Title:
Panel Stack Safety Holder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A holder apparatus (10,10′,110,210) for safely holding one or more construction material panels (52) at a work site within a building under construction. The holder rests on flooring (100) and is locatable adjacent a selected wall structure (102) and includes a base (12,12′,112,212) having a top load-bearing surface (14,114,214) canted at a small angle upwardly extending away from the adjacent wall. First and second stop rails (20,24) parallel to the wall define inner and outer stops for bottom edges (54) of a panel stack placeable onto the holder to be leaned against the wall (102), to assure that their bottom edges seated on the top surface (14,114,214) are at least a safe distance from the wall to prevent toppling, and a maximum distance to assure against sliding of the bottom panel edges away from the wall. An anti-tilt frame (40,40′,140,240) extends upwardly from the base beyond the second stop rail (24) and angled toward the wall to prevent toppling of the panels (52).



Inventors:
Mccarthy, Leo R. (Allentown, PA, US)
Werkheiser, Charles R. (Lansdale, PA, US)
Application Number:
12/486586
Publication Date:
12/24/2009
Filing Date:
06/17/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F5/08
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080121598Towel holderMay, 2008Brinson
20070278170Audio equipment storage deviceDecember, 2007Wiebe
20080078728Retail display for greeting cardsApril, 2008Hodge
20090194495Saddle rackAugust, 2009Kellogg et al.
20080156750Dishwasher tine extenderJuly, 2008Richardson
20080173325Modular Makeup StorageJuly, 2008Mcgarry
20070029272Removable shelf inserts and dividersFebruary, 2007Wroten
20050258114Convertible hair dryer caddieNovember, 2005Davis
20060000737Marketing and selling athletic apparel based upon performance characteristicsJanuary, 2006Vogel
20090223914THEFT DETERRENT CAN DISPENSERSeptember, 2009Kahl et al.
20060108298Dishwasher rackMay, 2006Kim



Primary Examiner:
HAWN, PATRICK D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Fox Rothschild LLP (Blue Bell 997 Lenox Drive Building 3, Lawrenceville, NJ, 08648-2311, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An apparatus for holding one or more panels on edge to lean against an adjacent wall structure, comprising: at least a base having a top load-bearing surface, the base being disposed adjacent the wall structure wherein the top surface is canted and rises extending away from the adjacent wall structure such that one or more panels resting on edge on the top surface would not tend to slide away from the adjacent wall structure.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the top surface is canted at an angle equal to the angle of the bottom edge of one or more panels assumed when placed onto the top surface and leaned against the adjacent wall structure.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the top surface is canted at an angle between about 2° and 10°.

4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the angle accommodates a ratio of: distance from the adjacent wall structure:height of panels of about 1:8.

5. The apparatus of claim 1, further including a plate adjacent the adjacent wall structure enabling fastening of the base to the adjacent wall structure.

6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the plate is secured to the base by at least one vertical post holding it at a selected height above the base.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the base includes a plurality of vertical support frames engageable with the floor surface to support the top load-bearing surface.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the vertical support frames are oriented parallel to the adjacent wall structure.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, further including at least two spaced-apart angled members along a wall-adjacent end of the base and extending upwardly from the top surface a small selected distance from the wall-adjacent end and angled theretoward to ends positioned above the wall-adjacent base end, whereby bottom edges of the one or more panels are seated on the top surface at least said small selected distance from the adjacent wall structure.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, further including a first stop rail generally parallel to the adjacent wall structure and projecting upwardly from the top surface and located a selected short distance from the adjacent wall structure to assure that the one or more panels are seated at least the selected short distance from the adjacent wall structure.

11. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the first stop rail is positioned a selected distance of at least six inches from the adjacent wall structure when the one or more panels have a dimension of about four feet from bottom edge to top edge, when the panels are seated on the top surface.

12. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein angled members extend from the ends of the first stop rail toward and to the adjacent wall structure to prevent panels from being seated between the first stop rail and the adjacent wall structure.

