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Publication numberUS3807102 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 30, 1974
Filing dateMar 2, 1973
Priority dateMar 1, 1971
Publication numberUS 3807102 A, US 3807102A, US-A-3807102, US3807102 A, US3807102A
InventorsAlbinson D, Cawley C, Hopkins R, Stephens W
Original AssigneeKnoll International
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Panel structure having functional and decorative trim and support bracket means
US 3807102 A
Abstract
Structure serving as decorative trim and also to join panels together and to provide a support for the "hanging" of an item attached to an L-shaped support bracket. A base portion bears against the top edge of one or more panels, and a flange portion overlies the base portion. The upper and side surfaces of the flange portion serve as the exposed decorative trim. The flange portion has an outwardly and then downwardly extending outer part on each side thereof which terminates above a support surface to hold one leg of the L-shaped support bracket and to maintain the other leg of that bracket resting on the support surface.
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United States Patent [191 Albinson et a1.

[ Apr. 30, 1974 PANEL STRUCTURE HAVING FUNCTIONAL AND DECORATIVE TRIM AND SUPPORT BRACKET MEANS [75] Inventors: Don C. Albinson, Coopersburg;

. William I. Stephens, Telford;

Charles R. Cawley, Jr., Barto; Richard Baier Hopkins, Pennsburg, all of Pa.

[73] Assignee: Knoll International, Inc., New York,

22 Filed: Mar. 2, 1973 21 Appl.No.:337,425

Related US. Application Data [62] Division of Ser. No. 119,457, March 1, 1971.

[52] US. Cl. 52/36, 312/263 [51] Int. Cl A47b 47/00 [58] Field of Search 52/36, 475, 300, 717, 716, 52/287, 288, 27, 311, 181, 629, 582, 459,

Primary Examiner-Price C. Faw, Jr. Attorney, Agent, or FirmCooper, Dunham, Clark, Griffin & Moran '57] ABSTRA T Structure serving as decorative trim and also to join panels together and to provide a support for the hanging of an item attached to an L-shaped support bracket. A base portion bears against the top edge of one or more panels, and a flange portion overlies the base portion. The upper and side surfaces of the flange portion serve as the exposed decorative trim. The flange portion has an outwardly and then downwardly extending outer part on each side thereof which terminates above a support surface to hold one leg of the L-shaped support bracket and to maintain the other leg of that bracket resting on the support surface.

A bracket for supporting a shelf or the like is disclosed. The bracket includes a first horizontally extending leg that is supported on the top edge of one or more panels and which is held in place by the base portion of the decorative trim/panel joining/hanging support structure. Asecond downwardly extending leg is included which fits between adjacent edges of panels. A third leg extends horizontally away from the large exposed area of a panel.

7 Claims, 20 Drawing F igures PANEL STRUCTURE HAVING FUNCTIONAL AND DECORATIVE TRIM AND SUPPORT BRACKET MEANS This is a division of application Ser. No. 119,457, filed Mar. 1, 1971.

BACKGROUND AND BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to furniture construction. More particularly, it relates to structure that functions as decorative trim while also serving to join panels together and to provide a support for the h'anging of an item attached to an L-shaped support bracket. The invention also relates to a unique bracket for supporting a shelf or the like.

This invention finds particular application in the office landscaping field in which panel structures are used to define various work areas. Various approaches have been taken in the past to join together different panels to form an individual work station. Most of the past approaches have proceeded on the basis that it is necessary to have a complete interlocking of all panels in an area encompassing a number of work stations. This approach is undesirable inasmuch as it limits the flexibility of the system once a number of work stations have become interconnected.

Accordingly, the present invention is directed toward the joining together of panels in such a fashion as to maintain needed flexibility while at the same time providing stable support for adjacent panels in order to complete an individual work station. The invention involves unique panel joining structure which serves as decorative trim and also provides support for the hanging of various items attached to L-shaped sup port brackets and which are suspended from the top edge of one or more panels.

This novel decorative trim/panel joining/hanging support structure includes abase portion that bears against the top edge of one or more panels. A flange portion overlies the base portion and includes outwardly exposed surfaces that serve as the decorative trim. The flange portion has an outwardly and then downwardly extending outer part on each side thereof which terminates above a support surface to hold, on either side of the flange portion, one leg of the L- shaped support bracket and to maintain the other leg of the bracket resting on the support surface.

The present invention also involves a bracket for supporting a shelf or the like. The bracket is adapted to have a major portion thereof hidden by the decorative trim/panel joining/hanging support structure just described as well as by the panels themselves, inasmuch as part of the bracket is positioned between abutting panel edges. The bracket includes a first horizontally extending leg that is supported on the top edge of one or more of the panels and which is held in place by the base portion of the decorative trim/panel joining/hanging support structure described above. A second downwardly extending leg is positioned between adjoining side edges of adjacent panels and is thereby mainly obscured from view except for an exposed side edge of this downwardly extending bracket leg. A third leg extends horizontally away from the large area surface of one or more of the panels and serves as the support for a shelf or the like. Thus this third leg, which may be positioned a substantial distance down from the top edge of one or more of the panels and which appears to emanate from a mid portion of such panels, is nonetheless supported at the top edge by virtue of the first and second legs just described.

Accordingly, an object of the present invention is to provide better structure serving as decorative trim and- /or panel joining and/or hanging support structure.

Another object of the invention is to provide an improved support bracket for supporting a shelf or the like.

The invention will be more completely understood by a reference to the following detailed description, which is to be read in conjunction with the appended drawmgs.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a work station involving three joined-together panels and embodying the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a top view of a part of the work station of FIG. 1 showing the joining together of two adjacent panels;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view of the structure of FIG. 2, taken along the section 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a top view of the novel decorative trim/panel-joining/hanging support structure of the present in- Y vention included at the-free end of one panel;

FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 are sectionalviews of the structure of FIG. 4, taken along the sections 5-5, 6-6 and 7-7 in FIG. 4;

FIG. 8 is a top view of another embodiment of the invention involving decorative trim/panel joining/hanging support structure in the joining together of two panels in a straight line section; 1

FIG. 9 is a sectional view of the structure of FIG. 8, taken along the section 9-9 in FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is an exploded perspective view showing various embodiments of the decorative trim/panel joininglhanging support structure of the present invention;

FIG. 10a is a plan view of the decorative trim/panel joining/hanging support structure used to form a T joint;

FIG. 11 is an exploded perspective view of the bottom of adjacent panels joined together;

FIGS. 12 and 13 are sectional views showing the techniques of hanging a shelf at different heights with respect to a panel; FIG. 12 is a sectional view taken along the section 12-12 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 14 is a sectional view taken along the section 14-14 in FIG. 1 showing the technique by which an item is hung in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a work station including support brackets for supporting a shelf in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 16 is a sectional view, to an enlarged scale, of

the structure of FIG. 15, taken along the section 16-16 in FIG. 15;

FIG. 17 is a sectional view of part of the structure of FIG. 16, taken along the section 17-17 in FIG. 16;

'FIG. 18 is an exploded perspective view showing functional and decorative trim and a support bracket in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 19 is a perspective view showing another trim piece and another support bracket in accordance with the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring to FIG. 1 a work station 20 formed from three panels 22, 24 and 26 is shown. The work station may include a writing surface 28 and a two-drawer filing module 30. The writing surface 28 is supported by panels 22 and 26 as shown in detail in FIG. 12, to be described later, while the storage module 30 is usually simply placed beneath the writing surface 28 and against the panels 24 and 26. An item, such as a tack board 32, is mounted on the back panel 24 and is suspended from the top of that panel as shown in detail in FIG. 14, also to be described later. Hanging cabinets and/or book shelves above the work surface may also be included, if desired. Casters 34 or the like may be included at the bottom of the panels 22, 24 and 26 as suitable support for the panels over a floor.

FIGS. 2, 3 and 10 should be considered together;

they show the manner in which the panels 22 and 24 are joined together along the top edges thereof. Structure serving as decorative trim and also to join the panels 22 and 24 together and to provide a support for the hanging of the tack frame 32 or other structure such as a cabinet is shown. The structure involves a base portion 36; at the corner, where the two panels 22 and 24 join, the base structure is comprised of two base portions 36a and 36b. The base portion 36a bears against the top edge of the panel 24, while the base portion 36b bears against the top edge of the panel 22. A flange portion 38 overlies the base portion 36. Outwardly exposed surfaces 38a, 38b, 38c and 38d may be polished to provide the decorative trim aspect of the element just described. This element is typically a onepiece casting.

There are different shapes of base and flange portions depending upon whether these elements are used to join two panels at a corner, to join two panels in a straight line, or at a T, or to terminate a panel. Thus, for example, base and flange portions 40 and 42 (typically one piece as noted above) in FIG. 10 are used to join together two panels 24 and 24 in a straight line. Also in FIG. 10 bridging element 44is used to bridge base portions 36a and 40a in spanning the gap between the left and right-hand ends of the panel 24. Similarly, bridging element 46 is used to span the gap between base portions 36b and 48 between the left and righthand ends of the panel 22 shown in FIG. 10.

The flange portion of the decorative trim/panel joining/hanging support structure of the present invention is best shown in FIG. 3. There the bridging element 46 is shown in detail. At each side of the flange portion there is an outwardly (46a) and downwardly (46b) extending part. The downwardly extending part 46b terminates above a support surface 22a. In this case the support surface 22a is the upper edge of the panel 22. The bridging element 46 also includes a second downwardly extending part 46c on each side thereof which engages the sides of the base portion 36b and which itself serves as a baseportion. In this fashion the bridging element 46 is maintained in position against the base portion 36b, particularly against the outer edges of that base portion.

As shown in FIG. 10, and at the corner forming the junction of panels 22 and 24, holes are included in the base portions 36a and 36b (respectively holes 50a and 50b). These holes are aligned with corresponding holes in the bridging elements 44 and 46 (respectively holes 52a and 52b). A screw 54 (FIG. 3) passes through the holes 52b and 50b and engages a threaded fastening 56 in the panel 22.

In this fashion all the panels are joined together. It will be noted that a base portion and a flange portion structure (albeit a one-piece casting) is used throughout in the joining and ending of all panels. At the corners, such as at thecorner formed by the joining of panels 22 and 24, the base and flange structures 36 and 38 may be integrally formed if desired, or individual pieces might be employed if desired. The same is true with the joining of adjacent panels in a straight line, as by the base and flange portions 40 and 42, as well as the termination of a panel as by the base and flange portions 48 and 49. Normally, bridging elements, such as the bridging elements 44 and 46, are employed in the mid regions of the top edges of the panels to conserve material.

In the figures, FIGS. 2 and 3 show the joining together of panels at a corner, such as the corner formed by the panels 22 and 24. FIGS. 4 to 7 show the termination of a panel, as at the right-hand end of panel 22 (FIG. 10). I

FIGS. 8 and 9 show the joining together of adjacent panels in a straight line, as for example panels 24 and 24. It will be noted that in this case a foam-type substance 60 may be advantageously positioned between adjacent panels. Such gasket material is normally used at all joints between panels.

FIG. 10a shows the structure used to join together panels in a T configuration, involving segment 40c.

FIG. 11 shows the joining together of panels at the bottom. The joining structure is simply representative and could take the form of the top trim structure just described. However, for purposes of economy it is better to use the structure shown in FIG. 11 to save material costs. All this is involved is simply strips of material such as strips 61, 62, 64, 66 and 68 as well as a corner bracket 70. Flat strips, angle irons or channels may be used, as desired. The strips and corner bracket are drilled as at 72, for example, to permit a caster 34 to be held in place. Additional holes are included such as the hole 76 to accommodate screws 74 which pass upwardly through the strip or bracket and into the corresponding panel to hold the strip or bracket in place.

FIGS. 12 and 13 show the support of the writing surface 28. For this purpose an L-shaped bracket 80 is employed. The bracket includes segments 80a and 80b. If the bracket 80 is positioned as shown in FIG. 12 the writing surface 28 is maintained in a lower one of two positions, while if the bracket 80 is positioned as shown in FIG. 13, the writing surface 28 is positioned in a higher one of these two positions. The bracket 80 is secured to the panel 22 and the writing surface 28 respectively by screws 82 and 84.

FIG. 14 shows how an item such as a tack board or cabinet, for example, may be supported in place by the novel structure of the present invention. A bracket is employed which includes a portion 90a affixed to the tack board 32 and L-shaped remaining portions 90b and 900. The portion 900 fits behind downwardly extending part 92b of flange portion 92. The section 90b of the L-shaped bracket rests upon the top edge of the panel 24, which top edge in this case acts as a support surface for this section of the L-shaped bracket. Thus the bracket is supported at the section 90b, while the section 90c is prevented from moving outwardly by the downwardly extending part 92b of the flange portion which maintains the tack board in position. All that is required is a simple pivoting of the tack board, to the position shown in dashed and dotted lines in FIG. 14, to remove or position the tack board in place.

The advantages of the novel trim/panel joining/hanging support structure just described is that the flange and base portions may be made integral or separately as desired. It should be noted that the abutting together of adjacent flange portions, for example, flange portions 38 and 44 in FIG. along a straight line 96 shown in FIG. 2 prevents the pivoting of the flange portion 44. Hence, only a single screw need be employed passing through hole 52a at this end of the flange portion 44 to prevent such pivoting movement; normally two screws at each end of the flange portion would be required to prevent such pivoting movement.

It should also be noted that the base portion, e.g., the base portion 36, is less in height than the corresponding flange portion 38 and is less in width than that flange portion. This provides for the advantageous nesting of associated flange and base portions in completing the decorative trim/panel joining/hanging support structure of the present invention.

It should also be noted that while the drawings just described show the use of the top edge of a panel as the support surface for the L-shaped bracket used to hang the tack board 32, this need not be the case. The support surface could be provided by a part of the base portion 36, for example. Such an expedient would involve more material and, hence, would be more costly. Still further, the drawings show illustrative forms. Further joints, such as shaped may be used, and joints at other than right angles are possible.

FIGS. to 19 show the details of a support bracket for supporting a shelf or similar unit. In FIG. 15 three panels, 100, 102 and 104, are shown maintained in position through use of the decorative trim/panel joining- /hanging support structure described above. A shelf 106 is shown supported by brackets 108 and 110. FIGS. 16 and 17 show the details in which the righthand bracket 110 in FIG. 15 is positioned in the space between abutting or adjoining edges of panels 102 and 104. FIG. 18 shows the left-hand bracket 108 in FIG. 15. Because FIG. 18 is an exploded view, reference will be made to that figure to explain the support brackets 108 and 110. I

The left-hand support bracket 108 is, as shown in FIG. 18, comprised of a first leg 108a which extends in the horizontal or X direction. The leg 108a is for supporting the bracket from top edge 102a of panel 102. The leg 108a terminates in an upwardly extending lip l08b; the lip l08b extends in the Y direction. A second leg 108C extends downwardly in the vertical or Y direction. The leg 108C is normally much longer than the leg 108a. The leg 108a extends along side edge 10217 of the panel 102 that adjoins a side edge 'of panel 100. Thus the vertical leg 1086 is positioned between the adjoining or abutting edges of the panels 100 and 102, and is completely concealed from view except for the edge 108d of this vertical leg which is visible to an observer looking toward the large area surface 102a of the panel 102. Positioned beneath the vertical leg 1086 is the gasket material 60 described above.

A third leg 108a extends outwardly in the Z direction away from the large area surface 102c of the panel 102. The leg 108e serves as the actual support for the shelf 106 and for this purpose includes flanged portions l08f, 108g and 108k.

It will be noted from FIG. 18 that the horizontal leg 108a that is supported on the top edge 1020 of the panel is positioned within decorative trim/panel joining/hanging support structure 112 shown removed in FIG. 18. The trim piece 112 is as described above and includes a base portion 112a that bears against top edge 102a of the panel 102. The base portion 1120 as shown in FIG. 18 is made up of two flanged pieces l12a-1 and 112a-2. The horizontal leg 1080 of the support bracket fits between the two flanges 112a-1 and 112a-2, with the upwardly extending lip l08b bearing against the under surface 11% of the trim piece. In this fashion the support bracket 108 is maintained in position. FIG. 17 shows the manner in which the upwardly extending lip l10b of the support bracket bears against under surface 1 14b of trimpiece l 14.

FIG. 19 shows the details of a similar support bracket 1 18 adapted to be positioned with respect to two panels and 122 that join in a straight line rather than at right angles as in the construction of FIG. 15. For this purpose the bracket includes a first leg 118a that extends horizontally in the X direction on both sides of the vertical leg 118C (leg 118a need only extend on one side of leg 118a). The leg 118a includes upwardly extending lips 118a-l and l18b-2 that fit within trim piece 124 in the same fashion as explained above with respect to the lips l08b and 11%. In this case the vertical leg 1180 of the support bracket is positioned between the abutting edges of the two panels 120 and 122.

With respect to the support bracket, there are three basic configurations just disclosed. The first is for a left-hand bracket (bracket 108), the second is for a right-hand bracket (bracket 110), and the third is for an intermediate bracket (bracket 118) that is adapted for use between two panels that abut in a straight line. Other bracket configurations are possible departing from the specific configurations shown in FIGS. 15 to 19. The brackets are characterized by the fact that the actual article support portion that is constituted by the third horizontal le'g which extends in the Z direction away from the large area surface of one or more panels is positioned a substantial distance below the top edges of these panels giving the illusion that the bracket itself is floating.

It should be realized that the invention is subject to modification. The invention should be taken to be defined, therefore, by the following claims.

We claim:

1. Structure serving as decorative trim and also to join panels together and to provide a support for the hanging of an item attached to an L-shaped support bracket, comprising a base portion adapted to bear against the top edge of one or more panels, and a flange portion overlying the base portion, said flange'portion having an outwardly and then downwardly extending outer part which terminates above a support surface to hold one leg of the L-shaped support bracket and to maintain the other leg of the bracket resting on the support surface, including a panel having a top edge against which said base portion bears, and a bracket for supporting a shelf or the like, said bracket comprising a first horizontally extending leg supported on the top edge of the panel and held in place by said base portion, a second downwardly extending leg adjacent a side edge of said panel, and a third leg extending horizontally away from a large area surface of said panel.

2. Structure according to claim 1, including a second panel having aside edge adjacent said side edge of the first-mentioned panel, and in which said second downwardly extending leg is positioned between said side edges. v

3. A support bracket for supporting a shelf or the like and which in turn is adapted to be supported by a panel, comprising a first l'eg extending in the X direction, a second leg extending in the Y direction, and a third leg extending in the Z direction, including a panel, and in which the leg extending in the X direction is positioned upon and supported by the top edge of the panel, the leg extending in the Y direction is'positioned adjacent a side edge of the panel, and the leg extending in the Z direction extends outwardly from a large area surface of the panel.

4. Structure according to claim 3, including a second panel having a side edge adjacent said side edge of the first-mentioned panel, and in which said leg extending in the Y direction is positioned between said side edges.

5. Structure according to claim 3, including trim structure positioned on the top edge of the panel and bearing against the leg extending in the X direction to maintain the support bracket in position. I

6. Structure according to claim 5, in which the trim structure includes a top exposed surface member having an under surface which is positioned against the leg extending in theX direction.

7. Structure according to claim 6, in which the leg extending in the X direction includes an upwardly extending lip, the upper edge of which lip bears against said under surface.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3101817 *Aug 11, 1961Aug 27, 1963John RadekWall panel structure
US3394507 *Oct 4, 1965Jul 30, 1968Angeles Metal Trim CoMetallic structure for interior walls to carry shelf brackets and wallboard
US3713257 *Oct 19, 1970Jan 30, 1973Design Prod IncFree-standing panel system
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4070803 *Jul 6, 1976Jan 31, 1978Gartung Clifford WSupportive accessory units for modular wall panels
US5405114 *Jan 25, 1994Apr 11, 1995California Prison Industry AuthorityModular component attaching system
US6167665May 28, 1997Jan 2, 2001Herman Miller, Inc.Corner post for a wall panel system
US6202381Apr 28, 2000Mar 20, 2001Herman Miller, Inc.Method for reconfiguring a wall panel system
US6301847Jun 21, 2000Oct 16, 2001Herman Miller, Inc.Wall panel
US6339907Jun 21, 2000Jan 22, 2002Herman Miller, Inc.System of wall panels
US6393783Feb 22, 2001May 28, 2002Herman Miller, Inc.Wall panel
US6748710Mar 29, 2002Jun 15, 2004Steelcase Development CorporationPartition trim having functional aspects
US6807776Mar 29, 2002Oct 26, 2004Steelcase Development CorporationBuilding outfitting system with common accessory-mounting feature
US6920727Feb 14, 2001Jul 26, 2005Haworth, Inc.Wall panel arrangement with accessory-supporting top cap
US7306299 *Mar 8, 2004Dec 11, 2007Masterbrand Cabinets, Inc.Semi-frameless cabinet and method for making the same
US7451535May 31, 2006Nov 18, 2008Masterbrand Cabinets, Inc.Semi-frameless cabinet and method for making the same
US7975445Jun 5, 2009Jul 12, 2011Inscape CorporationOffice partition system
US8046962Nov 6, 2007Nov 1, 2011Haworth, Inc.Structural top cap arrangement for wall panel
US8176695Nov 6, 2007May 15, 2012Haworth, Inc.Wall panel frame arrangement
US8272180Oct 31, 2011Sep 25, 2012Haworth, Inc.Structural top cap arrangement for wall panel
US20120073233 *Sep 16, 2011Mar 29, 2012Principle Holdings LimitedModular walling systems
Classifications
U.S. Classification52/36.1, 312/263
International ClassificationA47B95/00, A47B96/06, A47B95/04
Cooperative ClassificationA47B95/043, A47B96/061
European ClassificationA47B95/04B, A47B96/06A
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 15, 1991ASAssignment
Owner name: WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION, WESTINGHOUSE BU
Free format text: NUNC PRO TUNC ASSIGNMENT;ASSIGNOR:KNOLL INTERNATIONAL, INC., A CORP. OF DE;REEL/FRAME:005570/0598
Effective date: 19901127