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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
FIELD DESK
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/064838
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A field desk system (50), as shown in FIG. 4, includes a central cabinet (51) into whose top surface is formed a first part (88) of rotating coupling. In an underside of a central section (92) of a working surface 94 of the field desk system, a second co-operating part (98-100) of the rotating coupling is formed or secured. A leaf (110, 112) is hingedly coupled to either side of the central section (92). The rotating coupling allows the entirety of the working surface to be rotated relative to the central cabinet (51) such that the hinges are supported by the upper surface thereof. Alternatively, in a transport mode, each leaf (110, 112) is hinged downwards relative to the central section (92), and each leaf then attached to the front and rear faces of the central cabinet to produce a transport cube. The central cabinet (51), such as a drawer stack, further houses a plurality of removable closure boards (76). These closure boards, which can include soft armour and a privacy screen in the form of integrated touchscreens or pin-boards, can be erected onto edge surfaces of the extended working surface (94).

Inventors:
HOWELL ANDREW (GB)
Application Number:
EP2019/075870
Publication Date:
April 02, 2020
Filing Date:
September 25, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
BCB INTERNATIONAL LTD (GB)
International Classes:
A47B13/08; A47B1/04; A47B37/04; A47B83/04; F41H5/08
Foreign References:
US6925944B12005-08-09
US7909148B12011-03-22
FR2883714A12006-10-06
US1376027A1921-04-26
CN207754863U2018-08-24
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BROWNE, Robin, Forsythe (GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A field desk system (50) comprising:

a central cabinet (51) having two sides (54), an open front (57), a back (60) and a top surface (84) connected between the two sides (54), the top surface (84) containing a first part (88) of a selectively engageable rotating coupling;

a multi-leaf desk comprising a central section (84) and a left leaf (112) and a right leaf (1 10) both independently hinged to opposing sides of the central section and wherein each of the central section and the left leaf and right leaf include an upper and an under surface, the upper surfaces configured to form, when the left leaf and right leaf are hinged outwardly relative to the central section, a working surface (94) and wherein the under surface of the central section includes a second part (98-100) of the rotating coupling that co-operates with said first part to couple the central section (94) to the central cabinet (51) and which rotating coupling is arranged to permit the working surface (94) to be rotated between:

a first position where central section is configured to sit over the top surface and the hinged left leaf and hinged right leaf can be hinged downwardly to seal the open front and seal the back of the central cabinet; and

a second position different to the first position, the second position being where the working surface is flat and where hinge points for the left leaf and right leaf are supported underneath by the top surface of the central cabinet.

2. The field desk system of claim 1, wherein the central cabinet stores at least one removable closure board (76), the removable closure board arranged to be erectable on the working surface (94) to produce at least a partial screen.

3. The field desk system of claim 2, wherein the central cabinet includes at least one drawer (64) and the drawer retains at least one removal closure board in place.

4. The field desk system of claim 2 or 3, wherein said at least one removable closure board is connected to the working surface (94) by a dowel or pin.

5. The field desk system of claim 4, wherein the dowel or pin is integrally formed in an edge of the closure board (76).

6. The field desk system of claim 3, where closure board at least partially seal an upper opening in the drawer (64).

7. The field desk system of any of claims 2 to 6, wherein the closure board includes at least one of:

ix) sound-proofing materials,

x) a magnetic area in at least one principal surface thereof,

xi) one or more pockets formed in at least one principal surface thereof, xii) a white board formed in at least one principal surface thereof,

xiii) an integrated electronic display or touch-screen (with an appropriate interface and electronics) formed in at least one principal surface thereof; xiv) a pin board area in at least one principal surface thereof;

xv) ballistic panels to provide shrapnel or munitions protection; and/or xvi) hooks from which can be hung or draped a soft armour screen.

8. The field desk system of any preceding claim, wherein each of the central section, the left leaf and the right leaf includes an extendible telescopic leg (120, 122, 124) hinged on to an underside of each of the central section, the left leaf and the right leaf.

9. The field desk system of any preceding claim, wherein the left leaf and the right leaf are, in the first position, selectively attached to the central cabinet by mating female and male connectors, and wherein the sealing of the open front and the back of the central cabinet is achieved with only four pairs of mating female and male connectors.

10. The field desk system of any preceding claim, wherein the left leaf and the right leaf are, in the first position, selectively attached to the central cabinet by magnetics.

Description:
FIELD DESK

Field of the Invention

This invention relates, in general, to portable leaf desks and is particularly, but not exclusively, applicable to field desks that are regularly assembled and dismantled for transport.

