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This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/812 752, filed Jun. 12, 2006, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
The invention relates to a trim end cap assembly for providing a finished appearance on the faces of a furniture cabinet wherein one assembly includes a laminate with the adjacent edges of the laminate at corners and the like being hidden by an intermediate trim extrusion, and a second assembly provides a trim extrusion having a veneered insert.
Various cabinet constructions have been provided which have many different finish surfaces applied thereto.
The invention relates to a cabinet construction having a relatively thick cabinet wall having edge surfaces having finished faces and appearances which match the major side faces of the wall.
When laminate is conventionally applied at a right-angle corner, such as between a vertical major face and an end face, typically, the thickness of one sheet of laminate is visible and thereby results in an unsightly joint of the right-angle corner.
The invention relates to a cabinet arrangement wherein similar finish layers may be provided on the major faces and end faces while any joints therebetween are hidden and made aesthetically pleasing by an intermediate trim member.
In one aspect of the invention, a metal extrusion is applied to the end face which extrusion hides the end thickness of the laminate located on the major face of the cabinet wall. The extrusion also includes a channel thereon which receives an insert therein made of thin laminate. This channel is shallow and is sufficiently deep so as to receive a single layer of laminate therein. The extrusion also includes beveled edge flanges that have exposed faces so that at the corner between the right-angle sheets of laminate, a beveled metal strip is provided and visible. This provides pleasing contrast and while appearing as an aesthetic feature, also functionally serves to hide the cut edges of laminate on both the major faces and end face.
In a second aspect, the invention relates to an extrusion having a deep channel therein with edge flanges that define exposed beveled, corner faces. This deep channel is adapted to receive a thick insert therein which may be formed of a substrate, such as made of wood, and having an exterior finish layer affixed thereto. This finish layer may be a laminate or other suitable finish material such as fabric, powder coating or any other suitable material which is carried on the substrate.
With this arrangement, an improved corner construction is provided for forming laminated cabinet surfaces while hiding cut edges of the laminate material or other covering material through an aesthetically pleasing edge feature at the joint between the adjacent edges of finish material.
Other objects and purposes of the invention, and variations thereof, will be apparent upon reading the following specification and inspecting the accompanying drawings.
FIG. 1 is an end view of a cabinet-like wall structure having an end cap rail with a laminate finished insert therein.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged perspective view thereof.
FIG. 3 is a plan view thereof.
FIG. 4 is a front view thereof.
FIG. 5 is an exploded view of the end cap rail and a laminate insert.
FIG. 6 is an end view of the end cap rail.
FIG. 7 is a perspective end view of a second embodiment of a wall structure illustrating an end cap rail with an insert inserted therein as depicted in phantom outline.
FIG. 8 is an end cross-sectional view illustrating the insert and a mounting rail.
FIG. 9 is an end cross-sectional view illustrating the insert as it is being fitted into the mounting rail.
FIG. 10 is an enlarged cross-sectional view of a connector arrangement having a dove-tail configuration for adhesively joining the insert and mounting rail together.
FIG. 11 illustrates the insert and mounting rail in fully joined condition.
FIG. 12 is an enlarged partial view of the dove-tail joint.
Certain terminology will be used in the following description for convenience and reference only, and will not be limiting. For example, the words “upwardly”, “downwardly”, “rightwardly” and “leftwardly” will refer to directions in the drawings to which reference is made. The words “inwardly” and “outwardly” will refer to directions toward and away from, respectively, the geometric center of the arrangement and designated parts thereof. Said terminology will include the words specifically mentioned, derivatives thereof, and words of similar import.
Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, a space-dividing wall or cabinet structure 10 is illustrated which is defined by a first wall 11 and a transverse wall 12. The walls 11 and 12 are defined by opposite side surfaces 14 and 15, which are preferably formed of laminate-covered panels 17 and 18. To provide finished corners, the invention includes an end cap trim assembly 20 which is used to cover the narrower end faces of the walls 11 and 12.
More particularly, the side panels 18 (17) preferably have a wood-based core or slab 21 which is covered by sheet laminate or other finished surface layer 22 on the major faces to define the exterior finished appearance of the wall 11 or 12. Preferably, the laminate 22 has a wood appearance, and extends vertically and horizontally so as to terminate at side edges 23.
The side panels 18 are joined by interior connector structure 24 and 25 such that the side panels 18 (17) are disposed in parallel, spaced relation with an interior cavity 26 defined therein. The inside faces 27 of the panels 18 include connector grooves 28 for connecting the end cap trim assembly 20 thereto.
As to the end cap trim assembly 20, this assembly 20 is provided to mount a single-layer laminate insert 30 in position on the horizontal and/or vertical end faces of the walls 17 and 18, and to define finished corners 32 of the walls 11 and 12 to thereby hide the joints of the sheet laminate covering the major side faces and end faces of the walls 11 and 12. Typically, joints between sheets of laminate may be visible and form a dark or distinctly visible edge due to the color difference between the laminate surface and the interior material forming the laminate which interior material is visible when the laminate is cut. The trim assembly 20 serves to hide this interior material while also forming corners 32 that may be formed of a different material such as aluminum and thereby give a distinct unique appearance.
Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6, the trim assembly 20 comprises an extruded, aluminum mounting rail 40 that has downwardly cantilevered, resiliently deflectable connector flanges 41. The connector flanges 41 have protuberant edges or ribs 42 that snap into the slots 28 as seen in FIG. 2. The rail 40 also includes a face plate that is formed with beveled edge flanges 43 that define the finished corners 32. Preferably the edge flanges 43 have a flat face or facet 50, although such faces may also be curved or provide with other decorative details.
Between upstanding, inside faces 51 (FIG. 6) of the edge flanges 43, a channel 44 is formed in which is received the laminate insert 30. The laminate insert 30 may be a single layer of laminate defining an exposed laminate face 45, or may be a sheet laminate over a thicker supportive substrate. In this manner, laminate faces may be formed on all sides of the wall 11 or 12 while the corners are provided with a different material finish at the faces 50, and the cut edges of the laminate sheets and the joints therebetween are hidden by the extruded corners 32.
More particularly, the insert 30 of FIG. 5 has opposite side faces 52 which are essentially the surfaces exposed during cutting of the single-layer laminate forming the insert 30. The laminate 30 has a single-layer depth which generally corresponds to the depth of the channel 44 as generally seen in FIG. 6 such that the upper insert surface 45 extends substantially flush with the uppermost peak of the edge flange 43. As to the insert side face 52, this lies closely adjacent and in opposing relation with the inside flange face 51 so that the inside flange face 51 completely hides the opposing insert side face 52. It is noted that this insert side face 52 typically has a different appearance than the finish laminate surface 45 since this surface 52 is exposed after cutting of the laminate material. This is an unfinished face 52 so that the flange 43 essentially hides the unfinished surfaces of the insert 30.
As also seen in FIG. 6, the outermost peak 54 of the edge flange 43 also lies substantially flush in a vertical plane with the exposed major face 22A of the side face laminate 22. Here again, the laminate 22 has an edge face 22B similar to the side face 52 discussed above as to the insert 30. This edge face 22B also is formed as a result of the cutting or manufacturing process and essentially is an unfinished surface of the laminate 22. This unfinished surface 22B here again is hidden by the overhanging edge flange 43 which overlies the edge face 22B and hides same from sight.
A second aspect of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 7-12. This wall or cabinet structure 60 of FIG. 7 embodies many of the same principles of the first embodiment of FIGS. 1-6.
More particularly, the cabinet structure 60 has a wall 61 which is defined by opposite major side surfaces or faces 62 and 63. These side surfaces 62 and 63 preferably are formed of laminate covered panels 64 and 65. These side panels 64 or 65 preferably have a wood-based core which is covered by sheet laminate or another finished surface layer 66 to define the exterior finished appearance of the wall 61. As seen in FIG. 8, the finish layer 66 may have unfinished edge faces 67.
Further, the interior core portion of the wall 61 also has a profiled edge face 68.
To aesthetically cover this edge face 68, a further end cap trim assembly 70 is provided which comprises a mounting rail 71 and an insert 72. As seen in FIGS. 7 and 8, the mounting rail is a generally U-shaped configuration with a bottom wall 73 and sloping side walls or edge flanges 74 which are inclined upwardly away from the bottom wall 73 and terminate at an outwardly projecting flange portion 75.
More particularly, the bottom wall 73 includes an interior face 76 which has a pair of upstanding dove-tailed shaped connector ribs 77. These connector ribs 77 extend along the longitudinal length of the mounting rail 71 and are defined by skewed side surfaces 78 and a top rib surface 79.
As to the edge flanges 74, these include an inclined interior flange face 80 which projects upwardly to a peak 81 and then slants downwardly to define a corner facet or face 82. This facet or face 82 defines the exposed beveled corner face that is exposed after assembly. This face 82 when the rail 71 is formed from aluminum defines a distinct visual appearance that preferably contrasts the adjacent faces of the side face laminate 66 and the insert 72 although it could also have a matching finish.
At the bottom corner of the exposed face 82, a further outer peak 83 is formed which then turns inwardly to define an inside flange face 84 that faces towards the finish layer 66 and covers the end face 67 thereof.
As such, the unfinished surface 67 is completely hidden after assembly and someone viewing the cabinet construction 60 would only see the exposed flange face 82. As indicated above, the mounting rail 71 preferably is formed from extruded aluminum to provide a distinct metallic appearance to this face 82, although it will be appreciated, that the mounting rail 71 could have other material constructions which provide sufficient rigidity and also provide an alternate finished appearance. Further, the rail 71 could still be formed of metal but could have an additional surface layer applied thereto such as paint or powder coating that could have a distinct color applied thereto.
More particularly as to the insert 72, this insert 72 as seen in FIG. 8 preferably comprises a thick substrate 90 and an additional finish layer 91 which could be a single layer of laminate or could be another finish applied thereto such as powder coating.
The insert 72 has a generally trapezoidal shape in an inverted orientation which conforms to the shape of the longitudinal rail channel 72A that is formed in the rail 72. This insert 72 has the exposed top surface 92 thereof, and inclined side faces 93 which have the same angle of inclination as the edge flange face 80. These side faces 93 extend downwardly and then turn inwardly to define the bottom insert face 95. This bottom insert face 95 include a pair of longitudinal grooves 96 that extend in parallel relation along the length of the insert 72 and are in alignment with the corresponding dove-tailed ribs 77. These grooves 96 as seen in FIG. 8 are defined by a top groove face 97 and side groove faces 98. These side groove faces 98 extend at an angle that is substantially parallel to the side rib faces 78 except that these opposing surfaces are spaced from each other by the distance 99 as generally indicated in FIGS. 9 and 11. As such, a gap 100 is formed between each opposed pair of faces 78 and 98, which gaps 100 are provided to accommodate an adhesive therebetween.
More particularly, the insert 72 is adapted to be fitted downwardly into the channel of the rail 71 with the mouth of the slots being sufficiently wide enough to freely receive the ribs 77 vertically therein as can be seen in FIG. 8. To secure the insert 72 to the mounting rail 71, an initial bead of adhesive 102 is provided at location 103 on the top rib surface 79. This bead of adhesive 102 is generally indicated in its initial form by the circle shown in FIG. 8 as well as FIGS. 9-12.
Referring to FIGS. 9 and 10, this adhesive is then compressed and squeezed within the gap 103 that is initially formed between the opposing surfaces of the rib 77 and groove 96. As the insert 72 is pressed in place, this adhesive 102 deforms as indicated by flow arrows 104 (FIG. 10) and squeezes through the gap 103. This adhesive begins to move or be squeezed downwardly between the opposed faces 78 and 98 generally to the leading adhesive edge 105 indicated in FIG. 10. As the insert 72 is pressed downwardly to the fully seated position of FIGS. 11 and 12, this leading adhesive edge 105 continues to move downwardly to the final adhesive location 106 indicated in FIG. 12. As the adhesive hardens, this does fill the gap between the opposed surfaces 98 and 78 and when fully hardened prevents removal of the insert 72 from the mounting rail 71. In the fully seated position, the top insert surface 92 is substantially flush, but not completely flush with the edge flange peak 81. It is possible to make such surfaces completely flush, but it is undesirable for the top insert surface 92 to project above such peak 81 since this would leave a cut edge surface of the insert 92 at least partially exposed.
In the seated position of FIG. 8, however, there is no exposed unfinished surface of the insert 92 and an aesthetically pleasing edge finish construction is provided.
Although particular preferred embodiments of the invention have been disclosed in detail for illustrative purposes, it will be recognized that variations or modifications of the disclosed apparatus, including the rearrangement of parts, lie within the scope of the present invention.