13. The apparatus of claim 10, further including a second stop rail generally parallel to the adjacent wall structure and projecting upwardly from the top surface a selected substantial distance from the adjacent wall structure to stop the bottom edges of the one or more panels from sliding away from the adjacent wall structure.

14. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein the second stop rail is located a distance sufficient to enable a stack of panels to be seated on edge between the first and second stop rails.

15. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein the second stop rail is so positioned that an angle assumed by a panel does not exceed about 40° from vertical when the panel's bottom edge engages the second stop rail and the panel's top edge engages the adjacent wall structure.

16. The apparatus of claim 1, further including a second stop rail generally parallel to the adjacent wall structure and projecting upwardly from the top surface a selected substantial distance from the adjacent wall structure to stop the bottom edges of the one or more panels from sliding away from the adjacent wall structure.

17. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein the second stop rail is repositionable with respect to the first stop rail.

18. The apparatus of claim 1, further including an anti-tilt railing extending upwardly from the base a selected substantial distance from the adjacent wall structure to prevent toppling of the one or more panels should the one or more panels be moved in a direction away from the adjacent wall structure.

19. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein the anti-tilt railing is angled toward the adjacent wall structure.

20. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein the anti-tilt railing includes a horizontal top bar having a rounded side surface serving to be engaged by an adjacent one of the panels without damaging the one panel upon contact.

21. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein the anti-tilt railing is securable to and removable from the base.

22. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein the anti-tilt railing includes a plurality of upstanding posts connectable with the base.

23. The apparatus of claim 22, wherein the base includes sleeves defining generally vertical apertures thereinto into which respective ones of the upstanding posts are insertable.

24. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein a plurality of wheels are assembled to the base, whereby the holder is mobile.

25. An apparatus for holding one or more panels on edge to lean against an adjacent wall structure, comprising: at least a base having a top load-bearing surface, the base being disposed on a horizontal floor surface adjacent the wall structure and including at least a first stop rail generally parallel to the adjacent wall structure and projecting upwardly from the top surface a selected short distance from the adjacent wall structure to assure that the one or more panels are seated at least the selected short distance from the adjacent wall structure.

26. The apparatus of claim 25, wherein the first stop is a rail positioned a selected distance of at least six inches from the adjacent wall structure when the one or more panels have a dimension of about four feet from bottom edge to top edge, when the panels are seated on the top surface.

27. The apparatus of claim 25, wherein the first stop is a gusset plate angled between joints with an upstanding vertical plate adjoined to the base at least six inches from the upstanding vertical plate.

28. The apparatus of claim 25, wherein the holder is a one-piece structure.

29. The apparatus of claim 25, further including a second stop rail generally parallel to the adjacent wall structure and projecting upwardly from the top surface a selected substantial distance from the adjacent wall structure to stop the bottom edges of the one or more panels from sliding away from the adjacent wall structure.

30. The apparatus of claim 25, wherein the top surface is canted and rises extending away from the adjacent wall structure such that one or more panels resting on edge on the top surface would not tend to slide away from the adjacent wall structure.

31. The apparatus of claim 30, wherein the top surface is canted at an angle equal to the angle of the bottom edge of one or more panels assumed when placed onto the top surface and leaned against the adjacent wall structure.

32. The apparatus of claim 31, wherein the top surface is canted at an angle between about 2° and 10°.

33. The apparatus of claim 32, wherein the angle accommodates a ratio of: distance of first stop rail from the adjacent wall structure:height of panels of about 1:8.

