Title:
Center support for bed frame, bed frame and assembly method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bed frame comprises a center support, a pair of extender bars, each extender bar having a pair of connector elements, a pair of rail members, and two pairs of cross-arms. A cross-arm in each pair of cross-arms is attached at one end to one rail member and has at a free end adapted to be attached to one end of an extender bar. Individual extender bars connect together the free ends of one pair of cross-arms attached to one rail member to the free ends of the other pair of cross-arms attached to the other rail member. The center support has opposed ends each including a pair of notches. The notches are sized and shaped to engage and interlock with the pair of connector elements in an extender bar upon assembly.



Inventors:
Harrow, Lawrence (Commerce, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/946493
Publication Date:
05/28/2009
Filing Date:
11/28/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
5/200.1
International Classes:
A47C19/04; A47C19/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GROSZ, ALEXANDER
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CONNORS ASSOCIATESpc (SEAL BEACH, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A bed frame comprising a plurality of components that upon assembly form the bed frame, said components including first and second rail members, a first pair of cross-arms, each cross-arm of the first pair having a free end and another end attached to the first rail member, a second pair of cross-arms, each cross-arm of the second pair having a free end and another end attached to the second rail member, and first and second of extender bars, each extender bar having a pair of connector elements, the first extender bar for connecting together the free end of one cross-arm of the first pair to the free end of one cross-arm of the second pair, and the second extender bar for connecting together the free end of the other cross-arm of the first pair to the free end of the other cross-arm of the second pair, and a center support having opposed ends, first and second end edges respectively at said opposed ends of the center support, a first pair of notches near the first end of the center support, and a second pair of notches near the second end of the center support, the first pair of notches sized and shaped to engage and interlock with the pair of connector elements in the first extender bar, one notch in the first pair having a terminal open end along a side edge of the center support and the other notch having a terminal open end along the first end edge of the center support, said notches of the first pair being substantially at a right angle with respect to each other, and the second pair of notches sized and shaped to engage and interlock with the pair of connector elements in the second extender bar, one notch in the second pair having a terminal open end along a side edge of the center support and the other notch having a terminal open end along the second end edge of the center support, said notches of the second pair being substantially at a right angle with respect to each other.

2. The bed frame of claim 1 where each connector element includes a head member on a stem member extending outwardly and downwardly upon assembly of the bed frame.

3. The bed frame of claim 1 where each connector element comprises a shoulder rivet, said pair of connector elements positioned adjacent each other with the stems of the rivets being substantially parallel.

4. The bed frame of claim 1 where the attached ends of the cross-arms are connected by hinge members, each hinge member being at or near an end of a rail member.

5. The bed frame of claim 1 where each extender bar has opposed ends and the free ends of the cross-arms upon assembly overlap with the ends of the extender bars and a locking mechanism detachably locks together the overlapping ends of extender bars and the cross-arms.

6. A bed frame comprising a plurality of components that upon assembly form the bed frame, said components including first and second rail members, a first pair of cross-arms, each cross-arm of the first pair having a row of spaced apart projections, a free end, and another end attached to the first rail member, a second pair of cross-arms, each cross-arm of the second pair having a row of spaced apart slots, a free end, and another end attached to the second rail member, and first and second extender bars, each extender bar having opposed end portions, one end portion including a row of spaced apart projections, the other end portion including a row of spaced apart slots, and a pair of adjacent connector elements substantially centrally positioned between the row of projections and the row of slots, each connector element comprising a head member on a stem member extending outwardly and downwardly upon assembly of the bed frame, upon assembly of the components, the first extender bar connecting together the free end of one cross-arm of the first pair to the free end of one cross-arm of the second pair, and the second extender bar connecting together the free end of the other cross-arm of the first pair to the free end of the other cross-arm of the second pair, said end portions of the individual extender bars overlapping the ends of the cross-arms being connected thereto and the projections in the cross-arms being received in the slots in the extender bars and the projections in the extender bars being received in the slots in the cross-arms, and a center support having opposed ends, first and second end edges respectively at said opposed ends of the center support, a first pair of notches near the first end of the center support, and a second pair of notches near the second end of the center support, the first pair of notches sized and shaped to engage and interlock with the pair of connector elements in the first extender bar, one notch in the first pair having a terminal open end along a side edge of the center support and the other notch having a terminal open end along the first end edge of the center support, said notches of the first pair being substantially at a right angle with respect to each other, and the second pair of notches sized and shaped to engage and interlock with the pair of connector elements in the second extender bar, one notch in the second pair having a terminal open end along a side edge of the center support and the other notch having a terminal open end along the second end edge of the center support, said notches of the second pair being substantially at a right angle with respect to each other.

