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Publication numberUS3236485 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication date22 Feb 1966
Filing date12 Mar 1964
Priority date12 Mar 1964
Publication numberUS 3236485 A, US 3236485A, US-A-3236485, US3236485 A, US3236485A
InventorsRobert L Staples
Original AssigneeMiller Herman Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Furniture base
US 3236485 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 22, 1966 R. L :SWES 3,236,485;

FURNITRE BlisE Filed March 12, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 I INVENTOR.

F/6- Z fmsffr z. 974/255 A76. 6 BY "M Feb. `22, 1966 R. l.. STAPLES 3,236,485

FURNITURE BASE Filed March 12, 1964 2 sheets-sheet 2 -29 29 INVENTOR.

ga /0, ,47m/@Mews United States Patent O 3,236,485 FURNITURE BASE Robert L. Staples, Manhattan Beach, Calif., assigner to Herman Miller, Inc., Zeeland, Mich., a corporation of Michigan Filed Mar. 12, 1964, Ser. No. 351,501 1 Claim. (Cl. 24S-188.1)

This invention relates to furniture, and more particularly to a pedestal of segmented construction for tables, desks, and the like.

This invention has, as its particular objective, a construction which employs a few standardized components capable of being assembled into a wide variety of pedestal types, styles, and sizes. Tables, desks and similar furniture articles come in a wide range of sizes and shapes. Forexample, tables vary in size `from a small, corner or end table to units of many feet in length such as are used in conference rooms or display areas. This invention is designed to provide a pedestal of such construction that simply by selection of components, the pedestal may be adapted from one table-type or size to another.

By assembling the pedestal from a number of standardized components rather than fabricating the pedestal for each particular size and style of table as a separate and independent item of manufacture, a number of economies are elfected. The cost of the tools and dies can be spread over a far greater quantity of production. The number of tools and dies is materially reduced, and since the production of each tool and die will be used more frequently, the relative elliciency of the tools and dies will be materially increased.

The invention materially reduces inventory requirements. By carrying an inventory of reasonable size of the various components, the day to day requirements for many different types of pedestals can be quickly and easily satistied. The necessity of coordinating inventory to specialized pedestal requirements is eliminated. This reduces the Acost of storage and materially reduces the problem of balancing inventory between pedestal types which have high turnover and those with slow or infrequent turnover.

It is recognized that the idea of a segmented pedestal construction is not new in itself. However, it is asserted that prior efforts to produce this type of construction have I not been satisfactory. Such constructions have experienced repeated structural failure. The high load factors and the frequency with which eccentric loads of high magnitude are applied to pedestals is often overlooked. This has resulted in major product failure, particularly where i the pedestal has been subjected to loads which tend to rack the unit.

This invention provides a pedestal structure which is rigid and has positivel support to withstand this type of loading. Thus, it has overcome the problem of structural failure. At the same time, the adaptability of the various components to a wide range of pedestal types and sizes has not been sacriced.

These and other objects and purposes of this invention will be understood by those acquainted with furniture design upon reading the following specification and the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings:

FIG. l is a fragmentary, partially broken, elevation View of thecentral column portion of a pedestal incorporating this structure;

FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the spider used to assemble the base pieces of the pedestal;

FIG. 3 is an oblique, fragmentary view of the end of one of the base brackets viewed from beneath;

FIG. 4 is a plan View of one of the base brackets;

Patented Feb. 22, 1966 "ice FIG. 5 is a fragmentary, oblique View of the lower end of one of the compression sleeves for the post;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary, sectional View taken along the plane VI-VI of FIG. l;

FIG. 7 is a fragmental, sectional View taken along the plane VII--VII of FIG. 3;

FIGS. 8, 9, l0 and 11 illustrate various configurations which can be obtained through the use of this invention; and

FIG. l2 is a side elevation view of a typical table e-mploying this invention, and particularly of the table seen in FIG. 9.

The pedestal of this invention has a column consisting of a post, the lower end of which has .a plurality of stud slots elongated lengthwise of the post adjacent its lower end. These stud slots are equally spaced about the circumference of the post, and are designed to receive the ends of the base brackets. Inside the lower end of the post, the base brackets are held together by both a cup and a spider. The spider, the cup and the base brackets are pulley tightly against the post by a tension member such as a bolt which extends upwardly through the post to threadedly engage the top bracket or support for the desk or table top. The base brackets are of two types, one a foot piece and the other a terminal piece. The terminal pieces are utilized to connect one pedestal member to another by means of a rail.

Referring specifically to the drawings, the numeral 10 indicates a pedestal having a post 11 and base brackets 12 and 12a. The base bracket 12 is a foot piece designed to provide a lloor contacting support for the pedestal. The base bracket 12a is a terminal piece designed to interengage with a rail for joining one pedestal to another. Irrespective of whether the base bracket is a foot piece or a terminal piece, the end of the base bracket which engages the post 11 is the same, and so far as the post is concerned, they are interchangeable. Therefore, the description of the terminal portion 0f the foot piece 12 as illustrated in FIG. 3 is to be considered as being equally applicable to the terminal piece 12a.

The post 11 has a compression sleeve 15 of tubular construction. The lower end of the compression sleeve has a plurality of stud slots 16 (FIG. 5) of rectangular configuration with their greater dimension oriented length- Wise of the sleeve. The stud slots 16 do not open through the end of the sleeve, but are spaced from it and at the end of the sleeve aligned with each of the stud slots is a notch 17, the purpose of which will be explained subsequently. The number of stud slots 16 provided will depend upon the style of pedestal. However, as will be subsequently shown, a wide variety of pedestal styles can be assembled from only three stud slot patterns. One of these utilizes four stud slots, equally spaced about the circumference of the sleeve. The second utilizes three stud slots spaced at intervals of 90. 135 and 135 degrees. Thus, the third pattern utilizes three stud Slots spaced at degree intervals with a spacing of 180 degrees between two of them.

The inner ends of the base brackets 12 and 12a have a stud 20 of reduced cross section (FIG. 3). These studs are of such size that they will just pass through the stud openings 16. The reduction in cross section of the end of the base bracket forms a bearing shoulder 21 completely surrounding the stud and convex in shape so that it can seat with full bearing against the external surface of the sleeve 15.

At the top of the base bracket, a key slot 22 is provided. The key slot has one wall which is a continuation of the bearing shoulder 21. The width of the slot is such that it will receive the wall of the sleeve 15. The slot is curved for this purpose.

The bottom sur-face of the stud has a channel 23. This channel is spaced inwardly from the bearing shoulder 21 and its inner wall tapers outwardly and upwardly. The purpose of this taper will appear more fully hereinafter. It is also curved and is concentric with the key slot 22. However, the channel being inwardly of the key slot has a smaller radius. The inner end of the stud hasa concave relief 24 flanked on each side by a charnfer 25. The purpose of these will be explained more fully subsequently in this description. Outwardly of the stud 20, the lower surface of the base bracket has an elongated recess 25a, theA outer end of which has a threadedV blind opening 26.

The foot piece type of base bracket 12 extends outwardly asubstantial distance from the post 11 and then turns downwardly to form a floor contacting leg 27 (FIG. 12). This end may be equipped with casters, glides or` any other suitable conventional floor contacting member. I

The terminal piece type of lbase bracket 12a extends a short distance outwardly from the post and then has a projecting tongue 28 (FIGS. 1 :and 4). This tongue is of reduced cross section permitting it to be telescopically received in the end of a tubular rail 29. To facilitate the telescopic assembly of the rail and the tongue 28, the sides of the tongue are preferably relieved by the recesses 30 to reduce the amount of friction between the parts. However, these recesses are so shaped that bearing is provided between the' tongue and the rail at both ends of the tongue; Intermediate these ends, the tongue and rail are locked together -by suitable means such as the threaded stud '31 which is received into the threaded blind opening 26.

To assemble a pedestal from these components, the proper number of base brackets, either 12 or 12a, are first assembled with' one of the compression sleeves 15 by inserting the stud portions 20 through the stud slots 16 until the bearing shoulders 21 of the base brackets make full bearing with the external surface of the compression sleeve. The` chamfer 25 permits the stud portions to converge toward the center of the pedestal without interference with each other. When the bearing shoulders 21 are incontact with the external surface of the compression sleeve, the wall of the compression sleeve is aligned with the key slots 22, and thus, the base brackets can be shifted lengthwise of the compression sleeve to seat the upper ends of the stud slots 16 in the key slots 22 (FIG. 1). This anchors the upper side of the base brackets, and holds them against disassembly by outward movement.

A cap 40 is utilized to secure the lower ends of the base brackets. The cap 40 has a peripheral skirt portion 41 which seats up into the channels 23. Since the inner walls of the channels are inclined outwardly and upwardly, the engagement between the skirt 41 of the cap 40 and these walls will tend to draw the lower portions of the base brackets together.

After the cap 40 has been installed, the spider 50 is mounted on the unit. As will be lbest seen from FIGS. 1 and 2, the spider 50 consists of a central depressed cup portion from which extend radially projecting ngers 51. The fingers are arched as is clearly illustrated in FIG. 1 to pass lbeneath the lower end of the compression sleeve 11. They pass through the notches 17. The length of the fingers 51 is such that they project substantially beyond the compression sleeve. Thus, they extend well out under each of the base brackets and are seated in the recesses 25 where they are secured by threaded studs 52 installed in the holes 26.

A top bracket 56 is mounted on the opposite end of the compression sleeve 11. Preferably, the top bracket has a boss 57 which seats within the sleeve to assure proper alignment between the bracket and the sleeve. To complete the assembly, a tension rod 60 is passed upwardly through the center opening v531 in the Spider Sil, a center opening in the cap 40, and the opening created between the base brackets 12 by virtue of the concave terminal relief 24, and is threadedly secu-red to the top brackets S6. By tightening this tension rod securely, all of these parts are pulled tightly together with the sleeve 15 serving as a compression post between them. Any suitable type of top 58 may be mounted on the bracket 56.

When a downward load is imposed upon the pedestal, the tendency will be for the base brackets to pivot outwardly and upwardly using the engagement between the upper end wall of the stud slots 16 and the k-ey slots 22 as a fulcrum. This loading can become quite severe, particularly if the load is applied eccentrically to the top of the table. Normally, such loads are applied eccentrically since they are the result of items being placed adjacent the edge of the table, or a person leaning or even sitting on the edge of the table. It is this type of bending load which has resulted in failure of segmented pedestal constructions of more conventional design.

This loading is so severe that the skirt of the cap 40 cannot normally sustain the loads over any substantial period of time. This skirt, even though the cap is made of heavy gauge steel, tends gradually to bend outwardly until lfailure occurs. This invention overcomes this problem by providing the spider 5t). This spider is fabricated of heavy gauge steel and is particularly designed to withstand severe tension loads. In this construction, any attempt of the ybase brackets to rock about the fulcrum formed by the upper ends of the stud slots 16 and the key slots will result in the spider being placed in tension. Since the spider extends outwardly a substantial distance from the sleeve 15 and is there rmly engaged to the base brackets, it is capable of resisting these loads and of sustaining them, preventing any relative movement from occurring.

The use of the spider converts the loads imposed on the structure at the bottom of the base pieces from bending and torsion loads to tension and shear loads. Metal plates such as the spider are far more efficient in tension loading than in bending or torsional loading. Further, fasteners such as the stud bolt 52 are far more eiiicient in shear loading. In this construction, shear loading only is imposed' on the stud bolts. IThe use of the spider 50 relieves the cap 4t) of the bending loads to which it otherwise would be subjected. The end result is a particularly strong, durable and rigid pedestal construction.

To form a pedestal of the type illustrated in FIG. 8, four of the foot piece type of the base brackets 12 are assembled in the manner previously described to the compression sleeve 15 having four slots 16. To assemble a pedestal of the type illustrated in FIG. 9, a pair of compression sleeves having three slots spaced apart are selected, and to each of these a pair of the base brackets of the foot piece type 12 are assembled, together with two of the base brackets of the terminal piece type 12a. The terminal piece base brackets 12a are then joined by means of a rail 29. The rail on each end is telescopically slipped over the tongue portion 28 of the terminal piece, and secured by studs 31. `The length of the base can be determined by the length of the rail selected. Since the rail is preferably a simple tube of rectangular cross section, rails of stock length can be kept in inventory and cut to the desired length as needed. It is important that the engagement between the tongues and the inside surface of the rail 29 and the length of this engagement be such that no relative rocking movement can occur between them. This is essential to form a compound pedestal of the type illustrated in FIGS. 9, 10, 11 and 12 which will be rigid.

To assemble a pedestal of the type in FIG. 10, four of the compression sleeves having the spaced slots are selected. To each of these a single foot piece type base bracket 12 and a pair of terminal piece base brackets 12a are assembled. It will be noted that each of the COrleFS is identical. These are then joined by four rails 29, two of which are of greater length than the others.

To assemble the pedestal type illustrated in FIG. 11, the central pillar member is formed in the same way as the pedestal illustrated in FIG. 6 except that instead of four foot pieces 12, the pedestal utilizes two foot pieces 12 and two terminal pieces 12a. To form the two end legs, a different compression sleeve is used. In this case, the compression sleeve is of the third type having three stud slots 16, two of which are diametrically positioned. The foot pieces y12 are secured to the diametrically oppo site stud slots, while the terminal piece 12a is mounted to the intermediate stud slot. The several post portions of the pedestal are joined by rails 29 of suitable length.

It will be seen from this description that a large number of various types of pedestals can be assembled from only a few stock components. Thus, great flexibility in meeting both regular and specialized pedestal requirements can be obtained. It will be obvious that this invention permits the length of the pedestal to be extended almost indefinitely to meet special demands such as are encountered in some conference room tables, or are sometimes used in certain public installations. The invention provides a strong, rugged and durable construction. It is suiciently simple to assemble that the pedestals can be shipped KD. for assembly by the customer or the dealer. In fact, the dealer may keep a stock of components on hand from which he can quickly assemble pedestals to meet the various demands of his customers.

The various components used in this pedestal can be of any of a number of suitable materials. For example, the various brackets may be ferrous or nonferrous castings. The rail 29 can be of any suitable metal such as steel or aluminum. Preferably, the compression sleeve and the tension member are of steel because of the high load factor imposed on them. It is essential that the cap and spider be of steel for the same reason.

Having explained this invention, it will be understood that modifications to this invention may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention. Such of these modifications as embody the principle of the invention are to be considered as included in the hereinafter appended claim, unless these claims by their language expressly state otherwise.

I claim:

In a pedestal structure for a table or similar article, a tubular column; said column at its lower end having a plurality of slot-like openings therethrough elongated lengthwise thereof; said openings terminating short of the bottom of said column, the lportion of said column between said slots and said bottom of said column forming a continuous ring-like reinforcing band; a plurality of base Amembers each having an end of reduced thickness forming a shoulder lfacing toward said reduced end; said ends being `received through said slots with said shoulders bearing against the external surface of said column; a channel having parallel vertical walls in the upper surface of each of said ends of said base members, one wall of said channel being coplanar with said shoulder; the upper end wall of each of said slot-like openings being received in said channel; a channel-like opening in lthe bottom surface of each of said ends of said base members; a cap `inside said column having a skirt thereon received in said channel-like openings and wedgingly drawing said ends of said base members toward and into abutting relationship with each other; a spider plate having a radially projecting finger extending beyond said `column and beneath each olf said base members; means securing each of said ngers to its adjacent base member, said fingers acting in tension to prevent spreading of said base members when downwardly acting loads are imposed on said column, means urging said spider plate, cap and base members upwardly and said base members against the upper ends of said slot-like openings to form a positive upper `anchor vfor said base members and said ca-p and spider forming a positive bottom anchor for said base members.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS CLAUDE A. LE ROY, Primary Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3295272 *1 Jun 19643 Jan 1967Furukawa Casting Company LtdRaised floor construction
US3347509 *1 Aug 196617 Oct 1967Mitchell Mfg CompanyKnockdown table structure
US3424423 *6 Oct 196628 Jan 1969Lear Siegler IncFurniture support assembly
US3499625 *3 Apr 196710 Mar 1970Kaydee Metal Products CorpBase connection for a pedestal
US3568967 *9 Apr 19699 Mar 1971Krueger Metal ProductsModular furniture base
US3801054 *12 Jun 19722 Apr 1974M GlowackiTable support construction and mounting
US3877669 *6 Jun 197315 Apr 1975Emilio AmbaszComposable unit base for furniture
US3917368 *7 Oct 19744 Nov 1975Gusdorf & SonsPedestal stand column assembly
US4084776 *21 Jan 197618 Apr 1978Cook Specialty CompanyFurniture base and method of making the same
US4382642 *29 Sep 198010 May 1983Burdick Bruce ABeam furniture system
US4511108 *23 Aug 198416 Apr 1985Castelli S.P.A.Locking device for the assembling of modular elements of pieces of furniture
US4728067 *13 Mar 19861 Mar 1988Stilexo Industrial AbComposite leg-support
US4763866 *19 Feb 198816 Aug 1988Keystone Metal Products CompanyFree standing base
US4978098 *1 Sep 198918 Dec 1990Roger PeckinpaughAdjustable support
US5458305 *17 May 199317 Oct 1995Woodward; JohnPortable intravenous support stand
US7559516 *24 Apr 200714 Jul 2009Kesseböhmer Produktions GmbHHeight-adjustable furniture leg
US7930980 *2 Aug 200426 Apr 2011Hedera AbAutomatically stabilizing table arrangement
US20080035809 *24 Apr 200714 Feb 2008Kessebohmer Produktions Gmbh & Co. KgHeight-Adjustable Furniture Leg
US20090183653 *2 Aug 200423 Jul 2009Rory BrookeTables
DE3135576A1 *8 Sep 19815 Aug 1982Miller Ag HermanTraegerkonstruktion fuer einrichtungsgegenstaende
WO2002001987A1 *19 Jun 200110 Jan 2002Giella OyMulti-function table
U.S. Classification248/188.1, 108/150, 108/88, 248/188.7
International ClassificationA47B13/06
Cooperative ClassificationA47B13/06, A47B2013/025, A47B2200/0028
European ClassificationA47B13/06