1 and taken along the same direction as Figure 5; Figure 4 is a sectional view of a prior art blade mounted on a machine of the type shown in Figure 1 and taken along the same direction as Figure 6; Figure 5 is a view taken along the section 5-5 of Figure 2; Figure 6 is a view taken along the section 6-6 of Figure 2; Figure 7 is a view taken along the section 7-7 of Figure 6; Figure 8 is a view taken along the section 8-8 of Figure 6; Figure 9 is a top view of the blade of Figure 1; Figure 10 is a view taken along the section 10-10 of Figure 9; Figure 11 is a top view of the backing bar and blade from the machine of Figure 1, with the trowel arm removed for clarity ; Figure 12 is a top view of an alternative trowel blade made in accordance with the present invention; Figure 13 is a sectional view of another mounting arrangement made in accordance with the present invention; Figure 14 is a view similar to Figure 11 but showing an alternative embodiment in which the blade has non-circular cross-section holes; Figure 14A is a plan view of the blade of Figure 11 with the backing bar removed; Figure 15 is a plan view of the backing bar for the embodiment of Figure 14; Figure 16 is an end view of the backing bar of Figure 15; Figure 17 is a side view of the blade of Figure 14A; and Figure 18 is a sectional view through the blade of Figure 14 mounted on a trowel arm.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS : Figures 1 and 2 show a motorized trowel machine 10 on which are mounted trowel blades 12 made in accordance with the present invention. The machine 10 includes a handle 14, and a motor 16, which has an output shaft (not shown) on which are mounted radially-extending trowel arms 18.

Figures 3 and 4 show a prior art blade 12A mounted on a trowel arm 18 in the place of the blades 12 of Figures 1 and 2. In that prior art arrangement, the blade 12A is riveted onto a backing bar 20A by means of rivets 22A extending through holes 23 in the backing bar and holes 25 in the blade 12A. The top and bottom surfaces of the backing bar 20A define tapered indentations 23A around each hole 23, which allows the heads of the rivets 22A to be countersunk into the backing bar 20A. The thin-walled rivet head holds the blade 12A onto the backing bar 20A by contacting the edge of the flat sheet 12A at the hole 25, providing little contact surface. Also, all of the contact surface which retains the blade on the backing bar 20A is located at the normal working thickness of the flat blade, and, as the blade wears, the connection holding the blade onto the machine also wears. The thin-walled head of the rivet 22A also erodes as the blade erodes. There is an air gap between the rivet head and the indentation 23A in the bottom surface of the backing bar 20A, so the blade 12A is just hanging onto the rivet head along a very thin edge of the flat blade and is pressed against the flat bottom surface of the backing bar 20A.

The backing bar 20A has threaded holes 24, which are separated from the rivet holes 23, and which are aligned with holes 26 through the trowel arm 18. Bolts 28A extend downwardly from the top surface of the trowel arm 18, through the holes 26 in the trowel arm, and are threaded into the threaded holes 24 of the backing bar 20A to fasten the trowel blade 12A onto the trowel arm 18. The holes 25 in the trowel blade 12A are not aligned with these holes 24, 26 in the backing bar 20A and the trowel arm 18, respectively.

Figures 5-8 show the details of a preferred mounting arrangement made in accordance with the present invention for mounting the blades 12 on the trowel arms 18. This arrangement differs from the prior art arrangement of Figures 3 and 4 in several respects.

The bolts 28 which hold the blades 12 onto the trowel arms 18 extend not only through the trowel arm 18 and the backing bar 20, but also through holes 30 in the trowel blade 12, so the holes 30 in the trowel blade 12 are aligned with the holes 26 in the trowel arm 18. Instead of extending downwardly, as in the prior art, the bolts 28 extend upwardly, with the heads 32 of the bolts 28 in contact with the trowel blade 12, and nuts 34 are threaded onto the ends of the bolts 28 on top of the trowel arm 18.

The result is that the same fastener 28 that holds the blade 12 onto the backing bar 20 also holds the blade 12 onto the trowel arm 18.

In this preferred embodiment, the generally flat blade 12 is deformed upwardly in the area of the holes 30 to form tapered recesses 36 in its bottom surface and tapered projections 38 in its top surface around the holes 30. These projections and recesses are shown in more detail in Figure 10. The blade 12 may also be deformed upwardly along its edges 44, as shown in Figures 9-11, and the outer contours of the blade may be made in any other desired configuration. The backing bar 20 has openings 40, and its bottom surface also defines a tapered recess 38A surrounding each opening 40.

The countersunk portions or tapered recesses 38A in the bottom surface of the bar 20 receive the tapered projections 38 of the blade 12 with a snug, nested, interlocking fit.

This provides a much larger surface area of contact between the bolt head 32 and the blade 12, provides clamping of the blade 12 to the countersunk surface 38A of the backing bar 20, provides a solid bolt head as opposed to a thin-walled rivet, and provides clamping contact between the bolt head 32, blade 12 and backing bar 20 in an area recessed from the normal flat portion of the blade so that, even as the blade wears and the flat surface of the bolt head wears, the blade 12 is securely fastened to the backing bar 20 and to the trowel arm 18. The outer surface of the head 32 preferably is flat, and the sides of the head 32 are tapered in a shape corresponding with the taper of the recesses 36.

