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|United States Patent Application
Pietrantoni; Renato L.
;   et al.
June 11, 2009
This is a u-shaped clamp to be used to connect and align pieces to be
welded. A cutout is located on at least one clamping jaw to provide easy
viewing of the site to be welded. To ensure secure clamping action, the
jaws of the clamp are spring loaded and connected to a base piece.
Further securing to the pieces to be welded is provided by magnets in the
Easy positioning of the clamp is supplied by the use of an elongated
handle that is operative connected to the base piece.
Pietrantoni; Renato L.; (Rochester, NY)
; Slack; Wayne W.; (Fairport, NY)
; Nazzaro; David R.; (Penfield, NY)
JAMES J. RALABATE
5792 MAIN ST.
December 11, 2007|
|Current U.S. Class:
||269/254CS; 269/257; 269/8 |
|Class at Publication:
||269/254CS; 269/257; 269/8 |
||B25B 1/06 20060101 B25B001/06; B25B 1/24 20060101 B25B001/24; B25B 11/00 20060101 B25B011/00|
21. A u-shaped clamp comprising:a clamp base section,two side-by-side
positioned clamp jaws having an upper section and a lower section,at
least one magnet and,four spring loaded stripper bolts, said jaws having
upper sections movably connected by said stripper bolts to said clamp
base section, two of said four bolts positioned through said upper
section of each of said jaws, thereby movably connecting each said jaw to
said base section in parallel spacing,said jaws having in said lower
section, lead jaw portions that are chamfered for easy positioning around
members to be welded,said magnet positioned at a location in said base
section, between said jaws, at least one of said jaws having cutout
portions configured to be positioned adjacent to and configured to permit
access and viewing of a place of welding.
22. The clamp of claim 21 wherein said cutout portions are configured to
permit a window for full and easy viewing in addition to access of said
site to be welded.
23. The clamp of claim 21 wherein two of said spring loaded stripper bolts
each connecting said jaws to said base section, are configured to permit
self alignment of said jaws around a site to be welded and configured to
apply substantially equal pressure from both sides of said base section.
24. The clamp of claim 21 wherein a cutout portion is located in at least
one of said jaws, said cutout portion enabled to be positioned adjacent a
site to be welded, and enabled to permit a window for easy access and
viewing of said site to be welded.
25. The clamp of claim 21 wherein said jaws are configured to be free to
move outwardly along said stripper bolts, and wherein a sufficient
holding power of said clamp is provided by said four equal force spring
26. The clamp of claim 21 wherein a clamp handle is connected to said base
section and enables said jaws into proper position prior to welding.
27. The clamp of claim 21 wherein said cutout portions are of a
configuration selected from the group consisting of a modified triangular
cutout, a modified rectangular cutout and mixtures thereof.
28. The clamp of claim 21 wherein only one of said jaws have a cutout
This invention relates to a clamp for use in a welding operation,
and more specifically to a self adjusting clamp with cut out areas for
There are known various apparatus for aligning proximal edges of two
or more metallic materials to be connected by welding along their
proximal edges. In a wide variety of manufacturing and metal processing
applications, it is often desirable or necessary to join together tubes,
bars, sheets or strips of metals such as aluminum or steel or their
alloys by welding along a contiguous edge. Such joining can be
accomplished by conventional welding equipment such as used in butt, or
arc welding using electron beam, high energy lasers, plasma or other
The quality of the seam-welding joined sheets is influenced to a
great extent by the type of equipment used in the welding operations
including the edge alignment devices, and clamps used to hold the joined
sheets together. It should be noted that the sheets (or bars, or tubes,
etc.) to be joined need not be made of identical materials, and often are
When preparing a frame or other item for welding, rigid steel plates
are required to correctly align and position the pieces to be welded
When preparing a frame or other item for welding, rigid steel plates
are required to correctly align and position the pieces to be welded
together. These plates must then be clamped by hand, one by one. This
requires several clamps for each locating plate. A typical prior art
clamp and alignment comprises clamps of conventional locking pliers
having opposing jaw member to apply a clamping force on an alignment
plate that fits over of this area to be welded. These clamping pliers
usually have adjusting means at their lower portion to adjust the force
or clamping action needed on the alignment plate.
