Adjustable roof rafter clip
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An adjustable roof rafter clip that can be easily pivoted to change the slope range from approximately 10 degrees to at least 30 degrees, thus providing roofs with a pitch ranging from about three to at least six. The invention has two part pivotally attached to one another via a rivet or similar attachment. One part is attached to the roof rafter and the other is attached to a vertical attachment structure. The adjustability of the clip permits the use of heavy gauge galvanized sheet metal which cannot be bent by hand on the job site thus a much stronger clip is provided than those found in the prior art.

Attalla, Anthony P. (Amherst, NH, US)
Beroney, Mark (New Boston, NH, US)
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What is claimed is:

1. An adjustable clip for fastening two structural members together comprising: an adjusting portion having at least one radiused slot and having an opening at the center of the radius of said at least one radiused slot; a main body having a plurality of punched pilot holes having a radius that corresponds to the radius in said adjusting portion and having a slot with a width corresponding to the diameter of the opening in said adjusting portion with the slot positioned in said main body such the center of the radius of the punched pilot holes falls within the position of the slot; a pin which pivotally attaches said adjusting portion to said main body, wherein said pin is positioned with the opening of said adjusting portion and the slot of said main body.

2. The adjustable clip of claim 1 wherein said adjusting portion further comprising a vertical flange and a top flange wherein the width of said adjusting portion corresponds to the width of a roof rafter and wherein said at least one radiused slot and said opening are positioned with said vertical flange.

3. The adjustable clip of claim 2 wherein said main body further comprises main body flange and an attachment flange wherein the radiused punched pilot holes and the slot is positioned in the main body flange and wherein a plurality of pilot holes for attaching said clip to a vertical attachment structure is provided in the attachment flange.

4. The adjustable clip of claim 3 wherein said main body further comprises at least one stiffening indentation having at least one portion within said attachment flange and a second portion in said main body flange.

5. The adjustable clip of claim 4 wherein said vertical flange of said adjusting portion further comprises a plurality of punched pilot holes position in the vertical flange in a region outside of where said main body overlaps said adjusting portion when said clip is moved through its adjustability range.

6. The adjustable clip of claim 5 wherein the radial adjustability range of said clip is from 10 to 30 degrees.

7. The adjustable clip of claim 6 wherein the horizontal adjustability range of said clip provided by the slot in said main body is about one inch.

8. The adjustable clip of claim 7 wherein said vertical flange further comprises an angular portion that permits said main body to be pivotally connected to said adjusting portion through said radial adjustability range without one part interfering with the other.

9. The adjustable clip of claim 8 wherein said adjusting portion and said main body are constructed from galvanized metal having a gauge thickness of at least 16.

10. The adjustable clip of claim 9 wherein said clip has a strength rating of at least 1.of at least 1.0 KIPS.



This invention relates to framing hardware, in particular, an adjustable apparatus for attaching a roof rafter or roof truss to a vertical member of the framing structure such as a top plate of an exterior wall or a ridge board of a roof.


Construction techniques using standard graded framing lumber has changed considerably over the years. The availability of high quality lumber such as the straight grain fir found in older New England dwellings is no longer present. The definition of kiln-dried lumber has also changed considerably. Long term seasoning of lumber to ensure dimensional stability is no longer practical in most circumstances. Twisted studs, knots, cupping, etc. are all too common. As the price of wood materials continues to rise and the quality continues to fall, a concomitant increase in construction costs has occurred.

Exacerbating this situation, labor charges have risen dramatically. Also, law suits over structures that have failed have caused further public pressure to build stronger structures, despite the above-described material problems. Further, the price of new homes must compete with existing structures even if such dwellings lack the construction improvements provided by the latest techniques.

Finally, the public interest in safety has been piqued by the events of major hurricanes striking the Eastern coasts as well as other natural disasters such as earthquakes.

Solution to this dilemma has taken several forms. Building materials have been made stronger by laminated wood members. Such materials can be manufactured using lower grade materials but can be far stronger that the best available framing lumber. Glu-lam beams are commonplace in new construction since they provide dimensional stability and strength. Plywood and particle board for siding and subflooring have completely replaced the use of individual boards to accomplish this function due to the time savings. The use of roof trusses have replaced most conventional roofs which must be fabricated from individual boards to make up the rafters and ceiling joists. Also, the use of a trussed roof enables far wider spans than is possible using conventional techniques and lumber.

Savings in construction time has been obtained by substituting new tools such as the pneumatic nail/staple gun instead of a traditional hammer and nails. Further, savings in time has been accomplished by construction techniques such as platform framing versus a traditional balloon framed wall.

To eliminate the problems that are associated with the quality of lumber that is available, the use of metal framing members has become much more common, even in the construction of residential dwellings. Since the metal studs, joists, rafters, etc. can be stamped precisely from galvanized sheet metal, the resultant framing member consistently has the same strength, dimensions and durability.

However, the most prolific area of improvement lies in framing hardware. Most large retailers have catalogs filled with framing hardware such as straps, connectors, clips, brackets, braces, plates, hangers, anchors, ties and angles. Substantial variations in local building codes, in accordance with expected structural stresses, account for many of these improvements. Of course, earthquake zones such as found along the Pacific Coast have been responsible for looking for ways to make structures withstand greater stress loads. In contrast, many locations in New England require no framing hardware at all or perhaps just the use of joist hangers or foundation bolts or straps.

Another area where framing hardware plays a vital role is those parts of the country subject to the likelihood on the onslaught of a hurricane. Florida is certainly the region having the greatest risk based on historical incidences. While wood frames for load bearing walls still is used in this part of the country, concrete block construction is utilized far more frequently. However, even in these locations, roofs are typically constructed using wood trusses which must be anchored to the vertical walls. Typically this is accomplished using a hurricane tie which is attached to the side of the truss and twist in order to attach the exterior wall that the truss rests on.

The downside of such devices, in addition to the cost, is that they add considerable time to the construction process. If the hardware is very strong such as foundation hold-downs, then the device must be attached to a very specific spot with little margin for error. If the foundation crew does not provide for such high tolerances, then the bolts will not line up, producing a wall that is out of plumb.

To eliminate this potential problem, holding roof rafters or trusses to the adjacent vertical support is accomplished by straps which can be bent to accommodate for normal expected dimension variations. Of course, in order to be able to bend the strap, the gauge of the metal used for such straps must be rather light, thus, at least partially, defeating the purpose of the device.

A framing hardware apparatus that can be fabricated from heavy gauge galvanized metal, fits a wide range of rafter sizes, can be quickly installed and easily adjusted is presently not available in the prior art.


It is an aspect of the invention to provide an adjustable roof rafter clip that can be used to attach a roof rafter or a roof truss to a vertical attachment structure such as a ridge rafter or a bearing wall.

It is another aspect of the invention to provide an adjustable roof rafter clip that can be fabricated from heavy gauge galvanized steel which cannot be bent by hand.

It is still another aspect of the invention to provide an adjustable roof rafter clip that has a plurality of pre-positioned stiffener detents pressed into the clip.

Another aspect of the invention is to provide an adjustable roof rafter clip that can be fastened by a variety of fasteners as determined by the structure type.

Still another aspect of the invention is to provide an adjustable roof rafter clip that has pre-made attachment openings in the flange of the main body of the clip.

It is another aspect of the invention to provide an adjustable roof rafter clip that can be used to attach steel rafters as well as wood to a vertical structure.

Finally, it is an aspect of the invention to provide an adjustable roof rafter clip that can be easily pivoted to change the slope range from approximately 10 degrees to at least 30 degrees, thus providing roofs with a pitch ranging from about three to at least six.

These and other aspects of the invention will become apparent in light of the detailed description of the invention which follows.


FIG. 1a is a frontal view of the adjustable roof rafter clip in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 1b is a side view of the adjustable roof rafter clip shown in FIG. 1a.

FIG. 1c is an isometric view of the adjustable roof rafter clip as shown in FIGS. 1a and 1b.

FIG. 2 is an isometric view of the adjustable roof rafter clip attaching a metal roof rafter to a vertical wall.

FIG. 3 is a side view shown in FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is an end view of opposing roof rafters being attached to a common ridge board.

FIG. 5 is a detailed cross-sectional view of the pivot mechanism.


As shown in FIG. 1a-c, the invention comprises two parts, main body 16 of the clip and the adjusting portion 30. As noted in FIG. 2, adjusting portion 30 is L-shaped, that is, vertical flange 13 and top flange 12. Adjusting portion 30 is preferably made from a single section of galvanized sheet metal that is machine-bent to provide the L-shape.

