US20060021551A1 - Table with folding leg - Google Patents

Table with folding leg Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060021551A1
US20060021551A1 US10/903,269 US90326904A US2006021551A1 US 20060021551 A1 US20060021551 A1 US 20060021551A1 US 90326904 A US90326904 A US 90326904A US 2006021551 A1 US2006021551 A1 US 2006021551A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
support
disposed
underside
rail
slot
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Abandoned
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US10/903,269
Inventor
Brian Pleiman
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Rubbermaid Inc
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Rubbermaid Inc
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Publication date
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Priority to US10/903,269 priority Critical patent/US20060021551A1/en
Assigned to RUBBERMAID INCORPORATED reassignment RUBBERMAID INCORPORATED ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: PLEIMAN, BRIAN R.
Publication of US20060021551A1 publication Critical patent/US20060021551A1/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
    • A47BTABLES; DESKS; OFFICE FURNITURE; CABINETS; DRAWERS; GENERAL DETAILS OF FURNITURE
    • A47B3/00Folding or stowable tables
    • A47B3/08Folding or stowable tables with legs pivoted to top or underframe
    • A47B3/0818Folding or stowable tables with legs pivoted to top or underframe with manually actuated locking means

Abstract

A table includes a table top with an underside with a pin being carried on the underside. A support has a first end and a second end, the first end includes a slot, and the pin is disposed in the slot such that the support is moveable both linearly and rotationally relative to the table top between a stored position in which the second end is adjacent the underside of the table top and a locked position in which the second end is substantially rigidly maintained away from the underside.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The invention relates to tables, and more particularly to tables with support legs that fold for easy storage.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Folding tables such as banquet tables have a table top and a support on each end attached to the underside of the table top. Each support can include a pair of legs and can be collapsible or can fold between an extended position and a stored position. In the extended position, the supports are approximately perpendicular to the table top, while in the stored position, the supports are folded against the table top. By placing the supports in the stored position, the table can be stored in a comparatively small space.
  • In a particular known table, each support is rotatably attached to the underside of the table top. A two bar linkage has a first end connected to the underside of the table top and a second end connected to the support at a position approximately midway down the support. As the support is rotated from the stored position to the extended position, the linkage is extended and locks the support in the extended position.
  • At least some known tables may be cumbersome to use. For example, some two bar linkage systems may be difficult to move into the locking position. Some systems may also present pinch points which are undesirable.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a table constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the underside of the table of FIG. 1 with the support shown in a first, or stored, position.
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the underside of the table of FIG. 1 with the support shown in a fourth, or locked, position.
  • FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary view in perspective view taken about the circumscribed portion of FIG. 2.
  • FIG. 5 is an exploded view of the components of FIG. 4.
  • FIG. 6 is a partial cross-sectional view taken along line 6-6 in FIG. 4.
  • FIG. 7 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 4 and showing the end of the support in a second, or folded, position.
  • FIG. 8 is an exploded view of the components of FIG. 7.
  • FIG. 9 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view taken along line 9-9 in FIG. 7.
  • FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the end of the support in a third, or extended, position.
  • FIG. 11 is an exploded view of the components of FIG. 10.
  • FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the end of the support in the fourth position.
  • FIG. 13 is an exploded view of the components of FIG. 12.
  • FIG. 14 is an elevational side view of the support taken along line 14-14 in FIG. 12.
  • While the disclosure is susceptible to various modifications and alternative constructions, certain illustrative embodiments thereof have been shown in the drawings and will be described below in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intention to limit the disclosure to the specific forms disclosed, but on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, alternative constructions, and the equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1 depicts a first example of a table 20 with a first foldable support 22. In this example, the table 20 also includes a second foldable support 24. The table 20 has a left side 26, a right side 28, a front side 30 and a back side 32. The table 20 further has a right half 33 and a left half 35. The first support 22 is located near the right side 28 on the right half 33, and the second support 22 is located near the left side 26 on the left half 35. The table 20 includes a table top 34 with a top side 36 and an underside 38. In this example, only the first support 22 will be described, as it will be understood that the structure on the left half 35 of the table 20, including the second support 24, can be a mirror image of the structure on the right half 34. All directional labels of the table 20, e.g. front, left, and top sides and the like, are for reference and convenience of description only, and not intended to limit the table 20 in any way.
  • The first support 22 and the second support 24 maintain the table in an elevated position above a support surface 40. The first support 22 is rotatably attached to the underside 38 of the table top 34 and is rotatable between at least an locked position, as depicted in FIG. 1, and a stored position, as depicted in FIG. 2.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 2 and 3, the underside 38 of the table 20 is shown. FIG. 2 depicts the first support 22 in the stored position and FIG. 3 depicts the first support 22 in the locked position. In the locked position, the first support 22 is preferably disposed (i.e. the first support 22 has been moved from its stored position generally parallel to the table top 34 to a position just past perpendicular to the table top 34) approximately 92° relative to the table top 34. In this position, the first and second supports 22, 24 can resist forces in the directions of the left and right sides 26, 28 of the table to minimize or prevent rocking of the table top 34. However, the first support 22 may be positioned in a wide range of angles relative to the table top 34 when the support 22 is in the locked position. In the stored position, the first support 22 is disposed against the underside of the table top 34.
  • The table top 34 is plate-like and in this example is constructed of molded plastic. Other materials can be used to manufacture the table top 34 such as wood, fiber board, metal, combinations or layers thereof, or other suitable materials. The table top 34 can also include a skirt 42 extending downward to help obscure the hardware on the underside 38 of the table top 34 from sight when in the set-up condition as well as provide increased strength to the table top 34. The skirt 42 can also allow the supports 22, 24 when folded to rest between a plane defined by a bottom edge 44 of the skirt 42 and the underside 38 of the table top 34.
  • The table top 34 includes a receiving stop 46 slightly to the right of the first support 22 when the first support 22 is in the stored position. The receiving stop 46 allows the first support 22 to be moved to the right a distance, then stops further linear travel but allows rotation of the first support 22. The table top 34 further includes a channel or recess 48 at the base of the receiving stop 46. The channel 48 is sized to receive a portion of the first support 22, as will be described herein.
  • The table top 34 can include a frame 50 mounted to the underside 38. The frame 50 is constructed to provide support to the table top 34 without adding a substantial amount of weight. The frame 50 includes a first rail 52 extending along the front side 30 and a second rail 54 extending along the back side 32 within the skirt 42. The first rail 52 and the second rail 54 include right end surfaces 52 a, 54 a, respectively. The rails 52, 54 may be fabricated from steel and may be in the shape of a tube. One of skill in the art may construct the frame in a configuration other than those shown. For example, if the table 20 must support a great amount of weight, the frame 50 can include a number of cross members connecting the rails 52, 54. The rails 52, 54 can also have increased size in wall thickness and cross-section, or have a different configuration in cross section, such as I-beam, or the like. The material of the frame 50 can also vary as needed. A first and second depression 55 can be disposed in the underside 38 of the table top 34 toward the right end 28 of the first and second rails 52, 54.
  • The first support 22 as shown is rotatably attached to the frame 50. The first support 22 includes a cross member 58 with a front end 60 and a back end 62 disposed between the first and second rails 52, 54 of the frame. The first support 22 may further include a first leg 64 a and second leg 64 b extending away from the cross member 58. In this example, the first and second legs 64 a and 64 b extend from the front end 60 and the back end 62 of the cross member 58, respectively, and a brace 66 connects the legs 64 a and 64 b to strengthen the first support 22 and the table 20. The first support 22 has a top end 68 at the cross-member 58 and a bottom end 70 opposite the top end 68.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 4-6, and specifically FIG. 5 (an exploded view of FIG. 4), the first rail 52 of the frame 50 can include a first pin 56 near the right side 28 of the table 20, extending inward toward the second rail 54 parallel relative to the plane of the table 20. The second rail 54 can include a similar pin near the right side 28 of the table 20 extending inward toward the first rail 52. The pins 56 rotatably secure the first support 22 to the table top 34, as will be described herein and define an axis of rotation 57 of the first support 22.
  • As is best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6, a first slot 72 is disposed in the first leg 64 a near the top end 68 of the first support 22. The first slot 72 faces outward toward the front rail 52 and extends to both sides relative to a longitudinal axis A of the cross member 58. The first slot 72 has a left section 74, a middle section 76, and a right section 78. A second slot (not shown) is disposed in the second leg 64 b in a mirror image of the slot 72 in the first leg 64 a. The first and second pins 56 from the first and second rails 52, 54 extend into the first slot 72 and the second slot to allow the first support 22 to both move laterally towards and away from the right side 28 (i.e. generally parallel to a longitudinal axis B of the rail 52) and also to move rotationally about the pins 56.
  • A top tab 80 and a bottom tab 82 are disposed on each leg 64 a, 64 b adjacent the top end 68 of each leg 64 a, 64 b. The tabs 80, 82 are preferably spaced such that the tabs 80, 82 are on opposite sides of the axis A. The slots 72 extend generally from underneath the top tab 80 to underneath the bottom tab 82. When the first support 22 is in the stored position, the top tabs 80 and bottom tabs 82 extend outward and over the rails 52, 54 of the frame 50, as is shown in FIGS. 2 and 4. In this position, the bottom tabs 82 are to the left of the pins 56, and at least a portion of the top tabs 80 are to the right of the pins 56.
  • The operation of the table 20 in moving the first support 22 from the stored position to the extended position will now be described. With reference to FIGS. 2, 4, 5, and 6, in the stored position the first support 22 is laying substantially against the underside 38 of the table top 34, with the bottom end 70 adjacent to the underside 38. The pins 56 are in the right sections 78 of the slots 72 as indicated by the point 83 a. Both the top tabs 80 and the bottom tabs 82 extend out over the first and second rails 52, 54 of the frame 50 and further the top tab 80 is to the right of the axis of rotation 57. Because the top tab 80 is to the right of the axis of rotation 57, if a user attempts to rotate the first support 22 in a direction D1, the top tabs 80 are forced downward against the first and second rails 52, 54 and this attempted rotation is blocked. Accordingly, no rotational movement of the first support 22 about the pins 56 is possible when the pins 56 are in the right section 78 of the slots 72 and the first support 22 is in the stored position.
  • To move the first support 22 to the locked position, the first support 22 must first be slid laterally in direction D2 toward the right end 28 until the cross member 58 contacts the receiving ridge 48. In this second position, known as the folded position, the pins 56 are approximately in the middle section 76 of the slots 72, as indicated by the point 83 b. The receiving stop 46 prevents any further lateral movement of the first support 22 toward the right side 28, but the receiving stop 46 allows rotational movement of the first support 22 about the pin 56. In this position, the top tabs 80 have been pushed back to the right of the ends 52 a, 54 a of the rails 52, 54, and no longer create any interference in the rotation of the first support 22. The cross member 58 can be coaxial with the pins 56, such that rotation of the support 22 about the pins 56 is also rotation about the cross member 58 and is about the axis of rotation 57. In the folded position, the bottom tabs 82 are to the left of the pins 56, and the top tabs 80 are to the right of the pins 56.
  • At this point, the first support 22 can be pivoted in direction D1 to an unfolded and unlocked position, also known as the extended position shown in FIGS. 10 and 11. In rotating the first support 22 to the position shown in FIG. 10, the first support 22 is rotated about the pins 56 in a clockwise manner. The top tabs 80 are rotated down and the bottom tabs 82 are rotated up until each tab 80, 82 is approximately coplanar with the ends 52 a, 54 a of the first and second rails 52, 54. In this position, the pins 56 are still approximately in the middle section 76 of the slots 72.
