US20040036064A1 - Extruded fence post and rail system - Google Patents

Extruded fence post and rail system Download PDF

Info

Publication number
US20040036064A1
US20040036064A1 US10/394,406 US39440603A US2004036064A1 US 20040036064 A1 US20040036064 A1 US 20040036064A1 US 39440603 A US39440603 A US 39440603A US 2004036064 A1 US2004036064 A1 US 2004036064A1
Authority
US
United States
Prior art keywords
post
pole
rigid support
rail
defines
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US10/394,406
Inventor
Kyozaburo Takagi
Gordon Dodson
Marcus Roble
Kazuhiko Kise
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Fukuvi USA Inc
Original Assignee
Fukuvi USA Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US36638202P priority Critical
Priority to US39806202P priority
Application filed by Fukuvi USA Inc filed Critical Fukuvi USA Inc
Priority to US10/394,406 priority patent/US20040036064A1/en
Assigned to FUKUVI USA, INC. reassignment FUKUVI USA, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: KISE, KAZUHIKO, DODSON, GORDON, TAKAGI, KYOZABURO
Publication of US20040036064A1 publication Critical patent/US20040036064A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

Links

Images

Classifications

    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04HBUILDINGS OR LIKE STRUCTURES FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES; SWIMMING OR SPLASH BATHS OR POOLS; MASTS; FENCING; TENTS OR CANOPIES, IN GENERAL
    • E04H17/00Fencing, e.g. fences, enclosures, corrals
    • E04H17/14Fences constructed of rigid elements, e.g. with posts, with additional wire fillings
    • E04H17/16Fences constructed of rigid elements, e.g. with posts, with additional wire fillings using prefabricated panel-like elements, e.g. wired frames
    • E04H17/168Fences constructed of rigid elements, e.g. with posts, with additional wire fillings using prefabricated panel-like elements, e.g. wired frames using panels without frames and fitted in grooves of posts
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04HBUILDINGS OR LIKE STRUCTURES FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES; SWIMMING OR SPLASH BATHS OR POOLS; MASTS; FENCING; TENTS OR CANOPIES, IN GENERAL
    • E04H17/00Fencing, e.g. fences, enclosures, corrals
    • E04H17/14Fences constructed of rigid elements, e.g. with posts, with additional wire fillings
    • E04H17/1413Post-and-rail fences without vertical cross-members
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04HBUILDINGS OR LIKE STRUCTURES FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES; SWIMMING OR SPLASH BATHS OR POOLS; MASTS; FENCING; TENTS OR CANOPIES, IN GENERAL
    • E04H17/00Fencing, e.g. fences, enclosures, corrals
    • E04H17/14Fences constructed of rigid elements, e.g. with posts, with additional wire fillings
    • E04H17/20Posts therefor
    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04HBUILDINGS OR LIKE STRUCTURES FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES; SWIMMING OR SPLASH BATHS OR POOLS; MASTS; FENCING; TENTS OR CANOPIES, IN GENERAL
    • E04H17/00Fencing, e.g. fences, enclosures, corrals
    • E04H17/14Fences constructed of rigid elements, e.g. with posts, with additional wire fillings
    • E04H2017/1447Details of connections between rails and posts
    • E04H2017/1452Details of connections between rails and posts the ends of the rails are fixed on the lateral sides of the posts
    • E04H2017/1456Details of connections between rails and posts the ends of the rails are fixed on the lateral sides of the posts the ends of the rails being located in vertical channels extending along a substantial portion of the length of the post

