US 3722971 A
Plastic box furniture is made up of at least one rectangular box member open on at least one side. The box member is constructed of individual side panels fitted together along adjoining edges and secured together around the periphery of the open side by a frame. Preferably, the side panels are made of a hollow construction, formed by a pair of spaced wall members joined together along their edges to provide ribs or grooves for interconnecting the panels. Each of the panels can be provided with openings to receive bolt-like members for securing separate box members together in a furniture arrangement. The box member can be arranged to receive a drawer inserted through its open side, or the open side can be closed by a door or a cover.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Elite Zeischegg tes 1 51 Mar. 27, 1973 1541 PLASTIC BOX FURNITURE  Inventor: Walter Zeischegg, 7910 Neu-Ulm,
Germany  Assignee: Hans Friedrich Hefendehl, Kierspe,
Germany  Filed: Aug. 28, 1970  Appl. No.: 67,779
 Foreign Application Priority Data Nov. 6, 1969 Germany ..P 19 55 922.9
 Int. Cl. ...A47b 77/00, A47b 87/00, A47b 81/00  Field of Search ..312/107, 108, 140, 214, 257;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,054,524 9/1962 Casten ..220/15 3,125,192 3/1964 Ramseur ..220/9 R X 3,238,835 3/1966 Rosenburg ..287/20.92 B 332,417 12/1885 McKenzie ..312/214 UX 2,651,557 9/1953 Kelly ..312/257 X 2,779,066 l/1957 Gaugler et al. ..312/214 UX 3,347,610 10/1967 Pilliod ..312/108 X 3,552,817 l/l971 Marcolongo ....3l2/107 3,563,624 2/1971 Stice ..312/111 3,514,170 5/1970 Shewchuk ..312/107 2,506,844 5/1950 Smith ..312/107 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 1,416,869 9/1965 France ..312/214 Primary Examiner-Paul R. Gilliam Attorney-McGlew and Toren  ABSTRACT Plastic box furniture is made up of at least one rectangular box member open on at least one side. The box member is constructed of individual side panels fitted together along adjoining edges and secured together around the periphery of the open side by a frame. Preferably, the side panels are made of a hollow construction, formed by a pair of spaced wall members joined together along their edges to provide ribs or grooves for interconnecting the panels. Each of the panels can be provided with openings to receive boltlike members for securing separate box members together in a furniture arrangement. The box member can be arranged to receive a drawer inserted through its open side, or the open side can be closed by a door or a cover.
7 Claims, 9 Drawing Figures Patented March 27, 1973 3,722,971
7 Sheets-Sheet l INVENTOR WALTER ZEISCHEGG zflkglzw awe 7mm ATTORNEYS Patented March 21,1973 3,722,971
7 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTQR WA'LTER zslscHeee BY 0/170 firm mmnums Patented March 27, 1973 3,722,971
7 Shouts-Shem 5 INVENTOR WALTER ZEISCHEQ By amaEm AT ToRNfiYs Patented March 27, 1973 'T Sheets-Sheet 4 Fig.4
IN VENTOR WALTER zalscHEe 5V way/fi m ATTORNEYS Patented March 27, 1973 3,722,971
'7 Sheets-Sheet 5 Fig-4Q Fig.4b
I NVENTOR 0 dvchwama l ATTOR NEVS Patented March 27, 1973 '7 Sheets-Sheet 6 Fig.5
INVENTOQ Patented March 27, 1973 3,722,97l
'7 Sheets-Sheet 7 Fig.7
INVENTOR WALTER ZEISLH (M6911! 5 amc/m ATTORNEYS PLASTIC BOX FURNITURE SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The invention is directed to plastic box furniture and, more particularly, it concerns such box furniture consisting of at least one rectangular box member open on at least one side and each of the closed sides of the box member is formed of panels interconnected together along adjoining edges. Further, a frame defines the periphery of the open side of the box member and is arranged to receive the edges of the panels extending about the open side of the box member. The open side of the box member can be closed by a door or a drawer can be inserted into the box member through its open side. Individual box members can be connected together to form a furniture arrangement.
