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Publication numberUS3869109 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 4, 1975
Filing dateJul 9, 1973
Priority dateJul 9, 1973
Also published asCA1024793A, CA1024793A1
Publication numberUS 3869109 A, US 3869109A, US-A-3869109, US3869109 A, US3869109A
InventorsRusso Dominic
Original AssigneeRusso Ornamental Iron Products
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Railing construction
US 3869109 A
Abstract
A railing construction includes a plurality of one-piece frame members, each having a substantially inverted U-shaped configuration including a horizontal upper portion and opposite upright portions. The upright portions of adjacent frame members are interlocked with the flanges of an I-beam member by interdigitated locking means integral therewith to form the supporting posts. The upper portion of each frame member has horizontally opening grooves facing toward the members. Flat brackets secured to the upper end of the channel member webs extend horizontally into the grooves. A top rail extends the length of the railing over the top of each post. Cooperating interdigitated locking means are formed integral on the upper portions of the frame members and on a top rail for locking the top rail to the frame member. Vertically spaced panel support members extend between the upright portions of the frame member substantially parallel to the upper portion thereof for supporting a substantially rectangular panel.
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United States Patent 1191 Russo Mar. 4, 1975 RAILING CONSTRUCTION V [75] Inventor: Dominic Russ0,'Cuyahoga, Ohio [57] ABSTRACT Assigneei kllssool'nflmenttll Products; A railing construction includes a plurality of one-piece lnc., Bedford Heights, OhIO frame members, each having a substantially inverted [22] Filed. July 9 1973 U-shaped configuration including a horizontal upper portion and opposite upright portions. The upright PP N0-1377,411 portions of adjacent frame members are interlocked with the flanges of an l-beam member by interdigi- 52 us. Cl. 256/59 256/24 med locking means integral helewith to form 51 Int. Cl E04ih 17/14 Supporting Posts- The upper Pmtio of each frame 58 Field of Search 256/21 22 24 25 26 member has horimmally Opening grooves facing 8 ward the members. Flat brackets secured to the upper end of the channel member webs extend horizontally [56] References Cited into the grooves. Atop rail extends the length of the railing over the top of each post. Cooperating interdig- UNITED STATES PATENTS itated locking means are formed integral on the upper Densmore. portions of the frame members and on a top ail for l 256/24 UX locking the top rail to the frame member. Vertically 330522l 2/1967 i spaced panel support members extend between the 3385567 5/1968 'g 256/24 upright portions of the frame member substantially 3:398:499 8/1968 Moore et 'ail'iiiiiliijiji111111113561 x Parallel to uPPer Portion thereof for Supporting 3 3,770,245 11/1973 Murdock 256/65 X Substantially rectangular P 1 Primary Examiner-Dennis L. Taylor 16 Claims 4 Drawing Figures ll' U lll lll 2. m j 1w A 1111' 1111' |||I (A ll \D I L:r\, 1 2 1 members...

1 RAILING CONSTRUCTION BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This application pertains to the art of railings, and, more particularly to railings for use along the edges of overhead walkways or balconies.

Railings of known types are fabricated from metal structural members. Examples of such railings are disclosed in US. Pat. Nos. 3,498,589 and 3,608,938 to Murdock. Such railings include upper and lower rails extending between and secured to a plurality of upright posts. A plurality of horizontally spaced upright bar members are secured to the upper and lower rails between the posts. In prior railings of this type, there are an extremely large number of different structural pieces and fasteners to be assembled. Therefore, fabrication of the railing is very expensive because a large number of different structural members and fasteners must be manufactured, and assembly is very time consuming.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved railing construction which is very simple to assemble.

It is another object of the present invention to provide an improved railing construction wherein the parts are interlocked with one another by the use of integral interdigitating locking means.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved railing construction having a onepiece frame member extending between spaced-apart upright posts and havingupright frame portions intersslsed, with est BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The invention may take form in certain parts and ar-v rangements of parts, a preferred embodiment of which will be described in detail in this specification and illustrated in the accompanying drawing which forms a part hereof.

operating interdigitated locking means integral therewith which are snapped together at final assembly." The vertical channel member is normally in the shape of an l-beam so that it may join adjacent frame In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the flanges of the upper portion of the frame member "define longitudinallyopening grooves at each end. The

vertical channel member has a bracket secured to the upper end of its web'which bracket includes a horizontal flange which is slidably received in the grooves when the verticalportion's of the frame member are assembled withits channel member.

A top rail in the shape of a downwardly facingchannel extends integrally over the top of the posts and the flanges of this rail and the upper portion of the frame member have cooperating interdigitated locking means integral therewith for locking the top rail to the upper portion of the frame member.

In accordance with a preferred arrangement, vertically spaced panel support members extend between the upright portions of the frame member substantially parallel to the upper portion thereof. The panel support members are for supporting a substantially rectangular panel. The panel support members preferably have hollow end portions aligned with holes in the upright portions of the frame member. Expansion fasteners extend through the holes into the hollow end portions of the panel support membersfor securing the panel support members to the upright portions of the frame member.

It is a principal object of the present invention to provide an improved railing construction which uses a m l igram .aamb rsafrli fstsnts rast raltttstts.

withthe present invention.

FIG. 1 is an elevational view of a railing construction assembled in accordance with'the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional elevational looking generally in the direction of arrows 2-2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a plane view of a frame member looking generally in the direction of arrows 3-3 of FIG. 2; and, FIG. 4 is a perspective illustration of a portion of an improved railing construction formed in accordance DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings, wherein the showings are for purposes of illustrating a preferred embodiment of the invention only and not for purposes of limiting same, FIG. 1 shows an improved railing construction constructed in accordance with the present invention. The railing construction includes a plurality of spacedapart upright posts A having their lower end portions 12 embedded in concrete, or received in sockets which are embedded in concrete or otherwise secured to a supporting surface.

The railing construction includes a substantially horizontal upper rail C extending between and over posts A. Vertically spaced panel support: member D extends between posts A substantially parallel to top rail C. Panel support members D arelocated intermediate top rail C and the support surface to which posts A are mounted. Panel support members D support a rectan gular panel member E which may be formed of opaque synthetic plastic material or the like.

In accordance with one aspect of the invention, a one-piece metal I frame member F extends between posts A. One-piece frame member F may be extruded from aluminum or the like. Frame member F has a generally inverted U-shaped configuration including a substantially horizontally extending upper portion 16, and opposite vertical portions 18 integral therewith. Vertical portions 18 extend substantially perpendicular to upper portion 16 from the opposite ends of upper portion 16. Vertical portions 18 may have a total length substantially equal to the distance from the top of a supporting surface on which the railing is mounted to the top ends of posts A.

One-piece frame member F. including all of portions 16 and 18 thereof. has a cross-sectional configuration as shown in FIG. 2. Frame member F includes a base 20-having a substantially plane surface 22 and an opposite surface 24. Base 20 has opposite longitudinal edges 26. A pair of legs 30 extend along the full length of frame member F and project outwardly from inner surface 24 of base '20. Legs 30 are spaced inwardly from opposite longitudinal edges '26. Legs 30 have outer inclined surfaces 32 which incline inwardly toward one anotheraway from opposite longitudinal edges 26. Inclined surfaces 32are spaced inwardly from opposite edges 26. Legs 30 have outwardly extending projections 34 to define outwardly extending locking surfaces 36 which generally face toward opposite surface 24 in spaced relationship thereto. Legs 30 have inwardly extending projections 40 in spaced relationship to opposite surface 24. This defines opposite surface 24 of base portion between legs 30.

A top rail member G has an inverted generally channel-shaped cross-sectional configuration as shown in FIG. 2. Top rail Gis extruded from aluminum or the like. Top rail G includes a flat web 50 and opposite integral flanges 52 extending substantially perpendicular to web 50. Flanges 52 have inwardly extending terminal end portions 54 which terminate at longitudinal notches 56 dimensioned for receiving opposite edges 26 on frame member F. Integral channel legs 60 extend upwardly and inwardly from terminal end portions 54. Channel legs 60 have inclined surfaces 62 adapted to mate with inclined surfaces 32 on legs 30. Channel legs 60 terminate at locking surfaces 66 which extend parallel to locking surfaces 36 on legs 30. Top rail G may be assembled to frame member F until the outer ends of outwardly extending projections 34 on legs strike against sloping surfaces 62 on channel legs 60. Further application of force will cause flanges 52 to deform outwardly until locking surfaces 66 on channel legs 60 can snap inwardly beneath locking surfaces 36 on legs 30. Opposite edges 26 on frame member F are then received in notches 56, while inclined surfaces 32 and 62 substantially contact one another along their entire length. Plane surface 22 on frame member F lies in a substantially common plane-with the outer surfaces of terminal end portions 54 on channel flanges 52. Top

rail G is then securelylocked to frame member F against displacement therefrom.

