Title:
Liquid impervious apparatus for wallboard
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention teaches a liquid impervious apparatuses for wallboard construction, systems, and methods of using the same. It is emphasized that this abstract is provided to comply with the rules requiring an abstract that will allow a searcher or other reader to quickly ascertain the subject matter of the technical disclosure. It is submitted with the understanding that it will not be used to interpret or limit the scope or meaning of the claims. 37 CFR 1.72(b).



Inventors:
Ruston, Wilbur R. (Plano, TX, US)
Application Number:
10/910709
Publication Date:
10/20/2005
Filing Date:
08/02/2004
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/302.1
International Classes:
E04B1/70; E04B2/74; E04B2/78; E04B2/82; E04C3/30; E04F17/00; E04F17/04; E04F17/08; E04H12/00; (IPC1-7): E04B1/70; E04C3/30; E04F17/00; E04F17/04; E04F17/08; E04H12/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FONSECA, JESSIE T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Steven Thrasher (Richardson, TX, US)
Claims:
1. A liquid impervious construction frame track apparatus for wallboard, comprising: a base having a bottom portion adapted to be secured to a building foundation; the base also having top portion, a first side, and a second side; a first moisture resistant standing member extending substantially perpendicularly from the first side of the base having an interior surface being the surface adjacent to the base, and an exterior surface that being the surface facing away from the base, the first standing member adapted to couple to a first wallboard member; a second moisture resistant standing member extending substantially perpendicularly from the second side of the base having an interior surface being the surface adjacent to the base, and an exterior surface that being the surface facing away from the base, the second standing member adapted to couple to a second wallboard member; the second standing member being substantially parallel to and extending in the same direction as the first standing member; and a first moisture resistant shelf extending substantially perpendicularly from the exterior surface of the first standing member and substantially parallel to the base, the shelf extending a sufficient width to seal a porous edge of the first wallboard member.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a second moisture resistant shelf extending substantially perpendicularly from the exterior surface of the second standing member and substantially parallel to the base, the shelf extending a sufficient width to seal a porous edge of a second wallboard member.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the first moisture resistant standing member is parallel to the second moisture resistant standing member and extends to a greater height than the second moisture resistant standing member.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the second moisture resistant standing member is parallel to the first moisture resistant standing member and extends to a greater height than the first moisture resistant standing member.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the first moisture resistant shelf has a top surface enabled to receive a porous portion of a wallboard, the other surface being defined as the bottom surface, and further comprising a caulk layer disposed upon the top surface.

6. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the base, the standing member, and the shelf are comprised of a single piece of sheet metal.

7. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the base, the standing member, and the shelf are comprises nylon.

8. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the base, the standing member, and the shelf are comprises plastic.

9. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the track has a length, the length being defined by the distance from the front of the track to the back of the track, the length being at least six inches.

10. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the base has a width extending from the first side to the second side, the width being at least three inches.

11. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the first standing member extends at least two inches.

12. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the first standing member extends at least two inches in height.

13. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the first standing member extends at least six inches in height.

14. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the second standing member extends at least six inches in height.

15. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the first shelf extends at least one-half inch in width.

16. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the second shelf extends at least one-half inch in width.

17. A liquid impervious construction frame track apparatus for wallboard, comprising: a base having a bottom portion adapted to be secured to a building foundation; the base also having top portion, a first side, and a second side; a first moisture resistant standing member extending substantially perpendicularly from the first side of the base having an interior surface being the surface adjacent to the base, and an exterior surface that being the surface facing away from the base, the first standing member adapted to couple to a first wallboard member; a second moisture resistant standing member extending substantially perpendicularly from the second side of the base having an interior surface being the surface adjacent to the base, and an exterior surface that being the surface facing away from the base, the second standing member adapted to couple to a second wallboard member; the second standing member being substantially parallel to and extending in the same direction as the first standing member; a first moisture resistant shelf extending substantially perpendicularly from the exterior surface of the first standing member and substantially parallel to the base, the shelf extending a sufficient width to seal a porous edge of the first wallboard member; a second moisture resistant shelf extending substantially perpendicularly from the exterior surface of the second standing member and substantially parallel to the base, the shelf extending a sufficient width to seal a porous edge of a second wallboard member; and wherein the first moisture resistant shelf has a top surface enabled to receive a porous portion of a wallboard, the other surface being defined as the bottom surface, and further comprising a caulk layer disposed upon the top surface.

