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Title:
COMBINATION IRONING BOARD
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2005/040484
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The subject of the present invention is a combination ironing board, consisting of an ironing surface (1) and a cross­legged frame having two (a first and second) supporting elements (2a, 2b), the ironing surface (1) of which may be equipped with an iron rest (8) at one end; the supporting elements of which are connected to one another along a central axis (7) parallel to the plane of the ironing surface (1) and perpendicular to the length of each element, preferably near the middle, in such a way that they may be tilted each with respect to the other; the second supporting element (2b) of which is fashioned so that it may be inserted into any of one or more height-adjustment elements (10) arranged on the underside of the ironing surface (1). The invention is characterised by the fact that its first supporting element (2a) is mounted by its upper end to the underside of the ironing surface (1), in rotatable fashion, along an upper axis (6) perpendicular to the length of the same, somewhere above the surface's centre of gravity; by the fact that the other end of the first supporting element (2a) is mounted, again in rotatable fashion, at a fixed location on a base (3) placed on the floor; and by the fact that the stand (2) may be held stably in a position perpendicular to the plane of the floor by at least one disengagable securing means (4) or at least two (a first and second) statically mounted supports (5a, 5b), or at least one disengagable securing means (4) and at least two (a first and second) statically mounted supports (5a, 5b), such as is (are) suited to securing the frame (2) to the base (3).

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Inventors:
Antal, Péter (Wesselényi u. 16, Budapest, H-1077, HU)
Application Number:
PCT/HU2004/000100
Publication Date:
May 06, 2005
Filing Date:
October 29, 2004
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Antal, Péter (Wesselényi u. 16, Budapest, H-1077, HU)
International Classes:
A47G25/06; D06F81/00; D06F81/04; (IPC1-7): D06F81/04; D06F81/00
Foreign References:
EP0646671A1
EP1260630A1
CH246634A
EP0579312A2
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kormos, Ágnes (Váci út 66, Budapest, H-1132, HU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
AMENDED CLAIMS [received by the International Bureau on 03 May 2005 (03.05. 2005); original claims 1,7-8 amended; remaining claims unchanged (3 pages)]
1. A combination ironing board, consisting of an ironing surface and a cross legged frame having two (a first and second) supporting elements, the ironing surface of which may be equipped with an iron rest at one end; the supporting elements of which are connected to one another along a central axis parallel to the plane of the ironing surface and perpendicular to the length of each element, preferably near the middle, in such a way that they may each be tilted with respect to the other; the second supporting element of which is fashioned so that it may be inserted into any of one or more heightadjustment elements arranged on the underside of the ironing surface ; whereby one end (la) of the ironing surface (1) is fashioned to serve as a clothes hanger (9), the first supporting element (2a) is mounted by its upper end to the underside of the ironing surface (1), in rotatable fashion, along an upper axis (6) perpendicular to the length of the same, somewhere above the surface's centre of gravity, the other end of the first supporting element (2a) is mounted, again in rotatable fashion, at a fixed location on a base (3) placed on the floor; and the stand may be held stably in a position perpendicular to the plane of the floor by at least one disengagable securing means (4) or at least two (a first and second) statically mounted supports (5a, 5b), or at least one disengagable securing means (4) and at least two (a first and second) statically mounted supports (5a, 5b), such as is (are) suited to securing the frame (2) to the base (3).
2. The combination ironing board according to Claim 1, whereby the disengagable securing means (4) is disposed between the base (3) and the first supporting element (2a) or between the base (3) and the second supporting element (2b). <BR> <BR> <P>3. ) The combination ironing board according to either Claim 1 or Claim 2, wh hereby one part of the securing means (4) is preferably a depression, while the other part is a counterpart such as fits into and fills out the depression. <BR> <BR> <P>4. ) The combination ironing board according to Claim 1, whereby the first support (5a) is mounted on the second supporting element (2b) and the second support (5b) is mounted onto either the base (3) or the first supporting element (2a).<BR> <P>5. ) The combination ironing board according to any of Claims 1 through 4, whereby the securing means (4) is fashioned of the material of and as a continuation of the base (3) and/or the first and second supporting elements (2b). <BR> <BR> <P>6. ) The combination ironing board according to Claim 1 or Claim 5, whereby the first and second supports (5a, 5b) are preferably fashioned by bending out the ends of the first and second supporting elements (2a, 2b). <BR> <BR> <P>7. ) The combination ironing board according to any of Claims 1 through 6, wh exby the clothes hanger (9) is formed as a continuation of the ironing surface (1) in such a manner as corresponds to at least the width of the surface (1), or is mounted to the ironing surface (1) in fixed or removable fashion. <BR> <BR> <P>8. ) The combination ironing board according to any of Claims 1 through 7, whereby the base (3) is preferably Hshaped and is equipped with at least two castors (31).
3. 9 The combination ironing board according to any of Claims 1 through 8, wh ereby the first and second supporting elements (2b) of the frame (2) are fashioned so as to be preferably rectangular and/or rodlike. <BR> <BR> <P>10. ) The combination ironing board according to any of Claims 1 through 9, wh ereby a trousers bar (11) is disposed on either of the supporting elements (2a, 2b), in either fixed or rotatable fashion, preferably at the upper end of the length of the element.
Description:
COMBINATION IRONING BOARD The present invention relates to a combination ironing board that may be used to advantage as a surface for ironing clothes when its cross-legged, collapsible frame is extended, or as a garment stand (clothes rack, personal valet, suit butler) when its crossed legs are folded in, the ironing surface is folded down, and the frame and base are secured in a position perpendicular to the floor.

