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Publication numberUS20050279257 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/710,102
Publication dateDec 22, 2005
Filing dateJun 18, 2004
Priority dateJun 18, 2004
Publication number10710102, 710102, US 2005/0279257 A1, US 2005/279257 A1, US 20050279257 A1, US 20050279257A1, US 2005279257 A1, US 2005279257A1, US-A1-20050279257, US-A1-2005279257, US2005/0279257A1, US2005/279257A1, US20050279257 A1, US20050279257A1, US2005279257 A1, US2005279257A1
InventorsDavid Bettinger
Original AssigneeBettinger David S
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wiring and Accessory Management Furniture
US 20050279257 A1
Abstract
A dual use article of furniture with horizontally supported planar surfaces that separate, slide, and pivot to provide adjustable passage for electrical wiring communication, concealment, and management, and to provide access to electrical and electronic components, and accessories internally stored and supported beneath the planar surface and concealed by a relatively movable assembly that is connected to, supported by, and integral with the article of furniture structure.
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Claims(13)
1. An article of furniture comprising:
a top surface comprising;
a top piece adjacent to and in non-permanent contact with,
at least one top extension with an inward edge and an outward edge, said at least one top extension pivotally disposed for bi-directional rotation, and said at least one top extension further adjustably disposed for bi-directional
slidable movement orthogonal to the axis of pivot,
wherein said top surface is adjacent to and supported by,
at least two members,
at least one structural element disposed below said top surface to provide for
structural rigidity and support,
whereby said at least one pivotally disposed and bi-directional adjustably and
slidably disposed top extension is selected for gap creation between said top
piece and said at least one top extension for electrical cord and accessory
cable passage and accommodation and further for access beneath said top surface.
2. The article of furniture according to claim 1 wherein said non-permanent contact comprises a compatible and common contour for generally the extant of said top piece.
3. The article of furniture according to claim 1 wherein the axis of pivot is outward of said top surface.
4. The article of furniture according to claim 1 wherein the volume of unobstructed space bounded by said at least two members and said top surface define at least partially a knee space as a measure of individual comfort during utilization of said article of furniture.
5. The article of furniture according to claim 1 wherein the inward edge of said top extension is adjacent to and in contact with further support means to provide for further structural support of said top extension.
6. The article of furniture according to claim 1 wherein said at least one structural element comprises a shelf disposed below said top surface, said at least one structural element shelf adjacent to and connected to said at least one member, said at least one structural element shelf providing for accessory accommodation and structural rigidity and support.
7. The article of furniture according to claim 1 wherein said at least one structural element comprises a generally vertical fascia panel adjacent to and connected to and further disposed below said top extension outward of said top surface.
8. The article of furniture according to claim 2 wherein said top surface is attached to and generally level with at least one resilient strip, said at least one resilient strip deformed at a multiplicity of electrical cord pass-through points and selected to provide gap closure and non-permanent contact maintenance.
9. The article of furniture according to claim 7 wherein said at least one top extension is connected to said at least one structural element fascia by at least one adjustable hinge, said at least one adjustable hinge disposed for orientation variability of said at least one top extension and said at least one structural element fascia to provide constrained bi-directional linear guidance of said at least one top extension and said at least one structural element fascia orthogonal to the axis of said hinge.
10. An article of furniture comprising:
a top surface comprising;
a top piece adjacent to and in non-permanent contact with, at least one top extension with an inward edge and an outward edge,
said at least one top extension adjustably disposed for bi-directional slideable movement,
wherein said top surface is adjacent to and supported by,
at least two members,
at least one structural element comprising a shelf, with an inward edge and an outward edge, disposed below said top surface, said at least one structural element shelf adjacent to and connected to said at least one member, said at least one structural element shelf providing for accessory accommodation and structural rigidity and support,
at least one structural element comprising a generally vertical fascia panel adjacent to and connected to and further disposed below said at least one top extension outward of said top surface, further said at least one structural element fascia is connected to said outward edge of said at least one structural element shelf by at least one hinge pivotally disposed for bi-directional rotation of said at least one structural element fascia and said at least one top extension,
further said at least one top extension bi-directional slideable movement is disposed orthogonal to the axis of pivot,
whereby said at least one bi-directional adjustably and slideably disposed top extension is selected for gap creation between said top piece and said at least one top extension for electrical cord and accessory cable passage and accommodation,
whereby said at least one structural element fascia and said at least one top extension bi-directional rotation is selected for access beneath said top surface.
11. The article of furniture according to claim 10 wherein bi-directional rotation of said at least one structural element fascia and said at least one top extension is adjustable and limited.
12. The article of furniture according claim 10 wherein said at least one structural element fascia is connected to at least one top extension by at least one tracked bracket.
13. An article of furniture comprising:
a top surface comprising;
a top piece with an inward edge and an outward edge, said top piece adjustably disposed for bi-directional slideable movement and adjacent to and in non-permanent contact with,
at least one top extension pivotally disposed for bi-directional rotation,
further said top piece disposed for bi-directional slideable movement orthogonal to the axis of pivot,
wherein said top surface is adjacent to and supported by,
at least two members,
at least one structural element disposed below said top surface to provide for structural rigidity and support,
whereby said bi-directional adjustably and slideably disposed top piece is selected for gap creation between said top piece and said at least one top extension for electrical cord and accessory cable passage and accommodation,
whereby said at least one pivotally disposed top extension is selected for access beneath said top surface.
Description
BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to articles of furniture with horizontally supported planar surfaces that separate, slide, and pivot to provide adjustable passage for electrical wiring communication, its concealment, and its management, and to provide access for electrical and electronic components, and for accessories internally supported beneath the planar surface and concealed by a relatively movable assembly that is connected to, supported by, and integral with the article of furniture structure. More particularly this invention relates to dual use articles of furniture whose principal function is readily converted to an article of furniture with the top surface available for manual tasks.