34. The apparatus of claim 25, wherein a plurality of wheels are assembled to the base, whereby the holder is mobile.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority from U.S. Provisional Applications Ser. Nos. 61/073,801 filed Jun. 19, 2008 and 61/077,619 filed Jul. 2, 2008.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This relates to the field of building construction and more particularly to apparatus used therein.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Building construction commonly utilizes panels of materials for interior wall construction, such as drywall and plywood, that are four feet by eight feet, or four feet by twelve feet. Such panels may be handled singly but are conveniently handled in bundles or stacks to the work site and also to the interior of the building under construction; once within the building the stack can be either placed flat on a floor area or leaned against a wall. The Gypsum Association Publication GA216 cautions against stacking drywall panels on their edges against a wall, as does the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, due to the danger of the drywall panels toppling or tipping over and injuring workers. Recently, in 2003, The Gypsum Association has modified its guidelines to require that if wall stacking is done, the base of the stack must exceed six inches from the wall such that the panels lean against the wall at a relatively steep but safe angle and don't topple over; however, the Association continues to warn of the risk of toppling and injury. Too shallow an angle can result in the panels slipping to the floor, such as at an angle exceeding 35 degrees from vertical. Flat or floor stacking has a disadvantage in that back injuries frequently occur from workers bending over a stack to work on a panel or lift a panel from the stack.

It is desired to provide an apparatus for constraining a panel stack to be safely leaned against a wall, obviating the risk of injury to workers.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly, the present invention is a holder for assuredly holding a stack or bundle of construction panels vertically or on edge, with the holder preferably placed at a location adjacent a selected wall or a wall frame. The holder, of rugged robust construction, includes a base having a load-bearing top surface on which side edges of the panel stack will rest, with the top surface canted at a selected small angle from horizontal and rising extending away from the adjacent wall. The base's top surface includes a first or inner stop such as a rail so positioned that when the holder is securely positioned along a wall, the first stop is at least six inches from the wall, and further includes a second or outer stop such as a rail so positioned from the inner stop to provide clearance for the stack to be placed therebetween; the second stop will stop any sliding movement of one or more of the panels along the top surface. Preferably, the holder includes an anti-tilt railing extending upwardly from the base outwardly of the second stop, oriented parallel to the adjacent wall, to a selected height and preferably angled toward the adjacent wall to prevent tipping away from the adjacent wall of one or more of the panels away from the wall by engaging and stopping an upper portion of the adjacent panel. Preferably, also, the holder includes a wall-adjacent plate enabling bolting of the holder to the wall's frame prior to placement of the panel stack thereonto.

The first stop may be a rail or may optionally be an angled gusset plate joined to the top surface a selected small distance from the wall-adjacent base end whose upper end is vertically aligned with the wall-adjacent end, or it may be a pair of spaced-apart angled members similarly located such as adjacent respective sides of the base. In a second embodiment, the holder may be a one-piece structure. In a third embodiment, a plurality of wheels are assembled to the base such that the holder is mobile.

The holder of the present invention provides the advantage of enabling safe stacking of panels on their side edges in an orientation angled for leaning against a wall or wall frame during construction, preventing sliding of the panels and preventing toppling of the panels.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated herein and constitute part of this specification, illustrate the presently preferred embodiments of the invention, and, together with the general description given above and the detailed description given below, serve to explain the features of the invention. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the holder of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of the holder of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of the holder of FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the holder of FIG. 3 having a stack of panels seated thereon;

FIG. 5 is a side elevation view of the holder of FIGS. 1 to 4 in position on flooring adjacent a wall structure and having a stack of panels seated thereon leaning against the wall;

FIGS. 6 to 9 are perspective views of the portions of the holder of FIGS. 1 to 5, namely, the base, a bottom view of the base, a front view of the anti-tilt railing, and a front view of the wall-fastenable panel section;

FIG. 10 is an isometric view of a second embodiment of panel holder of the present invention wherein the anti-tilt railing is lockable to the base;

FIG. 11 is an isometric view of a third embodiment of panel holder of the present invention having a horizontal top load-bearing surface; and

FIG. 12 is an isometric view of a fourth embodiment of panel holder having wheels for mobility.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

In the drawings, like numerals indicate like elements throughout. Certain terminology is used herein for convenience only and is not to be taken as a limitation on the present invention. The terminology includes the words specifically mentioned, derivatives thereof and words of similar import. The embodiments illustrated below are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. These embodiments are chosen and described to best explain the principle of the invention and its application and practical use and to enable others skilled in the art to best utilize the invention.

