Patent application title: Expandable Folding Table Top Overlay
Timothy Valeriote (Kelowna, CA)
IPC8 Class: AA47B1308FI
Class name: Horizontally supported planar surfaces plural related horizontal surfaces detachable enlarging or substitute surface
Publication date: 2010-06-10
Patent application number: 20100139531
The present invention is a portable, foldable tabletop made of moldable
composite materials that allows a smaller table area to be increased by
putting a new foldable surface on top of it. The system includes four
equal sized segments that are connected together allowing them to unfold
into a solid single surface that is then connected to the existing table
with under-mounted clamps that are adjustable to any sized table surface.
The unit is lightweight and can be stored in smaller areas do to its low
profile and collapsibility. The rigid under structure combined with the
mounting system provides a secure surface that is able to handle weight
across its entire surface using the primary table beneath as its support.
1) A round horizontal folding surface which comprises four individual
panel segments that are each connected together on one side, including a
flexible hinge unit that connects the panels segments together for the
unfolding and folding, a sliding adjustable mounting support bracket that
holds four panel segments to the existing table, a structural channel
guide for the support brackets to travel along, and a center support plug
which connects all the segments together in the middle.
2) The combination defined in claim 1 wherein the individual panels segments mean a molded quadrant with an engineered sub structure where each segment is one quarter of the total size of the end structure.
3) The combination defined in claim 2 wherein the panel segments have specific support structure layout that interconnect with the other panels when folded together.
4) The combination defined in claim 1 wherein flexible hinged unit means a specific integrated joint or flexible device that allows the turning or pivoting of a quarter panel on a stationary frame.
5) The combination defined in claim 4 wherein the flexible device is constructed with a molded dovetail to allow for a sliding adjustable mounting bracket, `C` clamp, to be attached along it. The before mentioned flexible device runs along the seams of the four panel segments allowing the `C` clamp to bind the panel segments together.
6) A `C` clamp of claim 5 wherein binding means to bring together the panel segments so no cracks appear between the panel segments as well as bring lateral strength to the entire unit.
7) The combination defined in claim 5 wherein sliding adjustable mounting bracket refers to a `C` clamp bracket mechanism attached to the underside of the table device that can be moved in and out towards the center of the table.
8) A `C` clamp of claim 7 wherein said device has a manual screw device that provides holding pressure, via a rubber foot, from the panel segment to underside of the existing table.
9) The combination defined in claim 1, where unfolding means the panels are able to spread out to its final form without being detached from one another.
10) A channel guide of claim 1 refers to a special designed rigid dovetail like receptacle that allows the `C` clamp bracket to move in and out towards the existing table.
11) The combination defined in claim 1 wherein the center support plug allows for the leveling of the horizontal surface and the lateral interconnectivity of the four panel segments.
12) The combination defined in claim 1 wherein the individual panels segments are made from composite moldable materials.
13) The combination defined in claim 5 wherein the `C` clamps and flexible device are made from composite moldable materials.
BACKGROUND OF INVENTION
The basic premise of the invention is to expand the usable space of a traditional rectangle table. The standard size of an eating table is approximately 70 inches by 40 inches with 16 sqf of usable space. The invention uses the simple premise that a round surface can create more usable space in the same room area as a typical rectangle table. By using the diagonal measurement of a typical table as the diameter of the circle you can create a new round table with 34 sqf of usable space.
By creating a round table surface that can be attached on top of an existing rectangle or square table, a person is able to better utilize the room space available. The invention allows for this tabletop to be attached temporarily allowing for a much larger surface area for a variety of uses.
The table utilizes unique hinges that provide for easy folding and storage in small spaces. These hinges allow the table to fold onto itself into quarters so to decrease the storage space required by 75% from a typical non-folding round table.
Utilizing an integrated clamping system along engineered slide channels, the whole table is kept stable from both tipping and folding at the hinge points. A `C` clamp slides along a dovetail joint that runs on the bottom side of the joint. This process binds the two sides of the joint together for a snug fit. The second component of the clamp is to attach the round table top to the existing table. These clamps create a temporary connection between the base table and the new tabletop to ensure they don't separate from each other. The clamp also prevents the tabletop from tipping to one side if pressure is applied to the outer edge to the new tabletop.
Currently there is no collapsible, portable, round, flat structures available, that temporarily connect to an existing rectangle or square tabletop.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The invention relates to a portable flat structure and attachment system that comprises a central round folding table top made from molded plastic or aluminum that uniquely expands to be placed on top of an existing table in order to increase the overall size of the usable space. The device will provide a person the ability to place the tabletop on to an existing table to expand the size of the table and the number of people that may be able to sit around the table. The invention relates to the product design, the hinge system, the folding procedure, the support system, the mounting clamps, the locking mechanism and the general concept.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWING
FIG. 1: represents top view of table unfolded with center plug
FIG. 2: represents a bottom view of the table unfolded with `C` clamps attached
FIG. 3: represents a the top view of the table and how the quadrants can fold
FIG. 4: represents a the bottom view of the table and how the quadrants can fold
FIG. 5: represents a top view of a single table segment
FIG. 6: represents the bottom view of a single table segment and general layout and design of the rib support system
FIG. 7: represents the bottom view of a single table segment and the specific rib design to allow for the table to fold onto itself
FIG. 8: represents all the table segments folded together in its final compact stage
FIG. 9: represents the `C` clamp unit with the mounting screw and flexible head rubber foot
FIG. 10: represents a clamp unit prior to being place on live hinge component
FIG. 11: represents a clamp unit attached to the specific live hinge component
FIG. 12: represents the channel guide for a live hinge component to be attached
FIG. 13: represents a cross section of the live hinge component
FIG. 14: represents the center plug that supports and locks the table segments together
FIG. 15: represents a cross section of the center plug that supports and locks the table segments together
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION
The invention falls in the domain of folding horizontal surface.
The invention relates to a portable collapsible table system for placing on top of existing tables to expand the overall size of the workable space. The system according to the invention creates more usable tabletop space than the existing table structure it is attached to. The invention is a composite tabletop to be attached onto an existing table. The invention is engineered to be collapsible into four segments where the segments are permanently attached together. The segments are connected with plastic hinges that allow them to be folded onto each other and remain connected to each other.
The invention is used by placing the four folded panel segments on an existing table, unfolding the segments, then adding four `C` clamps to the underside of the invention that attaches the segments to the existing table. The `C` clamps slide along a channel guide that allows the invention to be attached to any size of existing table underneath by screwing the rubber foot tight against the existing table. When folded up the panel segments rib design allow it to fold flat against each other to limit the overall thickness of the invention. A center plug acts as a binding component to tie all the segments together in the middle and create a rigid structure overall when un-folded.
The invention has a unique folding system that current inventions do not have. The system incorporates a channel guide unit that connects the segments together and allows for a `C` clamp to slide along it. On like other inventions, the invention is designed to be placed on top of an existing table structure. It does not require it own legs for support as other inventions do. The invention is not a leaf system where each segment comes apart from the whole table. The unique connection design allows the segments to stay attached when folded up, which means the segments are easily put together and transported to a storage location. The invention is made out of plastic or any other moldable material and created using an injection molding manufacturing process.
The invention is made up of four segments that are attached together via plastic hinges that form a round table. FIG. 1
The invention allows for the four segments to be folded up onto themselves in quarters. FIG. 3, FIG. 4, FIG. 8
The invention involves four segments, which when unfolded, are held together with a specific plastic hinge that forms a guide for the connecting clamps to attach to. FIG. 2, FIG. 10, FIG. 11, FIG. 13
The invention involves a guide for the plastic hinges to be attached or replaced easily. FIG. 12
The invention involves unique dovetail connection system to ensure all 4 quadrants are kept bonded together during use. The flexible hinge allows for the segments to be folded flat onto themselves. FIG. 12, FIG. 8
The invention involves a unique `C` clamp unit that provides support to the segments when un-folded, and connects the invention to the existing table beneath. FIG. 9, FIG. 10, FIG. 11
The invention involves a unique nib structure design that allows for the individual segments to fold flat against each other utilizing engineered offset curved support beams. FIG. 2, FIG. 6, FIG. 7
The invention involves a unique segment design that allows the fully expanded tabletop to lie flat against the underlying base table. FIG. 5, FIG. 6, FIG. 7
The invention involves a center support plug to keep the invention segments secure and prevent things from falling through the middle whole. FIG. 14, FIG. 15
Patent applications in class Detachable enlarging or substitute surface
Patent applications in all subclasses Detachable enlarging or substitute surface