Patent application title: CONVERTIBLE DESK
Enrico Raccah (Miami, FL, US)
Racca Enterprises, Inc.
IPC8 Class: AA47B8500FI
Class name: Horizontally supported planar surfaces convertible
Publication date: 2013-02-07
Patent application number: 20130032062
A convertible desk comprises a first furniture module, a second furniture
module, and a bridge for joining the modules together. The first module
maybe a file cart, and the second module may be a chest of drawers.
Notches are formed at the upper ends of the modules, and the bridge fits
into notches to form a continuous planar horizontal surface for a desk
top. Connections, such as depending pins, and cavities to receive the
pins, are located at each corner of the bridge, to retain the bridge in a
fixed position. When the user wishes to covert the desk to another piece
of furniture, such as a storage unit, the pins on the bridge are removed
from the cavities and the bridge is set aside so that the modules are
free to be re-arranged in an abutting or side-by-side manner.
1. A convertible desk comprising: a) a first furniture module, having a
base, at top, and at least one wall extending vertically therebetween, b)
a first notch defined at the upper end of said first module, at the
intersection of said top and said vertically extending wall, c) a second
furniture module having a base, a top, and at least one wall extending
vertically therebetween, d) a second notch defined at the upper end of
the second module, at the intersection of said top and said vertically
extending wall, e) a bridge fitting into said notches, f) said notches
being deep enough to receive the thickness of said bridge, g) connections
are defined between said notches on said first and second modules and the
underside of said bridge, whereby h) said bridge forms a planar surface
with the upper ends of said modules to define a desk top, and the space
between the modules and beneath the bridge forms a kneehole opening
adapted to receive a desk chair.
2. The convertible desk as recited in claim 1, wherein said connectors comprise depending pins on the underside of said bridge that fit into upwardly opening cavities in the first and second furniture modules.
3. The convertible desk as recited in claim 2, wherein said bridge is rectangular in shape, and said pins are located at each corner of said bridge.
4. The convertible desk as recited in claim 1, wherein said first module comprises a file cart, said file cart comprising a top, a base, and columns, extending vertically between the base and the top, and a plurality of horizontally extending shelves.
5. The convertible desk as recited in claim 4, further comprising a vertically extending wall that encloses one side of said file cart.
6. The convertible desk, as recited in claim 4, further comprising casters secured to the file cart for allowing said cart to be moved.
7. The convertible desk as recited in claim 1, wherein said second furniture module comprises a chest of drawers.
8. The convertible desk as recited in claim 7, further comprising casters secured to said chest of drawers for allowing said chest of drawers to be freely moved.
9. The convertible desk as recited in claim 1, wherein removal of said bridge permits said first furniture module and second furniture module to be re-arranged into a different configuration.
10. The convertible desk as recited in claim 9, wherein said first and second furniture modules can be re-arranged into an abutting, side-by-side relationship, to define a storage assembly.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 The invention relates to a convertible desk comprising a first furniture module, a second furniture module, and a bridge for joining the modules together to form a desk. Upon removal of the bridge, the furniture modules can be re-arranged to function as a different piece of furniture.
 Furniture units that may be reconfigured to serve two, or more, purposes are known. To illustrate, U.S. Pat. No. 6,422,668, granted Jul. 23, 2002 to James O. Kelley et al., shows a combination credenza and desk.
 More specifically, Kelley et al. discloses a furniture unit that comprises a closed-face credenza (10) that folds out to form an L-shaped desk (11). The unit comprises a stationary desk having a partially open front, with a kneehole opening (84). A moveable return (13) is pivotally mounted at one side of the desk; the return comprises a vertical face panel (34) and a work surface (42) mounted at a rear side of the face panel, as shown in FIG. 2. The return is pivoted between a closed portion, wherein the face panel covers the open portion of the front of the desk and the return is concealed behind the face panel, as shown in FIG. 1, and an open position wherein the face panel is pivoted outward from the front of the desk, exposing the kneehole opening in the desk.
 In accordance with the principles of the invention, applicant discloses a convertible desk comprising a first furniture module, a second furniture module, and a bridge for joining the modules together to form a desk with a knee-hole opening. The modules are versatile and may assume diverse forms. In the preferred embodiment, the first module assumes the form of a file storage unit and the second unit assumes the form of a chest of drawers. The bridge is a rectangular member that defines, with the first and second modules, a continuous, unbroken, horizontal plane that serves as a desk top.
 The first and second furniture modules are mounted on casters or rollers. Consequently, when the bridge is removed from engagement with the first and second modules, one module may be moved relative to the other module, so that the modules are in an abutting relationship. The modules, when re-arranged in such manner, function as a storage assembly, as contrasted with a desk.
 A first notch is located at the intersection of the side wall of the first furniture module and the top of the first module. A second notch is located at the intersection of the side wall and the top of the second module. The thickness of the bridge corresponds to the depth of the notches, so that the bridge fits completely into the notches.
 Pins, or other mechanical fasteners, depend from the bridge, at each corner thereof. Matching cavities are defined at the upper ends of the side walls of the first and second furniture modules. The pins depend downwardly into the cavities to lock the bridge in a fixed position, and define a desk. The pins are withdrawn from the cavities when one wishes to convert the desk into a different piece of furniture, such as a storage unit.
 The convertible desk is versatile, and allows the user to reconfigure same to meet the limited spatial arrangement requirements of a dormitory, urban apartment, or office. The ability to re-configure the desk to meet other demands, without resorting to tools for joining the module together, is a significant advantage of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 These and/or other aspects and advantages of the invention will become apparent and more readily appreciated from the following description of the embodiments, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings of which:
 FIG. 1 is a perspective of a convertible desk constructed in accordance with the principles of applicant's invention;
 FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the desk of FIG. 1;
 FIG. 3 is a front elevational view of the desk of FIG. 1;
 FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the desk of FIG. 1;
 FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the desk of FIG. 1, but re-configured as a chest of drawers and a file storage unit;
 FIG. 6 is a top plan view of the chest of drawers and filed storage unit of FIG. 5;
 FIG. 7 is a front elevational view of the chest of drawers and file storage unit of FIG. 5;
 FIG. 8 is a side elevational view of the drawers of FIG. 5, such view being taken from the fright side of the chest of drawers;
 FIGS. 9-14 show the sequence of steps undertaken to convert the desk of FIG. 1 in to the chest of drawers and file storage unite of FIG. 5; and
 FIG. 15 shows a connection for joining the bridge of the convertible desk of FIG. 1 to a first or second furniture module.
 Referring to FIGS. 1-4 of the drawings, applicant's convertible desk is indicated, generally, by reference numeral 10. Desk 10 comprises three major components, namely file cart 12, chest of drawers 14, and bridge 16 which spans the opening between file cart 12 and chest of drawers 14.
 File cart 12 comprises a rectangular base 18, with casters or wheels 20, secured to the corners of the base. Columns 22 and 24 extend upwardly from one side of base 18, and top 26 closes the upper end of the cart. The cart 12 is open on three sides, but vertically extending wall 28 extends between base 18 and top 26, which are parallel to one another. Two, or more, horizontally extending shelves 30 and 32, complete cart 12.
 Bridge 16 is a horizontally extending rectangular member that fits between file cart 12 and chest of drawers 14; and securely joins the cart and chest of drawers together. Bridge 16 is rectangular in shape. Mechanical connections on the underside of bridge 16, not visible in FIGS. 1-4, but shown in FIG. 15, join the cart, bridge, and chest of drawers together. Bridge 16 possesses the same thickness as the top 26 of file cart 12 and the top of chest of drawers 14. Bridge 16 fits into notch 27 at the upper end of file cart 12, and into notch 29 at the upper end of chest of drawers 14. Notches 27 and 29 are shown in FIG. 2, and also in FIG. 5. The depth of the notches 27, 29 corresponds to the thickness of bridge 16, so that the bridge 16, when seated, forms a continuous planar, horizontal surface level with the upper end of cart 12 and chest of drawers 14. The planar, horizontal surface functions as a desk top.
 Chest of drawers 14 comprises left side wall 34, a large bottom drawer 36, and three smaller drawers 38, 40, and 42. The right side wall, which is parallel to left side wall 34, is not visible. Top 44 completes the upper end of chest of drawers 14. Casters 46, or wheels, are secured to each corner of the chest of drawers 14, so that the chest can easily be moved. A large kneehole opening 48 is formed below bridge 16 and extends between cart 12 and chest of drawers 14. A desk chair (not shown) may be inserted into the opening so that one can use bridge 16 as a desk top.
 FIG. 5 depicts convertible desk 10 of FIGS. 1-4 reconfigured as a compact storage unit 50. The storage unit, which occupies less space than desk 10, is achieved by re-arranging the components of convertible desk 10. To illustrate, bridge 16 is removed from desk 10, and chest of drawers 14, and file cart 12 and chest of drawers 14 are aligned, and may be joined together, in a side-by-side manner. Kneehole opening 48 is sacrificed in the interest of a more compact, space saving arrangement for storage unit 50.
 Storage unit 50 comprises chest of drawers 14 and file cart 12 arranged in an abutting side-by-side relationship. Bridge 16 has been removed and no longer spans the kneehole opening 48 in convertible desk 10. Whereas file cart 12 is located to the right of chest of drawers 14 as part of the convertible desk 10, file cart 12 now appears at the left of chest of drawers 14, to form storage unit 50. The details of storage unit 50 are shown in FIGS. 5-8.
 FIGS. 9-14 show the sequence of steps required to convert desk 10, seen in FIGS. 1-4, into storage cabinet 50, shown in FIGS. 5-8. The casters or wheels have been omitted from file cart 12 and chest of drawers 14 to simplify the drawings.
 FIG. 9 shows the convertible desk 10 in the usual configuration of file cart 12, chest of drawers 14 and bridge 16, that cooperate to define kneehole opening 48 in the desk. A desk chair (not shown) may be moved into the opening, so that a person seated on the chair may attend to work upon the upper surface of bridge 16.
 FIG. 10 shows one end of bridge 16 disengaged the notch at the upper end of file cart 12. Bridge 16 may pivot downwardly relative to chest of drawers 14, and/or may be lifted upwardly out of engagement with file cart 12 and chest of drawers 14. File cart 12 is now available for movement.
 FIGS. 11-13 shows file cart 12 in the process of movement relative to chest of drawers 14. Bridge 16 is removed from engagement with chest of drawers 14, and may be placed in storage until needed again. FIG. 11 shows file cart 12 moved forward relative to chest of drawers 14, FIG. 12 shows file cart 12 moving in front of the chest of drawers 14, and FIG. 13 shows file cart 12 moved to the left side of chest of drawers 14.
 FIG. 14 shows file cart 12 positioned at the left side of chest of drawers 14, in an abutting, parallel relationship. The conversion of the desk 10, as shown in FIG. 1, into storage unit 50, as shown in FIG. 5, has been completed. The procedure may be reversed. When the user wishes to convert storage unit 50 into desk 10; bridge 16 is postured, again, in notches 47, 49 at the upper ends of file cart 12 and chest of drawers 14.
 FIG. 15 shows a connection for joining bridge 16 to sidewall 28 of file cart 12. A connection is located in each corner of bridge 16. Only a representative portion of bridge 16 is visible. A connector pin 52 is affixed to each corner of bridge 16, which is rectangular in shape. Pin 52 fits snugly into upwardly opening cavity 54 in sidewall 28 of file cart 12. Two cavities are formed atop sidewall 28 in notch 27 of file cart 12, and two cavities (not shown) are formed in notch 27 atop sidewall 34 of chest of drawers 14. An L-shaped brace 56 retains top 26 of storage file 12 in fixed position. Pin 52 and cavity 54 cooperate to establish a fixed "home" position for bridge 16. To remove bridge 16 in preparation for converting desk 10 to storage unit 50, the pins 52 are lifted out of cavities 54, without binding. The notches 27, 29 are deep enough to accommodate the thickness of bridge 16, which forms a planar, horizontal surface.
 Modifications and alterations in the applicant's invention, such as in the nature of the connection between modules 12, 14 and bridge 16, may occur to the artisan. The configuration of file cart 12, and chest of drawers 14, may be altered. Bridge 16 may be made of wood or plastic. File cart 12 and chest of drawers 14 may be joined together by simple mechanical fasteners. Consequently, the appended claims should be broadly construed in a manner consistent with the spirit and scope of applicant's invention, and should not be limited to their literal terms.
Patent applications by Enrico Raccah, Miami, FL US
Patent applications by Racca Enterprises, Inc.
Patent applications in class CONVERTIBLE
Patent applications in all subclasses CONVERTIBLE