US 3692378 A
A shelf and clothes hanger apparatus, intended for use in closets or closet-like wall recesses, is provided. The apparatus comprises generally horizontal support strips, bridging and coupled to a plurality of wall studs, generally vertical standards coupled to support strips, brackets coupled to the standards, and shelf and clothes hanger apparatus coupled to the brackets. The disclosed method is one wherein components of the apparatus are used as gauges to position the apparatus at desired locations on the supporting wall.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Unite States Patent Sharp  SHELF AND CLOTHES HANGER APPARATUS AND METHOD  Inventor: David D. Sharp, Flourtown, Pa.  Assignee: Reinhart, Inc., Philadelphia, Pa.  Filed: July 17, 1969  Appl. No.: 842,664
 US. Cl ..312/242  Int. Cl. ..A47b 67/02  Field of Search ..312/242, 245, 357;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,112,912 12/1967 Alvarez ..248/223 3,538,842 11/1970 Labbato ..211/90 3,169,320 2/1965 Currie ..33/174 G 3,494,042 2/ 1970 Engholm ..33/174 G R25,156 4/1962 Gingher et a1. ..52/487 X 2,031,718 2/1936 Kress ..211/90 X 2,025,602 3/1937 Davey ..52/487 2,318,921 5/1943 Bullard ..312/238 2,820,687 1/1958 Waring ..312/245 X 1,528,268 3/1925 Schlegel ..248/247 [451 Sept. 19, 1972 1,802,245 4/ 1931 Foretich ..248/223 X 2,867,332 l/l959 Adams et al ..108/110 3,042,978 7/1962 Eames et al ..312/245 UX 3,113,678 12/1963 Dickinson et al. .....248/247 X 3,268,195 8/ 1966 Hoffman ..248/235 3,278,149 10/1966 Brucker ..248/241 X 3,410,513 1l/1968 Wolf ..248/205 A OTHER PUBLICATIONS The Complete Home Handman s Guide-Ed. H. Cobb pp. 358- 359 W. 11. West Co. Jan. 1948 Primary Examiner-Paul R. Gilliam AttorneySeidel, Gonda & Goldhammer ABSTRACT A shelf and clothes hanger apparatus, intended for use in closets or closet-like wall recesses, is provided. The apparatus comprises generally horizontal support strips, bridging and coupled to a plurality of wall studs, generally vertical standards coupled to support strips, brackets coupled to the standards, and shelf and clothes hanger apparatus coupled to the brackets. The disclosed method is one wherein components of the apparatus are used as gauges to position the apparatus at desired locations on the supporting wall.
5 Claims, 1 1 Drawing Figures P'AIENTEDSEP 19 I972 SHEET 1 BF 3 INVENTOR DA V/D D. SHARP eooooooaq A TTORNEYS.
P ATENTED SEP 1 9 i972 SHEET 2 [1F 3 lNVENTOR DAV/D D. SHARP PATENTEU 19 SHEET 3 OF 3 //V VE N TO)? DA W0 0. .SHA RP ATTORNEYS.
SHELF AND CLOTHES HANGER APPARATUS AND METHOD This invention relates to shelf and clothes hanger apparatus for closets, and more particularly, to shelf and clothes hanger apparatus intended for use in closets or closet-like wall recesses.
The tendency of closets to accumulate clutter is notorious. Items stored at random on contentional closet shelves are frequently shufiled out of sight, and thus, for all practical purposes lost.
Conventionally, closets are provided with one or at most two horizontal garment hanging bars. Conventional bars are an invention to random storage of garments, without regard to their function. In a typical closet, suits or sports coats may be found hanging adjacent to slacks, dress outerwear or casual utilitarian garments. Garments will also be found hanging without regard for their seasonal use. Selection of an outfit therefore frequently becomes a matter of rummaging through a random arrangement of hanging garments, some wholly inappropriate for the season. In such a situation, the likelihood of harm to the garments due to repeated handling is readily apparent. At best, it can be said that conventional random closet arrangement is not conducive to optimum clothing appearance or useful life.
The present invention, in one of its aspects, is a wallsupported apparatus effectively dividing a closet into several storage areas. The storage areas include segregated spaces suitable for different types of hanging garments, as well as shelves for receiving non-hanging articles. A problem attendant the use of known wall-supported structures in small areas such as closets or the like has been the need to align vertically extending standards with wall studs. With the present invention the problem is overcome by providing generally horizontally extending support strips, bridging and coupled to adjacent wall studs. Generally vertical standards may be coupled to the horizontal support strips to provide, in turn, anchorage points for shelves and hanger bar supporting brackets. Thus, the apparatus may span the entire width of the closet or recess in which it is mounted, regardless of the location of the wall studs.
In another of its aspects, the invention is directed to a method of assembling a wall-supported shelf and clothes hanger apparatus. In the method, parts of the apparatus may be used as gauges for positioning of the various elements, thereby greatly simplifying installation.
In view of the foregoing, it is an object of this invention to provide a shelf and clothes hanger apparatus.
It is another object of this invention to provide a shelf and clothes hanger apparatus wherein generally horizontally disposed support strips provide means for anchoring generally vertically disposed standards.
It is still another object of this invention to provide a shelf and clothes hanger apparatus suitable for use in closets or other recesses regardless of the location of studs in the closet wall.
It is still a further object of this invention to provide a novel shelf and clothes hanger support bracket, whereby installation of a hanger apparatus is greatly facilitated.
It is a further object of this invention to provide a novel method for installing a wall-supported shelf and clothes hanger apparatus.
Other objects will appear hereinafter.
For the purpose of illustrating the invention there are shown in the drawings forms which are presently preferred; it being understood, however, that this invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing a closet incorporating the shelf and clothes hanger apparatus of the present invention.
FIGS. 2 to 5 are front elevation views showing the stages of construction of an apparatus in accordance with the invention.
FIG. 6 is a detailed view of a portion of the apparatus.
FIG. 7 is a further detailed view taken along the lines 7-7 in FIG. 6.
FIG. 8 is a detailed view showing one form of a bracket in the apparatus of the present invention.
FIG. 9 is a detailed view showing another form of a bracket in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 10 is a side elevation view showing portions of another embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 11 is a partial perspective view of the embodiment in FIG. 10.
Referring now to the drawings in detail, wherein like numerals indicate like elements, there is seen in FIG. 1 a closet designated generally by the reference numeral 10. The closet 10 is of conventional construction, and includes a pair of accordion type doors l2. Applied to the rear wall 14 of the closet is a wall-supported shelf and clothes hanger apparatus designated generally by the reference numeral 16.
The shelf and clothes hanger apparatus 16 comprises spaced upper and lower generally horizontally extending support strips 18 and 20. The support strips 18 and 20 extend the full width of the closet 10. In so doing, the support strips 18 and 20 bridge several vertically disposed studs supporting the wall 14. For example, there are seen in dotted lines studs 22, 24 and 26. Any suitable conventional fasteners, for example wood screws 28, may couple the support strips 18 and 20 to the studs 22, 24 and 26, and other bridged studs, not shown.
Generally vertically disposed standards 30, 32 and 34 are coupled to the support strips 18 and 20. Opposite ends of the standards 30, 32 and 34 may be provided with rabbeted ends, as at 38 and 40, for engagement with the support strips, as will be more fully explained later.
An important advantage of the present apparatus 16 should now be apparent. Conventional wall construction in modern homes is either of the dry wall" type, using composition wallboard; or of plaster, applied over plaster board. In either case,-the result is a hollow wall with limited load bearing ability. Ordinary threaded fasteners are readily pulled from such walls, and even when expansion bolts, screw anchors, or the like .are used, local failure of the wall panel is a real hazard when heavy loads are hung. Accordingly, when it is desired to suspend heavy loads from hollow walls, the safest expedient is to locate the wall-supporting studs, and use such studs as anchorage points. Where the load is supported from vertical standards, it is the usual practice to locate such standards over the studs, with fasteners extending through the standards into the studs. Of course, the location of the studs creates a limitation on the width of the suspended load. Where it is necessary or desirable to suspend the load at its extreme ends, the width of the load is limited to multiples of the distance between studs.
With the present apparatus, the load-bearing capability of the studs 22, 24 and 26 is fully utilized. Nevertheless, the standards 30, 32 and 34 may be located in any desired position along the support strips 18 and 20, regardless of the location of the studs. Referring again to FIG. 1, it is seen that the standards 30 and 34 may be located at the extremes of the closet 10, adjacent side walls 42 and 44. In the illustrated embodiment, the standard 34 does in fact coincide with a stud, namely the stud 26. The location of the standard 30 does not, however, coincide with the location of any stud. The closest adjacent stud 22, it will be seen, is several inches away. Also, the standard 32, may be located at any desired position along the support strips 18 and 20, regardless of stud location.
Brackets 46 and 48 may be coupled to the standard 32 at selected vertical locations. Corresponding brackets 50, 52 may be coupled to the standard 34 at corresponding vertical locations. Similarly, brackets, of which bracket 54 is representative, may be coupled to the standard 30 at corresponding vertical locations.
In the illustrated embodiment, the spaced brackets 48 and 50 provide support for a shelf 56 extending approximately half the width of the closet 10. The brackets 46, 50 and 54 provide support for a full width shelf 58. Brackets 46 and 54 also support a half closetwidth garment support bar.
The structural interrelationship of the various elements of the apparatus 16, in a preferred embodiment, is shown in FIGS. 6 and 7.
Seen in phantom in FIG. 6 are support strips 18 and 20. The standard 32 is coupled to the support strips 18 and 20. Thus, the rabbeted end 38 of the standard 32 engages and is coupled to the support strip 20. The rabbeted end 40 engages and is coupled to the support strip 18. In the illustrated form, the support strips 18 and as well as the standard 32 are of wood. Thus, fasteners 62, 64, which may be conventional wood screws, may be used in assembly.
Referring to FIG. 7, the manner in which the bracket 68 is fastened to the standard 32 is illustrated. It should be understood that the bracket 68 is fastened to the standard 32 in typical fashion, and that FIG. 7 is therefore exemplary The support brackets 66 and 68 are wooden members of generally uniform thickness and right triangular configuration in elevation. Thus, in elevation, the support bracket 68 includes a first leg portion 70 defining a shelf member support face, a somewhat shorter second leg portion 72 disposed generally at right angles to the shelf member support face 70, and a hypotenuse portion 74. A counterbore 76 is provided in the hypotenuse 74, and a bore 78 extends from the counterbore 76 to an opening in the second leg portion 72. The bore 78 and counterbore 76, which are preferably pre-drilled, provide a clearance opening for a fastener 80 coupling the sup port bracket 68 to the standard 32. The fastener 80 may be a conventional wood screw, the head 82 of which is received in the counterbore 76.
The standard 32 and the other standards may be provided with spaced pre-drilled pilot holes 84. Thus, positioning of the support bracket 68 becomes a matter of selecting the desired pilot hole 84 for the fastener 80.
Also apparent from FIGS. 6 and 7 is the manner in which the shelf, for example, a shelf 86 may be secured to the support brackets.
A layer of double-faced pressure-sensitive tape may be applied to the shelf member support face 70. Referring to FIG. 6, one face of the tape is applied to the shelf member support face prior to assembly of the apparatus 16. Thus, the bracket 68 may be supplied to purchasers with the tape 88 already in place thereon. A protective covering strip 90 is preferably provided over the other face of the tape 88. Thus, when it is desired to assemble the apparatus 16, the protective covering strip 90 may be removed. The shelf 86 may then be applied to the freshly exposed pressure-sensitive face of the tape 88, and pressed into place. It has been found that the tape 88 provides satisfactory holding power to securely retain the shelf 86 in place on its support brackets. Moreover, the tape 88 permits removal of the shelf 86 without undue effort, thus making it easy to dis-assemble the apparatus 16, if desired. Temporary removal of the shelf 86, for example, for the purpose of painting or repair, is a simple matter. After a single removal of the shelf 86, there is no need to renew the tape 88.
Also illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7 is the rod support means 92 by which the garment support bar 60 may be coupled to the support bracket 68. The rod support means 92 takes the form of a clip member on resilient sheet metal, and includes a tang 94 and an upwardly facing bight 96. The tang 94 facilitates attachment of the rod support means 92 to the bracket 68. As is best seen in FIG. 7, the tang 94 may be recessed flush with the support face 70.
The rod support means 92 is preferably formed of resilient sheet metal. If the bight 96 is shaped to conform generally to the outer cross-section of a garment support bar 60, and of such dimension that a slight deformation of the bight is required to seat the bar 60, the resilience of the metal is sufficient to securely retain the bar 60. Thus, for assembly, one need only seat the ends of the garment support bar 60 in the bi ght 96.
Referring now to FIGS. 8 and 9, there is seen an alternative form of support bracket suitable for 11 se in the present apparatus. Coupled to the standard 98 are support brackets 100 and 102. The support brackets 100 and 102 are generally similar but are mirrorimages" of each other. The support brackets 100 and 102 are formed of sheet metal, bent to provide horizontally extending flanges 104, 106 adapted to support shelf members. Also, the support brackets 100 and 102 are provided with vertically extending flanges of which the vertically extending flange 108 on support bracket 102 is exemplary. The vertically extending flange 108 is bent in an opposite direction from the horizontally extending flange 104, and may be hooked behind a rear surface of the standard 98 when support bracket 102 is applied to a side surface of the standard. Screws 110 or other equivalent fasteners may be used to couple the brackets 100, 102 to the standard 98. Support brackets 100, 102 provide support for respective split" sections of a single continuous shelf. For example, referring once again to FIG. 1, the shelf 58 may be made in two pieces, each having a length one-half the width of the closet 10. With support brackets 100,102 replacing the previously described bracket 46, each of the half-width shelf sections is adequately supported.
Another advantage of support brackets 100,102 is apparent from FIG. 9. Thus, the very same support bracket 100 previously described, may be rotated 180 to the position shown in FIG. 9, and then applied to the standard by fasteners 112. When support bracket 100 is thus applied, and a shelf 114 supported by the horizontally extending flange 104, the result is a traylike arrangement, wherein portions on the support bracket 100 prevent objects from sliding laterally off the shelf 114. Thus, support brackets such as brackets 100 and 102 are especially useful in constructions wherein half-width shelves are used.
Referring now to FIGS. 2 to 5, the novel method whereby the present shelf and clothes hanger apparatus 16 may be constructed is illustrated. An important part of the method is the use of structural elements of the apparatus 16 as gauges for determining the location of other elements, thereby expediting assembly, and eliminating the need for quantitative measurements.
Referring to FIG. 2, a support strip is shown in place on a rear wall 118 of a recess. Seen in phantom is a standard 120, which has been used to locate the support strip 116. Thus, the first step for the standard 120 is applied to the wall 118 adjacent the side wall of the recess, thereby providing a measurement upwardly from the baseboard 122 to the position for the support strip 116. Similar gauging operations are performed at either extremem of the support strip 116. In FIG. 3, a second support strip 124 has been applied to the wall 118, using the standard 120 as a gauge upwardly from the support strip 116.
In FIG. 4, standards 120, 126 and 128 have been coupled to support strips 116, 124 and shelf support brackets 130. Finally, in FIG. 5, shelves 132 and garment support bars 134 have been applied to the support brackets 130.
It will be appreciated that the above-described apparatus can be constructed in an extremely short time, using no complex tools. For example, the abovedescribed apparatus can be assembled by an inexperienced person in about one-half hour, using only a screwdriver. Provision of pre-drilled component parts, such as support strips 18, 20, standards 30, 32 and 34 and support brackets 46, 48, 50, etc. makes possible a wide variety of optional arrangements of shelves and garment support bars and lends to the apparatus great versatility.
Referring now to FIGS. and 11, there is seen another form of the invention, wherein elements corresponding to elements previously described are designated by like primed reference numerals.
A support strip 18 is coupled to the rear wall 14' of a closet 10'. As is best seen in FIG. 10, the support strip 18 is of trapezoidal cross-section, with parallel upper and lower surfaces 136, 138 extending outwardly from the wall 14' and upwardly at an angle of about 22 to the horizontal. Upright standards 30, 32 are applied to the strip 18 in the manner of the above-described standards 30, 32. The standards 30', 32', however, are provided with notches 140, complemental in cross-sectional shape and size with the cross-section of the support strip 18'. Thus, the standards 30, 32" may be applied to the strip 18, with their notches 140 overlying the support strip 18.
As is seen in FIG. 10, the support strip 18' is oriented in such a manner that its upper surface 136 extends outwardly from the wall 14 and upwardly. The angled upper surface 136 of the support strip 18' engages a similarly angled undercut or dovetailed side wall 142 of the notch 140 when the standard 30' is in its operative location. The juxtaposition of the upper surface 136 of the support strip 18' and the side wall 142 of the notch 140, it has been found, aids in retaining the standards 30', 32' in close association with the wall 14. Screws or other fasteners 64 may be used to secure the standards 30', 32' in assembled relation with the support strips 18'.
Brackets 46', 48 and 50', corresponding to those previously described, may be secured to the standards 30, 32', in the usual manner. Shelves 132' may then be fastened to the brackets 46;48 and 50' as before.
Referring once again to FIG. 10, in constructions in accordance with the present invention wherein the standards 30, 32 extend to the floor, it is preferred that longitudinally extending slots 144 be provided adjacent the lower ends of the standards 30', 32'. In one presently preferred form, the slots 144 are of about 6 inches in length and spaced about three-fourths inches from the surfaces of the standards 30', 32' which abut the wall 14'. The slots 144 facilitate shaping of the lower ends of the standards 30', 32', to existing baseboards. In an alternative form of the invention, the lower ends of the standards 30, 32 do not extend to the baseboard.
The angle by which the upper surface 136 of the support strip 18' and the upper walls 142 of the notches 140 are offset from the horizontal, indicated above to be about 22 may be varied somewhat from the illustrated preferred angle. It has been found, for example, that angles between 15 and 30 may be used. At angles above 30, there is an undesirable tendency of the standards 30', 32' to split along the grain at the notches 140. At angles less than 15, on the other hand, the holding effect of the support strip 18' in association with the notches is reduced.
The manner in which the present invention permits orderly arrangement of closets is apparent from FIG. 1. Suits, sweaters, dresses, coats or the like may be hung conveniently from the garment support bar 60, and from the other bars. Garments of one type may conveniently be separated from others. Also, garments for a particular seasonable use may be set apart. Hats, shirts, folded sweaters, shoes or boxed items may be placed on the various shelves 56, 58, etc.
The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms with out departing from the spirit or essential attributes thereof.
1. Article supporting apparatus in the form of a kit for use in a recess having at least a rear wall and a side wall comprising at least one support strip adapted to be attached to the rear wall in a generally horizontal operative disposition, a pair of standards each notched for receiving said strip in over-lying cross relation with the standards vertically disposed, the notches being complemental to said strip and of a depth to receive said strip so that said standards are substantially flush with said rear wall, said standards having predrilled pilot holes at spaced points therealong, said standards each having a predrilled hole intersecting the notch for receiving a fastener to join the standard to the support strip, support brackets each having a predrilled bracket hole at one end thereof, fastener means for extending through said bracket holes for coupling the brackets to the standards as cantilevers, said kit including several support brackets to permit several brackets to be secured to the standards, said fastener means for extending through said bracket holes adapted to extend into the predrilled pilot holes in said standards, said brackets having converging top and bottom surfaces with the greatest distance between said top and bottom surfaces being at said one end of the brackets, and shelf members adapted to be coupled to and supported by said brackets with the longest side of at least one of the shelf members being parallel to said strip and greater than the distance between juxtaposed side faces of said standards, said shelves adapted to be spaced along said standards and forming a part of said kit, said kit providing sufficient shelves to permit said shelves to be spaced at desired locations along said standards whereby variations in the final structure of the article supporting apparatus may be obtained by using various elements in said kit.
2. Article supporting apparatus in accordance with claim 1 including rod support means on at least a pair of said brackets, each of said rod support means including a clip member having an upwardly facing bight portion and a substantially horizontal tang portion, each tang portion being received in a recess at a free end on one of the pair of brackets with the tang upper surface substantially flush with the shelf support face on its bracket, fastener means connecting each tang portion to the recess on its bracket, and an elongated rod adapted to be supported adjacent the ends thereof by the bight portions.
3. Article supporting apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein the top and bottom surfaces of said strip between the rear and front faces thereof are at an acute angle upwardly with respect to the rear face of said strip.
4. Article supporting apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein said support brackets have shelf support faces thereon, and a layer of pressure-sensitive material on said support face so that said pressure-sensitive material secures the bottom surface of said shelfmembers to said brackets.
5. Article supporting apparatus in accordance with claim 1 wherein the lower ends of said standards include longitudinally extending slots extending therethrough in a direction parallel to the rear wall when the standards are operatively disposed, said slots facilitating the fitting of said standard to the baseboard associated with the rear wall'