US 3458242 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 29, 1969 w. WILLIAMS COLLAPS I BLE VANITY Filed Dec. 11, 1967 INVENTOR. W/LL/IRD F W/LL/AMS lll I II we W ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,458,242 COLLAPSIBLE VANITY Willard F. Williams, Elkhart, Ind., assignor to Williams Products, Inc., Elkhart, Ind. Filed Dec. 11, 1967, Ser. No. 689,404 Int. Cl. A47b 43/00 US. Cl. 312-258 4 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A collapsible vanity having integrally formed wall hinges permitting the collapse of the vanity with the walls which may include an inset toe plate lying in planes nearly parallel to one another. The doors of the vanity are mounted so as to fold back upon adjacent walls when the vanity is in a collapsed state.
This invention relates to improvements in collapsible vanities and would have applicability to other type cabinets as well. The vanity comprises a unit having front, back and side walls connected by hinges preferably formed of a flexible material. Each hinge comprises an integral pair of channels embracing and secured to adjacent vanity walls. The hinge channels are so connected that they form an open relationship when the vanity is collapsed permitting the walls to assume a substantially parallel relationship and an abutting relationship when the vanity is erected. Hinged doors are mounted to the front of the vanity and fold back upon adjacent side walls when the vanity is collapsed.
Heretofore efforts to produce collapsible vanities have been characterized by limitations of the extent of collapse thereof, high cost of construction, the need for tools Patented July 29, 1969 other hinge member used in the device and shown in its operative position when the vanity is erect.
FIG. 7 is a fragmentary perspective view of the hinge member of FIG. 6 illustrating its operative position when the vanity is collapsed.
FIG. 8 is a fragmentary sectional view of the doors taken along line 88 of FIG. 2.
during assembling and various disadvantages and other I limitations as seen in such US. patents as Nos. 1,172,804; 1,188,973; 1,783,712 and 2,649,350.
It is the primary object of this invention to overcome the limitations and disadvantages of prior constructions and to provide a vanity which can be collapsed to flat form occupying a minimum of package space for shipping and which can be set up rapidly and inexpensively without the use of special tools.
A further object is to provide a vanity of collapsible character having a novel combination and arrangement of parts including the use of novel hinge means which are inexpensive and rapidly applied and which accommodate predetermined limited swinging of associated parts between collapsed position and operative or erected position.
A further object is to provide a vanity of collapsible character which has a recessed toe plate enabling the user to stand close to the vanity.
Other objects will be apparent from the following specification.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the collapsible unit of the vanity in partially collapsed state preparatory to shipping which illustrates the position of the inset toe plate and the doors of the vanity in collapsed position. v
FIG. 9 is a plane view of the vanity unit of FIG. 2.
Referring to the drawing which illustrates the preferred embodiment of the invention, reference numeral 1 designates a rear vertical panel or wall of the vanity, reference numerals 2 designate the opposite vertical side panels or Walls of the vanity and reference numeral 3 designates an upper front panel or wall of the vanity while reference numeral 4 designates a lower insert front panel or toe plate. It will be observed that the lower front corners of the side panels 2 are cutaway and the lower front panel 4 interconnects the panels 2 at those cutaway portions. Each of the panels 1, 2, 3 and 4 is formed of rigid material, such as plywood, chipboard, composition board, hard board or the like, which can be readily cut to desired size and shape. The panels 1, 2, 3 and 4 are assembled into a collapsible unit of the character illustrated in FIG. 1 by the use of suitable hinge means connecting the panels at their adjacent vertical edges.
The hinge members employed in this construction are preferably of the type illustrated in FIGS. 4, 5, 6 and 7 and are preferably formed of flexible plastic material, such as polyvinyl resin, but may consist of a metallic hinge.
Two of the hinge members which are disposed at diagonally opposed vertical corners of the collapsible units comprise a pair of channel parts 5 and 6, as seen in FIGS. 4 and 5, which are integrally formed and are joined together longitudinally thereof at a flexible web portion 7 at the junction between one leg and the base of the channel 5 and at the margin of a leg of the channel 6. This hinge member is capable of swinging through 90 as illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5. This type of hinge member is used in the construction at the right and left ends of FIG. 1 where the panels connected thereto are to be swung to a substantially parallel confronting position. Each of the channels 5 and 6 will be of a width tofit snugly upon the margin of a panel and will extend the full length of the vertical edges of the panels 1 and 2 and the full height of the panels 3 and 4 at the juncture thereof with the adjacent side panel 2. The channels 5 and 6 may be secured to the panels 1, 2, 3 and 4 by any suitable means, such as staples or other securing means or such as a cement or other bonding agent.
The hinge members shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 comprise a pair of elongated channel members 8 and 9 which are integrally formed and joined together the full length thereof at a flexible web portion 10 making possible swinging of the channels 8 and 9 from the position illustrated in FIG. 7 which represents its relationship in the collapsed vanity of FIG. 1 to the position illustrated in FIG. 6
which represents its relationship in an erected vanity. It
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the collapsible unit of a completely will be observed that the hinges of FIGS. 6 and 7 embrace the margins of the panels to which they are secured and that securement thereof may be by any suitable means, such as staples or cement. Likewise it will be observed that both types of hinge members serve to positively limit the swinging movement of the panels of the collapsible section in right angular relation when the collapsible unit is erected. Thus it will be seen that clockwise movement of channel 6 relative to channel 5 in the FIGS. 4 and 5 construction cannot proceed beyond the arrangement shown in FIG. 4 because of the abutment of a web of channel 6 with the base of the channel 5. Similarly, there is a limit to the swing of the parts of the hinge member shown in FIGS. 6 and 7 as illustrated in FIG. 6.
One important consideration of the device is that the inset arrangement of the lower front panel 4 does not interfere with the collapsing of the collapsible unit despite the fact that the hinge member between each upper front panel 3 and side panel 2 is out of line with the hinge member between the lower front panel 4 and the side panels 2. This displacement is accommodated, as illustrated in FIG. 1, when it will be seen that the lower plate is also inset from the upper front plate 3 in the collapsed position of the parts.
The space between the bottom edge of the upper front panel 3 and the top edge of the inset lower front panel 4 provides an opening in which a pair of doors 11 may be mounted preferably in a flush relationship to the upper front panel 3, although this is not essential. Doors 11 are hinged at their outer vertical margins to the front edges of side panels 2. Elongated piano-type hinges 12 are preferably utilized to hinge the doors 11 having their hinge pintles projecting forwardly from the plane of the doors and of the front edge of the side panel 2 as illustrated in FIGS. l and 2. In this manner the doors may be free to swing to a substantially parallel relationship to the side panels 2 when the vanity is collapsed as illustrated in FIG. 1.
The rear vertical panel 1 is provided with a horizontal groove 13 at its inner face which extends substantially the full width of the panel 1 and is positioned at an elevation approximately that of the level of the top edge of the lower front panel 4. A bottom panel 14, which is a separate unit piece, is adapted to fit snugly between the side panels 2 when the unit is erected and its rear margin is seated in the groove 13. The bottom panel 14 carries a forwardly projecting cleat or strip 15 mounted over the front margin of the panel 14 and having a bottom offset engageable with the inner upper margin of the lower front panel 4 in its erected position. The cleat 15 projects forwardly beyond the lower front panel 4 as seen in FIG. 3 and is adapted to be abutted by the lower inner margins of the doors 11 when the doors are closed. By virtue of the door space provided in the device and the dimensions and proportions of the parts, it will be apparent that after the vertical walls have been swung to an erected position, as shown in FIG. 2, the bottom panel 14 including attached cleat 15 may be inserted through the door openings and caused to assume its operative position in FIG. 3 wherein it is supported at its rear margin by the groove 13 and at its front end by the engagement of the cleat 15 with the lower front panel 4. The collapsible unit of the vanity is held in its erected position and prevented from collapsing by the engagement of the side edges of the panel 14 with the side walls 2 in addition to the engagement of the panel 14 with groove 13 and of attached cleat 15 with the inner margin of the lower front panel 4.
The vanity is completed by a top panel 16 of a size to bear upon the top edges of the panels 1, 2 and 3. Panel 16 has marginal cleats 17 secured thereto at its bottom face and positioned to engage the upper margins of the inner faces of the panel 1, 2 and 3 as shown in FIG. 3. The top panel 16 has an opening 18 to receive a sink 19 having outwardly projecting flanges at 20 engaging the top around the opening 18. The top panel may also have a backboard 21. Of course it is well understood that in some cabinet installations the sink and inset toe plate would not be utilized.
The mounting of the top panel 16, like the mounting of the bottom panel, can be done manually without requiring the use of tools inasmuch as the top panel 16 is merely positioned in place with its cleats 17 projecting into the upper portion of the vanity. The top panel also assists in holding the vanity in an erected position.
It will be apparent from a consideration of FIG. 1 that the collapsible unit consisting of the panels 1, 2, 3 and 4 and the doors 11 fold to a collapsed position in which the panels 1, 2, 3 and 4 are substantially parallel to each other as accommodated by assumption of the FIG. 5 position of the FIG. 4 hinge member and assumption of the FIG. 7 position of the FIG. 6 hinge member.
.. It will be seen that the total thickness of the collapsed unit does not greatly exceed the thickness of the side panels 1 and 2 plus the thickness of the door panel 11. Consequently, the unit can be inserted in a very narrow or shallow shipping container and at the same time that container, by slight added thickness, can also accommodate the bottom panel 14 and the top panel 16. When the customer receives the unit all he must do to assemble it is to position the panels 1 and 2 vertically at right angles while the doors are held open. Thereupon the bottom panel 14 can be inserted into place with its rear edge seating in the groove 13 and its front cleat 15 bearing on the top of the lower front panel 4. The top panel 16 can then be mounted in position. The resulting vanity is strong, rigid and ready for attachment of the sink, thus making for rapid and convenient vanity installation.
While the preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated and described, it will be understood that changes in the construction may be made without departing from the spirit of the invention.
1. A collapsible cabinet comprising a unit having front, back and side walls connected by vertical hinges, said front wall consisting of vertically spaced upper and lower wall panels defining a door opening therebetween, said hinges being integrally formed of flexible material and each having a pair of channels embracing and secured to adjacent walls and an integral flexible portion interconnecting said channels, and so positioned to maintain portions of the component channels in abutment when said unit is erected in operative position, a pair of doors spanning said door opening and each hinged to the front of a side wall by a vertical hinge having a pintle portion spaced forwardly from the door when in closed position and accommodating swinging of the door alongside and substantially parallel to the adjacent side wall when the unit is collapsed, said walls lying in planes displaced only a small extent from parallel relation when the unit is collapsed.
2. A collapsible cabinet as defined in claim 1, wherein said rear panel has a horizontal interior groove at approximately the level of the top of the lower front wall panel, a bottom panel fitting in said unit in erected position with its rear margin seating in said groove and having a front shouldered member engaging and supported by the lower front wall panel, and a top panel seated on the upper edges of said walls in erected position and carrying depending centering members engaging the inner upper margins of said walls.
3. A collapsible cabinet as defined in claim 1, wherein the lower front corners of said side walls are cut away and are interconnected by said lower front wall panel to define a recessed toe plate.
4. A collapsible cabinet as defined in claim 3, wherein a bottom panel seats in a groove in said rear wall and has a transverse shoulder engaging the upper inner margin of said lower front wall panel and a portion projecting forwardly into engagement with the lower inner marginal portions of said doors when said doors are closed in the erected position of the unit.
References Cited US. 01. X.R. 16 15'6'; 312-138, 263