US 3648626 A
An end-supported, telescopically expandable shelf member having end support appendages or members. The end support appendages may utilize outwardly extending prong arrangements, pressure-sensitive tape, conventional screw or other means, or any combination of them to secure the shelf to substantially parallel supporting surfaces, such as beams or walls. In other applications the shelf members are utilized in conjunction with side mounting members adapted to receive the shelf end support appendages, the side mounting members being directly secured to the supporting surfaces.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Schuster Mar. 14, 1972  END-SUPPORTED ADJUSTABLE SHELF SYSTEM  Inventor: John C. Schuster, 2000 West Pacific Ave.,
West Covina, Calif. 91790  Filed: Feb. 6, 1970 21 Appl. No.: 9,342
 U.S.Cl ..108/42,21 1/90,21 1/123,
211/135, 248/216  Int. Cl ..A47b 23/00, A47f 5/08, F04g 3/00  Field of Search ..............108l42; 248/343, 216, 71, 250; 211/90, 135
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,056,530 3/1913 Freirich ..248/216 1,521,902 l/1925 Mott 108/42 2,465,635 3/1949 Conterio... 108/42 2,261,078 10/ 1941 Shockey ..108/42 2,820,687 1/1958 Waring ..108/42 X 2,993,603 7/ 1961 Fohn 108/42 UX 3,120,309 2/1964 Goett] et a1 ..2l1/123 3,166,198 1/1965 Gincher 211/135 X 3,345,029 10/1967 Palmer ..248/216 X 3 ,425,65 5 2/1969 Cogdill ..248/ 343 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 46,898 10/ 1931 Denmark ..248/ 216 OTHER PUBLICATIONS Semrow, All Purpose Shelf- US. Pat. Office 7- 22- 60 Primary Examiner-Paul R. Gilliam Attorney-Edward O. Ansell  ABSTRACT An end-supported, telescopically expandable shelf member having end support appendages or members. The end support appendages may utilize outwardly extending prong arrangements, pressure-sensitive tape, conventional screw or other means, or any combination of them to secure the shelf to substantially parallel supporting surfaces, such as beams or walls. In other applications the shelf members are utilized in conjunction with side mounting members adapted to receive the shelf end support appendages, the side mounting members being directly secured to the supporting surfaces.
5 Claims, 14 Drawing; Figures Patented March 14, 1972 3,648,626
5 Sheets-Sheet 1 I INVENTOR. JOHN G saw/5722 'A'rromsy Patented March 14, 1972 34,648,626
3 Sheets-Sheet 2 lMZZ/Z/%/////////// INVENTOR. doAW CZ Sch 0675K.
42 FIG. 8 BY M "M ATToRNEY Patented March 14, 1972 3,648,626
3 Sheets-Sheet 3 23 FIG.
Fla HTTQRMEY END-SUPPORTED ADJUSTABLE SHELF SYSTEM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The field of this invention is shelves, hanger bars, clothes racks and the like, particularly those of the expandable, endsupported variety, and also extends to means for positioning and securing them to lateral supporting surfaces.
2. Description of the Prior Art Some types of end-supported, expandable metal shelving can be used only in association with open vertical studding or beams. Such a shelf system is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,849,123 to Magill, issued Aug. 26, 1968. By virtue of the unique securing means to be hereinafter disclosed, the present system is not so limited but can be used in endwall clear span, wall-to-wall installations, including walk-in, clothes and linen closets and is suitable for use whether the supporting surfaces are plaster, drywall, cinder or concrete block, wooden panel or beam, or metal walls.
Conventional metal shelf systems usually involve a minimum of five major pieces and a dozen screws. These pieces include the expandable shelf, right and left wall brackets, closet pole, and center support. An example of this is the expandable shelving currently marketed by H. C. Products Co. of Princeville, Illinois. The present invention relates to a one piece shelf system which, as a result, is easier and more economical to install.
Conventional beam type shelf systems usually require a support bracket at midspan to prevent excessive deflection. Even with midspan support, there is always a danger of collapse of the shelf with attendant damage to articles stored thereon, and possible personal injury. An example of such shelves utilizing center supports are the previously-mentioned H. C. Products Co. shelf system. However, because of the method of attachment of the shelf of the present invention at its end points, it represents a fixed or constrained beam rather than the simple beam which is usually used. This results in a 33 to 50 percent reduction in maximum bending moment, depending upon whether the load is considered to be uniformly distributed or concentrated at the center span. Consequently, there is a reduction of maximum beam deflection by a factor of for the uniformly distributed load, and reduction by a factor of 4 for the fixed load at center span. Accordingly, in the present invention, there is significantly less likelihood of collapse and attendant damage or injury.
