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Publication numberUS3294043 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 27, 1966
Filing dateApr 29, 1965
Priority dateApr 29, 1965
Publication numberUS 3294043 A, US 3294043A, US-A-3294043, US3294043 A, US3294043A
InventorsJames E Joyce
Original AssigneeAmerican Metal Prod
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shelf frame
US 3294043 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dec. 27, 1966 J. E. JOYCE 3,29%43 SHELF FRAME Filed April 29, 1965 INVENTOR.

JZ ms 5. Joyce A TTOR/VVE United States Patent 3,294,043 SHELF FRAME James E. Joyce, Battle Creek, Mich, assignor to American Metal Products Company, Detroit, Mich, a corporation of Michigan Filed Apr. 29, 1965, Ser. No. 451,806 14 Claims. ((31. 108-111) This invention relates to a shelf frame and, more particularly, to a shelf frame comprising a plurality of integral elongated upright post members adapted to support shelves extending intwo directions therefrom with each of the shelves having a flange extending substantially erpendicular from the edge thereof so that a recess disposed along each of the flanges adds strength characteristics to the flange and may be utilized to removably secure name tags, or the like, therein.

Facilities for the orderly storage and display of goods, articles, and merchandise usually involve the use of many shelves. These shelves are preferably quick and easy to install and remove, and are readily adjustable to compensate for differences in sizes of stored items.

One of the most common type of shelves heretofore utilized has been one having a flange extending perpendicularly downward from the surface of the shelf along the edges thereof through which bolts, screws, or the like, are disposed to secure and attach the shelf to various upright post members. Alternatively, the upright post members often have a means projecting therefrom for the flange of the shelf to rest on to thereby support the shelf.

Of the shelves heretofore utilized, two problems have been associated with the construction of shelves utilizing such flanges. The first is that often a planar flange extending downward from the edge of the upper surface of the shelf does not possess suflicient strength characteristics to support the shelf when the shelf is loaded with heavy objects. Secondly, it is often desirous and sometimes necessary to attach identifying name tags to the flange along one side of the shelf so that the particular articles or class of articles stored on the particular shelf to which the name tag is attached may be readily identifled. To attach such name tags to the shelves of the type heretofore utilized, special attaching means or a bonding material, such as glue, or the like, must be utilized to secure the name tag to the flange. When such securing means are utilized to secure the name tag to the flange, the name tags are not readily removed and replaced.

There have been other types of shelves heretofore utilized which have the requisite strength characteristics necessary to support heavy loads, but such shelves are usually secured to the upright post members by screws, bolts, or the like, such that the shelf frame assembly may not be easily assembled or knocked down so that the parts thereof may be shipped to distant points and thereafter reassembled with a minimum of time and labor.

Furthermore, the shelf frames of the type heretofore utilized which have achieved high strength characteristics are for the most part very unattractive, and, in fact, usually the more strength that a shelf frame assembly possesses, the more bulky it is and consequently the more unattractive it is. One of the problems associated with the prior art shelf frames is that the upright post members are usually not configured for optimum strength in correlation with giving the shelf frame an attractive appearance. One of the problems is that usually the securing or attaching means utilized to attach and secure the various shelves to the upright post members are readily observable, thus, making the shelf frame assembly unsightly and unattractive.

Accordingly, it is an object and feature of this invention to provide a shelf which may be supported on a flange extending from the edges thereof, which flange is formed to have high strength characteristics.

Another object and feature of this invention is to provide a shelf having a flange extending therefrom formed and adapted so that name tags, or the like, are readily attached to and removed from the flange without the need of additional means to secure such name tags to the flange.

A further object and feature of this invention is to provide an upright post member formed in such a way as to have very high strength characteristics yet is neat in appearance and hides from view the fastening or attachment means for securing the shelves to the upright members.

Yet another object and feature of this invention is to provide an upright post member formed in such a manner so as to prevent articles being removed from the shelf from catching on the upright post member.

Still another object and feature of this invention is to provide a shelf frame having high strength characteristics yet is attractive and may be readily assembled or knocked down so that the parts thereof may be shipped to distant points and thereafter be assembled with a minimum of time and labor.

A still further object and feature of this invention is to provide a shelf frame wherein the shelves are quick and easy to install and remove and may be disposed at various vertical distances along the upright post to compensate for dilferences in sizes of stored items.

