US 3628471 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
States Patent  Inventor Alan Carleton Burr East Norwalk, Conn.
211 Appl. No. 772,497
 Filed Nov. 1,1968
 Patented Dec. 21,1971
 Assignee Howe Folding Furniture, Incorporated New York, NY.
 FOLDING TABLE WITH INTERLOCKING LEGS 161,012 6/1933 Switzerland ABSTRACT: A table or stand has pairs of legswhich are mounted along two opposite margins of the top for swinging movement toward and away from each other, and an apron mounted along a third margin of the top and outwardly of the adjacent legs for swinging movement in. a direction normal to the swinging movement of the legs, the legs which are adjacent the apron having slots in their inner faces respectively leading to spaces within the legs, and the apron having on its inner surface brackets which each support a rotatable locking member extending laterally of the apron and defining a head which in one angular position can pass through the slot in an opposed leg, and means for controlling the rotational position of the locking member, the legs being movealble outwardly beyond operative position so that on being moved inwardly to operative position the slots in the legs adjacent to the apron will be aligned with the heads of the locking members respectively and will receive the heads if they have been properly positioned, and the apron being moveable outwardly beyond operative position so that when the apron and legs are not interlocked the legs may be swung inwardly past the brackets and locking means carried by the apron, to folded position. The apron may then be folded over and on top of the folded legs.
PATENTED 05021 12m SHEET 1 OF 4 INVENTOR. [11601 C. Barr PATENTEUBECZI :97: 3.628471 saw a or 4 INVENTOR.
flZa/z C Barr PAIENTED 05021 i371 SHEET 3 OF 4 INVENTOR. fllaiz (I Barr PATENTEBUEEZI IBYI $628,471
sum u [1F 4 I H n H jg q m! will! I I I i INVENTOR.
17 Q9 11 12 171ml 6. Barr FOLDING TABLE WITH INTERLOCKING LEGS AND APRON OR SHIELD This invention relates to interlocking means for interengaging the unfolded legs of a table or stand with an apron or shield extending downwardly from below one lateral margin of the top of the table or stand. The interlocking means not only provides interengagement, thereby preventing inadvertent folding of the table or stand but also provides means for maintaining a firm interlock.
The table legs, at least those which are to be interengaged with the shield, are tubular and each has a slot on the inner face at a distance below the upper end corresponding to the position of coactive interlocking means provided on the inside of the apron or shield. Each interlocking means comprises a short shaft rotatably mounted in an eye projecting outwardly from a bracket which is supported on the inside surface of the apron or shield. The outer end of the shaft terminates in a flat head which is shaped so that when disposed in one plane it will pass through the slot on the inner surface of the leg, but cannot be passed through the slot when it is disposed in another angularly related plane. Thus if the head is passed through the slot and then rotated into a plane which is substantially normal to its previous plane it cannot be withdrawn through the slot.
An operating handle is mounted on the shaft and its position along the shaft is determined by a nut which is adjustable along the shaft on the opposite side of the handle from the head. Between the inner end of the handle and the flange of the bracket which defines the eye a resilient gasket and a washer are provided and the head may be drawn up tight against the inner surface of the slotted wall of the leg by turning of the nut on the rod and against the inner end of the operating handle.
In the embodiment of the invention illustrated in the accompanying drawings:
FIG. I is a perspective view of a folding table or stand employing a modesty shield or apron,
FIG. 2 is a plan view looking at the under surface of the ta ble,
FIG. 3 is a cross section taken on the lines 3--3 of FIG. 2,
FIG. 4 is a view partly in cross section taken on the lines 4- 4 of FIG. 2,
FIG. Sis a detail view taken on the lines 5--5 of FIG. 4,
FIG. 6 is a perspective view looking at the under surface of the table top and the inner surface of the apron or shield and showing a pair of legs swung outwardly, and the interlocking means in position for the head portion to enter into a slot on the inside surface of the tubular leg,
FIG. 7 is a detail view partly in cross section taken on the lines 7-7 of FIG. 6,
FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIG. 6 but showing the apron or shield swung outwardly to give clearance for folding a leg assembly,
FIG. 9 is a view partly in cross section taken on the lines 9- 9 of FIG. 8,
FIG. 10 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 8 but showing the legs of the table or stand in folded position, preliminary to folding the apron or shield,
FIG. 11 is a detail view partly in cross section taken on the lines lIll ofFIG. 10,
FIG. 12 is a view similar to FIG. 10 but showing the apron or shield folded over on top of the folded legs, and
FIG. 13 is an end view taken on the lines l3l3 of FIG. 12 and therefore largely in cross section.
In the embodiment of the invention illustrated in the drawings a table or stand 10 comprises, a top 12, apron or shield 14, and legs 16. The pairs of legs adjacent each end of the table are interconnected by a crosspiece or stretcher l7.
Depending from the under surface of the top adjacent its margins is a flange 18, formed by fastening angle means to the top. The apron or shield 14 is hinged to the outer face of the flange 18 along one lateral margin of the top by hinges 20. (FIG. 3) Preferably the apron or shield extends the full length of the top. The legs 16 are tubular and are pivoted on the inside of the flange 18 on pivot pins 22,. which are mounted on the portions of the flange 18 extending parallel to the side edges of the top and project inwardly from said portions adjacent their ends. The legs 16 which are adjacent the apron or shield 14 are disposed inwardly of the top from the apron or shield and rotate in a plane which is inside of, and parallel to, the plane of the apron or shield in unfolded operative position.
The inner faces of the two legs which are adjacent the apron or shield are slotted adjacent their upper ends respectively with the narrow slots s, and on the inside of the apron or shield brackets 24 are mounted which support means coactive with the slotted legs and slots respectively to interlock the said legs and apron or shield.
The brackets 24 each comprise a portion 26 extending at a right angle to the apron or shield 14 and defining a bearing 28 in which a shaft 30 is mounted for rotation around its longitudinal axis in a plane parallel to the plane of the apron or shield. The outer ends of the shafts 30 define heads 32 which are narrow and flat in one dimension and relatively wide in another dimension. Heads 32 are disposed to be aligned with the slots s in the opposed legs as the latter are swung into unfolded operative position. The heads 32 are proportioned relative to the slots s so that when the narrow dimension of a head is coplanar with the slot it can pass through the slot but when it is disposed at a relative rotary angle it cannot pass through the slot. By properly adjusting the rotary angle of a head on an unfolded, operatively positioned apron or shield it will enter the slots in the opposed face of the adjacent leg 16 as the latter is swung toward it, FIGS. 6 and 7. By then changing the angular position of the head within the leg the wide dimension of the head will be coplanar with the slot and the head cannot pass through the slot. Thus the leg will be locked to the apron or shield and the tightness of the interlock can be insured as will be described.
It will be noted that, as seen in FIGS. 4, 7, and II, the legs 16 are rounded off inwardly at their upper ends, as at 34, permitting them to be rotated inwardly from unfolded to folded position in a plane nest to, and parallel to, the plane of the top 12. A pair of legs may be unfolded and rotated outwardly beyond a position at right angles to the top, as shown in FIGS. 6, 7 and 8, to disengage the apron or shield by swinging the slot-defining leg away from the head 32 of the locking means carried by the apron or shield, or preparatory to swinging the slot defining leg inwardly to a position substantially at right angles to the top in which the properly positioned head 32 is received within the leg through the slot s. As shown in FIG. 7 the outward swinging movement of each pair of legs is limited by the square shape of the outer edge portion of the upper ends of the legs and by abutment of the legs against the upper edge of the adjacent portion of flange 1.8.
As shown in FIGS. 8, 9 and 10 the apron or shield 14 can be swung outwardly on its hinge means beyond its operative position substantially normal to the top 1.2 in order to allow the pairs of legs to have clearance to pass the brackets 24 and the locking means carried thereby when moving the legs to folded position, FIGS. 10, ll, 12 and I3, and can be swung inwardly into folded position on top of the folded legs as shown in FIG. 13.
To insure tightness of the interlock provided by inserting an opposed head 32 into a leg through a slot s in an opposing leg and rotating the head to a rotary angle at which it cannot be withdrawn from the slot, and to facilitate rotating the head, a handle or finger piece 36 is mounted on the shaft 30, extending at a right angle to the shaft, on the opposite side of the bracket flange 26 from the head 32; a washer 38 and a resilient gasket 40 are provided on the shaft, between the bracket flange 26 and the handle or finger piece 36; and the end of the shaft remote from the head is threaded to receive a nut 42 by adjustment of which the shaft may be moved axially within its bearing to control the interlocking pressure exerted by the head on the inside surface of the slotted wall of a slotted leg.
By the means described herein as firm and positive interlock may be provided at all times.
IOIOIS 02ll What I claim is:
l. A table or stand comprising, a top, legs hinged to the respective ends of the top for swinging movement longitudinally of the top from a folded position in a plane parallel to the top through an operative position normal to the top to a position angularly related to the plane of the top by more than 90, an apron hinged to the top along one lateral margin of the top, and outwardly from the two legs which are adjacent to it, for swinging movement transversely of the top, from a folded position in a plane parallel to the top, and extending over and across the folded legs to a position normal to the top, the inner faces of the legs which when unfolded are adjacent to and disposed inwardly of the unfolded apron each defining a slot communicating with space within the leg, and a plurality of means mounted on the inner surface of the apron and each having a locking portion extending parallel to the plane of the apron and disposed to register with and enter the slot in one of said legs when the apron is positioned substantially normal to the top and the leg is moved toward it from an unfolded position of more than 90 relative to the top.
2. The table or stand claimed in claim I in which each of said means carried on the apron comprises a bracket mounted on the apron and a rotatable member carried by the bracket and projecting into the swing path of one of the legs and having a head which in one rotary position is adapted to enter into an approaching opposed leg through the slot therein, and
means for rotating the said head when it has been inserted into the slot to place it in a position from which it cannot be withdrawn from the slot thereby interlocking the leg and apron.
3. The table or stand claimed in claim 1 in which the apron is mounted for swinging movement away from folded position through more than so it can be swung outwardly to provide clearance for the legs and allow the legs to be moved, past the brackets and locking means projecting from the inner surface of the apron, to folded position.
4. The table or stand claimed in claim 1 in which each of said means mounted on the inner face of the apron comprises a bracket supported on the inner face of the apron and having an outwardly projecting flange defining a bearing, a shaft mounted for rotation in said bearing, and having a head which is opposed to the slot in the adjacent leg when the leg is moved inwardly from an unfolded position of more than 90 and the apron is substantially normal to the top, the said head being narrow in one direction and wide in another direction relative to the slot whereby it can pass through the slot when it is disposed in coplanar relation to the slot, and can be locked within the space within the leg by changing its rotary angle relative to the slot, and means for rotating the said shaft to change the rotary angle of the head.