Title:
Retro-stud
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A solid bar with fabrications, namely, eye-holes for coupling strings to the bar, markings or threaded nuts etc. placed on the bar, for the purpose of placement and anchoring of the bar on the back-surface of a wall or a ceiling, so that an item can be fastened to drywall incorporating the bar as a concealed part of the support, thus significantly strengthening the support to withstand the weight of the item and/or the tension away from its fasteners during its use.



Inventors:
Chowdhury, Mohiuddin Ahmed (Irvine, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/293613
Publication Date:
06/14/2007
Filing Date:
12/02/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/00; E04G21/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LAUX, JESSICA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MOHIUDDIN AHMED CHOWDHURY (CORONA, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A method of firmly placing a strong solid bar on the back-surface of a wall made of drywall for the purpose of firmly fastening an item to said wall, comprising the steps of: (a) making an opening in said drywall, (b) insuring that said opening has a dimension slightly larger than the smaller dimension of said bar, but significantly smaller than the larger dimension of said bar, (c) holding flexible handling means coupled to said bar with one hand, (d) passing said bar through said opening along said smaller dimension of said bar, (e) moving said flexible handling means in the proper directions to position said bar in specific orientation such that said larger dimension of said bar prevents said bar from slipping back out through said opening, f) anchoring said bar at said position by firmly fixing said flexible handling means on the front-surface of said drywall, by plurality of mechanical anchor means so that said bar is held firmly against said back-surface of said wall, (g) fastening an item either directly to said bar through said opening or to said bar through the material of said wall, using preformed threaded holes for fastening on said bar and/or newly drilled holes for fastening to said bar, using fastener means that extend through the entire thickness of said drywall and said bar, (h) removing said anchor means, (i) removing the part of said flexible handling means that is sticking out of the edges of the base of said item, whereby, said item is firmly fastened to said bar rather than being fastened solely to the relatively weaker material of said wall, with all or a very large portion of the materials of said bar and said flexible handling means concealed.

2. A method of claim 1 wherein said anchor means are electrical rather than mechanical, whereby, said flexible handling means can be completely removed prior to fastening said item.

3. A method of claim 1 wherein said anchor means are electronic rather than mechanical, whereby, said flexible handling means can be completely removed prior to fastening said item.

4. A method of claim 1 wherein said anchor means are magnetic rather than mechanical, whereby, said flexible handling means can be completely removed prior to fastening said item.

5. A method of claim 1 wherein said anchor means are electromagnetic rather than mechanical whereby, said flexible handling means can be completely removed prior to fastening said item.

6. A method of claim 1 wherein said anchor means are adhesive materials rather than mechanical, whereby, said flexible handling means can be completely removed prior to fastening said item.

7. A method of claim 1 wherein said wall is made of other materials of similar strength as that of said drywall.

8. A method of firmly placing a strong solid bar on the back-surface of a drywall for the purpose of firmly fastening an item to said drywall, comprising the steps of: (a) making an opening in said drywall, and (b) insuring that said opening has a dimension slightly larger than the smaller dimension of said bar, but significantly smaller than the larger dimension of said bar, c) passing said bar through said opening along said smaller dimension of said bar, (d) holding said bar from the front-surface of said drywall by flexible handling means, e) moving said flexible handling means in the proper directions to position said bar in specific orientation, such that said larger dimension of said bar prevents said bar from slipping back out through said opening, and (f) anchoring said bar at said position by firmly fixing said flexible handling means on said front-surface of said drywall, by plurality of mechanical anchor means so that said bar is held firmly against said back-surface of said drywall, and (g) fastening said bar through front-surface of said drywall using a plurality of attachment means that extend through the entire thicknesses of said drywall and said bar, and (h) removing said mechanical anchor means, and (i) removing the part of said flexible handling means that is sticking out of said opening, whereby, said bar is firmly attached to said drywall, whereby, an item can be fastened to said bar using fastener means that extend through the entire thicknesses of the base of said item and said drywall and said bar, such that said opening and said bar are completely concealed by said base of said item and only said item is visible to the naked eye.

9. A method of claim 9 wherein said fastener means have hooks at the external ends, and said fastener means extend through the entire thickness of said drywall and said bar with said hook portion sticking out of said front-surface of said drywall whereby said item can be hung from said hooks.

10. A method of claim 1 wherein said drywalls constitute vertical walls.

11. A method of claim 1 wherein said drywalls constitute horizontal ceilings

12. A method of claim 8 wherein said drywalls constitute horizontal ceilings.

13. A method of claim 8 wherein said drywalls constitute vertical walls.

14. A method of claim 8 wherein said mechanical anchor means are anchor bars of specific materials and of predetermined length and width and thickness and said anchor bars are attached to said bar with threaded fasteners across said opening whereby said bar is anchored against said back surface of said wall.

15. An article of home improvement that is capable of being firmly installed behind a surface of a structure made of material of low strength, comprising of (a) a bar of predetermined dimensions of length, width and thickness and made of suitable material possessing strength considerably greater than that of said material of said structure, (b) with eyes in said bar at specific positions for coupling plurality of pieces of flexible handling means of sufficient strength and length, to said bar, (c) with preformed holes in the said bar at specific positions, or with the provision of drilling holes at desired positions in said bar, whereby, said bar can be slipped through an opening cut on said surface, and, can be positioned and oriented as desired at the back of said surface by moving said bar by hand using said flexible handling means from the front of said surface, and, can be anchored at the desired position and orientation behind said surface by plurality of anchor means and, whereby, said bar can act as a strong, stable and concealed fortification of said material of said surface, whereby, an item can be fastened to said bar by fasteners means through said holes directly through said opening on said surface or through said material of said structure, whereby, provided that said fastener means traverse the entire thickness of said bar, said item is firmly and durably supported from said surface.

16. A method of claim 1 and 8 wherein said flexible handling means are colored.

17. An article of claim 14 wherein said opening is pre-existing instead of being cut and wherein said item is a piece of said material of said structure that is of the same size and shape as those of said opening, whereby said opening is repaired to a condition that is suitable for texturing and painting to the original condition of said surface of said structure.

18. An article of claim 14 wherein said structure constitute a wall.

19. An article of claim wherein said structure constitute a ceiling.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention is a device useful for attaching any item strongly and durably to drywall. It is a stud capable of being attached firmly to the back surface of the drywall—the material for walls or ceilings of the houses. Thus it fortifies the wall/ceiling, making it capable of supporting items that are heavy or that are routinely subjected to tension away from their fasteners.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION—DISCUSSION OF PRIOR ART

Since the 1920s houses have commonly employed drywalls for making interior walls and ceilings. For the purpose of making the interior walls, the drywalls are supported by 2×4 vertical wooden studs that are spaced 16 inches apart. Many items are attached to or hung from these walls and ceilings, and some of these items add to the décor of the rooms. Pictures, paintings, curtains, mirrors, shelves, planters, and many other examples abound. A number of items like shower curtain rods, toilet paper holders, wall-desks etc. are placed on these drywalls for specific functions. These functional items often involve tensions in addition to the gravitational one, for example, being pulled away or jerked from the attachment.

The drywalls are made of rather soft materials. They can be easily cut even with a plastic knife or easily pierced with ordinary push-pins. The usual thickness of the drywalls is only a half of an inch. In many older houses it is even thinner. Because of the intrinsically low strength and the small thickness, drywalls cannot support any item strongly. Therefore, if the item is heavy or requires stability against pulling etc. it should ideally be attached to an existing wooden stud.

The precise position of an item on the wall or ceiling is strongly dictated by many considerations, like aesthetics, décor, functionality etc., rather than by the availability of a stud. Even in the cases where a wooden stud is at the right place, difficulty arises due to problems with finding this stud behind the drywall.

Currently the available remedies for these problems are

1. Stud sensors

2. plastic anchors

3. Drywall screws

4. metal anchors

5. Toggle bolts

6. External wood/metal bar fastened to existing studs

Each of these systems presents new problems. Some provide weaker than optimal support. Their installation and operation etc. are also plagued with problems that lead to consumer frustration. Complaints regarding these systems are common even from individuals who are considered experts in home improvement. The specific problems with each of these systems are described in detail below.

1. Stud Sensors

The stud sensors can be laser-guided, electronic or simply mechanical. However, even the sophisticated stud sensors often give faulty signals. The user routinely finds that there is no stud behind the spot indicated by the sensor. Even when a stud is sensed correctly, the user has to guess about the center of the stud and often places the screw/anchor at an unacceptable edge of the stud, resulting in a very weak support. Finally, even the perfect stud sensor is of no use if the appropriate spot for the item is significantly away from the existing studs of the house.

2. Plastic Anchors

Since plastic is stronger than the material of drywall, it is hoped that when embedded in the drywall the plastic anchor bolts add to the strength of the support. These anchors involve drilling a hole in the drywall with a drill. The anchor is then hammered into this hole. The anchor has a through-hole designed to accommodate a threaded fastener. An item held by this threaded fastener is still really being supported by the drywall only. The same stress that could bring the item down usually brings down the anchor bolt and with it, the item itself.

Regarding these anchor bolts, West et al. (U.S. Pat. No. 6,186,786 on Feb. 13, 2001 and U.S. Pat. No. 6,354,779 on Mar. 12, 2002) addressed the problem associated with the hole. Making a hole with a drill carries the risk of drilling a hole that is too wide to snugly hold the anchor bolt. The self drilling anchor bolt of West et al. eliminates the need for using a drill. The real advantage of this device is that the hole is of the right size and therefore the anchor is installed perfectly every time. However, it does not even address the issue that the anchor is still a very weak support.

3. Drywall Screws

The Grip+® Drywall screws have specially designed grooves for improved strength of grabbing the drywall material. In practice, this device also adds only a little strength to the support. Even light items supported by these screws come off the wall in a short period of time if they are regularly subjected to a certain amount of tension, any kind of movement or if they are accidentally hit by anything. Only the ugly hole on the wall persists.

4. Metal Anchors

The superiority of these metal anchors, for example, Wej-It Acorn Nut Sleeve Anchors, lies in the amount of the drywall material involved in the support. These anchors have metal strips that are designed to be bent into prongs. The prongs can lock and thus fix a nut against the back-surface of the wall/ceiling. The strength of support comes not from the metal, but from the fact that the fully extended prongs grab a larger area and therefore a larger amount of the drywall material than that grabbed by plastic anchors or drywall screws.

The surface area of the Retro-Stud is always larger than that spanned by the fully extended prongs. Therefore Retro-Stud can provide much stronger support than these anchors. Moreover, it is difficult to install these anchors.

The force needed for bending the metal strips into prongs is applied by pulling a nut as a bolt is screwed into the nut. Therefore, installation of this system involves bending of strong metal strips while being at a considerable disadvantage of having to apply the force indirectly. Consequently, it involves a very large amount of force. Most users find it significantly difficult to manually install these anchors on a drywall.

If one uses an electrical bolt-driver to apply the force, one is prone to apply excessive force that results in drilling the entire stem of the anchor through the drywall. The entire nut/bolt falls off behind the drywall and is lost forever. The user gets no support in the desired spot. Instead he or she gets only an unsightly hole at that position. Once this happens, the hole is too big for using another anchor at or very near that spot.

5. Toggle Bolts

A toggle bolt is equipped with a folding anchor that has a nut in the middle. The folded anchor can be passed through a small hole. It spontaneously opens up behind the drywall. As the bolt is fully tightened, the opened anchor firmly locks itself against the back-surface of the drywall.

This system requires an ordinary amount of force for installation. It is useful for attaching a hook that is usually a part of the bolt itself. Consequently, the system is useful for items that can be hung from a hook.

However, most of the household items need attachment directly with the bolt. For these purposes, these bolts and anchors need to be properly mounted at the fastening-points of the item before the folded anchors are passed through the drywall. Except for very light and very compact items, locking of the anchor while the item is coupled with system is a very inconvenient process. Therefore this system is impractical for most items.

Also, after the item is installed the bolts must remain screwed. If, for any reason, for example, any readjustment in the item, a bolt is completely unscrewed, the anchor falls off and the support is lost. Since many items require multiple bolts, one has to undo the remaining bolts as well and repeat the inconvenient procedure described above.

The anchor must pass through a hole whose diameter must be smaller than the length of the opened anchor. Otherwise it will not be locked against the back-surface of the drywall. If the condition of the drywall/ceiling is compromised by damage or prior handling, it may not be possible to have a small enough hole for this purpose.

6. External Wood/Metal Bar Fastened to Existing Studs

Sometimes an item has dimensions larger than 16″. Often the fastening points of these items do not fall on existing studs. In such cases, one can locate the precise positions of an existing stud or studs that fall within the frame of the base of the item. Then one can place a long wooden or metal bar on the drywall surface and fasten it to the existing stud or studs. Such an external bar provides strong support along its entire length. The item can be durably fastened at the desired fastening points on the external bar.

A large item fastened in the above manner can conceal the bar. However, due to its thickness the external bar forces the item to have a significant and undesirable gap from the wall. Also, a small item fastened at some point or points along the length of the external bar leaves significant portion of the bar exposed which is highly undesirable. Of course, the problems described above with precise finding of the existing studs add to the disadvantages.

Patent Search

Search for drywall anchors has yielded several other devices besides the two mentioned above. These are U.S. Pat. No. 6,920,988 to Ratliff on Jul. 26, 2005, U.S. Pat. No. 6,669,034 to Diedrichsen on Dec. 30, 2003, U.S. Pat. No. 6,406,233 to Shaner on Jun. 18, 2002, U.S. Pat. No. 6,357,608 to Timm on Mar. 19, 2002, U.S. Pat. No. 6,082,560 to Timm on Jul. 4, 2002, U.S. Pat. No. 5,794,903 to Peterson II on Aug. 18, 1998, U.S. Pat. No. 5,123,129 to Lyons on Jun. 23, 1992 and U.S. Pat. No. 4,953,261 to Lyons on Sep. 4, 1990. However all of these involve external anchors for items like towel bar, closet shelves, free-standing furniture etc. The Retro-Stud acts as a concealed internal anchor for a wide variety of items that are supported directly on the wall or from the ceiling. Therefore, a discussion of these patents is not relevant to this invention.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION—OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES

The object of Retro-Stud is to provide a strong and durable support for any item on the drywall. It is free from the above-mentioned disadvantages that are associated with the other devices for the same purpose. It is a bar designed to be attached to the back-surface of a drywall. Both the material of the bar and its size are factors that contribute to the strength of fastening to the drywall. Any item attached to a properly installed Retro-Stud is much more stable than it would have been if it were attached to the drywall alone.

It eliminates the need for having an existing stud for fastening an item. There is no need to look for the stud with a stud sensor. There is no risk of drilling a hole unnecessarily on the drywall because the sensor has spuriously indicated a stud.

The bar of the Retro-Stud is equipped with accessories so that it can be easily placed behind the drywall through a small opening. The user of the Retro-Stud does not need to struggle to bend strong metal strips as with the Wej-It Acorn Nut Sleeve Anchor.

The accessories allow the bar to be manipulated and oriented as desired behind the wall/ceiling. Thus the Retro-Stud is a “custom” stud on the wall/ceiling. As such, it can be used for attaching the item anywhere on the drywall in any orientation. Thus the “Retro-Stud” easily meets the demands of aesthetics or décor of the room or functionality of the item without compromising the strength of the support.

The area of cross-section of the opening needed for placing the Retro-Stud is very small. Also the entire bar is placed behind the drywall. Therefore Retro-Stud is completely concealed even with very small items. The gap between the item and the wall can be extremely small, if desired.

The Retro-Stud can be completely attached to the back-surface of the wall without first being coupled to the item. Thus there is no need for a bulky item to dangle from the bolts etc. as the user installs the Retro-Stud.

If one needs to fasten an item on the drywall that is damaged and therefore has a large pre-existing hole, a Retro-Stud can be useful. The diameter formed by the fully extended prongs of Wej-It Acorn Nut Sleeve Anchor and the length of the fully-expanded wing of the toggle bolt are less than inch. Therefore, these two devices are useless on a drywall with any damage.

Retro-Studs, on the other hand, are fairly long and can very easily be made to any desired length. Consequently, regardless of how large the damaged area of the drywall is, one can always find a sufficiently long Retro-Stud that can be properly installed using the intact part of the wall. Thus one can securely fasten a large item on the wall to cover the damaged wall. The only requirement that must be fulfilled is that the area of the base of the item must be larger than the area of the damage on the wall.

If the use of the “Retro-Stud” is discontinued and the item is detached, the appearance of the drywall can be easily restored because the opening is very small. In some cases the Retro-Stud can be held behind the drywall permanently for repeated use.

Further objects and advantages of my invention will become apparent from a consideration of the drawings and ensuring description.

SUMMARY

The Retro-Stud is an additional stud on the wall. It can be firmly placed behind the drywall at any desired spot that lacks an existing stud. It is placed through a very small opening that is almost always covered by the base of the item fastened to it. Thus it provides a strong and concealed support, at the desired spot/area on the drywall for items that are significantly heavy and/or require stability against movement.

DRAWINGS

FIG. 1: illustrates a prototypical embodiment of this invention

FIG. 1A: illustrates RM—metal bar with fabrication—a specific embodiment of this invention

FIG. 1B: illustrates RS10—wooden bar with fabrication—another embodiment of this invention

FIG. 1C: illustrates RS20—wooden bar with fabrication—a third embodiment of this invention

FIG. 1D: illustrates RS30—wooden bar with fabrication—a fourth embodiment of this invention

FIG. 2A: illustrates T10—template for cutting an opening just large enough for passing the bars RM or RS10 through the drywall

FIG. 2B: illustrates T20—template for cutting an opening just large enough for passing the bar RS20 through the drywall

FIG. 2C: illustrates T30—template for cutting an opening just large enough for passing the bar RS30 through the drywall

FIG. 3: illustrates a washer assembly (WA) consisting of 2 differently-sized flat metal washers connected together

FIG. 4A: shows an opening on the drywall at the desired position made by using template T10. The suitable positions for the push-pins are also shown in this figure.

FIG. 4B: shows an opening on the drywall at the desired position made using template T20. Also shown in this figure are a) the fastening points for the item; b) the lines joining the fastening points and c) the suitable positions for the push-pins.

FIG. 4C: shows an opening on the drywall at the desired position made using template T30. Also shown in this figure are a) the fastening points for the item; b) the lines joining the fastening points and c) the suitable positions for the push-pins.

FIG. 5A: illustrates passing of RM through the opening on drywall. The RS10 has the same dimensions as RM and involves the same opening as shown in this figure.

FIG. 5B: illustrates passing of RS20 through the opening on the drywall. The RS30 involves similar opening and maneuvers as the RS20.

FIG. 6A: shows RM anchored on one side of the opening. Anchoring of RS10 is similar to this representation.

FIG. 6B: shows RS20 anchored on one side of the opening. The RS20 may be misaligned as shown in this figure. If so, it is important to align the bar with the line on the wall. Anchoring of RS30 is similar to this representation.

FIG. 6C: shows RS20 after alignment and before being fully anchored. Aligning of RS30 is similar to this representation.

FIG. 7A: shows fully anchored RM. This can also depict the corresponding situation with RS10.

FIG. 7B: shows fully anchored RS20

FIG. 7C: shows fully anchored RS30

FIG. 8A: shows positions where the strings of RM or RS10 should be cut after fastening the item

FIG. 8B: shows positions where the strings of RS20 should be cut after fastening the item that involves multiple fastening points that fall in a single line

FIG. 9A: shows fastening points arranged in a rectangle when the base of the item is rectangular

FIG. 9B: shows fastening points arranged in a rectangle when the base of the item is circular

FIG. 9C: shows fastening points arranged in a triangle (the base of the item can be oval, triangular or any other shape)

FIG. 10A: shows an obstruction in the path of RS30. It also shows how to choose dummy fastening-points for lines that have to be split because of obstruction. This can occur in the case of RS20 as well, but much less frequently. The same considerations apply to RS20 in the same situation

FIG. 10B: shows how to choose dummy fastening-points when fastening-point is a vertex of a triangle

FIG. 11: shows attachment of washer assembly on the line joining two fastening points

FIG. 12: shows the points where string should be cut after attaching at least 2 washer assemblies to the RS 20 or RS30

REFERENCE NUMERALS

    • 40 Metal bar RM of predetermined length, width and thickness; with a threaded nut in a specific position. 2 strings are threaded through the bar with the 2 pairs of string-ends 48 and 50 hanging from the bar (FIG. 1A)
    • 42 Wooden bar RS10 of predetermined length, width and thickness. 2 strings are threaded through the bar with the 2 pairs of string-ends 48 and 50 hanging from the bar (FIG. 1B)
    • 44 Wooden bar RS20 of yet another predetermined length, width and thickness. 2 strings are threaded through the bar with the 2 pairs of string-ends 48 and 50 hanging from the bar. A line 56 marks the longitudinal axis of the front-surface of the bar (FIG. 1C)
    • 46 Wooden bar RS30 of yet another predetermined length, width and thickness. 2 strings are threaded through the bar with the 2 pairs of string-ends 48 and 50 hanging from the bar. A line 57 marks the longitudinal axis of the front-surface of the bar. (FIG. 1D)
    • 47 Eye holes at 4 specific positions of each bar (40, 42, 44, or 46) for threading the 2 strings.
    • 48 String-ends coming out of the pair of eye-holes that falls on the right side of the bar when the bar is held with its longitudinal axis in horizontal orientation
    • 50 String-ends coming out of the eye-holes on the other side of the bar
    • 51 Template for opening on drywall for use with bar 40 or 42 (FIG. 2A)
    • 52 Template for opening of dimensions suitable for use with bar 44 (FIG. 2B)
    • 53 Template for opening of dimensions suitable for use with bar 46 (FIG. 2C)
    • 54 Mid-line of template 52 along its longitudinal axis
    • 55 Mid-line of template 53 along its longitudinal axis
    • 56 Center-line of bar 44 along its longitudinal axis
    • 57 Center-line of bar 46 along its longitudinal axis
    • 59 Washer assembly (FIG. 3)
    • 60 Smaller hole in washer assembly 59
    • 62 Larger hole in washer assembly 59
    • 64 Opening on the dry wall made using template 51
    • 68 Drywall surface
    • 70 Point where the item is to be fastened on the drywall with a single-point Retro-Stud
    • 72 Point on the drywall surface on one side of the opening and near the string-ends 48
    • 74 Point on the drywall surface on the other side of opening and near the string-ends 50
    • 76 Push pin on the same side of opening as point 72
    • 78 Push pin on the same side of opening as point 74
    • 80 Base of the item
    • 82 Points where string should be cut
    • 84 Fastening-points involved in fastening an item with multiple fasteners. These points are equivalent to the point 70 which is involved in fastening an item at a single point
    • 86 Dummy fastening-points. These are required only for attaching the bar 44 or 46. These points are not involved in fastening the item.
    • 88 Line joining fastening-points involving either 84s or an 84 and an 86 and
    • 89 Mid-point of the line 88
    • 90 Existing 2 by 4 stud of the house or any other material that obstructs placement of the bar 44 or 46
    • 92 Opening made by using template 52. The mid-line 54 of the template is aligned with line 88 on the wall for cutting this opening
    • 94 Opening made by using template 53. The mid-line 55 of the template is aligned with line 88 on the wall for cutting this opening
    • 96 Point of intersection of the diagonals of the cross-section of the opening 64 (eye-estimation is sufficient for locating this point)
    • 97 Point of intersection of the diagonals of the cross-section of the opening 92 (eye-estimation is sufficient for locating this point)
    • 98 Point of intersection of the diagonals of the cross-section of the opening 94 (eye-estimation is sufficient for locating this point)
    • 100 Screw or bolt head
      Operation

Currently the Retro-Stud kit includes 4 choices of the bars. Selection of the most suitable bar depends on the dimensions of the item and the mode of fastening. Some accessories are useful for the installation. Accordingly, the kit includes the following:

1. bar 40

2. bar 42

3. bar 44

4. bar 46

5. template S1

6. template 52

7. template 53

8. push-pins 76, 78

9. machine bolt MB

10. washer assembly (WA) 59 multiple pieces

11. wood screws WS

12. chart for pilot hole sizes

Further tools and materials that may be required are:

1. drill

2. drill bits

3. screw driver

4. utility knife (with small edge for cutting drywall & strings)

5. drywall

6. fix-all (for patching)

7. putty knife/trowel

8. texture in a can

9. paint

10. paint brush

Caution: protective eye-wear is recommended for installation of the Retro-Stud

Single-point Retro-Stud: (for fastening, at a single point, an item with a base diameter larger than ½″ or base length and width larger than ½″ each)

Step 1A: Select the desired point 70 on the drywall where the item should be fastened. If point 70 falls on an existing stud, the bar of this invention cannot be mounted. However, in that case, it is also not needed.

