Title:
Vineyard wire hanger
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A vineyard wire hanger configured to be releasably and adjustably mounted on a grape stake for supporting a vineyard or trellis wire. After installation of the hanger, the trellis wire may be tensioned without requiring any of a plurality of the hangers to be loosened, removed, or otherwise disturbed. The hanger includes a bracket configured to be mounted on a conventional grape stake. The bracket defines a central portion configured to substantially encompass a portion of the stake and a pair of terminal ends that are disposed parallel to each other. A wire receiving member defining a central opening is received between the terminal ends of the bracket. A portion of the central opening is exposed above the bracket terminal ends for loosely receiving the trellis wire. A bolt is received through cooperating openings defined by each of the bracket terminal ends and through the wire receiving member central opening to dispose each member in a fixed relative position. To install the hanger, a bracket is positioned on each stake. The wire receiving member is rotated about the bolt to expose a receiving slot. The trellis wire is then placed through the receiving slot to rest on the top surface of the bracket terminal ends and the spacer. The wire receiving member is then rotated to position the receiving slot such that the trellis wire cannot be removed from with the central opening thereof and the bolt is tightened. After the bolt has been tightened with the trellis wire in place, the trellis wire may be adjusted independently of the bracket.



Inventors:
Vandergriff, Johnie B. (Harrogate, TN, US)
Application Number:
09/736052
Publication Date:
02/12/2004
Filing Date:
12/13/2000
Assignee:
VANDERGRIFF JOHNIE B.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A01G17/06; E04H17/10; (IPC1-7): E04H17/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MACARTHUR, VICTOR L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JOHN VANDERGRIFF (HARROGATE,, TN, US)
Claims:

Having thus described the aforementioned invention, I claim:



1. A hanger for supporting a vineyard wire, said hanger comprising: a bracket adapted to be mounted on a conventional stake, said bracket defining a central portion configured to substantially encompass a portion of the stake and a pair of terminal ends disposed parallel one to another; a wire receiving member disposed between said terminal ends of said bracket, said wire receiving member defining a central opening, said central opening configured to define an exposed portion disposed above said bracket terminal ends, said exposed portion of said central opening being provided for loosely receiving the trellis wire; and a fastener for fixing a relative position of said wire receiving member and said bracket.

2. The hanger of claim 1 further comprising a spacer disposed between said wire receiving member and one of said pair of bracket terminal ends.

3. The hanger of claim 1 wherein each of said pair of terminal ends of said bracket defines one of a pair of cooperating openings, wherein said fastener defines a post configured to be received through said pair of cooperating openings defined by said pair of bracket terminal ends and said central opening of said wire receiving member.

4. The hanger of claim 3 further comprising a spacer disposed between said wire receiving member and one of said pair of bracket terminal ends, said spaced defining an opening adapted to receive said fastener post.

5. The hanger of claim 1 wherein said wire receiving member defines a receiving slot for receiving the trellis wire when said wire receiving member is disposed in a first position relative to said bracket, said receiving slot being concealed when said wire receiving member is moved to a second position relative to said bracket, said fastener being actuated when said wire receiving member is disposed in said second position, whereby said trellis wire is installed on said hanger when said wire receiving member is disposed in said first position and is prevented from disengagement from said hanger when said wire receiving member is disposed in said second position.

6. A hanger for supporting a vineyard wire, said hanger comprising: a bracket adapted to be mounted on a conventional stake, said bracket defining a central portion configured to substantially encompass a portion of the stake and a pair of terminal ends disposed parallel one to another, each of said pair of terminal ends of said bracket defining one of a pair of cooperating openings; a wire receiving member disposed between said terminal ends of said bracket, said wire receiving member defining a central opening, said central opening configured to define an exposed portion disposed above said bracket terminal ends, said exposed portion of said central opening being provided for loosely receiving the trellis wire, said wire receiving member defining a receiving slot for receiving the trellis wire when said wire receiving member is disposed in a first position relative to said bracket, said receiving slot being concealed when said wire receiving member is moved to a second position relative to said bracket, whereby said trellis wire is installed on said hanger when said wire receiving member is disposed in said first position and is prevented from disengagement from said hanger when said wire receiving member is disposed in said second position; and a fastener for fixing a relative position of said wire receiving member and said bracket, said fastener defining a post configured to be received through said pair of cooperating openings defined by said pair of bracket terminal ends and said central opening of said wire receiving member, said fastener being tightened when said wire receiving member is disposed in said second position.

7. The hanger of claim 3 further comprising a spacer disposed between said wire receiving member and one of said pair of bracket terminal ends, said spaced defining an opening adapted to receive said fastener post.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] Not Applicable.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0002] Not Applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] 1. Field of Invention

[0004] This invention relates to the field of vineyards. More specifically, the present application is related to a device for retaining a trellis wire, while allowing the trellis wire to be tightened after being stretched.

[0005] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0006] It is well known in the art of growing grapes to use a trellis wire to support the grapevines. The trellis wire is typically stretched from stake to stake, with the ends anchored. Grapevines are typically spaced apart at intervals of approximately ten feet. The stakes are typically spaced at intervals of approximately twenty-five feet, with the end posts spaced at variable lengths. Thus, on a typical trellis wire, any number of grapevines can be supported.

[0007] As the grapevines mature and produce fruit, the weight supported on the trellis wire can reach several hundred pounds. As such, the trellis wire has a tendency to stretch over time. It is desirable to maintain the original position of the trellis wire.

[0008] Typically, each of the end posts and corresponding stakes have been fabricated from wood. However, due to the weight of the grapevines, and the effects of the weather, the wooden stakes often suffer from rotting and/or warping. As a result, the wooden stakes are now being replaced with steel stakes. The trellis wire is usually carried by both end posts and each stake. With conventional devices, the wire is fixed to each trellis wire support. In order to tighten the trellis wire, each trellis wire support must be loosened or removed. In such devices, if the grapevines are being supported on the trellis wire, replacing or tightening the trellis wire support is difficult.

[0009] Several devices have been produced to fasten a trellis wire to a stake, to secure a vine to a trellis wire, or the like. Typical of the art are those devices disclosed in the following U.S. Patents: 1

Patent No.Inventor(s)Issue Date
503,161R. RabyAug. 15, 1893
587,365T. J. FordeAug. 3, 1897
1,488,380B. S. BlakeMar. 25, 1924
4,270,581G. L. Claxton et al.Jun. 2, 1981
4,329,811D. J. CoulsonMay 18, 1982
4,792,254C. M. PlattenDec. 20, 1988
5,438,795J. M. GalbraithAug. 8, 1995
5,916,028P. A. Downer et al.Jun. 29, 1999
5,966,867P. A. Downer et al.Oct. 19, 1999

[0010] Of these devices, those disclosed by Raby ('161) and Forde ('365) are provided for securing a vine or hedge to a trellis wire. These devices do not consider the problems associated with tightening the trellis wire that has become stretched during use.

[0011] Blake ('380) teaches a trellis fabricated using clips to secure guy wires to stakes. The fabrication of the '380 device is intended to permit the trellis to be readily collapsed in order to reduce the time required to disentangle the runners of the plant being supported thereby.

[0012] The '254 device disclosed by Platten is provided for supporting a wire used in an electric fence. The '254 device is securable to a fence standard or post and defines an opening through which the wire is inserted and in which the wire is allowed to slide.

[0013] The remaining devices are provided for supporting a trellis wire on a post or stake. The Claxton et al. ('581) device is a clip configured to engage the trellis wire. As the clip is manipulated, the trellis wire is deformed around a portion of the post.

[0014] The '811 device disclosed by Coulson is a stake having a cross-arm disposed at the top thereof, each end of the cross-arm defining a slot for receiving the trellis wire. The upper edge of the cross-arm is disposed at an angle to prevent the cross-arm from moving vertically with respect to the stake.

[0015] Galbraith ('795) discloses a bracket configured to be nailed to a wooden post. The bracket terminates on either side of the wooden post and defines an opening at each end for receiving a trellis wire.

[0016] Downer, ('028) teaches a one-piece trellis wire support device including a wire member deformed to encompass a grape stake. Opposite ends of the wire member are disposed at opposed directions, with one end disposed on either side of the grape stake. The trellis wire is supported on either terminal end of the wire member.

[0017] Finally, in the '867 device, Downer discloses a rigid cross arm that is mountable to a grape stake. An opening is provided toward one end of the cross-arm for threadably receiving the trellis wire.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0018] The present invention is a hanger designed to be releasably and adjustably mounted on a grape stake for supporting a vineyard or trellis wire. The hanger is further designed to allow the trellis wire to be tensioned after being installed and during use, without requiring any of a plurality of the hangers to be loosened, removed, or otherwise disturbed.

[0019] The hanger includes a bracket configured to be mounted on a conventional grape stake. The bracket defines a central portion configured to substantially encompass a portion of the stake. The bracket further defines a pair of terminal ends that are disposed parallel to each other. A wire receiving member defining a central opening is received between the terminal ends of the bracket. A portion of the central opening is exposed above the bracket terminal ends for loosely receiving the trellis wire. A spacer is disposed between the wire receiving member and one of the bracket terminal ends. A bolt is received through cooperating openings defined by each of the bracket terminal ends and the spacer, and through the wire receiving member central opening to dispose each member in a fixed relative position.

[0020] To install the hanger of the present invention, a bracket is positioned on each stake. The wire receiving member is rotated about the bolt to expose a receiving slot. The trellis wire is then placed through the receiving slot to rest on the top surface of the bracket terminal ends and the spacer. The wire receiving member is then rotated to position the receiving slot such that the trellis wire cannot be removed from with the central opening thereof, and the bolt is tightened. After the bolt has been tightened with the trellis wire in place, the trellis wire may be adjusted independently of the bracket.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0021] The above mentioned features of the invention will become more clearly understood from the following detailed description of the invention read together with the drawings in which:

[0022] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the vineyard wire hanger constructed in accordance with several features of the present invention;

[0023] FIG. 2 illustrates a front elevation view, partially in section, of the vineyard wire hanger taken at 2-2 of FIG. 1;

[0024] FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the vineyard wire hanger of FIG. 1;

