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Publication numberUS3328887 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 4, 1967
Filing dateOct 20, 1965
Priority dateOct 20, 1965
Publication numberUS 3328887 A, US 3328887A, US-A-3328887, US3328887 A, US3328887A
InventorsWright Donald E
Original AssigneeWright Donald E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Layout tool
US 3328887 A
Images(1)
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 4, 1967 wm 3,328,887

7 LAYOUT TOOL Filed Oct. 20, 1965 FlG l f5 FIG.2

INVENTOR DONALD E. WRIGHT BY JZM/iZMcZ W/ ATTORNEYS FIGG United States Patent 3,328,837 LAYOUT TOOL Donald E. Wright, Box 387, Elm Grove, Wis. 53122 Filed Oct. 20, 1965, Ser. No. 498,904 8 Claims. (Cl. 33-83) This invention relates to an extensible device for producing angular relationships between surfaces and more particularly to a layout tool.

The device of the invention satisfies a need in construction and related industries for a selectively extensible and retracta le device which can be resiliently and removeably positioned between spaced surfaces and in predetermined angular relationships with respect to the surfaces.

One of the significant advantages afforded by the layout tool of the invention is the production in its use of substantial savings of time, manpower and money. The layout tool is effectively operable by one man. One adjustment of the selectively extensible and retractable edge of the tool will ordinarily sufiice in placing a plurality of plumb layout marks in a number of locations between the same surfaces or similarly spaced surfaces.

While the layout tool of the invention is particularly useful in establishing plumb relationships between floors and ceiling and other spaced horizontal surfaces, it can also be effectively used in applications requiring the establishment of level or other predetermined angular relationships. Ordinarily, the tool is used for the placement of plumb layout marks for the installation of dry wall, various types of paneling, all types of door jambs and other tasks requiring the establishment of a plumb line between a ceiling and floor.

The layout tool of the invention generally used in construction involving ceilings of conventional height consists of a level portion with a single arm or extension frame slidably and removeably secured to the level portion. Where conventional ceiling heights will be frequently exceeded in the normal use of the layout tool, a double or yoked arm or extension frame slideably and removeably secured to the level portion is preferred. It has been found that the greater distance being spanned in the latter case can be more accurately plumbed where the extension frame is provided with a stiffer frame which is not easily deflected from alignment with the level portion.

Maintenance of a selected position of the extension frame on the level portion has been achieved utilizing several means. In one embodiment, an edge of the level portion is provided with an elongated magnet. When the magnetizable extension frame is adjusted with repect to the level portion, the magnet acts to maintain the selected position while the unit is in use. In another embodiment, resilient biasing means are positioned between abutting surfaces of the level portion and the extension frame and act to maintain the elements in preselected positions.

One of the ends of the level portion of the layout tool of the invention is provided with a resiliently responsive means for changing the longitudinal dimension of the level portion. This level portion dimensional adjustment provides an important advantage for the layout tool. When the unit has been positioned between two surfaces for establishing predetermined angular relationships, the end of the level portion carrying the resilient means is positioned against one of the surfaces, and the extension frame is adjusted until firm contact is established thereby with the other surface in the desired angular relationship. The position maintenance means act at this junc ture to maintain the level portion and frame extension in their adjusted relative positions. After marking the predetermined angular relationship between the surfaces, the level portion can be biased against the resilient means to reduce its dimension and may then be removed from between the surfaces. The tool may be subsequently aligned between the same surfaces in a different location or surfaces spaced substantially the same distance apart by again reducing the longitudinal dimension of the level portion by biasing the resilient means against one "of the surfaces and positioning the layout tool in the desired angular relationship between the surfaces.

Since a layout tool spans the distance between a floor and ceiling, its length would ordinarily make the tool difficult to handle when not in use. The retractability of the extendable portion of the unit over the level portion thereof, however, makes it readily and conveniently transportable. For added versatility, the extendable portion of the layout tool can be completely withdrawn from the level portion which can then be used solely as a level instrument.

Various other objects and advantages of the invention shall become more fully apparent from the following drawings and description which describe the best mode presently contemplated for carrying out the invention.

