Title:
Furniture assembly system and method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A furniture assembly system and method is presented. The furniture assembly comprising a plurality of components having a first and a second long rails. The first and the second long rails are joined to a first and second side or end rails to form a frame. A plurality of coupling modules, each is sized smaller than the frame is then fitted to the frame to form an assembled frame. This way, the furniture components may be packaged into groups so that each group does not exceed the weight and/or size restriction of a selected carrier or a transportation vehicle.



Inventors:
Fireman, Robert P. (US)
Application Number:
09/800753
Publication Date:
11/14/2002
Filing Date:
03/07/2001
Assignee:
FIREMAN ROBERT P.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C17/04; (IPC1-7): A47C17/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MITCHELL, KATHERINE W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Richard B. Klar (New York, NY, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A furniture frame, comprising: a first and a second long rails; a first and a second side rails capable of being joined to said first and second long rails to form a frame; and a plurality of coupling modules, each is sized smaller than the frame.

2. The furniture frame of claim 1 wherein the plurality of coupling modules are removably attached to the frame by a coupling mechanism to form an assembled frame.

3. The furniture frame of claim 2 wherein the coupling mechanism comprising at least one of: 1) a cleat, 2) a slot, 3) a screw, and 4) an intruding piece on the first and second long rails.

4. The furniture frame of claim 3 wherein the coupling mechanism further comprising at least one of: 1) a cleat, 2) a slot, 3) a screw, and 4) a receiving piece on the first and second side rails.

5. The furniture frame of claim 1 wherein the plurality of coupling modules comprising substantially rigid material.

6. The furniture of claim 5 wherein the plurality of coupling modules further comprising padding material.

7. The furniture of claim 1 wherein the plurality of coupling modules are substantially the same size.

8. The furniture of claim 2 wherein the furniture frame comprises more than one of the assembled frame.

9. A method for shipping a furniture assembly to be assembled at a destination which when fully assembled exceeds one of weight restriction and size restriction of a shipper, comprising the steps of: manufacturing the furniture assembly as separate components comprising: a first and a second long rails, a first and a second side rails capable of being joined to said first and second long rails to form a frame, and a plurality of coupling modules, each is sized smaller than the frame; and Packaging the separate components in groups such that none of the groups exceeds the one of the weight restriction and size restriction of the shipper.

10. The method of claim 10 further comprising the step of: attaching the plurality of coupling modules to the frame by a coupling mechanism to form an assembled frame at the destination.

11. The method of claim 10 wherein the coupling mechanism comprising at least one of: 1) a cleat, 2) a slot, 3) a screw, and 4) a intruding piece on the first and second long rails.

12. The method of claim 11 wherein the coupling mechanism further comprising at least one of: 1) a cleat, 2) a slot, 3) a screw, and 4) a intruding piece on the first and second side rails.

13. The method of claim 10 wherein the plurality of coupling modules comprising substantially rigid material.

14. The method of claim 13 wherein the plurality of coupling modules further comprising padding material.

15. The method of claim 10 wherein the plurality of coupling modules are substantially the same size.

16. The method of claim 10 wherein the furniture assembly comprises more than one of the assembled frames

17. A futon frame, comprising: a first and a second long rails; a first and a second side rails capable of being joined to said first and second long rails to form a frame; and a plurality of coupling means, each is sized smaller than the frame and being removably attachable to the frame by a coupling mechanism to form an assembled frame.

18. The futon frame of claim 17 wherein the plurality of coupling means are of substantially the same size.

19. The futon frame of claim 18 wherein the futon frame comprising more than one assembled frame.

20. The furniture frame of claim 19 wherein the coupling means are substantially rigid.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of a provisional U.S. application, Serial No. 60/187,815, filed Mar. 8, 2000.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This invention generally relates to a furniture system and method, and more particularly to a system and method for constructing, deconstructing and/or shipping a furniture assembly which may be otherwise too large and/or too heavy to ship when fully assembled.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Although there are many shipping companies or commercial carriers such as, for example, United Parcel Service (UPS), Federal Express, and United Post Office Express Mail Service, available for shipping packages, many of them impose a maximum size and/or weight restriction. Therefore, the present inventor recognizes that it is desirable to be able to provide furniture that can be constructed and packaged to meet the maximum size and/or weight restriction of these carriers. In addition, this type of furniture will be advantageous for a typical retail store buyer who may a regular transportation vehicle to take the furniture home.

[0004] Therefore, the present invention provides an apparatus and method for reducing the size and/or weight of packaged furniture, such as, for example, a futon frame. The present invention also provides an easy to assemble and an easy to ship furniture frame. Therefore, the present invention allows the furniture to be shipped using a conventional shipper or carrier such as UPS, Federal Express, U.S. Post Office or using a buyer's own vehicle for delivery.