-It should be recognized that the defined integral legs, projections and locking surfaces described actually define integral interdigitated locking mean on top rail G and frame member F for locking top rail G to frame member F without requiring the use ofadditional fasteners.

In accordance with one arrangement. each post A is comprised of vertical portions 18 and a member 69 with an I-beam cross-sectional configuration as shown in FIG. 4. Member 69 includes a web 70 integral with opposite flanges 72. Flanges 72 have legs 60 thereon of the identical shape described with respect to legs 60 on top rail G in FIG. 2. In. further explanation, if web 70 were longitudinally split in half by a plane which would also longitudinally bisect post flanges 72, there would be two channel members having a substantially identical cross-sectional configuration with the crosssectional configuration of top rail G in FIG. 2. In other words, member 69 may also be considered as being constructed of two top rails G reversely positioned with webs 50 thereof in contact with one another and secured together to define web 70 of member 69. With this explanation, a further detailed description of legs 60 and the parts thereof on member 69 is unnecessary.

Legs 60 on member 69 and legs 30 on upright portions 18 of frame member F, defi'ne integral interdigitated locking means for locking with vertical portions 18 to form posts A without requiring additional fasteners.

In a preferred arrangement, the upper end of each member 69 has a generally T-shaped bracket member secured thereto. Bracket member H includes oppositely extending substantially flat horizontal portions 78 i and a central flat downwardly extending portion 80. Downwardly extending portion 80 is secured to web 70 as by pop rivets, welding, screws, bolts or in any other suitable manner. Preferably, pop rivets are used. Flat horizontally extending bracket portions 78 have opposite edges 82 receivable in grooves 42 on upper portion 16 of frame member F. That is, the width and thickness or horizontally extending flat bracket portions 78 is such as to snugly fit within grooves 42 between opposite legs 30.

As shown in FIG. 3, to manufacture frame member F, legs 30 are notched or cut away as at and the base 20 is then bent through an angle of 90. Upper portion 16 of frame member F is then defined between notched portions 90, while upright frame portions 18 are defined outwardly of notched portions 90. Legs 30 are preferably cut away all the way down to opposite surfaces 24 of base portion 20 on frame member F. Therefore, base 20 can easily be bent to provide right angle corners. After bending to the configuration previously described. the notches leave grooves 42 in upper frame portion 16 or longitudinally opening for reception of flat bracket portions 78. Frame member F is bent so that plane surface 22 forms the inner surface thereof. while legs 30 are located on the outside periphery of frame member F.

As shown in FIG. 4, each panel support member D comprises an aluminum extrusion having a rectangular hollow portion 102 and a channel portion 104 defined by spaced-apart channel legs 106 extending integrally from hollow portion 102. Channel legs 106 may have inwardly extending longitudinal projections 108 for gripping a panel received in channel space 104. The

upper edge of a panel I may be received in channel space 104'. Panel J may be a rectangular panel formed of opaque synthetic plastic material or the like. Obviously, other types of panels could be used.

Hollow portion 102 of panel support member D includes rectangular hollow end portions 112 alignable with rectangular holes as at 114 in base 20 of vertical portions 18 on frame member F. Expansion fasteners K are then positioned through rectangular holes 114 and extend into hollow end portions 112. Fasteners K are then expanded for securly locking panel support members B to upright portions 18 of frame member F. Expansion fasteners K may be of any known type. F asteners K include an enlarged head 116 and a shank portion 118 having a rectangular cross-sectional configuration of generally the same size as opening 114 and hollow end portion 112. Shank portion 118 is divided into two halves 120 and 122 by longitudinally extending slot 124. A tapered bore 126 extends through head 116 into shank portion 118. A metal pin 128 is insertable into tapered bore 126, and is driven inwardly for expanding shank portions 120 and 122 outwardly into firm engagement with the periphery of hole 114 and the inner wall of hollow end portion 112. Shank portion .5 118 may have a plurality of striations or ridges thereon for enhancing the locking effect.

ln constructing a railing of the type described, frame memberF isfirst formed to the-described configuration. Either upper or lower panel support member D is then secured between upright portions 18 with expansion fasteners K An edge of panel J is then inserted into channel groove 104 in the assembled panel support member. The other panel support member is then positioned with its channel space 104 receiving the opposite edge of panel J. The other panel support member D is then secured to upright portions 18 with expansion fasteners K. Preferably, the bottom panel'support member D is assembled first so that panel J can rest thereon with its bottom edge received in channel space 104 while the top panel support member is secured between upright portions 18.

