|Publication number||US3630476 A|
|Publication date||Dec 28, 1971|
|Filing date||Mar 9, 1970|
|Priority date||Mar 9, 1970|
|Publication number||US 3630476 A, US 3630476A, US-A-3630476, US3630476 A, US3630476A|
|Inventors||Vincent J Lococo|
|Original Assignee||Vincent J Lococo|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (1), Referenced by (18), Classifications (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent 2,852,222 9/1958 Bogar Inventor Vincent J. Lococo g 2006 Gladstone Ave., Louisville, Ky. 40205 Appl. No. 17,707 Filed Mar. 9, 1970 Patented Dec. 28, 1971 ADJUSTABLE MIRROR SUPPORT Primary Examiner-William H. Schultz Attorney-Arthur F. Robert ABSTRACT: An adjustable mirror support of the 3-element horizontal-bracket/vertical-channel/clamping-means comprising:
A. a vertical rearwardly-open U shapcd channel;
a horizontal forwardly-open U-shaped bracket, throught whichthe channel extends vertically;
C. channel-bracket clamping means including 1. clamping flanges, horizontally intumed from the side walls of the channel to extend toward each screw-threaded means on the bracket for moving the channel forwardly from an unclamped position to a clamped position, wherein,
a. in the clamped position, the channels clamping flanges engage the brackets clamping flanges while the slot-forming edges of the channels flanges extend so closely adjacent the front and portions of the forwardly diverging sidewalls of the bracket post as to prevent any significant transverse play therebetween, and thereby center the channel on the bracket, and
b. in the unclamped position, the channel's clamping flanges are spaced rearwardly from the brackets clamping flanges while the slot-forming edges of the channels clamping flanges are transversely spaced from the rear end portion of the forwardly diverging sidewalls of the bracket post sufficiently to permit significant transverse play between the channel and the bracket and thereby allow nonbinding movement of the channel relative to the bracket.
Patented Dec." 28, 1971 VINCENT J. LOCOCO ATTORNEY ADJUSTABLE MIRROR SUPPORT BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field Of The Invention This invention relates to devices for supporting a mirror in an adjustable elevated position from an underlying base.
More particularly, the invention relates to an improvement in a mirror-supporting device .of the three-element type comprising: a horizontal U-shaped bracket opening forwardly; 2. a vertical U-shaped channel opening rearwardly and extending upwardly through the bracket; and 3. screw-actuated means for clamping the channel to each bracket.
2. Description Of The Prior Art An adjustable mirror supporting assembly presently made by G ee Manufacturing Co. of Houston, Texas and designated G-Lox No. 100 comprises: 1. a pair of forwardly open U-shaped horizontal brackets mountable in vertically spaced and vertically aligned relationship, one on a base and the other on an overlying mirror; 2. a vertically elongate rearwardly open U-shaped channel extending upwardly through the forwardly open U-space of both brackets, the sides of the channel converging rearwardly toward the slotlike opening of the channel; and 3 screwactuated means for clamping the channel to each bracket, said means including a vertically spaced pair of bracket-bright flanges extending forwardly into the channel, from opposite top and bottom edges of the bight of the bracket, with their horizontal rightand left-side edges diverging forwardly within the channel to conform with the channels forwardly diverging or rearwardly converging sides, and a clamping screw centrally threaded to the bight of the bracket for relative forward and rearward movement through the space between bight flanges of the bracket and operative during forward movement to engage the inner bight face of the channel and move the channel bodily forward until the converging sides of the channel are forced forwardly into clamping engagement with the diverging rightand left-side edges of the bracket-bight flanges.
The US. Pat. Nos. to Garrett 2,313,532, Anderson 2,335,896, Garrett 2,607,553, Haugaard 2,688,901, Norris 2,694,543, Bogar, .Ir. 2,852,222, and Cousins 2,893,666 exemplify the patented art on mirror supporting devices of the three-element type.
None of the mirror supports of the foregoing prior art is selfcentering and, so far as I am aware, all are subject to binding to some extent.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Objects Of The Invention The principal objects of the invention are: to provide and adjustable mirror support which, when clamped, is not subject to binding; and to provide a support which is self-centering in the process of being clamped.
Other important objects are to provide a nonbinding and preferably self-centering adjustable mirror support of simple design which is inexpensive to manufacture, easy to install and use and adjust and readjust, easy to disassemble and not readily subject to derangement.
Statement Of The Invention The present invention resides in providing a support composed of a forwardly open bracket, a rearwardly open channel loosely passing upwardly through the U-space of the bracket, and clamping means including a pair of horizontally intumed clamping flanges extending from the sides of the channel toward each other with their end edges spaced to define a long vertical slot, a stationary horizontal post, having front and rear ends and forwardly diverging sidewalls, rigidly mounted at its rear end on the inner bight fact of the bracket to project forwardly therefrom into the slot of the channel and terminating within the channel in a pair of horizontally clamping flanges, which are horizontally out-tumed at an obtuse angle and which provide rearwardly facing clamping surfaces, and a clamping screw extending'through the bight and post of the bracket and threaded to the bracket for relative forward and rearward movement and operative, during forward movement, to engage the rear inner bight face of the channel and force the channel bodily forward until its inturned clamping flanges are forced forwardly into clamping engagement with the out-tumed clamping flanges of the bracket post.
In the preferred embodiment, all clamping surfaces are parallel. This old feature coupled with the diverging sidewalls of the post tends to prevent the channel from binding on the bracket during the clamping operation even when the channel is canted at the beginning of that operation and enables the clamping screw to force a canted channel inwardly and simultaneously turn it toward a parallel condition in which it is finally clamped tightly into place. Furthermore, when the channel is clamped, the slot forming end edges of its flanges are positioned so closely adjacent the bracket post so as to prevent any significant right-to-left play of the channel relative to the bracket. As a consequence, binding is eliminated and self-centering is promoted. The clamped channel will always be centered on the post and also on the bracket, if the post is centered.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS The invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing the rear face of a mirror mounted on the backface of a dresser through adjustable mirror supports constructed in accordance with my invention;
FIGS. 2-5 are enlarged views of my construction, FIG. 2 showing identical halves of the bridge member or bracket unit of my support, one-half in section and the other in elevation, FIG. 3 being a perspective view of the same bracket unit, FIG. 4 is a sectional view of my bracket-channel assembly, this view corresponding to one taken'along line 4-4 of FIG. 1 and FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the assembly seen in FIG. 4; and
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary view of a bracket unit modification.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 1 discloses: a base member I, which may be a furniture part, such as a dresser or a chest of drawers; a mirror 2 operatively positioned above the rear end portion of the base I with the rear face of the mirror aligned with the backface of the base so that both faces extend in the same vertical plane 3, herein called the securing plane; and a horizontally spaced pair of assemblies supporting the mirror 2 on the base I at an adjustable height.
While each of these specific assemblies, as illustrated, comprises three horizontal brackets, (mounted in vertically spaced and vertically aligned relationship),-two for the base and one for the mirror, one vertical channel and three clamping means, one for each bracket, an adjustable mirror support, made in accordance with my invention, broadly or basically includes only one specimen of each element, hence, my threeelement support essentially comprises: one horizontal bracket; one vertical channel; and one screw-actuated clamping means.
Horizontal Bracket The horizontal bracket 5 comprises a short horizontal strap of metal bent or fashioned lengthwise to a forwardly open U- shape characterized by a bight 6 and forwardly diverging legs 7, which tenninate at the mouth of the U in parallel forwardly facing out-tumed flanges 8. While the strap of bracket 5, preferably, is composed of metal, it may be composed of plastic or other suitable material. Also, while forwardly diverging legs 7 are preferred, the legs may extend at right angles to the bight 6. The parallel forwardly facing out-turned flanges 8 constitute securing flanges which extend laterally along the backface of the securing plane 3, each flange 8 having a horizontally elongate hole 9 for a securing screw. Vertical Channel The channel element of my support comprises a long rearwardly open U-shaped metal channel 10 characterized by a bight 11 and legs 12 extending rearwardly at right angles to the bight. As seen in FIG. 2, the left-to-right width and the front-to-rear depth of the channel 10 is made sufficiently smaller than the corresponding dimensions of the U-space of the bracket to enable the channel to pass loosely through that bracket space and to provide for limited horizontal forward-rearward movement of the channel within that bracket space.
