US 20070056482 A1
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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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.
Reference will now be made to the drawings, wherein like parts are designated by like numerals, and wherein
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
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
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 ((
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
The covers 28 a-28 e can be stored in the cavity 26 as shown in
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
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
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
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.