Title:
Adjustable rocker base assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rocker base assembly for rocking support of a chair frame comprising a base having a pair of side rails connected by a pair of connecting base rails, a rocker assembly supported thereon and having a pair of rocker cams fixedly connected by a pair of connecting rocker rails and a plurality of rocker spring assemblies adjustably secured between the connecting base rails and connecting rocker rails and supporting the rocker cams for rocking motion on the side rails.



Inventors:
Guillot, Edmond Paul (Conover, NC, US)
Application Number:
11/111650
Publication Date:
11/09/2006
Filing Date:
04/21/2005
Assignee:
Hickory Springs Manufacturing Company (Hickory, NC, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C3/027
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070052264Backrest structure of foldable safety seatMarch, 2007Lee
20080035408REVERSIBLE DRIVING ARRANGEMENTSFebruary, 2008Gristenbrei et al.
20040217633Seat forming member of child-care instrumentNovember, 2004Kassai et al.
20070296178Wheelchair FrameDecember, 2007Markwald
20090096272Ottoman for vehicle seatsApril, 2009Okano
20050168018Pneumatic seating system for use with a motorcycleAugust, 2005Cox
20060131936Bleacher lumbar supportJune, 2006Suprina
20020043836Tether strap that allows rotation of a safety seat about a vertical axisApril, 2002Maciejczyk et al.
20090243352Secure herringbone arrangement for the armrest of a seat, seat and two seat assembly provided with such an arrangementOctober, 2009Cailleteau
20080073894Object holding system for use with vehicle seat beltsMarch, 2008Phillips
20030230912Bench having diamond plate seat, diamond plate back, and I-beam legsDecember, 2003Arnold et al.



Primary Examiner:
EDELL, JOSEPH F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KENNEDY COVINGTON LOBDELL & HICKMAN, LLP (214 N. TRYON STREET, HEARST TOWER, 47TH FLOOR, CHARLOTTE, NC, 28202, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A rocker base assembly adapted to rest stationary on a floor surface for rocking support of a chair frame on the base assembly, comprising: (a) a base comprising a pair of side rails rigidly connected in laterally spaced relation by a pair of connecting base rails affixed in spaced relation transversely between the side rails; (b) a rocker assembly comprising a pair of rocker cams and a pair of connecting rocker rails affixed in spaced relation transversely between the rocker cams; and (c) a plurality of rocker spring assemblies fixed between the connecting base rails and the connecting rocker rails and supporting the rocker cams for rocking motion on the side rails, the plurality of rocker spring assemblies yieldably biasing the rocker assembly for forward and rearward rocking motion relative to an equilibrium position thereof on the base, (d) each of the connecting base rails and the connecting rocker rails having a plurality of slotted openings elongated in the direction of rocking motion of the rocker assembly for adjustably receiving fasteners for securing the plurality of spring assemblies in place between the connecting base rails and the connecting rocker rails in selectively differing orientations relative thereto.

2. The rocker base assembly of claim 1, wherein the pair of side rails are in spaced parallel relation to one another.

3. The rocker base assembly of claim 1, the connecting base rails being welded perpendicularly between the side rails.

4. The rocker base assembly of claim 1, the rocker assembly further comprising a pair of angle plates connected respectively to the upper surfaces of the pair of rocker cams, the connecting rocker rails being welded to and extending between the pair of angle plates.

5. The rocker base assembly of claim 4, wherein the connection between the pair of angle plates and the pair of rocker cams is nonadjustable.

6. The rocker base assembly of claim 1, the connecting rocker rails being spaced relative to one another a distance corresponding to that of the connecting base rails.

7. The rocker base assembly of claim 1, further comprising a pair of mounting plates connected respectively to the rocker assembly, wherein said mounting plate connection is nonadjustable.