Various means have heretofore been utilized by the prior art in securing shelf or bar members to lateral supporting surfaces without the use of nails, screws, or the like. One popular means is the use of an outwardly projecting prong or spur that is embedded in the supporting surface during installation. Such means is shown in US. Pat. No. 3,425,655 to Cogdill, issued Feb. 4, 1969; U.S. Pat. No. 3,162,413 to Hexdall, issued Dec. 22, 1964; and US. Pat. No. 3,245,677 to Hurd et al. issued Apr. 12, 1966. Use of such securing means contemplate the alignment and securing of the shelf to the surface by the single, simple expedient of embedding the prongs in the supporting surface, such as by hammering. Extreme care must be exercised in aligning and installing a shelf system using such prongs because, once embedded in the supporting surface, they can be removed only with serious resultant damage to the surface, if at all. In the present invention, clue to the unique configuration of the securing means, it is possible to install the shelf system in a preliminary alignment mode, and remove and readjust it at will, without significant disfiguration to the supporting surface, prior to final and permanent installation.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is the principal object of the present invention to provide an end-supported, telescopically expandable shelf system hav ing minimal deflection under load and affording superior ease and economy in its installation. The above and other objects are achieved by integration of a downwardly depending laterally running, telescopically expandable hanging bar member into the basic structure of the shelf to provide structural integrity to the whole as well as a situs from which to hang other things. The unit rigidity is also enhanced by the angular configuration of an additional downwardly depending, laterally running, telescopically expandable rearward bar member which is also integrated into the basic shelf structure.
Ease and economy in installation are: afforded by the unique means of securing the shelf unit to the lateral supporting surfaces. Shelf lateral end supports are employed which contain a combination of locater prongs extending outwardly substantially perpendicular or normal to the supporting surface, and securing prongs extending curvedly outward in the direction of the lateral supporting surface but a lesser distance from the end supports than the locater prongs. Optional means are provided for the use of pressure-sensitive tape. Not only does such a prong arrangement permit installation of the shelf in a preliminary alignment mode as heretofore described, but it has the additional advantage of minimizing the possibility of torsion of the shelf member resulting from uneven weight distribution on the front hanging bar or upon the frontal region of the upper surface of the shelf member.
In some applications the shelf end supports are not pronged, especially in other embodiments of the present invention, at least one of which is particularly suited for linen closed installations or the like where a plurality of shelves or selective adjustment to various heights is desired. In these embodiments, end support members are inserted into unique side mounting members which are secured to adjacent wall surfaces. In the embodiment particularly suited for linen closet installation, the side mounting members are adapted to stack, one on another, as well as to receive the shelf end supports at one or more intermediate locations thereon. Provisions to attach the side mounting members to the adjacent wall surfaces include prong means and pressure-sensitive tape, as well as more con ventional means.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the shelf system as installed between walls;
FIG. 2 is an exploded view in perspective showing a fully extended shelf system;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3A is a partial cross-sectional view showing an alternate form of the frontal hanging bar member;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is an enlarged end elevation view of the end support member of the shelf system illustrated in FIG. 2;
FIG. 6 is a side elevation of the end support member shown in FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a top plan view of a corner turn closet shelf installation utilizing a combination of the supporting surface joining techniques described herein;
FIG. 8 is a pictorial cutaway view of a portion of the shelf installation of FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a front elevation of a side mounting member of the present invention;
FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view taken along line Ill-10 of FIG. 9;
FIG. 11 depicts the stacking in tandem of a plurality of side mounting members of FIG. 9;
FIG. 12 is an exploded view in perspective, showing the expandable shelf unit being inserted into another species of side mounting members; and
FIG. 13 is a cross-sectional view of the side mounting member of FIG. 12, taken along line 13-13.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Reference is made to FIG. 1 which shows the end-supported, telescopically expandable shelf system 10 suspended between two wall surfaces 6, 8. As illustrated in more detail in FIGS. 2, 3, 3A, and 4, the shelf system 10 comprises an inner shelf portion 12 which slidably nests in and out of an outer shelf portion 11 to adjustably fit the available space between parallel surfaces such as walls, beams studs or posts. Each shelf portion has as an integral part thereof a downwardly depending, laterally running, inwardly extending clothes hanging bar member 13 at the forward lateral edge and downwardly depending, laterally running angular beam member 14 as an integral part thereof at the opposite lateral edge. The improved rigidity, hence minimal deflection under load is due principally to the integration of the forward hanger bar member 13 into the basic structure of the shelf unit 10 as well as the angular configuration of the rearward beam member 14 which is also integrated into the basic shelf unit 10. In a typical installation the hanger bar 13 would comprise a front lip extended downwardly and then curved back and upwardly to receive conventional coat hangers. Alternatively, the hanger bar 13 can be angularly formed, as shown in FIG. 3A. The rearward beam 14 extends downwardly, inwardly, upwardly, then outwardly, approaching the configuration of a tube, providing superior rigidity over a merely U shaped channel configuration.
While end-supported shelves have been previously known, they have been plagued uniformly by intolerable deflection under conditions of advanced loading. Such shelves have usually had an accompanying clothes hanger rod, which did not contribute to the structural rigidity of the shelf unit. What I have recognized is that fabrication of one shelf edge as a laterally running angular bar and integration of the clothes hanging bar as a laterally running beam comprising the other shelf edge will provide an end-supported shelf system of outstanding rigidity without compromise of the storage or clothes hanging function.
An additional aspect of the present invention is the provision of a concealed lock feature by arranging single holes 16, 18 in the inner shelf portion rearward angular bar 14 and the inner shelf portion clothes hanging bar 13 for the subsequent insertion of set screws, locking clamps or the like. The screw or clamp would be inserted beneath the shelf, through the holes 16, 18 in the outer shelf portion 11 and terminate in the inner shelf portion 12, at the time the shelf system 10 was installed. While not required by any means, such an expedient further militates against shelf collapse under conditions of extreme loading.
Each shelf portion l1, 12 has an integral end support member 20, which usually depends downwardly from the shelf surface, and these are the means of securing the shelf system 10 to adjacent structures 6, 8. The end support members can be fabricated as part of the shelf from a single piece of metal, or they can be attached, as by welding. In some applications, the end support 20, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, contain holes 30 for screws or other wall attachment means. This is preferable for attachment to metal, plywood, or a surface having other than a gypsum base. It is also the means for attaching one shelf system to another, as in comer installations, as will be later explained. In other circumstances, such as where the supporting surfaces are drywall, a unique prong arrangement, best shown in FIGS. 1, and 6, is utilized. The end support bearing surface 24 of the end support member 20 contains thereon at least one locater prong member 22 which extends outwardly and substantially normal to the bearing surface 24 as well as at least one securing prong member 26 which extends curvedly outward a lesser distance from the bearing surface 24. The primary function of the locater prongs 22 is to provide for a preliminary alignment until the position of the shelf system is finalized. If the preliminary position is not satisfactory, as when the shelf 10 is not level, the shelf 10 can be removed without significant disfiguration of the support surface. Once the alignment is satisfactory, the securing prongs 26 can be impacted into the supporting surface to form a permanent union. The prong arrangement described, and particularly the substantially normal pronged members 22, serves the additional function of minimizing the possibility of torsion of the shelf member 10, resulting from excessive weight being placed upon the hanger bar 13 or the frontal region of the upper surface of the shelf member 10 itself. In the end support member 20 of FIG. 3, or that of FIG. 5, an optional feature is the provision of space for, and the utilization of, pressure-sensitive tape 28, on the bearing surface 24 to improve the union with the supporting surface. Examples of such tape are Scotch Mount brand, types No. 4032 and 44l6, which are described as pressure-sensitive adhesives tapes manufactured by the 3M Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The end support member 20 of FIG. 5 provides means for arranging the pressure-sensitive tape 28 on the bearing surface 24 between the teeth of the outwardly extending prong members 22, 26.
The fact that the novel attachment means herein described can be utilized to meet various installation configurations is illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8. FIG. 7 is a top plan of an inside comer turn closet installation and FIG. 8 is a pictorial cutaway view of a portion of the installation showing the use of a plurality of applications of said novel attachment means. As shown in these figures, a first shelf member 40 is installed as an end-supported system between wall support surfaces 42, 44, utilizing pronged end support members 50 of the type shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. In order to install additional shelf members 46, 48 running along the wall support surfaces 42, 44 and perpendicular to the first shelf 40, the ends abutting the first shelf 40 use drilled end plates 52, while the ends abutting the wall surfaces 41, 43 use pronged end support members 50a of the type described. Matching holes are drilled in the curved hanger bar 54 of the first shelf 40, and screws 56 or the like run through to form a union. Where it is desirable to secure the other shelf systems 46, 48 at another point, such as for longer shelf lengths, a single row of prong members 58 is arranged on the outer surface of the rearward angular beam 60 for attachment to the wall supporting surface 44 as previously described. This row of prong members 58 is arranged on the outer nesting shelf portion in proximity to the junction with the inner nesting shelf portion. Of course, where the nature of the supporting surface 44 permits, other attachment means, such as screws, might be utilized. In any event, pressure-sensitive adhesive tape may be used in conjunction with other attachment means in a manner described heretofore.
