US 3342457 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
p 1967 L. G. BOBROWSKI 3,342,457
GUARDRAIL ASSEMBLY Filed Feb. 1, 1965 50 T5 50 32 INVENTORQ LOUIS G. BOBROWSKI ATTORNEYS United States Patent G 3,342,457 GUARDRAIL ASSEMBLY Louis G. Bobrowski, Berlin, Conn, assignor to The Stanley Works, New Britain, Conn., a corporation of Connecticut Filed Feb. 1, 1965, Ser. No. 429,528 4 Claims. (Cl. 256-21) The present invention relates to a guardrail assembly and more particularly to new and improved assemblies of the handrail type generally utilized adjacent automatic doorways and similar heavily trafiicked pedestrian areas.
A principal object of the present invention is to provide a guardrail assembly which can be quickly and easily erected in the form of variously configured modules of sturdy construction and pleasing appearance.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a guardrail assemblage possessing a high degree of adjustability and flexibility in both size and style while employing standard units adapted for rapid custom fabrication and assembly in the field.
Other objects will be in part obvious and in part pointed out more in detail hereinafter.
The invention accordingly consists in the features of construction, combination of elements and arrangement of parts which will be exemplified in the construction hereafter set forth and the scope of the application which will be indicated in the appended claims.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is an elevated side View partly in section illustrating an installed guardrail assembly embodying the present invention;
FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 are enlarged perspective views partially broken away of typical junction units employed in the assembly of the present invention; and
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 1.
Referring now to the drawing in greater detail, FIG. 1 depicts the embodiment chosen for illustrative purposes and shows an installed guardrail assembly typical of railings employed in conjunction with automatically operated doors. The assembly, generally designated 10, is shown as mounted and supported by a floor or footing 12 and a vertical wall 14 or similar support such as the frame of a door. It will, of course, be appreciated that the assembly may take various forms and may be mounted not only in the cooperative manner illustrated but also solely on the footing 12 or between a pair of closely spaced wall members. The assembly may consist of a number of repeating units or modules as shown in FIG. 1. Each module of the assembly contains at flat, relatively thin panel member 16 mounted within and entirely enclosed by a frame portion 18. However, where desired, the module may consist of the frame only, thereby providing various combinations of module structures, such as those alternately including and omitting the panel member 16.
The frame 18 generally comprises a plurality of vertically disposed supporting posts or balusters 20 which make take the form of a wall rail, as shown on the right of FIG. 1 and designated 20', or may extend to the footing 12 and may be suitably mounted thereon or anchored therein. As shown in FIG. 1, the balusters 20 are anchored within the concrete footing 12 with the aid of roll pins 22. The balusters 20 and 20', as well as the top or handrail 24, and the bottom and terminal rails 26, 28 respectively, are preferably elongated, extruded aluminum structures having the same generally rectangular cross section which prevents rotation thereof within the junctioning units or fittings 30, 32 and 34.
As illustrated in FIGS. 2 through 4, the fittings may 3,342,457 Patented Sept. 19, 1967 ice take various forms. Generally, they are all hollow members having a plurality of angularly oriented, unidirectional, intersecting cavities having a generally rectangular cross-sectional configuration of sufficient size to provide a smooth slip fit between the fittings and the rail and baluster members. As best shown in FIG. 1, the fitting 34 exhibiting a cross or X-shaped configuration may be slipped over baluster 20 on the extreme left and slid downwardly thereon to a position slightly below the middle thereof where it is properly secured in place and supported by the baluster 20. The fitting is preferably a die cast, aluminum alloy unit having a base portion 36 and a top portion 38, the portions being provided with aligned, generally rectangular cavities 40, 42 respectively. The cavities 40, 42 are slightly larger than the external dimensions of the baluster 2t} and extend unidirectionally into the fitting, joining in the center thereof to form a passage extending entirely through the fitting 34.
The fitting 34 is further provided with a pair of aligned side portions 44, 46 extending outwardly from opposite sides of the generally vertical base and top portions 36, 38 at substantially right angles thereto. Each of the side portions 44, 46 are provided with mutually aligned, gen erally rectangular cavities 48, 50 of the same size as cavities 40, 42, the cavities 48, 50 extending inwardly toward and intersecting the aligned cavities of the base and top portions. As shown in FIG. 1, the unidirectional cavities 40, 42, 48 and 58 all intersect at right angles to provide a continuous X-shaped passage conforming entirely with the external shape of the fitting 34. As best shown in FIG. 4, the base and side portions of the fittings 34 are provided with threaded apertures 52 adapted to receive set screws 54 for securing the baluster and rails against relative movement upon assemblage thereof. When the fitting 34 is intermediate the ends of the baluster and upon tightening of the set screws 54, the bottom rail 26 may be inserted into the side cavity 50 within the side portion 46 and secured therein against relative movement.
Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown the generally T-shaped fitting 30 which is supported on the top of baluster 20. Fitting 30 exhibits an overall construction and design similar to that of fitting 34 although, of course, modified in external shape or configuration. The fitting 30 comprises a base portion 56 and a crossbar portion integrally joined thereto, the crossbar portion comprising a pair of aligned side portions 58, 60 interconnected with the base portion 56 to form the T- shape of the fitting. Each of these portions contains a unidirectional cavity of rectangular cross section, the cavities 62, 64 of side portions 58, 60 respectively, being aligned to form a passage extending entirely through the fitting 30 while the cavity 66 of base 56 intersects and communicates therewith at substantially a right angle. Thus, as shown in FIG. 1, the fitting 30 may slip over the baluster 28 so that the baluster sits within the terminating cavity 66 while the top rail 24 slidably fits within side cavity 64. As mentioned hercinbefore, the fitting 30 is further provided with a symmetrical side portion 58 opposite portion 60, the symmetrical portion 58 being provided with a unidirectional cavity 62 which intersects the cavity 64 at substantially a right angle thereto. As best shown in FIG. 1, the guardrail assembly may be provided with a terminal rail portion 28 having a generally U-shaped configuration and adapted to slide into the side cavities 62 and 48 of the respective fittings 30, 34.
Referring now to FIG. 3 there is shown a generally L-shaped elbow fitting 32 having a construction substantially similar to the fittings 30, 34 and possessing a base portion 68 and a leg portion 70, each having: mutually intersecting terminating cavities 72, 74. The fittings 32,
in addition to being provided with threaded apertures 52 on the inward side of each portion for receiving the set screws 54 also contains within the base portion 68 the countersunk apertures 76 adapted to receive the threaded members 78 for attaching the fitting 32 to the wall 14.
As mentioned hereinbefore, each module of the guardrail assembly may contain a panel member 16 which is mounted within and completely enclosed by the frame portion 18 of the assembly. Referring now to FIG. 5, it can be seen that the rails and balusters are each provided with a longitudinal dovetail groove or mortise 80 extending along the entire length thereof. Where the assembly requires, each baluster may be provided with a mortise on both sides of the baluster 20. The mortise 80 is further provided with a relatively thin, resilient plastic or rubberlike liner 82 which assumes the dovetail configuration of the mortise 8t and securingly contacts the edge portions of the panel 16, the latter being dimensioned to readily slide into and out of the lined mortise 80. The liner 82 is particularly elfectively in eliminating any rattling of the panel 16 while accommodating slight irregularities and burrs on the rail and baluster members.
As will be apparent from the foregoing description, the assembly shown in FIG. 1 may be readily assembled by anchoring the balusters 20 in the footing 12 at the desired distances from wall 14. The bottom rail 26, cut to proper length, may then be inserted through the side cavities of one fitting 34 so that the latter will be positioned over the short center baluster 20. One end of rail 26 may then be inserted into the side cavity 50 of fitting 34 while the other end thereof slips into the leg cavity 74 of fitting 32. The assembled rail and fittings may then be positioned by sliding the end fitting 34 down over the tall baluster 26 so that the latter passes through cavities 40 and 42 therein. Upon reaching the desired level the short intermediate baluster 20 slips into cavity .0 until it contacts rail 26, after which the set screws 54 in the base portion 36 may be tightened to secure the fitting to the baluster. The wall rail 20' is then slipped into cavity 72 of fitting 32 and the fitting is secured to the wall by means of threaded member 78. Likewise, an intermediate baluster 20 substantially equal in length to the Wall rail is placed in cavity 42 of intermediate fitting 34. After sliding the panels 16 into place so that they are held within the lined mortise grooves '80 of the balusters, bottom rail and wall rail, the top rail having the fittings 30 and 32 atached thereto is put into place by sliding the top of balusters 20 into the cavities 66 and the top of wall rail 20' into cavity 72. Subsequently, the terminal U-shaped rail 28 is put into place and secured therein to complete the assembly and provide stabilizing support for the fitting 34.
Although the guardrail assembly may be made from any suitable structural material, it is generally preferred to employ extruded, aluminum alloy rails having an anodized or satin finish and die cast aluminum alloy junction units or fittings adapted for mounting on the balusters and rails as well as against generally vertical wall members.
As will be appreciated from the foregoing description, the present invention provides an improved flexibility and adjustability in handrail assemblies which permits the use of a minimum number of readily assembled standard elements. These elements can be easily cut to size and field assembled into generally rectangular modules of sturdy construction in a quick and facile manner yet provide a clean and artistically pleasing appearance.
As will be apparent to persons skilled in the art, various modifications and adaptations of the structure abovedescribed will become readily apparent without departure from the spirit and scope of the invention, the scope of which is defined in the appended claims.
1. A guardrail assembly having a frame comprising a plurality of elongated balusters mounted in an upright position on a support; at least one of said balusters comprising separate first and second baluster portions, a hollow fitting for the balusters having a pair of aligned unidirectional cavities forming a passage extending entirely therethrough and at least one side cavity angularly oriented with respect to said aligned cavities, said fitting slidably receiving a portion of the baluster within said side cavity; and an elongated rail of substantially uniform cross section slidably received within said passage and extending outwardly therefrom whereby the rail rests on and is supported by the baluster, said baluster and rail being fixedly secured Within said fitting against relative movement.
2. A guardrail assembly comprising a frame including a plurality of elongated balusters mounted in an upright position, at least one of said balusters comprising separate first and second baluster portions; and upper and lower fitting for each baluster, at least one of said lower fittings having a pair of aligned unidirectional cavities forming a passage extending entirely therethrough and at least one side cavity angularly oriented with respect to said passage, said first baluster portion passing into the side cavity; a lower rail extending through the passage of the lower fitting and resting on the first baluster portion within the fitting whereby the first baluster portion supports said lower fitting and lower rail, the second baluster portion supportably resting on said rail, at least one of said upper fittings having a first unidirectional cavity and a terminating side cavity angularly oriented with respect thereto, said second baluster portion being positioned within said terminating cavity; and an elongated top rail extending through the first unidirectional cavity of the top fitting, said top rail resting on and being supported by said second baluster portion, said top and bottom rails extending between adjacent balusters and being received by fittings carried thereon to form an enclosed polyhedral frame, said fittings including means contacting and securing the balusters and rails thereto.
3. A guardrail assembly including a module comprising a generally polyhedral frame and a panel mounted on the frame and enclosed thereby. said frame comprising a plurality of elongated balusters of generally rectangular cross section mounted in an upright position, at least one of said balusters comprising separate first and second baluster portions; an upper and a lower fitting for each baluster having rectangular passage-forming cavities, at least one of said lower fittings having a pair of aligned unidirectional cavities forming a passage extending entirely therethrough and a pair of side cavities angularly oriented with respect to said passage and on opposite sides thereof, said first baluster portion having one end mounted on a support and the other end positioned within one of said side cavities; a lower rail extending through the passage in said one lower fitting and resting on the baluster end Within the fitting thereby supporting said lower rail and fitting, one end of said second baluster portion being received within the other of said side cavities in the lower fitting, at least one of said upper fittings having a pair of aligned unidirectional cavities and a terminating side cavity angularly oriented with respect thereto, said second baluster portion having the other end thereof positioned within said terminating cavity; and an elongated top rail of rectangular cross section extending through the aligned cavities of the top fitting, said top rail resting on and being supported by said second baluster portion, said top and bottom rails extending between adjacent balusters and being received by fittings carried thereon to form an enclosed polyhedral frame, said fittings including means contacting and securing the balusters and rails thereto, said polyhedral frame having along a substantial portion of its inner periphery a mortise receiving and enclose said panel.
4. The guardrail assembly of claim 3 wherein said References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Paine 256-24 Martin 256-65 X Harrison et a1. 25665 Gascoigne et a]. 256-21 X 6 3/1939 George 28754 X 9/1939 Ewing 287-54 11/1958 Derrig 25622 X 2/ 1959 Blum 256-31 7/1963 Bieber 256-21 X FOREIGN PATENTS 11/ 1949 Great Britain. 11/ 1964 Great Britain.
10 DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner.