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Title:
Combination dinette table and computer workstation assembly
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An RV dining table that can be easily and quickly converted into a computer workstation by removing the front support post, folding the front table section back on top of the rear table section, releasing and swinging hinged side wing panels outward and supporting them by means of wing supports, and pulling the computer keyboard drawer out from underneath the rear table section. The back of the rear table is mounted to the RV wall to further support the workstation sitting on the rear support post. Finally, the computer workstation has a swing-out mouse pad and an optional auxiliary shelf that can be mounted at the back of the table near the RV wall. The combination dinette table and computer workstation assembly can also be mounted on a sliding table frame support structure having conventional furniture legs for use in apartments and small homes.


Inventors:
Younse, Jack Maurice (Allen, TX, US)
Application Number:
10/894131
Publication Date:
01/26/2006
Filing Date:
07/20/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B23/00
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Jack, Younse M. (602 SABINE COURT, ALLEN, TX, 75013, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A combination dinette table and computer workstation assembly for recreational vehicles (RV), comprising: a rear table section, said rear table section being attached by rear support post mounting means to a first RV floor mount; a keyboard compartment extending downward from the bottom of said rear table section; a keyboard shelf slideably mounted to the under side of said rear table section, said keyboard shelf contained within said keyboard compartment, said keyboard shelf being extracted from said keyboard compartment for use when said assembly is configured as a computer workstation; a keyboard shelf locking pin slideably inserted through a hole in one side of said keyboard compartment into an aligned mating hole in the edge of said keyboard shelf for securing said keyboard shelf in the stored position; a front table section extending outward from said back table section, the back edge of said front table section hingedly attached to the front edge of said rear table section, said front table section further supported by front support post mounting means to a second RV floor mount, said front table section being folded back on top of said rear table section when said assembly is configured as a computer workstation; a side wing panel hingedly attached to each side of said front table section, said side wing panels being folded under said front table section and secured by a panel locking means when said assembly is configured as a dinette table, said side wing panels being folded outwardly when said assembly is configured as a computer workstation, thereby providing a wider work surface; a side swing panel support hingedly attached on the outside surface on each side of said keyboard compartment, said side wing panel supports being extended outward under said side wing panels, thereby provided support for said side wing panels; and a swing-out mouse pad attached by bolt tie-down means near one edge of said keyboard drawer.

2. The assembly of claim 1, wherein said rear support post mounting means further comprises: a support post mounting member attached to the bottom and expanding the width of said keyboard compartment; a RV rear table upper mount attached to the bottom surface of said support post mounting member; and a mounting post inserted between said rear table upper mount and said RV floor mount, thereby supporting said rear table section in place.

3. The assembly of claim 1, wherein said front support post mounting means of said front table section comprises a split upper mount with locking means for both connecting a front support post to said front table section and to provide said panel locking means for securing said side wing panels underneath said front table section.

4. The assembly of claim 1, wherein said rear table section is further supported by attaching two pluggable wall mount posts to the back of said rear table section, said pluggable wall mount posts being aligned with and inserted into wall mount cups on the wall of a RV.

5. The assembly of claim 1 further comprising table wing support spacers and alignment pins mounted on the under side of said side wing panels, said alignment pins for inserting into mating holes on the top edge of said side wing panel supports, thereby properly aligning and supporting said side wing panels when said assembly is configured as a computer workstation.

6. The assembly of claim 1, wherein a foldable auxiliary shelf is attached by bolt and nut means to the back side of said rear table section, said auxiliary shelf extending outward above said computer workstation for holding peripheral components, said auxiliary shelf capable of being mounted upward from said back of said rear table section for use or downward behind said rear table section for storage.

7. The assembly of claim 1, wherein said assembly is fabricated from materials from the group consisting of: wood, molded plastic, metal, and hard rubber.

8. The assembly of claim 3, wherein said assembly is changed from a dinette table configuration to a computer workstation configuration according to the steps comprised of: releasing said locking means on said split upper mount of said front table section, thereby freeing said front support post; holding said side wing panels in place while folding said front table section back on top of said rear table section; removing said front support post from said second RV floor mount; folding said side wing panel supports outward to be perpendicular with the sides of said keyboard compartment of said rear table section; folding said side wing panels outward on top of said side wing panel supports, aligning said alignment pins on said wing support spacers with said mating holes on top edge of said side wing panels; pulling said keyboard drawer outward from said keyboard compartment; and loosening said bolt tie-down means and rotating said swing-out mouse pad outwardly into operating position and retightening said bolt tie-down means to secure said mouse pad.

