Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
HIDDEN FASTENER FORMED IN SITU DURING ATTACHMENT OF SHEATHING ONTO A SUPPORT MEMBER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2011/163653
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
A concealed fastener is formed in situ during attachment of a first grooved sheathing member to an underlying support member. The concealed fastener rigidly attaches the first sheathing member, and permits subsequent installation of an adjoining sheathing member while providing for proper spacing between adjacent sheathing members.

Inventors:
MARTEL, David (20 Coventry Lane, Harwinton, Connecticut, 06791, US)
Application Number:
US2011/041948
Publication Date:
December 29, 2011
Filing Date:
June 27, 2011
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
OMG, INC (153 Bowles Road, Agawam, Massachusetts, 01001, US)
MARTEL, David (20 Coventry Lane, Harwinton, Connecticut, 06791, US)
International Classes:
E04B5/00; B25C1/00; E04B1/38; F16B12/04; F16B15/00
Foreign References:
US20070234670A12007-10-11
US20070289249A12007-12-20
US20110314756A12011-12-29
US20100181362A12010-07-22
US20110197538A12011-08-18
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ANDREWS, Alexander (Alix, Yale & Ristas LLP,750 Main Street, 14th Flr, Hartford Connecticut, 06103, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A hidden fastener for attaching laterally adjacent sheathing members having side grooves to a support member, comprising:

a cross member having a generally flat body defining a lateral plane and extending between first and second opposite ends, the first end having at least one downwardly projecting prong and being configured for engagement with the groove of a first sheathing member, and the second end having a generally upwardly angled wing and being configured for engagement with the groove on a second sheathing member, the body defining a hole extending therethrough; and

an elongate anchoring member comprising a head and a shank, wherein

each end of the cross member is configured to engage the groove of an adjacent sheathing member and a portion of the anchoring member shank is configured to be driven through the cross member hole into the support member to rigidly attach the first sheathing member to the support member by engagement between the cross member first end with the first sheathing member groove.

2. The fastener of claim 1 , wherein the hole is further defined by a downward extending sleeve configured for a press fit with the anchoring member.

3. The fastener of claim 2, wherein the anchoring member comprises a collared upper portion configured for a press fit with the cross member sleeve and a lower portion configured to pass freely through the cross member hole.

4. The fastener of claim 1 , wherein the lateral plane and sheathing member are substantially parallel when the sheathing member and support member are attached.

5. The fastener of claim 1 , wherein the at least one downwardly projecting prong is configured to grip a surface of the side groove when the anchoring member is driven into the support member.

6. The fastener of claim 1 , wherein the wing is angled upward from the lateral plane at an angle within the range of approximately 15° to approximately 75°.

7. The fastener of claim 6, wherein the wing is angled upward from the lateral plane at an angle within the range of approximately 40° to approximately 50°.

8. The fastener of claim 1 , wherein the cross member comprises two downwardly projecting prongs, each prong defined by a corner of the cross member first end.

9. The fastener of claim 1 , wherein the cross member has two opposing side edges extending between the first and second ends, comprising at least one leg extending outward from one side edge.

10. The fastener of claim 9, comprising a pair of opposing side legs, each side leg extending from one of the opposite side edges.

1 1 . The fastener of claim 10, wherein the side legs are substantially symmetrical, have a curved form and extend out from the respective side edge and substantially perpendicular to the cross member body in the direction of the at least one downwardly projecting prong.

12. The fastener of claim 1 , wherein the cross member has two opposing side edges extending between the first and second ends and the anchoring member is generally T-shaped with a substantially flat head sized to terminate prior to either cross member edge when the sheathing member and support member are attached.

13. A method of constructing a decking surface by attaching laterally adjacent sheathing members having side grooves to a support member by engagement with hidden fasteners formed in situ during attachment, comprising the steps of:

providing a cross member with upper and lower surfaces, comprising a first end with at least one prong extending from a surface, an opposite second end with an angled wing projecting from the opposite surface of the prong, and an opening extending through the cross member from the upper surface to the lower surface positioned between the opposite ends;

positioning the first end of the cross member within the groove of a first sheathing member positioned in abutting relationship with the support member;

driving an elongate anchoring member through the opening in the cross member and partially into the support member, thereby forming a hidden fastener with the cross member and attaching the first sheathing member and support member; and

positioning a second grooved sheathing member generally parallel to and laterally adjacent the first sheathing member with the cross member angled wing engaged with the second sheathing member groove.

14. The method of constructing a decking surface of claim 13, wherein the step of driving the elongate anchoring member through the cross member opening creates a press fit between the anchoring member and cross member.

15. The method of constructing a decking surface of claim 14, wherein the step of driving functions to maintain the cross-member generally parallel to the support member.

16. The method of constructing a decking surface of claim 13, further comprising defining the spacing between the first sheathing member and the second sheathing member by means of said cross-member.

17. The method of constructing a deck surface of claim 13, comprising employing a power driving tool to drive the elongate anchoring member, the power driving tool comprising a barrel for holding a front most anchoring member in a generally axial position with a partially opened front portion configured to expose a portion of the front most anchoring member and a magazine for holding a cross member generally perpendicular to the front most anchoring member with the cross member opening generally aligned with the front most anchoring member while exposing the first end of the cross member.

18. The method of constructing a deck surface of claim 15, comprising: positioning the power tool with the cross member first end within the first sheathing member groove and generally parallel with the first sheathing member; and

driving the front most anchoring member through the cross member opening substantially perpendicular to the cross member and partially into the support member.

19. A power driving tool for forming a hidden fastener in situ during attachment of a sheathing member having at least one side groove to a support member, the hidden fastener comprising a cross member with an opening positioned between a first end and a second end, and an elongate anchoring member with a head and a shank configured to be driven through the cross member opening and partially into the support member, comprising: a barrel configured to hold a front most anchoring member in an axial position, the barrel having a notch-like front opening defining an upper surface and a substantially perpendicular side surface and which exposes a front portion of the front most anchoring member shank;

a magazine defining a channel for holding a plurality of cross members and automatically positioning a cross member in a forward position substantially perpendicular to the front most anchoring member axis and the cross member opening and front most anchoring member aligned, the first end of the cross member being exposed from the channel in the forward position; wherein

the magazine is configured to allow insertion of the first end of the cross member into and substantially parallel with a side groove in a sheathing member and a user initiates driving of the front most anchoring member shank substantially perpendicularly through the cross member opening and partially into the support member thereby attaching the sheathing member and support member and forming a hidden fastener with a press fit between the cross member and anchoring member.

Description:
HIDDEN FASTENER FORMED IN SITU DURING A TTA CHMENT OF SHEA THING ONTO A SUPPORT MEMBER

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

[0001] The disclosure relates to carpentry and, more particularly, to articles and methods for concealed attachment of grooved surface members to structural members.

[0002] Conventionally, deck planks or other sheathing members have been attached to joists or similar support members by a plurality of securing or anchoring members, such as nails or screws, driven downward through the top of a plank, such as a wood or composite board, and into the top surface of a supporting beam, such as a joist or ledger board. Although the concept is simple, professional quality installation using this approach requires a high degree of precision, significant time expenditure, and sometimes leads to a flawed result. In particular, planks must be carefully aligned to achieve desirable aesthetic as well as functional results, for example, secure attachment and uniform spacing or parallelism with gaps of proper size for surface drainage and for appearance. Also, the insertion of the nails or screws must be performed carefully to ensure proper penetration of the joist, which will be concealed from view by the overlying wood board at the time of insertion, in order to achieve optimal attachment. This process is time consuming and requires some skill.

[0003] Even if the installation is performed properly, the securing member's penetration of the upper surface of the plank leaves the plank with a pock-marked appearance and prone to rot and weather damage, which severely decreases the longevity of the deck. In addition, the nail or screws may work loose and protrude from the upper surface of the planks, which poses a risk of injury to users of the deck. Penetration of the top of the plank decreases the integrity of the plank and thus the deck as a whole, and increases the risk of injury.

[0004] These and other problems have spurred on numerous advancements in the field. For instance, an improved deck plank fastening system includes fasteners that attach to a side surface of the plank and a top surface of the joist using nails or screws. Such designs facilitate uniform spacing or parallelism of planks by providing tabs or vertically oriented flanges that engage adjacent planks. The tabs facilitate installation by locating the points of penetration at more readily visible and accessible positions. The fasteners improve the longevity of the resulting deck by repositioning the point of penetration to the side of the plank, which is less prone to weathering. In addition, the tabs reduce the risk of injury to the user of the deck by hiding the nails or screws below the surface. Also, the hidden fasteners improve the aesthetic appeal of the deck.

[0005] Many other improvements and permutations have been conceived in this field, including the provision of deck planks with side grooves for receiving the teeth or tabs of hidden fasteners. Such improvements have specific advantages in specific circumstances, but have not foreclosed innovation in the field. For example, different sizes and types of grooved planks require distinct sizes and configurations of hidden fasteners. The broad variety of possible fasteners to be purchased can make installation of grooved planks both confusing and costly.

SUMMARY

[0006] Disclosed herein is a concealed fastener, which, among other desirable attributes, can be used interchangeably with many varieties of side- grooved planks. The interchangeability of the inventive concealed or hidden fastener arises from its in situ formation during installation of the fastener to attach a plank to a joist.

[0007] A hidden fastener is formed in situ during attachment of sheathing members such as deck planks or wood siding onto a support such as a joist or beam. The hidden fastener includes a cross member that engages adjacent sheathing members, and also includes an anchoring member that becomes rigidly attached to the cross member during installation of the hidden fastener and sheathing.

[0008] In some embodiments, the cross member includes a central sleeve formed to generally match the anchoring member diameter, and the anchoring member becomes press-fitted into the sleeve by being driven through the sleeve into the support member. Preferably, the cross member includes a first clawed end that is engaged into a groove of a previously- installed sheathing member, and also includes a second winged end with an upward bend for engaging a groove of a subsequent sheathing member to be installed over the hidden fastener. Rigid attachment of the anchoring member to the cross member supports the winged end of the hidden fastener to enable smooth installation of the subsequent sheathing member.

[0009] Preferably, the cross member and the anchoring member are installed together using a power driving tool, such as a gas or pneumatic nail driver. For example, nail drivers manufactured by Basso Corp. are well suited for installing the in situ formed hidden fastener of the present invention. In some embodiments, the cross member and the anchoring member are fed together from separate magazines to be in alignment at the barrel of the power driving tool. Preferably, the winged end of the cross member is supported in its magazine during driving of the anchoring member.

[0010] Other features and advantages of the disclosed fastener and method will become apparent in light of the detailed description as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0011] Figure 1 shows in side view a hidden fastener attaching a sheathing member to a support member, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0012] Figure 2 shows in perspective view a first embodiment of a cross member for use in forming a hidden fastener, according to the present invention.

[0013] Figure 3 shows in perspective a sectional view of the first embodiment of a hidden fastener attaching a sheathing member to a support member.

[0014] Figure 4 shows in side view a subsequent sheathing member installed over the hidden fastener shown in Figures 1-3.

[0015] Figure 5 shows in perspective view a second embodiment of a cross member for use in forming a hidden fastener, according to the present invention. [0016] Figure 6 shows in perspective view the second embodiment of a cross member shown in Figure 5, positioned for attaching a sheathing member to a support member.

[0017] Figure 7 shows in side view a subsequent hidden fastener being installed and formed to attach the subsequent sheathing member to the support member shown in Figure 2.

[0018] Figure 8 shows in perspective view a custom barrel and magazines for use with a conventional power driving tool for installing and forming the inventive hidden fastener.

[0019] Figure 9 shows in side schematic view an exemplary power driving tool for installing and forming the hidden fasteners shown in Figures 1- 3.

[0020] Figure 10 shows in perspective view an exploded assembly of a conventional power driving tool.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0021] Referring to Figure 1 , a sheathing member 2, such as for example a deck plank, is attached to a support member 4, such as for example a deck joist, by way of a hidden fastener 6. The hidden fastener includes a cross member 8, which has a first end 13a engaged into a groove 12 formed on the side of the deck plank 2. The hidden fastener also includes an anchoring member 10, such as for example a nail or a ballistic screw, which is rigidly attached to the cross member 8 and holds the cross member 8 substantially parallel to the joist when installed. Preferably, the anchoring member 10 is attached to the cross member by a press fit formed when the anchoring member 10 is driven through the cross member 8. Accordingly, the second end 13b of the cross member 8 is supported at a fixed distance from the joist or support member, substantially of equal height with the first end of the cross member.

[0022] Referring to Figure 2, the cross member 8 includes a first end 13a formed with downward-curving corners or claws 14 for gripping a lower side of the groove 12 formed in a previously-installed plank or sheathing member 2. The cross member also includes a second end 13b formed with an upward-curving wing 16 that provides for easier assembly of a subsequent plank or sheathing member 2 onto the already-installed cross member. Preferably, the wing 16 forms an angle A with the generally planar body 17 of the cross member 8, for optimal engagement of the subsequent plank onto the wing 16. Preferably the angle A is within a range of approximately 10° to approximately 90°; more preferably between 15° and 75°; more preferably between 30° and 60°. In the depicted preferred embodiment, the angle A is approximately 45°. As shown, this embodiment of cross member 8 also has a small dip proximate the apex of the body 13 and wing 16.

[0023] In this embodiment, the body 17 of the cross member 8 also includes a hole 18 configured for receiving the anchoring member 10 during installation of the fastener. Here, the hole 18 is downwardly sleeved. Preferably, the sleeved hole 18 is carefully dimensioned to provide a press fit on the anchoring member 10. For example, the sleeved hole 18 may be formed by sequential punch and draw steps to provide an inner diameter within press fit tolerances of a few thousandths of an inch. A press fit between the cross member 8 and the anchoring member 10 permits the anchoring member 10 to support the cross member 8 substantially parallel to the support member 4 after installation of the hidden fastener 6. This in turn allows quicker and more facile installation of a subsequent plank 2 onto the winged end 16 of the cross member 8.

[0024] Referring to Figure 3, the nail, ballistic screw, or other anchoring member 10 may be of a conventional shape. Preferably, the nail includes a T-head 20 sized to fit between adjoining deck boards such that no spacer other than the nail is needed in order to obtain adequate drainage from the upper surface of the deck. The anchoring member 10 also may include a collared portion 21 , immediately below the T-head, for properly locating the press fit between the anchoring member 10 and the cross member 8. In one preferred embodiment, the collared portion 21 of the anchoring member 10 is the only portion that press fits to the sleeved hole 18 of the cross member, with the main shank 23 of the anchoring member 10 being sized to pass freely through the sleeved hole 18.

[0025] Referring now to Figure 4, when rigidly supported by the anchoring member 10, the cross member 8 is well positioned for installation of a subsequent sheathing member or deck plank 2b onto the winged end 16 of the cross member 8. As will be appreciated from the phantom lines in Figure 4, the subsequent sheathing member 2b first is engaged with the winged end 13b of the cross member 8 at an angle to the joist 4, then is rotated downward onto the joist to fully engage the winged end 16 of the cross member 8 into one of the side grooves 12.

[0026] Referring to Figure 5, an additional embodiment of a cross member 22 also is suitable for use in forming the hidden fastener 6. Like the previous embodiment, this cross member 22 includes a first end with downward-curving claws 24, an opposing second end with an upwardly curved wing 26, and a sleeved hole 28 for receiving an anchoring member 10. The cross member 22 also includes at least one downwardly bent spacer legs 30, which extend outward from lateral edges of the cross member 22. As shown in Figure 5, this embodiment has two spacer legs 30 positioned to extend from opposite lateral edges of the cross member 22.

[0027] Referring to Figure 6, the spacer legs 30 can be employed for at least two reasons. First, the legs 30 serve to space a subsequent plank (not depicted) from a plank 2 previously attached to a joist 4 by means of the hidden fastener 6. Secondly, the legs 30 serve to brace the cross member 22 against the side of a plank 2 with which the claws 24 are engaged, so that the cross member 8 extends from the plank substantially parallel to the underlying joist, for enhanced ease of installing the subsequent plank (not depicted).

[0028] Referring to Figure 7, the hidden fastener 6 can be installed by means of a conventional power driving tool 32, shown in phantom lines, modified with attachments specially configured for installing the hidden fastener 6. For example, as shown in Figure 8, a pneumatic or combustion- powered nail driver may be used with substitution of a suitable barrel 34 including a notch 35, a generally flat magazine 36, and a nail magazine 38. Here, the notch 35 of the barrel 34 permits the cross member 8 to be held by the driving tool 32 while being fully inserted into one of the grooves 12 formed on a deck plank 2, as shown in Figure 7. The notch 35 also permits an upper nose or point 37 of the flat magazine 36 to be engaged into the groove 12, so that the gun 32 and magazine 36 are held substantially parallel to the joist 4.

[0029] Referring also to Figure 8, the notch 35 also exposes a portion of the most forward anchoring member 10 in the nail magazine 38 so that the anchoring member 10 can be positioned directly adjacent the plank 2 to provide proper spacing between adjacent planks. Still referring to Figures 7 and 8, in some embodiments the flat magazine 36 and the nail magazine 38 are provided integrally with the barrel 34 to provide for quick adaptation of the nail driver 32 to other uses. In some embodiments the nail driver also includes a push feed mechanism 54 (shown in Figure 9) that is customized for installation of the inventive hidden fasteners 6.

[0030] Referring now to Figure 9, an exemplary nail driver 32 for use in attaching the disclosed hidden fasteners 6 is shown in schematic outline with key components partly sketched. The barrel 34 and the magazines 36 and 38 are sectioned to show a strip of cross members 8 and a stick of anchoring members 10. In one preferred embodiment, the stick of anchoring members 10 are collated by a wire 40 and are sequentially push-fed into the barrel 34 by a leaf spring 42. As will be understood, each actuation of the driver 32 makes room for a next anchoring member 10 to be fed from the nail magazine 38 into the barrel 34. The strip of cross members 8 can be collated on a tape 44, and can be fed from the flat magazine 36 at least by the pulling action of removing the driver 32 from an already-installed hidden fastener 6, or by a push feed mechanism. The flat magazine 36 includes a lip or brace 46 for supporting the winged end 16 or 26 of each cross member 8 or 22 during firing of a corresponding anchoring member.

[0031] In addition to the barrel 34 and the magazines 36, 38, the depicted embodiment of nail driver 32 also includes a hammer 48, which reciprocates within a chamber 50 by means of a spring 52 on a barrel side of the hammer piston and a propulsion fluid 51 on a chamber side of the hammer piston. The nail driver also may include a push feed mechanism 54, as discussed above and shown in Figure 9 by phantom lines. As known, the nail driver is actuated by a trigger 56 and may be powered at least by compressed air provided through an inlet fitting 58, or by combustion of butane or other gas provided from a removable flask 60. The magazines 36, 38 can be attached to the driver 32 by way of top and bottom braces, 44 and 46, respectively, or a like means of attachment.

[0032] In operation, in preparation for installation and in situ forming of the inventive hidden fastener 6, a driver 32 is used to position the clawed end 14 or 24 of a cross member 8 or 22 into a groove 12 of a deck plank 2 resting on a joist 4. During installation and forming of the hidden fastener 6, the nose or point 37 of the flat magazine 36 is engaged into the groove 12 of the plank, and/or one of the top or bottom braces 62, 64 contacts the joist 4 and supports the driver 32 with the flat magazine 36 substantially parallel to the joist 4, while the lip 46 formed in the flat magazine 36 supports the winged end 16 or 26 of the cross member 8 or 22 substantially parallel to the joist 4. Actuating the driver 32 via the trigger 56 causes the hammer 48 to drive an anchoring member 10 through the sleeved hole 18 of the cross member 8 or 22 and into the joist 4. The collared portion 21 of the anchoring member forms a press fit with the sleeved hole 18 or 28, thereby rigidly attaching the cross member, anchoring member, joist, and plank. A subsequent plank then can be assembled over the winged end 16 or 26 of the cross member 8 or 22, as shown in Figure 4. Another fastener can then be attached to the free end of the subsequent plank, and the process repeated as necessary.

[0033] A benefit of the disclosed fastener and method is that they allow various types and sizes of side-grooved sheathing members to be securely yet invisibly attached to underlying support members. Additionally, the secure and hidden attachment can be accomplished for any type of side-grooved sheathing member using identical cross members and anchoring members in combination with a power driving tool specially configured for use with the fasteners, like the disclosed driver. Thus, the disclosed embodiments permit bulk manufacturing and purchasing of a single hidden fastener model for use with many different models of side-grooved deck planking.

[0034] While a preferred embodiment has been set forth for purposes of illustration, the foregoing description should not be deemed a limitation of the invention herein. Accordingly, various modifications, adaptations and alternatives may occur to one skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention and scope of the claimed coverage.