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Publication numberUS3329473 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 4, 1967
Filing dateFeb 18, 1965
Priority dateFeb 18, 1965
Publication numberUS 3329473 A, US 3329473A, US-A-3329473, US3329473 A, US3329473A
InventorsDickson Robert T
Original AssigneeTacoma Cabinet & Fixture Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Expansible cabinet with interchangeable components
US 3329473 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 4, 1967 R. 'r. D'ICKSON 3,329,473

EXPANSIBLE CABINET WITH INTERCHANGEABLE COMPONENTS Filed Feb. 18, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR. ROBERT T DICKSON y 4. 1967 R. r. DICKSON 3,329,473

EXPANSIBLE CABINET WITH IN'IERCHANGEABLE COMPONENTS Filed Feb. 18, 1965 5 Sheets-Sheet 5 l I a 26' i .i W 4 INVENTOR. ROBERT T. DJCKSON United States Patent 3,329,473 EXPANSIBLE CABINET WITH INTERCHANGE- ABLE COMPONENTS Robert T. Dickson, El Cajon, Calif., assignor to Tacoma Cabinet & Fixture Co., El Cajon, Calif., a corporation of California Filed Feb. 18, 1965, Ser. No. 433,571 Claims. (Cl. 312108) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention is directed to a modular type construction for expansible cabinets in which rails are attached to panel members in a manner that each may be easily, quickly and individually removed and aligned into a new position without disturbing the other structure of the cabinets.

Background of the invention Various types of cabinets have been made with modular units which can be placed side by side or stacked to make up large cabinet assemblies with assorted drawers, cupboards and shelves. Other types, usually of metal construction, can be assembled in various forms to provide the required storage facilities. In either case, to re-arrange the storage by replacing doors with drawers, removing or adding shelves, or similar changes, re quires moving and at least partial dismantling of the entire cabinet assembly.

The primary object of this invention, therefore, is to provide a cabinet structure which may be assembled to provide any required arrangement of storage facilities, yet may be readily changed to any other arrangement without disturbing the basic frame structure.

Another object of this invention is to provide cabinet structure utilizing single dividing walls between units, with accurately sized spacing members which key and lock into place to ensure proper fit of standardized shelves, drawers, doors and other fittings.

A further object of this invention is to provide a cabinet structure which can be built into other-structure, placed against a wall, or used as a free standing unit and fitted with any kind of top to serve as a table or work surface.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view, partially exploded, of a typical assembly of the cabinet structure;

FIGURE 2 is a front elevation view of a'complete multiple unit assembly;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken on view showing the method of interchanging portions of the structure;

FIGURE 6 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line 6-6 of FIGURE 3;

FIGURE 7 is a perspective view of one end of an upper rail member; and

FIGURE 8 is a perspective view of one end ofa base rail member.

Similar characters of reference indicate similar or identical elements and portions throughout the specification and throughout the views of the drawing.

The structure is composed of planar wall panels 10 which form the ends and dividing walls of the cabinet units and are secured by spacing members or rails. As illustrated, the rails include a front base rail 12, a rear base rail 14 and a front upper rail 16, said rails 3,329,473 Patented July 4, 1967 being made in various predetermined lengths to make units of different widths between walls, but having standardized ends for common attachment means. The lower front corner of each wall panel 10 has a notch 18 to provide the usual toe space, and on each side of the panel is a groove 20, equally spaced from and parallel to the lower edge of the panel. Both the front and rear base rails 12 and 14 can be identical to simplify manufacture, each having small tongues 22 projecting from the ends thereof to seat into grooves 20 and key the base rails in place.

Various means, preferably easily detachable, can be used to secure the wall panels 10 to the base rails, the arrangement illustrated utilizing Tite-Joint (trademark) fasteners which are readily available. For this type of fastener each rail has a socket 24 in one side adjacent the end, with a slot 26 extending from the socket to the end of the rail, as in FIGURE 8. A special bolt 28, having a keyed head 30 at one end and a nut 32 threaded on the other end, is passed through a hole 34 in the wall panel 10 and seats in the slots 26 with the head in one socket 24 and the nut in the other socket. The head 30 and nut 32 are then retained by split collars 36 and 38, respectively, which are pressed into the sockets 24, as in FIGURE 5. When nut 32 is tightened the rails are drawn together and clamped securely on opposite sides of the wall panel, the tongue and groove structure preventing misalignment of the rails. To attach a rail to one side of a wall panel at the end of a cabinet assembly, a conventional flat head bolt would be used with the head recessed into the groove 20 on the end face of the panel. The socket and slot arrangement is also adaptable to conventional bolts and nuts, which could be fitted with suitable load bearing washers, the special fasteners shown merely being an example. Regardless of the type of fastener, by merely loosening the nut, any base rail can be removed by sliding out, without disturbing the remainder of the structure.

