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Publication numberUS3488097 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 6, 1970
Filing dateJul 26, 1968
Priority dateJul 26, 1968
Publication numberUS 3488097 A, US 3488097A, US-A-3488097, US3488097 A, US3488097A
InventorsHerbert S Fall
Original AssigneeHerbert S Fall
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Heavy-duty drawer slide
US 3488097 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 6, 1970 H. s. FALL HEAVY-DUTY DRAWER SLIDE 2 Sheets-Sheet. 1

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Jan. 6, 1970 A H. s. FALL @W HEAVY-DUTY DRAWER SLIDE: l Filed July 26, 1968 2 sheets-sheet a 2 8 VZ/2562 ,9565/5552 4 w .1 M

United States Patent O M' U.S. Cl. 30S-3.8 9 Claims ABSTRACT F THE DISCLOSURE A chassis track or drawer slide comprising a pair of extensible track means, each track means comprising a guide means, a slide means, and load-bearing anti-friction means movably supporting the slide means on the guide means, and an elongated connecting member. This connecting member is formed with a vertically and longitudinally extending upper wall portion and a vertically and longitudinally extending lower wall portion, the wall portions being spaced on opposite sides of a vertical plane extending longitudinally through the member. One of the guide means is rigidly fastened to each of the wall portions to extend longitudinally therealong, the guide means being fastened, respectively, to the sides of the wall portions which face the said vertical plane. Preferably, the wall portions are parallel to the plane and spaced apart so that the anti-friction means of both track means lie in a common vertical plane, this last-mentioned vertical plane, preferably, substantially coinciding with the firstmentioned vertical plane.

It is a primary object of my invention to provide a drawer slide which will movably support extremely heavy loads of up to several hundred pounds, which will support such loads for movement a distance equal to the depth of a conventional file cabinet drawer, which is relatively inexpensive to manufacture, which is relatively narrow in width, and which will operate smoothly. The problems involved in providing a drawer slide having these characteristics are well known, and because of these problems, such drawer slides have not heretofore -been available.

My drawer slide comprises a pair of extensible track means, each track means comprising guide means, slide means, and loadbearing anti-friction means movably supporting the slide means on the guide means. I provide a connecting member to which the guide means of each track means is rigidly fastened, the connecting member being proportioned and designed so that the anti-friction means of both of the track means lie in a common vertical plane. Thus, my connecting member is arranged so that the force applied to one slide means is directed vertically in such a plane to be applied to the other slide means. Thus, there is no tendency for my connecting member to twist or bend laterally. Specifically, I have formed my connecting member to provide a vertically and longitudinally extending upper wall portion to which one of the guide means is rigidly fastened to extend longitudinally therealong and a vertically and longitudinally extending lower wall portion to which the other guide means is rigidly fastened to extend longitudinally therealong, the wall portions being spaced on opposite sides of a vertical plane extending longitudinally through the member and the guide means being fastened, respectievly, to the sides of the wall portions which face such a vertical plane. Preferably, the anti-friction means associated with each guide means will lie in such a vertical plane. Thus, I form the wall portions to be parallel to the plane and equally spaced therefrom.

Further, I have formed the connecting member so that each of the upper and lower wall portions is bounded at its upper and lower edges by horizontally and longitudi- 3,488,097 Patented Jan. 6, 1970 nally extending side wall portions. Each of the guide means is snugly received between the side wall portions bounding the wall portion to which the guide means is fastened. Thus, each upper and lower wall portion with its side wall portions denes a channel section for snugly receiving one of the guide means. It will be seen, as this description progresses, that each such channel serves to strengthen the guide means disposed therein.

I have constructed such drawer slides having a total height of 3.5 inches and a total Width of .423 inch, this height of 3.5 inches including a vertically and 1ongitudinally extending intermediate portion which connects the upper and lower wall portions. Preferably, this intermediate portion lsubstantially coincides with the vertical plane in which the anti-friction means lie. In my constructed embodiment of the drawer slide, the height of this intermediate portion is approximately one-half inch to dene oppositely disposed longitudinally extending channels for receiving the heads of fastening elements used to connect the drawer slide to cabinets and drawers.

I have found that two of my drawer slides, each of which has a width of .423 inch, will satisfactorily movably support a drawer or the like which weighs as much as five hundred pounds. It will be appreciated that, since, with the exception of the antifriction means, my drawer `slide comprises only parts which are fabricated from sheet metal having a maximum thickness of .074 inch, such a performance is particularly outstanding.

Other objects and features of the present invention will become apparent as this description progresses.

To the accomplishment of the above and related objects, the present invention may be embodied in the forms illustrated in the accompanying drawings, attention being called to the fact, however, that the drawings are illustrative only, and that change may be made in the specic constructions illustrated and described, so long as the scope of the appended claims is not violated.

In the drawings:

FIG. l is an exploded, fragmentary, perspective view of one preferred embodiment of the drawer slide;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged transverse sectional view of the drawer slide showing one slide means rigidly fastened to a portion of a cabinet frame and the other slide means rigidly fastened to a portion of a drawer;

FIG. 3 is a further-enlarged, fragmentary sectional view showing the manner in which the anti-friction means are disposed between each slide means and guide means;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of one type of bearing retainer and FIG. 4a is a similar view of another type of bearing retainer;

FIG. 5 is a reduced, longitudinal sectional view taken from FIG. 2 generally along the line 5-5 and FIG. 5a is a fragmentary sectional view showing a modification of the structure of FIG. 5;

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary sectional view taken from FIG. 2 generally along the line 6 6; and

FIG. 7 is a transverse sectional view of a slightly different embodiment of my invention.

Referring now to FIGS. 1-5, it will be seen that I have illustrated a drawer slide 10 comprising a pair of extensible track means 12, 14 connected together by means of a connecting member 16. Preferably, to save on the cost of fabrication, the track means 12, 14 are identical.

Each track means 12, 14 comprises -a guide means 18, a slide means 20 and load-bearing anti-friction means for movably supporting the slide means on the guide means. In the illustrative embodiment, such anti-friction means comprise a plurality of ball bearings 22 carried in raceways cooperatively defined by the guide means 18 and their respective slide means 20. Specifically, in the illus trative embodiment, each guide means 18 is formed to provide a longitudinally and outwardly extending downwardly facing raceway 24 along its upper edge and a longitudinally and outwardly extending upwardly facing raceway 26 along its lower=edge while each slide means 20 is formed to provide a" longitudinally and inwardly extending upwardly facing raceway `28 along its upper edge and a longitudinally and inwardly extending downwardly facing raceway 30 along its lower edge. Thus, each track means 12, 14 comprises a plurality of ball bearings 22 carried on its raceway 28 and under and in rolling contact with its raceway 24 and additional ball bearings 22 carried on its raceway 26 and under and in rolling contact with its raceway 30. This relationship is clearly seen in FIG. 2.

I have illustrated rny preferred form of cooperating raceways, such as the raceways 24, 28, in FIG. 3. Specifically, I prefer to form the guide means 18 from a strip of sheet metal having a thickness of approximately .O62 inch in a roll die so that it has the rolled upper and lower edges defining, respectively, its raceways .24, 26. Similarly, each slide means 20 is formed from a strip of sheet metal having a thickness of .074 inch in a roll die to have its upper and lower in-turned edges defining, respecively, its raceways 28, 30. Each such raceway 24-30 is formed to receive ball bearings 22 having a diameter of .187 inch. Of course, each such raceway 24-30 must be formed with sufficient curvature to engage the ball bearings 22 to prevent lateral separation of the associated guide means 18 and slide means 20. I refer to the F. A. Jordan United States Patent 3,205,025 issued Sept. 7, 1965 which discloses one manner in which my raceways 24-30 may be formed.

Referring to FIGS. l and 2, it will be seen that I have shown the slide means 20 o f the track means 12 rigidly fastened by means of the elements 36 to an intermediate member 38 which is, in turn, connected by screws 39 (only one of which is shown) to a portion 38' of a frame, which may be the frame of a cabinet, and the slide means 20 of the track means 14 rigidly fastened by means of the elements 40 to an intermediate member 42 which is, in turn, connected by screws 39' (only one of which is shown) to a side portion 42 of a drawer which is extensible relative to Vthe frame. The fastening elements 36, 40 are merely illustrative and the members 38, 40 may be connected to their respective slide means by spot welding or any other such technique. Thus, since the guide means 18 of each track means 12, 14 is rigidly fastened to the connecting member 16, the connecting member is extensible in the direction of the arrow 44 (FIG. 1) relative to the cabinet frame 38 and the slide4 means 20 of the track means 14 is extensible in the direction of the arrow 46 relative to the connecting member. Spot welds between the guide means 18 and the connecting member 16 are indicated by the reference numeral 48 in FIG. 3.

Referring further to FIG. 2, it will be seen that the drawer slide occupies a minimum amount of space between the cabinet frame 38' and the drawer 42'. Specifically, since my drawer slide can be fabricated with an overall width of .423 inch, as discussed previously, the space in which the slide is-disposed yneed not be significantly wider than, for instance .500 inch. While drawer slides having widths of approximately .500 inch have been provided heretofore, none of such slides known to me has had the load carrying capacity of my drawer slide 10 described herein. I am able to provide such a load carrying capacity in such a small space because of the manner in which I, have formed the connecting member 16. Specifically, I have formed the connecting member 16 to have a vertically and longitudinally extending upper wall portion 54 and a vertical and longitudinally extending lower wall portion 56, these wall portions being vspaced on opposite sides of a vertical plane which extends longitudinally through the member 16. I `have illustrated a center line 58'in FIGS 1 and 2 to represent such a vertically and longitudinally extending plane. The wall portions 54, 56 are parallel to the plane and equally spaced therefrom. The distance between the wall portions 54, 56 is such that, preferably, the centers of all the ball bearings 22 lie substantially in the vertically and longitudinally extending plane represented by the centerline 58. Since the ball bearings 22 carry all of the load applied to the drawer slide 10, the load is applied in the above-described vertically and longitudinally extending plane. It will be appreciated that, if the ball bearings 22 of the track means 12 were offset laterally relative to the ball bearings 22 of the track means 14, there would be a bending moment applied to the connecting member 16, which moment would require the member 16 to be significantly heavier and, depending on the amount of the offset, perhaps different in structure.

Further, I have formed the connecting member 16 so that the upper wall portion 54 is bounded at its upper and lower edges, respectively, by horizontally and longitudinally extending side wall portions 64, 66 and so that the lower wall portion 56 is bounded at its upper and lower edges, respectively, by horizontally and longitudinally extending side wall portions 68, 70. The side wall portions 64, 66 are spaced apart snugly to receive therebetween the guide means 18 of the track means 12, and similarly, the side wall portions 68, 70 are spaced apart snugly to receive therebetween the guide means 18 of the track means 14. Thus, referring to FIG. 2, it will be seen that the upper wall portion 54 and the side wall portions 64, 66 form a channel section which significantly strengthens the structure of the guide means 18 fastened thereto while the lower wall portion 56 and the side wall portions 68, 70 define a channel section which significantly strengthens the guide means 18 fastened thereto. For instance, the side Wall portions 64, 66 significantly strengthen the rolled edges of the guide means 18 of the track means 12 and the wall portion 54 significantly stiffens the main body portion, i.e., the vertically and longitudinally extending portion, of the guide means 18.

In the illustrative embodiment of FIGS. 1-5, the connecting member 16 is further formed to provide an intermediate portion 72 which extends vertically and longitudinally between the inner edges of the side wall portions 66, 68, this intermediate portion 72 also lying in the above-described vertically and longitudinally extending plane indicated by the center line 58. This portion 72 defines a space between the track means 12, 14 for receiving the heads of the screws 39, 39' which are used to connect the slide 10 between a drawer and cabinet. Of course, the member 16 moves relative to the screws 39 and the screws 39 move relative to the member 16.

I prefer to form the connecting member 16v from a strip of 18 gage sheet metal. It will be apreciated that, since the guide means 18, slide means 20 and connecting member 16 are all formed from relatively thin sheet metal, it is important that no extended area of any portion of any of these elements be subjected to forces which are not directed along the plane indicated by the center line 58.

In FIGS. l, 2 and 3, I have shown a bearing retainer which corresponds to the bearing retainer disclosed in the aforementioned Jordan patent. This bearing retainer 80 also functions as a stop member as will be discussed in conjunction with F-IG. 5. Specifically, in the illustrative embodiment of FIG. 5, each guide means 18 is formed with an in-turned flange 82, 84 at each of its ends. 'Each slide means 20 is formed with an in-turned flange 86 at one of its ends, which flange 86 is arranged to engage the flange 82 to limit the movement ofthe slide means 20 in the direction of the arrow 88 (FIG. 5). When the slide means 20 moves in the direction opposite to the arrow 88, the flange 86 will engage the end 90 of the bearing retainer 80 to move the retainer toward the fiange 84. The iiange 84 is arranged to engage the end 92 of the retainer 80 to stop movement of the retainer in the direction opposite to the arrow 88. FIG. 5, therefore, illustrates a rather conventional stop arrangement for drawer slides After the slide means 20 is inserted into the guide means 18 and the ange 84 is bent inwardly, the guide means and slide means cannot be separated without bending one of the flanges 82, 84, 86. It is for this reason that I have illustrated a removable stop member 94 in FIG. 5a. This stop member 94, which is held to the slide means 20 by a fastening element 96, replaces the flange 86. When the stop member 94 is removed, the slide means 20 can be withdrawn from either end of the guide means 18. It will be apparent that any one or all of the flanges 82, 84, 86 can be replaced by removable stop members, such as the stop member 94.

