A table with folding legs is easily set up and folded away using one hand, while the other hand may be holding, for example, a tray with food. Four diagonal legs are used in an arrangement providing complete clearance for a person's legs beneath the table. Although the table in use is level, when folded, two legs on opposite sides of the table extend further downwardly than the other two legs and during the unfolding, the bottoms of these longer legs serve as fulcrums, as the tabletop is pivoted into a level position.
1. A folding table comprising a top, first and second transversely spaced continuous legs pivotally connected at their upper ends to said top adjacent one edge thereof, third and fourth transversely spaced foldable legs pivotally connected at their upper ends to said top adjacent an opposite edge thereof, said first and third legs and said second and fourth legs being pivotally connected together so that said legs extend diagonally underneath said top when the table is unfolded to its upright position, bracing means located closely adjacent the underside of said top and extending transversely between the upper portion of said first and second legs and between the upper portion of said third and fourth legs to provide an unobstructed space between the lower portion of said legs, and said third and fourth foldable legs being longer than said first and second continuous legs to facilitate opening of said table.
2. A folding table as defined in claim 1, each of said third and fourth foldable legs having upper and lower sections pivotally connected together at a point which is located above the point at which the lower section is pivotally connected to the respective first or second leg.
3. A folding table as defined in claim 2, wherein the length of said lower sections of said third and fourth legs below the pivotal connection point with said first and second legs is greater than the length of said first and second legs below said pivotal connection point.
BACKGROUND OF INVENTION
While foldable tables having paired sets of legs have been used before as illustrated and described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 136,167; 413,324; and 2,601,357, none of these may be so easily set up and folded away using only one hand. None, indicate, in the folded position, one set of legs extending lower than the other to be used during the setup of the table. Nor, when the table is set up, none of these previous tables provided the full clearance, now available, for a person's legs beneath the tabletop.
Also, when in use the table is very stable and the table legs cannot be collapsed without deliberately raising and/or pivoting the tabletop. This table has stability, strength, clearance, and convenience of one-hand unfolding and folding operations.
SUMMARY OF INVENTION
Persons wanting a foldable table are provided with a comparable lightweight, strong, stable, table providing maximum clearance for their legs. This foldable table is readily set up by simply grasping one edge of the table with one hand and moving the tabletop into a level position as the lower extending legs are held against the floor to serve as the fulcrum points. The table may be folded again by grasping the same tabletop edge with one hand and moving the tabletop into a vertical position. During either unfolding or folding, the legs pivot into position without being directly manipulated. Each table folds compactly and may be placed closely adjacent another one for group storage, such as is often wanted when storing TV tables.
DRAWING OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the folded table viewing the underside of the table and the legs in their folded position, one leg portion being cut away to show the pivotal connection of two portions of an adjacent leg, which allows this two-piece leg to fold as well as pivot upon folding the table;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the table unfolded for use, with all four legs fully pivoted into position;
FIG. 3 is a lateral elevation view of the folded table showing the underside of the tabletop and the four legs folded away, indicating how the one set of legs extends downwardly farther than the other set of legs; and
FIG. 4 is a side view of the table unfolded for use, with dotted lines indicating how the lower extending legs are used as fulcrums while contacting the floor as the table is unfolded.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
As indicated throughout the views of the drawing, a foldable table 10 is provided which may be easily unfolded and set upright for use, by grasping, with one hand, the then highest table edge 14 and while holding the lower extending set of legs 17 against the floor 15, moving the tabletop 11 to a position parallel to the floor 15. This movement is illustrated in FIG. 4, with dotted lines.
Table 10 when in use is supported by two sets of legs 17 and 21. With respect to one set 17 of legs, each leg consists of two pivotally joined portions 16 and 18 which are joined by a pin fastener assembly 22. When the table is folded, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3, these upper leg portions 18 nest in a position parallel to and alongside the lower leg portions 16. When this leg set 17 is extended, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, the respective portions 16 and 18 are pivoted into alignment and prevented from pivoting further than 180° by abutting a stop bracket 24 which is fastened to the upper leg portion 18 by using two screws 26. In the other leg set 21, each leg 20 is in one piece.
These respective leg sets 17 and 21 are pivotally joined together on each side of the table by using a pin fastener assembly 28, which is located so one set of legs 17 will extend lower than the other sets of legs 21 when the table 10 is folded, and when unfolded and in use, pin fastener assembly 28 holds the legs 16 and 20 together in their strong crossed, diagonal, and triangular position.
Each set of respective identical legs 17 and 21 is firmly joined at their top by a transverse or lateral cross brace 30 which in turn is pivotally connected to the undersurface of the table top 11 by two hinges 32 and screws 33. This high positioning of cross braces 30 provides excellent clearance for a person's legs, and serves to give lateral strength to entire table 10.
MODIFICATIONS AND OTHER EMBODIMENTS
The preferred embodiment, illustrated in FIGS. 1 through 4, represents the best use of essentially wood materials supplemented by the metal fasteners, hinges and brackets. A modification involves insetting or mortising the brackets and/or hinges, flush with their associated wood pieces.
In another embodiment, a formed metal yoke is used in lieu of upper leg portions 18, cross brace 30 and stop brackets 24. It is hinged in like manner to the undersurface structure of tabletop 11 across its lateral portion and then its depending leg portions have channel-receiving structure to accommodate the lower leg portions 16. The pin fastener assembly 22 is used at locations on each side above the lower terminus of the yoke, so the pivotal movements of the leg portions 16 are stopped when leg portions 16 become aligned with the depending channel-receiving structure or leg portions of the yoke.
SUMMARY OF ADVANTAGES
Whatever may be the modification or a new embodiment, the purpose remains to provide a foldable table which is folded up and unfolded very conveniently using only one hand. One set of legs, in the folded position, are extended below the other set for first contact with a floor upon unfolding. Thereafter, as the tabletop 11 is pivoted, with one hand, the entire table is moved into a stable erected position with this continuing one-hand movement. When no longer needed, table 10 is quickly folded by reversing this motion so the legs fold compactly leaving the folded table 10 in a very compact configuration.
The overall structure, its strength, and its size, may be adapted to many uses. Initially, the tables were designed for use as the portable so called "TV" tables used in living areas of homes where normally a larger table is not available. However, these foldable tables may be made higher to support film projectors, or may be made larger to serve as drafting tables, or may be made longer and wider to serve as complete dining tables. At all times they are a complete handling unit. No loose tops or other parts are involved, after their initial manufacture and assembly.