US 3604687 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Inventor Rex T. Moore 4722 Elmwood Court, Riverside, Calif. 92502 [21 Appl. No. 887,466
 Patented Sept. 14, 1971  FENCE STRUCTURE 10 Claims, 8 Drawing Figs.  US. Cl 256/65, 256/68, 287/54, 287/49  Int. Cl E04h 17/14  Field of Searc 256/65, 66,
. Primary Examiner-Dennis L. Taylor Attorney-l-lerbert E. Kidder ABSTRACT: A corral fence made of galvanized steel pipe and comprising horizontal rails passing between and joined to pairs of laterally spaced, parallel posts by means of connecting brackets and associated plates. Each of the brackets includes a pair of opposed bracket members having cylindrically curved end portions which clamp against the sides of the posts, and flat center portions, between which the plate is clamped. The plate has an eye through which the rail passes, and is provided with a vertically elongated slot, through which a bolt passes. The plate is frictionally held between the bracket members. The eye plate is struck a downward blow with a hammer, causing the plate to slide downwardly and indent the rail pipe on the top and bottom, so as to lock it against endwise movement.
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FENCE STRUCTURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates to corral fences of the type including vertical posts and transverse rails of galvanized steel pipe, and more particularly to an improvement in the means for interconnecting the rails and posts, which permits tilting of the rails for running them up or down slopes, and also provides for locking the rails against endwise movement.
Prior art fence structures have been variously constructed by assembling the parts and securingthem together by welding or riveting or the like. This requires the employment of expert workmen and adds substantially to the construction costs. Also, parts that have once been assembled by welding or riveting are difficult to disassemble, and therefore difficult to repair or alter.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The primary object of present invention is to provide a fence particularly adapted for use as a horse corral or livestock enclosure, which is simple and inexpensive to erect; capable of being put up by inexperienced and unskilled labor, using only the simplest of handtools; and which is so constructed that, when finally assembled, the horizontal rails are positively locked against endwise movement with respect to the posts. To this end, the present invention isconcemed with and provides a fence structure comprising posts and rails of galvanized steel pipe interconnected by rail plates, each having an eye through which the rails are passed. The eye is substantially elliptical, or elongated vertically, so that the rails can be tilted in the vertical plane for running up or down a slope. The plate has a slot and is frictionally held between a pair of clamping brackets. Each bracket is made up of a centrally apertured, flat, rectangular plate having cylindrically curved end portions which fit snugly against the sides of the posts. A single bolt passes through each pair of brackets and the slot of the associated rail plate, after which the bolt is tightened to clamp the brackets to the rail plate and to the post. Each rail rests on the top of its clamping brackets, and the latter act as anvils when the top of the eye plate-is struck with a hammer, causing the top and bottom sides of the rail pipe to be indented, thereby locking the rail against endwise movement with respect to the brackets and the plate.
The fence structure of the present invention has the important advantage of being quickly and easily constructed at relatively low cost, without the need for skilled labor. No special tools are needed, only a crescent wrench for the bolt and a hammer and anvil for driving the rail plate to indent and lock the rails. No welding, riveting or drilling are required, and the fence structure can be assembled and disassembled without any problem. Damaged parts can easily be replaced, and alterations can readily be made in an already-constructed fence. The ease of assembly makes it possible for anyone having little mechanical skill to erect and maintain the fence structure of this invention. Moreover, a fence constructed in accordance with the invention is extremely strong and durable, and capable of withstanding heavy side loads, as when a horse brushes against it.
Another object of the invention, therefore, is to provide a stock enclosure fence that is rugged enough to stand up to the hard usage to which such a fence is constantly exposed, and one in which there are no sharp edges or projections upon which the livestock might injure themselves. The posts and rails are preferably made of a galvanized steel pipe, and the rail plate is made with a rounded edge to provide a fence structure having no sharp edges. Such a fence structure is particularly useful for fencing in horses, cattle, or other stock, as the absence of sharp edges minimizes the possibility of injury to the animals.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a fragmentary perspective view of a fence structure embodying the principles of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary elevationalview of a capped post, partly in section;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged perspective view of the means for interconnecting the rails and posts, showing the position of parts prior to locking the rail against endwise movement;
FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of an eye plate, which interlocks with the rail and is a significant feature of the present invention;
FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view, taken at 55 in FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a horizontal sectional view along line 66 in FIG.
