Title:
Modular fencing system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A modular fencing system is disclosed, comprising panels of tubular frame and welded wire mesh, bases adapted to rotate about 90° between locking positions that are substantially in alignment with and at right angles to the panels, coupling means, and optionally including no-climb panels.



Inventors:
Thompson, Donald Glenn (Estacada, OR, US)
Application Number:
11/901687
Publication Date:
01/10/2008
Filing Date:
09/18/2007
Assignee:
Jewett Cameron Lumber Corporation
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H17/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FERGUSON, MICHAEL P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CHERNOFF, VILHAUER, MCCLUNG & STENZEL, LLP (PORTLAND, OR, US)
Claims:
1. A modular fencing system comprising the following components: (1) panels of tubular frame and welded wire mesh wherein the mesh is welded to the inside of the tubular frame; (2) bases secured to and in substantial alignment with said tubular frames of component (1), said bases being adapted to be rotatable about 90° relative to said panels and to be lockable either in substantial alignment with said panels or at about 90° relative to said panels; and (3) coupling means for coupling the tubular frames of adjacent panels of component (1).

2. The system of claim 1 wherein said tubular frame of component (1) is substantially round.

3. The system of claim 1 wherein component (1) is substantially rectangular.

4. The system of claim 1 wherein component (1) is substantially square.

5. The system of claim 1 wherein component (3) includes a cam capable of exerting a clamping force on adjacent tubular frames.

6. The system of claim 1 wherein component (3) comprises at least one set of cooperating loops and hooks on adjacent panels, respectively.

7. The system of claim 1 further comprising no-climb panels of U-shaped tubular frames and welded wire mesh having exposed wires on the open side of said U-shaped tubular frames.

8. The system of claim 7 further comprising vertical and angular coupling members for coupling said no-climb panels to component (1) in either a generally vertical or generally angular orientation.

9. The system of claim 8 wherein the angle of said angular orientation is approximately 45°.

10. The system of claim 1 further comprising reflective coating on one or more portions of component (1).

Description:

This is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 11/415,618 filed May 1, 2006, the priority of which is claimed under 35 USC 120.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The use of portable fencing is well known and finds a wide variety of security and safety applications varying from crowd control at sporting events, festivals and concerts to the provision of security at construction sites to pet enclosures and temporary livestock enclosures and routers. However, such portable fencing has a variety of drawbacks, chief among which are the lack of modularity and the difficulty of storing, handling, transporting, assembling and disassembling the same.

There is therefore a need in the art for a portable modular fencing system that overcomes the aforementioned drawbacks. This need is met by the present invention.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the present invention, there is provided a modular fencing system that is easily storable and transportable, and that may be quickly installed and broken down. The principle features of the fencing system include the following:

    • (1) panels of tubular frame and welded wire mesh wherein the mesh is welded to the inside of the tubular frame;
    • (2) optional bases having adjacent pairs of upright male members adapted to mate with adjacent tubular frames of (1);
    • (3) optional base weights that loop over the male members of (2);
    • (4) coupling brackets for coupling the tubular frames of adjacent panels of (1);
    • (5) optional tie-downs to aid in securing (1) to (2);
    • (6) optional no-climb panels of U-shaped tubular frames and welded wire mesh having exposed wires on the open side of the U-shape;
    • (7) straight or angled coupling brackets for connecting (6) to (1);
    • (8) optional reflective tape or paint on (1); and
    • (9) mateable pallet and stowage basket for storing and transporting items (1)-(7).

In an alternative embodiment, optional bases (2) may be secured directly to the frame of panels (1) and be rotatable 90° relative to the frame and lockable either in substantial alignment with the frame of at about 90° thereto. In this embodiment, optional tie-downs (5) are unnecessary.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective exploded view of the system of the invention.

FIG. 2 is an elevational view of an exemplary panel of the invention.

FIGS. 3A and 3B show detail of the wire mesh welds of the panels of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of an exemplary base and base weights of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an exemplary no-climb extension of the invention.

FIGS. 6A and 6B are elevational views of exemplary vertical and angled connectors, respectively, for connecting no-climb extensions to the panels.

FIGS. 7A and 7B are perspective views of exemplary couplers for coupling adjacent panels.

FIG. 8 is an elevational view of an exemplary tie-down of the invention.

FIG. 9 is an exploded perspective view of an exemplary storage and transport pallet and basket combination of the invention.

FIG. 10 is an elevational view of an alternative base secured to the frame of a panel and in substantial alignment with the frame.

FIG. 10A shows a different configuration of the base in FIG. 10 and a different coupling arrangement than that shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the panel and base arrangement shown in FIG. 10, but with the base rotated 90° relative to the panel's frame.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the sleeve portion of the base shown in FIG. 10 showing about 90° of the sleeve removed to permit about 90° rotation of a male member within the sleeve.

FIG. 13 is an exploded perspective view of the component parts of the alternative base.

FIG. 14 is a partial elevational view of the panel and base arrangement shown in FIG. 10.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to the drawings, wherein the same numerals refer to the same elements, there is shown in FIG. 1 an exploded perspective view of the fencing system of the invention with adjacent rectilinear panels 1 secured to base 15 and secured together at the upper ends of the panels by coupling bracket 24, and at the lower portion secured to base 15 by tie-downs 25. Angle connector 23 attaches no-climb extension 18 to the top of panel 1 at an angle, preferably about 45°.

As seen in FIGS. 1-2, panel 1 comprises a tubular frame 10 preferably welded together, an optional cross brace 11, also preferably welded to frame 10 at about the mid-point of the panel, and wire mesh 12. Tubular frame 10 may be rectangular, triangular, square or round in cross-section, preferably the latter. Wire mesh 12 is preferably formed of a metal such as steel, and is preferably welded at intersections 13 of the horizontal and vertical elements of the mesh, as shown in FIG. 3A. The terminus of each wire mesh element is preferably secured to approximately the center of tubular frame 12 on the inside of the frame at points 14; when the wire mesh is formed of metal, the means of attachment to points 14 is preferably by welding. Details of the preferred form of attachment of wire mesh 12 to tubular frame 10 are shown in FIGS. 3A and 3B. This arrangement permits the panels to easily slide past each other during insertion into and removal from, for example, a truck and/or a storage/transport pallet, described below. It also permits the panels to be handled and assembled safely without concern for injury by any sharp point. And if the system is used to confine a pet, there is similarly no risk of injury to the pet. The panels may also be provided with a reflective coating and/or reflective tape on, for example, a plate 7a secured to wire mesh 12 or to tubular frame 10 in the areas 7b, preferably both, so as to make the fencing system more visible at night.

Base 15 is shown in FIG. 4, and comprises upright male members 16 designed to accept the open ends of tubular frame 10 from adjacent panels, as well as a tie-down loop 17 designed to cooperate with tie-down 25, as described below. When used in a four-panel rectangular or square configuration, bases 15 may be dispensed with, as long as the panels are coupled together by couplers 24, described below. Because the open ends of frame 10 may pivot upon male members 16 of base 15, a panel may be aligned in the same plane as the adjacent panel or at virtually any angle relative thereto, e.g., from about 30° to about 270°. Another feature of the inventive fencing system is that one panel may be converted to a gate by simply leaving that panel unattached to coupling bracket 5 on both ends and unattached to male member 16 on one end; the opening and closing of such a “gate panel” may be facilitated by attaching a caster wheel (not shown) to the free end of the panel. Base 15 is preferably formed of a heavy material such as steel plate, so as to add stability to the fencing system. Base 15 may also be provided with holes 8 near one or both ends of the plate, the holes designed to accept spikes (not shown) to further enhance stability of the system. Optional base weights 9 may be placed on base 15 by looping base weight loops 9a over male members 16 to further stabilize the system (loops 9a may also be used as carrying handles).

An optional no-climb extension 18 is shown in FIG. 5, and comprises a generally U-shaped tubular frame 19 having open-ended wire mesh 20 secured to the inner portion of frame 19 with spot welds 21, preferably in the same fashion as discussed above in connection with panel 1. The cross-section of tubular frame 19 should be the same as the cross-section of panel tubular frame 10 so as to facilitate connection of the two. Open-ended wire mesh 20 is similarly comprised of horizontal and vertical wire elements secured to each other at their intersections, as in the case of wire mesh 12 of panels 1, discussed above. Because wire mesh 20 is open-ended, the exposed ends 20a of the wire effectively discourage a person from climbing over the fence for fear of either being punctured by open ends 20a or having his or her clothes getting snagged on the same.

Optional no-climb extensions 18 are secured to tubular frame 10 by either a vertical connector 22, shown in FIG. 6A, or an angled connector 23, shown in FIG. 6B. Vertical connector 22 connects no-climb extension 18 to tubular frame 10 in a vertical or upright orientation, while angled connector 23 connects no-climb extension 18 to tubular frame 10 at an angle, the most preferred angle being about 45°. Both connectors 22 and 23 are provided with flanges 22a and 23a, respectively, the flanges serving as a stop relative to both tubular frame 10 and no-climb extension 18.

Panels 1 are optionally coupled together in their upper portions by coupler 24 or 24′, shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B, respectively. Coupler 24 comprises two identical C-shaped brackets 24a joined by a flat section 24b having a hole therethrough to accept a nut and bolt combination 24c. Coupler 24′ is of substantially the same design as coupler 24, with the exception that, instead of a nut and bolt connection, a locking pin 24d and cam 24e arrangement is used to draw the two C-shaped brackets together and lock them securely in place on adjoining tubular frames. Pin 24d is secured, preferably by welding, to the flat portion 24b of one of the C-shaped brackets 24a. Cam 24e is preferably pivotally mounted on pin 24d and provided with a hole 24f therein designed to receive cam lever 24g. Cam lever 24g, used to rotate cam 24e into and out of locking position, is shown in phantom in FIG. 7B to make clear that it may be withdrawn from hole 24f once the cam has been rotated to lock the coupler in place.

Further stability is provided to the fencing system by tie-down 25, shown in FIG. 8. Tie-down 25 comprises cable 25a having crimped loops 25b at each end, an S-shaped hook 25c at one end and a turnbuckle 25d and second hook 25e at the other end. In use, tie-down 25 is looped through tie-down loop 17 on base 15 and S-shaped hook 25c is attached to the wire mesh of one of two adjacent panels. Hook 25e is then attached to the wire mesh of the adjacent panel, and then turnbuckle 25d is tightened until cable 25a is taut.

FIG. 9 depicts an exemplary pallet 26 and basket 27 designed to store and transport the panels and other components of the modular fencing system. Pallet 26 is preferably of such a size as to accommodate approximately 28 panels 1 in a vertical, side-by-side arrangement that permits the panels to be slid in or out of the pallet from either opened end of the pallet. The corner posts of the pallet frame are provided with pins 26a designed to engage with corresponding female members 27c located in the bottom of the upright corner posts of the frame of basket 27. Basket 27 has its side and bottom covered with wire mesh 27b, and may optionally be provided with interior walls as shown in the upper portion of FIG. 9, so as to form compartments for the different components of the system. Basket 27 may also be provided with pins 27a in the top portion of its corner posts, which in turn may engage another basket 27 for transport and storage of additional components of the system or even an additional pallet 26 containing additional panels.

FIGS. 10-14 depict an alternative base arrangement whereby the bases are adapted to be more or less permanently secured to the tubular frame 10 so no breakdown or reattachment of the base to the frame is needed, which also renders unnecessary any stowage of the bases. In those drawings there is shown a base member 15′ having an upright male member 16′ with a stop 16a at its base and threads 16b at its top end. Locknut 16c threadingly engages threads 16b when male member 16′ is inserted into sleeve 10′ which intersects tubular frame 10. Sleeve 10′ has a notch 10″ of about 90° of material removed from its base so as to allow rotation of about 90° of male member 16′ and base member 15′ before being positively stopped by stop 16a. Locknut 16c is further provided with a nonmetallic insert 16d of, e.g., plastic or leather which, when locknut 16c is tightened onto threads 16b, causes the base to be locked in place.

FIG. 10A depicts an alternate configuration of the alternative base arrangement, namely, base member 15″. Also shown in FIG. 10A is an alternative coupling arrangement between adjacent panels comprising loops 30 and hooks 32, the latter being inserted through the former to effectuate the coupling.

In operation the alternative base is secured to frame 10 in alignment therewith for storage and transport by inserting male member 16′ into sleeve 10′ and pivoting base member 15′ until stop 16a engages one of the two edges of notch 10″ so as to register base member 15′ in substantial alignment with frame 10, then screwing locknut 16c onto threads 16b until insert 16d engages threads 16b, thereby locking the base member into substantial alignment with the frame. Then, during setup of the fencing system, locknut 16c is loosened, base member 15′ is pivoted about 90° until stop 16a engages the other of the two edges of notch 10″ so as to orient base member 15′ at about 90° relative to frame 10, whereupon locknut 16c is retightened until insert 16d engages threads 16b, thereby locking the base member into that position.

The terms and expressions which have been employed in the foregoing specification are used therein as terms of description and not of limitation, and there is no intention in the use of such terms and expressions of excluding equivalents of the features shown and described or portions thereof, it being recognized that the scope of the invention is defined and limited only by the claims which follow.





 
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