9. A combination dinette table and computer workstation assembly with a secondary dining table for recreational vehicles (RV), comprising: a rear table section, said rear table section being attached by rear support post mounting means to a first RV floor mount; an open front storage compartment attached to and extending downward from the bottom of said rear table section for housing a keyboard shelf and for the storage of a secondary dining table, said open front storage compartment being formed by side walls and a rear table support post mounting member extending across the bottom of said storage compartment between said side walls, said storage compartment further having support rails mounted along the bottom of each said side wall for supporting a secondary dining table when being stored, and two female table top alignment clips mounted along the front top edge of said open front storage compartment for use in attaching said secondary dining table; a keyboard shelf slideably mounted to the under side of said rear table section, said keyboard shelf contained within the upper portion of said storage compartment, said keyboard shelf being extracted from said storage compartment for use when said assembly is configured as a computer workstation; a keyboard shelf locking pin slideably inserted through a hole in one side of said keyboard compartment into an aligned mating hole in the edge of said keyboard shelf for securing said keyboard shelf in the stored position; a front table section extending outward from said back table section, the back edge of said front table section hingedly attached to the front edge of said rear table section, said front table section further supported by front support post mounting means to a second RV floor mount, said front table section being folded back on top of said rear table section when said assembly is configured as a computer workstation; a side wing panel hingedly attached to each side of said front table section, said side wing panels being folded under said front table section and secured by a panel locking means when said assembly is configured as a dinette table, said side wing panels being folded outwardly when said assembly is configured as a computer workstation, thereby providing a wider work surface; a side swing panel support hingedly attached on the outside surface on each side of said storage compartment, said side wing panel supports being extended outward under said side wing panels, thereby provided support for said side wing panels; a swing-out mouse pad attached by bolt tie-down means near one edge of said keyboard drawer; a secondary dining table slidably stored in said open front storage compartment to be used for eating when said assembly is configured as a computer workstation, said secondary dining table further comprising: a table top surface; a support frame attached to the bottom of said secondary dining table; an upper RV post mount attached to the bottom surface of said secondary dining table; and two male table top alignment clips attached to the back edge of said secondary dining table for temporarily attaching said table to said computer workstation; and a secondary dining table locking pin slideably inserted through a hole in one side of said open front storage compartment and into a mating hole is the front side of said secondary dining table for securing said secondary dining table in the storage position.

10. The assembly of claim 9, wherein said rear support post mounting means further comprises: a RV rear table upper mount attached to the bottom surface of said support post mounting member; and a mounting post inserted between said table post mount and said first RV floor mount, thereby supporting said rear table section in place.

11. The assembly of claim 9, wherein said front support post mounting means of said front table section comprises a split upper mount with locking means for both connecting a front support post to said front table section and to provide said panel locking means for securing said side wing panels underneath said front table section.

12. The assembly of claim 9, wherein said rear table section is further supported by attaching two pluggable wall mount posts to the back of said rear table section, said pluggable wall mount posts being aligned with and inserted into wall mount cups on the wall of a RV.

13. The assembly of claim 9 further comprising table wing support spacers and alignment pins mounted on the under side of said side wing panels, said alignment pins for inserting into mating holes on the top edge of said side wing panel supports, thereby properly aligning and supporting said side wing panels when said assembly is configured as a computer workstation.

14. The assembly of claim 9, wherein a foldable auxiliary shelf is attached by bolt and nut means to the back side of said rear table section, said auxiliary shelf extending outward above said computer workstation for holding peripheral components, said auxiliary shelf capable of being mounted upward from said back of said rear table section for use or downward behind said rear table section for storage.

15. The assembly of claim 11, wherein said assembly is changed from a dinette table configuration to a computer workstation configuration according to the steps comprised of: releasing said locking means on said split upper mount of said front table section, thereby freeing said front support post; holding said side wing panels in place while folding said front table section back on top of said rear table section; removing said front support post from said second RV floor mount; folding said side wing panel supports outward to be perpendicular with the sides of said keyboard compartment of said rear table section; folding said side wing panels outward on top of said side wing panel supports, aligning said alignment pins on said wing support spacers with said mating holes on top edge of said side wing panels; pulling said keyboard drawer outward from said keyboard compartment; and loosening said bolt tie-down means and rotating said swing-out mouse pad outwardly into operating position and retightening said bolt tie-down means to secure said mouse pad.

