Title:
PICTURE HANGING DEVICE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device for hanging a picture and adjusting its height relative to a wall is provided. The device comprises a back plate member that attaches to the wall, a riser member that slides relative to the back plate member, and an eccentric disc operably engaging the riser member to raise or lower the picture. The picture itself is hung from a hook extending outward from the riser member.



Inventors:
Webb, Jack P. (Mission Viejo, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/608443
Publication Date:
06/12/2008
Filing Date:
12/08/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
33/679
International Classes:
A47G1/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MARSH, STEVEN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HUFFMAN LAW GROUP P.C. (COLORADO SPRINGS, CO, US)
Claims:
I claim as my invention:

1. A device (10) for hanging a picture and adjusting its height relative to a wall, the device (10) comprising: a back plate member (12) comprising opposing vertically oriented channels (22); a riser member (14) slidably mounted within the channels (22) and comprising a top cross member (28) and a hook member (30) attached to the top cross member (28), the top cross member (28) having a lower edge (34) comprising teeth (35), the riser member (14) having a position relative to the back plate member (12); and an eccentric disc (16) having a center and a perimeter and teeth (38) disposed around at least part of the perimeter, the disc teeth (38) configured to operable engage the riser teeth (35), the disc (16) being rotatably attached to the back plate (12) at an off-center location (36); wherein disengaging the riser teeth (35) from the disc teeth (38), rotating the disc (16) and then re-engaging the riser teeth (35) with the disc teeth (38) causes the riser member position to be raised or lowered with respect to the back plate member (12).

2. The device 10 of claim 1 wherein the hook member (30) extends forward the channels (22) in a direction away from the wall.

3. The device (10) of claim 1 wherein the riser further comprises opposing side members (26) connected to each other by the top cross member (28) and further connected to each other by a bottom cross member (32), wherein the side members (26) and cross members (28, 32) define an opening large enough to accommodate the eccentric disc (16).

4. The device (10) of claim 1 wherein the eccentric disc (16) further comprises position indicators (42) evenly arranged in spaced relationship around the disc (16).

5. The device (10) of claim 1 wherein the eccentric disc (16) further comprises a slot (40) located diametrically opposite the off-center location (36).

6. The device of claim 5 wherein the eccentric disc (16) is rotatably affixed to the back plate (12) by a rivet (18) extending through an opening in the disc (16) located at the off-center location (36) and through an opening (21) in the back plate (12).

7. The device of claim 6 wherein the opening (21) in the back plate (12) is equidistant the channels (22).

8. A device (10) for hanging a picture and adjusting its height relative to a wall, the device (10) comprising: a back plate member (12) having means for securing the back plate member (12) to the wall; a riser member (14) affixed to the back plate member (12) in a manner that allows the riser to move vertically with respect to the back plate member (12), the riser member (14) having means for mounting a picture thereon; and an eccentric disc (16) having an off-center location (36) and rotatably attached to the back plate member (12) at the off-center location (36), the disc (16) configured to operable engage the riser member (14) such that rotating the disc (16) causes the riser member (14) to assume a raised or lowered position with respect to the back plate member (12).

9. The device (10) of claim 8 wherein the back plate member (12) has two vertically oriented channels (22) which capture the riser member (14) and within which the riser member (14) can slide vertically.

10. A method for adjusting the vertical height of a picture comprising the steps of: providing a device (10) comprising back plate member (12) having opposing vertically oriented channels (22), the back plate member (12) being attached to a wall, a riser member (14) slidably mounted within the channels (22) and having a hook member (30) on which a picture is hung, and an eccentric disc (16) rotatably attached to the back plate (12) at an off-center location (36) and operably engaging the riser member (14); removing the picture from the hook member (30); disengaging the riser member (14) from the eccentric disc (16); rotating the disc (16); re-engaging the riser member (14) with the disc (16); and re-hanging the picture on the hook member (30).

11. The method of claim 10 wherein the disc member (16) has a perimeter and teeth (38) located around the perimeter which operable engage teeth (35) located on the riser member (14).

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

This patent relates to a device for hanging pictures and the like. More particularly, this patent relates to a device for hanging a picture and adjusting its height relative to a wall.

2. Description of the Related Art

Numerous devices are known in the art for hanging a picture on a wall. While some of these devices also enable a user to level the picture, none enable the user to adjust the overall picture height.

Thus it is an object of the present invention to provide a device that allows for easy vertical adjustment of pictures. Further and additional objects will appear from the description, accompanying drawings, and appended claims.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a device for hanging a picture and adjusting its height relative to a wall. The device comprises a back plate member that attaches to a wall, a riser member that slides relative to the back plate member, and an eccentric disc affixed to the back plate member that operably engages the riser member to raise or lower the riser member and thus the picture. The picture itself is hung from a hook extending outwardly from the riser member.

