Title:
Versa-track wall/floor joist assembly and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A versa-track structure and wall/floor joist assembly and method is provided which consists of an elongated versa-track member comprising a planar web and a first and second legs in perpendicular alignment defining generally a C-shape or J-shape in cross section. A plurality of horizontally elongated openings are spaced lengthwise on the planar web between the first and second ends of the versa-track and receive perpendicularly related vertical stud members or horizontal floor joist members in forming a wall or floor assembly.



Inventors:
Klein, James A. (US)
Birkland, Gordon W. (US)
Application Number:
10/382542
Publication Date:
09/11/2003
Filing Date:
03/07/2003
Assignee:
KLEIN JAMES A.
BIRKLAND GORDON W.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/481.1, 52/745.09, 52/846
International Classes:
E04B5/10; E04B5/12; E04C3/09; E04B1/24; E04C3/04; (IPC1-7): E04C3/30
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Primary Examiner:
CHAPMAN, JEANETTE E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard Martin (Tacoma, WA, US)
Claims:
6. The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:

1. A generally U-shaped elongated versa-track channel for a wall assembly, comprising: a first end and a second end; a planar web; a first leg and a second leg perpendicular to the web and defining generally the U-shaped cross-section; and a plurality of openings spaced lengthwise on the planar web between the first and second ends.

2. The versa-track channel of claim 1, wherein the plurality of openings are punched within the planar web having diameter dimensions between the first and second legs equal to or greater than ½ of the width of the web.

3. The versa-track channel of claim 1, wherein the first leg and the second leg provide means for positive attachment to a stud or floor joist located within the opening in the planar web.

4. The versa-track channel of claim 1, wherein said versa-track channel is made of light gauge steel or a high strength material having the strength at least as great as steel of thickness between 0.015 inches and 0.098 inches.

5. A versa-track wall assembly, comprising: a top track and a bottom track; a plurality of generally U-shaped elongated versa-track channel members horizontally positioned and containing a plurality of elongated openings; a plurality of framing members fitting through said elongated openings; a means for fixedly attaching the versa-track channel members to the framing members at desired locations; and a means for attaching the framing members to the top track and to the bottom track.

6. The versa-track wall assembly of claim 5, wherein the framing members are vertical metal studs.

7. The versa-track wall assembly of claim 5, wherein the framing members are vertical wood studs.

8. The versa-track wall assembly of claim 5, wherein the framing members are horizontal floor joists.

9. The versa-track wall assembly of claim 5, wherein the versa-track channel members align the framing members, provide horizontal and vertical stabilization, is a backing device, and provides fire blocking and draft dampening.

10. A method of constructing a wall assembly in a commercial or residential building, comprising the steps of: providing a plurality of versa-track members of claim 1; positioning a plurality of stud members through the plurality of elongated openings in the versa-track members; positioning the versa-track members up and down into desired positions in relation to the stud members; and positively attaching the stud members to the versa-track members.

Description:

2. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of Invention

[0002] The present invention pertains to wall and floor joist construction and an improved means for bracing parallel studs or joists and fire blocking and draft dampening between parallel studs or joists. The present invention provides a large percentage of closure between studs and joists creating a fire block or draft damper. The present invention also provides horizontal and vertical stabilization as well as additional shear strength between a plurality of studs due to the positive attachment through the legs on either side of the elongated versa-track. The first and second legs of the versa-track provides additional backing for various requirements in wall construction, such as composite wallboard, gypsum, wood, wall-mounted structures, and various other types of shear valued materials.

[0003] 2. of the Related Art

[0004] Metal stud wall and floor joist construction is well known in the construction industry. The use of fire blocking, bridging and backing in the construction industry is well known. The use of web stiffening, alignment, horizontal and vertical stabilization and stud locating tools are also well known.

[0005] During wall construction the alignment regulation or spacing of framing materials is often done through a process of first measuring and marking the placement of framing materials by hand with a tape measure and marking device. Vertical studs and horizontal joists are then attached at the appropriate locations on one end of the framing materials, leveled or squared to ensure perpendicular alignment, and then attached at the opposite end. This process is timely as it involves several steps and the final opposing end attachment may be at a height or distance that requires many trips up and down a ladder or walking from one end to the other.

[0006] Representative patents generally related to metal stud wall assemblies include U.S. Pat. No. 5,274,973, issued Jan. 4, 1994 to Liang; U.S. Pat. No. 5,784,850, issued Jul. 28, 1998 to Elderson; U.S. Pat. No. 5,921,041, issued Jul. 13, 1999 to Egri, II; U.S. Pat. No. 6,021,618, issued Feb. 8, 2000 to Elderson; U.S. Pat. No. 6,176,053, issued Jan. 23, 2001 to St. Germain; and U.S. Pat. No. 6,260,318, issued Jul. 17, 2001 to Herren.

[0007] The present invention is an improvement over the prior art based upon the accomplishment of multiple tasks using one unitary device to frame a plurality of wall studs or floor joists easily, efficiently economically.

3. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a new and improved wall structure and method which overcome the limitations and disadvantages of wall structures heretofore provided.

[0009] It is a further object of the present invention to provide a new and improved floor structure and method which overcome the limitations and disadvantages of floor structures heretofore provided.

[0010] It is a further object of the invention to improve the assembly means used to join metal studs and floor joists in assembly.

