Patent application title: CHAIR THAT AIDS THE READYING OF THE OCCUPANT OF A LAY-DOWN BLIND
Stanley Balgaard (Evansville, MN, US)
IPC8 Class: AA47C1024FI
Class name: Tiltable plural distinct occupant-supporting positions movable to a rear-horizontal position
Publication date: 2010-07-15
Patent application number: 20100176639
One embodiment of a reclining chair for placement in a lay-down blind. The
chair aids the readying of its occupant. The chair reclines by the
backrest pivoting on a hinge at the back of the seat. The chair aids the
occupant in sitting up by providing pivotal force to the backrest. The
pivotal force is provided by torsion springs in the hinge. The Other
embodiments are described and shown.
1. A chair for use in a lay-down blind comprising:a. a base having a
seat,b. a backrest having a top edge and a bottom edge,c. a hinge element
that pivotally attaches the bottom edge of said backrest to said base so
that said seat and said backrest form a chair with a reclining
backrest,d. a spring element integrated with the hinge to supply pivotal
force to the backrest tending to pivot the backrest towards the seat.
2. The chair of claim 1 further comprising a hood, said hood pivotally attached near the hood's back side to the backrest near the backrest's top edge.
3. The chair of claim 1 further comprising a social bar pivotally attached to the base behind the backrest.
4. A method of aiding an occupant of a lay-down blind in transitioning from the concealed position to the ready position comprising:a. placing in a lay-down blind a chair with a reclining backrest, the reclining of said backrest is resisted by pivotal force tending to pivot the backrest toward the seat,b. occupying the chair,c. overcoming the pivotal force in the backrest thereby reclining the backrest and laying down,d. being aided by the pivotal force in the backrest when readying.
5. The method of claim 4 further comprising placing a pivoting hood over the chair to conceal the occupant.
6. The method of claim 4 further comprising placing a pivoting social bar behind the backrest to support the backrest when said backrest is in the upright position.
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
Applicant claims the benefit of provisional patent application No. 61/205,019.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
No federally sponsored research
REFERENCE TO A "SEQUENCE LISTING" OR OTHER APPENDIX
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
1. Field of the Invention
The invention relates to blinds used to conceal a person in the laying-down position. More specifically, the invention relates to a lay-down, portable, blind that would conceal an occupant such as a hunter, photographer, naturalist, etc. in a laying-down position; yet allow the occupant to quickly transition from the concealed, laying-down, position to an exposed, ready, sitting-up, position.
2. Description of Related Art
Portable, lay-down, blinds are commonly known. Various attributes of these blinds have been patented. U.S. Pat. No. 4,751,936 discloses a lay-down bind with a spring-loaded cover. U.S. Pat. No. 7,237,283 discloses a layout, flexible blind comprised of a foot sack, cover flap, and inflatable head rest. U.S. Pat. No. 6,769,442 discloses a blind that conceals its occupant in the sitting position with a cover that automatically opens when the occupant stands-up. U.S. Pat. No. 6,694,995 discloses a rapidly-opening blind comprised of a tent-like structure. While the art includes various methods of concealing an occupant, and various methods for quickly removing the concealment allowing the occupant an unobstructed view of a target; the art does not include devices which aid the occupant in moving from the laying-down position to the sitting-up position. In a lay-down blind, the occupant lies nearly flat on his back while concealed by the blind. When the target is close enough to the occupant to achieve the desired result, the occupant may want to transition from the laying-down, concealed position, to a sitting-up, ready position. If the occupant is a hunter trying to take game, the hunter must transition from the concealed position to a shooting position. This transition requires the hunter to remove any part of the concealment that obstructs his shot, and to go from lying flat on his back, to sitting approximately upright. In most instances, the quicker the hunter makes this transition, the more likely he will succeed in taking the game.
Accordingly, an apparatus is desired that will aid an occupant in quickly transitioning from the concealed position to the ready position.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The specification discloses a chair for use in a lay-down blind, comprised of a base, a backrest, a hinge which pivotally attaches the backrest to the base, and a means for supplying pivotal force to the backrest. The base provides area for an occupant to sit (seat). The base also supports the hinge which is located just behind the seat. The base also provides a fixed platform against which the pivotal forces in the hinge are exerted. The backrest supports the occupant's back. The backrest and the seat form a reclining chair. The backrest attaches to the base with a hinge that allows pivotal movement of the backrest. The backrest is attached to the hinge along backrest's bottom edge. The hinge allows the backrest to pivot between a nearly upright position (ready position) and a nearly horizontal position (concealed position). The means for supplying pivotal force is such that force pivots the backrest upward and away from the base. An occupant sits in the seat with his legs extended in front of him and his back against the backrest. The weight of the occupant is enough to overcome the force repelling the backrest from the base. This allows the occupant to lie-down in the blind. When the occupant sits-up, the force repelling the backrest from the base supplements the force provided by the occupant's muscles. The result is that the occupant sits-up quickly and with little effort.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS
The drawings contained herein provide an example of one embodiment of the invention. This is an example only and not a limitation on the claimed invention.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment in the ready position without an occupant present.
