Title:
No-tools breakdown furniture
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Articles of breakdown furniture (e.g., a desk and a TV stand) that can be quickly and easily assembled and disassembled by a user without the need for traditional tools, in a relatively short time, and with minimal assistance. In its disassembled condition, the furniture is advantageously adapted to be packaged and transported in compact shipping containers. A removable top is detachably connected between a pair of opposing sides or legs by locking pins which slide through lock bodies affixed to the detachable top for receipt by respective pin holes formed in the sides. A back panel is connected between the pair of opposing sides by connectors which project from ends of the support panel for removable receipt by slotted brackets affixed to the sides. In the case of the desk, a removable pull-out drawer is located below the removable top to be slidably received by grooves formed along the sides. In the case of the TV stand, removable shelves which extend between the pair of opposing sides are detachably connected to shelf supports that are affixed to each of the sides and the back panel.



Inventors:
Hazzard, Thomas B. (Ladera Ranch, CA, US)
Krause, Steven (Irvine, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/152422
Publication Date:
11/19/2009
Filing Date:
05/13/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
312/265.5
International Classes:
A47G29/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
AYRES, TIMOTHY MICHAEL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Morland C. Fischer (Irvine, CA, US)
Claims:
1. An article of furniture, comprising: a pair of opposing side legs to enable said article of furniture to stand on a surface; a removable top extending laterally between and detachably connected to each of said pair of side legs without the use of tools; and a removable support panel located below said top, said support panel extending between and being detachably connected to each of said side legs without the use of tools.

2. The article of furniture recited in claim 1, wherein said article is one of a breakdown desk, table, TV stand, or bookshelf wherein said pair of opposing side legs, said removable top, and said removable support panel are connected to one another and disconnected from one another without the use of tools.

3. The article of furniture recited in claim 1, further comprising a plurality of lock bodies attached to said removable top, each lock body having a locking pin slidable between a locked position and an unlocked position, and each of said pair of side legs having at least one pin hole formed therein, the locking pins of said lock bodies sliding to said locked position for receipt by respective ones of said pin holes, whereby said removable top is detachably connected to said pair of side legs, and said locking pins sliding to said unlocked position so as to be withdrawn from said pin holes, whereby said removable top is detachable from said pair of side legs.

4. The article of furniture recited in claim 3, wherein said removable support panel has at least one pin hole formed therein, a locking pin from one of said plurality of lock bodies attached to said removable top sliding to said locked position for receipt by the pin hole formed in said support panel, whereby said removable top is detachably connected to said support panel.

5. The article of furniture recited in claim 3, wherein each of said pair of side legs has at least one locating pin projecting upwardly therefrom, and the bottom of said removable top has at least one locator hole formed at first and opposite ends thereof, the locating pins projecting from said pair of sides being removably received within respective ones of said locator holes formed in said removable top by which to automatically align the locking pins of said plurality of lock bodies for removable receipt by respective ones of the pin holes formed in said pair of legs.

6. The article of furniture recited in claim 1, further comprising a bracket affixed to each one of said pair of side legs, first and opposite ends of said removable support panel being detachably connected to of said pair of side legs at the respective brackets thereof.

7. The article of furniture recited in claim 6, further comprising at least one connector affixed to and projecting outwardly from each of first and opposite ends of said removable support panel, said bracket affixed to each one of said pair of side legs having a locking slot formed therein, and the at least one connector at each end of said support panel being removably received within the locking slot of a respective bracket, whereby said support panel is detachably connected to each of said pair of side legs.

8. The article of furniture recited in claim 7, wherein each bracket is rotatable relative to the one of said pair of side legs to which said bracket is affixed from an upstanding position, projecting outwardly from said one side leg, to a flat position, laying alongside said one leg.

9. The article of furniture recited in claim 8, wherein each bracket includes a bracket base affixed to one of said pair of side legs, a bracket stand having said locking slot formed therein, and a hinge pin by which said bracket stand is pivotally coupled to said bracket base so as to be rotatable relative to said bracket base between said upstanding and flat positions.

10. The article of furniture recited in claim 1, further comprising a first hinge plate affixed to each of first and opposite ends of said removable support panel and a second hinge plate affixed to each one of said pair of side legs, one of said first and second hinge plates having a coupling pin projecting therefrom and the other one of said first and second hinge plates having a coupling sleeve, the coupling pin of the one said hinge plates being removably received by the coupling sleeve of the other one of said hinge plates, whereby the first and opposite ends of said support panel are detachably connected to respective ones of said pair of side legs.

