US 3685129 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Jureit et al.
[451 Aug. 22, 1972 METHOD OF FABRICATING WOODEN BUILDING WALL FRAMES  Assignee: Automated Building Components,
Inc., Miami, Fla.
 Filed: April 3, 1970 21 Appl. No.: 25,536.
 US. Cl. ..29/407, 2 9/430, 29/432, 144/309 R, 144/3 R, 29/200 A  Int. Cl. ..B239 17/00, B27m 3/00  Field of Search ..144/309 R, 309 Q, 313, 314, 144/318, 319, 2, 3; 143/46, 47; 83/11, 71; 29/407, 430, 432, 200 A Primary Examiner-Donald R. Schran AttorneyLe Blane & Shur 1 SSI)  ABSTRACT The apparatus includes a numerically controlled automatic measuring, sawing and marking device for cutting lumber to predetermined lengths, such parts comprising the'non-standard length parts of a wall frame, and marking the lumber parts forming the top and bottom plates of the wall frame to indicate the 10- cations along such plates of the frame parts extending between the plates. The machine readable numerical information representing the non-standard lumber lengths is converted into visible instructions for' establishing the position of a lumber stop relative to a saw for making lumber cuts of predetermined lengths. Machine readable numerical information representing the locations along the top and bottom plates of frame parts extending between the plates in terms of distances along the top and bottom plates from like ends thereof is converted into visible instructions for establishing the position of the lumber stop relative to a marking device and for controlling actuation of the marking device. The non-standard parts are assembled with the standard parts to form a wall frame in accordance with the markings on the plates establishing the locations of the parts extending between the plates. The markings are also coded to indicate the location of windows, doors, and tee and corner constructions along the plates.
17 Claims, 30 Drawing Figures PATENTEDAUGZZTB?! 3,685,129
SHEET 020f 12.
mmum WW CHARACTERS OTHROUGH l5 FEET V'I -0 THROUGH l5 INCHES 2 0 THROUGH INCHES OPEN 3 OPEN 2x2 2X3 2X4 2x6 2X8 2xl0 2x12 4x4 4X6 4X8 4xl0 4x12 n3 |x4 gE 4 PLATE SHORT BOTT. VERY SPEC'L PL TE -OPEN MRK 36% JACK (DRNR CRIPPLE A HEADER HED SILL T PEATE TEE 5 J 0 THROUGH 9 PIECES OPEN 6 RED |GREEN| BLUE|LACK OPEN DBL TRL QRL PAINTS OPEN 7 (0 THROUGH 9) X TO PANEL N0. -0PEN 8 (0 THROUGH 9) x I0 PANEL NO. OPEH 9 READY BIT-IN. LEVEL O ONLY SPARE TAPE ADVANCE BIT-NOT IN LEVEL? FUNCTION CODE BITS 0000000 FIG.|5
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PATENTED M1922 1912 SHEET 0941f 12 8 S S S s S S S S II 4 C F 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 H A A A A A A A A A A N 6 N N O 0 H mm C 6% /1 H y F C m m .m M Du Du B C d O .D C 0 13 Ill: M 4 M M w w w 3 Q 4 6 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4. 2 4 4 4 V 7 V v H 4 R H SR Sm D m 6 m0 4 4. 4 S R S D S R 8 Dn SD S Du S R SR SR; IAIII l 9 I. I P b P F m m 0 0 4 1 1 1 1 1 1 v1 v1 m c m M m W U P m7 0 b c m m m m m 4 4 B s w w 6 6 mw 7d 4 4 4 M D I I S 1d 2d 4 4 4 M 4 4 D D D H 4 4 4 S S S T. N N N N N N N N N N N E N E Ti l v LEVEL |-3 DISPLAY PATENTEDMISZZ m2 SHEET 10 0f 12 an Z 552% mm 5% METHOD OF FABRICATING WOODEN BUILDING WALL FRAMES The present invention relates to apparatus and methods for fabricating wall frames useful in the construction of houses, buildings and the like and particularly relates, in one aspect, to apparatus and methods for cutting lumber to predetermined lengths to form the non-standard parts of a wall frame in response to a control system including machine readable numerical information.
In another aspect, the present invention particularly relates to apparatus and methods for marking the top and bottom plates of a wall frame prior to assembly to indicate the locations along such plates of the interconnecting parts of the frame extending between such plates and also to indicate the character or nature of the interconnecting parts, that is, whether such parts comprise studs, portions of awindow or door frame or tee or corner constructions.
Heretofore in the construction of buildings, houses and the like, extensive use of manual labor and manual fabrication techniques has been required in the construction of both exterior wall panels and interior partition walls, both of which are hereinafter referred to generally as wall frames unless otherwise specified. This has resulted, not only in increased costs, but also in the fabrication of below standard frames whether due to improperly cut frame parts and/or haphazardly assembled parts. Conventional practice has been to transport raw lumber to the construction site with the carpenters at the site, cutting and assembling the various parts to form wall frames for the building, house, or the like. Obviously, the quality of the construction, the strength of the assembled frames, etc., is to a significant degree determined by the willingness and skill of the carpenters at hand to fabricate the frame and panel to the desired specification.
With the current increasing emphasis on prefabricated building structures, the parts forming the wall frames are sometimes cut and assembled at prefabrication sites and then transported to the construction site for installation as subcomponents of a building structure. Even here, however,-the methods of manually nailing and cutting often lead to errors in the formation of the wall frames, for example, in the formation of non-uniform frames. It must be realized that, in the construction of a conventional home for example, there are usually over 30 different types of wall frames which-may be used. Thus, the savings in time, expense and labor by fabricating wall frames at prefabrication sites rather than at actual construction sites is often offset due to the confusion and complexity attendant with the prefabrication of a large number of a wide variety of different types of frames. It is therefore desirable, particularly with the current demand for large quantities of relatively low cost housing, to prepare the various parts of wall frames for a particular house as well as the frames themselves in a systemized or production line fashion. It has now been found possible by employing the present invention to efficiently, effectively and semi-automatically fabricate the wall panels and partitions for a complete single building, house or the like in succession such that, when all of the frames are fabricated, they can be transported directly to the construction site and there assembled. Moreover, and equally as important, the systemized approach according to the present invention permits the construction of various types of wall frames for architecturally different types of houses without change in the procedure or hardware employed in the fabricating process, but rather with only a change in the software provided the numerical control system hereof.
Briefly, wall frames are generally classified as either exterior panels or interior partitions. Exterior panels are usually formed by utilizing top and bottom plates with studs connected therebetween. In most instances, a very top plate is secured in coextensive relation with the top plate to reinforce the exterior panel as it is normally a load bearing or structural frame. Interior partitions usually comprise top and bottom plates with studs connected therebetween. The exterior and interior frames are normally identical in height and thus the standard studs connecting between the top and bottom plates of exterior panels are slightly shorter than the standard studs connecting between the top and bottom plates of interior partitions due to the addition of the very top plate in the exterior panel. Various other and non-standard parts are provided in wall frames and normally comprise cripples, headers, heads, sills, short studs and the like for forming windows and door frames, tees and corners.
Upon specification by the architect of the general design of the house, building or the like, information representing the lumber length and lumber size, for example, 2X4, 2 6, or 2X8, the number of specified parts to be cut; the particular use in the frame or nature of the parts so specified, for example, their use as short studs, cripples, headers, sills, or the like, or other specified functions, can be generated on punch tape, punch cards or the like in response to the specification of the gross characteristics of the custom or standard floor plane under consideration. Moreover, this information, necessary to the fabrication of the component parts of a specified wall frame, may be provided serially on the tape or a deck of cards whereby the operator need only insert the same into a tape or card reader and is automatically provided with all of the information necessary to rapidly fabricate the individual wall frame parts. Such information is also provided in the order of assembly of the parts for facilitating the assembly of the wall frame.
A feature of the present invention includes the automatic translation of the length information into measured movement of a stop along a saw table whereby the stop can be located predetermined distances from a saw blade thereby determining the length of the part to be cut. As the length of the part to be cut is also simultaneously displayed to the sawyer, he is able to select the proper length of an uncut board and dispose the board on the table with a board end against the stop. The sawyer can then actuate the saw to make the cut. It will be appreciated that all of the non-standard parts of the frames, that is, the top, bottom and very top plates,
jacks, short studs, cripples, headers, heads, and sills or any other non-standard part of a wall frame can be cut by the numerically controlled automated saw. It is of course, possible to also cut the standard parts of the frame, i.e. the long and short studs, by the numerically controlled saw by providing such information on the tape, deck of cards or the like. However, it has been found, in most instances, that considerable economy of time and labor is effected by cutting only the non-standard parts with the saw hereof as the standard parts can be purchased in their proper lengths. By serially disposing the information, on the tape, punch cards or the like, the foregoing described non-standard parts can be cut in the sequence in which they will be assembled thereby reducing the overall complexity and difficulty attendant with the assembly of the parts of the frame.
It is also a particular feature of the present invention to provide information on the tape, deck of cards or the like representing the location of the frame parts, which extend between the top and bottom plates as a function of their distance from like ends of the top and bottom plates. That is to say, the numerical information indicates the location of the frame parts intermediate the top and bottom plates as a function of the distance of such intermediate parts from like ends of the top and bottom plates. It is another feature hereof that such information is translated into movement of the lumber stop whereby the latter is located successive predetermined distances from a marking device. The top and bottom plates are then successively located against the stop and marked to indicate the location of such intermediate parts. Marking the plates facilitates both automatic and manual assembly of the parts as other measuring devices such as common rules or layouts need not be employed in assembling the parts to form the frame. Inasmuch as the parts are assembled in the sequence which they are cut, the parts can be readily located in their proper relative position through the use of such marks.
The marks are also coded to indicate the various functions of the elements forming the frame, that is, the supporting studs, window or door frame portions, tees, or corners. In this manner, the assembler of the frame not only knows the location of the intermediate parts of the frame along the plates but also can identify the type of intermediate part that should be disposed in each such location.
