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Publication numberUS3061369 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 30, 1962
Filing dateSep 21, 1959
Priority dateSep 21, 1959
Publication numberUS 3061369 A, US 3061369A, US-A-3061369, US3061369 A, US3061369A
InventorsDaniel A Haunost
Original AssigneeMidwest Folding Products Mfg C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Convertible table-bench
US 3061369 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 30, 1962 D. A. HAUNOST CONVERTIBLE TABLE-BENCH 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Sept. 21. 1959 INVENTOR. DANIEL A. HAUNOST W QM ATTORNEY 1962' o. A. HAUNOST 3,061,369

CONVERTIBLE TABLE-BENCH F iled Sept. 21. 1959 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG.5

INVENTOR. DANIEL A. HAUNOST az/fwm ATTORNEY Patented Oct. 30, 1962 free 3,061,369 CONVERTRBLE TABLE-BENCH Daniel A. Haunost, Joliet, 111., assignor to Midwest Folding Products Mfg. Corp, Roselle, 111., a corporation of Illinois Filed Sept. 21, 1959, Ser. No. 841,322 '7 Claims. (61. 297-424) This invention relates to a convertible table-bench strueture, and more particularly to a structure having selective utility as a bench-equipped table and as a backrestequipped bench; and which, in addition, is foldable into a portable compact unit convenient for storage and shipment.

Furniture capable of serving a plurality of uses is advantageously employed in public buildings such as schools for, in addition to reducing capital outlays, it conserves space which is always at a premium. An example of furniture of this type is a convertible table-bench structure which is selectively usable as a table having a horizontal top and a bench providing seats, and usable as a bench having a generally vertical backrest. The provision of a convertible structure of this type is one of the objects of this invention.

Another object of the invention is in the provision of a convertible structure of the character described, in which a single component comprises both the tabletop and the backrest, and is selectively converted from one use to the other. Still another object is in the provision of a convertible table-bench of the type described, wherein the entire structure is foldable into a compact unit which is conveniently stored and transported.

A further object of the invention is to provide a tablebench structure having a component selectively positionable for use as a generally horizontal tabletop and as a generally vertical backrest, and in which such component is automatically maintained in either position so as to prevent collapse or inadvertent shifting from one position to the other. Still a further object is that of providing a convertible structure of the character described, which is stable in either of its useful positions, which is conveniently and easily shifted between the selective positions of use, and which is also readily folded into a compact unit.

Additional objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent as the specification develops.

An embodiment of the invention is illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the structure illustrating the same as a table-bench; FIGURE 2 is an end view in elevation of the structure illustrated in FIGURE 1; FIGURE 3 is an end view of the structure converted into a backrest-equipped bench; FIGURE 4 is an end view in elevation of the structure showing the same folded into a compact storage unit; and FIGURE 5 is an enlarged, end View in elevation similar to that of FIGURE 2 but showing an intermediate position of the tabletop and associated elements in broken lines prior to being moved into the full tabletop position thereof.

The convertible structure in its entirety is designated with the numeral 10, and comprises a selectively positionable element 11, a seat or bench 12 and a frame composition 13. The element 11 is selectively movable between a generally horizontal position illustrated in FIGURES l and 2 wherein it serves as a tabletop, and a generally vertical or upwardly extending position as shown in FIG- URE 3 wherein it serves as a backrest for the bench 12. The bench 12 is also selectively movable between the horizontal seat position shown in FIGURES 1 through 3 and a generally vertical position as shown in FIGURE 4, wherein it is adjacent and substantially parallel to the element 11 in the backrest position thereof. This latter configuration defines the collapsed or folded condition of the structure suitable for storage and shipment.

The frame 13 is equipped with transversely spaced front and rearlegs 14 and 15 at one end thereof, and similarly spaced front and rear legs 16 and 17 adjacent the other end of the structure. Preferably, each of the legs is equipped with a roller or caster 18 that enables the structure to be rolled from one location to another when the bench 12 is folded, as shown in FIGURE 4. The legs 14 and 15 are connected together adjacent the lower ends thereof with a reinforcing member 19, and are also rigidly related adjacent the other end portion of the leg 14 by a brace 20. Similarly, the legs 16 and 17 are rigidly related with a reinforcing element 21 and brace 22. In the structure shown, the frame 13 is formed of metal tubing, and the rigidly related components thereof are welded together. Such an arrangement affords strength without undue weight and is advantageous in this respect. The legs 15 and 17 are respectively provided with integral extensions 23 and 24 that project upwardly therefrom and define supports adapted to seat the element 11 in its tabletop position.

