Title:
F0LDING TABLE WITH NESTING LEGS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Collapsible tables are not sturdy or attractive, whereas tables with these properties are not easy to store or transport. Thus there is a need for a table which is simultaneously attractive, sturdy, and easy to move or store. According to one aspect of the invention, a table is provided that has legs that fold and nest. The legs are held in the open position by one or more mechanical rotating clasps. According to another aspect of the invention, table is provided that has legs that fold in pairs. When in the folded position, one pair of legs nests within the other pair.



Inventors:
Aldred, Darren (Morristown, TN, US)
Hodges, Stephen (Russelville, TN, US)
Application Number:
12/333952
Publication Date:
06/18/2009
Filing Date:
12/12/2008
Assignee:
Meco Corporation (Greeneville, TN, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B3/08; A47B3/091
View Patent Images:
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20040231571Miter saw tableNovember, 2004Sumler
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20040211344Sofa table with adjustable heightOctober, 2004Lor
20090249984PLAY TABLE WITH CONTOURS AND WATER FEATUREOctober, 2009Meyer
20080216717ADJUSTABLE WORK SURFACE WITH TILTSeptember, 2008Jones
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Primary Examiner:
CHEN, JOSE V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MCGUIREWOODS, LLP (Tysons Corner, VA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A table comprising: a table top; at least one leg pivotally connected to the table top and configured to rotate relative to the table top; and at least one mechanical rotating clasp configured to secure the at least one leg in an open position, wherein the table is configured to have a non-folding table appearance.

2. The table of claim 1, wherein the at least one leg is pivotally connected to the table top with at least one hinge.

3. The table of claim 1, wherein the at least one leg comprises four legs.

4. The table of claim 3, wherein the four legs are arranged into two pairs of legs and each pair of legs is configured to rotate relative to the table top.

5. The table of claim 4, wherein each pair of legs is connected to the table top with at least one hinge.

6. The table of claim 5, wherein one pair of legs nests within the other pair of legs.

7. The table of claim 1, further comprising at least one hinge lock configured to secure the at least one leg in an open position.

8. A table comprising: a table top; a first pair of legs pivotally connected to one side of the table top, the first pair of legs configured to rotate relative to the table top; a second pair of legs pivotally connected to an opposite side of the table top, the second pair of legs configured to rotate relative to the table top; at least one mechanical rotating clasp configured to secure the first pair of legs in an open position; and at least one mechanical rotating clasp configured to secure the second pair of legs in an open position, wherein the table is configured to have a non-folding table appearance.

9. The table of claim 8, wherein the first pair of legs nests inside the second pair of legs in a folded position.

10. The table of claim 8, wherein the first pair of legs is connected to the table top with at least one hinge.

11. The table of claim 8, wherein the second pair of legs is connected to the table top with at least one hinge.

12. The table of claim 8, further comprising at least one hinge lock configured to secure the first pair of legs in an open position.

13. The table of claim 8, further comprising at least one hinge lock configured to secure the second pair of legs in an open position.

14. The table of claim 8, wherein the pivotal connection of the first pair of legs lies in a different plane than the pivotal connection of the second pair of legs.

15. A table comprising: a table top; a first pair of legs pivotally connected to one side of the table top, the first pair of legs configured to rotate relative to the table top; a second pair of legs pivotally connected to an opposite side of the table top, the second pair of legs configured to rotate relative to the table top; at least one mechanical rotating clasp configured to secure the first pair of legs in an open position; and at least one mechanical rotating clasp configured to secure the second pair of legs in an open position, wherein the table is configured to have a non-folding table appearance.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. ยง119(e) to provisional U.S. Patent Application No. 61/013,000, filed on Dec. 12, 2007, the disclosure of which is expressly incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention is directed generally to a folding table, especially one wherein the legs, in the folded position, are nested within one another. The legs are fixed in the open position with a mechanical rotating clasp (sash-type lock). More particularly, the invention is directed to a folding table wherein the legs of one side fold down and nest underneath the legs of the opposite side.

2. Related Art

People frequently use folding tables when they need extra table space, for example, when having extra dinner guests at a large holiday meal. Unfortunately, these tables are not very attractive to one's aesthetic sense. In addition, they may not be very sturdy and instead are prone to collapsing or otherwise failing. Conversely, sturdy, attractive tables are generally not very easy to move or store.

In addition, many people move or change homes frequently. Such people may need or desire a sturdy, attractive table. However, a table that is compact and easy to transport or store may also be desirable due to their nomadic lifestyle. There is currently no table that is sturdy, attractive, and easy to transport due to a folding design.

Accordingly, there is a need for a stylish and sturdy table that folds easily for transport or storage. Such a table may be stored easily and deployed only when needed. Alternatively, it may be in use on a regular basis and folded only when it needs to be moved or temporarily stored.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention meets the foregoing need and provides a folding table that is at once attractive, sturdy, and folds for easy transport or storage and that furthermore includes other advantages apparent from the discussion herein.

Accordingly, in one aspect of the invention a table includes a table top, at least one leg pivotally connected to the table top and configured to rotate relative to the table top and at least one mechanical rotating clasp configured to secure the at least one leg in an open position, where the table is configured to have a non-folding table appearance.

According to another aspect of the invention a table includes a table top, a first pair of legs pivotally connected to one side of the table top, the first pair of legs configured to rotate relative to the table top, a second pair of legs pivotally connected to an opposite side of the table top, the second pair of legs configured to rotate relative to the table top, at least one mechanical rotating clasp configured to secure the first pair of legs in an open position, and at least one mechanical rotating clasp configured to secure the second pair of legs in an open position, where the table is configured to have a non-folding table appearance.

Additional features, advantages, and embodiments of the invention may be set forth or apparent from consideration of the following detailed description, drawings, and claims. Moreover, it is to be understood that both the foregoing summary of the invention and the following detailed description are exemplary and intended to provide further explanation without limiting the scope of the invention as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings, which are included to provide a further understanding of the invention, are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and together with the detailed description serve to explain the principles of the invention. No attempt is made to show structural details of the invention in more detail than may be necessary for a fundamental understanding of the invention and the various ways in which it may be practiced. In the drawings:

FIG. 1 shows a bottom front perspective of a folding table with nesting legs, with the legs completely folded.

FIG. 2 shows a bottom front perspective of the folding table in FIG. 1 with the left-side legs partially unfolded.

FIG. 3 shows a bottom front perspective of the folding table in FIG. 1 with all legs completely unfolded.

FIG. 4 shows a close-up of one leg lock, in the open position, and one hinge lock.

FIG. 5 shows the leg lock from FIG. 4 with the leg lock in the closed position.

FIG. 6 is a top front left perspective of the table in FIG. 1 with all four legs the open position.

FIGS. 7A, 7B, 7C, 7D show the folding table with its legs in various stages of being unfolded.

FIGS. 8A, 8B, 8C, 8D show plan views of the table with the legs folded and unfolded.

FIG. 9 is an exploded view of the components of the table.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The embodiments of the invention and the various features and advantageous details thereof are explained more fully with reference to the non-limiting embodiments and examples that are described and/or illustrated in the accompanying drawings and detailed in the following description. It should be noted that the features illustrated in the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale, and features of one embodiment may be employed with other embodiments as the skilled artisan would recognize, even if not explicitly stated herein.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention, a table 100 may be constructed from wood pieces held in place with metal fasteners, hinges, or the like. The table 100 may include a first pair of legs 102, 106 and a second pair of legs 104,108 on opposite sides of the table 100. Each pair of legs may fold and deploy together. This paired arrangement of legs may result in an increased leg strength and stability as compared to individually folding legs. The first pair of legs 102, 106 may be attached directly to the underside of the tabletop with hinges or the like. The second pair of legs 104, 108 may be attached to a wood block or other stand-off, and the stand-off is attached to the underside of the table top. This arrangement places the axis of rotation for the first pair of legs 102, 106 in a different plane than the rotational axis of the second pair of legs 104, 108.

For proper storage, the first pair of legs 102, 106 may be folded into the collapsed position before the second pair of legs 104, 108. Because the pairs of legs have their respective rotational axes in different planes, the first pair of legs 102, 106 legs may nest within the second pair of legs 104, 108. In the compact position, the sides of the folded legs are parallel to the top of the table

Two mechanisms may be employed to secure each pair of legs in the deployed or unfolded position. One mechanism may be a hinge lock 402. The user pushes on one side of the lock to brace the legs in the unfolded position. When desiring to collapse the legs, the user pushes on the opposite side of the lock to unlock it and allow the legs to collapse into the folded position.

The second mechanism may be a leg lock 404, which features a rotating clasp attached to the joined legs and a plate or receiver attached to the table 100. Once the legs 102, 104, 106, 108 are unfolded, the lock may be turned from the open position to the closed position, causing the clasp to forcibly engage the receiver and hold the legs flush against the table top (FIGS. 4 and 5). Other arrangements or configurations of the two mechanisms are contemplated and are within the scope and spirit of the invention.

Each pair of legs may utilize hinges to rotate relative to the tabletop and create the axis of rotation for each pair of legs. According to a preferred embodiment, three hinges may be connected to each pair of legs, but greater or fewer hinges may be used without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention. Furthermore, other means of rotation are contemplated and within the scope of the invention.

While the invention has been described in terms of exemplary embodiments, those skilled in the art will recognize that the invention can be practiced with modifications in the spirit and scope of the appended claims. These examples given above are merely illustrative and are not meant to be an exhaustive list of all possible designs, embodiments, applications or modifications of the invention.