US 3722973 A
A furniture article having a top supporting surface includes a drawer case assembly mounted beneath said surface and displaceable from an elevated stored position normally hidden from the user's view, to a lowered use position horizontally offset from the stored position to allow subsequent rectilinear movement of a drawer carried by the assembly.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sttes tot 1 1 397229973 Textoris 1 Mar. 27, 1973 54 FURNITURE ARTICLE WITH 2,855,262 10/1958 Sharpe ..312 325 DISPLACEABLE DRAWER CASE 3,124,401 3/1964 McClellan 1,145,264 7/1915 Pflug  Inventor: Melvin 2 919 966 1/1960 Preston ..312 27  Assignee: The General Fireproofing Company,
Youngstown Ohio FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS  Filed: Apr. 1, 1971 279,237 11/1951 Switzerland ..312/325 PP NOJ 1301249 Primary Examiner-James T. McCall AttorneyEmory L. Groff  US. Cl. ..312/325, 312/27, 312/266,
312 294, 312 307, 312/348 ABSTRACT  Int. Cl. ..A47b 88/00, A47b 95/00 A furniture article having a top Supporting surface  Field of Search 312/120 4 cludes a drawer case assembly mounted beneath said 312/27 surface and displaceable from an elevated stored posi- 307 tion normally hidden from the users view, to a lowered use position horizontally offset from the  References cued stored position to allow subsequent rectilinear move- UNITED STATES PATENTS ment of a drawer carried by the assembly.
2,565,845 8/1951 Federick ..312/307 X 11 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures Patented March 27, 1973 3,722,973
2 Sheets-Sheet 1 MELVIN ATEXTORIS BY 51%74W" ATTORNEY Patented March 27, 1973 3,722,973
2 Sheets-Sheet 2 FIG. 2.
INVENTOR MELVIN AI'EXTORIS FURNITURE ARTICLE WITH DISPLACEABLE DRAWER CASE This invention relates generally to a furniture article, and more particularly, to a desk or table provided with a drawer case assembly movable from a normally hidden inaccessible position to a visible accessible position, permitting subsequent rectilinear movement of a drawer contained within the case assembly.
Various displaceable supporting assemblies are presently known for use with articles of furniture such as tables and desks, wherein the operator may selectively move a supporting platform from a non-use or storage position within the confines of the furniture article, to a use position offering ready accessibility to the movable platform. Perhaps the most common type of such an arrangement is the typewriter storage platform associated with secretarial desks, wherein a platform is mounted upon a carriage for rectilinear movement from a position outside the desk to an alternate position within the confines of the desk. Many of these devices include additional structure permitting of a pivotal displacement of the storage platform from an elevated use position outside the desk to a lowered storage position within the interior of the desk.
The present invention departs from the above referenced arrangement in that drawer case assembly is provided for movement from a storage or non-use position immediately adjacent the undersurface of the furniture article top to a use position wherein the upper surface of the case assembly is positioned juxtaposed the bottom surface of an apron or skirt depending from the furniture article top. In this use position, the front of a drawer carried by the case assembly is disposed substantially flush with the outer surface of the furniture article apron and thus becomes most readily accessible for subsequent rectilinear movement by the operator. By the present arrangement, a minimum number of relatively simple components are utilized to permit the aforedescribed mounting and displacement from the storage to the use positions, these components including, a pair of pivotal links carried by each side unit of the case assembly and having their distal portions pivotally attached to support means integral with the undersurface of the furniture article top. Positive biasing means, in the form of tension springs, are provided to insure retention of the case assembly in both the use and non-use positions while additional manually displaceable catch means are included to allow the operator to completely withdraw the drawer from its case assembly when the assembly is in the use position.
Accordingly, one of the objects of the present invention is to provide an article of furniture having an improved displaceable drawer case assembly.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an article of furniture including a furniture top supporting, upon its undersurface, a drawer case assembly manually displaceable from a stored, non-use position immediately adjacent said undersurface to a use position disposed in a lower plane and longitudinally offset from the stored position.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a case assembly containing a rectilinearly movable drawer and including pivotal link means connecting the case assembly to the undersurface of a furniture article top for selected movement between two positions located in vertically and horizontally offset planes.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a vertically and longitudinally displaceable drawer case assembly including a pair of side case units, each of which includes a channel defining an interior cavity within which is mounted a supporting pivotal link and an actuating tension spring.
With these and other objects in view which will more readily appear as the nature of the invention is better understood, the invention consists in the novel construction, combination and arrangement of parts hereinafter more fully described, illustrated and claimed.
A preferred and practical embodiment of the invention is shown in the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a longitudinal vertical sectional view illustrating the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary horizontal sectional view and illustrates the lefthand portion of the drawer and drawer case assembly of the present invention.
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary front vertical sectional view of the structure shown in FIG. 2.
Similar reference characters designate corresponding parts throughout the several figures of the drawings.
Referring now to the drawings, particularly FIG. 1, it will be understood that the present invention may be practiced in combination with any suitable type of furniture article such as a desk or table. The advantages of the present displaceable drawer case will be most readily appreciated when combined with a table, for example. The usual table construction includes a top, a depending peripheral apron or skirt, and four corner legs and is utilized primarily to provide an unimpeded work surface or supporting surface. Often, the user of such a table will have need for ready access to certain tools or papers, and until the present time, this need has been met by the provision of a rectilinearly mounted drawer located directly beneath the table top and fixedly mounted through a portion of the apron. Such an arrangement may be undesirable, particularly when the table is utilized in a more formal environment such as a conference table.
By means of the present invention, a displaceable drawer case assembly generally designated 1, is provided, which may be manually moved from a stored, out-of-sight position, as shown in broken lines in FIG. 1, to the visible, use position shown in this figure whereupon the operator may subsequently have ready access to the rectilinearly mounted drawer, generally designated 2. In the illustrated stored position, it will be seen that the uppermost portion of the case assembly 1 is juxtaposed the undersurface 3 of the table top 4, while the drawer front 5 is located entirely within the enclosure 6 defined by the table top 4 and apron 7 and at a point well spaced inwardly from the edge 4a of the top. Thus, the entire assembly is well hiddenfrom view by persons standing or sitting around the periphery of the table.
The drawer case assembly 1 comprises a right-hand case unit 8 which is illustrated in FIG. 1 and a lefthand case unit 9 shown in FIGS. 2 and 3. These two units are joined in a fixed, spaced apart manner by means of a rear case wall 10 and a front tie strap 11, the latter of which will be seen to include a depending flange providing a case pull 12 adapted to be engaged by the user's hand during displacement of the assembly.
A description of the components associated with one of the case units will serve to describe the structure of the oppositely disposed case unit. As will be seen most clearly in FIG. 3, the lefthand case unit 9 includes a case unit channel 13 comprising a horizontal bottom wall 14 from which extends upwardly an outside wall 15 on the one hand and an inside wall 16 on the other. The outside wall 15 extends vertically a distance greater than the overall height of the drawer 2, for reasons which will become obvious hereinafter, and terminates with a top outside wall flange 17, preferably projecting outwardly from the plane of the wall 15. Cushion means in the form of a plurality of case storage bumpers 18 project from the upper surface of the flange 17 and provide the only contact between the case assembly 1 of the present invention and the undersurface 3 of the furniture top 4 when the device is in the stored position. The case unit channel inside wall 16 extends upwardly from the bottom wall 14 to a point well short of the overall height of the outside wall 15 and thence projects in a direction away from the outside wall 15 to provide an offset flange 19 from which extends upwardly a riser wall 20 terminating with a top drawer case supporting flange 21 directed towards the outside wall 15. As will be seen in FIG. 3, all of the various components forming the case unit channel 13 serve to provide an interior cavity 22 therebetween. This cavity is sealed off at its forward end by means of the case unit front wall 23 and at the opposite end by the rear case wall 10. It is within this cavity 22 that the movable components of the present invention are housed and thus will at all times be sealed from the view of the user and likewise be protected from dust while also serving as protective shielding means to preclude injury to a user should ones hands or knees come in contact with this area of the device.