To reduce handling, the sequence of operations is such that the marking of the top and bottom plates is accomplished utilizing the same measuring device employed for making the predetermined length of cut, the marking being effected prior to the cutting. After the marking has been effected and the lumber cut, the finished part is automatically unloaded from the marking and sawing table onto a conveyor for transport to an assembling station which can either be a semi-automated station employing automatic nailing heads and other devices or a table layout whereon the parts are assembled and manually nailed to form the frame.
By employing the present fabricating system, the non-standard parts for each frame are fabricated in the order in which the frame is to be formed. Moreover, non-standard frames can be rapidly and efficiently fabricated in succession without confusion of their parts and without dependence upon externali ties such as different plans and layouts for each of the various types of frames.
Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide improved apparatus and methods for fabricating wooden wall frames.
It is another object of the present invention to provideimproved apparatus and methods for fabricating wooden wall frames wherein the frame parts may be rapidly and accurately cut to predetermined lengths in response to a numerical control information.
It is another object of the present invention to provide improved apparatus and methods for fabricating wall frames wherein the longitudinally extending parts are marked to indicate the location of adjoining vertically extending intermediate parts whereby assembly of the frame is facilitated.
It is another object of the present invention to provide apparatus and methods for fabricating wooden wall frames wherein marks are applied along the top and bottom plates of the frame to indicate the location of adjoining frame parts and the nature of such parts.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide improved apparatus and methods for fabricating wooden wall frames wherein the frame parts are cut to predetermined lengths in the order in which the parts are assembled to form the frame.
It is a related object of the present invention to provide improved apparatus and methods for fabricating wooden wall frames wherein machine readable numerical information is provided representing the length of the frame parts to be cut, the size of the lumber to be utilized, the number of the specified parts to be cut, and the particular use or nature of the parts so specified and wherein such information is translated as applicable into visually displayed operating instructions for the sawyer and into instructions for a measuring device controlling a movable stop detemiinative of the lumber position for both marking and cutting operations.
These and further objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent upon reference to the following specification, appended claims and drawings wherein:
FIGS. 1A and 1B are side elevation views of respective exterior and interior frames which may be fabricated in accordance with the automated panel fabricating system of the present invention;
FIG. 1C is a horizontal cross sectional view of a corner in a frame utilized to join a pair of right angularly related frames;
FIG. 1D is a horizontal cross sectional view of a tee connection between a pair of frames;
FIG. IE is a schematic layout of'an automated frame fabricating system;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of an automated measuring, marking and sawing assembly constructed in accordance with the present invention and forming a part of the fabricating system hereof;
FIG. 3 is a top plan view thereof;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged cross-sectional view thereof taken about on line 4-4 in FIG. 2',
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary view thereof taken about on line 55 in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged cross sectional view of a portion of the measuring device and taken about on line 6-6 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary cross sectional view of the traveling stop and unloading assembly with portions broken out for ease of illustration;
FIG. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary top plan view thereof;
FIG. 9 is an enlarged fragmentary end elevational view of the fixed unloading assembly;
FIG. is a schematic side elevational view of a measuring device forming a portion of the automated saw and measuring assembly hereof;
FIG. 11 is an enlarged cross sectional view of the saw blade, clamp and actuating assembly therefor;
FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a marking device employed with the fabricating system hereof;
FIG. 13 is a schematic of a pneumatic control system for the sawing, measuring and marking assembly hereof;
FIG. 14 is a tabulation of the information comprising a complete numerical instruction and its format as embodied in an information carrier such as a punched tape;
FIG. 15 is a representation of one level of a punched tape showing the manner in which the numerical information in FIG. 14 is encoded;
FIG. 16 is a block diagram showing the conceptual features of a numerical control system utilizing the information tabulated in FIG. 14 to control the measuring, cutting and marking operations of the present invention;
FIGS. 17A-C, assembled in the manner indicated by FIG. 18, illustrates a detailed functional block diagram of the apparatus of FIG. 16;
FIG. 19 is a perspective view of a plate illustrating the various marks indicative of the locations of other parts of the frame;
FIG. 20 is a fragmentary perspective view of a bottom plate with the various other parts of the frame secured thereto at the marked positions;
FIG. 21 is a schematic perspective view of the top and bottom plates illustrating their disposition during and after cutting;
FIG. 22 is a fragmentary perspective view of an assembly table on which the parts of theframe can be assembled;
FIG. 23 is an elevational view of the sawyers information display console; and
FIG. 24 is a representation of instructions serially arranged on a tape format for fabricating the interior partition of FIG. 1B and a portion of the panel of FIG. 1A.
