US 3035880 A
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May 22, 1962 E. M. HITCHCOCK SELF ADJUSTING DRAWER GUIDE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed NOV. 23, 1960 INVENTOR. BM 02;
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AZTU/F/VEV May 22, 1962 E. M. HITCHCOCK SELF ADJUSTING DRAWER GUIDE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed NOV. 23, 1960 INVENTOR.
ATTOR/VfYS United States Patent 6 3,035,880 SELF ADJUSTING DRAWER GUIDE Edward M. Hitchcock, Austin, Tex., assignor, by mesne assignments, to Woodward, Inc., Austin, Tex., a corporation of Texas Filed Nov. 23, 1960, Ser. No. 71,257 9 Claims. (Cl. 312332) The present invention relates to a self adjusting drawer guide, and more particularly, relates to a self adjusting drawer guide in a sliding drawer construction so that the drawer will not become stuck or *bind in a drawer compartment but will be self adjusting as it is moved in and out of the drawer compartment.
In sliding drawer construction in which a movable drawer is provided in a drawer compartment of the type such as generally used in furniture, bureaus, cabinets, desks and the like, it has been conventional to provide a guide rail beneath and longitudinally positioned to support the movable drawer and provide a guide member connected to the drawer and slidably connected to the guide rail to support and guide the drawer and keep it aligned with the drawer compartment. However, because of the rigid connections between the drawer and the guide rail the drawer has frequently become stuck and will bind if any of the parts of the drawer construction are not correctly aligned. Furthermore, in the case of wooden drawer constructions the wood members frequently become warped or change their alignment over a prolonged period of time. The present invention is directed to providing a self adjusting drawer guide to permit the drawer to adjust and properly align up even when the various supporting structure and guide rail are out of line.
It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a self adjusting guide member for connection between the drawer and the supporting guide rail.
A further object of the present invention is the provision of an adjusting guide member which is slidably connected to the guide rail and which extends through a transverse slot in the drawer, the guide member being smaller in a transverse direction than the slot whereby the guide member may transversely move in the slot as required to permit the drawer to adjust and line up with the fixed guides and supports forming the drawer compartment.
A still further object of the present invention is the provision of a self adjusting antifrictional guide member which is slidably connected to a drawer guide rail and extends through a transverse slot near the back of the drawer, the guide member being smaller in a transverse direction than said slot to permit a transverse sliding adjustment of the drawer in response to the alignment of the drawer guides and supports, the guide member being provided with a slidable stop member inside of the drawer and said stop member being larger in one direction than the slot thereby slidably securing the guide member to the drawer.
Yet a still further object of the present invention is the provision of a transversely adjusting guide member transversely movable in a slot near the back of the drawer and drawer support means on the guide member for vertically supporting the drawer.
A still further object of the present invention is the provision of a front aligning notch in the guide rail which is positioned so that the front of the drawer is aligned with the drawer compartment when the guide member is positioned in the notch.
Yet a further object of the present invention is the provision of a self adjusting guide member slidably connected to a guide rail and extending through a transverse slot in the drawer and provided with a stop member larger in all directions than the slot thereby covering the 3,035,880 Patented May 22, 1962 slot and yet allowing transverse adjusting movement of the guide member in the slot.
Other and further objects, features and advantages will be apparent from the following description of presently preferred embodiments of the invention, given for the purpose of disclosure, and taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, where like character references designate like parts throughout the several views, and where,
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view, partly in section, illustrating the apparatus according to the present invention as shown slidably connected to a guide rail and transversely slidably and self adjustingly connected to a movable drawer,
FIGURE 2 is a perspective view illustrating one form of the adjusting drawer guide member of the present invention,
FIGURE 3 is a rear elevational view of a drawer partly in section, showing the position of the guide member relative to the drawer as the drawer is moved in one transverse direction,
FIGURE 4 is a rear elevational view, partly in section, similar to FIGURE 3 showing the guide member in relative position to the drawer as the drawer is moved in the other transverse direction,
FIGURE 5 is a cross-sectional View taken along the line 55 of FIGURE 4,
FIGURES 6, 7, 8 and 9 relate to the present invention wherein the transverse slot in which the adjusting guide member moves is in the drawer bottom,
FIGURES 6 and 7 are rear elevational views, partly in section, showing the position of the guide member as the drawer is transversely moved,
FIGURE 8 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 88 of FIGURE 7, and
FIGURE 9 is a perspective view illustrating the adjusting guide member used with the drawer bottom transverse slot.
Referring now to the drawings, a conventional drawer construction is shown wherein the reference numeral 10 generally designates a movable drawer, one or more guide rails 20, here shown as one for convenience, which is longitudinally positioned under the drawer to support and guide the drawer 10 as it is moved, bottom frame supports 22 and side supports 24, here shown as the horizontal type, which also support and guide the drawer 10 and form in part a drawer compartment. The invention is directed to the adjusting guide member 30 which allows the drawer to adjust transversely with reference to all of various parts of the drawer compartment when the drawer is moved longitudinally and as will be more fully discussed hereinafter.
The drawer 10 as is conventional has a front 12., sides 14, back 16 and bottom 18', the sides and back being reduced in height as compared with the front 12 in order to conserve lumber. The sides 14 of the drawer 10 each ride on the frame 22 and the back of the drawer is supported by the guide rail 20 through the guide member 30 and thus the drawer is slidably supported at three points. Side guides or supports 24 (partially shown in section) and bottom support 26 may be provided to form part of a drawer compartment with the other supports.
In the past the guide member 30 has been fixedly secured to the back 16 of the drawer and thus the supports 24 which are on either side of the drawer, the guide rail 20, and the drawer 10 must be carefully constructed and aligned parallel to each other to prevent binding of the drawer as it moves forward and back. Furthermore, it has been necessary in the past that lumber for these parts be carefully selected and lumber that is slightly out of square cannot be used as it will hinder the operation of the drawer. And in many cases wood after prolonged use will tend to warp and cause the drawer 10 to bind in the drawer compartment even in cases where the compartment was originally carefully con structed.
The present invention is directed to the self adjusting guide member 30 which will allow the rear of the drawer 10 to transversely adjust itself as required to be guided in the drawer compartment between the supports 24 and the guide rail 20 so long as there is suflicient width in the drawer compartment to accommodate the drawer. Therefore, inexpensive labor may be used to assemble the drawer construction as the parts are not required to be carefully aligned, less expensive lumber can be used, and the waste in lumber can be reduced thereby lowering the cost of production for drawer construction.
The self adjusting guide member 30 is preferably made of an antifrictional plastic material such as polytetrafluoroethylene which is sold under the trade name of Teflon by Du Pont. One end of the guide member 30 is slidably secured in a longitudinal direction along the guide rail 20. A conventional T rail and T slot connection may be provided as shown to provide this slidable longitudinal movement with the guide rail 20 being T- shaped in cross-section and the guide member 3% having extensions 32 which form a T slot to coact with the guide rail 20. A transverse slot 40 is provided near the rear of the drawer 1G and the guide member 30 extends through the slot 40 but is narrower than the slot 3% at the point at which it extends through the slot in a transverse direction thereby allowing transverse movement of the guide member 30 in the slot 40.
Referring to FIGURES 2-5, inclusive, the guide member 30 is shown as an angle shape with the extension 34 extending through the transverse slot 40. A stop member 36 is provided on the end of extension 34 to retain the guide member 30 in the slot 40. The stop 36 is positioned inside of the drawer 10 and thus does not prevent transverse movement of the guide member 30 in the slot 40. Fruthermore, the stop member 36 is preferably wide enough both in length and width to cover the slot 40 regardless of its position in the slot (FIGURES 3 and 4) so as to prevent items in the drawer from falling out of the drawer through the slot 40 or from becoming lodged in the slot 40 and interfering with the self adjusting movement of the member 30. Of course, merely to provide for .the adjusting movement of the guide member 30, the stop member 36 need only be larger than the slot 40 in one direction;
It is noted in FIGURES 1-5 that the slot 40 is on the lower side of the back 16 and the guide member 34] is held in place securely in a longitudinal manner by the action of the drawer back 16 and the drawer bottom 18 (FIGURE acting against the extension 34. Furthermore, a recess 38 (FIGURES 2 and 5) may be provided in the guide member 30 to engage the end of the bottom 18 of the drawer so as to further secure the guide member 30 in a longitudinal direction. However, the recess 33 is not necessary and may be omitted. The slot 40 is made sufliciently wide in a vertical direction so as not to bind on the guide member extension 34 and the use of an antifrictional plastic will allow free transverse movement between. the guide member 3i and the drawer It to allow the drawer to adjust as it is moved.
Referring to'FIGURES 3 and 4 it is noted that even though the guide member 39 is moved transversely in the 'slot 40 the stop member 36, as shown in the dotted lines, moves but yet never provides an opening from the interior of the drawer 10 through the slot 40 and exteriorly of the drawer 1 0. 7
It is to be noted that the guide member 30 may be quickly and easily installed without the use of any additional fastening means by merely placing the member 30 in the slot-46 as the drawer is being constructed. Furthermore, the drawer rides firmly on the top of the extension 34 and no tilt blocks are required as this three point support construction has been found to be satisfactory. It is also to be noted that the guide member is held in the slot 4 so that vertical or forward and back movement between the member 30 and the drawer It} does not occur.
Referring now to FIGURE 1, it is noted that a notch 42 may be provided in the guide rail 20 and on the side of the notch 42 nearer the drawer front a beveled surface 44 is provided. The notch 42 is positioned so that the drawer front is aligned with the front of the drawer compartment when the guide member 30 is moved and positioned in the notch 42. Thus the front 12 of the drawer is conveniently aligned by the use of the notch 42 positioning the guide member 30.
Of course, various modifications of the adjustable guide member and slot arrangement may be made. FIGURES 69 illustrate a modification of the structure according to the invention, the letter a being applied to parts corresponding to those in FIGURES 1-5 for convenience of reference. In these figures it is noted that the slot 43a is provided in the bottom 18a of the drawer 10a adjacent the back 16a but is still positioned transversely of the guide rail Zila. The guide member 30a similarly provides a sliding longitudinal gripping movement with the guide rail 2011 as shown in FIGURES l-5.
However, the body of the guide member 30a is straight and the end 34a extends through the slot 40a and is narrower than the slot 40a thereby providing slidable transverse movement of the member 30a in the slot 40a. Preferably, stop member 36a covers the slot 40a regardless of the position of the member 30a in the slot 40a. In this modification a supporting shoulder 50 is provided which is positioned under and supports the bottom 18a of the drawer 10a and thus provides that the drawer 10a will ride on and be supported by the member 30a and that the guide 39a is held in the slot 40a so as to allow transverse movement but substantially preventing any vertical or longitudinal movement of the member 39a relative to the drawer 10.
In operation, the guide members 30 and 39a are assembled in the slots 40 and 40a, respectively at the time the drawer 1G is assembled. It is noted that this requires no extra fastening equipment and can be quickly and easily performed. Any suitable drawer compartment can then be constructed that is provided with the conventional guide rail or rails 20, and may include as shown the support rails 22 and 24. In the drawer construction inexperienced labor can be used as these drawers, support, and guide members do not have to be as accurately aligned as in previous construction. The only requirement is that the space between the sides of the compartment as defined by the supports 24 must be sufiicient to accommodate the width of the drawer 10. Also by the use of this self adjusting drawer guide perfectly shaped lumber is not required. Thus, the mere fact that such parts as the back 16, guide rail 20, supports 22 and 24 are slightly warped or bowed will not affect the operation of the drawer. Furthermore, if any swelling, bowing or warping of the drawer or supports occurs the operation of the drawer will not be stopped. Thus, as shown in FIGURES 3 and 4 assuming that the drawer 10 encounters one of the side supports 24 as would normally cause a binding and prevent the further operation of the drawer, the drawer 10 will move in a transverse direction with the slot 40 moving relative to the support member 38 thusallowing the drawer tormove into an open space between the supports 24 so as tocontinue its longitudinal movement. Furthermore if the guide rail 20 is warped in one direction or the other it will allow the movement of the guide member 30 in the slot 40 so as to prevent the sides 14 of the drawer ltl from becoming stuck against the side rails 24.
Thus while it is noted that'the guide members 30 and 3% are vertically and longitudinally held in placeby the drawer they can freely move in a transverse direction particularly in view of the fact that they are constructed of an antifrictional plastic and provide a self adjusting movement as required to meet the contour of the drawer compartment. It is also noted that a single size of guide member will fit various thickness of drawer backs. It is also noted that this type of self adjusting drawer guide is advantageous on drawers that work on twin guide rails 20 in which case any warping or bowing of either guide rail 20 or misalignment would prevent the operation of a conventional type fixed drawer guide.
It is also noted that when the drawer guides 30 and 30a encounter the notch 42 in the guide rail 20 that they will stop and conveniently align the front 12 of the drawer with the drawer compartment in an accurate and convenient manner. Furthermore, the guide member can be easily moved out of the notch 42 over the beveled side 44.
Thus a self adjusting drawer guide is provided which is automatic in its operation and insures that the drawer will not stick or bind even when the drawer parts swell or shrink. The present invention also reduces the weight of the entire case and reduces the labor and material cost materially.
The present invention, therefore, is well adapted to carry out the objects and attain the ends and advantages mentioned as well as others inherent therein. While presently preferred embodiments of the invention are given for the purpose of disclosure, numerous changes in the details of construction and arrangement of parts may be made which will readily suggest themselves to those skilled in the art and which are encompassed within the spirit of the invention and the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. In a sliding drawer construction including a frame having a drawer compartment, a drawer having front, back, sides and a bottom and movable in said compartment, a guide rail longitudinally positioned under said drawer the improvement in a self adjusting drawer guide comprising, an adjustable guide member, said guide member slidably connected to said guide rail, said drawer having an opening transverse to said guide rail, said guide member extending through said opening, said guide member being smaller in width than said opening thereby being transversely self adjusting in said opening, and stop means on said guide member in the drawer, said stop means being larger in one direction than said opening thereby securing said guide member in said opening.
2. The invention of claim 1 wherein said guide rail includes a transverse notch having a beveled side on the side nearer the drawer front, said guide member slidable in and out of said notch.
3. The invention of claim 1 wherein said guide member is an autifrictional plastic and said glide member includes a supporting shoulder adjacent and beneath said drawer whereby said guide member supports said drawer.
4. In a sliding drawer construction including a frame forming a drawer compartment, a drawer movable in said compartment and a guide rail longitudinally positioned under said drawer the combination with the guide rail and the movable drawer of a self adjusting guide member, said guide member slidably engaging said guide rail, said drawer including a transverse slot adjacent the rear of said drawer, said guide member extending through said slot, and stop means on said guide member interiorly of the drawer, said stop means being larger in at least one direction than said slot thereby holding said guide member in said slot, said guide member being smaller in a transverse direction than said slot thereby providing an adjusting drawer as the guide member will move transversely in said slot when the drawer contacts the frame.
5. The invention of claim 4 wherein said guide rail includes a transverse notch having a beveled side nearer the drawer front and said guide member is slidable in and out of said notch, said notch being positioned so that the drawer front is aligned with the drawer compartment when the guide member is positioned in said notch.
6. The invention of claim 4 wherein said guide member is an antifrictional plastic and said guide member in cludes a supporting shoulder under and adjacent said drawer whereby said guide member supports said drawer.
7. In a sliding drawer construction including a frame having a drawer compartment, a drawer having a front, back, sides and bottom and movable in said compartment and a guide rail longitudinally positioned under said rawer the improvement comprising an angle shaped guide member slidably connected at one end to said guide rail, said drawer back having a transverse slot adjacent said drawer bottom, the second end of said guide member extending through said slot, said guide member being narrower in a transverse direction than said slot whereby said member is transversely movable in said slot, a slidable stop member on the second end of the guide member and positioned inside said drawer, said stop member being larger in all directions than said slot thereby slidably retaining said guide member in said slot and covering said slot.
8. The invention of claim 7 wherein said guide rail includes a transverse notch having a beveled side nearer the drawer front and said guide member is slidable in and out of said notch, and said notch is positioned so that the drawer is aligned with the drawer compartment when the guide member is positioned in said notch.
9. In a sliding drawer construction including a frame having a drawer compartment, a drawer having a front, bottom, back and sides and movable in said compartment and a guide rail longitudinally positioned under said drawer the improvement comprising, an antifrictional guide member slidably connected at one end to said guide rail, said drawer bottom having a transverse slot near said drawer back, the second end of said guide member extending through said slot, said guide member being narrower in a transverse direction than said slot whereby said member is transversely movable in said slot, 'a slidable stop on the second end of the guide member and positioned inside said drawer, said stop being larger in all directions than said slot thereby slidably retaining said guide member in said slot, and a slidable supporting shoulder on said guide member beneath and adjacent said drawer bottom for supporting said drawer.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 608,130 Kandle July 26, 1898 985,910 Lange Mar. 7, 1911 1,248,133 Kemp et al Nov. 27, 1917 2,857,233 Reiss et a1. Oct. 21, 1958