US 3749368 A
Hinged loop cap of the type adapted for fitting upon the top of a fence post, so as to support a horizontally extending fence top rail. The loop caps may also include a wire strand supporting arm extending diagonally above and away from the loop cap.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Miller 2 HINGED LOOP CAP MEMBER  Inventor: Richard G. Miller, R.F.D. 7 Box 150,
Charlottesville, Va. 22901 221 Filed: Mar. 15, 1972 ] Appl. No.: 234,942
 U.S. Cl. 256/11  Int. Cl E041! 17/06  Field of Search 256/11, 34, S9, 65,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,839,898 1/1932 Skinner 256/11 1,106,279 8/1914 Burrows 287/54 C 2,876,027 3/1959 Sulmonetti 256/65 X [451 July 31,1973
223,092 12/1879 Bamhill et al. 256/11 X 1,440,852 1] 1923 Thomson 256/11 1,871,240 8/1932 Scheller 287/54 C 2,198,262 4/1940 Bergan [339/272 UC X 2,499,985 3/1950 Cafiero..... 339/272 UC 2,954,212 9/1960 Cox 256/11 3,428,300 2/1969 Sconzo 256/59 Primary ExaminerDennis L. Taylor Attorney-David H. Semmes  ABSTRACT Hinged loop cap of the type adapted for fitting upon the top of a fence post, so as to support a horizontally extending fence top rail. The loop caps may also include a wire strand supporting arm extending diagonally above and away from the loop cap.
7 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PAIENIE' m. 3 1 1915 snm 1 or 2 PAIENIEnJuuum 3.749368 sum 2 or 2 HINGED LOOP CAP MEMBER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention Fence construction, particularly wire fencesinvolving a plurality of vertically extending posts which support a plurality of axially aligned horizontal top rails upon which the wire is extended. Traditionally, such fences include loop caps mounted upon each post so as to support the horizontal top rail. Such loop caps may include an adjustable universal arm so as to support a plurality of barbed wire strands and the like diagonally with respect to the axis of the fence post. A work party of two or three men routinely experience extreme difficulties in fitting the top rails into the loop caps and in replacing the top rail without disrupting the entire fence line.
2. Description of the Prior Art Cox 1,773,5l9 Sconzo 3,428,300
The above patents are typical of the loop cap art. Coxs universal post top enables the positioning of the barbed wire strands above the loop capin a variety of diagonal attitudes. However, if the top rail is bent, broken or otherwise requires replacement, the entire rail is required to be withdrawn horizontally along the axis of the fence line. This requires a number of hands and more often than not results in the inadvertent lifting of adjacent caps and top rails. The difficulty is com pounded in setting up a new fence, wherein individual top rails are required to be inserted, removed and reinserted, if the rail is required to be bent or modified to conform to grade. I
Sconzo is typical of the loop cap which does not embody a wire supporting arm. Sconzofs loop cap is pivoted at its top, so that the horizontal rail 3 maybe laterally insertableinto a loop, as illustrated in FIG. 3. How- FIG. 2 is a side elevation of a loop cap involving the conventional line post top without wire support arm;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged vertical section, showing the lockingof the curvate top with the bottom cradle arm by means of laterally extending stud members;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary elevation, showing a further modification of the bottom cradle and top wherein the locking member is from complementary jagged configuration of top and bottom ends.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged side elevation of a modified top arm'locking feature and cradle arm; and
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective of another modification wherein the support arm tooth is engageable with a pivoted knob and locking lip attached to cradle arm.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS:
According to the present invention the loop cap may be constructed conventionally of galvanized steel, aluminum, plastic or a combination of plastic coated metals in the forms of an economic model, a standard I model and a heavy duty model. The loop cap 12 is fittaever, a plurality of hands would be required to perform this function. For example, one hand would have to hold the bearer to the lader, another hand would have to hold the remaining top rail in place, another hand would have to lift the pivoting piece 8, another would 7 haveto be involved in removing the rail and the nut so as to clamp the'rail in place. In Sconzo there is no rail support when the loop is opened. In the open attitude SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION According to the present invention, a loop' cap is provided with an inverted cup base, having a concave cradle atop the base so as to independently support the top rail. A curvate top half of the loop is pivoted at one side to the cradle and at its other side includes a latch member engageable with the cradle. As the latch is released, the top may be pivoted open for placement of the rail and the top isthen snapped over the rail for locking of the rail in place. The loop cap member may have a wire strand support arm component or may be of the simple line post top construction.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a partially fragmentary side elevation of the present loop cap including a concave bottom cradle and a pivoted top, having a diagonally extending wire support arm;
ble upon the top of a fence post 10 of any desired cross section. The loop cap includes an inverted cuplike base 14 and a concave cradle 18 having a hinge arm 42 at one side and latching ends 20 and 22 at the other side. The-curvate top member 24 includes a concave portion 23 engageable about a rail fitted therein. The curvate top may also include a wire support arm 24 extending diagonally above hinging portion 40 so as to include barbed wire supporting notches 26, 28 and 30 along an axial fold. Opposite the axial fold arms 48 and 50 extend downwardly into lateral studs 36 and 38, respectively engageable with complementary apertures 54 and 52 in the latching arms 20 and 22 of the cradle.
It is not necessary that the cradle or that the curvate top have bifurcated arms. Rather, they may both be of solid, heavy duty construction. In the mode illustrated in FIG. 2, the loop cap includes a' bottom cuplike portion 74 and a top curvate portion 76 hinged as at 78 and having a lateral stud 80 engaging a complemental aperturev in the lower cradle arm 82.
In FIG. 3 there is particularly illustrated the locking feature of the bifurcated wire support arm, as shown in FIG. 1. Manifestly, locking may be by means of a detent or the like. As illustrated in FIG. 5, the top arm 64" may have a plurality of teeth 66 and 68, engageable with insets or cutouts and 72 in the cradle arm-58'.
In the modification illustrated in FIG; 4, the hinge may include a horizontal pin 62 insertable through aligned apertures in the cradle 56 and curvate top 60. The latch member arm 64 may include complementary jagged configuration 66 snap locking with jagged configuration 68 in cradle arm 58. A
- In'FlG. 6 there isillustrated the mode where latch 72, including knob-84 and locking lip 82, is pivoted as at in the cradle arm extension 70 Lip 82 engages and locks in place jaw 86 affixed to top arm 88.
, As willbe apparent, the present loop cap cradles and supports the top rail whether or not the top rail is locked within the fence. This enables ready installation, as well as replacement of the top rails, without the use of extensive manpower to hold the rail being replaced or to steady other rails during the installation. The top rail may be locked'in place after the grade of the fence top is established then easily removed for adjustment of the grade or replacement after damage to the top rail.
Manifestly, galvanized steel, malleable iron, aluminum, plastic coated steel, vinyl coated steel, epoxy coated steel, and various other materials may be em ployed without departing from the spirit of the present invention.
1. A hinged loop cap of the type adapted for fitting upon the upper end of a fence post comprising:
A. a base of inverted cup-like configuration having a core engageable with a fence post top;
B. a semi-circular top rail cradle mounted atop said base; and configured to support independently a fence top rail;
C. a curvate top pivoted to said cradle at one side and having a latch member engageable with said cradle at its other side, so as to form with said cradle a circular fitting for said top rail; and
D. a wire strand support arm attached to said cradle top and extending diagonally thereof so as to support a plurality of horizontal strands apart from and offset with respect to said cradle.
2. A hinged loop cap of the type adapted for fitting upon the upper end of a fence post as in claim I, said curvate top latch member including at least one tooth engageable with a corresponding detent within the adjacent cradle side.
3. A hinged loop cap of the type adapted for fittting upon the upper end of a fence post as in claim 1, said latch member including a plurality of teeth, resiliently engageable with corresponding detents within said cradle arm, so as to lock said top to said cradle.
4. A hinged loop cap of the type adapted for fitting upon the upper end of a fence post as in claim 1, said wire support anus and said cradle being integral.
5. A hinged loop cap member as in claim 1, said wire support arm being formed from sheet metal'bent upon a longitudinal axis upon which the wire strand is supported and including two lower arms extending downwardly to engage complemental apertures in said cradle.
6. A hinged loop cap member as in claim 1, said cradle being of oblong cross section.
7. A hinged loop cap member as in claim 5, each of said arms including at its lower extremity a laterally extending stud which is lockingly engageable with an adjacent aperture in said cradle.