US 3758945 A
A masonry flute rake having a plurality of similar tines arranged in a common plane and a handle extending rearwardly from said tines intermediately of the length of said row thereof, the plane of said tines being at an obtuse angle to the axis of the handle. The tines are adapted to rake simultaneously down a substantial number of flutes formed in the outer faces of certain types of masonry blocks to remove projecting mortar from the courses between horizontal rows of such blocks.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 Finnegan, Jr.
1451 Sept. 18, 1973 MASONRY FLUTE RAKE  lnventor: Joseph F. Finnegan, Jr., York, Pa.
 Assignee: York Stone & Supply Company,
 Filed: Jan. 7, 1972  Appl. No.: 216,021
 US. Cl 30/172, 15/1055, 15/2353  Int. Cl. E0lc 23/02  Field of Search 30/164.9, 169, 171,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,195,297 8/1916 Vlchek 15/l05.5 UX 3,123,911 3/1964 Snyder 30/172 3,543,715 12/1970 Hill 145/29 R X 2,747,911 5/1956 Kuever 30/169 Kimber.... 15/1055 Wilson 15/2353 Primary Examiner-Othell M. Simpson Assistant Examiner--Mark S. Bicks Attorney-C. l-lercus Just  ABSTRACT A masonry flute rake having a plurality of similar tines arranged in a common plane and a handle extending rearwardly from said tines intermediately of the length of said row thereof, the plane of said tines being at an obtuse angle to the axis of the handle. The tines are adapted to rake simultaneously down a substantial number of flutes formed in the outer faces of certain types of masonry blocks to remove projecting mortar from the courses between horizontal rows of such blocks.
2 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures MASONRY FLUTE RAKE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In efforts to provide esthetically appealing outer surfaces upon cement blocks in recent years, various expedients have been resorted to in order to disguise and minimize the obviousness of the mortar courses between successive blocks in both horizontal and vertical directions. One recent achievement in this respect has been the development of a facing block molded from cement in which the block is provided along the midportion with a series of closely spaced, similar holes extending entirely through the block. By inserting a wedging die simultaneously into said series of holes from one end thereof, the block is caused to split and thereby form a pair of similar blocks having rough surface portions between the flutes which result from splitting the holes. The resulting flutes are somewhat closely spaced from each other, along the order of between two and three inches between adjacent flutes, whereby six or seven of such flutes will occur in the outer face ofa sixteen-inch cement block, for example. By way of example, and not restriction, said blocks commonly are of the order of slightly less than 4 inches thick and it is customary for the same to be about 8 inches high.
When laid in vertical courses, the individual blocks may be vertically above each other or staggered in conventional bricklaying fashion but, in either event, the flutes in the successive vertical courses are in vertical alignment with each other and present an overall appealing and attractive appearance, breaking up the monotony of a substantially flat wall and at the same time disguising the mortar courses, both vertical and horizontal, between adjacent block. It is quite customary for blocks of this type to laid against the outer surface of an inner wall formed from conventional cement block and thus mask the conventional mortar courses of said inner wall.
Due to the fact that a rather substantial number of vertical flutes are formed in each block, it will be seen that when one course of blocks are laid upon a lower course and a horizontal layer of mortar extends between the two courses, as is conventional in the laying of bricks and cement blocks, the intervening layer of mortar oozes outwardly. In conventional block and bricklaying, the mason uses a trowel to remove the excess, projecting mortar where the bricks and blocks have a smooth outer face. Under such circumstances, a grooving tool also is sometimes used to remove a slightly additional amount of intervening mortar so that there is a slight recess between adjacent blocks and bricks.
The projection of intervening layers of mortar between successive vertical rows of facing blocks having the vertical flutes therein of the type referred to above presents intensified removal problems because of the greater number of vertical flutes as compared simply with the mortar between the front flat faces of conventional blocks. At present, the only means a mason has for removing the excess projecting mortar from the layer thereof between adjacent vertically aligned flutes in successive courses of blocks of the type referred to is a simple tool such as a slick which is a blade capable of clearing the mortar from only a single flute at one time. Obviously, removing excess mortar from between all the flutes in a number of different courses of blocks of the fluted faced type, such as described above, is extremely time-consuming. Masons are among the highest paid of construction craftsmen and such timeconsuming operations are costly in the overall expense of building masonry structures.
