Title:
Gazebo frame fastener
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A collapsible gazebo frame includes a set of four corner support members and a set of four scissor assemblies, each being coupled to a different pair of the four corner support members. Each of four scissor assembly sliders is slidingly coupled to a different one of the four corner support members and serves to extend and retract the scissor assemblies coupled to the respective corner support member when slid along the corner support member. A canopy support frame includes four canopy support members, each being coupled to the top end of a different one of the four corner support members and having a canopy frame joint. The canopy support frame also includes four canopy frame sliders, where each canopy frame slider is slidingly coupled to a different one of the four corner support members. The canopy frame sliders serve to lock the canopy frame joints when slid along their corner support members.



Inventors:
Patel, Arvin (Sunnyvale, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/678324
Publication Date:
04/07/2005
Filing Date:
10/03/2003
Assignee:
PATEL ARVIN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04H15/50; (IPC1-7): E04H1/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SPAHN, GAY
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BROOKS KUSHMAN P.C. (Southfield, MI, US)
Claims:
1. A collapsible gazebo frame, comprising: a set of four corner support members configured to rest on a ground surface at a bottom end and to provide support for other gazebo frame components; a set of four scissor assemblies, each scissor assembly comprising scissor members coupled at scissor joints and being hingedly coupled to a different pair of the four corner support members at a corner support joint and configured to extend and retract; and a set of four scissor assembly sliders, each scissor assembly slider being hingedly coupled to one of the four scissor assemblies at a slider joint and being slidingly coupled to a different one of the four corner support members and configured to extend and retract the scissor assemblies coupled to the respective corner support member when slid along the corner support member; wherein, at least one of the group consisting of: the scissor joint; the corner support joint; and the slider joint, comprises a fastener that is not a lag bolt, the fastener being configured to fix gazebo frame members in the respective joint.

2. The collapsible gazebo frame of claim 1, wherein the fastener is selected from the group consisting of: a fully threaded bolt; a rivet; a cotter pin; a bolt with a sleeve.

3. The collapsible gazebo frame of claim 1, wherein each of the four corner support members is extendable and retractable.

4. The collapsible gazebo frame of claim 1, further comprising a canopy support frame coupled to at least one of the group consisting of: the scissor assemblies; and the corner support members, configured to support a canopy on top of the gazebo frame.

5. The collapsible gazebo frame of claim 4, wherein the canopy support frame comprises a canopy joint to join a plurality of gazebo frame members and wherein the canopy joint comprises a fastener that is not a lag bolt, the fastener being configured to fix the gazebo frame members in the canopy joint.

6. The collapsible gazebo frame of claim 4, wherein the canopy support frame further comprises a canopy peak extender to elevate the peak of the canopy.

7. The collapsible gazebo frame of claim 1, further comprising a set of four feet, each foot fixed to the bottom end of a different one of the four corner support members to anchor the gazebo frame to the ground surface.

8. The collapsible gazebo frame of claim 1, wherein each of the four corner support members is configured to slant inward towards the center of the gazebo frame when the gazebo frame is deployed.

Description:

FIELD

The present invention relates to collapsible structures generally and more particularly to collapsible gazebos.

BACKGROUND

Collapsible gazebos may be used for many purposes such as providing shade or rain protection to allow for more enjoyable dining, resting or playing while in the outdoors. Additionally, because the gazebos are collapsible, the gazebos may be assembled and disassembled for use in different places, such as back yards or parks.

Conventional collapsible gazebos, however, can be difficult to assemble and disassemble. This difficulty is partially due to the binding of gazebo frame joints with gazebo scissor members. That is, structural members of the gazebo get stuck at joints where they are coupled to other structural members. This binding can be due to the type of fasteners that are used in conjunction with the joints.

Therefore, an improved gazebo frame fastener is needed.

SUMMARY

A collapsible gazebo frame with independent canopy support includes a set of four corner support members that rest on a ground surface at a bottom end and provide support for other gazebo frame components. The gazebo frame also includes a set of four scissor assemblies, each being coupled to a different pair of the four corner support members. The scissor assemblies can extend and retract. Each of a set of four scissor assembly sliders is slidingly coupled to a different one of the four corner support members and serves to extend and retract the scissor assemblies coupled to the respective corner support member when slid along the corner support member. As a further portion of the gazebo frame, a canopy support frame includes a set of four canopy support members, each being coupled to the top end of a different one of the four corner support members and having a canopy frame joint that can be placed in a locked position. The canopy support frame also includes a set of four canopy frame sliders, where each canopy frame slider is slidingly coupled to a different one of the four corner support members and is coupled to a different one of the four canopy support members by a canopy frame extender. The canopy frame sliders serve to lock the canopy frame joints when slid along their corner support members.

In one aspect of the invention, each of the four corner support members is extendable and retractable.

In another aspect of the invention, a canopy peak support member is coupled to the inner ends of each canopy support member to support the peak of a gazebo canopy.

In another aspect of the invention, each of a set of four feet is fixed to the bottom end of a different one of the four corner support members to anchor the gazebo frame to the ground surface.

In another aspect of the invention, each of the four corner support members slants inward towards the center of the gazebo frame when the gazebo frame is deployed.

In another aspect of the invention, the canopy frame joints are locked using canopy frame sleeves.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing the construction of a collapsible gazebo frame, according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a detailed view showing a gazebo frame joint, according to one embodiment of the invention;

FIGS. 3A-C depict a gazebo frame fastener according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIGS. 4A-C depict a gazebo frame fastener according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIGS. 5A-B depict a gazebo frame fastener according to an embodiment of the invention;

FIGS. 6A-B depict a gazebo frame fastener according to an embodiment of the invention; and

FIGS. 7A-B depict a gazebo frame fastener according to an embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing the construction of a collapsible gazebo frame 100, according to one embodiment of the present invention. The gazebo frame includes corner support members 120, scissor assemblies 130 and scissor assembly sliders (slider joints) 133. In addition to the slider joints 133, the gazebo frame also includes various other gazebo frame joints. These gazebo frame joints include corner support joints 136 and scissor joints. The scissor joints may be of two types, scissor hinge joints 142 and three-way scissor joints 139. The three-way scissor joints 139 are used to couple the scissor assembly 130 to a canopy support frame 160, as will be described further below with reference to FIG. 1.

The corner support members 120 are configured to rest on a ground surface at a bottom end and to provide support for other gazebo frame components. The scissor assemblies 130 include scissor members 145. The scissor members 145 are coupled to each other at the scissor joints 139 and 142. Each scissor assembly 130 is hingedly coupled to a different pair of corner support members 120 at the respective corner support joint 136. The scissor assemblies 130 are configured to extend and retract.

Each slider joint 133 is hingedly coupled to a different one of the scissor assemblies 130 and is slidingly coupled to a different one of the corner support members 120. The slider joints 133 are configured to extend and retract the scissor assemblies 130 coupled to the respective corner support member 120 when slid along the corner support member 120. In an alternate embodiment, rather than being one element, the slider joint is a separate element coupled to the scissor assembly slider.

In one embodiment, a fastener is used in each gazebo frame joint (joint) fix gazebo frame members in the respective gazebo frame joint. In one embodiment, at least one of the gazebo frame joints uses a fastener that is not a lag bolt. A variety of fasteners that may be used in connection with the gazebo frame joints is discussed further below with reference to FIGS. 3-7.

In another embodiment, the gazebo frame includes a canopy support frame 160 coupled to the scissor assemblies 130 and/or the corner support members 120, configured to support a canopy (tarp) on top of the gazebo frame. The canopy support frame 160 may include scissor members 145 coupled to each other at scissor hinge joints 142 and coupled to the rest of the gazebo frame at the three-way scissor joints 139. The canopy support frame 160 may also include additional gazebo frame joints. These additional gazebo frame joints are a pair of canopy joints, an upper canopy joint 155 and a lower canopy joint 150. The canopy joints 155 and 150 join a plurality of the scissor members 145 at the center of the gazebo frame. In one embodiment, the canopy joints use fasteners that are not lag bolts to fix the scissor members in the canopy joints 155 and 150. In one aspect, the canopy support frame also includes a canopy peak extender 157 to elevate the peak of the canopy.

In one aspect, the corner support members 120 are extendable and retractable. In another aspect, the gazebo frame also includes feet 110 fixed to the bottom end of the corner support members 120 to anchor the corner support members 120 to the ground surface. In yet another aspect, the corner support members 120 are configured to slant inward towards the center of the gazebo frame when the gazebo frame is deployed.

