QUICK FRAMING SYSTEM Background of the Invention Field of the Invention The present invention is directed to a frame assembly that can be used to easily and quickly frame a work of art.
Description of Related Art A work of art is generally framed to keep it preserved as well as to add aesthetic beauty when displayed. The term"work of art"is defined as any two or three dimensional article which it may be desirable to frame such as a document, photograph, print, diploma, or object. Consumer's often have a work of art framed by a professional, but can save great expense by framing the work of art themselves. The consumer does not possess the tools or skills of a professional framer. It is therefore desirable to provide a framing assembly that allows the consumer to frame a work of art inexpensively, quickly and easily without requiring any special tools or skills.
Summary of the Invention The present invention is a frame that may be applied easily and quickly to a work of art but does not require any special tools or instruction.
A frame assembly for quickly, easy, and inexpensively framing a work of art without requiring any special tools or skills. The frame assembly includes a transparent protective member and support member. A work of art is positioned between the protective and support members. One or more frame members are then used to secure the protective and support members together. Frame members may be two or three dimensional. Each frame member has a slot defined therein to be slidably displaced over the assembled protective and support members with the work of art disposed therebetween. An internal rib projects outwardly into the slot of the frame member. This rib is received within a corresponding slot defined in at least a portion of the support member. To further ensure that the protective and support members remain secured together, a retaining member, such as a spring clip, leaf clip, or eccentric cam, may be positioned within the slot of the frame member to produce a force against the support member. The assembled frame may be mounted to the wall using a variety of different techniques.
Brief Description of the Drawing The foregoing and other features of the present invention will be more readily apparent from the following detailed description and drawings of illustrative embodiments of the invention wherein like reference numbers refer to similar elements throughout the several views and in which: Figure 1 is an exploded view of a framing assembly in accordance with the present invention; Figure 2 is a partial cut away view of the frame member in Figure 1 with the spring clip; Figure 3 is a partial cross sectional view of the frame member in Figure 1 with the assembled frame hung on a wall using a nail; Figure 4 is a partial cross sectional view of the frame member in Figure 1 with the assembled frame hung on a wall using an eccentric and cam; Figure 5 is an alternative embodiment of the frame member in Figure 1 with a toothed insert used to hang the frame on the wall; and Figure 6 is a partial cross sectional view of the frame member in Figure 5 with the assembled frame hung on a wall via the toothed insert.
Detailed Description of the Invention Figure 1 is an exploded view of a first embodiment of a quick framing assembly 5 in accordance with the present invention. Framing assembly 5 is used to frame a work of art 10. A transparent protective member 12, such as a sheet of glass or plexiglass, is placed over one surface of the work of art 10, while the opposite surface is covered by a support or backing member 14, for example, a sheet of Masonite, for supporting the work of art 10. By way of example, the protective member 12 and support member 14 shown in Figure 1 are two dimensional rectangular sheets, however, any polygonal shape or size two dimensional sheet may be used, as desired. Protective member 12 and 14 may, but need not always be, the same shape as that of the work of art 10. For instance, the work of art may be square while the protective member 12 and support member 14 may be trapezoidal in shape.
Instead of using two dimensional sheets as shown in Figure 1 it is within the intended scope of the invention for the protective member 12 and/or support member 14 to be three dimensional forming a housing enclosing the work of art 10. By way of example, the protective member may form a rectangular box having one open side that is closed off by the support member when assembled. In this embodiment, the work of art is supported between the protective and support member using conventional techniques, for example, by mounting the work of art 10 to the support member 14.
Support member 14, work of art 10, and protective layer 12 are held together by frame members 16,18. Frame members 16,18 are preferably made of a rigid material that may be treated with a coating, for example, an alodine treating or anodized treating. In the exemplary embodiment shown in Figure 1, frame assembly 5 includes a rectangular frame member 16 and a cylindrical frame member 18. Although two frame members are shown any number of one or more members may be used.
Frame member 18 extends substantially equal to the width of the protective and support members 12,14, whereas, frame member 16 extends only a portion of the width of the protective and support members 12,14. Since frame member 16 is smaller in length than the width of the protective and support members 12,14 it may be slid to any desired position, for example, centered, along the length thereof. The length of each frame member 16,18 may be selected as desired. In yet another embodiment, the frame member 16,18 may be sized to extend beyond the width of the protective member 12 and support member 14.