The openings 40 in the backing bar 20 preferably are non-cylindrical, and the bolts 28 have a corresponding non-cylindrical neck portion 42 between the head 32 and the threaded end of the bolt to prevent the bolts 28 from rotating relative to the backing bar 20. In this embodiment, the openings 40 and the neck 42 have a square cross section, but they could have other non-cylindrical cross sections, such as hexagonal or defining some type of keyway.

Figures 9 and 10 show the trowel blade 12. This particular blade 12 has upwardly curved edges 44. In this embodiment, the projections 38 on the upper surface of the blade 12 extend approximately to the same height as the upwardly- curved edges 44. In the embodiment of Figure 9, it can be seen that the holes 30 are in line and are spaced along the elongated direction of the blade 12. These holes 30 are positioned so they will be aligned with the trowel arm 18 of the machine on which the trowel blade 12 is to be mounted.

Figure 11 shows a top view of the installed blade 12, with the trowel arm 18 removed to reveal the backing bar 20. This view shows the nuts 34, which are located above the trowel arm 18 when the blade 12 is assembled onto the machine.

Figure 12 shows a top view of another embodiment of a blade 12B made in accordance with the present invention. This trowel blade 12B has a different length and shape from the first blade 12, which makes it suitable for mounting on a different type of trowel arm 18, and the in-line holes 30 are spaced differently along the elongated direction of the blade 12B. Again, these holes 30 are located in order to be aligned with the corresponding backing bar and trowel arm.

Figure 13 shows an alternative mounting arrangement for mounting a finishing blade 12C. In this arrangement, the backing bar 20A has a larger diameter recess 38A surrounding the hole 40 on one surface and a smaller diameter recess 38B surrounding the hole 40 on the opposite surface. The first recess 38A is identical to the recess 38A described with respect to Figures 5-8. The second recess 38B is large enough to accommodate a portion of the solid head 32 of the bolt 28, but it is not large enough to receive the projection 38 from the trowel blade 12. The reason for the difference in the second recess 38B is that this side of the backing bar 20A is intended to receive a flat finishing blade 12C, which does not have projections in its top surface. While this mounting arrangement does not have all the advantages of the arrangement of Figures 5-8, it does provide a solid surface to receive the tapered bolt head 32 and the flat top surface of the blade 12C, which is far superior to the prior art arrangement of Figures 3 and 4, which left an air gap above the rivet and flat blade. Also, the use of a solid- headed bolt is superior to the use of a thin-walled rivet. So, the backing bar 20A of Figure 13 can be used to mount two types of blades. It can be used as shown in Figure 13 to mount a flat blade that does not have projections on its top surface surrounding the holes, and it can be inverted and used to mount a blade with projections as shown in Figures 5-8.

In these preferred embodiments, when the fasteners 28 are removed in order to remove the blade 12 from the trowel arm 18 so the blade can be replaced, the blade 12 also becomes separated from the backing bar 20. Thus, in this arrangement, only the blade 12 needs to be replaced--not the blade 12 and backing bar 20 combination as was required in the prior art. This saves substantial money and material over the design shown in Figures 3 and 4 in which, in order to replace the blade 12A, its associate backing bar 20A must also be replaced.

Figures 14-18 show an alternative embodiment, which is very similar to the first embodiment, except that the non-circular cross-section hole which prevents the bolt from spinning is in the blade itself, rather than being in the backing bar. As shown in Figure 14, the blade 12D has a backing bar 20D mounted on its upper surface. As shown in Figures 14A and 17, the holes 30D in the blade 12D have a non-circular (in this case substantially square) cross-section, and the blade 12D is deformed upwardly around the holes 30D in the area 38D. As shown in Figures 15 and 16, the backing bar 15 has a number of holes 40D, and the bottom surface of the backing bar 15 defines a recess around each of the holes 40D to receive the upwardly-deformed portions 38D of the blade. As shown in Figure 18, the bolt 28D has a neck portion 42D that has a non- circular cross-section. This neck portion 42D substantially matches the size and shape of the non-circular hole 30D in the blade, so the non-circular cross-section opening 30D of the blade 12D prevents the bolt 28D from rotating relative to the blade. The remainder of the bolt 28D in this embodiment has a circular cross-section. The bolt 28D then extends through the circular hole 40D in the backing bar and through the hole 26 in the trowel arm 18 and is fastened on the other side by a nylon insert locknut 34D.

While the foregoing description has shown a few embodiments made in accordance with the present invention, those embodiments are intended for illustration purposes only and are not intended to restrict the scope of the claims. It will be obvious to those skilled in the art that modifications may be made to the embodiments described above without departing from the scope of the present invention. For example, while bolts are preferred, other known fasteners may be used instead. While one embodiment may show a non-circular cross-section hole in the blade, and another may show a non-circular cross-section hole in the backing bar, there could be a non- circular cross-section hole in both the blade and backing bar or in neither. Also, for example, while these embodiments show a separate backing bar 20, the trowel arm 18 itself could be designed to serve as the backing bar, eliminating the need for a separate backing bar. Many other embodiments would also be obvious to a person skilled in the art upon reading this disclosure.