US 2746538 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
5. J. JOHNSON ET AL 2,746,538
FOLDING DOOR May 22, 1956 Filed Oct. 12, 1955 24 L 51 14 1s 4 1 10 5 k I 30 .5 I 1 5 j 57/ i l I: 32 i F .n 2 w 1 II 1 32 as 4+ 19 T TO/QNE Y5 inches wide,
7 2,746,533; Fornnro noon Samuel J. Johnson, West Chester, and Charles J. Schroeder, Cincinnati, Ohio, assignors to Clopay Corporation, 7 Cincinnati, Ohio, a corporatiou of Maryland Application October 12, 1955, SerialNo. 540,039 4 Claims. (Cl. rise-s4 to engage in the track, rigid and continuous stiffening and mounting strips on each side edge of the curtain and some means for permanently securing to one side of the door jamb the'closed edge of the curtain and releasably securing to the other side of the jamb the open edge of the curtain. Various types of relatively complicated arrangements have also been provided for forming and maintaining vertical folds in the curtain so that the door can be opened smoothly and evenly without forming unsightly bulges.
A serious problem in conventional folding doors of the type just described has been the difficulty of packagingtheassembled structureso that it can be handled readily by the manufacturer, the retailer andthe installer. The continuous edge stiffening strips which are essential in maintaining the rigidity of the door when installed have been a factor which has contributed particularly to this packaging difficulty in that in previous structures it has been impossible to compact an unassembled door into a package shorterthan the overall length of the stiffening strips. 'Another complicating factor has been the difiiculty of folding or compacting the pleat forming structures provided in many types of doors.
Dueprimarily to this packaging difficulty it has been impractical in the past to sell at retail a folding door packagedin a sufliciently small carton or container to enable the purchaser to take home the package, and easily install the door himself. Resultantly, as a general rule, folding doors have been sold primarily by distributors from erected models and have required delivery, and in many cases installation charges all of which greatly increase the total cost to the householder.
The principal object of the presentinvention has been to provide a folding door whichis so designed and constructed that it can readily be'compacted into a relatively small carry home carton only slightly longer than one-half the lengthof the door curtain and only a few This permits the packaged door to be sold in department stores and other retail outlets for installation by the purchaser himself in accordance with simple directions furnished in the package.
Another object has been toprovide a novel means for preforming pleats in the door curtain of a type which permits the curtain and pleat forming means to be compacted for packaging in a very narrow area.
Another objective has been to provide a folding door of extremelysimple yet strong construction which permits thedoor to be sold at a price substantially less than has been conventional in the past.
2,746,538 Patented May 22, 1956 Other objects and advantages will be apparent from the further and more details description of the invention when considered in conjunction with the drawings in which:
Figure 1 is a diagrammatic view illustrating the insertion of the compacted door assembly into a carton which is only slightly longer than one-half the height of the. door curtain and but a few inches wide in each direction.
Figure 2 is afront elevational view of a door assembly representing a preferred embodiment of the invention installed in a door jamb and extended to closed position.
Figure 3 is an enlarged detailed view showing the door handle and portions of the central area of a side edge of the door.
Figure 4 is a sectional view along the line 4-4 of Figure 3. r V
Figure 5 is a sectional view along the line 5-5 of Figure 3. s V 7 Figure 6'is a sectional view along the line 6-6 of Figure 2.
Figure 7 is a fragmentary cross sectional view illustrating a modified form of the invention.
As shown particularly in;Figure 2, the folding door assembly of the invention includes a flexible curtain desig-, nated generally as 10. This curtain is preferably formed from a heavy sheet of vinyl'plastic or some similar material. As illustrated a plurality of vertically extending pleats 11 of substantially equal width are preformed into i the surface of the curtain. These pleats are preferably formed alternately, first on one side of the curtain and then on the other. This prefolding greatly facilitates the later formations of equal width pleats of a generally serpentine configuration as viewed in section. At the upper edge of the curtain, a plurality of pockets 12 are formed by the seams 13, each pocket being delineated at its lower edge by the seam or seal and at its side edgesby the curtain edge or by the preformed pleat lines. Disposed in each pocket is a flat spacer plate 14 preferably of fiber,
16 extended upwardly from the curtain. If desired, the
shank portions of the travellers may be secured to the plates through apertures in the face of the pockets This construction assists in maintaining the plates in the desired spaced apart relationship. The slide buttons are mounted in a slot in the track 17 which is also of conventional.- configuration. This track is mounted in the upper edge of the door jamb by screws or the like. f
At the bottom of the curtain similar pockets 18 arev formed by the seam or seal 19 and the preformed pleat lines 11. Heavy plates 20 which are preferably made of,
metal are positioned in each of these lower pockets.
Each plate is spaced equidistant from the edge ofti'reh, curtain with its corresponding upper plate. 1 Accordingly, when the door is hung, the plates being spaced slightly. from one another laterally and separated by the preformed pleat lines effectively maintain the pleats .as formed. The weight of the lowerplates causes the door to hang evenly, and removes any folds or wrinkles that.
may be formedby opening or closing the door.' If
desired the plates 20 may beinstalled in pockets whichh are spaced upwardly from the lower edge of the door so that the lower edge may be trimmed'to fit door openings which are less than standard height.
At the right edgev of the curtain as shown in Figure 2," a vertical pocket 21 is formed extending from the top to the bottom of the curtain! In this pocket ispositioned, a pair; of stiffening slats 22 (shown only inYFigure 6). i
The upper ofthese slats'extends preferably from the top of the curtain to a point just above the center of the curtain, and the lower slat extends preferably from a point just below the lower end of the upper slat to a point adjacent to the lower edge of the curtain. The curtain is permanently secured to the door jamb 23 on the right by attachment means such as screws 24 inserted throughthe slats and into the jamb. This is illustrated in Figure 6.
The left side edge of the curtain as shown in Figure 2 has a similar pocket 25 into which similar slats 26 and 27 are inserted. If desired these'slats may be secured to the curtain as by grommets 28. The lower edge of the upper slat is spaced from the upper edge of the lower slat a distance which is somewhat less than the height of the handle 30. As shown particularly in Figure 3, the handle member 30 has its upper portion secured by an attachment member 31 to the upper slat 26 and its lower portion secured by the attachment member 32 to the lower slat 27. This arrangement forms what is in effect a continuous rigid stiffening slat along the entire edge of the curtain when the door is in assembled condition.
While the particular handle member 39 shown constitutes only a preferred form of the invention, the details of its construction are illustrated in Figure 5; As there shown, the edge of the curtain is inserted into the slot 33 in the handle before the stiffening slat is secured in the manner previously described. Extensions 3434 are formed one on each side of the handle for grasping with the hand to open and close. An aperture 35 is formed in the front nose 36 of the handle, and this aperture is adapted to engage the expansible attachment member 37 secured to the left-hand doorjamb 38.
The erection of the door is extremely simple and has already'been substantially described. After the track 17' has been mounted in the upper edge of the door jamb, the handle 30 is attached in the manner indicated, the travellers are positioned in the track, and the right side of the curtain is secured to the right-hand door jamb 23. Thereafter, the expansible attachment member 37 is mounted in its proper position on the left-hand door jamb and the door is ready for operation. If desired, the position of the door can be reversed and it can be opened from the, right instead of the left.
From the ensuing description it will be apparent that the entire assembly can be quickly and easily disposed in a container for shipping and display. When removed from the track, the curtain itself can be quickly folded along the pleat lines and since the metal plates are in each case smaller than the pockets delineated by these lines, they assist in the folding. Since the stiffening slats on each side are in each case shorter than one-half the extended length of the 'curtain, they can readily be packaged with the curtain. The track being also less than one-half the length of the curtain constitutes no packaging problem. Figure l diagrammatically illustrates the insertion of the disassembled parts compacted as a unit 40 into an appropriate carton 41.
It will be appreciated that the invention is not limited to a single door but that they may be employed in pairs for larger openings. In such an installation, the two doors are secured respectively to the jambs at opposite sides of the door opening and they are pulled toward one another to meet in the center in order to close the opening.
While in the embodiment shown the stiffening slats are of a length which is less than one-half the height of the door and this is the optimum length for packaging purposes, it is entirely feasible to utilize slats of different lengths provided, of course, that the adjoining ends are rigidified or bridged in the manner previously described. In this event the minimum length of the package will be the length of the longer one of the two slats.
