Office furniture abstract
Modular office furniture adapted for rapid and simple assembly
and disassembly. The furniture basically comprises a generally planar
top module adapted for use as a desk top or table top or the like
and a pedestal module for supporting the top module. Quick-acting
snap connecting means are provided for securing the top module onto
the pedestal module. The snap connecting means includes a cylindrical
locking rod and an associated clip having a resilient mouth into
which the rod is adapted to be snap fit. The rod is permanently
secured to the pedestal and the clip is permanently secured to the
top. A pair of guide rings are provided secured to the locking rod
and spaced apart thereon by sufficient distance to permit the clip
to fit therebetween when the rod is within the clip mouth but to
prevent longitudinal relative movement between the rod and clip.
The pedestal unit may be of various configurations, e.g., drawer
units, and more than one pedestal unit can be utilized with the
top module, if desired.
Office furniture claims
What is claimed as the invention is:
1. Modular office furniture adapted for rapid and simple assembly
and disassembly comprising a generally planar top module adapted
for use as a table top and a desk surface, a pedestal module comprising
a pedestal shell and a pedestal top for supporting said top module
and quick-acting snap connecting means for securing said top module
onto said pedestal module, said snap connecting means including
a first component in the form of a pair of cylindrical locking rods
and a second component in the form of at least two clips, each having
a resilient mouth into which an associated rod is adapted to be
snap-fit, said snap connecting means also comprising a respective
pair of guide rings secured to each of said locking rods and spaced
apart by the length of said clip to permit said clip to fit therebetween
when said rod is within said clip mouth to prevent longitudinal
relative movement between said rod and clip, one of said components
being permanently secured to said top module and the other component
being permanently secured to said pedestal module, with the module
to which said locking rods are secured having two pairs of support
members permanently secured thereto, each of said support members
including a recess in which an end portion of a respective rod is
disposed and permanently secured to fastening means, said support
members serving to hold said rods parallel to but away from said
module to facilitate the securement of said clips to said rods,
said pedestal top including a flanged stop abutting an end of each
of said rods to longitudinally position said rods with respect to
said support members.
2. The furniture of claim 1 wherein said locking rods are permanently
secured to said pedestal module and said clips are permanently secured
to said top module.
Office furniture description
This invention relates generally to furniture and more particularly
to modular furniture adapted for use in offices.
Various types of modular furniture systems have been disclosed
in the patent literature and some are commercially available. However,
most systems are designed for in-home as opposed to commercial use
such as in offices since office applications generally require sturdy
utilitarian furniture. Heretofore such sturdy and utilitarian furniture
has been achieved by integrally constructed furniture.
The drawback with integrally constructed furniture is that the
purchaser is forced to buy items that have only standard features
and functions. Therefore, the buyer must be satisfied with the type
of product that the manufacturer offers since there is no allowance
for personal or professional preferences. In contradistinction,
with modular furniture systems a purchaser can customize his office
furniture, that is, have exactly the furniture features, e.g., drawers,
pull-outs, etc., he desires.
While modularity of office furniture is desired, prior art systems
have not achieved such modularity on a viable basis. It is believed
that the prior art systems suffer from various drawbacks, such as,
complexity, size, cost and appearance of assembled furniture.
Accordingly, it is a general object of this invention to provide
modular office furniture which overcomes the disadvantages of the
It is a further object of this invention to provide modular office
furniture including relatively simple means for effecting the rapid
and simple assembly and disassembly of the piece of office furniture.
It is still a further object of this invention to provide a modular
furniture system wherein the user can customize his furniture to
produce exactly the type of furniture and features desired by the
mere interchangeability of components in the system.
These and other objects of the instant invention are achieved by
providing modular office furniture adapted for rapid and simple
assembly and disassembly. The furniture comprises a generally planar
top module adapted for use as a table top or a desk surface, a pedestal
module for supporting the top module and quick acting snap connecting
means for securing the top module onto the pedestal module. The
snap connecting means include a first component in the form of a
cylindrical locking rod and a second component in the form of at
least one clip having a resilient mouth into which the rod is adapted
to be snap-fit. One of the components is permanently secured to
the top module and the other component is permanently secured to
the pedestal module.
Other objects and many of the attendant advantages of the instant
invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better
understood by reference to the following detailed description when
considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one piece of office furniture constructed
of the modular furniture system of the instant invention;
FIG. 2 is an exploded view, partially in section of the furniture
shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged top view of a portion of the components shown
in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken along line 4--4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along line 5--5 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 6 is a sectional view taken along line 6--6 of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along line 7--7 of FIG. 4.
Referring now to the various figures of the drawing wherein like
reference characters refer to like parts there is shown a piece
of office furniture 20 constructed of modular components in accordance
with the system of the instant invention. The unit 20 comprises
a six-drawered desk. It is to be understood that the desk 20 is
only exemplary of one of many types of office furniture which can
be constructed of modular components in accordance with the teachings
of this invention by mere substitution of component modules thereof.
Desk 20 basically comprises a top module 22 a pair of pedestal
modules 24 and snap connecting means 26 for securely mounting the
top 22 on the pedestal 24 to complete the piece of furniture 20.
The pedestals 24 are of substantially identical construction, with
the only difference being that they are mirror images of one another,
that is one pedestal unit has a pair of outside legs 28 on the left
side of the pedestal when viewed from the front while the other
pedestal unit has its outside legs 28 on the right side of the pedestal.
In addition, each pedestal unit includes a third leg 30 mounted
on the inside surface of the pedestal unit.
In view of the similarity of the pedestal units 24 only the unit
shown in the left side of the desk of FIG. 1 will be described in
As can be seen in FIGS. 1 and 2 pedestal 24 comprises a pedestal
shell 32 having an outside wall 34 an inside wall 36 and a back
wall 38. The front of the pedestal is open and is adapted to support
therein, via slides, not shown, a plurality of drawers 40 three
of which are shown in the embodiment of FIGS. 1 and 2. It should
be pointed out at this juncture that the pedestal 24 can be constructed
to accomodate more or less drawers than shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 as
well as other functional components, such as dictation slides, etc.,
to provide additional work surfaces, typewriter stations or supports,
The top of the pedestal 24 is closed and covered by a pedestal
top 42. Top 42 is a tray-like member having a bottom wall 43 which
is rectangular in shape and co-extensive in size with the top of
the pedestal 24 and which includes upstanding flanges 44 extending
about the periphery thereof. As can be seen in FIG. 4 the pedestal
top 42 is connected to the pedestal via a weld joint 46 at the interface
of flanges 44 and the side wall, e.g., 38 of the pedestal shell
The legs 28 and 30 are each formed of elongated tubular members,
such as rectangular chromium tubes, and are secured to the side
walls 34 and 36 of the pedestal 24 via any type of conventional
connection means, such as bolts, weld joints, etc.
As can be seen in FIGS. 1 and 2 top 22 is a generally rectangular
shaped member having a planar top surface 48 and a bottom surface
50. The size and shape of top 22 is merely exemplary. It is to be
understood that top 22 can be of any shape and can be of various
sizes, depending upon the type and size of the office furniture
unit to be constructed. For example, if desk 20 were desired to
be a conference desk the top 22 would be much larger than that shown
in FIGS. 1 and 2. The large conference desk top would be connected
to the pedestals in the same manner as the top 22 shown in FIG.
1 and which will be described hereinafter.
In accordance with a preferred aspect of this invention quick-acting,
snap fastening means 26 are provided to effect the securement of
the top module 22 onto the pedestal modules 24.
The snap fitting connecting means 26 basically comprises two components,
namely, a locking rod 52 (see FIGS. 2-6) and a clip 54 (see FIGS.
2 4 and 7).
As can be seen in FIGS. 2 and 7 clip 54 includes a base portion
from which a pair of side flanges or arms 58 project. The free end
of each arm 58 terminates in a rounded edge 60. The clip 54 is preferably
formed of a resilient and strong material, such as spring steel.
The arms 58 are spaced from one another by a distance slightly less
than the outside diameter of the rod 52 so that when the rod is
disposed therebetween it is snugly held in place. The mouth of the
clip, that is the space between free ends 60 is substantially smaller
than the outside diameter of the rod 52 so as to prevent the rod
from coming out from between the arms 58 once it is in place, yet
is sufficiently large to enable the rod to be passed therethrough
for disposition between the arms without difficulty.
The rod 52 is an elongated tubular member having a circular outer
periphery. The locking rod is preferably dimensioned such that it
extends for a substantial length along the pedestal top.
As can be seen in FIGS. 2 and 3 each locking rod includes two
pair of spacer rings 62 disposed thereabout. Each spacer ring is
of a resilient split-ring configuration and adapted to be frictionally
held on the outer periphery of the rod. The rings 62 of each pair
are spaced from one another by a distance sufficient to permit the
clip 54 to be disposed therebetween. The rings are tightly engaged
about the periphery of the rod and cannot move longitudinally with
respect thereto. The function of the rings is to position the clip
with respect to the rod to preclude longitudinal movement between
the clip and the rod.
In accordance with the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS.
2-7 the clip 54 is mounted on and permanently secured to the underside
50 of planar top module 22 and the rod is mounted and permanently
secured to the pedestal top 42. It should be pointed out at this
juncture that such an arrangement is merely exemplary and it is
contemplated within the scope of this invention that the locking
bar be permanently secured and mounted onto the module top 22 and
the clip permanently secured and mounted onto the pedestal module.
The mounting of the clip onto the top module 22 is accomplished
via a threaded fastening member, such as screw 64. To that end,
screw 64 extends through an opening 66 in the clip bottom 56 and
into the body of the top 22. The locking rod 52 is mounted on the
pedestal top and spaced slightly above the bottom surface thereof
via a pair of rod supports 68 (FIGS. 4 and 6). As can be seen therein,
each support member 68 is a generally triangular shaped member having
a concave recess 70 extending longitudinally therealong at the top
edge. The recess 70 is adapted to snuggly receive a substantial
portion of the periphery of locking rod 52. The rod 52 is held in
place onto the support 68 via a threaded fastening member or screw
72. To that end, screw 72 extends through an opening 74 in the pedestal
top 42 through an aligned opening 76 extending through support
68 and through an opening 78 in the wall of the locking rod 52.
In accordance with a preferred embodiment of this invention each
locking rod is mounted on the pedestal top via a pair of supports
68 one disposed adjacent to each end of the rod. A flanged stop
80 (FIG. 2) is mounted on the pedestal top 42 with an upstanding
portion 82 thereof disposed immediately adjacent to one end of the
locking rod 52. The member 80 serves to longitudinally position
the locking rod in place on the pedestal top.
As should be appreciated from the foregoing, assembly of the desk
shown in FIG. 1 can be accomplished relatively quickly and easily
by merely snapping the clips 54 mounted on the underside of the
top module 22 into the respective spaces on the locking bars mounted
on the pedestal module 24 to thereby secure the top 22 onto the
pedestals 24. No special tools or techniques are needed and the
assembly can be carried out within a few minutes.
If it is desired to change a configuration of the desk such as
by the replacement of one of the pedestal units with another unit
all that needs to be done is the disconnection of the clip from
the locking bars of the pedestal unit to be replaced and the subsequent
connection of the clip onto the locking bar of the replacement component.
It should be pointed out at this juncture that the modular office
furniture of the instant invention also includes various features
existing in conventional furniture such as the use of drawer stoppers
to ensure that the drawers remain within the pedestal when in operation,
suspension rods for providing proper positioning of drawers, lock
rods to provide security for articles contained within the drawers,
suspension tracks for file drawers to provide drawer stability,
modesty panels for providing internal concealment, etc.
It should also be pointed out that while a desk shown is constructed
in accordance with the teachings of the instant invention it is
to be understood that various other types of office furniture can
also be so constructed. For example, use of a center pedestal module
in addition to the pedestal modules 24 shown herein enables the
assembly of a credenza.
It should be appreciated from the above disclosure that the system
of the instant invention offers wide flexibility in the assembly
of office furniture. Since universal components or modules are used
for more than one piece of furniture substantial savings can be
achieved when changing one furniture type to another. For example,
when there is a desire to change from a standard desk to a conference
desk, all that is required is to purchase a conference desk top.
The existing desk top can be removed and the new desk top connected
onto the pedestals. This eliminates the need to buy a new desk,
which would have to be done when using conventional office furniture.
Also, the replaced desk top can be used for a table by the acquisition
of a table frame constructed in accordance with the teachings of
this invention. Another feature of the instant invention is that
if a particular piece of furniture is damaged, all that needs to
be done is to replace the damaged module with a new module, thereby
obviating the purchase of an entirely new piece of furniture. Further
still, the modular system of the instant invention enables improvements
or other changes to be made to the appearance and/or function of
the furniture simply by adding to, or removing modular parts of
the piece of furniture. For example, a standard type desk can be
readily converted to a secretarial desk, or vice versa. Needless
to say this is of extreme commercial importance since it obviates
the need for the purchase of new furniture.
Without further elaboration, the foregoing will so fully illustrate
my invention that others may, by applying current or future knowledge,
readily adapt the same for use under various conditions of service.