Title:
WHEEL CASTER GLIDE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A wheel caster glide receives caster wheels therein and employs wheel engaging members to keep the glide removably engaged with the wheel in absence of sufficient removal force.



Inventors:
Healy, Dennis (Portland, OR, US)
Application Number:
11/951139
Publication Date:
09/25/2008
Filing Date:
12/05/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B91/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LE, TAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATENTTM.US (PORTLAND, OR, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A wheel caster glide, comprising: a wheel receiving portion; and a wheel engaging portion for removably engaging the wheel to encourage the wheel and caster glide to remain in engaged relation.

2. The wheel caster glide according to claim 1, wherein said wheel receiving portion comprises at least first and second opposing members defining a space therebetween for accommodating a caster wheel therein and wherein said wheel engaging portion comprises at least one stop member defined on one of said first and second members for providing a stop to resist removal of the castor wheel when accommodated in said space.

3. The wheel caster glide according to claim 1, wherein said wheel engaging portion comprises a raised stop member along a face or edge of one of said first and second members extending in a direction of said space.

4. The wheel caster glide according to claim 3, wherein said raised stop member extends substantially along an entire face or edge of one of said first and second members.

5. The wheel caster glide according to claim 3, wherein said raised stop member extends less than along substantially an entire face or edge of one of said first and second members.

6. A wheel caster glide, comprising: a wheel receiving portion having a receiving region of width equal to or greater than the diameter of a wheel to be received therein; and a wheel engaging portion for defined to provide a width region in said wheel receiving portion less than the diameter of the wheel, whereby a wheel is restrained against removal from said wheel receiving portion by engagement of the wheel and said wheel engaging portion, absent sufficient removal force to deform the engaging portion or the receiving portion or the wheel engaging the wheel, for encouraging the wheel and caster glide to remain in engaged relation absent sufficient removal force.

7. The wheel caster glide according to claim 7, wherein said wheel engaging portion comprises at least one stop member defined in said wheel receiving region.

8. The wheel caster glide according to claim 7, wherein said wheel engaging portion comprises a raised member for narrowing a portion of said receiving region width.

9. The wheel caster glide according to claim 8, wherein said raised member extends substantially along a length of the wheel.

10. The wheel caster glide according to claim 8, wherein said raised member extends less than substantially a length of the wheel.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to caster wheels, and more particularly to a wheel caster glide for receiving caster wheels therein.

With items having castor wheels, such as furniture articles, it is often desirable to provide a protective member between the wheel portion and the floor or carpet, in order to minimize scratching of floors or to spread the weight of the furniture over a larger area to minimize deformation of the carpet resulting from long term compression from the weight of the furniture article. These protective members have typically been disk shaped members, but they are easily disassociated from the wheel if the furniture is lifted or moved, resulting in scratching or marring of the floor from the wheel or of excessive compression of the carpet in a small area as a result of the user not realizing that the protector has become disassociated from the wheel. This can lead to frustration and annoyance for the user.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the invention, a wheel caster glide comprises a receiving member for receiving a caster wheel therein, providing a larger base for engagement with a floor.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved wheel caster glide.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide an improved wheel caster glide that receives a caster wheel in removable engagement.

The subject matter of the present invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of this specification. However, both the organization and method of operation, together with further advantages and objects thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with accompanying drawings wherein like reference characters refer to like elements.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a wheel caster glide;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a wheel caster glide with a wheel placed therein;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a wheel caster glide illustrating the manner of placement of a wheel therein;

FIG. 4 is a top view of the wheel caster glide;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a side view of the wheel caster glide; and

FIG. 7 is a bottom view of the wheel caster glide.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The system according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention comprises a member adapted to engagingly receive a caster wheel therein to provide an improved base for placement on a floor or carpet.

Referring to FIG. 1, the wheel caster glide comprises a base 12 which is substantially circular in the illustrated embodiment, with vertically extending wheel receiving well frame 14 mounted thereon. Inside frame 14, a wheel engaging lip 16 is provided along an interior face near the peripheral edge of the frame 14, with a corresponding wheel engaging lip 16′ being provided along the opposing interior face in a corresponding location (not visible in FIG. 1). A wheel receiving space 18 is defined within the frame 14, having a curved bottom shape to conform to a typical castor wheel profile. An axle receiving area 20 is provided at the opposite side walls from the walls carrying engaging lips 16, 16′, providing a space for the ends of the wheel axles to be received. An axle support frame receiving area 22 is also provided, shaped and sized to provide a space to allow the frame portion supporting the axle to be received.

FIG. 2 illustrates the castor wheel glide with a caster wheel 24 position therein. The castor wheel comprises a wheel axle supporting frame 26 which mounts an axle 28 (visible in FIG. 3) between the downwardly extending arms 30 of the frame, a castor wheel 32 being carried on the axle. The top of the frame carries an upwardly extending post 34 which is adapted to engage with the article to which the wheel is mounted, which may comprise a piece of furniture, such as a bed frame, for example.

FIG. 3 illustrates the operation of placing the castor wheel into the castor wheel glide. The wheel is suitably lowered in the direction of arrow 36. As the wheel enters into the well defined by frame 14, the lip portions 16, 16′ define therebetween a distance slightly less than the diameter of the caster wheel, while the frame walls define a distance at least as wide as the diameter of the wheel. The frame or lip portions (or both) are sufficiently pliable to allow deformation to let the wheel pass by the lip portions and into the well on insertion of the wheel with a certain amount of force, whereupon the frame returns to substantially the original configuration such that the lip portions act as lock or engaging members such that the caster wheel glide will remain engaged with the wheel, until the caster glide is intentionally removed from engagement with the castor wheel by sufficient force to deform the engaging member sufficiently to allow pulling the wheel and caster glide apart to remove the wheel out of the well. Accordingly, the glide 10 is likely to remain engaged with the wheel even if the furniture or article to which the castor wheel is mounted is lifted or moved, until such time as the glide is purposefully removed from engagement with the wheel.

FIG. 4 is a top view of the caster wheel glide illustrating the various components thereof. FIG. 5 is a side sectional view taken along line 5-5 of FIG. 4. FIG. 6 is a said view.

FIG. 7 is a bottom view of the caster wheel glide. In the illustrated embodiment, the glide is made of a molded plastic, and the curved shape of the bottom of the wheel receiving well 18 is provided via curved bottom portion 18′. Rib members 38 provide support strength.

The device can be manufactured in various sizes to accommodate various caster wheel configurations and sizes.

Accordingly, an improved wheel caster glide is provided that stays engaged with the wheel unless explicitly removed by the user.

While the illustrated embodiment shows the engaging lips 16, 16′ as extending substantially the width of the walls of portion 14, this is not required. An the lip portions can extend only a portion of the width, for example in a 6 cm wide portion 14, the lips may be 8 mm in length. Further, while illustrated at the peripheral edge, the lips may suitably be positioned lower in the wall. In a particular embodiment, the upper portion of the lip is 8 mm below the top edge of the wall of portion 14, the lip is 8 mm in length, and the lip is 1 to 2 mm in height, extending into the well region less than 1 mm. An alternative version of the device employs a single lip portion 16 or 16′, rather than both, as a single lip portion.

The while the illustrated embodiment provides a substantially circular configuration of the base portion of the wheel castor glide, it can be of other configurations, such as square, rectangular, or multi-sided, whether regular equal shape edges or irregular.

A typical material of which the wheel castor glide is made is plastic, such as by injection molding, but other manufacturing methods and materials can be employed.

While a preferred embodiment of the present invention has been shown and described, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that many changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention in its broader aspects. The appended claims are therefore intended to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.