Title:
Drywall edge clip
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A drywall or sheet rock edge clip device that can hold joints of drywall together at the apex of vaulted ceilings or at any other drywall seam at any angle. The device can include tabs and a head or cross member coupled by a stem that fits through the seam or joint and pulls and holds it together. A wire-tie version of the invention can have serrations along the stem and pull up and tighten like a wire-tie. The unused tail section can be broken off by bending it from side to side.



Inventors:
Wambaugh, Douglass (Bend, OR, US)
Smythe, Timothy (Bend, OR, US)
Lorenzen, Michael (Bend, OR, US)
Application Number:
12/006095
Publication Date:
06/26/2008
Filing Date:
12/28/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/745.21
International Classes:
E04G17/02; E04B1/38
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
QUAST, ELIZABETH A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Clifford Kraft (Naperville, IL, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A single piece drywall edge clip that holds drywall edge joints together comprising: an elongated top member with an integral stem and at least two bottom tabs; said stem with a proximal and distal end attached to said top member at said proximal end, said stem approximately perpendicular to said top member; said bottom tabs attached to the distal end of said stem, said tabs being of approximately equal length extending outward from said stem, said tabs being elastic so that said tabs can take any angle in final configuration between being parallel to said top member to being perpendicular to said top member; and wherein said single piece drywall edge clip can be inserted between edges of two pieces of sheetrock holding said pieces of sheetrock together after being inserted from one side of said pieces of sheetrock.

2. The single piece drywall clip of claim 1 wherein said top member, said stem and said tabs are plastic.

3. The single piece drywall clip of claim 1 wherein at least one of said top member, said stem or said tabs is plastic.

4. The single piece drywall clip of claim 1 wherein said stem contains a plurality of serrations.

5. The single piece drywall clip of claim 1 wherein at least one of said top member, said stem or said tabs is metal.

6. A single piece drywall edge clip that holds drywall edge joints together comprising: an elongated top member; a stem with a proximal and distal end attached to said top member at said proximal end, said stem approximately perpendicular to said top member, a pair of tabs attached to the distal end of said stem, said tabs being of approximately equal length and extending outward from said stem, said tabs forming a hinge between them so that said tabs can take any angle in final configuration between being parallel to said top member to being perpendicular to said top member.

7. The single piece drywall clip of claim 6 wherein said top member, said stem and said tabs are plastic.

8. The single piece drywall clip of claim 6 wherein at least one of said top member, said stem or said tabs is plastic.

9. The single piece drywall clip of claim 6 wherein said top member is trapezoidal.

10. The single piece drywall clip of claim 6 wherein at least one of said top member, said stem or said tabs is metal.

11. A method of holding unscrewed drywall sheets in an edge joint comprising the steps of: butting said sheets together at a desired angle to form said joint; inserting a single piece edge clip device into said joint between said sheets, said edge clip device holding said sheets together in said joint, said edge clip device comprising: an elongated top member; a stem with a proximal and distal end attached to said top member at said proximal end, said stem approximately perpendicular to said top member; a pair of tabs attached to the distal end of said stem, said tabs being of approximately equal length extending outward from said stem and forming a hinge between them so that said tabs can take any angle in final configuration between being parallel to said top member to being perpendicular to said top member; and wherein said single edge clip device can be inserted between edges of two pieces of sheetrock holding said pieces of sheetrock together after being inserted from one side of said pieces of sheetrock.

12. The method of claim 11 wherein said top member, said stem and said tabs are plastic.

13. The method of claim 11 wherein at least one of said top member, said stem or said tabs is plastic.

14. The method of claim 11 wherein said stem contains a plurality of serrations.

15. The method of claim 11 wherein at least one of said top member, said stem or said tabs is metal.

Description:

This is a continuation of application Ser. No. 11/280,948 filed Nov. 16, 2005. That application was related to and claimed priority to U.S. Provisional Patent application No. 60/629,024 filed Nov. 18, 2004. Application Ser. Nos. 11/280,948 and 60/629,024 are hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to the field of drywall construction and installation and more particularly to an edge clip to capture and hold adjoining edges of sheet rock or drywall.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Non-Horizontal, or vaulted, ceilings are common in all construction. Also, building framing many times settles with time after construction due to shrinkage or expansion of framing materials or their foundations, particularly in wood framed structures. It is common to hang sheet rock and to tape the joints before a frame has settled. This causes the taped joints between adjoining sheets of sheet rock to be damaged (pop, delaminate, etc.). This damage has to be fixed. This is particularly evident and common at the apex of vaulted or non-horizontal ceilings. When a frame settles, the angle between sheets can change and/or the sheets can move relative to one another.

It would be advantageous to have a clip the would capture and hold adjoining edges of sheet rock or drywall.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a drywall edge clip that holds drywall edge joints together that has an elongated top member, a stem attached to the top member at a proximal end, the stem being approximately perpendicular to the top member, and a pair of tabs attached to a distal end of the stem, the tabs being of approximately equal length having a hinge between them so that they can take any angle between being parallel to the top member to being perpendicular to it. The device can be metal or plastic or any other rigid or semi-rigid material. An embodiment of the invention can have serrations along the length of the stem to act as a wire-tie, where the tabs slide along the serrated stem with a locking device that only allows the tabs to move toward the top member (being tightened). In this embodiment, the unused tail of the stem can be broken off using a side to side movement. This breaking process can be facilitated by having additional serrations on the side of the stem.

DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIGS. 1A, 1B and 1C show an embodiment of the edge clip of the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows embodiments of the present invention installed in a vaulted ceiling.

FIG. 3 shows embodiments of the present invention installed in a conventional vertical wall seam.

FIG. 4A shows a first enlarged edge view of a typical vaulted ceiling.

FIG. 4B shows a second enlarged view of a typical vaulted ceiling.

FIGS. 5A-5C show an alternative embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 6A-6C show a wire-tie embodiment of the present invention.

Several drawings and illustrations have been presented to aid in the understanding of the present invention. The scope of present invention is not limited to what is shown in the figures.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is related to a specially designed clip to capture and hold adjoining edges of sheet rock (drywall), particularly at the apex, or top joint of a vaulted ceiling. The adjoining sheets of sheet rock may not be screwed to the frame along the edge of each adjoining sheet that form the joint between sheets at the apex of the vaulted, or angled, ceiling. The clips of the present invention can be put in place to capture adjoining edges of each sheet and hold them relative to one another. With the edge of the sheet at the apex of the ceiling free of the frame and joined to the adjacent sheet at the apex joint, the two adjoining edges can be held together relative to one another and stay together even if frame settling occurs. Also, because the edges are normally held firmly together at the apex they will not be able to droop or sag. Being mutually attached the edges will mutually support each other in a manner similar to how an arch supports itself. The remainder of the sheet can be attached to the building frame as is currently specified. The numbers of nails or screws and their location will need to be determined to completely support the sheet while allowing the apex joint to move free of the building frame.

FIG. 1A shows a front view of a first embodiment of the edge clip of the present invention. Flexible tabs 1 can be molded plastic, spring steel, or other flexible material that can be deflected without permanent deformation, an elastic material with memory. In this case the flexible tabs 1 can be temporarily bent by hand in the direction of the arrows and will be inclined to return to their original shape. The stem 2 connects the flexible tabs 1 to the cross member 3.

The tabs 1 can angle downward and outward and can bend on a hinge 10 that allows insertion between drywall sheets. The hinge 20 is optional; the present invention can be made without any hinge. After insertion, the stem 2 runs through the seam with the back 3 pulling against the tabs 1 to hold the seem together. The optional hinge 10 can be made in the tabs by placing a slot or groove between the tabs.

FIG. 1B shows a side view of the edge clip of FIG. 1A as projected from the right side of FIG. 1A. Again the flexible tabs 1, the stem 2 and the cross member 3 can be seen.

FIG. 1C shows a isometric view of the edge clip of FIG. 1A. In this view you can see the flexible tabs 1 are shown deflected as they might be during a normal installation. Also shown are the stem 2 and the cross member 3.

FIG. 2 shows a typical room vaulted ceiling arrangement viewed from above the ceiling as though the roof was removed and one could see the top side of a room ceiling. The rafters 4 are shown coming to an apex forming the raised (or vaulted) ceiling. Sheet rock 5 is shown as it would normally be screwed to the rafters 4. At the apex 6 of the ceiling, where the two edges of the sheet rock 5 meet, one can see that the cross member 3 of the edge clips as they would be installed.

FIG. 3 shows a typical room vaulted ceiling arrangement viewed from inside of the room looking up at the ceiling. No walls are shown in this view and therefore one can still see the rafters 4. The sheet rock 5 can be seen as it would normally be screwed to the rafters 4. The screws 7 can be seen in a typical pattern used to attach the sheet rock 5 to the rafters 4 except that the screws 7 have not been installed at the apex 6 of the ceiling where the sheet rock 5 edges meet. This is done so as the wood the rafters 4 shrinks or settles the two edges of the sheet rock 5 that meet at the apex 6 will be held together relative to one another by the edge clip cross member 3, not shown, and the edge clip flexible tabs 1, which can be seen in this view. This keeps the drywall corner finishing material from delaminating, peeling or otherwise loosing its bond to the drywall.

FIG. 4A shows a edge on view of a typical vaulted ceiling arrangement blown up so the details of how the edge clip flexible tabs 1, stem 2, and cross member 3 capture the edge of the sheet rock 5 at the apex 6 of the ceiling. The rafters 4 can also be seen. One of the rafters 4 has been hidden so the complete edge clip can be seen. The flexible tabs 1 normally try to return to their original shape and so push against the sheet rock 5 which causes the sheet rock 5 to be captured between the flexible tabs 1 and the cross member 3.

FIG. 4B shows a edge on view of a typical vaulted ceiling arrangement blown up so the details of how the edge clip flexible tabs 1, stem 2, and cross member 3 hold the matching edges of the sheet rock 5 at the apex 6 after the wood rafters 4 have shrunk or settled. As the wood rafters 4 shrink the angle formed at the apex 6 increases causing the edges of the sheet rock 5 at the apex 6 to move away from one another. This typically causes the finishing tape to delaminate or peel away from the sheet rock 5 since it is typically screwed to the rafters 4. Using the edge clip rather than screws to secure the sheet rock 5 edge at the apex 6 of the rafters 4 allows the sheet rock 5 to flex away from the rafter 4. This view shows the drywall screws 7 set back from the apex 6 an appropriate distance to allow the sheet rock 5 to flex. This keeps the finished corner from intact and structurally sound even if after the rafters 4 shrink or settle.

FIGS. 5A-5C show an embodiment of the present invention similar to the edge clip shown in FIG. 1A-1C except it may be made of metal components. Features and usage of this embodiment are similar to those of previously described embodiments.

FIGS. 6A-6C show a zip-tie embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, the stem of the clip can be serrated in the same manner as a plastic cable tie. Tabs 1 can slide along the stem 2 of the device to pull the edges of the sheet rock together. The edge clip of this embodiment can be zipped tight since the serrations do not allow motion of the tabs 1 in a direction that would loosen the seam. When the desired tightness is reached, the remaining tail of the clip can be broken off by moving it in the direction of the arrows 9 in FIG. 6A. The breaking off of the tail can be facilitated by having addition serrations on the side of the stem. This process is further described in our related U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/070,825 filed Mar. 1, 2005. Application Ser. No. 11/070,825 is hereby incorporated by reference.

Several descriptions and illustrations have been provided to better aid in the understanding of the present invention. One skilled in the art will understand that many changes and variations are possible without departing from the spirit of the invention. Each of these changes and variations is within the scope of the present invention.





 
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