Title:
Adjustable Chimney Brace
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adjustable chimney brace comprising a pair of legs, each leg having a substantially L-shaped body with an upper and lower portion, each lower portion having a port for receiving fasteners therethrough; and a pair of bridging members each having a substantially L-shaped body with two sections, wherein the first section of each bridging member is cooperatively connected together; and each second section is cooperatively connected to an upper portion of a leg, forming a band substantially u-shaped.



Inventors:
Traina, Richard J. (Dix Hills, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/470774
Publication Date:
04/03/2008
Filing Date:
09/07/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24C15/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
STERLING, AMY JO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LILLIE LAW, LLC (RONKONKOMA, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An adjustable chimney brace comprising: a pair of legs, each leg having a substantially L-shaped body with an upper and lower portion, each lower portion having a port for receiving fasteners therethrough; and a pair of bridging members each having a substantially L-shaped body with two sections, wherein the first section of each bridging member is cooperatively connected together; and each second section is cooperatively connected to an upper portion of a leg, forming a band substantially u-shaped.

2. An adjustable chimney brace as in claim 1, wherein each connection includes a pressure clamp.

3. An adjustable chimney brace as in claim 2, wherein said clamp includes thumb or allen type screw.

4. An adjustable chimney brace as in claim 1, wherein each leg maintains a thickness LT and a height LH which are substantially uniform.

5. An adjustable chimney brace as in claim 4, wherein each leg maintains a height LH in the range of about one-inch (1″) to about five inches (5″).

6. An adjustable chimney brace as in claim 1, wherein the length of the lower portion is less than or equal to the length of the upper portion.

7. An adjustable chimney brace as in claim 1, wherein the length of each first section is greater than or equal to the length of said second section.

8. An adjustable chimney brace as in claim 1, wherein the body of each bridging member maintains a thickness MT and height MH which are both substantially uniform.

9. An adjustable chimney brace as in claim 8, wherein the height MH is in the range about one-inch (1″) to about five inches (5″).

10. An adjustable chimney brace as in claim 8, wherein the height MH is about two-inches (2″).

11. An adjustable chimney brace comprising: a longitudinal body having a plurality of elements having a thickness and a height, wherein and being cooperatively connected together forming a band that is substantially u-shaped, a first element having a port near a distal end, a second element having a port near a distal end, a third element having a first end cooperatively connected to the proximal end of said first element, a fourth element having a first end cooperatively connected to the proximal end of said second element, wherein the second ends of said third and fourth elements are cooperatively connected together via a pressure device.

12. An adjustable chimney brace as in claim 11, wherein said clamp includes thumb or allen type screw.

13. An adjustable chimney brace as in claim 11, wherein said first and second elements having a first section greater than or equal to the length of a second section.

14. An adjustable chimney brace as in claim 11, wherein the body of each element maintains a thickness and height which are both substantially uniform.

15. An adjustable chimney brace as in claim 11, wherein the height is in the range about one-inch (1″) to about five inches (5″).

16. An adjustable chimney brace as in claim 11, wherein the height is about two-inches (2″).

17. An adjustable chimney brace as in claim 11, wherein the thickness is about thickness is about three-thirty-seconds of an inch ( 3/32″)+/−two-thirty-seconds of an inch ( 2/32″).

18. An adjustable chimney brace as in claim 11, which is fabricated from 13 gauge metal.

19. An adjustable chimney brace as in claim 11, which is fabricated from 13 gauge steel.

20. An adjustable chimney brace as in claim 11, which further includes the characteristic of being at least oxidation resistant.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to an adjustable chimney brace. More particularly, the invention relates to a device that may be affixed to either the building structure and/or an existing chimney to further stabilize and/or correct the relationship therebetween.

Chimneys have been around for centuries and have incorporated a plethora of materials during fabrication while channeling by design, the emissions of fuels passing therethrough during operation. Moreover, the cross-sectional shape of chimneys is typically square or rectangular when made from masonry materials, although more currently, shapes now include circular, elliptical amongst others when fabricated from non-masonry materials. Nonetheless, over the years, each chimney ages and typically settles, often in a different relationship from the existing structure from when it was originally installed for a variety of reasons.

In a first scenario, the building itself settles over time, thereby changing its orientation however subtle or obvious it may be. In a second scenario, the chimney settles, thereby altering its orientation from when it was first installed/fabricated. In a third scenario, and the most common case, is a combination of the first two scenarios, thereby exacerbating the situation. In all cases, particularly of a chimney primarily composed of masonry materials, a gap is created between the chimney and the building structure, sometimes called falling away or pulling off of the structure; likewise, the chimney may appear to tilt parallel to the surface of the building structure, but not necessarily creating a gap therebetween, the relationship is changed thus warranting action to further stabilize and/or correct the relationship between the building structure and the chimney; whether for safety issues, for functionality of the chimney, or both.

The relationship between the chimney and the building is dynamic based on a variety of reasons, typically, geography, namely, the type of ground the structures are built on, and the location thereof. For example, the ground for a building in Manhattan has different composition then the ground for a building in San Francisco. Moreover, it is more probable that the latter will be exposed to an earthquake than the former. Thus, the course of actions that may be implemented can be classified into being proactive or being reactive to an event or series of events.

Historically, an array of devices (U.S. Pat. No. 726,160 to Harden; and U.S. Pat. No 5,970,668 to Arthurs) attempt to resolve the former issue of being proactive attempting to earthquake proof a chimney, however, they appear quite complex, elaborate, and comprise many pieces. Additionally, such elaborate devices, although arguably necessary in some geographical area, would arguably be unnecessary in others. Nonetheless, traditionally, a user would normally frequent a customer call requesting an integrity check of a chimney, thereby requiring the professional to inspect, measure, and report the same to a fabricator. Then after fabrication, the professional would have to return to the jobsite, to install, hopefully, a properly fitted device, although there were are guarantees that the measurements originally taken were accurate, or whether the fabricator received or interpreted the same correctly, or whether the installer picked up the correct pieces/parts for the order. In light thereof, an advantage of this invention is to provide an aftermarket chimney brace, in an array of sizes that is adjustable for preexisting chimneys, thereby enabling the user to inspect, measure, and remedy the situation in one visit, by merely stocking such devices in his vehicle when answering the original call.

It is a further advantage of the invention to provide a device which is of relatively noncomplex construction, inexpensive to manufacture, and easy to use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An adjustable chimney brace comprising a pair of legs, each leg having a substantially L-shaped body with an upper and lower portion, each lower portion having a port for receiving fasteners therethrough; and a pair of bridging members each having a substantially L-shaped body with two sections, wherein the first section of each bridging member is cooperatively connected together; and each second section is cooperatively connected to an upper portion of a leg, forming a brace substantially u-shaped.

An adjustable chimney brace comprising a longitudinal body having a plurality of elements cooperatively connected together forming a band that is substantially u-shaped, a first element having a port near a distal end, a second having a port near a distal end, a third having a first end cooperatively connected to the proximal end of said first element, a fourth having a first end cooperatively connected to the proximal end of said second element, wherein the second ends of said third and fourth elements are cooperatively connected together via a pressure device.

Other objectives, advantages, and novel features of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The following drawings, in which like reference characters indicate like parts, are provided for illustration of the invention and are not intended to limit the invention in any manner whatsoever.

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2A illustrates a front view of a pressure device;

FIG. 2B illustrates a front view of an alternative pressure device; and

FIG. 3 illustrates an exploded perspective view of an alternative preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The following descriptions of the preferred embodiments are presented to illustrate the present invention and are not to be construed to limit the claims in any manner whatsoever.

Referring now to the FIGS. 1 to 3, wherein like reference numerals identify similar structural elements of the device set forth herein, is illustrated by FIG. 1, an adjustable chimney brace 10 comprising a pair of legs 20, each leg 20 having a substantially L-shaped body with an upper and lower portion 22, 24 wherein the length of the lower portion 24 is less than or equal to the length of the upper portion 22, such that the body of each leg 20 further maintains a thickness LT and height LH which are both substantially uniform. In a preferred embodiment, the height LH is about two-inches (2″) although LH maybe in the range about one-inch (1″) to about five inches (5″), wherein the thickness LT is about three-thirty-seconds of an inch ( 3/32″)+/−two-thirty-seconds of an inch ( 2/32″) for example 13 gauge metal, although steel is preferred having an oxidation resistance property such as a coating or plating. Moreover, it is envisioned that other materials maybe incorporated that are similar in strength and that are oxidation resistant or proof.

Each lower portion 24 having a port 26 for receiving fasteners therethrough. For example, the type of fastener used in the field is dependent on the material used for the building structure, for example, a lag screw with a lock washer plus a standard washer is a viable and preferred option in a typical residential setting. Although, it is envisioned that other types of fasteners may be incorporated herewith.

Said device 10 further includes a pair of bridging members 40 each having a substantially L-shaped body with two sections 42, 44 wherein the length of the first section 42 is greater than or equal to the length of the second section 44, such that the body of each member 40 further maintains a thickness MT and height MH which are both substantially uniform. In a preferred embodiment, the height MH is about two-inches (2″) although MH maybe in the range about one-inch (1″) to about five inches (5″), wherein the thickness MT is about three-thirty-seconds of an inch ( 3/32″)+/−two-thirty-seconds of an inch ( 2/32″) for example 13 gauge metal, although steel is preferred having an oxidation resistance property such as a coating or plating. Moreover, it is envisioned that other materials maybe incorporated that are similar in strength and that are oxidation resistant or proof. The first section 42 of each bridging member 40 is cooperatively connected together C1, whereas each second section 44 is cooperatively connected C2, C3 to an upper portion 22 of a leg 20, wherein a band is formed that is substantially u-shaped.

In a preferred embodiment, each connection C1, C2, C3 includes at least one pressure clamp 60, wherein said clamp 60 comprises a body 62 having a opening therein 64 for part of a fastener 66 to pass therethrough. The body of the clamp 60 having a shape that wraps substantially about the body of a leg 20, a member 40, or any combination thereof (e.g., 20,20; 20,40; and/or 40,40). The clamp 60 is configured and dimensioned to slide longitudinally along the leg 20 or member 40, when the fastener 66 is loose, unlike when the fastener 66 is tightened. In practice, it is preferred to have a clamp 60 that need not use special tools to adjust, thus it is preferred for the clamp 60 to be tightened via a thumb or allen type screw as exhibited in FIGS. 2A and 2B (see also the McMaster-Carr® catalog and www.mcmaster.com for thumb screw). Moreover, it is preferred that about 25 lbf-inch of torque be used +/−5 lbf-inch. Although it is envisioned that other types of fasteners may be used requiring tools.

An alternative embodiment is illustrated in FIG. 3, wherein an adjustable chimney brace 110 is disclosed addressing the issue, inter alia, of a chimney wherein the chimney is positioned adjacent and flush to a first wall of the building (not shown), but parallel and flush to a second wall of the building that intersects the first wall (not shown). In this scenario, the brace 110 comprises a longitudinal body having a plurality of elements E1, E2, E3, E4 cooperatively connected together C1, C2, C3 forming a band that is substantially u-shaped. Said brace 110 having a first element E1 with a port 126 near a distal end 128, a second element E2 having a port 126 near a distal end 128, a third element E3 having a first end 130 cooperatively connected C3 to the proximal end 132 of said first element E1, a fourth element E4 having a first end 130 cooperatively connected C4 to the proximal end 132 of said second element E2, wherein the second ends 134 of said third and fourth elements E3, E4 are cooperatively connected C1 together via a pressure device 160.

In a preferred embodiment, each connection C1, C2, C3 includes at least one pressure clamp 160, wherein said clamp 160 comprises a body 162 having a opening therein 164 for part of a fastener 166 to pass therethrough. The body of the clamp 160 having a shape that wraps substantially about the body an element E1, E2, E3, E4. The clamp 160 is configured and dimensioned to slide longitudinally along the element E1, E2, E3, E4, when the fastener 166 is loose, unlike when the fastener 166 is tightened. In practice, it is preferred to have a clamp 160 that need not use special tools to adjust, thus it is preferred for the clamp 160 to be tightened via a thumb or allen type screw as exhibited in FIGS. 2A and 2B (see also the McMaster-Carr® catalog and www.mcmaster.com for thumb screw). Moreover, it is preferred that about 25 lbf-inch of torque be used +/−5 lbf-inch. Although it is envisioned that other types of fasteners may be used requiring tools.

In a further embodiment (not shown) each height of each leg, member, and element is non-uniform. Particularly, the height of the lower portion of each leg may be greater than the upper portion wherein the height of each upper portion is equal to the height of the each second section, and wherein the height of each first section are the same, but different or the same as the height of the second section. Moreover, the height of intersection between the first and section sections is greater than or equal to the height of the first and section sections themselves, this would be to reduce materials and maximize surface area in contact with the corners of the chimney.

Moreover, all of the above referenced patents; patent applications and publications are hereby incorporated by reference. Many variations of the present invention will suggest themselves to those of ordinary skill in the art in light of the above detailed description. All such obvious modifications are within the full-intended spirit and scope of the claims of the present application.