Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.


  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3875669 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 8, 1975
Filing dateApr 22, 1974
Priority dateApr 22, 1974
Publication numberUS 3875669 A, US 3875669A, US-A-3875669, US3875669 A, US3875669A
InventorsDonald G Hull
Original AssigneeDonald G Hull
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Electrical outlet box positioning device
US 3875669 A
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

I United States Patent H 1 [111 Hull Apr. s, 1975 I ELECTRICAL OUTLET BOX POSITIONING DEVICE 57 ABSTRACT [76] Inventor: Donald G. Hull, PO. Box 65L A I I y lmemmimm Fans Minn 55649 pparatus for use by electricians in mounting svutch boxes on the studs of buildings under construction. so [22] Filed: Apr. 22, 1974 that they are all at a desired height and all project the 7 required amount to be flush with later applied plaster- [A] Appl' 462'789 board of known thickness. It consists of a saddle slidable with respect to a pair of graduated rods which [52] U.S. Cl. 33/[80 R; 33/DIG. l0 may extend beyond the saddle in opposite directions. {51] Int. Cl... B25b ll/OO: B25B 1/00; B230 3/02 and having a guide plate to be pressed against the [58] Field f arch 33/180 R, DIG. 10. I74 G. edge of the stud to the face of which the box is to be 33/l97 I94, l26.7 R, I267 A. I69 R secured. One of the set of spacing members is attached to the guide plate to project beyond it at a par- [56] References Cited ticular distance from it. which distance determines the UNITED STATES PATENTS correct projection of the box. and the spacing mem- 2'96238! M960 Hudgson 33mm. [0 bers have lips located further apart than the length of 3436170 4/1969 at all U 33/180 R a switch box to determine the correct height of the Prl'nulry Examiner-Richard E. Aegerter Assistant E.ramiiwrWillis Little Attorney. Agent, or Firm-Merchant. Gould Smith & Edell box. The duplication of rods and lips makes it possible to set a box on either face of a stud simply by placing the tool so that one rod or the other touches the floor.

6 Claims. 5 Drawing Figures III'II" ELECTRICAL OUTLET BOX POSITIONING DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to the field of electricians tools. and comprises a tool for use in the initial part of a house wiring job where the necessary boxes for bolding switches and outlets are being installed throughout the house. It is customary for all switches to be mounted at a standard height above the floor. Convenience outlets are mounted much lower. but for the sake of appearance should all be at the same height. Boxes are available for ready attachment for the face of wall studs. conventionally two-by-fours. but it has been the practice to measure with a ruler and mark for the location of each box. The boxes are installed before the plasterboard. and their open faces must be flush with the outer surface of the plasterboard when installed. Heretofore this has been done by eye" or has required a separate measuring procedure.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION My invention comprises a simple tool by the use of which switch boxes may be installed quickly and readily at a desired height. on either the left-hand or the right-hand face of the studs. to project the correct amount for any contemplated plasterboard. It comprises in effect an adjustable template. constructed to have a height adjustment. a guide plate for positioning against the edge of the desired stud. and a spacing member having a surface against which the open face of the box is positioned and a lip on which the box rests. with one side against the stud. By providing duplicate height adjustments and duplicate lips it is possible to properly position a box on either face of the stud.

It is accordingly an object of the invention to provide a new and improved electricians tool. Another object of the invention is to provide a tool for use in setting switch boxes at desired heights and with desired projections. A more specific object of the invention is to provide such a tool which is adapted to be used for installing boxes on either the left-hand or the right-hand face of the stud.

Various other objects. advantages. and features of novelty which characterize my invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed hereto and forming a part hereof. However. for a better understanding of the invention. its advantages. and objects attained by its use. reference should be had to the drawings which form a further part hereof. and to the accompanying descriptive matter. in which there is illustrated and described a preferred embodiment of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings. FIG. 1 shows my improved tool in use;

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of my tool;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary side view of my invention;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view along the line 44 of FIG. 3; and

FIG. 5 shows a set of spacing members for use in my improved tool.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Turning now to the drawings. FIG. I shows my tool in use. and set up for positioning boxes at switch height on the right-hand face of studs and at a selected lesser height on the left-hand face of the studs. By way of illustration a building stud I is shown as resting on a plate II secured to the floor I2 of the building. The guide plate 13 of a saddle indicated generally by the reference numeral 14 has an inner surface 18 and an outer surface 19 in the form of a plane which is positioned to bear against the edge I of the stud with an edge I6 of the guide plate aligned with the corner between edge IS and the right-hand face 20 of the stud where the box is to be secured. Plate I3 is secured as by welding to a sleeve 21, to which a second sleeve 22 is welded in parallel relation. the axes of both sleeves being parallel to edge 16 and hence aligned with edge 16 and with the plane of surface 19. A pair of graduated rods 23 and 24 are slidable in sleeves 21 and 22, and can be secured in any positions by thumbscrews 25 and 26, all respectively. One end 27 of rod 24 is shown to extend past the like end of rod 23 and to rest on the floor.

A pair of studs 30 extend from the outer face of plate I3 for cooperating with a pair of wingnuts 3i to secure to the plate a spacing member 32 having holes 33 to pass the studs. A knob 34 may be secured to member 32 by a machine screw 35. To make my tool of general utility regardless of what thickness of plasterboard is to be used in the building. I provide a set of spacing members as shown at 32:: through 32 in FIG. 5. As indicated on member 32. each member includes a rectangular plate portion 40. a pair of lips 41. 42 at the ends of one long side of the plate portion. and a spacing rim 43 extending around three edges of the plate from lip 41 to lip 42. Lips 41 and 42 are further apart than the length of a box. and the thicknesses of the rims are different. and are the same as the thicknesses of plaster board which are to be encountered. Member c. for use when the front of the box is to be minimally spaced from the edge of the studs. may be said to have a spacing rim of zero thickness.

