US 2811401 A
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Oct. 29, 1957 .1. w. CHANEY VERTICALLY ADJUSTABLE FURNITURE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Aug. 8, 1955 W51. TE/e fmq/vsy,
Oct. 29, 1957 J. w. CHANEY vzancmx ADJUSTABLE FURNITURE 1 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Aug. 8, 1955 INVENTOR. TEE O-lH/VEM fie. .52
United States Patent VERTICALLY ADJUSTABLE FURNITURE John Waiter Chaney, Los Angeles, Calif., assignor to Interstate Engineering Corporation, El Segundo, Calif., a corporation of California Application August 8, 1955, Serial No. 526,880
Claims. (Cl. 311-39) This invention relates to improved vertically adjustable units of furniture, such as tables, desks, and chairs, which in certain respects are especially adapted for use as adjustable height schoolroom furniture.
A major object of the invention is to provide a unit of this type which is adapted to be very easily adjusted between different height conditions, and to be very positively and rigidly retained in any of those different conditions, typically .to allow ready adjustment for use by different size students in a schoolroom. At the same time, the adjusting parts are extremely simple and inexpensive, and yet permanently reliable. Further features of the invention have to do with the formation of the vertically movable portion of such a device, in a manner such that it has maximum rigidity and strength.
structurally, a unit embodying the invention includes one or more leg assemblies each of which comprises a pair of upper and lower telescopically adjustable sections. An outer one of these sections is essentially tubu-. lar, and carries a holding element which is adapted to be tightened by an adjusting screw against a sideof the inner section. This holding element is preferably .retained against rotation with the screw as the screw is adjusted, to thus avoid damaging the surface of the inner section by such rotation. Preferably, the holding element has a non-planar force applying surface whichengages and conforms essentially to an outer surface of the inner section, and which by virtue of such engagement, acts to retain the element against rotation with the screw. The screw may be movably contained within a small tubular projection extending laterally from the outer section of the leg assembly.
To enable the holding element to most effectively retain the leg sections in their different adjusted positions, the leg sections are desirably of a non-circular cross sectional configuration, and have corner positions extending vertically along one of their sides, with the holding element being located at an opposite side of the leg to urge the two corner portions tightly together. Also, the leg sections may have additional corner portions at the location of the holding element itself, with the latter being shaped to engage and conform with the corner of the inner section. In order to allow for the desired corners on the leg sections, both sections of each leg are desirably of essentially square transverse or horizontal section, so that tightening of the holding element against one corner of the square inner section will urge an opposite corner tightly against or into a corner of the outer section. A very positive double wedging action is thus attained, which rigidly holds the inner section against any lateral or other movement relative to the outer section.
An additional feature of the invention resides in the provision of an adjustable structure including, in combination, first means for rigidly locking two telescopic leg sections in an adjusted position, together with additional means for frictionally holding the sections against relative movement even when the locking means are released, but adapted .to be overcome relatively easily to adjust the leg. When the locking means in such an arrangement are released, the sections may be manually adjusted to a desired condition and will frictionally remain in that condition until the locking means can be tightened. The locking means may be the above discussed holding element and screw, while the frictional holding means may be formed by stamping out one or more portions of the wall of one of the leg sections (prefera'bly the inner section) to form fingers for fn'ctionally engaging the inner surface of the other section. Preferably, two such fingers are formed at two adjacent sides of the previously discussed square leg sections.
In order to limit relative vertical adjustment of the leg sections at a point short of complete separation of the sections, the two sections may be provided with a pair of interengageable stop shoulders one of which may take the form of a leaf spring carried at a side of one of the sections (desirably the inner section) with this spring being deflectible to a released position by insertion of a tool through an aperture in the wall of the outer section. Where two leg assemblies are provided in a table structure, the upper sections of the leg assemblies may be rigidly interconnected by a frame member extending horizontally at a location spaced beneath the table or desk top. One or more book compartments may then be mounted vertically between the frame member and the top. a
The above and other features and objects of the present invention will be better understood from the following detailed description of the typical embodiment illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. l is a perspective view of a two-student schoolroom desk embodying the invention;
Fig. 2 is a front elevational view of the Fig. 1 desk;
Fig. 3 is an enlarged vertical section taken primarily on line 3-3 at Fig. 2;
Fig. 4 is a further enlarged horizontal section through one of the leg assemblies taken on line 44 of Fig. 3;
Fig. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical section taken on line 55 of Fig. 4;
Fig. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary exploded perspective view of one of the leg assemblies;
Fig. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary vertical section through the base member of one of the leg assemblies, and
Fig. 8 is a greatly enlarged fragmentary perspective view of the end portions of the two upper and lower telescopic sections of one of the leg assemblies.
The two-student schoolroom desk illustrated in the drawings includes an upper horizontal top panel It) typically of hollow construction, and a pair of spaced vertically extending and vertically adjustable leg assemblies 11 for supporting the top. At its underside, top 19 carries a pair of book compartments 12.
Each of the vertically adjustable leg assemblies 11 includes two vertically extending tubular telescopically inner fitting sections 13 and 14, the latter of which is slidably received about section 13, and is attached to the table top in a manner to be discussed at a later point. The lower and inner section 13 of each leg assembly is connected to a horizontal elongated base member 15, which rests on a suitable floor surface 16. These base portions 15 'of the two leg assemblies areparallel and preferably extend directly transversely of the length of the desk. Bases 15 may be hollow at their underside, being formed of suitably deformed sheet metal, with the lower end of each leg section 13 extending downwardly through an opening 16 in the upper side of the base member, and through an opening 17 in a horizontal piece of metal is welded into the hollow base member. Leg section 13 is then desirably welded to the base memberat 19 and 20.
At the ends of base members which are nearest the student side of the desk, the two base members rigidly carry a pair of feet or glides 21, which may be cup-shaped pieces of sheet metal suitably welded -or brazed to the base members. At the opposite ends of base members 15, these members carry a pair of adjustable foot units 22, having lower disc portions 23 carried by upwardly projecting screw portions 24 which are threadedly and adjustably connected into openings in a pair of plates 25 welded to the interior of the-base members. Each disc 23 may carry a high friction cover member 26, which is typically formed of rubber and is adapted to cover the underside of disc 23 and extend upwardly and then inwardly about its periphery to retain member 26 on the disc. Members 26 retain the desk against movement along the floor surface unless the two adjustable feet are lifted off of that surface. The upper end of each screw member 24 is upset or otherwise enlarged above member 25, to prevent complete removal of the vertically adjustable foot member 2.2 from base member 15.
As best seen in Fig. 4, the two telescopically received sections 13 and 14 of each leg assembly 11 are of closely similar square transverse or horizontal section. The inner section 13 is only slightly smaller than the interior of the outer section 14, to allow for the desired relative vertical adjustment of the two sections. The upper section 14 of each leg assembly is welded to the underside of a horizontal bracket plate 27, which is in turn rigidly attached to the underside of top 10 by a number of screws 28 extending upwardly through openings in plate 27 and connected into the wood of the table top. The connection between each bracket plate 27 and the associated leg section 14 is reinforced by a tubular rigid frame member 29, which is welded at its opposite ends 30 to the underside of bracket plate 27, and which extends downwardly as shown in the drawings between those ends to be welded at an intermediate location 31 to an outer side of the associated leg section 14. At a location spaced beneath the desk top 10, a straight rigid tubular frame member 32 extends horizontally between the two leg sections 14, this frame member 32 being rigidly attached at its opposite ends to the inner sides of leg sections 14, as by welding 33. The two book compartments 12 may be formed of sheet metal deformed to the illustrated shape, and attached along its periphery to the underside of the table top by screws 34. At the student side of the desk, the book compartments 12 of course have openings 35 through which a student has access to the interior of the book compartments. Frame member 32 extends across the underside of the two book compartments.
Figs. 4, 5, 6 and 8 illustrate the unique apparatus which is provided for maintaining the leg assemblies in any desired adjusted condition, and for preventing unwanted complete separation of the two telescopic sections of either leg assembly. For locking the section 14 in any desired vertical position relative to section 13, there is provided an element 36 which is tightenable laterally against a corner of inner section 13 by means of a screw 37 which is actuable by a wrench, screw driver, or other tool receivable within a non-circular recess 38 in the screw. Parts 36 and 37 are contained within a tubular or cylindrical hollow projection 39, whose axis preferably extends directly horizontally and directly diagonally with respect to the square leg sections 13 and 14. Tubular projection 39 is connected into an opening in upper leg section 14 near its lower end, as by welding or brazing at 40. Element 36 has a cylindrical peripheral surface 41 of a diameter slightly less than the internal diameter of tubular projection 39, so that element 36 is effectively guided for horizontal sliding movement within projection 39. Screw 37 threadedly engages internal threads 42 formed within the outer portion of projection 39, so that the screw may tighten element 36 toward and away from leg section 13. Threads 42 preferably extend radially inwardly beyond the diameter of element 36, to thus retain element 36 within projection 39 even though screw 37 may be removed.
At its inner end, element 36 has two perpendicular vertically extending surfaces 43, which form a V-shaped notch or recess conforming substantially exactly to the engaged corner portion of inner leg section 13. Thus, tightening of screw 37 inwardly against element 36 acts to tighten the latter against one corner. of leg section 13, to in turn tighten the opposite corner 44 of leg section 13 against the outer leg section 14. This double wedging arrangement acts to very tightly secure the two sections 13 and 14 in any desired adjusted positions, with the leg sections being released for relative vertical adjustment by loosening of screw 37. Also, the shaping of element 36 to conform to the engaged corner of leg section 13 prevents marring of the outer surface of leg section '13 such as would result if screw 37 directly engaged the leg section. More particularly, the conformance of element 36 to the corner of the leg section prevents marring both because it results in engagement of element 36 with the leg section over an extended area, and because it prevents rotation of element 36 with screw 37 and relative to the engaged leg section.
Even when screws 37 and elements 36 are loosened, it is desirable that the leg sections 13 and 14 be frictionably held in the particular relative positions to which they are set, to facilitate maintenance of the leg sections in those positions while screws 37 are being tightened. For this purpose, the wall of each inner leg section 13 is longitudinally slit and deformed to form a pair of resilient fingers 45 for frictionally engaging the inner surface of leg section'14. In particular, there are formed on two adjacent sides of leg sections 13 (and near a corner 46), two pairs of parallel slits 47 extending directly downwardly at spaced locations from the upper edge of leg section 13. The two fingers 45 are then the portions of the walls of section 13 which are between the two pairs of slits 45. These fingers 45 are of course integral with the wall of section 13 at their lower ends, and are deformed laterally outwardly to frictionally engage the two adjacent sides of upper leg section 14. These fingers 45 are somewhat resilient, and resiliently bear outwardly against section 14, to thus afford the desired frictional means for retaining sections 13 and 14 in any set position. This frictional retaining force is sufficiently great to hold the top in any adjusted position in spite of the tendency of the top to move downwardly by virtue of its weight, and yet the frictional force is sufficiently small that a person may easily overcome that force to adjust sections 14 and the top upwardly and downwardly relative to sections 13, the sections then being retained frictionally in their set positions until the operator has the opportunity to tighten screws 37 for positively locking the leg assemblies in that position.
At a side opposite one of the fingers 45, the side wall of'each leg section 13 may carry a leaf spring 48, which is suitably attached near its upper end to the leg section, as by welding at 148, and whose lower end 49 normally tends to project angularly outwardly (see Fig. 5) to form. a transverse shoulder adapted to engage a transverse shoulder 50 on outer leg section 14, for positively limiting its upward movement relative to section 13. Shoulder 50 on section 14 is formed by cutting the side wall of section 14 in a horizontal plane at the location of shoulder 50, and then deforming outwardly the material of the side wall which is above the cut. The upwardly facing edge formed by the out then forms the desired shoulder 50.
When section 14 is moved downwardly, finger 48 is deflected inwardly by the side wall of section 14, and remains in an inwardly deflected position until section 14 is again raised to a position in which its portion 49 is opposite portion 53 of section 14. The outwardly deflectedportion 53 of section 14, and shoulder 50 on section 14,v areboth of a width slightly greater than finger '48; Extending upwardly from thelower edge 54 of outwardly deflected portion 53 of section 14, this portion 53 contains an aperture 55, through which a screw driver or other tool may be inserted against portion 49 of element 48, to push that element inwardly (to the right as seen in Fig. 5), to thereby release element 48 and allow complete upward separation of leg section 14 from section 13. Each of the sections 13 of the two leg assemblies may have horizontal markings or graduations 56 at spaced locations along its outer side, so that the positioning of the lower edge of section 14 relative to these markings indicates the height of the table top (typically in inches).
To now describe the manner of use of the illustrated desk, this desk has the distinct advantage of being adjustable within a sufliciently wide range to allow its use in classrooms for any age of student, from kindergarten to college. In order to adjust the table, it is necessary merely to loosen the two screws 38, and then raise or lower each of the leg sections 14 relative to the associated section 13, finally tightening screws 37 to permanently retain sections 14 in their adjusted positions. During the adjusting operation, sections 14 are frictionally held in any adjusted position relative to sections 13 by frictional engagement of fingers 45 with sections 14. Also, element 48 positively prevents upward movement of sections 14 beyond a desired range and completely away from sections 13 unless element 48 is purposely pressed inwardly by a tool extending through aperture 55 to allow such complete separation.
The interconnection of upper leg sections 14 by horizontal frame member 32 spaced beneath the table top results in a very rigid desk structure which is strong and rigid in any adjusted position of the leg assemblies. Also, the frame members 29 interconnecting brackets 27 and leg sections 14 add to the rigidity of the overall unit. Adjustable feet 22 allow for slight adjustment of the floor engaging portions of the desk, to compensate for any irregularities in the floor surface. Further, the provision of rubber or other high friction covers 26 on units 22 serves to hold the desk in any set position on the floor surface unless a user purposely lifts the edge 57 to raise units 22 off of the floor surface, in which case the entire desk may be easily slid to a new position on the floor surface by virtue of the small amount of friction offered by low friction glides 21.
1. A vertically adjustable furniture piece comprising an upper member having a generally horizontal support surface, and a vertically extending leg assembly supporting said member, said leg assembly including a pair of upper and lower telescopically adjustable essentially tubular sections an outer one of which is movably disposed about the second and inner section, means for releasably retaining said sections in any of different relative positions, one of said sections having a portion of its side wall cut to form a transverse edge in said wall, and means on the other section engageable with said edge to prevent unwanted complete separation of said sections.
2. A vertically adjustable furniture piece comprising an upper member having a generally horizontal support surface, and a vertically extending leg assembly supporting said member, said leg assembly including a pair of upper and lower telescopically adjustable essentially tubular sections an outer one of which is movably disposed about the second and inner section, means for releasably retaining said sections in any of different relative positions, said outer section having a portion of its side wall cut and deformed away from the inner section to leave a transverse edge in said wall, the other section including a spring finger yieldingly bearing laterally against said one section and engageable with said edge to prevent unwanted complete separation of said sections, said deformed portion of the side wall of said outer section containing an aperture through which a tool may exert inward force against said spring finger to deflect it inwardly to a position for passing said edge and allowing said complete separation of the sections.
3. A vertically adjustable furniture piece comprising an upper member having an upwardly facing support surface, and a vertically adjustable .leg assembly supporting said member, said leg assembly including a pair of upper and lower elongated essentially vertically extending telescopically adjustable sections an outer one of which is essentially tubular and disposed about the second and inner section, a clamping element movably carried by said outer section :at one side of said inner section and tightenable laterally inwardly against said one side of said inner section with resultant tightening of the opposite side of the inner section against the wall of said outer section, and a screw threaded tightening part carried by said outer section for threaded adjustment generally transversely of the outer section at a location to tighten said clamping element against the inner section, said clamping element and said inner section having engaging clamping faces one of which contains a recess within which the other nests in any of different relative vertical settings of the two sections to confine the inner section against lateral movement in any direction at said one side of the sections when said clamping element is tightened, and said two sections having interengaging surfaces at said opposite side of the sections one of which contains a recess within which the other nests in any of different relative vertical settings of the sections to confine the inner section against lateral movement at said oppo site side of the sections.
4. A vertically adjustable furniture piece as recited in claim 3, in which said inner and outer sections are of essentially similar and essentially square horizontal section, said clamping element and said tightening part being carried at a first corner of said square outer section and being tightenable against a corresponding corner of the inner section with resultant tightening of a pair of opposite corners of the sections together, said first mentioned recess being an essentially right angle recess formed in said clamping element and receiving and positioning said corresponding corner of the inner section.
5. A vertically adjustable furniture piece comprising an upper member having an upwardly facing support surface, and a vertically adjustable leg assembly supporting said member, said leg assembly including a pair of upper and lower elongated essentially vertically extending telescopically adjustable sections an outer one of which is essentially tubular and disposed about the second and inner section, a projection carried by said outer section and extending laterally outwardly therefrom, there being a passage extending laterally outwardly from within said outer section and through said projection to the outside of the outer section, a clamping element movably carried by said outer section at one side of said inner section and tightenable laterally inwardly against said one side of said inner section with resultant tightening of the opposite side of the inner section against the wall of said outer section, said clamping element being at least partially received in said passage and being movable therein toward and away from said inner section, and a screw threaded tightening part carried by said projection for threaded adjustment laterally toward and away from the inner section at a location to tighten said clamping element against the inner section, said clamping element having an inner face containing a recess within which said inner section nests in any of different relative vertical settings of the two sections to confine the inner section against lateral movement in any direction at said one side of the sections when said clamping element is tightened, and the wall of said outer section forming a recess at said opposite side of the sections within which said inner section nests in any of different References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Lehman July 26, 1910 8 Bush' May 8, 1917 Meyer Nov. 20, 1917 Brown Apr. 21, 1931 Morgan et a1. Mar. 7, 1950 White Apr. 3, 1951 White Mar. 2, 1954