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Publication numberUS3612633 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 12, 1971
Filing dateAug 1, 1969
Priority dateAug 1, 1969
Publication numberUS 3612633 A, US 3612633A, US-A-3612633, US3612633 A, US3612633A
InventorsBloom Charles C
Original AssigneeBloom Charles C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Shelf support kit
US 3612633 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Charles C. Bloom lnventor 919 Patten Drive, Palatine, 111. 60067 Appl. No. 846,660 Filed Aug. 1, 1969 Patented Oct. 12, 1971 SHELF SUPPORT KIT 7 2 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.

US. Cl 312/245, 312/270 312/351 Int. Cl.. 4711 67/02, A47f 5/08, A471) 88/00 Field of Search 3 12/242, 245, 243, 257, 270, 338, 351; 248/121, 163, 165; 21 1/134, 148

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,325,769 6/1967 Travis 339/ 17 F X 2,700,584 1/1955 Hobbs 248/ l 88 UX 2,820,687 1/1958 Waring. 312/245 X 3,331,646 7/1967 Peters 312/270 3,416,670 12/1968 Turner 312/341 X Primary ExaminerPaul R. Gilliam AttorneyRobert W. Erickson ABSTRACT: A shelf support kit for the installation of shelves in any semienclosed area having two sidewalls and a bottom member, such as an alcove or closet. The bottom member, substantially perpendicular to both sidewalls, may be the flooring, or a previously installed shelf. Essentially an inverted U, the shelf support provides a rigid shelf construction without requiring the use of tools and/or fasteners, and yet can be temporary if desired. The shelf and support can be easily dismantled without danger of marring or otherwise disfiguring either the sidewalls or the bottom member.

SHELFSUPPORT KIT APPLICABILITY OF INVENTION member may be the closet flooring or a previously installed closet shelf; where the semienclosed area is an alcove, the bottom member may be the flooring. As will be noted from the more detailed description hereinafter set forth, the support kit of my invention permits installation without the use of tools and/or fasteners such as bolts, nails, screws, molly anchors, etc. Although of a quasi-temporary nature, the shelf support kit of my invention provides the necessary degree of rigidity and stability required of permanent shelves. Yet, the shelf and support may be dismantled and reused in another location, without the need for tools, and, of considerable importance, without efiecting disfigurement of the sidewalls, the floor or the shelf.

l-leretofore, the installation of either additional shelving, or the construction and/or installation of shelving in a closet, alcove or other semienclosed area, required the use of a variety of tools and fasteners, and was either a tedious, complicated task for a layman, or required the employment of a skilled artisan. Through the use of the support kit of my invention, the need for tools and fasteners is eliminated, and no special skills are required; the latter offers an obvious economical advantage. Additional closet shelves may easily be readily installed by housewives, students,and others who heretofore believed they lacked sufficient tools, technique, know-how and even building management permission to install shelving. Furthermore, as hereinafter indicated in greater detail, the support kit is designed to provide an unusual degree of rigidity and stability, notwithstanding that it is easily dismantled for reuse in another location. Additionally, the design of the shelf support kit facilitates economical manufacture and provides for readily packaged components which aids marketing and distribution of the kit.

PRIOR ART Although it is believed that the present invention affords a distinct advance in this area of the art, it must be recognized that shelf brackets and shelf supports are not per se novel. Perhaps the most simple example of a common shelf support is the triangular brackets which are found in any hardware and/or notions store. These are generally purchased in pairs, often complete with mounting screws, and of a strength and dimension to accommodate virtually any size shelf. In order to install a shelf, using these triangular brackets, it is necessary either to locate the wall studs and drill holes, or to use plastic or wood inserts which expand into the wall material when the mounting screws are inserted therein. In either event, care must be exercised to insure that the brackets are placed on the wall such that the horizontal support members are in a lane parallel to the plane of the floor; this requires the use of a level, in addition to a drill and other tools. Further, the wall holding the brackets will be marred by screw holes should the shelf be removed.

Auxiliary shelf supports are described in US. Pat. No. 2,726,772 (Cl. 21 l-l48), and consist of brackets which are insertable next to an end wall and into the floor. In order to make use of these brackets holes or closet must be supplied in the floor in order to receive an extending tab which permits laterally formed projections to rest on the floor. Not only are these brackets difficult to install properly, but removal thereof exposes the holes in the flooring.

U.S. Pats. Nos. 2,906,487 (Cl. 248-248) and 3,265,456 (Cl. 312-350) both describe the well-known tongue and groove type brackets prominently used for medicine cabinet shelving. It is immediately recognized that even if these were to be adapted to closets and other semienclosed areas, proper installation by other than a highly trained artisan is virtually- OBJECTS AND EMBODIMENTS A principal object of my invention is to provide a support kit for effecting the installation of shelving in a semienclosed area. A corollary objective is to afford a kit for installing shelf supports or brackets, without the necessity for tools and/or fasteners.

Another object resides in providing stable and rigid shelf construction which, whether used temporarily, or for an extended period, can be removed without disfiguring either the walls or the shelves.

Still another object is to provide a shelf support kit of easily packaged components to facilitate product marketability.

Therefore, in one. embodiment my invention provides a shelf support kit, for the addition of a shelf to a semienclosed area, which support kit comprises: (a) lengths of rotated T- sections, the stems of which lie in a horizontal plane and the flanges of which lie in a vertical plane, said stems forming ledges capable of receiving the edge of a shelf, the underside of said flanges being enlarged at both ends below the plane of said stem, the enlargements adapted to provide female openings; and, (b) vertical support members substantially flat on at least one side, one end of which is reduced in size to'provide male projections approximating the size and shape of said female openings, and positioned such that a flat side of each verticalsupport member exists in coplanar relation with the outer surface of said flanges when the male projections of said vertical supports are mated to the female openings of said T- sections.

Another embodiment relates to a combination of (l). a

semienclosed area having two sidewalls and a bottom member substantially perpendicular to said sidewalls and connected proximating the size and shape of said female openings, andpositioned such that a flat side of said vertical support members exists in coplanar relation with the outer surface of said flanges when the male projections of said vertical supports are mated to the female openings of said T-sections, the flat side of said mated vertical support members and the outer surface of the flanges of said T-sections in upright contact with said sidewalls, and the bottom ends of said vertical support members in contact with said perpendicular bottom member; and,

(3) a shelf resting on said ledges and, along its width, abutting said flanges above the plane of said stems.

Other objects and embodiments involve preferred modes and materials of construction of the shelf support kit, and will become evident from the following detailed description. For example, a preferred construction involves enlarging the underside of the flanges to the extent of providing more than one female opening at each end of the rotating T-sections. This embodiment permits the installation of shelves having various widths.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION The shelf support kit of the present invention provides at least a pair of rigid, substantially rectangular structures in the form of an inverted U. It is understood that the kit is not limited to "pairs of support members, and can include at least a third inverted U" structure to be utilized in supporting an exceptionally long shelf at the backwall edge thereof. Es sentially, the inverted U-supporting structures consist of at least three main pieces, at least two vertical support members forming parallel sides and supporting a length of a horizontal, rotated T-section. The T-section thus connects the vertical support members and closes the invertedU." As hereinafter explained in describing the accompanying drawing in detail, the stem of the T" lies in a horizontal plane and extends inwardly towards the opposite sidewall, while the outer surface of the flange of the T lies in a vertical, coplanar relationship with the flat side of the vertical support members; the T becoming a crosspiece with said support members to complete the inverted U-structure. The term lengths of," when referring to the rotated T-sections, is employed in order to avoid placing an unnecessary limitation on the present invention. If the more commonly used tenn elongated were utilized, it would be implied that the stem of the T had to be longer than the flange thereof, since an elongated T connotes, in the art, one in which the stem is several orders of magnitude longer than the flange. It is understood that the respective lengths of the flange and stem are not limiting on the present invention. Stems of a length sufficient to receive and support a shelf element will be suitable.

