US 3730465 A
A one-piece bracket, preferably made as a stamping from a piece of sheet metal, is formed so as to have wing members providing two planes of support. These wing members provide retaining guides in which the end of a leg member may be slid in and out of engagement with the retaining guide portions of the bracket. These guide portions establish retaining means so that the leg may be positively mounted selectively in one of two positions usually at ninety degrees to each other. The bracket is preferably used with a square or rectangular metal tube leg member but may be configured to accommodate other tube configurations or solid members where two planes of contact are formed to complement rib configurations.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
nited States Patent [191 Gonzalez 1 1 FOLDING LEG AND BRACKET  Inventor: Allen C. Gonzalez, 16 Strong Place,
Brooklyn, NY. 11231 22 Filed: Nov. 12,1971
21 Appl.No.: 198,243
F ORElGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 9/1914 France ..108/129 1 May 1,1973
Primary ExaminerMarion Parsons, Jr. Attorney-Ralph R. Roberts 1 ABSTRACT A one-piece'bracket, preferably made as a stamping from a piece of sheet metal, is formed so as to have wing members providing two planes of support. These wing members provide retaining guides in which the end of a leg member may be slid in and out of engagement with the retaining guide portions of the bracket. These guide portions establish retaining means so that the leg may be positively mounted selectively in one of two positions usually at ninety degrees to each other. The bracket is preferably used with a square or rectangular metal tube leg member but may be configured to accommodate other tube configurations or solid members where two planes of contact are formed to complement rib configurations.
7 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PATENTEDPMY' H913 9,130,465
IN VENTOR. ALLEN C. GONZALEZ my D "C K2444 AGE/v7 FOLDING LEG AND BRACKET FIELD OF THE INVENTION With reference to the classification of art as established in the United States Patent Office the present invention pertains to the general class of Rod Joints or Couplings and more particularly to the subclass therein of adjustable bracket straight-edged type" and even more particularly to the subclass thereunder ofhinged.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Folding legs are often used for tables and chairs and particularly for folding tables commonly called bridge tables. Often these tables and chairs have the legs carried by metal brackets which pivotally retain the legs to the side or underside of the table tops. These legs are adapted to be swung from a folded position juxtaposed to the underside of the table top to an open position at an angle substantially at right angles to the table top whereat the leg supports the table or chair when it is to be used. As ready and easy storage of tables and chairs is a problem there have been many attempts to make folding legs which are pivoted at one end and which in their folded condition against the table top or seat are more or less locked in condition and position. When moved to an erected condition the legs are locked to keep them from accidentally collapsing. In general, the folding legs thus provided often use a brace which may be either pivoted or which may collapse or be hinged so as to retain the leg in its erected condition. Often this brace member acts as a retaining lever for maintaining the leg in the folded condition. As these folding leg mechanisms oftentimes are rather difficult to manipulate there have been many attempts to make a simple bracket wherein the legs may be selectively retained in one of two conditions, viz., either in a folded condition against the table top or seat or in an erected or open condition. In US Pat. No. 2,735,702 to LARSON as issued on Feb. 21, 1956 a sheet metal leg bracket is disclosed in which the leg is formed with a slot permitting movement of the leg to one of two conditions. The leg is retained in one of these two positions by means of a wing nut and bolt which, of course, requires loosening and tightening of the leg to the bracket to retain the leg in the desired adjusted position. This adjusting leaves quite a bit to be desired in that there is no positive lock in either the open or the stored condition. In US. Pat. No. 2,873,987 also to LARSON as issued on Feb. 17, 1959 a modification of the bracket shown in his prior patent utilizes scallops in the brackets to retain the leg in one of two positions, however, in this modification there is still a requirement for wing bolts to retain the leg in the desired mounted condition in the bracket. In addition to tightening or loosening the wing bolts there is required an adjustment to move the leg to the desired condition.
The present invention provides and contemplates a one-piece bracket and slip joint attachment of the leg to the bracket. There are no wing nuts to tighten or loosen so as to move the leg from one position to another. The leg is retained in either an erected or a closed position by three engaging shoulders provided by three wing members disposed in a spaced relationship so as to eliminate the need for a brace member.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention may be summarized at least in part by reference to its objects.
It is an object of this invention to provide a simple leg bracket wherein a leg may be folded and retained in one of two conditions without the requirement of manipulating a leg brace or without loosening and tightening a wing nut or the like.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a bracket having three projecting wing members which are disposed so as to provide two planes of engagement whereby the leg may be positively gripped and retained at two positions, one of which is at right angles to the plane to be supported and the other is at a plane substantially parallel to the surface to be supported.
The bracket of this invention is preferably made of sheet metal so as to accommodate a metal or metal clad leg having two parallel engaging surfaces substantially parallel to the axis of the leg. The bracket is formed with three wing members providing engaging surfaces which are a snug fit for the leg and provides a threepoint clamp means for the leg in either a parallel or a normal condition in respect to the support attached to the table top or seat which the leg is to support.
In the present invention the leg is slidably retained and mounted on the bracket by means ofa bolt which is pivotally mounted in a hole in the bracket. The shank of this bolt extends through a slot in the leg with a flat side of the leg retained against a flat plane of the bracket by means of a Belleville or a cup-shaped spring washer. A nut is tightened on the bolt to provide the desired amount of tension on the washer. A small amount of lubricant is applied to the sliding surfaces to permit ease of manipulation of the leg as it is slid along the slot to cause the leg to enter three engaging surfaces of the wing members to lock the leg in either a closed or erected condition. In either position the leg is retained in a three-point clamp from which the leg is withdrawn along the slot so that the leg may be pivoted to bring the leg to the other clamped position.
In addition to the above summary the following disclosure is detailed to insure adequacy and aid in understanding of the invention. This disclosure, however, is not intended to prejudice that purpose of a patent which is to cover each new inventive concept therein no matter how it may later be disguised by variations in form or additions of further improvements. For this reason there has been chosen a specific embodiment of the leg bracket and leg as adopted for use with a table, chair or the like and showing a preferred means for forming the bracket of one piece of sheet metal.
This specific embodiment has been chosen for the purposes of illustration and description as shown in the accompanying drawing wherein:
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 represents an isometric view showing a sheet metal bracket and a metal leg member retained therein with the leg disposed in a vertical condition substantially at right angles to the plane of the support portion of the bracket;
FIG. 2 represents the bracket of FIG. 1 but with the leg disposed in the bracket at a position substantially parallel to the support surface provided by bracket plate. A portion of the leg is indicated as broken away so as to show the relationship of the various wing members which provide the leg support and retaining means, and
FIG. 3 represents an exploded isometric view of the bracket and leg and associated assembly components with portions broken away so as to show the particular construction essential to the successful operation of the leg with the bracket.
In the following description and in the claims various details will be identified by specific names for convenience. These names, however, are intended to be generic in their application with corresponding reference characters referring to like members throughout the three figures of the drawing.
The drawing accompanying, and forming part of, this specification discloses certain details of construction for the purpose of explanation but it should be understood that structural details may be modified in various respects without departure from the concept and principles of the invention and that the invention may be incorporated in other structural forms than shown.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now in particular to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3 it is to be noted that the bracket member of this invention is preferably made as a stamping of sheet metal and includes a flat planer portion or plate in which there may be a plurality of holes 12 drilled or otherwise provided. These holes may be used for attachment by screws or the like to the top of a table or the seat of a chair, not shown. These holes are merely a matter of selection and the arrangement of the holes is also a matter of preference and determination to accommodate the mounting requirements of the leg to the unit to be supported. It is, of course, to be noted that planer portion 10 can be attached by means other than bolts or screws; for example, welding, gluing, riveting, etc. wherein holes 12 would not be required. Preferably as an integral part of this bracket and extending downwardly from the planer or plate portion 10 is a side plate portion 14 which is shown as being at substantially right angles to the plate portion 10. Extending from and attached to the planer portion of side plate 14 and at substantially right angles thereto is lower wing member which is preferably made as an integral portion and a bent extension of the side plate 14. When bent into position the face of member 20 is parallel to the support plate portion 10. The planer portion 20 is made as an offset to the body of the side plate 14 so as to provide a flat face end surface 22 which provides a stop or shoulder surface for the leg member in a manner to be hereinafter more'fully described. Also extending at right angles from the side plate 14 is a pair of like wing members. The first wing member is identified as 24 and is not only at right angles to the planer portion of plate 14 but preferably is also at right angles to the flat planer portion of the lower wing member 20. The lower end portion of the member 24 is identified as 26 and, as shown, is made parallel to the upper flat surface of the lower wing member 20. The inner face portion of the extending wing member 24 is also planer and is made to lie in the same plane as end surface 22 of the bracket 20. An extending wing member 30 is parallel to wing member 24 and provides the second wing member whose face is a determined distance to the left of and parallel to the inner face of the wing member 24. The bottom and surface or face 32 is made coplanar with the surface 26 of wing member 24.
A leg 40 which may be made of rectangular metal tubing has a slot 42 formed in one face portion as seen in FIG. 3. Through this slot passes the shank of a bolt 44 which also has a washer 46 rotatably mounted on the shank and under the head of the bolt. This shank then passes through a hole 48 formed in the planer surface of side plate 14. The shank of the bolt then passes through the hole in a spring washer 50 and by means of a nut 52 the bolt causes the leg to be assembled to the bracket so that the flat surface of the leg 40 is brought into a snug sliding fit with the inner surface of the side plate 14. When the bolt 44 and nut 52 are tightened to a determined degree there is provided a determined sliding friction and retention of the leg 40 against the downwardly extending bracket side plate 14.
USE AND OPERATION The leg 40, although shown as made of rectangular or square metal tubing, may instead be octangular or round. In this particular embodiment shown the inner flat surface of the leg 40 is brought into a sliding engagement with the downwardly extending plane portion of side plate 14 of the bracket. The bolt 44 is passed through inner washer 46, hole 48 and then its shank portion and the threaded end is caused to extend through the hole in spring washer 50. Nut 52 is then mounted on this threaded end and is tightened to provide a desired tension so that the leg is snugly secured to the bracket while still being able to be slid axially along the slot 42. It is contemplated that the plate portion 10 may be bolted or screwed to a top of a table or to a seat of a chair and after being attached in position by bolts or screws passing through holes 12 the leg 40 may then be stored in a flat condition as in FIG. 2. This storage position is achieved by grasping the leg 40 and then pulling sufficiently so that it is free to pivot around the bolt 44 until the flat surface portion of the upper fiat surface of the leg 40 is brought against the end surfaces 32 and 26 of the wing members 30 and 24 after which the leg is slid rightwardly until the bottom engaging surface of the leg is brought into engaging condition with the upper flat surface of the lower wing 20. The leg is moved rightwardly until it is held in a three-point grip by means of surfaces 32, 26 and the flat surface portion of the lower wing member 20. In this position the leg is retained against longitudinal movement by the spring thrust of washer 50 until it is determined that the table or chair is to be set up" from its stored" condition.
To cause the leg to be brought to an erected or set up" condition, the leg 40 is grasped and moved leftwardly as in FIG. 2 to cause the upper and lowerflat surfaces of the leg to be disengaged from the engaging end 26 and upper flat surface of lower wing member 20, whereupon the leg is pivoted around bolt 44 until a flat surface of the leg is brought into engagement with the shoulder 22 of the lower wing member 20, whereupon the leg is then pushed upwardly until the upper end of the leg is brought between the inner facing surfaces of wing members 24 and 30, whereupon the leg is pushed therebetween with the surface 22 of the wing member 20 also acting as a support for the leg so as to be retained in a three-point locked condition. The slot 42 limits the travel of the leg on the bolt so that, as shown, in either FIGS. 1 or 2, the leg is limited in its locking condition. However, it is contemplated that the slot will permit the end of the leg to pass at least an eighth of an inch past the ends 32 and 26 when erected and at least an eighth of an inch past the end 22 when the leg is in the stored condition.
It is readily apparent that in either the set up" condition or in the stored condition the leg is retained in a secured condition whereby the leg is pushed into a stored" three-point retaining means provided by the end surfaces 32, 26 and upper surface of 20 as in FIG. 2 or between the inner surfaces of wing members 30 and 24 and the end surface 22 of lower wing member 20.
Although the leg 40 is shown. as an extruded metal hollow square member this does not means that other configurations may not be provided. For example, if the leg was to be made oval or round in cross section it would only require that ends 22, 26 and 32 be curved to accommodate the curved surfaces of the leg. The wing members 20, 24 and 30 are accordingly spaced to slidably engage the sides of the leg. The leg may be a hollow tube of metal, a solid member or may be made of plastic. The bracket may also be a molded member of plastic or metal, if desired, so long as the required strength is provided. Where specially curved surfaces are desired to provide the seat for contoured cross sections of legs, it may even be desirable to mold the bracket. Formed or molded, the bracket provides the three-point lock support of this invention.
It is also to be noted that often a chair or other seating apparatus has the support surface of the set up" apparatus disposed at an angle to the floor. In other situations it may be desirable for design or aesthetic reasons to have the leg disposed at an angle slightly divergent from a right angle axis. When this is required or desired the angle of planer portion and the wing members 20, 24 and 30 as well as side plate 14 is changed to suit. Usually this angle change is less than 10 although for chairs in which the seat is tilted at 15 and the erected leg is to be angled yet another fifteen degrees or so, the resulting angle may be as much as 30 or so of the wings 24 and 30 from an axis normal to the planer portion 10.
It is also to be noted that the planer portion 10 may be eliminated and side plate 14 be provided with mounting means or wings where the side plate is to be attached to a side frame or a seat, table top or the like.
This invention provides a three-point locking bracket for selectively retaining a leg in either of two conditions whereby the bracket is secured to said support platform, the leg in a stored" condition is locked in a three-point guide and in a set up condition is locked in another three-point guide means.
Terms such as left, right, up," down, bottom, top, front, back," in, out and the like are applicable to the embodiment shown and described in conjunction with the drawing. These terms are merely for the purposes of description and do not necessarily apply to the position in which the bracket and pivotally slidably attached leg may be constructed or used.
While a particular embodiment of the bracket and leg has been shown and described it is to be understood the invention is not limited thereto since modifications may be made within the scope of the accompanying claims and protection is sought to the broadest extent the prior art allows.
What is claimed is:
l. A bracket and leg for use with a support surface such as a table, chair and the like wherein said leg may be easily manipulated so as to be moved from a condition whereat the leg is in a stored condition to an erected condition and vice versa, and with the leg in either of these conditions being in a three-point retained condition, said bracket and leg in combination including: (a) a leg whose pivotally connected end is a rectangular configuration; (b) a one-piece bracket having a single side plate portion in which is provided a leg supporting surface defining a plane of movement for said leg when pivotally attached to the bracket; (c) means providing for the attachment of said bracket to a support surface member; (d) first and second wing members integrally formed from and extending from the side plate portion and providing a pair of facing support surfaces defining a first determined passageway for the engagement and retention of first and second opposite sides of the rectangular end of said leg, said passageway disposed at an angle at which the leg is to be positioned in its erected condition, each of said wing members having one of its ends finished so as to provide one of two support surfaces defining a plane at which the leg is to be disposed when and while the leg is in its stored condition, said ends defining and establishing a support means for the first side of the leg end when the leg is in said stored condition; (e) a third wing member integrally formed from and extending from the side plate portion and at a position opposite the second wing member, said third member formed with a support surface defining a plane spaced from the finished ends of said first and second wing members and provides a facing support surface, the finished ends of the first and second wing members and the facing support surface of the third wing member defining a leg retaining passageway which is sizewise substantially identical to said leg retaining passageway provided between the first and second wing members, said third wing member having one of its ends finished so as to provide a third leg end supporting surface which engages and supports the second side of the leg end, said finished end of the third wing member having its engaging surfaces in the same plane as the inner support surface of the second wing member and disposed to engage the second side of the leg end; (f) a wall of a substantially constant thickness formed on the end of the leg so as to provide an inner sliding surface substantially parallel to a sliding outer surface formed on the leg; (g) a slot of determined width and length formed in and extending through said wall formed in the end of the leg; (h) a retaining aperture formed in the side plate portion of the bracket, said aperture positioned a like distance from the plane defining the support surface of the second wing member and a plane defining the support surface of the third wing member, and (i) a retaining means such as a bolt and nut, said retaining means extending through the slot and the aperture so as to pivotally retain the leg around the aperture and in comtending at a substantially right angle to the leg supporting surface of said side plate portion.
3. A bracket and leg combination as in claim 2 in which the facing support surfaces of the first and second wing members are parallel to each other and are at right angles to the leg supporting surface of the side plate portion.
4. A bracket and leg combination as in claim 3 in which the third wing member is formed so that its leg supporting surface is at right angles to the leg supporting surface of the side plate portion.
5. A bracket and leg combination as in claim 4 in which the bracket is a stamped and bent piece of sheet metal and the leg is a rectangular tubular metal extrusion.
6. A bracket and leg combination as in claim 5 in which the flat planer portion is disposed at right angles to both the planer surface of the side plate member and to the inner facing support surfaces of the first and second wing members.
7. A bracket and leg combination as in claim 1 in which said slot is so formed in the leg that the end of the leg when manipulated for three-point retaining engagement and pushed into its maximum retaining condition extends at least an eighth of an inch past an adjacent end surface ofa wing member.