Overcoming such time-consuming operations is effected by the present invention in which a rake-type structure is provided having a substantial number of similar tines spaced transversely from each other evenly, according to the flutes in flute faced blocks of the type described above, whereby simply moving the rake downwardly along the vertical rows of successive flutes in corresponding courses of blocks serves to rap idly clear as many as six or eight rows of flutes at a time. Usually, only a single downward passage of the rake is adequate to accomplish such mortar-clearing operation.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The foregoing objectives of the invention are achieved by providing a rake comprising a transverse bar from one edge of which a plurality of tines project,
the tines tapering forwardly toward the outer endsthereof and terminating in stubby tips complementary to the cross-sectional shapes of the flutes in the blocks referred to above. A handle projects from the opposite edge of the transverse cross bar, intermediately of the length thereof and the shank of the handle has an obtuse angle therein in order to improve the raking operation effected by the tines of the rake as the same are simultaneously moved down a number of rows of the flutes corresponding to the number of teeth in the rake.
It is another object of the invention to further facilitate the function of the rake by disposing the outer end surfaces of the tines at an acute angle to the plane of the tine, whereby the lower edges of the said outer ends, in use, are sharp and readily capable of removing the excess mortar disposed in the flutes when the rake preferably is moved downward along the same.
It is a further object of the invention to facilitate the manufacturing of such rake by employing a tubular shank which is received at one end within the socket of a handle which is molded preferably from rubber or snythetic resin to provide a plurality of finger-receiving notches in the lower surface thereof to minimize the possibility of the handle slipping from the hand of the user, while the opposite end of the shank is flattened to a thickness substantially equal to the crossbar of the rake and is fixedly connected thereto by a weldment.
Details of the foregoing objects and of the invention, as well as other objects thereof, are set forth in the following specification and illustrated in the accompanying drawing comprising a part thereof.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING F [6.1 is a fragmentary perspective view of a segment of an exemplary cement block wall upon the outer face of which a plurality of flute face type cement blocks are mounted to provide the esthetic effect characteristic of such flute face block.
FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional side elevation taken along the exemplary sectional line 22 of FIG. 1 and illustrates the preferred manner of a rake embodying the principles of the present invention being used to clear projecting mortar from between the courses of a pair of flute face type blocks.
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the rake embodying the principles of the present invention.
FIG. 4 is a side elevation of the rake shown in FIG. 3.
FIG. 5 is a transverse sectional view, shown on a slightly larger scale than used in FIG. 4, and taken on the line 5-5 of said FIG. 4.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to FIG. 1, a typical cement block wall is illustrated to provide an example of the type of wall in regard to which the present invention is useful incident to laying the blocks comprising said wall. In said Figure, the inner wall is composed of courses of conventional cement blocks which preferably provide the main strength of the wall, regardless of whether the wall is of the bearing type or of the curtain type. After such inner wall is laid, a facing layer of flute face blocks 12 are laid in horizontal courses above each other with intervening layers 14 of mortar there between. Normally, appropriate tying members, not shown, such as strips of metal, may be used to attach the facing blocks 12 to the main inner wall. Vertical layers 16 of mortar also are disposed between adjacent ends of successive blocks in each horizontal course thereof.
The front face of each of the blocks 12 are provided with a substantial number of parallel, closely spaced flutes 18. It is quite customary for facing blocks of this type to be 8 inches high and 16 inches long, although these dimensions are not to be regarded as restrictive. In such blocks, as many as six or eight evenly spaced flutes will be formed in the outer face thereof between the opposite end of each block. Accordingly, these flutes are within the range of between 2 and 3 inches apart in a horizontal direction.
Referring to FIG. 2, it will be seen that when an upper course of the blocks 12 is placed upon the lower course, the layer of mortar 14 between the two courses will ooze or expand outwardly to provide a mortar projection which, if left to harden, destroys the esthetic effect of continuous vertical rows of the flutes l8. Accordingly, after laying one or more courses of such facing block 12, it is customary to remove such mortar projections 20 from each of the rows of flutes 18 at each junction of the horizontal courses of the blocks 12. By effecting such removal of the mortar projections by a single tool such as a slick, chisel, or otherwise, it is obvious that an extensive amount of time is consumed. Accordingly, the present invention has been devised to greatly shorten the amount of time required to remove such excess mortar from projections 20 by effecting such removal simultaneously from a substantial number of successive rows of flutes 18. The details of the rake type structure comprising the present invention are as follows:
Referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, it will be seen that the rake 22 comprising the present invention consists of a crossbar 24 preferably formed from sheet steel of suitable thickness and rigidity. A plurality oftines 26 which are similar to each other project from one edge of the crossbar 24. The rake comprising the cross bar 24 and tines 26 may be formed by blanking the same from a suitable strip of sheet steel.
Referring to FIG. 3, it will be seen that the opposite sides of the tines 26 taper toward the forward ends thereof and terminate in stubby ends 28 which are parallel to the crossbar 24. The shape of the tips of the tines 26 is complementary to the transverse sectional shape of the flute grooves 18. Also, as shown in the left hand end of FIG. 4, the plane 30 on the outer ends of the tines 26 is at an acute angle to the plane of the tines to form a sharp raking edge 32 on said tines.
The rake 22 also comprises a shank 34 which preferably is forrned from tubular metal stock and is substantially as long as the crossbar 24. As shown in FIG. 3, the shank 34 is perpendicular to the crossbar 24 and the end 36 of the shank 34 is flattened to a thickness which is substantially equal to that of the crossbar 24 and to which it is connected by a weldment 38. From FIG. 4, it also will be seen that the flattened end 36 of the shank 34 is substantially within the plane of the crossbar 24 and tines 26 thereon and said plane is at an obtuse angle to the axis of the shank 34 which extends rearwardly into a complementary socket in a handle 40. The obtuse angle is of the order of about The hollow handle 40 may be molded from any suitable material such as appropriate rubber compositions, synthetic resins, or formed from wood or otherwise. The side thereof which is lowermost in use also is provided with a plurality of finger-receiving notches 42. The notches 42 function to prevent accidental slippage of the rake from the hand of the operator during use and, in conjunction with the obtuse angle at which the tines 36 are disposed with respect to the axis of the handle, and further in conjunction with the angular disposition of the planes 30 of the outer end surfaces of the tines 26 all cooperate to facilitate the simultaneous removal ofa row of mortar projections 20 corresponding in number to the number of tines 26 on the rake 22. As shown in FIG. 3, there are six such tines illustrated, but this number is to be regarded as exemplary and illustrative rather than restrictive.
It is sufficient to illustrate the basic principle of the simultaneous removal of a plurality of mortar projection as distinguished from each projection having to be removed individually as is now the custom in conventional masonry practice. Further, the preferred method of operation of the rake 22 is to move the same downwardly, whereby gravity facilitates the use thereof, but this is not to be interpreted as meaning that the tool cannot be used by pulling the same upwardly within the vertically aligned flutes 18 in the blocks 12.
From the foregoing, it will be seen thatv a masonry flute rake is-provided which is simple and effective to use, relatively inexpensive to manufacture, and greatly reduces the time required to clear excess mortar projections from between successive courses of vertically aligned rows of flutes 18 in the flute face blocks 12. In addition, it is preferred that the vertical layers of mortar 16 between the ends of adjacent face blocks 12 also be vertically aligned either with each other or with the flutes 18 in courses of face blocks immediately above and below the course in which the vertical layers 16 are disposed. Under such circumstances, the vertical layers of mortar preferably are substantially equal in thickness to the width of the flutes 18, whereby the rake 22 may be used to remove the required amount of the outer edge of the vertical layers of mortar 16 so as to produce a groove corresponding in appearance to the flutes 18. Such removal readily is accomplished by the rake 22 incident to the same being used to remove the excess mortar projections 20 from the horizontal rows of mortar 14.
While the invention has been described and illustrated in its preferred embodiments, it should be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the precisc details herein illustrated and described since the same may be carried out in other ways falling within the scope of the invention as illustrated and described.
1. A masonry flute rake comprising a rake head comprising a flat elongated crossbar, at least five similar flat raking tines projecting from one edge of said crossbar substantially within the plane thereof, the side edges of said tines tapering similarly and at a very small angle relative to each other toward the outer ends thereof and terminating in stubby end surfaces disposed at an acute angle to the plane of said tine to provide a sharp raking edge at the lower front corners of said tines when in use and said end surfaces being complementary in shape to the flutes in the front face of cement facing blocks each having a substantial number of similar, closely spaced narrow vertical flutes formed therein, a tubular shank having one end flattened and fixed to the middle of the opposite edge of said crossbar from which said tines project and said shank projecting outwardly therefrom, and a tubular handle telescopically fitted over the other end of said shank, said handle having finger-gripping notches along the normally bottom side when in use to enhance the pulling effect imposed upon said rake and said handle and shank being disposed at an obtuse angle to the plane of said flat crossbar to dispose the plane of the rake head at a similar angle extending outward and downward from the axis of said handle when in use, whereby mortar extending into said flutes between horizontal rows of facing blocks may be rapidly raked by the tines of said rake simultaneously from a plurality of said flutes corresponding in number to the number of tines on said rake head.
2. The masonry flute rake according to claim 1 in which the flattened forward end of said shank is flattened to a thickness similar to that of said crossbar and is fixedly connected thereto by a weldment, and said obtuse angle in said shank being adjacent the confluence of said tubular and flattened portions of said shank.