Title:
Scaffold base device for stabilizing scaffolding
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A scaffold base device 10 for stabilizing scaffolding includes an angle member 12 for engaging an edge portion of a foundation 16; and an extension member 18 having a first end portion 20 integrally joined to the angle member 12, and a second end portion 22 elevated via an elevation member 26 to a substantially horizontal position. The elevation member 26 is distally disposed upon firm ground or a selected distance from the foundation 16. First and second bottom portions 34 and 40 of a scaffold member 36 are ultimately secured upon the extension member 18.



Inventors:
Oost, Ronald Van (Frankfort, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/894918
Publication Date:
02/26/2009
Filing Date:
08/22/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04G3/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BRADFORD, CANDACE L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DONALD G. FLAYNIK, JR. (CHANNAHON, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A scaffold base device for stabilizing scaffolding comprising: an angle member for engaging an edge portion of a foundation; an extension member portion having a first end portion integrally joined to said angle member, said extension member having means for elevating a second end portion of said extension member; means for removably securing a first bottom portion of a scaffold member upon said extension member; and means for removably securing a second bottom portion of the scaffold member upon said extension member, whereby the scaffold member is stabilized upon said device such that planks disposed upon the scaffold member are maintained in a substantially horizontal position irrespective of the number of workers or objects disposed upon the planks.

2. The device of claim 1 wherein said angle member includes first and second portions integrally joined together to form a substantially right angle, when taking a side view of said extension member.

3. The device of claim 2 wherein said first and second portions of said angle member are dimensioned to engage the edge portion of the foundation such that the position of the extension member is maintained without engaging a wall structure erected upon the foundation.

4. The device of claim 2 wherein said first portion includes a lateral dimension of substantially about four inches.

5. The device of claim 2 wherein said second portion includes a lateral dimension of substantially about four inches.

6. The device of claim 2 wherein said first portion includes a longitudinal dimension of substantially about eight inches.

7. The device of claim 2 wherein said second portion includes a longitudinal dimension of substantially about eight inches.

8. The device of claim 2 wherein said first portion includes is substantially about three-eighths of an inch.

9. The device of claim 2 wherein said second portion is substantially about three-eighths of an inch.

10. The device of claim 1 wherein said extension member includes a cavity extending longitudinally therethrough.

11. The device of claim 1 wherein said extension member includes a handle member integrally joined to said second end portion.

12. The device of claim 1 wherein said means for securing said second end portion to an elevating member includes an aperture in a bottom wall of said second end portion of said extension member.

13. The device of claim 1 wherein said means for securing said second end portion to an elevating member includes aligned apertures in corresponding bottom and top walls of said second end portion of said extension member.

14. The device of claim 1 wherein said means for securing said second end portion to an elevating member includes a conduit extending through and secured to said second end portion of said extension member.

15. The device of claim 1 wherein said means for removably securing a first bottom portion of the scaffold member to said extension member includes an aperture in a top wall of said extension member, said aperture being distally disposed relative to said angle member such that the first bottom portion of the scaffold member is optimally disposed to facilitate movement of the workers upon planks.

16. The device of claim 1 wherein said means for removably securing a second bottom portion of the scaffold member to said extension member includes opposing rails joined to a top wall of said second end portion of said extension member.

17. The device of claim 15 wherein said means for removably securing the first bottom portion of the scaffold member includes a conduit integrally joined to said top wall of said extension member, said conduit snugly receiving the first bottom portion of the scaffold member, thereby increasing the stability of the scaffold member.

18. The device of claim 15 wherein said means for removably securing the first bottom portion of the scaffold member includes a hub integrally joined to said top wall of said extension member to maintain the first bottom portion of the scaffold member upon said top wall of said extension member.

19. A scaffold stabilizing device comprising: a first end portion removably secured to a foundation; a second end portion having elevating means; and a mid-portion having means for removably securing a first portion of a scaffold member to said mid-portion, said mid-portion having means for maintaining the position of a second portion of the scaffold member upon said mid-portion, whereby the orientation of the scaffold member is maintained and stabilized to promote the horizontal disposition of planks upon the scaffold member, thereby enabling workers to safely move upon the planks and to safely dispose objects upon the planks.

