|Publication number||US3075809 A|
|Publication date||Jan 29, 1963|
|Filing date||Jan 13, 1961|
|Priority date||Jan 13, 1961|
|Publication number||US 3075809 A, US 3075809A, US-A-3075809, US3075809 A, US3075809A|
|Inventors||Kermit H Wilson|
|Original Assignee||Sico Mfg Co|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (7), Referenced by (32), Classifications (6)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Jan. 29, 1963 K. H. w|| soN FOLDING TABLE AND SEAT STRUCTURE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Jan. 13, 1961 AT TORNEYS Jan. 29, 1963 K. H. wlLsoN FOLDING TABLE AND SEAT STRUCTURE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Jan. 13, 1961 IN1/Emol; I KsHM/r H. WlLsoM BY AT TONE YS 3,075,r'i9 FOLDBNG TABLE AND SEAT STRUCTURE Kermit H. Wilson, Siro Manufacturing Co., S215 Eden Ave. S., Minneapolis, Minn. Filed Ilan. 13, 9631, Ser. No. 32,541 4 Claims. (Ci. 2mn-l5?) My invention relates generally to folding table and seat structures, and more particularly to improvements in folding tables of the general type disclosed in my prior United States Letters Patent 2,873,157.
An important object of my invention is the provision of a folding table and seat structure which may be folded or unfolded between an operative generally horizontal position and a generally vertically disposed folded storage position with a minimum of effort and in a minimum of time, and which when folded, occupies very little floor space.
Another object of my invention is the provision of a table and seat structure which permits easy access for the seating of the user, and which is free of obstructions to the feet and legs of the user when in its operative position.
Another object of my invention is the provision of novel means for releasably locking the table and seat structure in its unfolded operative position, whereby to prevent accidental folding thereof during use.
Still another important object of my invention is the provision of a folding table and seat structure having a novel spring arrangement yieldingly urging said structure toward its folded position, and including means for mounting theV spring arrangement whereby the springs thereof jare concealed and the user is protected in the event of spring breakage.
Another object of my invention is the provision of fold- -ing table and seat structure which is relatively simple and inexpensive to produce, and which is neat in appearance, rugged in construction and durable in use.
The above, and still further highly important objects and advantages will become apparent from the following detailed speciiication, appended claims and attached drawings.
Referring to the drawings, which illustrate the invention, and in which like reference characters indicate like parts throughout the several views:
FlG. l is a view in top plan of a folding table and seat structure according to my invention, some parts being broken away;
FIG. 2 is a view in side elevation, some parts being broken away and some parts being shown in section;
FlG. 3 is an enlarged view in side elevation showing the table and seat structure in its inoperative folded position, some parts being broken away and some parts being shown in section;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary transverse section taken on the line 4--4 of FlG. 2; and
FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary longitudinal section taken substantially on the line 5 5 of HG. l.
Referring with greater detail to the drawings, a pair of cooperating top sections 1 and 2 are shown as comprising llat elongated generally rectangular top elements or panels 3 and 4 respectively and underlying rectangular reinforcing frames 5 and 6 respectively. The frames 5 and 6 comprise generally U-shaped frame members 7, preferably made from commercially available channel iron or the like and tubular end frame members 8 welded or otherwise rigidly secured to the inner ends of the U-shaped frame members 7. The panels 3 and 4 are preferably made from wood or other suitable material, and are rigidly secured to their respective underlying frames 5 and 6 by screws or the like 9. The top sections 1 and 2 are hinged together at their adjacent inner end portions for swinging movementsrelative to each other on a horizontal axis extending transversely of the sections, by means of a pair of hinges 1li, each comprising overlapping leaves 11 and pintles in the nature of nut-equipped screws 12, the pintles or screws 12 being axially aligned. vAs shown, the leaves 11 are welded or otherwise rigidly secured to their respective inner end frame members 8, the common axis of the pintlesor screws 12 being downwardly displaced from the horizontal plane of the top sections 1 and 2 when said sections arein-their operative horizontal positions, whereby the top sections 1 and 2 are laterally lspaced apart when moved to their inoperative storage positions, for a purpose which will hereinafter become apparent.
