US 3125263 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 17, 1964 M. E. HARBOUR PRESSURESENSITIVE TAPE APPLICATOR AND DISPENSER Filed July 7, L961 4 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR. MARION E. HARBOUR A OVRNEY March 17, 1964 M. E. HARBOUR 3,125,263
PRESSURE-SENSITIVE TAPE APPLICATOR AND DISPENSER Filed July 7, 1961 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 w t INVENTOR.
MARION E. HARBOUR March 17, 1964 Filed July '7. 1961 M. E. HARBOUR PRESSURE-SENSITIVE TAPE APPLICATOR AND DISPENSER 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 4 1 ;L;;;;;- aai'l-IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 'IIIIIIIIIII i \INVENTORI. MARION E. HARBOUR 2- AT':I:0RNEY March 17, 1964 M. E. HARBOUR 3,125,263
PRESSURE-SENSITIVE TAPE APPLICATOR AND DISPENSER Filed July '7, 1961 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 INVENTOR. MARION E. HARBOUR BY 76: i 2 9 AT ORNEY 3,125,263 PRESSURE-SENSITIVE TAPE APPLICATGR AND DEPENSER Marion E. Harbour, 2934 Arroyo Chico, Tucson, Ariz. Filed July 7, 1961, Ser- No. 122,432 6 Claims. (Cl. 225-l) My invention relates to an improved pressure-sensitive tape applicator and dispenser. It relates more in particular to an improved tape applicator and dispenser particularlyadapted for wrapping packages and the like, but having other utilities where tape is to be applied to specific types of surface.
Tape dispensers and applicators in general fall into three categories: namely, those in which the tape dispenser is supported in a stationary position and the tape is removed by hand for application to a surface; applicators of relatively smaller size in which the dispenser may be held in one hand while the tape is removed with the other; and finally tape applicators in which the device is intended to be held in the hand and the tape applied directly to a surface as in a masking operation or in a wrapping or packaging operation.
My co-pending applications, Serial No. 44,083 filed July 20, 1960, and Serial No. 44,084 filed July 20, 1960, are examples of improved applicators intended for applying masking tape directly to a surface by holding the applicator itself in one hand. A feature which is characteristic of substantially all tape applicators and dispensers of the prior art is that the tape must at some time and to some extent be grasped in the hand. In stationary dispensers, of course, this is not a particular disadvantage because they are designed to permit the withdrawal of a desired length of tape with the hand, or are adjusted to deliver a predetermined length of tape to the hand in response to the operation of a feed mechanism provided for the purpose. Neither is the need to handle the tape by hand of particular concern when the masking tape applicator and dispenser is of relatively small size and is intended for intermittent use in an office or home.
When tape is to be applied to a surface by means of the applicator device itself, there is a disadvantage in having to feed the tape to a starting position with one hand. For example, a tape applicator for packaging use limits the abilities of a user if he must release the package to apply the tape to a beginning position, as contrasted with an operation, for example, where the operator can hold a fold of paper in position with one hand and start the tape around in a wrapping operation with the other hand. When an applicator is used in packaging it is also advantageous to have a tape cutter associated with the device and, while tape cutters have been provided on tape applicators, they have not in general been so constructed and arranged as to permit the unlimited use of the applicator with both a pulling and pushing action, such as becomes necessary if tape is to be passed over and around a package during a wrapping operation. If the package is small and can be tumbled, the physical attitude of the applicator device can remain unchanged. If a package is large or disposed so that tumbling or turning of the package becomes difiicult, then an applicator so constructed that tape can be applied only with a pulling motion becomes severely limited in its utility. I find also that in applying tape in a packaging operation the tape should feed smoothly, easily and in a uniform manner for best results. When moving around a corner, or when the tape is to be cut, or under other circumstances in a wrapping operation, a distinct advantage can be obtained if the tension required for feeding the tape can be varied in accordance with a controlled braking action applied to the tape roll.
3,125,263 Patented Mar. 17, 1 964 Those skilled in the art have been aware of the problems discussed hereinabove for a relatively large number of years, and many attempts have been made to solve the most pressing of such problems. In structures intended for the solution of such problems associated with wrapping or packaging techniques it has in general been found that they become relatively heavy and cumbersome for continuous use by the ordinary employee; or, if they are constructed to overcome one problem, this very construction has normally resulted in a new problem. In general, some of the problems with size have been overcome by the utilization of rolls of tape smaller than a common commercial standard of the industry in which the core is about three inches and the overall diameter of a new roll about six inches. In general, however, for a continuous commercial use, a tape applicator and dispenser should be capable of utilizing a standard relatively large roll without the penalty of too great size and weight.
Accordingly, a principal object of my present invention is the provision of a tape applicator and dispenser which overcomes the problems identified hereinabove.
Another object is the provision of a relatively lightweight, compact tape applicator and dispenser adapted to utilize a standard size full roll of tape.
Still another object of the invention is the provision of a tape applicator and dispenser in which the tension of the tape between the applicator and the surface to which the tape is being applied can be accurately controlled.
A further object of the invention is the provision of a tape cutter so constructed and arranged that the tape may be applied by either a pulling or pushing action around at least of arc of the applicator roller.
A still further object is the provision of a tape applicator and dispenser having both a brake and adjustable cutter in which the brake and adjustable cutter are always under the control of the operator.
Other specific objects and features of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description taken with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view showing a preferred embodiment of the tape applicator and dispenser of the present invention, the figure showing the device at approximately half-scale;
FIG. 2 is a full-scale view showing the device with the cover removed and without the tape roll, the applicator roller also being left oiT so that the cutter attachment can be seen;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the cover;
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 2, but including the applicator roller and showing the roll of tape in position and illustrating the position of the parts when the friction-controlling brake is applied and the tape cutter is in cutting position;
FIG. 5 is a longitudinal central sectional view, partly irregular, taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken on the line 6-6 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary perspective View showing some of the details of the cutter mechanism and illustrating the manner in which the tape is cut;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary perspective view showing a detail of the brake and cutter control;
FIG. 9 is an enlarged sectional view taken on the line 9-9 of FIG. 5, and
FIG. 10 is a plan View with the cover removed showing a modification of the cutter controlling mechanism.
Referring now to the drawings and first particularly to FIGS. 1 through 4 inclusive, the tape applicator and dispenser of the present invention comprises a housing and frame member Ill and a cover 12 adapted to be secured together to produce a complete housing assembly as shown in FIG. 1. The housing assembly completely encloses a roll of standard tape 13, shown particularly in FIG. 4, but the principal portion of the supporting and controlling mechanism is carried by :the housing and frame member 11.
Each of the two members forming the housing asse bly, viz. the housing and frame member .11 and the housing cover 12, has acentralopening 14; and the two central openings 14 define a continuous opening 14 (P16. 1) entirely through the device for the passage of the fingers of one hand. Thus the overall shape of the housing is like a large doughnut or ring which can be grasped readily by inserting the fingers in the opening 14. A flat but rounded portion is is for the palm of the hand so that the grip on the device may be defined as a spade or pistol grip. The device, therefore, may be moved in mostwany direction by wrist movement of the hand in which'it is held.
The opening 14in the housing and frame member 11 is defined by a peripheral rimming flange 17 with a thickened portion at 18. The opening in the cover 12 has a matching peripheral rimming flange 19 and a thickened portion 21. The thickened portion21 on the cover carries a headed pin 22 which projects into an opening in the 1 'ckened portion 18 on the housing and frame member 11 where its head snaps under a spring wire retaining clip 23 (MG. 9), which is held in position with a plate 24.
The housing and frame member 11 has an exterior peripheral flange 26 which extends entirely around such member 11 except at the location of a projection 27 which carries a supporting pin 28 on which an applicator roller assembly 29 is rotatably supported. The housing cover 122 has a matching peripheral flange 3 1 which also extends entirely around the cover except at the location of the projection 27, as may be seen particularly in FlGS. and 7. Within the housing and aligned with the applicator roller assembly 29 is a pin 32 which rotatably supports a stabilizing roller 33. The projecting peripheral flanges 17 and 19around the central opening 1.4 function as a spool supporting hub to carry the full size standard roll of tape 13 in the manner shown in FIG. 4.
The tape itself, indicated by [the reference character A, has its gummy side in contact with a stabilizing roller 33 and its ungummed side in contact with the rubber exterior of the applicator roller assembly 29. Two leaf springs 34, secured to the housing and frame member 1 -1 by rivets 36, gently bias the tape roll 13- against a slightly raised annulus 37 on the cover to produce a uniform but lessened friction to the turning of the roll 13 as the tape A is withdrawn.
The brake and tape cutter mechanism are controlled by a trigger member 38 supported exteriorly of the housing in a positionwhere it may be operated readily by the thumb of one hand, but where it may be operated also in other ways if desired. The tri ger member 33 has a rounded recessed portion 39 adapted to be engaged by the thumb so that the free end of the trigger member may be readily depressed in the manner of a bell crank lever to operate the brake, or the entire trigger member may be pushed forwardly to operate the cutter. The trigger member 38 is pivoted at its center to a floating arm 41, andat its forward end to an arm 42 pivoted at 43 to the housing and frame member 1 1. The two arms 41 and 42 pass through an edge slot 44 (FIG. 8) in the housing and are pivoted at 46 and 47 respectively to the trigger member 3 8. The floating arm 41 is primarily involved in operating the brake, and the \arm 42 is primarily involved in operating the cutter member.
The brake is in the :form of an arcuate strip 48 with an internal projection 49 having a slot 51 into which a pin '52 projects. The pin 52 is lfixed on the housing and frame member 11 and is provided a head 53 so that the arcuate strip 43 is held against displacement but may move bodily in a radial direction with respect to the axis of the roll 13 to the position indicated by the broken lines in FIG. 2. The floating arm 41 also carries a pin 54 which'projects upwardly lthroughan apertured projection 56 on the arcuate strip 48. With this construction, when the free end or" the trigger member is depressed to the broken line position (FIG. 2), the entire assembly compnisingthe arcuate strip 48 is constrained to move bodily outwardly to engage the inside of the roll 13 and produce a braking action. The exterior of the arcuate strip 48 is preferably polished so that the roll will readily move around it when the triggermember not actuated. Notwithstanding this polished suriace, l have found a braking action sufiicient toproduce a fiity pound pull on the tape may be obtained. It will be noted that the flange 17 which, with the arcuate strip 43-forms a hub for the roll 13, together substantially define a circle, but that the flange '17 is shaped'so that it has only slight contact with the paper mandrel of the roll 13.
The cutter member includesa sharp cutter blade 57 set within a right-angular extension -58 of a radially extending arm 59 on a rotatably supported pin 23 at the base of the applicator roller assembly 29. The cutter blade is normally held away from the path of the tape by a tension spring 62 secured at 63 to the extension 58, and by a pin 64 to the housing and frame member 11. The hub 61, being loosely rotatably supported on the supporting pin 28, can be withdrawn to the, full line position shown in FIG. 2, but may be rotated against the action of the tension spring 62 to the position shown in FIG. 7 (or the broken line position of FIG. 2) so that the tape may be cut by the engagement with (the cutter blade 57. To move the cutter blade to operative position I provide a thin flexible cable to. This cable carries a bead 67 at one end, and the cable extends in an edge slot around the hub 61, the edge slot defining a hole through the base of the axial projection 59, so that the bead 67 has the effect of anchoring the cable in position. At its opposite end, :the cable also carries a bead 63 which anchors it against the arm 42 at one end of a hole 69 drilled through such arm 42, the cable lying in an edge groove 71 on the rounded end of the arm 42. Thus, by pushing the entire trigger member 38 forwardly to the broken line position shown in FIG. 2, the cutter may be swung to the broken line position at the bottom of MG. 2 or to the full line position shown in FIG. 7.
So far asfeeding the tape is concerned and controlling its position around the stabilizing roller 33 on the applicator roller, '1 may employ any of the stabilizing features disclosed in my prior co-pending applications. It should be noted, however, that in the present application the leaf springs 34 displace the entire roll 13 in one direction so that such roll. always lies in a fixed position with respect to a plane running at right angles to the axis of the ap plicator roller. This positioning of the roll itself greatly facilitates placement of the tape in an exact position with respect to the applicator roller. It also compensates for non-uniformity in the width of the tape, aparticularly important feature when masking operations are being carried out.
The present embodiment of an applicator and dispenser device also is adapted to utilize any of the features ofthe applicator rollers disclosed inmy prior co-pending applications, including the specific. arrangement of the floating guide disc. When the device of the present invention is used for wrapping packages, the guide disc will not be used, but normally the applicator roller will have a fiat exterior rubber face of considerable resiliency so that it will readily adapt itself to the surface of the package against which the tape is being applied.
The present invention may be utilized for the application of masking tape, however, as for example to special surfaces, in corners and along panels and trim, in which case special shaped applicator rollers may be used with guide discs when required. One function for which the device of my prior application and the device shown herein have been used to advantage is to seal up cracks Ctr:
in all kinds of fumigation procedures. When sealing around doors and windows, applicator rollers are employed which have a substantially right-angular periphery, so that the tape will be fed along the right-angular marginal cracks as between a door and its frame. The device of the present invention has been found very timesaving in such operations.
The brake mechanism and cutter mechanism may be used separately or together. Looking at the broken lines in FIG. 2 and analyzing the linkages to the trigger memher, it is obvious that the brake may be applied without pushing the trigger member bodily forward and, therefore, without cutting the tape. Not only can the brake be applied, but the tension on the tape obtained by the braking action can be controlled accurately. This action is very helpful during many kinds of tape applications. As an example, if tape is being applied around a package, the tape may be pulled tight as it is passed across a top face, around its margin and down a vertical side, so that a tight wrapping action takes place. While normally there is some advantage in applying the brake to increase friction during a cutting operation, the cutter may be operated by pushing the entire trigger member bodily forward without applying any substantial amount of braking action to the tape roll. Thus, the position of the cutter and the tension applied to the tape are always and, if necessary, separately under the control of an operator.
The supporting of a full roll of standard tape of any desired conventional width (one-half to one inch is common with three-quarters and five-eighths inch most frequently used) offers many advantages particularly when the total device is of relatively light weight and has no projecting protuberances or offset braces or supports for the rolls, such as are common in related devices of the prior art. As the drawings show, the entire device is made of relatively light and thin material with reinforcements 76 in various locations such as to the projection 27. The device is suitably formed of die-cast aluminum to facilitate providing strength where required with overall lightness where great strength is not required. As shown in FIG. 6, the upper part of the housing is offset for lightness while still providing adequate space to house the roll 13. The lowermost portion of the housing is offset in the opposite direction to provide operating space for the levers 41 and 42 and related mechanism. This overall arrangement of carrying the roll 13 entirely within the housing and within the hand has marked advantages in making tape application exceedingly simple, so that the ordinary operator can use the device through a normal working day without excessive tiring.
Among the features which contribute to the ease with which the device of the present invention is used is that when the cutter is actuated with the parts in the position shown in FIGS, 1, 4 and 7, there is always a short tab A, and always of uniform length, which projects out and permits the next application of tape to start by merely placing the tab A on the surface to which the tape is to be applied. As already pointed out, the tape can be applied with a pulling movement in which the device is in the general attitude shown in FIG. 1 out in front of the operator, and such operator applies the tape by drawing the device toward himself. He can now draw it entirely past his own position, continue to apply pressure to the applicator roller, with such roller pointed directly downwardly, and then continue to apply the pressure with a pushing action and with the applicator roller faced in the opposite direction to that indicated in FIG. 1. In performing this series of movements, which however are performed as one continuous movement, the operator can apply the tape along a fiat horizontal surface, or he can pass over a straight edge and down a vertical surface, all in one operation, and continuously controlling the pressure on the tape as he goes along. At any position in this described movement, he can actufi ate the cutter and cut the tape, and whatever his position may be, the tab A will always remain and he is always in position immediately to start another application of the tape at the starting position without at any time grasping the tape in his hand.
