US20040010997A1 - Guides to align masonry walls defining apertures, and methods of use - Google Patents

Guides to align masonry walls defining apertures, and methods of use Download PDF

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US20040010997A1
US20040010997A1 US10/198,326 US19832602A US2004010997A1 US 20040010997 A1 US20040010997 A1 US 20040010997A1 US 19832602 A US19832602 A US 19832602A US 2004010997 A1 US2004010997 A1 US 2004010997A1
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guide
aperture
block
blocks
upper
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US10/198,326
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Oren Close
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Oren Close
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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04GSCAFFOLDING; FORMS; SHUTTERING; BUILDING IMPLEMENTS OR OTHER BUILDING AIDS, OR THEIR USE; HANDLING BUILDING MATERIALS ON THE SITE; REPAIRING, BREAKING-UP OR OTHER WORK ON EXISTING BUILDINGS
    • E04G21/00Preparing, conveying, or working-up building materials or building elements in situ; Other devices or measures for constructional work
    • E04G21/14Conveying or assembling building elements
    • E04G21/16Tools or apparatus
    • E04G21/18Adjusting tools; Templates
    • E04G21/1841Means for positioning building parts or elements
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04GSCAFFOLDING; FORMS; SHUTTERING; BUILDING IMPLEMENTS OR OTHER BUILDING AIDS, OR THEIR USE; HANDLING BUILDING MATERIALS ON THE SITE; REPAIRING, BREAKING-UP OR OTHER WORK ON EXISTING BUILDINGS
    • E04G21/00Preparing, conveying, or working-up building materials or building elements in situ; Other devices or measures for constructional work
    • E04G21/14Conveying or assembling building elements
    • E04G21/16Tools or apparatus
    • E04G21/18Adjusting tools; Templates
    • E04G21/1841Means for positioning building parts or elements
    • E04G21/1858Templates for window or door openings, e.g. in a masonry wall

Abstract

An aperture guide that facilitates alignment of masonry blocks to construct opposing walls of an aperture is disclosed and claimed. Apertures so formed typically are used for placement of windows, doors, and the like. The aperture guide is formed of components that form a parallelogram of varying angles owing to the rotatability of four junction points. When positioned for use, effectively linear edges guide the placement of blocks to result in greater accuracy and precision, with increased worker efficiency. Methods of use also are disclosed and claimed.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The formation of the walls that define an aperture in a building constructed of cement blocks, bricks, and other masonry construction units (collectively, “blocks”) utilizes basic measurement and alignment methods. For instance, a masonry contractor sets two marks on a row of blocks already mortared into place, based on the distances from a corner or other established reference point. These marks define two edges of the two walls between which is an aperture for a door, a window, or another type of aperture. Then the masonry contractor lays rows of blocks such that the end faces of the ending blocks (e.g., those blocks adjacent to the aperture) of each row are approximately in line with the respective mark. [0001]
  • This and similar methods of measurement and placement of blocks has proved satisfactory until recent changes in communities, counties, and states have enacted more stringent ordinances and/or laws. These changes implement more strict tolerances of the spaces between blocks forming an aperture and the frame or jamb for the window, door, etc., that is placed into that aperture. For instance, in the State of Florida, in response to damages to houses in past hurricanes and as part of an overall effort to construct more hurricane-resistant buildings, new building codes require tighter tolerances. Under some requirements, the tolerance between the masonry wall and the window frame cannot exceed 0.25 inches. While more experienced masonry brick layers can construct walls surrounding apertures to meet such tighter standards without need to modify the walls to meet an inspector's demands, less experienced brick layers have greater problems meeting these standards. This can cause delay and require modification of walls already formed, and/or add to the expense of the project by requiring additional engineering. [0002]
  • The present invention provides devices and methods for use of such devices that improve the efficiency, accuracy, and precision of block laying around apertures. Both less experienced as well as more experienced brick layers can benefit from this invention as they are required to meet more stringent building code standards for the tolerances of wall dimensions at apertures. [0003]
  • As will be appreciated by the disclosure and claims herein, the present invention advances the art of masonry construction. The present art of masonry construction, and of forms of levels related thereto, are exemplified by the following patents, which are incorporated by reference into this specification: U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,958,390; 4,176,831; 4,329,786; 4,334,397; 4,443,954; 4,443,994; 4,635,414; 4,733,475; 4,939,846; 5,009,015; 5,377,462; 5,191,718; 5,527,929; 5,291,718; 5,419,713; 5,537,805; 5,542,187; 5,692,357; 6,041,510; and 6,047,478. [0004]
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention includes guides suitable to assist in the alignment of block walls that define an aperture in a structure built by masonry construction. The present invention also includes methods of use of such guides.[0005]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIGS. [0006] 1A-1C present perspective, top and close up views of one embodiment of an aperture guide of the present invention.
  • FIGS. [0007] 2A-2E present views of the aperture guide of FIG. 1 in use to align new blocks to form an edge of an aperture, including close up views.
  • FIGS. [0008] 3A-3C present views of an aperture guide with a contractor's level comprising one block guide. FIG. 3D presents a view of a modified aperture guide with single, rather than paired, upper and lower parallel connectors, also with a contractor's level comprising one block guide.
  • FIGS. 4A and 4B present perspective views of two variations of an embodiment of an aperture guide that comprises a yoke connection between the parallel connectors and the opposing block guides. FIGS. [0009] 4C-4F present top and side views of two types of yoke connections.