The canopy support frame 160 includes scissor members 145, canopy support members 143, canopy frame joints 148, and canopy frame extenders 150. The canopy support members include outer canopy support members 145 and inner canopy support members 140, and a canopy peak support member 160. The corner support members may include upper corner support members 110 and lower corner support members 105.

The embodiment of a gazebo frame described with reference to FIG. 1 is exemplary only. The fasteners described with reference to FIGS. 2-7C may be used in conjunction with any type of gazebo frame.

FIG. 2 is a detailed view showing a gazebo frame joint, according to one embodiment of the invention. The gazebo frame joint depicted in FIG. 2 is the corner support joint 136. The corner support joint 136 is exemplary only. The description with respect to FIGS. 2-7C may apply to any kind of gazebo frame joint, including but not limited to, the scissor joints 139 and 142, the slider joint 133, and the canopy joints 150 and 155.

The corner support joint 136 includes fastener holes 205, a first flange 210, and a second flange 215. A cavity between the first and second flanges receives a gazebo frame member, such as the scissor member 145. In one aspect, additional gazebo frame members couple to the scissor member 145 at the corner support joint 136 by, for example, being inserted into another cavity like the cavity between the first and second flanges 210 and 215. In one embodiment, fasteners, such as those described below with reference to FIGS. 2-7, slide through the fastener holes 205 and fix scissor members 145 in the corner support joint 136.

FIGS. 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A and 7A are cross-sectional views of the corner support joint 136 taken about line 8-8, each figure showing a different gazebo fastener, according to one embodiment of the invention. FIGS. 3B, 3C, 4B, 4C, 5B, 6B and 7B are detailed views showing the different gazebo fasteners shown in FIGS. 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A and 7A respectively, according to one embodiment of the invention.

FIGS. 3A-C show one embodiment of the invention in which the gazebo fastener is a bolt 310 with a sleeve 305. In the embodiment, the bolt 310 passes through the sleeve 305 to fix the scissor member 145 to the corner support joint 136. In the embodiment, the sleeve 305 has a conical opening to receive the bolt 310. In one embodiment, the ‘cone’ of the sleeve 305 sits flush with the outer side of the first flange 210 when the bolt is engaged with the corner support joint 136, as shown in FIG. 3A. In an alternate embodiment, the sleeve 305 has a cylindrical shape with no cone. In this alternate embodiment, the sleeve passes through the first flange 210 and sits flush with the outer side of the first flange 210 when the bolt is engaged with the corner support joint 136. The sleeve 105 may have a rim on its outside edge to prevent the sleeve 105 and the bolt 310 from slipping too far into the corner support joint 136. The bolt 310 may be smooth, partially threaded, or fully threaded.

FIGS. 4A-C show another embodiment of the invention in which the gazebo fastener is the bolt 310 with an alternate sleeve 405. The sleeve 405 is a hollow cylindrical tube with openings on each end so that the bolt 310 can pass through. In the embodiment, the sleeve 405 rests between the first flange 210 and the second flange 215, as shown in FIG. 4A. In one aspect, the sleeve 405 has a larger outer diameter, on the ends of the sleeve 405 or along its entire length, than the inner diameter of the fastener hole 205. The sleeve 305, described with reference to FIGS. 3A-C, and the sleeve 405, described with reference to FIGS. 4A-C, may prevent the scissor member 145 from being compressed inside the corner support joint 136 as well as reduce friction during deployment of the gazebo frame.

FIGS. 5A-B show another embodiment of the invention in which the gazebo fastener is a fully threaded bolt 510. The fully threaded bolt 510, in one embodiment, screws directly into the second flange 215 of the corner support joint 136.

FIGS. 6A-B show another embodiment of the invention in which the gazebo fastener is a rivet 610. The rivet 610, in one embodiment, is secured directly into the second flange 215 of the corner support joint 136.

FIGS. 7A-B show another embodiment of the invention in which the gazebo fastener is a pin 710 with a cotter 715. In the embodiment depicted in FIG. 7A, the pin 710 passes through the first flange 210 and the second flange 215 and is secured by insertion of the cotter 715 through a hole 712 in the pin 710.

The present invention provides improved and alternate fasteners for use in conjunction with collapsible gazebo frames. Such fasteners may prevent binding of scissor members in gazebo frame joints as well as reduce friction during deployment of the gazebo frame.

Having disclosed exemplary embodiments and the best mode, modifications and variations may be made to the disclosed embodiments while remaining within the subject and spirit of the invention as defined by the following claims.