US 3217671 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
I Nov. 16, 1965 R. B. WALSH SHELVING- STRUCTURE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Nov. 29, 1963 mriwdi zih %W1) 72% Maw/5M Nov. 16, M55 R. B. WALSH SHELVING STRUCTURE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 29, 1963 i HM Ill HIHHWU AH MAST. M Z W United States 3,217,671 SHELVKNG STRUCTURE Richard B. Walsh, Round Lake, Ili., assignor to Quaker industries 1116., Antioch, ill., a corporation of Wisconsin Filed Nov. 29, 1963, Ser. No. 326,677 3 Claims. (Cl. 10891) The present invention relates to a novel furniture structure, and more specifically to a novel shelving structure.
Shelving units have been proposed which include a pair of upright opposite end standards or frame structures and a plurality of shelves extending between the opposite end standards and connected thereto. In general, such shelving units are constructed so that they may be manufactured and shipped in a knocked-down condition and are subsequently assembled by the ultimate user, For purposes of economy, such shelving units are manufactured in a limited number of sizes as to both height and length so that in many instances a user must purchase and assemble a plurality of shelving units in order to acquire the desired amount of shelf space.
It is an important object of the present invention to provide a novel structure whereby two or more initially separate shelving units can easily and quickly be assembled and connected together to provide a compact sturdy shelving structure.
A more specific object of the present invention is to provide a novel shelving structure whereby two or more shelving units may be easily and quickly assembled in vertical stacked relationship.
A still further important object of the present invention is to prvoide a novel shelving structure of the abovedescribed type whereby shelving units my be arranged and connected in a vertically stacked relationship and secured together without the need for any special tools.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description in the accompanying drawings, wherein;
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a shelving structure including a plurality of vertically stacked shelving units arranged and constructed in accordance with features of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view showing the manner in which the topmost shelving unit of FIG. 1 may be used separately if desired;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary exploded perspective view showing portions of the structure for joining the upper and lower shelving units together in greater detail;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view showing the portions of the structure of FIG. 3 in completely assembled relationship;
FIG. 5 is a further enlarged fragmentary sectional view taken along line 5-5 in FIG. 4;
FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along line 66 in FIG. 5; and
FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along line 7-7 in FIG. 4.
Referring now more specifically to the drawings wherein like parts are designated by the same numerals throughout the various figures, a shelving structure 153 incorporating features of the present invention is shown in FIG. 1 and comprises a first shelving unit 12 and a 3,215 16 7i i aten ted Nov. 16, 1965 second shelving unit 14 adapted to be stacked on top of the unit 12. It is, however, contemplated that the shelving unit 12 may be used separately as shown in FIG. 2 whenever desired. Furthermore, while the shelving unit 14 is shown in the drawings as having a height less than the height of the shelving unit 12, it is to be understood that the unit 14 could be equal in size or height to the unit 12 or could even exceed the height of the unit 12.
The shelving unit 12 comprises opposite end standards or frame structures 16 and 18 which are identical to each other but oppositely disposed. Horizontally arranged shelves Zti, 22, and 24 extend between and are connected to the opposite end standard in the manner described below. Similarly, the shelving unit 14 comprises opposite end frame structures or standards 26 and 28 and a plurality of horizontally disposed and vertically spaced shelves 3%, 32 and 34 arranged therebetween.
As shown in the drawings, the standard or end frame structure 16 comprises vertically disposed leg portions 36 and 36 having upper ends joined by a transverse member or bight portion 49 so as to provide an inverted U- shaped frame member. Preferably the leg portions 36 and 38 and the bight portion are formed in one piece from a suitable stock material such as a metal bar. In the embodiment shown the metal bar from which the leg and bight portions are formed has a generally rectangular cross-section, and while this cross-section may be varied, it is to be noted that the bight portion pre sents an upwardly facing substantially fiat surface and the leg portions 36 and 38 present substantially flat outwardly facing surfaces as do rounded-corner sections 42 and 44 which integrally join the leg portions 36 and 38 with the bight portion 40.
Transverse frame members 46, 48, 50 and 52 extend between the leg portions 36 and 38 and are disposed in vertically spaced relationship. The transverse frame members are welded or otherwise secured to the leg portions 36 and 38 and preferably are arranged so that the uppermost frame member 46 is adjacent to but spaced slightly below the bight portion 40 while the lowermost transverse frame member 52 is adjacent to but spaced substantially above the lower terminal ends of the leg portions 36 and 38. An additional vertical frame member 54 is positioned generally midway between the leg portions 36 and 38 and is welded or otherwise secured to outer surfaces of the transverse frame members. It is to be noted that the upper end 56 of the intermediate vertical frame member 54 terminates below the bight portion 40 and preferably does not extend above the uppermost transverse member 46.
