Title:
ADJUSTABLE HEIGHT TABLE
United States Patent 3738286


Abstract:
In an adjustable height table, each of a plurality of legs is pivotally mounted on a respective side of a leg support structure that is in spaced relation to the table top. Although the table top rests on the tops of the legs, the entire leg assembly including the leg support structure is in effect self-supporting and in that sense independent of the table top. Each of a plurality of leg arresting pins is affixed to the leg support structure at a height that differs from the height of the corresponding leg pivot. Accordingly, table height adjustment is achieved by simply rotating each of the legs so that the corresponding leg arresting pin bears against a different point on the leg but on the same side thereof.



Inventors:
HOFFMAN C
Application Number:
05/203650
Publication Date:
06/12/1973
Filing Date:
12/01/1971
Assignee:
HOFFMAN C,US
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
108/116, 108/154, 248/432
International Classes:
A47B9/16; (IPC1-7): A47B9/00
Field of Search:
108/12,19,144,154,116 248
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
2172123Portable stand1939-09-05Ebert
1896446Collapsible stool1933-02-07Goeller
1794838Ironing board1931-03-03Doman
0662136N/A1900-11-20



Primary Examiner:
Mitchell, James C.
Claims:
What is claimed is

1. An adjustable height table comprising in combination,

2. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said dual function means comprises a plurality of leg arresting pegs each spaced both horizontally and vertically from a corresponding one of said mounting means.

3. Apparatus in accordance with claim 2 including a plurality of substantially circular discs each for mounting on a respective one of said pegs thereby to provide an additional level of height adjustment.

4. Apparatus in accordance with claim 2 including a plurality of polygonal shaped discs each eccentrically mounted on a respective one of said pegs thereby to provide a means effecting height adjustment by dialing or rotating said disc.

5. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 including quick release tensioning means affixed between said table top and said leg suport structure, said tensioning means including means for adjusting pressure between said table top and the tops of said legs.

6. Apparatus in accordance with claim 2 wheren said structure is a box-like member having four sides, a respective one of said mounting means and a respective one of said arresting means being supported by each of said sides.

7. Apparatus in accordance with claim 1 including means for positioning said top in relation to said structure irrespective of the angles of said legs.

8. Apparatus in accordance with claim 7 wherein said positioning means comprises a plurality of groups of indentations on the underside of said top, each of said indentations in one of said groups being positioned for engaging relation with the top of a respective one of said legs at a corresponding leg angle.

9. An adjustable height table comprising in combination,

10. Apparatus in accordance with claim 9 wherein said positioning means comprises a plurality of peg members each positioned in spaced relation both horizontally and vertically with respect to a respective one of said mounting means.

Description:
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to multifunction tables, and more particularly, to tables having a height adjustment capability that enables the user to match the table height selectively with the desired table function.

2. Description of the Prior Art

The advantages of adjustable height tables have long been recognized including, for example, convenience, cost economy, and efficiency in the utilization of space. Such advantages are best illustrated in connection with table usage in the multifunction entertainment or recreation centers of the modern home -- the television room, family room or patio -- rather than in more formal centers such as the living or dining rooms. It is common in the informal living centers indicated to require at one time or another a cocktail table, a picnic or work table or a bar table, depending on the occasion. All of the advantages indicated are obviously achieved if the homeowner is able to meet the table requirements listed by using only a single height adjustable table rather than a plurality of tables.

Despite the seemingly attractive aspects of adjustable height tables, however, commercial explotiation has thus far been relatively nonexistent. This lack is directly attributable to shortcomings in prior art table structures of this type in which important disadvantages have consistently dominated or erased the potential advantages discussed. Undue complexity and attendant cost in the height adjusting mechanism has perhaps been the most important factor which heretofore has limited the use of such tables. Another significant shortcoming has been the cumbersome operation typically required to effect table height adjustment. Moreover, prior art tables of this type have generally combined conventional table structures with height adjustment means in awkward proportions that have precluded the design of an asthetically pleasing product. In other known prior art structures height adjustment has been achieved only at the cost of unacceptable reductions in overall table strength and stability.

