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Publication numberUS3399941 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 3, 1968
Filing dateFeb 27, 1967
Priority dateFeb 27, 1967
Publication numberUS 3399941 A, US 3399941A, US-A-3399941, US3399941 A, US3399941A
InventorsHansen Francis W, Nulf Richard H
Original AssigneeSimmons Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cabinet construction
US 3399941 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 3, 1968 F. w. HANSEN ET AL 3,399,941

CABINET CONSTRUCTION Filed Feb. 27, 1967 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 f INVENTOES FeA/vc/s A/ flwsew f/c/e Aep fi/ M4:

3-, Mada AT TOE NE'YS Sept. 3', 1968 3 Sheets-Sheet 4' Filed Feb. 27, 1967 INVENTOES faA/c/s h/ flq/vszw P/Cfi/AED N04;



ATTORNEYS '3 Sheets-Sheet 5 INVENTOES FA/vas N fih/vszlv Pr /120 A. /V/AF' BY fifl/mw,

Filed Feb. 27, 1967 United States Patent 3,399,941 CABINET CONSTRUCTION Francis W. Hansen and Richard H. Nulf, Lansing, Ill., assignors to Simmons Company, New York, N.Y., a corporation of Delaware Filed Feb. 27, 1967, Ser. No. 618,868 6 Claims. (Cl. 312257) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A metal cabinet having integral top and side panels formed of a single sheet of metal, the edges of which, at the front and back edges of the cabinet, are flanged and present opposed, inwardly facing peripheral channels. In each channel is an A-frame, a tubular weldment which reinforces the shell and may provide legs for the cabinet. A floor panel with downwardly turned flanges is interlocked with hemmed lower edges of the side panels and maintains the A-frarnes in assembled relation with the skin at floor level. Drawer runners secured through the edge flanges to the A frames serve the purpose at an upper level. A flanged-edge back panel maintained in an assembled relation with the skin and the rear A-frame by sheet metal clips prevents racking of the cabinet out of square.

The cabinet may have one or more drawers, or as shown in the drawings, a drawer and door, for use, for example, as a bedside cabinet. The assembly is made without any welding except at four small places in the subassembly of the A-frames.

Specification This invention relates to metal cabinetry and particularly to the structural design of components so as to permit the assembly of metal case goods without welding, thereby to speed the assembly process and to permit the use of finishes such as plastic laminates which are incompatible with assembly by welding.

The objects of the invention are accomplished by designing the component parts to be mutually interlocking in a particular order of assembly, reducing to a minimum the need of "fasteners as such, and minimizing the load on the relatively few fasteners needed to maintain the integrity of the structure.

Specifically, the top and side panels of the case comprise a shell formed from a single sheet of metal, such as cold rolled steel to the outer surface of which may be laminated a thin layer of decorative flexible plastic sheet, the latter being prelaminated to the sheet in raw stock form and moving as part of the sheet in all subsequent forming operation. Opposed inwardly directed channels are formed by flanging the edges of the skin-forming panel, and the flanges are notched to facilitate the bending of the sheet into a hood-like shell. Reinforcing A- frames are received within the channels at the front and back of the shell, and a floor sheet, whose downwardly turned edges are interlocked in hems in the bottom edges of the side panels of the shell, locks the lower portions of the A-frames in their respective channel housings. In the upper part of the cabinet thus formed, drawer runners staked with sheet metal screws through the covering flange and into the upright tubular posts of the A-frames, maintain the assembly of drawer runners, A-frarnes, and outer shell in the upper part of the case.

An inset rear panel suitably stilfened by edge-flanging closes the rear opening and is secured in place by sheet metal spring clips which are received in part in the edge flanging of the" back panel and partially encircle the posts of the A-frames. The back panel effectively prevents racking of the shell and A-frames out of square.

The case may comprise a combination of drawer and See door such as shown in the drawing of this application, or may consist entirely of drawers, as we have shown by way of illustration in our copending application. Ser. No. 618,864, of even date.

The following more detailed description requires reference to the drawings in which,

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of a complete cabinet of the bedside type, made in accordance with the invention;

FIGURE 2 is an exploded isometric view of the cabinet of FIGURE 1, illustrating the constituent parts and useful in understanding the assembly;

FIGURE 3 is a somewhat enlarged sectional elevation on the plane suggested by the line 33 in FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary horizontal section taken on the line 4-4 of FIGURE 3, and itself partially broken away where convenient to illustrate certain details;

FIGURE 5 is a front elevation of the cabinet shown in FIGURE 1, with the drawer front partially broken away to illustrate the drawer runner trackage and assembly with the drawer, although merely for illustration in this instance, that subject being dealt with in our copending application Ser. No. 618,864; and

FIGURE 6 is a perspective view of the spring clip by means of which the back panel is assembled into the case.

In referring to the drawings and particularly to FIG- URE 2, it may be seen that the top panel 10 and side panels 11 of the case are formed of a single sheet of metal. We use cold rolled steel of relatively light gauge which we have found very adequate for this application as the same becomes reinforced in subsequent flanging operations still to be described. For cases which we intend to finish by painting, we use bare steel of 20 gauge; others we have prefinished, in effect, by using steel sheets of 22 gauge to which there had previously been laminated a decorative skin of flexible plastic sheet. Certain of these can be worked by bending while in this pre-laminated form without any crazing or other deleterious effect upon the finish.

We conceive it be possible to form the flanges in the edges of the shell-forming sheet by brake-bending and subsequent notching of the flanges to accommodate the inward bending of the integral sheet into top and side panels, but we prefer the greater accuracy and reproducibility of the roll-forming technique, and the prenotching of the edges of the sheet to accommodate the final bending operation by means of which the single sheet becomes the preassembled top and side panels of the outer shell.

The character of the edge flanging of the shell is best seen in the sectional views of FIGURES 3 and 4. The flange consists of three portions, each set perpendicular to the next in a modified Z-section 12, which, together with the body of the panel 10 or 11 from which it was formed, constitutes an inwardly facing channel which is opposed by a like channel on the opposite edge of the shell, those edges becoming respectively the front and back edges of the cabinet. The aforementional channel formed by the flange is inset from the edges of the shell to provide overhang 13 for a shadow-box effect.

The narrower ends of the sheet, which become the bottom edges 14 of the side panels 11, are hemmed with a simple fold-over flange 15 which is bent back inwardly upon the body of the sheet but not completely closed. It thus forms a narrow, upwardly open groove for assembly with the floor panel in a manner still to be described.

Received within the channels formed by the flanges 12 at the front and rear edges of the outer shell of the case are a pair of A-frames 16 best seen overall in FIGURE 2, and partially and in section in FIGURE 3. These consist of a pair of tubular posts 17 which are conveniently of square cross-section (FIGURE 4) and which are connected together at the top and near bottom by channelshaped cross members 18. The latter are channel-shaped rather than tubular so that they may 'be welded to the post by an interior bead 19 which does not require scarfing or any form of cleaning, and whose presence will not interfere with the receipt of the A-frame into the channels of the edge-flanging 12. The bottom cross members of the A-frames, as will be seen in FIGURE 3, support the floor panel of the case, and the portions 20 of the post which extend below the lower cross members become the exposed legs of the cabinet when the latter is intended for free-standing use. On the other hand, when it is intended to assemble the same into a built-in unit, or to combine it on a common base with other pieces, the portions 20 of the posts below the lower cross member are simply omitted.

For the posts and cross members, we have used mild steel of a wall thickness of .056 inch. If desired for the ultimate decor of the piece, the exposed leg portions of the posts may be sheathed, for example, with a short section of chromium-plated tubing or other facings, not shown, but which when used are slipped over the legs 20 and held in assembled relation therewith by an inserted pad or glide 21 which provides a nonmarring support for contact with the floor.