The case assembly 1 is attached beneath the undersurface 3 of the furniture top 4 by means of a vertically depending mounting plate 24 adapted to enter into the cavity 22 of each of the case unit channels 13. The upper portion of each mounting plate 24 is suitably attached to the undersurface of the table top by any means such as the fasteners 25. A pair of links 26 and 27 are attached to the front and rear of the mounting plate 24 adjacent the bottom edge thereof by means of the pivots 28. The forward pivotal link 26 and rear pivotal link 27 may be of identical construction comprising, a main body portion 29 having opposite terminal portions defining offset tabs 30. As will be seen in FIG. 3 of the drawings, the tabs 30-30 of each pivotal link are offset in a manner to be disposed in parallel planes. The lower portion of each pivotal link is likewise provided with a pivot 31 for providing movable attachment to the lower portion of the inside wall 16 of its related case unit 8 or 9. By selecting the specific length of the two pivotal links associated with each case unit channel 13 and likewise determining specific points for attachment of the pivots 28 and 31 for each link, it will be seen that the drawer case assembly 1 may be mounted beneath the furniture top 4 to insure the positioning of the case assembly as shown in FIG. 1 when in both the use and non-use positions.
Means are provided in the form of one or more tension springs 32 to regulate the movement of the case assembly and to provide a positive snap-action type of movement when the assembly is displaced by the user upon his engagement of the case pull 12. The upper portion of each tension spring 32 is anchored by means of a stationary stud 33 projecting from the inside surface of the vertical mounting plate 24 while the opposite or lower portion of each tension spring 32 is similarly attached by means of a drawer case stud 34, disposed within the case unit channel cavity 22 and fixedly attached to the inside wall 16 thereof. The length and/or degree of tension of each spring 32 must be considered when providing the disclosed installation, as must also the relative location of the two mounting studs 33 and 34 for each tension spring. When the drawer case assembly 1 is in the use position, as shown in FIG. 1, it will be understood that the tension springs 32 must necessarily be subjecting a minimum degree of tension upon the two related mounting studs. This observation will be apparent since it is necessary that a noticeable degree of upward force must be directed to the drawer case assembly to insure its positive retention in this use position. The referenced tension causes the case use bumper 35 mounted upon the top outside wall flange 17, to engage the downwardly facing apron bottom surface 36. Another observation will be apparent upon a review of FIG. 1, and that is the relative lateral positioning of the two studs engaged by each spring 32. When in the illustrated use position, the, drawer case stud 34 will be seen to be located forward of the verti cal plane of the stationary stud 33 such that a definite off-center relationship exists between these two studs, thereby further insuring a positive retention of the drawer case assembly 1 in this use position.
When the user desires to displace the assembly from the use position to the stored position, the drawer front 5 and case pull 12 are grasped by the hand and a rearwardly directed force applied thereto in order to move the drawer case assembly to the broken line position of FIG. 1. During this initial rearward movement, the two pivotal links 26 and 27 will be moved clockwise about the upper pivots 28-28 and when the vertical axes of the spring studs 33 and 34 are aligned, continued rearward movement of the case assembly past this point to an over-center position will cause the tension springs 32 to assist the upward and rearward movement of the case assembly to the final at-rest or stored position shown in broken lines whereupon the force of the tension springs will insure retention of the case assembly in this position. It will be apparent that the links should all be mounted in a parallel arrangement and likewise the springs are disposed parallel to one another. Preferably, however, the springs and links are not parallel to one another when the assembly is in either extreme position since this condition would preclude the effectiveness of the desired snap-action. As shown in FIG. 1, the distance between the studs 33 and 34 is greater than the distance between the pivot points 28 and 31, thus insuring a different rate of angular dis placement between the springs and links.
Although the invention is illustrated as applied to a furniture article wherein the case assembly abuts the bottom 36 of the apron 7 when moved to the use position, quite obviously at least a portion of the apron could be eliminated at this point so that the case as sembly would be immediately adjacent the top undersurface 3 when in the use position. With such an arrangement it will follow that the location of the pivots 2828 must be altered from the position of FIG. 1 to insure that the front opening of the case assembly will swing to a plane adjacent the vertical plane of the top peripheral edge 4a.
The drawer 2, adapted for rectilinear movement within the case assembly 1, includes the usual elements attached to the drawer front 5 comprising a bottom wall 37, side walls 3838 and the rear wall 39. The drawer is carried by the top supporting case flanges 21 of the two case units 8 and 9 and accordingly, is modified to include a drawer supporting flange 40 projecting outwardly from each of the drawer side walls 38 and terminating in a downwardly extending lip 41 as shown in FIG. 3. Suitable anti-friction means are included between the juxtaposed case flange 21 and drawer flange 40 such as the plastic glide 42 attached to the undersurface of the drawer flange 40 and adapted to ride upon the upper surface of the case flange 21.
When the drawer 2 is withdrawn from its case assembly 1 by means of the drawer pull 43 provided along the bottom edge of the drawer front 5, the natural tendency in any installation is for the front of the drawer to tilt downwardly while the rear thereof is urged upwardly. This action is overcome by means of a lower glide member 44 which may also comprise an anti-friction plastic composition, this glide being mounted upon the top surface of an angled lower glide bracket 45 attached to the outer surface of the drawer side wall 38. By placing this lower glide assembly adjacent the rear wall 39 of the drawer it will be apparent that the aforedescribed tendency for the rear of the drawer to be urged upwardly during withdrawal will be overcome as the lower glide 44 engages the under surface of the offset flange 19 of the case unit channel 13.
Means are provided to preclude the complete accidental withdrawal of the drawer from its case assembly comprising a drawer out stop including a bumper 46 carried by a tab 47 struck from or attached to the surface of the channel inside wall 16. Cooperating with the rearwardly facing bumper 46 is a movable drawer catch, generally designated 48 and which is pivotally attached as at 49 to the exterior surface of the drawer side wall 38. This catch 48 includes a forwardmost release arm 50 and a rearwardmost major arm 51, both disposed substantially parallel to the surface of the drawer side wall 38. Projecting outwardly from the distal portion of the major arm 51 is an abutment plate 52 extending transversely within the space defined by Y the juxtaposed surfaces of the case unit channel inside wall 16 and drawer side wall 38, as shown most clearly in FIG. 2 of the drawings. In view of the greater length of the major arm 51 of the drawer catch 48 and the pivotal mounting of this catch to the drawer, the abutment plate 52 will normally be disposed in the lowermost position as shown in FIG. 1. Suitable stop means (not shown) are provided to limit this downward movement of the abutment plate 52. With the foregoing in mind, it will be appreciated that when the drawer is withdrawn from the case assembly 1, the depending abutment plate 52 will abut the rearwardly facing bumper 46 when the drawer has been withdrawn for the majority of its longitudinal extent. If the user, for any reason, wishes to completely withdraw the drawer 2 from its case assembly 1, this action may be accomplished without the use of any tools, merely by manually deflecting the release arm 50 of the drawer catch 48 downwardly to the alternate position shown in FIG. 1, which movement elevates the abutment plate 52 above the horizontal plane of the drawer out stop bumper 46, whereupon the drawer may be removed in its entirety from the case assembly 1.
The structure defining the limit of inward movement of the drawer will be apparent from FIG. 2 wherein it will be seen that the drawer front 5 projects laterally to provide an extension 50 on each side adapted to overlie the front wall 23 of the unit channel 13. Cushion means, in the form of the drawer closing bumper 53, is carried by the rear surface of the front extension 5a and abuts the front wall 23 to limit the closing action of the drawer.
From the foregoing, it will be appreciated that an improved displaceable drawer case assembly is provided having a unique mounting means for attachment to the under surface of the top of a furniture article so that the case assembly may be alternately moved from a hidden, inaccessible position to a visible, accessible position and retained in each of the two positions by a positive snap-action mechanism.