Step 2A: Using template 51 cut opening 64 on the drywall such that point 96 approximately coincides with point 70. Choose 2 points 74 and 72, each about 2-3″ away from opposite edges of opening 64 (FIG. 4A)

Step 3A: If the item is suitable for fastening with the machine bolt MB, use bar 40 (If not, go to step 3B) Firmly holding string-ends 48 and 50 with one hand align bar 40 along the diagonal of opening 64 and slip bar 40 through this opening behind the drywall. (FIG. 5A)

Step 4A: Insert the shaft of push-pin 76 halfway on the drywall at point 72. Tightly wrap string-ends 48 a few times around the shaft of pin 76 while holding string-ends 50 tautly. Press pin 76 firmly down into the drywall, gently tapping with a hammer, if necessary. (FIG. 6A)

Step 5A: if necessary, orient bar 40 by pulling/tugging with string-ends 50 and guiding bar 40 with the tip of a small screw driver such that bar 40 covers the opening completely. This insures that the threaded nut on bar 40 is at the center of the opening 64. Insert pin 78 halfway on the drywall at point 74. Tightly wrap string-ends 50 around the pin 78 a few times before pushing pin 78 all the way into the dry wall, thereby anchoring the bar firmly behind the drywall. Let excess lengths of the strings hang from both push pins (FIG. 7A)

Step 6A: Fasten your item to bar 40 with the machine bolt (MB) using a screw driver. Caution: MB must go through the bar 40. If the item is unusually thick, a bolt with the appropriate thread and of appropriate length should be used instead of MB.

Step 7A: Cut the strings at the margin of the base of the item. (FIG. 8A). Remove the push pins and excess string from the wall. Patch the two pinholes created by the push pins, if desired. (Note: using an exacto knife at an angle, the string can be cut behind the base of the item slightly before the item is fastened completely. This will conceal the string. Finish tightening the bolt after cutting the string)

Step 3B: Firmly holding string-ends 48 and 50 with one hand align bar 42 along the diagonal of opening 64 and slip bar 42 through this opening behind the drywall in a manner similar to that shown in FIG. 5A.

Step 4B: Insert the shaft of pin 76 halfway on the drywall at point 72. Tightly wrap string-ends 48 a few times around the pin while holding string-ends 50 tautly. Press pin 76 firmly down into the drywall in a manner similar to that shown in FIG. 6A.

Step 5B: if necessary, orient bar 42 by pulling/tugging with string-ends 50 and guiding bar 42 with the tip of a small screw driver such that bar 42 covers the opening completely. This insures that point 70 coincides fairly well with point 96. Insert pin 78 halfway on the drywall at point 74. Tightly wrap string-ends 50 on the shaft of pin 78 a few times before pushing pin 78 all the way into the dry wall, thereby anchoring the bar 42 firmly behind the drywall in a manner similar to that shown in FIG. 7A. Let excess lengths of the strings hang from both push pins.

Step 6B: Select a suitable wood screw. It must be long enough to go across the base of the item, the opening 64 and the entire thickness of bar 42. Drill the appropriately-sized pilot hole on bar 42 at the desired point 96. Fasten your item to bar 42 using a screw driver.

Step 7B: Cut the strings at the margin of the base of the item (in a manner similar to that shown in FIG. 8A) Remove the push pins and excess string from the wall. Patch the two pinholes created by the push pins, if desired.

(Note: using an exacto knife at an angle, the strings can be cut behind the base of the item slightly before the item is fastened completely. This will conceal the string. Finish tightening the screw after cutting the string)

Multiple-Point Bars: (For Fastening an Item with 2 or More Fastening-Points)

Step 1C: With a pencil, lightly mark all of the fastening points 84.

Step 2C: Lightly draw lines 88 through each pair of fastening-points. A line 88 can include more than 2 points only if all of them fall on the same straight line of a length that is shorter than the length of the bar used for fastening. A bar of appropriate length is needed for each line. An item will involve multiple lines and therefore will require several multiple-point bars if:

a) the fastening points 84 are arranged in a circle or a triangle or a rectangle (FIG. 9A, B, C) and/or

b) the line is longer than the length of the available bar, and/or

c) the line crosses an existing stud or similar obstruction behind the drywall. The stud/obstruction may be found when the bar is rotated behind the drywall for orienting it along the line 88. In such cases, split the line into two with one line 88 on each side of the stud/obstruction. (FIG. 10A).

(Note: Obstructions like insulating fibers etc. can be easily removed. It is better to remove them, in which case they need not be considered as obstructions).

