US 3779176 A
A folding table comprising a carrying structure which is constituted of a plurality of C-shaped metallic frames and of a plurality of plates designed to form in combination the bearing plane of the table, said C-frames being pivotally connected to each other, one excepted, by means of hinge devices having vertical pivot axes and arranged at the sides of each vertical members of the C-frames, said vertical members being so shaped as to form in the use position of the table a single central composite post for the table, while the upper arms of the C-frames in said use position are radially positioned and spaced apart from each other of a same angle and forming the carrying means for said plates, which are designed to be each located between two adjacent C-frames, when in use position, while the lower arms of said C-frames form the radial legs of the table, said C-frames being provided with first and second stop means, wherein the first stop means define the mutual position of the C-frames, where the parts constituting the table occupy the minimum space, while the second stop means define the position of the C-frames in the use position of the table, each of the said plates being so shaped as to be inserted between two adjacent C-frames, when these latter are in their operative position, said plates being associated with means adapted to connect said plates to the upper arms of the C-frames and/or to each other in a disconnectable manner.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Piretti Dec. 18, 1973 - Inventor:
[ FOLDING TABLE Giancarlo Piretti, Bologna, Italy  Assignee: Anonima Castelli s.a.s. di Casare Castelli, Bologna, Italy  Filed: Sept. 17, 1971  App1.No.: 181,550
Primary Examiner-Francis K. Zugel Attorney-James D. Halsey,Jr.
 ABSTRACT A folding table comprising a carrying structure which is constituted of a plurality of C-shaped metallic frames and of a plurality of plates designed to form in combination the bearing plane of the table, said C- frames being pivotally connected to each other. one excepted, by means of hinge devices having vertical pivot axes and arranged at the sides of each vertical members of the C-frames, said vertical members being so shaped as to form in the use position of the table a single central composite post for the table, while the upper arms of the C-frames in said use position are radially positioned and spaced apart from each other of a same angle and forming the carrying means for said plates, which are designed to be each located between two adjacent C-frames, when in use position, while the lower arms of said C-frames form the radial legs of the 1 table, said C-frames being provided with first and second stop means, wherein the first stop means define the mutual position of the C-frames, where the parts constituting the table occupy the minimum space, while the second stop means define the position of the C-frames in the use position of the table, each of the said plates being so shaped as to be inserted between two adjacent C-frames, when these latter are in their operative position, said plates being associated with means adapted to connect said plates to the upper arms of the C-frames and/or to each other in a disconnectable manner.
3 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures PATENTEHUECW I975 3.779 176 SHEET 10E 3 FATENTEDUEC 18 ms 3.779.176 sum 2 or 3 PATENIEU man 18 ms SHEET 3 0F 3 FOLDING TABLE The present invention relates to a folding table, the carrying structure of which is constituted of a plurality of metallic C-shaped frames substantially equal to each other, the upper arms of which, as the small table is in its use position, are designed to form radial supporting members for as many shaped plates or boards which constitute in combination the bearing plane of the table, while the lower arms form the legs of said table which extend outwardly radially from the lower portion of a central post which is composed in combination by all the vertical members of the C-like frames, as they are positioned side by side and brought into contact to each other as the table is in use position.
Each of said vertical members of the C-like frames is pivotally connected to the adjacent C-frames by means of at least a hinge device having vertical axis, the axes of said hinge devices being parallel to the vertical centre axis of the table in its use position, but one hinge device is omitted between two of the plurality of C'like frames in order to allow that the first and the last of said frames are separated one from the other. Each of said hinge devices is associated with a first and a second stop means, said first stop means being provided for defining the inoperating positions of the table parts, which corresponds to the position, in which said table occupies the minimum space and the C-frames are placed side by side in contact to each other, while the upper plates have been each folded vertically along that of the C-frames which is pivotally connected to, or have been previously removed, said second stop means being designed to define the mutual relationship of the C-frames in the operative position of the table, in which the C-shaped frames are locked after having brought said upper plates forming the bearing plane of the table up to their horizontal operative position between pairs of adjacent upper arms of the C-frames.
