US 3010535 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 28, 1961 F. G. DEPlANO TOP MEMBER FOR woon STEP LADDERS Filed May 15, 1959 I III/II I. a I
INVENTOR. FRANC'ISCO G. DEFEND BY penqaam/ PPM ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,010,535 TOP MEMBER FOR WOOD STEP LADDERS Francisco Gabriele Depiano, Cunningham St., North Wilmington, Mass. Filed May 15, 1959, Ser. No. 813,574 2 Claims. (Cl. 182-129) This invention relates to an improved step ladder of the wood type and especially to the top member, or step thereof.
Step ladders have long been made with wood side rails, legs, treads and rungs and usually have had a wood top step or tread hingedly connected to the side rails and legs by a suitable metal bracket.
The users of such step ladders sometimes are not aware of the danger of using the top member as a step or tread when there is no support whatever against sidewise falls. The usual wood top member, with its flat upper face, is thus often used as a step or tread even though the wood may be warped, shrunk in its brackets, loose or otherwise quite unsafe. Another disadvantage of wood top members of the prior art is the tendency to use the same as a platform for paint cans, tools and other objects which may become dislodged when the ladder is moved or may continually roll off the ladder.
It is the object of this invention to provide such wooden step ladders with a unitary metal top member which is unlikely to be used as a step or tread, but lends itself to use as a tool tray for a person standing properly on one of the lower steps of the ladder.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved wood step ladder wherein the top member is of one piece of metal bent to form rigid flanges and ears for firm attachment to the wood rails and legs and also bent to form a single shallow recess extending across substantially the entire upper face of the member.
A further object of the invention is to provide a one piece metal top step for a wood step ladder shaped to firmly secure the upper portion of the ladder against twisting or other deformation while integrally forming a completely rimmed shallow tool tray.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the claims, the description of the drawing and from the drawing in which- FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a step ladder constructed in accordance with the invention.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged front view of the unitary metal top member of the invention in section on line 2-2 of FIG. 3.
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the device shown in FIG. 2 and FIG. 4 is an end view in section on line 44 of FIG. 3.
A preferred embodiment of the invention is shown in FIG. 1 wherein a typical step ladder 20 is illustrated. The ladder 20 may be of any suitable height, with an appropriate number of steps, or treads, but is shown as having two steps or treads 21 and 22. The side rails 23 and 24, the legs 25 and 26, the bar or rungs 27 and 28 and the steps 21 and 20 are all of wood fastened together in any suitable manner well known in the trade, such as by the nails, rivets or bolts 29. Suit-able spreader hinges such as 31 and 32, of metal, are provided and a foldable platform not shown serving as a pail rest is usually included in ladders of substantial height.
The ladder 20 is provided with a unitary, metal, top member 33 best shown in FIGS. 24. The member 33, is not termed a step or tread herein because, unlike steps 21 and 22, it is shaped to be uncomfortable for standing in order to warn the operator against using the same for that purpose. Preferably the member 33 is formed from flat face 34. The flat face 34 thus constitutes a flat rim of substantial width extending entirely around the recess 35 and the recess 35 forms a useful tool tray for preventing the rolling of tools from the top of the ladder. It will be apparent that regardless of how a person attempts to stand on member 33, his feet will span the recess 35 and tend to arch downwardly into the recess, thereby making it unlikely that the top member 33 will be used as a step or tread.
The unitary, metal member 33 includes integral and flanges bent downwardly at each opposite end 36 and 39 thereof, as at 37 and 38, then inwardly as at 40 and 41 and then downwardly again, as at 42 and 43, the last named bent portions forming a pair of end attachment cars 44 and 45. The wood side rails 23 and 24 are fixed to the ears 44 and 45 by bolts such as 46 while the legs 25 and 26 are pivoted to the cars 44 and 45 by bolts such as '47.
Each top member 33 also includes a pair of integral side flanges 50 and 51 bent from the metal thereof and extending entirely along each opposite side 53 or 54 of the flat upper face 34. Each side flange such as 50 is bent downwardly as at 55 and then inwardly as at 56 with the opposite ends 57 and 58 of the inwardly bent portions such as 59 housed within the adjacent end flanges as at 61 and seated upon the inwardly bent portions 40 and 41 of the end flanges.
1. In a step ladder having wood side rails, legs and treads the combination of a unitary top member, formed of material other than wood, having an upper face with a flat rim of substantial width extending entirely therearound and a single shallow recess therein, nearly coextensive in area with said upper face, for preventing comfortable standing thereon while serving as a tool tray; a pair of integral end flanges each bent downwardly, then inwardly and then downwardly again from one of the opposite ends of said upper face, said last named bent portions forming end attachment ears to which the said wood side rails and legs are hingedly attached, and a pair of integral side flanges, each bent downwardly and then inwardly from one of the opposite sides of said upper face and each having its terminal portions housed within said end flanges and seated upon the inwardly bent portions thereof for reinforcing said top member.
2. A top member for a step ladder comprising a one piece body of sheet metal having an upper face including a flat peripheral rim of substantial width and a shallow recess of uniform depth nearly coextensive in area with the area of said face; a pair of integral end flanges, each bent downwardly, then inwardly and then downwardly again from one of the opposite ends of said upper face, for attachment to the rails and legs of a ladder, and a pair of side flanges, each bent downwardly and then inwardly from one of the opposite sides of said upper face, the opposite terminal ends of said inwardly bent portions being within said end flanges and seated on the inwardly bent portions of said end flanges.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,934,086 Page Nov. 7, 1933 2,563,553 Rosenjack Aug. 7, 1951 2,576,277 Biegen Nov. 27, 1951