US 3741130 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1 [111 3,741,130 Workman et a1. 51 June 26, 1973 CONNECTOR FOR TABLES 2,694,609 11/1954 Tmfford 108/64 ,3 2, I751 David Workman. Orange- 3.516%; 13/333 2255353; $34553;
Assignee: Samsonite Corporaion, Denver, C l
O 0 683,388 11/1939 Germany 108/114  Filed: Sept. 8, 1970 21 APPL No: 70 3 2 Primary Examiner-Francis K. Zugel Attorney-Van Valkenburgh and Lowe 52 us. Cl. 108/64, 24/73 PF  ABSTRACT A connector for use with segment tables and formed of CC '73 1;} tough, resilient plastic, such as polypropylene, includes a tab pivoted, as by a rivet, to the lower flange of a  References Cited channel-shaped rail of the table, so that the connector may be stored upon the rail flange. By a transverse plas- UNITED STATES PATENTS tic hinge adjacent the pivot tab, the remainder of the 572,172 12/1896 Krueger 108/66 connector may be swung underneath the adjacent rails 1'198726 9/1916 P .of two abutting tables with a hook at the opposite end g i releasably engaged the flange of the opposite rail. A 2489933 '111949 r sgg hollow spacing block extends between the rails, while 2:639:043 5 1953 Dunham 108/64 i f is used Pkiceme"t and 6 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures 7 j l T f 22 R PATENIEIIJUIZS I975 SHEET 1 OF 2 INVENTOR David E .Workman BY V MFA-'4 ATTORNEYS CONNECTOR FOR TABLES This invention relates to connectors for holding a pair or more of tables together and is particularly useful for holding a group of modular, segment tables together, as an assembled table.
Modular segment tables are provided as small tables whose tops have a simple geometric form, such as a triangle. A group of segment tables may be abutted together and thus assembled into a larger table of any selected size, depending, of course, upon the number of segment tables available. Preferably, such modular segment tables are formed to permit one table to be nested upon another, so that the tables will require a minimum of storage space when not in use. Segment tables may be used for many purposes. For example, they may be used in a home. A single table may be used as an end table, but a group of such tables, as four, may be used to form a card table, while when a larger table is needed, such as a dining table, a larger number of segment tables may be joined together as an assembled unit.
The present invention is thus an improved connector for holding the abutting edges of two or more tables together, particularly segment tables. This connector comprises, in essence, a simple, moderately flexible hook-like member which is permanently secured to the underside of one table, and preferably to a table rail which is underneath the table top and lies adjacent to the edge of the table. The connector may be extended from this permanent connection to engage the rail of an adjacent table to hold the two tables together. As a further feature, the connector is adapted to be swung to an out of the way position, when'it is not in use.
As such, an object of the invention is to provide a novel and improved table connector which is a simple, low cost unit which may be easily connected and disconnected.
Another object of the invention is to provide such a table connector which may beeasily positioned to effect a connection with an abutting table, and which may be retracted to a completely out-of-the-way position when not in use.
Another object of the invention is to provide such a connector which attaches side rails of two abutting tables together.
With the foregoing and other objects in view, all of which will fully hereinafter appear, our invention comprises certain constructions, combinations, arrangements, parts and elements as hereinafter described and illustrated in the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of four triangular segment tables interconnected to form a square table;
FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the tables shown in FIG. I, illustrative of the manner in which a series of connectors of this invention hold the segment tables together, and the manner in which connectors not used remain in a retracted, out-of-the-way, storage position;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary section taken along line 33 of FIG. 2, on an enlarged scale, and showing-particu larly one of the connectors attaching two abutting tables together, through the depending rails;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary section taken along line 44 of FIG. 2, on-an enlarged scale, and showing particularly one of the connectors, not used, in a storage position on the inside lower flange of a table rail;
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary isometric view, with the top and rail of the table broken away to shown a connector mounted upon the table rail in a position intermediate the storage and connective positions, with the storage position of the connector being shown in broken lines;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary section taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is an isometric view similar to FIG. 5 but showing the connector moved to a connective position for engagement with the rail of an abutting table; and
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary section taken along line 88 of FIG. 7 and showing further a portion of the rail of an abutting table connected to the table on which the connector is mounted.
Referring more particularly to the drawings, in FIGS. 1 and 2 is shown one arrangement of segment tables T abutted together to form an assembled table; these segment tables are held together by connectors C, as hereinafter described. Various geometric forms of segment tables may be used for this purpose; in the type illustrated, the top 20 of each segment table T is formed as an isoceles right triangle. Thus, when four such segment tables T are joined together, as shown, the assembled table will be square. However, these segment tables and additional segment tables may be joined to gether to provide assembled tablesof varying size and forms, such as a larger rectangular table provided by adding a table T to each side of the assembled table shown, with the hypotenuse edges of the additional tables abutting the respective outer edges of the assembled table shown. It is also to be noted that the top 20 of the segment tables may assume'other simple geometric forms, such as an equilateral triangle, and may be interconnected into larger assembled tables.
In the construction of a segment table, the top 20 will ordinarily be a sheet of rigid material, with an appropri-' ate finish or a covering layer of cloth, vinyl or other plastic, or the like, while the edges of the top are reinforced by depending rails R affixed to the underside of the top at, or a short distance inwardly from, the respective top edges. To complete this basic arrancement, a leg 21 depends from each corner of the triangular segment table, with each leg 21 being attached to the end of a rail R and being as close as possible to the corner, so that a series of such tables may be stacked one atop the other for storage purposes, with a slight overhang of each table, with respect to the one below, along the shorter edges, due to the legs.
When several segment tables T are abutted together to form an assembled table, the adjacent edges of two table tops will abut against each other and the rails R underneath the corresponding edges will usually be spaced closely together in parallelism. In FIG. 2 is shown the underside of the arrangement of four segment tables shown in FIG. 1, it being noted that there are four legs 21 at the center of the assembled table and a pair of legs at each corner thereof. The right angle apex of each triangular segment is at the-center of the table, while the hypotenuse edge 22 of each triangle forms an outside edge. of the assembled table, and the diagonal edge 23 or 24 abuts the diagonal edge of an-.
other segment table. Each pair of abutting diagonal edges 23, 24 of the segment tables is held together by a pair of connectors C which are conveniently spaced, as at the quarter points of the diagonal edges. With this arrangement, one connector C may be permanently affixed to each abutting table edge, for example, near the right angle on edge 23 and near the hypotenuse edge on the edge 24. The connector C on the hypotenuse edge may be adjacent the edge 23. In the larger table, the hypotenuse edges form the outside edge of the assembled table andthus the connectors C on the hypotenuse edges are illustrated as being in a storage position.
As will be evident, with the mode of interconnecting the segment tables with the connectors C located as described, any arrangement of segment tables into an assembled table will provide two connectors for every pair of abutting edges.
One desirable type of rail R is formed as a channel having an inwardly extending lower flange 25, an upright web 26 and a top flange 27 affixed to the underside of the table. The web 26 is located a short distance, such as approximately one-fourth inch, from the table edge. The lower flange 25 of the channel provides a convenient point of attachment of a connector C and also a ledge on which a connector not in use may be stored, as in FIG. 4.
Each connector C, as in FIGS. 3-8, is an elongated member formed of a tough, resilient material, such as polypropylene or other material having similar qualities. The connector is conveniently formed by molding, or in any other suitable manner, to provide at one end a tab 30 by which the connector is pivotal mounted upon the lower flange 25 of the rail, as by a rivet 31. The rivet extends through one corner of the tab, through a small reinforcing boss 32 thereunder, as in FIG. 8. The rivet is offset from one side of the tab a distance equal to its inset from the end of the tab, to permit the connector to rotate about the rivet and to lie upon the lower rail flange 25 when the connector is stored, as illustrated in FIG. 4 and in dotted lines in FIG. 5. To facilitate rotation, the corners of tab 30 may be rounded, as shown. 7
Tab 30 is connected to the remainder of the connector by a hinge 33, preferably integral and thereby formed of the same material, such as polypropylene, so
that the remainder of the connector may lie in essentially the same plane as tab 30, when in the storage or dotted position of FIG. and when pivoted to the full position of FIG. 5. Hinge 33 permits the remainder of the connector to be swung through an arc of 180, to the position of FIGS. 3, 7 and 8, beneath the rail flange 25 to which tab 30 is connected and also beneath flange 25 of the adjacent rail of the abutting table. In this position, a hook 34 latches the inner edge of flange 25 of the adjacent rail, while an opposite tab 35 may be utilized in pulling hook 34 off the opposite rail flange edge or pushing the hook onto it. The material of which the connector is made is thus sufficiently resilient to permit hook 34 to be snapped onto and off the inner edge of the opposite rail flange.
Between hinge 33 and hook 34 are a flat strip 36, a spacing block 37 and a flat strip 38, having a combined length sufficient to extend beneath the rail flanges of tion between two rails. A socket 41, as in FIG. 6, is
formed in the face of strip 36 which abuts against the lower edge of the flange 25 to provide clearance for the head of the rivet 31, as in FIG. 8.
The advantages of connector Care manifest. It is fundamentally a small, compact unit, made of a tough, low cost material, as by injection molding. When carried upon the flange of the table rail, it will normally be in an out of the way, retracted position, lying on the upper surface of the lower flange 25 of the rail R. Whenever the connector is to connect two segment tables together, it is merely rotated from its storage position shown in FIG. 4 to the full extended position shown in FIG. 5. Thence, the connector is swung abut the hinge 33 to the underside of the flanges 25, 25' of the two table rails and hook 34 pushed into position, as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 8. If desired, pressure on the underside of strip 36 adjacent hook 34 may be utilized to snap the hook into connecting position. When release is desired, tab 35 is merely pulled downwardly to snap hook 34 off the edge of flange 25' of FIGS. 3 and 8, so
that the connector may be swung to the full position of FIGS and then pivoted to the storage position of FIG.
4, shown in dotted lines in FIG. 5.
What is claimed is:
1. A connector for releasably attaching a pair of ta bles having depending rails adjacent an edge thereof and a rail of afirst table having an inwardly extending flange adjacent the lower edge thereof, said connector connecting the rail of said first table with the rail of an abutting second table and including:
pivot means securing a tab at one end of said connector to the top of the rail flange of said first table; transverse hinge means connecting said tab with the remainder of said connector, whereby said remainder of said connector may be swung under said rails while said tab remains on said top of said rail flange or the remainder of said connector and said tab may be swung to a storage position on top of said rail flange; and
latch means at least adjacent the opposite end of said connector from said tab for engaging a portion of said rail of said second table, when said remainder of said connector is swung under said rails, to attach' said tables together.
2. A connector for releasably attaching a pair of tables having depending, channel-shaped rails adjacent an edge thereof, with the flanges facing inwardly from the edge adjacent said rail, said connector connecting the rail of a first table with the rail of an abutting second table, being formed of resilient material and including:
a tab at one end of said connector pivotally attached by a rivet to the top of the lower flange of said rail of said first table;
an integral hinge connecting said tab with the remainder of said connector, whereby said connector may rest in storage position on said lower flange and said connector may be turned and the remainder of said connector pivoted by said hinge to a position underneath the lower flange of both rails of 7 said abutting tables;
a first strip extending from said hinge toward the opposite end of said connector and lying beneath said one flange in connective position, said strip being provided with a recess to receive the head of said rivet on the underside of said flange when said connector is in connective position;
' a second strip spaced beyond said first strip and adapted to abut the underside of said lower flange of said rail of said second table;
an upstanding block connecting said first and second strips, said block being positioned between said rails when said connector is in connective position, said block being hollow on the underside and having upper rounded corners to facilitate insertion between said rails;
a hook which is generally V-shaped in lateral section and extending upwardly from the opposite end of said second strip and engaging the inner edge of the lower flange of said rail of said second table when said connector is in connective position; and
a second tab extending longitudinally in alignment with said second strip and away from said hook.
3. A connector as defined in claim 1, wherein:
said hinge means is formed integrally with said tab.
4. A connector as defined in claim 1 wherein:
said rail of said second table is provided with a flange at least adjacent the lower edge thereof and extending in a direction away from said first table; said connector is resilient; and said latch means comprises a hook engageable with the inner edge of said flange of said rail of said second table.
. 5. A connector as defined in claim 4, including:
said second table.
UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE CERTIFICATE OF CORRECTION Patent No. 3 ,741,130 Dated June 26 1973 ln e t r( David E. Workman It is certified that error appears in the above-identified patent and that said 'Letters Patent are hereby corrected as shown below:
In the abstract line 9, "engaged" should read -engaging- Column 4 between lines 20 and 21, insert the following paragraph:
Although a preferred embodiment of this invention has been illustrated and described, it will be understood that other embodiments may exist and that various changes may be made therein, all without departing from the spirit and scope of this invention. r
Signed and sealed this 20th day of November 1973.
EDWARD M.FLETCHER,JR. RENE D. TEGTD'IEYER Attesting Officer Acting Commissioner of Patents FORM PO-1OS0 (10-69) uscoMM-oc 60376-P69 U.S GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: (959 0-366-334 A I I: