US 2991139 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 4, 1961 A. J. FIHE FOLDING TABLE WITH LOCK Filed Jan. 26, 1959 as as 22 22 /5-4 20 34 if 54 INVENTOR.
2,991,139 FOLDING TABLE WITH LOCK Albert J. Fihe, 1671 Casale Road, Pacific Palisades, Calif. Filed Jan. 26, 1959, Ser. No. 788,899 '3 Claims. (Cl. 311-92) This invention relates to an improved folding table with lock and comprises an improvement over my two earlier Patents Nos. 2,901,304, dated October 25, 1959, entitled Folding Sectional Table, and 2,931,650, dated April 5, 1960, entitled Folding Game Table.
The drawings relate more particularly to the showing in Patent No. 2,931,650. The particular invention disclosed herein can also be readily incorporated into the structure shown in Patent No. 2,901,304.
One of the important objects of this invention is to provide a folding table which can be used for many purposes, such as the serving of meals or for various kinds of work requiring a fairly large operating surface, and even for hobbies such as model railroading or the playing of games, including table tennis, bridge and other card games.
As pointed out in my previous applications for patent, one of the essential features of these inventions is to provide a table or tables comprising a relatively large playing or working surface and which can be easily folded into a comparatively small space or volume and which, when folded, can be readily moved from one place to another, such as into storage.
Another important object of this present invention is to provide specific locking means which will retain the table in extending playing postiion so that the same will not inadvertently fo-ldup or collapse under excess weight at the ends or, if in two parts, will not come apart when being used as a unit.
Other and further import-ant objects of the invention will be apparent from the disclosures in the accompanying drawings and following specification.
The invention, in a preferred form, is illustrated in the drawings and hereinafter more fully described.
In the drawings:
FIGURE 1 is a side elevation of the improved folding table with lock of this invention, showing the same in extended or use position.
FIGURE 2 shows the same table partially folded.
FIGURE 3 is -a detail view illustrating a combination locking means for retaining the two separate tops of the table in connected position, which locking means also includes a support for a net if the table is to be used for playing the game of table tennis.
FIGURE 4 shows a modification of the invention, wherein two separate tables, each having folding legs, are locked together for any desired purpose, and which locking means also includes a net support which can be used, if desired, or pushed down out of the way if the double table is to be used for some purpose other than table tennis.
FIGURE 5 is a view, partially broken away, of the underface of the two joined edges of the composite table of FIGURE 4.
FIGURE 6 is a perspective View of the novel combination locking, hinge pin and net support which provides one of the important features of this invention.
As shown in the drawings:
The reference numerals 10 and 12 indicate generally the two tops of the improved folding table of this invention. These may be composed of any suitable material and may be of any size.
As best shown in FIGURES 1 and 2, the tops are supported on a folding frame which comprises a central structure in the form of a rectangular parallel-o-pipedon and includes two opposed U-shaped leg portions 14 and 16 connected by cross bars 18 and top braces 20. This comprises a rigid structure which is hingedly connected to the underfaces of the respective table tops by U-shaped clamps or the like 22 at desired points.
' U-shaped end legs 24 and 26, provided with casters 28, are also connected to the table tops by U-shapecl clamps 22, as illustrated in FIGURES l and 2.
A tube 30 is fixed in the frame 14-1618--20 by cross braces or any suitable means, and a rod 32 is adapted to move vertically in the tube 30, this rod being pivotally connected to links 34 and 36 which are pivotally connected to brackets 38 at the juxtaposed edges of the table tops.
The pivotal connection between the links and the rod comprises a rivet or the like 40, and the link 36 is longer than the link 34, whereby, when the table is folded, the projecting end of the link 36 contacts a stop 42 welded or otherwise affixed tothe link 34, whereby undesirable further upward movement of the links with the rod 32 is prevented.
The tube 30 is provided with alined diametrically opposed openings 44; and, when the table is in the position shown in FIGURE 1, a key or the like 46 can be inserted into these openings and a corresponding opening in the rod 32, whereby the table is locked in its extended or use position shown in FIGURE 1. The key is preferably supported on a chain or the like 48 to provide against loss.
The end legs 24 and 26 are connected by pairs of links 50 and 52 to the center frame, whereby the desired and necessary folding and unfolding operation is always assured and a proper supporting action results.
A hook or the like 54 is connected to one of the table tops 10, and a screw eye or the like 56 is fixed in: the other top portion 12 for reception of the end of the hook when the table is folded, thereby preventing any undesirable unfolding movement.
As best shown in FIGURE 3, the juxtaposed edges of the table tops 10 and 12 can be provided at their corners with mating hinge plates 60 and 62 so that, when the table is in extended position, a hinge pin 64 can be slidably fitted into the alined circular portions of the hinge plates, thereby providing an additional or optional locking means. An upright 66 is welded ;or otherwise fastened to the end ofthe hinge pin 64; and this, when moved into a vertical position with regard to the extended table, can serve as a bracket or support for a net 68 in the event that the assemblage is to be used for the game of table tennis. The pin 64 is frictionally held in the alined cylindrical portions of the hinge plates 60 and 62 so that the support or bracket 66 will always remain in vertical position unless forcibly displaced. The fact that there is usually always some mis-alinement between the two joined hinge plates also helps to retain the bracket 66 in an upright position when placed there by hand. If it happens that the pin 64 becomes worn after considerable use, the unit 64-66 can be easily replaced or the old one can be provided with an additional coat of plating which will again make it fit properly. Even a slight bend in the pin 64 will assure desired retaining of it and the upright 66 in any manually placed posit-ion, and it is obvious that the construction shown in FIGURE 3 is at both sides of the table. This provides a combination locking means and net support; and, when used with a table illustrated in my application Serial No. 739,219, now Patent No. 2,901,304, also serves as an actual hinge element.
A slightly modified form of the combination locking means, hinge pin and net support is illustrated in FIG- URE 6, wherein the hinge pin 70 is slightly pointed at its end so as to provide for an easier insertion into the joined hinge plates, and the upright 72 is slightly narrower than the upright 66, whereby a net having a loop at each end can be slidably fitted over the upright, and the strings 74 which pass through the opening 76 in the bracket of FIGURE 3 can be dispensed with. The opening 78 in the combination locking means, hinge pin and net bracket of FIGURE 6 is for the purpose of fastening the net at the desired height above the table and also to provide some measure of protection against unauthorized removal.
In FIGURES 4 and 5, two separate table tops 80 and 82, which, again, may be of any desired size or material, each having four foldable legs 83, can be joined and locked together by the element of FIGURE 6 when provided with mating hinge elements 84 (FIGURE Obviously, the joined tables can be used for playing the game of table tennis when the elements 72 are vertically positioned, as shown in the full lines in FIGURE 4, and the joined tables can be used for many other purposes, such as the serving of food, for different kinds of work, for model railroading or the like, when the brackets 72 are moved downwardly, as shown by the dotted lines in FIGURE 4. It will be noted that the hinge pins 70 are welded to the uprights or brackets 72, and that the downward movement of the brackets 72 is accomplished by rotating the same either clockwise or counter-clockwise about the hinge pin 70 as a center. The hinge pins, however, move with the brackets and are frictionally held in position in the hinge elements 84. This frictional holding also serves to always maintain the net 68 in a properly taut relationship with no sagging. This is accomplished by merely giving a slight outward pull on the bracket and pin unit when positioned in the hinges 84. The sliding frictional fit of the pin 70 in the joined or mating hinge plates 6062-84 forms one of the very essential features of this invention. It provides a positive locking means for folding tables when the tops are separated by unfolding, it provides a positive joining means for two separate tables when they are to be used as a unit, it provides a suitable hinge construction when the two table tops are hinged together, and in all these cases, it also provides, when desired, a net support when the table is to be used for table tennis. The net is supported at the desired height and can always be maintained in taut relationship, because a slight outward pull on one or both of the brackets will tighten the net, and the frictional relationship between the pin and the hinge elements is such that the bracket will stay put, even under considerable tension. It will also stay upright when placed in that position, but if accidentally contacted during play or by a person moving close to the table, will move. This allowable movement prevents tearing of the clothes or actual injury to the person who makes such accidental contact.
In the prior art regarding table tennis tables, the net brackets are almost invariably held in position by means of clamps which are removably fixed on the table by thumb screws or the like. These, if accidentally struck, will cause damage to the person or clothing because, in order to properly support the net, it must be rigidily fixed in position. Furthermore, these clamps inevitably mar the table tops, which damage obviously is avoided by the combination brackets and hinge pins of this invention.
I claim as my invention:
1. A folding table with lock, comprising two top sections, a central supporting frame, means hingedly connecting the frame to the underface of each top, supporting legs also hingedly connected to the underface of the tops, links pivotally connecting the legs to the frame and guide means for controlling the folding operation, said guide means comprising a tube fixed in the central frame, a rod slidable in the tube, and links connecting the upper end of the rod to each of the tops.
2. A device -as described in claim 1, wherein cooperating stop means are provided on the links.
3. A device as described in claim 1, wherein a locking means is provided in the guide means.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,527,941 Weidner Feb. 24, 1925 2,204,107 Swett June 11, 1940 2,572,205 Shanks Oct. 23, 1951 2,609,263 Hager Sept. 12, 1952 2,723,122 Jaysane Nov. 8, 1955 2,764,460 Nelson Sept. 25, 1956 2,766,089 Nelson Oct. 9, 1956 2,769,636 Finestone Nov. 6, 1956 2,772,935 Read Dec. 4, 1956 2,780,506 Howe Feb. 5, 1957 2,811,400 James Oct. 29, 1957 2,831,741 Wilson Apr. 22, 1958 2,859,038 Parikos Nov. 4, 1958 2,879,120 Howe et al. Mar. 24, 1959 2,901,304 Fihe Aug. 25, 1959