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Publication numberUS3245363 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 12, 1966
Filing dateApr 6, 1964
Priority dateApr 6, 1964
Publication numberUS 3245363 A, US 3245363A, US-A-3245363, US3245363 A, US3245363A
InventorsAmthor Jr Franklin R, Kanitz Roy E, Katzfey James M
Original AssigneeHamilton Mfg Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Folding table assembly with stabilizing means
US 3245363 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 12, 1966 F. R. AMTHOR, JR, ETAL FOLDING TABLE ASSEMBLY WITH STABILIZING MEANS Filed April 6, 1964 4 Sheets-Sheet 1 A ril 12, 1966 F. R. AMTHOR, JR.. ETAL 3,245,363

FOLDING TABLE ASSEMBLY WITH STABILIZING MEANS Filed April 6, 1964 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 April 12, 1966 F. R. AMTHOR, JR, ETAL FOLDING TABLE ASSEMBLY WITH STABILIZING MEANS Filed April 6, 1964 4 Sheets-Sheet 5 A ril 12, 1966 F. R. AMTHOR, JR., ETAL FOLDING TABLE ASSEMBLY WITH STABILIZING MEANS Filed April 6, 1964 4 Sheets-Sheet 4 United States Patent 3,245,363 FOLDING TABLE WITH STABILIZING M Franklin R. Amthor, Jr., Manitowoc, and James M. Katzfey and Roy E. Kanitz, Two Rivers, Wis., assignors to Hamilton Manufacturing Company, Two Rivers, Wis., a corporation of Wisconsin Filed Apr. 6, 1964, Ser. No. 357,577 11 Claims. (Cl. 108113) This invention relates generally to folding tables, and more particularly to a transversely folding table assembly.

A folding table assembly of the type disclosed in Kanzelberger et al. Patent No. 3,101,064 comprises two table top sections positioned in end-to-end relation, a center leg support pivotally connected to the adjacent ends of the top sections, and an outer end leg support pivotally connected to the outer end of each top section. The assembly may be moved between open and closed positions, and when the assembly is in open position, the top sections are in horizontal end-toend alignment and are supported by the three leg supports, and when the assembly is in closed position the top sections are vertically disposed in substantially parallel planes and are supported by the end leg supports only, the center leg support being lifted out of engagement with the floor.

To permit the assembly to be easily moved about when in the closed position, casters are attached to the lower ends of the end leg supports. Such casters are disadvantageous however when the assembly is in its open position because they tend to make the assembly unstable. If the assembly when in its open position were accidentally bumped near an outer end, the outer end would tend to swing about the center leg support even though the wheels are locked, because of the swivel mounting of the wheels.

Assemblies have been designed including means for transferring the weight of the assembly from the casters to other members which frictionally engage the floor when the assembly is opened. Such prior assemblies have been disadvantageous however because either a manual operation is required each time the weight is transferred olf the casters, or if the operation is made automatic the assembly is not sufficiently sturdy. The unstableness arises from the use of devices such as links to make the assembly automatically transfer the weight from the casters to the other members when the assembly is opened, The links, for example, require a number of pivotal connections which result in instability, and such a construction is also unsatisfactory when a considerable amount of weight must be supported.

Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide a transversely folding table assembly which may be easily moved about on casters when in its closed position and which includes stabilizing means for resisting movement when in its open position.

It is another object to provide an assembly of the foregoing character, which is exceptionally sturdy when in either its open or closed position.

It is still another object to provide an assembly of the foregoing character, wherein the casters are automatically shifted from supporting engagement with the floor to a non-supporting position when the assembly is moved to its open position.

Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description taken in conjunction with the acompanying figures of the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of a table assembly embodying the invention and showing the assembly in its open position;

FIG. 2 is an end elevational view of the assembly taken along the line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken along the 1ine,3 3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view showing the assembly in a partially closed position;

FIG. 5 is a side elevational view showing the assembly in a fully closed position;

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

FIG. 7 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 77 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is a sectional view taken on the line 8-8 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is an enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 99 of FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is an enlarged view of a portion of the structure shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 11-11 of FIG. 10;

FIG. 12 is an end elevational view similar to FIG. 2 but showing an alternate form of the invention;

FIG. 13 is a side elevational view of a portion of the assembly shown in FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 14-14 of FIG. 12;

FIG. 15 is a view similar to FIG. 13 but showing the assembly in a partially closed position; and

FIG. 16 is a fragmentary view similar to FIGS. 13 and 15 but showing the assembly in a fully closed position.

In general, a folding table assembly having stabilizing means in accordance with the invention may be of the general type disclosed in the previously mentioned Kanzelberger et a1. Patent No. 3,101,064, and comprises two table top sections positioned in end-to-end relation, a center leg support pivotally connected to the adjacent ends of the table top sections, and an outer end leg support pivotally connected to each table top section adjacent its outer end. The assembly is adapted to be moved between open and closed positions, and when the assembly is in open postion, the top sections are in horizontal end-to-end alignment and are supported by the center and the end leg supports, and when the assembly is in closed position, the top sections are vertically disposed in substantially parallel planes and are supported by the end leg supports only, the center leg support being lifted out of engagement with the floor.

Casters are attached to the lower ends of the outer end leg supports to permit the assembly to be easily moved about when in the closed position, and friction cups are preferably attached to the lower ends of the center leg support to retard movement at the center of the table. To retard movement at the outer ends of the assembly, stabilizing means is provided adjacent at least one end of the assembly. Each stabilizing means is pivotally connected to a table top section adjacent the pivotal connection of the outer end leg support for that top section. The pivotal connection of the stabilizing means to the top section is offset from the adjacent pivotal connection of the end leg support such that the end leg support assists in supporting the assembly when it is folded, but opening movement of the assembly causes the stabilizing means to engage the floor and lift the end leg support to a non-supporting position when the assembly is open. The stabilizing means thus supports and retards movement of the assembly only when the assembly is in the open position.

The stabilizing means for at least one top section preferably comprises a pair of rigid tubular legs which 'are pivotally connected at their upper ends to the top section. The pivotal connections of the end leg support and the stabilizing legs to the top section are olfset such that the pivotal axis of the pair of stabilizing legs is offset toward the center leg support from the pivot-a1 axis of the end leg support during opening and folding movements of the assembly, and the length of the stabilizing legs as compared to the length of the end leg support is such that the. stabilizing legs comprise the primary or only support for the end of the, assembly when the assembly is in its open position.

In one form of the assembly, the stabilizing legs are 'longiutdinally offset toward the center leg support from the end leg support, and the pivotal axis for the stabilizing legs is preferably offset downwardly from the pivotal axis for the end leg support. In a modified form, the stabilizing legs are offset laterally of the assembly from the end leg support, and the pivotal axis for the stabilizing legs is preferably offset downwardly from the pivotal axis for the end leg support.

The assembly may further include equalizing means pivotally connected to the center leg support and the table top sections for maintaining the center leg support in vertical position throughout movementof the assembly between its open and closed positions, stretcher bars for maintaining the center and outer leg end supports in substantially parallel planes throughout opening and folding movements, a latch for holding the assembly locked in its folded position, another latch for holding the assembly locked in its folded position, another latch for holding the assembly locked in its open position, adjustable counterbalancing means for assisting movement of the assembly between its open and closed positions, and means for attachment of the assembly to benches, stools, chairs, etc.

In greater detail, the folding table assembly shown in the drawings is of the type including a unitary supporting structure 28 and a pair of table top sections 21 and 22. The supporting structure comprises two outer end leg supports 23 and 24, each end leg support including a pair of generally L-shape-d legs 26 and upper and lower cross braces 27 and 28, respectively. The legs 26 are secured together in laterally spaced relation by the cross braces 27 and 28 and may be secured to the cross braces as by welding. The lower cross brace 28 is generally U-shaped and its two arms extend angularly outwardly in the general direction of the adjacent corners of the assembly and in side-by-side relation to the horizontal lower portions of the L-shaped legs 26. The lower ends of the legs 26 and the lower cross brace.28 receive casters 29 which support and facilitate movement of the assembly on the floor when the assembly is closed. The outturned portions of the legs 26 and the outturned arms of the lower cross brace 28 place adjacent casters 29 of the end leg supports 23 and 24 a substantial distance apart to provide greater stability when the assembly is in its folded position. The upper cross brace extends laterally of the assembly and is preferably secured to the two legs 26 as by welding, and at the upper end of each leg 26 is preferably provided a cap member 31 in the form of a channel, the legs 26 being pivotally connected to the members 31 by pins 32.