Commonly four C-shaped frames are provided and in consequence thereof there are four upper plates, each of which has two radial adjacent sides set at right angle to one other. According to a first embodiment each of the four upper arms of the C-frames, which form in combination a cross, is provided with means for pivotally connecting to said arm one of said perpendicular sides of a plate, while along the other perpendicular side of the same plate means are provided adapted to lock the edge of said plate side to the facing edge of the adjacent plate along which said latter is pivotally connected to the associated upper arm of one of the C- frames. According to a second embodiment of this invention at each side of each upper arm of the C-frames grooves are arranged adapted to slidably receive the shaped edges of the two perpendicular sides of a plate, with said grooves and edges releasable locking means are associated provided to fix said edges of each plate to a pair of the upper arms of the C-frames in a disassemblable manner, said plates being removed in this case as the table has to be brought in its folded position.
The outline of the peripheral edge or edges of each plate will be shaped according to the desired shape which must have the table in its use position.
Therefore, for instance, each plate can have the form of a circular sector having a centre angle of 90 if a circular table is desired, while each plate can have the form of a square, of a rectangle or of a fourth part of an ellipse, if the table must be of a square, rectangular or elliptical form respectively.
The accompanying drawings show merely by way of example two embodiments of the invention; in said drawings:
FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic top view of the table according to the first embodiment where all the four C- frames and only two of the four plates are already in their operative position, while one of the plates is shown when it is locking and the other where it is still folded;
FIG. 2 is a side view of the table of the first embodiment in its use position;
FIG. 3 is a side view partly sectioned and partly broken away of one of the C-frames;
FIG. 4 is the top view partly broken away of the joint portion of the upper arm with the vertical member or post of a C-frame;
FIG. 5 is the top view of the table according to the first embodiment in its folded position;
FIG. 6 shows the detail, in enlarged scale, of the central portion of the table in its use position;
FIG. 7 is a detail of the section taken on the line A-A of FIG. 6;
FIGS. 8a to show respectively a side view, a view taken from below and the vertical section taken on the line BB of FIG. 4, of the upper end portion of the vertical member of one of the C-frames;
FIG. 9 is the cross section taken on the line CC of FIG. 2 of the central composite post of the table in its use disposition;
FIGS. 10 to 12 show a second embodiment of a fold able table having disassemblable upper plates forming the bearing plane of the table, wherein FIG. 10 is a top view of the table in its use position, FIG. 11 is the detail of upper portion of a C-frame shown in side view partly sectioned and partly broken away, and FIG. 12 is the cross section of one of the upper arms of the C-frames and of the plates connected thereto, partly broken away, taken on the line DD of FIG. 11 and looking towards the central composite post respectively.
In the embodiments shown in the drawings the carrying structure of the table comprises four metallic C- frames substantially similar to each other and generally marked 2, each comprising an upper arm indicated with 3 in the first embodiment, a lower arm 3a and a vertical connecting member or post 4. The bearing plane of the table is constituted in combination by four plate elements having the form of circular sectors having a centre angle of and generally marked 5 in said first embodiment.
The lower arms 3a of the C-frames form the legs of the table, each leg resting on an adjustable foot 6.
At the part of the vertical member 4 (FIGS. 8b and 9) opposite to that from which at its ends extend outwardly the arms 3 and 3a, said member 4 is provided with two side vertical surfaces 7 set at right angle one to the other and converging into a vertical corner 7a, which in the use position of the table becomes coincident with the vertical centre axis XX of the table, in this disposition the vertical members 4 of the four C- frames forming in combination a single composite central post of a solid cross section (FIG. 9). At least near the upper end of the vertical members 4 and equally spaced apart from the corner 7a means are provided designed to form the articulation hinge devices between each pair of adjacent C-frames 2. For such a purpose said portion of each C-frame is preferably constituted of an inserted piece 13 made of a suitable material which can be shaped by means of a die-casting process. Therefore in said piece 13 of each C-frame 2 at one of-its sides a bracket 8 is arranged, on which a cylindrical recess 9 is obtained (FIG. 8a), while from the opposite side extends outwardly a cylindrical flange 10 having substantially the same height and shape as those of the recess 9, while under said flange 10 a cylindrical recess 11 is provided which has the same shape and height as those of the bracket 8. Each bracket 8 together with the flange R of the adjacent C-frame form in combination with a pivot pin 12 passing through said members an articulation hinge between two C-frames, the axes of all said hinges being parallel to the axis X-X of the table. The hinge or at least the pivot pin 12 between the first and last of the C-frames 2 is omitted. Also the inserted pieces 13 are provided with two surfaces 14 set at right angle one to the other, said surfaces 14 being positioned so as to be aligned with the surfaces 7 and their common corner 14a is substantially aligned with the corner 7a. Said surfaces 7 and 14 form an angle of 45 with respect to the arms 3 and 3a of the C-frames 2. Further said surfaces 7 and 14 constitute the first limit stop means for the C-frames 2 as they are brought in the use position of the table, contacting each other two by two (FIG. 6) as the vertical members 4 forming the central composite post of the table are positioned so that their vertical corners 7a,14a become coincident with the vertical central axis XX of the table. The outer side surfaces of the flanges and the inner side surfaces of the recesses 9 designed to receive said flanges 10 as well as the outer and inner respectively surfaces of the brackets 8 and of the recesses 11 co-operating therewith have the same circular cross section, in correspondence of their portions designed to rotate one with respect to the other during the rotary movement which one frame 2 must perform with respect to the adjacent one. Further the pieces 13 are provided with vertical flat surfaces 16 designed to come into abutting relationship and forming the second stop means, as the C-frames are folded one against the other, after having previously folded that plate 5 against one of its sides, which is pivotally connected to that C-frame 2.
For pivotally connecting each plate 5 to a C-frame 2, provision is made that each upper arm 3 of the C- frames 2, at least in its portion designed to receive the connection means, is constituted of a tubular body. Round to this tubular portion of each arm 3 is mounted a tubular edge 5a of the plate 5 which is arranged along one of the two perpendicular sides of said plate 5, said tubular portion of each arm 3 and said edge 5a being so proportionated that not only the plate 5 can rotate round the axis of the arm 3, but also it can perform a small axial deplacement towards the outside along said arm 3. At 17 is marked a spring which at one of its ends is anchored to the outer end of the tubular edge 5a and at the other end is connected to the arm 3, said spring tending to maintain the plate 5 pressed towards the axis X-X of the table in the operative position of the plate 5. The plates 5 are made of any suitable material, preferably of plastics of transparent type, which must also be lightly deformable.
The other edge 5d of the side of the plate 5 which is perpendicular to the side where the tubular edge 5a is provided, ends with a short longitudinal rib 5b extending downwards, while at a predetermined distance from this latter projects downwards a curved flange 5c, which together with the rib 5b defines a circular recess of an angular amplitude lightly exceeding 180 designed to allow the shaped edge 5d,5c to partially hook round the tubular edge 5a of the adjacent plate 5 after having forced the rib 5b and the flange 50 to lightly open wide apart one from the other.
Thus starting from the folded position of the table, as shown in FIG. 5, in order to bring its parts in their operative position, the C-frames are forced to rotate one with respect to the other through an angle of up to bring them in the cross relationship. In such a disposition the C-frames 2 stop, since the facing surfaces 14 and/or 7 come into mutual contact. This mutual position of the C-frames 2, wherein the first and last C- frames are not connected one to the other by a hinge, or in the case when for constructive reasons such a hinge would be present, said hinge is made inoperative by the removal of its pivot pin 12, is locked by the raising and locking of the plates 5. For such a purpose each plate 5 near the edge 5a is drawn towards the outside against the effect of the spring 17 and then the plate 5, which had been folded vertically against one of the sides of a C-frame 2, is raised up until it reaches its horizontal position rotating round the arm 3. Then the grip on the said plate 5 is released so that said plate under the effect of the spring 17 can slide along the tubular arm 3 in the direction of the arrow in FIG. 1 until the edge 5d,5c arrives before of the tubular edge 5a of the plate 5 carried by the next C-frame. At last a light pressure is applied on the plate 5 still in the direction of the arrow in order to obtain that the tooth 5b and the shaped flange 5c resilienty engage the tubular edge 5a of the adjacent plate 5. In such a disposition each plate 5 prevents that the contiguous C-frames can perform any relative displacement. As all the plates 5 have been raised and locked to each other, the table acts as a single body. For performing the folding of the table so as to bring its parts in the positions wherein they occupy the minimum space the same operations are carried out in the opposite sequence.
Now referring to the embodiment shown in FIGS. 10 to 12 the similar parts are marked with the same reference numbers. The carrying structure of the table is substantially the same as in the first embodiment, but removable plates 25 are provided. For such a purpose along each side of the upper arm 23 of each C-frame 2 a longitudinal groove 27 is arranged open at its outer end and designed to slidably receive a projecting edge 25a of a plate element 25; With each groove 27 a releasable locking means is associated adapted to resiliently lock the edge 25a of the plate 25 which will be received into the groove 27, said means being constituted, for instance, by a small ball 28 carried by a compression spring 29 located behind said ball 8 which partially projects into said groove 27; (FIG. 11).
Thus when starting from the folded position of the C-frames 2, these latter are swung away from each other through an angle of 90 and are positioned so as to be vertical, then these C-frames 2 are locked in this mutual position by mounting the plates 25, causing their radial edges 25a to enter and travel along the grooves 27 of pairs of adjacent C-frames up to abut the inner end of said grooves 27. In this position said plates 25 form in combination the whole bearing plane of the table, while the plate edges 25a will be resiliently locked by the resilient locking means 28,29 or by any other suitable locking devices of a releasable character.
1. A folding table, comprising a plurality of frames, each of said frames having a vertical member, an upper arm being circular in cross section and a lower arm spaced therefrom, said arms connected to said vertical member so as to define generally C configuration, all but one of said frames being provided with a vertically disposed hinge along said vertical member and operatively connected to adjacent frames so as to pivotably connect said frames to each other such that in position of use said frames define a single composite support wherein said upper and lower arms are radially disposed and spaced apart from each other, said frames further being provided with first means aligning same when the table is folded and second means defining the aforementioned position of said frames when the table is unfolded for use, plates inserted between adjacent of said frames along said upper arms thereof, a tubular edge mounted around each of said arms forming a part of each of said plates, means permitting rotary movement of each of said plates with respect to each of said arms as well as radial movement, and a spring, means anchoring said spring at one end thereof to said tubular edge and at the other end thereof to said arm normally baising said tubular edge inwardly, said edge of each plate further being provided with resilient locking means adapted to engage said tubular edge of a contiguous plate.
2. A folding table as in claim 1, wherein said first means aligning said frames comprises vertically disposed Wall portions provided in said vertical members, said wall portions being generally complementary in configuration so as to permit said frames to be folded one against the other, said second means for defining the portion of said frames when the table is unfolded for use comprising said vertical members of said frames being configured to form a corner positioned in the central plane of said frame, said corner converging into vertical wall portions set at an angle one to the other and equal to the angle between said adjacent frames when in their position of use such that said vertical wall portions abut in their position of use.
3. A folding table as in claim 1, said frames being four in number, said vertical members thereof being shaped in cross section to form a vertical corner and two adjacent vertical flat surfaces set at right angles to each other and at an angle 45 to said vertical center plane of said frame, a hinge device provided at both sides of each of said frames near said vertical member thereof permitting each of said frames to swing with respect to adjacent frames around their axes, said hinge arranged partly in one of said frames and partly in an adjacent of said frames, the axes of said hinges being spaced apart from said vertical corners of said frames whereby said hinges are equally disposed one from the other.