US 3292986 A
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Ilnited States Patent 3,292,986 RAIL SLIDE Jay G. Fenwick, Mundelein, lll., assigner to Morton Manufaeturing Company, Chicago, Ill., a corporation of Illinois Filed .lune 22, 1964, Ser. No. 376,985 3 Claims. (Cl. 312-333) This application is a continuation-impart of my copending application, Serial No. 362,712, filed April 27, 1964.
This invention relates to a rail slide, and, more particularly, to a slide mounting which is advantageously ernployed in connection with a drawer, shelf, platform, or like slidable, extensible member.
As indicated immediately above, the invention has application to a wide variety of uses. However, an important and readily comprehended use exists in the drawer field. The matter of reducing friction and facilitating sliding of drawers is an historic one. By and large, the art has resorted either to a complete absence of frictionreducing means, or very complex constructions for facilitating the sliding of drawers and like platforms.
The object of this invention is thus to solve this historic problem and provide a novel means for slidably supporting a platform-providing surface such as a drawer, which is simple, yet effective. Reference to that application may be had for additional details of construction and operation not set down in this case.
Part of the difliculty with existing bearing supports is the work required for installation. In contrast to this, the instant invention provides a slide of essentially unitary construction which embodies a simple yet rugged design for making tooling very economical as compared to present methods. In particular, the instant structure provides for greater simplicity in cabinet construction and drawer construction-eliminating the so-called mating drawer body track hardware. Manufacturing costs are further decreased because of the elimination of extra parts, i.e., the drawer bottom track is formed from the drawer bottom itself; the slide is a one-piece part including means for mounting or attaching the same to a desired cabinet, wall, etc. The provision of such an advantageously constructed slide thus constitutes another object of the invention.
In particular, the invention, in contrast to what has gone before, does not require the expensive, very precise locating of the conventional roller. This simplifies manufacturing finishing and, most of all, installation. The unit can be installed in any area between two vertical walls utilizing conventional installation methods. Thus, the invention makes available for the first time a simple but strong, long lived, economical drawer or other type slide for commercial or home use application. It is susceptible of installation in any cabinet structure, and its positioning and locating is automatically controlled by ythe shape and function of the unit. In View of this, still another object of the invention is to provide a rail slide embodying a unique roller and rail coaction which is advantageously incorporated into a Wide variety of mounting structures and without the need of having the slide dictate the mounting structure arrangement but, instead, adapting the slide to the mounting structure.
Yet another object of the invention is to provide a rail slide which advantageously incorporates a self-closing feature adjustable, for example, to any drawer depth and without the usually expected costly tooling changes. However, the self-closing feature can be eliminated (and again without tool changes) for special applications such as desk drawers, kitchen cabinets, etc.
A yet further object of the invention is to provide a rail track or slide which is constructed so as to be interchangeable, i.e., right-hand or left-hand, which is significantly effective in simplifying production and inventory controls and in the reduction of costs.
Other objects and advantages of the invention may be seen in the details of operation and construction set down in this specification.
The invention is explained in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which- FIG. l is an exploded, fragmentary, perspective View of an embodiment of the invention featuring the application of the invention to a drawer part;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged front elevational view of the rail track or guide member found in the central portion of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an end elevational view of the monorail track such as would be seen from the sight line 3-3 applied to FIG. 2; and
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary sectional view taken along the line 4 4 applied to FIG. 2.
In the illustration given and with particular reference to FIG. 1, the numeral 10 designates generally a frame for receiving a drawer generally designated 11 (illustrated as a fragment of the bottom). Further, the frame 10 includes a right side wall 12 and a front subframe 13. The right wall 12, the front subframe 13, and a left side wall (not shown) are interconnectable along with a rear wall 14 to define a generally rectangular enclosure for receiving the drawer part 11. Further, each side wall provides means or a base for the mounting of the inventive monorail slide or guide member generally designated 15 (also seen in more detailed form in FIGS. 2-4). The position of the front subframe 13, when installed, is seen in dotted line and is designated by the numeral 13. In like fashion, the slide member 15, in its installed condition, is shown in dotted line and is designated by the numeral 15.
