Title:
Foldable furniture with a positioning unit
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A foldable furniture includes pivotally connected first and second parts. The first part includes a tubular portion that is formed with a retaining hole. An annular sleeve is sleeved slidingly around the tubular portion. A limiting member is disposed within the tubular portion, and includes a spring-biased limiting tongue projecting into the retaining hole of the tubular portion. The spring-biased limiting tongue is operable to move between an extended position, where the limiting tongue projects outwardly from the retaining hole to engage the sleeve so as to restrict movement of the annular sleeve on the tubular portion, and a retracted position, where the limiting tongue retracts into the retaining hole to disengage from the sleeve and permit movement of the annular sleeve on the tubular portion.



Inventors:
Tseng, Chun-hsien (Chiayi Hsien, TW)
Application Number:
10/017282
Publication Date:
06/19/2003
Filing Date:
12/13/2001
Assignee:
TSENG CHUN-HSIEN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C1/026; A47C1/14; A47C5/10; (IPC1-7): A47C1/024
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20080296954VEHICLE ARMREST POSITIONING ASSEMBLYDecember, 2008Liu et al.
20030094836Folding chair with movable backrest-supporting tubesMay, 2003Chen
20030015905Seat harness with a non-openable closed beltJanuary, 2003Sappei et al.
20100052392Adjusting Apparatus and Vehicle SeatMarch, 2010Lung et al.
20090096257SUN VISOR FOR STROLLERApril, 2009Gordon et al.
20080315652Actuator for a Motor Vehicle with a Gear CaseDecember, 2008Becker et al.
20100006019INTERCHANGEABLE SEAT SYSTEMJanuary, 2010Knoblett et al.
20080258518COLLISION SAFETY DEVICE BEING APPLICABLE TO INFANT SEATSOctober, 2008Jane Santamaria
20090315367LIFTABLE LOUNGE WITH TABLE PLATEDecember, 2009Shih
20090224593BASE BOARD FOR CHAIRSeptember, 2009Oda



Primary Examiner:
GARRETT, ERIKA P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JENKENS & GILCHRIST (Dallas, TX, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A foldable furniture comprising: first and second parts pivoted to each other via a pivot, said first part including an elongated tubular portion that is formed with a retaining hole; and a positioning unit including an annular sleeve sleeved slidingly around said tubular portion and connected securely to said pivot in such a manner that said pivot projects radially and outwardly from said annular sleeve, and a limiting member disposed within said tubular portion and including a spring-biased limiting tongue projecting into said retaining hole, said spring-biased limiting tongue being operable to move between an extended position, where said limiting tongue projects outwardly from said retaining hole to abut against and engage said annular sleeve so as to restrict movement of said annular sleeve on said tubular portion, and a retracted position, where said limiting tongue retracts into said retaining hole so as to disengage from said annular sleeve and permit movement of said annular sleeve on said tubular portion.

2. The foldable furniture as defined in claim 1, wherein said annular sleeve includes an annular inner layer, and an annular outer layer circumferentially surrounding said inner layer, said outer layer having opposing flat end faces, said inner layer having a flat end face flush with one of said flat end faces of said outer layer, and a conical end face extending from the other one of said flat end faces of said outer layer, said tongue having a curved end that permits said conical end face to slide thereon, thereby permitting said tongue to move from said extended position to said retracted position.

3. The foldable furniture as defined in claim 2, wherein said limiting member includes a V-shaped spring plate having spaced apart distal ends, said limiting tongue being fixed on one of said distal ends and being urged by said spring plate to move into said retaining hole.

4. The foldable furniture as defined in claim 3, further comprising a limiting stop detachably mounted on said tubular portion adjacent to said conical end face of said annular sleeve, and cooperating with said limiting tongue so as to immobilize said annular sleeve on said tubular portion between said limiting stop and said limiting tongue when said limiting tongue is moved to said extended position and engages said flat end face of said inner layer of said sleeve.

5. A positioning unit for positioning first and second parts of a foldable furniture, the first and second parts being pivoted to each other about a pivot, the first part including an elongated tubular portion that is formed with a retaining hole, said positioning unit comprising: an annular sleeve adapted to be sleeved slidingly around the tubular portion, and connected securely to the pivot in such a manner that the pivot projects radially and outwardly from said annular sleeve; and a limiting member adapted to be disposed within the tubular portion and including a spring-biased limiting tongue adapted to project into the retaining hole, said spring-biased limiting tongue being operable to move between an extended position, where said limiting tongue is adapted to project outwardly from the retaining hole to abut against and engage said annular sleeve so as to restrict movement of said annular sleeve on the tubular portion, and a retracted position, where said limiting tongue is adapted to retract into the retaining hole so as to disengage from said annular sleeve and permit movement of said annular sleeve on the tubular portion.

6. The positioning unit as defined in claim 5, wherein said annular sleeve includes an annular inner layer, and an annular outer layer circumferentially surrounding said inner layer, said outer layer having opposing flat end faces, said inner layer having a flat end face flush one of said flat end faces of said outer layer, and a conical end face extending from the other one of said flat end faces of said outer layer, said tongue having a curved end that permits said conical end face to slide thereon, thereby permitting said tongue to move from said extended position to said retracted position.

7. The positioning unit as defined in claim 6, wherein said limiting member includes a V-shaped spring plate having spaced apart distal ends, said limiting tongue being fixed on one of said distal ends so as to be urged by said spring plate to move into the retaining hole.

8. The positioning unit as defined in claim 7, further comprising a limiting stop adapted to be mounted detachably on said tubular portion adjacent to said conical end face of said annular sleeve, and cooperating with said limiting tongue so as to immobilize said annular sleeve on the tubular portion between said limiting stop and said limiting tongue when said limiting tongue is moved to said extended position and engages said flat end face of said inner layer of said sleeve.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a foldable furniture, more particularly to a positioning unit for use in a foldable furniture for positioning two pivotally connected furniture parts.

[0003] 2. Description of the Related Art

[0004] A conventional positioning unit for use in a foldable furniture, such as a foldable chair, has a specific structure and design and is not suitable for use in other furniture, thereby limiting the usage range of the conventional positioning unit.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] Therefore, the object of the present invention is to provide a foldable furniture provided with a positioning unit of a specific structure such that the positioning unit can be employed in any furniture having components with tubular portions.

[0006] Accordingly, a foldable furniture of the present invention includes first and second parts pivoted to each other via a pivot. The first part includes an elongated tubular portion that is formed with a retaining hole. A positioning unit includes an annular sleeve and a limiting member. The annular sleeve is sleeved slidingly around the tubular portion, and is connected securely to the pivot in such a manner that the pivot projects radially and outwardly from the annular sleeve. The limiting member is disposed within the tubular portion, and includes a spring-biased limiting tongue projecting into the retaining hole of the tubular portion. The spring-biased limiting tongue is operable to move between an extended position, where the limiting tongue projects outwardly from the retaining hole to abut against and engage the annular sleeve so as to restrict movement of the annular sleeve on the tubular portion, and a retracted position, where the limiting tongue retracts into the retaining hole so as to disengage from the annular sleeve and permit movement of the annular sleeve on the tubular portion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0007] Other features and advantages of this invention will become more apparent in the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments of this invention, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0008] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a foldable furniture of the present invention in an unfolded state;

[0009] FIG. 2 is a fragmentary exploded perspective schematic view of the preferred embodiment;

[0010] FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of a portion of the preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 1;

[0011] FIG. 4 is a schematic view of the preferred embodiment of FIG. 1 in a folded state;

[0012] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of another preferred embodiment of the present invention, wherein a backrest is disposed at a first obtuse angle relative to a seat;

[0013] FIG. 6 is a fragmentary exploded perspective view of the preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 5;

[0014] FIG. 7 is a side view of the preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 5, wherein the backrest is disposed at a second obtuse angle relative to the seat; and

[0015] FIG. 8 is a side view of the preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 5, wherein the backrest is disposed at a third obtuse angle relative to the seat.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0016] Referring to FIGS. 1 to 4, a preferred embodiment 2 of a foldable furniture, such as a foldable computer table, according to the present invention is shown to include a first part 21 having two tubular portions 210, a second part 22 in the form of a rectangular board 221, a third part in the form of uprightly standing posts 23 that are pivoted to the first and second parts 21,22, and a positioning unit 1.

[0017] As illustrated, the first and second parts 21, 22 have front portions pivoted to each other about a pivot 112. The second part 22 has a rear portion pivoted to the upright posts 23 about pivots 230 that extend parallel to the pivot 112. Each of the tubular portions 210 of the first part 21 is formed with a retaining hole 215.

[0018] The positioning unit 1 includes two annular sleeves 11 (only one is shown), and two limiting members 12. Each of the annular sleeves 11 is sleeved slidingly around a respective one of the tubular portions 210, and is connected securely to the respective pivot 112 in such a manner that the pivot 112 projects radially and outwardly from the annular sleeve 11 into a side wall of the second part 22. Each of the limiting members 12 is disposed within a respective one of the tubular portions 210, and includes a spring-biased limiting tongue 122 projecting into the retaining hole 215. The spring-biased limiting tongue 122 is operable to move between an extended position (see FIG. 3), where the limiting tongue 122 projects outwardly from the retaining hole 215 of the tubular portion 210 to abut against and engage the annular sleeve 11 so as to restrict movement of the annular sleeve 11 on the tubular portion 210 in the arrow direction (A), thereby retaining the second part 22 at a predetermined position relative to the posts 23, as best shown in FIG. 1, and a retracted position, where the limiting tongue 122 retracts into the retaining hole 215 so as to disengage from the annular sleeve 11 and permit movement of the annular sleeve 11 on the tubular portion 210, thereby folding the second part 22 on the posts 23, as best shown in FIG. 4, so as to minimize a storage space when the foldable furniture of the present invention is not in use.

[0019] Preferably, the annular sleeve 11 includes an annular inner layer 113, and an annular outer layer 114 which circumferentially surrounds the inner layer 113. The outer layer 114 has opposing flat end faces 114F. The inner layer 113 has a flat end face 116 flush with one of the flat end faces 114F of the outer layer 114, and a conical end face 115 that extends from the other one of the flat end faces 114F of the outer layer 114. Referring to FIG. 3, when the sleeve 11 is positioned at one side of the limiting tongue 122, the flat end face 116 engages the limiting tongue 122, thereby restricting movement of the sleeve 11 in the arrow direction (A). Referring to FIG. 4, when the sleeve 11 is positioned at the other side of the limiting tongue 122, the conical end face 115 is capable of sliding in a direction opposite to the arrow direction (A) on the curved end 125 of the tongue 122, thereby permitting the limiting tongue 122 to move from the extended position to the retracted position. Since the conical end face 115 is formed at the rear end of the sleeve 11, rearward movement of the sleeve 11 on the tubular portion 210 can change the state of the furniture from FIG. 4 to FIG. 1.

[0020] Preferably, the spring-biased limiting member 12 includes a V-shaped spring plate 120 having spaced apart distal ends 121. The spring-biased limiting tongue 122 is fixed on one of the distal ends 121 and is urged by the plate 120 to move into the retaining hole 215 of the tubular portion 210. A limiting stop 13 is detachably mounted on the tubular portion 210 adjacent to the conical end face 115 of the annular sleeve 11, and cooperates with the limiting tongue 122 so as to immobilize the annular sleeve 11 on the tubular portion 210 when the limiting tongue 122 is moved to the extended position and engages the flat end face 116 of the inner layer 113 of the sleeve 11.

[0021] Referring to FIG. 6, another preferred embodiment 4 of the present invention, such as a lawn chair, is shown. Unlike the previous embodiment, each of the tubular portions 41 is formed with three retaining holes 415. Three limiting members 63 are disposed within the tubular portion 41, and respectively have spring-biased limiting tongues 612 projecting into respective ones of the retaining holes 415. Therefore, the backrest 45 can be disposed at three different obtuse angles relative to the seat 44, as shown in FIGS. 5, 7 and 8, respectively. Since the conical end face 313 is formed at a front end of the sleeve 31, when folding the lawn chair for storage, forward movement of the sleeve 31 on the tubular portion 41 can result in folding of the backrest 45 over the seat 44. Preferably, a stop 32 is fixed on the tubular portion 41 adjacent to the rearmost end thereof to prevent rearward removal of the sleeve 31 from the tubular portion 41.

[0022] While the present invention has been described in connection with what is considered the most practical and preferred embodiments, it is understood that the present invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments but is intended to cover various arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent arrangements.