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Publication numberUS20050248239 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/015,808
Publication dateNov 10, 2005
Filing dateDec 17, 2004
Priority dateMay 4, 2004
Publication number015808, 11015808, US 2005/0248239 A1, US 2005/248239 A1, US 20050248239 A1, US 20050248239A1, US 2005248239 A1, US 2005248239A1, US-A1-20050248239, US-A1-2005248239, US2005/0248239A1, US2005/248239A1, US20050248239 A1, US20050248239A1, US2005248239 A1, US2005248239A1
InventorsThomas Newhouse, Douglas Hill, S. Crump
Original AssigneeHekman Furniture Company
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Adjustable height casegood and desk
US 20050248239 A1
Abstract
A casegood such as a pedestal desk or credenza is provided with a height adjustment mechanism. The height adjustment mechanism is attached to an outer wall of the casegood. By manipulating the height adjustment mechanism, the distance of the casegood's work surface from the floor can be adjusted so as to provide an ergonomic and efficient work area.
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Claims(11)
1. A sit-to-stand return comprising:
a sit-to-stand work surface;
attachment means for attaching the sit-to-stand return to a casegood;
a work surface height adjustment mechanism for moving the work surface between a first lower position and a second higher position; and
a sit-to-stand return height adjustment mechanism for adjusting the height of the first lower position relative to a floor.
2. The sit-to-stand return of claim 1 further comprising an end slab.
3. The sit-to-stand return of claim 2 where the end slab is located proximal to the sit-to-stand desk height adjustment mechanism.
4. The sit-to-stand return of claim 3 further comprising a connecting wall for attaching the sit-to-stand desk to a casegood.
5. The sit-to-stand return of claim 4 further comprising a support attached to the sit-to-stand work surface.
6. The sit-to-stand return of claim 5 where the attachment means are integral with the support.
7. The sit-to-stand return of claim 6 where the work surface height adjustment mechanism is located at a first end of the support and the sit-to-stand desk height adjustment mechanism is located at a second end of the support.
8. The sit-to-stand return of claim 7 where the sit-to-stand return height adjustment mechanism telescopes within the support.
9. The sit-to-stand return of claim 8 where the work surface height adjustment mechanism is a torsion mechanism.
10. The sit-to-stand return of claim 9 where the work surface height adjustment mechanism includes a crank.
11. The sit-to-stand return of claim 10 where the work surface height adjustment mechanism includes an electric motor.
Description

This application is a continuation-in part of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/838,717, filed May 4, 2004 (now U.S. Pat. No. ______).

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to casegoods such as furniture for an office. More specifically, the field of the invention involves casegoods having adjustable height mechanisms.

Modem casegoods allow flexible arrangement of an office or other room and facilitate the connection of office equipment such as telephones, computers, monitors and printers. Typically, a casegood is composed of work surfaces, cabinets, panels and drawers.

One critical factor for an ergonomic casegood is the height of the work surfaces. The position of the hands, feet, torso, and legs of a person are dependent upon the height of the work surface. If the work surface height is not appropriate, a person could experience inconvenience and discomfort. In extreme cases, a person may even suffer injury from repetitively using a work surface at the wrong height.

Ideally, the height of the work surface should be varied dependent upon the height of the person using the casegood. For example, a person of a height of about five feet should have a work surface approximately 26 inches from the floor while a person of a height of about six feet should have a work surface approximately 29 inches from the floor. Drawers at an appropriate height relative to the work surface should also be available to someone using the work surface.

Variable height tables, such as those shown U.S. Pat. No. 5,549,053, issued to John E. Grout, U.S. Pat. No. 6,312,069, issued to Teng-Tsai Wang and U.S Pat. No. 5,598,788, issued to Kurt A. Jonker have been developed. However, none show an adjustable height casegood or an adjustable height work surface with attached drawers where the height of the drawers is adjustable as well. If the height of the drawers associated with the work surface do not move, an awkward working arrangement is created between a relatively high work surface and relatively low drawers.

A casegood providing for adjustable height both of the work surface and attached drawers is thus highly desirable.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The aforementioned problems are overcome in the present invention. The casegood is provided with vertical walls. The work surface of the casegood is positioned on top of the walls. Height adjustment mechanisms are attached to the exterior of the vertical walls. By raising and lowering the vertical walls, the height of the work surface is also adjusted. Drawers or cabinets attached to the sidewalls and the work surface are also raised or lowered at the same time as the work surface. The height of all components of the casegood are at the same relative height, allowing for ease of use of the entire casegood.

To allow ease of adjustment of the height, the height adjustment mechanism is attached to the exterior portion of the sidewall. The mechanism is enclosed within a removable cover so as not to detract from the appearance of the casegood. If the mechanism needs servicing, the cover is removed.

The adjustable height mechanism itself is composed of a leg with a threaded portion. The threaded portion inserted within an internally threaded cylinder. The internally threaded cylinder is attached to a bracket and the bracket is attached to the casegood sidewall. By rotating the legs of the various mechanisms attached to the casegood, the entire casegood may be either raised or lowered. The lower portion of the leg is marked with measurements indicating the distance of the work surface from the floor, thereby facilitating the alignment of the height of the casegood.

The casegood work surface is arranged to cover the tops of the height adjustment mechanism. Apertures are provided within the work surface for access to the well containing the height adjustment mechanism. At the top of the bracket is located a collar. An attachment such as cabinetry or screens can be placed on the top of casegood by inserting stanchions affixed to the attachment into the collar. When a select number of stanchions are properly affixed within the collars, the attachment is firmly held in position on the casegood.

When stanchions are not in place within the apertures, operculums may be used. The operculum covers an aperture when no stanchion is inserted into the collar. The operculum is provided with grommets so that cabling or wiring can be extended through the operculum and the aperture and into the well. The work surface will thus be kept generally free from wires or cables.

The casegood could also be provided with a sit-to-stand desk. The height of the sit-to-stand desk can be adjusted in two different ways. First, the sit-to-stand desk is provided with a torsion mechanism for raising or lowering the work surface. Second, a slide mechanism located at the base of the sit-to-stand desk can adjust the height of the desk.

These and other objects, advantages and features of the invention will be more readily understood and appreciated by reference to the detailed description of the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the casegood.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the casegood.

FIG. 3 shows the height adjustment mechanism for the casegood.

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the height adjustment mechanism.

FIG. 5 shows the casegoods with one drawer opened.

FIG. 6 shows a chart located within the drawer.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a casegood with a sit-to-stand desk.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a sit-to-stand desk.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a casegood with an attached privacy screen.

FIG. 10 is a side view of the attached privacy screen.

FIG. 11 is an overhead plan view of an aperture located on the top work surface of the casegood.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a sit-to-stand return.

FIG. 13 is an overhead view of a sit-to-stand return.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows casegood 5. Casegood 5 includes pedestal desk 20, bridge 22, and pedestal credenza 24. Overhead cabinets 26 are held up by stanchions 28. Pedestal credenza 24 includes a plurality of drawers as does pedestal desk 20.

Pedestal desk 20, bridge 22 and pedestal credenza 24 are supported by legs 30. Pedestal desk 20 has a plurality of vertical walls. Collectively, the vertical walls define a frame. The desk has an interior and an exterior. The vertical walls have exterior vertical surfaces 32. Legs 30 are located on exterior vertical surfaces 32 of pedestal desk 20, bridge 22 and pedestal credenza 24. Legs 30 are substantially contained within leg enclosures 34. Semicircular apertures 36 allow for the attachment of other units. While casegood 5 is shown as a modular work station, casegood 5 could be any furniture such as a desk or cabinet.

FIG. 2 is a side view of casegood 5. Leg enclosures 34 are mounted on the exterior vertical surfaces 32 of pedestal desk 20 and pedestal credenza 24.

FIG. 3 shows leg 30 mounted to an exterior surface 32 of either pedestal desk 20 or pedestal credenza 24. Leg enclosure 34 includes cover 33. Cover 33 fits over a substantial portion of leg mechanism 35. Cover 33 could be solid wood profile molding or cover 33 could be veneer wrapped or powder coated aluminum extrusion or other similar/equivalent cover.

Leg 30 has lower enumerated portion 36 and threaded portion 38. Lower enumerated portion 36 is numbered from 26 to 32. Each number is separated from the previous by a space of one inch. The numbers on the enumerated portion 36 are indicative of the height of the work surface 22 above the floor. For example, if number “30” were displayed immediately below cover 33, work surface 22 would be approximately 30 inches above the floor. Obviously, the numbers on the leg could correspond to any measurement system and could be in increments other than one inch.

Leg 30 is held to leg mechanism 35 by internally threaded cylinder 44. Internally threaded cylinder 44 is attached to bracket 46. Bracket 46 is attached to outer surface 32 by a plurality of fasteners, such as screws. Threaded portion 38 of leg 30 extends through internally threaded cylinder 44. Rotation of leg 30 causes upper surface 40 to be raised or lowered.

The leg could be rotated by manipulation of the lower portion of leg 30. Alternatively, hexagonal head 48 could be provided to extend from the top of leg 30. If hexagonal head 48 were provided, cover 33 would be removed. A tool such as a wrench would be attached to hexagonal head 48. The tool would then rotate leg 30, causing work surface 22 to move either up or down, and dependent upon the direction of rotation of leg 30. The numbers on leg 30 provide an easy indicator of the height of work surface 22, facilitating the adjustment of each leg 30 of casegood 5 so that all work surfaces are level.

At the top of bracket 46 is collar 49. Collar 49 is suitable for attachment to the stanchions of any object that might be placed on work surface 22.

FIG. 4 shows the manner of the attachment of leg mechanism 35 to exterior wall 32. Bracket 46 is attached to a recess within exterior wall 32. Cover 33 has lips 50 engagable with bracket 46. Sufficient force on cover 33 can cause cover 33 to separate from bracket 46. After adjustment of the height of work surface 22, cover 33 can be affixed to bracket 46 by the application of force to the outside of cover 33.

Leg mechanism 35 is concealed under cover 33 providing a generally pleasing appearance, but leg mechanism 35 can be easily accessed for servicing by removing cover 33.

FIG. 5 shows a corner cabinet of either pedestal desk 20 or pedestal credenza 24. Affixed to the bottom of the top drawer is chart 52. Chart 52 is shown more fully in FIG. 6. Chart 52 is a reference for how to adjust the height of the work surfaces of casegood 5 based upon the height of the user of casegood 5. For example, a person of a height of 5′8″ would want the work surface adjusted to a height of about 28 inches. A picture of leg 30 is included in chart 52 showing the adjustment range of the work surfaces. The numbers on leg 30 are clearly shown in chart 52.

Additionally, casegood 5 could also be provided with a height adjustable sit-to-stand bridge, as shown in FIG. 7. Sit-to-stand desk 60 can be adjusted to many different heights. The work surface of sit-to-stand desk 60 could be at the same height as the work surfaces of the other components of casegood 5. Alternatively, the work surface of sit-to-stand desk 60 could be adjusted up to about eighteen inches above the work surfaces of casegood 5.

FIG. 8 shows sit-to-stand desk 60. Sit-to-stand work surface 62 is held by two rectangular cross-section supports 64. Supports 64 extend into support enclosures 66. Supports 64 are connected to a torsion mechanism contained with support enclosures 66. The torsion mechanism uses a heavy duty torsion spring contained within one of the support enclosures 66. The torsion mechanism can be locked at a desired height throughout the adjustment range of the table. The brake is activated by spring-loaded paddle 62, which is mounted on the front left hand edge of sit-to-stand desk 60. One suitable torsion mechanism is manufactured by Baker Manufacturing Company. Alternatively, the height of the sit-to-stand work surface could be adjusted by a crank or by an electric motor.

Sit-to-stand desk 60 also includes height adjustment slides 68. Height adjustment slides 68 telescope into support enclosures 66, providing an ability to adjust the height of the work surface for sit-to-stand bridge by about eighteen inches. By moving height adjustment slides 68, the work surface of sit-to-stand bridge 60 will be as the same height of the other work surfaces of casegood 5 when sit-to-stand desk 60 is at its lowest position.

The use of a sit-to-stand desk within this desk configuration minimizes the movement of a person who wishes to use the sit-to-stand desk. Rather than move out of the work area to go to a sit-to-stand desk, the sit-to-stand desk is provided in the immediate area of the user. Repositioning of work materials, books, telephone and computer is thus unnecessary.

The convenient location of the sit-to-stand desk thus encourages a user to stand during the work day.

To avoid possible injury to a user, sit-to-stand desk 60 has a gap of one inch provided on each side of sit-to-stand desk 60 between the other components of casegood 5. Sit-to-stand desk 60 could be attached to other components of casegood 5.

Many types of accessories such as privacy screens, transaction counters, book shelves and overhead cabinets are often desired to be added above the work surface. These accessories are usually supported by the work surface. FIG. 9 shows casegood 5 with privacy screen 70. Various attachments could be used instead of privacy screen 70. FIG. 10 shows a side view of privacy screen 70 attached to casegood 5. Stanchion 72 extends through the work surface and into the area between enclosure 34 and sidewall 32.

Referring once again to FIG. 1 to accommodate accessories such as privacy screen 70, work surface 22 is provided with several semicircular apertures 36 positioned directly above collar 49. FIG. 11 shows a plan view of one semicircular aperture 36.

When an accessory is not in place within semicircular aperture 36, semicircular aperture 36 is provided with operculum 72. Operculum 72 has two grommets 74. Grommets 74 allow for cabling to be threaded through semicircular aperture 36. As shown in FIG. 12, cabling would extend through operculum 72 and semicircular aperture 36 and through enclosure 34 to the floor. The cabling could then be connected to a utility outlet. Work surface 22 would thus be kept free from excessive cable clutter.

FIG. 13 shows sit-to-stand return 80 for casegood 81. Casegood 81 could also be a desk or work surface. Sit-to-stand return 80 includes sit-to-stand mechanism 82, slab end 84, and connecting wall 86. Sit-to-stand mechanism 82 is similar in construction and operation to that shown of sit-to-stand desk 60 and therefore will not be further described. Slab end 84 provides a screen for a person working on sit-to-stand mechanism 82. Slab end 84 also provides an aesthetically pleasing outer appearance for sit-to-stand return 80. That is, slab end 84 of sit-to-stand return 80 allows sit-to-stand return 80 to have an integrated and aesthetically pleasing appearance. Slab end 84 is provided with adjustable legs 88, 90 and covers 92, 94. The operation and interaction of adjustable legs 88, 90 and covers 92, 94 is similar to that of leg 30 and cover 33.

Sit-to-stand return 80 is provided with retractable legs 96, 98. By adjustment of the height of retractable legs 96, 98 and adjustable legs 88, 90, the height of sit-to-stand return is adjustable to match that of casegood 81.

Referring to FIG. 13, connecting wall 86 provides a means for attaching sit-to-stand return 80 to casegood 81. Connecting wall 86 extends beyond the perimeter of sit-to-stand mechanism 82, allowing for a unified exterior structure for the combination of the sit-to-stand return 80 and casegood 81. Connecting wall 86 includes L-portion 100. L-portion 100 is optional, but allows for the attachment of connecting wall 86 to skirt 102.

The above description is of the preferred embodiment. Various alterations and changes can be made without departing from the spirit and broader aspects of the invention as defined in the appended claims, which are to be interpreted in accordance with the principles of patent law including the doctrine of equivalents. Any references to claim elements in the singular, for example, using the articles “a,” “an,” “the,” or “said,” is not to be construed as limiting the element to the singular.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8985032 *Oct 9, 2013Mar 24, 2015Jamie M. JohnsonAdjustable desk apparatus
US20100277043 *Nov 24, 2009Nov 4, 2010Nevers Industries, Inc.Configurable modular articulating table and credenza assembly
US20120048151 *Aug 24, 2010Mar 1, 2012Sheldon Laboratory Systems, Inc.Teacher Demonstration Desk
US20140360413 *Apr 28, 2014Dec 11, 2014Peter SchenkActive workstation apparatus and method
US20150096476 *Oct 9, 2013Apr 9, 2015Jamie M. JohnsonAdjustable Desk Apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/194
International ClassificationA47B91/02, A47B17/00, A47B37/00, A47B19/00, E05B65/46, A47B9/04, A47B21/00, A47B27/00, A47B41/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B91/024, A47B9/04, A47B21/00
European ClassificationA47B21/00, A47B91/02D2, A47B9/04
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Dec 17, 2004ASAssignment
Owner name: HEKMAN FURNITURE COMPANY, MICHIGAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:NEWHOUSE, THOMAS J.;HILL, DOUGLAS J.;CRUMP, S. MICHAEL;REEL/FRAME:016109/0745
Effective date: 20041206