US 3823426 A
An improved combination sandbox and pool which can be rapidly assembled or disassembled without the use of screws, nuts and bolts, or other fastening elements. The well of the unit has a drain hole, the well serving the dual purpose of a container of sand or water.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Mitchko RAPID ASSEMBLY COMBINATION SANDBOX AND POOL  Inventor: Walter Mitchko, 769 Bay Tree Ln.,
East Northport, N.Y. 94530 22 Filed: Oct. 18, 1972 21 Appl. No.: 298,508
Related US. Application Data  Continuation-in-part of Ser. No. 281,539, Aug. 17,
Primary Examiner-Henry K. Artis Attorney, Agent, or Firm--Wolder & Gross  ABSTRACT An improved combination sandbox and pool which can be rapidly assembled or disassembled without the use of screws, nuts and bolts, or other fastening ele- 11] 1 3,823,426 1451 July 16,1974
ments. The well of the unit has a drain hole, the well serving the dual purpose of a container of sand or water.
The leg members include a female socket with a wedged channel and oppositely aligned ball-shaped depressions, The male member has a mating wedge and ball-shaped protrusions. The male member is forced into the female member, the resiliency of the walls of the channel allowing the ball lock to provide sufficient stability for use conditions.
The upright sockets have an interior funnel-shaped wall with a lower cutout and a bottom step. Forcing an upright into the socket causes the wall to spread, creating a gripping force. The step limits the downward movement of the upright.
A modified embodiment of the upright includes a cross-sectional T-shaped member having the lower portion of the center leg being wedge-shaped and received within a mating female receptacle in the upright socket. The walls of the receptacle are slightly resilient and provide a gripping force to engage the upright.
The canopy frame may carry a channel on the end support either on the top or end surface, passing along the entire length of support. The canopy covering is positioned over the channel and a securement member which is T-shaped in cross-section is forced into the channel, the finger engaging the canopy covering also forcing it intothe channel.
14 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures PATENTED Jill- I 61974 SMET30F3 RAPID ASSEMBLY COMBINATION SANDBOX AND POOL This is a continuation-in-part of US. Pat. application Ser. No. 281,539, filed Aug. 17, 1972, now abandoned.
PRIOR ART bolts, or the like.
It is a common practice in todays commercial market, to ship items in a disassembled condition. The reason for this is twofold, to eliminate additional labor costs that would be required for assembly, and to elimi nate shipping charges that would be required for larger cubic shipping volume. Unfortunately, many items are di fficult to assemble and require considerable time to complete. Many sandboxes are made of wood or joined metal sections. If they are filled with water, natural leakage occurs, requiring continuous filling, plus wetness on the ground under the unit.
If the box contains sand and it tains, the water will sit" in the box, remaining in the sand and keeping it damp.
Furthermore, it is important that the proper number of external fastening elements be present in the package; sometimes the correct number have not been included, or they are not the proper sizes, or they are incorrectly formed. For any number of these reasons, assembly and use of the purchased item is delayed.
Even when the items are assembled with the proper fastening elements, the structure may tend to lack stability under normal and even abnormal use conditions.
Another problem exists in connection with the securement of the canopy covering to the canopy frame. In the past this is usually done by nailing or tacking the cover to the frame. Nails or tacks oftentimes come loose and fall out from the frame, causing a hazard and increasing the possibility of the separation of the covering from the frame.
OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES Accordingly, it is among the principal objects of the present invention to provide an improved, rapid assembly combination sandbox and pool which may be assembled for stable use conditions without requiring external fastening elements.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide an improved combination sandbox and pool which may be assembled simply and rapidly.
Still yet another object of the present invention is to provide a combination sandbox and pool of the character described which may be assembled or disassembled in a short period of time.
Still yet a further object of the present invention is to provide a sandbox of the character described which will retain water without requiring continued fillings.
Yet a further object of the present invention is to provide a sandbox with an easily removable plug to allow water to drain from wet sand.
Still yet another object of the present invention is to provide a sandbox of the character described having detachable means to secure the canopy covering to the canopy frame, eliminating the use of nails or tacks.
The present invention contemplates a generally standard appearing combination sandbox and pool having a well with a drain hole. The well may either be filled with sand or water, as desired by the user.
Surrounding the well at the ends are seats in the wellknown manner.
The entire unit is supported by five leg members comprising a female leg socket which is wedge-shaped in cross-section and carries at least one pair of oppositely aligned ball-shaped depressions. The male member has a mating wedge portion which is adapted to be received within the female socket. In addition, the male member carries two oppositely aligned ball-shaped protrusions. When the male member is forced into the female member, the resiliency of the walls of the sockets cause them to spread slightly so that the ball-shaped protrusions are received within the ball-shaped depressions forming a socket lock. The five legs provide sufficient support stability during use.
Centrally positioned on the side walls and towards the interior thereof are two oppositely disposed upright sockets to receive uprights supporting a canopy. The upright sockets have an internal diameter which is slightly larger at the top than at the bottom, forming a funnel-shaped wall. The socket is open at the bottom with the exception of a bottom step to limit the downward movement of the uprights. In addition, there is a cutout on the outward sideof the lower wall so that as the upright is forced onto the socket, the lower wall can spread slightly to accommodate the cylindrical upright. This creates a force on the upright, resulting in a strong retaining force for maintaining the uprights and the canopy within the sockets.
In a modified embodiment, the T-shaped leg is simply forced into the female receptacle in the socket, which is wedge-shaped and approximately the same dimensions as the dimensions of the wedge-shaped foot of the leg of the upright. The walls of the receptacle are slightly resilient and accommodate the foot, also creating a strong retaining force for maintaining the uprights and the canopy within the sockets.
It should be obvious from the above description that the unit may be easily disassembled by simply pulling the uprights out of the sockets and removing the male leg members from the female sockets. The disassembly requires a certain amount of additional force, that is well within the limits of the average purchaser.
The above description and objects of the present invention will become apparent from a reading of the following description taken with reference to the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a combination sandbox and pool embodying the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a side elevation view with the upright partially cut, and portions cut away, particularly the detail of the upright socket, and showing the upright position within the socket and the lower portion of the socket walls slightly spread;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged, fragmentary view of the upright socket of FIG. 2, without the upright in position;
FIG. 4 is a view taken along the line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is an exploded representation of the view otherwise taken along the line 5-5of FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary, enlarged view of the canopy socket;
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary, enlarged view of the lower porition of the T-shaped upright;
FIG. 8 is a side elevational view taken along the line 88 of FIG. 7 and showing the walls of the well socket in section;
FIG. 9 is a bottom plan view taken along the line 99 of FIG. 7;
FIG. 10 is a top perspective view of the well socket;
FIG. 11 is a fragmentary, enlarged side elevational view, partly in section, of the socket;
FIG. 12 is a fragmentary, enlarged, exploded view of a portion of the upright, a portion of the canopy covering the securement member;
FIG. 13 is a view similar to FIG. 11, with the parts in position; and
FIG. 14 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 13l3 of FIG. 12.
Referring in detail to the drawings, and particularly to FIG. 1, there is shown a combination sandbox and pool 10 basically comprising a sandbox and pool element 12, two uprights 14, and a canopy 16 for supporting an awning (not shown).
The canopy 16 is basically a frame and includes side supports 18, end supports 20, joined to the side supports at their edges, and interior frame supports 22 which are parallel to the end supports and perpendicular to and joined to the side supports 18 at intermediate distances along their length. Centrally positioned on the side supports 18 are canopy sockets 24 with openings 26 defined therein. The canopy may be made from any rigid plastic material, such as polystyrene, polyethylene, and propylene.
The uprights 14 are also made of rigid material, preferably a metallic substance, such as aluminum. The uprights are cylindrical and defined by an upper edge 28, a wall 30 defined by an outer surface 31, and a lower edge 34. The uprights have an upper zone 36 which is completely received within the opening 26 and a lower zone 38 completely received within the upright socket of the sandbox and pool 12, as will be more fully described below.
The combination sandbox and pool 12 includes support means 40, a well 42 and an annular shoulder 44 and is made of high density polyethylene. The well is a single continuous piece, and is substantially rectangular in plan view and a bottom wall 46 defined by a lower surface 48 and an upper surface 50. The wall 46 is bounded by side edges 52 and end edges 54. Depending upwardly from the bottom wall are end walls 56 defined by an inner surface 58 and an outer surface 60 and side walls 62 defined by an inner surface 64 and an outer surface 66.
Located in a corner of the bottom wall 46 is a cutout defining a drain 68 with an appropriate mating plug 70.
Depending outwardly from the side and end walls is the continuous shoulder 44 which more specifically includes side shoulders 72 defined by an upper surface 74 and a lower surface 76 ending in a downwardly extending lip 78. The side shoulders blend into end shoulders or seats 80 defined by an upper surface 82 and lower surface 84. Downwardly extending lip 86 also blends into the downwardly extending lips 78.
It is further noticed that the comers are rounded in a well-known manner. Located at each of the four corners of the element 12 are supporting ribs 88 which pass substantially under the end shoulders as opposed to the side shoulders 72. There are additional support ribs 90 positioned medially under the shoulders 80 to give additional support to the seat portions of the shoulders.
Finally, there are side support ribs 92 positioned at the mid-point of the side walls 62 and shoulders 72.
The unit 12 is supported by five leg members, all of identical construction, with four positioned angularly at the corners and the fifth located centrally under the bottom wall 46. FIGS. 2 and 6 basically illustrate the leg members 94. Depending downwardly from the bottom wall 46 at a position coincident with the meeting point of the major and minor axes in parallel alignment with the major axis and in perpendicular alignment to the minor axis, are female leg members 95 (FIG. 6) which form a channel 96 defined by inwardly sloping walls 98 and an upper wall 100. The cross-sectional view is wedged-shaped in appearance. The channels are open at the end. The walls 102 of the channel are made of the same material as the unit 12 and are slightly resilient. Centrally positioned within each of the channels are oppositely disposed ball-shaped depressions 104 defined by a hemispherical surface 106.
The male leg member 108 is substantially T-shaped in cross section and has a bottom supporting portion 110 and a perpendicular upwardly extending joinder portion 112. Towards the top of the joinder portion, the side surfaces 114, 116 slope inwardly and meet at a top edge 118. Needless to say, the dimensions of the upper wedge-shaped portion defined by the surfaces 114, 116, 118 are substantially the same as the wedgeshaped formation defined by the surfaces 96, 98, 100, except that they are just slightly larger. In addition, centrally positioned on the wedge-shaped section are oppositely disposed ball-shaped protrusions 120 defined by outer hemispherical surfaces 122.
Turning to FIGS. 2-4, there is shown the detail of the construction of the upright socket 124. The side walls 62 protrude inwardly as shown at 126 to accommodate the sockets. The sockets are defined by a downwardly extending funnel-shaped inner surface 128 with the diameter designated at 129 being slightly greater than the diameter designated at 130. The overall result is a slight funnel shape. In addition, there is a lower step 132 to limit downward movement of the uprights.
As best seen in FIG. 3 the outer wall 134 of the socket are also slightly funnel-shaped, and at the bottom there is a cutout 136 defined by the surface 138. The socket is also made of the same resilient-type ma terial as the rest of the sandbox.
As best seen in FIG. 3, the outer surface 66 of side walls 62 extends upwardly as at 133 on both sides of the socket, meeting the outer wall 134 of the socket at 135.
As with other commercial items of this nature, the unit would come in a knockdown, unassembled condition. When the various parts are removed from the box, the sandbox element 12 is turned on its upper surface so that the bottom wall 46 is extending upwardly. The male leg members 108 are then forced into the channels 96. Because of the resilient nature fof the walls 102, they spread slightly, and spread slightly more when the protrusions 120 begin to touch the initial surfaces of the side walls. The protrusions are designed to fit snugly within the depressions 104, creating a socket lock in addition to the wedging effect caused by the upper section within the channel. When all five male leg members are snapped into position there is sufficient support to provide the proper stability under all use conditions. The unit 12 is then turned over so that it rests on the male members.
The uprights 14 are then positioned at the upper part of the openings 128. The male members have an outer diameter just slightly smaller than the diameter 129 at the top of the socket, but larger than diameter 130 at the bottom of the socket above the step. As the male member is forced into the socket, the socket wall 34 begins to spread, with the give being afforded by the cutout 136. This is similar to the effect of a clothespin as it is placed over a piece of clothing on the line. As shown by an examination of FIGS. 3 as a before" and 4 as an after, it is seen how when the upright is fully in position against the step 132, the socket walls have spread slightly, and instead of a funnel-shaped appearance, the inner surface is then substantially cylindrical in appearance. The forces created by the lower portion of the socket being under tension, together with the step 132 acting as a barrier, provides sufficient restraint to maintain the uprights for use conditions.
The canopy 16 is then simply placed on the upper portion of the uprights with the grooves 26 encompass ing the section 36 of the upright.
As seen in FIG. 6, the canopy sockets 24 also have a cutout 140 defined by the surface 142. In the same manner as the uprightsocket, the groove 26 securely grip section 36. An awning of any desired aesthetic appearance may then simply be tacked, stapled, or placed over the canopy.
If it is desired to use the unit as a pool, the drain hole 68 is fitted with the plug 70 and the well is filled with water. On the other hand, if it is desired to use the unit as a sandbox, the plug 70 is removed to allow the water to escape. It is then replaced and the well is filled with sand.
Turning to FIGS. 7-11, there is shown a modified embodiment of the lower portion of the upright structure. It is understood that the upper portion means for connecting the upright to the canopy frame can be as previously described or can be in any well-known manner, so as not to form a part of the present invention. Looking at FIGS. 7, 9, and 10, there is shown a lower portion of an upright 150, which is T-shaped in crosssection and consists of a central leg 152 and the cross leg 154 having a right portion 156 and a left portion 158. The lower engagement portion of the upright 160 corresponding to the portion 38 in length shows the central leg 152 flaring slightly as at 162 and then fonning a wedge-shaped lower leg 164 defined by slightly converging side walls 166, 168 and ending in the lower inwardly converging bottom wall 170. The three walls 166, 168 and 170 converge to the inner wall 172.
The cross leg 154 is defined by an outer side surface 174 and an inner central surface 176 defined from side surfaces 178, and inner surfaces 180 on either side of the central leg member 152. At the lower portion of the upright, the central surface 176 moves outwardly at shoulder 182 to meet the side surfaces 174 forming a continuous lower surface 184. And the inner surfaces blend into a step-shoulder 186 and thence form inner channels 188 on either side of the lower leg 164 until they meet the lower edge 190 of the leg 154. The channels resultantly form lower side alignment legs 192, 194 having outer surfaces 196, 198.
The sockets of the well walls are substantially T- shaped in cross-section (FIG. 10) and are defined by outer alignment walls 200, 202 having inner surfaces 204, 208. The walls abut an inner wall 209. Centrally positioned within the socket is a leg receptacle 210 defined by a right wall 212, left wall 213, and a forward wall 214 having inner surfaces 216, 217, 218. These walls are non-parallel, sloping downwardly and inwardly toward each other.
Engagement between the uprights and the sockets of the wall is relatively simple and simply can consist of positioning the lower portional length 160 of the upright within the socket so that the outer surfaces 196, 198 of the legs 192, 194 engage and abut the inner surfaces 204, 208 of the alignment walls 200, 202.
The actual gripping takes place between the walls 166, 168 and the surfaces 218, 216 of the receptacle walls 214, 212. The walls 214, 21.2 are slightly resilient and are of substantially the same inner dimensions as the outer dimensions of the lower portion of the leg 164. Thus, when the wedge-shaped leg is inserted within the receptacle 210 the walls 214, 212 are forced out of position and slightly away from each other. Due to their resiliency, they exert a force upon the leg portion (164), tightly gripping it and providing the desired force to retain the upright within the socket of the well for normal use.
The canopy may be modifiedslightly, as shown in FIGS. 12-14. FIG. 12 shows a slightly modified form of the canopy frame 220 consisting of an end support 222 in interior frame support 224 and side frame supports 226 (the other not shown). Note that here the interior frame supports run perpendicular to the end support as opposed to that shown in FIG. 6 where they run parallel to the end support.
As shown in FIG. 12 there is a channel 228 which is cut into the top edge 238 of the end support 222 passing inwardly. The channel is defined by side surface 232, 234 and inner bottom surface 236.
The canopy covering 240 is only shown partially in FIG. 12, and is not shown at all in FIG. 6. In the wellknown manner the canopy covering extends over the entire frame and acts as an awning. For purposes of illustration of the invention, the covering has a portion 242 which covers the top of the frame and portion 244, 246, 248, 250 which extends along the side edge 230 of the end support 222 and culminates in a skirt 252 with scallops 254 for aesthetic purposes.
As illustrated in FIGS. 12 and 14, there is also shown a securement member 256 which is T-shaped in crosssection and includes a central finger 258 and a cross leg 260. The finger may be serrated as at 262 and the average distances between the two surfaces 264, 268 are not paralleled and decrease as the finger extends outwardly from the leg 260. The finger terminates in a leading edge 266. The cross leg 260 has two inner surfaces 268 on either side of the finger and has an outer somewhat arcuate surface 270. To secure the covering 240 to the frame 220, the covering is placed along the edge 230 of the support 222. The finger is then positioned against the covering and moved into the channel 228. Since the outer width of the finger is somewhat less than the inner width of the channel, the added thickness supplied by the edges 246, 250 of the wall covering plus the width of the finger insure a good,
tight, yet detachable fit. The leading edge 266 of the finger cuts against the portion 248 of the wall covering and hence against the inner or bottom wall 236 of the channel. The engagement is best illustrated in FIG. 14.
Thus, the covering is easily and securely joined to the frame, without the necessity of nails or pins. Since there are no sharp objects to come loose and fall into the vicinity of the toy, the hazards of the use of such a toy are considerably lessened. Furthermore, this securement means completely eliminates all extraneous attachment elements, such as screws, pins, bolts, etc.
Thus, there is described and illustrated a rapidly assemblable and disassemblable combination sandbox and pool which does not require the use of any outside fastening devices such as screws, nuts and bolts, etc. This is a significant advance over present knockdown units since assembly is easier and there are no extraneous fastening element parts to be lost.
While there has been described and illustrated a preferred embodiment of the present invention, it is apparent that numerous alterations, omissions and additions may be made without departing from the spirit thereof.
The embodiment of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed is defined as follows:
What is claimed is:
1. An improved combination sandbox and pool which can be rapidly assembled or disassembled, comprising:
a. a well shaped intergrally formed shell unit including a base and an upstanding peripheral wall;
b. means to support the well secured to the bottom thereof;
c. transversely spaced upright posts;
d. a canopy separably mounted atop the upper ends of the upright posts;
e. a pair of transversely spaced sockets in said peripheral wall of the well, each socket including a peripheral wall having an inner surface of smaller diameter at the bottom than at the top of the socket; and separably engaging the lower end of a respective post and f. a vertically extending slot formed in the wall of the socket to allow expansion of the wall to accommodate the lower end of the respective upright post retaining the post in the socket under tension and each of said sockets having a stop proximate its inside bottom to limit the downward movement of the respective post.
2. An improved combination sandbox and pool which can be rapidly assembled and disassembled, comprising:
a. a well made of a single, continuous material;
b. means to support the well, the means including a female member secured to the bottom surface of the well and a male member;
(1. the female member having a channel and oppositely aligned ball-shaped depressions defined in the side surfaces of the channel; and
d. the male member having an upper portion receivable within the channel and oppositely aligned ballshaped protrusions receivable within the depressions, so that upon wedging the male member towards the female member, the sides of the channel are forced apart slightly and the ball-shaped protrusions are received within the depressions forming a sufficiently stable support under use conditions.
3. An improved combination sandbox and pool which can be rapidly assembled and disassembled, comprising:
a. a well made of a single, continuous material;
b. means to support the well, the means including a female member securedto the bottom surface of the well and a male member;
c. the female member having a channel and oppositely aligned ball-shaped depressions defined in the side surfaces of the channel;
d. the male member having an upper portion receivable within the channel and oppositely aligned ballshaped protrusions receivable within the depressions;
e. upright means;
f. a canopy secured to the upper end of the upright means;
. g. at least one socket secured to the wall of the well, the socket wall having an inner surface of smaller diameter at the bottom than at the top of the socket; and
h. means defined in the wall of the socket to allow expansion of the wall to accommodate the lower end of the upright means, retaining the means in the socket under tension.
4. The invention according to claim 3, the upright being a substantially rigid cylindrical bar, the interior surface of the socket being funnel-shaped.
5. The invention according to claim 4, the meansdefined in the socket wall being a cutout.
6. The invention according to claim 5, the channel in the female member being wedge-shaped, and the upper portion of the male member being similarly wedgeshaped to provide a force fit.
7. The invention according to claim 6, the canopy I having sockets to receive the upper end of the upright means, the sockets having a cutout defined in the wall thereof to allow expansion of the wall to accommodate the upright means.
8. The invention according to claim 7, the upper end of the canopy socket and the lower end of the well socket having step means to prevent passage of the upright means entirely through the sockets.
9. The invention according to claim 3, the upright being substantially rigid T-shaped bar with a central leg member, the lower portion of which being wedgeshaped.
10. The invention according to claim 9, the socket wall consisting of two aligned, non-paralleled walls having distances therebetween substantially the same as the outer dimensions of the wedge-shaped portion of the leg.
11. The invention according to claim 3, the canopy including a canopy frame having an end support with a channel defined therein, a securement member received within the channel, the canopy covering being positioned over the channel and thence within the channel between the securement member and the channel in a secure yet detachable engagement.
12. A readily assembled and disassembled combination pool and sandbox comprising:
a. an integrally formed open topped well defining unit including a base wall and an upstanding peripheral wall;
"b. a pair of open topped first socket members integrally formed with and located along the outside faces of said peripheral walls at opposite locations thereon; r
c. an upright post having a lower end separably engaging each of said first socket members;
d. a canopy member mounted atop and separably coupled to the upepr ends of said posts;
e. a plurality of peripherally spaced second socket members depending from and integrally formed with said well base wall and having downwardly directed openings; and
f. a leg member releasably coupled to each of said socket members and including a vertical section 10 terminating at its top in a plug releasably engaging a respective second socket member and having a bottom face of increased area relative to the transverse cross section of said plug.
13. The device of claim 12 wherein said well is of rectangular configuration with said first socket members being medially located at opposite peripheral walls of said well and said second socket members are located proximate the corners of said well base wall.
14. The device of claim 13 wherein each of said second sockets includes a pair of depending longitudinally extending walls having upwardly, inwardly tapered confronting faces and each of said leg members is of inverted T-shaped, including a vertical web having a tapered upper portion separably engaging a respective second socket and a foot piece defining bottom cross web.