Title:
Convertible game table
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A convertible game table has a multi-sided and multi-functional table top which is rotatably mounted upon a frame for selective orientation between pool/billiards and ping-pong game playing surfaces. A frame which surrounds the table top houses pool ball pockets and compartments. Rotational pin mounts between the table top and frame have keyed locks to prevent rotation of the table top from one of the horizontal playing positions.



Inventors:
Panzica, Charlie (South Russell, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/323669
Publication Date:
07/05/2007
Filing Date:
12/30/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
473/4, 473/6, 473/9, 473/10, 473/16, 273/309
International Classes:
A63D15/00; A63D15/04; A63F9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ARYANPOUR, MITRA
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
James C. Scott (Rocky River, OH, US)
Claims:
What is claimed as the invention is:

1. A convertible game table comprising: a table top having parallel and opposed first and second planar game playing surfaces surrounded by a table top frame, the first planar game playing surface configured for the game of ping-pong, and the second planar game playing surface configured for the game of pool, the first and second planar game playing surfaces having a common rectangular shape with aligned longitudinal edges and aligned end width edges; a base having a rectangular base frame with parallel longitudinal segments and parallel end width segments, the frame substantially surrounding the frame of the table top, the base further comprising a plurality of supports which elevate the base frame; the table top rotationally mounted upon the base frame by pins which extend through the end width edges of the table top frame and through the corresponding end width segments of the base frame, the pins having a rotational shaft about which the table top can be rotated and a keyed lock which prevents rotation of the table top about the pins relative to the base frame.

2. The convertible game table of claim 1 further comprising compartments in the table top for pool balls, each of the compartments associated with each of the pool pockets of the pool game playing surface of the table top, and a cover for each of the compartments and pool pockets.

3. The convertible game table of claim 2 wherein the compartments are located within the frame of the table top.

4. The convertible game table of claim 1 wherein the frame of the table top extends beyond a plane of the pool game playing surface, and extends away from a plane of the ping-pong game playing surface.

5. The convertible game table of claim 4 further comprising bumpers attached to the frame on the pool game playing surface of the table top.

6. The convertible game table of claim 1 further comprising at least one additional fastener between the frame of the table top and the base frame.

7. The convertible game table of claim 1 wherein the pins are removable from the table top frame for detachment of the table top from the base.

8. The convertible game table of claim 1 wherein the first planar game playing surface is spaced from the second planar game playing surface.

9. The convertible game table of claim 8 further comprising a structural member between the first planar game playing surface and the second planar game playing surface.

10. The convertible game table of claim 1 wherein the plurality of supports for the base frame comprise four or more legs.

11. A convertible game table comprising: a table top having parallel and opposed first and second planar game playing surfaces surrounded by a table top frame, the first planar game playing surface configured for the game of ping-pong, and the second planar game playing surface configured for the game of pool, the first and second planar game playing surfaces having a common rectangular shape with aligned longitudinal edges and aligned end width edges; a base having a rectangular base frame with parallel longitudinal segments and parallel end width segments, the base frame substantially surrounding the table top frame, the base further comprising a plurality of supports which elevate the base frame; the table top fitted upon the base frame by contact of one of the first or second game playing surfaces with the base frame, and a grip at each end of the table top for gripping and re-orienting a selected first or second game playing surface of the table top relative to the base frame.

12. The convertible game table of claim 11 further comprising a gripping rod which extends longitudinally though the table top.

13. The convertible game table of claim 11 further comprising pool ball pockets in the second planar game playing surface, and pool ball compartments associated with each of the pool ball pockets.

14. The convertible game table of claim 13 further comprising covers for each of the pool ball pockets and pool ball compartments.

15. The convertible game table of claim 11 wherein the first planar game playing surface is spaced from the second planar game playing surface within the table top frame, and at least one structural member between the first planar game playing surface and the second planar game playing surface.

16. The convertible game table of claim 11 wherein a portion of the base frame is configured to receive a portion of a ping-pong net attached to the ping-pong game playing surface.

17. A convertible game table comprising: a table top having parallel and opposed first and second planar game playing surfaces surrounded by a table top frame, the first planar game playing surface configured for the game of ping-pong, and the second planar game playing surface configured for the game of pool, the first and second planar game playing surfaces having a common rectangular shape with aligned longitudinal edges and aligned end width edges; a base having supports for the table top and a foundation; the table top rotationally mounted to the supports of the base by pins which extend through the end width edges of the table top frame and through the supports, the pins having a rotational shaft about which the table top can be rotated and a keyed lock which prevents rotation of the table top about the pins relative to the base frame.

18. The convertible game table of claim 17 further comprising compartments in the table top for pool balls, each of the compartments associated with each of the pool pockets of the pool game playing surface of the table top, and a cover for each of the compartments and pool pockets.

19. The convertible game table of claim 17 wherein the compartments are located within the frame of the table top.

20. The convertible game table of claim 17 wherein the frame of the table top extends beyond a plane of the pool game playing surface,and extends away from a plane of the ping-pong game playing surface.

21. The convertible game table of claim 17 further comprising bumpers attached to the frame on the pool game playing surface of the table top.

22. The convertible game table of claim 17 wherein the pins are removable from the table top frame for detachment of the table top from the base.

23. The convertible game table of claim 17 wherein the first planar game playing surface is spaced from the second planar game playing surface.

24. The convertible game table of claim 23 further comprising a structural member between the first planar game playing surface and the second planar game playing surface.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention is in the general field of gaming equipment, and more particularly convertibile gaming equipment for playing different types of table games.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The table games of ping-pong and pool (including billiards) each require a special playing surface which is solidly supported off the floor. Given the different nature and requirement of the games, the tables are constructed in dedicated form, which although functional occupies the maximum amount of space if both games are to be available. Another disadvantage of such games is the size and mass of the required tables, which renders them rather permanent and immovable. Ping-pong tables are made to fold, with the fold line concealed directly below the net. A pool or billiards table cannot practicably be made to fold because a fold line would disrupt the playing surface.

These games also require pieces and playing equipment which are preferably kept in close proximity to the table. A number of different type of racks and storage devices have been made for this purpose, but this does not result in self-containment of all of the necessary game equipment with the table.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a novel convertible game table for ping-pong and pool or billiards. The convertible game table of the invention has a stable foundation which supports combined but separate planar table top game playing surfaces. The table top game playing surfaces are surrounded by a frame and are otherwise structurally combined. In one embodiment, a game table top has first and second game playing surfaces for pool and ping-pong respectively surrounded by a frame, and a structural member between them. The game table top is mounted upon a base with one of the game playing surfaces supported in a horizontal upright playing position, and can be selectively repositioned with the other game playing surface in the horizontal upright playing position.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the convertible game table of the invention in a rotating position;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the convertible game table shown in FIG. 1 in a ping-pong table configuration;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a convertible game table of the invention in a pool table configuration;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the convertible game table shown in FIG. 3 in a converting position;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the convertible game table of the invention in a pool table configuration;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the convertible game table shown in FIG. 5 in a converting position;

FIG. 7 is a an end view of the convertible game table shown in FIG. 6 in a converting position;

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the convertible game table shown in FIG. 6 in a ping-pong table configuration;

FIG. 9 is a detail view of a rotating and locking pin of the invention, and

FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of the convertible table top.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED AND ALTERNATE EMBODIMENTS

As shown in the form of a first embodiment in FIGS. 1 and 2, a convertible game table of the invention, indicated generally at 10, has a convertible table top 12 and a foundation or base 14 which has a frame 141 on which the convertible table top is mounted. The convertible table top 12 is rectangular with a surrounding frame 121 which forms a vertical side wall 122 around a perimeter of the table top. Within the frame 121 there is a planar table top game playing surface, such as surface 123 shown in FIG. 1 as a pool or billiards playing surface, or surface 124 as shown in FIG. 2 as a ping-pong playing surface, with a transversely mounted net 1240 upon posts 1241. The table top frame 121 is mounted to the base frame 141 by spindles or pins 133, 134 which are axially aligned at opposite ends of the table 12 as shown. A locking mechanism is provided between the table top 12 and the frame 141 to secure the table top 12 in one of the horizontal playing positions as shown in FIG. 2. As shown in FIG. 9, one type of locking mechanism is incorporated into one or both of the pins 133, 134, which can be axially translated within a keyway 1345 from a shaft position in which the table top 12 can rotate about the shaft 1331 of the pin, to a keyed locked position in which a keyed lock 1332 prevents rotation of the table top 12 relative to the base frame 141. In the keyed locked position, the planar lock 1332 extends between the base frame 145 and the table top frame 122 to prevent rotation. Other locks can be provided in combination with those of the pins 133, 134, such as any type of fasteners between the table top frame 122 and the surrounding base frame 145. To change the orientation of the table top from the pool table surface 123 being upright to the ping-pong table surface 124 being upright, the pins are translated to the unlocked rotating position and the table top 12 is simply rotated 180 degrees about the pins 133, 134, and the pins thereafter locked into the non-rotating position. Because the pins 133, 134 are bearing directly upon the frame 145 of the base 14, it is not necessary to lift the table top 12 off of the base 14 in order to change the orientation of the table top 12.

To provide a mounting structure for the bumpers 125 which surround the pool or billiards surface 123, the frame 121 extends vertically beyond the playing surface 123. by this construction, the playing surface 123 is recessed from a top edge 126 or surface of the frame 121. Each of the ball pockets 127 located at the comers and midpoints of the playing surface 123 have an associated receiving compartment 128 as shown, into which the balls 129 travel from the associated pocket 127. Access openings 130 are provided to each of the receiving compartments 128 through which the balls 129 can be retrieved for replacement upon the playing surface 123. Although receiving compartments 128 are illustrated with each of the ball pockets 127, alternative embodiment do not require this arrangement for each ball pocket. In another alternative, the ball pockets 127 may be sized to accommodate more than one ball 129 such that the pockets 127 also serve as ball storage compartments. For storage and retention of the balls 129 in the receiving compartments 128 or pockets 127, each are provided with respective covers 132 and 131 as shown in FIG. 3 to effectively retain the balls regardless of the orientation of the table, as further described.

An alternate embodiment of the convertible game table 10 of the invention is illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4, wherein the table top 12 is supported by the base 14. The base 14 includes four or more vertically oriented legs 144 and a mounting frame 145 on which the table top frame 121 rests or is otherwise engaged. In this embodiment, the table top 12 can be removed from the base 14 by, for example, simply lifting it entirely and flipping it to change the playing surface 123 or 124 to be in the upright position for play, or for example by insertion of a rod 146 through an axis of the table top as shown to provide an axis about which the table top can be rotated to change its orientation, as shown in FIG. 3. This can be easily done by two people. The rod 146 extends along a longitudinal axis in a center area of the table top 12 between the surfaces 123 and 124. Although the rod 146 is illustrated as running the entire length of the table top 12, an alternate embodiment of this aspect of the invention is contemplated wherein shorter segment gripping rods are provided at each end of the table top for purposes of gripping and re-orienting the table top 12 as described. As shown in FIG. 4, the posts 1241 of the ping-pong net can be used to register the table top 12 in alignment with the base frame 145 by insertion into corresponding slots 1242.

FIGS. 5-8 illustrate an alternate embodiment of the convertible game table 10 of the invention wherein the table top 12 is mounted upon a base 14 of a different configuration, having supports for the table top, in this example in the form of angled legs 147 which extend upward from a foundation, in this example in the form of longitudinal runners 148. The angled legs 147 meet at the midpoint of the ends of the table top 12 and receive the pins 133, 134 upon which the table top 12 rotates relative to the base 14 as described. A similar locking mechanism can be incorporated into the pins 133, 134 as described to prevent rotation of the table top. In each of the embodiments the pins 133, 134 can be completely removed from engagement with the table top 12 for purposes of packaging or storage. The table top 12 is preferably made of relatively light weight material such as molded plastic or structural foam, with the game playing surfaces 123 and 124 made of a harder material such as thick plastic sheet or wood. The same material or substrate can serve as the pool table playing surface 123 on one side (preferably covered with felt or other suitable fabric) and the ping-pong playing surface 124 on the other side. The base 14 can be made of any suitable material and formed as a single piece or assembled from parts.

In any one of the described embodiments, the table top 12 can be constructed as further detailed in FIG. 10, with the pool game playing surface 123 defined by a planar member 1230 which spans between the frame 122, and which is parallel to and spaced from the planar member 1240 which defines the ping-pong game playing surface 124. As noted, the material of the planar members 1230, 1240 can be any suitable rigid material which provides a sound game playing surface. The space 1234 between the planar members 1230 and 1240 can be occupied with any type of structural member or members as structural reinforcement, such as beams which span the length or width of the table top 12 between the frame 122, or structural foam which bonds to the planar members and the frame and maintains rigidity of the game playing surfaces. The space between the planar members 1230 and 1240 allows the pool ball pockets 127 and compartments 128 to be incorporated into the table top, as further shown in FIG. 9. In a construction wherein the space 1234 is filled or partially filled with any type of foam or other filler material, such material is regarded as a structural member.

Although the invention is described with reference to particular embodiments, the principles and concepts of the invention are of course executable in other forms not expressly described but nonetheless within the literal and equivalent scope of the claims to the invention.