8. The rocker base assembly of claim 1, further comprising a reclining mechanism mounted on the rocker assembly.

9. A rocker base assembly adapted to rest stationary on a floor surface for rocking support of a chair frame on the base assembly, comprising: (a) a base comprising a pair of side rails rigidly connected in laterally spaced relation by a pair of connecting base rails welded perpendicularly between the side rails; (b) a rocker assembly comprising a pair of rocker cams supported respectively on the side rails for rocking motion relative to the side rails and a connection assembly for connecting the pair of rocker cams to one another for coordinated rocking motion, said connection assembly, comprising: (i) a pair of angle plates connected respectively to the upper surfaces of the pair of rocker cams; and (ii) a pair of connecting rocker rails welded to and extending between the pair of angle plates; said connecting rocker rails spaced relative to one another a distance corresponding to that of the connecting base rails; and (c) a plurality of rocker spring assemblies fixed between the connecting base rails and the connecting rocker rails and supporting the rocker cams for rocking motion on the side rails, the plurality of rocker spring assemblies yieldably biasing the rocker assembly for forward and rearward rocking motion relative to an equilibrium position thereof on the base, (d) each of the connecting base rails and connecting rocker rails having a plurality of slotted openings elongated in the direction of rocking motion of the rocker assembly for adjustably receiving fasteners for securing the connecting base rails and the connecting rocker rails in selectively differing orientations relative thereto.

10. The rocker base assembly of claim 9, further comprising a pair of mounting plates connected respectively to the pair of angle plates of the rocker assembly, wherein said mounting plate connection is nonadjustable.

11. The rocker base assembly of claim 9, wherein the connection between the pair of angle plates and the pair of rocker cams is nonadjustable.

12. The rocker base assembly of claim 9, further comprising a reclining mechanism mounted on the rocker assembly.

13. A rocker chair, comprising: (a) a base comprising a pair of side rails rigidly connected in laterally spaced relation by a pair of connecting base rails affixed in spaced relation transversely between the side rails; (b) a rocker assembly comprising a pair of rocker cams and a pair of connecting rocker rails affixed in spaced relation transversely between the rocker cams; and (c) a plurality of rocker spring assemblies fixed between the connecting base rails and the connecting rocker rails and supporting the rocker cams for rocking motion on the side rails, the plurality of rocker spring assemblies yieldably biasing the rocker assembly for forward and rearward rocking motion relative to an equilibrium position thereof on the base; and (d) a chair frame comprising a seat and a backrest, (e) each of the connecting base rails and the connecting rocker rails having a plurality of slotted openings elongated in the direction of rocking motion of the rocker assembly for adjustably receiving fasteners for securing the plurality of spring assemblies in place between the connecting base rails and the connecting rocker rails in selectively differing orientations relative thereto.

14. The rocker base assembly of claim 13, wherein the pair of side rails are in spaced parallel relation to one another.

15. The rocker base assembly of claim 13, the connecting base rails being welded perpendicularly between the side rails.

16. The rocker base assembly of claim 13, the rocker assembly further comprising a pair of angle plates connected respectively to the upper surfaces of the pair of rocker cams, the connecting rocker rails being welded to and extending between the pair of angle plates.

17. The rocker base assembly of claim 16, wherein the connection between the pair of angle plates and the pair of rocker cams is nonadjustable.

18. The rocker base assembly of claim 13, the connecting rocker rails being spaced relative to one another a distance corresponding to that of the connecting base rails.

19. The rocker base assembly of claim 13, further comprising a pair of mounting plates connected respectively to the rocker assembly, wherein said mounting plate connection is nonadjustable.

20. The rocker base assembly of claim 13, further comprising a reclining mechanism mounted on the rocker assembly.

21. The rocker chair of claim 20, the chair frame further comprising a footrest carried by the reclining mechanism and movable between an upright and a reclined position with respect to the base.

22. A rocker chair comprising: (a) a base comprising a pair of side rails rigidly connected in laterally spaced relation by a pair of connecting base rails welded perpendicularly between the side rails; (b) a rocker assembly comprising a pair of rocker cams supported respectively on the side rails for rocking motion relative to the side rails and a connection assembly for connecting the pair of rocker cams to one another for coordinated rocking motion, said connection assembly, comprising: (i) a pair of angle plates connected respectively to the upper surfaces of the pair of rocker cams; and (ii) a pair of connecting rocker rails welded to and extending between the pair of angle plates; said connecting rocker rails spaced relative to one another a distance corresponding to that of the connecting base rails; and (c) a plurality of rocker spring assemblies fixed between the connecting base rails and the connecting rocker rails and supporting the rocker cams for rocking motion on the side rails, the plurality of rocker spring assemblies yieldably biasing the rocker assembly for forward and rearward rocking motion relative to an equilibrium position thereof on the base; and (d) a chair frame comprising a seat and a backrest, (e) each of the connecting base rails and connecting rocker rails having a plurality of slotted openings elongated in the direction of rocking motion of the rocker assembly for adjustably receiving fasteners for securing the connecting base rails and the connecting rocker rails in selectively differing orientations relative thereto.

23. The rocker chair of claim 22, further comprising a reclining mechanism mounted on the rocker assembly.

24. The rocker chair of claim 23, the chair frame further comprising a footrest carried by the reclining mechanism and movable between an upright and a reclined position with respect to the base.

25. The rocker chair of claim 22, further comprising a pair of mounting plates connected respectively to the pair of angle plates of the rocker assembly, wherein said mounting plate connection is nonadjustable.

26. The rocker chair of claim 22, wherein the connection between the pair of angle plates and the pair of rocker cams is nonadjustable.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to a rocker base assembly for rocking support of a chair assembly and, more particularly, to a rocker base assembly having slotted openings, which allow for adjustable rocking support of a chair assembly.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Rocker chairs conventionally comprise a fixed base with a rocker assembly, generally including rocker cams, resting on the fixed base and supporting the seat and back rest of the chair. Rocking motion of the chair is conventionally controlled by spring assemblies connected between the rocker cams and the base, with the center of gravity of the chair determining an equilibrium resting disposition of the chair when not rocking.

Generally the connections of the rocker cams, spring assemblies and base are not conveniently adjustable in a forward and backward direction relative to the base to compensate for differences in the center of gravity of the chair due to different chair styles or different body sizes of people occupying the chair. However a rocker base assembly which allows for adjustment of the rocker cams relative to the base and adjustment of the rocker springs via the rocker assembly relative to the base is known from U.S. Pat. No. 6,000,754. In this known rocker base assembly, the rocker springs remain securely fastened to the rocker assembly during adjustment.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a rocker base assembly wherein the spring assemblies are adjustable preferably in a forward and rearward direction relative to the base independently of the rocker cams and base.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly summarized, the present invention addresses this objective by providing a rocker base assembly wherein the spring assemblies are adjustable independently of the rocker cams and base. More particularly, the rocker base assembly is adapted to rest stationary on a floor surface for rocking support of a chair frame on the base assembly and comprises a base, a rocker assembly and a plurality of spring assemblies. The base has a pair of side rails rigidly connected in laterally spaced relation to one another by a pair of connecting base rails that are affixed in spaced relation transversely between the side rails. The rocker assembly comprises a pair of rocker cams and a pair of connecting rocker rails affixed in spaced relation transversely to one another between the rocker cams. The plurality of rocker spring assemblies are fixed between the connecting base rails and the connecting rocker rails and support the rocker cams for rocking motion on the side rails. The plurality of rocker spring assemblies yieldably bias the rocker assembly for forward and rearward rocking motion relative to an equilibrium position thereof on the base. Each of the connecting base rails and the connecting rocker rails have a plurality of slotted openings elongated in the direction of rocking motion of the rocker assembly for adjustably receiving fasteners for securing the plurality of spring assemblies in place between the connecting base rails and the connecting rocker rails in selectively differing orientations relative thereto.

In a preferred embodiment, the pair of side rails are disposed in spaced parallel relation to one another and the connecting base rails are welded perpendicularly between the side rails. The rocker assembly preferably comprises a pair of angle plates fixedly connected respectively to the upper surfaces of the pair of rocker cams and the connecting rocker rails are welded to and extend between the pair of angle plates. The connecting rocker rails are spaced relative to one another a distance corresponding to that of the connecting base rails. It is further preferred that the rocker base assembly comprises a pair of mounting plates fixedly connected respectively to the rocker assembly. The rocker base assembly may optionally comprise a reclining mechanism mounted on the rocker assembly.

Another aspect of the present invention provides a rocker chair comprising a rocker base assembly in combination with a chair frame. The rocker base assembly is of the basic type above-described, comprising a base with side rails and transverse connecting base rails, a rocker assembly with a pair of rocker cams joined by transverse connecting rocker rails, and plural rocker spring assemblies fixed between the connecting base rails and the connecting rocker rails to support the rocker cams for rocking motion on the side rails. The chair frame comprises a seat and a backrest, affixed to mounting plates connected to the rocker assembly. Each of the connecting base rails and the connecting rocker rails have a plurality of slotted openings elongated in the direction of rocking motion of the rocker assembly for adjustably receiving fasteners for securing the plurality of spring assemblies in place between the connecting base rails and the connecting rocker rails in selectively differing orientations relative thereto.

Further areas of applicability of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description provided hereinafter. It should be understood that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating the preferred embodiment of the invention, are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description and the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view, partially cut-away, of a rocker chair with the rocker base assembly of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the rocker base assembly of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a top view of the rocker base assembly of FIG. 2.

FIGS. 4A-4G are side cross-sectional views of the rocker base assembly of FIG. 2.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

The following description of embodiment(s) is merely exemplary in nature and is in no way intended to limit the invention, its application, or uses.

Referring now to the accompanying drawings, in which like numerals represent like components throughout the several views, and with initial references to FIG. 1, a chair is indicated overall at 10 in combination with the rocker base assembly 18 of the present invention. The chair 10 basically includes a seat 12, arms 14, and a backrest 16 all supported on the rocker base assembly 18 of the present invention. While the chair 10 shown is an upholstered chair, it will be appreciated that various other forms of upholstered and non-upholstered chairs, e.g. a wood-frame chair, may also be used with the rocker base assembly 18 of the present invention.

FIGS. 2 and 3 show a larger view of the rocker base assembly 18. As shown, the rocker base assembly 18 comprises a base 20, which includes a pair of side rails 22 and a pair of connecting base rails 24, and a rocker assembly 26, which includes a pair of rocker cams 28 and a connection assembly 30. The connection assembly 30 includes a pair of angle plates 32 and a pair of connecting rocker rails 34. The rocker base assembly 18 also includes a pair of rocker spring assemblies 36 situated between the base 20 and the rocker assembly 26.

The base 20 is preferably made of metal and is adapted to rest stationary on a floor surface. The base 20 is formed of the pair of side rails 22 rigidly connected in spaced parallel relation by the pair of connecting base rails 24 welded in spaced relation to one another perpendicularly between the side rails 22. Feet are mounted on the ends of the side rails 22, to protect the floor on which the base 20 rests. The pair of rocker cams 28 are respectively supported on the side rails 22 for rocking motion relative to the side rails 22. The rocker cams 28 are connected to one another for coordinated rocking motion by the connection assembly 30 formed of the angle plates 32 fixed by screws 38 to the upper surfaces of the rocker cams 28 and the connecting rocker rails 34 welded in spaced relation to one another perpendicularly between the angle plates 32. A pair of mounting plates 40 are fixedly connected to the angle plates 32 for connecting the rocker base assembly 18 to the frame of the chair 10.

The connecting rocker rails 34 of the rocker cam connection assembly 30 are spaced relative to one another a distance corresponding to that of the connecting base rails 24 of the base 20. Two rocker spring assemblies 36 are fixed between the connecting base rails 24 and the connecting rocker rails 34 to urge the entire rocker assembly 26 to an equilibrium position, while being yielding for rocking motion forwardly and rearwardly of the equilibrium position. Each rocker spring assembly 36 comprises two rocker springs 50 fixed adjacent to one another and interposed between a pair of spring connecting plates 48 to which the rocker springs 50 are attached. Each of the spring connecting plates 48 has two attachment holes 52 (shown in FIGS. 4A-G), one on each end, for mounting the spring assemblies 36 to the connecting rocker rails 34 and connecting base rails 24 respectively. In this manner, the springs 50 of the rocker spring assemblies 36 urge the entire rocker assembly 26 to an quilibrium position when at rest with no rocking force exerted on the chair frame, but the springs 50 are yieldable to permit rocking motion of the entire rocker assembly 26 on the base 20 forwardly and rearwardly relative to the equilibrium position.

