US 3315943 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
April 1967 w. A. VAN .DEN BROEK 3,315,943
MODULAR METAL PICKET FENCE CONSTRUCTION Filed April 28, 1964 F I s. H. F O l 4 C 4 T B 2 0% I .l 2 9,. F .y W m o wvw O .F| 5 2 2 B 1 av FIG.2
Attorneys United States Patent Pa., assignor to This invention pertains to metal fences. ularly, it pertains to modular metal picket are easily assembled and disassembled.
Metal picket fences have been a perennial favorite among the various types of fence constructions. However, with rising costs of material and fabrication, many potential consumers have been unable to afford them. Further, as traditionally manufactured and erected, the fences require the utilization of heavy trucks and lifting devices for installation of long prefabricated runs thereof. Alternatively, they require the use in the field of skilled installers including welders.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a modular metal picket fence construction which can be easily assembled and disassembled.
A further object of the invention is to provide a metal fence construction which requires no welding for installation and which can be installed by relatively unskilled labor.
Another object of the invention is to provide a metal fence which can be readily erected in interchangeable modules each module, in turn, being made of interchangeable, readily replaced parts.
Still an additional object of the invention is to provide a fence which can follow a changing contour of terrain.
It is also an object of the invention to provide a metal fence which, while simulating the appearance of wrought iron, is preferably made of hollow light weight members.
An additional object of the invention is to provide a reusable fence which may be readily relocated, which can be fabricated of a variety of standard metal sections, which can be painted in the shop prior to shipment and shipped in knocked-down form.
It is also an object of the invention to provide a fence of the character described which is cheap to fabr-icate, easy to install, rugged and long lasting in use, and of highly ornamental appearance.
These and other objects of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from a consideration of the following drawings, wherein like reference numerals designate like parts, and wherein:
FIGURE 1 represents a fragmentary elevational view of a fence embodying the invention.
FIGURE 2 represents a section taken on line 22 of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 3 represents an exploded perspective view of typical portions of the assembly shown in FIGURE 1.
Referring now to the drawings, it will be observed that the modular fence of the invention comprises a plurality of vertical posts A, a plurality of pickets B- vertically aligned between the posts, an upper rail C and a parallel lower rail D which are mounted on the posts A with pivot means E. Pickets B are mounted on the rails C and D and are releasably retained by retainers F.
Posts A are of any conventional design and cross section. For ease in fabrication and reasons of economy it is preferred that they be hollow and of rectangular cross section. As shown in FIGURE 3, the posts include a front face 10, sides 11 and a hollow interior 12. Any metal, ferrous or non-ferrous may be used. The posts are preferably removably mounted in cylindrical sockets 13 which are permanently embedded in concrete footings 14 or, if permanence is desired, may be embedded More particfences which directly in the footings 14. For decorative purposes, each post may be capped by a finial 16, having a tapered dependent portion 17 adapted to be wedgedly retained Within hollow portion 12. Finia'ls 16 are preferably castings and may assume any ornamental configuration. They are readily mountable and demountable on posts A.
Pickets B are provided with a hollow core portion 20 proximate their upper end 21. Lower end 22 may be either hollow or solid. Obviously it is economically preferable that pickets B be hollow throughout their length and of uniform cross section. While any cross section may be used, a generally rectangular cross section conforms more closely to the traditional appearance of picket fences. Pickets may be made of any metal and each picket is of uniform length so that fabrication can be effected merely by cutting hollow bar or rod stock.
Upper rails C may be of any convenient or aesthetically suitable cross section. As shown they have a generally inverted U-shaped cross section including flanges 25 and 26 and web 27. Each rail is of equal length so that fabrication involves merely cutting of a standard length of channel into modular lengths. Web 27 is provided with a plurality of spaced orifices 28 through which picket ends 21 are unable to pass. While appearance dictates that these orifices generally conform to the cross section of end 21, the critical aspect of the construction is that ends 21, 27, are unable to pass through apertures 28.
Lower rails D are generally similar to upper rails C and may be fabricated from the same channel. Alternatively, where symmetry is not desired, they maybe totally different in appearance. In the embodiment shown they are identical in appearance and include flange 30, flange 31 and web 32. Web 32 is provided with a plurality of spaced apart orifices 33, which are on the same centers as orifices or apertures 28. However, unlike apertures 28, these are adapted to receive ends 22 and secure or guy them against horizontal motion. Consequently, orifices 33 conform to the external cross section of ends 22 and are slightly larger.
Pivot means E serve to pivotally and removably attach rails C and D to posts A. The means shown in the embodiment provide a single degree of freedom but, as used henceforth herein, the term pivot is also intended to include bi-planar universal means. In the embodiment shown, journal brackets 35 are mounted on sides 11 in any suitable manner as with bolts 36 and nuts 37. The brackets are conveniently mounted in horizontally aligned pairs and are sized so as to be concealed beneath rails C and D when the modules are assembled. Rails C and D are attached to the brackets 35 with carriage bolts 38, kept in fixed position with nuts 39. These bolts 38 which are thus journalled into brackets 35 serve to attach the rails to the posts and, simultaneously, permit pivotation.
The lower ends 22 of pickets B are retained in apertures 33 but would be free to move nonetheless were it not for the cooperative interaction between retainers F and upper rail C. As shown in FIGURE 2, the retainers F may conveniently take the form of finials, preferably cast, having an ornamental appearance similar to that of finials 16. They too have a tapered dependent portion 40 and a shoulder 41 which is larger than apertures 23 and is adapted to abut the top of web 27. Upward motion of pickets B is prevented when upper ends 21 abut the underside of web 27. Alignment is maintained and downward motion prevented by the insertion of dependent portions 40 into cores 20 until shoulders 41 abut the top of web 27. Flanges 25 and 26 conceal the mechanics of afiixation and any slight gaps which may appear due to non-perpendicularity.
Fences may be shipped essentially as shown in FIG- while able to abut the underside of web URE 3, that is completely disassembled, or they may be shipped partially assembled as dictated by the volumetric economics of transportation. One order of assembly is to mount brackets or other pivot means components on posts A and affix the rails D thereto. The posts can then be embedded in the ground and rails D will serve as spacing guides. Any change in ground contour or fence linearity can be taken care of by pivot means E. Pickets B can then be dropped into apertures 33 and rested temporarily on grade. Upper rails C are then pivotally mounted on posts A parallel to rails D. P-ickets B can then be raised seriatim in juxtaposition to the underside of web 27. Retainer portions 40, when wedgedly inserted into cores 20, through apertures 28, will prevent both horizontal and downward movement of pickets B.
As can be appreciated by those skilled in the art, the general concept disclosed herein, of which an exemplary embodiment has been discussed permits an all metal picket fence to be prefabricated with rudimentary shop equipment using any type of heavy gauge corrosion resistant metal. Ornamental features may be added or substracted based on the application without affecting the fundamental simplicity of installation and removal.
While an embodiment of the invention has been described which, at present, is considered preferred, it will be understood that various modifications may be made therein, and it is contemplated to cover in the appended claims all such modifications as fall within the true scope of the invention.
Having described the invention, what is claimed is:
1. A modular metal picket fence comprising a plurality of hollow pickets, an upper rail member having longitudinally spaced apertures each substantially complementary with the interior of a picket, a lower rail memher having longitudinally spaced apertures each substantially complementary with the exterior of a picket, post members supporting said upper and lower rail members with respective apertures in alignment, pickets received in the apertures of said lower rail member and the upper ends of said pickets abutting the undersurface of said upper rail member, and retainer members each having a shoulder and a tapered end extending therefrom, the tapered end having a cross-section slightly greater than the interior of a picket, the shoulders of said retainer members abutting the upper surface of said upper rail and the tapered ends received within the apertures thereof and axially wedged into press-fit engagement with the upper interior ends of respective pickets.
2. A modular metal picket fence comprising a plurality of vertical metal posts; upper and lower parallel horizontal metal rails between said posts having a plurality of spaced-apart pairs of vertically aligned apertures therein, the apertures in said lower rails being contoured to permit pickets to pass therethrough and to provide only horizontal guying, the apertures in said upper rails being contoured to prevent pickets from entering thereinto; means for attaching said rails to said posts; a plurality of vertical metal pickets having a hollow upper portion provided with a smooth interior surface, spanning the distance between said rails, the lower end of each picket extending through an aperture in said lower rail and the upper end of the picket touching said upper rail with its hollow interior portion axially aligned with the aperture therein which is paired with said lower rail aperture; and removable picket retainers including a shoulder abutting the top of the upper rail and an integral dependent Wedge having a smooth downwardly tapered surface extending through the aperture in said upper rail into planar wedging engagement with the smooth interior surface of said picket to keep it in wedged retention against both vertical and horizontal displacement.
3. The invention of claim 2 wherein said pickets are hollow throughout their length.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 265,826 10/1882 Johnston -5. 256-21 936,246 10/1909 Josler 256-22 948,834 2/ 1910 Wagler. 1,523,221 1/1925 Kendall 256-24 1,629,719 5/1927 Louden 256-24 1,664,080 3/1928 Mapson 256-22 2,371,921 3/1945 Tucker 256-22 2,560,014 7/ 1951 Wadsworth 256-22 2,655,345 10/ 1953 Lindman 256-22 2,771,276 11/1956 Constance et a1. 256-22 2,835,475 5/ 1958 Enghauser 256-24 3,107,900 10/ 1963 DePaolo 256- HARRISON R. MOSELEY, Primary Examiner. D. L. TAYLOR, Assistant Examiner.