Improvements in Machinery and Apparatus for Cutting Clay or other Plastic Material for the Purpose of Making Bricks, Tiles or other similar Articles (1879/4953)

The second and last of his brickmaking patent applications was submitted on 3rd December, 1879, just weeks prior to his first application receiving approval. Whilst the first patent dealt with the pressing and moulding process this patent dealt with the subsequent stage of cutting the material into the final shape required. Entitled “Improvements in Machinery and Apparatus for Cutting Clay or other Plastic Material for the Purpose of Making Bricks, Tiles or other similar Articles” it again was successful, being sealed on 30th April, 1880.

My Invention relates to machinery and apparatus for cutting or dividing the stream of clay as it leaves an ordinary machine for making bricks, tiles, or other. similar articles into pieces of such size that each forms one brick or other such article, and it has for its objects improved methods of constructing and arranging such machinery or apparatus so that it does not injure the clay or other plastic material in the process of cutting, but leaves the corners and angles of the bricks or other articles true and their surface smooth, and prevents the risk of injury to them by handling them after they are out, whilst great saving of labour effected in their manufacture and completion.

In order to put my Invention in operation I make a strong framework of metal, wood, or other suitable material, and upon this frame I arrange and adjust a horizontal receiving board, upon which is received any desired length, which is cut off by a single wire in the usual well known way from the stream of clay issuing over friction rollers from the delivery mouth of an ordinary pug mill or mixing machine. The receiving board is attached to a moveable frame which is capable of revolving or turning for a sufficient distance upon a bar pivot or hinges at its back edge, and the board, together with the frame which supports it as described, is retained by a spring catch or other fastening in the proper position to receive the length of clay deposited upon it and cut off as described. I connect to the frame a lever provided with a moveable adjustable balance weight, or I balance the receiving board and frame and the length of clay by means of a weight and chain, or other suitable devices. In combination with the moveable frame turning upon the hinge as described I arrange a second moveable frame, preferably also provided with an adjustable weight, and turning at is edge upon the same bar, or pivot, or hinges as the frame already described, or upon separate ones, so that the two frames may be turned upon their hinges either together or separately. Upon the front and back edges of the second moveable frame described I make or fix any desired number of adjustable sets of attachments or supports, between which a corresponding number of cutting wires may be stretched and adjusted at any desired distance apart; and in order to prevent the wires from breaking when stretched I prefer to arrange a spring of india-rubber or other suitable elastic material at the back of each of the nuts or other devices by which the wires are tightened. The piece of clay being delivered in the proper position upon the receiving board, the frame last described carrying the cutting wires is turned down upon its bar or hinges so that the wires cut the clay into the required number of pieces of the proper size to form blocks or other articles, and the frame with its wires then becomes secured and held down in its position by means of one or more strong spring catches or other suitable fastenings.

I prefer to arrange the catch or fastening first described, by which the frame carrying the receiving board is held down in its place, in such manner that the action of securing and fastening down the frame carrying the cutting wires releases or disengages such first mentioned catch, and the first frame with the receiving board carrying the cut pieces of clay, together with the second frame and its cutting wires can be turned over simultaneously upon the hinges, whilst they are both locked together. The clay having been cut into pieces as described, and the frame with the cutting wires having been fixed down I place upon the cut bricks a separate board, either flat or angled, and I secure this board in its place by spring hooks and catches, or other convenient fastenings, and I then lift up and turn, upon the two boards having the bricks between them, and the latter are thus transferred from the receiving board of the machine to the separate board last described, upon which they can be carried to any desired place to be dried and finished. I arrange stops, slides, or detents, in such positions that when the two boards have been turned over as first described, and thus set free, the separate board upon which the bricks rest and the frame with the receiving board being again turned over, the separate board carrying the bricks is left upon suitable supports, or it may be deposited upon travelling bands or chains, or other suitable apparatus by which it is carried away to any desired position.

These carrying bands or chains for receiving the boards which support the bricks may consist of chains, ropes, or flat bands of india rubber or other suitable flexible material passed round pullies or drums, and carried upon rollers or boards to any desired distance, and set in motion in the usual well understood way by the engine which drives the pug mill or mixing machine, or by other convenient power. As each board with its bricks is deposited upon the travelling bands or chains it is carried forward at any desired speed, so that one board succeeds another as fast as the bricks are produced. When the boards have been thus conveyed to the desired place they are lifted from the travailing bands, and the bricks are removed from them to the drying ground or floors without being handled or they are placed upon barrows or other vehicles to be conveyed to such drying ground or floors.

In the accompanying Drawing, which is in illustration of my Invention Figure 1 is a plan, Figure 2 a vertical section, and Figure 3 a longitudinal elevation partly in section of a machine used for cutting bricks. A is the framework of the machine, and B is the receiving board, upon which a length of clay is delivered from a mixing machine (no shown in the Drawing) over the friction rollers C, C, C. A moveable frame is shewn at D carrying a single wire, by which the length of clay is cut off.

The receiving board B is carried by the frame E, which turns upon the hinge or shaft.F supported in the bearings R. A spring catch is shewn at G, which holds down the receiving board frame E; and H shows a lever and weight, by which the latter, together with the clay upon it, are balanced; K is the frame carrying the cutting wires N, N, N, and balanced by a lever and weight L. The wires N are attached to the supports M, M, M; and O, O, O, represent screwed nuts and elastic washers by which the wires are stretched; P is a spring catch, which holds down the cutting frame K; and S (Figure 2) represents the cut bricks, T is one of the moveable angled boards placed upon the bricks S; and U, U, are spring hooks by which the board T is held down; V are the travelling bands upon which the boards T with bricks are deposited, as shown in Figure 2; W is a handle for the purpose of detaching the moveable frames; and X is a handle by which, together with the frame E, the attendant operates the machine. The action of the apparatus is as follows:- The length of clay having been cut off and deposited upon the receiving board B the frame K, with the cutting wires N, N, N, id brought down, and cuts the clay into separate bricks, the frame K being then held down by the catch P; at the same time, the catch G is set free, and the frame E and receiving board B are released; the separate angle board T is then placed upon the cut bricks S, and is held in its place by the spring catches U, U, and the board B and frame E; the frame K and the bricks S are turned over together round the hinge or shaft.F, the board T carrying the bricks being deposited upon the travelling band V, and carried away with the catches U, U, have been released. The frame E with the board B is then detached from the frame K by the handle W, and turned back again, and the operations repeated, during which the bricks are not touched by hand. In order that all the bricks carried upon a separate board, as described, may be set upon end on the drying floors without being touched by hand forks, or other of the ordinary used means, I prefer to place upon the upper side of such bricks, whilst still resting upon the angled board, a board which takes the place of the receiving board, from which they are transferred to the moveable angled board, as already described; and I secure it to the latter by spring or hinged hooks or other suitable fastenings, and I then lift the two boards, holding between them the bricks, and I adjust them on end in the desired position; I then release the hooks or fastenings and remove the boards, leaving the bricks upon the floor, where they can then be separated, and their position adjusted as desired. The moveable angled or other boards upon which the bricks have been conveyed, as described, may be returned to the machine by travelling bands, or other convenient means to be reloaded with fresh bricks. Figure 4 shows an arrangement of apparatus which may be added to my improved machinery or apparatus already described, when bricks for arches or culverts or other bricks having unequal sides are to be made. K1 is a frame fixed in an upright position, and carrying cutting wires. A1 is a moveable board to receive such culverts or other bricks having unequal sides supported upon the frame A2. One or more toothed racks are arranges as shewn in B2, operated by the toothed pinion or quadrant B1 fixed upon the shaft.D1, which is actuated as required by a wheel or handle; attached to the racks B2 is a frame carrying the thrusting board C1.

When the apparatus is to be used a stream of clay is delivered over the friction rollers upon the receiving board in form of C1, and is then forced forward by the board C2 against the wires in the vertical frame, by which it is cut into pieces of the size and shape required; the thence pass on to the loose receiving board A1 upon which they are conveyed direct or the drying floors or sheds, or they are placed upon travelling bands and dealt with in the manner already described, whilst another receiving board is placed upon the frame and the operation repeated. A novel method which I sometimes adopt for making such bricks or articles having unequal sides is the following:- I attached a mould plate of the desired shape to the mouth piece of the pug mill in which the clay is mixed, or I fix wires in the desired position across the front of the mouth piece, so as to cut the issuing clay into one or more streams or bars of the proper section for the bricks or other articles required, and after cutting a single length of such streams or bars with a single wire, I carry them over the friction rollers on to the receiving board of the machine first described, and I then cut them into separate pieces of the desired length for the bricks or other articles, and I then deal with them and deposit them upon movable boards without handling them, as in the arrangement and process first described. In this way moulded bricks or other articles of different forms may be made, and cut without in any way affecting their quality.

By means of springs, stops, and catches, as described, the securing and releasing of the different parts of the apparatus are made practically automatic. I prefer to cover the receiving boards with zinc or other sheet metal, which is non-absorbent and by which the movement of the clay over them is facilitated.

By my improved machinery or apparatus, as described and shown, it will be seen that the bricks or other articles are rut by the downward action of wires upon the board, whence they are transferred to another separate board without being touched by hand, and the separate boards carrying them can be at the same time deposited upon travailing bands or other travelling- appliances, from which they can be finally removed and deposited upon the drying floors with or without second separate boards without being injured by handling.

Having now described my Invention and the manner in which it is to be performed, I claim, the horizontal receiving board carried upon a hinged frame turning upon the same or separate hinges or centre and carry wires cutting downward, substantially as and for the purpose described and shewn in the Drawing. Also, the combination of the receiving board and its hinged frame, the hinged frame carrying the cutting wires, the moveable plain or angled boards, and the spring catches or fastenings and handles, by which the bricks or other articles are conveyed to any position, substantially as described and shewn in the Drawing. Also, the combination of the two hinged frames, the moveable pain or angled boards and the catches and handles, of the travelling bands or chains, by which the bricks or other articles are conveyed to any position, substantially as described and shewn in the Drawing.

Also the general arrangement of the machinery or apparatus, substantially as and for the purposes described and shewn in the Drawing.




Whether these patents proved to be a commercial successful is unknown. There is no evidence for these machines being produced and marketed on any scale, large or small. Perhaps they were just used within his own brickworks.