US 2756082 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 24, 1956 J. PUCCI 2,756,082
EXTENSIBLE BRACE Filed April 2. 1952 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. I 8
AZA a A United States Patent EXTENSIBLE BRACE Joseph Pucci, Philadelphia, Pa., assignor to P. B. R. Manufacturing Co., Philadelphia, Pa., a partnership, composed of Isadore B. Rachrnan and Sidney Bobb Application April 2, 1952, Serial No. 280,043
Claims. (Cl. 287-58) The present invention relates to braces or the like for supporting or steadying a movable member and more particularly to self-locking, extensible braces for releasably supporting or steadying pivotally-mounted members, such as furniture legs, doors, windows, shelves, step-ladders, etc.
It is common practice to provide fcldable table-legs and other pivotally-mounted members with braces for locking and steadying them in predetermined annular relationship to the table-top or other surface, the braces being either articulated or telescopically extensible to permit movement of the members to and from the locked position.
An object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved self-locking extensible brace. Another object of the present invention is to provide a brace which is simple and inexpensive to manufacture, long-lasting and effective in operation, and capable of providing positive, self-locking, easily releasable support for a hinged member or the like, in any one of a plurality of pivotally-spaced positions.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention are apparent in the following detailed description, appended claims and accompanying drawings.
For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there are shown in the accompanying drawings forms thereof which are presently preferred and which have been found in practice to give satisfactory results. It is to be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown and that the several parts and elements can be variously arranged and organized, without departing from the spirit or essential attributes of the invention.
Referring to the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters indicate like parts throughout:
Figure l is a perspective view of a table having foldable legs provided with self-locking, extensible braces embodying the present invention.
Figure 2 is a fragmentary vertical cross-sectional view, taken generally along the line 22 of Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is a view generally like that of Fig. 2, but showing the leg-member and brace in the process of being closed.
Figure 4 is a view generally like those of Figs. 2 and 3 but showing the leg-member and brace in fully closed position.
Figure 5 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along the line 5-5 of Fig. 2.
Figure 6 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along the line 6-6 of Fig. 3.
Figure 7 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along the line 7--7 of Fig. 3.
Figure 8 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along the line 8--8 of Fig. 3.
Figure9 is a cross-sectional view taken generally along the line 99 of Fig. 3.
Figure 10 is a view, partly in elevation and partly in cross-section showing, in open position, a casement win- Patented July 24, 1956 ice dow with the sash locked in open position, by means of a self-locking extensible brace forming another embodiment of the present invention.
Figure 11 is a view generally like that of Fig. 10, but showing the sash locked in another, partly open, position.
Figure 12 is a view generally like those of Figs. 10 and 11, but showing the sash locked in fully closed position.
In Figs. 1-9, there is shown a banquet table having folding-legs equipped with self-locking extensible braces embodying the present invention.
The table includes a top 20, integrally formed of sheetmetal or the like, which is generally rectangular and some-v what elongated in configuration, and which is provided with depending apron or skirt portions 21 along its longitudinal or side edges; the lowermost free edges of the skirt portions 21 being formed with small, inwardly-extending flanges 22. Similar apron or skirt portions 23, having inwardly-extending flanges 24, are formed at the shorter ends of the top and extend transversely intermediate the side skirt portions 21; the flanges 24 underlying the flanges 22 at their ends and being fastened thereto by rivets 25, so as to form a more or less continuous, enclosed, peripheral skirt or apron depending from the top 20, as shown in Fig. 1. Of course, the table is shown, in Fig. l, as turned upside-down in preparation for closing the fold- 1 able leg-members to be hereinafter described; it being understood that, in use, the table will be turned degrees from the position of Fig. l, with the leg-members and the apron or skirt portions extending downwardly from the top.
A plurality (for example, three) of longitudinally-extending, transversely-spaced reinforcing or stilfening members 26, of sheet-metal or the like bent into flanged, U-shaped channel configuration, are secured (for example, by spot-welding) to the underside of the top 20, running from one to the other of the end skirt portions 23, so as to impart the necessary strength and rigidity to the sheetmetal top 20.
A pair of transversely-extending stiffening members 27 of sheet-metal or the like, also bent into flanged, U-shaped channel configuration, extend intermediate the side skirt portions 21, somewhat inward of the two ends of the top 20; the flanges of the transverse stiffening-members 27 being spot-welded to the contiguous horizontal surfaces of the longitudinally-extending stiffening members 26 and having their ends bent into parallel, touching relationship to the side skirt portions 21 and fastened thereto by rivets 28.
Another pair of transversely-extending stiffening-members 29, identical with the stiffening-members 27, are disposed adjacent to, and on either side of the transverse center-line of the top 20, with their flanges spot-welded to the contiguous surfaces of the stiffening-members 26 and fastened, at their ends, to the side skirt portions 21 by rivets 28, in the same manner as described hereinabove in connection with the stiffening-members 27.
The table is provided with a pair of generally H-shaped leg-members 30, each having two vertical tubular legs 31 connected by a transverse, horizontal tubular member 32. The upper end of each leg 31 is pivotally mounted, by a pin 33, intermediate a pair of spaced, apertured lugs 34, struck out of, and bent at right angles to, the normallylowermost (but uppermost in Fig. 1) horizontal wall 27-a of one of the stiffening-members 27, so that the leg-members can be positioned either in the vertical, open position shown in Figs. 1 and 2 or in the horizontal, closed position shown in Fig. 4.
Each leg-member 30 is provided with a pair of selfend of each arm 36 is hingedly connected to a leg 31 by a pin 38, at a point spaced appreciably from the pivot-pm 33. The opposite end of each arm 37 is hingedly connected to a lug 35 struck out of, and-bent at right angles to, the normally lowermost (but uppermost Lin l) horizontal wall 29(I of one of the stiffening-members 2?, by a pin 40.
A C-shaped collar or clip 45. is. fastened .to the other end of the arm 36 by a projection 42. formed in the arm and fitting tightly into an opening 43 formed in the continuous wall of the collar; the collar 4i being bent to overlie and enclose the adjoining portion or the arm 37.
A similar C-shaped collar or clip 44 is fastened to the arm 37 at the end opposite that hinged to the lug 39., by means of a projection 45 formed in the arm .37 and fitting tightly into an opening 46 formed in the continuous wall of the collar; the collar 44 being bent (oppositely to the collar 4i) so as to overlie and enclose, the adjoining portion of the arm 36.
As can be seen in Figs. 2-9, the collars 41 and 4-4 serve to maintain the arms 36 and 37 in partly-overlapped, sideby-side, slidingly-ertensible relationship, the fullyexiended position of the arms being shown in Fig. 2, the fully-contracted position being shown in Fig. 4, and an intermediate position being shown in Fig. 3.
As best shown in Figs. 3 and 6, a notch 47 is formed it the normally upper (but lower, in the drawings) edge of the arm 36; the notch being defined by a wall 48 normal or perpendicular to said edge, a bottom wall t9 generally parallel to said edge and a Wall 50 forming obtuse angles with the bottom wall 49 and with said edge. The notch 47 is disposed closely adjacent the collar 41, with the Wall 48 virtually coplanar with the inner edge of the continuous wall of the collar and the inclined wall 50 slightly further away from the collar, as indicated in Fig. 3.
A similar notch 51 is formed in the normally upper edge of the arm 37; the notch 51 being defined by a perpendicular wall 52, virtually coplanar with the inner edge of the continuous wall of the collar 44, a bottom wall 53, and an inclined wall 54.
The arm 37 is provided with another notch 51-0, identical with the notch 51 except that it is formed in the normally upper edge spaced slightly inward from the pin 40, with the inclined wall of the notch nearer the pin.
Encircling the arms 36 and 37 intermediate the collars 41 and 44, is a locking-member 55, consisting of a metal plate extending vertically beyond the arms 36 and 37' and bent at its normally lower end to provide a shoulder or push surface 56. An elongated opening 57 is formed in the plate, the arms 36 and 37 being adapted to extend therethrough with a snug, sliding fit, laterally, but with a substantial vertical clearance. A helical spring 58 is positioned within the normally lower (but upper, in the drawings) part of the opening 57, with its lower end seated on a small projection 59 and with its upper end bearing against the lower edges of the arms 36 and 37, so as to tension the locking-member 55 downwardly relative to the arms 36 and 37, with the upper horizontal edge 60 of the opening 57 resiliently urged against the upper edges of the arms.
The locking-member 55 is positioned in abutting relationship with the collar 41, a small projection 61 formed in the arm 36 preventing longitudinal shifting of the locking-member away from the collar, While permitting vertical movement thereof. In this position, the locking edge 60 is in alignment with. the notch 47. g
The extensible braces are so dimensioned and connected with reference to the leg-members, that, when the legmembers are in the vertical, fully-open posit-ion shown in Figs. 1 and 2, the arms 36 and 37 are in their maximumextended position, wherein the collar 44 is in abutting relationship to the locking-member 55 and the notch 51 is in alignment with the notch 47, enabling the spring 58 to move the locking-member 55 downward (upward in the 4 drawings) until its locking-edge 6i enters the aligned notches and seats against the opposed inclined walls and 54, as shown in Figs. 2 and 5.
It is evident that, with the locking-member in the position described above (i. e., with the locking-edge 60 extending within the aligned notches and seated against the inclined walls 5-0 and 54), the arms 36 and 3'7 are securely locked against relative movement and are maintained in their full-extended position, corresponding to the open position of the leg-members. if necessary, the adjoining edges of the collars 41 24 may be notched to accommodate the spring 58 (in the event the diameter of the spring is greater than the thickness of the locking-meniber).
However, when the shoulder 56 of the locking-member is pushed manually, it is shifted to the position shown in dash-dot lines in Fig. 5, so as to raise the locking-edge 60 beyond and outside of the notches 47 and 51, and to enable the arm 36 to move (toward the right in Fig. 2) to the intermediate position shown in Fig. 3, when the legmember is shifted manually (clockwise in Fig. 2) from the vertical, open position, toward the horizontal, closed position. in the intermediate position of Fig. 3, the loclo ing-member is maintained in the position to which it was manually shifted, as described above, since it is no longer in alignment with the notch 51, so that the locking edge 6%) is held in retracted position by the edge of the arm 36, as shown in Fig. 6.
As the leg-member is further rotated to the horizontal, closed position of Fig. 4, the collar 4-1 and locking-member 55 are shifted along the arm 37 until the notch 47 and locking-edge :55 come into alignment with the second notch 5l-a, whereupon the spring 58 drives the locking-member into locking engagement within the notches 47 and 51-11,
\ apron of the top 29, to facilitate storage of a large number so as to lock the arms 36 and 37 securely in full-contracted position and to hold the legmember positively against shifting from the closed, horizontal position of Fig. 4, wherein it is fully enclosed within the peripheral skirt or locking when notch 47 comes back into alignment with thenotch 51, as described above.
Under certain circumstances, it is possible to eliminate the second notch Sit-a in the arm 37 and to rely simply on frictional restraint to maintain the leg-members in closed position, in the manner described in my co'pending application, Serial No. 280,044, filed April 2, 1952, which has matured into Patent 2,665,181 on January 5, 1954.
. The provision of the inclined notch walls 50 and 54 compensates for wear of the locking edge 64] and ensures firm locking, without looseness or play, since, as the locking edge wears slightly, it simply seats itself somewhat further down within the aligned notches, wherein the inclined walls 50 and 54. are closer together. In other words, there is always direct metal-to-metal contact between the locking edge and the notch walls, ensuring rigid locking action, despite appreciable wear of the metal surfaces.
It can readily be seen that the novel self-locking extensible brace of the present invention operates in an entirely new and unique manner to provide positive, selflocking yet readily releasable, support for foldable tablelegs or the like.
In Figs. l0l2, there is shown a modified form of the Connecting the sash to the frame is an extensible, selflocking brace 65 which is identical with the brace 35 described above, except in two respects.
Firstly, the locking-member 66, instead of having a push shoulder formed at the end opposite that containing the locking edge, is provided with a pull-handle 67 swivelably connected within a hole formed in the lockingmember adjacent the end containing the locking edge 60, so that a pull, rather than a pushing action, is needed to release the locking-member from within the aligned notches.
Secondly, the arm 37, in addition to the notches 51 and 51-a, is provided with an intermediate notch 51-b, so that the sash 63 can be releasably locked in the fullopen position, shown in Fig. 10, or in the halfopen position, shown in Fig. 11, or in the full-closed position, shown in Fig. 12.
The swivelable mounting of the pull-handle 67 permits it to be used to shift the arm 36 relative to the arm 37, if desired, in addition to its principal function of eifecting release of the locking-member.
It is obvious that any number of additional notches could be provided on the arm 37 so as to enable the sash to be locked in various other partly-open positions.
The embodiment of Figs. -12 could be used equally eflectively on doors, trap-doors, skylights, transoms, etc.
Under certain circumstances, it is possible to eliminate the projection 61 described above for maintaining the locking-member in alignment with one of the locking notches.
Thus, where each of the arms contains only a single notch disposed adjacent the inner edge of the C-shaped collar, as mentioned hereinabove and as more fully described in my co-pending application Serial No. 280,044, filed April 2, 1952, which has matured into Patent 2,665,- 181 on January 5, 1954, the projection 61 is unnecessary, since the locking-member is automatically brought into alignment with the notches by the inner edges of the C- shaped collars as the arms are moved to their fully extended locking position, as can be seen in Fig. 2. However, where there are two or more different locking positions, the projection 61 is desirable to keep the lockingmember in alignment with one of the notches, as indicated in Figs. 4, 11 and 12.
The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms and, accordingly, the foregoing embodiments are to be considered merely as illustrative and not restrictive, reference being made to the appended claims, rather than to the above specification, as indicating the scope of the invention. 1
I claim as my invention and desire to protect by Letters Patent the following:
1. A self-locking extensible brace comprising first and second thin flat elongated arms held in side-by-side extensibly slidable relationship by a pair of connecting collars, one collar being secured at an end of the first arm and overlying the second arm portion adjacent thereto, the other collar being secured to the opposite end of the second arm and overlying the first arm portion adjacent thereto, and a locking-member mounted on the overlapped parts of the two arms, said locking-member comprising a thin flat plate having a generally rectangular elongated opening formed therein, the shorter transverse dimension of said elongated opening being just large enough to accommodate the combined thickness of the two side-by-side arms extending therethrough, the longitudinal dimension of said opening being substantially greater than the width of the arms, a compression spring disposed within the opening in said locking-member with one end seated against one of the short end walls of said rectangular opening and the other end bearing against the near edges of the arms so as to tension the opposite short wall of said opening into contact with the far edges of both the side-by-side arms, each arm having at least one locking notch formed on its far edge, pressure of said spring operating to shift said plate transversely of said arms when relative longitudinal movement of the two arms brings the notches on the respective edges into alignment within the plane of said plate, so as to cause the short wall tensioned in contact with the far edges to snap into place within said aligned notches and thereby securely to lock the two arms against relative longitudinal movement in either direction, said plate being manually shiftable against the pressure of its spring so as completely to displace the short wall from both aligned notches and to free the arms for relative longitudinal movement.
2. A construction according to claim 1 wherein each notch is formed by a wall perpendicular to the edge of the arm and by a wall inclined at an obtuse angle to said edge, the inclined walls of the aligned notches forming inwardly converging seating surfaces for the short wall to compensate for wear of the short wall and thereby to ensure a rigid interlock between the arms.
3. A construction according to claim 1 wherein one of the arms has a single locking notch and means on said arm keying the locking member to said arm in alignment with said single notch while being free to move in its right-angular plane.
4. A construction according to claim 1 wherein one of the arms has a single locking notch and means on said arm keying the locking member to said arm in alignment with said single notch while being free to move in its right-angular plane and wherein the other of said arms has at least two longitudinally-spaced locking notches, either of which can be brought selectively into alignment with the locking-member, whereby the brace can be releasably locked in at least two positions of different degrees of extension.
5. A construction according to claim 1 wherein each of the arms has a single locking notch and wherein the |locking-rnember is longitudinally movable relative to both of the arms when in unlocked position.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 136,690 Aufdembrinke Mar. 11, 1873 438,131 Altman Oct. 14, 1890 750,173 Decker Jan. 19, 1904 833,613 Maiser Oct. 16, 1906 1,120,169 Tabor Dec. 8, 1914 1,269,413 Finnigan June 11, 191 8 1,557,402 Bateson Oct. 13, 1925 1,788,102 Gilbert Jan. 6, 1931 FOREIGN PATENTS 15,651 Sweden of 1903 106,507 Switzerland Jan. 16, 1924 115,422 Australia July 9, 1942