In one embodiment the back plate is generally rectangular and comprises opposing C-shaped vertically oriented channels within which the riser can slide. The back plate member can be affixed to the wall by nails, screws, adhesive or other suitable means of attachment.

The riser member comprises a top cross member, opposing side members connected by the top cross member, and a bottom cross member. The side members and cross members define a rectangular opening large enough to accommodate the eccentric disc. The top cross member has a lower edge having gear-like teeth that engage similar teeth on the eccentric disc.

Preferably the eccentric disc is circular and has a center and a perimeter and teeth disposed around at least part of the perimeter. The teeth actionably engaging the riser teeth when the riser is at the desired position resting on the eccentric disc. The disc is rotatably attached to the back plate at an off-center location (defined by a rivet hole) such that rotating the disc (while the riser is temporarily disengaged) causes a different tooth (on the perimeter of the disc) to present itself to the riser teeth and thus (when the riser is returned to its loaded position) the riser assumes a raised or lowered height.

The eccentric disc may include position indicators evenly arranged in spaced relationship around the disc to facilitate adjustments to the height settings by visual reference to the riser teeth. The eccentric disc may also comprise a slot located diametrically opposite the rivet hole along a diametric line to facilitate adjustment of the riser.

Preferably the hook member extends forward the channels in a direction away from the wall to exert both downward and lateral forces on the riser, thereby stabilizing the riser in a fixed vertical position and keeping the disc from rotating to a different height adjustment when a picture or other load is hung from the hook.

THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a picture hanging device according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the picture hanging device of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3a is a front elevational view of the picture hanging device of FIG. 1 shown with the riser in an intermediate position.

FIG. 3b is a front elevational view of the picture hanging device of FIG. 1 shown with the riser in an elevated position.

FIG. 3c is a front elevational view of the picture hanging device of FIG. 1 shown with the riser in a lowered position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

While this invention may be embodied in many forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail one or more embodiments with the understanding that this disclosure is to be considered an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the invention to the illustrated embodiments.

Turning to the drawings, there is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 one embodiment of the present invention, a device for hanging and changing the vertical height (elevation) of a picture or other article. In its general form, the picture hanging device 10 comprises a back plate 12, a slide or riser 14, an eccentrically mounted disc 16 and a rivet 18.

The back plate 12 is generally rectangular and comprises a substantially flat back panel 20 having two opposing C-shaped channels 22 within which the riser 14 slides and an opening 21 (FIG. 2) located intermediate and preferably equidistant from the channels 22. Additional laterally spaced openings 24 disposed in the back panel 20 accommodate nails, screws (not shown) or other means for attaching the picture hanging device 10 to a wall. The C-shaped channels 22 are formed by edge portions of the back plate 20, short side walls that extend outwardly (away from the wall) and at right angles from the back plate 20, and short top walls that extend inwardly (towards each other) and at right angles from the side walls.

The riser 14 comprises opposing side members 26 connected by a horizontal top cross member 28 and a bottom cross member 32. A hook member 30 extends upward from the top cross member 28 and slightly outward from the wall when the device 10 is installed. The horizontal lower edge 34 of the top cross member 28 comprises teeth or serrations 35, the function of which is described below. The side members 26 and cross members 28, 32 define a rectangular opening large enough to accommodate the eccentric disc 16. The vertical height of that opening must be greater than the diameter of the eccentric disc 16 so that the riser 14 can be temporarily lifted from the disc 16 to enable the disc 16 to be rotated.

The eccentric disc 16 is so called because it is rotatably attached to the back plate 12 at an off-center location defined by rivet hole 36 (FIG. 2), thereby causing the disc 16 to rotate in an eccentric manner with respect to the back plate 12. The disc 16 is circular and comprises gear-like teeth 38 disposed about its perimeter. When the device 10 is assembled, the disc teeth 38 mesh with the serrations 35 along the lower edge 34 of the top cross member 28 of the riser 14.

To assemble the device 10, the riser side members 26 are slid within the opposing channels 22 of the back plate 12 until the opening 21 in the back plate 12 appears within the rectangular opening defined by the riser side members 26 and cross members 28, 32. The eccentric disc 16 is then secured to the back plate 12 by a rivet 18 or other suitable attachment means passing through the off-center opening 36 in the disc 16 and the opening 21 in the back plate 12. The riser 14 is then slid further downward until the disc teeth 38 operably engage the riser teeth 35. Preferably the riser 14 engages the eccentric disc 16 when the disc is in the intermediate position shown in FIG. 3a so that the riser 14 can be adjusted up or down as will now be explained.

