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Publication numberUS3173385 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 16, 1965
Filing dateJul 25, 1963
Priority dateJul 25, 1963
Publication numberUS 3173385 A, US 3173385A, US-A-3173385, US3173385 A, US3173385A
InventorsTucker Joseph M
Original AssigneeSeco Company Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shelf assembly and attachment device therefor
US 3173385 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 16, 1965 .1. M. TUCKER 3,173,385

SHELF ASSEMBLY AND ATTACHMENT DEVICE THEREFOR Filed July 25, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet i INVENTOR. JdiEP/l M 776K518 March 16, 1965 J. M. TUCKER 3,173,335


JflfiiP/MZ mar/5e BY [may i ii United States Patent 3,173,385 SHELF ASSEMBLY AND ATTACHMENT DEVICE THEREFOR Joseph M. Tucker, Montgomery City, Mo., assignor to Seco Company, Inc., St. Louis, M0., a corporation of Missouri Filed July 25, 1963, Ser. No. 297,600 3 Claims. (Cl. 108-106) This invention relates to improvements in shelf assemblies and to attachment devices for effecting connections between shelving and supports therefor.

The usual arrangements for shelf assemblies, whether open shelving or semi-enclosed, includes leg or post supports to which shelves are attached by means requiring holes in or brackets on the supports with separate connecting means. In the event shelves are intended to have adjustability of spacing therebetween, or the number of shelves is intended to be selectively changed, the attachment means usually must be repositioned in different holes or different brackets are required to accomplish the desired end. It is also found that in certain cases brackets are provided which slide on the supports and when located or moved produce surface scratching which detracts from the appearance of the assembly. All of these arrangements require special formed parts and substantially precise dimensional considerations in order to be effective. Moreover, the expense involved in manufacturing special parts for high volume production is substantial and retards the wide spread sale of the product.

By comparison with prior shelf assemblies and the attendent problems in manufacture and cost of production, the present improvement will appear to have substantial advantages in overcoming the problems of cost and difficulties of manufacture. In its broad scope the present improvement contemplates the application of simple supports devoid of holes or brackets, shelf members which are easily fabricated and unique attachment devices to connect the shelves to the supports with a secure load bearing hold which can be shifted as desired without marring or scratching the surface finish on the supports.

Accordingly a broad object of the present invention is to provide a shelf assembly comprising a few relatively simple construction components which will substantially overcome the problems of prior shelf assemblies and result in substantial production savings.

It is an important object of this invention to provide a shelf assembly in which the supports may be simple tubular members free of holes or fixed attachments so that a fine surface finish may be applied to the members which will not be subject to scratching.

It is a further object of this invention to provide a shelf assembly in which the shelves are frictionally attached to the support members by devices which encircle the supports under hoop tension so as not to mar the surfaces of the supports and yet easily allow for adjustments in spacing of the shelves.

A further object of this invention is to provide novel attachment devices in which simple tension elements are combined with friction gripping means which develop surface engagement on the support members without penetrating the support members or producing damage to such members.

Another object of this invention is to provide a simple combination of load supporting devices for interconnecting shelves and for attaching shelves to support members in an adjustable manner, whereby various combinations of shelves may be put together to suit the needs of the users, and such combinations may be rearranged as the needs dictate from time to time.

Other objects of this invention reside in the several components and parts which will be disclosed in greater 3,173,385 Patented Mar. 16, 1965 detail as certain preferred forms of the invention are described in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a shelf assembly illustrating the principles of construction which result in the several advantages of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a greatly enlarged fragmentary plan view, partly in section, of the assembly as seen at line 2-2 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional elevational view seen at line 3-3 in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view of a corner construction for a shelf;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a component of the corner construction of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the gripping element shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 7 is a greatly enlarged fragmentary plan view of another form of attachment device as seen at line 7-7 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional View taken at line 8-8 in FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the attachment element seen in FIG. 8;

FIG. 10 is a fragmentary and partly broken section of the assembly of adjacent shelves relative to a common support member;

FIG. 11 is a view similar to FIG. 10 but illustrating the assembly of three adjacent shelves;

FIG. 12 is a view similar to FIG. 11 but illustrating the assembly of four adjacent shelves; and

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of the gripping element seen in the assembly of FIG. 10.

In FIG. 1, the shelf assembly is seen to include a selective arrangement of shelves and support members which illustrates the various attachment elements forming components of the present invention. As shown, elongated support members or legs 15 are arranged at the outer corners of the assembly to partially support a pair of upper shelf panels 16 and 17, intermediate shelf panels 18 and 19 and a lower shelf panel 20. The inner end 16A of one of the upper shelf panels 16 forms an inside corner with and is supported from the front edge 17A of the adjacent upper shelf panel 17 by a secondary attachment element 21. The rear outside corner of panel 16 is supported by an intermediate support member or leg 22 which is attached to both the end 16A and inner edge 17A of the adjacent shelf panels 16 and 17 by primary means 23. The outer corners of the shelf panels 16 and 17 are attached to the respective legs 15 by the primary means 23, and the same character of means 23 is also used to support the corners of the shelf panels 18, 19 and 20. Attachment means 21 is also used at the inner corner to connect the inner end 18A of the intermediate shelf panel 18 to the front edge 19A of the shelf 19. Another intermediate length leg 22 is disposed at the front corner of the upper shelf panel 17, and both of the legs 22 have the lower ends suitably notched to rest on the rolled lip of the intermediate shelf panel 19. The assembly is completed by a pair of legs 24 disposed to support the inner front and rear corners of the intermediate and lower shelves 19 and 20 respectively.

The preferred construction of a typical corner assembly and primary attachment means 23 has been shown in FIGS. 2 to 6 inclusive, and attention is directed to these views, as is indicated by the showing in FIG. 1. The shelf panel 18 is formed with marginal flanges 25 which are bent to a right angular position and are joined to the flat area of the shelf by a raised rolled lip 26. The corner portion of the shelf is cut away attop margin 27 and side flange margins 28 to thereby form a corner notch of semi-circular aspect in plan view. (FIGS. 2 and 4.) A triangular corner plate 29 is formed with a semi-circular corner margin 30, and the base edge of the plate 29 is bent upwardly to form a flange 31 having attachment end wings 32 thereon. The corner plate 29 is spot welded or otherwise fixed into the corner of the shelf so that the wings 32 abut the inner surfaces of the vertical side margins 25 and the corner margin 30 is adjacent the notch and in spaced alignment with the upper or top margin 27. As seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, the vertical margins 25 have inturned flanges 25A which may be turned under to a 45 degree angle or to 90 degrees (as shown) in which case they are mitered at the corner notch and form a lower semi-circular corner margin 2513. Thus, the corner notch for the shelf 18 is defined by the aligned corner margins 27, 3b and 25B, and by the vertical margins 28. Each vertical margin 28 is formed with a shallow cutout or notch 28A between the shelf surface and the plate 29.

As can be seen in FIGS. 2, 3 and 6, the attachment means 23 includes a suitably shaped (circular in this case) gripping band 33 which conforms to the shape of the leg 15 (FIG. 2) and passed about a substantial portion of the peripheral surface. The band may be formed of short length section of tubular stock sized to have an internal diameter or dimension slightly larger than the external perimeter of leg 15 so that it may slide quite easily and freely lengthwise of such leg without rubbing, binding or scratching the surface thereof. The gripping band 33 is integral with spaced parallel arms 34 which extend inwardly and support a threaded head (or nut) 35 in fixed position. The portions of the band 33 adjacent the arms 34 fit into the cutouts 28A of the corner notch and the cutouts serve to guide or maintain the gripping band 33 substantially perpendicular to the leg 15. The gripping band 33 is secured in position by a threaded element 3-6 which passes through an aperture 37 in the flange 31 so that the wrench head 38 thereon engages the flange 31 and draws the head 35 toward the flange 31.

It can now be seen that the attachment means 23 comprises a gripping band or similar means 33 which engages the leg or member to afford support and draws the latter into the corner notch where the edge margins 27, 30 and 25B, and the side margins 28 serve to align the shelf and attachment means, and the gripping means produces the requisite grip to hold the shelf 18 under load. Similar characteristics of construction are present at each attachment means 23, and by loosening the threaded means 36 the shelves may be vertically positioned. A plurality of shelves may be attached to the legs 15 in any desired order of spacing, and any one or more of the shelves may be later adjusted to a different spacing. The adjustability and flexibility of the attachment means is quite variable and lends itself to uses in the manufacture of knock-down shelving. It can be appreciated that the flange 31 on the corner plate 29 may be made quite rigid, or it may be made yieldable so as to exert a degree of tension on the threaded member 36, whereby there is a tendency to maintain the gripping band 33 under load. In either case, the band 33 is held by the cutouts 28A against canting relative to the axis of the leg 15 so that there is no surface marring effect produced.

The secondary attachment element 21 of FIG. 1 is shown in the details in FIGS. 7, 8 and 9. As shown in the latter views, it includes the gripping means 35 in the form of a short length section of rod stock having a notch 40 formed therein between an upper lip 41 and a base lip 42. The means 39 fits into a corner notch in shelf 18 which is constructed in the manner shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, and like reference numerals are used to point out the several parts thereof. The means 39 is formed with a threaded bore 43 to receive a threaded element 44 mounted in the flange 31 at aperture 37 so that the head 45 abuts the flange 31 when the means 39 is drawn up to the corner notch. The means 39 grips the adjacent margin 19A of shelf 19 by positioning the upper angular lip 41 over the lip 26 and moving the base lip 42 under the bottom flange 25A of the shelf. The means 39 is securely attached to shelf 19 against horizontal pull, and by being drawn into the corner notch of shelf 18 it is prevented from canting relative to shelf 19 and thereby effects a strong load supporting attachment between the two shelves without benefit of support from the floor or other surface.

As seen in FIG. 7, the means 39 can be provided with a second bore 43A which is at degrees to the bore 43 so that a second shelfmay be disposed adjacent shelf 18. When thus used the means 39 will serve as a connection for two shelves upon a third shelf (as shelf 19). This arrangement is similar to the assembly shown in FIG. 10, wherein means 39 replaces means 23A.

Certain modifications of the attachment means 23 are shown in FIGS. 10 to 13, and wherever possible like reference numerals will be used to indicate parts of structure previously described in FIGS. 2, 3 and 6. In FIGS. 10 and 13, the attachment means 23A is formed with the gripping band 33 having the arms 34 thereon to carry the threaded head 35. A threaded socket 46 is secured to a side of the band 33 at right angles to the arms 34 so that two adjacent shelf corners may be attached to one support leg 15, as seen in FIG. 10. The manner of effecting the assembly is believed clear from the foregoing description.

In FIG. 11 the attachment means 23B includes the band 33 having the arms 34 for the threaded head 35 and the right angularly spaced socket 46. A third shelf corner may be connected to the first two shelf corners by adding a second socket 46A. In FIG. 12 four shelf corners may be interconnected by adding a third socket @513 to the band 33.

While the primary means 23 or 23A (FIGS. 6 and 13) are shown with the arms 34 to hold the threaded means 35, it is understood that the arms 34 can be eliminated, the gripping band 33 made as a circular or other shaped band, and one or more threaded sockets, like sockets 46, may be attached in the various positions shown by the modifications.

As can be appreciated, in each of the forms of the attachment means shown in FIGS. 10, 11 or 12 the assembly may be vertically adjusted along the leg 15 by loosening the threaded tension means 36 and repositioning the same at the desired new position.

From the above description of certain presently preferred arrangements of attachment means it can now be understood in what manner the invention may be constructed and used to provide an economical, simple and easily manipulated attachment for knock-down shelving. Various modifications and changes may come to mind and it is the aim to cover all possible variations within the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. In a shelf and leg assembly the improvement comprising legs each formed of lengths of uniform dimension stock free of indentations, cut-outs and projections; a shelf to be supported on said legs, said shelf having an object supporting surface and depending flanges along the sides thereof, said side flanges angularly intersecting to form corners for the shelf and said side flanges and supporting surface, being cut-away to provide notches in the corners of said shelf, each said notch being defined by spaced edges of two adjacent side flanges and the horizontal edge of said supporting surface; and means to connect said legs with the corner notches of said shelf to support the shelf, each connecting means including a gripping member having a loop initially loosely disposed to project outwardly from the notch and located to receive and encircle a leg and retain said leg against said spaced side flange edges and said adjacent supporting surface edge, arms extending from said loop inwardly under the supporting surface and through said notch, means interconnecting said arms of said loop, a plate fixed to said shelf inwardly of the notch, and threaded means extending between said means interconnecting said arms and said plate operable to draw said gripping member into said notch and take out looseness in the grip on said leg.

2. In an assembly of shelves having at least two shelves adjacent each other to form an inside corner therebetween, the improvement of depending flanges extending along the sides of one shelf and converging in a notch formed in a corner of said one shelf, said notch being defined by horizontal and vertical edges, the other shelf having a plane top surface and a depending flange separated by a raised lip, said notch being adjacent said last depending flange toform the inside corner, gripping means disposed in said notch against said vertical edges at least, said gripping means having a body formed with a recess defined by an upper lip and a base lip spaced apart a distance to snap onto said depending flange and over said raised lip on said other shelf, and releasible means engaging said gripping means and said one shelf adjacent said notch to draw said gripping means body against said horizontal and vertical edges, said other shelf receiving support from said gripping means through said upper and base lips.

3. In a free standing shelf assembly the combination including: first and second shelves, each having a horizontal object supporting surface of rectangular plan form to provide long and short sides with right angular corners and depending flanges along the sides thereof, said shelves being arranged with a long side of said first shelf adjacent a short side of said second shelf to form at least one interior angle; notches at said right angular corners of said shelves, each notch being formed by end edges of two adjacent flanges and an edge of the supporting surface; a plate fixed to said adjacent flanges at each notch inwardly of said end edges; vertical shelf support legs for the shelf assembly; primary gripping means to connect said legs to certain of said notches, each of said primary grip-ping means having a band encircling an adjacent one of said legs, arms extending from said encircling band into the adjacent notch, means interconnecting said arms, and threaded means connected between said interconnecting means and the adjacent plate operable to draw said leg against said end edges of two adjacent flanges and the edge of the supporting shelf and fix said encircling band on said leg; and secondary gripping means interconnecting said first and second shelves at said one interior angle, said secondary gripping means comprising a body formed with a recess having vertically spaced lips engaged respectively on said object support surface of said first shelf and under the depending flange adjacent thereto, and means intenconnecting said body and said fixed plate inwardly of an adjacent corner notch in said second shelf to draw said body into said last mentioned corner notch against the end edges of the adjacent flanges.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,169,720 1/16 Harris 108-406 1,171,064 2/16 OConnor 108-107 1,654,183 12/27 Mayer 108-106 1,685,064 9/28 Fritz 108-106 2,304,481 12/42 Shannon 108-153 2,428,877 10/47 Holabird 108-456 2,802,575 8/57 Harrison 108l06 3,065,860 11/62 Swanson 108-456 3,082,711 3/63 Vetere 108l07 FOREIGN PATENTS 832,943 4/60 Great Britain. 73,975 12/16 Switzerland.

FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner,


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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3280767 *Feb 12, 1965Oct 25, 1966Theodore Equipment CorpRemovable-shelving rack
US3281104 *Feb 7, 1964Oct 25, 1966Hamilton Cosco IncCorner construction
US3327658 *Mar 15, 1966Jun 27, 1967Lyon Metal Products IncTable construction
US3481486 *Oct 20, 1967Dec 2, 1969Squires George RShelving structure
US3807320 *Dec 30, 1971Apr 30, 1974Gen Fireproofing CoRack assembly
US3880095 *Feb 16, 1973Apr 29, 1975Swingline IncExpandable, large capacity, computer printout storage rack with work surface
US4099472 *May 31, 1977Jul 11, 1978Kellogg Harlan FFree standing shelving system
US4627543 *Jun 25, 1985Dec 9, 1986United Steel & Wire CompanyCompression sleeve corner structure for adjustable shelving
US4637323 *Jun 29, 1984Jan 20, 1987United Steel & Wire CompanyCorner structure for adjustable shelving (with opposed clamping members)
US5048429 *Oct 30, 1989Sep 17, 1991Freiberg Dan LUniversal shelving
US6648155 *Jul 8, 2002Nov 18, 2003Huei-Ming WangDisplay rack
US20070095773 *Oct 28, 2005May 3, 2007Schwerman Scott AStorage system and method
U.S. Classification108/106, 108/185, 108/192, 108/158
International ClassificationF16B12/00, F16B12/50, A47B57/00, A47B57/26
Cooperative ClassificationF16B12/50, A47B57/26
European ClassificationF16B12/50, A47B57/26
Legal Events
Apr 12, 1985ASAssignment
Effective date: 19850123