Title:
Baseframe With Attachment
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An articulating support arm, an articulating support arm and baseframe in combination and a method of installing an articulating support arm on a baseframe are described. The baseframe and the support arm have corresponding interlocks thereon. The interlocks can be engaged or disengaged by appropriately bringing the support arm into contact with the baseframe. When the interlocks are engaged with one another, the support arm is held in position by the interlocks to allow fasteners to be inserted to lock the support arm and baseframe together and prevent the interlocks from disengaging.



Inventors:
Jurja, Samuel (Kitchener, CA)
Application Number:
11/611385
Publication Date:
06/19/2008
Filing Date:
12/15/2006
Assignee:
CompX International Inc.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
248/276.1
International Classes:
A47B5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WOOD, KIMBERLY T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DARYL W SCHNURR (WATERLOO, ON, CA)
Claims:
I claim:

1. An articulating support arm for adjustably supporting an object at a workstation, said arm comprising a base connected directly or indirectly to said workstation, an elongated member and a platform, said elongated member having an inner end and an outer end, said inner end of said elongated member being pivotally connected to said base, said outer end of said elongated member being pivotally connected to said platform said platform being capable of supporting said peripheral thereon, said platform being adjustable to various lockable and releasable positions relative to said base, said base having an inner portion and an outer portion, said outer portion having releasable interlocks thereon, said interlocks corresponding to interlocks on a plate of a baseframe, said interlocks being engageable and releasable by appropriately moving said base and said plate into and out of contact with one another, said support arm having one or more releasable locking mechanisms to lock said platform in a particular position, to unlock said platform for movement to a different position relative to said base and relocking said platform relative to said base, said interlocks being sufficiently secure to hold said base against said plate before any fasteners are used in addition to the interlocks, said base being substantially parallel to said plate when said interlocks are engaged with one another before any fasteners are connected in addition to said interlocks.

2. A support arm as claimed in claim 1 wherein the interlocks are shaped to engage and disengage from one another.

3. A support arm as claimed in claim 2 wherein half of said interlocks are loops and half of said interlocks are projections that are sized to fit within said loops.

4. A support arm as claimed in claim 3 wherein said interlocks on said plate are loops and said interlocks on said base are projections.

5. A support arm as claimed in claim 1 wherein the interlocks are located on an outer portion of said plate and base.

6. A support arm as claimed in claim 5 wherein said interlocks are located at or near an outer edge of each of said plate and base.

7. A support arm as claimed in claim 3 wherein said interlocks engage one another when said projections are located within said loops.

8. A support arm as claimed in claim 2 wherein said fasteners are screws that affix said base to said plate after said interlocks are engaged.

9. A support arm as claimed in claim 6 wherein said fasteners are screws that affix said base to said plate when said interlocks are engaged, said screws extending through openings located at or near an inner edge of said base and said plate.

10. A support arm as claimed in claim 1 wherein there are two interlocks on said plate that are shaped to engage with two corresponding interlocks on said base.

11. An articulating support arm for use with a baseframe having a movable plate therein, said support arm having a base, said baseframe comprising an elongated body with channels along each side, said plate and said base having corresponding interlocks thereon, said interlocks being shaped to releasably interlock with one another when said arm is appropriately brought into contact with said baseframe.

12. A baseframe and articulating support arm in combination, said baseframe being mounted beneath a working surface at a workstation, said combination comprising said baseframe having a movable plate that is sized and shaped to be connected to a base of said support arm, said support arm having at least one pivotally connected elongated member with a platform at a free end opposite to said base, said plate having interlocks thereon corresponding to interlocks on said base, said interlocks being sized and shaped to releasably engage one another when said base is moved into contact with said plate, with one or more fasteners to lock said base to said plate after said interlocks engage one another.

13. A baseframe and articulating support arm in combination, said baseframe being mounted beneath a working surface at a workstation, said combination comprising said baseframe having a movable plate that is sized and shaped to be connected to a base of said support arm, said support arm having at least two pivotally connected elongated members with a platform at a free end opposite to said base, said plate having interlocks thereon corresponding to interlocks on said base, said interlocks being sized and shaped to releasably engage one another without fasteners when said base is appropriately moved into contact with said plate, said base being substantially parallel to said plate when said interlocks of said base and said plate engage one another.