In general, these and other objects and features of this invention may be attained by a shelf frame including a plurality of integral elongated members having means attached thereto for supporting a plurality of shelves on each of the elongated members. Each of the integral elongated members, as viewed in cross section, has a flat section with a pair of spaced legs extending substantially perpendicularly away from one side of the flat section and includes a first portion connecting one extremity of the flat section with one of the legs and a second portion connecting the other extremity of the flat section with the other of the legs. The first and second portions extend initially from the respective extremities of the flat section so as to be parallel and thereafter converge toward one another to form an obtuse angle with each of the respective legs. The legs, as viewed in cross section, each have an offset portion at the extremity thereof away from the flat section, which offset portions are in closer proximity to one another than the remainder of the legs so that brace members may be disposed between the adjacent offset portions to interconnect respective integral elongated members. Each of the shelves has a substantially planar surface with a flange extending substantially perpendicularly away from the surface at each edge thereof. The flange has a recess therealong which is disposed substantially parallel to the surface of the shelf, and the flange has a beveled portion at the extremity thereof away from the surface of the shelf for supporting the shelf. The beveled portion of the flange forms an acute angle with the flange and extends from the flange in a direction toward the surface of the shelf. Means for securing the shelves to the post are disposed along each of the legs of each of the elongated members and engage the beveled portion of each of the shelves to thereby support the shelves on respective legs of various integral elongated members.

Other objects and attendant advantages of the present invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIGURE 1 is an elevational view of a shelf frame constructed in accordance with the instant invention;

FIGURE 2 is an enlarged fragmentary view in cross section taken substantially along line 22 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is a fragmentary view in cross section taken substantially along line 33 of FIGURE 2;

FIGURE 4 is an exploded view of the components illustrated in FIGURES 2 and 3; and

FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional view of another preferred embodiment of the present invention.

Referring now to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals indicate like or corresponding parts throughout the several views, there is shown, generally at 10, a shelf frame including a plurality of upright post members, generally shown at 12, interconnected by support members 14 and supporting a plurality of shelves 16.

Each of the upright post members 12 is an integral elongated member with a cross section having a flat section 18 and a pair of spaced legs 20 and 22 extending substantially perpendicularly away from one side of the fiat section 18. A first portion 24 connects one extremity 26 of the flat section 18 with the leg 20 and a second portion 28 connects the other extremity 30 of the flat section 18 with the other leg 22. The portions 24 and 28 extend initially from the respective extremities 26 and 30 of the flat section 18 in a parallel direction and then converge toward each other to form an obtuse angle with each of the respective legs 20 and 22. The upright post member 12 with such a cross section has very high strength characteristics, obscures from view the attachment means securing the respective shelves 16 to the post, and because of the angularly disposed part of each of the portions 24 and 28, prevents objects disposed on the respective shelves 16 from being locked behind the upright post 12 as they are being removed from the shelf.

The legs 20 and 22, as viewed in cross section, also have offset portions 34 and 32 respectively at the extremity of the legs away from the flat section 18. The offset portions 32 and 34 are in closer proximity to one another than the remainder of the respective legs 20 and 22 so that the brace 36 may be disposed between the offset portions 32 and 34 to interconnect respective integral elongated members 12. The brace 36 may be secured between the respective oflset portions 32 and 34 of each integral elongated member 12 by welding, brazing, screws, bolts, or any other appropriate means.

Each of the legs 20 and 22 has alternate substantially circular holes 38 and substantially rectangular holes 40 therein along the elongated length thereof. A circular hole 38 may be utilized to secure the shelves 16 to the upright members 12 by placing a bolt (not shown) through the shelf and through a circular hole 38. Clips 42 and 57 may be disposed in the rectangular holes 40 and adapted to support the shelves 16.

The shelves 16 each have a substantially planar surface 44 with a flange, generally shown at 46, which extends substantially perpendicularly away from the surface 44 at each edge, although the flange 46 may extend away from the surface 44 at any angle. The flange 46 has a recess 48 extending therealong which is substantially parallel to the surface 44 of the shelf 16. The recess 48 in the flange 46 may take one of various appropriate forms, one of which is a dovetail slot, as illustrated in FIGURES 3 and 4, and another being the embodiment illustrated in FIG- URE 5 wherein the recess 48 has three sides, two of which, 50 and 52, are parallel to one another and perpendicular to the third side 54. The recesses 48 respectively illustrated in FIGURES 3 and 5 are, therefore, formed in the flange which first extends downwardly, then inwardly, then downwardly, then outwardly, and then downwardly. The recess 48, whether it be configured as illustrated in FIGURES 3 and 4 or configured as illustrated in FIGURE 5, adds strength to the flange 46 of the shelf 16 and is adaptable for readily removably inserting name tags, and the like, therein.

