Title:
Bar counter attachable to balcony rails
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bar counter is easily attached to a vertical support such as balcony rails to instantly create a table in a small area such as a balcony without sacrificing the space. The bar counter includes a table, a pair of arms for mounting the table thereon, a hanger having a horizontal beam and a pair of vertical beams where each of the vertical beams has a first hook for attaching the hanger to the horizontal rail. The pair of arms mounting the table is attached to a desired location of the hanger, and the hanger is mounted on the vertical and horizontal rails of the support member through the first hooks on the pair of vertical beams.



Inventors:
Makita, Tatsuhito (Redondo Beach, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/593425
Publication Date:
05/10/2007
Filing Date:
11/06/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ING, MATTHEW W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MARAMATSU & ASSOCIATES (Irvine, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A bar counter that is attachable to and detachable from a support member having vertical and horizontal rails, comprising: a table; an arm for mounting the table thereon; a hanger having a first hook for attaching the hanger to the horizontal rail; wherein the arm mounting the table is attached to a desired location of the hanger, and wherein the hanger is mounted on the vertical and horizontal rails of the support member through the first hook.

2. A bar counter as defined in claim 1, wherein said first hook is formed on a vertical beam of the hanger at an upper end thereof, wherein the first hook includes a clamping member for clamping the horizontal rail and an adjustment member for driving the clamping member when clamping the horizontal rail.

3. A bar counter as defined in claim 1, wherein said arm has a second hook for attaching the arm to the hanger by engaging the second hook with a hole formed on a vertical beam of the hanger.

4. A bar counter as defined in claim 1, wherein said hanger includes a vertical beam on which a plurality of holes are provided, and where said arm has a second hook for attaching the arm to the hanger by engaging the second hook with a selected hole formed on the vertical beam of the hanger.

5. A bar counter as defined in claim 1, wherein said hanger includes an adjustment plate to adjust a forward and backward position of a lower end of the hanger to compensate differences in size and shape between the vertical rail and the horizontal rail.

6. A bar counter as defined in claim 5, wherein said adjustment plate on the hanger includes an adjustment member for changing the position of the lower end of the hanger and an elastic member for flexibly contacting the hanger with the vertical rail.

7. A bar counter as defined in claim 2, wherein said first hook includes a hole which is elongated in a vertical direction to attain flexibility for movement of the clamping member and the adjustment member depending on a size and shape of the horizontal rail.

8. A bar counter as defined in claim 2, wherein said clamping member in said first hook has an L-shape to support the horizontal rail, and wherein an elastic member is provided on a surface of the clamping member to flexibly contact with the horizontal rail.

9. A bar counter as defined in claim 2, wherein said arm for mounting the table has a triangle shape and said second hook is provided on a vertical beam of the triangle shape at an upper position.

10. A bar counter as defined in claim 1, wherein said first hook is integrally formed on said vertical beam of the hanger at the upper end thereof.

11. A bar counter that is attachable to and detachable from a support member having vertical and horizontal rails, comprising: a table; a pair of arms for mounting the table thereon; a hanger having a horizontal beam and a pair of vertical beams, each of the vertical beams having a first hook for attaching the hanger to the horizontal rail; wherein the pair of arms mounting the table is attached to a desired location of the hanger, and wherein the hanger is mounted on the vertical and horizontal rails of the support member through the first hooks on the pair of vertical beams.

12. A bar counter as defined in claim 10, wherein said first hook is formed on each of said vertical beams of the hanger at an upper end thereof, wherein the first hook includes a clamping member for clamping the horizontal rail and an adjustment member for driving the clamping member when clamping the horizontal rail.

13. A bar counter as defined in claim 10, wherein each of said pair of arms has a second hook for attaching the arm to the hanger by engaging the second hook with a hole formed on the corresponding vertical beam of the hanger.

14. A bar counter as defined in claim 10, wherein said hanger includes a plurality of holes formed on each of said pair of vertical beams, and wherein each of said pair of arms has a second hook for attaching the arm to the hanger by engaging the second hook with a selected hole formed on the vertical beam of the hanger.

15. A bar counter as defined in claim 10, wherein said hanger includes an adjustment plate formed on said horizontal beam to adjust a forward and backward position of a lower end of the hanger to compensate differences in size and shape between the vertical rail and the horizontal rail.

16. A bar counter as defined in claim 15, wherein said adjustment plate on the hanger includes an adjustment member for changing the position of the lower end of the hanger and an elastic member for flexibly contacting the hanger with the vertical rail.

17. A bar counter as defined in claim 12, wherein said first hook provided on each of said vertical beams includes a hole which is elongated in a vertical direction to attain flexibility for movement of the clamping member and the adjustment member depending on a size and shape of the horizontal rail.

18. A bar counter as defined in claim 12, wherein said clamping member in said first hook has an L-shape to support the horizontal rail, and wherein an elastic member is provided on a surface of the clamping member to flexibly contact with the horizontal rail.

19. A bar counter as defined in claim 12, wherein each of said pair of arms for mounting the table has a triangle shape and said second hook is provided on a vertical beam of the triangle shape at an upper position.

20. A bar counter as defined in claim 10, wherein said first hook is integrally formed on said vertical beam of the hanger at the upper end thereof.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/733,995 filed Nov. 5, 2005.

FILED OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a table adapted to be mounted on a vertical support, and more particularly to a bar counter that can be easily attached to a vertical support such as balcony rails.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

a balcony or veranda of a relatively small residence such as an apartment does not usually have a sufficient space for a table such as a bar counter. If such a table is placed, sometimes, the balcony or veranda cannot be used for other purposes because the table occupies the large portion of the space therein.

To overcome such a space problem, wall mounted tables that are movable between a stored, vertical position adjacent the wall, and a horizontal, operative position extending out from the wall, are known. These known tables are handy since they provide a table surface in a cramped area when needed, and then can be easily moved to an out-of-the-way position, when not needed. These known tables normally employ hinges allowing them to move between operative and stored positions. The hinges however make the tables relatively expensive because of the cost of mounting the hinges and because of the extra parts involved. The known tables also often employ brackets to support the table in its operative position adding to the cost, particularly when the brackets are foldable. The tables also usually employ legs. The legs also are usually hinged to the table adding to the cost. In addition, storage of the legs is often awkward. The known tables often leave a space between the table top and the wall when in the operative position. This makes for inefficient use of the available space.

Another example of conventional technology is disclosed by U.S. Pat. No. 5,528,993 which is directed to a table having a base and a table top. The base is mounted on a vertical support surface and the table top is supported from the base. First support means in the form of hangers on the table top loosely support the table top from support arms on the base in a vertical, storage position. Separate, second support means on the base and table top support the table top from the base in a horizontal, operative position. The table top is movable both vertically and horizontally relative to the base to have the table top cooperate with the first or with the second support means on the base depending on the position desired. The relative horizontal movement allows the table top to be mounted flush against the support surface in its operative position. The table proposed by this patent has a disadvantage in that it requires at least one support leg between the table and the floor. The support leg occupies the space under the table and interferes free movements of the user's lower body.

Therefore, there is a need of a new a bar counter or table that can be easily attached to a vertical support such as rails that is suitable for a small area such as a balcony or veranda.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide a bar counter or table that can be easily attached to a support member such as rails that is suitable for a small area such as a balcony or veranda.

It is another object of the present invention to provide an attachment mechanism for attaching a bar counter or table that can be easily attached to a support member such as balcony rails.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide a structure for attaching a bar counter or table that can be easily attached to balcony rails of different size and shape.