Box furniture has become increasingly more popular in recent years and it is characterized by the many combinations in which its elements can be assembled together. It is not necessary that each element of a box furniture arrangement be in the form of a complete box open at only one side. Individual elements or box members can be used without a rear wall that is opposite its open side, for example, it might have the shape of a rectangular hollow prism. Further, the individual box members which make up box furniture need not be of the samesize, preferably, box furniture may be constructed by interconnecting different sized box members with accessory elements such as desk tops and the like.
In forming individual plastic box members a serious problem has been experienced when the box members are injection molded in one piece, since this operation can be performed only with extreme difficulties. As a general rule, individual box members are formed from individual elements or panels. Additional problems are encountered in constructing box members if the individual elements are to be assembled by the purchaser himself in accordance with a particular arrangement of such furniture.
Therefore, in accordance with the present invention, a box member construction is provided which is very strong and is characterized by the securement within a frame of the edges of the individual elements which form the open side of the box member. By using a frame an especially stiffened construction is provided for the box member. Furthermore, with the frame no joints are visible about the open side of the box, that is the side normally facing a viewer and, as a result, dirt or other materials cannot collect in such joints. While the frame may be made of a plastic material, it is also possible, if increased strength is required, to make the frame from metal.
Box furniture formed in accordance with the invention may be made either from thermoplastic or thermosetting materials. The selection of the material depends upon the specific requirements of the application to be made of the box member. If a metal frame is used it may be advantageous to produce it as a die casting. However, the frame can also be welded in the form of a drawn shape.
Various arrangements can be used for interconnecting the panels which form the sides of the box member adjacent its open side. In one arrangement ribs or protrusions from one panel can be fitted into depressions or grooves formed in the adjacent panel.
The frame defining the periphery of the open side of the box member can be secured to the side panels by means of a suitable adhesive. However, it is also possible to form sawtooth-like detents on the inside of the frame and on the edge portions of the panels which fit into the frame for securing them together. With this arrangement the frame and the panels can be pushed into one another, however, the detents will prevent them from being pulled apart. Such sawtooth-like connectors are commonly used in the plastics industry. While gluing the individual parts together is recommended for mass production, where the box furniture is shipped in a knocked-down condition, the detent arrangement for assembly is more suitable since it does not require any great degree of technical skill on the part of the assembler.
Advantageously, the frame has an angular transverse cross sectional shape with one angularly disposed surface of the shape located in the plane of the open side of the box and another angularly disposed surface extending from the outer edge of the one angular surface toward the side of the box opposite the open side. As a general rule, the angular surfaces are disposed perpendicularly to one another. In such a frame arrangement, not only are the individual parts of the box member held together but the frame construction covers the edges of the elements fitted within the frame.
In a preferred arrangement of the frame a third angular surface is provided so that two of the angular surfaces are disposed in parallel relationship and form the opposite sides of a groove into which the edges of the box member elements fit. This construction is particularly effective in stiffening the rim of the box member about its open side and an especially intimate connection is provided between the frame and the other elements which form the box member. In the construction of the box member described above it is possible for the frame to extend laterally outwardly from the panels or elements forming the sides of the box member. However, it is preferable, to provide ribs on the edges of the panels extending about the open side of the box member so that the ribs fit within the frame. In this arrangement it is possible for the inner and outer surfaces of the frame to be recessed relative to the corresponding inner and outer surfaces of the panels forming the box member.
It is advantageous for the ribs on the panels extending about the open side of the box member to be continuous so that the ribs completely fill the groove formed by the frame and improve the strength of both the frame and the panels.
In a preferred embodiment of he invention, the panels which make up the side of the box member adjacent its open side are composed of two spaced wall sections interconnected about their edges to form a hollow panel. Further, in view of the specific use to be made of the box member, the panel forming the side of the box opposite its open side may be formed of a single wall section or of a pair of wall sections joined to form a hollow panel.
In this preferred embodiment, the rib along the edge of the panel bordering its open side is formed by the edges of the two wall sections forming the hollow panel. In such an arrangement, the frame also secures the two wall sections together in the event they are not otherwise glued or interconnected.
Accordingly, where the wall sections form a hollow panel it is advantageous to form the rib which fits into the frame by two parallel flanges each extending along one edge of the wall sections.
It is desirable for the rib formed along the edge of the hollow panel to be spaced both from its inner and outer surfaces so that considerable leeway is afforded in the selection of the shape of the frame used about the open side of the box member.
It is preferable for the outer surface of the frame to be flush with the surface of the panels forming the outer surfaces of the box member, since this arrangement provides a smooth outside surface and facilitates the assembly of a multiple number of box members into a furniture unit. If the box members are to be assembled with the individual members placed one on top of the other with their open sides directed upwardly, it is advantageous for the inner surface of the frame to be recessed outwardly relative to the inside surface of the box member with the panel of-the box member opposite the open side being similarly recessed about its edge to provide a nested construction. In such an arrangement the rear panel, that is the panel opposite the open side, can be inserted into the opening in the lower box member so that the exterior surfaces and interior surfaces of the box members are aligned in the same planes. As can be appreciated, when the box members are appropriately dimensioned, two or more smaller box members can be positioned in the top of a larger box member so that the exterior surfaces formed by the combination of the smaller box members is flushed with the exterior surface of the lower but larger box member.
In forming a frame for the edges of the panels opposite the edges which extend about the open side of the box member, it is preferable to afford a frame of the same design as the one about the open side. If the box member is closed by a panel at its side opposite the open side, then the frame can be formed about the edge of the panel closing the box member opposite its open side. If the rear side of the box member, that is'the side opposite the open side, is formed by two wall sections into a hollow panel, the frame for the rear side is preferably constructed in one of the wall sections forming the rear wall. However, if the frame portion of the rear wall has a U-shaped configuration, the inner leg of the frame can be formed by the other one of the wall sections. There are a number of different design possibilities for securing the wall sections forming the rear wall together depending upon the manner in which the box member is to be used.
In assembling the individual pieces of box furniture together or in attaching accessory parts, such as a desk top, a problem has existed in providing a connecting means of adequate strength which do not interfere with the use or appearance of the box furniture. Therefore, in accordance with the present invention, the requisite connections are made by means of tie rods extending between adjacent panels ofa pair of box members. The tie rods may be made of plastic or, if greater strength is required, of metal. If the tie rods are made of metal for absorbing and exerting greater forces, it is necessary to pay more attention to the problem of the distribution of the forces. This force distribution problem can be solved by appropriately strengthening the box parts, such as the wall sections of the panels in which the tie rods are positioned.
If in connecting several box members together, the panels through which the tie rods pass are formed of separate wall sections then it is preferable to employ tubular sections bridging the interior space between the wall sections, with the tubular sections attached to at least one of the wall sections. To form the tubular sections in a very simple matter they are injection molded to the respective wall sections of the hollow panel.
When a tubular section is attached to each of the wall sections forming a hollow panel, it is preferable for the tubular sections to fit one into the other so that they extend to the interior surface of the oppositely disposed wall section. In order that the outer end of the inner tubular section is supported against the opposite wall section, it is advantageous to provide an annular collar on the interior of the outer tubular piece having an inside diameter which is the same as the inside diameter of the inner tubular section.
If the interior of the two-part hollow panels is equipped with ribs, the ribs may be formed on one or both of the separate wall sections of the panel with the ribs on one of the wall sections preferably glued to the other wall section. Where tubular sections are used with the ribbed wall sections it is advantageous to locate the tubular sections at the points where the ribs within the hollow panel intersect. If there are no ribs used in the hollow panels, the telescopically arranged tubular sections can provide considerable strength and stiffness to'the panel. However, if the tubular pieces are inadequate and there are no ribs used, the hollow spaces within the panels can be filled with an appropriate foam material which combines light-weight with great strength.
The holes through the panels are counterbored cylindrically at the inside surface of the box member to receive the head of the tie rod. By proper selection of the dimension of the tie rod, its head can be positioned flush with the inside surface of the box member and a nut can be screwed to'its other end forming a counterhead. When plastic frames are used about the open side of the box member they are preferably formed of a unitary construction. Similarly, it is preferable if metal frames are of a one piece construction. However, if for particular reasons the frames are constructed of a multi-part arrangement, the connecting points or joint between the frame parts should be spaced as far from the frame comers as possible, that is they should be located approximately at the center of a frame side.
The various features of novelty which characterize the invention are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this specification. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and specific objects attained by its use, reference should be had to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there are illustrated and described preferred embodiments of the invention.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS In the drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a rectangularly shaped box member usable as a piece of plastic box furniture in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view, shown in exploded fashion, of the box member illustrated in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a partial perspective view, partly in section, of another embodiment of a box member in accordance with the present invention, which can be utilized where the box members are stacked one into another;
FIG. 4 is a partial perspective view, partly in section, of another box member in accordance with the present invention, in which certain parts of the box member are shown in a separated arrangement in position to be assembled together;
FIG. 4a is a partial perspective view, partly in section, of one of the sides forming the box member in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 4b is a partial perspective view, partly in section, of an element forming a part of a box member;
FIG. 5 is an elevational view, partly in section, of another box member construction arranged to receive drawers;
FIG. 6 is a front perspective view of a writing desk assembled from box members constructed in accordance with the present invention; and
FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a shelf unit with a walk-through passage assembled from box members constructed in accordance with the present invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION In FIGS. 1 and 2, a box member 1 is formed ofa pair of oppositely spaced first panels 2,3 and a pair of oppositely spaced second panels 4 and 5 forming a rectangularly shaped interior of the box member. As viewed in FIG. 1, the box member 1 is open at its front side and is closed by a rear panel 6 at the side spaced oppositely its open front side. A frame 7 extends about the periphery of the open front side of the box member.
In the side panels 2-5, holes or openings 8 are provided for interconnecting a plurality of the box members. The arrangement of the openings 8 will be described later herein. Further, the rear panel is also provided with the openings, as indicated in FIG. 1, however, where such openings are used in the rear wall, it is expedient to utilize a double wallhollowlpanel as compared to the panel indicated in FIG. 2.
The side panels 2-5 of the box member are constructed as hollow wall panels each consisting of a pair of thin wall sections spaced apart except at their periphery at which the edges of the wall sections are connected, such as by gluing. The space provided within the hollow panels can be bridged by ribs extending in parallel or in perpendicular relationship. Alternatively, the interior of the hollow panels may be filled with a foam material or stiffened in another suitable manner. An example for connecting a pair of wall sections to form a hollow panel, such as represented by panels 2-5, will be described with regard to FIG. 3.
In FIG. I the first and second side panels are shown fitted into one another and FIG. 2 indicates the manner in which these panels are constructed to provide such interengagement. One of the side panels 2 is shown having ribs 2a extending along the edges thereof which abut the second side panels in the assembled position. These ribs fit into a corresponding groove 5a in the lower second panel 5, as shown in FIG. 2, and into a similarly arranged groove in the upper second panel 4. The other first panel 3 has a similar construction at its edges which abut the second panels in the assembled position so that it fits into similar grooves along the opposite edges of the second panels. As shown in FIG. 2, the edges of the first and second panels which abut the rear panel 6 in assembled position have longitudinally extending ribs 2b, 4a, 3b, and 50 which fit into a peripherally extending groove 6a in the rear panel 6. The cross sectional profile of the rear panel is indicated in dotted lines near its upper end in FIG. 2 and, as compared to the side panels, it can be noted that the panel is not of a hollow construction but is formed as a single wall member. Preferably, the ribs of the side panels are glued into the groove 6a in the rear panel.