20. A method for preventing scaffold members from sinking into saturated ground adjacent to a foundation when objects are disposed upon the scaffold members, said method comprising the steps of: providing an angle member for engaging an edge portion of the foundation; joining a first end portion of an extension member to said angle member, said extension member having a longitudinal dimension that facilitates the disposition of first and second portions of the scaffold member upon said extension member; providing means for elevating a second end of said extension member such that said extension member is disposed in a substantially horizontal position; and maintaining the scaffold member upon said extension member, whereby the scaffold member is maintained and stabilized upon said extension member irrespective of the weight disposed upon the scaffold member, and irrespective of the presence of water adjacent to the foundation.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to scaffolding for constructing brick or block walls upon a foundation and more particularly, to a scaffold base or scaffold support device for stabilizing scaffolding when the ground about a foundation has become saturated or covered with water.

2. Background of the Prior Art

The ground immediately about a newly “poured” concrete foundation is often saturated or covered with water. A problem arises when scaffolding is disposed and assembled upon saturated ground. The weight of planks, laborers, bricks, blocks and/or other objects ultimately supported by the scaffolding causes the scaffolding to “sink” into the ground, thereby causing the scaffolding to become unsafe and unstable with planks on the scaffolding drifting from a horizontal orientation to an undulating trip hazard. In extreme situations, the scaffolding must be disassembled and a temporary foundation provided for the scaffolding to be re-assembled upon.

Prior art scaffold base or support devices use vertical members that are secured to partially or completely constructed wall structures, and horizontal members that are secured to the vertical members. The horizontal members removably receive planks that provide a horizontal surface for laborers to work upon with relatively little room remaining to dispose bricks, blocks or other objects.

Non of the prior art provides a scaffold base or support device capable of horizontally supporting varying sized scaffolding. Further, non of the prior art provides a scaffold base that supports the scaffolding via one end removably secured to the foundation, and a second end elevated until the scaffold base is horizontal. Also, non of the prior art provides a device having a second end elevated by an elevating member disposed sufficiently distant to the foundation to ensure that “firm” ground is underneath the elevating member, thereby preventing the elevating member from sinking into the ground and de-stabilizing the scaffolding structure.

A need exists for a scaffold base device for stabilizing scaffolding, the scaffold base device being horizontally supported at one end by an existing foundation, and at an opposite end by an elevating member. Further, a need exists for a scaffold base device that can support scaffold members with varying distances between bottom portions, the bottom portions ultimately engaging the scaffold base device. Also, a need exists for a scaffold base device that engages an elevating member at a distance from the foundation that disposes the elevating member upon firm ground, irrespective of the presence of water adjacent to the foundation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to overcome may of the disadvantages associated with scaffolding assembled upon a ground surface adjacent to a foundation upon which brick or block walls are to be constructed.

