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arch 8, 1938‘, 2,11%,566 E. M. SPRICH BUTCHER BLOCK Filed June 13, 1935 Hal 15.‘ 5 frm/ewfor E’MIL M. SPRLICH Df‘@/vy FIGZQ ‘ Aim/we] 2,1105% Patented Mar. 8, 1938 UNiTED 2,110,560 BUTCHER BLOCK Emil M. Sprich, St. Louis, Mo. Application June 13, 1935, Serial No. 26,411 1 Claim. (Cl. 146-215) My invention relates to butcher blocks, of the kind generally used in butcher shops, and upon which blocks the meat-cutting, chopping, sawing, etc., is done, and has among its objects the pro 5 duction of such a block that will be simple in construction, neat in appearance, sanitary, eco nomical, and otherwise satisfactory and efficient for use wherever deemed applicable. The common type of butcher block wears down 10 more or less rapidly, dependent upon the amount of work done thereon and the skill and care with which the same is performed, and the usual prac tice has been to saw, chop or otherwise dress the resultant uneven working surface down to a new 15 level surface, and it is apparent that after a cer tain number of such re-surfacings the block is too low for safe or economical meat-cutting opera tions thereon, and hence must be discarded al together. These re-surfacing operations, and the ?nal discarding of the block, are relatively ex pensive, and in those cases where the discarding is deferred too long the loss in ef?ciency of work ing on such blocks is great. My invention has among its objects the pro duction of a block of the kind described, wherein the effective working surface, upon which the cutting and chopping operations are performed by the butcher, does not extend the full height or thickness of the block, but for only a minor fraction of such thickness, and hence this rela tively expensive portion not only reduces the initial cost of the block, but permits of replace ments from time to time at a minimum of ex pense. .35 Another object of my invention is to provide a butcher block having a working surface that may be replaced quickly, easily, and at a mini mum of expense, and wherein the working height of the block can be substantially maintained in 40 de?nitely. A further object of the invention is to provide such a block wherein not only the height, but the weight and work surface dimensions may be retained ?xed for the full life or use of the block, and hence wherein the value of the block will remain substantially constant insofar as utility and efficiency is concerned. A still further object of the invention is to pro vide a replacement top for a cutting block, of either the same or a different sized working area, as preferred, at a reduced cost. An added object of my invention is to provide a replaceable work top for a block, the same to be held in place by substantially its own weight 55 and without the use of tension bolts or the like, and which may be lifted from its assembled posi tion through jack means operable from beneath the base of the block. Other objects of the invention are to provide a block construction of the kind described, where Ol in the force of the cutting or chopping will be suitably absorbed through the same, without un due noise, or other objectionable features. Many other objects of the construction shown, and the method of performing the same, will be 10 obvious to‘ those skilled in the art to which this invention appertains, from the disclosures herein given. To this end, my invention consists in the novel construction, arrangement and combination of parts herein shown and described, and the meth od of forming the block, as will be more particu larly pointed out in the claim. In the drawing, wherein like reference char acters indicate like or corresponding parts 20 throughout the views, Figure 1 illustrates an old block about ready for discarding; and Figure 2 is a cross-sectional view through a 25 re-built block according to my invention. Referring more particularly to the drawing, wherein I have illustrated one of the preferred embodiments of my invention, there is shown an old meat-chopping or butcher block, shown ap proximately rectangular in working surface for 30 the sake of convenience and because most of the blocks now in use are of that design, the main body or base portion i being of suitable wood, such as maple for example, and built up of a number of layers or laminations having through bolts 2 or the like for holding them tightly together to prevent warping or otherwise become shifted from their predetermined relationship. These laminations are usually arranged on end, so that the uppermost or work surface is cut across the 40 grain, of the wood, for well known reasons. The legs 3 are secured to the block body to raise the block to the desired working height. As these blocks become worn they are sawed, cut, or otherwise worked on to present a new 45 plane or level working surface, but it is apparent that after a time it is impractical to cut more material from the top because it is too close to the through bolts 2. Further, by that time, the height of the block will be such that it is no longer safe or e?icient to use, because not only will there be danger to the tools and operator when working at such a low table, but the work performed under these conditions is very unsatis factory in quality and cost. Heretofore, the only 2 2,110,560 thing that could be done was to discard the old block and obtain a new one. The new ones, on The thickness of the work slab is such that it may be dressed down once or twice if so desired, the other hand, were made purposely higher than and then replaced with an entirely new slab, or needed or desired, so as to provide for a maxi thus replaced without any dressing whatsoever, mum number of re-dressing operations, and hence the new blocks were not truly efficient until after a few re-dressings. In my improved construction, in the construc tion shown, I prefer to use the old block as a 10 foundation from which the new block is formed, the top surface of the old block being ?rst leveled as shown in Fig. 2. Upon the old block is posi tioned a slab member ll of relatively heavy thick ness, and preferably of wood, but not necessarily 15 laminated, and thereby the cost of the same is relatively inexpensive. Superimposed on this ?ller slab is the work slab member 5, the latter being of high-grade material and construction, so as to withstand the usage to which it is to be 20 put, and hence may be made of a good grade of maple or the like, the sections or laminations standing on end, and with their uppermost ends cut across the grain of the wood. The thickness of this slab 5 may be less than that of the slab 4. 25 The ?ller slab 4 may be prevented against lat eral shifting relatively of the base or main block I, by dowels 6 placed therebetween, and the work slab 5 may be similarly prevented against lateral displacement by means of dowels l. A band or 30 tie 8 may be secured about the sections of the top plate 5 to clamp them together into a unitary element, this band being preferably of metal. Although the slabs G and 5 are relatively heavy, so as to be able to withstand the service to which they are subjected, yet for the purpose of giving additional weight, and of still better hold ing said slabs in place, I have provided an apron member having an inwardly directed substantial ly horizontal flange 9 resting on the top surface of the base element, about the periphery of the latter, said apron member having another por tion directed downwardly therefrom at 10 and an oppositely directed portion ii. The portion in snugly encircles the peripheral surface of the base member l, while the other portion ll simi larly encircles the peripheral surface of the ?ller slab and substantially half of that of the work slab. The ?ller slab is provided with a cut-out or shoulder it on its under side and along its periphery to receive the flange 9, while the upper edge of the portion ll may be provided with a cut-out or shoulder it‘ to receive the band 8. The use of the apron member of the size shown will permit of the use of a top slab of larger effec 55 tive working area than the top of the original block I, and hence this excess working area is obtainable at substantially no increased cost. inasmuch as the costs of such replacements are 5 relatively low. Thus, the original height of the block as shown in Fig. 2 may be retained for in de?nite periods, so that the maximum safety and operating ei?ciency of the block may be preserved. In order to conveniently displace the work slab, 10 for dressing or replacement, I have provided a simple jack means l4 therefor, the same extend ing centrally through the base or body portion I and having an enlarged top or head l5 ?tting within an opening [6 on the under side of the 15 ?ller slab. As the jack is operated, as by a socket wrench or the like, from beneath the block, the pair of slabs will be lifted in unison to the desired height, the dowels acting as guides during this vertical movement, after which the top slab may 20 be handled as desired. Obviously, by the construction hereinbefore shown and described, the resultant block will be such that the height can be retained inde?nitely, and wherein all of the parts except the relatively 25 thin work top will retain the ?xed height, weight dimensions and value, as there is no destruction due to wear, except the small amount at the work top and which can be corrected by replacements at small cost. 30 Having thus described my invention, it is obvi ous that various immaterial modi?cations may be made in the same without departing from the spirit of my invention; hence I do not wish to be understood as limiting myself to the exact 35 form, arrangement, combination and construc tion, or the method used, except as limited by the state of the art to which this invention apper tains or the claim hereunto appended. What I claim as new and desire to secure by 40 Letters Patent is: The combination with a butcher block provided with a top surface, of a detachable top member therefor comprising independently movable up per and lower layers freely supported as a unit 45 on said block, a ?ange peripherally about the top of said block and projecting above and below thereat, said top member being received as a unit within said ?ange so as to project thereabove and being vertically movable as a unit past the top 50 of said ?ange while the latter remains in place on the block, and means operable from beneath said block free of securement with said upper and lower layers of said top to lift said top as a unit. 55 EMIL M. SPRICH.