FIG. 7 is a partially cutaway fragmentary side view, showing the manner of interconnecting the abutting ends of the rails; and
FIG. 8 is a view somewhat similar to FIG. 5, but showing the top and bottom sides of the rail indented in response to a hammer blow, thereby locking the rail against endwise movement.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In the drawings, FIG. 1 shows a fence structure 10 embodying the principles of the present invention, which includes vertical posts 12 and horizontal rails 14 of galvanized steel pipe, or the like. The posts are arranged in laterally spaced pairs, appropriately aligned, with their lower ends preferably embedded in concrete footings 16 in the ground. The upper ends of the posts are covered by caps 18, having rounded edges, as shown in FIG. 2. The posts and rails are interconnected by means designated generally by the reference numeral 20, which will be described in more detail presently.
The interconnecting means 20 is best illustrated in FIG. 3, and consists essentially of an eye plate 22 disposed between a pair of clamping brackets 24, which are held together by a nut 26 and bolt 28. As shown in FIG. 4, the plate is elongated and has an eye 30 and a vertical slot 32. The slot has a longitudinal axis which passes through the center of the eye. The eye is elongated slightly along the axis of the slot and is bounded at one end by a rounded end portion 34. The rail 14 passes through the eye, and the purpose of the elongation is to permit tilting of the rail in the case where the fence runs up or down slopes. In a typical example, where the railing is made of 1%- inch pipe, the eye has a horizontal dimension of 1%inches to provide for clearance, and a 2 inch vertical dimension for tilting of the rail.
FIGS. 5 and 6 show how each clamping bracket 24 is formed with cylindrically curved end portions 36 adapted to fit snugly against the posts 12 for clamping thereto. The cylindrically curved portions of the brackets are provided at opposite ends of flat portions 38, and the junction between them is stiffened by reinforcing ribs 40, which are formed in the plate. The flat portions 38 receive the eye plate 22 between them, and each has a bolt hole 42 provided therein. The slot 32 in the eye plate is aligned with the bolt holes 42, and the bolt 28 is passed through them, as best seen in FIG. 6. When the bolt is tightened, the eye plate is clamped and frictionally held between the plate portion.
The rails 14 can be of galvanized steel pipe of the same size as the posts 12, and may be of any length that is convenient to handle and transport. In the construction of a fence, abutting ends of the rails can be conveniently connected together, as by the use of a sleeve telescoped over such ends. However, the preferred method of connecting two rail pipe sections together is shown in FIG. 7, where it will be noted that one of the rail ends is swaged down in diameter at 44 so as to fit snugly within the end of the adjoining rail. Such a connection provides a more rigid joint than with a sleeve, and the outside diameter of the rail joint is the same as that of the rest of the pipe. Thus, the pipe rail can be cut at any point coincident with the end of the fence, and the remaining end serves as a starting rail for the next fence, resulting in no waste.
As previously indicated, the eye plate 22 is a significant feature of the present invention, and cooperates with the plate portion 38 of the clamping brackets 24 to lock its associated rail 12 against endwise movement. With the rail atop the plate portions 38, as shown in FIG. 5, and the bolt 28 tightened and frictionally holding the plate between the plate portion, a hammer blow, or other force, applied to the rounded portion 34 of the plate serves to drive the upper edge of the rim of the eye 30 down into'the upper side of the rail, causing it to bite into the rail and form an indention 46 therein, as shown in H0. 8. This engages the plate and the rail for locking the rail against endwise movement. The upper edges of the plate portions serve as an anvil, so that an indention 48 is simultaneously formed in the bottom side of the rail, further locking the rail against endwise movement. The pressure or force required to form the indentations can be applied by a hammer 50, shown fragmentarily in phantom lines. The clamping effect of the arcuate portions 36 on the posts 12 is ordinarily sufficient to hold the brackets against slipping down the posts under the impact of the hammer. However, if desired, a block of metal 52, shown in phantom lines, can be held against the underside of the brackets to serve as an anvil to back up the brackets.
