US 2452169 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 26, 1948.
FOLDING PICNIC TABLE Filed Sept. 26, 19 46 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 Inventor Babel? 14 2! [6.
rneys 0a. 26, 1948. I R. WELLS I 2,452,169
FOLDING PICNIC TABLE Filed Sept. 26, 1946 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 j 73 5// aw/ 24 43 L 75 -47 Inventor v 205e Hffo.
Oct. 26, 1948. R. WELL 2,452,169
FOLDING PICNIC-TABLE Filed Sept. 26, 1946 5 Sheets-Sheet 3 a?" .4. D5 I 44% 36 I u veutor 1 Attorneys Patented Oct. 26, 1948 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE 2,452,169,, FOLDING PICNICI'YIABLE Robert Wells, Kankakee, Ill. v Application September 26, 1946, Serial No. 699,538 s Claims. (01. 55 1 23')" I This invention relates to a folding picnic table,,
including in a single foldable assembly a. table and seats or benches on opposite sides thereof, adapted to be compactly folded for storage, transportation or shipment, and to be readily extended for use in the form of a rigid structure embodying all the elements of three separate pieces customarily employed, including the tableand seatsupon opposite long sides thereof in the form of benches.
An object of the invention is to provide a novel and simple arrangement by which the supporting legs for the table and the supporting legs for the seats or benches are foldable simultaneously to a collapsed position in compact form, and then the seats or benches are foldable under the table top, so as to form a foldable structure hav-' ing opposite fiat sides of relatively thin-dimensions, retaining the folding parts therein and readily connected, so as to maintain its folded position or condition, so as to be readily moved to the desired location for setting the same up for use. I a Another object of the invention is to provide separable seats or benches and table top having foldable legs and supporting structures in which the legs of the table are slidable when extended with the legs of the seats, so as to dispose the same in alignment for forming a rigid supporting structure for the table top and seats and in proper relation, with the seats or benches located at opposite sides of the table top in planes below the latter for seating persons at opposite sides of the table and capable of being readily held firmly in upright positions to form a rigid structure when set up, but adapted to be easily and quickly folded into compact relationwhendesired and when not in use.
Other objects and advantages reside in the details of construction and operation aszmore fully hereinafter described and claimed, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming part hereof, wherein like numerals refer to like Figure is a sectional view taken on the line i of the device in- 2 55 of Figure 4 and showing in dotted lines, the seats folded over on the top and supporting legs thereof, in inverted position, and
Figure 6 is a side elevation of the device in folded condition.
Referring to the drawings in detail, in which like reference characters designate corresponding parts throughout the several views, the table top I!) is provided with foldable legs II, of which two are provided morticed or otherwise secured rigidly to the central portions of transversely arranged bars I2 of rectangular cross-section slidably mounted beneath the table top II), which is also of elongated rectangular form. The legs II are set toward the inner edges of the transverse bars I2 which are of square cross-section or thicker than the legs and hinged at spaced points near their ends as at I 3 to slidable blocks I4 forming slides rabbeted at their side edges to engage similarly rabbeted bars. or tracks I5 arranged in spaced parallel pairsrof forming guide-ways, the rabbeted portions of which underlie the rabbeted portions of the slides I4 in reverse arrangement as shown at I6 and retain the legs and bars I2 in slidable connection with the table top II) for movement in and out longitudinally thereof, limited at theirinner ends by transverse stop members I? which like the guide strips I 5 are suitably secured to the bottom of thetable top. The slides M are at the outer ends of the guide-ways when the legs II are folded against the underside of the top I0, but-when extended to positions perpendicular to thetable top, that is upright for supporting thesame, the slides I 4 are disposed against the transverse end