US 3000680 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
pt 19, 1961 H. ZELENKO 3,000,680
FURNITURE Filed Jan. 28, 1959 \z u 20 Ar 6 6 /7 HARRY ZELENKO IN VENTOR.
United States Patent 3,000,680 r ITURE The present invention relates to improvements for furniture, and more particularly for furniture of the type consisting of small interconnected units and commonly referred to as modular furniture.
Illustrative of this type of furniture is a cabinet unit comprised of a vertically stacked arrangement of smaller interconnected cabinet units.
With such a unit, as the need for storage space increases, additional cabinet units can be added to satisfy this need, provided that these added cabinet units are adapted to be readily and easily made a part of the arrangement.
Accordingly, it is one of the prime objects of the present invention toprovide improved means on individual cabinet or similar type units to facilitate integration into a vertically stacked arrangement, and also to provide improved fastening or connecting means for accomplishing this objective.
More specifically, according to the present invention, each cabinet or similar type unit is provided at the factory or place of manufacture with a pair of aligned apertures in its top and bottom sides. These apertures are each partially formed by a through bore. Further, those in the top side are additionally formed by a counterbore in at least the upper end of the said through bore, while those in the bottom side are additionally formed by a counterbore in each of the ends of the said through bore. When put to use by the consumer, the cabinet units are stacked vertically, and the apertures in the top side of the top unit, being exposed to view, are filled with suitable means force fit therein to maintain a neat appearance in the assembled unit. The apertures in the adjacent top and bottom sides of adjacent units, being in vertical registration, are provided with suitable means having a force fit in the vertically aligned through bores to thus clamp these adjacent sides together. In addition, and most important, these said apertures by virtue of being in vertical registration, present a pair of end counterbores in vertical registration in the plane of contact between adjacent units. According to the present invention, the last named clamping means are thus additionally provided with suitable means to fit into these said end counterbores, and as a result prevent sliding movements between the adjacent units.
Thus in the present invention, a modular vertically stacked arrangement of cabinet units is provided, in which each cabinet unit thereof is integrated into the whole not only by means clamping it to a next adjacent unit, but by means preventing movement sidewise relative thereto.
The invention will be better understood when considered in connection with the accompanying specification and drawing forming a part thereof, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a cabinet unit employing the improvements of the present invention and exemplifying the type of furniture to which said improvements are best applied.
FIGURE 2 is an enlarged sectional view illustrating one embodiment of the invention, the same appearing in longitudinal section.
FIGURE 3 is a disassembled view of one of the elements shown in FIGURES 1 and 2.
FIGURE 4 is a disassembled view of the fastener shown in FIGURE 2.
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged sectional view illustrating another embodiment of the invention, the same appearing in longitudinal section.
FIGURE 6 is a disassembled view of one of the elements shown in FIGURE 5.
FIGURE 7 is a disassembled view of the fastener shown in FIGURE 5.
In FIGURE 1, there is shown an integrated or assembled cabinet unit 1 illustrative of the type of furniture to which the improvements of the present invention are applicable. This type of cabinet is commonly referred to as a modular piece of furniture, being comprised of smaller interconnected cabinet units 2, 3 and 4, each having a usual sliding drawer 5 and adapted to be vertically stacked one upon the other. The advantage of this type of furniture is that as the need for additional storage space increases, additional cabinet units, similar to the units 2, 3 and 4 can be added to the vertical arrangement to satisfy this need.
One embodiment The manner in which the cabinet units 2, 3 and 4 are integrated into a whole, and which in addition makes it possible to easily and readily integrate additional cabinet units as the need arises is best seen in FIGURES 2, 3 and 4.
Each of the said cabinet units is provided at the factory or place of manufacture with a pair of spaced apertures 6 in its top side 7 in vertical alignment with a pair of spaced apertures 8 in ts bottom side 9. These apertures 6 and 8 are each partially formed by a through bore 10. Further, in one embodiment of the invention, each aperture 6 in the top side 7 of the units is additionally formed by a counterbore 11 of depth 12 in the upper end of its said through bore 10, While each said aperture in the bottom side 9 is additionally formed by counterbores 13 also of depth 12 in each of the ends of its said through bore 10.
As is most clearly shown in FIGURE 2, when the units are vertically stacked, each aperture 8 in the bottom side 9 of a unit is in vertical registration with an aperture 6 in the top side 7 of a next adjacent superposed unit. Thus, in the plane of contact between adjacent units 2 and 3, as well as in the planes of contact that exist elsewhere in the vertically stacked arrangement, as for example as between the bottom side 9 of unit 3 and the top side 7 of unit 4 (not shown in section), a combined aperture, generally designated 14 is formed, which combined aperture consists of the I shaped previously mentioned aperture 8 in the bottom side 9 of unit 2 in vertical registration with the T shaped previously mentioned aperture 6 in the top side 7 of unit 3.
To clamp together the bottom and top sides of adjacent units and thus integrate or interconnect each unit in the arrangement with its next adjacent unit, use is made of a two member fastener, generally designated 15 and shown in FIGURE 4. In its action of providing a suitable connection between the bottom side 9 of unit 2 and the top side 7 of unit 3, fastener 15 is not unlike presently known compression rivets or fasteners, in that it consists of an outer hollow tubular member 16 and an inner T shaped tubular member =17, of which the latter is adapted to be telescoped into the former and maintained therein by frictional engagement of a force fit. However, unlike presently known compression rivets, the said outer tubul ar member 16 of fastener 15 is additionally provided with 'an annular lateral projection 18 around its medial portion, which projection has a thickness 19 just slightly less than twice the depth 12 of the counterbores 11, 13. The function of annular lateral projection 18 will soon be apparent.
In addition to fasteners 15, use is also made of what is herein referred to as filler members, one of which is shown in FIGURE 3 and designated by the numeral 20. These filler members 20, which in one embodiment consists of T shaped tubular units, are used to fill aper- M ethod of assembly To better understand the manner in which the fasteners 15 function to integrate the individual cabinet units into .a whole, and also how additional cabinet units can be readily added to an existing arrangement, let it be assumed that it is desired to add cabinet unit 2 to an arrangement in which cabinet unit 3 is the top unit. Although not shown, it will be understood from What has been previously stated that the apertures 6 in the top side 7 of unit 3 contain filler members 20, and further that these said members are readily removable from the said aperture by inserting a suitable tool in a bore 21 provided in each, and applying an upward pressure.
After removal of the filler members 20, the member 16 of fastener 15 is then inserted in: an aperture 6 in the top side 7 of the unit 3. The relative dimensions of member 16 and aperture 6 are such that a snug, but not necessarily a force fit is obtained. When properly disposed in aperture 6, the lower extending tubular portion 22 on member 16 extends into the through bore 10 of aperture 6. Further, the annular lateral projection 18 on member 16 fits snugly into the counterbore 11 in the upper end of this said through bore 10. In addition, each member 16 has the upper portion or just slightly less than half the thickness of its annular lateral projection 18 and its upper extending tubular portion 23 extending vertically above the upper surface of the top side 7 of unit 3.
Cabinet unit 2 is then placed flush upon cabinet unit 3 with the upper extending portion 23 of each member 16 extending in a snug fit into each through bore 10 of aperture 8 provided in its bottom side 9, and with the upper portion of each annular lateral projection 18 on member 16 fitting snugly into the lower of the counterbores 13 of these said apertures. The snug fit of the upper and lower extending portions 23 and 22 in the vertically aligned through bores 10 is then intensified into a force fit by telescoping member 17 into the internal through bore 24 of member 16.
Thus, the telescoped members '16 and 17 of fastener 15 provide a secure connection between adjacent units 2 and 3 by reason of their force fit in each other and the force fit of member 16 in the aligned through bores 10 of apertures 6 and 8. Further, because the peripheral end surface 25 of each annular lateral projection 18 on member 16 extends perpendicularly of the surfaces in contact on the units 2 and 3 within the vertically aligned counterbores 11 and 1,3, thissaid annular lateral projection prevents sidewise movement of one unit relative to the other.
Each member 17 of fastener 15, like each filler member 20, is provided with a bore 26, into which a suitable tool may be inserted and pressed upward to force apart the members 16 and 17, should it be desired to disconnect units 2 and 3.
Another embodiment In the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGURES 5, 6 and 7, similar parts are designated by the same but primed reference numerals. The essential dilference between this form of the invention and that previously described is that the I shaped aperture 8', previously provided only in the bottom side 9' of a unit, is now also provided in the top side 7 Thus, all apertures are still partially formed by a through bore 10', and each is now 4 additionally formed by counterbores 13' of depth 12' in each of the ends of the said through bore 10'.
Accordingly, each filler member 20' now consists of the two units 27 and 28, each identical in construction and function to presently known compression rivets and fasteners.
Likewise, members 16' and 17' of fastener 15 in this form of the invention are now identical in construction and function to presently known compression rivets and fasteners. Thus, adjacent bottom and top sides of adjacent units are held together with this form of fastener by the force fit of member 17 in member 16, unaided by any force fit of member 16' in the aligned through bores 10' of the combined aperture 14.
To prevent sidewise movements between adjacent units, an independent annular member 18' is provided which is similar to the annular lateral projection 18 integrally formed on member 16 of previously described fastener 15. This member 18' similarly has a thickness 19' just slightly less than twice the depth 12' of the end counterbores 13' in vertical registration in the plane of contact between adjacent units, and is adapted to fit snugly into these said aligned counterbores to prevent sidewise movementof one unit relative to the other. After member 18' is so positioned, member 16' is then inserted in an upward direction into aperture 8' in the top side 7 of a unit passing through a central aperture 29 in member 18', and member 17 then inserted in a downward direction into aperture 8 in the bottom side of the next adjacent unit and force fit in bore 24 of member 16' to complete the connection between adjacent units.
It will be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the specific construction or arrangement of parts shown, but that they may be Widely modified within the invention defined by the claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In a combination as described a pair of casings superposed so that the bottom wall of the upper casing rests on and is aligned with the top Wall of the bottom casing, said bottom and top Walls having aligned passages counterbored on their adjacent ends to form a radially enlarged chamber and the passageway in the bottom Wall being also counterbored at its other end to form an open recess, and means for laterally locking said casings in said aligned and superposed relation comprising a tubular member lying in and tightly engaging said passages, a disc member surrounding said tubular member andlying in and tightly engaging said chamber, and a headed locking member lying in and tightly engaging said tubular member and said recess, said locking member being in place in looking position by pressure applied axially of and to said headed locking member.
2. In the combination of claim 1, said passage in said top wall also being counterbored at its other end to form a recess and a disc integral with said tubular member lying in said lateral recess.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,254,636 Bargh'ausen Ian. 22, 1918 2,582,553 McMurtrie Jan. 15, 1952 2,676,861 Below Apr. 27, 1954 FOREIGN PATENTS 464,113 France Mar. 13, 1914