  • The first support 22 can then be moved into the unfolded and locked, or simply locked position as is depicted in FIGS. 3 and 12-14 by pushing the first support 22 in a direction D3 into the table top 34. As described earlier, the channel 48 is disposed in the underside 38 of the table top 34 directly adjacent to the base of the receiving stop 46, and the cross member 58 can be placed into the channel 48. Further, depressions 55 are disposed in the table top directly to the right of the ends 52 a, 54 a of the first rail 52 and the second rail 54. The user simply pushes the first support 22 into the table top 34 such that the cross member 58 is inserted into the channel 48, and the top end 68 of the legs 64 are moved into the depressions 55. The cross member 58 can have an interference fit in the channel 48 and the depressions 55 can be complementary to the top end 68 of the first and second legs 64 a, 64 b and the top tabs 80 to ensure a tight fit.
  • In this position, the bottom tabs 82 are now disposed adjacent the ends 52 a, 54 a of the first and second rails 52, 54. Further, the pins 56 are now located in the left section 74 of the slots 72 as indicated by point 83 c. Accordingly, the bottom tabs 82 prevent the first support 22 from rotating back to the stored position due to the interference of rotating against the ends 52 a, 54 a of the first and second rails 52, 54. Further, because the top end 68 of the first support 22 is fit within the depressions 55, the rotation of the first support 22 while in the locked position is further prevented. In this position, the first support 22 is secured into the locked position shown in FIGS. 1 and 3 and is capable of supporting the table top 38 in an elevated position above a substrate 40.
  • To return the first support 22 from the locked position to the stored position, the above steps can simply be performed in reverse. The first support 22 can be pulled away from the table top 34 such that the cross member 58 is pulled out of the channel 48. In this position, the cross member 58 is collinear with the pin 56 and the axis of rotation 57. The first support 22 is then rotated such that the first support 22, including the bottom end 70, is adjacent to the underside 38 of the table top 34. The first support 22 is then moved linearly away from the right side 28 until the pins 56 are in the right section 78 of the slots 72 and the top tabs 80 are over the first and second rails 52, 54 so that the first support 22 is in the stored position.
  • The foregoing description is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to the precise form disclosed. It is contemplated that various changes and modifications may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

Claims (26)

1. A table comprising:
a table top with an underside;
a pin carried on the underside; and
a support having a first end and a second end, the first end including a slot, the pin being disposed in the slot such that the support is moveable both linearly and rotationally relative to the table top between a stored position in which the second end is adjacent the underside of the table top and a locked position in which the second end is substantially rigidly maintained away from the underside.
2. The table of claim 1, wherein the support includes a cross member and a first and second leg each extending away from the cross member, the slot being disposed in the first leg, the first slot extending on both sides of a longitudinal axis defined by the cross member.
3. The table of claim 1, further comprising a rail disposed on the underside of the table top, the support further including a top tab disposed on the first end of the support and positioned such that when the support is in the stored position, the top tab extends out over the rail and prevents the support from being rotated about the pin.
4. The table of claim 3, further comprising a bottom tab disposed on the support, the bottom tab displaced linearly from the top tab towards the second end, the first rail having an end surface, wherein when the first support is in the locked position, the bottom tab is disposed against the end surface of the first rail.
5. The table of claim 1, further comprising a rail disposed on the underside of the table top, the table top including a depression adjacent an end of the rail, the first end of the support being disposed in the depression when the support is in the locked position.
6. The table of claim 1, the table top including a raised stop disposed on the underside positioned to restrict linear movement of the support, but allow rotational movement of the support.
7. The table of claim 6, the table top including a channel disposed adjacent the raised stop and adapted to receive at least a portion of the support in the locked position.
8. A table comprising:
a table top with an underside;
a frame disposed on the underside, the frame including a first rail and a second rail opposite the first rail, the first rail and second rail each including a pin;
a support having a cross member and a first leg and a second leg extending away from the cross member, the first support further having first end and a second end, the first leg including a first slot adjacent the first end and the second leg including a second slot adjacent the first end, the first pin being disposed in the first slot and the second pin being disposed in the second slot; and
a channel disposed in the table top and sized and shaped to receive at least a portion of the cross member;
wherein the support is be moveable both linearly and rotationally relative to the table top between a stored position in which the second end is adjacent the underside of the table top and a locked position in which the second end is unfolded away from the underside and the portion of the cross member is disposed within the channel.
9. The table of claim 8, the support further including a top tab disposed adjacent the first end of the first leg positioned such that when the support is in the stored position, the top tab extends out over the first rail and prevents the support from being rotated about the first and second pins.
10. The table of claim 8, the table top including a raised stop disposed on the underside positioned to restrict linear movement of the support, but allow rotational movement of the support.
11. The table of claim 8, the table top including a pair of depressions adjacent ends of the first and second rail and adapted to receive the first end of the first and second legs when the support is in the locked position.
12. The table of claim 8, the support further including a bottom tab disposed on the first leg, the bottom tab displaced linearly from the top tab towards the second end, the first rail having an end surface, wherein when the first support is in the locked position, the bottom tab is disposed against the end surface of the first rail.
13. A table comprising:
a pin carried by an underside of the table and extending relative to a plane of the table; and
a support arranged to support the table on a support surface, the support including a slot sized to receive the pin, the pin and the slot cooperating to permit the support to shift to a plurality of positions, the positions including a first position in which the support can slide along the plane of the table top but not rotate, a second position in which the support can rotate about the pin between a folded and an unfolded position, and a third position in which the support can shift toward the plane of the table from an unfolded, unlocked position to an unfolded, locked position.
14. The table of claim 13, including a stop on the underside and positioned to limit movement of the support relative to the plane of the table.
15. The table of claim 13, wherein the underside of the table includes a recess sized and shaped to receive at least a portion of the support when the support is shifted to the unfolded, locked position.
16. The table of claim 13, wherein the support includes an axis of rotation, the axis of rotation positioned to be aligned with the pin when the support is in the second position.
17. The table of claim 13, wherein the support includes at least one tab positioned on the support to prevent rotation of the support when the support is in the first position.
18. The table of claim 13, wherein the support includes at least one tab positioned on the support to prevent rotation of the support when the support is in the unfolded, locked position.
19. The table of claim 13, wherein the support includes an axis of rotation and a pair of tabs disposed on opposite sides of the axis of rotation, one of the tabs positioned to prevent rotation of the support when the support is in the first position, the other tab positioned to prevent rotation when the support is in the unfolded, locked position.
20. The table of claim 13, further comprising a rail mounted to the underside of the table, the pin extending from the rail.
21. The table of claim 20, further comprising a frame mounted to the underside of the table adapted to strengthen the table top, the frame including the rail.
22. The table of claim 13, wherein the support comprises a cross rail and a leg, the slot being disposed in the leg.
23. A table comprising:
a table top with an underside;
a rail disposed on the underside of the table top and including a pin extending relative to a plane of the table top;
a support with a first end and a second end opposite the first end, the support adapted to maintain the table top in an elevated condition; and
a slot disposed on the first end of the support and having first, second, and third sections, the pin being disposed in the slot, wherein when the pin is disposed in the first or third section of the slot, the support is linearly moveable relative to the table top, and when the pin is disposed in the second section, the support is rotationally moveable relative to the table top.
24. The table of claim 23, wherein the second section of the slot is positioned between the first section and the third section.
25. A table comprising:
a table top with an underside;
a rail extending along the underside of the table top;
a support shiftably attached to the underside of the table top, wherein a portion of the support and a portion of the rail are arranged to permit the support to shift from a first position to a second position, the portion of the support and the portion of the rail further arranged to permit the support to rotate between a second position and a third position when the support has been placed in the second position
26. The table of claim 25, further comprising a pin carried by the table top and a slot in the support, the pin being slidably disposed in the slot.
US10/903,269 2004-07-30 2004-07-30 Table with folding leg Abandoned US20060021551A1 (en)

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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
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US20050217541A1 (en) * 2002-07-26 2005-10-06 Shepherd Peter Stanley L F Stanchion support

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