The apparatus of FIGS. 1 to 9 is a holder 10 including a base 12 defining a load-bearing top surface 14. Base 12 provides a seat for temporary placement of a stack 50 of panels 52 (see FIGS. 4 and 5) at a building construction site, for safely holding the stack leaning against an adjacent wall structure 102 when the holder is positioned on flooring 100. Such panels may be drywall or plywood or the like, construction materials useful in forming interior walls of a building, although the present invention may be used with panels of other materials.

Referring now to FIG. 5, top surface 14 of base 12 is preferably canted at such an angle that bottom edges 54 of panels 52 tend not to slide when the panels are leaning against wall 102. A first stop rail 20 extends parallel to the wall and is positioned on the top surface 14 at least a selected distance d1 from the base 104 of the wall 102 as to assure that the bottom edges 54 of panels 52 are spaced from the wall base a sufficient distance to assure that the panels indeed lean against the wall. Preferably, a pair of angled members or struts 22 project from the first stop rail 20 toward the wall base 104 at respective sides of the base and are angled upwardly to prevent placement of the panels between the first stop rail and the wall base, and joining the top ends of upstanding sleeves at the wall-adjacent end; alternatively, the struts 22 may themselves provide the effective equivalent of the first stop rail since the one or more panels will perforce be seated on the top surface spaced from the wall-adjacent end at least the selected small distance d1.

A second stop rail 24 also extending parallel to the wall 102 is positioned on the top surface 14 a selected substantial distance d2 from the first stop rail. Second stop rail 24 would be engaged by the bottom portions of panels 52 should they tend to slide away from wall base 104, to prevent the panels from sliding further, but is positioned at a distance from the first stop rail 20 to permit placement of a standard commercial stack or bundle 50 of panels onto the holder between the first and second stop rails.

Preferably, holder 10 includes a plate 30 adjacent the wall structure 102 such as of steel, as shown in FIG. 6, to permit fastening of the holder to the wall structure, such as by bolts or the like, in a manner permitting removal of the holder upon completion of that stage of building construction. Plate 30 could be affixed to base 12 to project upwardly from top surface 14, or plate 30 could be mounted onto mounting frame 32 including one or a pair of vertical posts 34 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, which may be inserted into respective holes 36 of upstanding sleeves 38 of base 12.

Holder 10 preferably includes an anti-tilt railing 40 that is preferably removably connectable with base 12 at its far end away from adjacent wall 102. Anti-tilt railing 40 projects upwardly a substantial height and is preferably angled toward the wall 102 and includes a plurality of posts 42 and preferably a horizontal top bar 44. Top bar 44 would be engaged by a portion of a panel 52 were the panel to tend to topple away from the wall, thus assuring against toppling of the panels 52. Also, top bar 44 should present a rounded surface for engagement with a panel portion to minimize any risk of panel damage.

Preferably, base 12 includes a plurality of short upstanding sleeves 16 along its far end away from adjacent wall 102, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. Sleeves 16 are of such an outer dimension to receive into channels 48 thereof, end portions 46 of posts 42 (FIG. 8) of anti-tilt railing 40 and serve to provide enhanced strength to the posts to withstand stress and strain.

It is desirable that holder 10 be modular thereby being more portable for ease of handling to be assembled at the selected work location. Anti-tilt frame 40 can be a separate component easily carried, as can be mounting frame 32. Base 12 is shown to include a slot 28 to enable manual carrying thereof. The components can be of stainless steel, or aluminum, but can also be of other materials having strength and impact resistance such as engineered plastics or reinforced fiberglass or composite material. Preferably, load-bearing surface 14 can be defined by 16 gauge stainless steel. Mounting plate 30 can have bolt holes spaced for fastening of holder 10 to normally spaced studs of a wall frame, and could, for example, be an upstanding section of an angle iron beam mounted to base 12.

