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Publication numberUS3606460 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 20, 1971
Filing dateJan 21, 1969
Priority dateJan 21, 1969
Publication numberUS 3606460 A, US 3606460A, US-A-3606460, US3606460 A, US3606460A
InventorsShannon Michael J
Original AssigneeShannon Michael J
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Furniture construction
US 3606460 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept.- 20, 1971 M. JISHANNON FURNITURE CONSTRUCTION 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan.. 2 1, 1969 MICHAEL J. SHANNON INVENTOR 5r BUCK/105W, 8mm, KLAROU/ST a SPAR/(MN nrromsrs M. J. SHANNON 3,606,460

Sept. 20, 1971 I FURNITURE CONSTRUCTION Filed Jan. 21, 1969 FIG. 3

3 Sheets-Sheet 2 MICHAEL J. SHANNON //VVENTOR BUG/(HORN, BLORE, KLAROU/ST 8 SPAR/(MAN ATTORNEYS Sept. 20, 1971 J. SHANNON ,4

' FURNITURE CONSTRUCTION Filed Jan". 21, 1969 3 Sheets-S heet s FIG. IIB

MICHAEL J. SHANNON INVENTOR BUCKHORM BLORE, Ku/mu/sr a SPAR/(MAN ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,606,460 FURNITURE CONSTRUCTION Michael J. Shannon, 130 Greenwood Ave., Bend, Oreg. 97701 Filed Jan. 21, 1969, Ser. No. 792,468 Int. Cl. A47c 4/02, 7/00, 7/54 U.S. Cl. 297-445 14 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A furniture construction wherein a plurality of slablike members having a box-like construction are edgeglued together at butt joints with high strength adhesive to form various articles of furniture such as chairs, sofas,

beds, tables, dressers and the like. Each slab-like member BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION (a) Field of the invention The present invention relates to an improved furniture construction and more particularly to lightweight furniture which may be made of paper or other inexpensive fibrous or other sheet materials.

(b) Description of the prior art Although others have sought to use inexpensive, lightweight materials in furniture construction, such efforts have been largely unsuccessful. One prior approach has been to fold large single sheets of thin material of complex patterns and to interlock edges of the same to form the finished article of furniture. This approach results in much wastage of material, makes assembly difficult, and gives a variable finished appearance dependent on the skill of the assembler. Others have attempted to use inexpensive sheet materials to cover more or less conventional rigid wooden furniture framework. Others have attempted to use a combination of the foregoing two approaches. None of the foregoing approaches achieves the objectives of the present invention of providing a lightweight yet strong, inexpensive and even disposable furniture construction which is exceptionally easy to assemble and attractive in appearance.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The deficiencies of the prior art are overcome in accordance with the present invention by providing a plurality of slab-like members having an identical lightweight box sandwich construction, which are joined together at simple butt joints by adhesive in various relationships to form different articles of furniture. Each slab is composed of a hollow box-sandwich including outer layers of inexpensivesive semirigid sheet material which may comprise paperboard, fiberboard or other sheet material separated by an inner rigidifying filler of cardboard honeycomb, plastic foam or other inexpensive cellular material. The lightweight slabs are joined together at structural butt joints solely with a film of high strength adhesive, making assembly extremely simple and inexpensive. The unique box slab construction enables shipment of the slabs disassembled for assembly by the retailer or user of the furniture in accordance with simple instructions. It also enables the formation of furniture of materials and construction so inexpensive as to render the furniture disposable.

Primary objects of the invention are to provide:

(1) A furniture construction enabling the manufacture of a line of furniture which is unusually inexpensive and disposable;

(2) A furniture construction which enables the formation of unusually lightweight but strong furniture;

(3) A furniture construction which is adaptable for making various articles of attractive furniture using the same construction techniques;

(4) A furniture construction wherein a plurality of slab-like members are assembled together in various patterns to form different articles of furniture;

(5) A furniture construction utilizing a plurality of slabs of box-like construction composed of inexpensive paper, fiber or other thin sheet materials;

(6) A furniture construction wherein a plurality of slab-like members are glued together at butt joints with high strength adhesive to form articles of furniture;

(7) A furniture construction wherein a plurality of slab-like members of lightweight box construction may be made up and then shipped in knocked-down form for assembly by the seller or user of such furniture in predetermined patterns.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS The foregoing and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description which proceeds with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an armchair in accordance with the present invention as viewed from above looking toward the front and one side of such chair;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view on the same scale as FIG. 1 as viewed from above and looking toward the rear and opposite side of the chair of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2 on a scale slightly enlarged from that of FIG. 2. and with an outer portion of one slab-like member broken away to reveal the interior construction thereof;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along the line 44 of FIG. 3 on a scale enlarged from that of FIG. 3;

FIG. 4A is a greatly enlarged sectional view of a portion of one of the butt joints of FIG. 4;

FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 illustrate the composition and technique of assembling an edge strip of each slab-like member in the chair shown in FIGS. 1 through 4;

FIG. 8 illustrates the construction of the interior reinforcing layer of a slab member used in the chair of FIGS.

