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Publication numberUS2729355 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 3, 1956
Filing dateJun 17, 1953
Priority dateJun 17, 1953
Publication numberUS 2729355 A, US 2729355A, US-A-2729355, US2729355 A, US2729355A
InventorsGaston Donald H
Original AssigneeGaston Donald H
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tensionable connection for knockdown articles
US 2729355 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

D. H. GASTON 2,729,355

TENSIONABLE CONNECTION FOR KNOCKDOWN ARTICLES Jan. 3, 1956 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 17, 1953 w m m w.

Donald [2. Gaston ATTUR'NEY Jan. 3, 1956 D. H. GASTON 2,729,355

TENSIONABLE CONNECTION FOR KNOCKDOWN ARTICLES Filed June 17, 1955 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. Dolazlci HGCZSZOTKA BY m ATTU/V/VEY.

United States Patent" O TENSIONABLE CONNECTION FOR KNOCKDOWN ARTICLES Donald H. Gaston, Los Angeles, Calif., assignor to the United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Army Application June 17, 1953, Serial No. 362,335 13 Claims. (Cl. 217-65) My invention relates to knockdown buildings, containers, articles of furniture or the like, and more particularly to tensionable means for connecting together the several parts of the article; The device according to the invention is particularly applicable to connections wherein a number of separate elements converge to provide a corner of the assembled article.

In all knockdown articles, particularly articles subject to rough handling, as furniture or shipping containers, the major problem has been to provide a tight connection which will stay tight at all times, will withstand rough handling, yet can be readily actuated by commonly available tools to assemble or disassemble the article. This problem has been met in the past in a variety of ways, as by the use of screws, bolts, separable fasteners, interlocking joints and otherwise without entire satisfaction. For instance, too many screws are required for security, they tend to get lost when the container is knocked down and repeated use wears the threads of the screw sockets whereby they tend to become loose in use. Bolts normally must be too long whereby they add too much to the weight of the article and also tend to get lost when the container is knocked down. Other forms of separable fasteners or interlocking joints seldom, if ever, are strong enough to stand rough handling sufficiently well to avoid separation in use.

In addition, all known prior connections have the disadvantage that they can connect together only two elements at a time and can tension the connected elements only in a single straight linelongitudinally of the connection in the instance of screws, bolts or the like.

With the foregoing in view, it is an object of the invention to provide a novel and improved tensionable connection for knockdown articles which overcome the objectionable features of the prior art connections and which is capable also of connecting together three or more elements with a single connection and at the same time drawing all of the connected elements together in converging directions under equal tension.

A further object is to provide such a connection which includes flexible means connecting a plurality of elements together and novel means for tensioning said flexible means.

Other objects and advantages reside in the particular structure of the invention, the structure of the several elements thereof, combinations and sub-combinations of such elements and/or in the particular method of making or securing the connection, all of which will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon reference to the attached drawing in connection with the following specification wherein the invention is shown, described and claimed.

In the drawing:

Figure 1 is a perspective view of a knockdown building utilizing the invention;

Figure 2 is a like view of a shipping container to which the invention is applicable;

Figure 3 is an enlarged fragmentary exploded view of one corner of Figure 1 apart from the connection proper;

Figure 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary view of the same corner of Figure 1, the connection being shown apart from the structure;

Figure 5 is an enlarged exploded view of the connector apart from the article;

Figure 6 is an enlarged, fragmentary horizontal sectional view through an upper corner of Figure 1;

Figure 7 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken substantially on the plane of the line 77 of Figure 6;

Figure 8 is a fragmentary, vertical sectional view taken substantially on the plane of the line 88 of Figure 6; and

Figure 9 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of one corner of Fig. 2 showing a modified form of connection applied thereto.

Referring specifically to the drawing wherein like reference characters are applied to like parts in all views, and referring at first to Figure l, 10 designates generally a portable building to which the invention has been applied. The building 10 may comprise a number of roof panels 11 which are connected to wall panels 12 by horizontal pilasters 13. Vertical pilasters 14 connect the walls together. Additional horizontal pilasters 13 connect the walls to floor panels (not shown). A door 15 may be formed in one or more walls. It should be noted that the horizontal and vertical pilasters 13 and 14 are equal in length to the walls connected thereby so the pilaster end surfaces are exposed to provide recessed corners 16.

Figure 2 shows a shipping container 17 wherein pilasters are omitted and the walls 13 thereof are so proportional and interfitted that end edge faces of each wall are exposed to provide recessed corners 19 corresponding to the like corners 16 of the building 16. The invention to be described hereinafter is particularly well adapted for application to containers or buildings of this type having intersecting fiat walls or panels but is obviously applicable also to knockdown furniture and other structures. For simplicity, the connection of the invention has not been shown applied to the container 17 but it is understood that it is applied in the same manner as to the building 10.

Referring now to Figures 3-8 inclusive, it will be noted that the panels and pilasters are formed with suitable interengaging means such as the tongue and groove arrangement shown wherein the panels 11 and 12 are formed with edge tongues 20 and the pilasters 13 and 14 are formed with grooves 21 which receive the tongues 20 therein when the parts are fitted together. It is apparent also that if the pilaster ends which form each recessed corner can be firmly connected together, the walls 11 and 12 will be held rigidly together. In like manner, if a similar connection is achieved between the exposed end edges of the walls 18 of the container 17 of Figure 2, the walls 18 will be rigidly connected. Thus, it is to be understood that the connection hereinafter described is equally applicable to the building 19, the container 17 and other knockdown articles (not shown) even though a specific showing of the connection has been restricted to the building of Figure 1.

To achieve the connection of the invention, it is first necessary to apply suitable anchors to the ends of the pilasters 13 and 14. In the embodiment illustrated, such anchors comprise U-bolts 22 the legs of which slide in holes 23 formed in the ends of the pilasters. Countersinks 24 are formed in the ends of the pilasters around the holes 23 so that the bights of the U-bolts 22 are partially countersunk in the ends of the pilasters. The U-bolts 22 are secured in the holes 23 by keys 25, Figures and 7, which seat in keyways 26 formed in the legs of the U-bolts. Access to the keyways 26 is achieved by lateral holes 27 formed in the pilasters so as to intersect the holes 23. Obviously, other forms of anchors, such as eye-bolts, eye-screws, staples and the like will suggest themselves to those skilled in the art. However, the structure disclosed is considered superior in that the danger of. the anchor pulling out is eliminated (staples and eyescrews) while it is unnecessary to apply a nut to the free ends as in the case of an eye-bolt.

A base member 28 is seated on the free end of each vertical pilaster 14 within each recessed corner 16. As each base member 28 is identical, it will suffice to describe but a single one of them. However, it should be borne in mind that those at the lower corners will be upside down as compared to those more readily seen in the drawing. As will be apparent, it is not necessary to attach the base members 28 to the ends of the pilasters 14 but they can be attached if desired by any suitable attaching means as screws, not shown.

Each base member 28 comprises a floor 29 which is preferably triangular in shape and is disposed with its apex toward the interior of its recessed corner 16. The floor 29 is formed with a raised, hollow boss 30 which is located to overlie the countersink 24 and the bight of the U-bolt 22 therein. The upper surface of each boss 30 is formed with a hole 31 therethrough for the free passage of the shank 32 of a suitable drawbolt such as the J-bolt 33. The hook 34 of the J-bolt 33 is hooked under the bight of the U-bolt 22 whereby to readily detachably connect the base 28 with the associated U-bolt 22.

Walls 35 which are integral with the floor 29 arise from the rearwardly converging sides of the floor and have upper edges formed with aligned notches 36, the purpose of which will be apparent hereinafter. The upper rear portions of the walls 35 are cut away from the main body as at 37 and are bent laterally to provide a pair of spaced and parallel ears 38. The ears 38 are formed with aligned holes 39 for the reception therein of a pivot pin 40. The upper edges of the ears 38 are formed with aligned notches 41 for a purpose to be apparent.

A drawbar such as the rocker arm 42 is pivoted on the pin 40 which passes through aligned holes 43 in rear portions of depending side flanges 44 of the rocker arm. The forward part of the web 45 of the rocker arm 42 is formed with a longitudinally extending slot 46 through which extends the shank 32 of the J-bolt 33. A nut 47 on the threaded upper end of the shank of the J-bolt 33 connects the latter to the rocker arm 42. The lower edges of the flanges 44 of the rocker arm are formed with aligned and downwardly directed notches 48 which are disposed forwardly of the pivot pin holes 43.

Any suitable flexible connector such as the cable 49 is used to connect the pilasters 13 and 14 together. Such cables preferably have suitable enlargements such as the ball-swaged cable terminals 50 attached to their free ends. In operation, the shanks 51 of the terminals 50 seat in the notches 41 of the ears 38 after being threaded through the bights of the horizontally disposed U-bolts 22. The bight 52 of the cable 49 is looped under the rocker arm 42 and engaged by the notches 48 thereof. Such bight 52 is also led through the notches 36 in the upper edges of the walls 35 of the base member.

If desired and as shown, the ears 38 may be reinforced against spreading strains by a U-shaped retainer member 53 having a web 54 spanning the space between the ears and flanges 55 overlying the outer surfaces of the ears and secured thereto in any suitable manner, not shown, as by welding or by a tight friction fit. The upper edges of the flanges 55 are formed with aligned notches 56 which, of course, are in alignment with the notches 41 of the ears.

In the operation of the device, the cable 49 is first applied to the bights of the horizontal U-bolts 22 either before or after the latter are seated in holes 23. The shanks 51 of the terminals 50 are now seated in the notches 56 and 41 to anchor the free ends of the cable 49. Then with the nut 47 removed from the shank 32 of the J-bolt 33, the rocker arm 42 may be raised sufliciently to permit the bight 52 of the cable to be looped thereover and seated in the notches 48 thereof. Then the rocker arm 42 is again dropped down while opposite side portions of the bight 52 are guided into the notches 36 of the side walls 35. The nut 47 is now re-engaged with the J-bolt 33. The loose connection thus established between the pilasters 13 and 14 is tensioned by tightening the nut 47 which rocks the forward portion of the rocker arm 42 downwardly taking with it the bight 52 of the cable. This action gradually tightens the connection in a uniform manner by exerting equal tension on all three pilasters in longitudinal and inwardly converging direc-' tions. It should be noted that the longitudinally outward tension thus exerted on the U-bolts 22, pulls the keys 25 into firm frictional engagement with the peripheries of the lateral holes 27 whereby withdrawal of the keys is prevented.

In like manner, it is obvious that the exposed end edges of the walls 18 of container 17 (Fig. 2) may be formed to mount the same sort of tensioning device in the recessed corners 19. Also, the tensioning means is applicable to other knockdown articles in similar manner.

While the rockable tensioning means shown is considered particularly suitable in that it achieves maximum tensioning in a minimum of space, it should be recognized that other tensioning means may be used.

For instance, in smaller containers or the like (Figure 9) the connector might be a flexible wire 60 connecting eyescrews 61 in the exposed end edges of the walls 18 of the container 17. The wire 60 may be tensioned by twisting the ends of the wire together as at 62 in Fig. 9. In relatively large containers or buildings where recessed corners of substantial size are formed, the connector could be a flexible member having its ends connected together by a turn buckle or the like.

Consequently, while I have shown and described what are now thought to be preferred embodiments of the invention, it is to be understood that the same is susceptible of other forms and expressions. Consequently, I do not limit myself to the precise structures shown and described hereinabove except as hereinafter claimed.

I claim:

1. A knockdown container or the like, comprising a plurality of walls connected together to form a hollow container, said walls each having a plurality of edge surfaces, a plurality of pilasters each having a pair of angularly disposed side surfaces engaging correspondingly disposed edge surfaces of a pair of walls, said engaging side and edge surfaces of said pilasters and walls respectively being formed with interfitted complementary interfitting meanswhereby each pilaster releasably secures a pair of angularly disposed walls together, the length of said pilasters being the same-length as the wall edge surfaces with which they are engaged and forming recesses at each corner of said container, said recesses each being exposed and defined by-the adjacent ends of a trio of pilasters, a tensionable connector in each recess, means connecting each connector to said adjacent ends of the associated trio of pilasters, and a single tensioning means in each recess tensioning the connector therein and imparting substantially equal tension to the trio of pilasters and assomew ciated walls in directions drawing said pilasters and walls together in container-forming, rigidly assembled relation.

2. A knockdown container or the like, comprising a plurality of walls connected together to form a hollow container, said walls each having a plurality of edge surfaces, a plurality of pilasters each having a pair of angularly disposed side surfaces engaging correspondingly disposed edge surfaces of a pair of walls, said engaging side and edge surfaces of said pilasters and walls respectively being formed with interfitted complementary interfitting means whereby each pilaster releasably secures a pair of angularly disposed walls together, said container being formed with recesses at each corner thereof, said recesses each being at least partially defined by the adjacent ends of a trio of pilasters, a flexible connector in each recess, means connecting each connector to said adjacent ends of the associated trio of pilasters, and means tensioning each connector and imparting substantially equal tension to the trio of pilasters and associated walls in directions drawing said pilasters and walls together in container-forming, rigidly assembled relation.

3. A knockdown container or the like, comprising a plurality of walls connected together to form a hollow container, said walls each having a plurality of edge surfaces, a plurality of pilasters each having a pair of angularly disposed side surfaces engaging correspondingly disposed edge surfaces of a pair of walls, said engaging side and edge surfaces of said pilasters and walls respectively being formed with interfitted complementary interfitting means whereby each pilaster releasably secures a pair of angularly disposed Walls together, said container being formed with recesses at each corner thereof, said recesses each being at least partially defined by the adjacent ends of a trio of pilasters, a connector in each recess, means connecting each connector to said adjacent ends of the associated trio of pilasters, each connector including a flexible member, and means tensioning each flexible member and imparting substantially equal tension to the trio of pilasters and associated walls in directions drawing said pilasters and walls together in container-forming, rigidly assembled relation.

4. A knockdown container or the like, comprising a plurality'of walls connected together to form a hollow container, said walls each having a plurality of edge surfaces, a plurality of pilasters each having a pair of angularly disposed side surfaces engaging correspondingly disposed edge surfaces of a pair of walls, said engaging side and edge surfaces of said pilasters and walls respectively being formed with interfitted complementary interfitting means whereby each pilaster releasably secures a pair of angularly disposed walls together, said container being formed with recesses at each corner thereof, said recesses each being .at least partially defined by the adjacent ends of a trio of pilasters, an anchor fixed to each end of each pilaster, a base seated in each recess on one end of a pilaster, a rocker arm rockably mounted on said base, a drawbolt slidable through said rocker arm, said bolt having a head at one end in drawing engagement with the anchor of said pilaster which seats said base, a flexible draw member connecting said rocker arm with said anchors of the remaining pilasters of the trio, a nut on said drawbolt, said nut bearing on said rocker arm so as to rock the same in one direction upon tightening of said nut, tightening of said nut being operative to tension said flexible member and simultaneously impart axial tension to said drawbolt whereby each pilaster of the trio is tensioned substantially equally, and said connectors and pilasters thereby securing said walls together in rigid container-forming relation.

5. The structure of claim 3, wherein said means for tensioning said flexible member includes screw threaded means.

6. A multi-way tensioning means, comprising a base, a drawbar, pivot means rockably mounting said drawbar on said base, an elongated flexible member having two ends anchored to said base above said drawbar to provide a loop, means securing a medial portion of said loop to said drawbar= forwardly of said pivot means for movement with said drawbar, a vertical drawbolt freely slidable in said base and drawbar forwardly of said pivot means, said bolt having a head located below said base and adapted to be secured to a first member to be tensioned, a nut threaded on said bolt above said drawbar to provide means for rocking said bar downwardly, lateral portions of said loop on opposite sides of said drawbar being connected to at least second and third members to be tensioned, and tightening of said nut being operative to rock said drawbar downwardly and tension said flexible member and drawbolt and thereby tension said first, second and third members to be tensioned simultaneously and substantially equally.

7. In a knockdown article including a plurality of elements readily detachable connected together at their ends in intersecting relation so as to provide a recessed corner defined by the extreme end edge surfaces of three elements; the improvement comprising flexible means in said recessed corner, means anchoring said flexible means to said end edge surfaces of said elements and connecting said elements together, and tensioning means in said recessed corner, and said tensioning means being operatively connected to said flexible means so as to tension the same and draw said elements into firm engagement with each other. a

8. The structure of claim 7, wherein said tensioning means includes screw threaded operating means.

9. The structure of claim 7, wherein said tensioning means includes rockable means operatively engaging said flexible means, and means for rocking said rockable means in a direction to tension said flexible means.

10. The structure of claim 9, wherein said last-named means comprises screw threaded elements.

11. In a knockdown article including at least three elements having adjacent ends connected together in intersecting relation so as to provide a corner having an exposed recess defined by the end edge surfaces of said elements; the improvement comprising an anchor fixed to each recess-defining end edge surface of said elements, a base seated on said end edge surface of one element, a rocker arm rockably mounted on said base, a drawbolt slidable through said rocker arm, means connecting said bolt to said anchor of said end edge surface seating said base, a flexible member connecting said rocker arm with said anchors of the other two end edge surfaces, a nut on said drawbolt, said out bearing on said rocker arm so as to rock the same upon tightening of said nut in a direction to tension said flexible member and simultaneously impart equal tension on all three elements in converging directions.

12. In a knockdown article including at least three elements having adjacent ends connected together in intersecting relation so as to provide a corner having an exposed recess defined by the end edge surfaces of said elements; the improvement comprising an anchor fixed to each recess-defining end edge surface of said elements, a base seated on said end edge surface of one element, a rocker arm rockably mounted on said base, connecting means connecting said rocker arm to said anchor of said end edge surface seating said base, a flexible member connecting said rocker arm with said anchors of the other two end edge surfaces, and said connecting means including means for rocking said rocker arm in a direction to tension said flexible member and simultaneously impart equal tension on all three elements in converging directions.

13. In a knockdown article including at least three elements having adjacent ends connected together in inter: secting relation so as to provide a corner having an exposed recess defined by the end edge surfaces of said elements; the improvement comprising an anchor fixed to each recess-defining end edge surface of said elements, a

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 395,015 Tegtimeyer Dec. 25, 1888 '8 Sullivan Jan. 25, Hester June 24, Friedel June 4,

FOREIGN PATENTS Great Britain Apr. 23, Great Britain Apr. 14, Germany Aug. 20,

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US395015 *Nov 9, 1888Dec 25, 1888 Box-corner fastening
US947655 *Jan 30, 1909Jan 25, 1910Frank T SullivanKnockdown structure.
US1307973 *Jun 17, 1916Jun 24, 1919 Corner and division bar
US2203625 *Feb 28, 1938Jun 4, 1940J F Friedel Paper Box CompanyKnockdown box or crate
DE811571C *Nov 6, 1948Aug 20, 1951Wilhelm VictorZerlegbare, groessenveraenderliche Kiste
GB141818A * Title not available
GB587086A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2960249 *May 31, 1956Nov 15, 1960Walsh Robert LContainer framework
US2980285 *Sep 10, 1957Apr 18, 1961Skydyne IncCase construction
US3351223 *Dec 30, 1963Nov 7, 1967Union Stock Yard And Transit CInsulated enclosure
US3966075 *Jan 10, 1975Jun 29, 1976Schultz Gerhard LCargo container
US5527103 *Oct 1, 1993Jun 18, 1996Pittman; CharlesCabinet of improved design and construction
US5529199 *Feb 22, 1995Jun 25, 1996Foster; HensleyContainer capable of disassembly into an integral unit following use
US5642830 *Jun 21, 1996Jul 1, 1997Badger Case, Inc.Collapsible container with latch mechanism
US20120279155 *Nov 8, 2012Samy MortreuilMethod, Kit and Armature for Assembling a Plurality of Slabs into a Decorative Bin, Cachepot, or the Likes
EP0212097A1 *Jun 3, 1986Mar 4, 1987Rainer BischoffMobile container system
Classifications
U.S. Classification217/65, 217/12.00R
International ClassificationB65D88/00, B65D88/52
Cooperative ClassificationB65D88/528
European ClassificationB65D88/52C1