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Publication numberUS20070056482 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/581,545
Publication dateMar 15, 2007
Filing dateOct 16, 2006
Priority dateMar 17, 2004
Publication number11581545, 581545, US 2007/0056482 A1, US 2007/056482 A1, US 20070056482 A1, US 20070056482A1, US 2007056482 A1, US 2007056482A1, US-A1-20070056482, US-A1-2007056482, US2007/0056482A1, US2007/056482A1, US20070056482 A1, US20070056482A1, US2007056482 A1, US2007056482A1
InventorsElgin Robinson, Rosita Robinson
Original AssigneeElgin Robinson, Rosita Robinson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Foldable table with waste receptacles
US 20070056482 A1
Abstract
A foldable table with waste receptacle(s) removably positionable in one or more openings formed in the tabletop. The waste receptacle(s) may be a mesh bag lined with liquid impermeable bag for retaining seafood shells and other such waste. A cover is provided for each opening to close the opening and to allow use of the table as conventional dining table or work surface.
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Claims(25)
1. A table positionable on a base surface, comprising:
a tabletop provided with at least one opening, said tabletop having an upper surface, a bottom surface and a peripheral lip extending downwardly from the upper surface, a space between the bottom surface and the peripheral lip defining a storage cavity;
a waste receptacle detachably securable within said at lest one opening,
at least one cover for selectively covering said at least one opening;
a frame member secured to the bottom surface and extending about at least a part of periphery of said at least one opening; and
at least one support leg detachably securable to the table top for supporting said table top at a pre-determined height above the base surface.
2. The table of claim 1, wherein said table top is comprised of foldable portions hingedly connected to each other along a center line of the tabletop.
3. The table of claim 2, wherein the storage cavity is configured and sized for retaining the said at least one support leg when the table top is in a folded position.
4. The table of claim 3, wherein a leg retaining member is secured to the bottom surface of the table fop, said leg retaining member allowing said at least one leg to be temporarily retained within the storage cavity.
5. The table of claim 2, wherein said storage cavity is configured and sized for retaining said at least one cover when the table top is in a folded position.
6. The table top of claim 5, further comprising a securing means attached to the bottom surface of the table top for detachably securing said at least one cover when the table top is in a folded position.
7. The table of claim 1, wherein said at least one opening has an upwardly facing shoulder formed about the periphery of said at least one opening, and wherein said at least one opening is configured and sized to rest on said shoulder in a selectively covering relationship over said at least one opening.
8. The table of claim 1, wherein a plurality of waste receptacle engaging members is secured to the frame member and extend within said at least one opening.
9. The table of claim 8, wherein said waste receptacle comprises a mesh bag having an upper edge adapted for suspending on said waste receptacle engaging members.
10. The table of claim 8, wherein said waste receptacle engaging members comprise hook-shaped members with hook portions extending inwardly into said at least one opening.
11. The table of claim 1, wherein said table top is provided with a plurality of openings, and wherein a waste receptacle is detachably secured within each of said openings.
12. The table of claim 1, wherein said table top is provided with a leg securing member having an externally threaded pin, wherein one end of the supporting leg is provided with an internally threaded bore adapted for threadable engagement with said pin.
13. The table of claim 1, further comprising a carrying means, said carrying means comprising at least one handle secured to the peripheral lip.
14. The table of claim 13, wherein said carrying means further comprises a shoulder strap secured to the peripheral lip.
15. A table positionable on a base surface, comprising:
a foldable tabletop provided with a plurality of openings, said tabletop having an upper surface, a bottom surface and a peripheral lip extending downwardly from the upper surface, a space between the bottom surface and the peripheral lip defining a storage cavity;
a plurality of waste receptacles, each waste receptacle detachably securable within a corresponding opening,
a plurality of covers, each cover being sized and shaped for selectively covering a corresponding opening;
a plurality of frame members secured to the bottom surface and extending downwardly from the bottom surface, each frame member extending about at least a part of periphery of a corresponding opening;
a plurality of supporting legs detachably securable to the table top for supporting said table top at a pre-determined height above the base surface; and
a carrying means to facilitate transportation of the table to a desired location.
16. The table of claim 15, wherein each of said covers has an upper surface, which extends flush in a co-planar relationship to the upper surface of the table top when each of said covers is engaged to cover the corresponding opening.
17. The table of claim 15, wherein an upwardly facing shoulder is formed in said table top within each of said openings, and wherein each of said covers is configured to rest on a corresponding shoulder when said cover is engaged to cover the corresponding opening.
18. The table of claim 15, wherein a plurality of suspending members is secured within each of said openings, and wherein said waste receptacles are adapted for suspending on said suspending members.
19. The table of claim 18, wherein said suspending members comprise hook-shaped members with hook portions extending inwardly into a corresponding opening.
20. The table of claim 15, wherein said table top is provided with a plurality of leg securing members, each of said leg securing members having an externally threaded pin, wherein one end of the supporting leg is provided with an internally threaded bore adapted for threadable engagement with said pin.
21. The table of claim 15, wherein the storage cavity is configured and sized for retaining the supporting legs when the table top is in a folded position.
22. The table of claim 21, wherein a flexible retaining member is secured to the bottom surface of the table top for temporarily retaining said supporting legs within the storage cavity.
23. The table of claim 15, wherein said storage cavity is configured and sized for retaining said a covers when the table top is in a folded position.
24. The table top of claim 23, further comprising a securing means attached to the bottom surface of the table top for detachably securing at least one cover when the table top is in a folded position.
25. The table top of claim 15, wherein said storage cavity of configured and sized for retaining said waste receptacles when the table top is in a folded position.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of my co-pending application Ser. No. 10/802,376 filed on Mar. 17, 2004, entitled “Table with Waste Receptacle,” the full disclosure of which is incorporated by reference herein, and priority of which is hereby claimed.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to tables, and more particularly to a portable, foldable table, which provides users with an easy access to a waste disposal receptacle.

