US 3256658 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
June 21, 1966 R. F. SEERY 3,256,658
VERTICALLY ADJUSTABLE POST ASSEMBLY Filed Sept. 17, 1962 2 Sheets-Sheet l Arroe/vzrs United States Patent 3,256,658 VERTICALLY ADJUSTABLE POST ASSEMBLY Robert F. Seery, Louisville, Ky., assignor to Julius Blum & Co., Inc., Carlstadt, N .J., a corporation of New York Filed Sept. 17, 1962, Ser. No. 224,133 7 Claims. (Cl. 52292) This invention relates to the art of structural components, more particularly to an improved post assembly of the type having utility as a support for a railing such as used on stairs, balconies or the like.
As conducive to an understanding of the invention, it is noted that a variety of post assemblies have been evolved to provide support for rail members extending, for example, either horizontally, as on balconies, or at an angle to the horizontal, as on staircases. To obtain the desired feeling of lightness and airiness, which is in accord with the requirements of contemporary architectural design, the structural component must be of relatively small dimension, as a result of which problems are engendered in obtaining requisite strength. In order to obtain as clean an appearing surface as possible, it is desired to mount the post assembly by fastening means which are not preceptible, since screw heads or the like conventional fastening members interfere with surface continuity.
It is, accordingly, among the objects of the invention to provide an improved structural component, such as post assembly which, though of relatively small crosssectional dimension provides desired structural strength,
and at the same time permits ready installation and adjustability to accommodate normally encountered installation. variations, with-the fastening members employed for securing the post assembly to a datum being concealed without marring the surface continuity of the structural component.
More particularly, an additional object of the invention is to provide a post assembly of the above type which includes coupling means permitting the utilization of hollow post members, thereby to reduce weight, yet at the same time give the illusion and strength functions of a solid member.
A further object of the invention is to provide coupling means of the above type which may readily be adjusted releasably to lock a post member to a fixed datum.
According to the invention, the post assembly components comprise attaching or support means in the form of an elongated strip-adapted for securement to some datum, such as a wall, railing, or the like. Slidably arranged with respect to these attaching means is a hollow post member, which will be understood to designate any columnar structural component, preferably formed of an extruded section of aluminum or the like material of suitable structural strength. Novel coupling means are provided between the post member and the attaching means so as to permit releasable locking and selective adjustability of the post member with respect to the attaching means and permitting the use of hidden fastening members. The coupling means utilizes a locking strip adapted for rigid securement to the attaching means. Formed on the locking strip are beveled surfaces adapted for coaction with complementary beveled surfaces on a locking member movable thereagainst, with the locking mem-- fber acting as a wedge bearing against the interior of the .hollow post member which encompasses the coupling means to retain the post member in fixed position.
An important feature of the invention resides in the fact that the fastening members employed for securing "ice the post member to a datum are hidden within the post to prevent marring of surface continuity.
In the accompanying drawings in which are shown one or more of various possible embodiments of the several features of the invention,
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing the novel structural component as embodied in a mounting member such as a post assembly arranged to support a railing, 7
FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view with parts broken away showing the details of the components of the post assembly,
'FIG. 3 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view taken on line 3--3 of FIG. 1 indicating the desired relationship between the components of the post assembly,
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional detail view taken on line 4 4 of FIG. 3,
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken on line 55.of
FIG. 3, and
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken on line 66 of FIG. 3.
Referring now to the drawings, as shown in FIGS. '2 and 3, the post assembly 10 comprises an attaching strip 11 substantially rectangular in cross-section, and preferably fabricated of bar stock. An elongate, longitudinally extending groove 12 is formed on each side of strip 11, and a rabbet 13 ,is spaced from groove 12 to form an elongate, longitudinally extending fin 15, as best seen in FIGS. 2 and 5. A plurality of bolt holes 17 are arranged to extend through strip 11, as best viewed in FIG. 3. Suitable fastening members are extended through theseholes 17 to secure the attaching. strip to a desired datum D such as a wall or the like. Thus, a lower bolt 20 in the form of a flat-headed machine screw is extended through the lower-most hole 17, and a round-headed machine screw 21 is illustrated as employed in upper hole 17 as seen in FIG. 3. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that a flat headed machine screw may also be utilized in lieu of round-headed screw 21. At the lower hole 17, however, a flat-headed machine screw 20 is required, to provide clearance in assembly as will become hereafter apparent.
