US 2713899 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
y 6, 1955 D. c. HOLLOWAY ET AL 2,713,899
FLEXIBLE DOORS 2 Sheets-Shet Filed March 16, 1953 y 1955 D. c. HOLLOWAY ETAL 2,713,899
FLEXIBLE DOORS Filed March 16, 1955 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 jiav 6% Zara 007a GHQZZOa/ y 5 ffoer'i HFIZSZ 12/.
,5W/ (Taxman! V 0 9a Patented .Fuiy 26, 1955 FLEXBLE DOORS Don C. Holloway, Janesville, Wis, and Robert H. Ensign, Bronxvilie, N. Y., assignors to The Hough Shade Corporation, Janesville, Wis a corporation of Connecticut Appiication March 16, 1953, Serial No. 342,626 Claims. (Cl. 160-2199) Our invention relates to flexible doors and has for its principal object to provide a structure that will fold and extend accordion fashion to divide and separate room space, close door openings and passageways, harmonize with decorations and designs, and permit ventilation while providing desired screening.
In folding doors now generally in use much difiiculty has been encountered in providing means to insure even folding of the slats of the door when the door is moved to folded position.
The door hangers and tracks which have been used with flexible doors have been objectionable in that there is much friction between these two parts causing difficulty in opening and closing the doors and the friction between these parts generally results in rapid wear of the parts relative to each other causing expensive replacement of the parts or rendering the door inoperative. Hangers for folding doors also are generally made of metal and, unless individually painted to conform to the coloring of the fabric, are readily noticeable and detract from the appearance of the door.
One of the objects of our invention is to provide a flexible door which will fold accordion like with like number of slats in each fold, thereby providing a door with uniform width when in folded position.
A further object of our invention is to provide a folding door with special hangers to permit relatively frictionless slidability in a track and which hangers act to insure the even folding of the door and will not detract from the appearance of the door.
A still further object of our invention is to provide 4 a folding door having one or more adjustable hangers whereby the stile of the door upon installation may be adjusted to the track on which the door slides.
A still further object of our invention is to provide a folding door which may be used singly or in pairs, which may be manufactured inexpensively and which may be easily installed at low cost.
Further objects and advantages will appear as the disclosure proceeds and the description is read in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of a portion of a door embodying the invention;
Figure 2 is an elevation of double doors or dividers, the lower portion thereof being broken away and showing one door in a position requiring adjustment to align I it with the other door;
Figures 3 and 4 are sections taken on the lines 33 and 4-4 of Figure 1, Figure 4 being an enlarged view;
Figure 5 is a perspective view of a length of fabric and one of the special fixtures by which a plurality of slats are bound together to swing as one;
Figure 6 is a perspective view of one of the swivel glides and associated pintle;
Figure 7 is a perspective view of a length of curve or overhead track for supporting the doors;
Figure 8 is a perspective view of a door or passageway fitted with double doors or dividers drawn to closed position;
Figure 9 is a perspective view of an alternative form of pintle for the swivel glides;
Figure 10 is a fragmentary view of a section of a door with the pintle of Figure 9 applied to the bow shaped clip;
Figure 11 is a perspective view of a glide with a threaded pintle especially adapted for use in adjusting the stile of a door; and
Figure 12 is an enlarged cross section of one of the bow shaped clips, the lower portion being broken away.
These diagrammatic drawings and the corresponding description are used for the purpose of illustrative disclosures only and are not intended to impose unnecessary limitations on the claims.
Each door or unit includes a fabric made of upright slats 10 woven together with seine cord 11 carried by and operating in an overhead track 12 by special fixtures 13. Preferred slats for the fabric are made of seasoned basswood but slats of other types of wood, bamboo, so-called plastics and the like may be used. Seine twine is generally preferred for binding these slats together because of its special suitability but other cordage may be used.
One edge of each door fabric is finished with an attractive molding or stile 14 and the other is finished to attach neatly to a wall or casing as indicated at 15 in Figure l.
A special hanging fixture includes a bow shaped clip 16 adapted to telescope over and grasp the upper ends of adjacent slats 10 and to be secured thereto in any suitable way such, for instance, as by staples 17 which may be inserted by a stapling machine. These special hanging fixtures may also be secured in place by means of cement, rivets, or other forms of fasteners.
. These clips 16 are preferably made of cellulose-acetate butyrate known as Tenite IL marketed by The Tennessee Eastman Corporation (The Condensed Chemical Dictionary, page 621; Materials Handbook by Brady, page 133). Such material is transparent, permitting the basic color of the fabric to show through the clip in the portions in which the clip overlie the fabric. Clips made of this transparent material do not therefore interfere with the decorative color scheme or the natural appearance of the wood of the slats and when in place are not readily noticeable. The material of which this clip is preferably made also has good tensile strength and impact hardness and may be readily molded to the form desired.