Embodiments of wiring and accessory management furniture are represented by credenzas, computer workstations, audio equipment cabinets, communication kiosks, and point-of-sale equipment cabinets.

2. Description of the Related Art

With the proliferation of electronic and computer equipment, equipment furniture and cabinetry has become a tangle of wiring requiring organization and concealment. Additionally, the equipment and accessories themselves require organization, provision of space, and concealment. Thus the prior art of furniture and cabinetry lacks the ease and scale of the combination of wiring passage with internal access to secondary equipment storage.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

In order to overcome the above shortcomings within the prior art the present disclosure briefly stated is a wire and accessory accessibility structure and management system for use as a structural component of an article of furniture for at least one individual user having a top surface possessing a surface portion that slides to provide at least one adjustable wiring passage gap for generally the extent of the top, and that slideable surface portion also being pivotable to provide at least one opening for internal access with one structural distinction being that the sliding adjustment direction is orthogonal and at generally right angles to an axis of pivot that is disposed generally peripheral to the top surface. A further structural distinction being that means are provided for linearly limiting the sliding movement. A still further structural distinction being that structural support is provided for that slideable and pivotable surface portion while providing the necessary bracing rigidity to the parent structure comprising a top surface and supporting members or legs. Thus, the present disclosure provides wiring and accessory management that is integral with the structure of the article of furniture rather than simply providing holes, ports, and raceways that are appendages of the article.

The present disclosure relates to an article of furniture comprising a top surface comprising; a top piece adjacent to and in non-permanent contact with, at least one top extension with an inward edge and an outward edge, at least one top extension pivotally disposed for bi-directional rotation, and at least one top extension further adjustably disposed for bi-directional slidable movement orthogonal to the axis of pivot, wherein the top surface is adjacent to and supported by, at least two members, at least one structural element disposed below the top surface to provide for structural rigidity and support, whereby at least one pivotally disposed and bi-directional adjustably and slidably disposed top extension is selected for gap creation between the top piece and at least one top extension for electrical cord and accessory cable passage and accommodation and further for access beneath the top surface.

A portion of the top surface of the article of furniture comprises a generally horizontal work surface. In the present disclosure a generally horizontal work surface of an article of furniture is defined as varying less than 10 degrees from level measured front to back. For the purposes of the present disclosure the work surface is the portion of the top surface of the furniture that is likely to be in immediate and direct contact with the hands and lower arms of a user during normal activities such as reading, writing, or using a computer input device. This working surface is defined as a minimum of at least eighteen inches wide and fourteen inches deep.

For the purposes of the present disclosure the dimensions of the top surface of an individual article of furniture such as a desk is defined as being less that eight feet in length and less that five feet deep exclusive of extensions or returns. The primary material of an article of furniture may be wood, metal, glass, or composites.

The present disclosure relates to an article of furniture wherein the non-permanent contact comprises a compatible and common contour for generally the extant of the top piece. The top surface comprises a top piece adjacent to and in non-permanent contact with at least one top extension. Thus the article of furniture has a seam or contact junction in the top surface. This seam or contact junction can be straight, curved, or made up of a combination of multiple straight or curve lines when viewed in plan. An example of straight seam is shown in FIG. 1, and an example of curved seam is shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. The vertical component of the seam can also vary from a butt joint as shown for example in FIG. 3 to an interlocking seam as shown for example in FIG. 15.

The top extension is pivotally disposed for bi-directional rotation to provide access beneath the top surface. A pivoting mechanism disposes the top extension for this bi-directional rotation. An example of a pivoting mechanism is a hinge. It will be understood by one skilled in the art that a multitude of pivoting means can be employed comprising hinges, pins, and flexible membranes. For the purposes of the present disclosure a hinge is defined as a device that permits and enables pivotable movement about a pivot point or axis during operation. A hinge comprises a hinged and swingable member, a fixed member, and a hinge pin. The axis of a hinge is the pivot point about which a hinged member rotates during operation of the hinge.

