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Publication numberUS20060059822 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/194,877
Publication dateMar 23, 2006
Filing dateAug 1, 2005
Priority dateAug 4, 2004
Publication number11194877, 194877, US 2006/0059822 A1, US 2006/059822 A1, US 20060059822 A1, US 20060059822A1, US 2006059822 A1, US 2006059822A1, US-A1-20060059822, US-A1-2006059822, US2006/0059822A1, US2006/059822A1, US20060059822 A1, US20060059822A1, US2006059822 A1, US2006059822A1
InventorsJames Guffey
Original AssigneeGuffey James K
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Deck clip
US 20060059822 A1
Abstract
A deck clip comprises a generally vertically extending leg; and a pair of arms extending from an upper edge of the leg. Each arm is configured for insertion into a slot of a deck board and presents an enlarged lobe. When the deck clip is screwed to a deck joist, the lobes grip the deck boards and hold them tight against the joist. The shape of the lobes increases the gripping force between the lobes and the deck boards as adjacent boards are hammered or otherwise pushed together. The lobes facilitate the gripping of the boards and help maintain the desired gap between adjacent boards for the life of the deck.
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Claims(21)
1. A deck clip for securing at least two boards to an underlying support, the deck clip comprising:
a generally vertically extending leg; and
a pair of arms extending from opposite ends of an upper edge of the leg and each configured for insertion into a slot of one of the boards, each arm presenting an enlarged lobe for gripping its respective board to resist movement of the board.
2. The deck clip as set forth in claim 1, wherein each arm presents a curved outer edge for facilitating insertion of the arms into the slots of the boards.
3. The deck clip as set forth in claim 1, wherein the arms are angled slightly upwardly relative to the leg to facilitate gripping of the boards.
4. The deck clip as set forth in claim 1, wherein at least one of the arms includes teeth for more securely gripping the boards.
5. The deck clip as set forth in claim 1, wherein the leg and arms are integrally formed of marine grade aluminum or other metals.
6. The deck clip as set forth in claim 1, further including a screw hole extending through the arms and the leg and a screw configured to be inserted in the screw hole and driven into the underlying support.
7. A deck clip for securing at least two boards to an underlying support, the deck clip comprising:
a generally vertically extending leg; and
a pair of arms extending from opposite ends of an upper edge of the leg and each configured for insertion into a slot of one of the boards, each arm presenting a curved edge for facilitating insertion of the arms into the slots of the boards.
8. The deck clip as set forth in claim 7, each arm presenting an enlarged lobe for gripping its respective board to resist movement of the board.
9. The deck clip as set forth in claim 8, wherein the arms are angled slightly upwardly relative to the leg to facilitate gripping of the boards.
10. The deck clip as set forth in claim 8, wherein at least one of the arms includes teeth for more securely gripping the boards.
11. The deck clip as set forth in claim 8, wherein the leg and arms are integrally formed of marine grade aluminum.
12. The deck clip as set forth in claim 8, further including a screw hole extending through the arms and the leg and a screw configured to be inserted in the screw hole and driven into the underlying support.
13. A deck clip for securing at least two boards to an underlying support, the deck clip comprising:
a generally vertically extending leg; and
a pair of arms extending from opposite ends of an upper edge of the leg and each configured for insertion into a slot of one of the boards, wherein each of the arms is angled slightly upwardly relative to the leg to facilitate gripping of the boards.
14. The deck clip as set forth in claim 13, each arm presenting a curved edge for facilitating insertion of the arms into the slots of the boards.
15. The deck clip as set forth in claim 13, each arm presenting an enlarged lobe for gripping its respective board to resist movement of the board.
16. The deck clip as set forth in claim 13, wherein at least one of the arms includes teeth for more securely gripping the boards.
17. The deck clip as set forth in claim 13, wherein the leg and arms are integrally formed of marine grade aluminum or other metals.
18. The deck clip as set forth in claim 13, further including a screw hole extending through the arms and the leg and a screw configured to be inserted in the screw hole and driven into the underlying support.
19. Decking material comprising:
at least two boards, each board presenting an elongated slot;
at least one deck clip for securing the boards to an underlying support, the deck clip comprising:
a generally vertically extending leg;
a pair of arms extending from an upper edge of the leg and each configured for insertion into a slot of one of the boards;
a screw hole extending through the arms and the leg;
a screw configured to be inserted in the screw hole and driven into the underlying support;
wherein the leg is sized so it does not touch the underlying support when the screw is driven into the underlying support.
20. The decking material as set forth in claim 19, wherein each arm of the deck clip presents an enlarged lobe for gripping the boards.
21. A deck clip for securing at least two boards to an underlying support, the deck clip comprising:
a pair of arms configured for insertion into a slot of one of the boards, each arm presenting an enlarged lobe for gripping its respective board to resist movement of the board.
Description
RELATED APPLICATION

