Title:
Drapery rod
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Applicant's invention defines an improved drapery rod comprising a rod of metal or wood fashioned to accept an insert of acrylic, said insert having a dovetail male section mated with a corresponding female section in said rod. The top of said acrylic insert comprising a substantial enough portion of the circumference of the assembly to provide a surface of reduced friction for drapery rings sliding thereon.



Inventors:
Garcia, Robert Stephen (Napa, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/644295
Publication Date:
06/26/2008
Filing Date:
12/22/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47H1/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RODDEN, JOSHUA E
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Gerald, Esq. Robertson L. (1110 Castle Oaks Drive, Napa, CA, 94558-1576, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An improved drapery rod comprising; a rod, the circumference thereof forming the female portion of a dovetail; an insert having an arcuate surface substantially equivalent to that of said rod, a portion of said insert forming the male portion of a dovetail such that said insert may be slidably engaged in said rod such that said arcuate surface is concentric with the circumference of said rod and slightly elevated thereabove, said insert comprising a material having a low coefficient of friction.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said rod is made of wood, said female portion being routed from said rod to accept said insert.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said rod is formed from extruded aluminum, said female dovetail portion having been so extruded or machined therefrom, said rod having a pair of substantially rectangular U-shaped bosses formed on said rod's inside diameter, and a support bar sized to engage said bosses and running substantially the length of said rod.

4. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein said bosses shaped to provide sufficient support to said support bar.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein a registry groove is provided along the underside of said rod to engage at least one support mount.

6. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein a registry groove is provided along the underside of said rod to engage at least one support mount.

7. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein a recess is provided at each end to accept an end cap, said endcap formed to engage said recess, said endcap having a hole in its center to accept a decorative finial.

8. The apparatus of claim 3 wherein a recess is provided at each end to accept an end cap, said endcap formed to engage said recess, said endcap having a hole in its center to accept a decorative finial.

9. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said insert comprises acrylic polymer, plastic, hard rubber, teflon-coated plastic or other material having a low coefficient of friction and being easily molded or extruded for such use.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to the field of home furnishings; namely, drapery and curtain rods.

STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENTAL ASSISTANCE

Applicant hereby represents that no part of the subject invention or application has come about with the assistance of government funds or by virtue of a government program.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Presently, curtains and draperies are provided with hooks or rings for suspension from either tabs or rings which are slidably mounted on a curtain or drapery rod. In the prior art, friction between the tabs or rings and the rod surface interferes with the smooth opening and closing of the drapery or curtain.

The use of rollers has been taught by U.S. Pat. No. 632,343 to Ebner for a Curtain Fixture disclosing a rod having shoulders on which rollers are mounted on the ends of a half-ring ride. A loop beneath the center of each half ring can receive a curtain hook. Other patents such as U.S. Pat. No. 1,566,402 to Hees for a Curtain Pole and U.S. Pat. No. 2,890,799 to Rosenbaum disclose other traverse rods having C-shaped receivers for loops or hooks suspended from rollers and which ride on the in-turned edges of the rod (in the case of Rosenbaum) or rollers (as in the case of Hees).

U.S. Pat. No. 6,467,127 B1 to Goldstein for a Telescoping Curtain Rod with hangers slidable on rollers further pushes the prior art to reduce the friction component inherent in hanging drapes or curtains, again disclosing a modified C-shaped rod shaped to receive a ring with a roller.

In all of these cases, the use of rings having rollers is the solution to the friction challenge of a drapery rod.

Needless to say, the above solutions have problems, particularly when heavier weight drapery material is used, potentially requiring re-design of the C-shape configuration for strength, and potentially different sized slots to accept the appropriate roller.

What is needed is a curtain or drapery rod of universal design which can support a variety of weights of draperies or curtains, and which does not require sizing changes to a receiver, or differing roller sizes.

Even more sophisticated designs for traverse rods are exemplified by U.S. Pat. No. 6,125,909 to Walker et al. which discloses a multi-part drapery rod with sliders and tracks, and a variety of components all configured to aid in the hanging, opening and closing of draperies and curtains. The challenge with such a configuration is to produce the apparatus in a cost-efficient manner such that it will be economically viable in the marketplace. The more components necessary to achieve the objectives of the design, the more costly the product.

What is needed is a drapery or curtain rod able to support heavy draperies or curtains, and which has a minimal number of components to reduce manufacturing costs.

In the prior art as discussed above, rollers have been applied in the art to overcome the frictional forces inherent in heavy draperies. U.S. Pat. No. 6,189,182 B1 to Ko discloses a guiding block employing 5 major components as seen on the first page of the patent, including roller balls, to assist in the pulling of a curtain. As pointed out in the immediately preceding discussion, the complexity of a solution is directly proportional to the cost of the solution. Again, the prior art discloses a complex solution to what is actually, a fairly simple problem.

What is needed is a solution to the problem of resistance due to friction, which solution does not employ a multitude of components and parts, thereby reducing the cost of said solution, and eliminating the number of components which can bind, wear out, malfunction, or increase cost.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of applicant's invention to eliminate the need for varying sized tracks which are needed to accept rollers of varying size by using the simplest possible rod design. Applicant's rod design has no tracks to accept rollers, and requires no open configuration; it is simply, in its preferred embodiment, a standard round rod of metal, wood, or other suitable material, having no conventional track whatsoever.

It is a further object of the present invention to reduce the need for guide blocks, rollers, tabs or other complex support pieces. Applicant's invention indeed requires nothing more than a ring of suitable diameter to slide along applicant's rod.

It is a further object of applicant's invention to minimize the frictional resistance of a heavy drapery or curtain without the use of complex parts or systems. Applicant accomplishes this objective by providing an integral, highly slick surface for the weight bearing rings to contact, thereby facilitating the sliding of the curtain or drape thereupon.

The preferred embodiment comprises a baton-drawn traversing style rod. It is designed for a wide range of textile weights, from light to very heavy. The friction reduction insert covers nearly ten percent of the rod's circumference and stands above the rod surface. This creates a second radius which allows the weight-bearing rings to glide smoothly without touching the rod's finished surface.

The friction reduction insert is a high-impact-resistant acrylic that maintains a near concentric arch to the rod's arcuate surface. The bearing surface is sufficient to allow for rocking motions of drapery materials, while still maintaining contact with the supporting rings.

Along the interior cavity of the rod, two sets of two strengthening buttresses create a receiving channel which runs substantially the full length of the inner cavity. In this channel, a flat bar of suitable material is inserted thus increasing the rod's weight-bearing capacity and reducing any rod deflection.

By using an insert in such a fashion, the drapery rod may have a long useful life as after extreme wearing, a new insert may be exchanged for the old, providing essentially a “new” rod.

Some of the other benefits of applicant's invention include the ability to use heavier fabrics for the manufacture of drapes, providing more options in terms of luxurious linings and textures. Further, larger diameter rods may be used without the associated frictional resistance.

An end cap is provided at each end of the rod for accepting a wide variety of potential finials. The finial, while generally cosmetic in nature will further function to hide the insert and flat bar in the preferred embodiment or its fully wooden counterpart.

To summarize, applicant's invention comprises a substantially round drapery rod of wood or metal, an insert of low frictional coefficient integral thereto, such that a ring or other support may slide there along with a minimum of resistance.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the present invention showing a heavy drape suspended from rings sliding along the present invention;

FIG. 2 is cross section of the present invention with a drapery supporting ring resting thereatop; and

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of an extruded metal rod, comprising an element of one embodiment of applicant's invention.

FIG. 4 is an isometric view of the end cap which is inserted into each end of the drapery rod.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 shows the preferred embodiment of applicant's invention, an improved drapery rod comprising rod 20 and insert 30. Insert 30 is typically of impact-resistant acrylic composition, thereby having optimal frictional characteristics for allowing a drapery ring holding heavy material to slide along freely.

FIG. 2 shows insert 30 of FIG. 1, disclosing it's male dovetail portion 32 emanating from bearing surface 34, which comprises a substantial enough section of the circumference of the invention, thereby facilitating the sliding of a loaded drapery ring 40. While the shapes of said dovetail portion 32 may be numerous, the shape disclosed in FIG. 2 represents the preferred embodiment.

Referring again to FIG. 1, the orientation of a loaded drapery ring 40 along surface 34 of insert 30 is disclosed. Surface 34 extends along the circumference of rod assembly 10 sufficient to provide ample surface for ring 40 to slide thereon. The coefficient of friction (dry v. steel) dynamic is negligible providing an optimal surface to function as described.

The preferred embodiment of applicant's invention may employ a flat bar or other strengthening structure 45 of either extruded metal, such as aluminum, shown in cross-sectional view in FIG. 3, including strengthening bosses 50 and 51 as shown. Further, a wooden rod 20 may be utilized, each rod of either material having female mating sections 60 and 61 to accept. In the case of a wooden rod, a simple routing process is sufficient to prepare said rod for integration of insert 30. A registration point 70 is provided proximate each end of rod 20 to allow registration of support brackets (not shown) which emanate from near the window casing and support said rod 20.

FIG. 4 shows a typically nylon end cap 80, said end cap having a preferred thickness of 1/16″ and a depth of approximately 1″ for insertion into each end of rod 20. A hole of approximately ⅛″ diameter is provided in end cap 80 to engage a fastening device from a finial. Flat bar 45 extends along the length of rod 20 terminating proximate to the deepest penetration point of end cap 80.

While the invention has been described in connection with what is presently considered the most practical and preferred embodiment(s), it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiment(s) but, on the contrary is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the scope of the appended claims.