The supporting structure further comprises a center leg support 36 (FIGS. 1 and 3) which includes an upper portion 37 and a lower portion 38 which is movably connected to the upper portion 37. The lower portion 38 comprises a pair of uprights 39 secured together by a lower cross brace 41, and the upper portion 37 comprises a pair of tubular slide members 42 secured together by an upper cross brace 43. Each of the uprights 39 of the lower portion 38 is disposed within a slide member 42 of the upper portion 37 in telescoping relation. The upper end of each of the slide members 42 is rigidly secured to a channel shaped cap member 44 as by welding, and the lower end of each upright 39 is provided with a cup .46 preferably made of a relatively high friction material such as plastic. The cups 46 rest on the fioor when the assembly is in its open position and restrain unwanted movement of the assembly because of their frictional engagement with the floor.

The supporting structure further comprises two pairs of table top supporting means, the two pairs extending in horizontal end-to-end relation when the assembly is in open position and substantially vertically when the assembly is in closed position. Each pair of table top supporting means comprises two laterally spaced aprons 51 each having an angle cross section. The two aprons of each pair are rigidly connected at their outer ends to the channel shaped cap members 31 as by welding, the pins 32 also extending through holes formed in the aprons 51. The four aprons 51 are also pivotally connected at their adjacent ends to the cap members 44 of the center leg support 36 by pins 52.

The outer end leg supports 23 and 24 and the center leg supports 36 are further interconnected by a pair of stretcher bars 56 which extend longitudinally of the assembly and are intermediate the sides of the assembly. The outer ends of the stretcher bars 56 may be pivotally connected to either the outer end leg supports or to stabilizing means to be described hereinafter. In the present instance, the outer end of each stretcher bar 56 is pivotally connected as by a pin 57 to a bracket 58 which is rigidly secured to the upper cross brace 27 of the end leg support. The brackets 58 on the upper cross braces 27 extend substantially horizontally in the direction of the center leg support. 36. The inner end of each stretcher bar 56 may be pivotally connected to either the center leg support 36 or to the underside of the table top section at the opposite end of the assembly. In the present instance, the inner end of each stretcher bar .56 is pivotally connected to the cross brace 43 of the upper portion 37 of the center leg support 36. For this purpose, two brackets 59 (FIGS. 1 and 3) are rigidly secured to the cross brace 43 and are pivotally connected to the stretcher bars 56 as by pins 61. The bracket 59 at one side of the assembly is offset later-ally. of the table assembly from the other bracket 59 and extends downwardly at an angle so that the inner ends of the stretcher bars 56 cross each other. The brackets 59 are so positioned that the axes of the pins 57, and 61 for each stretcher bar 56 substantially define a parallelogram with the axes of the pins 32 and 52 which pivotally connect the aprons 51 to the end and center leg supports.

Equalizing means is also provided to maintain the leg supports in substantially vertical positions throughout opening and folding movements of the assembly. The equalizing means comprises two links 62 (FIGS. 1, 3 and 8) each link 62 being connected between the lower portion 38 of the center leg support36 and a pair of the aprons 51. The lower end of each link 62 is pivotally connected by means of a pin 63 to a cylindrical rod retainer 64 which is part of an open position locking mechanism to be described hereafter. The rod retainer 64 is secured as by welding to the upper surface of the cross brace 41 of the lower portion 38 of thecenter leg support 36. From the rod retainer 64, the links 62 extend upwardly and slant longitudinally toward the respective ends of the assembly. The upper end of each link 62 is secured as by welding to a cross member 66 '(FIGS. 3 and 8) in the shape of an angle. .Thetwo cross members 66 extends laterally of the assembly between the pairs of aprons 51 and are pivotally connected to the aprons 51 by means of pins 67, a pin 67 being secured to each end of the cross members 66 and extending through a hole formed in the adjacent apron 51.

