US 3708204 A
A limited number of tubular frame sections of similar predetermined shape are provided. Frame sections can be secured together by way of inserts. The frame sections are shaped so that they can be manually assembled into various articles of furniture as for example a chair, an ottoman, or a table, the articles having suitable strength and rigidity and being foldable or collapsible into a compact condition. Various types of flexible material is attachable to the assembled frames to form seating material.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Wachsmann 1 3,708,204 [451 Jan.2,1973
 COLLAPSIBLE FURNITURE FROM TUBULAR FRAME SECTIONS OF PREDETERMINED SHAPE  Inventor: Judith M. Wachsmauu, 2221 Ferndell Place, Hollywood, Calif. 90068  Filed: Feb. 16, 1971  Appl. No.: 115,253
52 U.S.Cl ..297/440,l08/ l56 51 Int. Cl ..A47c7/02 5s FieldofSearch ..297/439,440,443;108/156 [5 6] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3/1922 McCord ..297/439X 7/1940 Weber ..297/440X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 929,238 7/1947 France ..297/440 1,204,898 8/1959 France ..297/440 Primary Examiner-James C. Mitchell Artorney-Herzig & Walsh  ABSTRACT A limited number of tubular frame sections of similar predetermined shape are provided. Frame sections can be secured together by way of inserts. The frame sections are shaped so that they can be manually assembled into various articles of furniture as for example a chair, an ottoman, or a table, the articles having suitable strength and rigidity and being foldable or collapsible into a compact condition. Various types of flexible materialis attachable to the assembled frames to form seating material.
8 Claims, 12 Drawing Figures PAYENT'EBM 2m; 3.708.204
SHEET 1 OF 2 INVENTOR.
4770Z/VE} PATENTEDJM 21915 4 3.708.204
SHEET 2 [IF 2 INVENTOR.
z Jae/mum mam/5mm) SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention relates to foldable or collapsible fumiture articles which are assembled from a limited number of tubular frame sections of predetermined shape. In-a preferred exemplary form of the invention as described herein, three basic frame elements or sections are provided, and a fourth one which is a section of one of the other three. Preferably, the frame elements or sections are formed from aluminum or stainless steel, i.e., ferrous or non-ferrous tubing of a type and size which is readily available commercially. The frame elements or sections may be identified as a base piece; a front piece; a rear piece; and a section rear piece as described more in detail hereinafter.
The base, front and section rear pieces are formed to have three bends each, two side bends typically, on a four inch radius, and a center bend, typically on an eight inch radius. The rear piece has to additional bends on each side based on a 25 rotation to bend 20. These particular shapes adapt themselves to assembly of furniture articles from a small number of similarly shaped sections with the assembled articles having the necessary strength and rigidity.
Typically, an assembled frame or an article of furniture comprises four sections or pieces held together by inserts. There may be four inserts, typically 8 inches long of a size to fit into the inside diameter of a tubular section. The inserts are held in place by a fastener device inserted through 3/16 inch hole in the frame piece and in the insert.
Folding or collapsing of an assembled frame of an article of furniture is accomplished through a rotating movement at a joint formed by one of the inserts, the insert being attached to only one frame element.
Frame elements or sections are provided with holes at center points of the side bends to serve as attachment points for attaching seating material in the case of chairs or ottomans or table surface material in the case of a table.
The frame sections or elements are of such configuration that they can be readily assembled as referred to in the foregoing to provide a number of different fumiture articles including articles other than the chair, ottoman, and table specifically referred to.
A primary object of the invention is to provide means in the form of a limited number of similarly shaped sections or elements of tubular material which can be easily joined or assembled into the framework of various articles of furniture, having the requisite strength and rigidity.
A further object is to provide for, and facilitate securement to the assembled frames of seating material or the like or surface material in the case of a table.
A further object is to realize sets of frame sections or elements as described which readily adapt themselves to being joined or assembled into articles of furniture and which further embody the capability that the article of furniture is foldable or collapsible into a compact volume for shipping or storage.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Further objects and additional advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description and annexed drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a front view of a chair assembled from the, frame sections and showing the seating material secured to the chair frame;
FIG. 2 is a side view of the chair of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing the frame of the 0 chair of FIG. 1 in collapsed or folded condition;
FIG. 6 is a view of an ottoman formed of frame sections or elements of the invention with a seating surface secured to the assembled frame;
FIG. 7 is a view from another side of the ottoman of FIG. 6;
FIG. 8 is a view of the four preferred typical pieces or sections from which the various furniture articles are assembled.