Abstract

A fence assembly including a post and interconnecting rails. The post includes an interior chamber structure defined by numerous compartments, an exterior wall structure and a plurality of inwardly projecting rail-receiving channels. The rail-receiving channels at least partially define the geometry of the interior chamber structure. The assembly may be made of extruded plastic material such that the post, rails and additional components, such as channel inserts, are generally hollow along their respective elongate dimensions. Each of the components within the assembly may be cut to user-defined lengths. The purpose of the abstract is to enable the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the public generally to determine from a cursory inspection the nature and gist of the technical disclosure, and is not to be used for interpreting the scope of the claims.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLCATIONS
  • This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/366,382 filed Mar. 21, 2002, and No. 60/398,062 filed Jul. 24, 2002.[0001]
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates generally to fence structures, and more particularly to extruded plastic fence rails and posts that can form connections with one another that improve the ease with which fence assemblies can be fabricated. [0002]
  • Fences have traditionally been constructed of wood, stone or metal. The use of plastic componentry in fence structures, which typically include posts, rails, pickets and related parts, has been in its ascendancy in recent years due to the ability to manufacture inexpensive, environmentally durable systems. Contributing to the desirability of using plastic fence assemblies is that once installed, they require comparatively little maintenance, such as painting, rust and vermin protection. [0003]
  • Despite these advantages, plastic fence assemblies continue to suffer from various shortcomings. For example, many of the constructions are overly complex, requiring multiple pieces or hybrid metal/plastic structures, as well as detailed steps to piece together the myriad components. In addition, if all or portions of the fence need to be disassembled for access, maintenance or replacement of damaged parts, the cumbersome process has to be repeated. Moreover, accommodations are often required at the time of fence installation for various contingencies, such as topography of the land and natural or artificial structures that could get in the way of the installation. In such cases, the installer may have to make minor adjustments to the dimensions of the post, rails and inserts. For example, an installer, especially if working alone, is faced with the difficult, if not impossible task of establishing a neat, secure assembly unless there are features built into the rails or posts to secure the two while determining placement of other components, such as subsequent posts. This task is exacerbated when additional component reinforcement, in the form of metal structure surrounded by plastic sleeves or covering, is used, as the additional weight makes the maneuvering of long parts (such as rails) even more unwieldy. Furthermore, once installed, the fence posts can be subject to rotational movements about its vertical axis unless they are adequately secured into the ground. [0004]
  • The present inventors have recognized a need for extruded plastic fence assemblies that are made up of components that are inexpensive to manufacture. They have further recognized a need for features within the components of the fence assembly that facilitate the rapid, secure anchoring of the components to one another, as well as to a mounting surface, such as the ground. [0005]
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • According to an aspect of the present invention, a post defined by a generally hollow construction along its elongate axis is disclosed. The post includes an interior chamber structure, an exterior wall structure and a plurality of inwardly projecting elongate rail-receiving channels formed into the exterior wall structure. Each of the channels include an interior surface which at least partially defines the interior chamber structure. The interior chamber structure is defined by numerous elongate compartments at least one of which defines a pole-receiving compartment that can engage a rigid support pole along a pole-engaging axis. This pole-engaging axis is offset relative to and substantially parallel with a post centerline defined along the elongate axis. In the present context, the term “substantially” refers to an arrangement of elements or features that, while in theory would be expected to exhibit exact correspondence or behavior, may, in practice embody something slightly less than exact. As such, the term denotes the degree by which a quantitative value, measurement or other related representation may vary from a stated reference without resulting in a change in the basic function of the subject matter at issue. [0006]
  • Optionally, the pole-receiving compartment includes projections that facilitate secure connection between the pole and the pole-receiving compartment. As another option, each of the channels defines a locking mechanism, thus allowing a complementary-shaped rail to cooperate therewith to substantially prohibit movement and subsequent disengagement of the rail and channel along the rail's longitudinal dimension. In the present context, the term “movement” of a solid body includes both rotational and translational range of motion. Thus, for example, the limitation on translational movement does not necessarily imply limitation on rotational movement. The locking mechanism can further be defined by a narrowed throat in the form of opposing projections that extend from the or outward opening of the channel. Thus, the cross sectional area within any plane in the channel parallel to and inward of the opposing detents is greater than that between the opening throat defined by the detents. Preferably, the post is of unitary construction and is made of plastic. More preferably, the post defines an extrudable cross sectional profile. In another option, a channel insert can be selectively disposable in one of the rail-receiving channels, thus forming a flush surface with the exterior wall structure. In yet another option, a removable channel cover is integrally formed across at least one of the rail-receiving channels to form a substantially flush surface with the exterior wall structure, the channel cover substantially circumscribed by one or more lines of weakness to facilitate ease of removal, where the line (or lines) of weakness preferably comprise a score line such that a user can easily remove the panels (using, for example, a utility knife), thereby exposing the channels. [0007]
  • According to another aspect of the invention, a reinforced post is disclosed. The post includes an interior chamber structure, exterior wall structure and plurality of inwardly projecting elongate rail-receiving channels as previously described, plus a rigid support pole engaged with the previously-discussed pole-receiving compartment. The rigid support pole can be anchored to a mounting surface such that the rigid support pole defines a reinforcing axis substantially parallel to the elongate axis. When the pole is coupled to the mounting surface and the pole-receiving compartment, the post has an increased resistance to rotation about its elongate axis. [0008]
  • Optionally, the pole-receiving compartment can include a plurality of projections similar to that of the previous aspect. In another option, the rigid support pole defines a non-axisymmetric cross section to facilitate an interlocking fit with the projections. In one form, the interlocking fit is only possible over a substantially singular angular orientation about the reinforcing axis between the rigid support pole and the plurality of projections, thus precluding a relative loose fit between the pole and projections. As such, the pole receiving compartment and the surface of the pole are configured such that a degree of rotation permitted prior to engagement of the pole surfaces with the compartment is insubstantial. In one form, the non-axisymmetric cross section defines at least one detent extending radially from the surface of the pole normal to the pole's longitudinal dimension, where a more particular configuration defines a substantially T-shaped cross section. The length of the rigid support pole is such that its longitudinal dimension preferably extends along a substantial length of the fence post plus a distance below the post that is sufficient to ensure secure anchoring into a mounting surface. In one form, the projections are substantially triangle-shaped, while in another the pole-receiving compartment defines a substantially trapezoidal-shaped chamber. Preferably, the projections form a unitary structure with the interior chamber structure, and more particularly at least a portion of the projections are disposed against an outer wall of the post. Moreover, the pole-receiving compartment is at least partially defined by the exterior wall surface. In another option, at least one removable channel cover is integrally formed across at least one of the channels to form a substantially flush surface with the exterior wall structure. Furthermore, the non-axisymmetric cross section of the rigid support pole defines a plurality of anti-rotational engagement surfaces that are configured to engage at least a portion of the pole-receiving compartment upon rotation of the post in a first direction, and at least a portion of the pole-receiving compartment is configured to engage one of the anti-rotational engagement surfaces upon rotation of the post in a second direction opposite the first direction. In addition, the non-axisymmetric cross section of the rigid support pole further defines a plurality of anti-translational engagement surfaces, where at least a portion of the pole receiving compartment is configured to engage one of the anti-translational engagement surfaces upon translation of the post in a first translational direction perpendicular to the pole-engaging axis, and at least a portion of the pole receiving compartment is configured to engage one of the anti-translational engagement surfaces upon translation of the post in a second direction perpendicular to the first translational direction and the pole-engaging axis. [0009]
  • According to another aspect of the invention, a post is disclosed. The post includes an interior chamber structure defined by a plurality of elongate compartments at least one of which defines a pole-receiving compartment, an exterior wall structure, a plurality of inwardly projecting elongate rail-receiving channels formed into the exterior wall structure, and at least one removable channel cover integrally formed across at least one of the channels to form a substantially flush surface with the exterior wall structure. The channel cover is substantially circumscribed by at least one line of weakness to facilitate ease of removal of the cover from the post. The pole-receiving compartment optionally includes a plurality of projections disposed therein to engage a rigid support pole along a pole-engaging axis. [0010]
  • According to another aspect of the invention, a reinforced post is disclosed. The post includes an interior chamber structure defined by a plurality of elongate compartments at least one of which is offset relative to and substantially parallel with a post centerline defined along the elongate axis and defines a pole-receiving compartment, an exterior wall structure with a plurality of inwardly projecting elongate rail-receiving channels formed therein, a rigid support pole defined by a non-axisymmetric cross section, and at least one removable channel cover integrally formed across at least one of the channels to form a substantially flush surface with the exterior wall structure. The rigid support pole is configured to be anchored to a mounting surface such that the pole defines a reinforcing axis substantially parallel to the post's elongate axis. [0011]
  • According to another aspect of the invention, a fence assembly is disclosed. The fence assembly includes a reinforced post as previously discussed, a plurality of rails, each of which includes ends configured to be received within one of the rail-receiving channels; and a channel insert configured to be selectively disposed within one of the rail-receiving channels. As an option, the cross-sectional shape of the rail-receiving channels defines a narrowed throat. In another option, each of the rails include one or more pins disposed in its end such that the pin (or pins) effect a locking relationship between the rail and its corresponding channel. This pin (which could be a bolt, screw, nail, rivet or the like) is sized such that it sticks out wider than the channel throat to help the rail avoid slipping out of the channel during fence assembly fabrication and subsequent use. The pins can extend all the way through both opposing lateral rail surfaces, or can be made up of a pair of smaller pins, each protruding through one of the surfaces. In yet another option, a plurality of the channel inserts can be used within each channel and stacked within the channel relative to the rails such that a preferred height and spacing of the rails is affected. As with the previous embodiments, the post defines an extrudable cross sectional profile, as can the rail. In another option, an outer surface of the channel insert is shaped to form a flush surface with the exterior wall structure. Furthermore, a removable channel cover can be integrally formed across at least one of the rail-receiving channels similar to that previously discussed. The assembly may further include a cap releasably connected to a top of the post. As with the previous embodiments, the rigid support pole may define different cross-sectional shapes, including cylindrical, elliptical or variations on a T-bar shape, the latter of which can engage with a complementary surface of the pole-receiving compartment in the interior chamber structure in such a way as to resist rotation of the post about the elongate axis. The rails may be configured such that they can include or accept one or more exaggerated surfaces near their channel-engaging end to affect a locking relationship with the channel.[0012]
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of the present invention can be best understood when read in conjunction with the following drawings, where like structure is indicated with like reference numerals and in which: [0013]
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a top view of a fence assembly according to an aspect of the present invention; [0014]
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of a fence post and two channel insert variants; [0015]
  • FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of a section of fence using the fence assembly of FIG. 1; [0016]
  • FIG. 4 illustrates the positioning of the rails, channel inserts, a rigid support pole and end cap relative to the fence post shown in FIG. 1; [0017]
  • FIG. 5 illustrates a top view of an alternate fence post configuration, showing the addition of a rigid support pole inserted therein; [0018]
  • FIG. 6 illustrates a top view of another alternate fence post configuration; [0019]
  • FIG. 7 illustrates the fence post of FIG. 6, including a rail, channel inserts and a rigid support pole offset-mounted along the post's elongate axis; and [0020]
  • FIGS. 8A through 8C show the various channel inserts that can be used with the fence post of FIG. 6.[0021]