As the assembly is moved from its open position shown in FIG. 1 through an intermediate position shown in FIG. 4 to its closed position shown in FIG. 5, the upper ends of the links 62 swing downwardly and inwardly relative to the upper end of the center leg support 36, and the lower ends of the links 62 move downwardly, which causes the lower portion 38 ofthe center leg support 36 to move downwardly relative to the upper portion 37 of the center leg support 36. Further, the links 62 maintain the center leg support 36 in vertical position during the opening and closing movements, and the end leg supports 23 and 24 are similarly held in vertical position due to the connections of the stretcher bars 56 to the end and center leg supports. Interference between the stretcher bars 56 and the links 62 is prevented during opening and closing movements by positioning one stretcher bar 56 and one link 62 on each side of the longitudinal center line of the assembly and, on each side of the assembly, the stretcher bar 56 and the link 62 extend in opposite directions.

The open position locking mechanism is of the type described in the pending application of Anderson et al., Serial No. 273,683, filed April 17, 1963. Briefly, this locking mechanism comprises a plunger 71 (FIG. 3) secured to and extending upwardly from the rod retainer 64 on the cross brace 41 of the center leg support 36, and a releasable catch mechanism 72 secured to the other cross brace 43 of the center leg support 36. A hole (not shown) is formed through the cross brace 43 through which the plunger 71 is positioned to extend when the assembly is in its open position, and a catch mechanism 72 is positioned on top of the cross brace 43 over the hole and is adapted to engage and hold the upper end portion of the plunger 71 when the assembly is open. The catch mechanism 72 may include a washer (not shown) having a hole or aperture formed therein through which the plunger 71 extends, the edges of the hole in the washer being adapted to bite into and grip the plunger 71 when the axis of the plunger 71 is substantially out of alignment with the axis of the hole of the washer. To release the lock when the assembly is to move to the open position, a release handle 73 is provided which extends upwardly from the catch mechanism 72 to a position intermediate the adjacent ends of the table top sections 21 and 22 and to a height preferably just below the upper surface level of the table top sections. When the assembly is in its closed position, the two cross braces of the center leg support are a substantial distance apart as shown in FIG. 5 and the plunger is withdrawn from i the catch mechanism 72. When the assembly is moved to its open position, the plunger 71 moves upwardly relative to the cross brace 43, enters the hole in the cross brace 43 and automatically is engaged and held by the washer of the catch mechanism 72. The assembly will then remain locked in the open position until the handle 73 is manipulated to bring the axis of the washer hole into substantial alignment with the axis of the plunger 71 so that the washer will release the plunger 71 and permit the assembly to be moved to its closed position.

A lock mechanism is preferably also provided for locking the assembly in its closed position. This mechanism may be of the character disclosed in the previously mentioned Kanzelberger et al. patent, and comprises a latch 76 preferably connected to the pin 32 which connects one of the aprons 51 to a leg 26 of an end leg support, and an arm 77 secured to the latch 76 and engaging the adjacent leg 26. The arm 77 holds the latch 76 in substantially horizontal position during opening and closing movement of the assembly, and in position for a hook 78 formed on the end of the latch 76 to engage a pin 32 at the opposite end and on the same side of the assembly When the assembly is in its closed position. To this end, the pin 32 which is engaged by the latch 76 extends laterally outwardly a short distance from the side of the assembly as shown in FIG. 8.

Counterbalancing means is preferably also provided for assisting movement of the assembly to its closed position and fior counterbalancing the weight of the assembly during movement to its open position. The counterbalancing means may comprise a compression spring 81 (FIG. 7) positioned within each of the uprights 39 of the center leg support 36 and engaging a dowel 82 at its lower end and an adjusting mechanism at its upper end. The dowels 82 are supported by the inturned lower end portions 83 of the uprights 39. The adjusting mecha- 6 nism for each compression spring 81 may comprise a bolt 84 which extends through a hole 86 formed in the top side of the cap member 44 substantially coaxial with the slide member 42, the head of the bolt being above the cap member and a washer 87 secured to the bolt being below the top side of the cap member 44. The diameter of the washer 87 is greater than the diameter of the hole 86 and thus prevents 84 from being pushed by the spring 81 out of the slide member 42 but permits rotative movement of the bolt 84. Each adjusting mechanism further comprises a nut 88 threaded onto the bolt 84 and nut 88 having an enlarged washer like portion 89 secured thereto which fits over the upper end of the compression spring 81. It will be apparent that when the bolt 84 is rotated by engaging its head with a wrench, the nut 88 which is prevented fromrotating freely because of frictional engagement between it and the compression spring 81 will move axially along the bolt 84 in a direction which depends upon the direction of rotation of the bolt 84, such axial movement of the nut 88 adjusting the com-pressive force exerted by the compression spring 81 and thus the amount of counterbalancing force on the assembly.

Stabilizing means for supporting the outer end of each table top section when the assembly is in its open position is provided comprising a pair of tubular stabilizing legs 91, each leg 91 being pivotally connected by a pin 92 to an apron cap member 31 adjacent the pivotal connection of a leg 26 of the outer end leg support to the cap member. Thus, the legs 26 of the end leg supports and the stabilizing legs 91 are respectively pivotally connected by pins 32 and 92 to the table top sections through the cap members 31 and the aprons 51. The pivotal axes of the stabilizing legs 91 and the legs 26 of the outer end leg supports are offset, and the length of the stabilizing legs 91 is related to the length of the end leg supports such that, when the assembly is in its open position, the stabilizing legs 91 rest on the floor and support the outer ends of the assembly and the casters 29 of the outer end leg supports are lifted to a nonsupporting position. To this end, the pivotal connections of the stabilizing legs 91 are offset toward the center leg support 36 and are spaced downwardly from the pivotal connections of the legs 26 of the outer end legs supports, and, as previously stated, the stabilizing legs 91 extend downwardly from their pivotal connections and engage the floor when the assembly is open.

The stabilizing legs 91 of each pair are connected adjacent their lower ends by a laterally extending cross brace 93. The stabilizing legs 91 are also sl idably connected to the outer legs 26 of the end leg supports by tubes 94 (FIGS. 4 and 6) which loosely receive the stabilizing legs 91 therein and are connected as by welding to the legs 26. Friction cups 96 are preferably also provided at the lower ends of the stabilizing legs 91 for frictionally engaging the floor when the assembly is open and retarding rolling or sliding movements of the outer ends of the assembly.

' Assuming that the assembly is initially in its open position, the cups 96 of the stabilizing legs 91 engage the floor and the casters 29 of the outer end leg supports are lifted somewhat out of supporting engagement with the floor. When the table is to be moved to its closed position, the handle 73 at the center of the table is moved to disengage the catch mechanism 72, and the center leg support 36 is then lifted off the floor. Each table top section then rotates about the pivotal axis of the stabilizing legs 91, and the outer end leg supports 23 and 24 move downwardly relative to the stabilizing'legs 91. When the casters 29 of the outer end leg supports 23 and 24 are in firm engagement with the floor, continued upward movement of the center leg support 36 causes the weight of each table top section to shift to the outer end leg supports 23 and 24 and continued movement of the assembly to its closed position causes the equalizing legs. 91 to be raised out of engagement with the floor and to be folded between the top sections 21 and 22 of the assembly when the assembly is in closed position, as shown in FIG. 5. A relatively loose fit is preferably provided between each stabilizing leg 91 and the tubular member 94 which connects it to the adjacent end leg support because the pivotal axis of the stabilizing legs 91 must move in an arc during opening and folding movement, which causes the stabilizing legs 91 to slant or tilt somewhat relative to the tubular members 94.

With reference to FIG. 9, when the assembly is in its open position the pin 92 for each stabilizing leg 91 is preferably offset equal longitudinal and vertical distances rom the pin 32 for the adjacent leg 26, so that a line running through the centers of each pair of pins 32 and 92 will make an angle of substantially 45 with the horizontal. Further, the legs 91 are preferably vertical when the assembly is open. Therefore, when the assembly is moved to its closed position, each pin 92 swings through a 90 are relative to the adjacent pin 32 and a line through the pins 32 and 92 will again make an angle of 45 with the horizontal, but now the pin 92 will be above the pin 32 rather than below the pin 32 as was the case when the assembly was in its open position. The advantage of this construction is that the stabilizer legs 91 will be vertical and in the same plane whether the assembly is open or closed, and, being vertical, they provide good support when the assembly is open and they fold compactly between the table top sections 21 and 22 when the assembly is closed.

