Title:
KEEPER DEVICE FOR PERPENDICULARLY POSITIONING A TIE ROD RELATIVE TO A PANEL FORM WALL
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention is a keeper device for securely and horizontally positioning a tie rod or snap tie within a receiving through hole of a panel wall. By positioning a plurality of tie rods in a horizontal (i.e. perpendicular) relationship to a first panel wall, a second panel wall with corresponding receiving though holes may be conveniently and readily positioned into its proper working relationship: construction of bracing forms for a concrete or cement form wall assembly.



Inventors:
Schlumpf, David (Puyallup, WA, US)
Application Number:
11/624688
Publication Date:
01/01/2009
Filing Date:
01/18/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04C5/12; E04B1/38
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Primary Examiner:
TRIGGS, ANDREW J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LOOP IP (Seattle, WA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A keeper device for perpendicularly positioning a tie rod relative to a panel form wall, the tie rod being substantially cylindrical in shape and having a tie rod diameter, and the panel form wall having a plurality of circular receiving through holes, comprising: an elongated cylindrically shaped plug made of a resilient plastic material, the elongated cylindrically shaped plug having a central axis and being sized to fit snuggly into one of the circular receiving through holes of the panel form wall; an elongated cylindrically shaped cavity concentrically positioned within the elongated cylindrically shaped plug, the elongated cylindrically shaped cavity having a cavity diameter that is substantially the same as the tie rod diameter; and all elongated linear receiving slot that runs parallel to the central axes, the elongated linear receiving slot defining a slot that is slightly less in width than the tie rod diameter, thereby enabling the tie rod to be pushed through the receiving slot and into the central cavity.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/760,245 filed on Jan. 18, 2006, which application is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety for all purposes.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to cement and concrete forming tools and wall assemblies and, more particularly, to cement and concrete forming tools and devices useful for the erection and assembly of panel form walls used for cement or concrete wall construction.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

As is appreciated by those skilled in the art of building construction, concrete walls are generally formed by pouring wet concrete into preassembled panel wall forms, allowing the poured concrete to cure and sufficiently harden, and then removing the panels from the formed concrete wall. In general, a typical panel wall form consists essentially of a pair of confronting and spaced apart wood panels secured together by a plurality of horizontally positioned tie rods.

The use of tie rods and related brackets for the erection of panel wall assemblies is generally well known in the art. Exemplary in this regard are the prior art tie rods and brackets disclosed in the following U.S. patents: U.S. Pat. No. 4,234,156 to Wepf entitled “Snap-Tie:” U.S. Pat. No. 4,125,245 to Seidl entitled “Top Rail Tie Bracket for Concrete Forms;” U.S. Pat. No. 5,783,103 to Triplett entitled “Snap Tie;” U.S. Pat. No. 4,527,768 to Cohen entitled “Tie Rod with Self-Securing End;” U.S. Pat. No. 4,300,747 to Brown entitled “Flat Show Form Tie Bracket for use with Concrete Forms;” U.S. Pat. No. 3,490,913 to Johnson entitled “Metal Tie Rod for Spaced Walls of Wood Form for Concrete Wall;” U.S. Pat. No. 1,214,829 to Ross entitled “Mold for Concrete;” and U.S. Pat. No. 991,755 to Seibert entitled “Adjustable Concrete-Form.”

The tie rods and brackets disclosed in these U.S. patents, which are all expressly incorporated herein by reference in their entireties, provide for may advantages over previously known methods for the erection and assembly of panel form walls. Nonetheless, and despite the many advances in this technical field, there is still a need in the art for devices that securely and horizontally position a tie rod within a receiving hold of a panel form wall, thereby facilitating the assembly of a concrete or cement form wall assembly. The present invention fufills these needs and provides for further related advantages.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a keeper device used to perpendicular position a tie rod relative to a panel form wall. The tie rod is substantially cylindrical in shape with a diameter suited for this application of concrete or cement wall construction. The panel form wall has a plurality of circular receiving through holes. The keeper device itself is an elongated cylindrically shaped plug with a central axis made of a resilient plastic material. The size is such that it will fit snuggly into one of the circular receiving through holes of the panel form wall. The elongated cylindrically shaped cavity is concentrically positioned within the elongated cylindrically shaped plug. This elongated cylindrically shaped cavity has a diameter that is substantially the same as the tie rod diameter. The elongated linear receiving slot runs parallel to the central axes. This elongated linear receiving slot defines a slot that is slightly less in width that the tie rod diameter, thereby enabling the tie rod to be pushed through the receiving slot and into the central cavity.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings are intended to be illustrative and symbolic representations of certain exemplary embodiments of the present invention and as such they are not necessarily drawn to scale. In addition, it is to be expressly understood that the relative dimensions and distances depicted in the drawings are exemplary and may be varied in numerous ways.

FIG. 1 illustrates a side cross-sectional view of a portion a concrete panel form wall 12 wherein a conventional snap tie 10 is securely and horizontally (i.e. perpendicular) positioned relative to a plywood form wall 12. As shown the snap tie “keeper” 14 device of the present invention is snuggly positioned within a 9/16th inch receiving through hole 16, 17 of a perpendicularly positioned form wall 12, and the snap tie 10 is, in turn, snuggly positioned within an elongated central cavity 18 of the keeper device. A sliding mounted plastic cone 20 abuts the inner form wall 12′ along toe central axis of the tie rod 22. A pair of 2×4 wood blocks 24, 25 (also referred in the art as whalers) are positioned adjacent to the outer form wall 12″ and on top of and beneath the tie rod 28. FIG. 1B shows the same view with the reciprocal device in place as to completely secure the pair of form walls.

FIG. 2A illustrates a side cross-sectional view of opposing portions of a panel wall form 30, 31, wherein the wall form consists essentially of a pair of confronting a spaced apart wood panels 30, 31 not yet secured together by a horizontally positioned tie rod 32. As is seen in this illustration, until the tie rod is placed within the receiving hole 16, the panel wall forms are free to tilt or fall. FIG. 2B illustrates a side cross-sectional view of opposing portions of a panel wall form 30, 31, wherein the wall form consists essentially of a pair of confronting a spaced apart wood panels 30, 31 secured together by a horizontally positioned tie rod 32

FIG. 3A illustrates and enlarged perspective view of a keeper device 14 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention. As shown, the keeper device 14 resembles an elongated plug 40 that has (1) a plurality of outwardly protruding fins 42, and (2) a cylindrically-shaped central cavity 44. The plurality of outwardly protruding fins define an outer circumference 46 and an elongated outer cylinder 48, both of which share a common diameter that is slightly larger than that of the 9/16th inch receiving hole. The cylindrically-shaped central cavity 44 is sized to engage a tie rod 32 through a receiving slot 48 that runs parallel to the central axis of the keeper device 14. The receiving slot 48 defines a gap distance that is slightly smaller that the diameter of the tie rod 32. In this configuration, the tie rod 32 can be readily snapped into the keeper device 14, and the keeper device and tie rod assembly 50, as seen in FIG. 3B, can be readily and snuggly positioned within the receiving hole of one of the wall forms.

FIG. 4 illustrates a side cross-sectional view of the keeper device of FIGS. 3A and 3B.

FIG. 5 illustrates an end view of the keeper device of FIGS. 3A, 3B and 4.

FIG. 6A illustrates a side cross-sectional view of a snap-tie positioned at an downward sloping angle and within a 9/16 inch receiving through hole of a panel wall. This configuration does not facilitate the assembly of the opposing panel wall because the snap-ties and receiving through holes are not in axial alignment.

FIG. 6B illustrates a side cross-sectional view of a snap-tie engaged with a keeper device of the present invention, wherein the keeper device and snap-tie are positioned at a right angle and within a 9/16 inch receiving through hole of a panel wall. This configuration facilitates the assembly of the opposing panel wall because the snap-ties and receiving through holes are generally in axial alignment.

FIG. 7 illustrates a side perspective view of two workers placing, in accordance with common practice, a plurality of snap-ties through a plurality of corresponding 9/16 inch receiving through holes of a panel wall.

FIG. 8 illustrates an enlarged end view and approximate dimensions of a keeper device in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 9 illustrates a perspective view of the keeper device illustrated in FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a photograph of a keeper device engaged onto a tie rod in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, but wherein the keeper device is not engaged into a receiving through hole of a panel wall.

FIG. 11 is a photograph of keeper device engaged onto a tie rod in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, and wherein the keeper device is engaged securely and horizontally within a receiving through hole of a panel wall.

FIG. 12 is a photograph of keeper device partially engaging a tie rod.

FIG. 13 is a photograph of keeper device engaged onto a tie rod in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention, and wherein the keeper device is engaged securely and horizontally within a receiving through hole of a panel wall.

FIG. 14 are side-by-side photographs of first and second embodiments of the keeper device of the present invention.

FIG. 15 is a photograph of a side view of the second alternative keeper device embodiment shown in FIG. 14.

FIG. 16A illustrates an enlarged partial perspective view of a tie rod about to be engaged into a keeper device in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 16B illustrates the tie rod and keeper of FIG. 16A, but where the tie rod is engaged into the keeper.

FIG. 17 is a side cross-sectional perspective view of a portion of panel form wall having a keeper device engaging a tie rod and panel through hole in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a keeper device for securely and horizontally positioning a tie rod or snap tie within a receiving through hole of a panel wall. By securely positioning a plurality of tie rods in horizontal (i.e. perpendicular) relationship to a first panel wall, a second panel wall with corresponding receiving through holes may be conveniently and readily positioned into its proper working relationship, thereby facilitating the assembly and bracing of a concrete or cement form wall assembly. The keeper devices of the present invention are in the general shape of an elongated cylindrical plug that has (1) a plurality of outwardly protruding fins, and (2) an elongated central cavity configured to receive a tie rod through an elongated receiving slot. The plurality of outwardly protruding fins define an outer circumference and an elongated outer cylinder, both of which share a common diameter that is slightly larger than that of the 9/16 inch receiving through hole. The cylindrically-shaped central cavity is sized to engage a tie rod through a receiving slot that runs parallel to the central axis of the keeper device. The receiving slot defines a gap distance that is slightly smaller than the diameter of the tie rod. In this configuration, the tie rod can be readily snapped into the keeper device, and the keeper device and tie rod assembly can be readily and snuggly positioned within the receiving hole of one of the wall forms.

The keeper devices of the present invention are preferably made of a resilient plastic and are appropriately shaped by either injection molding or extrusion.

These and other aspects of the present invention will become more evident upon reference to the following attached drawings and accompanying descriptions. It is to be understood, however, that various changes, alterations, and substitutions may be made to the specific embodiments disclosed herein without departing from their essential spirit and scope. In addition, it is to be further understood that the drawings are intended to be illustrative and symbolic representations of certain exemplary embodiments of the present invention and as such they are not necessarily drawn to scale.

While the present invention has been described in the context of the embodiments illustrated and described herein, the invention may be embodied in other specific ways or in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. Therefore, the described embodiments are to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing descriptions, and all changes that come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.