18. A liquid impervious construction frame track apparatus for wallboard, comprising: a base having a bottom portion adapted to be secured to a building foundation; the base also having top portion, a first side, and a second side; a first moisture resistant standing member extending substantially perpendicularly from the first side of the base having an interior surface being the surface adjacent to the base, and an exterior surface that being the surface facing away from the base, the first standing member adapted to couple to a first wallboard member; a second moisture resistant standing member extending substantially perpendicularly from the second side of the base having an interior surface being the surface adjacent to the base, and an exterior surface that being the surface facing away from the base, the second standing member adapted to couple to a second wallboard member; the second standing member being substantially parallel to and extending in the same direction as the first standing member; a first moisture resistant shelf extending substantially perpendicularly from the exterior surface of the first standing member and substantially parallel to the base, the shelf extending a sufficient width to seal a porous edge of the first wallboard member; a second moisture resistant shelf extending substantially perpendicularly from the exterior surface of the second standing member and substantially parallel to the base, the shelf extending a sufficient width to seal a porous edge of a second wallboard member; and wherein the base, the standing member, and the shelf are comprised of a single piece of sheet metal.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATION

The invention is related to and claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/556,346 to Ruston, filed on 25 Mar. 2004. The invention is also related to co-owned U.S. Pat. No. 10/866,430 also by Ruston, filed on 9 Jun. 2004, which is hereby incorporated herein in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates generally to construction, and more particularly to construction that uses wallboards.

Problem Statement

Interpretation Considerations

This section describes the technical field in more detail, and discusses problems encountered in the technical field. This section does not describe prior art as defined for purposes of anticipation or obviousness under 35 U.S.C. section 102 or 35 U.S.C. section 103. Thus, nothing stated in the Problem Statement is to be construed as prior art.

Discussion

Wallboard, including drywall, has been used for years to facilitate the construction of homes and commercial buildings. Although developed only about fifty years ago, today, most gypsum rock used in this country goes into making drywall wallboard for homes. Drywall boards are generally formed by sandwiching a core, typically comprising wet plaster, between two sheets of heavy paper. When the core sets and dries, the “sandwich” becomes the rigid building material most persons are familiar with. As known in the building industry, each edge of a wallboard is generally classified as either a beveled factory edge or a generally flat cut edge (also called a porous edge). When installing wallboard, it is desired to line-up like-edges next to each other (i.e. two factory edges abut each other or two cut edges abut each other) to make “mudding and taping” the boards easier, and it is preferred to line up as many factory edges together as possible. Additionally, in construction, boards are typically laid from the ceiling to the floor, maximizing the number of factory edges that are placed together to facilitate mudding and taping. This means that the lower edge of a drywall wall will typically be a cut edge, thus exposing a moisture vulnerable (and difficult to work with) edge to the floor—the place from which moisture is most likely to originate.