Additionally, it will be appreciated that the same bridging effect can be obtained between the two-adjoining ends of the stiffening slats at the handle side of the door by providing a telescoping slide bar such as the one designated 42 in Figure 7. In this instance, the slide bar is telescopingly received in the end of one edge stiffener slat 43 and it may be slid into an extended position to be received in the hollow end of a second slat 44. For simpliflcation of construction, the two slats may be made of tubular metal which is'generally rectangular in cross section. To facilitate the sliding of the bar to bridge the gap between the two stiffeners a small finger tab 45 may be employed, this tab extending at right angles from the slide bar out through a slit 46 in the door material. The small tab preferably is located so that it is covered when the handle 30 is installed. The hole shown at 47 below the slide bar is designed to receive the lower one 33 of the two handle attachment members. Hence, with the handle in place the slide bar is prevented from becoming disengaged from the slat 44.
Another way of accomplishing the same end is to provide two slat members which have adjoining ends arranged to telescope one within the other. In this instance, the lower one of the two slats may be installed in place in the hem at the side of the door for packaging purposes and then the upper slat, which is sufliciently long to be socketed into the upper end of the lower slat, may be slipped into place just prior to the hanging of the door. In any event, the door may be folded into a compact carry-home bundle which is of such a size that it may be handled with ease.
While the construction described is a simple one, it provides a strong and attractive looking door which can be manufactured at a price substantially less than competitive articles. Additionally, the erection is well within the capabilites of the average householder.
Having fully described our invention, we claim:
1. In a folding door including a flexible curtain for spanning a framed opening, a track adapted to be mounted on the upper edge of the frame, travellers mounted on the upper edge of the curtain and adapted to engage in the track, means on one side edge of the curtain for securing said edge permanently to a side of the frame, a vertical pocket formed in the opposed side edge of the curtain, a pair of stiffening slats disposed in said pocket with their inner ends spaced apart, a rigid handle secured to each of said slats and spanning the opening between them, whereby said slats and handle form a continuous stiifening member extending along the entire side edge of the curtain.
2. In a folding door including a flexible curtain for spanning an opening, said curtain having a vertical pocket extending along each one of the two opposite side edges thereof, a pair of slats disposed in each pocket in vertical alignment, the total length of each pair of slats being less than the overall height of the curtain whereby the adjacent ends of the slats of each pair may be spaced apart to permit the curtain to be folded double for packaging, rigid means to bridge the space between adjacent ends of at least one of said pairs of slats, and means fastening said rigid means to portions of adjacent ends of the respective slats through the curtain material whereby the slats and said rigid means form a continuous stiffening member for one of the edges of said curtain.
3. In a folding door, including a flexible curtain for spanning an opening, said curtain having a vertical pocket extending along one of the side edges thereof, a handle member, a pair of elongated, narrow, stiffening members residing in said vertical pocket in vertical alignment with respect to one another, and means fastening said handle to the respective vertical stiifener members adjacent to their respective inner ends said fastening means extending through the material of the curtain and into contact with the respective vertical stilfeners, whereby the adjacent ends of said stiffeners are secured with respect to one another and to the handle to provide. a continuous door rigidifying edge for the curtain at the handle side thereof.
4. A folding door comprising a readily flexible curtain which is of a size to span a door opening, means at 5 the top of the curtain for slidably engaging an overhea track, pleat defining means at the top and bottom only of the curtain to cause the curtain to form into a plurality of vertical pleats of substantially the same size upon the folding of the curtain accordion-wise, means at one of the vertical side edges of the curtain for securing said edge to a vertical jamb member of a door, a narrow pocket extending vertically substantially the full height 1 of the opposite side edge of the door, a pair of upper andYlower elongated, narrow curtain stiffening members disposed in said pocket in vertical alignment with respect to one another, rigid handle means embracing the opposite sides of said vertical pocket coextensive with a portion of the upper end of the lower vertical stifiiening member and coextensive with a portion of the lower end of the 15 2,687,170
- respective vertical stiffening members, whereby the handle and the respective vertical stiffening members are secured together to provide a rigid edge for the curtain at the 2,538,429 schantz Ian. 16, 1951 2,667,218 Collins Jan. 26, 1954 handle side of the door.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Johnson s Aug. 24, 1954