Title:
Timber end-joint
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A timber end-joint for end-joining two structural timber segments. The timber end-joint invention is capable of providing stability in axial, lateral, and transverse directions of the joined timber segments, while also concealing the joint such that the appearance of the joined timber segments simulates a single continuous wood timber. The timber end-joint includes generally a tongue, a groove, and a registration device. The tongue extends axially outwardly from the first timber segment. The groove defines a first leg and a second leg protruding axially outwardly from the second timber segment, keyed to receive the tongue. The first leg and the second leg cooperatively define a relief channel positioned transversely along an interface between the first and second legs. The registration device includes a plurality of pegs and peg openings configured along the tongue and groove to provide an aligned fit between the first and second timber segments.



Inventors:
Cope, Ted E. (Rogersville, TN, US)
Roller, Fred W. (Rogersville, TN, US)
Application Number:
11/325597
Publication Date:
08/02/2007
Filing Date:
01/04/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B2/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
IHEZIE, JOSHUA K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PITTS & LAKE P C (KNOXVILLE, TN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A timber end-joint for joining a first timber segment to a second timber segment, said timber end-joint comprising: a groove defining a first leg and a second leg, said first and second legs extending axially outwardly from the first timber segment, said first leg and said second leg cooperatively defining a relief channel, said groove defining a first non-planar contact surface, said groove further defining a plurality of peg openings configured along an interface between said first leg and said second leg; a tongue extending axially outwardly from the second timber segment, said tongue defining a second non-planar contact surface, said tongue further defining a plurality of peg openings along said second non-planar contact surface such that each peg opening defined by said tongue registers to each peg opening defined by said groove, wherein said tongue is keyed to said groove.

2. The timber end-joint of claim 1, said timber end-joint further comprising an adhesive fastener connecting said first non-planar contact surface to said second non-planar contact surface.

3. The timber end-joint of claim 1, said relief channel further comprising a substantially cylindrical void cooperatively defined by said first leg and said second leg.

4. The timber end-joint of claim 1, said timber end-joint further comprising: a registration device comprising a plurality of pegs, each peg having a first end and a second end, said first end being keyed to one of said plurality of peg openings proximate said tongue, said second end being keyed to one of said plurality of peg openings proximate said groove.

5. The timber end-joint of claim 4, said registration device further comprising an adhesive fastener connecting each of said first ends of said plurality of pegs to one of said plurality of peg openings proximate said tongue.

6. The timber end-joint of claim 4, said registration device further comprising an adhesive fastener connecting each of said second ends of said plurality of pegs to one of said plurality of peg openings proximate said groove.

7. The timber end-joint of claim 4, said registration device further comprising a pin; whereby, said tongue further defines a pin opening substantially orthogonal to and intersecting with at least one of said plurality of peg openings defined by said tongue, said pin opening being adapted to receive said pin; and whereby, at least one of said pegs further defines a connection opening proximate said first end, keyed to said pin.

8. The timber end-joint of claim 4, said registration device further comprising a pin; whereby, said timber end-joint further defines a pin opening substantially orthogonal to and intersecting with at least one of said plurality of peg openings defined by said groove, said pin opening being adapted to receive said pin; and whereby, at least one of said pegs further defines a connection opening proximate said second end, keyed to said pin.

9. The timber end-joint of claim 4, whereby: said registration device further comprises an adhesive fastener connecting each of said first ends of said plurality of pegs to one of said plurality of peg openings proximate said tongue, and an adhesive fastener connecting each of said second ends of said plurality of pegs to one of said plurality of peg openings proximate said groove; and, said relief channel further comprises a substantially cylindrical void cooperatively defined by said first leg and said second leg.

10. The timber end-joint of claim 4, whereby: said registration device further comprises: a first pin opening defined by the first timber segment, said first pin opening being substantially orthogonal to and intersecting with at least one of said plurality of peg openings defined by said groove; a second pin opening defined by the second timber segment, said second pin opening being substantially orthogonal to and intersecting with at least one of said plurality of peg openings defined by said tongue; and, a first pin, said first pin opening being keyed to said first pin opening; and, a second pin, said second pin being keyed to said second pin opening; and whereby, said relief channel further comprises a substantially cylindrical void cooperatively defined by said first leg and said second leg.

