Title:
Warped board straightener and decking tool
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A decking attachment tool designed to press unsecured decking material along their entire length into contact with decking material secured to support members, the tool being attached to the support members and a wedge being driven between the tool and the unsecured decking material, applying force against the unsecured decking material to shift and straighten the decking material into contact with an outermost of the secured decking materials and into position to be secured to the support member.



Inventors:
Aaberg, Robert Paul (Craig, CO, US)
Application Number:
10/420083
Publication Date:
10/28/2004
Filing Date:
04/23/2003
Assignee:
AABERG ROBERT PAUL
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/749.1, 52/741.1
International Classes:
E04F21/22; (IPC1-7): E04B1/00; E04D15/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GLESSNER, BRIAN E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Robert Paul Aaberg (Craig, CO, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A decking attachment tool adopted to press unsecured decking material along their entire length into contact with decking material secured to support members, said tool comprising; a support plate having an outer circumference and an upper and lower surface; a pair of spaced lugs extending downwardly from said lower surface, said lugs being spaced sufficiently to receive said support member therebetween; Wedge securing means attached to the outer circumference, said securing means positioned to maintain the location of a wedge against the decking material; whereby, with said support plate resting on one of said support members and in position adjacent to a decking material to be secured, said wedge being driven between said tool and said unsecured decking material, applying force against the unsecured decking material to shift said decking material into contact with an outermost of said secured decking materials and into position to be secured with said support member.

2. The tool of claim 1 wherein each of said lugs are rectangular in shape.

3. The tool of claim 1 wherein each of said lugs have a ridged surface.

4. The tool of claim 1 wherein each of said lugs consist of multiple extensions.

5. The tool of claim 1 wherein said tool weighs no more than 4 lbs.

6. The tool of claim 1 wherein said tool is less than 10 inches in the major axis.

7. The tool of claim 1 wherein said lugs are formed with opposing vertical edges.

8. The tool of claim 1 where the angle between the unsecured decking material and the support members ranges from 30 degrees to 90 degrees.

9. The tool of claim 1 wherein said securing tool is made of metal.

10. The tool of claim 9 wherein said securing tool is made of steel.

11. The tool of claim 9 wherein said securing tool is made of aluminum.

12. The tool of claim 1 wherein said securing tool is made of reinforced polymer.

13. The tool of claim 12 wherein said securing tool is made of reinforced ABS.

14. The tool of claim 12 wherein said securing tool is made of reinforced Polycarbonate.

15. The tool of claim 1 wherein, with said locking device in locked position with one of said support members, only said inner edges and a first inner face of one lug and a second interface of a second lug will be in locking contact with said support member.

16. The device of claim 15 wherein said inner edges are separated by at least 1.75″ along their length.

17. An attachment tool adopted to press unsecured material along their entire length into contact with material secured to support members, said tool comprising; a support plate having an outer circumference and an upper and lower surface; a pair of spaced lugs extending downwardly from said lower surface, said lugs being spaced sufficiently to receive said support member therebetween; Wedge securing means attached to the outer circumference, said securing means positioned to maintain the location of a wedge against the unsecured material; whereby, with said support plate resting on one of said support members and in position adjacent to a material to be secured, said wedge being driven between said tool and said material, applying force against the unsecured material to shift said material into contact with an outermost of said secured materials and into position to be secured with said support member.

18. A method of pressing unsecured decking material along their entire length into contact with decking material secured to support members for the purpose of securing them by: positioning a tool with a pair of spaced lugs extending downwardly from said lower surface, said lugs being spaced sufficiently to receive said support member therebetween onto a support member; Placing a wedge between the unsecured material and a wedge securing means attached to the outer circumference of the tool, said securing means positioned to maintain the location of a wedge against the unsecured decking material; Driving said wedge between said tool and said unsecured decking material, thus applying force against the unsecured decking material to shift said unsecured decking material into contact with an outermost of said secured decking materials and into position; Securing said unsecured decking material to said support member.