Along the edges of the first and second side panels which extend about the open side of the box member 1, ribs 2c, 4b, 3c, and 5d, are provided in a manner similar to the ribs which fit within the groove 6a of the rear panel. These ribs which extend about the open side extend into the groove formed by the U-shaped profile 7a of the frame. As indicated above, it is advantageous to glue the ribs into the groove formed in the frame 7. As can be seen in FIG. 2, the ribs 2c, 4b, 3c, and 5d, form a continuous protrusion about the open side of the box member and completely fill the continuous groove formed in the frame, with the result that a very complete and strong connection is afforded. Accordingly, the completely assembled box member 1 as shown in FIG. 1 does not have any protrusion or depressions formed in its exterior or interior surface due to the manner in which the side panels 2-5 fit within the groove 6a in the rear panel 6 and within the groove formed in the frame 7 disposed about the periphery of the open side.
If connecting holes, such as the type indicated by the openings 8, are undesirable, they may be omitted in certain panels since it may not be desirable to have such openings in the outer surfaces of the assembled box furniture units. However, it is also possible to fill the openings 8 by means of insertable plugs so that the openings are covered and are not easily discernible. In FIG. 3 a different arrangement of the box member is illustrated in which each of the panels forming its side and rear surfaces'are constructed of a pair of wall sections forming'a hollow panel. Further, each of the panels is equipped with connecting openings 8. In this arrangement, as with the box member shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, the first side panels 10 and 11 are of identical design as are the second side panels l2, l3. Opposite the open side of the box member a hollow rear panel 14 is provided with a frame-like construction extending about its peripheral edge. Extending about the open side of the box member is a frame 15. As is indicated by 'the sections of the side and rear panels in FIG. 3, the
hollow panels are each provided with ribs which are injection molded with the interior surface of the respective inner wall section when it is being formed. Though it does not appear in the drawing, the connecting openings 8are located atthe points of intersection of the ribs located within the hollow panels.
The following is a description in greater detail of the construction of the side panel 13. A wall section 131; injection molded as a unitary element with the ribs forms the inner part of the panel 13. The wall section 13b and its ribs 13c are formed either of a thermoplastic or a thermosetting materiaLT he free ends of the ribs, that is the ends positioned outwardly from the outer surface of the wall section 1312 as it appears in FIG. 3 abut and may be glued to the inwardly facing surface of a wall section 13a which forms the outer part of the hollow panel 13.
As mentioned above, within the hollow panel 13 additionalribs are provided which extend transversely of the ribs 13c. Along the edge of the panel 13 located at the open side of the box member a rib 13d is provided formed by flanges located along the corresponding edges of the wall sections 13a and 13b which form the hollow panel. In a similar manner, ribs are formed along the edges of the side panels 10, 11 and 12 which extend about the open side of the box member and afford a continuous rib extending about the open side which fits into a U-shaped groove in frame 15, and the ribs may be glued within the groove in the frame. The outer surface 15a of the frame 15 is flush, that is it is in the same plane with the outer surfaces of the side panels -13. However, the inner surface b of the frame 15 is spaced outwardly relative to the inner surfaces of the panels 10-13 so that an outwardly arranged step is provided, as is best illustrated by the sectioned edges of panels 11 and 13in FIG. 3.
Along its edge adjoining the rear panel 14 of the box member, the inner wall section 13b of the panel 13 has a groove 13g into which a rib 14a fits, which is formed on the inner wall section 14b of the rear panel 14. As with the other ribs, this rib may be glued within the groove 13g. The interengaging construction between the edges of the rear panel 14 and the adjoining edges of the side panels 10-13 are similar. The rib 14a extends from a flange 140 on the inner wall section 14b of the rear panel 14, and in combination with a flange 13f on the inner wall section 13b and a flange 13:: on the outer wall section 13a provide a multi-part rib enclosed by an exterior leg or surface 14a formed along the edge of the outer wall section 14d of the rear panel so that the edges of the side panels adjoining the rear panel are also contained within a frame-like arrangement. The outer edge surface provided by the leg 14a is angularly disposed so that one part of its surface lies in the plane of the outer surface of the wall section 14d while its other angularly disposed surface is in a plane parallel with one of the planes of the exterior surface of the wall sections above the side panels 10-13 but is spaced inwardly from such plane surface.
In the assembly of the box member illustrated in FIG. 3, the side panels 10-13 are initially assembled together and then the side panels are placed in contact with the inner wall section 14b of the rear panel and then the outer wall section 14d is assembled onto the inner wall section and the side panels and subsequently the front frame 15 is placed onto the adjoining edges of the side panels. Of course, it will be appreciated that this order of assembly can be reversed. From the illustration of the box member in FIG. 3 it can be noted that similarly constructed box members can be stacked one into the other with the stepped construction provided by the peripheral edge of the rear panel 14 fitted into the stepped arrangement of the frame 15 which encloses the open side of the box member. When the box members are stacked one on the other their outer surfaces are flush, that is they are in the same plane.
In FIG. 4 another box member is shown which is of a somewhat different design from the members previously described. In this arrangement, the side panels 20, 21 and 22 which border the open side of the box member, that is' the left hand side as viewed in FIG. 4, are interconnected along their abutting edges as indicated by the sectioned illustration of the interconnection of the side panel 21 with the side panels 20 and 22.
The edges of the panels 20 to 22 extending about the open side of the box member each has a rib 20a,2la, and 22a formed by the abutting flanges of the inner and outer wall sections which constitute the hollow side panels and which may be secured together by gluing. However, the individual side panels need not be glued to one another. Instead, the side panels are held together by means of a frame 23 having a U-shaped cross section into which the ribs 20a, 21a and 22a extend. To afford the requisite holding action between the frame and the side panels and to assure that the frame is not displaced from the edge portions of the side panels, a plurality of saw-tooth sections 20b, 21b and 22b interengage similarly shaped saw-tooth sections 23a formed on the opposite faces within the groove formed by its U-shaped configuration. Once the frame and the side panels are interengaged, the sawtooth sections interlock so that the different parts of the box member cannot be separated. On the opposite side of the box member from its open face a rear panel 24 is provided with a continuous U -shaped frame-like construction about its peripheral edge in which sawtooth sections similar to those in the frame 23 are formed for interlocking with similarly shaped saw-tooth sections along the adjacent edges of the side panels.
It can be readily appreciated that the box member construction illustrated in FIG. 4 is particularly suited for plastic box furniture which is shipped in the knocked-down condition and is assembled by the purchaser. A particular advantage of this arrangement is the reduction in the shipping volume of such plastic box furniture, since it is transported in the disassembled condition.
In FIG. 4 the rear wall 24 is constructed asa hollow panel formed of an inner and outer wall section joined together about their peripheral edges to form the frame into which the side panels seat. In FIG. 4a another arrangement of such a rear wall member is provided constructed as a single wall section with its edge deformed to provide a U-shaped frame section 25a which can be interlocked with the walls of the side panels in the same manner as the frame portion of the rear panel 24..In certain instances it may be preferable to dispense with the rear wall so that the box member is open at its front and rear sides, and in such an arrangement a frame 26, such as shown in FIG. 4b, can be used for interlocking the rearward edges of the side panels together. When a construction utilizes both the frames 23 and 26, a box member is provided which affords an open port through a cabinet wall which is otherwise closed.
In FIG. 5 a box member is shown having its interior arranged as a drawer support. The lower half of FIG. 5 shows a section through the box member parallel to its open side while the upper half of FIG. 5 affords a front view of the open side of the box member. The basic difference between the box member in FIG. 5 and that shown in FIG. 3 is the configuration provided on the inner wall sections of the oppositely disposed side panels 30, 31 each of which has a lengthwise ribbed profile 30a, 310 which affords alternating grooves and lands. Drawer guide bars can be inserted into the grooves formed by the ribbed profiles 30a, 31a for interserting a drawer into the box member through its open side.
As shown in dashed lines in FIG. 5, the rear wall 32 has perpendicularly disposed ribs 32a and similar ribs are shown in the side panel 34 which appears as the lower wall of the box member in FIG. 5. Similarly, the side walls or panels 30, 31 of the box member have ribs within their hollow section. At each intersection of the ribs, the outer wall sections 30b, 31b is equipped with an inwardly projecting tubular member 300, 310 which contacts at its inner end, an annular flange or collar 30d on the outwardly facing surface of the inner wall section 30e of the side panel 30. Similarly, another tubular member 30f extends outwardly from the outer surface of the inner wall section 30s in concentrically arranged telescopic fashion over the tubular member 30c. The connecting openings through side panel 31 and the other panels have a similar construction. As described previously, the connecting openings are counterbored on the interiof surfaces of the box member, note opening 32b and the counterbores 34c in the connecting openings through the lower panel 34. The connecting bolts or members may consist either of plastic or of metal. The force distribution between the connecting members and the panels forming the box member is excellent because of the construction of the connecting openings.
It can be recognized that box members arranged to contain drawers, such as illustrated in FIG. 5, can be easily combined with other boxes, such as the type shown in FIG. 3, to form a plastic box furniture assembly composed in accordance with specific requirements. Further, it is not necessary that the box members have square openings, the length of the opening may be multiple of its width so that the box members can be assembled together to form a clothes closet with a hanger compartment on one side and drawer compartments on the other. To afford an appreciation of the various possibilities of assembling box members, in accordance with the present invention, into plastic box furniture units two examples of such units are shown in FIGS. 6 and "7.
In FIG. 6 a writing desk is displayed composed of a panel 34 supported on one side by a pair of box members 30,31 and on the other side by a single box member 32. The box members 30,31 are of equal size and one is mounted on the other. The box member 32 is twice the size of the single box member 30,31. The desk top panel 34 is connected to the box members 30 and 32 by connecting means extending through connecting openings and the box members 30,31 are similarly interconnected. Box member 32 is arranged to receive a multiple number of drawers, such as the box members shown in FIG. 5, while box member 31 is arranged to receive a plurality of file folders 35. The drawers 32a in box member 32 can be locked within the box member if such an arrangement is desired.
It can be readily appreciated that the example set forth in FIG. 6 is by no means exhaustive or limiting, and a wide writing desk design could be provided with four box members each disposed on the opposite sides of the knee hole or a single box member could be provided on each side of the knee hole. A typewriter desk can be constructed by omitting the box members on one side.
In FIG. 7 a cabinet wall assembly is provided with a walk-through passage 40. Such a cabinet wall assembly can be used as a room divider to afford two separate rooms or spaces. If an open divider is desired all of the boxes forming the cabinet wall 41 can be constructed with open faces on their front and rear sides. Further, certain of the boxes can be provided with rear walls while others of the boxes can have the rear walls eliminated. In another arrangement the box members can be equipped with drawer inserts or with doors forming a closure for the open side of the box members. The sizes of the boxes may be varied in accordance with the desired arrangement. Therefore, in view of the above description and the drawing it can be noted that the plastic box furniture, in accordance with the present invention, has a maximum flexibility in its application for providing different assembled arrangements, and, further, it offers particular advantage in its ability to be shipped in a knocked-down condition and assembled by the purchaser.
