Title:
Joining system for tubular members
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A joining system for tubular members which uses attaching members and stabilizing members. The stabilizing members are a ring like shape having a plurality of grooves. The attaching members are generally a bolt and wing nut combination. One tubular member is attached to another tubular member by a groove in a stabilizing member being positioned against a first tubular member, another groove of the stabilizing member being positioned against a second tubular member at a desired angle. The attaching member is positioned through holes in the tubular members and stabilizing members. Two wing nut wrenches for attaching tubular members to each other are also disclosed. One wing nut wrench has a variation in which it is used as a petcock wrench. Two jig systems for holding tubular members in place while holes are drilled therethrough are also disclosed, as is a method for joining tubular members.



Inventors:
Hewett, Frank W. (Poulsbo, WA, US)
Application Number:
09/877580
Publication Date:
06/13/2002
Filing Date:
06/06/2001
Assignee:
HEWETT FRANK W.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
135/121, 403/374.3, 135/120.3
International Classes:
E04H15/06; E04H15/44; (IPC1-7): E04H15/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090308421SUN SHADE PROTECTORDecember, 2009Ortiz et al.
20040194393Water weighted tarpOctober, 2004Horman
20040159346GreenhouseAugust, 2004Huang
20040112415Walkable leg crutchJune, 2004Shamieh et al.
20080196754Aerodynamic SunshadeAugust, 2008Saiz
20060016467Bell folding tentJanuary, 2006Bae
20050098199Box umbrellaMay, 2005Ko
20010050097Outdoor umbrella coverDecember, 2001Fazel
20090114257Handle and a Walking Aid Incorporating the SameMay, 2009Sutton
20030029486Multi-folded umbrella with two layers of coversFebruary, 2003Ko
20080289673FOLDABLE EXPANDABLE SHELTERNovember, 2008Roden et al.



Primary Examiner:
GLESSNER, BRIAN E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DONNA J. THIES, ESQ. (ISSAQUAH, WA, US)
Claims:

Having described my invention, I claim:



1. A joining system for tubular members comprising: a plurality of tubular members; at least one stabilizing member attached to at least two tubular members; at least one attaching member for attaching one of the stabilizing members to the tubular members.

2. A stabilizing member for use in a tubular member joining system comprising: a ring shaped member having a top and bottom surface, the top and bottom surfaces each having at least one tubular member engaging groove; whereby a stabilizing member is attached to at least two tubular members.

3. The joining system for tubular members as defined in claim 1 wherein: the tubular members are joined to form a structure.

4. A first wing nut wrench comprising: a channel having a lower surface and a first and second side, the lower surface having at least one bolt engaging hole therethrough; whereby the first and second sides form a wing nut engaging slot.

5. The first wing nut wrench as defined in claim 4 wherein there is a plurality of nested channels having varying size holes and slots therein.

6. A petcock wrench comprising: a channel having a lower surface and a first and second side, the lower surface having at least one bolt engaging hole therethrough and, the first and second sides each having at least one petcock engaging slot therethrough.

7. The petcock wrench is defined in claim 6 wherein there is a plurality of nested channels having varying size holes and slots therein.

8. A second wing nut wrench formed from a deep socket of a socket wrench, the socket wrench having a handle, the second wing nut wrench comprising: a cylindrical member having a first hex shaped opening with a slot therethrough, and a second square shaped opening; whereby the slot in the hex shaped opening receives a wing nut and the square shaped opening receives the handle of the socket wrench.

9. A first jig system for holding a tubular member in place comprising: an upper plate; a lower plate attached to the upper plate, the lower plate having a tubular member receiving groove; and at least one attaching member for attaching the lower plate to the upper plate.

10. A second jig system for holding a tubular member in place comprising: an upper plate having at least one bolt engaging hole therethrough and having at least one drilling hole positioned therethrough; a lower plate attached to the upper plate and having at least one drilling hole positioned therethrough; an attaching member for attaching the upper plate to the lower plate and to provide a distance between the upper plate and the lower plate equal to substantially slightly larger than the diameter of a tubular member to thereby hold the tubular member in place.

