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Title:
ENGINEERED FENCE PANELS AND PROCESS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/094975
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A system and methods for manufacturing and constructing a fence panel or pickets using engineered wood products, including, but not limited to, oriented-strand board, fiber strand, or laminated strand lumber. An entire engineered wood panel is divided into multiple fence blanks of equal size. Each fence blank is then subjected to edge profiling on top and bottom edges, and top feature milling to create fence top features, with finishing, texture, printing, paper overlay, or combinations thereof, added to one or both faces of the blank. Blanks may then have finishing features added to create a finished fence panel. Alternatively, a fence blank can be cut into multiple raw pickets, also with finishing treatments to one or both faces, to create a series of raw pickets. The resulting finished fence panel or pickets provide the authentic look and appeal of real wood, but with the advantages of treated engineered wood.

Inventors:
BARNES, Adina (416 Garfield Street, Nashville, TN, 37208, US)
LINE, Jarrod, Kevin (9446 Foothills Droive, Brentwood, TN, 37027, US)
MERRICK, Gareth, Paul (2405 22d Avenue Ct NW, Gig Harbor, WA, 98335, US)
Application Number:
US2018/060844
Publication Date:
May 16, 2019
Filing Date:
November 13, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
LOUISIANA-PACIFIC CORPORATION (414 Union Street, Suite 2000Nashville, TN, 37219, US)
International Classes:
E04H17/16
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RAMAGE, W., Edward (211 Commerce Street, Suite 800Nashville, TN, 37201, US)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A method of manufacturing an engineered wood fence product, comprising:

producing, in a press line, an engineered wood panel with a front side and a back side, and a length and a width;

applying a texture or paper overlay to one or both sides of the panel;

producing a plurality of equal-sized fence blanks by cutting the panel across its width at several points and/or across its length, with each fence blank comprising a front side, a back side, two long edges, and two short edges;

profiling at least one long edge with a curve or angle in cross-section;

and

processing each fence blank to produce either a finished fence panel or a plurality of finished fence pickets. 2. The method of claim 1, wherein the step of processing comprises:

milling at least one long edge of each blank to produce a plurality of top features.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the long edge that is milled has also been profiled. 4. The method of claim 1, wherein both long edges are profiled.

5. The method of claim 2, wherein the plurality of top features constitute one or more of a notch, indentation, groove, dog ear, or curved end.

The method of claim 2, wherein the step of processing further comprises: cutting the fence blank length-wise at several points to produce a plurality of raw fence pickets, each with a top end and bottom end, wherein the top end comprises at least one of said plurality of top features.

7. The method of claim 2, wherein the step of processing further comprises:

cutting grooves in at least one face of the fence blank length-wise at several points to produce the appearance of a plurality of fence pickets on the face of the blank.

Description:
ENGINEERED FENCE PANELS AND PROCESS

This application claims benefit of and priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/585,087, filed Nov. 13, 2017, which is incorporated herein in its entirety by specific reference for all purposes.

FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention relates to a system for an engineered fence panel comprising engineered wood components.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Figure 1 shows a view of an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

Figure 2 shows a view of another exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

Figures 3 and 4 show view of a dog ear feature at the top of a fence picket.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

In various exemplary embodiments, the present invention comprises a system for constructing a fence panel or pickets using treated engineered wood products, including, but not limited to, oriented-strand board (OSB), fiberboard, laminated strand lumber (LSL), plywood or laminated veneer lumber (LVL). Engineered wood products provide the authentic look and appeal of real wood, but with the advantages of treated engineered wood. With the present invention, an improved fence can be assembled more quickly and cheaply than with any prior art materials, and the fence will be higher quality, with longer life, thinner and lighter, and minimal maintenance.

As seen in Figure 1, the process begins with an entire piece of durable, treated, or premium grade engineered wood panel 20, which comes out of a line press 10 with a wood texture or other texture (e.g., screen, smooth, cedar, or the like) on one or both faces of the panel. The panel also may or may not have a paper overlay on one or both faces. The paper overlay may be treated with resin or resin-impregnated, or may be primed. In the embodiment shown, the panel is approximately 8 feet by 24 feet in dimension, although the panel may be other sizes as well.