11. The article of furniture recited in claim 10, further comprising a pair of said first hinge plates affixed to each one of the first and opposite ends of said removable support panel and a pair of said second hinge plates affixed to each one of said pair of side legs, each pair of said first and second hinge plates including a coupling pin projecting from one of said first and second hinge plates and a coupling sleeve carried by the other one of said first and second hinge plates in which to removably receive said coupling pin, the coupling pin of one pair of first and second hinge plates being shorter than the coupling pin of the other pair of said first and second hinge plates.

12. The article of furniture recited in claim 1, further comprising a wire management channel connected to said removable top and adapted to carry electrical wires from electrical equipment located on said top to a source of electrical power.

13. The article of furniture recited in claim 12, wherein said wire management channel is suspended from and hangs downwardly below the removable top, said wire management channel manufactured from a flexible material so as to lay substantially flat against said top in response to a compressive force applied thereto.

14. The article of furniture recited in claim 1, further comprising a pull-out drawer located below said removable top and having a bottom tray, each of said pair of side legs having a guide track formed therein for slidably receiving respective first and opposite ends of said bottom tray.

15. The article of furniture recited in claim 1, wherein said removable top has a locking groove formed in first and opposite ends thereof, the top of each of said pair of side legs being removably received within a respective locking groove, whereby said removable top and said pair of side legs are detachably connected to one another.

16. The article of furniture recited in claim 1, further comprising at least one shelf located below said removable top and extending between said pair of side legs, each one of said pair of side legs and said removable support panel having a shelf support projecting therefrom, said at least one shelf being seated on each shelf support, and an attachment pin projecting upwardly from each shelf support to be connected to said shelf to hold said shelf against each shelf support.

17. An article of furniture, comprising: a pair of opposing side legs to enable said article of furniture to stand on a surface; a removable top extending laterally between and detachably connected to each of said pair of side legs without the use of tools; and a removable support panel located below said top, said support panel extending between said pair of side legs and being detachably connected to each one of said side legs and said removable top without the use of tools.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is related to Provisional Application No. 61/070,428 filed Mar. 24, 2008.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to break-down furniture (e.g., a desk and a TV stand) of the kind commonly used in a home or office that is capable of being quickly and easily assembled and disassembled by a user without the requirement for traditional tools, in a relatively short time, and with minimal assistance. By virtue of its break-down characteristic, the furniture described herein is advantageously adapted for space-efficient storage and transport in compact shipping containers.

2. Background Art

It is known for articles found in a home or office to be shipped to retailers and delivered to consumers unassembled in a shipping container. However, it is often impractical to ship large and/or heavy articles of furniture to consumers in a disassembled condition. Where furniture has been shipped unassembled, the consumer is typically required to rely on complex instructions and complex skill or have access to tools by which fasteners are inserted to connect the parts of the furniture together. In some cases, the consumer must spend considerable time to complete the assembly which can lead to frustration. The same time and inconvenience will be encountered should the consumer wish to disassemble the furniture.

Accordingly, it would be desirable to have break-down furniture that can be shipped to retailers and carried to the home or office of a consumer in a disassembled condition within one or more compact shipping containers so as to be efficiently transported and quickly and easily assembled (and disassembled) without the use of special tools or skill, in a relatively short time, and with minimal assistance.

Reference may be made to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/825,871 filed Jul. 11, 2007 which has been or will be assigned to the assignee of this application for an earlier example of no tools, break-down furniture.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In general terms, break-down furniture (e.g., a desk and a TV stand) is disclosed that can be quickly and easily assembled and disassembled by a user without the requirement for traditional tools, in a relatively short time, and with minimal assistance. By virtue of its break-down nature, the furniture can be disassembled for packing and transport in compact shipping containers. A pair of opposing sides (i.e., legs) are included to enable the furniture to stand upright on a surface. A removable top extends laterally between and is detachably connected to each of the opposing sides without the use of tools. A removable support panel that is located below the top extends laterally between and is detachably connected to each of the opposing sides without the use of tools.

A plurality of lock bodies are attached below the removable top. Each lock body has a locking pin that is slidable between a locked position and an unlocked position. In the locked position, the locking pins are received within respective pin holes formed in each of the opposing sides, whereby the removable top is detachably connected between the sides. In the case of a break-down TV stand, a locking pin is also received within a pin hole formed in the support panel, whereby the removable top is detachably connected to the support panel. In the unlocked position, the locking pins are withdrawn from the pin holes to permit the removable top to be separated from the opposing sides.