[0011] Another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved unitary device that allows for a plurality of studs or joists to be horizontally and vertically stabilized.

[0012] Yet another object of the invention is to provide a wall structure and method of the above character which also aligns assembly members.

[0013] Yet another object of the invention is to provide a wall structure and method of the above character which also provides fire blocking, backing, and acts as a shear device between a plurality of studs.

[0014] Another object of the invention is to provide a wall structure and method which can be employed economically and efficiently.

[0015] Other objects, aspects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the detailed description, considered in conjunction with the drawings.

[0016] The versa-track invention acts as pre-punched spaced opening jig that can be used in several applications. The invention could be used as a top and or bottom track attached to the building structure from which the studs or joists could now easily be aligned via the openings in the versa-track to meet alignment regulations without the process of measuring and marking discussed prior. The invention also can be used in application as a pre-punched spaced opening jig placed on top or in line with “base plate” or “rim” track framing attached to the building structure. In this application the pre-spaced openings would help outline alignment requirements from which studs or joists will meet these spacing requirements once they are inserted through the openings. Once the framing materials have been inserted through the versa-track and attached at one end to the base plate, track, or rim track, the versa-track can then be moved into a desired or required position further away from the base plate or track. With this movement the plurality of framing materials positioned inside the spaced openings of the web will align themselves at the unattached end without any additional measuring or marking. Once one stud or joist is leveled or squared the following studs or joists should follow the pattern as a result of the versa-track.

[0017] These and various other advantages and features of novelty, which characterize the invention, are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed hereto and forming a part hereof. However, for a better understanding of the invention, its advantages, and tasks performed by its use, reference should be made to the drawings which form a further part hereof, and to the accompanying detailed description, in which there is illustrated and described preferred embodiments of the invention.

4. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0018] FIG. 1. is a perspective view of a section of the versa-track.

[0019] FIG. 2. is a perspective view of the versa-track wall assembly, with a plurality of vertical stud members engaged in an elongated slotted opening.

[0020] FIG. 3. is a planar view showing a metal stud engagement with the versa-track.

[0021] FIG. 4. is a planar view showing a wood stud engagement with the versa-track.

5. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0022] Referring to the drawings, and in particular FIG. 1, there is shown a versa-track member 1 comprising a planar web 2 and a first leg 3 and a second leg 4 in perpendicular alignment defining generally a C-shape, U-shape or J-shape in cross section. A plurality of horizontally elongated openings 5 are spaced lengthwise on the planar web 2 between a first end 6 and a second end 7 of the versa-track 1 and are defined in length by the distance between the inner surfaces of the first and second legs 3 and 4 of the versa-track 1 and in width by the corresponding width of a stud 8. Thus, the openings 5 are punched out completely through the thickness of the web 2 and are spaced in accordance to specific framing requirements that allow for unrestricted movement of a variety of framing materials, such as studs 8 through the web 2.

[0023] The versa-track 1 is a C-shaped or J-shaped channel made from light guage metal framing material, which meets ASTM A 653 and zinc coating requirements according to ASTM A 924. The versa-track 1 is produced from a continuous piece of flat light gauge metal that is cold rolled formed or broken (via brake press) into a web2 and first and second legs 3 and 4 on either side of the web 2 perpendicularly.

[0024] A wall assembly 9 is shown in FIG. 2. wherein the plurality of studs 8 pass thru the corresponding plurality of openings 5 of the versa-track 1. The versa-track 1 is located as required by moving the versa-track 1 up and down into a desired position and then the versa-track is positively attached through the first leg 3 or the second leg 4 to the plurality of studs 8.

[0025] Once the versa-track 1 is positively attached to the studs 8, the versa-track meets one or a number of required elements. The web 2 can be utilized as fire blocking, horizontal stabilization, or as an additional mounting surface. The first and second legs 3 and 4 can be used for backing of gypsum or other types of shear panels, and the entire countiuous versa-track 1 profile can be utilized as a web stiffener. The continuous one-piece design also provides additional shear support. The spacing of the punched openings 5 now “jigs” the framing material or studs 8 into predetermined spacing for attachment to the top or bottom plates and or track which are in turn attached to building structure.

[0026] The preferred method of using the versa-track 1 is to lay out the versa-track 1 in conjunction with an area to be framed with studs 8 and track (metal) or studs 8 and plates (wood). Framing studs 8 are sent through one or several layers of versa-tracks 1 via the punched out openings 5. The studs 8 are next positively attached to either a bottom or top plate (wood) or track (metal). The versa-track 1 is then moved up or down into desired position or positions and positively attached to the studs 8.

[0027] An additional use of the versa-track 1 utilizes the versa-track 1 as a top or a bottom track attached to the building structure from which the studs 8 are easily aligned via the punched out openings 5.

[0028] Another embodiment of the versa-track wall assembly 9 contemplates the use of wood studs as shown in FIG. 4. Another embodiment of the versa-track 1 utilizes the versa-track 1 in conjunction with floor joists in assembly.

[0029] It is apparent from the foregoing that a new and improved wall structure and method have been provided. While this invention has been described in detail with respect to certain preferred embodiments, it should be recognized that the invention is not limited to those embodiments. Rather, many variations and modifications of these would be apparent to those of skill in the art, without departing from the spirit and the scope of the invention, as defined in the appended claims.