Patent application title: POST SUPPORT BRACKET SYSTEM
Richard P. Truckner (Fairfield, CA, US)
IPC8 Class: AE04H1222FI
Class name: Openwork; e.g., truss, trellis, grille, screen, frame, or rebar chair three-dimensional space-defining having specific connector, etc.
Publication date: 2015-03-26
Patent application number: 20150082735
A post support bracket system for structural attachment of a post to a
framing member having a bracket, a first set of fasteners, and a second
set of fasteners. The bracket has a vertical portion and a horizontal
portion, wherein the vertical portion is joined to the horizontal portion
along neighboring ends at a pre-selected angle to each other. The first
set of fasteners couple the vertical portion of the bracket to a framing
member. The framing member forms the supported base of the flooring. The
second set of fasteners secure the post to the horizontal portion. The
first set of fasteners are selectively spaced to produce a pinching
compressive force between the first set of fasteners in the framing
member as a lateral load is applied to an upper portion of the post.
1. A post support bracket system for structural attachment of a post to a
framing member, comprising: a bracket configured to receive a rotational
action from the application of a lateral load against the post, the
bracket having a vertical portion attached to the framing member and a
horizontal portion for securing the post, the vertical portion and the
horizontal portion having a plurality of apertures; a first set of
fasteners in communication with the vertical portion, the first set of
fasteners passing through the plurality of apertures in the vertical
portion; and a second set of fasteners in communication with the
horizontal portion, the second set of fasteners passing through the
plurality of apertures in the horizontal portion to secure the post;
wherein the first set of fasteners are selectively spaced to produce a
pinching compressive force between the first set of fasteners in the
framing member as the lateral load is applied to an upper portion of the
post, the spacing of the fasteners being configured to increase holding
resistance to the lateral load.
2. The post support bracket system of claim 1, wherein the framing member is at least one of a joist, a blocking, and stair.
3. The post support bracket system of claim 1, wherein the bracket further includes a stiffener to increase the rigidity of the bracket.
4. The post support bracket system of claim 1, further comprising: a load plate configured to increase stiffening and rigidity of the horizontal portion of the bracket
5. The post support bracket system of claim 1, wherein the bracket further comprises: a rigid side member coupled to an outer edge of the vertical portion and the horizontal portion, the side member configured to with a second set of apertures used to secure the bracket to a second framing member.
6. The post support bracket system of claim 5, wherein at least one of the side member and the bracket further includes a spike protruding from a surface configured to engage at least one of the framing member and the second framing member.
7. The post support bracket system of claim 5, wherein the bracket and side member is composed of at least one of a plastic, a metal, and a composite.
8. The post support bracket system of claim 1, further comprising: a post anchor configured to mount the post to a horizontal plane of the floor member, the second set of fasteners coupling the post anchor to the horizontal portion of the bracket, the post anchor having a hollowed elongated housing for acceptance of the post.
9. The post support bracket system of claim 8, wherein the floor member passes between the horizontal portion and the post anchor.
10. The post support bracket system of claim 8, wherein the post anchor passes through the floor member and contacts the horizontal portion of the bracket.
11. The post support bracket system of claim 8, wherein the hollowed elongated housing is contoured in the shape of at least one of a round shape, a square shape, and a U-shape.
12. The post support bracket system of claim 8, wherein the second set of fasteners passes through the post anchor at least internally or externally to the housing.
13. The post support bracket system of claim 1, wherein the horizontal portion includes an alignment hole configured to set the bracket relative to a flooring member, the bracket flush with a first side of the flooring member, the alignment hole facilitating the alignment of the second set of fasteners relative to the plurality of apertures of the horizontal portion from a second side of the flooring member.
14. The post support bracket system of claim 1, wherein the vertical portion and the horizontal portion are oriented, such that the vertical portion is secured to a first floor member and the horizontal portion is secured to a side of the post.
15. The post support bracket system of claim 14, wherein the bracket facilitates the passage of at least one fastener through a side of the post.
16. The post support bracket system of claim 14, wherein the bracket is configured to resist inward movement of the post adjacent the floor member when the lateral load is applied.
17. The post support bracket system of claim 14, wherein the bracket is off set in relation to an axis of the post, thereby creating a rotational force to the fasteners as the lateral load is applied, the rotational force forming the compressive pinching force.
18. The post support bracket system of claim 1, wherein the flooring member is at least one of a deck member, a floor, and a stair tread.
 1. Field of the Invention
 The present application relates generally to structural attachment members in the building industry and, more particularly, to a post support bracket system for securing vertical rail support posts.
 2. Description of Related Art
 Decks are a common outdoor structure for residential and commercial buildings. Posts or railings are usually provided to prevent individuals from falling off a portion of the deck. The posts are usually made from either wood or metal. One or more railings are then used to join two or more posts. An issue with railings on decks or other raised flooring surface is an inability to secure the vertical posts in a vertical alignment.
 Traditionally a butt end of a vertical post is placed in relative contact with the flooring surface, the vertical post perpendicular to the flooring surface. Fasteners are used to secure the post in alignment relative to the flooring surface. The fasteners engage the vertical post and the flooring surface. Such a fastening method is typically very weak causing failure as lateral loads are applied to the vertical post at an end distal to the flooring surface. Lateral loads cause the vertical post to act like a lever with a fulcrum point that can greatly magnify the structural load placed onto the mode of attachment.
 In an effort to stabilize the vertical posts to withstand lateral loads, a post support may be used. The post support is designed to sit flush to the flooring surface and surround a portion of the vertical post. Fasteners then engage the post support and the flooring surface. Another method involves strengthening the flooring surface with one or more additional pieces of material (wood/composite) to, in effect, thicken the floor. Despite these efforts, none of these methods of attachment or strengthening generally succeed in securing the vertical post. Each typically fails to meet building code regulations and fail to provide adequate stabilization to the vertical post over time as weather and environmental conditions weaken the flooring surface and additional materials.
 It is desirable to provide a post support bracket system capable of meeting building code requirements and increased rigidity. Although some strides have been made with attachment members in the building industry, considerable shortcomings remain.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 The novel features believed characteristic of the application are set forth in the appended claims. However, the application itself, as well as a preferred mode of use, and further objectives and advantages thereof, will best be understood by reference to the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
 FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a post support bracket system according to the preferred embodiment of the present application;
 FIGS. 2A-2D are views of an alternative embodiment of the post support bracket in the post support bracket system of FIG. 1;
 FIGS. 3A-3D are views of an alternative embodiment of the post support bracket of FIGS. 1 and 2;
 FIG. 4 is a top view of deck framing using the post support bracket system of FIG. 1;
 FIG. 5A-5B are views of the post support bracket system of FIG. 1 used in the deck framing of FIG. 4;
 FIG. 6 is a front view of the post support bracket of FIGS. 3A-3D coupled to the deck framing; and
 FIG. 7 is a front view of the post support bracket of FIG. 6 coupled to the deck framing, rotated 90 degrees.
 While the system and method of the present application is susceptible to various modifications and alternative forms, specific embodiments thereof have been shown by way of example in the drawings and are herein described in detail. It should be understood, however, that the description herein of specific embodiments is not intended to limit the application to the particular embodiment disclosed, but on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the process of the present application as defined by the appended claims.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
 Illustrative embodiments of the preferred embodiment are described below. In the interest of clarity, not all features of an actual implementation are described in this specification. It will of course be appreciated that in the development of any such actual embodiment, numerous implementation-specific decisions must be made to achieve the developer's specific goals, such as compliance with system-related and business-related constraints, which will vary from one implementation to another. Moreover, it will be appreciated that such a development effort might be complex and time-consuming but would nevertheless be a routine undertaking for those of ordinary skill in the art having the benefit of this disclosure.
 In the specification, reference may be made to the spatial relationships between various components and to the spatial orientation of various aspects of components as the devices are depicted in the attached drawings. However, as will be recognized by those skilled in the art after a complete reading of the present application, the devices, members, apparatuses, etc. described herein may be positioned in any desired orientation. Thus, the use of terms to describe a spatial relationship between various components or to describe the spatial orientation of aspects of such components should be understood to describe a relative relationship between the components or a spatial orientation of aspects of such components, respectively, as the device described herein may be oriented in any desired direction.
 The post support bracket system of the present application is configured to first addresses the structural attachment of surface mounted vertical posts to flooring members, such as a deck (deck members), floors, and stairs; and secondly is configured to structurally attach rail support posts to the side of a floor or deck (i.e. a framing member) all while maintaining the structural requirements of building codes for lateral loads. A framing member may be a joist, a blocking, and a stair (framing).
 Referring now to FIG. 1 in the drawings, an exploded view of a post support bracket system 101 is illustrated. System 101 includes a bracket 103 and optionally the use of a post anchor 105 and an optional load plate 107. Bracket 103 is configured to use a plurality of fasteners to attach a vertical post to framing members which are used to support the flooring surface of a deck. Bracket 103 is configured to have a horizontal portion 109 and a vertical portion 111. Vertical portion 111 and horizontal portion 109 are joined together along neighboring edges at a pre-selected angle 113 to each other. As seen in FIG. 1, angle 113 is 90 degrees (see FIG. 2B), thereby forming an "L" shape between the horizontal portion 109 and the vertical portion 111. It is understood that angle 113 may be increased or decreased depending on design considerations and is therefore not limiting, but is given merely as an example. It is further understood that vertical portion 111 and horizontal portion 109 may be formed from a single integral piece of material wherein angle 113 is formed at the line of bending, thereby creating portions 109 and 111.
 Horizontal portion 109 includes a plurality of apertures 115 configured to permit the passage of a fastener 117. Apertures 115 may be shaped as needed or selected by designers to perform specific functions. As seen in FIG. 1, apertures 115 are slotted. It is understood that apertures 115 may be circular, oval, or any other shape. Vertical portion 111 also includes a plurality of apertures 119. Apertures 119 are similar in form and function to that of apertures 115 and are configured to accept a fastener 118. Fastener 117 may be a bolt, screw, nail, and even adhesive.
 Fastener 118 is configured to couple vertical portion 111 to a framing member (see FIG. 5A). Vertical portion 111 is in a vertical plane configured to attach bracket 103 to a framing member (i.e. a joist, a blocking, and a stair). Fasteners 118 are configured to pass through apertures 119 and into the framing member. Horizontal portion 109 is in a relatively horizontal plane configured to attach bracket 103 to a post 121 (see FIG. 5B). Fasteners 117 are configured to pass through apertures 115 in the horizontal portion 109.
 Bracket 103 is illustrated with a rigid side member 123. Side member 123 is optional as seen in the illustrated embodiments of FIGS. 2A-3D. Side member 123 extends along a common shared edge 127 between portions 109 and 111. Side member 123 increases the rigidity of bracket 103 as a means to prevent flexure of portion 109 relative to portion 111. As seen in FIG. 1, side member 123 also includes a set of apertures 125 for acceptance of a fastener. Fasteners are inserted through aperture 125 and pass through a second framing member or flooring member depending on orientation of bracket 103. For example, see the orientations differences described in FIGS. 6 and 7 below. It is understood that side member 123 is optional and if used, is typically integrally formed or permanently attached along edge 127. Bracket 103 and side member 123 may be formed or produced from a plurality of various metals to affect performance characteristics. However, materials such as metal, plastic and a composite are most typically envisioned for use.
 Load plate 107 is a separate detached member of system 101 and also is optionally used by a user and may not be included with bracket 103 originally. Plate 107 is contoured to match the shape of horizontal portion 109. Plate 107 is configured to contact an under side (closest to portion 111) of portion 109. Apertures are formed in plate 107 to match apertures 115. Plate 107 is designed to increase stiffening and rigidity of portion 109 when coupled to post 121.
 Post anchor 105 is in communication with post 121 and is configured to mount post 121 to a horizontal plane adjacent the floor member. Anchor 105 includes a hollowed elongated housing 129 with an externally extending flange 131 at one end of housing 129. Although flange 131 is illustrated as surrounding the complete perimeter of housing 129, other embodiments may limit flange 131 to specific portions of the perimeter. For example, flange 131 may be broken into four individual flanges, one for each side of housing 129. Additionally, the number of flanges may be more or less than the number of sides of housing 129. Furthermore, additional embodiments of anchor 105 may align any flanges and corresponding fastening apertures internally within housing 129. The internal flanges may be individual per side of anchor 105 or may create a collective unitary surface to create a concealed bottom within housing 129. Fastener apertures would be located within the concealed bottom for the passage of fasteners spaced to match apertures of the corresponding bracket (i.e. apertures 115). As noted previously, system 101 does not need to use anchor 105 to provide adequately secure post 121 in vertical alignment with the flooring surface.
 Housing 129 is depicted as rectangular in FIG. 1. Housing 129 may be shaped to conform to the contours of post 121. Exemplary shapes of housing 129 may be round, square, rectangular, and "U"-shaped (wherein housing 129 fails to completely surround post 121).
 During installation and design of the decking or flooring, the precise location and use of anchor 105 may be adjusted. For example, anchor 105 may be placed flush along an upper surface of the flooring member. Fasteners 117 that pass through apertures 115 may also pass through apertures in anchor 105. In this example, the flooring member passes between horizontal portion 109 and flange 131. In other words, fasteners 117 pass through flooring members and compress flange 131 to that of horizontal portion 109. Such an embodiment of installation is seen at least in FIG. 5B. In another example, flange 131 may pass through flooring members and contact directly with bracket 103. In this example, flooring members pass around anchor 105.