In its normally horizontal position, the top section 1 is supported by generally vertically disposed longitudinally spaced inner, intermediate and outer leg structures 13, le and 15 respectively. In like manner, the top section Z is supported in its normally horizontal position by longitudinally spaced inner, intermediate and outer leg structures le, 17 and 1S respectively. The leg structures 13-18 are substantially identical, each thereof comprising a pair of laterally spaced legs including vertically disposed upper leg portions 19, vertically disposed lower leg portions 2t) in laterally outwardly spaced relation to their respective upper leg portions 19, and horizontally disposed connecting portions 21 that connect the lower ends of the upper leg portions together and to the intermediate portions of their respective lower leg portions 2t). Each of the leg structures 13-18 further includes a horizontal transverse member or cross bar 22 that is rigidly connected at its op.- posite ends to the upper leg portions 19 intermediate the upper and lower ends thereof, the upper ends of the upper leg port-ions 19 of the inner and intermediate leg structures 13, 14, 16 .and 17 being rigidly secured to intermediate portions of horizontally disposed tubular cross members 23 that are journalled in respective ones of lthe frame members 7 on axes parallel to the axis of the hinges 10. In like manner, the upper ends of the upper leg portions 19 of the outer leg structures 15 and 18 are welded or otherwise Irigidly secured to horizontally disposed transverse shafts or the like Z4 that are suitably journalled at their opposite ends to opposite sides of respective frames 5 and 6, on axes parallel to the axis of the hinges 1li. The leg structures 13-18 are preferably made from metallic tubing, the various par-ts thereof being welded or otherwise rigidly secured together. With reference to FIGS. 2 and 3, it will be seen that the outer leg structures 15 and 18 are strengthened by reinforcing bars or the like 25 that are welded or otherwise rigidly secured to bottom surface portions of the horizontal connecting portions 2l of the outer leg structures 15 and 1S, the reinforcing members 25 being preferably made from metallic tubing and of substantially Vto the upper ends of the lower leg portions Ztl, such as by means of flange mounting members or the like 27. Further, with reference particularly to FIG. 1, it will be seen that the opposite end portions of the horizontal connecting portions 21 are angularly disposed with respect to the intermediate portions thereof, whereby to provide free leg room for users of the table and seat structure of the instant invention. With reference to FIGS. 2 and 3, it will be seen that the lower leg portion of the outer leg structures 15 and 18 are provided with caster wheels 28 toprovide'mobility to the table and seat structure when the same is in its folded storage position of FIG. 2; -and that-the lower ends' of the lower leg portions 20 of the leg structures'13, 14, 16 and 17 are' provided with rubber-like feet or tips 29 which engage the door, when the table and seat structure is in its horizontally disposed operative position, to support the intermediate and inner end portions of the top sections 1 and 2, and to lend stability to the structure against accidental movement on the door.
