Title:
Knock-down furniture bracket
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention provides a knock-down furniture bracket assembly which includes a mounting bracket and a slide bracket, both of which are tapered and are configured to slidably mate with one another. The mounting bracket attaches to a base of a piece of seating furniture and the slide bracket attaches to a back of the piece of seating furniture. The mounting bracket has a slot provided therethrough and the slide bracket has a dimple extending outwardly thereof. Upon sliding the slide bracket onto the mounting bracket, the dimple engages the slot in the mounting bracket to prevent movement of the slide bracket relative to the mounting bracket. The dimple can be disengaged from the slot upon an application of a predetermined force.



Inventors:
Danny Jr., Smith R. (South Elgin, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/361078
Publication Date:
08/12/2004
Filing Date:
02/07/2003
Assignee:
SMITH DANNY R.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C7/00; (IPC1-7): A47C7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
EDELL, JOSEPH F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TREXLER, BUSHNELL, GIANGIORGI, (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:

The invention is claimed as follows:



1. A knock-down item of seating furniture comprising: a seating base; a seating back; and a bracket assembly having a mounting bracket and a slide bracket, said mounting bracket being attached to one of said seating base or said seating back, said slide bracket being attached to said other one of said seating base and said seating back, said mounting bracket having a slot extending therethrough, said slide bracket having integral means for engaging said slot of said mounting bracket for locking said slide bracket to said mounting bracket in a selectively releasable manner.

2. The knock-down item of seating furniture as defined in claim 1, wherein said mounting bracket is tapered and wherein said slide bracket is matingly tapered.

3. The knock-down item of seating furniture as defined in claim 1, wherein said integral engaging means comprises at least one suitably shaped dimple protruding from said slide bracket.

4. A bracket assembly for use in removably connecting a back to a base of an item of seating furniture, said bracket assembly comprising: a mounting bracket configured to be attached to one of the back or base of the item of seating furniture; and a slide bracket configured to be attached to the other one of the back or base of the item of seating furniture, one of said mounting bracket or said slide bracket having a slot provided therethrough and the other of said mounting bracket or said slide bracket having integrally formed means for engaging said slot.

5. A bracket assembly as defined in claim 4, wherein said integrally formed engaging means comprises at least one suitably shaped dimple.

6. A bracket assembly as defined in claim 4, wherein said mounting bracket has a lower portion and an upstanding portion, said lower portion being configured to be attached to one of the back or base of the item of seating furniture, said upstanding portion having said slot provided therethrough or said integrally formed means for engaging said slot.

7. A bracket assembly as defined in claim 4, wherein said mounting bracket is tapered and wherein said slide bracket is matingly tapered.

8. A slide bracket for use in connection with a mounting bracket to form a knock-down furniture bracket assembly, the bracket assembly capable of removably connecting a back to a base of an item of seating furniture, the mounting bracket having a slot provided therethrough, said slide bracket comprising: a web portion having an outer surface and an inner surface; and means for engaging the slot of the mounting bracket, said engaging means being integrally formed with said web portion.

9. A slide bracket as defined in claim 8, wherein said engaging means comprises at least one suitably shaped dimple protruding from said outer surface of said web portion.

10. A slide bracket as defined in claim 8, further including flanges extending outwardly from said web portion and an inwardly turned lip attached to each of said flanges to define a slot between each said inwardly turned lip and said outer surface of said slide bracket, the mounting bracket capable of being received within said slots when said slide bracket is slid over the mounting bracket.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to furniture, sometimes referred to as “knock-down” furniture, such as chairs having a seat base and a back mounted to the base, and wherein the back is removable from the base. The removable back of the chair is desirable to effect a compact shipping configuration in order to maximize the number of products shipped per unit volume, thereby minimizing costs. However, problems have been encountered in connection with providing an efficient, cost-effective mechanism for engaging and disengaging the chair back to the base.

[0002] One such solution to this problem is proposed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,525,549 which discloses a chair back equipped with a slide bracket on each side edge. This slide bracket is composed of a web having inwardly presenting channel sections at the sides and top. Apertures in the web receive securing elements by which the brackets are secured to the back. A locking arm is pivoted to each slide bracket which draws the slide brackets into secured fixed relation with upwardly extending links on the chair which receive the slide brackets when moved downwardly thereover. The locking aims secure the brackets and links against separation and retain them in firm fixed relation against any movement when in use. By releasing the locking arms, the back may be removed and placed upon the seat to substantially reduce the space occupied by the chair in storage and during shipping.