A general object of the invention is to overcome or mitigate the deficiencies indicated.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The general object and additional related objects are achieved in accordance with the principles of the invention by a table having legs that are pivotally mounted on a leg support structure that is in spaced relation to the table top. Although the table top rests on the tops of the legs, the leg assembly, which includes the leg support structure, is essentially self-supporting insofar as the table top is concerned.

In accordance with an important aspect of the invention height adjustment is effected by simply pivoting the legs through some preselected pivotal angle so that the angle of the legs with respect to the vertical is made greater or smaller, depending upon the direction of height adjustment desired.

A key feature of the invention deals with the structure employed to block further leg movement after each leg has been pivoted through the priper angle to achieve a desired table height. Specifically, an arresting pin mounted on the leg support structure is provided for each of the legs. In each case the arresting pin is suitably spaced both horizontally and vertically from the corresponding leg pivot. As a result, a shift from one height to a second height is effected simply by pivoting each of the legs until it is brought to a stop again by the blocking action of a respective one of the arresting pins as it bears against a point on the same side of the leg, which point is on the opposite side, in a vertical sense, from the leg's pivot point.

In accordance wijh another feature of the invention one or more additional table height adjustments may be achieved by the use of arresting blocks, each of which may be simply fitted over a corresponding one of the arresting pins. In one embodiment of the invention each arresting block is a substantially round flat disc of sufficient diameter so that each leg is made to bear against the disc periphery when the leg is slightly off the vertical, thus giving maximum table height while at the same time retaining overall table strength and stability. In another embodiment, the arresting block in each case is a flat disc with a polygonal perimeter. The disc is pivotally and eccentrically mounted on a corresponding one of the arresting pins so that by selective rotation of the disc various table heights may in effect be "dialed". With this type of arrangement a full range of height adjustments is made available without removing the arresting block or disc from the arresting pin.

A further feature of the invention relates to the means employed to position the table top properly with respect to the tops of the legs irrespective of the particular leg angles which have been set to achieve a particular table top height. In one embodiment, the underside of the table top is notched so that as the angle of each leg is changed, the upper end of the leg is brought into supporting engagement with a different corresponding accommodating notch.

Still another feature of the invention pertains to a quick release tensioning mechanism employed to connect the table top to the leg support structure. The quick release feature ensures rapid and convenient table disassembly and the tensioning member provides extra overall strength and stability.

The principles of the invention along with additional objects and features thereof will be fully comprehended from the following detailed description in combination with the drawing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a table in accordance with the invention adjusted to a relatively low or cocktail table height;

FIG. 2 is a top perspective view of the table of FIG. 1 shown in an intermediate or picnic table position;

FIG. 3 is a top perspective view of the table of FIGS. 1 and 2 shown in a high or bar table position; and

FIG. 4 is a sketch of the table top quick release tensioning mechanism.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 a table in accordance with the invention comprises a box-like leg support structure 101 with each of the legs 102-105 being rotatably mounted on a respective one of the pivot pins 106-109, only two of which are actually shown. Each of the pivot pins 106-109 is suitably affixed to the leg support structure 101. Although in the embodiment shown the leg support structure 101 is four sided to support four legs, the principles of the invention also contemplate a lesser or a greater number of legs with the number of sides on the support structure being modified accordingly.

In addition to the pivot pins 106-109, each side of the leg support structure 101 also supports a respective one of the leg arresting pins 110-113, only two of which are actually shown. With the table in the low or cocktail position, as shown in FIG. 1, each of the legs, such as leg 104, for example, is pivoted on its pivot pin 108 until some point A on the leg comes into arresting or blocking contact with the arresting pin 112. When the table height is being adjusted, the table top 117 is typically removed from the leg assembly but when repositioned, as shown in FIG. 2, the upper end of the leg 104 comes into engagement with one of the notches 114-116 formed on the underside of the table top. Similar notch groups, not shown, are provided for the other legs.