FIG. 9 is a side view of a table frame assembled from the frame pieces or elements with the table surface attached to it;
FIG. 10 is a side view of the table assembly of FIG. 9;
FIG. 11 is a sectional view taken along llll of FIG. 9; and
FIG. 12 is a view of the underneath side of the table of FIG. 10 with the support legs folded.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS FIGS. 1 through 5 illustrate a chair which is assembled from the basic frame elements of the invention and with the securement of the seating material to the chair frame. In these figures, the basic frame elements pieces or sections, comprise base pieces 10 and 10', front piece or element 11; and rear piece 12. (There is a fourth basic piece or element which is a section or part of the element 12 which is not used in the assembly of the chair, this piece being like the piece 12 with the extending legs omitted, and which is identified as the section rear piece. It will be referred to again presently. The shape of each piece is readily discernible from the assembled articles shown in the figures.
Each of the basic frame elements or sections preferably is made from tubular material such as commercially available aluminum or stainless steel, i.e., fer rous or non-ferrous. The tubing may have an outer diameter of 1 inch or less for example. The base and front elements 10 and 11 as shown have three bends each, that is two sides bend which may preferably be on a 4 inch radius for example, and a center bend on an 8 inch radius for example. The rear piece 12 has two additional bends on each side as shown with slightly diverging legs 13 and 13 extending therefrom. As may be observed, the frame pieces are similar in shape having smooth bends which thus permit of very easy fabrication from commercially available tubing. The particular shapes makes it possible to assemble various articles from only a small number of similar pieces. The set of four pieces is shown in FIG. 8.
The basic frame sections of the assembly are held together by inserts, there being four inserts in the assembly of the chair. Preferably, the inserts may be tubular pieces eight inches long for example, one being designated at 16 in the sectional view of FIG. 3. The outer diameter of the insert 16 is of dimension so that it snugly fits into the inner diameter of the basic frame pieces. The inserts provide for making joints between the basic frame sections or elements. The joints are such as to have the capability of relative rotation of the basic pieces at the joint to permit folding or collapsing of the furniture article.
A preferred exemplary form of securement at the joints is shown in FIG. 3. Numeral 22 designates a fastener element commercially available of a type having a head as shown, a shank and a split end part 24 having resilient wings as shown. The fastener is inserted through a 3/16 inch hole in the frame section and through a corresponding hole in insert 16 is shown in FIG. 3, the hole in the frame element 10 being designated as 26in FIG. 2. I
As may be observed, the assembled chair frame is formed from a front section element ll,'the ends of which are jointed to end sections of two base frame elements or pieces 10 and 10 and secured as described and as shown in FIG. 3. The rear piece or element 12 is joined to the other extending ends of base frame sections, 10 and 10' and similarly secured thereto. Thus the assembled chair frame appears as in FIG. 2 from the side.
Each'of the basic frame elements is provided with ad-' ditional 3/16 inch holes at a center point of the side bends to serve as attaching points for seating material of chairs or ottomans or table surface material of a table. Such additional holes are designated at 27, and 28. Thus base and section rear pieces have four holes, each having two at the sides for the inserts, two at the top of the side bends for the seating or table attachment. Front and rear section elements have only two holes each as above at the top of the side bends for the seating or table attachment. Eight holes are used for any seating device or table top; four for the inserts; four for the seating attachment or table top; and the remaining four holes which in another combination may serve as attachment points are closed with the same fastener as shown at 22 in FIG. 3.
Referring to'FIGS. l and 2, numeral 36 designates a generally rectangular sheet. of seating material which may be of various types. It may be a sheet of hardware cloth or wire mesh or metal plastic or cotton reinforced on upper and lower sides. It may be a sheet of heavy designated at 38. The material 36 is shown in one piece. It may however be provided in more than one piece such as two pieces for the chair, or three for a couch, attached as described hereinafter.
The seating material is attached to the frame by means of a precise patterned webor strap system with the seating material secured to the webbing system by I being buttoned or by way of screws, the seating material preferably having 16 accurately positioned holes therein whereby the fasteners can secure it to the strap system. Or the seating material can besecured to the strap system in any suitable way. The strap system for the chair comprises the double side straps 40 and 40' of any suitable material such as webbing, the ends of which run through loops such as shown at 42, 43, 44 and 45, the loops preferably being secured to the frame elements by suitable fasteners which may be button type fasteners thus holding the straps in place and pressing the loop against the frame and are then fastened to the screws on the rear side. See FIG. 4. The webbing system includes an upper horizontal strap 50 which extends between the side straps 40 and 40' and then around in back of the rear piece 12 to hold the seat in position as shown. The ends of the strap may be secured to each other by buckles or clasps or the like.
Numeral 54 designates the lower horizontal strap which again extends between the side straps 40 and 40' and then passes underneath the two base sections 10 and 10 at the position of the intermediate bends as shown in FIG. 2. Strap ends may be secured by means of a buckle, clasp or the like as indicated at 55 and 56. The straps cooperate with the joined frame sections. The upper strap pulls the seat material back while the lower strap keeps it under compression urging the frame elements together at all points. Sitting down, the lower strap loosens, but the body weight now takes over the compression function, the assembly being a strong rigid braced structure, the intermediate bends in the frame pieces being positioned to accomodate the straps.
From the foregoing, it will be readily understood by those skilled in the art how the basic frame elements are assembled to form a chair frame with the webbing system being attached to the frame elements at the time of assembly in the manner described in the foregoing.
The chair may be collapsed or folded into a very compact volume with the cushion 38 of course, removed. It may be folded or collapsed with the webbing system and seat material still attached to frame elements. FIG. 5 illustrates the relative positions of the frame sections with the chair folded or collapsed.
The chair is folded merely by opening the lower horizontal strap and lifting the rear piece 12 out of its joints and then these pieces are folded inwardly aroundtheir joints with the front piece and then the rear piece is folded over so that it rests on top of the front piece. The base frame sections 10 and 10' are not unjointed from the front section 11. The base section 10 and 10 are rotated at the joints between these sections and the front section 11 in the direction illustrated by the arrows 56 and 56 in FIG. 5 so that the base sections 10 and 10' come into the same plane as the front section 11. Thus all the parts fold or collapse into a relatively compact volume as illustrated in FIG. 5 and as stated the webbing system may remain in position relative to the frame members.
FIGS. 6, 7, 8, and 9 illustrate the assembly of the ottoman from the basic frame elements or pieces. The ottoman is assembled from two front pieces as designated at 11 and 11' and two section rear pieces 14 and 14'. The section rear pieces 14 and 14' conform in configuration to .the rear frame piece 12, each section rear piece representing a part of a rear frame piece 12, that is, as may be seen, the piece 14 is like the piece 12 with section rear pieces 14 having holes in them that receive the fasteners such as shown at 22.
The seat for the ottoman is constructed in a manner similar to the chair seat. The flexible seat material is designated at 60 in FIG. 6, it being secured to a webbing or strap system in the same manner as previously described. The webbing system comprises the straps or webs 62 and 62' which extend between the two bends in each of the section rear frame pieces 14 and 14, these straps having loops such as shown at 64 and 64 in FIG. 7, similar to the strap loops previously described.
For the ottoman, there is only one transverse or horizontal strap as designated at 66. It has a part extending horizontally between the straps 62 and 62'.
Strap 66 loops under the intermediate bends in the two front section pieces 11 and 11 and is again secured to the underside of the seat material as shown. Preferably, it is provided with a buckle or clasp as diagramatically designated at 70 for securing it.
The ottoman folds or collapses similarly to the chair. The seat material and cushion may fold or collapse with the frame, or the frame may-be folded underneath the cushion. One of the rear frame sections for example, the section 14' as shown in FIG. 6 and 7 is unjointed from the two front frame sectionsll and 11 and then these two sections are rotated about their joints into the same plane as the rear frame section 14 to which they remain jointed.