[0003] Another solution to this problem is proposed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,082,355 which discloses a lockable back on a sofa bed which uses slide brackets on the sofa back which mate with mounting brackets on the sofa arms. The slide brackets on the back are located at each end facing the rear portion of the inner surface of the sofa arm. This inner surface of the sofa arm has attached thereto a mounting bracket. The slide bracket includes a locking lever pivoted thereto containing a cam face which is moved toward a notch in the mounting bracket for locking the back to each of the arms. This solution likewise provides a means by which the unit can be compactly assembled for shipment or storage, or for ease of moving the sofa through doors and the like.

[0004] A major disadvantage of the aforesaid mechanisms, however, is that when the slide bracket is cammed into fixed engagement with the mounting bracket, the slide bracket is difficult to separate from the mounting bracket when it becomes desirable to do so.

[0005] In response to this disadvantage, the two prior art knock-down bracket assemblies illustrated in FIGS. 1-5 were devised. FIGS. 1 and 2 illustrate the knock-down bracket assembly 20 disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,135,284. The knock-down bracket assembly 20 allows for removably securing a chair or sofa back 22 to a chair or sofa base 24. The bracket assembly 20 comprises a pair of mating tapered interfitting brackets, namely a mounting bracket 26 and a slide bracket 28. The mounting bracket 26 attaches to the base 24 of a chair or sofa 30 and the slide bracket 28 attaches to a side of the back 22 of the chair or sofa 30. The mounting bracket 26 has a pin 32 at an upper end which is cooperable with a double cam lock lever 34 pivoted to an upper end of the slide bracket 28. The double cam lock lever 34 has two cam surfaces, one of which cams the mounting and slide brackets 26, 28 into fixed engagement, and the other of which cams the mounting and slide brackets 26, 28 out of fixed engagement.

[0006] FIGS. 3-5 illustrate another known prior art knock-down bracket assembly 40. The knock-down bracket assembly 40 includes a mounting bracket 42, a slide bracket 44 and a locking clip 46. The locking clip 46 is generally formed from spring steel. The locking clip 46 is typically mounted to the back of a chair or sofa at the same time the slide bracket 44 is attached to the back of the chair or sofa. The locking clip 46 is connected to an upper end of the slide bracket 44, and is generally provided pre-attached to the slide bracket 46. The locking clip 46 has a tab 48 which is designed to snap into an opening 50 in the mounting bracket 42 as the slide bracket 44 is slid into place on the mounting bracket 42. The tab 48 can be lifted in order to remove the slide bracket 44 from the mounting bracket 42, such that the back of the chair or sofa can be removed from the base of the chair or sofa. The locking clip 46 can also be disengaged from the slide bracket 44 if necessary.

[0007] However, these two bracket assemblies which were conceived to overcome the major disadvantage of the mechanisms in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,525,549 and 4,082,355, also suffer from some disadvantages. For example, both bracket assemblies require a slide bracket, a mounting bracket and a separate third member, i.e, the double cam lock lever 34 or the locking clip 46, to fixedly secure the slide bracket to the mounting bracket. The requirement of this extra member causes higher manufacturing costs both from the extra material costs caused by the need to form the separate members and from the extra labor costs caused by having to attach the separate members to the slide brackets. The third member required to complete the assembly can also become damaged or separated from the slide bracket such that extra third members may be needed to complete the bracket assembly.

[0008] Therefore, an improved knock-down furniture bracket assembly is needed which overcomes the disadvantages of the prior art. The present invention provides such an improved knock-down bracket assembly. Features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent upon a reading of the attached specification, in combination with a study of the drawings.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] A primary object of the invention is to provide a knock-down furniture bracket assembly which only requires two pieces, a mounting bracket and a slide bracket, to effect the secure, selectively releasable connection.

[0010] Another object of the invention is to provide a knock-down furniture bracket assembly which uses less parts than knock-down bracket assemblies of the prior art.

