|Publication number||US2730417 A|
|Publication date||Jan 10, 1956|
|Filing date||Jul 8, 1953|
|Priority date||Jul 8, 1953|
|Publication number||US 2730417 A, US 2730417A, US-A-2730417, US2730417 A, US2730417A|
|Original Assignee||Mitchell Mfg Company|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (11), Referenced by (22), Classifications (5)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
W. MITCHELL LEG AND BRACING MECHANISM FOR SECTIONAL Jan. 10, 1956 Filed July 8, 1953 INVENTOR.
2 Sheets-Sheet l Aff@ Jan. 10. 1956 w. MITCHELL LEG AND BRACING MECHANISM FOR SECTIONAL FOLDING TABLES oR THE LIKE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 8, 1953 Unitffd A Sirf-lies Perf-efC)i` .LEG AND BRACING MECHANISM FOR SEC- TIONAL FOLDING TABLES R THE LIKE William Mitchell, Milwaukee, Wis., assignor to Mitchell Manufacturing CompanyyMilwaukee, Wis., a corporation of Wisconsin Application July 8, 1953, Serial No. 366,688
Z Claims. (Cl. 311-02) This invention relates to improvements in leg and bracing mechanism for sectional'folding tables or the like.
It is lcommon to provide elongated sectional folding tables, benches, platforms, stands and the like for the use of large groups, and these devices, whether they be tables, benches or`the like, customarily include a pair of elongated endwise adjacent and foldably connected top or ,board `members-eachl supported by a foldably associated leg structure near its outer end portion with another foldableleg structure along the transverse median of the extended top or board at the junction of the inner ends of the foldably associated sections thereof. To collapse a table, bench, or platformof theaforernentioned type it is customary to fold one of the board or top sections flatly length-wise upon the other and this operation also serves to collapse or fold the supporting leg structures against the inner faces of the board sections so that the leg and bracing members are compactly confined therebetween in the collapsed condition of the table or the like.
When the table or bench is in its unfolded outstretched condition for use'the line of fold or break of the board or top sections constitutes the transverse median of the extended top, and in the conventional structures any undue pressure applied downwardly to the outer ends of the board or top sections might cause the table top to buckle at the hinged connection of the board sections along the transverse median of the extended top. To eliminate this objection it is one of the objects of the present invention to provide in a sectional folding table or the like, simple brace means spanning the adjacent hinged inner ends of the board sections on their undersides to prevent undesired buckling or folding of the extended board or table sections when pressure is applied to the outer ends thereof.
In a table, bench, or the like of the type under consideration wherein the outstretched top'is formed of a pair of sections hingedly connected at their adjacent inner ends, there is a relative meeting of said inner ends to provide an unbroken at top surface. However, when one of the board or top sections is folded upon the other a gap or space develops between-the adjacent inner ends which is a hazard andmay result in the pinching of the operator. The present invention overcomes this difficulty by providing, in a folding table or the like of the class described, a bridge or ller strip interposed between the adjacent hinged inner ends of the top or board sections to provide an unbroken flat surface when the top or board sections are extended,llling any gap therebetween, and substantially lling the space between the adjacent ends of the board or top sections when they are `being moved to collapsed condition to guard against the danger of the operator being pinched during the collapsing of the top or board sections.
A further object of the invention is Vto provide supporting and bracing mechanism for a two-section table top or bench which includes supporting legs for the outer end portions of each top or board section and supporting mechanisrn for the intermediate portion of the extended top or board vsections applied along the transverse median, all of said supporting legs being so interconnected and associated with the board or top sections that the operation of collapsing one board section on the other automatically serves to fold the legs upon the undersurfaces of the board sections to be confined `between the folded sections of the board or top.
A further object of the invention is to provide in a leg and bracing mechanism for a folding table or the like, means applied tothe intermediate supporting leg structure and to the undersurfaces of the board or table sections to progressively place the latter under tension when the board or table` sections are being unfolded toward outstretched condition, the natural contraction of said means aiding the manual folding of the sections.
