US 3765587 A
A machine for constructing building units, pallets, skids and similar units, which has a bed having parallel guide rails to support and locate plate members, the guide rails being movable toward and away from one another to collapse the unit for transport or separate the guide rails to required building unit height. Conveyor chains carry precut studs in proper spaced relation to an assembly point where securing means is located to join the plate members and studs. The conveyor chains advance assembled members and positioned members to be assembled progressively through the machine. Raw material supports and an exit conveyor are either slidably connected to the machine to be drawn out for use or provided as separate parts for use with the machine when set up. The plate guide rails have liftable flanges upon which positioning means for special assembly arrangements may be arranged. The collapsed machine may be transported from one building site to another by means of truck or trailer. The machine may be set up for use either horizontally or vertically. An automatic machine is also disclosed having progressive stud feed, controlled, floating staple gun operation and an improved staple gun bridge.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Davis  Get, 16, 1973 BUILDING CONSTRUCTION MACHINE  Inventor: Jack Davis, Bristol, Tenn.
 Filed: Jan. 6, 1972  Appl. No.: 215,824
Related US. Application Data  Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 110,196, Jan. 27,
3,261,527 7/1966 Sterner 227/7 3,086,210 4/1963 Good et al..... 227/152 3,370,769 2/1968 Price 227/3 3,552,624 l/l97l Dykeman 227/100 Primary Examiner-Donald G. Kelly Assistant Examinerl-larold P. Smith, Jr. Attorney-Thomas B. Van Poole et al.
[5 7] ABSTRACT A machine for constructing building units, pallets, skids and similar units, which has a bed having parallel guide rails to support and locate plate members, the guide rails being movable toward and away from one another to collapse the unit for transport or separate the guide rails to required building unit height. Conveyor chains carry precut studs in proper spaced relation to an assembly point where securing means is located to join the plate members and studs. The conveyor chains advance assembled members and positioned members to be assembled progressively through the machine. Raw material supports and an exit conveyor are either slidably connected to the machine to be drawn out for use or provided as separate parts for use with the machine when set up. The plate guide rails have liftable flanges upon which positioning means for special assembly arrangements may be arranged. The collapsed machine may be transported from one building site to another by means of truck or trailer. The machine may be set up for use either horizontally or vertically. An automatic machine is also disclosed having progressive stud feed, controlled, floating staple gun operation and an improved staple gun bridge.
20 Claims, 16 Drawing Figures PATENTEDUBI 15 ms 3.765.587
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SHEET 7 [IF 7 1 BUILDING CONSTRUCTION MACHINE REFERENCE TO PRIOR APPLICATIONS This application is a continuation-in-part of prior application Ser. No. 1 10,196, Building Construction Machine, filed Jan. 27, 1971, now abandoned.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to machines for constructing building elements, such as wall, floor, roof panels, etc., or units such as pallets, skids, boxing and crating and particularly to such machines having means'for automatically positioning the parts which are to make upthe completed panels.
Many forms of jigs have been proposed to facilitate the assembly of precut building materials into a finished panel comprising plates and studs, and a cover skin if desired, but these have a predetermined arrangement to receive and hold the parts of the panel, or panel frame, and hold them while they are connected. While these jigs are simple, they must be reset for any variation in the panel arrangement, and each panel must be completed before removal. When the parts are set up in the jig, operators must move about the jig securing the several parts together. After completion, the finished panel is removed. While some variation in element positioning is possible by resetting the positioning members, no change can be made in the basic overall dimensions.
More recently, efforts have been made to mechanize the jigs, but this has resulted in little more than the provision ofa movable conveyor to eject completed panels from the formation area. Assembly of completed pan-' els at a given area remains necessary, with removal of the completed panel being automatically accomplished after complete assembly.
Other mechanized arrangements partially position some of the parts, or move-some parts relative to others, to achieve an assembled position, but all of the devices of which I am aware complete the assembly of all parts while the members making up the entire unit are 7 SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The principal object of the present invention is to provide a machine which will automatically position, and assemble, building panel parts, or pallets or skids, as the parts are moving through the machine, whereby completed units of various selected lengths can be produced with little, or no, manual labor.
A more specific object is the provision of such a machine wherein top and bottom plates are automatically, and progressively, advanced through the machine, while studs are automatically carried from a source of supply, properly positioned relative to the plates and accurately spaced relative to the adjacent stud, and moved to a fastening position where it is secured to the plates by appropriate means.
Another object is to provide a machine of this type which is adjustable to construct panels of different heights or widths, to provide different spacing between the studs and to position framing members for doors and windows where desired.
A further object is to provide such a machine which can be arranged for operation either horizontally or vertically. I
It is also an object of the invention to provide a panel assemblying machine which is capable of being transported to a building site and raised from floor to floor as construction advances, so that the machine may be maintained at the area where construction is being done, thus saving transportation of the building units and the cost of crane erection and operation.
A further object is to provide a machine of this nature which can be partially collapsed for transport upon a truck, or trailer, the machine being either perma nently, or removably, mounted upon the transporting vehicle. 7 l
Yet another object of the invention is to provide a machine of the above described type having means for setting up and assemblying special constructions, and, when the special unit is assembled, automatically removing the unit from the machine.