11. A timber end-j point for joining a first timber segment to a second timber segment, said timber end-joint comprising: a first timber having a first end face, said first end face defining a groove, said groove defining a first leg and a second leg, said first and second legs extending axially outwardly from said first timber, said first leg and said second leg cooperatively defining a relief channel, said groove defining a first non-planar contact surface; and, a second timber having a second end face, said second end face defining a tongue extending axially outwardly from said second timber, said tongue defining a second non-planar contact surface, wherein said tongue is keyed to said groove.

12. The timber end-joint of claim 11, said relief channel defining a substantially cylindrical void.

13. The timber end-joint of claim 11, said timber end-joint further comprising an adhesive fastener connecting said tongue to said groove.

14. The timber end-joint of claim 11, said timber end-joint further comprising: a registration device, said registration device comprising: a plurality of peg openings positioned along said tongue and a plurality of peg openings positioned said groove, each of said plurality of peg openings positioned along said tongue being registered to at least one of said plurality of peg openings positioned along said groove; and, a plurality of pegs, each peg having a first end and a second end, said first end being keyed to one of said plurality of peg openings proximate said tongue, said second end being keyed to one of said plurality of peg openings proximate said groove.

15. The timber end-joint of claim 14, said registration device further comprising an adhesive fastener connecting each of said first ends of said plurality of pegs to one of said plurality of peg openings proximate said tongue, and an adhesive fastener connecting each of said second ends of said plurality of pegs to one of said plurality of peg openings proximate said groove.

16. The timber end-joint of claim 14, said registration device further comprising a first pin and a second pin; whereby, said tongue further defines a first pin opening substantially orthogonal to and intersecting with at least one of said plurality of peg openings defined by said tongue, said first pin opening being adapted to receive said first pin; said groove further defines a second pin opening substantially orthogonal to and intersecting with at least one of said plurality of peg openings defined by said groove, said second pin opening being adapted to receive said-second pin; and whereby, at least one of said pegs further defines a connection opening proximate said first end, keyed to said first pin, and at least one of said pegs further defines a connection opening proximate said second end, keyed to said second pin.

17. The timber end-joint of claim 14, whereby: said relief channel defines a substantially cylindrical void; and, said registration device further comprises an adhesive fastener connecting each of said first ends of said plurality of pegs to one of said plurality of peg openings proximate said tongue, and an adhesive fastener connecting each of said second ends of said plurality of pegs to one of said plurality of peg openings proximate said groove.

18. The timber end-joint of claim 14, whereby: said relief channel defines a substantially cylindrical void; said registration device further comprises a first pin and a second pin; said tongue further defines a first pin opening substantially orthogonal to and intersecting with at least one of said plurality of peg openings defined by said tongue, said first pin opening being adapted to receive said first pin; said groove further defines a second pin opening substantially orthogonal to and intersecting with at least one of said plurality of peg openings defined by said groove, said second pin opening being adapted to receive said second pin; and whereby, at least one of said pegs further defines a connection opening proximate said first end, keyed to said first pin, and at least one of said pegs further defines a connection opening proximate said second end, keyed to said second pin.

19. A method for producing a timber end-joint operable to connect a first axially extending wood segment to a second axially extending wood segment, the method comprising the steps of: (a) forming a groove defining a first leg and a second leg extending axially outwardly from the first timber segment, each of the first and second legs having a proximal end and a distal end, each of the proximal ends of the first and second legs cooperatively defining a relief channel, each of the distal ends of the first and second legs defining a first non-planar contact surface, the groove further defining a plurality of peg openings configured along the first non-planar contact surface; (b) forming a tongue that extends axially outwardly from the second timber segment so as to define a second non-planar contact surface, the tongue having a plurality of peg openings along the second non-planar contact surface such that each peg opening defined by the tongue registers to each peg opening defined by the groove; (c) forming a plurality of pegs keyed to the plurality of peg openings defined by the tongue and the plurality of peg openings defined by the groove; and, (d) connecting the plurality of pegs to the inner surface of the plurality of peg openings defined by the tongue and the plurality of peg openings defined by the groove.

