Title:
FURNITURE GLIDE ASSEMBLY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A furniture glide assembly includes a support insert and a base. The support insert is configured to be inserted into an open end of a furniture support, and may include a ball chamber. The base includes a foot connected to a ball socket through a neck. The ball socket is pivotally secured within the ball chamber, wherein the base is configured to pivot with respect to the support insert to allow the furniture glide assembly to automatically level the furniture support.



Inventors:
Clarke, Martin D. H. (US)
Application Number:
12/110998
Publication Date:
01/29/2009
Filing Date:
04/28/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B91/06
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
O'BRIEN, JEFFREY D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ILLINOIS TOOL WORKS INC. (GLENVIEW, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A furniture glide assembly comprising: a support insert configured to be inserted into an open end of a furniture support, said support insert comprising a ball chamber; and a base comprising a foot connected to a ball socket through a neck, said ball socket being pivotally secured within said ball chamber, wherein said base is configured to pivot with respect to said support insert to allow the furniture glide assembly to automatically level the furniture support.

2. The furniture glide assembly of claim 1, wherein said foot comprises at least one channel configured to allow debris to pass therethrough.

3. The furniture glide assembly of claim 1, wherein said foot comprises rounded circumferential walls.

4. The furniture glide assembly of claim 1, wherein said base is formed of acetal.

5. The furniture glide assembly of claim 1, wherein said support insert comprises a collar configured to prevent said support insert from fully passing into the furniture support.

6. The furniture glide assembly of claim 1, wherein said support insert comprises a plug having a plurality of slots formed therethrough, wherein said slots allow said support insert to flex open to receive and retain said ball socket.

7. The furniture glide assembly of claim 1, wherein a diameter or width of said foot is larger than that of the furniture support.

8. A furniture glide assembly comprising: a support insert configured to be inserted into an open end of a furniture support; and a base comprising a foot comprising: a plurality of channels configured to allow debris to pass therethrough when said base is moved over a floor surface; and rounded circumferential walls, wherein a diameter or width of said foot is larger than that of the furniture support so that force exerted into said base by and through the furniture support is distributed over a larger area than an axial cross-sectional area of the furniture support.

9. The furniture glide assembly of claim 8, wherein said foot is connected to a ball socket through a neck, said ball socket being pivotally secured within a ball chamber of said support, wherein said base is configured to pivot with respect to said support insert to allow the furniture glide assembly to automatically level the furniture support

10. The furniture glide assembly of claim 9, wherein said support insert comprises a plug having a plurality of slots formed therethrough, wherein said slots allow said support insert flex open to receive and retain said ball socket.

11. The furniture glide assembly of claim 8, wherein said base is formed of acetal.

12. The furniture glide assembly of claim 8, wherein said support insert comprises a collar configured to prevent said support insert from fully passing into the furniture support.

13. A furniture glide assembly comprising: a support insert configured to be inserted into an open end of a furniture support, said support insert comprising a ball chamber, said support insert comprising a collar configured to prevent said support insert from fully passing into the furniture support and a plug having a plurality of slots formed therethrough, wherein said slots allow said support insert to flex open to receive and retain said ball socket; and a base comprising a foot connected to a ball socket through a neck, said foot comprising at least one channel configured to allow debris to pass therethrough as said base moves over a floor surface, and rounded circumferential walls, said ball socket being pivotally secured within said ball chamber, wherein said base is configured to pivot with respect to said support insert to allow the furniture glide assembly to automatically level the furniture support, wherein said foot comprises at least one channel configured to allow debris to pass therethrough, and wherein a diameter or width of said foot is larger than that of the furniture support so that force exerted into said base by and through the furniture support is distributed over a larger area than an axial cross-sectional area of the furniture support.

14. The furniture glide assembly of claim 13, wherein said base is formed of a hard, low friction resin.

15. The furniture glide assembly of claim 14, wherein said hard, low friction resin is acetal.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application relates to and claims priority benefits from U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/961,619 entitled “Furniture Glide Assembly,” filed Jul. 23, 2007, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

Embodiments of the present invention generally relate to furniture glide assemblies, and more particularly to furniture glide assemblies that are less susceptible to damaging flooring as compared to current furniture glides.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Vinyl Composite Tiles (VCT) are used for flooring in various buildings and structures. VCT as well as other type floors support furniture and the like within rooms. These floors (particularly VCT floors) may be, however, susceptible to marring, denting and scratching.

When furniture is moved over a VCT floor, the support structures of the furniture may damage the VCT floor. For example, debris may become trapped or embedded in a furniture glide. The trapped debris may contribute to tile damage. That is, when the piece of furniture is moved over the floor, the trapped debris may dig into and scratch the flooring. Further, the furniture glides themselves may concentrate the weight of the furniture and create point loads on the flooring, thereby denting or puncturing the flooring.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Certain embodiments of the present invention provide a furniture glide assembly that may include a support insert and a base. The support insert is configured to be inserted into an open end of a furniture support and may include a ball chamber.

The base may include a foot connected to a ball socket through a neck. The ball socket may be pivotally secured within the ball chamber, wherein the base is configured to pivot with respect to the support insert to allow the furniture glide assembly to automatically level the furniture support.

The foot may include at least one channel configured to allow debris to pass therethrough. The foot may also include rounded circumferential walls.

The support insert may include a collar configured to prevent the support insert from fully passing into the furniture support. The support insert may also include a plug having a plurality of slots formed therethrough, wherein the slots allow the support insert to flex open to receive and retain the ball socket.

A diameter or width of the foot is larger than that of the furniture support to evenly distribute force (e.g., weight of a person sitting on a chair) into a floor, instead of concentrating the force into a point load.

Certain embodiments of the present invention provide a furniture glide assembly including a support insert and a base. The support insert is configured to be inserted into an open end of a furniture support.

The base includes a foot, which may include a plurality of channels configured to allow debris to pass therethrough when the base is moved over a floor surface. The foot may also include rounded circumferential walls. Further, a diameter or width of the foot may be larger than that of the furniture support so that force exerted into the base by and through the furniture support is distributed over a larger area than an axial cross-sectional area of the furniture support (i.e., a tubular or rectangular cross section of a furniture support, such as a leg of a chair).

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a front view of a pivotal base, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates a bottom view of a pivotal base, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates a front view of a support insert, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 illustrates a bottom view of a support insert, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a support insert through line 5-5 of FIG. 4, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 illustrates an isometric top view of a support insert, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 7 illustrates an isometric exploded view of a furniture glide assembly positioned with respect to a furniture support, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 8 illustrates an isometric bottom view of a furniture glide assembly secured within a furniture support, according to an embodiment of the present invention.

Before the embodiments of the invention are explained in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or being carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology used herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting. The use of “including” and “comprising” and variations thereof is meant to encompass the items listed thereafter and equivalents thereof as well as additional items and equivalents thereof.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 illustrates a front view of a pivotal base 10, according to an embodiment of the present invention. The base 10 includes a foot 12 having a generally flat lower surface 14 connected to an upper surface 16 through rounded circumferential walls 18. The upper surface 16 of the foot 12 integrally connects to a neck 20, which, in turn, integrally connects to a ball socket 22. The ball socket 22 is shaped as a ball or globe and is configured to be pivotally secured within a support insert (shown in FIGS. 3-8).

The lower surface 14 of the foot 12 is configured to abut a floor surface (not shown). The ball socket 22 is configured to allow the base 10 to pivot with respect to the support insert in order to allow the base 10 to adapt to an incline or grade of a floor surface.

The base 10 may be formed of a nylon resin, or other such materials that allow the base 10 to glide over a floor surface. The base 10 may be formed of a hard, low friction resin, such as acetal. Such a material prevents debris from embedding in the base, and allows for easy movement across a floor surface, particularly a VCT floor.

FIG. 2 illustrates a bottom view of the pivotal base 10, according to an embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 2, the lower surface 14 of the foot 12 includes grooves or channels 24 formed therethrough. As the base 10 is moved over a floor surface, small debris, such as dirt, dust, hair, and the like that may be on the floor surface and that encounters the base 10 is moved into the channels 24. As such, the debris does not embed into the base 10. Instead, it is passed into the channels 24 and the base 10 then passes over the debris. In this manner, the channels 24 prevent debris from damaging the floor surface.

While two channels 24 are shown intersecting each other at a generally perpendicular angle, more or less channels 24 may be used. Additionally, the channels 24 may be curved to allow debris to be shunted into and passed out of the channels 24.

FIG. 3 illustrates a front view of a support insert 26, according to an embodiment of the present invention. The support insert 26 includes circular plug 28 integrally connected to a collar 30. A plurality of slots 32 extend from the collar 30 into the plug 28. The plug 28 is configured to secure into an open end of a furniture support, such as a leg of a chair. The diameter of the collar 30 is wider than the support (or at least a distal opening of the support), thereby ensuring that the support insert 26 does not fully recede into the support.

The slots 32 allow the plug 28 to flex open when the ball socket 22 (shown in FIG. 1) is inserted into an open end of the support insert 26. That is, the slots 32 allow the support insert 26 to flex in order to receive and pivotally retain the ball socket 22.

FIG. 4 illustrates a bottom view of the support insert 26, according to an embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 5 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the support insert 26 through line 5-5 of FIG. 4. As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the support insert 26 includes plug walls 34 separated by the slots 32. An open end 36 is defined by the plug walls 36. The open end 36 connects to a ball chamber 38 that receives and retains the ball socket 22 (shown in FIG. 1). In particular, the ball socket 22 is urged into the open end 36 toward the ball chamber 38. As the ball socket 22 continues to be urged toward the ball chamber 38, the plug walls 34 spread apart by virtue of the slots 32. In this manner, the ball socket 22 passes into the ball chamber 38, where it is snapably retained by a series of ribs 40 and lower portions of the plug walls 34 snapping back to their at-rest positions around the neck 20 (shown in FIG. 1) of the base 10 (shown in FIG. 1). The ball chamber 38 is large enough to allow the ball socket 22 to pivot therein.

