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Title:
Table support structure
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A table includes a table top with an underside. A support is rotatably connected to the underside of the table top and is rotatable at least between a stored position lying generally adjacent the underside and an extended position in which the support extends generally away from the underside. A bearing brace is hingedly attached to the support at a joint and includes a first end distal from the joint. A set-up latch is on the underside of the table top, with the first end of the bearing brace being releasably securable in the set-up latch when the support is in the extended position.


Inventors:
Pleiman, Brian R. (Medina, OH, US)
Sander, David R. (Medina, OH, US)
Floyd, Gregory S. (Wooster, OH, US)
Application Number:
10/903270
Publication Date:
02/02/2006
Filing Date:
07/30/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B3/00
View Patent Images:
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Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MARSHALL, GERSTEIN & BORUN LLP (233 S. WACKER DRIVE, SUITE 6300, SEARS TOWER, CHICAGO, IL, 60606, US)
Claims:
We claim:

1. A table comprising: a table top with an underside; a support rotatably connected to the underside of the table top, the support being rotatable at least between a stored position lying generally adjacent the underside and an extended position in which the support extends generally away from the underside; a bearing brace hingedly attached to the support at a joint, the bearing brace including a first end distal from the joint; and a set-up latch on the underside of the table top, the first end of the bearing brace being releasably securable in the set-up latch when the support is in the extended position.

2. The table of claim 1, further comprising a spring attached to the support to bias the support from the stored position toward the extended position.

3. The table of claim 1, further comprising a spring attached at the joint between the bearing brace and the support.

4. The table of claim 3, wherein the support further comprises at least two spaced apart support legs and a cross-brace connecting the two support legs, wherein the bearing brace is rotatably attached to the cross-brace by a hinge, and wherein the spring is provided at the hinge.

5. The table of claim 1, the bearing brace further comprising a pair of legs connected at a vertex to form a V-shape, wherein the vertex is distal from the joint.

6. The table of claim 1, the support further comprising a cross member, the support rotating about the cross member.

7. The table of claim 1, wherein the table top further comprises a storage latch on the underside of the table top, wherein the storage latch is positioned and configured to maintain the support in the stored position.

8. The table of claim 7, wherein the storage latch further comprises a housing including an internal receiver, wherein the storage latch is adapted to receive the first end of the bearing brace in the internal receiver when the support is in the stored position.

9. The table of claim 8, wherein the bearing brace further comprises a pair of legs connected at a vertex, the vertex being sized to be disposed in the internal receiver of the latch, the vertex being maintained in the internal receiver by the catch.

10. The table of claim 8, wherein the storage latch further comprises a rotatable lever including a catch, wherein rotation of the lever rotates the catch between a first position in which the catch blocks exit from the interior internal receiver to a second position in which the catch allows exit from the internal receiver.

11. The table of claim 7, further comprising a wear track on the underside of the table top positioned between the set-up latch and the storage latch to contact the first end of the bearing brace as the bearing brace moves between the set-up latch and the storage latch.

12. The table of claim 1, wherein the table top further comprises a frame having a first rail and a second rail, the first and second rail each including a receiving hole, the support including a cross member, wherein opposed ends of the cross member are inserted into the receiving holes such that the support is rotatably secured to the frame.

13. The table of claim 12, wherein the first rail is disposed along a front side of the table, and the second rail is disposed along a back side of the table.

14. The table of claim 1, further comprising a pair of spaced apart latches carried on the support, the pair of latches including biased extensions.

15. The table of claim 14, the pair of latches positioned to maintain the bearing brace in confronting relationship with the support, wherein the bearing brace can be released by overcoming the force of the bias of the extensions.

16. The table of claim 15, further comprising an upper cross-bar and a lower cross-bar, the bearing brace being rotatably attached to the lower cross-bar, the pair of latches being carried on the upper cross-bar.

17. The table of claim 1, wherein the set-up latch further comprises a pair of opposed housings defining a gap therebetween, the pair of opposed housings each including an extension member biased into the gap toward each other.

