Title:
Apparatus for Making Window Screen Sash
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A screen frame is made by joining four or more straight frame pieces and four corner pieces to one another in a square or rectangular shape. Each straight frame piece and each corner piece have an outboard part and an inboard part with a channel formed in it. The outboard part of each straight frame piece is hollow and has an aperture formed in its opposite ends. Each corner piece includes an apertured protuberance at opposite ends of its outboard part. An alternative embodiment adds a plurality of extension members that may be coupled to the straight frame members. Each extension member has an apertured protuberance formed in a first end of its hollow outboard part and an aperture formed in a second end of its hollow outboard part.



Inventors:
Pille, Lori Vancamp (Tampa, FL, US)
Pille, Christopher B. (Tampa, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/534691
Publication Date:
03/29/2007
Filing Date:
09/25/2006
Assignee:
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA (3802 Spectrum Blvd., Tampa, FL, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
JOHNSON, BLAIR M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Smith & Hopen (private clients) (Attn: General Patent Matters 180 Pine Avenue North, Oldsmar, FL, 34677, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for making a frame for a screen, comprising: a plurality of straight frame members; each straight frame member of said plurality of straight frame members having an outboard part of hollow construction formed integrally with an inboard part having a channel formed therein; each straight frame member having a first aperture formed in a first end of said outboard part and a second aperture formed in a second end of said outboard part.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: a plurality of corner members; each corner member of said plurality of corner members having an “L”-shaped outboard part formed integrally with an “L”-shaped inboard part having a channel formed therein; a first apertured protuberance formed in a first end of the outboard part of each corner member; and a second apertured protuberance formed in a second end of the outboard part of each corner member.

3. The apparatus of claim 2, further comprising: a plurality of pins adapted to be positioned in respective apertures formed in said straight frame members and said corner members when said straight frame members and corner members are cooperatively connected to one another to form said frame for a screen; whereby said frame is formed by interconnecting a plurality of said straight frame members and a plurality of said corners members into a square or rectangular configuration by inserting respective protuberances of said corner members into respective hollow interiors of said outboard parts of said straight frame members so that the respective outboard and inboard parts of said straight frame members and said corner members are in cooperative alignment with one another, so that respective apertures formed in said protuberances of said outboard parts of said corner members are in alignment with respective apertures formed in said outboard parts of said straight frame members, and so that said respective apertures are maintained in alignment with one another by respective pins of said plurality of pins.

4. The frame of claim 1, further comprising: a plurality of extension members; each extension member of said plurality of extension members having an outboard part of hollow construction integrally formed with an inboard part having a channel formed therein; each extension member having an apertured protuberance formed in a first end of its outboard part; each extension member including an aperture formed in a second end of its outboard part; a plurality of pins adapted to be positioned in respective apertures formed in said straight frame members and said extension members when said straight frame members and extension members are cooperatively connected to one another to form said frame for a screen; whereby an extension member is connected to a straight frame member by inserting said apertured protuberance formed in said first end of said extension member into a hollow interior of said outboard part of said straight frame member so that said aperture formed in said protuberance of said extension member is aligned with an aperture formed in said outboard part of said straight frame member; whereby said aperture formed in said protuberance of said extension member and said aperture formed in said outboard part of said straight frame member are maintained in said alignment with a pin of said plurality of pins.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to currently pending U.S. provisional patent application 60/720,077, entitled, “Adjustable Window Screen,” filed Sep. 23, 2005, which application is hereby fully incorporated hereinto by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to the field of window screen repairs. More particularly, it relates to an apparatus that enables a homeowner to make window screen sashes.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Many consumers in need of a new window screen frame, known in the industry as a window screen sash, will contact a screening contractor. The contractor must go to the consumer's home to measure the size of each window to be screened. The contractor then returns to his or her place of business to make the needed frames or to place an order for the needed frames to be manufactured. When the frames have been manufactured, then the contractor must return to the site for installation. Thus, the contractor makes two (2) trips to the consumer's house. This adds to the cost of the final installation.

Many consumers choose to do the job themselves to save money. They purchase long aluminum frame pieces from a home improvement store, measure their windows, and cut the frame pieces to size with a hacksaw.

Some consumers are not handy with a measuring tape, and do a poor job of measuring the windows. Some consumers lack hacksaw skills, and do a poor job of cutting the frames to size. Any mistake in measurement or in cutting can result in a need to do the job a second time, again adding to the cost of the final installation.

Thus there is a need for an apparatus that eliminates the need to hire a screen contractor, and which does not require a homeowner to measure windows and cut long frames to size.

There is also a need for an apparatus that can be adjusted to fit a window so that the size of the window need not be measured with a high degree of precision.

However, in view of the prior art considered as a whole at the time the present invention was made, it was not obvious to those of ordinary skill in this art how the identified needs could be met.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

The long-standing but heretofore unfulfilled need for a window screen sash construction that does not require the hiring of a contractor and that involves no cutting of parts is now provided in the form of an apparatus that includes at least four straight frame pieces, at least two (2) extension pieces, and at least four (4) corner pieces to form a square or rectangular window screen frame. All components are preferably formed of a strong, durable plastic. Other suitable materials are within the scope of this invention.

More particularly, a first embodiment of the novel apparatus includes a plurality of straight frame members and a plurality of corner members. Each straight frame member of said plurality of straight frame members has an outboard part of hollow construction formed integrally with an inboard part having a channel formed therein. Each straight frame member has a first aperture formed in a first end of the outboard part and a second aperture formed in a second end of the outboard part.

Each corner member of the plurality of corner members has an “L”-shaped outboard part formed integrally with an “L”-shaped inboard part having a channel formed therein. A first apertured protuberance is formed in a first end of the outboard part of each corner member and a second apertured protuberance is formed in a second end of the outboard part of each corner member.

A plurality of pins is adapted to be positioned in the apertures that are aligned with one another when the various parts are in their respective operative positions.

In the first embodiment, the sash or frame is formed by interconnecting a plurality of the straight frame members and a plurality of the corners members into a square or rectangular configuration by inserting respective protuberances of the corner members into respective hollow interiors of the outboard parts of the straight frame members so that the respective outboard and inboard parts of the straight frame members and the corner members are in alignment with one another, so that respective apertures formed in the protuberances of the outboard parts of the corner members are in alignment with respective apertures formed in the outboard parts of the straight frame members, so that the respective apertures formed in the outboard parts of the straight frame members are in alignment with respective apertures formed in the protuberances of the corner parts, and so that the respective apertures are maintained in alignment with one another by respective pins of said plurality of pins.

In a second embodiment, a plurality of extension members is provided to lengthen the effective length of the straight frame pieces. Each extension member of the plurality of extension members has an outboard part of hollow construction integrally formed with an inboard part having a channel formed therein. Each extension member has an apertured protuberance formed in a first end of its outboard part and each extension member has an aperture formed in a second end of its outboard part.

An extension member is connected to a straight frame member by inserting an apertured protuberance formed in the first end of the extension member into a hollow interior of the outboard part of the straight frame member so that the aperture formed in the protuberance of the extension member is aligned with an aperture formed in the outboard part of the straight frame member.

The aperture formed in the protuberance of the extension member and the aperture formed in the outboard part of the straight frame member are maintained in the alignment with a pin of said plurality of pins.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a fuller understanding of the invention, reference should be made to the following detailed description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a straight frame piece;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of an extension piece; and

FIG. 3 is a plan view of a corner piece.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to FIG. 1, it will there be seen that a straight frame piece that forms a part of the invention is denoted as a whole by the reference numeral 10. At least four (4) of said straight frame pieces are required to make a square or rectangular frame (sash) for a screen. The straight frame pieces are provided to the consumer in differing lengths but they are whole and complete as sold. Unlike prior art frame pieces, they are not cut to length by the consumer to fit a particular job.

Each straight frame piece 10 includes outboard part 12 and inboard part 14 that is formed integrally with outboard part 12. Outboard part 12 is of hollow construction. Channel 16 is formed in inboard part 14 and is adapted to receive therein the peripheral edge of a screen, not depicted. The peripheral edge is maintained in channel 16 by an elongate vinyl spline, not depicted, that is squeezed into channel 16 in overlying relation to the screen by a well-known roller tool, not depicted.