FIG. 2 is a side view of the preferred embodiment in the ready position with the occupant present.
FIG. 3 is a side view of the preferred embodiment in the concealed position with the occupant present.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view from the rear of a portion (the left side show, the right side has been cut away) of the hinge used by the preferred embodiment in the ready position.
FIG. 5 is a back view of the hinge and showing the spring, rod, pin assembly of the preferred embodiment.
FIG. 6 is a side view of an alternative embodiment showing the hood in the ready position with the occupant present.
FIG. 7 is a side view of an alternative embodiment showing the hood in the concealed position with the occupant present.
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment in the ready position showing the social bar in the up position without the occupant present.
REFERENCE NUMERALS USED IN DRAWINGS
TABLE-US-00001  10 occupant 12 base 14 backrest 16 hinge 18 torsion springs 20 seat 22 frame 24 face of seat 26 left rear corner of seat 30 top edge of backrest 32 bottom edge of backrest 34 back of seat 36 strap 38 rod 40 pins 42 holes in rod 44 shank of spring 46 coil of spring 48 hook of spring 50 hood 56 top of hood 58 bottom of hood 60 left of hood 64 front of hood 66 back of hood 68 pivot point of hood on backrest 72 social bar
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
The preferred embodiment is comprised of a base 12, a backrest 14, and a hinge 16 connecting the backrest to the base. The hinge is an assembly of torsion springs 18 coiled around a rod 38 and held in place by pins 40 through the rod.
The base 12 is comprised of two parts, a seat 20 and a frame 22. The seat 20 is a flat or contoured rectangle of appropriate size to support an adult occupant. The frame 22 attaches to the left, rear corner of the seat 26, extends behind the seat in approximately the same plane as the broad face of the seat 24, makes a "U" shape, and returns to connect to the rear, right corner of the seat. The "U" of the frame is the approximate size and shape of the backrest 14. The frame is made of a rigid material, such as, but not limited to, metal or plastic. The frame provides means for attaching the hinge 16 behind the seat 20. The base is the approximate shape of a broad, flat, rectangle. When in use the base sits approximately flat on the ground.
The backrest 14 has a broad, contoured face of appropriate size and shape to support the back, neck, and head of an adult occupant. The backrest has a top edge 30 and a bottom edge 32. The top edge 30 corresponds to the edge of the backrest that supports the occupant's neck and head. The bottom edge 32 corresponds to the edge which pivotally attaches to the base 12. This pivotal attachment is made to the frame near the back of the seat 34. The seat 20 and the backrest 14 form a chair. The backrest pivots (reclines) from a position corresponding to a set angle between horizontal and vertical (ready position) (FIG. 2) to a position of nearly horizontal (concealed position) (FIG. 3). A strap 36 runs from approximately the center of the top edge of backrest to approximately the center of the back edge of the frame. The adjustment of the length of this strap determines the angle of the backrest when it is in the ready position. The angle of the backrest in the ready position is selected based on the comfort of the occupant 10.
Hinge and Means for Applying Pivotal Force to Backrest
The hinge 16 (FIGS. 4 and 5) pivotally attaches the backrest 14 to the base 12. The hinge 16 is comprised of a rod 38 that runs from the left side of the frame to the right side of the frame, torsion springs 18 that wrap around the rod 38 and attach to the backrest 14, and removable pins 40 through the rod that hold the tension in the springs. The rod 38 extends perpendicularly from the left side of the frame across the base to the right side of the frame. The rod is attached to the frame such that it is not allowed to rotate with respect to the frame. The rod has holes 42 through it to accommodate the pins 40. Each spring 18 is a continuous piece of metal that begins with an elongated straight shank 44, then coils 46 around the rod several times, then hooks 48 over one of the pins 40 through the rod, then coils 46 around the rod in the opposite direction the same number of times as on the other side of the pin, then extends into an elongated straight shank 44. The shanks 44 of each spring on both sides of the coils attach to the backrest (FIG. 5). The coils 46 encircle the rod 38. The pins 40 extend through the rod 38 and act as a catch for the springs 18. The pins 40 are removable. When a pin is inserted through the rod it prevents the corresponding coil from freely spinning around the rod. This embodiment uses three springs to attach the backrest to the rod. This assembly acts as the hinge 16 between the backrest and the base. Hence, when the pins are preventing the spinning of the coils, the hinge is biased such that it is applying pivotal force to the backrest tending to pivot the backrest away from the frame and toward the seat. This force resists the reclining of the backrest. In this embodiment, the hinge provides the means for applying pivotal force to the backrest. No additional means for providing that force are necessary.