Movement of the assembly to its open position, causes the pivotal axis of each pair of stabilizing legs 91 to swing toward the center leg support 36 and downwardly relative to the pivotal axis of the adjacent end leg support until the lower ends of the stabilizing legs 91 engage the floor. Thereafter, continued movement of the assembly to the open position shifts the weight of each table top section to the stabilizing legs 91, and the outer end leg supports are thereafter moved upwardly slightly relative to the stabilizing legs 91. The lengths of the stabilizing legs relative to the outer end leg supports are such that the casters 29 are either lifted entirely off the floor when the assembly is in its open position, or at least such that the weight is taken off the casters, so that the ends of the table will be prevented from shifting in the event the table is accidentally bumped.

The folding assembly described herein is also adapted for attachment thereto of seating means, for example, stools, benches, chairs, etc, which extend longitudinally of the assembly at each side of the assembly. For this purpose, holes 98 may be formed through the stabilizing legs 91 and a bracket 99 may be attached to the two slide members 42 of the center leg support 36.

FIGS. 12 to 16 illustrate an alternative form of the invention wherein the stabilizing means is laterally offset from the legs of the adjacent end leg support rather than longitudinally offset as in the form illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 11. The assembly shown in FIGS. 12 to 16 is generally similar to that shown in FIGS. 1 to 11, the only differences being in the construction of the end leg sup .ports and the stabilizing means. Therefore, the end leg support and stabilizing means for one table top section only is illustrated in FIGS. 12 to 16. It should be understood that the end leg support and stabilizing means at the opposite end of the assembly may be identical to those shown in FIGS. 12 to 16, and the remaining portions of the assembly not shown in FIGS. 12 to 16 may be identical to the corresponding portions of the assembly shown in FIGS. 1 to 11.

The assembly shown in FIGS. 12 to 16 comprises a table top section 101 having secured to the under side thereof a pair of longitudinally extending angle shaped aprons 102. At their inner ends,'the aprons 102 are pivotally connected to a center leg support (not shown) in the manner described with regard to FIGS. 1 and 3. Adjacent their outer ends, the aprons 192' are pivotally connected to an outer end leg support 103 comprising a pair of laterally spaced L-shaped legs 1114 which are secured together by an upper cross brace 106 and a lower cross brace 107. The legs 1114- and the cross braces 106 and 107 may be identical to the corresponding members shown in FIG. 2, and again casters 198 are secured to the lower outturned ends of the legs 1114 and the cross brace 107. Further, a bracket 109 may be secured to the upper cross brace 106 and pivotally connected to a stretcher bar 111, similar to the connection of the brackets 58 and the stretcher bars 56 shown in the previously described form of invention.

The legs 104 of the end leg support 1113 are pivotally connected to the aprons 102 as by a pair of channel shaped cap members 112 (FIGS. 12 and 14) which may be secured as by welding to the aprons 102 and fit over the top of the legs 1114. Pins 113 positioned through holes formed in the aprons 102, the cap members 112 and the upper end portions of the legs 104 are provided to pivotally connect the legs 104 to the aprons 102.

The stabilizing means comprises a pair of tubular generally vertically extending legs 116 which are laterally spaced outside of the legs 1114 of the end leg support 103. The legs 116 are pivotally connected to the aprons 102 as by means comprising a channel shaped cap member 117 secured as by welding to the outer surface of each apron 1132 and fitting over the top of each leg 116. A pin 118 is positioned through holes formed in each cap member 117 and the upper portion of each leg 116 in order to pivotally connect the legs 116 to the aprons 102.

Adjacent their lower ends, the legs 116 of the stabilizing means are secured together by a cross brace 121 (FIGS. 12 and 13), and a cup 122 made of a high friction material is preferably fastened to the lower end of each leg 116. Further, each leg 116 is slidably connected to the adjacent leg 104 of the end leg support 103 by an eye bolt 123 (FIGS. 12 and 13). Each eye bolt 123 is secured to a leg 104 and extends laterally outwardly toward the adjacent side of the assembly and has a loop through which the adjacent leg 116 extends.

As shown in FIGS. 12 and 13, the cap members 117 for the stabilizing legs 116 are laterally aligned with the cap members 112 for the legs 104, and when the assembly is in its open position (shown in FIG. 13), the pins 113 and 118 connecting the legs 164 and 116, respectively, to the aprons 192 are substantially in vertical alignment. From the pins 118, the stabilizing legs 116 extend generally vertically downward through the eye bolts 123 and have sufficient length as compared to the length of the end leg support 103 that the friction cups 122 engage the floor and the casters 108 are lifted out of supporting engagement with the floor. When the assembly is moved from its open position, shown in FIG. 13, through an intermediate position, shown in FIG. 15, to its closed position shown in FIG. 16, the pins 118 move through a arc relative to the pins 113, the pins 118 swinging toward the center leg support and upwardly relative to the pins 113. The stabilizing legs 116 are thereby moved upwardly relative to the end leg support 163 and off the door, and the casters 108 are lowered into supporting engagement with the floor so that the assembly may be easily moved about when in its closed position. When the assembly is returned to its open position, the upper ends of the legs 116 swing downwardly and away toward the center of the table relative to the pins 113 of the end leg support 103, and the stabilizing legs 116 are moved into supporting engagement with the door and the casters 108 are simultaneously moved out of supporting engagement with the floor. Thus, the casters 103 support the assembly only when it is in its closed position and the stabilizing legs 116 support the outer ends of the assembly when it is in its open position and prevent instability of the assembly which might otherwise occur if the outer ends of the assembly were supported by the casters 1118.

From the foregoing description it will be apparent that a novel and useful folding table assembly has been provided. By the provision of casters at the end leg supports, the assembly may be easily moved about when in the closed position and, nevertheless, the casters do not cause instability of the assembly when in the open position because they are lifted out of supporting engagement with the floor by the stabilizing means. The stabilizing means, in addition to preventing movement of the ends of the assembly, are exceptionally stable and are able to support a great deal of weight on the top surface of the table, and they readily fold to an out-of-the-way position between the table top sections when the assembly is moved to its closed position.

We claim:

1. Apparatus comprising a top section, a leg support having casters at the lower end thereof pivotally connected to said top section adjacent one end of said top section, said leg support being rigid from said lower end to said pivotal connection of said leg support with said top section, means for supporting the opposite end of said top section for vertical movement of said opposite end such that said top section may swing about the pivotal connection between said leg support and said top section between an open position wherein the top section is generally horizontal and a closed position wherein said opposite end is moved vertically upward to a generally vertical closed position, stabilizing means pivotally connected to said top section closely adjacent the pivotal connection between said top section and said leg support and remote from said opposite end, said stabilizing means being rigid from its lower end to said pivotal connection, and means operatively connected to said supporting means for said opposite end of said top section and to one of said leg support and said stabilizing means, and means connecting said stabilizing means to said leg support for permitting limited vertical movement relative to each other, said two connecting means maintaining said leg support and said stabilizing means in generally vertical positions during said swinging movement of said top section between said open and closed positions, the pivotal connection of said top section to said leg support being offset from the pivotal connection of said top section to said stabilizing means and the relative lengths of said leg support and saidstabilizing means being such that said leg support supports said one end of said top section when said top section is in closed position and said stabilizing means supports said one end of said top section when said top section is in open position and retards movement of the apparatus when bumped adjacent either end.

2. Apparatus as in claim 1, wherein said pivotal connection between said top section and said stabilizing means is offset towards said opposite end of said top section relative to said pivotal connection between said top sec tion and said leg support throughout movement of said top section.

3. Apparatus as in claim 2, wherein said pivotal connection between said top section and said stabilizing means is also offset downwardly from said pivotal connection between said top section and said leg support when said top section is in open position.

4. Apparatus as in claim 3, wherein said pivotal connection between said top section and said stabilizing means is ofiset substantially equal distances downwardly and toward said opposite end of said top section relative to said pivotal connection between said top section and said leg support when said top section is in open position.

5. Apparatus as in claim 1, wherein said pivotal connection between said top section and said stabilizing means is offset substantially vertically downward relative to said pivotal connection between said top section and said leg support when said apparatus is in open position, and said stabilizing means includes legs which are offset laterally relative to said leg support.

6. Apparatus as in claim 5, wherein said legs of said stabilizing means are offset laterally on the outside of said leg support.

7. A folding table assembly comprising :a pair of table top sections positioned in end-to-end relation, center sup port means pivotally connecting the adjacent ends of said top sections together, an end leg support pivotally connected to each of said top sections adjacent its outer end, each of said end leg supports being rigid from its lower end to said pivotal connection with the associated table top section, said pivotal connections permitting movement of said assembly between an open position where said top sections are disposed in horizontal end-to-end relation and a closed position where said top sections are disposed in substantially vertical and parallel planes, and stabilizing means pivot-ally connected to at least one of said top sections closely adjacent the pivotal connection between said one top section and its associated end leg support, said stabilizing means being rigid from its lower end to said pivotal connection with said one top section, and means operatively connected between said center support means and one of said end leg supports and said stabilizing means, and means connecting said stabilizing means to the adjacent end leg support for permitting limited vertical movement relative to each other, said two connecting means maintaining said end leg supports and said stabilizing means in generally vertical positions during said movement of said assembly between said open and closed positions, said pivotal connection between said one top section and its associated end leg support being ofiset relative to said pivotal connection between said one top section and said stabilizing means and the relative lengths of said end leg supports and said stabilizing means being such that said end leg support supports said one top section when said assembly is in said closed position and said stabilizing means supports said one top section when said assembly is in said open position and retards movement of said assembly when bumped adjacent either end.

8. A folding table assembly as in claim 7 including stabilizing means pivotally connected to each of said table top sections.

9. A folding table assembly as in claim 7, wherein the pivotal connection between said one top section and said stabilizing means is offset longitudinally toward said center support means from said pivotal connection between said one top section and its associated end leg support throughout movement of said assembly.

10. A folding table assembly as in claim 9, wherein said pivotal connection between said one top section and said stabilizing means is also offset downwardly a distance substantially equal to said longitudinal oifset from said pivotal connection between said one top section and said end leg support when said assembly is in said open position.

11. A folding table assembly as in claim 7, wherein said pivotal connection between said stabilizing means and said one table section is offset substantially vertically downward from said pivotal connection between said one top section and its associated end leg support when said assembly is in said open position.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,196,253 8/1916 Lowy 5l54 2,299,688 10/ 1942 Ferris 312250 2,764,460 9/1956 Nelson l081 13 2,827,215 3/1958 Burg et a1 182-15 2,978,754 4/ 1961 Wilson 108-112 3,025,120 3/1962 Howe 1081 12 3,086,256 4/ 1963 Schieber 201.123 3,101,064 8/1963 K-anzelberger 108-113 FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3337262 *Mar 1, 1965Aug 22, 1967Hamilton Mfg CoFolding table assembly with seating structure
US3476061 *Dec 28, 1967Nov 4, 1969Takahashi SasukeFolding table
US3557720 *Jan 17, 1969Jan 26, 1971Mitchell Mfg CoPortable folding tables
US4166516 *Jan 10, 1978Sep 4, 1979Equipment Company Of AmericaAdjustable caster
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US4932333 *Jul 14, 1989Jun 12, 1990Sico IncorporatedStabilizing wheels for folding table
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US6024026 *Jun 20, 1997Feb 15, 2000Sico IncorporatedTri-height folding stage
US6065802 *Apr 8, 1998May 23, 2000Sico IncorporatedFolding table and seating apparatus
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US8820826May 22, 2012Sep 2, 2014Sico IncorporatedTable and seating apparatus
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Classifications
U.S. Classification108/168, 182/15
International ClassificationA47B3/087, A47B3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B3/087
European ClassificationA47B3/087
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 29, 1984ASAssignment
Owner name: HAMILTON INDUSTRIES, INC. 555 SKOKIE BLVD., SUITE
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:AMERICAN NATIONAL BANK AND TRUST COMPANY OF CHICAGO, A NATIONAL BANKING ASSOCIATION;REEL/FRAME:004238/0072
Effective date: 19820628
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:AMERICAN NATIONAL BANK AND TRUST COMPANY OF CHICAGO, A NATIONAL BANKING ASSOCIATION;REEL/FRAME:4238/72
Owner name: HAMILTON INDUSTRIES, INC.,ILLINOIS
Owner name: HAMILTON INDUSTRIES, INC., ILLINOIS
Jul 6, 1982ASAssignment
Owner name: HAMILTON INDUSTRIES, INC., 1316 18TH ST., TWO RIVE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:AMERICAN HOSPITAL SUPPLY CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004013/0243
Effective date: 19820628
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Owner name: HAMILTON INDUSTRIES, INC.,WISCONSIN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:AMERICAN HOSPITAL SUPPLY CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004013/0243
Owner name: HAMILTON INDUSTRIES, INC., WISCONSIN