Title:
Table System
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention presents a table system which has an axially oriented plug fastening means (3, 4) between table leg (2) and tabletop (1) and an automatic retaining device (5, 6, 7) which retains the table leg (2) after it is inserted into the tabletop (1). According to the invention, advantages such as a high degree of variability and particular convenience in terns of assembly are achieved.



Inventors:
Fischer, Matthias (Wien, AT)
Application Number:
12/223286
Publication Date:
07/23/2009
Filing Date:
01/24/2007
Assignee:
VEL VEGA LDA. (Funchal Madeira, PT)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B3/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WILKENS, JANET MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FLYNN THIEL BOUTELL & TANIS, P.C. (2026 RAMBLING ROAD, KALAMAZOO, MI, 49008-1631, US)
Claims:
1. A table system having individual table legs (2) which are to be fastened to at least one table top (1), characterized in that at least one table leg (2) is connected to at least one table top (1) in each case by means of an axially aligning plug-type fastening (3,4), and in that an autonomously acting retaining device (5,6,7) is provided which holds the table leg (2) after the latter is inserted into the plug-type fastening (3).

2. The table system as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the plug-type fastening (3,4) has an axially acting alignment bore (4) for receiving an alignment bolt (3), and in that a radially acting positioning element (8) defines the rotational direction of the table leg (2).

3. The table system as claimed in claim 2, characterized in that the plug-type fastening (3,4) has at least one bore (4), which is conical at least in sections, and an upwardly tapering alignment bolt (3) which is in particular designed to be slim, round and conical at least in sections, with an overall cone angle of between 3 and 30 degrees, preferably approximately 20 degrees.

4. The table system as claimed in claim 2, characterized in that the plug-type fastening (27,28) forms a cylindrical bore (27) and a bolt (28) with short spherical (28a) or short cylindrical sections (28b), which bolt (28) forms a neck (34) between said sections.

5. The table system as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the alignment bolt (3) of the plug-type fastening has an encircling channel (3a), depressions or bores, in particular two to four conical bores (40) which are designed for the form-fitting insertion of a latching device (5,6,7) or ejector device (23,24).

6. The table system as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the retaining device runs transversely with respect to the table leg, in that said retaining device has a round latching bolt (5), with a forwardly tapering, in particular self-locking conical insertion section (5a), and has a spring (6) for automatic insertion and a handle (7) for the release of the latching bolt (5) in the direction counter to the spring force.

7. The table system as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the retaining device has a tilting lever, having a spring for automatic insertion and a handle for the release of the tilting lever in the direction counter to the spring force, with the tilting lever having an insertion bevel which is in particular of self-locking design.

8. The table system as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the retaining device consists in that the plug-type fastening itself is of self-locking design, in particular in that said retaining device has a very slim conical bolt (22) with a corresponding conical bore (35), with an overall cone angle of between 2 and 25°, in combination with an ejector device (23,24).

9. The table system as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the ejector device (23,24) has a torsion bolt (23), which runs transversely with respect to the table leg, with an eccentric insertion section (23a), and a handle (24) which sets the torsion bolt (23) in rotation in order to eject the table leg.

10. The table system as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that said table system has, on the table legs, in each case at least one positioning element (8) which is in particular spherical in sections, and in that the positioning element (8) is designed both for insertion into the alignment bore (4) and also for insertion into cutouts which align the table leg in the rotational direction, in particular into a plurality of grooves (9) which are arranged in a star shape with respect to the plug-type fastening.

11. The table system as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that an axially acting alignment bore (4, 45), which is designed in particular as an insert sleeve, is situated directly at the corner of the table top, in that at least one radially defining cutout (9,46) is situated adjacent thereto, and in that two in particular identical alignment bolts (34), or else one alignment bolt (3) and one positioning bolt (8), are situated in each case on the table leg.

12. The table system as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the table top unit has the following design: a supporting panel (42) is provided, a table frame which is formed in particular from hollow profiles (43,44) is provided, the plug-type fastening (45,46) is situated in each case in the table frame, in particular in the longitudinal tube (43) thereof, the retaining device (41,47,48,49,50) is situated in each case in the table frame, in particular in the transverse tube (44) thereof.

13. The table system as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the table leg has the following design in each case: a hollow profile (35) with an upper and lower cover (36,37) is provided, the alignment bolt(s) (34) is/are fastened to the upper cover (36), the alignment bolt(s) (34) is/are braced, together with the upper cover (36), with the lower cover (37) by means of one or more tension rods (38) which run in the hollow profile (35).

