Title:
System for converting a craft hoop to a display frame
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A display frame assembly for converting a craft hoop to a display frame for displaying photographs or artwork, such as paintings, embroidery or cross-stitching, includes legs for tilting the display frame upward, and a bezel that attaches to the craft hoop to hold the displayed item in place and provide a decorative frame.



Inventors:
Morgan, Robert Elliot (Hillsboro, MO, US)
Application Number:
11/418524
Publication Date:
11/22/2007
Filing Date:
05/04/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G1/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HOGE, GARY CHAPMAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Erickson Kernell IP, LLC (Leawood, KS, US)
Claims:
1. A display frame assembly comprising: a hoop surrounding a first central opening, said hoop defining a first plane, a bezel surrounding a second central opening, said bezel defining a second plane, and means for removably attaching said bezel to said hoop so that said first plane and said second plane are generally offset and parallel to one another and said first central opening and said second central opening are generally aligned axially.

2. The display frame as in claim 1, wherein said bezel further comprises a flange projecting radially inward to retain an article to be displayed within said hoop, a rearward surface of said flange defining said second plane.

3. The display frame as in claim 2 and further including a transparent pane received within said hoop, said pane having a front surface in abutment against said rearward surface of said flange.

4. The display frame as in claim 1, further comprising a boss extending rearwardly from the rearward surface of said bezel, said boss having a bore sized and shaped to engage and hold a leg.

5. The display frame as in claim 1, further comprising at least one boss extending inwardly from said hoop, each said boss having a respective front face, said front faces collectively defining said first plane.

6. The display frame as in claim 5, further comprising a backing received within said hoop, said backing having a rearward surface in abutment against said front faces of said bosses.

7. The display frame as in claim 5, further comprising at least one leg connected to a respective one of said bosses and positioned to support said hoop on a surface in a generally upright position.

8. The display frame as in claim 7, wherein said leg may be turned within said boss to alter the angle of said display frame relative to a support surface.

9. The display frame as in claim 1, further comprising means for supporting said hoop in an upright position.

10. The display frame as in claim 9, wherein said means for supporting comprises at least one leg projecting generally rearwardly and downwardly from said hoop.

11. The display frame as in claim 1 wherein said hoop is a first hoop and further including a second hoop concentric with said first hoop and clampingly engaged therearound.

12. The display frame as in claim 1 wherein said means for removably attaching comprises a lip extending rearwardly from said bezel to engage a hoop.

13. The display frame as in claim 12 wherein said means for removably attaching further comprises a ridge extending radially outwardly from said lip to engage a rearward edge of said hoop.

14. The display frame as in claim 12, further comprising two or more lips.

15. The display frame as in claim 11 wherein said second hoop includes a clamping structure extending radially outwardly therefrom and wherein said bezel extends radially outwardly a sufficient distance to cover said clamping structure.

16. A display frame assembly comprising: a craft hoop supported in a generally upright position by one or more legs attached to said craft hoop, said craft hoop including an outer periphery and a craft hoop central opening, a bezel including a bezel central opening, means for attaching said bezel to said craft hoop so that said craft hoop central opening and bezel central opening are axially aligned, said bezel having a top surface of sufficient width to obscure said craft hoop from view when thereby attached.

17. The display frame as in claim 16, wherein said bezel includes a flange projecting radially inward to retain a display article within said craft hoop.

18. The display frame as in claim 16, further comprising bosses projecting radially inward from said craft hoop, said bosses recessed from a top surface of said craft hoop to accommodate a display article within said craft hoop.

19. A display frame assembly comprising: a craft hoop including an inner hoop and an outer hoop concentric with said inner hoop and clampingly engaged therearound, said inner hoop defining a central opening, and a bezel connectable to said craft hoop and including a flange projecting radially inward to partially cover said central opening to retain a display article within said central opening.

20. The display frame as in claim 19, wherein said bezel includes at least one lip extending downwardly therefrom to engage said inner hoop.

