US 3676888 A
An adjustable squeegee for applying a synthetic filling material, commonly termed "body putty" or "body plastic," to the damaged surfaces of automobile bodies or the like. The squeegee comprises a pliable lower blade portion, and a ductile upper stiffener portion, which can be manually bent into a particular form or shape which it is desired to have the filling material take in the squeegeeing operation. The squeegee will remain in this form until it is manually rebent into a normal form or into a different form for the performance of another squeegeeing operation. The main body of the squeegee is composed of a material to which the filling material will not adhere.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Akers  ADJUSTABLE SQUEEGEE FOR APPLYING SYNTHETIC FILLERS  Inventor: George J. Akers, Louisville, Ky.
15/143,144,10s,2'11,235.3,210,121, Dig. 36; 30/169; 114/224; 49/475, 480, 482; 491/139, 9 261, 191
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 351,798 11/1886 Robinson 15/211 2,666,323 1/1954 Ames ..18/3.5 2,878,504 3/1959 Godfrey. ....15/210 2,968,057 1/1961 Pratt ..15/236 R 1 1 July 18,1972
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 445,487 4/1936 Great Britain ..49/475 887,!21 l/l962 GreatBritain ..l8/3.5
Primary Examiner-Leon G. Machlin Attorney-Johnson, Dienner, Emn'ch, Verbeck & Wagner  ABSTRACT An adjustable squeegee for applying a synthetic filling material, commonly termed body putty" or body plastic," to the damaged surfaces of automobile bodies or the like. The squeegee comprises a pliable lower blade portion, and a ductile upper stifiener portion, which can be manually bent into a particular form or shape which it is desired to have the filling material take in the squeegeeing operation. The squeegee will remain in this form until it is manually rebent into a normal form or into a different form for the performance of another squeegeeing operation. The main body of the squeegee is composed of a material to which the filling material will not adhere.
6 Claims, 15 Drawing Figures Patented July 18, 1972 3 Sheets-Shet 1 .27 2 2/6/2257 966596 f A @2215 W %ZZz s.
Patented July 18, 1972 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 ADJUSTABLE SQUEEGEE FOR APPLYING SYNTHETIC FILLERS FIELD OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to an adjustable squeegee for applying and forming a synthetic filler, or so-called body putty or body plastic", to the damaged surfaces of automobile bodies; or to other surfaces which it is desired to fill with a filling material to bring them to a desired contour or profile.
In the repair of damaged automobile bodies, the general practice is to apply a synthetic filler, or so-called body putty or body plastic, to fill body dents, holes, tears or the like, by applying such material in a plastic moldable state, and generally in an excess quantity, and then to promptly cut off the excess material with a rasping plane, file or the like, before the material has had time to set.
Time is a factor in these filling operations because these synthetic fillers generally include a hardening catalyst which hardens the filler in a relatively short time. By reducing or eliminating the amount of time devoted to the hand filing of the synthetic filler after it has been squeegeed into or on the work surface by my improved adjustable squeegee, it is possible to reduce the amount of time involved in the over-all operation by at least 25 percent or more. Furthermore, it is not necessary to have the variety of files heretofore required.
In many instances, the damaged area to be repaired may originally have had an exterior surface which was outwardly curved, or was inwardly recessed, or was otherwise irregularly formed. I-Ieretofore, these situations presented difficulties in getting the synthetic filler accurately shaped to conform to the curvature of the original surface, frequently resulting in patched areas which did not have the matching curvature or shape of contiguous areas. It also frequently resulted in a repaired surface on one side of the automobile body which did not match the curvature or shape of the corresponding undamaged surface on the other side of the body.
. The primary object of the present invention is to provide an adjustable squeegee which can be manually bent or shaped to assume any desired curvature or form, which bent shape will remain until the squeegee is manually rebent into another form. This enables the squeegee to shape the fill into any desired concave, convex or other curvature or shape, and also enables it to scrape off the excess material, while retaining this original form. Also, when the material is applied in successive layers, the squeegee can be successively rebent to accommodate these different layers, Furthermore, where the damaged area is in one of the side fenders, or in one of the side surfaces of the body, my improved squeegee may be presented to the undamaged corresponding area on the opposite fender or opposite side surfaces of the body, where it is then manually bent or shaped to assume the true curvature or form at this undamaged side. Thereupon, the squeegee is transferred to the damaged side, generally in a reversed relation, where it is then used to shape the body putty to conform to the true shape of the undamaged side.
