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Title:
FOLDING FURNITURE LATCH ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/035809
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A latch release assembly for folding furniture is provided for simultaneously releasing a plurality of latchable hinges. A rigid elongate member is connected at each end to a latch release lever of a latchable hinge. The rigid elongate member simultaneously transfers a releasing force to each release lever in order to actuate and open the connected latches to allow the latchable hinges to open and pivot. The latch release assembly may be fitted to a table top and table support frame to provide a latching hinge system for a folding table to allow a user to actuate a table from a horizontal orientation to a vertical orientation to facilitate compact and space-saving storage.

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Inventors:
VANDER VEEN MARK (US)
ZUVERINK LARRY (US)
Application Number:
IB2019/056913
Publication Date:
February 20, 2020
Filing Date:
August 14, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
FLEETWOOD GROUP INC (US)
International Classes:
A47B13/08; A47B3/00; A47B95/00
Foreign References:
KR101851556B12018-04-27
US20110290160A12011-12-01
US20160309888A12016-10-27
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BURKHART, Frederick S. (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property is claimed are defined as follows:

1. A latch release assembly for folding furniture, comprising:

a connection member; and

a plurality of latchable hinges in spaced arrangement, each of said latchable hinges comprising a hinge, a latch, and a latch release lever operable to release said latch;

wherein said connection member is coupled to an end portion of each of said latch release levers, such that a user may simultaneously actuate the latch release levers of the latchable hinges by applying a release force to the connection member;

wherein said latch release assembly is operable to modify the orientation of at least a portion of an article of furniture.

2. The latch release assembly of claim 1 , wherein said latchable hinges are disposed at a bottom portion of a table top, such that said table top is pivotable about said latchable hinges.

3. The latch release assembly of claim 2, wherein said latchable hinges are supported from below by a support frame.

4. The latch release assembly of claim 3, wherein said support frame comprises a plurality of vertical support members, said vertical support members laterally supported by a horizontal support member.

5. The latch release assembly of claim 4, wherein each of said vertical support member is supported by at least two wheels.

6. The latch release assembly of claim 1 , wherein said connection member comprises a rigid elongated member having cutouts on both ends, each of said cutouts configured to engage with and fixedly couple to a respective end portion of said latch release lever of each of said latchable hinges.

7. The latch release assembly of claim 1, wherein said latchable hinge further comprises a top base, a bottom base, and a hinged connection between said top base and said bottom base, such that said top base is configured to mechanically attach to a portion of a table top and said bottom base is configured to mechanically attach to a portion of a table support frame.

8. The latch release assembly of claim 7, wherein said table top is pivotable about an axis defined by the hinged connection of the latchable hinges.

9. A pivotable table assembly, comprising:

a table top;

a table support frame;

a pair of latchable hinges in spaced arrangement and disposed at a bottom portion of the table top such that the table top is pivotable about said latchable hinges, said latchable hinges are supported from below by the table support frame; and

an elongated connection member fixedly coupled to a distal end portion of a latch release lever of each of said pair of latchable hinges, said elongated connection member configured to substantially simultaneously actuate each of said latchable hinges;

wherein said elongated connection member and said latchable hinges define a latch release assembly;

wherein said latch release assembly is operable to modify the orientation of at least a portion of the table top of said pivotable table assembly.

10. The pivotable table assembly of claim 9, wherein said elongated connection member comprises a rigid elongated member having cutouts on both ends, each of said cutouts configured to engage with and fixedly couple to a respective end portion of said latch release lever of each of said latchable hinges.

Description:
FOLDING FURNITURE LATCH ASSEMBLY

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention is directed to a latch assembly, in particular, a latch release

assembly for a folding table with multiple latches.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Folding and convertible furniture provides users with the ability to convert a piece of furniture for other uses or for space-saving storage. Folding and flip-nest type tables are often used in educational and commercial settings to provide desks and tables that can be stored in a space-saving configuration. Latch assemblies are often used to secure folding tables in a specific orientation or configuration. As the size of a folding table increases, additional hardware is required to allow the table to fold and be safely secured in a desired orientation. The positioning of the hardware mechanisms required to move or flip the tabletop from an operative position to the storage position can be difficult to use and expensive to manufacture.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0003] The present invention provides a latch release assembly for simultaneously releasing two or more latches, such as for a latch assembly for an item of convertible or nesting furniture. The latch release assembly is operable to adjust or modify the orientation of at least a portion of an article of furniture, i.e. the table top of a folding or flip-nest type table. The latch release assembly provides for substantially simultaneous actuation to multiple release levers of latches of a folding table to allow the table to open from a horizontal orientation to an upright vertical orientation. The latch release assembly includes a rigid elongate member for connecting at least two latch release levers. The rigid elongate member is sufficiently rigid to transfer a force along the elongate member to actuate each of the latch release levers simultaneously.

[0004] According to one form of the invention, a latch release assembly for folding furniture includes a connection member and a plurality of latchable hinges in spaced arrangement. Each of the latchable hinges includes a hinge, a latch, and a latch release lever operable to release the latch. The connection member is attached to an end portion of each of the latch release levers, such that a user may simultaneously actuate the latch release levers by applying a release force to the connection member. The latchable hinges are linearly spaced from each other and mechanically attached to an underside of a table top to provide a pivotable latch mechanism between the table top and a support frame of a pivotable, folding, or actuating table. The latchable hinges are releasable to allow the pivotable table to pivot from a horizontal or operating orientation to a vertical or storage orientation to allow multiple pivotable tables to nest with each other for space-saving storage.

[0005] In one aspect, the connection member comprises a rigid elongated member having

cutouts or slots on both ends. The cutouts are configured to fixedly couple at a respective end portion of the latch release lever of each of the latchable hinges. The connection member may be formed from an elongate circular rod.

[0006] In another form of the present invention, a pivotable table assembly includes a table top, a table support frame, a pair of latchable hinges disposed in spaced arrangement on a bottom portion of the table top and an elongated connection member fixedly coupled to a latch release lever of each of the latchable hinges. The table top is pivotable about the latchable hinges to allow the table to be stored in a space-saving orientation. The latchable hinges are supported from below by the table support frame. The elongated connection member is configured to substantially simultaneously actuate each of the latchable hinges to allow the table top to fold or pivot about the latchable hinges.

[0007] Therefore, the present invention provides a simple latch release assembly for

simultaneously releasing two or more latches of a folding or flip-nest type table. The latch release assembly may be configured to operate latchable hinges for various types of folding furniture, including desks, chairs, and the like. A rigid elongate connection member is fixedly attached to the latch release lever of each of multiple latchable hinges. An application of force to the connection member transfers from the connection member to the latch release levers to actuate and release the latchable hinges substantially simultaneously.

[0008] These and other objects, advantages, purposes, and features of the present invention will become more apparent upon review of the following specification in conjunction with the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a folding furniture latch release assembly disposed on a pivotable table in accordance with the present invention, the table top is illustrated in a vertical or storage orientation; [0010] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the pivotable table of FIG. 1 shown with the table top in a horizontal orientation;

[0011] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the latch release assembly of FIG. 1 , illustrating the latch assembly mounted between the bottom surface of the table top and a table support frame;

[0012] FIG. 4 is an exploded perspective view of the folding furniture latch release assembly;

[0013] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of one of the latchable hinges of the latch release assembly of FIG. 4, shown in a latched position;

[0014] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of one of the latchable hinges of the latch release assembly of FIG. 4 shown in an unlatched position; and

[0015] FIG. 7 is a perspective view of another latchable hinge of the latch release assembly, spaced apart from the latchable hinge of FIG. 6, shown in an unlatched position.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0016] Referring now to the drawings and the illustrative embodiments depicted therein, a latch assembly 10 is provided for simultaneously releasing multiple latches of article of convertible furniture, such as folding or pivotable furniture. The latch release assembly 10 includes a connection member 12, and at least two latchable hinges 14 (FIG. 1). The latch release assembly 10 may be adapted for use with convertible furniture such as a folding, pivotable, or flip-nest desk or table 22. The connection member 12 is connected to the hinges 14, and is configured to allow a user to simultaneously actuate a release lever 20 of each latchable hinge 14. The connection member 12 is sufficiently rigid and durable to withstand and transfer the force necessary to simultaneously actuate the release levers 20 in order to release the latchable hinges 14. The connection member 12 may be an elongate cylindrical rod and may include cutouts or openings 18 on each end of the connection member 12, each cutout 18 configured to engage a release lever 20 of one of the latchable hinges 14. The connection member 12 may be attached to the release levers 20 by mechanical fasteners, glue, welds, etc.

[0017] In the illustrated embodiment, as best understood from FIGS. 1 and 3, the latch release assembly 10 is disposed on a pivotally convertible table 22, such that the latch assembly 10 is pivotally fixed between the bottom side of a table top 24 and a lower table support frame 26. Table top 24 is pivotable about the latchable hinges 14 from a horizontal orientation, shown in FIGS. 2-3, to a vertical or storage orientation, shown in FIG. 1. Latchable hinges 14 are supported from below by the lower table support frame 26. In the illustrated embodiment each latchable hinge 14 is disposed on a top portion of a tee-shaped vertical support 26a. A set of vertical supports 26a are laterally spaced to provide support for the table top 24 and are laterally supported by at least one horizontal support member 30 disposed between the vertical supports 26a. The table 22 is configured such that when the table top 24 is in a vertical orientation the table 22 can nest with additional tables 22 (nesting not shown). Optionally, as illustrated in FIG. 1, tee-shaped vertical supports 26a are supported by wheels 32 in order to easily maneuver the table 22.

[0018] In the illustrated embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 3-7, the latchable hinges 14 are represented as folding table adaptors manufactured by Plako GmbH under the part number FIS 409, although other types of latchable hinges may be used. The latchable hinges 14 each include a release lever 20, a hinge 34, a bottom support attachment base 36, and a top table attachment base 38 (FIGS. 4 and 5). The hinge 34 is configured to pivotally connect the support attachment base 36 and the table attachment base 38. The support attachment base 36 is mechanically attached to the top of one of the vertical supports 26a. The table attachment base 38 is mechanically attached to the bottom side of the table top 24 such as with screws, bolts, glue, or the like. The support attachment base 36 includes a set of engaging teeth 40 configured such that when the table top 24 is pivoted from the vertical to the horizontal orientation the release lever 20 slides over the top of teeth 40, enters below the engaging teeth 40 after clearing the distal portion of the engaging teeth, and finally rests underneath the bottom of teeth 40 such that the release lever 20 is constrained from vertical movement (FIGS. 6 and 7). The release lever 20 is hingedly supported within the table attachment base 38 and is further constrained by a tension spring 42, such that the release lever 20 may be rotated relative to the attachment base 38 and will be urged toward a set latching position due to tension force from the tension spring 42. In the illustrated embodiment the connection member 12 is connected to the release lever 20 and configured such that the release lever 20 and the engaging teeth 40 remain operable for securing the latchable hinge 14 in a latched position, without interference between the connection member 12 and the engaging teeth 40.

[0019] Accordingly, the latch release assembly of the present invention provides a release

member to simultaneously release at least two latchable hinges. The latch release assembly provides a mechanism to simply simultaneously release a latch to allow a piece of pivotable furniture to pivot in order to make storage easier. An elongate member coupled to the release levers of at least two latchable hinges transfers an application of force to the elongate member from the elongate member to the release levers of the at least two hinges to actuate the latchable hinges to unlatch substantially simultaneously and allow the furniture to pivot about the latchable hinges.

[0020] Changes and modifications in the specifically described embodiments can be carried out without departing from the principles of the present invention, which is intended to be limited only by the scope of the appended claims, as interpreted according to the principles of patent law, including the doctrine of equivalents.