Title:
ADJUSTABLE JOIST HANGER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adjustable bracket for supporting a first building member extending in a first direction relative to a second building member extending in a second direction, the bracket including a pair of bracket portions, each bracket portion having an attachment flange oriented in a first plane, a side support oriented in a second plane and a base wall oriented in a third plane, wherein the separation distance between the side supports of the respective bracket portions is adjustable to accommodate different thickness of first building members therebetween.



Inventors:
Carr, Michael Norman (Mt. Warren Park, AU)
Application Number:
12/237657
Publication Date:
05/07/2009
Filing Date:
09/25/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B1/38
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
AHMAD, CHARISSA L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MOORE & VAN ALLEN PLLC (Charlotte, NC, US)
Claims:
1. An adjustable bracket for supporting a first building member extending in a first direction relative to a second building member extending in a second direction, the bracket including a pair of bracket portions, each bracket portion having an attachment flange oriented in a first plane, a side support oriented in a second plane and a base wall oriented in a third plane, wherein the separation distance between the side supports of the respective bracket portions is adjustable to accommodate different thickness of first building members therebetween.

2. An adjustable bracket as claimed in claim 1 wherein a single attachment flange is provided extending over the height of each bracket portion.

3. An adjustable bracket as claimed in claim 1 wherein the attachment flange is formed integrally with the side support of each bracket portion.

4. An adjustable bracket as claimed in claim 1 wherein each attachment flange includes a number of attachment openings adapted to receive attachment fasteners therethrough.

5. An adjustable bracket as claimed in claim 1 wherein a single side support is provided extending over the height of each bracket portion, substantially equal in height to the attachment flange.

6. An adjustable bracket as claimed in claim 5 wherein each side support includes a number of attachment openings adapted to receive attachment fasteners therethrough.

7. An adjustable bracket as claimed claim 1 wherein the base wall of each of the bracket portions are connected to one another in a moveable manner.

8. An adjustable bracket as claimed in claim 5 wherein a slideable connection is provided between the base wall of each of the bracket portions.

9. An adjustable bracket as claimed in claim 8 wherein the base wall of one of the bracket portions is larger than the base wall of the other bracket portion.

10. An adjustable bracket as claimed in claim 9 wherein the larger base wall is located outside the other of the base walls in order to provide more support to the smaller of the base walls.

11. An adjustable bracket as claimed in claim 8 wherein the base wall of one of the bracket portions includes one or more slot openings and one or more upstanding members are provided on the base wall of a second bracket portion, said raised members adapted to engage the slot openings and be slidable therein.

12. An adjustable bracket as claimed in claim 11 wherein each of the upstanding members is formed by forming an opening in the base wall, and subsequently forcing the surrounds of the opening upwardly.

13. An adjustable bracket as claimed in claim 12 wherein the upper extremity of at least a portion of the upstanding portion is deformed to partially overlie the surrounds of each slot opening to form an annular, substantially C-shaped channel into which edges of the slot opening are received and retained.

14. An adjustable bracket as claimed in claim 1 wherein the attachment flange, the side support and the base wall of each bracket portion are orthogonal to each other.

15. An adjustable bracket as claimed in claim 1 wherein the angle between the attachment flange and the side support of the bracket portions is other than perpendicular to create a skewed bracket.

16. An adjustable bracket as claimed in claim 1 wherein the angle between the attachment flange and the base wall of the bracket portions is other than perpendicular to create a skewed bracket.

17. An adjustable bracket as claimed in claim 1 wherein the attachment flanges are adapted for “face” mounting of the bracket.

18. An adjustable bracket as claimed in claim 1 wherein the attachment flanges are adapted for “top” mounting of the bracket.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the building industry and more particularly to apparatus used to attach a building member extending in a first direction to a building member extending in a second direction.

BACKGROUND ART

Brackets and clips for attaching a building member extending in a first direction to a building member extending in a second direction are known.

Brackets such as these are known by a variety of names including beam hangers, joist hangers, truss hangers, truss boots or joist boots. These brackets are suitable for connecting any common thickness of timber beam to another beam. Some examples of known brackets are illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 5.

As can be seen, these brackets include a pair of flanges extending in a first plane adapted to attach to a building beam extending in a first direction, a pair of flanges extending in a second direction and a lower support member between the a pair of flanges extending in a second direction to define a U-shaped opening into which the end of a building beam extending in a second direction is placed. The lower support member supports the end of the beam extending in the second direction and flanges extending in a second direction are attached to the flanges extending in the second direction.

One major disadvantage of the conventional brackets illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 3 and 5 is that they are dimensioned to accept only one size of beam in the U-shaped opening. Therefore, the bracket is manufactured in a range of sizes to suit the standard dimensions of the beams which may be used.

One joist hanger directed towards an attempt to solve the above-mentioned problem does so by providing a so-called split joist hanger in which a pair of bracket portions are provided, each having a pair of flanges to attach to a building beam extending in the first direction, a pair of side support flanges to attach to the beam extending in the second direction and a base flange to support a lower edge of the beam extending in the second direction. The base flanges of the respective bracket portions are not linked or joined in any manner to one another and are simply located beneath the edge of the beam and extend towards each other.

As can be imagined, this configuration increases the number of components needed to fix one beam relative to another beam and is also much weaker than a single piece joist hanger.

It would therefore be an advancement in the art if an adjustable bracket was provided allowing for simple adjustment to suit a variety of dimensions of beam. This would decrease the number of sizes of bracket that would need to be manufactured and also reduce inventory which is currently required to be held by stockists of the brackets due to the variety of sizes.

It will be clearly understood that, if a prior art publication is referred to herein, this reference does not constitute an admission that the publication forms part of the common general knowledge in the art in Australia or in any other country.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to an adjustable joist hanger, which may at least partially overcome at least one of the abovementioned disadvantages or provide the consumer with a useful or commercial choice.

With the foregoing in view, the present invention in one form, resides broadly in an adjustable bracket for supporting a first building member extending in a first direction relative to a second building member extending in a second direction, the bracket including a pair of bracket portions, each bracket portion having an attachment flange oriented in a first plane, a side support oriented in a second plane and a base wall oriented in a third plane, wherein the separation distance between the side supports of the respective bracket portions is adjustable to accommodate different thickness of first building members therebetween.

Providing the bracket with an adjustable separation distance between the side support flanges allows an installer to adjust the distance when installing the bracket. The present invention can therefore be adjusted to accommodate non-standard dimension beams and also allow for variations in standard beam thicknesses which may exist.

The bracket of the present invention will typically also be manufactured in a variety of sizes, but due to the adjustable nature of the bracket of the present invention, the number of varieties can be much reduced.

The attachment flanges may be of any shape or size. There may be a number of attachment flange portions provided on each bracket portion but preferably a single attachment flange will be provided extending over the height of the bracket portion.

Each attachment flange will typically include at least one and normally a number of attachment openings adapted to receive attachment fasteners therethrough. The number and position of the openings will normally depend upon the size of the flanges and the openings.

The attachment flanges are typically attached to or preferably formed integrally with the side supports.

The attachment flanges may be adapted for “face” mounting of the bracket or “top” mounting of the bracket.

Face mounting occurs when a pair of beams are oriented with their longer dimension in the same direction and the end of the first beam and abuts the wider surface (as opposed to the edge) of the second beam. The wider surface of the second beam is known as “the face”.

Top mounting normally occurs where the second beam does not have a planar face, for example where the second beam is an I-beam. In these situations, the attachment flanges may have L-shaped configuration with a foot portion of the L-shaped flange overlying an upper edge of the second beam and the upright portion of the L-shaped flange extends substantially perpendicularly to the foot portion and is also attached or integrally formed with the side support member of the bracket.

Top mounting or face mounting may be used in any of the configurations of the bracket including skewed brackets.

The attachment flanges may be of any thickness with thicker flanges preferred for more heavy duty applications. Similarly, the width of the attachment flanges may vary with wider flanges preferred for easier attachment or to accommodate larger gauge attachment fasteners where required, without weakening the bracket.

The side support flanges may be of any shape or size. There may be a number of side support flange portions provided on each bracket portion but preferably a single side support flange will be provided extending over the height of the bracket portion, substantially equal in height to the attachment flange.

Each side support flange will typically include at least one and normally a number of attachment openings adapted to receive attachment fasteners therethrough. The number and position of the openings will normally depend upon the size of the flanges and the openings.

The side support flanges are typically attached to or preferably formed integrally with the attachment flanges. The bracket portions will normally be formed by cold drawing or similar fabrication method. Stamping may be used alternatively.

The side support flanges may be of any thickness with thicker flanges preferred for more heavy duty applications. Similarly, the width of the side support flanges may vary with wider flanges preferred for easier attachment or to accommodate larger gauge attachment fasteners where required, without weakening the bracket.

The base wall of each of the bracket portions may be connected to one another in a moveable manner. A slideable connection is preferred. The respective base walls may be of the same width, or one base wall may be larger than the other. If one base wall is larger than the other, the larger base wall will preferably be located beneath (or outside) the other of the base walls in order to provide more support to the smaller of the base walls.

According to a preferred embodiment, the base wall of the respective bracket portions are provided with interengaging means to allow the respective base walls to be moved relative to one another. For example, one simple means allowing the respective base wall portions to be slidable relative to one another includes one or more slot openings provided on a base wall of a first bracket portion and one or more raised members provided on a base wall of a second bracket portion, said raised members adapted to engage the slot openings and be slidable therein.

Preferably, there will be at least a pair of interengaging means provided. Normally, the interengaging means provided in a form which maintains the required strength of the bracket and form which allows an easy slidable action, but also a robust slidable action which resists movement upon application of a small force.

According to a particularly preferred embodiment, a pair of slot openings is provided in a base wall of a first bracket portion. A base wall of a second bracket portion is preferably provided with a pair of upstanding portions, each standing proud of an upper surface of the base wall. Preferably, each of the upstanding portions is formed by firstly forming an opening in the base wall, and subsequently forcing the surrounds of the opening upwardly, for example using a punch or similar.

At this point during manufacture, the respective bracket portions will normally be assembled such that the upstanding portions of the second bracket portion are received through the respective slot openings in the base wall of the first bracket portion.

Following the assembly step, the upper extremity of at least a portion of the upstanding portion is then preferably deformed to partially overlie the surrounds of each slot opening. The deformation step preferably forms an annular, substantially C-shaped channel into which the edges of the slot opening are received and retained.

Preferably, the deformation step does not fix the upstanding portions to the surrounds of the slot openings and the respective base walls will remain slidable relative to one another but are permanently attached to one another.

The above-mentioned method of manufacture and features of the interengaging means may be adapted, or alternative means provided whilst maintaining the functional ability of the base walls to be movable relative to one another to adjust the separation between the side support flanges of the respective bracket portions.

A major advantage of the above-mentioned method however is that the openings about which the upstanding portions are formed also provide openings through which fasteners can extend to fix the bracket to the building member which it supports.

According to a preferred embodiment, the orientation planes of the flanges and the base wall may be mutually perpendicular to each other. Typically the angle between the planes of the flanges will be approximately 90°, with the angle between the plane of the base wall being 90° also.

According to an alternative embodiment, the angle between the first plane and the second plane may be other than perpendicular to create a bracket known as a skewed bracket allowing attachment of the first building member relative to the second building member at an angle, typically in a horizontal direction.

According to an alternative embodiment, the angle between the first plane and the third plane may be other than perpendicular to create a bracket also known as a skewed bracket allowing attachment of the first building member relative to the second building member at an angle, typically upwardly or downwardly in a vertical direction.

There may be a combination of the above two alternative embodiments to create a bracket skewed in both the vertical and horizontal directions.

A bracket of the present invention may be used to attach a building member extending in a first direction relative to, and normally directly to, a building member extending in a second direction, regardless of the designation of the building members. That is, the two members may be floor or ceiling members, wall members or other members and there is no limitation on the use and operation of the bracket of the present invention depending upon the position, use or location of the building members.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Various embodiments of the invention will be described with reference to the following drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 (Prior Art) is a perspective view of a pair of building members with a conventional face mounted bracket supporting one member relative to the other.

FIG. 2 (Prior Art) is a perspective view of a pair of building members with a conventional top mounted bracket supporting one member relative to the other.

FIG. 3 (Prior Art) is a perspective view of a pair of building members with a conventional face mounted, downwardly skewed bracket supporting one member relative to the other.

FIG. 4 (Prior Art) is a perspective view of a pair of building members with a conventional face mounted split bracket supporting one member relative to the other.

FIG. 5 (Prior Art) is a perspective view of a conventional bracket used for face mounting.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an adjustable bracket according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view from beneath the adjustable bracket illustrated in FIG. 6.

FIG. 8 is a detailed perspective view of the interengaging means of the adjustable bracket illustrated in FIG. 6.

FIG. 9 is a view from above an adjustable bracket as illustrated in FIG. 6 with the cited support members in their narrowest configuration.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

According to a particularly preferred embodiment, an adjustable bracket 10 for supporting a first beam 11 extending in a first direction relative to a second beam 12 extending in a second direction is provided.

The bracket 10 illustrated in the accompanying figures includes a pair of bracket portions (left hand portion and right hand portion), each bracket portion having an attachment flange 13 oriented in a first plane, a side support 14 oriented in a second plane and a base wall 15 oriented in a third plane, wherein the separation distance between the side supports 14 of the respective bracket portions is adjustable to accommodate different thickness of beams 11 therebetween.

According to the illustrated embodiment, a single attachment flange 13 is provided extending over the height of each bracket portion.

Each attachment flange 13 includes a number of attachment openings 16 adapted to receive attachment fasteners therethrough, the number and position of the openings 16 depending upon the size of the flanges 13 and the openings 16.

The attachment flanges 13 of the illustrated embodiment are formed integrally with the side supports 14.

According to the illustrated embodiment, a single side support 14 is provided extending over the height of each bracket portion, substantially equal in height to the attachment flange 13.

Each side support 14 includes a number of attachment openings 16 adapted to receive attachment fasteners therethrough, the number and position of the openings 16 depending upon the size of the side supports 14 and the openings 16.

The side supports 14 of the illustrated embodiment are formed integrally with the attachment flanges 13.

As illustrated generally in FIG. 6 and more particularly in FIG. 8, the base wall 15 of each of the bracket portions are connected to one another in a slideable manner. The base wall 15A of one of the bracket portions is larger than the base wall 15B of the other bracket portion. The larger base wall 15A is located beneath (or outside) the other base wall 15B in order to provide more support to the smaller of the base walls 15B.

According to the illustrated embodiment, the base wall of the respective bracket portions are provided with interengaging means to allow the respective base walls to be moved relative to one another. A pair of slot openings 17 are provided on the base wall 15B of a first bracket portion and a pair of upstanding members 18 are provided on the base wall 15A of a second bracket portion, said upstanding members 18 adapted to engage the slot openings 17 and be slidable therein.

According to the illustrated embodiment, each of the upstanding members 18 is formed by first forming an opening 19 in the base wall 15A, and subsequently forcing the surrounds of the opening 19 upwardly, for example using a punch or similar.

At this point during manufacture, the respective bracket portions are assembled such that the upstanding portions 18 of the base wall 15A are received through the respective slot openings 17 in the base wall 15B of the first bracket portion.

Following the assembly step, the upper extremity of at least a portion of the upstanding portion 18 is then deformed to partially overlie the surrounds of each slot opening 17. The deformation step forms an annular, substantially C-shaped channel (not shown) into which the edge or periphery of the slot opening 17 are received and retained.

The deformation step does not fix the upstanding portions 18 to the surrounds of the slot openings 17 and the respective base walls remain slidable relative to one another but are permanently attached to one another.

The functional ability of the base walls to be movable relative to one another allows adjustment the separation between the side supports 14 of the respective bracket portions.

A major advantage of the above-mentioned method however is that the openings 19 about which the upstanding portions 18 are formed also provide openings through which fasteners can extend to fix the bracket 10 to the beam 11 which it supports.

According to the illustrated embodiment, the orientation planes of the flanges and the base wall are mutually perpendicular to each other. Typically the angle between the planes of the flanges will be approximately 90°, with the angle between the plane of the base wall being 90° also.

In the present specification and claims (if any), the word “comprising” and its derivatives including “comprises” and “comprise” include each of the stated integers but does not exclude the inclusion of one or more further integers.

Reference throughout this specification to “one embodiment” or “an embodiment” means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, the appearance of the phrases “in one embodiment” or “in an embodiment” in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment. Furthermore, the particular features, structures, or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more combinations.

In compliance with the statute, the invention has been described in language more or less specific to structural or methodical features. It is to be understood that the invention is not limited to specific features shown or described since the means herein described comprises preferred forms of putting the invention into effect. The invention is, therefore, claimed in any of its forms or modifications within the proper scope of the appended claims (if any) appropriately interpreted by those skilled in the art.