Another object of the invention is to provide such an adjustable squeegee which includes a lower blade or skirt portion comprising a relatively pliable material, such as polyethylene or Teflon (polytetrafluoroethylene), for engaging the synthetic filler for shaping it, and also for removing any excess quantity of it; and which squeegee also includes an upper stiffener portion comprising a stifier ductile material,
such as lead, zinc or the like, which can be readily bent or shaped manually to any desired form or curvature which it is desired to impart to the lower edge of the blade or skirt portion, and which will retain such form or curvature in the shap ing of the synthetic filler.
Another object of the invention is to provide such a squeegee which is composed mainly of a material to which the synthetic filler will not adhere, such as the aforesaid polyethylene or Teflon.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved manner of associating an upper stiffening bar with the upper portion of the lower pliable blade portion.
Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of certain preferred embodiments thereof.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the improved squeegee;
FIG. 2 is a similar view of this same embodiment with an intermediate portion broken away to show the upper ductile stiffening bar, and also showing the end caps separated from the passageway which receives this bar;
FIG. 3 is an end view of this embodiment;
FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. I, of a second embodiment of squeegee;
FIG. 5 is a view of this second embodiment similar to FIG.
FIG. 6 is a view of the second embodiment similar to FIG. 3;
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of still another embodiment in which the upper edge of the blade sets in a slot in the lower edge of the stifiening bar;
FIG. 8 shows the latter embodiment bent into a simple curve;
FIG. 9 shows this latter embodiment bent into a compound curve; and
FIGS. 10 15 show difierent sectional forms of the slotted stiffening bar.
Referring first to the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1-3, this comprises a squeegee 20, preferably composed of a pliable plastic material, made preferably but not necessarily, by an extrusion process. This pliable material is preferably polyethylene or Teflon (polytetrafluoroethylene), of relatively pliable consistency, and to which the synthetic filler or body putty will not adhere.
The squeegee 20 is formed to define a lower relatively flat pliable blade portion 22, and an upper stiffening back portion 24 of elliptical cross-section, both integral parts of the squeegee 20. The pliable blade portion edge 22 is shown as being of rectangular outline, having a lower edge 26 which is preferably of V-bevel shape, so that the squeegee is symmetrical for pulling or pushing the synthetic filler in either direction. However, this lower edge 26 may be formed with a single bevel if desired. From this lower edge 26 the blade portion 22 tapers outwardly in thickness up to the upper stiffening back portion, or stiffener, 24.
This back portion 24 has an interior cavity preferably in the form of a rectangular, square or other non-circular passageway 28 extending therethrough. Inserted into this cavity or passageway is a formed ductile insert member 30 of corresponding cross section for stiffening the upper edge of the blade portion 22. This insert member is composed of a relatively stiff material consistency, preferably of a ductile metal such as lead or zinc, although other ductile materials may be employed if desired. After the stifi'ening bar 30 has been inserted into the passageway 28, the ends of the latter can be closed by the insertion of closure caps 34, also preferably made of plastic, which can be secured in place by cement, a tight pressed fit or in any other suitable manner. The insert bar 30 is sufficiently pliable or ductile that it may be readily bent by the hands into any desired form or shape, but it is still sufficiently stiff so that it will remain in this form or shape despite the stresses imposed thereon during the squeegeeing operation. The bar will remain in this shape until it is manually reshaped back into a normal form, or into a different form for performing a difierent squeegeeing operation. In most instances the shaping is done by bending the stiffening bar 30, or the ends thereof, upwardly or downwardly substantially in the general plane of the blade portion 22. This results in the squeegeeing edge 26 of the blade taking on the particular profile shape or contour which it is desired that the synthetic filler shall have, the blade pressing the filler material into this contour and pushing excess material ahead of it. The end sections of the stiffening back portion function as handles for both hands in the usual two-handed operation. However, a
one-handed operation can abo be performed, particularly with the shorter lengths of squee Typical lengths would be 8, l2, l6 and 20 inches. The synthetic fillers generally have the approximate consistency of peanut butter, and hence do not set up any very large resistance forces against the squeegeeing operation.
Referring now to the second embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 4 6, the squeegee 20a is also of a pliable plastic material, but in this instance is preferably in the form of a cast plastic. The blade portion 22a is the same as in the preceding embodiment, but the stiffening back portion 240 is preferably of rectangular cross-section, instead of elliptical. Formed in this back portion 24a is a lengthwise cavity 280, for receiving the stiffening bar 30a, both preferably but not necessarily being of circular cross section. The bar 30a, also composed of lead or zinc, is inserted into the cavity 28a through the side entrance opening 38 extending from one of the side surfaces of the back portion 24a into the cavity 28a. This side entrance opening 38 is thereafter covered by a side cover strip or seal 40, also preferably of plastic suitably secured over the opening, as by cementing, heat sealing, or providing a snap-on construction.
Referring now to the third embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 7-15, in this embodiment the stifiening bar is in the form of a ductile metallic strip 30b, composed of the aforesaid lead, zinc or other ductile material. This strip is formed with a longitudinal slot 44 therein, which fits down over the upper free edge of the pliable blade strip 22b, which as previously described,
- may be composed of extruded or cast polyethylene, Teflon or the like. The downwardly extending side flanges 46 of the stiffening edge strip 30b may be cemented to the pliable blade strip 22b, or they may be secured by transverse rivets, bolts, staples or the like, indicated at 48. The body portion of the stiffening strip 3012 may have different sectional forms; such as the almost complete circular form shown in FIG. 10; the fractional circular form shown in FIG. 11; the oval form shown in FIG. 12 the diamond shaped form shown in FIG. 13; the square form shown in FIG. 14; and the inverted U-shaped form shown in FIG. 15. It will be noted that each of the above sectional forms has the two depending side flanges, such as the flanges 46 of FIG. 7, that can be secured to the upper edge of the pliable blade portion 22b by cementing, or by rivets, bolts, or staples 48, as above described.
In FIGS. 7, 8 and 9 l have illustrated the squeegee in three different operating conditions; FIG. 7 showing it straight; FIG. 8 showing it conformed to a simple curve; and FIG. 9 showing it conformed to a compound curve. This compound curve of FIG. 9 may be regarded as conforming to the curvature of a portion of an automobile fender F, as viewed in profile from the front or rear, the upper portion of the automobile tire under this fender being fragmentarily indicated at T. Each of the first two embodiments above described can also be bent into these curved shapes.
The squeegeeing according to any of the preceding embodiments may be given a desired curvature or shape according to different methods. For example, one method is to place the squeegee over the damaged area with its ends contacting the body surface at opposite sides of the area, and to then shape the intermediate portion of the squeegee to conform to what appears to have been the original curvature or shape.
Another method in situations where the damage is confined to one side of the automobile body, and the other side has a matching surface area which retains the original curvature or shape, is to place the squeegee over the original curvature or shape on the undamaged side and to bend it to conform thereto. Thereupon the squeegee is transposed to the opposite or damaged side of the body, being generally reversed fore and aft in such transposition, and is drawn over this damaged surface to shape the filler to the original curvature or shape. The reversal may be desirable where the shaping involves a curve which is not identical or symmetrical with respect to its inner and outer, or its right and left ends at opposite sides of the car. This reversal is accommodated because the opposite srdes of the squeegee are symmetrical or identically the same,
insofar as squeegeeing the filler is concerned, as represented by the reversible V-shaped form of the pliable blade edge 26.
Still another method is to estimate the curvature or shape without any contact, between the squeegee and the body or work surface and to then bend the squeegee to this estimated curvature. In situations where the depth of the indentation, hole or damaged area is such that the filling should be done by progressively applying successive layers of filling material, rather than by one deep fill, such operation can be accommodated by progressively shaping the squeegee to accommodate the progressive build-up of the fill. In filling these deep dents or holes the fill or body putty is put on in thin layers and allowed to set up between layers, thus giving consideration to shrinkage, and establishing a final surface that may be smoothed out by the squeegee, and which may or may not be filed to conform to the original surface.
The utility of my improved squeegee is not limited to the application of filling material to damaged surfaces, but can be extended to the application of filling material to depressions, holes or the like in different surface areas of original structures or assemblies such as filet areas, joint areas, etc.
1. An adjustable squeegee for applying and shaping a synthetic fller to a work surface comprising a blade of pliable plastic material to which the synthetic filler does not adhere, said blade having a back portion and an edge opposite said back portion to engage the filler, and a stiffener member associated with said back portion comprised of a ductile metal which may be readily manually bent in any direction for causing the edge of the pliable blade to assume a desired contour and rebent in another direction for causing the blade to assume another contour, the ductile metal of said stiffener member also having a shape retention ability such that it retains the edge of the blade in said bent shape during the squeegeeing operation and until the stiffener member is manually bent into a different shape.
2. The combination of claim I wherein said stiffener member is comprised of lead.
3. The combination of claim I wherein said blade has a cavity extending along its back portion and said stiffener member comprises a ductile metallic member disposed in said cavity.
4. The combination of claim 1 wherein said blade is formed with a longitudinal passageway therein opening from one end of said blade and spaced from and generally parallel to the edge of said blade which engages the filler, and said stiffener member comprises a ductile metallic bar inserted into said passageway through said open end.
5. The combination of claim 4 wherein said open end of the passageway is closed by an end cap.
6. The combination of claim 1 wherein the blade is composed of polyethylene or polytetrafluoroethylene.