 Referring now also to FIGS. 2A-2D in the drawings, an alternative embodiment of bracket 103 is illustrated. Bracket 102 may replace bracket 103 within system 101. Bracket 102 is similar in form and function to that of bracket 103 in FIG. 1. Bracket 102 is shown to illustrate bracket 103 without the use of side members 123. The advantages and abilities of bracket 103 are the same for bracket 102, minus the use of side members 123. Bracket 102 includes the use of a plurality of apertures 135 that function similar to that of apertures 115 and 119 of bracket 103. More clearly seen in FIGS. 2A-2D, system 101 optionally includes the use of a stiffener 137 and grooves 139 formed into bracket 102/103 to improve rigidity. The use of stiffener 137 does not require the formation of groove 139.
 As seen in particular with FIGS. 2A and 2C, an alignment hole 138 is located in the horizontal portion. Alignment hole 138 is used to set the bracket level with the underside of the deck flooring members with a removable screw to set the bracket to the correct height prior to attaching bracket 102 to a joist or blocking. Additionally, after the screw is removed, a small hole can be drilled through the center hole and through the decking to serve as a guide to an installer as to the exact position of the bracket apertures 135 under the flooring member.
 Referring now also to FIG. 3A-3D in the drawings, an alternative embodiment of bracket 103 and 102 is illustrated. Bracket 104 may replace bracket 103 and 102 within system 101. Bracket 104 is similar in form and function to that of bracket 103 in FIG. 1. Bracket 104 is shown to illustrate the use of side members 141 having a different shape to that of side members 123. Members 141 are formed along an edge of bracket 104 as seen in bracket 103, however side member 141 only extends a partial length of one of the portions. The use of apertures 143 are seen in bracket 104 and are similar in form and function to those of apertures 115, 119, and 125 of bracket 103.
 FIGS. 3A-3D also are used to illustrate the optional use a spike protruding from an exterior surface of bracket 104. Spikes 143 are used to protrude and pierce into flooring members and framing members. Spikes 143 may facilitate the positioning and orientation of bracket 104 while fasteners are inserted through any one of apertures 143. It is understood that spikes 143 are equally applicable for use on brackets 103 and 102. Furthermore, although system 101 has been disclosed with different types of brackets, system 101 may include any combination of brackets 102, 103, 104. In FIGS. 3A and 3C is shown an alignment hole 142 similar in form and function to that of alignment hole 138 in FIGS. 2A and 2C. Alignment hole 142 provides similar functionality during installation as seen with alignment hole 138.
 Referring now also to FIG. 4 in the drawings, a top view of deck framing or framing members 145 used in the formation of a deck are illustrated. Framing members are illustrated as a joist 145a, a blocking 145b, a rim joist, and a stair. FIG. 4 illustrates the location of system 101. Bracket 103 will be used to represent all possible brackets in FIG. 4. As seen in FIG. 4, bracket 103 is located in the internal corner where two joists 145a abut one another. This placement allows bracket 103 to be secured to more than one joist 145a and also permits post 121 to be placed nearer to the edge of the deck.
 Referring now also to FIGS. 5A-5B in the drawings, system 101 (as seen in FIG. 1) is more clearly illustrated as used in framing members 145 shown in FIG. 4. Bracket 103 is clearly illustrated, being located in the internal corner of two abutting framing members 145. Directly above, and in contact with, portion 109 is a flooring member 147. System 101 is illustrated with plate 107 adjacent and in contact with portion 109 to add increased strength by increasing the thickness of bracket 103 along portion 109. Fasteners 117 pass through apertures 129 and 115. Vertical portion 111 is secured to framing member 145 with fasteners 118. Side member 123 is in contact with framing member 145 and additional fasteners 148 pass through apertures 125 to optionally secure bracket 103 to a secondary framing member 145. Although illustrated wherein bracket 103 is in contact with joist 145a, it is understood that bracket 103 may be spaced away from joist 145a to locate post 121 in a desired location (as seen in FIG. 6) This may occur in situations where post 121 needs to be located further toward the interior of the deck.
 Referring now also to FIG. 6 in the drawings, is a view of bracket 104 is illustrated. FIG. 6 is used to show the resultant forces applied to framing members 145 as a lateral force 149 is applied to post 121. Of interest in FIG. 6 are how the application of lateral force 149 affects framing member 145. Fasteners 118 are set and engaged through apertures 119 and into framing member 145. As a lateral force 149 is applied, a rotational force 151 is experienced on fasteners 118 of bracket 104. Fasteners 118 are selectively spaced so as to produce a pinching compressive force between fasteners 118 in framing member 145 as a lateral load is applied to an upper portion of the post 121. The spacing of the fasteners 118 are configured to increase holding resistance to the lateral force 147. The banded area of compressive force is illustrated in region 153.
 Referring now also to FIG. 7 in the drawings, bracket 104 is illustrated in a rotated orientation relative to framing member 145. The change in axis orientation is to allow bracket 104 to be attached to a side 157 of post 155. As seen in the figure, bracket 104 is rotated counter clockwise 90 degrees. In this embodiment of using bracket 104, post 155 is mounted off surface of the flooring member 147. Post 155 is located in an internal corner of framing members 145d and 145e. Post 155 is secured between bracket 104 and framing member 145e. Vertical portion 111a is secured to a first framing member 145d and horizontal portion 109a is rotated 90 degrees relative to the horizontal to be in contact with side 157 of post 155. Second framing member 145e is located on a side opposite side 157. Fasteners pass through bracket 104 and framing members 145d and 145e to secure post 155. In this embodiment, side members 141 are not shown contacting framing members or flooring members.
 Although FIG. 7 depicts locating post 155 between horizontal portion 109a and second framing member 145e, it is understood that second framing member 145e is not required. Fasteners may pass through portion 109a and post 155 only, without engaging second framing member 145e. Additionally post 155 may be secured inside or outside framing members 145d-145e. Brackets 102 and 103 are also configured to permit rotated installation similar to that of bracket 104.
 The embodiment where bracket 104 is rotated 90 degrees is very advantageous. In instances wherein post 155 is not secured directly to the flooring surface, anchor 105 is not able to be used. Bracket 104 is configured to secure vertical posts with or without the use of anchor 105 and can be installed on posts abutting the flooring surface directly and those mounted off surface.
 In this rotate installation, bracket 104 performs at least three functions. First, bracket 104 facilitates the passage of at least one horizontal fastener into or through side 157, structurally attaching bracket 104 to post 155. Secondly, since bracket 104 is set flush against side 157, any outward, lateral movement along an upper portion (end opposite of end 159 of post 155) of post 155 is resisted by the flush structural attachment of bracket 104 with framing member 145e, which resists the inward movement of end 159 when lateral forces 149 are applied.
 Third, the surface of bracket 104 attached against the framing member is off set in relation to the axis 161 of post 155. Since bracket 104 is attached flush to post 155, any lateral movement will transmit a rotational force to the attachment fasteners set into or through the framing members. This rotational action is significant in increasing the ability of bracket 104 to resist lateral forces 149 transmitted from post 155. The rotational action of the bracket against the fasteners causes a compressive pinching effect against the grain of the wood framing, thereby jamming the fasteners as they are pushed sideways from both directions into the wood grain (as seen in FIG. 6). This attachment differs greatly from conventional attachment methods which place fasteners are placed in the same axial alignment of the post. Such fasteners are placed under shear and subjected to pulling forces only. Pulling forces applied to a bracket have a tendency to simply split the grain of the wood framing under even moderate loads when pulling in the direction of the wood grain. The direct mounting of the post to framing members and placing fasteners in different axial alignment to the post permit a rotational action on the bracket and fasteners to cause the compressive pinching effect.
 The current application has many advantages over the prior art including at least the following: (1) horizontal attachment plane for attachment of surface mounted posts; (2) rotational holding effect for enhanced lateral load holding power; (3) ability to turn bracket at 90 degrees for side attachment of posts; (4) center location hole in horizontal plane for correct positioning of bracket to underside of decking; (5) slotted or round holes in horizontal plane; (6) optional side members of various shapes; and (7) ability to hold lateral load forces applies to posts mounted on exterior rim joist of deck.
 The particular embodiments disclosed above are illustrative only, as the application may be modified and practiced in different but equivalent manners apparent to those skilled in the art having the benefit of the teachings herein. It is therefore evident that the particular embodiments disclosed above may be altered or modified, and all such variations are considered within the scope and spirit of the application. Accordingly, the protection sought herein is as set forth in the description. It is apparent that an application with significant advantages has been described and illustrated. Although the present application is shown in a limited number of forms, it is not limited to just these forms, but is amenable to various changes and modifications without departing from the spirit thereof.
Patent applications in class Having specific connector, etc.
Patent applications in all subclasses Having specific connector, etc.