11. A rain water collection system comprising; a plurality of tubular members, each tubular member being approximately the same height as all other tubular members; a plurality of stabilizing members, each stabilizing member being attached to each tubular member; a plurality of attaching members, for attaching a stabilizing member to a tubular member each tubular member being attached to one other tubular member at approximately a ninety degree angle thereby forming a structure, the structure having a top; a cover having a central portion and an underside, the cover being removably attached to the top of the structure and having a discharge opening in its central portion; a downspout removably attached to the underside of the cover at its central portion; piping having a first and second ends, the piping removably attached to the downspout at its′ first end; whereby water by natural flow, flows toward the central portion of the cover, down into the downspout and piping to be collected at the second end of the piping.

12. A method for joining tubular members comprising: providing a plurality of tubular member; providing at least one stabilizing member attached to at least two tubular members; providing at least one attaching member; attaching one of the stabilizing members to the tubular members using an attaching member.

13. The method for joining tubular members as defined in claim 12 wherein: the tubular members are joined to form a structure.

14. The method for joining tubular members as defined in claim 12 wherein: the stabilizing member is a ring shaped member having a top and bottom surface, the top and bottom surfaces each having at least one tubular member engaging groove; thereby a stabilizing member is attached to at least two tubular members.

15. A method for collecting rain water comprising the steps of: providing a plurality of tubular members, each tubular member being approximately the same height as all other tubular members; providing a plurality of stabilizing members each stabilizing member being attached to each tubular member; providing a plurality of attaching members for attaching a stabilizing member to a tubular member, each tubular member being attached to one other tubular member at approximately a ninety degree angle thereby forming a structure, the structure having a top; providing a cover having a central portion and an underside, the cover being removably attached to the top of the structure and having a discharge opening in its central portion; providing a downspout removably attached to the underside of the cover at its′ central portion; providing piping having a first and second ends, the piping removably attached to the downspout at its first end; whereby water by natural flow, flows toward the central portion of the cover, down into the downspout and piping to be collected at the second end of the piping.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] There are numerous applications for which it would be desirable to have a quick and easy means and system for joining tubular members at a plurality of angularities in a rigid and strong manner. One obvious application for the herein described joining system would be to form the shell for a temporary structure such as a shade tent that can quickly to and easily be constructed on a beach. Then, when leaving the beach, the temporary structure could be just as easily broken down and removed. There are a myriad of similar applications, too numerous to list in their entirety, some of which will be described herein by way of example only.

[0002] U.S. Pat. No. 229,788 to Winnek discloses a harrow tooth holder for holding the teeth of a harrow in various positions.

[0003] U.S. Design Patent 274,404 to Adler shows a wing nut and petcock wrench that is used to turn a wing nut tightly.

[0004] U.S. Design Patent 329,178 to Ackerman discloses a wing nut wrench having a handle portion with grooves.

[0005] U.S. Pat. No. 504,717 to Fanckboner discloses an umbrella support that allows an umbrella handle to be angled at various angles.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 595,196 to Bothwell discloses a display stand that is formed by tubular members that are attached to each other by various fittings.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 777,037 to Liebau discloses a supporting frame which uses discs to allow the legs to either be locked in operative relation or collapsed in disassembly.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 1,361,211 to Wilson teaches a wire protector that employs grooved disks to keep wires separate from one another.

[0009] U.S. Pat. No. 2,153,547 to Charlop et al discloses a hammock tent and support that uses disks to provide the same angularity at two or more ends of the tent.

[0010] U.S. Pat. No. 3,469,588 to Rainwater discloses an articulated multisection shelter that uses swivel joints.

[0011] U.S. Pat. No. 4,066,089 to Rainwater discloses a collapsible shelter structure that has pivoted corner braces.

[0012] U.S. Pat. No. 5,546,971 to Leonhardt discloses a foldable shelter with struts that disconnect when not in use.

[0013] U.S. Pat. No. 5,584,311 to Schaefer teaches a self supported tent frame coupler that retains support poles at a preferred angular orientation.

[0014] U.S. Pat. No. 5,791,363 to Moses discloses a knockdown portable shelter that forms a particular type of framework.

