US 2817567 A
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Dec., 24,` 1957 w. L. sHEPHERDsoN 2,817,567
FOLDING FRNITURE Filed June A18, 1956 CSM. hm,
FOLDING FURNITURE Application June 18, 1956, Serial No. 591,896
4 Claims. (Cl. 311-87) This invetnion pertains to improvements in folding furniture and is particularly directed to an improved folding leg structure for such furniture.
One of the objects of this invention is to provide a folding leg structure for furniture and the like which is automatic in its movement to opened out position and to folded or collapsed position.
Still another object of this invention is to provide an improved folding leg structure for furniture which can be manipulated with one hand to open locked position or closed position with a minimum of elfort being required.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a four legged table having pairs of collapsibly mounted legs which automatically snap out with a single outward swinging motion to open condition and automatically snap back to folded-in position with a single hand movement of each pair of legs.
Still another object of this invention is to provide an improved folding leg structure of outwardly sloping legs together with a three-point mounting arrangement together with resilient means for holding the legs rigidly both in opened out position and in folded up position.
It is also an object to provide in conjunction with such folding leg mechanism, suitable lock means to positively lock the legs against folding up when in opened out position.
Further features and advantages of this invention will appear from a detailed description of the drawings in which:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of a representative piece of furniture incorporating the features of this invention.
Fig. 2 is a bottom view of the furniture element shown in Fig. l.
Fig. 3 is a section on the line 3-3 of Fig. 2.
Fig. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary section on the line 4*-4 of Fig. 2.
As an example of one` embodiment of this invention there is shown a table or seat having the customary top 10, the sides 11 and 12 and the ends 13 and 14. A bottom plate 15 supports the cushion top 10 and is secured to the top edges 16 of the sides and ends.
There is provided two pairs of legs 17-17 and 18--18 each secured together by a rigidly attached cross rail 19, the legs of each pair being pivotally mounted at 20 to the outer ends of the U-shaped support piece 21 which is pivotally mounted at the bottom of its U portion at 22 on a bracket 23 fixed by suitable screws 24 secured to the bottom 36 of the plate 15. A cross piece 25 is xed across the intermediate portions of the arms 26 of the U-shaped support piece 21 and has attached to it at 27 tension springs 28 which in turn have their other ends connected to clips 29 or other suitable attaching means fixed to the bottom surface of the plate 15.
The top of the legs 17 and 18 have abutment surfaces 30 and a dowel plug 31 projecting outwardly from said abutment surface 30, said dowel plug being adapted to engage in a mating dowel pin hole 32 formed in the plate 15 of the seat.
rates Patent O In order to open out each of the pair of legs 17-17 and 18--18 pressure is applied manually at the point 33 in the direction indicated by the arrow 34 on the inner faces of the legs, the leg being swung upwardly and outwardly in a clock-wise direction such as indicated in Fig. 3. This causes the edge 35 of the pair of legs 18-18 to fulcrum and slide along inwardly on the inner lower surface 36 of the bottom (or on the surfaces 36a and 36b of the block 36C for the legs 17-17) while at the same time the U-shaped member 21, for example, associated with the pair of legs 18--18 swings counter clock-wise and upwardly along the arcuate path 37, the legs passing through the intermediate stage such as shown at 17a in Fig. 3 and then finally the dowel plug 31 of the legs 18 1S drops into the dowel pin hole 32 associated with these legs in the bottom plate 1S allowing the abutment surface 30 of the legs 18--18 to come up firmly against the bottom surface 36 of the bottom as best shown. for the legs 17--17 in Fig. 3.
In order to fold up the table leg structure pressure is applied on the outside of the leg at the point 38 in the direction indicated by the arrow 39 which causes the leg structure as a whole to rock up along the :arcuate path 40, such as shown in conjunction with the leg structure 17-17 in Fig. 3, on its respective U-shaped member 21, thus automatically pulling the plugs 31 from out of their respective holes 32 in the bottom 15 allowing the leg to again pass back through the intermediate position 17a and nally arriving at the closed position 17b similarly to the position of the leg structure 18 shown in full line in Fig. 3. Thus, by simple exertion of pressure at point 33 in the direction 34 the respective leg pairs may be quickly folded out to open position as shown in Fig. 1 or may be as quickly returned to completely folded up position by applying pressure substantially at the point 38 in the direction indicated by the arrow 39 for each pair of legs. No other manipulation or movement is required for the folding leg structure.
In certain instances where it is desired to positively lock the leg structure into permanent open position so it could not be inadvertently kicked closed or improperly manipulated by someone utilizing the table, there is provided a clamp means such as shown in Fig. 4 comprising the latch member 40 secured to the inner face 41 of the cross rail 19 which is engaged by a swinging clamp 42 pivotally mounted at 43 on a suitable plate 44 secured by screws 45 to the bottom surface 36 of the bottom 15 of the furniture structure. By this means it is impossible to apply pressure at the point 38 in the direction indicated by the arrow 39 to release the table leg without iirst moving the swinging clamp piece from the latch piece 40 as described. Preferably a latch of the type shown in my co-pending patent application 355,469 led May 18, 1953, may be utilized if desired.
lt is important to note that when the leg 17-17, for example, is in extended position there is a triangle of points of support at 20-22-31 together with a tension spring interconnected between the point 31 or slightly inside of the triangle from said point and connected at an intermediate point 27 of the distance between points 20 and 22. When the legs are folded closed it will be noted that the points 20-22-29 are al1 in substantially the same straight line or plane for maintaining the legs in proper folded condition with the springs 28 under tension. In addition the clamp means 40-42 is provided at the point 29a to further insure the positive locking of the legs to the bottom plate 15 to prevent accidental closing of the legs when in folded out position.
While the apparatus herein disclosed and described constitutes a preferred form of the invention, it is also to be understood that the apparatus is capable of mechanical alteration without departing from the spirit of Patented Dec. 24, 1957 3 the inventionandfthat vsuch mechanical arrangement and commercial adaptation as fall within -thescope oftheappendent claims are intended to be included herein.
Having thus fully set forth and described this invention what' is 'clainiedf and`v desired to be 'f-obtaine'dlby -Unite`d States' -L'ette'rs lPatent iss on saidbottomplatc;means-on topI lof -vsaid legs to engage in jdemountable positive "connection with 'a mating y'connection on theundersidebf said bttoniplte-atia'fpoint intermediate theends of said"support piecewhenisaidl legs are" l'opened out to" load` supporting i position, and
yielding -tension means' interconnected between the bottom plate'at a point located "adjacenty at` said demountable Vpositivecon'nection and an intermediate"pointonsaid support piece between ttie pivotally imo'untedends 'ofi saidl support piece.
2.*nffolding furniture-*unithaving a'bottoml plate, a pair yof legs having *a* cross rail rigidly fixed thereto, r:a support piece pivotally mounted at one end atan intermediate`-p ointonrsaidlegs and-fpivotally mounted at its other "end on' saidfbott'om plate, meansfon top ofr said legs to engage lin de'mbuntable positive' connection withI a mating -corinection or `the 'undersideof-v said botton'rat` a point-"intermediate the'ends-of said support piece when said legs are opened out to load supporting position, yielding tension means interconnectedbetween the bottom plate at a point locatedadjacent-at-said demountable positiveV connection -and an intermediate point on -said support piece between the pivotally mounted ends of said support piece, and a locking vmeans mounted on said bottom plate engaging a latchconnected-to -thetop portion of saidflegs'f--to secure said demountable positive connection against release YWhen saidlegs are opened out.
3. A' folding furniture unit having abottom plate, pairs of legs, each paii rigidly interconnected by a lcross rail, a U-shaped support piece pivotally mounted at the base of'the U on the bottom surface of saidplate, said legs being pivotally mounted intermediate their ends on the outer ends of said U-shaped support piece, yielding tension spring means interconnected-With the bottom plate and at an intermediate point on the arms of said U- shaped support piece, an abutment surface on the top of said legs, dowel plugs projecting upwardly from said abutmentfdowelfplug holes in said bottom plate adaptedto receive said dowel plug when said legs are in opened out position with said abutment surface on the top of said legs in contact With the bottom surface of said bottom plate, said pivotal connections of said U-shaped support piece and the points of connection of the ends of said spring means lying substantially in the same plane when said legs are in folded Vup positio'riwithi the point of connection of said springjwith said bottom plate being located between said bottom' surface; anda plane defined lby the pivotal connections of said U-shaped support piece:
4. A folding furniture .unit having a bottom plate, pairs of legs, each painrigi'dlyinterconnected by 'a cross'rail, a U-shaped supportpiece pivotally mounted at the base of the U on the bottom surface of said plate, said legs being pivotally mounted intermediate their ends on the outer ends of said U-shaped support piece, yielding tension spring means interconnectedl Withthe' bottom plate and atan intermediate point on'tliearrnsofsaidU-shaped' support piece, an abutment' surface on the 'top Aoffsaid legs, dovvel plugsjprojectingupwardlyfrom said abutment', dovvel plugfholes in'saidbottom 1board adapted to receivesaid dowel iplug iwherr-saidv legs are in'opened out position with said abutmentf'surfacelon' the topof saidl port pieceandfthe" points-ofconnection of `the ends of` said"'springmeans"lyingrsubstantially in the same plane when'saidlegs arefirifolded up position lwith the point of connection ofsaid spring'iwi'tliisaid bottom plate -being locatedl-betvve'enl-said Lbo'ttor'n surface anda-plane defined 1,964,759`- Howe' July 3, 1932i" 2,178,248"l Bristw"' Oct. 31,1939 2,318,945; Jhnasen May 11, 1943'V 2,695,827 De Saussure; Nov. 30, 1954 FoREtoN PATENTS 22,925 i Great BritainV 1912