Title:
Foldable furniture module
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A foldable furniture module has a frame module and multiple fasteners. The frame module is connected to an adjacent frame module, and the frame module has multiple panel slats. The panel slats are mounted to each other and are interleaved with panel slats in an adjacent frame module, and each panel slat has two ends and two holes. The holes are formed through the panel slat respectively at the ends. Each fastener extends through the aligned holes in the panel slats of adjacent frame modules, holds the panel slats together to form a furniture. Accordingly, a foldable and expandable furniture is provided.



Inventors:
Chen, Yung-chia (Taipei, TW)
Application Number:
11/605235
Publication Date:
05/29/2008
Filing Date:
11/29/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B85/06
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20060201400Plastic pallet having deck suspension systemSeptember, 2006Moore Jr. et al.
20010011517Formed bodyAugust, 2001Brakemann
20070266909Nestable PalletNovember, 2007Monteith et al.
20030172851Paper pallet for a motorcycleSeptember, 2003Chen
20050109247Rotatable tray for attachment to a vertical poleMay, 2005Nelson et al.
20060260519Sheet metal table top stiffenerNovember, 2006Burns
20030051641Base section for a collapsible containerMarch, 2003Kofod



Primary Examiner:
RODDEN, JOSHUA E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BIRCH STEWART KOLASCH & BIRCH (PO BOX 747, FALLS CHURCH, VA, 22040-0747, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A foldable furniture module comprising a frame module having a front a rear; and multiple panel slats mounted to each other to form as the frame module and each panel slat having two ends; and two holes formed respectively in the ends of the panel slat; and multiple fasteners connecting the panel slats together to form the frame module.

2. The foldable furniture module as claimed in claim 1, wherein each panel slat has two half holes separately formed in the ends of the panel slat, multiple notches separately formed in the ends of the panel slat and extensions separately formed on the ends of the panel slat, wherein the extensions of the panel slat selectively and removably engage with notches of another panel slat when two panel slats are connected together.

3. The foldable furniture module as claimed in claim 2, wherein each panel slat further has two end caps selectively and removable mounted on the ends of the panel slat, and each end cap has a half hole formed in the end cap, wherein the half hole of the end cap and the half hole of a corresponding panel slat are formed as one hole when the end cap is mounted on the corresponding panel slat; multiple securing extensions separately formed on the end cap and selectively engaging with the notches of the corresponding panel slat; and securing notches separately formed in the end cap and selectively engaging with the extensions of the corresponding panel slat.

4. The foldable furniture module as claimed in claim 1 further having multiple spacers each located between two panel slats, wherein the fasteners extend through the spacers.

5. The foldable furniture module as claimed in claim 4, wherein each spacer has an upper piece having a distal end, a proximal end, a half hole formed in the upper piece between the distal end and the proximal end, a securing extension formed on the proximal end of the upper piece and a securing notch formed in the proximal end of the upper piece adjacent to the securing extension of the spacer; and a lower piece having a distal end connected to the distal end of the upper piece, a proximal end, a half hole formed in the lower piece between the distal end and the proximal end, wherein when the upper piece and the lower are combined together, the half hole of the upper piece and the half hole of the lower piece are formed as one hole, a securing extension formed on the proximal end of the lower piece and selectively and removably engaging with the securing notch of the upper piece and a securing notch formed on the proximal end of the lower piece and selectively and removably engaging with the securing extension of the upper piece.

6. The foldable furniture module as claimed in claim 1, wherein each fastener has a bolt having a threaded front end protruding from the front of the frame module, a rear end and a head formed on the rear end of the bolt and abutting the rear end of the frame module; a nut screwed onto the threaded front end of the bolt and squeezing the frame module together to hold the foldable furniture module together; and a washer mounted around the bolt, abutting the rear of the frame module and having an outer surface, a through hole and a countersunk hole formed in the outer surface concentrically with the through hole and holding the head of the bolt inside.

7. A foldable furniture module comprising a frame module having a front a rear; and multiple panel slats mounted to each other and each panel slat having two ends; and two holes formed respectively in the ends of the panel slat; multiple frame slats mounted to each other and each frame slats having two ends; two holes formed respectively in the ends of the frame slat; an inner surface; and an outer surface; and multiple fasteners connecting the panel slats and the frame slats together.

8. The foldable furniture module as claimed in claim 7, wherein each frame slat has annular toothed protrusions formed on the inner surface around the holes of the frame slat and annular toothed recesses formed on the outer surface around the holes of the frame slat and selectively engaging with the annular toothed protrusions of another frame slat when two frame slats are mounted together.

9. The foldable furniture module as claimed in claim 7 further having multiple spacers located respectively between the panel slats and the frame slats.

10. The foldable furniture module as claimed in claim 9, wherein each spacer has an upper piece having a distal end, a proximal end, a half hole formed on the upper piece between the distal end and the proximal end, a securing extension formed on the proximal end of the upper piece and a securing notch formed on the proximal end of the upper piece next to the securing extension of the spacer; and a lower piece having a distal end connected to the distal end of the upper piece, a proximal end, a half hole formed on the lower piece between the distal end and a proximal end wherein when the upper piece and the lower combine together, the half hole of the upper piece and the half hole of the lower piece are formed as one hole, a securing extension formed on the proximal end of the lower piece and selectively and removably engaging with the securing notch of the upper piece and a securing notch formed on the proximal end of the lower piece and selectively and removably engaging with the securing extension of the upper piece.

11. The foldable furniture module as claimed in claim 7, wherein each fastener has a bolt has a threaded front end protruding from the front of the frame module, a rear end and a head formed on the rear end of the bolt and abutting the rear end of the frame module; a nut screwing onto the threaded front end of the bolt and squeezing the frame module together to hold the foldable furniture module together; and a washer mounted around the bolt, abutting the rear of the frame module and having an outer surface, a through hole and a countersunk hole formed in the outer surface concentrically with the through hole and holding the head of the bolt inside.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a furniture module, and more particularity to a foldable furniture module for use as a table, a frame and shelving that can be pivotally connected to similar modules to allow the furniture to be configured in different shapes.

2. Description of Related Art

Conventional articles of furniture in accordance with the prior art such as tables, frames and shelving on or in which articles can be placed comprise multiple frame modules and at least one storage or display compartment. Each frame module is attached to at least one adjacent frame module and has multiple slats. Adjacent slats in one frame module are separated by and attached to a slat in an adjacent frame module. Each slat has two ends, wherein at least one end is connected to an end of an adjacent slat. Ends connecting to each other may be nailed, screwed, bolted, glued or welded. The at least one storage or display compartment is formed between the frame modules when the frame modules are assembled into an article of furniture.

However, connecting the ends of the slats conventionally does not allow the shape or size of the article of furniture or storage or display compartments to be changed or the articles to be connected to other articles.

Furthermore, the fixed nature of the articles of furniture requires a lot of space for storage.

To overcome the shortcomings, the present invention provides a foldable furniture module to obviate or mitigate the aforementioned problems.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary objective of the present invention is to provide a furniture module that is foldable and expandable.

A foldable furniture module in accordance with the present invention has a frame module and multiple fasteners. The frame module is connected to an adjacent frame module, and each frame module has multiple panel slats. The panel slats are mounted to each other and are interleaved with panel slats in an adjacent frame module, and each panel slat has two ends and two holes. The holes are formed through the panel slat respectively at the ends. The fastener extends through the aligned holes in the slats of adjacent frame modules and holds the slats together to form a furniture.

Other objectives, advantages and novel features of the invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a foldable furniture module in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged partially exploded perspective view of a joint of a first embodiment of a foldable furniture module in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged partially exploded perspective view of a joint of a second embodiment of a foldable furniture module in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 4 is an operational perspective view of a spacer in FIG. 3 with the spacer open;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged partially exploded perspective view of a joint of a third embodiment of a foldable furniture module in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged operational exploded perspective view of two slats in FIG. 5 arranged to be attached to each other;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged cross sectional side view of two slats used in a fourth embodiment of a foldable furniture module in accordance with the present invention with the two slats connected to each other;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged side view in partial section of a cap connected to the slat in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged cross sectional side view of two slats used in a fifth embodiment of a foldable furniture module in accordance with the present invention with the two slats connected to each other;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged side view in partial section of a cap connected to the slat in FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 is an operational front view of the foldable furniture module in FIG. 1 folded for storage;

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of two foldable furniture modules in FIG. 11 combined to form a long article of furniture;

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a foldable furniture module in FIG. 11 combined with two more foldable furniture modules to form a longer article of furniture; and

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of a tall article of furniture formed by multiple foldable furniture modules in FIG. 11 being connected one on top of another.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

With reference to FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 5, 7 and 9, a foldable furniture module in accordance with the present invention comprises a frame module (10) and multiple fasteners (30).

With further reference to FIGS. 11, 12, 13 and 14, the frame module (10) is connected to adjacent frame modules (10) to expand the furniture and has a front, a rear, multiple panel slats (12, 12A, 12B, 12C), multiple frame slats (11, 11A, 11B) and multiple spacers (20, 20A).

