US 3263630 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 2, 1966 R. T. CARLSON 3,263,630
FURNITURE FASTENERS Filed April 24, 1964 I NVENTOR.
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A TTOR NE Y 3,263,630 FURNITURE FASTENERS Raymond T. Carlson, Lookout Mountain, Tenn., assigner of one-half to John I. Foster, Jr., Chattanooga, Tenn.
Filed Apr. 24, 1964, Ser. No. 362,516
1 Claim. (Cl. 10S-158) This invention relates to supports for furniture and more particularly relates to novel means for fastening legs or support members to the portion of the furniture to be supported.
Modern marketing practices make it possible to offer furniture for considerably lower prices where the furniture can be disassembled for shipping and warehousing and then reassembled at the point of sale. At the present time this practice is in widespread use but only for the simpler furniture designs. lWhen more sophisticated furniture is involved, such as tables including decorative members or stretchers in addition to the usual legs, the reassembly is of such complexity as to minimize or eliminate the cost -savings sought by the disassembled or knock-down shipping. This'may be explained in `the following manner.
The quickest and most economical way of attaching legs to table tops in the reassembly procedure is through the use of screw-type fittings whereby the table legs are simply screwed to the table top. However, where decorative members or stretchers extend betwen the table legs, the table legs contain apertures for receiving these stretcher-s and, therefore, must be more or less precisely aligned in a rotational manner in order to permit proper mounting of the stretchers. v
While some attempts have been made to permit rotational adjustability of furniture legs, while at the same time preserving screw-type fittings, these attempts have not satisfactorily solved the problem to this date. In certain instances the unsatisfactory nature of such approaches is due to the fact that the assembly involves a trial and error method o f assembly and disassembly until the proper positioning of the legs is secured. This is time consuming and, not only adds to the ultimate cost of the piece of furniture, but .adds to the sales resistance on the part of the retailers. That is to say, the retailers have no desire to be bothered with furniture which is likely to be highly frustrating in reassembly. Other approaches are unsatisfactory in that the range of adjustability is inadequate to meet `the need without the same trial and error approach just discussed. In'still other arrangements, the use of hollow legs is mandatory, and the tightening of the securing screw places a strain on the hollow leg member of such a nature as to tend to split the seam in such leg member. Generally speaking, this pressure is applied by means of a rubber insert which tends to harden with age. Experience has shown that where such connections are used, the rubber tends to shrink so that the joints ultimately become loose and unsatisfactory. According to the present invention, it has now been found that it is possible to achieve all of the advantages of knock-down construction with furniture of sophisticated and complex des-ign utilizing any desired number of decorative members or stretchers. Through the use of the invention it becomes possible to apply the knock-down principle to much higher quality furniture, thereby making such furniture available to the public at considerably reduced prices.
According to the invention, the furniture legs are attached to the furniture top by means of a simple screw j United States Patent O ICC connection which provides rigid attachment while at the same time permitting a large degree of rotational adjustment for easy alignment of the legs to permit proper mounting of the decorative members or stretchers. This permits easy and rapid assembly of the furniture so that its complexity of design is no deterrent to the retailer. Indeed, the possibility of offering such high quality furniture at the reductions in prices provided by the knockdown feature makes furniture utilizing the support arrangement of this invention highly attractive to both retailers and to the purchasing public.
It is accordingly a primary object of the present -invention to provide an improved and unique means of demountably attaching legs to furniture.
It is `another object of the invention to provide an improved means for assembling dem'ountable furniture.
It is another object of the invent-ion to provide improved means for connecting the legs of furniture to the furniture structure by means of a simple screw type connection providing a wide range of rotational leg adjustability.
It is another object of the invention to provide a connecting device for permitting demountable attachment of legs to furniture tops by means of a screw connection `of an adjustable type which is simple and inexpensive and susceptible of being utilized by unskilled labor.
` It is still another object of this invention to provide a unique means for connecting table legs to furniture utilizing low cost stamped mounting elements of a simple nature. j
It is still a further object of the invention to provide a fastening device for attachment of a furniture leg to a table top part whereby the rotational position of the leg is selectively adjustable over .a considerable arc in order to control the final position of the leg.
It is still another object of the invention to provide an improved means for attaching furniture legs to furniture tops whereby the furniture leg is continuously circumferentially adjustable over a large arc to control the final position of the leg with a high degree of precision while at the same time maintaining tight attachment of the leg to the table top.
These and other objects of the invention will become more apparent upon reference to the following specification and claim and appended drawings wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a table of a type whose knock-down construction is made feasible by the present invention;
ment of a leg of the table in FIGURE l to the table top by means `of a fastening constructed according to the invention;
FIGURE 3 is a partial plan view of a mounting plate constructed according to the invention.
FIGURE 4 is a vertical section of a mounting plate constructed according to another embodiment of the invention; and
FIGURE 5 is a plan view of the mounting plate of FIGURE 4.
Referring to FIGURE 1, there is seen a table generally indicated at 10 which is of the so-called coffee table type, having a top 12 and legs 14. The appearance and attractiveness of the table is enhanced by decorative members or stretchers 16 and 18 and decorative members 20 and 22. The rear side of the table is, of course, provided with equivalent decorative members. According `to the invention, the table is demountable so that the legs 14 and decorative members 16, 18, and may be easily and readily detached. The decorative member 22 remains attached to the `table inasmuch as it does not interfere with the knock-down packaging of the entire as- `sernbly.
Referring to FIGURE 2, there is shown the means of attaching the legs 14 to the table top 12 according to the present invention. A dished mounting plate generally indicated at 24 is secured to the underside of the table top 12 by any suitable means, such as, for instance, wood screws 26. Referring to FIGURES 2 and 3, it is seen that the mounting plate 24 comprises a peripheral flange 28, a dished section and a bottom or seat 32. The flange 26 is provided with apertures 34 for receiving the mounting screws 26. While fo-ur apertures are shown, it will be obvious that any appropriate number may be utilized.
The bottom 32 of the mounting plate 24 is centrally apertured at 36 and has mounted therein a leaf spring type locking member generally indicated at 38. This locking member comprises a rectangular body 40 of spring metal having notches 42 cut int-o the ends thereof to receive tabs or fingers 44 struck from the mounting plate 24 to leave slots 46. The tabs 44 pass through the notches 42 in the mounting member 38 and are bent thereover as seen in FIGURE 2 to secure the mounting member in position.
The body 42 of mounting member 38 is provided with parallel cuts 48 (FIGURE 3) which define a pair of upwardly extending fingers terminating in semi-circular cutout ends 52 (FIG. 3). As may be seen in FIGURE 2, the fingers 50 extend upwardly from the body 40 and are adapted to screw threadedly engage a screw S4 which is carried by the leg 14. Where the table is formed of wood, the lower end of the screw 54 may be provided with wood screw threads 56 in order to secure the screw to the leg in a simple and economical manner.
It will be apparent that with the leg 14 attached to the table top 12 by reason of the engagement of the screw 54 'and mounting member 38, a screw type connection can be secured throughout a large rotational angle as the fingers 50 are compressed. The adjustment is completely continuous -in nature as opposed to being incremental.
In assembling the table 10 utilizing the connections of this invention, the four legs 14 yare simply screwed into -the mounting plates 24 by an Iassembler, who need have no knowledge whatsoever of the details of the lconnection concealed within the mounting plate. The assembler simply screws the legs tight and then aligns the holes therein for receiving the decorative members or stretchers 16 and 18. These are then slipped into the holes in legs 14 and the decorative members 20 are similarly mounted in suitable holes in decorative members 18 and 22. The table -is thereupon completely 4assembled in a `simple manner and in a very short period of time.
It will be apparent from FIGURE 2 that the angle of the legs 14 with respect to the tafble top 12 is completely controllable by manufacturing the mounting plate 24 with different angles between the bottom or seat 32 and flange 28. All portions of the mounting plate assembly can be manufactured by a simple and inexpensive stamping process so that the cost of the connection unit is extremely low. In a similar fashion, the screw 54 is very simply attached to the legs 14 by means of its wood screw end 56. The total cost of the entire fastening device is thus relatively nominal. Because of the wide range of continuous adjustability of the legs, furniture of relatively complex design becomes feasible in a knock-down type construction. This provides a considerable reduction in shipping and warehousing problems and permits sale of high quality stylized furniture at lower prices than heretofore possible.
Referring to FIGURES 4 and 5, there i-s shown another embodiment of the invention wherein a mounting plate of even simpler design is utilized. According to this embodiment of the invention, a mounting plate indicated generally at 58 is of a circular nature having an outer fiange 60 and a bottom 62 connected thereto by dished portion 64. Suitable mounting holes 66 may be provided in the flange 60.
Referring to FIGURE 5, a pair of parallel cuts 68 are provided in the tbottom 62 and the strip of metal 70 therebetween is bent upwardly as may be seen in FIGURE 4. A lip and screw threaded opening are provided in the center of the metal portion 70 as indicated at 72.
The method of use of this embodiment of the invention is similar to that illustrated in FIGURES l, 2 and 3. That is to say, the mounting plate 58 is attached to the underside of a table by means of screws passing through the holes 66 in flange 60. A leg such as the leg 14 in FIGURE 2, containing a screw S4, is then engaged in the screw-threaded opening 72 and tightened until the upper surface of the leg engages the bottom 62 of the mounting plate 58. At thi-s point, additional rotation of the leg forms a tight engagement of the leg with the mounting plate and table top but permits continuous adjustment of the leg as the metal strip 70 fleXes under the strain induced by the screw 54.
It is important to note that in both embodiments of the invention, a great deal of resilience is provided so that a large arc of circumferential or rotational adjustment is permitted while still retaining a tight connection between the leg and the table top. In a preferred embodiment of the i-nvention, this arc of adjustment lies between and 360 or more degrees and is fully adequate to permit easy assembly of tables such as that shown in FIGURE 1. Lesser amounts of adjustability are simply not adequate for foolproof reassembly of the furniture.
It will tbe apparent from the foregoing that the device of this invention is simple in construction, capable of manufacture by inexpensive stamping procedures, and susceptible of use by even the most unskilled assemblers who need have no knowledge whatsoever of the nature of the connection. The device makes feasible stylized relatively complex furniture in a knock-down form thereby reducing shipping and warehousing costs and permitting the offering of such furniture at prices markedly below those previously necessary for furniture of equal quality.
While two specific embodiments of flexible screw couplings are shown, it is to be understood that other shapes and arrangements of such couplings are within the purview of the invention, so long as continuous adjustability and a wide angle of adjustment are feasible, and so long as the other previously discussed requirements of the invention are satisfied.
The invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential characteristics thereof. The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claim rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claim are therefore intended to be embraced therein.
What i-s claimed and desired to be secured by United States Letters Patent is:
In a table having a top, demountable legs for supporting said top, decorative stretchers removably positioned within alignable apertures about the circumference of said legs, and fastening means detachably securing said legs to said top, each said fastening means comprising mounting means including a centrally apertured, dished mounting plate having an apertured flange for fixed connection to the underside of said table top, a demountable leg having a fixed screw projecting therefrom, a resilient leaf spring member, fastening means struck from said mounting plate for mounting said resilient leaf spring member therewithin, said resilient leaf spring member having opposed fingers of said resilient spring for axial-tight attachment of said leg to said mounting plate while at the same time 5 permitting circumferential adjustment of said leg to align decorative stretcher apertures formed in adjacent legs and permit insertion of the same thereinto, said circumferential .adjustment of said leg -resulting from a flexing of said opposed fingers under the strain induced by said screw of said leg.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,581,020 4/1926 Russell 108-153 2,482,614 9/ 1949 Flora 287-20 2,535,116 12/1950 Beebe 287-20 X Courtwright 287-20 Wilson 248-188 Heyer 85-36 X Lalandre 248-188 X Luhrs 2484-188 Soltysik 24S- 188 X FOREIGN PATENTS Australia. Great Britain.
FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.
.'. T. MCCALL, Assistant Examiner.