14. A baseframe and articulating support arm in combination as claimed in claim 13 wherein half of said interlocks are loops and half of said interlocks are projections that are sized to fit in said loops.

15. A baseframe and articulating support arm in combination as claimed in claim 14 wherein said interlocks on said plate are loops and said interlocks on said base are projections.

16. A baseframe and articulating support arm in combination as claimed in claim 13 wherein said interlocks are located on an outer portion of said plate and base.

17. A baseframe for use with an articulating support arm, said baseframe comprising an elongated body with channels along each side, said channels being shaped to support a plate that is movable longitudinally along said baseframe, said articulating arm having a base that is sized and shaped to fit on said plate, said base having releasable interlocks on an outer portion thereof, said releasable interlocks on said base corresponding to said interlocks on said plate, said interlocks being lockable and releasable by appropriately moving said interlocks into and out of contact with one another respectively, said interlocks being sufficiently secure to hold said base against said plate before any fasteners are used in addition to said interlocks, said base being substantially parallel to said plate when said interlocks are engaged with one another before any fasteners are installed.

18. A method of installing an articulating support arm to an underside of a plate mounted on a baseframe beneath a working surface of a work station, said support arm having a base, said plate and said base having corresponding interlocks thereon, said base and said plate being sized to fit together in contact with one another, said method comprising commencing with said baseframe connected to an underside of said working surface, manually moving said support arm into contact with said plate in such a manner relative to said baseframe that said interlocks interlock with one another through said contact, said interlocks being located so that when said support arm is released after said interlocks are engaged with one another, said base is parallel to and generally aligned with said plate and said support arm remains in that position without any external force being applied to said support arm, subsequently inserting fasteners between said base and said plate to fixedly secure said base on said plate and to prevent said interlocks from disengaging when external forces are applied to said support arm.

19. A method as claimed in claim 18 including the steps of removing said fasteners and disengaging said interlocks by moving said support arm away from said baseframe.

20. A method of connecting an articulating support arm to an underside of a plate mounted on a baseframe beneath a working surface of a workstation, said plate having two first interlocks thereon, said support arm having an attachment surface with two second interlocks thereon, said second interlocks corresponding to said first interlocks, there being at least one fastener, said method comprising manually placing said attachment surface in contact with said plate in such a manner as to cause said interlocks to engage with one another, said arm being fully supported by said plate when said interlocks are engaged with one another, installing at least one fastener to cause said attachment surface to be securely mounted on said plate, and installing fasteners to lock said attachment surface on said plate.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to an articulating support arm that is attachable to a movable plate of a baseframe. The support arm has a base and the baseframe has a plate with corresponding interlocks thereon. This invention further relates to a support arm and baseframe in combination and to a method of installing the support arm on the baseframe.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Baseframes with articulating support arms thereon are known. However, one of the difficulties with the existing baseframes and support arms is that it can be extremely difficult and somewhat dangerous to affix a base of the support arm to a plate of a baseframe. The baseframe is designed to be mounted on an underside of a work surface. When it is desired to attach a support arm to the baseframe, the support arm must be manually held in place by an installer until such time as sufficient fasteners can be inserted between the base of the support arm and the plate of the baseframe to securely hold the base against the plate. With previous devices, bolts or screws are simply inserted between the base and the plate to hold the base and plate together. Since the support arm is relatively heavy, it can be a dangerous and difficult task to install a support arm on a baseframe. Where a user is working alone, the user must support the support arm with one hand while attempting to install bolts or screws between the plate and the base with the other hand. If the support arm slips from the grasp of the installer, the support arm could fall on the installer and cause serious injury.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to provide a method and device whereby a base of an articulating support arm can be easily affixed to a plate on a baseframe without having to manually hold the support arm in position beneath the baseframe while fasteners are installed.

An articulating support arm for use with a baseframe having a movable plate therein, said support arm having a base, the baseframe comprising a U-shaped body with channels along each side. The plate and the base have corresponding interlocks thereon. The interlocks are shaped to releasably interlock with one another when the arm is attached to the baseframe.

A baseframe and articulating support arm in combination has a baseframe mounted beneath a working surface at a work station. The combination comprises the baseframe having a movable plate that is sized and shaped to be connected to a base of the support arm. The support arm has at least one pivotally connected elongated member with a platform and a free end opposite to the base. The plate has interlocks thereon corresponding to interlocks on the base. The interlocks are sized and shaped to releasably interlock with one another when the base is moved into contact with the plate with one or more fasteners to lock the base to the plate after the interlocks engage one another.

An articulating support arm adjustably supports an object at a workstation, the arm comprising a base connected directly or indirectly to the workstation, an elongated member and a platform. The elongated member has an inner end and an outer end, the inner end of the elongated member being pivotally connected to the base. The outer end of the elongated member is pivotally connected to the platform, the platform is capable of supporting the peripheral thereon. The platform is adjustable to various lockable and releasable positions relative to the base. The base has an inner portion and an outer portion, the outer portion having releasable interlocks thereon. The interlocks correspond to interlocks on a plate of a baseframe. The interlocks are engageable and releasable by appropriately moving the base and plate into and out of contact with one another. The support arm has one or more releasable locking mechanisms to lock the platform in a particular position, to unlock the platform for movement to a different position relative to the base and to relock the platform relative to the base. The interlocks are sufficiently secure to hold the base against the plate before any fasteners are used in addition to the interlocks. The base is substantially parallel to the plate when the interlocks are engaged with one another before any fasteners are connected in addition to the interlocks.

A baseframe and articulating support arm in combination has a baseframe mounted beneath a working surface at a workstation. The combination comprises the baseframe having a movable plate that is sized and shaped to be connected to a base of the support arm. The support arm has at least one pivotally connected elongated member with a platform at a free end opposite to the base. The plate has interlocks thereon corresponding to interlocks on the base. The interlocks are sized and shaped to releasably engage one another when the base is appropriately moved into contact with the plate. There are one or more fasteners to lock the base to the plate after the interlocks engage one another.

A method of installing an articulating support arm to an underside of plate mounted on a baseframe beneath a working surface of a workstation uses a support arm having a base. The plate and the base have corresponding interlocks thereon on a front portion of each of the plate and base. The base and the plate are sized to fit together in contact with one another. The method comprises commencing with the baseframe connected to an underside of the working surface, manually placing the support arm in such a manner relative to the baseframe that the interlocks interlock with one another through the contact. The interlocks are located so that when the support arm is released after the interlocks are engaged with one another, the base is parallel to and generally aligned with the plate and the support arm remains in that position without any external force being applied to the support arm. The method further comprises inserting fasteners between the base and the plate to fixedly secure the base on the plate and to prevent the interlocks from disengaging when external forces are applied to the support arm.

A method of connecting an articulating support arm to an underside of a plate mounted on a baseframe beneath a working surface of a workstation uses a plate having two first interlocks thereon. The arm has an attachment surface with two second interlocks thereon. The second interlocks correspond to the first interlocks, there being at least one fastener. The method comprises manually placing the attachment surface in contact with the plate in such a manner as to cause the interlocks to engage with one another, the arm being fully supported by the plate when the interlocks are engaged with one another, installing at least one fastener to cause the attachment surface to be securely mounted on the plate and installing fasteners to lock the attachment surface on the plate.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a slide plate;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a base;

FIG. 3 is perspective view of a slide plate and base in close proximity to one another;

FIG. 4 is a partial perspective view of the slide plate and base wherein the base is in close proximity to the slide plate;

FIG. 5 is a partial perspective view of a support arm being nearly mounted on the slide plate; and

FIG. 6 is an exploded perspective view of a different support arm being located adjacent to a base frame.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

In FIG. 1, a slide plate 2 has a central opening 4 and two sides 12 with grooves 9 along each side to receive ball bearings (not shown) of a baseframe (not shown in FIG. 1). The plate 2 has an inner end 6 and an outer end 8 with first interlocks 10 located at or near the outer end 8. There are two first interlocks 10. The number of interlocks can be more than two or fewer than two, but two interlocks are preferred. Also, the first interlocks 10 can be located at a different location on the plate 2 than that shown in FIG. 1, but the interlocks are preferably located on an outer portion of the plate 2. It can be seen that the first interlocks 10 are loops that extend upward from the plate 2.