To achieve the above objects, one aspect of the present invention is a bar counter that is attachable to and detachable from a support member having vertical and horizontal rails. The bar counter includes a table, a pair of arms for mounting the table thereon, a hanger having a horizontal beam and a pair of vertical beams where each of the vertical beams has a first hook for attaching the hanger to the horizontal rail. The pair of arms mounting the table thereon is attached to a desired location of the hanger, and the hanger is mounted on the vertical and horizontal rails of the support member through the first hooks on the pair of vertical beams.

The first hook is formed on each of the vertical beams of the hanger at an upper end thereof wherein the first hook includes a clamping member for clamping the horizontal rail and an adjustment member for driving the clamping member when clamping the horizontal rail. Each of the pair of arms has a second hook for attaching the arm to the hanger by engaging the second hook with a hole formed on the corresponding vertical beam of the hanger.

The hanger includes a plurality of holes formed on each of the pair of vertical beams, and each of the pair of arms has a second hook for attaching the arm to the hanger by engaging the second hook with a selected hole formed on the vertical beam of the hanger. The hanger includes an adjustment plate formed on the horizontal beam to adjust a forward and backward position of a lower end of the hanger to compensate differences in size and shape between the vertical rail and the horizontal rail. The adjustment plate on the hanger includes an adjustment member for changing the position of the lower end of the hanger and an elastic member for flexibly contacting with the vertical rail.

The first hook provided on each of the vertical beams includes a hole which is elongated in a vertical direction to attain flexibility for movement of the clamping member and the adjustment member depending on a size and shape of the horizontal rail. The clamping member in the first hook has an L-shape to support the horizontal rail where an elastic member is provided on a surface of the clamping member to flexibly contact with the horizontal rail.

Each of the pair of arms for mounting the table has a triangle shape and the second hook is provided on a vertical beam of the triangle shape at an upper position. The first hook is integrally formed on the vertical beam of the hanger at the upper end thereof.

According to the present invention, the bar counter or table can be easily and instantly created in a balcony or veranda of a relatively small area of a residence such as an apartment. The bar counter can be easily attached to or detached from the balcony rails by engaging or disengaging the hooks formed on the hanger with the horizontal rail of the balcony. Further, the bar counter can be easily attached to balcony rails of different shapes and sizes because of the adjustment plate. Since it does not need to have legs, the bar counter can be established in a small space on the balcony while achieving sufficient seating space for the users.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing an example of structure of the bar counter and its attachment mechanism of the present invention attached to balcony rails.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing an example of detailed structure of the hanger incorporated in the bar counter of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing an example of a backside structure of the adjustment plate incorporated in the bar counter of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing an example of detailed structure of the hook of the hanger incorporated in the bar counter of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing an example of structure of the table and the arm incorporated in the bar counter of the present invention.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing an example of detailed structure of the arm for mounting the table thereon for the bar counter of the present invention.

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view showing an example of an overall structure of the bar counter of the present invention attached to balcony rails.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention will be described in detail with reference to the accompanying drawings. The table or bar counter (hereafter “bar counter”) of the present invention incorporates an attachment mechanism which enables easy attachment to the support member, typically, balcony rails. Because the bar counter does not have legs and is attached to the balcony rails, it does not need a substantial space of the balcony while achieving a sufficient seating space for a user. The user is able to enjoy free movement of his/her legs because the bar counter does not use any leg between the table and the floor.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing an example of structure of the bar counter and its attachment mechanism of the present invention attached to balcony rails. The bar counter is configured to be easily attached to a support member, especially balcony rails. As shown in FIG. 1, the support member of the balcony is typically formed with a horizonal rail HR and a plurality of vertical rails VR. The bar counter of the present invention is comprised of a table 21, a hanger 23, and a pair of arms 28. The hanger 23 and the pair of arms 28 mainly constitute the attachment mechanism of the present invention.

In this example, the table 21 has an L-shape in cross section for attaining sufficient physical strength, although various other shapes, such as a flat shape throughout, are also possible. Further, although the table has a generally square shape in plan view, other shapes such as a one having a round end or round corners are also possible. The hanger 23 is to hang the table 21 on the balcony rails. The pair of arms 28 is to mount the table 21 thereon for attaching to the hanger 23 at a desired vertical position.

The hanger 23 has a pair of hooks (first hooks) 25 which connect to the horizontal rail HR of the balcony in a manner to grab the horizontal rail HR. Although the hanger 23 has two hooks 25 in this example, three or more hooks 25 can also be used. Further, although the hook 25 and the main body of the hanger 23 are integrally formed in this example, it is also possible that the hooks 25 separately produced can be attached to the main body of the hanger 23 by screws or other connection means.

In this example, each arm 28 has a triangular shape and is attached to the bottom rear position of the table 21. Other shapes such as a rectangular shape with enforcement beams are also possible for the arm 28. Further, in this example, although the pair of arms 28 are used for mounting the table, three or more arms 28 can also be used if the hanger 23 is so configured to receive the three or more arms, i.e., to have three or more vertical beams.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing an example'of detailed structure of the hanger 23 incorporated in the bar counter of the present invention. The hanger 23 is generally configured by a pair of vertical beams 23V and a horizontal beam 23H connecting the vertical beams 23V at the bottom. However, the number of vertical beams 23V can be three or more depending on the needs such as a size and/or weight of the table 21, a size of the balcony rails, a size of the vertical beam 23V, etc.

At the top of each vertical beam 23V, a hook 25 is provided to connect to the horizontal rail HR (FIG. 1) of the balcony. The hook 25 is configured to clamp the horizontal rail of different sizes by clamp member 31 and adjustment members 33 (FIG. 4). As noted above, although the hook 25 and the vertical beam 23V are integrally formed in this example, it is also possible that the hook 25 separately produced can be attached to each vertical beam 23V of the hanger 23 by screws, other fastening or connection means, soldering, etc.

The hanger 23 also has an adjustment plate 24 which is attached to the horizontal beam 23H for adjusting the perpendicularity of the hanger 23 with the floor which is affected by, for example, differences in the thickness between the vertical rails VR and the horizontal rail HR. The adjustment plate 24 can adjust the forward and backward position of a lower end of the hanger 23. The position of the adjustment plate 24 can be adjusted by, for example, rotating one or more screws (adjustment members) 36 shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, so that the hanger 23 is substantially perpendicular to the floor of the balcony. Thus, the adjustment plate 24 is useful for attaining the stability and flatness of the table 21.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing an example of a backside structure of the adjustment plate 24 incorporated in the bar counter of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 3, the adjustment plate 24 has a plurality of adjustment members 36 which are, for example, screws as noted above. The adjustment plate 24 is attached to the horizontal beam 23H of the hanger 23 through the adjustment member 36 and through holes 38 (FIG. 2) on the horizontal beam 23H of the hanger 23.

Although this example shows the case where the adjustment plate 24 is attached to the horizontal beam 23H, it is also possible to attach the adjustment plate 24 to the vertical beams 23V. By operating the adjustment members 36, for example, rotating the screws, the position of the adjustment plate 24 in the forward and backward direction is set to an optimum position for a particular size and shape of the balcony rails. The adjustment plate 24 is preferably provided with, on its outer surface, an elastic member 24E such as a rubber plate for contacting the balcony rail without scratch, damage, noise, etc.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view showing an example of detailed structure of the hook 25 of the hanger 23 incorporated in the bar counter of the present invention. The hook 25 is provided at the top of each vertical beam 23V to clamp the horizonal rail HR of the balcony. In this example, the hook 25 is generally (inversely) U-shaped although various other shapes are also possible. As noted above, although the hook 25 and the vertical beam 23V are integrally formed in this example, it is also possible that the hook 25 separately produced can be attached to each vertical beam 23V.

The hook 25 has a clamp member 31 and an adjustment member 33 to attach the hanger 23 to the balcony rails of different sizes and shapes. The adjustment member 33 adjusts position of the clamp member 31 in the backward and forward direction to fasten the horizonal rail HR. For example, the adjustment member 33 includes a screw 33S as shown in FIG. 4 so that the clamp member 31 is moved by rotating the screw 33S for clamping the rail HR.

The inner surface of the clamp member 31 is provided with an elastic sheet or plate (elastic member) 31E such as a rubber plate for clamping the balcony rail without damage, scratch, etc. Such an elastic sheet or plate is also useful for compensating surface irregularity of the horizontal rail HR of the balcony when firmly clamping the rail HR. The clamp member 31 in this example is L-shaped although other shape such as an I-shape or U-shape is also possible.

The hook 25 also has a hole 34 which is elongated in a vertical direction to attain flexibility for movement of the clamping member 31 and the adjustment member 33 when clamping the horizontal rail HR. Thus, depending on the vertical thickness of the horizontal rail HR of the balcony, the vertical position of the clamp member 31 can be adjusted by the hole 34 to accommodate the thickness. Thus, by the combination of the clamp member 31, the adjustment member 33, and the vertically elongated hole 34, the hook 25 enables to attach the hanger 23 to the balcony rails of different sizes and shapes.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing an example of structure of the table 21 and the arm 28 incorporated in the bar counter of the present invention. FIG. 6 is a perspective view showing an example of detailed structure of the arm 28 for mounting the table 21. The table 21 has an L-shape in cross section for attaining sufficient physical strength, although various other shapes, such as a flat shape, an inverse U-shape, etc. are also possible. Further, although the table 21 has a generally square shape in plan view, other shapes such as a one having a round end or round or tapered corners are also possible.

The arm 28 is generally shaped in triangular and has a horizontal beam 28H, although other shapes such as a square shape, a half-moon shape, a relative thick plate of triangular, square or other shape, etc., are also possible. The horizontal beam 28H is attached to the bottom backward surface of the table 21 by fastening means such as screws (not shown) at screw holes 28S. As shown, the arm 28 has a hook (second hook) 29 at the rear end for attaching the arm 28 and the table 21 to the hanger 23.

As shown in FIG. 2, the hanger 23 has a plurality of holes 35 arranged vertically on the vertical beam 23V. The hook 29 is attached to the hanger 23 through the holes 35 at a desired vertical position. Preferably, on the rear surface of the arm 28, an elastic sheet or plate (elastic member) 30 such as a rubber plate is provided for protection from scratch, noise, damage, etc. and for compensating surface irregularity of the vertical beams 23V of the hanger 23 and the arm 28.

FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view showing the overall structural relationship among the components incorporated in the bar counter of the present invention. The hanger 23 is attached to the balcony horizontal rail HR by the clamping member 31 of the hook 25 which clamps the horizontal rail HR of the balcony by operating the adjustment member 33. The pair of arms 28 are attached to the bottom back surface of the table 21 by connecting the horizontal beams 28H (FIG. 6) to the table 21.

The hooks 29 of the arms 28 are hooked to the holes 35 of the hanger 23 at the desired vertical location, thereby mounting the table 21 on the balcony rails. Depending on the difference in the size and shape between the vertical rails VR and the horizontal rail HR of the balcony, the forward and backward position of the adjustment plate 24 is accommodated. Accordingly, the hanger 23 is adjusted to be perpendicular to the balcony floor, thereby attaching the table 21 firmly and stably to the balcony rails.

As described above, in the present invention, the bar counter or table can be easily and instantly created in a balcony or veranda of a relatively small area of a residence such as an apartment. The bar counter can be easily attached to or detached from the balcony rails by engaging or disengaging the hooks formed on the hanger with the horizontal rail of the balcony. Further, the bar counter can be easily attached to balcony rails of different shapes and sizes because of the adjustment plate. Since it does not need to have legs, the bar counter can be established in a small space on the balcony while achieving sufficient seating space for the users.





 
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