Title:
Fastening tool and system to lift concrete blocks for placement
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fastening tool to releasably engage a peripheral or internal wall of a concrete block defining an internal channel for lifting and placement provides a “U” shaped body with spaced depending legs to fit over the wall of the block. The body supports an “L” shaped external tong arm bracket pivotally carrying a similarly “L” shaped tong arm, with an engaging hook at a depending end and attachment means for a lifting line carried by a lifting mechanism at an opposed horizontal end, to frictionally engage the block wall between the body legs when the tool is lifted by the tong arm attachment means. The body back carries an upstanding “U” shaped handle for manually lifting the body for tool placement and release. A system provides plural fastening tools carried in lateral adjacency on a supporting beam attachable to a lifting mechanism.



Inventors:
Fleming, Thomas E. (Clarkston, WA, US)
Application Number:
11/209127
Publication Date:
03/23/2006
Filing Date:
08/22/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/16
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20050011140Window flashing assemblyJanuary, 2005Ackerman Jr. et al.
20070000191Spiral staircase kitJanuary, 2007Arnold
20080066402CURTAINWALL SYSTEMMarch, 2008Walker et al.
20080155925CORNER TIE BRACKET FOR USE WITH INSULATED CONCRETE FORM SYSTEMSJuly, 2008Pfeiffer
20080250727Raising and Lowering of ColumnsOctober, 2008Hall et al.
20070220818Concrete masonry units window and door flashing and installationSeptember, 2007Teodorovich
20080053022Hollow core floor and deck elementMarch, 2008Marschke
20090113828GALVANNEALED STEEL FORMSMay, 2009Radu Jr.
20050229535Green roofing apparatus, system and methodOctober, 2005Garner et al.
20060230704Method and components for erecting a buildingOctober, 2006Lambreth
20090145056Polygon mastJune, 2009Pereira



Primary Examiner:
CHIN, PAUL T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Randall Danskin, PS (Spokane, WA, US)
Claims:
What I claim is:

1. A fastening tool for fastenably engaging and releasing a concrete block to be lifted, said concrete block defining at least one medial channel to create at least one substantially vertical wall for engagement with the fastening tool, comprising in combination: a body having first and second depending legs interconnected by a back to define a channel between the first and second legs to receive at least the upper portion of the at least one substantially vertical wall of the concrete block to be lifted, said first depending leg defining a medial vertically elongate slot, an external tong bracket extending over and structurally carried by at least a portion of the back of the body and at least a portion of the first leg of the body adjacent the back, said tong bracket defining a medial channel to moveably receive a tong arm; a tong arm having a first upper lifting arm carried in the tong bracket channel adjacent the body back and an angulated depending fastening arm carried in the tong channel adjacent the first depending body leg, said angulated depending fastening arm of the tong arm pivotally mounted on the tong bracket portion adjacent the first depending leg of the body, having an outer end portion distal from the upper lifting arm defining a hook-like protuberance extending through the slot defined in the first depending leg to allow pivotal motion of the hook-like protuberance through the slot and toward the second depending leg and the upper lifting arm defining at least one fastening hole in its outer portion to fastenably interconnect a lifting element; and handle means carried by the body to aid manual manipulation of the fastening tool for placement upon and removal from the at least one wall of the concrete block to be lifted.

2. The fastening tool of claim 1 wherein the distance between adjacent surfaces of the first leg and second leg of the “U” shaped body is greater than the thickness of the peripheral wall portion of the block to be lifted, but not so great that the block surface adjacent the hook-like protuberance of the depending fastening arm of the tong arm is not contacted when the fastening arm is pivoted toward the block, to allow the peripheral wall portion of the block to cant within limits relative to the first and second depending legs.

3. The lifting tool of claim 1 wherein the outer end portion of the lifting arm of the “L” shaped tong arm defines a plurality of lineally spaced fastening holes extending elongately therein.

