|Publication number||US3752547 A|
|Publication date||Aug 14, 1973|
|Filing date||Mar 26, 1971|
|Priority date||Mar 26, 1971|
|Also published as||CA963058A, CA963058A1|
|Publication number||US 3752547 A, US 3752547A, US-A-3752547, US3752547 A, US3752547A|
|Inventors||Kelley J, Propst R|
|Original Assignee||Miller Herman Inc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (11), Referenced by (13), Classifications (9)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [1 1 Propst et a1.
[ Aug. 14, 1973 1 STACKABLE DRAWER AND COVER  lnventors: Robert L. Propst, Ann Arbor; James t O. Kelley, Spring Lake, both of Mich.
 US. Cl. 312/107, 312/108  Int. Cl. A47b 77/00, A471) 87/00  Field of Search 312/107, 270, 271, 312/308; 220/42 B, 42 C, 60 R, 23.6, 97 F, 97 R; 211/126  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,587,167 1/1926 Marsden.... 220/97 F X 3,169,640 2/1965 Faure 211/126 3,347,394 10/1967 Gou1d.... 211/126 3,362,575 1/1963 FOtOS 220/97 F 2,752,970 7/1956 Tupper 220/42 C 2,811,404 10/1957 Brooks et a1.. 312/270 X 3,295,904 1/1967 Cobb 312/270 3,321,104 5/1967 Edwards... 220/42 C 3,305,283 2/1967 MacKay.... 312/270 X 3,529,531 9/1970 Swett 220/42 C X FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 617,938 4/1961 Canada 220/97 F Primary Examiner-Paul R. Gilliam Attorney-Price, Heneveld, Huizenga & Cooper ABSTRACT A drawer includes a stacking recess around its top perimeter into which another similar drawer can be placed in order to stack the drawers one on top of the other. The drawer includes a cover which is thinner in cross section than the depth of the stacking recess in order that the cover can be positioned on the drawer without interfering the stacking of one drawer on top of another. The cover includes outwardly biased, resilient ribs which extend below the stacking recess when the cover is in place and which press against the drawer walls to insure a tight fit.
8 Claims, 15 Drawing Figures PATENTEB M18 l4 I873 MN mliill FIG. 7.
INVENTORS 7 4 PPd/ ST 4/1756 PAIENIEUAUB 14 ms 3. 752.547
sum u or 4 INVENTORS 2052.27 4. wa s;- Q4/1155 KELLEY I STACKABLE DRAWER AND COVER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to drawers and drawer supporting structures. Specifically, it relates to an improvement in the system disclosed and claimed in US. Pat. application, Ser. No. 79,890. That application discloses a drawer which can be stacked with other similar drawers. The drawers stacked can be of varying depths. The drawer is supported in a frame having sides with inwardly projecting guide flanges for embracing glide flanges which project outwardly from the drawers. The drawer system therein disclosed is particularly adaptable for use in hospital environments since it offers features of versatility, cleanliness, and economy of manufacture and use.
While the invention as disclosed in the earlier application has a number of desirable features, one problem which is posed is that during storage of the drawers, it is possible for dust to enter the interior of the drawer. Indeed, this is even possible when a drawer is in use, as when a drawer is supported in a C-shaped supporting frame (see FIG. 1). Because of the nature of the supporting frame, it is readily possible for dust to enter the interior of the drawer.
Another problem which is posed is'that there is .no means for keeping people out of the drawer when it is supported in a frame as shown in FIG. 1. No locking means is provided for the drawer, and even if it were, one would still be able to reach directly into the top of the drawer if it were arranged in a manner, for example, as shown in FIG. 1.
In keeping with the goals set forth in the above-cited patent application, the present invention contemplates the provision of a cover for the drawers to keep their interiors dust free during use and storage. However, to our knowledge, no prior art drawer system teaches providing covers for drawers, which covers would not interfere with the stackability of the drawers. Indeed, to our knowledge, there are no prior art drawer systems which utilize covers.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention contemplates a drawer and a cover therefor which does not interfere with the stackability of one of the drawers on top of another. The drawer includes a stacking recess at the top of the drawer within which another drawer can be rested. The drawer cover has dimensions such that it also rests within the recess. But, the cover is thinner than the depth of the stacking recess whereby one drawer can be stacked on top of another even with a cover in place on the lower drawer.
The cover has a first flange at one end thereof extending upwardly beyond the top of the drawer and then extending outwardly from the top of the first flange out over one of the end walls to define a handle for handling the cover. To minimize the possibility of foreign matter entering the drawer when it is in storage, the drawer includes means for resiliently engaging the drawer walls whereby the cover is held firmly in place on the drawer.
The cover for the drawer also acts in combination with the drawer supporting frame to provide a means for preventing an unauthorized person from obtaining access to the drawer's contents. The drawer has outwardly projecting glide flanges. The support for the drawer comprises two spaced sides, each having at least one pair of vertically spaced, inwardly projecting guide flanges for embracing the glide flanges of the drawer. The cover for the drawer comprises a panel of suffi- I cient width that it rests on the drawer glide flanges and hence is itself embraced at either side of the drawer by the guide flanges of the support. The front wall of the drawer extends above the level of the panel as it rests on the glide flanges and the cover includes a flange projecting upwardly and outwardly from the panel, out over the top edge of the front wall of the drawer to provide a handle for handling the cover. The guide flanges extend sufficiently far forward and are sufficiently close together that the top guide flange, in cooperation with the front wall of the drawer, prevents the removal of the drawer cover when the drawer is in a closed position in the drawer support. By locking the drawer in a closed position, it becomes impossible to remove the drawer cover. Thus, access to the contents of a drawer is restricted even when there is an open space above the drawer as there is in the combination shown in FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS These and other objects and advantages of the invention will be seen and understood by reference to the written specification and appended drawings wherein:
,FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the drawer being supported in the drawer supporting frame;
FIG. 2 is a front view of the drawer;
FIG. 3 is a plan view of the drawer;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the drawer cover;
FIG. 5 is a cross section taken along plane V--V of FIG. 2 with the drawer cover being shown on the drawer, and with a second cover shown above the drawer to demonstrate the biased condition at its edges;
FIG. 6 is a cross section taken along plane VI-Vl of FIG. 3, with the drawer cover being shown in place on the drawer, and with a second cover shown above the drawer to demonstrate the biased condition at its edges;
FIG. 7 is a side perspective view of several drawers stacked one on top of the other with drawer covers in place;
FIG. 8 is a cross section taken along plane V--\/ of FIG. 2 and additionally showing a drawer cover in place on a drawer and a subsequent drawer stacked on top thereof,
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of a drawer having a tray insert in the stacking recess;
FIG. 10 is a cross section taken along plane XX of FIG. 9;
FIG. 11 is a perspective view of a corner of the drawer having a lock therein;
FIG. 12 is a fragmentary, perspective view of the front portions of interconnected guide flanges on the drawer supporting frame;
FIG. 13 is a fragmentary, plan view of the front corner of a drawer having a lock therein and of the front portion of one of the side walls of the drawer supporting frame;
FIG. 14 is a fragmentary, cross-sectional view showing a drawer and drawer cover in position in the drawer support; and
FIG. 15 is a front, fragmentary, cross-sectional view showing the drawer and drawer cover in position between a pair of spaced guide flanges.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 1 shows a drawerl supported in a drawer supporting frame 2. The drawer itself includes a recess 30 along three sides of the top perimeter of the drawer body 10 (FIGS. 2, 3 & 9). A cover 50 is placed on top of drawer 1 within the recess 30 (FIGS. 5 8r. 6). Cover 50 is thinner than the depth of recess 30 such that one drawer 1 can bestacked on top of another drawer l and will still be nested within recess 30 (FIG. 8). A tray insert 100 can also be nested within stacking recess 30 (FIG. 9) and also has a cross section at its sides which is thinner than the depth of recess 30 (FIG. 10).
Recess 30 is defined at the side walls 13 of drawer 1 by a pair of outwardly projecting glide flanges 31 (FIGS. 2 & 6). Each of these glide flanges 31 fits between a pair of spaced guide flanges, i.e. a top guide flange 61 and a bottom guide flange 64, projecting inwardly from the side 66 of support frame 2.(FIGS. 1 & Cover 50 rests on glide flanges 31 and accordingly is held down on drawer l by top guide flange 61 (FIG.15). A lock 70 (FIGS. 11 & 13) is preferably included in drawer l to provide a means for locking it in position in support 2 and for thereby preventing removal of cover 50.
Drawer body 10 of drawer 1 comprises a bottom 12, upstanding side walls 13, upstanding front wall 14 and an upstanding rear wall 15 (FIGS. 1 & 2). Front wall 14 and rear wall 15 are perfectly vertical (FIG. 5) in order to facilitate the stacking of drawers having different depths without allowing one drawer to actually nest within another lower drawer (FIG. 7). This feature of the invention has been explained in previous application Ser. No. 79,890. Front wall 14 of drawer body 10 extends beyond the side walls 13 at either side of drawer body 10 in order to provide a stacking rib 16 at either side of drawer body 10 (FIGS. 2 & 7). This feature has similarly been previously described. A pair of spaced feet 17 depend downwardly from the bottom 12 of drawer body 10 (FIG. 2) and a handle 18 is formed by a flange projecting outwardly and downwardly from the top of front wall 14 (FIG. 5).
