US 3307505 A
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March 19$? G. R. WINDROSS 3,307,505
FURNITURE Filed April 12.. 1965 I; INVENTOR FIVE/s v United States Patent 3,307,505 FURNITURE Gene R. Windross, 2800 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit, Mich. 48208 Filed Apr. 12, 1965, Ser. No. 447,300 3 Claims. (Cl. 108-111) This invention relates to an article of furniture and more particularly to an article of furniture having an improved, simplified construction that readily lends itself to a knock-down assembly.
As is well known, articles of furniture such as chests of drawers, cabinets, shelves, bookcases, and the like, comprise a plurality of parallel interconnected elongate members or shelves. In addition to the necessity of providing support in a vertical direction, such articles also should have suflicient rigidity to resist collapsing when subjected to lateral forces exerted along their ends. If conventional parallel vertical structural members provide the structural interconnection between the shelves, the
.structu'ral members must be rigidly attached to the individual shelves to resist the parallelogramming effect that otherwise results from the lateral forces. Tongue and groove or dowel joints must normally be provided for rigidity. In addition to complicating the provision of a knock-down structure, such joints also do not offer sufiicient structural rigidity in many instances and heavier pieces of material must be utilized to give the required strength.
The principal object of this invention therefore is to provide an improved article of furniture of the aforementioned type that has a greater structural rigidity than the articles heretofore known.
It is a further object of this invention to provide an improved article of furniture of the aforementioned type that readily lends itself to knock-down assembly.
It is an even further object of this invention to provide an article of furniture that may be constructed from a plurality of similar components and may be readily altered in size or number of shelves.
An article of furniture embodying this invention comprises at least two substantially parallel elongate members or shelves. Means are provided to support one of these shelves from the other and such means comprises a pair of structural members positioned contiguous to each end of at least one of the shelves. The structural members are disposed in nonparallel relationship and provide substantially the sole structural support between the shelves in opposition to lateral forces thereon.
Other objects and advantages of this invention will become more apparent as this description proceeds, particularly when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective View of an article of furniture embodying this invention;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross sectional view taken along the line 22 of FIGURE 1;
FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view taken along the line 3-3 of FIGURE 1;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged cross sectional view taken along the line 44 of FIGURE 1; and
FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing another embodiment of the invention.
Referring now in detail to the drawings and in particular to the embodiment of FIGURES 1 through 4, a bookcase embodying this invention is indicated generally by the reference numeral 11. It is to be understood, however, that this invention is not limited to bookcases but may be applied to other articles of furniture that have a plurality of interconnected horizontally extending members such as shelves, chests of drawers, cabinets, tables or the like, as will become apparent as this description proceeds.
The bookcase 11 comprises a top shelf 12, intermediate shelves 13 and 14, and a bottom shelf 15, each of which may be formed from a piece of lumber. The shelves 12, 13, 14 and 15 are all parallel and horizontally extending, as is well known in the art. At one end of the bookcase 11, a pair of tensioning members 16 and 17, which may be formed from rods of steel, or the like, extend between the shelves 12 and 15 and through the shelves 13 and 14 at opposite sides thereof. The shelves 13 and 14 are provided with apertures adjacent their front and rear edges to pass the tensioning members 16 and 17.
Retaining members 18 (FIGURE 2) are provided with external threads 19 so that they may be inserted into apertures at each corner of the upper shelf 12. A tapped hole 21 is formed in each of the retaining members 18 so that a threaded upper end 22 of each of the tensioning members 16 and 17 may be received therein to fix the tensioning members 16 and 17 relative to the upper shelf 12. Tensioning members 23 and 24 are likewise provided at the opposite end of the bookcase 11 near its front and rear edges. The attachment at the upper ends of the tensioning members 23 and 24 to the top shelf 12 is the same as that shown in FIGURE 2 and previously described.
Each of the tensioning members 16, 17, 23 and 24 extends through an aperture 25 in the lower shelf 15 (FIG- URE 4). A combined leg and retainer assembly 26 is provided adjacent the lower end of each of the tensioning members 16, 17, 23 and 24 on the underside of the lower shelf 15. The retainer assembly 26 comprises a generally cylindrical shaped piece of lumber 27 having a central bore 28 that extends from its lower face only partially therethrough. A T nut 29 having a plurality of teeth 31 around its outer periphery is forced into the lumber piece 27 at the base of the bore 28. The T nut 29 has a tapped hole 32 extending therethrough for receipt of a threaded lower end 33 of each of the tensioning members. It should be readily apparent that, in addition to providing a foot or base for the bookcase 11 the assemblies 26 serve as a means for exerting a tensile force upon the tensioning members 16, 17, 23 and 24.
The tensioning members 16, 17, 23 and 24 do not provide the structural interconnection between the shelves 12, 13, 14 and 15 in and of themselves nor do they have sutficient rigidity to resist collapsing of the bookcase 11 under the influence of a lateral force exerted upon any of the shelves. The prime structural strength of the bookcase 11 in resistance to compressive and lateral forces is provided by the structural members now to be described.
A first pair of structural members 34 and 35 extend between the shelves 12 and 13 at each end thereof adjacent to the tensioning members 16 and 17 and 23 and 24, respectively. Similar structural members 36 and 37 extend between the shelves 13 and 14 and structural members 38 and 39 extend between the shelves 14 and I 15. The structural members 34, 35, 36, 37, 38 and 39 The nonparallel or angular relationship may be established by abutting the opposite ends of each of the structural members with opposite sides of its respective tensioning member. For example, the structural member 35 abuts the inner surface of the front tensioning member 23 and the outer surface of the rear tensioning member 24 (FIGURE 3). The structural members 34 and 35 are disposed at an angle to each other and define a line of intersection at the front of the bookcase 11, as viewed in FIGURE 1. p
The structural members 36 and 37 are disposed at opposite angles to the structural members 34 and 35, respectively, and define a line of intersection at the rear of the bookcase 11. The structural members 38 and 39 also are intersecting and define a line of intersection at the front of the bookcase 11.
It is to be understood that, although alternate lines of intersection are provided between adjacent shelves, the structural members could all intersect on the same side of the bookcase or any sequence of intersection that may be desired could be provided. The structural members extending between a given pair of shelves also could be nonintersecting if desired, provided that they lie at an angle to a vertical plane and are perpendicular to the planes of the shelves and the plane of the front and rear of the bookcase. That is, the structural member should be disposed at an angle to the shelves in addition to being perpendicular to them to resist parallelogram action that would otherwise occur under the influence of lateral forces exerted upon the shelves. In a like manner the exact location of the tensioning members can be varied.
In assembly, the tensioning members 16, 17, 23 and 24 may be conveniently threaded into the tapped holes 21 formed in the retainers 18 of the top shelf 12. The remaining shelves 13, 14 and 15 could then be first inserted onto the tensioning members 16, 17, 23 and 24 or, alternatively, the structural members 34 and 35 could be first inserted. In this latter case the shelf 13 would then be inserted followed by the insertion of the structural members 36 and 37, and so on. After the shelves and structural members are all positioned the structural members are brought into engagement with the opposite sides of their respective tensioning members, as has been described. The combined leg and retainer assemblies 26 are then threaded onto the lower ends of each of the tensioning members 16, 17, 23 and 24 and drawn tight. The compression upon the structural members 34, 35, 36, 37, 38 and 39 provides the only structural interconnection between the shelves 12, 13, 14 and 15 and the structural members. Because of the angular disposition of the structural members, however, an extremely rigid structure is provided.
It should be readily apparent that the described structure lends itself to convenient assembly and disassembly. When disassembled the article of furniture may be readily shipped from plane to place. Since only fiat surfaces are involved, finishing of the individual parts also is convenient and assembly may take place without the necessity of glued joints. If it is desired to increase or decrease the number of shelves provided, it is only necessary to provide longer or shorter tensioning devices and more or less structural members.
As has been noted, this invention may be practiced with other types of furniture than the bookcase which has already been described. For example, a front and rear or only rear wall may be provided between the adjacent shelves if a cabinet is desired, or if it is desired to place a rear surface for the bookcase. The front and rear members, however, need add no structural strength to the article. In addition, the article of furniture may function as a chest of drawers merely by inserting drawers between adjacent shelves.
The article also may function as a coffee table, or the like, and such embodiment is shown in FIGURE 5. Referring now to FIGURE 5, a cocktail table embodying this invention is indicated generally by the reference numeral 51. The table 51 includes four supporting legs 52 that are affixed to a lower shelf 53. An upper shelf 54 extends parallel to the lower shelf 53, and both shelves extend in a horizontal direction. The shelves 53 and 54 may be formed conveniently from pieces of lumber.
Contiguous to the left end of the upper shelf 54, tensioning members 55, 56 and 57 are provided. It will be noted that the tensioning devices 55, 56 and 57 lie in substantially the same plane. The upper end of the tensioning members 55, 56 and 57 may be affixed to the top shelf 54 in any suitable manner, for example, in the manner shown in FIGURE 2. Tensioning devices 58, 59 and 61 are provided at the right hand side of the table 51 contiguous to the end of the top shelf 54. The members 58, 59 and 61 lie in a common plane.
A pair of structural members 62 and 63 are disposed at the left hand side of the table 54. Similar members 64 and 65 are provided at the right hand side of the table 51. It will be noted that each of the members 62, 63, 64 and 65 is disposed at an angle to a normal plane extending between the shelves 53 and 54. The angular disposition is provided by having the member 62 in engagement with opposite sides of'the tensioning members 55 and 56 at each of its ends. Each of the remaining structural members 63, 64 and 65 is in engagement with opposite sides of the respective tensioning members at each of its ends.
The lower ends of the tensioning members 55, 56, 57, 58, 59 and 61 may be tensioned by a nut (not shown) that is positioned on the underside of the lower shelf 52 or by tensioning devices similar to those shown in FIG- URE 4, although in this instance they need not necessarily serve as supporting legs. The method of assembly of the table shown in FIGURE 5 is substantially the same as the method of assembly of the bookcase 11 shown in FIGURE 1 and will not be described.
The embodiment shown in FIGURE 5 may also be used as a bookcase or other similar article of furniture by providing additional shelves and extending the tensioning members 55, 56, 57, 58, 59 and 61. The structural members between adjacent pairs of shelves may intersect at the center of the shelves, as shown in FIGURE 5, or may diverge away from the center. The alternate positioning of the structural members may also be used in the embodiment of FIGURE 5.
It is to be understood that this invention is not limited to the exact constructions shown and described, which are exemplary only of preferred forms the invention may take, but that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, as defined by the appended claims. 7
What is claimed is:
1. An article of furniture comprising first, second and third substantially parallel elongate members, a first pair of structural members interposed between said first and said second elongate members contiguous to the ends of one of said elongate members, a second pair of structural members interposed between said second and said third elongate members contiguous to the ends of one of said elongate members, the respective structural members having their ends in abutting engagement with the respective elongate members, a first pair of tensioning members extending between said elongate members at one end thereof for exerting a compressive force upon the respective structural members at said one end, and a second pair of tensioning members disposed at the other end of,
said elongate members for exerting a compressive force upon the respective structural members at said other end and forming substantially the sole structural connection between the respective structural members and said elongate members, each of said structural members having substantially parallel planar surfaces on its opposite sides, one of said planar surfaces of each of said structural members being in abutting relationship with one of the respective pair of tensioning members between the respective elongate members, the other planar surface of each of said structural members being in abutting relationship with the other tensioning member of the respective pair between the respective elongate members, each pair of tensioning members defining a plane, the planes defined by each pair of tensioning members being parallel and the abutting relationship between the structural members of each pair of structural members and the respective pair of tensioning members disposing the structural members of each pair in non-parallel relationship, each of the structural members of one pair of structural members being disposed in non-parallel relationship to the contiguous structural member of the other pair of structural members.
2. A knock-down article of furniture as set forth in claim 1 wherein each of the tensioning members has a threaded connection at one end thereof with the uppermost of the elongate members, the other end of each of said tensioning members extending through the lowermost elongate member and having means engageable therewith for exerting a tensile force thereupon and a compressive force upon the structural members.
3. A knock-down article of furniture as set forth in claim 2 wherein the last named means also provides supporting legs for the article.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS D. 169,867 6/1953 Sanford l0860 387,267 8/1888 Talbot 1081 11 730,984 6/ 1903 Sues l0860 923,721 6/ 1909 Smith l0892 1,444,268 2/1923 Pfeffer 3 12265 1,686,291 10/1928 Moore 108-101 1,933,074 10/1933 Richardson 3 12-265 1,978,494 10/1934 Junkers 3l2257 1,989,849 2/1935 Davies 108-111 2,689,050 9/1954 Albin l08101 2,962,334 11/ 1960 Dutmers 312-265 2,993,604 7/1961 Sullivan 211177 3,141,423 7/ 1964 Christensen 1081 11 3,160,282 12/1964 Gunn 108-61 FOREIGN PATENTS 62,714 12/1913 Austria. 531,714 10/1954 Belgium.
1,096,441 2/ 1955 France. 1,300,853 7/1962 France.
FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.
F. K. ZUGEL, Assistant Examiner.
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