Futon. Friday , December 15th , 2017 - 11:58:29 AM
When the futon industry was born back in the 1980's, the frames were well thought out and well constructed. Whether it was softwoods or hardwoods, the frames featured good fundamental designs made from solid wood. These futon frames would incorporate new working mechanisms and ideas in operation that made futons appealing not only in their design but in the quality of materials and construction that went into them. The futon industry was doing well and growing with these frames heading into the 1990's but then the black metal futon frame came onto the scene.
In December 1991 Thomas L. Meade submitted a convertible furniture frame patent (Patent Number 5170519) that did not use arms in its design for assisting conversion of the futon but a hinges and stops arrangement. The seat and back sections incorporated pieces of lumber beneath them to act as supports. There were two of these used on each section that when laid down in a bed position would rest on these supports. The genius in this design was its ability to pivot on a set of nylon wheels located towards the lower back of the seat section supports. All one has to do was tilt the frame back on the wheels which would put the back rest on the floor and pull the seat section up to unlock it and lower it down into a bed position. This design was simple, functional and easy to operate without the need for arms on the ends of the frame to help in the futons conversion.
Bent hinges also added another issue that would happen from use over time. While not as common as the other problems this issue still led to the failure of many black metal frames. The hinges were attached to the arms of the futon frames with two bolts and two nuts. While this design was OK the hinges themselves would fail when too much weight was applied to one side or the other. These would also bend out rendering them useless in the operation of the futon.
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