Title:
Sheet metal table top stiffener
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A channel is secured to the underside of a stainless steel table top by means of caps that pass through openings in the flanges of the channel and are fused to the underside of the table top. The caps have dimples which concentrate the heat of welding to a limited area and reduce the amount of heat transferred to the table top. Double sided adhesive foam strips are disposed on the flanges of the channel in order to initially adhere the channel to the underside of the table top.



Inventors:
Burns, Martin P. (Forked River, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/130903
Publication Date:
11/23/2006
Filing Date:
05/17/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B47/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MAI, LANNA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Francis C. Hand, Esq. (Roseland, NJ, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. In combination, a sheet metal table top of elongated rectangular shape; a plurality of legs secured to and supporting said table top; a metal channel disposed on an underside of said table top, said channel having a pair of flanges extending longitudinally of said table top, each said flange having a plurality of spaced apart openings therein; and a plurality of caps securing said channel to said underside of said table top, each said cap being disposed in a respective opening in a respective flange and having at least one dimple thereof welded to said underside of said table top and a peripheral lip engaging said respective flange on a side opposite said table top.

2. The combination as set forth in claim 1 further comprising foam means disposed between a respective flange of said channel and said underside of said table top.

3. The combination as set forth in claim 2 wherein said foam means includes a pair of foam strips, each said foam strip being disposed between a respective flange of said channel and said underside of said table top.

4. The combination as set forth in claim 3 wherein each foam strip has a first adhesive layer on one side adhesively secured to a respective flange of said channel and a second adhesive layer on an opposite side secured to said underside of said table top.

5. The combination as set forth in claim 4 wherein each said foam strip has a plurality of openings for passage of said caps therethrough.

6. The combination as set forth in claim 1 wherein each said cap is of circular cross-section.

7. The combination as set forth in claim 6 wherein each said dimple is centrally located on a respective cap.

8. The combination as set forth in claim 1 wherein each said flange is outwardly directed.

9. The combination as set forth in claim 1 wherein said channel is disposed centrally of said table top.

10. The combination as set forth in claim 1 wherein said table top is made of stainless steel.

11. In combination, an elongated metal channel having a pair of flanges, each said flange having a plurality of spaced apart openings therein; and foam layer means secured to each said flange of said channel and having an adhesive layer on a side opposite said channel for securing said channel to an underside of a table top to stiffen the table top against twisting.

12. The combination as set forth in claim 11 wherein said foam layer means includes a pair of foam strips, each said foam strip having a first adhesive layer on one side adhesively secured to a respective flange of said channel and a second adhesive layer on an opposite side for securing said channel to an underside of a table top.

13. The combination as set forth in claim 11 further comprising a plurality of caps securing said channel to an underside of a table top, each said cap passing through said foam layer means and being disposed in a respective opening in a respective flange and having at least one dimple thereon for welding to the underside of a table top and a peripheral lip engaging said respective flange on a side opposite said dimple.

14. The combination as set forth in claim 13 wherein each said cap is of circular cross-section.

15. The combination as set forth in claim 14 wherein each said dimple is centrally located on a respective cap.

16. The combination as set forth in claim 11 wherein each said flange is outwardly directed.

Description:

This invention relates to a sheet metal table top stiffener.

As is known, sheet metal tables, such as stainless steel tables that are used in commercial kitchen, are frequently made in an elongated rectangular shape, for example having a width of 30 inches and a length of between 4 feet and 6 feet. Typically, the table is made of a flat top that is supported by four legs at the corners of the flat top. In many cases, these flat table tops tend to buckle, twist or otherwise deform. Accordingly, in order to reduce the risk of deformation, an elongated “hat” channel is secured to the underside of the table top to define a strengthening rib.

As is known, one technique for securing a hat connector to the underside of a stainless steel table top requires the welding of copper or stainless steel weld studs at specified intervals along the length of the underside of the table top. The hat channel having holes to accept the weld studs is then assembled onto the studs and fastened thereto using lock nuts or the like. However, time and effort is required in order to precisely locate the weld studs at the specific locations on the underside of the table top. Further, welding of the weld studs in place may sometimes discolor the table tops due to overheating during the welding operations. Also, the channel must be subsequently fastened using lock nuts or the like.

Accordingly, is an object of the invention to reduce the time and effort required to secure a hat channel to the underside of a sheet metal table top.

It is another object of the invention to locate a hat channel on the underside of a sheet metal table top in an easy reliable manner.

It is another object of the invention to use a welding technique to secure a hat channel to the underside of a table top with a minimum of heat transfer to the table top.

It is another object of the invention to avoid discoloring a table top during installation of a hat channel to the underside of the table top.

Briefly, the invention provides a technique for securing an otherwise conventional “hat” connector in the form of elongated metal channel having a pair of outwardly directed flanges to the underside of a flat sheet metal table top. In accordance with the invention, a foam layer, for example in the form of a pair of foam strips or a plurality of spaced apart foam discs or foam blocks, are secured to the flanges of the channel by an adhesive. In addition, the foam means has an adhesive layer on the opposite side for securing the channel to the underside of a table top.

In addition, in accordance with the invention, a plurality of metal caps are provided for permanently securing the channel to the underside of the table top. In this regard, each of the flanges of the metal channel has a plurality of spaced apart openings through which the metal caps pass and the foam means has openings for the caps to pass through. Each cap is disposed in a respective opening of a respective flange of the channel and has a peripheral lip for engaging the flange on a side opposite the table top. Each cap also has at least one dimple for welding to the underside of the table top. Where the openings in the flanges of the metal channel are of a circular shape, the caps have a cylindrical shape and the dimples are centrally located. Where the openings in the flanges are elongated, the caps have a corresponding elongated shape and one or more dimples arranged coaxially.

In use, the elongated channel is first adhesively applied to the underside of a table top without the need for a precise location of the channel relative to the table top. Thus, a minimal amount of time and effort is required in order to locate the connector on the underside of the table top.

Typically, a removable barrier strip is disposed on the exposed adhesive surface of each foam strip to protect the adhesive during shipment and prior to use. When the channel is to be used, the barrier strips are removed to expose the adhesive surfaces.

After mounting of the channel in place, a cap is inserted into an opening in one of the flanges of a channel until the dimple (or dimples) on the cap abuts the underside of the table top. A welding operation is then performed in order to fuse the dimple to the underside of the table top. Since the heat of the welding operation is concentrated in the dimple, there is a minimum of heat transfer through the cap which is made of a light gage metal. Accordingly, discoloration of the table top due to a welding operation is eliminated.

Additional caps are then inserted into the openings of the channel flanges and welded in a similar manner to the underside of the table top in order to permanently secure the channel to the underside of the table top.

The mounting of the channel in place can be accomplished in a minimum of time with a minimum of effort. There is no need to precisely locate the channel relative to the table top or to the eventual placement of the caps. Further, the risk of discoloring the table top during the welding operation is substantially reduced if not eliminated.

These and other objects and advantages of the invention will become more apparent taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a table employing a stiffening channel in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates a part-perspective exploded view of a channel secured to the underside of a table top by caps in accordance with the invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates an exploded cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 illustrates a cross-sectional view of a channel secured to the underside of a table top in accordance with the invention; and

FIG. 5 illustrates an enlarged view of a cap employed in securing a channel to a table top in accordance with the invention.

Referring to FIG. 1, a table 10 is constructed with a sheet metal top 11 of elongated rectangular shape and a plurality of legs 12, each of which is secured to a corner of the table top 11 for supporting the table top 11 on a suitable surface 13. For purposes of simplicity, only two of the legs 12 are shown.

By way of example, the table top 11 is made of stainless steel and has a width of 30 inches and a length of from 4 feet to 6 feet.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, an elongated metal channel 14 is disposed on the underside of the table top 11 and extends longitudinally of the table top 11 for stiffening the table top 11 against bending, twisting or other deformation thereof. The metal channel 14 is of conventional structure and has a pair of outwardly extending flanges 15, each of which has a plurality of longitudinally spaced apart openings 16 of circular shape therein. Of note, one or both of the flanges may also be directed inwardly.

As shown in FIG. 2, a foam means in the form of a pair of foam strips 17 are provided on the flanges 15 of the channel 14. Each foam strip 17 has an adhesive layer 18 (see FIG. 5) adhesively securing the foam strip 16 to the flange 14 and an exposed second layer 19 (see FIG. 5) on an opposite side for securing the channel 14 to the underside of the table top 11.

As illustrated, each foam strip 17 is of digitated shape to have recesses 20 aligned with the respective openings 16 in the channel flanges 15.

In addition, a plurality of caps 21 are provided for permanently securing the channel 14 to the underside of the table top 11.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 5, each cap 21 is of circular cross-section and has a dimple 22 at a central location facing the table top 11 and a peripheral lip 23 for engaging a flange 15 of a channel 14 on a side opposite the dimple 22.

Each cap 21 is made of a suitable metal and is of light gauge.

Referring to FIGS. 3 to 5, in order to install the channel 14, any barrier strips on the adhesive layers 19 of the foam strips 17 are removed to expose the adhesive. The channel 14 is then pressed against the underside of the table top 11 so that the foam strips 17 adhesively secure the channel 14 to the table top 11. Thereafter, each of the caps 21 is inserted through an opening 16 in a flange 15 and a recess 20 in the foam strip 17 so that the dimple 22 abuts the table top 11. A suitable welding operation is then performed in order to fuse the dimple 22 to the underside of the table top 11 as indicated in FIG. 5. At this time, the peripheral lip 23 of the cap 21 is firmly abutted against the opposite side of the flange 15.

When all of the caps 21 are in place, the connector 14 is firmly and fixedly secured to the underside of the table top 11. The foam strips 17 which remain in place also provide a sound deadening means.

In the embodiment where one or more of the flanges is inwardly directed, provision is made in the channel to provide access for the caps and welding tool to the openings in the inwardly directed flange.

The invention thus provides a simple technique for securing a “hat” connector to the underside of the table top. Further, the invention provides a technique which requires little time and effort to secure a channel to the underside of a table top and which does not need to measure in order to pre-locate welding studs