A bracket having retaining slots formed therein is affixed to each of the opposing sides of the furniture. Fasteners (e.g., shoulder bolts) project outwardly from opposite ends of the removable support panel. The fasteners are simply dropped into respective ones of the retaining slots, whereby the support panel is detachably connected to the opposing sides of the furniture at the brackets affixed thereto. In one embodiment, each bracket includes a bracket stand that is coupled to a bracket base by means of a hinge pin. The bracket base is affixed to one of the opposing sides of the furniture, and the bracket stand, in which the retaining slots are formed, is rotatable at the hinge pin relative to the bracket stand from an upstanding position, projecting from the side, to a flat position, laying alongside the side. In another embodiment, pairs of upper and lower hinge plates are affixed to each one of the pair of opposing sides of the furniture and opposite ends of the support beam. The upper hinge plates have coupling pins projecting therefrom for removable receipt by axially aligned coupling sleeves that are carried by the lower hinge plates, whereby the removable support panel is detachably connected to the opposing sides of the furniture.

In the case of a break-down desk, a flexible wire management channel is attached to and suspended from the bottom of the removable top to route electrical wires from electrical equipment seated on the top to a source of power. The flexible wire management channel is responsive to a compressive force applied thereto so as to lay flat against the top to facilitate a compact configuration for storage or shipping purposes.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a desk which is exemplary of the no-tools breakdown furniture according to one preferred embodiment of this invention;

FIGS. 2 and 3 show the no-tools breakdown desk of FIG. 1 in a disassembled configuration;

FIG. 4 shows a lock body carried by a removable top of the no-tools breakdown desk with a locking pin located in an unlocked position relative to one side of the desk;

FIG. 5 shows the lock body of FIG. 4 with the locking pin thereof moved to a locked position relative to the side;

FIG. 6 illustrates a TV stand which is exemplary of the no-tools breakdown furniture according to a second preferred embodiment of this invention;

FIG. 7 shows the no-tools breakdown TV stand of FIG. 6 in a disassembled configuration;

FIGS. 8-10 show details of a slotted bracket affixed to one side of the breakdown TV stand for the removable receipt of fasteners projecting from one end of a back panel of the TV stand;

FIGS. 11-14 show details of a rotatable slotted bracket assembly affixed to one side of the breakdown desk (of FIGS. 1-5) or the breakdown TV stand (of FIGS. 6-10) and capable of rotating between upstanding and flat positions relative to the side;

FIGS. 15-17 show pairs of upper and lower hinge plates to be removably connected to one another by which one end of the back panel of the breakdown desk (of FIGS. 1-5) or the breakdown TV stand (of FIGS. 6-10) is detachably connected to one side of the breakdown desk or breakdown TV stand; and

FIGS. 18 and 19 illustrate an alternate embodiment for a no-tools breakdown desk.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Disclosed herein is breakdown furniture that is advantageously adapted to be assembled and disassembled by a user without traditional tools, in a relatively short time, and with minimal assistance. By way of a first example, and referring initially to FIG. 1 of the drawings, there is shown a no-tools breakdown desk in a fully-assembled configuration. The desk 1 includes a removable top 3 and a pair of removable sides 5 and 6 that are held in spaced, parallel alignment below opposite ends of the top. The sides 5 and 6 function as legs in a conventional desk. Although a desk is shown in FIG. 1, the advantages of this invention are also applicable to similar articles of furniture such as a table, a night stand and the like.

In the example of FIG. 1, wire management holes 8 are formed through the top of desk 1. The wire management holes 8 are sized to permit electrical wires or cables running from user-operated electrical apparatus (e.g., a computer, lamp, telephone, and the like) resting upon the desktop 3 to connect to a source of electrical power. Located at the front of desk 1 is a pull-out drawer 10. Drawer 10 has a conventional handle 12 by which the drawer can be moved between open and closed positions. Extending between and providing lateral stability for the sides 5 and 6 of desk 1 is a support panel or beam 14. Opposite ends of the beam 14 are detachably connected to the sides 5 and 6 at respective slotted brackets 16 (only one of which being shown), the details of which will be described hereinafter.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3 of the drawings, the no-tools, breakdown desk of FIG. 1 is shown disassembled. As earlier indicated, the disassembly of desk 1 can be quickly accomplished without the aid of traditional tools to remove fasteners that are commonly used to hold together components of conventional articles of furniture. FIGS. 2 and 3 show the desktop 3 and the wire management holes 8 formed therethrough. Also shown is a wire management trough or channel 20 running laterally below the bottom of desktop 3. The wire management channel 20 is preferably manufactured from a flexible (e.g., fabric) material so as to facilitate an efficient, generally flat packing configuration of the top 3 in a shipping container. That is, the wire management channel 20 will lay substantially flat against the bottom of desktop 3 in response to a compressive force applied thereto. Wire management channel 20 hangs downwardly from the desktop 3 at a non-obtrusive location so that wires and cables (including those passing through wire management holes 8) can be easily routed to an electrical wall socket.

The pull-out drawer 10 accessible at the front of desk 1 is shown having a bottom tray 22. In the assembled configuration of FIG. 1, opposite sides of the bottom tray 22 are slidably received in and ride through respective guides or slide tracks 24 (only one of which being shown) that run longitudinally between the front and rear of each side 5 and 6 of desk 1.

The support beam 14 which extends laterally between the opposite sides 5 and 6 of desk 1 is shown having a pair of connectors (e.g., shoulder bolts 26 and 27) affixed to and projecting outwardly therefrom at locations adjacent each end thereof. In a preferred embodiment, the connectors 26 and 27 include wide button heads that are spaced from the support beam 14. In the assembled desk configuration of FIG. 1, the pairs of beam connectors 26 and 27 adjacent the ends of support beam 14 are removably received within respective pairs of sloping retaining slots 28 and 29 (only one pair of which being shown) that are formed in upstanding slotted brackets 16. The slotted brackets 16 are affixed to each side 5 and 6 of the desk 1 by means of a respective bracket base 18. By virtue of the foregoing, the beam connectors 26 and 27 are simply dropped into the retaining slots 28 and 29 of slotted brackets 16, whereby support beam 14 will be detachably connected between the sides 5 and 6 of desk 1 to hold the sides 5 and 6 in an upstanding alignment and provide lateral support for the desktop 3. To disassemble the desk 1 and detach the support beam 14 from the sides 5 and 6, the support beam 14 is manually lifted upwardly from each side, whereby the support beam connectors 26 and 27 are correspondingly withdrawn from the retaining slots 28 and 29.

A wire exit port 30 is formed in support beam 14 to cooperate with the wire management holes 8 through the desktop 3 and/or the wire management channel 20 suspended below the desktop 3 to run electrical wires and cables to a convenient source of electrical power.

An important feature of the no-tools breakdown desk 1 of this invention is the manner in which the desktop 3 is quickly and easily coupled to and detachable from the opposing sides 5 and 6. More particularly, locking grooves 32 (best shown in FIG. 3) are formed (e.g., routed) in the bottom of the desktop 3 at locations adjacent the opposite ends thereof. The locking grooves 32 are sized to receive therewithin the tops of respective ones of the sides 5 and 6. The receipt of sides 5 and 6 in locking grooves 32 and the connection of support beam 14 between sides 5 and 6 cooperate to provide stability and reliably hold the sides in the upstanding parallel alignment.

Pairs of conventional lock bodies 34 and 36 are affixed to the bottom of the desktop 3 at locations adjacent each of the opposite ends thereof. Referring in this regard to FIGS. 4 and 5 of the drawings, each lock body (e.g, 34) includes a manually-operated spring-loaded locking pin 38 that is slidable relative to an opposing pin hole 40 formed in the sides (e.g., 5) of the desk 1. That is, each locking pin 38 includes a manually accessible head 42 to which a pushing force is applied as shown in FIG. 4 to cause the locking pin 38 to slide through the lock body 34 from an unlocked position of FIG. 4 to a locked position of FIG. 5 for receipt by an axially-aligned pin hole 40 in side 5. In its locked position of FIG. 5, a spring (not shown) which surrounds the locking pin 38 is compressed inside the lock body 34, and the locking pin is held in place within pin hole 40.

With all of the locking pins 38 pushed inwardly of respective ones of the pin holes 40 to the locked position (of FIG. 5), the desktop 3 (of FIGS. 2 and 3) will be detachably connected between the sides 5 and 6 of desk 1. Should it later be decided to disassemble the desk 1, a pushing force is applied to a release button 44 which releases each locking pin 38 from its locked position and allows the compressed springs to expand. In this case, the locking pins 38 will be pushed by the expanding spring outwardly from their pin holes 40 in an opposite direction through lock bodies 34 to the unlocked position of FIG. 4, whereby the desktop 3 may now be simply lifted up and separated from the sides 5 and 6 for storage or shipment.

Turning now to FIG. 6 of the drawings, there is shown another article of breakdown furniture which can be assembled by a user without the use of traditional tools and, therefore, has advantages which are similar to those described while referring to the breakdown desk 1 of FIGS. 1-5. In this case, the no-tools breakdown furniture is a TV stand 50 which, like the earlier-described desk, includes a removable top 52 and a pair of removable sides or legs 54 and 56 that are held in spaced, parallel alignment below opposite ends of the top 52. Although a TV stand is shown in FIG. 6, the advantages of this embodiment are also applicable to related articles of furniture, such as a bookcase and the like.

In the example of FIG. 6, the TV stand 50 also includes an upper shelf 58 and a lower shelf 60 that are arranged in spaced parallel alignment with one another below the removable top 52 so as to extend laterally between the sides 54 and 56. The lower shelf 60 includes a set of feet 62 which project downwardly at spaced locations therefrom to provide an evenly distributed support for the TV stand 50 upon a floor. A first vertical divider 64 is positioned between the removable top 52 of TV stand 50 and the upper shelf 58, and a second vertical divider 66 is positioned between the upper shelf 58 and the lower shelf 60. The dividers 64 and 66 support the top 58 between the sides 54 and 56 and prevent sagging in response to a television seated upon the top.

A back panel 67 (best shown in FIG. 7) is located across the rear of the TV stand 50. As will soon be described, the back panel 67 is detachably connected between the sides 54 and 56 to provide lateral support for the top 52 which extends between sides 54 and 56.

Referring to FIG. 7 of the drawings, the breakdown TV stand 50 of FIG. 6 is shown disassembled, a condition that can be relatively quickly and easily achieved without the use of traditional tools. Each side (e.g., 54) of the TV stand 50 includes an upper and lower shelf support 68 and 70 having a series of dowel pins 72 and 74 projecting upwardly therefrom. The upper and lower shelf supports 68 and 70 are affixed to and project inwardly from each side 54. In the assembled TV stand configuration of FIG. 6, one end of the upper shelf 58 is seated upon the upper shelf support 68, and the dowel pins 72 projecting upwardly from support 68 are received in respective axially-aligned dowel pin holes (not shown) formed in the bottom of the upper shelf. Moreover, one end of the lower shelf 60 is seated upon the lower shelf support 70, and the dowel pins 74 projecting upwardly from support 70 are received in respective axially-aligned dowel pin holes (also not shown) formed in the bottom of the lower shelf 60.

A slotted bracket 74 (only one of which being shown) projects inwardly from each side (e.g., 54) of the TV stand 50. The slotted bracket 74 is affixed to the side 54 so as to stand upwardly therefrom by means of a bracket base 76. The use of slotted bracket 74 for enabling the back panel 67 to be detachably connected to and extend laterally between the sides 54 and 56 is now described while referring briefly to FIGS. 8-10 of the drawings. Like the support beam connectors 26 and 27 shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 for the breakdown desk 1, pairs of panel connectors (e.g., shoulder bolts) 78 and 79 are affixed to and stand outwardly from the back panel 67 of the breakdown TV stand 50 at locations adjacent opposite ends thereof.

In the assembled TV stand configuration of FIG. 6, the pairs of panel connectors 78 and 79 (of FIGS. 7-10) adjacent each end of the back panel 67 are removably received within respective pairs of sloping retaining slots 80 and 81 (only one pair of which being shown) that are formed in the slotted brackets 74 projecting from each side (e.g., 54) of the TV stand 50. By virtue of the foregoing, the connectors 78 and 79 of back panel 67 are simply dropped into retaining slots 80 and 81 (best shown in FIGS. 8 and 9), whereby the back panel 67 will be detachably connected between the sides 54 and 56 to provide stability and help retain the sides in an upstanding parallel alignment. To disassemble the TV stand 50 and detach the back panel 67 from sides 54 and 56, the back panel 67 is lifted upwardly relative to the sides 54 and 56, whereby back panel connectors 78 and 79 are correspondingly withdrawn from retaining slots 80 and 81.

Returning to FIG. 7, a pair of shelf supports 83 and 84 are shown affixed to the back panel 67 at locations near the bottom and adjacent opposite ends thereof. Dowel pins 86 project upwardly from the shelf supports 83 and 84. In the assembled TV stand configuration of FIG. 6, the rear of the lower shelf 60 is seated upon the shelf supports 83 and 84, and the upwardly projecting dowel pins 86 are removably received within respective axially-aligned dowel pin holes (not shown) that are formed in the bottom of the upper shelf 58. The shelf supports 70, 83 and 84 provide uniform support for the lower shelf 60 which extends between the sides 54 and 56 of TV stand 50, especially in cases where audio/video equipment, books, and other heavy objects might be laid upon the shelf 60.

Pairs of wire management holes 88 and 89 are located through the back panel 67 at locations adjacent the opposite ends thereof. The wire management holes 88 and 89 are conveniently located with respect to the upper and lower shelves 58 and 60 so that the wires or cables from any electronic (e.g., audio/video) equipment seated upon either one or both of the upper and lower shelves 58 and 60 can pass through back panel 67 for connection to an accessible source of electrical power.

To enable the top 52 of TV stand 50 to be detachably connected to the pair of sides 54 and 56 and the back panel 67, a plurality of conventional lock bodies 90 are affixed beneath top 52. In the example of FIG. 7, a pair of lock bodies 90 is located adjacent each end of the top 52, and a single lock body 90 is located adjacent the rear of top 52. However, it is to be understood that the number and precise location of lock bodies 90 below the detachable top 52 are not considered to be a limitation of this invention.

Each of the lock bodies 90 has a manually-operated spring-loaded locking pin 92 that is slidable relative to axially-aligned pin holes 94 formed in each of the sides (only one of which 54 is shown) of TV stand 50 and a pin hole 95 formed in the back panel 67. Since the lock bodies 90 of FIG. 7 are preferably identical to the lock bodies (designated 34 and described when referring previously to FIGS. 4 and 5), only a brief description of lock bodies 90 and their operation will be provided.

In this regard, each locking pin 92 includes a manually-accessible head to which a pushing force is applied to cause the locking pin to slide through its lock body 90 to a locked position for receipt by an opposing pin hole 94 or 95 in one side 54 or the back panel 67 of the TV stand 50. When all of the locking pins 92 are pushed to the locked position inwardly of respective ones of the pin holes 94 and 95, the top 52 will be detachably connected to each of the sides 54 and 56 and the back panel 67. Should it be later decided to disassemble the TV stand 50, a pushing force is applied to a release button (designated 44 in FIGS. 4 and 5). In this case, the locking pins 92 will be forced outwardly from their locked position in pin holes 94 and 95, whereby the detachable top 52 may now be simply lifted up and separated from each of the sides 54 and 56 and the back panel 67.

A plurality of locator pins 96 project upwardly along the detachable top of the back panel 67 to facilitate the axial alignment of the locking pins 92 which slide through lock bodies 90 for removable receipt within opposing pin holes 94 and 95. The upstanding locator pins 96 are removably received within respective pin holes (not shown) that are formed along the underside of the top 52 adjacent the rear thereof. When locator pins 96 are received in their respective pin holes, the locking pins 92 of lock bodies 90 will be automatically aligned to slide into locking engagement with the pin holes 94 and 95 formed in the pair of sides 54 and 56 and back panel 67 of TV stand 50. After the locking pins 92 have been removed from their pin holes 94 and 95, a lifting force is applied to the detachable top 52 to cause the top 52 to be displaced upwardly relative to the back panel 67 and separated from the locator pins 96.

The vertical dividers 64 and 66 are preferably located one above the other at approximately the middle of the TV stand 50 between the detachable top 52 and the upper shelf 58 (for divider 64) and the upper shelf 58 and the lower shelf 60 (for divider 66). The vertical dividers 64 and 66 are detachably connected in TV stand 50 by means of pairs of upper and lower dowel pins 63 and 65 being removably received within respective pairs of dowel pin holes 69 and 71 formed in the underside of top 52, the top and bottom of upper shelf 58, and the top of lower shelf 60. The dividers 64 and 66 prevent the top 52 and the upper shelf 58 of TV stand 50 from sagging between the pair of sides 54 and 56 in response to a heavy weight laid thereon.