What is claimed is:
l. Box-type furniture comprising at least one rectangular box member having at least one open side, said box member comprising four wall panels each forming a closed side of said rectangular box member with the adjoining edges of said panels being interconnected, a frame member having an angular sectional shape defining the periphery of the open side of said box member and the edges of said wall panels located along the edges of the open side of said box member are secured within said frame, a rear member located at the 0pposite side of said box member from said open side and having a frame-like section in which the edges of said wall panels along the opposite side are fitted, said wall panels, said frame member and said rear member are formed of plastic, each said wall panel comprises a pair of parallel thin wall sections in contacting engagement about the peripheral edges thereof and spaced apart inwardly of the peripheral edges and forming a closed hollow space therebetween, said wall sections having aligned openings therethrough, means located at said openings and extending through the hollow space therebetween providing bearing between said wall sections, said wall panels comprising a pair of first panels disposed in spaced parallel relationship and a pair of second panels disposed in spaced parallel relationship and extending between the edges of said first panels, the edges of said first panels bordering said second panels having laterally extending ribs formed therealong and the edges of said second panels bordering said first panels having grooves formed therein and arranged to receive the ribs on said first panels in interengaged relationship, the contacting edge portions of said first and second panels bordering the contacting edge portions of said first and second panels bordering the open side of said box member forming ribs which extend laterally outwardly from said first and second members and fit into said frame, the surfaces of said laterally extending ribs on said first and second panels bordering the open side of said box member have the inwardly facing surfaces spaced outwardly from the corresponding inwardly facing surfaces of said panels and have the outwardly facing surfaces of said ribs spaced inwardly from the corresponding outwardly facing surfaces of said panels, the ends of said ribs extending laterally from said first and second panels are disposed in contact with the ends of said ribs extending laterally from the adjoining said wall panels and each said laterally extending rib is formed by two parallel contacting flanges and each of said flanges is formed on a different one of said wall sections.
2. Box-type furniture, as set forth in claim 1, wherein said frame comprises a U-shaped section formed of a plurality of interconnected elongated legs with a first one of said legs forming the bight portion of said U- shaped section being located in the plane of the open side of said box member, a second one of said legs secured to the outer longitudinally extending edge of the first one of said legs and extending therefrom toward the side of said box member opposite the open side, and a third one of said legs disposed in substantially parallel relationship with the second one of said legs and secured to the inner longitudinally extending edge of the first one of said legs and extending therefrom toward the side of said box member opposite the open side thereof so that the first, second and third ones of said legs combine in providing a longitudinally extending groove into which the edges of said wall panels located along the edge of the open side of said box are secured.
3. Box-type furniture, as set forth in claim 2, wherein the outer surface of the second one of said legs of said frame is located in the plane of the exterior surface of the one of said first and second panels along which said frame extends, and the inner surface of the third one of said legs of said frame is located in a plane spaced outwardly from the plane of the inner surface of the one of said first and second panelsalong which said frame extends, said rear member comprises a rear panel positioned opposite the open side of said box member and the peripheral edge of said rear panel spaced more remotely from said open side of said box member is recessed inwardly so that its outer surface is approximately in the same plane as the inwardly facing surface of the third one of said legs so that said rear panel is insertable within said frame at the open side of another said box member for stacking said boxes in a nested arrangement whereby the interior surfaces of said box members are aligned in the same planes.
4. Box-type furniture, as set forth in claim 1, wherein said rear member comprises a rear wall section integral with said frame-like section thereof for forming a closure across the side opposite the open side of said box member.
5. Box-type furniture, as set forth in claim 1, wherein connecting means are arranged for securing adjacent said box members together, said connecting means comprising tie rods extending through the openings in two juxtaposed wall panels of adjacent box members and said means located at said openings comprising tubular members extending between the facing surfaces of said wall sections forming one said wall panel and said tubular members being secured to at least one of said wall sections.
6. Box-type furniture, as set forth in claim 5, wherein one of said tubular members is secured to each of said wall sections formin one said wall panel and said tubular members on sai wall sections emg in axial align-