Title:
Knockdown gazebo
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A knockdown gazebo is provided which is readily disassembled into small pieces of 4 feet or less in length so that, in its disassembled state, it can be transported in the backseat of almost any passenger automobile. The gazebo can also be fully assembled without ladders and without special tools. The roof structure includes a plurality of multi-sectional rafters and joists and four corner assembly for supporting the roof structure. Each corner assembly includes upper and lower sections and each upper and lower section includes first and second panels that are connected perpendicularly to each other. The assembled gazebo is extremely sturdy and durable. A fabric sheet is provided to cover the roof structure. The gazebo may be assembled by first connecting the roof structure and the upper sections of the corner assemblies together. The roof fabric is then applied to the roof without requiring the use of ladders. Finally, the lower section of each corner assembly is attached to each of the upper corner assembly sections.



Inventors:
Merritt, Ronald R. (Bay Point, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/154011
Publication Date:
12/29/2005
Filing Date:
06/16/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
E04B7/00; E04H15/44; (IPC1-7): E04B7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CAJILIG, CHRISTINE T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Bruce H. Johnsonbaugh (San Francisco, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A knockdown gazebo, comprising: a roof structure comprising a plurality of multi-sectional rafters and joists, wherein each of said rafters and each of said joists includes two or more sections; and rafter connection means and joist connection means for joining said sections together; and four corner assemblies for supporting said roof structure, wherein each of said corner assemblies is multi-sectional and includes an upper section and a lower section, wherein each upper section and each lower section includes first and second panels and panel connectors for connecting said first and second panels perpendicularly to each other; and corner assembly connector means for detachably connecting said upper and lower corner assembly sections together; wherein each of said rafter and joist sections, and each of said panels in said corner assemblies are four feet or less in length and may be placed in the back seat of most passenger automobiles.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising one or more triangular braces adapted for use in one or more of said corner assemblies.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a sheet of fabric adapted to cover said roof structure.

4. A knockdown gazebo, comprising: a roof structure comprising a plurality of multi-sectional rafters and joists, wherein each of said rafters and each of said joists includes two or more sections; and rafter connection means and joist connection means for joining said sections together; wherein said roof structure does not utilize any scissor assembly; and four corner assemblies for supporting said roof structure, wherein each of said corner assemblies is multi-sectional and includes an upper section and a lower section, wherein each upper section and each lower section includes first and second panels and panel connectors for connecting said first and second panels perpendicularly to each other; and corner assembly connector means for detachably connecting said upper and lower corner assembly sections together; wherein each of said rafter and joist sections, and each of said panels in said corner assemblies are four feet or less in length and may be placed in the back seat of most passenger automobiles, and wherein said upper corner assemblies are adapted to be connected to said roof structure before being connected to said lower corner assemblies.

5. The apparatus of claim 4 further comprising one or more triangular braces adapted for use in one or more of said corner assemblies.

6. The apparatus of claim 4 further comprising a sheet of fabric adapted to cover said roof structure.

7. The method of assembling a knockdown gazebo, wherein said knockdown gazebo has a roof structure including a plurality of multi-sectional rafters and joists, wherein each of said rafters and each of said joists includes two or more sections; rafter connection means and joist connection means for joining said sections together; and a sheet of fabric adapted to cover said roof structure and four corner assemblies for supporting said roof structure, wherein each of said corner assemblies is multi-sectional and includes an upper section and a lower section, wherein each upper section and each lower section includes first and second panels and panel connectors for connecting said first and second panels to each other; and corner assembly connector means for detachably connecting said upper and lower corner assembly sections together; wherein each of said rafter and joist sections, and each of said panels in said corner assemblies are four feet or less in length and may be placed in the back seat of most passenger automobiles, comprising the steps: assembling each of the four upper sections of said corner assemblies; attaching said roof structure to said upper sections of said corner assemblies; attaching said fabric to said roof structure; and attaching said lower sections of said corner assemblies to said upper sections of said corner assemblies.

8. The method of claim 7 comprising the further step of attaching one or more triangular braces in one or more of said corner assemblies.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of and priority from U.S. provisional application Ser. No. 60/581,043 filed Jun. 17, 2004.

BACKGROUND AND BRIEF SUMMARY

The present invention pertains, in general, to gazebos. More specifically, the invention provides, for the first time, a sturdy “knockdown” gazebo which is readily disassembled into small pieces and is also extremely durable. For the first time, a full-sized disassembled gazebo can be transported in the back seat of almost any passenger automobile! It can also be fully assembled without ladders and without any special tools!!

As gazebos have become more and more popular, the need for easily transportable and easily assembled gazebos has increased. A typical prior art gazebo (for example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,745,521) includes components having lengths of eight feet or longer. The packaging for those gazebos must therefore be eight feet long or more. Packages of such length are difficult, if not impossible, for many potential customers to transport and/or handle. These lengthy packages also tend to increase shipping and handling charges for manufacturers and distributors. The prior art also includes collapsible gazebos which collapse into a length less than eight feet by utilizing scissor assembly frame sections (for example, Seo published United States application U.S. 2005/0028856 A1 and Patel et al published United States application U.S. 2005/0072064 A1). The scissor assemblies are difficult for many purchasers to assemble and take down. Furthermore, the scissor assemblies tend to bend and distort after repeated use. The present invention avoids the use of scissor assemblies, and provides an easily assembled and robust frame which is considerably more durable than scissor assemblies.

The present invention provides a full-size gazebo (i.e., 8 to 10 feet wide; 8 to 12 feet long; and 8 to 10 feet tall) that is easily disassembled into components 4 feet long and shorter. And no special tools are required for assembly or disassembly!

Another advantage of the invention is that it can be assembled and disassembled without requiring the use of a stepladder or other similar device. The present design facilitates full assembly of the roof structure together with only the upper sections of the corner supports; the lower sections of the corner supports may be installed last! Prior art designs typically require a stepladder or similar device for assembly of the roof structure and roof fabric.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description and drawings wherein:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a fully assembled gazebo according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a partially exploded perspective view of the gazebo of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of a portion of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of the gazebo of FIGS. 1-3 without the roof fabric covering;

FIG. 5 shows the first step of assembling the upper portion of the corner assemblies to the roof structure;

FIG. 6 illustrates the second stage of the assembly wherein the roof framing has been added to the upper corner assemblies;

FIG. 7 illustrates the third step of assembly of the gazebo of FIG. 1 after the roof fabric has been installed; and

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a brace utilized in preferably two or more of the corner assemblies to stabilize the assembled gazebo.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a fully assembled gazebo 10 according to the present invention. The gazebo 10 has a pleasant appearance and is sturdy and stable when assembled. The roof structure is shown generally as 20 and includes a lower tier 21 and an upper tier 22.

The roof structure 20 is supported by four corner assemblies 51-54. The corner assemblies are identical to each other; with the exception that braces (discussed below) are ordinarily utilized in only two of the corner assemblies.

FIG. 2 is a partially exploded view of the gazebo of FIG. 1, wherein each corner assembly 51-54 is exploded into upper and lower corner assemblies 51a-54a and 51b-54b, respectively. FIG. 3 is an enlarged view showing the connectors between upper corner assembly 51a and lower corner assembly 51b.

Upper corner assembly 51a includes a front panel 61 and a side panel 62. Front panel 61 has vertically extending side rails 63 and 64 with downwardly extending protrusions 65,66, respectively. Similarly, side panel 62 has vertically extending side rails 67,68 with downwardly extending protrusions 69,70, respectively.

Lower corner assembly 51b includes a front panel 71 and side panel 72. Panels 71 and 72 have vertically extending side rails 73, 74 and 77,78, respectively. Side rails 73, 74, 77 and 78 have upwardly extending protrusions 75, 76, 79 and 80, respectively.

Upper and lower corner assemblies 51a and 51b are removably connected by four sleeves 81, 82, 83 and 84, which join protrusions 65,75; 66,76; 69,79 and 70,80, respectively. Each of the sleeves 81-84 is hollow and slidably receives the protrusions.

Each sleeve preferably carries some type of removable attachment means for securely but removably connecting to each protrusions. For example, sleeve 83 may have holes 83a and 83b extending completely through sleeve 83. Holes 83a and 83b are aligned with holes 69a and 79a in protrusions 69,79 and bolts are used as connectors. Alternatively, threaded knobs (not shown for clarity) may extend through holes 83a and 83b. The threaded knobs are threaded into threaded holes 69a and 79a in protrusions 69 and 79. As a further alternative, sleeve 83 can carry holes at 83a and 83b which make a snap fit with small detents carried by protrusions 69 and 79. Other connectors known in the art may be used.

Front panels 61 and 72 are connected to side panels 62 and 72 by bolts, threaded thumb wheels or other connectors.

All corner assemblies 51-54 are removably connected in the same fashion as described above for corner assembly 51.

FIG. 4 is a front elevational view of gazebo 10 without the fabric 24 that covers both tiers 21 and 22. Roof 20 includes eight rafters, two of which 31,32 are shown in FIG. 4. Rafters 31,32 each include upper and lower segments 31a,32a and 31b,32b, respectively. Those upper and lower segments are removably connected by sleeves 91 and 92. Sleeves 91 and 92 are hollow and slidably receive rafter segments 31a,31b and 32a,32b, respectively. Since rafters 31,32 (and other rafters) are compressive elements of the structure, the removable connections between sleeves 91,92 and the rafter segments need not be robust, they only need to hold sleeves 91,92 in place. Snap-fit connections, bolts or threaded connectors may be utilized, as is the case with sleeves 81-84.

The roof 20 includes four joists similar to joist 41 extending between upper corner assemblies 51a and 52a. Joist 41 includes two joist segments 41a,41b and three sleeves 101,102 and 103. These sleeves carry tensile loads and are preferably connected to upper corner assemblies 51a,52a and joist segments 41a,41b with threadable bolts, thumbscrews or other robust connectors.

Sleeve 103 is T-shaped to support rafter 111 from joist 41.

FIGS. 5, 6 and 7 show the method of assembly of the gazebo. FIG. 5 illustrates the first step in which each of the four upper sections (51a, 52a, 53a and 54a) are assembled.

In the second step, shown partially in FIG. 5, the roof structure is attached to upper corner sections. The joists (similar to 41) are then preferably attached to the upper sections of the corner assembles, as shown in FIG. 5. As shown in FIG. 6, the rest of the roof structure is then preferably attached to the joists, completing the second step.

The third step is shown in FIG. 7, wherein the fabric 24 is attached without requiring a ladder.

The fourth step of the preferred method of assembly is shown in FIG. 2, wherein the lower corner assemblies 51b, 52b, 53b and 54b are attached to the upper corner assemblies. This step may be accomplished by tilting one side of the gazebo upwardly, or by lifting the entire gazebo, depending on the number of persons available to assemble the gazebo.

The final assembly step is to attach a triangular shaped brace 91 (see FIGS. 1 and 8) to corner assemblies 51 and 53. Brace 91 stabilizes the gazebo 20, prevents racking and resists wind loads. Brace 91 is triangular in shape and includes four tabs 92,93,94,95 that are utilized to connect the brace 91 to front panel 71 and side panel 72 of corner assembly 51. The connection is preferably made with bolts or thumbscrews.

The foregoing description of the invention has been presented for purposes of illustration and description and is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. Modifications and variations are possible in light of the above teaching. The embodiments were chosen and described to best explain the principles of the invention and its practical application to thereby enable others skilled in the art to best use the invention in various embodiments and with various modifications suited to the particular use contemplated.