Dining and picnic tables are usually configured with a homogenous top surface made of rigid material, such as wood, plastic and the like. The portable category tables usually have foldable or detachable legs that allow transportation of the table to a picnic site, beach or other temporary dining area.

In many areas where seafood is abundant, residents and tourists consume large amounts of shell seafood, such as small crustaceans, oysters, mollusks and the like. It is not uncommon to see a dozen pounds of crawfish or oysters to be consumed at one sitting. Natural consequence of the food consumption is the creation of large amounts of waste in the form of shells, broken crab legs, and the like. The waste accumulates on the table surface making it uncomfortable for the diners to continue bringing more food to the table.

There exists, therefore, a need for a table that could be easily be transported to a picnic site, or other temporary location, unfolded and set up easily and time-efficiently. The foldable table has a number of receptacles for receiving waste, such as napkins, shells, skins and the like. The waste can then be disposed in a sanitary and expeditious manner without throwing the waste on the ground.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a table that can be used for dining at a variety of locations, both formal and informal.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a dining table that can be easily transported to a desired location and set up in an easy and expeditious manner.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a dining table with one or more waste receptacle to allow continuous cleaning and removal of the waste from the table surface.

These and other objects of the present invention are achieved through a provision of a table having a table top supported by one or more detachable supporting legs. The legs may be adjusted in length by modular segments. The table top is provided with one or more openings, within which a waste receptacle is removably suspended. The waste receptacle is made of mesh material and forms a bag, which may be lined with a liquid impermeable bag to retain any waste liquid within the waste receptacle.

The table top may be formed as a foldable top, which folds along a center line with the help of hinges. The table top may be equipped with one or more handles and a strap for easy transportation. When the table top is in a folded position, the detachable legs can be stored between facing surfaces of the foldable table top halves and retain therein by a securing means, such as a mesh holder.

Each opening of the table top is provided with a removable cover, which when installed over the opening, extends flush with the table top upper surface. As a result, the table may be used as a conventional table or as a table with waste receptacle for retaining napkins, shells, broken crab legs and other such waste.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Reference will now be made to the drawings, wherein like parts are designated by like numerals, and wherein

FIG. 1 is a perspective, partially exploded view of the foldable table apparatus in accordance with the present invention, with the leg ends cut off for clarity.

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the table top of the present invention with the opening covers removed.

FIG. 3 is a detail view showing an opening in the table top with receptacle securing members.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the foldable table of the present invention showing the detachable legs stored inside the table top frame.

FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the table top.

FIG. 6 is a detail view of a hinge for use with the table apparatus of the present invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Turning now to the drawings in more detail, numeral 10 designates the table apparatus in accordance with the present invention. As can be seen in the drawings, the table 10 comprises a table top 12 supported by a plurality of detachable upright legs 14. The tabletop 12 has an upper surface 16 and a bottom surface 18. At least one opening 20 a is formed through the tabletop 12 extending from the top surface 16 to the bottom surface 18. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-6, the table top 12 is provided with five openings: a central opening 20 a, and four peripheral openings 20 b, 20 c, 20 d, and 20 e. The opening 20 a is formed in the center of the table top and extends into two halves 12 a and 12 b of the foldable table top 12. The openings 20 c and 20 e are similarly formed of two parts extending into the two table halves 12 a and 12 b.

Each opening 20 a-20 e is delimited by a downwardly extending frame member 22 a-22 e, respectively. Each frame 20 a-20 e extends at a right angle to the upper table surface 16 and the bottom table top surface 18. The frames 22 a, 22 c and 22 e are comprises of separate symmetrical parts, as can be seen in FIG. 4. Although the openings 20 a-20 e are shown to have a rectangular configuration, it is envisioned that other configurations can be used, such as circular, triangular, etc., depending on the design choice.

A peripheral lip 24 extends about the periphery of the table top 12. The lip 24 extends downwardly from the upper surface 16 at a right angle to the upper surface 16 and the bottom surface 18. A cavity 26 is formed between the lip 24 and the bottom surface 18. The cavity 26 houses the detached legs 14 and other accessories of the table apparatus 10, as will be explained in more detail hereinafter.

Each of the openings 20 a-20 e is selectively closed with removable covers 28 a-28 e, respectively. Each of the covers 28 a-28 e is adapted to cover the respective opening 20 a-20 e when the waste receptacles are not in use. The covers 28 a-28 e rest on peripheral shoulders 30 a-30 e defined by the frame members 22 a-22 e. The shoulders 22 a-22 e are slightly recessed from the upper surface 16 to accommodate the covers 28 a-28 e. When the covers 28 a-28 e are in place, covering the openings 20 a-20 e, top surfaces 32 a-32 e of the covers 28 a-28 e extend in a generally co-planar relationship to the top surface 16 of the table top 12 and appear flush with the upper surface 16 of the table top 12, while resting on the shoulders 22 a-22 e. The covers 28 a-28 e may be provided with locking latches, if desired to retain the covers in a position enclosing the openings 20 a-20 e.

When the covers 30 are fitted into the tabletop 12, the table 10 can be used as a regular table, covered with a table cloth or left uncovered and used for dining, as a work surface, or for any other desired activity. When the covers 28 a-28 e are removed, the openings 20 a-20 e are uncovered, allowing access to waste receptacles secured to the table top 12.

The tabletop 12 may be formed as a unitary top, or a foldable table top shown in the drawings. When the foldable tabletop 12 is used, the two portions 12 a and 12 b of the tabletop 12 fold along a fold line 40. A pair of hinges 42 are secured to the bottom surface 18 between the table top halves 12 a and 12 b ((FIG. 4).

Fitted in the corners of the bottom surface 18 are leg-receiving fixtures 44, each of which is provided with an externally threaded pin 46. Each of the legs 14 is provided with an internally threaded opening in one of its ends (not shown), which engage with the pins 46 when the table is set up for use. When not in use, the legs 14 are stored in the cavity 26, as shown in FIG. 4. A protective net 50 is secured to the bottom surface 18 to facilitate retaining of the legs in a stored position. The net 50 may be formed from a stretchable resilient material, if desired, to help position the legs 14 in the stored position.

The covers 28 a-28 e can be stored in the cavity 26 as shown in FIG. 4. The larger cover 28 a can be placed on the bottom surface 18 and secured with pivotal hooks 52 attached to the bottom surface 18. The covers 28 b-28 e can be staked on top of the cover 28 a and either secured together with a resilient band (not shown) or prevented from shifting by the hooks 52. Depending on the design of the covers 28, the thickness of the covers 28 may be selected to be substantially equal to or slightly less that the height of the peripheral lip 24, so as to prevent the covers from falling out of the cavity 26 when the table 10 is in its folded position.

The inner surfaces of the frame members 22 a-22 e are provided with a plurality of suspension members 54, which can be shaped as hooks. Depending on the size of the opening, the number of hooks can be increased with the increased size of the opening 20. For instance, if the opening 20 is about 6 inches by 6 inches, it is envisioned that eight hooks 54 are sufficient for retaining the waste receptacle within the opening 20. If the opening 20 is formed as a 12 by 12 inch opening, it is envisioned that three or four hooks 54 for each side of the opening 22 are sufficient for retaining the waste receptacle within the opening. A waste receptacle member 56 is suspended within the opening 20 with the help of the suspension member 54. The waste receptacle members 56 can be formed from netting material, such as nylon netting, cotton netting, polyester netting and the like.

Each waste receptacle member 56 is formed as a mesh bag, which may be provided with reinforcement rings (not shown) in the upper open part thereof to facilitate suspending of the waste receptacle members 56 from the suspension members 54. As can be seen in FIG. 1, the bags 56 extend below the bottom surface 18 of the countertop 12 and provide ready containers for receiving shells, broken claws, and other waste generated by the dining company using the table 10.

When necessary, a liquid impermeable flexible liner (not shown) can be inserted within the waste receptacle members 56 to prevent liquids from the waste shells from reaching the floor or the ground. The waste bags may be collected after the meal and disposed in a conventional manner. After the receptacles 56 become full or at other times during the meal, the receptacles 56 can be emptied by simply pulling up the bags 56 with the associated liner and emptying the waste into a conventional garbage disposal can or trash bag. During transportation of the table apparatus 10 to the site of its intended use, the mesh waste receptacles 56 may be stored in the cavity 26, as shown in FIG. 4.

If desired, the height of the tabletop 12 from the base surface of the floor or ground can the adjusted by the modular legs 14. Each leg 14 has a top part provided with an internally threaded upper end which engages with the threaded pin 46 and a lower end, which rests on the ground. The legs 14 may be formed as telescopically extendable legs to allow adjustment of the table top height.

Of course, the shape of the tabletop 12 and the number of legs 14 for each table 10 can differ, depending on the design of the table. The tabletop 12 may be made round or triangular, depending on the design of choice, and the number of openings 20 can range from one and more. In some cases, it may be preferred to have one central opening 20 in the table top 12, especially if the table has a small size, allowing a small number of people to sit around the table and use the same waste receptacle. A large size table suitable for accommodating a greater number of people may be provided with five openings 20, similarly to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 4. Alternatively, the tabletop 12 may be configured with only peripheral openings without the central opening.

If desired, a reinforcement border (not shown) can be made above the periphery of the tabletop 12 to further enhance structural integrity of the table. It is envisioned that for a table having a size of about three feet per one side, the openings 20 b-20 e can be made six inches wide, and the central opening 20 a can be made 12 inches in size. Of course the dimensions of the openings will differ depending on the overall size and scale of the table. The height of the table can be adjusted anywhere between 18 inches to 30 inches or greater as desired by a particular manufacturer.

To facilitate transportation of the table 10 to the desired location, one or more handles 60 may be attached to the peripheral lip 24. A flexible strap 62 may be also secured to the peripheral lip 24 should a user wish to carry the table 10 on the shoulder. The table 10 may be used in a restaurant or less formal setting, with a non-foldable embodiment of the tabletop 12 perhaps being more desirable for a restaurant setting. A portable version with a foldable tabletop 12 is envisioned for use in less formal settings, such as picnics, beaches, parks, etc. When the table 10 is used for meals that do not involve disposal of large amounts of shells, crab legs and the like, it is envisioned that covers 28 can be used to form a uniform, uninterrupted planar surface. In such cases, the waste receptacles 56 would not be used and the tabletop 12 may be covered with a tablecloth to conceal the covers and the openings.

Many other changes and modifications may be made in the design of the present invention without departing from the spirit thereof. We, therefore, pray that our rights to the present invention be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8117971 *Oct 19, 2010Feb 21, 2012Cotton Yettie LavonneTable cloth and trash bag combination
US8166893 *Oct 8, 2009May 1, 2012Animal Marketing Inc.Table system
US8499698 *Mar 19, 2012Aug 6, 2013Steelcase Inc.Worksurface assembly with personal carry item storage shelf
US8590462 *Oct 18, 2011Nov 26, 2013Latyrain DysonTable with integrated and ground-covering blanket
US8857346 *Feb 1, 2012Oct 14, 2014Cindy KhanjianEasy party table
US8863673 *Aug 9, 2013Oct 21, 2014Robert DiepenbrockOutdoor tables with heater access
US20120085268 *Oct 8, 2010Apr 12, 2012Steve StrafacePortable workstation
US20120204765 *Feb 1, 2012Aug 16, 2012Cindy KhanjianEasy party table
US20120266784 *Mar 19, 2012Oct 25, 2012Youngs Bradley DWorksurface assembly with personal carry item storage shelf
US20130186306 *Jan 18, 2013Jul 25, 2013David ThornleyPortable Utility Table
US20140041556 *Aug 9, 2013Feb 13, 2014Robert DiepenbrockOutdoor tables with heater access
Classifications
U.S. Classification108/25
International ClassificationA47B85/00, A47B13/16, A47B3/06, A47B37/04
Cooperative ClassificationA47B3/06, A47B13/16, A47B37/04
European ClassificationA47B37/04, A47B13/16, A47B3/06