BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
This invention relates generally to a swing-away stand, and particularly to an arch swing-away mailbox stand.
2. Description of the Prior Art
Mailbox supports are known which have a generally horizontally extending arm mounted to swing in a horizontal plane. An example of such a support is shown in U.S. Pat. No. 1,645,768. One significant disadvantage of this prior art mailbox support, however, is that it has a linear, or straight, telescopingly adjustable support arm. This support arm construction prohibits the arm from being bent so as to pass over snow banks, and the like, which are frequently encountered along the edge of a road in areas having a cold climate.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
It is an object of the present invention to provide a swing-away stand of simple, yet sturdy construction.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a swing-away stand permitting the use of an arm having an extent in the form of an arch.
It is yet another object of the present invention to provide an arch swing-away mailbox stand having a horizontally adjustable mailbox support in combination with an arch arm construction.
These and other objects are achieved according to the present invention by providing a stand having: a pole; an arm including an arch terminating in a pair of ends; means for mounting a one end of the arch on the pole for permitting swinging movement of the arch with respect to the pole; and a support adjustably connected to the other end of the arch.
In a preferred embodiment of a stand according to the present invention, the arch is mounted on the pole by a sleeve having an open end and a spaced enclosed end, and arranged over the pole open end first. The one end of the arch is connected directly to this sleeve as by at least one plate arranged affixed to and extending between the sleeve and arch.
A plurality of brackets are advantageously provided for supporting a pair of springs arranged for biasing the arch toward a predetermined rest position. A first bracket is cantilever mounted on the sleeve, and the second and third brackets are cantilever mounted on the pole and are arranged perpendicular to the first bracket and extending coaxially from one another in a plane parallel to the plane of the first bracket. One spring is arranged connected to and extending between free ends of the first and second brackets, and the other spring is connected to and arranged extending between the free end of the first bracket and a free end of the third bracket.
Another advantageous feature of a stand according to the present invention is the provision of a hollow member or tube affixed to the other or outer end of the arch. The support may include a planar framework forming a platform, a cover affixed to the framework and having a planar extension arranged extending from the framework in a plane parallel to the plane of the framework for forming a snow guard, and a longitudinal member mounted on the framework and adjustably arranged in the hollow member connected to the arch for attaching the framework to the arm formed by the arch.
These together with other objects and advantages which will become subsequently apparent reside in the details of construction and operation as more fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like parts throughout.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective view, partly cut away and in section, showing an arch swing-away mailbox stand according to the present invention anchored in ground, and the like.
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary, sectional view taken generally along the line 2--2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken generally along the line 3--3 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary, sectional view taken generally along the line 4--4 of FIG. 1, but with the relationship of some elements shown in a different position from FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
FIG. 1 of the drawings shows an arch swing-away stand 10 according to the present invention. The stand comprises a pole 12 to which is swingingly mounted an arm 14 having an arch 16 terminating in a pair of ends 18 and 20. An arrangement to be described below mounts arch 16 at end 18 thereof on pole 12 in such a manner that arch 16 is permitted swinging movement with respect to pole 12. This swinging movement is, of course, about an axis defined by the longitudinal extent of the pole. A support 22, which will be described in detail below, is connected to the other end 18 of arch 16, and provides a platform for a, for example, pair of mailboxes 24. It is to be understood that although stand 10 is disclosed as especially intended for use as a mailbox stand, it may be used to support other suitable articles as desired.
Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3 of the drawings, arch 16 is swingingly mounted on pole 12 by a sleeve 26, which is advantageously provided with a circular cross section, having an open end 28 and a spaced enclosed end 30. As can be readily appreciated from FIG. 2 of the drawings, placement of sleeve 26 over pole 12 open end 28 first will result in sleeve 26 rotating about the aforementioned axis of pole 12. Arch 16 is connected to sleeve 26 as by a pair of plates 32 arranged affixed to and extending between sleeve 26 and end 18 of arch 16. These plates 32 have a shape in plan which conforms them along one edge to the shape of the arch and along another edge to the sleeve.