Clamping Means The means for clamping the channel within the bracket (to the bracket) includes: 1 a pair of parallel horizontally intumed clamping flanges 14 extending from the rear ends of the legs or sides 12 of the channel horizontally toward each other and partially over the width of the channel with their end edges transversely spaced from each other to define an interposed vertical slot running the length of the channel; 2 a stationary horizontal post 16, having front and rear ends and forwardly diverging sidewalls, rigidly mounted at its rear end on the midportion of the inner bight face of the bracket 5 to extend across the full vertical width of the bight with its forwardly diverging sidewalls projecting into the slot of the channel 10, said post 16 terminating within the channel in a pair of parallel horizontally out-turned clamping flanges 17, which are horizontally out-turned at an obtuse angle and which provide rearwardly facing clamping surfaces; and 3 a clamp actuating device mounted to the bracket 5 for relative forward and rearward movement through the post 16 of the bracket and operative, during forward movement, to engage the inner or rear face of the bight ll of the channel 10, and thereafter move the channel bodily forward until the front faces of the intumed clamping flanges 14 of the channel 10 are forced forwardly into clamping engagement with the rear faces of the outtumed clamping flanges 17 of the post 16.
In the preferred embodiment, the intumed clamping flanges 14 are not only parallel to each other but also parallel to the out-turned clamping flanges 17 of the bracket post. The flanges 17 of the post 16 preferably extend at right angles to the front-to-rear axis of the post. The rear comer, fonned between each leg 12 of the channel and its clamping flange 14, preferably is curved about 90 around (but not snugly fitted to) the outer end portion of the appropriate out-turned clamping flange 17 of the bracket post 16. With a radius of curvature on the channel slightly larger'than the radius on the post flanges, the maximum right-to-left width of the channel is slightly greater than the corresponding dimension of the flanged part of post 16. This produces a clearance therebetween which contributes to the nonbinding feature of this support.
In the clamped position, the clamping flanges 14 of the channel 10 engage the clamping flanges 17 of the post 16 of the bracket 5 while the slot-forming edges 15 of the channels flanges 14 extend so closely adjacent the front end portion of the forwardly diverging sidewalls of the bracket post 16 as to prevent any significant transverse play of the channel relative to the bracket. This prevents binding in the process of clamping the channel to the bracket. It also insures transverse selfcentering of the channel 10 in the precise position it is intended to occupy on the bracket 5 or vice versa. If the clamped channel 10 is intended to occupy one position, in which it is transversely centered on the bracket, and if the post 16 is centered on the bracket, then the clamped channel 10 will be centered on both the post and the bracket. This transverse self-centering feature has an importantadvantage in that the mere act of clamping two or more brackets to a common channel serves to align all of the clamped brackets with each other. Consequently, two or more mirror supports can be properly mounted on a base simply by clamping the brackets to the channel, and mounting the clamped brackets on the base while making certain that the channels are arranged precisely vertical. With the mounted channels vertical, they will be parallel. Consequently, one need only position and clamp the mirror brackets on the vertical channels, level the mirror against its brackets and then secure the mirror to the brackets.
In the unclamped position, the clamping flanges 14 of the channel 10 are spaced rearwardly from the clamping flanges 17 of the bracket post 16 while the slot-forming edges 15 of the channels clamping flanges-l4 are transversely spaced from the rear end portion of the forwardly diverging sidewalls of the bracket post 16 sufficiently to permit significant transverse play between the channel and bracket. The horizontally forward and lateral spacings insure nonbinding vertical movement of the unclamped channel relative to and within the bracket.
It is desirable to minimize the overall front to rear depth of a mirror support bracket. The shallower these brackets are, the better. The achievement of a shallow depth is possible in the preferred construction because it uses a standard steel channel in combination with diverging sidewalls on its bracket post. The use of a standard channel is very desirable. The diverging sidewalls of the post 16 permit clamping in a centered position which, as desired, either eliminates the sideplay clearance in the .channel slot or reduces it to the barest minimum. That same diverging wall feature insures front-torear and right-to-left clearance between the channel and the bracket parts upon a very slight depthwise separation of their flanges because the slot-forming end edges of the channel flanges are contemporaneously spaced from the rearwardly converging walls of the post. Since only the slightest rearward movement of the channel out of its clamping position is required to permit it to enjoy nonbinding vertical movement relative to the bracket, the front-to-rear dimension (of the space required to accommodate the front-to-rear movement of the channel within the bracket) can be minimized to minimize the overall depth of the bracket.