Summary of the Prior Art

In the content of military logistics, particularly during field operations, large amounts of equipment are moved with each re-location of a command post or, indeed, a general barracks. Such equipment includes tents and office equipment, such as desks, on which to work.

Given the need for movement and/or rapid deployment, field desks are ragged in construction but light-weighted where possible. Typically, field desk will be constructed from durable plastics materials with some metal components, such as closure latches and hinges. Once deployed, it is not uncommon for someone to sit on a field desk, so field desks also need to be sturdy, especially when the desk is extended using an attachable leaf that clips to the edge of a central drawer stack to extend laterally the working space of the desk’s worktop. An upper surface of the drawer stack is an integral part of the desk’s worktop.

In terms of existing designs for field desks, the extending leaf is detachable, as indicated above. The leaf includes a hinged cantilevered leg that can be stored in an underside recess of the leaf or extended downwards (and locked in place) to provide a support leg generally beneath and parallel to an end of the leaf. When attached to the central drawer set using a hook and eye or clasp assembly, a sizeable gap exists between the sides of the top of the central drawer set and each leaf, with this gap providing discontinuity in the working surface and, indeed, a place where objects can be temporarily lost (should they fall into the gap). To address the issue of the gap, a hinged metal flap may bridge this space, but this in itself presents a discontinuity in what should, ideally, be an entirely flat and continuous working surface. Aligned surfaces in the top of each leaf and the central drawer set are also generally curved with these surfaces producing a nip and further accentuating the gap (which is typically in the region of about twenty to thirty millimetres).

For carriage, the leg of each leaf is stowed beneath the surface of the leaf, and one of the left and right leaf then coupled, through latches, each of the front and rear surfaces of the central drawer set stack. This means that the drawers - usually two to four in number - are hidden from view and locked in place by one of the leaves, whereas a second leaf is then attached to the back of the central drawer set stack through a similar latching mechanism, thereby forming a cube with generally flat surfaces. Sides (as opposed to the drawer front and rear surface) of the drawer stack are provided with carry handles that facilitate lifting of the entire field desk assembly.

Latches (i.e. suitable non-permanent, quick-release mechanical fasteners), which are usually recessed into pockets formed in the surfaces or edges of the leaf and central drawer stack, can catch on clothing and can, with harsh treatment, be bent or broken. The recessed pockets also present discontinuities when these are present in the upper surface of the central drawer stack and thus part of the working surface. In term of the number of latches, there are usually about twelve of these recessed clips along the sides and top edges (and generally at the comers) of the central drawer stack. Such latches are typically draw latches or in-line toggle latches that comprise a levered toggle having a loop that engages over a curved keeper. These latches or their equivalents are well-known for securing two independent components together.

Such field desks may also include a privacy screen/separator at the rear of the desk and which extends upwards from a worktop/work surface of the desk. The privacy screen is generally realized by a frame made from attachable upright pillars with a plastic or canvas sheet stretched, attached or hung between these pillars. The privacy screen may therefore be rolled up for carriage. These privacy screen also need to be stored and, in fact, can become damaged because they are generally relative flimsy.

For movement, the central drawer set may include one or more pairs of roller wheels in its base. A typical field desk is provided by BCB International Limited: see

lickii j ig- lab 1 c'

Summary of the Invention

According to first aspect of the present invention there is provided a field desk system comprising:

a central cabinet having two sides, an open front, a back and a top surface connected between the two sides, the top surface containing a first part of a selectively engageable rotating coupling;

a multi-leaf desk comprising a central section and a left leaf and a right leaf both independently hinged to opposing sides of the central section and wherein each of the central section and the left leaf and right leaf include an upper and an under surface, the upper surfaces configured to form, when the left leaf and right leaf are hinged outwardly relative to the central section, a working surface and wherein the under surface of the central section includes a second part of the rotating coupling that co-operates with said first part to couple the central section to the central cabinet and which rotating coupling is arranged to permit the working surface to be rotated between:

a first position where central section is configured to sit over the top surface and the hinged left leaf and hinged right leaf can be hinged downwardly to seal the open front and seal the back of the central cabinet; and

a second position different to the first position, the second position being where the working surface is flat and where hinge points for the left leaf and right leaf are supported underneath by the top surface of the central cabinet.