[0015] U.S. Pat. No. 5,908,207 to Wilson discloses a book holder with a stand that is easily assembled by a screw and a wingnut.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0016] In order to overcome problems inherent in the prior art, there has been devised by the present invention, a new and novel joining system for joining a plurality of tubular members to each other at a plurality of angles to thereby form the shell for a structure or other framework. The joining system of the present invention comprises in general, tubular members, stabilizing members and attaching members. Each attaching member generally comprises a nut and bolt configuration but other such configurations are within the spirit and scope of the invention. Each stabilizing member serves to allow tubular members to be attached to each other at a plurality of angles with a solid and strong connection formed at the connection of the tubular members. The system also includes two wing nut wrenches for attaching tubular members to one another. A variation of one wing nut wrench is used as a petcock wrench in another application. Two jig systems are also disclosed for holding tubular members in place while holes are drilled through them in order to attach tubular members at a variety of angularities.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0017] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the basic elements used in the present structure and framework system.

[0018] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a first wing nut wrench used in the present tubular member joining system.

[0019] FIG. 2A is a perspective view of a first petcock wrench as it is used in a different application. FIG. 2A shows a variation of the first wing nut wrench of FIG. 2 used for the unrelated purpose of tightening or loosening a petcock.

[0020] FIG. 2B is a perspective view showing a standard petcock and showing the pieces that the petcock wrench of FIG. 2A would come into contact with if the petcock wrench of FIG. 2A is used for the unrelated purpose of tightening or loosening a petcock.

[0021] FIG. 2C is a perspective view of the wing nut wrench of FIGS. 2 wherein a plurality of wing nut wrenches have varying sizes and varying size bolt engaging holes therein. FIG. 2C also represents a nested version of FIG. 2A which also would have varying sizes and varying sizes of petcock engaging slots therein.

[0022] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a second wing nut and petcock wrench used in the present tubular member joining system.

[0023] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a jig system provided with and part of the present invention that allows a tubular member to be held in place in the proper position while holes are cut through the tubular member at a desired angularity.

[0024] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a second jig system provided with and part of the present invention that allows two tubular members to be held in place in the proper position while a hole is cut through both tubular members at the same time. The jig system as shown in FIG. 5 is most often used when the joining system is being set up and particular holes are needed but unavailable, in a particular piece of tubing.

[0025] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a first application of the present tubular member joining system.

[0026] FIG. 6A is an enlargement of the circled joining configuration as shown in FIG. 6.

[0027] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a second application of the present tubular member joining system.

[0028] FIG. 7A is an enlargement of the circled joining configuration as shown in FIG. 7.

[0029] FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a third application of the present tubular member joining system.

[0030] FIG. 8A is an enlargement of the circled joining configuration as shown in FIG. 8.

[0031] FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a fourth application of the present tubular member joining system.

[0032] FIG. 9A is an enlargement of the circled joining configuration as shown in FIG. 9.

[0033] FIG. 10 is an exploded view of the downspout area of the fourth application of the present tubular member joining system whereby water is removed from the top of the structure as seen in FIG. 9.

[0034] FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a fifth application of the present tubular member joining system.