Thus, in some prior art devices an alignment plate is needed to
align the two items or members to be welded, and two plier-like clamps
need to fit into these alignment plates. Set up and disassembly of all
these required items are time consuming, awkward and, in addition,
inefficient and difficult to use.
Welding a metallic frame or members requires that each frame member
be held in a critical alignment position to ensure a precise and accurate
weld. In the past, frame members were held in place by a multitude of
these prior art pliers-like/welding clamps. These clamps required
forceful gripping and awkward posturing for application and releasing of
the clamps. The tedious repetitiveness of clamping would become apparent
toward the end of the shift as operator fatigue would often set in. The
present invention provides a set of individual clamping fixtures that
easily slide into position and maintain the critical alignment
positioning of the frame members. The simple, yet effective,
configuration of this invention in use replaced 12 of 36 prior art
clamps, and helped to minimize any opportunity for repetitive motion
This invention provides an alternative method (to standard clamping)
of securing frame or other components in place for welding. In the
manufacturing of metal frame components the normal method to hold one
frame component in place to another for welding would be with
conventional welding clamps. As noted above, the operator must locate,
hold, and clamp the components accurately in position for the components
to be correctly welded. This process can often be cumbersome and
hazardous when performed repetitively by a single operator. The frame or
other components to be welded together are large and heavy and can
challenge the operator's ability to accurately position the piece to each
other. The nature of the components also poses a safety issue as the
components can often slip or move during the process thus falling and
causing personal injury. The frame components, when correctly fabricated,
have fastening holes/features machines into them that are later used to
mount and secure the machines subsystems. Improper alignment of these
frame components during the welding process causes rework or scrap due to
subsystems failing to mate correctly to one-another. This invention has
eliminated the requirement for the operator to hand fasten multiple prior
art clamps in order to hold the frame or other member components
together. Additionally, this configuration improves the operators'
ability to position the members or frame sections safely, quickly, and
correctly in place, thus saving time and reducing scrap and risk of
A thrust of this invention is a single clamping tool that is spring
loaded and has components that align and hold frame segments in place for
welding. Further, this configuration can incorporate a device with a
magnet to assist in clamping, and aligning pieces for fabrication and
welding. The clamp of this invention automatically centers the members to
be welded eliminating the need for prior art aligning plates and two or
more pliers-like grippers.
Embodiments of this invention provides a device with spring-loaded
welding clamps that are easier and safer to use and provide more accurate
placement than standard welding clamps. The configuration features
spring-loaded parallel clamping faces or jaws with cutouts for welding
viewing and access and with magnets to help secure the clamps in place.
There are several sizes and shapes, each tailored for one or more
specific welding locations on the frame. The three main parts (2 jaws and
the base plate) for each clamp could be mix-and-matched to provide
various sizes. As noted above, magnets could be used in the base plates
to better secure the clamp to the items to be welded together.
Embodiments of the welding clamp of this invention comprises an
inverted u-shaped configuration with a handle, two parallel jaws and a
base plate. The two jaws are attached to the base plate by at least two
to four spring loaded stripper bolts. The jaws have a space therebetween
to make room for the items to be welded to fit into. These items will
force the jaws apart in a tightening manner, and together with a base
late magnet, will firmly hold the clamp in position. This clamp avoids
the necessity of an alignment plate of the prior art and is
self-alignment and self-adjusting when located adjacent the place to be
welded. The alignment of the frame components or members is accomplished
by the clamping mechanism itself. A handle in the base plate helps
position and align the clamp and jaws keep the clamp firmly in position.
The holding power and centering ability of the present clamp is due
to the four equal force springs (of the stripper bolts) and their ability
to apply equal pressure from both jaws of the clamp. A cutout portion(s)
or window in the jaws in the clamp allows the welding operator to tack
weld the members in place. In one embodiment only one of the two jaws has
a cut out portion; in a second embodiment both jaws have cut out
portions. Once the members are tack welded together, the clamp can be
removed if later full size welds are needed.
In the jaws of the clamp, at least one jaw has a cutout section that
provides viewing and access to the joint to be welded. A magnet in an
embodiment is located in the inside portion of the base plate. As above
noted, the configuration of the welding clamp of this invention
eliminates the need for multiple locators or steel plates, and multiple
plier like clamps. It reduces the risk of operator discomfort due to
multiple clamping activities on a daily basis. It also provides a fast,
accurate and safe system for locating and holding frame components (or
members to be welded together) in place for welding. There is provided by
this invention a savings in cost and time in addition to improved safety.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 illustrates prior art items used in some welding operations
to clamp components in place before welding them together.
FIG. 2 illustrates how the prior art items of FIG. 1 are used to
align and prepare for welding.
FIG. 3 illustrates two embodiment of the clamps of the present
invention as they are positioned and aligned in place before the welding
FIGS. 4A and 4B illustrate two embodiments each with two cutout
portions one in each of the jaws.
FIG. 5 illustrates an embodiment of this invention where there is
only one modified triangular cutout in one of the spring loaded jaws.
FIG. 6 illustrates an embodiment of this invention where there is
only one modified elongated cutout in one of the spring loaded jaws.
FIG. 7 illustrates an embodiment of this invention emphasizing the
chamfered edged of the lead edge of the jaws for easy positioning.
FIG. 8 illustrates a perspective top view of an embodiment showing
the locations of the magnets in the roof of the base piece.
FIG. 9 illustrates a clamp embodiment showing the location of the
site to be welded to connect two members.
DETAILED DISCUSSION OF DRAWINGS AND PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
In FIG. 1 the components of a prior art welding clamp assembly are
illustrated. This prior art assembly consists of two pliers-like clamps
10 and a steel alignment plate 11. The clamps 10 are adjusted by
manipulation of the screw adjusting means 12, and are fixed in place by
clamp handle 13.
In FIG. 2 the positioning of these prior art FIG. 1 assemblies are
shown in place prior to welding pieces 14 and 15 together. Note that two
prior art clamps 10 are required to hold alignment steel plates 11 in
place at each welding location. The weld is generally applied on an
opposite side to the plate 11 location. These steel plates 11 must be
clamped by hand one by one and adjusted to then suit each clamping
location. Without proper alignment and clamping, these alignment plates
11 may slip and adversely affect the welding process.
In contrast, FIG. 3 illustrates the placement of the inverted
u-shaped clamps 1 of this invention, each having a placement handle 2,
two jaws 3 and a base section 4. These clamps 1 may be positioned by the
handle 2 at any proper angle at the location where the weld will take
place. The cutout portion 5 of the jaws easily exposes the joining or
welding location. These cutout portions may be modified triangular
cutouts 5, elongated cutouts 6 or any other suitable cutout design. Note
that only one clamp 1 is needed in the present invention as compared to
two clamps 10 and a metal alignment plate 11 of the prior art. The clamp
1 of the present invention merely needs to be pushed in place by handle 2
and the jaws 3 will self adjust to fit and securely spring lock in place
adjacent the area to be welded. Chamfered edges 16 are provided in each
lead edge of jaws 3 for easy positioning around members to be welded.
FIGS. 4A and 4B show two embodiments of the clamp 1 of this
invention; 4B is a jaw clamp with an elongated cutout 6 and FIG. 4A is a
clamp jaw with a modified triangular cut out. These cutouts 5 and 6 are
in this embodiment on both jaws 3 of clamp 1, so that easy viewing of the
place of welding for the user is provided. The jaws 3 of the clamp 1 are
spring loaded and connected to the base section 4 by spring loaded
stripper bolts 7. Although these front-side view of FIGS. 4A and 4B show
only two bolts 7, actually four bolts 7 are used; two on each side. Each
jaw 3, therefore, is spring loaded connected to base section 4 by four
bolts. As the clamp 1 is pushed into or adjusted to the site to be
welded, the jaws are forced apart by forcing onto the welding site. The
strong spring action of the bolts 7 and a magnet 8 inside the base
section 4 (see FIG. 8) securely hold the clamp 1 in place.
In FIG. 5 an embodiment of clamp 1 is shown with a modified
triangular cutout 5 on only one jaw 3 and not on both. The arrows 9 show
the directions the jaws 3 will move outwardly when force-pressed onto the
site of the welding. This jaw movement occurs in all embodiments of FIGS.
4-8. The clamp 1 and components may be made from any suitable material
such as aluminum, steel, any suitable metal or compositions that are
rigid and non-flammable. Jaws 3 at their open ends or lead edges are
chamfered at edges 16 for easy sliding onto the welding site.
In FIG. 6 an embodiment of clamp 1 of this invention is shown with
an elongated rectangular cutout portion 6 on only one jaw 3. The arrow 9
shows the outward directions spring loader jaws 3 will move when forced
over the numbers 14 and 15 to be welded together as in FIG. 3. A space 17
is shown between the jaw 3 and base section 4; this space 17 will
approximate the thickness of the members to be welded together. The
cutout 6 will make viewing and access of the site to be welded possible.
Different suitable cutout shapes can be used, if desirable. For
example, one jaw 3 can have an elongated rectangular cutout and the
opposite jaw 3 can have a modified triangular cutout or any other shape
In FIG. 7 a front view of clamp 1 is shown with emphasis on showing
the chamfered inner or lead edges 16 of the jaws 3 for easy sliding into
position when used. All of the clamp embodiments of the invention shown
in FIG. 4-8 have these chamfered edges 16. The location of magnet(s) 8 in
the inner section of base portion 4 is also shown. This embodiment has
only one cutout portion 5 on only one jaw 3. This cutout portion in this
embodiment is a modified triangular cutout 6.
In FIG. 8 a top perspective view of clamp 1 of this invention is
illustrated to show the location of magnets 8 in the inside of base
section 4. These magnets 8 and clamp jaws or clamp provides secure fixing
of clamp 1 in position when placed against the numbers 14 and 15 to be
welded. This embodiment also has two cut-out portions 6 for easy viewing
of the site to be welded.
FIG. 9 shows clamp 1 when positioned to hold pieces 14 and 15
together before the welding operation. The jaws 3 of the clamp 1 are
tightly fit over members or pieces 14 and 15 so that they are perfectly
aligned prior to joining (by welding) members 14 and 15 at a welding
location 18. Jaws 3 are tightly enclosing members 14 and 15 to hold and
align them before welding them together at joint 18. Note that cutout 5
permits easy viewing and access to joint 18.
In summary, the present invention provides a u-shaped clamp useful
in welding operations. The clamp comprises: a clamp base section, at
least one magnet, two clamp jaws, spring loaded stripper bolts and a
clamp handle. The jaws are movably connected to the base section by the
spring loaded stripper bolts. The handle is connected to an upper portion
of the base section and is enabled to assist in placing the clamp
adjacent to a site to be welded and the at least one magnet is located in
the base section. A cutout portion is located in at least one of the
jaws. The cutout portion is enabled to permit a user to view a site to be
welded. There can, in one embodiment, be two cutout portions in each jaw,
The jaws have terminal leading edges which are chamfered to
facilitate easy position of the jaws around members or tubes to be
welded. At least two of the spring loaded stripper bolts connect each jaw
to the base section. At least one magnet is positioned in the base
section at a location in the base section between the jaws.
The cutout portion or portions are located in at least one of the
jaws. This cutout portion is enabled to be positioned adjacent to a site
to be welded and is enabled to permit a window for easy viewing of the
site to be welded.
As noted, this u-shaped or horseshoe shaped clamp is useful in
welding operations. The clamp comprises as above noted: a clamp base
section, at least one magnet, two clamp jaws, four spring loaded stripper
bolts and a clamp handle.
The jaws are movably connected by the bolts to the clamp base
section. Two (of the four bolts) are positioned through an upper section
of each of the jaws thereby movably connecting each jaw to the base
The jaws have an upper section which movably connects to the base
section and a lower section which are lead terminal jaw portions that are
chamfered for easy positioning around members or tubes to be welded.
The spring loaded bolts are enabled to exert a sufficient pressure
upon the tubes or members to hold the clamp securely in place once
positioned around the members.
The cutout portion is located in at least one of the jaws (or two
jaws if preferred). The cutout portion is enabled to permit a user to
view a site to be welded. The at least one magnet is positioned in the
base section at a location between the jaws. The jaws and the base
section of the clamp are constructed of a rigid metal such as aluminum or
It will be appreciated that various of the above-disclosed and other
features and functions, or alternatives thereof, may be desirably
combined into many other different systems or applications. Also that
various presently unforeseen or unanticipated alternatives,
modifications, variations or improvements therein may be subsequently
made by those skilled in the art which are also intended to be
encompassed by the following claims.
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