4. The fastening tool of claim 1 wherein the handle means comprise a rigid “U” shaped handle structurally carried by the top of the body to extend thereabove and over the lifting arm of the tong arm so as not to interfere with lifting motion of the tong arm.

5. A system to lift a plurality of concrete blocks in adjacent lateral alignment for placement in lateral array, comprising in combination: an elongate support beam releasably attachable to a lifting mechanism, said support beam carrying a plurality of depending fastening brackets, lineally spaced at a distance at least as great as the maximum lateral dimension of the concrete blocks to be lifted; flexible lifting elements carried by each fastening bracket to depending spacedly below the support beam with lower end portions of each flexible lifting element in substantially horizontally coplanar relationship; yoke type fastening elements carried by the lower end portions of each lifting element; and fastening tools defined in claim 1 releasably interconnected by the lifting arm to each yoke type fastening element-for lifting by motion of the elongate support beam.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of the priority of the filing date of the provisional application filed by the instant inventor on Aug. 20, 2004 under Application No. 60/603,245.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

This invention relates generally to material handling and more particularly to a fastening implement for hoist line that provides a pivotal gripping element activated by the mass of the material being hoisted.

2. Background and Description of Prior Art

Since the advent of concrete building blocks various tools for releasably gripping the blocks for lifting and transport have become known. Modern concrete building blocks are formed with various peripheral configurations, but in general have one or more internal channels, usually vertically oriented, extending therethrough. This configurational nature has given rise to lifting devices generally divisible into a first class that engages and fastens about the external surface of the block such as the typical squeezable jaw and tong type devices and a second class that engage within a channel defined in the block and expands to engage the orifice walls with sufficient force to create frictional engagement for support, such as the fastening tool described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,490,702 heretofore issued the instant inventor.

In their earlier history many concrete building blocks were larger and defined larger internal channels, probably to allow the user to create more volume in a structure with a single block to lessen labor and block cost in construction with such blocks. By reason of the larger channels in such blocks, gripping tools of the second class are quite effective in frictionally engaging within channels in such blocks for placement or transport. As time progressed, design and engineering knowledge concerning such blocks became greater, aesthetic desires for block appearance changed and blocks tended to become smaller. This responsively resulted in smaller channels in the blocks, especially in such blocks as are commonly used for the formation of smaller retaining walls or ornamental structures in the present day. The advent of smaller channels in the smaller blocks has tended to prevent or make impractical the use of gripping tools of the second class as they tend to require a channel of greater size to be effectively operative. The instant fastening tool provides a new and novel member of the first class of jaw or tong type gripping tool that provides gripping elements contacting both interior and exterior surfaces of a block peripheral wall to make the tool especially useful with smaller concrete blocks that are commonly used for modern day structures.

In the earlier history of cementuous blocks the concrete from which they were formed generally was of a higher slump nature and often contained particulate matter that was fairly course, both of which characteristics tended to produce a block of lower strength that could and frequently would fracture or break when engaged by an earlier fastening tool of the first class. The squeeze jaw type tools often generated leverage that could create sufficient force in picking up a block to break it. Tong type tools often had a relatively small contact area on a block which required substantial force or penetration to effectively engage the block, either of which often were sufficient to break the block, especially when applied over a small area. As the cementuous block forming arts evolved, methods evolved to form concrete block out of low slump concrete with relatively small particulate matter by subjecting the blocks to high pressures of 10,000-12,000 psi or more in a mold in the forming process. Low slump concrete with high pressure molding tends to create a dense substantially homogeneous concrete block of substantially higher strength and greater hardness than its progenitors. Such blocks have made practical by their nature and often required by their configuration the use of a squeeze jaw type fastening tool that is properly engineered to overcome problems of such tools heretofore known. The instant fastening tool provides such a tool.

Various known tools of the first class have been of the ice tong type having two fairly similarly configured arms pivotally connected in their medial portions with hoist line fastening means at at least one of a first pair of opposed ends and block gripping means at the second pair of opposed ends such that when a block is lifted the second pair of opposed ends are biased toward each other to grip a block therebetween. These ice tong type gripping devices normally had somewhat pointed gripping means at the second pair of opposed ends that tended to penetrate or create fastening forces over small areas of the adjacent surface of a concrete block in a fashion that could and often did cause breakage, especially when the tongs were positioned with the adjacent pointed ends in substantial alignment on opposite sides of the same concrete block wall. Additionally if such an ice tong type tool were positioned to contact two external vertical surfaces of a block, it tended to interfere with efficient placement of a block as at least one arm would extend outwardly from the block or a block surface that is required to be placed adjacent an already positioned block or other adjacent structure. Ice tong type tools also are difficult to position on concrete blocks, often are asymmetrical about a vertical plane therethrough and when misplaced may allow a block to angulate to a gravity determined position other than vertical to make the block more difficult to place in an existing structure.

The instant tool resolves these problems by providing a “U” shaped body which fits over the top of either a peripheral or internal block wall and pivotally mounts a single inwardly extending tong arm to fastenably contact one surface of the block wall through an orifice defined in the adjacent leg of the “U” shaped body. This structure requires relatively little space on either side of the block wall carrying the tool, provides support on both sides of the block wall and provides fastening structure outside the block periphery on only one block side wall. The structure also allows fastening of the bell crank configured tong arm to a lifting line to compensate for asymmetry of a block to maintain reasonably vertical orientation of the block when suspended. The symmetry of most concrete blocks, and particularly smaller wall blocks, is on a medial vertical plane perpendicular to the face which allows the instant fastening tool to be positioned on a wall of the block, normally its back, to prevent any damage to the face of the block to preserve its aesthetics and maintain both block sides free of any fastening tool structure that would interfere with block placement.

Various fastening tools of the first class having a body structure with a single pivoting tong arm have heretofore become known. Most of these fastening tools have been designed and configured for a particular specialized purpose which would not allow their operation as a concrete block lifter. Some such tools designed for lifting heavy rigid sheets of metal provide two spacedly opposed jaws that hold the edge of a rigid metal sheet in a canted position therebetween when the jaw member is lifted by a lifting line that is interconnected spacedly distant from the jaws to create a force angulated to the plane of the material being lifted to cant the jaws relative to the material being lifted. It is not feasible for concrete blocks to be lifted in this manner as the walls of the blocks often do not have sufficient strength in extension to withstand such a skewing force thereon, especially if near an edge, and such lifting may break the block peripheral wall.

Others of such single tong arm fastening tools have complex adjustment mechanisms with no simple and easy means for placement of the fastening tool on a block to be lifted or removal of the tool from the block after placement. In contrast the instant fastening tool provides an auxiliary handle, carried by the top of the “U” shaped body, which is independent of the tong arm so that the fastening tool may be lifted by the handle for placement over a block wall, with the tong arm automatically adjusting to the width of the block wall. For removal of the fastening tool from a block the tool is lifted by the handle, which automatically releases the tong arm from frictional engagement with the block wall.

Some other tong arm fastening tools have provided mechanically leveraged or hydraulically moved tong arms to fasten to a block or other object to be lifted, but these tools have not proven to be reliable or effective in lifting blocks. Such fastening tools are more complex and consequently more massive and costly than a simple bell crank tool of the instant type. Additionally the mechanical or hydraulic forces involved with the other fastening tools must be well regulated to prevent damage to or dropping of a block being lifted. This often is hard to accomplish as a block may have some random variance in its dimensioning and configuration that adversely affects fastening of tongs or disrupts control devices.