21. The display frame as in claim 20, wherein said bezel further includes a ridge extending radially outward from said lip to engage a rearward edge of said inner hoop.

22. The display frame as in claim 19, wherein said bezel includes at least one lip extending rearwardly therefrom to engage said outer hoop.

23. The display frame as in claim 22, wherein said bezel further includes a ridge extending radially inward from said at least one lip to engage a rearward edge of said outer hoop.

24. The display frame as in claim 22, wherein said outer hoop includes a clamping structure extending radially outwardly therefrom and said bezel extends radially outward a sufficient distance to cover said clamping structure.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates generally to display frames, such as picture frames, and more particularly to a system for converting a craft hoop assembly to a display frame.

2. Description of the Related Art

Craft hoop assemblies generally include two concentric hoops or rings (an inner hoop and an outer hoop) for holding material such as fabric in a taut position over a center opening so that craft work, such as stitching with needle and thread, may readily be performed. Typically, the inner hoop has a fixed diameter and the outer hoop has an adjustable diameter. Material upon which work is to be performed is placed across the inner hoop. The outer hoop is then placed over the material and around the inner hoop. The diameter of the outer hoop is then reduced, typically by tightening a clamping mechanism associated with the outer hoop, such that the outer hoop fits snugly against the material and inner hoop so as to hold the material between the two hoops.

Further features found in the prior art include legs for supporting the hoops in a raised position. Craft hoops are disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,158,153; 5,722,191; 5,555,653; 5,330,143 and 5,287,640, which are hereby incorporated by reference.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The purpose of this invention is to provide a means of readily converting a craft hoop assembly to a display frame for displaying a relatively flat item, such as a photograph or illustration. The display frame may include an inner hoop, outer hoop with clamp, and two legs to support the hoops in a raised, angled position. The legs are secured within holes in bosses that extend inwardly from the inner hoop. To assemble a display, a backing board is placed within the inner hoop and against the bosses. Then an item to be displayed is placed on top of the backing board followed by a mat, if desired. Next, a circular, transparent pane of glass or plastic also sets into the inner hoop and against the display item or mat. Alternatively, a piece of fabric (such as one bearing a cross-stitched design) may be stretched over the backing board and clamped between the outer and inner hoops. The pane is then set over the fabric. A bezel is attached over the pane and onto the display frame assembly to hold the pane, mat, display item and backing board in place. The bezel may also serve to hide the craft hoops, particularly the outer hoop clamp, from view.

Other advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein is set forth by way of illustration and example an embodiment of the present invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of a display frame assembly according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a rear isometric view of a display frame assembly, with the bezel omitted, positioned in an angled upward position and showing the legs engaged with holes in the bosses.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of a display frame assembly with a bezel installed and showing the inner and outer hoops in phantom lines.

FIG. 4 is a partial cross section taken generally along line 4-4 in FIG. 3 and showing an embodiment of a display frame assembly wherein the bezel attaches to an outside margin of the outer hoop and is sized to extend radially outward to partially enclose the clamp.

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 4 and showing an embodiment of a display frame assembly wherein the bezel is sized to attach to the outer margin of the inner hoop.

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 4 and showing an embodiment of a display frame assembly wherein the lip attaches to the inside margin of the inner hoop.

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 4 and showing an embodiment of a display frame assembly wherein the bezel attaches to an outside margin of the inner hoop and extends radially outward therefrom.

FIG. 8 is a plan view of a display frame assembly with an alternative embodiment of a bezel installed upon a single hoop, shown in phantom lines, with bosses and lips, also shown in phantom lines, projecting from the rearward surface of the bezel to engage the outer periphery of the hoop.

FIG. 9 is side elevational view of a display frame assembly showing a leg projected rearwardly and downwardly from a bezel.

FIG. 10 is a magnified view of a portion of FIG. 9, identified by circular phantom line 10-10 therein, and showing the end of a leg engaged with a bezel boss.

FIG. 11 is a side elevational view of the display frame assembly of FIG. 9 illustrating the tilt of the bezel further reclined through turning the leg relative to the bezel.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure. In the drawings, similar numerical references indicate corresponding parts.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 through 7, and in particular to FIG. 1, the display frame assembly 1 includes a generally circular inner hoop 5 surrounded at the outer margin by a generally circular outer hoop 10. The outer hoop 10 is split and includes a clamp 15 for tightening the outer hoop 10 around the inner hoop 5. As shown in FIG. 2, the clamp 15 includes a first block 18 and an opposed second block 19, each mounted or projecting from an end of the split outer hoop 10. The clamp 15 also includes a bolt 21 extending through coaxial apertures in each block 18, 19 that is secured by a nut 22. Since the outer hoop 10 is positioned in encircling or circumscribing alignment with the inner hoop 5, tightening the nut 22 onto the bolt 21 urges the blocks 18, 19 and the ends of the outer hoop 10 together so as to reduce the diameter of the outer hoop 10 and constrict the outer hoop 10 around the inner hoop 5.

The hoop structures described thus far are well known in the prior art as craft hoops and are used to stretch and hold fabric in position across a central opening or interior space 17 by clamping peripheral portions of the fabric between the inner hoop 5 and outer hoop 10.

Because the display frame assembly 1, and portions thereof, are illustrated in generally upright positions in FIGS. 1, 2, 9 and 11, and in generally reclining positions in FIGS. 4 through 8 (as if lying upon a support surface such as a counter or table with the major plane of the assembly 1 parallel to the major plane of the surface), the terms downward, rearward, back, bottom and lower are used synonymously to convey a direction or orientation away from or further from the viewer, and the terms forward, frontward, front, top and upper are used to convey a direction or orientation nearer to or towards the viewer. The viewer is assumed to view the assembly 1 as if viewing a framed painting or photograph, with the line of sight relatively perpendicular to the plane of the forward or top surface of the assembly 1.

Legs 20a and 20b extend downward from bosses 25a and 25b, respectively. The bosses 25a and 25b project axially inward from the inner margin of the inner hoop 5. The bosses 25a and 25b include holes 30a and 30b that engage upper portions of the legs 20a and 20b, respectively. A third boss 25c is also provided to help support a display article within the display frame assembly 1 as described below. The upper portions of the legs 20a and 20b are sized to fit within the holes 30a and 30b and to terminate prior to emerging beyond the upper surfaces of the bosses 25a and 25b. Collars 23 may be provided to extend radially from the legs 20a and 20b to limit the depth to which a leg fits into an associated hole 30. If collars 23 are provided at both ends of a leg, as shown in the illustrations, the legs 20a and 20b may thereby function as supports by inserting either end into a cooperating boss 25a or 25b. As indicated in FIG. 1, the legs 20a and 20b cooperate to hold the inner and outer hoops 5 and 10 in an angled, upstanding or raised position.

The bosses 25a, 25b and 25c (see FIG. 1) include respective top surfaces 24 (see FIGS. 4 and 5), which collectively define a first plane. The top surfaces 24 are recessed or offset from the top or forward facing surface of the inner hoop 5 to allow various display assembly components to be received within the inner hoop 5. The components may include a circular backing board 35, having a diameter slightly less than that at the inner margin of the inner hoop 5, that is placed within interior space 17 to rest upon the top surfaces 24 (see FIG. 4) of the bosses 25a, 25b and 25c; a display article 40, such as a photograph, painting, cross-stitched or embroidered fabric or any other relatively flat article to be displayed, that is placed upon the backing board 35; a mat 45 having a central opening or aperture 47 to allow observation of the display article 40; and, a transparent pane 50 of glass or plastic. Alternatively, a piece of fabric (such as one bearing a cross-stitched design or illustration) may be stretched over the backing board 35 and clamped between the outer 10 and inner hoops 5. The mat 45 and pane 50 may then be set over the fabric. The backing board 35, display article 40, mat 45, and pane 50 form a subassembly 2 that rests within the inner hoop 5, preferably without projecting significantly beyond the top or forward facing surface of the inner hoop 5. The subassembly 2 is secured in place by a bezel 55 that attaches to the hoops 5 and/or 10 and frames the display article 40. The hoops 5 and 10, legs 20a and 20b, subassembly 2, and bezel 55 form the display frame assembly 1.

As shown in FIG. 3, the bezel 55 forms a ring-shaped frame that surrounds and encloses a central opening 57. The bezel 55 clips or otherwise attaches to either the inner 5 and/or outer 10 hoop, depending on the bezel 55 configuration. Various embodiments of the bezel 55 are illustrated herein. In each embodiment, the bezel 55 includes an inwardly extending annular flange 97, or equivalent structure, which acts to retain the subassembly 2 in position. A lower surface of the flange 97 defines a second plane which is offset from the first plane.

The embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4 include four lips or attachment elements 60a, 60b, 60c and 60d (shown in phantom lines in FIG. 3 and referred to herein collectively by the numeral 60) that project from the bottom of the bezel 55 to engage the outer hoop 10. Any of four spaces between the attachment elements 60 may accommodate the clamp 10. It should be appreciated that a greater or lesser number of lips 60 may be used, with 2 to 4 typically preferred. In this embodiment of the bezel 55, the top surface 65 of the bezel 55 extends radially outward to cover and conceal the clamp 15 from view as a viewer observes the displayed item 40 from a position forward of the display frame assembly 1.

FIGS. 5 and 7 illustrate a bezel attached a display frame assembly 1, wherein the outer hoop 10 has been omitted, as may often be the case where articles that do not require securement between the inner hoop 5 and outer hoop 10 are displayed. FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate a bezel attached to a display frame assembly 1 including an outer hoop 10.

As may be ascertained from FIGS. 4 and 6, in particular, the inner hoop 5 includes an outer surface at the outer margin and the outer hoop 10 includes an inner surface at the inner margin. A groove 70 is formed in the outer surface of the inner hoop 5 circumferentially therearound and preferably centrally thereof. A projection, ridge or bead 75 is integrally formed on the inner surface of the outer hoop 10 and extends circumferentially therearound, preferably centrally thereof. The bead 75 is sized, shaped and positioned such that the bead 75 extends at least partially within the groove 70 in the inner hoop 5 when the outer hoop 10 is positioned in circumscribing alignment therewith.

FIG. 5 shows an embodiment of a bezel 80 having an outer, downwardly depending lip 85, the lip 85 including an inwardly projecting ridge 90 for engaging the outer surface of the perimeter of the inner hoop 5, in particular the groove 70. The groove 70 of the inner hoop 5 receives the ridge 90. The lip 85, ridge 90 and groove 70, thereby cooperate to provide means for the bezel 80 to snap onto the hoop 5. The top surface 95 of the bezel 80 extends inward to form a flange 97 for holding the pane 50, mat 45, article to be displayed 40, and backing board 35 in a secured position within the hoop 5 and against the top surfaces 24 of the bosses 25.

FIG. 7 illustrates a bezel 100 similar to that shown in FIG. 4 except that the top surface 105 of the bezel 100 has been extended outward and curved downward to form a more decorative structure that also hides the lip 110, ridge 115 and outer peripheral portion of the hoop 5. Regarding bezels 80 and 100, it should be appreciated that if intended for use with a hoop not having a groove 70, the bezel may be provided with a lip, such as lip 60 in FIG. 4, that extends further downward to engage the lower edge of the hoop.

The bezel 55 illustrated in FIG. 4 is constructed so that the lip segments 60a, 60b, 60c, 60d are positioned outward of the outer hoop 10 so that flexion of the lip 60 presses the ridge 61 around a portion of the lower edge of the outer hoop 10. The lip 60 is provided with at least one gap (as shown in FIG. 3) to receive the clamp 15. Preferably, the lip 60 is segmented, as described above, to provide several gaps for the convenience of the user when attaching the bezel 55 to the display frame assembly 1.

FIG. 6 illustrates a bezel 120 in which the extended top surface 125 is dimensioned to cover and partially enclose an outer hoop 10 and associated clamp 15. The lip 130 in this embodiment is positioned inward of the inner hoop 5. When the bezel 120 is pressed against the hoops 10 and 5, the lip 130 snaps onto the inward surface of the inner hoop 5 and the ridge 135 projects outward from the lip 130 to engage the lower surface of the inner hoop 5.

FIG. 8 illustrates in plain view portions of an alternative embodiment of a display frame assembly 200, included a bezel 202 attached to a single craft hoop 204. As illustrated, lips 206a, 206b, and 206c and bosses 208a, 208b, and 208c project downwardly from the lower surface of the bezel 202 to engage the periphery of the hoop 204. The lips 206 may take the structure and perform the function of lips 60 described in prior paragraphs. Generally, lips 206 are provided to attach the bezel 202 to the hoop 204 if the bosses 208 are constructed or disposed about the bezel 202 such that they do not engage the hoop 204 or provide a satisfactory attachment means. If, as illustrated in FIG. 8, the bosses 208 are structured and located to engage the periphery of the hoop 204 so as to grip portions of the outer margin of the hoop 204, the lips 206 may be omitted. The illustrated bosses 208 are generally cylindrical with a bore 210 for accepting the upper portions of the legs 20. The bosses 208 may be further described as relatively short tubes projecting from the bottom or rearward surface of the bezel 202.

As opposed to FIGS. 1 through 3, the bosses 208 are shown in FIG. 8 such that upon inclining the display frame assembly 200 in a viewing position upon a support surface 220 (see FIGS. 9 and 11), two of the bosses 208b and 208c are near the support surface 220 to accept legs 20 in this lower position.

FIG. 9 is side elevational view of a display frame assembly 200 positioned upon a support surface, for viewing. A leg 20 is shown projecting rearward and downward from the back side of the bezel 202 where the leg 20 is engaged with a boss 208b, hidden from view by the bezel 202 but shown in phantom lines in the magnified view 10-10 provided in FIG. 10. As shown in FIG. 10, the upper end of the leg 20 is engaged with the bezel 202 by insertion into the boss 208b. Travel of the leg 20 may be limited by a collar 23 or, if the collar is omitted, by the terminus of the bore 210 which is typically co-planer with the rearward or bottom surface of the bezel 202.

Although the ends of the legs 20 and the cooperating bores 210 may take various shapes such as square or rectangular or triangular, which would limit rotation of the leg 20 within the bore 210, if the ends of the legs 20 and bores are cylindrical in shape, the legs 20 may turn within the bores 210. If, as shown in the drawings, the end of a leg 20 is at a slight angle to the main shaft of the leg 20, turning the leg 20 within its cooperating bore (see arrow 212) will cause the angle of the leg 20 to the bezel 202 to change thereby concomitantly changing the angle of the bezel 202 relative to the support surface, raising or lowering the incline of the display frame assembly 200, as shown by arrow 214.

It should be appreciated that frames may be constructed using circular hoops, as illustrated, or hoops of other shapes such as, but not limited to, oval, oblong, rectangular, square, and triangular. It should be appreciated that the bezel may be decoratively shaped in a variety of ways including provision of top surface shapes incorporating scallops or ridges and troughs typically concentric or parallel to the margins of the central opening. It is to be understood that while certain forms of this invention have been illustrated and described, it is not limited thereto except insofar as such limitations are included in the following claims and allowable equivalents thereof.

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is as follows: