US20110221240A1 - Compact children's table and stool set - Google Patents

Compact children's table and stool set Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110221240A1
US20110221240A1 US12/661,174 US66117410A US2011221240A1 US 20110221240 A1 US20110221240 A1 US 20110221240A1 US 66117410 A US66117410 A US 66117410A US 2011221240 A1 US2011221240 A1 US 2011221240A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
seat
pedestal
cushion
tabletop
seating arrangement
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Abandoned
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US12/661,174
Inventor
Ziming Shen
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Ziming Shen
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47DFURNITURE SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR CHILDREN
    • A47D3/00Children's tables
    • 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
    • A47B83/00Combinations comprising two or more pieces of furniture of different kinds
    • A47B83/02Tables combined with seats
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47DFURNITURE SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR CHILDREN
    • A47D1/00Children's chairs

Abstract

A table and seating arrangement includes a tabletop having an underside and an edge. A pedestal supports the tabletop. The pedestal includes an X-shaped base with a plurality of upwardly extending slotted pedestal sheets. Each sheet has a slot accommodating a respective slot in another sheet by sliding the slots together. One or more seat assemblies, such as stools, are horizontally movable between a use position on the ground and at least a portion of each seat is movable beyond the edge of the tabletop. In a storage position, the entire seat assembly is positioned with a predetermined area below the underside of the tabletop. Each seat assembly includes a seat support frame having two flat vertical walls joined by one arcuate wall, enclosing a hollow storage chamber therebetween; wherein the vertical walls are constructed to rest adjacent to the table pedestal in a storage position of non-use.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to a compact table and seating arrangement wherein the entire seat assembly is stored below the underside of the tabletop.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Rich variation in furniture design abounds. Sets of tables with matching chairs for adults or scaled down in size for children's use are also in common use. Sometimes for the sake of compactness and/or resistance to toppling over, the seats for children's sets are attached to the table in various manners such as rigidly attached benches or on swing-out hinges. One typical example is a scaled down picnic table with integral benches. Round tables with chairs that nest under the tabletop are also available. Conventional chairs with seat backs and four legs are common as are backless stools. Stools with three legs and triangular seat have also been used.
  • The prior art does not reveal a children's table and stool set with synergy of design to provide compactness, low cost, aesthetic appeal, comfort, ease of shipping and assembly, and also has the ability to promote good behavior in cooperative tabletop activities.
  • OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION
  • An object of this invention is to provide a children's table and stool set to accommodate up to four children for tabletop activities which is compact as assembled and compact to fit into a standard shipping box of modest dimensions.
  • Another object of this invention is to provide a table and stool set of aesthetic appeal at relatively low cost and with very robust construction.
  • Yet another object of this invention is to provide the comfort of a cushioned seat on the stool.
  • Also an object of this invention is to provide stools which are unattached to the table to provide convenience of ingress and egress.
  • An object of this invention is to provide stools which are topple resistant and give stable support to a seated child.
  • Another object of this invention is to provide a storage chamber with space for toys and other materials within the space of each stool.
  • Yet another object of this invention is to provide cushion covers that can be removed for washing or changing color schemes and then replaced.
  • Also an object of this invention is to provide a check on intentional or inadvertent kicking of one child by another while seated at the table by virtue of a natural barrier to such activity inherent to the table design.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • In keeping with these objects and others which may become apparent, this table and stool set for children is equally useful for the individual household as for institutional use in a typical nursery school. While the children's table and stool seating set of this invention can be scaled up or down in relative size to accommodate different target markets, the features will be described as a set targeted for pre-school toddlers up to age five years, although the construction can be used for older children. For this market, the tabletop is preferably circular and 30″ in diameter, and it is 20″ high. The stools are sector (i.e. “pie-slice”) shaped and stand 12″ high. Yet this table and stool set is shipped in a standard international shipping container (or box) measuring 82 cm×82 cm×47 cm high (32.28″×32.28″×18.5″) with four fully assembled stools and the table in knockdown form. All rigid parts are preferably wood products including hardwood, plywood, veneer, and wood particle board, although other synthetic plastic materials or metals may be used. They are preferably finished in natural wood tone with grain features visible. The stools have cushions, which may be stationary, but preferably are removable cushions, with preferably bright fabric covers that can be removed for washing. Contrasting colors such as one each of yellow, green, blue and red can be used for the four stools as an aid in learning “colors”.
  • The table top is preferably attached to a pedestal made from a horizontal base, preferably X-shaped, supporting two orthogonal notched sheets forming sector shaped areas under the tabletop, such as one or more areas, preferably four sector shaped areas. The four such regions receive the four stools which nest under the tabletop for compact storage. The preferably curved back side of each stool preferably has a large open bin, such as a storage chamber area, where toys, books or other materials can be stored within the stool in the lower storage chamber bin area. When pulled out from under the tabletop, each stool provides easy entry and exit for a child. When pulled closer to the table, each child's legs are within his or her private sector space as delineated by the pedestal; this prevents one from accidentally or intentionally kicking an adjacent child thereby making for better cooperative use of a common tabletop. Each stool has an ergonomic design with the wide curved backside behind the center of gravity of the child sitting on it, and the sides preferably meeting at a ninety degree point in front, although the angle may vary depending upon the number of stools. The stool is thereby topple resistant and comfortable to use. The elimination of a backrest also enhances accident resistance while reducing space and weight, and also insuring a low center of gravity.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The present invention can best be understood in connection with the accompanying drawings. It is noted that the invention is not limited to the precise embodiments shown in drawings, in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the table and stool set of this invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a top view of the tabletop with dashed lines showing the position of the four stools and the attachment of the supporting pedestal;
  • FIG. 3 is a side elevation of a child sitting at the table on one of the stools;
  • FIG. 4 is a wordless assembly instruction sheet showing all of the parts and illustrating the three major steps involved in the assembly of the table which is shipped in a knockdown form;
  • FIG. 5 is a close up perspective view of the stud portion of the fastener pair used to attach the pedestal to the tabletop;
  • FIG. 6 is a close up perspective view of the quarter-turn cam portion of the same fastener pair;
  • FIG. 7 is a crossection detail of the tabletop and pedestal sheet showing method of attachment using the quarter-turn fastener pair;
  • FIG. 8 is a back elevation of a stool showing the various parts;
  • FIG. 9 is a side elevation of a stool showing the fasteners used in its factory assembly; and,
  • FIG. 10 is a side elevation of the position of the various items and parts stacked within a shipping container or box.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • FIG. 1 shows the table and stool set 1 of this invention with table 2, and stools 3. Although in the preferred embodiment the tabletop 4 is round as shown, a square tabletop can be used as well.
  • As viewed from the top (see FIG. 2), it can be appreciated that stools 3 have a circular sector shape and nest into table 2 adjacent to the sector regions described by preferably an X-shaped base 18 supporting pedestal 6 formed of intersecting sheets. Note that stools 3 have a fabric covered cushion 13 on top and a large opening between top curved band 9 and bottom curved band 11. This opening permits access to storage chamber bin region 17 where toys, books and/or other school supplies can be placed as shown. A hand opening 15 is conveniently provided for a child on the floor to move stool 3. The two flat sides 7 of each stool 3 are structural load bearing members.
  • FIG. 3 shows the relation between a child 20 and the table and stool set 1. In this view, a cutout contour 8 on the periphery of each pedestal is visible. It is in the form of an upwardly extending parabola; besides being aesthetically pleasing, the removed section reduces weight of the pedestal while it is fully serving its structural function. Note that while appearing non-constraining by virtue of contoured periphery 8, pedestal 6 still confines the child's feet to the sector region under the table partially occupied by his stool 3. Note also that the center of gravity of child 20 when seated on stool 3 is well within the contour of the sector shape toward the widest region for stability.
  • FIG. 4 is the assembly sheet for table 2 of the set. Every part, including fasteners and tool are represented as A-I in the packing list. Note in step 1 that each of the pedestal sheets B and C is a slotted trapezoid with a parabolic cutout on the two vertical edges. Notched wood blocks D and E are attached to the bottom of the pedestal sheets using screws from the bottom completing the assembly of pedestal 6. A key area of structural integrity is the attachment of tabletop 4 to pedestal 6 since this must be able to overcome substantial cantilever loading from children leaning on the edge, or even sitting on the table edge. Eight quarter-turn cam furniture assembly fasteners are used in this critical area. These are two-part fasteners designated as G and H on the assembly sheet.
  • FIGS. 5-7 show details of their use to fasten and insure tightness of the joint between pedestal 6 and tabletop 4.
  • In FIG. 5 the stud portion 21 is shown with machine thread 23 at one end stud body 22 and screw head 24 at the other end.
  • FIG. 6 shows the quarter-turn cam 27 which has features on its round periphery (shallow slanted teeth—not shown) that prevent backwards rotation once they are tightened. Groove 28 engages under head 24 of the stud portion.
  • FIG. 7 shows the assembly method of the quarter-turn fasteners. Factory mounted metal or plastic inserts 31 with a threaded center hole are precisely installed in tabletop 4. The customer will thread studs 21 into these inserts as shown. The studs 21 will then be in a pattern in registration with blind holes 33 factory bored in the top end of the pedestal sheets 30. These are of a diameter to receive the stud body 22. After the studs are inserted into holes 33, cams 27 are pushed into orthogonal blind holes 34 (also precisely factory bored) in such an orientation as to capture stud head 24. When cams 27 are turned clockwise using a Phillips screwdriver, they will draw pedestal 6 toward tabletop 4 and lock the joint in place.
  • FIG. 8 is a back view of stool 3 showing the insides of flat side panels 7, and curved bands 9 and 11.
  • The side view of FIG. 9 shows the method of factory assembly using screws 35 to attach the front end of one side 7 to the other. Screws 39 attach each of sides 7 to the recessed panel underneath the seat cushion. Screws 37 attach each side 7 to the bottom panel which also serves as the inside bottom of the toy storage area.
  • FIG. 10 shows the layered stacking of the various items and parts inside a shipping container (or box). Packing material is not shown. The box is square with width W equal to depth D, and with height H. The four fully assembled stools 3 are shown at the bottom arrayed as a circle. Next table top 4 is stacked, next pedestal sheets 30 (shown as B & C on assembly sheet) and base blocks D & E on the side. Solid Styrofoam® sheets and blocks are used between each of stool 3 flat sides 7 sides and between and around the other parts as is normal practice. Other scratch preventing soft packing material may also be used. By judiciously shipping fully assembled stools, only five parts need to be assembled together by a customer to form table 2. Having a single assembly sheet with clear wordless illustrations is much less daunting to a typical customer than a long multi-page manual with many paragraphs. The assembly is quite intuitive; parts will just not fit the wrong way.
  • In the foregoing description, certain terms and visual depictions are used to illustrate the preferred embodiment. However, no unnecessary limitations are to be construed by the terms used or illustrations depicted, beyond what is shown in the prior art, since the terms and illustrations are exemplary only, and are not meant to limit the scope of the present invention. For example, at least one stool may be provided, fitting within at least one sector region formed by the pedestal sheets.
  • It is further known that other modifications may be made to the present invention, without departing the scope of the invention, as noted in the appended Claims.

Claims (25)

1. A table and seating arrangement, comprising:
a tabletop having an underside and an edge;
a pedestal supporting said tabletop; said pedestal comprising a base supporting a plurality of upright sheet walls providing at least one predetermined sector region below said tabletop;
an assembly of at least one seat is horizontally movable between a use position wherein said at least one seat engages the ground and at least a portion of said at least one seat is movable beyond the edge of the tabletop, and movable into a storage position wherein each respective at least one seat of the entire seat assembly is positioned within said at least one respective predetermined sector region located below the underside of said tabletop, wherein said seat is nestled adjacent to and against a portion of said pedestal base.
2. A table and seating arrangement according to claim 1, wherein the at least one seat includes a seat support frame having two flat vertical walls joined by one arcuate wall; said vertical walls are constructed to rest adjacent to said pedestal base of said table within said at least one respective sector region in a storage position of non-use.
3. A table and seating arrangement according to claim 1, wherein the seat is pie-slice shaped.
4. A table and seating arrangement according to claim 1, comprising a plurality of seats.
5. A table and seating arrangement according to claim 1, wherein the at least one seat comprises a stool.
6. A table and seating arrangement according to claim 5, wherein said at least one stool includes a hollow storage chamber bin area.
7. A table and seating arrangement according to claim 5, wherein the at least one stool is proximate the underside of the tabletop in the storage position.
8. A table and seating arrangement according to claim 1, wherein the table comprises a round table.
9. A table and seating arrangement according to claim 1, wherein the table comprises a square table.
10. A table and seating arrangement according to claim 1, wherein the at least one seat comprises a seating surface, wherein the seating surface is horizontal and faces upward in the use position and faces upward in the storage position.
11. A table and seating arrangement according to claim 4, wherein each seat of said seating assembly comprises seating for a respective user of a plurality of users.
12. A table and seating arrangement according to claim 2, wherein said sheet construction of said pedestal forms respective individual sector shaped under-table regions for leg movements.
13. In a table having a pedestal, wherein the improvement comprises:
said pedestal is formed of an X-shaped base with a plurality of upwardly extending parabolic edged trapezoid pedestal sheets;
each said upwardly extending parabolic edged trapezoid pedestal sheet having a slot accommodating a respective slot in another upwardly extending parabolic edged trapezoid pedestal sheet whereby the functional shape of the pedestal is formed by sliding;
said X-shaped base is formed by sliding one long wood block into another wood block at their respective mounting slots.
14. A table according to claim 13, wherein each long wood block has round ends.
15. A table according to claim 13, wherein factory mounted threaded inserts on the underside of tabletop are in registration with top edge factory bored blind holes in pedestal sheets, to facilitate use of quarter-turn cam furniture assembly fasteners, in which each said cam is inserted in orthogonal intersecting blind holes which are also factory bored into side of said pedestal sheets.
16. A combination seat and toy storage facility for use in a child learning environment, the combination comprising:
a horizontal floor member;
two flat sidewalls and one arcuate wall integral with the floor member and extending upwardly therefrom for enclosing a hollow storage chamber;
said sidewalls are angularly disposed and are connected by an arcuate wall;
17. The seat of claim 16 further including at least one aperture leading to said hollow storage chamber within each seat.
18. The seat of claim 16 wherein said storage chamber holds at least one of toys, school supplies and books.
19. The seat of claim 16 further including at least one handle connected to said sides for lifting the seat.
20. The seat of claim 16 wherein the seat provides an upfacing removable and replaceable cushion surface.
21. The seat of claim 16 wherein an ergonomic design with the curved backside behind the center of gravity of the sitting child; said seat is topple resistant and comfortable to use.
22. The seat of claim 16 wherein the width and length dimensions of the seat are each approximately equal to the height dimension of the seat.
23. The seat of claim 20 wherein the shape of the cushion is pie-slice shaped.
24. The seat of claims 15 to 23 wherein the seat is a stool.
25. A table and seating arrangement and packaging system combination, comprising:
a table and seating arrangement and a box shaped receiving package;
a box shaped receiving package having at least one portion thereof adapted to be opened to receive the table and seat set therein and then closed;
said box shaped receiving package, comprising: outer cushion walls, inner cushion walls, an X-shaped cushion wall and four corner truncated rectangular cushions;
said outer cushion walls are attached to each inner side of the receiving package;
said inner cushion walls are next to the inner side of the outer cushion walls and are perpendicular to the vertical sidewalls of the seat;
said X-shaped cushion wall separates four seats into individual cubicles, and the height of said X-shaped cushion is the same as the height of inner cushion walls, but shorter than the outer cushion walls;
said corner truncated rectangular cushions are placed on top of the inner cushion walls and against the four corners of the receiving package to enable the top of the truncated rectangular cushions is on the same horizontal line as the top of the outer cushion walls;
said table including two long wood blocks and two trapezoid shaped sheet wall boards with parabolic curved edges, which said blocks sheet wall and boards are placed on top of the seats, wrapped in loose cushion, and the tabletop is above all but right below the outer cushion wall against the top of the box;
wherein said four fully assembled seats being are radially arrayed as a circle;
whereby by shipping said fully assembled stools, only five table parts need to be assembled together by a user to form said table; and,
said package further including a single assembly sheet with clear wordless assembly illustrations.
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CN102907930B (en) * 2012-11-06 2015-11-25 上海天狐创意设计有限公司 A kind of Combined type table stool

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Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
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US20190223605A1 (en) * 2018-01-25 2019-07-25 Jenny E Caulk Interconvertable pet stairs and ottoman
US10506882B2 (en) * 2018-01-25 2019-12-17 Jenny E Caulk Interconvertable pet stairs and ottoman

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