  • FIGS. [0010] 5A-5D present views of another embodiment of an aperture guide, suitable for longer expanses. FIG. 5A is a front view, FIG. 5B is a top view, FIG. 5C is a close up of the area encircled in FIG. 5A, and FIG. 5D is a side view showing the aperture guide in a collapsing orientation.
  • FIGS. 6A,B presents perspective and close up views of another embodiment of the aperture guide of the present invention, with modified parallel connectors.[0011]
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS
  • The following terms are defined for the purposes of use in this disclosure. By “effectively linear” is meant that the component to which this description is applied has one or more straight and/or aligned sections of edges of its structure that render the component capable of its intended purpose for linear alignment of one end of a newly placed block with one or more ends of blocks previously set to form an end of a wall, such as to define a side of an aperture. For example, an effectively linear block guide need not be entirely linear along its outer edge. However, such block guide must have one or more sufficient lengths that are linear and/or aligned to achieve the intended purposes of: contacting existing, lower blocks already mortared in; and providing a physical reference guide near or against which a “new” block may be placed to have such block be set in proper alignment. Whereas the examples presented in this disclosure largely provide for outer edges a block guide that are continuously linear, this need not be the case for a block guide to be effectively linear. The outer edges may be interrupted, and/or may be comprised of dimpling, and still be effectively linear so long as the intended purposes stated herein are achievable. [0012]
  • Also, as used in this disclosure, “vertical” is intended to have a tolerance suited to the needs of the relevant masonry construction project. Depending on the relevant building code, this tolerance may be smaller or larger. Thus, when it is stated that a block guide is “vertical,” “vertically positioned,” or an equivalent, this is taken to mean that this is positioned relative to “true vertical” within a tolerance of 0.25 percent to either side, and in less stringent situations, within a tolerance of 0.50 percent to either side, and in even less stringent situations, within a tolerance of 1.00 percent to either side, and in even less stringent situations, within a tolerance of 2.0 percent, to either side. Also, it is noted that the relative lack of accuracy and precision in reading a bubble level on a job site contributes to the deviations from “true vertical.” “True vertical” is taken to mean a geometrically accurate vertical positioning. [0013]
  • Also as used herein, a “right angle,” such as is formed by the parallelogram of the aperture guide when a level is used to align a block guide to a vertical position, is meant to be formed when a “vertical” positioning or alignment is made within any of the ranges of tolerances defined in the above paragraph. [0014]
  • Also as used herein, a block guide is taken to mean a device capable of assisting in the alignment of bricks, blocks, stone, and other components of a wall structure assembled by mortar. As used herein, the term “block” is meant to encompass bricks, cement blocks, other types of blocks, stone, and other components capable of assembly by mortar into a wall. This type of construction is referred to as “masonry construction.”[0015]
  • All patents, patent applications, publications, texts and references discussed or cited herein are understood to be incorporated by reference to the same extent as if each individual publication or patent application was specifically and individually set forth in its entirety. In addition, all references, patents, applications, and other documents cited in an Invention Disclosure Statement, Examiner's Summary of Cited References, or otherwise entered into the file history of this application are taken to be incorporated by reference into this specification for the benefit of later applications claiming priority to this application. Finally, all terms not specifically defined are first taken to have the meaning given through usage in this disclosure, and if no such meaning is inferable, their normal meaning. [0016]
  • FIGS. 1A,B presents one embodiment of the present invention. The aperture guide, [0017] 10, depicted in FIG. 1A is comprised of two effectively linear block guides, 12L and 12R, each of which has an outer face, 13, defining a plane, and each of which is rotatingly connected to two parallel connecting arms, 14U and 14L, at junctions, J1, J2, J3, and J4. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1A, the upper connecting arm, 14U, is comprised of a pair of parallel members, 15A and 15B, and the lower connecting arm, 14L, is comprised of a pair of parallel members, 17A and 17B. A rotating mechanism, depicted in FIG. 1A as a junction pivot, 16, passing through sections of wood pieces, allows the block guides, 12L and 12R, to rotate in relation to the two parallel connectors, 14U and 14L. As these pairs of components rotate in relation to each other, the shapes formed by lines connecting junctions J1, J2, J3, and J4 are parallelograms of differing angles.
  • FIG. 1B is a top view of the aperture guide depicted in FIG. 1A. It is noted that the outer face, [0018] 13, of 12L and 12R extend more exteriorly than the ends of the parallel members, 15A and 15B, of the upper connecting arm, 14U.
  • As shown in FIG. 1C, which is a magnification of the encircled area of FIG. 1A, the right block guide, [0019] 12R, is positioned between the ends of the parallel members, 15A and 15B, of the upper connecting arm, 14U, and is fastened into rotating connection with parallel members, 15A and 15B by a junction pivot, 16. The junction pivot, 16, may be of any form of hardware known in the art and suitable for this purpose. For instance, the junction pivot, 16, may be comprised of a carriage bolt with a flat washer on each end (and optionally between each adjacent surface of the struts and the connecting arm), and a hexagonal nut or butterfly nut affixed to the threaded end of the carriage bolt. This nut then tightens together the “sandwiched” assembly of 12R and 15A and 15B. Many other forms of a rotatable junction pivot are known in the art. The rotatable junction pivot holds together each end of each connecting arm with at least one component of each block guide at each of the junctions. Some forms of such rotating pivot junction provide a locking means such that when the aperture guide is in a desired position and angle, it may be reversibly locked in such position at one or more of the junctions. For example, placing at least one large wing nut, butterfly nut, or “handle nut” (see, for example, inset FIG. 3B) on the bolts in FIG. 1, so that one or more of the junctions could be readily tightened to reversibly establish a given angular positioning of the struts in relation to the connecting arms, provides a desired fixed configuration of the aperture guide, such as during operations or transport of the aperture guide. Other forms of such rotatable junction pivot do not provide for a locking means, although some of these latter forms would have means for adjusting tension at the junctions and thereby the ease of rotating the block guides in relation to the members of the connecting arms.
  • In one specific construction of the embodiment of FIGS. 1A,B, each of the block guides, [0020] 12L and 12R, and each the members, 15A, 15B, 17A, and 17B of the two connecting arms, 14U and 14L, is comprised of a 1 inch by 3 inch (nominal size) wood piece. Each junction pivot, at J1, J2, J3, and J4, is comprised of a carriage bolt and mating nut, with the shaft of the bolt passing through a hole made in each of the struts and connecting arms such that a parallelogram is formed.
  • In operation, the aperture guide, [0021] 10, of FIGS. 1A-C provides a guide of a fixed width to assist in the block laying by a mason of the block walls on both sides of an opening for placement of a door, window, or other aperture. Typically, a mason will lay a row of blocks that establishes the lower edge of a desired aperture (or that is the last full row of blocks below the aperture, which may additionally comprise, in final form, a sill, a window frame, a door frame, etc.). This row is identified as 22 in FIGS. 2A and 2B. Once this row of blocks, which is the highest block row below the desired aperture, is mortared (or otherwise set) in place, the mason measures and lays blocks that establish the left and right edges of the aperture. After blocks of the first row, 23, or first and second rows, 23 and 24, adjacent to the desired aperture are set in place, the aperture guide, 10, is positioned to fit against the blocks of the left and right sides of the aperture, with the bottom ends, 20L and 20R, resting on the aperture corners, 21L and 21R. This is shown in FIG. 2A. As shown in FIG. 2A, in typical operation of the embodiment depicted in FIG. 1A, the bottom ends of each of the block guides, designated by 20L and 20R, initially rest against blocks of the bottom edge of the aperture, which is the top of blocks of row 20, at aperture corners 21L and 21R. This also is shown in FIG. 2A. In variations of the operation of the guides of the present invention, the initial position may be elevated from this corner-resting position.
  • A level, L[0022] 1, not part of the aperture guide of FIG. 1, is placed against a straight edge of one of the block guides, 12L or 12R, and the aperture guide is adjusted so that this block guide is vertical. This is a contractor's level or other suitable level. The leveling results in the formation of a squared rectangle formed by the four junctions, J1-J4, with the planes defined by the outer faces, 13, of both opposing block guides, 12L and 12R, also being vertical. This is the “squared position” of the guide during operation. The angle formed at each of the four junctions, J1-J4, is a right angle within the tolerances defined above. Tightening of one or more of the junction pivots, and/or other available approaches, help maintain this squared position.
  • Once the aperture guide, [0023] 10, is in the squared position, a block, 25, is laid on the next row (this can be to the left or right of the aperture being formed), so that the end of the block toward the aperture is within a specified distance from the outer edge of the guide. This specified distance should be within the allowed tolerance of distances allowed under the relevant local, county, state, and/or federal ordinances, rules or laws. As long as the aperture guide remains undisturbed, blocks are laid within the specified distance from the outer edge of the guide, whether this edge is along the right or left edge of the aperture guide. As desired and appropriate for the construction of the masonry wall, each row of blocks is completed to a corner, other aperture, or an appropriate distance before the next highest blocks are placed. After the last row of blocks that define the aperture's height are mortared into place (even while the mortar is wet, and has not cured), a lentil, a joist, or other appropriate structure is placed across the top of the aperture, to complete its basic formation. Where so designed, a doorjamb, window frame, etc., is inserted into the aperture and secured to the surrounding blocks.
  • Another way to operate the guide is described as follows. As above, the lower edge and the proper position of the desired aperture are established. After the block row that is the last block row below the desired aperture is placed, at least some blocks comprising the first, or first and second row of blocks to each side of the aperture are laid. These blocks include the blocks immediately adjacent to the aperture. [0024]
  • Then the aperture guide is positioned to fit against the blocks of the left and right sides, such as by placing one bottom end of one block guide in one bottom corner of the aperture. Then the other bottom of the other block guide is positioned into the opposing corner of the aperture by rotating this side of the aperture guide down so this other bottom abuts the opposing aperture corner. This establishes the guide in a substantially squared configuration with the block guides being vertical or nearly vertical. Optionally, or as needed, the guide is tilted manually to one side of the aperture. A level may assist this positioning. Then a block is placed with mortar above the highest block already mortared in position, on the side away from the direction of the tilting. Its end toward the aperture is initially set slightly inward, into the aperture, compared to the edge of the block immediately below it. Then a level is placed along a straight edge of the aperture guide, adjacent to the block just laid. The block guide is then tapped or otherwise brought to a vertical position based on the bubble guide (or other leveling indicator) of the level. This, as needed, pushes the block just laid to a desired position that is within the desired tolerance for the walls adjacent this aperture. If the block must be pushed a relatively longer distance to permit the aperture guide to come to vertical position, the mason optionally can tap the block away from the aperture prior to bringing the block guide to its vertical positioning (or do so for a portion of the required distance, so bringing the block guide to vertical moves the block only the last, smaller portion of the required distance). [0025]
  • As for the other method described above, after the last row of blocks that define the aperture's height are mortared into place, a lentil, a joist, or other appropriate structure is placed across the top of the aperture, to complete its basic formation. Where so designed, a doorjamb, window frame, etc., is inserted into the aperture and secured to the surrounding blocks. [0026]
  • It is noted that although the methods described above are those considered effective, other variations in the method of use of the aperture guide may be employed. For instance, it is not absolutely critical that a right angle be formed when the block guides are placed parallel against the opposing rows of blocks that define the starting walls of an aperture. A non-right angle parallelogram may be formed when the overall width of the aperture guide is slightly wider than the desired distance between the side walls. One of the two block guides will rest somewhat higher than the opposing block guide, but with proper vertical alignment and stabilization, the aperture guide does function in this “non-right angle” configuration. [0027]
  • It is noted that the friction between the ends of the blocks exposed to the aperture and the outer edges of the aperture guides helps keep the aperture guides in a desired position, such as its initial position with the bottom ends of the block guides positioned against the row of blocks that comprise the bottom edge of the aperture (e.g., at corners [0028] 21L and 21R). Often the height of the desired aperture is greater than the length of the block guides. In such situations the aperture guide can be repositioned taking advantage of this friction. That is, one of the block guides is rotated upward to transiently reduce the width of the aperture guide, then the entire aperture guide is raised uniformly, then the block guide on one side is pressed against the already formed lower section of the side wall at an elevated point along this wall, and the other side is rotated downward and pressed against the opposing side wall at an elevated point along this wall, so the bottom ends of both block guides are at approximately equal heights. The friction between the ends of these higher blocks exposed to the aperture and the outer edges of the aperture guides helps keep the aperture guides in a desired position.