The ridge portion of the clip 16 at the bow is notched near the center to provide an opening 18 therethrough to accommodate an arch or bend 19 in a rod or bar 20 and the lower end of the stem or pintle 21 has an eye 22 to receive the arched portion 19 of the rod. The upper end of the pintle is fitted with a swivel glide composed of a body portion 23 and an overhanging shoulder or flange 24. The upper surface of the body may be recessed sufiiciently to accommodate the upper portion of the pintle.
One convenient way to fabricate the hanging device is to insert a brass rivet through an axial passage in the glide with the rivet head 25 recessed into the body of the glide. The lower end of the rivet is flattened to a width greater than the axial passage to prevent the rivet from being withdrawn. The hole is drilled through the flattened portion of the rivet to provide an eye 22 to receive the bar 20.
The body and shoulder portions of the swivel glide are preferably made of a protein plastic from the reaction of adipic acid and hexamethylene diamine, both produced from coke-oven gases and sold by E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. under the trade name of nylon. acetate resins may be used instead of nylon.
The track 12 is here shown in a form especially suited for manufacture from wood by making a length of molding and running it through a routing machine to cut a groove 26 providing supporting rails 27 spaced by a passageway 23 of a size adapted to receive the glide as illustrated in the enlarged view in Figure 4. This track may be of the straight form as shown in Figure l or of the curved form as shown in Figure 7. The supporting rail is highly satisfactory when made from birch, maple, beech and similar hard wood but may be fabricated of other wood materials.
It has been found that the nylon or Vinylite glides referred to above when used with supporting rails of birch, maple or beech are low in friction and long Wearing. It has also been found that these glides are not subject to the usual deformities of glides made of metal and that the rails being made of wood are likewise not subject to the usual deformations frequently occurring when metal rails are used. The combination of the nylon or vinyl plastic body sliding in the wooden track rails resists the misalignment frequently occurring during installation.
In one form that has been found eminently satisfactory, the clip 16 is long enough to span three adjacent slats 10 and bind them in substantially rigid alignment with the result that those three and adjacent slats at each side fold together similar to folds of an accordion.
Each stile 14 is a piece of molding provided with a Vinyl lengthwise slot 3t) wide enough to receive two adjacent slats 10 folded together, after which small finishing nails or the like 31 make the molding fast to the edge of the door fabric.
The special fitting for each stile 14 includes a bowshaped clip 32, best shown in Figure 4, with one leg 33 extending down into the slot 35), and the other 34 running along the opposite side of the stile and being fastened by special screw fittings 35. In this instance, it is preferable to make the pintle 36 and the glide 37 threaded t tionally satisfactory in service.
to the end that the height of two adjacent stiles may be properly adjusted by screwing the glide up or down. In such an instance, the screws will be tight enough to prevent rotation of the glide in opening and closing the door.
The clip 32 as shown in Figure 4 is easily reversed to put the finish on the selected side of the door. However, it is contemplated that similar clips having legs wide enough to straddle the upper end of the stile and showing finish on both sides may be used.
In an alternative form shown in Figures 9 and 10, the
glide 44 has a lengthwise rectangular slot 45 to receive the flat stem 46 having its upper end bent over at 47 and its lower end pierced at 455. In this form the glides do not swivel as do the glides shown more particularly in Figure 6.
In Figures 2, 4 and 11 we have shown a glide which is screw threaded on the pintle 36. This glide is intended to be applied above the stile and is more particularly used where two doors are brought together to close an opening. Frequently in installations of this type it is found that when the doors have been hung in the track and are moved to adjacent positions, one of the stiles is positioned lower than the other as shown, for instance, in Figure 2. Such misalignment may be caused by sagged or warped casings in which the track is fitted. In order to give the doors a balanced appearance, it is necessary that one of the stiles be adjusted relative to the other. By rotating the body 23 of the glide on the screw threaded portion of the pintle 36, the pintle is brought up further into the glide thereby raising the stile to the desired position. The screw threaded relationship between the glide and the pintle is relatively tight to prevent rotation in use after the appropriate adjustment has been made.
Figure 12 shows a cross section of a clip made of Tenite II, in which the side pieces 46 are .0312 thick, and the bow proper 41 is .0468 thick. This view also shows ribs 42 adapted to straddle the intermediate slat it and thus facilitate assembly of the clip with the fabric.
There are a number of features concerning the suspension means for the folding door which deserve special mention. In the first place, the plastic clip 16, when made of cellulose acetate butyrate, is transparent and hence it permits the slats which are gripped by the clip to be seen therethrough and the clips are hardly noticeable. The inconspicuousness of the hanging is also aided by the use of the staples 17 which may be driven through the clips and encase the slats in a conventional manner without any pre-piercing of the parts.
Furthermore, it will be noted that the novel means for supporting the clip structure from the overhead track constitutes an important part of the hanging arrangement. The bar Ztl, having a bowed portion 19, cooperates with the cut-out 18 in the ridge portion of the clip so that the eye 22 of the stem or pintle 21 is kept as low as possible to thereby permit the door to be hung very close to the track 12, as shown particularly in Fig. 2. When the clip 16 is stapled to the slats, the bar 2t) is pressed against the top edge of the slats, and the arched portion 19 is thereby prevented from moving longitudinally of the clip to accidentally disengage the clip from the stem 21. In this way, the securing of the clip to the slats actually locks the glide assembly to the clip.
It should also be noted that the ridge portion 41 (Fig. 12) of the clip is somewhat thicker than the side pieces 49, and this is important because it furnishes the strength required to support the weight of the door, but still permits the sides 40 to be thin enough so that they may be easily pierced by staples.
The combination of a Wood track 1.2 with nylon glides or glides of similar lubric material provides a smooth, quiet arrangement for the doors. The wood track harmonizes with the framework of the door (the door ordinarily being used in wooden frames), and of course, harmonizes with the door itself, and the combination of the nylon glide with the wood track has been found excep- It should be noted that the glide does not have to be rotatable on the stem or pintle 2]. because of the lubric character of the nylon itself. This is emphasized by the fact that the glide in Fig. 9 is mounted on a flat stem or pintle 46, and obviously is not rotatable relative thereto.
With the foregoing combination of elements it will be seen that we have provided a flexible door which when folded will present an even uniform fold and give the folded door a very neat appearance. It will also be seen that we have provided a hanging arrangement for a flexible door which permits adjustment of the stile and provides for relatively free and long wearing movement of the door hanging elements within the track and that the door hangers are not readily apparent when applied to a door.
1. In combination, a flexible door comprising vertical wood slats Woven together to form a fabric, an overhead track, means for slidably supporting the door from the track including a plurality of supporting hangers, said hangers comprising bow-shaped clips having legs formed of transparent piastic material capable of being pierced by a metal staple, with the legs of the clips straddling and extending downwardly over portions of the upper margin of the door fabric, wire staples securing the clips to the fabric, a glide secured to each hanger and cooperating with the track for slidably supporting the door from the overhead track, said transparent legs of the clips and said staples being relatively inconspicuous whereby the general form and lines of the door are not substantially obscured or marred by said supporting means, said clips also having a ridge portion provided with an opening therein, a bar within said ridge portion having an arched portion exposed by said opening, said glide including a track en ..ging portion and a stern passing through said track engaging portion and having an eye on its lower end, said eye being telescopically received by said arched portion of the bar at said opening for supporting the clip from said glide.
2. In combination, a flexible door comprising vertical Wood slats woven together to form a fabric, an overhead track, means for slidably supporting the door from the track, including a plurality of supporting hangers, said hangers comprising bow-shaped clips of transparent plastic material straddling the upper margin of the door, said clips each including a ridge portion flanked by downwardly extending legs, the ridge portion being provided with an opening therein, a bar within said ridge portion having a portion exposed by said opening, a glide having a stem provided with an eye telescopically receiving said bar at said opening, said glide cooperating with said track for supporting the door therefrom, the wall thickness of the ridge portion of the clip being substantially greater than the leg portions thereof, whereby the weight of the door may be effectively transmitted through said bar and ridge portion to the glide, and whereby also the side portions of the clips straddling the upper margin of the door are of sufficiently thin material that they may be stapled directly to the door fabric.
3. A flexible door structure as set forth in claim 2 in which said stem comprises a cylindrical member having a head resting on the top surface of the glide and having the lower end of the cylindrical member provided with a flat portion having an opening therethrough for receiving said bar.
4. The combination as set forth in claim 1 in which at least one of the clips is secured to a plurality of said slats, and in which the inner surface of one of the legs of said one clip is formed with a vertical rib which falls between and appropriately spaces adjacent slats.
5. The combination as set forth in claim 1 in which said track is made of wood having a T-shaped slot therein open at the bottom, and said glide is made of a lubric material whereby said wood track blends with the wood of the door and cooperates with the lubric glide to provide relatively quiet and easy operation of the door.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Re. 23,209 Fridolph Mar. 21, 1950 285,886 Flickinger Oct. 2, 1883 312,309 Weldon Feb. 17, 1885 1,463,598 Seaman July 31, 1923 1,598,479 Day Aug. 31, 1926 2,244,300 Kwon June 3, 1941 2,267,249 Monner Dec. 23, 1941 FOREIGN PATENTS 15,019 Great Britain 1890 524,842 Great Britain Aug. 15, 1940 530,608 Great Britain Dec. 16, 1940 577,610 Great Britain May 24, 1946 588,340 Great Britain May 20, 1947 OTHER REFERENCES Popular Science, December 1949, page 238.