US 3878797 A
A work support table having a plurality of removable working surfaces or elements. The table may be constructed in sections joined by means such as hinges. Support surface capturing strips or lips may be mounted on each section of the table about the periphery thereof except for that edge or edges along which the section is joined to another section. When the table is folded, the removable work surfaces or elements may be installed within the lips which serve to guide and limit the movement of the work surfaces. When the table is positioned in its opened configuration, the removable work surface elements enter into abutment so that relative movement or removal of the work surface elements is impossible until the table is folded or closed again. The table may be supported by a plurality of adjustable legs so that the work surface height can be controlled at the convenience of a person standing or sitting at the table.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 11 1 Patterson 1 PATTERN TABLE Marilyn Patterson, 769 26th St., Manhattan Beach, Calif. 90266  Filed: Oct. 3, 1973  Appl. No.: 402,894
 US. Cl 108/90; 108/36  Int. Cl A47b 13/08  Field of Search 108/36, 35, 34, 27, 90,
Primary Examiner-Francis K. Zugel Attorney, Agent, or Firm.l. 13. McGuire  ABSTRACT A work support table having a plurality of removable working surfaces or elements. The table may be constructed in sections joined by means such as hinges. Support surface capturing strips or lips may be mounted on each section of the table about the periphery thereof except for that edge or edges along which the section is joined to another section. When the table is folded, the removable work surfaces or elements may be installed within the lips which serve to guide and limit the movement of the work surfaces. When the table is positioned in its opened configuration, the removable work surface elements enter into abutment so that relative movement or removal of the work surface elements is impossible until the table is folded or closed again. The table may be supported by a plurality of adjustable legs so that the work surface height can be controlled at the convenience of a person standing or sitting at the table.
5 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATTERN TABLE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In many fields, it is desirable to have a work table having a work surface which is easily and readily removable when a replacement is required for one reason or another. For example, when a pattern is to be used to produce an article of clothing, it is desirable to pin the pattern and/or the material onto a working surface so that suitable tracing and cutting can be accomplished. In this example, pins must be pushed into the working surface to hold the materials in place in order to prevent relative movement. Accordingly, it is desirable that the working surface be produced from some material similar to corrugated cardboard so that the pins may be quickly and easily pressed into the surface.
Although this work surface material accomplishes the desired result of allowing easy insertion and removal of pins and tacks, after a period of time its surface can become covered with a large number of pinholes and, eventually, it will become unusable. When this occurs, it would be desirable to be able to either turn the work surface over in order to use its other side, or else replace it entirely. In either case, a completely new work surface would be presented which would be free of all previous markings, indentation, etc.
In the past, there have been two methods of accomplishing this desired result. In one case, a piece of material, resembling corrugated cardboard, would merely be laid upon the top of a regular table, desk, counter, etc., and used in that location until the job was completed. This system presents several difficulties. First, the table top is rarely at the proper height for this type of work, with the result that the person working on it often ends up with a backache. Second, in some cases unless the material and pattern are fastened to the work surface in some way, they can be moved relative thereto with the result that the pattern might be torn or the material spoiled inadvertently. Also, the prior art devices are normally produced with several sections attached to one another along fold lines. When these articles are unfolded and spread on a table or other surface, they never are really flat and this unevenness makes close pattern work difficult at best.
In the second case, a soft wood or similar material may be removably fastened to the top of a table by suitable means such as screws or other fastening devices. In some instances, the removable work surface has been held to the table top by means of a strip which is fastened to the table all around its periphery and which is formed so that it extends a short distance over the top of the removable work surface to hold it in place, i.e., a lip. With this apparatus, when it is necessary to replace the work surface material, a substantial part of the table was had to be disassembled in order to pro vide access for removal of the old material and insertion of a new surface.
In many cases, such tables are meant to be used only on an occasional basis and it is preferable that such a table be put away in a small package-type of arrangement. In other words, it is often preferable that such a table can be disassembled or folded so that it can be stored in a closet or store room without taking up any more space than is absolutely necessary. This feature, if provided, further complicates the structure which must be provided with the prior art devices since each section of the table has been provided with a lip about its entire periphery which effectively holds the work surface in place.