In the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 1 through 9 I utilize a single trigger member operating both the cutter and brake. I may, however, use separate control mechanisms and modify the construction of either or both devices. In FIG. 10 I have shown a cutter mechanism only, the brake mechanism being deleted to facilitate the showing, and have also illustrated a modified cutter which still however accomplishes the desired objective of keeping the cutter blade out of the path of the tape and permitting application of the tape over a range of positions covering at least of arc. With respect to both embodiments I say 180 as a minimum requirement, but the construction of both embodiments actually permits application of the tape through almost 270 of arc.
In the embodiment of FIG. 10 I have employed the same reference characters used in the previous embodiment with, however, the prefix 1 to denote modification. The cutter mechanism includes a trigger member 138 integral with a rod 142 pivoted at 143 to a bell crank lever 144 pivoted at 145. The offset cutter blade holder 158 is carried by an arm 159 projecting from a hub 161 in the form of a small spur gear. This spur gear in turn meshes with a rack 162 formed on the bottom end of the bell crank lever 144. The result is that when the trigger member 158 is depressed with the thumb, the bell crank lever is caused to move in a counter-clockwise direction around its pivot 145, sweep the rack 162 to the right, looking at the drawing, and bring the cutter out into the path of the tape in the same general position as indicated in FIG. 7 of the main embodiment.
I have already noted that the brake mechanism is not shown in FIG. 10. It may be provided, however, by ex- ,actly duplicating the structure shown in the main embodiment, but with its own trigger member lying at the side of the trigger member 138, so that either or both of the trigger members may be depressed at the will of the operator.
I have described my invention in detail so that those skilled in the art may understand the manner of operating the same, but the scope of the invention is defined by the claims.
1. In a tape applicator and dispenser, a housing consisting of a housing and frame member and removable cover therefor, a peripheral opening being provided at one edge of the housing, a projection from the housing and frame member at such opening, a tape applicator roller carried by the projection exterior of the housing, a stabilizing roller also carried by the projection in general alignment radially with the applicator roller, an arcu ate strip within the roll generally defining a circle with the flange which supports the roll, a pin carried by the housing and frame member, a projection carried by the arcuate strip into which said pin projects to permit radial movement of the 'arcuate strip with respect to the roll, a floating arm with one end extending through the housing and one end pivotably connected to the 'a-rcuate strip, and a pivoted trigger member pivoted to said floating arm inter-mediate its ends, whereby depressing the unpivoted end of the trigger member has the effect of displacing said arcuate strip bodily and axially with respect to the roll to apply a braking action thereto.
2. In a tape applicator and dispenser, a housing consisting of a housing and frame member and removable cover therefor, a peripheral opening being provided at one edge of the housing, a projection from the housing and frame member at such opening, a tape applicator roller carried by the projection exterior of the housing, a stabilizing roller also carried by the project-ion in general alignment radially with the applicator roller, an arcuate strip within the roll generally defining a circle with the flange which supports the roll, a pin carried by the housing and frame member, a projection carried by the arcuate strip into which said pin projects to permit radial movement of the arcuate strip with respect to the roll, a floating arm with one end extending through the housing and one end pivotably connected to the arcuate strip, a cutter member rotatably supported co-axially with said applicator roller, spring means normally urging said cutter member in retracted position, an actuating arm. pivoted to the housing and frame member, means between the cutter member and actuating arm for moving said cutter member to operating position in response to pivoted movement of said actuating arm, a trigger member lying along the edge of the housing and having its forward end pivotedto said actuating lever and pivoted intermediate itsends to said floating lever, whereby depressing the unpivoted end of the trigger member will operate the brake and body displacement of the trigger member will operate said cutter member.
3. In a tape applicator and dispenser, a frame, means on the frame for rotatably supporting a roll of tape, a pin supported on said frame, an applicator roller assembly rotatably supported on said frame, means for guiding tape from the said roll to the applicator roller for application to a surface, handle means associated with the frame for grasping the device in one hand for tape application to said surface, a tape cutter member pivoted to said applicator roller pin, tension spring means functioning to rotate said cutter member away from the tape during application, an arm pivoted to the frame, cable means associated with one end of said arm to rotate said cutte member into tape cutting position, an arcuate brake strip, means for loosely supporting said strip within said roll to permit axial movement of the said strip with respect to the roll, a floating arm having one end thereof in pivoted relation with said arcuate brake strip, and a trigger member supported conveniently to the thumb of the hand grasping the device, said pivoted cutter controlling arm having one end pivoted to the one end of the trigger member and said floating brake controlling arm having one end pivoted to the trigger member intermediate the ends thereof, whereby thumb pressure on the unpivoted end of the trigger member controls the position of said arcuate brake strip and body displacement of the trigger member moves the cutter member into tape-cutting position,
4. Inatape applicator and dispenser, a housing consisting of a housing and frame member and removable cover therefor, said housing and cover being circular with an offset defining a housing extension, a peripheral opening being provided at said housing extension, a projection from the housing and frame member at such opening, a tape applicator roller carried by the projection exterior of the housing, a stabilizing roller carried by the housing member in such housing extension in general alignment radially with the applicator roller, a central hub formed by the housing and cover to rotatably support a mandrel of a standard roll of tape, an arcuate strip within the roll generally defining a circle with said hub which supports the roll, a pin carried by the housing and frame member, a projection carried by the arcuate strip into which said pin projects to permit radial movement of the arcuate strip with respect to the roll, a floating arm with one end extending through the housing and one end pivotably connected to the arcuate strip, a cutter. member rotatably supported co-axially with said applicator roller, spring means normally urging sa-id cutter member in a retracted position away from said-applicator roller and tape thereon, an actuating arm pivoted to the housing andvframe member, means between the cutter member and actuating arm forward end pivoted to said actuating lever and pivoted intermediate its end to said floating lever, whereby depressing the unpivoted end of the trigger member will expand the said arcuate strip against said roll mandrel to apply braking action to the tape, and body displacement of the trigger member along the periphery of the housing will operate said cutter member.
5. In a tape applicator and dispenser, a frame, means on the frame for rotatably supporting a mandrel carrying a roll of tape, a pin supported on said frame, an appli cator roller assembly rotatably supported on said frame, means including a stabilizing roller aligned with the applicator roller for guiding tape from the said roll to the applicator roller for application to a surface, handle means associated with the frame for grasping the device in one hand for tape application to said surface, a tape cutter member pivoted to said applicator roller pin, tension spring means functioning to rotate said cutter member away from the tape during tape application to a surface, an arm pivoted to the frame, cable means associated with one end of said arm to rotate said cutter member into tape cutting position, an arcuate brake strip, means for loosely supporting said strip within said mandrel to permit axial movement of the said strip with respect to said mandrel, a floating arm having one end thereof in pivoted relation with said arcuate strip, and a thumb engageable trigger member supported conveniently to the thumb of the hand grasping the device, said pivoted cutter controlling arm having one end pivoted to one end of the trigger member and said floating brake controlling am having one end pivoted to the trigger member intermediate the ends thereof, whereby thumb pressure on the unpivoted end of the trigger member controls the position of said arcuate brake strip and'body displacement of the trigger member moves the cutter member into tape-cutting position.
6. A tape dispensing mechanism having in combination; a shallow housing comprising a pair of mating tray-like portions, and including an apertured tip-like portion from which said housing smoothly diverges into generally teardrop configuration, means maintaining said mating portions in clamped engagement during use while permitting manual separation for loading, said housing being dimensioned to be manually held during use and provided with a hub-like finger grip aperture spaced from said tip-like portion, said hub-like portion being defined by flange-like integral extensions of said tray-like portions to provide a bearing for the rotational mounting within said housing of an open center roll of tape to be dispensed through said aperture, means mounted adjacent said hub-like portion and receivable Within an open tape roll for braking the rotation of saidtape roll, and means cooperatively connected to said braking means and extending externally of the gripping and control portion of said housing for the manual activation thereof.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,368,262 Oftedahl et al Jan. 30, 1945 2,473,072 Plouff June 14, 1949 2,493,737 Burns Jan. 10, 1950 2,573,912 Drueger Nov. 6, 1951 2,586,835 Leger Feb. 26, 1952 2,665,078 Krueger Jan. 5, 1954 2,798,552 Aldrich July 9, 1957 2,834,646 Berg May 13, 1958 FOREIGN PATENTS 859,095 Great Britain Jan. 18, 1961