The front edge of each wall panel 10 is rabbetted on both sides to form a vertical front pillar portion 40 of reduced thickness with rear shoulders 42. A channel member 44 of generally U-shaped cross section fits closely over the pillar portion 40 and seats against shoulders 42, said channel member having opposed rectangular notches 46 opening to said shoulders adjacent the upper end, with additional rectangular notches 46 at spaced intervals below the upper end.

The front upper rail 16 has plug portions 48 at the ends which are dimensioned to fit closely into the uppermost notches 46, the top surface of the rail being flush with the top edges of the wall panels. As illustrated in FIGURES 4 and 7, the securement of the rail 16 is the same as that of the base rails, with the slot and socket arrangement to receive a bolt passing through the wall panel. Channel members 44 can be held in place by suitable screws 50, or other such means.

With the base rails 12 and 14 and the front upper rail 16 all bolted securely and keyed against twisting, the cabinet structure is very rigid and can be used in this condition. However, if the assembly is to be used as a bench or counter structure by addition of a suitable top, indicated in broken line at 52, a rear upper rail 54 may be secured to the rear edges of the wall panels 10. This latter rail can be a metal channel member, a raceway for wiring or plumbing, or any other linear structural element adaptable to the particular use of the cabinet notches ensuring precise location and alignment of the rails. The same means of attachment is used as described for the basic structural rails and the corresponding parts are similarly indicated. Intermediate rails 56 can have plug type ends similar to'rails 16, or may be of smaller cross section to fit entirely into notches 46. By removing the channel members 44 forwardly, intermediate rails can be inserted or removed without dismantling or even loosening the basic structure, as illustrated in FIGURE 5, thus making it possible to change the storage facilities at any time, even with the assembly built into surrounding structure.

For further separation of storage spaces a shallow intermediate wall panel 58 may be inserted between the full size wall panels 10, as in FIGURES l and 2, with intermediate and front upper rails of suitable length on either side. Rail attachments are all as described above and a shortened channel member 60, with the required notches 46, is applied to the pillar portion 40 of the intermediate wall panel 58.

To facilitate installation of shelves, drawers and the like, the wall panels are provided with rows of vertically spaced holes 62 drilled through the panels, for attachment of shelf brackets, drawer slides and other hardware.

If the assembly is free standing or the ends are otherwise visible, the ends may be covered by suitably finished end panels 64, which can be secured by screws or the like from the inside of the structure.

It will be evident that the basic structure is very easily assembled in any required sizes and combinations of cabinets, the structural elements being self-aligning and rigidly joined. Once assembled any desired arrangement of storage spaces can be set up and may be changed at any time. Standard drawers, doors, shelves and other fittings maybe used, the particular types and their attachments not being critical to thepresent disclosure. When necessary the entire structure can be dismantled very rapidly by merely loosening the connecting bolts. The various components can be made from many different materials with surface finishes to suit specific requirements.

It is understood that minor variation from the form of the invention disclosed herein may be made without departure from the spirit and scope of the invention, and that the specification and drawings are to be considered as merely illustrative rather than limiting.

I claim:

1. A cabinet assembly, comprising:

at least two substantially planar wall panels in spaced confronting relation having forward edges; a plurality of rail members extending between said wall panels at certain corresponding corners thereof;

clamping means for extending through said wall panels at said corners and engaging said rail members;

said rail members having open slots on the side opposite said forward edges of said wall panels in which said clamping means are seated, whereby the rail members are individually detached in a direction toward said forward edges without removing said clamping means from their extended position through said wall panels. 2. A cabinet assembly according to claim 1, including coacting alignment means for holding said rail members against twisting,

said alignment means include removable channel members with each straddling one of said forward edges of each wall panel and having notched portions fitting closely around the ends of said rail members,

and said alignment means being removable without disturbing the positions of said rail members and said wall panel.

A. A cabinet assembly according to claim 1 including,

intermediate rail members positioned between said wall panels between said corne'r positioned rail members;

second clamping means for extending through said wall panels at said corners and engaging said intermediate rail members;

said intermediate rail members having open slots on the side opposite said forward edges of said wall panels in which said second clamping means are seated, whereby said intermediate rail members are individually detached in a forward direction toward said forward edges without removing said second clamping means from their extended position through said wall panels.

4. A cabinet assembly comprising,

at least two substantially planar wall panels in spaced confronting relation;

a plurality of rail members extending between said wall panels at certain corresponding corners thereof;

clamping means for extending through said wall panels at said corners and engaging aligned ones of said rail members that abut each side of said wall panels;

said rail members having open slots on one side in which said clamping means are seated, whereby the rail members can be individually detached without completely removing the clamping means;

coacting alignment means for holding said rail members against twisting;

said alignment means includes a channel member straddling one edge of each wall panel and having notched portions fitting closely around the ends of both of said rail members abutting said wall panel;

and said alignment means being removable without moving said rail members from abutting said wall panel.