16. The assembly of claim 15, wherein said secondary dining table is installed on said assembly while configured as a computer workstation according to the steps comprised of: pushing said keyboard shelf into said open front storage compartment; removing said secondary dining table locking pin, thereby freeing said secondary dining table in said open front storage compartment; removing said secondary dining table from said open front storage compartment; inserting said front support post into said second RV floor mount; aligning said male table top alignment pins on said back edge of said secondary dining table with said female table top alignment clips mounted on said front edge of said open front storage compartment and inserting and pushing said pins together; and lowering said upper RV post mount on to the top of said front support post, thereby securing said secondary dining table in place.

17. A stand-along combination dinette table and computer workstation assembly for use in small area living accommodations, comprising: a table support frame for supporting a dinette table in the expanded position and a computer workstation in the compressed position, said table support frame further comprising: a back stationary frame section; a front sliding frame section attached to said back stationary frame section by sliding mechanism means; and a table leg attached at each of four corners of said table support frame; a rear table section attached to the top of said back stationary frame section of said table support frame; a keyboard compartment extending downward from the bottom of said rear table section; a keyboard shelf slideably mounted to the under side of said rear table section, said keyboard shelf contained within said keyboard compartment, said keyboard shelf being extracted from said keyboard compartment for use when said assembly is configured as a computer workstation; a front table section extending outward from said back table section, the back edge of said front table section hingedly attached to the front edge of said rear table section, said front table section further supported by the front section of said table support frame in the expanded position, said front table section being folded back on top of said rear table section when said assembly is configured as a computer workstation; a side wing panel hingedly attached to each side of said front table section, said side wing panels being folded under said front table section and secured by a panel locking means and rested on said adjustable levelers when said assembly is configured as a dinette table, said side wing panels being folded outwardly when said assembly is configured as a computer workstation, thereby providing a wider work surface; a side swing panel support hingedly attached on the outside surface on each side of said front section of said table support frame, said side wing panel supports being extended outward under said side wing panels in the computer workstation configuration, thereby provided support for said side wing panels; and a swing-out mouse pad attached by bolt tie-down means near one edge of said keyboard drawer.

18. The assembly of claim 17 further comprising table wing support spacers and alignment pins mounted on the under side of said side wing panels, said alignment pins for inserting into mating holes on the top edge of said side wing panel supports, thereby properly aligning and supporting said side wing panels when said assembly is configured as a computer workstation.

19. The assembly of claim 17, wherein a foldable auxiliary shelf is attached by bolt and nut means to the back side of said rear table section, said auxiliary shelf extending outward above said computer workstation for holding peripheral components, said auxiliary shelf capable of being mounted upward from said back of said rear table section for use or downward behind said rear table section for storage.

20. The assembly of claim 18, wherein said assembly is changed from a dinette table configuration to a computer workstation configuration according to the steps comprised of: folding said front table section back on top of said rear table section; releasing said panel locking means on said front table section; folding said side wing panel supports outward to be perpendicular with said front section of said table support frame; folding said side wing panels outward on top of said side wing panel supports, aligning said alignment pins on said wing support spacers with said mating holes on top edge of said side wing panels; pulling said keyboard drawer outward from said keyboard compartment; and loosening said bolt tie-down means and rotating said swing-out mouse pad outwardly into operating position and retightening said bolt tie-down means to secure said mouse pad.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a combination dinette table and computer workstation for use in limited space environments. The combination dinette table and computer workstation has particular utility in providing a combination eating and working area in recreational vehicles and small homes.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Living space is often a premium in many recreational vehicles (RV's) and small apartments. However, by necessity most RV's and apartments dedicate an area for a dinette. So, it would be desirable to fill this limited space with a piece of furniture that can serve as both a conventional dining table and a general-purpose workstation.

Although many very large RV's have a built-in workstation, those 34-feet in length or less usually don't have such a workstation since every square inch of space is needed for some other function. Since a large percentage of all RV's fit into this size category, it would appear that a market would exist for a product that addresses this space issue.

Therefore, a need exists for a new and improved piece of furniture that can serve as a conventional dining table and also be easily and quickly converted to a computer or general-purpose workstation. Furthermore, a product that addresses this need would likely be more attractable if a smaller dining table for two people could still be utilize without disturbing the computer workstation. In this respect, the combination dinette table and computer workstation according to the present invention substantially departs from the conventional concepts and designs of the prior art, and in doing so meets this need.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In view of the fact the Applicant knows of no combination dinette table and computer workstation of the type disclosed to be present in the prior art, the present invention discloses a combination dinette and computer workstation, which meets the need of providing a functional computer workstation in a space limited environment. As such, the general purpose of the present invention, which will be described subsequently in greater detail, is to provide a new combination dinette table and computer workstation that has several novel features that result in a computer workstation that is not anticipated, rendered obvious, suggested, or even implied by the prior art, either alone or in any combination thereof.

To attain this, a preferred embodiment of the present invention essentially comprises a typical appearing RV dining table mounted by means of front and rear support posts from the floor of the RV. However, the top of this table consist of a front and rear table section hinged together with the front table section further having hinged side wing panels fastened to the bottom side and the rear table section having hinged wing supports mounted on each side and a slideable keyboard drawer mounted to the bottom side. The table can quickly be converted into a computer workstation by removing the front support post, folding the front table section back on top of the rear table section, releasing and swinging the hinged side wing panels outward and supporting them by means of swing-out side wing panel supports, and pulling the computer keyboard drawer out from underneath the rear table section. The back of the rear table is further mounted by quick release means to the RV wall to help support the workstation now sitting on the rear support post. Finally, the computer workstation has a swing-out mouse pad and an optional auxiliary shelf that can be mounted at the back of the table near the RV wall.

Also, a secondary dining table for use by one or two people is disclosed that can be quickly installed using the front support post without the need to remove the computer from the workstation. To install this smaller secondary dining table, the computer keyboard drawer is pushed in under the rear table section, the front support post in inserted in the provided floor table mount, and the smaller secondary dining table is installed on top of the support post. This table is also supported at the back edge by means of mating alignment support clips mounted on the table and on the front of the rear table section.

In a second embodiment of the present invention the combination dining table and computer workstation is supported by means of a free-standing table support frame for use in apartments or smaller homes. The front section of this support frame slides in and out relative to the rear section, so that it is extended outwardly to support the dining table configuration. To convert to the computer workstation configuration, the front table section is folded back on top of the rear table section, the front portion of the free-standing support frame is then pushed backward under the rear table section to fully support the workstation, the hinged side wing panels are swung outward and supported them by means of the side wing panel supports, the computer keyboard drawer is pulled out from underneath the rear table section, and the mouse pad is swung-out into operating position.

There has thus been outlined, rather broadly, the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description thereof that follows may be better understood and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated.

There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject matter of the claims attached.

Numerous objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon a reading of the following detailed description of presently preferred, but nonetheless illustrative, embodiments of the present invention when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. In this respect, before explaining the current embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and to the arrangements of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of descriptions and should not be regarded as limiting.

As such, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the conception, upon which this disclosure is based, may readily be utilized as a basis for the designing of other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of the present invention. It is important, therefore, that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent constructions insofar as they do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a new combination dinette table and computer workstation that provides people living in small quarters a solution for providing a convenient and easy to use computer workstation.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a new combination dinette table and computer workstation that may be easily and efficiently manufactured and marketed.

An even further object of the present invention is to provide a new combination dinette table and computer workstation that has a low cost of manufacture with regard to both materials and labor, and which accordingly is then susceptible of low prices of sale to the consuming public, thereby making such combinational furniture economically available to the buying public.

These together with other objects of the invention, along with the various features of novelty that characterize the invention, are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and the specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be had to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there is illustrated preferred embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention will be better understood and objects other than those set forth above will become apparent when consideration is given to the following detailed description thereof. Such description makes reference to the annexed drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective drawing of the preferred embodiment of the combination dinette table and computer workstation shown in the dinette configuration, as constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the combination dinette table and computer workstation of the present invention shown installed in the dinette area of a recreational vehicle.

FIG. 3 is a front view of the combination dinette table and computer workstation of the present invention as it is being converted from a dinette table to a computer workstation.

FIG. 4 is a side view of the combination dinette table and computer workstation of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the computer workstation of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the computer workstation of the present invention with an auxiliary shelf attached at the rear.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the auxiliary shelf of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the computer workstation of the present invention with a secondary dining table temporarily installed to the front of the workstation.

FIG. 9 is a front view of the combination dinette table and computer workstation of the present invention with a storage area for a secondary dining table.

FIG. 10 is a perspective drawing of a second embodiment showing a free-standing combination dining table and computer workstation in a dinette table configuration, as constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention.

FIG. 11a is a perspective drawing of the free-standing table support frame of the present invention as configured to support a dining table.

FIG. 11b is a perspective drawing of the free-standing table support frame of the present invention as configured to support a computer workstation.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the free-standing computer workstation of the present invention for use in a small apartment or other confined spaces.

FIG. 13 is a front view of the combination dinette table and computer workstation of the second embodiment of the present invention with stand-along legs, shown configured as a computer workstation.

The same reference numerals refer to the same parts throughout the various figures.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to the drawings, and particularly to FIGS. 1-9, a preferred embodiment of the combination dinette table and computer workstation of the present invention for use in recreational vehicles (RV's) is shown and generally designated by the reference numeral 10.

In FIG. 1, a new combination dining table and computer workstation 10 of the present invention for use in recreational vehicles is illustrated in the dinette configuration and will be described. More particularly, the combination dining table and computer workstation 10 has a rear table section 12 that is always fixed in one location, and a front table section 14, which is attached to the rear table section 12 by table-top hinges 24. The table is shown with optional decorative table molding 15 around the outer edge of the rear table top 16 and front table top 22, respectively. The front table section 14 has two computer workstation side wing panels 32, with one being attached to each side of the front table section by wing hinges 34 and folded and held by securing means underneath the front table section. The rear table section 12 has side-panels 28 extending downward on each side to form a keyboard compartment to house a keyboard shelf 30. Also, a swing-out side wing panel support 36 is mounted by hinge means to each keyboard compartment side-panel 28 for supporting the computer workstation side wing panels 32 in the computer workstation configuration. The rear table section 12 and front table section 14 are supported by means of rear table support post 18 and front table support post 26, respectively, which are press fitted into floor table mounts 20 on the floor of the RV.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the combination dining table and computer workstation 10 of the present invention shown installed in a recreational vehicle. The dining table fits into a RV dinette area arrangement, which typically has booth type seats 38 and located just below a window 40. In this standard dinette configuration the computer workstation components are pretty much disguised.

FIG. 3 is a front view of the combination dining table and computer workstation of the present invention as it is being converted from a dining table to a computer workstation. This shows the front table top 22 folded back on top of the rear table top 16 by means of table top hinges 24. The rear table keyboard compartment side panels 28 are shown with the side wing panel supports 36 folded in and a rear table support post mounting member 49 attached to the bottom of the side-panels 28 and expanding from side-to-side across the rear table section. The rear support post 18 is attached to a rear table upper mount 50, which is fastened to the bottom surface of the rear table support post mounting member 49, by press-fit means. A front split table upper mount 46 has two halves, with one mounted to the bottom of each computer workstation side wing panel 32 along the unhinged edge. The two halves of the front split table upper mount 46 are connected together by split upper mount locking means 48 so as to accept and clamp the top of the front table support post 26 in the dining table configuration. In changing to the computer workstation configuration the split upper mount locking means 48 is released, leaving the two computer workstation wing panels 32 free to swing outwardly. Each computer workstation wing panel 32 has an attached table wing support spacer 42 with table wing support alignment pin 44 for use in securing the swing-out computer workstation side wing panels 32 to the table wing support spacer 42 in the computer workstation configuration. A keyboard shelf 30 is attached to the bottom side of the rear table section 12 by means of keyboard shelf mounting brackets 31 with built-in shelf slides 29. A swing-out mouse pad 51 is attached to the front at one side of the keyboard shelf 30. A keyboard shelf-locking pin 52 is inserted on one side of the assembly through the side wing panel support 36 and keyboard compartment side panel 28 into the computer shelf 30 to secure the keyboard shelf 30 while the RV is in motion. Finally, female table top alignment clips 53 are attached to the under front side of the rear table section for use in installing a secondary dining table when in the computer workstation configuration without disturbing the computer work area.

FIG. 4 is a side view of the computer workstation of the present invention. This more clearly shows the front table top 22, with computer workstation side wing panels 32 being attached by table wing hinges 34 and the front table split upper mount 46, folded back on top of the rear table top 16, with one of the side wing panel supports 36 attached to the keyboard compartment side panel 28 by means of table wing support hinge 56, and the keyboard shelf locking pin 52 securing the keyboard shelf 30 in place. Also shown is a wall attachment assembly, which includes a plug-in table wall mount 58 mounted to the back panel 67 of the rear table section, and a table wall mount cup 60 with mounting screw 62 that mounts to the RV wall for further stabilizing the assembly, especially when used in the computer workstation configuration where only the rear support post 18 is used. Additionally, two mounting bolts 64 and associated nuts 66 are included on the back panel 67 of the rear table section 12 for mounting an auxiliary shelf.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the computer workstation of the present invention with the side wing panels 32 folded out and the keyboard shelf extended ready to use. Here the rear table section is supported by rear table support post 18 and table wall mounts 58. The front table top 22 is folded on top of the rear table top 16, with the two computer workstation side wing panels 32 folded out and supported by means of table wing support spacers 42. Also, the keyboard shelf 30, with a built-in front handrail 68 and swing-out mouse pad 51 with mouse pad bolt tie-down means 70, is shown in the extended position for use with a computer keyboard.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the computer workstation of the present invention with an auxiliary shelf 72 attached at the rear for use with additional peripheral computer components. This auxiliary shelf has a back panel 74, which can be quickly attached to the back of the workstation. The top of the auxiliary shelf has a hinge 76, which allows the assembly to be folded up for storage.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the auxiliary shelf of the present invention. This optional apparatus is comprised of the auxiliary shelf 72 attached by hinge 76 means to a back-rail 78, which is fixedly attached to a back panel 74. For use, the shelf 72 is rotated upward to a horizontal position and supported by two support panels 80, which are connected by support panel hinges 81 to the back panel 74. The support panels 80 are aligned and held in place by alignment pins 82, which fit into mating holes on the underside of the shelf 72. The auxiliary shelf can be attached to the back of the computer workstation, as needed, by sliding the operational mounting slots 86 at bottom of the back panel 74 on to mounting bolts 64 and securing the shelf in place by tightening mounting nuts 66. To store the auxiliary shelf, the shelf 72 is raised upward slightly to free the alignment pins 82, then the shelf support panels 80 are rotated inward against the back panel 74, and the auxiliary shelf 72 is folded downward. A tie-down bolt 85 is then placed through tie-down hole 84 in the back panel 74 and screwed into a tie-down nut 83 located on the underside of the shelf 72. The folded auxiliary shelf can then be stored upside-down under the table by hooking storage mounting slots 88 on the mounting bolts 64 and tightening the mounting nuts 66.

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the computer workstation of the present invention with a secondary dining table temporarily installed to the front of the workstation. To avoid having to disturb the computer workstation area when it's time to eat, an optional secondary dining table 90 is provided. This table is supported by the front support post 26 extending upward from the front RV floor table mount 20 and by means of male/female table top alignment clips 54/53, respectively. To install the secondary dining table 90, the keyboard shelf 30 is pushed in, the support post 26 is placed in the floor mount 20, the male alignment clips 54 on the back of the table 90 are placed in matching female alignment clips 53 on the workstation table, and the table is pushed downward on to the top of support post 26. To remove the secondary dining table, this process is reversed.

FIG. 9 is a front view of the combination dining table and computer workstation 10 of the present invention with a storage area for a secondary dining table included just below the keyboard shelf 30. Although the secondary dining table 90 could likely be stored elsewhere in a RV, a convenient storage slot can be provided by extending the rear table keyboard compartment side panels 92 downward and adding table rails 93 to support the secondary table. A lower positioned support post mounting member 94 is shown spanning the width of the assembly. Here, a secondary dining table 90 with attached support frame 96 and upper RV post mount 98 is shown stored upside-down and secured in place by means of a secondary table locking pin 99.

Referring now to the FIGS. 10-13, a second embodiment of the combination dining table and computer workstation of the present invention, primarily for use in small apartments and small floor space homes, is shown. These figures are perspective views of a free-standing combination dinette table and computer workstation, showing the dining table and computer workstation configurations, respectively, constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention. The upper portion of the dining table and computer workstation are the same as disclosed in the preferred embodiment of the present invention, with the exception that the tables are now supported by means of a sliding frame 102 with free-standing table legs 104.

FIG. 10 is a perspective drawing of a second embodiment showing a free-standing combination dining table and computer workstation in a dinette configuration 100 constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention. This shows the hindedly 24 attached rear table top 16 and front table top 22 mounted on top of front and back sliding side frames 106/108, respectively, and front cross frame 114 with attached free-standing table legs 104. Computer workstation side-wing supports 110 are shown attached to the back support structure side frames 108. Computer workstation side wing panels 32 are also shown attached to the front table top 22, by means of table wing hinges 34, and folded and stored under the front table top 22 in this dining table configuration.

FIGS. 11a and 11b are perspective drawings of the free-standing table support frame 102 of the present invention configured for supporting a dining table, in an expanded position and a computer workstation in a compressed position, respectively. The frame has a back stationary frame section 107 and a front sliding frame section 105 and is further comprised of two front sliding side frames 106, two back side frames 108, a back cross frame member 112, and a front cross frame member 114. These frame members are attached to free-standing furniture type legs 104 at each corner. The table side wing supports 110 are attached to the back side frames 108 by wing support hinges 56 and can be rotated outward, as shown in FIG. 11b, for supporting the computer workstation side wing panels 32 in the computer workstation configuration. Back table sliding rail means 116 and front table sliding rail means 118 are shown attached to the back side frames 108 and front sliding side frames 106, respectively. In The height of the front section 105 top rails 106/114 are shown lower than the height of those for the back stationary section 107 rails to accommodate the side wing panels 32, which are folded under the front table top 22 in the dining table configuration.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the free-standing computer workstation of the present invention for use in a small apartments or other small homes. This shows the front table top 22 folded back on top of the rear table top 16 with side wing panels 32 extended outward on each side and supported by means of wing support spacers 42. The assembly is supported by the front and back sliding side frames 106,108. Free-standing table legs 104 are mounted at each corner. Also shown is the keyboard shelf 30, with front handrail 68, swing-out mouse pad 51 in the extended operational position, and an auxiliary shelf 72.

Finally, FIG. 13 is a front view of the combination dinette table and computer workstation of the second embodiment of the present invention with stand-along legs, shown configured as a computer workstation. With the exception of the side panel locking means 120, which is mounted directly on to the surface of the computer workstation side wing panels 32, for holding the side wing panels 32 in place when not in use, the top portion of the assembly is the same as disclosed for the RV embodiment discussed in FIGS. 1-7. However, in this case the combination dinette table and computer workstation assembly is attached to the free-standing frame 102 discussed in FIGS. 11a and 11b. The front view shows the free-standing frame 102, which is comprised of the back table support structure side frames 108 and the front table support structure sliding side frames 106 with sliding rail means 116/118, back and front cross frame members 112 and 114, respectively, and four furniture type legs 104. The sliding keyboard shelf 30 with swing-out mouse pad 51 and the computer workstation side wing panel supports 110 are the same. This second embodiment can likely be made somewhat larger, sized to fit the available space in a small apartment or home, than the RV embodiment.

In use, it can now be understood that the combination dinette table and computer workstation can be easily and quickly converted from a dining table to a computer workstation by unattaching from the front support post and flipping the front table section back on top of the rear table section, releasing the two computer workstation side wing panels and rotating them outwardly, thereby extending the width of the workstation, pulling the keyboard shelf out from under the rear table section, and rotating the mouse pad outwardly. To return the assembly to a dining table configuration the process is reversed.

While a preferred embodiment of the combination dinette and computer workstation has been described in detail, it should be apparent that modifications and variations thereto are possible, all of which fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention. With respect to the above description then, it is to be realized that the optimum dimensional relationships for the parts of the invention, to include variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, assembly and use, are deemed readily apparent and obvious to one skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships to those illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed by the present invention. For example, any suitable sturdy material such as varies varieties of wood, formed plastic, metal, or hard rubber can be used in fabricating the combination dinette table and computer workstation assembly and the assembly can be sized to fit a particular application. Also, the assembly can be adapted for use with various table support structures commonly used in the RV industry.

Therefore, the foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Further, since numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described, and accordingly, all suitable modifications and equivalents may be resorted to, falling within the scope of the invention.