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Publication numberUS3099481 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 30, 1963
Filing dateApr 28, 1961
Priority dateApr 28, 1961
Publication numberUS 3099481 A, US 3099481A, US-A-3099481, US3099481 A, US3099481A
InventorsRichard C Bue
Original AssigneeSico Mfg Company Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Folding table and seat structure
US 3099481 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 30, 1963 R. c. BUE

FOLDING TABLE AND SEAT STRUCTURE 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 FiledApril 28. 1961 IN VEN TOR. RICHARD 0. .5 U5

ATTORNEYS July 30, 1963 R. c. BUE 3,099,481

FOLDING TABLE AND SEAT STRUCTURE Filed April 28, 1961 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 ATTORNEYS .E M m u m B Jr V m C D Y m /7 H 2 C 1 v. RB 0 I 5 97 55 H I0 6 5 Z 0 Lu v a m B In 4 fz v w 5 ll: m MI U EWWw QWMIU 3,099,481 FOLDING TABLE AND SEAT STRUCTURE Richard C. Bue, Minneapolis, Minn., assignor to Srco Manufacturing Company, Inc., Minneapolis, Minn., a corporation of Minnesota Filed Apr. 28, 1961, Ser. No. 106,318 6 Claims. (Cl. 297-159) My invention relates to folding table and seat structures, and more particularly to folding tables having individual seats in spaced apart relationship along opposite sides thereof.

An important object of my invention is the provision of a folding table and seat structure comprising a pair of cooperating top sections hinged together for folding and unfolding movements, and individual seats operatively associated with the top sections and foldable therewith into a compact size for easy storage.

Another object of my invention is the provision of a table and seat structure as set forth, in which the individual seats are easily accessible to the user, and placed relative to the table supporting structure to permit free movement of the users feet and legs.

Another object of my invention is the provision of a folding table and seat structure comprising a pair of top sections, leg structures supporting said top sections, novel means for mounting individual seats to the leg structures at opposite sides of the top sections, and control means whereby said seats may be moved between horizontally disposed operative positions and vertically disposed storage positions responsive to corresponding unfolding and folding movements of said top sections.

Still another object of my invention is the provision of a folding table and seat structure of the type herein disclosed, which is relatively simple and inexpensive to produce, which is quickly and easily folded and unfolded, and which is rugged in construction and durable in use.

The above, and still further highly important objects and advantages of my invention will become apparent from the following detailed specification, appended claims and attached drawings.

Referring to he drawings, which illustrate the invention, and in which like reference characters indicate like parts throughout the several views:

FIG. 1 is a view in top plan of .a folding table and seat structure made in accordance with my invention, some parts being broken away and some parts being shown in section;

FIG. 2 is a view in side elevation of the table and seat structure of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged view in side elevation of the table and seat structure in a folded position;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged longitudinal section taken substantially on the line 4-4 of FIG. 1, but showing the table and seat structure in a folded position, some parts being broken away;

'FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary detail in section, taken on the line 5-5 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged fragmentary section taken on the line 6--6 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary view in bottom plan as seen from the line 7--7 of FIG. 2, some parts being broken away and some parts being shown in section;

FIG. 8 is a horizontal section taken susbtantially on the line 38 of FIG. 3, some parts being removed;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged transverse section taken substantially on the line 99 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 10 is an enlarged fragmentary detail taken substantially on the line 10-40 of FIG. 1.

In the preferred embodiment of the invention illustrated, a pair of generally rectangular table top sections 1 and 2 are shown as comprising flat table top elements itg States Patent 01 "ice 3 and 4 respectively and underlying frames 5 and 6 respectively, the top elements 3 and 4 being rigidly mounted on their respective frames '5 and 6 by screws or the like 7. The frames 5 and 6 are preferably formed from cross sectionally channel-shaped metal, such as steel or aluminum, and are formed to provide side rails '8 and 9 and inner and outer cross rails 10 and 11 respectively. The top sections -1 and 2 are connected together at their adjacent inner ends by hinges 12 for folding and unfolding swinging movements of the top sections 1 and 2 relative to each other on a horizontal axis extending transversely of the top sections i1 and 2.