pieces or stop members I7, and are retained in this bars I2 near the ends thereof with eccentrically pivotedkeepersor blocks I8 having pins I9 for turning them to enternotches 20 at the inner edges of the guide strips 15 outwardly of their intermediate points, tohold the legs erect in supporting position. The legs II which are preferably shaped as shown, to provide clearance at the sides, are transversely hinged or pivoted as indicated at 22 near the upper ends and adjacent reduced or recessed portions of the legs I I to brace strips ,23 having bevelled ends 2d to fit against the bottom surface of the table top ID and hinged thereto asindicatedat 25 to brace the legs in upright supporting positions. The elongated rectangular seats or benches 26, are fiat strips of rectangular form narrower than or but half the width of the table top It are adapted to move into the same plane with the table top when arranged for folding and into planes below the same,
position by providing the,
for seating the occupants of the table in the manner shown in Figures 3, 4 and 5, and l and 2 of the drawings, respectively. These seats 26 which are as long as the table top, are supported by similar formed legs 21 compared to the table legs H but shorter, though similarly shaped and recessed at the sides and fixed to transverse top members or bars 28 by mortise and tenon joints or otherwise,,the,same as the legs I l. are fastened. to the cross-bars l2, and extending acrossthe'; seats 2%, that is at the inner sides of the bars 30 which are of square cross-section or rectangular. and wider and thicker than the thickness of the legs 21. While this construction with respect to the cross-members I2 and 28 relative tn thelegs H and 21 respectively, is preferred, and has advantages which will be hereinafter pointed out}, the construction thereof is optional. The crossbars 28 are pivoted or hinged adjacent the ends thereof and on their inner sides,.as indicated at 281 that is atspaced' points, to spaced parallel longitudinal. strips 30; and transverse strips 31 therebetween, suitably secured to the bottom of thezseatistrips or boards '26. These structures are located at opposite ends of the seats 26, the sameasithe hinge: connections are located at oppositeendsof the tabletop Ill and also hinged touthe legs 2T in. spaced relation to their upper ends as; at 3 2,'are:brace strips or bars 33 corresponding'to' thebraces 23*butshorter' and hav- I ingr oppositely bevelledor. tapered ends 34 disposed to. lie in vertical planes when the legs are upright: and the braces diagonally: disposed inoutwardlyinclined' positions. as more particularly showrrirr Figure 1 ofthe-drawings, when the device is erected'.v These end'sare' designed to operatebetween spaced guide strips 35 secured to the bottom: of the seat 26- spaced apart upon op-- positersides of the longitudinal and transversecenters thereof; to. beengaged' by the rounded ends 3650f pivctedkeeper bars.3Tintermediatel'ypivoted asxat' 3'81t0 the bottom. of the seats 2E, for positi'oning' transversely of the seats when the device isa-f'olded; and longitudinally thereof to engage thelinner-ends of the braces 33 when the device is erected, to serve as stops bracing the legs' in uprightpositions together with the braces 3'3, the same as the-stops or transverse members Il and the hinges 2'5llimit the movement-of the legs I! and braces 23 toset up positions.- Also, if desired, the legs H and 21- maybe fastenedto the cross-bars l2 and 28, in addition to the mortice andtenonconnections orirrespective thereof, as indicated at 39 by cross-pins M3 and/or" dowel pins, preferably tapered as at 51, as shown or otherwise. Of course, thecross members may be formed integral with the legs if desired.
In order that the entire table may be connected in a single foldable; structure, the legs are hingedly connected, consisting ofintermediate floor or ground engaging base bars 42 similarly secured to the lower ends of the legs H of the table intermediate their ends and having their outer ends pivoted or hinged as at 43 to the inner ends of transverse-base members M similarly secured to the lower ends of the legs 21 so as to fold inwardly under or over the table top; de-
pending upon whether the latter is disposed uppermost or as more convenientandpreferred, lowermost in the folding position, as shown by the arcs and arrows in Figure 5 of the drawings.
