Title:
Assembly and method of forming an arch
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An assembly and method of forming an arch or other structure having a curved profile including a template having a guide portion formed thereon which is substantially equal in dimension and configuration to the arch being formed. An arch pattern or one more pattern segments are dimensioned and otherwise structured to assume an operative position extending along the length of the guide portion and thereby conform to the configuration thereof as well as the arch or curved profile being formed. While in the operative position, the template and the arch pattern and/or pattern segment(s) are disposed in a location corresponding to the location of the intended curved profile and are secured to a supporting framework while maintaining the intended configuration of the curved profile. Once so positioned, the template may or may not be detached from the arch pattern and/or pattern segments.



Inventors:
Andino, Jose R. (Miami, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/134045
Publication Date:
01/19/2006
Filing Date:
05/20/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04G15/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090077904Modular Testing PlantMarch, 2009Ziegler et al.
20060248810Roof spoilersNovember, 2006Ewing
20090183463LATERAL SEISMIC BRACEJuly, 2009Osborn et al.
20100095620Compliant Trim for Concrete SlabsApril, 2010Wilkes Jr.
20060010829Accessory arrangement for a refrigerator door and can holder for a refrigeratorJanuary, 2006De Sa et al.
20040250492Device for assembling panel edgesDecember, 2004Becker
20050166493Alarm plug for a vinyl windowAugust, 2005Martin
20090151273High-strength shear wall sheathing with pre-formed fastener holesJune, 2009Axsom
20040074157Sliding roof shadeApril, 2004Chazal
20080047215Roofing panel interlock systemFebruary, 2008Trout
20090126305Wall linerMay, 2009Sareyka et al.



Primary Examiner:
QUAST, ELIZABETH A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MALLOY & MALLOY, P.A. (Miami, FL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An assembly for forming a building structure having an at least partially curved profile, said assembly comprising: at least one pattern segment having an elongated configuration and including a base, said base extending along the length of said pattern segment and including spaced apart longitudinal edges, a plurality of primary attachment members secured to one of said longitudinal edges and disposed and structured to secure said pattern segment to a supporting framework, the other said longitudinal edges defining a free edge of said base along a continuous portion of a length of said base, and said one longitudinal edge having an at least partially recessed configuration cooperatively disposed with said plurality of primary attachment members to facilitate forming and disposition of said base into a configuration corresponding to the curved profile.

2. An assembly as recited in claim 1 wherein said plurality of primary attachment members are disposed in spaced relation to one another along said one longitudinal edge of said base.

3. An assembly as recited in claim 2 wherein said recessed configuration comprises a plurality of recessed portions, each disposed within a different one of a plurality of spaces separating said primary attachment members.

4. An assembly as recited in claim 3 wherein each of said recessed portions are disposed contiguous to a proximal end of a corresponding one of said plurality of spaces.

5. An assembly as recited in claim 4 wherein each of said recessed portions extend between and in communication with corresponding, adjacent primary attachment members.

6. An assembly as recited in claim 4 wherein each of said plurality of spaces comprises an open distal end.

7. An assembly as recited in claim 3 wherein each of said plurality of attachment members comprises a substantially divergent configuration extending from said base outwardly to a distal end thereof.

8. An assembly as recited in claim 7 wherein said substantially divergent configuration is at least partially defined by a proximal end of said primary attachment members having a lesser dimension than that of a distal end thereof.

9. An assembly as recited in claim 8 wherein each of said recessed portions have a greater length than that of corresponding, proximal ends of adjacent ones of said primary attachment members.

10. An assembly as recited in claim 2 wherein said plurality of primary attachment members extend angularly outward from an upper surface of said base.

11. An assembly as recited in claim 1 wherein said base and said plurality of primary attachment members comprise an integral, one piece construction.

12. An assembly as recited in claim 1 further comprising a template connected to said pattern segment and being disposed and configured to correspond to the curved profile being formed.

13. An assembly as recited in claim 12 wherein said template is connected to said base and extends outwardly therefrom into substantial alignment with the curved profile being formed.

14. An assembly as recited in claim 13 wherein said template extends along a length of said base and substantially conforms to the configuration thereof.

15. An assembly for forming an at least partially curved profile in a building structure, said assembly comprising: at least two elongated pattern segments, each including a flexible material base, each of said bases comprising two spaced apart longitudinal edges extending along the length thereof, each of said pattern segments comprising a plurality of primary attachment members disposed along one longitudinal edge thereof, said pattern segments cooperatively disposable in an operative position relative to the curved profile being formed, and said operative position at least partially defined by disposition of each of said pattern segments along a different, spaced apart periphery of the curved profile being formed.

16. An assembly as recited in claim 15 wherein said plurality of primary attachment members of each of said pattern segments are disposed in spaced relation to one another along said one longitudinal edge.

17. An assembly as recited in claim 16 wherein each of said pattern segments comprises a plurality of recessed portions, each of said recessed portions disposed within a different one of a plurality of spaces separating said plurality of primary attachment members.

18. An assembly as recited in claim 17 wherein each of said recessed portions on each of said pattern segments is disposed contiguous to a proximal end of a corresponding one of said plurality of spaces.

19. An assembly as recited in claim 18 wherein each of said recessed portions extend between and in communication with corresponding, adjacent primary attachment members.

20. An assembly as recited in claim 18 wherein each of said plurality of spaces comprises an open distal end.

21. An assembly as recited in claim 17 wherein each of said primary attachment members of each of said pattern segments comprise a substantially divergent configuration.

22. An assembly as recited in claim 21 wherein each of said recessed portions of each of said pattern segments have a greater length than that of corresponding, proximal ends of said plurality of primary attachment members.

23. An assembly as recited in claim 15 wherein said plurality of primary attachment members of each of said pattern segments extend angularly outward from an upper surface of said base.

24. An assembly as recited in claim 15 further comprising a template interconnected between each of said plurality of pattern segments in substantially aligned and correspondingly configured relation to the curved profile being formed.

25. An assembly as recited in claim 24 wherein each base of each of said pattern segments comprises a free longitudinal edge, said template extending outwardly from each free longitudinal edge of each of said pattern segments into contiguous relation to the curved profile being formed.

Description:

CLAIM OF PRIORITY

The present application is a continuation-in-part application of previously filed, now pending application having Ser. No. 10/891,267, filed on Jul. 14, 2004, incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This patent application is a continuation-in-part of a previously filed and currently pending U.S. patent application, namely, that having Ser. No. 10/891,267, filed on Jul. 14, 2004, which is incorporated in its entirety by reference herein.

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to an assembly and method for quickly and easily forming an arch or other structure having an at least partially curved profile, wherein the arch or other structure being formed may have any of a variety of different dimensions and configurations. The assembly is connected to and supported by a framework, such as, but not limited to, a framing structure of the type typically used in the forming of a wall, barrier, panel, etc. commonly found in building construction.

2. Description of the Related Art

Generally, the use of the arch has existed for thousands of years and arches are found in various structures throughout the world. As first developed, the arch was used as an architectural tool for its inherent strength as well as its aesthetic appearance. Initially, the profile of an arch, regardless of the various structures in which it was incorporated, was formed from a plurality of wedge-shaped stones or like members, disposed in a compressed curvilinear configuration. As such, the profile of the arch represented a curved span extending across the upper end of an opening, passageway or “archway.” In ancient times, the arch was utilized for bridges, aquaducts, gates, entrances and in numerous types of walls, barriers, etc. and has also been used as a symbol of military victory. In modern day architecture, including both domestic and industrial buildings, the arch is used primarily for decorative purposes. While the profile of the modern day arch is still primarily curvilinear, arches are now also sometimes formed to be multi-sided and/or in the shape of a complex curve.

Known or conventional arch construction, such as when constructing a brick or other stone material arch, frequently involves the fabrication of a pattern comprising a sheet of wood cut or bent into the appropriate curvilinear profile. The steps of forming, positioning and/or installing such a pattern are time consuming and typically require a high degree of skill to ensure that the arch profile corresponds to the desired curvilinear configuration of the underside of the arch being constructed. Also, after fabrication, the pattern is difficult to properly orient due to the weight and the necessity of maintaining the pattern in the desired configuration. In other types of construction, not specifically involving bricks, stone or like materials, various types of temporary supports or like components are installed or otherwise utilized to erect a framework for an arched passageway. Framing members, flexible building materials and tensioning wires have all been suggested in conventional techniques of arch fabrication.

Accordingly, while the use of an arch, at least for decorative purposes, is highly desirable in a variety of different architectural styles, its fabrication and/or installation is difficult, time consuming, labor intensive, and further, frequently requires specialized tooling and instruments as well as specifically trained personnel or laborers. Therefore, there is a need in the building and construction industry for an improvement along the lines of an assembly and method of forming an arch in a simple, efficient and time saving manner. If any such assembly and/or method were developed, it should reliably result in the formation of an arch having an accurate curved configuration or other appropriate or intended shape. In addition, if any such improved assembly and method were developed it would ideally allow for the formation of an arch at the intended building site without the need for specialized tooling or instrumentation or expertly trained personnel.

In addition, it would further be desirable if the versatility of any such forming assembly, of the type described above, were such as to allow for the formation of other structures that include a curved profile, but not necessarily shaped or structured specifically into a traditional arch. For example, additional structures that could incorporate a curved profile might include arch segments, curved corners or corner areas, the curved portions of ceiling areas for hallways or passageways, a dome shaped ceiling for a hallway, etc., as well as similarly shaped, curved upper surfaces of recessed windows doors or like portal areas. Regardless of the specifics of the curved profile being formed or the structure associated therewith, it would be ideal if a variety of differently dimensioned and configured construction may be reliably accomplished, without the need for specialized training, tooling, etc.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

This invention is intended to present a solution to these and other needs which remain in the art and as such, is directed towards an assembly and a method for forming an arch or other structure having, but not limited to, a curved profile of any practical dimension. As demonstrated in greater detail hereinafter, the intended arch or other curved profile may be located at the top or upper portion of a passageway or archway, such as a door, window or other open area commonly found in different architectural styles. A supporting framework may include a framing stud assembly commonly used in the construction industry for the formation of indoor or outdoor walls, panels, barriers or a variety of other structures. In addition, the forming assembly and method of the present invention facilitates the rapid, easy, efficient and accurate forming of an arch and/or curved profile without the need for specialized tooling or expert personnel trained in a specific architectural style.

More specifically, at least one preferred embodiment of the assembly of the present invention comprises a template, which includes a guide portion formed thereon. The template can be structured from any of a variety of different materials and can even be formed from “scrap” materials such as a piece of drywall commonly found at numerous construction sites. The overall dimension and configuration of the template should be such as to facilitate its at least temporary disposition in immediately adjacent and/or contiguous relation to the location of the arch being formed. By way of example only, the overall dimension and structure of the template should allow its positioning and at least temporary mounting in the intended archway. As such, the orientation of the aforementioned guide portion of the template will correspond to the location of the arch, as will be more apparent hereinafter.

Moreover, the versatility of the assembly and method of the present invention is significantly enhanced by the simplicity of dimensioning and configuring the guide portion of the template to substantially correspond to the configuration and dimension of the arch being formed. Further by way of example, in a typical, curvilinear arch, the degree or curvature of the arch is indicated in the architectural plans or by any other appropriate means. Once the precise dimension and configuration of the intended arch has been determined, the guide portion is at least partially formed by such dimension and shape being scribed, drawn or otherwise transferred to the template. The formation of the guide portion is completed by cutting or shaping the template, at least in the area of the guide portion, to correspond to the dimension and configuration of the arch being formed.

Using the example set forth above, a scrap piece of drywall or other applicable material can serve as a template and have the guide portion formed thereon by scribing a specifically dimensioned curve (or other shape), corresponding to the profile of the arch or other structure being formed, on at least one surface thereof. The template can then be cut or otherwise shaped, along the indicated, curvilinear delineation. Accordingly, the guide portion will typically be disposed along a periphery of the template by forming a peripheral edge thereof into a curvilinear configuration of equal dimension to the arch being formed. As indicated, the template can be formed from various types of materials including, but not limited to scrap material having sufficient strength, rigidity and/or structural integrity. However, it should also be noted that the template can be structured and formed from a material which facilitates its repeated reuse, such as at constructions sites where a plurality of substantially corresponding arches are to be formed.

Once the template and the aforementioned guide portion have been formed, an arch pattern is secured in an operative position thereon. The arch pattern is formed from metallic, plastic or other applicable material having sufficient strength and flexibility to serve as a pattern for the arch being formed. The formation of the arch pattern can be accomplished using a slat, strip, band, etc., of appropriate material, initially having a substantially flat configuration, such as by conventional roll forming, punching, or other equipment or tooling well known in the manufacturing industry. The appropriate processing of the slat or strip of material using such equipment, results in the forming of an attachment assembly thereon. The attachment assembly is structured to secure the arch pattern into an orientation on the guide portion in the operative position. As will also be explained, the attachment assembly serves to secure the arch pattern to the supporting framework of the intended arch, while the arch pattern is maintained in the intended configuration which corresponds to the arch being formed.

Additional structural features include the arch pattern comprising a base. The attachment assembly is cooperatively structured with the base and includes a first plurality of attachment members which are used to secure the arch pattern to the template. The attachment assembly also comprises a second plurality of attachment members which facilitate the securement of the arch pattern to the supporting framework of the arch being formed. Both the first and second plurality of attachment members are fabricated during the aforementioned machining process associated with the initial fabrication of the arch pattern. Also, the arch pattern may be produced in specific and/or standard lengths or in indeterminate lengths so as to facilitate storage thereof in rolls or in other convenient supply configurations.

When an arch of predetermined dimension and configuration is to be formed, a segment of the arch pattern having an appropriate length is separated from the supply roll, or other supply of arch pattern material. Alternatively, standard or customized lengths of the arch pattern may be available commercially, wherein an appropriate length may be formed so as to eventually conform to the dimension of the intended arch. Once a segment of the arch pattern has been properly dimensioned and subsequent to the formation of the guide portion of the template, the arch pattern is secured in an operative position on the template. The operative position is more specifically defined by extending the arch pattern along substantially the entire length of the guide portion, wherein the inherent flexibility of the arch pattern is such as to facilitate its conformance to the curvilinear (or other configuration) of the guide portion. When so positioned, the aforementioned attachment assembly is disposed and structured to secure the arch pattern to the template so as to maintain it in the operative position. As an alternative, the arch pattern may be connected to the template after the template is disposed in adjacent, contiguous or otherwise corresponding relation to the location of the arch being formed. The template is then disposed in a location which corresponds to the intended location of the arch being formed. This can be accomplished by at least temporarily securing the template to the supporting framework which will eventually, at least partially, define the arch being formed. When the template is so positioned, the arch pattern, whether connected to the template before or after the template is secured to the frame, is secured to the supporting framework, while in the operative position defined by the precise curvilinear (or other configuration) of the intended arch. Additional supporting studs or like members may be added to the supporting frame in order to securely interconnect the arch pattern to the remainder of the supporting framework

When the arch pattern is fixedly and securely connected to the supporting framework of the intended arch, the template is thereafter detached from the arch pattern and removed from the archway or other corresponding portion of the supporting framework. The connected arch pattern, being securely fastened to the supporting framework, thereby at least partially defines the arch in cooperation with the supporting framework. Thereafter, any of a variety of different facing materials can be applied to the supporting framework in at least partially overlying or cooperative positioning relative to the arch pattern.

As shown in FIGS. 4-13, additional preferred embodiments of the present invention are presented in this continuation-in-part (“CIP”) patent application, which possess significant structural modifications, characterized by the ability to form a wide variety of different structures such as, but not limited to, structures at a building site, wherein such structures include a curved profile. This may include, for example, a framework for an arch-shaped ceiling within a hallway, instead of merely at a doorway. The term “curved profile” is not used in a limiting sense and may include an arch or arch-like configuration or any variation thereof, such as a small segment of an arch and/or a structure having a compound or complex curved configuration. The curved profile of the structure being formed may, therefore, comprise any practical dimension, configuration and/or placement thereof.

This alternative preferred embodiment incorporates at least one, but in certain specific applications, a plurality of at least two pattern segments. Regardless of the number of pattern segments utilized, each includes at least a base having two substantially opposed longitudinal edges extending along the length thereof. Structural features distinguishing the pattern segment from the arch pattern of the preferred embodiments, described above, is the provision of a plurality of primary attachment members secured in spaced relation to one another along a common one of the opposed longitudinal edges. The primary attachment members are integrally or otherwise fixedly secured to the base, wherein each pattern segment is sufficiently flexible to facilitate it being positioned in any of a variety of differently configured curved profiles.

Similar to the above described preferred embodiments, each of the pattern segments includes a recessed configuration, that is more specifically defined by a plurality of recessed portions extending along and being contiguous to the one longitudinal edge, common to the plurality of attachment members. Moreover, each of the recessed portions extend between different adjacent ones of the plurality of attachment members and are cooperatively structured therewith and with the base, so as to facilitate the base and the attachment members being disposed in any of the aforementioned variety of differently configured and/or dimensioned curved profiles, without causing a wrinkling or other undesirable deformation of the pattern segment.

Also somewhat similar to the above-noted preferred embodiments is the provision of a template structure which may or may not be used in combination with one or more of the pattern segments, such as by being connected thereto. When used, the template is appropriately dimensioned, shaped and connected to one or more of the cooperatively disposed pattern segments. Accordingly, the dimension and configuration of the template corresponds, at least in part, to the pattern segment and to the curved profile of the structure being formed. Moreover, when utilized with a pair of substantially opposed, spaced apart pattern segments, the forming or shaping template extends therebetween in interconnecting relation thereto so as to provide a specifically configured member corresponding to the shape and dimension of the curved profile being formed.

By virtue of the assembly and method of the various embodiments of the present invention, an arch or a wide variety of other structures which incorporate a curved profile of any practical dimension and configuration can be formed at virtually any location, directly on the construction site in a most efficient and accurate manner.

These and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become clearer when the drawings as well as the detailed description are taken into consideration.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For a fuller understanding of the nature of the present invention, reference should be had to the following detailed description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is perspective view in partial cutaway of the various components of the arch forming assembly of the present invention secured to a supporting framework in which the arch being formed is to be located.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view in partial cutaway of an arch pattern included in at least one preferred embodiment of the present invention and shown in an original, unassembled configuration.

FIG. 2A is a side view of the embodiment of FIG. 2.

FIG. 3A is a perspective view in partial cutaway and section of a portion of the arch pattern in an orientation ready for assembly.

FIG. 3B is a perspective view in partial cutaway and section of the embodiment of FIG. 3A wherein the arch pattern is being attached to a template.

FIG. 3C is a perspective view in partial cutaway and section of the embodiment of FIGS. 3A and 3B, wherein the arch pattern is being attached to a supporting framework while maintaining an intended configuration of the arch being formed by being secured in an operative position on the template.

FIG. 3D is a perspective view in partial cutaway and section of the arch pattern of the embodiments of FIGS. 3A-3C secured to the supporting framework while maintaining an intended configuration of the arch being formed.

FIG. 3E is a perspective view in partial cutaway and section of the arch pattern secured to the supporting framework of the arch being formed, wherein facing material is applied in at least partially overlying or other cooperative relation to the arch pattern and supporting framework.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view in partial cutaway of yet another preferred embodiment of the present invention directed to an assembly for forming a structure, such as the framework for the ceiling of a passageway which is arch-shaped along its length, so as to include a curved profile.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view in partial cutaway of the embodiment of FIG. 4 in a partially assembled state.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view in partial cutaway of yet another preferred embodiment of the present invention relating to the formation of a structure different from that of the embodiment of FIGS. 4 and 5, showing for example, a recessed window also including a curved profile.

FIG. 7 is a top view in partial cutaway showing details of a pattern segment associated with the embodiments of FIGS. 4 through 6.

FIG. 8 is a front view in partial cutaway of the embodiment of FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a front detailed view of one pattern segment of the present invention disposed to represent a varying curved profile.

FIG. 10 is a front, detailed view of one pattern segment of the present invention representing a variety of different curved profiles from that represented in FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is a detailed perspective view in partial cutaway and section of a portion of one pattern segment of the present invention.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view in partial cutaway and section representing the embodiment of FIG. 11 being attached in supporting relation to a support frame.

FIG. 13 is a perspective, exploded view in partial cutaway and section showing two pattern segments being assembled to form a structure which includes a curved profile.

Like reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views of the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present invention is directed to an assembly 10 and an attendant method of forming an arch, as represented in FIG. 1, within a supporting framework, generally indicated as 12. It is noted that the supporting framework 12 is generally representative of a framing stud assembly including an upper beam or header portion 14 and a plurality of wall or framing studs 16 and 16′ spaced from one another. It will be apparent that the versatility of the assembly and method of the present invention is such as to allow the formation of an arch in any of a variety of different locations, and in association with support assemblies 12 of different types. Also, it is emphasized that the arch to be formed may be located at the upper end of a throughway, passageway, or “archway” 18. Therefore, a detailed explanation of the structural and operative features of the assembly 10 and the method of forming the intended arch may be made with reference to the various components of the supporting framework 12 and/or the archway 18. However, in that the intended arch may be formed utilizing a variety of different supporting frameworks and as part of a variety of different architectural styles, it is emphasized that the supporting framework 12, the location of the archway 18 as well as a variety of other cooperative components associated with the intended arch may significantly vary.

Accordingly, the assembly 10 comprises a template 20 and an arch pattern generally indicated as 22. The template 20 can be formed from any of a variety of different materials, even including waste or scrap material typically found at the construction or building site. In addition, assuming that the material from which the template 20 is formed has sufficient structural integrity, it can be structured for repeated use such as at, but not limited to, a construction or building site where a plurality of correspondingly dimensioned and configured arches are to be formed. By way of example only, the template 20 can be formed from a discarded piece of drywall, wherein such material typically has sufficient strength and rigidity to perform in the intended manner in accordance with a most preferred embodiment of the present invention. The overall dimension of the template 20 can vary but, as clearly represented in FIG. 1, it is intended to be at least temporarily disposed and/or mounted in a location corresponding the to arch being formed. As demonstrated, the dimension and overall configuration of the template 20 is such as to be disposed within the archway 18 in a location which corresponds to the location of the arch being formed. As will be explained in greater detail hereinafter the template 20 may be manually disposed into the intended position shown in FIG. 1 and thereafter at least temporarily secured in such position by attachment to one or more correspondingly disposed studs or framing members 16 and 16′ associated with the supporting frame 12.

One feature associated with the template 20 is the provision of a guide portion 24 which is clearly represented in FIGS. 1, 3B and 3C. The guide portion 24 may be defined by a peripheral portion or edge 26 which is formed to include a substantially equivalent dimension and configuration as the arch being formed. As such, when the template 20 is disposed in its intended position and orientation as represented in FIG. 1, the guide portion 24 is shaped to correspond to the curvilinear or arcuate profile of the intended arch. With reference to FIG. 1, the length of the guide portion 24 is represented as extending across the entire upper end of the archway 18 and thereby substantially conforms to the length of the arch being formed. However, it should be noted that the dimension and configuration of the guide portion 24 is intended to correspond to that of the profile of the arch being formed and as such may or may not extend across the entire span of the archway 18.

As emphasized above, the template 20 may be formed on site from any waste or scrap material having sufficient structural integrity to support the arch pattern 22 thereon. Accordingly, the specific structural features of the template 20, including the location and overall structure of the guide portion 24, may also vary and is not intended to be limited to the periphery or peripheral edge 26, as described in detail above. Regardless of the specific material and overall structure of the template 20, the formation of the guide portion 24 can be easily accomplished by any type of scribing, drawing, outlining or like transferring technique or instrument in order to accurately duplicate the dimension and curvilinear (or other) configuration of the arch being formed.

As set forth above, the assembly 10 of the present invention further comprises the arch pattern 22. With primary reference to FIGS. 1, 2 and 2A, the arch pattern 22 comprises and is initially formed from an elongated slat, strip or band of material having sufficient strength, durability and flexibility to function in accordance with the present invention. As such, the arch pattern 22 may be formed from a metallic, plastic or a variety of other materials having the required physical and operative characteristics. Fabrication of the arch pattern 22 may be efficiently accomplished utilizing substantially conventional machinery or equipment including, but not limited to, roll forming and/or punching equipment. Moreover, the arch pattern 22 may be fabricated in predetermined and/or indeterminate lengths. In addition, the arch pattern 22 may initially have a configuration as substantially represented in FIGS. 2 and 2A or in a configuration wherein attachment members 38 are bent or turned outwardly from the base 30 as represented in FIGS. 3A through 3D. Subsequent to its formation, the entire length of the formed arch pattern 22 may be stored in rolls, elongated strips or other supply configurations as dictated by customer need, storage space, convenience and other commercial requirements.

Also, when utilized at a job site, the arch pattern 22 may be supplied and delivered in any convenient supply configuration, such as that set forth above or in specifically requested and/or standard lengths than that initially fabricated. Further, when applied as intended, if a more appropriate length of the arch pattern 22 is required, it may be formed at the job site such as by, but not limited to, severing one or both ends of the arch pattern 22. The length of the arch pattern segment 22 being utilized should at least be sufficient to extend along the entire length of the guide portion 24. However, in some applications, such as that demonstrated in FIG. 1, the arch pattern 22 may be dimensioned to span the archway 18 so as to conform to the profile of the arch being formed. Therefore, the arch pattern 22 may include an extended length, somewhat greater than the arch being formed, so as to facilitate its connection to the support frame 12 at its opposite ends 22′, while maintaining the intended and corresponding configuration of the arch being formed intermediate its opposite ends 22′.

Additional features of the arch forming assembly 10 include an attachment assembly structured to connect the arch pattern 22 to both the template 20 and the supporting framework 12. With primary reference to FIGS. 2 and 3A-3E, the arch pattern 22 includes a base 30 extending along the length thereof, wherein the base 30 comprises oppositely disposed, longitudinal peripheral edges 32 and 34. The attachment assembly is preferably formed on a continuous basis along with the formation of the base 30. As such, the attachment assembly includes a first plurality of attachment members 36 and a second plurality of attachment members 38. Both the first and second plurality of attachment members, 36 and 38, are initially disposed substantially coplanar with the base 30 as the arch pattern 22 is fabricated. However, due to the predetermined physical characteristics of the material from which the arch pattern 22 is formed, both the first and second plurality of attachment members 36 and 38 are capable of being bent or otherwise disposed to extend outwardly from the base 30 in substantially opposite directions, as clearly represented in FIGS. 3A through 3E.

More specifically, the first plurality of attachment members 36 extend outwardly from an undersurface of the base 30 so as to facilitate connection with the template 20. When so connected, the arch pattern 22 is disposed in its operative position along the length of and in conformance with the configuration of the guide portion 24. In contrast, the second plurality of attachment members 38 extend outwardly from an upper or exposed surface 30′ of the base 30 so as to facilitate connection to the supporting frame 12 and in particular to the plurality of framing studs or like framing members 16 and 16′. As also noted above, at least the second plurality of attachment members 38 may (or may not) be “pre-positioned” into their outwardly extended position during fabrication of the arch pattern 22. This pre-positioning is accomplished in order to save time at the job site and thereby facilitate the convenience in using the arch forming assembly 10 of the present invention.

Additional structural features of the support assembly include the spacing between each of the first plurality of attachment members 36. This spacing is sufficient to allow the attachment members 36 to be connected to the template 20, adjacent the guide portion 24 and alternatively on opposite sides thereof. Again, with reference to FIG. 2 and 3A-3E, it can be seen that adjacent ones of the attachment members 36 are oppositely oriented so as to pivot or be otherwise disposed relative to a respective one of two hinge lines 37 and 39. As such, the first plurality of attachment members 36 are spaced from one another along the length of the base 30 and adjacent ones of the plurality of attachment members 36 are also laterally spaced apart so that they confrontingly engage opposite sides of the template 20 adjacent to the guide portion 24. A secure, stable mounting or connection of the arch pattern 22 along the length of the guide portion 24 is thereby assured.

Somewhat similarly, each of the plurality of second attachment members 38 are separable from one another and are thereby independently disposed into the intended outwardly extending position shown in FIGS. 3A-3E. When so positioned, they are disposed for attachment to the supporting framework 12. It can be seen that the spacing 40 between each of the adjacent attachment members 38 may vary dependent at least in part on the degree of curvature of the peripheral edge 26 of the guide portion 24 which is intended to correspond to the dimension and configuration of the intended arch.

Of further note is the possible inclusion of a dimple, hole or aperture 42 in each of the first and second attachment members 36 and 38. These dimples or apertures 42 are provided to accommodate the positioning and/or insertion of an appropriate nail, screw or other appropriate connector 44 as represented in FIGS. 3B-3E. Also, as represented in FIG. 3D, at least one preferred embodiment of the arch forming assembly 10 of the present invention, comprises the second plurality of attachment members 38 having knurled, dimpled or other “non-smooth/roughened” outer surfaces schematically represented as 39. This outer surface treatment 39 eliminates or significantly reduces slippage or inadvertent displacement of the second attachment members 38 as they are being connected to facing material and/or the support frame 12, as at least partially disclosed in FIG. 3E.

As should be apparent, the type and size of connector 44 may vary dependant on the specific application of the arch forming assembly 10 and the material to which the arch pattern 22 is being secured. It is also to be noted that while the connectors 44 have the same numerical reference designation, they may in fact vary in type, size, material, etc., from one another depending on whether the one or more connectors 44 are used to connect the arch pattern 22 to the template 22 or to the framing studs 16, 16′ of the supporting framework 12.

Another structural and operative feature of the arch pattern 22 is the provision of at least one but preferably both of the longitudinal peripheral edges 32 and 34 being at least partially recessed along the lengths thereof. This recessed structuring better accommodates the curved configuration which the arch pattern 22 assumes as it is disposed in its operative position on and along the length of the guide portion 24 of template 20. More specifically, each of the peripheral edges 32 and 34 include a plurality of spaced apart recessed portions 46 preferably formed contiguous to the periphery of the spacing 40 located between each or at least some of the second plurality of attachment members 38. The recessed portions 46 formed in the peripheral edges 32 and 34 may vary in length, location, etc, but must be sufficiently dimensioned to eliminate or significantly reduce the formation of any wrinkles, creases or other deformities in the base 30 as the guide pattern 22 is oriented and maintained in the curved configuration conforming to the curve of the guide portion 24 and the arch being formed. As also represented in FIG. 2, at least one embodiment comprises the length of the recessed portions 46 being greater than the adjacent edge portions 47. Further, the one or more recesses 46 extend inwardly from the respective longitudinal edges 32 and 34 towards a middle of the base 40 at least a minimal distance to restrict the formation of the aforementioned creases or deformities when the base 30, as well as the remainder of the arch pattern 22, assume the intended curved configuration.

In use, the formation of an arch within the supporting framework 12 includes the fabrication of a template 20. The template 20 can be formed from waste or scrap material such as a piece of drywall of the type frequently found abandoned around a construction site. Once located and being of proper size to be disposed in corresponding and/or contiguous relation to the arch being formed, as demonstrated in FIG. 1, the template 20 has the guide portion 24 formed thereon. More specifically, the specific degree of curvature and length of the intended arch will be predetermined using architectural plans or any other appropriate means. Once the dimension and configuration of the intended arch is determined, they are scribed, drawn or otherwise transferred to at least one surface of the template 20. The template 20 is then cut or otherwise shaped, such as along the peripheral edge or portion 26, to assume the dimension and configuration of the arch being formed.

Subsequent to the accurate forming of the guide portion 24, the arch pattern 22 is ready to be connected to the template 20 in an operative position represented in FIG. 1 and in a manner disclosed in FIGS. 3A and 3B. More specifically, the arch pattern 22 is correspondingly sized, as to length, such that it will extend along substantially the entire length of the guide portion 24. Also, as utilized in at least some of the construction sites, the length of the arch pattern 22 may be sufficient to span the entire width of the archway 18 and extend there beyond such that the opposite ends 22′ connect to the framing members 16. Once properly sized as to length and assuming that the second plurality of attachment members 38 are pre-positioned into their outwardly extended position, the first plurality of attachment members 36 are bent or otherwise disposed so as to extend outwardly from the base 30 (see FIG. 3A). Once so positioned, the first plurality of attachment members 36 are secured to the template 20 such that the arch pattern 22 assumes the operative position of FIG. 1. As indicated above, the operative position is more specifically defined by the arch pattern 22 extending along the entire length of the guide portion 24 so as to conform to the curvilinear configuration thereof. In so doing, the undersurface of the base 30 may confrontingly engage the peripheral portion or edge 26 of the guide portion 24. As also indicated above, the plurality of connectors 44 may be used to at least temporarily interconnect the template 20 and the arch pattern 22 (see FIG. 3B) such that the arch pattern 22 is in the aforementioned operative position.

It is again emphasized that the arch pattern 22 may be connected to the template 20 either before or after the template 20 is disposed in the location where the intended arch is to be formed. This versatility of applying the arch pattern 22 is a result of recognizing that many experienced workers at a job site have a natural tendency to use many of their own techniques and/or procedures during construction. Accordingly, the template 20 and the arch pattern 22 are interconnected and collectively disposed within the archway 18 and into a position which corresponds with the arch being formed, as clearly represented in FIG. 1. The template 22 is at least temporarily secured to the supporting framework 12, either before or after the arch pattern is connected thereto, by connection to the primary supporting studs or framing members 16 or other appropriate parts of the framing assembly 12.

Once both the template 20 and the arch pattern 22 are properly positioned as disclosed in FIG. 1, the second plurality of attachment members 38 are secured to appropriate, correspondingly disposed ones of the framing members 16 and 16′ (see FIG. 3C). As noted above, the supporting frame 12 may vary significantly in type, structure, design, and orientation of the framing members from that represented in the various Figures. Accordingly, the framing studs or like members 16 and 16′ being shown in a substantially vertically oriented, spaced apart, position is representative only. Each or all of these framing components may be angularly, horizontally or otherwise cooperatively oriented and still fall within the intended spirit and scope of the present invention.

When the arch pattern 22 is secured to the supporting framework 12, the template 20 may be disconnected from the arch pattern 22 and removed from the archway 18 as at least partially demonstrated in FIG. 3D. In so doing, the outwardly or downwardly extending first plurality of attachment members 36 may be bent upwardly into substantially coplanar relation with the base 30 as indicated by the corresponding directional arrow of FIG. 3D. Alternatively, the first plurality of attachment members 36 may be severed, cut or otherwise removed to facilitate the detachment and removal of the template 20 from the position shown in FIG. 1.

After removal of the template 20 from the archway 18 and subsequent to the arch pattern 22 being secured to the supporting framework 12, any appropriate facing material 50 may be secured in at least partially covering or overlying relation to the arch pattern 22 as demonstrated in FIG. 3E. The facing material could include drywall, wallboard, etc, which could also be directly attached to the framing studs 16 and 16′ by appropriate connectors 44. However, the facing material 50 is intended to be representative of any type of facing material. Such facing material will be disposed to at least partially cover at least some of the exposed surfaces of the arch pattern 22 which, once secured to the supporting framework 12, serves to at least partially define the arch being formed.

Referring now to FIGS. 4 through 13, additional preferred embodiments of the present invention are presented in this continuation-in-part (“CIP”) patent application, which will now be discussed. These additional preferred embodiments are directed to an assembly, generally indicated as 100, intended to form a structure such as, but not limited to, part of a building having any one or more of a variety of different curved profiles. As represented in FIGS. 4 through 6, the curved profile is represented by an arch or at least a portion of an arch, such as that existing in a passageway, throughway, or “archway” or alternatively, as a part of a recessed window or other portal casing, or closed end recessed portion, demonstrated in FIG. 6 and indicated as 100′. It is emphasized that the term “curved profile” is not intended to be limited to an arch or arch segment or portion thereof, but rather, is intended to be interpreted in a broad, descriptive sense as representing any of a variety of different curved shapes, as will be explained in greater detail with and as at least partially represented in FIGS. 9 and 10.

As with the previously described preferred embodiments of the assembly 10 represented in FIGS. 1 through 3E, the assembly 100 and 100′ are connected in aligned, corresponding and/or contiguous relation to the curved profile being formed. Moreover, the mounting or support of the assembly 100 and 100′ is accomplished by its connection to the supporting framework 110. As also described above, the versatility of the preferred embodiments represented in FIGS. 4 through 13 is such that the specific structure, dimension and configuration of the supporting framework 110 may also vary significantly and be defined by a plurality of support members or structures 112 having a variety of different orientations other than that represented in the accompanying figures. Structural modification of a framework 110 can be appropriately structured and oriented to support the assembly 100 and 100′ yet differ from the substantially vertical orientation and relative configuration of the support members 112 as is well known in the construction industry.

More specifically, the assembly 100 comprises at least one or a plurality of at least two pattern segments generally indicated as 114. With initial reference to FIGS. 7 and 8, each of the pattern segments 114 includes a base 116 having an elongated configuration and preferably extending along the length of the corresponding pattern segment 114. Moreover, the base 116 includes oppositely disposed longitudinal edges 118 and 120 respectively defining the opposed peripheries of the base 116. In addition, each of the pattern segments 114 includes a plurality of primary attachment members 122 integrally or otherwise fixedly secured to one of the longitudinal edges, as at 118. The other longitudinal edge 120 defines a free edge, at least to the extent of not having the primary attachment members 122 secured thereto.

Moreover, the primary attachment members 122 are similar in structure and function to the attachment members 38 which were described in detail with reference to the preferred embodiments of FIGS. 1 through 3E. It will be noted that FIGS. 7 and 8 show the plurality of primary attachment members 122 disposed in a substantially coplanar relation to the base 116, wherein such coplanar orientation is assumed during at least a portion of the formation of the pattern segments 114. However, when in an operative orientation, each of the plurality of primary attachment members 122 are bent, folded, or otherwise disposed in an upwardly and/or outwardly extending orientation as the plurality of attachment members 122 may be disposed substantially perpendicular to the upper face 116′ of the base 116. However, this operative orientation is not limited to a true perpendicular or 90 degree orientation. To the contrary, the operative orientation of the plurality of primary attachment members 122 may be defined by a plurality of outwardly extending, substantially angular orientations relative to the upper surface 116′ of the base 116 so as to be appropriately positioned for attachment to the individual support members 112 of the supporting framework 110.

As further represented, each of the primary attachment members 122 are disposed in spaced relation to one another. The spaces 124 between each of the adjacently positioned attachment members 122 is sufficiently dimensioned and configured to facilitate orientation of each of the pattern segments 114 into a variety of different curvilinear configurations as demonstrated in FIGS. 9 and 10. More specifically, each of the spaces 124 include a proximal end 124′ disposed adjacent the corresponding proximal ends 122′ of adjacent ones of the primary attachment members 122. Also, each of the spaces 124 preferably includes an open distal end 124″ correspondingly disposed relative to the outer of distal ends of adjacent ones of the primary attachment members 122. As represented, the length of the proximal ends 124′ of spaces 124 is greater than that of the proximal ends 122′ of the corresponding primary attachment members 122. As such, each of the primary attachment members 122 comprises a substantially divergent configuration extending outwardly from the base 116 to the outer or distal end thereof.

The various curvilinear configurations which may be assumed by each of the pattern segments 114 facilitates the conformance thereof to the intended curved profile being formed as generally represented in FIGS. 4 and 5. It is again emphasized that the specific curved profile can vary greatly in both size and configuration and is not intended to be limited to an arch or arch segment. Accordingly, the curvilinear configuration of the embodiments of FIGS. 4 and 5 are representative only of a large number of differing curved profiles.

Additional structural features of each of the pattern segments 114 also include a recessed configuration formed along the one longitudinal edge 118 to which the plurality of primary attachment members 122 are secured. The recessed configuration comprises a plurality of recessed portions 128, substantially corresponding to the recessed portions 47 of the preferred embodiments of FIGS. 1 through 3E. As such, the recessed portions 128 are preferably formed on the one longitudinal edge 118 contiguous to the periphery of the spacing 124 which serves to separate the plurality of primary attachment members 122. The recessed portions 128 may vary in dimension and configuration, but must be sufficiently dimensioned to eliminate or significantly reduce the formation of any wrinkles, creases or other deformities of the base 116 as the pattern segments 114 are oriented and maintained in the preferred curved configuration which conforms to the curved profile being formed.

In addition, at least one embodiment of the present invention comprises the recessed portions 128 corresponding to the length and placement of the proximal ends 124′ of the spaces 124 between each of the primary attachment members 122. As set forth above, the length of the proximal ends 124′ and accordingly the coextending recessed portions 128 are greater than the adjacent proximal ends or end portions 129 of the adjacently disposed attachment members 122 as clearly represented in FIG. 7. Moreover, the plurality of recessed portions 128 extend inwardly from the one longitudinal edge 118 towards a central portion of the base 116 at least a minimal distance. Such minimal distance should be sufficient to restrict the formation of the aforementioned wrinkles, creases or deformities when the base 116, as well as a remainder of the pattern segment 114, assume the intended curved configuration which corresponds to the curved profile being formed.

As represented in FIGS. 5, 6 and 13, another structural modification of the present invention defining yet another preferred embodiment, is the inclusion of a template 130. The template 130 may be used with a pair of cooperatively structured and disposed pattern segments 114, as represented in FIGS. 5 and 13, or with a single pattern segment 114 as represented in FIG. 6. In each of these embodiments, the template 130 is secured to the respective bases 116 of the one or more pattern segments 114 preferably, but not necessarily, such as to the undersurface thereof. Physical attachment between the template 130 and the cooperatively disposed bases 116 may be accomplished by connectors as at 132 or by any other appropriate means. When utilized, the template 130 is disposed and configured to conform to the curved profile being formed. As such, the template 130 is disposed and configured substantially contiguous to the curved profile being formed and may further define a facing of the curved profile itself. In the embodiment of FIG. 5, the template 130 has a sufficient transverse dimension to extend between cooperatively positioned ones of the pattern segments 114 so as to at least partially define a curved profile of predetermined depth or width. Similarly, the length or longitudinal dimension of the template 130 should be sufficient to extend along an appropriate portion of the length of the one or more pattern segments 114 as demonstrated in both FIGS. 5 and 6. Accordingly, when the two pattern segments 114 are in the operative position of FIG. 5, each is disposed to define a periphery of the curved profile being formed.

Assembly or formation of the intended curved profile is generally represented in FIGS. 12 and 13 and comprises the one or more pattern segments 114 being connected to an appropriately positioned support member 112 defining the support frame 110. Attachment of the one or more pattern segments 114 in supporting relation to the supporting framework 110 may be accomplished using a plurality of connectors 132 or any other appropriate means. Once the one or more pattern segments 114 are secured in supporting relation to the supporting members 112, the template 130 is secured to the one or more bases 116 such as by attachment to the undersurface thereof by appropriate connectors 132 or other means. As set forth above, connection between the template 130 and the base 116 may be at a location other than to the undersurface thereof based upon the specific application of the structure and curved profile being formed.

To facilitate assembly, each of the plurality of primary attachment members 122 may include a hole or aperture 135 for receipt of the appropriate connectors 132 as demonstrated. In addition, one or both of the opposed surfaces of each of the primary attachment members 122 may include a knurled or otherwise roughened surface area 140 as schematically demonstrated in FIG. 11. Once the assembly 100 is in the stage of formation as schematically represented in FIG. 5, additional facing material 142 may be secured to the supporting framework 110 as by overlying or otherwise being interconnected to an exposed or correspondingly disposed surface of the plurality of support members 112 as well as to any exposed portion of the one or more pattern segments 114 as also demonstrated in FIG. 13.

Since many modifications, variations and changes in detail can be made to the described preferred embodiment of the invention, it is intended that all matters in the foregoing description and shown in the accompanying drawings be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense. Thus, the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents.