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Title:
CAP FOR ROUND AND SQUARE POST
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A post cap, which is a single piece construction, for covering the top end of a round or square road sign steel post. The cap has two parts, a base (1) and a top member (2). The base is attached to fit over the top end of either a round or a square post by means of screws that extend through the holes (4) provided on the sidewalls (5) of the base and secure over the outer-wall of the post. The other part is a top member (2) that has two parallelly placed aluminum blades (3) with a slot (14) between them, where the road sign is installed. The cap integrates the dimensions of square and round shape and can be made in discrete sizes making the base to allow fitting over a range of diameters or dimensions of square and round post. The cap is preferable formed from aluminium to have sufficient rigidity, sustenance from weather conditions, and longevity.


Inventors:
Patodia, Prateek (Kolkata, IN)
Application Number:
11/857029
Publication Date:
12/18/2008
Filing Date:
09/18/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H12/00
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAMRE, SCHUMANN, MUELLER & LARSON, P.C. (P.O. BOX 2902, MINNEAPOLIS, MN, 55402-0902, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A post cap capable of fitting onto both round and square shaped top open end of road sign posts comprising: a cap having a base (1) is removably mounted on open end of the said post with the internal sidewalls (5B) of the said base (1) which is assembled over the outerwall of the said top open end of the post; wherein the said base (1) is provided with holes (4) on the side wall (5) for mounting the cap through means to fasten and are secured over the outer-wall of the post; a top member (2) of the said post cap is provided with two aluminum blades (3), which are parallelly placed on the top of the cap provided with a slot (12) therein the road sign is installed; the said aluminium blade has plurality of holes (6) that are equidistant from the center (7) of the said blade (3) wherein means are provided to mount onto the said sign post through the holes (6) on the blades (3).

2. A post cap capable of fitting onto both round and square shaped top open end of road sign posts as claimed in claim 1, wherein the base (1) is a hollow body with sidewalls (5) comprising outer sidewall (5A) and inner sidewall (5B); plurality of shapes such as square and round is configured in the said inner sidewall (5B); four edges (10) having right angle and plurality of edges (11) are provided to integrate the square and round post of the inner sidewall (5B); wherein the edge of the square coincides with the edge of the outer sidewall (8) and the chord of the circle coincides with the edge of the outer sidewall (9) are provided in the outer side wall (5A).

3. A post cap capable of fitting onto both round and square shaped top open end of road sign posts as claimed in claim 1, wherein the outer sidewall (5A) can be octagonal, square or round in shape.

4. A post cap capable of fitting onto both round and square shaped top open end of road sign posts as claimed in claim 1, wherein the base (1) is made in varied combination of sizes allowing it to fit over a range of diameters or dimensions of square and round posts.

5. The post cap capable of fitting onto both round and square shaped top open end of road sign posts as claimed in claim 1, wherein the size of a round cap particularly internal diameter ranges between 1.5 inch and 4 inches.

6. The post cap capable of fitting onto both round and square shaped top open end of road sign posts as claimed in claim 1, wherein the size of the square cap particularly internal side, ranges between 3 inch and 15 inches.

7. A post cap capable of fitting onto both round and square shaped top open end of road sign posts as claimed in claim 1, wherein the internal angle of the edge of the outer sidewall (8) where the edge of the square coincides is 109°.

8. A post cap capable of fitting onto both round and square shaped top open end of road sign posts as claimed in claim 1, wherein the internal angle of the edge of the outer sidewall (9) where the arc of the circle coincides is 161°.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a single piece construction of a post cap, which fits both round and square shaped road sign steel posts. The other feature of the cap is that two parallelly placed aluminum blades have been cast on the roof of the cap with slot between them, where the road sign is installed.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The United States of America and Canada together are the largest consumer markets for aluminum and steel road sign hardware in the world. The growth of road networks and infrastructure and the extreme climatic demands, are perhaps the main reason for the growth in the market for these items. A vast variety of such products are used in these markets ranging from cold rolled steel bars to aluminum castings, extrusions, plates etc. In the aluminum castings category, no product holds as much value as the “post cap road sign holder”.