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • Referring first to FIG. 5, a top view of a post [0022] 10 according to an embodiment of the present invention is shown. Post 10 may be formed into a single, unitary construction from a plastic material (such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC)) by known methods (such as extrusion) and as such, defines an extrudable cross sectional profile. In the present context, a structural member defines an extrudable cross sectional profile if respective cross sections of the member, taken along a length or width-wise axis of the member, each define substantially identical dimensions. In such case, the member defining the extrudable profile may be produced by an extrusion process where a semi-soft plastic is forced through the orifice of an extrusion die to produce a continuously formed piece having a cross-sectional shape defined by the orifice or other shaping members downstream of the orifice. It is contemplated that a structural member having an extrudable cross-sectional profile may also include portions along its axis that are subject to post extrusion cutting, drilling, bending, deforming or related operations. Post 10 includes an interior chamber structure 15 made up of numerous hollow, elongate compartments 80, 82, 84 and 86 the last three of which are offset from and substantially parallel with a post centerline defined along a longitudinal (elongate) axis. By having the pole-receiving compartment 86 offset from the post centerline and at least partially against outer wall 12, it is easier for an installer to place the post 10 directly on a property line and without recourse to visual estimation, as the post side adjacent the pole/compartment combination can be placed closest to such property line. The post 10 is also made up of an exterior wall structure 12 and numerous inwardly projecting elongate rail-receiving channels 20 formed into exterior wall structure 12. Interior wall structure 14 defines the boundary between the rail-receiving channels 20 and the various compartments 80, 82, 84 and 86. This commonality allows each of the channels 20 to partially define the interior chamber structure 15. An interface in the form of a locking mechanism 60 is defined between the channel 20 and the exterior wall structure 12 such that channel 20 can engage a complementary end surface of a rail (as shown and described below) to substantially prohibit translation of the rail along its longitudinal dimension once the rail and channel are engaged. In the configuration shown, locking mechanism 60 includes a pair of lateral detents that form a throat in channel 20 to provide a narrowed contact region.
  • At least one compartment [0023] 86 is made up of a plurality of projections 45 that can engage a rigid support pole 50. Together, the projections and rigid support pole 50 define a pole-engaging axis that is parallel to the longitudinal, or elongate, axis of post 10, but radially offset relative to the post centerline. By coupling the pole 50 to the post 10 and having both secured to a mounting surface, such as the ground (not shown), a reinforced post is formed that exhibits increased resistance to torsional forces acting on it, thereby maintaining proper post orientation. Resistance to rotation is important to maintaining the integrity of a fence assembled with posts 10, as forces due to weather or animal, human or related contact otherwise would have a tendency to cause the rails and posts to shift relative to one another, causing the assembly to come apart. The rigid support pole 50 is shaped to include non-axisymmetric features to improve the tightness of the fit between rigid support pole 50 and the projections 45 that are formed in the offset compartment 86. In the configuration shown, rigid support pole 50 is substantially T-shaped, such that its various radial detents 51, 52, 53 and 54 fit in narrowly-defined spaces 40 formed by substantially triangular-shaped projections 45. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that while the projections 45 are shown as being triangular-shaped, the invention is not so limited, as other shapes configured to securely engage the rigid support pole 50 would also suffice. The projections 45 can be integrally formed with the remainder of post 10 through the aforementioned extrusion process. Moreover, the T-shape of the rigid support pole 50 is such that the interlocking fit between the detents 51, 52, 53 and 54 is only possible over a substantially singular angular orientation about the reinforcing axis. This sort of “keyed” connection ensures that the post 10 and rigid support pole 50 are placed in proper angular orientation to one another, subject only to the tolerance in the space 40 between the rigid support pole 50 and the projections 45. The longitudinal dimension of the rigid support pole 50 extends along a substantial length of the post 10, plus an additional distance beyond the lowermost portion of post 10 to ensure secure anchoring into the ground or other mounting surface.
  • Referring next to FIGS. 2 and 3, details of connection between the post [0024] 10 and rails 30 and channel inserts 70A, 70B are shown. In the present figure, the post 10 is structurally similar to that shown in FIG. 5, except for the lack of pole-engaging features in compartment 86. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that either variant can be employed, depending on individual user needs, such as how much torsional resistance is required. Referring with particularity to FIG. 2, two variants 70A, 70B of the inserts, as well as how they fit into channel 20 of post 10, are depicted. The first variant 70A, with its conventional box shape, emphasizes simplicity of structure and manufacture, while the second 70B, with its additional faceted surfaces to produce a step structure complementary with that of the throat in channel 20 (as shown in FIG. 1 and discussed below), is used to provide a smooth, flush finish with outer wall structure 12. Referring with particularity to FIG. 3, in addition to providing an aesthetically-pleasing finished surface to post 10, the inserts 70A, 70B (only the latter presently shown) maintain vertical spacing between rails 30, providing both a neat finished product and additional resistance to rail 30 movement. The construction of post 10 is such that it can function equally well as an end post, corner post or intermediate post, the last two being shown in the figure. As with the post 10, the inserts 70A, 70B are extrudable, and in situations where made of plastic, can be easily cut to any desired length. Similarly, rails 30 can be made from plastic such that they can be cut to desired lengths, and extrudable such that they can be produced economically in large quantities. As with the fit between the channel 20 and rails 30 described above, locking mechanism 60 may also be used to engage a complementary surface on the inserts 70A, 70B.
  • Referring next to FIG. 1, a top view showing connection details of a fence assembly constructed using the post [0025] 10, rails 30 and channel insert 70B of FIGS. 2 and 3 is shown. Two of channels 20 of post 10 are shown engaged to rails 30, while a third has a channel insert 70B disposed therein. In the present figure, the post 10 is used as a corner post, such that inserts 70B provide flush surface finish features for channel 20 not being used. The faceted surfaces of insert 70B complement those the locking mechanism 60 formed at the throat of channel 20 such that the insert 70B cannot be removed other than by sliding it out along the elongate axis of post 10. The gaps shown between inner wall 14 and insert 70B are shown exaggerated for clarity; it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that tolerances can be made much tighter to ensure a secure, relatively smooth surface finish. Each of the rails 30 show a different protrusion extending laterally from the ends of the rails 30. In the present context, the “end” of the rail 30 includes not just the remote edge, but all portions of rail 30 that are designed to fit into the channel 20. These protrusions are sized to allow a locking interconnection between the rails 30 and the locking mechanism 60 of channels 20. In one variation, the rail 30 includes a pair of pins 37 that are axially aligned with one another so that the lateral dimension of rail 30 is greater than throat produced between locking mechanisms 60. Thus, once the rail 30 is disposed in channel 20 (such as by aligning the rail end with channel 20 and dropping the rail 30 down into the channel along the elongate axis of post 10), the interference fit between pins 37 and locking mechanism 60 prohibits movement between them, save the movement equal to the relatively small gap G, which, like the gap earlier described between the between channel 20 and insert 70B, is shown exaggerated for clarity. In another variation, the rail 30 includes a pair of flaps 33 integrally formed in the opposing lateral walls. Flaps 33 are shown as rectangular members defined by cut-outs on three sides such that when the rail is ready to be placed in channel 20, the flaps can be bent away from the rails 30 to provide an interference fit similar to that described for the pins 37 above. In addition to the protrusions in the form of flaps 33 and pins 37 to allow a locking interconnection between the rails 30 and the locking mechanism 60, rail 30 can include a securing pin 95 placed vertically through apertures 35 in the end of the rails 30. Details of the securing pin will be discussed in conjunction with FIG. 4 below.
  • Referring next to FIG. 4, a perspective view of the details of the fence assembly of FIG. 3 is shown. The assembly highlights how the inserts [0026] 70B act not only top establish a smooth surface finish along the exterior wall structure of post 10, but also vertical spacing between rails 30. In addition to the post 10, rails 30 and channel inserts 70B, the above-mentioned securing pin 95 is shown. The hollow nature of the inserts 70B along the longitudinal dimension of securing pin 95 improves the ease of pin placement through apertures 35 in the ends of each rail 30. The securing pin 95 can be configured to be long enough to extend through all of the inserts 70B and the ends of rails 30 stacked with the inserts, and can, like the rigid support pole 50 (shown in FIG. 5), extend into a mounting surface, such as the ground. The fence assembly also includes a cap 90 releasably connected to the top of post 10. Not only does this improve post aesthetics, it prevents debris and moisture from accumulating in the interior chamber structure of post 10.
  • Referring next to FIGS. 6 and 7, a top view of an alternate embodiment of the post and a reinforced fence assembly, respectively, are shown. As with the previous embodiment, numerous hollow, elongate compartments [0027] 180-190 define an interior chamber structure, including a trapezoidal-shaped pole-receiving compartment 186 with projections 145. In addition, as shown with particularity in FIG. 6, post 110 includes a removable channel cover 113 integrally formed across at least one of the rail-receiving channels 120 to form a substantially flush surface with exterior wall structure 112. One or more lines of weakness 115 are formed into exterior wall structure 112 such that cover 113 can be easily removed. In one form, the lines of weakness are made up of score lines. The cover 113 preserves the smooth appearance of the exterior wall structure 112 until such time as access to the channel 120 disposed below the cover 113 is required. The lines of weakness 115 permit a user to easily remove the cover 113 with a conventional utility knife or the like. In addition, insert securement 160 shows a variation of locking mechanism 60 shown in FIG. 5, where it now defines an interface between the exterior wall structure 112 and channel 120 that includes two pair of lateral detents such that not only does securement 160 define a throat in channel 120, but also an additional slot 161 for receiving a complementary surface on inserts 170A, 170B and 170C (shown and described below). Referring with particularity to FIG. 7, rigid support pole 150 (still possessive of a substantially T-shaped construction similar to the one shown in FIG. 5) can fit in a particular angular orientation relative to the projections 145 and pole-receiving compartment. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that other rigid support pole 150 configurations are possible, including cylindrical and non-axisymmetric configurations. For example, a plurality of cylindrical poles (not shown) can be used, each disposed within each of the various semi-autonomous spaces formed by the projections 145. An additional pole (not shown) could be placed within pole-receiving compartment 186 adjacent the exterior wall structure 112 such that the plurality of poles provide additional support. Also as with the previous embodiment, the pole-receiving compartment 186 is disposed offset relative to the centerline of post 110, disposed against the exterior wall structure 112 so that the entire assembly can be accurately placed along the property line. Tabs (shown and described below) on the inserts 170B promote a secure fit with securement 160. Also as shown in FIG. 7, the stacking of rail 130 on top of insert 170B in the same channel 120 is highlighted. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that although the present invention shows particular components depicted within two separate embodiments, it can embody any combination of the aforementioned interior chamber structure, pole-receiving compartment structure, securement configuration, and rail end and channel insert construction.
  • Referring next to FIGS. [0028] 8A-8C, details of various embodiments of channel inserts 170A, 170B and 170C are shown. All three include tabs 172A, 172B and 172C, respectively, that are disposed adjacent an outermost face of the inserts and used to engage the slot 161. As such, the slot 161 and any one of tabs 172A-172C together make up securement 160 (as shown previously in FIG. 7). It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that while what is referred to herein as securement 160 is made up of laterally-disposed slots 161 formed into the post 110 with corresponding tabs 172A-172C that extend from the lateral ends of the inserts 170A-170C, slot 161 could alternately be disposed in the inserts 170A-170C, while the tabs 172A-172C could be disposed on the throat 160. The nature of securement 160 is to be broadly construed to include both variants. The tabs 172A-C, in conjunction with the relatively thin depth-wise profile of the insert 170A-C, allow manufacturing tolerances to be relaxed on the inserts. By having the depth-wise distance from the outermost face to the tabs 172A-C kept to a minimum, precise dimensional tolerances for the securement 160, the tabs 172A-C and transition zones 171A-C between the insert outermost faces and the tabs is not required. The three insert configurations shown highlight different transition zones along the outermost face, including a transition zone 171A bevelled inward (FIG. 8A), right angle transition zone 171B (FIG. 8B) and transition zone 171C bevelled outward (FIG. 8C). The locking between the tabs 172A-C and slots 161 (shown in FIGS. 6 and 7) relieves the requirement of having large depth-wise insert dimensions to ensure adequate coupling between the insert and channel. Thus, unlike conventional inserts, where the relatively large depth-wise dimension necessitates manufacturing to a relatively tight tolerance to ensure a good fit between the insert and the channel, the present inserts 170A-C are constructed to allow for some dimensional variation.
  • Having described the invention in detail and by reference to preferred embodiments thereof, it will be apparent that modifications and variations are possible without departing from the scope of the invention defined in the appended claims. More specifically, although some aspects of the present invention are identified herein as preferred or particularly advantageous, it is contemplated that the present invention is not necessarily limited to these preferred aspects of the invention.[0029]

Claims (45)

What is claimed is:
1. A post defined by a generally hollow construction along an elongate axis thereof, said post comprising:
an interior chamber structure defined by a plurality of elongate compartments at least one of which defines a pole-receiving compartment configured to engage a rigid support pole along a pole-engaging axis offset relative to and substantially parallel with a post centerline defined along said elongate axis;
an exterior wall structure; and
a plurality of inwardly projecting elongate rail-receiving channels formed into said exterior wall structure, each of said channels comprising an interior surface which at least partially defines said interior chamber structure.
2. A post according to claim 1, wherein said pole-receiving compartment comprises a plurality of projections disposed therein.
3. A post according to claim 1, wherein each of said plurality of rail-receiving channels defines a connecting member therein such that, upon placement of a rail defined by a surface complementary to that of said connecting member into said rail-receiving channel, translation of said rail along its longitudinal dimension is substantially prohibited.
4. A post according to claim 3, wherein said connecting member comprises a narrowed throat disposed in said channel.
5. A post according to claim 1, wherein said post is of unitary construction.
6. A post according to claim 5, wherein said post is made of plastic.
7. A post according to claim 6, wherein said post defines an extrudable cross sectional profile.
8. A post according to claim 1, further comprising at least one channel insert selectively disposable in one of said rail-receiving channels to form a flush surface with said exterior wall structure.
9. A post according to claim 1, further comprising a removable channel cover integrally formed across at least one of said rail-receiving channels to form a substantially flush surface with said exterior wall structure, said channel cover substantially circumscribed by at least one line of weakness to facilitate ease of removal.
10. A post according to claim 8, wherein said removable channel cover is substantially circumscribed by a pair of substantially parallel lines of weakness.
11. A post according to claim 8, wherein said line of weakness comprises a score line.
12. A reinforced post comprising:
a post defined by a generally hollow construction along an elongate axis thereof, said post comprising:
an interior chamber structure defined by a plurality of elongate compartments at least one of which defines a pole-receiving compartment configured to engage a rigid support pole along a pole-engaging axis offset relative to and substantially parallel with a post centerline defined along said elongate axis;
an exterior wall structure; and
a plurality of inwardly projecting elongate rail-receiving channels formed into said exterior wall structure, each of said channels comprising an interior surface which at least partially defines said interior chamber structure; and
a rigid support pole engaged with said pole-receiving compartment along said pole-engaging axis, said rigid support pole configured to be anchored to a mounting surface such that said rigid support pole defines a reinforcing axis substantially parallel to said elongate axis, thereby providing increased resistance to rotation of said post about said elongate axis when coupled to said mounting surface and said pole-receiving compartment.
13. A reinforced post according to claim 12, wherein said rigid support pole defines a non-axisymmetric cross section to facilitate an interlocking fit with said pole-receiving compartment.
14. A reinforced post according to claim 13, wherein said non-axisymmetric cross section defines at least one radial detent.
15. A reinforced post according to claim 13, wherein said rigid support pole defines a substantially T-shaped cross section.
16. A reinforced post according to claim 13, wherein:
said non-axisymmetric cross section of said rigid support pole defines a plurality of anti-rotational engagement surfaces;
at least a portion of said pole-receiving compartment is configured to engage one of said anti-rotational engagement surfaces upon rotation of said post in a first direction; and
at least a portion of said pole-receiving compartment is configured to engage one of said anti-rotational engagement surfaces upon rotation of said post in a second direction opposite said first direction.
17. A reinforced post according to claim 16, wherein said pole receiving compartment and said anti-rotational engagement surfaces are configured such that a degree of rotation permitted prior to engagement of said anti-rotational engagement surfaces with said compartment is insubstantial.
18. A reinforced post according to claim 13, wherein:
said non-axisymmetric cross section of said rigid support pole further defines a plurality of anti-translational engagement surfaces;
at least a portion of said pole receiving compartment is configured to engage one of said anti-translational engagement surfaces upon translation of said post in a first translational direction perpendicular to said pole-engaging axis; and
at least a portion of said pole receiving compartment is configured to engage one of said anti-translational engagement surfaces upon translation of said post in a second direction perpendicular to said first translational direction and said pole-engaging axis.
19. A reinforced post according to claim 13, wherein said projections form a unitary structure with said interior chamber structure.
20. A reinforced post according to claim 12, wherein said pole-receiving compartment comprises a plurality of projections disposed therein.
21. A reinforced post according to claim 20, wherein said rigid support pole and said plurality of projections define an interlocking fit.
22. A reinforced post according to claim 20, wherein said plurality of projections are configured to engage said rigid support pole in such a manner that substantial rotation of said post about said rigid support pole is impeded.
23. A reinforced post according to claim 12, wherein said interlocking fit is only possible over a substantially singular angular orientation about said reinforcing axis between said rigid support pole and said pole-receiving compartment.
24. A reinforced post according to claim 12, wherein the longitudinal dimension of said rigid support pole extends along a substantial length of said post plus a distance below sufficient to ensure secure anchoring into a mounting surface.
25. A reinforced post according to claim 12, wherein said projections are substantially triangle-shaped.
26. A reinforced post according to claim 12, wherein said pole-receiving chamber structure defines a substantially trapezoidal-shaped compartment.
27. A reinforced post according to claim 13, wherein at least a portion of said projections are disposed against an outer wall of said post.
28. A reinforced post according to claim 13, wherein said pole-receiving compartment is at least partially defined by said exterior wall surface.
29. A post defined by a generally hollow construction along an elongate axis thereof, said post comprising:
an interior chamber structure defined by a plurality of elongate compartments at least one of which defines a pole-receiving compartment;
an exterior wall structure;
a plurality of inwardly projecting elongate rail-receiving channels formed into said exterior wall structure, each of said channels comprising an interior surface which at least partially defines said interior chamber structure; and
at least one removable channel cover integrally formed across at least one of said channels to form a substantially flush surface with said exterior wall structure, said channel cover substantially circumscribed by at least one line of weakness to facilitate ease of removal.
30. A post according to claim 29, wherein said pole-receiving compartment comprises a plurality of projections disposed therein, said plurality of projections configured to engage a rigid support pole along a pole-engaging axis of said pole-receiving compartment.
31. A post according to claim 29, wherein said pole-receiving compartment is offset relative to and substantially parallel with a post centerline defined along said elongate axis.
32. A post according to claim 29, further comprising a rigid support pole configured to be anchored to a mounting surface such that said rigid support pole defines a reinforcing axis substantially parallel to said elongate axis, thereby providing increased resistance to rotation of said post about said elongate axis when coupled to said mounting surface and said plurality of projections.
33. A reinforced post comprising:
a structure substantially hollow along an elongate axis thereof, said structure configured to be anchored to a mounting surface and comprising:
an interior chamber structure defined by a plurality of elongate compartments at least one of which defines a pole-receiving compartment;
an exterior wall structure; and
a plurality of inwardly projecting elongate rail-receiving channels formed into said exterior wall structure, each of said channels comprising an interior surface which at least partially defines said interior chamber structure;
a rigid support pole defined by a non-axisymmetric cross section, said rigid support pole configured to be anchored to a mounting surface such that said rigid support pole defines a reinforcing axis substantially parallel to said elongate axis, said rigid support pole configured to impede rotation of said post about said elongate axis when engaged with said pole-receiving compartment; and
a removable channel cover integrally formed across at least one of said channels to form a substantially flush surface with said exterior wall structure, said channel cover substantially circumscribed by a line of weakness to facilitate ease of removal.
34. A reinforced post according to claim 33, wherein said pole-receiving compartment comprises a plurality of projections disposed therein, said plurality of projections configured to complement said non-axisymmetric cross section of said rigid support pole.
35. A reinforced post according to claim 33, wherein said pole-receiving compartment is offset relative to and substantially parallel with a post centerline defined along said elongate axis.
36. A fence assembly comprising:
a reinforced post defined by a generally hollow construction along an elongate axis thereof, said post comprising:
an interior chamber structure defined by a plurality of elongate compartments at least one of which defines a pole-receiving compartment configured to define a pole-engaging axis offset relative to and substantially parallel with a post centerline defined along said elongate axis;
an exterior wall structure;
a plurality of inwardly projecting elongate rail-receiving channels formed into said exterior wall structure, each of said channels comprising an interior surface which at least partially defines said interior chamber structure; and
a rigid support pole engaged with said pole-receiving compartment, said rigid support pole configured to be anchored to a mounting surface such that said rigid support pole defines a reinforcing axis substantially parallel to said elongate axis, thereby providing increased resistance to rotation of said post about said elongate axis when coupled to said mounting surface and said pole-receiving compartment;
a plurality of rails, each of which includes ends configured to be received within one of said rail-receiving channels; and
a channel insert configured to be selectively disposed within one of said rail-receiving channels.
37. A post according to claim 36, wherein said pole-receiving compartment comprises a plurality of projections disposed therein, said plurality of projections configured to engage said rigid support pole along said pole-engaging axis.
38. A fence assembly according to claim 36, further comprising at least one pin disposed in each end of each of said rails, said pin to effect a locking relationship between each of said rails and a corresponding one of said channels.
39. A fence assembly according to claim 38, wherein said at least one pin comprises a plurality of pins axially aligned with one another in each said end of said rail.
40. A fence assembly according to claim 36, wherein the cross-sectional shape of said rail-receiving channels defines a narrowed throat.
41. A fence assembly according to claim 36, further comprising a plurality of said channel inserts, each configured to stack within said rail-receiving channel relative to said rails such that a preferred height and spacing of said rails is effected.
42. A fence assembly according to claim 36, wherein said post and said rail define an extrudable cross sectional profile.
43. A fence assembly according to claim 36, wherein an outer surface of said channel insert is shaped to form a flush surface with said exterior wall structure.
44. A fence assembly according to claim 36, further comprising a removable channel cover integrally formed across at least one of said rail-receiving channels to form a substantially flush surface with said exterior wall structure, said channel cover substantially circumscribed by at least one line of weakness to facilitate ease of removal.
45. A fence assembly according to claim 36, further including a cap releasably connected to a top of said post.
US10/394,406 2002-03-21 2003-03-21 Extruded fence post and rail system Abandoned US20040036064A1 (en)

Priority Applications (3)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US36638202P true 2002-03-21 2002-03-21
US39806202P true 2002-07-24 2002-07-24
US10/394,406 US20040036064A1 (en) 2002-03-21 2003-03-21 Extruded fence post and rail system

Applications Claiming Priority (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US10/394,406 US20040036064A1 (en) 2002-03-21 2003-03-21 Extruded fence post and rail system

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
US20040036064A1 true US20040036064A1 (en) 2004-02-26

Family

ID=28678168

Family Applications (2)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US10/394,406 Abandoned US20040036064A1 (en) 2002-03-21 2003-03-21 Extruded fence post and rail system
US10/394,413 Abandoned US20030213947A1 (en) 2002-03-21 2003-03-21 Extruded fence post and rail system

Family Applications After (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US10/394,413 Abandoned US20030213947A1 (en) 2002-03-21 2003-03-21 Extruded fence post and rail system

Country Status (2)

Country Link
US (2) US20040036064A1 (en)
CA (2) CA2423089A1 (en)

Cited By (10)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20030213947A1 (en) * 2002-03-21 2003-11-20 Kyozaburo Takagi Extruded fence post and rail system
US20050247920A1 (en) * 2001-10-10 2005-11-10 Burkart Michael G Solar post attachment and method of use
US20070012904A1 (en) * 2005-06-28 2007-01-18 Westech Building Products, Inc. Fence system
US20070215851A1 (en) * 2003-04-04 2007-09-20 Wall Michael D Solid barrier system
EP1837459A2 (en) * 2006-03-22 2007-09-26 Atkinsons Fencing and Decking Centres Limited Support system
US7464509B1 (en) * 2005-07-15 2008-12-16 Brown James C Security wall
US20090194753A1 (en) * 2008-02-01 2009-08-06 Stucker Justin D Fence Post with Selectively Covered, Molded Channel
US20100263189A1 (en) * 2009-04-20 2010-10-21 Lanzafame Philip F Shoulder protection pad for ladders with hollows to accommodate rung ends and rivets
US20110121249A1 (en) * 2003-03-12 2011-05-26 Simon Walker Grooved railing system
US20150176231A1 (en) * 2011-08-24 2015-06-25 Carl Cannova Portable wind-resistant traffic screen and related method

Families Citing this family (12)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
AU2003201035A1 (en) * 2002-01-10 2003-07-24 A-Fax Limited Interlocking devices
US20040051093A1 (en) * 2002-09-16 2004-03-18 Norman Manning Extruded fence post and modular fence assembly
US20060113517A1 (en) * 2004-11-30 2006-06-01 Royal Group Technologies Limited Modular fencing system and method for constructing same
GB0707428D0 (en) * 2007-04-18 2007-05-23 Butcher Edward W Fence posts
EP2456298B1 (en) * 2009-07-23 2013-08-28 Nick Manioudakis Electric fencing standard
JP1516008S (en) * 2013-01-29 2015-01-26
CN103452380A (en) * 2013-08-09 2013-12-18 浙江元森态家具有限公司 Fence installation method
CN103452379A (en) * 2013-08-09 2013-12-18 浙江元森态家具有限公司 Fence
ES2452526B2 (en) * 2013-12-02 2014-07-30 Grifell Pons, S.L. Construction system for fencing fences
US9410298B2 (en) 2014-07-15 2016-08-09 Ross Technology Corporation Structural tube based movable vehicle crash barrier gate
CN104831992A (en) * 2015-05-11 2015-08-12 南京荣仕景复合材料有限公司 Plastic-wood fence free to assemble
CN105839566A (en) * 2016-05-19 2016-08-10 重庆博巨玻璃钢有限公司 Stand column of glass fiber reinforced plastic protective fence and protective fence

Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3195864A (en) * 1962-03-15 1965-07-20 Anchor Post Prod Post and rail fence
US5864997A (en) * 1995-01-28 1999-02-02 Brickel Designs Junction members and their uses
US6330998B1 (en) * 1999-05-06 2001-12-18 Outdoor Technologies, L.L.C. Plastic sheath products for studded steel T-posts, and production
US20030030048A1 (en) * 2001-04-28 2003-02-13 Kroy Building Products, Inc. Rail bracket mounting system with locking pin
US20030038282A1 (en) * 1999-01-15 2003-02-27 Kroy Building Products, Inc. Fence system with variable position rail

Family Cites Families (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
FR1435227A (en) * 1965-03-16 1966-04-15 Assembly device and elements for carrying panels, walls and similar constructions
US3357681A (en) * 1965-10-21 1967-12-12 Jr Thomas Souza Railing system
US3921960A (en) * 1971-06-11 1975-11-25 Ralph W Bright Tubular rail and post fencing
US4047703A (en) * 1976-06-14 1977-09-13 Nef Systems Line rail construction
US4809955A (en) * 1988-05-06 1989-03-07 Clement Veilleux Fence or railing
US4962914A (en) * 1990-02-26 1990-10-16 Taylor Alva R Fence
US6299142B1 (en) * 1999-09-27 2001-10-09 Dayton Technologies, L.L.C. Post and railing system
US20040036064A1 (en) * 2002-03-21 2004-02-26 Kyozaburo Takagi Extruded fence post and rail system

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3195864A (en) * 1962-03-15 1965-07-20 Anchor Post Prod Post and rail fence
US5864997A (en) * 1995-01-28 1999-02-02 Brickel Designs Junction members and their uses
US20030038282A1 (en) * 1999-01-15 2003-02-27 Kroy Building Products, Inc. Fence system with variable position rail
US6330998B1 (en) * 1999-05-06 2001-12-18 Outdoor Technologies, L.L.C. Plastic sheath products for studded steel T-posts, and production
US20030030048A1 (en) * 2001-04-28 2003-02-13 Kroy Building Products, Inc. Rail bracket mounting system with locking pin

Cited By (16)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20050247920A1 (en) * 2001-10-10 2005-11-10 Burkart Michael G Solar post attachment and method of use
US20030213947A1 (en) * 2002-03-21 2003-11-20 Kyozaburo Takagi Extruded fence post and rail system
US20110121249A1 (en) * 2003-03-12 2011-05-26 Simon Walker Grooved railing system
US10240346B2 (en) * 2003-03-12 2019-03-26 Peak Innovations Inc. Grooved railing system
US7419141B2 (en) * 2003-04-04 2008-09-02 Wall Michael D Solid barrier system
US20070215851A1 (en) * 2003-04-04 2007-09-20 Wall Michael D Solid barrier system
US20070012904A1 (en) * 2005-06-28 2007-01-18 Westech Building Products, Inc. Fence system
US7934699B2 (en) 2005-06-28 2011-05-03 Westech Building Products, Inc. Fence system
US7464509B1 (en) * 2005-07-15 2008-12-16 Brown James C Security wall
EP1837459A2 (en) * 2006-03-22 2007-09-26 Atkinsons Fencing and Decking Centres Limited Support system
EP1837459A3 (en) * 2006-03-22 2012-02-01 Atkinsons Fencing and Decking Centres Limited Support system
US20090194753A1 (en) * 2008-02-01 2009-08-06 Stucker Justin D Fence Post with Selectively Covered, Molded Channel
US8132791B2 (en) 2008-02-01 2012-03-13 Stucker Justin D Fence post with selectively covered, molded channel
US8671542B2 (en) * 2009-04-20 2014-03-18 Philip F. Lauzafame Shoulder protection pad for ladders with hollows to accommodate rung ends and rivets
US20100263189A1 (en) * 2009-04-20 2010-10-21 Lanzafame Philip F Shoulder protection pad for ladders with hollows to accommodate rung ends and rivets
US20150176231A1 (en) * 2011-08-24 2015-06-25 Carl Cannova Portable wind-resistant traffic screen and related method

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date
US20030213947A1 (en) 2003-11-20
CA2423062A1 (en) 2003-09-21
CA2423089A1 (en) 2003-09-21

Similar Documents

Publication Publication Date Title
US20160194897A1 (en) Fence System
US9963905B2 (en) Fence/rail assembly with concealed sliding, pivotal connection, and manufacturing method therefor
EP0785319B1 (en) Modular construction elements
US7665269B2 (en) Interlocking block
US5950377A (en) Deck structure
US10273647B2 (en) Retaining wall
US4571907A (en) Frame connector system
US3506243A (en) Prefabricated railing
US5454548A (en) Modular metal fencing and gratings employing novel fastening means for reduction of assembly time
CA2245624C (en) Prefabricated plastic shed and components therefor
US6971831B2 (en) Self-locking fastener
EP1434919B1 (en) Hollow interconnecting panels as lost formwork and method of forming a structure
US3195698A (en) Partition structures
US7216855B2 (en) Fence rail mounting clip
US3170201A (en) Demountable sectional post
CA2193942C (en) Mortarless retaining wall structure with improved lateral and longitudinal reinforcement for a vertical, set forward and/or set back retaining wall in whole or in part constructedby utilizing standardized blocks
US6474036B2 (en) Retaining wall block
US6698726B2 (en) Rail clip
US6385927B2 (en) Decorative trim assemblies
US7735295B2 (en) Slotted track with double-ply sidewalls
US7232114B2 (en) Fence assembly with rail clip for use therewith
US6711860B2 (en) Construction panel interconnection system
CA2526931C (en) Modular enclosure
US6581337B1 (en) Modular enclosure
US6719277B2 (en) Thermoformed wall and fencing assemblies

Legal Events

Date Code Title Description
AS Assignment

Owner name: FUKUVI USA, INC., OHIO

Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:TAKAGI, KYOZABURO;DODSON, GORDON;KISE, KAZUHIKO;REEL/FRAME:014237/0769;SIGNING DATES FROM 20030408 TO 20030423

STCB Information on status: application discontinuation

Free format text: ABANDONED -- FAILURE TO RESPOND TO AN OFFICE ACTION