FIG. 1 is a front elevation of the layout tool of the invention with some parts broken away;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the layout tool of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a partial sectional view of the layout tool taken along line 33 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view of the layout tool of FIG. 1 illustrating a resiliently responsive means positioned between the movable elements thereof;

FIG. 5 is a front elevation of a second embodiment of the layout tool of the invention;

FIG. 6 is a side elevation of the layout tool of FIG. 5; and

FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view of the layout tool taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 1 illustrates the layout tool of the invention, which is generally designated 1. The layout tool consists of two basic elements, a level 2 and an extension frame 3. The layout tool illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 is shown to be positioned between a generally horizontal floor 4 and ceiling 5.

As can be seen in FIGS. 1, 2 3 and 7, the level is formed with a frame, generally designated 6. The frame 6 is normally fabricated from a light-weight metal and, in preferred practice, is fabricated as an aluminum extrusion having a generally I-shaped cross section. The l configuration of frame 6 defines} vertically extending spaced parallel legs 7 and 8 which define parallel planes with respect to each other. The parallel legs are connected by a web section 9 having a generally uniform cross section throughout its length and which is positioned at right angles to the planes of legs. A number of longitudinally spaced openings it? are provided in web section 9 of the level frame to lighten the frame and to facilitate the use and storage of the level.

A number of longitudinally spaced level and plumb vial units 11, which are enclosed by protective casings 12, are mounted at longitudinally spaced intervals along the web section 9 of the level frame. The vial units 11 are secured to web section 9 at predetermined angles with respect to the planes of legs 7 and 8. As is shown in FIG. 1, the protective casings 12 are secured to web section 9 by bolts 13. The level employed can be of the type described .in the patent to H. I. Ziemann, 2,810,206, or in the US. patent application of Donald E. lVright, S.N. 377,881, filed June 25, 1964, for a Level.

As can be most clearly viewed in FIGS. 3, 4 and 7, the leg 7 of the level frame includes a working surface 14 which is provided with a recess into which a magnetic material 15 is secured along substantially the entire length of the working surface of leg 7. The magnetic material 15 secured in leg 7 of the level frame and Working surface 14 are precision machined to produce a unitary working surface which is parallel to working surface 16 of leg 8. The magnetic material serves to facilitate the use of the level by itself as a level instrument when Working near magnetizable materials. The magnetic material, however, additionally serves an extension frame securing advantage, which will be more fully discussed below.

Referring more particularly to FIG. 1, it can be seen that the lower end of the level 2 is provided with an end plate 17 spanning the I-section at the bottom of the level and is connected thereto. Supporting blocks 18 are mounted upon end plate 17 on opposite sides of web section 9 and between parallel legs 7 and 8. Pairs of bolts 12 are inserted through vertically aligned Openings provided in blocks 13 and end plate 17. Bolts 1? are reciprocably mounted in these openings and extend outwardly from the end of level 2 in a direction which is parallel to the plane of working surfaces 14 and 16. In forming the holes for bolts 19 in end plate 17 and in blocks 18, close tolerances are maintained to reduce the lateral displacement or wobble of the bolts to a minimum. Springs 24? are telescoped over the projecting ends of each of the bolts 19. Finally, the projecting bolt ends are threaded securely into a support plate 21. A felt or similar resilient pad 2-2 is secure-d to the outermost end of support plate 21 and is positioned in contact with floor 4 when the level is used as a layout tool. The pad 22 serves to prevent the marring or scratching of the floor upon which the layout tool is placed when in use.

As is shown in FIGS. 1 through 4, the extension frame 3 of the layout tool is connected to the level 2 for longitudinal sliding movement. The sectional view of FIG. 3 best illustrates the cross-sectional configuration of the elongated channel member 23 of the extension frame 3. Channel member 23 like level 2 is preferably formed from a light-weight metal such as an aluminum extrusion. The longitudinal axis of the channel member when connected to the level is parallel to the planes of working surfaces 14 and 16 of the level. A flange 24 is secured to the extended end of channel member 23 and projects therefrom in a plane normal to the axis of the channel member. To facilitate marking along the outer edge 25 of flange 24, the lower surface of flange 24 is gradually tapered at 26 towards edge 25.

The channel provided by channel member 23 is made to closely approximate the configuration defined by parallel leg 7 and working surface 14 thereof. When the channel member is telescoped in sliding engagement over the level, edge 25 of flange 24 is generally located in precise alignment with the corresponding edge of support plate 21. Therefore, after the layout tool has been aligned in plumb relationship between floor 4 and ceiling 5, utilizing the-vial units 11, edge 25 and the corresponding edge of support plate 21 are aligned and marks may be made at the aligned points on the floor and the ceiling in preparation for a subsequent installation.