As' shown in FIG. 3, the table and seatstructure is adapted to be moved to a folded condition for storage or the like, by raising' they adjacent inner end portions of the top sections 1 and 2 whereby said topsections.1 pivotally move relative to eachother on the of the hinges For the' purpose" ofmaintainin'g the leg' structures 13-1'8`i1i-their generally vertical position when the top' sections 1 and 2 are' horizontally or vertically disposed, I provide 'rigid connector linksr- 30 and 31', and c'o'operating control links- 32-and33i The connector links30 and 31 are disposed in underlying' spaced; paralleli relatiori to respective ones of the topsections' I and. 2, extending longitudinallythereof. The inner end,inte`rmediate portion; and outer end ofY the connector link' 30 ispivotally conuected'to` the" inner, intermediate and'- outer leg struc# ture'srespectively by means; of radial lingers or the" like 34 extending angularly inwardly and downwardly' from the intermediate portionsfof the cross bars 22 of theleg structures 13415, the connector link 30 being pivotally connected to the outer ends of the fingers 3'4 as' indicated at' 35, on axesparallel to the axis of the hinges' 10; In like manner, theL connector link" 31v is pivotally" connected to radial iingers 34l projecting angular-ly longitudinally inwardly and downwardly from' the crossbars 22" of the leg structures 1li-18, the top sections 1I and12-, together with their respective connector links 3l)v and 31 and the upper en'd portions of their respective leg structures 13-15 and 16-18 providingparallelogram arrangements where bythe leg structures are simultaneously'pivotally moved in common relative' to their respective' top sections and on the axes of their respective tubular members 23uand shafts'. 24'. The pivotalconnectionSS associated with the leg structure 13 further'provides a pivotal connection for one end'of thevc'ontrolilink 34'to the leg structure 13, the opposite end of the' controllink 32 being'pivotally connected to a ng'er 36welded or' otherwise rigidly' secured to an intermediate portion of the' inner end' frame member 8 ofthe/frame 6 and-which projects radially'outwardly from its' associated'inner frame member 8', theV pivotal connection of'the control linkv 32 to the finger 36 being indicated atI 37'. Likewise, one end-'of the control link 33 is pivotally connected to' the finger 34 associated with the leg structure 16,tand to the inner end of' the connector link 31, as indicated at 35, the oppositepend of the control link 33 being pivotally connected' to the outer end ofa finger 38 'which projects radially outwardly from the inner` end framey member 8 associated with the top section 1, the pivot connection therebetween being indicatedr at 39'. The axes of the pivotal connections 37 and 39 are parallel to the axis of the hinges 10. The control links 32 and 33 each being pivotally connected at one end to a different one of the top sections 1 and 2, with their other ends operatively connected to the'le'g structures` of Vopposite top' sections, the leg structures re'- main in their" vertical dispositions during movement of the top sections 1 and 2 between their horizontal operative positions and their generally vertical storage positions. When the adjacent inner end portions of the top sections 1 and 2 are raised in an upward direction, the inner leg structures 13 and 16, together with the intermediate leg structures 14 and 17 are caused to be raised out of engagement with the door, the outer leg structures 15 and 18 moving toward each other on their caster Wheels 28 to their positions of FIG. 3.
In order to facilitate movement of the top sections 1 and 2 and parts carried thereby to their folded storage positions of FIG. 3, I provide counter-balancing yielding means in the nature of elongated torsion bars 40 that are pinned or otherwise anchored in endcaps 41, as indicated at 42, the end caps 41 being welded or otherwise rigidly secured to one end of each of the tubular members 23. The opposite end of each tubular member 23 is rotatively received in a different one of a plurality of bearing members 43v that are bolted or otherwise rigidly secured to adjacent sides of the reinforcing frames 5 and 6, such as by machine screws or the like 44, adjacent ends ofthe torsion bars 40 being anchored in the bearing members'p43 by suitable means, such as pins or the like 45. When installed, the torsion bars 40 are twisted in directions to" impart yielding bias in directions to tend to swing the leg structures in directions to urge the inner en'dpo'r-tions of the top section'sl and 2 upwardly toward a folded storage position. Preferably, the yieldingy bias exerted by the torsion springs 40 is not sufficient to impart upward movement to the inner endsof the top sections' and parts carried thereby from their normally horizontal positions; and, whileI have shown the inner and intermediate leg structures 13, 14, 16 and 17 as having torsion barsv 40 associated therewith, it will be appreci'ated that, if necessary, the outer leg structures 1S and 18 may also be equipped with torsion bars if required. 0n theother hand, if the size and weight of the table and seat structure requires a lesser number of torsion springs 40, only one of the legstructures of each top rsection I and 2 need'be used.
For the purpose of releasably locking the top sections I and 2in-their normally horizontally disposed operative positions, against movement toward their generally ver'- tically disposed folded positions, I provide an elongated releasable locking bar 46 which defines a generally horizontally disposed intermediate locking portion that is elongated transversely'of the top sections 1 and 2 and disposedin'l generally underlyingv spaced relationship to the adjacent inner ends of the top sections 1Y and 2 in their: operative positions. The locking bar 46 further comprises backturned axially aligned ends 48 parallel t'o the intermediate locking vportion 47, each of the backt'urnetlendsl 48 beingjournalled in one of the hinge leafs 11 associated with each of the'hinges 10, a-s shown the hinge leaves 11' associated with the top section 1. As showrin' FIG. l, the backturned ends 48 cooperate with the intermediate locking portion to dene looped portions 49, which underliethe inner end portion of the top sectionl 1 adjacent the opposite longitudinal edges thereof. The `upper edge portion ofl each of the -hinge leaves'll is formed to provide a notch 50 which notches 50 cooperate toy define aligned upwardly opening recesses, when the top sections 1 and 2 are moved to their normal horizontal positions, for' reception of the intermediate locking portion 47 of the locking bar 46. The intermediate locking portion 47 yis gravity biased toward the bottoms of the recesses 51 and, when seated therein, positively locks the hinge plates. or leaves 11V against relative pivotal movement' in the direction of Ifolding movement of the top sections 1Y and 2. When it is desired to move the top one hand will naturally engage the adjacent looped portion 49 to swing the intermediate locking portion 47 upwardly out of the recesses 51, thus permitting the inner ends of the top sections 1 and 2 to be swung upwardly. When the top sections 1 and 2 are moved from their folded position of FIG. 3 to their operative positions of FIG. 2, the intermediate locking portion 47 of the locking bar 46 will drop by gravity into the recesses 5,1 and automatically lock the top sections 1 and 2 in their horizontal positions. j j
With reference to FIGS. l and 4, it will be noted that the connector links 3G and 3l are substantially centrally disposed between the opposite side edges of the top sections 1 and 2, and that the upper leg portions 19 are offset from the seats 26 both longitudinally of the top sections l and 2 and laterally inwardly from the opposite sides thereof, whereby to afford maximum space below the top sections 1 and 2. for the legs and seat of the users. Further, by enclosing the torsion bars 40 within the pivotal connections between the top -sections and their respective leg structures, I have provided an arrangement which is neat in appearance and which avoids any hazard to the user when the table and seat structure is in use, or when the same is being folded `for storage or unfolded for use.
While I have shown and described a commercial embodiment of my novel folding table and seat structure, it will be understood that the same is capable of modilication without departure from the spirit and scope of the invention, as shown in the claims.
l. In a folding table and seat structure, la pair of cooperating top sections normally horizontally disposed in end-to-end relation and hinged together at their adjacent inner end portions for swinging movements on a transverse horizontal axis between normally horizontal operative positions and generally vertically disposed inner and outer storage positions, pairs of generally vertically disposed leg structures for supporting each of said top sections, pivot means connecting the upper ends of said pairs of leg structures to respective ones of said top sections on axes parallel to the axis of swinging movement between said top sections, linkage connecting each top section with the leg structures associated with the opposite top section for maintaining said leg structures in their generally vertical dispositions during movement of said top sections between said normally horizontal positions thereof and said generally vertical positions thereof, said linkage including a pair of rigid links extending longitudinally of said top sections and each pivotally connected to the leg structures of a different one of said sections on axes parallel to the axis of said hinge means, said pivot means comprising horizontally disposed tubular elements at the upper ends of said leg structures and pivotally mounted to said top sections, and torsion bars extending axially within said tubular elements, each of said torsion bars being secured at one end to an adjacent end of its respective tubular element and at its opposite end being operatively secured to its respective top section, said torsion bars biasing said leg structures in directions of pivotal movement relative to their respective top sections whereby to urge said top sections toward their generally vertical storage positions.
