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Publication numberUS20060197002 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/353,907
Publication dateSep 7, 2006
Filing dateFeb 14, 2006
Priority dateFeb 16, 2005
Publication number11353907, 353907, US 2006/0197002 A1, US 2006/197002 A1, US 20060197002 A1, US 20060197002A1, US 2006197002 A1, US 2006197002A1, US-A1-20060197002, US-A1-2006197002, US2006/0197002A1, US2006/197002A1, US20060197002 A1, US20060197002A1, US2006197002 A1, US2006197002A1
InventorsJohn Dute, Lisa Allendorph
Original AssigneeSkyhooks, Llc, A Limited Liability
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Suspended shelf support system
US 20060197002 A1
Abstract
Brackets are provided in two forms so that, with the addition of shelving stock, suspended shelving units can be built. Regardless of form the brackets have reversely bent edge flanges so that they may be linked together to form parallel chains. Shelves are supported between the chains and held in place by means of threaded fasteners.
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Claims(9)
1. A linkable support bracket for shelves and the like comprising:
a body of plate-like stock having longitudinally opposite ends bent back along parallel bend lines to form opposite edge flanges; and
a fastener hole formed laterally centrally of the body proximate the lowermost flange, whereby a shelf or the like may be fastened between parallel brackets.
2. A bracket as described in claim 1 wherein the fastener hole has a keyway extending toward the adjacent bend line.
3. A bracket as defined in claim 1 wherein a tooth is formed on the edge of one of the edge flanges.
4. A shelf support bracket adapted to be linked with duplicates of itself comprising:
an elongate body of substantially flat stock having longitudinally opposite ends reversely bent back along parallel bend lines to form opposite flange hooks and a longitudinally intermediate, laterally extending step;
a hanger hole formed laterally centrally of the body proximate the uppermost flange hook; and
a fastener hole formed laterally centrally of the body proximate the lowermost flange hook.
5. A shelf support bracket as described in claim 4 further including a fastener hole formed laterally centrally of the body proximate the step.
6. A shelf support bracket as defined in claim 5 wherein the fastener holes have keyways extending toward the adjacent bend line and step respectively.
7. In combination:
a pair of identical brackets adapted to be longitudinally linked with duplicates of themselves, each bracket comprising a body of substantially flat stock having longitudinally opposite edges flanges bent back along parallel bend lines to form opposite flange hooks;
a hanger hole formed laterally centrally of each body proximate the uppermost flange hook;
a fastener hole formed laterally centrally of each body proximate the lowermost flange hook; and
a device fastened between the brackets.
8. The combination of claim 7 wherein each bracket has an offset formed at the longitudinal center parallel to the bend lines forming the edge flange hooks.
9. The combination of claim 7 wherein each bracket has a tooth formed in the outer edge of the upper flange hook.
Description

The present invention claims priority from U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/653,301, filed on Feb. 16, 2005.

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

This invention pertains to suspended shelving systems and particularly to a shelving system which includes a bracket having reversely bent opposite end flanges which make it possible to link brackets together to form hanging chains between which shelves are fastened.

2. Background of the Invention

Shelving systems and units of various kinds are available. The most common type of shelving unit comprises corner posts and a plurality of flat shelves fastened between the posts in parallel spaced relationship. The unit stands on the floor. A more recent development is the wall-mounted shelving system using vertical metal support strips fastened to a wall and having spaced slots, and brackets which are fastened to the supports by means of tabs which extend into the slots. Shelves are then mounted on the brackets.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a suspended shelving system and/or components for constructing suspended shelving systems in a variety of sizes. In one form, the present invention is a shelving system adapted to be suspended from a ceiling or other overhead support by means of eye hooks or the like. In general, a. system constructed in accordance with the present invention comprises two or more chains of interlinked shelf support brackets, each bracket including a plate-like body with reversely bent edge flanges at the opposite longitudinal ends thereof to permit identical brackets to be linked to one another to form a chain. With one form of bracket, the interlinked edge flanges provide alternately oppositely directed horizontal support surfaces for the ends of shelf which can be fastened between parallel but spaced apart brackets or bracket chains. The brackets and shelves are easily assembled using common household tools and a minimum of handyman skills. With three or more chains of interlinked brackets, shelves and respective adjacent vertical rows are staggered. Because the shelving units require no proximity to a vertical wall, they may be suspended from an overhead support in the middle of a room as well as near a wall.

Using another form of bracket, the reversely bent edge flanges extend in opposite directions and an offset is provided in the longitudinal center of the bracket to provide a shelf support extending in one direction. Again, using three or more chains of such brackets, the shelves in adjacent vertical rows are staggered and any given shelving system requires no immediate proximity to a vertical walls.

In the commercial form, the “product” may be sold in the form of brackets alone or in combination with suitable instruction literature. This allows the user to select shelving material according to his or her own tastes and according to his or her own requirements as far as size and quantity is concerned. Alternatively, brackets made in accordance with the invention may be packaged with shelving material and sold as extendable or fixed-size kits. The advantages of the present invention are numerous. Shelves need be neither too high nor too low; units do not rest on floors subject to flooding; units can be placed anywhere in a room and can be accessed from both sides.

Because of the retailing possibilities as described above, another aspect of the invention is the bracket per se. As hereinafter described in greater detail, there are at least two embodiments of the bracket, each embodiment comprising a plate-like body fabricated from essentially rigid stock such as steel, aluminum or plastic and having bent out opposite edge flanges to permit the brackets to be interlinked. In one embodiment, the bent out flanges are reversely bent so that two or more brackets can be linked end-to-end. Each bracket has a hanger hole near the uppermost edge flange and a shelf fastener hole proximate the lowermost edge flange. Both of the holes are preferably laterally centered on the bracket; i.e., midway between the opposite lateral edges. The shelf fastener hole is designed to accommodate a fastener such as a screw or nail having a head and is preferably provided with a keyway such that fasteners may be installed in the shelf and the combination of the shelf and. fasteners dropped into place between two spaced apart parallel chains of linked brackets. Although we refer generally to the use of “shelves” with the brackets, it is to be understood that other items such as baskets made of stiff wire-like material can also be suspended from the brackets.

In another embodiment, an offset or step is provided in the center of the bracket for shelf support purposes. This bracket is typically longer than the bracket of the first embodiment. Again, the opposite longitudinal edges of the bracket are bent back to provide edge flanges, in this case, the flanges extending in opposite directions from one another, to permit the brackets to be linked together to form a chain of any desired length. Again, two or more chains of brackets can be suspended from the ceiling or another overhead support by means of hooks and shelves are mounted between the chains by means of the flanges and/or offsets. Where three or more parallel chains or brackets are used, the shelves are staggered as between adjacent vertical rows.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective drawing of a portion of a shelving system using a first form of bracket.

FIG. 2 is a schematic side view diagram of a shelving system using two or more chains of brackets of the type shown in FIG. 1 and staggered shelving units between adjacent parallel chains or brackets.

FIG. 3 is a perspective drawing of a second type of bracket showing how two identical brackets are interlinked; and

FIG. 4 is a schematic side view diagram of a three vertical row shelving system constructed using brackets of the type illustrated in FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENTS

Referring to FIG. 1, a first shelving system is shown to comprise in part identical, linkable metal brackets 10, 12 and 14, each of which comprises a flat, plate-like body which may, for example, measure approximately four inches vertically by three inches horizontally. Bracket 10 has reversely bent edge flanges 16 and 18 at the longitudinally opposite ends thereof, each flange being approximately ⅜ to ¼ of an inch deep and bent back to define an included angle between the flange and the body of the bracket 10 of approximately 45°. The upper edge flange 16 has a laterally centrally located tooth 20 formed thereon for purposes to be described. A hanger hole 22 is formed in the body of bracket 10 approximately ¼ of an inch below the top edge and approximately 5/16 of an inch in diameter to permit the bracket to be hung from an eyehook 40 or the like which is screwed into an overhead support as hereinafter described. In addition, bracket 10 is provided with a keyway shaped fastener aperture 24. The top portion of the keyway shaped aperture 24 is approximately ¼ of an inch in diameter and the lower portion approximately ⅛ of an inch in width an extending fully to the bend line which defines the lower edge flange 18.

Similarly, bracket 12 has upper and lower reversely bent edge flanges 26 and 28, a hanger hole 30 and a keyway aperture 32. Identical bracket 14 has upper and lower edge flanges of which only the upper edge flange 34 appears in FIG. 1. This upper edge flange has a tooth 36 formed centrally between the lateral edges and a hanger hoe 38.

The shelving system illustrated in FIG. 1 is only partial as will be explained hereinafter with reference to FIG. 2. However, it is shown to comprise shelving stock which in this instance includes an upper shelf 42 and a lower shelf 44. Screws 46 and 48 are used to secure the shelves to the brackets as hereinafter described with reference to FIG. 2.

Referring now to FIG. 2, to assemble a shelving unit using the brackets 10, 12 and 14 of FIG. 1 as well as additional identical brackets, a pair of eye hooks 40 are screwed into an overhead support such as a ceiling joist 50. Chains, not shown, can be used to lower the shelving unit from the ceiling, but in this case it is assumed that identical brackets 10 and 10 are hooked to the eye hooks 40 by way of the hanger holes 22. Brackets 12 and 12′ are linked to the top brackets 10 and 10′ by placing the edge flanges 26 on top of the edge flanges 18. It will be noted that the center tooth 20 (not shown) of the bracket 12 fits into the keyway shaped aperture 24 of the bracket 10 and the tooth 36 of the bracket 14 fits into the keyway aperture 32 of the bracket 12. This helps align the brackets with one another and prevent sideways slippage between brackets. As many brackets as desired may be linked together to form parallel vertical chains which are spaced apart laterally by the desired width of the shelving unit. Although not shown in FIG. 2, it is to be understood that additional chains of additional vertical chains of identical brackets are suspended from additional eye hooks 40 at the desired lateral spacing and in parallel to the chains made up of the brackets 10 and 10′, 12 and 12′, 14 and 14′ shown in FIG. 2.

The shelf 42 which is typically but not necessarily made of wood and of a depth which may be substantially greater than the lateral width of the bracket 10 is disposed between the bracket chains; i.e., between the brackets 10 and 10′ by resting the shelf 42 on the top edge flanges 26 and 26′ of the brackets 12 and 12′ respectively. The shallow depth of the interlinked end flanges is sufficient to provide support for the shelf 42 when fasteners 46 and 46′ are disposed through the keyways of the apertures 24 and 24′ of the respective brackets 10 and 10′. The fasteners 46 may be screws or nails and are preferably but not necessarily screwed or pounded part way into the shelf 42 along the lateral centerline thereof prior to assembly of the shelf 42 into its position between the brackets 10 and 10′. This approach to assembly is permitted by the keyway shaped apertures 24 which allow the heads of the fasteners 46 to be inserted through the larger holes, after which the shelf is dropped down into its support position wherein the shaft of the fastener passes through the narrower slot shaped portion of the apertures 24. If screws are used, the fasteners 46 and 46′ may be left slightly loose during the assembly process and then tightened up to more permanently integrate the entire system. The shelves 44 and 44′ are approximately 4 inches below the shelf 42 and are “staggered” in the sense that they are in adjacent parallel rows. This of course requires two additional chains of brackets 10, 12 and 14 arranged in parallel with the chains shown in FIG. 2. Shelf 44 rests on the “knee” formed by the interlinked edge flanges of the brackets 12 and 14 and are secured by fastener 48 driven into the end surfaces of the shelf 44. This arrangement can be duplicated vertically as many times as space and/or need allows/requires, the result being a shelving system with laterally staggered shelves with overall 8 inch spacings. Of course the brackets may be made in different sizes to provide wider gaps or “pitch” between parallel shelves in the same row. By way of example, a bracket 10 with a 6 inch vertical dimension provides as 12 inch pitch between shelves in a given row and a 6 inch space in between staggered shelves in laterally adjacent rows. The system shown in FIG. 2 has a bottom shelf 52 at a distance below the shelf 42 calculated in accordance with a number of brackets which are added to the chains.

As described above, shelving system constructed in accordance with the illustrations of FIGS. 1 and 2 has remarkable stability and unitary integrity without the necessity for leaning against or bearing against a vertical surface such as an outside wall. While the preferred material for the brackets 10, 12 and 14 is solid metal, they may also be made of rigid mesh and/or plastic. They must of course be relatively rigid and may be painted or otherwise colored in various colors and designs according to the creative imagination of the manufacturer.

Referring now to FIGS. 3 and 4, a second style or form of bracket 54 is shown. A second identical bracket 56 is also shown in FIG. 3 to convey the fact that identical brackets 54 and 56 are vertically linkable to form chains in the same manner the chains were formed with the brackets 10, 12 and 14 of FIGS. 1 and 2. The bracket 54 is also made of plate stock such as steel, but has an overall longitudinal dimension of approximately 8 inches, rather than the four inch longitudinal dimension of the bracket 10 of FIG. 1. Bracket 54 also has edge flanges 58 and 60, a laterally central hanger hole 62 just below the upper edge flange 58 and a keyway shaped aperture 64 adjacent and running into the lower edge flange 60. The upper edge flange 58 preferably has a central tooth 66 formed therein to interfit into the lower portion of the keyway aperture 64 when two identical brackets 54, 56 are linked together to form a chain.

The bracket 54 is formed with a longitudinally central, laterally extending offset 68 of approximately ¼ of an inch in depth. Whereas the edge flanges 58 and 60 are reversely bent through an angle of approximately 135°, the offset 68 is preferably bent at an angle of only 90 degrees and a second keyway shaped aperture 70 is formed just above but extending into the offset 68 as best shown in FIG. 3. It will be appreciated that hole 62 is a “hanger” whereas the apertures 64 and 70 are fastener apertures serving the same purpose as the apertures 24 and 32 in the embodiment of FIG. 1.

Referring now to FIG. 4, a three-row shelving system suspended from four lined up but laterally spaced eye hooks 70 as shown. As in the embodiment of FIG. 2, the eyehooks 70 are driven into a ceiling joist 72 at intervals representing the desired lateral width or extent of the shelves 74, 76 and 78 to be suspended therefrom. Starting with the left-hand most chain of brackets 54, 56, it will be seen that the top bracket 54 is suspended directly from the eye hook 70. As before, a length of chain may be interposed between the eye hook 70 and the top bracket 54 if it is desired to lower the entire unit. Bracket 56 is linked to bracket 54 by way of the edge flanges. The offset 68 in the bracket 54 provides the rest or support for the shelf 74. The second chain of brackets 54′, 56′, etc. is identical to the first chain but arranged in mirror image relationship. A third chain of brackets 54″, 56″, etc. is arranged and parallel to the first and second chains and a fourth chain of brackets 54′″, 56′″is arranged in mirror image relationship to the third chain. Shelves 74 are arranged between the first and second chains, the outer lateral edges of the shelves 74 resting on the offset 68 as described above. Fasteners 76 are driven into the edges .of the shelves 74 and, in the assembled state, extend through the slotted portions of the fastener aperture 70 shown in FIG. 3. Again, it is preferred to place the fasteners 76 in the edges of the shelves before the shelves 74 are put in place.

Shelves 76 are disposed between the interlinked edge flanges of the brackets 54′, 54″, 56′, 56″ and are therefore staggered by four inches relative to the shelves 74 in the first vertical row of shelves. Again, this provides an eight inch pitch between shelves in a given vertical row and a four inch space in between the staggered shelves in adjacent rows.

It will be noticed that the edge flanges of the brackets 54 are bent in opposite directions whereas the edge flanges of the brackets 10 are bent in the same direction. It will also be noted that a bracket 54 is, in effect, a pair of brackets 10 permanently pre-linked. Whereas the offset 68 is preferably 90 degrees, it may be somewhat greater than 90 degrees if desired. Again, the brackets 54, be made of numerous relatively rigid materials including both side metal, gridded metal and plastic. Shelving units of the type shown in FIG. 4 may be designed and created in any of many varying widths according to the physical characteristics of the shelving material used and the weight of the object to be supported by the shelves. The shelf depths can be substantially greater than the width of the brackets 54 and the shelf pitch may be varied by varying the longitudinal dimensions of the bracket 54, 56.

It will be appreciated that the invention has been described with reference to specific and preferred embodiments thereof and that various changes, alterations and additions may occur to those skilled in the art.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US20110315838 *Jun 27, 2011Dec 29, 2011Ofs Brands, Inc.Apparatuses and methods for connecting modular office furniture components
Classifications
U.S. Classification248/250, 248/322, 248/339
International ClassificationA47G29/02
Cooperative ClassificationA47B43/006
European ClassificationA47B43/00B1