Title:
Column for wood siding
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A column and method for siding a wall to simulate wood log construction are described. The column (100) includes a partial cylinder core (101) having a channel (103) that complements the shape of the wall to which the column attaches. Lateral supports (117, 119) are attached to respective grooves (113, 115) along respective lateral edges (109, 111) that are formed at the intersection of the flat surfaces (105, 107) of the channel (103) and a curved surface (123). A decorative skin (121) attaches to the curved surface (123). In a siding system that simulates wood log construction, planks (200) are attached to wall adjacent to a column (100).



Inventors:
Lehn, Gregory E. (Libertyville, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/863686
Publication Date:
12/29/2005
Filing Date:
06/08/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/10; E04B2/70; E04F13/08; E04F19/02; (IPC1-7): E04B1/10
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PAINTER, BRANON C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ronald E. Andermann (Arlington Heights, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A column comprising: a partial cylindrical core having a curved surface, and a channel that complements the shape of a wall to which the column attaches; at least one lateral support disposed near a lateral edge where the curved surface meets the channel; and a decorative skin attached to the curved surface.

2. The column of claim 1, wherein the lateral support is formed from a rigid material.

3. The column of claim 2, wherein the rigid material is wood.

4. The column of claim 1, wherein the curved surface and a surface of the lateral support forms a continuous curved surface.

5. The column of claim 1, wherein the curved surface and the lateral support are formed such that the lateral edge meets a wall to which the column is attached at approximately a right angle.

6. The column of claim 1, wherein the core is formed from rigid foam.

7. The column of claim 1, wherein the decorative skin is bonded to the curved surface.

8. The column of claim 1, wherein the decorative skin is a heat-treated hard board.

9. The column of claim 1, wherein the decorative skin comprises at least two layers.

10. The column of claim 9, wherein an outer layer is wood veneer.

11. A siding system comprising: at least one column attached to a wall, wherein the column comprises a partial cylindrical core having a curved surface, a channel that complements the shape of the wall to which the column attaches, and at least one lateral support disposed near a lateral edge where the curved surface core meets the channel; and at least one plank attached to a wall, wherein the plank comprises a generally cylindrical core having a curved surface, and a flat surface, wherein planks adjacent to the column are formed to butt up against the column.

12. The siding system of claim 11, wherein the plank further comprises: a first lateral edge and a second lateral edge at the intersection of the curved surface and the flat surface; an alignment member extending laterally along the flat surface; and a rigid member capable of engaging the alignment member, attached to the flat surface, and having an upper spline and lower spline, wherein the upper spline is disposed near the first lateral edge and the lower spline is disposed near the second lateral edge.

13. The siding system of claim 12, wherein the second lateral edge of the plank is shortened and a portion of the core removed, so that a complementary upper spline of an adjacent plank extends under the second lateral edge and is concealed when adjacent planks are interlocked.

14. The siding system of claim 13, wherein the upper spline along the first lateral edge of the plank extends beyond the first lateral edge to form a surface for mounting the plank to the wall wherein the surface is concealed when the adjacent planks are interlocked.

15. The siding system of claim 13, wherein the surface is formed from nailable material.

16. The siding system of claim 14, wherein the surface is formed for the application of grout.

17. The siding system of claim 11, wherein the cylindrical core of the plank is formed from rigid foam.

18. The siding system of claim 11, wherein the plank further comprises a decorative skin attached to the curved surface.

19. The siding system of claim 18, wherein the decorative skin of the plank is bonded to the curved surface.

20. The siding system of claim 18, wherein the decorative skin of the plank is a heat-treated hard board.

21. The siding system of claim 19, wherein the decorative skin of the plank comprises at least two layers.

22. The siding system of claim 21, wherein an outer layer is wood veneer.

23. The siding system of claim 11, wherein the lateral support is formed from a rigid material.

24. The siding system of claim 23, wherein the rigid material is wood.

25. The siding system of claim 11, wherein the partial cylindrical core of the column is formed from rigid foam.

26. The siding system of claim 11, wherein the decorative skin of the column is bonded to the curved surface.

27. The siding system of claim 11, wherein the decorative skin of the column is a heat-treated hard board.

28. The siding system of claim 11, wherein the decorative skin of the column comprises at least two layers.

29. The siding system of claim 28, wherein an outer layer is wood veneer.

30. The siding system of claim 11, wherein the column is attached to the wall with an adhesive.

31. A method comprising the steps of: attaching at least one column having a partial cylindrical core made of rigid foam to a wall; cutting planks to a desired length for installation adjacent to the column; and attaching planks on a wall adjacent to the column.

32. The method of claim 31, wherein the column is attached with adhesive.

33. The method of claim 31, further comprising the step of applying grout to the joints formed between planks and columns.

34. The method of claim 31, further comprising the step of applying a sealant to planks and columns so as to form a water-resistant siding system.

35. A method of manufacturing a column comprising the steps of: machining a block of rigid foam to form a partial cylindrical core having a curved surface, and a channel that complements the shape of a wall to which the column attaches; and laminating a decorative skin to the curved surface.

36. The method of claim 35, further comprising the step of machining grooves disposed near lateral edges where the curved surface meets the channel.

37. The method of claim 36, further comprising the step of attaching lateral supports in the grooves.

38. The method of claim 35, further comprising the step of painting or staining the decorative skin.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH/DEVELOPMENT

The present invention does not involve any form of federally sponsored research or development.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to simulated wood siding, including, but not limited to, columns for use in a siding system that simulates wood log construction. Log columns and methods for use with either natural wood or simulated wood siding that attaches to walls, particularly exterior walls, are known. The wood siding can include planks and columns that attach to walls. The columns can be attached anywhere along a sided wall. For esthetic reasons the columns are preferably attached at joints between sided wall sections, at ends of the sided wall, or at corners. The columns can function to cover the ends of planks or to help join adjacent wall planks that meet at wall corners so as to give the appearance of wood log construction. Whether the siding is natural or simulated wood, the columns are typically made of natural wood.

There are a number of problems with existing columns used with siding that simulates wood log construction. Often rough hewn boards are used as columns, particularly at sided wall corners. Esthetically the boards detract from an appearance of log construction. Columns made of natural wood are heavy and require special anchoring to be securely attached to the wall. The weight of natural wood columns makes siding construction laborious. The siding corners made from natural wood are susceptible to degradation caused by moisture and insects such as termites, and thus columns made of wood must be either chemically protected or replaced periodically. Generally, wood is an expensive material of construction, and columns made of natural wood may be considered a less desirable use of natural resources.

Accordingly, there is a need for a log column for and method of siding walls that uses columns that are lightweight, easy to handle, easy to attach, water and insect resistance, insulating, and inexpensive to manufacture, yet can simulates wood siding having the appearance of wood log construction.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A log column and a method for use with simulated wood siding are provided. The column includes a partial cylindrical core, lateral supports, and a decorative skin attached to a curved surface of the core. In a method of the present invention, a column is attached adjacent to planks so as to form a sided wall having the appearance of wood log construction.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a simulated log column for use in the siding of a wall in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates a simulated wood siding plank for use in a siding system having simulated log columns in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates the use of a column in a simulated wood siding system in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates a flow diagram for a method of installing a column as part of a siding system in accordance with the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present invention includes a column and method for siding a wall to simulate wood log construction. The column includes a partial cylindrical core having a channel that is formed to complement the shape of a wall, and a decorative skin attached to a curved surface of the core. The column can be used in a siding system for simulating wood log construction that includes at least one column and a plurality of siding planks.

A simulated log column 100 for use in the siding of a wall is shown in FIG. 1. The column 100 includes a partial cylindrical core 101 having a channel 103 that is formed to complement the shape of a wall to which the column attached. The core can be made of rigid foam such as polystyrene that can provide an insulating quality to the column. A shape of the channel 103 is formed to complement an adjacent wall, particularly wall corners. Preferably, the channel 103 is formed by a first flat surface 105, and a second flat surface 107 to facilitated attachment of the column 100 to a corner formed by two walls. For example, when walls meet at a right angle and form a two hundred seventy degree corner, a column designed to attach to the corner will have a wedge shaped channel. The sides of the channel, the first flat surface 105 and the second flat surface 107, meet at a ninety degree angle. The columns can also be designed to attach to a flat wall or to two parallel walls that meet to form a continuous wall. In this case, the shape of the channel 103 expands until the shape of the channel is a continuous flat surface formed by the first flat surface 105 and the second flat surface 107. Alternatively, the channel can be thought of as an approximate one hundred eighty degree partial cylinder. Finally, when walls meet at a right angle and form a ninety degree corner, a column designed to attach to the corner will be generally a partial cylinder having the shape of a wedge. The sides of the wedge, the first flat surface 105 and the second flat surface 107, meet at a ninety degree angle. For this case, the channel can be considered to be an approximate two hundred seventy degree partial cylinder that surrounds the wedge. Accordingly, columns can be formed to complement almost any angle at which two walls meet.

Lateral edges 109, 111 are formed at the intersection of a curved surface 123 of the core 101 and either the first flat surface 105 and the second flat surface 107. Although the column 100 is formed from a generally cylindrical core 101, the lateral edges 109, 111 can be formed to have an outer surface that is generally tangential to the curved surface 123. The lateral edges so formed are generally perpendicular to the wall to which the column is mounted. Also, lateral edges that meet the wall perpendicularly provide a straighter edge to which planks can butt up against.

Grooves 113, 115 are formed along lateral edges 109, 111 to receive lateral supports 117, 119. The lateral supports can be attached with adhesive or bonded to the grooves, and have an edge with a surface adjacent to the curved surface 103 so as to form a continuous surface. Generally, the lateral supports run the whole length of the column. Alternatively, the supports can be divided in several pieces such that only a portion of the grooves 113, 115 is occupied. The lateral supports 117, 119 provide rigidity to the column 100 and are generally made of a nailable material such as a wood. Thus, the column 100 can be attached to the wall by nailing the column 100 through the lateral supports 117, 119. A decorative skin 121, such as hardboard, attaches to the curved surface 123 and the lateral supports 113, 115. Alternatively, the decorative skin can include multiple layers which can include an outer veneer made of wood.

A simulated wood siding plank 200 for use in a siding system having simulated log columns 100 is shown in FIG. 2. The plank 200 includes a generally cylindrical core 201 having a curved surface 203 and a flat surface 205. Generally, an arc formed by a cross-section of the curved surface 203 is less than one hundred eighty degrees. Lateral edges 207, 209 are formed approximately by the intersection of the curved surface 203 and the flat surface 205. Preferably, a decorative skin 213 attaches to or is bonded to the curved surface 203. Alternatively, the curved surface 203 can be formed so as to have a decorative appearance, and thus eliminating the need for the decorative skin. To facilitate the interlocking of adjacent planks during installation of siding and to improve the overall esthetic look of the finished siding, the lateral edges, such as lower lateral edge 209, may be shortened or sculpted by removing a portion of the core and decorative skin as needed.

Lower spline 215 and upper spline 217 are disposed laterally along the corresponding lateral edges 207, 209 so as to form an interlocking tongue and groove system on adjacent planks. The splines can be form as part of a rigid member 219 that attaches to the flat surface 205. Alternatively, the splines can be form by other construction techniques. For example, splines can be formed from a plurality of rigid members attached to the flat surface 205 and/or each other. The splines could also be molded in the case the rigid member is made from a molded material such as plastic.

The rigid member 219 can be formed to engage an alignment member 211 that protrudes from and continues laterally down the flat surface 205. The alignment member 219 facilitates plank manufacturing. The rigid member 219 can be made of material such as plywood or other rigid materials. For example, the alignment member could be molded into a rigid member made of plastic and bonded to the cylindrical core.

The upper spline 217 can be formed into a tongue 221 that extends past the decorative skin 213 and has a surface 223. The surface 223 is used to receive nails or other devices for attaching the plank 200 to the wall. The height of the surface 223 can be varied to allow the application of grout to further help simulate wood log construction.

The use of a column 100 in a simulated wood siding system is as shown in FIG. 3. The simulated wood siding system includes at least one column 100 and a plurality of planks 200 attached to a wall. The common construction of the wall includes the use of wood studs 301 and plywood 303. The wall construction can also include a vapor barrier and other components. Generally, the column 100 attaches to two walls that meet in a corner, for example the two hundred seventy degree corner shown in FIG. 3. Columns can be formed to attach to walls that meet and form corners of any angle, for example, ninety degrees, one hundred thirty five degrees, one hundred eighty degrees, two hundred seventy degree, and so forth. In addition, columns can be formed to be attached to a flat wall. Typically, the column 100 is nailed to the underlying walls, preferably into the studs 301. Alternatively, screws, other fasteners, and even adhesive can be used to secure the column to the wall.

The siding system also includes a plurality of planks 200 attached to the walls. Adjacent planks are joined by interlocking splines, the lower spline 215 and the upper spline 217 of adjacent planks 200. Typically, the plank 200 is secured to the wall by nails 301 that are driven through the upper portion of the plank 200 near the upper spline 217 and into the wall, preferably into the studs. The next plank is installed by interlocking the lower spline 215 into the upper spline of the plank nailed to the wall. The lower spline 215 of adjacent planks 200 conceals the nails 401 that attach the nailed plank 200 to the wall. Alternatively, the plank can be attached to the wall by other means such as screws, special fasters, adhesive, and so forth. Also, the planks can be designed and constructed so that the lower spline is nailed to the wall instead of the upper spline. Planks 200 adjacent to the column 100 are cut or formed so as to butt up against the column 100 when the plank is attached to the wall.

For planks having the tongue surface 223 constructed to receive grout, the grout can be applied once adjacent planks 200 are attached to the wall. The grout can be carried into openings adjacent to the column 100 and between adjacent planks to form a sealed and water-resistant siding system. The materials used to form the columns and planks, such as a polystyrene cores and hardboard decorative skin, make the siding system resistant to attack by insects.

A flow diagram for a method of installing a column as part of a siding system is as shown in FIG. 4. In a method, the siding system includes at least one column 100 and a plurality of planks 200 that are attached to a wall. Typically, as single column is attached to a corner form by two walls coming together wherein at least one wall is sided with planks 200. Alternatively, multiple columns can be installed together in a multitude of arrangements. For example, for a very tall wall columns can be stack vertically on top of each other as needed. Alternatively, multiple columns can be installed next to each other for a desired esthetic effect.

In the method for the siding system, at step 401, at least one column 100 is attached to the wall, typically at a corner formed by adjacent wall sections. Preferably, the column 100 is nailed to studs 301 through the lateral supports 117, 119. Alternatively, the column 100 can be attached with screws and other types of fasteners, or even adhesive. Two or more columns 100 can be used in combination next to each other vertically or horizontally, as needed. The joints between adjacent columns 100 can be caulked or grouted, as deemed appropriate.

At step 403, planks 200 adjacent to the column 100 are cut to a desired length so that the planks butt up against the column when attached to the wall. At step 405, a plurality of planks 200 are attached to the wall. Adjacent planks 200 interlocked through the engagement of complimentary lower splines 215 to upper splines 217 on adjacent planks 200. The planks 200 are secured to the wall by preferably driving nails 305 through the plank near the upper spline 217. The planks 200 adjacent to the column 100 can help hid the nails used to attach the column 100 to the wall. Grout can be applied between adjacent planks as appropriate. In addition, joints between columns 100 and plank 200 can be caulked and/or grouted so as to form a water-resistant siding system.

The columns 100 are formed by a number of manufacturing steps. A commercially available rigid polystyrene foam block is machined by a hot wire to yield a plurality of generally cylindrical cores 101 having a curved surface 103, a first flat surface 105, and a second flat surface 107. Grooves 113, 115 are formed by machining of the core along lateral edges 109, 111. Lateral supports 117, 119 are bonded along grooves 113, 115, respectively. The later supports are formed such that the outer surfaces of the lateral supports and the curved surface of the core form a continuous surface. A decorative skin 121 is laminated to the continuous surface by a vacuum table diaphragm press having a rubber diaphragm that conforms to the curved shape of the column. The decorative skin can be hardboard having one side embossed with a hewn log or other esthetic appearance. Alternatively, the decorative skin can be a veneer laminated to plain hardboard without embossing. The veneer, a decorative outer layer, is laminated to plain hardboard that is laminated to the core. The veneer is laminated to the plain hardboard by a vacuum table diaphragm press have a rubber diaphragm that conforms to the curved shape of the column. The outer surface of the decorative skin can then be painted or stained as appropriate.

An advantage of the present invention is a siding system that simulates wood log construction that is made up of columns and planks that lightweight and insulating. The light weight of the siding system components simplifies installation saving both time and cost. The columns and planks are easy to handle and can be nailed directly to the wall, and preferably to the studs, without the needs for special support members, channels, or fasteners. Alternatively, the lightweight column can also be attached to the wall with adhesive and caulk. The siding system is insulating and can eliminate the need for the installation of a separate layer of insulation. The siding is esthetically pleasing because nails and fasteners used to install the planks and columns can be hidden. The overlapping design of adjacent planks forms a water resistant siding system. The materials used to form the siding system components are insect resistant, and can be treated to increase fire resistant. The siding system, except for the possible use of a wood veneer, is made from synthetic materials that minimize the environmental impact on forests.

The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes that come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.