[0011] Another object of the invention is to provide a knock-down furniture bracket assembly having reduced manufacturing costs in comparison to knock-down bracket assemblies of the prior art.

[0012] Another object of the invention is to provide a knock-down furniture bracket assembly which enables much faster assembly and easier selective disassembly in comparison to knock-down bracket assemblies of the prior art.

[0013] Another object of the invention is to provide an improved knock-down furniture bracket assembly while maintaining the functional advantage of being easier to engage than to disengage.

[0014] Yet another object of the invention is to provide a slide bracket of a knock-down furniture bracket assembly which has a dimple or detent formed therein which will engage a slot in a mounting bracket of the knock-down furniture bracket assembly upon the slide bracket being slid into the mounting bracket.

[0015] Briefly, and in accordance with the foregoing, a knock-down furniture bracket assembly is provided which includes a mounting bracket and a slide bracket, both of which are tapered and are configured to mate with one another. The mounting bracket attaches to a base of a piece of seating furniture and the slide bracket attaches to a back of the piece of seating furniture. The mounting bracket has a slot provided therethrough and the slide bracket has a dimple extending outwardly thereof. Upon sliding the slide bracket onto the mounting bracket, the dimple engages the slot in the mounting bracket to prevent movement of the slide bracket relative to the mounting bracket during normal furniture usage. If it is desired to separate the two pieces, however, the dimple can be disengaged upon the application of a predetermined force.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are described in detail hereinbelow. The organization and manner of the structure and operation of the invention, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein like reference numerals identify like elements in which:

[0017] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a portion of a chair having a base and a back connected together by a prior art knock-down bracket having a mounting bracket, a slide bracket and a cam lock lever;

[0018] FIG. 2 is an enlarged view of the prior art knock-down bracket illustrated in FIG. 1;

[0019] FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of a prior art knock-down bracket having a mounting bracket, a slide bracket and a locking clip;

[0020] FIG. 4 is a top-elevational view of the prior art knock-down bracket illustrated in FIG. 3;

[0021] FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the prior art knock-down bracket of FIG. 4, taken through line 5-5;

[0022] FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of a knock-down bracket of the present invention which has a mounting bracket and a slide bracket;

[0023] FIG. 7 is a top-elevational view of the knock-down bracket illustrated in FIG. 6; and

[0024] FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of the knock-down bracket of FIG. 7, taken through line 8-8.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENT

[0025] While this invention may be susceptible to embodiment in different forms, there is shown in the drawings and will be described herein in detail, a specific embodiment with the understanding that the present disclosure is to be considered an exemplification of the principles of the invention, and is not intended to limit the invention to that as illustrated and described herein.

[0026] A knock-down bracket assembly 60 is illustrated in FIGS. 6-8. The knock-down bracket assembly 60, like the knock-down bracket assembly 20, illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, and the knock-down bracket assembly 40, illustrated in FIGS. 3-5, of the prior art, allows for removably securing a chair back to a chair base, for example. While the knock-down bracket assembly 60 is illustrated and described herein in relation to a chair, it is to be understood that it is equally applicable to any other item of seating furniture which includes a seat and back rest.

[0027] The knock-down bracket assembly 60 includes a mounting bracket 62 and a slide bracket 64. The mounting bracket 62 includes a lower portion 65 (only a portion of which is illustrated in FIGS. 6-8) and an upstanding portion 66 extending from the lower portion 65. The lower portion 65, while not fully illustrated in FIGS. 6-8, is similar in shape to the lower portion 36 of the mounting bracket 20 illustrated in FIG. 2, while the upstanding portion 66 is similar in configuration to the upstanding portion 38 of the mounting bracket 20 as illustrated in FIG. 2. The lower portion 65 of the mounting bracket 62 is configured to be attached to a base of a chair with, for example, screws (not shown).

[0028] The upstanding portion 66 has a base end 68, which is typically joined to the lower portion 65 of the mounting bracket 62, and an upper end 70. The upstanding portion 66 and the lower portion 65 of the mounting bracket 62 are preferably integrally formed. The upstanding portion 66 is tapered from the base end 68 to the upper end 70. The upstanding portion 66 has a slot 72 provided therethrough proximate to the upper end 70 of the upstanding portion 66. The reason for providing the slot 72 in the upstanding portion 66 will become evident.

[0029] The slide bracket 64 includes a web 76 having a base end 78, an upper end 80, and side edges 82 which extend from the base end 78 to the upper end 80. The side edges 82 of the slide bracket 64 are matingly tapered from its base end 78 to its upper end 80 for complementarily fitting onto the mounting bracket 62. The web 76 has an outer surface 84 and an inner surface 86.

[0030] The slide bracket 64 further includes flanges 88 which extend outwardly from the side edges 82 of the web 76, and an inwardly turned lip 90 attached to each flange 88 such that a slot 92 is provided between each inwardly turned lip 90 and the outer surface 84 of the web 76.

[0031] The web 76 further includes a raised dimple or detent 94. The dimple 94 protrudes from the outer surface 84 of the web 76 and is positioned between each of the slots 92. The reasons for providing the dimple 94 will also become readily apparent. Moreover, upon gaining a complete understanding of the invention, it will be clearly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art that more than one dimple 94 could be provided if desired and that the shape of the dimple 94 would not need to be limited to the particular shape shown in the figures.

[0032] The slide bracket 64 further includes at least one aperture 96 provided therethrough which allow means, for example, screws (not shown), to attach the slide bracket 64 to the back of the chair.

[0033] In operation, as the slide bracket 64 is slid downwardly over the mounting bracket 62, the mounting bracket 62 is positioned within the slots 92 of the slide bracket 64 to prevent outward movement of the mounting bracket 62 relative to the slide bracket 64. As the slide bracket 64 continues to be slid downwardly over the mounting bracket 62, the two parts frictionally engage and elastically deform to permit the dimple 94 to engage the slot 72 of the mounting bracket 62 such that a top edge 98 of the dimple 94 engages a wall 100 defined by the slot 72. The engagement of the dimple 94 with the slot 72 prevents the slide bracket 64 from disengaging from the mounting bracket 62 under normal usage. As the slide bracket 64 and the mounting bracket 62 are engaged, the back of the chair will be firmly secured to the base of the chair.

[0034] In order to disassemble the back of the chair from the base of the chair, if, for instance, the chair needs to be moved, an application of force is applied either to the slide bracket 64 directly, or to the back of the chair having the slide bracket 64 attached thereto, the slide bracket 64 and/or the mounting bracket 62 elastically deform under the force and the dimple 94 becomes disengaged from the slot 72 of the mounting bracket 62. The slide bracket 64 can then be slid off of the mounting bracket 62 to separate the back of the chair from the base of the chair.

[0035] Thus, the knock-down bracket assembly 60 of the invention performs basically the same function as the knock-down bracket assemblies 20, 40 illustrated in FIGS. 1-5, but dispenses with the need for an extra part, i.e., the double cam lock lever 34 or the locking clip 46. The knock-down bracket assembly 60 of the present invention is also simpler, quicker and easier to use as compared with those of the prior art. The knock-down bracket assembly 60 is thus advantageous in comparison to the knock-down bracket assemblies 20, 40. Manufacturing and labor costs are lessened as the need for manufacturing the double cam lock lever 34 or the locking clip 46 is removed. Assembly costs are also reduced as the need to connect the double cam lock lever 34 or the locking clip 46 to the slide bracket is removed. Also, if the lock lever 34 or the locking clip 46 is used and fails for any reason, either structural or faulty installation, the mounting and slide brackets are left unsecured, whereas the dimple 94 provided on the slide bracket 64 of the invention cannot fail as it is an integral part of the slide bracket 64 itself. The lock lever 34 or locking clip 46 might also become separated or lost, requiring replacement and adding to overall costs. Further, the slide bracket with the locking clip 46 requires positive alignment which measurably slows the assembly process of the bracket assembly 40 compared to the assembly process of the bracket assembly 60.

[0036] It should be noted that while the mounting bracket 62 is described as being attached to the base of the chair, and while the slide bracket 64 is described as being attached to the back of the chair, the opposite configuration could also be provided. Moreover, while the slot 72 is described as being formed in the mounting bracket 62 and the dimple 94 is described as being formed on the slide bracket 64, the opposite configuration would be equally effective.

[0037] While a preferred embodiment of the present invention is shown and described, it is envisioned that those skilled in the art may devise various modifications of the present invention without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.