In some cases, since the bearing retainer 80 must act as a stop member, i.e., cooperate with the stop flanges 82, 84, 86, it is desirable to have a more rugged bearmg retainer. Thus, referring to FIGS. 4 and 4o, the structure of bearing retainers 100, 100 which are more rugged than the bearing retainers 80 will be discussed.

The bearing retainer 100 (FIG. 4) is a channel member comprising a main body portion 102 bounded by tlange portions 104, 106. A plurality of longitudinally spaced apart holes 108 are provided in each flange 104, 106, the diameter of these holes 108 being less than the diameter of the ball bearings which are retained in the holes. The reason for this is disclosed in the aforementioned Jordan patent. However, the distance between the flanges 104 and 106 is such that there is no tendency for the bearing retainer 100 to urge resiliently the ball bearings 22 against the upper raceway 24 and the lower raceway 26. In fact, I prefer that the distance between the flanges 104, 106 be such that, `when the retainer 100 and ball bearings 22 are disposed in a guide means 18 before its associated slide means 20 is inserted therein, the ball bearings 22 carried by the upper flange 104 will be out of contact with the raceway 24.

I prefer to weld a stop member 110, 112 on each end of the retainer 100. These stop members 110, 112 engage, respectively, the anges 84, 86 discussed previously. Thus, the stop members 110, 112 provide the function of the hat-section which extends longitudinally along the bearing retainers 80.

The bearing retainer 100 (FIG. 4a) is similar to the bearing retainer 100 except that slits 114 are provided between adjacent holes 108 in the ilanges 104', 106. These slits 114 make the bearing retainer 100 more flexible than the bearing retainer 100. This flexibility will permit slight independent vertical movement of the anges 104', 106 to compensate for slight irregularities in the forming of the raceways 24-30.

Referring to FIG. 6, it will be seen that I have illustrated one of the holes 108 in the bearing retainer 80 somewhat larger in diameter than the rest of the holes 108. I place a hardened rubber ball, indicated by the reference numeral 22', in each of such larger holes 108', the balls 22 being slightly smaller in diameter than the holes 108. Preferably, these rubber balls 22' have a diameter which is slightly larger than the ball bearings 22 so that the rubber balls will be deformed as illustrated in FIG. 6, the illustration of course, being slightly exaggerated. I can place several of such rubber balls in each of the upper and lower raceways 24, 26. Each rubber ball 22 will frictionally and rollably engage the raceway on which it is carried and under which it is carried in such a manner that it will always roll when one raceway moves relatively to the other. When the rubber balls 22 roll, they move the bearing retainers 80 to keep them in synchronization with the movement of the slide means 20 relative to the guide means 18. Thus, the rubber balls 22 are means for insuring that the bearing retainer moves by an amount corresponding to the relative movement between a guide means 18 and slide means 20. The steel balls 22, of course, carry the extremely heavy loads which can be applied to the Slide 10. The rubber balls 22 are not provided for load-carrying purposes.

The drawer slide 10, therefore, comprises a retainer associated with each track means 12, 14 and arranged to hold the ball bearings 22 thereof in a group movable therealong, and rubber roller means 22' drivingly connected to said retainer. The roller means 22 is arranged frictionally and rollably to engage the guide means 18 and slide means 20 to move the retainer 80 an amount corresponding to the relative movement between the guide means and slide means.

Referring now to FIG. 7, another embodiment of my drawer slide, indicated generally by the reference numeral 10', will be discussed. The main difference between the drawer slide 10 and the previously described drawer slide 10 is that the connecting member 16 of the drawer slide 10 is formed without the vertically and longitudinally extending intermediate portion 72. Thus, the fastening elements 39 and 39' are located above and below, respectively, the connecting member 16. Further the drawer slide 10 is approximately 50% wider than the drawer slide 10. Additionally, the connecting member 16', the guide means 18 and the slide means 20 are formed from somewhat thicker sheet metal. For instance, I prefer to form the connecting member 16 from 14 gage sheet metal and the guide means 18' and slide means 20 from l2 gage sheet metal.