A strap 36 runs from a point on the center of the back edge of the base to a point near the top edge of the backrest 30 and centered between the left and right sides. The length of the strap is adjustable. The strap can be detached from the backrest or the base. Detaching the strap allows the backrest to pivot forward past the ready position toward the seat, thus releasing the tension in the springs to be released. Detaching the strap also allows for easier transport of this embodiment of the invention. The strap stops the pivoting of the backrest at the desired position. Hence, the length of the strap determines the ready position of the backrest. When the backrest is in the concealed position there is slack in the strap (FIG. 3). When the backrest is in the ready position the strap is taut (FIGS. 1 and 2).
When all of the pins are removed from the rod the coils can spin freely around the rod. This allows the backrest to rest against the base while this embodiment is being transported. To operate this embodiment of the invention the apparatus is placed in a lay-down blind. With the strap detached and the backrest pivoted all the way forward, the pins are inserted through the rod. The amount of pivotal force present in the hinge can be adjusted by not inserting all the pins. If no pivotal force is desired, all the pins can be left out. In this configuration the backrest would lay flat against the frame and not provide any supplemental force to the occupant. To provide the least amount of force, one pin is inserted through the rod. In this configuration, one spring is in tension and two springs spin freely. For additional force, two pins are inserted through the rod. In this configuration, two springs are in tension and one spring spins freely. For the most force, all three pins are inserted through the rod. In this configuration, all three springs are in tension. Once the desired number of pins are inserted through the rod, the backrest is pivoted away from the seat past vertical until the strap can be attached from the center of the rear of the frame to the center of the top edge of the backrest. Pivoting the backrest away from the seat will create tension in the springs. Once the strap is attached, the tension in the springs will keep the strap taut (FIG. 1). An occupant sits on the seat (FIG. 2). The occupant's back is to the backrest. The occupant's legs are out in front of him in the blind. The backrest is in the ready position. Once sitting in the seat, the occupant leans back against the backrest. The weight of the occupant leaning against the backrest overcomes the force of the springs in the hinge and causes the backrest to recline. The backrest reclines until it reaches the concealed position (FIG. 3). At this point, the occupant is laying-down approximately flat in the blind.
When the occupant desires to transition to the ready position, the occupant starts to sit up. The occupant's efforts to sit up are supplemented by the force provided by the springs in the hinge. This allows the occupant to sit up faster. It also allows the occupant to avoid fatigue if he sits up frequently. As the occupant sits up, the backrest and occupant are propelled upward by the springs. This supplements the occupant's efforts. The backrest continues to pivot until it reaches the ready position. At this point, the occupant is sitting up.
When this embodiment is no longer in use, the strap is detached allowing the backrest to pivot forward. This takes the tension off the springs. The pins can then be removed.
An alternative embodiment presented in FIGS. 6 and 7 adds a hood 50 to the structure described above. The hood 50 is a means for concealing the occupants head, arms, and torso. The hood 50 pivots from a position concealing the occupant when in the concealed position (FIG. 7) to a position exposing the occupant when in the ready position (FIG. 6). Attached to the backrest near its top edge is a means for pivotally attaching the hood to the backrest 68. The hood is pivotally attached to the backrest such that the hood pivots from a position substantially covering the backrest and occupant (closed position) when the backrest is in the concealed position (FIG. 7), to a position exposing the backrest and occupant (open position) when the backrest is in the ready position (FIG. 6). A strap 36 attaches to the hood and to the frame. When the backrest pivots from the concealed position to the ready position the strap pulls on the hood causing it to pivot from the closed position to the open position.
The hood 50 is comprised of a rigid frame and a semi-transparent, concealing, material which covers the rigid frame. The hood is sized appropriately to cover the occupant's head, arms, and torso. The hood 50 is contoured such that it forms a dome over the backrest 14 when the backrest is in the concealed position. The hood has a top side 56 and a bottom side 58 corresponding to the side facing up and the side facing down. The hood has a left side 60 and a right side corresponding to the left and right of an occupant sitting in the seat. The hood has a front side 64 corresponding to the side that covers the occupant's lower torso and a back side 66 corresponding to the side that covers the occupant's head. The hood pivotally attaches to the backrest 68. The points of attachment on the hood are on the left and right sides, at the bottom of the hood, near the back of the hood. The points of attachment on the backrest are on the left and right sides of the backrest near the backrests top edge.
A strap 36 runs from a point on the center of the back edge of the base to a point on the top of the hood that is near the back side of the hood and centered between the left and right sides. The characteristics of the strap are the same as described in the preferred embodiment, except that the strap 36 is attached to the hood 50 rather than to the backrest 14. Because the strap is attached to the hood rather than the backrest, in addition to stopping the pivotal motion of the backrest it also provides the resistance that causes the hood to pivot from the closed position to the open position. When the backrest is in the concealed position and the hood is in the closed position there is slack in the strap (FIG. 7). When the backrest is in the ready position and the hood is in the open position the hood strap is taut (FIG. 6).
The set up of this embodiment is the same as described for the preferred embodiment above. The operation is also very similar to the preferred embodiment.
To operate this embodiment of the invention an occupant sits on the seat (FIG. 6). The occupant's back is to the backrest. The occupant's legs are out in front of him. The backrest is in the ready position. The hood is in the open position. The strap is taut. Once sitting in the seat, the occupant leans back against the backrest. The weight of the occupant leaning against the backrest overcomes the force of the springs in the hinge and causes the backrest to recline. As the backrest reclines, the tension on the strap is released. The backrest continues to recline until it reaches the concealed position (FIG. 7). At any time after the tension in the strap is released, the occupant can close the hood by reaching up and manually pivoting it into the closed position. The occupant can close the hood as the backrest is pivoting into the concealed position, or wait until he is fully reclined. Once the hood is closed, the occupant is laying approximately flat, the hood is concealing the occupant's head, arms, and torso, and there is slack in the strap.
When the occupant desires to transition to the ready position, the occupant starts to sit up. The occupant's efforts to sit up are supplemented by the force provided by the springs in the hinge. This allows the occupant to sit up faster. It also allows the occupant to avoid fatigue if he sits up frequently. As the occupant sits up, the backrest pivots from the concealed position to the ready position. As this occurs the slack is taken out of the strap. When the strap becomes taut, it prevents the top of the hood from moving forward or upward. As the backrest continues to pivot forward and upward, the bottom of the hood is pushed forward and upward at the points of attachment to the backrest. This causes the front of the hood to move upward as the hood pivots on the points of attachment. The hood continues to pivot in this fashion until the backrest comes to a stop in the ready position. At this point, the occupant is sitting up, the hood is open, and the strap is taut.
An alternative embodiment presented in FIG. 8 adds a social bar 72 to either of the above embodiments. The social bar 72 is a bar that supports the backrest 14 so that the occupant can lean his entire weight against the backrest without it reclining to the concealed position.
The social bar 72 prevents the backrest 14 from pivoting into the concealed position when the occupant exerts force on the backrest. It is anticipated that there will be times when the occupant will be in this embodiment of the invention and not want to be concealed but not want to be maintaining a state of readiness. The social bar supports the backrest in a fixed position to allow the occupant to sit up and lean against the backrest without causing the backrest to pivot into the concealed position. The social bar 72 is a U-shaped member that pivotally attaches to the base 12 on the left and right sides approximately half way between the back of the seat 34 and the back of the frame. The social bar can pivot freely in relation to the base. In the down position the social bar is entirely within the outline of the frame. When the social bar is in this position the backrest can move freely through its entire range of motion. In the up position (FIG. 8) the social bar extends up from the base 12 and supports the backrest 14 at an angle that is comfortable for the occupant. In the up position the social bar will not be vertical. It will be held at an angle by the force of the backrest leaning against it. When the backrest 14 is leaning against the social bar 72 there will be some slack in the strap 36. When the force on the backrest is removed, the social bar will fall into the down position.
To operate the social bar, while in the ready position the occupant manually pivots the social bar upwards behind the backrest. The occupant then leans back against the backrest causing the backrest to come into contact with the social bar. The occupant can then let go of the social bar because the force of the backrest against it will keep it in place. When the occupant wants to release the social bar thereby allowing transition into the concealed position, the occupant leans forward. This will cause the backrest to pivot forward. When the backrest is no longer in contact with the social bar, gravity will cause the social bar to pivot downward. This clears the path for the backrest to pivot into the concealed position.
Scope of Invention
It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various modifications and variations can be made in the practice of the present invention and in construction of this device without departing from the scope or spirit of the invention. Other embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from consideration of the specification and practice of the invention. It is intended that the specification and examples be considered as exemplary only, with the true scope and spirit of the invention being indicated by the following claims and their legal equivalents.
Patent applications in class Movable to a rear-horizontal position
Patent applications in all subclasses Movable to a rear-horizontal position