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Title:
FOLDABLE OR COLLAPSIBLE TABLES AND TRESTLES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/1999/063860
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
A foldable table (10) having a top (19) formed by a pair of wings (20 and 21) which are pivotally connected through respective bearers (22, 23) to respective legs (13, 14) of a pivotal leg assembly (11). The wings (20, 21) may be moved between a folded position where they lie along side each other to an erected position where they are substantially coplanar and supported by the bearers (22, 23) and legs (13, 14). The table may also be in the configuration of an ironing board or trestle.

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Inventors:
Buckley, David Leonard (7 Murray Street Nellie Bay Magnetic Island, QLD 4819, AU)
Application Number:
PCT/AU1999/000447
Publication Date:
December 16, 1999
Filing Date:
June 10, 1999
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Buckley, David Leonard (7 Murray Street Nellie Bay Magnetic Island, QLD 4819, AU)
International Classes:
A47B3/02; (IPC1-7): A47B/
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Claims:
Claims
1. A foldable table having a foldable leg assembly including pivotally interconnected legs of scissor linkage form, and a top comprising first and second wings, said wings having edges which are in substantial abutment when said wings are moved to a substantially coplanar attitude to define said top when said table is unfolded to an operative attitude, said wings being pivotally connected to respective legs of said leg assembly at positions spaced from said respective edges.
2. A foldable table according to Claim 1 wherein in the folded attitude of said table or trestle, said legs of said leg assembly are substantially juxtaposed and said wings are located on opposite sides of said legs and are disposed in a substantially side by side attitude.
3. A foldable table according to Claim 1 or Claim 2 wherein each said wing is provided with a bearer member or members which extend beyond the respective edges of said wings and which are pivotally connected to respective said legs of said leg assembly.
4. A foldable table according to Claim 1 wherein said wings in said unfolded attitude are arranged in a substantially juxtaposed position.
5. A foldable table according to Claim 4 wherein said legs are substantially juxtaposed in said folded attitude.
6. A foldable ironing board having a foldable leg assembly comprising pivotally interconnected legs of scissor linkage form, and a top comprising first and second wings, said wings having edges which are in substantial abutment when said wings are moved to a substantially coplanar attitude to define said top when said board is unfolded to an operative erected attitude, said wings being pivotally connected to respective legs of said leg assembly at positions spaced from said respective edges.
7. An ironing board according to Claim 6 wherein each said wing is provided with a bearer member or members which extend beyond the respective edges of the wings and which are pivotally connected to the respective legs of the leg assembly.
8. An ironing board according to Claim 7 wherein said supporting leg assembly comprises a first pair of rigidly interconnected legs and a further leg between the pair of rigidly interconnected legs and pivotally connected thereto.
9. An ironing board according to Claim 8 wherein bearing members comprise a single bearer member fixed to and extending substantially centrally from one said wing for pivotal connection to said further leg at a position spaced from the edge of said one wing.
10. An ironing board according to Claim 9 wherein the other said wing has a pair of spaced apart bearer members extending therefrom and pivotally connected respectively to the upper ends of the other pair of legs at a position spaced from the edge of said other wing.
11. A foldable trestle having a foldable leg assembly comprising pivotally interconnected legs of scissor linkage form, and a top support comprising first and second support members, said support members having edges which are in substantial abutment when said members are moved to a substantially coplanar attitude to define said top support when said trestle is unfolded to an operative erected attitude, said support members being pivotally connected to respective legs of said leg assembly at positions spaced from said respective edges.
Description:
FOLDABLE OR COLLAPSIBLE TABLES AND TRESTLES Technical Field This invention relates to foldable or collapsible tables, trestles and other similar articles which in an erected attitude have an elevated support surface.

