US20060290174A1 - Rocking-reclining seating unit with motion lock - Google Patents

Rocking-reclining seating unit with motion lock Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060290174A1
US20060290174A1 US11/156,187 US15618705A US2006290174A1 US 20060290174 A1 US20060290174 A1 US 20060290174A1 US 15618705 A US15618705 A US 15618705A US 2006290174 A1 US2006290174 A1 US 2006290174A1
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Prior art keywords
base
seat
ottoman
backrest
locking
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Abandoned
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US11/156,187
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D. Hoffman
Marcus Murphy
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Ultra Mek Inc
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Ultra Mek Inc
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Priority to US11/156,187 priority Critical patent/US20060290174A1/en
Assigned to ULTRA-MEK, INC. reassignment ULTRA-MEK, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: HOFFMAN, D. STEPHEN, MURPHY, MARCUS L.
Publication of US20060290174A1 publication Critical patent/US20060290174A1/en
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47CCHAIRS; SOFAS; BEDS
    • A47C3/00Chairs characterised by structural features; Chairs or stools with rotatable or vertically-adjustable seats
    • A47C3/02Rocking chairs
    • A47C3/03Locking members
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47CCHAIRS; SOFAS; BEDS
    • A47C1/00Chairs adapted for special purposes
    • A47C1/02Reclining or easy chairs
    • A47C1/031Reclining or easy chairs having coupled concurrently adjustable supporting parts
    • A47C1/034Reclining or easy chairs having coupled concurrently adjustable supporting parts the parts including a leg-rest or foot-rest
    • A47C1/035Reclining or easy chairs having coupled concurrently adjustable supporting parts the parts including a leg-rest or foot-rest in combination with movably coupled seat and back-rest, i.e. the seat and back-rest being movably coupled in such a way that the extension mechanism of the foot-rest is actuated at least by the relative movements of seat and backrest
    • A47C1/0355Reclining or easy chairs having coupled concurrently adjustable supporting parts the parts including a leg-rest or foot-rest in combination with movably coupled seat and back-rest, i.e. the seat and back-rest being movably coupled in such a way that the extension mechanism of the foot-rest is actuated at least by the relative movements of seat and backrest actuated by linkages, e.g. lazy-tongs mechanisms
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47CCHAIRS; SOFAS; BEDS
    • A47C3/00Chairs characterised by structural features; Chairs or stools with rotatable or vertically-adjustable seats
    • A47C3/02Rocking chairs
    • A47C3/025Rocking chairs with seat, or seat and back-rest unit elastically or pivotally mounted in a rigid base frame
    • A47C3/027Rocking chairs with seat, or seat and back-rest unit elastically or pivotally mounted in a rigid base frame with curved rocking members between seat and base frame

Abstract

A seating unit includes: a base configured to rest upon an underlying surface; a generally horizontally-disposed seat positioned above the base; an arm frame coupled and pivotable relative to the seat, the arm frame including camming surfaces configured for rolling contact with the base such that the seat has a fore-and-aft rocking motion relative to the base; a generally upright backrest positioned above the base adjacent a rear portion of the seat; a first ottoman; a rocking unit attached between the base and the arm frame; the rocking unit configured to control the rocking motion of the seat relative to the base; an ottoman extension mechanism that couples the arm frame and the at least one ottoman and is configured to enable the at least one ottoman to move between a retracted position, in which the at least one ottoman is positioned beneath the seat, and an extended position, in which the at least one ottoman is generally horizontally disposed and positioned forwardly of the seat; and a locking mechanism connected with the arm frame and movable between an unlocked position, in which the seat is free to rock relative to the base, and a locked position, in which the seat is prevented from rocking motion relative to the base.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • This invention relates generally to seating units, and relates more particularly to reclining seating units with rocking capability.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Recliner chairs and other reclining seating units have proven to be popular with consumers. These seating units typically move from an upright position, in which the backrest is generally upright, to one or more reclined positions, in which the backrest pivots to be less upright. The movement of the seating unit between the upright and reclined positions is typically controlled by a pair of matching reclining mechanisms that are attached to the seat, backrest and base of the chair.