[0005] In one aspect, a furniture assembly system and method is presented. The furniture assembly comprising a plurality of components having a first and a second long rails. The first and the second long rails are joined to a first and second side or end rails to form a frame. A plurality of coupling modules, each is sized smaller than the frame is then fitted to the frame to form an assembled frame. This way, the furniture components may be packaged into groups so that each group does not exceed the weight and/or size restriction of a selected carrier or a transportation vehicle.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] In the drawing:

[0007] FIG. 1 is an exemplary furniture apparatus in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

[0008] FIG. 2 is another exemplary furniture apparatus in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

[0009] FIG. 3 is a flow chart in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0010] FIG. 1 is an exemplary furniture assembly 1 according to the principles of the present invention. In particular, the exemplary furniture assembly 1 may be, for example, a futon frame, which comprises a seat assembled portion 5 and back support assembled portion 8. Seat portion 5 may be attached to support portion 8 in, for example, a substantially perpendicular fashion, using for example, well know means such as connecting rods, screws, dowels or any other fasteners (not shown) to form a futon sofa frame. The portions may also be connected for example, side by side to form a large bed frame.

[0011] Each assembled seat portion or frame 5 or back support portion or frame 8 may be comprised of, for example, 2 long rails 10 on each side of portion 5 or 8. In addition, 2 left and right side rails or end rails 12 are joined to the long rails 10 by means such as for example, but not limited to screws, dowels or any other fasteners. Portion 5 or 8 when assembled thereby creates an assembled frame for which solidifying sections or coupling modules 15 may be fitted, as to be described in more detail below.

[0012] To accommodate solidifying sections or coupling modules 15, a coupling mechanism 16 is provided on each long rail 10 of portion 5 or 8, for attaching coupling modules 15 to portion 5 or 8. A coupling mechanism may be for example, a cleat 16 as shown in FIG. 1, a slot, or any other mechanism which allows coupling modules 15 to be removably attached and/or detached to and from long rails 10 of portion 5 or 8. Each coupling module 15 may therefore has pre-manufactured slots, cleats or other complementary coupling means to allow its attachment to long rails 10.

[0013] In addition, coupling modules are preferably substantially rigid so that they may further strengthen seat or back portion 5 or 8, after they are attached thereto. As shown in FIG. 1, coupling modules 15 may comprise of a solid material such as, but not limited to, for example, various types of natural woods, plywoods, manufactured boards, vinyl or plastic, etc.

[0014] In addition, coupling modules 15 may be of any size, but are preferably sized to be smaller than seat or back portion 5 or 8. For example, FIG. 1 shows that coupling modules 15 are sized so that three modules 15 may be fitted to a seat or back portion 5 or 8. In other alternatives, coupling modules may be sized differently for a seat or back portion respectively, for esthetic and/or functional purposes.

[0015] FIG. 2 illustrates that besides being comprised of a solid piece of material as discussed above, an exemplary coupling module 15-1 may be constructed out of pieces of wood or metal frames 20, 21. In addition, a coupling mechanism may comprise, for example, an intruding piece which may be, for example, a rectangularity shaped insert 18 to be fitted into an opening of another similarly shaped receiving piece 19 of a long rail 10. Of course, other similar coupling means in different shapes and or sizes may also be used.

[0016] Furthermore, an exemplary coupling module 15-2 in FIG. 2 shows that foam or other padding materials 14 may be added to coupling modules 15 to serve as seating or back-supporting pads. This padding may eliminate the need for a regular futon to be purchased, therefore may further eliminate the weight, size and cost of the conventional futon furniture assembly.

[0017] FIG. 3 illustrates a process according to the principles of the invention. As discussed above and shown in step 301, furniture assembly 1 shown in FIGS. 1 or 2 may be manufactured as components comprising of 2 long rails 10, 2 side rails 12 and a plurality of coupling modules 15, 15-1 or 15-2. In step 303, weight and/or size restriction of a selected carrier is checked. In step 305, components are packaged into groups so that each group does not exceed the weight and/or size restriction. In step 305, the components may be assembled by a purchaser at a destination to form completely assembled furniture.

[0018] Accordingly, the present invention provides an easy-to-assemble, easy-to-ship furniture assembly. The furniture assembly is reduced into its subparts to permit shipping or transportation, and may provide an alternative to, for example, a traditional futon frame and structure. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art, that although the invention has been described in terms of specific examples, modifications and changes may be made to the disclosed embodiments without departing from the essence of the invention.