One each of the assembled inverted U-structures is placed against each of the sidewalls of the semienclosed area, the flat side of the vertical support members and outer surface of the flanges being in upright contact with said sidewalls, the stems forming ledges which are capable of receiving the end edges of a shelf or shelf members. The shelf is of a length such that the upwardly projecting flange portions of the T-sections are snugly held between the shelf edges and the sidewalls. The shelf, resting on the ledges, is supported by the vertical support members, the opposite ends of which may rest either on the flooring, or on a previously installed shelf. As a result of the substantially rectangular configuration of the inverted U- supports, rotation of the shelf about a parallel axis is restrained and thus prevented. Likewise, and an essential feature of my invention, the horizontal supporting member takes the form of a rotated T, rather than, for example, an inverted L, in order than an upwardly projecting flange portion is available to be held between the shelf and the sidewall. This feature prevents rotation of the inverted U" perpendicular to the shelf, and is one of the features which permits rigid, stable installation without the use of fasteners of any type.

The underside portions of the flanges, below the plane of the stems, are enlarged at both ends and adapted to provide one or more female openings. In a particularly preferred embodiment, the underside is discontinuously enlarged to provide multiple female openings at each end and the flanges are scored" to provide guide marks such that the overall length of the T-section can be shortened in order to become adaptable, for appearance and aesthetic purposes, to accommodate a narrower shelf element. Similarly, the stems can be scored intermediate the female openings, and in coplanar relation with the flange scorings, thereby providing an additional guide for shortening the T-sections.

The vertical support members are substantially flat on one side, and reduced in size at one end to provide male projections which approximate the size and shape of the female openings in the underside of the flanges. Between the vertical support members and the horizontal rotated T-section there exists, therefore, a female/male slip-type construction joint, not unlike, but not necessarily identical to a mortise and tenon, since there is no requirement for square or rectangular constructioni.e. oval or elliptical shapes are suitable. How ever, an essential requirement is that the axis of the female opening (and thus the male projection) which is parallel to the longitudinal axis of the T-section is greater than the axis of the opening which is perpendicular thereto. The inverted U" is assembled by simply mating the male projections and female openings, providing rigidity without the aid of glue or other fastening means such as screws, nails, etc. Advantages include unit construction of the shelf support elements in mass production, economical manufacture, simplified packaging and distribution for marketing.

The shelf support kit encompassed by my invention will be clearly understood upon reference to the accompanying drawing in which six FIGURES are illustrated.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF FIGURES The six FIGURES illustrated in the accompanying drawing are herein briefly described.

FIG. 1 is a partial isometric view with partial sectioning of walls and shelving showing the assembled support kit and the manner in which the same supports an additional shelf in a closet. One sidewall has been omitted in order to illustrate the reverse side of the inverted U.

FIG. 2 represents a plan view of one of the assembled inverted U-structures.

FIG. 3 is a partial back view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2 with the vertical support member eliminated.

FIG. 4 is a side elevation of an assembled inverted U-struc ture.

FIG. 5 constitutes a front elevation of an assembled inverted U-structure.

FIG. 6 is an exploded partial isometric view of one end of a rotated T-section and one of the vertical support members, and details a preferred construction of the T-section and vertical support to supply the female/male joint for easy assembly and dismantling.

Further particulars are presented in the following more detailed description of the accompanying drawing.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING With reference now to the drawing, FIG. 1 illustrates, in a partial isometric view with partial sectioning, the interior of a closet having a previously installed shelf 10 perpendicular and attached to sidewall 11. The second, or right-hand sidewall hasbeen eliminated for convenience in illustrating the construction of the inverted U-members. Since the FIGURE illustrates the installation of an additional closet shelf, backwall 12 is shown with partial sectioning. It is understood, however, that backwall 12 is not an essential element of my invention since the semienclosed area can be an alcove, in which case, the bottom member, shelf 10, may be the flooring. Each inverted U-support comprises at least three components, a rotated T-section l3 and two vertical support members 14. For exceptionally wide shelves-Le. greater than l2"the rotated T-section can be adapted, as hereinafter indicated, to receive additional vertical support members 14. The vertical support members are recessed at 15, the flat side thereof which contacts the sidewalls 11, thus providing economy with respect to minimizing material and the overall weight of the shelf support kit, yet providing a substantial structural support section.

At each end of the rotated T-sections l3 and below the plane of the stem 18 thereof, the underside 17a of the flange 17 is enlarged at 21, and the enlargement is adapted to provide a female opening 20. A preferred construction of the T- section 13 is shown in FIG. 6.

FIG. 6 is an exploded partial isometric view of one end of rotated T-section l3 and one of the vertical support members 14 having the back side recessed as shown at 15. As indicated, the underside of flange 17 is enlarged, below the plane of stem 18, the enlargements 21 adapted to provide multiple female openings 20. Openings 20 are similar to mortises," but are not necessarily identical therewith. A mortise is defined as a rectangular opening, and while openings 20 may be substantially rectangular as illustrated, they may also be oval, elliptical, etc. However, it is important that the axis of opening 20 which is parallel to the longitudinal axis of T-section 13 be greater than the axis of the opening which is perpendicular thereto.

Vertical support members 14 are reduced in size at one end to provide a male projection 19. The projection is of the same size and shape of opening 20 in order to provide a tight fit when the T-section l3 and vertical support 14 are mated. Projections l9 and openings 20 are positioned such that the flat side of the vertical support 14 exists in coplanar relation with the outer surface of flange 17.

FIG. 6 further illustrates another embodiment in which the underside of flange 17 is discontinuously enlarged to provide the multiple individual openings 20, and the stem 18 is scored at 23 intermediate the enlargements 21. The scoring permits the user to readily adapt the shelf support to a narrower shelf or shelf elements of desired width in a commercially available size including 1 inch x 4 inches, 1 inch X 6 inches, 1 inch X 8 inches, 1 inch X 10 inches, etc. Web reinforcements, or a continuous filet not illustrated, such as that at 22, may be provided at the underside of stem 18 along the length thereof in I order to reinforce the ledge formed by stem 18 and the upper section of flange 17. Additional openings in enlargements may be provided intermediate the ends of flange 17 such that additional vertical support members may be adapted thereto to support unusually wide shelf elements.

When male projections 19 and female openings 20 are mated, the assembly forms a rigid inverted U. The plane of the outer surface of flange 13 and vertical support members 14 is positioned flush with sidewalls 11 as shown in FIG. 1. The T-sections are, of course, elevated above the bottom member 10, and the bottom ends of vertical support members 13 rest thereupon. Shelf l6 rests, at each end edge thereof, on the ledge formed by stem 18, and abuts said flanges above the plane of said stern. This restrains the bottom ends of vertical supports 14 from slipping inwardly and dislodging the edge from support shelf 16 as would be the risk if the ledge were merely formed as an inverted L. Although shelf 16 is illustrated as being installed without contacting backwall 12, which in some situations may be desired, a preferred arrangement is effected when the inside edge of shelf 16 makes contact with backwall 12. With respect to the outer surface of flange 17 which contacts the sidewall not illustrated, it will be noted that flange is also scored at 23. Thus, another preferred embodiment involves scoring both flange 17 and stem 18, said scoring intermediate the enlargements 21, in preparing the guide line for shortening the ledge to fit a narrower shelf. The flange scoring is perpendicular and in coplanar relation with the stem scoring.

A plan view of an assembled inverted U-structure is presented in FIG. 2, showing that the underside of flange 17 is discontinuously enlarged to provide multiple enlargements 21 containing female openings 20. Vertical supports 14 are mated to T-section 13 via openings 20 at the extreme enlargement at each end. Also indicated are score marks 23, in this case along the outer surface of flange l7 and the underside of stem 18. Webs 22 are indicated as being distributed along the length of stem 18.