For the purposes of the present disclosure a hinged member is any device or portion thereof (e.g., top extension, closure, side, fascia, etc.) which is adapted to be swingably connected by a hinge to a fixed member, support, or sill. The hinge pin is any elongated rodlike element or pintle about which a hinged member swings. The hinge leaf is a platelike portion by which the hinge is adapted to be secured to a hinged member. For the purposes of this invention an adjustable hinge is a hinge that includes slideable components that provide for changing relative orientation of the hinged member with regard to the fixed member and perpendicular to the hinge axis. Any pivoting mechanism that provides for this bi-directional rotation of the top extension is applicable in the present disclosure.

The present disclosure relates to an article of furniture wherein the axis of pivot is outward of the top surface. The current invention teaches that the center of pivot is always outward of the top surface. To a seated user of the article of furniture the center of pivot may be right, left, or forward of the user. The center of pivot is generally in a plane that is proximate to either the inside or the outside faces of the fascia. It will be understood by one skilled in the art that pivoting mechanisms may be utilized to vary this center of pivot within the general area at any level below the top surface of the desk. The current invention teaches that when an embodiment incorporates a hinge for the pivot mechanism, the hinge is always positioned to provide both pivoting movement and structural support to the moveable components of the current invention. For example in FIG. 2 the hinge is shown on the exterior face of the fascia with a pivot point proximate to that outside face, and the hinge with its fixed leaf attached to the fascia supports the top extension.

The top extension is further adjustably disposed for bi-directional slideable movement orthogonal to the axis of pivot selected for gap creation between the top piece and the top extension for electrical cord and wire passage and accommodation. The non-permanent contact comprises a generally compatible and common contour for generally the extant of the top piece. The axis of pivot is outward of the top surface. For the purposes of the present disclosure, extant of the top piece means either generally the length or generally the width of the top piece.

The dimensional limits on the slideability and therefore the width of the gap and slot that the slideability generates are dependent upon the thickest diameter of wire that will be passed through the gap but in no case will be less than one eighth inch. The gap is opened in a uniform top surface by the sliding of the top piece in relation to the top extension which are structural components of the desk top. This bi-directionally adjustable motion is enabled, managed, and controlled by the incorporation of a sliding mechanism. Many mechanisms can fulfill this sliding function but they all comprise at least two components, a fixed track and a moveable car that follows the track. FIGS. 4 and 13 show two types of track fixtures. FIGS. 3,7,8,9,11,12,14,15 show various combinations of tracks with compatible moveable cars which may be pins, screws, or runners.

The current disclosure incorporates in various embodiments fixtures such as brackets or hinges that incorporate tracks for pins or screw fasteners that are loose enough to allow bi-directional movement yet maintain a firm sliding connection. Linear movement along the track is preferred to avoid jamming the pins in the track or jamming the component to which the fixture is attached against fixed components. Thus for the purposes of this invention a tracked fixture will generate acceptable linear movement if two pins or screws are spaced more than eight times the pin or screw diameter measured along a line parallel to the direction of desired bi-directional movement. For example in FIG. 3 the fastener pin or screw 21 has a diameter that is smaller than the slot 23 in which it slides. If there were no lateral constraint this pin would allow skewed motion as the top extension is moved back and forth as indicated by arrow 28. However further lateral constrain is provided by slot 24 with fastener pin or screw 22. The two moveable screws are shown to be more than eight times their diameters apart providing the desired non-binding linear movement. This teaching is further shown in detail of hinges and fixtures in FIGS. 4 and 13.

The top surface is adjacent to and supported by at least two members. For the purposes of the present disclosure the members may be two large, nearly immovable members such as pedestals, cubical dividers, or they may have be four or more legs communicating with the floor for support.

At least one structural element is disposed below the top surface to provide for structural rigidity and support. A brace, truss, shelf, and fascia are applicable as structural elements. A structural element is any element below the top surface that provides structural support and rigidity directly and/or indirectly to the overall structure and/or at least one member and/or at least one structural and/or non-structural element. A structural element is adjacent to and connected to directly and/or indirectly at least one structural and/or non-structural element to provide the aforementioned structural support and rigidity. Thus at least one structural element is utilized to produce the rigid structure required for an article of furniture in daily use.

At least one pivotally disposed and bi-directional adjustably and slideably disposed top extension is selected for gap creation between the top piece and at least one top extension for electrical cord passage and accommodation and for access beneath the top surface. The flexibility of the top surface design allows top extension adjustable and slideable bi-directional movement for the variable creation of at least one gap the extent of top surface length or at least one gap the extent of the top surface width depending on the degree of cord management desired. This flexibility provides for variable gap location and positioning that can easily be eliminated when cord management is not required. Although the provision of both motions may be combined in a single mechanism, the bi-directional adjustable and slideable movement is completely independent of the pivoting movement. At least one pivotally disposed top extension enables bi-directional rotation to enable flexibility for variable gap location and positioning, providing for access beneath the top surface where desired.

The present disclosure relates to an article of furniture wherein at least one structural element comprises a shelf disposed below top surface, at least one structural element shelf adjacent to and in contact with at least one member, at least one structural element shelf providing for accessory accommodation and structural rigidity and support. For the purpose of the present disclosure a shelf is a generally horizontal surface that is substantially longer that it is wide, and is supported either at the ends or underneath by the basic structural members of the desk. It will be understood by one skilled in the art that a shelf may add structural stability to the desk either as a beam, or in diaphragm action, or by rigid connection to intermediate structural components that reinforce the members.

One embodiment of the present disclosure is as a free standing desk with legs or members for individual work possessing structural elements providing an interior shelf and space for electronic and computer components, accessories, and wiring. A gap and slot between the working surface of the desk and the assembly serves to allow wiring to communicate between the desktop computer components and the unseen accessories and operating electronic support elements. This gap is manually adjustable in width. Electrical power is fed to the desk from below and behind the shelf, and then to power distribution strips and power supplies on or adjacent to the interior shelf. Many small low voltage transformers required for printers and speakers may be accommodated on this shelf.

The present disclosure relates to an article of furniture wherein at least one top extension is connected to at least one structural element fascia by at least one adjustable hinge, at least one adjustable hinge disposed for orientation variability of at least one top extension and at least one structural element fascia to provide constrained bi-directional linear guidance of at least one top extension and at least one structural element fascia orthogonal to the axis of the hinge. The structural element fascia may provide support for the top extension through one piano hinge, being a single long hinge, or through a series of hinges or pins all having the same center of pivot. The hinge possesses adjustment for slideably changing the relative orientation of various hinged members so as to provide for their constrained linear guidance bi-directionally orthogonal to the axis of the hinge.

The present disclosure relates to an article of furniture comprising: a top surface comprising; a top piece adjacent to and in non-permanent contact with, at least one top extension with an inward edge and an outward edge, at least one top extension adjustably disposed for bi-directional slideable movement, wherein the top surface is adjacent to and supported by, at least two members, at least one structural element comprising a shelf, with an inward edge and an outward edge, disposed below the top surface, at least one structural element shelf adjacent to and connected to at least one member, at least one structural element shelf providing for accessory accommodation and structural rigidity and support, at least one structural element comprising a generally vertical fascia panel adjacent to and connected to and further disposed below at least one top extension outward of the top surface, further at least one structural element fascia is connected to the outward edge of at least one structural element shelf by at least one hinge pivotally disposed for bi-directional rotation of at least one structural element fascia and at least one top extension, further at least one top extension bi-directional slideable movement is disposed orthogonal to the axis of pivot, whereby at least one bi-directional adjustably and slidably disposed top extension is selected for gap creation between the top piece and at least one top extension for electrical cord and accessory cable passage and accommodation, whereby at least one structural element fascia and at least one top extension bi-directional rotation is selected for access beneath the top surface.

One embodiment of the present disclosure is as a free standing desk with legs or members for individual work possessing structural elements providing an interior shelf and space for electronic and computer components, accessories, and wiring. The shelf is accessible by releasing a catch or dead bolt and folding outward an assembly independent of the working surface consisting of an extension of the desktop surface fixed to a portion of the side fascia of the desk. A gap and slot between the working surface of the desk and the assembly serves to allow wiring to communicate between the desktop computer components and the unseen accessories and operating electronic support elements. This gap is manually adjustable in width. Electrical power is fed to the desk from below and behind the shelf, and then to power distribution strips and power supplies on or adjacent to the interior shelf. Many small low voltage transformers required for printers and speakers may be accommodated on this shelf. The bi-directional slideable movement of the top extension is independent of the fascia and top extension bi-directional rotation.

The article of furniture may have a modesty screen and drawers, one or more of which may be pulled out to reveal an accessory.

The present disclosure relates to an article of furniture wherein bi-directional rotation of at least one structural element fascia and at least one top extension is adjustable and limited.

The front edges of desks are often used instead of chairs. Thus any desk with a pivoting edges should also incorporate means to prevent unwanted release of structural support. Thus the pivoting mechanism includes means to provide a limit of downward rotational movement. An example of means for support is a dead bolt such as shown in FIG. 11 in the locked position and in FIG. 12 in the open and unlocked position. It will be understood by one skilled in the art that various other mechanisms are equally useful in preventing unwanted rotation of the top extension as well as limiting the degree to which that rotation takes place on the downward swing. An example of such a swing limited means would be a short chain.

The present disclosure relates to an article of furniture wherein at least one structural element fascia is connected to at least one top extension by at least one tracked bracket. Examples of tracked brackets and fixtures are shown in FIGS. 4 and 13.

The present disclosure relates to an article of furniture comprising: a top surface comprising; a top piece with an inward edge and an outward edge, the top piece adjustably disposed for bi-directional slideable movement and adjacent to and in non-permanent contact with, at least one top extension pivotally disposed for bi-directional rotation, further the top piece disposed for bi-directional slideable movement rthogonal to the axis of pivot, wherein the top surface is adjacent to and supported by, at least two members, at least one structural element disposed below the top surface to provide for structural rigidity and support, whereby the bi-directional adjustably and slidably disposed top piece is selected for gap creation between the top piece and at least one top extension for electrical wire, cord, and accessory cable passage and accommodation, whereby at least one pivotally disposed top extension is selected for access beneath the top surface.

The management component of the wiring and accessory management is resident within the current invention because of the provisions for segregation, scale of accommodation, scale of access, flexibility of arrangement, and preservation of aesthetics.

The provision for segregation is manifest because the present disclosure provides passage of wiring to equipment while at the same time providing access and support that is topologically relational to the segregation between the primary man-equipment interface components and the secondary non-interface, passive, supportive equipment components. Examples of man-equipment interface components are computer keyboards, monitors, mice, removable disk drives, and microphones. Non-computer examples of such interfaces are telephones, clocks, audio dials, and electrical switches. Examples of supportive but generally inert, passive equipment are power strips, un-interruptible power supplies, speakers, fixed disk drives, routers, hubs, cable modems, transformers, amplifiers, and computers. Thus the present disclosure provides means for segregation of man-equipment interface imperative electronic components from non-interface imperative electronic components.

The scale of accommodation is manifest due to providing wiring passage through a gap that is generally the full width or length or extant of the top surface of the article of furniture. For example wiring for interface devices need not be either draped over the edge of a desk or bundled into ports or holes of limited size and location. The length of the wiring passage gap at generally the extant of the top surface provides the ability to move and drag a wiring passage from one spot on the desktop to another during work activities. Thus the present disclosure provides means for a multitude of top surface wiring passage points without modification to the desk structure. For the purposes of this invention a multitude is more than 25.

The scale of access is manifest due to providing access through the top surface that is generally the extant of the top surface in length and more than 10% and less that 50% of the opposing extant of the top surface in width. Thus between 10% and 50% of the top surface can pivot to provide easy internal access to both accessories and wiring storage. Thus the present disclosure provides means for access to a substantial portion of the internal volume of the article of furniture.

The flexibility of arrangement is manifest because of the provision for arranging the desktop for preferred utility. For example depending upon seating posture and ergonomic habits of the individual user the wiring passage for an input device may be situated nearly anywhere on the desktop outside of the immediate work area based on personal preference. Thus the present disclosure provides means for rearranging top surface wiring passage points without modification to the desk structure or rearrangement of the interface components on the top surface during desktop activities of the individual user.

The preservation of aesthetics is manifest because of concealment of wiring and accessories without the use of ports, holes, or trapdoors.

The preservation of aesthetes is further manifest because of the ability to restore an attractive article of furniture to its original, uncluttered, and closed configuration when computer access is not required and interface components are stored or concealed. For example an article of period furniture in the style of a Colonial Early American library table incorporating the current disclosure and used for a computer workstation can regain its original aesthetic integrity by having its interface components cleared from the desktop and having the gap slid shut. In addition management is manifest since in this closed state the library table continues to provide concealment of components and wiring after individual user activities have ceased. Thus, the present disclosure provides means for conversion from the unspoiled surfaces of an attractive article of furniture to an electronic workstation and back again while still concealing wiring and accessories during these conversion phases.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

The structural element is represented in the frame and panel desks by the fascia, and in the period desk by the shelf. The slideable element is represented in the frame desk by the sliding track for the fasteners such as cap-headed screws within the hinge, in the panel desk by the junction of the moveable surfaces between the bolster and the top extension, and in the period desk by the sliding track for the fasteners such as cap-headed screws within the tracked fixture. In FIG. 14-15 the sliding element is represented by the moveable junction of the surfaces between the bolster and the top piece. Any mechanism or means to provide the facile and predictable bi-directional sliding of the components and elements of the current disclosure is applicable.

The pivot point in the frame desk is proximate to the junction of the top extension and the fascia. The pivot point in the panel desk is proximate to the outward point of the track within the member. The pivot point of the period desk is proximate to the junction of the fascia and the shelf.

FIG. 1 is general perspective of a frame desk after the teaching of the present disclosure and prior to conversion to a computer workstation.

FIG. 2 is general perspective of a frame desk after the teaching of the present disclosure showing man-equipment interface components after conversion to a computer workstation.

FIG. 3 is a section through a portion of a frame desk after the teaching of the present disclosure.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a tracked hinge after the teaching of the present disclosure.

FIG. 5 is a plan view of a portion of the top piece, top extension, and curved slot of an article of furniture after the teaching of this present disclosure prior to closure.

FIG. 6 is a second plan view of a portion of the top piece, top extension, and curved slot of an article of furniture after the teaching of this present disclosure after sliding closure of the top extension.

FIG. 7 is a cutaway of an elevation of the corner of a panel desk with slideable pivot pin.

FIG. 8 is the Section 1 of the elevation shown in FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is an isometric of the corner of the desk shown in FIGS. 7 and 8.

FIG. 10 is a perspective of a period desk after the teaching of the present disclosure.

FIG. 11 is a section though the end of the desk in FIG. 10 in closed position.

FIG. 12 is a section through the end of the desk in FIG. 10 in open position.

FIG. 13 is a perspective of a tracked bracket as introduced in FIGS. 11 and 12.

FIG. 14 is a section of the junction of the top piece and a side member of a desk.

FIG. 15 is the Section 2 taken at right angles to FIG. 14.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In the following figures the same elements have been giving the same numbers within sequential figures.

FIG. 1 shows the wiring and equipment concealment utility of the present disclosure applied to a framed desk. Members 2 and 3 support a top surface comprised of a top piece 1 and the top extension 4. The top piece 1 and the top extension are shown in contact and congruent at their inner edges to form a closed gap 5. The top piece is supported by two members 2 and 3 that are laterally stabilized by fascia 10. The fascia 10 provides support for top extension 4. Top extension 4 has means to adjustably slide both toward and away from gap 5 as indicated by bi-directional arrow 11. Top extension 4 also has means to pivot outward about an axis that is generally parallel with its long dimension as shown by arrow 6. This ability to pivot by the top extension 4 provides access to various computing devices, accessories, and wiring that are stored below the top extension 4. The fascia 10 conceals these devices from forward view while the top extension 4 provides concealment from view above.

FIG. 2 shows the wiring communication afforded by the present disclosure. The top piece 1 is supported by two members 2 and 3 that are stabilized by fascia 10. A mouse 8, a keyboard 7, and a monitor 9 are input and output devices of a computing device concealed below the extension to the top 4 and communicating by wiring with the input/output devices through various points along the longitudinal slot 5. A fascia 10 conceals computing devices, accessories, and wiring from frontal view. Top extension 4 provides concealment from view above. Top extension 4 has means to adjustably slide in the generally horizontal plane of the top piece 1 and top extension 4 being together the top surface while being supported. Top extension 4 also has means for being linearly guided from skewing diversion during sliding both toward and away from gap 5 as indicated by bi-directional arrow 11. Top extension 4 also has means to pivot outward about an axis that is generally parallel with its long dimension as shown by arrow 6 to provide access beneath top extension 4 and behind fascia 10.

FIG. 3 shows the relationship between the various movable and fixed components of the present disclosure. A top piece 15 is separated from the extension to the top 16 by the gap between points 25 and 26. The extension to the top 16 is both moveable in directions as indicated by arrow 28 and pivotable as indicated by arrows 27. When desired, the gap between points 25 and 26 can be closed or partially closed to accommodate various wire sizes by sliding the top extension 16 toward the top piece 15 which is enabled by the slotted holes 23,24. The top extension 16 is supported by the fixed fascia 17 and the two are connected for slideable and swingable movement of the top extension 16 by hinge 18. The hinge 18 is slideablely connected to the top extension 16 by cap headed screw fasteners 21 and 22 through slotted holes 23 and 24 that form a track for bi-directional movement of the fasteners within the track. The fixed leaf of the hinge 18 is connected to the hinge sill and fascia 17 by fixed fasteners 19 and 20 allowing pivotable movement by the swingable restraint of hinge 18. The fascia 17 is connected to the shelf 29 by fastener 30 which supports a supportive electronic component 31 with power supply wire 13. Access for the power supply wiring 13 is provided through the internal opening between the top extension 16 and the shelf 29 rearward of the shelf. It will be understood by one skilled in the art that numerous other access openings such as ports or holes may provide passage of wiring to supply outlets external to the desk in addition to the interior opening rearward of the shelf 29. A keyboard or mouse or other input-output accessory device wire 14 is shown emanating from the computing device 31 and rising through the gap and slot between the top 15 and the top extension 16 and thence to the working area of the desk top 15.

The generally horizontal shelf 29 is disposed beneath the top extension 16 and behind the fascia 17 for concealment of supportive electronic components 31. The fascia 17 being a structural element, is generally vertical, and is disposed beneath the top extension 16. The connection between the top extension 16 and the fascia 17 comprises a hinge 18 possessing adjustment for slideably changing the relative orientation of hinged members due to slotted holes 23,24 so as to provide constrained linear guidance bi-directionally orthogonal to the axis of the hinge as indicate by arrow 28.

FIG. 4 details the elements of an adjustable hinge such as is utilized in FIG. 2. The pivotable plate and two leafed member 33 possesses six slotted holes 39 for sliding connectors and fasteners. The use of multiple slotted holes provide a linear track for the sliding movement of the top extension 16 which prevents skewing during adjustment. The swingable movement about the hinge pin 38 is shown by arrows 34. The fixed member 36 has multiple holes 40 for fixed fasteners. Hinge cylinders 37 are shown integrally connected by weldments 35 to the moveable plate 33. It will be understood by one skilled in the art that the hinge shown may vary substantially as to length such as a piano hinge while keeping the essential elements of the present disclosure of linear slideability and fixed pivot.

FIG. 5 shows the gap and slot 45 between the top piece 41 of a desk and the top extension 42. A flexible, resilient strip 43 is attached to the top extension 42. A computer accessory cable 44 is shown in the gap 45. It will be understood by one skilled in the art that the edges bordering the gap 45 may be straight, curved, poly-linear, or a combination.

FIG. 6 also shows the gap and slot 45 between the top surface of a desk 41 and the extension to the top 42. A flexible, resilient strip 43 is attached to the top extension 42. A computer accessory cable 44 is shown in the gap 45. In this figure the slot 45 is closed so that the resilient strip 43 is in contact with the top 41 at 47. Due to the presence of the cable 44, the resilient strip is compressed at 46, thus providing a closure 47 to all but the remaining curved gap 45 to prevent inadvertent loss of objects to the space below the top surface 41, 42.