Background Art There are presently available a number of different types of foldable or collapsible tables. In a basic form, such tables include opposite leaves which are hingedly interconnected and which may be moved between a folded position where the leaves lie along side each other to an unfolded or erected position where the leaves are arranged substantially coplanar to each other. Other collapsible tables such as card or bridge tables include a planar or substantially planar top and legs, four legs in the case of card or bridge tables which are hingedly mounted to each corner of the table top so as to be movable between a folded attitude lying adjacent the table top to an unfolded position at right angles to the table top in which they support the table top at an elevated attitude. Many other tables have collapsible legs of different forms such as trestle type tables which may have two leg assemblies hingedly mounted at or adjacent each end. Tables of the above type are often difficult to handle and carry because of the size of the table top. In addition, the foldable leg configurations when in an unfolded attitude do not usually provide reliable stable support to the table top. Difficulties are associated also in folding and unfolding the legs. Storage of tables of the above type also proves difficult.

One specialised form of collapsible table which is in most households is an ironing board or table which comprises a flat narrow board provided with a leg assembly which can be folded to lie flat against the board for storage purposes. Because of their length ironing boards of this type are difficult to handle and also difficult to store.

Furthermore, the foldable leg assembly is difficult to erect and collapse. Usually, the table is required to be laid flat on the floor and then lifted from the floor to effect erection of the legs. Similarly to collapse the legs, it is usually necessary to lower the table to the ground. This requires the user to bend down in both operations which can prove particularly difficult especially to the elderly.

Another article which can provided a support for a table top is a trestle.

Some trestles are of a foldable A-frame configuration separate from the table top and a pair of such trestles are required to support the table top. As three components are required, the arrangement is not suited to easy storage or easy erection. Further at least two persons are usually required to erect tables of this type. Such tables are also often

unstable.

Trestles in the form of sawhorses are commonly used in the building industry for supporting timber, planks or other structures. Trestles of the latter type are usually cumbersome and occupy a substantial volume of space and accordingly are difficult to transport to site and manipulate Summary of the Invention The present invention aims in one aspect to provide a foldable to collapsible table which may be relatively easily moved between a folded and unfolded attitude. The present invention in yet a further aspect aims to provide a table which in an erected position is stable. The present invention aims in a preferred aspect to provide a collapsible table which may be easily carried or stored. The present invention in further aspects aims to provide a collapsible ironing board and a collapsible trestle having the same features as a collapsible table. Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following description.

The present invention thus provides in a first aspect, a foldable table having a foldable leg assembly comprising pivotally interconnected legs of scissor linkage form, and a top comprising first and second wings, said wings having edges which are in substantial abutment when said wings are moved to a substantially coplanar attitude to define said top when said table is unfolded to an erected attitude, said wings being pivotally connected to respective legs of said leg assembly at positions spaced from said respective edges.

Suitably the respective wings are provided with a bearer member or members which extend beyond the respective edges of the wings and which are pivotally connected to the legs.

In one form, the legs comprise two pairs of pivotally interconnected scissor-like legs one of which is connected to the bearer member fixed to one wing and the other of which is connected to the bearer member of the other wing.

In the folded attitude, the wings are located on opposite sides of the folded leg assembly and arranged in a side by side attitude. The pairs of scissor-like legs are suitably juxtaposed in the folded attitude with one leg of each pair located inwardly of the other leg. In the unfolded erected attitude, the wings are supported in a cantilever fashion through the pivotal connection of their associated bearer members with the legs and their seating on the bearer or leg of the other wing.

For carrying purposes, a handle member may extend between the upper ends of the inner legs at or adjacent their pivotal connection to the bearers. This facilitates lifting, carrying and storage of the table when in its folded attitude.

In a further aspect, the present invention thus provides a foldable ironing board having a foldable leg assembly comprising pivotally interconnected legs of scissor linkage form, and a top comprising first and second wings, said wings having edges which are in substantial abutment when said wings are moved to a substantially coplanar attitude to define said top when said board is unfolded to an operative erected attitude, said wings being pivotally connected to respective legs of said leg assembly at positions spaced from said respective edges.

In the folded attitude, the legs of the leg assembly are substantially juxtaposed and the wings are located on opposite sides of the legs and are disposed in a substantially side by side attitude.

Suitably the respective wings are provided with a bearer member or members which extend beyond the respective edges of the wings and which are pivotally connected to the respective legs of the leg assembly.

In one form, the supporting leg assembly may comprise a first pair of rigidly interconnected legs and a further leg between the pair of rigidly interconnected legs and pivotally connected thereto. Further in this embodiment, one of the top members may have a single bearer member fixed to and extending substantially centrally from one top member for pivotal connection to the further leg at a position spaced from the edge of the one top member. The other top member may have a pair of spaced apart bearer members extending therefrom and pivotally connected respectively to the upper ends of the other pair of legs at a position spaced from the edge of that top member.

In the unfolded attitude, the wings are supported in a cantilever fashion through the pivotal connection of their associated bearer members with the legs and their seating on the bearer or leg of the other wing.

For carrying purposes, a handle member may extend between the upper ends of the inner legs at or adjacent their pivotal connection to the bearers. This facilitates lifting, carrying and storage of the ironing board when in its folded attitude.

For covering the surface of the abutting top members, separate covers and padding may be provided for each member. Alternatively, a single cover and padding may be provided over the cooperating top members after erection. In yet an alternative

arrangement, one of the top members may be provided with a stiff planar member such as a thin sheet of polycarbonate covered with a cover and suitable padding if required, the planar member being of folded form to be folded outwardly to cover both top members when the board is in an erected attitude.

In yet a further aspect, the present invention provides a foldable trestle having a foldable leg assembly comprising pivotally interconnected legs of scissor linkage form, and a top comprising first and second support members, said support members having edges which are in substantial abutment when said wings are moved to a substantially coplanar attitude to define a top support when said trestle is unfolded to an operative erected attitude, said support members being pivotally connected to respective legs of said leg assembly at positions spaced from said respective edges.

The table, ironing board and trestle described above maybe constructed of any suitable materials such a wood, metal or plastics or a combination thereof.

Brief Description Of The Drawings In order that the invention may be more readily understood and put into practical effect, reference will now be made to the accompanying drawings which illustrate a preferred embodiment of the invention and wherein:- Fig. 1 illustrates a table according to one aspect of the invention in an unfolded attitude; Fig. 2 illustrates the table of Fig. 1 in a folded attitude; Fig. 3 illustrates in side view the manner in which the wings of the table are moved to the erected attitude; Fig. 4 illustrates the underside of the table of Fig. 1: Fig. 5 illustrates an ironing board according to a further aspect of the invention in an unfolded attitude; Fig. 6 illustrates the ironing board of Fig. 5 in a folded attitude; and Fig. 7 illustrates the ironing board during movement from a folded to unfolded attitude.

Detailed Description of the Preferred Embodiments Referring to the drawings and firstly to Figs. 1 to 4, there is illustrated a table 10 according to a first aspect of the present invention shown in Figs. 1 and 3 in an unfolded erected form and in Fig. 2 in a folded form. The table 10 includes a leg assembly 11 comprising two pairs of spaced scissor-like legs 13 and 14 which are

pivotally interconnected at 15 by suitable pivot pins, bolts or the like. Corresponding legs 13 and 14 are substantially parallel to each other and interconnected at their lower ends by pairs of transverse members 17 and 16 which hold the opposite 13 and 14 at a suitable spacing relative to each other. The members 17 interconnecting the legs 13 extend transversely beyond the legs 13 as at 18 to define stops for a purpose which will hereinafter become apparent. The legs 13 and 14 are of substantially the same length and the pivot connection 15 is located at substantially the same position along each leg 13 and 14 from the ends thereof.

The table 10 additionally includes a top 19 defined by a pair of wings 20 and 21 having planar upper surfaces. Fixed to the underside of the wings 20 and 21 are spaced apart substantially parallel pairs of bearers 22 and 23. The bearers 22 and 23 extend outwardly beyond the inner edges 24 and 25 of the respective wings 20 and 21 and are pivotally connected to the upper ends of respective legs 13 and 14. these connections defining pivot axes 26 and 27 for the respective wings 20 and 21 which are spaced from their respective inner edges 24 and 25.

An elongated member or rod 28 extends between and is fixed to the bearers 23 at or adjacent their pivotal connection to the inner pair of legs 14. this member 28 serving as a handle for carrying purposes as described further below.

In the folded position as shown in Fig. 2. the legs 13 and 14 are pivoted about the pivot connections 15 to a position such that they are substantially parallel to and juxtaposed with each other with the legs 14 being located inwardly of the legs 13 and with the legs 13 and 14 lying in substantially the same plane. The ends 18 of the projecting from the members 17 serve as a stop against which the legs 14 may abut to hold the legs 13 and 14 in the substantially juxtaposed attitude shown. In this position also, the respective bearers 22 and 23 and associated wings 20 and 21 are pivoted about the pivot axes 26 and 27, respectively, to lie substantially parallel to and outside of the legs 14 with the respective wings 20 and 21 located on opposite sides of the folded legs 13 and 14.

It will be apparent in this attitude that the member 28 may be grasped by hand to enable easy carrying of the folded table 10 and storage for example by hanging up if desired or storage in a narrow space, the total width of the table 10 being the two thicknesses of the wings 20 and 21 plus the width of the legs 13 or 14.

For unfolding and erection of the table 10, the respective wings 20 and 21 are folded outwardly about their pivotal connections via the bearers 22 and 23 to the legs

13 and 14 (about the axes 27 and 26 which in the folded position of Fig. 2 are substantially aligned) as indicated by the arrows in Fig. 2 until they are at or beyond a substantially coplanar attitude. The wings 20 and 21 may then be moved endwise towards each other as shown in Fig. 3 causing the legs 13 and 14 to pivotally move away from each other at their lower ends about their pivot connections 15 until the edges 24 and 25 of the wings 20 and 21 abut each other. This abutment serves to maintain the legs 13 and 14 in the extended stable position as shown in Fig. 4.

The wings 20 and 21 may then, if not in a coplanar attitude, be lowered to be supported in cantilever fashion through their pivotal connection to the respective legs 13 and 14 and by seating on the bearers 22 and 23 of the other wing (and/or the tops of the legs 14 and 15 respectively.

The table 10 is particularly stable in this position as any weight applied to the table top 19 will tend to urge the lower ends of the legs 13 and 14 apart which is prevented by the abutting edges 24 and 25.

For folding purposes, the opposite action is undertaken with the wings 20 and 21 being moved away from each other causing the legs 13 and 14 to pivot towards their juxtaposed position of Fig. 2 after which the wings 20 and 21 are folded downwardly about the axes 27 and 26 respectively to lie on opposite sides of the legs 13 and 14.

Referring now to Figs. 5 to 7, there is illustrated a foldable ironing board 30 embodying the principles of the present invention, the board 30 including an upper ironing surface 31 of conventional shape defined by two wings 32 and 33 each of which has a planar upper surface and opposing end edges 34 and 35 which in the unfolded operative attitude of Fig. 5 are in an abutting or substantial abutting relationship with each other.

The ironing board 30 is also provided with a scissor-like leg assembly 36 comprising a spaced pair of legs 37, and a single leg 38 located between the legs 37 and pivotally interconnected thereto at 39. The legs 37 and 38 are also provided with transversely extending stabilising feet 40 and 41 respectively for seating on a floor surface to provide stable support for the board 30, the foot 40 being rigidly connected to the legs 37.

The wing 32 is provided on its underside with a pair of substantially parallel bearers 42 which extend beyond the edge 34 of the wing 32 for pivotal connection at 43 at their free ends to upper ends of the respective legs 37. The wing 33 is provided

on its underside with a single bearer 44 which projects beyond the edge 35 to be pivotally connected at its free end at 45 to the upper end of the leg 38. In this embodiment the bearer 44 is of channel shaped cross section and the leg 38 has its upper end located within the channel of the bearer 44 with a pivot pin extending between the flanges of the channel shaped bearer 44 and through the upper end of the leg 38.

In the folded attitude of Fig. 6, the legs 37 and 38 are pivoted to be substantially juxtaposed with each other as are the legs 37 and 38 and the respective wings 32 and 33 are located on opposite sides of the folded legs 37 and 38. In this attitude, the ironing board 30 may be easily carried and stored. Whilst the legs 37 and 38 in Fig. 2 are shown to be at a slight angle to each other because of the provision of the feet 40 and 41, the feet 40 and 41 may be offset to the outer side of their respective legs 37 and 38 so that the legs 37 and 38 and wings 32 and 33 can be substantially juxtaposed and parallel to each other in the folded attitude.

To erect the board to the unfolded erected attitude of Fig. 5, the wings 32 and 33 and their associated bearers 42 and 44 are pivoted upwardly about their pivot connections 43 and 45 to the legs 37 and 38 as shown by the arrows in Fig. 6 until they are at least in a coplanar attitude of Fig. 7 or beyond that attitude. The wings 32 and 33 may then be moved inwardly towards each other as shown by the arrows in Fig. 7 until the edges 34 and 35 abut each other as in the position of Fig. 5. This action also moves the legs 37 and 38 outwardly about their pivot connection 39. Of course when the edges 34 and 35 abut each other, the legs 37 and 38 can move no further outwardly and thus the erected ironing board 30 is particularly stable. The wings 32 and 33 may then, if beyond a coplanar attitude, be lowered to seat on the bearers 44. and 42 respectively or the upper ends of the legs 37 and 38. The wing 32 is thus supported in a cantilever attitude on the bearer 44 or leg 38 and through its pivotal connection to the legs 37. The wing 33 is similarly supported on the bearers 42 or upper ends of the legs 37 and through its pivotal connection to the leg 38.

A cover 46 may then be located over the aligned coplanar surfaces 32 and 33 with if desired an underlay of a stiff material such as polycarbonate or other plastic.

Alternatively, both wings 32 and 33 may be provided with separate covers.

Height adjustment of the ironing board 30 can be achieved through adjustment of the position of the pivot connection 39 of the legs 37 and 38 for example by making the pivot connection 39 slidably adjustable along one of the legs 37 or 38. As an

alternative, the pivotal connection of the leg 38 to the bearer 44 can be adjustable for example by providing a slide mount for the pivot connection 45 which is adjustable along the bearer 44 by either providing for example a series of locating holes or by a locking device such as a locking cam or the like.

The ironing board can be constructed of any suitable materials or combination of materials such as metal, plastics or wood.

Whilst a particular leg assembly comprising a single leg 38 and double leg 37 is described, other scissor-like leg arrangements may be employed. For example, the single leg 38 may be replaced by a double leg of similar form to the legs 37.

Alternatively, the double legs 37 may be connected to the wing 33 and the single leg 38 connected to the wing 32.

The ironing board 30 may also be provided with a handle for carrying or storage of the board, the handle extending between and being connected to the legs 37 or bearers 42 or alternatively to one of the wings 32 or 33. A releasable fastening arrangement may also be provided for holding the boards in their folded position of Fig.

2.

The principles of the invention may also be applied to the construction of a trestle or sawhorse. In this case, the trestle may be of similar form to the foldable table 10 of Figs. 1 to 4 except that the width of the table top 19 is substantially reduced by reducing the width of each wing 20 and 21 and increasing their depth to form supports 47 and 48 as shown in dotted outline in Fig. 1. The increased size of the supports 47 and 48 provides a solid support in building or construction applications Of course the length of the bearers 22 and 23 are correspondingly reduced so as not to project beyond the width of the respective supports 47 and 48.

It will be appreciated that the tables, boards and trestles described above may have upper surfaces or supports of many different configurations to suit the application. For example the table top 19 may be configured as a games table or card table and may also be designed to suit the support of games boards. Edges of the wings 20 and 21 may also have raised borders if required.

All modifications and variations to the invention as set out above as would be apparent to persons skilled in the art are deemed to fall within the broad scope and ambit of the invention as defined in the appended claims.