Recess 30 extends along the top perimeter of side walls 13 and rear wall 15 (FIGS. 3 & 9). At the top of each side wall 13, recess 30 is formed by an outwardly projecting glide flange 31 (FIG. 2). A side shoulder 33 then projects upwardly from the edge of glide flange 31 and is continuous therewith to define the depth of recess 30 (FIG. 2). Similarly, a rear flange 32 projects rearwardly from the top of rear wall 15 and a rear shoulder 34 projects upwardly from the outside edge of rear flange 32 to define the rear portion of recess 30. In effect, the glide flanges 31 and rear flange 32 define a stacking ledge upon which subsequent drawers can be stacked and upon which cover 50 can be placed (FIGS. 5, 6 & 8). Side shoulders 33 and rear shoulder 34 then provide a means for preventing lateral and rearward shifting of cover 50 and of a drawer l stacked thereon.
Front wall 14 is taller than side walls 13 such that its top edge is generally continuous with the top edges of side shoulders 33 and rear shoulder 34 (FIGS. 1 8L 3). Thus, it also acts, in a sense, to define a recess, although it does not include a stacking ledge. It does act as a stop to prevent one from removing cover 50 by sliding it straight forwardly (FIG. 5) and similarly prevents one from sliding a stacked drawer 1 straight forwardly (FIG. 8).
Cover 50 comprises a large flat panel 51 (FIG. 4) having a flange 52 projecting upwardly from the front edge thereof. A second flange 53 projects outwardly from the top edge of flange 52. The upwardly projecting flange 52 and the outwardly projecting flange 53 thus provide a handle whereby cover 50 can be conveniently removed from drawer 1, even though the panel 51 of cover 50 is recessed within stacking recess 30 below the top edge of front wall 14 (FIG. 5). When cover 50 is seated in place on drawer l, flange 53 is spaced slightly above handle 18 and the top edge of drawer 14 due to the height of flange 52. Similarly, it projects outwardly over handle 18 such that it can be conveniently gripped to provide a convenient means for removing cover 50 from drawer 1.
Cover 50 is thinner in cross section than the height of side shoulder 33 and rear shoulder 34 (FIGS. 5 & 6). In other words, cover 50 is thinner than the depth of stacking recess 30. Consequently, a drawer 1 can be stacked on top of another drawer 1 even though a cover 30 is in place on the lower drawer 1. It should also be noted that the distance between rear shoulder 34 and front wall 14 is sufficiently great that the upper drawer 1 will flt within recess 30, even though a cover 50 is in place and its upwardly projecting flange 52 is disposed between the bottom of a drawer l and front wall 14 (FIG. 8). When the drawers 1 are stacked one on top of the other with the covers 50 in place, they have the appearance shown in FIG. 7.
To accomodate the feet 17 of drawer 1, panel 51 of cover 50 is recessed near its side edges to deflne foot recesses 59 (FIGS. 4, 5 & 6). Foot recesses 59 are approximately as deep as the height of feet 17 such that the engagement of feet 17 with cover 50 does not prevent drawer 1 from nesting properly within the stacking recess 30 of a lower drawer 1.
In order to minimize the possibility of cover 50 from being accidentally knocked ajar or removed when it is in place on drawer l, a resilient rib 54 depends downwardly from panel 50 and extends around the perimeter thereof (FIGS. 4, 5 &6). It is a grooved deformation in panel 50 forming an inner wall 56 joined to an outer wall 55 at the base of the groove (FIGS. 5 & 6). At the front of cover 50, the outer wall of rib 54 is defined by flange 52, which also forms a portion of the handle for cover 50.
The outer walls 55 of rib 54, and flange 52 at the front of cover 50, are biased outwardly as can be seen by reference to FIGS. 5 8L 6. Thus when cover 50 is inserted onto a drawer 1, these outer walls 55 and flange 52 must be forced inwardly. As a result, they forcibly engage the walls l3, l4 and 15 of drawer l. Consequently, cover 50 is held snugly in place on drawer 1.
Finally, a generally horizontal peripheral flange 57 extends along the sides and rear of cover 50 (FIGS. 4, 5 & 6). It is flange 57 which rests on the stacking ledge defined by glide flanges 31 and rear flanges 32 of drawer l.