1 through 4;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a sofa having a construction similar to that of the chair of FIG. 1, as viewed looking toward the front and one side thereof;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of a bed made in accord ance with the furniture construction shown in FIGS. 1 through 4, as viewed toward one end and one side of such bed;

FIG. 10A is a partial vertical sectional view taken along the joint of line 10A10A of FIG. 10;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a dresser made in accordance with the furniture construction shown in FIGS. 1 through 4;

FIG. 11A is a view looking toward one front upper corner of one drawer of the dresser of FIG. 11 in the vicinity of line 11A--11A of FIG. 11;

FIG. 11B is a view similar to FIG. 11A but of a slightly modified construction; and

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of a table made in accordance with the slab construction shown in FIGS. 1 through 4.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION With reference to the drawings, FIG. 1 discloses an armchair 10 composed of a plurality of rectangular slablike members including a pair of slab members 12, 14

forming the arms of the chair, a slab member 16 forming the back of the chair and a slab member 18 forming the seat of the chair. The chair also includes a seat cushion 20 and back cushion 22. Thus the entire armchair is composed of a total of only four slab members and the two cushion members.

With reference to FIG. 4, each slab member, for ex ample member 18, includes a pair of parallel, opposed and spaced-apart, thin sheet members 23, of semirigid sheet material such as paperboard, fiberboard, plywood, thin sheet metal or other inexpensive sheet. The illustrated sheet material is fiberboard. Sheet members 23, 25 form the outer broad surfaces of the slab member. The pair of sheet members are separated by an edge strip 24 and an inner reinforcing filler material such as the cardboard honeycomb 26 shown, sandwiched between the outer sheet members.

Edge strip 24 should be made of a laterally rigid material such as wood, dense plastic or other dense material. As shown in FIG. 5, the edge strip may be formed of a continuous strip of material including, for example, an inner Wood strip 27 notched with V-shaped notches 29 at three positions therealong corresponding to three of the four corners of the edge strip and provided with 45 degree chambers 31, 32 at its opposite ends for joining the ends together. Said strip also includes a continuous outer paper, fabric, plastic or fiber layer 33 which is continuous and unnotched so as to provide a hinge enabling the folding of the inner wood strip in the manner shown in FIG. 6 whereby the strip may be brought together at its opposite ends to form a rectangular frame having the dimensions desired for the finished slab member. At end 32 of the strip, wood portion 27 provides an overhang extending beyond the flexible outer layer 33. At the opposite end 31 the flexible outer layer 33 includes a tab portion 34 extending beyond the wood portion 27. Thus when the opposite ends of the strip are brought together in the manner shown in FIG. 7, the chamfered portions 31 and 32 may be glued together with adhesive and the tab portion 34 of the flexible outer layer extended beyond the corner thus joined and glued to the overhang 35 of wood strip 27. In this manner the edge strip of the slab-like member can be formed using assembly line techniques, with a minimum of hand Work and with a single strong hidden corner joint.

The cardboard honeycomb filler 26 of FIG. 4 may be formed in egg crate fashion as shown in FIG. 8 wherein continuous strips 37, 38 of cardboard or paperboard intersect at right angles and interlock within corresponding slots, one 39 of which extends inwardly from the opposite edge of the other member 38. The resulting honeycomb provides a substantial amount of lateral rigidity for maintaining separation of the opposite sheet members 23, 25 under load applied inwardly of peripheral edge strip 24. Other laterally rigid materials such as cellular plastic could be substituted for the same purpose.

As will be apparent from FIG. 4, edge strip 24 and interior honeycomb or other reinforcing 26 are sandwiched between the two outer sheet members 23, 25 and are held to the sheet members by a suitable adhesive. As has been indicated, edge strip 24 preferably includes an outer flexible layer 33 which is joined to the inner, more rigid strip material 27 by an adhesive and which will inherently hide all corner joints. Surface members 23 and 25 may also include a thin outer layer of paper or other covering material 42, 43, particularly if sheet members 23, 25 are formed of a material having visible surface imperfections. However, such outer layer may not be necessary when a paperboard or cardboard is used as the sheet members. If plywood, fiberboard or other composition board is used, the paper covering may be desirable to provide uniformity of surface texture. The outer surfaces of the slab members may also be sprayed with a colored epoxy resin or other hard, mar-resistant finish, or painted and then coated with a clear finish.

All slab members of the chair of FIG. 1 are constructed in the manner described above with respect to the slab member 18. The slab members are then joined togther in the arrangement shown at surface abutting structural butt joints 45 as shown in FIGS. 4 and 4A with a film of high strength adhesive 46, which provides all of the strength necessary to prevent separation of the slabs in use.

Thus specifically with respect to the chair of FIG. 1, opposite edge surfaces of slab member 18 are edge-glued to the broad inner surfaces of slab members 12 and 14, whereas opposite edge surfaces of slab member 16 are similarly joined to the same broad inner surface of arm slab members 12, 14 to form the armchair. Seat and back cushions 20 and 22 may be composed of a pad of soft resilient foam material covered with paper, fabric or other non-woven or woven flexible fiber material.

Referring to FIG. 9, the foregoing described slab construction can be used in making a sofa as shown. The sofa includes a long rectangular seat slab member 50 edge-glued at its opposite ends to broad inner surfaces of a pair of laterally opposed arm slab members 52, 53. A long back slab member 54 is similarly edge-glued at its opposite ends to the inner broad surfaces of arm slabs 52 and 53. Back cushions 56, 57, 58 and seat cushions '59, 60 and 61, similar in construction to the pillows of the armchair, complete the sofa. If additional intermedi ate support is deemed desirable or necessary for the seat slab because of its length, additional slab members (not shown) could be provided beneath the seat slab for this purpose.

FIGS. 10 and 10A show the same slab construction used to form a bed made up of opposite end slabs 63, 65 joined by horizontal L-section beams 64, which support a box spring 62. A mattress 66 is supported by box spring 62 and could be of inexpensive construction similar to that of cushions 20, 22 of the chair of FIG. 1.

FIGS. 11, 11A and 11B disclose a dresser 70 composed of upright end slab members 72, 73, a dresser top slab 74, and a dresser bottom slab 75. Drawers 78 made of molded plastic such as polyethylene have an upper edge lip 76 which serves both as a handle and as a drawer guide that rides in channels 77 of side sla-bs 72, 73 as shown best in FIG. 11A. Alternatively, support strips 79 as shown in FIG. 11B can be glued to the inside faces of the end slabs 72a to support the drawer lips.

FIG. 12 illustrates a table construction 80 including a table top slab 82 supported by four rectangular upright leg slabs 84, 85, 86, 87 radiating from the center of the top slab toward its four corners.

From the foregoing it will be apparent that the slab members described are capable of forming numerous articles of furniture of attractive and utilitarian design. Moreover, the box-like sandwich construction of the slabs enables the use of inexpensive paper, wood, plastic or metal materials. When the slabs are formed largely of paper, a disposable line of furniture results. The slab construction described is of unusually high strength despite the simplicity of its entirely adhesive-formed butt joints and the lightweight materials used. The articles of furniture which can be formed by the illustrated slab construction and their design are limited only by the designers imagination. The flat simplicity of the slab surfaces lend themselves to innumerable graphic designs, surface textures and color treatments, allowing for great variation and adaptability in appearance.

Having illustrated and described several diiferent applications of the slab construction of the present invention, it should be apparent to those skilled in the art that the same permits of modification in arrangement, detail, design and application. I claim as my invention all such modifications as come within the true spirit and scope of the following claims.

I claim:

1. An article of furniture comprising:

an assembly of plural separate substantially rigid generally rectangular load-supporting slab-like members,

each slab-like member being of hollow box-like construction and including a pair of opposed spacedapart broad surfaces and narrow edge surfaces intersecting said broad surfaces, and with interior rigidifying means acting between said broad surfaces,

said opposed broad surfaces and said narrow edge surfaces of each said slab-like member being defined by thin-walled semi-rigid sheet members bonded together to provide said box-like construction and enclosed said rigidifying means,

some of said slab-like members having edge surface portions abutting broad portions of others of said slab-like members at load-transmitting structural butt joints to form said article of furniture,

and joining means acting between but not penetrating said surface portions joining an edge surface portion of one slab-like member to a broad surface portion of another slab-like member at said butt joints in a manner such that said joining means transmits loads between said abutting slab-like members.

2. An article according to claim 1 wherein said separate slab-like members are of generally similar rectangular shape to provide modules which can be joined together in different relationships to form different articles of furniture and different configurations of a given article of furniture.

3. An article according to claim 1 wherein said slablike members are of hollow closed box-truss construction including truss members extending between said opposed broad surface portions thereof.

4. An article according to claim 3 wherein said slablike members of box construction include a pair of parallel, opposed spaced-apart sheet members forming broad flat surfaces, said sheet members being joined together at their marginal edges by a laterally rigid edge strip.

5. An article according to claim 4 wherein said sheet members are formed of thin-walled semirigid sheet material and wherein the space between said sheet members is filled with reinforcing means for maintaining separation between said sheet members under load.

6. An article according to claim 1 wherein said sheet members are formed of thin-walled semirigid paperboard sheet material.

7. An article according to claim 1 wherein said sheet members are formed of thin-walled semirigid cellulose fiber sheet material.

8. An article according to claim 1 wherein said edge strip comprises a continuous one-piece strip having lateral rigidity for resisting edge loads in compression.

9. An article according to claim 1 wherein said edge strip is sandwiched between said sheet members at the marginal edges of said sheet members and joined to said sheet members at edge-glued joints.

10. An article according to claim 1 wherein said sheet members and edge strip are provided with a thin covering of uniform surface texture on their outer surfaces.

11. An article according to claim 10 wherein said covering is provided with a hard coating.

12. A slab-like member for use in lightweight furniture construction, said member comprising:

a pair of first and second sheet members of thin-walled, semirigid sheet material having predetermined length and width dimensions and outline shape,

a laterally rigid thin edge strip member having a width dimension approximating the overall Width of said slab-like member, a total length approximating the edgewise circumference of said sheet members and formed into a shape corresponding to the outline shape of said sheet members,

said edge strip member extending between said first and second sheet members at the outer marginal edges of said sheet members so as to space said sheet members from one another,

said edge strip member being joined at its opposite side edges to said first and second sheet members at the outer marginal edges of said sheet members by a film of adhesive,

said edge strip member and first and second sheet members defining an interior space therebetween,

reinforcing filler means within said interior space and extending from the inner surface of said sheet memher to the inner surface of said second sheet member for maintaining separation of said surface members under load inwardly of said edge strip member.

13. An article according to claim 1 wherein said joining means comprises an adhesive means joining edge surface portions of some slab-like members to broadsurface portions of other slab-like members.

14. An article according to claim 1 wherein said joining means comprises an adhesive means as the sole means joining edge surface portions of some slab-like members to broad-surface portions of other slab-like members.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,518,532 8/1950 Edwards 297450 3,121,588 2/1964 Beckman et al. 2971 3,285,566 11/1966 Beckman et al. 297-445 3,363,270 1/1968 McClive 5355X 3,468,829 9/1969 Judd 297-445 FOREIGN PATENTS 579,057 7/1958 Italy 297-452 1,163,476 9/1969 Great Britain 297452 CASMIR A. NUNBERG, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3 ,606 46D Dated Se tember 2O 1971 Inventor) MICHAEL J.SHANNON It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:

Column 1, lines 57-58, "inexpensivesive" should be inexpensive -y Column 3, line 25, "chambers" should be -chamfers--; Column 4, line 3, "togther" should be --together--; Column 6, claim 12, line 27, "of said sheet" should be of said first sheet--.

In the references cited:

"3,285,566" should be -3,285,660-; "3,468,829" should be 3,468,582--.

Signed and sealed this 21st day of March 1972.

(SEAL) Attest:

EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. ROBERT GOITSCHALK Attesting Officer Commissioner of Patents ,RM P0405: (10-69) USCOMM-DC 60376-P69

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3761130 *May 15, 1972Sep 25, 1973Tenryu IndustriesConvertible chair
US3787909 *Nov 3, 1971Jan 29, 1974E JohnsonFurniture module
US4621006 *Oct 22, 1984Nov 4, 1986Newport CorporationHoneycomb table manufacture and clean-room compatible honeycomb tables
US4853065 *Jan 26, 1988Aug 1, 1989Newport CorporationMethod of manufacturing clean-room compatible honeycomb tables
US5021282 *Apr 12, 1989Jun 4, 1991Newport CorporationHoneycomb table manufacture and clean-room compatible honeycomb tables
US5154963 *Oct 2, 1990Oct 13, 1992Newport CorporationHoneycomb table manufacture and clean-room compatible honeycomb tables
US5500269 *Jul 24, 1992Mar 19, 1996Newport CorporationHoneycomb table manufacture and clean-room compatible honeycomb tables
US5807617 *Jun 6, 1995Sep 15, 1998Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.Hollow structural component
US5807618 *Jul 27, 1995Sep 15, 1998Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.Hollow structural component
US7735940 *Oct 27, 2005Jun 15, 2010Chi-Shen ChiuVolume-adjustable unit and furniture comprising frame made of the same
US20070096609 *Oct 27, 2005May 3, 2007Chi-Shen ChiuVolume-adjustable unit and furniture comprising frame made of the same
WO1998056278A1 *Jun 15, 1998Dec 17, 1998Alexis TricoireCollapsible cardboard seat, such as an armchair or a sofa
Classifications
U.S. Classification297/450.1, 428/116
International ClassificationA47C5/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47C5/005
European ClassificationA47C5/00C