|Publication number||US3746178 A|
|Publication date||Jul 17, 1973|
|Filing date||Nov 9, 1971|
|Priority date||Nov 9, 1971|
|Publication number||US 3746178 A, US 3746178A, US-A-3746178, US3746178 A, US3746178A|
|Original Assignee||Recycled Plastic Prod Corp|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (11), Referenced by (41), Classifications (10)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent 1 Wagschal 1 MODULAR KNOCKDOWN WINE RACK  Inventor: Edward A. Wagsehal, New York,
 Assignee: Recycled Plastic Products Corp.,
 Filed: Nov. 9, 1971  Appl. No.: 197,038
 US. Cl 211/74, 46/26, 46/31,
211/177, 220/23.4, 220/23.6, 220/23.83  Int. Cl A47b 73/00  Field of Search 211/74, 126, 85,
21l/13, 71, 177; D44/29.22, 29 C; 46/26, 31; 220/97 B, 23.6, 23.4, 23.83, 23.86; 206/3; 312/108,1ll, 107 X; 214/105; 52/663, DlG. 2;D6/157;108/111,90
2,445,423 7/1948 Eastman 206/3 X 1,728,512 9/1929 Sharp 211/74 X 1,398,852 11/1921 Gilbert 46/31 1,352,490 9/1920 Wilkins 211/177 X 51 July 17,1973
FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Primary lfxaminerRoy D. Frazier Assistant ExaminerAbraham Frankel Attorney-Amster & Rothstein  ABSTRACT A modular knockdown rack for wine bottles and the like including a plurality of rack end members arranged by pairs in spaced confronting relation such that each pair may receive a wine bottle or the like with the rack end members being interconnected by connecting bars which releasably engage the rack end members. All of the rack end members are of identical construction and are preferably fabricated ol molded plastic; and all of the connecting members are likewise of identical eonstruetion and preferably constructed of plastic such that various rack configurations can be built by the user by adding additional modules.
5 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures Patented July 17, 1973 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Patented July 17, 1973 3,746,178
2 Sheets-Sheet 2 MODULAR KNOCKDOWN WINE RACK The present invention relates generally to racks for wine bottles and the like, and in particular to a knockdown modular wine rack which may be progressively built up to include a plurality of individual bottlestorage racks or units.
There are numerous patents in the prior art which show multiple-section wine racks of varying constructions. However, none incorporate a construction in which multiple units or modules can be built up with a plurality of identical and interchangeable rack end members and connecting members. There exists a need for a modular rack construction which can be fabricated of only two different kinds of standard parts, can be shipped in knockdown condition and can be readily assembled by the user to provide an attractive and functional rack. There also exists a need for such a rack construction which can be readily built up to include any desired number of individual modules or racks and which can be expanded in length or in height in accordance with the needs and space requirements of the user.
Broadly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a knockdown modular wine rack which realizes one or more of the aforesaid objectives. Specifically, it is within the contemplation of the present invention to provide a modular wine rack which is constructed of but two identical and interchangeable parts, preferably of molded plastic, which can be shipped in unassembled condition to take up a minimum of space and which can be constructed by the user, simply and quickly and results in a rigid and attractive rack for wine bottles or the like.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a wine rack of modular construction which facilitates the build up of plural racks either horizontally or vertically in accordance with the users requirements and the available space.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide a modular knockdown 'wine rack which is of relatively simple construction and is particularly suited for mass production manufacture and marketing.
In accordance with an illustrative embodiment demonstrating objects and features of the present invention, the knockdown wine rack comprises first and second rack end members which are disposed in space confronting relation and arranged to receive a wine bottle therebetween. A similar pair of third and fourth rack end members are likewise disposed in space con fronting relation and are likewise arranged to receive a wine bottle therebetween. Each of the rack end members includes at least one marginal flange with the marginal flanges being arranged such that the flanges of the first and third rack members are in abutting relation and the flanges of the second and fourth rack members are in abutting relation. At least one connecting bar extends between the first and third rack end members and the second and fourth rack end members and includes first connecting means releasably engaging the abutting marginal flanges of the first and third rack members and second connecting means releasably engaging .the abutting marginal flanges of the second and fourth rack end members to provide a unified yet readily dismantled wine rack including two bottle receiving compartments. By the simple expedient of adding additional pairs of rack end members and the requisite additional number of connecting bars, the two compartment modules may be built up either horizontally or vertically to provide corresponding additional compartments in accordance with the requirements of the user.
The above brief description, as well as further objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more fully appreciated by reference to the following detailed description of a presently preferred but nonetheless illustrative embodiment in accordance with the present invention, when considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is an exploded perspective view of the basic elements of a two compartment knockdown modular wine rackembodying rack embodying of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the wine rack after assembly of the four rack end members and two connecting bars or members in which the wine rack lies on the junction of the marginal flanges;
FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 33 of FIG. 2, looking in the direction of the arrows and showing the details of the connecting bar or member;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 2 but showing a three module wine rack;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken substantially along the line 55 of FIG. 4 and looking in the direction of the arrows; and
FIG. 6 is an end sectional view of a three module wine rack similar to the wine rack of FIG. 4 but showing a wine rack which lies on the marginal flanges of the rack end members Referring now specifically to FIG. 1, it will be seen that the illustrative knockdown wine rack, generally designated by the reference numeral 10 includes, in this elementary form, four identical rack end members 12, 14 and 16, 18 and two identical connecting bars or members 20, 22. By way of example, rack end members I2, 14 and l6, l8 and connecting bars or members 20, 22 may be formed of a molded plastic or the like. In this elementary version, the first and second rack end members l2, 14 are disposed in space confronting relation and arranged to receive a wine bottle therebetween, and in similar fashion, the third and fourth rack end members 16, 18 are disposed in space confronting relation and arranged to receive a wine bottle therebetween. Each of the rack end members is of identical construction and accordingly it will suffice to describe rack end member 12 which is seen to include a hexagonal end wall 12a formed with a central bottle-receiving openIng 12b and having a marginal flange such as 12!: along each side thereof extending at right angles to the end wall 12a. Each of the marginal flanges provides a planar abutment surface on the exterior of the rack end member for flush abutment against the corresponding abutment surfaces of the similar rack end members when assembled as will be described hereinafter. On the interior of the respective marginal flanges, such as flanges 12c, 12d, there are provided a plurality of integral guide means for receiving and laterally confining the releasable gripping elements of the connecting bars or members 20, 22. In this illustrative example, it is seen that a pair of guide ribs 12, 12] are provided at the opposite sides of the junction 12g between marginal flange 12c, 12d and a similarly spaced pair of guide ribs 12h, l2i is provided medially of the marginal flanges on the interior thereof, for example as illustrated for marginal flange 120. Thus, in the assembly of the rack end members by connecting bars 22 and similar bars, the user has the option of making the connections contiguous to the junctions of the marginal flanges or at a location intermediate the ends of each marginal flange and extending transversally thereof or at both locations depending upon the desired ultimate configuration for the rack.
Connecting bars or members 20, 22 are of substantially identical construction and, for the sake of brevity, only connecting bar 22 would be described. Connecting bar 22 is constructed and arranged to extend between first and third rack end members 12, 16 and second and fourth rack end members 14, 18 thereby maintaining the first and second rack end members 12, 14 and the third and fourth rack members 16, 18 in space confronting relation. Connecting bar 22 includes an elongate body 22a having, at one end thereof, a first connecting means, generally designated 22b, for releasably engaging the abutting marginal flanges of the first and third rack end members 12, 16. A second connecting means, generally designated 220, is disposed at the other end of elongate body 22a for releasably engaging the abutting marginal flanges of second and fourth rack and members 14, 18. in order to add structural strength to the connecting bar, flanges 22d, 22:: are included and extend outwardly from elongate body 22a.
First connecting means 22b includes a pair of gripping fingers 22f, 22g which are spaced apart and adapted to receive the adjacent abutting marginal flanges of the rack end members. As will be explained hereinafter, gripping fingers 22f, 22g provide a force fit for clamping the abutting marginal flanges of the rack end members together thereby maintaining the rack end members in an assembled relation. In a like manner, second connecting means 22c includes a pair of gripping fingers 22h, 221' which are spaced apart from each other and adapted to receive the adjacent abutting marginal flanges of the rack end members for providing a force fit for clamping the rack end members in an assembled relation.
Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the modular knockdown wine rack is shown as assembled from first and second rack end members 12, 14 third and fourth rack end members 16, 18 and connecting bars 20, 22. As shown more specificallyin FIG. 3, marginal flange 12c provides a planar abutment surface 12] on the exterior of first rack end member 12 for flush abutment against the corresponding planar abutment surface 16j on the exterior of marginal flange 16c of third rack end member 16. The abutment surfaces l2j, 161' of the first and third rack end members are held in abutting relation by gripping fingers 22f, 22g of first connecting means 22b. More particularly, as the first connecting means 22b is inserted into guide rib pair 12e, 12f of first rack end member 12 and inserted into guide rib pair 16f, 16e of third rack end member 16, gripping finger 22f is held and laterally confined by gripping pair 12e, 12f while gripping finger 22g is held and laterally confined by gripping pair 16e, 16f. Thus, the gripping fingers 22f, 22g of first connecting means 22b provides a force fit for clamping marginal flange 120 against marginal flange 16c. It is to be noted, however, that since first connecting means 22b is force fitted with abutting marginal flanges 12c, 160, a user may releasably disengage the rack end members and, consequently, knockdown or' disassemble the wine rack, if so desired. In a like manner, gripping fingers 22h, 221' of second connecting means 22c are held and laterally confined by guide ribs disposed on the marginal flanges 14c, 18c of the second and fourth rack end members thereby providing a force fit for holding these marginal flanges in abutting relation and for releasably connecting the second and fourth rack end members 14, 18.
As with connecting bar 22, connecting bar 20, which is of a like construction, is adapted to engage, at one end thereof, abutting flanges 12c, 16c of first and third rack end members 12, 14 and adapted to engage, at the other end thereof, abutting flanges 14c, 18c of second and fourth rack end members 14, 18 thereby holding the first and second rack end members 12, 14 in space confronting relation and, in a similar fashion, holding third and fourth rack end members 16, 18 in a space confronting relation.
in this elementary form, the wine rack is constructed and arranged so that the wine rack, when in a first position shown in FIG. 2, rests on the junctions 12k, 14k, 16k,18k of the marginal flanges. In other words, when in this first position, the wine rack rests on the points of the rack end members. Wine rack 10 may be rotated from the position shown in FIG. 2, to a second position in which the wine rack may rest on the marginal flanges of two of the rack end members. For example, the wine rack may be assembled and placed in a second position in which the wine rack rests on marginal flanges 121, 14! of the first and second rack end members. Notwithstanding the choice of positions, assembled wine rack 10 is adapted to receive a plurality of wine bottles (not shown). For example, a wine bottle may be inserted into central bottle-receiving opening 12b of first rack end member 12 and central bottlereceiving opening 14b of second rack end member 14, the wine bottles being supported by wine rack 10 for storage or the like.
It is readily apparent that by so constructing the modular knockdown wine rack from a plurality of rack end members and connecting bars, the user is provided with the option of assembling the wine rack in various configurations. Referring to FIGS. 4 and 5, a three module knockdown wine rack 10' is illustrated in an assembled configuration as including first and second rack end members 12, 14, third and fourth rack end members l6, l8 and connecting bars 20, 22. The first and second rack end members 12, 14 are disposed in space confronting relation and are arranged to receive a wine bottle therebetween and, in similar fashion, third and fourth rack end members l6, 18 are disposed in space confronting relation and arranged to receive a wine bottle therebetween. First and third rack end members l2, l6 and second and fourth rack end members l4, 18 are held, respectively, in abutting relationship by connecting bars 20, 22 as explained hereinabove.
In order to further connect the first and third rack end members and the second and fourth rack end members in abutting relationship, wine rack 10' includes a connecting bar 24 which is substantially identical to connecting bars 20, 22 and which is constructed and adapted to provide a force fit for clamping the rack end members together. Connecting bar 24 includes pairs of gripping fingers, disposed at each end of the connecting bar, the pair of gripping fingers at one end of the connecting bar arranged to fit within guide ribs 12h, l2i and guide ribs 16h, and 16i as illustrated in FIG. 5 and the pair of gripping fingers at the other end of the connecting bar connected to the second and fourth rack end members at a similar pair of guide ribs which are provided medially of the marginal flanges of the rack end members on the interior thereof.
Three module knockdown wine rack is built up from the two module knckdown wine rack 10 of FIG. 2 by the addition of fifth and sixth rack end members 26, 28 which are held in space confronting relation by additional connecting bars 30, 32, 34, 36. These connecting members are substantially identical to the connecting bars hereinbefore described. Fifth rack end member 26, which is substantially identical to sixth rack end member 28 and to the other rack end members hereinbefore described, is adapted to rest on first and third rack end members l2, 16. More particularly, as indicated in FIG. 5, marginal flange 26m is adapted to rest on marginal flange 16m of third rack end member 16 and connecting bars 34, 36 are constructed and arranged to hold marginal flange 26m and marginal flange 16m in an abutting relationship. Similarly, marginal flange 26n is disposed and arranged to rest on marginal flange 12n of first rack end member 12 and connecting bars 30, 32 hold the marginal flange 26n against marginal flange l2n in an abutting relation. In a similar manner, sixth rack end member 28 is adapted to rest on second rack end member 14 and fourth rack end member 18.