Members 69 may then be moved toward upright portions 18, or frame member F moved toward members 69, so that flat horizontal bracket portions 78 will extend into grooves 42, and legs 60 on posts A will interlock with legs 30 on frame member F, in the manner previously described. A complete railing section is then assembled.

As many railing sections as desired can be assembled between a plurality of'spaced-apart posts. The assembled railing is then ready for securement to a mounting surface. or for positioning the bottom portions of posts A within sockets.

At an end of the railing, the outer flat bracket portion 78 may be omitted and the opening defined between post flanges 72 closed by a length of frame member having the same cross-sectional configuration as de scribed with respect to frame member F. In the alternative, an end post for a railing may simply be a vertically positioned member having the same cross-sectional configuration as top rail G. A bracket member having only depending portion 80 and one horizontally extending portion 78 would then be secured to the web of the end channel member. Top rail G extends over the top of posts A. Top rail G may be of sufficient length to span several posts and several sections of railing.

Although the invention has been shown and described with respect to a preferred embodiment, it is obvious that equivalent alterations and modifications will occur to others skilled in the art upon the reading and understanding of this specification. The present invention includes all such equivalent alterations and modifications, and is limited only by the scope of the claims.

Having thus described my invention, I claim:

1. A railing construction including vertical posts and a top-railing, a one-piece frame member positioned between said posts and having a substantially inverted U- shaped configuration comprised ofa substantially horizontal upper portion and spaced vertical portions integral therewith at its ends and vertically extending channel members coacting with said vertical portions by means of integral cooperating interdigitated locking means to form the posts for said railing.

2. The construction of claim 1 wherein said upper extendingsubstantially horizontally and having flat bracket portion opposite edges received in said grooves.

3. The construction of claim 2 and including a top rail, said top rail and said upper portion of said frame member having cooperating interdigitated locking means integral therewith for locking said top rail to said upper portion of said frame member, said top rail extending over the upper end of the posts.

4. The construction of claim 1 wherein said upright portions have bottom terminal ends and further including a pair of vertically spaced panel support members extending between said upright portions substantially parallel to said upper portion and located intermediate said upper portion and said terminal ends.

5. The construction of claim 4 wherein said panel support members have hollow opposite end portions and said base portions of said upright portions have holes therethrough aligned with said hollow opposite end portions, and expansion fasteners extending through said holes and into said hollow opposite end portions for fastening said panel support members to said upright portions.

6. The construction of claim 5 and including a substantially rectangular panel supported. between said panel support members.

7. In a railing construction including a plurality of posts and a top railing the improvement which comprises: a one-piece frame member having a generally inverted U-shaped configuration including a substantially horizontal upper portion having spaced-apart opposite vertical portions integral with said upper portion and extending downwardly from the end of said horizontalportions, said frame member having a crosssectional configuration defined by a base portion having opposite edges, 21 substantially plane surface and an opposite surface, said opposite surface having opposite locking and mounting legs extending outwardly there from and spaced inwardly from said opposite edges, said legs having locking surfaces extending outwardly therefrom toward said opposite edges and facing toward said opposite surface in spaced relationship thereto, said legs having projections extending inwardly therefrom in spaced relationship to said opposite surface to define a pair of spaced-apart grooves facing one another on said opposite surface between said legs, said legs being on the outersurface of said frame member and said plane surface of said base portion defining an inner surface of said frame member, said legs being cut away at said corners so that said grooves on said upper portion open substantially horizontally outward and so that said base portion can be readily bent where said legs are cut away to form said frame member into said substantially inverted U-shaped configuration.

8. The construction of claim 7 wherein said upright portions have bottom terminal ends and furtherincluding a pair of vertically spaced panel support members extending between said upright portions substantially parallel to said upper portion and located intermediate said upper portion and said terminal ends.

9. The construction of claim 8 wherein said panel support members have hollow ooposite end portions and said base portions of said upright portions have holes therethrough aligned with said hollow opposite end portions, and expansion fasteners extending through said holes and into said hollow opposite end 7 portions for fastening said panel'support members to said upright portions.

1'0. Thecons-truction of claim 7 and further including spaced-apart substantially vertical channel members having spaced-apart flange portions, said flange portions having inwardlyextending locking projections integral therewith and including flange locking projection surfaces, said legson said upright portions of said frame member being received between said flanges with said locking surfaces thereon in-terdigitated with said flange locking projection surfaces, said channel members and said vertical portions when assembled forming the posts of said railing.

