CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This applications claims priority from U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/414,640, filed Nov. 17, 2010; the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by referenced.
1. Technical Field
The present invention is related generally to construction and the roof supporting structure of a house or the like. More particularly, the invention relates to a spacer for spacing structural members in the form of roof trusses. Specifically, the present invention provides such a spacer which is simple to use and does not require nails or other separate fasteners for securing the spacer to the trusses.
2. Background Information
It is well known in the art to provide various types of spacer bars or the like in order to space adjacent trusses of a roof or other structural members from one another. However, many of these spacers leave much to be desired. In building a roof structure with preassembled trusses, the roofer must position the trusses atop previously formed walls and properly space them by some method so that the plywood and other roofing materials may be secured to the tops of the trusses subsequently. Many of the spacers that are available are difficult to work with while the construction worker or roofer is attempting to build this roofing structure.
One of the truss spacers which has appeared within the last decade or so is that described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,884,448 granted to Pellock. The truss spacer of this patent is essentially a U-shaped channel member having a tongue with integrally formed nails which are hammered into the top of truss, as well as a pair of laterally extending tabs also having integrally formed nails which are hammered into one side of the truss in order to secure the spacer to the adjacent pair of trusses. While this truss spacer has its advantages, one of the disadvantages is the necessity of hammering in the integrally formed nails in order to secure the spacer.
Another spacer is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,418,695 granted to Daudet et al. This patent discloses a spacer which utilizes downwardly depending tabs having flared portions which allow the tabs to slide onto the corresponding truss more easily than if they were formed entirely parallel to one another. However, this spacer is also configured to be secured with fasteners such as a nail or screw in order to ensure that the spacer is secured to the corresponding truss. If such fasteners are not used, the spacer is at risk for not being properly secured to the truss.
An additional truss spacer is described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,993,882 granted to Crawford et al. The truss spacer of this patent includes a U-shaped channel member having flanges extending outwardly on one side of the corresponding truss with a top attachment tab extending over the truss and an end attachment tab extending downwardly from the top attachment tab opposite the flanges on the opposite side of the truss. This truss spacer is also configured to be secured to the truss with nails or other such fasteners. Thus, while these various spacers certainly provide the appropriate spacing between trusses, they require manual manipulation by the roofer or other worker while working atop the trusses, which makes the operation more cumbersome and more hazardous.
- BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The truss spacer of the present invention addresses these and other problems in the art.
The present invention provides a truss spacer for setting the spacing between first and second trusses, the spacer comprising a longitudinal member having first and second truss engaging structures which are longitudinally spaced from one another; a first truss receiving space defined by the first truss engaging structure and adapted receive therein the first truss; first and second longitudinally spaced truss engaging surfaces of the first truss engaging structure which face one another and are adapted to respectively engage first and second opposed sides of the first truss when the first truss is received in the first truss receiving space; a second truss receiving space defined by the second truss engaging structure and adapted receive therein the second truss; first and second longitudinally spaced truss engaging surfaces of the second truss engaging structure which face one another and are adapted to respectively engage first and second opposed sides of the second truss when the second truss is received in the second truss receiving space; a first tooth of the first truss engaging structure which extends into the first truss receiving space and is adapted to grip the first side of the first truss when the first truss is received within the first truss receiving space.
The present invention also provides a method comprising the steps of providing a longitudinally elongated truss spacer which has first and second truss engaging structures which are longitudinally spaced from one another and respectively define first and second truss receiving spaces, and which has a first tooth which extends into the first truss receiving space; moving the first truss engaging structure in a first direction parallel to a first side of a first truss so that the first truss is received within the first truss receiving space and so that the first tooth tears into the first side of the first truss during the step of moving the first truss engaging structure and so that upon completion of the step of moving the first truss engaging structure, the first tooth grips the first truss along the first side of the first truss; and moving the second truss engaging structure so that a second truss is received within the second truss receiving space whereby spacing between the first and second trusses is set.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
The present invention further provides a truss spacer for setting the spacing between first and second trusses, the spacer comprising a longitudinal member comprising a first truss engaging structure having a top surface, a second truss engaging structure having a top surface and longitudinally spaced from the first truss engaging structure, and a central segment which extends from adjacent the first truss engaging structure to adjacent the second truss engaging structure and has a top surface; the top surfaces of the first and second truss engaging structures lying in a horizontal plane; a first truss receiving space defined by the first truss-engaging structure and adapted to receive the first truss; a second truss receiving space defined by the second truss-engaging structure and adapted to receive the second truss; wherein the top surface of the central segment is lower than the plane so that the plane and top surface of the central segment define therebetween a nail-tip-receiving space adapted to receive therein the tips of roofing nails for securing a roof atop the trusses.
A preferred embodiment of the invention, illustrated of the best mode in which Applicant contemplates applying the principles, is set forth in the following description and is shown in the drawings and is particularly and distinctly pointed out and set forth in the appended claims.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the truss spacer of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view of one end of the spacer.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged top view of the spacer with portions cut away.
FIG. 4 is an enlarged side elevational view of the spacer with portions cut away.
FIG. 5 is an enlarged end view of the spacer.
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a portion of a roof showing several of the spacers used to space adjacent pairs of roof trusses.
FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken on line 7-7 of FIG. 6 showing one of the spacers in an uninstalled position just prior to installation.
FIG. 8 is an exploded sectional view similar to FIG. 7 showing the spacer in the installed position with the roof layers spaced above the trusses and spacer.
FIG. 9 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 8 showing the roof secured to the trusses in an installed position above the truss spacers.
- DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
Similar numbers refer to similar parts throughout the drawings.
The truss spacer or spacer bar of the present invention is shown generally at 10 in FIG. 1. Spacer 10 is used to set the spacing between adjacent pairs of roof trusses during the building or installation of a roof, as will be described in greater detail further below. Spacer 10 is formed of a rigid material which is most typically metal. In the exemplary embodiment, spacer 10 in its entirety is formed from a single piece of sheet metal which is stamped and bent to form the various structures specified below. Spacer 10 is in the exemplary embodiment thus an integrally formed one-piece member. Spacer 10 has a top 12, a bottom 14, first and second opposed ends 16 and 18 defining therebetween a longitudinal direction of the spacer, and left and right sides 20 and 22 defining therebetween an axial direction of the spacer. Ends 16 and 18 define therebetween a length L1 which may vary depending on the specific spacer desired. In the exemplary embodiment, length L1 is on the order of about 25.5 inches when used to space trusses whose center lines are to be about 24 inches apart. Left and right sides 20 and 22 define therebetween a width W1 FIG. 3 of spacer 10 which is in the exemplary embodiment is on the order of about 1.75 to 2 inches although this may vary. Spacer 10 includes a longitudinal member 24 which extends from first end 16 to second end 18 and makes up most of spacer 10. Longitudinal member 24 extends axially from left side 20 to right side 22, which respectively serve as its left and right edges. Longitudinal member 24 has an upwardly facing top surface 25 and a downwardly facing bottom surface 27 which are substantially horizontal and parallel to one another.
Longitudinal member 24 includes first and second end segments 26 and 28 which are respectively adjacent first and second ends 16 and 18 and extend therefrom longitudinally inward toward one another. Longitudinal member 24 further includes a central segment 30 extending between first and second end segments 26 and 28 and connected thereto respectively by first and second transition segments or ramps 32 and 34. Central segment 30 includes left and right longitudinal segments 31 and 33 which extend the full length of central segment 30 and are in the exemplary embodiment flat, coplanar and horizontal. Central segment 30 further includes a U-shaped channel member 35 defining a channel 37 which has a top entrance opening and extends most of the length of central segment 30. Channel member 35 and channel 37 have first and second opposed ends 39 and 41 which are adjacent the respective opposed ends of central segment 30. Ends 39 and 41 define therebetween a length L5 of channel member 35 and channel 37. In the exemplary embodiment, length L5 is on the order of about 20.5 inches. Channel member 35 has an axial width W2 which in the exemplary embodiment is on the order of about ⅜ inch. Channel member 35 also extends downwardly below bottom surface 27 about ⅛ inch in the exemplary embodiment.
More particularly, first ramp 32 is connected to an inner end of first end segment 26 at an axially extending intersection, juncture or obtuse bend 36 and angles obtusely downwardly therefrom. Similarly, first ramp 32 is secured to one end of central segment 30 at an axially extending intersection, juncture or obtuse bend 38 and angles obtusely upwardly therefrom toward first end 16, first end segment 26 and bend 36. Likewise, second ramp 34 is secured to the inner end of second end segment 28 at an axially extending intersection, juncture or obtuse bend 40 and angles obtusely downwardly therefrom toward first ramp 32 and first end 16. Second ramp 34 is also secured to the opposite end of central segment 30 from first ramp 32 at another axially extending intersection, juncture or obtuse bend 42 and angles obtusely upwardly therefrom generally toward second end 18 and specifically to bend 40.
Central segment 30 is thus spaced downwardly or recessed below first and second end segments 26 and 28 to define thereabove a nail tip receiving space 43. Space 43 has a height H1 which extends upwardly from the top surface 25 to the top 12 of spacer 10 which is defined by the common horizontal plane in which the top surfaces of first and second ends segments 26 and 28 lie. Height H1 in the exemplary embodiment is typically in the range of about ¼ to ½ inch although this may vary. Space 43 extends axially from left side 20 to right side 22 and longitudinally from bend 38 to bend 42, or in other words longitudinally between the inner ends of ramps 32 and 34 respectively. Bends 38 and 42 define therebetween a length L4, which is thus the length of central segment 30 and the length of space 43. In the exemplary embodiment, length L4 is typically on the order of about 21 inches or so. Length L4 is thus typically a little bit longer than length L5 although they may be about the same length as well.
Spacer 10 further includes first and second truss-engaging structures respectively adjacent first and second ends 16 and 18. The first truss engaging structure includes horizontal first end segment 26 and first and second vertical tabs 44 and 46 which are secured to and extend perpendicularly downwardly from first end segment 26. Similarly, the other truss engaging structure includes horizontal second end segment 28 and third and fourth vertical tabs 48 and 50 extending perpendicularly downwardly therefrom. As illustrated in FIG. 4, the inner surface of tab 44 and the inner surface of tab 48 define therebetween a length L2 which in the exemplary embodiment is on the order of about 24 inches. FIG. 4 also illustrates that the respective inner surfaces of tabs 46 and 48 define therebetween a length L3 which is in the exemplary embodiment about 22.5 inches. As shown in FIG. 4, tabs 44 and 46 define therebetween a first truss receiving space 45 bounded at the top by first end segment 26 and having a bottom entrance opening 47 for receiving upwardly therein one of the trusses of the roof. Similarly, tabs 48 and 50 define therebetween a second truss receiving space 49 bounded at the top by second end segment 28 and having a bottom entrance opening 51 for receiving therein an adjacent truss of the roof. Each of tabs 44, 46, 48 and 50 extends downwardly to a respective bottom terminal end or edge 52. FIG. 4 illustrates a height H2 of each tab 44, 46, 48 and 50 defined between the bottom terminal end 52 of the respective tab and the bottom surface of the respective end segment 26 or 28. In addition, each of these tabs is cantilevered downwardly from a respective intersection, juncture or right angle bend 54, 56, 58 and 60. Bend 54 is located at the outer end of first end 26 and extends axially. Bend 56 is located at the inner end of first end segment 26 and is adjacent or coincident with bend 36. Similarly, bend 58 is located at the inner end of second end segment 28 and is adjacent or coincident with bend 40 whereas bend 60 is located at the outer end of first end segment 28 and also extends axially. The above noted bends in the exemplary embodiment extend perpendicular to the length of spacer 10 and longitudinal member 24 and are parallel to one another.
Each of the tabs has a U-shaped structure as viewed from the end. More particularly, each U-shaped tab has left and right legs 62 and 64 which are connected to and extend downwardly from bend 54 to a common base segment 66 which is substantially horizontal and connected to the bottom ends of legs 62 and 64. Left leg 62 has left and right vertical edges 68 and 70, while right leg 64 has left and right vertical edges 72 and 74. Left edge 68 and right edge 74 serve as the respective left and right edges of the given tab and are respectively spaced axially inwardly from left and right sides 20 and 22 of the spacer and the longitudinal member 24 by a distance of about ⅜ inch in the exemplary embodiment. Left and right edges 68 and 74 define therebetween a width which is in the exemplary embodiment on the order of about 1.5 inches. Each tab has left and right beveled corners 76 extending along the lower left and lower right edges of the tab. An opening 78 is formed in the tab between legs 62 and 64, above base segment 66 and below the respective end segment 26 or 28. Left and right edges 68 and 70 define therebetween a horizontal axial width which in the exemplary embodiment is typically on the order of about ⅜ inch, which is the same as that of right leg 64. Space 78 has an axial horizontal width defined between right edge 70 and left edge 72 which in the exemplary embodiment is on the order of about ½ inch.
