US 3337283 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
J. E. SCHLENKERT v REFRIGERATOR SHELF SUPPORTING MEANS Filed Nov. 26, 1965 a my ' V lle .22
Aug. 22, 1967 United States Patent 3,337,283 REFRIGERATOR SHELF SUPPORTING MEANS John E. Schlenkert, Detroit, Mich., assignor to American Motors Corporation, Detroit, Mich., a corporation of Maryland Filed Nov. 26, 1965, Ser. No. 509,693 3 Claims. (Cl. 312306) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A shelf supporting device having shelf height adjustments for installation into a refrigerated compartment. The device comprises expansible upright standards with shelf supporting arms adjustable thereon; the arm being slideable along the standards and interlockable therewith at selected heights by a quarter turn of the arm, or unlocked by a quarter turn.
This invention relates to refrigerators, and more particularly to a new and improved type adjustable and removable shelf means for household refrigerators or the like wherein the shelves may be raised or lowered within the food compartment space.
In the past many types of shelf adjusting means have been provided in refrigerator food compartments for shelf adjustment therein, but most of them have been an integral part of the refrigerator and quite complicated.
In the instant invention a detachable shelf raising or lowering means is provided that can be quickly inserted within the food compartment of a refrigerator. A plurality of vertical flat bar members, with threaded caps thereon, which can be used to locate the bars where desired within the food compartments and to hold them firmly, are used to hold adjustable shelf supporting means that are rotatably supported on the bars and can me positioned in turn, as desired, to support shelves at any height desired.
The principal object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved detachable shelf supporting means that may be quickly inserted within the food compartment of a refrigerator and be rigidly held therein, the same being adapted to support adjustable shelf supports, which in turn support shelves at a predetermined height to hold food thereon.
Another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved vertical bar member adapted to receive adjustable shelf-supporting members which may be raised or lowered by partially rotating the shelf supporting members.
A still further object of the invention is to provide a new and improved adjustable shelf support that may be moved vertically on a vertical bar member and quickly locked thereon at a desired height.
The above and other objects of the invention will appear more clearly from the following more detailed description of the invention, and from the drawing wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a home refrigerator with the door to the lower unfrozen food compartment thereof partly broken away to show the arrangement of food shelves and the adjustable shelf means.
FIGURE 2 is a section taken substantially along line 2-2 of FIGURE 1.
FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional view of a rachet bar member with the adjustable shelf support threaded into a cap member which rests on the bottom of the food compartment floor and also showing the adjustable shelf support and adjustable button member engaged thereon.
FIGURE 4 shows the narrow side of the rachet bar of FIGURE 3 with the same supporting the adjustable shelf support and adjustable button member thereon.
FIGURE 5 is a section taken substantially along line 5-5 of FIGURE 3; and
FIGURE 6 is a detail of the threaded bottom cap, rachet, adjustable button member, adjustable shelf support member and top cap member in their assembly sequence.
Referring now to the drawing, the numeral 10 dessignates a well known type of home refrigerator having a door 11, which, as here illustrated, is partly broken away to disclose the interior of the provision compartment. Suitably arranged therein are four rachet-type bars 12, the same being formed of steel, plastic, or the like, and formed as shown in FIGURES 3 and 6 of the drawing, having a flat side 13 and a narrow side 14 and having a portion of the bottom and top of said bar threaded, as at 15, to engage the threads 16 formed on the inner surface of cap members 17, which rest upon the bottom wall 19 of the refrigerator and hold bar 12 tightly against the bottom wall and in a cap member 20, which rests against the top 39 of the food compartment as shown in FIGURES 1 and 2 of the drawing to hold same in tight engagement with the top wall 39. A plurality of slots 18 and rachet lugs 40 are formed on the narrow side of bar 12. They are adapted to slidably receive an adjustable shelf support 22 which is formed, as shown best in FIG- GURE 6 of the drawing.
The shelf support has an end flange portion 23 and a sleeve portion 24 built integrally thereon. The sleeve portion is apertured as at 25, and has formed in the aperture a plurality of split ring members 26 which are in vertical alignment, for a purpose later to be described.
The arm portion of the adjustable shelf support 22 is formed so that it can support wire shelves 30 which in turn will support food, or the like as in the manner shown best in FIGURES 1 and 2 of the drawing. There is also provided an adjustable button member or sleeve part 32 having an opening 37 therethrough and in which are formed a plurality of the split ring members 35, in vertical alignment as in the sleeve portion 24 of the shelf support.
The manner in which the device operates is as follows:
The bar members 12 are formed in dilferent lengths to fit the interior height of different styles of refrigerators so that four of the bars may be inserted into a refrigerator food compartment. The narrow side of the front and rear bars are to be in alignment with each other and the adjustable self supports 22 in free engagement on said bars 12, i.e., threaded thereon and moved down through openings 25 between the split rings 26. The number of adjustable shelf supports inserted onto said bar 12 depending upon the number of shelves to be used in the food compartment of the refrigerator. The same number of supports are provided on the four bars 12 used. The lower threaded end 15 of bar 12 is then threaded into lower threaded portion 16 of cap 17, so that both are in threaded engagement. Cap 20 is then threaded onto the threaded top portion of bar 12' in like manner and the complete assembly for each bar 12 is located within the food compartment and positioned as shown in FIG- URES 1 and 2 of the drawing and each bar rotated until it is held tightly in place within the food compartment, the caps 17 and 20 engaging the top and bottom of the box in tight vertical relationship, but being free to turn. The shelf supports 22 are then moved upwardly on bar 12 by turning same until the opening between the split rings 25 are in vertical alignment with the teeth 40 on the narrow side of bar 12 which allows the shelf supports to move up or down freely on 'bar 12. When the desired height for support 22 is reached on bar 12, the shelf support is turned a quarter turn which enables split rings 26 to engage teeth 40 on bar 12 and hold the same in locked relationship. Once locked in position the lateral- 1y extending portion of support 22, with flange 23 thereon, is ready to engage the edge of shelf 30, and hold same at the desired height within the refrigerator. The same operation is carried out with all four vertical bar members until each shelf is level.
There may also be used a combination of shelf supports 22 and button members 32 held in supporting relationship with each other. If this is desired, the button 32 is threaded onto bar 12, when shelf support 22 is inserted onto bar 12the button member being inserted onto the bar first, followed by the shelf support, so that the button support provided added support beneath the shelf support when the refrigerator shelving is fully loaded, and acts as an additional means for supporting the shelf at the desired height. When threading the button 32 onto bar 12use the same procedure as when threading shelf support 22 thereonto. Turn the button so that the bar passes between space 37 of the split rings 35 in the button, and when locking same onto the bar, give the same a quarter turn, which will lock the button onto the bar in the same manner as when locking the shelf support 22 thereon.
If it is desired from time to time to change the height of the shelving within the food compartment of the refrigerator, the food is removed from the shelving and the shelf supporting members 22 are turned a quarter turn so that the teeth 4% are disengaged from split rings 26- and if the button member 26 is being used, it is also turned a quarter turn, so that the rings of the shelf support and button are free from the teeth on bar 12, and the supports may be moved up or down and again turned to locked position on bar 12 at the new desired height.
There has been described herein a new and improved, yet simple means for supporting food shelving within the provision compartment of a refrigerator. Nothing has to be built integrally within the compartmentthe entire device being detachable therefrom and quickly installed when assembling the unit for use. When it becomes necessary to change the height of the shelving from that of initial installation, the quick turn of a shelf support allows the same to be moved vertically on a shaft for free movement either up or down thereon, and when the new shelf height is determined, said support may be quickly locked in place on the shaft by a simple quarter turn of the shelf support. Also, the entire unit may be quickly disengaged from the refrigerator for cleaning the compartment or to remove frost therefrom in the case of a freezer compartment.
While I have indicated the preferred embodiment of my invention, it will be apparent that my invention is by no means limited to the exact device illustrated, but that many variations may be made in the particular structure used without departing from the scope of my invention as set forth in the appended claims.
1. For use in a refrigerator having a food compartment with top and bottom walls, adjustable height shelf means comprising a bar, means for adjusting the effective length of said bar to rigidly secure said bar in a vertical position in compression between said top and bottom walls, engaging means arranged substantially along the major length of said bar diametrically disposed in respect to the bar cross section, and a shelf supporting member slidable along the length of said bar and fixedly engageable therewith at a position selected therealong with said engaging means, engaging means on the supporting member diametrically disposed in respect to the supporting member cross section, the supporting member being slidable along the length of said bar when the respective engaging means are disposed in non-engaging position on opposite diameters and fixedly engageable with the bar when the shelf supporting member is rotated a quarter turn from said non-engaging position interlocking the engaging means of said bar and support- 1ng means.
2. For use in a refrigerator having a food compartment with top and bottom walls, adjustable shelf means comprising a bar, means for adjusting the effective length of said bar to rigidly secure said bar in a vertical position in compression between said top and bottom walls and engaging means intermediate the ends of said bar diametrically disposed in respect to the bar cross section, the opposite diameter in respect to said bar cross section being free of said engaging means, the body of the bar having material cut therefrom to form open end slots on the diameter coinciding with said engaging means, and a shelf supporting member having engaging means and an adjacent section free of engaging means, said shelf supporting member being slideable along said bar when the respective engagement means of bar and supporting member are in non-engaging position and being rotatable on said bar to position said respective engagement means in and out of engaging position, said engaging means of said supporting member being selectably received in said slots.
3. Adjustable height shelf means as provided by claim 2 in which the supporting member has an arm and a body portion from which the arm projects, the body portion being cylindrical and having material cut therefrom to form slots on the diameter coinciding with the supporting member engaging means, and said arm being disposed on the diameter coinciding with said supporting member engaging means.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,996,751 4/1935 Dillhoefer 285-391 X 2,178,815 11/1939 Shuart 312306 2,841,459 7/1958 Sharpe 312-306 3,167,186 1/1965 Squire 312326 X 3,186,364 6/1965 Costantini et a1. 108-146 3,275,354 9/1966 Sutlilf et al 285-391 X DAVID J. WILLIAMOWSKY, Primary Examiner.
JAMES T. MCCALL, Examiner.