18. The table of claim 17, wherein the set-up latch defines a receiving area between the housings and under the extension members that is adapted to receive the first end of the bearing brace to maintain the support in the extended position.

19. A table comprising: a table top with an underside; a first support rotatably attached to the underside of the table top; a first bearing brace with a first end and a second end, the second end of the first bearing brace being rotatably attached to the first support; a first set-up latch connected to the underside of the table top; a second support rotatably attached to the underside of the table top; a second bearing brace with a first end and a second end, the second end of the second bearing brace being rotatably attached to the second support; a second set-up latch connected to the underside of the table top; wherein both the first support and the second support are independently rotatable between a stored position in which the respective support is adjacent the underside of the table top, and an extended position in which the respective support is rotated away from the underside of the table top; and wherein in the extended position, the respective first ends of the bearing braces are disposed in the respective set-up latches.

20. The table of claim 19, wherein the first support is substantially a mirror image of the second support.

21. A banquet table, comprising: a table top with an underside; a support rotatably attached to the underside of the table top, the support being rotatable through at least a stored position and an extended position; a bearing brace with a first end and a second end opposite the first end, the bearing brace being rotatably connected to support at the second end; a spring disposed between the support and the bearing brace; a set-up latch disposed on the underside of the tabletop, the first end of the bearing brace being releasably securable in the set-up latch when the support is in the extended position; and wherein the spring maintains the first end of the bearing brace against the underside of the table top as the support is rotated between the stored position and the extended position.

22. The banquet table of claim 21, further comprising a storage latch on the underside of the table top adapted to releasably secure the first end of the bearing brace in place when the support is in the stored position.

23. The banquet table of claim 22, further comprising a wear track disposed on the underside of the table top between the storage latch and the set-up latch.

24. The banquet table of claim 21, the support includes a pair of legs connected by a cross brace, the table further comprising a hinge connecting the bearing brace to the cross brace.

25. The banquet table of claim 24, the bearing brace including a pair of legs connected at the first end to form an apex, the pair of legs connected at the second end by a cross bar, wherein the hinge is connected to the cross bar.

26. A banquet table, comprising: a table top with an underside; a support rotatably attached to the underside of the table top, the support being rotatable between at least a stored position lying generally adjacent the underside and an extended position in which the support extends generally away from the underside; a bearing brace including a first end and a second end opposite the first end, the bearing brace being rotatably attached to the support at the second end; and a storage latch on the underside of the table top, the storage latch including a receiver, the first end of the bearing brace releasably secureable in the receiver to maintain the support adjacent the table top in the stored position.

27. The banquet table of claim 26, further including a spring connected to the support, wherein the spring biases the support from the stored position to the extended position.

28. The banquet table of claim 27, the first support including a pair of legs connected by a cross brace, the spring loaded hinge being connected to the cross brace.

29. The banquet table of claim 26, further comprising a set-up latch on the underside of the table top adapted to releasably secure the first end of the bearing brace in place when the support is in the extended position.

30. The banquet table of claim 29, wherein the set-up latch includes a housing and a receiver, the first end of the bearing brace being disposed in the receiver when the support is in the extended position.

31. The banquet table of claim 29, wherein the set-up latch includes a housing with a pair of opposing extensions extending into a gap between the housings and a receiving area beneath the extensions, the first end of the bearing brace being disposed in the receiving area when the table top is in the extended position.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to tables, and more particularly to tables with support legs that fold for easy storage.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Folding tables such as banquet tables have a table top and a support on each end attached to the underside of the table top. Each support can include a pair of legs and can be collapsible or can fold between an extended position and a stored position. In the extended position, the supports are approximately perpendicular to the table top, while in the stored position, the supports are folded against the table top. By placing the supports in the stored position, the table can be stored in a comparatively small space.

In a particular known table, each support is rotatably attached to the underside of the table top. A two bar linkage has a first end connected to the underside of the table top and a second end connected to the support at a position approximately midway down the support. As the support is rotated from the stored position to the extended position, the linkage is extended and locks the support in the extended position

At least some known tables are cumbersome to use. For example, some two bar linkage systems may be difficult to move into the locking position. Some systems may also present undesirable pinch points.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a table constructed in accordance with the teachings of this disclosure;

FIG. 2 is an end view of the table of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an elevational side view of the right half of the table of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the underside of the table of FIG. 1 with the support in a stored position.

FIG. 4a is a detail view taken from the circumscribed portion of FIG. 4.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the underside of the table of FIG. 1 with the support in an intermediate position between the stored position and the extended position.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the underside of the table of FIG. 1 with the support in an extended position.

FIGS. 7a, 7b, and 7c are detailed side views in partial cross-section of a latch on the underside of the table, taken along line 7-7 in FIG. 6 with a bearing brace in cross section.

FIG. 8 is a detailed side view of second example of a latch.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the underside of a table with a second example of a support in the stored position.

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the underside of the table of FIG. 9 with the support in an intermediate position between the stored position and the extended position.

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the underside of the table of FIG. 9 with the support in an extended position.

FIG. 12 is a detailed view taken from Circle 12 in FIG. 11.

While the disclosure is susceptible to various modifications and alternative constructions, certain illustrative embodiments thereof have been shown in the drawings and will be described below in detail. It should be understood, however, that there is no intention to limit the disclosure to the specific forms disclosed, but on the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, alternative constructions, and the equivalents falling within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to the drawings, FIGS. 1-3 depict a first example of a table 20 with a first foldable support 22. In this example, the table 20 also includes a second foldable support 24. The table 20 defines a left side 26, a right side 28, a front side 30 and a back side 32. The table 20 further defines a right half 34 and a left half 36. The first support 22 is located near the right side 28, and the second support 24 is located near the left side 26. The table 20 includes a table top 38 with a top side 40 and an underside 42. In this example, only the first support 22 will be described, as it will be understood that the structure on the left half 36 of the table 20, including the second support 24, can be a mirror image of the structure on the right half 34. All directional labels of the table 20, e.g. front, left, top sides, etc., are for reference and convenience of description only, and not intended to limit the table 20 in any way.

The first support 22 and second support 24 can maintain the table top 38 in an elevated position above a substrate 44. The first support 22 is rotatably attached to the underside 42 of the table top 38 and is rotatable between at least an extended position, as is depicted in FIGS. 1-3, and a stored position, as will be described later in detail. The first support 22 and table top 38 are retained in the extended position by a bearing brace 46 in this example.

Referring now to FIGS. 4-6, the underside 42 of the table top 38 is shown. FIG. 4 depicts the first support 22 in the stored position, FIG. 5 depicts the first support 22 approximately midway between the stored position and the extended position, and FIG. 6 depicts the first support 22 in the extended position. In the stored position, the first support 22 is substantially laying against and generally parallel to the underside 42 of the table top 38. In the extended position, the first support 22 is normally slightly greater than 90° from the table top 38. In this way, the supports 22, 24 are able to resist forces pushing against the left or right sides 26, 28. However, it is possible that the extended position could encompass a wide range of angles of the first support 22 from the table top 38 in which the table top 38 is supported above the substrate 44.

The table top 38 is plate-like and in this example is constructed of molded plastic and can be formed by blow molding or other suitable processes. The table top 38 can include a series of depressions 48 on its underside to provide rigidity and strength. Other materials can be used to manufacture the table top 38 such as wood, fiber board, metal, or combinations thereof. The table top 38 can also include a lip or skirt 50 extending downward from its outer perimeter or near the perimeter to help obscure the structures on the underside 42 of the table top 38 from sight as well as provide increased strength to the table top 38.

The table top 38 can, as in this example, include a frame 52 on its underside. The disclosed frame 52 is constructed to provide support to the table top 38 without adding a substantial amount of weight. The frame 52 in this example includes a first rail 54 and a second rail 56 extending along the front side 30 and the back side 32, respectively. The rails 54, 56 in this example are Z-shaped and made from steel. Other constructions of the frame 52 are known to those of skill in the art depending on a particular application. For example, if the table 20 must support a great amount of weight, the frame 52 can also include a number of cross members connecting the rails 54, 56. The rails 54, 56 can also have increased size in wall thickness and cross-section, or the rails 54, 56 could have a different cross-sectional shape such as a tube or an I-beam.

The first support 22 can be rotatably connected to the frame 52. The first rail 54 of the frame 52 can include a right end receiving hole 58 and the second rail 56 can also include a right end receiving hole 60. The receiving holes 58, 60 are aligned opposite one another. The first support 22 as shown includes a cross member 62 with a front end 64 and a back end 66 rotatably disposed in the right end receiving holes 58, 60 of the first rail 54 and second rail 56, respectively. The front end 64 and the back end 66 are inserted into the respective receiving holes 58, 60 to provide a connection such that the cross member 62 defines an axis of rotation A. The first support 22 can be rotated relative to the table top 38 about the axis of rotation A between at least the stored position and the extended position. Other methods of connection will be evident to those having ordinary skill in the art, including bearings, bushings, a cross member fixed to the frame 52 with the remainder of the support being rotatably connected to the cross member, or the like. In another embodiment, no frame 52 is used, and instead, receiving holes or depressions can be disposed directly in the underside 42 of the table 20, with the first support 22 rotatably received in the receiving holes.

The first support 22 further includes a pair of legs 68 extending away from the cross member 62. As is known, the legs 68 support the table top 38 in an elevated position above the substrate 44. In this example, the legs 68 have an angled configuration and are made from tube steel. However, any configuration, cross section, and/or material of the legs 68 suitable to support the table top 38 in an elevated position is possible. Further, more or fewer legs can be used in the first support 22. Even one leg can be used if the leg includes a foot that can provide stability. The pair of legs 68 in this example is connected by a cross-brace 70 that maintains the legs 68 in a spaced relationship. This can help to maintain the table top 38 in a stable position.

Referring now to FIG. 4A, a torsional spring 71 can be disposed inside the cross member 62. The torsional spring 71 can have a first end 71a connected to the cross member 62 in a known manner, and a second end (not shown) connected to the frame 52. The torsional spring 71 can provide a force F1 that will assist that rotation of the first support 22 about the axis A. This aids the user in shifting the first support 22 from the stored position to the extended position. It is also possible to configure the spring 71 to aid the user in shifting the first support 22 from the extended position to the stored position.

The bearing brace 46 is pivotably attached to the first support 22 at a joint 72. In this example, the bearing brace 46 is attached to the cross-brace 70. However, those of ordinary skill in the art will see other useful joints between the bearing brace 46 and the first support 22. The bearing brace 46 includes a first end 74 and a second end 76. In this example, the bearing brace 46 includes two legs 77a, 77b. The two legs 77a, 77b are joined at the first end 74 and extend toward the second end 76 away from each other to form the shape of the letter ‘V,’ with the first end 74 being a vertex 75 of the ‘V.’ At the second end 76 the legs 77a, 77b are connected to each other by a member 77c (seen best in FIG. 6). The bearing brace 46 could, however, take on any number of shapes, such as a linear shaft, an oval, a rectangle, etc., to provide support for the first support 22.

The two legs 77a, 77b and member 77c of the bearing brace 46 are rotatably connected to the cross-brace 70 by a hinge 78 at the joint 72 which in this example: is near the second end 76. It is also possible for the second end 76 to extend past the joint 72, such that the joint 72 is in the middle of the bearing brace 46.

Referring to FIG. 6, the hinge 78 in one example includes a first leaf 79a, a second leaf 79b, and a spring 80. The first leaf 79a is connected to the member 77c and the second leaf 79b is connected to the cross brace 70. The spring 80 imparts a torsional force F2 between the bearing brace 46 and the first support 22 that biases the bearing brace 46 in the direction of the force F2. The spring 80 in this example is a torsional spring, but other types of springs can be used.

When the first support 22 is in the stored position as shown in FIG. 4, the legs 68 of the first support 22 lie generally against the underside 42 of the table top 38. The bearing brace 46 also lies generally against the underside 42 of the table top 38 in parallel with the legs 68 with both the legs 68 and the bearing brace 46 extending away from the right side 28. In this position, the spring 80 is under compression. The spring 80 biases the first end 74 of the bearing brace 46 away from the support 22. Thus, as the first support 22 is moved between the stored position and the extended position, the first end 74 of the bearing brace 46 is maintained against the underside 42 of the table top 38.

In another example, the spring force F2 is increased such that the force F2 of the spring 80 draws and rotates the first end 74 of the bearing brace 46 toward the right side 28. The first end 74 of the bearing brace 46 bears against the underside 42 of the table top 38, raising the support 22. In this manner, the spring 80 forces the first support 22 to rotate about the cross member 62 in an opening direction D1 and biases the first support 22 from the stored position toward the extended position. Thus, either the torsional spring 71 or the spring 80 can be used to bias the support to either position. In the extended position, the legs 68 extend generally downward from the table top 38 and the bearing brace 46 extends at an angle back upward from the cross brace 70 to the underside 42 of the table top.

While in this example the spring 80 biases the first support 22 as such, it is also easily possible to configure the spring 80 to bias the first support 22 in an opposite manner, i.e. from the extended position to the stored position, if desired.

A first support 22 and a second support 24 are shown in this example. It is possible, however, for a table to include only a single support constructed as disclosed herein. In such an example, the support can include a foot with a wide base to provide the necessary stability for a given table top.

The table 20 further includes a first set-up latch 82 on the underside 42 of the table top 38 as shown in detail in FIGS. 7a, 7b, and 7c. The first set-up latch 82 includes a housing 84 with an interior receiver 86. The interior receiver 86 is sized to receive the vertex 75 of the bearing brace 46. The first set-up latch 82 further includes a lever 88 rotatably connected to the housing 84 at a pivot point 89. The lever 88 can be biased to the position shown in FIG. 7a by a spring 89a. The lever 88 includes a handle 89 and catch 90. The catch 90 defines a cam surface 91 and a retaining surface 92.

The lever 88 and the catch 90 can be moved between a closed position, shown in FIG. 7a, and an open position, shown in FIG. 7b. In the closed position, the retaining surface 92 and the interior receiver 86 define a receiving area 93 in which the vertex 75 can be maintained. In the open position, shown in FIG. 7b, rotation of the lever 88 toward the right end 28 forces the catch 90 to be rotated upward and toward the right end 28 and into the housing 84. The catch 90 is moved to a position that does not block entrance into the interior receiver 86, and the vertex 75 of the bearing brace 46 can be moved into and out from the interior receiver 86. The lever 88 can be biased using a spring or other means such that the lever 88 is biased toward the closed position. As can be seen in FIG. 6, when the vertex 75 of the bearing brace 46 is held in the first set-up latch 82, the first support 22 is in the extended position.

The first set-up latch 82 may be further supported by a bracket 94 fastened to the underside 42 of the table top 38. The bracket 94 can ensure that the first set-up latch 82 is not moved laterally toward the right side 28 of the table 20.

The table 20 can further include a storage latch 95 on the underside 42 of the table top 38, also for use with the first support 22. The storage latch 95 may be constructed similarly to the first set-up latch 82, including a housing 96, an interior receiver 97, and a lever 98, and may operate in essentially the same manner. As is shown in FIG. 4, when the bearing brace 46 is held in the housing 96 of the storage latch 95, the first support 22 is in the stored position.

A wear track 100 can be disposed on the underside 42 of the table top 38 between the first set-up latch 82 and the storage latch 95. The wear track 100 can be made from a hard plastic or metal or any other material that can protect the underside 42 of the table top 38 from wear caused by sliding contact of the vertex 75 of the bearing brace 46 as it moves between the stored position and the extended position.

To move the first support 22 from the stored position shown in FIG. 4 to the extended position shown in FIG. 6, the user engages and pushes the lever 98 on the storage latch 95 to move the lever 98 from the closed position to the open position, thereby opening the storage latch 95 and allowing the first end 74 of the bearing brace 46 out of the housing 96. The torsional force F1 of the spring 71 pushes the support 22 upward to rotate the support 22 about the axis A, thereby drawing the bearing brace 46 along the wear track 100 toward the right end 28. This action lifts or at least assists in lifting the first support 22 and rotates or helps to rotate the first support 22 about the cross member 62 in direction D1 from the stored position toward the extended position.