Preferably, the central cabinet stores at least one removable closure board, wherein the removable closure board arranged to be erectable on the working surface to produce at least a partial screen. The central cabinet includes at least one drawer and the drawer retains at least one removal closure board in place. The closure board may only at least partially seal an upper opening in the drawer. One or more of the closure boards can include one or more of:

i) sound-proofing materials,

ii) a magnetic area in at least one principal surface thereof,

iii) one or more pockets formed in at least one principal surface thereof, iv) a white board formed in at least one principal surface thereof,

v) an integrated electronic display or touch-screen (with an appropriate interface and electronics) formed in at least one principal surface thereof; vi) a pin board area in at least one principal surface thereof;

vii) ballistic panels to provide shrapnel or munitions protection; and/or viii) hooks from which can be hung or draped a soft armour screen.

The left leaf and the right leaf can be, in the first position, selectively attached to the central cabinet by mating female and male connectors, wherein the sealing of the open front and the back of the central cabinet is achieved with only four pairs of mating female and male connectors. This reduces cuts detrimental cut-outs that might affect surface continuity of the working surface. Alternatively, other means of selective attachment are possible, including magnetic coupling.

In overview, a field desk system includes a central cabinet into whose top surface is formed a first part of rotating coupling. In an underside of a central section of a working surface of the field desk system, a second co-operating part of the rotating coupling is formed or secured. A leaf is hingedly coupled to either side of the central section. The rotating coupling allows the entirety of the working surface to be rotated relative to the central cabinet such that the hinges are supported by the upper surface thereof. Alternatively, in a transport mode, each leaf is hinged downwards relative to the central section, and each leaf then attached to the front and rear faces of the central cabinet to produce a transport cube. The central cabinet, such as a drawer stack, further houses a plurality of removable closure boards. These closure boards, which can include soft armour and a privacy screen in the form of integrated touchscreens or pin-boards, can be erected onto edge surfaces of the extended working surface. Advantageously, the various embodiments of the invention provide a generally flat, recess-free and gap-free multi-element, integrated working surface 94 that is an integral part of a portable field desk. The integrated system provides for better privacy and/or protective screening, with this selectively erectable screening serving multiple purposes to enhance functionality of the working space defined by the field desk. With integrated components and, indeed, a reduction in the number of connectors relative to the prior art, the embodiments produce a more mechanically robust system in which there is a reduced likelihood that parts (such a in-line toggle latches) can be broken off or otherwise cause a snag risk (for clothes and skin). The resulting systems of the described embodiments provides increased strength at the leaf connection points since these are supported by the larger surface area of the top surface of the central cabinet. The described systems also provide for effective stowage of the component parts of the field desk.

Brief Description of the Drawings

Exemplary embodiments of the present invention will now be described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional field desk showing work surface extended by left and right leaves, wherein the field desk further includes a conventional privacy screen;

FIG. 2 is a side view of a central drawer stack of the field desk of FIG.1, the side view showing left and right leaves clasped against front and rear surfaces of the central drawer stack;

FIG. 3 shows connection of a leaf to the central drawer stack of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an exploded component view of a field desk system according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5 shows a preferred embodiment of an underside of an attachable working surface of the field desk system of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 shows a perspective view of the field desk system of FIG. 4 without its privacy screen;

FIG. 7 shows the field desk system of FIG. 4 with its privacy screen; and

FIG. 8 shows the field desk system of FIG. 4 in a collapsed form where its left leaf and right leaf are stowed to enclose a central drawer stack of the field desk system. Detailed Description of a Preferred Embodiment

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a conventional field desk 10 showing a generally flat work surface 12 extended by left 14 and right 16 leaves, wherein the field desk 10 further includes a conventional privacy screen 18. The working surface 12 is centrally supported by a central cabinet, such as a central drawer stack 20. Collapsible legs 22 are hinged from each end of each leaf 12, 14, with each leaf further clipped/latched into adjoining cooperation with the drawer stack 20, thereby producing the aforedescribed gap 26 at the abutting upper surfaces between each leaf and the central drawer stack. As can be seen in FIG. 3, the gap 26 can be bridged by a hinged flap 28 (shown in the open position in FIG. 3) typically located along the inner abutting edge of each leaf. In terms of connection, a tongue- and-loop connector of FIG. 3 may be used where a metal tongue on one discrete part, e.g. an inner end edge of the leaf, is dropped into a metal loop fixed into the edge of the drawer stack. This type of connection - or its equivalent - is well-known to the skilled addressee.

As can be seen in FIG. 1, the drawer stack includes removable drawers 30. Five drawers are shown in FIG. 1. Looking at FIGs.2 and 3 , it is noted that toggle latches (sometimes referred to as a butterfly buckle) 29 and corresponding catch plates 31 (that engage with the toggle lack to affect secure closure), are recessed generally into the comers of discrete components, e.g. the upper working surface 12 of the drawer stack 20 and a leaf 16 (shown partially attached to the face of the drawer stack 20). FIG. 2 shows four toggle latches 29 engaged into corresponding catch plates 31 to close front- and rear-sides of the drawer stack 20 with leaves 14, 16. Opposing sides of the drawer stack 20 are provided with handles 34.

FIG. 4 is an exploded component view of a field desk system 50 according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

A central drawer stack 51 is essentially a cubed-shaped box having two opposing sides 52, 54 (each preferably containing a lift point, such as a handle 56), an open front 57 (which may include some facia/surround edging 58 along its peripheral edges) and a closed rear/back board/surface 60 (although again this may be similar to the open front in that it is not a complete surface but includes some peripheral facia/surround edging). The rear/back surface 60 may include some form of ballistic protection (for military applications of the field desk). Preferably, its width, w, is dimensionally generally greater than its depth, d (although this need not be the case). The width, w, and the height, h, of the central drawer stack 52 are generally about equal.

The resulting box (which therefore has a least one of an open front and possible also an open or semi-open back to reduce weight) includes, preferably, at least one pair of complementary drawer runners 61 internally fitted to inside surfaces 58 of opposing sides 52, 54. The inside of the central drawer stack 51 is arranged to receive at least one drawer and typically multiple drawers 64, e.g. three as exemplified in FIG. 4. Each drawer, conventionally, will include runner pairs 66 that engages into the corresponding runner (in a male to female mating arrangement) on the inside of each side 52, 54. As will be understood, these complementary runner pairings 61, 66 ensure smooth operation of each drawer into the central drawer stack 51 and, furthermore, provides appropriate alignment and separation of the drawers 64 when each is loaded in the central drawer stack 51. It is preferable that the back of the drawer stack contains a stop mechanism that prevents the drawers 64 from each being pushed entirely through the drawer stack; hence the reason for a solid back panel or at least a partial surround.

Each drawer 64 includes some form of handle 68 or lip in its face 70 to facilitate opening of the drawer 64. Whilst of generally convention construction, each drawer preferably also includes a lateral top brace point 72 spanning at least a part of a rear upper surface 74 of the drawers. For each of manufacture, this brace point may be a simple slat. The drawer further includes a closure board 76 that sits on top of the drawer and which, when located in place, closes the drawer 64 to form a box. The closure board preferably includes one and preferably a plurality of dowels 78 along its rear edge 80. These dowels may fit into or under the lateral top brace point 72. Alternatively, the dowels may be removable pegs that can be selectively inserted between the closure board 76 and lateral top brace point 72. When the closure board 76 is removed, the drawer 64 resembles a convention drawer with a drawer front.

The closure board 76 that fits into and is retained physically by each drawer 64 can, alternatively, be retained by brace points or a frame set within an upper region of the drawer. Equally, rather than for the dowels to be engageable into the lateral top brace, the dowels could equally as well be retained within an inside surface of the drawer front. These are design options. The dowels 78 (or other suitable fastener) ensure that the closure board can be selectively disengageably secured into the top of the drawer 64 and then secured into the central drawer stack 51. Having integrated components limits the part-count for the system and reduces the possibility of loss of parts required for connectivity. However, the choice of whether such dowels (or the like or an equivalent functional connector or connector assembly) is one of manufacturing choice.

Each closure board 76 (which may be a drawer closure board, but as explained below may also be in some instances a shelf) is preferably solid in construction and may include one of more of:

i) sound-proofing materials,

ii) a magnetic area in at least one principal surface thereof,

iii) one or more pockets formed in at least one principal surface thereof, iv) a white board formed in at least one principal surface thereof,

v) an integrated electronic display or touch-screen (with an appropriate interface and electronics) formed in at least one principal surface thereof; vi) a pin board area in at least one principal surface thereof;

vii) ballistic panels to provide shrapnel or munitions protection; and/or viii) hooks from which can be hung or draped a soft armour screen. Returning to the construction of the central drawer stack 51, its bottom may be securely closed or may be open (to reduce weight). If open, then a base 82 of drawer inserted into the lowest position may provide a base for the central drawer stack 51. An independent and separate bottom to the central drawer stack 51 provides improved security during transit of the field desk system 50.

The central drawer stack 51 further includes an upper/top surface 84 that connects the sides 52, 54 and front peripheral facials 58 and any back facias or back board 60 (as appropriate). The top surface 84 has formed therein or otherwise secured thereto a first part 88 (female/male) part of a rotating coupling. A second complementary (male/fem ale) part 96 of the rotating coupling is coupled to or formed in an underside 90 of a central section 92 of an integrated leaf working surface 94, as especially shown in FIG. 5. The second complementary part of the rotating coupling may include a pin 98 that has laterally extending lugs 99 in its head, with these lugs 99 arranged to engage 99 into a slotted cavity (104 of FIG. 4) of the first part 88 of the rotating coupling. The lugs can be inserted into the slot to engage together the multiple parts of the rotating coupling, with the lugs 99 preventing (upon relative rotation of the central section 92 and therefore relative offset of the lugs relative to the slotted opening in the cavity 104) the integrated leaf working surface 94 from disengaging with the central drawer stack 51. The rotating coupling preferably realizes a stationary cam-moving follower and the second complementary part may therefore include a circular island 100 from which the pin extends downwards (when the working surface 94 is atop of - and engaged into - the rotating member 88 in/on the top surface of the central drawer stack 51). The rotating coupling may include a bearing chase to facilitate ease of relative rotation. The circular island increases the contact surface area to provide a good connection between the working surface 94 and the central drawer stack 51. The rotating coupling may, of course, be realized by other readily appreciable solutions (rather than that described above) and, whilst it is preferably a central island, could also be realized by, in part, a ring around a central point on the top surface the central section 94. Other arrangements, in view of the teaching of the disclosed concepts, will be therefore be apparent to achieve the same functional effect.

It will be appreciated that male/female connection between the underside of the central section 92 of an integrated leaf working surface 94 and the upper/top surface 84 of the drawer stack can be reversed in that the pin extends upwards. However, a downward projecting pin 98 is preferred. Also, the pin arrangement is optional and other equivalent mechanical locking solutions can be substituted therefor, as will be understood. The important point is that the integrated leaf working surface 94 is rotation relative to the upper/top surface 84 of the (generally centrally located) drawer stack 51.

Concerning the working surface 94, this is comprised from at least the central section 92 and a plurality of leaves 110, 112 that are hingedly secured on either side of the central section 92. FIG. 5 shows an underside of the working surface 94, with the central section sandwiched between a right leaf 110 and a left leaf 112. Each hinge assembly includes a pin extending through complementary knuckles 116, 118 formed in respective abutting end edges of the central section and each leaf 110, 112. The aforementioned gap (see reference number 26 of FIG. 3) between the multiple sections of the working surface is therefore radically reduced in the arrangement of FIGs. 4 to 8. A working surface 94 of the field desk 50 is therefore significantly more usable and contains no meaningful cutout recesses since connecting toggle latches are no longer required to connect each leaf to the central section 92.

As further shown in FIG. 5, stability of the central section 92 is provided by an integrated telescopically-extending hinged leg 120 that can be lowered to engage against the floor. Similarly, although the orientation is different, both of the leaves have integrated telescopically-extending hinged legs 122, 124 that can be lowered to engage against the floor. Turning to carriage and deployment of the field desk of the preferred embodiments, the rotating coupling allows the working surface to be rotated with any angle, but typically this is substantially a right angle (i.e. 90°).

In a transit mode, the leaves (see FIG. 8) are hinged downwards and flatten against the front facial 58 and rear facia or rear panel 60 of the central drawer stack 51. In this arrangement, the drawers 64 are hidden and secured in place within the cabinet that is the central drawer stack 51. Whilst other fixing mechanisms may be employed, it is preferable that a bottom edge of the cabinet is lockable into each leaf. In this respect, FIG. 5 shows that there are preferably four recessed toggle latches 130 (as opposed to the twelve that are required in the prior art, as shown in FIG. 2). However, these toggle latches and corresponding catch plates are generally more unobtrusive and less interfering, so they are less likely to snap or catch item. For transport reasons, at least the base or one of the sides of the central drawer stack may include a pair of castors that allow the filed desk system to be rolled.

In an operative mode, each hinged leaf is opened out to form, in combination with the central section 92, the extended working surface 94. The various legs may be dropped (at least partially) at this point to ensure clearance. The entirety of the working surface is then rotated using the rotating coupling. Based on relative dimensions (i.e. central cabinet width w to depth d), this rotation should ideally ensure that the hinge between the central section and each leaf is supported/reinforced by the top surface 84 of the drawer stack 51 ; this is shown in FIG. 6. It is also contemplated that the hinged sections can include other supportive locking schemes, such as rods, that can be inserted beneath the working surface 94 and across the hinged joint between each leaf 110, 112 and the central section 92. However, appropriate dimensioning of the central cabinet (e.g. drawer stack 51) avoids an increased part count and produces a folly integrated leaf (field) desk.

Referring to the combination of FIGs. 4 and 7, a preferred embodiment sees a peripheral (long) edge of the resulting working surface 94 provided with holes 140 into which engage dowel plugs, such as integrated dowel plugs 78 or removal dowel plugs. Each closure board 76 (if present) of each drawer 64 can therefore be used to erect a solid partition, working surface, protection and/or privacy screen for the assembled filed desk 50, since each closure board 76 can be attached securely (but removably) to the upper working surface 94 of the field desk. It is noted that the closure boards may also include a notch 103 or hook generally towards or on an uppermost edge of the closure board. This notch permits the handing of a curtain from the top of the closure board to the floor to provide additional privacy or, indeed, improved protection if this curtain is made from ballistic soft-armour, such as a Kevlar weave of the like. 72

FIG. 6 shows a perspective view of the field desk of FIG. 4 without Its privacy screen, i.e. without the one or more of the closures boards 76 being erected on the edge of the generally flat, recess-free and gap-free multi-element, integrated working surface 94. FIG. 6 further shows extension of the hinged support legs 122, 124. These include a bracing element between each leg, and preferably Include some form of non-slip footing. In contrast, FIG. 7 shows the field desk of a preferred embodiment with in which one of the closure boards Includes a pouch, another both a pin-board area 162 and a magnetic area 176 and a third an integrated LCD or touch screen display 178 (which received power and signals through an umbilical connected to one or more appropriate wired or wireless interfaces). One or both sides of each closure board 76 can accommodate such mounting and display functions.

FIG. 8 shows the field desk system in a collapsed form where its left leaf and right leaf are stowed to enclose a central cabinet (such as a drawer stack 51) of the field desk system 50. Besides connection using in-line toggle latches, an alternative would be to see magnetic coupling of the leaf to the sides of the drawer stack/cabinet 51.

Unless specific arrangements are mutually exclusive with one another, the various embodiments described herein can be combined to enhance system functionality and/or to produce complementary functions in the pool table’s configuration. Such combinations will be readily appreciated by the skilled addressee given the totality of the foregoing description. Likewise, aspects of the preferred embodiments may be implemented in standalone arrangements where more limited and thus specific component functionality is provided within each of the interconnected - and therefore interacting - system components albeit that, in sum, they together support, realize and produce the described real-world effect(s). Indeed, it will be understood that unless features in the particular preferred embodiments are expressly identified as incompatible with one another or the surrounding context implies that they are mutually exclusive and not readily combinable in a complementary and/or supportive sense, the totality of this disclosure contemplates and envisions that specific features of those complementary embodiments can be selectively combined to provide one or more comprehensive, but slightly different, technical solutions. The combination of elements set forth in the appended claims should not therefore be considered as limited by the claim dependencies.

Overall light-weighting of the field desk is achieved by removing material from the underside of each leg, whilst strength retained using appropriate structural bracing.

It will, therefore, be appreciated that the above description has been given by way of example only and that modification in detail may be made within the scope of the present invention. For example, whilst the preferred embodiment has been described in relation to a military application for the portable field desk, the present invention may of course be applied to general camping furniture or even household desks.

Also, whilst the preferred embodiment refers to a set of drawers, this could be a cupboard or a combination of a cupboard and one or more drawings. Collectively, unless the specific context requires a more limited interpretation, the term“central cabinet” is used to refer to all these alternatives. In the instance where a cupboard realizes the central cabinet, the closure boards 76 can, when not in use, double up as shelves supported on runners or ledges on the inside side-surfaces of the cupboard. Although the erected screen, shown in FIG. 4, is described as being along a long edge of the extended working surface, the screen could equally be ejected with appropriate fixing (or the provision of additional holes 140) along an end edge (or at other points) on, for example, the left leaf (112). It is in fact contemplated that central cabinet may store more closure boards than there are drawers, i.e. each drawer may contain stacked closure boards that are temporarily secured to a part of the drawer, e.g., the lateral brace element 72.