The rocker base assembly 18 can be used for a dedicated rocker chair or, alternatively, recliner linkages (shown only schematically at 25 in broken lines in FIG. 1) can be mounted between the mounting plates 40 of the rocker cam connection assembly 30 and the chair frame for use as a rocker-recliner chair. Recliner linkages are well-known in the art and are capable of moving the seat and backrest in an articulated motion between an upright position and a reclined position wherein a footrest associated with the recliner linkage is extended.

The rocker base assembly 18 does not provide any adjustability in the mounting of the rocker connection assembly 30 to the rocker cams 28. Specifically, the angle plates 32 have only one set of holes 42 for affixation by screws 38 to the rocker cams 28 in a single position. Likewise, there is no adjustability in the mounted location of the mounting plates 40 of the rocker connection assembly 30; i.e., only one mounting location 44 is provided for affixation of each mounting plate 40 to its respective angle plate 32. On the other hand, in accordance with the present invention, the rocker base assembly 18 does provide a unique form of adjustability in the mounting of the rocker spring assemblies 36 between the base 20 and the rocker assembly 26 via adjustable mounting of the spring assemblies 36 to the connecting base rails 24 and the connecting rocker rails 34. Specifically each set of connecting rails 24, 34 is provided with elongated slotted openings 46 for receiving fasteners 54 for securing the spring assemblies 36 in place via their spring connecting plates 48 between the respective sets of connecting rails 24, 34. The embodiment illustrated herein shows the fasteners as screws, however fasteners may also include mounting bolts or equivalents thereof. The slotted openings 46 are oriented in the direction of rocking motion of the rocker assembly 26 and permit selective forward-rearward positioning of the spring assemblies 36 relative to the two sets of connecting rails 24, 34. This arrangement permits adjustability in the spring biasing characteristics of the spring assemblies 36, which is of benefit in setting up the base 20 relative to the particular chair structure 10 which will be mounted thereon, e.g. to compensate for variations in the centers of gravity of chairs having differing frame structures, differing upholstery, etc.

FIGS. 4A-4G illustrate various forward-rearward adjustment options that are available with the slotted openings 46 of the two sets of connecting rails 24, 34. In FIG. 4A, the spring assemblies 36 are shown as positioned such that the screws 54 securing the spring assemblies 36 to the connecting rails 24, 34 are positioned in the center of each of the elongated openings 46 of each of the connecting rails 24, 34. Thus in the arrangement of FIG. 4A, the connecting rocker rails 34 of the rocker assembly 26 are directly aligned over the connecting base rails 24 of the base 20.

In FIG. 4B, the spring assemblies 36 remain in the same disposition relative to the connecting base rails 24 as in FIG. 4A, with the securing screws 54 disposed centered along the slots 46 in the connecting base rails 24. However, in contrast to FIG. 4A, the connecting rocker rails 34, and hence the rocker assembly 26, has been moved in a rearward direction relative to the base 20 to the fullest available extent so that the screws 54 that secure the springs assemblies 36 to the connecting rocker rails 34 are abutting against the forward ends of the elongated openings 46 of the connecting rocker rails 34. Thus, in the arrangement of FIG. 4B, the connecting rocker rails 34 of the rocker assembly 26 are disposed at a slightly rearward offset relative to the connecting base rails 24 of the base 20.

In FIG. 4C, rocker assembly 26 and the spring assemblies 36 have been moved from the disposition of FIG. 4B in a forward direction relative to the base 20 to the fullest available extent such that the screws 54 that secure the spring assemblies 36 to the connecting base rails 24 are abutting against the forward ends of the elongated openings 46 of the connecting base rails 24. The disposition of the rocker assembly 26 relative to the spring assemblies 36 remains the same as in FIG. 4B, disposed to the fullest rearward extent relative to the spring assembly 36. In FIG. 4C, the connecting rocker rails 34 and connecting base rails 24 are again vertically aligned, as they were in FIG. 4A, however in FIG. 4C, the spring assemblies 36 are positioned in a more forward direction relative to the base 20 than in FIG. 4A

In FIG. 4D, the rocker assembly 26 remains in the same disposition relative to the spring assemblies 36 as in FIGS. 4B and 4C, disposed to the fullest rearward extent of the rocker assembly 26 on the spring assemblies 36. However, in contrast to the arrangement of FIG. 4C, the rocker assembly 26 and spring assemblies 36 have been moved in a rearward direction relative to the base 20 to the fullest available extent bringing the screws 54 connecting the spring assemblies 36 to the connecting base rails 24 into abutment against the rear ends of the elongated openings 46 of the connecting base rails 24. Thus, FIG. 4D depicts the most rearward disposition of the spring assemblies 36 and, thereby, the most rearwardly biased configuration available for this embodiment of the rocker base assembly 18.

In FIG. 4E, the rocker assembly 26 and the spring assemblies 36 remain in the same disposition relative to the base 20 as in FIG. 4D, but the rocker assembly 26 has been moved in a forward direction relative to the spring assemblies 36 and the base 20 so that the screws 54 securing the connecting rocker rails 34 to the spring assemblies 36 are abutting against the rear ends of the elongated openings 46 of the connecting rocker rails 34. Thus, in FIG. 4E, the connecting rails 24, 34 are again aligned vertically, as in FIGS. 4A and 4C; however, the spring assemblies 36 are positioned in a more rearward direction relative to the base 20 than in FIG. 4A.

In FIG. 4F, the rocker assembly 26 remains in the same forward disposition relative to the spring assemblies 36 a in FIG. 4E, but in contrast to FIG. 4E, the rocker assembly 30 and the spring assemblies 36 have been moved as a unit in a forward direction relative to the base 20 so the screws 54 securing the spring assemblies 36 to the connecting base rails 24 are located at the center along the elongated openings 46 of the connecting base rails 24. Thus, in this arrangement, the connecting rocker rails 34 are disposed at a slightly forward offset relative to the connecting base rails 24.

In FIG. 4G, the rocker assembly 26 remains in the same forward disposition relative to the spring assemblies 36 as in FIG. 4E, but in contrast to FIG. 4E, the rocker assembly 30 and the spring assemblies 36 have been moved as a unit in a forward direction relative to the base 20 to the fullest available extent such that the screws 54 securing the spring assemblies 36 to the connecting base rails 24 are abutted against the forward ends of the elongated openings 46 of the connecting base rails 24. Thus, FIG. 4G depicts the most forward disposition of the spring assemblies 36 and, in turn, the most forwardly biased configuration available for this embodiment of the rocker base assembly 18.

Advantageously, the present invention provides a unique and simplified form of adjustability of the relationships between the rocker spring assemblies, the base 20 and rocker assembly 26. The present invention in comparison to conventional rocker base assemblies, wherein no adjustability of rocker springs assemblies is available, provides more flexibility and is less costly for chair manufacturers because they can use a single rocker base assembly for various chairs rather than needing a different rocker base assembly for different chair sizes and styles. The present invention in comparison to a known adjustable rocker base assembly is more simple and is relatively easy to manufacture. There is no need for machining multiple holes to allow for adjustability. Rather, adjustability is enabled by having elongated openings in the connecting base rails and connecting rocker rails. Manufacturing is simplified because the same connecting rails may be used for both the connecting base and connecting rocker rails.

It will therefore be readily understood by those persons skilled in the art that the present invention is susceptible of broad utility and application. Many embodiments and adaptations of the present invention other than those herein described, as well as many variations, modifications and equivalent arrangements, will be apparent from or reasonably suggested by the present invention and the foregoing description thereof, without departing from the substance or scope of the present invention. Accordingly, while the present invention has been described herein in detail in relation to its preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that this disclosure is only illustrative and exemplary of the present invention and is made merely for purposes of providing a full and enabling disclosure of the invention. The foregoing disclosure is not intended or to be construed to limit the present invention or otherwise to exclude any such other embodiments, adaptations, variations, modifications and equivalent arrangements.





 
Previous Patent: Booster seat

Next Patent: Thigh support device