US 3491984 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 27, 1970 I w. J. NYBE'RG MODULAR RAI'LING ASSEMBLY 1 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed 001:. 28 1968 Jan. 27, 1970 w; J. mama 3,491,984
MODULAR RAILING ASSEMBLY Filed Oct. 28, 1968 3 Sheets-Sheet S M k P, w
I I k l Mm/me'.
United States Patent 3,491,984 MODULAR RAILING ASSEMBLY Wendall J. Nyberg, Kalamazoo, Mich., assignor to North American Aluminum Corporation, Kalamazoo, Mich., a corporation of Delaware Filed Oct. 28, 1968, Ser. No. 770,949 Int. Cl. E0411 17/16; E04c 1/24 US. Cl. 256-21 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A modular railing structure formed of prefabricated top and bottom railings, spindles, support posts, cover plates, adapter plates and locking elements all assemblable to form a rigid railing structure with concealed fasteners and by unskilled labor using simple tools.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Prefabricated upper and lower railings are formed of channels having opposed grooves in the walls thereof. Support posts and pickets may be formed of the same or differing widths, the pickets having their opposite ends received in the opposed channels of the top and bottom railings, the support posts having their upper ends received in the channel of the top railing. Cover plates are snapped into and slidable in said grooves. Some of said plates are locked to pickets and posts by keys extending from slots in the pickets and posts. Juncture points of the top railing are secured to the support posts by means of special brackets secured to and extending from the support posts and fastened to adapter plates within the top railing, the fasteners being covered by cover plates snapped into said grooves. Bottom railing ends are secured by brackets to support posts. Support posts are anchored from within to the base upon which the railing structure rests.
This invention relates to railing structures and has as one purpose the provision of a modular railing structure having pre-fabricated elements capable of assembly and erection by unskilled labor and without the need for special tools.
Another purpose of the invention is to provide a railing structure formed of prefabricated interchangeable parts capable of rapid assembly and resulting in a railing having elements of assured position and parallelism.
Another purpose is to provide a railing structure of attractive appearance and secured by concealed fasteners.
Another purpose is to provide a railing structure formed of basic components capable of assembly into rails of varying lengths.
Another purpose is to provide a modular railing structure capable of assembly at the job-site by use of locking elements effective to lock said structure securely without welds and with a minimum use of fasteners.
Another purpose is to provide a railing structure formed entirely of extruded parts.
Another purpose is to provide a modular railing structure having concealed interlocking elements effective to secure said railing structure in a rigidly locked assembly.
Another purpose is to provide a railing structure formed of a minimum number of parts.
Other purposes may appear from time to time during the course of the specification and claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention is illustrated more or less diagrammatically in the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a modular railing;
FIGURE 2 is a detail sectional view taken on the line 2-2 of FIGURE 1;
3,491,984 Patented Jan. 27, 1970 'ice FIGURE 3 is a detail sectional view taken on the line 3-3 of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 4 is an exploded detail view;
FIGURE 5 is an exploded detail view;
FIGURE 6 is a detail view; and
FIGURE 7 is a detail view of a modification.
Like parts are indicated by like numerals throughout the specification and drawings.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FIGURE 1, a railing structure of the invention is illustrated in assembled configuration.
The railing structure of FIGURE 1 includes parallel top and bottom rails indicated generally by the numerals 1 and 2, respectively. Rails 1 and 2 are channel-like in cross section and have their channels open toward each other. Spaced support posts 3 have their upper ends received within the rail 1 and their lowerends extending downwardly beyond bottom rail 2. Between support posts 3 a plurality of individual spindles 5 extend between rails 1 and 2 and have their opposite ends received within said rails. Between each adjacent pair of spindles 5 the rails 1, 2 carry cover plates such as that shown at 6 in FIGURE 1.
As may be best seen in FIGURE 2, the rail 1 is formed of a downwardly open channel having side walls 10, 11. The walls 10, 11 have spaced depending portions from which inwardly directed, elongated flange portions 10a, 11a extend. The spaced, opposed skirt portions of side Walls 10, 11 snugly receive therebetween the upper ends of support posts 3. The flanges 10a, 11a carry elongated, spaced, opposed, parallel grooves 10b, 11b which are coextensive with flanges 10a, 11a.
The cover plates 6 comprise elongated, generally rectilinear plates having smooth outer surfaces 15 and offset, coextensive, longitudinal side ridges or tongues 16, 17 formed for slidable reception within the grooves 10b, 11b, respectively. A key-receiving pocket or looking configuration 18 is formed at the center line of each plate 6 and is open at the opposite ends of plate 6 for reception of a locking key described hereinbe-low.
As may be best seen in FIGURE 5, the opposite end portions of plate 6 are chamfered or rearwardly cut back from the outer surface 15, as indicated generally at 19.
Each of the pickets 5 is generally rectilinear in crosssectional configuration and, as in the case of rails 1, 2 and posts 3, as well as plates 6 and the other elements described herein, the pickets 5 are conveniently formed of hollow aluminum extrusions. The opposite ends of pickets 5 are formed and adapted for snug reception within the opposed open channels of rails 1 and 2 and for engagement with the inner surfaces of the cross wall portions thereof, the pickets 5 being of sufl-lcient width to bridge entirely across the space between the inner grooved ends of flanges 10a, 11a of rail 1 and between the side walls 20, 21 of bottom rail 2.
Formed in the cross wall portions of each picket 5, which extend between the side walls of top and bottom railings 1 and 2, are slots 25. A locking key 26 is of sufficient thickness and Width to pass through the slots 25 in the side walls of a picket, the key 26 having a generally rectilinear central portion 27 formed and adapted to extend across the picket S and to have its opposite edges just filling the slots 25. The key 26 includes tapered opposite end portions 28 which extend in opposite directions from the picket 5 when the key 26 is positioned within the slot 25. The tapered locking ends 28 of key 26 are formed and adapted for snug, gripping or locking reception within the locking configurations 18 at the 0pposite ends of each cover plate 6.
Support posts 3a, as best seen in FIGURES 1 and 5, are provided for positioning at points intermediate the ends of a continuous length of upper rail 1. The support posts 3a have upstanding, centrally positioned extensions 30 formed on their cross wall portions. The extensions 30 are of a width corresponding to that of pickets 5 and hence their opposite longitudinal edges are in contact with opposed inner edges of flanges a, 11a of upper rail 1. The upper edge 31 of post 3a receives the flanges 10a, 11a, as shown in FIGURE 2 for example. Slots 32 are formed at the base of extensions 30 for positioning therein of a lock member 26a, the lock member 26a corresponding substantially to lock member 26 with the exception of its longer central portion 27a formed and adapted for extension between and for positioning of its opposite end portions within slots 32.
Support posts 3b are provided for positioning at points of juncture between aligned portions of rail 1 arranged in a continuing straight line. Posts 3b have the upper edges of their cross wall portions recessed as indicated at 40 for reception of an enlarged central portion 41 of a bracket 42. Portion 41, as shown at 41a, is secured as by welding within recess 40 at the factory. Bracket 42 has oppositely extending arm portions 42a arranged for extension along the line of rails 1 and2 and beyond the cross wall portions of posts 3b. Arms 42a carry apertures 43 therein for passage therethrough of fasteners 44.
Adapter plates 45 are formed and configured for reception within the inner or subchannel formed by the crosswall of rail 1 and parallel, spaced subwalls 46, 47. Plates 45 carry longitudinal side ridges or tongues 48 for sliding reception within opposed grooves 46a, 47a in walls 46, 47. Adapter plates 45 themselves are generally channeled in cross-sectional configuration and carry threaded apertures 49 for reception of fasteners 44. Adapater plates are' prevented from sliding movement away from desired positioned by staking to the subwalls 46, 47. It will be understood, as shown in FIGURE 3, that flanges 10a, 11a are cut away adjacent juxtaposed ends of rails 1 for passage of posts 3b.
Cover plates 6a are generally of channel form in crosssectional configuration and carry oppositely disposed, longitudinal, coextensive ridges or tongues 6b for snapping into the grooves 10b, 11b of rail 1. The cover plates 6a are of sufficient depth to cause their outer smooth cross wall surfaces 60 to lie flush with the outer surfaces of fiangeslfla, 11a of channel 1, as do the surfaces of plates 6, while the cover plate 6a nonetheless serve to mask the fasteners 44.
Support posts 3c are provided for positioning at juncture points between angularly disposed mating portions of rail 1, such as at the corners of a railing structure formed and assembled in accordance With the invention.
Posts 30 have their inner, angularly disposed wall portions recessed as indicated at 50 for reception and attachment, as by welding, of an enlarged central portion 51 of angle bracket 52. Bracket 52 has arms 52a extending from recesses 50 and arms 52a are apertured as at 53 for reception of fasteners 44. Adapter plates 45 and cover plates 6a are provided for employment with bracket 52 as in the manner described above with relation to brackets 42 and posts 30 extend between walls 10, 11 in the manner of posts 3b.
Bottom rail 2 extends in segments between support posts 3a, 3b, 30. Since rail 2 receives only the pickets 5, it may, when desired, be of less width in cross-sectional dimension. In this regard it will be understood that a railing structure maybe formed entirely of support posts and pickets having the cross-sectional dimensions of pickets 5. In such event the rail 1 may be formed substantially identically with rail 2.
Rail 2 has opposed longitudinal spaced grooves 2a, 2b for reception of the longitudinal side edges of cover plates 6. Slots 25a are formed for reception of key segment 27 in the manner described above.
L-shaped brackets 60 are provided, a fastener 61 attaching one leg of bracket 60 to a support post, as for example the post 3b as shown in FIGURE 1. A second fastener 62 is provided for extension upwardly through an opening formed in the bottom cross wall of rail 2 to engage the other leg portion of the bracket 60. The horizontal leg of bracket 60 rides within rail 2 and between the subchannel formed by upstanding spaced walls 20, 2d which also receive the lower ends of pickets 5.
One form of anchor for the railing structure of the invention is illustrated in FIGURE 6 wherein a pair of spaced nut elements 70, 71 are positioned Within a support post, such as the post 3a. A threaded rod 72 has its lower end suitably embedded in the floor or supporting surface for the railing structure. The upper end of rod 72 is secured to the nuts 70, 71. It will be observed that the nut 71 aligns with the spaced opposed ends of lower rail portions 2. Hence the fastener 61 may serve the dual purpose of securing bracket 60 externally to post 3a and of securing nut 71 within post 3a.
In FIGURE 7 an anchor is illustrated for use with a railing structure formed entirely of rails having the dimensions of rail 2 and support posts and pickets having the dimensions of pickets 5. The bracket is generally rectilinear and hollow in cross-sectional configuration. It will be observed that the anchor 80 is generally frustoconical in side elevation, having a lower horizontal portion of lesser extension than its upper horizontal portion. Hence the fasteners 81 for the anchors 80 will be substantially concealed and will yet have their head portions available for reception of a suitable tool.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. A railing structure including spaced upper and lower channel-shaped rails open toward each other, a plurality of spaced pickets having their opposite ends received in said rails, aligned slots in the opposite walls of each of said pickets, a key carried in the slots of each picket and having end portions extending in opposite directions from its associated picket and within one of said rails and a plurality of cover plates slidably received in said rails between each pair of adjacent pickets, each of said cover plates having locking configurations engaging said key end portions, support posts beneath adjacent abutting ends of said upper rails, a bracket secured to the upper end of said support posts and positioned within said upper rail abutting ends, an adapter plate carried within each of said upper rails, means fastening said bracket to said adapter plates and additional cover plates, said additional cover plates being snapped into engagement-with said upper rails and covering said brackets, adapter plates and fasteners.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,376,150 4/1921 Miller. 2,771,276 11/1956 Constance, et al 256-22 2,808,233 10/1957 Spcscha 256-22 3,033,532 5/1962 McFall. 3,313,527 4/1967 Eriksson 256-2l X I FOREIGN PATENTS 570,548 9/1958 Belgium.
DENNIS L. TAYLOR, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 25 6-65