The invention works in the following manner. The picture hanging device 10 is secured to a wall, preferably with two nails, and a picture (not shown) hung from the hook member 30 while the riser 14 is in the intermediate position. At this point the picture should be hung at a height close to but not necessarily the same as its desired final height. Assuming a height adjustment is needed, the picture is then removed from hook member 30 so a height adjustment can be made.

Picture height adjustment either up or down are made in the following three step manner. First, the riser 14 is lifted (disengaged) from the eccentric disc 16. Next, the eccentric disc 16 is rotated clockwise or counterclockwise as needed to present different teeth 38 on the disc 16 to engage the riser teeth 35. Finally, the riser 14 is lowered back down to its loaded position wherein the riser teeth 35 once again engage the disc teeth 38 and the picture once again hung from the hook member 30. The disc 16 may be rotated by engaging a flat screwdriver or similar tool in the slot 40 located diametrically opposite the rivet 18 and rotating the disc 16 either clockwise or counterclockwise.

FIG. 3a shows the device 10 with the riser 14 located in the intermediate position. In the intermediate position the median line (defined as a diametric line intersecting both the center point and the pivot point 18 of the disc 16 is horizontal. From the position shown in FIG. 3a, rotating the disc 16 clockwise will cause the riser 14 to elevate and rotating the disc 16 counterclockwise will cause the riser 14 to lower.

FIG. 3b shows the riser in its highest position, one in which the rivet 18 (and thus the rotational point of the eccentric disk 16) is located directly below the disc's center point. Any rotation of the eccentric disc 16 from the position shown in FIG. 3b, either clockwise or counterclockwise, will cause the riser 14 to lower.

Rotating the disc 16 counterclockwise from the position of FIG. 3a will cause the riser to move downward. FIG. 3c shows the riser in its lowest position, one in which the rivet 18 is located directly above the disc's center point. Any rotation of the eccentric disc 16 from the position shown in FIG. 3c, either clockwise or counterclockwise, will cause the riser 14 to elevate.

In the embodiment shown in the figures there are ninety teeth 38 located on the perimeter of the disc 16 spaced at four degree intervals. This configuration allows for forty-five discrete height settings on the counterclockwise side of the median line and forty-five discrete height settings on the clockwise side of the median line. The total travel distance of the riser 14 from the topmost (FIG. 3b) to the bottommost (FIG. 3a) positions is a function of the dimensions of the picture hanging device 10, particularly the diameter of the eccentric disc 16.

It should be understood that the disc 16 can be made with any suitable number of teeth 38. For example, a disc 16 made with thirty teeth instead of ninety may be more suitable for smaller versions of the picture hanging device 10. The serrations 35 along the lower edge 34 of the riser 14 can also be varied to match the dimensions of the disc teeth 38.

The “tooth to tooth” interval (i.e., the degree arc from one tooth apex to the adjacent tooth apex) is a function of the number of teeth 38. For a disc 16 having ninety teeth 38 the tooth to tooth interval is four degrees. For a disc 16 having thirty teeth 38 the arc between adjacent teeth is twelve degrees.

The rotational asymmetry of the disc 16 (i.e. the degree of offset between any pair of otherwise diametrically opposed teeth) is also a function of the number of teeth 38, and equals ¼ of the tooth to tooth interval. For a disc 16 having ninety teeth 38 and thus a tooth to tooth interval of four degrees the rotational asymmetry is one degree. For a disc 16 having thirty teeth 38 and a tooth to tooth interval of twelve degrees the rotational asymmetry is three degrees.

In the illustrated embodiment twelve position indicators or marks 42 on the proximal side of the disc 16 (away from the wall) are spaced around the disc 16 at thirty degree intervals. These marks 42 are used to facilitate adjustments to the height settings by visual reference to the riser teeth 35.

It should be understood that due to the geometry of the device 10 the disc 16 will not rotate when engaging the riser 14, even when a load (eg. a picture) is placed on the hook member 30. In addition, because the riser side members 26 are slidably engaged within the vertical channels 22 in the back plate 12, and because the hook member 30 extends upward from the top cross member 28, forward the channels 22 and away from the wall, any load placed on the hook member 30 will exert both downward and lateral forces on the riser 14, thereby stabilizing the riser 14 in a fixed vertical position and keeping the disc 16 from rotating to a different height adjustment.

Other modifications and alternative embodiments of the invention are contemplated which do not depart from the scope of the invention as defined by the foregoing teachings and appended claims. It is intended that the claims cover all such modifications that fall within their scope.





 
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