Optional features for the no-tools breakdown desk 1 and TV stand 50 of FIGS. 1-10 are now described while referring to FIGS. 11-17 of the drawings. In this regard, and as was previously disclosed while referring to FIGS. 1-10, an upstanding slotted bracket 16 or 74 projects from each side (e.g., 5 or 54) of the desk 1 (of FIGS. 1-5) or the TV stand 50 (of FIGS. 6-10) to enable a support beam 14 or a back panel 67 thereof to be detachably connected to the side. The slotted bracket 16 or 74 is connected to the side 5 or 54 by means of a bracket base 18 or 76. Each slotted bracket 16 or 74 is coextensively connected to its base 18 or 76 in a one-piece rigid ā€œLā€ shape bracket configuration.

However, in order to be able to efficiently package the removable side 5 or 54 from which the upstanding slotted bracket 16 or 74 projects in a compact shipping container, it is preferable that each of the slotted bracket 16 and 74 described above be capable of rotating from its upstanding position as shown in FIGS. 1-10 to a flat position laying along the side.

To this end, and referring first to FIGS. 11-14, an independent slotted bracket 100 is shown hingedly connected to an independent bracket base 102 of a two-piece bracket assembly. Each of the slotted bracket 100 and the bracket base 102 has a set of spaced coupling sleeves 104 and 106 (best shown in FIG. 11). The coupling sleeves 104 and 106 are moved into axial alignment with one another, and an elongated hinge pin 108 is inserted longitudinally therethrough. The hinge pin 108 establishes a pivot axis around which the slotted bracket 100 is rotatable relative to the bracket base 102 between the aforementioned upstanding and flat positions.

The slotted bracket 100 has a pair of sloping retaining slots 110 and 112 disposed one above the other. The function of retaining slots 110 and 112 is identical to the function of the pairs of retaining slots 28, 29 and 80, 81 shown in FIGS. 1-10. The bracket base 102 to which the slotted bracket stand 100 is pivotally connected has a set of fastener holes 114 disposed one above the other. A corresponding set of fasteners (e.g., screws) 116 (best shown in FIGS. 12-14) are received through the fastener holes 114 by which to fixedly connect the bracket base 102 to one of the sides 118 (also best shown in FIGS. 12-14) of the breakdown desk (designated 1 in FIGS. 1-5) or the breakdown TV stand (designated 50 in FIGS. 6-10).

Referring specifically to FIGS. 12-14, with the slotted bracket stand 100 pivotally coupled and rotatable relative to the bracket base 102, one end 120 of either the support beam (designated 14 in FIGS. 1-5) of the breakdown desk 1 or the back panel (designated 67 in FIGS. 6-10) of the breakdown TV stand 50 is quickly and easily detachably connected to the side 118. Initially, however, the slotted bracket stand 100 is rotated to the flat position lying against the side 118 (best shown in FIG. 12). As earlier indicated, the slotted bracket stand 100 is ideally rotated to its flat position in order to conserve space when the side 118 is packaged for shipment.

FIG. 13 shows the slotted bracket stand 100 rotated 90 degrees away from the side 118 from the flat position to its upstanding position to establish an ā€œLā€ shaped bracket configuration with the bracket base 102. In order to assemble the breakdown desk 1 (of FIGS. 1-5) or TV stand 50 (of FIGS. 6-10), fasteners 122 and 124 which project outwardly from the end 120 (of support beam 14 or back panel 67) are removably received within respective ones of the retaining slots 110 and 112 of the slotted bracket stand 100 (best shown in FIG. 14) attached to the side 118, whereby the adjacent side 118 and end 120, corresponding to one of the pair of sides (e.g., 6) and one end of the support beam 14 of the breakdown desk 1 or one of the pair of sides (e.g., 56) and one end of the back panel 67 of the breakdown TV stand 50, will be detachably connected together.

Turning now to FIGS. 15-17, another example of a coupling system is disclosed by which one side and an adjacent end of the support beam or back panel (of the breakdown desk 1 or TV stand 50) can be detachably connected together in substitution of the rotatable bracket assembly shown in FIGS. 11-14. In the example of FIGS. 15-17, the coupling system includes an upper hinge plate 128 and a lower hinge plate 130. A coupling pin 132 extends downwardly from the upper hinge plate 128, and a coupling sleeve 134 is carried at one side of the lower hinge plate 130. Each of the upper and lower hinge plates 128 and 130 has a set of fastener holes 136 and 138 formed therein (best shown in FIG. 15) for receipt of suitable fasteners.

In this regard, and as is best shown in FIGS. 16 and 17, fasteners (e.g., screws) 140 and 142 are located in respective fastener holes 136 and 138, whereby upper hinge plate 128 is affixed to one end 144 of either the support beam (designated 14 in FIGS. 1-5) of the breakdown desk 1 or the back panel (designated 67 in FIGS. 6-10) of the breakdown TV stand 50, and the lower hinge plate 30 is affixed to one side 146 of the pair of opposing sides (corresponding to the side 5 shown in FIGS. 1-5 or the side 54 shown in FIGS. 6-10) of the breakdown desk 1 or TV stand 50. For increased stability, pairs of upper and lower hinge plates 128 and 130 are affixed one above the other to an adjacent end 144 and side 146.

In order to assemble the breakdown desk 1 or TV stand 50, the end 144 is first lifted above the adjacent side 146 so that coupling pin 132 which extends downwardly from the upper hinge plate 128 is axially aligned with the coupling sleeve 134 carried by the lower hinge plate 142 (best shown in FIG. 16). To complete the detachable connection of the end 144 (i.e., of the support beam 14 or back panel 67 of breakdown desk 1 or TV stand 50) to the adjacent side 146 (i.e., one of the pair of sides 5 or 54 of desk 1 or TV stand 50), the end 144 is lowered towards the adjacent side 146. Accordingly, the coupling pins 132 of the pair of upper hinge plates 128 are slidably received within and captured by respective coupling sleeves 134 of the pair of lower hinge plates 130. Because it may be difficult to simultaneously locate the pair of coupling pins 132 in coupling sleeves 134, one coupling pin 132 (i.e., the pin associated with the upper hinge plate 128 of the top most pair of upper and lower hinge plates 128 and 130) is shorter than the coupling pin 132 associated with the bottom most pair of hinge plates 128 and 130 (best shown in FIG. 16).

Referring now to FIGS. 18 and 19 of the drawings, there is shown an alternate embodiment for a no-tools breakdown desk 200 which has the same advantages as the desk 1 disclosed while referring to FIGS. 1-5. Like the desk 1, the no-tools breakdown desk 200 includes a removable top 203 and a pair of removable sides (i.e., legs) 205 and 206 that are held in spaced parallel alignment below opposite ends of the top. A support beam 208 extends between the opposing sides 205 and 206 of desk 200 to provide lateral stability therefor. Opposite ends of the support beam 208 are detachably connected to respective sides 205 and 206 of desk 200 by means of slotted brackets 209 (of FIG. 19) which may be identical to those designated 16 and described in detail earlier when referring FIGS. 2 and 3.

Like the desk 1 of FIGS. 1-5, the removable top 203 of the no-tools breakdown desk 200 of FIGS. 18 and 19 is detachably connected to the sides 205 and 206 by means of conventional lock bodies 210 that are affixed to the bottom of the desk top. Each lock body 210 has a spring-loaded locking pin 212 that is slidable between locked and unlocked positions with respect to axially-aligned pin holes 214 so that the desk top 203 can either be connected to the opposing sides 205 and 206 or separated therefrom. As is best shown in FIG. 19, a pair of lock bodies 210 is located at each end of the removable top 203 so as to lie adjacent respective sides 205 and 206. Inasmuch as the application of lock bodies 210 and the operation of locking pins 212 are identical to those described while referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, no additional description will be provided.

Unlike the desk 1 of FIGS. 1-5, each of the sides 205 and 206 of breakdown desk 200 has a series of (e.g., three) locating pins 216 projecting upwardly therefrom. The locating pins 216 (preferably manufactured from metal or wood) are positioned to be removably received by axially-aligned locator holes 218 that are formed in the bottom of the removable desk top 203. With the locating pins 216 received by respective ones of the locator holes 218, the desk top 203 will be reliably connected to the sides 205 and 206. Thus, the locking grooves (designated 32 in FIG. 3) formed in the bottom of the removable top 3 of desk 1 are now avoided. Moreover, the locating pins 216 ensure that the locking pins 212 of lock bodies 210 will be automatically aligned for receipt by opposing pin holes 214 that are formed in sides 205 and 206. What is more, the locking pins 212 and the locating pins 216 cooperate to provide a secure detachable connection of the removable top 203 to the opposing sides 205 and 206 during assembly of the desk 200 shown in FIGS. 18 and 19.