Title:
Column cap
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A column cap to simplify and improve the construction of pergolas and arbors includes a mounting block to which roof beams are attached by means of connecting elements such as a bolt and corresponding nut. The column cap is rectangular to ensure proper connection of roof beams.



Inventors:
Davis, Jeffrey L. (Wilmington, NC, US)
Application Number:
10/951404
Publication Date:
04/21/2005
Filing Date:
09/28/2004
Assignee:
DAVIS JEFFREY L.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/155
International Classes:
E04C3/30; E04F19/00; (IPC1-7): E02D27/00
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Primary Examiner:
DEVOTI, PAUL D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Robert G. Rosenthal (Raleigh, NC, US)
Claims:
1. An architectural column of the type used in the construction of a pergola and comprising: an elongate shaft having an upper end and a lower end; a base attached to the lower end of the shaft and adapted to rest on a supporting surface; a cap having a lower section, a middle section and an upper section, said lower section being connected to the upper end of said shaft, said upper section protruding above the middle section and being adapted to be connected to a roof beam.

2. An architectural column according to claim 1 wherein said upper section of said column cap is adapted to be in operative association with a roof beam.

3. An architectural column according to claim 2 wherein said upper section is adapted to support a roof beam and further includes a protrusion adapted to receive connecting elements to hold a roof beam in place.

4. An architectural column according to claim 3 wherein said protrusion comprises an upwardly extending mounting block adapted to be connected to a roof beam.

5. An architectural column according to claim 4 wherein said protrusion comprises a rectangular mounting block.

6. An architectural column according to claim 5 wherein said rectangular mounting block further includes openings adapted to receive connecting elements for attaching the roof beam to the column.

7. An architectural column according to claim 6 wherein said mounting block is approximately the same height as the roof beam.

8. An architectural column according to claim 6 wherein said mounting block openings are positioned on opposite sides of said mounting block such that connecting elements can pass there through, whereby the roof beam may be connected to the column by passing connecting elements through the roof beam and the mounting block and attaching a nut to the opposite end.

9. An architectural column of the type used in the construction of a pergola and comprising: an elongate shaft having an upper end and a lower end; a base attached to the lower end of the shaft and adapted to rest on a supporting surface; a cap having a lower section, a middle section and an upper section, said lower section being connected to the upper end of said column, said middle section containing decorative elements and said upper section further including a rectangular rectangular mounting block, said mounting block including a pair of holes defining openings on opposite sides thereof such that a connecting element may pass there through, whereby a roof beam can be easily attached and removed from the column.

10. A column cap comprising a lower section, a middle section and an upper section, said lower section being adapted to be connected to the upper end of said column, said middle section containing decorative elements and said upper section protruding above the middle section and being adapted to be connected to a beam.

11. A column cap according to claim 10 wherein said upper section of said column cap is adapted to be in operative association with a roof beam.

12. A column cap according to claim 11 wherein said upper section further includes a protrusion adapted to receive connecting elements from a roof beam.

13. A column cap according to claim 12 wherein said upper section of said protrusion comprises an upwardly extending mounting block adapted to be connected to a roof beam.

14. A column cap according to claim 13 wherein said protrusion comprises a rectangular mounting block.

15. A column cap according to claim 14 wherein said rectangular mounting block further includes openings adapted to receive connecting elements for attaching the roof beam to the column.

16. A column cap according to claim 15 wherein said mounting block openings are positioned on opposite sides of said mounting block such that connecting elements can pass there through, whereby the roof beam may be connected to the column by passing bolts through the roof beam and the mounting block and attaching a nut to the opposite end.

Description:

PRIOR APPLICATION

This application claims priority from provisional U.S. patent application Ser. No. 60/513,128 filed Oct. 21, 2003.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to the field of decorative and structural architectural columns, and specifically to architectural columns which are used in the construction of pergolas and arbors.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Pergolas and arbors are well known and have been in constructed for hundreds of years. A pergola generally consists of a series of columns arranged about of the perimeter of a rectangle or square shaped area to be shaded or upon which vine type plants are grown. Mounted above the columns are support members upon which cross members are placed. Thus, a grid is created which provides shade and a support surface upon which vegetation can grow.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, it is non-trivial to attach the support members to the column caps so that the entire structure is square and the support members are secure. Current practice is to use nails which are hammered diagonally into the column caps which can damage the wooden member or the column cap. Proper alignment and spacing of support members is also difficult to achieve. Another method currently employed to attach the support members to the column cap is with L-shaped brackets and screws or nails which rust and can eventually discolor the column.

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to solve the aforementioned problems.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a column cap that simplifies the construction of a pergola.

A further object of the present invention is to provide an improved column cap that enhances the structural integrity of pergolas.

A still further object of the present invention is to provide an improved column cap that reduces the amount of time necessary to construct a pergola.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a column cap that enhances the appearance of pergolas.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide an improved column cap that is inexpensive.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

For a more complete understanding of this invention reference should now be had to the embodiment illustrated in greater detail in the accompanying drawings and described below by way of examples of the invention:

FIG. 1 is a side view of a pergola.

FIG. 2 is a broken away side view of a column of the type that employed in connection with the present invention.

FIG. 3 is an end view of a column cap according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a side view of a column cap according to the present invention.

FIG. 5a is an end view of a column cap according to the present invention.

FIG. 5b is a side view of a column cap according to the present invention.

FIG. 5c is a plan view of a column cap according to the present invention.

FIG. 5d is an plan view of a column cap according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENT

While the present invention will be described more fully hereinafter, it is to be understood at the outset that persons of skill in the art may modify the invention herein described while still achieving the favorable results of the invention. Accordingly, the description which follows is to be understood as a broad teaching disclosure directed to persons of skill in the appropriate arts, and not as limiting upon the present invention.

Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIG. 1, a pergola generally indicated as P is there illustrated. The pergola P, includes a number of columns 100. Each column is comprised of a number of sections as shown in FIG. 2. Beginning at the base, a column, generally indicated at 100 comprises a base 110, a shaft 120 and a cap 130. The base is further divided into a plinth 112 and torus 114 and a cincture 116. The shaft 120 is further divided into a straight 122, an entasis 124 and at the top an astragal 126 and a necking 128. The column cap 130 is divided into a lower section or echinus 132 and an upper section, the abacus 134. Consumer demand has dictated that columns be manufactured in an extraordinary number of styles and sizes. In response thereto manufacturers are producing columns in modules wherein the customer can customize their column by selecting a base, a shaft and a cap which are then combined into a column. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the current invention may be easily be incorporated into columns of conventional one-piece construction design.

The column cap includes a lower section 140, a middle section 142 and an upper section 144. As shown in FIG. 2 the lower section 140 slides over the upper end of shaft 120 and is held in place by a conventional adhesive (not shown) or other means, well known to those skilled in the art. The middle section 142 normally contains the decorative elements such as the echinus and abacus, but may also be undecorated, depending on the chosen design. According to the invention the upper section 144 comprises a protrustion or an upwardly extending rectangular mounting block and a two pairs of oppositely located holes defining openings 146 which extend through to the opposite side of the block. The opposing openings are adapted to receive connecting elements nut N and bolt B, as explained herein below. The mounting block although shown as a square may be rectangular, contain slots or be of other configurations. The column cap of the present invention is molded and may be hollow or solid, depending upon application.

In operation, a series of columns are erected in the desired configuration according to conventional construction methods. Thereafter, a series of roof beams R are installed above the columns such that they rest upon the column caps as best shown in FIGS. 3 and 5a through 5d. According to the illustrated embodiment, the roof beams R are drilled such that a bolt B can be inserted (with proper alignment) through the beam and the mounting block 144 of column cap 130 and held in place with a nut N located on the opposite side of the mounting block 144. Normally, for aesthetic reasons, the mounting block 144 will be of the same dimensions as the roof beam R. Other means of connecting the roof beam R to the mounting block may also be employed.

The foregoing embodiments and examples are to be considered illustrative, rather than restrictive of the invention, and those modifications which come within the meaning and range of equivalence of the claims are to be included therein.





 
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