The most commonly used cap in the road signposts is the ‘U shaped’ cap, which is available in two varieties—180° and 90°. Although these varieties are in large circulation, they do not have strong presence in the west coast of the U.S.

The other type of cap is the Round Post Cap, which is available in several sizes in terms of the internal diameter of the product. It has a more general acceptance in terms of usage all over the U.S.

Yet another type is the Square Post Cap, which is also available in different sizes, in terms of the internal side of the square. The Square Post Cap is predominant in the U.S. west coast markets and is steadily growing in sales in the eastern side of the country, as well.

The prior art disclosed in Patent No. US Application No: 20030168649 titled “POST CAP” explains a post cap, which can fit over posts having different cross sections such as square, round, oblong or oval, but it does not envisage fitting the same cap over different shapes of posts. It provides for different caps of different shapes and sizes to fit respective shapes of the posts. Therefore, it does not use a single cap that can be used both on square as well as on round posts, which is the object of the present invention.

Another Patent No. U.S. Pat. No. 2,450,345 titled “Protective cap for wood posts, poles and the like” explains a cap which is circular in shape. While the patent contemplates an adjustable means for holding the cap on the end of various sizes of poles, it does not have a provision for fitting the same cap over posts of various shapes.

Yet another Patent No. U.S. Pat. No. 5,419,536 titled “Fence Post Cap” describe a cap that is specifically designed with a square sided configuration and claims to improve the aesthetic appearance of the cap. It does not include any provision for fitting the same cap for round post. While the cap described in the present invention is so created that it can cover both square as well as round shaped posts.

Another Patent No. U.S. Pat. No. 5,332,196 titled “Fence post end cap” describes a cap that is designed for a cylindrical (circular) fence posts. However, it is also provided that it could be well adapted for fence posts having cross sections of different shapes such as square or triangular. But this adaptation would involve replacing the base portion of the cap and therefore, the same cap cannot be used to fit posts of different shapes, unlike the post cap in the present invention.

Instead of constructing a cap, which has a single utility in being placed either over a round post or a square post, it is desirable to construct a cap that can fit both the round and the square post. The cap can be attached to the post by fastening screws from the sidewalls of the cap, locked to the top end of the post. It would also be desirable to have a cap for posts that would be aesthetic and one that could be secured to the top end of a post very quickly. Further it would be desirable to have a pair of blades cast on top of the cap, on or over which the sign plates can be installed.

The present invention therefore describes a post cap that can fit the top end of both square as well as round posts and derives the above desirable results.

Further since various dimensions of round as well as square posts are available in market, yet another object of the present invention is to create a cap, which with minor modifications, would easily integrate the dimensions of various size of round and square cap and provide discrete combination of sizes making the cap to allow fitting over a range of diameters or dimensions of square and round posts.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A post cap capable of fitting onto both round and square shaped top open end of road sign posts comprising: a cap having a base (1) is removably mounted on open end of the said post with the internal sidewalls (5a) of the said base (1) which is assembled over the outer wall of the said top open end of the post; wherein the said base (1) is provided with holes (4) on the side wall (5) for mounting the cap through means to fasten and are secured over the outer-wall of the post; a top member (2) of the said post cap is provided with two aluminum blades (3), which are parallelly placed on the top of the cap provided with a slot (12) therein the road sign is installed; the said aluminium blade has plurality of holes (6) that are equidistant from the center (7) of the said blade (3) wherein means are provided to mount onto the said sign post through the holes (6) on the blades (3).

The present invention relates to a post cap to be fit over a post, specifically a road sign steel post. The cap consists of a base (1) and a top member (2), wherein the base (1) has been constructed in a manner that it fits both a round and a square post and has means for attaching the base (1) to the post by nails or screws that extend through the holes (4) provided on the sidewalls (5) of the base and secure over the outer-wall of the post.