Similarly, main body 16 of the clip is also an L-shaped single piece of galvanized metal that is stamped from a sheet as noted above. Stiffener detents 32 are pressed into body 16 to increase the rigidity of the structure. Main body 16 is attached to adjusting portion 30 via pivoting pin 24 that is affixed in slot 25 in main body 16. Thus, the angle that is formed when top flange 12 of the adjusting portion 30 is supported against the top of the rafter and the attachment flange 20 of main body 16 is attached to a vertical structure via pre-made holes 34 can be easily adjusted throughout a substantial range.

The parts are made using a multi-step process. The slots and holes are provided by a CNC punch. The indentations are made using a CNC press. The bends are made using a CNC break press. All of the steps as well as the machines that are used are well known in the sheet metal arts.

The gauge of the metal used will, of course, depend on the structural requirements needed for the specific application. However, since no bending of the clip is needed to obtain the proper fit when the clip is being used, the gauge can be selected independently of this limitation. The preferred gauge for a typical clip as discussed below is as follows. Adjusting portion 30 is preferably 16 gauge and main body part 16 is preferably 12 gauge. The parts are galvanized with a protective zinc coating. The preferred thickness of the coat is “G60”. The higher the “G” rating, the thicker and the more durable the protective coat will be.

The above specified gauge of the galvanized sheet metal and pin size will provide a strength of at least 1.0 KIPS (a term of art used to weight in thousands of pounds).

The angular portion 31 of adjusting portion 30 enables the attachment flange 20 to rotate and to be positioned closer or further from the vertical attachment structure 18 via slot 29 when the clip is attached on a rafter 14 (shown in FIG. 2).

The dimensions of the clip provided herein are for a typical 6-8 inch metal roof rafter. These dimensions would also suffice for use with wood rafters instead of steel types. Other size rafters would require scaling the dimensions of the parts accordingly.

The width of top flange 12 is preferably the same as the width of rafter 14. In the preferred embodiment to a typical installation, the width is approximately 1⅝ inches which is the width of a typical rafter 14. The width of flange 20 is preferably 2 inches.

Preferably the length of adjusting portion 30 is approximately 12 inches and the vertical flange 13 is 6 inches. Also, the preferred length of adjusting portion 20 is 6 inches and width is 4 inches. Slot 29 is preferably about an inch long. Radiused slots in adjusting portion 30 line up with holes 28 in main body 16 so that main boy can be rigidly affixed to adjusting portion 30 when the proper alignment of the two parts is obtained.

Referring now to FIG. 2, the adjustable roof rafter clip is shown attached to roof rafter 14 and vertical support structure 18. Vertical support structure 18 could be a stud, a wall or ridge board 19 as shown in FIG. 4. Note that roof sheathing 10 is attached to rafter 14 in the customary fashion. Adjusting portion 30 is attached to rafter 14 by having fasteners 26 placed through punched pilot holes 28 which attach directly to rafter 14 by passing through radiused slots 27 which have been punched in adjusting portion 30. In this manner, the adjustability between the two parts permits a roof slope range of 10 to 30 degrees. Additional flexibility to permit a greater range of motion is possible by merely scaling the dimensions provided herein.

Additional punched pilot holes (not shown) can be provided in vertical flange 13 in the region where main body 16 does not overlap adjusting portion 30 so that an even more secure attachment to rafter 14 is provided. Fasteners 26 are zinc coated self-drilling screws having a shank diameter ranging from size 8 to 14, with size 10 being typical.

In addition to the adjustable angle that is provided between the two parts of the clip, slot 29 in main body 16 permits pin 24 to slide so that rafter 14 and vertical attachment structure 18 can be moved closer together or further apart until such time as fasteners 26 and fasteners (not shown) are positioned within holes 28 and 22 respectively. In this manner, the invention enables the two structural parts to be joined together at an adjustable angle and at an adjustable distance such that no bending or twisting of the clip is necessary.

While the invention is shown being used with metal framing members, it will work equally as well with wood framing lumber. Even though the invention is intended primarily for roof rafters, it is clearly capable of attaching two structural parts together whenever an angle within the prescribed range between the two parts is required.

As shown in FIG. 5, adjusting portion 30 is pivotally connected to main body 16 via pin 24. Shaft 42 is preferably about ¼ inch in diameter. Slot 29 is dimensioned accordingly. Washers 43 and 44 are aligned in a preselected position by the user within slot 29 and then pin 24 is pressed fit by applying pressure to the top 41 and bottom 45 of pin 24. Pin 24 is preferably a rivet but other methods of attachment well known in the art could be used as well. The two parts could be bolted together.

While certain representative embodiments of the invention have been described herein for the purposes of illustration, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that modification therein may be made without departure from the spirit and scope of the invention.