Title:
FENCE ASSEMBLY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fence assembly comprising a fence post having an upper support junction and a lower support junction. A fence frame includes an upper traverse rail joined to a lower traverse rail. Connection of the upper traverse rail to the fence post uses an upper rail connector having rotation relative to the upper support junction and connected therewith using an elongate connector inserted through the upper rail connector that includes a protrusion received by the upper traverse rail for connection at the upper support junction of the fence post. Likewise, connection of the lower traverse rail to the fence post uses a lower rail connector having rotation relative to the lower support junction and connected therewith using an elongate connector inserted through the lower rail connector that includes a protrusion received by the lower traverse rail for connection at the lower support junction of the fence post.



Inventors:
Mcilwain, Blake (Houston, TX, US)
Application Number:
12/193575
Publication Date:
11/12/2009
Filing Date:
08/18/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
256/59, 256/24
International Classes:
E04H17/14; E04H17/00; E04H17/16
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20070007502End gating terminal for a wire rope safety barrier and wire rope safety barrier equipped with such an end gating terminalJanuary, 2007Nilsson et al.
20020020834Low-maintenance fenceFebruary, 2002Stusser
20040164285Inflatable barricade and snow collection methodAugust, 2004Bernasconi
20090184303BALUSTRADINGJuly, 2009Jones et al.
20050279981Under-fence barrierDecember, 2005Onbey
20080308779Resin GuardrailDecember, 2008Yu et al.
20030178614Plastic-coated hand rails, guard rails, and the likeSeptember, 2003Frank Jr.
20040004210FencingJanuary, 2004Bauer et al.
20050199868Handrail gate, hinge and lockSeptember, 2005Morris



Primary Examiner:
AMIRI, NAHID
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HOUSTON OFFICE OF (HOUSTON, TX, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A fence assembly comprising: a fence post having at least one upper support junction and at least one lower support junction; a fence frame including an upper traverse rail joined to a lower traverse rail; an upper rail connector extending from the at least one upper support junction and connected therewith using a first elongate connector inserted through the upper rail connector that is received by the upper traverse rail for connection at the at least one upper support junction of the fence post; and a lower rail connector extending from the at least one lower support junction and connected therewith using a second elongate connector inserted through the lower rail connector that is received by the lower traverse rail for connection at the at least one lower support junction of the fence post.

2. The fence assembly as recited in claim 1, wherein the upper traverse rail is joined to the lower traverse rail using a proximate rail and a distal rail.

3. The fence assembly as recited in claim 2, wherein the proximate rail and the distal rail have an orthogonal relationship to the upper traverse rail and the lower traverse rail.

4. The fence assembly as recited in claim 3, including a panel of material selected from the group consisting of wire mesh, fabric, wood, metal and plastic and the like.

5. The fence assembly as recited in claim 1, wherein the upper traverse rail is joined to the lower traverse rail using more than two connecting rails.

6. The fence assembly as recited in claim 1, including an upper frame connector extending from the at least one upper support junction, the upper frame connector including the upper rail connector and an upper seat that abuts the upper rail connector for connection therewith using the first elongate connector.

7. The fence assembly as recited in claim 6, further including a lower frame connector extending from the at least one lower support junction, the lower frame connector including the lower rail connector and a lower seat that abuts the lower rail connector for connection therewith using the second elongate connector.

8. The fence assembly as recited in claim 1, wherein the first and second elongate connectors are selected from the group consisting of connecting pins, rods, screws, pegs, plugs and clips and the like.

9. The fence assembly as recited in claim 8, wherein the first and second elongate connectors provide connection of the upper and lower rail connectors to the at least one upper support junction and at least one lower support junction respectively using retention means selected from mating engagement and frictional engagement.

10. The fence assembly as recited in claim 8, wherein the first and second elongate connectors comprise a metal clip including at least a pair of hooked tips engaging the upper and lower seats respectively to provide connection with the upper and lower rail connectors.

11. The fence assembly as recited in claim 8, wherein the first and second elongate connectors comprise a screw for mating engagement with a thread formed within the upper and lower seats respectively to provide connection with the upper and lower rail connectors.

12. The fence assembly as recited in claim 1, wherein the upper rail connector and the lower rail connector each include a protrusion to be received by the upper traverse rail and the lower traverse rail respectively for connection of the fence frame to the fence post.

13. A fence assembly comprising: a fence post having an upper support junction and a lower support junction; a fence frame including an upper traverse rail joined to a lower traverse rail using a plurality of vertical rails therebetween; an upper frame connector extending from the upper support junction and including an upper seat for an upper rail connector having rotation relative to the upper seat and held in abutment therewith using an elongate connector inserted through the upper rail connector for frictional retention against the upper seat, the upper rail connector including a protrusion to be received by the upper traverse rail for connection to the upper rail connector; and a lower frame connector extending from the lower support junction and including a lower seat for a lower rail connector having rotation relative to the lower seat and held in abutment therewith using an elongate connector inserted through the lower rail connector for frictional retention against the lower seat, the lower rail connector including a protrusion to be received by the lower traverse rail for connection to the lower rail connector.

14. A fence connecting assembly comprising: an upper frame connector extending from an upper support junction of a fence post, the upper frame connector including an upper rail connector connected to the upper support junction using an elongate connector inserted through the upper rail connector that is received by an upper traverse rail of a fence frame for connection at the upper support junction of the fence post; and a lower frame connector extending from a lower support junction of the fence post, the lower frame connector including a lower rail connector connected to the lower support junction using an elongate connector inserted through the lower rail connector that is received by a lower traverse rail of the fence frame for connection at the lower support junction of the fence post.

15. The fence connecting assembly as recited in claim 14, wherein the upper rail connector and the lower rail connector each include a protrusion to be received by the upper traverse rail and the lower traverse rail respectively for connection of the fence frame to the fence post.

16. The fence connecting assembly as recited in claim 14, wherein the upper and the lower rail connectors have rotation relative to the upper and lower support junctions respectively.

17. A method for constructing a fence assembly comprising the steps of: providing a fence post having at least one upper support junction and at least one lower support junction; providing a fence frame including an upper traverse rail joined to a lower traverse rail; attaching the upper traverse rail to the at least one upper support junction using an upper rail connector extending from the at least one upper support junction and connected therewith using a first elongate connector inserted through the upper rail connector that has connection to the upper traverse rail; and attaching the lower traverse rail to the at least one lower support junction using a lower rail connector extending from the at least one lower support junction and connected therewith using a second elongate connector inserted through the lower rail connector that has connection to the lower traverse rail, the attaching of the upper and lower transverse rails joining the fence frame to the fence post to provide the fence assembly.

18. The method as recited in claim 17, wherein the upper rail connector and the lower rail connector each include a protrusion to be received by the upper traverse rail and the lower traverse rail respectively for connection of the fence frame to the fence post.

19. The fence connecting assembly as recited in claim 17, wherein the upper and the lower rail connectors have rotation relative to the at least one upper support junction and at least one lower support junction respectively.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/051,062 filed May 7, 2008, said application is incorporated by reference in its entirety.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure relates generally to a fence assembly and to a method for its construction. More specifically the disclosure relates to interconnecting and structural components used for connecting railing members to posts such that the members adopt a configuration that is adaptable to terrain where fence installation occurs.

BACKGROUND ART

The many and varied approaches to construction of barriers and fences, use an essentially common design based on use of posts of pre-cut lengths, which provide connection for fence panels supplied as pre-fabricated units. When suitably connected using a variety of hardware components, such as bolts or clamps, for example, these fence posts and panels become sections of fence.

In some circumstances, it is desirable to have a fence that can be dissembled by the owner of the property rather than relying on the installer of the fence or another hired person to disassemble the fence. For instance, if a home owner has a pool local laws often require that the pool be enclosed by a fence that meets certain minimum regulations. Current solutions focus on the use of mesh fencing that is assembled in panels. The mesh panels often do not fit well with the aesthetics of the house and surrounding landscape. The home owner can disassemble the fence if desired.

Other fencing systems also suffer from similar problems as described above. This disclosure presents a solution that overcomes the problems illustrated above and additional problems which would be apparent to those skilled in the art.

SUMMARY

The present disclosure in its several disclosed embodiments alleviates the drawbacks described above with respect to conventionally designed fence assemblies and incorporates several additionally beneficial features.

A fence assembly in accordance with the present disclosure comprises fence frames made from suitable elongate elements including those selected from metal, wood or plastic tubes, rods, poles, strips, slats, boards and the like. Each frame includes a transverse, upper or top rail, and a transverse, lower or bottom rail held to the top rail by at least a pair of vertical rails that also provide end rails for a rectangular frame used to support wire mesh or fabric panels. Optionally, the fence frame has a relatively open structure in which the upper and lower transverse rails have connection to each other using a plurality of vertical rails.

Interconnection of fence frames uses a fence post that in one embodiment in accordance with the present disclosure can include an upper support junction and a lower support junction. Upper and lower frame connectors extending from the upper and lower support junctions respectively include rail connectors having rotation relative to the support junctions and having connection thereto using a variety of connectors selected from connecting pins, rods, screws, pegs, plugs and clips and the like inserted through respective rail connectors for engagement with the support junction. Methods for interaction between connectors and support junctions include frictional and mating engagement.

Each of the upper and lower rail connectors may include a protrusion for attachment to each of the upper and lower traverse rails respectively to produce a fence assembly such that the fence frame has connection to the fence post by means of the frame connectors. The frame connectors can have a range of motion for variable positioning.

Construction of a fence uses a plurality of fence assemblies including fence posts can be selected from those having only one upper rail connector and one lower rail connector, as described above, and those having additional upper and lower rail connectors depending on the design of the fenced-in area or enclosure. It is an object of this disclosure to provide a fence assembly capable of quick, easy interconnection to provide a secure fence around a yard or a swimming pool, for example. Variation in the height of fence frames is possible by adjustment of frame connectors relative to the longitudinal axis of the fence post. Additionally, for added support more than two frame connectors may be provided on the post.

Another embodiment can include frame connectors having a seat for a rail connector that rotates relative to the seat and maintains abutment therewith using an elongate connector inserted through the rail connector for frictional retention against the seat. Materials suitable for producing elongate connectors include metals and plastics, including structural plastics and the like. A preferred material is sprung steel that provides a clip or pin arrangement having a cap portion with a pair of biased tangs extending from its underside. Biasing of the metal tangs urges separation of one from the other so that the tangs grip the inner surface of openings or channels into which they are inserted. The cap portion of the clip or pin has a size exceeding the diameter or cross dimension of the opening or channel to limit the extent to which the biased tangs enter the opening. Also, the cap portion can allow the user to withdraw the clip or pin to facilitate fence disassembly.

An additional embodiment of the fence assembly may include fence posts having frame connectors that have rail connectors designed with an opening to accommodate transverse rails inserted therein as an optional arrangement to protrusions extending from the rail connectors for insertion into ends of transverse rails, as described previously.

More particularly, the present disclosure can provide a fence connecting assembly comprising a fence post having an upper support junction and a lower support junction. A fence frame includes an upper traverse rail joined to a lower traverse rail. Connection of the upper traverse rail to the fence post uses an upper frame connector extending from the upper support junction and including an upper rail connector having rotation relative to the upper support junction and connected therewith using an elongate connector inserted through the upper rail connector that includes a protrusion to be received by the upper traverse rail for connection at the upper support junction of the fence post. Likewise, connection of the lower traverse rail to the fence post uses a lower frame connector extending from the lower support junction and including a lower rail connector having rotation relative to the lower support junction and connected therewith using an elongate connector inserted through the lower rail connector that includes a protrusion to be received by the lower traverse rail for connection at the lower support junction of the fence post.

Anticipating attachment of a plurality of fence frames to a fence post, an alternative embodiment of the present disclosure provides a fence connecting assembly comprising a fence post having at least one upper support junction and at least one lower support junction. A fence frame includes an upper traverse rail joined to a lower traverse rail. Connection of the upper traverse rail to the fence post uses an upper frame connector extending from the at least one upper support junction and including an upper rail connector having rotation relative to the at least one upper support junction and connected therewith using an elongate connector inserted through the upper rail connector that includes a protrusion to be received by the upper traverse rail for connection at the at least one upper support junction of the fence post. Likewise, connection of the lower traverse rail to the fence post uses a lower frame connector extending from the at least one lower support junction and including a lower rail connector having rotation relative to the at least one lower support junction and connected therewith using an elongate connector inserted through the lower rail connector that includes a protrusion to be received by the lower traverse rail for connection at the at least one lower support junction of the fence post.

In a further embodiment describing hinge components in accordance with the present disclosure, a fence connecting assembly comprises a fence post having an upper support junction and a lower support junction. A fence frame includes an upper traverse rail joined to a lower traverse rail using a plurality of vertical rails therebetween. Connection of the upper traverse rail to the fence post uses an upper frame connector extending from the upper support junction. The upper frame connector includes an upper seat for an upper rail connector that rotates relative to the upper seat and is held in abutment therewith using an elongate connector inserted through the upper rail connector for frictional retention against the upper seat. The upper rail connector includes a protrusion to be received by the upper traverse rail for connection to the upper rail connector. Likewise, connection of the lower traverse rail to the fence post uses a lower frame connector extending from the lower support junction. The lower frame connector includes a lower seat for a lower rail connector having rotation relative to the lower seat and held in abutment therewith using an elongate connector inserted through the lower rail connector for frictional retention against the lower seat. The lower rail connector includes a protrusion to be received by the lower traverse rail for connection to the lower rail connector;

The present disclosure provides a method for constructing a fence assembly comprising: providing a fence post having at least one upper support junction and at least one lower support junction and providing a fence frame including an upper traverse rail joined to a lower traverse rail. Connection of the fence frame to the fence post involves attaching the upper traverse rail to the at least one upper support junction using an upper rail connector extending from the at least one upper support junction and connected therewith using a first elongate connector inserted through the upper rail connector that has connection to the upper traverse rail. Attaching the lower traverse rail to the at least one lower support junction uses a lower rail connector extending from the at least one lower support junction and connected therewith using a second elongate connector inserted through the lower rail connector that has connection to the lower traverse rail. The attaching of the upper and lower transverse rails to the at least one upper support junction and at least one lower support junction joins the fence frame to the fence post to provide the fence assembly.

The beneficial effects described above apply generally to the exemplary devices and mechanisms disclosed herein of the fence assembly. The specific structures through which these benefits are delivered will be described in detail hereinbelow.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The disclosure will now be described in greater detail in the following way of example only and with reference to the attached drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a fence assembly according to the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 provides an elevational view of a fence assembly according to the present disclosure;

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of an optional embodiment of a fence assembly according to the present disclosure;

FIG. 4 provides an elevational view of the optional embodiment of the fence assembly of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 provides an elevantional view of a section of fencing constructed using fence assemblies according to the present disclosure;

FIG. 6 provides an elevational view showing an exemplary fence constructed from fence assemblies according to the present disclosure to surround a swimming pool;

FIG. 7 provides a close up perspective view of an elongate connector according to the present disclosure;

FIG. 8 illustrates an exemplary elevational view of a fence assembly with elongate connectors in which the components are scaled according to one embodiment of the disclosure; and

FIG. 9 illustrates an exemplary elevational view of a fence assembly with screw connectors in which the components are scaled according to one embodiment of the disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As required, detailed embodiments of the present disclosure are provided herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary and may be embodied in various and alternative forms. The figures are not necessarily to scale and some features may be exaggerated or minimized to show details of particular components. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present disclosure.

Referring to the figures, wherein like numbers refer to like parts throughout the several views, FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a fence assembly 10. The fence assembly 10 includes a fence post 12 connected to a fence frame 14. Each fence frame 14 has an upper transverse rail 16, a lower transverse rail 18, a distal end rail 20, and a proximate end rail 22 providing a rectangular frame that converts to a fence frame 14 by placement of a panel or structural elements of materials selected from wire mesh, fabric, wood, metal and plastic and the like. In FIG. 1, the space between the transverse rails 16, 18 and end rails 20, 22 contains a plurality of vertical members 24. It will be appreciated that replacement of the vertical members 24 by horizontal members falls within the scope of the present disclosure.

Attachment of the fence frame 14 to the fence post 12 uses an upper frame connector 26 extending from an upper support junction 28 and a lower frame connector 30 extending from a lower support junction 32. The upper and lower frame connectors 26, 30 each include a seat, identified as upper and lower seats 34, 36 for abutment with upper and lower rail connectors 38, 40 respectively. An elongate connector 50 included in each of the frame connectors 26, 30, provides means for releasable connection between the seats 34, 36 and rail connectors 38, 40. As illustrated in FIG. 1, the upper and lower rail connectors 38, 40 have rotation relative to the seats 34, 36 of the frame connectors 26, 30. However, it is conceivable to fix the rail connectors 38, 40 relative to the seats 34, 36 to set the orientation of the fence frame 14 with respect to the fence post 12.

Rail connectors 38, 40 in accordance with the present disclosure each include a connecting feature, identified in FIG. 1 as an upper protrusion 42 and a lower protrusion 44, for insertion into receiving openings 46, 48 at the ends of the upper and lower transverse rails 16, 18 respectively. It will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill that other interconnecting features can replace the protrusions 42, 44 of FIG. 1 for attaching fence frames 14 to rail connectors 38, 40.

Either before or after attaching the fence frame 14 to the upper rail connector 38 and the lower rail connector 40, connection of the upper and lower rail connectors 38, 40 to the upper and lower frame connectors 26, 30 requires insertion of an elongate connector 50 through each of the upper and lower rail connectors 38, 40 to enter the upper and lower seats 34, 36 respectively for engagement with the inner wall of each seat 34, 36 for retention of the elongate connector 50 therein and abutment of the upper and lower rail connectors 38, 40 with their respective seats 34, 36.

In one embodiment, the elongate connector 50 is illustrated in FIG. 1 as an exemplary connector having the structure of a spring clip preferably fabricated from sprung steel and having a cap portion 52 with a pair of biased extensions 54, also referred to herein as pins or tangs or legs, protruding from its underside. The extensions 54 have hooked tips 56. Biasing of the tangs or extensions 54 urges separation of one from the other so that they grip the inner wall surface of openings or channels formed within the seats 34, 36. One exemplarily embodiment of the elongate connector 50 is shown in FIG. 7. The illustrated embodiment of FIG. 7 allows for the above described details to be seen with more clarity. In other embodiments, the pair of biased extensions 54 may have a material sandwiched between the two. This material could be a plastic, rubber, foam or other material that is capable of deforming and allowing the pair of biased extensions 54 to operate according to the description given below. Additionally, hooked tips 56 may be rounded or otherwise shaped so as to prevent catching of clothing and like on the hooked tips 56. In the embodiment with the material sandwiched between the pair of biased extensions 54, the material may further serve the purpose of preventing clothing from catching on the elongate connector 50.

FIG. 1 shows two options for retention of the elongate connector or clip 50 by the upper seat 34 and the lower seat 36. The upper seat 34, in FIG. 1, is depicted as a tube that is open at both ends. After passing through the upper rail connector 38 the tangs 54 of the spring clip 50 require compression towards each other to allow the hooked tips 56 to pass along the inner wall of the upper seat 34. When fully inserted into the upper seat 34, the hooked tips 56 of the spring clip or elongate connector 50 emerge from the lower open end 58 of the upper seat 34 to allow the tangs 54 to separate. This sets the hooked tips 56 against the edge of the lower open end 58 of the upper seat 34 to releasably secure the upper rail connector 38 to the upper seat 34 between the cap portion 52 and the hooked tips 56 of the elongate connector or spring clip 50. The lower open end 58 of the upper seat 34 may have an opening which is smaller in diameter than the outer diameter of the upper seat 34. This arrangement allows for the hooked tips 56 of the spring clip 50 to not extend beyond the outer diameter of the upper seat 34. The cap portion 52 of the clip 50 has a size exceeding the diameter or cross dimension of the opening or channel of each of the upper seat 34 and the upper rail connector 38 to limit entry of the biased tangs 54 into the opening or channel. Also, the cap portion 52 allows for withdrawing the elongate connector or clip 50 after release of the hooked tips 56 from the edge of the lower open end 58 of the upper seat 34 to facilitate fence disassembly.

The second option for retention of the elongate connector or clip 50 is shown by reference to the lower seat 36. FIG. 1 shows the lower seat 36 as a tubular structure that is open at one end and closed at the other end. After passing through the lower rail connector 40 the tangs 54 of the spring clip 50 require compression towards each other to allow the hooked tips 56 to pass along the inner wall of the lower seat 36. When fully inserted into the lower seat 36, the hooked tips 56 of the spring clip or elongate connector 50 separate due to inherent biasing force. This sets the hooked tips 56 in frictional contact with the inner wall of the lower seat 36 to be releasably secure the lower rail connector 40 to the lower seat 36 beneath the cap portion 52 of the elongate connector of the spring clip 50. The cap portion 52 of the clip 50 has a size exceeding the diameter or cross dimension of the opening or channel of each of the lower seat 36 and the lower rail connector 40 to limit entry of the biased tangs 54 into the opening or channel formed in the lower seat 36. Also, to facilitate fence disassembly, the cap portion 52 allows for withdrawing the elongate connector or clip 50 from the lower seat 36, against the frictional forces exerted by the hooked tips 56.

While the above options for retention of the elongate connector 50 have been described in relation to illustrated figure, those of ordinary skill in the art would appreciate that the retention of the elongate connector 50 for the fence assembly 10 may be limited to one of the above described embodiments or may include a mixture of the embodiments.

The assembly of the upper and lower rail connectors 38, 40 on the upper and lower seats 34, 36 is also illustrated. In the illustrated embodiment, the upper and lower rail connectors 38, 40 are dimensioned such that they are larger than the external dimensions of the upper and lower seats 34, 36. In other embodiments, the upper and lower rail connectors 38, 40 are dimensioned such that they are the same size as the external dimensions of the upper and lower seats 34, 36 such that the interfacing surfaces of the upper and lower rail connectors 38, 40 with upper and lower seats 34, 36 bear against one another. Other interconnections are considered within the scope of this disclosure as well.

FIG. 2 shows a fence assembly 10 constructed as described with respect to FIG. 1 to include a fence post 12 having an upper frame connector 26 joined to the post 12 at an upper support junction 28 and a lower frame connector 30 joined to the post 12 at a lower support junction 32. An upper seat 34 supports an upper rail connector 38 releasably secured to the upper seat 34 by a spring clip connector 50. The upper seat 34 has a longitudinal channel formed therein that is open at both ends to allow the hooked tips 56 of the spring clip or elongate connector 50, when fully inserted into the upper seat 34, to emerge from the lower open end 58 of the upper seat 34 to allow the tangs 54 (not shown) to separate. This sets the hooked tips 56 against the edge of the lower open end 58 of the upper seat 34 to releasably secure the upper rail connector 38 to the upper seat 34 between the cap portion 52 and the hooked tips 56 of the elongate connector or spring clip 50.

Connection of the fence frame 14 to the fence post 12 relies upon attachment of the upper transverse rail 16 to the upper protrusion 42 of the upper rail connector 38 and attachment of the lower transverse rail 18 to the lower protrusion 44 of the lower rail connector 40. The upper and lower protrusions 42, 44 reside in openings at the end of upper and lower transverse rails 16, 18 respectively for retention therein using a friction fit between parts or adhesive or mechanical fasteners depending on preference.

FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of an optional embodiment of a fence assembly. Differences between FIG. 1 and FIG. 3 include the use of an elongate screw connector 51 that has a thread to engage a mating thread formed in the inner wall of each of the upper seat 34 and lower seat 36. The connector 51 has a head portion 53 similar to the cap portion 52 of the spring clip 50 described previously. By limiting insertion of screw connectors 51 into the upper and lower seats 34, 36, the head portion 53 serves the same function as cap portion 52.

In contrast to the frame connectors 26, 30 of FIG. 1, the upper and lower seats 34, 36 illustrated in FIG. 3 have only one open end 59 aligned for insertion of the screw connector 51 from above. The use of screw connectors 51 facilitates this design. However, it will be appreciated that seats 34, 36, used for frame connectors 26, 30 can be varied to use the same types or different types of seat.

FIG. 4 shows a fence assembly 10 of similar structure to that of FIG. 2. In this case each of the upper and lower seats 34, 36 is closed at the lower end and screw connectors 51 replace spring clips 50 for releasable attachment of rail connectors 38, 40 to seats 34, 36 of the upper and lower frame connectors 26, 30.

FIG. 5 illustrates a section of fencing 60 constructed using fence assemblies. Interconnection of a plurality of fence frames 14 requires the use of fence posts 62 having additional support junctions 68, 72 for frame connectors 66, 70 positioned around the fence post 62. As illustrated in FIG. 5, frame connectors 26, 30, 66, 70 occupy positions on opposite sides of the fence post 62 for formation of a straight-line section of fencing 60. Other arrangements of frame connectors are anticipated to form corner sections and angled fence sections. Regardless of their vertical position and angular orientation on the fence post 62, the support junctions 68, 72 dispose frame connectors 66, 70 in position for attachment to other fence assemblies using rail connectors 78, 80 connected to seats 74, 76 with fixed or movable positioning between them. As discussed previously, convenient attachment of fence frames 14 to rail connectors 78, 80 uses protrusions 82, 84 extending from the rail connectors 78, 80 for insertion into open ends of the upper and lower transverse rails 16, 18.

FIG. 6 is a plan view showing an exemplary fence constructed from fence assemblies 10 to surround a swimming pool 90. The exemplary fence installation shows how fence assemblies 10 in accordance with the present disclosure facilitate construction of a protective structure around a landscape element that, in this case, is subject to safety considerations. Construction of the pool-surrounding fence requires only attachment of frame connectors 26, 66, for example, to transverse rails 16, as described above with reference to FIGS. 1, 3 and 6. Retention of transverse rails 16 to fence posts 62 uses elongate connectors identified in FIG. 6 by the top portion 52 of elongate connector 50 and the head portion 53 of threaded connector 51. The use of different types of elongate connector emphasizes the flexibility of fence assemblies in accordance with the present disclosure for producing fence sections using a variety of equally suitable construction components.

As mentioned above, the preceding illustrations described embodiments of the fence assembly 10 which may or may not be to scale. In FIGS. 8 and 9, two exemplarily embodiments are presented which are scaled according to two different exemplarily embodiments of the fence assembly 10 as described above. These fence assemblies 10 are not limiting embodiments but rather embodiments provided to illustrate at least two embodiments according to the present disclosure. In FIG. 8, a fence assembly 10 with elongate connectors 50 is presented. As illustrated the upper transverse rail 16 and lower transverse rail 18 of the fence frame 14 is approximately four feet in length. In other embodiments the rails 16, 18 maybe between two and sixteen feet in length. The elongate connector 50 is illustrated as one and a half inch in diameter. In other embodiments, the elongate connector 50 can be between three-quarters of an inch to two inches in diameter. Additionally, the elongate connector 50 is shown as approximately three and a half inches in length. The height of the plurality of vertical members 24 is illustrated as five feet in height. The height of the plurality of vertical members 24 can be adjusted to fit the local laws for safety fencing which may range from four to six feet in height. Other heights may also be produced depending on the end use of the fence assembly 10. While the tubing has been illustrated as round tubing, it may be square tubing or other desired shape such as triangular and octagonal, among others. The spacing between the vertical members can be between one and a half inches to four inches. In the illustrated embodiment, the spacing is three and three quarters of an inch. FIG. 9 illustrates a similarly dimensioned fence using screw connectors 51.

A fence assembly and its components have been described herein. These and other variations, which will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, are within the intended scope of this disclosure as claimed below. As previously stated, detailed embodiments of the present disclosure are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the disclosure that may be embodied in various forms.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

The present disclosure finds applicability in the fencing and enclosures industries.