[0035] FIG. 11A is an enlargement of the circled joining configuration as shown in FIG. 11.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0036] Referring now to the drawings in general, and in particular to FIG. 1, there is shown a perspective view of the basic elements used in the present joining system for tubular members. It is to be understood that the herein described joining system for tubular members has many applications and the applications described and shown herein should be viewed as examples only and the present invention should not be limited by such examples. The present invention should also not be limited to the sizes of the parts described. In FIG. 1 there is seen, the basic elements necessary for the joining of tubular members of the present invention. The system is shown generally by the number 10. The system includes tubular members 12 that are joined to other tubular members 12 by means of a stabilizing member 14 and an attaching means, shown generally by the number 16, and in the form of an attaching member 18. The stabilizing member 14, in the form of a stabilizer 20, is generally a ring like shape. The stabilizing member 14 has at the top surface 22 and the bottom surface 24 of its ring like shape, a plurality of grooves 26. These grooves 26 are of a size adapted to fit and hold a tubular member 12 so that two tubular members 12 can be attached to each other at a 22-½, 45 or 90 degree angle. Other angles, of course, would be within the spirit and scope of the invention. There are holes 28 in the tubular members 12 at appropriate intervals for receiving an attaching member 18 as will be described hereinafter. In practice, as seen in FIGS. 6A, 7A, 8A, 9A and 11A, a first tubular member 30 is placed in a desired groove 26 on the top surface 22 or bottom surface 24 of the stabilizing member 14, as seen in FIG. 1. A second tubular member 32 is then placed in a groove 26 on the surface 22 or 24 of the stabilizing member 14 that is opposite the first tubular member 30 at the desired angle relative to the first tubular member 30, with holes 28 in the tubular members 12 lined up. So, for example, if the first tubular member 30 is placed in a groove 26 on the top surface 22 of the stabilizing member 14, then the second tubular member 32 is placed in a groove 26 on the bottom surface 24 of the stabilizing member 14 and vice versa. The attaching member 18 comprises generally a bolt and a wing nut combination 34, but other attaching members 18 would be within the spirit and scope of the invention. The bolt portion 36 of the bolt and wing nut combination 34 includes a bolt 37, having a bolt head 38, the bolt 37 is positioned through the lined up holes 28 in the tubular members 12. The wing nut portion 39 of the bolt and wing nut combination 34 is tightened down, thereby connecting the two tubular members 30 and 32 at the desired angular relationship, as seen in FIGS. 6A, 7A, 8A, 9A and 11A. The stabilizing member 14 then serves two purposes. First, it supports a first tubular member 30 at a preferred angularity to a second tubular member 32 and second, it supports and forms a brace for the resultant framework such that no further support, such as a diagonal brace is required for a structure or framework 40, as seen in FIGS. 6, 7, 8, 9 and 11. The tubular members 12 each have end caps 41, so that sharp ends 42 of the tubular members 12 do not remain exposed. The present system 10 for joining tubular members 12 facilitates the quick and simple assembly and disassembly of innumerable configurations of structures or frameworks 40. The resulting framework 40 is flexible in the size of pieces used and the number of pieces used and accommodates many applications that require that the structure or framework have strength.

[0037] Referring now to FIG. 2 of the drawings there is shown a further element of the present joining system 10, a first wing nut wrench shown generally by the number 44. The first wing nut wrench 44 is substantially a piece of metal channeling 46 having at least two holes 48 and 50 through the lower surface 52 of the channel 46. The first hole 48 is substantially in the middle of the lower surface 52 of the channel 46, and is adapted to fit the bolt portion 36 of a bolt and wing nut combination 34, as seen in FIG. 1. In practice, the channel 46 is positioned atop the bolt portion 36 of a bolt and wing nut combination 34 and the bolt portion 36 of the bolt and wing nut combination 34 is positioned through the first hole 48 in the channel 46. The wings 54 of the wing nut 56 of the bolt and wing nut combination 34, as seen in FIG. 1, fit within the sides 58 and 60 of the channel 46 to provide the leverage needed to turn the wing nut 56. The channel 46 is then turned to move the wing nut 56 of the bolt and wing nut combination 34 relative to the bolt portion 36 of the bolt and wing nut combination 34, either loosening or tightening the wing nut 56.

[0038] A second hole 50 is positioned also in the lower surface 52 of the channel 46 substantially at the first 62 or second 64 end of the lower surface 52 of the channel 46. The purpose of this second hole 50 is to allow the second hole 50 to be positioned over the bolt portion 36 of a bolt and wing nut combination 34 when the wing nut 56 is in close quarters, so that it is not required that the wing nut wrench 44 have a large space in which to be turned.

[0039] Referring now to FIG. 2A there is shown a perspective view of a first petcock wrench as used in a different application. If the wing nut wrench 44 of FIG. 2 is used for the unrelated purpose of opening a petcock 66, as seen in FIG. 2B, a notch 68 is formed in the wing nut wrench 44 thereby making the wrench a petcock wrench 69. The notch 68 in the petcock wrench 69 is adapted to fit around an indented screw and nut combination 70 in a petcock 66, as seen in FIG. 2B. The hole 48 in the petcock wrench 69 through which the screw portion 72 of the screw and nut combination 70 of the petcock 66, as seen in FIG. 2B, would allow fluid or air to pass easily from the petcock 66. A third hole 74 is also positioned through the lower surface 52 of the channel 46. Through the third hole 74 there is threaded a loop 76 of cording 78 or other attaching material, and attached also on the loop 76 is a tag 79. The tag 79 serves at least two purposes: first to identify the manufacturer, indicia can be added to the tag 79; and second to provide a hanging means 80 by which the wing nut wrench 44 or the petcock wrench 69 can be hung on a wall or equipment to later be found easily.

