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Publication numberUS2666683 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 19, 1954
Filing dateMay 28, 1953
Priority dateMay 28, 1953
Publication numberUS 2666683 A, US 2666683A, US-A-2666683, US2666683 A, US2666683A
InventorsJoseph Pucci
Original AssigneeP B R Mfg Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Folding table with automatic leg locking mechanism
US 2666683 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 19, 1954 J. 'PUCCI 2,666 683 FOLDING TABLE WITH AUTOMATIC LEG LOCKING MECHANISM Filed May 28, 1953 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 FIG.I

lii'i f I 4a 32 2'8 I f 25 24 INVENTOR. 2s 29 20 JOSEPH PUCGI BYQMZA/Mw ATTORNEY Jan. 19, 1954 J, pucc 2,666,683

' FOLDING TABLE WITH AUTOMATIC LEG LOCKING MECHANISM Filed May 28, 1953 '2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR.

JOSEPH PUCCI BY QMA/MZQ ATTORNEY Patented Jan. 19, 1954 Joseph Bucci; Bhi'ladelphia, ssienolt' to 1 B. R'. Manufacturing 00., Philadelphia, Pa.,

a partnership.

Application May- 28, 1953, Serial No. 358,07 8 1 The present invention relates generally tofold:- ing: tables and itrelates. more. particularly to tables having folding or collapsible: legs! An. object ofthe presentinventionis to provide anewand. improved. collapsible-leg construction for tables and the like. Another object of the present. invention is to provide a table or like structure having legs constructed and arranged to. be quickly and easily shifted either to more or less vertical, open, supporting position, or tomore or less horizontal clo'sedrposition, wherein they lie generally flat against the. underside of the table top to facilitate storage when not in use. Still another object ofthe present invention is to pro vide novel link-mounting and. opposed. bracing means for a folding table legor the like, as well as simple and inexpensive locking means, co-acting with the link-mounting means, for securing the leg in open position; said? locking means being In Cohen and Pucci Patent 2,542,394 there: is 1 shown a foldable table having a pair of hinged top-sections and having supporting legs which are pivotally mounted, so that they can be manually shifted either into open, generally vertical, supporting position, or into closed position wherein each leg member lies generally flat against the underside of one of the top-sections of the table. In Patent 2,542,394, longitudinally shiftable interengaging means a-re associated with the leg-memhers so that, when the two top-sections are in open co-pl'anar position, manual tilting of the leg members to open; position will shift theinter engaging means into position wherein they-maintain the two top-sections against displacement from their open co-planar relationship. Manually releasable automatic locking meansare associated with the interengaging means of Patent 2,542,394 to prevent inadvertent collapse of the leg members from their open position.

In my oo-pendi'ngapplication, Serial No. 253,099, filed October 25 1951, now Patent 2,643,926, there is shown a foldable table of the same general typeas that of Patent 2,542,394, but

'havingimproved locking means, also associated withthe longitudinally shiftable interengaging means'referred to-above.

W-hile. folding tables of the type disclosed in Patents-2,552,394- and- 2,643,925; have proven efi ce tive and havegmet with; great commereialsuccess,

the: incorporation of the; longitudinally shiftable interengaging means is relatively expensive and makesit; impossible to produce that type: of table as a low-priceditemi.

I have found that the interengag-ingmeans can be eliminated, in the interest of economy, so long as the; leg; members are provided with effective locking mechanism. which will automatically engage; and: lock the leg" member in open position and which; at the same time, 'carrbe readily disengaged to, enable the; leg: members to be closed.

According to; the; present invention, this is accomplished; by providing each leg member with novel link-mounting means, operating-in opposition, to pivoted. bracing means, and: by providing somewhat yieldable cam locking meansassociated with, the link-mounting means, whereby manual: shifting of the leg member-to open position. will cause; the link-mounting means to be automatically engaged by the locking meansand to be held thereby so: as to prevent: inadvertent collapse of the leg member; the: locking means being so.-eonstructed; as to. yield under deliberate manual closingforce exerted upon the leg memher so as to permit. the: leg member to be moved backto:olosed position.

For the purpose of: illustrating the invention, there shown in the accompanying drawings one form thereof which is presentlyprefierred; it being understood, however, that the presentin-vention; is not limited to, the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.

Referring to the, accompanying drawings. in whichflikereierence characters indicate-like parts throughout:

Figure 1 is a fragmentary side elevational view showing slightly more than one-half of: a. folding table; forming, one embodiment of the present invention.