DESCRIPTION OF EXTERIOR AND INTERIOR WALL FRAME CONSTRUCTION Referring now to the drawings, particularly to FIGS. 1A and 1B, typical exterior and interior frames are illustrated and which may be constructed in accordance with the fabricating system illustrated in FIG. 1C. In FIG. 1A, a wall frame construction, particularly suitable for an exterior wall panel, is illustrated and comprises a top plate TP, a very top plate VTP, a bottom plate BP, a plurality of studs ST secured between the top and bottom plates, and a window frame W defined by frame members including a head HED, a sill SIL, jacks JCK, cripples CRP, a header HDR, and short studs SHS. Either the exterior or interior frames may include a corner and/or tee construction, COR and TEE respectively, described more particularly hereinafter and including blocks B illustrated in FIG. 1A. Referring to FIG. 18, a typical interior wall partition comprises a top plate TP, bottom plate BP, a plu-' rality of studs ST, connected between the top and bottom plates. Either the exterior or interior frame may include a door frame D which is illustrated in the interior partition of FIG. 1B and comprises jacks .ICK, a head HD, a header HDR, and cripples CRP. Of course, it will be appreciated that a particular frame may include one or more of both windows and doors. It will be further appreciated that for each interior and exterior frame, there are a large number of parts, namely the studs ST which are standard in length and which comprise the majority of the structural members of each frame. For example, in forming exterior panels, the areas between thewindows and doors are usually formed by connecting the top and bottom plates TP and BP respectively by a plurality of studs ST having a standard'length. Similarly, in interior wall partitions the top and bottom plates are connected by a plurality of standard length studs. The studs for the interior partitions may be slightly longer, i.e. conventionally 1%th inches, than the studs provided for the exterior panels due to the addition in the latter, as is conventional, of a very top plate VTP for structural support. I
Referring now to FIG. 1C, there is illustrated a pair of wall frames FRl andFR2 joined one to the other at a comer. The frame FR2 is provided with a corner construction COR which, as illustrated in FIG. 1A and 1C, includes a pair of studs ST spaced one from the other by a plurality of vertically spaced blocks. The corner construction is provided at the end of frame FR2 and the other frame FRl can be joined at right angles with frame FR2 simply by nailing through its end stud ST into the end stud ST of the comer COR. By virtue of the compound piece comprising the corner COR, the inner stud ST of frame FR2 extends beyond the frame FRl to provide with the end stud ST on frame FRI corner nailing surfaces for sheathing paneling and the like.
Referring now to FIG. 1D, there is illustrated a pair of frames FR3 and FR4 with the end of frame FR4 being joined intermediate the ends of frame FR3 by a Tee construction indicated at Tee, the Tee construction comprises a compound piece formed of a pair of laterally spaced studs ST with paired vertically spaced blocks B disposed between the studs ST. By employing a compound piece of this type intermediate the ends of frame FR3, there is provided when the joint if formed, an exposed stud of frame FR4 which, in conjunction with the end stud ST on frame FR4, form comer nailing surfaces on the inside face of frame FR3 and the opposite faces of frame FR4. Accordingly, both the comer and T compound pieces facilitate the joining of paneling sheathing and the like to the wall frames by providing exposed studs to which the panels can be fastened at their respective comers.
Returning now to FIG. 1B, the bottom plate B? of the interior partition is provided with a notch cut N on opposite sides of the door frame D. The bottom plate BP is normally notched by cutting about half-way through from its lower face whereby the integrity of the bottom plate is maintained by the unnotched portion of the upper face of the bottom plate BP. The notching is provided on opposite sides of a door frame in both interior partitions and exterior wall panels where a door frame occurs to facilitate the cutting of the bottom plate 'BP portion between the jacks defining the opposite sides of the door frame when the frame is finally secured in place at the actual construction site. In this manner, a carpenter at the construction site can readi- 1y, easily and rapidly saw through the remaining unnotched portions of the bottom plate directly over the notched portions thereof in order to remove the bottom plate portion between the jacks. This greatly facilitates the removal of this portion by permitting use of automated saws such as a circular hand saw at the construction site.
Turning now to FIG. 1E, the automated measuring and sawing marking assembly constructed in accordance with the present invention and hereinafter referred to as the panel fabricating apparatus is intended for use in a frame fabricating system which provides for the continuous formation of wall panels. Briefly, the fabricating system includes a parts fabricating apparatus generally indicated 10 at a fabricating station 12, at which the non-standard parts for example, the headers, cripples, jacks, heads and short studs, forming the wall frames and ultimately the finished wall panels, are cut to predetermined lengths under the control of a numerical control system to be described. Generally speaking, the parts fabricating apparatus includes a saw S which cuts the non-standard parts of the frame to proper length, by means to be described, from lumber indicated at L stacked close at hand. In accordance with the present invention, anoperator at station 12 is provided various information by means of a visual display D including the type and length of lumber to be cut, the number of pieces to be cut and the function or nature of each cut piece in the frame to be formed. There is also provided at station 12 a unit nailer UN for nailing compound frame parts, i.e., those frame parts formed of two or more face to face butting standard or non-standard parts. For example, the unit nailer is employed to nail a short stud to an associated jack, this compound piece forming a portion of the window assembly W in the exterior panel illustrated in FIG. 1A, or to form the Tee and corner pieces previously described. The fabricating apparatus also marks the top and bottom plates to indicate the locations of the vertical or intermediate frame parts along the plates and also to indicate the locations of doors, windows, Tees and comers along the plates, all for purposes and in a manner to be described hereinafter.