[0040] Referring now to FIG. 2C of the drawings there is shown a perspective view of the wrenches 44 of FIG. 2 and 69 of FIG. 2A wherein there is a plurality of wing nut wrenches 44 that have varying size bolt engaging holes 48 therein. Thus, the differing sizes of wing nut wrench 44 can serve different functions in different applications. It can be seen from FIG. 2C that it can also represent a nested version of FIG. 2A wherein the petcock wrenches 69 can also be nested for varying size and varying size of petcock engaging slots 68. In the preferred embodiment of FIG. 2C, the smallest wing nut wrench 81 may be used to turn thumb screws or small wing nuts, the medium sized wing nut wrench 82 may be used to turn petcocks, and the largest wing nut wrench 83 may be used to turn larger wing nuts.

[0041] Referring now to FIG. 3 of the drawings there is shown a perspective view of a second type of wing nut wrench, shown generally by the number 84, which is used in the present system. The second wing nut wrench 84 is a cylindrical member 85, a hollow cylindrical tube 86 having holes 87 and 88 at both ends 90 and 92. The wing nut wrench 84 is substantially a deep socket with a slot 94 across the hex end 96. The end 98 opposite of the hex end 96 of the tube 86 has a square hole 88 as would be found in a typical socket wrench, the square hole 88 being compatible to receive the handle 100 of a socket wrench, as seen in FIG. 3. The slot 94 at the hex end 96 of the tube 86 with the hex opening or hole 87 has substantially across the diameter 102 of the hex opening or hole 87 two notches 104 and 106 forming the slot 94 for receiving the wing nut portion 39 of a bolt and wing nut combination 39, as seen in FIG. 1. In practice, the cylindrical tube 84 is inserted atop the wing nut portion 39 of a bolt and wing nut combination 34, as seen in FIG. 1. Upon turning the tube 86, the wing nut 56 is then tightened or loosened from the bolt portion 36 of the bolt and wing nut combination 34, depending on which way the tube 86 is turned.

[0042] As seen in FIG. 4, also provided in the present system for joining tubular members 10 is a first jig system 108 for holding a tubular member 12 in place while it has holes 28 placed therein at various desired angles, as seen in FIG. 1. The first jig system 108 of the present invention is shown most clearly in FIG. 4 and comprises in general, a device 110 having a lower plate 112 with a tubular member 12 receiving groove 114 routed in the upper surface 116 of the lower plate 112. A stop 118 is provided to be positioned through an upper plate 120 and the lower plate 112 such that as a tubular member 12, as seen in FIG. 1, is positioned in the groove 114 within the device 110, the tubular member 12 is forced to stop at a location corresponding to the position where it is appropriate to drill a hole through the tubular member 12. The upper plate 120 has a plurality of holes 122 therethrough for holding a drill bit in position when holes 28 are being drilled in a tubular member 12, as seen in FIG. 1. In practice, a tubular member 12 is inserted in the jig device 110 and stopped by the stop 118. Attaching members 123, in the form of knob handled screws 124 are tightened to hold a tubular member 12 in place while a hole 28 is being drilled therethrough. A hole 28 is formed through the tubular member 12 by placing a drill bit through the appropriate hole 122 in the upper surface 126 of the upper plate 120. To then drill a hole 28 at a 90 degree angle to the first hole 28 the knob handled screws 124 are loosened, the tubular member 12 is turned sideways to a position parallel to the upper surface 116 of the lower plate 112. Any item suitable, such as the doweled block 128, is positioned through the first hole 129 in the upper plate 120 and consequently through the freshly drilled hole 28 in the tubular member 12 to lock the tubular member 12 in place parallel to the upper surface 116 of the lower plate 112, and a drill bit is positioned through an appropriate hole 122 in the upper surface 126 of the upper plate 120. If the doweled block 128 is used to lock the tubular member 12 in place parallel to the lower plate 112, the dowel 130 is attached to the undersurface 132 of the block 134 as seen in FIG. 4. The dowel 130 is inserted into the first hole 129 in the upper plate 120 and goes through the hole 28 in the tubular member 12 under the upper plate 120 thereby locking the tubular member 12 in place in the groove 114. The appropriate hole 129 to use in the upper plate 120 to achieve a 90 degree angle between two holes 28 in a tubular member 12, for example, can be identified for the user by color coding of the holes 122 in the upper plate 120, or other suitable means.

[0043] Referring now to FIG. 5 of the drawings there is shown a perspective view of a second jig system 136 provided with and part of the present invention. The second jig system 136 is most often used to hold a tubular member 12 in place in a fixed position while a hole 28 is cut through the tubular member 12, while the joining system 10, as seen in FIG. 1, is being set up. The second jig system 136 is generally used with the joining system 10 being partially put together and wherein a hole 28 in a tubular member 12 is necessary, but unavailable, for completing a particular structure or framework 40. In FIG. 5, it can be seen that the second jig system 136 comprises an upper 135 and lower plate 137 in the form of two generally rectangular members 138 and 140, each having a plurality of holes 142 therethrough. Each rectangular member 138 and 140 has at least one hole 142 generally at a first end 144 and at least a second hole 146 generally at a second end 148. Each rectangular member 138 and 140 also has a generally central hole 150 and generally includes a metal unshaped portion 152 and a high-density polyethylene t-shaped portion 154, which fits inside the u-shaped portion 152. In practice, a bolt portion 36 of a bolt and wing nut combination 34, as seen in FIG. 1, is positioned through the hole 142 in the first end 144 of a first rectangular member 138 and through the corresponding hole 142 in the first end 144 of a second rectangular member 140. The wing nut portion 39 of a bolt and wing nut combination 34 is screwed down in a conventional manner to position the second jig system 136 around two attached tubular members 12. The second end 148 of the first 138 and second rectangular members 140 are attached to each other as the first ends 144 were. Thus, with the tubular members 12 and the second jig system 136 attached as shown in FIG. 5, a hole can be drilled through both of the tubular members 12 at position 156, by placing a drill bit in the centralized hole 150 in the rectangular members 138 and 140 and drilling into the tubular member 12.

[0044] The following examples show some ways in which the present joining system for tubular members 10 can be used. They are meant as examples only and various changes to the sizes arrangements of various parts are within the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, with slight changes to the sizes of parts, the present joining system for tubular members 10 can be used to form various configurations of scaffolding.

[0045] Referring now to FIG. 6 of the drawings, there is shown one application of the present joining system for tubular members 10. FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a configuration of the present system used as a protection structure from wind or sun having a slightly slanted roof 158 so as not to hold rain on top. The angle used to connect two tubular members 12 together to form the slanted roof 158 may be 22 ½ degrees, or other desired angle. The slanted roof 158 is attached to the framework 160 formed by the tubular members 12 by means of stretch cords 162 through grommets 164 in a tarpaulin 165 in a known manner.

[0046] FIG. 6A is an enlargement of the circled area in FIG. 6 showing an enlargement of the parts forming the appropriate angle 166 in FIG. 6. FIG. 6A shows more clearly the arrangement of the tubular members 12, stabilizing member 14, attaching means 16 in the form of an attaching member 18 which is a bolt and wing nut combination 34.

[0047] Referring now to FIG. 7 of the drawings there is shown a perspective view of a second application of the present tubular member joining system 10 wherein the system is used to provide shade or other protection, such as a temporary carport 168 for a car. Joining occurs at four locations 170, 172, 174, and 176 so as to form a two-sided structure or framework 177 having a partially slanted roof 178 on top 180 of the framework 177. Then, across the top 180 of the framework 177, a second set of joining 182 and 184 occurs at an angle to form the triangular section 186 of the roof 178. The roof 178 of FIG. 7 is attached to the framework 160 formed by the tubular members 12 by means of stretch cords 162 through grommets 164 in a tarpaulin 165 in a known manner similar to FIG. 6.

[0048] FIG. 7A is an enlargement of the circled area in FIG. 7, similar to FIG. 6A, showing an enlargement of the parts forming the appropriate angle 188 in FIG. 7. FIG. 7A shows more clearly the arrangement of the tubular members 12, stabilizing member 14, attaching means 16 in the form of an attaching member 18 which is a bolt and wing nut combination 34.

[0049] Referring now to FIG. 8 of the drawings there is shown a perspective view of a third application of the present tubular member joining system 10 wherein the system is used to provide a temporary protective structure or framework 187 with a portion positioned directly atop a van 188 or other vehicle. The application as shown in FIG. 8 using the present tubular member joining system 10 for a temporary structure or framework 187 can be used, for example, by a van owner who uses his vehicle to transport things to sell, such as a local fruit vendor. Another use for the application shown in FIG. 8 would be a camper who sets up a temporary shade for a patio when parked at a camping site. The roof 190 of FIG. 8 is attached to the framework 187 formed by the tubular members 12 by means of stretch cords 162 through grommets 164 in a tarpaulin 165 known manner similar to FIGS. 6 and 7. FIG. 8A is an enlargement of the circled area in FIG. 8, similar to FIGS. 6A and 7A, showing an enlargement of the parts forming the appropriate angle 192 in FIG. 8. FIG. 8A shows more clearly the arrangement of the tubular members 12, stabilizing member 14, attaching means 16 in the form of an attaching member 18 which is a bolt and wing nut combination 34.

[0050] To form the configuration as shown in FIG. 8, two vertically placed tubular members 12 of appropriate height approximating the height of a van 188 are each attached to a horizontally placed tubular member 12, such that the vertically placed tubular members 12 are at a 90 degree angle to the horizontally placed tubular member 12. One of two stabilizing members 14 are each positioned between the tubular members 12 with holes 28 and grooves 26 appropriately lined up as seen in FIG. 8A. Two more tubular members 196 and 198 are then attached to the top end 194 of the vertically positioned tubular members 200 and 202 and the tubular members 12 are connected to each other as described herein with stabilizing members 14 positioned sandwiched between. Two further tubular members 204 and 206 are then attached to the tubular members 196 and 198 extending from the vertically positioned members 200 and 202, such that a second horizontally positioned tubular member 208 can be positioned between the last described tubular members 204 and 206 to provide a framework 187 as seen in FIG. 8. The second horizontally positioned tubular member 208 would be placed on the top 210 of a van 188 or other vehicle to make the framework 187 as shown in FIG. 8.

[0051] Referring now to FIG. 9 there is shown a perspective view of a fourth application of the present tubular member joining system 10 wherein the system is used to provide a rain water collection system 209. In FIG. 9 it can be seen that tubular members 12 of approximately the same height are attached to each other at ninety-degree angles to therefore form a generally boxed shaped structure 210. The boxed shaped structure 210 can easily have a tarpaulin 165 positioned loosely across its top 212 and attached with stretch cords 162 or other means positioned through a grommet 164 in the tarpaulin 165 in a known manner. If the tarpaulin 165 is slightly larger than the top 212 of the box shaped structure 210, the tarpaulin 165 will bow or sag in its central portion 214, thereby generally forming an upside down umbrella sort of configuration. Attached generally in the central portion 214 of the tarpaulin 165 is positioned a downspout 216. A mesh portion 218 of the downspout 216 protrudes above the upper surface 220 of the tarpaulin 165 and serves to keep leaves from entering the downspout 216 area. As rain falls it is directed onto the upper surface 220 of the tarpaulin 165 and by natural flow toward the naturally occurring cavity of the central portion 214 of the tarpaulin 165 and down the downspout 216 into piping 222 and elbow joints 223 to be carried also by natural flow into a holding device 224 such as a bucket 226 or other water holding container. The mesh portion 218 of the downspout 216 is formed by flexible plastic that is collapsible for packing and moving the rain collection system 209. The mesh portion 218 of the downspout 216 is attached to the solid piping 222 below the lower surface 230 of the tarpaulin 165 by means of thumb screws 231 pushed through the lower end 232 of the mesh portion 218 and into a hole 233 in a fitting 234, as seen most clearly in FIG. 10. A hole 235 that corresponds to hole 233 on the fitting 234 is positioned through a coupling 236 for an elbow joint 223, as seen most clearly in FIG. 10. The thumbscrew 231 is then secured with a bolt 238 within the coupling 236, as seen also in FIG. 10.

