US 20060197002 A1
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.
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
3. A bracket as defined in
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
6. A shelf support bracket as defined in
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
9. The combination of
The present invention claims priority from U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/653,301, filed on Feb. 16, 2005.
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.
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.
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
The shelving system illustrated in
Referring now to
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
As described above, shelving system constructed in accordance with the illustrations of
Referring now to
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
Referring now to
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
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.