Title:
DECORATIVE LOAD-BEARING CAPITALS FOR ARCHITECTURAL COLUMNS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Prefabricated decorative capital includes an axial recess extending partway therethrough from a lower end wall for receipt of an upper end of a prefabricated architectural column shaft. The depth of the recess is somewhat less than the length of the upper end of the column shaft above an external neck ring on the column shaft, whereby when the upper end of the column shaft is received in the recess with the uppermost end of the column shaft flush against the bottom wall of the recess, there is a slight gap between the lower end wall of the capital and the neck ring so the load acting on the capital is transferred to the uppermost end of the column shaft and not to the neck ring.



Inventors:
Burke, Edward H. (Jefferson, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/742798
Publication Date:
11/06/2008
Filing Date:
05/01/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
52/750
International Classes:
E04H12/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WENDELL, MARK R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
RENNER OTTO BOISSELLE & SKLAR, LLP (CLEVELAND, OH, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A decorative capital for architectural columns comprising a body member made of a load bearing material, the body member having upper and lower end walls, and an axial recess extending partway through the body member from the lower end wall for receipt of an upper end portion of an architectural column shaft, the recess having a bottom wall that is contacted by an uppermost end of the column shaft when the upper end portion of the column shaft is inserted into the recess for transferring loads directly from the capital to the column shaft.

2. The capital of claim 1 further comprising a coaxial bore extending through the body member from the bottom wall of the recess to the upper end wall of the body member.

3. The capital of claim 1 wherein the recess has a depth of several inches for receipt of a corresponding axial length of the upper end portion of the column shaft.

4. The capital of claim 3 wherein the recess has a depth of at least 3 inches.

5. The capital of claim 1 wherein the recess is sized for relatively close sliding receipt of the upper end portion of the architectural column shaft within the recess.

6. The capital of claim 1 wherein the body member is made of a fiber reinforced polymer composite.

7. In combination, a load bearing architectural column shaft and a load bearing decorative capital adapted to be inserted over an upper end of the architectural column shaft, the architectural column shaft having a neck ring extending radially outward from the column shaft in axial spaced relation from an uppermost end of the column shaft, and the capital comprising a body member having upper and lower end walls, and an axial recess extending partway through the body member from the lower end wall sized for receipt of the upper end of the column shaft above the neck ring, the recess having a depth somewhat less than the length of the upper end of the column shaft above the neck ring, whereby when the capital is inserted over the upper end of the column shaft with the uppermost end of the column shaft flush against a bottom wall of the recess, there is a gap between the lower end wall of the capital and the neck ring so that any load acting on the upper end wall of the capital is transferred to the uppermost end of the column shaft and not to the neck ring.

8. The combination of claim 7 wherein the recess has a depth of several inches.

9. The combination of claim 7 wherein the recess has a depth of at least 3 inches.

10. The combination of claim 7 wherein the bottom wall of the recess is substantially flat.

11. The combination of claim 7 wherein the recess is sized for relatively close sliding receipt of the upper end of the column shaft within the recess.

12. The combination of claim 7 wherein both the architectural column and the decorative capital are made of a fiber reinforced polymer composite.

13. The combination of claim 7 wherein the capital has a coaxial bore extending completely through the body member from the bottom wall of the recess to the upper end wall of the body member, the dimensions of the coaxial bore being less than interior dimensions of the uppermost end of the column shaft.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to decorative load-bearing capitals for architectural columns that do not have to be secured to the column shafts to keep the capitals in proper alignment on the column shafts.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Architectural columns prefabricated, for example, out of fiber reinforced polymers are commonly used to add style and elegance to a house or other building structure including porches, balconies, pool enclosures, decks, gazebos, courtyards and patios or the like. The advantage in using prefabricated architectural columns is that they are virtually maintenance-free and relatively light in weight, making them easy and economical to install without specialized labor or equipment. Also such columns may be tapered to make them architecturally correct, may be made in a wide range of designs, sizes and shapes including round or square, and may be used for either interior or exterior applications. Capitals of different designs and styles may also be prefabricated out of the same or similar materials as the architectural columns for use with the architectural columns to add elegance and accents to the columns.