Wallboard, such as drywall, redefined construction in the 20th century by substantially lowering the cost and complexity of residential and commercial construction. However, problems associated with moisture absorption in wallboard are legion and well reported. For example, moisture or liquid can seep into a wallboard, which acts like a sponge, and destroy the structural integrity of the wallboard—causing wallboard to fall away from the wall frame, door frames to fall apart, and wall attachments to fall off the wall. In addition, left unchecked, spores in contact with moisture in wallboard can lead to various fungal and mold damages, including black mold. Accordingly, there is a need for an apparatus that allows a user to experience the benefits of drywall construction while limiting the susceptibility of drywall to moisture and liquid damage.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Various aspects of the invention, as well as an embodiment, are better understood by reference to the following detailed description. To better understand the invention, the detailed description should be read in conjunction with the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is one view of an inventive track for metal stud framing;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the invention, illustrated as a framing system;

FIG. 3 shows an inventive framing portion for use with door or window frames;

FIG. 4a is an inventive track for wood stud framing;

FIG. 4b is an alternative view of the inventive track for wood stud framing; and

FIG. 5 shows an inventive track system for wood stud framing.

EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENT OF A BEST MODE

Interpretation Considerations

When reading this section (An Exemplary Embodiment of a Best Mode, which describes an exemplary embodiment of the best mode of the invention, hereinafter “exemplary embodiment”), one should keep in mind several points. First, the following exemplary embodiment is what the inventor believes to be the best mode for practicing the invention at the time this patent was filed. Thus, since one of ordinary skill in the art may recognize from the following exemplary embodiment that substantially equivalent structures or substantially equivalent acts may be used to achieve the same results in exactly the same way, or to achieve the same results in a not dissimilar way, the following exemplary embodiment should not be interpreted as limiting the invention to one embodiment.

Likewise, individual aspects (sometimes called species) of the invention are provided as examples, and, accordingly, one of ordinary skill in the art may recognize from a following exemplary structure (or a following exemplary act) that a substantially equivalent structure or substantially equivalent act may be used to either achieve the same results in substantially the same way, or to achieve the same results in a not dissimilar way.

Accordingly, the discussion of a species (or a specific item) invokes the genus (the class of items) to which that species belongs as well as related species in that genus. Likewise, the recitation of a genus invokes the species known in the art. Furthermore, it is recognized that as technology develops, a number of additional alternatives to achieve an aspect of the invention may arise. Such advances are hereby incorporated within their respective genus, and should be recognized as being functionally equivalent or structurally equivalent to the aspect shown or described.

Second, the only essential aspects of the invention are identified by the claims. Thus, aspects of the invention, including elements, acts, functions, and relationships (shown or described) should not be interpreted as being essential unless they are explicitly described and identified as being essential. Third, a function or an act should be interpreted as incorporating all modes of doing that function or act, unless otherwise explicitly stated (for example, one recognizes that “tacking” may be done by nailing, stapling, gluing, hot gunning, riveting, etc., and so a use of the word tacking invokes stapling, gluing, etc., and all other modes of that word and similar words, such as “attaching”).

Fourth, unless explicitly stated otherwise, conjunctive words (such as “or”, “and”, “including”, or “comprising” for example) should be interpreted in the inclusive, not the exclusive, sense. Fifth, the words “means” and “step” are provided to facilitate the reader's understanding of the invention and do not mean “means” or “step” as defined in §112, paragraph 6 of 35 U.S.C., unless used as “means for -functioning-” or “step for -functioning-” in the Claims section. Sixth, the invention is also described in view of the Festo decisions, and, in that regard, the claims and the invention incorporate equivalents known, unknown, foreseeable, and unforeseeable, whether or not expressly articulated below. The invention shall only release equivalents when expressly stated so. Seventh, the language and each word used in the invention should be given the ordinary interpretation of the language and the word, unless indicated otherwise. Of course, the foregoing discussions and definitions are provided for clarification purposes and are not limiting. Words and phrases are to be given their ordinary plain meaning unless indicated otherwise.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Although the following discussion is directed primarily to drywall wallboards, it has broader applicability to wallboard-based construction in general. Features and advantages of the invention can be better understood by reference to the figures, wherein FIG. 1 is one view of an inventive track that is primarily adapted to be used with metal stud framing construction. Accordingly, from one point of view, FIG. 1 shows a track that is also characterized as a liquid impervious metal construction frame track apparatus for wallboard 100 (the track 100). Of course, the track 100, in alternative embodiments, is adapted for other types of frame construction, such as plastic, nylon, or fiberglass frame construction. Further, the track 100 may be made of alternative materials such as metal, plastic, nylon, or fiberglass, for example. Of course, when referencing materials, it is understood that those mentioned are exemplary, and the invention incorporates any materials know, unknown, foreseeable and unforeseeable. The track 100 includes a base 110 having a bottom portion adapted to secure to a building foundation. Common adaptations include a substantially flat surface, and may include holes (not shown) or other means for facilitating coupling of the track 100 to a foundation. Such adaptations encompassed by the invention are those known, unknown, foreseeable and unforeseeable.

It is appreciated that prior art tracks have bases are adaptable to secure to a building foundation, and thus the adaptation of the base 110 to a particular foundation is a feature that is readily understood by one of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the present disclosure. Thus, the base bottom portion may be adapted to secure to a concrete foundation, a wood foundation, metal foundations, or other foundations presently known, unknown, foreseeable, or unforeseeable, in any manner presently known, unknown, foreseeable, or unforeseeable. Additionally, the base 110 also has top portion 113, a first side 116, and a second side 118. The perpendicular straight-line transversing between the first side 116 and the second side 118 defines the width of the base, which is preferably at least 3½ inches, but may alternatively be four, six or eight inches, and in some embodiments (such as in theater construction) be up to or exceed two feet. In various embodiments, the track 100 has an identifiable length defined by the distance from a front 112 of the track 100 to the back 114 of the track 100, the length being in one embodiment at least two inches, but in other embodiments at least six inches.

A first moisture resistant standing member 120 (sometimes called a leg) extends substantially perpendicularly from the first side 116 and forming an approximately 90-degree angle with the base 110. The standing member 120 has an interior surface 121, and an exterior surface 123. The first standing member 120 is adapted to couple at a top portion 152 to a first wallboard. Similarly, a second moisture resistant standing member 130 extends substantially perpendicularly, at an approximately 90-degree angle, from the second side 118 of the base 110 and has an interior surface 133, and an exterior surface 131. In one embodiment, the second standing member 130 is adapted to couple to a second wallboard member at a top portion 142.

The adaptation of a member to be secured to a wallboard is readily understood by those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the present disclosure in its entirety, and includes adaptations presently known, unknown, foreseeable, or unforeseeable. In one embodiment, the second standing member 130 is substantially parallel to and extends in the same direction as the first standing member 120. In one embodiment, the standing members 120, 130 are formed from the same continuous material as the base, and could be sheet metal (via bending, for example), nylon, or plastic, for example (and, again, such listing of materials is exemplary, not inclusive, as any material presently known, unknown, foreseeable, or unforeseeable, may be incorporated into the invention).

In various embodiments, the joints between the base and the standing members 120, 130 are non-porous. Further, upon reading the present disclosure in its entirety, those of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate additional materials that may be applied to the exemplary construction, and those material known and unforeseeable are thus incorporated within the present disclosure.

In one embodiment, the first standing member 120 is parallel to the second standing member 130 and extends to a greater height, h (127), than the second standing member 130. Alternatively, the second standing member 130 may extend to a greater height, h (127), than the first standing member 120. In either event, a height for either standing member 120, 130 may be set between and a half inches and forty inches, while typical exemplary heights are two inches and thirty inches, while in another embodiment is four inches in height, while in yet another embodiment is six to eight inches in height. Further, unless otherwise claimed, the height of a standing member may accommodate any height presently known, unknown, foreseeable, or unforeseeable for use in the art. Although not illustrated in FIG. 1, either standing member 120, 130 may employ various means for coupling to a wallboard, such as those discussed in FIG. 5, below, as well as any derivatives or alternatives presently known, unknown, foreseeable, or unforeseeable, which are readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the present disclosure.

A first moisture resistant shelf 150 extends substantially perpendicularly, at approximately a 90-degree angle, from the exterior surface 123 of the first standing member 120 and substantially parallel to the base 110. The shelf 150 extends a sufficient width to seal a porous edge of the first wallboard member. Accordingly, in one embodiment, the shelf extends to at lest one-half-inch in width, and may extend two inches or more in width. Alternatively, the edge of the shelf 150 may be bent, or otherwise adapted to secure a seal on the wallboard. Although the width of the first shelf 150 is not shown in FIG. 1, one of ordinary skill in the art will understand its application upon reading the disclosure and by drawing upon the description of the width of a second shelf 140, below.

In one embodiment, first moisture resistant shelf 150 has a top surface 152 that is adapted to receive an edge of a wallboard, such as the porous edge of a wallboard. Structures encompassing such adaptation include bends in the edges of the shelf 150, pad, spikes, or other means presently known (such as those shown in FIG. 5), as well as those unknown, foreseeable, or unforeseeable. The other surface of the shelf 150 is likewise defined as a bottom surface. Furthermore, in one embodiment, the shelf 150 may include a caulk layer disposed upon the top surface 152 (described below on a second moisture resistant shelf).

In one embodiment, the invention also comprises a second moisture resistant shelf 140 extending substantially perpendicularly, at an approximately 90-degree angle, from the exterior surface 131 of the second standing member 130 and substantially parallel to the base 110. The shelf extends a sufficient width (146), to seal a porous edge of a second wallboard member. Accordingly, in one embodiment, the shelf extends to at least one-half-inch in width, w (146), and may extend two inches or more in width. In one embodiment, second moisture resistant shelf 140 has a top surface 142 adapted to receive a porous portion of a wallboard in any fashion applicable to the first shelf 150. The other surface of the shelf 140 is likewise defined as a bottom surface. Furthermore, in one embodiment, the shelf 140 may include a caulk layer 160 disposed upon the top surface 142. The caulk layer may, in one embodiment, be pre-placed an include a tape-strip to preserve the moisture of the caulk and to prevent undesired contamination of or adherence to the caulk layer 160.

Other embodiments of shelves 140, 150 include shelf portions that are “intermittent,” meaning that along the length of a track, a shelf may start and stop (perhaps at six inch intervals) so that the “shelves” on either side of the track may be manufactured by folding down alternative rectangular cuts into lengths of a track, perhaps six inches at a time. Such a method of manufacture is readily apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art upon reading the present disclosure. Further, when coupled to a wallboard, the track and wallboard combination form the core of a wallboard system. Of course, the above description of a track is exemplary, and the track should be interpreted in the broadest reasonable reading of the claims.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the invention, illustrated as a framing system 200. The framing system 200 generally comprises a track 210, a first stud 205 or a plurality of studs shown herein as a first stud 205 and a second stud 207, and may also comprise a framing member (discussed in FIG. 3). In the shown embodiment, the track 210 has a first standing member 212 that has a greater height than a second standing member 214. Typically, in commercial construction, the higher standing member faces an external wall of a building so that the walls may be constructed more rapidly (as is understood in the art upon reading the present disclosure). Of course, it is understood that although one specific embodiment of a track is shown in FIG. 2, any of the embodiments of a track encompassed by the claims are germane to the present discussion of a metal stud framing system 200. In one embodiment, the track 210 and studs 205, 205 are made of a metal, but could also be made of nylon or plastic or composites, as discussed above (including materials presently known, unknown, foreseeable, or unforeseeable), for example.

The first stud 205 may be as shown, or any of the plentifully available studs, such as metal studs, available on the market today, or known or unknown today but foreseeable or unforeseeable, adapted to accommodate the teachings of the invention. A stud for use in the invention has, in various embodiments, means for securing the stud into a track, illustrated herein with the first stud 205 as a first rib 234 and a second rib 236. The ribs 234, 236 are secured to a spine 220 that traverses the width of the base of the track 210, as is readily apparent to those in the construction framing arts upon reading the present disclosure. The studs 205, 207 in one embodiment run the height of a wall (and may, in one embodiment, define the height of the wall), and have a height defined as the distance from the top 222 of a stud to the base 224 of the stud. Along the spine 222 of the first stud 205 are a plurality of holes 240, 242, 244 that allow for the stringing of electrical conduit or plumbing pipes, as is known in the art.

Along the base 224 of each stud is a moisture passage 226. The moisture passage 226 may be any shape, such as the square moisture passage 226 of the first stud 205 or the rounded moisture passage of the second stud 207. In one embodiment, the moisture passage does not contact the track for at least some distance. In any case, a moisture passage 226 generally allows water or another liquid, or moisture, to escape the confines of the framing system 200 and thus may prevent moisture damage to a wall board, or may allow a wall board to dry before varying degrees of damage may occur.

Similarly, the moisture passage 226 generally allows a liquid or fog to enter the framing system 200. For example, the frame system 200 may be adapted to accept chemicals, such as anti-fungal, anti-mold/mildew, or insecticides and the holes 240, 242, 244 and the moisture passage 226 allow the chemical to more effectively disperse in the framing system 200. Accordingly, insecticides or other chemical treatments may be more effectively used in a building since the chemical can more easily reach the surfaces that it is intended to treat. In one embodiment, a wall or frame is adapted to accept a chemical sprayer or fogger such that the chemical may be more effectively dispersed within a wall via the frame.

Any of the known methods of securing a stud in a frame may be used with the framing system 200; and it is appreciated that a moisture-tight seal can be obtained between joins by caulking the joints. Of course, the above description of studs 205, 207 and a framing system 200 is exemplary, and the track should be interpreted in the broadest reasonable reading of the claims, while at the same time a system should be interpreted no more narrowly than the claims.

FIG. 3 shows an inventive framing portion 330 for use as a part of a door or window frame in a framing system 300 that generally also includes a first stud 320, and may also include a track 310. The framing portion 330 has a first rib 340, and a second rib 342 that couple to a framing portion base 336 as is known in the art. The framing portion has a height defined by the distance between the top 332 of the framing portion 330 to the base 334 of the framing portion. The ribs typically couple to the base 336 along the entire height of the base 336. As also known in the art, a first lip 341 couples to the first rib 340, and a second lip 343 couples to the second rib 342 to close a gap between the framing member 330 and wallboard. Accordingly, each lip 341, 343 couples to each rib 340, 342 along the entire height of each rib 340, 342.

Of course, the description and the illustration of the framing portion 330 and framing system 300 are exemplary, and the framing portion 330 and the framing system 300 should be interpreted in the broadest reasonable reading of the claims. In one embodiment, framing member 330 is formed from sheet metal (via bending, for example), nylon, or plastic, for example, and could be formed from the same material as the base, or any other material as described above (known, unknown, foreseeable and unforeseeable). In various embodiments, the joints (identified by the intersection of any elements) could be constructed, manufactured, or adapted to be non-porous. In addition, the studs 320 could be of any material, as described above, including wood studs (dealt with in more detail below).

The base 334 is adapted to set securely on a foundation, in any manner known, unknown, foreseeable or unforeseeable. The base 334 of the framing portion is adapted to accommodate moisture travel via a moisture hole. For example, in FIG. 3 there is shown a moisture hole 350 in the base 334 of the framing member 330. The moisture hole 350 allows for the expelling of water or other liquids or vapors, and also allows the venting of gasses from the framing system 300. Alternatively, the moisture hole 350 can be used to blow chemicals (discussed above) into the framing system 300.

Additional functionality is provided by a plug 354 that is preferably shaped to mate with the moisture hole 350. The plug 354 may be used to close off the moisture hole 350 when desired, and to prevent the ingress of moisture, liquid, insects or foreign matter into the framing system 300. Of course, it is understood that the framing member shown is exemplary, and that a framing member and the framing system 300 are limited in definition only by the claims.

FIGS. 4a and 4b illustrate an inventive track 400, primarily adapted for use with wood stud framing. FIG. 4a, is an inventive track 400 for wood stud framing. From FIG. 4a, one can see that the track 400 has a back 401 that is adapted to couple to a wall frame member. For example, elongated horizontally strips 403 that embed in wallboard may be used to couple the track 400 to wallboard. Similarly, pads 405 may be used to couple the track 400 to a wallboard. In addition, various adaptations used to attach known frames wallboard may also be used to attach the track 400 to a wallboard. Further, adaptations unknown, foreseeable and unforeseeable are also incorporated within the scope of the claims.

A water impervious track 400 generally comprises a plurality of moisture impervious barriers. These barriers are implemented in FIG. 4b as a shelf barrier 430 and a standing member 410 comprising a spacing member 424 and a wallboard brace 450. The spacing member 424 provides a “minimum spacing” guideline that provides a spacing between a foundation (not shown) and the shelf barrier 430, and is designed to abut a framing base—typically implemented as a standard “two-by-four.” In one embodiment, the portion of the standing member above the shelf 430 defines the bracing member 450, and the portion of the standing member 410 below the barrier shelf 430 defines the spacing member 424.

The standing member 410 is adapted to attach/couple to a wallboard, such as via a plurality of slits 411 or bracing member 413 as is known in the art. The slits are generally sheet-metal members that “grip” a section of wallboard, while the bracing members 413 are generally sheet-metal portions, between which adhesive may be added in any manner known, unknown, foreseeable or unforeseeable to those in the art.

In one embodiment, the spacing member 424 “elevates” the shelf barrier 430, and, from one perspective, provides clearance above a foundation so that a wallboard edge, perhaps having a porous cut edge exposed to the shelf barrier 430, is actually “sealed” from moisture by the shelf barrier 430, which may include any of the aforementioned adaptations or no adaptations at all. In at least one embodiment, the track 400 is adapted to couple to a lower porous edge of a wallboard section to prevent the wallboard from absorbing liquid, moisture, and/or vapors prior to securing the wallboard to a frame. Also, caulk, epoxy or an adhesive may be used to improve the moisture-resistant properties of any joint or seam, or the shelf 430 and porous wallboard edge boundary, an example of which is also discussed above.

In addition, although the spacing member 424 is shown in a position where it would be approximately flush with a foundation, it is not intended to be limited to flush “spacing.” Rather the height of the spacing member 424 may be used to guide a user to a minimum desired spacing above a foundation.

Also illustrated are holes 425 located on the spacing member, which in one embodiment are on an internal spacing member 424, below the shelf 430, and which are in one embodiment located at least two inches above a foundation level. Thus, a liquid may flow from the track 400 and into the area between two walls within a frame, and, preferably flow out of the frame. Alternatively, holes 425 may be located at various heights and at regular or variable intervals along the spacing member. A hole in this context is a passage (not necessarily round), and not limited to a diameter/size so long as the size allows sufficient fluid flow to keep water away from a wallboard on shelf 430. Any other wall associated with a wood stud frame may also be made with the invention, and thus any liquid between the walls will be “trapped” by the respective standing members 410 and forced to flow out of the frame system. In one embodiment the spacing member 424 comprises a downward-extending vertical portion that does provide spacing.

The barrier shelf 430 is implemented in FIGS. 4a and 4b as a substantially horizontal member, which extends substantially perpendicularly, at approximately a 90-degree angle, from the standing member 410, and has sufficient enough width to substantially seal a porous end of a wallboard. Accordingly, in one embodiment, the barrier shelf is at least one-half inch in width, while in alternative embodiments the width of the barrier shelf 430 is approximately one or approximately two inches, and may accommodate multiple wallboards in any number of the multitude of United States and international standards.

A second standing member 420, substantially perpendicular, at approximately a 90-degree angle, to the barrier shelf 430, may provide additional functionality and benefits to the invention. Any portion of the standing member 420 above the barrier shelf is defined as an outer wallboard brace 422, while any portion of the second standing member below the barrier shelf 430 defines a second spacing member 423. Thus, the outer wallboard brace 422 may enhance structural integrity while providing a degree of insurance against water infiltration into a wallboard resting on the barrier shelf 430.

In application, a wallboard should be placed upon the barrier shelf 430, between the wallboard brace 450 and the second wallboard brace 422. In one embodiment, an additive such as a sealant or epoxy may be located upon the barrier shelf 430 to insure the integrity of the isolation of a porous cut of the wallboard from any foundation or floor-based liquids (an exemplary sealant of caulk is discuss in greater detail with respect to FIG. 1). Thus, a wallboard may be isolated from a foundation, both by distance and by at least the moisture impervious barrier shelf 430.

Additional benefits may be obtained by closing the barrier shelf 430-standing member 410, 420 combinations with a base 440 parallel to the shelf 430 and generally perpendicular to the standing members 410, 420. In one embodiment, the base 440 is adapted to abut a foundation as is known in the art, but could also be in any manner unknown, foreseeable or unforeseeable in the art. Alternatively, the base 440 may be located at selected heights above a foundation, and below the shelf 430. Accordingly, the “barrier shelf 430-base 440-standing member 410, 420″ combination may be used to “create” a conduit (collectively 410, 420, 430, 440) for the placement of electric, voice, or data wires, or for the transport of liquids, for example. Of course, although a rectangular conduit is shown in FIGS. 4a and 4b, it is understood by those of skill in the art that a conduit may comprise nearly any shape that maintains a channel, and may also comprise holes or other passages within its wall(s). Of course, a myriad of other uses of conduit are known, and all such uses known, unknown, foreseeable, and unforeseeable are incorporated herein.

FIG. 5 shows an inventive track system 500 for wood stud framing. From FIG. 5, one can see a track 540, which is in one embodiment the track taught above in FIG. 4 of the invention. In one embodiment, the track 540 has holes 542 in its standing members, the holes 542 being intelligently located so that any liquid caught in the track 540 may escape into the frame system 500 and between the walls 550, 552. The track 540 is also shown being positioned such that the standing members (discussed above) abut a two-by-floor floor stud 548 that is being used to define the center of the wall frame. In addition, the track abuts frame studs 560, 562 at the standing members, where they are so co-located.

A track 100 discussed in FIG. 1 may be adapted to function as a moisture resistant cap 570, and may be used with the wallboards 550, 552 in the track system 500 in a manner described in FIG. 1, but wherein the cap 570 is fitted to the top portion of a wall. This is advantageous in that it can prevent a wallboard from absorbing liquids, moisture, or fumes from a higher floor or a ceiling, for example, where water heaters, water storage, air conditioners and other moisture sources may be located. Accordingly, upon reading the present disclosure in its entirety, the structure and use of the cap 570 is readily apparent to one of ordinary skill in the art.

Further, a baseboard 580 may be applied to the wall system 500 to enhance the construction of a wall portion and track system 500. Of course, the described track system 500 is exemplary, and the teachings may be applied to any wood-stud system independent on the size of the studs or type of wallboard or wallboard covering. Additionally, the teachings of the wall system are equally applicable to alternative wood-stud systems, such as soundproof walls, sounding walls, and the like which use alternative framing members in alternative configurations. Thus, all teachings of the track system 500 known, unknown, foreseeable and unforeseeable are incorporated within the scope of the invention.

Thus, though the invention has been described with respect to a specific preferred embodiment, many variations and modifications will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon reading the present application, and alteration know and unknown, foreseeable and unforeseeable are incorporated herein. It is therefore the intention that the appended claims and their equivalents be interpreted as broadly as possible in view of the prior art to include all such variations and modifications.