A principal object of the present invention is to provide a scaffold base device for stabilizing scaffolding disposed adjacent to a foundation. A feature of the device is an angle member that engages an edge portion of the foundation. Another feature of the device is an extension member having a first end portion integrally joined to the angle member. An advantage of the device is that the angle member is quickly set upon or removed from the foundation. Another advantage of the device is that the angle member provides stability to scaffolding assembled upon the extension member.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a scaffold base device that does not “sink” as scaffold is assembled upon the device, and planks, laborers and objects are disposed upon the scaffold. A feature of the device is an aperture in a second end portion of the extension member. Another feature of the device is a conduit or “boot” secured in the aperture to increase engagement between the extension member and an upper portion of an elevating member. An advantage of the device is that the aperture snugly receives the upper portion of the elevating member, thereby increasing stability between the extension member and the upper portion of the elevating member. Another advantage of the device is that the second end portion of the extension member is elevated to a substantially horizontal position, thereby enabling laborers and objects to balance upon planks disposed across a plurality of scaffold members. Yet another advantage of the device is that the elevating member engages the second end portion of the extension member distally to the edge portion of the foundation, such that water accumulated about the foundation does not “soften” the ground supporting the elevating member, thereby maintaining the horizontal position of the extension member irrespective of the weight of planks, laborer or objects supported by scaffold members, which are disposed upon the extension member.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a scaffold base device that is relatively easy to manually elevate. A feature of the device is a handle integrally joined to a second end portion of the extension member. An advantage of the device is that a laborer can grasp the handle, elevate the second end portion and at the same time insert an upper portion 68 of the elevating member through the aperture in the second end portion.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a scaffold base device that removably receives scaffold members varying in dimension between first and second bottom portions which engage the extension member of the device. A feature of the device is a retaining member disposed distally to the first end portion of the extension member, the retaining member ultimately receiving the second bottom portion of the scaffold member. Another feature of the device are guide rails integrally joined to the second end portion of the extension member, the guide rails ultimately secure the first bottom portion of the scaffold member upon the extension member. An advantage of the device is that a laborer can select among a number of scaffold members to place upon an extension member without measuring the distance separating first and second bottom portions, thereby reducing scaffold assembly time. Another advantage of the device is that scaffold members are quickly disposed upon and secured to the extension member due to only one bottom portion of the scaffold member requiring alignment and insertion into a retaining member. Yet another advantage of the device is that the scaffold members remain in a vertical position after a laborer inserts the second bottom portion of a scaffold member into the retaining member, and disposes the first bottom portion upon the extension member between the guide rails, thereby reducing scaffold assembly and disassembly time. Yet another advantage of the device is that the insertion of the second bottom portion of the scaffold member into the retaining member increases the stability of an assembled scaffolding structure.

The invention provides a scaffold base device for stabilizing scaffolding comprising an angle member for engaging an edge portion of a foundation; an extension member portion having a first end portion integrally joined to said angle member, said extension member having means for elevating a second end portion of said extension member; means for removably securing a first bottom portion of a scaffold member upon said extension member; and means for removably securing a second bottom portion of the scaffold member upon said extension member, whereby the scaffold member is stabilized upon said device such that planks disposed upon the scaffold member are maintained in a substantially horizontal position irrespective of the number of workers or objects disposed upon the planks.

The invention further provides a scaffold stabilizing device comprising a first end portion removably secured to a foundation; a second end portion having elevating means; and a mid-portion having means for removably securing a first portion of a scaffold member to said mid-portion, said mid-portion having means for maintaining the position of a second portion of the scaffold member upon said mid-portion, whereby the orientation of the scaffold member is maintained and stabilized to promote the horizontal disposition of planks upon the scaffold member, thereby enabling workers to safely move upon the planks and to safely dispose objects upon the planks.

The invention also provides a method for preventing scaffold members from sinking into saturated ground adjacent to a foundation when objects are disposed upon the scaffold members, said method comprising the steps of providing an angle member for engaging an edge portion of the foundation; joining a first end portion of an extension member to said angle member, said extension member having a longitudinal dimension that facilitates the disposition of first and second portions of the scaffold member upon said extension member; providing means for elevating a second end of said extension member such that said extension member is disposed in a substantially horizontal position; and maintaining the scaffold member upon said extension member, whereby the scaffold member is maintained and stabilized upon said extension member irrespective of the weight disposed upon the scaffold member, and irrespective of the presence of water adjacent to the foundation.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other objects, advantages and novel features of the present invention, as well as details of an illustrative embodiment thereof, will be more fully understood from the following detailed description and attached drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a scaffold base device for stabilizing scaffolding in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side elevation view of the device of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a top, phantom elevation view of the device of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a side, phantom elevation view of the device of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of scaffolding assembled upon multiple scaffold base devices elevated on screw-jacks and secured to a foundation with a brick wall thereupon in accordance with the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to the drawings, a scaffold base device for stabilizing scaffolding in accordance with the present invention is denoted as numeral 10. The device 10 includes an angle member 12 for engaging a top portion 14 of a foundation 16; and an extension member 18 having a first end portion 20 integrally joined to the angle member 12, the extension member 18 having a second end portion 22 with an aperture 24 which removably receives a screw-jack 26 or similar elevating member for lifting the second end portion 22 to a selected elevation above a board 28 disposed upon a ground surface 30. The device 10 further includes opposite guide rails 32 for removably securing a first bottom portion 34 of a scaffold member 36 upon said extension member 18; and a retaining member 38 for removably securing a second bottom portion 40 of the scaffold member 36 upon the extension member 18, thereby stabilizing the scaffold member 36 upon the device 10 such that planks 42 disposed upon the scaffold member 36 are maintained in a substantially horizontal position irrespective of the number of workers or objects (not depicted) disposed upon the planks 42.

