|Publication number||US2903313 A|
|Publication date||Sep 8, 1959|
|Filing date||Apr 2, 1957|
|Priority date||Apr 2, 1957|
|Publication number||US 2903313 A, US 2903313A, US-A-2903313, US2903313 A, US2903313A|
|Inventors||Block Walter W|
|Original Assignee||Quaker Stretcher Company|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (18), Referenced by (25), Classifications (8)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
' Sept. 8, 1959 W. W. BLOCK PORTABLE FOLDING TABLE 4 sheets sheet 1 Filed April 2, 1957 Sept. 8, 1959 w. w. BLOCK 299039313 PORTABLE FOLDING TABLE Filed April 2, 1957 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Sept. 8, 1959 w, w, BLOCK 2,903,313
PORTABLE FOLDING TABLE Filed April 2, 1957 4 Sheets-Sheet 3 Sept; 8, 1959 w. w. BLOCK 2,903,313
PORTABLE FOLDING TABLE Filed April 2, 1957 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 I I i I I 26 a y a 0 5 5 205 46a, 50 56 v l J58 J64 J94 J54 INVENTOR.
MZZack United States Patent PORTABLE FOLDING TABLE Walter W. Block, Kenosha, Wis., assignor to Quaker Stretcher Company, Kenosha, Wis., a corporation of Wisconsin Application April 2, 1957, Serial No. 650,189
2 Claims. (Cl. 311-90) This invention is concerned generally with the art of furniture and the like, and more particularly with a folding picnic or caterers table.
Ithas been proposed heretofore to provide folding tables comprising a pair of hingedly connected sections or panels and pivotally mounted legs, whereby the tables can befolded into a package of sufliciently small size for carrying from one place to another. Such tables are now available on the market and are used for picnics, for catering, etc.
Many of the folding tables now on the market possess various drawbacks. Often the tables are too small when set up, or they are too large when folded. Such tables often are awkward to handle and, in particular, are diflicult to set up or to fold for transporting. Other tables have not been sufficiently strong or rigid when set up.
One object of the invention is to provide a folding table having at least three sections hinged together and equipped with handle means in an improved manner which facilitates carrying of the table in an inherently stable folded condition by a handle in one end section.
Other and further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
Fig. 1 is a perspective view of the table as set up;
Fig. 2 is a perspective view of the table at a first intermediate step of folding for carrying;
Fig. 3 is a perspective view of the table in a subsequent intermedaite step of folding;
Fig. 4 is a perspective view showing the table completely folded for carrying; 1
Fig. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 55 of Fig. 4 and showing the carrying handle;
Fig. 6 is a view of the underside of the table with the table in opened position but the legs folded;
Fig. 7 is a view partly in section taken along the line i 7-7,of Fig. 8 showing the legs as extended;
Fig. 8 is a fragmentary longitudinal section taken along the line 88 of Fig. 6, but with the legs in extended position;
i Fig. 9 is a perspective view of the leg braces in partially opened position;
Fig. 10 is a fragmentary perspective view, certain parts being broken away for clarity of illustration, showing a pair of latches for holding the table in set-up or extended position; a
Fig. 11 is a fragmentary perspective view taken from below the table and showing certain parts of the latch and hinge construction;
,Fig. 12 is a fragmentary longitudinal sectional view as taken along the line 12-12 in Fig. 3;
' Fig. 13 is a fragmentary view as taken along the line 13-13 in Fig. 3 illustrating a feature of the hinge construction; r
Fig.14 is a 'cross-sectional'view' through the hinge as taken along the line 1414 of Fig. 12;
v and sheet metal retainers 74 on the shanks.
- Patented Sept. 8, 1
Fig. 15 is an exploded perspective view showing certain parts of one of the hinges;
Fig. 16 is a top perspective view similar to Fig. 10 and showing a modified form of latch;
Fig. 17 is a longitudinal sectional view as taken along the line 17-17 of Fig. 16;
Fig. 18 is a horizontal sectional view as taken along the line 18-18 of Fig. 17;
Fig. 19 is a cross-sectional view as taken along the line 1919 of Fig. 17; and
Fig. 20 is a cross-sectional view as taken along line 2tl-20 of Fig. 17.
In order to distinguish certain parts of the table from one another, reference will be made to the parts with the table oriented as in Fig. 1 unless a notation to the contrary is made. Accordingly, referring now in greater detail to the drawings, and first to Figs. 14, there is shown a table generally designated by the numeral 30 and comprising a left end section or panel 32, a right end section 34, a left center section 36, and a right center section 38. Each of the four sections is hingedly connected to the adjacent section. Thus, the left sections 12 and 36 are connected by hinges 40, the right sections are connected by hinges 42, and the center sections are connected by hinges 44.
The sections or panels 32-38 are generally similar, and each includes a reinforcing flange extending downwardly and then inwardly along each edge, such flanges being identified by the numeral 46. At the four outer corners there preferably are provided reinforcing brackets 48 overlying a portion of the top of the table and extending down along the flanges 46. It will be understood that the table sections or panels are made of rather lightweight sheet material, preferably steel or aluminum, and that the flanges 46 and the reinforcing brackets 48 help to provide the requisite strength.
7 The panels or sections are further reinforced and, as may be seen in Fig. 6, such reinforcement includes short diagonal struts 50 at all of the corners except those having the reinforcing brackets 48. As will be understood, the reinforcing brackets and struts are made of sheet metal and are riveted in place. An inwardly and downwardly opening angle member 52 (Figs. l0, l1, and 14) is secured along the inner surfaces of the depending flanges 46 to provide further reinforcing. A brace 54 extends transversely across each of the panels 36 and 38 along the underside thereof and, as may be seen in Fig. 8, these braces are V-shaped in cross section, and have lateral flanges thereon for securing to the undersurface of the table panels. The reinforcing angles 52 preferably are the held in place by rivets and the transverse braces 54 preferably are spot welded to the horizontal flanges of the angles. It is sufiicient that the upper portions of the panels are supported by these braces 54, but it is contemplated that they could be spot welded thereto if so desired. Further transverse reinforcing is provided in the form of a pan 56 extending across the undersides of the end sections 32 and 34.
Each pan 56, as may be seen in Figs. 7, 8, and 12, comprises a horizontal web 58 lying against the underside of the panel, side flanges 60 extending transversely of the table, and end flanges 62 spot welded against the angle braces or members 52. The flanges 60 preferably are provided with stiffening ribs 64.
A handle 66 (Figs. 4 and 5) is provided for carrying the table when in folded position. The handle comprises a U-shaped metal rod having shanks 68 extending through suitable apertures 70 in the end flange 46 of the end section or panel 34. Coil springs 72 encircle the shanks and are compressed between the flange 46 These sheet metal retainers preferably are of the type having struts 76 thereon which permit the retainers to be slipped on in one direction but resist separation or disassembly in the opposite direction. The springs 72 normally hold the handle 66 in retracted position as shown in Figs. 4 and 5, but allow the handle readily to be withdrawn for carrying of the folded table. v
v The hinges 40 and 42 joining the end sections to the center sections are of identical construction, and the hinges 40 are shown in detail in Fig. 10. Each hinge 40 comprises a pair of hinge members 7 8 of identical, but reversed or mirror image orientation. Thus, each hinge member 40 comprises a flat strap or bar 80 having a depending and offset portion 82 thereon. The offset portions 82 are offset in opposite directions due to the reverse orientation of the hinge members, and a pivot pin 84 pivotally connects the offset portions 82 ofthe two hinge inembers 78 comprising the hinge 40. The center or axis of; the pins 84 lies along the bottom edge of the panels as determined by the lower corners of the flanges 46, whereby these flanges are brought into substantially abutting relation upon folding of the table.