[0025] FIG. 4 illustrates a side elevation view of the vineyard wire hanger of FIG. 1 wherein a vineyard wire is being installed;

[0026] FIG. 5 illustrates a side elevation view of the vineyard wire hanger of FIG. 1 after installation of the a vineyard wire; and

[0027] FIG. 6 illustrates the installation of several vineyard wire hangers of the present invention in a complete grapevine support system.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0028] A vineyard wire hanger incorporating various features of the present invention is illustrated generally at 10 in the figures. The vineyard wire hanger, or hanger 10, is designed to be releasably and adjustably mounted on a grape stake 12 for supporting a vineyard or trellis wire 14. Moreover, in the preferred embodiment the hanger 10 is designed to allow the trellis wire 14 to be tensioned after being installed and during use, without requiring the hanger 10 to be loosened, removed, or otherwise disturbed.

[0029] As illustrated in FIG. 1, the hanger 10 includes a bracket 16 configured to be mounted on a conventional grape stake 12. The bracket 16 defines a central portion 18 configured to substantially encompass a portion of the stake 12. The bracket 16 further defines a pair of terminal ends 20 that are disposed parallel to each other. A wire receiving member 22 is received between the terminal ends 20 of the bracket 16. The wire receiving member 22 defines a central opening 24, a portion of which is exposed above the bracket terminal ends 20, the exposed portion of the opening 24 being provided for loosely receiving the trellis wire 14. Further illustrated is a spacer 26 disposed between the wire receiving member 22 and one of the bracket terminal ends 20. Although illustrated, it is foreseeable in some applications that the spacer 26 is not required. Finally, a bolt 28 is provided for securing the wire receiving member 22, the bracket terminal ends 20, and, when provided, the spacer 26 in a fixed relative position.

[0030] As illustrated in FIG. 2, the bracket terminal ends 20 define cooperating openings 30 for receiving the bolt post 34. The bolt post 34 is further received through the central opening 24 of the wire receiving member 22 and, when provided, an opening 32 defined by the spacer 26. When tightened with a nut 36, the bracket terminal ends 20, the wire receiving member 22 and spacer 26 are brought into contact one with another such that their relative positions are fixed. As illustrated, the central opening 24 of the wire receiving member 22 is dimensioned such that when a trellis wire 14 is received therein and above the bracket 16, a gap 38 is defined within the central opening 24 of the wire receiving member 22 to allow the trellis wire 14 to slide freely therein.

[0031] FIG. 3 illustrates a plan view of this construction. Further illustrated in FIG. 3 is one configuration of the central portion 18 of the bracket 16. In the illustrated embodiment, the central portion 18 of the bracket 16 is configured to contact at least the extremities of the stake 12 such that when the bolt 28 is tightened, the position of the bracket 16 with respect to the stake 12 is fixed. To this extent, it will be recognized by those skilled in the art that the configuration of the central portion 18 of the bracket 16 may be configured to closely follow the contours of the stake 12. For stakes 12 having a cross-section other than that illustrated, it will be understood that the central portion 18 of the bracket 16 will be adapted accordingly.

[0032] FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate the installation of the trellis wire 14. After the bracket 16 has been positioned on the stake 12, the wire receiving member 22 is rotated about the bolt 28 to expose a receiving slot 40. The trellis wire 14 is then placed through the receiving slot 40 to rest on the top surface of the bracket terminal ends 20 and the spacer 26. The wire receiving member 22 is then rotated as indicated by the direction arrow 42, and the bolt 28 is tightened as described above. Of course, the wire receiving member 22 may be rotated in either direction, so long as the receiving slot 40 is disposed such that the trellis wire 14 cannot be removed from with the central opening 24 thereof. After the bolt 28 has been tightened with the trellis wire 14 in place, the trellis wire 14 may be adjusted independently of the hanger 10.

[0033] Illustrated in FIG. 6 is a grape vine support system wherein three grape stakes 12 are disposed at intervals between two end posts 44. In the illustrated embodiment, the trellis wire 14 is received through each end post 44 and is connected at either end to an anchor wire 46 via a turnbuckle 48. The further end of each anchor wire 46 is connected to an anchor 50 which is secured into the ground. Tightening of the trellis wire 14 in this embodiment is accomplished by operating one or both of the turnbuckles 48. Because a gap 38 is provided between the trellis wire 14 and the wire receiving member 22 of each hanger 10, it will be seen that operating either turnbuckle 48 will tighten the entire length of trellis wire 14 as the trellis wire 14 is allowed to freely slide within each hanger 10.

[0034] From the foregoing description, it will be recognized by those skilled in the art that a vineyard wire hanger offering advantages over the prior art has been provided. Specifically, the hanger is releasably and adjustably mounted on a grape stake for supporting a vineyard or trellis wire. Further, the hanger is designed to allow the trellis wire to be tensioned after being installed and during use, without requiring any of a plurality of the hangers supporting the wire to be loosened, removed, or otherwise disturbed.

[0035] While a preferred embodiment has been shown and described, it will be understood that it is not intended to limit the disclosure, but rather it is intended to cover all modifications and alternate methods falling within the spirit and the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.