14. The table system as claimed in claim 1, characterized in that the retaining device (41,47,48,49,50) has a long latching length, preferably of greater than 5 mm, and thereby a tolerant lock-in range, which acts even in a state in which the alignment bolt (34) is not yet situated in the axially aligned end position.

Description:

The invention relates to a table system, in particular in the field of conference tables. Said table system may however also be correspondingly used in other furniture applications. In table systems of said type, it is fundamentally sought to obtain a degree of variability in the construction of a table arrangement or else of an individual table.

Various solutions are known in this regard. Here, as particularly variable systems, consideration is given above all to those with table legs which are to be fastened individually without the use of tools. One of the most advanced systems is provided by the company Rosenthal (“Cetera”, www.rosenthal.de), which system has leg tubes with angle projections fastened thereto, which angle projections themselves can be fixedly clamped to different table tops by means of a manual eccentric device. Here, a table leg may be inserted either in a table corner or used to support two table tops. One criticizable aspect of said system, however, is, in addition to a corresponding expenditure of force during the fastening process, in particular the objectionable space requirement under the table tops or during the storage of the table leg units.

A further system, from the company Wilkhahn (“Palette”, www.wilkhahn.de) avoids the latter disadvantage by virtue increasing the volume of the entire table leg and thereby creating a wide upper table top support surface. However, this also leads to reduced legroom, which is highly disadvantageous in office applications. Furthermore, use is also made here of an eccentric fixing lever which requires a problematic expenditure of force.

The present invention is based on the object of creating a table system which avoids the stated disadvantages and which obtains an increased degree of variability with a low spatial requirement.

Said object is achieved by means of the features of claim 1. Advantageous embodiment options of the invention are defined in the subclaims.

According to the invention, therefore, a table system is created which has the following advantages:

    • The construction of a table arrangement or of an individual table can take place at unprecedented speed and without any force expenditure. The table legs need merely be inserted in a simple manner axially with respect to their table leg longitudinal axis, yet are nevertheless immediately fastened in a stable fashion and entirely without play.
    • A wide variety of positions of the table legs are possible in a simple manner. For example, said table legs may be plugged in under one or two table tops, longitudinally, transversely or in various inclined positions.
    • It is possible to use very slim table legs which are space-saving during use and storage. Above all, it is possible to use table legs which do not have objectionable upper flanges or thickened portions. This also has the result that particularly visually appealing designs are possible.
    • Construction can be carried out by one person and on very uneven floor surfaces. For example, steps in a carpet have hitherto represented a considerable obstacle for table arrangements. The system according to the invention permits even large table top inclinations without adverse effects.
    • Structural simplicity, which leads to favourable production and robustness during use.

Further advantages and features of the invention can be gathered both from the claims and also from the following description and from the drawings, with reference hereby being expressly made to the content of disclosure thereof. The invention also encompasses any technically meaningful combinations of individual features and combinations of features which are not explicitly described in such form.

Exemplary embodiments of the invention are described in more detail below on the basis of the drawings, in which:

FIGS. 1a and 1b: show a detailed view of a table system according to the invention in a front view and in a plan view. A table leg (2) which is attached to a table top corner (1) has, on its upper side, an alignment bolt in the form of a conical bolt (3). The latter is advantageously round, though may also be designed to be angular or round with bevelled surfaces. The conical bolt (3) engages into a conical bore (4) of the table plate. Here, a simplified illustration is shown without a fitting part formed into the table top (illustrated further below). The conical bolt (3) and the conical bore (4) are of slim design, advantageously with an overall cone angle range of between 20 and 30 degrees. The table leg (2) can thereby be easily inserted and is aligned axially without play by means of only a single conical bolt (3). Said conical bolt (3) nevertheless cannot be levered out by means of a side force, as would be the case with a more truncated cone. In the downward direction, the leg is held by means of a retaining device (5,6,7) in the form of a latching bolt (5) with a pressure spring (6). By means of the slim, self-locking bevel (5a) of the latching bolt (5), which comes into contact with a corresponding cutout (3a) of the conical bolt (3), the latching bolt (5) is capable of pulling the table leg in even after the latter has been only partially inserted, and holding the table leg even under extreme tensile loading. In the first phase of insertion, the latching bolt (5) is pushed rearward by the main bevel of the conical bolt (3). To release the table leg, the latching bolt (5) is released again in the rearward direction, with little force expenditure, by means of a gripping knob (7). As an alternative to a latching bolt (5) of said type, a tilting lever (not shown here) is also expedient. Said tilting lever is then situated lying horizontally in the table top or else so as to stand vertically in the table leg, and likewise has a spring and release handle. A tilting lever of said type is also advantageously of self-locking design by virtue of said tilting lever than having an insertion bevel with an angle of between 2 and 10 degrees.