The inner ends of the top sections .1 and 2 are individually supported by identical inner leg structures 13, the outer end portions of the top sections 1 and 2 being individually supported by identical outer leg structures 14. The inner leg structures 13 comprise vertically disposed upper leg portions 15, horizontally disposed transverse intermediate leg portions 16 and vertically disposed lower leg portions 17 which terminate at their lower ends in floor or ground-engaging feet 18. The upper ends of the upper leg portions 15 are pivotally secured to adjacent ones of the side rails 8 and 9 by means of nutequipped pivot bolts or the like 119 that extend through their respective side rails 8 and 9 and through filler blocks 20 that are welded or otherwise rigidly secured within the side rails 8 and 9, see FIGS. 1 and 4. it will be noted that the hinges 12 are also secured to the filler blocks 29 whereby to provide a rigid structure, the axes of the pivot bolts 19 being parallel to the axis of the hinges 12. The lower ends of the upper leg portions are welded to the horizontal transverse portions 16, said portions 16 extending laterally outwardly beyond the vertical planes of the opposite longitudinal side edges of the table top elements 3 and 4. Preferably, the leg portions 15 and 16 are made from lightweight metal tubing, the outer ends of the horizontal leg portions 16 being downturned to provide the vertical lower leg portions 17, see FIG. 9. In a similar manner, the outer leg structures 14 comprise vertically extended upper leg portions 21, horizontally extended intermediate leg portions 22 and vertically extending lower leg portions 23. The upper ends of the upper leg portions 21 are pivotally secured to adjacent ones of the side rails 8 and 9 by means of nut-equipped pivot bolts or the like 24 that extend transversely through the side rails 3 and 9 of the frames 5 and 6, and through filter blocks 25, one of which is shown in 'FIG. 6. The lower ends of the upper leg portions 21 are welded or otherwise rigidly secured to their respective intermediate leg portions 22, the opposite ends of the intermediate leg portions 22 being bent downwardly to provide the lower leg portions 23. At their lower ends, the lower leg portions 23 are out-turned to provide foot portions 26' to which are mounted caster wheels or the like 27. Like the pivot bolts 19, the bolts 24 mount their respective leg structures 14 for swinging movements about axes parallel to the axis of the hinges 12.

The inner and outer leg structures 13 and 14 respectively, operatively associated with the top section 1, are connected by a rigid link 28 pivotally connected at its opposite ends to the transverse leg portions 16 and 22, as indicated at 29 and 30' respectively, and on axes parallel to the axis of the hinges 12. Likewise, the inner and outer leg structures 13 and .14 respectively, operatively associated with the top section 2, are connected by a rigid link 31 pivotally connected at its inner end to the intermediate leg portion 16 of the adjacent inner leg structure 13, and as indicated at 32. At its outer end, the link 31 .is pivotally connected to the intermediate portion 22 of the adjacent leg structure 1 4, as indicated at 3-3, the axes of the pivotal connections 32 and '33 being parallel to the axes of the pivotal connections 29 and 30. With reference to FIG. 2, it will be seen that the top sections 11 and 2, together with their respective inner and outer leg structures 13 and 14 and their respective links 28 and 31 define paral-lelog-rams, whereby the inner and outer leg structures of each top section are maintained in parallel relationship during folding and unfolding movements of the top sections 1 and 2.

Means for maintaining the leg structures 13 and 14 in vertical positions during folding and unfolding movements of the top sections 1 and 2 comprises a pair of control arms 34 and a cooperating pair of control arms 35, the former of which are welded or otherwise rigidly connected at their upper ends to a transverse shaft 36 journalled at its opposite ends in the side rails 8 and 9 of the frame 5. The upper ends of the control arms 35 are welded or otherwise rigidly secured to a second transverse shaft 37 that is journalled in the side rails 8 and 9 of the frame 6. With reference to FIG. 5, it will be seen that the inturned flanges of the side rails, as shown the side rails 8, are crimped, as indicated at 38, to provide journals for the opposite ends of the shafts 36 and 37. The control arms 34 and 35 converge downwardly toward a common hon'ozntal axis extending transversely of the top sections, directly below the axis of the hinges 12, the lower ends of the control arms 34 being welded or otherwise rigidly secured to a transverse tube 39 in which is mounted a torsion bar 40. The torsion bar 40 is rigidly held at its opposite ends in a pair of end caps 41 and 42, the former of which is journalled on one end portion of the tube 39, and the latter of which is Welded or otherwise rigidly secured to the opposite end portion of the tube 39. As shown particularly in FIG. 10, one of the control arms 35 has its lower end welded or otherwise rigidly secured to the end cap '41, the other control arm 35 having its lower end welded or otherwise rigidly secured to a tubular head 43 that is journalled on the tube 39 in closely spaced relation to the end cap 42. The torsion bar 40' is disposed to yieldingly urge the control arms 34 and 35 in directions of swinging movement to impart folding movements to the top sections 1 and 2 toward their folded positions of FIGS. 3 and 4. A pair of control bars 44 and 4-5 cooperate with the control arms 34 and 35 respectively and the links 28 and 31 respectively to maintain the inner and outer leg structures 13 and 14 in vertical positions during folding and unfolding movements of the top sections 1 and 2 between their operative horizontal positions of FIG. 2. and their generally vertically disposed folded storage positions of FIGS. 3 and 4. The inner ends of the control bars 44 and 45 are pivotally secured to adjacent ones of the control arms 34 and 35 respectively, as indicated at 46 and 47 respectively, the outer ends of the control bars 44 and 45 being pivotally connected to mounting flanges or ears 48 and 49 rigidly secured to the intermediate leg portions 22 associated with the top sections 1 and 2 respectively. The axes of the pivotal connections of the control bars 44 and 45 to the control arms 3, 4 and 35 and to the mounting flanges 48 and 49 are parallel to the axis of the hinges 12 and to the pivotal connections 19 and 24 of the inner and outer leg structures respectively to their respective top sections 1 and 2.

Arranged in longitudinally extended rows at opposite sides of the top sections 1 and 2, are longitudinally spaced individual seat elements 50", said seat elements Sll being disposed at a level below that of the top elements 3 and 4 when the table and seat structure is in its unfolded operative position of FIGS. 1 and 2. Preferably, and as shown, some of the seat elements 50 are individually carried by the inner leg structures 13, others thereof being carried by the outer leg structures 21. The seat elements 50 associated with the inner leg structures 13, are mounted on generally U-shaped brackets 51, by means of mounting clips or the like 52, the brackets 51 terminating in aligned tubular heads or the like 53 that are journalled on adjacent transverse horizontal leg portion 16 of the inner leg structures 13. The brackets 51 and their associated seat elements '59 are supported in horizontal operative positions by rigid actuator bars or the like 54 that extend in directions generally parallel to adjacent ones of the transverse leg portions 16, and which are Welded or otherwise rigidly secured at their outer ends to respective ones of the brackets 51, and at their inner ends to respective ones of the rigid links 2 8 and 3 1, see particularly FIG. 1. When the top sections 1 and 2 are moved to their folded storage positions of FIGS. 3 and 4, the actuator bars 54 swing their respective seat elements 50 to vertical storage positions parallel to their respective topsections 1 and 2.

The seat elements 5% associated with the outer leg structures 14 are arranged in pairs at opposite sides of the top sections 1 and 2 each pair thereof being mounted on a rigid mounting bracket 55, each bracket '55 comprising a pair of normally horizontally disposed U-shaped bracket sections 56 and 57 joined by aligned tubular elements 58 that are journalled on adjacent ones of the transverse leg portions 22. As shown, the seat elements 50 associated with the brackets 55 are rigidly secured thereto by mounting clips or the like 59 identical to the clips 52. The brackets 55, and their respective seat elements 50 are supported in horizontally disposed operative positions, when the top sections 1 and 2 are in their operative horizontal positions, by pairs of longitudinally inner and outer actuator bars 60 and 61 respectively, the actuator bars 60 and 61 extending generally transversely of their respective top sections 1 and 2, and being welded or otherwise rigidly secured at their inner ends to respective ones of the rigid links 28 and 31, and at their outer ends to respective ones of the brackets 55, see particularly FIG. 1. The rigid actuator bars 60* and 61 operate in the same manner as the actuator bars 54, to support their respective seat elements 50 in horizontally disposed operative positions, and to move their respective seat elements 54) to vertically disposed storage positions, when the top sections 1 and 2 are moved to their folded storage positions of FIGS. 3 and 4.

With further reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, it will be seen that the various seat elements 50 are offset from their respective leg portions 16 and 22, and from their respective actuator bars 54, 60 and 61, in direction longitudinally of the table structure. This arrangement permits for free and unobstructed movement of the users legs and feet under the top sections 1 and 2, and the spacing between the seat elements 50 associated with the inner leg structures 13 and those associated with the outer leg structures 14 permits free and unobstructed access to each of the seat elements 50. Further, when the top sections 1 and 2 are moved to their folded storage positions, the entire structure occupies a minimum of floor space, so that a plurality of these structures may be stored in a relatively confined area.

While I have shown and described a commercial embodiment of my improved folding table and seat structure, it will be understood that the same is capable of modification without departure from the spirit and scope of the invention, as defined in the claims.

What I claim is:

1. In a folding table and seat structure, a table top comprising a pair of cooperating top sections, hinge means pivotally connecting said top sections. together at their adjacent inner ends for swinging movements between unfolded horizontal positions and generally vertically disposed folded storage positions, supporting means for each of said top sections and including generally vertically disposed inner and outer leg structures pivotally secured to the inner and outer end portions respectively of their respective top sections on axes parallel to the axis of sand hinge means, control means normally disposed directly beneath said top sections for maintaining said leg structures vertically disposed during folding and unfolding movements of said top sections, a plurality of normally horizontally disposed individual seat elements arranged in a row adjacent one side of each of said top sections and below the level of said top sections in the unfolded positions thereof, means pivotally connecting some of said seat elements to the inner leg structures of their respective top sections, independent means pivotally connecting others of said seat elements to the outer leg structures of their respective top sections on axes parallel to the axis of said hinge means, and actuator elements operatively connecting said seat elements to said control means for moving said seat elements between their operative horizontal positions and vertically disposed storage positions responsive to corresponding movements of their respective top sections said seat elements being offset from adjacent portions of their respective leg sections in a direction parallel to the adjacent sides of said top sections.

2. In a folding table and seat structure, a table top comprising a pair of cooperating top sections, hinge means pivotally connecting said top sections together at their adjacent inner ends for swinging movements between unfolded horizontal positions and generally vertically disposed folded storage positions, supporting means for each of said top sections and including generally vertically disposed inner and outer leg structures pivotally secured to the inner and outer end portions respectively of their respective top sections on axes parallel to the axis of said hinge means, control means for maintaining said leg structures vertically disposed during folding and unfolding movements of said top sections, said control means including a pair of rigid links normally disposed directly beneath said top sections and each pivotally connected at its opposite ends to the inner and outer leg structures of a different one of said top sections, a plurality of normally horizontally disposed individual seat elements arranged in a row adjacent one side of each of said top sections and below the level of said top sections in the unfolded positions thereof, means pivotally connecting some of said seat elements of their respective top sections to said inner leg structures, independent means pivotally connecting others of said seat elements to the outer leg structures of their respective top sections on axes parallel to the axis of said hinge means, and actuator arms rigidly connected to said seats and to adjacent ones of said links for moving said seat elements between their operative horizontal positions and vertically disposed storage positions responsive to corresponding movements of their respective top sections, said seat elements being offset from adjacent portions of their respective leg sections in a directoin parallel to the adjacent sides of said top sections.

3. In a folding table and seat structure, a tabletop comprising a pair of cooperating top sections, hinge means pivotally connecting said top sections together at their adjacent inner ends for swinging movements between unfolded horizontal positions and generally vertically disposed folded storage positions, supporting means for each of said top sections and including generally vertically disposed inner and outer leg structures pivotally secured to the inner and outer end portions respectively of their respective top sections on axes parallel to the axis of said hinge means, control means normally disposed directly beneath said top sections for maintaining said leg structures vertically disposed during folding and unfolding movements of said top sections, a plurality of normally horizontally disposed individual seat elements arranged in a row adjacent one side of each of said top sections and below the level of said top sections in the unfolded positions thereof, means pivotally mounting individual ones of said seat elements each to a different one of said inner l g struct res on axes parallel to the axis of said hinge means, means pivotally mounting pairs of spaced seat elements to said outer leg structures for common movements of said seat elements of each pair on axes parallel to the axis of said hinge means, and actuator elements operatively connecting said seat elements to said control means for moving said seat elements between their operative horizontal positions and vertically disposed storage positions responsive to corresponding movements of their respective top sections, said seat elements being offset from adjacent portions of their respective leg structures in a direction parallel to the adjacent sides of said top sections.

4. In a folding table and seat structure, a table-top comprising a pair of cooperating top sections, hinge means pivotally connecting said top sections together at their adjacent inner ends for swinging movement between unfolded horizontal positions and generally disposed folded storage positions, supporting means for each of said top sections and including generally vertically disposed inner and outer leg structures pivotally secured to the inner and outer end portions respectively of their respective top sections on axes parallel to the axis of said hinge means, control means normally disposed directly beneath said top sections for maintaining said leg structures vertically disposed during folding and unfolding movements of said top sections, each of said leg structures comprising a pair of laterally spaced vertical upper leg portions underlying said top sections, transversely extending horizontal portions at the lower ends of said upper leg portions, and vertically extending lower leg portions depending from the outer ends of said horizontal portions, a plurality of normally horizontally disposed individual seat elements arranged in rows at opposite sides of each of said top sections and below the level of said top sections in the unfolded positions thereof, means for pivotally mounting some of said seat elements individually to the horizontally extended portions of said inner leg structures, means for pivotally mounting others of said seat elements to the horizontally extended portions of said outer leg structures, and actuator elements operatively connecting said seat elements to said control means for moving said seat elements between their operative horizontal positions and vertically disposed storage positions responsive to corresponding movements of their respective top sections, said seat elements being offset from said horizontal portions of their respective leg structures in a direction parallel to the adjacent sides of said top sections.

5. The structure defined in claim 4 in which said means pivotally mounting others of the seat elements to said outer leg structures comprises a plurality of brackets each pivotally mounted on an adjacent horizontally extended portion of one of said outer leg structures, each of said brackets having a pair of spaced seat elements mounted thereon.

6. The structure defined in claim 5 in which said control means includes a pair of rigid links extending longitudinally of said top sections, each of said links having its opposite ends pivotally secured to the inner and outer leg structures of a different one of said top sections on axes parallel to the axis of said hinge means, said actuator elements comprising rigid arms anchored at their inner ends to said links and at their outer ends to said brackets.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS D. 182,822 Kempner May 20, 1958 2,502,502 Bennett Apr. 4, 1950 2,747,958 Wilson May 29, 1956 2,991,139 Fihe July 4, 1961 2,992,043 Nelson July '11, 1961 3,055,705 Wilson Sept. 25, 1962

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2502502 *Sep 19, 1946Apr 4, 1950Bennett Floyd JChildren's table with folding seats
US2747958 *Dec 14, 1954May 29, 1956Wilson Kermit HFolding sectional table
US2991139 *Jan 26, 1959Jul 4, 1961Albert J FiheFolding table with lock
US2992043 *Sep 15, 1958Jul 11, 1961Hamilton Mfg CoFoldable tables
US3055705 *Oct 17, 1960Sep 25, 1962Sico Mfg CoFolding table and seat structure
USD182822 *May 29, 1957May 20, 1958 Combined table and seat unit
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3143982 *Feb 15, 1963Aug 11, 1964Mitchell Mfg CompanyTorsion bar leg structures for folding tables
US3511532 *Feb 5, 1968May 12, 1970American Hospital Supply CorpFolding table with seats
US3715143 *Feb 2, 1971Feb 6, 1973American Standard IncFolding table and seat support structure
US4070057 *Jul 20, 1976Jan 24, 1978Franklyn M. MarkusCombined folding table and seat assembly
US4101164 *Dec 22, 1976Jul 18, 1978Manufacturas Vega S.A.Folding seat and table unit
US5007673 *Aug 13, 1990Apr 16, 1991Cheng Yen FengCollapsible table and chair set
US6065802 *Apr 8, 1998May 23, 2000Sico IncorporatedFolding table and seating apparatus
US6186591 *Oct 29, 1998Feb 13, 2001Palmer Snyder Furniture Co.Table with self-adjusting midframe support
US6192808May 20, 1999Feb 27, 2001Sico IncorporatedFolding table with latching linkage
US6254178Apr 13, 2000Jul 3, 2001Sico, Inc.Folding table and seating apparatus
US6386628Feb 26, 2001May 14, 2002Sico IncorporatedFolding table and seating apparatus
US6830294 *Apr 23, 2003Dec 14, 2004Gilles BerthiaumeFoldable seating structure
US7171911 *Feb 26, 2004Feb 6, 2007Midwest Folding ProductsMobile folding table having a lifting assist center torsion bar and lift off casters
US7448330Jan 26, 2007Nov 11, 2008Midwest Folding ProductsMobile folding table having a lifting assist center torsion bar and lift off casters
US7611193Feb 21, 2007Nov 3, 2009Sico IncorporatedTable and seating arrangement
US8182032May 22, 2012Sico IncorporatedTable and seating apparatus
US8820826May 22, 2012Sep 2, 2014Sico IncorporatedTable and seating apparatus
US20030230916 *Apr 23, 2003Dec 18, 2003Gilles BerthiaumeFoldable seating structure
US20050161984 *Jan 27, 2004Jul 28, 2005Sico IncorporatedFolding table
US20070199484 *Jan 26, 2007Aug 30, 2007Rivera Jeremias C JrMobile folding table having a lifting assist center torsion bar and lift off casters
US20080116724 *Nov 17, 2006May 22, 2008Sico IncorporatedFolding table and seating system
US20110057483 *Sep 10, 2009Mar 10, 2011Sico IncorporatedTable and seating apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification297/158.4, 108/130
International ClassificationA47B3/14
Cooperative ClassificationA47B3/14, A47B2003/145
European ClassificationA47B3/14