It is an object of the invention to provide a machine of this nature having a staple gun bridge extending across the machine with staple guns so mounted as to rest upon paneling moving through the machine to ensure firm contact of paneling and studs for proper nailing.
Other objects of the invention will become apparent from the following description of one practical embodiment thereof, when taken in conjunction with the drawings which accompany, and form part of, this specification.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevation of a truck with a panelmaking machine embodying the principles of the present invention removably mounted on it.
FIG. 2 is a rear view of the truck and machine shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged top plan view of the machine set up for use;
FIG. 4 is a further enlarged vertical longitudinal section through the machine, taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a vertical transverse section through the machine, taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 4;
F IG.'6 is a fragmentary perspective view of a portion of a conveyor chain of the machine, illustrating a stud clip carried by the chain;
FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6, but showing an extension on the stud clip to remove panels from the ma-.
chine under certain conditions;
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of one end of an adjustable plate guide rail and associated parts;
FIG. 9 is a view similar to FIG. 8 with the adjustable rail in a different position for another type of construction procedure;
FIG. 10 is a section taken on the line l010 of FIG.
FIG. 11 illustrates the machine arranged for use in producing panels in a vertical position;
FIG. 12 is a top plan view, similarto FIG. 3, ofa machine of slightly modified construction;
FIG. 13 is an enlarged view of one end of a stapler bridge shown in FIG. 12;
FIG. 14 is a vertical section taken on the line 14-14 of FIG. 13;
FIG. 15 is a vertical section, taken on the line l-l5 of FIG. 12, showing an automatic stud supply mechanism; and
FIG. 16 is a diagrammatic view of an automatic control for the machine.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring now to the drawings in detail, and first to that form of the invention shown in FIGS. 1 through 11, FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate a building construction machine l mounted upon a truck 2. The machine is in collapsed condition for transportation, and certain removable elements, to be later described, are stored within the machine frame. An electric generator 3 can be carried by the truck to provide electricity for operation of the machine, and a compressor 4 to supply compressed air for operating pneumatic nailers, or similar devices, is also mounted upon the truck. Although the construction machine may be removed from the truck and set up for operation at a convenient point, or moved from floor to floor as construction proceeds, it is contemplated that the generator and compressor, together with whatever other power supply sources may be required, will be permanently fixed to the truck, and suitable cables, hoses, etc., be used to connect them to the machine.
While an electric generator and an air compressor have been shown for purposes of disclosure, it is to be understood that these are merely illustrative of any power sources that may be needed, or desired, to operate the machine and appropriate power tools which may be used with it.
Also, truck 2, is simply an example of one type of transporting means that can be employed to carry the machine to and from construction sites. The machine might be permanently mounted upon a boat-type trailer, and drawn to the site of construction by a car or truck, or it could be mounted upon a tractor-drawn flatbed trailer, in which case, a supply of raw materials for use with the machine could be carried together with the machine.
Referring now particularly to FIGS. 3 through 11 of Q the drawings, it will be seen that the construction machine includes a work-bed 5, upon which the construction units are assembled and fixed together, which bed is supported upon a main frame 6. Auxiliary frames 7 and 8 are telescopically connected to the main frame, and are movable to expand the work-bed 5 to construct units of desired height or width, or to reduce the overall machine width for transport. Material supporting frames 9 are telescopically mounted at one end of the frame, and a conveyor 10 for removing completed units is formed from separate elements carried within the main frame and set up in proper position when the ma-- chine is to be used.
The main frame 6 is composed of a pair of spaced, parallel, outwardly opening channels 11, joined at the ends by outwardly opening cross channels 12. Channels 11 extend longitudinally of the main frame, and channels 12 extend transversely at the material entering end 13 and complete unit exiting end 14 of the machine. Channels 12 are considerably deeper than channels 13, and the two sets of channels are joined with their bases in a single horizontal plane to form a flat base and allow free access between the side channels at the entrance and exit ends. A central bracing channel 15 is connected to the side channels, and strengthening tubes 16 and 17 are positioned intermediate the end and central transverse channels. These tubes serve to brace the frame, and may be used for other purposes, as will be explained.
End channels 12 and central channel 15 serve to house, and also support, certain track members which carry, and form part of, the auxiliary frames 7 and 8. To this end, end channels 12 have pairs of guide rollers 18 suspended from their top flanges, and pairs of guide members 19 mounted upon their bottom flanges. Similarly, the center channel 15 has pairs of rollers 20 and 21 suspended from its horizontal center web. Tracks 22 ride upon rollers 18 in the end channels and form end mounting arms of auxiliary frame 7, while a track 23 is mounted upon rollers 20 in the center channel and forms a center mounting arm for frame 7. ln the same manner, tracks 24 are slidable upon rollers 19 and track 25 moves upon rollers 21 to provide end and center mounting arms on frame 8. The tracks 22 and 23 project in one direction from the main frame, while tracks 24 and 25 project in the opposite direction. Tracks 22 and 23 have upwardly extending brackets 26 at their outer ends for connection to the ends and center, respectively, of a plate supporting and guiding rail 27. Similar brackets 28 project upwardly from tracks 24 and 25 and mount a second plate supporting and guiding rail 29. Rails 27 and 29 are freely movable toward and from the main frame by rolling their supporting tracks along the guide rollers in the main frame transverse channels. Each track may have a plurality of openings 30 to receive a spring-pressed locking ball, or pin, 31, to hold the guide rails 27 and 29 in selected positions of adjustment relative to the main frame.