[0052] FIG. 9A is an enlargement of the circled area in FIG. 9, similar to FIGS. 6A, 7A and 8A, showing an enlargement of the parts forming the appropriate angle 229 in FIG. 9. FIG. 9A shows more clearly the arrangement of the tubular members 12, stabilizing member 14, attaching means 16 in the form of an attaching member 18 which is a bolt and wing nut combination 34.

[0053] Referring now to FIG. 10 of the drawings, there is shown an exploded view of the downspout 216 area of the fourth application of the present tubular member joining system 10 whereby water is removed from the structure 210 seen in FIG. 9. FIG. 10 shows in more detail the downspout 216 area of the application shown in FIG. 9. The flexible plastic mesh 228 forms the caged portion 218 of the downspout 216. The cylindrical plastic mesh 228 is held atop the fitting 234 positioned above the upper surface 220 of the tarpaulin 165 by means of thumb screws 231 and a bolt 238, as seen in FIG. 10. The fitting 234 is standard plumbing type fitting that has notches 240 to provide flow of water from the lowest level 242 of the cavity 244 at the central portion 214 of the tarpaulin 165, as seen in FIGS. 9 and 10. Another thumb screw 231 fits through the upper fitting 234 above the upper surface 220 of the tarpaulin 165 and a lower fitting 246 below the lower surface 230 of the tarpaulin 165 as seen in FIGS. 9 and 10. The lower fitting 246 fits within a combination coupling and clamp 236 positioned over the elbow joint 223, the elbow joint 223 being connected to conventional plumbing piping 222. The combination coupling and clamp 236 allows the elbow joint 223 to be turned in any direction.

[0054] Referring now to FIG. 11 of the drawings, there is shown a perspective view of a fifth application of the present tubular member joining system 10 wherein the tubular members 12 are joined to form generally an open sided, open topped rectangular box shape 248 that holds firewood 250. The shape 248 of FIG. 11, can, of course, be formed in any practical dimensions. Because of the increased stability afforded to the framework 252 by the stabilizing members 14, a heavy load of firewood 250 can be held.

[0055] FIG. 11A is an enlargement of the circled area in FIG. 11, similar to FIGS. 6A, 7A, 8A, and 9A, showing an enlargement of the parts forming the appropriate angle 254 in FIG. 11. FIG. 11A shows more clearly the arrangement of the tubular members 12, stabilizing member 14, attaching means 16 in the form of an attaching member 18 which is a bolt and wing nut combination 34.

[0056] It can be seen from the above described examples that there can be achieved by the present joining system for tubular members a multiplicity of angularities and combined angularities can be juxtaposed. Any proposed angularity or combination of angularities would therefore be within the spirit and scope of the invention.

[0057] It can also be seen from the foregoing that many advantages are accomplished by the tubular member joining system 10 of the present invention. A stabilizing member 14 has been provided which is a ring like member having grooves 26 on its top 22 and bottom surface 24 to form the seat for holding a tubular member 12 at one of a plurality of angularities relative to another tubular member 12. Two types of wing nut and petcock wrenches 44 and 82 have also been disclosed.

[0058] Two types of jig systems 108 and 136 for holding a tubular member 12 in place while a hole 28 is drilled therethrough have also been disclosed. A method of joining tubular members to each other has also been disclosed whereby the stabilizing member 14 is used to attach one tubular member 12 to a second tubular member 12 at a desired angle.

[0059] While there has been accomplished advantages by the Applicant's invention, nevertheless, variation in the structure of the invention and the arrangement of the various parts are within the spirit and scope of the Applicant's invention. The embodiments given have been given only by way of illustration and the Applicant is not to be limited to the embodiments shown and described.