From FIGURES 2 and 3, it may be seen that when the A-frames are emplaced within the channels of the shell flanging 12, a floor panel 22 is inserted into the case. The floor panel is similarly of sheet steel having a down-turned flange 23 on each side which is interlocked in tongue-and-groove relationship (see FIGURE 3) with the flange 15 of the hemmed lower edge 14 of the side panel when the floor is in place, The floor panel rests upon the lower cross members of the A-frames, and its front edge is provided with a downwardly extending flange 24 of angle shape, i.e., having a forwardly extending lower tongue. This tongue of the flange 24 is encompassed by the grooved portion of an attaching strip 25 which extends from side to side of the cabinet between the overhang 13 at the edges of the side panels 11 (FIG. The attaching strip is secured to the lower cross member by means of sheet metal screws, and locks the front edge of the floor panel against upward displacement. It also completes the aforemention shadowbox frame effect, and is, accordingly, finished on its outer surface in the same manner as the sheet from which the top and side panels of the outer shell are formed.

At the rear edge of the floor panel 22, there is also a downwardly extending flange 26, which, however, is of channel shape, open rearwardly. The lower ledge of the channel-shaped flange 26, like that of the front flange 24, is received in tongue-and-groove relationship with an attaching strip 27 substantially identical with that used at the forward edge of the cabinet, and the attaching strip 27 is secured to the lower cross member of the rear A- frame in the same manner as that at the front. The upper or reverse portion of the rear flange 26 extends rearwardly from the rear surface of the cross member 18 to provide a seat for the back panel 28, the specific nature of which is still to be described.

It will be noted by reference to FIGURE 2 that the floor panel 22 is notched at each of its four corners to provide clearance for flanges 12 of the side panels of the case.

Near their upper ends, the front and rear A-frames 16 are cross-connected by the stationary ones of the telescoping tracks 29 and 30 of drawer runners employed to support a drawer 31 in the upper end of the case. The construction of the drawer and its mounting are the subject of our contemporaneous application of even date, reference here being made simply for the purpose of pointing out that the drawer runner system serves in part as structure in the upper part of the cabinet. The stationary track 29 is fastened in the assembly by means of sheet metal screws which pass into the posts 17 of the A-frames through the walls of the channel flanges 12,

and thus serves also to maintain the assembly of the outer shell with the A-frames in the upper part of the case.

The back panel 28 is best seen in FIGURES 2, 3 and 4. It is likewise formed of sheet metal and has simple skirt flanges 32 at top and bottom (FIG. 3). At its side edges, however, it is flanged (FIG. 4) to provide an entering locator tongue 33, a depth-limiting seat 34 and an Open channel 35 between the body of the panel and that portion of the flange which forms the seat 34. The open channel 35 in the side flanges facilitates the mounting of the back panel to the case by means of a hardened, C-shaped sheet metal spring clip 36, which is shown enlarged in FIGURE 6. A double portion 37 of the clip is inserted into the channel 35 of the back-panel flange, and the opposite end 38, by a rotary motion, is snapped into encircling relation with the post 17 of the rear A-frame (FIG. 4) The doubled portion 37 of the attaching clip has an unstressed dimension in the front-to-rear direction of the cabinet which is greater than the width of the open channel 35 in the backpanel side flange, so that when the clip is inserted as aforesaid into the channel, the free edge 39 of the doubled portion bites into the inner surface of the back panel, preventing it from unintended dislodgem'ent. The biting contact of the hardened clip with the back panel may be enhanced by serating the edge 39, as the enlargement of FIGURE 6 shows.

When the cabinet is fitted entirely with drawers, additional runners are fastened between the A-frames in the manner previously described for the single drawer 31 that is shown, an appropriate fixture being employed for the location of the mounting holes which receive the attaching screws so that the spacing of drawers is accurately controlled by their mountings. This permits the holding of close tolerances in the dimensions of the spaces between succeeding drawer fronts with the result that no additional cross members or mullions are required for appearance sake.