With further reference to FIGS. 6, 8 and 10, the panel slats (12, 12A, 12B, 12C) are mounted to each other, are interleaved with the panel slats (12, 12A, 12B, 12C) in an adjacent frame module (10) and may be connected longitudinally to adjacent panel slat (12A, 12B, 12C) to form the frame module (10) as a diamond-shaped or a rectangle-shaped, and each panel slat (12, 12A, 12B, 12C) has two ends, two end caps (13A, 13B, 13C) and two holes (121).

In a first embodiment and a second embodiment of foldable furniture module in accordance with the present invention, with reference to FIGS. 2 and 3, two holes (121) are separately formed on the ends of the panel slat (12).

In alternative embodiments, with reference to FIGS. 5 to 10, the ends are opposite to each other and each end may has extensions (121A, 124A, 121B, 121C), notches (122A, 125A, 123B, 123C) and a half hole (123A, 122B, 122C).

The extensions (121A, 124A, 121B, 121C) are formed on the end of the panel slat (12A, 12B, 12C) and each extension (121A, 124A, 121B, 121C) has a free end. The notches (122A, 125A, 123B, 123C) are formed on the end of the panel slat (12A, 12B, 12C). The half hole (123A, 122B, 122C) is formed on the end of the panel slat (12A, 12B, 12C).

In a third embodiment of foldable furniture module in accordance with the present invention, with reference to FIGS. 5 and 6, numbers of the extensions (121A, 124A) of the panel slat (12A) are two. The numbers of the notches (122A, 125A) are also two. The extensions (121A, 124A) are able to engage to the notches (122A, 125A) when two panel slats (12A) are connected to each other. The half hole (123A) is between the extension (124A) and the notch (122A) when two panel slats (12A) are connected to each other, two half holes (123A) are able to combine into a hole.

In a fourth embodiment and a fifth embodiment of foldable furniture module in accordance with the present invention, with reference to FIGS. 7 and 8, numbers of the extension (121B, 121C) of the panel slat (12B, 12C) is one. The number of the notch (123B, 123C) is also one. When two panel slats (12B, 12C) are connected to each other, the extension (121B, 121C) engages to the notch (123B, 123C) of the panel slat (12B, 12C).

In the fourth embodiment of foldable furniture module in accordance with the present invention, the extension (121B) of the panel slat (12B) is T-shaped.

In a fifth embodiment of foldable furniture module in accordance with the present invention, with reference to FIGS. 9 and 10, the extension (121C) of the panel slat (12C) is T-shaped and the free end of the extension (121C) is curve.

In the fourth embodiment and the fifth embodiment of foldable furniture module in accordance with the present invention, the half hole (122B, 122C) is between the extension (121B, 121C) and the notch (123B, 123C) of the panel slat (12B, 12C).

The end caps (13A, 13B, 13C) are separately and removably mounted on each end of the panel slat (12A, 12B, 12C) and each cap (13A, 13B, 13C) may have a half hole (133A, 132B, 132C), securing extensions (132A, 135A, 121B, 121C) and securing notches (131A, 134A, 123B, 123C).

The half hole (133A, 132B, 132C), the securing extensions (132A, 135A, 121B, 121C) and the securing notches (131A, 134A, 123B, 123C) are formed on the endcap (13A, 13B, 13C).

In the third embodiment of foldable furniture module in accordance with the present invention, with reference to FIGS. 5 and 6, the half hole (133A) is between the securing extension (132A) and the securing notches (134A) of the end cap (13A). When the end cap (13A) is mounted on the panel slat (12A), the half hole (133A) of the end cap (13A) and the half hole (123A) of the panel slat (12A) combine into a hole. The securing extensions (132A, 135A) engage to the notches (122A, 125A) of the panel slat (12A) and the securing notches (131A, 134A) engage to the extensions (121A, 124A) of the panel slat (12A) when the end cap (13A) is mounted on the panel slat (12A).

In the fourth embodiment and the fifth embodiment of foldable furniture module in accordance with the present invention, with reference to FIGS. 7 to 10, the half hole (132B, 132C) is between the securing extension (121B, 121C) and the securing notch (123B, 123C). The securing extension (121B, 121C) and the securing notch (123B, 123C) separately engage to the notch (123B, 123C) and the extension (121B, 121C) of the panel slat (12B, 12C) when the end cap (13B, 13C) is mounted on the panel slat (12B, 12C). The half hole (132B, 132C) of the end cap (13B, 13C) and the half hole (122B, 122C) of the panel slat (12B, 12C) are able to combine into a hole.

The frame slats (11, 11A, 11B) are mounted to each other and each frame slats (11, 11A, 11B) has two ends, two holes (111, 111A, 111B), an inner surface and an outer surface and may have two annular toothed protrusions (112A) and two annular toothed recesses (112B).

The two holes (111, 111A, 111B) are separately formed on each end of the frame slats (11, 11A, 11B).

In the first embodiment of foldable furniture module in accordance with the present invention, with reference to FIG. 2, the inner surface and the outer surface of the frame slat (11) around the holes (111) are flat.

In the second embodiment of foldable furniture module in accordance with the present invention, with reference to FIG. 3, the two annular toothed protrusions (112A) are separately formed on the inner surface of the frame slat (11A) and around the holes (111A) in the frame slat (11A). The annular toothed recesses (112B) are separately formed in the outer surface of the frame slat (11B) and around the holes (111B) in the frame slat (11B). When the frame slats (11A, 11B) are mounted to each other, the annular toothed recesses (112B) in the frame slats (11B) engage the annular toothed protrusions (112A) of the adjacent frame slats (11A) so that the frame slats (11A, 11B) are able to hold in position after being mounted together.

The spacers (20, 20A) are placed between the panel slats (12, 12A, 12B, 12C) and the frame slats (11, 11A, 11B) and each spacer (20, 20A) may be a single piece or comprise an upper piece (21A) and a lower piece (22A).

With further reference to FIG. 4, the upper piece (21A) has a distal end, a proximal end, a half hole (25A), a securing extension (23A) and a securing notch (24A). The half hole (25A) is formed in the upper piece (21A) between the distal end and the proximal end. The securing extension (23A) and the securing notch (24A) are separately formed on the proximal end of the upper piece (21A).

The lower piece (22A) has a distal end, a proximal end, a half hole (26A), a securing extension (27A) and a securing notch (28A). The distal end of the lower piece (22A) is connected to the distal end of the upper piece (21A). The half hole (26A) is formed in the lower piece (22A) between the distal end and the proximal end. Two half holes (25A, 26A) of the upper piece (21A) and the lower piece (22A) are able to form as one hole when the lower piece (22A) and the upper piece (21A) are combined as the spacer (20A). The securing extension (27A) and the securing notch (28A) are separately formed on the proximal end of the lower piece (22A). The securing extension (27A) selectively and removably engages with the securing notch (24A) of the upper piece (21A) and the securing notch (28A) selectively and removably engages with the securing extension (23A) of the upper piece (21A) when the lower piece (22A) and the upper piece (21A) are combined together as the spacer (20A). The combined spacer (20A) allows the spacer (20A) to easily be added into or removed from the furniture module.

The fasteners (30) connect the panel slats (12, 12A, 12B, 12C), the spacers (20, 20A) and the frame slats (11, 11A, 11B) of the frame modules (10) to combine adjacent frame modules (10) together, and each fastener (30) comprises a bolt (31), a washer (32) and a nut (33). The bolt (31) extends through the aligned holes (111, 111A, 111B) in the frame slats (11, 11A, 11B), the spacers (20, 20A) and the panel slats (12, 12A, 12B, 12C).

The bolt (31) has a threaded front end, a rear end and a head. The threaded front end protrudes from the front of the frame module (10). The head is formed on the rear end of the bolt (31) and abuts the rear end of the frame module (10).

The nut (33) is screwed onto the threaded front end of the bolt (31) and squeezes the frame slats (11, 11A, 11B), the panel slats (12, 12A, 12B, 12C) and spacers (20, 20A) together to combine the foldable furniture module.

The washer (32) is mounted around the bolt (31), abuts the rear of the frame module (10) and has an outer surface, a through hole and a countersunk hole. The countersunk hole is formed in the outer surface concentrically with the through hole and holds the head of the bolt (31) inside.

With such an arrangement, the shape of the furniture module can be changed and the furniture module is foldable after the fasteners (30) being loosened. The foldable furniture module is easy to store after being folded. When the end caps (13A, 13B, 13C) are removed from the panel slats (12A, 12B, 12C), the foldable furniture module is able to combine with another foldable furniture module to expend the foldable furniture module and to increase the space for storing or displaying articles inside the furniture.

Even though numerous characteristics and advantages of the present invention have been set forth in the foregoing description together with details of the structure and function of the invention, the disclosure is illustrative only. Changes may be made in detail especially in matters of shape, size, and arrangement of parts within the principles of the invention to the full extent indicated by the broad general meaning of the terms in which the appended claims are expressed.