Title:
Removable scaffold hold down
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Platform assemblies may be built up using a substantial number of inverted U-shaped vertical supports with platform hold down members that hold the platforms in place, thus avoiding slippage or pilferage. The hold down members form a unitary structure with the supports and platform assemblies to hold the platforms securely in place. The unitary structure of the scaffolding assembly with hold down members acts as a deterrent against pilferage of the platforms because the unitary structure does not allow the planks to be removed unless the platform assembly is substantially disassembled. It also reduces the steps required to assemble a secure platform assembly with hold down members thus saving time while still preventing slippage and pilferage. The hold down members may have holes at one end, and these holes have a diameter slightly greater than the outer diameter (OD) of the guide pipes at the junctions between vertically extending pipes. The other end of the hold down member is substantially U-shaped and at least partially wraps around the platforms. As the scaffolding is erected, once the first, lower set of U-shaped supports and overlying planks are set in place, then the hold down members are mounted on the upwardly-extending guide pipes and across the planks. Then, when the next higher set of U-shaped supports is mounted onto the lower set, the hold down members are held in place between the two sets of pipes, and the planks are held in place. Alternatively, the ends of the hold down members may be clamped to the horizontal or vertical supports by hooks, clamps and/or latching members whereby disassembly of the scaffold is not necessary for removing or shifting the position of the hold down members.



Inventors:
Masino, Michael D. (La Canada, CA)
Masino, Jeffery J. (Los Angeles, CA, US)
Rose, Alan C. (Tarzana, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/243178
Publication Date:
03/18/2004
Filing Date:
09/13/2002
Assignee:
MASINO MICHAEL D.
MASINO JEFFERY J.
ROSE ALAN C.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
182/119
International Classes:
E04G1/15; E04G7/20; E04G7/28; (IPC1-7): E04G7/00
View Patent Images:
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20090020362FOLDING CONSTRUCTION PLATFORMJanuary, 2009Diaz
20070199769WILDLIFE OBSERVATION STANDAugust, 2007Chesness et al.
20080156583Safety harness and methodJuly, 2008Meeks
20090321185BRIDGE MODULEDecember, 2009Buitendijk
20060113147Fall protection systemJune, 2006Harris Jr.
20090020363Scaffolding fall protection systemJanuary, 2009Ingalls
20070215410Self-retracting lanyard and braking mechanism with pawl lockoutSeptember, 2007Ecker
20020074187Stabilizers for a step ladder and a step ladder equipped with stabilizersJune, 2002Bendle et al.
20090127300Personal extraction harnessMay, 2009Straight



Primary Examiner:
CHIN-SHUE, ALVIN CONSTANTINE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Alan C Rose Esq (Santa Monica, CA, US)
Claims:

We claim:



1. A scaffold assembly comprising: a set of front vertical supports; a set of rear vertical supports; a set of horizontal supports extending between said front and rear vertical supports; a plurality of planks mounted on said set of horizontal supports; hold down members extending across said planks, wherein at least a portion of said hold down members engage said planks, each of said hold down members having a first end and a second end, each of said hold down members being principally formed of a single strip of metal; and the ends of said hold down members being releasably secured to said supports at each ends of said hold down members by a clamping arrangement for engaging said supports.

2. An assembly as defined in claim 1 wherein at least one of said clamping arrangements includes a downwardly extending hook for underlying one of said horizontal supports, and a pivoted latch member for engaging said hook to retain said hold down member onto said horizontal support.

3. An assembly as defined in claim 1 wherein said clamping arrangements include mating parts extending around one of said supports at each end of each hold down member.

4. An assembly as defined in claim 3 wherein said clamping arrangements extend around horizontal supports at each end of said hold down member.

5. An assembly as defined in claim 3 wherein said clamping arrangements extend around vertical supports at each end of said hold down member.

6. An assembly as defined in claim 3 wherein said mating parts are secured together by wedges.

7. An assembly as defined in claim 3 wherein said mating parts include one part of reduced width for extending through an opening in the other part.

8. An assembly as defined in claim 3 wherein said mating parts include surfaces which are adapted to be impacted by a hammer to secure said mating parts together and to release said mating parts.

9. An assembly as defined in claim 1 wherein a portion of said hold down member extending across said planks is a single strip of metal of substantially constant thickness and width.

10. An assembly as defined in claim 1 wherein each said strip of metal is bent to form at least a part of one of said clamping arrangements.

11. A scaffold assembly comprising: a set of front vertical supports; a set of rear vertical supports; a set of horizontal supports extending between said front and rear vertical supports; a plurality of planks mounted on said set of horizontal supports; hold down members extending across said planks, wherein at least a portion of said hold down members engage said planks, each of said hold down members having a first end and a second end, each of said hold down members being principally formed of a single strip of metal of substantially constant thickness and width; the ends of said hold down members being releasably secured to said supports at each ends of said hold down members by a clamping arrangement for engaging said supports; at least one of said clamping arrangements includes a downwardly extending portion of said strip of metal partially cut away to form a hook for underlying one of said horizontal supports; and a pivoted latch member for engaging said hook to retain said hold down member onto said horizontal support.

12. An assembly as defined in claim 11 wherein said latch member includes surfaces adapted to be impacted by a hammer for closing said latch and for opening said latch.

13. A scaffold assembly comprising: a set of front vertical supports; a set of rear vertical supports; a set of horizontal supports extending between said front and rear vertical supports; a plurality of planks mounted on said set of horizontal supports; hold down members extending across said planks, each of said hold down members having a first end and a second end and each of said hold down members extending over and engaging the upper surface of said planks; the ends of said hold down members being releasably secured to said supports at each ends of said hold down members by a clamping arrangement for engaging said supports; and wherein said clamping arrangements engage the outer surfaces of said supports, whereby said planks and said hold down members may be moved without disassembling the scaffold supports.

14. An assembly as defined in claim 1 wherein at least one of said clamping arrangements includes a downwardly extending hook for underlying one of said horizontal supports, and a pivoted latch member for engaging said hook to retain said hold down member onto said horizontal support.

15. An assembly as defined in claim 13 wherein said clamping arrangements include mating parts extending around one of said supports at each end of each hold down member.

16. An assembly as defined in claim 15 wherein said mating parts are secured together by wedges.

17. An assembly as defined in claim 15 wherein said mating parts include one part of reduced width for extending through an opening in the other part.

18. An assembly as defined in claim 15 wherein said mating parts include surfaces which are adapted to be impacted by a hammer to secure said mating parts together to release said mating parts.

19. An assembly as defined in claim 13 wherein a portion of said hold down member extending across said planks is a single strip of metal of substantially constant thickness and width.

20. An assembly as defined in claim 13 wherein each said strip of metal is bent to form at least a part of one of said clamping arrangements.

Description:

RELATED PATENT

[0001] This specification is related to U.S. Pat. No. 6,354,402, titled “Plank Securing Scaffolding Assembly” issued Mar. 12, 2002 to Michael D. Masino (Attorney Docket No.: 18993-11).

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This invention relates to scaffolding assemblies with plank hold down members that hold planks in place, thus avoiding removal or slippage or displacement of the planks due to pilferage, wind uplift or other causes.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Scaffolds are normally built up using a substantial number of inverted U-shaped vertical supports formed of pipes. These inverted U-shaped vertical supports are aligned parallel to one another and extend front-to-rear toward the building; and they have upper horizontal front-to-rear pipes on which planks are placed. Triangular bracing is provided on the U-shaped supports and extending between adjacent supports. A first set of ground layer vertical U-shaped supports is provided, and additional sets of supports are stacked on top of the first set. To align and secure the upper sets of supports to the lower sets, a short guide pipe of reduced diameter is firmly mounted at each pipe junction to extend into each pair of vertically aligned pipes. Further, at each level, the planks are mounted on the horizontally extending front-to-rear extending horizontal pipes associated with each of the U-shaped supports.

[0004] Nominal scaffold frame widths range from two to five or more feet, accommodating from two to six or more planks.

[0005] These planks, which are usually nominal 2″×10″ boards ranging from 8 feet to 12 feet or more in length, are often “borrowed” or stolen by other workmen at the scaffolding location or by others. In addition, when these planks are merely set loosely in place, they may shift in position and fall from the scaffolding, and such an occurrence may result in personal injuries.

[0006] Furthermore, a railing structure is provided at the topmost level between the vertical supports to prevent a person, on the planks, from falling.

[0007] In some cases, for multi-story buildings, a complete scaffolding framework is established extending up for five, ten or more stories; and the planks or platform elements are shifted from one level to the next as the work progresses. Accordingly, it is desirable to be able to shift the hold down members from one level to the next without disassembling the scaffolding framework.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] One object of the invention, therefore, is to provide a simple arrangement for holding down scaffolding planks to prevent slippage and pilferage. In accordance with a specific illustrated embodiment of the present invention, this is accomplished by the use of hold down members formed of material having a substantially constant thickness and width and having two ends including, (a) a first end which may be downwardly offset and has a hole for mating with a vertical support pipe, and (b) a second end that is substantially U-shaped, the U-shape being defined by three sections of the material, wherein a first section and a third section in the three sections has a predetermined spacing that is substantially equal to the thickness of the planks. The substantially U-shaped end wraps at least partially around the planks, thereby securing them in place.

[0009] Another object of the invention, as indicated in the related prior art patent cited above and in this specification, therefore, is to provide a simple arrangement for holding down scaffolding planks to prevent slippage and pilferage. In accordance with a specific illustrated embodiment of the present invention, this is accomplished by the use of hold down members extending across and in engagement with the planks. These hold down members have holes at each end, and these holes have a diameter slightly greater than the outer diameter (OD) of the guide pipes at the junctions between vertically extending pipes. As the scaffolding is erected, once the first, lower set of U-shaped supports and overlying planks are set in place, then the hold down members are mounted on the upwardly-extending guide pipes and across the planks. Then, when the next higher set of U-shaped supports is mounted onto the lower set, the hold down members are held in place between the two sets of pipes, and the planks are securely held in place. The above described and many other features and attendant advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following detailed description when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

[0010] In accordance with broader aspects of the invention, a platform assembly including supports, a plurality of platforms, and hold down members to hold platforms securely in place may be employed. The vertical supports are formed in sections with joints between successive sections, the hold down members are held securely in place by the upper and lower vertical supports bearing on the upper and lower surfaces of the hold down members at said joints. Clamping hold down members hold down overlapping platforms where vertical support joints with upper and lower supports are not present.

[0011] At the topmost level, where an upwardly extending railing may be provided on one side only, the embodiment involving a pipe receiving hole at one end, and a substantially U-shaped configuration to go around the planks at the other end, may be employed.

[0012] In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the hold-down members may still retain a relatively simple construction overlying the planks, and may be removably attached to the vertical supports or to the horizontal supports of the scaffolding framework. With this construction, the hold down members may be shifted from floor to floor as the plastering or other work progresses.

[0013] More specifically, the hold down member may be formed of a single flat metal strip having substantially constant thickness and width extending over the planks, and a clamp for releasably securing to the vertical or horizontal frame members is provided at each end of the hold down member. These clamps may include a pivoted member which encircles either a vertical or horizontal frame member and which is releasably secured into the closed configuration. Alternatively, a hold down member may include a hook at one end for engaging a vertical or horizontal scaffold frame member, and a clamp at the other end of the frame member for extending around a vertical or horizontal frame member. In one specific embodiment, the clamp may involve wedges which may be employed to fasten the clamps securely in place.

[0014] In one simple and effective embodiment of the invention, the clamp at both ends of the hold down member is formed by bending the flat metal strip down and providing a cut out portion or partial hook which underlies a horizontal scaffold support. A pivotally mounted latch member may also be provided to close the open side of the cut out portion or partial hook, to secure the hold down member to the scaffold framework.

[0015] Other objects, features, and advantages of the invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a scaffolding system built up using a substantial number of inverted U-shaped supports with triangular bracing and showing support planks and hold down members illustrating the present invention.

[0017] FIG. 2 is a fragmentary perspective view of an illustrative embodiment of a hold down member which is mounted on the upwardly extending guide pipes and secures the planks which are placed on the horizontal front-to-rear pipes and is an enlarged showing of the portion of FIG. 1 identified by the dashed line circle 2.

[0018] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of different embodiments of the hold down members.

[0019] FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of another illustrative embodiment of a hold down member and is an enlarged showing of the portion of FIG. 1 identified by the dashed line circle 4.

[0020] FIG. 5 is a fragmentary side view of another illustrative embodiment of a hold down member wherein the hold down member securely holds down two layers of overlapping planks and is an enlarged showing of the portion of FIG. 1 identified by the dashed line circle 5.

[0021] FIG. 6 is side view of an illustrative embodiment of a hold down member which includes a platform retaining protrusion which allows for the planks to remain in place and an inverted U shaped portion that allows for other supports to attach to the horizontal front-to-rear pipes.

[0022] FIG. 7 is a bottom view of FIG. 6.

[0023] FIG. 8 shows the upwardly extending guide pipe which forms part of the scaffolding system as shown in FIGS. 2 and 4.

[0024] FIG. 9 shows a retaining pin for holding the guide pipe and vertical support pipes in place.

[0025] FIG. 10 is a side view of an illustrative embodiment of a hold down member which includes a substantially U-shaped end that extends or wraps at least partially around the planks in the platform assembly, and another end that mates with a vertical bar or pipe. The figure shows, in an exemplary manner, two layers of planks.

[0026] FIG. 11 is a side view of the hold down member of FIG. 10, showing the substantially U-shaped end for wrapping at least partially around the planks. The U-shaped end is dimensioned to secure at least one or more layers of planks.

[0027] FIG. 12 is a top view of the hold down member of the type shown in FIG. 10, having a hole at one end for mating with a vertical bar or pipe.

[0028] FIG. 13 is a side view of a hold down member of the type shown in FIG. 10, showing the substantially U-shaped or hook shaped end for wrapping at least partially around the planks. The U-shaped end is dimensioned to secure one or more layers of planks.

[0029] FIG. 14 is a side view of an illustrative embodiment of a hold down member which includes one end having a hook like structure that engages the platform assembly, and another end that mates with a vertical bar or pipe.

[0030] FIG. 15 is a side view depicting the hook associated with the second end of the hold down member of FIG. 14.

[0031] FIG. 16 is a top view of the hold down member of FIG. 14 showing one end having a hole that mates with a vertical bar or pipe.

[0032] FIG. 17 is a side view of an embodiment of a hold down member having two holes for mating with the front and rear vertical pipes, with the offset portion of the hold down member dimensioned to be two planks wide.

[0033] FIG. 18 is a top view of one embodiment of a hold-down member for clamping onto a vertical portion of the scaffold framework;

[0034] FIG. 19 illustrates the clamp of FIG. 18 shown clamped around a vertical support member;

[0035] FIG. 20 is a side view of a wedge which may be employed in the implementation of the invention;

[0036] FIG. 21 is a partial view of a five foot wide scaffold illustrating aspects of the invention;

[0037] FIG. 22 is a plan view of one clamp employed in the assembly of FIG. 21;

[0038] FIG. 23 is a cross-sectional view showing the clamp of FIGS. 21 and 22;

[0039] FIG. 24 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the invention;

[0040] FIG. 25 is a schematic end view of the clamping arrangement of FIG. 24; and

[0041] FIG. 26 is a partial cross-sectional view of the clamp of FIGS. 24 and 25, taken along line 26-26 of FIG. 25.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0042] Initially, the closely related specification of U.S. Pat. No. 6,354,402 will be set forth in connection with FIGS. 1-9 of the drawings.

[0043] The present invention is directed to scaffolding assemblies with plank hold down members that hold planks in place, thus avoiding slippage or pilferage of the planks. In particular, the present invention allows for a unitary structure of scaffolding assembly with plank hold down members that hold the planks in place. The unitary structure of the scaffolding assembly with hold down members has numerous positive effects. First, it allows for the planks to be held securely in place thus avoiding slippage and potential personal injuries. Second, it acts as a deterrent against pilferage of the planks because the unitary structure of the scaffolding requires that the scaffolding assembly be disassembled in order to remove the planks. As a result, pilferage may occur only if the time has been taken to substantially disassembly the scaffolding assembly, thus creating a deterrent to removing and pilfering the planks. Third, as compared with communicated arrangements previously proposed for the same purpose, the unitary structure reduces the steps required to assemble a secure scaffolding assembly with hold down members thus saving time while still preventing slippage and pilferage.

[0044] The following description is provided to enable any person skilled in the art to make and use the invention and to set forth the best modes contemplated by the inventor for carrying out the invention. This description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, but is merely for the purpose of illustrating the general principles of the invention.

[0045] By way of example in FIG. 1, the above objects are accomplished by providing a scaffolding system built up using a substantial number of inverted U-shaped supports 10 with triangular bracing 12. In an embodiment of the invention the scaffolding assembly is built up using a set of front vertical pipes 14 and a set of rear vertical pipes 16 where a “set” may include but is not limited to at least two pipes or what is used by one skilled in the art. Although alternative embodiments for the scaffolding assembly use pipes, many various forms of supports, including but not limited to what someone skilled in the art would use, such as supports made of plastic, metal, or wood, for example any combination thereof may be used in the assembly of the scaffolding. In one embodiment the supports are formed of pipes and these pipes may be made of various materials including but not limited to what one skilled in the art would use, for example metal, plastic, wood or any combination thereof. To construct the scaffolding, the inverted U-shaped pipe sections are aligned parallel to one another with upper horizontal front-to-rear pipes 18 on which the planks 20 are placed. Although one alternative embodiment of the invention uses planks, various other materials may be used as the platform in the assembly of the-scaffolding. Thus a “platform” or “platform member” may be any material that provides support, including but not limited to what someone skilled in the art would use, such as reinforced plastic, heavy plywood or metallic beams, plastic sheets, and any combination thereof. Also a single “platform” or “plank” may be used instead of multiple “platforms” or “planks”. Additional horizontal, vertical and diagonal pipes 22 or other supports may be used to provide extra support for the scaffolding assemblies.

[0046] As illustrated by way of example in FIG. 3, illustrative embodiments of the hold down members 24 have holes 26 at each end and these holes 26 have a diameter slightly greater than the outer diameter (OD) of the guide pipe 28 as illustrated in FIG. 8. These guide pipes 28 are used at the junctions 30 between vertically extending pipes 14 and 16 as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 4. As the scaffolding is erected, once the first, lower set of U-shaped supports 10 and overlying planks 20 are set in place, then the hold down members 24 are mounted on the upwardly-extending guide pipes 28 and across the planks 20. Then, when the next higher set of U-shaped supports 10 is mounted onto the lower set, the hold down members 24 are clamped in place between the two sets of pipes 14 and 16, and the planks 20 are held securely in place.

[0047] As illustrated by way of example in FIG. 2, one embodiment of the present invention includes inverted U-shaped hold down members 32 that are mounted on the upwardly extending guide pipes 28 and across planks 20. Then, when the next higher set of U-shaped supports 10 is mounted onto the lower set, the hold down member 32 is clamped in place between the two sets of pipes 14 and 16, and planks 20 are held in place. In this embodiment, the hold down member 32 has an inverted U shape but other shapes may exist, including but not limited to what someone skilled in the art would do and any shape that substantially conforms to the shape of the plank or platform.

[0048] As illustrated by way of example in FIG. 4, another embodiment of the present invention includes inverted U shaped hold down members 34 with a platform retaining protrusion 36 which holds the planks 20 in place. The platform retaining protrusion 36 securely holds the planks 20 in place while the inverted U-shaped configuration allows for other triangular bracing supports 22 to attach to the horizontal front-to-rear pipes 18. FIG. 4 demonstrates an embodiment where the support 22 comes from the bottom and attaches to the horizontal front-to-rear pipe 18 but other angles and directions may exist, including but not limited to what angle or direction one skilled in the art would choose, and any angle or partial angle from 0 to 360 degrees and any direction which would allow the support to add stability to the scaffolding assembly.

[0049] As illustrated by way of example in FIG. 5, another embodiment of the present invention includes a clamping hold down member 38 wherein the hold down member 38 securely holds down two layers of overlapping planks 20. FIG. 5 demonstrates an embodiment where a hinge 40 is used and the clamping hold down member is securely fastened with a nut 42 and bolt 44 but other methods of securing and holding together the clamping hold down member may exist including but not limited to what one skilled in the art would use, such as, a latch, spring, coil, bolt, screw nail, facet, or any combination thereof.

[0050] FIG. 3 illustrates the different hold down members 24. FIG. 3 demonstrates the specific lengths and thickness of the hold down members independently and relative to one another but other lengths and thickness may exist, including but not limited to the length and thickness chosen by one skilled in the field.

[0051] FIG. 6 and FIG. 7 are side and bottom views of the hold down member 34 with platform retaining protrusion 36 illustrated in FIG. 4. FIG. 8 illustrates the guide pipe 28 at the junction 30 between vertically extending pipes 14 and 16. FIG. 8 illustrates the guild pipe 28 with particular, diameter, shape and dimensions but other diameters, shapes and dimensions may exist, including but not limited to the diameter, shape and dimensions chosen by one skilled in the art. FIG. 9 illustrates a retaining pin 46 for holding the guide pipe 28 and vertical support pipes 14 and 16 together. Other diameters, shapes, materials and dimensions may exists for the retaining pin including but not limited to what one skilled in the fields would use. In one embodiment of the present invention, the hold down members have length of approximately 38.5 inches, a height of approximately 2.4 inches and a depth of approximately 2 inches, but other dimensions may exist, including but not limited to a length of approximately 37 inches to 39 inches, a height of approximately 1.25 inches to 3.25 inches and a depth of 1 to 3 inches. A length, width and depth used by one skilled in the art may also be used. In one embodiment of the present invention, the hold down members have holes 26 with a diameter of approximately 1.5 inches and a platform retaining protrusion 36 that is approximately 5.1 inches from the closest part of the hold down member hole 26.