To shift the table from the cocktail height of FIG. 1 to the picnic height of FIG. 2 simply requires that each of the legs such as leg 104, for example, be pivoted in a clockwise direction until some point B, on the same side of the leg 104 as point A, comes into contact with the arresting pin 112. When the top is then repositioned on the leg assembly, the groove or notch 114 is brought into engaging relation with the top of leg 104. Although the top of the leg 104 is shown to be curved or rounded it is evident that it might also be cut in the form of a plurality of flat peripheral segments, one for each angular position, in which case the notches 114, 115 and 116 would be shaped accordingly.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 the bottom ends of each of the legs 102-105 is cut at various angles so that a flat supporting surface is in contact with the floor at each leg position. It is also evident, however, that the bottom of each leg might be curved or rounded instead in a configuration similar to that shown in FIG. 2 for the top of leg 104. Flat cuts on the leg bottom ends are preferable, however, even at the expense of a modest additional complexity in manufacture, in order to achieve maximum stability.

As with each of the legs, the position of the arresting pin 112 with respect to the pivot pin 108 is of critical importance insofar as the achievement of proper leg angle is concerned. It is clear, for example, that the arresting pin 112 may be moved upwardly from point B along the line formed by the leg 104 with no effect on the leg angle. Such movement of the arresting pin 112, however, would cause the leg to assume a greater angle with respect to the vertical (would lower the table height still further) if the legs were pivoted to the cocktail position of FIG. 2. Conversely, if the pin 112 were shifted downwardly along the line formed by the leg 104 in FIG. 2, the height difference achieved by pivoting to the cocktail position would be reduced and would in fact disappear if the arresting pin were to be positioned at the same horizontal level as the pivot pin 108.

In accordance with the invention other adjustable parameters enter into the determination of table height. These include leg length, leg width, and the cut of the leg bottom end. It can be shown that an optimum combination of design features may readily be determined mathematically by properly interrelating these parameters.

A table in accordance with the invention may be adjusted for maximum height (bar table height, for example) in various ways as indicated in FIG. 3. As shown, the legs 102-105 may be placed in a vertical position, or nearly so, and held there by inserting locking pins 118-119 through suitably positioned holes in the legs 103-104, in the leg support structure 101 and in the opposite legs 105 and 102, respectively.

Alternatively, but within the scope of the invention, an arresting block 120 may be slipped over each of the arresting pins, such as pin 112, to provide a means of locking the legs in the bar table position. Stability is enhanced if the legs are inclined slightly rather than being vertical so that forced arresting contact is maintained wijh the block 120.

In accordance with a variant of the arresting block embodiment, a block 121 having a number of flat sides may be used in lieu of the substantially circular disc 119. In this case, however, the block may be mounted on the arresting pin permanently rather than removeably. With a block 121 permanently mounted eccentrically on each of the arresting pins 110-113, a full range of several table height selections is made available simply by rotating or dialing the block so that different edges of the block come to bear against the legs as the legs are pivoted, as described above, to achieve the proper leg angles that correspond to the desired height.

As described above, the leg assembly which includes the legs 102-105 and the leg support structure 101 is self-supporting and is essentially independent of the table top 117. Accordingly, the table top may be simply rested on the upper ends of the legs, stability being dependent on the table top weight. For extra strength and rigidity, and to make it possible to carry the table around by its top, a means of positively affixing the table top to the leg assembly is desirable. In accordance with the invention such means are provided in the form of a quick release tensioning mechanism as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. An aperture 401 on the underside of the table top 117 is partially covered by a plate member 402 which is suitably fastened to the underside of the table. The plate 402 has a substantially circular opening 403 contiguous with a slot opening 404. A rod 405 with its head 406 above the plate 402 is positioned within the slot 404 and extends downwardly.

The lower end of the rod 405 is threaded and is held in position between a fixed plate 407 and a pivotally moveable plate 408. The aperture 412 in the plate 408 is threaded to engage the threads on the lower end of the rod 405. The plates 407 and 408 are mounted on or within the leg support structure 101 as shown in FIG. 3. To increase the holding tension between the table top 117 and the support structure 401 one need merely rotate the compressing thumb screw 409 which controls the effective length of the rod 405.

Quick release of the tensioning mechanism is effected by a quick upward tug on a release catch 410. As the catch moves upwardly, camming action of the hooked portion 411 pivots the plate 408 outwardly, to the position shown in FIG. 4, which disengages the rod 405. The rod position may then be easily shifted until the head 406 is cleared through the aperture 403. At that point the table top 117 is freed from the tensioning mechanism and may be lifted out of engagement with the table legs.

It is to be understood that the embodiments described are merely illustrative of the principles of the invention. Various modifications thereto may be effected by persons skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.