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Publication numberUS20040227039 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/437,879
Publication dateNov 18, 2004
Filing dateMay 13, 2003
Priority dateMay 13, 2003
Publication number10437879, 437879, US 2004/0227039 A1, US 2004/227039 A1, US 20040227039 A1, US 20040227039A1, US 2004227039 A1, US 2004227039A1, US-A1-20040227039, US-A1-2004227039, US2004/0227039A1, US2004/227039A1, US20040227039 A1, US20040227039A1, US2004227039 A1, US2004227039A1
InventorsMichael Real, Francisco Real, Alex Gonzalez
Original AssigneeMichael Real, Francisco Real, Alex Gonzalez
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Integrated angle brace and furniture foot and manufacturing method
US 20040227039 A1
Abstract
A hardware leg for both bracing furniture joints and providing an integrated friction reducing foot pad for supporting the furniture item. The leg has an angled bracket portion mountable to individual panels or a pair of corner adjacent surfaces through screw or nail fastener holes, staple engageable nibs or through the penetratable plates of the bracket itself. The bracket and foot pad can be formed integrally through injection molding from a strong, durable, slick, non-scratching plastic material such as graphite impregnated acetal resin. Further, colored dyes can be selected and mixed with the material during molding to provide a leg color matched to the furniture piece.
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Claims(16)
What is claimed is:
1. (Cancelled).
2. A hardware leg for furniture comprises:
an oblong bracket having an upper end and a opposite lower end; and
a pad mounted to said lower end,
wherein said bracket is sized and shaped to mount to a pair of corner-adjacent surfaces, and,
wherein said bracket and said pad are formed integrally from a first material.
3. The leg of claim 2, wherein said first material is selected from the group consisting of:
polypropylene, ABS, polybutylene, polystyrene, and acetal resin.
4. The leg of claim 2, wherein said material comprises graphite impregnated plastic.
5. The leg of claim 2, wherein said material comprises a dye selected to match a color of a piece of furniture.
6. The leg of claim 2, wherein said bracket has a thickness of between about ⅛″ and {fraction (3/16)}″.
7. The leg of claim 2, which further comprises a cushion bonded to a lower surface of said pad.
8. The leg of claim 7, wherein said lower surface is formed to have a socket and said cushion is bonded within said socket.
9. The leg of claim 2, wherein said bracket comprises a first substantially planar face and a second substantially planar face oriented at a first angle to said first face.
10. The leg of claim 9, wherein said first and second faces are oriented substantially orthogonally to each other.
11. The leg of claim 9, wherein said first face is formed to have at least one mounting hole extending therethrough.
12. The leg of claim 11, wherein said mounting hole is substantially cylindrically shaped about a central axis.
13. A hardware leg for furniture comprises:
an oblong bracket having an upper end and a opposite lower end; and
a pad mounted to said lower end,
wherein said bracket is sized and shaped to mount to a pair of corner-adjacent surfaces;
wherein said bracket comprises a first substantially planar face and a second substantially planar face oriented at a first angle to said first face;
wherein said first face is formed to have at least one mounting hole extending therethrough
wherein said mounting hole is substantially cylindrically shaped about a central axis; and,
wherein a second angle is formed between said central axis and a direction normal to said first substantially planar face.
14. The leg of claim 13, wherein said second angle ranges between about 15 and 45 degrees.
15. A hardware leg for furniture comprises:
an oblong bracket having an upper end and a opposite lower end; and
a pad mounted to said lower end,
wherein said bracket is sized and shaped to mount to a pair of corner-adjacent surfaces;
wherein said bracket comprises a first substantially planar face and a second substantially planar face oriented at a first angle to said first face; and,
wherein said first face further comprises a first nib extending from a first edge of said face.
16. The leg of claim 9 which further comprises at least one spike extending from an upper surface of said pad.
Description
    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    This invention relates to mechanical support structures and more particularly to hardware used in the construction of furniture.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    Many types of furniture, particularly wood frame furniture such as bureaus, hutches, couches, armoires, and wall units require the fixing together of various panels of wooden material at angled junctions. Typically, the fastening of such junctions requires additional strengthening or support in the form of one or more braces formed from wood blocks or other material. Many furniture items also utilize foot pieces for contacting the floor. In order to provide for easier movement and to avoid scratching the floor surface during movement, it has been found useful to include bottom surface coasters or cushions mountable to these foot pieces and made from non-scratching materials such as nylon, felt or other soft materials. The foot pieces are often located along the lower periphery near a corner junction of two panels to provide structural stability to the furniture. The implementation of the foot structure and any brace structures must be done with skill and care and, therefore, can be time-consuming and expensive. Further, the foot pieces act as an elevating device to raise the bottom of the furniture pieces above the floor, thereby avoiding damage to the furniture piece during moving when contact is made with the floor.
  • [0003]
    In the past, low friction, non-scratching coasters or cushions are usually sold separately and are attached by the consumer to the foot piece using an adhesive or some other fastener such as a nail or screw. Adhesives can be problematic in that they deteriorate over time and may not be strong enough to withstand the rigors of repetitive movement. Those coasters or cushions attached using fasteners can sometimes become dislodged leaving only the fastener portion which is typically made of metal and can gouge floor surfaces.
  • [0004]
    Many prior devices such as foot pieces and coasters are made from a material which is of a color different from the furniture and, therefore, can be less aesthetically appealing.
  • [0005]
    The invention results from an attempt to develop furniture hardware which reduces or avoids the above-identified disadvanges.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0006]
    The principal and secondary objects of this invention are to provide an inexpensive, durable, and easy to use piece of hardware which accomplishes both panel junction bracing and provides a low friction, non-scratching foot piece.
  • [0007]
    These and other objects are achieved by an integrated hardware leg having a bracket portion providing two angled faces for bonding to corner adjacent furniture panels and terminating at a foot pad which provides a lower low friction surface for optionally carrying a non-scratch cushion. The leg is made from a strong, durable, but low friction and non-scratching plastic material such as graphite impregnated acetal resin. The injection-molded integrated leg can be formed using material in which colored dye has been added where the color of the dye is selected to match the color of the furniture.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
  • [0008]
    [0008]FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic perspective view of an integrated furniture leg having bracket and foot pad portions mounted on the inside of a pair of corner-adjacent panels of a piece of furniture according to the invention;
  • [0009]
    [0009]FIG. 2 is a side plan view of the integrated leg of FIG. 1;
  • [0010]
    [0010]FIG. 3 is a partial cross-sectional top plan view of the leg of FIG. 2 taken along line 3-3;
  • [0011]
    [0011]FIG. 4 is a partial cross-sectional top plan view of the leg of FIG. 2 as mounted on a single partial planar surface;
  • [0012]
    [0012]FIG. 5 is a partial cross-sectional view of the foot pad of a leg having a felt cushion mounted in a lower socket; and
  • [0013]
    [0013]FIG. 6 is a partial perspective view of a section of a plate of the bracket portion of the leg showing various fastening means.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION
  • [0014]
    Referring now to the drawing, there is shown in FIGS. 1-3 a hardware leg 1 for bracing a joint or junction 2 formed between a pair of corner adjacent panels 3, 4 for a piece of furniture. The leg 1 is formed to have a bracket portion 5 which comprises a pair of vertically oblong plates 6, 7 which form planar outer faces 8, 9 for contacting the furniture panels oriented at an angle A to one another, and rigidly held in place by a central spanning plate 10 and by a cross-piece 11 at a top end and by a foot pad 12 at a second end for supporting the furniture. The foot pad 12 is generally dish shaped having a lower convex surface 13 for contacting the floor. A substantially planar upper surface 14 typically orthogonal to the outer faces to bear against the lower edges 15 of the panels 3, 4. A concave cavity 16 into the upper surface to reduce material usage. Rigidizing ribs 17, 18 span laterally across a medial portion of the concave upper surface of the pad.
  • [0015]
    The leg provides means for mounting the leg to a pair of corner-adjacent panels 3, 4 as shown in FIG. 1 or to a single planar panel 20 as shown in FIG. 4. In this specification, the characteristic of “corner-adjacency does not require orthogonality, nor that the panels are planar. Those skilled in the art will readily appreciate adaptation of the shape of the bracket to bond to non-orthogonal and non-planar corner adjacent panels.