In the construction of concrete block walls with mechanical lifting of the blocks there normally are required three workmen: a first workman places a fastening tool, interconnected to a flexible lifting line carried by a lifting mechanism on a block; a second workman operates the lifting mechanism to move the block from its storage position to an adjacent place for placement and; a third workman manipulates the block into position for placement and removes the fastening tool from the block after placement. It is most convenient and time saving in this operation if a system can be provided to place a plurality of fastening tools on a plurality of blocks and subsequently lift the plurality of fastened blocks for placement in a structure in a single lifting operation. This eliminates several individual lifting operations, depending upon the number of blocks lifted in the single lifting operation. To practically accomplish multiple block lifting for subsequent placement, the blocks must be aligned in laterally adjacent array with all blocks facing in the same direction as required for placement. The instant fastening tool lends itself well to placement of multiple blocks in a single lifting operation. A plurality of fastening tools may be suspended in spaced adjacency from a rigid beam in such spaced array that, when interconnected to blocks to be placed, the blocks will be in substantially immediate lateral adjacency. The rigid beam then may be carried by a lifting mechanism, such as the bucket of a back hoe, front end loader or shovel, and moved in the same fashion as a single block. The number of blocks that may be placed in this manner in a single lifting operation is indeterminate, but in practical experience with the system it appears that the preferred number for maximum efficiency in the placement operation is three or four blocks.

My invention resides not in any one of these features perse but rather in the synergistic combination of all of its structures that necessarily give rise to the functions flowing therefrom as herein specified and claimed.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

My invention provides a fastening tool for fastening a concrete block having at least one medial channel or chamber to a mechanism's lifting. The fastening tool provides a “U” shaped body having spaced depending inner and outer legs to fit over the upper edge of a peripheral or medial wall of the concrete block. The body carries an “L” shaped tong arm bracket extending over the top and outer leg of the body and having a medial channel to carry an “L” shaped tong arm having a vertical leg and a horizontal leg. The vertical leg of the tong arm is pivotally mounted in the vertical portion of the tong bracket channel and a smaller inwardly extending lower portion of the tong arm vertical leg is extendible through a slot defined in the outer vertical body leg to contact an adjacent concrete block peripheral wall. The outer end portion of the horizontal tong arm defines a fastening hole, and optionally may define a plurality of elongately spaced fastening holes, for attachment of a flexible lifting line carried by a lifting mechanism. The top of the body carries an upwardly extending “U” shaped handle for tool manipulation to aid placement on and removal from a concrete block.

A fastening tool system for simultaneously moving plural blocks provides a plurality of fastening tools suspended by flexible lifting lines carried in spaced array from an elongate beam that is carried by a lifting mechanism.

In providing such a device it is:

A principal object to provide a fastening tool for releasable interconnection on concrete blocks defining a at least one medial channel or cavity that has a single movable “L” shaped tong arm, pivotally carried by a “U” shaped body that fits over the top edge of a peripheral or internal wall of the concrete block, to allow the tong arm to pivot to fastenably engage to the block when the tool is lifted by the tong arm.

A further object is to provide such a tool that will grip a concrete block having symmetry about a medial vertical plane to maintain the block in generally vertical orientation during lifting and movement.

A further object is to provide such a tool that has a “U” shaped body with relatively small depending legs that fit over the upper edge of a peripheral or internal wall of the concrete block to allow use with concrete blocks having relatively small size and defining channels or cavities of relatively small size, such as are commonly used in present day construction of lower retaining walls and smaller aesthetic structures.

A further object is to provide such a tool that fastens a tong arm upon a block responsive to the mass of the block to prevent block damage by reason of excessive fastening force.

A still further object is to provide a fastening tool system comprising a plurality of the instant fastening tools carried by plural flexible fastening lines to depend from a common elongate support beam carried by a lifting mechanism, so that plural blocks may be moved and placed in one lifting machine operation.

Other and further objects of my invention will appear from the following specification and accompanying drawings which form a part hereof. In carrying out the objects of my invention, however, it is to be remembered that its accidental features are susceptible of change in design and structural arrangement with only preferred and practical embodiments being illustrated in the accompanying drawings as is required.

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF DRAWINGS

In the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof and wherein like numbers of reference refer to similar parts throughout:

FIG. 1 is a rearward looking isometric view of the front and right side of a common smaller concrete wall block with which the instant fastening tool is operative.

FIG. 2 is a forward looking isometric view of the back and right side of a first species of fastening tool in fastening position on the block of FIG. 1, seen in phantom outline, to show various tool parts, their configuration and relationship.

FIG. 3 is a forward looking isometric view of the back and left side of the fastening tool of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a rearward looking isometric view of the front and left side of the fastening tool of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a rearward looking isometric view of the front and right side of a second species of fastening tool.

FIG. 6 is a forward looking isometric view of the back and right side of the second species of fastening tool of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a forward looking cut-away isometric view of the first species of fastening tool in fastening position on a block such as shown in FIG. 1 to illustrate the operation of the tool and its capability of reverse positioning.

FIG. 8 is a rearward looking isometric view of the front and left side of my system to move multiple block in a single lifting operation.

FIG. 9 is a rearward looking front and left side view of a larger size block with which the second species of fastening tool of FIGS. 5 and 6 may be used.

FIG. 10 is a rearward looking frond and left side view of the second species of my fastening tool in lifting position on an internal web of the block of FIG. 9.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

My fastening tool generally provides a “U” shaped body 10 carrying an external “L” shaped tong arm bracket 11 about the top and back of the body. The tong bracket defines a medial channel pivotally carry an “L” shaped tong arm 12 which communicates through a slot defined in the rearward body leg with a peripheral wall of block 9 for fastening. The body top structurally carries upstanding handle 13 to aid manipulation to allow placement and removal of the tool on and from block 9.

A generic type smaller wall block 9 with which the instant fastening tool is operative is illustrated in FIG. 1. This block provides a body having parallel top 14 and bottom 15, back 16, face 17 and similar sides 18. The block defines a medial channel 19 extending between top 14 and bottom 15 and similar vertical side channels 20 in the elongately medial portion of each side 18. Face 17 commonly has somewhat angulated laterally outer edge portions 17a. The back 16, face 17, sides 18, medial channel 19 and side channels 20 are generally substantially parallel and perpendicular to top 14 and bottom 15. Fastening pegs 21 are structurally carried in laterally spaced array in vertically adjacent surfaces of a stack of blocks 9 aid positioning of the adjacent upward block and provide positional maintenance of the stacked blocks. Paired opposed fastening peg channels 22 are defined spacedly forwardly of fastening pegs 21 to receive fastening pegs of an underlying block. These fastening peg channels 22 commonly are elongate in a lateral direction and extend completely through block 9, though they need be defined only in the lower portion of the block sufficiently to receive fastening pegs of an underlying block. The fastening peg channels 22 are so positioned that a line extending through the axis of the adjacent fastening peg 21 and perpendicular to the block back 16 passes through the medial portion of the associated peg channel to allow some adjustment in lateral positioning of laterally adjacent blocks. The spaced distance in an elongate direction between fastening peg 21 and associated peg channel 22 provides a setback for each upwardly adjacent layer of blocks 9 relative to a lower layer to aid the stability of a wall retaining earth or other material therebehind.

Many smaller retaining wall blocks of present day commerce have the essential features described, though they do vary somewhat in detailed configuration and dimension. The only requirements of such blocks 9 for use with my invention is that the block 9 provide at least a peripheral wall between a vertical external surface and the vertical surface defining the periphery of medial channel 19, such as the portion 16a of back 16 of block 9. Preferably as heretofore indicated, blocks 9 are formed by modern block forming processes, from low slump concrete having relatively small particulate matter that is formed in molds under substantial pressure to provide a homogeneous, uniformly dense and relatively strong block 9.

As seen in FIG. 2 “U” shaped body 10 of the fastening tool provides back 23 structurally supporting rear depending outer leg 24 and forward depending inner leg 25. The body elements may be structurally joined by unitary formation, by welding or a combination of both as illustrated. The horizontal distance between the adjacent surfaces of depending legs 24,25 is somewhat greater than the thickness of the peripheral wall portion 16a of a block 9 to be supported therebetween to allow easy placement and removal of the tool and some canting motion of blockwall 16a when fastenably engaged between the depending legs 24,25. The vertical length of depending legs 24,25 beneath the under surface of back 23 preferably is not greater than the vertical height of block 9 between top 14 and bottom 15 and more preferably somewhat less than the vertical height of the block 9 to assure that the fastening tool will not interfere with placement of a block 9 on a structure to be formed embodying it. The rear outer depending leg 24 defines vertical elongate slot 26 extending therethrough to receive the depending end portion of tong arm 12 and allow contact thereof with block 9 when carried between depending legs 24,25.

Tong bracket 11 provides spacedly adjacent “L” shaped sides 27 to define tong arm channel 28 therebetween. The “L” shaped sides each have upper horizontal arm 27a and a lower vertical arm 27b both configured to fit immediately adjacent back 23 and rear outer leg 24 of “U” shaped body 10 where they are structurally joined to the body 10 preferably by welding. Tong arm channel 28 is of such width as to allow the free pivotal motion of tong arm 12 therein. Vertically medial portions of lower arms 27b of sides 27 define horizontally aligned holes 29 to cooperatively receive nut/bolt combination 30 therein to pivotally mount tong arm 12 therebetween.

“L” shaped tong arm 12, shown most completely in FIG. 7, provides upper horizontal lifting arm 31 and structurally integral depending fastening arm 32. The lowermost rearward facing portion of rearward fastening arm 32 defines rearwardly extending hook-like protuberance 33. The rearward end portion of upper lifting arm 31 defines a plurality of elongately spaced fastening holes 34, in the instance illustrated five in number. These fastening holes 34 are configured to accept known mechanical connecting links 35 to interconnect flexible lifting element 36 such as the yoke connector and lifting chain illustrated in FIG. 2.

Handle 13 is a “U” shaped element formed by uppermost horizontal back 37 structurally interconnecting similar depending legs 38 carrying perpendicularly extending fastening feet 39 in their lower ends. The handle 13 is formed of rigid elongate material, preferably steel rod, to the configuration illustrated in FIGS. 2-6 and structurally joined to the upper surface of back 23 of body 10. The uppermost horizontal back 37 must be sufficiently spacedly above lifting arm 31 of tong arm 12 to allow appropriate pivotal action of the tong arm 12 for lifting as hereinafter described.

All of the various described elements of my fastening tool preferably are formed of mild steel interconnected, where appropriate and not otherwise indicated, by welding to provide a tool of appropriate strength, rigidity and durability, though other rigid materials may be within the intent, purpose and scope of my fastening tool. The configuration and dimensioning of the various elements of the fastening tool may vary so long as “U” shaped body 10 fits over the upper portion of a peripheral or internal wall of block 9 to be lifted, the inner forward depending leg 25 fits within a channel of the block and depending legs 24,25 are not so long or wide as to interfere with block fastening or placement.

As seen in FIG. 7, the first species of fastening tool illustrated in FIG. 2 may be reversed 180° relative to a block to be lifted, with the upper lifting arm 31 extending rearwardly and the depending fastening arm 32 carried within channel 19 of block 9, so long as the channel 19 is of sufficient size to accept the lower vertical arm 27b of bracket 1 1and allow appropriate pivotal motion of tong arm 12. The tool positioning of FIG. 7 in some instances may allow for more convenient use, though in general it will allow the fastened block 9 to assume a more angulated position than the positioning illustrated in FIG. 2. To avoid confusion concerning the terms “forward” and “rearward” and their grammatical equivalents herein, the words are used with reference to the face 17 and back 16 of block 9 as seen in FIG. 2. The numbers of the corresponding parts of the fastening tool seen in FIG. 2 also have been used for the same parts in FIG. 7.

A second species of fastening tool that has the same essential parts, but parts of somewhat different configuration and dimensioning to particularly facilitate the lifting of larger blocks, is shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. Since all the members and their elements of both species share the same essences, to avoid confusion the corresponding members and elements of the second species have been designated by numbers that are respectively one hundred units higher than the numbers of the corresponding members and elements of the first species and the words “forward” and “rearward” are used in the same manner as in describing the first species of tool seen in FIGS. 2-4.

A generic type larger wall block 109, with which the second species of fastening tool is operative, is illustrated in FIG. 9. This block provides a body having parallel top 114 and bottom 115, back 116, face 117 and similar sides 118. This block 109 defines medial channel 119, extending between top 114 and bottom 115, which is divided by medial laterally extending interior wall 153. The sides 118 define similar vertical side channels 120 in their medial portions. Face 117 has somewhat angulated laterally outer portions 117a. The back 116, face 117, sides 118, medial channel 119, interior wall 153 and side channels 120 are substantially parallel to each other and perpendicular to top 114 and bottom 115. Fastening peg holes 121 are defined in the upper portion of the block 109 in laterally spaced array to co-carry fastening pins to be received in similar cooperating holes defined in the lower portion of an overlying block to aid block placement and positional maintenance. Other holes 154 may be defined in the block 109 for support, drainage or other purposes. The larger blocks 109 may or may not have provisions similar to the smaller blocks 9 to provide for set-back block orientation in an upward direction. Various larger blocks may have more than an interior wall dividing the medial channel 119 into more than two sub-channels.

In the second species of fastening tool forward inner depending leg 125 is somewhat smaller in areal extent and width than outer rearward depending leg 124. Top 123 of body 110 assumes a somewhat trapezoidal shape rather than the rectilinear shape of top 23 of the first species. The upper horizontal lifting arm 131 of tong arm 112 defines only one fastening hole 134. Otherwise the second species of fastening tool is essentially and substantially the same as the first species and operates in the same fashion.

My system 45 to lift multiple blocks 9 is illustrated in FIG. 8. The system provides elongate support beam 46, in the instance illustrated comprising a length of “L” shaped rigid metallic angle beam. The support beam 46 defines a plurality of elongately spaced holes in the upper vertical arm 46a to receive fasteners 47, in the instance illustrated comprising nut/bolt combinations, to releasably fasten the support beam 46 to lifting mechanism 48, such as the bucket of a mechanical shovel, back hoe or front end loader as illustrated. A plurality of fastening brackets 49 are structurally joined to the under surface of horizontal leg 46b of support beam 46 to depend therefrom. The fastening brackets 49 are spaced from each other a distance such that when plural blocks 9 are carried by the instant system and suspended by flexible lifting element 36 depending from fastening brackets 49, the plurality of blocks 9 will be in closely spaced laterally aligned array to aid placement in a structured to be formed by the blocks 9.

Each fastening bracket 49 defines a fastening hole 50 to receive a known yoke type fastening element 51to interconnect a length of flexible lifting element 36, such as the link chain illustrated. The length of each lifting element 36 is substantially equal and such that fastening tools carried thereby will be spacedly below lifting the structure 48 so that the lifting structure 48 will not interfere with placement of blocks 9 moved thereby. As illustrated in FIG. 2 the lower portion of each lifting element 36 is attached by known yoke type connecting elements 35 to a fastening hole 34 defined in the lifting arm 31 of tong arm 12 of the fastening tool.

Having described the structure of my fastening tool for lifting concrete blocks and system for lifting multiple blocks, the use of both the tool and the system may be understood.

The use of either the first or second species of the fastening tool is substantially the same and the procedures described are equally applicable to both species of the tool. To lift a single block 9 or 109 a fastening tool is constructed as specified with depending legs 24,25 or 124,125 spaced sufficiently from each other to allow the peripheral wall portion 16a or internal wall 153 of block 9 or 109 to fit therebetween and angulate slightly relative to the depending legs 24,25 or 124,125 to aid in more securely fastening the wall 16a,153 therebetween. A lifting element 36 carried by lifting mechanism 48 is interconnected with one of the fastening holes 34,134 of tong arm 12,112 by connecting element 35 and the fastening tool moved to the immediate vicinity of block 9,109 to be moved by lifting mechanism 48 with some slack in lifting element 36 to allow manual placement of the fastening tool on block 9,109. The tool then is grasped by a first workman by handle 13 and manipulated to place the body 10,110 over a wall 16,153 of block 9,109, normally with the tong arm 12,112 facing forwardly as illustrated in FIGS. 2 or 10 or facing rearwardly as illustrated in FIG. 7, according to the circumstances of the particular block lift and placement.

