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Publication numberUS3498001 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 3, 1970
Filing dateAug 21, 1967
Priority dateAug 21, 1967
Publication numberUS 3498001 A, US 3498001A, US-A-3498001, US3498001 A, US3498001A
InventorsRobert D Macdonald
Original AssigneeCardinal Of Adrian
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Enclosure panel
US 3498001 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Mam}! 3,1970 v 1 RD. M DONALD 3,498,001

ENCLOSURE PANEL Filed Aug. 21, 1967 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 54 x24 m -z- 8 a v r F 7,711; I Y TIE -5- WWW I I5 -7 INVENTOR:

HUBERTD. MAUDUNALD BY Q4) ATTys- March 3, 1970 R. am oomw 3,498,001

' ENCLOSURE PANEL Filed Aug. 21, 1967 :s Sheets-Sheet 2 miwmw 72/ fin-Q 76 /J\ [75 2 74/ rm-1n- INVENTOR.

RuBERTflMMI/umm.

' ATTYS.

March 3, 1970 MaODONALD 3,498,001

' ENCLOSURE PANEL:

Filed Aug. 21, 1967 3 Sheets-Sheet 5 BY @ZmlL United States Patent 3,498,001 ENCLOSURE PANEL Robert D. MacDonald, Tecumseh, Mich., assignor to Cardinal of Adrian, Inc., Adrian, Mich., a corporation of Michigan Filed Aug. 21, 1967, Ser. No. 662,069 Int. Cl. E06b 3/00; E04c 2/22 US. Cl. 49501 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A door or drawer front, particularly for kitchens, and a method of making same are provided. The door or drawer front includes a molded, self-supporting plastic front and back with a foam plastic core. The product provides an extremely attractive wood-like appearance and yet in less costly, as to both material and labor, than a similar product made of wood, and particularly of selected hardwood. Further, the construction does not have the disadvantages of wood, such as warping and dimensional changes from season to season, and is not as heavy as a similar panel of solid hardwood. The new door or drawer front also is more resistant to damage, such as nicking or scratching, thanwood.

This invention relates to an enclosure panel and particularly to such a panel in the nature of a door or drawer front made of plastic materials.

Wooden panels, particularly door and drawer panels for kitchen cabinets, have a high degree of acceptance because of the attractive and warm appearance of the wood. Most wooden cabinet doors now are of laminated construction with thin veneer fronts and with hollow cores or cores of composition material. Such doors have generally planar outer surfaces which constitute a definite limitation on the appearance and design variations of cabinets using such doors. Some panels have been made of wood-like compositions molded in various contours but these have usually been poor imitations of wood, at best. In limited instances where solid wooden doors have been used, they have been of thin construction and, consequently, readily subject to warping.

In addition to usually having serious limitations in appearance, the wooden doors heretofore employed have the other deficiencies of wood beside warping, namely being subject to dimensional changes as the seasons change and being relatively easily subject to damage in the form of nicking or scratching. The wooden doors also have been encumbered with high material costs and high labor costs, not only in the manufacture of the basic panel but also in the sanding and finishing thereof.

The present invention involves a new concept in a panel, especially one designed for cabinet doors and drawer fronts. The new panel comprises a molded, selfsupporting front of plastic material having a realistic, three-dimensional wood-grained surface which is equally attractive as carefully selected and painstakingly finished hardwood panels. The new panel further includes a selfsupporting, molded plastic back which cooperates with the front in forming a hollow interior. In the preferred form, the interior is filled with a foamed plastic material, preferably foamed in situ, which contacts substantially the entire inner surface of the panel front and the panel back to provide additional support, a solid feeling, and additional weight for the panel.

The panel back can be provided with embossments for receiving fasteners for fastening hinges to the back, in the case of a door, and for fastening a drawer to the back, when the panel is a drawer front. Further, when used as a door, the back of the panel can be provided with shal- Cir "ice

low recesses to receive the hinge plate and can have tapered flanges at the edge to mate with an offset portion of the hinge plate.

The invention further provides a method for making the panel including the making of the molds for the panel front and back, the molding of the front and back, and the foaming of the plastic for the panel core.

It is, therefore, a principal object of the invention to provide a panel particularly in the nature of a door or drawer front having an attractive appearance and the advantages outlined above.

Another object of the invention is to provide a method for making such a panel.

Numerous other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of preferred embodiments thereof, reference being made to the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a view in perspective of a panel, and specifically a door, embodying the invention;

FIG. 2 is a view in transverse cross section through the door, taken along the line 22 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a detailed, fragmentary sectional view showing a portion of the door and a hinge assembled there- I /ith, a part of a cabinet frame being shown in dotted Ines;

FIG. 4 is a front view in elevation of another panel, specifically a drawer front, embodying the invention;

FIG. 5 is a detailed sectional view showing a portion of the drawer front assembled with part of a drawer;

FIG. 6 is a transverse, fragmentary sectional view of i1: woolden pattern used in the production of the door of FIG. 7 is a transverse, fragmentary sectional view of a rubber mold made from the pattern of FIG. 6;

FIG. 8 is a transverse, fragmentary sectional view of a plaster mold made from the rubber mold of FIG. 7;

FIG. 9 is a transverse, fragmentary sectional view of iaqlfinal metal mold part made from the plaster mold of FIG. 10 is a transverse, fragmentary sectional view through a machined metal mold part for the mold from which the panel front is made;

FIG. 11 is a transverse, fragmentary sectional view of the mold for the panel front made by assembling the mold parts of FIGS. 9 and 10;

FIG. 12 is a transverse, fragmentary sectional view of an inner metal mold part for the back of the panel;

FIG. 13 is a transverse, fragmentary sectional View of an outer metal mold part for the back of the panel;

FIG. 14 is a transverse, fragmentary sectional view of a mold for the panel back made by assembling the mold parts of FIGS. 12 and 13; and

FIG. 15 is a transverse sectional view of the panel front and back in assembled relationship with foamable plastic material in the core, the assembly being in a supporting fixture during the foaming.

Referring particularly to FIGS. 13, a panel and specifically a cabinet door 20 embodying the invention includes a front 22 and a back 24. As shown, the front 22 is of a contoured or three-dimensional configuration and includes a raised border 26 and a center rectangular bead or edge 28. The design of the door front 22, however, can be of substantially unlimited variation.

The outer surface of the front 22 has a realistic woodlike appearance with indentations in the surface providing a three-dimensional, wood-grain effect. The wood-like appearance is enhanced by the application of a base coat of paint on the surface, after which stain is applied and wiped off in a manner similar to that used when staining natural wood. Finally, a clear protective coating is applied to the stained surface. The base coat provides the basic wood color for the surface while the stain remains principally in the grain-like indentations to enhance or emphasize their appearance. The result is a surface which is almost indistinguishable from wood. Consequently, the door panel has the advantages of a wood appearance in attractiveness, warmth, etc., and none of the disadvantages of wood in warping, dimensional changes, and susceptibility to damage.

As shown in FIG. 2, the front 22 is of substantially uniform thickness throughout most of its width and height, the thickness being in the order of one-eighth inch which renders the front 22 self-supporting when made of a suitable plastic material, such as polystyrene. The inner or back surface of the door front 22 has a peripheral groove extending entirely therearound near the edge to receive a for-ward edge 32 of the door back 24. i

The door back 24 also includes side flanges 34 forming edges of the door and terminating in the groovereceiving edges 32 and further includes a shallow recessed central portion 36 defined by offsets 38. The back 24 has a plurality of bosses 40 (FIG. 3) extending inwardly with central holes 42 to receive fasteners. In this instance, fasteners 44 are employed with the bosses 40 to attach a hinge plate 46 of a hinge 48 in a shallow recess 50 which is molded into the back 24. Further, a pair of tapered flanges 52 extend outwardly from one of the edge flanges 34 to cooperate with a hinge plate offset 54 of the hinge 48. The flanges 52 are spaced apart a distance to cooperate with portions of the offset 54 near the edges thereof and provide a more finished and neater appearance for the door. The door back 24 also can be of substantially uniform thickness throughout its width and height but preferably is somewhat thinner than the door front having, for example, a thickness of three-thirty-second inch compared to one-eighth inch.

The interior of the door 20 preferably has a filler therein to add support for the front 22 and back 24 and to add weight for the door, as well as a more solid and sounder feel thereto. An effective filler has been found to be a foam plastic core 56 which can be foamed in situ after the front and the back are assembled with the foam thereby substantially filling the entire door interior.

Another panel, and specifically a drawer front 58, is shown in FIGS. 4 and 5. The drawer front 58 is constructed similarly to the door 20 and will not be discussed in detail. The drawer front 58 has a front and a back which are similar to the corresponding components of the door 20 and can be of matching design, as shown. The principal difference is that the drawer front 58 includes bosses 59 which are positioned to receive suitable fasteners 60 for aflixing forward flanges 61 of the drawer sides to the back of the drawer front 58. The drawer front is filled with a plastic foam in the same manner as the door.

Suitable handles and latches can be fastened to the door and drawer where desired, although latches are not required with the door when self-closing door hinges are employed.

The panels 20 and 58 can be molded of plastic so that the material cost of the panels is kept low and the labor cost is also substantially less than would be the case of a panel made of natural wood with a decorative face, as shown in FIGS. 1 or 4. The mold cost, of course, is substantial but amounts to a low per-unit figure with a high production output. Actually, from twenty to forty complete molds are employed to accommodate the various required sizes of doors and drawer fronts.

In the production of the door 20, the mold part for the face of the door front 22 will first be discussed. A wooden pattern 62, as shown in FIG. 6, is first produced. The pattern 62 has a surface 64 the same as the surface desired for the final product, with sides 66 extending upwardly therefrom. The surface 64, after being formed to the desired shape, is brushed with a stiff brush to bring Out the wood grain, the wood for the pattern 62 being carefully selected beforehand. The brushing forms wood grain indentations in the surface which are reproduced in the final product.

After the pattern 62 is completed, a rubber mold 68 (FIG. 7) is made from the pattern by pouring a suitable latex material therein which sets at room temperature, by means of a curing agent. The rubber mold 68, after being removed from the pattern 62, is placed face up, as shown, and surrounded by a suitable frame. Plaster is then poured over the rubber mold 68 within the frame to produce a plaster mold 78, as shown in FIG. 8.

A final metal mold part 72 (FIG. 9) is then made from the plaster mold 70. The mold 72 can be made of a beryllium copper, aluminum, or Kirksite metal alloy.

The mold part for the inner surface of the door front 22 need not be nearly as precise or as detailed as the outer surface. Therefore, a mold part 74, as shown in FIG. 10, is machined directly from a block of metal. In this instance, a groove 76 is made in the mold surface to receive an extrusion 78 which matches the contour of the border 26 and also forms the groove 30. The extrusion 78 greatly facilitates the machining of the mold part 74 because this extrusion can be used for all door sizes and simply cut to proper length with the ends at 45 angles to meet the borders of the adjacent sides. Consequently, only ridges 80 corresponding to the decorative bead 28 need be machined on the mold surface, in this instance.

When the mold parts 72 and 74 are completed, they are placed in assembled relationship to form a complete mold 82 (FIG. 11) for the door front 22, with the two parts forming a mold cavity 84 to which the plastic can be supplied through a suitable central passage 86.

The mold parts for the door back 24 preferably also are machined directly out of metal blocks. A mold part 88 forming the inner surface of the door back 24 is shown in FIG. 12. The mold surface can be machined to the relatively simple shape of the interior of the door back with suitable holes of recesses 98 drilled therein to form the bosses 40.

A mold part 92 of FIG. 13 forms the outer surface of the door back 24. This surface also is relatively easy to machine and has slots or grooves 94 formed in edge portions thereof to produce the edge flanges 52 as shown in FIG. 3. The part 92 also has pin inserts 95 forming fastener-receiving passages 42 in the bosses 40. The mold surface of the mold part 92 can be hammered, if desired, to provide a pebbled surface for the door back 24. The mold parts 88 and 92 can be assembled as shown in FIG. 14 to produce a mold 96 for the door back 24 with the two parts forming a door back cavity 98. Plastic is supplied to the cavity 98 through a supply passage 100 wi h the plastic preferably being under pressure as is true for the mold 82.

After the plastic has cooled, the mold parts are separated and the door front and back are removed. Before the front and back are assembled, a pool or glob 102 of the foamable plastic material is placed on the inner surface of one of the front and back, the back in this instance, as shown in FIG. 15. The foamable plastic material can be a commercially available polyurethane and is capable of foaming at relatively low temperatures. The foam preferably expands to an apparent density of about two pounds per cubic foot and applies a pressure of five to ten pounds per square inch on the inner surfaces of the door front and the door back. Because such pressures will tend to separate the front and the back, after the front and the back are assembled with the plastic material 102 therein, they are placed in a two-part housing 104 containing foam supports 106 and 108 which are contoured to the shape of the outer surfaces of the front and back and provide full support therefor during foaming of the material 102. The supporting material 106 and 108 can be the same as the foam material 102 but can be foamed at a higher apparent density, such as twenty pounds per cubic foot. The foaming of the material 102 can occur at room temperature or the combination of the assembled front and back in the supporting structure can be placed in an oven to increase the rate of foaming.