Since the extension frame is freely slidable along leg 7 of level frame 6, it has been found to be necessary to provide a means for maintaining the extension frame in a selected position relative to the level. To produce a means for maintaining the extension frame in a desired position with respect to the level, an elongated, thin leaf spring 4 27, as shown in FIG. 4, is secured at 28 to the surface 29 of channel member 23 opposite working surface 14 of leg 7. In applications utilizing a leaf spring 27, the channel is slightly enlarged to permit the sliding movement of the channel member 23 with respect to leg 7 allowing room for the interposition of the leaf spring between the 0pposed surfaces 14 and 29. The elongated leaf spring 27 acts to firmly bias flanges 30, as shown in FIG. 3, of channel member 23 into firm engagement with the innermost edges of leg 7 opposite working surface 14. Utilizing such a spring, an operator using the layout tool of the invention can grasp adjustment knob 31 and adjust the vertical position of the extension frame to a desired position on level 2 and leave it in that position while in use. The leaf spring 27 then acts to maintain the vertical relationship of the extension frame 3 with respect to the level 2.

It has been found that the leaf spring 27 can be omitted from a magnetizable extension frame or frame having a magnetizeable portion. In this instance a channel defined by the channel member 23 can be made to very closely approximate the cross-sectional configuration of the parallel leg 7. The magnetic material 15 of the level will serve to maintain a preselected position between the extension frame 3 and the level 2 by magnetically attracting the material of the extension frame to the magnetic material 15 secured within the recess of the leg 7 of the level frame 6.

In the operation of the embodiment of the layout tool illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 4, the instrument is placed down with the pad 22 and support plate 21 of level 2 squarely on the floor. The channel member 23 and flange 24 of extension frame 3 are positioned in a somewhat retracted position with respect to the level 2. Level 2 is pushed downwardly against the bias of springs 20 a short distance, and extension frame 3 is extended vertically until contact with ceiling 5 is established. The layout tool is then aligned utilizing the plumb vial units 11 secured to the frame 6 of the level until a plumb relationship is established between the layout tool 1 and the ceiling 5 and floor 4. When the desired relationship has been established, the layout tool may be released and the bias of springs 20 between plates 17 and 21 co-operating with the leaf spring 27 or magnetic material 15 will maintain the layout tool in firm, but removable, engagement between the floor 4 and the ceiling 5. Plum-b marks may then be made along any of the aligned surfaces of flange 24 and support plate 21.

To move the layout tool 1 to another position for establishing further plumb relationships, the level 2 is depressed against the bias of the springs 20 causing the flange to be spaced from the ceiling 5 and permitting the removal of the layout tool to another location. In the new location, the springs 20 are again depressed pushing over plate 17 close to support plate 21, and the depressing force on the unit is released permitting the flange 24 of the extension frame 3 to be biased in firm engagement with ceiling 5 after plumb alignment has been achieved. This procedure can be repeated continuously without necessitating the readjustment of the extension frame 3 with respect to the level 2 as long as the unit is being used in the same room or a room with ceilings and floors in similar spaced relationship.

Another embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGS. 5, 6, and 7. Since the level 2 shown in the embodiment of FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 is the same in all material respects to that shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the same reference characters are used in the description of the level. In this embodiment, the extension frame 32 consists of a pair of channel members 33 positioned in sliding engagement with each of the parallel legs 7 and 8 of the level frame 6. The channel members 33 have configurations complementing those of the parallel legs 7 and 8 of the level frame 6. As is shown in FIG. 7, a leaf spring 34 is connected to the channel member 33 in sliding engagement with the parallel leg 7. This functions in the same manner as leaf spring 27 of the first embodiment. A series of spaced bridging plates 35 are positioned at longitudinally spaced intervals between channel members 33 and are connected thereto. A flat top plate 36 spans the channel members 33 and is connected to them across their top portions. Top plate 36 extends between the channel members in a direction normal to the planes of working surfaces 14 and 16 of the level 2 when extension frame 32 is slidably positioned on the level.