The hinges 40 (and similarly, the hinges 42) conveniently are secured to the reinforcing angle members 52 and simultaneously to the depending flanges 46 by means of pairs of rivets as at 86. Each of the hinge members 80 associated with an outer end panel, i.e., 32 or 34, is provided with a latch member 88 extending beyond the end of the hinge bar or strap 80 and riveted thereto. The extending end of each latch member 88. is provided with a depending tooth 90 for cooperation with a latch associated with the opposite hinge member 78. More particularly, each of the opposite hinge members 78 has a latch in the form of an arm 92 pivoted thereon at 94 and having an upwardly directed tooth 96 extending beyond the end of the hinge bar or strap 80. The rear ends of the arms 92 are integrally connected by a strap or bar 98 and this strap or bar is urged away from the adjacent section or panel 38 by means of coil springs 100 compressed between the panel and the bar adjacent the opposite ends thereof. Each spring 100 is seated in a pairof notches 102 in the bar 98, the notches providing' a pair of locating fingers 104.
- A release member 106 is secured in the center of the bar 98, and the release member takes the form of a depending tab 108, spot welded to the bar, and having a horizontal flange 110 at the lower edge thereof. As will be apparent, when the flange 110 is pressed upwardly (-in the direction of the panel 38) the arms 92 are pivoted about their mounting pins 94 for removing the teeth 96 from engagement behind the teeth 90, thus allow-. ing pivoting of the two hinge members 78 to bring the panels from set-up coplanar relation as in Fig. 1 through the intermediate folding position of Fig. 2 to the partially. folding position of Fig. 3 with the panels CODfI'OIliZt ing one another.
Reference has been made to the fact that the axis of the pins 84 lies along the bottom of the table where-. by the adjacent tables will be folded substantially flat against one another. However, and as will be seen in. Fig. 13, the pin axes are somewhat offset between the dividing lines between the adjacent panels. Thus, in the illustrative example of Fig. 13, the pin axis, lies somewhat beyond the end of the panel 38 and slightly short of the end of the panel 34. Accordingly, when the panels 34- and 38 are folded together, the panel 34 projects slight-, ly beyond the panel 38 at the hinged ends, this offset being clearly illustrated in Fig. 13. Similarly, the left end panel 32 is offset somewhat beyond the left center panel 36 at the adjacent edges when these panels. are folded together. Consequently, the two end panels 32 and 34 are somewhat short of abutment when folded toward one another in the position shown in Fig. 3. This provides clearance for the handle 66, and also, provides clearance for the subsequent folding of the table into the position shown in Fig. 4
The hinge 44 connecting the center panels or sections 36 and 38 is quite similar in nature to the hinges 40 and 42. However, there are certain differences as will be seen with regard to Figs. 11, 12, 14, and 15. Each of the hinges 44 comprises a pair of hinge members 112, each of which includes a bar or strap 114 held, as by rivets 115, against the angle members 52 and flanges 46. Each of the hinge members 112 is provided with a depending section 116 offset from the plane of the corresponding bar or; strap 114. Both of the depending portions 116, are offset outwardly of the table, and lie. beyond the margin thereof as determined by the adjacent flanges 46. The depending sections 116 are pivotally connected at 118, and the centerline of the pivot pin lies substantially along the plane of the surface of the end sections or panels 32 and 38 when folded into juxtaposition as in Figs. 3 and 12. Accordingly, the panels 32 and 38 subsequently can be folded substantially flat against one another to the position of Fig. 4, the panels 34 and 36 moving somewhat apart but into parallel relation.
The bars or straps 114 of the hinge members 112 associated with the left center panel 36 are provided with latching devices 120 similar to the latching devices 88, and having depending locking teeth 122 extending beyond the end of the panel 36. Pivoted latches are provided on the opposite bars 114 and take the form of arms 124 integrally interconnected by a transverse bar 126'. The arms 124 are provided with upwardly directed teeth 128 projecting beyond the end of the section or panel 34 and engageable with the teeth 122. The arms are pivoted at 130 and helical springs 132 tend to pivot the arms toward latching position.
The transverse bar 126 is provided at its midsection with a depending tab 134 spot welded in place and having a transverse flange 136 at the lower end thereof. Whenthe table is collapsed to the position shown in Figs. 3 and 4, one of the legs 138, hereinafter to be described in greater detail, engages the flange 136 automatically to pivot the latch arms 124 to releasing position as shown in, Fig. 12, thereby allowing subsequent folding of the table to the position shown in Fig. 4 without the necessity'of manually releasing the latch.
