Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3319328 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 16, 1967
Filing dateSep 24, 1962
Priority dateSep 24, 1962
Publication numberUS 3319328 A, US 3319328A, US-A-3319328, US3319328 A, US3319328A
InventorsFinger James Henry, William L Williams
Original AssigneeMillmont Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of installing a protective cap on an exposed wooden pole
US 3319328 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 1967 J. H. FINGER ETAL 3,319,328








S 4 m M m G M OM M F N W N s L lw M A m J L H W May 16, 1967 FINGER ETAL 3,319,328


INVENTORS JAMES H. FINGER WILLIAM L.w|LL|AMs United States Patent r 3,319,328 METHOD OF INSTALLING A PROTECTIVE CAP ON AN EXPOSED WOODEN POLE James Henry Finger, Scottdale, and William L. Williams,

West Chester, Pa., assignors to Millmont Industries, Inc.,

Leisenring, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Sept. 24, 1962, Ser. No. 225,663 9 Claims. (Cl. 29-423) This invention relates to a method for protecting objects from damage due to weather exposure attack by insects, borers, bacteria and fungi.

More particularly the invention pertains to a method of using a protective cap suitable for installation on the top of wooden poles such as those conventionally used by the utility companies for supporting electric power and telephone cables.

Despite the current practice of treating wooden utility poles with various types of preservatives, it has been found that the average life expectancy of a pole leaves much to be desired. The top portion of the pole very often cracks or splits in such a way that moisture gains entrance followed by entry, in many cases of bacteria, fungi, insects and borers. Attack of the wood by such infestations results in decreased pole life in the critical top area which is relatively inaccessible and hard to inspect. In colder climates where the damage from such infestations is relatively less severe, alternate freezing and thawing causes deterioration of serious proportions.

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved method for prolonging the life of a utility pole.

A further object of the invention is to provide an improved method for installing a protective cap on the top of a utility pole.

Further objects will be apparent from the specification and drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a view partly sectioned, showing the top of a conventional utility pole with our improved cap in place,

FIG. 2 is a view showing a bias cut or step on the top of a utility pole,

FIG. 3 shows a conical cut for the top of a utility pole,

FIG. 4 shows an improved protective cap for a utility pole shaped to fit over a right angle cut on the top of the pole such as indicated in FIG. 1,

FIG. 5 shows a protective cap similar to FIG. 4 but shaped to be used on the pole of FIG. 2,

FIG. 6 shows a protective cap shaped .to fit on the pole of FIG. 3,

FIG. 7 is a longitudinal section of an elastomeric cap such as shown in FIGS. 1 and 4,

FIG. 8 is an enlarged sectional detail as seen in 8-8 of FIG. 7,

FIG. 9 is a perspective showing a series of valves in a protective cap for utility poles,

FIG. 10 is an enlarged sectional detail as seen at 10-10 of FIG. 9,

FIGS. 11-13 shows successive steps in the installation of a protective cap according to the present invention, including the positioning of a preservative on the top of the pole,

FIG. 14 is a transverse sectional view showing a frangible sleeve installed in an elastomeric protective cap to maintain it in an expanded condition before and during installation of the. cap on the pole,

FIG. 15 is a view similar to FIG. 14 showing an annular sleeve formed of meltable material such as ice which holds in place a cake of wood preservative,

FIG. 16 shows an elastomenic cap stretched over a refrigerated mold preparatory to freezing the cap to hold it in an expanded condition,

3,319,328 Patented May 16, 1967 FIG. 17 is a perspective showing means for installing a pre-expanded cap on a utility pole,

FIG. 18 is a perspective showing preferred means for positioning and securing the cap in place on the top of a P FIG. 19 is a side view of a modified form of protective p,

FIG. 20 shows a plurality of nested caps of the type seen in FIG. 19,

FIG. 21 is a perspective showing a further embodiment of a sleeve for installing the cap,

FIG. 22 is a section as seen at 22--22 of FIG. 21,

FIG. 23 is a view similar to FIG. 22 with the installing sleeve about to disengage the cap,

FIG. 24 is a perspective showing the complete removal of the sleeve of FIG. 21 in the method of FIGS. 21-23,

FIG. 25 is a fragmentary perspective showing a further embodiment of device for installing the protective cap,

FIG. 26 is a perspective showing the complete installing collar of FIG. 25, I

FIG. 27 is a perspective of the apparatus of FIG. 26 with the cap in place, and

FIG. 28 is a perspective showing the final installation step and the removal of the split collar.

The invention comprises essentially the provision of a cylindrical cap made of natural or synthetic moisture impervious material which in a relaxed condition is formed of a dimension suitable to provide a snug fit on the top of a conventional wood utility pole. These poles are customarily made in standard size ranges so that a predetermined diameter for the elastomeric sleeve will fit a utility pole within a given diameter range. If necessary to increase or decrease the standard diameter of the protective sleeve or cap this can easily be accomplished during fabrication of the cap. However, the elasticity of the material specified is such that a cap fabricated to fit even the smallest diameter pole top can readily be stretched to fit any larger diameter pole that is conventionally employed.

While it is contemplated that in many instances the cap can be manually expanded by a workman in the hydraulically elevated platform of the type known as a cherry picker, the invention also includes a cap and means for installing a cap where the operator does not have access to the top of the pole in order to manually stretch or shir the cap onto the pole.

Referring now more particularly to the drawings, a wood utility pole 25 shown in FIG. 1 has what is usually referred to as a square cut step 26 which simply means that the pole is cut substantially at right angles to its longitudinal axis. An elastomeric cap 27 is shown in place on the top of pole 25 and the cap 27 comprises a cylindrical sleeve 27a to which there is joined and adhesively secured, the top portion 27b (FIG. 4).

FIG. 2 shows a wood utility pole with a biased step 26a, which has become cracked due to Weathering, and the cap 30 shown in FIG. 5 is shaped with a biased top portion 270 to more or less accommodate itself to the step 26a in this type of pole.

In the event that the utility pole 31 (FIG. 3) has a conical cut or step 32 we provide a corresonding conical configuration 33 for the protective cap 34 shown in FIG. -6.

Preferably the sleeve 27a is formed with an axially extending seam 40 which is secured by means of a lap or flap 41 (FIG. 8), with or without adhesive material to .form the butt joint 42. The top 27b of the cap is secured be alternatively formed of a single molded piece of material.

In some circumstances it is desirable to place a preservative material on the top of the pole before the cap 27 is installed or to place the preservative inside the cap before installation. This may take the form of a cake 45 of a wood preserver which is positioned on top of the pole 25 or inside of the cap before the cap 27 is put in place. The cake of preservative is of a type which gradually melts so that a decreased thickness of the cake 45 is show-n in FIG. 12 and the cake, as such, has totally dissolved and soaked into the top of the pole 25 in FIG. 13. However, there may be circumstances in which a certain amount of air, gas or water vapor is entrapped at the top of the pole which is considered undesirable.

To eliminate this trapping of gases and vapors we provide what is known as a Bunsen valve 47 in the upper area of the cap. These Bunsen valves take the form of bias slits (FIG. 9) arranged on the top 27b of the cap or around the upper part of the periphery of the sleeve 27a as may be desired. It should be understood that valves 47 remain sealed to prevent ingress of any material but the generation of supra atmospheric air or entrapped gas pressure causes opening of the valves or valve to expel the entrapped gas. The presence or absence of the valve in the cap will, of course, depend on the particular inst-allation being made.

The protective caps cannot always be stretched by the lineman for installation. In such cases it is desirable to provide means for prestretching or expanding the caps to an internal diameter such that they can be dropped onto any diameter pole. One form for such pre-expansion is shown in FIG. 14 in which a frangible annular sleeve 50 is installed in the cap 27. The inside diameter of the sleeve 50 will be such that it is substantially larger than the outside diameter of the pole 25. The sleeve 50 can be made of a frangible material or a material that eventually evaporates or melts, or can be cracked with a sharp blow after installation. Examples of such materials would be solid carbon dioxide, ice, glass, waxes or thin brittle plastics.

It has been found entirely practical to fabricate annular sleeves 51 of ice (FIG. 15) which can be inserted into the caps 27, either with or without a step 52 for supporting the cake of preservative 45.

The inside diameter of the ice sleeve 51 is somewhat larger than the outside diameter of the pole 25. Preferably the length of the sleeve 27a is approximately 8" and the rel-axed diameter of the cap 27b, As the ice annulus melts, the elastomeric cap 27 contracts and finally encases the top of the pole 25 as shown in either FIG. 1 or FIG. 13, depending upon whether or not the cake of preservative 45 is present.

In view of the requirement that portable refrigerating apparatus must be used to prevent the annular sleeves 51 of ice from melting when on the road, we prefer to expand the caps 27 over a tapered refrigerating mold 55 (FIG. 16) which may bev supplied with suitable low temperature elements 56 to reduce the temperature of the cap to approximately 40 F. or lower. The caps when cooled to this temperature are perfectly rigid and can be stored for extended periods of time insulated in containers with carbon dioxide or Dry Ice. It is, therefore, only necessary to remove the caps from their storage receptacle on the utility truck for quick installation on the pole. Furthermore, if the caps are, tapered as shown in FIG. 16 they can be nested as appears in FIG. 20 in the interest of saving storage space.

The caps of FIGS. 19 and 20 are provided with loops 58 or tabs 59 which may be used by the lineman to manually place the cap on the top of the pole. Presumably the tab 59 would somewhat hinder the nesting so that the tabs 58 on the end of the sleeves are employed under these conditions.

For the purpose of installing the caps on the pole by lineman on the ground we utilize a flap or strap 60 (FIG.

18) which is secured to the top element 27b to provide a wide slot through which a flat plate 61 can be inserted. The plate '61 is attached to the top of a rod 62 which may be manipulated by the lineman on the ground and an adjustable clamp 63 may be used to preset the angle to which the arm 64 is attached to the pole 62. The flat configuration of the plate 61 and the width of strap enables the lineman to guide the cap 27 onto the top of the pole 25 even under winter conditions, and the construction is such that he can lift or turn or push the cap 27 in place. This feature, of course, is of some importance in the event that the biased cap 30' of FIG. 5 is to be installed.

A somewhat simpler method of installing the caps from the ground as shown in FIG. 17 in which the top of the cap is provided with a hook of rubber or metal 67 and arm 68 of pole 69 is provided with a ring 70 which may be temporarily fastened underneath the hook 67.

When the cap 27 is pushed on top of hte pole the lineman gives a yank in the direction of the hook, thus disconnecting the ring 70 from the hook 67. The embodiment shown in FIG. 17 may be employed under climatic conditions in which air currents would not interfere with proper positioning of the cap on the pole.

Referring now to FIGS. 20-24 a different embodiment of the invention as it pertains to the method of installing a protective cap 27 utilizes a rigid skirt or sleeve 60 having a pair of hooks or handles 61, 61 attached at the lower edge of the sleeve.

The outer periphery of the sleeve is highly polished or may be prepared with a suitable non-friction coating or preparation so that when one of the caps 27 is stretched over the sleeve 60 the entire sleeve assembly may be positioned over the top of a pole 25 as shown in FIG. 22, downward force exerted on handles or hooks 61 strip the sleeve. 60 from the cap 27 as shown in FIG. 23, thus permitting the skirt of the cap to envelope the pole top in the desired position previously described. This method might desirably employ the use of a wood preservative 45 which is retained inside the cap 27 in any desired form.

After the sleeve 60 has been completely stripped from the cap 27 it is then removed completely by passing upwardly over the top of the pole shown in FIG. 24. For this purpose it will be understood that the inside diameter of the sleeve 60 must be greater than the outside diameter of the cap 27 when it has contracted around the pole.

A still further embodiment is shown in FIGS. 25-28, which employs a split sleeve or ring for a pair of hinged jaws 65 and 66. These jaws are mounted on a handle 67 secured to the hinged connection 68 between jaws 65 and 66. If desired, a removable segment 69 may be keyed between the ends of the jaws 65 and 66 opposite hinge 68. A cord or wire 70 is secured to segment 69 so that it may be released after the cap has been installed in the manner to be desired.

The upper edges of the jaws 65 and 66 are provided with a plurality of posts 71, 71 or sufi'icient height so that they are approximately equal to or greater than the length of the skirt of the cap 27. A plurality of hollow tube ice cubes 72, 72 of the variety made in the conventional refrigerator are then slicked over the posts 71, 71 as shown in FIG. 25. The cap 27 is then stretched around all of the posts and ice cubes 72, so that the inside diameter of teh expanded cap is sufficiently great can be eliminated and the free ends of the jaws 65 and 66 permitted to abut against each other. This provides for chloride, polyethylene and polypropylene.

limited adjustment to accommodate different size pole. The assembly can then be removed by laterally opening jaws 65 and 66 sufliciently to clear the cap 27.

In either We have provided an effective and eflicient means for installing elastic protective caps to the top of utility poles which are of limited accessibility from the ground.

The preferred material for the caps is a closed cell sponge elastomeric material such as neoprene, but other synthetic rubber may also be used as well as certain closed cell foamed plastic material such as polyvinyl A smooth exterior surface is preferred since there is less exposed surface area.

The cap may be treated by coating, dipping or spraying with an ozone resistant material and may be given treatment (for protection against ultra violet rays.

The range of elongation of the preferred material is on the order of 50% to 300% which is ample to be used on poles having a diameter of 4" to 9" with a single molded form. The preferred density of the elastomeric material from which the caps are made ranges between 8 lbs. per cu. ft. to 35 lbs. per cu. ft., and the wall thickness is desirably Vs It will thus be understood that we have provided an improved cap and method for preserving utility poles, pilings and other like objects from the harmful action of insects, bacteria and fungi. Furthermore the present invention affords protection to wooden poles subject to temperature change, the action of sunlight, moisture and freezing. In addition the use of a cap for shaped wooden objects provides a convenient means for retaining and applying suitable wood preservatives over a long period 'of time and prevents the gradual deterioration of initially applied preservatives.

The device is suitable for application to all types of wooden utility poles, pilings, posts such as fence posts, and other exposed wooden objects having terminal areas subject to infiltration of harmful elements as well as deterioration due to exposure to weather and temperature conditions.

Having thus described our invention We claim:

\1. The method of preserving wooden elements exposed to temperature and weather which comprises the steps of expanding an elastomeric cap, mounting said expanded cap on a support, covering the upper extremity of said wooden pole with said expanded cap, removing said support from said expanded cap and permitting the expanded cap to contract to form a protective enclosure for the top and upper peripheral portions of the pole.

2. The method of claim 1 including the step of applying a preservative to the top of the wooden po'le inside the cap.

3. The method of preparing protective caps for exposed wooden poles and the like which comprises the steps of expanding a stretchable elastic cap over a form, reducing the temperature of said expanded cap to freeze said expanded cap while on the form, removing the form while maintaining the cap in said expanded condition at reduced temperature, installing the expanded cap on a wooden object, and permitting the expanded cap to contract at ambient temperature.

4. The method of claim 3 in which the reduced temperature is approximately -40 F.

5. The method of claim 3 in which the cap is tapered.

6. The method of preparing a stretchable cap for insertion over a wooden object and the like which comprises the steps of solidifying a normally liquid material such as water into a sleeve-like annulus, the inside diameter of said annulus being greater than the outside diameter of the wooden object, stretching an elastic cap over the frozen annulus, maintaining the annulus and stretched cap in said solidified condition, installing the annulus and cap on the top of the wooden object and permitting the annulus to melt, thereby contracting the cap to fit closely around the wooden object.

7. The method of claim 6 including the steps of positioning a preservative material in the cap, and retaining the said material by means of the annulus.

8. The method of installing a stretchable elastomeric cap on an exposed wooden pole or the like which comprises the steps of stretching the cap over a sleeve having a relatively smooth, low friction outer periphery, positioning the sleeve over the top of the exposed pole, withdrawing the sleeve downwardly to slide the sleeve out of the cap and removing the sleeve upwardly over the contracted cap, the inside diameter of the sleeve being greater than the outside diameter of the cap in its contracted position on the pole. V

9. A method of installing a protective cap on an exposed wooden pole which comprises the steps of installing a plurality of ice sleeves on a plurality of circumferentially spaced axially extending parts of an expanding ring, the inside diameter of said ring and posts being greater than the outside diameter of the wooden pole, stretching an elastomeric protective cap over said ice sleeves, positioning the expanded cap and ice sleeves around the top of the pole, removing said posts on said expanding ring from said ice sleeves and said expanded cap, and permitting the cap to contract around the pole after the ice sleeves melt.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,676,236 7/1928 Armstrong 2.9-235 X 1,707,397 4/1929 Hurst 52-301 X 1,996,400 4/1935 Bowen 52301 1,998,356 4/1935 Brown 264-230 X 2,408,693 10/1946 Sidebotham 29-2355 2,450,345 9/1948 Kervin. 2,714,912 8/1955 Gonnella. 2,992,457 7/ 1961 Harrison 264230 3,267,805 8/1966 Ackenman 52-301 X FOREIGN PATENTS 222,331 7/ 1962 Austria. 82,427 1/1935 Sweden.

CHARLIE T. MOON, Primary Examiner. JACOB L. NACKENOFF, Examiner. D. R. CO'MUZZI, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1676236 *Mar 14, 1927Jul 10, 1928Armstrong Fredrick ANipple applicator
US1707397 *Sep 6, 1927Apr 2, 1929Dallas FoundryPole or post protection
US1996400 *Sep 1, 1934Apr 2, 1935Bowen Everette LMeans for preserving pile heads
US1998356 *Feb 21, 1933Apr 16, 1935Richard D BrownKnife handle and method of making same
US2408693 *Sep 16, 1943Oct 1, 1946Harlow M RussellNipple applying implement
US2450345 *Nov 18, 1944Sep 28, 1948Martin Kervin WilliamProtective cap for wood posts, poles, and the like
US2714912 *Aug 21, 1952Aug 9, 1955Peter GonnellaTrailer hitch protector
US2992457 *Mar 28, 1960Jul 18, 1961Grace W R & CoMethod of joining pipe and tubing
US3267805 *Feb 21, 1962Aug 23, 1966Missouri Rolling Mill CorpLight reflectors for elongated post-like members
AT222331B * Title not available
SE82427A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4070746 *Sep 3, 1976Jan 31, 1978Raychem CorporationMethod for covering an article with a recoverable sleeve
US4103875 *Oct 1, 1976Aug 1, 1978Glass Carl RSpear points for fence structure and method
US4153559 *May 20, 1977May 8, 1979Sanderson Charles HWater treatment device and method for manufacturing same
US4161090 *Feb 3, 1978Jul 17, 1979Watts Ridley JrPost assembly and method
US4245931 *Jul 10, 1979Jan 20, 1981Watts Jr RidleyPost assembly and method
US4329231 *Oct 1, 1979May 11, 1982Mitthoff CorporationInsulating fuel filter cover
US4338970 *Jun 16, 1975Jul 13, 1982Raychem CorporationRecoverable sleeve
US4585607 *May 28, 1982Apr 29, 1986Raychem CorporationMethod of covering a member
US4879035 *Feb 17, 1989Nov 7, 1989Thompson Allen OAll season fuel filter
US4908247 *Apr 10, 1987Mar 13, 1990The Procter & Gamble CompanyArticle including segment which is elastically shirrable after manufacture
US4972864 *Nov 21, 1989Nov 27, 1990Almond Milton DTent peg cover
US5161581 *May 28, 1991Nov 10, 1992Scheetz Kenneth SProtective plumbing sleeve
US5256006 *Sep 23, 1991Oct 26, 1993Harding Daniel MDriving cap for stakes and posts
US5311713 *Sep 21, 1992May 17, 1994Goodrich Bill JElectric and telephone pole ground protector
US5363618 *Mar 22, 1991Nov 15, 1994Underwood Daniel CConstruction site safety
US6006479 *Dec 10, 1997Dec 28, 1999Osmose Wood Preserving, Inc.Pole top protective device and method
US6162383 *Mar 25, 1997Dec 19, 2000The Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd.Method of diametrally expanding an elastic tube
US6209276 *Oct 1, 1999Apr 3, 2001Frank Venegas, Jr.Installing a sleeve onto an elongated member
US6568881Oct 15, 2001May 27, 2003Walter Daniel LongJet head device for sinking pilings
US6638590Oct 16, 1998Oct 28, 2003Denovus LlcLaminar structure
US6902785Aug 20, 2003Jun 7, 2005Denovus LlcLaminar structure
US7137228 *Sep 25, 2001Nov 21, 2006Wagner David FSafety cover for post brackets, column base connectors, and the like
US7959486 *Feb 11, 2009Jun 14, 2011Lee Chester RNative bee propagation pole and method of use
US8177457 *Dec 2, 2009May 15, 2012Boudreaux Jr James CPipeline protection and levee module system
U.S. Classification29/423, 174/45.00R, 405/216, 29/235, 428/907, 29/450, 138/89, 52/301
International ClassificationE04H12/24, H02G7/00
Cooperative ClassificationE04H12/24, Y10S428/907, H02G7/00
European ClassificationH02G7/00