The transverse member 46 comprises a metal strap 58 disposed in a vertical plane and abutting the leg portions 36 and 38 and the intermediate upright member 54. Preferably the strap member 58 is secured to the leg portions and upright member by welding. Finger elements 64 and 62 extend horizontally from opposite ends of the strap portion 58 of the transverse member 46 for a purpose described more fully below. The finger elements 60 and 62 preferably have substantially the same height and thickness as the strap portion 58 and are formed integrally with the strap portion. The transverse member 46 further includes means 64 presenting an upwardly facing horizontal surface between the finger portions, which surface is capable of supporting an end of a shelf as will be described below. More specifically the upwardly facing surface means is provided by sections 66 and 68 of the strap member 53 which are offset from sections 70, 72 and 74. In other words, sections '76, 72 and '74 are disposed in abutting relationship with the frame members 36, 33 and 54 while the sections 66 and 68 and the upwardly extending surface 64 provided thereby are offset inwardly of the shelving unit from a plane containing the inwardly facing surfaces of the frame members 36, 38 and 54.
The transverse members 48, 50 and 52 are identical to the above-described transverse member 46 and therefore need not be described in detail. Furthermore, the frame structure or standard 18 includes transverse frame members oppositely from and identical to the transverse frame members 4-6 through 52 and the frame structures or standards 26 and 28 of the unit 14 also includes transverse frame members 71, 73 and '75 which are identical to the frame members 46 through 52. Thus these additional transverse frame members need not be described in detail and elements thereof which correspond to the elements of the transverse frame member 46 are identitied by identical reference numerals.
The shelves 20, 22, 24, 30, 32 and 34 are identical to each other and are adapted to be connected to and supported by the transverse frame members on the opposite end standards in the same manner. More specifically, as shown best in FIGS. 3-7 each of the shelves is preferably formed from sheet metal and comprises a flat horizontal body portion 76 having the desired length and width and having flanges 78 and 80 depending from longitudinal margins thereof. The flanges 78 and 8th are vertically disposed and substantially parallel to each other and respectively terminate in inwardly and reversely turned flange sections 82 and 84. The sections $2 and 84 are substantially parallel to the flanges 78 and 80 respectively and are spaced from the inwardly facing surfaces of the flanges 78 and 80 a distance slightly less than the thickness of the material of the finger elements 6t) and 62 of the transverse frame members.
When assembling the shelving structure, the finger elements 60 and 62 of a transverse frame member are forced into the spaces 86 and 88 between the flange portions 7882 and 8084 so that the shelf member is frictionally connected with the finger elements. The shelf member is forced onto the finger element until a free edge 96 of the body portion 76 substantially abuts the upstanding frame members of the end standard as shown best in FIGS. 4 and 5. It is to be noted that when the shelf member has been fully assembled in this manner, the edge 90 thereof projects over the upwardly facing surface means 64 of the transverse member so that the surface means supports the edge of the shelf. As indicated in broken lines in FIG. 3, the finger elements 66 and 62 initially extend from the strap member 58 in inclined or diverging relationship. Thus when the finger elements are assembled with a shelf member, the finger elements are first flexed inwardly to the full line position shown in FIG. 3 so that they are parallel to each other and aligned with the openings 86 and 88 between the flange sections of the shelf member. However, the inherent resiliency of the steel or other metal from which the transverse frame member is formed continuously biases the finger elements 64) and 62 toward their diverging broken line positions and into aggressive engagement with the flanges of the shelf member. Thus tight frictional engagement between the finger elements and the shelf members is assured regardless of minor variations in dimensions of the parts which may occur when ordinary manufacturing procedures are used. In other words, this structure enables wider manufacturing tolerances to be employed.
As indicated hereinabove, the shelving structure is constructed so that the units 12 and M are adapted to be assembled in vertically stacked relationship easily and securely. In this connection it is to be noted that lower end portions 92 and 94 of vertical leg or frame members and 93 of the standards 26 and 28 are offset laterally outwardly and joined to the remainder of the leg portions by curved sections ltttl and 102. The leg portions 96 and 98 correspond to the leg portions 36 and 36 of the standards of the lower unit and are spaced apart an equal amount so as to be in vertical alignment with the leg portions 36 and 38 when the units are disposed in stacked relationship. The curved sections 100 and 102 are constructed so as to conform to the rounded corner portions 42 and 44- of the lower standard and the curved portions as well as the offset ends 92 and 94 present flat surfaces adapted to mate with the outwardly facing flat surfaces of the lower standard so that the upper shelving unit M is firmly supported on the standards of the lower shelving unit. Furthermore, the flat surfaces securely lock the upper and lower shelving units against relative movement in forward or backward directions.