11. The construction of claim 10 wherein substantially flat bracket members are secured to said upper ends of said channel members, said brackets including substantially horizontally extending flat bracket portions having opposite edges received in said grooves between said legs on said opposite surface of said upper portion of said frame member.

12. The construction of claim 11 and further including a top rail extending integrally over said posts and having a substantially inverted channel-shaped crosssectional configuration and including opposite channel legs, said channel legs having inwardly extending channel locking projections thereon including channel locking projection surfaces, said locking surfaces on said legs on said upper portion of said frame member and said channel locking projection surfaces being interdigitated for securely locking said rail to said frame member. i

13. The construction of claim 12 wherein said upright portions have bottom terminal ends and further including a pair of vertically spaced panel support members extending between said upright portions substantially parallel to said upper portion and located intermediate said upper portion and said terminal ends.

14. The construction of claim 13 wherein said panel support members have hollow opposite end portions and said base portions of said upright portions have holes the'rethrough aligned with said hollow opposite end portions, and expansion fasteners extending through said holes and into said hollow opposite end portions for fastening said panel support members to said upright portions.

15. The construction of claim 14 and including a substantially rectangular panel supported between said panel support members.

16. The construction of claim 7 and including spaced-apart substantially vertical channel members, substantially flat bracket members secured to the upper ends of said members, said brackets including substantially horizontally extending flat bracket portions having opposite edges received in said grooves between said legs on said opposite surface of said upper portion of said frame member.

Patent Citations
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US3304683 *Feb 5, 1964Feb 21, 1967Texas Instruments IncWall structure
US3305221 *Aug 17, 1964Feb 21, 1967Eugene V KlingGuardrail construction
US3385567 *Nov 5, 1965May 28, 1968Reynolds Metals CoRailing constructions and parts therefor or the like
US3398499 *Mar 2, 1966Aug 27, 1968MooreInterlocking extruded sections
US3770245 *Feb 7, 1972Nov 6, 1973Rebco West IncInterlocking frame construction
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3955800 *Jan 29, 1975May 11, 1976Russo Ornamental Iron Products, Inc.Railing structure
US4149700 *Jun 17, 1977Apr 17, 1979Stafford Robert TFence system
US4920717 *May 11, 1989May 1, 1990Kawneer Company, Inc.Ornamental handrail system
US6964410 *Nov 11, 2002Nov 15, 2005Hansen Tracy CSuspended glass panel railing system
US6994326 *Jan 20, 2004Feb 7, 2006Tyson Fence Co., Inc.Fence with plugged openings and methods of plugging same
US7651073 *Jun 17, 2004Jan 26, 2010Gibbs Edward LFence post
US7950095Dec 8, 2008May 31, 2011Safe Rack LlcGangway and method for manufacturing same
US8167274Apr 11, 2008May 1, 2012C. R. Laurence Company, Inc.Corner assembly
US8261393May 19, 2009Sep 11, 2012Saferack, LlcFall restraint equipment component and method for manufacturing the same
US8341821Aug 7, 2009Jan 1, 2013Saferack, LlcFall restraint equipment components and method for manufacturing the same
US8782838Jun 18, 2009Jul 22, 2014Safe Rack, LlcFall restraint equipment component and method for manufacturing the same
US8793861 *Nov 28, 2012Aug 5, 2014Safe Rack, LlcFall restraint equipment components and method for manufacturing the same
US8869335May 28, 2011Oct 28, 2014Safe Rack LlcGangway and method for manufacturing same
US20090144916 *Dec 8, 2008Jun 11, 2009Saferack, LlcA gangway and method for manufacturing same
US20100031455 *Jun 18, 2009Feb 11, 2010Honeycutt Robert WFall Restraint Equipment Component and Method for Manufacturing the Same
US20100031456 *May 19, 2009Feb 11, 2010Honeycutt Robert WFall restraint equipment component and method for manufacturing the same
US20100032633 *Aug 7, 2009Feb 11, 2010Saferack, LlcFall restraint equipment components and method for manufacturing the same
US20110225794 *Sep 22, 2011Safe Rack LlcGangway and method for manufacturing same
US20130087754 *Nov 28, 2012Apr 11, 2013Saferack, LlcFall restraint equipment components and method for manufacturing the same
WO2010019520A1 *Aug 10, 2009Feb 18, 2010Saferack, LlcFall restraint equipment components and method for manufacturing the same
Classifications
U.S. Classification256/59, 256/24
International ClassificationE04F11/18
Cooperative ClassificationE04F11/181
European ClassificationE04F11/18F