Holder 10 has such dimensions that are complementary to the dimensions of the panels of construction material, such as 4′×8′ or 4′×12′, and the panels should be seated in holder 10 lengthwise horizontally, permitting end portions of the panels to extend beyond the sides of base 12; the base may, for example, be forty-eight inches wide side-to-side. The angle α1 is shown in FIG. 5 defined by the panel stack 50 leaning against adjacent walls structure 102 when bottom edges of the panels abut first stop rail 20, and the angle α2 is shown to be the cant of the top surface 14 of base 12; the two angles are approximately equal. Preferably, the angle is defined by a ratio of 1:8 between the distance of first stop rail 20 from the base 104 of wall 102 compared to the vertical distance traversed by the height of the panel stack when seated in holder 10 as mentioned above, lengthwise horizontally.

Generally, for a standard panel dimension of four feet, the first stop rail would be six to eight inches from the wall base 104 and the angle of cant of top surface 14 should be in the range of 2° to 10° from horizontal. The second stop rail 24 may, for example, be located twenty-two inches from the wall base, or sixteen inches from first stop rail 20, for the holder to accommodate a stack of twenty-six panels each ¾″ thick. It is observed that a panel if stopped at its bottom edge 54 against second stop rail 24 were leaning against the adjacent wall, the angle defined would be less than 40° from vertical. The holder assures that a panel being pulled forwardly from a properly seated panel stack leaning against the adjacent wall structure will tend to return to its properly leaning position and will not topple, which could otherwise cause injury. The holder has been found to have its center of mass so located near the wall-adjacent end that impact of the panel stack tipping onto the anti-tilt frame would not tip over the holder even if unfastened to the wall structure.

In FIG. 10, a second embodiment of panel holder 10′ is illustrated, wherein the anti-tilt railing 40′ has a pair of posts 42′ that are insertable into sleeves 16′ that are themselves affixed such as by welding to the front wall of the base 12′. Holes 62 at least through one of the sleeves 16′ and its associated post 42′ are so aligned to permit a padlock 64 to lock the anti-tilt railing to the base during use after the anti-tilt railing has been placed into position.

In FIG. 11, a third embodiment of panel stack safety holder 110 is seen to be an integral, one-piece construction having a base plate 112 that is horizontal and presenting a horizontal top surface 114. Mounting plate 130 is an upstanding wall section at an angle β with base plate 112 and is adapted to be affixed to an adjacent wall structure (see FIG. 5). Anti-tilt section 140 is also an upstanding plate, at an angle γ with base plate 112. Angle β is preferably 90° while angle γ is preferably about 80°. Gusset plate 122 is joined to mounting plate 130 and joins base plate 112 about at least six inches from mounting plate 130 (and thus the adjacent wall structure), assuring that a panel stack (see FIG. 5) is tilted at a relatively safe angle to lean against the adjacent wall structure, while anti-tilt section 140 assures against toppling of the panel stack.

The panel stack safety holder of the present invention can also be mobile, as seen in FIG. 12. Holder 210 is provided with a set of swivelable wheels 260, while also including a base 212 providing an angled top, load-bearing surface 214 having a first stop rail 220 and a second stop rail 224. Holder 210 also includes a mounting plate 230 on an upstanding frame 232 having posts 234 insertable into sleeves 238 of base 212, and an inwardly angled anti-tilt railing 240 having a top rail 244, and a plurality of posts 242 insertable into corresponding sleeves 248. Optionally, wheel assemblies 260 may be equipped with brakes (not shown), or may be retractable upwardly such that stand posts (not shown) will engage the flooring to prevent unintended motion. Further, optionally second stop rail 224 may be adjustable in location toward or away from the first stop rail 220 along apertured position guide strips 226, and fastenable in its selected position by, for example, wing nuts 228, so to more closely complement the stack thickness.

It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that changes could be made to the embodiments described above without departing from the broad inventive concept thereof It is understood, therefore, that this invention is not limited to the particular embodiments disclosed, but it is intended to cover modifications within the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims.