Title:
Multi-functional construction apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A multi-function construction apparatus for support of roof loads to prevent slippage, shifting or sliding thereof along and/or from a roof surface. A pair, or more, of multi-function construction apparatuses can be combined with a platform placed thereon for stationing of workpieces and/or equipment. In an alternate embodiment, a pair, or more, of additional stands with a platform thereacross are placed down-roof from a pair, or more, of multi-function construction apparatuses with a platform thereon. The resulting construct provides a standing area for a worker on the lower platform with a work area on the upper platform, while simultaneously supporting the roof load up-roof from the multi-function construction apparatuses.



Inventors:
Alarcon, Mark A. (Stockbridge, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/281827
Publication Date:
06/07/2007
Filing Date:
11/17/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04D13/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
PAINTER, BRANON C
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WILLIAMSON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW, LLC (ATLANTA, GA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A multi-functional construction apparatus comprising: a front support; a roof member; and a brace disposed between said front support and said roof member, and wherein said front member supports a load on a roof.

2. The multi-functional construction apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a rear member.

3. The multi-functional construction apparatus of claim 2, wherein said rear member comprises an extension.

4. The multi-functional construction apparatus of claim 3, further comprising a top member.

5. The multi-functional construction apparatus of claim 4, wherein said extension retains a platform disposed on said top member.

6. The multi-functional construction apparatus of claim 5, wherein said platform is substantially horizontal.

7. The multi-functional construction apparatus of claim 6, further comprising stands.

8. The multi-functional construction apparatus of claim 7, further comprising a second platform.

9. The multi-functional construction apparatus of claim 8, wherein said second platform is disposed on said stands.

10. The multi-functional construction apparatus of claim 1, wherein said brace comprises a first end disposed at an approximate midpoint of said front support, and a second end disposed at an approximate midpoint of said roof member.

11. The multi-functional construction apparatus of claim 1, wherein said brace is slidably positioned.

12. The multi-functional construction apparatus of claim 1, wherein said multi-functional sawhorse and material stop braces a load on a roof.

13. A method of supporting, said method comprising the steps of: a. placing on a roof at least one pair of multi-functional construction apparatuses comprising braced front supports; and b. disposing a load against said braced front supports.

14. The method of claim 13, further comprising the step of: placing a support platform on said at least one pair of multi-functional construction apparatuses.

15. The method of claim 14, further comprising the step of: performing work on a workpiece disposed on said platform.

16. The method of claim 15, further comprising the step of: placing a pair of stands on said roof proximate said at least one pair of multi-functional construction apparatuses.

17. The method of claim 16, further comprising the step of: disposing a second platform on said stands.

18. The method of claim 17, further comprising the step of: standing on said second platform while working on a workpiece disposed on said first platform.

19. The method of claim 14, further comprising the step of: working on a workpiece disposed on said at least one multi-functional construction apparatuses.

20. A work platform comprising: at least one multi-functional sawhorse stop; and at least one stand disposed proximate said at least one multi-functional construction apparatus.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to sawhorses, and more specifically to an adjustable, multi-functional construction apparatus that functions as a sawhorse and a material stop for supporting loads and providing a working platform on sloping surfaces, such as roofs.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

During construction of buildings, particularly those with sloping roofs, it is often necessary to work while positioned on sloping portions of the roofs. Such work carries with it hazards due to the slope of the roof, and further makes the positioning and storage of materials on the roof quite difficult. Moreover, the lack of support for loads on a roof surface further promotes hazardous conditions; as such, a load can shift, slip, or slide from its position on the roof, endangering construction workers and other persons located below. Since a worker typically faces up-roof when working with equipment or workpieces, the lack of a standing platform, and the lack of a work platform higher than the standing platform, prevents workers from performing operations on materials while in a normal working posture.

Accordingly, through available devices and apparatuses, various attempts have been made to resolve the foregoing problems. For instance, one such device comprises an unbraced leg providing support for an attached top rail. However, such unbraced leg could potentially collapse under high loads. Furthermore, such device does not provide for support of materials positioned adjacent the front leg of the device, wherein such materials exert a down-roof force against the unbraced leg that can cause collapse, with consequent release of the materials positioned thereagainst.

Other devices have attempted to provide support via an arrangement similar to a lawn chair, wherein grooves in side supports engage a bar to provide support to a front leg extension. However, such an arrangement or mechanism is susceptible to disengagement, as the side supports may come free of the bar; thereby, causing the front leg to collapse. In such circumstances, material supported against the front leg may break free, slide and/or tumble from the roof. Furthermore, upon collapse of the front leg, any persons working on platforms above such a device may be deposited abruptly upon the roof surface with the possibility of consequent injury.

Additionally, other prior-art devices have lacked a secondary support apparatus that can be utilized in conjunction with a first platform, wherein material can be stationed on the roof and secured by the secondary support apparatus while a worker standing on the first platform performs construction operations.

Still other devices require a worker to stand on a sloping roof surface while working on materials, or, alternately, to work on materials at the same level as the worker's feet. Such an awkward position strains the physical posture of the worker, possibly leading to injury and/or fatigue. Such an awkward position is further hazardous, as the position of the worker relative to the equipment and workpiece is unusual; thus, forcing work to be performed contrary to the design of equipment being utilized.

Therefore, it is readily apparent that there is a need for an adjustable, multi-functional construction apparatus that provides support bracing for materials placed on a roof and further provides a flat horizontal work surface.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly described, in. a preferred embodiment, the present invention overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages and meets the recognized need for such an apparatus by providing a multi-functional construction apparatus that provides a level support surface that further braces roof loads engaged thereagainst, and wherein the multi-functional construction apparatus of the present invention comprises a rapidly-assemblable frame that engages a load on a roof. The frame is adjustable to the pitch of the roof, and, when paired with a second multi-function sawhorse/stop, may receive a platform across the tops thereof. As such, the apparatus of the present invention permits equipment and workpieces to be placed on the resulting platform, while a construction worker stands on the roof and performs construction activities on the workpieces.

Additionally, the multi-function construction apparatus of the present invention provides a stable work surface and, thus, prevents roof loads from sliding, shifting and/or slipping along and/or from the roof surface. Moreover, the apparatus of the present invention may be adjusted to the pitch of the roof and may be rapidly assembled and disassembled utilizing standard fasteners.

According to its major aspects and broadly stated, the present invention in its preferred form is a multi-function construction apparatus utilized to provide support on a roof, and to prevent movement or shifting of loads placed thereagainst. In an alternate embodiment, at least two stands are placed behind at least two multi-function construction apparatuses having a platform thereon, wherein the stands have a second platform thereon, and wherein the second platform is at a lower elevation than the platform on the multi-function construction apparatuses; thereby, permitting a worker to stand on the second platform while working on workpieces disposed on the first platform. Thus, the apparatus of the present invention provides support for roof loads, and further provides safe, stable and horizontally-level standing and work areas for construction workers.

More specifically, the present invention is a multi-functional construction apparatus comprising a back member, a top member, a roof member removably secured to a selected location on a building roof, a front support member, and a brace. The brace extends between the front support and the roof member; thereby, bracing the front support for secure retention of a load placed thereagainst.

When desired, a second (or more) multi-functional construction apparatus can be associated with the first multi-functional construction apparatus by placing the second multi-functional construction apparatus substantially parallel to the first multi-functional construction apparatus and extending a platform across the top members of both multi-functional construction apparatuses. The platform is retained on the multi-functional construction apparatuses by extensions of the back members thereof, wherein the extensions extend upward beyond the top members upon which the platform is disposed. Thus, a work area is created for a worker to place thereon a workpiece, equipment or other objects, while the worker is performing his/her work duties on a roof structure.

In an alternate embodiment, a plurality of multi-functional construction apparatuses are associated with a plurality of stands, wherein the multi-functional construction apparatuses are disposed on a roof structure at a selected location, and where the stands are disposed against the multi-functional construction apparatuses, proximate thereto, and at a lower position on the roof; thereby, forming a stepped, or bi-level, construct. The stands comprise back rails, top rails and roof rails. Platforms are disposed on and across the top members of the multi-functional construction apparatuses and on the top rails of the stands; thereby, providing a two-level horizontally-flat work area. As with the preferred embodiment, a load placed up-roof from the front support members is secured thereby.

Additionally, a worker can safely and comfortably stand on the stands while working on a workpiece, since the stands comprise the lower level of the bi-level construct while working with a piece of equipment that is disposed on the upper level of the bi-level construct comprising the multi-level construction apparatuses with platform. In this fashion, the worker is both standing and working on horizontally-flat surfaces conducive to safe operation of equipment.

Accordingly, a feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to provide a support for a roof load and, thereby, prevent slipping, shifting and/or sliding of same.

Another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to provide a stable, horizontally-level platform upon which a construction worker may stand.

Still another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to provide a rooftop level work area upon which workpieces and/or equipment may be placed.

Yet another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to adjust to roofs of different pitch.

Yet still another feature and advantage of the present invention is ability to be rapidly assembled and disassembled.

A further feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to be reused.

These and other features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent to one skilled in the art from the following description and claims when read in light of the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be better understood by reading the Detailed Description of the Preferred and Selected Alternate Embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawing figures, in which like reference numerals denote similar structure and refer to like elements throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a side view of a multi-functional construction apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a pair of multi-functional construction apparatuses according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, shown installed on a roof surface and bracing a load thereon;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a pair of multi-functional construction apparatuses according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, shown on a roof with load and platform;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a pair of multi-functional construction apparatuses according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention, shown with work platforms and standing platforms installed;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a standing platform frame according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention; and,

FIG. 6 is a side view of the multi-functional construction apparatus according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED AND SELECTED ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENTS

In describing the preferred and selected alternate embodiments of the present invention, as illustrated in FIGS. 1-6, specific terminology is employed for the sake of clarity. The invention, however, is not intended to be limited to the specific terminology so selected, and it is to be understood that each specific element includes all technical equivalents that operate in a similar manner to accomplish similar functions.

Referring now to FIGS. 1-3 and 6, the present invention in a preferred embodiment is an adjustable, multi-functional construction apparatus 10, wherein adjustable, multi-functional construction apparatus 10 preferably comprises back member 20, top member 30, roof member 40, front support member 50 and brace 60. Back member 20 preferably comprises first end 70, attachment area 75, second end 80 and extension 85, wherein extension 85 is preferably disposed at first end 70 of back member 20.

Top member 30 preferably comprises first end 130 and second end 140. Roof member 40 preferably comprises first end 90, second end 100 and attachment area 45, wherein attachment area 45 is preferably disposed approximately midway between first end 90 and second end 100, and wherein roof member 40 is preferably disposed at a selected location on roof R and removably secured thereto, as more fully described below. Front support 50 preferably comprises first end 110, second end 120 and attachment area 115, wherein attachment area 115 is preferably disposed approximately midway between first end 110 and second end 120. Brace 60 preferably comprises first end 150 and second end 160, wherein brace 60 preferably extends between front support 50 and roof member 40, and wherein first end 150 of brace 60 is preferably disposed proximate attachment area 45 of roof member 40. Second end 160 of brace 60 is preferably disposed proximate attachment area 115 of front support 50.

Roof member 40 is preferably disposed on roof R and secured thereto via fasteners 320, wherein fasteners 320 preferably engage roof R via apertures 330, and wherein first end 90 is preferably disposed down-roof and second end 100 is preferably disposed up-roof, such that roof member 40 preferably conforms to the pitch of roof R. Fasteners 320 comprise, for exemplary purposes only, flat head screws to prevent wallow of apertures 330.

Second end 80 of back member 20 is preferably pivotally secured to first end 90 of roof member 40 via fasteners 350, wherein fasteners 350 comprise, for exemplary purposes only, bolts and associated nylon nuts suited for repeated use, and wherein fasteners 350 are preferably inserted into throughholes 300, and wherein back member 20 is preferably disposed substantially vertical.

