US 3521579 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 21, 1970 Filed June 4. 1968 J, N. STAFFORD ARTICLES 0F FURNITURE 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 J. N. STAFFORD ARTICLES OF FURNITURE July 21, 1970 3 sheefs sheet 2 Filed June 4. 1968 Mew July 21, 1-970 .1. N. STAFFORD 3,521,579
ARTICLES 0F FURNITURE Filed June 4, 196a i 3 Sheets-Sheet s 2s ill 6 27 3,521,579 Patented July 21, 1970 3,521,579 ARTICLES F FURNITURE John N. Stafford, London, England, assignor to Shepherd Furniture Limited, London, England Filed June 4, 1968, Ser. No. 734,360 Claims priority, application Great Britain, June 6, 1967, 26,108/ 67 Int. Cl. A47b 97/00 US. Cl. 108-64 7 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE For multi-unit load-bearing furniture, apparatus comprising: at least three supporting legs; the first part of a two-part connector on each of a pair of opposite sides of each said leg; a connecting member for location between each pair of supporting legs; the second part of said connector at or adjacent each end of said connecting member, each of said connecting members being adapted to be located between a pair of supporting legs to space apart the legs of such pair; a plurality of load-bearing units adapted to be supported by the said legs and of which the connecting members may form the whole or a part, each said leg conveniently being so formed, for example, bifurcated, as to permit the passage therebeyond of a connecting member so that the said second part of said connector may be optionally located in either of the said first parts of the connector of such supporting legs, and the arrangement desirably being such that the furniture may be erected with each load-bearing unit abutting an edge of at least one other load-bearing unit to provide a continuous load-bearing surface.
This invention concerns improvements in or relating to articles of furniture and, more particularly, relates to tables, seats, benches, desks and the like having a loadbearing surface, all hereinafter for the sake of convenience being referred to as load-bearing furniture.
It is an object of this invention to provide apparatus for the construction of multi-unit load bearing furniture which makes it possible quickly and easily to assemble and erect an article of furniture having a load-bearing surface for example, a table top, of selected size and/or shape.
Viewed from one aspect, the invention provides in or for multi-load-bearing furniture, at least three supporting legs each having on each of a pair of opposite sides thereof the first part of a two-part connector, a connecting member for location between each pair of supporting legs and having at or adjacent each end thereof the second part of said connector, each of said connecting members being adapted to be located between a pair of supporting legs to space apart the legs of such pair, a plurality of load-bearing units adapted to be supported by the said legs and of which the connecting members may form the whole or a part, the arrangement being such that the furniture may be erected with each load-bearing unit abutting an edge of at least one other load-bearing unit to provide a continuous load-bearing surface.
According to another feature of the invention, each said leg may be so formed, for example, bifurcated, as to permit the passage therebeyond of a connecting member so that the said second part of said connector may be optionally located in either of the said first parts of the connector of such supporting leg.
Viewed from another aspect, the invention provides in or for multi-unit load-bearing furniture, at least three supporting legs each having on each of a pair of opposite sides thereof the first part of a two-part connector, a connecting member for linking each pair of supporting legs and having at or adjacent each end thereof the second part of said connector each said leg being so formed, for example, bifurcated, as to permit the passages therebeyond of a connecting member so that the said second part of said connector may be optionally located in either of the said first parts of the connector of such supporting leg, and a plurality of load-bearing units adapted to be supporting by the said legs and of which the connecting members may form the whole or a part.
Desirably the said two-part connector is such that a connecting member may be connected to a supporting leg at any desired angle thereto in a plane at right-angles to the leg.
The said connector may be of any suitable form, and is conveniently wholly or substantially wholly of rigid construction.
According to a further feature of the invention each said connector may be in the form of a plug and socket connector. Conveniently in that case, the socket of each connector is provided on the said supporting leg and the plug on the said connecting member. In one example, the said socket may comprise a length of square-section steel tube and in another example a cast tube circular in section, the said plug in both examples being circular in section.
The said supporting leg may be formed, if desired, as a complete casting, for example, of aluminium or plastics, e.g. polycarbonate material, or, for example, be fabricated from steel tube, for instance of square section.
The said first parts of the connectors may be located at any suitable positions with respect to the said legs, for example, at or adjacent their upper or lower ends. Moreover, if desired, each leg may have more than one pair of first parts of the connectors with, for example, an appropriate number of second parts of the connectors on one or more connecting members so as to provide a particularly rigid construction.
Desirably the lower end of each supporting leg is provided with a horizontally extending foot portion.
According to another feature of the invention, the upper end of each supporting leg may be integrally formed with a horizontally extending portion adapted to support a load-bearing surface.
The said load-bearing surfaces may be separately formed from said connecting members and be adapted to be releasably secured to the said legs. Thus, for instance, a load-bearing surface may 'be adapted to be releasably secured to the aforesaid horizontally extending portion by a turnbuckle rotatable with respect to such portion and the head of which is adapted to be engaged in a recess in the load-bearing surface.
In another example, the said connecting members may each be secured to or form part of a seat panel.
In order that the invention may be more readily understood, several embodirnents thereof will now be described by way of example and with reference to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a pair of supporting legs, a connecting member and a table top of one embodiment of the apparatus according to the invention showing how the apparatus may be assembled;
FIG. 2 is a plan view from above of a banqueting table assembled using legs and connecting members as shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a side view of the banqueting table of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a plan view from above of another table assembled using legs and connecting members as shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is an underneath plan showing a turnbuckle for securing two abutting rectangular table tops of the banqueting table of FIGS. 2 and 3 to the supporting legs;
FIG. 6 is a section on the line V I-VI of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a similar vie-w to that of FIG. 6 but showing the use of a turnbuckle adjacent a free edge of a table P;
FIG. 8 is a front elevation of a second embodiment of the apparatus of the invention showing chairs linked sideby-side; and
FIG. 9 is a side view of the linked chairs of FIG. 8.
In the embodiment shown in FIG. 1, the apparatus includes a supporting leg generally indicated at 1 constructed from 1" square-section metal tube and comprising two lengths 2, 3 of such tube each bent to form a C-shaped leg portion, the two portions being assembled back-to-back with the backs 4, 5 of the Cs vertical and with the transversely extending arms 6, 7 and 8, 9 of the Us horizontal. The leg portions are secured rigidly together by means of a metal strap 10 which joins the lower portions of the back 4, 5 of the GS.
Adjacent the upper end of the supporting leg and on each side of the planes defining the C-shaped leg portions is the first part 11, 12 of a two-part connector, in the form of a vertically disposed cylindrical socket, each length of tube providing the socket being rigidly connected by its flange 13, 14 to the vertical backs of the Cs and the plane containing the longitudinal axis of the socket-providing tubes passing through the line of abutment of the backs 4, 5 of the CS.
(In a modification-not illustratedthe backs 4, 5 of the Us could be in parallel-spaced relationship with respect to each other, and be secured rigidly together by means of a metal spacer welded or otherwise fixed between the lower portions of the backs; in such modification each socket could be provided by 1" square-section tubes welded or otherwise rigidly connected to the vertical backs of the Us the plane containing the longitudinal axes of the socket-providing tubes, bisecting the space between the backs of the CS.)
The second part of each two-part connector is provided by a cylindrical plug 15, 16 provided on an end of a rectangular section metal tube providing a connecting member 17, the axis of the plug being at right-angles to the length of the connecting member and a plug being provided on each end of the latter.
The leg is so formed, that it is bifurcated, that the plug may be optionally inserted into either of the sockets 11, 12 carried by the supporting leg 1, the connecting member 17 being swivelable in relation to the leg by rotating the plug within its socket. The plug 16 may similarly be inserted into one of the sockets 11, 12 of a second supporting leg 18, similar reference indicating similar parts.
The upper transversely extending arms 6, 7 of the GS of the leg portions serve to carry a table top 19.
The lower transversely extending arms 8, 9 of the Cs serve as feet and conveniently the under surface of the free ends thereof, which are closed by caps 20, 21 are provided with domes or the like for contacting a floor on which a table is erected.
The outer end portion of the upper transversely extending arms 6, 7 are each provided with a turnbuckle 22 consisting of a rotatable shank 23 passing through the arms 6, 7 and rigidly carrying a head buckle 24 at one end thereof and a handle buckle 25 at the other end thereof, the head buckle 24 and the handle buckle 25 being located in parallel spaced relationship to each other but with their longitudinal axes at right angles to each other. The turnbuckle may be rotated using the handle buckle 25 from the position shown in FIG. 1 to the looking position shown in FIGS. 5, 6 and 7, as will be described hereinafter, in which the head buckle 24 is located at least partially in a recess 26 provided in the under surface of the table top and is engaged with a bridge piece 27.
Supporting legs and connecting members as above described may be used to assemble a variety of tables of different shapes and sizes according to requirements.
Thus the apparatus may be used' to erect a banqueting table as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 of the accompanying drawings in which a table is assembled from eight supporting legs 1, five rectangular table tops 19, two quadrant table tops 28, five of the connecting members 17 and two shorter ones 29. At the two ends of the table (see the extreme right of FIG. 3) the plug 16 of the connecting member 17 is passed into the socket 12 on the outer side of the leg 1 so that the leg does not extend laterally beyond the end of the table top. 1
Adjacent edges of the table tops abut to provide a continuous load-bearing surface and the table tops are releasably secured in position by means of the turnbuckles. Thus, as shown clearly in FIGS. 5 and 6, in the locking position the head buckle 24 serves to span the bridge pieces 27 of a table top 19 and an abutting table top shown in dot-and-pick lines, the handle buckle 25 then lying along the metal tube forming the transversely extending arm 6. At the end table top (see FIG. 7) the major part of the head buckle 24 lies on the inner side of the bridge piece 27 so that it does not extend outwardly beyond the table top.
Whilst the aforesaid turnbuckle arrangement is the preferred method of securing, it will be appreciated that alternative arrangements, for example, fixing pins, may be employed. Moreover, if so desired, the underside of the table top may be provided with peripheral battens spaced inwardly from the outer edge of the table top and serving to retain the later in position on the transversely extending arms of the Cs, the plugs then conveniently lying vertically below the peripheral battens of the table top which extends 2" outwardly beyond the plug centres.
