US 3765719 A
A collapsible combination table and bench in which the table portion is supported at three points, one of the points being generally near the center of the bench portion. The bench portion is hollow so as to contain the three table supports and the four bench legs so that the entire assembly may be folded down into a compact package. The table portion is sized and shaped to fit over the bench portion for compact portability and to permit the assembly to be used solely as a bench as well.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
'9 5111110 States =atent 1191 1111 3,765,719 Silver Oct. 16, 1973  COLLAPSIBLE COMBINATION TABLE AND 1,936,969 11/1933 Osterberg 297/139 BENCH 2,457,411 12/1948 Steinberger 297/139  Inventor: Robert H. Silver, Schroeder, Minn. FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 73 Assignee: Wanous, Thomas K. Minneapolis 337,749 6/1921 Germany 297/170 Minn. a part interest Primary Examiner-James T. McCall  Ffled' 1971 Att0rneyMarvin Jacobson et a1.  Appl. No.: 206,374
 ABSTRACT U.S- A collapsible combination table and bench in  lift. C1 the table portion is Supported at three p one of Fleld Of Search? the points being generally near the center of the bench 297/170 108/38 101 portion. The bench portion is hollow so as to contain the three table supports and the four bench legs so  References cued that the entire assembly may be folded down into a UNITED STATES PATENTS compact package. The table portion is sized and 692,506 2/1902 Ecker 108/153 shaped to fit over the bench portion for compact por- 47,897 9/1915 Ruggles 297/170 tability and to permit the assembly to be used solely as 1,200,625 10/1916 Landauer... 108/156 a b n h as well, 3,641,947 2/1972 Finney 108/38 1,293,685 2/1919 Brook 108/34 8 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures Patented Oct. 16, 1973 LS Shee ts-Sheet I INVENTOR. ROBERT H. S/LVER ATTORNEYS Patented Get. 16, 1973 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. ROBERT H. SILVER ATTORNEYSJI'T" Patented Oct. 16, 1973 3,765,719
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INVENTOR. ROBERT H. SILVER ATTORNEYS COLLAPSIBLE COMBINATION TABLE AND BENCH BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Prior art collapsible tables and benches have been characterized by being rather weak, shakey and unstable. This comes about mainly due to the requirement of a large number of small delicate moving parts in order to permit the entire assembly to be folded down into a compact unit. Other disadvantages include the need for an excessive number of individual parts in the assembly and an inability of the assembled bench and table combinations to adapt to-uneven ground surfaces. My invention avoids the above mentioned difficulties as described below.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Briefly, my invention contemplates a combination table and bench assembly wherein the table is provided with three point suspension so as to conform to uneven ground surfaces. One of these points is located to rest near the center of the bench portion so as to permit unobstructed entry to the bench portion while still minimizing the number of parts necessary to support the table. An unusually high degree of strength and simplicity is achieved by making all the parts fit together through the simple insertion of one part into a hole in another part. Yet each of the individual parts fits compactly inside the hollow bench portion so that the entire assembly may be carried in a suitcase-shaped package and stored in a minimum of space. It may be seen, therefore, that it is an object of my invention to provide an improved combination table and bench assembly which is collapsible into a highly compact and easily transportable package. Further objects and advantages will become apparent upon consideration of the following description and drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 shows an exploded view of the various components of my invention and indicates generally how the collapsible table and bench assembly fits together.
FIG. 2 shows the combination table and bench assembly in its fully assembled condition.
FIG. 3 is a more detailed view of the hollow bench portion of my invention.
FIG. 4 is a detailed view of the table portion of my invention in an inverted position to better show the structure thereof. 7
FIG. 5 shows how my invention may be assembled to form only the bench portion.
FIG. 6 shows the final compact package formed when my invention is totally disassembled and packed together inside the hollow bench portion.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to FIG. 1, it may be seen how the entire combination bench and table assembly fits together. The bench portion 10 is hollow so as to contain the four supporting legs 12, a short table support member 18, and two long table support members 22. Assembly of the combination bench and table is a quick and easy process beginning with the insertion of the legs 12 into holes 37 at the four corners of the hollow bench portion 10. This operation may be better understood with reference to FIG. 3.