It is known that an ironing board is used to provide a surface that is adequately flat for the ironing of clothing and other textiles. Accordingly, an ironing board is generally composed of a flat surface and a supporting stand. The solution currently in general household use involves an ironing surface supported by a stand fashioned in the shape of an"x", which allows the user to set the height of the stand and to fold the ironing board away when not in use. Patent application HU P0001460, for example, describes an ironing board that functions based on this principle, as do patent specification number US 5016367 and utility model number DE 29507 U. Some ironing boards used for industrial purposes employ a stand that functions based on a different principle. Patent specification number HU P0103780, for example, describes an ironing board stand that expands and contracts telescopically. However, in this case the telescopic stand cannot be collapsed completely, but at most adjusted to the appropriate height. Each of the above solutions fulfils just one purpose, namely, that of an ironing board. Although some of them do feature adjustable height and the ability to be folded to a substantially smaller size when not in use, the conventional solution for opening, closing, and adjusting the height of the ironing board is complicated and requires a relatively high amount of physical exertion. Thus, the task in question is considerably difficult for women and elderly individuals, as it requires lifting the full weight of the ironing board in order to fold it and put it away. Additionally, a solution must be found for storing the ironing board when it is not in use.

One example of prior art, utility model specification HU 2661, describes a combination ironing board suited for both ironing and hanging clothes, whereby the upper portion may be folded out and used for ironing. According to this solution, the stand is rectangular in shape, is positioned perpendicular to he floor, and is fixed in place, which is why it has not come into general use in the fashion of the x-shaped,"cross-legged"stand. Further deficiencies are that the height of the ironing surface is not adjustable, but constant, due to the stand's fixed position, and that for the purposes of ironing it is not particularly stable.

Another example of prior art is described by US patent specification 6138390, a combination ironing board that may be used as both an ironing board and a fan, such that the fan is built into the ironing surface. With this solution, the ironing surface is supported by diagonal legs. The ironing surface may be used for ironing when the frame is in horizontal position. By displacing the surface and moving the frame into a vertical position, the surface may be secured in this position, as well, so that the built-in fan, which is supplied with a covering, may be operated in the usual fashion. With this known solution, securing of the ironing surface in the vertical position occurs using means disposed at the side of the surface.

US patent specification number US 4536978 describes a steam iron that includes an ironing board, a steam generator for transmitting steam to the iron, a heater for the ironing board, and suction equipment for removing residual dampness from clothes. The ironing board supports may be positioned in two ways, and the ironing board itself put in either operating position (horizontal) or rest position (vertical). With this solution, the stand is secured in fixed position to the base, so that the two may not be rotated with respect to one another, and the height of the ironing surface is non-adjustable.

Patent specification numbers US 5329710 and EP 0646671 each describe an ironing board of adjustable height with crossed legs.

Patent specification number US 5329710 involves a collapsible table surface that may be used as an ironing board and that includes parallel, rectangular members connected to a flexible hinge. Two handles at opposite ends of the table surface may be secured with a catch in order to hold the table surface closed for storage and transport. If the ironing board is supplied with adjustable legs, then it may be set for use at higher or lower positions for improved comfort.

Patent specification number EP 0646671 describes a collapsible ironing board, whereby the ironing surface is supported by a cross-legged stand. The hinge of the leg involves use of a flexible means, and a securing means may be folded out to secure the stand to the ironing surface. The same flexible means aids in standing the ironing board up and prevents it from falling back when the opposite operation is performed.

The objective of the present invention is to eliminate the deficiencies inherent in all known solutions and to create a combination ironing board that, while preserving the beneficial qualities of the ironing board with cross-legged stand currently in general use, not only may be used for ironing, but also allows the ironing surface to be transformed into a clothes hanger and held stably in the vertical position for use as a garment stand ; that stands solidly even when the ironing surface is adjusted to various heights; that may be transported, collapsed, folded out, and stored easily, using relatively little force, without the user's having to lift the full weight of the apparatus; that incorporates a clothes hanger that, on the one hand, allows the shoulders of certain articles of clothing to be ironed more easily and, on the other, used as a garment stand, allows larger, freshly ironed articles of clothing to be set aside without becoming wrinkled; that includes an iron rest that may be used to store smaller articles of clothing and accessories; that offers a trousers bar that may be disposed on either of the supports for convenient storage of additional articles of clothing ; and that may be produced at low cost.

The solution according to the present invention is based on the realisation that if we create a combination ironing board consisting of an ironing surface and a cross-legged stand composed of two (a first and second) supporting elements; the ironing surface of which may be equipped with an iron rest at one end; the supporting elements of which are connected to one another along a central axis parallel to the plane of the ironing surface and perpendicular to the length of each element, preferably near the middle, in such a way that they may be tilted each with respect to the other; the second supporting element of which is fashioned so that it may be inserted into any of one or more height-adjustment elements arranged on the underside of the ironing surface ; the first supporting element of which is mounted by its upper end to the underside of the ironing surface, in rotatable fashion, along an upper axis perpendicular to the length of he same, somewhere above the surface's centre of gravity ; the other end of the first supporting element of which is mounted, again in rotatable fashion, at a fixed location on a base placed on the floor ; the stand of which may be held stably in a position perpendicular to the plane of the floor by at least one disengagable securing means or at least two (a first and second) statically mounted supports, or at least one disengagable securing means and at least two (a first and second) statically mounted supports, such as is (are) suited to securing the frame to the base; and the ironing surface of which is equipped with other accessory elements, preferably a clothes hanger and trousers bar element; then the combination ironing board constructed in this fashion will fulfil the above objective.

Thus, the subject of the present invention is a combination ironing board, consisting of an ironing surface and a cross-legged frame having two (a first and second) supporting elements, the ironing surface of which may be equipped with an iron rest at one end; the supporting elements of which are connected to one another along a central axis parallel to the plane of the ironing surface and perpendicular to the length of each element, preferably near the middle, in such a way that they may be tilted each with respect to the other; the second supporting element of which is fashioned so that it may be inserted into any of one or more height-adjustment elements arranged on the underside of the ironing surface. The combination ironing board according to the invention is characterised by the fact that its first supporting element is mounted by its upper end to the underside of the ironing surface, in rotatable fashion, along an upper axis perpendicular to the length of the same, somewhere above the surface's centre of gravity; and by the fact that the other end of the first supporting element is mounted, again in rotatable fashion, at a fixed location on a base placed on the floor. Furthermore, the stand may be held stably in a position perpendicular to the plane of the floor by at least one disengagable securing means or at least two (a first and second) statically mounted supports, or at least one disengagable securing means and at least two (a first and second) statically mounted supports, such as is (are) suited to securing the frame to the base.

In one preferred embodiment of the combination ironing board according to this invention, the disengagable securing means is disposed between the base and the first supporting element or between the base and the second supporting element.

In a second preferred embodiment of the combination ironing board according to this invention, one part of the securing means is preferably a depression, while the other part is a counterpart such as fits into and fills out the depression.

In a third preferred embodiment of the combination ironing board according to this invention, the first support is mounted on the second supporting element and the second support is mounted onto either the base or the first supporting element.

In a fourth preferred embodiment of the combination ironing board according to this invention, the securing element is fashioned of the material of and as a continuation of the base and/or the first and second supporting elements.

In a fifth preferred embodiment of the combination ironing board according to this invention, the first and second supports are preferably fashioned by bending out the ends of the first and second supporting elements.

In a sixth preferred embodiment of the combination ironing board according to this invention, the one end of the ironing surface is fashioned in the shape of a clothes hanger, preferably of the same material as and as a continuation of the ironing surface, or as a part mounted onto the ironing surface at a later time. In a seventh preferred embodiment of the combination ironing board according to this invention, the base is preferably H-shaped and is equipped with at least two castors, and is fashioned so that it may be mounted onto the first supporting element later, if desired.

In a further preferred embodiment of the combination ironing board according to this invention, the first and second supporting elements of the frame are fashioned so as to be preferably rectangular and/or rod-like.

In yet another preferred embodiment of the combination ironing board according to this invention, a trousers bar is disposed on either of the supporting elements, in either fixed or rotatable fashion, preferably at the upper end of the length of the element.

The solution according to this invention is described in greater detail below, based on the following series of drawings: Figure 1 is an axonometric drawing of one preferred embodiment of the combination ironing board according to this invention.

Figure 2 offers a back view of one preferred embodiment of the combination ironing board according to this invention.

Figure 3 offers a side view of a preferred embodiment of the combination ironing board according to this invention in which said ironing board is secured fast by means of at least two supports. Figure 4 offers a side view of another preferred embodiment of the combination ironing board according to this invention in which said ironing board is secured fast by means of at least two supports.

Figure 1 is an axonometic drawing of a preferred embodiment of the combination ironing board according to this invention, showing the invention in the opened state, in which position it may be used for ironing clothes. The combination ironing board consists of an ironing surface 1, and a cross-legged, rectangular frame 2 composed of two supports, a first supporting element 2a and a second supporting element 2b. In this preferred embodiment, the end la of the ironing surface 1 is equipped with an iron rest 8. The two supporting elements 2a, 2b are connected to one another along a central axis 7 parallel to the plane of the ironing surface 1 and perpendicular to the length of each element, preferably near the middle, in such a way that they may be tilted each with respect to the other. The second supporting element 2b is fashioned so that it may be inserted into any of one or more height-adjustment elements 10 arranged on the underside of the ironing surface 1, which in this particular preferred embodiment number three and are depicted using a dashed line.

The first supporting element 2a is mounted by its upper end to the underside of the ironing surface 1, in rotatable fashion, along an upper axis 6 perpendicular to the length of the same, somewhere above the surface's centre of gravity, while the other end of the first supporting element 2a is mounted, again in rotatable fashion, at a fixed location on a base 3 placed on the floor. Serving to hold the frame 2 stably in a position perpendicular to the plane of the floor is a disengagable securing means 4 suited to securing both the frame 2 and the base 3, which securing means 4 is composed of two parts, one fashioned of the material of and as a continuation of the base 3 and another disposed between the frame 2 and the second supporting element 2b. The base 3 is preferably H- shaped and is equipped with two castors 31. The end la of the ironing surface 1 is fashioned in the shape of a clothes hanger 9, preferably of the material of and as a continuation of the ironing surface 1, or so that it may be mounted later, if desired.

Figure 2 is a back-view of one preferred embodiment of the combination ironing board according to this invention, showing the ironing board in the folded state, whereby it may be used as a garment stand. The drawing clearly shows the ironing surface 1 folded down, the first supporting element 2a and the second supporting element 2b collapsed, and the securing of the base 3, equipped with two castors 31, to the frame accomplished using a disengagable securing means 4 that ensures that the ironing surface 1 and the frame 2 are held stably in a position perpendicular to the plane of the floor. The drawing also depicts the clothes hanger 9 fashioned at the end la of the ironing surface 1, the iron rest 8 also disposed at the end la of the ironing surface 1, three height-adjustment elements 10 arranged on the underside of the ironing surface 1, and finally, the trousers bar 11 disposed between the long sides of the rectangular second supporting element 2b on the upper portion of the same. Figure 3 provides a side view of one preferred embodiment of the combination ironing board according to this invention, in which said ironing board is secured by means of two supports, a first support 5a and a second support Sb, the ironing surface 1 is folded down, and the frame 2 is collapsed, so that the apparatus may be used as a garment stand. In this case, the first support 5a is mounted in fixed position to the second supporting element 2b and the second support 5b is mounted in fixed position to the based 3, which is supplied with two castors 31.

Figure 4 provides a side view of another preferred embodiment of the combination ironing board according to this invention, in which said ironing board is secured by means of two supports, a first support 5a and a second support 5b. In this preferred embodiment, the ironing surface 1 is again folded down and the frame 2 is collapsed, so that the apparatus may be used as a garment stand. In this case, the first support 5a is fashioned preferably by bending the end of the second supporting element 2b outward in one direction, while the second support 5b is fashion by bending the end of the first supporting element 2a outward in the other direction, and the outward-bending ends lean upon the base 3, which is supplied with castors 31. [In another possible solution either the first support 5a or the second support 5b is fashioned as a right-angled end-piece attached to either the first supporting element 2a or the second supporting element 2b, which then leans upon the base 3.] As stated above, the first supporting element 2a and second supporting element 2b of the frame 2 are connected to one another in the center along a central axis 7, so that they may be folded out with respect to one another, thus holding the ironing surface 1 stably in the horizontal position.

Ironing height may be set in conventional fashion by hooking the second supporting element 2b into the appropriate height-adjustment element 10. By using an appropriate structure, the height may also be made to be continuously adjustable.

The ironing surface 1 is held stable, no matter what the height to which it is set. Once the second supporting element 2b has been disengaged from the height-adjustment element 10, the frame 2 may be closed in scissors-like fashion about an upper axis 6 and the ironing surface 1 folded down, so that the apparatus may be used as a garment stand. In this capacity, the ironing surface 1 and the frame 2 are parallel to one another and perpendicular to the floor.

The vertical position of the ironing surface 1 is a consequence of the force of gravity and of the appropriate placement of the upper axis 6 that connects the underside of the ironing surface 1 and the frame 2. Appropriate placement means that the upper axis 6 is placed between the centre of gravity of the ironing surface 1 in its vertical position and the surface's upper end. As a consequence, the ironing surface 1 is actually suspended from the upper axis 5. In essence, the upper axis 6, which connects the frame 2 and the first supporting element 2a must be placed somewhere other than the centre of gravity of the ironing surface 1.

The material and form of the ironing surface 1 corresponds to that of conventional ironing boards, such that one end la [that closer to the upper axis 6], is conveniently structured as a clothes hanger 9, preferably of the material of and continuous with the ironing surface 1, or so that it may be mounted later, if desired. This structure may be fashioned in the same plane as that of the ironing surface 1 or in another plane. The structure does not interfere with ironing, while the apparatus's capacity as a garment stand allows various garments, such as coats, jackets, and dress shirts to be stored without wrinkling after they have been ironed.

An iron rest 8 may be disposed at one of the ends of the ironing surface 1, which, if properly constructed, would allow for the storage of relatively small articles of clothing and accessories, such as ties and socks.

Either of the supporting elements, the first supporting element 2a or the second supporting element 2b could include a trousers bar 11, attached conveniently in immovable or rotatable fashion to the upper part of the length of the supporting element, to be used for hanging up additional articles of clothing, such as trousers. The first supporting element 2a and second supporting element 2b are of a preferably rectangular andldr rod-like construction. A rod-like construction would involve preferably tubes, preferably bent in form, which would simplify the form of the first support Sa and second support 5b and facilitate their construction.

In addition to the methods for securing the frame and base previously mentioned, solutions for the case of a disengagable securing means 3 include the combinations of groove and bolt or catch, a hollow or rounded cylinder and pin, or a hole and pin or bolt, or the construction of a portion of the securing means 3 from the material of and as a continuation of either the base 3 or the first supporting element 2a or the second supporting element 5b. In one preferred embodiment, the base 3 is H-shaped and is equipped with two castors 31 to make it both more stable and easier to move. The castors 31 would allow the combination ironing board to be moved about the room in which it is used. In the event the end la of the ironing surface 1 is not constructed in the form of a clothes hanger 9, then it may still be, of course, collapsed in a similar, practical fashion and stored in the free-standing position. Thus, it may be moved, folded away, or opened easily, even by people in weaker condition (such as elderly people and women), with only minimal physical force, as it would not require the user to lift the full weight of the ironing surface 1.

Since the combination ironing conveniently serves either one purpose or the other, it does not need to be stored when not in use. If the user would like to fold it so as to occupy minimal space for transportation or storage, then this may be done by connecting the frame 2 to the base 3 in rotatable fashion. In this case, the ironing surface 1, the frame 2, and the base 3 would be positioned in parallel, folded to a size that corresponds with that achieved with conventional ironing boards with cross-legged frames.

The combination ironing board according to this invention fulfils its stated objectives and provides the following advantages : - when not in use as an ironing board, it may be used in vertical position as a garment stand, - when used as an ironing board, it stands in stable fashion at various heights of its ironing surface, - it may be moved, folded out, collapsed, and stored easily, without exertion of substantial physical force or the lifting of the full weight of the apparatus, - the clothes hanger structure allows the shoulders of certain articles of clothing to be ironed more easily and when the apparatus is used as a garment stand makes it possible to store larger, freshly ironed articles of clothing without their becoming wrinkled, - appropriate construction of the iron rest would allow the storage of relatively small articles of clothing and accessories, - a trousers bar disposed on either of the supporting elements allows further articles of clothing to be stored, - the entire apparatus may be manufactured at low cost.

KEY TO FIGURES 1 ironing surface la end 2 frame 2a first supporting element 2b second supporting element 3 base 31 castor 4 securing means 5a first support 5b second support 6 upper axis 7 central axis 8 iron rest 9 clothes hanger 10 height-adjustment element 11 trousers bar