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Publication numberUS3220790 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 30, 1965
Filing dateMay 22, 1963
Priority dateMay 22, 1963
Publication numberUS 3220790 A, US 3220790A, US-A-3220790, US3220790 A, US3220790A
InventorsWhite Ralph B
Original AssigneeWhite Ralph B
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Convertible cabinet structure
US 3220790 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Nov. 30, 1965 R. B. WHITE CONVERTIBLE CABINET STRUCTURE 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed May 22, 1963 fin/62220;; Eek/7 B. W/wZ'e,

My yaw/7 s.

Nov. 30, 1965 R. B. WHITE 3,220,790

CONVERTIBLE CABINET STRUCTURE Filed May 22, 1963 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Witter/263s.

United States Patent O 3,220,790 CONVERTIBLE CABIYET STRUCTURE Ralph B. White, 2526 Castle Drive, Fort Wayne, Ind. Filed May 22, 1963, Ser. No. 282,444 11 Claims. (Cl. 312-240) The present invention relates to a convertible cabinet structure and more particularly to a sewing center which is foldable into a compact cabinet unit when it is not being used.

It is conventional in the art of sewing to keep what is known as a sewing basket in which is maintained the usual sewing supplies such as scissors, needles, threads, tapes and the like. Also, sewing machines have been employed with small cabinet devices in which are kept the 'usual supplies, accessories and equipment used in conjunction with the sewing machine for performing different sewing operations. These prior art devices have the disadvantage that the supplies and equipment are not always convenient to the operator for immediate use, such that a sewing operation becomes somewhat time consuming in the respect that all of the supplies and materials needed are not always conveniently at hand and must be searched for. Further, when a sewing operation was completed, the various cabinets, baskets and similar storage devices needed to be independently handled and stored away, thereby adding to the inconvenience and also the problem of storage.

The present invention overcomes certain of these disadvantages in providing a cabinet structure whdch is adapted to contain all of the usual supplies, materials and equipment needed in connection with operating a sewing machine, this cabinet structure being conveniently convertible into a working surface and a conveniently accessible storage compartment and further being foldable into a compact unit which may be stored easily. Also, when the structure is folded for storage, it constitutes an attractive piece of furniture which adds to rather than detracts from room decor.

It is therefore an object of thisinvention to provide a convertible cabinet structure which may be easily folded into a compact unit for storage and alternatively convertible into a working surface and conveniently accessible storage compartments.

Another object of this invention is to provide a convertible cabinet structure which provides a basic cabinetunit having doors or compartments for storing supplies and an accessory compartment operatively secured thereto which may be operated to one of a given number of possible positions for placing the contents within the convenient reach of an operator.

It is still another object of this invention to provide a sewing center which may be folded'into acompact cabinet structure for storage and alternatively unfolded to provide a fiat, sewing surface as well as an elevatable storage compartment immediately adjacent to the surface which is conveniently accessible to an operator.

Other objects will become apparent as the description proceeds.

The above-mentioned and other features and objects of this invention and the manner of attaining them will become more apparent and the invention itself will be best understood by reference to the following description of 3,Z2ll,7% Patented Nov. 30, 1965 "ice an embodiment of the'invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front elevation of one embodiment of this invention in folded condition and ready for storage;

FIG. 2 is a front elevation of the arrangement of FIG. 1 but unfolded to working condition;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary front view, partially sectioned, showing the elevatable accessory compartment in one of its operating positions;

FIG. 4 is a perspective illustration of the arrangement of FIG. 1 unfolded to its working position and with the accessory compartment elevated;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary, partially sectioned, perspective illustration of the structure whereby the accessory compartment may be elevated or swung as may be desired; and

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary perspective illustration showing the locking device for maintaining the accessory compartment of the preceding figures in elevated position.

Referring to the drawings, the invention is shown as being embodied in a sewing center which comprises a basic cabinet unit 10 of rectangular shape having upright lateral side walls 12 and 14, a flat top surface 16 and an upright rear wall 18. Since it is desired that the sewing center be attractive and lit in with the usual furniture decor found in the home, the material from which the cabinet unit. 10 is made preferably is a fine grade of wood.

