US 3891189 A
A vertically elongated, H-shaped in cross-section, plastic post, with a vertically arranged slot formed in the web at the upper end of the post, and the web formed with a downwardly pointed extension at the lower end of the post. The side flanges which form the H-shape, terminate at the upper portion of the web extension. A central flange is formed on both sides of the web and extends between the pointed lower end towards the slotted upper end. The upper portion of the post is slightly springy at the slot area. The slot is formed as an upwardly opening, wide, upper portion and a narrowed lower portion, so as to receive a single link of either of two size link chains, i.e., a smaller link in the slot lower portion or a larger link in the slot upper portion, and to frictionally hold the link within the slot.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 Russo l l LINK CHAIN SUPPORT POST Michael T. Russo, I805 Lurchwood St.. Bloomfield Hills. Mich. 48084  Filed: ,Ian. 28, i974 [2i Appl. No.: 437,427
i521 US. Cl 256/1; D28/l; 256/l9 151] int. Cl E04h 17/00  Field of Search 256/19, 21, l. 22. 24. 256/47. 48; D28/l R. l A, l C; 088/3 I 56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 406.645 7/l889 Higgins ct ul. 256/2l 412.954 l0/l8li9 Gilbert 256/2l 147L682 5/l949 Groh 256/43 282L365 l/l958 Lach 256/19 2.841023 7/]958 Majcwskim. 256/47 X 2.906.507 9/1959 Hudson 256 X 2.935.304 5/]960 Hcwson 256/48 51 June 24, 1975 Primary Examiner-Dennis L. Taylor Attorney. Agent. or Firm-Cullen. Settle, Sloman & Cantor l 57] ABSTRACT A vertically elongated, H-shaped in cross-section. plastic post. with a vertically arranged slot formed in the web at the upper end of the post. and the web formed with a downwardly pointed extension at the lower end of the post. The side flanges which form the Hshape, terminate at the upper portion of the web extension. A central flange is formed on both sides of the web and extends between the pointed lower end towards the slotted upper end. The upper portion of the post is slightly springy at the slot area. The slot is formed as an upwardly opening, wide. upper portion and a narrowed lower portion, so as to receive a single link of either of two size link chains, i.e.. a smaller link in the slot lower portion or a larger link in the slot upper portion, and to frictionally hold the link within the slot.
7 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures LINK CHAIN SUPPORT POST BACKGROUND OF INVENTION The invention herein relates to an improved support post for supporting a molded plastic link chain. Such type chains are frequently used to form a fence or visual divider. by stringing a single strand of such chain between spaced apart posts which are embedded in the ground. This forms a single strand link chain fence useful for many purposes. as for example. to divide off a grassy area from a walk area. etc.
In such type fences. it is desirable to be able to easily insert the support posts into the ground and also to remove the support posts from the ground. Thus. a temporary fence may be provided which may be removed for mowing grass areas and reinstalled.
Since such type fences are primarily decorative. low cost is important as is durability and strength. Hence. plastic posts have been devised. such as that illustrated in my earlier patent No. Des. 225.114 issued Nov. 14. I972.
This present application relates to improvements to such type posts which produce a stronger. more durable. and more easily inserted and removed type of post.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION The invention herein contemplates forming a molded plastic support post formed generally in an H-shape cross-section. with the lower end of the web extended downwardly beyond the flanges which make up the H shape, and the extension being pointed as a spike. The upper end of the web is slotted to receive a chain link arranged in a vertical plane. with the slot preferably formed as an upper widened and a lower narrowed part to receive two different size links. wherein the links are frictionally or resiliently grasped within the slot clue to the inherent slight resilientcy or springiness of the web plastic material. A central flange extends from the point upwardly. centrally between the side flanges until just below the slot and is tapered. The lower ends of the side flanges are likewise tapered or curved into the plane of the web.
With this construction, the post is easily driven into the ground either by grasping it and pushing it into the ground. where the ground is soft. or by hammering it on its upper end with a suitable mallet or hammer. Its configuration gives it sufficient strength so as to prevent buckling or breaking under hammer blows and its smooth plastic surface as well as the arrangement of the lower ends of the side and central flanges permit it to be easily driven into the ground.
While the invention primarily relates to a long support post. it may be adapted to use as a stake by utilizing only the lower end of the support posts and forming a head thereon.
Thus. an object of the invention is to provide a strong. durable. post which may be hammered into the ground and easily removed therefrom and which will grip and hold the link chain without slippage. and yet. is of relatively inexpensive construction.
These and other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent upon reading the following description. of which the attached drawings form a part.
DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS FIG. 1 illustrates a front elevational view of the post.
FIG. 2 is a side clcvational view.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the post.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged. partially fragmented. perspec tive view of the post with a chain (shown in dotted lines) mounted therein.
FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 are cross-sectional views. to an enlarged scale. taken in the direction of arrows 5-5. 6-6 and 7-7 of FIG. I. respectively.
FIG. 8 is an elevational view of the upper end of the post. with a post cap mounted thereon.
FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional. elevational view ofa modification. namely. a stake or shortened post. This view is taken in the direction of arrows 99 of FIG. 10.
FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the device of FIG. 9.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION The link chain support post. generally designated as It). is formed of a substantially rigid plastic material, as by molding. in an H-shaped cross-section having a flat web II and side flanges I2. The lower end of the web is extended downwardly below the lower edges of the flanges I2 to form a flat. pointed lower extension or spike 13 for penetration into the ground. The side flanges have flat inner faces 15 which are perpendicular to the web and tapered or rounded outer faces 16. as illustrated in FIG. 4. The lower ends of the side flanges 12 are rounded or tapered at 17 into the plane of the surfaces of the web.
A sloped central flange 18, formed upon each face of the web. extends from the point upwardly. between the side flanges. to a location near the upper end of the post. The central flange is sloped outwardly and up wardly of the point to a high point 19 which is located just below the lower ends of the side flanges l2 and is closer to the web. than is the side edge of its adjacent side flange. From its high point. the central flange then tapers back into the plane of the web.
The upper end of the web is formed with an upwardly opening slot 20 made in two portions, namely. an upper widened portion 21 and a lower narrowed portion 22. A head 23 is formed around the edge defining the slot. The upper end of the post. that is, the web area around the slot. is slightly resilient or springy. and the widths of the upper and lower slot portions are sized to snugly receive a vertically arranged chain link. The upper portion 21 receives a larger size chain link 25 (see FIGS. 4 and 8) and the lower slot portion 22 receives a smaller chain link 26. Thus. the chain links are jammed or forced into the slot which frictionally and resiliently grasps a link and holds it in a vertical plane with the next adjacent link thus being in a horizontal plane.
A cap may be mounted upon the upper end of the post. Such cap may be formed with a decorative body portion 31 and a downwardly opening socket portion 32 sized and shaped to receive the upper end of the post. Preferably. the socket is slightly undersized so that the upper end of the post is resiliently squeezed into the socket and thus more tightly frictionally grips the wall defining the socket to hold the cap upon the socket and close off the upper end of the slot (see FIG. 8).
In use. the user may drive a series of posts into the ground. such as by hitting them on the upper end with a mallet, so that the post penetrates the ground to a depth which is a short distance. such as two inches or so above the lower end of the side flanges. Then a single strand of link chain is applied to the posts by pushing links into the upper end of the slot. W'herc caps are used. they may then be applied.
Should there be any pull or tension upon the link chain in one direction or the other. the horizontally arranged link which interlocks on either end with the ver tically arranged link placed within the slot. acts like a back-up or brake to prevent endwise movement of the chain relative to the post.
The lower configuration of the post makes it relatively easy to force into the ground and to lock with the ground. The ground tends to lock over the high points 19 on the central flanges. almost like a barb embedded within an object. Thus. the post is rigidly held in an upright position despite only a short distance of penetration into the ground. For removal of the posts. such as for removing the fence for mowing a grassy area, a sharp upward pull will remove the post from the ground.
The cross-sectional configuration makes it possible to hammer the top of the posts with a mallet or the like in forcing it into the ground. without buckling or breaking the post and transmitting the load directly towards the ground.
FIGS. 9 and 10 illustrate a modification in the form of a shortened post or stake which is made identically to the lower end of the above described post. Thus. the stake 40 is provided with a flat web lla. side flanges 12a and central flanges 18a. all formed in the same way as that described above. In addition, an upper or transverse flange 4l is molded integrally with the upper end of the stake. and preferably is curved or tapered in crosssection with a thickened center portion. as in the case of flanges 12 so that it may be hammered at its upper end. This forms a stake which may be used for a variety of purposes. such as for example. as a marker by applying a cap upon its upper end. or a stake for tying the end of a rope from a tent or other type of outdoor covering, etc.
Having fully described an operative embodiment of this invention, I now claim:
1. A vertically elongated plastic post comprising:
an H-shaped in cross-section body portion formed of a substantially flat web and opposite side flanges integrally joined together to form the H-shape;
with the lower end of the web being extended a distance beneath the lower end of the flanges to form a downwardly pointed spike portion on the lower end of the post;
a central flange formed on each of the opposite faces of the web and extending from the lower point of the web upwardly and centrally between and parallel to the side flanges;
the lower ends of the side flanges terminating at the upper end of the extension of the web. and
a vertically elongated. central opening slot formed in the upper end of the web. and centrally between the side flanges. the slot being formed with an clon gated upper portion and an elongated narrower lower portion; and the web portion defining the edges ofthc slot being slightly springy; the slot por tion widths being of a size for the slot portions each to snugly receive and frictionally grip a single chain link arranged in the vertical plane. with the lower slot portion sized to receive a smaller link than the upper slot portion.
2. A post as defined in claim 1. and the long. free edges of said central flanges being sloped from the web point outwardly of the plane ofthe web. i.c.. away from the web faces upon which they are formed. to a point located approximately at the lower ends of the side flanges. and then sloping upwardly back towards the plane of the web; with the maximum transverse height of the central flanges. relative to their web faces. being roughly no greater than the transverse height of the side flanges relative to their respective web faces.
3. A post as defined in claim 2. and the free edges of the lower ends of the side flanges each curving downwardly into the plane of their respective web faces.
4. A post as defined in claim 3. and the inner faces of the side flanges. that is. the side flange faces which face toward each other. each being substantially planar and perpendicular to the plane ofthc web. and with the outer faces of the side flanges each sloping in crosssectional direction. from the vertical center lines to wards their free. vertical side edges, so that the free edges of the side flanges are thinner than the central portions of the side flanges.
5. A post as defined in claim 1, and including a post cap formed of a body portion and a depending. downwardly opening socket portion of a size to receive the upper end of the post and to frictionally grip and 'slightly compress. against its springy resistance. the
post upper portion, with the socket thereby overlapping the upper open end of the slot for containing the chain link within the slot.
6. A post as defined in claim I. and including a transverse flange formed integral with the upper transverse edge of the web and extending between and integral at its opposite ends with the upper ends of the side flanges and being approximately of the sametransverse width as the upper ends of the side flanges. to thereby form a stake which may be hammered upon the transverse flange to drive it into the ground.
7. A post as defined in claim 6 and said central flanges extending to and having upper end portions integrally joined with the lower surface of said transverse flange on opposite sides of the web.
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