Support member 14 has at least one, preferably two, grooves or channels, 20,21 defined therein. Frame members 16,18 include slots 22,26, respectively, defined therein. Slot 22,26 is sufficiently sized and shaped to receive the assembled support member 14, work of art 10, and protective member 12. An internal rib 24,28 projects inwardly from the slot 22,26 of the frame members 16,18, respectively. Ribs 24,28 are complementary in shape to that of grooves 20,21, respectively. When assembled, ribs 24,28 engage grooves 20,21, respectively, thereby securing the work of art 10 between the protective member 12 and support member 14. The ribs 24,28 and grooves 20,21 are shown in Figure 1 as extending in an axial direction across the entire width of the frame members 16,18 and support member 14. In an alternative embodiment, the ribs 24,28 and grooves 20,21 may extend along only a portion of the frame member and/or support member.
Figures 2 and 3 show an alternative embodiment of the frame member including a retaining member 30, such as a spring clip or leaf spring made from metal or plastic, that is received within a recess 32 defined in the slot 22,26. Retaining member 30 narrows the width of the slot 22,26 thereby generating a force that urges the work of art 10, protective member 12, and support member 14 together holding them securely in place. A complementary slot is preferably also defined in the support member 14 to receive the retaining member 30 at a desired position.
Different embodiments may be used to secure the frame assembly 5 to the wall 17. Figure 2 shows a V-shaped notch or hole 34 cut into the longitudinal edge of the frame member 16. In the exemplary embodiment shown in Figure 2 the notch is V- shaped, however, any shaped notch may be used as desired. A partial cross sectional view of the frame assembly mounted to a wall 17 is shown in Figure 3. The frame assembly 5 is secured to the wall using a nail, screw, hook or other conventional hanging device 36 that is received in the notch of hole 34. Figure 3 also shows the direction of force F generated by the retaining member 30 against the support member 14. To further ensure that the protective member 12 and secure member 14 are retained within the frame member 16 a screw or some other type of securing device 39 is preferably inserted through the frame member 16 so that it penetrates into a portion of the structure member 14. A securing device 39 may also be used with the second frame member 18 in a similar manner.
Figure 4 shows a partial cross sectional view of an alternative embodiment for hanging the frame assembly 5 by inserting the hanging device 42 into a hole or aperture 40 defined in frame member 16. The retaining member 30 used to urge the work of art 10, protective member 12, and support member 14 together is an eccentric cam 38.
Still another embodiment for hanging the frame assembly 5 to a wall is shown in Figure 5. Frame member 18 has an additional recess defined within the slot 26 to receive a positioning member 50. By way of example positioning member 50 is a saw toothed member having any number of two or more teeth. Figure 6 is a partial cross sectional view of the frame assembly of Figure 5 hung on a wall 17 by a hanging device 56. As is evident from Figure 6 positioning member 50 is not planar but instead is bent at an angle so that when assembled and mounted to the wall 17 the positioning member 50 projects away from the assembled frame 5 to readily seat the hanging device 56.
During assembly the work of art 10 is placed between the protective member 12 and support member 14. One or more frame members 16,18 are slid across a commonly aligned linear edge or side of the assembled protective and support members 12,14 to a desired position. Prior to sliding the frame member 16,18 onto the assembled support member 14, work of art 10, and protective member 12, rib 26,28 of frame member 16,18, respectively, must be properly aligned with the slot or groove 20,21 defined in the support member 18. If multiple frame members 16,18 are used the process described above is repeated for each frame member.
Thereafter, the assembled frame and work of art may be mounted to the wall using a hanging device that is inserted or received in a v-shaped groove 34 or aperture defined in the frame member 16,18 itself. Alternatively, the assembled frame may be mounted to the wall by receiving the hanging device in a position member. Other conventional techniques for mounting the assembled frame to the wall are within the scope of the invention.
Although the framing assembly in accordance with the present invention has been shown and described with the frame member having an internal rib and the supporting member having a complementary groove defined therein, it is contemplated that the frame member may be constructed to have a groove defined therein while the support member has a complementary externally projecting rib to be received within the groove.
Thus, while there have been shown, described, and pointed out fundamental novel features of the invention as applied to a preferred embodiment thereof, it will be understood that various omissions, substitutions, and changes in the form and details of the devices illustrated, and in their operation, may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, it is expressly intended that all combinations of those elements and/or steps which perform substantially the same function, in substantially the same way, to achieve the same results are within the scope of the invention. Substitutions of elements from one described embodiment to another are also fully intended and contemplated. It is also to be understood that the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale, but that they are merely conceptual in nature. It is the intention, therefore, to be limited only as indicated by the scope of the claims appended hereto.