US 3200983 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 17 1965 E. w. WALTER PLASTIC DRAWER CONSTRUCTION Filed April 10, 1963 INVEN TOR. Ernest W T Vdll'ar BY F W%& W-
ATTORNEYS This invention relates to relatively small cabinet drawers composed of molded plastic. More particularly, it pertains to a drawer of the type having removable dividers or partitions with interengaging means for holding the partitions in adjusted positions within the drawer.
Small cabinets with a plurality of drawers have come into general use in the home, office, shop, or store. Such drawers are divided by adjustable partitions or dividers into compartments of varying size for separate storage of small articles, such as screws, bolts, nails, small hardware objects, paper clips, erasers, stamps, jewelry, cosmetics, sewing supplies, and the like. In that manner the small objects are readily'accessible at all times.
A difficulty with plastic drawers of prior construction has been that the adjustable dividers had no adequate means for being securely held in the adjusted position. For example, the partitions frequently rise slightly out of the drawer and leave a space between the lower edge and the bot-tom surface of the drawer, for which reason articles in the compartments become mixed with each other. For that reason the partition loses its purpose. Another diihculty with molded plastic drawers of relatively small size has been that longitudinal side walls are inclined to spread outwardly from their original positions. As a result, the partitions of plastic drawers of prior construction have become displaced along their vertical edges,
for which reason the articles in separate compartments become mixed with each other. It has been found that such prior difficulties may be overcome by providing an adjustable partition having means along opposite vertical edges for engaging corresponding means in the side walls of the drawer. Each partition is provided with an enlarged integral edge, such as a dovetail, which edge is slidably engageable within a groove of corresponding cross-section in the wall of the drawer. Although the preferred horizontal cross-section of the enlarged edge and corresponding groove is triangular to form a dovetail fitting, the shape of the enlarged edge may be of any other configuration. Moreover, it has been found that where the side walls are inclined inwardly from the upper to the lower ends of the groove, the partition, when completely seated in a pair of transversely aligned grooves of this type, maintains a tight fit therein. At the same time the partition holds the side walls in place and prevents their spreading outwardly from their original positions.
Associated with the foregoing is the fact that the outer surface of the side walls of a molded drawer is correspondingly tapered. The conm'bination of the tapered side walls and the enlarged vertical edge portions of the partitions, which are tapered from the upper to the lower ends thereof, combines to provide a plastic drawer construction which not only holds the partitions securely in place against the bottom wall of the drawer, but also enables the partitions to'hold the side walls in their initial desired position free from outward sagging. Accordingly, it is a general object of this invention to provide an improved plastic drawer construction having a removable partition or divider with integral means for holding the divider in place against the bottom wall of the drawer. It is another object of this invention to provide an improvide plastic drawer construction having a removable partition with opposite vertical edges engageable with interfitting means disposed at spaced intervals along the inner side walls of the drawer, whereby the partition holds the side walls in position against outward expansion.
It is another object of this invention to provide a plastic drawer construction having a partition with integral enlarged dovetail edges for engagement with spaced vertical grooves on opposite sides of the drawer.
Finally, it is an object of this invention to provide an improved plastic drawer construction which eliminates the difiiculties enumerated and obtains the foregoing desiderata in an effective manner.
These and other objects and advantages apparent to those skilled in the art from the following description and claims may be obtained, the stated results achieved and described difficulties overcome by the discoveries, principles, apparatus, parts, combinations, subcombinations and elements which comprise the present invention, the nature of which is set forth in the following statement, a preferred embodiment of which-illustrative of the best mode in which applicant has contemplated applying the principles-is set forth in the following description, and which is particularly and distinctly pointed out and set forth in the appended claims forming part hereof.
The nature of the discoveries and improvements of the present invention may be stated in general terms. as including a plastic drawer construction having a bottom wall, front and back walls, side walls, and an open top; a plurality of spaced vertical grooves in the inner surfaces of the side walls, said grooves being open at their upper ends; a removable partition for said drawer, said partition comprising a flat sheet of plastic material selectively insertable into said grooves, the partition having enlarged vertical end portions, said grooves having a cross-section corresponding to that of said end portions, and both grooves and corresponding enlarged end portion having a larger cross-section at the upper end of the partition than at the lower end, whereby the partition when completely seated within the drawer is in tight frictional engagement with the surfaces of the grooves.
Referring to the drawings in which a preferred embodiment of the invention is by way of example:
FIGURE 1 is an isometric view of a molded plastic drawer with a portion broken away and showing the loca tion of three detachable partitions;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged fragmentary plan view of one partition extending between opposite sides of the drawer;
FIG. 3 is a vertical sectional view taken on the line 3-4 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 4 is a vertical sectional view taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 2.
Similar numerals refer to similar part throughout the several views of the drawings. i
In FIG. 1 a cabinet drawer is generally indicated at 1. Although the drawer may be formed of any suitable material, it is preferably formed of transparent synthetic resin plastic material of a type sold under various trademarks, such as Lucite, Plexiglas, and the like.
Where the drawer is made of plastic material, it is preferably extrusion molded in a single piece and cornprises a bottom wall 2, opposite side walls 3 having substantially parallel inner and outer faces, and front and rear walls 4 and 5, respectively. Any suitable drawer pull 6 may be provided upon the front wall 4- for opening and closing the drawer 1 when placed in a cabinet.
The walls 3 are inclined inwardly from the opentop to the bottom wall 2 of the drawer or upwardly and outwardly from the bottom wall. The inner surface of each inclined side wall 3 is provided with a plurality of longitudinally spaced vertically disposed grooves 7 disposed wholly between the parallel inner and outer wall faces and extending from the. upper edge of the side wall to the bottom wall 2. One or more partitions V partitions.
or dividers 8 are disposed in the drawer and have opposide ends of complementary shape mounted in opposite grooves 7 as shown in PEG. 1. For that purpose, the grooves 7 are disposed in aligned pairs on opposite side walls 3. The horizontal cross-section of each groove 7 has the shape of a truncated cone, or dovetail, defined by a vertical wall surface 9, and opposite wall surfaces lit? and 11. The wall surface 9 is substantially parallel to the outer surface of the side wall 3 and is correspondingly inclined inwardly from the upper edge to the bottom wall 2 of the drawer. Likewise, the wall surfaces lit? and 11 extend from the upper edge of the wall 3 to the bottom wall 2 and are inclined toward each other. Due to the constant inclination, or draft, of the wall surfaces 9, lb and ll, the upper horizontal crosssection or" each groove 7 is greater than that of the lower a horizontal cross-section and the increase in cross-sectional area of the bearing surfaces of the groove is uniform throughout the length thereof.
Each partition 8 is provided with enlarged vertical end portions 12 each having a dovetail configuration similar and complementary to that of the grooves 7 in which the end portions 12 are inserted. The lower end of each vertical end portion is smaller than the upper end because of the inclination or taper of the wall surfaces forming the edge portions 12.
The dovetailed end portions 12 of the partition 8 have an interfitting engagement with the dovetailed grooves 7 by which the opposite side walls 3 are held parallel and in fixed alignment with each other. Thus, the partitions 3 prevent the side walls from spreading out of shape or deforming when articles are placed in compartments 13 of the drawer 1 which compartments may vary in size and are formed by the transverse partitions 8.
The interlocking engagement of the end portions 12 of the partitions 8 not only hold the walls 3 in place and prevent their spreading, but the partitions per se are held in place by such engagement. Because of the taper, inclination, or draft, of the wall surfaces 941 forming each groove 7 as well as a corresponding inclination on the side walls 3, the partitions are secured or locked in the desired position and prevented from rising out of contact with the bottom wall 2. Inasmuch as the box 1 is preferably composed of molded synthetic resin plastic, the major portions of its walls are somewhat resiliently flexible and therefore the upper portions of the side walls 3 may be pressed slightly towards each other slightly for insertion of the lower ends of portions 12 of the partitions into the upper ends of the grooves 7. Upon complete depression of the partitions 8 in the drawer with the partitions finally in contact with the bottom wall 2, the side walls 3 return to their original parallel positions where they are held by their interlocking engagement with the dovetail end portions 12 of the partition 3.
Accordingly, the combination of inclined walls of the grooves 7 and of the surfaces of the end portions 1.2 create a tight-fitting frictional engagement with each other for holding the partition 8 in contact with the bottom wall 2, and thereby prevent the partition from rising out of place whereby clearance between the bottom wall and the partition would permit articles in adjacent compartments 13 to intermix.
The molded plastic drawer construction of the present invention includes vertical grooves in opposite side walls which grooves provide interfitting or interlocking engagement with corresponding edge portions of the drawer I Such interlocking engagement serves the double purpose of holding the partition in place against the bottom wall of the drawer, and hold the opposite walls of the drawer in their initial parallel position against outward expansion. The plastic drawer construction of the present invention is also superior to prior plastic drawers because it eliminates the problem of displaced side walls for drawer partitions which would not aaoosss 4. remain automatically held against the bottom wall of the drawer.
In the foregoing description certain terms have been used for revity, clearness and understanding, but no unnecessary limitations are to be implied therefrom beyond the'requirements of the prior art, because such words are used for descriptive purposes herein and are intended to be broadly construed.
Moreover, the embodiments of the improved construction illustrated and described herein are by way of example, and the scope of the present invention is not limited to the exact details of construction.
Having now described the invention or discovery, the construction, the operation, and use of preferred embodiments thereof, and the advantageous new and useful results obtained thereby; the new and useful construction, and reasonable mechanical equivalents thereof obvious to those skilled in the art, are set forth in the appended claims.
I claim: 7
1. A molded synthetic resin cabinet drawer including a bottom wall, front and back walls, outwardly and upwardly inclined side walls, and an open top,
said walls all being integral with each other and at least said side walls having substantially parallel inner and outer vertically inclined faces, said side walls being resiliently flexible in the upper major portions thereof,
a plurality of longitudinally spaced upright d v tail grooves disposed wholly within each of said inclined side walls between said inner and outer parallel faces thereof and open to the inner surface thereof, said grooves being parallel to said inner and outer faces and forming pairs of grooves in transverse alignment with each other,
said inclined side wall grooves being open at and coincident with said open top at their upper ends and progressively and uniformly tapering to a reduced width at their lower ends,
a removable partition member forming compartments.
within said drawer,
said partition member comprising a flat sheet-like member for the major portion thereof,
said partition member having downwardly and inward- 1y inclined tapered dovetail end portions thereon complementary to said upwardly tapering dovetail grooves of said inclined side Walls for engagement therein,
said end portions of said partition member being selectively insertable into any pair of said transversely aligned side wall grooves,
said upwardly and outwardly inclined tapered side Wall grooves and said correspondingly downwardly and inwardly inclined and tapered dovetailed'end portions of said partition member forming inclined joints therebetween to provide upwardly progressively widened and enlarged inter-engaged bearing surface areas whereby said joints are progressively and increasingly upwardly reinforced to minimize distortion and to prevent displacement of said side walls and said partition members relative to each other as said compartments are selectively filled with relatively heavy objects, said inclined joints maintaining said partition member locked in its lowermost position in the cabinet drawer. 2. A molded synthetic resin cabinet drawer including a bottom wall, front and back walls, upwardly and outwardly inclined side walls, and an open top,
said walls all being integral with each other and having substantially parallel inner and outer faces, and at least said side walls being resiliently flexible in the upper major portion thereof,
a plurality of longitudinally spaced upright dovetail grooves having axes parallel to and lying wholly between said parallel inner and outer faces of said side walls and open to the inner surface and top of each of said upwardly and outwardly inclined side walls, said grooves in opposite side walls forming pairs of oppositely aligned dovetail grooves with each other, a removable partition member forming compartments within said drawer, said partition member comprising ,a fiat sheet-like member for the major portion theresaid partition member having enlarged downwardly and inwardly inclined dovetail end portions thereon complementary to said dovetail grooves on said downwardly inclined side walls of the drawer for mounting therein said downwardly inclined dovetail shaped end portions of said partition member to form vertically inclined joints therebetween whereby when said partition member is initially positioned for mounting in said oppositely aligned dovetail grooves of said outwardly and upwardly inclined side walls, it is slidable to the lower end of said partition for contacting relation with said bottom wall by a slight inward flexure of the upper portions of said outwardly and upwardly inclined side walls toward each othe and the lower end of said partition member will be locked in said contacting relation with said bottom wall of the drawer by the inclination of said joints and said side walls and said partition reinforced against distortion.
3. A molded synthetic resin cabinet drawer including a bottom wall, front and back Walls, upwardly and outwardly inclined side walls, and an open top,
said walls all being integral with each other and having substantially parallel inner and outer planar faces and at least said side walls having increasing relatively resilient flexibility towards said open top,
a plurality of vertically extending longitudinally spaced.
grooves of polygonal cross-section on the inner surface of each of said upwardly and outwardly inclined side walls thereby forming pairs of inclined grooves with vertically oblique axes in opposite alignment with each other,
said grooves being disposed wholly within and between said inner and outer planar parallel surfaces of said side walls,
said side wall grooves being open at their upper ends,
a removable partition member forming compartments within said drawer, said partition member comprising a flat sheet-like member for the major portion thereof,
said partition member having downwardly and inwardly extending end portions of polygonal cross-section thereon complementary to said outwardly and upwardly tapering polygonal grooves of said inclined side walls for engagement therein, said polygonal end portions of said partition member being selectively insert-able into any pair of said inclined and oppositely aligned side wall grooves whereby said end portions are received in said side wall grooves to form releasable self-locking connecting joints therebetween, said partition member when mounted in said oppositely aligned side wall grooves to effect placement of the lower edge of said partition member in contacting relation to said bottom wall by slight inward flexure of the upper portions of said inwardly inclined flexible side walls toward other being normally locked in said contacting relation by the downward and inward inclination of said joints.
4. The cabinet drawer construction of claim 3 in which the side wall grooves and the end portions of the partition members engaging therein are of dovetail shape in cross section,
the end portions of said partition members being enlarged relative to the major portion thereof, the surfaces forming said dovetail cross-sections in said side wall vertically oblique grooves and said enlarged end portions of said partition member being correspondingly and uniformly tapered in width down-i wardly and inwardly from the upper to the lower extremities thereof,
said partition members being selectively removable from the dovetail-sectioned grooves in the downwardly and inwardly inclined side walls of said drawen by slight inward deflection flexure of the upper portions of said side walls, 1
said joints formed between said side walls and said partition member by said downwardly and inwardly inclined and tapered dovetail sections of narrowing Width providing upwardly progressively widened inter-engaged and increased bearing surface areas whereby said joints are progressively and increasingly reinforced upwardly from said bottom wall to prevent relative displacement and minimize distortion of said side walls and said partition member relative to each other as said compartments are selectively filled with relatively heavy objects.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS THERON E. CONDON, Primary Examiner. EARLE J. DRUMMOND, GEORGE O. RALSTON,