Such split lines or any other line going through a vertex of a triangle involve only one real fastening-point 84. Therefore, each of them requires a dummy fastening-point 86. Choose the dummy fastening-point 86 a suitable distance away from the real fastening-point 84 in a direction such that point 86 falls within the base of the item. Draw a line connecting the point 84 and the corresponding dummy fastening-point 86. (FIG. 10A, B)

Install a bar of appropriate length for each line 88.

Installation of Bar 44: If the Line 88 is Shorter by at Least 1 Inch than the Length of Bar 44 Use the Bar 44. (If not, use Bar 46 and go to Step 3D)

Step 3C: Place template 52 on the drywall such that the mid-line 54 falls of line 88 and the point 97 falls on point 89. Cut the opening 92. Extend the line mentally, or by placing a ruler along the line and choose a point 72 on one side of opening 92 such that point 72 falls outside the base of the item. Choose point 74 similarly on the opposite side of opening 92. (FIG. 4B)

Step 4C: Firmly holding string-ends 48 and 50 with one hand slip the bar 44 through the opening 92 behind the drywall. (FIG. 5B) It will be necessary to place the bar 44 obliquely (not perpendicularly) into the opening and push it in the direction that offers more room behind the drywall. An existing stud or similar obstructions can limit this room, especially if the line 88 is horizontal. For a vertical or inclined line 88 this type of obstruction will arise rarely. Even for the horizontal lines, the obstruction limits the room on only one side of the opening 92.

Step 5C: Insert the shaft of pin 76 at point 72 halfway on the drywall. Tightly wrap string-ends 48 a few times around the shaft of pin 76 while holding string-ends 50 tautly with the other hand. Press pin 76 firmly down all the way. (FIG. 6B)

Step 6C: Orient bar 44 by pulling/tugging with string-ends 50 while guiding it with the tip of a small screw driver so that the center-line 56 is aligned with the line 88 on the drywall (FIG. 6C). Insert the shaft of pin 78 at point 74. Tightly wrap string-end 50 on the shaft of pin 78 a few times. Push the pin 78 all the way down firmly, thereby anchoring bar 44 firmly on the wall while insuring that its orientation is maintained (FIG. 7B). Allow the excess lengths of strings hang from both push pins.

If the item does not involve any other line, go to Step 7C. Otherwise go to Step 7D.

Step 7C: Choose suitable wood screws for fastening the item. The length of the screw must cover the entire thicknesses of 1. base of the item 80, 2. the drywall 68, and 3. the bar 44. Drill appropriate pilot holes at the fastening points 84. Fasten the item to the bar 44 using a screw driver.(FIG. 8B)

Step 8C: Cut the strings at the margin of the base of the item 80. (FIG. 8B) Remove the pins 76 and 78 and excess string from the wall. Patch the two pinholes created by the pins, if desired.

(Note: using an exacto knife at an angle, the strings can be cut behind the base 80 of the item slightly before the item is fastened completely. This will conceal the string. Finish tightening the screw after cutting the string.)

Installation of the Bar 46

Step 3D: Place template 53 on the drywall such that the mid-line 55 falls of line 88 and the point 98 falls on point 89. Cut the opening 94. Choose a point 72 on the line 88 and 2-3 inches away from the nearest edge of the opening 94. Choose point 74 similarly on the opposite side of opening 94. (FIG. 4C)

Step 4D: Firmly holding string ends 48 and 50 with one hand slip the bar 46 through the opening 94 behind the drywall in a manner similar to that shown for bar 44 in FIG. 5B. It will be necessary to place the bar 46 obliquely (not perpendicularly) into the opening 94 and push it in the direction that offers more room behind the drywall. An existing stud or similar obstructions can limit this room, especially if the line 88 is horizontal. For a vertical or inclined line 88 this type of obstruction will arise rarely. Even for the horizontal lines, the obstruction limits the room only one side of the opening 94.

Step 5D: Insert the shaft of pin 76 at the point 72 halfway on the drywall. Tightly wrap the string-ends 48 a few times around the shaft of pin 76 while holding the string-ends 50 tautly with the other hand. Press the pin 76 firmly down all the way as in FIG. 6B.

Step 6D: Orient the bar 46 by pulling/tugging with string-ends 50 while guiding it with the tip of a small screw driver so that the center-line 56 is aligned with the line 88 on the drywall. Insert the shaft of pin 78 at the point 74. Tightly wrap the string-ends 50 on the shaft of pin 78 a few times. Push the pin 78 all the way down firmly, thereby anchoring the bar 46 firmly on the wall while insuring that its orientation is maintained (FIG. 7C). Allow the excess lengths of the strings hang freely.

Step 7D: installation of washer-assembly (WA) 59-WA 59 is almost always required on the bar 46. It is also required on the bar 44 if the line 88 is part of multiple lines and is short enough to be covered by bar 44. (refer to Steps 3C-6C if you are using the bar 44 and need to install the WA 59 on it)

Place the WA 59 with the hole 62 centered at the fastening-point 84 or 86 on the line 88 (FIG. 11). Drill 5/64″ pilot hole through the hole 60. Screw the 11/4″ drywall screw through the hole 60 and across the drywall.

Step 8D: Repeat Step 7D for all of the fastening-points 84 and dummy fastening-points 86. After attaching at least 2 WA's 59 in this manner, remove pins 76 and 78. Cut the strings at the edges of the openings 92 or 94 (FIG. 12) and remove them. Patch the openings 92 and 94 and the pinholes created by the pins 76 and 78, if desired.

Step 9D: Follow Steps 3D-8D for each of bar 46 and Steps 3C-6C &7D-8D for each of bar 44 that is needed for the same item.

If the item is to be fastened directly on the wall through screws, see below. If, on the other hand the item is to be supported with screws, anchors or hooks go to Step 11D.

Step 10D: Choose the suitable screws. The lengths of these screws must span the entire thicknesses of 1. the base 80 of the item, 2. the drywall 68, and 3. the bar 44 or the bar 46. Drill appropriate pilot holes through the hole 62 of the WA 59 at the fastening-points 84 (no pilot hole is needed through hole 62 at a dummy fastening-point 86). Fasten the item with the screws through holes 62.

Step 11D: Choose the suitable screws/anchors/hooks. The lengths of these must span the entire thicknesses of 1. the drywall 68, and 2. the bar 44 or the bar 46 and an appropriate length of stem or hook must project out of the surface of the drywall 68. Drill appropriate pilot holes through hole 62 of WA 59 at the fastening points 84 (no hole is needed through hole 62 at the dummy fastening-point 86). Screw the screws/anchors/hooks at holes 62 with an appropriate length of stem or hook projecting out of the surface of the drywall. Attach your item to the projections of screws/anchors/hooks.

CONCLUSION, RAMIFICATIONS AND SCOPE

The Retro-Stud forms a support at a spot on drywall where no stud previously existed. It is capable of being attached firmly on a wall or ceiling made of standard drywall material. Thus it forms strong support for heavy items that the drywall itself cannot support for a sufficiently long time. It is also superior to other available systems for items that are frequently pulled away from the attachment.

Retro-Stud is applicable to a number of other materials that, like drywall, can constitute interior walls or ceilings of houses. These other materials include plasterboard, fiberboard or in some cases, even sheetrock. If the wall/ceiling material is soft enough such that the operator can cut through the material relatively easily, a Retro-Stud is needed regardless of the other attributes of the material.

The strength and dimensions of the material for making the Retro-Stud can be chosen according to the weight of the item. Therefore it can always be sufficiently strong for mounting any item on the wall or for hanging any item from the ceiling. Any item that should ideally (from the point of view of weight and/or stability against movement) be attached to the existing stud, can be attached to the Retro-Stud with equal or greater confidence and safety.

The Retro-Stud can be installed at any area of the wall in any orientation. Thus, in addition to its significant strength, it is also a “custom” stud. Using the Retro-Stud, one can attach any item to the wall/ceiling, easily meeting the demands of aesthetics or décor of the room or functionality of the item.

In general, the opening cut in the drywall for the purpose of installing the Retro-Stud remains behind, and therefore, hidden by the item that it supports. If the opening is not hidden because of design of the item or the position of the fastening points; patching the opening can easily restore the wall décor because it (the opening) is very small.

The installation of Retro-Stud requires very little expertise. It involves common and simple tools and only the usual amount of force. The mechanism for manipulation of the Retro-Stud can involve wire or string made of any flexible and sufficiently strong material. For anchoring the Retro-Stud behind the drywall, mechanical clamps of the appropriate design or strong magnets or electromagnets can also be used, depending on the material of the bar.

As mentioned earlier a Retro-Stud can be properly installed even on a damaged wall/ceiling without first repairing the damage. This Retro-Stud can be used for supporting a piece of drywall. This is useful for repairing holes/damages on the drywall. For this purpose the dimensions of this piece must be slightly smaller than the corresponding dimensions of the hole. The piece can be nailed to or screwed on the Retro-Stud. This leaves very small gaps between the hole and the piece. As these gaps are patched with ordinary patching materials, a seamless repair is achieved. Subsequent texturing and painting can restore the drywall to almost the original condition.

It should be noted that in this method damaged drywall is repaired with a piece of drywall itself Several alternative methods of repairing drywall damage are available. These methods do not employ a Retro-Stud to abut to. Hence they involve use of a piece larger than the hole. This compels one to use materials other than drywall which presents additional structural and finishing problems Thus the use of Retro-Stud affords an outcome that is closer to the original condition than that achievable by using other methods.

The Retro-Stud employed for repairing the drywall damage can be subsequently used for fastening an item. If the fastening of an item is planned or anticipated, the Retro-Stud used for repairing the hole should be placed with the position of the item in mind.

Although the descriptions above contain many specifications, these should not be construed as limiting the scope of the invention, but merely as providing illustrations of some of the presently preferred embodiments of this invention. For example, the bar can have other shapes and dimensions, can be made of other materials. Suitably designed mechanical, electronic, magnetic or electro-magnetic devices or adhesive materials can be used for anchoring the Retro-Stud at the back surface of drywall. The design of the mechanical anchors can be other than that of push pins.

Thus the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents, rather than by the examples given.