Shelf units laterally terminating in toothless drilled end supports are particularly significant in yet another embodiment of the present invention which is particularly suitable for linen closet installation. In the latter system, illustrated in FIGS. 9 and 10, the regularly telescopically adjustable shelf members 10, but without a front hanger bar 13, and using drilled, toothless end support members 20 are inserted in unique side mounting members 100. These side mounting members are adapted to be stacked or otherwise arranged to provide for the desired number of shelves at the desired heights after the side mounting members 100 are secured to the adjacent structure or wall. As is illustrated, the side mounting member 100 comprises a plate 101 having standofi appendages 102 depending from a first lateral edge 103; a plurality of curved securing teeth 103 extending outwardly from, and holes 106 through, the surface thereof; one or more slotted shelf unit end support member receiving means 108 (slots) on said surface, and standoff appendage receiving means 110 (stamped indentations) at an opposite lateral edge 112, whereby said side mounting members 100 can be joined, one to another, as shown in FIG. 11, where a union of three such side mounting members 114, 116, 118 is illustrated. As an optional feature, pressure-sensitive tape 120 may be added to the wall bearing surface of the side mounting member 100. In some instances locater prongs may also be utilized. In those instances where the use of screws as the securing means is indicated to be preferable, the prongs can be flattened on site by the simple expedient of a few hammer blows.
FIGS. 12 and 13 illustrate another embodiment wherein the shelf unit terminates in toothless, drilled end supports which are fitted into separate side mounting members. The expandable shelf unit 210 comprises an inner nesting shelf portion 212 and an outer nesting shelf portion 211, an integral clothes hanging bar member 213 at the forward lateral edge and an integral laterally running angular beam member 210 depending from the opposite lateral edge. The integral end support 220 5 depends downwardly from the upper shelf surface, is toothless, and is preferably, but not necessarily, trapezoidal in shape. The integral end support 220 slides into separate side mounting members 230 which have been installed as previously described. The side mounting member comprises a trapezoidal base plate 232, the non-parallel, lateral edges of which have been folded over to make channels 233, 234 adapted to receive the integral end support 220. The wall bearing surface of the base plate 232 contains locater prongs 235 and securing prongs 236, as well as means for adding pressure-sensitive tape 237, all of said expedients having been previously described. The embodiment herein described has the advantage of permitting the prior installation of a pair of side mounting members 230, and then the subsequent insertion of a shelf unit 210 therein, which, in some instances, may be installed more conveniently than other previously described embodiments.
lclaim: 1. An adjustable end-supported shelf system comprising: a pair of telescopically nesting shelf portions, each shelf portion having as an integral part thereof a downwardly depending, laterally running, inwardly extending bar member at one lateral edge and a downwardly depending, laterally running angular beam member at the opposite lateral edge,
said shelf system including an end support member adapted to bear on each supporting surface,
at least one of said end support members having on the outer bearing surface thereof at least one locater prong adapted to impact into the adjacent supporting surface and extending outwardly in a substantially normal direction from said outer bearing surface, and at least one securing prong adapted to impact into the adjacent supporting surface and extending curvedly outward from said outer bearing surface but terminating at a lesser distance from said outer bearing surface than said locater prong as measured in a normal direction therefrom.
2. A shelf system as described in claim l, and in addition pressure sensitive adhesive tape on said outer bearing surface thereof adapted to engage said supporting surface.
3. A shelf system as described in claim ll, and in addition means for locking said pair of telescopically extending shelf portions to fix the overall length of the shelf system.
4. A shelf system as described in claim ll wherein said downwardly depending, laterally running, inwardly extending bar member is curved so as to receive a conventional coat hanger.
5. A shelf system as described in claim ll wherein said downwardly depending, laterally running, inwardly extending bar member is angular in shape and adapted to receive a conventional coat hanger.