The torsional force F2 of the spring 80 maintains the first end 74 of the bearing brace 46 on the wear track 100 as the vertex 75 travels toward the first set-up latch 82. When the first end 74 reaches the set-up latch 82, the first end 74 of the bearing brace 46 contacts the cam surface 91 of the catch 90, overcomes the spring bias, and forces the catch 90 of the first set-up latch 82 from the closed position to the open position, as shown in FIG. 7b. The vertex 75 continues to travel into the interior receiver 86 of the housing 84. The lever 88 then snaps back under the bias force of the spring into the closed position and locks the first end 74 of the bearing brace 46 in the housing 84, as shown in FIG. 7c. The bracket 92 helps the first set-up latch 82 from being pushed or pulled out of position. The first support 22 is thereby moved from the stored position to the extended position and secured in the extended position with little effort from the user.

To move the first support 22 from the extended position to the stored position, the user can engage and push the lever 88 on the first set-up latch 82 in direction D2 to move the catch 90 from the closed position shown in FIG. 7c to the open position shown in FIG. 7b. The first support 22 can then be rotated back down toward the underside 42 of the table top 38 about the axis A. The first end 74 of the bearing brace 46 travels along the wear track 100 until it reaches the storage latch 95. The first end 74 can force the storage latch 95 to its open position and travel into the interior receiver 97 of the housing 96. The storage latch 95 can then snap back into the closed position. The first support 22 thereby lies against the underside 42 of the table top 38 in the stored position. The retaining surface 92 of the set-up latch 82 encompasses the vertex 75 of the bearing brace 46 such that movement of the bearing brace 46 away from the interior receiver 86 does not open the latch 82. Instead, the bearing brace 46 is held fast within the latch 82 until the lever 88 is rotated about the pivot point 89, thereby opening the latch 82 allowing the vertex 75 to exit the latch 82.

A second example of a latch 102 is shown in FIG. 8. This latch 102 can also function as both a set-up latch or a storage latch. The latch 102 includes a lever 103 that pivots about a pivot point 104 and a spring 105 that exerts a force F3 that biases the lever 103 to the position shown in FIG. 8. The lever 103 includes a catch 106 with a cam surface 107 and a retaining surface 108. In this example, an interior receiver 109 is integral with the underside 42 of the table top 38. The latch 102 functions similarly to the set-up latch 82 and the storage latch 95.

In a further example, the set-up latch 82 and the storage latch 95 are not spring loaded, but instead are gravity gate latches. Thus, when the table top 38 is in an upside-down position as shown in FIGS. 4-6, gravity maintains the latch in a closed position, as shown in FIG. 7a. When the table 20 is in the position shown in FIGS. 1-3, however, the latch would open, as gravity pulls the lever 88 downward. Because the first and second supports 22, 24 have an extended position that is rotated past 90°, the weight of the table top 38 forces the supports in direction D1, which pulls the first end 74 into the interior receiver 86 of the latch. Even thought the latch is open, the weight of the table top 38 maintains the bearing brace 46 in the set-up latch 82.

Referring now to FIGS. 9-12, a second example of a table 110 with a left side (not shown), right side 112, front side 114, and back side 116 is depicted. The table 110 can include a first foldable support 118 near the right side 112. The table 110 can further include a second foldable support (not shown) near the left side. The table 110 has a right half 120 and a left half (not shown). FIGS. 9-12 depict only the right half 120 of the table 110. However the left half can be a mirror image of the right half 120. Accordingly, all structure described on the right half 120 can also be disposed on the left half. As such, only the first support 118 will be described.

The table 110 includes a table top 124 that can be similar in structure to the table top 124 of the first example with a top side 126, an underside 128, and a frame 130 that includes a first rail 132 and a second rail 134 along opposite sides of the table top 124. The rails 132, 134 each include a receiving hole 136, 138 near the respective right side 112. Again, the structure of the table top 124 can vary from that described.

The first support 118 includes a cross member 140 with a front end 142 and a rear end 144 each inserted into a respective receiving hole 136, 138. The cross member 140 is thereby secured to the frame 130 and is rotatable with respect to the table top 124 and defines an axis of rotation A2. The first support 118 includes a pair of spaced apart support legs 146 extending radially outward from the cross member 140. Although two support legs 146 are shown herein, again, more or fewer legs can be used.

A pair of cross-braces 148 and 150 connect the two support legs 146 and maintain the support legs 146 in a spaced relationship. The cross-braces 148, 150 provide support to the support legs 146 and in this example are generally parallel to each other.

A bearing brace 154 is rotatably attached to the upper cross-brace 150. The bearing brace 154 has a pair of legs 155a, 155b, each leg having a first end 156 and a second end 158. In this example, the second ends 158 are rotatably coupled to the cross-brace 150, and the first end 156 is distal from the cross-brace 148. The first ends 156 of the legs 155a, 155b are joined together by a cross-rail 157.

The upper cross-brace 150 in this example includes a pair of brackets 160, with the ends of the bearing brace 154 rotatably held therein. Other structure to rotatably secure the bearing brace 154 to the upper cross-brace 150 can be used, as will be evident to those of ordinary skill in the art.

The lower cross-brace 148 in this example includes a pair of opposed brace latches 162. The opposed brace latches 162 can each include a housing 164 inside which are spring loaded extensions 166. The extensions 166 in one example are biased out of their respective housings 164 toward each other and are adapted to maintain the bearing brace 154 against the lower cross-brace 148 by trapping the legs 155a, 155b between the extensions 166 and the lower cross-brace 148. This allows for the bearing brace 154 to be maintained in a stationary position relative to the support legs 146 as the first support 118 is rotated upward. The bearing brace 154 can be released from the extensions 166 by simply rotating the bearing brace 154 toward the table top 124, away from the support 118, with enough force to overcome the force of the springs on the extensions 166.

A set-up latch 168 is disposed on the underside 128 of the table top 124. The set-up latch 168 is configured to receive the cross-rail 157 of the bearing brace 154 to maintain the first support 118 in the extended position. As can best be seen in FIG. 12, the set-up latch 168 includes a pair of opposed housings 170 which define an opening 172 therebetween. Extensions or catches 174 are disposed in each housing 170 and are biased by one or more springs (not shown) toward each other into the opening 172. The extensions 174 can each include an angled top surface or curved, smooth end 176 and a gap 177 is formed between the facing ends 176. The opening 172 leads to a receiving area 178 under the extension members 174.

The table 110 can include additional structure to secure the first support 118 to the underside 128 of the table top 124 in the stored position. This can include any type of structure such as a latch 180 that can releasably fasten the support legs 146 or cross-brace 148 or 150 to the table top 124. Alternatively, such additional latch or latches can secure the bearing brace 154 to the underside of the table top 124.

To move the first support 118 from the stored position shown in FIG. 9 to the extended position shown in FIG. 11, the user can rotate the first support 118 about the axis of rotation A2 away from the underside 128 of the table top 124 to the position shown in FIG. 10. The user can then pull the bearing brace 154 out of the brace latches 162 and rotate the bearing brace 154 toward the underside 128 of the table top 124.

The cross-rail 157 of the bearing brace 154 can then be secured to the underside 128 of the table top 124 with the set-up latch 168. The user can insert the cross-rail 157 through the angled top surfaces 176 of the extension members 174 between the opposed housings 170 and into the receiving area 178. The cross-rail 156 can then be maintained in the receiving area 178 by the weight of the table top 124.

In another example, any of the aforementioned latches can simply be a recess molded into the underside 42 of the table top 38. Thus, for example, the set-up latch could be a recess with a diameter such that the first end 74 of the bearing brace 46 could be disposed in the recess in a slight interference fit to ensure that the first end 74 could be releasably maintained therein. Other latches are similarly known by those of ordinary skill in the art and are within the scope of this disclosure.

The foregoing description is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to the precise form disclosed. It is contemplated that various changes and modifications may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.





 
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