The panel then is sawn by one or more saws into multiple equal sections or "blanks" 30. Where the panel is approximately 8 feet by 24 feet in dimension, the blanks may be four blanks approximately 6 feet by 8 feet in dimension (see Fig. 1), or eight blanks approximately 4 feet by 6 feet in dimension (see Fig. 2). The number and orientation of the blanks as cut may be based on the wood grain orientation in the panel. For example, the blanks may be cut so that the wood grain orientation with respect to the long side of the panel is maintained with respect to the long side of the blanks. The opposite orientation may be desired for some applications. Each blank is then subjected to further processing, as described below.

In one embodiment, where the blank 30 is intended for ultimate use as a finished fence panel 50, the fence blank is sent to a milling machine or notching saw 46, which mills one edge of the blank to create a top fence line (e.g., a series of notches, indentations, grooves, dog ears, curved ends, and the like as the top feature). In several embodiments, the fence blanks are aligned and stacked, and are then processed by the milling machine as a stack (i.e., the top fence line cuts are made to all blanks in the stack). In one embodiment, up to 90 blanks are processed as a stack. This provides greater efficiency in processing of the blanks.

Additional finishing or texture may be added to the face(s) of the blank as well (e.g., a saw or groove machine 48 may be used add lines or grooves in one or both faces of the blank to simulate pickets or other surface features). The resulting product is a finished fence panel 50 ready for installation.

Edge profiling may also be performed (at variable points in the process) on the top edge (i.e., what will be the top edge), to achieve a desired cross-section profile (e.g., a round or angled profile to promote water run-off, a watershed, a drip edge, or a desired aesthetic effect), as seen in Figures 3 and 4. While a square cut may be used, edge profiling also may be performed on the "bottom" edge (with the bottom edge trimmed as needed during installation to maintain an even top line). In one embodiment, the edge profile is at a 22-degree angle with respect to the edge plane or the face plane. Edge profiling may be performed on the blank prior to or after milling of the top features, and may be on some or all edges of the top feature.

Where the blank is intended for ultimate use as a plurality of fence pickets, the blank is sent to a slitting machine 82 and/or multiple saw or gang saw line 84 where the blank is cut into a number of long raw pickets 80. All pickets from a blank may be cut simultaneously. The sides of the raw pickets generally extend downward from the corresponding low points in the milled top feature, with the long side of the picket aligned with the long side of the blank. In several embodiments, the raw pickets are 6 inches to 12 inches wide, and 6 feet in length. The raw pickets 80 are then directed to a milling machine 86, where one end of each picket is milled as described above to create a top feature. Additional finishing or texture may be added to the face(s) of the pickets (or blank, pre-cutting) as well, and the top edge(s) may profiled, as described above. The resulting product is a number of finished fence pickets 90 ready for installation.

Figure 2 shows an alternative manufacturing line sequence. In this example, the panel 20 is sawn into eight 4' by 6' panels. Edge profiling 144 of each panel may then be performed. Panels may then be stacked and processed by a milling machine 146 to create a top fence line (e.g., a series of notches, indentations, grooves, dog ears, curved ends, and the like as the top feature), as described above, on the panels in the stack. After milling, each blank is then subjected to further processing, depending on the desired end product. Where the end product is a finished fence panel, the panel is processed by a groove machine or saw 148 to add vertical groove lines or other additional finishing or texture on one or both faces, as described above. Where the end produce is a set of finished fence pickets, the panel is then processed by a saw line 84 which saws the panel into a series of raw pickets which are then subject to finishing 86, as described above. Accordingly, the present invention provides an exterior fence with enhanced durability, weather-resistance, fade resistance, and aesthetics at a lower cost and faster installation as compared to prior art fences and materials.

Thus, it should be understood that the embodiments and examples described herein have been chosen and described in order to best illustrate the principles of the invention and its practical applications to thereby enable one of ordinary skill in the art to best utilize the invention in various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited for particular uses contemplated. Even though specific embodiments of this invention have been described, they are not to be taken as exhaustive. There are several variations that will be apparent to those skilled in the art.