In addition to the various cross-sectional configuration of the recess 48, the extremity of the flange 46, disposed away from the surface 44, is utilized to engage a clip 42 or a clip 57 to support the shelf 16 and may also be of various cross-sectional configurations. As is illustrated in FIGURES 3 and 4, the extremity of the flange 46 away from the surface 44 has a beveled portion 56 which forms an acute angle with the flange 46 and extends from the flange 46 in a direction toward the surface 44. The clip 42, utilized to engage the beveled portion 56, has an upturned section 58 mating the beveled portion 56 to sup port the shelf 16. By upturning the clip 42 at 58 and upturning the beveled portion 56, most of the forces transmitted from the shelf 16 to the clip 42 place the clip 42 in tension without subjecting the upturned portion 58 to substantial moment forces tending to bend the upturned portion 58 downward.

An alternative cross-sectional configuration of the lower extremity of the flange 46 is illustrated in FIGURE 5 wherein the lower extremity of the flange 46 has a base portion 60 extending substantially perpendicularly away from the upright post member 12. The clip 57, illustrated in FIGURE 5, has a cantilevered portion 62 mating the base portion 60 to support the shelf 16.

As will be evident to one skilled in the art, features disclosed herein may be utilized in various combinations to construct a shelf frame falling within the scope of this invention.

The invention has been described in an illustrative manner and it is to be understood that the terminology which has been used is intended to be in the nature of words of description rather than of limitation.

Obviously, many modifications and variations of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is, therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.

I claim:

1. A shelf frame comprising: a plurality of upright post members; a plurality of shelves each having a substantially planar surface; means for securing said shelves to various ones of said upright post members; each of said shelves having an integral flange extending from said surface along at least two edges thereof; each of said flanges having a recess therein which is disposed substantially parallel to said surface; each of said flanges first extending downwardly, then inwardly, then downwardly, then outwardly, and then downwardly to form said recess in said flange and to provide a portion to engage said means.

2. A shelf frame as set forth in claim 1 wherein said recess in each of said flanges is a dovetail shaped slot extending therealong.

3. A shelf frame as set forth in claim 1 wherein said recess in each of said flanges has three sides, two of which are parallel to one another and perpendicular to the third side.

4. A shelf frame comprising: a plurality of integral elongated members with a cross section having; a flat section, a pair of parallel spaced legs extending substantially perpendicularly away from one seide of said flat section, a first portion connecting one extremity of said flat section with one of said legs, a second portion connecting the other extremity of said flat section with the other of said legs, and said first and second portions each having a part thereof disposed at an obtuse angle with each respective leg; a plurality of shelves each having a substantially planar surface; each of said shelves having a flange extending substantially perpendicularly from said surface at each edge thereof; each of said flanges having a recess therein which is disposed substantially parallel to said surface; and means for connecting each of said shelves to one of said legs of various ones of said integral elongated members; each of said flanges first extending downwardly, then inwardly, then downwardly, then outwardly, and then downwardly to form said recess in said flange and to provide a portion to engage said means.

5. A shelf frame as set forth in claim 4 wherein said recess in each of said flanges is a dovetail shaped slot extending therealong.

6. A shelf frame as set forth in claim 4 wherein said recess in each of. said flanges has three sides, two or which are parallel to one another and perpendicular to the third side.

7. A shelf frame comprising: a plurality of integral elongated members with a cross section having; a fiat section, a pair of parallel spaced legs extending substantially perpendicularly away from one side of said flat section, a first portion connecting one extremity of said flat section with one of said legs, a second portion connecting the other extremity of said flat section with the other of said legs, and said first and second portions each having a part thereof disposed at an obtuse angle with each respective leg; a plurality of shelves each having a substantially planar surface; each of said shelves having a flange extending substantially perpendicularly :from said surface at each edge thereof; each of said flanges first extending downwardly, then inwardlly, then downwardly, then outwardly, and then downwardly to an extremity thereof to form a recess therein which is disposed substantially parallel to said surface; said flanges each having a beveled portion at said extremity for supporting said shelf; said beveled portion forming an acute angle with said flange and extending from said flange in a direction toward said surface; and means attached to said legs of various ones of said integral elongated members :for supporting said shelves by engaging said beveled portion of each of said shelves.

8. A shelf frame as set forth in claim 7 wherein said recess in each of said flanges is a dovetail shaped slot extending therealong.

9. A shelf frame as set 'forth in claim 7 wherein said recess in each of said flanges has three sides, two of which are parallel to one another and perpendicular to the third side.

10. A shelf frame as set forth in claim 7 wherein said means includes a plurality of clips each of which is removably attached at one end thereof to one of said legs of one of said integral elongated members and is formed at the other end thereof into a substantially V- shaped pocket in which said beveled portion rests so that a plurality of said clips support said respective shelves.

11. A shelf frame comprising: a plurality of integral elongated members with a cross section having; a fiat section, a pair of spaced legs extending substantially perpendicularly away from one side of said flat section, a first portion connecting one extremity of said flat section with one of said legs, a second portion connecting the other extremity of said flat section with the other of said legs, said first and second portions extending initially from said respective extremities of said flat section so as to be parallel and thereafter converging toward each other to form an obtuse angle with each of said respective legs, said legs as viewed in cross section each having an offset portion at the extremity thereof away from said flat section which offset portions are in closer proximity to one another than the remainder of said respective legs so that brace members may be disposed between said offset portions to interconnect respective integral elongated members; a plurality of shelves each having; a substantially planar surface, a flange extending substantially perpendicularly away from said surface at each edge thereof, said flange first extending downwardly, then inwardly, then downwardly, then outwardly, and then downwardly to an extremity thereof to form a recess therein which is disposed substantially parallel to said surface, said flange having a beveled portion at said extremity thereof away from said surface for supporting said shelf, said beveled portion forming an acute angle with said flange and extending from said flange in a direction toward said surface, and means disposed along the elongated length of each of said legs of each of said elongated members and engaging said beveled portion of each of said shelves for securing a plurality of shelves on each of said legs along the length thereof.

12. A s'hel f frame as set forth in claim 11 wherein said means includes a plurality of clips each of which is removably attached at one end thereof to one of said legs of one of said integral elongated members and is formed at the other end thereof into a substantially V-shaped pocket in which said beveled portion rests so that a plurality of said clips support said respective shelves.

13. A shelf frame as set forth in claim 12 wherein said recess in each of said flanges has three sides, two of which are parallel to one another and perpendicular to the third side.

14-. A shelf frame as set forth in claim 12 wherein said recess is a dovetail shaped slot extending along said flange.

References (Iited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,056,486 3/1913 Bales 108-109 1,554,011 9/1925 Lehman 108-107 1,750,696 3/ 1930 Vance 108107 1,996,518 4/ 1935 Levene 108-107 2,105,868 1/1938 Thomas 211148 2,604,213 7/ 1952 Bales 108-414 2,696,415 12/1954 Himelson 108-158 2,896,794 7/1959 Jarvis 108-109 2,907,471 10/1959 Henry 108109 2,909,289 10/ 1959 Laurie 108107 3,029,95 3 4/1962 Morrissey 1081 10 3,039,619 6/1962 Lyon 108114 3,044,631 7/1962 Greenman 108-110 3,082,880 3/1963 Mapson 108108 FOREIGN PATENTS 215,100 5/1961 Austria.

891,855 3/1962 Great Britain.

567,869 10/ 1957 italy.

FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner.

FRANCIS K. ZUGEL, Examiner.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3498239 *Feb 15, 1968Mar 3, 1970Steelcase IncMetal shelving
US3556309 *Aug 5, 1968Jan 19, 1971Schreyer Kenneth DShelf constructions
US4197952 *May 18, 1978Apr 15, 1980Lear Siegler, Inc.Storage unit and post and beam of the unit
US4995323 *Mar 2, 1989Feb 26, 1991The Stanley WorksModular shelving and hanger bar system
US5174200 *Mar 26, 1991Dec 29, 1992CidelcemShelving system with removable shelves
Classifications
U.S. Classification108/180, 211/135
International ClassificationA47B96/02, A47B57/30
Cooperative ClassificationA47B57/30, A47B2096/1491, A47B96/024
European ClassificationA47B96/02E, A47B57/30