2. In a folding table and seat structure, a pair of cooperating top sections normally horizontally disposed in end to end relation, -hinge means pivotally connecting the adjacent inner end portions of said top sections together for pivotal movements on a transverse horizontal axis between their normally horizontal operative positions and generally vertically disposed storage positions, pairs of generally vertically disposed longitudinally inner and outer leg structures, one of each pair of said leg structures being pivotally connected to the inner and outer end portions respectively of a different one of said top sections on axes 'parallel to theaxis of said hinge means, each of said leg structures comprising, a pair of laterally spaced generally vertical upper leg portions, a pair of generally Vertical seat supporting lower leg portions laterally outwardly spaced from respective upper leg portions, generally horizontal portions connecting said lower leg portions, and a transverse tubular element connecting the upper ends of said upper leg portions, the tubular element of each leg structure providing means for pivotally connecting said leg structures t-o said top sections, rigid links extending longitudinally of said top sections and each pivotally connected to the leg structure of a diiferent one of said sections on axes parallel to the axis of said hinge means, a pair of control links each pivotally connecting a different one of said top sections to the leg structures of the opposite top section on axes parallel to the axis of said hinge means, whereby to maintain said leg structures generally vertically disposed when said top sections are moved between their horizontal and generally vertical positions, and torsion bars extending axially within said tubular elements, each of said torsion bars being secured at one end to an adjacent end of its respective tubular element and at its opposite end being operatively secured to its respective top section, said torsion bars yieldingly biasing said leg structures in directions of pivotal movement to urge their respective top sections toward their generally vertical storage positions.
3. In a folding table and seat structure, a pair of cooperating top sections normally horizontally disposed in end-to-end relationship, hinge means connecting the adjacent inner end portions o-f said top sections together for pivotal movements on a transverse horizontal axis between their normal horizontally disposed operative positions and generally vertically disposed inoperative storage positions, generally vertically disposed leg structure for supporting each of said top sections, horizontally disposed tubular elements at the upper ends of said leg structures pivotally mounted to respective ones of said top sections on axes parallel to the axis of swinging movement between said top sections, linkage connecting each top section with the leg structures associated with the opposite top sectio-n for maintaining said leg structures in their generally vertical dispositions during movement of said top sections between said normally horizontal positions thereof and said generally vertical positions thereof, torsion bars extending axially within said tubular elements, each of said torsion bars being secured at one end to an adjacent end of its respective tubular element and at its opposite end being operatively secured to its respective top section, whereby to yieldingly urge said leg structures in directions of pivotal movement relative to their respective top sections to urge said top sections toward their generally Vertical storage positions, said hinge means comprising a pair of cooperating pivotally connected hinge elements each secured to a different one of said top sections, said hinge elements having adjacent edge portions which cooperate to dene a recess radially outwardly of the axis of pivotal movement between said hinge elements when said top sections are moved to their operative positions, and a locking member pivotally mounted on one of said hinge elements and having a portion receivable in said recess responsive to pivotal movement of said locking member in one direction, said locking member being yieldingly urged toward said recess when said top sections are in their operative positions to positively lock said top sections against movement toward said storage positions.
4. The structure defined in claim 3 in which said hinge means comprises a plurality of laterally spaced hinges, each of said hinges including a pair of cooperating pivotally connected hinge elements each secured to a different one of said top sections, the axes of pivotal connection between the hinge elements of said pairs thereof being aligned, the hinge elements of said pairs thereof having edge portions which cooperate to define aligned recesses disposed radially outwardly: of s'aid axes when said top sections are disposed in their normally operative? positions, said locking member having an elongated portion yieldingly urged toward -said aligned recesses and received therein when said topsections are niovd to their operative positions, said locking member having spaced handle portions underlying the inner end portion of one of said topV sections adjacent opposite side edges thereof for moving s'a'id locking mem-ber out of locking engagement with saidv hinge elements.
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|U.S. Classification||297/158.4, 108/173|
|Cooperative Classification||A47B2003/145, A47B3/14|