In another construction supporting legs described in connection with FIG. 1 are used to erect a table having a circular top.
In this construction four supporting legs 1 are used, each pair being arranged with their central planes along a diameter of a circle. Comparatively short connecting members 30 (for example, 1'9 long), are provided, there being four such connecting members each adapted to connect a pair of supporting legs 1 to each other. In plan, the connecting members form the periphery of a square, each connecting member being at an angle to the plane of the adjacent supporting legs.
The supporting framework provided by the assembly of the four supporting legs and four connecting members serves to support four quadrant-shaped table tops 31 assembled to provide a circular table, conveniently of 5 or 6' diameter.
In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, the apparatus of the invention is used to assemble chairs. In this embodiment, a series of supporting legs 32 is provided, each generally similar in form to that of the supporting leg 1 of FIG. 1, but shorter. Thus, each leg 32 comprises two lengths 33, 34 of table bent to form a C- shaped leg portion, the portions being assembled backto-back with the backs 35, 36 of the Us vertical, and the transversely extending arms 37, 38 and 39, 40 horizontal. Each supporting leg has two sockets 41, 42.
The apparatus further includes a set of seat units each having a seat panel 43 and a back panel 44, and having a connecting member 45 located transversely of the seat panel and secured to the underneath of the latter. Each connecting member 45 carries at its ends a plug 46, 47 adapted to be received in a socket 41, 42.
The seat units may be linked side-by-side simply by lowering them from the position shown in dot-and-pick lines in FIG. 8 to a position in which the plugs are located in the appropriate sockets, the seat unit at the end of the row (see FIG. 9) having its end plug located in the outer socket of the end supporting leg 32.
Whilst in FIG. 8, the seat panels 43 are shown abutting each other, the apparatus could be so dimensioned and shaped that they do not abut and/or so that chair arms are provided.
Moreover, it will be appreciated that, for example, one or more table tops could be provided to replace one or more of the linked seat units so that an assembly of seat units with one or more table tops therebetween could be arranged.
It will be appreciated that by using the apparatus of the invention it is possible quickly and easily to assemble and erect from standard components a table, for instance, having a table top of any desired size or shape. Thus a series of table tops may conveniently be provided each of a standard width of 30" and in lengths of 2, 3', 4', 5 and 6'. Such components are light in weight, easily stowed when not required, simple to assemble and susceptible to a wide variety and range of applications. The table assembly of the invention is therefore of particular use to hoteliers and the like who have to provide tables of varying sizes according to requirements.
It will moreover be appreciated that, using the assembly of the invention, the legs may be confined within the area of the load-bearing surface so that there are no legs protruding from, for example, a table which would cause obstruction to diners. Thus each supporting leg is such that it can be used from both sides as part of a long run of tables or from one side only as a free-standing end.
1. Collapsible multi-unit load-bearing furniture comprising (1) more than two like supporting legs, each leg extending in a plane;
(2) connecting means for connecting and spacing apart adjacent ones of pairs of said supporting legs, each connecting and spacing means including (a) an elongated connecting and spacing member adapted to extend between each pair of supporting legs, and
(b) a two-part connector consisting of a first and a second connector part, the connector parts being detachable, the first connector part being mounted on each supporting leg on opposite sides of said plane, and second connector parts being mounted at opposite ends of the elongated connecting and spacing member, each of said second connector parts being engageable with a selected first connector part on each leg; and
(3) more than two load-bearing surfaces adapted to be supported by the supporting legs.
2. The collapsible furniture of claim 1, wherein the supporting legs are bifurcated, with oppositely extending supporting arms in said plane.
3. The collapsible furniture of claim 1, wherein adjacent ones of the load-bearing surfaces have abutting edges, when the furniture is erected, to provide a continuous load-be-aring surface.
4. The collapsible furniture of claim 1, wherein the second connector parts are pivotally engageable with the selected first connector parts for pivoting the connecting and spacing member about a vertical pivot.
5. The collapsible furniture of claim 1, wherein said connector parts are plugs and sockets, respectively.
6. The collapsible furniture of claim 5, wherein the first connector parts are sockets and the second connector parts are plugs.
7. The collapsible furniture of claim 1, wherein each supporting leg has a horizontally extending foot portion extending in said plane and a horizontally extending bearing portion extending in said plane and adapted to carry the load-bearing surface, the load-bearing surface being on a substantially flat member whose underside defines a recess, and further comprising a turnbuckle rotatably mounted on the horizontally extending bearing portion and selectively rotatable to engage in the recess of the flat member.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,529,649 11/1950 Coplen 108-114 2,575,593 11/1951 Perry.
2,833,607 5/1958 Machintosh 10864 2,836,475 5/1958 Sapp 108-64 3,002,787 10/1961 Ziegenfuss 297249 3,164,347 1/1965 McMasters 108150 XR 3,267,881 8/1966 Saggione 10850 3,339,503 9/1967 Foldell 108153 BOBBY R. GAY, Primary Examiner G. O. FINCH, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R. 108-453