Title:
Monkey hook, a singl, "self-locking" metal picture hook
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This metal picture hook is made of lightweight, spring steel, shaped in a unique, single-wire design that simulates the curvature of a monkey's tail. A simple solution is provided for mounting a picture on drywall. The front end of the hook is pointed orthogonal to the wall and the pointed “self-boring” tip penetrates through drywall while turning it to lock in an upright position. After the final ¼″ is pushed through, the hook flexes to provide tension and lock it in a stable position. This “self-locking” mechanism secures the object to commercial drywall and prevents rotation. The tail of the hook remains visible on the wall so that an object may be hung. This product maintains integrity with objects up to 50 pounds. The new extended “tilt-back” tip on the tail is designed to prevent damage to the backing of an object. No tools or studs are required.



Inventors:
Kurrasch, David Bryan (Dana Point, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/030388
Publication Date:
10/06/2005
Filing Date:
01/06/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G1/20; A47K1/00; F16B13/00; F16B15/00; (IPC1-7): A47K1/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
MARSH, STEVEN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Myers Andras LLP (Irvine, CA, US)
Claims:
1. - A single-wire, universal, steel, picture hook made of lightweight, spring steel with anti-corrosive zinc coating whereby one end terminates in a sharp point of 30-degrees that can penetrate commercial or standard drywall. This “self-boring” tip of the hanger penetrates the drywall orthogonally by exerting a push of the wrist combined with a back and forth twisting motion and secures on the interior backside of the wall that is invisible to the user. No tools are required to use this hanger.

2. - The midsection of the single-wire design includes an improved parabolic curvature that has been adjusted at the tangent point of such parabolic curve by a certain number of degrees to substantially increase tension created upon installation, thus producing a stable, “self-locking” mechanism that prevents unintended rotation. This design will maintain its integrity and functionality with objects up to 50 pounds. The hook will not rotate out of place whether or not an object is hung on it.

3. - An extended “tilt-back” tip at the opposite end of this single-wire design tilts back and away from the backing of a picture or other object. As a result this prevents any damage to the backing or to the object itself being hung. The object is hung on this visible end of the hook.

Description:

This Non-Provisional Application for patent is based upon Provisional Application #60559563 Filed on Apr. 5, 2004 and claims priority thereto.

CROSS REFERENCE

This product is a significant modification and improvement of a previous Utility U.S. Pat. No. 4,509,713, by James W. Hogg that was filed on Aug. 24, 1984 and has since expired.

There is no federally sponsored research or development on this product.

Also, there are no tables, computer listings, etc., included or necessary.

DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This product relates to a steel picture hook or wall hanger of a single-wire design that can penetrate standard or commercial drywall (i.e. ½″ or ⅝″ thickness) and produce a stable support for mounting pictures or objects without requiring any tools.

2. Prior Art Description

A review of the prior art reveals many varying types of hangers and hooks which can be used to hang a picture or object on a wall. Many of these hangers are vastly different from the current invention disclosed herein. Considered here are those types of hangers that penetrate the wall and allow the user to hang a picture or object. The wall-penetrating hangers or single-wire metal picture hooks discussed here and known in today's prior art, display characteristics that are undesirable and after using for a period of time the hangers may fail. For example, the hangers may not hold the object securely to the wall, or may cause damage to the article being hung on the wall.

An inherent design flaw in such hangers may cause this instability and consequently, such hangers may slip or rotate. Some types require tools to make the holes beforehand.

In the past, secure attachment of wall-penetrating hangers to wallboard, or plaster walls, has been made difficult by the nature of the wall materials and the weight and movements to which the hangers are subjected. For example, wallboard (also known as sheet rock or dry wall) typically comprises a relatively thick layer of gypsum sandwiched between paper layers, and exhibits relatively soft composition, while plaster walls generally comprise substantially homogeneous construction, but suffer from a tendency to crumble or otherwise break down, when penetrated. Standard drywall used in homes and most buildings today is 1/2 inch thick. Commercial Fire Code wall is 5/8 inch thick. Wood paneling is about ⅛ to 1/4 inch thick and can be plywood, or compressed wood particles having a decorative face such as a wood grain face.

Wall-penetrating hangers of the kind typified by the patents to Jones, U.S. Pat. No. 241,991, and Wagner, U.S. Pat. No. 1,445,372, are wire-type hangers which are inserted through pre-drilled holes, and have portions with ends that pass through, and are positioned behind the wall. Wall-penetrating hangers of the kind exemplified by the patents to Smith U.S. Pat. No. 3,219,302, and Jones U.S. Pat. No. 2,789,783, employ penetrating or cutting tips on the free ends of the tail portion of each hanger.

The Jones patent, U.S. Pat. No. 2,789,783, is a wire hanger that includes a hook portion, a hole-engaging portion and a parabolic-shaped body portion that terminates in a flattened drill provided with a cutting tip. A hole is cut through a wall using the cutting tip and the body portion is pushed through the hole until firmly seated therein. The cutting tip is of greater diameter than the diameter of the rest of the hanger and thus the hole has a greater diameter than the diameter of hole-engaging portion and body portion. The hole-engaging portion wedges in the hole, with mid-section of said portion engaging the bottom interior portions of hole and the end sections of said portion engaging the upper interior portions of hole near the interior and exterior surfaces of the wall. The cutting tip bears against the wall inner surface and the hook portion extends forwardly from the outer surface of the wall for use. The Jones '783 patent, however, has not proven to be entirely satisfactory. The particular parabolic-shape of the body portion does not permit penetration of the cutting tip into the rear surface of the wall, but provides a tangential contact as shown in Jones '783 FIG. 1. Thus, rotation of the hanger relative to the opening in the wall easily occurs and upward and downward sliding of the tip on the interior wall surface occurs. Furthermore, where the body portion merges with the hole-engaging portion, the parabolic shape is continued. There is point-to-point contact between the opening and the hole-engaging portion, and such contact occurs effectively at only three points. This results in an installation that is not fully secure in the wall, allowing for unintended movement. Such movement leads to an eventual enlargement of the hole and possible failure of the hanger, damage to the wall, and damage to the article hung on the wall.

The Smith U.S. Pat. No. 3,219,302, discloses several modifications of wall hangers, that have in common, a pointed end, a curved semicircular portion that is very similar to a right angle bend, a vertical leg connected to the semicircular portion by a bend that is more gradual than a right angle bend, a horizontal portion that is connected to the vertical portion in a right angle bend, and an exterior vertical leg portion connected to the horizontal portion by a right angle bend. By inserting the Smith hanger into a wall the pointed end is pushed perpendicularly with a reciprocal twisting motion into the wall at the desired location. The point forms a hole through the wall and when the point reaches the interior side of the wall the semicircular portion is eased through the hole. However, the near right angle shape of semicircular portion causes enlargement of the hole made through the wall by the point and in addition, the right angle between the vertical portion and the horizontal portion further enlarges the hole in the wall. Furthermore, the semicircular portion is free to slide up and down or sideways with the interior surface of the wall. It does not dig into the interior surface of the wall to result in tensioning those parts of the hanger extending between those points where it contacts the inner surface of the wall. The patent speaks of a snap-in action; however, the enlargement of the hole formed by the point and the insertion of the hanger through the hole contribute very little resistance to keeping the hanger in a stable position. When an upward force is applied to the threaded or hook portion of the Smith hanger, it may become unstable. Any spring bias that is provided by the interior portions of the Smith hanger tends to enable the pivoting of the horizontal portion in the wall so that the vertical portion and semicircular portion are pushed away from the wall surface. The semicircular portion of the hanger is free to move upward or downward on the interior surface of the wall. There is no spring bias created that would force the horizontal portion against the lower portions of the hole in the wall or to counteract the effects of a weight acting on the hook portion.

Hogg, U.S. Pat. No. 4,509,713, discloses a locking wall hanger having a pointed end. This pointed end is designed to create the hole in the wall as the hanger is inserted through the wall. The picture hanger disclosed herein is similar to Hogg, 713, but substantially improves the Hogg design in 3 specific ways: 1) The end point that penetrates the wall is sharper and more uniform, terminating at an angle of 30 degrees to provide a “self-boring” tip, that after penetrating the wall, connects into the interior backside of the drywall that is invisible to the user, 2) the mid-parabolic portion of the hanger has been adjusted to substantially increase the tension at the tangent point of the parabola and thus produces a “self-locking” mechanism that provides a secure, stable environment preventing unintended rotation, and 3) the hook portion of the hanger has an added “tilt-back” tip that tilts away from the back of the object to be hung to prevent damage to the backing of the picture or object.

Lewis, U.S. Pat. No. 5,028,030 discloses a single, continuous metal wire with a hook portion having a substantially “S” shaped design. The Lewis hanger can be used with pre-existing holes having diameters at least four times the diameter of the hanger. The Lewis hanger does not have a pointed end and is inserted into the wall through pre-existing holes having diameters greater than the diameter of the hanger itself. Also, due to its shape and construction, the Lewis hanger locks into position when inserted in the wall and does not require a load on the hook to keep it in place. However, the Lewis hanger does require tools to make holes in the wall in order to use the Lewis hanger where pre-existing holes do not exist. It must be noted that most users when mounting pictures on a wall have items of various sizes that vary from the previous mountings and therefore new holes need to be made. It is unlikely that a pre-existing hole from a previous picture would be used for mounting a new picture of a different size, or that new hardware of smaller diameter would be inserted in an existing hole. If the Lewis hanger is used in a new location, then tools are required to make new holes to accommodate other new pictures of varying sizes. The wall then would need repair to close any previous holes. Also, the Lewis patent does not have any provision on the hook portion of the design to prevent damage to the backings of the pictures to be hung, whereas the subject invention disclosed herein has a “tilt-back” tip that serves this purpose.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The picture hanger of the subject invention is a “self-locking” steel picture hook made of lightweight, spring steel that has a zinc anti-corrosive coating, shaped in a unique, single-wire design that is similar to the curvature of a monkey's tail; hence the name, The Monkey Hook™. This design has important features in the curvature dimensions, and with respect to both ends of the universal, single-wire design. One end penetrates the wall and is invisible to the user once the product is installed. This “self-boring” tip terminates in a sharp point and easily penetrates standard (½″ thick), or commercial drywall (⅝″ thick) by exerting a push of the wrist in a back and forth twisting motion.

As stated above, the current design has a vitally adjusted parabolic curvature that differs from the Hogg and Lewis designs and creates a “self-locking” mechanism as the final ¼″ of the hook is pushed through the drywall. The adjusted curvature of the design enables the hook to flex as it abuts and remains flush with the drywall. This creates important tension on the backside of the drywall that is invisible to the user. Once the hook is in place, it is in a locked and secure position to enable a picture or object to be mounted on the drywall without rotation. This hook maintains integrity with objects up to 50 pounds. The unique design of the Monkey Hook™ is engineered to transfer object weight from the hole to the wall itself.

The opposite end of the wire is the tail of the hook and remains visible on the wall so that a picture or object may be attached. The new extended “tilt-back” tip on the tail of the hook improves and modifies the Hogg patent and varies from the Lewis patent as it is designed to prevent damage to the backing of a picture or object that needs to be hung. No tools are required to use The Monkey Hook™ to attach an object on any standard or commercial drywall and studs are not required. This product makes a single small hole in the wall that is less than ⅛th inch in diameter. By using The Monkey Hook™ for hanging pictures, excess wall damage can be eliminated and no excessively large holes remain requiring repair after the picture is removed. The Monkey Hook™ may also be used in pre-existing holes since the “self-locking” mechanism described earlier will secure the hook in position whether an object is hung on it or not.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1-A is a full view of the product showing the unique single-wire design of 0.071 inch in diameter.

FIG. 1-B illustrates the front end and has a “self-boring” tip that terminates in a sharp point at a 30-deg. angle.

FIG. 1-C shows the midsection of the single-wire design and includes an adjusted parabolic curvature at the tangent point of the parabola that flexes when installed and provides the necessary tension to permit the “self-locking” mechanism.

FIG. 1-D illustrates an extended “tilt-back” tip on the other end of the hook that tilts away from the backing of the object to be mounted and as result prevents any damage to the backing.

FIG. 2- is a black ink hand drawing of The Monkeyhook™ shown penetrating 5/8 inch commercial drywall.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

As illustrated in FIG. 1-A described above, The Monkey Hook™ is a single-wire universal design made of lightweight, Spring Steel whereby one end terminates in a sharp point and penetrates commercial or standard drywall (˜⅝″ thick). This product is a simple, unique design using steel wire 0.071 inch thick.

The front tip of The Monkey Hook™ is shown in FIG. 1-B and when installing, it is pointed orthogonal to the drywall. With a back and forth twisting motion of the wrist, the “self-boring” tip penetrates through standard or commercial drywall. The hook slides easily into the drywall, while turning it to lock it in a straight, vertical upright position that points to the ceiling. This end of the hook remains invisible once the product is installed.

The midsection of this single-wire design as shown in FIG. 1-C has a parabolic curvature and this curvature has been adjusted at the tangent point of the parabola by a certain number of degrees from the Hogg patent to provide increased tension and a stable, “self-locking” mechanism that prevents unintended rotation. The parabolic curvature of the hook flexes as the final ¼-inch of the hook is pushed through the drywall and provides tensioning indicating that the hook is locked in a secure position and will not rotate. The pointed end that penetrated the wall secures itself on the interior backside of the drywall that is not visible to the user. The one-size, single-wire design will maintain its integrity with objects up to 50 pounds and does not permit the object to rotate. The unique design of the hook is engineered to transfer object weight from the hole to the drywall itself.

The other end of the single-wire hook remains visible to the user and is the tail end of The Monkey Hook™ as shown in FIG. 1-D. This is the end on which a picture or object may be hung and has a new extended “tilt-back” tip that tilts away from the back of a picture. As a result, this prevents any damage to the backing of an object or picture. The object is hung on this visible end of the hook. There are no tools required to use this hook to attach an object on any standard or commercial drywall and studs are not required.

As illustrated in FIG. 2, the subject picture hook penetrates commercial drywall of ⅝ of an inch and abuts the inside of the drywall securely. This product makes a single small hole in the drywall less than 1/8th inch in diameter. By using The Monkey Hook™ for hanging pictures, excess wall damage may be eliminated and no excessively large holes remain requiring repair. The hook is easily removed from the drywall using minimal force of the user's hand and that same hole may be used again if the wall needs to be painted and the picture or object needs to be re-mounted.