US 3661349 A
The tree stand is collapsible for storage, and includes means to positively latch the tree shaft receptacle in adjusted positions of tilt, thereby minimizing the risk of accidental release of the receptacle and possible overturning of the assembly.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent De Vries 1 May 9, 1972 s41 ADJUSTABLE CHRISTMAS TREE 3,010,687 11/1961 Hagberg ..24s/sa STAND 2.68IJ80 6/1954 Santoro ...248/46 x l.359,260 11/1920 Tehman ..248/ 1 33 [721 2,755,049 7/1956 Curtis: ..248/46 W rlne list I d m] Ass'gnee g: M kap'db FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 22 Filed; M. 30 1970 l,044,098 6/l953 France ...248/42 382.254 l0/l923 Germany .248/46  I Appl. No.: 23,685
Primary Examiner-William H. Schultz 1521 1.1.5. 248/179 r- Wamn ys1 1 Int. Cl A41; 33/12 158 Fit 615mm ..248 44, 45, 46, 4a, 133. 140, 1 ABS'I'RACT Mann The tree stand is collapsible for storage, and includes means to positively latch the tree shafl receptacle in adjusted positions Rm cm oftilt, thereby minimizing the risk of accidental release of the UNITED S1- ATES PATENTS receptacle and possible overturning of the assembly.
3,307.8 1 3 3/1967 Pleiss ..248/44 17 cum, 7 Brewing Figures l xnws'rma cttarsrms m1: srssn This invention relates to an adjustable Christmas tree stand, or more broadly to a stand for tilting and supporting any elongate slender object or shaft in a vertical or selectively inclined position.
The device of the present invention constitutes an improvement upon the device disclosed by G. S. Pleiss, U.S. Pat. No. 3,307,8l3,dated Mar. 7, 1967.
In the erection of Christmas trees and the like, it is often found that the shaft thereof is bent or crooked, so that support of the shaft to impart an appearance of verticality requires an adjustment thereof to one side of a vertical line. It is highly desirable that such adjustment of the shaft disposition be capable of accomplishment with an expenditure of minimal time and effort, and preferably by means of a foot-operated latching device which leaves the erector's hands free and his line of sight favorably inclined, to position the shah for latching. Desirable also is the provision of means in the form of a durable stand for support of the shaft, which may easily be collapsed for storage when not in use. It is important also that the stand be so constructed as to include a positive latch means precluding any possibility of accidental tilting or leaning of the shaft such as might unbalance the stand and shaft assembly and cause it to overturn.
An object of the invention is to provide an improved construction in Christmas tree stands, which safely and securely supports the tree shah in a desirable inclined position, without danger of overturning.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved stand for the purpose stated, which is simply and easily manipulated, and capable of being manufactured, shipped, and stored with a minimum of expense.
Another object is to provide a stand of the character stated, which is collapsible into a small space for ease of shipment and storage.
The foregoing and other objects are attained by the means described herein and illustrated upon the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. I is a perspective view of the improved Christmas tree stand collapsed for storage or shipment.
FIG. 2 is a vertical cross-section of the stand of FIG. 1, extended and set up in use.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmental cross-section taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 4, parts being shown in elevation.
FIG. 4 is a fragmental top plan view of the stand.
FIG. 5 is a bottom view of FIG. 3.
FIGS 6 and 7 are detailed perspective views showing a pedal latch in an inoperative and operative position.
The stand constructed in accordance with the present invention includes a preferably watertight open-topped elongated receptacle or cup 10, into which may be inserted the base end of a tree shaft or the like 13 to be supported in upright position. The receptacle may include an imperforate bottom wall 12, preferably though not necessarily dished toward a center point where an upstanding rigid spike or prong 14 may be anchored to penetrate and stabilize the lower end portion of the inserted shaft. The circumferential rim 16 of receptacle may support a second shaft stabilizing means, which may comprise a plurality of radially directed clamp screws I8 to be advanced endwise against the shaft in customary manner to laterally support the shaft at a location above the spike or prong N.
The receptacle 10 is supported in gimbals so that it may be swung sidewise in any direction, as suggested by FIG. 2. For this purpose, there is provided a body member 20 which may be in the form of a ring annulus horizontally supported by legs 22 numbering three of more, four legs being shown by way of example. Each leg is pivoted at 24 upon a depending lug 26 welded or otherwise suitably fixed to body member 20. The legs may terminate in feet 28.
Body member 20 carries a pair of diametrally opposed pivots 30. 50 which are fixed to the body member, and the pair of pivots support for rocking movement an inner gimbal ring 32. Gimbal ring 32 in turn is rockingly mounted upon a pair of pivots 34, 34 which are fixed to the side wall of receptacle 10 at opposite ends of a diameter of the receptacle. The diametral line which includes the pivots 34, 34 is disposed at approximate right angles to a diametral line which includes the pivots 30, 30. It will therefore be apparent that the resultant gimbal structure permits tilting of receptacle t0 laterally in any direction relative to the normally stationary horizontal body member 20. i
It may here be noted that the ring shaped body member 20 is reinforced by an inner depending annular flange 36 and an outer depending annular flange 38. Flange 38 may depend suf- Iiciently to act as a stop limiting the spread of all the legs 22 when extended. The spread of the legs may be limited also be braces 40, 40 and an open annular brace frame 42 having pivotal connections at 44 with the inner ends of the braces. The outer ends of the braces are pivoted upon the legs 22 at 46.
The pivots at 44 may be supported by depending brackets 48 which are welded or otherwise suitably fixed to brace frame 42. Brace frame 42 may be reinforced by an inner depending annular flange 50 and an outer depending flange 52, both of which flanges may be integral parts of the frame. The outer flange 52 depends sufficiently to act as a stop limiting downward swinging of braces 40 about their pivots 46, said flange being struck by the upper edges of all the braces when fully extended. This limits also descent of frame 42 to approximately the level of the receptacle bottom wall l2 when the legs and braces are fully extended outwardly.
As indicated upon the drawings, the brace frame 42 preferably is in the form of an open ring, having an inside diameter greater than the outside diameter of receptacle 10, so that in the collapsed or folded condition of the stand said frame 42 will loosely surround the receptacle, FIG. I.
With reference to FIGS. 2, 3 and 5, it is noted that the bottom wall 12 of receptacle 10 is capped by an external foraminous member or plate 54, the numerous apertures 56 of which are small and closely spaced apart. The member 54 forms part of a latch or retainer assembly whereby receptacle [0 may be positively locked in one of many positions of tilt or inclination, as suggested by FIG. 2. Plate 54 is formed slightly convex according to FIG. 3.
Member 54 incorporates an upstanding flange or cylindrical wall 58 welded or otherwise fixedly secured at 60 to receptacle 10, leaving a space between member 54 and the bottom wall of the receptacle. The foraminous member may be fabricated as a substantially flat sieve, perforated plates, or screen of metal, bodily movable with receptacle 10.
The reference numeral 62 indicated an elongate foot pedal or lever pivoted intermediate its ends upon one of the brackets 48 as at 64, where 64 is indicated as a screw carrying a thumb nut 66. Between pivot 64 and the inner free end 68 of pedal 62, the pedal carries an upstanding pin or retaining element 70 which is rigidly mounted upon the pedal, said pin or element being adapted to enter any one of the preformed perforations 56 with which it may be aligned in any tilted position of receptacle I0. Pin 70 may be caused to enter a perforation 56 by depressing the outer end portion 72 of the foot pedal, as indicated by broken lines 62 upon FIG. 3.
The outer end of pedal 62 may carry a rubber or plastic sleeve or socltet member 74, preventing any hard and sharp edges of the metallic pedal from cutting or scuffing any footwear coming into contact therewith. The pedal extends through an elongated guide slot 76 in leg 22, which slot is widened at its lower end 78. The wide end of the slot permits a limited sidewise shifting of foot pedal 62, to engage it beneath the head of a shoulder rivet or abutment 80 secured to a side wall of leg 22, (FIGS. 6 and 7). Whenever the pedal is engaged beneath the rivet 80 as in FIG. 7, the retaining or latching pin 70 will be held thereby in positive engagement with one of the perforations of plate 54, thereby to positively hold receptacle I0 in a given position of inclination.
If desired, the inner free end portion of pedal 62 may be equipped with a leaf spring or the like 82, FIG. 3, adapted to abut the frame member flange 50 and exert a downward force upon the pedal end 68 so as to ensure retraction of pin '70 from plate 54 when the pedal is shifted to release it from the abutment or stop 80, according to H6. 6. Spring 82 normally urges the foot pedal to the inoperative position at the upper end of slot 76, FIG. 6. A portion of the foot pedal may include a detent 84 to accommodate the head of rivet 80 if desired.
It is important to note that the foraminous plate 54 could serve as the bottom wall of receptacle 10, provided that the receptacle is not required to hold a quantity of water to nourish the tree trunk or shaft 13. That is, the receptacle wall 12 could be perforated and made substantially flat to accept the retaining pin 70, thereby making possible the elimination of part 54, if desired. Also, if receptacle is not to be watertight, its side wall need not be a solid wall as shown; that is, the receptacle might be fabricated merely as an elongated cage whose side wall might be largely open to expose the truck or shaft 13.
The stand constructed as herein disclosed will safely and securely support the shaft or trunk 13 without risk of release and possible overturning of the structure. Moreover, the stand is collapsible or foldable into a small space for easy shipment and storage at reasonable cost, and may easily be set up for use without the need of any tools. When collapsing the structure, the foot pedal may be bodily displaced by simply removing the wing nut pivot at 66.
What is claimed is:
l. A stand for tilting and supporting an elongate shaft in a vertical or selectively inclined position, said stand comprising in combination: a body member; a shaft receptacle universally mounted upon said body member, said receptacle having an open top receptive of a shaft end to be supported; receptacle latching means including an elongate foot pedal having an outer end and an inner end, and means supporting said pedal intermediate the ends thereof for rocking movement relative to the body member; a sieve-like substantially flat foraminous member movable with and fixed relative to said receptacle; retaining means including a pin carried by and movable with said foot pedal, to enter and engage with any such apertures of the foraminous member as may be aligned with said pin incident to adjusting the tilt angle of the receptacle and means for selectively maintaining said retaining pin in an aligned aperture and yielding means tending constantly to withdraw the retaining pin from the aligned aperture.
2. The combination as defined in claim I, wherein the receptacle includes an imperforate bottom wall, and the foraminous member is a separate part fixed to the receptacle in spaced relation with said bottom wall.
3. The combination as defined in claim 1, wherein the foraminous member is in the form of a plate of substantially inflexible material having a multiplicity of preformed apertures therein spaced from one another over the plate area.
4. The combination as defined in claim 2, wherein the foraminous member is in the form of a plate of substantially inflexible material having a multiplicity of preformed apertures therein spaced from one another over the plate area.
5. The combination as defined in claim I, wherein said body member includes a plurality of supporting legs movable between an operative extended position for supporting the stand upon a surface, and an inoperative collapsed position at which said legs are folded inwardly toward the receptacle axis.
6. The combination as defined in claim 5, wherein is included means for selectively maintaining said retaining pin in an aligned aperture of the foraminous member.
7. The combination as defined in claim 5, wherein one of said supporting legs is slotted longitudinally and the foot pedal extends through said slot; and included is means for selectively securing the foot pedal in a biased position near one end of said slot.
8. The combination as defined in claim 5, wherein the receptacle includes means for anchoring therein the inserted shaft.
9. The combination as defined by claim 5, wherein is included a leg reinforcing structure comprising a plurality of elongate rigid braces each having an outer end and an inner end; an open annular brace frame the opening of which is dimensioned to surround the receptacle; and means pivoting the outer end of each brace upon a leg, and the inner end of each brace upon the annular brace frame.
10. The combination as defined by claim 9, wherein the rocking support means for the foot pedal is carried by said brace frame.
11. The combination as defined by claim 10, wherein said rocking support means comprises a separable connector to facilitate bodily displacement of the foot pedal from said brace frame.
12. The combination as defined by claim 10, wherein one of the said supporting legs is slotted longitudinally and the foot pedal extends through said slot; and the combination includes means for selectively securing the foot pedal in a biased position near one end of said slot.
13. The combination as defined by claim 12, wherein the means last mentioned is carried by said slotted leg.
[4. The combination as defined by claim 1, wherein the receptacle is made fluidtight to store a quantity of fluid about the inserted shaft.
15. The combination as defined by claim 3, wherein the receptacle is made fluidtight to store a quantity of water.
16. The combination as defined by claim 6, wherein the receptacle is made fluidtight for the storage of water.
17. The combination as defined by claim 13, wherein the receptacle is made fluidtight for the storage of water.