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Publication numberUS3212542 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 19, 1965
Filing dateMay 2, 1963
Priority dateMay 2, 1963
Publication numberUS 3212542 A, US 3212542A, US-A-3212542, US3212542 A, US3212542A
InventorsGodfrey Tad A, Miller Ellsworth B
Original AssigneePhilco Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of inlaying wood panels
US 3212542 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 19, 1965 E. B. MILLER ETAL METHOD OF INLAYING WOOD PANELS Filed May 2 1963 United States Patent 3,212,542 METHOD OF INLAYING WOOD PANELS Ellsworth B. Miller, Philadelphia, Pa., and Tad A.

Godfrey, Cherry Hill, N.J., assignors to Philco Corporation, Philadelphia, Pa., a corporation of Delaware Filed May 2, 1963, Ser. No. 277,564 3 Claims. (Cl. 144-317) The present invention relates to the art of making decorative panels and, particularly, to the production of inlay decorated wood face veneer panels of the kind employed in the manufacture of Wooden cabinets and similar constructions.

In producing a panel of this type is has been common practice to form the surface of the panel with a seat into which a preformed inlay of desired design or pattern is inserted and glued, the seat being obtained by routing or otherwise cutting out the wood facing material at the surface of the panel. These procedures require skilled craftsmanship to form a seat which has an outline and a depth corresponding to the outline and thickness of the preformed inlay. Such craftsmanship adds to the cost of the inlay panels so that their use has been heretofore limited mostly to cabinets and constructions of the more expensive variety. Moreover, regardless of how carefully the routing or cutting out of the surface material is accomplished, discrepancies between the cutout seat and the preformed inlay are bound to occur. These discrepancies detract from the aesthetic appearance of the panel and, while the may be remedied to some extent by performing additional steps including the use of crack fillers, such additional steps further add to the production costs. Also, the use of crack fillers is gen erally undesirable because they tend to create objectionable streaks and blemishes in a finished panel.

It is a primary object of this invention to provide a novel method whereby inlay decorated wood face veneer panels can be obtained without the exercise of special skill. Accordingly, such panels can be produced more economically thereby making them available for use in inexpensive cabinets and similar constructions. To realize these ends, the method of the invention is such that it eliminates the necessity of forming an inlay-receiving seat in the surface of a panel by removing therefrom portions of the wood face veneer which constitutes the panel surface.

It is also an object of the invention to provide a method which assures accurate matching between an inlay and the wood face veneer of a panel. In this manner there is produced decorative panels which, when finished, exhibit a smooth uniform surface without streaks.

A characteristic feature of the method of the invention is that it produces an inlay decorated wood face veneer panel in which natural coarseness or roughness in the texture of the inlay as well as of the wood face veneer are ironed-out evenly. As a result, there is produced an inlay panel presenting a flat sleek surface which enhances the appearance of the panel and facilitates the finishing thereof to a pleasing exterior.

The invention is further characterized by the fact that it makes possible the provision of panels with inlays of intricate and mazy designs without taping the inlays to the panels as a preliminary step to actual inlaying.

These general objectives, as well as other features and advantages which will appear as the description progresses, are achieved by the method of the invention in accordance with which an inlay of desired pattern is delineated by cutting through a segment of inlay material placed over an area of the wood face veneer of a panel, the outline of the pattern being scored in the wood face 3,212,542 Patented Oct. 19, 1965 veneer by carrying out the cutting so as to penetrate the surface of the veneer. The segment material in excess of and cut from the delineated inlay piece is removed and the inlay piece, which is adapted to be retained on the panel by thcrmosetting adhesive, is sunk into the underlying surface of the wood face veneer to be in the plane thereof and is bonded thereto by application of pressure and heat.

The invention, and its characteristic features and advantages, will be more fully understood from the follow ing description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a decorative panel produced in accordance with the method of the present invention;

FIGURE 2 is a perspective view illustrating a segment of inlay material being placed upon a wood face veneer panel;

FIGURE 3 is an elevational sectional view illustrating a preferred manner of cutting through the segment of inlay material to delineate the inlay piece and into the face veneer to score thereon the outline of the inlay piece; and

FIGURE 4 is an elevational sectional view illustrating a preferred manner of applying pressure and heat to the panel and the inlay piece.

With more particular reference to the drawing, there is illustrated in FIGURE 1 a panel 10 decorated with a surface inlay piece 11. As shown the panel 10 is a section of standard plywood stock consisting of two outer sheets of wood face veneer 12 and 12a applied, respectively, on opposite sides of a wooden core 14 which may be constructed either of solid lumber or of wood laminations, the face veneer 12 constituting an inlay surface of the panel.

The inlay piece 11 shown in FIGURE 1 is cut from wood veneer which, for distinctive appearance, may exhibit a color or grain in contrast with the color or grain of the face veneer 12 of the pane-l 10. The wood veneer employed to form the inlay piece should be substantially thinner than the thickness of the panel face veneer 12 so that the inlay piece can be embedded snugly Within and bonded securely to the face veneer in the manner to be presently described.

As seen in FIGURE 2, a segment of the thin inlay material, in this case a segment 15 of wood veneer having a thickness of the order of is placed as indicated in broken lines on the panel 10 to lie directly upon the wood face veneer 12 thereof. The segment 15 is larger than the face veneer area A selected to exhibit the inlay piece and, in practice, may be cut or severed from a gontinuous veneer sheet commercially obtainable in roll orm.

The veneer segment 15 is adapted to be bonded to the panel face veneer area A by means of a suitable thermosetting cement or adhesive, for example a rubber-resin contact cement. For that purpose the cement or adhesive can be applied either to cover the panel face veneer area A or the underside of segment 15 immediately prior to placement of the latter on the panel 10 to overlie said area. However, in order to simplify the carrying out of the present method and also to avoid danger of smearing the panel surface it is preferable, as represented at 16 in FIGURE 2, that the normal underside of the sheet veneer from which segments are obtained, be precoated with the cement or adhesive and dried thoroughly. In this manner material for supplying segments out of which inlay pieces are cut, is made available for use as and when needed.

In carrying out the invention, segment 15 is placed with is adhesive coated side on the panel and in proper position to cover the face veneer area A. With the segment so placed, the inlay piece 11 is delineated by cutting through the segment as represented at 17 in FIGURE 3, and is outlined on the panel by continuing the cutting to penetrate the face veneer 12 so as to score the surface thereof, as represented at 18 in said FIGURE 3. As will be understood, the thickness of both the veneer and the inlay segment is shown on a greatly enlarged scale, to facilitate illustration.

Suitable apparatus for cutting through the segment and for scoring the panel face veneer 12 is illustrated in FIGURE 3. Such apparatus essentially comprises a thin sharp die, for example a rule steel die 20, mounted on a support 21 and having a protruding cutting edge 22 contoured in the configuration of the desired inlay design or pattern. Thus by lowering the support 21 with the die onto the panel, the cutting edge 22 of the die cuts out the inlay piece 11 and forms the score line 18 by passing through the inlay material segment 15 and penetrating the panel face veneer 12. The penetration of the die cutting edge into the panel is substantially less than the thickness of the face veneer. Actually it is preferable that the penetration be no greater than that required to break the wood fibers at the surface of the face veneer. The degree of penetration can be determined and controlled by means of spacers or stops 23 carried by the support 21 to be brought into abutting engagement with the confronting surface of panel 10. We have found that the cutting and scoring operation may advantageously be done with a pressure of the order of 200 pounds per lineal inch of the cutting edge portion of the die. By operating at this pressure, a clean sharp cut is obtained and, with proper shaping of the cutting edge 22, the marginal portions 24 of the inlay piece is caused to hug the score line, as represented in FIGURE 3, and thus act to anchor the inlay piece 11 upon the panel 10.

Following the aforesaid cutting and scoring operation, the support 21 with the cutting die 20 is lifted from the panel 10 leaving, as seen in FIGURE 3, the inlay piece 11 and excess segment material, shown at 25, on the panel. Care should be taken not to disturb the cut inlay piece 11 from its position on the panel, and to insure positive retention of the inlay piece either during insertion or withdrawal of the cutting edge portion of die 20, pads 26 of resilient material such as soft rubber or pliable plastic foam, are arranged on the support 21 adjacent said cutting edge portion of the die. These pads 26 normally extend below the support stops 23 and slightly beyond the cutting edge 22. Because of this arrangement, pads 26 contact the inlay material ahead of the cutting die and press on the inlay material close to the cutting edge 22 as it performs its above mentioned cutting and scoring function, so that the inlay material is held against movement with respect to the panel while this function takes place. During lifting of the cutting die after the cutting and scoring operation, the pads 26 due to their resilient characteristic continue to bear upon the cut inlay material thus stripping it from the cutting edge portions of the die and at the same time firmly maintaining the inlay material in fixed contact wtih the face veneer 12 of the panel. Upon completion of the cutting and scoring operation, the inlay material segment sections in excess of the inlay proper, that is to say the inlay piece 11, are peeled off the panel which is then ready for embedding and bonding of the inlay piece 11.

This embedding and bonding is accomplished by applying pressure and heat to the inlay piece 11 as well as over the entire exposed surface of the panel face veneer 12 surrounding said piece. As a result of the combined pressure and heat, the inlay piece is caused to sink into and depress the underlying face veneer 12, the latter being pressed to such an extent that all traces of the scoring disappear. Moreover, the application of pressure and heat onto the plane surfaces of the inlay piece and the panel face veneer produces an ironing effect which smooths out roughnesses and slight irregularities in such surfaces. Accordingly, as seen in FIGURE 4, the inlay piece and panel face veneer lie evenly in a common plane with no apparent separation therebetween.