The present application claims priority benefit, with regard to all common subject matter, of earlier-filed U.S. provisional patent application titled “DECK CLIP”, application Ser. No. 60/598,767, filed Aug. 4, 2004. The identified earlier-filed provisional patent application is hereby incorporated into the present application by specific reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to decking material. More particularly, the invention relates to a deck clip for more effectively securing deck boards to an underlying support such as a deck joist.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Decks and other outdoor structures are becoming increasingly popular as homeowners spend more time outside. Homeowners are also building more elaborate and expensive decks and don't want to be limited to conventional treated “soft” lumber for the primary deck boards. For example, it is now common for decks to be constructed of hard woods such as cumaru, ipe (also known as Brazilian walnut), and tauari (also commonly known as Brazilian red chestnut). Decks are also now being constructed of weatherproof composite materials.

Unlike conventional treated lumber deck boards, which are typically nailed or screwed to underlying joists, hardwood deck boards and composite deck boards are typically secured with hidden fasteners or clips to provide a more finished appearance free of visible nail and screw holes. These hidden fasteners are typically inserted into pre-cut or biscuit jointer slots formed in the deck boards and then screwed to the underlying deckjoists to hold the deck boards against the joist. Examples of hidden deck clips are shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,402,415 and D470,039.

Unfortunately, prior art deck clips suffer from several limitations which limit their utility. For example, many prior art clips are made of plastic and easily break when installed. Even when they don't break, these plastic clips don't provide significant holding force, resulting in loose deck boards. Prior deck clips are also difficult to install and do not effectively grip the deck boards, often causing the boards to shift relative to one another, especially over time, resulting in uneven gaps between the boards.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention solves the above-described problems and provides a distinct advance in the art of deck clips. More particularly, the present invention provides a deck clip that is stronger, easier to install, more effective at securing boards to an underlying joist, and more effective at preventing relative movement between adjacent boards.

A deck clip constructed in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention broadly comprises a generally vertically extending leg; and a pair of arms extending from an upper edge of the leg. Each arm is configured for insertion into a slot of a deck board and presents an enlarged lobe. When the deck clip is screwed to a deck joist, the lobes grip the deck boards and hold them tight against the joist. The shape of the lobes increases the gripping force between the deck clip and the deck boards. As adjacent boards are hammered or otherwise pushed together (to achieve the desired gap between the boards), the lobes exert additional pressure on the boards to firmly hold them in place. The lobes thus facilitate the gripping of the boards and help maintain the desired gap between adjacent boards for the life of the deck.

A deck clip constructed in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention broadly comprises a generally vertically extending leg; and a pair of arms extending from an upper edge of the leg. Each arm is configured for insertion into a slot of a deck board and presents a curved edge. The curved edges slide easily into the slots of the boards for facilitating insertion of the arms into the slots.

