US 3811176 A
Handrails and posts are adjustably assembled by means of a rotatably adjustable pierced fitting having a general shape longest in a direction that is perpendicular to both the handrail and post at the same time. The fitting permits adjustment both for height and pitch and has separate means to allow the longitudinally extending posts and handrails to be slid to various positions and then fixed with respect to a portion of the fitting. Means are also disclosed for temporarily fixing the relative position of the posts, handrails and fitting pieces and then rotatably adjusting them, and then permanently fixing their position.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 91 Horgan, Jr.
145-1 May 2l, 1974 METHOD FOR ASSEMBLING POSTS AND RAILS Inventor: William J. l-lorgan, Jr., Pittsburgh,
Assignee: Blumcraft of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh,
Filed: Nov. 13, 1972 Appl. No.: 306,373
Related US. Application Data Division of Ser. No. 229,264, Feb. 25, 1972, Pat, No. 3,741,595.
us. c1. 29/469, 29/526 1m. (:1 B23p 21/00 Field 6: Search 29/526, 469; 403/400, 236,
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1/1900 Ofverstrom 403/84 2 1900 Milne 403/391 X 4/1921 Baer 403/55 1,427,075 8/1922 Dawson 403/59 1,880,767 10/1932 Burt 403/188 X 2,584,614 2/1952 Rasmussen et a1. 403/188 2,680,277 6/1954 Dodson et al 1 1. 29/526 3,550,969 10/1967 Robinson 403/188 X I Primary Examiner-Charlie T. Moon Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Paul & Paul 5 7] ABSTRACT Handrails and posts are adjustably assembled by means of a rotatably adjustable pierced fitting having a general shape longest in a direction that is perpendicular to both the handrail and post at the same time.
3 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures 1 METHOD FOR ASSEMBLING POSTS AND RAILS CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This is a division of application Ser. No. 229,264, filed Feb. 25, 1972, now US. Pat No. 3,741,595.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to ornamental handrails, and more particularly to a new and novel fitting which provides a means for adjusting and fixing the relationship between the handrail and posts while at the same time giving the appearance of being pierced by handrails and posts.
The art with respect to fittings, couplings and connectors for attaching handrails to their posts and to one another and for adjusting these members with respect to one another during installation is indeed crowded. See for example, the following US. Pat. Nos. 249,066; 1,864,160; 2,834,621; 2,847,177; and 3,233,871. None of these performs the functions and includes the structure set forth herein below, while at the same time providing the desirable ornamental appearance so necessary for modern day architectural applications.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention comprises a means and method for retaining handrails relative to posts and other handrails in fixed spaced relation and for permitting acurate and easy assembly and adjustment of same. The fitting in accordance with this invention gives the appearance of being pierced by the handrail and posts. Means are provided within the fitting to fix each portion thereof separately to the handrail or post, to join the portions temporarily and permit relative rotation therebetween, and to fix the rotation and axial position of the portions with respect to one another once they have been adjusted to the desired position.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a fitting and method of installation as hereinafter described which provides the desirable adjustment and esthetic appearance mentioned above.
This and other objects of my invention will become apparent from the following description with reference to the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a fitting in accordance with the preferred embodiment of my invention taken from the right front side; the figure including a handrail and post shown in phantom lines to illustrate the environment in which the fitting is used;
FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the fitting shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a vertical section on a reduced scale of the fitting shown in FIG. 1 with the handrail and post shown in solid lines;
FIG. 4 is a vertical section similar to FIG. 3 showing an alternate embodiment of my invention; and
FIG. 5 is a vertical section similar to FIG. 4 showing a further alternate embodiment of my invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Although specific forms of the invention have been selected for illustration in the drawings, and the following description is drawn in specific terms for the purpose of describing these forms of the invention, this description is not intended to limit the scope of the invention which is defined in the appended claims.
Referring to the figures and in particular to FIGS. 1 and 2 the fitting designated generally 10 comprises two portions 12 and 14 each having a longitudinally extending body of a generally cylindrical shape; the cylinders being of the same diameter though not necessarily the same length. The portion 12 has an axial cylindrical hole 16 therein for reception of an axial cylindrical extension 18 of the portion 16. Cylindrical extension 18 has a V-groove in its outer circumferential surface designated generally 20 which lies in a plane generally transverse to the axis of the body 14. The portion 18 and hole 16 are on coincident axes which axes are coincident with the common central longitudinal axis of both cylindrical portions 12 and 14.
The body 14 has a hole 22 shown more particularly in FIG. 3 for reception of the set screw 24 in threaded engagement therewith; the hole passing through the wall of the body and into the hole 16. The extension 18 and groove 20 are so positioned and dimensioned that when the parts are assembled as shown in FIG. 3, the lead end of the set screw 24 will enter the V-groove and most preferably engage the lead wall 26 of the V- groove as shown in FIG. 3. Thus on tightening of the set screw 24 the parts are drawn tightly together. It will be appreciated from what has been disclosed that with the set screw just entering the hole 16, but not tightly engaged with the V-groove 20, the parts will be retained in their axial relationship and will be free to rotate with respect to one another. The parts as shown have a close sliding fit with one another.
The fitting portions 12 and 14 each have a transverse through hole therein 13 and 15 respectively which form envelopes for reception of a post or handrail in its longitudinal direction. The post 30 is shown in phantom lines in FIG. 1 and in full lines in FIG. 3 and the handrail 32 is shown in phantom lines in FIG. 1 and in section in FIG. 3. The dimensions of ornamental handrails and posts are closely maintained in the industry and the fitting is accurately made with closely machined tolerances in the holes, so that the fittings slide in close sliding engagement with all the external surfaces of the handrails and posts. The fitting has uniform outside dimensions and when assembled the surfaces of portions 12 and 14 are contiguous and give the appearance of being uninterrupted longitudinally while being pierced transversely.
Each portion l2, 14 of the fitting has a separate fastening means disposed at its outer end preferably comprising an axial hole threaded through to the envelope which will contain the post or handrail and a set screw 34, 36 respectively 7 threaded into the hole for axial movement toward and away from the surface of the handrail having a large diameter (at least sevensixteenths inch) flat surface 37 for engaging and gripping along a large portion of the surface of the handrail or post on tightening of the set screw, to fix the position of the fitting portion on the'handrail, without damaging the rail.
A disc-like cap 38, 39 snaps into a groove formed by counterboring the end of the portion and serves to cover the exposed end of set screw.
In the alternate embodiment shown in FIG. 4 the adjustment means which permits relative rotation between the portions of the fitting and which fixes the member 40 has means for engaging the extensions of each of the separate fitting portions as well as a means for receiving a post and being adjustably fixed thereon. The cylindrical member 40 shown in FIG. 4 has a transverse through hole for receiving the post 42 similar to the through holes forming the envelopes previously described. Accordingiy the envelope of the member 40 closely surrounds the post 42 in sliding engagement therewith. The member 40 can be fixed in its position on the post by means of a large set screw 44 in threaded engagement with a portion of a inner threaded hole 46 in the member 40. Threaded hole 46 is at the base of a slightly larger hole 48 which is axial disposed in one end of the member 40. The member 40 has two tapped holes and receives two set screws 52, 54 as shown; the set screws functioning in the manner previously described, into the V-shaped grooves of the extensions of the body members 56 and 58. These body members are identical to the fitting portion 14, and are provided with fastening means at the ends and caps as previously described. In accordance with this embodiment two handrails can be mounted on a singel post and their relative rotated positions can be adjusted and fixed separately.
A further embodiment shown in FIG. 5 where, in a return connector, the adjustment means comprises two female members combined with a bushing. Cylindrical female members 60 and'62 each have axial holes, transverse threaded holes and set screws as clearly shown to perform the same function with respect to the extensions from the portions 64, 66 as previously described. The portions 64, 66 are identical to the portion 14. However,'each of these female members terminates in a flat transverse surface. which abuts a similar flat transverse surface of a cylindrical bushing 68 having the same diameter as the female members. The bushing is axailly threaded in the hole 70 for reception of the opposed fastening screws 72 and 74. The screws are flat headed screws and accordingly their heads extend conically to their threaded shanks. At the bottom of the axial holes 80 and 82, the bodies of the female members 60 and 62 are countersunk to receive the conical portions of the flat headed screws, as shown in FIG. 5. When the screws are tighten, the female members are in a fixed position with respect to the bushing 68. In this manner, two handrail members can be spaced from one another and their positions adjustably rotated and fixed in any desired location without a post.
OPERATION The methods of using this fitting in connection with one or more handrails and posts will now be described. The structure provides for a variety of novel assembly steps which can be adapted to fit the particular installation problems encountered in assembling handrails and posts both in open area, such as stair wells, and in closed areas, such as elevators or rooms.
One of the members, such as the member 12, can be fixedly connected in its desired location ona post and then the handrail having the member 14 in sliding engagement therewith can be relatively positioned for insertion into the fitting portion 12. Next the portion 14 can be fixed to the handrail 32 or alternatively it can be left in its sliding condition while the extension 18 is slid into the hole 16 in the member 12. Once the handrail has been adjusted for pitch, that is relatively ro- I tated with respect to the post 30, the set screw 24 can be tightened to fix the position of the fitting portions with respect to one another. If further adjustment of the handrail is necessary, it can be slid in its envelope in the coupling member 14 and then the set screw can be tightened to fix its position. Following this, the cap is inserted and snapped into the hole in the end of the fitting member.
It will be appreciated that variations on the steps above can be devised particularly in installations where close quarters or space is not a problem. For instance, in a stairwell where a plurality of members 14 will be positioned along a single handrail and a plurality of posts will already be in fixed positions, each of the posts can have placed thereon a portion 12. Next each of the members 12 can be fixed on their posts in their approximate desired height positions. Next, holding the handrail spaced away from the posts in the position desired, each of the fittings I4 is axially alined with its mating portion 12 on the posts. The ends of the extensions 18 can be just bearly inserted into the holes 16 for final adjustments and then the members can be slid together in unison. Prior to this time the fitting portions 12 can be loosened if further adjustment is needed and indeed with all the parts temporary assembled the set screws 24 can be partially engaged in the V grooves to prevent axial displacement of the members 12 and 14 while pitch is further adjusted on all the posts. With the members in their final position the final tightening of the axial disposed end screws and transversely disposed screws can be made.
The steps apply equally to the embodiment shown in FIG. 4. However, it will be noted that'it is necessary at some time to tighten the adjustment screw 44 prior to final tightening of the screw 52 so that the position of the intermediate member on the post 42 can be fixed.
It will be understood that various changes in the de- I tails, materials and arrangement of parts and steps which have been herein described and illustrated in order to explain the nature of this invention, may be made by those skilled in the art within the principle and scope of the invention as expressed in the following claims.
It will further be understood that the Abstract of the Disclosure set forth above is intended to provide a non-Iegaltechnical statement of the contents of the disclosure in compliance with the Rules of Practice of the United States Patent Office, and is not intended to limit the scope of the invention described and claimed herein.
What is claimed is:
I. A method of assembling a handrail to a plurality of posts by use of a plurality of fittings each fitting having two portions both having longitudinally extending bodies, one of said bodies having a longitudinal extension reduced in section and the other having a longitudinal hole therein for reception of said longitudinal extension in sliding rotatable engagement, said longitudinal extension having a groove in the outer surface thereof and the member into which it fits having a retainer means for engagement with said groove, each of said portions having a fastening means thereon and having an envelope formed therein by a transverse through hole for reception of the handrail or posts in its longitudinal direction, said fastening means communicating with said handrail or posts in said envelope, comprising the steps of:
a. sliding one of said portions of one fitting longitudinally over one of said posts; b. sliding the mating portion of said fitting longitudinally over said handrail; c. repeating the above steps with another fitting, a second post and another portion of said handrail;
d. lining up the extensions with the holes in the rea 6 spective fitting portions and then inserting said extensions into said holes;
e. advancing said retainer means to engage said extension in said groove; and
f. then fixing the position of the handrail by tightening said fastening means.
2. The invention of claim 1 wherein prior to step (e) adjusting said retainer means in said groove to fix the portions with respect to one another along their axes while allowing relative rotation therebetween and then adjusting the pitch of said handrail.
3. The invention of claim 1 wherein prior to step (b), fixing the position of said portion by tightening said fastening means.