The above-mentioned results are satisfactorily achieved by placing the panel with the inlay piece thereon in a conventional press supplied with a heated platen 27 (FIG- URE 4) and adapted to subject the inlay piece and the panel continuously, for about 3 minutes, to constant heat within a temperature range of 275 F. to 310 F. and to steady pressure ranging from 3000 to 3100 pounds per square inch of the inlay piece area, but not exceeding 710 pounds per square inch of the total panel area. By operating at the aforesaid temperatures and pressures, overheating and destructive crushing of an inlay panel are prevented. Also to insure against crushing of the panel, the area of the inlay piece should not exceed 22% of the total area of the panel.

Following the pressure and heat treatment described above, the inlay panel is allowed to cool whereupon it can be finished and made ready according to usual practice for ultimate use in cabinets or like structures. Normally, because of the manner in which the inlay piece is obtained and incorporated in the panel, the cooling does not affect the smooth uniform surface of the completed inlay panel. Accordingly an inlay decorated panel produced in accordance with the method of the present invention, requires no further treatment beyond a light sanding prior to final finishing.

From the foregoing description, it will be appreciated that the invention provides a simple yet reliable technique whereby inlay decorated panels can readily and economically be produced in quantities. While the invention has been described with particular reference to specific practices and embodiments, it will be recognized that these practices and embodiments are susceptible to modifications without departing from the gist of the invention. Accordingly it should be understood that the details of the illustrated and described practices and embodiments are not to be construed as limitative of the invention, except insofar as is consistent with the scope of the appended claims.

What we claim is:

1. The method of making decorated wood panels, comprising the steps of: placing on the panel a segment of inlay sheet material, with thermosetting adhesive between the segment and panel; cutting an inlay piece from the segment and forming a scored outline of the inlay piece on the panel by operating a cutting tool so that its cutting edge first penetrates through the segment and into the panel and then is withdrawn from the panel and segment; maintaining the segment and inlay piece against displacement with respect to the panel during penetration and withdrawal of the cutting tool by applying a holding force on areas of the segment and inlay piece lying close to the cutting edge of the tool and, while so holding the segment and inlay piece, arresting the cutting tool to limit the penetration of its cutting edge into the panel to a depth substantially less than the thickness of the latter and no greater than required to break the wood fibers at the surface of the panel; removing the segment material in excess of and cut from the inlay piece; and thereafter applying pressure and heat to the exposed surfaces of the inlay piece and panel, the pressure being sufiicient to sink the inlay piece into the panel to a depth such that the outer surface of said piece lies in the plane of the outer surface of said panel, there-by effecting bonding of said piece to said panel and causing all traces of the aforesaid score outline to disappear.

2. The method set forth in claim 1, in which the thermosetting adhesive is applied to the segment of inlay sheet material and allowed to dry before placing the segment on the panel.

5 6 3. The method set forth in claim 1, in which the pres- References Cited by the Examiner sure and heat are applied to the exposed surfaces of the UNITED STATES PATENTS inlay piece and panel for approximately three minutes, the pressure being maintained within a range of from 1'646613 10/27 Courtenay 156*251 3000 to 3100 pounds per square inch of the surface area 5 1'954754 4/34 Hartzeu 144' 315 of the inlay piece but not exceeding 710 pounds per square 36,665 1/51 Skoog' inch of the total surface area of the panel, and the heat being maintained within a temperature range of from LESTER SWINGLE Primary Exammer' 275 F. to 310 F. WILLIAM W. DYER, 111., Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1646613 *Apr 16, 1926Oct 25, 1927Embosograf Corp Of AmericaProcess for making embossed show cards
US1954754 *Sep 26, 1932Apr 10, 1934Hartzell IndustriesVeneering
US2536665 *Jan 10, 1949Jan 2, 1951Skoog Per FProcess of patching plywood
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3537874 *Oct 23, 1967Nov 3, 1970Multicraft IncPanel with decorative simulated inlay and process
US4080236 *Oct 29, 1976Mar 21, 1978Quadriga Art Co., Inc.Method of making a display folder
US4125655 *Feb 22, 1977Nov 14, 1978Contemporary, Inc.Decorative plaques and process
US4828642 *Sep 15, 1987May 9, 1989Juncal Hector OteroProcess for the manufacture of parquet flooring blocks
U.S. Classification144/348, 156/94, 156/298, 156/268, 156/257
International ClassificationB44C1/00, B44C1/26
Cooperative ClassificationB44C1/26
European ClassificationB44C1/26