|Publication number||US3378954 A|
|Publication date||Apr 23, 1968|
|Filing date||Dec 27, 1966|
|Priority date||Dec 27, 1966|
|Publication number||US 3378954 A, US 3378954A, US-A-3378954, US3378954 A, US3378954A|
|Inventors||Sandin Raymond C|
|Original Assignee||Gen Electric|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (5), Referenced by (12), Classifications (13)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
April 23, 1968 R. C. SANDIN 3,378,954
REVERSlBLY MOUNTED CABINET DOOR Filed Dec, 27. 1966 2639 H63 l 33 24 40H 2023 22 21K PMNW. 14
Raymond C. Sondn mam Ai'orney United States Patent O 3,378,954 REVERSIBLY MOUNTED CABINET DOOR Raymond C. Sandin, Winnetka, Ill., assignor to General Electric Company, a corporation of New York Filed Dec. 27, 1966, Ser. No. 604,951 6 Claims. (Cl. 49-382) ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to door mounting structures, and more particularly, to an arrangement for reversibly mounting a door upon a cabinet in a manner whereby the door may be opened from either of the two opposite sides of the cabinet, to suit the requirement of the user.
Background of the invention It is the usual practice in mounting a door on a cabinet to provide hinges along one side so that the door may swing in a pre-determined direction. It frequently occurs, however, that the swinging of the door about a different side is desirable, and it is to this end that my invention is directed.
Although my invention is applicable broadly to cabinets of all types, it may prove to be very advantageous in domestic refrigerators. Conventionally, most refrigerator cabinets of the one door type have been provided with doors that open and swing toward the right, and where conditions were encountered requiring a door to open and swing toward the left, it has been necessary to order a special structure. For the refrigerator manufacturer, it is both diicult and expensive to provide both right and left hand models, as manufacturing delays, increased stock, and other added expenses arise when it is necessary to produce an oppositely hinged door.
A mounting arrangement Where the door may be opened from opposite sides of the cabinet is desirable from the homemakers point of view, since, as is often the case when moving from one home to the next, the original right or left hand hinging of the door is not suitable to the new location. A refrigerator manufactured in accordance with my invention has increased usefulness in that the refrigerator is adaptable for placement in positions where its door can be hinged from the right or left side, at the convenience of the user.
Description of the prior art Many manufacturers have been aware of this desire on the part of homemakers, and some have attempted to design door hanging mechanisms suitable for this purpose. Applicant is aware of those various mechanisms for reversibly mounting a refrigerator door which have been proposed, particularly those wherein complex mechanical linkages and safety devices were provided within the refrigerator door, so that the door could be opened about different sides merely by pulling on one of the handles. Examples of the arrangements heretofore suggested are seen in U.S. Patents Nos. 2,698,457; 2,261,146; 2,745,132; and 2,796,628.
While some of these arrangements have been mechanically satisfactory, none of these previous structures have met with any great success. The lack of success in the mounting structures used heretofore is attributable, in part, to the high cost of providing these complex mechanisms within a refrigerator door. Moreover, either because of the position of the refrigerator relative to its environment, or the preference of the user, the user will almost invariably open the door from one side. Under these circumstances, a refrigerator provided with the structure noted above would be unnecessarily complex and expensive.
Summary of the invention It is, therefore, a primary object of my invention to provide simple and economical means for mounting a door on a cabinet that will allow the user to open the door from either the right or left side of the cabinet, to suit the requirement of the environment. or the convenience of the user.
It is another object of my invention to provide means for reversibly mounting a door on a refrigerator in a manner that will permit the manufacturer to supply a single type of cabinet and door to effect right or left hand hinging, thereby reducing the inventory of the manufacturer and its distributors.
In one aspect of my invention, I have provided an arrangement for reversibly mounting a door on a cabinet which permits the door to be opened from two different sides thereof. The door mounting arrangement comprises a first pair of upper and lower manually retractable pivot means mounted within and adjacent `a rst side of the door. A second pair of upper and lower manually retractable pivot means is provided within and adjacent a second side of the door.
Each of the pivot means is independently movable between a projected position, wherein one end of the pivot means extends beyond the peripheral edge of the door,
and a retracted position, wherein the pivot means is disposed within the door with the one end thereof substantially parallel to the peripheral edge of door. Upper and lower support means are disposed adjacent the respective top and bottom edges of the cabinet. The upper and lower support means are adopted to receive in supporting engagement, the first and second pairs of upper and lower pivot means when the pivot means are in their projected position. The door is thereby rotatable about the first side thereof when the first pair of upper and lower pivot means is projected into supporting engagement with the upper and lower support means while the second pair of pivot means adjacent the second side of the door is in the retracted position. The door is rotatable about the second side thereof when the second pair of upper and lower pivot means is projected into supporting engagement with the upper `and lower support means while the iirst pair of pivot means is in the retracted position.