A further object of the invention is to provide a sectional foldingrtable or the like which, when in its outstretched condition for use,iis very rmly supported and braced and which can be collapsed Vto a frat compact condition very easily and with a minimum of manual manipulation.
With the above and other objects in view, the invention consists of the improved sectional folding table or the like and its parts and combinations as set forth in the claims, and all equivalents thereof.
In the accompanying drawings in which the same reference characters indicate the same parts in all of the views:
Fig. l is a side view of the improved folding table or the like in its outstretched condition for use;
Fig. 2 is an inverted plan view of the outstretched table;
Fig. 3 `is an end view thereof;
l Fig. 4 is an edge View of the inverted table or the like in a partially collapsed or folded condition;
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary side View of a portion of the table in inverted conditionshowing the expansile and contractile means applied to the intermediate supporting leg structure and to the table section for facilitating the folding operation;
Fig. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary side View of a portionof the table or the like in inverted condition showing the brace means `for maintaining the endwise adjacent table sections in outstretched non-buckling condition;
Fig. 7 is a sectional view taken on line 7--7 of Fig. 6; and c Fig. 8 is an enlarged fragmentary side view of the intermediate portion of the table in its opened out condition showing the intermediate leg carrying bridge which fills the space between the adjacent inner ends of the top or board sections, there being a dotted line showing of the adjacent ends of the top or board sections when folded upon themselves relative to the intermediate bridge.
Where the term table is used herein it is intended to include not only an elongated table but a bench, platform, stand or like structure wherein the board or top sections, in outstretched condition, are supported by foldable supporting legs and braces.
With particular reference to the drawings it will appear that the ilat top or the like includes a pair of endwise adjacent similar flat rectangular board elements 10 and 11.
Applied transversely to the underside of the board sections 10 and 11 toward the outer ends thereof are supporting leg structures 12 which are of integral construction and include upright members carrying at their lower or outer ends a transverse bar having downturned laterally spaced leg elements 13'with rollers 14 journalled in their free extremities. With respect to each leg structure 12, the inner ends of the upright portions thereof are secured to a transverse bar 15 which is pivotally mounted at its outer ends in brackets 15 secured to the underside of the board section to which the leg structure is applied.
With particular reference to Figs. l, 2 and 8 it will be observed that in the outstretched condition of the board or top sections 10 and 11 there is interposed between their adjacent inner ends a transverse bridge member 16. The underside of said bridge member 16 has secured thereto a transverse metallic strap 17 formed near its outer ends with pairs of spaced apart pintles 18 forming pivotal connections for the inner end portions of pairs of hinge plates 19 which are secured to the adjacent inner ends of the board or top sections 10 and 11 and aford the means for permitting said board sections to fold on each other and relative to the bridge 16. lt will be observed particularly from Figs. l and 8 that the outer margins of the bridge 16 and the adjacent edges of the inner ends of the board sections 10 and 11 are curved on a radius corresponding to the arc of fold ing movement of the board sections 10 and 11 with the result that when said board sections are folded on each other no appreciable gap develops between the adjacent ends of the board sections nor between the margins of the bridge 16 and the inner ends of said board sections. In the outstretched condition of said board sections the space between the adjacent inner ends thereof is completely filled by the bridge 16 so that the entire extent of the opened table or top is flush and uninterrupted.
The outer end portions of the bridge-carried strap 17 rigidly carries downwardly or outwardly projecting intermediate legs 20 having rollers 21 on their lower or outer extremities. One of said intermediate legs 20 has applied thereto a vertically adjustable bracket 22 (see Fig. having a clamping bolt 23 to impinge against the leg 20, whereby the bracket 22 may be secured in any position of vertical adjustment relative to the leg 20 to which it is applied. Secured to opposite extremities of the bracket 22 are the inner ends of a pair of oppositely directed chains or elongated flexible members 24 which are trained over pulleys 25 mounted on the undersurfaces of the board or top sections and 11. The other end portions of the chains 24 are secured to elongated springs 26 whose outer extremities are anchored to brackets 27 mounted on the undersurface of the board sections 1t) and 11 toward their outer ends. It will be observed that when the board sections 10 and 11 of the table or the like are folded upon themselves, as in Fig. 4, the contraction of the elongated springs 26 will facilitate the folding movement of the board or top sections while when the top or board sections of the table or the like are extended as in Fig. l, the stretched condition of the springs 26 will put the board sections under tension. The tension of the springs 26 can be regulated through the adjustment of the bracket Z2 along the supporting leg 20.
