US 3697129 A
This invention is directed to an outdoor bench having a heavy, not readily displaceable, concrete base with a lateral drainage trough, and extruded hollow seat sections tamper-proof fastened to the top of the base and fashioned to cooperate with the drainage trough in the base and to maintain such seat sections at ambient temperatures. An advertising display panel may form the back of the bench. The bottom ends of the base are relieved to provide access for the levers of wheeled pry bars to enable the bench to be precisely located without the use of heavy duty construction equipment.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 151 3,697,129 Sklaar [451 Oct. 10, 1972 154] BENCH 3,006,689 10/1961 Eppink ..297/457  Inventor: Richard L. Sklaar 88 Fairfield 3,397,011 8/1968 slflaal ..297/219 Lane, Roslyn g l Gilbert  Filed: Dec. 9, 1970 ] Appl. No.: 96,526
Primary Examiner-Francis K. Zugel Attorney-Sylvester J. Liddy, John J. Hart, Joe E. Daniels and Charles F. Baxley 52 us. (:1. ..297/217, 297/452, 297/182 57 ABSTRACT 51 I t. Cl i581 Field of Search ..297/217, 232, 24122 19 1 5 fi ff f g zg a eavy, no rea 1y lSp acea e, concre e ase M a 297/458 52/8 lateral drainage trough, and extruded hollow seat sections tamper-proof fastened to the top of the base and  References cued fashioned to cooperate with the drainage trough in the UNITED STATES PATENTS base and to mzintadin such seiat sections lat amlf ient temperatures. a vert1sing isp ay pane may orm 2,400,167 5/1946 Resmck ..297/182 the back of the bench The bottom ends of the base 3,091,497 5/1963 Houser ..297/452 X are relieved to provide access for the levers of 3,482,874 12/1969 Henebry ..297/248 X wheeled pry bars to enable the bench to be precisely 2 359: located without the use of heavy duty construction er s e ui mam 3,213,570 10/1965 Abramson ..52/s q p 2,987,l l l 6/1961 Walworth ..297/232 X 5 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures 37 I I l PATENTEI'JucI 10 m2 SHEET 1 BF 2 INVENTOR.
H E0 L SKA/ME Arm/Qua BENCH THE INVENTION This invention relates generally to new and useful improvements in seating benches and particularly seeks to provide a novel bench for open air locations such as parks and bus stops.
I-leretofore, many of the benches designed foropen air usage have been made of metal frames with wooden slat seats and backs. These prior benches are usually of insufficient weight to deter ready relocation and their construction does not deter vandalism. Further, they are often rendered unusable for long periods after beingsubjected to adverse weather conditions.
The principal object of the present invention is to provide an improved outdoor bench which is practically tamper-proof and cannot readily be moved from the location in which it is installed.
Another object of the invention is to provide an improved outdoor bench which affords greater seating comfort than the benches heretofore known, and which can be used without discomfort soon after the cessation of adverse weather conditions.
A further object of the invention is to provide an improved outdoor bench that is simple in design and economical to manufacture and which can be easily assembled and substantially permanently installed at the desired location.
A still further object of the invention is to provide an improved bench having a back construction that may serve as a plain seat back or may be adapted readily to function additionally as an advertising display.
In accordance with the foregoing objects, the bench of this invention is composed of a poured concrete base having a two part separated seat securely fastened to the top thereof and an upstanding back panel that may be utilized for advertising displays. The seat is constructed to be self-draining and functions in cooperation with a self-draining trough provided in the top of the concrete base. The base drainage trough extends longitudinally and centrally of the base and slopes downwardly from the middle of such base toward each end thereof so that rain or melting snow or ice will be discharged at the ends of the bench and not at the front thereof. The two part seat is formed of two extruded aluminum beams which are end reinforced by inserts of l-beam cross-section. The two seat beams are secured to tie plates located internally of the end inserts and provided with anchoring rods that are preset into the concrete base. The seating surfaces of such seat beams are constructed to provide maximum seating comfort and to maintain such surfaces at ambient temperatures. These features provide a solidly constructed bench which is inherently heavy enough to deter casual relocation and which is weatherproof and comfortable. While of heavy construction the bench may by readily installed because the bottom of the concrete base is relieved at each end for access by the lever of a swivel pry bar with which a workman can properly position the bench at its desired location.
Other objects, as well as the features and advantages of the outdoor bench of this invention will become apparent from a consideration of the following description when read in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which FIG. 1 is a front elevation of a bench constructed in accordance with this invention;
FIG. 2 is an end elevation thereof;
FIG. 3 is a vertical transverse section taken along line 3-3 of FIG. I; v
FIGS. 4 and 5 are end elevations of the seat beams or sections;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary vertical section taken along line 66 of FIG. 2 and shows the cross-section of the end-reinforcing inserts for the seat members;
FIG. 7 is an isometric view of a clip for fastening the seat members to the base;
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary horizontal section taken along line 88 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 9 is a partial end elevational view showing a modified form of back.
Referring to the drawings in detail, the invention, as illustrated, is embodied in a bench for open air usage and includes a cast concrete base generally indicated 5 and having vertical ends 6,6, a slanting front face 7, a slanting rear face 8, a horizontal top 9 and a horizontal bottom 10. By providing a massive base of this configuration itis possible to reduce the amount of space that the bench will occupy on a sidewalk to a minimum. Thus, in practice benches embodying the invention take only about 15 inches space on the sidewalk, whereas known outdoor concrete type benches require from 24 to 29 inches of sidewalk space. This is an important advantage on busy thoroughfares. Formed in the top of the base 5 is a drainage trough 11 which extends as a whole longitudinally of the bench and as located beneath the space 4 in FIG. 2 between the two seat portions or sections 19 and 20. The trough 11 is V- shaped in cross-section and at its top is substantially wider than the space 4 so that the inner opposed longitudinal sides of the seat sections 19 and 20 overhang such trough. Longitudinally, the trough ll inclines downwardly from the middle of the base towards the ends thereof to provide diverging drain slopes down which rain water or water from melted ice or snow flow to the ends of the bench rather than to the front thereof, thus avoiding an accumulation of water at the front of the bench.
The bottom of the base 5 is relieved at each end at 12,12 to provide access space for the lever arm of a swivel pry bar that may be used by a workman to precisely position the bench in its desired location. The top of the base 5 is relieved at each end at 13,13 to define access voids for tie down bolts for the seat members as will be hereinafter more fully described.
Although a typical base 5 embodying the invention and having a length of the order of 5 feet and a weight of approximately 800 pounds cannot readily be moved from the place on which it is set, it is still possible that vandals in some areas of bench locations will try to upset the bench or displace it from its intended position. To forestall this, the base 5 is provided with at least two vertical bores 14,14 through which anchor rods 3 in FIG. 2 may be inserted and driven into the ground to more securely keep the bench in place and prevent it from being deliberately upset.
As previously indicated, the seat which is generally indicated 18, is composed of two sections 19 and 20 each of which is constituted of an extruded aluminum beam-shaped member. The two beams are contoured to provide a form fitting comfortable seat. As can be seen more clearly in FIG. 4 of the drawings, the front beam or seat section 19 has a rounded front edge 21, a
rearwardly slanting seat panel 22, a substantially vertical rear wall 23 and a pair of opposed bottom panels 24,24 terminating short of each other in shallow upstanding lips 25, thus leaving a gap between the ends of such bottom panels. The peripheral surface of the front edge 21 is semi-circular in cross-section and is defined by a vertical diameter D of a length greater than the height of the rear wall 23. The seat panel 22 is slightly convex in section so that it provides a smooth surface from the front edge 21 to the rear wall 23. The two bottom panels 24,24 have a thickness approximately twice the thickness of the front edge 21, the seat panel 22 and the rear wall 23 and are consequently stronger and more rigid than the latter.