7. The bed frame of claim 6 including a locking mechanism that locks together the overlapping ends of extender bars and the cross-arms.

8. The bed frame of claim 6 where the projections and slots in the cross-arms and extender bars are in predetermined positions relative to each other to be engaged selectively to control the distance between the first and second rail members to accommodate beds of different sizes.

9. A bed frame comprising a plurality of components that upon assembly form the bed frame, said components including a pair of rail members, each rail member having attached thereto a pair of cross-arms adapted to project in the same direction from the rail member to which it is attached substantially at a right angle, an intermediate assembly for attaching the pairs of cross-arms together including a pair extender bars connected together by a center support having opposed ends with one said opposed end detachably connected to one extender bar and the other said opposed end detachably connected to the other extender bar, each extender bar having a pair of centrally positioned, adjacent connector elements, each connector element comprising a head member on a stem where the head member has a greater diameter then the stem member and the stem member extends outwardly and downwardly upon assembly of the bed frame a predetermined distance to form between the head member and a portion of the extender bar a gap, and said center support having first and second end edges respectively at said opposed ends of the center support, a first pair of notches near the first end of the center support, and a second pair of notches near the second end of the center support, said first and second ends having a predetermined thickness substantially equal to said predetermined distance so the opposed ends of the of the center support can each be respectively wedged into said gaps in upon assembly of the components, said first pair of notches sized and shaped to engage and interlock with the pair of connector elements in the one extender bar, one notch in the first pair having a terminal open end along a side edge of the center support with dimensions that enable the stem of one of the connector elements to be received therein upon assembly of the components and the other notch having a terminal open end along the first end edge of the center support with dimensions that enable the stem of the other connector element to be received therein upon assembly of the components, said notches of the first pair being substantially at a right angle with respect to each other, and said second pair of notches sized and shaped to engage and interlock with the pair of connector elements in the other extender bar, one notch in the second pair having a terminal open end along a side edge of the center support and dimensions that enable the stem of one of the connector elements in the other extender bar to be received therein upon assembly of the components and the other notch having a terminal open end along the second end edge of the center support with dimensions that enable the stem of the other connector element in the other extender bar to be received therein upon assembly of the components, said notches of the second pair being substantially at a right angle with respect to each other, said connector elements and notches being connected by inserting the stem of one connector element of a pair of said connector elements in an extender bar into one notch in a side edge of the center support and rotating in a first direction to insert the stem of the adjacent connector element of said pair into the second notch in an end of the center support, and rotating in a second direction to dislodge at least some of the stems from the notches.

10. The bed frame of claim 9 where one pair of said cross-arms attached to one rail member has in an end portion thereof a row of projections and the other pair of cross-arms attached to the other rail member has in an end portion thereof a row of slots, and each extender bar has in an end portion thereof a row of projections and has in another opposed end portion thereof a row of slots, and upon assembly of the components, the end portions of the cross-arms with the projections therein overlap with the end portions of the extender bars with the slots therein and the projections are received in the slots, and the end portions of the cross-arms with the slots therein overlap with the end portions of the extender bars with the projections therein and the projections are received in the slots.

11. The bed frame of claim 10 including locking mechanisms that detachably lock together the overlapping ends of extender bars and the cross-arms.

12. The bed frame of claim 10 where the projections and slots in the cross-arms and extender bars are in predetermined positions relative to each other to be engaged selectively control the distance between the first and second rail members to accommodate beds of different sizes.

13. A center support for a bed frame to be detachably connected between first and second bed frame components with the first and second bed frame components substantially parallel and the center support substantially perpendicular to said bed frame components, each said bed frame component including a pair of adjacent connector elements, each connector element comprising a head member on a stem where the head member has a greater diameter then the stem member and the stem member extends outwardly a first predetermined distance to form a gap between the head member and a portion of a bed frame component, said center support comprising an elongated rigid member including first and second end edges respectively at opposed first and second ends of the rigid member, each said opposed end having a predetermined thickness substantially equal to said first predetermined distance corresponding to the gap so each said end can be wedged into a gap in upon assembly of the center support and bed frame component, a first pair of notches near the first end, and a second pair of notches near the second end, said first pair of notches sized and shaped to engage and interlock with the pair of connector elements in the first bed frame component, one notch in the first pair having a terminal open end along a side edge of the rigid member with dimensions that enable the stem of one of the connector elements to be received therein upon assembly of the center support and the first bed frame component and the other notch having a terminal open end along the first end edge of the rigid member with dimensions that enable the stem of the other connector element to be received therein upon assembly of the center support and the first bed frame component, said notches of the first pair being substantially at a right angle with respect to each other, and said second pair of notches sized and shaped to engage and interlock with the pair of connector elements in the second bed frame component, one notch in the second pair having a terminal open end along a side edge of the rigid member and dimensions that enable the stem of one of the connector elements in the second bed frame component to be received therein upon assembly of the center support and the second bed frame component and the other notch having a terminal open end along the second end edge of the rigid member with dimensions that enable the stem of the other connector element in the second bed frame component to be received therein upon assembly of the center support and the second bed frame component, said notches of the second pair being substantially at a right angle with respect to each other, said connector elements and notches being connected by inserting the stem of one connector element of a pair of said connector elements in a bed frame component into one notch in a side edge of the rigid member and rotating in a first direction to insert the stem of the adjacent connector element of said pair into the second notch in an end of the rigid member, and rotating in a second direction to dislodge at least some of the stems from the notches.

14. The center support of claim 13 where the connector elements of a pair each have a center and said centers are separated by a second predetermined distance and the notches of each pair each have a center and said centers are separated by the same said second predetermined distance.

15. The center support of claim 14 where the second predetermined distance is substantially from ½ to 3 inches.

16. The center support of claim 14 where the centers of each pair of notches are in registration with the centers of the notches upon insertion of the stems of a pair the connector elements into corresponding interactive notches.

17. The center support of claim 14 where each notch terminates within the body of the center support in a rounded bottom.

18. A bed frame component comprising an elongated, rigid metallic member having opposed ends and a length substantially from 48 to 86 inches and a width substantially from 1 to 3 inches, said metallic member at said ends having a substantially uniform thickness substantially from 1/16 to ¾ inch, each said end having therein a pair of notches, one notch of each pair being along an end edge of the metallic member and having a terminal open end along the end edge and the other notch of each pair being along a side edge of the metallic member and having a terminal open end along the side edge, both said notches in each pair having a substantially U-shape configuration and being substantially at a right angle.

19. The bed frame component of claim 18 where the metallic member includes at least one side edge extending between said ends and the side notches of each pair of notches are along this same said one side edge.

20. The bed frame component of claim 18 where the metallic member includes pair of opposed side edges extending between said ends and a side notch of a pair of notches at one end is along one side edge and a side notch of the other pair of notches at the other end is along the other side edge.

21. A method of assembling a plurality of components to form a portion of a bed frame where the components include a first component having a pair of adjacent connector elements, each connector element including an enlarged head member on a stem member to provide a gap between the head member and an underlying portion of the first component, and a second component having an end with an edge thereat and a pair of notches near the end edge, each notch sized and shaped to engage and interlock with the one of connector elements, one notch having a terminal open end along a side edge of the second component with dimensions that enable one stem member to be received therein upon assembly of the components and the other notch having a terminal open end along the end edge of the second component with dimensions that enable the stem member of the other connector element to be received therein upon assembly of the components, said notches being substantially at a right angle with respect to each other, said method comprising (a) aligning the terminal open end of the notch along the side edge with the stem of one connector element and wedging the end of the center support between the enlarged head member and the underlying portion of the first component, and (b) rotating the components relative to each other in one direction to bring the terminal open end of the other notch along the end edge into alignment with the stem of the other connector element and wedging the end of the second component between the enlarged head member and the underlying portion of the first component.

22. The method of claim 21 where the notches lie in the same plane and distance between the stems of the adjacent connector elements and the positions of the notches is predetermined so rotation through an angle of 90 degrees orients the components at 90 degrees with respect to each other.

23. The method of claim 21 where the enlarged head member is a predetermined distance from said underlying portion of the first component to provide a gap and the end of the second component has a predetermined thickness substantially equal to said predetermined distance so said end of the second component can be wedged into the gap upon assembly of the components.

24. The method of claim 21 where rotating the components relative to each other in a direction opposite said one direction dislodges the one stem from the notch along the end edge of the center support.

25. The method of claim 21 where with both notches in essentially the same plane as the stems of the pair of connector elements being engaged and the first and second components initially at an acute angle with respect to each other, aligning the terminal open end of a notch along a side edge of the second component with the stem member of one of the connector elements in the first component, advancing said stem into said notch along a side edge of the second component until said stem contacts a bottom of the side notch to wedge a part of an end segment of the second component between an enlarged head member on said stem and an underlying portion of the first component, with said stem member contacting the bottom of said one connector element, rotating in one direction the first and second components until said components are perpendicular to bring the terminal open end of the other notch along the end edge into alignment with the stem of other connector element of the pair being engaged, and continuing to rotate the first and second components relative to each other, until said the stem of this other connector element is moved into the other notch along the end edge, so when the first and second components are perpendicular, the remaining part of the end segment of the center support is wedged between the enlarged head member of this other connector element and the underlying portion of the extender bar.

Description:

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

Any and all U.S. patents, U.S. patent applications, and other documents, hard copy or electronic, cited or referred to in this application are incorporated herein by reference and made a part of this application.

DEFINITIONS

The words “comprising,” “having,” “containing,” and “including,” and other forms thereof, are intended to be equivalent in meaning and be open ended in that an item or items following any one of these words is not meant to be an exhaustive listing of such item or items, or meant to be limited to only the listed item or items.

“Rectangular” includes square.

BACKGROUND

This background discussion is not intended to be an admission of prior art.

Bed frames are common devices used to support a bed comprising, for example, a boxspring and a mattress positioned on top of the boxspring. These bed frames are typically made of steel angle irons that are welded or connected together by various types of connecting devices. One type of connecting device is disclosed in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/725,165, filed Mar. 16, 2007, entitled SUPPORT FRAME FOR A BED & LOCKING MECHANISM THEREFOR, where the cross-arms of a bed frame have their ends attached by a joint assembly that has an arm mounted on a frame member to rotate between a locked and unlocked position. Another type of connecting device is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,161,268. It also has an arm mounted on a frame member to rotate between a locked and unlocked position.

The bed frames come in a number of sizes to accommodate different size beds, for example, twin, full size, queen, California king, Eastern king beds. The component parts of these bed frames may be assembled into the desired size using an extender bar connected between the cross-arms of the bed frames. It would be highly desirable to reduce the costs, for example, by reducing the number of components used to form the bed frame or to simplifying and reducing the time to assemble the bed frame's components or both.

SUMMARY

My center support for a bed frame, bed frame, and assembly method have one or more of the features depicted in the embodiments discussed in the section entitled “DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SOME ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS.” The claims that follow define my center support for a bed frame, bed frame, and assembly method, distinguishing them from the prior art; however, without limiting the scope of my center support for a bed frame, bed frame, and assembly method as expressed by these claims, in general terms, one or more, but not necessarily all, of their features are:

One, my bed frame comprises a plurality of components that upon assembly form the bed frame. These components include (a) a pair of rail members, each having a pair of cross-arms, (b) a pair of extender bars, and (c) my center support. My center support has opposed ends with a pair of notches in each end. The notches interact with a pair of connector elements of another bed frame component, for example, the extender bars. Each connector element may include a head member on a stem member extending outwardly and downwardly upon assembly of my bed frame. There may be projections and slots in predetermined positions relative to each other in overlapping ends of the cross-arms and extender bars to be engaged selectively to control the distance between the rail members to accommodate beds of different sizes. My center support is used when the bed frame being assembled is for a large size bed. A locking mechanism may be employed that detachably locks together overlapping ends of extender bars and cross-arms.

Two, my center support comprises an elongated, rigid member. The dimensional and positional relationship between the notches in the opposed ends of my center support and their interactive connector elements enables the center support's ends to be connected and disconnected to a bed frame component such as, for example, the extender bars quite easily and manually without using any tools. One notch of each pair is along a side edge of the center support and the other notch of each pair is at an end edge of the center support. Depending on the cross-sectional shape of the body of the rigid member, the notches along a side edge will be on the same side edge or one notch on each of opposed side edges. The distance between centers of the notches and the distance between centers of a corresponding interactive pair of connector elements is the same. When the center support and extender bars are connected, the centers of each pair of notches are in registration with the centers of the notches' corresponding interactive pair of connector elements being engaged. One notch of each pair has a terminal open end along a side edge of the center support and the other notch of this same pair has a terminal open end along an adjacent end edge of the center support. Each notch terminates within the body of the center support in a rounded bottom. The notches of an individual pair of notches are substantially at a right angle with respect to each other. An enlarged head member of each connector element is a predetermined distance from an underlying portion of the bed frame component to which the center support is being attached to provide a gap. Each end of the center support has a predetermined thickness substantially equal to this predetermined distance so each end segment of the center support can be wedged into the gap upon connection to bed frame component to which the center support is being attached.

Three, because of the dimensional and positional relationship between a pair of notches and the corresponding interactive pair of connector elements being engaged, my method provides a tool-free way to assemble a plurality of bed frame components to form a portion of a bed frame. With both notches in essentially the same plane as the stems of the pair of connector elements being engaged and the center support and bed frame component to which the center support is being attached initially at an acute angle with respect to each other, an installer aligns the terminal open end of a notch along a side edge (side notch) of the center support with the stem member of one of the connector elements in the bed frame component to which the center support is being attached. This one stem member is advanced into the side notch until it contacts the rounded bottom of the side notch. This wedges a part of an end segment of the center support between the enlarged head member of this one connector element and an underlying portion of the bed frame component to which the center support is being attached. The stem member, which usually is circular and has a diameter essentially equal to the diameter of the rounded bottom of the notch, now acts as a pivot or center of rotation. With the stem member contacting the rounded bottom of this one connector element, the installer manually rotates in one direction the center support and bed frame component to which the center support is being attached until they are perpendicular. Such relative rotation brings the terminal open end of the other notch of the pair that is along the end edge (end notch) into alignment with the stem of other connector element of the pair being engaged. As the installer continues to rotate the center and extender bars relative to each other, the stem of this other connector element is moved into the end notch. When the center and extender bars are perpendicular, the remaining part of the end segment of the center support is wedged between the enlarged head member of this other connector element and the underlying portion of the bed frame component to which the center support is being attached. In other words the entire end segment of the center support is wedged between the heads of both stems of the pair of connector elements being engaged. Rotation in the opposite direction dislodges the end segment of the center support from the connector elements so the center and an attached bed frame components can be easily disengaged.

These features are not listed in any rank order nor is this list intended to be exhaustive.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

Some embodiments of my center support, bed frame and assembly method are discussed in detail in connection with the accompanying drawing, which is for illustrative purposes only. This drawing includes the following figures (Figs.), with like numerals indicating like parts:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of my bed frame partially assembled.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view showing one version of a mechanism for locking overlapping ends of the extender bars and cross-arms of my bed frame in a locked condition.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary view similar to FIG. 2 showing an arm of the locking mechanism rotated into an unlocked condition to enable disconnecting the overlapping ends of the extender bars and cross-arms.

FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view showing a second version of a mechanism for locking overlapping ends of the extender bars and cross-arms of my bed frame in a locked condition.

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary view similar to FIG. 4 showing an arm of the locking mechanism rotated into an unlocked condition to enable disconnecting the overlapping ends of the extender bars and cross-arms.

FIG. 6A is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view showing an underside of one of the extender bars having a pair of connector elements initially engaging a pair of notches at one end of a center support.

FIG. 6B is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view similar to that of FIG. 6A showing the pair of connector elements fully engaging the pair of notches at the one end of the center support.

FIG. 6C is an enlarged fragmentary top plan view of the underside of the one end of the center support shown in FIG. 6A.

FIG. 6D is an enlarged fragmentary top plan view of the underside of the one end of the center support initially engaging the pair of connector elements in the extender bar

FIG. 6E is an enlarged fragmentary top plan view similar to that of FIG. 6D showing the pair of connector elements fully engaging the pair of notches at the one end of the center support.

FIG. 7A is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view showing a topside of the other extender bar having a pair of connectors partially engaging a pair of notches at the other end of the center support shown in FIGS. 6A and 6B.

FIG. 7B is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view similar to that of FIG. 7A showing the pair of connectors in the other extender bar fully engaging the pair of notches at the other end of the center support.

FIG. 7C is cross-sectional view taken along line 7C-7C of FIG. 7B.

FIGS. 8A through 8E is a series of figures depicting the relative positions of the cross-arms and extender bars to provide for beds of different sizes.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 completely assembled to accommodate a Eastern king size bed.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a bed frame not using a center support completely assembled to accommodate a twin size bed.

FIG. 11 is a top plan view of one embodiment of my center support.

FIG. 12 is a top plan view of another embodiment of my center support.

FIG. 12A is cross-sectional view taken along line 12A-12A of FIG. 12.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SOME ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS

One embodiment of my bed frame is generally designated by the numeral 10 and comprises a number of rigid, metal bed frame components that are assembled manually without the use of tools into the substantially rectangular bed frame shown in FIG. 9. As shown in FIGS. 8A through 8E, the overall width dimension of my bed frame 10 is determined by selective relative positioning of its components, primarily its cross-arms and extender bars. As illustrated in FIG. 1, my bed frame 10 has a pair of L-shaped side rails 12a and 12b, each side rail including a pair of L-shaped cross-arms 14a and 14b, and 14a′ and 14b′. Each cross-arm 14a, 14b, 14a′ and 14b′ is connected to pivot by a hinge member HM at or near an end of a side rail. This enables each cross-arm 14a, 14b, 14a′ and 14b′ to be manually moved from a position where it is substantially nested in an adjoining L-shaped side rail to a position at a right angle to its side rail. A pair of extender bars 16a and 16b may be used for detachably connecting free ends FE of the cross-arms 14a and 14b together as depicted in FIGS. 8B through 8E.

In FIG. 8A the aligned opposed free ends FE of the pairs of cross-arms 14a, 14b and 14a′, 14b′ of each side rail 12a and 12b are connected directly together without using the extender bars 16a and 16b to configure the bed frame for a twin size bed as shown in FIG. 10. By locating the extender bars 16a and 16b and the pairs of cross-arms 14a, 14b and 14a′, 14b′ in different positions relative to each other as discussed subsequently herein in greater detail, my bed frame 10 may be configured to provide full size, queen, California king (FIG. 9), or Eastern king beds. When used to make one of these large bed sizes, my center support is employed, for example, the center support 20 illustrated in FIG. 11, or an alternate embodiment, the center support 20′ illustrated in FIG. 12. Either the center support 20 or 20′ may include a pair of spaced apart support post 21 extending to the floor when the bed frame 10 is assembled and oriented horizontally. The side rails 12a and 12b, cross-arms 14a, 14b and 14a′, 14b′, extender bars 16a and 16b, and center support 20 are steel angle irons having a generally L-shaped cross-section including legs L1 and L2 at substantially a right angle with respect to each other. As depicted in FIG. 12, my center support 20′ is a steel member having a generally T-shaped cross-section including a leg L3 and a centered top 25. Each center support 20 and 20′ has a length substantially from 48 to 86 inches and a width substantially from 1 to 3 inches. My bed frame 10 uses the center support 20 or 20′ to connect together the extender bars 16a and 16b without the aid of fasteners such as bolts and screws so all the components of the entire bed frame may be assembled by hand without using any tools.

In the one pair of cross-arms 14a, 14b, each cross-arm has a row of spaced apart projections P1, a free end FE, and another end attached by a hinge member HM to the side rail 12a. In the other pair of cross-arms 14a′, 14b′, each cross-arm has a row of spaced apart key hole shaped slots SL1, a free end FE, and another end attached by a hinge member HM to the side rail 12b. Each extender bar 16a and 16b has opposed end portions E1 and E2 where the one end portion E1 includes a row of spaced apart keyhole shaped slots SL2, and the other end portion E2 includes a row of spaced apart projections P2. As best shown in FIGS. 6A through 7B, each extender bar 16a and 16b has a pair of adjacent, substantially parallel, connector elements 22a and 22b that interact with a pair of notches N1 and N2 in each opposed end 20a and 20b of the center support 20. For example, the connector elements 22a and 22b may be shoulder rivets.

Each pair of connector elements 22a and 22b is substantially centrally positioned along each one of the extender bars 16a and 16b. One pair of connector elements 22a and 22b is between the row of projections P2 and the row of slots S2 in the extender bar 16a, and the other pair of connector elements 22a′ and 22b′ is between the row of projections P2 and the row of slots SL2 in the extender bar 16b. Upon assembly of the components, the end portions E1 and E2 of the individual extender bars 16a and 16b overlap the ends of the pairs of cross-arms 14a, 14b and 14a′, 14b′ being connected thereto, the projections P1 in the cross-arms are received in the slots SL2 in the extender bars and the projections P2 in the extender bars are received in the slots SL1 in the cross-arms, and the pair of connector elements 22a and 22b are aligned with the pair of connector elements 22a′ and 22b′. The projections P1 and P2 and slots SL1 and SL2 in the cross-arms and extender bars are in predetermined positions relative to each other. Thus, they may be engaged selectively to control the distance between the rail members 12a and 12b to accommodate beds of different sizes.

Each individual connector element 22a, 22b, 22a′, and 22b′ includes a head member H on a stem member S having a portion passing through and extending outwardly and downwardly substantially at a right angle with respect to a leg of the extender member to which an individual connector element is attached upon assembly of my bed frame 10. The stem members S of each pair of connector elements 22a, 22b and 22a′, and 22b′ are in parallel. A base 23 of the stem member S is substantially flush against the exterior of the leg of the extender member through which the stem member S passes. The head member H on the stem member S has a greater diameter d1 then the diameter d2 of its stem member S. As best illustrated in FIG. 7C, for example, there is a gap G between an inner surface 30a of the head member H and an underlying surface portion 30b of the leg L1 of the extender member 16b. The distance between the underlying surface 30b of the head member H and the underlying surface portion 30b of the leg L1, or the width of the gap G, is substantially equal to the thickness t of the leg L1′ of the center support 20, which is substantially uniform. Usually, the width of this gap G (or thickness t) is substantially from 1/16 to ¾ inch.

Each notch N2 is in an end edge (only end edge ED1 shown in FIG. 6C), respectively in the ends 20a and 20b, of the center supports 20 and 20′. In the center support 20 the notches N2 in the ends 20a and 20b are directly opposite each other, and each notch N1 is in a side edge ED3 near one end 20a and 20b of the center support 20. In other words, the notches N1 are both along the same side edge ED3. The side edge ED3 and the end edges ED1 and ED2 are essentially straight and at right angles. In the alternate embodiment, the notches N1 of the pair of notches at the respective individual ends 20a and 20b are in opposed side edges ED4 and ED5 of the center support 20′ and the notches N2 at the respective individual end edges ED1 and ED2 are diagonally opposed. In both embodiments, the notches N1 and N2 have a substantially U-shape configuration. Although arranged differently in the center supports 20 and 20′, the pair of notches N1 and N2 at the respective ends 20a and 20b function in essentially an identical manner, and consequently, only the operation of the notches in the center support 20 will be discussed in detail.

As best shown in FIGS. 1, 6A, and 7A, the notches N1 and N2 in the end 20a of the center support 20 are sized and shaped to engage and interlock with the pair of connector elements 22a and 22b in the extender bar 16a, and the notches N1 and N2 in the end 20b of the center support 20 are sized and shaped to engage and interlock with the pair of connector elements 22a′ and 22b′ in the extender bar 16b. Each of the notches N2 in each pair of notches has a terminal open end E4 along an end edge, for example, as the edge ED1 depicts in FIG. 6C. Each of the notches N2 in each pair of notches has a terminal open end E3 along the same side edge ED3 of the center support 20. As shown in FIG. 6C, both notches N1 and N2 have substantially identical curvilinear shapes of substantially the same dimensions. Each notch N1 and N2 includes substantially parallel sides S3 and S4 that merge into a rounded bottom B having a radius R. The radius R is substantially half the diameter d2 of the stem member S. Thus, individual stem members S each fit snugly in the notch N1 or N2, as the case may be. Upon assembly of the components as shown for example in FIGS. 6E and 7B where the center support 20 is at a right angle to the extender bars 16a and 16b, a stem member S first passes through an open end E3 or E4 in one of the notches N1 or N2, as the case may be, and then stops its inward movement on contact with the bottom B of a notch to be seated as shown in FIG. 7C. With both notches N1 and N2 and the both stems S of the connector elements 22a′ and 22b′ in the extender bar 16b engaged as shown in FIG. 7B, an end segment 35 of the individual end 20b is wedged between the head member H and the underlying surface portion 30b of the extender bar 16b as shown in FIG. 7C.

The dimensions and orientation of the pair of notches at the opposed ends 20a and 20b of the center support 20 are important for the notches N1 and N2 to properly engage the connector elements 22a and 22b upon assembly of the center support and an extender bar 16a or 16b, as the case may be. Specifically, the notches N1 and N2 have centers a and b, respectively, lying along a common reference line RL1. A second reference line RL2 is substantially at a right angle with respect to the reference line RL1 and passes through the center b of notch N2. Stated otherwise, the notches N1 and N2 are substantially at a right angle with respect to each other. The distance d4 between the centers c and d of a pair of connector elements, connector elements 22a and 22b or 22a′ and 22b′, as the case may be, is the same and is equal to the distance d3 between the centers a and b of the notches N1 and N2. In most cases the distance d3 and the distance d4 is substantially from ½ to 3 inch. Moreover, the notches N1 and N2 are precisely positioned at the ends 20a and 20b of the center support 20, and the connector elements 22a and 22b are located a sufficient distance from the legs L1 of the extender bars 16a and 16b, so with the notches N1 and N2 engaging a pair of connector elements, the center support and one extender bar 16a or 16b, as the case may be, can be rotated relative to each other. For the notches N1 and N2 to lodge in the stem members S as, for example, depicted in FIG. 6E, the size of an end segment 35 of an individual end 20a or 20b of the center support 20 must be reduced to prevent such end segment interfering with the rotational movement required to lodge the stem members S the notches. N1 and N2.

The ends 20a and 20b each have a predetermined thickness t substantially equal to the width of the gap G. Thus, the end 20a of the center support 20 can be wedged into the narrow gap G provided by the connector elements 22a and 22b in the extender bar 16a, and the end 20b of the center support 20 can be wedged into the narrow gap G provided by the connector elements 22a′ and 22b′ in the extender bar 16b. Specifically, as depicted in FIG. 6A, upon assembly of the extender bar 16a and the one end 20a of the center support 20, a terminal open end E4 of the notch N1 along the side edge ED3 of the center support 20 has dimensions that enable the stem S of the connector element 22a to be received therein. The other notch N2 at this end 20a has a terminal open end E3 along the first end edge ED1 with dimensions that enable the stem member S of the other connector element 22b to be received therein upon assembly of the components. In a similar fashion with respect to the other pair of notches at the end 20b, as depicted in FIG. 7A, upon assembly of the extender bar 16b and the one end 20b of the center support 20, a terminal open end E4 of the notch N1 along the side edge ED3 has dimensions that enable the stem member S of the connector element 22a′ to be received therein. The other notch N1 at this end 20b has a terminal open end E4 along the other end edge ED2 of the center support 20 with dimensions that enable the stem member S of the other connector element 22b′ to be received therein upon assembly of the components. The notches N1 and N2 lie in essentially the same plane and distance d3 between the stem members S of the adjacent connector elements 22a and 22b, or 22a′ and 22b′, as the case may be, and the positions of the notches is predetermined so rotation through an angle of 90 degrees orients the center support 20 and the extender bar at 90 degrees with respect to each other as shown in FIG. 7B.

In both instances, the pairs of connector elements 22a, 22b and 22a′, 22b′ on each of the extender bars 16a and 16b and the pairs of notches N1 and N2 are connected by inserting a stem member S of one connector element of a pair of the connector elements into one notch and then rotating in a first direction to insert the other stem member of the adjacent connector element of the pair into the second notch. Rotating in a second opposite direction dislodges at least one of the stem members S from the notches to enable an end of the center support to be detached from an extender bar.

A locking mechanism may be employed to detachably lock together the overlapping ends portions E1 and E2 of extender bars 16a and 16b and the cross-arms 14a, 14b, and 14a′, 14b′. FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate one type of locking mechanism as disclosed in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/725,165, filed Mar. 16, 2007, entitled SUPPORT FRAME FOR A BED & LOCKING MECHANISM THEREFOR, and FIGS. 4 and 5 illustrate another type of locking mechanism as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,161,268. In both examples, a lever arm LA is rotated in one direction so a finger element 38 engages overlapping frame components to lock the components together. Upon the lever arm LA being rotated in the opposite direction, the finger element 38 disengages to allow the overlapping frame components to be disconnected. Thus, the cross-arms 14a, 14b, and 14a′, 14b′ and the extender bars 16a and 16b are detachably locked together.

Method of Assembly

My method comprises assembling manually a plurality of bed frame components to form at least a portion of a bed frame without the use of any tools. Central to my method is the use of a bed frame component having a pair of notches N1 and N2 at an end to attach to another bed frame component having a pair of interactive, corresponding, adjacent connector elements. Although I illustrate my center support 20 or 20′ being connected to the extender bars 16a and 16b, my method may be used to connected any two bed frame component where one component has a pair of notches N1 and N2 in an end as discussed above and the other bed frame component has a pair of interactive, corresponding, adjacent connector elements as discussed above. For example, to form the bed frame 10 from its components, the center support 20 is first connected to one extender bar (either bar 16a or bar 16b) and then to the other extender bar. After so connecting both extender bars 16a and bar 16b to the center support 20, the cross-arms are positioned to overlap with the ends of the extender bars and locked in position as discussed above.

In accordance with my method as shown FIG. 6D, the terminal open end of the notch N1 along the side edge ED3 is initially aligned with the stem member S of one connector element, wedging an end of the center support 20 between the enlarged head member H and the underlying surface portion 30b of, for example, the extender bar 16b (FIG. 6A). As shown in FIG. 7A, the center support 20 and the extender bar 16b are then rotated relative to each other in one direction to bring as shown in FIGS. 6B and 7B the terminal open end E3 of the other notch N2 along the end edge ED1 into alignment with the stem member S of the other connector element, wedging the remaining segment 35 (FIG. 6D) of the end of the center support 20 between the enlarged head member H and the underlying surface portion 30b of the extender bar 16b. Rotating the center support 20 and the extender bar 16a or 16b, as the case may be, relative to each other in a direction opposite the one direction, dislodges the one stem S from the notch N2 along the end edge ED1 of the center support 20.

Due to the unique configuration of the center support's ends 20a and 20b, including the notches N1 and N2, and the dimensional and positional relationship between these ends and the connector elements 22a and 22b and their stem members S, the center support's ends are easily manually connected and disconnected to the extender bars without using any tools.

SCOPE OF THE INVENTION

The above presents a description of the best mode I contemplate of carrying out my bed frame and assembly method and of the manner and process of making and using them, in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art to which they pertains to make and use my bed frame and assembly method. My bed frame and assembly method is, however, susceptible to modifications and alternate constructions from the illustrative embodiment discussed above which are fully equivalent. Consequently, it is not the intention to limit my bed frame and assembly method to the particular embodiment disclosed. On the contrary, my intention is to cover all modifications and alternate constructions coming within the spirit and scope of my bed frame and assembly method as generally expressed by the following claims, which particularly point out and distinctly claim the subject matter of my invention:





 
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