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Publication numberUS3418030 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 24, 1968
Filing dateApr 11, 1967
Priority dateApr 11, 1967
Publication numberUS 3418030 A, US 3418030A, US-A-3418030, US3418030 A, US3418030A
InventorsGolden Seymour W
Original AssigneeRobert John Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Reinforced construction unit
US 3418030 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 24, 1968 Filed April 11. 1967 S. W. GOLDEN REINFORCED CONSTRUCTION UNIT 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Fig. 2


SEYMOUR W. GOLDEN BY ATTORNEY Dec. 24, 1968 s.w. GOLDEN v 3,418,030


United States Patent 3,418,030 REINFORCED CONSTRUCTION UNIT Seymour 'W. Golden, Philadelphia, Pa., assignor to Robert John Co., Philadelphia, Pa., a corporation of Pennsylvania Filed Apr. 11, 1967, Ser. No. 630,008 Claims. (Cl. 312-194) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A construction unit, such as a desk, chair, panel, or the like, which consists of a primary surface made of wood, plastic or similar relatively fragile material, with a substantially hidden reinforcement made of relatively durable material such as metal or the like, wherein the reinforcement is a separate, preformed framework that is assembled with preformed elements of the surface material in such a manner that the surface material almost completely covers the framework but is rigidly secured thereto by hidden securing means in the form of locking flanges extending from the framework.

This invention relates to constructions consisting of different types of substances wherein one substance serves as a support for another, and it particularly relates to constructions of this type wherein the supporting substance is substantially hidden from view by the supported substance.

Various types of constructions, including such articles as wall panels, chairs, tables, desks, etc., utilize a substance such as wood, plastics of various types, and other materials which, although of decorative and attractive appearance, do not inherently possess suflicient durability and sturdiness to provide the desired degree of long life and the maintenance of good appearance under conditions of aging and the stresses and strains of use. On the other hand, when it was heretofore attempted to reinforce such materials with other substances that did have the desired degree of durability, it detracted from the total appearance of the article.

It is a primary object of the present invention to overcome the aforesaid difficulties by providing an article constructed of at least two different substances, wherein one substance forms the outer decorative surface and the other substance forms an inner, substantially hidden, reinforcing means.

Another object of the present invention is to provide an article of the aforesaid type which is simple in construction easily assembled, and relatively inexpensive to produce.

Other objects and many of the attendant advantages of this invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following description when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a desk embodying the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a sectional view of a corner of the desk, taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary, front perspective, corner view of the supporting framework shown in FIG .2.

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary, rear perspective view, with parts broken away in section, taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 3.

Referring now in greater detail to the various figures of the drawings, wherein similar parts are designated by similar reference characters, there is shown in FIG. 1 a desk, generally designated 10, which is here used, for illustrative purposes, as one type of embodimenfof the invention, although, as discussed above, the invention may be embodied in other articles as well.

The desk 10 comprises a top 12, legs 14, a rear panel 16, side panels 18 and drawers 20. The rear panel, side panels and drawers are accessories which, in themselves, are not significant to the invention, being optional features which may be attached in any manner desired; the top 12, legs 14 and the manner of assembling them, being the significant part of the present invention.

Each pair of legs 14, at each end of the desk, comprises a generally integral unit consisting of a frame 22 (best shown in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4), which is constructed of rigid metal or any other similarly rigid and durable material. The frame 22 includes a pair of spaced, parallel, vertical leg members 24 connected by a cross or bridge member 26.

Each of the leg members 24 has a rear wall 28 from which extends a side perpendicular flange 30 and a shorter center perpendicular flange 32 (as best seen in FIGS. 3 and 4). A lug 34 extends perpendicularly from the inner surface of flange 30 and a corresponding lug 36 extends from the inner surface of flange 32 in alignment with but in spaced relation to the lug 34. The lugs 34 and 36 not only form an interior looking or gripping means (as will be hereinafter described), but also combine to form a channel or key-way 38. Each leg member 24 is mitred at the upper edge to mate with the corresponding mitred edge of the bridge member 26.

The bridge member 26 consists of a wall 40 having a lower perpendicular flange 42 and a shorter center perpendicular flange 44. The flange 42 has a perpendicular lug 46 extending from its inner surface, and the flange 44 has a perpendicular lug 48 extending from its inner surface in spaced alignment with the lug 46. These lugs 46 and 48 are also adapted to serve as locking or gripping means and also form a channel or key-way 50.

The outer surface of the bridge member 26 is provided with a pair of spaced, parallel perpendicular flanges 52 and 54.

Each leg member 24 is also provided with a corner plate 56 (as best shown in FIG. 4). These plates 56 support platforms 58 to which they are secured by screws, bolts, glue, or any other desired securing means. The plates 56 are shown provided with holes to receive screws or bolts, but this is merely illustrative of one desirable method of securing. The platforms 58 support the drawers 20 in the standard manner, such drawer construction and assembly not being shown here in detail because, by themselves, they form no part of the present invention.

In assembling the article, the framework is assembled first. This is accomplished by inserting one arm of an L- shaped key 62 into each end of the channel 50 of each bridge member 26, and then moving each leg member 24 against the corresponding end of the bridge member in such a manner that the other arm of the corresponding L-shaped key slides into the channel 38 of the leg member. The keys 62 are then locked in place by staking, as shown at 64.

In the case of the desk 10, illustrative herein of the invention, two of the framework assemblies, each consisting of the two leg members and connecting bridge member, are interconnected by the top panel 12, which is made of wood, but which may be of plastic or any other desirable material. The panel 12 is provided with grooves at each end to snugly receive the flanges 52 and 54. These flanges are secured in place by any desirable means such as friction, glue, nails, screws, etc. Screws 66 are shown in FIG. 2 as securing means for the bottom flange, while glue is used for the upper flange 54. However, any other desired securing means may be used for either flange.

When the panel 12 is in place, filler strips 68 (shown in FIG. 2) made of wood, plastic or any other desirable material, having grooves to receive the flange 44 and lugs 46 and 48, are set into place in the hollow of bridge member 26 formed between the wall 40 and the flange 42, while similar filler strips 70 are set into place in the hollow of leg members 24 formed between the wall 28 and flange 30. The strips 70 are also provided with grooves to receive the flange 32 and lugs 34 and 36. The strips 70 are secured to the flanges 30 and 32 by any desired means such as friction, glue, nails, screws, or the like.

The resulting appearance of the finished desk is one where almost the entire exposed surface consists of the wood, plastic or other desirable material, with only thin corner strips of reinforcing metal exposed, such as indicated at 72 and 74. These exposed metal strips actually act as decorative additions to the desk without any indication of their primary purpose as reinforcement means.

As has been previously indicated, this invention is not limited to desks, or even to other articles having legs, such as chairs and the like. It is just as easily adapted to wall panels, shelving, and the like. For example, the bridge members 26 may be used by themselves to support the panel 12 which could then be used as a wall panel, a shelf, or the like. Similarly, the bridge members 26 could be used both at top and bottom of the leg members 24 to support vertically spaced panels 12. This could be done in series so that a series of vertically spaced shelves could be formed. Many other adaptations are similarly included within the scope of this invention.

Obviously, many modifications of the present invention are possible in the light of the above teachings. It is, therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.

The invention claimed is:

1. A structural unit comprising a reinforcing framework consisting of spaced structural members and a panel secured between said structural members, said structural members being secured to corresponding end portions of said panel by connecting means positioned internally of said end portions, said connecting means comprising flanges on said structural members extending into corresponding slots in said end portions of said panel, each of said structural members having relatively olfset walls forming an outwardly open channel on its outer surface, a filler strip positioned in said channel, and connecting means on each structural member positioned internally of the corresponding filler strip to secure said filler strip thereto, said last mentioned connecting means comprising at least one flange on said structural member, said last mentioned flange extending into a corresponding slot in said filler strip, and locking means on said last mentioned flange, said locking means being positioned entirely internally of said fiiller strip.

2. The sturctural unit of claim 1 wherein each structural member is provided with at least one structural leg member extending transversely therefrom, each structural leg member being separable from but connected to its corresponding structural member, each structural leg member having relatively offset walls forming an outwardly open channel on its outer surface, a filler strip positioned in the channel of each structural leg member, and connecting means on each structural leg member positioned internally of the corresponding filler strip to secure said filler strip thereto.

3. The structural unit of claim 2 wherein each structural member is provided with at least two oppositely-disposed structural leg members, said structural members, structural leg members, panel and filler strips coacting to form a table-like structure wherein the panel serves as the table-top and the filled structural leg members serve as supporting legs, said structural members and structural leg members being exposed only as thin strips.

4. The structural unit of claim 3 wherein the tablelike structure is a desk having drawers under the panel, said drawers being supported by said structural leg members.

5. The structural unit of claim 2 wherein there are a plurality of pairs of spaced structural members connected in parallel by structural leg members, each pair of structural members supporting a panel therebetween.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,696,419 12/1954 Wallance et a1. 312-257 2,973,232 2/1961 Knoll 3l2-194 X 2,980,482 4/1961 Baio 312- X 3,066,994 12/1962 Knoll 312194 X CASMIR A. NUNBERG, Primary Examiner.

US. Cl. X.R. 312-257

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2696419 *Jan 7, 1950Dec 7, 1954Midwest Research InstFrame and panel type storage furniture
US2973232 *Jan 29, 1958Feb 28, 1961Knoll AssociatesMultiple desk unit with combined frame and retaining rail
US2980482 *Oct 17, 1957Apr 18, 1961Alfonso Baio GeorgeFurniture construction
US3066994 *Nov 15, 1960Dec 4, 1962Knoll AssociatesDesk construction
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3600050 *Sep 23, 1969Aug 17, 1971Ithoki Kosakusho KkDivisible leg type desk
US3765740 *Apr 5, 1972Oct 16, 1973Mastrangelo FCabinets
US3784273 *Jul 10, 1972Jan 8, 1974G NikolaiCabinet construction
US5215361 *Jun 6, 1991Jun 1, 1993Steelcase Inc.Prefabricated frame for wood panel assembly
U.S. Classification312/194, 312/257.1
International ClassificationF16B12/46, F16B12/00
Cooperative ClassificationF16B12/46
European ClassificationF16B12/46