Installation And Operation The installation of mirror supporting assemblies, made in accordance with the present invention, and the adjustment of such assemblies in use will be readily understood from the foregoing, which is not significantly different from the techniques employed in installing and adjusting adjustable mirror supports of the prior art. Accordingly, it should suffice to say that the brackets 5 are located on the base 1 and mirror 2 in accordance with any conventional practice insuring the vertical alignment of corresponding base brackets with the corresponding mirror brackets. Likewise, each channel 10 is passed through corresponding base bracket 5, adjusted to a desired elevational position and clamped to said corresponding base brackets by tightening the corresponding clamping screws 20. Thereafter the mirror is leveled to a desired elevation and each channel is clamped to the corresponding mirror bracket-post assembly through the corresponding clamping screw 20. Vertical alignment of all brackets is facilitated by the use of horizontally elongate securing holes 9.
Preferred Fabrication While the bracket 5, post 16 and out-turned flanges 17 may be fabricated in any suitable way, they preferably are formed as one integral unit, which is made as heavy as is reasonably possible to insure the securement of the requisite rigidity and strength necessary to maintain the integrity of the unit and its adherence to close tolerance under clamping stresses. Preferably, that heavy unit is extruded widthwise and cut to desired width because the extruding process provides an easy way of rapidly and accurately producing it to a close tolerance in a desired shape or contour.
The channel 10 and its intumed flanges 14 preferably is made in the standard readily available form shown. it preferably is composed of metal v(steel, aluminum, etc.) although it may be made of other suitable materials including plastic.
While the manually operated clamp actuating device may be of any form, its simplest form comprises the clamping screw 20 shown; hence, a passageway 21 is formed through the bight 6 and post 16 of the bracket 5 and part (or all) of that passageway is threaded to receive clamping screw 20. The passageway 21 preferably is concentric to the long center axis of post 16.
One embodiment of a satisfactory three-element assembly may be made with the following dimensions, viz: 3 inches overall horizontal length by three-fourths inches width by onesixteenth inch (strap metal) thickness; three-eighths inch by three-sixteenths inch holes for securing screws; a bracket U- space left-to-right width at its rear end of 1-1/ I6 inch ahd at its front end of 1% inches with a l 15 angle of divergence between the bight 6 and adjacent leg 7; a U-space (bracket) depth of seventeen thirty'seconds embracing five thirtysecond inch post length between bight 6 and flange l7, seven thirty-second inch flange l7 thickness and five thirty-second inch clearance between flange l7 and inch plane 3; a minimum horizontal clearance of five thirty-second inch between flange 17 and the adjacent leg 7; post 16 widths of three-eighth inch at its rear end and one-half inch at its flange end; a radius of seven sixty-fourths inch for the circular curvature of each post flange 17; an overall right-to-left length of fifteen-sixteenth inch between outer ends of flanges 17; a channel 10 width of 1% inches and depth of seven-sixteenths inch with a five thirty-seconds inch radius for the curvature between each side of the channel and its adjacent inturned flange l4; and a channel slot of one-half inch between flanges 14. It will be noted that, in the foregoing dimensions, the onehalf inch horizontal spacing, between the end edges of the channel flanges l4, equals the one-half inch horizontal width of the post 16 at the front end of its diverging walls and exceeds (by one-eighth of an inch) the three-eighths inch horizontal width of the post atits rear end; hence, the sideplay of the channel 10 relative to the post 16 varies from oneeighth of an inch in its rearmost unclamped position to zero in its clamped position.
Advantages This construction has many advantages. First, the stresses, created in use by the clamping operation, are confined to each three-element support as a unit and are not transmitted through bracket 5 to either the base 1 or the mirror 2. Secondly, it is relatively inexpensive to manufacture since the bracket 5 unit can be extruded and standard box channels used for channel 10. The extruded bracket unit can be made to close permanent tolerances.
Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, it will be noted: that the out-turned post flanges are permanently parallel to each other and normal to the axis of the clamping screw and that the inturned channel flanges 14 are parallel to each other permanently and parallel to the out-turned flanges 17 when clamped thereto. This integration of the post 16 and flanges 17 and bracket 5 into one rigid unit has the advantage of preventing the channel from binding within the bracket during longitudinal movement vertically in either direction and during horizontal clamping or unclamping movement.
In the latter connection, let us assume that channel 10 is canted relative to the bracket 5 at the beginning of a clamping operation. In that case, during the clamping operation, the clamping screw 20 will engage the bight ll of the canted channel 10 and force that channel to swing toward its uncanted position and ultimately force it into its parallel clamping position without encountering any binding action whatsoever.
Furthermore, if the end edges 15 of the inturned flanges 14, when clamped, extend closely to the opposite sides of post 16, then the channel will be centered on the axis of the clamping screw 20 and, if that screw is centered, the channel 10 will be correspondingly centered on bracket 5. The clamped channel 10 may not be centered if either or both of the end edges 15 of its inturned flanges 14 are spaced from the post 16 sufficiently to permit some side play of the channel 10 relative to the post 16.
MODIFICATION In FIG. 6, the bracket unit extrusion is modified to provide the front or forward face of its flanged portion with a central slot into which a conventional four-sided threaded-nut 26 is press fitted. This arrangement has the advantage of maintaining the integration of the bracket 5, post 6 and flanges 17 into one rigid unit and of providing a unit, which is less expensive to produce because it is lighter in weight and makes use of prefabricated threaded-nuts 26 that are inexpensive to produce and easily and inexpensively press fitted into slot 25,
thus maintaining a rigid integrated unit and inexpensively providing it with threads to receive the clamping screw 20.
The slot 25 may be in the form of a hole rather than a slot and it may be used solely to reduce the weight of the support,
hence, without nut 26.
Having described my invention, I claim:
1. An adjustable mirror support comprising:
A. a horizontal bracket of general U-shape presenting a forwardly open space;
B. a vertical rearwardly open U-shaped channel adapted to pass upwardly through the forwardly open space of, the bracket; and
C. clamping means for clamping the channel to the bracket,
said means including 7 l. a pair of horizontally inturned clamping flanges extending from the sides of the channel toward each other a. with the end edges of the flanges spaced transversely apart to define a long vertical slot, and
b. with the inner faces of the flanges providing forwardly facing clamping surfaces,
2 a stationary horizontal post, having rear and front ends and forwardly diverging sidewalls, rigidly mounted at its rear end on the inner bight face of the bracket to project forwardly therefrom into the slot of a channel passing through the bracket,
a. the width between the diverging walls of the post, at the front end of the post, closely approximating the width of the channel slot for centering purposes and, at the rear end of the post, being smaller than said slot width for clearance purposes, and
b. the diverging sidewalls of said post terminating within the channel in a pair of clamping flanges, which are horizontally out-turned at an obtuse angle to the diverging sidewalls and which provide rearwardly facing clamping surfaces that are parallel to the forwardly facing clamping surfaces of the channel, and
3 screw-threaded means on the bracket for moving the channel forwardly from an unclamped position to a clamped position, wherein a. in the clamped position, the channel's clamping flanges engage the brackets clamping flanges while the slot forming edges of the channel s flanges extend so closely adjacent the front ends of the forwardly diverging sidewalls of the bracket post as to prevent any significant transverse play between the channel and bracket parts and thereby transversely center such parts, and
b. in the unclamped position, the channels clamping flanges are spaced rearwardly from the brackets clamping flanges while the slot-forming edges of the channels clamping flanges are transversely spaced from the rear end portion of the forwardly diverging sidewalls of the bracket post sufficiently to permit significant transverse play between the channel and bracket parts and thereby allow longitudinal non binding movement of one part relative to the other.
2. The support of claim I wherein:
A. the post has a forward-rearward axis centered between its forwardly diverging sidewalls, is centrally disposed on the bight of the bracket and extends vertically across the width of the bracket;
B. all clamping surfaces are parallel to each other and perpendicular to the forward-rearward axis of the post; and C. the screw-threaded means includes a clamping screw centered on the post axis and extending through both the bight of the bracket and the post on the bracket.
3. The support of claim 1 wherein:
A. the rearwardly open channel has a flat rear bight connected by rounded rear comers to its sidewalls which are perpendicular to the bight,
1. the sidewalls being connected by rounded front corners to the clamping flanges which are perpendicular to the sidewalls; and
B. the bracket is an extrusion.
t I t 1. l
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|U.S. Classification||248/476, 248/125.1|