In this description and in the appended claims, I have referred to guide means and slide means without distinguishing which means actually moves. For instance, the guide means 18 of the track means 12 actually moves relative to the stationary slide means 20 of that track means. I have done this only for convenience and because the track means 12 and 14 are preferably identical. In this specification, therefore, I intend for guide means and slide means to refer to two relatively movable and operatively connected track elements.

What is claimed is:

1. A chassis track comprising a pair of extensible track means, each track means comprising a guide means, a slide means, and load-bearing anti-friction means movably supporting said slide means on said guide means, an elongated connecting member, said member being formed with a vertically and longitudinally extending upper wall portion and a vertically and longitudinally extending lower wall portion, said wall portions being spaced on opposite sides of a vertical plane extending longitudinally through said member, one of said guide means being rigidly fastened to each of said wall portions to extend longitudinally therealong, said guide means being fastened, respectively, to the sides of said wall portions which face said vertical plane.

2. The chassis track as in claim 1 in which said wall portions are parallel to said plane, said wall portions being spaced apart so that the anti-friction means of both track means lie in a common vertical plane.

3. The chassis track of claim 2 in which said lastmentioned vertical plane substantially coincides with said first-mentioned vertical plane.

4. The chassis track of claim 3 in which said member is formed with a vertically and longitudinally extending intermediate portion connecting said upper and lower wall portions, said intermediate portion Substantially coinciding with said first-mentioned vertical plane.

5. The chassis track of claim 4 in which each of said wall portions is bounded at its upper and lower edges by horizontally and longitudinally extending side wall portions, each of said guide means being snugly received between the side wall portions bounding the wall portion to which the guide means is fastened.

6. A chassis track comprising a pair of track means, each track means comprising a guide means and a slide means, each guide means being formed to provide a longitudinally and outwardly extending first downwardly facing raceway along its upper edge and a longitudinally and outwardly extending first upwardly facing raceway along its lower edge, each slide means being formed to provide a longisassari tudinally and inwardly extending second upwardly facing raceway along its upper edge and a longitudinally and inwardly extending second downwardly facing raceway along its lower edge, and load-bearing anti-friction means carried on said first upwardly facing raceway and under and in rolling contact with said second downwardly facing raceway and additional load-bearing anti-friction means carried on said second upwardly facing raceway and under and in rolling Contact with said first downwardly facing raceway, and an elongated rigid connecting member formed to provide a pair of longitudinally extending channels, one of the channels opening to one side of said member and the other channel opening to the opposite side of said member, one of said guide means rigidly fastened in each of said channels to have its iirst raceways extend laterally outwardly therefrom and longitudinally therealong, and said member being formed so that said one channel is above said other channel and so that said anti-friction means comprising |both of said track means lie in a common vertical plane.

7. The chassis track of claim 6 in which each track means includes a retainer arranged to hold the antifriction means thereof in a group movable therealong, and rubber roller means drivingly connected to said retainer, said roller means being arranged frictionally and rollably to engage said guide means and said slide means, thereby to move said retainer an amount corresponding to the relative movement between said guide means and slide means.

8. The chassis track of claim 1 in Which each track means includes a retainer arranged to hold the antifriction means thereof in a group movable therealong, and `rubber roller means drivingly connected to said retainer, said roller means being arranged frictionally and rollably to engage said guide means and said slide means, thereby to move said retainer an amount corresponding to the relative movement between said guide means and slide means.

9. The chassis track of claim 6 in which each of said load-bearing anti-friction means and said additional loadbearing anti-friction means comprises a group of steel ball bearings, and including a retainer having longitudinally-spaced apart apertures therein for receiving, respectively, said bearings of each group, and a rubber ball carried on one of said upwardly facing raceways and under its cooperating downwardly facing raceway, said rubber ball being drivingly connected to said retainer, and said rubber ball being proportioned and arranged frictionally and rollably to engage said cooperating raceways to move said retainer an amount corresponding to the relative movement between said guide means and slide means.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,237,956 8/1917 Pue 308-38 1,938,908 12/1933 Hunter 312-339 1,963,220 6/1934 Anderson S12-339 2,032,054 2/1936 Gussack 3 12--3 39 FOREIGN PATENTS 548,474 1/1923 France.

EDGAR W. GEOGHEGAN, Primary Examiner LUCIOUS L. JOHNSON, Assistant Examiner U.S. C1. X.R.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification384/18, 312/334.11
International ClassificationA47B88/10
Cooperative ClassificationA47B88/10, A47B2210/0035, A47B2210/007, A47B2210/0081, A47B2210/0059, A47B2210/0032
European ClassificationA47B88/10