When fitted out with a door 40, as shown, the same is mounted on a pair of hinges 41, one leaf of which encompasses the post of the front A-frame and the channel-forming flange 12, being screwed to the back face of the former, and the other leaf to the rear surface of the door so as to be unobtrusive as possible. The hinge axis is sufliciently distant from the adjacent forward edge of the side panel that the hinged edge of the door swings freely within the shadow-box or overhang 13 of the shell.

The door is held closed by a latch in the form of a resilient plastic molding 42 which is secured to the adjacent post of the A-frame by means of screws, and accepts a metal stake 43 which is screwed into the back side of the door and provided with an enlarged rounded head for restraining receipt within the seat of the latch. The plastic material used may be polyethylene or the like, and is preferably formed with a bumper portion 44 which extends around to the front face of the recessed channel flange to absorb the impact of the door when closing.

The shadow-box effect of the shell permits the door to be grasped at its edge for opening, eliminating the need for pulls. The same is true of the upper drawer, or all of the drawers when more than one are employed, but for design purposes as well as convenience, drawer pulls are sometimes provided and may be integrated with the appearance design as indicated in the illustrative embodiment,

Similarly, one or more shelves 45 may be provided, as indicated in the elevational views of FIGURES 3 and 5, and when used are supported on small molded plastic brackets 46 snapped into holes in the opposed faces of the front and rear A-frames. The side edges of the shelf are provided with a simple downwardly turned flange 47, similar to that of the side edges of the floor panel to increase its load-carrying strength. The somewhat deeper flanges 48 at the front and rear edges of the shelf serve the same purpose but are provided with an additional inwardly turned lip to provide a finished edge. The front and rear edges of the shelf are identical so that no particular orientation need be observed, nad its corners are notched like the floor panel to provide clearance for the A-frames and the flanges 12 of the side panels.

It will be seen in FIGURE 3 that the side flanges of the back panel 28, in the channel portions 35 thereof which receive the attaching spring clips, are punched in a number of places to provide ventilation holes 50 at the rear of the cabinet. The front is ventilated through the clearances around and between the drawer, or drawers, and door. It will also be noted from FIGURE 3 that the drawer trackage 29-30 is mounted with a slight rearward pitch which, together with the antifriction runner system (FIG. 5), makes it self-closing.

With this construction utilizing the combination of an integral sheet to form the side and top panels and to receive the reinforcing and stabilizing A-frames, interlocking floor panel and interlocking back panel, the cabinet disclosed is more easily assembled by relatively unskilled workmen due to the elimination of hand welding in the final assembly process, such welding being a slow process and notoriously diflicult to control as to quality. Furthermore, the mode of construction here employed, by the elimination of welding, permits the use of decorative finishes in the case structure itself which cannot be employed in earlier techniques of assembly which depend upon welding.

What is claimed is:

1. A cabinet case comprising an integral shell of sheet metal formed by bending to constitute the top and two side panels of the case, and flanged along its edges to present opposed inwardly directed channels therein at the front and back edges of the case, an inwardly and upwardly turned flange at the lower edge of each side panel forming therewith a narrow upwardly open groove, a continuous border frame emplaced within each of said channels and having a lower cross-member, a floor panel having downwardly turned side flanges inserted as tongues within the grooves of said side panels, said floor panel being notched at its corners to receive said border frames and channel-forming flanges at the front and back edges of said side panels and secured at its front and back edges respectively to the lower cross-members of said border frames, thereby to maintain the assembly of said floor panel with said side panels and of said border frames with said shell, and a back panel closing the back of said shell and secured therein to prevent racking of the case out of square.

2. The structure of claim 1 wherein each border frame comprises two tubular metal posts connected by the crossmember of claim 1 and a second, upper cross-member received in the channel-forming flange of the top panel,

and where at least the upper cross-member of said border frames is of channel shape in section and welded at its ends to said posts by a bead within said channel shape.

3. The structure of claim 1 wherein each channelforming flange of said shell is formed to position said channel inwardly from the front and back edges of the shell in a shadow-box effect, said floor panel terminating at its front and rear edges in downwardly extending flanges with tongues extending forwardly and rearwardly respectively from said front :and rear edge-flanges, said fasteners being sheet metal strips each folded over along a longitudinal axis to form a groove to receive a tongue of said floor panel edge-flanges and being secured to the lower cross-member of the adjacent border frame, the fold line of said strips being flush with the front edges of said side panels to complete a continuous shadow-box border around the front and rear edges of the case.

4. The structure of claim 1 wherein the posts of the border frames extend below the level of the lower crossmembers of the border frames to constitute legs for the case.

5. The structure of claim 1 wherein the back panel is bent back upon itself along its side edges to form inward'ly directed, oppositely facing grooves and forwardly extending locator tongues, said tongues fitting closely to the oppositely facing surfaces of the rear channel-forming flanges of the side panels and the front groove-forming portion of the back panel flange abutting the bottoms of said side-panel rear-channel-forming flanges.

'6. The structure of claim 5 wherein the back border frame includes two tubular posts of rectangular section and the channel-forming flange receiving it is of close fitting conforming section, and the means securing the back panel in the shell comprises a plurality of C-shaped spring clips each having a double-section inserted into the groove of the back panel flange with its free edge in digging engagement with the inside face of said back panel, and the body of each said clip encircling said channel-forming flange and post to the side of said post abutting the body of the adjacent side panel.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,560,922 11/1925 Wege 3l2-257 2,258,489 10/ 1941 Grindle 3l2--257 2,686,704 8/ 1954 Wolters 3 12-257 2,741,524 4/1956 Lew 312-257 2,808,309 10/1957 Magester 312-257 3,248,157 4/1966 Piker 312257 3,306,692 2/ 1967 Timmerman 312257 X 3,347,609 10/1967 Mann 312257 X JAMES T. McCALL, Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US1560922 *Aug 4, 1924Nov 10, 1925Metal Office Furniture CompanyMetal cupboard construction
US2258489 *Sep 17, 1938Oct 7, 1941Grindle Aubrey JBurner cabinet construction
US2686704 *Apr 1, 1949Aug 17, 1954Remington Rand IncVertical correspondence file
US2741524 *Apr 15, 1953Apr 10, 1956Joseph LewStorage cabinets
US2808309 *Mar 7, 1955Oct 1, 1957Gen ElectricCabinet construction
US3248157 *Sep 11, 1962Apr 26, 1966Hamilton Skotch CorpKnocked-down cabinet
US3306692 *Feb 24, 1966Feb 28, 1967Leonard A TimmermanKnock-down table and desk construction
US3347609 *Dec 23, 1965Oct 17, 1967Wolverine Toy CompanyCabinet structure
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3844634 *Nov 14, 1972Oct 29, 1974Scovill Manufacturing CoMulti-compartment storage structure
US3870388 *Mar 12, 1973Mar 11, 1975Innovare I Taby AktiebolagSelf-locking corner joint for the walls of cupboard-like structures
US3881794 *Oct 16, 1973May 6, 1975Regal Wood Products IncCabinet
US4348068 *Jan 22, 1980Sep 7, 1982Fisher & Paykel LimitedRefrigerator casing
US4793667 *Feb 19, 1988Dec 27, 1988White Consolidated Industries, Inc.Knockdown steel counter
US5214836 *Mar 30, 1992Jun 1, 1993Hon Industries Inc.Method for making filing cabinet including adhesive bonding
US5251974 *Feb 12, 1991Oct 12, 1993Hon Industries Inc.Multi-drawer file cabinet
US5433516 *Dec 28, 1992Jul 18, 1995Hon Industries, Inc.Filing cabinets
US5456531 *May 25, 1993Oct 10, 1995Hon Industries, Inc.Storage cabinets of adhesive bonded thin sheet metal
WO1994027469A1 *May 25, 1994Dec 8, 1994Hon Ind IncA cabinet of adhesively laminated sheet metal
U.S. Classification312/265.3
International ClassificationA47B67/00, A47B88/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B88/0003, A47B67/00
European ClassificationA47B88/00A, A47B67/00
Legal Events
Jun 24, 1981ASAssignment
Effective date: 19810619