The non-standard cut pieces including the marked plates and the compound pieces are then disposed on a conveyor CV in the order of their assembly by an operator at an assembling and nailing station generally indicated at 14. Generally, the pre-cut non-standard pieces are assembled with standard pieces, for example studs ST, conveyed to station 14 by a conveyor indicated CV1. A nailing machine is provided at the assembling and nailing station 14 and the operator feeds the various parts in the order in which the frame is to be assembled through a nailing machine 16 whereat the parts are finally assembled to form the frame. A continuing frame fabrication process is accomplished at nailing machine 16. That is to say, the operator at station 14 feeds the first stud between the top and bottom plates and, by actuating the nailing machine, nails the plates to the stud. The partially fabricated frame is then stepped beyond nailing machine 16 and an additional stud or non-standard part depending on the type of frame being fabricated is disposed by the operator at station 14 into nailing position. The nailing machine is again actuated and the partially completed frame is again advanced. This operational sequence is repeated until the full frame is formed. Obviously, the non-standard pieces are fed to the operator at the assembling and nailing station 14 in sequence of the order in which such members are to be nailed to form the completed frame.
The open and completed frame may then be removed from conveyor CV2 and transported to the actual construction site for use in forming the particular building, house or the like for which the frame is fabricated. Alternatively, the exterior frames can be removed from conveyor CV2 by a conveyor CV3 for disposition on a sheathing conveyor illustrated at CV4. Behind sheathing conveyor CV4, there is provided a sheathing saw or shear SS1 for cutting the sheathing to the size of the exterior frame. The sheathing is then disposed on the frame and the combined sheathing and frame can be conveyed through a sheathing nailer, indicated SN, to provide a substantially finished exterior panel. Returning now to the open frames on conveyor CV2, interior or wallboard sheathing can likewise be applied to the interior panels. The interior wall board or sheathing can be cut by a sheathing saw or shear SS2 to the side of conveyor CV2. The cut sheathing can then be disposed on the interior frame (on one or both sides as desired). The combined sheathing and frame is then conveyed through a sheathing nailer indicated SNl. It will be appreciated that the automated panel fabricating system hereof can thus provide semifinished interior and exterior wall panels for delivery to the construction site whereat the panels can be finally assembled one to the other to form a building or the like.
MECHANICAL DESCRIPTION Measuring, Cutting and Marking Framework Turning now to FIGS. 2 and 3, there is illustrated an automated sawing, measuring and marking apparatus or parts fabricating apparatus constructed in accordance with the present invention and comprising, as its major sub-assemblies, a conveyor table generally indicated at 15, a traveling lumber stop and unloading assembly generally indicated 17, a chain drive therefor including a stroke multiplier generally indicated 19, a lumber clamping and sawing assembly 21 including a saw S, a fixed lumber unloading assembly generally indicated 20, a measuring device indicated 22, and a marking device generally indicated 23. Particularly, conveyor table 15 includes a conveyor support assembly having a plurality of longitudinally and transversely spaced upright stanchions 24 secured at their lower ends to cross supports 26, and a plurality of diagonal supports 28. The conveyor table includes a box-like frame 30 secured to the upper end of stanchions 24, and carrying a plurality of longitudinally spaced rollers 32. Frame 30 also includes an inclined ramp 34 on the side of the table opposite fence or rail 38 for the purpose of discharging lumber from rollers 30, for example, onto conveyor CV illustrated in FIG. 1 after the lumber has been cut. Fence 38 is located above and along the rear side of the conveyor table for the purpose of providing an abutment against which the lumber can be butted during the marking and sawing operations to be described. Fence 38 is coextensive in length with conveyor table and is supported by a plurality of brackets 39 suitably secured to box frame 30.
Lumber Clamp and Saw Assembly Disposed at one end of the table is the lumber clamping and sawing assembly 21 including a saw housing 40 and a saw guard 41 disposed above table 15. The saw S comprises a circular saw blade 42 located within housing 40 and movable upwardly from a position recessed within housing 40 to cut through lumber disposed on conveyor table 15 below saw guard 41. That is to say, saw S is movable upwardly to cut through the lumber disposed on table 15 after the lumber has been located on the table in a predetermined position to provide the desired length of cut. After the cut, the saw blade 42 retracts into housing 40 to permit discharge of the lumber from table 15. -A fluid actuated mechanical linkage is provided for raising and lowering the saw as well as to clamp the lumber to the table for effecting the cut. To this end and referring particularly to FIG. 11, the saw S including its associated electric motor is carried on an arm 43 pivoted to housing 40 as at 44. An arm 45 is pivotally connected at one end to saw guard 41 as at 46 and is also pivotally connected intermediate its ends at 47 to the upper end of a rigid bar 48. The lower end of bar 48 is pivotally connected to link 43 intermediate its ends as at 49. A fluid actuated preferrably pneumatic cylinder 50 is pivotally secured to housing 40 at 51 and its piston rod is connected to arm 45. A stop 52 is also fixed in housing 40. It will be appreciated that extension of the piston rod will first pivot saw guard 41 downwardly about axis 47 to clamp the lumber to housing 40 with stop 52 preventing downward pivotal action of link 43. Further extension of the piston rod will cause the saw blade'42 to pivot about axis 44 upwardly through the slot 53 in housing 40 to cut the lumber. Particularly, arm 45 pivots about axis 46 and pulls rod 48 upwardly to pivot link 43 about axis 44, the guard 41 clamping against the lumber to provide a reaction force permitting arm 45 to pivot. Retraction of the piston causes the saw S to retract into the housing 40 and saw guard 41 to return to its normal elevated nonclamping position.
Travelling Stop Assembly Referring now particularly to FIGS. 7 and 8, the travelling stop and unloading assembly 17is mounted for movement lengthwise along conveyor table 15 and, in general, functions to (a) provide an end stop against which the .lumber may be positioned at a selected distance along conveyor table 15 from saw blade 42 and marking device 23 whereby, respectively the saw blade 42 can cut the lumber to the desired length and the marking device 23 can mark the plates at selected positions therealong, and (b) to provide a mechanism for automatically ejecting or discharging the butted end of the lumber from the conveyor table after the lumber has been cut by saw S. To accomplish this, the travelling stop and unloading assembly comprises: a carriage 54 including a flat base plate 55 overlying rollers 32 in spaced relation thereto, an upstanding support bracket 56 suitably secured as by welding along the inner edge of base plate 55 and a horizontally disposed support plate 57 secured along the face of bracket 56 to project outwardly therefrom over the opposite side of table 15 and above fence or rail 38. On the forward end of carriage 54, there is secured to base plate 55 an upright stop SP extending transversely across the table for its full width and against which lumber ends can be butted for purposes and in the manner to be described. Carriage 54 is mounted for sliding movement along fence 38 by means of a plurality of rollers which straddle fence 38 and a pair of cam followers. Particularly, there is provided at each of the opposite ends of support plate 57 a pair of depending rollers 58 for engagement along the inner face of fence 38 and a depending roller 59 for engagement along the outer face of fence 38. A cam follower 60 is located at opposite ends of carriage 54 and secured to upright bracket 56 to overlie the upper edge of rail 38. A travelling latch 61 is also provided and comprises a bracket 62 pivoted at 64 and includes a portion 66 which extends between upright bracket 56 and fence 38 terminating at its lower end in a laterally directed tip, not shown, underlying the lower edge of fence 38. A spring, not shown, engages between upright 56 and portion 66 of latch 61 to bias latch 61 into locking engagement with fence 38. The travelling stop and unloading assembly 17 is thus locked to fence 38 and is also free for movement along the full length of conveyor table 15. Depending from support plate 57, there is provided a chain drive connector bracket 72 having a depending tip 74 for securement to a chain 76 forming a portion of the chain drive for travelling stop and unloading assembly 17.
Referring now particularly to FIGS. 2 and 5, there is illustrated the chain drive and stroke multiplier 19 for the travelling assembly 17. Particularly, there is provided a pair of sprockets 78 and 80 at opposite ends of table 15 and along one side thereof below fence 38. As illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 7, there is provided along the rear side of table 15 an upper longitudinally extending flat 80 suitably secured to the fence mounting bracket 39 by means of a bolt and spacer arrangement 82. Along the upper edge of flat 80 is provided an elongated wear strip 84 on which the upper portion of chain 76 rides. A similar but inclined flat 86 mounting a similar wear strip 88 is similarly secured to table 15 by means of a plurality of depending brackets 90. As best seen in FIG. 4, a pair of transversely spaced support plates 92 and 94 are provided on opposite sides of table 15 intermediate its ends. A shaft 96 is supported on bearings 98 between plates 92 and 94, one end of which extends through plate 94 and mounts a large diameter sprocket 100. A pair of idler sprockets 102 are also rotatably mounted on support plate 94 and idler rollers 104 are disposed in close proximity to sprockets 102 to maintain chain 76 in engaged relation about sprockets 102. It will thus be appreciated that drive chain 76 extends about drive sprocket and idler sprockets 102, bears along lower wear strips 88 to extend about end sprockets 78 and 80 and bears along upper wear strip 84. The chain connector 74 preferably is locked to chain 76 whereby the travelling stop and unloading and unloading assembly 17 can be driven lengthwise along conveyor table 15. Shaft 96, illustrated in FIG. 4 carries a drive gear 106 which lies in meshing engagement with a rack 108. It will be appreciated that longitudinal movement of rack 108 l l rotates gear 106 and hence drive sprocket 100 to move assembly 17 along the table.