The cabinet unit 10 is provided with a plurality of conventional drawers Zil in the front portion thereof, and for ease in moving the unit from one place to another it is mounted on suitable casters 22.

As shown more clearly in FIGS. 5 and 6, the back wall 18 is laterally extended beyond the side wall 14 to provide a supporting wall section indicated by the numeral 24. The side wall 14 is notched along the rear vertical edge thereof to provide with the wall section 24a slot 26. On the outer upright edge of the extension 24 is provided an upright bar member 28 having a vertical slot 36 which faces the slot 26. These slots 26 and 36 are spaced apart and parallel and have the rearmost surfaces thereof flush with the inner surface of the supporting extension 24.

The bottom of the cabinet unit 10 is extended horizontally, as shown in FIG. 5, to provide a platform 32 on which the upright bar 28 is supported and the rear Wall section 24 is attached.

A slide member indicated by the numeral 34 in FIG. 5 is shown as being fabricated of two elongated flat boards which are secured together in face-to-face relation with one of the boards 36 being narrower than the other board 38. With the board 36 being centered on the board 38, the lateral edge portions of the board 38 extend outwardly as lip portions 40. These lip portions 40 are slidably received by the slots 26 and 30, respectively, whereby the slide 34 can be moved vertically. Otherwise, the slide 34 is so dimensioned that only this vertical sliding movement will be permitted, the width of the lip portions 40 being only slightly smaller than the width of the slots 26, 30. Desirably, the width of the smaller board 36 is made equal to the spacing between the side wall 14 and the bar 28 so as to further confine the movement of the slide 34 to vertical directions.

A storage or accessory compartment indicated generally by the reference numeral 41 is shown as being of rectan- J gular, tray shape having upper and lower walls 42 and 44 respectively, front and rear walls 46 and 48 respectively, and a side panel 56. This compartment has a depth or thickness approximately equal to the rear wall extension 24 (FIG. a width from front to rear approximately equal to the front to rear dimension of the top surface 16, and a height dimension which is approximately equal to the height of the cabinet unit 10. Being thus dimensioned, and engaged with the side wall 14, this compartment 41 in effect constitutes a lateral extension of the cabinet unit 10.

This compartment 41 is secured to the slide 34 (FIG. 5) by means of a hinge 52 having an upright hinge joint 54 contiguously aligned with the corner of the compartment formed between the panel 50 and rear wall 48. By this means, the compartment 41 can be swung horizontally about the vertical hinge connection 54 into the nested position shown in FIG. 1, and outwardly therefrom as shown by the dashed lines 41a in FIG. 1 and the full line position of FIG. 5. The compartment 41, the location of the hinge 52 and the remaining parts of the structure are so dimensioned that the compartment 41 is swingable into engagement with the side Wall 14 of the cabinet so as to completely close the open side of the compartment. This position is shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The compartment may be provided with a series of shelves 56 and the like for storing the usual sewing supplies.

Spaced upwardly a short distance from the bottom end of the slide 34 is provided a horizontal groove 58 as shown more clearly in FIG. 6. A 'bar spring 60 is secured at its lower end by means of screws or the like to the back side of the rear wall extension 24 and extends upwardly to a point just above the upper edge 62 of the rear wall 18. A detent block 64 is secured to the top part of the spring 60 and movably overlies the upper edge 62 so as to slidably engage the back side of the slide 34. The bar spring 60 is preformed such that when the groove 58 coincides with the position of the detent block 64, the latter will enter thereinto and will lock the slide 34 against vertical movement. By means of this detentlocking arrangement, the compartment 41 may be elevated to and secured in the position shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 and in dashed lines in FIG. 2.

A second storage compartment or platform indicated generally by the reference numeral 66 is shown as being of rectangular shape and is of box-like structure. The length and width dimensions thereof are made equal to those of the cabinet top 16 and compartment top 42 when the compartment 41 is closed to the position shown in FIG. 1. The vertical depth of the platform 66 may be of any suitable dimension, and as shown in the drawings is sufficient to contain a conventional sewing machine 68 shown in dashed lines in FIG. 2. The usual mechanism may be mounted on this platform structure 66 for swinging the sewing machine 68 thereinto When it is desired to store the same.

The platform 66 is connected to the cabinet 10 by means of a horizontal hinge 70 such that the platform 66 may be swung to a superposed position as shown in FIG. 1 or outwardly to a laterally extended position as shown in FIG. 4. When swung to the position shown in FIG. 1, the platform overlies the cabinet 10 and closed compartment 41 so as to constitute a congruent vertical extension thereof. When unfolded outwardly as shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, the surface 72 of the platform is horizontally coextensive with the cabinet surface 16 so as to provide a continuous working surface in combination therewith, engagement of the platform side 67 with side wall 12 holding platform 66 in this position. This working surface is extended by means of a drop leaf 74 hingedly connected to the platform 66 at 76. In order to secure the drop leaf 74 in elevated, horizontal position as shown in FIG. 2, a locking bar 78 pivotally connected at80 to the drop leaf extends through an opening 82 in the side of the platform 66 and has a notch which engages the edge of the opening 82 as shown. This opening 82 is made large enough such that the locking bar 78 can be disengaged with the edge of the opening, thereby allowing the leaf 74 to be dropped and the bar 78 to move into the platform 66.

When the cabinet structure is not in use, it is folded to the position shown in FIG. 1. In this condition, it is a unitary, rectangular cabinet structure which can be transported as such to a place of storage. When it is desired to use the structure as a sewing center, the platform 66 is swung about the hinge to the position shown in FIGS. 2 and 4 and the sewing machine 68 is withdrawn from the platform to the upright position shown in dashed lines in FIG. 2. The drop leaf 74 is also raised to the position shown in FIG. 2. The compartment 41 may be laterally swung outwardly from its lowered position to that shown by the numeral 41a in FIG. 1 or in the alternative it may be raised to the position shown in FIG. 4 in which the contents thereof are conveniently accessible from a position adjacent to the cabinet top 16. The compartment also may be swung outwardly while in the elevated position. When it is desired to lower the compartment, the bar spring 60 is deflected rearwardly so as to release the detent block 64 from the locking groove 58. The slide 34 is then free to move downwardly until it rests against the bottom extension 32.

While I have described above the principles of my invention in connection with specific apparatus, it is to be clearly understood that this description is made only by way of example and not as a limitation to the scope of my invention.

What is claimed is:

1. A convertible cabinet comprising a base having first and second side walls, front and rear walls, and a fiat top, said rear wall extending laterally beyond said first wall, said first wall having an elongated upright notch therein adjacent to said rear wall for forming a first vertical slot, an elongated vertical member secured to the rear wall extension and having a second vertical slot which is parallel to said first slot, said first and second slots opening toward each other and having one side thereof lying in the plane of the inner rear wall surface, an elongated rigid flat member fitted into said first and second slots for vertical sliding movement, said member having a transverse groove therein which opens rearwardly toward said rear wall extension, a bar spring secured at one end to said rear wall and carrying a detent which is enterable into said groove, said bar spring being preformed to urge yieldably said detent into engagement with said member and also into said groove, said detent being positioned adjacent to said top and said groove being located adjacent to the bottom of said member whereby engagement of said detent with said groove serves to lock said member in elevated position, a rectangular storage compartment having upright front and rear sides and horizontal top and bottom sides, said compartment also having a side panel secured to said sides thereby forming said compartment into a tray shape, said compartment being operatively positioned against said first side wall adjacent to said rear wall extension, the open side of said compartment lying against the last-mentioned side wall to be closed thereby, said compartment having substantially the same vertical and depth dimensions as said base to thereby constitute a lateral extension thereof, said compartment rear side being hingedly mounted on said member for swinging movement about a vertical axis, the axis of said hinge mounting being vertical and disposed adjacent to the corner of said compartment which is formed between said rear side and said side panel, said compartment having retaining devices therein, a second rectangular compartment having width and depth dimensions which are substantially the same as the width and depth dimensions of the base and storage compartment combined, said second compartment being operatively congruently superposed on top of said base and storage compartment combined, said second compartment and said base being hingedly connected together along the corner of said flat top and said second side Wall and the contiguous corner of said second compartment, said second compartment being swingable to a second horizontal position in which it constitutes a surface extension of said fiat top laterally beyond said second side wall.