In order to lock the upper and lower shelving units 14 and 16 against relative endwise movement, connecting clip members MM are provided. While only one of the clip members T04 is shown in detail, it is to be understood that one clip member is adapted to be connected between the upper end of the standard 16 and the lower end of the standard 26 and the other clip member is identically formed by oppositely arranged and adapted to be connected between the upper end of the standard 18 and the lower end of the standard 28.
As shown in FIGS. 3-7, each clip member 104 is preferably formed from sheet metal and comprises a vertically disposed web or body portion 106 having a width similar to but slightly less than the distance between the leg portions 36 and 38 of the standards 16 and the leg portions 96 and 98 of the standard 26. The body portion 106 has a height substantially equal to the distance between the upper surface or edge of the transverse frame member 75 of the standard 26 and the lowermost edge of the transverse frame member 46 of the standard 16 when the shelving units are disposed in stacked relationship. Thus the clip member is adapted to traverse the space between the vertical leg portions of the standards and is adapted to be disposed against the outer surfaces of the transverse members 46 and 75 as shown best in FIG. 5. A slot 108 is provided in the lower margin of the body portion 106 in order to provide clearance for an upper end of the intermediate vertical frame member 54 of the standard 16 and a similar slot flit? is provided in an upper portion of the body portion 106 so as to form a clearance for a lower end of another vertical frame memher 112 welded to the outer surfaces of the transverse frame members of the standard 26.
Each of the clip members 104 has a laterally inwardly extending lower marginal flange 114 adapted to project beneath and engage the lower edge of the transverse frame member 416 and terminating in an upturned flange section 116 engageable with an inwardly facing surface of the transverse frame member 46. The upturned flange section 116 is spaced from the body portion 106 a distance which is substantially equal to the spacing between vertical planes which respectively include the outermost surfaces and the innermost surfaces of the transverse frame member 46. In other words the spacing is substantially equal to the distance between the outwardly facing surfaces of the coplanar portions 70, 72 and 7 of the transverse frame member and the inwardly facing surfaces of the coplanar portions 66 and 68 of the transverse frame member. Thus the transverse frame member 4-6 is adapted to be snugly received and gripped between the flange section 116 and the body member 1%.
Each of the clip members lltM further includes a laterally inwardly extending flange 11.8 at its upper margin which terminates in a downturned flange section 120. The flange M8 is spaced vertically above the flange 11.14 a distance equal to the spacing of the downwardly facing surface or edge of the transverse frame member 46 and the upwardly facing surface or edge of -the transverse frame member 75. The flange section 120 is spaced from the body member 106 only sufliciently to enable it to extend around and down the inwardly facing surface of the transverse frame member 75, and in the embodiment shown, the spacing of the flange section 120 from the body member 106 is the same as the spacing of the flange member 116 When assembling a clip member 104 with the shelving unit, the body member 106 is initially positioned along the inwardly facing surface of one of the adjacent standards, preferably the lower standard and the flange section 116 is hooked around the lower edge of the transverse frame member 46. The clip member is preferably formed from spring steel and the upper portion thereof is flexed outwardly as shown in broken lines in FIG. 5 for enabling the upper flange sections 118 and 120 to be snapped over the upper edge of the transverse frame member 75 to the fully assembled position shown in full lines in FIG. 5. While the clip member is sufliciently resilient to enable it to be manually flexed for assembly purposes, it is also sufficient-ly stiff or rigid to prevent the upper shelving unit from shifting in an endwise direction with respect to the lower shelving unit. In this connection it is to be noted that the transverse frame member 46 of the lower standard is spaced beneath the bight portion 40 of the lower standard a predetermined short distance and the lowermost transverse frame member 75 on the standard of the upper shelving unit is spaced above the downwardly facing shoulder portions 100 and 102 a predetermined short distance such that when the units are fully assembled, the bight portion 40 is located at and reinforces a mid portion of the body member 106.
In order to further resist both lateral and forward and back movement of the upper shelving unit 14 relative to the lower shelf unit pairs of abutment and stop tabs 122 and 124 are disposed between the upper and lower standards at opposite ends of the shelving structure. As shown best in FIGS. 3-7 the tabs 122 and 124 respectively include relatively broad sheet metal body portions 126 and 128 having flanges 130 and 132 extending inwardly and upwardly from lower margins thereof. The tabs are further provided with apertures 134 and 136 adapted to be aligned with apertures 138 and 140 provided in the finger elements 60 and 62 of the transverse frame member 46 for receiving screws 142 and 144. The tabs 122 and 124 are adapted to be positioned against the outwardly facing surfaces of the fingers 60 and 62 and to be secured thereto by the screws with the flanges 130 and 132 hooked beneath the lower edges of the finger elements 60 and 62.
As shown best in FIGS. 4, 5, and 7 the tabs 122 and 124 have a height similar to the distance between the lower edges of the finger elements 60 and 62 of transverse frame member 46 and the upper edges of the corresponding finger elements of the transverse frame member 75 and the tabs are adapted to be positioned so as to extend within and along the inwardly facing surfaces of the finger elements of the transverse frame member 75. Furthermore, the tabs are provided with vertical abutment surfaces 146 and 148 engageable with the inwardly facing surfaces of the transverse frame member 75 for resisting endwise movement of the upper frame unit relative to the lower frame unit. The engagement of the tabs within the inner surfaces of finger elements of the frame member 75 prevents forward and back movement. It is also to be noted that the tabs 122 and 124 serve to cover the finger elements 60 and 62 of the transverse frame member 46 for enhancing the appearance of the overall structure.
While a preferred embodiment of the structure has been shown and described, it is obvious that many structural details may be changed Without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
The invention is claimed as follows:
1. A shelving structure comprising a first shelving unit and a second shelving unit stacked on top of said first unit, said first and second units including vertically aligned end standards respectively having upstanding frame members and generally horizontal transverse frame members, said end standard of said first unit having a first transverse frame member adjacent its upper end and said standard of said second unit having a second transverse frame member adjacent its lower end, a connecting member extending between and respectively connected to said first and second transverse frame members and retaining first and second units in assembled relationship, said connecting member comprising a resilient body including reversely extending flange sections adjacent lower and upper margins thereof and respectively hooked beneath and over said first and second transverse frame members, said first and second transverse frame members being vertically spaced from each other, and said standard of said first unit including another generally horizontal member disposed between and spaced from both of said first and second transverse members for engaging and supporting a mid portion of said body of the connecting member, said standard of said second unit including a pair of said upstanding frame members respectively having lower end portions bent and extending forwardly and rearwardly and then downwardly and providing downwardly facing shoulder means engageable with an upper end of the standard of said first unit.
2. A shelving structure, as defined in claim 1, wherein said lower end portions present inwardly facing substantially flat surfaces and said standard of said first unit includes means providing substantially flat surfaces meeting with said first mentioned flat surfaces.
3. A shelving structure, comprising a first shelving unit and a second shelving unit stacked on top of said first unit, said first unit including opposite end upright standards and a plurality of shelves extending between and connecting said standards, said second unit including a pair of opposite end standards and a plurality of shelves extending between and connecting said last mentioned standards, each of said standards of said first unit including spaced apart front and back upstanding frame members and a plurality of vertically spaced generally horizontally disposed transverse frame members extending between the front and back upstanding frame members, each of said transverse frame members including a flat generally vertically arranged strap-like body member presenting a narrow exposed upper edge and having opposite end portions disposed substantially in a vertical plane abutting and secured to adjacent upstanding front and back frame members and intermediate portions disposed substantially in a vertical plane offset inwardly from said opposite end portions, said shelves of said first unit having ends overlying and supported by said narrow upper edge of said offest intermediate portions of certain of said transverse frame members, each of said standards of said second shelving unit including a pair of front and back upstanding frame members and a plurality of trans verse frame members, each of said last-mentioned transverse frame members including a flat generally vertically arranged strap-like body member presenting a narrow exposed upper edge and having opposite end portions disposed substantially in a vertical plane and abutting and secured to said upstanding front and back frame members of its associated standard and intermediate portions disposed substantially in another vertical plane offset inwardly from said last-mentioned opposite end portions, the shelves of said second unit including ends overlying and supported by said narrow upper edge of said lastmentioned offset intermediate portions, one of said transverse frame members of each standard of said first unit being adjacent the top of its associated standard and one of said transverse frame members of each standard of said second unit being adjacent the bottom of its associated standard, connecting members respectively extending between and connected to said top and bottom transverse frame members, each of said connecting members comprising a resilient sheet material member including upper and lower marginal reversely extending flange sec tions respectively hooked beneath and over adjacent top References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 10/1891 Hartmann 10891 1/1918 Kuehl 211-148 Zalkind 312111 Scheinrnan 312111 Dunston 108-110 Schwarz 1()864 Brittin 182-178 Stillman 312111 Hamilton 108111 Van Syoc 108-111 Hamilton 108-111 FOREIGN PATENTS 6/ 1942 France.
FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.