  • One particularly popular reclining chair is the so-called “rocker-recliner,” which can, when in the upright position, rock with a forward and rearward motion similar to that of a traditional rocking chair. A typical rocker recliner, one of which is illustrated in U.S. Pat. No. 4,519,647 to Rogers, includes an arcuate rocker cam that is attached with the lower portion of each mechanism, with the lower convex surface of the rocker cam contacting a level bearing surface of the base. Also, a spring assembly is mounted to the base of the chair and to each rocker cam. Each spring assembly includes two quite stiff, vertically-oriented helical springs attached to mounting brackets that are in turn fixed to the base and to the rocker cam. When the chair is in its upright position and is unoccupied, the seat, backrest and reclining mechanisms reside above the base, the rocker springs are deflected only along their longitudinal axes, and the rocker cams rest on a level portion of the base. When an occupant sits on the chair and applies a forwardly- or rearwardly-directed force to the seat or backrest, the seat and backrest move relative to the base. The path of movement is defined by the convex shape of the rocker cams as they rock on the level bearing surface of the base, with the result that the seat and backrest simulate the rocking motion of a rocking chair. During the rocking movement, the rocker springs deflect such that their top portions bend away from their longitudinal axes as the chair rocks forward and back. The deflection in the springs urges the springs (and, in turn, the seat and backrest) to return to their original positions as the chair returns to and through the upright position. In this manner, the chair is capable of providing a controlled rocking motion when in the upright position.
  • Many, if not all, chairs of this design include some type of safety feature, such as an extendable foot, that prevents rocking when the chair is in a reclined position. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,000,754 to Lawson discloses a rocker lock that is pivotally interconnected with the rear portion of the reclining mechanism and with the base of the chair. More specifically, the rocker lock includes three separate pivotally interconnected links mounted to the base and to the reclining mechanism. A bracket is mounted to and extends above the base. A slotted link is pivotally and slidably attached to the bracket via a pin on the bracket. A support link, to which a roller is attached, is pivotally interconnected with the forward end of the slotted link and with the reclining mechanism. A control link is pivotally interconnected with the support link and to the reclining mechanism. In the upright position, as the chair rocks, the slotted link moves forwardly and rearwardly relative to the mounting bracket, as the pin on the mounting bracket is free to slide within the slot of the slotted link as it moves. As the chair moves to an intermediate reclined position (often termed the “TV position”), movement of the reclining mechanism causes the control link to drive the roller on the support link downwardly into contact with a plate attached to the base. The slotted link is forced rearwardly so that the pin of the mounting bracket is lodged against the front edge of the slot. This placement of the wheel and the pin in the slot prevents the chair from rocking.
  • This locking mechanism can have some shortcomings. Because the slotted link slides on the pin of the mounting bracket during the rocking motion, in some instances the occupant of the chair can rock forward sufficiently that the rear end of the slot strikes the pin, thereby giving a jolt to the occupant. Also, because of the configuration of the locking mechanism, if the occupant is rocking forward when releasing the chair to a reclined position, in some instances the chair can “catch” and impede reclining movement. One locking mechanism that proposes to overcome some of these shortcomings is discussed in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/982,108, filed Nov. 4, 2004 and entitled Rocking-Reclining Seating Unit with Motion Lock, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated herein in its entirety. Nevertheless, it may be desirable to provide additional configurations for motion locking mechanisms that can remove cost and/or labor from the manufacturing process and that can improve performance.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention can provide features that may address shortcomings of prior chairs. As a first aspect, embodiments of the present invention are directed to a seating unit comprising: a base configured to rest upon an underlying surface; a generally horizontally-disposed seat positioned above the base; an arm frame coupled and pivotable relative to the seat; the arm frame including camming surfaces configured for rolling contact with the base such that the seat has a fore-and-aft rocking motion relative to the base; a generally upright backrest positioned above the base adjacent a rear portion of the seat; a first ottoman; a rocking unit attached between the base and the arm frame; the rocking unit configured to control the rocking motion of the arm frame relative to the base; an ottoman extension mechanism that couples the arm frame and the at least one ottoman and is configured to enable the at least one ottoman to move between a retracted position, in which the at least one ottoman is positioned beneath the seat, and an extended position, in which the at least one ottoman is generally horizontally disposed and positioned forwardly of the seat; and a locking mechanism connected with the arm frame and movable between an unlocked position, in which the seat is free to rock relative to the base, and a locked position, in which the seat is prevented from rocking motion relative to the base. In this configuration, the chair can be locked from rocking when the ottomans are extended by a relatively simple mechanism.
  • In some embodiments, the locking mechanism comprises: a crank; a locking link; a drive bar pivotally interconnected with the crank and with the locking link; a brace pivotally interconnected with the locking link; and a control link pivotally interconnected with the brace and with the base. The configuration for this locking mechanism can be manufactured relatively inexpensively.
  • As another aspect, embodiments of the present invention are directed to a seating unit comprising: a base configured to rest upon an underlying surface; a generally horizontally-disposed seat positioned above the base; an arm frame coupled to and moveable with the seat, the arm frame including side panels having integral camming surfaces configured for rolling contact with the base such that the seat has a fore-and-aft rocking motion relative to the base; a generally upright backrest positioned above the base adjacent a rear portion of the seat; a first ottoman; a rocking unit attached between the base and the arm frame, the rocking unit configured to control the rocking motion relative to the base; and a backrest reclining mechanism that couples the arm frame and the backrest and is configured to enable the backrest to move from an upright position, in which the backrest forms a first angle with the seat, and a reclined position, in which the backrest forms a second angle with the seat, the second angle being greater than the first angle. The integration of the rocker cams into the side panels of the arm frame can reduce the cost of the chair considerably.
  • As an additional aspect, the present invention is directed to a seating unit comprising: a base configured to rest upon an underlying surface; a generally horizontally-disposed seat positioned above the base; an arm frame coupled to and moveable with the seat, the arm frame including camming surfaces configured for rolling contact with the base such that the seat has a fore-and-aft rocking motion relative to the base; a generally upright backrest positioned above the base adjacent a rear portion of the seat; a rocking unit attached between the base and the arm frame, the rocking unit configured to control the rocking motion of the seat relative to the base; and a backrest reclining mechanism that couples the arm frame and the backrest and is configured to enable the backrest to move from an upright position, in which the backrest forms a first angle with the seat, and a reclined position, in which the backrest forms a second angle with the seat, the second angle being greater than the first angle; wherein the chair is devoid of an extendable ottoman. This configuration enables a press-back rocker to employ different styles of ottomans that are separate from the chair itself, as may be desirable for some consumers.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a rocker-recliner chair according to embodiments of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a front cutaway view of the frame of the chair of FIG. 1.
  • FIG. 3 is a side section view of the chair of FIG. 1 with the backrest in the upright position and the ottoman in the retracted position.
  • FIG. 3A is an enlarged side section view of the locking mechanism of the chair of FIG. 1 with the ottoman in the retracted position.
  • FIG. 4 is a side section view of the chair of FIG. 1 with the backrest in the upright position and the ottoman in the extended position.
  • FIG. 4A is an enlarged side section view of the locking mechanism of the chair of FIG. 1 with the ottoman in the extended position.
  • FIG. 5 is a side section view of the chair of FIG. 1 with the backrest in the reclined position and the ottoman in the extended position.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention now is described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which embodiments of the invention are shown. This invention may, however, be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will be thorough and complete, and will fully convey the scope of the invention to those skilled in the art.
  • Like numbers refer to like elements throughout. In the figures, the thickness of certain lines, layers, components, elements or features may be exaggerated for clarity. Broken lines illustrate optional features or operations unless specified otherwise.
  • The terminology used herein is for the purpose of describing particular embodiments only and is not intended to be limiting of the invention. As used herein, the singular forms “a”, “an” and “the” are intended to include the plural forms as well, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. It will be further understood that the terms “comprises” and/or “comprising,” when used in this specification, specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps, operations, elements, and/or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, operations, elements, components, and/or groups thereof. As used herein, the term “and/or” includes any and all combinations of one or more of the associated listed items. As used herein, phrases such as “between X and Y” and “between about X and Y” should be interpreted to include X and Y. As used herein, phrases such as “between about X and Y” mean “between about X and about Y.” As used herein, phrases such as “from about X to Y” mean “from about X to about Y.”
  • Unless otherwise defined, all terms (including technical and scientific terms) used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which this invention belongs. It will be further understood that terms, such as those defined in commonly used dictionaries, should be interpreted as having a meaning that is consistent with their meaning in the context of the specification and relevant art and should not be interpreted in an idealized or overly formal sense unless expressly so defined herein. Well-known functions or constructions may not be described in detail for brevity and/or clarity.
  • It will be understood that when an element is referred to as being “on”, “attached” to, “connected” to, “coupled” with, “contacting”, etc., another element, it can be directly on, attached to, connected to, coupled with or contacting the other element or intervening elements may also be present. In contrast, when an element is referred to as being, for example, “directly on”, “directly attached” to, “directly connected” to, “directly coupled” with or “directly contacting” another element, there are no intervening elements present. It will also be appreciated by those of skill in the art that references to a structure or feature that is disposed “adjacent” another feature may have portions that overlap or underlie the adjacent feature.
  • This invention is directed to seating units that have a stationary base, a seat portion, and a backrest. As used herein, the terms “forward”, “forwardly”, and “front” and derivatives thereof refer to the direction defined by a vector extending from the backrest toward the seat parallel to the underlying surface. Conversely, the terms “rearward”, “rearwardly”, and derivatives thereof refer to the direction directly opposite the forward direction; the rearward direction is defined by a vector that extends from the seat toward the backrest parallel to the underlying surface. The terms “lateral,” “laterally”, and derivatives thereof refer to the direction parallel with the floor, perpendicular to the forward and rearward directions, and extending away from a plane bisecting the seating units between their armrests. The terms “medial,” “inward,” “inboard,” and derivatives thereof refer to the direction that is the converse of the lateral direction, i.e., the direction parallel with the floor, perpendicular to the forward direction, and extending from the periphery of the seating units toward the aforementioned bisecting plane.
  • The seating units illustrated and described herein comprise a plurality of pivotally interconnected links. Those skilled in this art will appreciate that the pivots between links can take a variety of configurations, such as pivot pins, rivets, bolt and nut combinations, and the like, any of which would be suitable for use with the present invention. Also, the shapes of the links may vary as desired, as may the locations of certain of the pivots. Moreover, in some instances combinations of pivot points may be replaced by equivalent structures, such as “slider-crank” configurations, like those described in B. Paul, Kinematics and Dynamics of Planar Machinery 4-21 (1979).
  • Referring now to the figures, a rocker-recliner chair, designated broadly at 20, is illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2. The chair 20 includes a base 22, a seat 24 that is generally horizontally disposed above the base 22, an arm frame 30 that sandwiches the seat 24, a backrest 26 that is generally vertically disposed substantially above the base 22 adjacent a rear portion of the seat 24 and arm frame 30, and two ottomans 28 a, 28 b (only the ottoman 28 a is visible in FIG. 1), which, in the upright position of FIG. 1, are generally vertically disposed below a front portion of the seat 26.
  • As can be seen in FIGS. 1 and 2, the arm frame 30 includes two arms 32 located on opposite sides of the chair 20. In the illustrated embodiment, the arms 32 are hollow wooden structures with inner panels 33 that form the inboard surface of the arms 32. Cross-members 35 a, 35 b (see FIG. 3) extend between the inner panels 33 of the arms 32 to provide structural rigidity to the arm frame 30. Also, a tripartite mounting shim 36 is mounted to each of the inner panels 33 for the mounting thereto of mechanisms that control the movement of the ottomans 28 a, 28 b. At their lower edges, the inner panels 33 have arcuate camming surfaces 34 that rest atop upper bearing surfaces 34 a of longitudinal members 23 of the base 22. The camming surfaces 34 are configured for rolling contact with the bearing surfaces 34 a and enable the chair 10 to have a fore-to-aft rocking motion. This motion is controlled by rocker spring assemblies 27 that are attached with the base 22 and with the inner panels 33 of the arms 32. The rocker spring assemblies 27 include resilient members 39 that bias the seat 24 against rocking motion.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the inner panels 33 of the arms 32 also provide the camming surfaces that produce rocking motion. This configuration contrasts with prior configurations, in which separate cams were attached to an arm frame in order to provide a camming surface. The inner panels of the present invention can be created, for example, of a single piece of wood with a CNC machine, which is capable of forming the camming surface of the panel to sufficient tolerances (typically about 0.062 inches) to provide a comfortable rocking motion. The absence of multiple components (i.e., the formation of the inner panel and camming surface as a unitary or integral component) can reduce material and labor costs. Nevertheless, in some embodiments separate cams may be employed with the seat frame.
