US 3654668 A
A wrapping device for binding and holding together a plurality of items, such as cables, and feature a clip or cleat which securely holds a length of longitudinally resilient cord or the like wrapped in tension about said items. In one form, a plurality of cleats are integrally molded together in series to facilitate their use.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Appleton [451 Apr. 11, 1972 541 WRAPPING DEVICE 2,533,341 12/1950 Alfano ..24/129 ux  Inventor: Arthur L Appleton 1701 w wellington 2,860,393 11/1958 Brock ..24/PB do A leton Electric Co Northbrook 3,147,522 9/1964 Schumm ..24/30.5 PB m 5 1 3,043,902 7/1962 Klein ..24/s1cc x 3,160,175 12/1964 Laemmle ..24/81 CC UX  Filed: May 15, 1970 3,521,332 7/1970 Kramer ..24/81 CC ] pp 37 627 3,241,658 3/1966 Anderson ..206/56 ABX Primary Examiner-Donald A. Griffin  US. Cl. ..24/ 16 R, 24/ l 30 Attorney-Jon L. Liljequist  lnt.Cl. ..A44b 21/00  Field of Search ..229/62; 24/30.5, 16 PB, 30.5 PB,  ABSTRACT 24/129 129 129 81 CC Afn'rapping dzvice foglbindingiaid holding tlogetherla plurglitg terns, suc as ca es, an eature a c 1p or c eat w 11:  References Cited 2 l ecurely holds a length of longitudinally res1l1ent cord or the like wrapped in tension about said items. In one form, a plu- UNITED STATES PATENTS rality of cleats are integrally molded together in series to llughes f ili theirusa etersen 1,870,172 8/1932 Buschhaus ..24/ 129 B 7 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures WRAPPING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION There has relatively recently occurred on the market a relatively large number of differing devices for the purpose of binding a plurality of elongate elements such as cables to one another. Where the device is specifically intended to hold a plurality of cables together, the manufacturer typically produces an entire line of binding devices of different sizes for holding different sizes of bundles together. Some of these manufacturers even produce several different styles. Most Tie Wraps or Cable Wraps, as they are known, are made of nylon or a comparable material, and each unit has a relatively narrow range of use. Several currently popular models roughly resemble a belt in function although they normally are considerably smaller. In some cases, special tools are required to tighten and lock the wraps once they are in place, both because of the relatively non-elastic property of nylon and the desirability of putting the wrap under considerable tension.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a wrapping device which is usable over an exceptionally wide range of applications. When used in conjunction with cables, one basic size and style can be used to efiectively bind items of vastly different size and shape, thus avoiding the necessity of carrying a number of differently sized wrapping devices in stock. Also, the user of the invention can apply any desirable degree of tension to the wrap without recourse to special tools. The simplicity and universality of the device permits it to be used with comparable effectiveness in numerous binding situations, including wrapping cables, holding parts together that are in process of being glued, and providing a temporary repair to broken items until they can be repaired. An example of this latter application would be where a mast on a small sailing craft broke and required temporary mending until the craft could get to shore.
The invention is achieved by wrapping that which is to be bound together with a length of resilient tubing, and using in conjunction therewith a special clip or cleat, provided preferably in quantity in a stick of contiguous cleats, which serves to hold the tubing in place and prevent unraveling, yet permits the tubing to be unwound and removed without damage or injury thereto.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of contiguous cleats or clips which embody the principles of the present invention in one of its preferred forms.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing one technique by which the stick of contiguous cleats can be used in conjunction with resilient cord to bind a plurality of elements together.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing several different ways that the cleat can be used to assist in binding or whipping a plurality of cables.
FIG. 4 is a side elevation of a portion of the contiguous cleat shown in FIG. 1.
FIG. 5 is a plan view of the cleat portion shown in FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a modification of the device for the specific purpose of assisting in the continuous winding of cord between fixedly spaced apart cleats.
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of another variation of the cleat, the dashed lines showing how a plurality thereof can be integrally formed.
FIG. 8 is a side elevation of an individual cleat as shown in FIG. 7, this view also including the binding cord wrapped around a bundle of cylindrically shaped objects.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings, there is best shown in FIG. 1, an elongate stick of contiguous cleats, generally designated 10, consisting of a plurality of individual cleats 11 which are connected in series by means of integrally molded bridging connections 12. These cleats are used in conjunction with lengths of longitudinally resilient tubing or cord 14 of polyeurethane or a comparable material, (see FIGS. 2 and 3). While the specific material preferred is tubing, we will use the term cord as generic to any desirable cross sectional shape. Preferably, the stick 10 is constructed of a suitable and inexpensive material such as nylon, and preferably it is injection molded to the exact shape shown. Any reasonable number of individual cleats 11 could naturally be molded together, although the preferred number depends somewhat on the most desirable total length for the stick 10 to avoid its becoming clumsy. All of the individual cleats 11 are identical with one another with the exception of the lead cleat 11a and the end cleat 11b. The front end of the lead clip 11a includes a generally cylindrically shaped projection 13 which can be fixedly snapped or slipped into a mating cylindrical groove 15 in the rear of the end cleat 11b of another similar stick of cleats to thereby extend the overall length of the stick. The advantage of this feature will become apparent later.
As noted before, all of the intermediate cleats l l are of exactly the same shape. Thus, with reference to an individual cleat 11, the cleat includes a pair of spaced apart walls 16 and 17, a bottom wall 18, front and rear end walls 20 and 21 respectively, and an undulating upper wall 22. In side elevation, upper wall 22 has the general shape of a W" so as to form access means in the form of a pair of troughs 23. Each of troughs 23 may be thought of as a portion of an inwardly extending channel into which the cord 14 can be forced. Each channel extends laterally between side walls 16 and 17, and each channel also includes an aligned slot and a hole in addition to the trough 23, these other portions to be described shortly. Preferably, the intersections 25 where the upper wall 22 meets sidewalls l6 and 17 are smoothly rounded with a generous radius.
Extending entirely through the cleat 11 between its sidewalls l6 and 17 are a pair of parallel and cylindrical holes 26, each underlying and spaced from one of the troughs 23. The diameter of the central portion 27 of the holes 26 is somewhat less than the outer diameter of the cord 14, while the outermost portions 28 of the holes 26 are slightly greater than the diameter of the cord. Preferably, the intersections formed by the central portion 27 and outermost portions 28 of holes 26 are sharp for reasons to be described later.
Troughs 23 each communicate with the hole 26 therebelow by means of a narrow slot 29, this slot also extending entirely between sidewalls 16 and 17.
Extending outwardly away from each of the end walls 20 and 21 is the integrally molded bridging connection 12 which extends to and is integrally molded with another cleat 11 on each side. The bridging connection 12 is substantial enough to provide a considerable degree of rigidity to the entire stick of cleats 11, yet is small enough to permit a relatively easy separation of adjoining cleats by pulling or turning or the like.
It will be understood that one or more individual cleats can be used with a single length of flexible tubing. Where more than one individual cleat is used, they may be connected as shown at the right in FIG. 3, or they may be disconnected as shown at the left in FIG. 3.
In discussing the use of the stick form of contiguous cleats, reference is made initially to FIG. 2. Regardless of the type of item to be bound together, whether this be temporary, as in the case of holding a glue joint together, or semipermanent, as in holding cables together, a contiguous cleat 10 is properly positioned relative to the items to be wrapped and is held by hand. One end 40 of a short length of the cord 14 is laid in one of the troughs 23 of an individual cleat and held there perhaps with the thumb while the other end 41 is pulled to stretch the tubing and decrease its diameter. The cord 14 will then snap into the cylindrical hole 26 via slot 29. End 41 is then manually circled around the bundle of elements 35 and pulled to whatever degree of tension is desired, and then it is likewise snapped into the other cylindrical hole 26 in the same cleat 11. Excess tubing may be snipped off, and the sharp edges defining the transverse limits of central portion 27 of hole 26 dig into the unstretched and full-diameter ends 40 and 41 of the cord 14 to prevent it from slipping under the tensile force of the intermediate portions 43 of the cord 14. While the ends 40 and 41 are shown extending outwardly of the cleat, they can be snipped off flush with side walls 16 and 17 with no fear of destroying the grip, because of enlarged hole portions 28. If only this one loop is desired at this point, the rest of the stick of individual cleats can be broken away leaving only that one which is bound with the one loop of flexible cord 14. The person doing the tying can then move the stick to a new location and repeat the operation.
If, on the other hand, a number of relatively closely spaced loops are desired, the individual could continue wrapping over any length of contiguous cleats 10, as shown at the right in FIG. 3, or he can start with one cleat 11 and continue to wrap in spaced apart or adjacent fashion with the cord 14, and later terminate the wrap with another individual cleat 11, as shown at the left in FIG. 3.
The invention as described above can be sold in stick form with a plurality of series connected individual cleats, or cleats can be sold individually with appropriate lengths of tubing.
When a stick of contiguous cleats 11 becomes too short to be held by hand comfortably after a number of individual cleats have been removed, this small remaining portion will have at its unused end either the cylindrical projection 13 or the mating cylindrical groove 15. Whichever end remains can be connected to one of the ends of a new contiguous cleat 10. Thus, the user of the device need never be faced with attempting to hold a very short length of contiguous cleats when starting a wrapping operation.
FIG. 6 shows a slight modification of the invention for the situation where it is desired to wrap items together over a given length with a proper termination at each end, such as already described in reference to the left-most figure of FIG. 3. As will be understood, the device 50 of FIG. would take the place of the two individual cleats 11 shown at the left in FIG. 3, and it facilitates a continuous winding.
Device 50 has portions 51 and 52 at its respective ends, each of which closely resembles the individual cleats 11 of the earlier described form. Portions 51 and 52 are held in spaced apart relation by an integrally molded spacer 53.
FIGS. 7 and 8 show a further modification of the cleat which displays certain other features. An individual cleat 60 is of generally C shape and includes an upper surface 61 defined in part by a divided trough 62 extending between laterally spaced apart and outer sidewalls 63 and 64. Below trough 62, and parallel thereto, is an elongate cylindrical hole 66 also extending between sidewalls 63 and 64. Hole 66 is of i the same general size and shape as the holes 26 in the first described embodiment. Trough 62 and hole 66 communicate with one another along their length by means of a narrow slot 67 therebetween.
Interrupting trough 62, hole 66 and slot 67 in the midportions of the cleat 60 is an enlarged central opening 70, which, in combination with a side entrance 71, forms the generally C- shaped configuration in plan view.
A pair of bridging connections 73 permit a plurality of cleats 60 to be integrally molded in series and in a contiguous stick, and once again, the leading cleat and end cleat may be provided with complimentary interlocking means (not shown) similar to projection 13 and groove of the first mentioned embodiment.
To use this cleat variation, a length of cord 14 is looped around the bundle of elements to be bound, and the two cord ends 40 and 41 are either threaded through central opening 70 or snapped therein by making use of side entrance 71. The two ends 40 and 41 are then grasped and pulled in opposite directions from one another to stretch and put the cord 14 in tension. As a result, the cord decreases in diameter such that each of the ends 40 and 41 snap into each of the laterally disposed portions of hole 66. Upon removing the tension by bringing the hands back together, the tubing expands sufficiently to be compressed by the diametrically smaller hole 26, and particularly its outermost sharp edges, and the intermediate portion 43 of the tubing is retained in its elongated and loaded condition. Excess tubing can be snipped off from the ends 40 and 41 whereupon the wrapping takes on the general appearance of FIG. 8.
It will be appreciated that the foregoing description, while limited to several preferred embodiments of the present invention, is in no way intended to limit the protection afforded hereby to the specific embodiments illustrated. Rather, naturally, the variations described hereinbefore each contain features which might successfully be incorporated into or combined with features of other variations, hereinshown or not, to satisfy a particular need. Thus, the invention should not be construed as limited to the specific configurations shown and described, but rather by the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
1. A wrapping device for use in wrapping and holding together a plurality of objects comprising: a length of longitudinally resilient cord for encircling said objects and holding them together; and a cleat for grasping said cord and maintaining tension in same, said cleat defined in part by a pair of holes extending therethrough, each hole designed to grasp and hold a different end of said cord, the distance across said hole being roughly comparable to the cross-sectional dimension of the cord when stretched to permit entry of the cord therein when stretched and hold the cord against slipping when released, and access means also forming a part of said cleat and positioned contiguous to the length of each of said holes and opening outwardly of said cleat for assisting introduction of the cord into said hole, said pair of holes including sharp edge means for biting into said cord and preventing same from slipping, said cleat forming one of a plurality of integrally molded and contiguous cleats.
2. The wrapping device as set forth in claim 1, wherein the portion of each of said holes adjacent the unstretched end of the cord is enlarged to permit the ends to-be snipped off flush with the extremities of the cleat without diminishing its holding ability.
3. The wrapping device as set forth in claim 1, wherein said pair of holes in said cleat are generally parallel.
4. The wrapping device as set forth in claim 1, wherein said cleat is generally C-shaped and said pair of holes are generally longitudinally aligned, each of said pair of holes including a sharp edge to bite into said cord and prevent slipping thereof.
5. An improved wrapping device for holding a plurality of objects together in conjunction with a resilient cord having opposite ends, comprising: an elongate stick of a size that fits comfortably within a human hand and consisting of a series connected plurality of individual clips, adjacent clips being attached together by integral bridging connections of a size and configuration that are readily breakable to thus permit an individual clip to be broken away from the remaining portion of the stick, and each clip including an integrally formed body having laterally spaced apart sidewalls with channel means therebetween for receiving said cord transversely of the length of said stick while the clip remains a part thereof, said channel means being of a width less than the diameter of said cord to cause a constriction of same when inserted therein, said channel means also including an enlarged side entrance for facilitating introduction of the cord therein.
6. The device as set forth in claim 5, wherein said main body includes a central opening extending through and intersecting said channel means to divide said channel means into apair of axially aligned individual channels extending transversely of said longitudinal stick, said central opening being arranged to receive said opposite ends whereupon they can be pulled apart to put the remainder of the cord in tension around the plurality of objects.
7. The device as set forth in claim 5, wherein said stick ineludes integrally formed means at each longitudinal end for interconnecting a pair of sticks and providing an increased overall length.