US20050005540A1 - Mailbox post protector - Google Patents

Mailbox post protector Download PDF

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Publication number
US20050005540A1
US20050005540A1 US10/866,300 US86630004A US2005005540A1 US 20050005540 A1 US20050005540 A1 US 20050005540A1 US 86630004 A US86630004 A US 86630004A US 2005005540 A1 US2005005540 A1 US 2005005540A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
post
base
wall
protector according
wooden
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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
US10/866,300
Inventor
Daniel Nesbitt
Original Assignee
Nesbitt Daniel Frederick
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 US48107203P priority Critical
Application filed by Nesbitt Daniel Frederick filed Critical Nesbitt Daniel Frederick
Priority to US10/866,300 priority patent/US20050005540A1/en
Publication of US20050005540A1 publication Critical patent/US20050005540A1/en
Priority claimed from US11/763,071 external-priority patent/US20070245645A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E04BUILDING
    • E04HBUILDINGS OR LIKE STRUCTURES FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSES; SWIMMING OR SPLASH BATHS OR POOLS; MASTS; FENCING; TENTS OR CANOPIES, IN GENERAL
    • E04H12/00Towers; Masts or poles; Chimney stacks; Water-towers; Methods of erecting such structures
    • E04H12/22Sockets or holders for poles or posts
    • E04H12/2292Holders used for protection, repair or reinforcement of the post or pole