FIGS. 9 through 11 show basic elements assembled to form a table. It will be observed that the table frame is assembled from two base section elements 10 and 10 and two front section elements 11 and 11', the ends of the sections being joined in the same manner as illustrated in FIG. 3. The table top as designated as 76 is a flat piece of any suitable material of appropriate thickness such as wood or plastic. The table top is secured to the two bends in the front section elements 1 l and 11 by way of joints. One of these joints is shown in FIG. 11. It comprises a flexible sheet metal yoke as designated at 80 having accurately configura'ted legs as vshown adapted to resiliently receive or have clipped thereinto member 11 having a 3/16 inch aperture 84 in its side. The bight of the yoke 80 is secured to the underside of the table 76 by way of a bolt or screw 88. As may be observed, the section elements 11 and 11' at the bends are received or clipped into the brackets such as shown at 80 secured underneath the table top.
A single strap or web is provided as designated at 92. It passes through a loop 94 provided underneath the table top and then is looped around the intermediate bends of the base section elements 10 and 10' as shown and its ends are secured by way of the buckle or clasp 96.
FIG. 12 illustrates the folding or collapsing of the table. The strap 92 is unfastened. The front sections 11 and 11 are unjointed at one end from the base sections 10 and 10. Then one base section 10 and front section 11 is rotated about the joint attachments to the underside of the table top into a plane parallel to the table as shown and the same thing is done with the other base section 10' and front section 11.
From the foregoing, those skilled in the art will understand the nature and the construction of the invention and the manner of its utilization and how it achieves and realizes all of the objects and advantages as set forth in the foregoing. In the exemplary form of the invention as described, there are fourbasic frame elements or sections from which the various articles as described are assembled. These articles of furniture are exemplary; other articles of furniture can be assembled from the pieces. For example, a lounge chair can be assembled. This is done in the following way. Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, instead of the front piece 11 being in the position as shown,-the two front pieces 11 and 11' are joined to the legs of the base pieces 10 and 10 and ex-' tend forwardly therefrom and then the seat material and strap system are extended forwardly similarly. The ottoman may be assembled in different ways using front and base section elements rather than front and rear section elements. A table frame of extended length may be assembled using the principles illustrated in connection with FIGS. 10 through 13. Side frames are formed from front and base section elements joined to formv side panel frames .of desired length.
The foregoing disclosure is representative of preferred forms of the invention. and is to be in-- terpreted in an. illustrative rather than in a limiting sense, the invention to be accorded the full scope of the claims appended hereto.
What is claimed is: r
l. A set of similarly shaped joinable tubular frame sections, the frame sections having means at their ends whereby one section can be joined to another, whereby to form the frame of an article of furniture, said sections being of generally U configuration, the ends of first sections being joinable to ends of other sections with said other sections lying in planes generally transverse to planes of the first sections to form the frame of an article of furniture, having generally parallel upright portions and portions extending transversely between the upright portions, and means providing a supporting surface secured to said transversely extending portions, said upright portions comprising sections having a configuration providing three bends, including an intermediate bend and two bends between the intermediate bend and the end part of the sections, and flexible means comprising elongated elements having portions looped around said intermediate bends for holding the with said other sections lying in planes generally transverse to planes of the first sections to form the frame of an article of furniture, having generally parallel upright portions and portions extending transversely between the upright portions and means providing a supporting surface secured to said transversely extending portions, flexible supporting means secured to said transversely extending portions, and flexible seat material secured to and supported by said flexible means, said flexible means comprising straps having parts attached to the supporting surface in a manner to urge the joined sections together to hold the article rigidly assembled under compression.
4. Apparatus as in claim'3, wherein said flexible means comprises a strap attached to the supporting surface and passing underneath said upright portions.
5. Apparatus as in claim 1, wherein said supporting surface comprises a'rigid table top.
6. Apparatus as in claim 2, said strap means havingparts engaging said generally-parallel upright portions and parts secured to said flexible seat material."
7. Apparatus as in claim 6, said flexible straps including parts engaging transversely extending portions of said sections and being secured to said flexible supporting means whereby the sections are held firmly together in a rigid assembly. 7 I
8. Apparatus as in claim 1, wherein said sections are joined by joints which can be readily pulled. apart whereby one section can be separated from other sec-- tions, the other sections can be partially unjointed from r each other and manipulated substantially into a plane, said one section. being positionable substantially into I 'saidplane. i s a is 's s: