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This is a continuing application, under 35 U.S.C. § 120, of copending international application Nos. PCT/EP2006/009096, filed Sep. 19, 2006, and PCT/EP2007/008154, filed Sep. 19, 2007, which designated the United States; the prior applications are herewith incorporated by reference in their entireties.
Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to a table, in particular a school desk, having a work top and a table frame bearing the work top.
In tables and in particular also in school desks, there is the need to use the space beneath the work top as a space for stowing books and other documents. It is therefore known to attach beneath the table top a bracket, the configuration of which differs depending on the intended application. Thus, tables with a book rest, tables with a wire basket, tables with a receptacle for what is known as a property box or tables with a chair hanger beneath the work top are available in practice. Owing to the broad range of differing applications, some of which, depending on the country, must also satisfy differing standards, manufacturers of tables of this type have to keep in stock a broad range of tables containing differing brackets. This results in turn in high production and storage costs.
It is accordingly an object of the invention to provide a table, in particular a school desk that overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages of the prior art devices of this general type, which table can be adapted easily and without problems to a large number of different intended applications.
The table, in particular a school desk, has a work top and a table frame bearing the work top. A bracket is provided beneath the work top, which bracket is open toward the user side of the table and has at least one fastening or receiving device for at least one functional module.
Whereas in conventional tables of this type, in each case a specific bracket, serving as a “functional module”, is securely connected to the table frame or the work top, the construction according to the invention allows in a compact configuration, starting from a uniform base construction of the table, the building of a series of tables containing a large number of different functional modules which are adapted to the respectively desired applications. The production and the storage costs of a series of tables of this type are significantly reduced.
The at least one functional module is for example selected from a group of different functional modules for variable application purposes and/or a group of different functional modules for variable knee heights of the users.
In one embodiment of the invention, the bracket can have at least one fastening or receiving device for a plurality of functional modules, so that selectively one of a plurality of different functional modules can be used or at the same time a plurality of different functional modules are usable.
The at least one functional module can be fixable or releasably attached to the bracket.
The at least one functional module is for example selected from a group consisting of rests, chair hangers, boxes, baskets, book-ends and the like.
In one embodiment of the invention, the bracket is configured or connected integrally with the work top. Alternatively, the bracket is configured or connected integrally with the table frame.
In a further embodiment of the invention that promotes stacking of the tables, the table frame has at least one cross bearer and this at least one cross bearer extends above the lower edge and within the bracket.
In a still further embodiment of the invention, at least one further functional module, which is for example selected from a group consisting of drink holders, bag hooks and the like, is attached to the outside of the bracket or the table frame.
In this case, at least two further functional modules can also be provided, which are attached at differing heights to mutually remote end faces of the table, thus allowing two adjacent tables to be slid laterally together. In addition, the at least one further functional module is preferably attached above the lower edge of the bracket in order not to disturb any stackability of the table.
Other features which are considered as characteristic for the invention are set forth in the appended claims.
Although the invention is illustrated and described herein as embodied in a table, in particular school desk, it is nevertheless not intended to be limited to the details shown, since various modifications and structural changes may be made therein without departing from the spirit of the invention and within the scope and range of equivalents of the claims.
The construction and method of operation of the invention, however, together with additional objects and advantages thereof will be best understood from the following description of specific embodiments when read in connection with the accompanying drawings.
FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic, side view of a table according to a preferred exemplary embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a rear view of the table of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a top, plan view of the table of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged, perspective view of a bracket of the table of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged, perspective view of the bracket of the table of FIG. 1 with a chair hung therefrom;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged, perspective view of the bracket of the table of FIG. 1 with a property box inserted therein;
FIG. 7 is a partial, perspective view of the table of FIG. 1 with a bag hook attached thereto;
FIG. 8 is a partial, perspective view of the table of FIG. 1 with a drink holder attached thereto;
FIG. 9 is a partial, perspective view of two slid-together tables of FIG. 7 and FIG. 8; and
FIG. 10 is a partial, perspective view of the table of FIG. 1 with an alternative drink holder attached thereto.
Referring now to the figures of the drawing in detail and first, particularly, to FIGS. 1-10 thereof, there are shown various variants of a currently preferred embodiment of a table, in particular a school desk. In this case, FIGS. 1 to 3 show in the first place the basic construction of the table schematically from the side, from behind and from above respectively; and FIGS. 4 to 10 illustrate various functional modules and further functional modules which can be used in combination with the table according to the invention.
The table consists substantially of a work top 10, for example made of wood or plastics material, a table frame 12-20 for bearing the work top 10 and a bracket 22 provided beneath the work top 10. The table frame 12-20 has on both sides of the work top 10 a front table leg 12 and a rear table leg 14 which are each combined to form a side bow. The two side bows of the table are integrally connected to each other (for example by welding or screw connections) via a plurality of (in this exemplary embodiment three) transverse struts or bearers 16, 18, 20 in the transverse direction of the table, thus producing a dimensionally stable table frame.
At their lower ends remote from the work top 10, the table legs 12, 14 are preferably provided with a furniture glider 24 in order to spare the floor covering when the table slips. Alternatively, foot rollers and the like can also be mounted at the lower ends of the table legs 12, 14 of at least one side bow, so that the table can be moved easily and without the application of excessive force. These foot rollers are in this case preferably configured and arranged so as to allow only movement of the table in its transverse direction, so that the table is positioned more stably during use. In addition, the foot rollers are preferably fixable.
In order to achieve good stackability of the table, the side bows are, as may be seen particularly clearly in FIG. 2, arranged on the one hand beneath the work top 10 and on the other hand in the transverse direction of the table outside the work top 10. Furthermore, the front and the rear table leg 12, 14 of a side bow extend apart from each other, at least in the end region remote from the work top 10, in the direction away from the work top 10. As may be seen in FIG. 1, the two table legs 12, 14 extend in the present exemplary embodiment apart from each other in the direction away from the work top 10 substantially over their entire length, so that the tables can be stacked more closely.
In addition, FIG. 1 shows that the two table legs 12, 14 of a side bow have differing angles relative to the work top 10. This is due in particular to the freedom for pupils' legs that is required for school desks. As this in principle harbors the risk that, during stacking, the tables are not arranged precisely vertically one above another, but rather “migrate toward the rear”, there is provided on each side bow at least one spacer 26 which is oriented within the plane of construction of the respective side bow. The spacer 26 is for example mounted securely to a table leg 12, 14 and protrudes inwardly (FIG. 1) or alternatively outwardly. The end face of the spacer 26 that is remote from the respective table leg 12, 14 preferably has a recess corresponding to the outer shape of a table leg 12, 14 in order to receive the table leg 12, 14 of the adjacent table in the stack and easily to fix its position.
As the stackability of the table on the one hand is not the core of the invention and on the other hand is explained in depth in international patent disclosure PCT/EP2006/009096 in the name of the Applicant, it will not be described in detail at this point. However, with regard to the stackability function of the tables, reference is expressly made to the entire content of the disclosure of interanation patent disclosure PCT/EP2006/009096.
It should be noted at this point that the present invention is of course applicable not only to tables containing the table frame 12-20 illustrated in FIGS. 1 to 3. In particular, non-stackable tables, tables containing four separate table legs 12,14, a table frame containing fewer or more than three transverse struts 16-20, a table frame 12-20 arranged completely beneath the work top 10, a table frame containing straight table legs 12,14 and similar variants are also possible. In addition, the present invention includes not only school desks, but rather in principle also other tables such as writing tables and the like.
The present invention is in principle applicable also to tables having any desired table heights. Typical table heights for school desks are in this case in the range between 530 mm and 820 mm. The rear table legs 14 of the side bows are for example inclined at an angle of from approximately 5° to approximately 15°, more preferably approximately 7° to approximately 12° relative to the vertical, whereas the front table legs 12 of the side bows are inclined for example at an angle of from approximately 20° to approximately 35°, more preferably approximately 25° to approximately 31° relative to the vertical, thus producing an opening angle between the two table legs 12, 14 of a side bow in the range of from approximately 30° to approximately 45°, more preferably from approximately 33° to approximately 41.5°. These dimensions are of course merely exemplary particulars and can be varied depending on the application and in particular also depending on the size of the work top 10.
As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2, a bracket 22, the dimensions of which are indicated by broken lines in the view of FIG. 3, is attached beneath the work top 10. The bracket 22 is open at least toward the user side or front of the table (on the right-hand side in FIG. 1 and at the bottom in FIG. 3) and conventionally also downwardly (at the bottom in FIGS. 1 and 2). The other three sides of the bracket 22 are generally at least partly closed. In this case, the side walls of the bracket 22 are for example provided with gaps 28 or similar features.
The bracket 22 is for example made of a plastic material (for example injection-molded) and has at least one fastening or receiving device for a functional module which can be variably selected depending on the desired application, as will be described in greater detail hereinafter.
The bracket 22 beneath the work top 10 also determines the stacking height of the table. As the bracket 22 comes to lie with its underside remote from the work top 10 in a stack of the tables on the upper side of the work top 10 of a table arranged therebelow, this underside is advantageously configured or provided with an antislip property. This protects the upper sides of the work tops 10 from scratching during stacking of the tables.
In order not to impede stacking of the tables, the upper transverse bearers 16, 18 of the table frame are advantageously arranged in such a way that they lie above the lower edge of the bracket 22 beneath the work top 10. These two transverse bearers 16, 18 of the table frame serve also to bear the bracket 22 and thus the work top 10.
In one embodiment of the invention, the bracket 22 is configured integrally with the work top 10. The table thus has a high degree of prefabrication with just two components, namely the work top 10 containing the bracket 22 on the one hand and the table frame containing the side bows 12, 14 and the transverse bearers 16-20 on the other hand, as a result of which final assembly of the table is very simple. For example, the work top 10 containing the bracket 22 can first be attached from behind to the transverse bearer 16, the transverse bearer 16 being guided and held in a corresponding recess in the bracket 22. Subsequently, the work top 10 is tilted forward until the bracket 22 also rests on the transverse bearer 18 of the table frame, the transverse bearer 18 also being guided and held in a corresponding longitudinal recess in the bracket 22. Finally, the bracket 22 is fixed to the transverse bearer 18, for example using two screws. The recess of the bracket 22 for the transverse bearer 16 of the table frame is in this case shaped so as reliably to prevent upward folding of the rear side of the work top 10 when, for example, a user rests on its front edge.
In an alternative embodiment, it is also possible to provide the work top 10 separately and to form or to preassemble the bracket 22 integrally on the table frame, so that again only two components are present for final assembly. In this case, the two upper transverse bearers 16, 18 can also each extend only up to the side walls of the bracket 22, where they are screwed to the bracket. Thus, only relatively short transverse bearers 16, 18 are required.
Referring to FIGS. 4 to 6, various functional modules, which can be used in conjunction with the bracket 22 of the table of FIGS. 1 to 3, will now be described in greater detail.
As illustrated in FIG. 4, the bracket 22 has in the region of its lower edge of the rear wall a recess or a clamping element (fastening or receiving device of the invention) 29 for receiving a transverse bow of a chair hanger 30. The chair hanger 30 inserted into the recess 29 also rests on and is screwed tightly to the transverse bearer 18 extending within the bracket 22. The chair hanger 30 is thus a functional module which can be fixed to the bracket 22 of the table.
FIG. 5 illustrates how a chair 32 can be hung from the chair hanger 30. In particular, the seat surface of the chair 32 is in this case inserted into the free space between the underside of the work top 10 and the chair hanger 30. This manner of stowing the chair has the advantage that on the one hand the upper side of the work top 10 and on the other hand also the floor region remain free for example for cleaning purposes.
It is obvious that the chair hanger 30 to be fastened in the bracket 22 is adapted to the construction of the respective chair 32.
Alternatively, a (book) rest and the like can also be securely fastened, as a functional module, in the recess or the clamping element 29 of the bracket 22. Furthermore, in FIG. 4, two guide rails (fastening or receiving device of the invention) 34 are provided on the inner sides of the two side walls of the bracket 22 in each case directly beneath the work top 10. As illustrated in FIG. 6, the edge strips of what is known as a property box (functional module of the invention) 36 can for example be inserted into these guide rails 34. The property box 36 is an example of a releasably attachable functional module of the invention.
Wire baskets can for example also be inserted into the guide rails 34 as releasably attachable functional modules.
As illustrated in FIG. 6, it is also possible in the table containing the bracket 22 according to the invention to attach two different functional modules at the same time. Thus, for example, a property box 36 can be inserted into the free space above the chair hanger 30 beneath the work top 10. In a further preferred embodiment, the property box 36 can at the same time provide a receptacle for a book support 38 which can be positioned on the work top 10. Alternatively, the book support 38, which is substantially configured as a flat panel, can also be stowed in separate guide rails beneath the work top 10 in the free space formed by the bracket 22. These guide rails for the book support then extend closer to one another than the guide rails 34 for the box 36 or the basket.
Within the scope of the present invention, functional modules other than those mentioned can of course be combined with the bracket 22.
Starting from a basic design of the table, the table containing the bracket 22 beneath the work top 10 offers a large number of possible variations which, depending on the intended application, can be fulfilled by the different functional modules. In particular, the at least one functional module 30, 36, 38 can be selected from a group of different functional modules for variable application purposes and/or for variable knee heights of the users. Furthermore, different country-specific standards can of course also be taken into account in the different functional modules 30, 36, 38 and the attachment thereof in the bracket 22.
In order not to restrict any stackability provided of the table, the fastening or receiving devices 29, 34 are preferably arranged and configured on the bracket 22 in such a way that the respectively used functional modules 30, 36, 38 lie entirely beneath the lower edge of the bracket 22.
With reference to FIGS. 7 to 10, various further functional modules will be described hereinafter, which can be used in conjunction with the above-described table of FIGS. 1 to 3.
As illustrated in FIG. 7, a bag hook 40 is attached for example in the end region of the transverse bearer 16 for hanging schoolbags, folders, sport bags and the like. The bag hook 40 protrudes in this case preferably laterally beyond the table legs 12, 14 or the side bow, although the invention is not intended to be limited to this embodiment. In an alternative embodiment of the invention, the bag hook 40 can also be fastened to the bracket 22, in particular to a side wall of the bracket 22. In order not to restrict any stackability of the table, the table hook 40 lies entirely above the lower edge of the bracket 22.
FIG. 8 shows, as a further example of a further functional module, a drink holder 42 for receiving a drink container. The drink holder 42 is mounted, in a manner similar to the above-described bag hook 40, on the transverse bearer 16 of the table frame, although it can optionally also be fastened to the bracket 22. Preferably, the drink holder 42 is also provided above the lower edge of the bracket 22 in order not to disturb any stackability of the table.
FIG. 9 shows two laterally slid-together tables which are each equipped with a bag hook 40 and a drink holder 42 as further functional modules. In this case, the bag hook 40 and the drink holder 42 are attached on the one hand on differing sides of the table and on the other hand at differing heights, so that two adjacent tables can be slid together as far as the work top 10 and/or the table frame 12-20 allow without disturbing each other.
FIG. 10 shows as a further functional module an alternative drink holder 42 which, in contrast to the drink holder of FIG. 8 and 9, is fastened to the two transverse bearers 16 and 18.
In addition to the bag hook 40 and drink holder 42, other further functional modules, which can be attached to the bracket 22 or the table frame 12-20, are of course also conceivable.
While the invention has been described in detail above based on the example of a school desk, the present invention is obviously not limited merely thereto. The invention is in the same way applicable also to other types of table such as writing tables and the like.