Abstract

A mailbox or wooden post protector made of a unitary, resistantly-flexible plastic material, having four walls and an opening within one of the walls for installation around the base of the wooden post. A pressure sensitive adhesive is applied to one or both edges at the opening to secure closed the opening after installation.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims the benefit of co-pending U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/481,072, filed Jul. 8, 2003.
  • BACKGROUND
  • The United States government has operated a postal service since 1775 when the Continental Congress named Benjamin Franklin the first Postmaster General. Rural free delivery service to individual residences in the rural America first began in 1896, and by 1908, much of America received its main daily by postal delivery.
  • Presently, a significant proportion of the population receives the U.S. mail in residential mail boxes positioned on or near the resident's property and along the side of the road. There are a variety of mail boxes in use, but the majority of them are shoebox-sized or larger containers that are affixed to the top end of an upright support, such as a wooden post. The bottom end of the support is buried into the ground to secure the mailbox from swaying and falling over.
  • Many residents position the mailbox in the lawn along side the road. In the course of cutting the grass, the resident or a lawn care professional will use a trimming device to trim grass growing close to the base of the mailbox post that can not cut with a lawn mower. A typical grass trimming device has an electric or gasoline-operated motor that drives a spool hub at an opposite end via an elongated shaft. The hub carries a length of flexible trimming string, a portion of which projecting outwardly from hub 20. As the motor is operated, the hub rotates at great speed. The outwardly-projecting section of line is swung in a circle about the axis of the shaft, whereby it will contact and cut off grass or other material in its path. Examples of such devices are shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 2,708,335; 3,006,421; 3,608,291; 4,200,978; and 4,584,771.
  • The flexible plastic string used in the grass trimmers is designed and selected for durability. The string typically is made of a flexible plastic with a high hardness that resists wear and breaking when striking the earth, asphalt, concrete, stones and other hard or sharp articles. Some grass trimming strings are designed with star-shaped profiles that provide the outer surface with edges that improve the cutting function.
  • The strength, durability and design of the flexible plastic string also causes damage and wear along the base of wooden mailbox posts when trimming grass close to the base. After repeated grass cutting and trimmings, the periphery of the base of the wooden post can experience significant wear. As many mailbox wooden posts are made of pressure-treated wood, the wearing away of the outer wood surface along the base exposes the wood in toward the interior which tends to have less of the water-resistant chemicals. With time, the wood along the worn base of the wooden post begins to deteriorate rapidly with additional wear and water.
  • At the same time, lawn mowers housings often strike and gouge the base of the wooden post in the operator's effort to cut the grass as close as possible to the post.
  • Therefore, a need exists for a means for preventing the wear of the base of wooden posts by grass trimmers and lawn mowers.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention is a post protector comprising a resistantly flexible unitary structure having a periphery defined by a plurality of walls configured to surround a complementary periphery of a wooden post, and having an opening along the periphery of the unitary structure that defines first and second wall edges.
  • The invention also relates to a method of protecting the base of a mailbox or wooden post from wear and abrasion, comprising the steps of: providing a resistant unitary structure having a periphery defined by four walls configured to surround a complementary periphery of a wooden post, and having an opening along the periphery of the unitary structure defined by a first wall edge and a second wall edge; separating the first wall edge from the second wall edge; passing the separated wall edges around the base of the post; and bringing together the first and second wall edges, to position the unitary structure around the base of the post.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 shows a post protector of the invention.
  • FIG. 2 shows a post protector positioned around a wooden post that is secured into the ground.
  • FIG. 3 shows an alternative embodiment of the post protector of the invention.
  • FIG. 4 shows another alternative embodiment of the post protector.
  • FIG. 5. shows an embodiment of the post protector for an angled post.
  • FIG. 6 shows the post protector of FIG. 5 on an angled post.
  • FIG. 7 shows a blank for forming the post protector of FIG. 5.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION
  • A typical post protector 10 is shown in FIG. 1 comprising a resistant unitary structure 12. The unitary structure is configured with a periphery 14 formed by four upright walls 20, 22, 24, and 26, joined together at their sides, which define a top opening 34 and a bottom opening 36. The four walls are typically rectilinear or square, and are typically of equal size to surround a complementary periphery of a wooden post 60, shown in FIG. 2. An opening 16 is provided along the periphery 14 of the unitary structure 12 that defines first and second wall edges 30 and 32, respectively. Typically, the opening 16 is positioned within a wall 20, separating the wall 20 into a first wall portion 40 and second wall portion 42.
  • In the embodiment shown in FIG. 2, the post protector is positioned around the base of the wooden post 60 that is secured into the ground 66. Grass 64 grows from the ground 66 near the base 62. The unitary structure 12 is configured wherein the first and second edges 30, 32 confront when positioned around the base 62 of the wooden post 60. In another embodiment, the first and second edges 30, 32 can overlap, or have a slight separation. In operation, when a grass trimmer (not shown) is used to trim the length of blades of grass 64 along the base 62 of the wooden post 60, the post protector 10 receives the impact of the flexible plastic trimming string (not shown) against the base 62.