5. A cabinet assembly comprising,

at least two substantially planar Wall panels in spaced confronting relation;

a plurality of rail members extending between said wall panels at certain corresponding corners thereof;

clamping means extending through said wall panels at said corners and engaging said rail members;

said rail members having open slots on one side in which said clamping means are seated, whereby the rail members can be individually detached without completely removing the clamping means;

coacting alignment means in said panels and rail members holding said rail members against twisting;

said alignment means includes a removable channel member straddling one edge of each wall panel and having notched portions fitting closely around the ends of said rail members;

and said alignment means further includes tongues on the ends of certain of said rail members, and tongue receiving grooves in said wall panels, said grooves being substantially parallel to said open slots, whereby the rail members can slide in the grooves when said clamping means is released.

6. In a cabinet assembly,

at least two substantially planar wall panels in spaced confronting relation having openings therethrough,

a plurality of longitudinal rail members extending between said wall panels having ends for abutting said wall panels and holding said wall panels together,

said rail members having a substantially uniform cross sectional configuration throughout their longitudinal length,

said ends of said rail members having a slot in one side that is open to said ends,

a seat positioned in each of said slots,

and clamping means extending through one of said openings and into said slots engaging said seat for exerting drawing force to draw the ends of said rail members into abutment against said wall panel, and which force is exerted substantially along the longitudinal axis of said rail members.

7. A cabinet assembly according to claim 6 in which,

said clamping means including a longitudinal member for projecting through said openings and into said slots, which member is positioned substantially along the longitudinal axis of said rail member.

8. A cabinet assembly comprising:

at least two substantially planar wall panels in spaced confronting relation having openings therethrough and having forward edges,

each of said wall panels having a longitudinal shoulder spaced from and parallel with said forward edge,

a plurality of rail members extending between said Wall panels having ends for abutting the sides of said wall panels at spaced intervals along said forward edges,

the rear side of each of said ends of said rail members abutting said shoulder,

securing means extending through said openings for engaging adjacent ones of said ends of said rail members and drawing said ends into abutment with said sides of said panel,

and removable longitudinal channel members for straddling said forward edges of said wall panels and having notched portions fitting closely around the front and bottom edges of said ends of said rail members for cooperating with said shoulder and rigidly holding said rail members at fixed positions.

9. In a cabinet assembly according to claim 8,

said rail members having open slots on said rear side at said ends in which said securing means are seated, whereby said rail members are capable of being individually detached in a direction toward said forward edges of said panels without removing said clamping means from their extended position through said wall panels.

10. In a cabinet assembly according to claim 9,

said ends of said rail member having a recessed shoulder portion adjacent the top edge for abutting the upper edge of said notched portions.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS CHANCELLOR E. HARRIS, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US1674913 *Jan 9, 1928Jun 26, 1928Grand Rapids Store Equip CoFurniture construction
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US2945270 *Feb 27, 1957Jul 19, 1960Hamilton Mfg CoCabinet corner construction
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FR1194098A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3450451 *Aug 21, 1967Jun 17, 1969Granite Mill & Fixture CoPortable,multiple-use cabinet
US3520098 *May 14, 1968Jul 14, 1970Johnston William BModular unit assembly for furniture or building construction
US3640399 *Mar 12, 1970Feb 8, 1972Thermalloy IncPrinted circuit card rack
US3655254 *Nov 19, 1969Apr 11, 1972Sprecher & Schuh AgCabinet, particularly for electrical installations
US3743373 *Mar 15, 1971Jul 3, 1973Camper SCabinet front assembly
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US3885845 *Jun 27, 1974May 27, 1975Hans KrieksKnock-down furniture system
US4146342 *Aug 1, 1977Mar 27, 1979Gunnar CederholmFastener system
US4378137 *Apr 9, 1981Mar 29, 1983The Singer CompanyModular furniture construction
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US5259668 *Mar 1, 1991Nov 9, 1993Artromick International Inc.Cart for medication
US5282678 *Feb 28, 1992Feb 1, 1994Artromick International, Inc.Cart for medication
US6196649 *Jan 15, 1999Mar 6, 2001Steris CorporationConvertible surgical equipment and appliance support system
US6267462 *Mar 22, 1999Jul 31, 2001Helge KrauseCabinet system
US6325472 *Mar 31, 1999Dec 4, 2001Emc CorporationFastening device for a printed circuit board
US7306299 *Mar 8, 2004Dec 11, 2007Masterbrand Cabinets, Inc.Semi-frameless cabinet and method for making the same
US7451535May 31, 2006Nov 18, 2008Masterbrand Cabinets, Inc.Semi-frameless cabinet and method for making the same
US8499954 *Mar 23, 2012Aug 6, 2013Fu Tai Hua Industry (Shenzhen) Co., Ltd.Packing mechanism
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Classifications
U.S. Classification312/108, 312/257.1, 312/111
International ClassificationF16B12/02, A47B47/04, A47B47/00, F16B12/00, A47B45/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B45/00, A47B47/04, F16B12/02
European ClassificationF16B12/02, A47B45/00, A47B47/04