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Furniture hinge and folding mechanism

Imported: 13 Feb '17 | Published: 11 Oct '16

USPTO - Utility Patents

Abstract

A bench has first and second benchtop halves. A leg assembly is mounted to each half and collapses independently of the other and is movable between an extended position and a stowed position. A locking hinge pivotally connects the halves and automatically disengages a locking feature of the hinge when one of the leg assemblies is pivoted. The hinge includes first and second hinge members. The second hinge member includes a pawl pin slot and a pawl pin, which slides in the slot between a first position and a second position. Rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member is prevented in the first position and is permitted in the second position. A cable is mounted between the leg assembly and the pawl pin. Pivoting the leg assembly causes the pawl pin to be automatically moved from the first position to the second position.

Description

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of application Ser. No. 14/800,935, entitled “Table Hinge & Folding Mechanism”, filed Jul. 16, 2015. The contents of the '935 application are incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD

The present invention relates to a hinge for a foldable table or bench, and more particularly to a hinge for a center-folding table or bench having a latch that is operated automatically by rotating a leg of the foldable table or bench.

BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY

A conventional table is available for providing a support effect, thereby facilitating the user using the table. However, the conventional table has a fixed structure and cannot be folded when not in use, thereby increasing space of storage, and thereby causing inconvenience in storage, package and transportation.

An objective of the present invention is to provide a foldable article of furniture (such as a table or bench) that is supported rigidly and stably when being expanded and is folded when not in use, thereby enhancing the versatility of foldable table or bench. Another objective of the present invention is to provide a foldable table or bench having a hinge.

A further objective of the present invention is to provide a foldable article of furniture (such as a table or bench) that is folded when not in use, thereby saving space of storage, package and transportation.

Another objective of the present invention is to provide a foldable table having a hinged connection between adjacent table top surfaces that includes a latch that may be placed into a stowed or a use position and wherein the latch is operated automatically by rotating one of the table legs.

Still another objective of the present invention is to provide a foldable bench having a hinged connection between adjacent bench seating surfaces that includes a latch that may be placed into a stowed or a use position and wherein the latch is operated automatically by rotating one of the bench legs.

In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, there is provided a collapsible table having a first tabletop half and a second tabletop half. The first and second tabletop halves each have a substantially planar top surface, a bottom surface opposite the top surface, an inner edge, and an opposing outer edge which is substantially parallel to the inner edge. There are first support tubes disposed along a first edge of each of the first and second table top halves, which are mounted to the bottom surface thereof. Also, second support tubes spaced apart from the first support tubes are disposed along a second edge of each of the first and second table top halves and mounted to the bottom surface thereof.

The table also includes a collapsible leg assembly having a crossbar pivotally mounted between the first and second support tubes of each of the first and second table top halves. Each leg assembly is operable to collapse independently of the other leg assembly and is movable between an extended position and a stowed position.

The table also includes a locking hinge assembly for pivotally connecting together the first and second table top halves and for automatically disengaging a locking feature of the hinge assembly when at least one of the collapsible leg assemblies is moved from the extended position to the stowed position. In particular, the hinge assembly includes a first hinge member and a second hinge member. Each is mounted to one of the first support tubes. The second hinge member has a pawl pin slot configured to receive a pawl pin. Additionally, a third hinge member and a fourth hinge member are each mounted to one of the second support tubes. A hinge pin or rod pivotally connects the first and second hinge members together and pivotally connects the third and fourth hinge members together.

A pawl pin is positioned in the pawl pin slot and slides in the slot between a first position and a second position. The pawl pin engages a notch of the first hinge member in the first position and prevents rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member. The pawl pin disengages the notch of the first hinge member in the second position and allows rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member. A spring member having spring arms engages the pawl pin and biases it toward the first position.

The locking hinge assembly includes a cable having a first end and a second end. The first end of the cable is configured to be fixedly mounted to a portion of the at least one collapsible leg assembly and the second end of the cable is configured to be fixedly mounted to the pawl pin. Pivoting the at least one collapsible leg assembly from an extended position to a stowed position causes the pawl pin to be automatically moved from the first position to the second position. Thereby disengaging the pawl pin from the notch of the first hinge member and allowing rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member.

In accordance with another embodiment of the present invention, there is provided a collapsible article of furniture, such as a foldable table or bench. The article of furniture includes a furniture support surface including a first support surface half and a second support surface half, the first and second support surface halves each having a substantially planar top surface, a bottom surface opposite the top surface, an inner edge, and an opposing outer edge which is substantially parallel to the inner edge. For instance, the article of furniture may include first and second table top surfaces or first and second bench seating surfaces.

The article of furniture also includes a collapsible leg assembly attached to the bottom surface of each of the support surface halves. Each leg assembly is operable to collapse independently of the other leg assembly and is movable between an extended position and a stowed position. Moreover, each leg assembly has a crossbar mounted between side frame members. The crossbar rotates as the respective leg assembly is pivoted from the extended position to the stowed position.

The article of furniture also includes a first and a second support member. Each of the support members has a first end and a second end, and the first end of each support member is pivotably mounted to one of the collapsible leg assemblies.

The article of furniture also includes a locking hinge assembly, which pivotally connects together the first and second support surface halves and automatically disengages a locking feature of the hinge assembly when at least one of the collapsible leg assemblies is moved from the extended position to the stowed position. This hinge assembly includes a first hinge member having a notch for selectively engaging a pawl pin, and a second hinge member which is pivotally connected to the first hinge member. The second hinge member includes a slot configured to receive the pawl pin.

The hinge assembly also includes a hinge rod that rotationally connects the first and second hinge members together and extends across the width of the support surface halves.

The hinge assembly pawl pin has opposite ends and a side surface. The pawl pin is disposed in the slot of the second hinge member and operable to slide in the slot between a first position and a second position. The pawl pin engages the notch of the first hinge member when in the first position, thereby preventing rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member. The pawl pin disengages the notch of the first hinge member when in the second position, thereby allowing rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member.

The article of furniture also includes a cable having a first end and a second end. The first end of the cable is secured to a portion of the at least one collapsible leg assembly. The second end of the cable is secured to the pawl pin, such that moving the at least one collapsible leg assembly from an extended position to a stowed position causes movement of the second end of the cable, thereby moving the pawl pin from the first position to the second position to disengage the pawl pin from the notch.

In addition, the article of furniture includes a third furniture leg assembly. This third leg assembly is mounted to, and extends down from, the hinge rod.

Further benefits and advantages of the present invention will become apparent after a careful reading of the detailed description with appropriate reference to the accompanying drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In a first aspect, the following disclosure relates to a center-folding table having a locking center hinge and collapsible legs or support members. The center-folding table may be placed in an extended or use position and also in a stowed position. In the use position, the locking hinge located between two tabletop halves ensures that the table is not inadvertently collapsed. The present invention allows this locking hinge to be disengaged automatically by simply rotating one of the support stands from the extended position to the stowed position. The locking hinge may be engaged by rotating the support stand from the stowed position to the extended position.

Referring to the drawings, there is provided in FIGS. 1 and 2 a center-folding table 5 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. The table 5 comprises two table boards 1 pivotally connected with each other. Each of the two table boards 1 has a bottom formed with a receiving space 11. The receiving space 11 of each of the two table boards 1 has two sides each provided with a support tube 14 secured on each of the two table boards 1 by a plurality of screws.

The table 5 also includes two support units 4, which are each foldably mounted on a respective one of the two table boards 1. Each of the support units 4 includes a support stand 2 that is mounted in the receiving space 11 of a respective one of the two table boards 1. As shown in FIGS. 2, 5 and 8, each support stand 2 has a crossbar member 80 that spans the width of the table 5 and has opposing ends 82 that extend through openings 84 in the support tubes 14. The openings 84 are sized and configured to permit the crossbar 80 to rotate within the opening.

Each support unit 4 also includes a support member 3, which includes a substantially straight support bar 30 mounted to a substantially V-shaped extension bar 31. The opposite end of the extension bar 31 is pivotally mounted at a mediate portion of the support stand 2. The opposite end of the support bar 30 is pivotally mounted to a portion of a hinge assembly 12 connecting the two table boards 1, as discussed below. The support units 4 are configured to rotate from an extended position, shown in FIG. 2, to a stowed position, shown in FIG. 5.

The two table boards 1 are pivotally connected with each other by two pivot members 12, which are also referred to herein as hinge assemblies 12, and are configured to rotate from an extended position, shown in FIG. 1, to a stowed position, shown in FIG. 9. As shown in FIGS. 2, 5 and 8, each of the hinge assemblies 12 includes two hinge members 50 and 52 pivotally connected together by a hinge pin 56 which passes through apertures 50a and 52a in circular tabs 50c and 52c of the hinge members 50 and 52. A single pin 56 spans the width of the table, along the intersection of the two table boards 1, and an end of the pin connects together each of the hinge assemblies 12. The support bar 30 mentioned above is pivotally mounted to the pin 56.

On either side of the hinge member 52 are slots 52b through which passes a pawl pin 58. The pawl pin 58 also passes through slots 52b on either side of the hinge member 52. The pawl pin 58 is operable to slide laterally in the slots 52b between a first position and a second position. As shown best in FIG. 4, in the first position, the pawl pin 58 engages notches 50b in the tabs 50c of the hinge member 50, thereby preventing rotation of the hinge member 50 with respect to the hinge member 52. In the second position, shown in FIG. 7, the pawl pin 58 disengages the notches 50b, thereby allowing rotation of the hinge member 50 with respect to the hinge member 52.

A spring 62 is connected to the hinge member 52 by way of a spring pin 60. The spring pin 60 passes through apertures 52d in the hinge member 52 (FIG. 8) and through a coil 62c formed in the spring 62. The spring 62 has spring arms 62a extending from the coil 62c that engage the pawl pin 58. Due to tension in the coil 62c, the spring arms 62a constantly press against the pawl pin 58, thereby urging the pawl pin 58 toward the first position in the slots 52b.

The table 5 also includes a cable 86, which is disposed along the length of one of the table boards 1 parallel with the respective support tube 14 and connects the pawl pin 58 to the crossbar 80. The cable 86 enables the pawl pin to be moved from the first position to the second position automatically (and vice versa) when the support stand 2 is rotated.

As shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, the cable 86 includes a first end 88A and a second end 88B. The first end 88A is mounted to the crossbar member 80 proximate one of the ends 82. The cable 86 is fixedly mounted to the crossbar member 80, such that rotational movement of the crossbar also causes the first end 88A of the cable to move. As shown in FIG. 2-4, when the support stand 2 is in an extended position, the end 88A of the cable 86 is disposed along a rightward-facing surface of the crossbar 80, the pawl pin 58 is in the first position engaging the notch 50b, and rotation of the hinge members 50 and 52 with respect to one another is prevented. On the other hand, as shown in FIGS. 5-7, when the support stand 2 is in a stowed position, the end 88A of the cable 86 is disposed along a downward-facing surface of the crossbar 80, the pawl pin 58 is in the second position not engaging the notch 50b, and rotation of the hinge members 50 and 52 with respect to one another is permitted. Accordingly, the pawl pin 58 may be disengaged automatically by simply rotating one of the support stands 2 from an extended position to a stowed position and engaged by rotating the support stand from the stowed position to the extended position.

In a second aspect, the following disclosure relates to a center-folding article of furniture having a locking center hinge and collapsible legs or support members. For instance, the article of furniture may be a folding table or bench. In the case of a bench, the center-folding bench may be placed in an extended or use position and also in a stowed position. In the use position, the locking hinge located between two benchtop halves ensures that the bench is not inadvertently collapsed. The present invention allows this locking hinge to be disengaged automatically by simply rotating one of the legs or support stands from the extended position to the stowed position. The locking hinge may be engaged by rotating the support stand from the stowed position to the extended position.

Referring to the drawings, there is provided in FIGS. 10 and 11 a center-folding bench 105 in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. The bench 105 comprises two seating surface halves 101 pivotally connected with each other. Each of the two seating surface halves 101 has a bottom formed with a receiving space 111. The receiving space 111 of each of the seating surface halves 101 has two sides each provided with a frame member 114 secured on each of the two seating surface halves 101 by a plurality of screws.

The bench 105 also includes two support units (leg assemblies) 104, which are each foldably mounted on a respective one of the two seating surface halves 101. Each of the support units 104 includes a leg or support stand 102 that is mounted in the receiving space 111 of a respective one of the seating surface halves 101. As shown in FIGS. 11 and 14, each support stand 102 has a crossbar member 180 that spans the width of the bench 105 and has opposing ends 182 that extend through openings 184 in the frame members 114. The openings 184 are sized and configured to permit the crossbar 180 to rotate within the opening.

Each support unit 104 also includes at least one support member 103, and preferably two support members 103. Each support member 103 includes a folding leg brace 130, having first and second ends. The first end of the folding leg brace 130 is pivotally mounted to a portion of the support stand 102. The second end of the folding leg brace 130 is pivotally mounted to a portion of one of the frame members 114 secured to the seating surface halves 101. The support units 104 are configured to rotate from an extended position, shown in FIG. 11, to a stowed position, shown in FIG. 14.

The two seating surface halves 101 are pivotally connected with each other by two pivot members 112, which are also referred to herein as hinge assemblies 112, and are configured to rotate from an extended position, shown in FIG. 10, to a stowed position, shown in FIG. 18. As shown in FIGS. 11, 14 and 17, each of the hinge assemblies 112 includes two hinge members 150 and 152 pivotally connected together by a hinge pin 156 which passes through apertures 150a and 152a in circular tabs 150c and 152c of the hinge members 150 and 152. A single pin 156 spans the width of the bench, along the intersection of the two seating surface halves 101, and an end of the pin connects together each of the hinge assemblies 112.

The bench 105 also preferably includes a third leg assembly or support stand 108 which is centrally located about the intersection of the two seating surface halves 101. This third leg assembly 108 is attached to the hinge pin or rod 156 which extends across the width of the bench. The third leg assembly 108 may also be connected to both of the seating surface halves 101 by a plurality of folding leg braces 110. These support members 110 are pivotally connected to the third leg assembly 108 and are preferably both pivotally and slidingly connected to the respective seating surface halves 101.

On either side of the hinge member 152 are slots 152b through which passes a pawl pin 158. The pawl pin 158 also passes through slots 152b on either side of the hinge member 152. The pawl pin 158 is operable to slide laterally in the slots 152b between a first position and a second position. As shown best in FIG. 13, in the first position, the pawl pin 158 engages notches 150b in the tabs 150c of the hinge member 150, thereby preventing rotation of the hinge member 150 with respect to the hinge member 152. In the second position, shown in FIG. 16, the pawl pin 158 disengages the notches 150b, thereby allowing rotation of the hinge member 150 with respect to the hinge member 152.

A spring 162 is connected to the hinge member 152 by way of a spring pin 160. The spring pin 160 passes through apertures 152d in the hinge member 152 (FIG. 17) and through a coil 162c formed in the spring 162. The spring 162 has spring arms 162a extending from the coil 162c that engage the pawl pin 158. Due to tension in the coil 62c, the spring arms 162a constantly press against the pawl pin 158, thereby urging the pawl pin 158 toward the first position in the slots 152b.

The bench 105 also includes a cable 186, which is disposed along the length of one of the seating surface halves 101 parallel with the respective support tube 114 and connects the pawl pin 158 to the crossbar 180. The cable 186 enables the pawl pin to be moved from the first position to the second position automatically (and vice versa) when the support stand 102 is rotated.

As shown in FIGS. 15 and 16, the cable 186 includes a first end 188A and a second end 188B. The first end 188A is mounted to the crossbar member 180 proximate one of the ends 182. The cable 186 is fixedly mounted to the crossbar member 180, such that rotational movement of the crossbar also causes the first end 188A of the cable to move. As shown in FIG. 11-13, when the support stand 102 is in an extended position, the end 188A of the cable 186 is disposed along a rightward-facing surface of the crossbar 180, the pawl pin 158 is in the first position engaging the notch 150b, and rotation of the hinge members 150 and 152 with respect to one another is prevented. On the other hand, as shown in FIGS. 14-16, when the support stand 102 is in a stowed position, the end 188A of the cable 186 is disposed along a downward-facing surface of the crossbar 180, the pawl pin 158 is in the second position not engaging the notch 150b, and rotation of the hinge members 150 and 152 with respect to one another is permitted. Accordingly, the pawl pin 154 may be disengaged automatically by simply rotating one of the support stands 102 from an extended position to a stowed position and engaged by rotating the support stand from the stowed position to the extended position.

The foregoing description of preferred embodiments for this invention have been presented for purposes of illustration and description. They are not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the invention to the precise form disclosed. Obvious modifications or variations are possible in light of the above teachings. The embodiments are chosen and described in an effort to provide the best illustrations of the principles of the invention and its practical application, and to thereby enable one of ordinary skill in the art to utilize the invention in various embodiments and with various modifications as are suited to the particular use contemplated. All such modifications and variations are within the scope of the invention as determined by the appended claims when interpreted in accordance with the breadth to which they are fairly, legally, and equitably entitled.

Claims

1. A furniture and locking hinge assembly for pivotally connecting together furniture support surface halves and for automatically disengaging a locking feature of the hinge assembly when a furniture leg is pivoted from an extended position to a stowed position, the assembly comprising:
first and second support surface halves, each support surface half having a first side frame member mounted to the support surface half and disposed along a first edge thereof and a second side frame member mounted to the support surface half and disposed along a second edge thereof;
a first furniture leg having a crossbar rotatably mounted between the first and second side frame members of the first support surface half and a second furniture leg having a crossbar rotatably mounted between the first and second side frame members of the second support surface half, wherein each crossbar rotates as the respective furniture leg is pivoted from an extended position to a stowed position;
a first support member pivotably mounted to the first furniture leg and a second support member pivotably mounted to the second furniture leg;
a first hinge member mounted to the first support surface half and having a notch for selectively engaging a pawl pin;
a second hinge member mounted to the second support surface half and pivotally connected to the first hinge member for pivotally connecting together the support surface halves, the second hinge member having a slot configured to receive the pawl pin;
a hinge rod that rotationally connects the first and second hinge members together and extends across the width of the support surface halves;
the pawl pin disposed in the slot of the second hinge member and operable to slide in the slot between a first position and a second position,
wherein the pawl pin engages the notch of the first hinge member when in the first position, thereby preventing rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member, and
wherein the pawl pin disengages the notch of the first hinge member when in the second position, thereby allowing rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member;
a third furniture leg mounted to, and extending down from, the hinge rod; and
a cable having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end of the cable is secured to a portion of the first furniture leg and the second end of the cable is secured to the pawl pin, such that moving the first furniture leg from an extended position to a stowed position causes movement of the second end of the cable, thereby moving the pawl pin from the first position to the second position to disengage the pawl pin from the notch.
first and second support surface halves, each support surface half having a first side frame member mounted to the support surface half and disposed along a first edge thereof and a second side frame member mounted to the support surface half and disposed along a second edge thereof;
a first furniture leg having a crossbar rotatably mounted between the first and second side frame members of the first support surface half and a second furniture leg having a crossbar rotatably mounted between the first and second side frame members of the second support surface half, wherein each crossbar rotates as the respective furniture leg is pivoted from an extended position to a stowed position;
a first support member pivotably mounted to the first furniture leg and a second support member pivotably mounted to the second furniture leg;
a first hinge member mounted to the first support surface half and having a notch for selectively engaging a pawl pin;
a second hinge member mounted to the second support surface half and pivotally connected to the first hinge member for pivotally connecting together the support surface halves, the second hinge member having a slot configured to receive the pawl pin;
a hinge rod that rotationally connects the first and second hinge members together and extends across the width of the support surface halves;
the pawl pin disposed in the slot of the second hinge member and operable to slide in the slot between a first position and a second position,
wherein the pawl pin engages the notch of the first hinge member when in the first position, thereby preventing rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member, and
wherein the pawl pin disengages the notch of the first hinge member when in the second position, thereby allowing rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member;
a third furniture leg mounted to, and extending down from, the hinge rod; and
a cable having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end of the cable is secured to a portion of the first furniture leg and the second end of the cable is secured to the pawl pin, such that moving the first furniture leg from an extended position to a stowed position causes movement of the second end of the cable, thereby moving the pawl pin from the first position to the second position to disengage the pawl pin from the notch.
wherein the pawl pin engages the notch of the first hinge member when in the first position, thereby preventing rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member, and
wherein the pawl pin disengages the notch of the first hinge member when in the second position, thereby allowing rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member;
2. The assembly of claim 1 further comprising a spring member having spring arms that engage the pawl pin and urge the pawl pin toward the first position.
3. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the first and second hinge members are connected together by a hinge pin.
4. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the first and second hinge members are configured for placement adjacent the first edge of the support surface halves, and further comprising third and fourth hinge members configured for placement adjacent the second edge of the support surface halves.
5. The assembly of claim 4 wherein the hinge rod rotationally connects the first and second hinge members together, extends across the width of the support surface halves, and rotationally connects the third and fourth hinge members.
6. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the article of furniture comprises a table, and the first and second support surface halves each comprise a table top half.
7. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the article of furniture comprises a bench, and the first and second support surface halves each comprise a bench seating surface.
8. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the first end of the cable is disposed inside one of the side frame members.
9. A collapsible article of furniture comprising:
a furniture support surface comprising a first support surface half and a second support surface half, the first and second support surface halves each having a substantially planar top surface, a bottom surface opposite the top surface, an inner edge, and an opposing outer edge which is substantially parallel to the inner edge;
a collapsible leg assembly attached to the bottom surface of each of the support surface halves, wherein each leg assembly is operable to collapse independently of the other leg assembly and is movable between an extended position and a stowed position, and wherein each leg assembly has a crossbar mounted between side frame members, the crossbar rotating as the respective leg assembly is pivoted from the extended position to the stowed position;
a first and a second support member, each having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end of each support member is pivotably mounted to one of the collapsible leg assemblies;
a locking hinge assembly for pivotally connecting together the first and second support surface halves and for automatically disengaging a locking feature of the hinge assembly when at least one of the collapsible leg assemblies is moved from the extended position to the stowed position, the hinge assembly comprising:
a first hinge member having a notch for selectively engaging a pawl pin;
a second hinge member pivotally connected to the first hinge member, the second hinge member having a slot configured to receive the pawl pin;
a hinge rod that rotationally connects the first and second hinge members together and extends across the width of the support surface halves;
the pawl pin having opposite ends and a side surface, the pawl pin disposed in the slot of the second hinge member and operable to slide in the slot between a first position and a second position;
wherein the pawl pin engages the notch of the first hinge member when in the first position, thereby preventing rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member; and
wherein the pawl pin disengages the notch of the first hinge member when in the second position, thereby allowing rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member; and
a cable having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end of the cable is secured to a portion of the at least one collapsible leg assembly and the second end of the cable is secured to the pawl pin, such that moving the at least one collapsible leg assembly from an extended position to a stowed position causes movement of the second end of the cable, thereby moving the pawl pin from the first position to the second position to disengage the pawl pin from the notch; and
a furniture leg assembly mounted to, and extending down from, the hinge rod.
a furniture support surface comprising a first support surface half and a second support surface half, the first and second support surface halves each having a substantially planar top surface, a bottom surface opposite the top surface, an inner edge, and an opposing outer edge which is substantially parallel to the inner edge;
a collapsible leg assembly attached to the bottom surface of each of the support surface halves, wherein each leg assembly is operable to collapse independently of the other leg assembly and is movable between an extended position and a stowed position, and wherein each leg assembly has a crossbar mounted between side frame members, the crossbar rotating as the respective leg assembly is pivoted from the extended position to the stowed position;
a first and a second support member, each having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end of each support member is pivotably mounted to one of the collapsible leg assemblies;
a locking hinge assembly for pivotally connecting together the first and second support surface halves and for automatically disengaging a locking feature of the hinge assembly when at least one of the collapsible leg assemblies is moved from the extended position to the stowed position, the hinge assembly comprising:
a first hinge member having a notch for selectively engaging a pawl pin;
a second hinge member pivotally connected to the first hinge member, the second hinge member having a slot configured to receive the pawl pin;
a hinge rod that rotationally connects the first and second hinge members together and extends across the width of the support surface halves;
the pawl pin having opposite ends and a side surface, the pawl pin disposed in the slot of the second hinge member and operable to slide in the slot between a first position and a second position;
wherein the pawl pin engages the notch of the first hinge member when in the first position, thereby preventing rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member; and
wherein the pawl pin disengages the notch of the first hinge member when in the second position, thereby allowing rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member; and
a cable having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end of the cable is secured to a portion of the at least one collapsible leg assembly and the second end of the cable is secured to the pawl pin, such that moving the at least one collapsible leg assembly from an extended position to a stowed position causes movement of the second end of the cable, thereby moving the pawl pin from the first position to the second position to disengage the pawl pin from the notch; and
a furniture leg assembly mounted to, and extending down from, the hinge rod.
a first hinge member having a notch for selectively engaging a pawl pin;
a second hinge member pivotally connected to the first hinge member, the second hinge member having a slot configured to receive the pawl pin;
a hinge rod that rotationally connects the first and second hinge members together and extends across the width of the support surface halves;
the pawl pin having opposite ends and a side surface, the pawl pin disposed in the slot of the second hinge member and operable to slide in the slot between a first position and a second position;
wherein the pawl pin engages the notch of the first hinge member when in the first position, thereby preventing rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member; and
wherein the pawl pin disengages the notch of the first hinge member when in the second position, thereby allowing rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member; and
a cable having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end of the cable is secured to a portion of the at least one collapsible leg assembly and the second end of the cable is secured to the pawl pin, such that moving the at least one collapsible leg assembly from an extended position to a stowed position causes movement of the second end of the cable, thereby moving the pawl pin from the first position to the second position to disengage the pawl pin from the notch; and
10. The collapsible article of furniture of claim 9 further comprising a spring member having spring arms that engage the pawl pin and urge the pawl pin toward the first position.
11. The collapsible article of furniture of claim 9 wherein the first and second hinge members are connected together by a hinge pin.
12. The collapsible article of furniture of claim 9, wherein the article of furniture comprises a table, and the first and second support surface halves each comprise a table top half.
13. The collapsible article of furniture of claim 9, wherein the article of furniture comprises a bench, and the first and second support surface halves each comprise a bench seating surface.
14. The collapsible article of furniture of claim 9, wherein the first and second hinge members are configured for placement adjacent a first edge of the support surface halves, and further comprising third and fourth hinge members configured for placement adjacent a second edge of the support surface halves.
15. The collapsible article of furniture of claim 14 wherein the hinge rod rotationally connects the first and second hinge members together, extends across the width of the support surface halves, and rotationally connects the third and fourth hinge members.
16. The collapsible article of furniture of claim 9, wherein the first end of the cable is disposed inside one of the side frame members.
17. A collapsible article of furniture comprising:
a furniture support surface comprising a first support surface half and a second support surface half, the first and second support surface halves each having a substantially planar top surface, a bottom surface opposite the top surface, an inner edge, and an opposing outer edge which is substantially parallel to the inner edge;
first frame members disposed along a first edge of each of the first and second support surface halves and mounted to the bottom surface thereof;
second frame members spaced apart from the first frame members and disposed along a second edge of each of the first and second support surface halves and mounted to the bottom surface thereof;
a collapsible leg assembly having a crossbar pivotally mounted between the first and second frame members of each of the first and second support surface halves, wherein each leg assembly is operable to collapse independently of the other leg assembly and is movable between an extended position and a stowed position;
a first and a second support member, each having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end of each support member is pivotably mounted to one of the collapsible leg assemblies;
a locking hinge assembly for pivotally connecting together the first and second support surface halves and for automatically disengaging a locking feature of the hinge assembly when at least one of the collapsible leg assemblies is moved from the extended position to the stowed position, the hinge assembly comprising:
a first hinge member having a notch for selectively engaging a pawl pin;
a second hinge member having a slot configured to receive the pawl pin;
a third hinge member and a fourth hinge member;
wherein each of the first and second hinge members is secured to one of the first frame members and each of the third and fourth hinge members is secured to one of the second frame members;
a hinge rod for rotationally connecting the first and second hinge members together and for rotationally connecting the third and fourth hinge members together;
the pawl pin disposed in the slot of the second hinge member and operable to slide in the slot between a first position and a second position;
wherein the pawl pin engages the notch of the first hinge member when in the first position, thereby preventing rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member;
wherein the pawl pin disengages the notch of the first hinge member when in the second position, thereby allowing rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member;
a spring member having spring arms that engage the pawl pin and urge the pawl pin toward the first position; and
a cable having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end of the cable is secured to a portion of the at least one collapsible leg assembly and the second end of the cable is secured to the pawl pin, such that moving the at least one collapsible leg assembly from an extended position to a stowed position causes movement of the second end of the cable, thereby moving the pawl pin from the first position to the second position to disengage the pawl pin from the notch; and
a third leg assembly mounted to, and extending down from, the hinge rod.
a furniture support surface comprising a first support surface half and a second support surface half, the first and second support surface halves each having a substantially planar top surface, a bottom surface opposite the top surface, an inner edge, and an opposing outer edge which is substantially parallel to the inner edge;
first frame members disposed along a first edge of each of the first and second support surface halves and mounted to the bottom surface thereof;
second frame members spaced apart from the first frame members and disposed along a second edge of each of the first and second support surface halves and mounted to the bottom surface thereof;
a collapsible leg assembly having a crossbar pivotally mounted between the first and second frame members of each of the first and second support surface halves, wherein each leg assembly is operable to collapse independently of the other leg assembly and is movable between an extended position and a stowed position;
a first and a second support member, each having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end of each support member is pivotably mounted to one of the collapsible leg assemblies;
a locking hinge assembly for pivotally connecting together the first and second support surface halves and for automatically disengaging a locking feature of the hinge assembly when at least one of the collapsible leg assemblies is moved from the extended position to the stowed position, the hinge assembly comprising:
a first hinge member having a notch for selectively engaging a pawl pin;
a second hinge member having a slot configured to receive the pawl pin;
a third hinge member and a fourth hinge member;
wherein each of the first and second hinge members is secured to one of the first frame members and each of the third and fourth hinge members is secured to one of the second frame members;
a hinge rod for rotationally connecting the first and second hinge members together and for rotationally connecting the third and fourth hinge members together;
the pawl pin disposed in the slot of the second hinge member and operable to slide in the slot between a first position and a second position;
wherein the pawl pin engages the notch of the first hinge member when in the first position, thereby preventing rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member;
wherein the pawl pin disengages the notch of the first hinge member when in the second position, thereby allowing rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member;
a spring member having spring arms that engage the pawl pin and urge the pawl pin toward the first position; and
a cable having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end of the cable is secured to a portion of the at least one collapsible leg assembly and the second end of the cable is secured to the pawl pin, such that moving the at least one collapsible leg assembly from an extended position to a stowed position causes movement of the second end of the cable, thereby moving the pawl pin from the first position to the second position to disengage the pawl pin from the notch; and
a third leg assembly mounted to, and extending down from, the hinge rod.
a first hinge member having a notch for selectively engaging a pawl pin;
a second hinge member having a slot configured to receive the pawl pin;
a third hinge member and a fourth hinge member;
wherein each of the first and second hinge members is secured to one of the first frame members and each of the third and fourth hinge members is secured to one of the second frame members;
a hinge rod for rotationally connecting the first and second hinge members together and for rotationally connecting the third and fourth hinge members together;
the pawl pin disposed in the slot of the second hinge member and operable to slide in the slot between a first position and a second position;
wherein the pawl pin engages the notch of the first hinge member when in the first position, thereby preventing rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member;
wherein the pawl pin disengages the notch of the first hinge member when in the second position, thereby allowing rotation of the first hinge member with respect to the second hinge member;
a spring member having spring arms that engage the pawl pin and urge the pawl pin toward the first position; and
a cable having a first end and a second end, wherein the first end of the cable is secured to a portion of the at least one collapsible leg assembly and the second end of the cable is secured to the pawl pin, such that moving the at least one collapsible leg assembly from an extended position to a stowed position causes movement of the second end of the cable, thereby moving the pawl pin from the first position to the second position to disengage the pawl pin from the notch; and
18. The collapsible article of furniture of claim 17, wherein the first and second hinge members are connected together by a hinge pin.
19. The collapsible article of furniture of claim 17, wherein the article of furniture comprises a table, and the first and second support surface halves each comprise a table top half.
20. The collapsible article of furniture of claim 17, wherein the article of furniture comprises a bench, and the first and second support surface halves each comprise a bench seating surface.
21. The collapsible article of furniture of claim 17, wherein the first end of the cable is disposed inside one of the side frame members.