FIG. 3 is a partial back view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2 with the vertical support member 14 eliminated. The flange 17 score mark 23 is indicated as being perpendicular, and intermediate the enlargements and openings 20.

FIG. 4 constitutes a side elevation of an assembled inverted U-structure showing the coplanar relationship of the flat side of vertical support member 14 with the outer surface of flange 17. It also indicates that webs 22 may be used as reinforcements for stem 18 either at the junction with enlargement 21, or with the inner face of flange 17.

A front elevation of an assembled inverted U-structure is shown in FIG. 5. It should be noted that the webs 22 can extend from stem 18 the entire width of the underside 17a of flange 17, or only partially the width (as shown at enlargements 2]).

A length of suitable-sized board, or several various sized boards, are cut to fit on stems 18 of the opposite facing inverted U-structures. A snug flt for shelf 16 is recommended,

but not as a necessit so that the upwardly extendinfg }portion of flange 17 IS secure y held between the end edges 0 t e shelf and the sidewalls. The shelf 16 should not, however, be jammed into position on the ledges, and a tolerance in shelf length of from one sixty-fourth inch to one-fourth inch, preferably one'eighth inch is recommended.

The elements of the shelf support kit may be fabricated from any suitable material having sufficient strength to support a shelf and its contents, and may be made from such diverse materials as wood, plastics, light metals including aluminum and magnesium, etc. Preferred materials from a weight and economic standpoint are plastics and aluminum.

The foregoing specification, and especially the drawing, is believed to indicate clearly the method of constructing and installing the shelf support kit of the present invention, and the benefits to be afforded through the utilization thereof.

I claim as my invention:

1. A shelf support kit, for the addition of a shelf to a semienclosed area, which comprises:

a. lengths of rotated T-sections, the stems of which lie in a horizontal plane and the flanges of which line in a vertical plane, said stems forming ledges capable of receiving the edge of a shelf, the underside of said flanges being discontinuously enlarged below the plane of said stem to provide multiple female openings; and,

b. vertical support members substantially flat on at least one side, one end of which is reduced in size to provide male projections approximating the size and shape of said female openings, and positioned such that a flat side of each vertical support member exists in coplanar relation with the outer surface of said flanges when the male projections are mated to the female openings of said T-sections; said shelf support kit further characterized in that said flanges are scored at a locus intermediate the enlargements thereof.

2. The shelf support kit of claim I further characterized in that said stem is scored at a locus intermediate said enlargements, and in coplanar relation with said flange scoring.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2700584 *Nov 10, 1953Jan 25, 1955Hobbs Guy TFurniture fastening device
US2820687 *Nov 16, 1955Jan 21, 1958Waring Roger LUtility shelf
US3325769 *Sep 25, 1964Jun 13, 1967Rogers CorpSeparable electrical circuit assembly
US3331646 *Nov 4, 1965Jul 18, 1967Whirlpool CoPan support structure
US3416670 *Oct 14, 1966Dec 17, 1968Guy A. TurnerSmall article holder
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3754806 *Jul 29, 1971Aug 28, 1973Toyo Plastic Co LtdFrame structure for bathroom cabinets
US4138175 *Aug 23, 1976Feb 6, 1979Tattershall Donald RFreezer organizer
US4283099 *Jul 16, 1979Aug 11, 1981Waters Instruments, Inc.Locker cabinet
US4763579 *Jan 29, 1987Aug 16, 1988Cibulak Albert AModular shelving system
US4808875 *Feb 5, 1988Feb 28, 1989Edwards John CLocker shelf and drawer assembly
US5421647 *Jan 10, 1994Jun 6, 1995The Pull-Out Shelf Company, Inc.Sliding drawer apparatus and method
US5761786 *Nov 1, 1994Jun 9, 1998Venwest Business Acquisition Fund Limited PartnershipMethod of retrofitting a sliding drawer within an existing cabinet
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/245, 312/351
International ClassificationA47B96/00, A47B81/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47B81/002, A47B96/00
European ClassificationA47B96/00, A47B81/00B