This yoke-type extension frame construction is designed for layout tools to be used in applications wherein greater than normal ceiling heights are frequently encountered. The bridging plates 35 joining channel members 33 and acting in combination with the pair of channel members serves to impart substantial mechanical strength to the extension frame 32 when it is in its extended position. Extension frame 32 serves to greatly inhibit the development of bends or curves or the lateral displacement of the frame 32 when the layout tool is used to span a substantial distance between a floor and ceiling. The results produced by the embodiment shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 is comparable to that achieved with the first embodiment, the improvement in the second embodiment lying in the greater strength and rigidity imparted to the extension frame 32 when in an extended position.

In use, one man can handily use either of the layout tools of the invention. He can readily align the tool between the surfaces being plumbed, leave the tool in the aligned free-standing position, mark the plumb lines, and move the layout tool to another position without adjustment. The need for one man to hold and another to mark is eliminated, as is the necessIty for readjustment of the tool after each alignment.

Various modes of carrying out the invention are contemplated as being within the scope of the following claims which particularly point out and distinctly claim the subject matter regarded as the invention.

I claim:

1. A layout tool comprising a frame having parallel working surfaces connected by a web aligned in substantially normal relationship with the planes of the working surfaces, a level vial connected to the frame in a predetermined angu-lar relationship with respect to the longitudinal axis of the frame, a plate secured to an end of the frame in normal relationship to the axis of the frame, a plurality of spaced studs slidably projecting through the plate in a direction parallel to the axis of the frame, the stud ends projecting from the plate being secured to a second plate, spring means disposed between the plates and biasing the plates apart, an extension frame provided with a channel complementing the frame portion defining the working surfaces thereof, the end of the frame opposite the plates being inserted into the complementing channel of the frame extension and being axially slidable with respect thereto, and means for temporarily maintaining the frame and the frame extension in a predetermined position with respect to each other whereby the layout tool may be adjusted between two surfaces in a predetermined angular relationship therewith, may be resiliently and removably biased between the surfaces and may be removed and replaced at points between the surfaces spaced from the original position without adjustment.

2. The layout tool of claim 1 wherein some of the studs are located on one side of the web and others on the other side of the web to minimize lateral movement between the first and second plates and to enhance the stability of the tool.

3. The layout tool of claim 1 wherein the spring means are telescoped over at least some of the studs between the first and second plates.

4. The layout tool of claim 1 wherein the temporary position maintaining means comprises resilient biasing means disposed between the frames.

5. The layout tool of claim 1 wherein the temporary position maintaining means comprises magnetic means on one of the frames and magnetizable means on the other of the frames.

6. A layout tool comprising a frame having parallel working surfaces connected by a web aligned in substantially normal relationship with the planes of the working surfaces, a level vial connected to the frame in a predetermined angular relationship with respect to the longitudinal axis of the frame, a plate secured to an end of the frame in normal relationship to the axis of the frame, a plurality of spaced studs slidably projecting through the plate in a direction parallel to the axis of the frame, the stud ends projecting from the plate being secured to a second plate, spring means disposed between the plates and biasing the plates apart, an extension frame provided with a channel complementing the frame portion defining the working surfaces thereof, the extension frame being provided with a flange at an end thereof and in transverse alignment with the longitudinal axis of the extension frame, the frame being inserted into the complementing channel of the frame extension at the end opposite the flanged end being axially slidable with respect thereto, and means for temporarily maintaining the frame and the frame extension in a predetermined position with respect to each other whereby the layout tool may be adjusted between two surfaces in a predetermined angular relationship therewith, may be resilient-ly and removably biased between the surfaces and may be removed and replaced at points between the surfaces spaced from the original position without adjustment.

7. A layout tool comprising a frame having parallel working surfaces connected by a web aligned in substantially normal relationship with the planes of the working surfaces, a level vial connected to the frame in a predetermined angular relationship with respect to the longitudinal axis of the frame, a plate secured to an end of the frame in normal relationship to the axis of the frame, a plurality of spaced studs slidably projecting through the plate in a direction parallel to the axis of the frame, the stud ends projecting from the plate being secured to a second plate, spring means disposed between the plates and biasing the plates apart, a pair of channel members provided with channels complementing the frame portions defining the working surfaces thereof and connected together in parallel relationship by bridging means, the frame portions defining the working surfaces being inserted into the complementing channels of the channel members and being axially slidable with respect thereto, the bridging means connecting the channel members spanning the web of the frame, a plate secured in transverse relationship to the projecting ends of the channel members, and means for temporarily maintaining the frame and the channel members in a predetermined position with respect to each other whereby the layout tool may be adjusted between two surfaces in a predetermined angular relationship therewith, may be resiliently and removably biased between the surfaces and may be removed and replaced at points be tween the surfaces spaced from the original position without adjustment.

8. A layout tool comprising a frame having parallel working surfaces connected by a Web aligned in substantially normal relationship with the planes of the working surfaces, a level vial connected to the frame in a predetermined angular relationship with respect to the longitudinal axis of the frame, a plate secured to an end of the frame in normal relationship to the axis of the frame, a stud slidably projecting through the plate in a direction generally parallel to the axis of the frame, the stud end projecting from the plate being secured to a second plate, spring means disposed between the plates and biasing the plates apart, an extension frame provided with a channel complementing the frame portion defining the working surfaces thereof, the end of the frame opposite the plates being inserted into the complementing channel of the frame extension and being axially slidable with respect thereto, and means for temporarily maintaining the frame and the frame extension in a predetermined position with respect to each other whereby the layout tool may be adjusted between two surfaces in a. predetermined angular relationship therewith, may be resiliently and removably biased between the surfaces and may be removed and replaced at points between the surfaces spaced from the original position without adjustment.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,848,003 6/1932 Chalupny 33--208 8 Bullivant 3388 Ward. Bullivant 33-208 Cook 33-'85 Stedman 33-161 FOREIGN PATENTS France. Great Britain.

LEONARD FORMAN, Primary Examiner.

H. N. HAROIAN, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1848003 *Apr 9, 1930Mar 1, 1932Chalupny WilliamLevel
US2245646 *Jun 30, 1939Jun 17, 1941Bullivant Lingham JExtension plumb rod
US2306677 *Aug 20, 1940Dec 29, 1942Ward Clarence RaymondMagnetic draftsman's device
US2551524 *Jan 8, 1948May 1, 1951Bullivant Lingham JExtension level
US3096588 *Jun 22, 1959Jul 9, 1963Cook Paul RMasonry guide apparatus
US3261102 *Jun 16, 1964Jul 19, 1966Stedman Victor SExtensible rule
FR1103267A * Title not available
GB796701A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4067117 *Jun 3, 1976Jan 10, 1978Bernard Ray AGrade checking tool
US4152838 *Dec 19, 1977May 8, 1979Cook Joseph GStraight edge level
US4202108 *Aug 4, 1978May 13, 1980Adams Daniel JrApparatus and method for marking points and lines during building construction
US4223445 *Mar 23, 1979Sep 23, 1980Goodland John LCarpentry measuring tool
US4524527 *Sep 17, 1982Jun 25, 1985Lloyd James LewisCombination level system for a thin rule
US4733475 *May 20, 1987Mar 29, 1988Youmans John WExtension level apparatus
US5263260 *Aug 3, 1992Nov 23, 1993Smith Lee RUseful in the installation of fascia material to a wall tile
US5442864 *Mar 29, 1993Aug 22, 1995Erman; Michael A.Level
US5642569 *Oct 2, 1995Jul 1, 1997Palmer; Gordon M.Telescoping measuring device
US5653415 *Apr 1, 1993Aug 5, 1997Peri GmbhAdjustable-height support for shuttering in the building trade
US6041510 *Mar 18, 1998Mar 28, 2000Huff; Charles A.Extension level, square and length gauge
US6173502 *Jan 11, 1999Jan 16, 2001Dane ScarboroughMagnetically engagable level sensing apparatus and standoff
US6594910 *Dec 15, 2000Jul 22, 2003James Scott WishartApparatus for and a method of providing a reference point or line
US6598304 *Feb 19, 2002Jul 29, 2003Paul AkersLaser leveling system, apparatus and method for building construction
US6990742Apr 22, 2004Jan 31, 2006Great Neck Saw Manufacturers, Inc.Wave level
US7165361 *Apr 24, 2003Jan 23, 2007Peter VanaganBuilding construction shores
US7497022 *Mar 31, 2007Mar 3, 2009James Arthur AarhusPlate level
Classifications
U.S. Classification33/372, 33/809, 33/374
International ClassificationE04G21/18
Cooperative ClassificationE04G21/1808
European ClassificationE04G21/18B