  • For example, an elevated position of the aperture guide, [0029] 10, is shown in FIG. 2C, which is an enlargement of the encircled region of FIG. 2B. The area of stabilizing frictional forces is the area where the outer face, 13, of the block guide, 12L and 12R, contacts the already formed blocks of the walls of the aperture. This is shown as area 26 in FIG. 2C. Once so positioned, the aperture guide guides the placement of higher rows of blocks facing the aperture, employing either of the above two manners of operation, and/or variations thereof, to properly form the aperture.
  • Where the frictional forces of the outer surfaces of the block guides are or may be insufficient to keep any of the embodiments of the aperture guide positioned, any of a number of additional stabilizing features optionally is added to the aperture guides. For example, referring to the aperture guide, [0030] 10, shown in FIG. 2D (which is a magnification of the encircled area of FIG. 2B, and is modified by the addition of a stabilizer), a stabilizer, 27, is positioned near the bottom end of 12R. This stabilizer, 27, is comprised of two spring-loaded rubber caps, each assembly identified as 30. A close-up of one cap assembly, 30, is shown in FIG. 2E. A rubber cap with a convex head, 29, is fastened to one end of a spring, 28, and the other end of the spring, 28, is anchored at the bottom of a hole, 31, in the strut, 18A. Once positioned against a block of the already formed aperture wall, the spring, 28, presses out the cap, 29, exerting compressive force against the brick wall and contributing to the physical stabilization of the aperture guide during its use. This enhances the aperture guide's ability to “climb” upwards as more rows of block are formed. It is noted that the gap shown in FIGS. 2D and 2E, between the blocks and 12R, would be narrowed once the block guide is pressed against the blocks. In such configuration the springs, 28, are applying force to the blocks via the caps, 29, and the springs are compressed as the caps partially retract as compressive force is applied by positioning of the aperture guide, 10, against the blocks on both sides of the aperture.
  • FIG. 3A depicts an aperture guide, [0031] 32, of the present invention that incorporates a contractor's level as one of the two block guides. In FIG. 3B, the contractor's level, 33, has its outer edge, 34, that juts outward more than the outer face, 13B, of members 15A and 15B of the upper connecting arm, 14U(the same applies for the lower connecting arm, 14L). That is, as viewed in the magnified side view, FIG. 3B, the outer edge, 34, of the level, 33, extends further out from the aperture guide, 32 (and thus will be in contact with the blocks), than edges 13B of 15A and 15B. The outer edge 34 defines a plane, 13P. This plane, 13P, establishes a reference plane to which the ends of the blocks closest to the aperture are aligned during operation of the aperture guide.
  • In other configurations both outer edges [0032] 34 and 13B define the plane, 13P. In such embodiments, this plane, 13P, establishes the reference plane to which the ends of the blocks closest to the aperture are aligned during operation of the aperture guide.
  • This incorporated contractor's level, [0033] 33, allows a user to use bubbles, 35B, 35M and 35T, and preferably the top bubble, 35T, to align the guide sides to a vertical orientation without the need to hold a separate level in alignment with a linear section of a strut, as was necessary for the aperture guide, 10, of FIGS. 1A-C, shown in operation in FIG. 2A. This more easily allows a user to construct vertical, parallel masonry walls through proper use of the aperture guide. In particular, as noted in the description of operations for the aperture guide, 10, of FIGS. 1A-C, here the blocks are aligned to the outer edge, 34, of the left side block guide, 12L, and to the outer edge, 34, of the carpenter's level, 33. Also, obviously, operations of this aperture guide do not require the use of an independent level since the contractor's level, 33, is integral with the aperture guide, 32.
  • With regard to embodiments of the present invention that incorporate a level into the aperture guide, it is noted that any level, and any type of leveling mechanism, and any type of leveling technology, such as are known or will become known in the art, may be incorporated. The use of a contractor's level, [0034] 33, as shown in FIG. 3A, is meant to be illustrative and not limiting. For instance, a fluid-filled bubble tube, such as is found in common contractor's levels, may be incorporated into a strut that comprises one of the block guides. For purposes of this disclosure, the term “level” is meant to include standard and novel levels so long as they provide a readily determinable gauge of the relative angle of the surface or edge to which it is attached.
  • FIG. 3C is an enlargement of the bottom of the level, [0035] 33 of FIG. 3A. It shows two spring-loaded rubber-cap assemblies, each identified as 30. A see-through detail of the top assembly reveals a rubber cap, 29, with a convex head, 29H, integral with a shaft, 29S, in which the shaft, 29S, is fastened to one end of a spring, 28. The other end of the spring, 28, is anchored at the bottom of a hole, 31, in the level, 33. As for the aperture guide in FIGS. 2D and 2E, once positioned against a block of the already formed aperture wall, the spring, 28, presses out the cap head, 29H, into the brick wall and the spring's force so resulting compressive force against the block(s) helps stabilize the aperture guide, 32. This also enhances the aperture guide's ability to “climb” upwards as more rows of block are formed.
  • It is noted that stabilizing devices other than the spring-loaded rubber-cap assembly, [0036] 30, may be positioned into a block guide, whether or not the block guide is a carpenter's level or other leveling device that is incorporated into the aperture guide. Also, variations of the spring-loaded rubber-cap assembly, such as conceived and implemented by those of ordinary skill in the art, are considered to be within the scope of the present invention. For instance, instead of a shaft, 29S, fitting within the void formed by the spring, 28, a recess on the bottom of the convex cap may be used to fit around the circumference of the end of the spring. Many other variations of this type of stabilizer can be envisioned and are still within the scope of this invention. Likewise, other types of mechanical (exerting compressive force against the block(s)) and passive (increasing the effective frictional force between the outer face of the block guide(s) and the block(s), such as an application of abrasive material to the outer face where it contacts the already placed blocks) stabilizers, can be implemented by those of ordinary skill in the art and fall within the scope of the invention claimed herein.
  • FIG. 3D depicts another variation of an aperture guide, [0037] 10. Here a carpenter's level, 33, comprises the right block guide. The lower connecting arm, 14L, is comprised of only a single member, 17A, spanning between 18A and 33. This member, 17A, is shown facing the viewer in relation to the vertical block guides, 18A and 33. In contrast, the single member, 15B, of the top connecting arm, 14U, is shown in an “opposing” orientation, oriented away from the viewer in relation to the vertical block guides, 18A and 33. This variation of the aperture guide, 10, may be used where paired members of the connecting arms are not required structurally, and a lighter, simpler aperture guide is desired.
  • FIG. 4A depicts an aperture guide, [0038] 40, of the present invention in which the connecting arm struts, 42 and 48, are tubular pipes. These tubular pipes are constructed of common materials, including but not limited to aluminum, aluminum alloy, steel, fiberglass, carbon epoxy composites, and so forth. In FIG. 4A these pipes are of a fixed length, and are not adjustable. However, in variations of this embodiment, the tubular pipes, 42 and 48, may be interchanged with pipes of different lengths in order for the aperture guide, 40, to guide in the masonry construction of different widths of apertures. It is further noted that for all embodiments disclosed herein, and additionally for those embodiments within the scope of the claims appended hereto, components of the connecting arms may be interchanged as desired with different lengths in order to change the overall effective width of a particular aperture guide such that the aperture guide can be used in the masonry construction of different widths of apertures.
  • Another feature of the aperture guide, [0039] 40, of FIG. 4A are the curved yokes, 50, that connect the tubular pipes, 42 and 48, to the block guides, 52L and 52R. Each curved yoke is fixedly (but optionally removably) connected at one end, 53, to the ends of pipes 42 and 48. At the other end, 54, of each yoke, 50, the yoke is rotatingly connected to a junction pivot, 16. The construction of the junction pivot, 16, is as described above; however, here, due to the yoke configuration and the single strut of each block guide, 52L and 52R, the junction pivot connects two sides of a yoke, 50, to a single block guide positioned in between the two sides.
  • The yokes, [0040] 50, are curved to permit the folding of the aperture guide, such as during transport from one aperture to another aperture, and from one job site to another job site. The arrows alongside the block guides, 52L and 52R, of FIG. 4A indicate the direction each block guide would travel in order to fold the aperture guide, 50, for such transporting. As desired, the folded aperture guide, 50, can be placed inside a shipping tube, etc., to better protect it. Depending on the overall curvature of the yoke in relation to the thickness of the connecting arms, a range of angular curvatures of the yokes will permit a more compact folding of the aperture guide for transport and shipping, but will not permit “complete” folding. By complete folding is meant that in a fully folded position the first and second block guides stack such that they are in close and parallel alignment, and there is similar parallel stacking of the upper and lower connecting arms, upon folding the aperture guide for transporting or for storage. Thus, as will be apparent through calculation of the effective curvature and span of the yoke (e.g., the yoke angular curvature) in relation to the thickness of the connecting arms, a range of yet larger angular curves of the yokes will permit “complete” folding as herein defined.
  • FIG. 4B depicts an aperture guide, [0041] 55, of the present invention in which each of the tubular pipes, 42 and 48, comprising the connecting arm struts are comprised of a wider tube, 43, a narrower tube, 44, slidably engaging the wider tube, 43, by one end of such narrower tube fitting within an end of the wider tube, 43, and a tightening nut, 45, that is at that end of the wider tube, 43. Markings, 46, are provided along the narrower tube to indicate the overall width of the aperture guide, 55, when the edge of the tightening nut, 45, aligns with the markings.
  • In variations on the embodiment depicted in FIG. 4B, a tightening nut is not present. When a desired width is set, a nail, screw, rivet, spike or other common hardware item is used to fasten the relationship between the narrower tube, [0042] 44, and the wider tube, 43, into which the narrower tube, 44, is engaged. For instance, a first nail is hammered through the wider tube, 43, where a section of the narrow tube, 44, is slid within. A second nail is similarly hammered through the other (upper, 42, or lower, 44, tubular pipes, as the case may be), to fix the identical width. This rigidly, but temporarily, fixes the width of the aperture guide. When a second or subsequent width is needed, the same nail hole in the outer tube may be used, and the nail punctures the narrower tube, 44, at a different point, establishing a second or subsequent width. Preferably, the narrower tube, 44 is sized to fit snugly into the wider tube, 43, at or around the middle of the span.
  • At the junction pivots, [0043] 16, any suitable rotatable connecting means is employed. This allows this embodiment to climb between opposing walls of an aperture being constructed. Also, the embodiments having adjustable width connecting arm struts, as depicted by the specific embodiment in FIG. 4B, are adjustable to align the masonry construction of apertures of different widths. For instance, as noted the tightening nuts, 45, can be tightened hard to establish a desired width between the outer faces, 47, of the block guides, 52L and 52R. So long as the compression fits so formed between these nuts, 45, and the tubes are maintained without slippage, the aperture guide will properly function to guide masonry construction to construct walls forming apertures of the desired width.
  • However, given the rigors of construction, it is possible that even well-tightened tightening nuts will loosen over time, or a sharp impact could inadvertently push one or both smaller diameter pipes, [0044] 44, away from their respective tightening nuts.
  • Thus, other ways of securely establishing a desired width of a specific aperture guide for a desired job may be more suitable for typical construction sites. While, as noted, a nail can be driven through each pair of pipes to secure the desired width, other ways common to those of ordinary skill in the art may be employed. For instance, pre-drilled holes in the narrow tube, [0045] 44, that align with one or several holes of the wider tube, 43, provide a wide range of set widths that are easily set by a nail, screw, or bolt of a width suitable for the drilled holes. As a further variation of this approach, several holes on each of the wider tubes, 43, are drilled at an inch and fractions of an inch based on the overall width of the aperture guide when a nail or screw is placed in such holes. Then the holes in the narrower tubes, 44, are drilled at one-inch intervals. Thus, placement of the nails, screws, or bolts in the half-inch outer hole provides overall widths in one-inch increments (due to the holes in the narrower tubes) but all having a total width ending in 0.5 inch. Likewise, even-inch widths, widths ending with ¼, ¾, and other fractions of an inch could be readily and reproducibly obtained. Finally, where more structural support is desired, multiple holes could be drilled in the wider tube to represent the same width, so that more than one nail, screw, or bolt is placed in wider tube (and passes through holes in the narrower tube) to better, more rigidly secure the tubes together.
  • FIGS. 4C and 4D depict the top and side views, respectively, of the yoke, [0046] 50, shown in FIGS. 4A and 4B. The engagement of the tube, depicted here as 56, with the yoke, 50, at mating point 57, is by any means of attachment known to those skilled in the art. As disclosed above, on option is to have replaceable lengths of tubes, 56, to provide different widths of the aperture guide. In FIG. 4C, the cut-away top view of the block guide, 52L, is shown with a bolt, 58, passing through it and also passing through holes in the yoke (identified as 59 in FIG. 4D).
  • FIGS. 4E and 4F depict the top and side views, respectively, of a two-part yoke, [0047] 60. The tube, depicted here as 56, is engaged from opposite sides by each of the two parts of the yoke, and bolts, 61, passing through these provide rigidity to this assembly. In FIG. 4E, the cut-away top view of the block guide, 52L, is shown with a bolt, 58, passing through it and also passing through holes (identified as 59 in FIG. 4F) in both parts of the yoke. A butterfly nut, 62, is shown tightening this yoke-to-block guide junction. The bolt, nut, and any washers comprise the previously described “junction pin.” It is noted that FIGS. 4D and 4F are shown without the respective bolts and nuts in order to show the hole, 59.
  • FIGS. [0048] 5A-C depict an aperture guide, 70, suitable, for example, for guiding block construction of wider expanses. The aperture guide, 70, is comprised of left and right block guides, 72L and 72R, respectively. An upper connecting arm, 71U, is comprised of left and right parts, 73UL and 73UR, respectively. A lower connecting arm, 71L, is comprised of left and right parts, 73LL and 73LR, respectively. The upper and lower connecting arms, 71U and 71L, each are comprised of paired left and right members, 74A and 74B, and 75A and 75B for the upper connecting arm, 71U, and 76A and 76B, and 77A and 77B for the lower connecting arm, 71L, respectively. The juncture of the left and right sides of both connecting arms is made by hinges, 80U and 80L, that are positioned on the bottom side of such junctures. Details of the juncture and the hinge, 80U, are shown in FIG. 5C. Also shown is a hook and loop strapping fastener, 82 and 83, which may be used to further secure the juncture and the connecting arm in its outstretched, open position.
  • The junctions of the block guides, [0049] 72L and 72R, with the ends of the connecting arms, 71U and 71L, are rotatable, as described for other embodiments, above. Thus, as shown in FIG. 5D, the aperture guide, 70, can be compressed for transportation and storage by hingedly rotating the structure upwardly from its center, i.e., from hinges 80U and 80L. Completing this compression will result in the bottoms of the left and right sides of the connecting arms coming to a close, nearly parallel or parallel alignment. The block guides, 72L and 72R, also will come closer together.
  • As noted above, the hinges, [0050] 80U and 80L, hingedly connect the left and right sides of the aperture guide depicted in FIGS. 5A-D. This hinged connection is at or around the middle of the horizontal span. A level comprises the right block guide, 72R, although in other variations of this hingedly connecting embodiment a level is not integral, and rather is independent and used as needed to bring the aperture guide, 70, to proper alignment. FIG. 5B, a top view, shows two parallel lengths of wood for each of the left, 73UL, and right, 73UR, sides of connecting arm 71U. In other variations of this hingedly connecting embodiment, only one length is provided for each section of connecting arms, rather than two parallel lengths.
  • FIG. 6A depicts another variation of a hingedly connecting aperture guide, [0051] 100. A left block guide, 102, is comprised of one piece of wood (or other suitable material). At each of two junction points, 105, the left block guide, 102, is joined, as by bolting, to the left end of each of two horizontal connecting arms, 106UL and 106LL. At the opposite end of each of 106UL and 106LL, each of these arms engage two right horizontal connecting arms, 108UR1 and 108UR2 for 106UL, and 108LR1 and 108LR2 for 106LL. Each pair of these four right connecting arm members attach, or otherwise merge, into a single plate, 107U for the upper arms, and 107L for the lower arms. These plates, 107U and 107L, are joined, as by bolting, at junctions, 105, to the right block guide, 110 (which is depicted as a level).
  • The rotatable connections at each of the four junctions, [0052] 105, allows for this aperture guide, 100, to rotate into position for use to guide and align the placement of blocks, as described for another embodiment of the aperture guide, above.
  • FIG. 6B provides a see-through, enlarged detail of the attachment of the right to left connecting arms, [0053] 108UR1 and 108UR2 to 106UL (which is identical to 108LR1 and 108LR2 to 106LL). A bolt, 114, is tightened by a butterfly nut, 115, under which lies a washer, 116. Adjacent to this is a readily removable L-shaped pin, 117. In place, this pin aids in stabilizing the aperture guide, 100. For break-down of the aperture guide, 100, for transport from one aperture to the next, or from one job site to the next (or to a storage site), both pins, 117, are removed, the butterfly nut, 115, is loosened, and the two halves of the aperture guide hingedly fold toward one another. Also, it is noted that another way to break down the aperture guide, 100, of FIG. 6A is to disassemble both pins, 116, and both bolts, 114, from both the upper and lower connecting arm assemblies. Then the left connecting arms slide between the respective right connecting pairs of arms, to a desired point. For instance, the right ends of the left arms can reach the right block guide, and be secured there (as by passing pins through holes drilled at that point). Alternately, the right ends of the left arms can continue their travel until stopped by the meeting of the left with the right block guides. This position likewise is secured by any convenient means known to those of skill in the art.
  • For all embodiments of the aperture guide, is noted that a tube, a solid piece of wood, a hollow structure of a different cross-sectional shape, and so forth, may be substituted one for another as appropriate. Also, a tube comprising most of the span of a connecting arm may engage and merge into rectangular piece of wood which itself connects to a block guide, or the opposite may be designed, where the tube ultimately connects to a block guide. Also, regarding the alignment surfaces involved in contacting the already set “reference” blocks and the “new” block being mortared and aligned into place with use of the present invention, it is noted that such surfaces need not be flatly planar nor continuous to be effectively linear. For example, a dimpled surface that nonetheless defines a plane may be used to contact the blocks, and separate dimpled surfaces may be linearly aligned, one to contact the “reference” blocks, and one to align the “new” blocks, where such separate surfaces are separated physically (such as by interruption by a third component of the block guide) but are maintained or brought into a co-planar alignment to become effectively linear for the intended purpose of this invention. [0054]
  • For the above variations and in other regards, it should be understood that the examples and embodiments described herein are for illustrative purposes only and that various modifications or changes in light thereof will be suggested to persons skilled in the art and are to be included within the spirit and purview of this application and the scope of the appended claims. [0055]
  • Also, although only a few exemplary embodiments of this invention have been described in detail above, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible in the exemplary embodiments without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of this invention. Accordingly, all such modifications are intended to be included in the scope of this invention as defined in the following claims. In the claims, means-plus-function clauses and step-plus-function clauses are intended to cover the structures described herein as performing the recited function and to cover not only structural equivalents, but also to cover equivalent structures. Thus, although a nail and a screw may not be equivalent structures in that a nail employs a cylindrical surface to secure wooden parts together, whereas a screw employs a helical surface, in the environment of fastening wood parts, a nail and a screw may be equivalent structures. [0056]

Claims (17)

What is claimed is:
1. An aperture guide for alignment of blocks forming masonry constructed opposing side walls that define an aperture, said aperture guide comprising:
a. a first block guide comprising a first outer edge adjustable to a vertical orientation in said aperture;
b. a second block guide comprising a second outer edge adjustable to a vertical orientation in said aperture;
c. an upper connecting arm comprising two ends, spanning a distance, and engaging at a first junction the first block guide at one end and engaging at a second junction the second block guide at the other end; and
d. a lower connecting arm comprising two ends, spanning a distance, and engaging at a third junction the first block guide at one end and engaging at a fourth junction the second block guide at the other end;
wherein a parallelogram shape is defined by the four junctions, and wherein a set distance between the first and second outer edges defines a desired distance between said opposing side walls.
2. The aperture guide of claim 1, wherein the set distance is established when a right angle is formed at each of the four junctions.
3. The aperture guide of claim 1, wherein the first and second edges are effectively linear.
4. The aperture guide of claim 1, wherein the first block guide or the second block guide, or both, are comprised of a level.
5. The aperture guide of claim 4, wherein said level additionally comprises said first outer edge or said second outer edge.
6. The aperture guide of claim 1, wherein the upper and the lower connecting arms additionally comprise means for adjustment of the distance spanned.
7. The aperture guide of claim 1, wherein lengths of the upper and the lower connecting arms are interchangeable with a selection of lengths, enabling said aperture guide to be utilized for the placement of blocks for apertures of different desired distances between the side walls.
8. The aperture guide of claim 1, additionally comprising at least one stabilizer on the outer face of said first or second block guide, wherein said stabilizer increases the compressive force exerted by the aperture guide against at least one block against which the aperture guide is placed.
9. The aperture guide of claim 1, additionally comprising at least one stabilizer on the outer face of said first or second block guide, wherein said at least one stabilizer is comprised of a spring positioned in a hole in recessed into said outer face, a shaft at least partially sliding into a cylindrical void defined by the spring, and a convex dome integral with the shaft and oriented to protrude from said hole, wherein upon compression of said convex dome by positioning against a block, the spring exerts a compressive counterforce that adds to the positional stabilization of the aperture guide.
10. The aperture guide of claim 1, additionally comprising upwardly curving yokes at the ends of the upper and the lower connecting arms connecting to the first block guide at said first and third junctions, respectively, and downwardly curving yokes at the ends of the upper and the lower connecting arms connecting to the second block guide at said second and fourth junctions, respectively.
11. The aperture guide of claim 10, wherein said upwardly curving yokes and said downwardly curving yokes have an angular curve that offsets the thickness of the upper and lower connecting arms, resulting in a parallel stacking of the first and second block guides, and the upper and lower connecting arms, upon folding the aperture guide for transporting or for storage.
12. The aperture guide of claim 10, wherein the upper and the lower connecting arms additionally comprise means for adjustment of the distance spanned.
13. The aperture guide of claim 10, wherein lengths of the upper and the lower connecting arms are interchangeable with a selection of lengths, enabling said aperture guide to be utilized for the placement of blocks for apertures of different desired distances between the side walls.
14. A method for aligning blocks during masonry construction to form side walls of an aperture in a wall, comprising:
a. along a wall being constructed, establishing desired positions for first and second bottom corners of said aperture;
b. setting with mortar a first block in place at one the two desired positions, thus forming said first bottom corner of the aperture;
c. setting with mortar a second block in place at the other of the two desired positions, thus forming said second bottom corner of the aperture;
d. placing into said aperture, against said first and second blocks, an aperture guide comprised of
1. a first block guide comprising a first outer edge adjustable to a vertical orientation in said aperture;
2. a second block guide comprising a second outer edge adjustable to a vertical orientation in said aperture;
3. an upper connecting arm comprising two ends, spanning a distance, and engaging at a first junction the first block guide at one end and engaging at a second junction the second block guide at the other end; and
4. a lower connecting arm comprising two ends, spanning a distance, and engaging at a third junction the first block guide at one end and engaging at a fourth junction the second block guide at the other end; wherein a parallelogram shape is defined by the four junctions, and wherein a set distance between the first and second outer edges defines the desired distance between the side walls
e. aligning said first and second outer edges to a vertical orientation while the first and second outer edges contact the sides of the first and second blocks, respectively, that define the aperture width;
f. setting with mortar a new block in place, aligned with and above said first or said second block;
g. as needed, adjusting the alignment of the side of said new block closest to said alignment guide by visual, by physical, or both comparison to the position of the outer edge of the block guide closest to said new block, to orient said side of said new block to be aligned with said outer edge of said closest block guide;
h. as needed, re-aligning said first and second outer edges to a vertical orientation while the first and second outer edges contact the sides of blocks forming the edges of the opposing walls that are being formed to define the aperture; and
i. repeating steps f through h until the two opposing walls defining the aperture are constructed.
15. The method of claim 14, additionally comprising setting with mortar and first additional block above the first block, and a second additional block above the second block, before placing said aperture guide against said first and second blocks, thereby providing a greater supporting surface for said aperture guide.
16. The method of claim 14, additionally comprising completing a row of blocks to a specified endpoint or corner, where such row includes said first block and said second block, before placing said aperture guide against said first and second blocks.
17. The method of claim 14, additionally comprising setting in place a lintel above said two opposing walls.
US10/198,326 2002-07-17 2002-07-17 Guides to align masonry walls defining apertures, and methods of use Abandoned US20040010997A1 (en)

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US20110100099A1 (en) * 2008-02-06 2011-05-05 Progenics Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Preparation and use of (r),(r)-2,2'-bis-methylnaltrexone
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US8455644B2 (en) 2008-09-30 2013-06-04 Wyeth Peripheral opioid receptor antagonists and uses thereof
US8420663B2 (en) 2008-09-30 2013-04-16 Wyeth Peripheral opioid receptor antagonists and uses thereof
US20100120813A1 (en) * 2008-09-30 2010-05-13 Wyeth Peripheral opioid receptor antagonists and uses thereof
US9180125B2 (en) 2008-09-30 2015-11-10 Wyeth, Llc Peripheral opioid receptor antagonists and uses thereof
US9492445B2 (en) 2008-09-30 2016-11-15 Wyeth, Llc Peripheral opioid receptor antagonists and uses thereof
US8247425B2 (en) 2008-09-30 2012-08-21 Wyeth Peripheral opioid receptor antagonists and uses thereof
US9724343B2 (en) 2008-09-30 2017-08-08 Wyeth, Llc Peripheral opioid receptor antagonists and uses thereof
US8822490B2 (en) 2008-09-30 2014-09-02 Wyeth Llc Peripheral opioid receptor antagonists and uses thereof

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