Prior to foaming the core in situ, the interior of the panel front and the panel back can be sprayed with adhesive. This increases the adhesion between the foam core and the front and the back and enables the foam core to hold the front and back securely in assembled relationship without the need for any additional adhesive along the meeting edges of the front and the back.

After the now-assembled door front and door back are removed from the supporting housing 104, a base color can be sprayed on the outer surface of the door front, with this surface being of a particular wood color, e.-g., walnut, if desired. After this coating is dry, stain can be applied to the surface and wiped away to leave stain in the wood grain indentations in the surface. Finally, a clear coating can be applied to complete the door. Many other appearances can be achieved for the door beside a woodlike appearance, however. For example, various metallic coatings have been applied to the panels, and metal has even been plated on the surface to achieve a wide variety of effects.

Various modifications of the above described embodiments of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art and it is to be understood that such modifications can be made without departing from the scope of the invention, if they are within the spirit and the tenor of the accompanying claims.

I claim:

1. A door or drawer front panel for use with kitchen cabinets and similar cabinets, said panel comprising a molded panel front of plastic material having a predetermined three-dirnensional conftour, said panel front further having a three-dimensional, wood-grain outer surface, said surface having a coating thereon to enhance the wood-grain appearance, said coating being concentrated in indentations of said outer surface, a panel back of plastic material cooperating with said panel front to form a hollow interior, substantially the entire interior of said panel being filled with foam material foamed in situ to conform to the interior surfaces of said panel front and said panel back, said panel front further having a narrow groove extending around the periphery thereof and spaced inwardly from the outer edge of said panel front by a predetermined distance, said panel back having peripheral flanges extending therearound with the edges of said flanges terminating in a common plane, and with said flange edges being received in said peripheral groove of said panel front.

2. A panel according to claim 1 characterized by said panel back having at least two spaced recesses formed therein along a common edge, said recesses being equal in shape to hinge plates of hinges for attaching the panel, and bosses integrally formed with said panel back and extending into the interior from the recesses to receive hinge plate fasteners.

3. A door panel for use with kitchen cabinets and similar cabinets, said panel comprising a molded panel front of plastic material, a molded panel back of plastic material having a peripheral flange cooperating with said panel front to form a hollow interior, said panel back having at least two shallow, spaced recesses along a common edge thereof to receive hinge plates, said panel back further having integral bosses formed thereon and extending into the interior of the panel from said recesses to receive fasteners for hinge plates attached to the panel back at the recesses, the flange of said panel back adjacent said recesses having a pair of substantially parallel, tapered flanges for each of said recesses extending outwardly and toward said panel front, said tapered flanges of each pair being spaced apart slightly less than the width of the associated recess and positioned to cooperate with an offset of the hinge plate to provide a more finished appearance for the door.

4. A door panel according to claim 3 characterized by the interior of said panel being filled with a foamed plastic material foamed in situ to conform to the interior surfaces of said panel front and said panel back.

5. A door panel according to claim 3 characterized further by said panel front having a narrow groove formed in the rear surface thereof and extending around the periphery thereof, said groove being spaced inwardly from the outer edge of said panel a predetermined distance, said peripheral flanges of said panel back having edges terminating in a common plane with the edges being received in said peripheral groove of said panel front.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,180,516 4/1916 Mclndoe 52-313 XR 3,363,956 1/1968 Vingren et al. 52-313 XR 3,402,520 9/1968 Lee et al. 52-316 XR 2,160,762 5/1939 Stenberg 52-316 XR 2,707,808 5/1955 Anderson et a1. 52-619 XR 2,767,443 10/1956 Hobein et al. 52-309 2,970,347 2/ 1961 Massopust 49-501 KENNETH DOWNEY, Primary Examiner U.S. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3755053 *May 17, 1971Aug 28, 1973Romac Ind IncDecorative panel for use as a bulletin board or display panel
US3950894 *Feb 22, 1974Apr 20, 1976Structural Plastics IncorporatedReinforced polyester door
US3984957 *Dec 31, 1975Oct 12, 1976Maso-Therm CorporationComposite building module
US4084347 *Mar 25, 1976Apr 18, 1978Brown James WHigh impact resistance door
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Classifications
U.S. Classification49/501, 52/313, 428/99, 49/506, 428/76, 52/309.5, 52/316, 428/319.7, 428/317.1, 428/71, 52/309.2
International ClassificationA47B95/00, A47B96/20
Cooperative ClassificationA47B96/201, A47B96/205, A47B95/00, A47B2220/0072
European ClassificationA47B95/00, A47B96/20A, A47B96/20C