Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3610174 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 5, 1971
Filing dateOct 8, 1969
Priority dateOct 8, 1969
Publication numberUS 3610174 A, US 3610174A, US-A-3610174, US3610174 A, US3610174A
InventorsKeith K Kesling
Original AssigneeGen Motors Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Infinite adjustable door shelf
US 3610174 A
Images(1)
Previous page
Next page
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Primary Examiner-Francis K. Zugel AttorneysWarren E. Finken and John C. Evans ABSTRACT: In preferred form, a vertically adjustable selfleveling door shelf for a domestic refrigerator having a horizontal surface between end members which move vertically along parallel guide bars. Identical gears fixed to opposite ends of a leveling rod which is supported for rotation by the end members coact with gear teeth on the guide bars to align the shelf horizontally and to prevent binding between the end members and the guide bars. Cantilevered spring steel locks on the end members contact the guide member when in a normal lock position to hold the shelf in a preset vertical location along the guide members. The locks move out of contact with the guide bars when depressed to free the shelf for vertical movement.

PATENTEU 0m 51971 3610174 INVENTOR.

ATTORNLY INFINITE ADJUSTABLE DOOR SHELF This invention relates to an adjustable refrigerator shelf and more particularly to a vertically adjustable door shelf having a self-leveling mechanism.

The large variety of different sized food containers causes problems in prior refrigerators with nonadjustable shelving. Frequent rearranging and shufiling of containers to accommodate odd sizes has long been an aggravating core for the housewife. Usually tall containers such as jumbo beverage bottles often do not fit upright between the shelves of prior refrigerators and one opened must be either resealed or left outside the refrigerator.

Th: verticdly adjustable self-leveling door shelf of the presmt invention provides a convenient shelving for odd size articles and particularly unusually tall containers The door shelfslides smoothly along vertical guide bars affixed to the inside of the refrigerator door. Gears affixed to opposite ends of a rotational leveling rod mesh with gear teeth on the guide bars to maintain the adjustable door shelf horizontally at all times. Cantilevered spring steel locks attached to the shelf contact the guide bars when in a lock position to hold the shelf in a preset vertical position. Depressing the spring steel locks frees the adjustable shelf to move vertically along the guide bars.

Therefore, an object of the inventor in the present application is to provide a vertically adjustable door shelf including automatic leveling means which maintain the shelf horizontally.

A further object of the inventor in the present invention is to provide a vertically adjustable selfleveling shelf which moves along fixed parallel guide bars and has lock members contacting the guide bars to hold the shelf in a preset vertical position.

A still further object of the inventor in the present invention is to provide a vertically adjustable self leveling shelf for a domestic refrigerator which moves along fixed parallel guide bars and has identical gears affixed to opposite ends of a rotational horizontal leveling rod which mesh with gear teeth on the guide bars to maintain the shelf horizontally.

Further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description, reference being had to the accompanying drawings wherein a preferred embodiment of the present invention is clearly shown.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a refrigerator with its door in an open position revealing the adjustable door shelf;

FIG. 2 is a vertical view in section taken along section line 22 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a horizontal view in secton taken along section line 3-3 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is an exploded view of the adjustable door shelf.

In FIG. 1 of the drawings, a refrigerator is illustrated. A door 12 to the upper food compartment 14 of the refrigerator is shown in an open position. A door 16 to the lower freezer compartment of the refrigerator is shown in a closed position. The door 12 includes an outer sheet metal panel and an inner molded plastic panel 18 joined together at peripheral edges. Molded in place plastic insulation 20 is between the outer surface of door 12 and inner panel 18. Molded panel 18 has rearwardly projecting top and bottom ledges 22 and 24 respectively. Parallel guide bars 26 and 28 are vertically supported by ledges 22 and 24. The lower ends of the guide bars 26 and 28 are held by cup-shaped retainers in ledge 24 as is best seen in FIG. 2. The top ends of the guide bars 26 and 28 are supported by cup-shaped retainers 32 in ledge 22. Resilient rubber inserts 34 within retainers 32 axially position guide bars 26 and 28. The guide bars are inserted in panel 18 by compressing the rubber insert 34 by the bar's top end and fitting the bars lower end within retainer 30.

An adjustable shelf assembly 36 is supported on the guide bars 26 and 28. Shelf assembly 36 includes a middle member 38 of aluminum. Member 38 has a front vertical surface 40 and a horizontal surface 42 for supporting articles within the refrigerator. End members 44 and 46 are connected to opposite ends of the middle member 38. Rivets 48 attach horizontal surface 42 of the member 38 to flanges 50 on the end members. The top of the vertical surface 40 is rolled over tabs 52 on the end members.

End members 44 and 46 slide vertically along the parallel guide bars 26 and 28. The guide bars extend through vertical holes 54 and 56 formed in end members 44 and 46 respectively. In the preferred form shown in the drawings, end members 44 and 46 are hollow molded plastic pieces as best shown in FIG. 3. The holes 54 and 56 are formed in end pieces 44 and 46 but internal ribs 58, 60 and 62.

Cantilevered spring steel locks 64 and 66 are attached to the end members 44 and 46 respectively to hold the shelf 36 in a preset vertical position. The ends of locks 64 and 66 are attached to end members 44 and 46 by rivets 68. The locks 64 and 66 have cutouts 69 through which the guide members 26 and 28 extend. Edges 70 of the cutouts 69 contact the front faces 72 of the guide bar when the locks are in a lock position as shown in FIG. 2. To release the shelf 36 for vertical movement along the guide bars, the outwardly projecting ends of the locks are depressed to move edges 70 away from faces 72.

The shelf 36 includes a self-leveling mechanism which maintains the surface 42 of the shelf horizontal and prevents binding between the end members, 44, 46 and the guide bars 26, 28. A leveling rod 74 is supported for rotation by end members 44 and 46. Identical gears 76 and 78 are fixedly attached to opposite ends of the leveling rod 74 for rotation together. Rod 74 is supported at its ends by retainer plates 80 which are fastened to end members 44 and 46 by rivet 48. The gears 76 and 78 mesh with gear teeth 82 on the back face of guide bars 26 and 28. When the shelf 36 is moved vertically, the gear teeth 82 cause gears 76 and 78 to rotate leveling rod 74. Because the gears 76 and 78 are fixedly secured to the leveling rod 74, unequal vertical movement of end members 44 and 46 is not possible.

While the embodiment of the present invention as herein described constitutes a preferred form, it is to be understood that other forms may be adapted.

What is claimed is a follows:

l. A vertically adjustable self-leveling shelf for a domestic refrigerator comprising: means forming a shelf including a horizontal surface for supporting objects; members connected to ends of said horizontal surface each having a vertical hole therethrough; guide bars vertically supported in parallelism by the refrigerator; said guide bars and said holes in said end members coacting to control movement of said shelf means in a vertical direction; gear teeth on said guide bars; a rotatable level or rod horizontally supported between said end members; identical gears fixedly secured to opposite ends of said leveling rod and rotatable therewith; said gears meshing with said gear teeth to rotate said leveling rod as said shelf means is moved vertically along said guide bars; a cantilevered spring steel member attached at one end to said end member and contacting said guide bar when in a lock position to hold said shelf means in a preset vertical position; said spring steel member pivotal into an unlock position not contacting said guide bar and whereby said horizontal surface of said shelf means is maintained horizontal when the shelf means is vertically moved by coaction between said leveling rod said gears and said gear teeth.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US597186 *Jan 11, 1898 Library-shelving
US984857 *Oct 4, 1910Feb 21, 1911Richard SchuftanShelf-frame with vertically-adjustable shelves.
US2305279 *Jul 18, 1938Dec 15, 1942Tenflex Products CorpDisplay case and method of producing same
US2449424 *Nov 25, 1946Sep 14, 1948Stieber Frank CAdjustable friction supporting device
US2736526 *Jun 2, 1952Feb 28, 1956Forbes Robert ALifting device for lifting heavy objects
US2741370 *May 25, 1953Apr 10, 1956Gen ElectricAdjustable shelf
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4779939 *Mar 19, 1987Oct 25, 1988General Electric CompanyAppliance door having a module support system, method of making, and module
US4801182 *Dec 21, 1987Jan 31, 1989Whirlpool CorporationRefrigerator door structure
US4829653 *May 6, 1988May 16, 1989General Electric CompanyMethod of making an appliance door having a module support system
US4859010 *Jan 24, 1989Aug 22, 1989Camco Inc.Refrigerator door tray assembly
US5287252 *Jan 14, 1993Feb 15, 1994Sub-Zero Freezer Company, Inc.Adjustable illuminated refrigerator shelf
US7178890 *Sep 16, 2004Feb 20, 2007Lg Electronics Inc.Shelf height adjuster of refrigerator
US8052236 *Dec 9, 2009Nov 8, 2011Lg Electronics Inc.Refrigerator
US8123314 *Dec 7, 2007Feb 28, 2012Bsh Bosch Und Siemens Hausgeraete GmbhRefrigeration device
US8322804 *Dec 9, 2009Dec 4, 2012Lg Electronics Inc.Container elevating apparatus in a door refrigerator
US8616665May 24, 2011Dec 31, 2013Whirlpool CorporationDoor bin for a domestic refrigerator
US20100175414 *Dec 9, 2009Jul 15, 2010Kim Seong WookContainer elevating apparatus in a door refrigerator
US20110298346 *Jan 20, 2010Dec 8, 2011Peter StoneWall-mounted sliding storage enclosure with fail-safe position fixing mechanism
CN101978233BJun 20, 2008Jul 31, 2013Bsh博世和西门子家用器具有限公司Refrigerator and associated two-piece detent means arrangement
CN102016466BMar 16, 2009Sep 5, 2012Bsh博世和西门子家用器具有限公司Refrigeration apparatus and associated latching means arrangement for subsequent attachment
DE102008014885A1Mar 19, 2008Sep 24, 2009BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbHKältegerät und zugehörige Rastmittelanordnung zum nachträglichen Anbau
DE102009054661A1 *Dec 15, 2009Jun 16, 2011BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbHKältegerät mit einem Türabsteller und einer Rastvorrichtung
DE202009018851U1Mar 16, 2009Nov 27, 2013BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbHKältegerät und zugehörige Rastmittelanordnung zum nachträglichen Anbau
EP2532996A1 *Oct 27, 2010Dec 12, 2012LG Electronics Inc.Door basket and refrigerator including same
WO2009115133A1 *Jun 20, 2008Sep 24, 2009BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbHRefrigerator and associated monolithic catching means arrangement
WO2009115134A1Jun 20, 2008Sep 24, 2009BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbHRefrigerator and associated two-piece detent means arrangement
WO2009115476A2Mar 16, 2009Sep 24, 2009BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbHRefrigeration apparatus and associated latching means arrangement for subsequent attachment
WO2011082989A1 *Dec 14, 2010Jul 14, 2011BSH Bosch und Siemens Hausgeräte GmbHRefrigerating device with a door rack and a latching device
WO2014102114A1 *Dec 18, 2013Jul 3, 2014Arcelik Anonim SirketiA cooling device comprising a height adjustable shelf
Classifications
U.S. Classification108/56.1, 108/146, 312/321.5, 108/110
International ClassificationA47B57/06, F25D23/04
Cooperative ClassificationF25D23/04, A47B57/06, F25D2400/04
European ClassificationA47B57/06, F25D23/04