Accordingly, it has become desirable to provide a work table having a work surface on the upper plane thereof which can be quickly and simply removed and replaced without requiring the use of any tools. As additional features of the invention, it has also been found to be desirable to provide the table (1 with apparatus for allowing it to be folded into a compact package for storage and (2) with supports which will allow its height to be adjusted so as to suit the comfort and convenience of the person using the table.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In accordance with the present invention, a device is provided by means of which a work surface may be mounted at a convenient height on a structure which may be quickly and easily folded for storage. The work surface, which may be of any suitable material, whether soft or hard depending upon the task to be accomplished, may be supported on the structure in such a way that it can be quickly and very simply removed and replaced with a new work surface. On the other hand, when the-structure is opened and positioned so that the work surface is usable, the work surface cannot be moved relative to the support structure. In fact, in the preferred embodiment of the invention, a plurality of such work surfaces may be provided which are mounted on sections of the support structure. When the support structure sections are arranged in coplanar relationship, the work surface elements associated with each portion of the support structure will be in abutment along the exposed sides or margins thereof so that relative movement will be impossible.
At the outer peripheral edge of the support structure, a suitable lip structure may be provided which, when the sections are in coplanar abutment, will hold the work surface elements in place and prevent their removal from the table.
When it is desirable to remove and replace the work surface elements, the support sections may be separated or folded toward their storage positions, exposing an unconfined margin or edge o'feach work surface element. Then, the element can be pulled, parallel to the plane of the support section, until its other edges are free from contact with the lip.
Thus, the work surface elements can be exchanged either when replacement is needed or when a different work surface is desired, such as when a different density of material is to be used in. the work surface.
If desired, the support structure may include a plurality of legs which may be adjustable to allow the user to locate the work surface elements at an elevated height, relative to the floor, which is both convenient and comfortable for his particular working conditions.
Although the above summary of the invention is substantially directed to a table which may be used for cutting out patterns, it will be quickly realized by those skilled in the art that the concepts embodied in this invention may be utilized with any type of structure with which a replaceable working surface, of any density, may be provided. In other words, the work surface element might be of corrugated cardboard, formica, glass, or any other suitable material, depending only upon the task to be accomplished and the results desired. Further, while the above summary of the invention describes a plurality of different features, it will be realized by those skilled in the art that these features can be utilized individually or in any given combination to aid in the production of the results desired. Additional advantages, objects, embodiments, and modes of this invention will become readily apparent to those skilled in the art upon review of the following detailed description, taken together with the accompanying drawing, which describes and illustrates only one preferred embodiment of the invention which is delineated by the appended claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 comprises an isometric illustration of a table formed in accordance with the present invention, with the table illustrated in the open, usable position;
FIG. 2 comprises a sectional view of one leg of the table to illustrate structure for allowing the vertical adjustment thereof;
FIG. 3 comprises an internal end view of one section of the table illustrated in FIG. 1, as seen along a line III- III thereof; and
FIG. 4 comprises an isometric illustration of the table shown in FIG. 1 in the closed or folded position, with one work surface element partially withdrawn therefrom.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION In accordance with the present invention, a supporting structure of any suitable type may be provided, such as the table illustrated at 11 in FIG. 1. As shown, the table may comprise a plurality of sections such as 13 and 15 attached to one another by any suitable means such as a hinge 17. If desired, the hinge may be replaced by any device which releasably holds sections 13 and 15 in coplanar abutment. As shown in FIG. 3, each of the sections may comprise a planar support surface 19 to which the device 17 may be suitably attached.
In the illustrated embodiment, a suitable lip or work holding element 23 may be provided along each side of each table section, except for those sides or margins at which the hinge is connected. Thus, when the table is folded to the position illustrated in FIG. 4, each side or margin of each section of the table is bounded by lips 23, except for that side to which the hinge is fastened. When the table is in the folded or disassembled configuration, an opening exists between opposed lips 23 in each section so that a work surface element may be inserted into planar abutment with the support surface 19. In other words, as can be seen in the drawing, the lips 23 provide guides for the withdrawal and insertion of the work surface elements 25 as well as capture and hold it in place.
When the table is converted from the configuration of FIG. 4 to that of FIG. 1, the support surfaces 19 are thereby brought into an abutting coplanar relationship and the lips 23 on each side of the table at each of the sections 13 and 15 will enter into a close fitting relationship. Accordingly, the work surface elements 25 will thereby be brought into a similar coplanar relationship and will abut along their marginal edges, just above the plates of hinge 17. Thus, when the table is in the configuration of FIG. 1, the work surface elements are firmly held in position and cannot be moved or removed until the table is once again disassembled or folded.
If desired, the table may be supported by a plurality of legs 29 which may be structurally attached to the table by any suitable means including fixing latches 31. Use of the latches 31 allow the legs to be folded into abutment with the undersurfaces of the planar supports 19, thereby allowing easy folding of the table. When the table is thus folded, it may be lifted by any suitable means such as handle 33 and carried to a suitable storage location. If desired, a suitable latch (not shown) may also be provided to prevent the table from inadvertently opening from the folded position.
In many cases, it is desirable to provide such a table with apparatus for adjusting it to varying heights relative to the floor. For example, when it is desired to use the table as a pattern cutting table, it is often preferable to have the table height adjustable within the range of 36 to 48 inches, depending on the height of the person using the table. Accordingly, each leg 29 may be produced as a telescoping pair of tubular members 35 and 37 as shown in FIG. 2.
In this example, the tubular section 35 may be provided with a plurality of aligned apertures 39, into a selected one of which a pin 41 may be biased by a spring 43 mounted in the tubular section 37. By pressing the pin 41 toward the axis of the tube 37 against the influence of spring 43, the pin may be pushed out of one of the apertures 37. The leg then may be either extended or retracted, and the pin 41 placed in a different aperture 39.
If desired, a suitable slide, castor, or other base support 45 may also be mounted in the lower end of the tubular section 37.
Thus, the applicant has disclosed the novel concept of a support structure which locates a replaceable work surface element at a suitable height for the convenience of an operator. By utilizing the concept of a foldable table, the work surface elements may be placed in close abutment when the table is open in a manner such that they cannotbe removed from the support structure. When the table is disassembled, folded, or closed, the work surface elements may be quickly and easily removed and replaced by withdrawing them from the lips formed about the support structure.
Having perused the above detailed description, those skilled in the art will realize that the present invention may be embodied in a wide variety of structures in addition to that illustrated in the drawings. For example, the invention can be embodied in a table having three or more support sections which are releasably attached to one another so that the work surface elements abut when the table is opened. In other words, a center section having lips on either side of the table might be inserted between the sections 13 and 15 if the table were to be enlarged. When the table is open, the work surface element in the center section would be confined by cooperation with the lips along the edges of the table and by abutment with each of the illustrated work surface elements 25. On the other hand, when the table was folded or closed, the work surface element of the central section could then be withdrawn and replaced in a manner similar to that of the illustrated apparatus.
Of course, the devices described herein are meant to be exemplary only and in no way limit the scope of the invention which should be considered to be defined only by the appended claims, wherefore what is claimed as the invention is:
l. A table comprising a first section having a planar support surface and a lip means about the entire periphery except for one lineal edge thereof, a second section having a planar support surface and a lip means about the entire periphery except for one lineal edge thereof, means attaching said first and second sections at said lineal edges thereof along which said lips do not extend for movement between an abutting position and a non-abutting position, and worksurface means, removably insertable into said lip means when said two planar support means are in other than an abutting relationship and adjacent lip ends of said first and second sections are not in abutment, and fixed within said lip means in abutting relationship with one another when said planar support means are in coplanar abutting relationship and the adjacent lip ends are in abutment. 2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said attaching means comprise hinge means fixing adjacent sections of said planar support surface to one another. 3. The apparatus of claim 2 including means for adjustably supporting said planar surface relative to a predetermined plane. 4. The table of claim 1 including adjustable leg means for supporting said table at a convenient height. 5. The table of claim 4 wherein said adjustable leg means includes means for fastening said legs to said sections and means for folding said legs against the undersurfaces of the sections to which said legs are fas-