US 3845728 A
A folding table comprising four legs carrying a upper table-top provided with longitudinal side members, characterized by the fact that each pair of legs of a transverse side of the table are securely braced together at their upper ends by a transverse beam and wherein this unit comprising said two legs and the bracing beam is pivotally linked by means of coaxial pins to said table-top in close proximity to its adjacent transverse side, between said table-top and each unit being provided releasable locking devices adapted for locking said parts one to another in their operative mutual position, said locking devices being provided with means for moving in unison the locking means associated to a pair of legs into or out of their operative engagement.
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
[ NOV. 5, 1974 I FOLDING TABLE  Inventor: Giancarlo Piretti, Bologna, Italy  Assignee: Anonima Castelli S.A.S. di Cesare Castelli & C0., Bologna, Italy 122] Filed: Sept. 14, 1972  Appl. No.: 289,137
 US. Cl. 108/131, 248/188  Int. Cl A47b 3/08  Field Of Search .1 108/132, 131,133,129; 248/188; 297/60  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,204,081 6/1940 Harrell 108/129 2,232,205 2/1941 Boardman 297/60 2,805,906 9/1957 Hoven et a1. 108/129 3,017,153 l/1962 Johnson I 248/188 3,033,630 5/1962 Mugler 108/129 3,255,721 6/1966 Peterschmidt 108/111 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 428,289 5/1935 Great Britain 108/129 752,l08 9/1933 France 108/131 Primary Examiner-Paul R. Gilliam Assistant Examiner-Darrell Marquette Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Allen D. Brufsky  ABSTRACT A folding table comprising four legs carrying a upper table-top provided with longitudinal side members, characterized by the fact that each pair of legs of a transverse side of the table are securely braced together at their upper ends by a transverse beam and wherein this unit comprising said two legs and the bracing beam is pivotally linked by means of coaxial pins to said table-top in close proximity to its adjacent transverse side, between said table-top and each unit being provided releasable locking devices adapted for locking said parts one to another in their operative mutual position, said locking devices being provided with means for moving in unison the locking means associated to a pair of legs into or out of their operative engagement.
1 Claim, 7 Drawing Figures FOLDING TABLE The invention relates to folding tables which have four legs supporting a table-top.
The present invention provides a folding table comprising a table-top to which the legs are pivotally linked in pairs so that each pair of legs can be turned up to bring said pair of legs in abutment against the lower surface of the table-top so that in the folded position of the pairs of legs the table occupies little space.
The carrying structure of the table-top is thus constituted of two pairs of legs, the legs of each pair being braced together at their upper ends by a cross bar and wherein each pair of legs is pivotally linked in close proximity to the adjacent transverse side of the tabletop about a pivot axis parallel to said table-top side, between said pair of legs and the table-top being provided releasable locking means provided for locking said parts in their operative mutual position. After loosening said locking means each pair of legs can be pivoted up to bring them into contact with the lower surface of said table'top; for such a purpose the longitudinal sides of the table-top must be at least twice longer than the length of the legs.
It is well known that a topical problem of the pieces of furniture consists in the necessity to reduce to the minimum the spaces occupied by said pieces or by their containers in order to limit their transport and storin charges.
Another problem consists in the necessity of making easy their assembly and disassembly in order that such operations can be performed by common workers and even by the user himself who sometimes could be compelled to diassemble the table in order to put it away or to mount it again at another location or room.
The present invention solves said problems by the provision of a folding table including mechanisms adapted to co-ordinate the movements of the parts and to force them to take the mutual desired angular positions, as said parts pass from their folded positions to their use positions and vice versa, performing the movements in a speedy manner and without requiring the use of any tool or the application of any removable fixing means, as screws and the like, which can be easily lost, ensuring at the same time a correct stability to the table in its use position.
The invention is hereinafter particularly described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. I is a side view of the table in its fully erected position;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the table during the unfolding step;
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal vertical section of the upper portion of one of the legs and of the table-top, partly broken away, taken along a plane perpendicular to the pivot axis of a pair of legs, in the case wherein said legs are rectangular in cross section;
FIG. 4 is a vertical cross section of one of the upper beams connecting a pair of legs and wherein at the inner side of said beam can be seen the end portion of one of the longitudinal members integral with the tabletop;
FIG. 5 is a side view of the corner portion of the table-top and of the parts of leg connected thereto;
FIG. 6 is a view similar to that of FIG. 3, but concerning a second embodiment of the linkage system which is suited to be used as the table legs have a circular or the like cross section;
FIG. 7 is a top view of the corner portion of the table, shown in FIG. 6, where the table-top is partly broken away in order that the devices and parts positioned below can be seen.
Since the two embodiments shown in the drawings are operatively identical, except few particulars, similar parts are indicated by similar reference numbers and only one of the two embodiments will be hereinbelow described.
The folding table of the present invention comprises a tabletop 1 made of any suitable material and to which are made integral two longitudinal box-like metal members 2 so that the cavities at their ends can receive inserted pieces 3, wherein are arranged link members and the locking means which are supported by the body 1, 2; said inserted pieces 3 can be shaped by means of a die-casting process. The other link members designed to co-operate with the link members arranged in the pieces 3 of the linkage system are each arranged in an inserted metal piece 4 which is also obtained by a die-casting process, said piece 4 being fixed at the upper end of each leg 5 in any suitable manner; also the legs 5 are preferably constituted of metal tubular bodies, which can have a rectangular (FIGS. -1 to 5), circular (FIGS. 6 and 7) or any other suitable cross section. The pieces 4 together with the associated legs 5 of each pair of legs are securely braced together by a horizontal metal beam 6, preferably of a box-like type.
The main characteristics of this folding table concern the linkage systems of the pairs of legs 5 to the tabletop 1 and the locking devices associated therewith. On I this purpose each inserted piece 3 carries a lever pivotally mounted on a pivot pin 7, the axis of which is parallel to the linkage axis of the adjacent pair of legs 5, while the pins 7 of the levers co-operating with said pair of legs 5 are coaxial one to another, said lever being connected together so as to be moved in unison.
The end 8 of the lever arm 8a of each lever has a hook configuration so as to be able to engage a similarly shaped end 9 of the piece 4, in which is also arranged a link member pivotally connected to a cooperating Iink member arranged in piece 3, by a pin 10, the axis of said pin 10 being parallel to the common axis of the pins 7, said pin 10 being in its turn coaxial with a similar pin 10, by means of which the piece 4 mounted at the upper end of the other leg 5 of the same pair, is pivotally linked to the adjacent piece 3. The other arm 8b of each lever is under the action of a strong spring 11, anchored at 12 to the piece 3, said spring 11 being so positioned as to tend to maintain the hooked heads 8 and 9 into their mutual operative engagement in the use positions of the partsof the folding table. The arms 8a of both the locking devices provided to lock each pair of legs 5 are bracedtogether by a transverse bar 13 (FIGS. 2, 3 to 7) which passes below the table-top I so that it is concealed from view, said bar being provided with a gripping tab 14 or the like at at least one intermediate point.
As the table is in its use position (FIGS. 1, 3 and 6), the strong springs 11 maintain firmly engaged to each other the hooked heads 8 and 9 of both locking devices which cooperate with each pair of legs so that the table acts as a single body.
When the table has to be folded for storage purpose or the like so that it occupies a minimum space, each tab 14 is depressed against the resistance of the return springs 11 of the associated locking devices so as to cause the lowering of the bar 13 and, as a result thereof, the rotation in unison of the arms 8a of the said levers about the axis of the pins 7, the inner walls of the pieces 3 being provided with annular fents 15 allowing the travelling of the ends of the bar 13. Subsequently to the lowering of the hooked heads 8a against the bias of the associated springs 11, each unit 4, 5 and 6 can be freely turned about the axis of the coaxial pins 10 (FlG. 5) up to bring the whole unit into contact with the lower surface of the table-top 1. Of course, the upper edge 4a of each piece 4 is so shaped that during the rotation of said unit, said edge 4a can slide in contact with the facing surface of the table-top 1. Further said upper edge 4a is provided with a flat outer portion, adapted to abut the facing lower surface of the table-top l in order to define the mutual limit position between the side unit 4, 5 and 6 and the table-top l, as the legs 5 are in their erected position, wherein said unit is locked to the table-top l by the pair of the aforementioned locking devices of releasable type and having synchronized movements.
The table can be unfolded from its folded position up to its erected position by a reverse process according to a still simplier manner, since to this end it is sufficient to rotate in the opposite direction the unit 4, 5 and 6 up to its vertical position, because the locking devices under the effect of the springs 11 thence automatically again engage with their hooked ends 8 the hooked ends of the pieces 4.
FIG. 2 shows a table with a pair of legs already in their erected position, while the other pair is yet folded against the lower surface of the table-top l. The arrows indicate the already performed and the still to be performed angular movements provided to bring the parts in their operative mutual positions. Of course, other locking means could be also provided to secure the legs 5 against the table-top l in their folded position.
I claim: 1. A folding table comprising a substantially planar table top having a tubular longitudinal side bar extending along opposed edges thereof, two opposed pairs of legs for supporting said table top, each pair of legs beingsecurely braced together by a transverse beam and pivotally connected as a unit to said table top so as to fold to a stored position beneath the table top, a housing inserted into the ends of said tubular longitudinal side bars, each leg of a unit pair of legs being pivotally connected to a housing inserted in an end of one of said side bars by coaxial pins, and first locking means stored within each housing cooperating with second locking means on the upper ends of each of said legs for preventing said leg units from pivoting about said coaxial pins so as to lock said leg units in an upright position to support said table top, said first locking means including hook arranged at the end of an arm of a lever pivoted intermediate its length about a pin in the housing having its axis parallel to the pivot axis of an adjacent unit pair of legs, the other arm of said lever being connected to a strong spring which is so positioned to maintain said hooked arm in engagement with said second locking means which includes a cooperating hook end provided at the upper portion of the adjacent leg, and means for rotating said levers against the bias of the associated springs so as to cause the mutual disengagement of the hooks on said first and second locking means in order to allow each unit pair of legs to be turned until they abut against the lower surface of the table top.
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