  • Those skilled in this art will appreciate that other configurations of the base and arm frame may be employed in connection with the present invention. For example, the base may comprise a flat plate, a circular ring with spokes, or the like. The arm frame may omit certain of the members described above, include arms that are not hollow, or include a single cross member that spans the inner panels of the arms. Other suitable configurations will be apparent to those of skill in this art.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, the chair 20 includes two ottoman extension mechanisms 40 (only one is shown in FIGS. 3 and 4) that extend the ottomans 28 a, 28 b from a retracted position (as seen in FIG. 3), in which the ottomans 28 a, 28 b are generally vertically disposed below a front portion of the seat 24, and an extended position, (as seen in FIG. 4), in which the ottomans 28 a, 28 b are generally horizontally disposed and forward of the seat 24. The ottoman extension mechanisms 40 are mirror images of each other about a longitudinally-extending vertical plane that bisects the chair 20 between the arms 32; as such, the ensuing discussion will focus on only one of the ottoman extension mechanisms 40, with the discussion being equally applicable to the other ottoman extension mechanism 40 also. Further, the discussion of the ottoman extension mechanism 40 will first discuss its components as they are in the retracted position of FIG. 3, then proceed to discuss their movement to the extended position of FIG. 4.
  • Referring now to FIG. 3, the ottoman extension mechanism 40 includes a handle 42 mounted on a transversely-extending axle 44 that spans the arms 32 of the arm frame 30 and is rotatably mounted therein. The handle 42 extends forwardly and upwardly from its junction with the axle 44. A crank 46 attaches to the axle 44 at its center portion via a flange and extends forwardly and rearwardly therefrom. The rear end of the crank 46 is pivotally attached to an ottoman drive link 48 at a pivot 49. The ottoman drive link 48 extends generally forwardly from the pivot 49 and terminates at a pivot 51 with one of the links of a pantographic linkage 50 of a known configuration. The base members 55, 57 of the pantographic linkage 50 are mounted to the upper, forward end of a mounting link 52 at pivots 54, 56. The mounting link 52 is, in turn, fixed to the mounting shim 36. The ottomans 28 a, 28 b are mounted to brackets that are pivotally mounted on the ends of the pantographic linkage 50. The ottoman 28 b resides below the front edge of the seat 24 and serves as the front panel of the chair 20. The ottoman 28 a resides rearwardly of the ottoman 28 b.
  • The ottomans 28 a, 28 b can be moved from the retracted position of FIG. 3 to the extended position of FIG. 4 by an occupant of the chair 20 drawing the upper portion of the handle rearwardly (counterclockwise from the vantage point of FIG. 3). This rotation causes the axle 44 to rotate, which in turn causes the crank 46 to rotate counterclockwise with the axle 44. As the lower end of the crank 46 rotates forwardly, it drives the ottoman drive link 48 forward also. Forward movement of the ottoman drive link 48 forces the base members 55, 57 of the pantographic linkage 50 to rotate counterclockwise about pivots 54, 56. This movement extends the pantographic linkage 50, which carries the ottomans 28 a, 28 b to the extended positions shown in FIG. 4. Movement ceases when a pin 59 located on a link 58 a of the pantographic linkage 50 contacts the edge of an adjoining link 58 b.
  • Those skilled in this art will recognize that other mechanisms for extending one or more ottomans from a retracted position to an extended position may also be suitable for use in connection with the present invention. For example, some links illustrated and described herein may be omitted or substituted for, and other links may be added as desired. In addition, the shapes of the links themselves may vary, as may the positions of the pivot points. Also, the handle may be replaced with another variety of actuation mechanism. Other variations will be apparent to those skilled in this art.
  • When the ottomans 28 a, 28 b of the chair 20 are in their retracted positions (FIG. 3), the chair 20 is free to experience rocking motion due to the rolling movement of the camming surfaces 34 of the arm inner panels 33 on the upper surfaces of the base 22 (this movement is controlled by the resilient members 39). However, when the ottomans 28 a, 28 b are in their extended positions (FIG. 4), it may be desirable to prevent rocking movement of the chair 20. As such, the chair 20 includes a locking mechanism 60 coupled to the ottoman extension mechanism 40 that can prevent such rocking movement. The structure and operation of the locking mechanism 60 are described below.
  • Referring first to FIGS. 3 and 3A, the locking mechanism 60 includes the aforementioned crank 46, which is attached at its forward end to a drive bar 62 at a pivot 63. The drive bar 62 extends generally rearwardly therefrom. A V-shaped locking link 64 with a vertex 66 and a wheel extension 69 is pivotally attached to the rear end of the drive bar 62 at a pivot 65 located at the vertex 66. A wheel 69 a is attached to the rear end of the wheel extension 69. The locking link 64 is also pivotally attached to the rear end of the mounting link 52 at a pivot 73. A brace 68 is pivotally attached to the front end of the locking link 64 at a pivot 70. The brace 68 extends rearwardly from the pivot 70 and has a stop pin 71 at its rear end. A control link 72 is pivotally interconnected at its upper end to an intermediate portion of the brace 68 at a pivot 76 and at its lower end to the base 22 at a pivot 74. A spring 78 is attached between the drive bar 62 and the mounting link 52; in the retracted position of FIGS. 3 and 3A, the spring 78 is in tension.
  • The locking mechanism 60 is deployed in concert with the extension of the ottoman extension linkage 40. From the retracted position of FIGS. 3 and 3A, rotation of the handle 42 in the manner described above to extend the ottomans 28 a, 28 b rotates the crank 46 counterclockwise. This action forces the drive bar 62 rearwardly. The rearward movement of the drive bar 62 drives the vertex 66 of the locking link 64 rearwardly and downwardly, which rotates the locking link 64 counterclockwise about the pivot 73 until the wheel 69 a contacts the upper bearing surface 34 a of the base 22 (in some embodiments, a second, separate bearing surface on the base may be employed). The rotation of the locking link 64 causes the brace 68 to rotate counterclockwise about the pivot 76, which forces its forward end to rise and its rearward end to descend. In addition, the control link 72 rotates slightly counterclockwise about the pivot 74. The movements cease when the pin 71 on the brace 68 contacts the rear edge of the locking link 64. In this final position, the locking link 64 is wedged between the fixed mounting shim 36 and the brace 68 such that a near “over-center” configuration is formed by the pivots 70, 76 and 74. This entire movement is augmented by the spring 78, which remains in tension in the deployed position of FIGS. 4 and 4A.
  • In this configuration, the locking mechanism 60 can prevent rocking movement of the seat 24, arm frame 30, and backrest 26 relative to the base 22. Also, the locking mechanism 60 is configured to lock the seat 24 and arm frame 30 in the same position irrespective of the position of the seat 24 and arm frame 30 as the ottoman extension mechanism 40 is deployed, such that it can be assured that the seat 24 is in a comfortable pitch in the locked position.
  • The chair 20 also includes a backrest reclining mechanism 80 that controls the relative movement of the backrest 26, the seat 24 and the arm frame 30. The backrest mechanism 80 includes a front bracket 82 with a slot 84 that is mounted to the underside of the seat 24, a rear bracket 92 that is mounted predominantly above the rear portion of the seat 24, a connecting rod 88 that is pivotally interconnected with the rear bracket 86 at a pivot 90 and fixed to the backrest 26, and a mounting link 86 that is mounted to the inner surface 33 of the arm 32 and that is pivotally attached to the connecting rod 88 at a pivot 94.
  • The backrest can be reclined relative to the seat 24 and arm frame 30 by having the occupant push rearwardly against the backrest 26. This movement causes the backrest 26 to pivot about the pivot 90 (counterclockwise from the vantage point of FIG. 3) such that the upper portion of the backrest 26 moves downwardly and rearwardly. In turn, the lower portion of the backrest 26 rises and moves forwardly. This movement drives the seat 24 slightly forwardly and causes its rear portion to rise. The front portion of the seat 24 also rises; its movement is controlled by the interaction between a pin 52 a on the mounting link 52 and the slot 84 in the front bracket 82. Movement ceases when the front bracket 82 has moved forward sufficiently that the rear end of the slot 84 strikes the pin 52 a.
  • In the illustrated embodiment, the backrest mechanism 80 is decoupled from the ottoman extension mechanism 30. In some embodiments of the present invention, the backrest mechanism may be coupled with the ottoman extension mechanism.
  • Those skilled in this art will also recognize that, in some embodiments, the ottomans 28 a, 28 b and ottoman extension mechanism 40 may be omitted, with the result that the chair becomes a press-back rocker. Such a chair can allow the consumer to employ, for example, a separate ottoman with the chair if desired.
  • The foregoing is illustrative of the present invention and is not to be construed as limiting thereof. Although exemplary embodiments of this invention have been described, those skilled in the art will readily appreciate that many modifications are possible in the exemplary embodiments without materially departing from the novel teachings and advantages of this invention. Accordingly, all such modifications are intended to be included within the scope of this invention as defined in the claims. The invention is defined by the following claims, with equivalents of the claims to be included therein.

Claims (22)

1. A seating unit comprising:
a base configured to rest upon an underlying surface;
a generally horizontally-disposed seat positioned above the base;
an arm frame coupled and pivotable relative to the seat, the arm frame including camming surfaces configured for rolling contact with the base such that the seat has a fore-and-aft rocking motion relative to the base;
a generally upright backrest positioned above the base adjacent a rear portion of the seat;
a first ottoman;
a rocking unit attached between the base and the arm frame, the rocking unit configured to control the rocking motion of the arm frame relative to the base;
an ottoman extension mechanism that couples the arm frame and the at least one ottoman and is configured to enable the at least one ottoman to move between a retracted position, in which the at least one ottoman is positioned beneath the seat, and an extended position, in which the at least one ottoman is generally horizontally disposed and positioned forwardly of the seat; and
a locking mechanism connected with the arm frame and movable between an unlocked position, in which the seat is free to rock relative to the base, and a locked position, in which the seat is prevented from rocking motion relative to the base.
2. The seating unit defined in claim 1, further comprising a backrest reclining mechanism that couples the seat and the backrest and is configured to enable the backrest to move from an upright position, in which the backrest forms a first angle with the seat, and a reclined position, in which the backrest forms a second angle with the seat, the second angle being greater than the first angle.
3. The seating unit defined in claim 1, wherein the locking mechanism is coupled with the ottoman extension mechanism, such that the locking mechanism is in the locked position when the ottoman extension mechanism is in the extended position.
4. The seating unit defined in claim 2, wherein the ottoman extension mechanism is decoupled from the backrest reclining mechanism.
5. The seating unit defined in claim 3, wherein the locking mechanism includes a crank, and wherein the ottoman extension mechanism also includes the crank.
6. The seating unit defined in claim 5, wherein the base includes a first bearing surface that contacts the camming surface, and further includes a second bearing surface, and wherein the locking mechanism includes a locking link that bears against the second bearing surface when the locking mechanism is in its locked position.
7. The seating unit defined in claim 6, wherein the locking mechanism further comprises:
a drive bar pivotally interconnected with the crank and with the locking link;
a brace pivotally interconnected with the locking link; and
a control link pivotally interconnected with the brace and with the base.
8. The seating unit defined in claim 7, wherein the brace includes a stop pin that contacts the locking link when the locking mechanism is in the closed position.
9. The seating unit defined in claim 8, wherein the locking link includes a V-shaped portion, and wherein the drive bar is pivotally interconnected with the locking link at a vertex of the V-shaped portion.
10. The seating unit defined in claim 9, wherein the locking link includes a wheel that bears against the second bearing surface when the locking mechanism is in the locked position.
11. The seating unit defined in claim 10, wherein the brace is pivotally interconnected at one end to the locking link, and wherein the stop pin of the brace is mounted to an opposite end of the brace.
12. The seating unit defined in claim 1, further comprising a mounting link attached to the seat frame, wherein the ottoman extension mechanism and the locking mechanism are pivotally attached to the mounting link.
13. The seating unit defined in claim 1, further comprising a second ottoman.
14. A seating unit comprising:
a base configured to rest upon an underlying surface;
a generally horizontally-disposed seat positioned above the base;
an arm frame coupled and pivotable relative to the seat, the arm frame including camming surfaces configured for rolling contact with the base such that the seat has a fore-and-aft rocking motion relative to the base;
a generally upright backrest positioned above the base adjacent a rear portion of the seat;
a first ottoman;
a rocking unit attached between the base and the arm frame, the rocking unit configured to control the rocking motion of the arm frame relative to the base;
a backrest reclining mechanism that couples the arm frame and the backrest and is configured to enable the backrest to move from an upright position, in which the backrest forms a first angle with the seat, and a reclined position, in which the backrest forms a second angle with the seat, the second angle being greater than the first angle;
an ottoman extension mechanism that couples the arm frame and the first ottoman and is configured to enable the first ottoman to move between a retracted position, in which the first ottoman is positioned beneath the seat, and an extended position, in which the first ottoman is generally horizontally disposed and positioned forwardly of the seat, wherein the ottoman extension mechanism is decoupled from the backrest reclining mechanism; and
a locking mechanism connected with the seat frame and movable between an unlocked position, in which the seat is free to rock relative to the base, and a locked position, in which the seat is prevented from rocking motion relative to the base, the locking mechanism including:
a crank;
a locking link;
a drive bar pivotally interconnected with the crank and with the locking link;
a brace pivotally interconnected with the locking link; and
a control link pivotally interconnected with the brace and with the base.
15. The seating unit defined in claim 14, wherein the base includes a first bearing surface that contacts the camming surface, and further includes a second bearing surface, and wherein the locking mechanism includes a locking link that bears against the second bearing surface when the locking mechanism is in its locked position.
16. The seating unit defined in claim 14, wherein the locking mechanism is coupled with the ottoman extension mechanism, such that the locking mechanism is in the locked position when the ottoman extension mechanism is in the extended position.
17. The seating unit defined in claim 14, wherein the ottoman extension mechanism includes the crank.
18. A seating unit comprising:
a base configured to rest upon an underlying surface;
a generally horizontally-disposed seat positioned above the base;
an arm frame coupled to and moveable with the seat, the arm frame including side panels having integral camming surfaces configured for rolling contact with the base such that the seat has a fore-and-aft rocking motion relative to the base;
a generally upright backrest positioned above the base adjacent a rear portion of the seat;
a first ottoman;
a rocking unit attached between the base and the arm frame, the rocking unit configured to control the rocking motion of the arm frame relative to the base; and
a backrest reclining mechanism that couples the arm frame and the backrest and is configured to enable the backrest to move from an upright position, in which the backrest forms a first angle with the seat, and a reclined position, in which the backrest forms a second angle with the seat, the second angle being greater than the first angle.
19. The seating unit defined in claim 18, wherein the arm frame includes at least one rear cross-member that is mounted to and spans the distance between the side panels.
20. The seating unit defined in claim 18, wherein the rocking unit is attached between the base and the side panel.
21. The seating unit defined in claim 18, wherein the arm frame includes arms, and wherein the side panels form inboard surfaces of the arms.
22. A seating unit comprising:
a base configured to rest upon an underlying surface;
a generally horizontally-disposed seat positioned above the base;
an arm frame coupled and pivotable relative to the seat, the arm frame including camming surfaces configured for rolling contact with the base such that the seat has a fore-and-aft rocking motion relative to the base;
a generally upright backrest positioned above the base adjacent a rear portion of the seat;
a rocking unit attached between the base and the arm frame, the rocking unit configured to control the rocking motion of the arm frame relative to the base; and
a backrest reclining mechanism that couples the arm frame and the backrest and is configured to enable the backrest to move from an upright position, in which the backrest forms a first angle with the seat, and a reclined position, in which the backrest forms a second angle with the seat, the second angle being greater than the first angle;
wherein the chair is devoid of an extendable ottoman.
US11/156,187 2005-06-17 2005-06-17 Rocking-reclining seating unit with motion lock Abandoned US20060290174A1 (en)

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US20110018331A1 (en) * 2009-07-24 2011-01-27 Murphy Marcus L Locking unit for rocking-reclining seating unit with power actuator
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US20180055703A1 (en) * 2016-09-01 2018-03-01 Luis Miguel Ortiz Rocker recliner chair with lock-out mechanism for safe use of lift-assist feature
US10299597B1 (en) * 2018-02-13 2019-05-28 L&P Property Management Company High-leg hidden ottoman recliner seating mechanism
US10485719B2 (en) 2016-12-12 2019-11-26 Ultra-Mek, Inc. Power-assisted reclining lift chair with split seat
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