US 3652372 A
An article of furniture includes a metal strip inlay set in a crisscross (checkerboard) pattern on an exposed substantially flat surface thereof. To receive the metal strips, an orthogonal network of mating channels is formed in the upper surface of the furniture. The channels are rectangular in cross section and arrayed with perpendicular intersections. At the intersection of any two channels, a shallow wall extends deep enough into the surface of the furniture to receive the thickness of two strips. The strips are inlaid in the channels with each strip of one piece construction for its entire length crossing several intersections. At each intersection, one of the strips has a groove to receive an overlying crossing strip whereby the exposed upper surfaces of the strips are coplanar and are flush with the exposed surface of the furniture.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
lazlkin et a1.
States atent [451 ar.2&1l972  EN LA! FURNITURE Filed:
Leonard Klazkln, East Meadow; Jesse Feldsteln, Oceanside, both of NY.
Woodron lnc., Freeport, NY.
Jan. 26, 1970 126.96.36.199 ..l6l/39,156/298,161/145 Int. Cl. ..B32b 3/00, B32b 3/30, B44c 1/26 Field ollSearch ..161/39,40,5,145, 36-38;
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Primary ExaminerHarold Ansher Assistant Examiner-Joseph C. Gil
Attorney-Kirschstein, Kirschstein, Ottinger & Frank An article of furniture includes a metal strip inlay set in a crisscross (checkerboard) pattern on an exposed substantially flat surface thereof. To receive the metal strips, an orthogonal network of mating channels is formed in the upper surface of the furniture. The channels are rectangular in cross section and arrayed with perpendicular intersections. At the intersection of any two channels, a shallow wall extends deep enough into the surface of the furniture to receive the thickness of two strips. The strips are inlaid in the channels with each strip of one piece construction for its entire length crossing several intersections. At each intersection, one of the strips has a groove to receive an overlying crossing strip whereby the exposed upper surfaces of the strips are coplanar and are flush with the exposed surface of the furniture.
ABSTRACT 6 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEUMARw I972 ATTORNEYS INLAY FURNITURE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention Furniture having an exposed surface carrying a flush metal strip inlay.
2. Description of the Prior Art Metal inlays in an exposed flat surface of furniture are known. They produce a most desirable and pleasing aesthetic effect that is greatly enhanced when the strips are set in parallel rows crossed with further metal strips set in parallel columns perpendicularly intersecting the rows.
A difficulty encountered with such metal inlaid strips in prior articles of furniture was that if any inlaid strip was to be of continuous one-piece construction throughout its span over the furniture surface, the perpendicularly intersecting strip or strips were necessarily split into a plurality of segments each terminating at a side edge of the continuous strip. This segmentizing of a single strip presented undue problems in manufacture. Additional costs resulted from the added fabrication steps as well as from added labor for assembling a composite strip which was composed of several segments. Necessarily, assembly time included the time required to place each segment of each composite strip in its proper location.
A further disadvantage encountered with the prior fabrication techniques was that because each strip was broken into segments, they had to be separately secured in proper positions in the affiliated channel. Additionally, as each short segment of a composite strip included two ends which abutted the crossing (one-piece) strip at the intersection, a broken (noncontinuous) inlaid surface was presented upon which something might easily snag.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the present invention to provide a metal strip inlay of the general character described which, however, it not subject to any of the foregoing disadvantages.
More specifically, it is an object of the present invention to provide a metal strip inlay of the character described which is simple and rugged in construction as well as durable, and yet can be manufactured by mass production methods at an appreciably lower cost than the prior metal strip inlay furniture.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide a metal strip inlay furniture wherein a criss-cross intersecting pattern of perpendicularly oriented metal strips is secured to a surface of the furniture with each inlay strip being of one piece construction over its entire span on the furniture surface.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a metal strip inlay of the general character described wherein a criss-cross pattern of strips is secured within intersecting rectangular channels on a surface of the furniture and wherein parallel inlay strips in a column or row accommodate transversely oriented inlay strips which overlie the first mentioned strips at the intersections.
A further object of the present invention is to provide an inlay strip article of furniture of the general character described wherein parallel strips of inlay material have grooves formed therein, said grooves nestably accommodating further inlay strips which are perpendicularly oriented to the first mentioned strips.
Other objects of the invention in part will be obvious and in part will be pointed out hereinafter.
The invention accordingly consists in the features of construction, combinations of elements and arrangements of parts which will be exemplified in the inlay furniture hereinafter described and of which the scope of application will be indicated in the appended claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the accompanying drawings in which is shown one of the various possible embodiments of the invention,
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a coffee table constructed in accordance with and embodying the present invention and illustrating the upper table surface wherein a plurality of inlaid strips are arranged in a criss-cross pattern with one of the strips partially broken away to better illustrate the details of the new construction;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the coffee table illustrated in FIG. 1 with portions of three strips broken away to illustrate the accommodating channels within which the strips lie;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2 and illustrating the overlapping position of two intersecting strips as well as the underlying surface of the channel;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along the line 4-4 of FIG. 2 and illustrating the overlapped position of two intersecting strips as well as the underlying structure of the table edge; and
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken substantially along the line 5-5 of FIG. 1 and illustrating a channel within which an inlaid strip is placed.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT The present invention relates to the fabrication of a metal strip inlay for decorative use on exposed substantially flat furniture surfaces.
In accordance with the present invention, a plurality of perpendicular criss-crossing metal inlay strips are inserted and secured to a criss-crossing orthogonal array of channels that extend into the furniture surface. At the intersection between mutually perpendicularly oriented strips, one of the strips is transversely grooved so that the upper surface thereof will flushly accommodate the intersecting strip. Thus, each strip if of one-piece construction throughout the length. In the area of channels beneath the grooved portion of the strip, the channel is deepened and extends into the intermediate core of the furniture. The deepened portion of the channel serves to accommodate the depressed under surface of the grooved portion of the strip and aids in positioning the strips having the grooved portions.
Referring now in detail to the drawings, the reference numeral l0 denotes a coffee table wherein the table top includes a plurality of intersecting channels within which criss-crossing inlay strips are secured. The channels are arranged in an orthogonal array. It should be noted that utilization of a coffee table top is merely illustrative of one of the possible manners with which the inlay of the present invention may be utilized. It is well within the ambit of the invention to utilize the inlay on other articles of furniture such as, but not limited to: dining table tops, dresser tops, chest tops, or, optionally, the inlay may be vertically oriented and used on headboards or cabinet doors.
The table 10 is of basically conventional construction except in the area of the table top 12 and includes a plurality of legs 14 which extend downwardly from the table top to support the same at an elevated, generally horizontal position. The table top includes an upper veneer ply 16 which is preferably composed of a decorative wood grain to enhance the beauty and complement the metal inlay structure. The upper veneer ply is the exposed layer of a plywood laminate which includes an underlying ply l8 and a core 20 which is of a considerable thickness, e.g. in the order of 20 times the thickness of the upper veneer ply. A base ply 22 is located beneath the core to complete the plywood structure.
Because portions of the upper plies and core are routed out to receive metal inlay strips, the plywood laminate is unevenly stressed and tends to warp. To prevent this, a wooden frame 24 depends from the table top and peripherally engages the base ply 22 adjacent its edges. The frame is suitably secured to the undersurface of the table top as with screws, nails or adhesives.
The upper surface of the table top is routed, milled or kerfed to form a plurality of channels 25 within which the metal inlay strips are inserted and secured. For the purpose of description, the channels will be deemed to be separated into two separate sets, one set constituting parallel vertical columns 26 and the other constituting parallel horizontal rows 28 that intersect the columns, The sets of rows and columns are mutually perpendicular so that a plurality of rectangular plateau-like segments are formed in the veneer which are bounded by the channels. The spacing of the rows and columns is such that the rectangular segments are square, such as the segments 32 shown in the interior of the lattice pattern illustrated in FIG. 2. The remaining segments which are not fully enclosed by the inlay strips adjacent and parallel to the peripheral edges of the table top are rectangular. The segments at the four corners of the top 12 are square. The specified proportions of the various segments are a matter of design choice, depending upon the effect desired.