The square and the round caps are individually available in many sizes. The size of a round cap, in terms of its internal diameter, usually ranges from 1 inch to 7 inches, more particularly between 1.5 inches to 3.5 inches, while the size of the square cap, in terms of its internal side, ranges from 1 inch to 5 inches, more particularly between 1.75 inches to 2.5 inches. The dimension of the base (1) of the cap in the present invention integrates one of the dimensions of the round cap with that of the dimension of the square cap and institutes a cap that could fit the respective dimensions of a square and a round post. For instance the present cap can incorporate the dimension of a round cap of internal diameter 2 inches with the dimension of a square cap of internal side 1.75 inches. The facia of the outer appearance of the base (1) can be octagonal, square or round in shape and it can be made in varied combination of sizes allowing fitting over a range of diameters or dimensions of square and round posts respectively.

The top member (2) of the post cap is secured by two aluminum blades (3), which are parallelly placed on top of the cap. The parallel position of the blades (3) creates a slot (12) between them where the sign plate is placed and then fastened by means of bolts or screws secured through the holes (6) provided on the blades (3). The sole purpose of blades (3) is to hold and provide support to the sign plate placed on the cap.

The thickness and size of the sign plate often differ requiring various types of ‘blade lengths’. Each blade (3) has two corresponding holes (6), which are equidistant from the center (7) of the blade (3), where the screws are fastened to secure the sign plate. The length of the blade can be of any size, most preferably between 3 inches to 15 inches, and the hole-to-hole (6) distance of the blade can vary depending upon the size of the blade (3), most preferably between 2 inches to 9 inches.

The slot (12) between the aluminium blades (3), which provides gap or space for the sign plate to be placed, can have varied width depending upon the size of the blade (3). One is the flat slot most preferably of gap width of 4 mm and the other is the extruded slot most preferably of gap width of 7 mm. These two sizes categorize the slot thickness depending upon the length of the blade.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a side schematic view of a post cap, comprising the base (1) and top member (2), for covering a square and a round road sign steel post.

FIG. 2 is a base plan view of FIG. 1 showing the bottom of the base (1) of the post cap.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of FIG. 1 showing the top member (2) of the post cap.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention provides a single piece construction of a post cap, for placing on top end of a round or square road sign steel post. The preferred embodiment of the post cap is illustrated in FIG. 1. The embodiment has a base (1) and a top member (2) with two aluminium blades (3). In this embodiment the base (1) has been constructed in such a manner that it fits both a round and a square post. The configuration of the base is illustrated in FIG. 2. The base (1) is placed over the top end of either a round or square post with the internal sidewalls (5a) of the base (1) is convened over the outer wall of the top end of the post. The base (1) has holes (4) on its sidewalls (5), from where nails or screws are extended through the holes and are secured over the outer-wall of the post.

The other part of the post cap is a top member (2) that has two parallelly placed aluminum blades (3) of equal length, with a slot (12) between them, where the road sign is installed. Each blade has two holes (6) that are equidistant from the center (7) of the blade (3) and are embodied in such manner that the holes (6) of the blades are corresponding to each other. The sign plate that is installed in the slot (12) is then secured with the help of bolts or screws that extends through the holes (6) provided in the blades (3). The sole purpose of blades (3) is to hold and provide support to the sign plate placed on the post cap.

FIG. 2 illustrates the embodiment of the bottom view of the base (1) of the post cap. The base is a hollow body with sidewalls (5), being illustrated as inner sidewall (5a) and outer sidewall (5b). The dimension of the inner sidewall (5a) integrates the measurement of a square and a round (circular) post cap so that the base (1) could fit either a round or a square post of the respective measurement. The square and the round caps are individually available in many sizes. The size of a round cap, in terms of its internal diameter, usually ranges from 1 inch to 7 inches, more particularly between 1.5 inches to 3.5 inches, while the size of the square cap, in terms of its internal side, ranges from 1 inch to 5 inches, more particularly between 1.75 inches to 2.5 inches. The dimension of the base (1) of the post cap in the present invention integrates one of the dimensions of the round cap with that of the dimension of the square cap and institutes a cap that could fit the respective dimensions of a square and a round post. The shape of square and round is so configured in the inner sidewall (5a) that the internal angle of the four edges of the inner sidewall where the shape of square coincide is 90° (10) and the internal angle of the edges where the shape of circle and square coincide from side of square to a chord extending from point of coincidence to the center of the arc is 196° (11). The internal angle of the edge of the outer sidewall where the edge of the square coincides is 109° (8) and the internal angle of the edge of the outer sidewall where the arc of the circle coincides is 161° (9). The facia of the outer sidewall (5b) can be octagonal, square or round in shape. The base (1) can be made in varied combination of sizes allowing it to fit over a range of diameters or dimensions of square and round posts.

FIG. 3 illustrates the top view of the top member (2) of the post cap as illustrated in FIG. 1. The top member comprises two aluminum blades (3) that are secured on top of the base. The blades (3) are of equal length and are placed parallelly with a slot (12) between them. The said slot provides a gap or space for the sign plate to be installed. The slot (12) can be made in varied width depending upon the size of the sign plate and/or the blade. One is the flat slot most preferably of gap width of 4 mm and the other is the extruded slot most preferably of gap width of 7 mm. These two sizes categorize the slot thickness depending upon the length of the blade. Each blade has corresponding two holes (6) that are equidistant from the center of the blade (7). The holes (6) are provided to secure the sign plate in the slot by means of fastening members such as screws that extend through the holes in the blades and the sign plate. The length of the blade (7) can be of any size most preferably between 3 inches to 15 inches, and distance between the holes of the blade can also vary depending upon the size of the, but most preferably between 2 inches to 9 inches.

The post cap of all the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1 to 3 of this invention not only are aesthetically appealing but also prevent water from entering the post. These caps can be easily installed, as it only requires pounding two nails or more through the holes (4) in the sidewalls (5) in the base (1).

Since the cap integrates various dimensions of square and round shape, it can be made in discrete sizes making the base to allow fitting over a range of diameters or dimensions of square and round post. The cap is preferable formed from steel/aluminum to have sufficient rigidity, sustenance from weather conditions, and longevity.

Other systems, methods, features, and advantages of the present invention will be or become apparent to one with skill in the art upon examination of the following drawings and detailed description. It is intended that all such additional systems, methods, features, and advantages be included within this description, be within the scope of the present invention, and be protected by the accompanying claims.

Ambit of the Invention:

    • With the availability and use of a wide variety of size of round and square post caps coupled with various blade lengths and the thickness, a very large inventory of products have to be stocked by a trader. The present invention is the step towards eliminating the problem of using and stocking two types of caps and rather using only one cap for both the square and round posts.
    • As a result the advantages are:
      • The trader/dealer in sign post caps is required to maintain a lower level of inventory in terms of both the value and the cumulative volume of the different varieties.
      • With the reduction in the varieties and quantity, space utilization as well time and resources spent on tracking and maintaining two different varieties of products are reduced.
      • Financially, as the volume of stock required is reduced, the fund utilization is also reduced and therefore there is a further reduction in the storage space requirement, inventory maintenance and lower handling costs.
    • Market growth is an added advantage with this product. As mentioned before, the use of the square cap is spreading to the east coast of US as well, but the pace of growth is not as fast as desired due to lack of supporting products required for the square cap. As the ‘dual-cap’ is compatible with both square and round posts and given the general spread of use of the round post cap in one region of the market and the square cap, in the other regions, introduction of this multi-post cap in the market will see uniform end product for different kinds of posts.
    • The outer facia, as mentioned, can be of octagonal, square or round in shape. The basis for octagonal shape is that the optimum design for using least material while giving strength at the major stress points and provides the perfect smooth external surface for installation of fasteners.

In addition to these advantages, there are some inherent advantages to the product design as well. This inventive structure is applicable to a variety of other combinations for round post caps and square caps as well.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

The present invention describes a post cap, which can fit on both square and round road sign steel posts. This new phenomenon results in a single cap being used for both square and round shaped posts.