US 3411823 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 19, 1968 R. c; BUE 3,411,823
SEAT MOUNTING STRUCTURE Filed June 14, 1967 INVENTOR.
. R/CHARO Cf .BUE
FIG-6 QZMGJM ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,411,823 SEAT MOUNTING STRUCTURE Richard C. Bue, Minneapolis, Minn., assignor to Sico Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minn., a corporation of Minnesota Filed June 14, 1967, Ser. No. 646,095 6 Claims. (Cl. 297-349) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An improved seating structure especially adapted for use in combination table and seat structures wherein a plurality of seats are each supported by a single leg member that is also attached to the table to provide support therefor. Disclosed herein is an upwardly and outwardly flaring seat supporting member rotatably mounted on an upper portion of the leg member to provide support for the entire periphery of a seat mounted thereon. Also supported by the seat supporting member and the leg member is an L-shaped backrest support member.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the invention.This invention relates generally to the field of seating structures, and more particularly relates to an improved seating structure for use in combination table and seat structures.
Description of the prior art.Although other uses are contemplated for the seating structure disclosed herein, it is particularly adapted for use in a folding combination table and seat structure of the type disclosed in the K. H. Wilson Patent 3,055,705 that issued September 25, 1962. In the Wilson patent, a folding table is disclosed having a plurality of individual seating elements mounted around the periphery thereof. Each seat is supported by a single leg member that also supports the folding table. In the Wilson patent, each of the seating elements, including the associated backrest, is provided with a mounting plate attached to the bottom of the seat. Extending downwardly from the mounting plate is a socket element adapted to receivethe upper end of the leg member. In this prior art structure, the entire weight placed upon the seat or on the backrest is supported by the mounting plate and socket element assembly. Since the socket element is attached to the mounting plate at its center, a large amount of stress is placed upon this attachment point when the load on the seat or backrest is not evenly distributed. For example, a large person seated on the assembly when leaning against the backrest in the normal manner, will apply a tremendous amount of torque to the seating assembly, which will tend to break the connection between the mounting plate and socket element if any weakness exists in that area.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is designed to more evenly distribute the load on the seat and backrest assembly so that no single area is subjected to unduly high stresses. To accomplish this more even load distribution, an upwardly and outwardly flaring seat supporting member is rotatably mounted on the upper portion of the leg member. The seat is securely attached around its entire periphery to the seat supporting member to achieve a more even load distribution. The backrest member is also carried by the seat suppoting member and leg member so that an excess amount of torque is not applied to any one area of the assembly.
3,411,823 Patented Nov. 19, 1968 BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING Referring to the drawing, wherein like characters indicate like parts throughout the figures:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of my invention;
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary top plan view of the left side of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view as seen from the line 33 of FIG. 2, some parts being broken away;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along line 44 of FIG. 3 on a reduced scale;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along line 5--5 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the foot construction of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 7 is a bottom plan view as seen from the line 7--7 of FIG. 6.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings wherein like reference numerals are used throughout the several views to indicate like parts, there is disclosed in FIG. 1 an end view of a folding combination table and seat structure similar to that disclosed in the Wilson Patent 3,055,705. A table top 10 is supported by a frame structure, designated generally by the numeral 11. Frame structure 11 includes a folding mechanism designated generally as 12, a plurality of upright support members 13 and a plurality of horizontally extending support members 14. Attached to each end of support member 14 is a seating structure 15. Each seating structure 15 includes a vertically disposed leg member 16. Support member 14 is welded or otherwise attached to leg member 16 so that the plurality of leg members 16 support the table as well as the chairs.
Although not important to the present invention, it is noted that frame structure 11 includes a rectangular modesty panel 17 attached to upright support members 13. A similar panel 17 would be attached to the opposite end of the frame 11. It is also noted that horizontal support members 14 are curved as at 14a so that a person seated on a seating structure 15 need not straddle support member 14. t p
Leg member 16 of seating structure 15 includes an upper end portion and a lower end portion 16b. Mounted on upper end portion 16a is a sleeve member 20. In the preferred embodiment, leg member 16 is a tubular member having a generally circular cross section. Sleeve member 20 is provided with an axial opening having a circular cross section with the diameter thereof being slightly larger than the diameter of leg member 16. Sleeve member 20 is secured to upper end portion 160 by means. of a mounting pin 21 extending through corresponding horizontal openings formed in sleeve member 20 and leg member 16. Sleeve member 20 is thus fixedly secured to leg member 16.
Mounted on sleeve member 20 is an upwardly and outwardly flaring seat supporting member 22. Seat supporting member 22 has agenerally tubular bearing portion 22a positioned over sleeve member 20 for rotation with respect thereto. Curving upwardly and outwardly from the entire, periphery of bearing portion 22a are side walls 22b. Side walls 22b terminate in a generally horizontal circular seat supporting portion 22c.
Formed in the lower edge of tubular bearing portion 22a are a pair of oppositely disposed grooves 23. As best shown in FIG. 5, mounting pin 21 extends from both sides of sleeve member 20 so that its opposite ends can serve as a support for seat supporting member .22. Thus, grooves 23 are normally positioned over the opposite ends of mounting pin 21 as shown in FIG. 3. With grooves 23 positioned over mounting pin 21, seat supporting member 22 cannot be rotated with respect to sleeve member 20, thus providing a normal or preferred seating position for seating structure 15.
Sleeve member is longer than tubular bearing portion 22a so that seat supporting member 22 can be vertically moved with respect thereto. Seat supporting member 22 can thus be raised a sufficient distance to prevent interference between grooves 23 and pin 21 so that seat supporting member 22 can be rotated with respect to sleeve member 20. The raised or higher position of seat supporting member 22 is shown in phantom in FIG. 5. Seat supporting member 22 can thus be raised and rotated so that the ungrooved lower edges of bearing member 22a rest on mounting pin 21.
To limit the distance that seat supporting member 22 can be raised with respect to sleeve member 20, sleeve member 20 is provided with a laterally outwardly extending ridge 20a formed adjacent the upper end thereof. Tubular bearing member 22a thus engages ridge 20a to limit the upward movement of seat supporting member 22. Sleeve member 20 also extends below seat supporting member 22 and is provided with a lower laterally outward extending ridge 20b, the outer surface of which is curved to conform to the curvature of seat supporting member 22. Ridge 20b serves to increase the strength of sleeve member 20, but does not otherwise serve to support seat supporting member 22. In the preferred embodiment, sleeve member 20 is molded as a single unit from a plastic such as Teflon. Since sleeve member 20 has a laterally extending ridge formed at each end thereof, some means must be provided to insert sleeve member 20 into bearing portion 221: without disrupting ridges 20a or 20b. For this reason, a plurality of relatively short vertical grooves 20c are formed around the upper end of sleeve member 20. Thus, ridges 20a can be depressed inwardly as sleeve member 20 is inserted upwardly through bearing portion 22a. After sleeve member 20' is positioned within bearing portion 22a, leg member 16 is inserted.
Also included in seating structure 15 is a generally L-shaped backrest support member 25 having a first fiat normally horizontally extending portion 25a and a second normally vertically extending portion 25!; attached thereto. Secured to the upper end of vertically extending portion 25b is a backrest 26.
Formed in a sidewall of seat supporting member 22 is a slot 27 adapted to receive first flat portion 25a of backrest support member 25. As best shown in FIG. 3, first flat portion 250 extends through slot 27 across seat supporting member 22 to abut an opposite sidewall thereof. Attached to or formed as a part of the opposite sidewall is an abutment member 28 having a horizontally extending groove 28a formed therein adapted to receive the end of first flat portion 25a. Slot 27 and groove 28a are of the same dimensions as first fiat portion 25a so that no relative movement can occur between backrest member 25 and seat supporting member 22. First flat portion 25a is also provided with an opening 250 therein adapted to receive upper end portion 160 of leg member 16. When leg member 16 is inserted upwardly through opening 25c in backrest support member 25, member 25 is fully locked in its normal backrest supporting position.
Mounted on top of seat supporting member 22 is a seat 30. In the preferred embodiment, seat 30 is formed from a plastic material and has an upper seating portion 30a and a lower portion 30b. Upper portion 30a and lower portion 30b define an open chamber 31 between them that can either be left open or filled with a suitable cushioning material. To secure seat 30 to seat supporting member 22, lower portion 30b is provided with a plurality of inwardly extending bosses 32 each defining an opening into which a threaded metal sleeve 33 is press fitted. Bosses 32 are evenly spaced around the periphery of lower portion 30b. A like plurality of openings are formed in corresponding positions around the periphery of seat supporting portion 220 through which a plurality of metal screws 34 are inserted to engage threaded metal sleeves 33. Thus, seat 30 is securely attached around its entire periphery to seat supporting portion 220 of seat supporting member 22. The load on seat 30 and on backrest member 26 is thus evenly distributed by upwardly and outwardly flaring seat supporting member 22 so that an excess amount of torque is not applied to any one area of the assembly.
Formed in the center of lower portion 30b of seat 30 is a downwardly opening cylindrical cup 30c. Cup 300 extends upwardly into chamber 31, and upper end portion 16a of leg member 16 extends upwardly into cup 30c. The lower edge of the side wall of cup 30c is connected to a downwardly sloping adjacent portion of lower seat portion 30b to form a downwardly extending convex annular ridge 30d that pushes against the upper surface of first flat portion 25a of backrest support member 25. The slight pressure that ridge 30d continually exerts on first flat portion 25a prevents backrest support member 25 from rattling as seating structure 15 is moved.
Attached to lower end portion 16b of leg member 16 is a floor engaging member designated generally as 35. Floor engaging member 35 includes a rubber base member 36 having an upwardly facing opening 37 formed therein adapted to receive and frictionally engage leg member 16. A metal plate or washer 38 is formed into base member 36 at the bottom end of opening 37 to engage the bottom end of leg member 16. Formed in the side walls of opening 37 are a plurality of vertically disposed grooves 37a having a uniform cross section throughout their entire length.
A cap member 39 is also provided having an opening formed therethrough adapted to receive leg member 16. Extending downwardly from the periphery of the opening in cap member 39 are a plurality of vertically disposed key members 40. Key members 40 are attached at their upper ends to cap member 39 and extend downwardly therefrom. Key members 40 are of the same width as the grooves 37a but are thicker at their bottom ends than at their top ends. When cap member 39 is mounted on leg member 16 directly above and in contact with base member 36, key members 40 extend downwardly into grooves 37a, approximately the full length thereof. When leg member 16 is inserted downwardly through the opening in cap member 39 into opening 37 in base member 36, key members 40 are forced outwardly into grooves 37a. The thicker bottom ends of key members 40, being thicker than the depth of grooves 37a, slightly deform rubber base member 36 when leg member 16 is inserted therein. Thus, key members 40 tightly engage grooves 37a to securely fasten cap member 39 and base member 36 together. Cap member 39 is also provided with an outwardly and downwardly flaring shell 39a that covers the upper portion of base member 36 to provide a smooth continuous appearance.
My invention provides a new and improved seating structure that is stronger than the devices of the prior art and is also relatively simple to manufacture and assembly. Further, the seating structure of my invention has a much improved outward appearance because of its modern design. While I have shown and described a single embodiment of my invention herein, it will be understood that those skilled in the art may devise modifications of the structure without departing from the inventive concept. Therefore, I intend to be bound only by the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A seating structure comprising:
(a) a vertically disposed leg member having a lower end portion and an upper end portion;
(b) a sleeve member mounted on said upper end portion of said leg member;
(c) an upwardly and outwardly flaring seat supporting member rotatably mounted on said sleeve member, having a generally tubular bearing portion positioned over said sleeve member for rotation with respect thereto, and having side walls curving generally upwardly and outwardly from the periphery of said bearing portion to terminate in a generally horizontal seat supporting portion;
(d) means for securing said sleeve member to said leg member and for supporting said seat supporting member thereon; and
(e) a seat fixedly mounted on said seat supporting portion.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein a mounting pin extends through corresponding horizontal openings formed in said sleeve member and said leg member to secure said sleeve member to said leg member, wherein both ends of said mounting pin extend beyond the sides of said sleeve member to provide support for said seat supporting member, wherein said tubular bearing portion has a pair of oppositely disposed grooves formed in a lower edge thereof, said grooves normally being positioned over said opposite ends of said mounting pin to prevent the rotation of said seat, and wherein said seat supporting member is vertically movable with respect to said sleeve member to permit the rotation thereof without interference between said mounting pin and said grooves.
3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein said sleeve member has a laterally outwardly extending ridge formed adjacent the upper end thereof to limit the vertical upward movement of said tubular bearing portion thereon.
4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein a generally L- shaped backrest support member is provided, having a first flat normally horizontally extending portion and a second normally vertically extending portion attached thereto, wherein a slot is formed in a side wall of said seat supporting member to receive said first fiat portion of said backrest support member, said first flat portion extending across said seat supporting member to abut an opposite side wall thereof, and wherein locking means are provided to lock said first fiat portion in such position. I
5. The apparatus of claim 4 wherein said locking means comprise an abutment member attached to said opposite side wall to prevent the upward or downward movement of said first fiat portion, and an opening formed in said first fiat portion, said leg member extending through said opening to prevent lateral movements of said first flat portion.
6. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein a floor engaging member is attached to said lower end portion of said leg member, said floor engaging member comprising:
(a) a rubber base member having an upwardly facing opening formed therein adapted to receive and frictionally engage said leg member;
(b) a cap member having an opening formed therethrough adapted to receive said leg member; and
(c) said base member having a plurality of vertically disposed grooves formed in the side walls of said opening therein, and said cap member having a like plurality of vertically disposed key members attached at their upper ends thereto and extending downwardly from the periphery of said opening therein, said key members being thicker at their bottom ends than at their top ends so that with said cap member mounted on said leg member directly above and in contact with said base member, said key members extend downwardly into said grooves, said leg member forcing said thicker bottom ends of said key members outwardly into said grooves in said rubber base member when inserted therein to fasten said cap and base members securely together.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,560,659 7/1951 Payeur 108139 2,595,901 5/1952 Sperring 297349 2,604,925 7/ 1952 Swift 297349 2,729,273 I/ 1956 Hamilton 297349 2,740,464 4/1956 Hamilton 297-349 2,905,229 9/1959 Adams 248-425 3,086,818 4/ 1963 Panton 297349 3,266,840 8/1966 DEstrube 297157 3,283,913 11/1966 Von Horn 108103 3,342,445 9/ 1967 Bouwkamp 248188.9
FRANCIS K. ZUGEL, Primary Examiner.