US 3285553 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 15, 1966 A. M. HEXDALL. 3,285,553
ADJUSTABLE HANGER BAR Filed Jan. 17, 1966 United States Patent 3,285,553 ADJUSTABLE HAN-GER BAR Andrew M. Hexdall, 309 Goold Park Drive, Morris, Ill. Filed Jan. 17, 1966, Ser. No. 521,173 Claims. (Cl. 248-71) The present invention relates to hanger bars and more particularly concerns hanger bars for supporting building components between wooden structural members such as studs, joists and rafters.
In many of the building trades it is necessary to support various building components such as ducts, pipes or the like between the studs, joists or rafters of the building being constructed. Frequently this is accomplished by carefully cutting and fitting a piece of wood between the joists under the component to be supported. However, this typically requires toenailing the ends of the wooden piece to the faces of the joists and, as frequently happens, the piece splits out toward its ends resulting in poor structural support for the component. To overcome this problem attempts have previously been made to devise special hangers, bars and clamps for the various types of components to be supported. While some of these prior devices have met with some success for use in supporting particular components, they generally lack versatility and are neither suitable nor convenient for supporting the wide variety of components normally encountered in building construction.
Accordingly, it is the primary aim of the present invention to provide a strong, reliable, low cost hanger bar that may be quickly and conveniently installed between wooden structural members to support a wide variety of building components.
A more detailed object is to provide a three piece hanger bar of the above type that may be previously assembled and arranged so that the builder need only hold the bar in the proper position and drive the pointed slidable end portions into the wooden structural members to securely anchor the bar in its supporting position.
It is a related object to provide such a hanger bar with additional means for anchoring the end pieces in soft wooden structural members and to provide for rigidly interconnecting the slidable end pieces to the main portion of the bar to prevent sagging of the bar and the resulting tendency of the end pieces to withdraw from the structural members when the bar is used to support heavy building components.
A further object of the invention is to construct a hanger bar of the above character so that the slidable end pieces may be retracted fully within the length of the main body portion, which may consequently be axially dimensioned to fit closely between a pair of the structural members thereby insuring maximum strength for a hanger bar of a given material having a certain cross sectional size and shape.
It is also an object of the invention to form the pointed end pieces of such a hanger bar with a slightly curved configuration so that the pointed ends curve away from the original point of entry in the structural member and draw the body portion of the hanger bar toward the original entry point.
Yet another object is to form the slidable end pieces with means which facilitate the location and insertion of the end pieces in the body member.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become more readily apparent upon reading the following detailed description and upon reference to the drawings in which:
3,285,553 Patented Nov. 15, 1966 ice FIGURE 1 is a side elevation of the hanger bar of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective View of the hanger bar shown in FIG. l;
FIG. 3 is a section of the hanger bar as seen along the line 3 3 in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary bottom plan view of the hanger bar, with certain portions broken away and with the end piece shown in its locating position by solid lines and in its inserting position by dash lines;
FIGS. 5 and 6 are fragmentary cross sectional views of the pointed tip of the hanger bar before and after being driven into hard and soft wood, respectively;
FIG. 7 is a bottom plan View of a modified hanger bar with the pointed tip shown in its retracted position by dash lines;
FIG. 8 is an alternate assembly arrangement of the hanger bar with one pointed tip inverted to miss a knot in the right hand wooden member; and
FIGS. 9-12 are sectional views of modified body portions of the hanger bar.
While the invention will be described in connection with certain preferred embodiments, it will be understood that I do not intend to limit the invention to the illustrated embodiments. On the contrary, I intend to cover all alternatives, modifications and equivalents as may be included Within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
Turning now to the drawings, there is shown in FIG- URE l a hanger bar 10 which embodies the novel features of the present invention. The hanger bar 10` is particularly adapted for supporting building components such as heating ducts 11, pipes 12 and similar elements between two parallel wooden structural members 13 such as studs, joists or rafters. The hanger bar 10 is preferably formed with a three piece construction which includes an elongated body member 14 longitudinally dimensioned to iit between two of the structural members 13 and a pair of end pieces 15 adapted to be slidably received within the opposite ends of the body member. As shown in FIG, l, the hanger 10 is positioned between two wooden structural members 13 with the slidable end pieces 15 driven into the wooden members so that the body portion 14 securely supports the illustrated heating duct 11 and pipe 12.