19. The method of claim 18 where the securing means are nails.

20. The method of claim 18 where the securing means are screws.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/371,992 filed Apr. 12, 2002.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSERED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

[0002] Not Applicable.

REFERENCE TO SEQUENCE LISTING, A TABLE OR A COMPUTER PROGRAM LISTING COMPACT DISK APPENDIX

[0003] Not Applicable.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

[0004] A number of tools have been designed for straightening and holding deck or flooring boards and the like into parallel contact before securing the boards to a joist. Examples are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,248,127 and 5,269,494 and in the prior art references cited therein. U.S. Pat. No. 6,370,836 B1 is a complicated device with a strap or spring and requires access to another point on the already secured decking to function. U.S. Pat. No. 5,894,705 is similar, using suction cups as a means of attaching to the decking. U.S. Pat. No. 5,527,014 is a complicated device with many moving parts but does allow the use of both hands by the user. The tools of the prior art have various drawbacks. Most require the carpenter to use both hands to operate the tool and an assistant has to nail the boards to the supporting joist. The tool of U.S. Pat. No. 5,269,494 requires the carpenter to rotate a locking lever in order to engage the tool with a floor joist before floor boards can be pushed into place. Additional devices are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,605,319, U.S. Pat. No. 5,826,858, U.S. Pat. No. 6,233,899, U.S. Pat. No. 6,302,375, U.S. Pat. No. 6,439,542, U.S. Pat. No. 5,190,266 U.S. Pat. No. 5,894,705, U.S. Pat. No. 396,104, U.S. Pat. No. 721,681, U.S. Pat. No. 1,283,209, U.S. Pat. No. 2,351,691, U.S. Pat. No. 2,780,437, U.S. Pat. No. 3,779,515, U.S. Pat. No. 3,939,546, U.S. Pat. No. 4,621,791, U.S. Pat. No. 4,683,631, U.S. Pat. No. 5,413,312, U.S. Pat. No. 5,139,231, U.S. Pat. No. 4,493,477, and U.S. Pat. No. 4,620,691. Most are undesirably complex and expensive. A need exists for a simple, inexpensive, one piece flooring tool with no moving parts that can be operated with both hands free. The present invention provides such a tool.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] In the construction of wooden structures, the majority of non-vertical flat surfaces are composed of decking materials, usually sheeting or boards, secured to support members, usually joists, rafters or studs. There are a number of difficulties encountered in properly positioning and retaining decking materials while they are secured to the support members by screws, nails, staples, glue, dowel pins or other securing means.

[0006] A general problem of securing decking materials to support members is to hold the material in place while allowing for both hands of the user to be free to secure the material permanently to the support member.

[0007] The present invention addresses the problem of holding sheeting material in place by providing a stationary tool against which a wedge can be driven between the tool and the material, thus providing a holding force keeping the material stationary in place while the user secures the material to the support member.

[0008] In some cases, tongue and grove decking materials are used, such as plywood or hardwood flooring. In these cases, the tongue and grove joints must be mated, often requiring large forces to be applied, preferably impact forces. These forces must be applied without deforming the tongue and grove joint to be used for the next piece to be secured.

[0009] The present invention addresses the problem of mating tongue and grove boards together without deforming the joining edges by providing a stationary tool against which a wedge can be driven between the tool and the board, the impact force of driving the wedge forcing the tongue and grove joints to mate together.

[0010] Another problem with decking concerns the use of long boards, both with and without tongue and grove joints, which are not perfectly straight. These must be straightened, held in place and then secured. This can be accomplished by supplying a force that clamps the board against the previously secured decking piece, holding the board in a straightened configuration while it is secured.

[0011] The present invention addresses the problem of these warped or bowed boards through the use of a tool and wedge assembly which allows an individual, without the aid of other individuals, to straighten the bowed or warped board along its length as it is secured to the floor joists. The entire procedure can be accomplished by the individual/user without the need for any additional assistance and is also operative without the hands of the individual/user, leaving both hands free for driving the nails or screws through the decking plank to the underlying joist to secure the board.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] FIG. 1 shows a top view of the decking attachment tool for a reversible, double-sided version.

[0013] FIG. 2 shows a side view of the decking attachment tool in FIG. 1.

[0014] FIG. 3 shows a front view of the decking attachment tool in FIG. 1.

[0015] FIG. 4a shows the application of the tool with boards perpendicular to the support members before the board is straightened.

[0016] FIG. 4b shows the application of the tool with boards perpendicular to the support members after the board is straightened.

[0017] FIG. 5 shows the application of the tool with boards not perpendicular to the support members.

[0018] FIG. 6 shows alternative shapes for the attachment lugs.

[0019] FIG. 7 shows a side view of the decking attachment tool for a single sided version.

[0020] FIG. 8 shows top, side and front views of a different embodiment utilizing the square lugs 61 from FIG. 6 and a curved wedge holding member 71.

DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0021] FIG. 1 shows a top view of the decking attachment tool 10, with triangular shaped support plate 11, outer circumference 12, seen in side view FIG. 2, and mating surfaces 13. Lugs 14, extend outward from each mating surface 13, containing edges 15. A wedge holding member 16 is attached to the tip of plate 11. FIG. 3 is a frontal view, showing more detail.

[0022] FIG. 4a is a top view showing the decking attachment tool 10 in use on decking boards 20 that are perpendicular to the support members 21. Decking material 20 is shown laying on decking support member 21, adjacent to previously attached decking material 22. For illustrative purposes of the functionality of the tool, decking material 20 is shown as being warped. Decking attachment tool 10 is shown placed on support member 21 by mating surface 13, with anchoring lugs 14 straddling each side of support member 21. Wedge 23 is shown being placed, ready to be forced into final position where by it will hold decking material 20 in place.

[0023] FIG. 4b is a top view showing the wedge 23, after being driven into final position, where it secures decking material 20 against and parallel to decking material 22. Decking member 20 can now be secured to support member 21 via standard methods, i.e. by screws, nails, staples, glue or other securing means.

[0024] FIG. 5 is a top view showing the decking attachment tool 10 in use on decking boards that are not perpendicular to the support members. Non-perpendicular decking material 30 is shown laying on decking support member 31, adjacent to previously attached decking material 32. Decking attachment tool 10 is shown placed on support member 31 by mating surface 13, with anchoring lugs 14 straddling each side of support member 31. Wedge 23 is shown in final position where by it secures decking material 30 in place.

[0025] FIG. 6 shows alternative lugs that can be used in the invention. Lugs 60 contain a multi-toothed surface. Lugs 61 are square bars. Lugs 62 are composed of multiple bars. Anyone versed in the art can envision that any shape lug that will grip the support member can be used.

[0026] FIG. 7 shows a new embodiment of the invention, a single sided decking tool 70. This decking tool contains lugs 71 on only one side of the device. This device is used where the wedge support 72 cannot extend below the top of support member 21. In this embodiment, the device is not reversible

[0027] FIG. 8 shows another embodiment of the invention. In this embodiment, the square lugs 61 are used in combination with a curved wedge holding member 71. The curved wedge holding member 71 allows for more variation in the angle of the wedge.

EXAMPLES

[0028] Examples are given to clarify the design and utility of the tool.

Example 1

[0029] A 16 ft, pressure treated 1×6 deck board was laid down on the deck joists and positioned at the desired location. The decking tool was placed on the joist nearest the maximum point of bow in the board. A 12″ long wedge was cut from a scrap piece of 1×6 and hammered into place, straightening the board. The board was thus held securely and both hands of the user were available to nail the board in place.

Example 2

[0030] A 4 ft. piece of oak tongue and grove flooring was laid down on the floor joists and positioned at the desired location. The decking tool was placed on the joist nearest the maximum point of bow in the board. A 12″ long wedge was cut from a scrap piece of flooring and hammered into place, straightening the board and driving the tongue and grove joint together. The oak board was thus held securely and both hands of the user were available to nail the board in place.

