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Publication numberUS3330229 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 11, 1967
Filing dateOct 21, 1965
Priority dateOct 21, 1965
Also published asDE1554274A1
Publication numberUS 3330229 A, US 3330229A, US-A-3330229, US3330229 A, US3330229A
InventorsFerdinand Irwin J, Lopatka Dale R
Original AssigneeHirsh Mfg Co Sa
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Knockdown steel shelving unit and corner fastening means therefor
US 3330229 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

y 11, 1967 I. J. FERDINAND ETAL 3,330,229 KNOCKDOWN STEEL SHELVING UNIT AND C ORNER FASTENING MEANS THEREFOR Filed Oct. 21, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 NVENTOR. /ru/in J. fra'z'nano' I. J. FERDINAND ETAL 3,330,229 KNOCKDOWN STEEL SHELVING UNIT AND CORNER July 11, 1967 FASTENING MEANS THEREFOR 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Oct. 21, 1965 INVENTOR. /r'wzh J Ferdmand Dale R. LopaHra United States Patent 3,330,229 KNOCKDOWN STEEL SHELVING UNIT AND CORNER FASTENING MEANS THEREFOR Irwin J. Ferdinand, Glencoe, and Dale R. Lopatka, Glenview, Ill., assignors to S. A. Hirsh Mfg. Co., Skokie,

11]., a corporation of Illinois Filed Oct. 21, 1965, Ser. No. 499,204 7 Claims. (Cl. 108-111) The present invention relates to knockdown steel shelving of the type embodying vertically spaced horizontally disposed rectangular shelves which are releasably secured and braced at their corners to vertical corner posts with a readily and easily engaged novel self-tightening corner fastening means concealed in box flanges on the shelves and engaging the front walls of the posts to provide a completely concealed rugged interfitting relationship which is of great strength.

The shelves which are considered are of the type more particularly described in our application, Ser. No. 362,150, now US. Patent 3,276,403 granted Oct. 4, 1966 reference to which is hereby made, in which the shelves are lengthwise marginally reinforced by compound flanges of plural thickness. 'Briefly, the shelves are longitudinally provided with vertically extending marginal full box-type flanges, three walls of which are preferably further rigidified by the provision of coextensive longitudinally extending ribs therealong with the fourth wall of each box flange oflset upwardly and preferably incorporating a double thickness of sheet metal adjacent to the top of the shelf. The corners of the shelves are notched or cut-away to expose the ends of the thus rigidified box flanges for clamping cooperation with the corner posts.

The corner posts themselves are of four sided box design, preferably with a medial slot through what may be termed the rear wall of the post. Opposite side walls of the posts face the ends of the box flanges on the shelves and the wall is provided with two vertical rows of equally spaced key hole perforations with the narrow portion disposed downwardly. The fastening means spans and engages two adjacent holes of one of the rows with tapered buttons exerting a downward weight bearing tightening movement. The buttons are rigidly carried by a spring element having an arm fastened within the box flange of the shelf and is flexed to urge the buttons away from engagement in the key hole slots. The taper of the buttons tighten the spring element against the post. With the rigidity established between the corner posts and the longitudinal box flanges of the shelves in this way, longitudinal rocking of the assembled shelving is eliminated even with high loading limits. Also transverse rocking of the shelving is restrained by the inherent rigidity of the shelves along their short transverse dimension. A finishing strip covers the buttons bottoms for appearance and prevents their removal from the key-hole perforations.

Approximately ninety-eight percent of such shelving is designed for household consumer use and, therefore, ease of assembly is a primary consideration, secondary only to self rigidity and attractiveness when the installation is complete. Shelving designs which leave little to be desired from a functional point of view have been rejected for lack of ease of assembly and disassembly. Consumers upon occasion have been obliged to return to the seller for assistance in erecting the shelving, and sometimes even the seller has been unable to enlighten the consumer with comparatively simple constructions unless previously given instructions by the manufacturer. It follows therefor that the simpler the erection procedure involved in connection with a given design of shelving, the more favorable will be its reception on the competitive market.

The present invention is designed to overcome many of the limitations that are attendant upon the construction and use of present day steel knockdown shelving now on the market designed for household consumer use and, toward this end, the invention contemplates the provision of a novel shelving unit which offers advantages over present day shelving units, both functionally and from the standpoint of appearance and ease of assembly and erection.

The provision of a shelving unit and corner fastening means the character briefly outlined above which can be assembled and dismantled without any tools being the principal object of the invention, it is another object to provide a shelving unit wherein all of the elements associated with the fastening means are accessible from outside the shelving and are concealed from view with finger applied trim strips which lock the fastening means against disengagement when the erection procedure has been completed.

Further objects of the invention contemplate a shelving unit wherein the principal constituent parts thereof are susceptible to conventional production processes and require for their completion no machining operations to the ends that the shelving as a whole may be manufactured at a low cost; a unit is provided which is rugged and durable and which will 'withstand rough usage and heavy loads; the unit maybe assembled and disassembled readiiy by hand without any tools and by one person with little effort or experience; the assembled product possesses no sharp edges or corners and is devoid of abrupt protrusions; it allows for wide manufacturing tolerances; is attractive in its appearance and pleasing in its design; and is otherwise well adapted to perform the services required of it. These and further desirable features characterize the structure and production of embodiments of the present invention.

Other objects and advantages of the invention, not at this time enumerated, will readily suggest themselves as the nature of the invention is better understood.

In the accompanying two sheets of drawings forming a part of this specification an illustrative embodiment of the invention has been shown.

In these drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of knockdown steel shelving embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary enlarged front elevational view of a post and fastening region of the shelving unit constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken substantially on the horizontal plane indicated by the line 33 of FIG. 1 in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged sectional view taken substantially on a horizontal plane indicated by the line 4-4 of FIG. 1 in the direction of the arrows;

FIG. 5 is a vertical sectional view taken on line 55 of FIG. 4; and

FIG. 6 is a horizontal sectional view similar to FIG. 4 showing the spring carried fastener buttons in their normal position.

A knockdown steel shelving construction 8 is shown in FIG. 1 and involves in its general organization a series of four posts 10 (FIG. 1) and two or more shelves 12 with end panels 14 closing exposed ends of the shelving space, and finishing strips 16 on the front of the front posts. The various corner posts 10, shelves 12, panels and finishing strips are identical in structural characteristics, thereby reducing the number of different items inventoried.

The shelves 12 and corner posts 10 are rigidly secured together in their operative assembled relationship by means of fastening devices each of which includes a T-shaped spring blade member 18 (FIG. 2 carrying selftightening tapered buttons 20 on the arms of the T form with the legportion terminally secured to a side of a box flange on'the'shelf. 1

The shelf 12 is generally of rectangular configuration and it includes a horizontal planar shelf top portion 21 having downturned transversely extending marginal flanges 22 and'downwardly and longitudinally extending marginal flanges 24. The transverse flanges 22 are single thickness flanges and are provided with re-entran't reverse bends (FIG. 6) at their lower edgesfor reinforcing purposes.

V The longitudinal flanges 24 are boxflanges' and, as best seen in FIG. 2, each flange includes inside and outside walls 28 and 30 respectively, a bottom wall 32 and a dual 7 thickness top wall 34. The upper edge region of the box flange 24 projects a slight distance above the horizontal ,plane. of the planar body portion 21 of the shelf 12 by reason of a vertical connecting flange 40 between the 7 ,body portion and top wall 34, the flange 40constituting a, a marginal restraining flange to prevent supported objects.

from rolling or sliding from the upper surface of the shelf a and as shown herein has a wood finish plastic sheet finishing surface 38 adhered thereto. The four corners of the shelf 12 are'notched or cut-away as indicated at 42 (FIG. 3) for reception of selected regions of ,thecorner posts 7 10 therein in a manner'that will be described, and ada jacent to the posts the inner wall 28 of-the box flange is perforated as'at'19 to receive rivets or screws as indi-.