Heretofore, before the decorative capitals could be installed on the architectural columns, the decorative columns had to be trimmed flush above the neck ring on the column shafts so the capitals could rest on top of the neck rings and allow for proper fit. If the capitals were non-load bearing, plugs had to be centered over the top of the neck ring on the column shafts and secured in place using suitable fasteners such as screws or the like, so the capitals could be positioned over the plugs and secured in place by inserting additional fasteners through pilot holes pre-drilled and countersunk through the capitals and into the plugs. The plugs were typically sized to extend approximately ⅛ inch above the capitals so that any load acting on the plugs would be transferred past the non-load bearing capitals to the column shafts.

If the capitals were load bearing, there was no need for plug extensions to transfer the load past the capitals to the column shafts. However, the load bearing capitals had to be properly sized and made virtually straight to properly fit on top of the neck ring and had to be secured in place using suitable fasteners to keep the capitals in proper alignment with the column shafts.

The capitals of the present invention are also load bearing. However, the capitals of the present invention do not have to be secured to the column shafts to keep the capitals in proper alignment on the column shafts. This has the advantage that the ends of the column shafts above the neck ring do not have to be cut off before mounting the capitals on the column shafts.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to decorative load bearing capitals that do not have to be secured to the column shafts to keep the capitals in proper alignment on the column shafts. Nor do the ends of the column shafts above the neck ring have to be cut off before mounting the capitals on the column shafts.

In accordance with one aspect of the invention, the capitals include a body member having an axial recess extending partway therethrough from a lower end wall of the body member for receipt of the upper end portion of the column shafts above the neck ring.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the recess in the capitals is sized for relatively close sliding receipt of the upper end portion of the column shafts above the neck ring for maintaining the capitals in proper alignment on the column shafts.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the recess in the capitals has a depth somewhat less than the length of the upper end portion of the column shafts above the neck ring, whereby when the capitals are inserted over the upper end portion of the column shafts and the uppermost end portion of the column shafts is flush against the bottom wall of the recess, there is a slight gap between the lower end wall of the capitals and the neck ring so the load acting on the capitals is transferred to the uppermost end of the column shafts and not to the neck ring.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the capitals may have a coaxial bore extending from the bottom wall of the recess to the upper end wall of the capitals.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the dimensions of the coaxial bore through the capitals is less than the interior dimensions of the uppermost end of the column shafts so the entire surface area of the uppermost end of the column shafts contacts the bottom wall of the recess for transferring the load acting on the capitals to the column shafts.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, the shape of the side wall of the recess in the capitals substantially corresponds to the exterior shape of the upper end portion of the column shafts, which may be round or square.

These and other advantages, features and aspects of the present invention will become apparent as the following description proceeds.

To the accomplishment of the foregoing and related ends, the invention, then, comprises the features hereinafter more fully described and particularly pointed out in the claims, the following description and the annexed drawings setting forth in detail certain illustrative embodiments of the invention, these being indicative, however, of but several of the various ways in which the principles of the invention may be employed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention may be more readily understood by reference to the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a longitudinal section through one form of load bearing decorative capital of the present invention; and

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary longitudinal section showing the load bearing decorative capital of FIG. 1 placed over the upper end portion of a prefabricated architectural column shaft.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now in detail to the drawings, wherein the same reference numbers are used to designate like parts, FIG. 1 shows one form of load bearing decorative capital 1 of the present invention which is designed to be placed over the upper end portion 2 of a prefabricated architectural column 3 as shown in FIG. 2 for transferring loads acting on the capital to the column shaft 4 as described hereafter. Such load bearing capitals may be prefabricated out of the same fiber reinforced polymers used to prefabricate the load-bearing columns, and may be of different designs and styles to add the desired elegance and accents to a home or other building structure, including porches, balconies, pool enclosures, decks, gazebos, courtyards and patios or the like. The advantage in fabricating the capitals and columns out of fiber reinforced polymers is that they are virtually maintenance free and relatively light in weight, making them easy and economical to install without specialized labor or equipment. Also the columns may be tapered to make them architecturally correct, may be made in a wide range of designs, sizes and shapes including round or square, and may be used for either interior or exterior applications.

The bottom end of the column shaft 4 (not shown) should be trimmed to make the column shaft any desired height and substantially finished to insure an even load distribution around its entire circumference. When a decorative capital is used with the column shaft, the capital height must also be taken into consideration in determining the overall height of the column shaft and capital.

Such columns may be used to support any type of beam including floor joists, laminated beams or even steel beams in commercial applications. The beams must be raised slightly to be able to insert the columns and associated capitals in place under the beams and then lowered onto the capitals.

Both the column shafts and capitals are typically made hollow in order to reduce weight and material costs. Also making them hollow has the additional advantage that they can be used to conceal wiring or other items inside the columns including downspouts as desired.

During fabrication of such architectural columns 3, a decorative neck ring 5 is typically provided on the exterior of the column shaft 4 in spaced relation from the uppermost end 6 of the column shaft as shown in FIG. 2. Heretofore, when conventional decorative capitals were used with the columns, the column shafts had to be trimmed flush above the neck ring 5 so the capitals could rest on top of the neck ring and allow for a proper fit. This necessitated that the capitals be properly sized and secured to the neck ring as by drilling pilot holes through the column shafts and into the base of the capitals and then securing the capitals in place using a toe nailing attachment. If there wasn't a strong connection between the capitals and column shafts or the capitals weren't virtually straight, they would not fit right on top of the column shafts.

If the capitals were non-load bearing, a plug extension having a length slightly greater than the height of the capitals also had to be centered over the top of the neck ring and secured in place using suitable fasteners such as screws or the like prior to placing the capitals over the plug extension and securing the capitals in place by pre-drilling and countersinking pilot holes through the capitals into the plug extensions.

The load bearing decorative capitals 1 of the present invention differ from previous known capitals in that they include an axial recess 10 extending partway through the body member 11 of the capitals from the lower end wall 12 of the body member for receipt of the upper end portion 2 of the column shafts 4 above the neck ring 5. This eliminates the need for having to trim off the entire upper end portion 2 of the column shafts above the neck ring prior to mounting the capitals on the column shafts.

Recess 10 in capitals 1 has a shape substantially corresponding to the exterior shape of the upper end portion 2 of the column shafts 4 above the neck ring, which may be of any desired shape including round or square. Also the dimension of the recess is slightly greater than the exterior dimensions of the upper end portion 2 of the column shafts above the neck ring for maintaining the capitals in proper alignment on the column shafts when placed thereover.

The depth of the recess 10 may vary depending on the length of the upper end portion 2 of the column shafts 4 above the neck ring 5 which may be as little as 3 plus inches for 6 inch diameter column shafts and 6 inches or more for larger diameter column shafts. If the length of the upper end portion of the column shafts above the neck ring is greater than 6 inches, the recess 10 may have a depth, for example, of 6 inches or more. Any excess length of the upper end 2 of the column shafts above the neck ring may be cut off so that when the uppermost end 6 of the column shafts fits flush against the flat bottom wall 15 of the recess, there is a slight gap 16 between the lower end wall 12 of the capitals and the neck ring 5, for example, ⅛ inch to ½ inch. This ensures that the load acting on the upper end wall 17 of the capitals is transferred to the uppermost end 6 of the column shafts and not to the neck ring.

The depth of the recess 10 may be as little as 3 inches. However, there should be enough overlap between the upper end 2 of the column shafts 4 and the side wall 18 of the recess in the capitals to properly locate the capitals on the upper end portion of the column shafts and still provide a slight gap 16 between the lower end wall 12 of the capitals and the neck ring 5 for the reasons previously discussed. Because of the overlap between the capitals and upper end portions of the column shafts inside the recess, there is no need to attach the capitals to the column shafts. However, the capitals should be attached to the beam or other structure supported thereby using screws inserted into predrilled and countersunk holes extending at an angle through the capitals into the structure supported thereby.

The capitals 1 of the present invention may also have a coaxial bore 19 extending from the bottom wall 15 of the recess 10 to the upper end wall 17 of the capitals as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 to further reduce the weight and material costs of the capitals, and to conceal wiring or other item inside the capitals and columns including, for example, downspouts if desired. The size of the coaxial bore 19 in the capitals should be less than the inner dimensions of the uppermost end 6 of the column shafts so the entire surface area of the uppermost end of the column shafts contacts the bottom wall 15 of the recess as shown in FIG. 2 for transferring the load acting on the capitals to the column shafts.

Although the invention has been shown and described with respect to certain embodiments, it is obvious that equivalent alterations and modifications will occur to others skilled in the art upon the reading and understanding of the specification. In particular, with regard to the various functions performed by the above-described components, the terms (including any reference to a “means”) used to describe such components are intended to correspond, unless otherwise indicated, to any component which performs the specified function of the described component (e.g., that is functionally equivalent), even though not structurally equivalent to the disclosed component which performs the function of the herein illustrated exemplary embodiments of the invention. In addition, while a particular feature of the invention may have been disclosed with respect to only one embodiment, such feature may be combined with one or more other features as may be desired and advantageous for any given or particular application.