More particularly, and as may be seen in Figs. 1 and 6-8, the table is provided with four pivotally mounted legs 138, 140, 142, and 144. These legs are not uni-. formly located but are symmetrically disposed about the center point of the table, i.e., the center section of the longitudinal and transverse axes of the table. The two legs'at either end of the table are offset from one another longitudinally of the table in order to allow the legs and their bracing structure to be folded flat against the underside of the table and within the confines of the depending flange 46' without the legs or supporting or bracing structure therefor interfering with one another in any way.
The legs are of tubular construction and have resilient, preferably plastic, caps 146 at their lower ends. The upper ends of the legs are offset laterally (longitudinally of the table) as at 148 and are pivoted at 150 to the vertical flanges 60 of the reinforcing pan 56. One wall of the tubular. configuration of each leg is pushed inwardly to reverse curvature in the offset portion 148 to strengthen the offset portion, and to simplify passing of a rivet or pivot pin therethrough. Specifically, the leg 140 is piv oted near the rear edge of the table adjacent the left end thereon, but on the flange 60, of the pan 56 on the panel 32 which is remotely disposed relative to the end of the table. The leg 1 42 is pivotally mounted. on the flange 60 which is adjacent the end of the, table and the leg 142 is mounted adjacent the front edge of the table. Similarly, the leg 138 is, mounted near the right rear corner of the table on the flange of the pan bracing the, panel 34 which is adjacent the end of the table, while the leg 144 is pivotally mounted adjacent the, fi'Qnt edge of the table on the flange of the bracing pan which is remote relative to the end of the table.
Each of the leg is provided with a rigid diagonal brace 152 extending longitudinally of the table and pivotally connected to the leg at 154 and to an angle bracket 156 at 158, the angle brackets being spot welded to the undersides of the bracing pans 56, the braces 152 of laterally adjacent legs thereby extending in relatively opposite directions longitudinally of the table.
Each of the legs also is provided with a folding brace 160 pivotally mounted on the same pin 154 as the rigid brace and the opposite ends of the braces 160 are pivoted at 162 on pins passed through the corresponding pan flanges 60 and reinforcing tabs 164 welded thereon.
As best may be seen in Figs. 7 and 9, each of the folding leg braces 160 comprises a rigid link 166 and a rigid link 168. The links overlap one another and are pivotally joined at 170. The extending end of each link 168 is provided with a laterally extending finger 172 receivable in a slot or notch 174 of the corresponding link 166 for limiting relative movement of the two links to a straightline position. Similarly, the extending end of each link 166 is provided with a dimple or depresson 176 receiving a struckout detent 178 on the corresponding link 168 to lock the links in extended position.
It now is apparent that, in order to collapse the table from the set-up position of Fig. 1, it is necessary only to pivot the legs laterally of the table so that they will fit substantially flush against the underside of the table and within the confines of the depending flange 46. The release members 106 of the latches associated with the junctions between the end and cent-er panels then are depressed and the center panels may be folded through the position shown in Fig. 2 to the completely collapsed position shown in Figs. 3 and 12. This causes the leg 138 to engage the flange 136 to release the latch member associated with the joint between the two center sections of the table and then the table may be folded to the collapsed position shown in Fig. 4, it being understood that the two center sections of the table end up on the outside of the package. This renders it unnecessary to provide any latching means for holding the table in folded or collapsed position, since the outer ends appear at the center of the folded unit or package where they are held together between the two center panels as determined by the separation of the remote parts of hinges 44.
A modified form of latching mechanism is shown in Figs. 1620. The parts of the table including the hinge are similar to those heretofore shown and described and similar numerals are utilized with the addition of the suffix a. Accordingly, description of such parts is believed to be unnecessary. The improved latch mechanism is shown in connection with the right center section 38 and the right end section 34, but it will be understood that this latch could be used with any of the joints.
More particularly, a generally tubular retainer 180 is provided with outwardly extending flanges 182 along its lateral edges, and these flanges are spot welded against the hinge bars 80a associated with the section or panel 38a. A U-shaped latch rod 184 has legs slidably received in the tubular members 180. The legs are integrally interconnected by a bight 188 extending transversely across the table and manually engageable for moving the latch rod between locking and releasing position.
Detent mechanisms 190 are provided on the opposite tubular members or sleeves 180 to secure the latch rod in latching or releasing position. More particularly, a pair of ears 192 is struck out of the tubular member and a lever 194 is pivotally mounted between these ears. The lever is provided at its front end with a tooth 196 projecting toward the member 180, and a spring 198 compressed beneath the tail of the lever urges the tooth in this direction. The tooth is provided with beveled edges, and a notch or recess 200 is provided in the tubular member 180 to provide for entrance of the tooth. Recesses or notches 202 and 204 are formed in the legs 186 for receipt of the tooth 196, and these notches or recesses have cam edges complementary to those of the tooth 196. Accordingly, a sharp push or pull on the bight 188 of the latch rod 184 will cause the teeth 196 of the respective detent mechanisms 190 to cam out of the notches 202' or 204 in the legs 186 to allow sliding of the latch bar to or from locking position.
The latch mechanism is completed by a generally tubular sleeve 206 having laterally extending flanges 208 on its longitudinal edges and secured to the opposite hinge bar a.
As will be apparent, when the latch bar 184 is pushed to the forward position shown in full lines in Figs. 16-18, the forward ends of the legs 186 will extend into the tubular sleeve whereby the legs 186 lock the hinges 42a in extended position with the table in operating position. Conversely, when the latch bar is retracted to the dash-line position in Fig. 18 the legs 186 do not extend into the tubular sleeves 286 and the table then may be folded or collapsed. As heretofore noted, the latch rod may be cammed past the detent mechanisms but it will be understood that the detent mechanisms could be released manually simply by pressing on the tails of the levers thereof.
it will be understood that the illustrative embodiments of the invention as shown and described herein are for illustrative purposes only. Various changes in structure will no doubt occur to those skilled in the art, and are to be understood as forming a part of the invention insofar as they fall Within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
The invention is claimed as follows:
1. A folding table comprising, in combination, a plurality of at least three table top sections substantially rectangular in shape and uniform in size and adapted when erected in adjacent coplanar relation to each other to form a rectangular table top in which two of said sections constitute end sections and one of said sections constitutes an intermediate section, each of said sections including a depending flange extending around the periphery thereof, each of said end sections including table leg means thereon folda-ble between an erected position and a folded position encircled by the depending flange on the end section, a carrying handle mounted in one marginal edge of one of said end sections located at one end of said table top, a first pair of hinges located on opposite sides of said table top and pivotally connecting adjacent portions of said intermediate section and said one end section for folding said one end section and said intermediate section together about an axis aligned with the lower edges of said depending flanges thereon, a pair of offset hinges located on opposite sides of said table top in spaced relation to each other and pivotally connecting adjacent portions of said intermediate section and a third one of said sections, said offset hinges defining a hinge axis aligned with the adjacent edges of said intermediate section and said third section and offset below the flanges of said intermediate and third sections by a distance equal to at least half the combined thicknesses of the remaining ones of said sections to provide space for the remaining sections between said intermediate section and said third section upon folding of the latter into parallel relation to each other whereby upon folding of all said sections into mutually parallel relation said handle is brought into adjacent relation to said offset hinge axis and made freely accessible between adjacent marginal edges of said intermediate and said third sections for carrying the table in an inherently stable folded condition.
2. A folding table as set forth in claim 1 in which said handle is retractably mounted in said one marginal edge of said one end section.
(References on following page) References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Bailey Sept. 18, 1877 Makinen Sept. 19, 1899 Duchez July 14, 1914 Davis July 5, 1927 Duggan Jan. 12, 1932 Black July 6, 1937 Howe Aug. 10, 1943 McLean Feb. 22, 1944 Cohen et a1 Feb. 20, 1951 ,Mar 11, 19.5.2
. NO -1 .9.52. Buqci; June,30, 1953 Breslqw' Jan, 18, 1955, Bell Aug. 16, 1955 Leichter May 29,, 1956 Lenpioni May 2-9, 1956 Pucci et al. July 17, 1956,
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|U.S. Classification||108/35, 108/173, 108/167, 108/38|
|International Classification||A47B3/083, A47B3/00|