It may be desirable in some installations to provide legs 32 at the corners of the main frame to support the machine and hold the bed 5 at a convenient working height. Adjustable screw feet 33 may be used to provide for leveling of the bed for use.
To further facilitate leveling of the working bed of the machine, the supports for the guide rollers 18, 19, 20 and 21 may have adjustments 34 to raise and lower the rollers and spring arms which move upon them. This will serve to further level the guide rails 27 and 29 upon which the plates of the construction units being formed will be supported and moved as the frames are assembled.
Guide rails- 27 and 29 are essentially Z-shaped in cross-section. Rail 27 has an upstanding outer flange 35, which forms an end stop against which the plate of the unit to be formed rests to determine the unit height, a horizontal flange 36, which forms the rail proper upon which the plate is supported and moves, and a depending inner flange 37. The inner flange 37 is connected to the edge of the horizontal flange 36 by means of hinges 38, so that the inner flange may hang vertically in an inoperative position, or be raised to a horizontal position for use, as will be described. Any suitable means, such as the pin and locking rings 39, see
FIG. 10, may be used to hold the flange 37in horizontal position when it is desired. Guide rail 29 has similar parts, the upstanding outer flange 40 forming an opposed limit stop to the member 35, the horizontal flange 41 providing a rail upon which the opposing plate member of the construction unit rests and moves, and a depending flange 42 hingedly connected to the horizontal flange edge by the hinges 43. Thus, the spaced rails 27 and 29 may be set with their upstanding flanges 35 and 40 spaced apart the height of the unit to be constructed, and plates moved along the rails of these members in contact with the flanges 35 and 40 will be maintained at the proper parallel spacing to produce a unit of desired height. This operation will be described in detail at a later point.
The guide rails 27 and 29 each carry beneath their horizontal flanges guide rollers 44 to slidably support telescoping tracks 45, which form part of material supporting frame 9 when drawn out from their at rest positions beneath the guide rails 27 and 29. These rails support the plates as they are advancing to the guide rails 27 and 29. Slides 46 are located within the side channels 11 of the main frame, and move in guides 47. These slides can be drawn out from the main frame to support a plurality of studs for use in the construction of frame units on the machine.
An endless conveyor 48 is mounted within the main frame and serves to move the frames under construction through and from the machine. The conveyor is mounted upon a shaft 49, which is journaled in the vertical flanges of the side channels 11 of the main frame and extends completely across the frame. This shaft is mounted for rotation, but is otherwise fixed with respect to the machine frame. Shaft 49 carries a sprocket 50 which is driven by chain 51 by a sprocket 52 on the drive shaft of a motor 53. The motor is mounted in any suitable manner in the machine main frame. Shaft 49 also carries sprockets 54 adjacent the side channels of the main frame. These sprockets each carry a chain 55, which are the conveying chains of the machine. Chains 55 also pass over sprockets 56 on a shaft 57, located near the entrance end of the machine. Shaft 57 is journaled in a conventional chain tightening assembly 58. With this arrangement, the top flights of the chains 55 will move from the entrance end of the machine toward the exit end. It will be noted that the sprockets 54 are much smaller than the sprockets 56, and the shafts 49 and 57 are so mounted that the upper flights of chains 55 decline from the entrance end toward the exit end. This will permit the conveying chains to free themselves from the unit under construction, so that the conveying chains can sequentially move the unit during construction, regardless of the length of the unit.
In order to move the unit being constructed, chains 55 carry a plurality of equally spaced clips 59. These clips can be mounted on the chains at selected positions, to engage and move studs through the machine. Each clip consists of a U-shaped element, having upstanding, parallel legs 60. The legs are properly spaced to seat a stud of the unit being constructed. The clips can be mounted on the chains at various places along their lengths, usually equidistant from one another, to move the studs in properly spaced relation as, and after, the unit is constructed. As will be seen from FIG. 4, the declining conveyor upper flight is so arranged that clips 59 will support studs at the level of the guide rails 27 and 29 at the entrance end of the machine, and progressively move downwardly, and finally free themselves, as the studs move through the machine. Of course, the studs are attached to the plates, and will be moved forward by engagement of subsequent clips with studs as the unit is assembled. By having the clips of the respective chains directly opposed, studs held within clips of the two chains will be held normal to the path of movement of the plates on the guide rails 27 and 29.
At times, when a special unit is being constructed, for example, it will be necessary to push the completed uni-t completely from the machine. When this is necessary, extensions 61, having vertical openings 62 to receive the legs of the clips 59, will be positioned over the trailing legs of opposed clips at the trailing ends of the completed unit, so that contact with the last stud will not be lost as the clip nears the exit end of the machine, but the unit will be moved completely from the machine.
The completed units are received upon the completed unit conveyor 10. This conveyor is composed of a pair of conveyor sections 63, each containing a plurality of rollers 64. The roller sections are positioned at the ends of the guide rails 27 and 29, and supported at proper height by means of screw jacks, or stands, 65. The stands may be adjusted so that the conveyor sections 63 are level, or they may have a downward slope to permit the completed units to move by gravity to a desired position.
Adjacent the entrance end of the machine, brackets 66 are connected to the outer flanges of the guide rails 27 and 29, to support holddown rollers 67. These rollers are mounted in yokes 68, having shanks 69 extending upwardly through openings in the brackets 66. Coil springs 70 are mounted on the shanks and bear against the brackets 66 and the roller mounting yokes 68 to yieldingly urge the rollers in a downward direction. The projecting upper end of the shanks are threaded and carry adjusting nuts 71 to establish the limit of downward movement for the rollers. The rollers are positioned laterally with respect to the underlying guide rails 27 and 29 so that the rollers will ride upon the upper edges of the respective plates on the guide rails, and also upon the outer ends of studs positioned between the plates, so as to hold the plates firmly against the guide rails, and the tops of the plates and the top edges of the studs in horizontal alignment for nailing, or connecting by other means.
Brackets 66 carry additional brackets 72 to support stapling, or nailing devices 73. While the connecting means are shown, and are being described as nailers, or staplers, these units are merely illustrative of any type of unit that might be used for connecting elements of wood, metal, or other materials. In the embodiment shown, the stapling devices 73 are shown as mounted upon springs 74, so that the units may be moved verti cally for various placement of the staples. The staple position is approximately in vertical alignment with the positioning rollers 67, so that attachment is completed while the plates and studs are held in precise alignment.
At a suitable location further advanced along the machine, an overhead frame 75 may be suitably attached to the guide rails 27 and 29 to suspend a plurality of stapling devices 76 for securing plywood, or other paneling, to the studs of a completed frame.
In use, the construction machine can be mounted in collapsed form upon a truck or trailer, as previously described. The truck may carry a suitable generator and air compressor to provide power necessary to operate the conveying chain of the machine and the stapling, or other connecting devices. Theparts forming the conveyor 10 can be stored within the main frame of the machine for transportation. If desired, the brackets 72 supporting the stapling devices 73, and the frame 75 supporting the stapling devices 76, may be removably attached to the frame so that they can be taken off and stored within the main frame during transportation.
Upon arrival at the construction site, the machine may be taken from the transporting vehicle, and placed upon the ground adjacent the building under construction, or upon a preformed ground level slab, as conditions, and the design of the building, dictate. When the machine is set up, its legs are adjusted to position the machine bed substantially level. Auxiliary frames 7 and 8 will be drawn out as required to position the upstanding outer flanges 35 and 40 of the respective guide rails 27 and 29 at the proper distance apart to locate the limiting stops to determine the height of the units to be constructed. The auxiliary frames will be held in desired positions of adjustment by the locking balls 31 seated in the proper openings 30 in the tracks which support the guide rails 27 and 29. If these need leveling, the adjustable members 34 may be manipulated to bring the elements into their proper positions.
After the auxiliary frames are properly positioned, the stapling devices can be attached and the stapling devices themselves connected by suitable hoses to the source of compressed air which operates them. If desired, the compressor 4 may be connected to the interior of the transverse tubes 16 and 17, to utilize these as reservoirs for compressed air, and the stapling devices can then be connected into these reservoirs.
The exit conveyor will be set up by positioning the required number of conveyor sections 63 at the exit end of the machine, with these sections being mounted upon the supporting stands 65 with the rollers 64 of the conveyor sections being in alignment with the guide rails 27 and 29 to receive the completed units from the machine. The stands will be adjusted to level the conveyor sections as desired.
Before work begins, the plate supporting tracks 45 will be drawn out from their nested positions beneath the guide rails 27 and 29 to receive, and support, the incoming plate members. At the same time, slides 46 will be drawn out so that they can form a supporting table for supplies of precut studs.
With the machine set up as above described, supplies of plate material 77 are arranged conveniently to the plate conveyor tracks 45, and a supply of precut studs 78 is placed upon the pulled out slides 46. The motor and generator are then turned on to supply-power and compressed air to the machine. Motor 53 is then started to put the endless conveyor 48 in operation.
A plate section will be placed upon each of the tracks 45, and one will be moved forward onto the track proper of the guide rail 27, and the other will be moved forward upon the track proper of the guide rail 29. Both plate members will be moved forward until their leading ends are beneath the holddown rollers 67. A stud 78 will then be placed between opposed clips 59 on the chains of the conveyor, and moved into position between the ends of the preplaced plates. The operator will then operate the nailing, or stapling, devices 73 to connect the plate ends to the opposite ends of the stud which has been positioned between them. After the first stud has been joined to the plate ends, movement of the conveyor chains will advance the stud and plates through the machine, as required. Additional studs will be put into adjacent pairs of clips as they rise in their movement about the sprockets 56. As the clips are properly spaced along the chains, each stud will be brought to its nailing position in proper spaced relation to the previously connected stud. In view of the fact that the conveyor moves the unit under construction along the machine as each stud is secured in place, the machine is capable of constructing frames of any desired length. As plate members reach their ends, additional members can be put into abutting relation with them. If the first stud is properly positioned with respect to the plates, the ends of the plate members will terminate centrally of a stud, and the next adjacent plate members will overlap the same stud and be attached to it.
As the frame portion of the unit under construction is built up, it may be covered with sheets of plywood, or other covering material, and the outer covering be fixed to the frame by means of the stapling devices 76 located near the exit end of the machine. Thus, the unit can be completed while in transit through the machine, and the completed unit deposited on the conveyor 10.
As the upper flight of the converyor chains declines toward the exit end of the machine, the clips automatically free themselves from the studs as they approach the sprockets 54. Because of this, the unit can be progressively moved onto the conveyor 10, regardless of its length. When the end of the unit has been secured in place, extensions 61 will be placed upon the trailing legs of the pair of clips engaging the end stud, and the extensions will remain in contact with the stud sufficiently long to push the completed unit entirely from the machine and onto the conveyor 10.
There are times when special arrangements will be desired. The machine is adapted to accommodate itself to the construction of special frames by raising the depending flanges 37 and 42 of the guide rails 27 and 29, and locking these rails in horizontal position. The rails are provided with a plurality of slots 79, which extend longitudinally of the flanges and are in overlapping relation, so as to provide for continuous slot connection to the flanges throughout the length of the flanges. This allows special clips 80 to be mounted at desired positions along the rail flanges for placement of studs, or other construction elements. The plates will be located along the guide rails, and attachment to the studs will be made while the material elements are in stationary position. After the entire unit has been constructed, the conveyor may be started with the extensions 61 on the end clips, and the completed unit can be pushed from the machine.
As construction is completed at one level, the machine may be raised to the next succeeding level to produce the panels at the localitywhere they are needed. When construction is completed, the various parts of the machine may be removed, or telescoped back into their retracted positions, to prepare the machine for loading for transport to another site. Those removable parts making up the conveying elements, as well as the stapling devices and mountings, can be stored within the frame of the machine.
There may be times when it is desired to construct the panels in a vertical position for movement directly to a point of use. To do this, the machine is turned upon its side, and mounted upon wheels for movement from place to place. The machine will be constructed as previously described, but the movable auxiliary frame at one side will be removed, and brackets 81, carrying supporting rollers 82, will be attached to the side channels of the main frame 6. Rollers 83 are supported by brackets 84, also attached to the main frame. The
brackets 81 are recessed to provide channels 85 in which a plurality of conveyor rollers 86 are mounted. These rollers form a movable support for the bottom plate of the unit being constructed. The only other change from the previously described machine is the use of a plurality of retaining brackets 87, projecting from the guide rail at the upper end of the machine, to provide with the guide rail a top channel to embrace the upper plate of the unit being constructed and hold the entire unit in vertical position. The remaining portions of the machine are the same as previously described, and carry the same reference characters.
The machine in the vertical position, as shown in FIG. 11, will be operated in substantially the same manner as the operation previously given for the horizontally positioned machine. The only differences in operation would be the handling of the raw material due to the different location of the parts.
Turning now to FIGS. 12 through 16, there is shown a slightly modified form of the machine. This form is essentially the same as the one just described, but it is automatic in operation and has a stud magazine atthe entrance end, and a telescopic staple gun bridge near the exit end which has adjustable mountings for a series of floating staple guns which ride on the unit being constructed. I
The modified machine has a frame 88 with widthwise adjustable plate rails 89, as before. Shafts 90 span the frame and carry conveyor chains 91, which have upstanding stud-engaging legs 92. Plate supply rails 93 are telscopically mounted in plate rails 89 at the machine entrance end. An exit conveyor 94 carries completed units from the machine. This much of the machine is the same as in the first-described form.v
At a position over the entrance end of the machine, in a vertical plane extending across the tops of the conveyor chains at the entrance end, there is a stud magazine 95. This consists of vertical channels 96 positioned in facing relation above each plate rail, the channels being supported on brackets 97 fixed to the rails. The channels are sufficiently long to hold a supply of studs in vertically superimposed relation, with the ends of the studs being held, and guided, in the channels. The bottom stud will have its ends supported on the edges of the opposed plate rails 89, and the channel flanges on the exit side will be cut away to a height above the top of the bottom stud, so that the stud may be moved horizontally out of the magazine. As vertical pusher legs 92 of the conveyor chains engage the bottom stud, they move it along the conveyor path, out of the magazine, allowing the remaining studs to drop by gravity and position the lowermost stud in the path of the next succeeding pusher leg pair. By use of the magazine, stud feed becomes automatic, with maintenance of a supply of studs in the magazine being the only requirement for continuous operation.
In the first form, only one stud nailer was used at each side of the frame. In the second embodiment, two nailers 98 are shown on each side. The nailers may at different heights to provide multiple nailing in each stud end. Each nailer will be fired as a stud reaches proper position by contact of the stud with microswitches to be described in connection with the machine control circuit. The mounting of the machines will permit vertical adjustment, and may be similar to that shown in co-pending application, Ser. No. 197,671, entitled Nailing Machine, filed Nov. 1 1, 1971.
After the studs are nailed to the plate, the assembly continues to move through the machine toward a staple bridge 99 located near the exit end of the machine. Plywood sheets, or other covering, will be placed on the assembled frame prior to arrival at the staple bridge, and staple guns on the bridge will fasten the sheets to the plates and studs of the frame.
The bridge consists of a gun mounting rail 100, adjustably held at its ends in support brackets 101 secured to the plate rails 89. Each bracket 101 has spaced guides 102 extending vertically along its inner face to form tracks for slides 103 attached to the ends of the gun mounting rail 100. An adjusting screw 104 is threaded through the gun mounting rail at each end, and is rotatably secured to the underlying support bracket. Each screw carries a crank handle 105 to facilitate rotation of the screw to raise and lower the gun mounting rail relative to the horizontal plane of the plate rails 89. As the support brackets 101 are carried by the plate rails 89, and these rails are horizontally movable to adjust for panels of different height, the gun mounting rail is made telscopic so that it, too, will be adjustable widthwise of the machine frame. A bracket 106 is fixed to the gun mounting rail and holds an air manifold 107 from which compressed air is supplied to stapling guns 108 mounted on rail 100. By this arrangement, the manifold will be raised and lowered with adjustment of the gun mounting rail.
Each stapling gun 108 is adjustably mounted on bridge rail 100 by means of a collar 109 slidable on the rail. A set screw 110 fixes the collar in positions of adjustment. A mounting bar 111 is pivotally connected to each collar 109 by means of a hinge 112, and has its other end attached to the stapling gun. This provides a floating mount for the gun, and the gun has a roller 113 at its base for rolling contact with an underlying panel. The weights of the individual guns resting upon a plywood cover sheet at spaced points above the stud to which the sheet is to be attached will hold the sheet in close surface contact with the stud along its full length. In order to prevent the guns from dropping when no panel is passing beneath them, the hinges 12 are spaced inwardly from the ends of bars 111, so that there are protruding end portions of bars 111 underlying collars 109. Limit screws 114 through the mounting bars 111 are adjustable for contact with the undersides of the collars to determine thedownward limits of swinging movement of the guns. The pivotal mounting of the guns allows the individual guns to follow panel contour as the panel moves beneath them, assuring close contact of the cover sheet with the underlying stud at the time of stapling.
The staple guns are connected by hoses 115 to the air manifold 107 for air operation. Air flow to the guns is controlled by individual valves 116 on each gun. The valves are solenoid operated by a control circuit to be described. Each valve has its electrical connecting cord 117 for plug in attachment to an electric supply line in the mounting rail 100.
With the above-described arrangement, the staple guns can be adjusted to desired height and arranged along the mounting rail at any desired spacing. If only a selected number of guns are to be used, the remainder will be disconnected from the electrical supply. The bridge will elongate or shorten with adjustment of the plate rails 89 to maintain proper position with respect to the plate rails.
It will be noted from FIGS. 12 and 13 that the end stapling guns on the bridge will be adjusted to overlie the positions of the plates on the rails 89 to attach the cover sheets to the plates. The mounting bars 111 of these guns are longer than the others, so that end guns lead the others. This allows the end guns to staple the sheet edges to the plates, to hold the cover sheets against shifting, before the studs reach the remaining guns for stapling Although the various nailers and staplers can be operated manually, if desired, means have been provided to operate these units in timed relation to the movement of the conveyor chains 91. The automatic operation is controlled by means of a programmer 118 attached to the frame 88. The programmer has a shaft 1 19 which carries a plurality of control disks to be later described. Shaft 119 has a sprocket 120 on its end which carries a chain 121 that passes over a sprocket 122 on the conveyor chain shaft 91 adjacent the exit end of the machine. The sprockets are chosen so that the programmer shaft will make one complete revolution for each 48 inches of movement of the conveyor chain. This drive ratio will permit one full cycle of movement of the programmer for each sheet of plywood which passes through the machine. Of course, where cover sheets of other dimensions are used the programmer can be timed appropriately.
As shown, the programmer shaft 119 carries four control wheels, or cams, 123, 124, 125 and 126. These cams operate switches which control the firing of the several guns of the machine.
Referring particularly to FIG. 16, the shaft 119 and the cams mounted on the shaft are shown in diagrammatic form. The electrical circuit for operating the guns includes a power line 127 and a return line 128.
The first of the nailing guns for connecting the plates to the studs, that is the gun adjacent the stud magazine, is operated by the programmer cam 123. The cam has three equally spaced notches 129 in its perimeter, so that the gun it controls will fire three times in the 48 inch travel of the plate and thereby secure three studs to the plates. A cam follower 130 rides on the surface of the cam and periodically drops into the notches 129. When the cam follower drops into a notch, it closes a switch 123 to complete a circuit through a solenoid 132 that controls the air valve of the nailer 98. This circuit includes wire 133 from power line 127 to solenoid 132, line 134 from the solenoid to switch 131, and a wire 135 from the switch to the return line 128. With this atrangement, each time the cam 123 makes one-third revolution the switch 131 will be actuated and solenoid 132 will be energized and open the air line to the nailer gun to fire the gun. As stated above, the rotation of the cam will be accurately timed to cause the nailer to fire at the time that a stud is position between the plates so that the nail will pass through the plates and the stud. in referring to the first gun of the pair, it is intended that the guns on opposite sides of the machine fire simultaneously. Although only one solenoid has been shown in the circuit, it will be understood that there will be two in series. In some constructions, there will be instances where no stud is used, and to insure the firing of the guns only when a stud in position, a feeler switch is mounted on the frame so as to be contacted by the stud as it moves into position for nailing. This switch, shown at 136, will be located in the wire 135, so that the switch must be closed to complete the circuit to the solenoid. if a stud moves into position, switch 136 will be closed, so that the circuit will be completed when the cam follower drops into the notch.
Cam 124 serves a similar purpose for the second of the nailing guns 98. This cam has notches 137 into which a cam follower 138 will drop at appropriate times. This controls closing ofa switch 139 to complete a circuit to solenoid 140 of the nailer gun. The circuit has a wire 141 from the power line to the solenoid 140, line 142 from the solenoid to switch 139, and line 143 from the switch to the return line 128. A microswitch 144 is located in line 143 to detect the presence of studs at the second nailing gun position.
Programmer cam 125 is used to control operation of the end stapling guns on the stapling bridge. These are the two guns which are over the plates and secure the cover sheet to the plates. it will be recalled that these guns are positioned ahead of the remaining staplers of the bridge so as to secure the cover sheet to the plates before the cover sheet is attached to the stud. Cam 125 may have more notches 145 than the remaining cams, for it will desirable to staple the cover sheet to the plates at points intermediate the studs as well as at the stud positions. A cam follower 146 serves to control operation of a switch 147 to energize solenoid 148 which control the air valves 116 of the end stapling guns on the bridge. The circuit includes a wire 149 from the power line 127 to solenoid 148, a wire 150 from the solenoid to switch 147, and line 151 from the switch to the return line. A microswitch 152 in line 151 serves to detect the presence of a cover over the frame. Consequently, the stapling guns will not fire if no cover is in place.
The remaining programmer cam, 126, controls firing of the intermediate stapler guns on the bridge. Cam 126 will have two notches 153 spaced apart 120 degrees and a pair of notches intermediate the other two. This will allow the staplers to act at the end of one cover sheet and at the beginning of another when the sheets abut at the center of a stud, and also to staple a cover to intermediate studs as they pass beneath the bridge. A cam follower 154 rides on the cam 126 and it controls a switch 155. The circuit in this instance includes a line 156 from the power line to a solenoid 157 of the valves'116 of the intermediate guns, wire 158 from the solenoid to switch and wire 159 from the switch to the return line 128. While the above description covers the circuit for one solenoid, solenoids of the remaining guns will be bridged across the lines 156 and 158. This puts all of the solenoids in parallel relation. As it is necessary to detect the presence of a cover sheet over the framing, to prevent operation of the bridge staple guns when no cover is present, a microswitch 160 is in the line 159 for this purpose.
While the second embodiment of the invention has several improved features over the first, including the stud magazine, the use of pairs of stud nailers, the improved staple bridge and the automatic control system, the general handling and operation of the machine will be the same as previously described in detail in connection with the first form. As the operation of the improved features of the second form have been described in detail, no further description of the overall machine will be given.
The construction of window and door header units is enabled by the subject invention by the positioning of one of the conveyor chains a specified distance from one of the guide rails so as to enable the upstanding arms of the clips 59 to provide positioning elements for the door and window headers. Complete window and door assemblies are made up and laid on the rails 93 and 89. The window and door assemblies are then manually advanced under the magazine 95 as required by the particular panel being constructed so that the pusher legs 92 will automatically engage the window and door assemblies to move them to the automatic nailers 98. See FIGS. 12 and 15. Pusher legs 92 are mounted on chain means 91 at a predetermined correct distance from the plate rails 89 so that the header timbers will clear the pusher legs. Additionally, it should be noted that the timber headers can also be laid on the rails and manually nailed if desired. Consequently, the instant invention enables the provision of window and door openings in the frame units as they are constructed without the need for employing special positioning members.
While in the above several practical embodiments of the building construction machine have been disclosed, it will be understood that the specific details of construction shown and described are merely by way of illustration, and the invention may take other forms within the scope of the appended claims.
1. A unit construction machine comprising, a frame, longitudinally extending, parallel guide rails on the frame to movably support longitudinal members forming the edge members of units to be constructed, the longitudinal members being spaced apart a distance equal to one dimension of the unit to be constructed, wherein said guide rails are adjustably carried by the frame to selectively vary the distance between the guide rails to vary the said one dimension of the units constructed and permit the guide rails to move adjacent the frame for transportation and the guide rails have upstanding outer flanges to provide unit dimension stops, rails proper at the bases of the upstanding outer flanges to support plates, and inner flanges pivotally connected to the rails proper, means on the inner flanges to adjustable receive spreader positioning members, and means to hold the inner flanges in raised position in the plane of the rails proper, a conveyor having conveyor chains extending longitudinally of the frame intermediate the guide rails and having means to receive and move spreaders in predetermined spaced relation through the machine, an assembly station on the frame, and means at the assembly station to connect longitudinal members on the guide rails to spreaders on the conveyor chains, and means to move the conveyor to bring properly spaced spreaders to the assembly station and to move connected spreaders and longitudinal members through and from the machine.
2. A unit construction machine comprising a frame, longitudinally extending parallel guide rails on the frame to movably support longitudinal members forming the edge members of units to be constructed, the longitudinal members being spaced apart a distance equal to one dimension of the unit to be constructed, wherein said guide rails are adjustably carried by the frame to selectively vary the distance between the guide rails to vary the said one dimension of the units constructed and permit the guide rails to move adjacent the frame for transportation, a conveyor having conveyor chains extending longitudinally of the frame intermediate the guide rails and having means to receive and move spreaders in predetermined spaced relation through the machine, an assembly station on the frame, and means at the assembly station to connect longitudinal members on the guide rails to spreaders on the conveyor chains, and means to move the conveyor to bring properly spaced spreaders to the assembly station and to move connected spreaders and longitudinal members through and from the machine, wherein, the means on the conveyor chains to receive spreaders have upstanding legs to bear against spreaders, and the conveyor chains have upper flights declining in the direction of chain movement a distance sufficient to clear spreaders connected to longitudinal members on the guide rails to permit progressive construction of units longer than the bed of the construction machine.
3. A unit construction machine as claimed in claim 2 wherein, there are longitudinal member holddown rollers mounted above the guide rails at the assembly station for contact with longitudinal members on the rails and the ends of adjacent spreaders to align the longitudinal members and spreaders in a single plane.
4. A unit construction machine as claimed in claim 3 wherein, the holddown rollers are spring biased toward the guide rails.
5. A unit construction machine as claimed in claim 4 wherein, there is an exit conveyor positionable adjacent the ends of the guide rails to receive units as they are assembled and moved from the machine.
6. A unit construction machine as claimed in claim 5 wherein, there are longitudinal member supporting tracks telescopically mounted beneath the guide rails and outwardly movable to support longitudinal members moving into the machine.
7. A unit construction machine as claimed in claim 8 wherein, there are slides telescopically mounted in the frame and movable outward to support a supply of spreaders for placement in the spreader-receiving means on the conveyor chains.
8. A unit construction machine as claimed in claim 7 wherein, the guide rails are mounted for adjustment by connection to supporting tracks extending transversely of the frame, and rollers carried by the frame upon which the supporting tracks ride.
9. A unit construction machine as claimed in claim 8 wherein, there are releasable locking means carried by the frame and tracks to hold the guide rails in se lected positions of adjustment.
10. A unit construction machine as claimed in claim 9 wherein, the guide rails have upstanding outer flanges to provide unit height stops, rail proper at the bases of the upstanding outer flanges to support longitudinal members, and inner flanges pivotally connected to the rails proper, means on the innerflanges to adjustably receive spreader positioning members, and means to hold the inner flanges in raised position in the plane of the rails proper.
11. A unit construction machine as claimed in claim 10 wherein, there are means for holding connecting devices above the machine bed to secure covering sheets to assembled longitudinal members and spreaders.
12. A unit construction machine as claimed in claim 11 wherein, there are extensions positionable on the upstanding legs to maintain pushing contact with connected spreaders throughout the entire lengths of the upper flights of the conveyor chains to push completed units from the machine.
13. A unit construction machine as claimed in claim 12 wherein, there are adjustable means carried by the frame for leveling the frame and bed.
14. A unit construction machine as claimed in claim 7 wherein, there is a spreader magazine mounted on the frame above the entrance end to receive a plurality of spreaders in a vertical stack for gravity feed to the conveyor.
15. In a unit construction machine as claimed in claim 14 wherein, there are pairs of nailer guns on the guide rails in opposed relation adjacent the spreader magazine.
16. In a unit construction machine as claimed in claim 1, a staple bridge mounted on the guide rails and spanning the frame, the bridge including a telescopic mounting rail and staple guns mounted on the mounting rail and adjustable along the mounting rail.
17. In a unit construction machine as claimed in claim 16 wherein, the mounting bridge is mounted for vertical adjustment and there are means to adjust the bridge vertically.
18. In a unit construction machine as claimed in claim 17 wherein, the staple guns have mounting sleeves slidable on the mounting rail, the staple guns are pivotally attached to the sleeves, each staple gun has a roller at its bottom to ride upon the unit being constructed, and there are means to limit the downward pivotal movement of the guns.
19. In a unit construction machine as claimed in claim 18 wherein, the staple guns at the ends of the bridge overlie the rails for the longitudinal members and are positioned ahead of the remaining staple guns to attach cover sheets to the longitudinal members before attachment of the cover sheets to the spreaders.
20. In a unit construction machine as claimed in claim 19 wherein, there are nailing guns positioned adjacent the rails for the longitudinal members, and a control circuit to automatically operate the nailing guns to nail the longitudinal members to the spreaders and to operate the staple guns to attach the cover sheets to the longitudinal members and to the spread- CI'S.
NITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3,765,587 Dated October 1 ,1973
Inventor( J k Davis It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
The frontal page is amended after the inventor's name and address by the insertion of:
-Assignee: Davis BuildingvSystems, Ltd.
Signed sealed this 5th day of MarchlQTLr.
EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. I C. MARSHALL DANN Attesting Officer 7 Commissioner of Patents FOVRM PC4050 HO'SQ) I Y uscoMM-oc 60316-P69 U. 5. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE Ill. O-li-SJI. 0;)