US 2963127 A
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G. D. MANVlLLE 2,963,127
' VARIABLE LENGTH BRACE Filed Dec. 24, 195"! mn a/vran- 6e 07 e D. Mama/A9 United States Patent VARIABLE LENGTH BRACE George Dewey Manville, Santa Monica, Calif. (P.O. Box 88, Yucaipa, Calif.)
Filed Dec. 24, 1957, Ser. No. 705,015
'3 Claims. (Cl. 189-34) My present invention relates to braces, and more particularly to a novel and versatile brace of variable length which is ideally suitable for internal bracing of wall struc- I tures and the like, and a method for using the brace.
At present it is common practice in the building trade, for example, to use wooden diagonal trusses on the exteriors of wall frames, extending from sill to plate, which trusses must be recessed in open mortises or cutouts precut in the outer or exterior. sides of the wall studs so that a flush wall surface is provided for the exterior finish, as is well known in the art. This practice is time-consuming, expensive, and tends to weaken the wall studs.
It is an object of my present invention to provide a brace of variable length and method of using the same, which brace can be diagonally installed between wall studs and between the exterior and interior wall frame stud surfaces eliminating time-c0nsuming cutting and mortising and attendant weakening of the wall studs.
It is another object of my present invention to provide a/brace for internal strengthening of wall structures which will in nowise interfere with the installation of electrical conduit or plumbing.
It is still another object to provide a brace of superior strength for internal bracing of wall frames and the like which is quickly and easily installed, and which is substantially permanent.
And it is a still further object of my present invention to provide a brace of variable length which can be quickly and easily adjusted for installation between wall studs or similar parallel spaced structural members at any desired distance or angle within reasonable limits.
Further objects and advantages inherent in my present invention will be seen as the specification continues.
Briefly, in one preferred embodiment thereof, my invention takes the form of a pair of reinforced metal brace elements of determinate length having a generally channel cross section and relatively sized so that one element slidably interfits within the other. Each element has an angularly adjustable anchoring means at one end thereof, and complemental means between the interfaces at the free ends thereof capable of interlocking at any desired point between the ends of the braces to securely fasten the two elements together to obtain a brace of a desired length.
My invention will be better understood by reference to the appended drawings wherein:
Figure l is a cutaway perspective view of a wall frame under construction showing a preferred mode of installing the brace of my present invention.
Figure 2 is a perspective fragmentary view showing the interlocking means of the brace elements of my invention.
Figure 3 is a perspective view of an assembled brace of my invention showing the angularly adjustable attaching members at each end in solid and broken lines.
Figure 4 is a perspective view of a section of the assembled brace members showing the manner in which the tabular elements are made to extend through the narrow slots to be twisted or bent sideways to overlap the side edges of the slots and securely lock the elements together.
In Figure 1 a wall frame 5, such as that of a building,
for example, is shown under construction, having the usual sill 6, vertically extending, parallel wall studs 7, and fire blocks 8. Not shown at the upper ends of the wall studs 7 is of course a plate, as is well known in the art.
To strengthen and reinforce the wall frame in the diagonal directions, the braces 9 of my present invention are employed as shown, being preferably installed be tween the wall studs 7 at an angle and diagonally aligned between successive studs as shown, extending from sill 6 at the lower left hand corner of the wall 5, toward the plate (not shown) which would be at the upper right hand corner of the wall.
It will be noted that the installation of the braces 9 does not interfere with the installation of electrical outlet boxes 12, or with the conduit 13 connected therewith, or with the installation of plumbing 14.
' In the case of residential buildings wherein Z" x 4" studs are commonly used for both interior as well as exterior walls, the width of the braces should preferably be about 1" to 1%" in width which should leave ample space for electrical and plumbing installations. However, the dimensions of the braces will vary for the particular use to which they are put.
Moreover, the braces 9 will not interfere with the installation of insulation batts 15 as commonly used on wall frames. y
' The brace assembly, in the presently described embodi-- ment thereof, has two complemental components 20 and 21, defined by channel bars or lengths of sheet metal having a U-shaped cross section as shownin Figures 2, 3 and 4; the edges 22 of the side flanges 23 of each of the brace components 20 and 21 preferably being rolled or curled to further strengthen the brace components along their longitudinal axes. The brace components are sized in cross section so that the exterior side of one component 21 will interfit within the channeled interior of the other component 20.
Narrow slots 25 are provided, equally spaced along the" center-line of brace component 20, bypiercing or sawing,
which slots 25 are sized to permit outwardly extending tabs 26 provided and correspondingly spaced on the center-line of brace component 21 to be extended therethrough. Preferably two tabs 26 are bayoneted or upstruck from opposite sides of the center-line of the wall of brace component 21 so that appreciable weakening of the brace wall is avoided. I have found that assembly I of the brace components is made easier i.e., insertion of the tabs 26 through the slots 25, if sharp corners are avoided as by giving the tabs a generally diamond or trapezoidal shape as in the present illustration shown in the Figures 3 and 4. I have further found that it is highly desirable to provide each of the tabs 26 with a wedge-shaped undercut or notch 28 at the bend line of the tab for reasons which will follow.
In Figure 3, the perspective view shows the interlocking brace components 20 and 21 provided at opposite ends with angularly adjustable brackets 30, formed on one end of each brace component by removing portions of the side flanges 21 at an angle to provide adjusting room, which brackets 30, having screw or nail holes 31 bored therein, are adjustable according to the angle at which the brace assembly 9 is to be mounted and fastened thereby between parallel structures.
In assembling the brace components 20 and 21, one method is to attach one component by means of its bracket to structure to be braced. The other component is then attached to the parallel structure to be braced, and aligned with the corresponding component so that the tabs 26 of the one component 21 are aligned with Patented Dec. 6, 1960- two of the slots 25 in the other component 20. The tabs 26 are then passed or extended through the slots 26 and twisted or bent laterally with respect to the slot dges, p efe ably the ta t ne n i ngr he h opposite; direction to the other, The tabs 26 are of course bent, by means of. a hammer on pliers, at the drawings. It willfurther be notedthat the tabs 26, are,
preferably positioned withtheir notches 28, opening in opposite directions and bent inopposite directions, which will provide a tighter, strongen union between the brace components 20 and v 21,
With the use of the brace 9, one formof which is-described above with reference tothedrawings, thewalls of buildings andother typesof walls can be quickly and easily strengthened internally to withstand most abnormal stresses both in compression. and in tension, imposed thereon by winds, tornados, earthquakes, etc. Many other uses of the variable length brace of my present invention will come to the mindsof craftsmen and skilled mechanics. in kindred trades, and while in order to comply with the statute, the invention has been described; in languagemore or less specific as to structural features, it is to be understood that the-invention is not limited to the specific features, shown, butthat the means and construction herein disclosed comprise a preferred form of putting the invention into elfect, and the invention is thereforeclaimedinany ofgits forms or modifications within the legitimate and valid scope of the appended claims.
1. A variable length brace for reinforcing a pair of spaced apart parallel structural members, comprising: a first elongated U-shaped channel member extending diagonally part way across said space and having a bracketat one end thereof attached to one of said structural members, a second elongated U-shaped channel member having a bracket at one end thereof attached to the other structural mcrnb ir, said second channel member being dimensioned to extend diagonally part way across said space and nest inside of said first channel member in overlapping relationship, a row-of uniformly spaced elongated slots along the center line of said first channel member, a pair of generally triangularly shaped tabs upstruck from the center line of said second channel member, the bights of the tabs extending parallel with the center line of said channel member, the bases of each of said tabshaving wedge shaped undercuts extending under one corner thereof, said tabs being spaced apart and sized to extend through correspondingly spaced slots in said first member, said undercut portions of said tabs defining deformable portions to be bent laterally relative to said slots to draw said members together and lock said channel members in tight overlapping relationship across said space between said parallel structural members to provide rigid reinforcement therefor.
2. A variable length brace for reinforcing a pair of spaced apart parallel structural members, comprising in combination: a first elongated U-shapcd channel member having a bracket at one end thereof attached to one of said structural members and extending diagonally part way across said space, a second elongated U-shaped channel member having a bracket at one end thereof attached to the other structural member, said second channel member being dimensioned to extend diagonally part way across said space andnest inside of said first channel member in overlapping relationship, a row of uniformly spaced elongated slots along the center line of said first channel member, a pair of generally triangularly shaped tabs upstruck from the center line of said second channel member, the bight of said tabs extending parallel with the center line of said channel member, said tabs projecting perpendicularly from the surface of said channel member, a wedge shaped undercut extending from one corner of one of said tabs inwardly into the.
bight thereof, the other tab having a wedge shaped undercut extending inwardly, into the bight fromthe opposite comer thereof relative to the other tab, saidtabsbeing spaced to extend through corresponding slotsin said first channel member, said undercut portions of said tabs, being deformable laterally relative to said slots to draw said members together and lock said first and second channel members against longitudinal movement relative to each other in tight overlapping relationship across said space between said parallel structural members to provide rigid reinforcement therefor.
3. A brace in accordance with claim Z-Wherein the tabs are upstruck from opposite sides of the center line of said member.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,056,498 Buckels Mar. 18, 1913 1,288,024 Kendig Dec. 17, 1918 1,867,449 Ecket et al July 12, 1932 2,190,004 Baker Feb. 13, 1940 2,528,418 Buckels Oct. 31, 1950 2,703,635 Carlson Mar. 8, 1955 2,722,625 Bingeman Nov. 1, 1955 2,788,188 Smith Apr. 1, 1957'