A first aperture 18 is formed in outboard part 12 at a first end thereof and a second aperture 20 is formed in outboard part 12 at a second end thereof

FIG. 2 depicts novel extension piece 22. It is also provided in various lengths but has essentially the same width as straight frame piece 10. Extension piece 22 is also whole and complete as sold to the consumer and is not cut by the consumer. It includes hollow outboard part 24, inboard part 26 formed integrally with outboard part 24, and channel 28 formed in said inboard part. Protuberance 30 extends from a first end of outboard part 24, and aperture 32 is formed in said protuberance. No protuberance is formed on the second end of outboard part 24. Aperture 34 is formed in the second end of outboard part 24.

FIG. 3 depicts corner piece 36 having “L”-shaped outboard part 38 and “L”-shaped inboard part 40 formed integrally therewith. Corner piece 36 has an “L”-shape, so that outboard part 38 has a first section 38a and a second section 38b, formed integrally with first section 38a, that is disposed at a ninety degree angle relative to said first section 38a. Similarly, inboard part 40 has a first section 40a and a second section 40b, formed integrally with first section 40a, that is disposed at a ninety degree angle relative to said first section 40a. A first channel is formed in first part 40a and a second channel is formed in second part 40b. Said channels are adapted to snugly receive the peripheral edge of a screen and a vinyl spline that overlies said peripheral edge in a well-known way.

Protuberance 42 is formed in a first end of outboard section 38a and is apertured as at 44. Protuberance 46 is formed in the second end of outboard section 38b and is apertured as at 48.

A frame, known in the window-screen industry as a sash, may be assembled from four (4) straight frame pieces 10 and four (4) corner pieces 36. For example, apertured protrusion 46 of corner piece 36 is slideably inserted into the hollow interior of the second end of outboard part 12 of straight frame piece 10 so that apertures 48 and 20 are in alignment with one another. Such arrangement also aligns channel 40b of corner piece 36 with channel 16 of straight frame piece 10. A pin, not depicted, is then snugly placed through apertures 48 and 20 to lock corner piece 36 onto said straight frame piece 10. The three remaining corner pieces and straight frame pieces are assembled in a similar way, with the pieces being oriented so that the respective apertured protuberances of the corner pieces are received within the hollow interiors of the respective outboard parts of the straight frame pieces and so that the respective channels are in alignment with one another.

In the alternative, a sash may also be made by augmenting the above construction with two, four, or higher even numbers of extension pieces 22. For example, the length of straight frame piece 10 may be effectively lengthened by inserting apertured protuberance 32 of extension piece 22 into the hollow interior of the second end of outboard part 12 of straight frame piece 10 so that apertures 32 and 20 are in alignment with one another. A pin is then extended through said aligned apertures to lock the respective positions of straight frame piece 10 and extension piece 22.

A second extension piece 22 is added if still further length is required by inserting apertured protuberance 32 of a second extension piece 22 into the hollow interior of the second end of the outboard part of the first extension piece 32 so that aperture 32 of the second extension piece aligns with aperture 34 of the first extension piece, and again employing a pin to lock the first and second extension pieces together.

If no third extension piece is required to be connected to the first straight frame piece 10, apertured protrusion 46 of a corner piece 36 is inserted into the hollow interior of the outboard part of the second end of the second extension piece 22 until apertures 34 and 48 are aligned. Another pin is then employed.

In this way, any even number of extension pieces 22 may be added to a straight frame piece 10 as needed in a particular application to increase the effective width or length of the sash. Completion of the sash requires the use of four (4) corner pieces 36 in the manner described.

When the screen and vinyl spline are in place, the vinyl spline acts as an additional reinforcement means for keeping all the parts together.

It will be seen that the advantages set forth above, and those made apparent from the foregoing description, are efficiently attained and since certain changes may be made in the above construction without departing from the scope of the invention, it is intended that all matters contained in the foregoing description or shown in the accompanying drawings shall be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.

It is also to be understood that the following claims are intended to cover all of the generic and specific features of the invention herein described, and all statements of the scope of the invention which, as a matter of language, might be said to fall therebetween. Now that the invention has been described,