To locate travelling stop and unloading assembly 17 selected distances along table from marking device 23 and from saw S whereby a predetermined length of cut is provided, there is afforded a plurality of fluid actuated pistons and cylinder arrangements having various predetermined piston displacements providing for predetermined increments of length displacement of assembly 17 along table 15. The piston and cylinder arrangements are connected serially one with the other with the cylinders being arranged in connected pairs. Each pair of cylinders is connected to the adjacent cylinders by the next adjacent piston rods of such adjacent cylinders. The end cylinder is fixed to the table frame while succeeding cylinders are slidably mounted for longitudinal movement whereby the total displacement of the final piston rod at the opposite free end of the serially connected cylinders equals the sum of the displacements of the actuated cylinders. In a preferred form, the smallest cylinder has a piston displacement of l/32nd inch, the next smallest a displacement of /z;th inch, the next A inch, etc. as listed below with the largest cylinder having a displacement of 24 inches. Accordingly, actuation of selected cylinders provides a total length displacement of the movable assembly 17 equal to the sum of the selected cylinder displacements providing a total displacement of 48 31 /32nd inches. By utilizing a four to one gear ratio between the chain driving sprocket 100 and the gear 106 driven by rack 108, a total movement of assembly 17 a distance of 16 feet 3% inches in 43th inch increments can be effected. The following table provides, in columnar fashion, the actual displacement of the individual piston and cylinder as compared with the actual displacement of the travelling stop and unloading assembly, the letter L before a numeral in the succeeding description indicating a cylinder with a displacement in inches corresponding to the numeral.
Actual Cylinder Displacement Stop Travel Displacement Particularly, as illustrated in FIG. 10, the cylinder L'riz having the smallest displacement is fixed to a mounting bracket 118 which, in turn, is fixed to an elongated tube 120 suitably fixed to the lower trans verse table support 26. Tube 120 (FIG. 4) is open along its upper side and carries a pair of gibs 122 on opposite sides of the opening. Each of the paired cylinders is provided at opposite ends with a carrier 124 mounting a pair of cam followers 126 on each side thereof straddling gibs 122. It will be appreciated that rollers could be substituted for the cam followers 126 as desired. With the foregoing mounting of the string of cylinders and pistons, it will be appreciated that the cylinders subsequent to fixed cylinder L% are freely slidable along tube 120. The piston rod associated with the largest cylinder L96 is connected to a push-pull bracket 130 mounted on a pair of longitudinally spaced carriers 132 also mounting pairs of cam followers 134 on opposite sides and ends to straddle gibs 122. Bracket 130 comprises a pair of upright plates 136 between which is secured one end of rack 108. Rack 108 lies in meshing engagement with a gear 106 and it will be appreciated that the movement caused by displacement of selected cylinders will be translated to rotary movement of gear 106 and hence lengthwise movement of travelling assembly 17 along table 15 through the chain drive.
Referring now specifically to FIG. 10, it will be seen that the cylinders subsequent to the initial fixed cylinder. L 16 are arranged in fixed cylinder pairs. For example, cylinders DA and L are suitably rigidly secured in back to back relation one to the other with the piston rod associated with cylinder L54 being suitably connected to the preceding piston rod of cylinder L The piston rod of cylinder L'A is similarly connected to the piston rod of the next subsequent cylinder L1 which cylinder is, in turn, rigidly connected with cylinder L2 in back to back relation therewith. The piston rod of cylinder L2 is connected to the piston rod of cylinder L4 and it will be appreciated that succeeding pairs of cylinders'are similarly connected with the piston rods of each cylinder being connected to either the piston rod of the nearest cylinder of the next preceding pair of cylinders or the piston rod of the nearest cylinder of the next subsequent pair of cylinders. The pistons are illustrated in FIG. 10 in their fully retracted position with the travelling stop assembly 17 located at its closest position to saw S, i.e. about 3 A inches to the left of the saw S as seen in FIG. 2. Each cylinder is actuated by a four way two position solenoid actuated valve in communication via pneumatic supply and exhaust lines 254 and 252 with a source of air under pressure, P.S. (FIG. 13) and a reservoir, not shown, respectively, each valve having a spring return. For consistent notation and to facilitate description of the operation of the apparatus hereinafter, the valves and solenoids associated with the length position cylinders are provided the identical numerical designation as the length of movement, in inches, of the travelling assembly caused by actuation of that valve and cylinder, the valves and solenoids being preceded with the letters V & S respectively.
Referring to FIGS. 2 and 4, rack 108 is supported just below gear 106 by a plurality of support brackets 140 mounted on a transversely extending support plate 142 extending between plates 92 and 94 above the cylinders. The support brackets 140 mount pairs of rollers 144 on opposite sides of the lower bevelled surfaces 146 of rack 108 whereby rack 108 is supported for translational movement and precluded from lateral movement. It will be noted that the hose connections for supplying and exhausting fluid to the cylinders L are carried within tube 120 and exit through the side of tube 120 for connection with a valve junction box IE seen in FIG. 2.
13 Travelling Unloading Assembly Referring now particularly to FIGS. 7 and 8, the travelling stop assembly 17 includes an automatic unloading assembly whereby the end of the lumber on conveyor 15 adjacent stop 17 can be displaced from rollers 32 onto ramp 34 for disposition onto conveyor CV. This travelling unloading assembly includes an unloading blade 180 pivotally carried below plate 55 for swinging movement from one side of conveyor table 15 below fence 38 to the opposite side thereof for the purpose of displacing the lumber ends adjacent lumber stop SP away from fence 38 across conveyor 14 onto ramp 34. The inner end of blade 180 is mounted on a shaft 182 keyed to a crank 184 which seats on a collar 186 fixed to plate 55. One end of a crank arm 188 is secured to crank 184 while its opposite endis pivotally carried-by a clevis 190. Clevis 190 is secured to the outer end of a piston 192 carried by a fluid actuated cylinder 194. A pair of cylinder brackets 196 pivotally mountthe forward end of cylinder 194 to permit extension of piston rod 192 and clevis 190 to rotate crank arm 188 from the full line to the dashed line positions illustrated in FIG. 8. In rotating thecrank arm from the full line to the dashed line position, it will be appreciated that tip 198 of blade 180 swings from a position below fence 38 and inwardly of the lumber end across the table forwardly of stop SP to a position adjacent the opposite side of the table, the blade engaging the lumber end adjacent the fence 38 and moving it across the table 15 for disposition onto ramp 34. A bolt 200 is received in an arcuate track 202 formed in plate 55, the lower end of bolts 200 being secured to blade 180 whereby blade 180 is maintained in position above rollers 32. Referring to FIG. 2, suitable hose connections 204 are provided cylinder 194 and extend beyond the travelling stop and unloading assembly 17 along the top of the table through an end bracket 206 and about a hose takeup reel 208 located below the end of the table.
FIXED UNLOADING ASSEMBLY dashed lines in FIG. 9. It will be appreciated that, in
moving pusher head 216 from the retracted position to the extended position, the end of the lumber adjacent the saw blade is moved across table 15 for discharge onto ramp 34.
MARKING DEVICE Referring now to FIG. 12, the lumber marking device 23 includes a fluid actuated cylinder 220 disposed over table 15 and a piston 222 carrying on its free end a clamping and marking plate 224 for engaging against the upper surface of the lumber on table 15 in a manner to block out the area on the plates against which the parts, i.e., studs, etc. connecting between the top and bottom plates in the assembled frame will butt. Spaced back from the end of piston rod 222 and plate 224, there is secured a support bracket 226 carrying on each side four spray or nozzle heads 228 and 230. The heads 228 and 230 are disposed such that a selected head on each side of bracket 226 can be directed to spray a like colored marking die on the lumber on the associated side of the marking plate 224 whereby, upon retraction of piston 222, a clearly delineated unmarked area 231 (FIG.' 19), the width of the connecting part, is left between the sprayed portions of the lumber indicated at 233. Each of the like heads of each set is connected via a suitable line 232 (FIG. 13) and a connection to an associated marking dye pressure pot 234. Four different colors are provided in the pressure pots for each set of nozzle heads 228 and 230, the colors, red, green, blue and black being chosen .to represent the different nature or function of the parts to be connected between the plates. For example, the color red when sprayed on opposite sides of marking block 224 onto the lumber indicates that a standard stud is to butt the plates at the unmarked area delineated by the spray coated portions of the lumber. The color green represents that a connecting part defining an opening in the frame, for example, a window or door opening, should be disposed at the unmarked area between the sprayed portions. The color blue represents the location of a part forming a corner in the frame. The color black indicates the location of a part forming a tee in the frame. Obviously, other colors or other types of marking indicia could be employed to designate the various functions of the interconnecting parts. Additional colors or indicia could also be employed to designate other functions as desired.
Fluid Control Circuit As illustrated in FIG. 13, a fluid circuit is provided and arranged in controlling relation to the lumber stop positioner cylinders L for controlling the position of travelling stop 17 along table 15, the clamping and sawing assembly 21 including cylinder 50, the travelling and fixed lumber unloading cylinders 194 and 210 respectively, a notch cutting mechanism to be described, and the lumber marking device 23. Particularly, a source of fluid, preferrably air under pressure is provided by a source PS which, in the preferred embodiment, provides psi filtered and lubricated air to a main air supply conduit 250. The stop positioner cylinders Uri; L96 are connected in parallel with main supply conduit 250 with each cylinder having conduits 252 and 254 respectively, in communication with the rod and head ends of the associated cylinder through an associated valve V, the exhaust lines from the valves back to a reservoir or supply PS not being shown. As noted previously, valves V are each two position-four way valves normally maintained in the illustrated position by the bias of an associated spring. In the normal position of the valves V, air is supplied via conduit 250 and branch conduit 252 to the rod end of the stop position cylinders L maintaining the pistons in a retracted position. Solenoids S are provided valves V and, when selectively actuated in a manner to be described, shift the associated valves to a second position wherein supply conduit 250 is disposed in communication with the head ends of the associated cylinders via conduit