In a like manner to the connecting bars hereinbefore described, the gripping fingers of connecting bars 30, 32, 34 and 36 are so constructed and arranged to fit into guide rib pairs disposed on the marginal flanges of the rack end members thereby holding the marginal flanges of these rack end members in abutting relation.
Although modular knockdown wine rack 10 is illustrated in an assembled position as including connecting bars 20, 22, 30, 32, 34 and 36, it is apparent that some of these connecting bars may be eliminated if so desired. For example, wine rack 10 may be assembled with the rack end members held in place by connecting bars 24, 32 and 34 alone. In other words, the user of the wine rack has the option of determining both the position and the number of connecting bars which may be used in assembling the wine rack.
The construction of the rack end members and the connecting bars or members which are assembled to form the modular knockdown wine rack of the present invention is such as to allow a user wide latitude in determining the assembled configuration of the modular wine rack formed from these members-Reference to FIG. 6 indicates yet another configuration which a user may devise for assembling a modular knockdown wine rack from a plurality of rack end members and connecting bars. More specifically, FIG. 6 illustrates a three module knockdown wine rack 10" which is assembled from six rack end members and six connecting bars or members. Wine rack 10" includes first, third and fifth rack end members l2, 16, 26 and second, fourth and sixth rack end members of like construction which are not shown in this particular figure). In this assembled configuration, modular knockdown wine rack 10 rests on the marginal flanges 120, 160 of the first and third rack end members.
As with the other rack end members, marginal flange 26p of fifth rack end member 26 is constructed and arranged to be held in abutting relation with marginal flange 12p of first rack end member 12 by connecting bars 38, 40, 42, which are all of like construction to each other and identical to the construction of the connecting bars hereinabove described. Similarly, marginal flange 26q of the fifth rack end member 26 is constructed and arranged to be in abutting relationship with marginal flange l6q of third rack end member 16 and is held in place with flange 16:; by connecting bars 44, 46, 48. It is readily apparent, however, that while six connecting bars have been shown for maintaining the rack end members in abutting relationship, modular wine rack 10" may be assembled from less than six connecting bars, for example, four or just two connecting bars need be used.
Obviously, other modifications of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. Thus, various wine racks may be assembled, in various configurations, depending on the ingenuity of the user and the number of rack end members and connecting bars which are utilized. The wine rack may be extended, either in length by including additional rack end members next to each other and/or in height by including additional rack end members on top of each other. Similarly, although the invention has been shown and described as particularly useful as a wine rack for storing wine bottles, it is apparent that the rack may be used for other storage purposes. For example, the rack may be utilized as a magazine rack or the like in which case the central opening of the rack end members will provide an article-receiving opening for receiving and storing magazines. Likewise, the rack may be utilized as a general purpose storage rack for receiving and storing various storage articles. It is to be understood, therefore, that the embodiments described are merely examples of the application of the principle of the invention. Additional embodiments may be devised by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit or scope of the present invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A knockdown wine rack adapted to be assembled in a variety of configurations from one or more wine rack modules, each wine rack module comprising first and second rack end members, each of said rack end members including an end wall defining at least one bottle-receiving opening, each of said rack end members further including at least one marginal flange projecting from said end wall and abutting a corresponding marginal flange of a rack end member of another wine rack module, joining and spacing means releasably maintaining said first and second rack end members in space-confronting relation such that said end walls are adapted to support a bottle inserted between said bottle-receiving openings and releasably securing the marginal flanges of the rack end members of one wine rack module to the corresponding marginal flanges of the rack end members of another wine rack module, and guide means protruding from said marginal flange each of said rack end members cooperating with said joining and spacing means for positioning said joining and spacing means relative to said rack end members so that a variety of winerack constructions may be assembled from said wine rack modules.
2. A knockdown wine rack in accordance with claim 1 wherein said joining and spacing means comprise one or more joining and spacing members, each such member comprising a spacing bar element terminating at each of its opposite ends in a pair of gripping fingers and cooperating with said first and second rack end members for simultaneously spacing said rack end and interchangeable construction.
5. A knockdown wine rack in accordance with claim 1, said end wall of each of said rack end members being hexagonal with said marginal flange extending from each side thereof at right angles to said end wall.
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|U.S. Classification||211/74, D07/708, 220/23.4, 446/122, 220/23.6, 211/194, 220/23.83|