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Publication numberUS20070210685 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/684,125
Publication dateSep 13, 2007
Filing dateMar 9, 2007
Priority dateMar 10, 2006
Also published asWO2007106734A2, WO2007106734A3
Publication number11684125, 684125, US 2007/0210685 A1, US 2007/210685 A1, US 20070210685 A1, US 20070210685A1, US 2007210685 A1, US 2007210685A1, US-A1-20070210685, US-A1-2007210685, US2007/0210685A1, US2007/210685A1, US20070210685 A1, US20070210685A1, US2007210685 A1, US2007210685A1
InventorsEdmund J. Paquette, Edmund T. Paquette
Original AssigneePaquette Edmund J, Paquette Edmund T
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Equipment Support Cabinet with Slide-Out Top and Sliding Drawer
US 20070210685 A1
Abstract
A cabinet for supporting items on its top and removably supporting other items underneath the top. The cabinet has an open-front base assembly having two generally vertical side panels and defining an interior volume between the side panels, and a top assembly coupled to and slidable relative to the base assembly. The top assembly has a top shelf member and a top shelf member support structure coupled to the top shelf member to support the top shelf member. The top assembly is adapted to be moved from a stowed position in which the top shelf member is over the two side panels of the base assembly, to an open position in which the top shelf member is at least partially removed from its position over the two side panels of the base assembly, to allow top access into the interior volume of the base assembly. The cabinet also has a drawer assembly slidably received within the base assembly and including a lower shelf. The drawer assembly is adapted to be located such that its support surface is within the base assembly interior volume in a stowed position, and such that the lower shelf is at least partially removable from the cabinet base assembly interior volume into an open position, to provide access to the lower shelf from the front of the cabinet.
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Claims(20)
1. A cabinet for supporting items on its top and removably supporting other items underneath the top, the cabinet comprising:
an open-front base assembly having two generally vertical side panels and defining an interior volume between the side panels;
a top assembly coupled to and slidable relative to the base assembly, the top assembly comprising a top shelf member and a top shelf member support structure coupled to the top shelf member to support the top shelf member, the top assembly adapted to be moved from a stowed position in which the top shelf member is over the two side panels of the base assembly, to an open position in which the top shelf member is at least partially removed from its position over the two side panels of the base assembly, to allow top access into the interior volume of the base assembly; and
a drawer assembly slidably received within the base assembly and comprising a support surface, the drawer assembly adapted to be located such that its support surface is within the base assembly interior volume in a stowed position, and such that the support surface is at least partially removable from the cabinet base assembly interior volume into an open position, to provide access to the support surface.
2. The cabinet of claim 1 in which the cabinet is free-standing.
3. The cabinet of claim 1 in which the base assembly defines an open front between the side panels that receives the drawer assembly in its stowed position.
4. The cabinet of claim 1 in which the base assembly further comprises two spaced horizontal slides, one proximate the top of each side panel.
5. The cabinet of claim 4 in which the top shelf member is coupled to the slides, to allow the top assembly to be slid between its stowed and open positions.
6. The cabinet of claim 5 in which the base assembly further comprises front and rear horizontal supports that are coupled to the side panels and that support the slides.
7. The cabinet of claim 1 in which the top shelf member has a front edge, and the top assembly support structure is coupled to the top shelf member proximate its front edge.
8. The cabinet of claim 7 in which the top assembly support structure comprises left and right essentially vertical support members.
9. The cabinet of claim 8 in which the left and right essentially vertical support members define a front open area that accepts the drawer assembly in its stowed position.
10. The cabinet of claim 8 in which the left and right essentially vertical support members each carry a caster, to allow the top assembly to be rolled between its stowed and open positions.
11. The cabinet of claim 1 in which the top shelf member is generally horizontal and is slidingly engaged with the base assembly.
12. The cabinet of claim 1 in which the drawer assembly support surface comprises a generally horizontal lower shelf.
13. The cabinet of claim 12 in which when the drawer assembly is in the stowed position the lower shelf is close to the bottom of the interior volume of the base assembly, so that most of the volume is available to hold items located on the shelf.
14. A cabinet for supporting items on its top and removably supporting other items underneath the top, the cabinet comprising:
an open-front base assembly having two generally vertical side panels, and defining an interior volume between the side panels that communicates with an open front between the side panels, the base assembly further comprising two spaced horizontal slides, one proximate the top of each side panel;
a rolling and sliding top assembly coupled to and slidable relative to the slides of the base assembly, the top assembly comprising left and right essentially vertical support members each carrying a caster at a lower end and supporting a generally horizontal top shelf member at an upper end, the top shelf member coupled to the slides of the base assembly, the top assembly adapted to be slid from a stowed position in which the top shelf member is over the two side panels of the base assembly, to an open position in which the top shelf member is at least partially removed from its position over the two side panels of the base assembly, to allow top access into the interior volume of the base assembly; and
a drawer assembly slidably received within the base assembly and comprising a support surface, the drawer assembly adapted to be located such that its support surface is within the base assembly interior volume in a stowed position, and such that the support surface is at least partially removable from the cabinet base assembly interior volume into an open position, to provide access to the support surface.
15. The cabinet of claim 14 in which the cabinet is free-standing.
16. The cabinet of claim 15 in which in which the base assembly further comprises front and rear horizontal supports that are coupled to the side panels and that support the slides.
17. The cabinet of claim 16 in which the top shelf member has a front edge, and the left and right essentially vertical support members are coupled to the top shelf member proximate its front edge.
18. The cabinet of claim 17 which the left and right essentially vertical support members define a front open area that accepts the drawer assembly in its stowed position.
19. A cabinet for supporting items on its top and removably supporting other items underneath the top, the cabinet comprising:
a rolling, open-front base assembly having two generally vertical side panels and defining an interior volume between the side panels;
a top shelf member carried by the base assembly; and
a drawer assembly slidably received within the base assembly and comprising a support surface, the drawer assembly adapted to be located such that its support surface is within the base assembly interior volume in a stowed position, and such that the support surface is at least partially removable from the cabinet base assembly interior volume into an open position, to provide access to the support surface.
20. The cabinet of claim 19 in which when the drawer assembly is in the stowed position the support surface is close to the bottom of the interior volume of the base assembly, so that most of the volume is available to hold items located on the support surface.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority of Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/780,960 filed on Mar. 10, 2006, the disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to a storage cabinet with a slide-out drawer.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It is sometimes necessary to access the inside of a cabinet from both the front and the top, or access the back of the cabinet, while relatively heavy or unwieldy items are located on the top. In such cases, it is often necessary to remove the items from the top. This can be difficult or even dangerous. In cases of scientific equipment that is operating both on the top and inside of the cabinet, it may be necessary to unhook the equipment and interrupt an ongoing process in order to provide such access.

One example is the use of the equipment needed for High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Typically, the HPLC unit is placed on a lab bench, with the necessary liquid waste container (often times a five-gallon container that can weigh about 50 pounds when full) located underneath the bench. In order to empty the waste container, the user needs to bend and stoop; this can be physically dangerous. Also, in order to service or otherwise access the back side of the HPLC equipment, it can be necessary to move the equipment and/or disconnect portions of it, which can be difficult, time consuming, and interrupts equipment operation.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of this invention to provide a cabinet in which the top can be moved out from the base, to provide access to the inside of the cabinet from the top, and/or in which the inside can be accessed without moving the top by sliding out a front-accessible drawer.

This invention features a cabinet for supporting items on its top and removably supporting other items underneath the top. The cabinet has an open-front base assembly having two generally vertical side panels and defining an interior volume between the side panels, and a top assembly coupled to and slidable relative to the base assembly. The top assembly has a top shelf member and a top shelf member support structure coupled to the top shelf member to support the top shelf member. The top assembly is adapted to be moved from a stowed position in which the top shelf member is over the two side panels of the base assembly, to an open position in which the top shelf member is at least partially removed from its position over the two side panels of the base assembly, to allow top access into the interior volume of the base assembly. The cabinet also has a drawer assembly slidably received within the base assembly and including a lower shelf. The drawer assembly is adapted to be located such that its support surface is within the base assembly interior volume in a stowed position, and such that the lower shelf is at least partially removable from the cabinet base assembly interior volume into an open position, to provide access to the lower shelf from the front of the cabinet.

The cabinet is preferably free-standing, and may be mobile or not. The drawer assembly support member may comprise a generally horizontal lower shelf that is preferably located close to the bottom of the base assembly so that most of the interior volume is available to store items located on the shelf, such as the waste container of an HPLC system. The base assembly may define an open front between the side panels that receives the drawer assembly in its stowed position. The base assembly may further comprise two spaced horizontal slides, one proximate the top of each side panel. The top shelf member is preferably coupled to the slides, to allow the top assembly to be slid between its stowed and open positions. The base assembly may further comprise front and rear horizontal supports that are coupled to the side panels and that support the slides.

The top shelf member has a front edge, and the top assembly support structure may be coupled to the top shelf member proximate its front edge. The top assembly support structure may comprise left and right essentially vertical support members, which may define a front open area that accepts the drawer assembly in its stowed position. The left and right essentially vertical support members may each carry a caster at their lower ends, to allow the top assembly to be rolled between its stowed and open positions. The top shelf member is preferably generally horizontal, and slidingly engaged with the base assembly.

Featured in a more specific embodiment is a cabinet for supporting items on its top and removably supporting other items underneath the top, the cabinet comprising an open-front base assembly having two generally vertical side panels, and defining an interior volume between the side panels that communicates with an open front between the side panels, the base assembly further comprising two spaced horizontal slides, one proximate the top of each side panel, a rolling and sliding top assembly coupled to and slidable relative to the slides of the base assembly, the top assembly comprising left and right essentially vertical support members each carrying a caster at a lower end and supporting a generally horizontal top shelf member at an upper end, the top shelf member coupled to the slides of the base assembly, the top assembly adapted to be slid from a stowed position in which the top shelf member is over the two side panels of the base assembly, to an open position in which the top shelf member is at least partially removed from its position over the two side panels of the base assembly, to allow top access into the interior volume of the base assembly, and a drawer assembly slidably received within the base assembly and comprising a support surface, the drawer assembly adapted to be located such that its support surface is within the base assembly interior volume in a stowed position, and such that the support surface is at least partially removable from the cabinet base assembly interior volume into an open position, to provide access to the support surface.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Other objects, features and advantages will occur to those skilled in the art from the following description of the preferred embodiments of the invention, and the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is perspective view of an embodiment of the inventive cabinet with the drawer in the open position and the top assembly in the stowed position;

FIG. 2 is a similar view, but with the drawer stowed and the top assembly slid forward to the open position;

FIG. 3 is an exploded view of the cabinet shown in FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a first preferred embodiment of the invention, in which the cabinet is mobile through the provision of lower wheels;

FIGS. 5-8 are more detailed views of several components of the cabinet shown in FIG. 4;

FIG. 9A is a perspective view of a second preferred embodiment of the invention which is not mobile; and

FIG. 9B is a more detailed view of a component of the cabinet shown in FIG. 9A.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

This invention may be accomplished in a cabinet for supporting items on its top and removably supporting other items underneath the top. The cabinet has an open-front base assembly having two generally vertical side panels and defining an interior volume between the side panels, and a top assembly coupled to and slidable relative to the base assembly. The top assembly has a top shelf member and a top shelf member support structure coupled to the top shelf member to support the top shelf member. The top assembly is adapted to be moved from a stowed position in which the top shelf member is over the two side panels of the base assembly, to an open position in which the top shelf member is at least partially removed from its position over the two side panels of the base assembly, to allow top access into the interior volume of the base assembly. The cabinet also has a drawer assembly slidably received within the base assembly and including a lower shelf. The drawer assembly is adapted to be located such that its support surface is within the base assembly interior volume in a stowed position, and such that the lower shelf is at least partially removable from the cabinet base assembly interior volume into an open position, to provide access to the lower shelf from the front of the cabinet.

One embodiment of the invention is shown in FIGS. 1-3. Cabinet 10 comprises cabinet base assembly 14, top assembly 60, and slide-out drawer assembly 12. Open-front base assembly 14 comprises left side panel 15, right side panel 16, left front support pillar 42 and right front support pillar 44. Drawer assembly 12 includes door 20 with door handle 21, lower shelf 22, and may include optional glass panel 23 for applications in which it is useful to be able to see inside the cabinet when the drawer is closed. Drawer assembly 12 slides in and out relative to base 14 on drawer slides 24 a and 24 b, one on the inside of each of base side panels 15 and 16, respectively. Equipment or other items supported on shelf 22 can be accessed by sliding drawer assembly 12 from the closed or stowed position shown in FIG. 2 to the open position shown in FIG. 1.

Top assembly 60 comprises top shelf member 30 that is supported at its front end by top shelf member support structure 36 that includes top shelf member support 37 to which the front of top shelf member 30 is attached. Support structure 36 comprises left front support member 32 with caster 33 at its lower end, and right front support member 34 with caster 35 at its lower end, and handle 31. Drawer slides 52 a and 52 b are coupled to the top of cabinet base 14, and slidingly support and engage top member 30. Together with casters 33 and 35, this allows top assembly 60 to be slid/rolled forward, which causes top member 60 to be slid from a stowed position as shown in FIG. 1 to an open position shown in FIG. 2. The top sliding action allows access to the inside of cabinet base 14 while drawer 12 is closed, and without requiring access to the back of the cabinet. Slides 52 a and 52 b are supported in a horizontal position by horizontal front and rear supports 51 and 53, respectively. Support 53 is coupled to rear vertical supports 54 and 55 that are attached to panels 15 and 16, respectively. Support 51 is coupled to pillars 42 and 44.

FIGS. 4-8 depict a preferred embodiment of the invention. Inventive cabinet 100 is mobile through the inclusion of casters such as caster 107 that are coupled to base tray member 104 through the provision of receiving openings such as opening 105. Because cabinet 100 can be moved away from a wall, access to the back of equipment placed on top 106 can be accomplished without the need for a sliding top. Thus, top 106 is fixed. Access to the inside is again provided by means of a sliding drawer 108 that is coupled to the open front 114 of base assembly box member 102, which may also have an open back side (not shown) to provide access into the cabinet from the back. Member 102 carries drawer slides 116 and 118 (and a corresponding set of two drawer slides on the right side of member 102, not shown in the drawings) that engage with drawer 108 and extending/retracting sliding keyboard tray 110, respectively. Tray 110 has keyboard-retaining surface 122; this allows the provision of an operator interface to electronic equipment located on top of and inside of cabinet 100.

FIGS. 9A and 9B depict another preferred embodiment of the invention. Cabinet 150 is fixed rather than mobile and comprises open front and back base assembly box member 151 that receives slide-out drawer 152 with pull-handle 153. Drawer 152 is essentially identical to drawer 12, FIG. 1 and drawer 108, FIG. 4. In this embodiment, top member 156 that carries top shelf member 154 slides out from member 151 through handle 158, but it does not include the front support members 32 and 34 of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1-3. Rather, top member 156 comprises support member 160, FIG. 9B, to which top shelf 154 is attached. Member 160 has extensions 162 and 164 that both support top shelf 154 and are engaged with two drawer slides (not shown in these drawings) that are coupled to the top of member 151, much as slides 52 a and 52 b, FIG. 1, are coupled to the top of top member support structure 36. This allows member 160 to slide out and in relative to member 151, and as member 160 carries top shelf 154, any items placed on shelf 154 are movable in and out relative to base member 151. This achieves the same objectives as the embodiment of FIGS. 1-3 without the need for the front rolling supports of that embodiment. This embodiment is the preferred design, unless the inventive cabinet needs to carry a large amount of weight on its top, in which case the front support members of the FIG. 103 embodiment may be preferred.

The invention allows a cabinet that has items on its top and items inside the cabinet to be placed against a wall, and still allow access to the inside, with disturbing the items placed on the top. Also, any items located inside the cabinet can be accessed from the front, without the cabinet sides impeding such access. These features together provide extreme flexibility of use of the inventive cabinet. For example, scientific equipment such as an HPLC unit can be placed on the top, with the necessary waste container located inside, on the drawer shelf. The user can access the waste container in order to empty it by pulling out the drawer; there is no need to reach over a cabinet side (which can be physically dangerous), or to disconnect the HPLC in any manner. Similarly, the back side of the HPLC and the inside of the cabinet can be accessed without the need to move the HPLC, by either moving the cabinet away from the wall, or by sliding the top assembly out from the front of the base.

Although specific features of the invention are shown in some figures and not others, this is for convenience only, as some features may be combined with any or all of the other features in accordance with the invention.

Recitation of ranges of values herein are merely intended to serve as a shorthand method of referring individually to each separate value falling within the range, unless otherwise indicated herein, and each separate value is incorporated into the specification as if it were individually recited herein.

The use of any and all examples, or exemplary language (e.g., “such as”) provided herein, is intended merely to better illustrate the invention and does not pose a limitation on the scope of the invention.

A variety of modifications to the embodiments described herein will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the disclosure provided herein. Thus, the invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential attributes thereof.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7703711 *May 17, 2007Apr 27, 2010Smith Johnice CCombination shredder-storage unit
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/249.12, 312/240
International ClassificationA47B46/00, A47B85/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B46/00, A47B67/04
European ClassificationA47B46/00, A47B67/04
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Sep 2, 2010ASAssignment
Free format text: RELEASE BY SECURED PARTY;ASSIGNOR:TORONTO DOMINION (TEXAS) LLC;REEL/FRAME:024933/0132
Effective date: 20100825
Owner name: WRIGHT LINE LLC, MASSACHUSETTS
Jun 6, 2008ASAssignment
Owner name: TORONTO DOMINION (TEXAS) LLC, AS ADMINISTRATIVE AG
Free format text: PATENT SECURITY AGREEMENT;ASSIGNOR:WRIGHT LINE LLC;REEL/FRAME:021050/0741
Effective date: 20080602
Apr 27, 2007ASAssignment
Owner name: WRIGHT LINE, LLC, MASSACHUSETTS
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:PAQUETTE, EDMUND J.;PAQUETTE, EDMUND T.;REEL/FRAME:019222/0225
Effective date: 20070417