  • The unitary protector typically has a wall height sufficient to protect the base of the post when grass is trimmed by a string trimmer. Typically the height of the unitary protector is between about 8 cm and about 20 cm.
  • The opening 16, and the corresponding wall edges 30 and 32, can be linear, or can be non-linear or curvilinear. FIG. 3 shows an alternative embodiment wherein the first and second wall edges 30 and 32 that form the opening 16 are configured as complementary beveled edges.
  • Further, an adhesive, such as a pressure sensitive adhesive, can be affixed to either or both wall edges to adhesively join the wall edges after the post protector is positioned around the base of the wooden post. Prior to positioning of the post protector around the base of a wooden post, a release film can be adhered to the pressure-sensitive adhesive to prevent premature adhesion to other surfaces or to the opposed confronting wall edge. A suitable release film can use a silicon release coating well known in the art. The release film can be manufactured from films, paper, or other materials as is well known in the art. Preferably, the release film is a polyethylene film having a thickness of from about 0.012 mm (0.5 mil) to about 0.12 mm (5.0 mil).
  • In another embodiment shown in FIG. 4, the post protector 10 has a first wall portion 40 or a second wall portion 42 that is slightly elongated so that the first wall edge 30 and the second wall edge 32 overlap, wherein one wall edge extends beyond and over the other wall edge, typically by about 5 mm or more. The distal edge of the over-lapping wall can be tapered, such as by machining, to avoid having a sharp edge on the outer surface of the post protector that might be snagged by a trimmer string or other object.
  • The post protector can also be configured for securement around the base of a wooden post that is oriented in the ground at an angle, such as an angled post on an A-frame shaped swing set. In such an embodiment of the post protector, shown in FIG. 5, two of the four walls 22 and 26 on opposite sides have mirror-image parallelograms where none of the corners of the parallelogram are right angles. Typically, the acute angles 70 are substantially the same as the angle of the angled post. FIG. 6 shows the post protector 10 shown in FIG. 5 position around the base 62 of an angled post 10 that is embedded into the ground 66 at an angle.
  • The unitary structure 12 typically comprises a thermoplastic material, which can be a transparent, translucent or opaque, and either clear or colored. Typically the thermoplastic is resilient to retain its shape and to resist wear and impact, though is sufficiently flexible permit the first and second edges to be separate by hand and positioning around the base of the wooden post, as shown in FIG. 2. The thermoplastic material can be selected from methyl acrylate (available as Plexi-glass™), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polycarbonate, polypropylene, polystyrene and polyacrylic.
  • The post protector can be made from a strip of plastic sheet of the desired width and thickness, and cut to a length. The corners formed between adjacent walls can be made by bending the plastic strip 90 degrees. Typically the plastic strip material is heated to a temperature proximate to the softening point of the plastic, which sufficiently softens the material and allows the material to be bent. The material can be bent around a heated wire, or contacted with a stream of heated air, to melt or soften the plastic material sufficiently for bending, but avoiding excessive deterioration of the plastic material. Typically the strip of plastic sheet is formed around a model or form of substantially the same size as a typical wooden post. Typically the 90 degree bend has a rounded inner surface, preferably having an internal radius of at least about 2 mm.
  • A typical width of the plastic strip, representing the height of the post protector, is between about 5 cm to about 20 cm. The length of the plastic strip is sufficient to surround the periphery of the base of the wooden post. Typical wooden posts are have square cross sections of about 3⅜ inch×3⅜ inch (8.6 cm×8.6 cm), or of about 5⅜ inch×5⅜ inch (13.7 cm×13.7 cm).
  • The post protector can have a plurality of apertures formed therein that can be disposed across the entire width and height. Typically elongated aperatures are oriented vertically, and preferably are of a width of about the thickness of the material, or not more than about 5 mm. This prevents a trimming string from striking the wooden post through the apertures.
  • The post protector shown in FIG. 5 can be formed from a blank 50 that can be stamped or cut from a sheet of the thermoplastic material. The acute angles 70 are configured to conform to the angle of the post in the ground. After the blank 50 is formed, it can be folded at each of the fold line 52, as described above.
  • The invention also relates to a method of protecting the base of a mailbox or wooden post from wear and abrasion, comprising the step of attaching around the base of the post a resistant unitary structure described hereinabove.
  • In another embodiment, the invention relates to a method of protecting the base of a mailbox or wooden post from wear and abrasion, comprising the steps of: providing a resistant unitary structure having a periphery defined by four walls configured to surround a complementary periphery of a wooden post, and having an opening along the periphery of the unitary structure defined by a first wall edge and a second wall edge; separating the first wall edge from the second wall edge; passing the separated wall edges around the base of the post; bringing together the first and second wall edges, to position the unitary structure around the base of the post. The resistant unitary structure is attached by separating by hand the opening along the periphery and positioning the structure around the base. Typically, the thermoplastic structure will have structural memory that returns to its original structure once the manual separation of the wall edges has been released. The method can further include the step of securing the structure in place around the base. A preferred means of securing the structure is an adhesive affixed to one or both confronting surfaces of first and second wall edges, which preferably overlap one another.

Claims (16)

1. A post protector comprising a resistantly flexible unitary structure having a periphery defined by a plurality of walls configured to surround a complementary periphery of a wooden post, and having an opening along the periphery of the unitary structure defined by a first wall edge and a second wall edge.
2. The post protector according to claim 1 wherein the unitary structure comprises a thermoplastic material, the structure being sufficiently flexible to permit separation of the first and second edges and positioning of the post protector around the base of a wooden post.
3. The post protector according to claim 2 wherein the thermoplastic material is selected from Plexi-glass™, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polycarbonate, polystyrene and polyacrylic.
4. The post protector according to claim 2 wherein the first and second edges confront when positioned around the base of the wooden post.
5. The post protector according to claim 2 wherein the first and second edges overlap when positioned around the base of the wooden post.
6. The post protector according to claim 4 further comprising an adhesive material affixed to a wall edge.
7. The post protector according to claim 6 wherein the adhesive material comprises a pressure-sensitive adhesive.
8. The post protector according to claim 6 wherein the adhesive material is affixed to both the first and second wall edges.
9. The post protector according to claim 8 wherein the adhesive material comprises a pressure-sensitive adhesive.
10. The post protector according to claim 9 further comprising a release film adhered to the pressure-sensitive adhesive prior to positioning of the post protector around the base of a wooden post.
11. The post protector according to claim 1 wherein the four walls are upright.
12. The post protector according to claim 11 wherein two of the four walls on opposite sides have mirror-image parallelograms where none of the corners of the parallelogram are right angles.
13. A method of protecting the base of a mailbox or wooden post from wear and abrasion, comprising the step of attaching around the base of the post a post protector according to claim 1.
14. A method of protecting the base of a mailbox or wooden post from wear and abrasion, comprising the steps of: providing a resistant unitary structure having a periphery defined by four walls configured to surround a complementary periphery of a wooden post, and having an opening along the periphery of the unitary structure defined by a first wall edge and a second wall edge; separating the first wall edge from the second wall edge; passing the separated wall edges around the base of the post; and bringing together the first and second wall edges, to position the unitary structure around the base of the post.
15. The method according to claim 14 further comprising the step of securing the structure in place around the base by adhering the two wall edges together.
16. The method according to claim 14 wherein the first and second wall edges over-lap, and wherein the step of adhering comprises adhering the confronting surfaces of first and second wall edges.
US10/866,300 2003-07-08 2004-06-12 Mailbox post protector Abandoned US20050005540A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US48107203P true 2003-07-08 2003-07-08
US10/866,300 US20050005540A1 (en) 2003-07-08 2004-06-12 Mailbox post protector

Applications Claiming Priority (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US10/866,300 US20050005540A1 (en) 2003-07-08 2004-06-12 Mailbox post protector
US11/763,071 US20070245645A1 (en) 2003-07-08 2007-06-14 Mailbox post protector

Related Child Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
US11/763,071 Continuation-In-Part US20070245645A1 (en) 2003-07-08 2007-06-14 Mailbox post protector

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US20050005540A1 true US20050005540A1 (en) 2005-01-13

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US10/866,300 Abandoned US20050005540A1 (en) 2003-07-08 2004-06-12 Mailbox post protector

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Cited By (8)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20050274938A1 (en) * 2004-06-12 2005-12-15 Nesbitt Daniel F Wooden post with protective coating and method for making same
US20070138452A1 (en) * 2005-12-16 2007-06-21 Donabedian Edgar E Self-retaining post protector
US20070224002A1 (en) * 2006-03-23 2007-09-27 Richard Scholl Assembly and method for protecting a pier and a post combination
US20100132276A1 (en) * 2008-11-28 2010-06-03 Douglas Landry Flexible cover for boards of a deck structure
US20100146875A1 (en) * 2008-05-30 2010-06-17 John Redding Support post structure
US20100237143A1 (en) * 2009-03-17 2010-09-23 Labrecque Jr Maurice J Flexible mailbox post assembly
US9085915B1 (en) 2014-03-06 2015-07-21 Troy Emmett Wooden support post protection system
US20160237632A1 (en) * 2015-02-18 2016-08-18 Can-Traffic Services Ltd. Films and methods for protecting roadside poles

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US2510120A (en) * 1946-05-31 1950-06-06 Russell J Leander Masking paper
US4972864A (en) * 1989-11-21 1990-11-27 Almond Milton D Tent peg cover
US4989390A (en) * 1987-05-04 1991-02-05 Moore Iii Eugene O Fabricated structural tube
US5369925A (en) * 1993-06-01 1994-12-06 Hardy Manufacturing, Inc. Post protector
US5480126A (en) * 1994-03-23 1996-01-02 Soniplastics Inc. Fencing construction
US5503371A (en) * 1994-11-21 1996-04-02 Bies Technical Sales Article and method of maintaining wooden fence posts from attack by lanscaping equipment
US5622356A (en) * 1995-07-14 1997-04-22 Duggan; James F. Post protector
US5826853A (en) * 1996-08-26 1998-10-27 Sandt Technology, Ltd. Post protector
US6007030A (en) * 1998-04-06 1999-12-28 Judge; John A. Folding trash bag expanding form and holder
US6311955B1 (en) * 1999-04-26 2001-11-06 Associated Materials, Incorporated Fencing system with partial wrap components and tongue and groove board substitute
US20020005512A1 (en) * 2000-07-14 2002-01-17 Trill James D. Modular temporary fencing system for sports arenas
US6401388B2 (en) * 1999-07-23 2002-06-11 Southpac Trust Int'l. Inc. Method of containing a pot or floral grouping in a sleeve with expandable sidewalls
US6527255B2 (en) * 2001-05-21 2003-03-04 O'berry Jon Louis Fence post protector
USD486591S1 (en) * 2003-06-02 2004-02-10 Homax Products Inc. Base for fence post
US6811146B1 (en) * 2002-07-16 2004-11-02 Pedro P. Giralt Apparatus for pedestrian railing and method of making

Patent Citations (15)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US2510120A (en) * 1946-05-31 1950-06-06 Russell J Leander Masking paper
US4989390A (en) * 1987-05-04 1991-02-05 Moore Iii Eugene O Fabricated structural tube
US4972864A (en) * 1989-11-21 1990-11-27 Almond Milton D Tent peg cover
US5369925A (en) * 1993-06-01 1994-12-06 Hardy Manufacturing, Inc. Post protector
US5480126A (en) * 1994-03-23 1996-01-02 Soniplastics Inc. Fencing construction
US5503371A (en) * 1994-11-21 1996-04-02 Bies Technical Sales Article and method of maintaining wooden fence posts from attack by lanscaping equipment
US5622356A (en) * 1995-07-14 1997-04-22 Duggan; James F. Post protector
US5826853A (en) * 1996-08-26 1998-10-27 Sandt Technology, Ltd. Post protector
US6007030A (en) * 1998-04-06 1999-12-28 Judge; John A. Folding trash bag expanding form and holder
US6311955B1 (en) * 1999-04-26 2001-11-06 Associated Materials, Incorporated Fencing system with partial wrap components and tongue and groove board substitute
US6401388B2 (en) * 1999-07-23 2002-06-11 Southpac Trust Int'l. Inc. Method of containing a pot or floral grouping in a sleeve with expandable sidewalls
US20020005512A1 (en) * 2000-07-14 2002-01-17 Trill James D. Modular temporary fencing system for sports arenas
US6527255B2 (en) * 2001-05-21 2003-03-04 O'berry Jon Louis Fence post protector
US6811146B1 (en) * 2002-07-16 2004-11-02 Pedro P. Giralt Apparatus for pedestrian railing and method of making
USD486591S1 (en) * 2003-06-02 2004-02-10 Homax Products Inc. Base for fence post

Cited By (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20050274938A1 (en) * 2004-06-12 2005-12-15 Nesbitt Daniel F Wooden post with protective coating and method for making same
US20070138452A1 (en) * 2005-12-16 2007-06-21 Donabedian Edgar E Self-retaining post protector
US20070224002A1 (en) * 2006-03-23 2007-09-27 Richard Scholl Assembly and method for protecting a pier and a post combination
US7470091B2 (en) 2006-03-23 2008-12-30 Richard Scholl Assembly and method for protecting a pier and a post combination
US20100146875A1 (en) * 2008-05-30 2010-06-17 John Redding Support post structure
US20100132276A1 (en) * 2008-11-28 2010-06-03 Douglas Landry Flexible cover for boards of a deck structure
US20100237143A1 (en) * 2009-03-17 2010-09-23 Labrecque Jr Maurice J Flexible mailbox post assembly
US9085915B1 (en) 2014-03-06 2015-07-21 Troy Emmett Wooden support post protection system
US20160237632A1 (en) * 2015-02-18 2016-08-18 Can-Traffic Services Ltd. Films and methods for protecting roadside poles

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