In FIG. 2, there is shown a base 14 that forms part of an articulating support arm (not shown in FIG. 2). The base 14 has an inner end 16, an outer end 18 and two sides 20 with a central opening 22. The outer end 18 has two second interlocks 24 thereon. The second interlocks 24 are prongs that are sized and shaped to fit within the loops of the first interlocks 10. The second interlocks 24 are located at or near the outer edge 18. The second interlocks 24 correspond to the first interlocks 10 and there can be more or fewer interlocks than the four shown in FIGS. 4 and 6. Also, as with the first interlocks 10, the second interlocks can be located at a different location on the base as long as the location corresponds to the location of the first interlocks 10 on the plate 2. When the interlocks 10, 24 are engaged, the plate and base are aligned with one another. Preferably, the first interlocks 10 and the second interlocks 24 are located on the outer portions of the plate 2 and base 14 respectively. The base 14 can be connected to a remainder of an articulating support arm (not shown in FIG. 2) so that the remainder of the support arm rotates relative to the base 14 in a plane parallel to said base.

In FIG. 3, there is shown a perspective view of a base being placed on a slide plate. In FIG. 4, there is shown a perspective view of a base being placed on a slide plate when the slide plate is mounted in a baseframe. In FIGS. 3 and 4, the same reference numerals are used as those used in FIGS. 1 and 2 for those components that are identical. In FIG. 4, there is shown a partial perspective view of a baseframe 26 having the slide plate 2 movably mounted therein. The baseframe 26 is described in pending U.S. Patent Application No. 60/635,955 and has channels 28 along each side with ball bearing retainers 30 therein. The slide plate 2 moves longitudinally along the baseframe and has side edges that fit within the ballbearing retainers 30. While a particular model of baseframe is shown in FIG. 4, the present invention can be used with virtually any type of baseframe, many of which are conventional, having a slide plate that moves in ballbearing retainers or is slidable in channels 28 that do not have ballbearing retainers. Also, the orientation of the channels 28 can vary. For example, the channels 28 can be horizontal or vertical. The baseframe has a plastic cap 32, which is also conventional. In FIG. 3, the base 14 and the second interlocks 24 are some distance away from the first interlocks 10. However, it can be seen that the second interlocks 24 will fit within the first interlocks 10 when the base 14 is moved in the direction of the arrows until the prongs of the second interlocks 24 enter the loops of the first interlocks 10. When the interlocks 10, 24 are engaged with one another (not shown in FIGS. 3 and 4), the base 14 will be parallel to the plate 2. There are two screws, which are fasteners 34, that connect the base 14 to the plate 2. When the interlocks are engaged with one another, the fasteners are inserted to lock the interlocks together, to prevent the interlocks from disengaging and to affix the base 14 to the plate 2. The fasteners are removable and the method just described can be reversed to move the base 14 out of contact with the plate 2 by removing the screw and disengaging the interlocks. While the loops of the interlocks 10 are shown as being located on the plate 2 and the prongs of the interlocks 24 are shown as being located on the base 14, the interlocks can be reversed with loops located on the base 14 and prongs sized and located on the plate to be inserted into the loops when the base and plate come together in an appropriate manner as will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art. The interlocks engage one another when they are brought into appropriate contact. The fasteners are distinct from the interlocks. The fasteners are screws that are inserted into appropriate openings to hold the base and plate together after the interlocks are engaged. The fasteners prevent the interlocks form disengaging when the arm is manipulated during use.

In FIG. 5, an articulating support arm 40 has a first elongated member 42 with the base 14 pivotally connected at an inner end 44 through a bracket 46 and a platform 48 pivotally connected to an outer end 50 through a bracket 52. A second elongated member 53 is pivotally connected to the bracket 46. The same reference numerals are used in FIG. 5 as those used in FIGS. 1 to 4 to describe those components that are identical. The second elongated member is located beneath the first elongated member and is connected to different pivot axes from the first elongated member. The platform can be used to support any object of appropriate size and weight, but is usually used to support a keyboard (not shown) or other computer peripheral.

It can be seen in FIG. 5 that the support arm 40 is in the process of being connected to the baseframe 26 by moving the base 14 into contact with the slide plate 2 so that the interlocks 10, 24 will engage one another. When the interlocks 10, 24 are engaged with one another, the plate 2 and base 14 will be parallel to one another. Since the interlocks are located in the outer portion of the plate 2 and the support arm 40 has a center of gravity that is located outwardly from the interlocks 10, 24, the downward force on the outer portion of the support arm 40 will force that portion of the base 14 that is located toward an inner end of the base 14 upward into a parallel relationship with the plate 2. Since the baseframe is already connected to an underside of a workstation (not shown in FIG. 5), an installer can grasp the support arm 40 with both hands and move the base relative to the plate on the baseframe until the interlocks are engaged. Then, the installer can release the support arm and can use both hands to install the fasteners. The interlocks themselves will prevent the support arm from falling away from the baseframe even before the fasteners 34 are inserted through the base 14 and into the plate 2 to more permanently attach the base to the plate and to prevent the interlocks from disengaging. The base 14 is usually pivotally attached to the remainder of the support arm 40 so that the platform 48 can pivot from side to side relative to the base 14 in addition to moving up and down.

In FIG. 6, there is shown an exploded view of the baseframe 26 located just beneath an underside 56 of a workstation 58. The workstation 58 is shown schematically by one line only. An articulating support arm 60 is also shown. To advance from the position shown in FIG. 6 to a position where the base is engaged with the plate (not shown), the support arm is moved into contact with the plate and then moved outward relative to the baseframe. The fasteners 34, being screws, are not yet inserted to hold the base in contact with the plate. The baseframe 26 has a stop 59 to prevent the plate 2 from sliding out the inner end.

During installation, the support arm is held against the baseframe by the interlocks before any fasteners are inserted. If one were to lift upward on an outer end of the support arm, the support arm would pivot about the interlocks and the inner end of the support arm would move downward. When the outer portion of the support arm is raised by a sufficient distance, the interlocks will become disengaged and the base and support arm can be removed from the plate. The interlocks allow the support arm to pivot slightly. Since the pivot point is at the interlocks and since the weight of the support arm to the outside of the interlocks is greater than the weight of the support arm to the inside of the interlocks the base rests against the plate even though the fasteners 34 are not inserted. When the fasteners 34 are inserted, the base will no longer pivot relative to the plate and the prongs will be secured within the loops and will not disengage, thereby preventing the support arm from separating from the baseframe. The same reference numerals are used in FIG. 6 as those used in FIGS. 1 to 5 to describe those components that are identical or similar.

The support arm 60 is slightly different from the support arm 40, but many of the components of the two support arms 14, 60 are identical or at least similar to one another. The operation of the support arms are not described in detail as the support arms are known and the manner in which the support arm operates is not particularly relevant to the present invention. When the interlocks of the support arm and baseframe are engaged with one another, the support arm is held against the baseframe to allow the fasteners to be inserted to lock the support arm to the baseframe and to prevent the interlocks from disengaging. Before the fasteners are inserted, the interlocks can be engaged or disengaged simply by moving the support arm in an appropriate direction relative to the baseframe. The baseframe is installed to the underside of the workstation before the support arm is brought into contact with the baseframe. The base can be connected directly or indirectly to the slider plate.

In a method of installing the support arm on the baseframe, which has already been installed at an underside of a workplace, the support arm is moved into contact with the baseframe. More accurately, the base of the support arm is in contact with the plate of the baseframe. The interlocks engage one another. When the interlocks are engaged, the weight of the support arm forces the base to be parallel to and in contact with the plate. The support arm will hang on the baseframe with the interlocks engaged without any external support. An installer therefore can have both hands free to install the fasteners. When the fasteners are installed, the interlocks are prevented from disengaging. To remove the support arm from the slide plate, the fasteners are removed first. Then the interlock can be manually disengaged by moving the support arm in an appropriate direction to disengage the interlocks from one another. In the embodiment shown in the drawings, the interlocks are engaged by mobbing the base outward relative t the plate when the base and plate are aligned and the interlocks are disengaged by moving the base inward relative to the plate. Fasteners are deemed not to be interlocks.