In addition to the described plug-type fastening of the table leg (2), a positioning element (8) is provided which is conical at least in sections and which fixes the table leg (2) to the table top (1) in different radial positions. So as to avoid so-called axial overdetermination, said positioning element (8) is inserted into groove-shaped cutouts (9) which are arranged in a star shape with respect to the plug-type fastening. An oblique arrangement of the table legs as illustrated here is particularly advantageous in the case of individual tables or the corners of table arrangements in office applications.

Since, according to the invention, the leg requires no upper alignment surface, said leg offers technical freedom and may for example be of aesthetically pleasing design with spacers (10) with respect to the table top, and of very slim design. The latter also leads to a large amount of legroom and small storage space requirement. The spacers (10) also offer the very interesting advantage in office applications of allowing electrical cable systems to be inserted into the table legs (2) from the top.

FIGS. 2a and 2b: show a detailed view of a table system according to the invention in a front view and in a plan view. Said figures show a table leg (2) in a position supporting two table tops (12,13). The table leg is fixed axially to the right-hand table top by means of the conical bolt (3) described above and the latching bolt (5). If the second table top (13) is now plugged in, extreme inclined positions can occur in particular when assembly is carried out by one person or as a result of floor unevenness. However, the second table top (13) is plugged not onto a second conical bolt but rather onto the spherical positioning element (8). Said positioning element (8) is designed such that it also fits into the conical corner bore (14) of the second table top (13) and can also be pulled in and fixed by the latching bolt (15) thereof. Therefore, for said second plate, support is provided which is duly defined axially and vertically but which highly advantageously permits compensating oscillation. To avoid misassembly, the conical bolt (3) however does not conversely fit into the grooves (9) described above, which are provided only for the positioning element (8).

An extremely high degree of variability is obtained if, as shown here, in each case one single plug-type fastening and one retaining device is situated in all corner regions of the table top. Different table leg positions are therefore permitted in a simple manner, and the table top can, in each of said table leg positions, be released from the respective table leg by means of a single handle. Although not illustrated here in the figures, the system may however also be reversed. A corresponding bolt may thus be provided on the table top and cutouts may be provided on the table legs, or a latching device may even be situated on the table leg itself.

FIG. 3: shows the plan view of a table system according to the invention composed of two table tops (16,17) with table legs attached, merely by way of example, in different positions. The positions illustrated are a longitudinal (18), transverse (19), diagonal (20) and connecting position (21). By means of the plug-type and retaining system described above, it is possible for variable table arrangements of said type to be constructed by only one person and with unprecedented speed and convenience.

FIG. 4: shows a front view of an alternative embodiment of the invention. Here, the conical bolt (22) is designed to be so slim that it has self-locking properties. The retaining device therefore does not require a latching bolt, but rather is formed by the conical bolt (22) itself, or the capability thereof to retain, by itself, the table leg after the latter has been inserted. Here, the conical bolt has two cone sections (22,22a). This may lead generally to production advantages and also to a low susceptibility to dirt accumulation. For releasing, an ejector (23,24) is provided, designed in this case as an eccentric torsion bolt (23) with a handle (24). Here, the eccentric section (23a) of the torsion bolt (23) rests against a step (22b) of the conical bolt in order, by means of a rotation of the torsion bolt (23) when the handle (24) is pulled out, to push out said torsion bolt (23), with a large lever ratio.

Correspondingly to that described above, a positioning element (25) is also provided, which positioning element (25) can be inserted, so as to provide only lateral retention, into grooves (26) of the table top, or else in a self-locking manner into the conical corner bore of a second table top. Here, the positioning element (25) has a surface (25a) at the level of the eccentric section of the ejector. Said positioning element (25) is thus designed such that it can also be gripped and released by the ejector of the second table top.

FIG. 5: shows a section view through a further embodiment of the invention. Here, the bore (27a,b) of the plug-type fastening is of cylindrical design, which requires an increased fit accuracy to ensure freedom from play. The bolt (28a,b) of the plug-type fastening forms a spherical section (28a) which makes it possible for the table leg (30) to be introduced obliquely as it is inserted. A similar situation could be achieved by means of a very short cylindrical bolt section. A lower bolt section (28b) then aligns the bolt axially. Furthermore, the bore (27a,b) has a greater first diameter (27a) and a reduced second diameter (27b). This permits shorter fit lengths and more convenient insertion. As a positioning element (29), which fixes the table leg (30) in the rotational direction, use is made here, in a simple manner, of the same bolt as in the plug-type fastening. In contrast to the latter, however, an above-described groove-shaped cutout (31) is provided here, which prevents overdetermination. Said design offers the advantage for all configurations that the table legs can also be inserted whilst turned out of position.

Also shown here is a fitting part (32a,b) which is formed into the table top (33) and which is screwed to the latter from below. The fitting part is composed of a flat flange part (32a) and a higher sleeve part (32b).

FIG. 6: shows a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the invention. A table leg which is in a state shortly before insertion has, at the top, two identical alignment bolts which are designed as conical bolts (34). The table leg is composed of a hollow profile (35) with an upper cover (36) and lower cover (37). The conical bolts (34) are braced with in each case one threaded rod (38) to foot sleeves (39), so as to enclose the covers (36,37) and the hollow profile. Here, the foot sleeves (39) may also comprise adjusting feet (not illustrated in any more detail). Here, in contrast to the examples illustrated above, the conical bolts (3) have in each case four conical bores (40) instead of a channel. Said conical bores (40) are designed for the insertion of the latching bolt (41) and have the advantage over a channel of permitting a greater insertion or latching length and approximately areal contact of the latching bolt (41). Furthermore, radial alignment of the table leg is thereby provided, which is advantageous if tables are being connected to one another. To form a particularly expedient design, the table top unit is composed here of a thin support panel (42) and a hollow profile frame (43,44), with a frame longitudinal tube (43), that is to say the frame tube on the relatively long side of the table top, and a frame transverse tube (44) being shown here. All the fastening elements are situated, in a structurally expedient manner, in said hollow profile frame (43, 44). The plug-type fastening or table leg receptacle is situated in the frame longitudinal tube (43) and the retaining device is situated in the transverse frame tube (44). One expedient design, which is nevertheless very precise and robust, of the table leg receptacle is composed of an inserted conical sleeve (45), which has the alignment bore, and a simple groove (46) which prevents any axial overdetermination. The table leg may now be inserted in the position shown or else having been rotated by 180 degrees about the longitudinal axis. To connect tables, the table leg is inserted with only one conical bolt (34) into the conical sleeve (45), with it also being possible for this to take place whilst turned out of position by 90°. The free conical bolt (34) then waits for the next table top. It is to be highlighted in particular that maloperation in said system with the two identical conical bolts is virtually eliminated. It would initially appear to be disadvantageous that, in contrast to the exemplary embodiments illustrated above, said system does not permit any compensating oscillation of the table tops. It has however been found that inclined positions of the table tops in practice on account of floor unevenness can nevertheless be compensated. This is because the retaining device, that is to say in this case the latching bolt (41) in the conical bores (40), is of particularly tolerant design. Tolerant means that a wide lock-in range is obtained by means of large latching lengths. For example, if a table leg (34) is fastened by means of one conical bolt (34) to the table top and a second table top is placed onto the second conical bolt (34) with a slight inclination, the latching bolt (41) of the second table top still latches despite said second table top not yet being seated exactly straight. The second table top is thus still fixed in the upward direction despite its inclined position. The retaining device also acts in a corresponding manner during the insertion of a table leg. Said retaining device pulls the table leg correctly into the table leg receptacle even after said table leg has only been partially inserted, which permits extremely convenient construction.

The mounting of the latching bolt (41) takes place in a simple and stable manner in two receiving bolts (47) which are situated in the frame transverse tube (44). A strong yet soft pressure spring (48), which is supported on the rear receiving bolt (47) and on a shoulder (41a) of the latching bolt (41), reliably pushes the latter forward over a large latching length. The table leg is released again by means of a gripping knob (50) which extends out of the frame transverse tube (44) through a groove (49). An undercut (49a) in the groove allows the latching bolt to remain in an open position if desired, which may be useful in the event of a table arrangement being dismantled by only one person.