The resilient strip 43 is attached to and generally level with the top piece 41 or the top extension 42. The strip is deformed at the wire 44 past-through points while providing closure to the gap 45 and maintenance of the non-permanent contact at all other points 47.

FIG. 7 shows another embodiment of the present disclosure that provides means for slideable and pivotable movement without a hinge. A desk side member 51 is connected to and supports a top piece 54 and possesses a support strip 53 on the inside surface of the member 51 providing slideable support to a top extension 52. The desk side member 51 possesses a track 59 for a pin 60 guided by a retainer cap 55. This pin 60 is attached to and embedded in and moves in concert with top extension 52 along track 59 when assess is desired to shelf 58. The pin 60 is shown at position 56 along track 59 which leaves a gap between top 54 and top extension 52. When the pin 60 and its attachments are moved to position 57 the gap between top 54 and top extension 52 will be closed creating a uniform, level, and closed top surface. When the pin 60 and its attachments are moved outward to position 50, the support strip 53 will no longer provide sliding support to the outward portion of the top extension 52 which will swing outward and downward providing open assess to the shelf 58 beneath the top extension 62 behind fascia 61.

FIG. 8 shows section 1 of the same embodiment of the present disclosure as shown in FIG. 6 that provides slideable and pivotable movement without a hinge. A desk side member 71 possesses a support strip 75 connected by a fastener 76 providing slideable support to a top extension 72. The desk side member 71 possesses a track 77 for a pin 74 and a retainer cap 73. This pin 74 is attached to and embedded in and moves in concert with the top extension 72 along track 77 and slideable surface 78 between top extension 72 and support strip 75. Lateral guidance is provided by cap 73.

FIG. 9 shows the same embodiment of the present disclosure as FIGS. 6 and 7 that provides slideable and pivotable movement without a hinge. A desk side member 67 possesses a track 64 for a pin 68 and a retainer cap 63. This pin 68 is attached to and embedded in and moves in concert with the extension to the top 66 along track 59. The pin 68 is shown in a forward position away from top piece 65 which also positions the top extension 66 to a point which is no longer supported by a support strip attached to the inside surface of member 67 will cause and enable the top extension 66 to swing outward and downward providing open assess beneath the top extension 66.

FIG. 10 shows yet another embodiment of the present disclosure as a writing desk 92 reminiscent of the Louis VX period sans decoration where the top extension 86 and the fascia 87 are slideable mounted at generally a right angle and pivot about the axis of hinge 89. The desk has support member legs 82, sides 80, drawer 81, a working area top piece 83 on which rests a monitor 85 and a mouse 84. Both monitor 85 and mouse 84 communicate by wiring with computing devices and accessories concealed beneath top extensions at 92 and 86. Top extension 92 is shown pivotally closed and slideably open to allow the wiring for the monitor 85 to pass through gap 91. Top extension 92 restricts access to space rearward of the fascia 87 and beneath the top extension 92 generally restricts access to space below the top piece. Top extension 86 and fascia 87 have moved together as an assembly to the open position as the assembly has pivoted about hinge 89 to provide assess to shelf 88 which is situated below top extension 86 when in a closed position. In the closed position top extension 86 is supported by the fascia 87 which is in turn supported by the shelf 89. Thus the shelf is a structural element that supports the fascia 87 of the current invention while also being connected and fixed to sides 80 to provide structural rigidity to the structure of the article of furniture. Also in the closed position the upper surface of the top extension 86 is surface leveled with desk top 91 by the support of leveler pads 90.

Two of the members 82 at least partially define a knee space beneath the top surface 83,86,92 and between the opposite ends. At least one hinge 89 is mounted to and between the fascia 87 and the shelf 88 to effect pivotable movement of the fascia and the extension away from the knee space. A brace 93 is connected to and provides lateral support between at least two members 82.

FIG. 11 provides a sectional view that shows the internal components and functions of the embodiment of the present disclosure as shown in FIG. 9 where access to the desk interior is closed. The fixed structure of the desk is the top piece 113 that supports a leveler pad 112 that is fixed in place by fastener 114 shown as a countersunk screw. This leveler pad 112 constitutes means for support of the long inward edge of the top extension 100. Also part of the fixed portion of the desk is the brace 103, the shelf 104, the side 111, and the leg member 101. The top extension 100 is connected by a tracked bracket 105 to the fascia 102 by a fastener 116. The tracked bracket 105 has tracks that are generally at a right angle to the facia 102. The tracks are utilized by slideable fasteners at 107 and 106 shown as cap screws. Arrow 115 indicates the directions of slideable movement of top extension 100 in relation to fascia 116 as it opens or closes the gap and slot between top 113 and top extension 100. A hinge 108 provides support and a pivot axis to the fascia 102 and thence to the top extension 100. The hinge 108 is connected by fastener 110 to the fascia 116 and by fastener 109 to the shelf 104. Top extension 100 and fascia 116 swing together as an assembly about hinge 108 providing access to shelf 104 generally beneath the closed position of top extension 100. The direction of slideable movement of top extension 100 represented by arrow 115 is orthogonal to the axis of pivot inherent in the hinge 108. A dead bolt lock 125 that locks into member 101 prevents unwanted swingable movement when access to the shelf 104 is not desired. The fascia 102 and the top extension 100 are connected at a generally right angle and pivotally mounted and depending upon the shelf 104 for the movement about a common center of pivot proximate to the shelf 104.

FIG. 12 provides a sectional view that shows the internal components and functions of the embodiment of the present disclosure as shown in FIG. 9 where the desk interior is open for access. Similar elements of FIG. 11 are given the same numbers in this figure. Fixed structure of the desk comprises side 111, shelf 104, and the leg member 101, and the brace 103. The brace 103 provides lateral support to leg member 101 that is compromised by the use of the fascia 102 to accomplish swingable access. The top extension 100 is connected by a tracked bracket 105 to the fascia 102 by a fastener 116 at generally a right angle by slideable fasteners at 107 and 106. Arrow 120 indicates the direction of pivotable movement of top extension 100 and the supporting fascia 116 as it opens or closes providing access to shelf 104 generally beneath the closed position of top extension 100. The arc of swing of the tracked bracket 105 is shown by dotted line 118 and the center of the axis of pivot is indicated by arrow 119. Restraining dead bolt 125 has been released from bolt hole 126 in leg member 101 allowing the swingable movement traced by arc 118 and indicated by arrow 120. It will be understood by one skilled in the art that the extent of the swing may be limited by various chains and levers between members 101 and the moveable assembly of the top extension 100 and the fascia 102.

The location of the center of pivot 119 of the pivotable junction of shelf 104 and fascia 87 is proximate to the outward edge of the shelf 104. The pivotable junction includes manual and selective means to provide a limit of downward rotational movement when the top extension 100 is horizontal. Since the top extension 100 is shown rotated to vertical this means to limit movement is represented by the bolt 125 and bolt-hole 126. The connection between the top extension 100 and the fascia 102 comprises at least one tracked bracket 105.

FIG. 13 shows the general configuration of a tracked bracket 150 with two legs for fixed holes 152 with the downward direction of placement of the fixed fasteners indicated by arrows 153. The slotted holes 154 utilize slideable fasteners that are positioned upward as indicated by arrows 155. The limits of the slideable fasteners are indicated by limit lines 156 and 157. Ears 151 clasp the fascia to prevent lateral movement during slideable linear movement and that might loosen fasteners within holes 152.

FIG. 14 shows the components and arrangement of a slideable top piece 174 that is supported by a bolster 171 fastened to the desk side and member 170 by fastener 172. Bolster 171 has a track 176 to accept a runner 175 that is fixed to the top piece 174. A slideable surface 173 is provided between the lower edge surface of the top piece 174 and the upper surface of the bolster 171. Section 2 is cut vertically through the track 176.

FIG. 15 shows in Section 2 of FIG. 13 the components and arrangement of a desk with a slideable top piece 194 that provides wiring access while a slot between points 199 and 189 is open and a uniform top surface when closed. The slideable top 194 is supported by a bolster 191 at sliding surface 193 fastened to the desk side 190. Bolster 191 has a track 196 to accept a runner 195 that is fixed to and integral with the top piece 194. The track 196 is selected to limit the movement of the top extension 202 to adjustments to the gap 189,199. The top extension 202 and the top 195 are shown separated by a gap indicated by lines 199 and 189 which is equivalent to the distance available for movement of the runner 195 within the track 196 as indicated by lines at 197 and 198. The top extension 202 has a tongue 201 and the top piece has a groove 200 to provide support and leveling during closure. This tongue 201 and groove in the closed position when the gap 199, 189 is closed constitutes means of support for the inward edge of the top extension 202. The present disclosure therefore providing the options of wiring passage through an open gap 199, 189 and slot when wiring passage is desired, adjustment for various wire sizes by varying the sliding displacement of the top 194 toward the top extension 202, and closure when passage is not desired.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7942100 *Jul 11, 2007May 17, 2011True Sealing Concepts, LLCBreak down desk assembly
US7942485May 15, 2008May 17, 2011Kathi CastelluccioDeployable workstation
US8276523 *May 26, 2009Oct 2, 2012Steelcase Inc.Worksurface assembly
US8322802 *Nov 21, 2006Dec 4, 2012Charles H BoxenbaumOffice furniture system
US20120231434 *Mar 11, 2011Sep 13, 2012Rodney StandageIn-Desk Tablet PC and Classroom Automation System
WO2008107191A1 *Mar 6, 2008Sep 12, 2008Elabo GmbhWork furniture comprising a cable channel
Classifications
U.S. Classification108/50.02
International ClassificationA47B37/00, A47B21/00, A47B77/00, A47B21/03, A47B87/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B21/06, A47B21/0314
European ClassificationA47B21/03B, A47B21/06