The supports 23 and 24 are parallel and are oriented so that they define a substantially vertical or upwardly extending plane, and are turned laterally slightly at the upper ends thereof (as shown at 25) and extend forwardly slightly in the direction of the front legs 14 and 16. The supports 23 and 24 are somewhat flexible, and although the intrinsic resilience thereof tends to bias the same toward the vertical position shown by broken lines in FIGURE 5, the supports can be deflected forwardly against such resilience and into the position shown by full lines in that figure. The purpose of such arrangement will be described in detail hereinafter.

The selectively positionable element 11 comprises a generally planar wall 26 that per se serves as the tabletop and backrest of the convertible structure. The Wall 26 is equipped with a frame having longitudinally spaced, transversely extending end members 27 respectively connected with the supports 23 and 24 by links 28. The links are pivotally connected at one end thereof to the associated supports at the inclined end portion 25 thereof, and are pivotally connected at their other ends with the respective frame members 27. Preferably, two links 28 are provided for each frame member 27 and support, and the paired links are disposed on opposite sides of the frame member. With such a configuration, the supports 23 and 24- are oriented in respective transverse alignment with the frame members 27. Also, each of the frame members 27 is pivotally connected with the associated support by a pair of elongated links 29 and 30, and the links of each pair are disposed on opposite sides of the associated frame member 27, and are pivotally secured at one end to the support and at the other end to the frame member.

The bench 12 comprises a generally planar wall 31 that per se forms the seat for the structure. The Wall 31 is pivotally secured by U-shaped brackets 32 to the longitudinally extending cross bar that interconnects the front legs 14 and 16 at the upper ends thereof and is preferably formed integrally therewith. Along its forward, longitudinally extending edge, the wall 31 is pivotally connected by brackets 33 by a leg assembly 34 of inverted, generally U-shaped configuration having depending legs 35 and 36 formed integrally with a horizontally disposed, longitudinally extending cross bar 37. The legs 35 and 36 are respectively connected with the reinforcing members 19 and 21 by links 38 and 39. The link 38 is pivotally connected at one end to the leg 35 and at its other end to the member 19; and correspondingly, the link 39 is pivotally connected at the opposite ends thereof to the leg 36 and member 21. i

The bench 12 is selectively movable between the horizontal position thereof shown in FIGURES 1 through 3 and the generally vertical or folded position thereof illustrated in FIGURE 4. Movement between these positions is effected by a pivotal or swinging movement of the Wall 31 about the cross bar of the legs 14 and 16 which defines a pivot axis. During such movement, the leg assembly 34, and in particular the depending legs 35 and 36 thereof, are maintained in a generally vertical disposition by the links 38 and 39. Thus, in the folded position of the bench 12, the legs 35 and 36 are drawn inwardly by the links 38 and 39 and into substantial adjacency with the front legs 14 and 16 of the frame structure 13. n the other hand, when the bench is horizontally disposed, the links 33 and 39 prevent pivotal movement of the legs 35 and 36 with respect to the axis defined by the cross bar 37 thereof, and thereby constrain the legs 35 and 36 in a vertical position wherein they support the bench structure and particularly the planar wall 31 thereof. Also at such time, since the legs 35 and 36 are in a floor-engaging position as shown in FIGURES 2 and 3, they tend to prevent rolling movement of the entire structure 10 upon the casters 18.

The element 11, as stated before, is movable between the horizontal tabletop position of FIGURES 1 and 2 and the backrest position of FIGURE 3. In contrast to the simple pivotal movement described by the structure 12 about the cross bar of the legs 14 and 16, the element 11 has a more complex movement and both swings about the pivotal axis formed by the connection of the links 28 with the supports 23 and 24 and rotates about the pivotal axis defined by the connection of the links 23 with the frame ends 27. This complex movement of the element 11 is best illustrated in FIGURE 5, which shows the element 11 in broken lines just prior to the movement thereof completely into its tabletop position. At such time, the wall 26 of the element 11 is generally horizontally disposed but inclines slightly in a forward and upward direction. From this disposition, if the element 11 is moved toward the backrest position thereof, the links 28 will move in a counter-clockwise direction about their pivotal connections with the supports 23 and 24; and similarly, the links 29 and 30 will also move in a counterclockwise direction relative to their pivotal connections with the supports 23 and 24. However, at the same time, the frame ends 27 will move relative to the links 28 in a clockwise direction about the pivotal axes defined by the connection of the links with the frame ends. Such relative movement of the various components will continue until the element 11 is in the backrest position thereof.

Assuming that the element 11 is moved from the angular position shown by broken lines in FIGURE and completely into the tabletop position thereof, the forward end portion of the planar wall 26 simply moves downwardly until the upper ends of the supports 23 and 24 are in abutment with the undersurface thereof. At such time, further downward movement of the element 11 is prevented because of the abutment of the supports with the planar wall 26 along the forward edge portion thereof andbecause of the constraint exerted on the rear edge portion of the wall 26 by the elongated links 29 and 30. It will be noted, however, that in moving the forward end portion of the Wall 26 downwardly, the supports 23 and 24 are necessarily deflected forwardly because of the force applied to the upper ends thereof by the links 28. That is to say, the horizontal component of the force applied to the upper ends of the supports by the links 28 is normal to the longitudinal or vertical axes of the respective legs, and is of sufficient magnitude to overcome the intrinsic resilience thereof. It will be apparent that deflection of the supports 23 and 24 occurs because the element 11 cannot move bodily toward the right with respect to the upper end portions of the sup- 4: ports since such movement is prevented at that time by the rigid links 29 and 30.

The resilience of the supports 23 and 24 tending to restore the same to the prestressed condition thereof applies a force to the element 11 tending to lock the same in the tabletop position thereof, and preferably the dimensional configuration is such that the links 23 are slightly over-center when the upper ends of the supports 23 and 24 abut the undersurface of the planar wall 26. Thus, the biasing force of the supports tends to urge the forward edge portion of the element 11 downwardly, but such downward movement is prevented by the engagement of the supports 23 and 24 with the wall 26'. This positive locking of the element 11 in the tabletop position thereof is overcome by grasping the forward edge portion of the wall 26 and lifting the same upwardly, which swings the links 28 over-center in the opposite direction and into the position shown by full lines in FIGURE 5. Thereafter, the element 11 is freely swingable into the backrest position thereof.

While in the foregoing specification an embodiment of the invention has been described in considerable detail for purposes of making a complete disclosure thereof, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that numerous changes may be made in those details without departing from the spirit and principles of the invention.

I claim:

1. In a table-bench structure having an element selectively positionable for use as a table top and backrest, a frame equipped with a pair of upwardly extending supports oriented in spaced apart, substantially parallel relation, each of said supports being resiliently defiectible in respective vertically extending planes oriented in substantially parallel relation when a force of suilicient magnitude is applied to the supports adjacent the upper ends thereof along lines substantially normal to the respective longitudinal axes thereof, said selectively positionable element comprising an elongated, generally planar surface member of greater length than the distance between said supports so as to be brought into abutment with the upper ends thereof and comprising also a pair of transversely extending frame portions respectively located adjacent the transverse edges thereof, a pair of first links each pivotally connected adjacent one end thereof to the respective frame portions and being pivotally connected adjacent the other end thereof with the respective sup ports at locations remote from the upper ends thereof, and a second pair of links each pivotally connected adjacent one end thereof to the upper ends of the respective supports and also being pivotally connected adjacent the other end thereof with the respective frame portions, said links afiording selective movement of said element between a table position wherein the element is generally horizontally disposed and a backrest position in which said element is generally vertically disposed, said links being dimensionally proportioned so that movement of said element completely into the table position thereof deflects said supports so that the resultant force tending to restore said supports to the prior position thereof locks said element in the table position.

2. In a table-bench structure having an element selectively positionable for use as a table top and backrest, a frame equipped with a pair of upwardly extending supports oriented in spaced apart, substantially parallel relation, each of said supports being resiliently defiectible in respective vertically extending planes oriented in substantially parallel relation when a force of sutlicient magnitude is applied to the supports adjacent the upper ends thereof along lines substantially normal to the respective longitudinal axes thereof, said selectively positionable element comprising an elongated, generally planar surface member of greater length than the distance between said supports so as to be brought into abutment with the upper ends thereof and comprising also a pair of transversely extending frame portions respectively located adjacent the transverse edges thereof, a pair of first links each pivotally connected adjacent one end thereof to the respective frame portions and being pivotally connected adjacent the other end thereof with the respective supports at locations remote from the upper ends thereof, and a second pair of links each pivotally connected adjacent one end thereof to the upper ends of the respective supports and also being pivotally connected adjacent the other end thereof with the respective frame portions, said links affording selective movement of said element between a table position wherein the element is generally horizontally disposed with said second pair of links in an over-center relation and a backrest position in which said element is generally vertically disposed, said links being dimensionally proportioned so that movement of said element completely into the table position thereof deflects said supports so that the resultant force tending to restore said supports to the prior position thereof urges said element toward further movement in the path traversed thereby in moving to said table position which further movement is prevented by abutment of said surface member with the upper ends of said supports whereby said element is locked in such table position.

3. The table-bench structure of claim 2, in which said supports are tubular components having the upper end portions thereof angled laterally in the direction of the deflection enforced thereon by movement of said element into the table position thereof.

4. In a table-bench structure having an element selectively positionable as a tabletop and a backrest, a frame equipped with a pair of upwardly extending supports resiliently deflectible along the longitudinal axes thereof when a force of sufiicient magnitude is applied to the upper end portions thereof, said selectively positionable element comprising an elongated, generally planar surface member engageable with the upper ends of said supports when said element is in the tabletop position thereof, a

pair of first links each pivotally connected adjacent one end thereof with said surface member and being pivotally connected adjacent the other end thereof with the respective supports at locations remote from the upper ends thereof, and a second pair of links each pivotally connected adjacent one end thereof with said surface member and being pivotally connected adjacent the other end thereof with the respective supports adjacent their upper ends, all of said links affording selective movement of said element between a tabletop position wherein the element 6 is generally horizontally disposed and a backrest position in which said element is vertically disposed, said links being dimensionally proportioned so that movement of said element completely into the tabletop position thereof deflects said supports whereby the resiliency thereof tends to maintain said element in its tabletop position.

5. The structure of claim 4 in which said links are also dimensionally proportioned so that movement of said element completely into the tabletop position thereof disposes said second pair of links in an over-center position.

6. The structure of claim 4, and further comprising a bench carried by said frame and being adapted to provide a seat both when said element is in its tabletop position and backrest position.

7. The structure of claim 6 in which said bench is pivotally carried by said frame for selective movement between a generally horizontal seating. position and a generally vertical position in adjacency with said element when the latter is in the backrest position thereof.

References (Jited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 115,839 French June 13, 1871 335,283 Hamilton Feb. 2, 1886 349,643 Gould et a1 Sept. 21, 1886 577,106 Kidder Feb. 16, 1897 908,781 Lanham Jan. 5, 1909 1,306,475 Frank June 10, 1919 1,757,960 Greenstreet May 13, 1930 1,942,603 Johanson Jan. 9, 1934 1,989,865 Johanson Feb. 5, 1935 2,243,882 Pink et al. June 3, 1941 2,642,585 Piliero June 23, 1953 2,882,957 Anderson Apr. 21, 1959 OTHER REFERENCES The School Executive (combined with Educational Business in Jan. 1960 to become Overview Magazine), Donald V. Buttenheim, publisher, 470 Park Ave. S., New York, N.Y., I an. 1958 issue, p. 113.

Catholic Property Administration, Administrative Publishing Co., publisher, 20 W. Putnam Ave., Greenwich, Conn., July-August 1958 issue, p. 101.

Catholic Building and Maintenance, Joseph F. Wagner, Inc., publisher, 53 Park Place, New York, N.Y., Sept.- Oct. 1958 issue, p. 65.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3138403 *May 22, 1962Jun 23, 1964Glen DanielsonCombination table and bench
US3267885 *Jul 14, 1964Aug 23, 1966Charles ShoreFolding table
US3361470 *Jun 13, 1966Jan 2, 1968Terence J SchwabConvertible and collapsible table bench
US3367712 *Jan 7, 1966Feb 6, 1968Grover C. GreeneStep stool-chair-table
US4606575 *Feb 21, 1984Aug 19, 1986Hamilton IndustriesLock release for folding table
US5692799 *May 23, 1996Dec 2, 1997Sheets; RaymondConvertible table or bench
US5704683 *Feb 14, 1995Jan 6, 1998Cooper; Robert JamesMulti-purpose convertible furniture
US7059670 *Oct 1, 2004Jun 13, 2006Virco Mgmt. CorporationStackable chair-desk frame
US7226125 *Apr 13, 2005Jun 5, 2007Biofit Engineered ProductsConvertible bench table with magnetic locks
US7429077 *Jun 19, 2007Sep 30, 2008North Pole LimitedCollapsible furniture piece configurable in a table configuration and a bench configuration
US8307769Jun 21, 2010Nov 13, 2012Mity-Lite, Inc.Plastic and plywood laminate table with drop corner
US8550012Oct 27, 2011Oct 8, 2013Mity-Lite, Inc.Leg locking and folding mechanism for folding table
US8671850Oct 27, 2011Mar 18, 2014Mity-Lite, Inc.Convertible tabletop with pivotal modesty panel
US20120280539 *May 7, 2012Nov 8, 2012Sorkness BretConvertible furniture
WO1995021558A1 *Feb 14, 1995Aug 17, 1995Cooper Robert JamesMulti-purpose convertible furniture
Classifications
U.S. Classification297/124, 297/167, 297/174.00R
International ClassificationA47B85/04
Cooperative ClassificationA47B85/04, A47B2220/07
European ClassificationA47B85/04