Title:
Bench folding mechanism for picnic tables
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bench folding mechanism for picnic tables, including two parallel tube members installed at the ends of collapsible table legs on two sides under a tabletop, the benches on two sides each have bench legs that are selectively folded inwardly. At the end of the table leg is installed a telescopic tube inserted into a tube member at the end of the table leg. Thereby, the benches are capable of being extended outside the tabletop or retracted under the tabletop. When the benches are folded under the tabletop, the table legs and bench legs are simultaneously folded inwardly under the tabletop, and the benches are folded to two sides under the tabletop. Therefore, the size of the entire picnic table can be reduced to almost the cubic measurements of the tabletop. The invention provides convenience in handling, storing and transportation of the picnic table.



Inventors:
Lin, Wen-shen (DongGuan City, CN)
Application Number:
10/437805
Publication Date:
11/18/2004
Filing Date:
05/14/2003
Assignee:
LIN WEN-SHEN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B3/10; A47B83/02; (IPC1-7): A47B3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
D ADAMO, STEPHEN D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
LUEDEKA NEELY GROUP, P.C. (KNOXVILLE, TN, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A bench folding mechanism for picnic tables, comprising a tabletop having table legs, and benches with bench legs on two sides of the tabletop, wherein: the tabletop has a frame attached to a rear side thereof, opposing table legs joined to two sides of the frame, a rack holder attached to a center on the rear side of the tabletop, and connecting rods and a Y racks connected between the rack holder and the table legs; the benches each have foldable bench legs on two sides of a bottom side thereof, characterized in that: at each end of the table leg are attached two parallel tube members; at two sides of a bottom side thereof are attached foldable bench legs, at an end of the bench leg being a telescopic tube, the telescopic tube extending into a corresponding tube member installed at an end of the table leg; telescoping of the telescopic brings the benches, along with the bench legs, to retract under the tabletop.

2. The bench folding mechanism for picnic tables as defined in claim 1, wherein, the bench has on a rear side thereof two opposing tube supports, between two sides of two tube supports being a U-joint, with one end of the bench leg connected to the U-joint, a slide slot installed on an inside of two sides of the tube supports, an end of an additional reinforcing rack connected to a middle of the bench leg, a guide rod installed at another end of the reinforcing rack, so configured that two ends of the guide rod is capable of sliding inside the slide slot.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] (a) Field of the invention

[0002] The invention relates to bench folding mechanism for picnic tables, enabling simultaneous folding of table legs and bench legs of a picnic table under a tabletop, thereby minimizing the size of the picnic table for convenient storing and transportation.

[0003] (b) Description of the Prior Art

[0004] The conventional outdoor picnic table includes a tabletop and two benches on the sides of the tabletop, the tabletop and the benches joined by a skeleton or some framework. Generally the picnic table is made of wood, which makes it very bulky and heavy. Later, the tabletops and benches are made of aluminum or plastic materials, and the framework joining the tabletop to the benches are made of aluminum or thin-walled piping material, thereby significantly reducing the weight of the picnic table for convenient handling. Though the weight of the picnic table is reduced, its height and size still occupy too large a space for storage and transportation.

[0005] Therefore, as disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,347,831 and 5,921,623, the foldable picnic tables are designed to retract the table legs, or retract or elevate the tabletop, thereby adjusting the tabletop and benches to appropriate heights. To store or transport such a picnic table, the user may reduce the height of the tabletop to the same level as the benches before folding the table legs inwardly under the tabletop and the benches. Though the height of the picnic table is reduced to almost the thickness of the tabletop, it still occupies an area including the tabletop and two benches. So, it is desirable to further reduce the area for the purpose of storage and transportation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0006] To address the problems of conventional picnic table occupying a large area and space after it is collapsed, the invention has the benches on two sides of the tabletop along with the table legs retracted under the tabletop, reducing the height of the picnic table to a minimum, and reducing the area of the folded picnic table to the area of only the tabletop.

[0007] The foregoing description of picnic table has two parallel tube members installed at the lower ends of foldable table legs as well as foldable bench legs on two sides of the tabletop, whereby the bench legs are selectively inserted inside tube members at the ends of the table legs, so the benches are retracted under the tabletop. Furthermore, when the table legs and bench legs are folded inwardly under the tabletop, the benches are simultaneous folded to the bottom side of the tabletop, thereby the size of the picnic table is reduced to almost the cubic measurements of the tabletop, to provide convenience in handling, storage and transportation.

[0008] The advantages of the present invention will become more fully apparent by examination of the following description of the preferred embodiments and the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0009] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the present invention.

[0010] FIG. 2 is a partially exploded view of the invention.

[0011] FIG. 3 is a section view of the snap-fastened tube and frame in the invention.

[0012] FIG. 4 is a section view of a tube member and a telescopic tube in the invention.

[0013] FIG. 5 is a section view taken from line A-A of FIG. 4.

[0014] FIG. 6 is a side view of the invention.

[0015] FIG. 7 is a front view of the invention.

[0016] FIG. 8 is a front view of the invention in folding operation.

[0017] FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the invention in a folded status.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF NUMERALS

[0018] 1

1tabletop11, 12protruded fastener
2bench21, 22protruded fastener
3tube support31U-hinge unit
32slide slot 4bench leg
41telescopic tube42slide block
43end plug44screw
5reinforcing rack51guide rod
6frame61ear piece
7rack holder71joining unit
8table leg81tube member
811recess knot91connecting rod
92Y rack

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0019] Please refer to FIGS. 1 and 2. The present invention of picnic table includes a specified number of protruded fasteners 11, 12 (shown in FIG. 3) on two sides on the rear of a tabletop 1, whereby tubes on two sides of a frame 6 are snapped and fastened onto the protruded fasteners 11, 12; an ear piece 61 at the middle of two sides of the frame 6, a table leg 8 that is connected to each ear piece 61 for free turning; a rack holder 7 in the middle of the rear side of the tabletop 1, a joining unit 71 at each of two sides of the rack holder 7, a Y rack substantially at the middle of table legs 8, and a connecting rod 91 connected to the joining unit 71 on two sides of the rack holder 7, the Y rack 92 and the connecting rod 91 on respective side connected. Thereby, the table legs 8 on two sides are selectively folded inwardly to the rear side of the tabletop 1. The Y rack 92 and the connecting rod 91 serve as a supporting mechanism. Two parallel tube members 81 are installed at the ends of the table legs 8. Near the end of each tube member 81 is a punch pressed and recess knot 811 (shown in FIG. 5).

[0020] On two sides of the tabletop 1 are benches 2. On two sides of the rear of the bench 2 are a plurality of protruded fasteners 21, 22, where two opposing tube supports 3 are fastened by the protruded fasteners 21, 22 (shown in FIG. 3). On the inside of two ends of the tube support 3 is a slide slot 32 and a U joint 31 is fixed on each of the two sides between the opposite tube supports 3. On each U joint is connected a substantially Y-shaped bench leg 4. At one end of the bench leg 4 is installed a telescopic tube 41. The telescopic tubes 41 on two sides of the bench 2 extend into a corresponding tube member 81 at the end of the table leg 8. At the end of the telescopic tube 81 is a slide block 42 tightened by a screw 44 (shown in FIG. 4). At an open end of each tube member 81 is an end plug 43. Connected to each bench leg 4 is a reinforcing rack 5. At another end of the reinforcing rack 5 is a guide rod 51, two ends of the guide rod 51 extending into two slide slots 32 on the inside of two opposing tube supports 3.

[0021] Also referring to FIGS. 6 and 7, when the picnic table is extended, with the benches 2 pulled out on two sides of the tabletop 1, the telescopic tubes 41 at the ends of the bench legs 4 of the bench 2 are pulled out of the tube members 81 at the ends of the table legs 8, the slide block 42 at the end of the telescopic tube 41 is retained by the recess knot 811 inside the tube member 81 (shown in FIG. 4). Meanwhile, the guide rod 51 at the end of the reinforcing rack 5 on the bench 2 to support the bench leg 4 is pushed against the end of the slide slot 32 on the tube support 3, adding powerful support to the bench leg 4. Conversely, when the benches 2 are pushed inwardly under the tabletop 1, the telescopic tube 41 retracts inside the tube member 81. Then, as shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, the table legs 8 and the bench legs 4 are simultaneously folded to the bottom side of the tabletop 1. When the table legs 8 and the bench legs 4 are collapsed to the bottom of the tabletop 1, the benches 2 are folded to the bottom side of the tabletop 1. Finally, all the table legs 8, bench legs 4 and the benches 2 are folded and closed to the bottom side of the tabletop 1, thereby significantly reducing the height of the picnic table, minimizing the area occupied by the entire picnic table to the area of the tabletop 1 to facilitate storage and transportation of a minimized size. Moreover, the extending and folding operation of the entire picnic table is made simple and easy.

[0022] Though the foregoing disclosure and description of the preferred embodiments of the present invention is understandable to all who are skilled in the art, it is also to be understood that modifications of shape and partial variations are included in the subject claim.