The rear beam or seat section 20 (see FIG. 5) has a substantially vertical front wall 26 which is disposed in opposed, spaced relation to the rear wall 23 of the front section and is of a height approximately the same as that of the latter. Extending from the front wall 26 to the rear wall 28 of section 20 is a seat panel 27 which inclines upwardly rearwardly in a slightly convex fashion. The rear panel 28 is inclined rearwardly from the vertical and has a vertical height approximating that of the diameter D defining the front edge 21 of beam 19. Extending toward each other from the lower edges of the front wall 26 and the rear wall 28 are a pair of opposed bottom panels 29,29 terminating short of each other in shallow upstanding lips 30, thus leaving a gap between the ends of such bottom panels.
The seat sections or beams 19 and 20 are connected to the top of the concrete base 5 through a pair of socalled merchant bars or tie plates each of which spans an access void 13 at an end of such base. Each tie plate 15 is provided with a plurality of depending legs 16 having offset lower ends 17 that are embedded in the concrete of the base 5 to firmly secure the tie plates in position. The ends of the beams 19 and 20 are connected to the tie plates 15 through tie down clips 32 of the type shown in FIG. 7 of the drawings. Each beam is provided with two clips 32 located within the end portions of the beam so that their body portions 32' span the space between the inner ends of the opposed bottom panels of such beam and seat on the tie plates 15 as indicated in FIG. 1 of the drawings. The clips 32 are each provided with inserted U-shaped ends providing lateral channels 33 that engage over the lips and at such inner ends of the opposed bottom panels 24,24 and 29,29 respectively, of the respective seat sections 19 and 20. The clips 32 are secured in this position and to the tie plates 15 by bolts 31 which are inserted upwardly in the access voids 13,13 and through holes 15' (FIG. 1) in the tie plates 15 and holes 34' (FIG. 7) in the bodies 32 of such clips. The bolt nuts 31' (FIG. 1) securing such parts together are each located within and fit snugly between two ribs forming a transverse channel 34 in the central portion of each clip above the body 32' thereof and preventing the nut located therein from turning when the bolt head is turned from below within the relieved space 13 by a special Wench. Since the clips 32 are substantially spaced from the terminal ends of the seat beams, and the ribs of channel 34 prevent any manipulation of the bolt nut from above, and since the head of the bolt within the space 13 is substantially tamper-proof, such construction minimizes the possibility of unauthorized removal of the seat beams.
The ends of the seat beams 19 and 20 are closed by inserts 38,38, respectively, (see FIGS. 4-6) formed of die cast aluminum and of I-beam construction. It will be noted in FIGS. 4 and 5 that the inserts 38,38 are configured to close the entire cross-sectional area defined by the beam parts 19 and 20, respectively, and lock together the opposed lips 25 and 30 provided on the opposed bottom panels of such beams. The inserts 38,38 thereby strengthen the beams 19 and 20 against possible distortion. The inserts 38,38 are fixedly secured in position in the seat sections 19 and 20, respectively, by means of screws or bolts 42 (in FIG. 4) which extend through openings in the bottom panels 24 and 29, respectively, and into housings 41 formed in such inserts 38,38. The exposed rib surfaces of the inserts 38,38 may be covered with any suitable reflective coating 39 (FIG. 6) to enable motorists at night to become aware of the bench location.
It will be observed from FIGS. 4 and 5 of the drawings, that the exterior surfaces of the panels 23 and 24 of the seat beam 19 and of the panels 26,28 and 29 of the seat beam 20 are plane surfaces. The exterior surfaces of the panels 21 and 22 of beam 19 and of the panel 27 of beam 20, however, are provided with spaced bands 45 of longitudinally extending striations. These striations are substantially triangular in crosssection and are of minute height, approximately 0.015 inches, so that the bands thereof function as temperature transmitting agents to maintain in the beams at the existing ambient temperature without interfering with substantial flows of water down the slopes of the surfaces in which the striations are provided, or trapping material quantities of water. Such drainage of the moisture is enhanced by the fact that the bands 45 are separated by longitudinally extending bands 46 of plane, smooth surface. This pattern of striation bands 45 and smooth surface bands 46 also impart an attractive appearance to the seat beams 19 and 20.
The back of the bench is constructed of a pair of upstanding aluminum or steel back supporting members 35,35 of tee cross-section. The lower ends 36 of the members 35 are blind fastened to the rear face 8 of the concrete base 5. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, the bench back may include a plane panel 37 which is secured in any suitable manner to the back supports 35. The panel 37 may be formed of a suitable metal or a weather resistant material such as marine grade plywood that has the exposed edges and faces thereof sealed. The front surface of the panel 37 may serve as a support for an advertising display. If the bench back is not to be used for advertising purposes, and the panel 37 is made of a metal, such as aluminum, the panel may have cast on the rear surface thereof members constructed to utilize clips of the type shown in FIG. 7 for securing such panel to the supporting members 35,35. Thus, as is shown in FIG. 9 of the drawings, the back panel 37 may have integrally formed on each end thereof a set of two angle members 50,51 of L-shaped section and having outer sections 50, 51, respectively, disposed in parallel relation to the back panel and in spaced opposed relation to each other. The inner ends of such outer sections 50', 51' are provided with lips 50", 51", respectively, in the manner of the bottom panels 24 and 29 of the beams 19 and 20, respectively. Located within each set of angle members 50,51, and interlocked with the lips 50", 51"
thereof, is a clip 32 similar to the clip 32 shown in FIG. 7 of the drawings and secured to one of the supporting members 35' by a bolt 31 in the same manner that the previously described clips 32 secure the seat beams 19 and 20 to the tie plates 15.
it should be mentioned that the space between the seat 4 sections 19 and 20 is aligned with the bores 14,14 so that if it is necessary to employ anchor rods 3 such as shown in FIG. 2,'such rods may be used even after complete assembly of the bench.
It is of course, to be understood that variations in arrangements and proportions of parts may be made within the scope of the appended claims. Thus, the tie plates 15,15 may be made sufficiently wide so that their outer edge portions extend beyond the vertical ends 6,6 of the base 5. With such a construction, a workman'is enabled to secure the seat beams 19 and 20 to such tie plates without the necessity of working in the access voids 13,13. Further, in the use of such a construction of the tie plates, the voids 13,13 can be eliminated.
l. A bench including a solid base having a longitudinally extending drainage trough formed in the top thereof and having a discharge end at at least one end of said base, the ends of said drainage trough being enlarged to provide access recesses, a seat secured to the top of said base and constructed to permit water to drain into said trough intermediate the front and rear edges thereof and to prevent drainage of water along the front edge thereof, fastening members securely attached to said base and accessible from said recesses, fastening elements securing said seat to said fastening members, and a back extending upwardly from the rear of said seat and secured to said base.
2'. An outdoor bench including a longitudinally extending unitary base section having a top surface on which is mounted the seat of the bench and in which is formed intermediate the front and rear of such base section a longitudinally extending drainage trough having a discharge end at at least one end of said base section, a seat mounted on the top surface of said base section and constructed to permit water to drain into said trough intermediate the front and rear ends thereof and to prevent drainage of water along the front edge thereof, fastening means securely attaching said seat to said base section, a back mounted on the rear of said base section and extending upwardly from the rear of said seat in spaced relation to said'drainage trough, and fastening means securely attaching said back to said base section.
3. An outdoor bench as defined in claim 2, in which said base section is constituted of a massive piece of concrete of great weight, said base having an elongated bottom surface that seats on the ground, and front, top and rear surfaces, said seat being mounted on said top surface and said back being secured to said rear surface, the upper transverse dimension of said base section approximating the transverse dimension of said seat and the lower portion of said base section being enlarged and offset rearwardly from the area defined by said seat.
4. An outdoor bench as defined in claim 3, in which the upper portions of the ends of said concrete base section are recessed to provide access recesses below and within the area defined b said seat, and in which said seat fastening means lI'lC udes fastening members securely attached to said base and accessibly from said recesses, and fastening elements securing said seat to said fastening members.
5. An outdoor bench as defined in claim 3, in which the upper portion of the ends of said concrete base section are recessed to provide access recesses below and within the area defined by said seat, and in which said base section is provided with bores extending from the bottom surfaces of said recesses to the bottom surface of said base section and through which may be inserted anchor rods so as to be accessible at their tops from said recesses.