20. The method as recited in claim 19, wherein step (d) is performed comprising the further steps of: (e) forming a pin opening in the first timber segment transverse to the plurality of peg openings defined by the groove and forming a pin opening in the second timber segment transverse to the plurality of peg openings defined by the tongue; (f) forming a pin keyed to the pin opening defined by the first timber segment and forming a pin keyed to the pin opening defined by the second timber segment; and, (g) inserting the pin adapted to be received by the pin opening defined by the first timber segment into the pin opening in the defined by the first timber segment and inserting the pin adapted to be received by the pin opening defined by the second timber segment into the pin opening in the defined by the second timber segment.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of Invention

This invention pertains to joints used in construction. More particularly, this invention pertains to a timber end-joint for connecting a first and second wood segment to produce a finished unitary timber simulating a single-piece wood timber.

2. Description of the Related Art

Structural end-jointed wood products, such as dimensional lumber, are gaining greater acceptance for a wide variety of applications in the building and construction industry. Recognition that efficient utilization of wood resources will continue to be necessary and that reduction of flow to local landfills is priority in many locations has continued to fuel the desire to design better methods for end-joining structural timber. Additionally, cost and reliability concerns have inspired the search for more efficient means of accomplishing end-joining.

Often in the building and construction industry, aesthetic principles govern the use of end-jointed wood timbers. When end-joining two segments of timber to produce a finished unitary timber, it is often desirable to provide stability in axial, lateral, and transverse directions of the joined timber segments, while also concealing the joint such that the appearance of the joined timber segments simulates a single continuous wood timber. When end-joining two wood timber segments having substantially flat end faces, often the seam between the two segments is readily visible. Hence, in the building and construction industry, it is often desirable to apply complimentary three-dimensional geometric shaping to the end faces of end-joined timbers.

Structural timbers to be end-joined for use in the building and construction industry are often large and cumbersome. For this reason, it is often desirable to fashion an end joint from the end faces of two structural timber segments without having to rotate the structural timber segments to gain access to more than one perspective of the end faces. Furthermore, traditional wood adhesives are often water soluble and will degrade when exposed to environmental conditions. Hence, when end-joining structural timbers for use in an outdoor setting, it is often desirable to accomplish the end-joint without leaving an adhesive seam exposed on the finished timber product.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a timber end-joint for end-joining two structural timber segments. The timber end-joint invention is capable of providing stability in axial, lateral, and transverse directions of the joined timber segments, while also concealing the joint such that the appearance of the joined timber segments simulates a single continuous wood timber. The timber end-joint includes generally a tongue, a groove, and a registration device. The tongue is a protrusion extending axially outwardly from the first timber segment. The groove defines a first leg and a second leg protruding axially outwardly from the second timber segment keyed to receive the tongue. The first leg and the second leg cooperatively define a relief channel positioned transversely along an interface between the first and second legs.

According to one embodiment of the present invention, the registration device comprises a plurality of pegs and cooperating openings. The first timber segment defines a plurality of peg openings along the tongue. Each peg opening is centered on the longitudinal axis of the first non-planar contact surface. The second timber segment defines a plurality of peg openings along the interface between the first and second legs. Each peg opening in the second timber segment is registered to a peg opening in the first timber segment.

Each registered set of peg openings is keyed to at least one peg having a first end and a second end. The first end of the peg is received by the cooperative peg opening of the first timber segment, and the second end of the peg is received by the cooperative peg opening of the second timber segment. Each peg is held in place within the registered set of peg openings by a fastener such as adhesive or by a frictional connection. When in place, the pegs serve to register the tongue to the groove, providing an aligned fit between the first and second timber segments.