It should be noted that the grain pattern of the veneer 16 is continuous and thus the channels will break the continuous pattern into segments. The overall appearance will be a wood grain pattern separated by the metal inlay strips into segmental portions with a general continuity discernable.
The channels 25 are of oblong wide-bottom shallow cross section and each includes a flat bottom 27 extending in a plane substantially parallel to the plane of the upper ply 16. The channel depth is greater than the thickness of the upper ply 16 yet less than the total thickness of the combined plies l6 and 18. Vertical side walls 29 of the channel extend perpendicularly upwardly from the side edges of the channel bottom 27. Each channel is ofa width and depth suitable to nicely accommodate a metal strip which is set therein to form part of the composite inlay. The depth of the channels, except at the intersections, is equal to the thickness of the metal strip so that the upper surfaces of the strip will be flush with the upper surface of the table top.
The channels are deepened to form a well or cavity 36 at the intersection of each pair of crossing channels of the rows 28 and columns 26. The floor 37 of the cavity lies in a plane substantially parallel to the plane of the channel bottom 27. Each cavity 36 has stub arms extending in a crossed plan configuration laterally from the overlapping rectangular area between intersecting channels 25 (see FIG. 2). The cavities 36 are provided to obtain the spaces necessary to accommodate the double thickness of metal strips which intersect at the cavities in a manner to be subsequently described. The depth of the cavities 36 is such that the cavity bottom 37 extends into the core 20 of the table top, a distance which is greater than the depth of the channels (which extend only into the second ply).
As previously mentioned, the inlay structure includes a plurality of intersecting metal strips. The strips are arrayed in the rows and columns of the channels 25 in a pattern which necessarily includes a plurality of horizontal row metal strips 48 and vertical column metal strips 46, with the row strips 48 lying within the row channels 28 and the column strips 46 lying within the column channels 26.
Each of the strips 46, 48 is formed of a suitable metal, e.g. iron, steel, copper, bronze, etc. and is generally of an oblong cross-sectional area, the width of each strip being slightly less than the width of each channel 25 and the thickness of each strip being equal to or barely less than the depth of each channel so that the strips may be nestably positioned within the channels, while maintaining the top surface of the table essentially plane and unbroken.
One of the problems with which this invention deals is that at the intersection of the strips 46 and 48 one or the other of the strips have had portions cut out, resulting in segmentizing. This is overcome pursuant to the instant invention in a manner such that each strip is continuous throughout its span across the table top and yet does not present surface irregularities and projections, i.e. the entire inlaid strip array has its upper surface flush with the upper surface of the table top. For this purpose, the row strips 48 are provided with flat shallow transverse grooves 50, the bottoms of which extend into the cavities 36 and upon the upper surface of which the respective column strips are received. The upper surface of the remaining undepressed portions of the row strips and the upper surface of the column strips will be in substantially the same plane. The grooves are spaced apart to correspond to the spacing between the intersecting channels so as to effectively form continuations thereof. The grooves are suitably formed as in a die stamping machine with a male die forcing a portion of the row strip into a slot of a female die. The span of the grooves 50 is slightly greater than the width of the column strips 46 so that the column strips may be nicely received within the grooves. Furthermore, the depth of the groove, i.e. the distance between the upper surface of the groove and the upper surface of the row strip is equal to, or barely greater than, the thickness of a column strip 46 so that the exposed upper surfaces of the row strips 48 and the upper surfaces of the column strips 46 lie in the same horizontal plane.
In the embodiment shown, all of the vertical column strips 46 are planar and portions of each vertical column strip lie within grooves 50 at the intersections with the row strips 48. This is merely illustrative and it is within the scope of the invention to employ alternating column strips 46 with grooves and to have the row strips 48 resting in the grooves of the column strips at the overlapped intersection of the strips. The invention also embraces the use of alternating grooves on a single strip so that a single strip may extend over another strip at one intersection, while a further portion of the same single strip will have a groove in which a second intersecting strip will lie.
It can be seen that during the assembly process, the bottom surface of each groove will tend to set itself within a cavity 36 of the table top. Thus, the strips having the grooves are selflocating and assembly time will be minimized. Prior to the insertion of the respective strips 46 and 48 within the channels 25, the strips and/or channels may be coated with a suitable adhesive to secure the emplaced strips forming the inlay pattern in their proper respective positions, thus preventing the inadvertent removal of the strips from the table top.
It thus will be seen that there has been provided inlay furniture which achieves the various objects of the invention and which is well adapted to meet the conditions of practical use.
As various possible embodiments might be made of the above invention, and as various changes might be made in the embodiment set forth above, it is-to be understood that all matter herein described or shown in the accompanying drawings is to be interpreted as illustrative and not in a limiting sense.
Having thus described the invention, there is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent:
1. A decorative article of furniture having an exposed substantially fiat surface, said surface including at least two preformed intersecting channels, each of said channels extending into said substantially flat surface, at least two metal strips inlaid into said substantially flat surface, each said strip being continuous throughout the length thereof, said strips being seated within said channels, the strips in the channels having conforming cross-sectional shapes, one of said strips extending over the other of said strips at the intersection of the said channels, said other strip having a preformed groove in its upper surface, said groove being in registry with the intersection of said channels, said one strip lying within the groove of the other strip, the cross-sectional shape of said groove conforming to the cross-sectional shape of said one strip in registry with said groove, said furniture having a preformed depressed area beneath the substantially flat surface at the intersection of the channels, said depressed area extending to a depth beneath the substantially flat surface a distance greater than the depth of the channels, a portion of the undersurface of the other strip which is beneath the groove extending downwardly to a depth greater than the depth to which the remainder of the undersurface of said other strip extends within its affiliated channel, the undersurface of the other strip in registry with the groove being positioned in alignment with the depressed area at the intersection of the channels whereby the other strip may be easily positioned for assembly, the entire upper surface of said one strip and the upper surface of said other strip exclusive of the portion of said other strip comprising said groove lying substantially within the same plane, the substantially flat surface of said furniture lying within said plane, and means securing the strips within the channels.
2. An article of furniture as set forth in claim 1 wherein the strips and the channels are of rectangular transverse cross-sectional shape.
3. An article of furniture as set forth in claim 1 wherein many strips and channels are provided in a criss-cross pattern of parallel rows and parallel columns, each of said strips being seated within a channel, all of the strips in parallel columns being planar, all of the strips in parallel rows having grooves on the upper surface thereof, said grooves being positioned at the intersections of the channels, the strips in the columns of strips being seated in the grooves at the intersections of the channels.
4. An article of furniture as set forth in claim 1 wherein the furniture is fabricated of a plied construction and includes an upper veneer, said veneer lying within the plane of the substantially flat surface, said furniture further including a second layer and core, said veneer and second layer being in abutting contact, the channels extending beneath the plane of the substantially flat surface and into the second layer.
5. An article of furniture as set forth in claim 1 wherein the furniture is fabricated of a plied construction and includes an upper veneer, said veneer lying within the plane of the exposed substantially flat surface, said furniture further including a second layer and core, said veneer and second layer being in abutting contact, the channels extending beneath the plane of the substantially flat surface and into the second layer and the depressed area extending into the core.
6. An article of furniture as set forth in claim 1 wherein the substantially flat surface is that of a panel having means supporting the same inwardly from the edges thereof and wherein a peripheral frame is secured to the under surface of the panel to inhibit warping arising from the presence of the channels.