  • [0016]
    Means for fastening the leg to a panel include screw or nail holes 21, 22 through the plates. A first set of generally cylindrical nail holes 21 are arranged to have a central axis substantially orthogonal to the planar outer and inner surfaces of the plate. A second set of holes 22 are substantially cylindrical and have a central axis 23 oriented at an angle B measured from the direction normal 24 to the outer surface of the plate. These angled holes are substantially parallel in orientation through both the first and second plates and allow the bonding through fasteners 25 to a single panel 20 as shown in FIG. 4. Those skilled in the art will understand that the orientation of these holes need not be exactly parallel and are oftentimes more preferably at a slight angle away from normal to the surface into which the screw-type nail or staple fasteners adhere so that forced extraction of the fastener is discouraged. For brackets in which the angle A between the outer faces is about 90, the angle B is preferably between 15 and 60.
  • [0017]
    Further means for mounting the leg include a plurality of conical spikes 26 projecting upwardly from the upper surface 14 of the foot pad 12 to help bond the leg in place during attachment and to prevent slippage in the plane of the upper surface.
  • [0018]
    The leg is preferably formed integrally including both the bracket portion 5 and foot pad 12 by injection-molding. It is therefore efficient to form the entire leg from a single type of material or uniform mixture of materials which is strong and durable, and which allows the formation of a low friction non-scratching outer convex surface of the bottom of the pad. Preferred materials include polypropylene, ABS, polybutylene, polystyrene and graphite impregnated acetal resin. Such material is available from the DuPont Company and sold under the brand name DELRIN.
  • [0019]
    Since the part is injection-molded, it allows the addition of various dyes into the molding material mixture prior to injection so that the finished leg will have a color or appearance more aesthetically in concert with the appearance of the furniture to which it is mounted.
  • [0020]
    Referring now to FIG. 5, the lower outer convex surface 30 of the foot pad 31 can be further shaped to have a central socket 32 sized and shaped to provide upper and lateral bearing surfaces to securely mount a cushion 33 made from enhanced non-scratch material such as felt. Such cushions can be attached through adhesive into the socket. The lateral bearing surfaces provide additional securement against lateral forces occurring during furniture movement. Further, should the cushion become dislodged, the socket structure provides a minimum decrease in a non-scratching profile for the foot pad.
  • [0021]
    Referring now to FIG. 6, although the leg may be fastened to furniture pieces through fasteners utilizing the holes through the plates described above, alternately, the plates can be made from a material and have a thickness which allows the fasteners to penetrate through from the inner to outer surface of the plate. Fasteners such as screws, nails, brads, or staples may, therefore, be used to fasten the leg. For most commercial furniture manufacturing using automated nail or staple guns a plate of acetal resin having a thickness of between about ⅛″ and {fraction (3/16)}″ will allow adequate penetration and fastening.
  • [0022]
    Each oblong plate 40 can be further shaped along a free lateral edge 41 to have one or more nibs 42 extending from the lateral edge laterally and are sized and shaped to provide a bearing surface 43 for an attachment staple 44 as shown in FIG. 6.
  • [0023]
    While the preferred embodiment of the invention has been described, modifications can be made and other embodiments may be devised without departing from the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appended claims.
Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7690167Apr 28, 2005Apr 6, 2010Antonic James PStructural support framing assembly
US7900411Feb 17, 2006Mar 8, 2011Antonic James PShear wall building assemblies
US7988236Jun 12, 2008Aug 2, 2011Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.Integrated base assembly
US8065841Dec 27, 2007Nov 29, 2011Antonic James PRoof panel systems for building construction
US20080309134 *Jun 12, 2008Dec 18, 2008Ashley Furniture Industries, Inc.Integrated base assembly
USD623767Jul 6, 2009Sep 14, 2010Antonic James PSill plate
USD623768Dec 18, 2009Sep 14, 2010Antonic James PEnd cap
USD624206Dec 21, 2009Sep 21, 2010Antonic James PSill plate
USD624208Jul 6, 2009Sep 21, 2010Antonic James PStud interlock component
USD624209Dec 17, 2009Sep 21, 2010Antonic James PCorner post
USD624210Dec 18, 2009Sep 21, 2010Antonic James PStud
USD625843Dec 18, 2009Oct 19, 2010Antonic James PStud
USD625844Dec 18, 2009Oct 19, 2010Antonic James PStud
USD639142Sep 15, 2008Jun 7, 2011Antonic James PCorner brace
EP2730387A1 *Nov 8, 2013May 14, 2014Phoenix InnoplastMethod for manufacturing a furniture or decoration element and resulting element
Classifications
U.S. Classification248/188.8
International ClassificationF16B12/48, A47B91/06
Cooperative ClassificationA47B91/06, F16B12/48
European ClassificationF16B12/48, A47B91/06