Title:
Table having manual manipulations for detachable support latterally off vertical and horizanial structual-framing members
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed herein is a multi-functional utility table used in a wide variety of ways. The utility table comprises of a flat horizontal tabletop cutting board made from USDA/FDA approved composite material that's attached to a post-engaging clamping bracket. Its preferred embodiment, a Utility Table that is mounted to an existing dock/pier consisting of man-made structures. The purpose of the Utility Table is to be used primarily on narrow finger dock/pier(s), or any other solid structures. It can be used to clean/fillet fish, attach rod holders, place tackle/tool boxes and drinks on. It also has the ability to be used in a standing or sitting position. This utility table is easily attached or removed. It also can be adjusted up to various desired heights when not in use so not to impede any pedestrian traffic without having to remove the utility table from witch it is attached to.



Inventors:
Juda, Ronald Eugene (Camdenton, MO, US)
Juda, Katherine Wallace (Camdenton, MO, US)
Application Number:
11/998910
Publication Date:
03/12/2009
Filing Date:
12/01/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B5/02; A47B37/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHEN, JOSE V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Ronald, Juda E. (Suite 5-B, 230 Plaza Gardens Ct, Camdenton, MO, 65020, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A multi-functional utility table apparatus, with a steel perimeter railing, having manual manipulations for attachment, detachment, and, vertical or horizontal-adjustments relative to being supported off vertical or horizontal structural framing dock/pier and/or finger pier walkways.

2. The multi-functional utility table according to claim 1 comprises of a flat tabletop that is made from USDA and FDA commercially approved white composite cutting board material, and is adjoined or connected to a bracket assembly that can be used on any suitable dock/pier(s), deck handrail/baluster, tree trunk, or any existing structural member.

3. The multi-functional utility table, according to claim 2, wherein a U-channel is used to mount the tabletop base plate by means of welding horizontally on both sides (top & bottom) of the base plate seam to the U-channel.

4. The multi-functional utility table according to claim 3, wherein a gusset/stiffener plate is welded horizontally on both of the gusset/stiffener plate seams to the base plate.

5. The multi-functional utility table according to claim 4, wherein a gusset/stiffener plate is welded vertically on both sides gusset/stiffener plate seams to the U-channel.

6. The multi-functional utility table according to claim 3, wherein the said utility tabletop further comprises of a steel mounting/base plate consisting of four pre-drilled holes in both the base plate and the tabletop. Bolts, lock washers, and nuts are used to firmly secure the tabletop to the mounting/base plate.

7. The multi-functional utility table, wherein the U-channel has two holes drilled on the backside it, wherein two nuts (threaded bosses) are tack weld to allow for the installation of two threaded eyebolts.

8. The multi-functional utility table, in accordance with claim 7, wherein two eyebolts are threaded into where the aforementioned tack welded nuts located on the backside of the U-channel. This allows the utility table to be firmly and securely attached to existing dock(s) finger pier(s) walkways at various elevations.

9. The multi-functional utility table, in accordance with claim 8, the U-channel can be installed on existing vertical structural supports that can be found at most inland lakes and rivers by tightening both eyebolts clockwise until the complete utility table is securely fastened to the existing dock/pier support structure.

10. The multi-functional utility table in accordance claim 8, where the aforementioned eyebolts can also be used to secure a live well fish basket in order to keep fish fresh before filleting, or store/clip a towel(s) too.

11. The multi-functional utility table, having a round steel railing that is formed as one piece. It goes along the entire back side of the tabletop, and 90 degrees towards the front of each side, to the halfway where it then turns 90 degrees down into the tabletop composite. It is also welded to the U-channel bracket support to provide a very stable and rigid railing.

12. The multi-functional utility table, in accordance with claim 11 has a round steel railing that is formed as one piece that could also be used to attach rod holders accessories.

13. The multi-functional utility table, in accordance with claim 11 having a round steel railing that is formed solid & rigid providing a guard rail effect that could also be used to prevent tackle/tool boxes, drinks, etc. from being accidentally being knocked into the water.

14. The multi-functional utility table, in accordance with claim 1, the aforementioned can be installed horizontally to the U-channel by rotating the tabletop mounting/base plate and gusset/stiffener plate 90° in relation to the U-channel. Using the same weld pattern, along with tack welding for both nuts to the opposite side/end of the U-channel, and installing the eyebolts as same in the aforementioned configuration, this will achieve the same utility table with the U-channel in the horizontal position. This orientation is as such that it can be attached to a majority of existing horizontal framing members within its aforementioned maximum attachment capabilities.

15. The multi-functional utility table, in accordance with claim 1, the U-channel orientation as such, can be attached to a majority of horizontal framing members.

16. The multi-functional utility table, in accordance with claim(s) to substitute the U-channel configuration to a steel pipe configuration, as the structural member that the aforementioned tabletop mounting/base plate, gusset/stiffener plate, tacked welded eyebolt nuts in either the vertical or horizontal configuration, using the pipe as the structural bracket attachment in place of the aforementioned U-channel can be welded as previously outlined, and installed either in its horizontal or vertical position by attaching to an existing structural member for dock/pier/pylon(s) that is existing in the either orientation

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION (S)

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Non-Provisional application Ser. No. 11/998,910 filed Dec. 2, 2007.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to accessories used during recreational fishing, boating, boat maintenance, swimming, etc. in which provides integral utility tables with a solid work surface and perimeter rail. A utility table that has manual manipulations for attachment/detachment/vertical-adjustment relative to being supported laterally off of vertical structural framing members and, most preferentially to, fish cleaning/filleting, bait cutting, and rod holder tables, having attachment/detachment/vertical-adjustment relative to being supported laterally off of the roof post of boat dock/pier(s).

2. Description of the Background

Nowadays, at least in the Midwest and Southeast regions of the country, there are numerous rivers, which were made from large inland reservoirs and fresh water lakes that was built by the Corps of Engineers, or local public utilities and the like. Among other things, these lakes and reservoirs provide an excellent opportunity for recreational fun for boating, fishing, or swimming. In addition, where there will be boats or fisherman, there will more than likely be docks and piers. However, on most of these reservoirs and the likes, it is becoming increasingly seen that the applicable controlling authority (e.g., the Corps of Engineers, State and/or local public utility, etc.) tightly regulating shoreline development of new dock/pier construction. Such permits expressly or implicitly incorporate by reference an applicable construction specifications or guidelines.

A typical example of the foregoing as representation of the many others is the Lake of the Ozarks, a large reservoir in central Missouri built in the depression, by a public utility for hydroelectricity power generation. The public utility today goes by the name Ameren Corporation, of St. Louis.

Ameren has a published document on dock construction. It can be located online under the title of “[Ameren] Dock Specification Guidelines,” www.ameren.com/eviroment/adc_ev_docksprcguidelines.asp. Copyright© 2006 Ameren Services.

Indeed, the Ameren specification incorporates further specifications, including Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards as well as American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Manuals and Reports on Engineering Practice No. 50: —“Planning and Design Guidelines for Small Craft Harbors”. Further more, Federal, State and Local governing bodies that issue building permits for the construction of docks and piers are closely monitored by qualified inspectors representing their specific entities to ensure that that the finished construction complies with the forementioned governing bodies.

It would be best to provide a single multi-functional Utility Table to fill all the desired needs. This would increase both functionality and portability on the docks and/or piers which may also be some distance away from where a fisherman, boat mechanic, or for any other recreational water pleasure as in swimming, etc. that may be some distance away from the waters edge.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, there is a significant consumer demand for Utility Tables that is lightweight, and appropriate in size, but also that is easily transportable to the finger piers and docks, etc. along with their fishing gear, tackle box, toolbox, or refreshing drinks etc. However, on many finger piers & docks, is not always an easy to find an ideal location for a utility table that will not impede the flow of pedestrian traffic and one that will not cause defacing the pier or dock in anyway.

There are two upshots of all the above which are pertinent to the present invention. One is, not only are the structural steel framing members specified to be structural steel for the docks/piers, in the practical effect, all of the roof post configurations are uniformly appearing to be square structural steel.

The other is, the walking surface (deck) area of the dock/pier(s), which comprises the finger piers and the main walkway that interlinks the finger piers to the gangways is minimized. Perhaps because the specifications make dock/pier construction so costly, this in turn has the designers submitting designs for the finger piers and walkways smaller and uncomfortably narrow. Two persons carrying coolers find it hard to safely pass each other. Again, perhaps the finger dock(s) or pier walkway(s) are designed narrow to save cost of construction.

It is a problem these days that dock/pier users have a need for a durable lightweight utility tables, which is absent in the newer, modern-style steel dock/pier(s). The aging wooded dock/pier(s) that are no longer being built, that typically provided amply room for a fish cleaning station. It is ironic but the newer modern style steel dock/pier(s) are typically omitting such fish cleaning/filleting utility table stations. Nevertheless, fishing is a popular as it ever was. With the modernization of the newer modern-style, dock/pier(s) that is depriving dock/pier users of cleaning/fillet utility tables that were the norm for the older and disappearing wooden dock/pier(s).

What is needed is an improvement, which overcomes the shortcomings with the newer narrower modern steel dock/pier(s).

It is the object of the invention is that the foregoing utility table be laterally supported over a finger pier/dock walkways.

It is the object of the invention to provide a utility table that can be manually attached and detached from the vertical steel roof support structures, etc.

It is the object of the invention to provide a utility table that is easy and light weight to use, to store when not in use, without having it be a hazard, or an obstruction, that is in the path any of pedestrians traffic on the dock/finger pier walkways.

It is the object of the invention to have a utility table with manual manipulations that has effortless attachment/detachment abilities, with vertical adjustment, relative to being supported horizontally from man made structural-framing members.

It is the object of the invention to have a utility table in which is most preferentially used for fish cleaning/filleting, bait cleaning, attaching rod holder(s) to its railing, or to a place/store tackle/tool boxes, lanterns, drinks, or etc.

It is the object of the invention to have a utility table that's compatible with the present narrower finger docks piers that are being constructed today.

It is also the object of the invention to provide a utility table that is needed for a variety of uses including recreational fishing, boating swimming, etc., and having the ability of having manual manipulations for attachment/detachment, vertical and horizontal-adjustments off vertical roof/lower support posts for boating/fishing piers/docks. so not to obstruct the flow of pedestrian traffic.

It is the object of the invention to have a utility table with a railing along the backside (horizontally to the table top) of the tabletop that could support any compatible rod holders that are in the fishing accessories market today.

Its is another object of the invention to provide an improved fishing rod support railing to support the rod holders that is not subjected to material failure/fatigue or deformation.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

There are shown in the drawings, certain exemplar embodiments of the invention as presently preferred. It should be understood that the invention is not limited to the embodiments disclosed as examples, and is capable of variation within the scope of the drawings. Other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments, and certain modifications thereof when taken together with the accompanying drawings which:

FIG. 1 is a drawing of the utility table apparatus in accordance with the invention, wherein it is shown attached to an existing vertical steel roof post of a structural-steel framed dock/pier(s), and along a finger pier thereof in order to illustrate an example use environment.

FIG. 2 is a drawing of the utility table apparatus at a slightly different angle in comparison to FIG. 1 that is also shown attached to an existing vertical steel roof post of a structural-steel framed dock/pier(s), along a finger pier thereof in order to illustrate an example use environment.

FIG. 3 is a drawing of the utility table that is a “Plan View” in the accordance with the invention, wherein it is attached the existing vertical steel roof support typically found on the framed dock(s) and finger pier(s).

FIG. 4 is a drawing of the utility table that is an elevation view from the front of FIGS. 1, 2, 3,5 &6.

FIG. 5 is a drawing that is partial sectional view of the utility table looking from the right side from FIGS. 1, 2, 3 &4.

FIG. 6 is a drawing that is partial sectional view of the utility table looking from the left side from FIGS. 1, 2, 3 &4.

FIG. 7 is a drawing that is another sectional view of the utility table looking from the rear/backside of FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 &6.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIGS. 1-7 (with FIGS. 1&2 shown respectively at a slightly different angle) shows a utility table apparatus in accordance with the embodiment of the invention. It is shown attached to an existing steel roof post 25, or from any other typical structural steel framed dock/finger pier(s). It is an aspect of the invention, that the foregoing utility table, is to be optionally laterally supported, either over finger piers or walkways of the dock/pier(s), so that either a seated, or a standing user on the finger pier(s) or walkway(s), can use the utility table apparatus in a matter of fish cleaning/filleting, bait cutting, attaching rod holders to, placing tackle/tool boxes, drinks, or any other conceivable multi-general purpose use(s).

FIGS. 1-7 the U-channel 8 is produced from steel U-channel stock. It provides a post-engaging clamping structure semi-encircled sleeve located around three sides of existing finger dock/pier(s) roof support structure(s) 25. Located on the backside of the steel U-channel 8 are two internally threaded bosses 20. Such bosses are actually nuts 20 that are welded over two drilled holes on the backside of the steel U-channel 8. The two eyebolts 22 are threaded through each one of the nuts 20.

Tightening the eyebolts 22 firmly clamps the steel U-channel 8 (post-engaging clamping structure) to the existing roof post 25 (or whatever suitable upright frame member is selected). The steel U-channel 8 (post-engaging clamping structure) is fixed firm, not only at one elevation, but also in one rigid attitude, provided the roof post is corresponding rock solid.

Loosening the eyebolts 22 relaxes the clamping grip of the steel U-channel 8 (post-engaging clamping structure) from the existing roof post 25 (or whatever suitable upright frame member is selected). The utility table can be easily removed from the existing roof post 25 as for storage elsewhere, or a for re-engaging the square roof post 25 relative to the original position at any 90° clockwise, 90° counterclockwise, or 180°.

The table can be slid axially up or down the roof post 25 by virtue of the steel U-channel 8 (a post-engaging clamping structure semi-encircling sleeve) riding the roof post like a track design, having the capability, and flexibility to be installed on similar dock/finger pier(s) structural support steel 25 at various desired elevations. The track design allows easy adjustment vertically up or down. This allows the utility table apparatus to be used at various positions, whether the user is seated or standing. It also allows the utility table apparatus to be easily adjusted/stored up high enough on dock/finger pier(s) structural steel 25 so not to impede the flow of pedestrian traffic. This flexibility means it is not necessary to completely remove the utility table apparatus from the more typically newer, smaller, and more confining dock/finger pier(s) construction used today, and for the years to come.

It's also contemplated that the steel U-channel 8 to have other shapes i.e. by rotating just the steel U-channel 8 on its axis 90 degrees so that it still can facilitate the most of the remaining apparatus consisting of 10 12 14 18 20 &22, and have the ability to be installed in the horizontal position in regards to any other existing man-made construction of dock/finger pier(s) support structure or handrails.

FIGS. 1, 2 &3 show a rectangular utility tabletop 14. It is also contemplated that the utility tabletop 14 to have shapes other than rectangular shapes. The utility tabletop 14 can optionally comprise of a monolithic structure polymeric material or a composite structure. The cutting surface for the utility tabletop 14 is a durable composite material used for cutting boards at established food service businesses in which is a USDA/FDA approved cutting board. It can withstand repeated cutting strokes from a sharp cutting knife without damaging the surface. The USDA/FDA approved tabletop 14 allows easy and sanitary cleaning methods to be used that do not allow food to stain, or become imbedded into the material, nor allows odors to stick to the tabletop.

FIGS. 1, 2 &3 shows a utility table in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention, having a steel perimeter railing 16 that goes along the entire backside of the tabletop 14, out forward to the halfway point along each side of the tabletop 14. The steel railing 16 is welded to the steel U-channel 8 to keep the steel perimeter railing 16 rigid.

FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 5 &6 shows the steel railing 16 as it extends towards the front on each side of the tabletop 14. There are two holes drilled to allow the steel railing 16 to be inserted 90° down through each hole into the tabletop 14 for added stability.

FIGS. 4, 5 &6 shows that the elevation of the steel railing 16 provide adequate space between the steel railing 16 and the tabletop 14 so to allow the user(s) to easily push forward any unwanted parts into the water when cleaning or filleting fish, and bait cutting. The steel railing 16 also provides a secure perimeter that can be used to attach rod holder(s). The steel railing 16 also provides a guard rail effect and keeps items like tackle/tool boxes, lanterns, drinks, etc. placed onto the tabletop 14 from being knocked into the water while in use.

FIGS. 1-6 shows a utility table in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention that not only comprises of a post-engaging clamping structure, it also comprises a bracket structure. The bracket structure comprises a steel gusset/stiffener plate 12 (a triangular shaped) oriented in a vertical plane with one edge vertical with steel U-channel 8. This seam between the steel gusset/stiffener plate 12 and the steel U-channel 8 is welded rigid. The gusset/stiffener plate is arranged to present an upwardly facing horizontal edge. Perched on the gusset/stiffener plate upwardly facing horizontal edge is a diminutive pad 10 (diminutive, that is, relative to the table's tabletop). The seam between the pad 10 (steel base plate) is likewise welded rigid. Hence, the table's steel U-channel 8 (post-engaging clamping structure) and bracket support structure base plate 10 & gusset/stiffener plate 12 are joined as a rigid weldment.

FIGS. 1, 2 &3 show the utility table in accordance with the embodiment of the present invention that comprises of a utility table 14 with 4 holes drilled through it that matches the hole pattern on the steel base plate 10, and then installing four bolts, lock washers, and nuts 18. This securely fastens the utility tabletop 14 to the post-engaging clamping structure made up from 8 10 12 16 18 20 &22.

FIG. 3 (view from the top looking down i.e. plan view) & FIG. 4 (front elevation view of FIG. 3) show the embodiment of the present design of the utility tabletop cutting board apparatus. Both views, coupled with FIGS. 1 & 2, gives an excellent prospective of the utility tabletop cutting board apparatus, and most if not all of its components. The USDA/FDA approved utility tabletop 14 is attached to a steel base plate 10 using four bolts, lock washers, and nuts 18. The base plate 10, the steel gusset/stiffener plate 12 and the steel U-channel 8 are welded together to form a bracket structure.

FIG. 4 shows the embodiment of the present design of the utility table apparatus looking at it from the front (elevation view) in respect to FIG. 3 (plan view). The steel base plate 10 and the steel gusset/stiffener plate 12 are weld to each other in the horizontal plane. The steel gusset/stiffener plate 12 is also welded in the vertical position in relation to the steel U-channel 8. The utility tabletop 14 is secured to the steel base plate 10 by inserting the 4 bolts, lock washers, and nuts 18 through the holes drilled into the tabletop 14, (matching the hole pattern) and the steel base plate 10. The steel U-channel 8 is securely tighten to the existing structural steel member 25 by the use of the two tacked welded nuts 20 and the two eyebolts 22 as shown in FIGS. 1,2,3,4,5 &6.

FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, &6 shows the embodiment of the present design of the utility table apparatus that shows the steel perimeter railing 16 in which illustrates the height/orientation of the railing 16 in relation to the tabletop 14. The height of the steel perimeter railing 16 provides a way to discard any unwanted parts to the front of the tabletop 14 into the water when performing bait cutting, fish cleaning/filleting etc. The steel perimeter railing 16 also provides a sturdy enough support to attach to a variety of rod holders available in today market. The steel perimeter railing 16 also provides a guard-rail effect, to minimize tackle/tool boxes, drinks, etc. that are placed on the utility tabletop from becoming accidentally knocked into the water while the utility table apparatus is in use.

FIG. 5 also shows an embodiment of the present design of the utility table apparatus looking at a partial elevation view from the right side in relation to FIG. 4. In this partial view, it is shown with both of the tack-welded nuts 20 in place, the two eyebolts 22 threaded in through the tack welded nuts 20, through the steel U-channel 8 until the eyebolts 22 have been securely fastened to any existing structural dock and finger pier support steel 25. Also shown is the utility tabletop 14 that is mounted on the steel base plate 10 by means of the forementioned bolts, lock washers, and nuts 18. The steel gusset/stiffener plate 12 that is welded to the steel base plate 10 and the steel U-channel 8. This view also shows the steel railing 16 where it turns down 90 degrees into pre-drilled hole in the tabletop, and where it comes in contact with the steel U-channel 8 at which point where it is welded to the steel U-channel 8. This provides excellent stabilization to the steel railing 16 so it can also be used for attaching rod holders, minimizing tackle/tool boxes, drinks, or etc. from being accidentally knocked into the water.

FIG. 6 also shows an embodiment of the present design of the utility table apparatus looking at a partial elevation view from the left side in relation to FIG. 4. In this partial view, it is shown with both of the tack-welded nuts 20 in place, the two eyebolts 22 threaded in through the tack welded nuts 20, through the steel U-channel 8 until the eyebolts 22 have been securely fastened to any existing structural dock and finger pier support steel 25. Also shown is the utility tabletop 14 that is mounted on the steel base plate 10 by means of the forementioned bolts, lock washers, and nuts 18. The steel gusset/stiffener plate 12 that is welded to the steel base plate 10 and the steel U-channel 8. This view also shows the steel railing 16 where it turns down 90 degrees into pre-drilled hole in the tabletop, and where it comes in contact with the steel U-channel 8 at which point where it is welded to the steel U-channel 8. This provides excellent stabilization to the steel railing 16 so it can also be used for attaching rod holders, minimizing tackle/tool boxes, drinks, or etc. from being accidentally knocked into the water.

FIG. 7 also shows the embodiment of the present design of the utility table apparatus that is an elevation view from the backside of FIGS. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 &6. In this view, the steel U-channel 8 is securely fastened to any existing structural dock and finger pier support steel 25 by means of two eyebolts 22. The two eyebolts 22 are threaded through both of the tack-welded nuts 20, on the steel U-channel 8 until the eyebolts 22 have securely fastened it to any existing structural dock and finger pier support steel 25.

The invention having been disclosed in connection with the foregoing variations and examples, additional variations will now be apparent to persons skilled art. The invention is not intended to be limited to the variations specifically mentioned, and accordingly reference should be made to the appended claims rather than the foregoing discussion of preferred examples, to assess the scope of the invention in which exclusive rights are claimed.