A series of teeth 80 are secured to the top of base segment 66 and extend upwardly into space 78 to respective sharp tips 82. Each tooth 80 is triangular in shape and is wider at its base such that its left edge angles upwardly and to the right and its right edge angles upwardly and to the left to the intersection forming the sharp tip 82. Each adjacent tooth defines therebetween triangular space 84 with respective triangular spaces 84 axially outward of the end most teeth 80. As best illustrated in FIG. 4, teeth 80 are bent upwardly and into the corresponding truss receiving space 47 or 51. As FIG. 4 shows more particularly, teeth 80 of tab 44 are bent upwardly and toward tab 46 and second end 18 while teeth 80 of tab 46 are bent upwardly and toward tab 44 and first end 16. Similarly, teeth 80 of tab 48 are bent upward and toward tab 50 and second end 18 while teeth 80 of tab 50 are bent upwardly and toward tab 48 and first end 16. The tips 82 of teeth 80 thus extend inwardly into the corresponding space 47 or 51 beyond the inner surfaces of the corresponding teeth tabs 44, 46, 48 and 50. FIG. 4 also shows that the corresponding inner surfaces of tabs 44 and 46 define therebetween a width W3 which in the exemplary embodiment is on the order of about 1.5 inches while the tips 82 of the teeth on tab 44 and the tips 82 of the teeth of tab 46 define therebetween a width W4 which is slightly less than width W3 whereby the tips 82 are configured to grip the respective trusses in use as described further below.
First and second end segments 26 and 28 are now described in further detail with primary reference to FIGS. 2 and 3. End segments 26 and 28 are substantially identical or mirror images of one another and thus only end segment 26 will be described in detail. End segment 26 is formed substantially of a flat horizontal plate which defines a rectangular opening 86 which extends from the top to the bottom of the flat plate whereby end section 26 includes left and right longitudinal legs 88 and 90 extending parallel to left and right edges 20 and 22 and defining respective portions thereof, and inner and outer axial legs 92 and 94 which extend between and are connected to left and right legs 88 and 90 whereby these four legs define therewithin rectangular opening 86. Each longitudinal leg 88 and 90 has an axial width WA which is in the exemplary embodiment on the order of about ⅜ inch, while legs 92 and 94 have a longitudinal width WL which is also on the order of about ⅜ inch in the exemplary embodiment. Opening 88 has a longitudinal length L6 which in the exemplary embodiment is on the order of about ¾ inch and an axial width W5 which in the exemplary embodiment is on the order of about 1.5 inches. End segment 26 further includes beveled corners extending from its outer edge adjacent first end 16 respectively to first and second sides 20 and 22.
As also illustrated in FIG. 3, a pair of through holes 95 are formed through longitudinal member 24 respectively adjacent and longitudinally inwardly of first and second ends 26 and 28 extending from the top surface to the bottom surface of member 24. One of holes 95 is defined on opposed sides by ramps 32 which define therebetween width W5 which is thus the same as the width of hole 88. Due to the fact that the respective tabs 46 and 48 are formed by stamping the sheet metal and bending them downwardly at bends 56 and 58 respectively, holes 95 have the same shape as the outer perimeter of the respective tab along left edge 68, right edge 74, bottom terminal edge 52 and beveled corners 76 (FIG. 5). Each opening 95 thus has a longitudinal length L7 defined generally between the respective end 39 or 41 of channel member 35 and the respective tab 46 or 48. Length L7 in the exemplary embodiment is on the order of about 1 inch, which is thus the same as the vertical height H2 of the tabs 44, 46, 48 and 50.
The operation of truss spacer 10 will be described now with primary reference to FIGS. 6-9 after a brief description of the trusses with which spacer 10 is used. As illustrated in FIG. 6, spacers 10 are used most typically on a roof supporting structure which includes several trusses which are illustrated at 96A-C. Each truss 96 includes a first top chord 98 and a second top chord 100 which meet one another at a peak 102 and are secured together by a fastener such as a fastener plate 104 in order to form the top of the triangular truss, the bottom chord of which is not shown. Each chord 98 is typically in the form of a two-by-four or the like and has a top surface 106 and left and right sides 108 and 110 defining therebetween a width W6 (FIG. 7) which is typically on the order of about 1.5 inches although this may vary. FIG. 6 shows two spacers 10 already installed on adjacent trusses while one of spacers 10 is positioned in an uninstalled position just prior to being installed. More particularly, FIG. 6 illustrates that one of the installed spacers is mounted on the adjacent pair of trusses 96A and 96B while the other installed spacer is mounted on the adjacent pair of trusses 96B and 96C, whereby these spacers provide the appropriate spacing between the respective adjacent pair of trusses.
As illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7, the uninstalled spacer 10 is positioned above the two adjacent trusses 96A and 96B prior to moving spacer 10 downwardly as indicated at arrow A toward the installed position. The roofer will move the adjacent pair of trusses into approximate position, and then move spacer 10 downwardly from the uninstalled position shown in FIG. 7 to the installed position shown in FIG. 8 so that the respective trusses 96A and 96B are received respectively within spaces 45 and 49 in order to set the appropriate spacing between these two adjacent pair of trusses. As spacer 10 is moved downwardly from the uninstalled position to the installed position in a direction parallel to sides 108 and 110 of chords 98, tips 82 of teeth 80 on tabs 44 and 46 respectively score or tear into the opposed sides 108 and 110 of chord 98 of truss 96A so that teeth 82 grip or dig into the outer surfaces of the wood of the chord and prevent upward movement of spacer in the installed position toward the uninstalled position whereby teeth 80 provide the securing mechanism to secure the first truss engaging structure of spacer 10 on truss 96A. The same type of engagement between the teeth of tab 48 and 50 occurs with respect to the adjacent truss 96B as tips 82 score the side surfaces 108 and 110 of the corresponding chord 98 of truss 96B. The end segments 26 and 28 are pushed downwardly so that the bottom surface of the respective end segment engages the top surface 106 of the corresponding chord.
The installation of truss spacer 10 may occur in a single linear movement of the entire spacer parallel to the sides 108 and 110 of chords 98 so that the trusses are received simultaneously in the respective truss receiving spaces 47 and 51. Alternately, one of the segments 26 and 28 may first be pushed downwardly parallel to sides 108 and 110 onto the corresponding truss, followed by the same parallel movement of the other of segments 26 and 28 onto the other truss. In either case, once the bottom surface of plates 26, 28 engage the top surfaces 106 of the trusses, truss spacer 10 is installed and requires no further steps to secure truss spacer 10 to the trusses inasmuch as teeth 80 grip the sides of the trusses to secure and fix spacer 10 relative to the trusses. Thus, unlike various prior art truss spacers, no fasteners (such as nails or screws) which are separate from truss spacer 10 are used to secure spacer 10 to the trusses before installation of roofing layers onto the trusses atop the trusses and spacers 10. In addition, unlike the truss spacer of the Pellock patent discussed in the Background section of the present application, none of tabs 44, 46, 48, 50 (or any other parts of spacer 10) are bent or hammered to move these tabs or teeth 80 from the uninstalled position to the installed position in which teeth 80 dig into or grip the trusses along their sides. Spacer 10 is thus free of integrally formed or built-in nails which must be hammered into the trusses to secure spacer 10 to the trusses. The entire spacer 10 is rigid and the structure thereof is not altered during installation. Under normal use, all parts of spacer 10 thus typically remain fixed relative to one another at all times. Spacer 10 thus has an uninstalled configuration and an installed configuration which is identical or substantially identical to the uninstalled configuration. Thus, for instance, tabs 44-50 remain substantially parallel to one another in the uninstalled and installed positions, and thus throughout the life of the spacer, or at all times.
Width W3 defined between the inner surfaces of tabs 44 and 46 and is substantially the same as width W6 defined between the sides 108 and 110 of the corresponding chord 98. Width W4 defined between the corresponding tips 82 of the teeth on tabs 44 and 46 is thus a little bit less than width W6 such that the tips 82 dig into the sides 108 and 110 of the corresponding chords 98. This is likewise true of the corresponding dimensions related to tabs 48 and 50 and the associated teeth 80. As shown in FIG. 8, the left side 108 of chord 98 of truss 96A and the right side 110 of chord 98 of truss 96B define therebetween length L1 inasmuch as these two trusses are spaced in accordance with the size of spacer 10. Similarly, the left side 108 of truss 96A and the left side of truss 96B define therebetween length L2, as do the corresponding center lines CL of the adjacent pairs of trusses 96A and 96B. Right side 110 of truss 96A and left side 108 of truss 96B define therebetween length L3 in accordance with the distance or spacing defined by spacer 10.
FIG. 8 also shows several layers of roofing positioned above the installed trusses and spacers in preparation for securing the roof to the trusses. More particularly, FIG. 8 shows sheeting in the form of plywood 112 or the like, tar paper 114 and shingles 116. Although roofing layers may vary, these are some of the typical materials used in roofing. Arrow B in FIG. 8 generally illustrates the downward movement of these various layers in a sequential manner, with the plywood being lowered into position first, followed by the tar paper and subsequently the shingles at the appropriate time. As illustrated in FIG. 9, once the plywood 112 has been positioned atop the trusses with the lower surface of plywood 112 abutting the top surfaces of the first and second end segments 26 and 28, sheeting nails 118 are used to secure plywood 112 to trusses 96. As is known in the art, nails 118 are typically installed (Arrows C) with a nail gun or with a hammer such that the top of the head 120 is roughly aligned with the top surface of plywood 112, and preferably therebelow a short distance. As shown in FIG. 9, the shafts of nails 118 may extend through holes 86 in the respective end segment 26 or 28. Holes 86 thus eliminate any sheet metal which would interfere with the installation of nail 118 in the region of the end segment of 26 or 28 should such a hole 86 not be provided.
Although teeth 80 secure spacer 10 to the trusses, nails 118 further secure spacer 10 to the trusses by securing plywood 112 to the trusses with plywood 112 covering and engaging the top of spacer 10. Typically, the only fasteners (such as nails and screws) which are separate from spacer 10 and which secure spacer 10 to the trusses are fasteners such as nails 118 which extend through a roofing layer such as plywood 112 and into the trusses with the roofing layer extending over spacer 10 and the trusses.
Once nails 118 have been shot, hammered or otherwise forced through plywood 112 to secure plywood 112 to trusses 96, tar paper 114 is typically rolled onto the top surface of plywood 112 and followed by shingles 116, which are secured along with tar paper 114 by roofing nails 122 each having a shaft 124, a head 126 and a pointed tip 128 opposite head 126. Roofing nails 126 are also typically hammered in with a hammer or shot in with a nail gun (Arrow D) so that the shaft 124 pierces and passes through shingle 116, tar paper 114 and plywood 112 with the head 126 typically seated atop the upper surface of the shingle 116 and extending upwardly therefrom a very short distance, nearly flush with the top of the shingle. As illustrated in FIG. 9, roofing nails 122 are typically sufficiently long such that tips 128 protrude downwardly beyond the lower surface of plywood 112 and thus generally below all of the roofing layers, represented here by plywood 112, tar paper 114 and shingles 116. FIG. 9 illustrates the importance of the downwardly spaced or recessed central segment 30 of spacer 10 to form the nail tip receiving space 43. In particular, FIG. 9 shows the tips 128 and said roofing nails 122 are positioned within space 43 preferably out of contact with central segment 30. More particularly, any roofing nails 122 which are aligned directly above central segment 30 such that the corresponding tip 128 points directly at central segment 30 thus prevents the tip 128 from hitting a portion of the spacer which would otherwise be abutting or closely adjacent the bottom surface of plywood 112, that is if the spacer were formed with a corresponding central segment which was essentially of the same height as end segments 26 and 28. Space 43 thus minimizes the chance of the roofing nails hitting a piece of the sheet metal or the material which may be used to form spacer 10, thus making the driving of the roofing nail 124 easier in the central region of the spacer between the inner tabs 46 and 48 of the truss engaging structures, and more particularly between the bends 38 and 42. In addition, nails 122 do not bend, pierce or otherwise damage central segment 30. FIG. 9 also illustrates in dashed lines that a roofing nail 122 may be driven through the roofing layers such that the lower portion of the shaft 124 make extend through hole 95 in the region of the ramps 32 or ramps 34, thus also minimizing the chance of the roofing nail impacting on the sheet metal of spacer 10.
In short, spacer 10 is easily installed simply by applying force on the end segments downwardly to force the truss engaging structures onto the corresponding adjacent pair of trusses. More particularly, the teeth 80 of the corresponding tabs engage and dig into the opposed sides of the trusses during installation so that when the spacer is installed, the teeth prevent the upward movement of the spacer as well as lateral movement parallel to the chords of the trusses on which the spacer is installed to secure the spacer in place while setting the appropriate spacing between the trusses until such time as the plywood or other sheeting material of the roofing layers has been nailed into the trusses to provide the greater structural integrity of the roofing structure. The spacers 10 thus remain permanently in place with the roofing layers secured thereabove. In addition, spacers 10 provide the nail tip receiving space 43 of holes 95 and 86 to minimize the chance of a given nail impacting the material of which spacer 10 is formed.
In the foregoing description, certain terms have been used for brevity, clearness, and understanding. No unnecessary limitations are to be implied therefrom beyond the requirement of the prior art because such terms are used for descriptive purposes and are intended to be broadly construed.
Moreover, the description and illustration of the invention is an example and the invention is not limited to the exact details shown or described.