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Title:
TABLE TOP WITH DRAWER
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2004/052146
Kind Code:
A2
Abstract:
A blow-molded plastic table top may include a top surface, a bottom surface, a first end and a second end. A pair of spaced apart generally L-shaped brackets for attaching a drawer to the table top may be integrally formed in the bottom surface of the table top. The generally L-shaped brackets may have a vertical portion and a bottom portion that are sized and configured to support the drawer. In addition, generally L­shaped angle irons may be connected to the brackets to reinforce the brackets or may be used to form the bottom portion of the generally L-shaped bracket.

Inventors:
Yinzai LI. (Jinxiong Building, No.151 Yuehua Road Huli Distric, Xiamen City Fujian Province 6, 36100, CN)
Jin, Shenghao (Jinxiong Building, No.151 Yuehua Road Huli Distric, Xiamen City Fujian Province 6, 36100, CN)
Wen AI. (Jinxiong Building, No.151 Yuehua Road Huli Distric, Xiamen City Fujian Province 6, 36100, **)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2003/006454
Publication Date:
June 24, 2004
Filing Date:
December 04, 2003
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
LIFETIME HONG KONG, LTD. (Room 804 Eighth Floor, LC WU Building 302-8 Hennessy Road, Unit 80, Wanchai Hong Kong, CN)
International Classes:
A47B3/00; A47B88/00; A47B; (IPC1-7): A47B/
Foreign References:
GB2039599B1983-07-27
JPH0970323A1997-03-18
US6082838A2000-07-04
CN2170031Y1994-06-29
CN2390477Y2000-08-09
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Shouchuang Junhe, Patent Agent Ltd Xiamen CO. (5F Labor Market Building, No.191 Changqing Road Xiamen City, Fujian Province 2, 36101, CN)
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Claims:
CLAIMS What is claimed is:
1. A blowmolded plastic table top configured to receive a drawer, the table top comprising: a top surface; a bottom surface; and a pair of spaced apart Lshaped brackets extending outwardly from the bottom surface thereof, the brackets and bottom surface at least partially defining a chamber configured to receive the drawer.
2. \.
3. The table top as recited in claim 1, wherein the Lshaped brackets are formed integrally with the bottom surface.
4. The table top as recited in claim 1, wherein each Lshaped bracket comprises a vertical portion and a horizontal portion formed integrally together.
5. The table top as recited in claim 1, wherein each Lshaped bracket comprises a vertical portion and a discrete horizontal portion attached together.
6. The table top as recited in claim 4, wherein the horizontal portion is formed by an Lshaped angle iron having a vertical portion and a horizontal portion, the vertical portion of the iron being connected to the vertical portion of the Lshaped bracket such that the horizontal portion of the Lshaped iron is disposed transversely thereto.
7. The table top as recited in claim 1, further comprising an Lshaped angle iron disposed in a corner of each Lshaped bracket.
8. The table top as recited in claim 1, further comprising a lip formed around at least a portion of the outer periphery of the bottom surface thereof.
9. The table top as recited in claim 7, further comprising a notch formed in the lip at the location of the Lshaped brackets, the space between the Lshaped brackets being substantially the same or less than the length of the notch.
Description:
TABLE TOP WITH DRAWER CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS [0001] This application claims priority from and benefit of Chinese Application No. 02255750.4, filed December. 4,2002, entitled"Hollow Table Panel with <BR> Drawer, "which is incorporated by reference in its entirety. This application is also related to co-pending U. S. Patent Application Serial No./, filed <BR> December 3,2003, entitled"Table with Drawer, " (attorney docket no. 15865.2a. 1) which is incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Field of the Invention [0002] This invention generally relates to a table top and, in particular, to a table top with a drawer.

Description of Related Art [0003] Conventional table tops are often constructed from fiberboard or particle board. Although such materials are widely available, these types of table tops often have little strength and are easily damaged or broken. In addition, the connections between the legs and the table tops are often not secure and they tend to loosen or break over time. If the table top is damaged or broken, it is often difficult or impossible to repair. Moreover, this type of table top, which is constructed from solid materials, is relatively heavy and difficult to move.

[0004] It is also known to construct table tops from plastic instead of fiberboard or particle board. Plastic table tops are generally easy to manufacture because they may require a relatively small amount of material to construct and the plastic table tops may be constructed with relatively simple manufacturing steps. Furthermore, the plastic table tops tend to be high in strength, light-weight, and easy to clean.

Additionally, plastic table tops are often preferred by consumers because of there portability and ease of use.

[0005] Tables constructed with these conventional plastic table tops are often used for a variety of purposes and tasks. For example, people often place items on the table top such as pens, paper, erasers, needles, thread, chopsticks, knives and forks. After use, a person must place these items in a separate storage location and retrieve them again when needed. Alternatively, a person will place various items on the surface of the table top during use, but because the surface can be rather slippery or smooth, the items tend to roll off onto the ground, making it inconvenient for the user.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION [0006] A need therefore exists for a table top that eliminates the above-described disadvantages and problems.

[0007] One aspect of the present invention is a table top with a drawer that is relatively simple in structure and design, and is easy to use.

[0008] Another aspect is a table top constructed from blow-molded plastic table and a drawer is attached to the table top. Preferably, the table top includes a top surface, a bottom surface and a pair of spaced apart L-shaped brackets that extend outwardly from the bottom surface of the table top. The brackets and the bottom surface are preferably sized and configured to at least partially define a chamber.

Advantageously, the L-shaped brackets may be formed integrally with the plastic table top as part of a one-piece structure. Preferably, each L-shaped bracket includes a vertical portion and a horizontal portion that may be formed integrally together.

Alternatively, the vertical portion may be formed discretely or separately from the horizontal portion of the bracket. In one embodiment, the horizontal portion is formed by an L-shaped angle iron having a vertical portion and a horizontal portion, the vertical portion of the iron being connected to the vertical portion of the L- shaped bracket such that the horizontal portion of the L-shaped iron is disposed transversely thereto. Alternatively, the L-shaped angle iron may be disposed in a corner of each L-shaped bracket.

[0009] Still another aspect is a table top with a lip formed around at least a portion of the outer periphery of the bottom surface of the table top. A notch may be formed in the lip at the location of the L-shaped brackets to facilitate attachment of the drawer to the table top. Desirably, the space between the L-shaped brackets is substantially the same or less than the length of the notch. [0010] Significantly, the supporting structures for the drawer may be formed integrally with the table top, which may reduce the amount of manufacturing time and materials required to construct the table. When the table top is in use, common items such as pens, paper, erasers, needles, thread, chopsticks, knives, and forks can be placed in the drawer as needed. To increase both the resistance of the brackets to abrasion and the ease with which the drawer can be opened and shut, the inner corners of the brackets may be provided with long L-shaped angle irons.

[0011] Yet another aspect is a table top with a drawer and a latch that can be used to secure the drawer in a locked position. Preferably, the latch can prevent the drawer from sliding out of the brackets when the table top is being moved.

Moreover, the front-end panel of the drawer is preferably larger than the cross- section of the chamber so that the drawer is limited in its rearward placement. In addition, mechanical stops may also be placed at the. inner end of L-shaped brackets.

Therefore, the present invention is characterized by simple structure, reliable operation, ease of use, and a storage option.

[0012] These and other advantages and features of the present invention will become more fully apparent from the following description and appended claims, or may be learned by the practice of the invention as set forth hereinafter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS [0013] To further clarify the above and other advantages and features of the present invention, a more particular description of the invention will be rendered by reference to specific embodiments thereof which are illustrated in the appended drawings. It is appreciated that these drawings depict only typical embodiments of the invention and are therefore not to be considered limiting of its scope. The invention will be described and explained with additional specificity and detail through the use of the accompanying drawings, in which: [0014] Figure 1 is a bottom perspective view of an exemplary embodiment of a table top with a drawer, illustrating the drawer in a closed position.

[0015] Figure 2 is a bottom perspective view of the table top with a drawer shown in Figure 1, illustrating the table top with the drawer removed.

[0016] Figure 3 is a partial cross-sectional view of a portion of the table top with a drawer shown in Figure 1.

[0017] Figure 4 is a partial cross-sectional sectional view of another exemplary embodiment of a table top with a drawer.

[0018] Figure 5 is a partial cross-sectional view of yet another exemplary embodiment of a table top with a drawer.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS [0019] With reference to Figures 1 and 2, an exemplary table panel or table top 1 is shown incorporating features of the present invention. The table top 1 can be used in various support structures including, but not limited to, large utility tables, smaller tables or end tables, chairs, and shelving structures. In one embodiment, the table top 1 is composed of a hollow, blow-molded plastic. Table top 1 is configured to receive a drawer 2. The table top 1 includes a top working surface, and the bottom surface. The bottom surface provides various structures which allow the drawer 2 to be received by table top 1. In addition, the bottom surface can be configured to allow various supporting structures (e. g. , table legs) to be connected thereto. For example, the table top 1 may be configured to receive a pair of spaced apart side rails for connecting a pair of legs thereto.

[0020] A pair of brackets 11 is formed on the bottom surface of table top 1. The brackets 11 may begin at the edge of the table top 1 or be inset away from the edge of the table top. Brackets 11 extend inwardly toward the center of the table top 1.

The brackets 11 and the bottom surface of the table top 1 at least partially form a chamber 112. The drawer 2 can thus be slidably disposed in chamber 112 with the brackets 11 configured to hold and support drawer 2 on each side thereof.

[0021] In one embodiment, the brackets 11 are L-shaped having a vertical side 111 and a horizontal portion. The horizontal portion provides a base on which the drawer 2 slidably rests when disposed in chamber 112. Preferably, the top ends of the two vertical sides 111 are formed integrally with the bottom surface of the table top 1 and can be formed during a blow-molding process. However, brackets 11 may be discretely formed with table top 1.

[00221 While the drawings illustrate a pair of elongate brackets, it will be appreciated that each elongate bracket may be replaced with a plurality of discrete, aligned bracket section members placed at various distances along bottom surface of table top 1. Furthermore, while the drawings show one set of brackets to accommodate one drawer, more than one set of brackets may be formed on the table top 1 to accommodate multiple drawers. Moreover, the brackets may be disposed on any side of the table top 1.

[0023] Drawer 2 includes a front-end panel 21, an opposing rear end panel (not shown), a bottom surface and a pair of side panels. The front panel 21 has a cross- section that is wider than a cross-section of the chamber 112 so that the drawer 2 is easily extracted from the chamber. In this embodiment, drawer 2 may include a flange 211 which provides this particular stopping mechanism.

[0024] In view of the foregoing, the drawer 2 can be nested in the brackets 11 as shown in Figure 3. Thus, without adding materials or work procedures, the structure can constitute a table top 1 having a drawer 2. When this table top is in use, common items such as pens, paper, erasers, needles, thread, chopsticks, knives, and forks can be placed in the drawer 2 as needed.

[0025] As shown in Figure 4, in a second embodiment, to increase both the resistance of the brackets 11 to abrasion and the slidable engagement with drawer 2, the inner corners of the brackets 11 are provided with L-shaped angle irons 4.

[0026] As shown in Figure 5, a third embodiment includes a pair of parallel brackets 11. The tops of the two vertical sides 111 form an integral whole with the bottom surface of the table top 1. In this embodiment, the L-shaped angle irons 4 are attached to the vertical portion of brackets 11 to form the horizontal portion of the bracket. Thus, the horizontal portion can be formed discretely from the vertical side 111.

[0027] As shown in Figures 1 and 2, the bottom surface may include a lip formed on at least a portion of the outer periphery thereof. In this embodiment, the bottom surface is not level with the bottom portion of the lip such that a notch must be formed in the lip so that the lip does not impede a drawer 2 from being placed in brackets 11. In this embodiment, the space between brackets 11 may be substantially the same as or smaller than the length of the notch.

[0028] Additionally, in any of the above embodiments, a mechanical stop can be provided at the inside end of the brackets 11 to restrict the distance that the drawer 2 can move. Furthermore, a latch (not shown) may be provided between the drawer 2 and the table top 1 to prevent the drawer from falling out of the brackets 11 when the table is being moved.

[0029] The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its spirit or essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description. All changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.