[0052] FIG. 10 is a side view of an illustrative embodiment of a hold down member 500 mounted in a scaffolding assembly 400. Specifically, the scaffolding or platform assembly 400 comprises a plurality of planks or platform members 502 resting partially on a horizontal pipe 554 connecting the front and rear vertical pipes 550 and 552 respectively. The hold down member 500 is formed of a single bent strip of metal having a substantially constant thickness and width and having two ends including, (i) a first end 504 that is downwardly offset and has a hole 512 (shown in FIG. 12) which is slightly larger than the outer diameter of the coupling member 556 and less than the outer diameter of one of the front and rear vertical pipes 550 and 552 respectively, and (ii) a second end 501 that is substantially U-shaped or hook shaped, the U-shape being defined by three sections of the metal, wherein the first section 506 and the third section 510 have a predetermined spacing, and the second section 508 connects the first section 506 and the third section 510. The spacing between the first section 506 and the third section 510 is adjusted to accommodate at least one or more layers of planks 502.

[0053] The hold down member 500 is placed over and in engagement with the planks 502 with the hole 512 at the first end 504 of the hold down member 500 extending around and mating with the upwardly extending coupling member 556, while the U-shaped second end 501 wraps at least partially around the planks 502. This arrangement ensures that the planks 502 are firmly held in place by the hold down member 500 thereby precluding slippage or pilferage of the planks 502.

[0054] In the subsequent stage, additional scaffold construction such as a railing 600 is erected above the prior level with the vertical pipes of the additional scaffold construction 600 extending over the coupling member 556, and engaging the top of the end 504 of hold down member 500.

[0055] Incidentally, the hold-down member 500′ of FIG. 13 is constructed to extend over a single layer of planks, as compared with member 500 which extends over a double layer of planks.

[0056] In another embodiment, according to FIG. 14 and FIG. 15, the hold down member 700 is formed of a single bent strip of metal and has a first end 702 and a second end 706. The first end 702 of the hold down member 700 has a hole 704 (shown in FIG. 16) for mating with one of the set of front and rear vertical pipes, whereas the second end 706 has a hook structure 708, as shown in FIG. 15, for connecting with the scaffolding platform assembly. In a preferred embodiment, the hook structure 708 connects with a horizontal support member such as support 18 of FIG. 2. This arrangement ensures that the planks 502 are firmly held in place by the hold down member 700 thereby precluding slippage or pilferage of the planks 502.

[0057] From a broad perspective, it is be noted that the U-shaped second end 501 of the hold down member 500 in FIG. 11, and the hook structure 708 of the hold down member 700 in FIG. 15 are in the configuration of hooks. Accordingly, the word “hook” is applicable to the U-shaped second end 501 of the hold down member 500 as well as to the hook structure 708 of the second end 706 of the hold down member 700.

[0058] FIG. 17 is a side view of an embodiment of a hold down member 800 having a first end 802 and a second end 804. The first end 802 and the second end 804 each have a hole for mating with a front and rear vertical pipe. The bent or offset portion 806 of the hold down member 800 is dimensioned to be two planks wide, while other embodiments shown herein are dimensioned to accommodate three planks. In this regard, the scaffold configurations using only two planks accommodate trees, or protruding structural members such as a balcony, are within OSHA code requirements, which only require two planks at heights below seven feet.

[0059] Concerning dimensions, in specific illustrative embodiments, the hold down members may be of metal and of about 36″ in length for 3 plank installations, about 2½″ wide, and of about one-eighth inch to one-quarter inch thick. For nominal five foot wide scaffolding, the front-to-rear space between vertical supports is between 59 and 60 inches, accommodating six planks with about ¾ inch space on each side of the planks.

[0060] Referring now to FIGS. 18 to 24 of the drawings, these embodiments relate arrangements in which the hold down members may be shifted in position without disassembling the scaffolding framework.

[0061] More specifically, FIGS. 18 and 19 show an arrangement for securing one end of a hold down member to a vertically extending scaffold frame member. In FIG. 18, the main portion of the hold down member extending over the planks is shown at reference numeral 902, with a bend line 904 between portion 902 and the clamping portion 906 which is bent 90° from the portion 902 along line 904. In addition, as shown in FIG. 19, it is bent into a curved configuration to extend partway around vertical support 908 to the hinge point 910. To complete the clamping action, the outermost portion 912 is pivoted about hinge point 910 so that the end 914 extends through the opening 916 in clamping portion 906. The wedge 918 extends through opening 916 and the larger opening 920 in the end 914 of the pivoted member 912. The clamp may be tightened by actuation of the wedge 922 through openings 916 and 920.

[0062] FIG. 20 shows the wedge to advantage. Note that it has flat surfaces on both ends to facilitate opening and closing of the clamping action. The chain or line 924 retains the wedge 922 to the assembly and avoids separation of the wedge when the clamp is released. The wedge also has a roughened surface 928 to hold the wedge in place.

[0063] FIG. 21 is a partial view of a scaffold frame 931 supporting six planks 933, and with a hold down member 936 clamped at one end to a vertical support by the clamp arrangement 935 of the type shown in FIGS. 18 and 19. At the other end the hold down member is secured to a horizontal scaffold support member 938 by the clamping arrangement 932 shown in greater detail in FIGS. 22 and 23.

[0064] In FIGS. 22 and 23, the clamp member 932 is hinged at point 942 so that the outer end 944 can extend through the opening 946. The wedge 948 then exerts clamping action as it applies closure force to clamping member 932. The chain or line 952 may be provided to retain the wedge to the assembly.

[0065] FIGS. 24, 25 and 26 show a clamp which is somewhat similar to the arrangement of FIGS. 14 and 15 in that one end of a hold down member 961 is bent down to extend vertically, and is provided with a hook 962 to extend under a horizontal scaffold support member 964. In addition, a latch member 966, pivoted at point 968 by a rivet or bolt, makes retaining engagement with hook 962 to secure the hold down member in place. FIG. 24 is a perspective view, with the latch 966 in engagement with hook 962, FIG. 25 is an end view, and FIG. 26 is a cross-sectional view of the clamp, taken along line 26-26 of FIG. 25. The hook 962 may have a hole 972 drilled through it. The latch member 966 is bent over as indicated at 974 and has inwardly directed protrusions 973 which engage the opening 972. When it is desired to close the latch 966 the rear surface 976 may be tapped with a hammer; and to release the latch the surface 978 may be rapped with a hammer. The members 966 and 974 may extend slightly to the right as shown in FIG. 25 and the exposed one corner of the bent over portion 974 of the latching member 966 may be tack welded to the vertically extending portion of latch 966 to insure adequate retaining force for the latch.

[0066] As an alternative arrangement, brackets similar to automobile hose clamps may be secured to each end of each hold down member, to secure each end of the hold down member to horizontal or vertical scaffold support members.

[0067] In conclusion, it is to be understood that the foregoing detailed description and accompanying drawings are illustrative of the principles of the invention. In the description of the embodiments, reference is made to the accompanying drawings which form part thereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. It is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and structural and functional changes may be made without departing from the scope of the invention. Various changes and modifications may be employed, for example, but not by limitation, different shapes, dimensions and materials of support planks or platforms and scaffolding supports, different angles and arrangements of the scaffolding supports and hold down members and different attachment, clamping and securing mechanisms for the described hold down members, joints between successive sections, and the scaffolding supports may be employed. Likewise, methods other than welding, bolting, clamping and using hinges may be used, such as nails or other known securing mechanism. It is also noted that the offset included in the hold-down member is intended to accommodate the difference in height between the upper surface of the planks and coupling member junction; and may be adjusted or eliminated to accommodate this difference. For scaffolding arrangements accommodating varying numbers of planks such as three or five, the hold down members would be of comparable length and appropriate size and strength. Accordingly, the invention is not limited to this detailed description or to the specific embodiments described and shown in the drawings. With respect to the claims, it is the applicant's intention that the claims not be interpreted in accordance with the sixth paragraph of 35 U.S.C. § 112 unless the term “means” is followed by a functional statement.