A deck clip constructed in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention broadly comprises a generally vertically extending leg; and a pair of arms extending from an upper edge of the leg. Each arm is configured for insertion into a slot of a deck board and is angled slightly upwardly relative to the leg. This configuration allows the ends of the arms to flex slightly upwardly when the deck clip is screwed to a deck joist to hold the deck boards down with a spring-like effect. The slots in the deck boards may also be angled slightly relative to horizontal to shed water which drains between adjacent deck boards.

Decking material constructed in accordance with another embodiment of the invention broadly comprises at least two boards, each board presenting an elongated slot; and at least one deck clip for securing the boards to an underlying support. The deck clip comprises a generally vertically extending leg; a pair of arms extending from an upper edge of the leg and each configured for insertion into a slot of one of the boards; a screw hole extending through the arms and the leg; and a screw configured to be inserted in the screw hole and driven into the underlying support. The leg is sized so it does not touch the underlying support when the screw is driven into the support to resist corrosion of the deck clip.

The deck clips of all of the embodiments of the present invention are preferably extruded from marine grade aluminum to resist corrosion and provide superior holding strength. The deck clips are preferably attached to the deckjoists with stainless steel screws with Star drives.

These and other important aspects of the present invention are described more fully in the detailed description below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIGURES

A preferred embodiment of the present invention is described in detail below with reference to the attached drawing figures, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a deck clip constructed in accordance with a first embodiment of the present invention and shown being initially inserted in a slot of a deck board and partially driven into an underlying deck joist.

FIG. 2 is a vertical sectional view of the deck clip of the first embodiment shown between a pair of deck boards and partially driven into an underlying deck joist.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the deck clip of the first embodiment showing the deck clip fully driven into the underlying deck joist.

FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view of a deck clip constructed in accordance with a third preferred embodiment of the present invention shown between a pair of deck boards and fully driven into an underlying deck joist.

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of the first embodiment of the deck clip of FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 shown removed from the deck boards and joists.

FIG. 6 is a front elevational view of a deck clip constructed in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a front elevational view of the third embodiment of the deck clip of FIG. 4.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the first embodiment of the deck clip.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the second embodiment of the deck clip.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the third embodiment of the deck clip.

The drawing figures do not limit the present invention to the specific embodiments disclosed and described herein. The drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon clearly illustrating the principles of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Turning now to the drawing figures, and particularly FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 5 and 8, a deck clip 10 constructed in accordance with a first preferred embodiment of the invention is shown securing deck boards 12,14 to an underlying support 16. The deck boards 12,14 are conventional and are preferably formed of a hard wood material such as cumaru, ipe, or tauari; however, they may be formed of other types of wood, composite materials, synthetic resins, or any other materials commonly used for decking.

As shown, each deck board 12,14 has at least one elongated, pre-grooved or biscuitjointer slot 18 formed therein. The slots 18 are preferably formed between 3/8″-5/16″ from the bottom of the boards, the exact positioning depending on the thickness of the boards. The slots 18 are preferably approximately ⅛″ to ¼″ tall (from top to bottom) and approximately ½″ deep (from left to right). As best illustrated in FIGS. 2-4, the slots 18 are preferably slightly angled relative to horizontal so that the open ends of the slots are slightly below the closed ends. In one embodiment, the slots are angled approximately 5° relative to horizontal. This facilitates the shedding of water and other liquids from the slots 18 and away from the clips 10 to prevent wood rot and corrosion. However, the deck clips of the present invention can also be used with straight slots and biscuit jointer slots or pockets. As used herein, the term “slots” is meant to include all of these alternatives.

The underlying support 16 is preferably a deckjoist formed of treated lumber, but it may be any structural support formed of any suitable material. The number and spacing of the deck joists 16 depends on the size of the deck or other structure to be built and the anticipated load carried thereon.

The deck clip 10 of the first preferred embodiment is shown in more detail in FIGS. 5 and 8. The deck clip 10 broadly includes a generally vertically extending leg 20 and a pair of arms 22,24 extending from opposite sides of the upper edge of the leg 20.

The leg 20 is preferably approximately 0.28″ tall, 0.75″ wide, and 0.125″ thick; however, it may be of different dimensions without departing from the scope of the present invention. The leg 20 includes an outwardly tapered foot 26 that may rest against or be spaced immediately above the underlying support 16 when the deck clip 20 is secured between a pair of deck boards 12,14 as best illustrated in FIG. 3.

Each arm 22,24 is configured for insertion into a slot 18 of one of the deck boards 12,14 as described in more detail below. The arms 22,24 are each preferably approximately 0.75″ wide, 0.5″ long, and approximately 0.7″ thick and are separated by an elongated groove 28 which runs the width of the arms. The groove 28 permits the arms 22,24 to flex relative to the leg 20 as described in more detail below.

Each arm 22,24 presents an enlarged lobe 30 which is preferably approximately 0.125″ thick. When the deck clip 20 is screwed to a deck joist 16, the lobes 30 grip the deck boards and hold them tight against the joist. The bottom of the lobes 30 are curved downward from the outer edges of the arms 22,24 so that the thickness of the lobes is the greatest at a point inward of the outer edges of the arms. This, combined with the slope of the slots 18, increases the gripping force between the arms and the boards 12,14 as the lobes are pushed further into the slots of the boards. The lobes 30 thus facilitate the gripping of the boards and help maintain the desired gap between adjacent boards.

Each of the arms 22,24 also presents a rounded or curved edge 32. The curved edges 32 allow the arms 22,24 to be more easily inserted into the slots 18 of the boards 12,14 without snagging or biting into the boards.

The arms 22,24 are preferably angled slightly upwardly relative to the leg 20 so that the ends of the arms are slightly raised relative to the portions of the arms that join to the leg. As best illustrated in FIG. 5, the angle between the center line of the leg 20 and the top of the arms 22,24 is preferably approximately 95° when the deck clip is not driven into the underlying support 16. The slots 18 in the boards 12,14 are preferably angled about 5° relative to horizontal, so the arms generally follow the angle of the slots. This configuration allows the arms 22,24 of the deck clips to easily slide into the slots 18 in the boards 12,14 and to subsequently flex slightly upwardly when the deck clip 20 is screwed to the deck joist 16 to hold the deck boards 12,14 down with a spring-like effect as described below.

As best illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 8, a screw hole 34 is formed through the arms 22,24 and the leg 20 for receipt of a screw 36 that may be driven into the underlying support 16. The screw 36 is preferably formed of stainless steel and includes a T-20 Star drive.

FIGS. 6 and 9 illustrate a deck clip 10 a constructed in accordance with a second embodiment of the present invention. The deck clip is similar to the deck clip of the first embodiment except that the screw hole 34 a is slightly larger so that its screw can be counter-sunk into the clip 20 a to permit a smaller gap between the deck boards. The leg 20 a of this embodiment is slightly shorter than the leg 20 of the first embodiment so that it doesn't come into contact with the deck joist when the deck clip 10 a is fully driven into the underlying deck joist. The deck clip 10 a of the second embodiment also does not include the foot 26 on the leg 20 of the deck clip 10 of the first embodiment and has a slightly smaller angle between the center line of the leg 20 a and the top of the arms 22 a,24 a.

FIGS. 4, 7 and 10 illustrate a deck clip 10 b illustrated in accordance with a third embodiment of the present invention. The deck clip 10 b is identical to the deck clip 10 a of the second embodiment except that it includes a number of teeth 38 or serrated edges along the top surface of one of the arms 22 b that bite into their respective deck board 12 b when the deck clip 10 b is screwed to the deck joist 16 b to further resist movement of the deck boards 12 b,14 b. The angle between the center line of the leg 20 b and the top of the arms 22 b,24 b may also be slightly different than the same angles of the first and second embodiments.

The deck clips 10, 10 a, 10 b of all the embodiments of the present invention are preferably extruded from marine grade aluminum to resist corrosion and provide superior holding strength. However, the deck clips can be manufactured of other metals or other materials without departing from the scope of the present invention.

To install deck boards 12,14 to a deck joist 16 or other underlying support with any of the deck clips 10,10 a,10 b of the present invention, a first board 12 is screwed to the joist 16 along an edge of the house or other structure to which the deck is attached as best illustrated in FIG. 1. The screw holes may then be filled or plugged if desired. One arm 22 of a deck clip 10 is then inserted into the slot 18 of the first board 12 and a screw 36 is then partially driven through the deck clip 10 and into the deck joist 16. This procedure is repeated until a deck clip 10 is screwed into every deck joist 16 below the first board 12.

A second board 14 is then pushed adjacent the first board 12 so that the free arms 24 of the deck clips 10 are inserted into the slot 18 of the second board 14 as best illustrated in FIG. 2. The particular gap between the first and second boards 12,14 is not important at this point as long as the arms 22,24 of all of the clips 10 are in the slots 18 of the first and second boards 12,14. At this point, the screws 36 in the deck clips 10 are only partially driven into the deck joists 16 so that the deck clips 10 are somewhat loosely positioned in the slots 18 of the deck boards 12,14.

The screws 36 of all of the deck clips 10 are then tightened until the deck clips 10 firmly grip the deck boards 12,14 as best illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4. As the screws are tightened, the deck clips bow down or flex slightly so that the angle between the center line of the leg and top of the arm of each clip increases beyond that shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7. This causes the lobes 30 on the arms 22,24 to press firmly against the deck boards 12,14 so that the deck clips 10 hold the boards 12,14 down with a spring-like effect. In the case of the deck clip 10 b shown in FIGS. 4, 7 and 10, the tightening of the screws causes the teeth 38 to dig into the board 12 to better grip the board and resist relative movement between the boards 12,14.

The gap between the first and second boards 12,14 may then be adjusted by tapping the second board 14 with a mallet or other object. These procedures are then repeated for additional boards until the deck or other structure is complete.

In another embodiment of the invention, the deck clips are die-stamped out of stainless steel or other metal. Deck clips formed in this matter do not include a leg.

Although the invention has been described with reference to the preferred embodiment illustrated in the attached drawing figures, it is noted that equivalents may be employed and substitutions made herein without departing from the scope of the invention as recited in the claims. For example, the particular size and dimensions of the deck clips 10,10 a,10 b may be modified, the specific angles between the legs 20,20 a,20 b and the arms 22,22 a,22 b,24,24 a,24 b may be modified, and other similar dimensions and related aspects of the invention may be changed without departing from the scope of the invention.

Having thus described the preferred embodiment of the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be protected by Letters Patent includes the following:

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7805902 *Mar 13, 2007Oct 5, 2010Tiger Claw, Inc.Fastener for grooved or slotted decking members
US8291666Feb 26, 2010Oct 23, 2012Flotation Systems, Inc.Decking panel system
US8464488Apr 20, 2011Jun 18, 2013The Ipe Clip Fastener Co., LlcAnchoring device
WO2008132351A2 *Mar 21, 2008Nov 6, 2008Nabil KellayMethod for assembling at least two members bearing directly or indirectly on each other, connection parts used and structure obtained by said method
WO2010071930A1 *Dec 22, 2009Jul 1, 2010Peter Charles Campbell-LloydFlooring system and components therefore including a biscuit
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/480
International ClassificationE04B9/00
Cooperative ClassificationE04F15/02, E04F2201/05, F16B5/002, F16B12/125
European ClassificationE04F15/02, F16B5/00A1C, F16B12/12M
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Oct 28, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: WOOD HAVEN, INC., KANSAS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:GUFFEY, JAMES KING;REEL/FRAME:017166/0820
Effective date: 20051014