A second workman operating lifting mechanism 48 then tightens the lifting element 36 to remove any slack and commences to lift the block 9,109. As this happens the weight of the block 9,109 is supported by lifting element 36 interconnected to the forward outer end portion of upper lifting arm 31,131 of “L” shaped tong arm 12,112 to pivot the outer end portion of lifting arm 31,131 upwardly. Responsively the lower end portion 32,132 of fastening arm 12,112 will pivot forwardly to engage the adjacent surface of block 9,109. As this occurs the lower end portion 33,133 of fastening arm 12,112 will pivot tool body 10 to become canted relative to the block 9,109 and forward depending leg 25,125 of body 10,110 will contact the upper inner edge of block portion 16,153 and the lower rearward surface of block portion 16,153 will contact the forward surface of rearward depending leg 24,124 of the body 10,110 to create a three point frictional contact with the block 9,109 by reason of force generated responsively to lifting the mass of block 9,109. The block 9,109 then is releasably supported by the fastening tool and is moved by a second workman operating the lifting mechanism 48 into the immediate vicinity of the area of a structure in which the block 9,109 is to be placed. The block 9,109 then is lowered as aided by a third workman at the site of block placement to guide the block 9,109 into appropriate position on the supporting block immediately therebelow. When the block 9,109 is so placed, the lifting mechanism 48 is lowered to create slack in lifting element 36 and the third workman at the block placement site manually lifts the fastening tool by handle 1 3 and manually removes it from the block 9,109 which it previously supported. At that point the second workman operating the lifting mechanism 48 lifts the lifting element 36, after the tool is free of the last lifted block, and moves the then empty fastening tool back to the block supply for attachment to the next block to be moved to repeat the cycle.

The placement of multiple blocks with the system 45 illustrated in FIG. 8 is substantially the same as described for placement of a single block, except that the first workman places fastening tool on each of a plurality of adjacently positioned blocks 9,109, three in the instance illustrated. The second workman then lifts the blocks 9,109 as in the case of the single block 9,109 and moves the lifted blocks 9,109 for positioning in the structure in which they are to be incorporated. The third workman aids in positioning of the blocks 9,109 and then removes each fastening tool by manually lifting it from the previously fastened blocks 9,109 as in the case of positioning and releasing a single block 9,109.

It is to be noted with the instant fastening tool that, once a tool is configured, the amount of force that is exerted upon a block to be lifted has a maximum value determined by the mass of the block, which normally is substantially constant with all concrete blocks of the same configuration and type. It is further to be noted that the amount of skewing or extensive force exerted upon a block wall may be varied by adjusting the effective lever arm length of tong arm 12 between its pivot point about nut/bolt combination 30 and one of fastening holes 34 whereat lifting element 36 is connected. Once this relationship is established it determines the maximum extensive force that the tool can exert on a block of given configuration and mass, prescinding from any minor acceleration forces developed in the lifting process. It is further to be noted that the frictional forces for supporting a block for lifting occur at three spaced areas no two of which are directly opposed on opposite sides of a block wall, in contradistinction to two spaced areas that are directly opposed on opposite sides of a block wall as occurs with most tong type tools, to materially lessen the probability of breakage of blocks during the lifting process with the instant lifting tool.

The foregoing description of my invention is necessarily of a detailed natured so that specific embodiments of it might be set forth as required, but it is to be understood that various modifications of detail, rearrangement and multiplication of parts might be resorted to without departing from its spirit, essence or scope.

Having thusly described my invention, what I desire to protect by Letters Patent, and