Figure 2, is, a fragmentary cross sectional view taken generally along the line 2-2 of Fig. 1..

cross-sectional View taken generally along the line 5-5 of Figure 3;

Figure 6 is a view generally like that of Fig. 3

but showing the leg, the mounting link andthe 'brace as'tliey' appearwhilethe-leg is in the process ofbeing closed or' opened) Figure-l is: a. considerably enlarged perspective view showing the cam locking element as it appears when the mounting link has been disengaged therefrom.

Figure 8 is a bottom plan view of the embodiment of Fig. 1 but showing the leg member in fully closed position.

Figure 9 is a side elevational view looking gen erally along the line 9-9 of Fig. 8.

Figure 10 is a view generally like that of Fig. 9 but showing the appearance of the table when the two top-sections have been closed and fastened together for carrying and/or storing.

Figure 11 is a somewhat enlarged cross-sectional view taken generally along the line I---! l of Fig. 8.

In Fig. 1, there is shown a foldable table having a top which is formed by a pair of identical sections 2t, 243. Each of the top-sections is formed of light-weight sheet-metal or the like and may be generally rectangular in configuration, with integrallyeformed depending flanges 2! extending along all four sides thereof.

The free edge of the flange 2! is provided with an inturned lip 22, as best shown in Fig. 5.

The top-sections 2!], 29 are foldably connected in end-to-end co-planar relationship by hinge units disposed at adjoining corners thereof. Each hinge unit is made up of co-acting hingeelements 23 and 24, riveted or otherwise appropriately secured to the side flanges 2! of the respective top-sections, and a connecting hingepin 25, whereby the two top-sections can be shifted from the co-planar end-to-end position shown in Figs. 1, 8 and 9 to the closed position shown in Fig. 10, for greater convenience in carrying and/or storing.

Each of the top-sections is provided with a tubular leg-member 25 of generally U-shaped configuration, having crimped free ends 21. Each free end 2'! is provided with a mounting link 28. One end of the mounting link 28 is pivotally connected by a pin 29, to the crimped end 2! of the leg member 26, while the other end of the mounting link is pivotally connected, by a pin 39, to the side flange 2! at a point spaced somewhat inward of the outer free end of the top-section. The connecting pin is provided with a washer 3! which serves to space the mounting link 28 slightly inward from the flange 2!, and thereby enable it to clear the inturned lip 22 during pivotation thereof, as shown in Figs. 2 and 8.

The mounting link 28 is composed of two angularly-related portions 28-a and 23-1); the connecting pin 29 being disposed adjacent the free end of the portion 28-a while the connecting pin 36 is disposed adjacent the free end of the portion 28-12.

As indicated in Figure 11, when the leg member 26 is in closed position, the portion 28-b of the mounting link 28 bears against the underside of the top-section 20 while the portion 28-a diverges, at an appreciable angle, from the topsection so that the pin 29 and the free end 21 of the leg-member are spaced somewhat away from the underside of the top-sections.

I have found this feature to be important in that it prevents the free end of the leg-member from banging into the top panel every time the leg-member is closed and thereby minimizes the likelihood of injury to, or excessive wear, of the relatively thin sheet metal forming the top-section. Additionally, the inclined edge of the portion 28-00 of the mounting link cQ- iQfiS, a

novel manner, with the locking mechanism to be hereinafter described.

Each leg-member is provided with a pair of bracing links 32. One end of each bracing link 32 is pivotally connected, by a pin 33, to the leg-member 26 at a point spaced appreciably away from the crimped free end 2'! thereof. The other end of the bracing link 32 is pivotally connected, by a pin 34, to the side flange 2! at a point disposed generally centrally intermediate the ends of the side flange 2!. As best shown in Figs. 1 and 3, the pin 34 and the pin 36 are disposed on opposite sides of the leg-member 26 when the latter is in its upright open position.

The bracing link 32 is provided with an inwardly bent portion 35 generally adjacent the pin 34- so as to space the main portion of the bracing link a greater distance inward from the flange 2! than is the case with the mounting link 28; thereby enabling the bracing link 32 to clear the locking mechanism, hereinafter described, as indicated in Fig. 8, when the leg is in closed position.

Each of the U-shaped leg-members 26 is provided with a generally V-shaped reinforcing element 36. The free ends of the V-shaped member 36 are secured by the pins 33 described above while the base of the V-shaped member 35 is secured to the somewhat concave base 37 of the leg-member 26 by a screw 33.

Each of the top-sections 26B is provided with a metal reinforcing plate 39, generally L-shaped in cross-sectional configuration, which is secured, by spot-welding or in any other suitable manner, to the underside of the top-section 2i) and the inner side of the side flange 2!, as best shown in Figs. 4-7. The reinforcing plates 39 are so disposed that, when the leg-member 2B is in open position, the crimped free ends 2'! bear against the base portion 39 a of the plate. In this way the plate 39 serves to strengthen the relatively thin sheet metal of the top panel at the point of greatest wear and minimizes the likelihood of failure at that point. As best indicated in Figs. 3 and 5, the edge of the crimped free end 2'! may be formed so that it bears squarely against the base 39a, even though the leg-member, in open position, is not precisely at right angles to the top-section; the leg-members diverging slightly downwardly as indicated in Fig. 1.

The vertical or upright portion 39-1) of the reinforcing plate 39 is provided with a lockingelement 40, in the form of an inwardly-directed, generally wedge-shaped member having a camming edge 4! which begins generally at the inturned lip 22 and diverges inwardly and downwardly (when the table is in the inverted position shown in Figs. 3-7) from the flange 2!. A second camming edge 42 begins at the lower end of the camming edge 4! and extends outwardly and downwardly therefrom, terminating at a point spaced sufliciently above the base 37! to permit the portion 28-a of the mounting link 28 to be accommodated therebetween, when the leg-member 26 is in open position, as indicated in Figs. 3-5. The maximum inward dimension of the locking element (that is, the inward dimension at the lower end of the camming edge 4!) is greater than the inward clearance between the mounting link 28 and the flange 2!.

The operation of the locking element is as follows. Starting with the leg-member 2t in the closed position of Figs. 8, 9 and 11 (wherein,

:15 as indicated in Fig. 9, it is fully concealed withthe" flange; as) the legr-me mben' is: swung to:- ward: open: position by manually. lifting the: base 3? thereof; i thereby causing: counterclockwise rotation: off the leg-member and; clockwise rotation of; the mounting: linkzfinanditlie. bracinglint: 32 (in Fig. 6). This clockwise rotation of the mounting linle 2 a causes. the inclinedi lower edge of the'portion 28f-ato contact-thecarnmingedge A l and results in relative camming movement of: the pcrtion Edi-a an'dfthe locking-element iii; This relative: movementis represented; in" Figs; 2 a-nd 5i; by a slight bowing; outor bulging: oifthe somewhat resilient flange 21!, indicated in dash-dot lines. It is tobe understood; however, that, inactual practice, some or all" of the relativecamming movement may be taken up: by? in ward movement of the mounting linlt 23,- the U- shaped leg-member: 26 having sufficient resilience or 'g-ive atits nice endsco-permit this;

After? the upper edge of the-rnunting'1inh 2i;- rideapast'tlie lowermost end-of the camming edge ti the locl'zi'ng' element 46 (and/or the'm'ounik ing link 2 8 snaps back: to its original position wherein. the locking element overli'esthe mount inglink Edas best; indicated in Figs; 4- and 5'; thereby resistingireturn movement offithemountingilinlc and closingnwvement or, the leg-mom berz.

r 6 lapseiwhenithegtable iszinrusec Attire same: time; the, novel! construction; or" the present invention permits the legsmembers to be closed by. simple manual pressure, and. without the need for mathrough. an arc: of approximately 180 degrees when-the leg-member is shifted fromclosed position to:- open position, and vice versa, whereas the bracing linli132 moves. through an angle ofsomewhat less than 45'. degrees.

As; shown in: 3; when the leg-member 25 is in: fully-closed: position, the free ends 2? are The l'ower cammingedge t?! of the locking ele I ment id is at a sunicientl y steep angle; with respect to the inclined upper edge of the portion 284;, as to other substantial resistance torel'a ti-v-e cammingdisplacement thereof; When the table is in. its open position, as shown in Fig; 1', the above-mentioned resistance against relative camming displacement of the portion 28 a and the camming edge 42 is augmented by the weight of the table top and "the load supportedthereby sothat' the leg-member is's'ecurelylocked against inadvertent collapse, such as otherwise might result if the leg memher were accidentallykicked; etc.

However, when the table is turned over to=tlie inverted position shown in Figs; 3-' and 5", a substantial manual closingforce exerted upon the the portion 28 a rides over the' locking-element-4i},

whereupon further force exerted" on the base" 3-? will cause the leg-member 2% to rotate clockwise and will cause the mounting link 2'8 and bracing link 32' to rotate: counterclockwiset in Fig. ,6) so as to return the leg-member and the links tothe fully closed position of Figs. 8-, 9" and ll. 7

The two top sections 29, 23 can then be=swung into thecl'osed abutting, side-by-side position shown in Fig. 10, for convenient carrying and/or storing; The outer end ilangeof one ofjthe'topsections Zl'imay beprovidedwitha fastening tab 43 carrying a female snap-fastener element 44., constructed and arranged to lock, with a male snap-fastenerelement'45- on theouter endfl'ange disposed intermediate the connecting pin 3%: and

th-e'a outerend flange. 2 i ofv the top-section; the

leg-member. occupying; substantially the entire longitudinal dimension of the top-section. On the other" hand, when the leg mernber 2%: is in openzposition', as shown in Fig. 1, its free end 2? is disposed on the opposite side of the pin 39 (that is; between the pinand the inner. end oi' the t'op se'ction' 26) This spaces the open l'egappreciably inward oi the outer end of the shorter than the longitudinalv dimension of the top-section, which means that a longer topsecti-on would be required to permit use of tableheig-ht leg-members. V

While, in the embodiment described above, the use of relatively thin sheet metal for the top section makes it desirable toaemploy the L- shaped reinforcing plate 3%, it is apparent that thisreinforcing plate could be eliminated if the top section were made of sufiiciently heavy and thick metal or wood or the like so as not to require reinforcement. In such case, the locking element ii) would be constructed asa separate element with conventional means (not shown) for a ifini'ng" it directly to the side flange of the top-section.

The present invention may be embodied in other form's and, accordingly, the foregoing embodiment istobeconsidercd merely as illustrative and not restrictive, reference being made to the appended claims, rather than to the preceding de'scription as indicating the scope of the invention:

Having thus described my invention, I claim as newand desire to protect by LettersPatent:

1. In", a table having, a top of sheet metal or the like provided with an. integral depending side flange; a generally L-shaped plate having a horizontal base. portion afiixed to the undersid of the top and having a, vertical portion, affixed t0 the inner, side of the flange; a locking element mounted on saidjvertical portion and directed inwardly therefrom, said locking element being spaced appreciably away from the base portion and having a camming edge inclined inwardly away from the free edge of the flange; a leg member; a mounting link having one end pivotally connected to the upper end of the leg and the other end pivotally connected to the inner side of the flange at a point longitudinally intermediate the L-shaped plate and the outer end of the top, said mounting link being normally disposed in a plane intersecting the inclined camming edge of the locking element; a bracing link having one end pivotally connected to the leg' member at a point appreciably spaced from the upper end thereof and having its other end pivotally connected to the inner side of the flange at a point longitudinally inward of the Lshaped plate; said leg member being positionable in generally horizontal closed or collapsed position wherein it lies generally adjacent the underside of the top with its aforesaid end located longitudinally outward of the pivotal connection of the mounting link to the flange, said leg member being manually movable to generally vertical open position with the mounting link swinging through an arc of about 180 degrees so as to seat the aforesaid upper end of leg member against the base portion of the L-shaped plate, the edge of the mounting link contacting the inclined camming edge and causing momentary relative la eral displacement of the locking element and the mounting link so as to permit the mounting link to ride over the locking element and to be seated intermediate it and the base portion so as to secure the leg member in open position; and means associated with the locking element for permitting return leg-closing movement of the mounting link.

2. A construction according to claim 1 wherein the last-mentioned means comprises a second camming edge inclined outwardly from the innermost end of the first camming edge, manual movement of the l g member toward closed position causing the edge of the mounting link to contact the second-mentioned camming edge and to cause momentary lateral displacement of the locking element and the mounting link so as to permit the mounting link to ride back over the locking element, thereby freeing the mounting link for swinging movement back to leg-closing position. i

3. A construction according to claim 2 wherein the flange is somewhat resilient so that it can be bowed outward to facilitate lateral displacement of the locking element during the locking and unlocking movement of the mounting link.

4. A construction according to claim 3 wherein the mounting link is formed with two angularly related portions, whereby, in the leg-enclosed position, one portion is seated against the underside of the top and the other portion diverges from the underside so as to support the aforesaid end of the leg member in somewhat spaced relationship to the underside.

5. A construction according to claim 1 wherein the mounting link is formed with two angularly related portions, whereby, in the leg-enclosed position, one portion is seated against the underside of the top and the other portion diverges from the underside so as to support the aforesaid end of the leg member in somewhat spaced relationship to the underside.

6. In a table having a top provided with a depending side flange; a locking element mounted on the inner side of said side flange and directed inwardly therefrom, said locking member being spaced appreciably away from the underside of the top and having a camming edge inclined inwardly away from the free edge of the flange; a leg member; a mounting link having on end pivotally connected to the upper end of the leg and the other end pivotally connected to the inner side of the flange at a point longitudinally intermediate the locking member and the outer end of the top, said mounting link being normally disposed in a plane intersecting the inclined camming edge of the locking element; a bracing link having one end pivotally connected to the leg member at a point appreciably spaced from the upper end thereof and having its other end pivotally connected to the inner side of the flange at a point longitudinally inward of the locking memher; said leg member being positionable in generally horizontal closed or collapsed position wherein it lies generally adjacent the underside of the top with its aforesaid end located longitudinally outward of the pivotal connection of the mounting link to the flange, said leg member being manually movable to generally vertical open position with the mounting link swinging through an arc of about degrees so as to seat the aforesaid upper end of the leg member against the underside of the top, the edge of the mounting link contacting the inclined camming edge and causing momentary relative lateral displacement of the locking element and the mounting link so as to permit the mounting link to ride over the locking element and to be seated intermediate it and the underside of the top so as to secure the leg member in open position; and means associated with the locking element for permitting return leg-closing movement of th mounting link.

'7. A construction according to claim 6 wherein the last-mentioned means comprises a second camming edge inclined outwardly from the innermost end of the first camming edge, manual movement of the leg member toward closed position causing the edge of the mounting link to contact the second-mentioned camming edge and to cause momentary lateral displacement of the locking element and the mounting link so as to permit the mounting link to ride back over the locking element, thereby freeing the mounting link for swinging movement back to leg-closing position.

8. A construction according to claim 7 wherein the mounting link is formed with two angularly related portions, whereby, in the leg-enclosed position, one portion is seated against the underside of the top and the other portion diverges from the underside so as to support the aforesaid end of the leg member in somewhat spaced relationship to the underside.

JOSEPH PUCCI.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Number Name Date 1,324,259 McElhinn Dec. 9, 1919 2,075,778 Johannsen Mar. 30, 1937 2,178,248 Bristow Oct. 31, 1939 2,318,945 Johannsen May 11, 194.3 2,326,461 Howe Aug. 10, 1943 2,542,394 Cohen et a1 Feb. 20, 1951 FOREIGN PATENTS Number Country Date 16,821 Great Britain 1906

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1324259 *Nov 23, 1917Dec 9, 1919 X x x table
US2075778 *Feb 8, 1936Mar 30, 1937Brewer Titchener CorpFolding table
US2178248 *Aug 9, 1937Oct 31, 1939Bristow Otis CFolding table
US2318945 *Jun 3, 1940May 11, 1943Brewer Titchener CorpFolding table latch
US2326461 *Apr 24, 1942Aug 10, 1943Harold HoweStructure having a folding support surface
US2542394 *Aug 25, 1948Feb 20, 1951Boris CohenFoldable table
GB190616821A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2814541 *Mar 13, 1957Nov 26, 1957Sam DermanCollapsible extensible table
US2858641 *May 16, 1957Nov 4, 1958Trimble IncInfant's dressing table toy
US3246614 *Apr 15, 1964Apr 19, 1966Spacer Furnishings CorpFoldable table
US3585945 *Nov 12, 1968Jun 22, 1971Otto S NielsenPool table
US4658735 *Jun 16, 1986Apr 21, 1987Krueger, Inc.Folding table
US5562051 *May 26, 1994Oct 8, 1996Steelcase, Inc.Folding table leg construction
US5636578 *May 25, 1995Jun 10, 1997Steelcase, Inc.Folding table leg construction
US6928934 *May 8, 2003Aug 16, 2005Edward ZhengFoldable table with four bar link
US20040221773 *May 8, 2003Nov 11, 2004Edward ZhengFoldable table with four bar link
Classifications
U.S. Classification108/131, 108/35
Cooperative ClassificationA47B3/0911
European ClassificationA47B3/091B