To guard against undesired collapse of the outstretched foldable table or top and buckling thereof should pressure be imposed on the outer ends of the members 1t) and 11 a longitudinally movable brace is applied to the underside of the board sections so as to extend across the underside of the bridge 16 and the adjacent inner ends of the sections 10 and 11 when they are unfolded. This brace may take the form of an elongated pipe section 28 having welded to its surface portion adjacent the table top or board a at plate 29 to facilitate the sliding movement of the composite brace along the undersurface of the board sections. In its retracted position the brace 23 underlies only one section of the table or top as the section 10 and is supported in and guided by a pair of brackets 30. An angled stop plate 31 secured to the undersurface of the board section 1t) intermediate its extremities is adapted to abut the outer end of the brace 28 and limit its movement in one direction. When the table is unfolded and the sections 10 and 11 are extended as in Figs. l and 2 the brace 2S should be longitudinally moved from the full line of position of Fig. 2 to the broken line position. Continued movement of the brace 28 toward the right relative to Fig. 2 causes its extremity to ride upon the surface of a cam plate 33 secured to the undersurface of the board or top section 11 whereby the brace is securely held in its extended effective position underlying the bridge 16 and the connections of the inner ends of the sections 10 and 11.
Each of the leg structures 12 for the outer end portions of the board or top sections 10 and 11 has applied to an intermediate portion thereof, by means of a pivot bracket 34, the outer end of an elongated link 35. The other end portion of each link 35 is hingedly secured to the inner end of the adjacent board or top section by a pivot bracket 36. Thus, when the table or bench is to be collapsed the folding movement of the board or top section 11, for instance, will, through the link 35 extending to the leg structure 12 of the other board section 10, cause said leg structure to fold toward the outer end of said board section 10 in ilat condition as in Fig. 4. Similarly the leg section 12 applied to the other board or top section 11 is, through its link 35, caused to fold toward the outer end of the board section 11 during the manipulation of the board section 10.
lt should be understood that the invention is applicable to any elongated articles of furniture which should be folded for storage such as banquet tables, benches, stands and the like.
in the outstretched condition of the table or the like shown in Fig. l, the gap between the adjacent inner end portions of the alined board or top sections 1() or 11 is completely flushly lled by the bridge 16 which also carries on its underside the legs for the support of the intermediate portion of the table or the like. The outer end portions of the extended board or top are supported by the foldable leg structures 12 which are braced in their vertical supporting positions by the links 35 which limit the unfolding movement of the leg structures 12 and prevent their movement beyond vertical.
The brace member 28, when moved to its operative position, spans the underside of the bridge 16 and the adjacent inner ends of the sections 10 and 11. Through the links 35 applied to the leg structures 12 and the bracing of the outstretched top or board at its intermediate portion, the table or bench is rendered extremely rigid and stable and will not tend to collapse nor buckle even though undue pressure is applied to the outer ends of the sections 10 and 11.
The operation of collapsing the table or the like from its outstretched operative position of Fig. 1 through an inversion of the position of Fig. 4 to a completely folded condition is extremely simple. It is only necessary to retract the brace 28 to the full line position of Fig. 2 whereupon the folding movement of one of the board sections toward the inner face of the other board section will, through the operation of the links 35, collapse the leg structures 12 toward the outer ends of the undersurfaces of the board sections 10 and 11. In its cornpletely collapsed condition the table or the like is quite compact with the various legs and links being confined between the inner faces of the board sections 10 and 11 which in folded condition are relatively parallel and in adjacency with an inversion of the position of Fig. 4 normally being obtained. ln practice, a cabinet (not shown) may be provided into which the table or the like completely folds for the compact storage of the table or the like when it is not in use.
The collapsing of the table is facilitated by the coiled springs 26 and the tension thereof can be regulated by adjustments of the bracket 22 on the intermediate leg 20.
During the folding or unfolding operations the bridge 16 serves to completely till any gap which might otherwise develop between the hinged inner ends of the board or top sections 10 and 11 to prevent any pinching of the operator.
The improved sectional folding table or the like ernploys a minimum of operating parts, is easy to manipulate, and is well adapted for the purposes set forth.
What is claimed as the invention is:
1. In a folding table or the like, an elongated at top formed of a pair of similar sections in end to end relationship in their outstretched condition, a bridge transversely interposed between the adjacent inner ends of said sections in the plane of the same and hingedly connected thereto whereby said sections may fold flatly Y upon themselves with their inner faces in adjacency, legs foldably carried by the underside of the table, and a brace adjustably carried by the underside of one of the top sections and movable to span the underside of the bridge and the adjacent hinged end portions of the top sections parallel to the plane of the outstretched top sections.
2. In a folding table or the like, a top formed of a pair of similar sections which when opened out are alined, a bridge hingedly interposed between the adjacent inner ends of said sections in the plane of the same and forming the transverse median of the extended top and permitting said sections to fold atly on one another, a leg structure rigidly carried by the undersurface of the bridge, legs foldably carried by each section to be atly conned between said pair of sections when the latter are folded, means directly connecting the legs of one section with the underside of the other section to auto matically fold said legs when the top sections are folded together, expansile and contractile means extended from opposite outer undersurfaces of said top sections to the bridge-carried leg structure to facilitate manual folding of the top sections, and means vertically adjustably associating said expansile and contractile means with the bridge carried leg structure.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 319,915 Linsley et al. June 9, 1885 575,957 Kaiser Jan. 26, 1897 1,808,305 Howe June 2, 1931 2,167,342 York July 25, 1939 2,260,478 Peter Oct. 28, 1941 2,420,787 McFall May 20, 1947 2,559,357 Holt, Jr. July 3, 1951 2,579,076 Hoppe Dec. 18, 1951 2,594,262 Howe Apr. 22, 1952 2,607,647 Howe Aug. 19, 1952 2,650,146 Mugler Aug. 25, 1953
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|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US2777742 *||Sep 14, 1953||Jan 15, 1957||Schieber Mfg Company||Folding table and supporting structure therefor|
|US2811400 *||Jun 28, 1954||Oct 29, 1957||Sonclco||Foldable table and wall support therefor|
|US2828173 *||Jan 11, 1957||Mar 25, 1958||Mitchell Mfg Company||Hinged locking braces for folding table sections|
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|US4932333 *||Jul 14, 1989||Jun 12, 1990||Sico Incorporated||Stabilizing wheels for folding table|
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|US5613450 *||Nov 10, 1994||Mar 25, 1997||Sico Incorporated||Mobile folding stage|
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|US6065802 *||Apr 8, 1998||May 23, 2000||Sico Incorporated||Folding table and seating apparatus|
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|US6386628||Feb 26, 2001||May 14, 2002||Sico Incorporated||Folding table and seating apparatus|
|US7278515 *||Mar 29, 2004||Oct 9, 2007||Cosco Management, Inc.||Foldable scaffold|
|US7611193||Feb 21, 2007||Nov 3, 2009||Sico Incorporated||Table and seating arrangement|
|US8182032||May 22, 2012||Sico Incorporated||Table and seating apparatus|
|US8820826||May 22, 2012||Sep 2, 2014||Sico Incorporated||Table and seating apparatus|
|US20050029049 *||Mar 29, 2004||Feb 10, 2005||Moser Gregory C.||Foldable scaffold|
|US20050161984 *||Jan 27, 2004||Jul 28, 2005||Sico Incorporated||Folding table|
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|International Classification||A47B3/00, A47B3/087|