FIG. 6 illustrates an isometric top view of a support insert 40, according to an embodiment of the present invention. The support insert 40 includes a square or rectangular shaped plug 42 and collar 44. Slots 46 are formed through the support insert 40 and are configured to allow a ball chamber 48 to receive and pivotally retain the ball socket 22 (shown in FIG. 1). The support insert 40 operates in the same fashion as the support insert 26 (shown in FIGS. 3-5). The difference between the support insert 26 and the support insert 40 is that the support 26 is circular in axial cross-section, while the support insert 40 has a square or rectangular shaped cross-section. The shape of a particular support insert may vary depending on a furniture support and/or a particular application.

FIG. 7 illustrates an isometric exploded view of a furniture glide assembly 50 positioned with respect to a furniture support 52, according to an embodiment of the present invention. The support 52 may be a tube, beam, leg, or the like, of a piece of furniture. Most furniture manufacturers purchase steel tubing to fabricate support legs for furniture. The tubes typically are produced in standard sizes, specified by a diameter, circumference or perimeter. The tube thickness is specified by a gauge. The support insert 26 may be sized and shaped accordingly. Thus, a conventional foot of a furniture support may be removed and the furniture glide assembly 50 may be inserted in its place.

The furniture glide assembly 50 includes the base 10 pivotally secured within the support insert 26. As discussed above, the ball socket 22 is urged into the open end 36 of the ball socket 36. The plug walls 34 flex open through the slots 32 and snapably secure around the neck 20 of the base 10. In this position, the ball socket 22 is pivotally secured within the ball chamber 38 (shown in FIGS. 4 and 5) of the support insert 26.

The plug 28 of the support insert 26 is urged into an open end 54 of the support 52, such as a hollow tube of a leg of a chair. The collar 30 prevents the support insert 26 from receding further into the support 52. That is, the collar 30 abuts against a lower edge 56 of the support 52. Because the diameter of the collar 30 is greater than that of the lower edge 56 (or at least the diameter of the opening formed in the support 52), the collar 30 cannot pass into the support 52.

FIG. 8 illustrates an isometric bottom view of the furniture glide assembly 50 secured within the furniture support 52, according to an embodiment of the present invention. When the support insert 26 is positioned within the support 52, the support 52 prevents the plug 28 (shown in FIG. 7) from flexing, thereby ensuring that the base 10 remains securely pivotally secured to the support insert 26.

Because the base 10 is pivotally secured within the insert 26, the base 10 may automatically pivot to the contours of a floor surface. Thus, furniture glide assemblies 50 may be used to self-level a piece of furniture.

Moreover, the diameter DF of the foot 12 may be larger than the diameter Ds of the support 52, thereby providing a relatively large footprint for the assembly 50. As such, the weight of the furniture is not concentrated as point loads on a floor surface. Rather, the weight is evenly distributed over the surface of the foot 12, thereby decreasing or eliminating the risk of the furniture from denting or puncturing the floor surface.

Additionally, as noted above, when the base 10 is moved over the floor surface, the channels 24 shunt any encountered debris therein. Thus, the base 10 passes over the debris and passes the debris 24 into the channels 24, instead of allowing the debris to embed into the foot 12. As such, the channels 24 assist in preventing debris from attaching to the base 10 and scratching a surface of a floor.

Further, the rounded circumferential walls 18 provide a smooth surface without sharp edges. Thus, the walls 18 do not dig into a floor surface as the base 10 is moved over the floor surface.

Thus, embodiments of the present invention provide a furniture glide assembly that is not susceptible to damaging flooring. Further, embodiments of the present invention are less costly and easier to manufacture than prior furniture glides due to the fact that there may only be two parts (namely, the base and the support insert) to form and connect.

While various spatial and directional terms, such as top, bottom, lower, mid, lateral, horizontal, vertical, front and the like may used to describe embodiments of the present invention, it is understood that such terms are merely used with respect to the orientations shown in the drawings. The orientations may be inverted, rotated, or otherwise changed, such that an upper portion is a lower portion, and vice versa, horizontal becomes vertical, and the like.

Variations and modifications of the foregoing are within the scope of the present invention. It is understood that the invention disclosed and defined herein extends to all alternative combinations of two or more of the individual features mentioned or evident from the text and/or drawings. All of these different combinations constitute various alternative aspects of the present invention. The embodiments described herein explain the best modes known for practicing the invention and will enable others skilled in the art to utilize the invention. The claims are to be construed to include alternative embodiments to the extent permitted by the prior art.

Various features of the invention are set forth in the following claims.





 
Previous Patent: PULL-HANDLE ASSEMBLY

Next Patent: RATCHET STRAP HOLDER