The extension member 18 is includes a longitudinal dimension sufficiently large to dispose the screw-jack 26 a distance form the foundation 16, such that water 11 accumulated about the foundation 16 does not “soften” the ground 30 supporting the screw-jack 26 and the horizontally supported second end portion 22 of the extension member 18 disposed upon the screw-jack 26, whereby the horizontal position of the extension member 18 is maintained irrespective of the water about the foundation 18, and the weight of the laborers and objects disposed upon the scaffold members 36, which are positioned upon the extension member 18.

The angle member 12 is fabricated from carbon steel, but similar rigid, non-deformable materials may be used. The angle member 12 includes first and second portions 44 and 46 integrally joined via welding to form a right angle, when taking a side elevation view of the device 10 (see FIG. 2). The first portion 44 is a metal plate having planar opposite sides 47 separated a distance (plate thickness) substantially equal to three-eighths of an inch, the same distance normally separating bricks 48 (see FIG. 5) or blocks (not depicted) when vertically stacked with mortar disposed between vertically adjacent rows of the bricks 48 or blocks. Top and bottom planar sides 47 and 49 include longitudinal and lateral dimensions equal to corresponding longitudinal and lateral dimensions of a top or bottom surface of a standard brick 48. The configuration and dimensions of the first portion 44 enable the first portion 44 to be disposed between the top portion 14 of the foundation 16 and the bottom surface of the standard brick 48, when mortar is disposed upon the top portion 14 adjacent to the first portion 44 such that no mortar engages either of the planar sides 47 and 49 of the first portion 44. The disposition of the first portion 44 between the foundation 16 and the first row of bricks 48 ultimately promotes the securing of the device 10 to the foundation 16 without obstructing the assembly of a brick wall 50 upon the foundation 16. After assembling the brick wall 50, the first portion 44 is removed from the top portion 14 of the foundation 16, whereupon, mortar is disposed into the gap left by the removed first portion 44, thereby solidifying the entire brick wall 50.

The second portion 46 of the angle member 12 may include the same configuration and dimensions as the first portion 44, or may vary as depicted in FIGS. 1-4 such that the longitudinal dimension of the second portion 46 equals the longitudinal dimension of the first portion 44 to promote horizontal stability for the device 10, when an inner surface 51 of the second portion 46 engages a vertical surface of an edge portion of the foundation 16. The lateral dimension of the second portion 46 is substantially equal to the vertical lateral dimension of the extension member 18, thereby preventing damage to an edge portion 52 of the second portion 46 when the device 10 is removed from the foundation 16; however, the lateral dimension of the second portion 46 may be increased such that the inner surface 51 also engages an outer vertical surface 53 of a cooperating brick 55 (see FIG. 5) to increase stabilization of the first end portion 20 of the extension member 18. Irrespective of the lateral dimension of the second portion 46, the first and second portions 44 and 46 of the angle member 12 cooperate to engage an edge portion of the foundation 16, thereby securing and stabilizing the first end portion 20 of the extension member 18 via the foundation 16.

The extension member 18 includes a channel configuration having four “thick” planar side walls 54 with relatively long longitudinal dimensions and relatively short lateral dimensions that form a cavity 56 within to reduce the weight of the extension member 18, while maintaining sufficient strength to support a relatively heavy load of scaffolding 58, planks 42, bricks 48 and manual labor (not depicted). The extension member 18 is integrally joined via welding to an outer surface 60 of the second portion 46 of the angle member 12 such that a longitudinal axis of the extension member 18 is perpendicular to the outer surface 60. The longitudinal dimension of the extension member 18 corresponds to the distance separating legs 62 of the scaffold member 36 disposed upon top wall 64 of the extension member 18. The lateral dimension of the extension member 18 is sufficient to promote the total engagement of the retaining member 38 with the top wall 64 of the extension member 18; the retaining member 38 removably receiving the second bottom portion 40 of the scaffold member 36 such that the bottom portion 40 snugly inserts, via bushings, conduits or similar elements, into the retaining member 38, thereby stabilizing the scaffold member 36 to allow a person to “let go” of the scaffold member 36 and retrieve other scaffold components that ultimately configure a complete scaffolding 58 assembly capable of supporting heavy loads.

The retaining member 38 is fabricated via four relatively small metal plates welded via edges upon the top wall 64 to form a substantially “square” hub configuration, when taking a top view of the extension member 18. Alternatively, the hub configuration may be replaced by an aperture through the top wall 64, the aperture being dimensioned to snugly receive the second bottom portion 40 of the scaffold member 36. A conduit may be secured in the aperture, the conduit snugly receiving the second bottom portion 40 to maintain and stabilize the scaffold member 36 upon the extension member 18.

The extension member 18 further includes a deformable “boot” 66 or bushing fabricated from rubber or similar material that inserts into and through the aperture 24 in the second end portion 22 of the extension member 18. For maximum stabilization of the second end portion 22 of the extension member 18, the aperture 24 extends through bottom and top walls 63 and 64; however, when elevating the second end portion 22 is the only concern, an aperture 24 in only the bottom wall 63 is required. The boot 66 snugly receives an upper portion 68 of the screw-jack 26 to prevent the extension member 18 from moving or shaking upon the screw-jack 26, when the second end portion 22 is elevated and disposed upon the screw-jack 26. The screw-jack 26 is vertically disposed upon a board 28 or similar base material placed upon the ground 30. Alternatively, a rigid conduit 66 may by inserted through the aperture 24, the conduit snugly receiving the upper portion 68 of the screw-jack 26. A handle 70 is secured via welding or similar means to the second end portion 22 of the extension member 18 to promote the lifting of the second end portion 22 upon the screw-jack 26, after disposing the angle member 12 upon the top portion 14 of the foundation 16.

The guide rails 32 are metal plates perpendicularly welded to the top wall 64 of the extension member 18 via a longitudinal edge 72, such that the first bottom portion 34 of the scaffold member 36 is disposed between the guide rails 32 and upon the top wall 64. The longitudinal dimension of the guide rails 32 is sufficiently long to maintain the position of the first bottom portion 34 upon the top wall 64, irrespective of the distance separating the legs 62 of the scaffold member 36, thereby allowing the extension member 18 to support varying sizes and types of scaffold members 36. The guide rails 32, unlike the retaining member 38, do not snugly receive the first bottom portion 34 of the scaffolding member 36. The guide rails 32 maintain, but do not stabilize the position of the first bottom portion 34. To stabilize the first bottom portion 34, the guide rails 32 are replaced with a retaining member 38 or by an aperture as discussed above (see FIG. 5). The tradeoff for stabilizing the first bottom portion 34 upon the extension member 18, is the loss of using the same extension member 18 with different scaffolding members 36 with varying distances between corresponding legs 62.

In operation, the device 10 is fabricated from integrally joined angle and extension members 12 and 18 configured and dimensioned to cause the angle member 12 to engage an edge portion of a foundation 16 sufficiently to provide stability to a first end portion 20 of the extension member 18 when disposed in a substantially horizontal position. The extension member 18 includes a longitudinal dimension sufficient to dispose a second end portion 22 of the extension member 18 a distance from the foundation sufficient to allow a screw-jack 26 to be set upon substantially “solid” ground 30 or upon a board 28 to enable the screw-jack 26 to elevate the second end portion 22, until the extension member 18 is disposed in a substantially horizontal position capable of supporting scaffold members 36 with multiple planks, laborers and objects thereupon. The screw-jack 26 must be distally disposed to the foundation 16 a distance that prevents the screw-jack 26 from “sinking” into the ground 30 due to the weight on the extension member 18.

The preferred dimensions for the angle member 12 correspond to the type of wall being constructed. Bricks 48 for example, require an angle member 12 having first and second portions 44 and 46 with substantially about eight inch longitudinal dimensions and four inch lateral dimensions. The preferred configuration for the extension member 18 is a substantially square configuration, when taking and end view, having four side walls with substantially about four inch lateral dimensions and between seven and eight feet longitudinal dimensions. When larger cylinder blocks form a wall upon a foundation 16, a correspondingly larger angle member 12 is included, while the dimensions of the extension member 18 remain substantially the same irrespective of blocks or bricks 48 being disposed upon a foundation 16.

The device 10 is disposed perpendicularly to the foundation 16 with the angle member 12 engaging an edge portion of the foundation 16 such that a bottom side 49 of a first portion 44 of the angle member 12 engages a top portion 14 of the foundation 16, and such that an inner surface 51 of a second portion 46 of the angle member 12 engages a vertical portion of the foundation 16. The second end portion 22 of the extension member 18 is then elevated via handle 70 to a position that allows an upper portion 68 of a screw-jack 26 to be inserted through an aperture 24 in the second end portion 22, the bottom of the screw-jack 26 being disposed upon a board 28 for stability. The jack 26 is then rotationally adjusted until the extension member 18 is substantially horizontal. A first bottom portion 34 of a scaffold member 36 is disposed between two guide rails 32 joined to a top wall 64 of the second end portion 22 of the extension member 18, a second bottom portion 40 of the scaffold member 36 is then inserted into a retaining member 38 secured to the top wall 64.

After disposing the angle member 12 upon the top portion 14 of the foundation 16 and elevating the extension member, mortar is disposed upon the top portion 14 of the foundation where bricks 48 or blocks will ultimately be positioned, except that no mortar should engage the angle member 12. Scaffolding and bricks or blocks are cooperatively assembled until the wall is finished, whereupon, the scaffolding is disassembled and the device 10 is removed. A gap results between bottom walls of bricks or blocks formerly engaging the top planar side 47 of the first portion 44 of the angle member 12, and the top portion 14 of the foundation 16 formerly engaging the bottom side 49 of the first portion 44. The gap will not collapse from the weight of bricks or blocks above the angle member 12 when removed. Mortar is ultimately disposed in the gap to complete and solidify the wall construction.

The distance between the angle member 12 and the retaining member 38, typically between two to three feet, provides sufficient space between the scaffold member 36 and the foundation 16 to allow a plank to be disposed on the scaffold member 36 between the retaining member 38 and the foundation 16, thereby allowing a laborer to assemble a brick wall upon the foundation 16. The distance between the retaining member 38 and the two guide rails 32 accommodates scaffold members 36 varying in dimension between the first and second bottom portions 34 and 40 that are ultimately secured and stabilized upon the top wall 64 of the extension member 18. The stabilized scaffold members 36 allow a laborer to vertically position a first scaffold member 36 upon the top wall 64, and retrieve a second scaffold member 36 while the first scaffold member 36 remains in a vertical position, thereby reducing scaffolding assembly and disassembly time when constructing brick or block walls upon a foundation 16.

While, this invention has been described with reference to its presently preferred embodiment, it is not limited thereto. Rather, the invention is limited only insofar as it is defined by the following set of patent claims and includes within its scope all equivalents thereof.