cated at 23. The details of the corner posts 10 are best illustrated in FIGS. 2 to 4. Each post is of rolled sheet metal construc- I gtion, preferably of a heavier gauge metal than that of the shelf 12' and comprises a main body tubular-type member 7 having parallel side walls 50 and 52, a front wall 54 and 1 a longitudinal slot 58 between two halves 60 of the rear .wall. .The front wall 54 has two parallel rows of key hole perforations 62 therethrough with the narrow portion 64 of the perforation extending downwardly. The perforations are vertically spaced in pairs and at spaced points along the'length of the post single smaller key hole perforations 66 a -As already noted tapered'buttons 20 are riveted to the arms of the T-blade 18 and these buttons engage in the key hole perforations withtheir taper engaging in the narrow portions 64 tighter and tighter with downward .pressure. The front surface of the inner wall 28 of the box flange 24 is coplanar with the front wall 54 of the post; Therefore, as the buttons20 tighteninthe key hole perforations, the'flat of the blade 18 is drawn against the 50 walls 28 and 54 tending to hold them coplanar.

As seen in FIG. 6, the spring blade 18 is bent as at 70 -which with the end of the leg thereof secured to the inner 'face of the inner wall 28 by screws 23 operates to urge the buttons away from the face 54 of the post 10. Accordingly, with spring blades in the front and rear, box flanges at the shelf ends, it would seem that the posts are urged fore and aft away from each other. However, the

end panels 14 are marginally groovedas at 72 to be'received in the slots 58 and prevent this movement'at least in the early stages'of' shelf assembly; Then when a shelf is located at a desired level, the head portions of the rigidify the T-blade. The-T-blade in turn is exactly the same width as the inside height of the. box flange 24 and as secured by screws 23 thereto, therigidity is transmitted tothe shelf at all four corners with an. end result that the greater the shelf weight is, the more firmly the shelving is rigidifled against end sway. The panel 14 supports the.

. shelving against leaning or a looseness fore and aft.

Once all the buttons 20 are lodged in their working posit-ions in the shelving, the finishing strips 16 are attached to hold the buttons in operative'position. As shown, the.

finishing strip is of finished wood with wood screws 76 carrying washers 78 (FIG. 4)' secured at heights corre} sponding to the locationof the key-hole apertures 66 in the post 10, TheV-contour ofthe screw 76 provides a self tightening action in cooperation with the apertures 66 when the heads are inserted therethrough and the strip has been pulled down toits desired. position.

The assembly of the strip 16 to the post10 is characterized bythe ends edges of the T blades 18 being notched as 'at'88 to provide clear access to the apertures '66 (FIG, 2) in event they are located where they overlap the aperture as illustrated in FIG. 2. Furthermore, the .notching isenough to receive the washer 78 therebetween against the front face 54 of the posts to serve as a spacer both there-and anywhere the aperture 66 is notat a'shelf level 7 so that the finishing strip is kept vertically straightwith no curves where thestrippasses over the heads of the T -blad es 18 wherever they may be. However, any looseness of the strip can be remedied by removal and further tightening the wood screws 76 to the extent desired. The strip not posts 10, thus completing the shelving assembly as a mechanically coordinated unit of pleasing appearancewith or without the finishing veneer members 38 (FIG. 2) cover ing the top face of the shelves.

flange 24, rivets or spot welding can be easily substituted for screws 23 since with a jig carrying the T-blade andfill- .ing the box flange pressure can be transmitted through the walls of the box flange adequate for either purpose without marring the exposed surfaces. r r

In assembly, the panels 14 are slipped into place in the slots 58 of two pairs of opposing rposts, a shelf is then located in a temporary or its ultimate position'on the posts and the T-blade endsare pressed inwardly to insert the buttons 20 through the selected key hole apertures, first of one pair of posts at oneend and then the other pair of posts at the other end of shelf. Thereafter further. shelves can be added the same way at levels desired and I .if any adjustments are desired, the shelf corners are ically releases the buttons 20. When the shelf is repositioned the T-blades are again pressedtowards the p sts and the shelf corners pulled downwardly to engage the buttons snugly in their new location. The strips are then slipped the shelvingunit located into place as describedj'and' where'itwill be used.

Having thus described the preferred embodiment of the invention and the advantages of the arrangement of the; a parts and their elements for the objects and results stated including concealing all fastening devices, it will be understood by others how various and further modifications can. t

' be provided without departing from the spirit of the inven- 'tion, the scope of which is commensurate with the ap pendedclaims. 7

a What is claimed is: 1 l V V a 1. In a knockdown steel shelving unit, the combination of an elongated upright corner post having a face provided with a vertical row of key 'hole'perfor-ations therethrough with the narrow portion disposed downwardly, a generally rectangular horizontally disposed shelf having a' depending rectangular box flange extending along'onei longitudinal edge thereof and terminally opening in front 'of said face, and fastening means "comprising a spring ele- V ment mounted at one end within 'said box flange and nor-' I -D extended b "said Opening and esilien lyurged only holds the buttons 20in their post engaging positions but also cover the open ends of the box flanges 24 where.

they extend outwardly beyond'the front face 54.0f the ln'is also to be noted that with sides of the T-bladeco extensive with the inside vertical dimension'of-th'e box 7 pushed up whereby the resiliency in the T-blade automat-' out of contact with said face, said fastening means having a tapered button in registration with one of said perforations received through the larger portion thereof when finger pressed towards said face, said button being tapered on its side wall to engage the walls of the narrower portion of the perforation exerting in connection therewith a downward weight bearing tightening movement, said button being automatically released and withdrawn when the shelf flange is pushed upwardly.

2. In a knockdown steel shelving unit, the combination of an elongated upright corner post having a face provided with a vertical row of key hole perforations therethrough with the narrow portion disposed downwardly, a generally rectangular horizontally disposed shelf having a depending rectangular box flange extending along one longitudinal edge thereof and terminally opening in front of said face, and fastening means comprising a spring element mounted at one end within said box flange and normally extended beyond said opening and resiliently urged out of contact with said face, said fastening means having a tapered button in registration with one of said perforations received through the larger portion thereof when finger pressed towards said face, said button being tapered on its side wall to engage the walls of the narrower portion of the perforation exerting in connection therewith a downward weight bearing tightening movement, said button being automatically released and withdrawn when the shelf flange is pushed upwardly, and a finishing strip means releasably secured to said front face for holding said spring and button against outward movement from said perforations and closing said flange opening.

3. In a knockdown steel shelving unit, the combination of a plurality of elongated upright corner posts having two side walls, a rear wall which has a longitudinal medial slot and a front wall provided with a vertical row of equally spaced key hole perforations therethrough with the narrow portions of the key holes disposed downwardly, a generally rectangular horizontally disposed shelf having depending rectangular box flanges extending along the longitudinal edges thereof, said shelf and depending flanges being cut away at the corner regions to receive a corner post in each cut away corner with the flanges terminally opening in front of said front faces of said posts, a fastening means including a spring element mounted at one end within each box flange and normally extended beyond said opening and resiliently urged in opposite directions out of contact with said front faces on opposite edges of said shelf, each of said fastening means having a tapered button disposed in registration with one of said perforatons of each post at the same level and receivable through the larger portion thereof when finger pressed towards said front face, said button being tapered on its side wall to engage the walls of the narrower portion of the perforation and exerting in connection therewith a downward weight bearing tightening movement with the buttons automatically released and withdrawn when the shelf flanges are pushed upwardly.

4. In a knockdown steel shelving unit, the combination of a plurality of elongated upright corner posts having two side walls, a rear wall which has a longitudinal medial slots and a front wall provided with a vertical row of equally spaced key hole perforations therethrough with the narrow portions of the key holes disposed downwardly, a generally rectangular horizontally disposed shelf having depending rectangular box flanges extending along the longitudinal edges thereof, said shelf and depending flanges being cut away at the corner regions to receive a corner post in each cut away corner with the flanges terminally opening in front of said front walls of said posts, fastening means including a spring blade portion mounted at one end within each box flange having the same width as the inside width of the flange at the flange opening, and normally extended beyond said opening and resiliently urged in opposite directions away from contact with said front faces at the front and rear of said shelf,

6. each of said fastening means having a wide exposed end portion spanning two adjacent perforations, tapered buttons secured to said end portion and disposed in registration with said spanned perforations on each post at the same level and receivable through the larger portions thereof when finger pressed towards said front faces, each button being tapered on its side wall to engage the walls of the narrower portion of the perforation and exerting in connection therewith a downward Weight bearing tightening movement, said buttons being automatically release-d and withdrawn from said perforations when the shelf flanges are pushed upwardly and finishing strip means releasably covering said exposed end and said buttons to prevent withdrawal of the buttons from the key hole perforations.

5. In a knockdown steel shelving unit, the combination of a front and back elongated upright corner posts, each having two side walls, a rear wall which has a longitudinal medial slot and a front wall provided with a vertical row of equally spaced key hole perforations therethrough with the narrow portions of the key holes disposed downwardly, an end panel marginally grooved received in said medial slots and holding the corner posts in predetermined spaced parallel relationship, a generally rectangular horizontally disposed shelf having depending rectangular box flanges extending along the longitudinal edges thereof, said shelf and depending flanges being cut away at two end corner regions to receive a corner post in each cut away corner with the flanges terminally opening in front of said front walls of said oppositely facing posts as supported by said end panel, fastening means including a spring blade portion mounted at one end within each box flange having the same width as the inside width of the flange at the flange opening said fastening means normally extended beyond said opening and resiliently urged in opposite directions away from contact with said front faces at the front and rear of said shelf, each of said fastening means having a wide exposed end portion spanning two adjacent perforations, tapered elements secured to said end portion and disposed in registration with said spanned perforations on each post at the same level and receivable through the larger portions thereof when finger pressed towards said front faces, each element being tapered on its side wall to engage the walls of the narrower portion of the perforation and exerting in connection therewith a downward weight bearing tightening movement, said elements being automatically released and withdrawn from said perforations when the shelf flanges are pushed upwardly, and finishing strip means releasably covering said exposed end and said elements to prevent withdrawal of the elements from the perforations.

6. In a knockdown steel shelving unit, the combination of a plurality of elongated upright corner posts each having two side walls, a rear wall and a front wall provided with a vertical row of equally spaced key hole perforations therethrough and a plurality of key hole slots located between selected pairs of key hole perforations, the narrow portions of the keyholes disposed downwardly, a generally rectangular horizontally disposed shelf having depending rectangular box flanges extending along the longitudinal edges thereof, said shelf and depending flanges being cut away at the corner regions to receive a corner post in each cut away corner with the flanges terminally opening in front of said front faces of said posts, a fastening means including a spring element mounted at one end within each box flange and normally extended beyond said opening and resiliently urged in opposite directions out of contact with said front faces on opposite edges of said shelf, each of said fastening means having a tapered button disposed in registration with one of said perforations of each post at the same level and receivable through the larger portion thereof when finger pressed towards said front face, said button being tapered on its side wall to engage the walls of the narrower portion of the perforation and exerting in connection therewith a a a 7 a downward weight bearing tightening movement with the buttons automatically released and withdrawn when the shelf flanges are pushed upwardly,- and finishing strip means having headed studs on the back side, releasably engaging in said key hole slots covering said spring element extending beyond said opening to prevent withdrawal of the buttons from the key hole perforations.

v 7. In a knockdown'steel shelving unit, the combination of a plurality of elongated upright corner posts having two side walls, a rear wall which has a longitudinal medial slot and a front wall provided with a vertical double row of equally spaced perforations therethrough, an end panel marginally grooved and received in said medial slots and holding front and back corner posts in predetermined spaced parallel relationship,*two generally rectangular -horizonally disposed shelves having depending rectangular box flanges extending along the longitudinal edges thereof, each shelf and depending flanges thereof 'being cut away at the corner regions to receive a corner post in each cut away corner with the flanges terminally open- 3 ing in front of said front walls of said posts, fastening means at each shelf corner including a spring Tshaped blade with the leg portion thereof mounted at one end 'within the adjacent box flange and having the same width as the inside width of the flange at the flange opening, said 2 armlportion of the blade being disposed beyond said is l 7 opening to span two adjacent perforations and resiliently urged away from contact with said front faces, tapered elements secured to said arm portions and disposed in 1- registration with said spanned perforations on each post 5 at the same level and receivable through the'larger por- F tions thereof when finger pressed towards said front faces,

each element being tapered to engage thewall of the V perforation and exerting in connection therewith a downward weight bearing tightening movement, said elements 10 being automatically released and withdrawn from said perforations when the shelf flanges are pushed upwardly, and finishing strip means releasably covering said arm portions and said elements to prevent withdrawal of the elements from the perforations.

5 CHANCELLOR E. HARRIS, Primary Examiner. W. D. LOULAN, Assistant Examiner.

10/1966 Ferdinand et al 108-144 1

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2415825 *Nov 8, 1944Feb 18, 1947Lyon Metal Products IncShelving, including shelf adjustment fastener
US3104627 *Mar 6, 1961Sep 24, 1963Aurora Steel Products CompanySteel shelving construction
US3187693 *May 16, 1963Jun 8, 1965Hamilton Cosco IncArticle of furniture
US3276403 *Apr 23, 1964Oct 4, 1966Hirsh Mfg Co SaKnockdown steel shelving unit and corner fastening means therefor
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3680938 *Jun 9, 1970Aug 1, 1972Ohlsson Kurt LMeans for suspending files or folders in a filing cabinet
US4106630 *Apr 28, 1977Aug 15, 1978Parsteel Products Company, Inc.Storage rack assembly
US4231301 *Aug 29, 1977Nov 4, 1980Barrineau Iii Wade HAdjustable shelf assembly
US4292902 *Nov 1, 1976Oct 6, 1981Barrineau Wade HShelf system
US4549665 *Sep 3, 1982Oct 29, 1985Republic Steel CorporationShelf assembly
US5090579 *Sep 20, 1990Feb 25, 1992Major Ronald PModular shelving system
US5378056 *Sep 28, 1992Jan 3, 1995Wilson; JewellTriangle display and storage stand
US5921647 *Jul 30, 1997Jul 13, 1999Vavarian Design Concept CcFurniture
US9027767 *Oct 29, 2012May 12, 2015Whirlpool CorporationRack shelving unit
US9357840 *Jul 31, 2014Jun 7, 2016ADCO Industries—Technologies, L.P.Supporting consumer products
US9480356 *Aug 4, 2015Nov 1, 2016Oluwafemi Ajibola AfolabiFootwear storage device
US20140116973 *Oct 29, 2012May 1, 2014Whirlpool CorporationRack shelving unit
US20140284294 *Mar 24, 2014Sep 25, 2014Silverack, LlcShelving Support Bracket for a Storage Rack
Classifications
U.S. Classification108/107, 211/187, 108/157.13
International ClassificationF16B12/00, A47B57/20, A47B57/00, A47B57/22, A47B57/48, F16B12/34, A47B57/50
Cooperative ClassificationA47B57/50, A47B57/487, A47B57/20, F16B12/34, A47B57/22
European ClassificationA47B57/50, A47B57/48C2, A47B57/22, F16B12/34, A47B57/20