In another embodiment, the registration device further defines a first pin opening in the first timber segment, positioned substantially orthogonal to the peg openings in the first timber segment. The first pin opening intersects at least one peg opening in the first timber segment. Similarly, the registration device further defines a second pin opening in the second timber segment, positioned substantially orthogonal to the plurality of peg openings in the second timber segment. The second pin opening intersects at least one of the corresponding peg openings in the second timber segment.

Each peg adapted to be received by an intersected peg opening proximate the first timber segment defines a connection opening proximate the first end of the peg. The connection opening is registered to the pin opening of the first timber segment. Each peg adapted to be received by an intersected peg opening proximate the second timber segment defines a connection opening proximate the second end of the peg. The connection opening is registered to the pin opening of the second timber segment. Each set of cooperatively aligned pin and connection openings proximate the first and second timber segments is keyed to receive a pin. When in place, the various pins secure the pegs within the corresponding timber segments and limit axial and transverse movement of the affected pegs relative the corresponding timber segment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

The above-mentioned features of the invention will become more clearly understood from the following detailed description of the invention read together with the drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of two wooden timber segments to be joined using one embodiment of a timber end-joint in accordance with several features of the present invention, showing a front view of the tongue on one wooden timber segment and with the parts of the groove shown in phantom on the other wooden timber segment;

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of two wooden timber segments to be joined using the timber end-joint of FIG. 1, including first and second timber segments presenting tongue and groove mating features;

FIG. 3 is a sectional side elevation view of two wooden timber segments to be joined using the timber end-joint of FIG. 1, including first and second timber segments presenting tongue features and with groove mating features shown in phantom;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of two wooden timber segments to be joined using the timber end-joint of FIG. 1, showing the wooden timber segments oriented for use in horizontal timber segments.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of two wooden timber segments to be joined using a further alternate embodiment of a timber end-joint constructed in accordance with several features of the present invention, showing a front view of the groove on one wooden timber segment and with the parts of the tongue shown in phantom on the other wooden timber segment.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of two wooden timber segments after joining the segments using one embodiment of a timber end-point in accordance with several features of the present invention, the wooden timber segments oriented for use in constructing a wall.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

A timber end-joint for end-joining two structural timber segments is disclosed. The timber end-joint of the present invention is illustrated at 10 in the figures. The timber end-joint 10 of the present invention provides an end connection between two timber segments. The timber end-joint 10 invention is capable of providing stability in axial, lateral, and transverse directions of the joined timber segments, while also concealing the joint such that the appearance of the joined timber segments simulates a single continuous wood timber.

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of one embodiment of the timber end-joint 10 of the present invention. The timber end-joint 10 of the present invention joins a first timber segment 12 presenting a first end face 14 to a second timber segment 16 presenting a second end face 18. The timber end-joint 10 includes a tongue 20, a groove 22, and a registration device 24. The first end face 14 defines the tongue 20, and the second end face 18 defines the cooperating groove 22.

The tongue 20 is a protrusion extending axially outwardly from the first timber segment 12 to form a first non-planar contact surface 32. In the illustrated embodiment, the first non-planar contact surface 32 is configured such that the first non-planar contact surface 32 forms a substantially trapezoidal prism. However, those skilled in the art will recognize that the first timber segment 12 and second timber segment 16 can be end-joined using other geometric configurations without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

The tongue 20 is adapted to be received by the groove 22. The groove 22 defines a first leg 34 and a second leg 36 protruding axially outwardly from the second timber segment 16. The distal portions of the first leg 34 and the second leg 36 cooperate to define a second non-planar contact surface 50 keyed to receive the first non-planar contact surface 32. The proximal portions of the first leg 34 and the second leg 36 cooperatively define a relief channel 38 positioned transversely along the interface 40 between the first and second legs 34, 36. In the illustrated embodiment, the relief channel 38 defines a substantially cylindrical void positioned along the interface 40 between the first and second legs 34, 36. However, those skilled in the art will recognize other configurations suitable for use in the relief channel 38 without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