In FIG. 3, it may be seen that each leg 12 is provided with a shelf or ridge 11 which rests against the bottom of bench portion 10. When legs 12 are fully inserted into the holes 37 at the four corners of bench portion 10, small pivoting friction locking members 17 and 19 are rotated down into slots 9 in the sides of legs 12. These pivoting friction locking members 17 and 19 are rotated down into slots 9 in the sides of legs 12 so as to resist any tendency of the legs 12 to drop back out of the holes when the bench is lifted. Bench portion 10 includes three locating members, 21, 23 and 25 which serve to accept a short table support member 18 therebetween at a location near the center and side of the bench. As can be seen in FIG. 3, table support member 18 also has a small shelf or ridge 43 which rests upon a side perimeter member of bench portion 10.
Returning again to FIG. 1, it may be seen that an insert member 14 is positioned in hollow bench portion 10. Insert member 14 has an outside shape congruent to the inside shape of hollow bench portion 10 when the legs 12 and member 18 are inserted therein. Thus, insert 14 locks the four legs 12 and short table support member 18 into position very solidly, giving the entire assembly great strength. Small spacer blocks 15 and 16 on the bottom of insert member 14 prevent insert member 14 from dropping too far into hollow bench 10. Small holes 13 in insert member 14 provide means with which to grip insert member 14 for removal upon disassembly. Completion of the assembly is achieved by dropping table portion 30 onto support member 18 and onto two long support members 22. The detailed structure of support members 22 and table portion 30 may be more clearly seen with respect to FIG. 4 which shows the table portion 30 and the legs 22 in an in verted position. The assembled table and bench combination is shown in FIG. 2. It should be noted that in the preferred embodiment, the table portion 30 is additionally latched to legs 22 by means of small metal latch mechanisms 31 and 32, of a type well known to those in the art, which connect together on the outside of the parts to provide additional strength. Similar latching mechanisms 35 and 36 are provided for short support member 18.
If partially disassembled, the bench and table combination of FIG. 2 may be used only as a bench. This is accomplished by removing insert member 14 and storing the two long table supports 22 and the short table support 18 inside hollow bench portion 10. Insert 14 is then repositioned in hollow bench l0, and the table top 30 is fitted over insert member 14. This arrangement is shown in FIG. 5. It should be noticed that table portion 30 is sized and shaped to fit comfortably around bench portion 10.
Complete disassembly is achieved by removing table top 30, and again removing insert member 14. Friction locks 17 and 19 are raised to allow legs 12 to be extracted from the bottom of bench 10. The legs 12 are also stored inside bench l0 and insert 14 is replaced. Table top 30 is again hooked onto and over insert portion 14 so as to provide a compact carrying package as shown in FIG. 6. A carrying handle 43 on the side of bench l0 permits easy transport of this compact package.
I. A collapsible combination table and bench comprising a hollow rectangular oblong bench portion adapted to contain four legs, one short table support member and two long table support members, said bench having four holes near the four corners on one side shaped to accept the four legs and a single hole on the other side located generally near one of the long sides of the rectangular oblong bench and generally at the center of the long side of the bench shaped to accept the lower end of the short table support member and an oblong rectangular table portion having two holes shaped to accept the two long table support members and a third hole generally near one long side and near the center of that long side of the table portion shaped to accept the upper end of the short table support.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 including friction locking means inside said hollow bench adapted to hold said four legs in place when they are inserted into the four holes in said bench.
3. The apparatus of claim 2 in which said friction locking means comprise four pins adapted to pivot at one end into a resting position against slots in said four legs.
4. The apparatus of claim 1 including an insert memher generally congruent to the inside shape of the hollow bench with the four legs inserted therein, said insert operable to hold the legs tightly in place and form a top surface for the bench.
5. The apparatus of claim 1 including additional external latching means between said table portion and said table support means.
6. The apparatus of claim 1 in which said table portion has a raised ridge with a smooth inside surface about its perimeter sized and shaped to fit snugly about said bench so as to permit the bench and table portions to be fitted together and carried as a unit.
7. The apparatus of claim 6 including an insert member generally congruent to the inside shape of the hollow bench with the four legs and the short table support inserted therein, said insert operable to hold the legs and table support tightly in place and form a top surface for the bench.
8. The apparatus of claim 7 including friction locking pins adapted to pivot at one end into a resting position against slots in said legs.