It will be seen that a box of the type having a nailing plate 5i secured to or incorporated in one of its sides. is positioned with its bottom resting on lip 42. and one edge of its open face pressed against plate portion 40. The box is now positioned correctly in height and projection. and can readily be secured to the studs by points 52 and struck out of plate 51, or other means such as nails.

If it is desired to secure a box to the left-hand face of the stud. the tool is simply inverted. so that the end 54 of rod 23 rests on the floor. The box in this case is rested on lip 41 rather than lip 42, and the height of the box is determined as before by the position of saddle 14, this time with respect to red 23.

Numerous objects and advantages of my invention have been set forth in the foregoing description. together with details of the structure and function of the invention, and the novel features thereof are pointed out in the appended claims. The disclosure. however. is illustrative only. and changes may be made in detail especially in matters of shape. size and arrangement of parts. within the principle of the invention. to the full extent indicated by the broad general meaning of the terms in which the appended claims are expressed.

What is claimed is:

1. An outlet box setting apparatus for positioning an outlet box on studs of buildings under construction. comprising in combination:

a mounting rod;

a saddle slidablc along said rod;

means for securing said saddle at any position along said rod;

said saddle including a guide plate for guiding said saddle along a stud. said guide plate having an outer surface facing said stud which defines a first plane in parallel alignment with the longitudinal axis of said rod, and having an edge remote from said saddle and also in parallel alignment with the longitudinal axis of said rod said guide plate further having an inner surface parallel to said outer surface.

a spacing member secured to the inner surface of said guide plate to project laterally therefrom and beyond said edge thereof. said member defining a plane spaced inwardly from said first plane;

and a support lip on said spacing member extending toward said guide plate:

so that when said rod is rested vertically on a floor. said saddle is set at a desired position along said rod said outer face of said guide plate is placed against a building stud with said edge aligned with an edge thereof. and an electrical outlet box is rested on said lip with its open end against said LII spacing member. and then secured to the face of the stud. said box will be located at a standard height from the floor and will project to the front line of a plasterboard panel to be secured to said stud.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1 including a pair of aligned mounting rods with respect to which the saddle is separately slidable.

3. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which said spacing member includes a pair of said support lips spaced in the direction of alignment of said mounting rod by a distance greater than the length of an outlet box.

4. Apparatus according to claim 2 in which said spacing member includes a pair of said support lips spaced in the direction of alignment of said mounting rid by a distance greater than the length of an outlet box.

5. Apparatus according to claim 3 in which said spacing member comprises a rectangular plate portion. and a pair of lips projecting from adjacent corners of said plate portion.

6. Apparatus according to claim 3 in which said spacing member comprises a rectangular plate portion. a pair of lips projecting from adjacent corners of said plate portion, and a spacing rim extending around three edges of said plate portion from one of said lips to the other.

i l F

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2962281 *May 20, 1955Nov 29, 1960Leonard L HodgsonMounting device for outlet boxes
US3436070 *May 31, 1966Apr 1, 1969Charles H UtleyJig for electrical outlet boxes
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4479639 *Sep 30, 1982Oct 30, 1984Kane Michael WTool for positioning electric outlet boxes
US4635372 *Feb 6, 1986Jan 13, 1987Myron TandeApparatus for positioning an electrical box
US4750271 *Sep 21, 1987Jun 14, 1988Ericksen Eric LTemplate for locating electrical outlet boxes
US4850115 *Jun 13, 1988Jul 25, 1989Fbn EnterprisesTool for positioning electrical outlet and junction boxes
US4890391 *Feb 7, 1989Jan 2, 1990Donald WarrenCommercial electrical alignment box tool
US5072523 *Dec 24, 1990Dec 17, 1991Dickson Product Development, Inc.Electrical box mounting tool
US5222303 *Dec 19, 1991Jun 29, 1993Jardine Stuart ATemplate for marking the location of junction boxes
US5361509 *Aug 27, 1993Nov 8, 1994Wheeler Sr Charles HElectrical box installation tool
US5615490 *Apr 20, 1995Apr 1, 1997Burchell; Richard A.Receptacle locator
US5860219 *Mar 19, 1997Jan 19, 1999Wilkinson; Carl E.Templates for positioning outlet boxes
US5921522 *Dec 10, 1996Jul 13, 1999Weber; Scott D.Fixture for positioning an electrical box
US5992036 *Dec 29, 1997Nov 30, 1999Cannelli, Jr.; VictorTool for installing electrical outlet boxes
US6233838 *Nov 12, 1998May 22, 2001Robert L. FalwellApparatus for holding, locating and dispensing electrical boxes
US6857197Sep 9, 2003Feb 22, 2005Thurman B. HicksElectrical box locator
US7509750 *Aug 1, 2006Mar 31, 2009James T. CameronReceptacle box installer and method
US8065811 *Aug 31, 2009Nov 29, 2011Kenneth HarrisonOne man high wall penetration measurement transfer tool
WO2008016444A2 *Jun 27, 2007Feb 7, 2008James T CameronElectrical receptacle box installer and method
U.S. Classification33/528, 33/DIG.100, D10/64
International ClassificationH02G3/12
Cooperative ClassificationY10S33/10, H02G3/125
European ClassificationH02G3/12F2