The tongue 20 and the groove 22 are brought into alignment by a. registration device 24 comprising a plurality of pegs 52 and cooperating openings 54, 56. As shown in FIG. 1, the first timber segment 12 defines a plurality of peg openings 54 along the tongue 20. In the illustrated embodiment, each peg opening 54 is centered on the longitudinal axis of the first non-planar contact surface 32. However, it is understood that the openings may define other configurations without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

The second timber segment 16 defines a plurality of peg openings 56 along the interface 40 between the first and second legs 34, 36. In the illustrated embodiment, each peg opening 56 extends axially inwardly along the interface 40 between the first and second legs 34, 36. It is understood that the plurality of openings 56 may define other configurations without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of one embodiment of the timber end-joint of the present invention, which better illustrates the proper alignment between the tongue 20, the groove 22, and the plurality of peg openings 54, 56. As illustrated, the first non-planar contact surface 32 compliments the second non-planar contact surface 50 such that the tongue 20 is keyed to the groove 22. The peg openings 56 in the second timber segment 16 are configured along the interface 40 between the first and second legs 34, 36.

FIG. 3 illustrates a side elevation view of one embodiment of the timber end-joint of the present invention to better show the individual peg openings 54, 56. As shown in FIG. 3, each of the peg openings 54 in the first timber segment 12 is registered to a peg opening 56 in the second timber segment 16. Referring to FIG. 1, each registered set of peg openings is keyed to at least one peg 52 having a first end 58 and a second end 60. The first end 58 of the peg 52 is received by the cooperative peg opening 54 of the first timber segment 12, and the second end of the peg 60 is received by the cooperative peg opening 56 of the second timber segment 16. In the illustrated embodiment, each peg opening 56 defined by the second timber segment 16 is registered to one peg opening 54 defined by the first timber segment 12, and each registered set of peg openings 54, 56 is adapted to receive a single peg 52. However, it is understood that each set of registered peg openings 54, 56 may be keyed to a plurality of pegs 52 without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

In the illustrated embodiment of the present invention, each peg 52 is held in place within the registered set of peg openings 54, 56 by a fastener such as adhesive or by a frictional connection. However, it is understood that each peg 52 could be integrally connected to either the first or the second timber segment 12, 16 without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

FIGS. 4 and 6 illustrate two applications of the timber end-joint 10 of the present invention. Referring to FIG. 4, the timber end-joint 10 of the present invention is oriented so as to end-join two timber segments 12, 16 while concealing the joint on anterior and posterior timber surfaces. This application is useful in joining two timber segments 12, 16 to form a unitary timber for use in a horizontal structure such as a floor or ceiling. As shown in FIG. 6, the timber end-joint 10 of the present invention is used to end-join two timber segments 12, 16 while concealing the joint on the two lateral timber surfaces such that, from a side view, the appearance of the joined timber segments simulates a single continuous wood timber. This application is useful in joining two timber segments 12, 16 to form a unitary timber for use in a vertical structure such as a wall.

An alternate embodiment of the timber end-joint of the present invention is illustrated at 10′ in FIGS. 5 and 6. In this embodiment, the registration device 24 is secured to the timber end-joint 10′ without the use of adhesives. Because many wood adhesives are water soluble and will thus degrade with exposure to moisture, the timber end-joint 10′ of the present invention is useful in end-joining timber segments for use in an all-weather environment, such as the exterior walls of a log cabin.

Referring to FIG. 5, in this alternate embodiment of the present invention, the registration device 24 further defines a first pin opening 66 in the first timber segment 12, positioned substantially orthogonal to the peg openings 54 in the first timber segment 12. As shown in FIG. 5, the first pin opening 66 intersects at least one peg opening 54 in the first timber segment 12. Similarly, the registration device 24 further defines a second pin opening 68 in the second timber segment 16, positioned substantially orthogonal to the plurality of peg openings 56 in the second timber segment 16. The second pin opening 68 intersects at least one of the corresponding peg openings 56 in the second timber segment.

Each peg 52 adapted to be received by an intersected peg opening 54 proximate the first timber segment defines a connection opening 70 proximate the first end of the peg 52. The connection opening 70 is registered to the pin opening 54 of the first timber segment. Each peg 52 adapted to be received by an intersected peg opening 56 proximate the second timber segment defines a connection opening 70 proximate the second end of the peg 52. The connection opening 76 is registered to the pin opening 56 of the second timber segment. Each set of cooperatively aligned pin and connection openings proximate the first and second timber segments is keyed to receive a pin 74. When in place, the various pins 74 secure the pegs 52 within the corresponding timber segments and limit axial and transverse movement of the affected pegs relative the corresponding timber segment.

The illustrated alternate embodiment shows a single pin 74 connecting the various first ends 58 of the entire plurality of pegs received by the first timber segment 12 and a single pin 74 connecting the various second ends 60 of the entire plurality of pegs received by the second timber segment 16. However, those skilled in the art will recognize that a plurality of pins may be used to connect various configurations of pegs to the two timber segments without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

In assembly of a timber end-joint 10 of the present invention, a unitary timber 64 extending in an axial direction is formed from two wood segments joined in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As illustrated in FIG. 6, the tongue 20 is received by the groove 22. The registration device 24 aligns the tongue 20 and the groove 22 and prevents axial and transverse movement relative to the first and second timber segments.

The cooperating first and second non-planar contact surfaces 32, 50 create a secure interface 72 between the tongue and groove. As the tongue 20 is pushed axially toward the groove 22, the bias of the first and second non-planar contact surfaces 32, 50 creates a force tending to flexibly separate the legs 34, 36 of the second timber segment, causing the second timber segment 16 to frictionally grip the first non-planar contact surface 32 as the legs 34, 36 of the second timber segment flexibly resist deformation. Thus, the interface 72 of the first non-planar contact surface 32 to the second non-planar contact surface 50 limits lateral movement of the first and second timber segments 12, 16.

The biasing of the first and second non-planar contact surfaces 32, 50 also facilitates minimal external visibility of the seam between the interface 72. As is well-known in the art, as wooden timbers are exposed to dry and damp conditions, the comprising wood material shrinks and swells as moisture is absorbed and expelled. In a pair of timbers end-joined by abutting substantially orthogonal end faces, this shrinking and swelling creates readily visible gaps and poor alignment between the timber segments. However, in the illustrated embodiment of the present invention, as the first and second timber segments 12, 16 shrink and swell due to moisture retention and expulsion, the biasing of the contact and receiving surfaces 32, 50 tends to maintain the effective overlapping connection between the first and second timber segments, thus maintaining the aesthetic appearance of a less visible end-joint seam.

The relief channel 38 adjacent the interface between the first and second legs 40 acts as a aids in the durability of the timber end-joint 10. As the tongue 20, pushing axially toward the groove 22, creates a force tending to separate the legs 34, 36 of the second timber segment, the substantially cylindrical void 38 provides additional deformability of the second timber segment material. In particular, this configuration limits fracturing of the material comprising the second timber segment due to excessive deformation of the second timber segment legs.

As is well-known in the prior art, structural timbers to be end-joined for use in the building and construction industry are often large and cumbersome. Therefore, manipulation of the individual timber segments prior to end-joining is undesirable. From the foregoing, it will be understood by persons skilled in the art that a considerable advantage of the timber end-joint 10 of the present invention is the ability of the timber end-joint 10 to provide an end connection between two timber segments that can be adapted to join two pieces of large and cumbersome wood without the need to rotate the structural timber segments to gain access to more than one perspective of the end faces 14, 18.

While the present invention has been illustrated by description of several embodiments and while the illustrative embodiments have been described in considerable detail, it is not the intention of the applicant to restrict or in any way limit the scope of the appended claims to such detail. Additional advantages and modifications will readily appear to those skilled in the art. The invention in its broader aspects is therefore not limited to the specific details, representative apparatus and methods, and illustrative examples shown and described. Accordingly, departures may be made from such details without departing from the spirit or scope of applicant's general inventive concept.