Roof member .40 and front support 50 preferably comprise a single member, cut to permit folding, with subsequent securing via rivets 340. It will be recognized by. those skilled in the art that roof member 40 and front support 50 could alternately be fixed in perpendicular alignment via welding.

First end 90 is preferably dimensioned to receive second end 80, wherein second end 80 is secured within first end 90 via fasteners 350. First end 110 of front support 50 is preferably disposed substantially perpendicular to roof member 40 at second end 100 thereof, wherein first end 110 is preferably secured to second end 100 roof member 40 via rivets 340.

First end 130 of top member 30 is preferably disposed at second end 120 of front support 50 and is preferably secured thereto via insertion of fasteners 310 into throughholes 300, wherein second end 120 is preferably dimensioned to receive first end 130. Fasteners 310 comprise, for exemplary purposes only, bolts and wingnuts, and are preferably removable to permit rapid assembly, adjustment and/or disassembly of multi-functional construction apparatus 10. Second end 120 of front support 50 comprises plurality of throughholes 300 preferably permitting selective positioning of top member 30, wherein top member 30 is preferably disposed substantially horizontal when second end 140 is secured to back member 20. Numerical indicia 305 are preferably disposed adjacent throughholes 300, wherein numerical indicia 305 denote a roof pitch to provide guidance during assembly of multi-functional construction apparatus 10. It will be recognized by those skilled in the art that throughholes 300 could be in any position required for a selected roof pitch and further could be of a suitable quantity .to provide selection of a plurality of standard roof pitches.

First end 70 of back member 20 is preferably dimensioned to receive second end 140, wherein second end 140 of top member 20 is preferably disposed at attachment area 75 of back member 20 and is preferably secured thereto via insertion of fasteners 310 into throughholes 300. First end 70 of back member 20 comprises plurality of throughholes 300 preferably permitting selective positioning of top member 30, wherein top member 30 is preferably disposed substantially horizontal when first end 130 is secured to front support 50, irrespective of the pitch of roof R. Extension 85 preferably extends above top member 30, wherein extension 85 preferably provides a backstop against which a platform may rest, as detailed more fully below.

First end 150 of brace 60 is preferably slidably positioned and secured, via insertion of fasteners 310 into throughholes 300, to roof member 40 at attachment area 45 thereof, wherein second end 160 of brace 60 is preferably slidably positioned and secured via insertion of fasteners 310 into throughholes 300 to support point 115 of front support 50. Roof member 40 and front support 50 are preferably dimensioned to receive first end 150 and second end 160, respectively, to permit first end 150 and second end 160 to be slidably positioned within roof member 40 and front support 50. A plurality of throughholes 300 in both front support 50 and roof member 40 preferably permit positioning of brace 60 at an optimum angle to provide bracing to front support 50, irrespective of pitch of roof R.

For storage, as best shown in FIG. 6, brace 60 and top member 20 are removed from multi-functional construction apparatus 10, wherein brace 60 is secured within front member 50 via insertion of pin 360 into throughhole 300, and wherein top member 20 is similarly secured within back member 30 via insertion of pin 360 into throughhole 300. Subsequent to securing of brace 60 and top member 20, back member 30 is pivoted about fastener 350 until back member 30 is positioned within roof member 40, and wherein back member 30 is secured within roof member 40 via insertion of pin 360 into throughhole 300.

In use, multi-functional construction apparatus 10 is preferably secured to a selected location on roof R, wherein load L is subsequently preferably disposed proximate front support 50 of multi-functional construction apparatus 10, and wherein load L is preferably braced by front support 50. Further, utilizing additional multi-functional construction apparatuses 10, preferably disposed at the same elevation on roof R as a first multi-functional construction apparatus 10, preferably permits placement of platform 170 substantially horizontally across top members 30 of multi-functional construction apparatus 10, wherein platform 170 is preferably retained by extensions 85 of back member 20. Thus, a work area is provided for worker W, while worker W is performing work duties on. roof R.

When desired, selected portions of multi-functional construction apparatus 10 can be pre-assembled to facilitate and speed assembly once multi-functional construction apparatus 10 is positioned on roof R. Further, in an alternate embodiment of the present invention, where the pitch of roof R is known, selected portions of multi-functional construction apparatus 10 can be assembled with fixed fasteners, such as, for exemplary purposes only, rivets.

Additionally, multi-functional construction apparatus 10 can be readily repositioned by removal of fasteners 320 from roof R, relocating multi-functional construction apparatus 10 to a different position on roof R, and re-securing multi-functional construction apparatus 10 to roof R via fasteners 320. Upon completion of use, multi-functional construction apparatus 10 may be quickly disassembled and removed from roof R by removal of fasteners 310, 320 from throughholes 300 and roof R, respectively.

Referring now more specifically to FIGS. 4-5, illustrated therein is an alternate embodiment of adjustable, multi-functional construction apparatus 10, wherein the alternate embodiment of FIGS. 4-5 is substantially equivalent in form and function to that of the preferred embodiment detailed and illustrated in FIGS. 1-3 and 6 except as hereinafter specifically referenced. Specifically, the embodiment of FIGS. 4-5 comprises a plurality of multi-functional construction apparatuses 10 and a plurality of stands 200, wherein multi-functional construction apparatuses 10 are disposed on roof R at a selected location, and wherein stands 200 are disposed proximate multi-functional construction apparatuses 10, as detailed more fully below.

Stands 200 comprise back rails 210, top rails 220 and roof rails 230, wherein roof rails 230 are disposed proximate roof R and are selectively secured thereto via insertion of fasteners 320 into apertures 330, in a similar fashion as for multi-functional construction apparatuses 10. Back rails 210 comprise first ends 240 and second ends 250. Roof rails 230 comprise first ends 260 and second ends 270. Top rails 220 comprise first ends 280 and second ends 290.

First ends 240 are removably secured to second ends 290 via insertion of fasteners 310 into throughholes 300, wherein first ends 240 are dimensioned to receive second ends 290 therewithin. First ends 260 are removably secured to second ends 250 via insertion of fasteners 310 into throughholes 300, wherein first ends 260 are dimensioned to receive second ends 250 therewithin. Second ends 270 are removably secured to second ends 280 via insertion of fasteners 310 into throughholes 300, wherein second ends 270 are dimensioned to receive second ends 280 therewithin. A plurality of throughholes 300 permits assembly of stands 200, wherein top rails 220 are disposed substantially horizontal. As with multi-functional construction apparatuses 10, numerical indicia 305 are disposed adjacent throughholes 300, wherein numerical indicia 305 denote a roof pitch to provide guidance during assembly.

Platform 170 is disposed on top members 30 of multi-functional construction apparatuses 10, wherein platform 170 extends between at least two multi-functional construction apparatuses 10, and wherein platform 170 is supported by top members 30 multi-functional construction apparatus 10. Optionally, load L is disposed proximate front support members 50, whereby load L is fixed in position on roof R by multi-functional construction apparatuses 10.

Standing platform. 175 is disposed on and between top rails 200 of stands 200, wherein standing platform 175 is supported by top rails 200, and wherein standing platform 175 is retained on stands 200 via extensions 215.

In use of the foregoing alternate embodiment of FIGS. 4-5, worker W is positioned on standing platform 175, and works on workpiece WP and/or with equipment E, wherein workpiece WP and/or equipment E are disposed on platform 170.

The foregoing description and drawings comprise illustrative embodiments of the present invention. Having thus described exemplary embodiments of the present invention, it should be noted by those skilled in the art that the within disclosures are exemplary only, and that various other alternatives, adaptations, and modifications may be made within the scope of the present invention. Merely listing or numbering the steps of a method in a certain order does not constitute any limitation on the order of the steps of that method. Many modifications and other embodiments of the invention will come to mind to one skilled in the art to which this invention pertains having the benefit of the teachings presented in the foregoing descriptions and the associated drawings. Although specific terms may be employed herein, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation. Accordingly, the present invention is not limited to the specific embodiments illustrated herein, but is limited only by the following claims.