US 3650009 A
A tool for joining a zippertube (a flat sheet of vinyl with interlocking tracks along its edges which can be formed (zippered) into a tube by joining said edges) around a cable, that has an opening in the shape of the cable to be covered and that lines up the tracks of the zippertube and then engages them by pressing the tracks together between the outer surfaces of the cable jacket being covered and the inner surface of the tool. So that the zippertube can also be attached without the cable being disconnected at both ends, the tool may be made in the shape of a pliers that is opened and then closed around the cable.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Ausnit et al.
1451 Mar. 21, 1972 UN l l ZIPPERTUBING CLOSING TOOL Steven Ausnit, New York; Gunther Max Sommer, Pearl River, both of N.Y.; Helmut Z. Haherle, Northvale, NJ.
Field of Search i.
...29/23s, 24/201, 81/3 "823p 19/02 8l/3, 5.1; 29/235; 24/2013 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS lO/l963 Plummer ..24/20l X lO/l968 Plummer ..24/2Cll 3, l03,049 9/l 963 Hawley "24/201 C Primary ExaminerTravis S. McGehee Attorney-Hill. Sherman, Meroni, Gross & Simpson  ABSTRACT A tool for joining a zippertube (a flat sheet of vinyl with interlocking tracks along its edges which can be formed (zippered) into a tube by joining said edges) around a cable, that has an opening in the shape of the cable to be covered and that lines up the tracks of the zippertube and then engages them by pressing the tracks together between the outer surfaces of the cable jacket being covered and the inner surface of the tool. So that the zippertube can also be attached without the cable being disconnected at both ends the tool may be made in the shape ofa pliers that is opened and then closed around the call Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENIEnmm m2 sum 1 or 3 l N VENTURE PATENTEDmm m2 SHEET 3 UF 3 INV/if- 1 UPS ZIPPERTUBING CLOSING TOOL BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates in general to plastic zippertubing for covering cables or other devices and in particular for a hand tool for attaching the zippertubing to a cable. The hand tool may be made in one piece or in two hinged pieces.
2. Description ofthe Prior Art Cable jackets of plastic are used to cover telephone cables. The continued flexing, scuffing. scraping and wear and mar of the jackets causes them to become damaged or marred. and it becomes necessary to replace the plastic covering jacket. The change of the jacket has previously required that the telephone cables be disconnected at both ends and replaced with a new plastic cable jacket. This is a very expensive and time consuming operation where only the inexpensive vinyl jacket needs to be replaced.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION A hand tool which is useful for attaching a plastic of zippertubing about a telephone cable or other cable is described. The tool holds one edge of the zippertubing and guides it into mating engagement with the other edge by aligning and then pressing the edges together between the hard surface of the cable jacket and the tool itself. The hand tool of this invention has a slanted oval-shaped front portion and a downward facing ridge to guide and hold the female part of the lower profile track ofthe zippertubing into a locking position and it also has formed on its upper portion grooves that conform to the outside shape of the upper profile track of the zippertubing to guide it into the lower portion of the zippertubing and interlock said tracks into position. The hand tool locks the zippertubing about a cable without riding under the lower portion of the zippertubing but closes the zippertubing against the hardncss ol'thc jacket itself.
If the hand tool is made in the form of a pliers it allows plastic zippertubing to be placed on a cable jacket without removing either of the ends of the cable from the wall or a telephone. for example.
Other objects. features and advantages of the present invention will be readily apparent from the following detailed description of certain preferred embodiments thereof taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a perspective view of the cable jacket closing tool of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the cable jacket-applying pliers of this invention;
FIG. 3 is a top view showing the pliers of the invention;
FIG. 4 is an end view of the upper jaw of the pliers; and
FIG. 5 is an end view of the lower jaw of the pliers.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIG. I illustrates the hand tool of this invention for attaching a coating of flexible plastic over a cable, for example. The cable is covered with a vinyl jacket II and includes a number of electrical conductors 12. A cable might be a telephone cable. for example, and extend from a telephone switchboard to a wall box. Continually flexing, scuffing and aging causes the coating II to mar and wear and it has been conventionally necessary up to date to disconnect the cable from the wall box and the switchboard and replace it with a new cable even though only the coating 11 is worn.
This process is very expensive and the present invention allows the cable to be covered with a layer of thermoplastic film 13 which is formed with interlocking tracks along its opposite edges. A pair of grooves 14 and 15 and complementary ridges [4a and 15a are formed along one edge of the plastic film I3 and a pair of ridges l6 and I7 and complementary grooves 160 and 170 are formed along the opposite edge of the plastic tubing and these grooves and ridges interlock when pressed together to form a connection between the ends of the plastic film and hold it looked around on the cable.
The hand tool 10 when made in the shape of a pliers allows the film 13 to be attached to the cable without disconnecting either end ofthe cable.
The tool 10. when made out of a solid unit with no separating jaws is identical to the plier type tool described below. except that it is made out of one piece 40 instead of two jaws. that can be opened and closed around the pivot. requires no levers. and requires that a cable jacket be disconnected from one end, before it can be used to close a zippertube around the cable jacket.
As shown in FIG. 2 the tool I0 when made in a plier shape has a handle 18 which is connected to a first body portion I9 which has an upper portion 22 through which a pivot pin 21 extends. A second jaw portion 26 is pivotally attached by the pivot pin 21 to the first jaw portion 19. A lever 28 is pivotally mounted on the pivot pin 21 and has its end 25 connected to the upper jaw 26 with a set screw 27. Thus, by moving the lever 28 relative to the handle 18. the first and second jaws 22 and 26. respectively, may be pivoted relative to each other. A generally round or oval-shaped opening 30 of almost the size of the cable to be covered, is formed between the first and second jaws 22 and 26. The first jaw portion 22 is formed with a projection 23 which has a relatively sharp edge for engaging the groove I4 of the film 13. To open the tool the lever 28 is moved downwardly relative to FIG. 2 and the first and second jaws are placed around the cable with the flexible zippertubing I3 around it. The edge 23 engages the groove I4 and holds it in position and as the lever 28 is moved upwardly toward the handle I8 the upper portion 26 comes downwardly and has a pair of grooves 32 and 33 which engage the outer surfaces of the ribs I6 and I7 and align them and then force them into the grooves 14 and 15 also interlocking at the same time ridges 14a and [5a with grooves and 17a to make the zippertubing connection.
The tool 10 may then be moved along the cable and the ribs I6 and 17 will be mated with the grooves I4 and 15 to close the tubing and seal the ends ofthe covering I3.
The portion 23 sticks outwardly and is curved backward from the point 230 as shown in the figures. The second jaw 26 is also formed with a slanted portion 31. as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. to better allow the guiding of the ridges and grooves of the zippertubing tracks into alignment for interlocking. The interlocking is done by pressing the ridges and grooves of the zippertubing tracks into each other between the inner surface of the grooves 32 and 33 ofthe tool and the "hardness" of the cable jacket surface. This eliminates the necessity of the tool having a back support which would prevent a tight fit of the zippertubing around the cable.
After the complete length of zippertubing 13 has been closed about the cable, the pliers are opened and removed from the cable.
It is seen that the invention allows a great saving in time and money in that a complete new cable does not have to be installed each time its vinyl cover becomes worn. The cable need not be disconnected at more than one end. or in the case of the pliers at either end, and the plastic zippertubing I3 may be attached with the tool 10. The tool 10 not only closes the lock ofthe zippertubing. but guides the zippertubing lock into a closing position. This is accomplished by the edge 23 of jaw 22 and the grooves 32 and 33 of the jaw 26. The tool I0 is designed to function with zippertubing that fits snugly around a cable. so that the cable is used as a bearing surface for closing the zippertubing. The slanted oval groove-holding portion 23 aids in guiding the film about the tube and holds it in position. The tool I0 in plier form may be easily placed on or taken off the cable when the ends of the cable are connected.
Although minor modifications might be suggested by those versed in the art. it should be understood that we wish to embody within the scope of the patent warranted hereon all such modifications as reasonably and properly come within the scope of our contribution to the art.
The invention claimed is:
l. A tool for applying a film of plastic material having interlocking ribs and grooves along its edges to a generally cylindrical device comprising a main body portion formed with an opening through which said cylindrical device and the film of 5 plastic material extend with the interlocking ribs and grooves joined on one side of the main body portion and unjoined on the other side thereof. a groove engaging portion formed in the main body portion on said other side and engaging a groove of said plastic material, a rib receiving groove formed in said opening of said main body portion. and said groove engaging portion tapered so as to draw said grooves and ribs together as the plastic material passes from said other side to said one side of said main body portion as said cylindrical device exerts a backing pressure.
2. A tool for applying a film of plastic material having interlocking ribs and grooves along its edges to a generally cylindrical device comprising, a pair ofjaws movable relative to each other and formed with an opening when in a closed position through which the film of plastic zippertubing and cylindrical device are received; and rib and groove engaging means formed in said jaws for guiding and locking the film about the cylindrical device.
3. A tool for applying a film of plastic zippertubing according to claim 2 wherein said jaws are pivotally connected together.
4. A tool for applying a film of plastic zippertubing according to claim 3 comprising handles attached to said jaws to open and close them.
5. A tool for applying a film of plastic zippertubing according to claim 2, wherein a first one ofsaid jaws is formed with a downwardly extending ridge which is engageable with one edge of the plastic zippertubing track to guide and hold it.
6. A tool for applying a film of plastic zippertubing according to claim 5 wherein said ridge engages a groove of the plastic zippertubing track.
7. A tool for applying a film of plastic zippertubing accord ing to claim 2 wherein a second one ofsaid jaws is formed with a plastic engaging portion which has depressions conforming to the outer surface of one of the tracks of the plastic zippertubing to press them into locking engagement with the grooves of the plastic zippertubing.
8. A tool for applying a film of plastic zippertubing according to claim 2 wherein a first one of said jaws is formed with a groove-engaging ridge which extends to engage a groove of said plastic zippertubing track to guide and hold it, a second one of said jaws is formed with outside track shaped receiving depressions into which the outside surfaces of the zippertubing tracks are received and the first and second jaws are movable toward each other to lock the film of plastic zippertubing about the cylindrical device.
9. A tool for applying a film of plastic zippertubing according to claim 8 wherein the second one of said jaws presses the ribs into the grooves and the cylindrical device serves as the backing structure.
[0. A tool for applying a film of plastic zippertubing according to claim 8 wherein the edge of the second jaw adjacent the engaging ridge is tapered.
11. A tool according to claim 4 wherein the handles attachcd to the jaws are substantially at right angles to said jaws.