1. In a furniture article provided with a top having a peripheral edge and an undersurface, the combination including, a drawer case assembly provided with a front opening and having means pivotally attaching the assembly adjacent said top undersurface for alternate movement from a storage position wherein said case assembly is spaced well inwardly of said top edge to a use position wherein said case assembly front opening is disposed adjacent the vertical plane of said top edge, said case assembly including a pair of side case units fixedly joined together in a spaced apart manner, said pivot attaching means including at least a pair of parallel links each having its lower portion pivotally connected at a fixed point beneath said top undersurface, said parallel links passing through a vertical position as said assembly is moved between said storage and use positions with said assembly disposed in a lowermost plane when said links are in the vertical position while said assembly is disposed in higher planes when in both said storage and use positions, biasing means joined to said case assembly on the one hand and connected at fixed points beneath said top undersurface on the other hand, said biasing means alternately urging said assembly to remain in said storage and use positions as said links are moved to either side of the vertical position, and a drawer mounted within and supported by said case assembly for rectilinear movement through said front opening when said case assembly is in said use position.
2. A furniture article according to claim 1 including, a fixed mounting plate depending from said top undersurface and to which the upper portions of said links are connected, and said biasing means comprises at least one spring element constantly maintaining an upward force on said case assembly.
3. A furniture article according to claim 1 wherein, said top includes a depending apron adjacent said peripheral edge whereby, when said case assembly is moved to the use position the top of the assembly abuts the bottom of said apron and said assembly may be dis placed to the storage position wherein the top of the assembly is juxtaposed said top undersurface.
4. A furniture article according to claim 1 wherein, each said side case units includes a longitudinal channel .element having a bottom wall joined to spaced apart upstanding outside and inside walls defining a cavity therebetween, and the lower portions of each said links and said biasing means are connected to said channel element within said cavity.
5. A furniture article according to claim 1 wherein, said side case units are connected by a tie strap along the bottom thereof adjacent said front opening, and said tie strap includes hand-engageable pull means.
6. A furniture article according to claim 2 wherein, said spring element is connected at its upper portion to said mounting plate.
7. A furniture article according to claim 2 wherein, the longitudinal axis of said spring element is nonparallel to said links when said case assembly is in the storage and use positions thereby insuring an overcenter application of spring force to said assembly.
8. A furniture article according to claim 4 wherein, said channel element inside wall includes an uppermost horizontal flange and said drawer is provided with opposite side walls each having an outwardly projecting support flange adapted to overlie said channel element horizontal flange.
9. A furniture article according to claim 4 wherein, said drawer includes opposite side walls juxtaposed said channel element inside walls, cooperating out stop means comprising a pair of components mounted respectively on the opposed surfaces of at least one said channel element inside wall and drawer side wall for limiting the normal outward movement of said drawer from said case assembly.
10. A furniture article according to claim 9 wherein, one of said components of said out stop means comprises a fixed bumper and the other of said components includes a movable catch having an abutment plate normally disposed in the same horizontal plane as said bumper, and means pivotally mounting said catch whereby said abutment plate may be manually removed from the horizontal plane of said bumper.
11. In a furniture article provided with a top having a peripheral edge and an undersurface, the combination including, a drawer case assembly provided with a front opening and having means pivotally attaching the assembly adjacent said top undersurface for alternate movement from a storage position wherein said case assembly is spaced well inwardly of said top edge to a use position wherein said case assembly front opening is disposed adjacent the vertical plane of said top edge, said case assembly including a pair of side case units fixedly joined together in a spaced apart manner, said pivot attaching means including at least a pair of parallel links each having its lower portion pivotally connected to said case assembly and its upper portion pivotally connected at a fixed point beneath said top undersurface, biasing means joined to said case assembly and alternately urging said assembly to remain in said storage and use positions, each said side case unit including a longitudinal channel element having a bottom wall joined to spaced apart upstanding outside and inside walls defining a cavity therebetween, the lower portions of each said links and said biasing means