Brief description of the drawing Other features and advantages of my invention will be apparent from the following detailed description of a presently preferred embodiment thereof, read in connection with the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a view in perspective of a cabinet incorporating the improved mounting arrangement of my invention;
FIGURE 2 is a plan view of the cabinet and door of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a cross sectional View taken along the line 3--3 of FIGURE 2 and illustrates my mounting arrangement when the door is pivotable about the right side of the cabinet;
FIGURE 4 is a cross sectional view taken along the line 4 4 of FIGURE 2 and illustrates the position of the mounting mechanism on the opposite side of the door; and
FIGURE 5 is a partial perspective View of an alternate handle provided for use with the door of FIGURE 1.
Description of the preferred embodiment Referring now to FIGURE 1, there is shown a cabinet 1, which, while it is not particularly .marked as being for that purpose, may well be of the type used for domestic refrigerators. The front of the cabinet is closed by a door 2 that is mounted on cabinet 1 in the manner described in greater detail herebelow. Door 2 is formed, as shown in FIGUR-ES 3 and 4, with an outer wall 3, and an inner wall 4. `One conventional means for achieving this structure is to form the outer wall 3 of sheet steel and -bend the ends of it over into top and bottom edges, or flanges 5 and 6. The anges, in turn, are bent inwardly into re-entrant flanges 7 and 8 at their ends. Flanges 5 and 6 thus provide the top and bottom surfaces of the double wall door. 'It will, of course, be understood that the two side edges of the door are similarly formed, as partially shown by flange 9 and re-entrant flange 10 (FIGURE 5). The re-entrant flanges thus extend about the entire inner periphery of the door.
The inner wall 4 is preferably formed of an insulating material such as plastic, which is rigidly secured to the re-entrant flanges 4by any suitable means, such as the peripherally spaced threaded members 11 passing through the re-entrant anges.
Conventionally, and particularly .in the case of refrigerators, a suitable gasket member 12 is provided; this gasket may also be secured both to the peripheral re-entrant flange and to the edge of inner wall 4 by the same threaded members 11. While any suitable type of gasket may be used, it is common in present day refrigerators to use a gasket having a magnetic material therein as shown at 13, thereby eliminating the necessity for a special latch. It will, however, be understood that the use of a magnetic gasket or latch forms no part of this invention, and that the invention is equally applicable regardless of what type of securement means is used to hold the door in the closed position.
It will also be understood that it is common in refrigerators to form the inner wall 4 of the door with shelving suitable for receiving various articles such as bottles, butter, eggs, etc., and that the showing of inner Wall 4 as a fiat surface is simply to avoid unnecessary complexity in the drawing.
Where the door is being used in connection with a refrigerator cabinet, the space between inner wall 4 and outer wall 3 will conventionally be filled with insulation 14. This may-be of any suitable type, such as, for instance, foam insulation, -glass fiber insulation, etc.
The cabinet 1 conventionally includes an outer case 15 and an inner liner 16 connected along the interior wall by a plastic breaker strip 17. The breaker strip 17 may be clipped into place by the U-shaped flanges 18 and 19, which are formed as integral parts thereof. As with the case of door 2, the space lbetween the outer case and inner liner 16 of the cabinet is also filled with a suitable insulating material 14.
Continuing to refer to FIGUR-ES 3 and 4, in conjunction with FIGURES l and 2, it will be seen that the mounting mechanism of my invention includes a top hinge leaf which comprises a stepped support bracket 20 extending over the full width of the cabinet. This support bracket while primarily designed to serve as a functional part may also, through proper finishing, serve as an added appearance feature. Bracket 20 includes a first section 21 secured to the cabinet by any suitable means, such as screws 22, and an upwardly extending section 23 forming the step up to a second laterally extending section 24 that is parallel to section 21. Section 24 overlies the top flange 5 of the door as shown in FIG- URES 1 through 4. Section 24 has two openings 25 and 26 therethrough, substantially adjacent the opposite side walls of the cabinet, for reasons hereafter explained.
Disposed along the bottom front of the cabinet as shown in FIGURES 1, 3, and 4, is an inverted L-shaped support bracket 27, which serves as the lower hinge leaf for the door. As shown in FIGURE l, bracket 27 also extends over the full width of the cabinet. Member 27 is fastened to the cabinet by any suitable means such as screws 28 which pass through the vertical leg 29 thereof and into the outer case of the cabinet. The horizontal leg 30 of member 27 functions as the lower hinge leaf for the door. Leg 30 has two openings 31 and 32 therethrough in vertical alignment with openings 25 and 26 respectively in section 24. Suitable steel washers 33 are rigidly disposed in each of the four openings in the upper and lower brackets to give added strength thereto.
Referring still to FIGURES 3 and 4, it will be Observed that the top fiange 5 of the door has two openings 34 and 35 therethrough substantially adjacent the sides 0f the door, while the lbottom ange 6 has similar openings 36 and 37 therethrough. When the door is placed in the position shown in FIGURE l, the openings 34, 35, 36, and 37 of the door are in substantial vertical alignment with the openings 25, 26, 31, and 32 respectively in the upper and lower support brackets.
Fixedly secured to the inner side of lianges 5 and 6 of the door and adjacent each of the openings is an internally threaded casing 38 that provides a housing for the manually retractable hinge pins 34', 35', 36', and 37. The bottom end of each hinge pin is threaded, whereby the pins can be individually rotated within their respective casings. The smooth shaft portion 39 of each hinge pin includes a slot 40 at the extreme outer end thereof that is adapted to accommodate the blade end of a screwdriver to facilitate rotation thereof. When the hinge pins are projected outwardly, the smooth shaft portion functions as the pivot means for the door.
To mount the door on the cabinet, it is necessary to first rotate all the hinge pins to their retracted position, that is, the position shown in FIGURE 4, wherein the slotted ends of the pins are positioned substantially parallel to the top and bottom flanges of the door. The door is then positioned between the upper and lower brackets 20 and 27, as shown in FIGURE 1. At this time, to provide a right or left handed door, it is merely necessary to rotate the pair of upper and lower hinge pins adjacent that side of the door about which rotation is desired, into cooperative engagement with the corresponding openings in the upper and lower brackets. Thus, as shown in FIGURES l, 3, and 4, the door is adapted to -be swung about the right side of the cabinet, with the pair of hinge pins 35 and 37' being extended outwardly to their projected positions.
It will be observed from FIGURES 3 and 4 that the threaded portion of each hinge pin is of a larger diameter than the smooth shaft portion thereof, whereby the threaded portion is adapted to engage the inner surfaces of the respective upper and lower brackets and thereby preclude accidental removal of the hinge pins as they are rotated to their projected positions.
If it is necessary or desirable to rotate the door about the opposite side of the cabinet, one merely rotates the disengaged hinge pins outwardly of their casings, so that they project into the respective openings in the upper and lower brackets, and then rotates the previously projected pins inwardly into their respective casings, whereupon the door is free to rotate about the opposite side of the cabinet.
To complete the description of the door, it is seen that a single full width symmetrical handle 41 may be provided for the door as shown in FIGURE l. Alternatively, the handle 42 such as that shown in FIGURE 5 may be provided that is adapted to be removed from and fastened to the opposite side of the door, depending upon the direction of rotation thereof.
Handle 42 includes a first section 43 adapted to overlie the front wall 3 of the door, and a second inwardly extending flange 44 that extends over the inner wall 4. The screws 11 that hold gasket 12 to the door may also be threaded through liange 44 to thereby rigidly affix handle 42 to either side of the door.
It will -be observed from the foregoing that I have provided a simple and economical arrangement for reversibly mounting lower brackets extending over the full width of the cabinet for esthetic reasons, however, it will be apparent that a pair of upper and lower support brackets may be used to provide the required hinge leaves. A refrigerator manufactured in accordance with my invention does not require the removal of any parts from the door or the cabinet in order to reverse the direction of rotation of the door. Moreover, my arrangement permits the manufacture of refrigerators to provide right or left hand hinged door at a minimum expense, since a single style cabinet and door may be used, thereby reducing inventory and scheduling problems.
While there has been described what is at present thought to be the preferred embodiment of my invention, it will be understood that various modifications may be made therein, and it is intended to cover in the appended claims all such modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.
l. An arrangement for reversibly mounting a door on a cabinet comprising:
(a) a iirst pair of upper and lower manually retractable pivot means mounted within and adjacent a first side of said door;
(b) a second pair of upper and lower manually retractable pivot means mounted within and adjacent a second side of said door;
(c) each of said pivot means being independently movable between a projected position, wherein one end of said pivot means extends beyond the peripheral edge of said door, and a retracted position, wherein said pivot means is disposed within said door with said one end thereof substantially parallel to the peripheral edge of said door; and
(d) upper and lower support means disposed adjacent the respective top and bottom edges of said cabinet and adapted to receive in supporting engagement said tirst and second pairs of upper and lower pivot means when said pivot means are in their projected positions, whereby said door is rotatable about said tirst side thereof when said first pair of upper and lower pivot means is projected into supporting engagement with said upper and lower support means, while said second pair of pivot means is in said retracted position; and said door is rotatable about said second side thereof when said second pair of upper and lower pivot means is projected into supporting engagement with said upper and lower support means while said tirst pair of pivot means is in said retracted position.
2. The combination according to claim 1 wherein:
(a) said door includes internally threaded casings substantially adjacent each corner thereof; and
(b) said pivot means comprise hinge pins rotatably disposed within each of said casings;
(c) each of said hinge pins having an inner threaded shaft portion and an outer smooth shaft portion, whereupon rotation of said pin within said casing, said threaded shaft portion cooperates with said threaded casing to move said hinge pin between said projected and retracted positions.
3. The combination according to claim 2 wherein said threaded shaft portion of said hinge pin is of a larger diameter than said smooth shaft portion, whereupon rotation of said hinge pin to said projected position, said threaded shaft portion thereof is adapted to engage the inner side of said support means to thereby prevent complete removal of said hinge pin.
4. The combination according to claim 2 wherein the extreme outer end of said smooth shaft portion includes a slot at the outer end thereof, said slot being adapted to accommodate the blade end of a tool, to thereby facilitate rotation of said hinge pin.
5. The combination according to claim 2 wherein said upper support means comprises a bracket extending over the full width of said cabinet, said bracket including a section overhanging the front of said cabinet; said section having rst and second openings therethrough in substantial vertical alignment with said upper hinge pins adjacent said respective first and second sides of said door, whereupon rotation of said upper hinge pins to said projected position, said smooth shaft portion thereof cooperatively engage said openings.
6. The combination according to claim 2 wherein said lower support means comprises an inverted, substantially L-shaped bracket extending over the full width of said cabinet, the horizontal leg of said bracket having first and second openings therethrough in substantial vertical alignment with said lower hinge pins adjacent said respective irst and second sides of said door, whereupon rotation of said lower hinge pins to said projected position, said smooth shaft portion thereof is adapted to cooperatively engage said openings in said lower bracket.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,206,755 7/ 1940 Schweller 16-134 2,716,447 8/1955 Adams et al 49--3 82 XR 2,835,359 5/1958 Boldt et al. 49-402 2,866,675 12/ 1958 Kesling 49-401 XR FOREIGN PATENTS 463,612 4/ 1937 Great Britain.
KENNETH DOWNEY, Primary Examiner.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US2206755 *||Sep 28, 1937||Jul 2, 1940||Gen Motors Corp||Hinge for refrigerator doors|
|US2716447 *||Sep 24, 1949||Aug 30, 1955||Carr Adams & Collier Company||Casement unit|
|US2835359 *||May 9, 1955||May 20, 1958||American Radiator & Standard||Door and hinge structure|
|US2866675 *||Dec 19, 1957||Dec 30, 1958||Gen Motors Corp||Refrigerator|
|GB463612A *||Title not available|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3430386 *||Jun 26, 1967||Mar 4, 1969||Gen Electric||Cabinet having reversibly mountable doors|
|US3455061 *||Oct 5, 1967||Jul 15, 1969||Gen Motors Corp||Selecto-hinge door|
|US3510986 *||Oct 1, 1968||May 12, 1970||Kason Hardware Corp||Self-closing hinged doors and hinges therefor|
|US3662492 *||Aug 17, 1970||May 16, 1972||Gen Motors Corp||Insulated door with reversible cover|
|US3788300 *||Nov 5, 1971||Jan 29, 1974||Whirlpool Co||Oven door mounting means|
|US4486981 *||Jun 19, 1982||Dec 11, 1984||Electrolux S.A.R.L.||Refrigerator door|
|US4620392 *||Apr 27, 1984||Nov 4, 1986||Licentia Patent-Verwaltungs-Gmbh||Door bearing and door assembly|
|US5171078 *||Apr 29, 1992||Dec 15, 1992||Delaware Capital Formation, Inc.||Cabinet door arrangement|
|US5417012 *||Nov 23, 1993||May 23, 1995||Digital Equipment Corporation||Equipment cabinet door mountable on either side and having a central latch|
|US5540339 *||Jun 13, 1994||Jul 30, 1996||Homaco, Inc.||Telecommunications wall rack|
|US6526695||Jul 13, 2000||Mar 4, 2003||The Stanley Works||Breakout capable sliding door assembly with pivot connection for transmitting load to top rail|
|US20080048539 *||Aug 23, 2007||Feb 28, 2008||Beek Jacco V||Refrigerator capable of being opened from opposite sides|
|U.S. Classification||49/382, 49/400, 16/230, 49/402, 49/388, 49/193|
|International Classification||E05D7/00, E05D7/02, E05D15/50, E05D15/48|
|Cooperative Classification||E05D7/02, E05D15/502|