A bracket 34 is advantageously cantilever mounted on sleeve 26, and a pair of brackets 36 and 38 cantilever mounted on pole 12. Brackets 36 and 38 are arranged perpendicular to bracket 34, and extend coaxially from one another in a plane parallel to the plane of bracket 34. A conventional coiled tension spring 40 is arranged connected to and extending between a free end of bracket 34 and a free end of bracket 36, while a spring 42 is connected to and arranged extending between the free end of bracket 34 and a free end of bracket 38. Since spring 42, which may also be a coiled tension spring of a similar kind as spring 40, may be substantially longer, as for example twice as long as spring 40 because the probability of large deflection of spring 42 due to impact on the outer end 20 of arch 16 from the right side of stand 10 is much greater than from the left side thereof. This may be readily understood when one considers that traffic in the United States and most other countries moves on the right hand side of a roadway. Accordingly, chains 44 and 46 of lengths proportional to the lengths of springs 40 and 42 connect the springs to the respective outer ends of brackets 36 and 38. Preferably, chains 44 and 46 actually contact brackets 36 and 38 at points slightly toward pole 12 from the extreme outer end of the brackets. By this arrangement, arch 16 is biased toward a predetermined rest position at which springs 40 and 42 are both in their undeflected positions. Any movement from this rest position will cause a deflection of one of the springs and impart a restoring force to arch 16.
Referring now to FIG. 4 of the drawings, a tube or similar hollow member 48 is attached to the end 20 of arch 16 in a suitable, known manner, such as by welding, to form a socket. Support 22 includes a planar framework 50 forming the aforementioned platform, and a cover plate 52 having a substantially planar portion arranged beneath framework 50 and a step 54 passing by the side of the framework to a substantially planar extension 56 which is arranged extending away from the frameowrk, pole, and arch in a plane parallel to the plane of the framework to extend substantially forwardly of a mailbox to be mounted on the framework for forming a snow guard. This snow guard prohibits snow from being forced up from below and into and onto mailboxes 24. A rod or similar longitudinal member 58 is mounted on framework 50 and adjustably arranged in hollow member 48 for attaching framwork 50 to arm 14. Longitudinal member 58 is secured in hollow member 48 as by a conventional bolt and nut 60 arranged in a selected one of holes 62 and 64. Other holes (not shown) may be provided if desired. FIG. 1 shows bolt and nut 60 arranged in hole 64 of longitudinal member 58, while FIG. 4 shows the same bolt and nut arranged in hole 62. A pair of opposed holes are provided in hollow member 48 for cooperating with holes 62 and 64 to receive the bolt part of bolt and nut 60. In this manner, an adjustable mounting of support 22 on arcuate arm 14 is achieved.
At least one and preferably a plurality of projections, a pair of such projections 66 and 68 being illustrated in FIG. 1 of the drawings, are provided on pole 12 in that portion thereof to be implanted in ground, and the like. These projections 66 and 68 will help to reinforce cement 70, and the like, in which pole 12 is disposed. The ground designated 72 in FIG. 1 of the drawings may be considered the ground of a roadside ditch, and the like, while the level of an associated roadway (not shown) would be between this ground 72 and support 22.
As can be readily understood from the above description and from the drawings, a swing-away stand 10 having an arched arm can be arranged with respect to a roadway and associated ditch so as to clear snow banks, and the like, piled between, and possibly around, pole 12 and support 22. In addition, the construction of stand 10 is such that a reliable device may be simply and inexpensively produced.
Alternatively to the orientation of bracket 34 shown in FIG. 1 of the drawings, the bracket 34 may be oriented 180° from its FIG. 1 position for facilitating the passing of people under arch 16 while walking on a, for example, sidewalk 74.
The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.