Title:
WOODEN ONE-PIECE FENCE POST CAP
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A one piece fence post cap is disclosed. The fence post cap includes a roof wall and a plurality of side walls formed from a single piece of wood. The side walls are defined by a recess formed in the piece of wood. The recess is shaped to closely receive a top end of a fence post. The recess can be formed by machining the recess into the piece of wood. The fence post cap can be press-fit, nailed, screwed, adhesively, or otherwise secured to the top end of the fence post. The recess can be suitably shaped to receive fence posts of various shapes.



Inventors:
Dimartino, George A. (Hawthorne Woods, IL, US)
Application Number:
12/022766
Publication Date:
10/30/2008
Filing Date:
01/30/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
144/363, 256/19
International Classes:
E04H17/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FERGUSON, MICHAEL P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KATTEN MUCHIN ROSENMAN LLP (WASHINGTON, DC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A fence post cap comprising, a roof wall and a plurality of side walls, wherein said roof wall said side walls are formed from a single piece of wood, wherein said side walls are defined by recess formed in said piece of wood, and wherein said recess closely receives a top end of a fence post.

2. The fence post cap according to claim 1, wherein said roof wall is substantially pyramidal in shape.

3. The fence post cap according to claim 1, wherein said single piece of wood comprises kiln dried teak.

4. The fence post cap according to claim 1, wherein said recess if formed by machining said recess into said piece of wood.

5. The fence post cap according to claim 4, wherein said machining of said recess into said piece of wood comprises routing said recess into said piece of wood.

6. The fence post cap according to claim 1, wherein said top end of said fence post is substantially square in shape and said recess is substantially square in shape.

7. The fence post cap according to claim 1, wherein said top end of said fence post is substantially rectangular in shape and said recess is substantially rectangular in shape.

8. The fence post cap according to claim 1, wherein said top end of said fence post is substantially triangular in shape and said recess is substantially triangular in shape.

9. The fence post cap according to claim 1, wherein said top end of said fence post is substantially circular in shape and said recess is substantially circular in shape.

10. A method of manufacturing a fence post cap comprising the steps of: providing a single piece of wood for forming a fence post cap, machining a recess to closely receive a top end of a fence post into a to single piece of wood, wherein said machining of said recess into said single piece of wood defines a plurality of side walls in said single piece of wood, and wherein said machining of said recess into said single piece of wood further defines a roof wall in said single piece of wood.

11. The method of manufacturing a fence post cap according to claim 10, further comprising forming a desired shape into said roof wall.

12. The method of manufacturing a fence post cap according to claim 11 wherein said desired shape comprises a substantially pyramidal shape.

13. A fence post cap comprising, a roof wall and a plurality of side walls, wherein said roof wall said side walls are formed from a single piece of synthetic wood composition, wherein said side walls are defined by recess formed in said piece of synthetic wood composition, and wherein said recess closely receives a top end of a fence post.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/898,636, filed on Jan. 30, 2007, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to post caps for post fences and other structures that use posts, and more specifically to such post caps that are made from wood.

DESCRIPTION OF THE RELATED ART

Wooden posts are used in a variety of different applications. For example, such posts are used in fences, in deck railings, and other types of barrier. In many such applications, a bottom end of the post is sunk into the ground with or without the use of concrete to reinforce the post. The remainder of the post extends vertically above the ground to support a structure mounted thereto such as cross members of a fence. A top end of the post is often times decorated with a post cap to cover up the internal grain of the wood that is visible thereat. This also reduces manufacturing time and thus costs of providing a finished top end that is visually appealing. Such post cap also helps to protect the top end of the post from damage such as from impacts or rotting from rain water trapped thereon.

Many prior art wooden post caps are made from a plurality of wooden individual pieces that are primarily stapled together for reduced production costs. However, such multiple piece post caps are prone to fall apart after several seasons of exposure to inclement weather. This occurs because of deterioration of the wood since water can freeze in the open joints between the wooden pieces forcing the pieces apart, and the staples slowly lose grip on the wood of the pieces they are holding together.

To avoid the aforementioned problems associated with multi-piece wooden post caps, many manufacturers have abandoned wood altogether in favor of molded synthetic post caps. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 7,143,556, issued to Hales, discloses a two part cap for a fence post. According to Hales, the cap has a base which is designed to fit over the end of the post and which has a locking section on each side consisting of a ramp above the top of the side which slopes downwardly to a locking edge. The base is attached to the top of the post using nails or screws that extend through a hole either in the sidewall of the base or in the tabs that project into the aperture in the center of the base. The top member has a bar on the inside of each that snaps over the locking edge on the base after sliding down the locking ramp. The top member and base are preferably formed from plastic to have sufficient flexibility to allow the locks to lock, but sufficient rigidity to hold them in the locked position.

Similarly, U.S. Pat. No. 6,994,327, issued to Steffes, discloses a cap and base assembly for a fence post. According to Steffes, the cap assembly comprises a molded upper base member, with a molded cap, preferably snapped together by internal prong-and-ear fasteners, or molded as a single piece, or as vertical halves fastened together.

Likewise, U.S. Pat. No. 6,662,515, issued to Buhrts et al., discloses a synthetic wood post cap. According to Buhrts, the post cap is comprised of a roof portion, at least one support member, and a wall portion. The roof portion is adapted to extend over a top portion of a post. The support members extend from the roof portion to rest against the top portion of the post such that the roof portion is supported. The wall portion extends from the roof portion and is adapted to fit around the outside of the post. The post cap is made by injection molding a synthetic wood composition.

Another synthetic fence post cap is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,853,167, issued to West et al. According to West, the decorative cover for posts includes a collar portion which is configured to cover attachment devices and the like to provide a more aesthetically pleasing termination for the post. A cap portion can be provided which engages the collar portion to cover the end of the post.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,419,536, issued to Bender, discloses another fence post cap. According to Bender, The fence post cap is formed from plastic materials and has a fastener support member, which resists cap deformation during application of the fastener and includes fluid sealing portion about the fastener and locating studs adjacent the perimeter sides of the cap to facilitate positive seating of the cap on the fence post. The plastic material can be molded in any desired color to match or contrast the fence color. The fastener is received within a counter bore such that the fastener head is more isolated from inadvertent contact after installation.

Unfortunately, there are several drawbacks to these and other synthetic fence post cap systems. One drawback is the nature of the synthetic materials. The synthetic material are just that, synthetic, and thus lack the appeal of natural wood products, weather and wear in a manner differently than the wood they are mounted on, and do not take paints or stains in the same manner as the wooden posts. Another drawback of the synthetic post caps is their susceptibility to break. As indicated above, these synthetic caps need to be made from materials that are strong enough to last, but flexible enough to bend and shape as fingers, tabs, clips, and the like (weak points of molded products) are snapped together. This is a very difficult object to achieve, particularly in the wide variety of elements and temperatures the fence post caps are subjected to.

Accordingly, there is a need for an improved natural wood fence post cap that does not deteriorate and fall apart after several seasons of use in inclement weather, as multi-piece wooden fence post caps do. And there is a need for an improved fence post that overcomes the drawback of synthetic fence post caps.

Therefore, it would be desirable to produce a wooden one-piece fence post cap that overcomes the durability problems of multi-piece wooden fence post caps and overcomes the drawbacks of synthetic fence post caps.

SUMMARY

In view of the deficiencies described above, it is an object of the present invention to provide a wooden one-piece fence post cap.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a fence post cap that overcomes the durability problems of multi-piece wooden fence post caps.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a fence post cap that overcomes the drawbacks of synthetic fence post caps.

In accordance with the above objectives, the present invention is a one-piece wooden fence post cap. The fence post cap includes a roof wall and a plurality of side walls formed from a single piece of wood. The side walls are defined by a recess formed in the piece of wood. The recess is shaped to closely receive a top end of a fence post. The recess can be formed by machining the recess into the piece of wood. The fence post cap can be press-fit, nailed, screwed, adhesively, or otherwise secured to the top end of the fence post. The recess can be suitably shaped to receive fence posts of various shapes.

Other features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the following drawings wherein like reference numerals represent like features.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a wooden one-piece fence post cap according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a bottom perspective view of a wooden one-piece fence post cap according to the present invention.

FIG. 3 sectional view of a wooden one-piece fence post cap according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

While this invention is susceptible of embodiments in many different forms, there is shown in the drawings and will herein be described in detail preferred embodiments of the invention with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered as an exemplification of the principles of the invention and is not intended to limit the broad aspect of the invention to the embodiments illustrated.

The present invention is a one-piece wooden fence post cap. Referring to FIGS. 1-3, the fence post cap 22 includes a roof wall 24 and a plurality of side walls 26 formed from a single piece of wood. The side walls 26 are defined by a recess 28 formed in the piece of wood. In being formed from a single piece of wood, the fence post cap 22 is sturdy and not prone to come apart after years of exposure to inclement weather. The increased durability and sturdiness stems from the fence post cap 22 of the present invention has no joints into which water can penetrate, freeze and expand. Similarly, the fence post cap 22 of the present invention has no staples or other fasteners holding pieces together that can loose their grip on pieces over time.

The recess 28 is shaped to closely receive a top end of a fence post (not shown). In various preferred embodiments, the recess 28 is formed by machining, such as by routing, the recess 28 into the piece of wood. The fence post cap 22 can be press-fit, nailed, screwed, adhesively, or otherwise secured to the top end of the fence post. Conventional wooden, plastic, or metal shims (not shown) may be used if the recess 28 of the fence post cap 22 does not fit tightly on the top of the fence post. The recess 28 can be suitably shaped to receive fence posts of various shapes, such as square, rectangular, triangular, and circular posts. The recess 28 may be shaped to receive other shaped fence posts as well.

In various preferred embodiments the roof wall 24 is substantially pyramidal in shape. One advantage of the pyramidal shape is including the prevention of rain, snow, and trash placed thereon from collecting on top of the fence post cap 22.

The single piece of wood used to form the fence post cap 22 can be any suitable wood. In various preferred embodiments, the single piece of wood is from kiln dried teak. Other weather resistant hardwoods or suitably treated soft woods may also be used. The fence post cap 22 may also be stained, coated with paint or polyurethane as desired.

In other various embodiments, the fence post cap can be formed from a single piece of synthetic wood composition.

While the specific embodiments have been illustrated and described, numerous modifications come to mind without significantly departing from the spirit of the invention, and the scope of protection is only limited by the scope of the accompanying claims.





 
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