More specifically, in the illustration given, the side wall 12 is equipped with a C-shaped flange at its front end as at 16. The flange 16 constitutes half of an interlock cooperating with a mating C-shaped flange 17 provided on the rail slide member 15. Additionally, the C-shaped flange 16 receives a complementarily-contoured flange 18 provided on the front subframe 13. The flange 18 is seen to be foreshortened, i.e., terminating short of the base of the front subframe 13, as at 19, to accommodate mounting the flange 17 of the rail slide member 15 in the flange 16.
Referring to the upper right-hand corner in FIG. 1 wherein the front subframe 13 is depicted in fragmentary form, the numeral 20 designates a grooved roller which constitutes one sliding bearing -for the drawer 11. The other sliding roller bearing for the drawer part 11 is provided in the form of a second grooved roller designated 21 and which is rotatably mounted on a depending side flange 22 provided as part of the drawer part 11 (see FIG. 4).
elongated slot generally designated 26 provided in` the elongated rail slide member 15.
The slot 26 is seen to include two longitudinallyextending portions: a first portion designated 27 in the dotted line showing of member 15 in FIG. 1, in which the slot-defining side edges 28 and 29 are parallel; and a second portion designated 30 in FIG. 1 (relative to the showing designated 15') wherein the side edges as at 31 and 32 diverge in proceeding toward the rear wall 14. Advantageously, the divergence of each wall relative to the longitudinal center line of the member 15 is of the order of 2. This provides automatic shelf-closing or self-seating of the drawer part 11. The symmetry of the slot 26 about the longitudinal center line makes it possible to use an identical element for the left-hand or second wall part (not shown).
Provision is made for the complete withdrawal of the drawer part 11 (and here it should be understood that a platform or shelf may be substituted as desired for the drawer part 11) through having the slot 26 communicate through the end wall 33 of the member 15 as at 34. Thus, the second grooved roller 21 can be withdrawn from the slot 26.
Advantageously, the member 15 is developed by welding a slot-containing portion 35 (see FIG. 4) to a base portion 36. Equally advantageously, the rail can be economically formed from a variety of materials in addition to steel, such as aluminum, plastic, and wood. It is contemplated that the material will be determined by the actual end use of the invention, and thus the supporting structure, i.e., the cabinet, determines the character of the slide rather than the reverse, which is characteristic of present-day expedients.
Also, as can be appreciated from a consideration of FIG. 1, the member 15 is provided with intermediate end wall portions as at 33 to provide steps as at 37. The member 15 is rigidly but removably mounted in place through the coaction of the channels 17 and 38 (at the front and rear ends, respectively), with the complementary channels 16 provided in the side wall 12. Any tendency of the member 15 to rise Within the channels 16 is opposed by the weight of thefront frame member 13. Additionally, the channels 16 are notched as at 39 (see FIG. 1) to facilitate insertion of the member 15. Thus, if the frame is a rigidly connected enclosure (as contrasted to theseparable parts shown), it is possible to mount the slide member without disassembling the frame 10.
In the illustration given, however, the frame 10 is of the separable or detachable type, and for this purpose the rear channel of the side wall 12 is equipped with a lock element generally designated 40 which coacts with complementarily-contoured channel 41 provided on the rear wall part 14.
In the operation of the device, the slide member 15 is mounted in the side wall 12 as shown in dotted line at 15' in FIG. l-the side wall 12 serving as a base to cause the slot 26 to lie in a plane parallel to, but spaced from, the side wall 12. Operably associated with the member 15 is the lower portion of the front subframe 13 which carries the rst grooved roller 20. A consideration of FIG. 4 reveals that the lower edge 23 of the drawer flange 22 is spaced further away from the side wall 12 than the groove 25 of the second grooved roller 21, so that an advantageous lateral stabilization is provided along both sides of the drawer part 11. Still further, the bearing provided by the slot, tiange, and rollers occurs at different vertical levels on each side, developing a still further stabilization. In some instances, it may be desirable to provide the roller 20 as part of the member 15, as contrasted to having the same Operably associated therewith as shown, and where the drawer part 11 is desired to be used as a platform, upstanding side walls to deline a drawer enclosure can be omitted. In the illustration given, elongated openings 42 are provided in the platform portion 43 of the drawer part 11 for the mounting of upstanding side and end walls.
The above-described construction allows for greater use of cubic space in cabinet and drawer constructions. Using the rail slide 15 results in at least about a 17% increase in certain drawer and cabinet storage spaceover existing methods and hardware. The construction of the rail and grooved rollers allows for` greater increase in drawer span because of the improved stability described hereinbefore. Until this invention, a four-foot drawer was the longest span possible to obtain functionally with old designs. The rail will function on a five-foot span without binding on grooved rollers. This is especially significant, since the drawer or shelf can now be operated at any point along the facia of the unit. The old type track and slide arrangement had to be operated from the general center line of the unit or else drawers would bind and lock.
While in the foregoing specification a detailed description of an embodiment of the invention has been set down for the purpose of illustration, many variations in the details herein given may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
1. A mounting for slidably supporting a platform member, comprising a frame providing spaced-apart, confronting walls, an elongated, generally horizontallyextending slot in each wall, the lower edge of each slot constituting a guide rail, first grooved roller means outstanding from each wall adjacent one end of its associated slot, and a platform member having wall portions extending parallel to said confronting wall, second grooved roller means outstanding from each wall portion into one of said slots land slidably mounted on the guide `rail of its associated slot, each of said slots having a rst end disposed adjacent said first grooved roller means, each slot adjacent the other end thereof having a portion of its guide rail inclined downwardly in proceeding away from said slot irst end, each of said slots being symmetrical about a longitudinal center line, said confronting walls being detachable from said frame, whereby said confronting walls may be interchanged.
2. A rail guide for a drawer, and the like, comprising a unitary plate-like member having a base portion and an elongated wall portion disposed in spaced parallel connected relation thereto, said wall portion having a longitudinally-extending slot therein commencing at one end of said wall member but terminating short of the other end of said wall member, at least one slot edge being straight over at least a substantial portion of its length to serve as a guide rail for a grooved roller introduced into said slot from said one end, and means on said base portion for securing the same to a support structure, said slot adjacent said other end having said one edge downwardly inclined relative to said straight portion to cause a grooved roller riding on said edge to become seated adjacent said other end, said slot being symmetrical about the longitudinal center line of said wall portion whereby a single guide may be used to support both sides of a drawer, and the like. v
3. A mounting for slidably supporting a platform member, comprising a frame providing spaced-apart, confronting walls, an elongated, generally horizontallyextending slot inreach wall, the lower edge of each slot constituting a guide rail, lirst grooved roller means outstanding from each Wall adjacent one end of its associated slot, and a platform member having wall portions extend- 5 6 ing parallel to said confronting wall, second grooved roller References Cited by the Examiner means outstanding from each Wall portion into one of UNITED STATES PATENTS said slots and shdably mounted on the guide rail of its associated slot, said platform member being equipped 1800052 4/1931 Brumbaugh 1%"339 with spaced depending anges constituting said Wall por- 5 2,328,835 9/1943 Motter S12-341 X tions, each of said flanges providing a second guide rail 3106f202 10/1963 Arduna 126-340 along its lower edge for coaction with said rst grooved roller means, said rst grooved roller means being posi- CLAUDE A' LE ROY P'lmary Exammer' tioned below said one end of its associated slot. F. DOMOTOR, Assistant Examiner.