US 3664623 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
May 23, 1972 5, sv s 3,664,623
BASE STRUCTURE FOR FURNITURE Filed July 9 1970 4 Sheets-Sheet I Fig. lbw v N IF WE kmwroe s/ameo 5202 AMOS syn/so y 23, 1972 s. SVENSON 3,664,623
BASE STRUCTURE FOR FURNITURE Filed July 9, 1970 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Fig.3 I
Mimi/7 May 23, 1972 s, VEN'SQN 3,664,623
BASE STRUCTURE FOR FURNITURE Filed July 9, 1970 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Pg .6 Fig.7
hwflyffl 5/61/460 aeoe 44 0525 .S'VlMS'O/l/ na lswvf y 1972 s. SVENSON BASE STRUCTURE FOR FURNITURE 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 Filed July 9, 1970 United States Patent 3,664,623 BASE STRUCTURE FOR FURNITURE Sigvard Svenson, P.O. Box 127, 560 10 Skillingaryd, Sweden Filed July 9, 1970, Ser. No. 53,401 Claims priority, application Sweden, July 18, 1969, 10,194/ 69 Int. Cl. F16m 11/20 US. Cl. 248-188.7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE There is provided a new type of supporting base structure to be used as, for example, a furniture pedestal or foot, the structure forming a completely screw joint free assembly comprising radial support members connected and held together at their inner ends by, first, a locking ring engaging in and received in recesses on the underneath of the members and, secondly, a hub member introduced through the center of the locking ring between the ends of the supporting members, engaging said ends, the arrangement being such that when the hub member is placed under load, a strong assembly is formed wherein all members are rigidly interlocked by wedge action.
The present invention relates to attachment means, more specifically to means for fastening arms or wing structures forming part of a support structure, for example a supporting foot or pedestal of an arm-chair, a table or standard lamp etc.
Supporting feet or pedestals of the type referred to are well known to the art and are available in many different constructional forms, such feet or pedestals normally having the form of a cross-piece comprising a central hub portion from which a number of arms are arranged to extend radially from the hub in a spoke-like manner. One constant problem with respect to both the manufacture and the design of such furniture feet structures is one associated with mounting the arms to the central hub portion of the cross, which hub portion normally forms part of a relatively slender post or standard depending from the piece of furniture in question. This post is often subjected to relatively large vertical forces which are transmitted out through the legs, via the central attachment point of the arms, down to the supporting surface or floor. The effect produced by the torque with subsequent stresses acting between the radially extending arms and the downwardly extending post is very pronounced and places high requirements on the aforementioned attachment. It is not normally possible to fixedly mount the arms in position, as by welding for example, since it is generally desirable that the arms can be removed to facilitate storage and transportation of the furniture. Screw connections of various designs have been proposed, but these are considered unsatisfactory in view of the many loose parts involved and because they are troublesome to assemble and are of doubtful mechanical strength as a result of the small space available for the screws. Screw connections which are strong and durable are both clumsy and complicated. Further proposals for securing the support arms to the central hub portions include a form of clamp connection, in which the arms or wing structures are provided at their inner ends with grooves or slots which are hooked into openings in the central post or the edge portions of a central hub member or the like connected to the post, the whole construction being held together by a common securing or locking element which is fastened by means of a screw or some other threaded element.
A common feature with all structures of this latter type 3,664,623 Patented May 23, 1972 "ice is that the arms or wings of the foot engage in the central post, either directly or via a hub member, through an internal connection with the post. The principle is generally known in several contexts, and is used for example with wall book shelves of the type which comprise perforated or sloted rails fastened to the wall and in the slots of which are fitted hooked ends of shelf supporting brackets. This principle, however, cannot be suitably applied to furniture feet, because of the great strain occurring thereon and because such an arrangement would considerably weaken the supporting structure of the piece of furniture in question, besides causing other complications. In order to circumvent these disadvantages it is proposed according to the invention that the arms or wings of the furniture support foot are engaged with the central support member completely externally around said member, and the object of the invention is to provide in furniture supporting feet of the type referred to means for securing the arms or wing structures externally of the central support member and to provide an attachment which lacks screw connections. This object is achieved by means of the present invention, which is mainly characterized in that the supporting means are provided on the underneath thereof close to their attachment ends with recesses adapted to receive a locking ring which concentrically surrounds the central hub portion and which engages at its radially inner edge with the supporting means in the recesses thereof in a manner whereby the points of contact between the ring and the support means form pivot points about which the support means pivot under load into engagement with the portion of the central hub situated above the ring which hub is adapted to be carried by the assembly formed by the support means and the locking ring to support the same.
A number of embodiments of the invention will now be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate the principle of the invention, the construction being diagrammatically simplified to illustrate the concept of the invention, FIG. 1 being a sectional view of the embodiment of FIG. 2 taken through the line II in FIG. 2, which is a fragmentary plan view of a furniture foot according to the invention having four arms or wing structures;
FIGS. 3-7 illustrate the elements forming part of a practical embodiment of the furniture supporting foot of the present invention, FIG. 3 being a detailed view of the lower portion of a standard or post connected tothe foot, FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along the line IVIV in FIG. 5, which shows a retaining or locking ring arranged in accordance with the invention, and FIGS. 6 and 7 are side and plan views respectively of one of the arms or wing structures forming part of the furniture foot of the present invention;
FIG. 8 is a side view, partly in section along the line VIiII-VIII in FIG. 9, of the assembled furniture foot comprising the elements illustrated in FIGS. 3-7, and finally FIG. 9 is a fragmentary plan view of said furniture foot, partly in section along the line IX-IX in FIG. 8.
FIGS. 1 and 2 thus illustrate a principle design of a furniture foot 10 in the form of a cross and provided with attachment means of the invention, by means of which the foot is joined to a central post 12 which is adapted to support an arm-chair, a table, a standard lamp and the like. Extending radially from the lower end of the post 12 is a number, in this case four, of symmetrically disposed arms or wing structures 14 of identical construction. Each arm 14 is provided on the underneath thereof close to its point of attachment to the post 12 with a downwardly open recess 16 which is generally rectangular in shape. A retaining or locking ring 18 is arranged in the recess 16, which has in the upper end thereof a small, radially inwardly extending recess or slot 16a which accommodates the inner edge surface of the locking ring 18, as is clearly shown in FIG. 1. The post 12 is provided at its lower end with a shoulder 20 which is adapted to abut against a corresponding shoulder 22 located on the inner end of each arm 14, as can also be seen from FIG. 1. Finally, the arms 16 are prevented from sliding downwardly by a stop means 24 mounted in a groove in the post close to the lower end thereof (FIG. 1).
The manner in which the foot is assembled can be readily seen from FIGS. 1 and 2, the ring 18 is first mounted in the recesses 16 of arms 14 while holding said arms fixed in some suitable manner, e.g. in a holder or fixture devised for the purpose, whereafter the arms 14 are pulled slightly radially outwardly so that the inner edge of the ring 18 enters into respective slots 16a. The dimensioning is such that the post 12 can be moved upwards between the four arms until the shoulders 20 and 22 engage each other, whereupon the inner ends of the arms, which when seen in plan view present the same contours as the post, abut each other and merge with the periphery of the post. The connection is completed by mounting the stop member 24 into position.
FIG. 1 also illustrates the force pattern to which the central portion of the foot is subjected. A vertical load P is distributed generally equally over the four arms 14 and is transmitted thereto vertically over the shoulders 20 and 22 and through the surface contact between the inner ends of the arms and the cylindrical surface of the post. A simple consideration of statics shows that the locking ring 18 exerts a radial retaining force F simultaneously as the arms 14 are subjected to a torque M around the shoulders 20 and 22, said torque being balanced by the normal pressure N occurring as a result of said surface contact and distributed along the inner ends of said arm. Thus, a stable and compact connection between the arms 14 and the post 12 is obtained. It should be understood that although the exemplary embodiments has four arms connected to the central hub member the number of arms may as well be less or more than four. The radial position of the arms, i.e. their distribution peripherally around the foot, is determined by appropriate means, for example by providing the locking ring 18, at the positions of engagement of the arms 14, with slots corresponding to the slots 16a of the recesses 16 in arms 14, so as to obtain mutual guiding engagement between arms and locking ring, thereby preventing the ring from slipping down and the arms 14 of the foot from being moved out of their radial positions.
The attachment means of the present invention can be modified to simplify the manufacture thereof and to provide a furniture foot of a particularly decorative appearance, while retaining the aforedescribed basic principles of retaining the foot attachment in an assembled condition and of transmitting the forces between the elements forming the structure. An example of a modified furniture foot having arms or wing structures is illustrated in FIGS. 3-9 and will now be described.
FIGS. 3-7 illustrate the main components of the modified furniture foot. A central standard or post 32 corresponding to the post 12 of FIGS. 1 and 2 and also adapted to support an arm-chair etc. is shown in FIG. 3, while FIGS. 4 and show a locking ring 38 corresponding to the locking ring 18 but of a more special construction, as hereinafter described. The modified structure includes a number of arms, in this case four, which are provided at the underneath thereof in the proximity of the attachment end with specially designed recesses 36. The lower end of the post 32 is provided with a conical attachment member 40 having a cone angle (,0 and adapted to be accommodated in a corresponding conical opening 42 in the locking ring 30, which is slightly curved with a convex top side, as shown in FIG. 4. The mutually identi- 4 cal arms 34 are made of bent sheet metal having a U- shaped cross section, as indicated in FIG. 6, and provided at the outer ends thereof with plastics nose pieces 37, attached to said arms in some suitable manner.
FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrated the furniture foot 30 in an assembled condition. As previously mentioned, the locking ring 38 is of special construction, whereby it is provided with four recesses 44 which extend from the inner edge surface of the ring, the recesses being defined at their radially outer ends by short tongues 46. Arranged at the radially outer corners of the recesses 44, i.e. on both sides of the tongues 46 are narrow abutment portions 48, the width of which corresponds to the thickness of the arms 34. As can be seen from FIGS. 8 and 9, especially the section to the left of the figures, each arm 34 is hooked onto the locking ring 38 in a manner whereby their inner, lower portion 51 radially inside the recess 36 passes down through corresponding recesses 44 in the locking ring 38, wherewith (on either side of the arm) a portion '50 of the arm at the upper, inner edge surface of the recess 36 (FIG. 6) abuts and engages the locking ring within the aforementioned narrow corner portion 48, while the outer periphery of the locking ring is situated adjacent a corner portion 52 of the recess 36, opposite the portions (to the left of FIG. 8). The tongues 46 facilitate hooking and guiding of the inner ends of the arms 34 in the locking ring 38. The edge of the recess 36 is extended slightly inwardly beneath the corner portion 52, to form a protuberance or shoulder 53, which prevents the ring 38 from moving downwardly.
Subsequent to the arms being hooked to the ring 38, the post 32 is moved down between the ends of the arms and the conical member 40 is driven securely into the corresponding conical opening 42 of the ring 38. The inner ends of the arms 34, which present rounded surfaces conforming to the periphery of the post 32, are slightly over dimensioned so that when the post 32 is driven into the conical member 40 a Wedge effect is obtained between the locking ring and the post. The result is a particularly stable and secure connection which is able to transmit the load acting from above in the post 32 to the floor, via the arms 34, without the loads occurring on the connection being of such magnitude as to affect deleteriously the components forming the connection. The embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2 may also be provided with the conical attachment 4!), 42, this being achieved by replacing the shoulders 20 and 22 with a conical end portion on the post 12 and with corresponding sloping surfaces at the bottom on the inner ends of the arms 14, as shown by the dotted lines 41. The stop member 24 can then be omitted.
It will be evident from the aforegoing that the arrangement of the present invention provides an attachment means, for furniture supporting feet in the form of a cross-like structure for example, which reliably and constantly holds together a downwardly extending support post and support arms forming part of the foot, wherewith the work required to assemble the structure is reduced to an absolute minimum, it being possible simply to hook the parts together, whereafter a final blow on the post drives the conical member into the conical opening in the locking ring, therewith completing the connection. It is also of importance to note that machining of the different components is also reduced to a minimum and is mainly restricted to producing the cooperating conical locking members. In other respects the components can be used in the condition they arrive from the molding or pressing apparatus, optionally subsequent to being surface treated.
As mentioned in the introduction, the invention is by no means restricted to furniture support structures, but may also be applied to other support structures having radially extending support members. Neither is the arrangement of the invention restricted to the illustrated type of furniture support structures, but can be modified within the scope of the concept of the invention.
The embodiments of the invention in which I claim an exclusive property or privilege are defined as follows:
1. An arrangement for attaching radial supporting means in the form of arms to a central hub portion, all forming part of a supporting structure such as a furniture foot, wherein the supporting means are provided on the underneath thereof close to their attachment ends with recesses adapted to receive a locking ring which concentrically surrounds the central hub portion and which engages at its radially inner edge with the supporting means in the recesses thereof in a manner whereby the points of contact between the ring and the supporting means form pivot points about which the supporting means pivot under load into engagement with the portion of the central hub situated above the ring, which hub is adapted to be carried by the assembly formed by the supporting means and the locking ring, the locking ring being provided along the inner periphery thereof with conical edge portions disposed around the periphery and engaging a portion arranged on the central hub portion and having substantially the same degree of conicity as said conical edge portions, the portions of the inner ends of the supporting means lying radially inwardly of the recesses being adapted to be received in interspaces formed between the said inner edge portions of the locking ring.
2. A support usable as a foot for furniture pieces or the like, comprising a central post and a plurality of support arms extending radially therefrom, the support arms having recesses on their bottom side, which recesses open downwardly and are positioned a short distance from the radial inner ends of said arms, a retaining ring disposed within the recesses formed in said plurality of arms, whereby said retaining ring is disposed in surrounding relationship to said central post, said retaining ring having its inner edge surface abutting said support arms at the radial inner edge surface of said recesses in such a manner that the contact points form hinge points between the ring and the support arms about which the arms swing under a load imposed on the central post in such a manner that the upper part of the arms adjacent the radial inner ends thereof press against the part of the central post provided above the ring for rigidly mounting and supporting the post on said plurality of arms, said plurality of arms being fixedly interconnected to said central post in a manner which is totally free of screwed or threaded connections.
3. A support according to claim 2, wherein suitable coacting inclined surfaces are disposed to coact between said central post and said support arms for creating a wedge-like engagement there-between to facilitate transfer of the load from said central post to said arms.
4. A support according to claim 2, wherein coacting inclined surfaces are formed on said central post and said locking ring.
5. An arrangement according to claim 1, in which the central hub portion comprises a vertical post adapted to support a piece of furniture, characterized in that the supporting arms are made of bent sheet metal of U-shaped cross section and have mutually opposing slots disposed in the edges thereof, while the locking ring, which is slightly curved with a convex top surface, is constructed in a manner whereby the interspaces formed between the inner edge portions of the locking ring engaging with the conical portion of the post are provided at their radially outer ends with short tongues which guidingly enter between the vertical walls of the arms simultaneously as inner edge portions at the recesses of said arms engage the locking ring on both sides of said tongues.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,119,946 6/1938 Bancroft 248-188.7
140,895 7/1873 Dawson 248-188.7
2,936,144 5/1960 Otis 24848 2,469,286 5/ 1949 Wuerl et al. 248-47 FOREIGN PATENTS 83,409 12/ 1894 Germany 248-44 J. FRANKLIN FOSS, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 248l63, 346