The construction and operation of the fence structure of the present invention are believed to be clearly evident from the foregoing, and are briefly summarized at this point. Pairs of posts 12 are assembled, using an appropriate number of interconnection means suitably spaced apart, depending upon the number of rails in the fence and its height. Each interconnecting means is tightened with the eye plate 22 thereof disposed as shown in FIG. 5. The pairs of posts are then positioned along the decires line of fencing. A length of rail 14 is then slid through the eye of the plate 22, until one end is properly positioned with respect to the starting pair of posts. With the rail resting on the upper edges of the plate portions 38, the top 34 of the eye plate is struck downwardly with a hammer to drive it downwardly slightly with respect to the bracket plate portions, so as to form indentations 46 and 48 in the top and bottom of the rail, for locking the rail against endwise movement, as shown in FIG. 8. Another length of pipe rail is slid through the next set of eye plates and is joined to the first length, in the manner shown in FIG. 7. Succeeding lengths of rail are similarly treated and the aforedescribed method of locking is carried out until the construction of the fence is complete. Of course, the manner of construction can be altered as desired or deemed expedient.
The invention thus provides a fence structure that is easily constructed quickly and efficiently, without the need for special skills or tools, and one which is sturdy and free of sharp edges, and therefore is especially useful for enclosing horses, cattle, and the like. One of the important features of the invention is that the rails are positively locked against endwise movement without being welded or riveted, and the parts thereof are readily replaceable in the event of damage.
While 1 have shown and described in considerable detail what I believe to be the preferred form of my invention, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that such details are not essential to the invention except as set forth in the claims,
and the invention may, in fact, take various other forms.
l. A fence structure comprising:
support means; a deformable fence railing extending transversely of the support means; and means connecting the railing to the support means, including a member mounted on the support means for movement relative thereto in a direction transverse to said railing, said member having an eye opening through which the railing passes, said railing being engaged by an edge of said opening, and said relative movement of said member with respect to said support means forcing said edge of said opening against the side of said railing and serving to distort said railing so as to lock the same against endwise movement.
2. The fence structure of claim 1, in which said member is a plate frictionally held to said support means, said plate being movable relative to the support means in response to pressure thereon sufficient to overcome such frictional hold for lockingly interengaging the railing and the plate.
3. The fence structure of claim 2, in which said support means engages the railing and serves as an anvil, and said pressure is directed across the eye opening toward the support means for indenting opposite sides of the railing.
4. The fence structure of claim 3, in which said railing comprises thin-walled cylindrical pipe, and the eye opening is oversize horizontally and vertically, so that the piping can be tilted for running up and down sloping ground.
5. The fence structure of claim 4, in which said plate has a slot and said support means has a perforation, and means passing through the slot and perforation for adjustably securing the member and the support means together.
6. The fence structure of claim 5, in which said slot has a longitudinal axis which passes through the center of the eye opening, the eye opening being elongated along said axis of the slot so that the railing can be tilted for running up and down sloping ground.
7. The fence structure of claim 1, in which said member is an elongated plate having a slot longitudinally aligned with said eye opening and said support means includes a pair of clamping members between which said plate is disposed, said clamping members having perforations aligned with said slot, and bolt means in said slot and perforations for frictionally securing the plate to the clamping members when said bolt means is tightened.
8. The fence structure of claim 7, in which said clamping members have portions disposable in contact with upright posts and clamped thereto with the tightening of said bolt means.
9. The fence structure of claim 1, in which said member is a plate having an eye opening at one end thereof, and a slot between the eye opening and its other end, said slot having a longitudinal axis passing through the center of the eye opening.
10. The fence structure of claim 9, in which said eye opening is elongated along said axis of the slot, and the adjacent end of the plate has a rounded end portion.