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In order to install acoustical ceiling grids for ceiling tiles or for drywall ceilings, conventional devices require the placement of nails or clamps or screws to hold string lines or the placement of a laser set up. The use of the nails or clamps or screws to retain string line is a cumbersome task which is especially difficult in small spaces or in otherwise confined areas where the ceiling tile or drywall is to be placed. Even when a laser set up is possible, the placement of the laser and the holding of the laser is oftentimes inconvenient (the cost of laser device is prohibitive where multiple lasers are required on projects involving two or more simultaneous or parallel installations).
The present invention provides a device which fills the need for a quick to install and easily and inexpensively produced alignment tool for use when installing acoustical ceiling grids for ceiling tiles and grids for drywall ceilings.
One object of the present invention is to provide a device which is relatively inexpensive and is useful in situations where space and time constraints do not allow the setup of a laser and/or the alignment function is required even with the use of a laser.
According to the present invention, a device is constructed to be removably installed without additional tools and without leaving marks on the walls. The device is constructed so that a pair of devices can be positioned behind the molding at appropriate points on opposite walls with the device being held in place by friction between the molding and the wall.
The proper alignment is enabled by a construction whereby each device has a hook in which the looping of a string around the hook on each device allows for proper alignment when the string is drawn taut.
FIG. 1 is an illustration showing the various elements of the tool in a perspective view.
FIG. 2 is a drawing showing a front view of the tool.
FIG. 3 is a pictoral representative of the tool in use.
The tool 10 of the present invention is shown in a perspective view in FIG. 1. The tool may be constructed of plastic having three plane element 11, 12, and 13, and a hook 14. Two of the plane elements 11, 12 are joined on one common edge 15 with the third plane element 13 in a vertical position centered on a horizontal element 12 as shown in FIG. 2. The hook 14 is also centered and formed in alignment with the third plane element 13. In one preferred embodiment, the hook and the third plane are spaced apart by approximately ⅛ inches and the hook 13 is inclined at an angle of 20° toward the plane element 13 in order to retain a string in position.
Proper use requires a pair of tools for each required alignment, as shown in FIG. 3, wherein two cross grids 40 and 50 used to illustrate proper alignment. Each tool 100, 200 and 300 is placed in its respective position by sliding the plane 11 behind the molding 45 at appropriate points on opposite walls. The devices are each held in place by friction between the molding 45 and the wall 55. As shown in FIG. 3, a string 30 is slipped over the hook of tool 200 and stretched to the hook of tool 300 opposite tool 200 and looped around the second hook. When the string is pulled tight, accurate alignment and leveling of the string in each direction is accomplished.
Because of its extreme ease of use, its rapid deployment and its cost effectiveness, this allows for accurate alignment without the need for lasers or otherwise modifying the wall structure requiring nails, screws or other attachment devices which are time consuming and can affect the appearance of the wall or molding being worked on. Additionally, the use of such tools being constructed, for example, of an inexpensive material allows for ease of use and a significant reduction in cost, especially where multiple alignments are being worked on at the same time. The devices are effectively self-aligning and require no precise measurement.
The foregoing disclosure has been set forth merely to illustrate the invention and is not intended to be limiting. Since modifications of the disclosed embodiments incorporating the spirit and substance of the invention may occur to persons skilled in the art, the invention should be construed to include everything within the scope of the appended claims and equivalents thereof.