A coupling member 18 is provided comprising a strip 18' formed of bar stock similar to that of attaching strip 11, and is positioned adjacent to the lower end of the strip 11 as seen in FIGS. 2 and 3. The upper and of strip 18 has an outwardly extending lip 21 with abeveled front edge 21'. Ina'ddition, the strip 18 has an inclined surface 22 between the ends thereof, the beveled edge 21 and inclined surface 22 forming oamr'ning surfaces. Movably mounted for coaction with the camming surfaces 21, 22, is a locking or wedge member 25 of L-shaped configurationas shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 and having beveled surfaces 26, 26' coactingrespectively With the camming surfaces 21, 22. Movable looking member 25 is maintained in operative position with respect to the camming surfaces 21, 22 of strip 18' by means of machine screw 27 which passes freely through a bore 28 in the foot 25' of L-shaped locking member 25 as seen in FIG. 3, and into threaded engagement with a tapped bore 29 in the lip 21. I
The bore 28 is of diameter considerably greater than that of screw 27 to permit lateral movement of the locking member 28 when the screw 27 is rotated. The post 30 is formed of hollow bar stock as best seen at the upper portion of FIG. 1. The bar stock employed in fabricating post 30 is preferably an extruded non-ferrous metal such as aluminum, brass bronze, or some suitable alloy, or plastic having requisite strength and lending itself to formation by extrusion. Formed on the interior of post a flange 36 positioned in upper transverse groove 14 in attaching strip 11 aligned with grooves 12 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 and the parallel longitudinal edges of the cutaway 35 define flanges 36 which fit in the grooves 12.
An end cap 40, as best seen at the lower end of FIG. 2, is formed with base plate 41 having upstanding flanges 42 and 43. Cap flanges 42 and 43 are substantially identical and are of a thickness permitting them to slide freely within channels 32 as viewed in FIG. 3. As viewed in FIG. 3, it will be noted that flange 43 is also adapted for insertion into lower transverse groove 14' of attaching strip 11 also aligned with grooves 12. A cap fasteningmeans 45 in the-form of a machine screw extends freely through base plate 41 into engagement with threaded aperture 47 in strip 18'.
At the upper end of the post 30 as seen in FIG. 3, a cap member 50 similar to cap member 40 is provided, with the one distinguishing feature between cap 50 and cap 40 residing in the absence of the fastening member 45 within cap member 50. Instead, cap member 50 is held in place with respect to the post 30 by means of a bolt member 52 here shown as part of rail support 60, which extends through a hole 52' in the post 30 into a threaded hole in flange 43 of cap 50.
In use of the post assembly, above described, the attaching strip 11 is secured, illustratively in vertical position, to any suitable datum D, here illustrated as a base rail in FIG. 1 of either a staircase or balcony. Attaching strip 11 is firmly secured with respect to this datum D by means of bolts 20 and 21. First, upper bolt 21 is anchored into position to hold attaching strip 11 with respect to the datum. Thereafter, the strip 18' with its associated locking member 25 is secured into position with respect to the attaching strip 11 by means of lower bolt 20 which extends through aligned holes in the strip 18' and the attaching strip into the datum D.
The hollow post member 30 which may be cut to the desired length from a continuous length of stock and then provided with the cutaway 35 and hole 52, is then slid over the assembled coupling member 18 with the cutaway 35 facing the strip 11 and with the post flanges 36 engaging in groove 12 of strip 11. The post is moved downwardly desirably until the flange 36 at the upper edge of the cutaway 35 enters the upper transverse groove 14 and seats on the floor thereof as clearly shown in FIG. 3. Screw 27 is then rotated to be drawn upwardly into tapped aperture 29 to draw the locking member 25 upwardly. As a result, the beveled surfaces 26, 26' will ride up the camming surfaces 21, 22 of strip 18 causing the locking member to move outwardly to wedge against the inner surface of post 30 as shown in FIG. 3, forcing post 30 to the left, referring to FIG. 5, so that the post flanges 36 will press against the fins 15 along their entire length, thereby securely locking the post in position.
Thereafter, end cap 40 is secured into position by means of screw 45 at the bottom of the post assembly, and cap 50 is similarly secured into position at the top of the post.
It is apparent that the vertical position of the post 30 is adjustable upwardly from the position shown in FIG. .3, with respect to the datum D, by a distance equal to the distance between the end 50' of the strip 18 and the plate 41 of cap 40.
This is usually sufficient to take care of normal tolerances that may occur in manufacture of the components such as the size of screw holes.
If it is desired to increase the range of adjustability, it is merely necessary to increase the length of the cutaway 35 and the length of screw 45 which holds the end caps in position.
The post assembly above described provides an architectural support member with desired airiness and lightness and permits desired releasable locking of the post member with respect to a datum, with all fastening members hidden and with adjustability to compensate for slight variations in dimensions.
Though the invention has been presented as embodied in a mounting post assembly, it is readily understood that a construction for securing a hollow member to a datum is presented having utility in connection with a wide variety of structural components Where it is necessary or desirable to present a continuous face of the component unmarred by the appearance of fastening members.
As many changes could be made in the above construction and many apparently widely different embodiments of this invention could be made without departing from the scope of the claims, it is intended that all matter contained in the above description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
Having thus described my invention, what I claim as new and desire to secure by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A post assembly comprising a hollow elongated structural post member having a cutaway formed in a wall thereof defining inwardly extending flanges, an attaching strip adapted to be secured by conventional fastening members to a desired datum, said strip having an elongated groove formed on each side thereof slidably receiving said flanges, and coupling means received in said cutaway and secured to said attaching strip and encompassed by said hollow post member, said coupling means including a generally vertically movable wedge member engaging the interior of said hollow post member and reacting against said attaching strip thereby releasably securing said hollow post member to said attaching strip.
2. A post assembly as defined in claim 1 wherein said coupling means further includes a locking strip secured to said attaching strip, a camming surface on said looking strip, and means extending between said locking strip and wedge member to facilitate locking engagement with the post member.
3. The combination set forth in claim 1 in which said coupling means further includes a locking strip having camming surfaces secured to said attaching strip, said wedge member having complementary inclined surfaces contacting and adapted to ride on the camming surfaces of said locking strip, means to effect movement of said wedge member with respect to said locking strip to engage the inner surface of said hollow post member to lock said post member in position.
4. The combination set forth in claim 3 and further including a screw extending through said movable wedge member into threaded engagement with said locking strip, whereby upon turning of the screw, said wedge member will be moved with respect to said locking strip to effect movement of the inclined surfaces of said wedge member with respect to the camming surfaces of said locking strip, thereby to effect such outward movement of said locking member.
5. The combination set forth in claim 1 in which said attaching strip has a fin extending along each of the grooves, said post member having a fin located behind each of said post flanges and spaced therefrom to form channels, said fins of said attaching strip being received in said channels.
6. The combination set forth in claim 1 in which said post member is substantially rectangular in cross section and is formed with channels on the interior thereof at each corner, an end cap closing off the ends of said .post, each of said end caps having a pair of parallel 7. A post assembly comprising a hollow elongated structural post member having a cutaway formed in a Wall thereof, an attaching strip adapted for securement by conventional fastening members to a desired datum, said strip having an elongate longitudinally extending groove on each side thereof within which the edges of the Walls of said post member adjacent said cutaway are slidably accommodated to permit sliding of said post member with respect to said attaching strip, a coupling secured to said attaching strip and encompassed by saidhollow post member, said coupling comprising a locking strip secured to said attaching strip, a camming surface on said locking strip, a wedge member having a camming surface contacting and adapted to ride on the camming surface on said locking strip, and a screw mem- 1" Y ber extending between said wedge member and said locking strip, whereby tightening or loosening of said screw member will effect associated displacement of said Wedge member into and out of engagement with the inner surface of said hollow post member to eflect locking and unlocking of said post with respect to said attaching strip.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,904,314 9/1959 Thom 256-65 3,009,581 11/1961 Stewart 189-36X 3,018,077 1/1962 Buehler 24s-251 3,021,115 2/1962 Dake 256-65 3,071,350 1/1963 Opie 25665 3,104,865 9/1963 Eichman 256-65 FOREIGN PATENTS 143,837 1/1954 Sweden.
FRANK L. ABBOTT, Primary Examiner.
RICHARD W. COOKE, JR., Examiner.
J. D. LISTER, M. O. WARNECKE, Assistant Examiners.