US 2959209 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
NOV. 8, 1960 c, LAKlN 2,959,209
CONVERTIBLE BENCH AND TABLE Filed July 7, 1958 I 1 d INVENTOR.
,4 w. 6. 14km Unite 2,959,209 Patented Nov. 8, 1960 CONVERTIBLE BENCH AND TABLE Paul C. Lakin, 4370 Stewart St., Los Angeles 66, Calif.
Filed July 7, 1958, Ser. No. 746,691
4 Claims. (Cl. 15543) lhis invention relates to articles of furniture, and more particularly to an improved furniture item suitable for use as a bench or a table.
Various attempts have been made in the past to provide a convertible bench and table, wherein a flat panel is adapted to be placed in a horizontal position above a fixed seat so as to provide a table, and is also adapted to be placed in a position wherein it forms a back rest adjacent the seat. However, in all instances heretofore known, these attempts have resulted in articles of furniture comprising a plurality of parts, which make the article unduly expensive, and which are cumbersome to operate in converting from table form to bench form and from bench form to table form.
It is an object of this invention to provide an improved combination bench and table in which a fixed seat portion and a movable panel are linked together in a simple manner, and which is characterized by ease of assembly and operation.
It is another object of this invention to provide an improved article of furniture which can be converted to a bench or a table, in which a seat has fixed extensions for supporting a table top at a desired height, and in which the table top is linked to such extensions to permit it to be lowered along said extensions to rest adjacent the seat for forming a back rest.
A further object of this invention is to provide a combined bench and table having a minimum number of component parts of simple design and rugged construction, capable of being used in pairs to provide a sturdy table top having seats on opposite sides thereof, and in which the table tops are linked to the seats by elements which aid in positioning and supporting them so as to form the back rest for a bench.
Still another object of this invention is to provide a convertible bench and table comprising a minimum of elements, which can be shipped unassembled and readily put together by the consumer.
The above and other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from the following description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing illustrating a preferred embodiment thereof, and in which:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of a pair of the convertible bench and table of this invention, showing its use as a picnic table having a large table top and sturdy seats on opposite sides thereof;
Figure 2 is a perspective view of one of the articles of furniture converted to a bench, and showing details of the arrangement of the link elements for supporting the back rest in the proper position;
Figures 3-5 are end elevation views of the combined bench and table of this invention, to illustrate the operation of the link elements in moving the back rest to the horizontal position where it forms the top of a table;
Figure 6 is a fragmentary view in elevation of a shelf and means for locking the movable panel to the shelf when the article is in table form; and
Figure 7 is a sectional view taken along the line 77 of Figure 5, to show how the links are connected to the associated parts.
While furniture articles embodying my invention may be employed as an item of household furniture, the invention will be described with reference to an article of furniture designed primarily for outdoor use. Accordingly, the table form may be used as a picnic or barbecue table, and the bench form may be utilized at other times as desired, e.g., a patio bench. As shown in Figure 1, two articles of furniture 10 in table form are placed together to provide a large picnic or barbecue table having seats on opposite sides thereof.
The furniture article of this invention comprises two spaced support members 12, 14 having respective pairs of crossed legs 15, 16 and 17, 18. The legs 15, 17 are considerably longer than the other legs 16, 18. As shown, the pairs of legs are crossed adjacent the upper ends of the short legs 16, 18, and are secured together by a nut and bolt arrangement 19.
A seat member 20 is supported at the upper ends of the short legs 16, 18. To this end, bars or braces 21, 22 are provided which abut both the legs 15, 16 and 17, 18, and which have upper horizontal edges which lie in the same plane as the upper ends of the legs 16, 18. Secured to the tops of the braces 21, 22 and the legs 16, 18 are respective horizontal panels 23, 24, to which the seat 20 is fixed.
As shown, the seat 20 is spaced from the legs 15, 17 thus leaving a portion of the seat support panels 23, 24 exposed. As will be explained more fully hereinafter, this arrangement permits one edge of a back rest to be supported against the panels 23, 24.
The upper ends of the legs 15, 17 terminate in portions 15', 17' having horizontal edges of greater width than the main portions thereof. A horizontal shelf 25 (see Figure 2) is secured between the horizontal portions 15', 17 to provide a surface on which to set movable items when the article of furniture is in bench form.
For converting the article of furniture from table to bench form, and vice versa, and also for supporting the back rest of the invention in the desired position, this invention provides a pair of rigid link elements 26, 27. At one end, the links 26, 27 are pivotally connected, as at 29 and 30, to the leg portions 15', 17'. The opposite ends of the links 26, 27 are pivotally connected, as at 32 and 33, to a pair of bars or braces 34, 35. The links are disposed between the leg portions 15', 17' and the bars 34, 35 so that the bars can be moved with respect to the legs.
Figure 7 shows a nut and bolt arrangement for mounting the links 27 on the leg portion 17' and bar 35. As shown, a pair of bolts 40, 41 extend in opposite directions through the link 27 adjacent its ends. The heads of the bolts are disposed in countersunk openings 42,
43 in the body of the link, so as to permit the bar 35 to be moved freely about the bolt 41, and to permit the link to move freely about the bolt 40. The ends of the bolts 40, 41 extend through the leg portion 17 and the bar 35, respectively; and nuts 45, 46 are threaded thereon.
A pair of support panels 50, 51 are secured to the upper edges of the respective bars 34, 35. As shown, in phantom in Figure 7, the, panel 51 is equal to the combined widths of the bar 35, the link 27, and the leg portion 17. Accordingly, in the parallel positions of the links 26, 27, the support panels 50, 51 have their lower surfaces in abutment with the upper ends of the leg portions 15, 17'. Thus, elongated board members 52 secured to the panels 50, 51 are held in a horizontal position therewith to form the top of a table (see Figure 5 When it is desired to convert the article of furniture from a table to a bench, all that is necessary is to tilt the rear edge of the table top to permit the panels 50,
51 to move forward along the upper edges of the leg portions 15', 17 (see Figure 4). The forward edges of the panels 50, 51 are caused to tilt downwardly, by the action of the links 26, 27 pivoting about the leg portions 15, 17'. When the links 26, 2.7 have reached a substantially vertical position, the forward edges of the panels 38, 39 are in engagement with the forward edges of the legs 15, 17 a short distance above the seat 20. At this point, a slight forward movement of the rear edge of the table top (now the upper edge of the back rest for a bench) causes the upper ends of the links 26, 27 to tilt forwardly, and the forward edges of the panels 38, 39 to engage the exposed upper surfaces of the panels 23, 24. The panels 50, 51 may be eased into this position by grasping the lower horizontal board member 52 and exerting a slight restraining force while the panels 50, 51,are moving along the legs 15, 17.
When the lower edges of the panels 50, 51 thus engage the surfaces of the panels 23, 24, there is a slight gap between the lowermost board member 52 and the adjacent edge of the seat 20.
The links 26, 27 are of such length that, upon converting the article to bench form, they will be substantially normal to the plane of the panels 38, 39, and hence of the back rest. Thus, when a person leans back against the back rest, the links 26, 27 are in a position to prevent the back rest from moving backwards. Thus, the links support the back rest in the desired position, as well as facilitating conversion of the article from table to bench form, and vice versa.
In converting from bench to table form, one grasps the lower edge of the panel 52 and pulls upwards. Thereupon the sequence of positions shown in Figures 3, 4 and 5 are successfully assumed.
It may be desired to lockthe panels 52 in position when the article is in table form. This may be accomplished in a simple manner (see Figure 6) as by securing an L-shaped bracket 55 to one of the panels 52 by the threaded end of a bolt 55 passed through one leg thereof. When desired, the bracket is swiveled on the bolt, as shown, so that the lower leg thereof fits under the shelf 25.
While the embodiment of my invention herein shown and described illustrates the advantages of my invention, .it will be understood that many modifications can be made to this invention without departing from the scope thereof. Therefore, I do not intend to be limited in my invention to the particular embodiment herein described, but only by the, appended claims.
1. A combined bench and table comprising: two pairs of upstanding members, each comprising a pair of crossed elements of different lengths; a seat secured to the upper ends of the shorter elements; a pair of links each pivotally connected at one point to the upper end of a respective longer element; a pair of rigid bars pivotally connected to other points of the respective links; a pair of flat members secured to said bars, the width of each said member being at least equal to the combined thicknesses of a longer element, a link element and a bar;
and a panel secured to said flat members, said links permitting movement of said panel between first and second rest positions, said panel in said first position being supported on the upper ends of said longer elements parallel to said seat, said panel in said second position having one edge thereof abutting said seat, said links in said second position holding the opposite edge of said panel member spaced from the upper ends of said longer elements, said links constituting load bearing elements to maintain said panel in said second position when force is applied normal to the plane of said panel member.
2. A combined bench and table comprising: two pairs of upstanding members, .eachcomprising a pair of crossed elements of different lengths; a seat secured to the-upper ends of the shorter elements; a pair of links each pivotally connected at one end to the upper end of a respective longer element; a pair of rigid bars pivotally connected to other ends of the respective links, said links being disposed between the associated bars and longer elements; a pair of flat members secured to said bars, the width of each said member being at least equal to the combined thicknesses of a longer element, a link element and a bar; and a panel disposed generally parallel to said seat, said panel having one edge nearer said seat than its opposite edge, said panel being secured adjacent said opposite edge to said flat members.
3. A convertible bench and table comprising: a seat having spaced support members extending upwardly from one edge'thereof, said support members terminating at their upper ends in horizontal surface areas; a r ctangular panel member spanning said support membe s, said panel member being adapted to serve as a tablet p or a backrest for said seat; and a link element pivotally mounted at one end on the upper end of each support member, said link elements being of equal length, said link elements being sufficiently long so that the opposite ends thereof are clear of the upper ends of said support members when pivoted forwardly or rearwardly thereon, said link elements at their opposite ends being pivotally connected to said panel member adjacent the edge thereof remote from said seats, said link elements being pivoted on said support members by movement of said panel member, said link elements when disposed rearwardly of the upper ends of said support members permitting said panel member to be supported on the horizontal surfaces areas of said support members, said link elements when disposed forwardly of the upper ends of said support members holding said one edge of said panel member spaced forwardly of the upper ends of said support members and permitting the opposite edge of said panel member to rest against the adjacent edge of said seat.
4. A convertible bench and table comprising: a seat having spaced integral support members extending upwardly from one edge thereof; a panel member spanning said support members; and means to permit said panel member to be placed in a first position where it is supported by the upper ends of said longer leg members to serve as a tabletop, and in a second position wherein one edge thereof is supported adjacent one edge of said seat and the opposite edge thereof is held above and rearwardly of said one edge edge to form a backrest for the seat, said means including respective link element pivotally connected at one end to the upper end of respective support element, said link elements at thei opposite ends being pivotally connected to said panel member adjacent said opposite edge thereof, whereby in said first and second positions of said panel member said opposite ends of the link elements are located respectively rearwardly and forwardly of the upper ends of said support members, said panel member in its second position resting against said opposite ends of said link elements, said link elements being of a length to support said opposite edge of the panel member, when in said second position, spaced forwardly from the upper ends of said support members.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 894,299 Weinberg July 28, 1908 1,369,661 Hopkins Feb. 22,1921 1,757,960 Greenstreet May 13, 1930 1,792,737 Greenstreet Feb. 17, 1931 2,506,606 McCaw May 9, 1950 2,506,852 Barcus May 9, 1950 2,702,584 Williams et al Feb. 22,1955 FOREIGN PATENTS 3,057 Great Britain 1865