Example 3

[0031] A 4 ft.×8 ft. sheet of tongue and grove plywood flooring was laid down on the floor joists and positioned at the desired location. The decking tool was placed on the joist near the plywood sheet. A 12″ long wedge was cut from a scrap piece of wood and hammered into place, driving the tongue and grove joint together. The plywood sheet was thus held securely and both hands of the user were available to nail the board in place. were available to nail the sheet in place.

Example 4

[0032] On a windy day, a 4 ft.×8 ft. sheet of roofing plywood was laid down on the rafters and positioned at the desired location. The decking tool was placed on the rafter near the plywood sheet. A 12″ long wedge was cut from a scrap piece of wood and hammered into place, holding the plywood sheet in place against the wind. The plywood sheet was thus held securely and both hands of the user were available to nail the sheet in place.

BEST MODE

[0033] The best mode of this device is shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. The best mode is constructed of metal, and has the following attributes:

[0034] No moving parts

[0035] No fasteners needed

[0036] Device can be used virtually one-handed

[0037] Both hands are left free when it is locked into place

[0038] Small and lightweight, it can be carried in a tool pouch—when made from lightweight materials

[0039] Can be used with decking at angles other than 90 degrees.

[0040] The invention can be summarized in a general embodiment as:

[0041] An attachment tool adopted to press unsecured material along their entire length into contact with material secured to support members, said tool comprising;

[0042] a support plate having an outer circumference and an upper and lower surface;

[0043] a pair of spaced lugs extending downwardly from said lower surface, said lugs being spaced sufficiently to receive said support member therebetween;

[0044] Wedge securing means attached to the outer circumference, said securing means positioned to maintain the location of a wedge against the unsecured material; whereby, with said support plate resting on one of said support members and in position adjacent to a material to be secured, said wedge being driven between said tool and said material, applying force against the unsecured material to shift said material into contact with an outermost of said secured materials and into position to be secured with said support member.

[0045] The invention can be also summarized in a specific embodiment as:

[0046] A decking attachment tool adopted to press unsecured decking material along their entire length into contact with decking material secured to support members, said tool comprising;

[0047] a support plate having an outer circumference and an upper and lower surface;

[0048] a pair of spaced lugs extending downwardly from said lower surface, said lugs being spaced sufficiently to receive said support member therebetween;

[0049] Wedge securing means attached to the outer circumference, said securing means positioned to maintain the location of a wedge against the decking material; whereby, with said support plate resting on one of said support members and in position adjacent to a decking material to be secured, said wedge being driven between said tool and said unsecured decking material, applying force against the unsecured decking material to shift said decking material into contact with an outermost of said secured decking materials and into position to be secured with said support member.

[0050] In more detail, the following are also part of the embodiment:

[0051] The lugs can be rectangular in shape, have a ridged surface or consist of multiple extensions.

[0052] The device weighs no more than 4 lbs.

[0053] The device is less than 10 inches in the major axis.

[0054] The lugs are formed with opposing vertical edges.

[0055] The tool can be used where the angle between the unsecured decking material and the support members ranges from 30 degrees to 90 degrees.

[0056] The tool can be made of metal, where the metal can be steel, iron, aluminum, titanium or other suitable metal.

[0057] The tool can be made of a reinforced polymer, such as ABS, Polycarbonate or other suitable polymer

[0058] The lugs are separated by approximately 1.75″ along their length.

[0059] A method of using the tool can also be defined as:

[0060] A method of pressing unsecured decking material along their entire length into contact with decking material secured to support members for the purpose of securing them by:

[0061] positioning a tool with a pair of spaced lugs extending downwardly from said lower surface, said lugs being spaced sufficiently to receive said support member therebetween onto a support member;

[0062] Placing a wedge between the unsecured material and a wedge securing means attached to the outer circumference of the tool, said securing means positioned to maintain the location of a wedge against the unsecured decking material;

[0063] Driving said wedge between said tool and said unsecured decking material, thus applying force against the unsecured decking material to shift said unsecured decking material into contact with an outermost of said secured decking materials and into position; Securing said unsecured decking material said support member.