The body 14 is preferably formed with a generally channel-shaped cross section having a medial back portion 16 which merges into a pair of laterally spaced upright side members 17 each of which includes an inwardly directed marginal lip portion 18. This configuration can be easily and economically formed and results 1n a sturdy support member.
The end pieces 15 are each formed with an elongated leg portion 19 having a relatively short substantially perpendicular foot 20 at one end. The foot 20 has front and back faces that merge into :an outwardly directed pointed toe 21 which, in turn, terminates in a sharp tip. As shown in FIGS. 2 and `3 the leg portion 19 is laterally dimensioned for close fitting insertion between the upright sides 17 at the open end of the body member 14. Preferably, the end pieces 15 have a thickness greater than the thickness of the back 16 and sides 17 to insure adequate strength at the ends of the hanger bar 10. Also, by making the height of the upright sides 17 substantially greater than the thickness of the end pieces 15, lighter weight material can be used for the body 14 4and yet insure adequate strength.
In accordance with the present invention, the back 16,
sides 17 and lips 18 of the body 14 are formed and arranged to cooperatively receive and snuggly sandwich the thickness of the legs 19 between at least a portion of the back and the lips. To this end, the body 14 is preferably formed with the back 16 having 4a generally U-shaped cross section and is dimensioned so that the underside of the trough 22 of the U-shaped -back engages the central portion of one surface of the leg 19 and the marginal lips 18 engage the edge portions of the other surface of the leg in close fitting relationship. As shown in FIG. 3, the illustrated configuration affords a deeply channeled cross section for the body 14 to provide adequate strength and stiffness to this member and still insures close fitting engagement with the upper and lower faces of the end pieces 15 to avoid vertical play between the respective elements 14 and 15.
Pursuant to another feature of the invention, the toe 21 is formed so that -as it is progressively driven into one of the wooden structural members 13, the toe curls away from the original point of entry and draws the body member 14 toward the point of entry. For this reason the toe 21 is interconnected with the foot 20 by a heel segment 23 adjacent the lower back face of the foot and the heel is formed to define an .acute angle between the toe and the front face of the foot. In addition the toe is formed with a generally upwardly concave curvature from the heel 23 to the tip of the toe with the tip disposed substantially perpendicular to the foot 20 and elevated slightly from the heel 23 as seen in the dash line illustration in FIGS. and 6. This configuration promotes the curling effect of the toe 23 las it is driven into the wooden member 13 and increases the holding power of the pointed toe 21 (see solid line representations in FIGS. 5 and 6). As the toe curls away from the point of entry, the heel is elevated and drawn toward the point of entry at the same time raising the body member 14 into firm supporting position.
Due to the initial upwardly concave curvature of the toe 21 it will be appreciated that its subsequent downward curvature will be greater when the toe is driven into la hard wooden member 13 (see FIG. 5) than when it is driven into a soft wooden member 13 (see FIG. 6). That is, of course, because the 4harder wood provides more directional control than does the softer Wood.
If it is found that the wooden structural members 13 are very soft or if some decay or dry rot is present, the present invention provides for the use of an auxiliary anchoring element 24 to add support to the hanger bar 10. As shown in FIG. 6, the anchoring element 24 is illustrated as -a screw, although a nail or other device could also be used. To acceptthe element 24, the foot 20 is provided with -an aperture 25 located just above the heel 23 and centrally with respect to the sides of the foot. This location has been found to be very satisfactory because it reduces the tendency of the foot to bend across the reduced cross section of the foot as the toe ispdriven into one of the wooden members 13. It will also be noted that when the auxiliary anchoring element 24 is driven into the member 13 at a right angle to the foot 20, the element 24 is disposed at an angle with the toe 20 due to its downwardly curved position. This, of course, additionally enhances the holding power of the end element 15 since the toe 20 and anchoring element 24 have different paths of withdrawal.
To facilitate the ability of the hanger bar to support heavy building components, provision is made for rigidly interconnecting the body 14 and end pieces 15 after the pointed toes 21 have been driven into the wooden members 13. As shown in FIGS. 2-4 the end piece 15 is formed with an aperture 26 .adjacent the end of the leg 19 away from the foot 20. The aperture 26 is adapted to receive a fastener 27 such as a self-tapping sheet metal screw. By inserting the fastener 27 into the aperture 26 and screwing it into the body 14, the bar 10 becomes a rigid support member and the pointed toes 21 `are held firmly in the Wooden members 13.
In the preferred embodiment of the invention, the hanger bar 10 is formed so that the end pieces 15 may be retracted entirely within the body 14 prior to placing the hanger in its supporting position between a pair of the wooden members 13. This permits the body 14 to be longitudinally dimensioned to just fit between two of the members 13. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-4, the foot 20 is formed with a lateral dimension that is reduced with respect to the leg portion 19 by an amount equal to the distance that the two lips 18 project inwardly. Thus, las the end piece is slid into the body 14, the lips 18 will not interfere with the passage of the foot 20.
A modified embodiment of the invention is illustrated in FIG. 7. As shown here, the inwardly projecting lips 18 are relieved -at 27 adjacent the end of the body member by an amount substantially equal to the length of the pointed toe 21. This permits the end piece to be completely retracted into the body and .also allows the foot portion to be formed with la greater lateral dimension when the application of the hanger bar calls for increased strength in this portion of the bar.
The present invention also contemplates means for making the assembly of the three piece hanger blar 10 fast, simple and convenient. Accordingly, the end piece 15 is formed with tapered corners 28 and a pair of opposed, generally semi-circular recesses 29 adjacent the corners at one end of the leg 19. The tapered corners and recesses are formed `and dimensioned so that the distance from the inward most point of each recess 29 to the diagonally disposed corner 28 is less than the lateral dimension of the leg 19. In this way the leg can be quickly and easily inserted into the body 14 by engaging one of the upright sides 17 in one of the recesses 29 and then swinging the leg into alinement with the body (see FIG. 4). The diagonally disposed corner 28 will easily clear the other upright side 18 `and the leg 19 can then be slid axially into the body.
In order to enhance the general appearance of the hanger bar and give the body 14 as smoothly finished look the U-shaped trough 22 and 'bia-ck 16 Imay be deformed adjacent the open ends of the Ibody. As shown in FIG. 2 this not only nicely closes the end of hanger bar, but also by flattening the trough 22 a contact portion 30 of increased width is provided to cooperate with the slidable end piece.
From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that the hanger bar 10 is an extremely versatile device for supporting a variety of building components between wooden structural members. In the description thus far, it has been assumed that the hanger ybar will be normally installed as shown in FIG. 1. However, in some applications and situations it may be desirable or necessary to install the hanger bar in an inverted position or to simply invert one or both of the end pieces, for example to miss a hole, hard spot or knot in one ott the wooden members 13, as shown in FIG. 8. Since any of these orientations are possible, the inherent flexibility of installation of the hanger bar can be readily appreciated.
It will also be recognize-d that the body member 14 can be formed with other cross-sectional shapes without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined in the appended claims. Exemplary of such modified shapes are the cross-sectional view illustrated in FIGS. 9-12. In each of these modifications the body portion 14 of the hanger 4bar has been integrally reinforce-d -by doubling back the material of at least a portion of the upright sides 17 or marginal lips 18. This gives added strength to these areas of the hanger bar. The cross-sectional shape illustrated in FIG. 12 wherein the dou-bled back sides 17 extend to the opposite side of the back 16 and terminate in a second pair of inwardly directed marginal lips 31 adds even ygreater versatil-ity to the hanger bar. With this arrangement the end pieces 15 can be inserted 0n either side of the back 16 and,
of course, in either regular or inverted orientation as in the case of the hanger bar shown in FIG. 1.
I claim as imy invention:
1. A hanger bar for supporting building components between wooden structural members s-uch as studs, joists, rafters and the like, comprising, in combination, an elon gated 'body member longitudinally -dimensi-oned to lit between two of said structural members, said body being formed with a generally channel-shaped cross section having a medial back portion merging into a pair of laterally spaced upright side members each of which includes an inwardly directed marginal lip portion, and a pair of slidable end pieces each formed with an elongated leg portion carrying at one end a relatively short substantially perpendicular foot .portion having front and back faces which merge into an outwardly directed pointed toe terminating in -a sharp tip, said leg portions being laterally dimensioned for close fitting insertion between said upright sides at opposite ends olf said body and having a thickness greater than the thickness orf said sides but substantially less than the height of said sides, said medial back, sides and marginal lips being so formed and arranged to cooperatively rece-ive and snugly sandwich said legs of said thickness between at least a portion of said medial .back and said marginal lips, .said toe .portion being interconnected with said foot .portion adjacent said back yface thereof by a heel segment formed to dei-ine an acute angle between said toe and said Ifront face of said toot portion, and said toe Ialso being formed with a generally upwardly concave curvature `from said heel to said tip with said tip being substantially at right angles to said foot and elevated from said heel segment so that when said toe is progressively driven into one of said wooden structural members said toe curls away @from the original point of entry thereof and draws said heel toward said original point of entry.
2. A hanger bar as defined in .claim 1 wherein said foot portion of each of said slidable end pieces ris formed with an aperture therein dimensi-oned lto receive an auxiliary fastener such as a screw to provide additional holding power when said toe is driven into a soft wooden structural member, and said aperture being located adjacent said heel segment so that the tendency of said foot to bend across the reduced cross section thereof where said aperture is located when said toe is progressively driven into a hard wooden structural member is reduced.
3. A han-ger bar as defined in claim 1 wherein said leg portion of each of said slidable end pieces is formed with an aperture adjacent the other end thereof dimensioned to receive an auxiliary fastener such as a self-tapping screw for rigidly interconnecting said end pice and said Ibody after said toe is driven into said wooden structural member.
4. A hanger bar as defined in .claim 1 wherein said leg portion of each of said slidable end pieces is formed with tapered corners at said other end `and a generally semi-circular recess on each side thereof adjacent said tapered corners, said tapered corners and recesses being formed and dimensioned such that the distance from the inward most point of each `of said recesses to the diagonally disposed corner is less than said lateral dimension of said leg whereby said leg can be quick-ly and easily inserted into said body by engaging one of said upright sides in one of said recesses and then swinging said leg into alinement with said body with said diagonally dispo-sed corner inside the other one of said upright sides.
5. A hanger bar as deiined in claim 1 wherein said medial back portion is generally U-shaped in cross section and is dimensioned so that the underside of the trough of said U-.shaped back engages the central portion of one surface of said leg and said marginal lips engage the edge portions of the other surface of said leg in close fitting relationship.
6. A hanger bar as defined in claim 5 wherein said U-shaped medial back portion is deformed adjacent each end to substantially increase the width of the contact portion of said trough at the entrance ends of said body.
7. A 'hanger bar as defined in claim 1 wherein said foot portion of each of said end lpieces is formed with a lateral dimension less than that of said respective leg portions by an amount corresponding to the dimension of said inwardly directed marginal lips so that said end pieces may be slid completely within said lbody prior to placement of said tbody between two of said structural members.
8. A hanger bar as defined in claim 1 wherein said foot portion `of each of said end pieces is formed with a lateral dimension substantially equal to that `of said respective leg -portion and said marginal lip vportions are relieved adjacent each end of said body member to an extent at least equal to the length of said toe portion so that said end .pieces may be slid completely within .said body portion prior to placement of said body between two of said Structural members.
9. A hanger bar as defined in claim 1 wherein said body is formed from .a relatively thin sheet orf metallic material and at least a portion of said upright sides and said marginal lips are formed by doubling back the material thereof to produce a doulb'le wall whereby said body member is integrally reinforced.
10. A hanger bar as dened in claim 9 wherein said doubled back sides extends to the opposite side of said medial back and terminate in a second pair of inwardly directed marginal lips so that said slidable end pieces may .be selectively inserted on either side of said back.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,917,263 12/ 1959 Appleton et al. 24S-216 2,973,175 2/ 1961 Appleton 248-216 3,162,413 12/ 1964 Hexdall 248-71 3,163,386 12/1964 Collins 248-71 CLAUDE A. LEROY, Prima-ry Examiner.