It-should be noted that the hinges 43 are disposed 26 when folded thereagainst with the legs, thereby permitting the same to swing in opposite directions or arcs inwardly over and against the legs, cross-bars and intermediate sections 42 at the sections 44, when the device is folded into compact form, so as to present the seat 26 and the table top H! at opposite sides of the folded structure whereby the legs and intermediate folding, str.uctures are disposed to. lie therebetween, thereby presenting fiat surfaces upon opposite sides when the structure is folded. When the device is in folded condition, as shown in Figures 5' and 6 of the drawings, the inner edges of the sats2-f5lwill come together in alignment and the outer edgesthereof will align with the outer edges or' long" sides of the table top H] and they may 1 beheld.- irr this relation in any suitable manner,
as by means of U-shaped pins 45 having bent ends 46- engaging sockets 41 in the ends of the seat 26 intermediately of the width thereof, and atispacedipoints of thewidthof the table top I0 in ali'gnment'therewith in parallel relation. This holds-the structurecompactly folded and against separation;
Assumingth'at the structure is folded in the manner shown in Figures 5 and 6 of the drawings, the-retainers or connecting. members 45 are disengaged and in order to:set up thetable inthe manner-showninFisuresland 2 of the drawings, the seats 26 are swung outwardly in the opposite direction of the arrows-in-Figure 5 from the dotted lineposition, to the solid line position shown therein: and also) disclosed in Figure 4 with the legs'and' connections thereof'lying'fi'at against the bottom surfaces of the table top H] and seats 26. In this position, the slides l4 will be at theouter ends of the guideways or grooves between the guide strips [5. outwardly in opposite directions at' opposite ends of the table and table top H), and" due to the legs 2-] being shorter than the legs' l1 and t e legs being connected at their inner: or lower'ends'by the base pieces 42 and 44, the latter will move into spaced parallel relation as-shown iniigure 4 upon opposite sides of the at the outer faces of the hinged section-s or" base bars42- and 44 so as to be disposed away'from the -und'ersurfaces of the table top" HI- and seatspivoted bars 31 which are arranged transversely ofthe seats; the sliding outwardly of the slides l4 and cross-bars I2 permitting the upper ends of the legs to move outwardly and compensate for the differencein length of the legs. The legs are then moved-- to upright erecting positions to set up -thetable and seats by swinging the same upwardl y and outwardly perpendicular to the table topand seats, thereby lowering the seats with respect to-the table, considered in the set-up positumor in the-inverted folded position, raising the seats i'n spaced parallel relation to the table top in a'common plane with each other and in spaced parallel relation insofar as the plane thereof is consignedrelative to the plane of the table top. This'disposesthe-seats below the table top, and of course; the folding maybe accomplished in the reverse actionor" the extension of the table and seatsor benches may be accomplished by downward swinging while supportingthe table top in an 'elevated' position, orthe reverse of that described. When thus erected, the keepers l8 are swung on their pivots to engage the recesses or notches 20 and retain the legs upright. This is furthered toy-swinging the bars or keepers 31 to the-position shown in Figure 3 of the drawings, to
engage the ends of the braces 33 betweenthe guides 35,-so that the legs I l of the table and also the-legs 2? of the seats, are effectively braced in this position to form a rigid sustaining structure; The fact that-"thelegs'fl ofthe seats are shorter than the legs I I, will result in dropping of the seats 26 in proper relation upon opposite sides of the longitudinal edges of the table top, in cnjunction with the shorter braces 33 of the seats with respect to the braces 23 of the table top and the rigid spacing means 31 provided between the braces 33 of the seats. In other words, the sliding connections of the legs or supporting structures of the table compensate for the differences in lengths of the legs so that the lower connected ends of the latter are always in the same plane and move in the same radius or are or substantially so, to maintain the structure intact. In folding, the parts !8 and 31 are merely moved to the opposite or disengaged positions, when the latter can swing in, to dispose the hinges 43 in alignment with the abutting or co-acting outer edges of the table top H] and the inner edges of the seats 26 so that the latter can swing inwardly over and against the intermediate folded structure of the table top H], in the manner shown in Figures and 6 of the drawings, compactly folded to occupy a minimum of space for storage, trans-- portation or shipment, or tying the same on the runningboard or in the trunk-rack of a car or rear compartment thereof, depending upon the length of the table. The fasteners 45 are then inserted in position in the sockets 41 to connect the table top and seats and secure them in folded relation. Attention is also directed to the fact that by reason of the cross-bars l2 and 28 being wider or thicker than the legs 21, these cross-bars will serve as contact members when the parts are folded as shown in Figures 5 and 6, to maintain said parts in tight connection or engagement, instead of permitting the folded structure or legs to be shifted between the table top and seats when the device is folded. This end is also facilitated by contact of the seats with the pivoted blocks or keepers l8 secured to the outer faces of the cross-bars [2 so that when the legs II are swung inwardly against the bottom surface of the table top, they will accommodate the thickness of the strips 30 and lie therebetween in contact with the undersurfaces of the seats 26 when folded. Thus, movement of the pivoted leg structures will be prevented when the device is folded.
While in the foregoing there has been shown and described the preferred embodiment of this invention it is to be changes in the details of construction, combination and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as claimed.
1. A folding table of the class described, comprising a table top, legs foldably connected thereto, a pair of seats, legs foldably connected to the seats, connections between the legs at opposite portions of the table top and seats and means slidably connecting the first legs to the table.
2. A folding table of the class described, comprising a table top, legs foldably connected thereto, a pair of seats, legs foldably connected to the seats, connections between the legs at opposite ends of the table top and seats, said legs being foldable inwardly with their bottom surfaces disposed toward each other, means on the first mentioned legs slidably connected on the table top whereby said legs may move outwardly when the same are folded inwardly, and means to hold said parts in folded relation.
3. A folding table of the class described, comunderstood that minor prising a table top, legs foldably connected thereto, a pair of seats, legs foldably connected to the seats, connections between the legs at opposite ends of the table top and seats, said legs being foldable inwardly with their bottom surfaces disposed toward each other, means on the first mentioned legs slidably connected on the table top whereby said legs may move outwardly when the same are folded inwardly, means at the slidable connections of the first legs to hold the same inwardly from the ends of the table top in upright supporting positions, and means to hold the legs of the seats in similar positions.
4. A folding table of the class described, comprising a table top, legs foldably connected thereto, a pair of seats, legs foldably connected to the seats, connections between the legs at opposite portions of the table top and. seats adapted to permit folding of the seats and legs thereof over the table top and its overlying folded legs to present flat surfaces on the outside at opposite sides of the folded structure, and releasable means to maintain the legs in supporting positions.
5. A combination foldable picnic table and seats, comprising a table top, guides upon opposite ends of the bottom thereof, legs having crossbars having means slidably engaging said guides, means cooperating between the guides and the cross-bars to maintain the legs in upright supporting positions, braces between the legs and the bottom of the table top, seats, legs hinged thereto, braces hinged to the seat legs and slidable at their inner ends, means carried by the bottom surfaces of the seats to engage said ends and hold the seat legs in supporting positions, and hinged connections between the lower ends of the legs permitting the seats and their folded legs to be folded over the table top and its overlying folded legs.
6. A combination foldable picnic table and seats, comprising a table top, guides upon opposite ends of the bottom thereof, legs having crossbars having means slidably engaging said guides, means cooperating between the guides and the cross-bars to maintain the legs in upright supporting positions, braces between the legs and the bottom of the table top, seats, legs hinged thereto, braces hinged to the seat legs and slidable at their inner ends, means carried by the bottom surfaces of the seats to engage said ends and hold the seat legs in supporting positions, base sections on said legs pivotally connected in line with the side edges of the table top and inner edges of the seats and simultaneously swingable inwardly in the same are with the legs of the table top moving outwardly in the guides, the pivotal connection of the base section permitting the seats and their folded legs to be folded over the table top and its overlying legs, and means to connect the table top and seats in folded relation.
REFERENCES CITED The following references are of record in the file of this patent:
UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 749,670 Gardner Jan. 12, 1904 1,567,484 Beard Oct. 27, 1924 1,646,939 Strong Nov. 13, 1926