2. The convertible cabinet of claim 1 wherein said base is a cabinet unit of rectangular shape and is provided with a plurality of drawers in the front wall thereof, said storage compartment, said second compartment and said cabinet unit when folded together forming a rectangular cabinet structure.

3. The convertible cabinet of claim 1 wherein said storage compartment is vertically movable with said member to an upper position at which the open side thereof partially extends above the flat top of said base.

4. The convertible cabinet of claim 1 wherein said second compartment is of rigid construction and is supported in its second horizontal position by engagement with the second side wall of said base.

5. A convertible cabinet comprising a base having first and second side walls, front and rear walls, and a fiat top, said rear wall extending laterally beyond said first wall, said first wall having an elongated upright notch therein adjacent to said rear wall for forming a first vertical slot, an elongated vertical member secured to the rear wall extension and having a second vertical slot which is parallel to said first slot, said first and second slots opening toward each other and having one side thereof lying in the plane of the inner rear wall surface, an elongated rigid fiat member fitted into said first and second slots for vertical sliding movement, said member having a transverse groove therein which opens rearwardly toward said rear Wall extension, a bar spring secured at one end to said rear wall and carrying a detent which is enterable into said groove, said bar spring being preformed to urge yieldably said detent into engagement with said member and also into said groove, said detent being positioned adjacent to said top and said groove being located adjacent to the bottom of said member whereby engagement of said detent with said groove serves to lock said member in elevated position, a rectangular storage compartment having upright front and rear sides and horizontal top and bottom sides, said compartment also having a side panel secured to said sides thereby forming said compartment into a tray shape, said compartment being operatively positioned against said first side wall adjacent to said rear wall extension, the open side of said compartment lying against the last-mentioned side wall to be closed thereby, said compartment having substantially the same vertical and depth dimensions as said base to thereby constitute a lateral extension thereof, said compartment rear side being hingedly mounted on said member for swinging movement about a vertical axis, the axis of said hinge mounting being vertical and disposed adjacent to the corner of said compartment which is formed between said rear side and said side panel.

6. A convertible cabinet structure comprising a base unit of rectangular shape having first and second lateral walls, said base unit also having a top surface and a rear wall, a tray-like compartment of rectangular shape having one closed and one open side, said compartment being operatively positioned with its open side against said first lateral wall and being closed thereby, said compartment being dimensioned such as to constitute a lateral congruent extension of said base unit, means connecting said compartment to said rear wall for selectively swinging said compartment about a vertical axis toward and away from said first lateral wall, means mounting said compartment on said base unit for vertical movement relative thereto, means for selectively locking said compartment in elevated position with respect to said base unit, and a platform unit operatively congruently superposed on said top surface and compartment combined, said platform unit and said base unit being hingedly connected together along the horizontal corners thereof contiguous to the intersection of said top surface and said second lateral wall, said platform unit being swingabl'e outwardly to a position at which it constitutes a horizontal surface exten sion of said top surface, and means for holding said platform unit in the last-mentioned position, said platform unit in said last-mentioned position being elevated above a supporting surface upon which said base unit is rested thereby providing a table-like structure having space th'erebeneath.

7. The convertible cabinet of claim 6v wherein said platform is a rigid box-like structure'having a height which is less than the height of said cabinet unit.

8. A convertible cabinet structure comprising a base unit of rectangular shape having first and second lateral walls, said base unit also having a top surface and a rear wall, a tray-like compartment of rectangular shape having one closed and one open side, said compartment being operatively positioned with its open side against said first lateral wall and being closed thereby, said compartment being dimensioned such as to constitute a lateral congruent extension of said base unit, means connecting said compartment to said rear wall for selectively swinging said compartment about a vertical axis toward and away from said first lateral wall, means mounting said compartment on said base unit for vertical movement relative thereto, means for selectively locking :said compartment in elevated position with respect to said base unit.

9. A convertible cabinet structure comprising a base unit having first and second oppositely disposed lateral walls and a top surface, a storage compartment having one open side, said compartment being operatively positioned with its open side against and closed by said first wall, said compartment constituting a lateral extension of said base unit, means hingedly connecting said compartment to said base unit for selectively swinging said compartment about a vertical axis toward and away from said first wall, means mounting said compartment on said base unit for vertical movement relative thereto, said compartment being opened by said swinging and vertical movement, independently of each other, means for selectively locking said compartment in elevated position with respect to said base unit, and a platform unit operatively superposed on said top surface and compartment combined, said platform unit and said base unit being hingedly connected together at a location spaced from said compartment, means including said last-named hinge connection whereby said platform unit may be swung selectively about a horizontal axis from its operative position on said top surface to a second position laterally of said base unit in which it provides a horizontal surface extension of said top surface.

10. A convertible cabinet structure comprising a base unit having first and second oppositely disposed lateral Walls and a top surface, a storage compartment having one open side, said compartment being operatively positioned with its open side against and closed by said first wall, said compartment constituting a lateral extension of said base unit, means hingedly connecting said compartment to said base unit for selectively swinging said compartment about a vertical axis toward and away from said first wall, means mounting said compartment on said base unit for vertical movement relative thereto, said compartment being opened by said swinging and vertical movement, independently of each other, and a platform unit operatively superposed on said top surface and compartment combined, said platform unit and said base unit being hingedly connected together at a location spaced from said compartment, means including said last-named hinge connection whereby said platform unit may be selectively swung about a horizontal axis from its operative position on said top surface to a second position laterally of said base unit in which it provides a horizontal surface extension of said top surface.

11. A convertible cabinet structure comprising a base unit having first and second oppositely disposed lateral walls and a top surface, a storage compartment having one open side, said compartment being operatively positioned with its open side against and closed by said first wall, a portion of said compartment constituting an extension of said top surface of said base unit, means hingedly connecting said compartment to said base unit for selectively swinging said compartment about a vertical axis toward and away from said first wall, means mounting said compartm'ent on said base unit for vertical movement relative thereto, and means for selectively locking said compartment in elevated position with respect to said base unit, said compartment being opened by said swinging and vertical movement, independently of each other.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 676,539 6/1901 Hall 312201 1,242,916 10/1917 Brooks 312201 1,478,371 12/1923 Albrighton 19012 3,078,133 2/1963 Schauer 312322 XR 10 FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.

CHANCELLOR E. HARRIS, Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US676539 *Jul 23, 1900Jun 18, 1901Frank W HallPortable secretary for travelers.
US1242916 *Mar 26, 1915Oct 16, 1917Edward BrooksSewing-cabinet.
US1478371 *Feb 15, 1922Dec 25, 1923Albrighton Walter RCamping cabinet
US3078133 *Nov 13, 1956Feb 19, 1963Schauer Wilbert EPivotally and vertically movable shelf structure
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3520582 *Aug 26, 1968Jul 14, 1970Wilder RichardProjector stand and storage unit
US3997221 *Mar 18, 1976Dec 14, 1976Baxter Laboratories, Inc.Electronic equipment cabinet
US4105096 *May 31, 1977Aug 8, 1978Unarco Industries, Inc.Checkstand
US5156450 *Feb 5, 1991Oct 20, 1992Lee Reginald DPortable soap caddy assembly
US6135583 *Nov 20, 1998Oct 24, 2000Steelcase Development Inc.Storage unit
US7628043 *Dec 30, 2005Dec 8, 2009Whirlpool CorporationModular laundry system with horizontal modules
US8668209 *Jul 9, 2012Mar 11, 2014Mary Sue AnzivinoPortable modular tool cabinet systems
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/240, 312/208.5, 312/282, 312/290, 312/350, 312/326, 312/298
International ClassificationA47B85/08, A47B85/00, A47B29/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B29/00, A47B85/08
European ClassificationA47B29/00, A47B85/08