The glide flanges 31 not only act to provide a stacking ledge and a ledge upon which cover 50 can be rested, but also they provide a means for hanging drawer l in drawer supporting structure 2 (FIG. 1).
Drawer supporting structure 2 comprises a rear wall 67 and a pair of forwardly projecting, spaced vertical side walls 66. Guides 60 are provided for embracing glide flanges 31 to thereby support drawer 1. The guides 60 are defined by a pair of spaced, inwardly projecting guide flanges. These include atop guide flange 61 and a bottom guide flange 64. Glide flanges 31 are then embraced by guide flanges 61 and 64 (FIG. 5).
Bottom guide flange 64 is generally straight and flat, extending from the rear wall 67 almost to the front of side wall 66 (FIG. 1). It includes an upwardly projecting deviation 65 near the front thereof which acts as a stop for drawer 1 in the manner which has heretofore been described in Ser. No. 79,890.
Top guide flange 6] begins about one-third to onehalf the distance from rear wall 67 and extends forwardly to an inclined portion 62. The inclined portion 62 slopes uwpardly to a raised front portion 63 which then extends as far forwardly as bottom guide flange 64 (FIG. 14). As has been heretofore described in application Ser. No. 79,890, the raised front portion 63 facilitates removal of drawer 1 from drawer supporting frame 2. However, it also allows clearance for the handle on cover 50, which handle is defined by upwardly projecting flange 52 and outwardly projecting flange 53 (FIG. 14). The spacing of raised front portion 63 allows flange 53 to be spaced a slight distance above handle 18 on drawer l to thereby make flange 53 easier to grasp.
Cover 50, since it rests on glide flange 31 of drawer 1, is also embraced by the guide flanges 61 and 64 of support 2 (FIG. It should be noted that upper guide flange 61, including inclined portion 62 and raised front portion 63, project forwardly a sufficient distance that they act to block the removal of cover 50 when drawer 1 is in its closed position. (FIG. 14). Thus, cover 50 cannot be raised because flange 53 will bump into the raised front portion 63 of top guide flange 61 (FIG. 14). Similarly, cover 50 cannot be removed by pulling it straight forwardly, since it sits down within recess 30 and front wall 14 of drawer body 10 extends upwardly a sufficient distance to block the removal of cover 50 by sliding it forwardly (FIG. 14). Thus, when drawer 1 is in its closed position, cover 50 cannot be removed therefrom.
Lock 70, which is optional on drawer 1, makes it possible to lock drawer l in place in support 2 (FIG. 13). Lock 70 is a cam-type lock having a body 71 (FIG. 3) and a lock pin 72 which can be projected from or retracted into lock body 71 (FIGS. 11 & 13). Lock body 71 is mounted with its front projecting through a hole in front wall 14 and with its lock pin 72 extending through a hole in side wall 13 (FIG. 11). Lock 70 acts to lock drawer 1 in place by cooperating with a blocking flange 68 projecting inwardly from side 66 of support 2 (FIGS. 1 8t. 12). Blocking flange 68 extends from the bottom guide flange 64 of one pair of spaced guide flanges to the top guide flange 61 of the next lower pair of spaced guide flanges (FIG. 1). Specifically, blocking flange 68 extends from the stop portion 65 of bottom guide flange 64 to the raised front portion 63 of the next lower top guide flange 61 (FIG. 12).
The stop pin 72 of lock 70 has been indicated in phantom in FIG. 12 to show the manner in which it cooperates with blocking flange 68 to lock a drawer 1 in place. This cooperation can similarly be seen in the fragmentary plan view, FIG. 13. Similarly in FIG. 14 the upper corner wall portion of wall 13 of drawer 1 has been cutaway to show stop lock pin 72 in abutting relationship with blocking flange 68..
Lock is encased on the inside of drawer 1 by means of a plastic encasement 73 which is adhered to the interior of drawer body 10 by means of glue or the like. Normally, such lock structures are either exposed on the interior of the drawer, or they are hidden by some type of double walled drawer structure. The use of a simple member encasement membe 73 greatly simplifles the construction of drawer 1 and yet provides surfaces which can be readily cleaned and which do not gather dust. It also keeps any grease or oil in the lock mechanism from getting on the inside of drawer 1.
Tray insert provides additional storage space for drawer 1 and it also rests on guide flanges 31 by means of supporting flanges 101 (FIG. 10). Tray 100 is specif' ically provided with a thin cross section such that its supporting flanges 101 are thinner than the depth of recess 30. In this manner, tray 100 does not interfere with the stackability of one drawer on top of another. Further, a drawer, bearing tray 100 could still be provided with a cover 50 when placed in support 2. This is because tray 100 and cover 50 are both thinner in cross section, at least at their edges, than the depth of recess 30. Accordingly, there is room for both within recess 30.
In operation, a drawer 1 can be filled at a remote location and provided with a cover 50 for storage. The cover 50 will not interfere with stacking and tits snugly to prevent accidental removal. Covered drawers 1 can be stacked one on top of another in the same manner as drawer stacking is contemplated by U.S. Pat. application Ser. No. 79,890 (FIG. 7).
When it is desired to use a filled drawer 1, it can be placed into a drawer supporting frame 2 which in turn can be supported at any desired location. Cover 50 can still be used to provide a means for keeping dust out of the interior of drawer 1. It can also provide a means for sealing the contents of drawer 1 from intruders. When drawer 1 is closed in frame 2 cover 50 cannot be removed therefrom because it is blocked by the front wall 14 ofdrawer body 10 and by top guide flange 61 of support 2. Look 70 can be locked to thereby prevent both the removal of drawer 1 from support 2 and the removal of cover 50 from drawer 1.
It is understood that the above is merely a preferred embodiment of this invention and that many changes and alterations can be made thereof without departing from its spirit and broader aspects.
The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilegeis claimed are defined as follows: i
1. A drawer and cover therefor, comprising: a bottom, side walls extending vertically from opposite sides of said bottom, front and rear walls extending vertically from said bottom and joined with the edges of said side walls to form a generally rectangular drawer; said side walls and rear wall including a horizontal, outwardly extending glide flange integrally formed therewith and including a vertical lip extending to the top of said walls to define an interior stacking recess along three sides of said drawer, as well as an exterior drawer glide along the exterior of said sides of said drawer for supporting said drawer in a cabinet; said front wall extending above the horizontal level of said flange of the remaining walls whereby one of said drawers can be stacked on top of another when the drawer is uncovered such that the bottom of said one of said drawers rests upon the stacking recess of said another of said drawers without shifting laterally or longitudinally of the lower drawer; and a cover for said drawer having dimensions such that it also fits within said stacking recess and rests upon said horizontal glide flange thereof and is adapted to move with said glide flange within a drawer guide; said cover being thinner than the depth of said recess whereby one drawer can be stacked on top of another when said cover is in place on the lower drawer and said vertical lip and the top edge of said front wall prevents longitudinal and lateral shifting of covered drawers when stacked.
2. The combination of claim 1 in which said drawer cover includes an outwardly biased, resilient rib, near at least twosides thereof projecting downwardly into said drawer and engaging the walls thereof whereby said cover fits snugly on said drawer.
3. The combination of claim 2 in which said rib is defined by a downwardly projecting groove in said cover whose outer wall is resiliently biased outwardly away from its inner wall; said cover including a generally horizontal peripheral flange extending outwardly from said outer wall of said groove for resting on said stacking recess.
4. The combination of claim 1 in which: said cover includes a flange at the front edge thereof projecting upwardly for a height greater than the depth of said recess and then outwardly over the front of said drawer to define a handle for said cover; the bottom of said drawer having a width such that it will rest on said stacking recess of a lower drawer and having a length less than the distance between said top portion of said rear wall and said top portion of said front wall by an amount equal to the thickness of said upwardly extending flange of said cover such that one of said drawers will stack within said recess of a lower one of said drawers even with said cover in place on said lower drawer.
5. The combination of claim 4 in which said drawer cover includes an outwardly biased, resilient rib, near at least two sides thereof projecting downwardly into said drawer and engaging the walls thereof whereby said cover fits snugly on said drawer.
6. The combination of claim 5 in which said rib is defined by a downwardly projecting groove in said cover whose outer wall is resiliently biased outwardly away from its inner wall; said cover including a generally horizontal peripheral flange extending outwardly from said outer wall of said groove for resting on said stacking recess; said groove existing around said cover near the peripheral edge thereof; the said outer wall of said groove at the front edge of said drawer being defined by said upwardly projecting flange at the front edge thereof.
7. A drawer and a cover therefor comprising: a drawer having four walls and including a recessed interior cover receiving seat extending around at least three of said walls near the top thereof; a cover for said drawer having an outwardly biased, resilient rib, near at least two sides thereof projecting downwardly into said drawer below said seat and engaging the walls thereof whereby said cover fits snugly onto said drawer; said cover being slightly bowed between said resilient ribs when not in place over said drawer; said cover ineluding a horizontal outwardly extending flange extending outwardly from each said resilient rib, integrally formed on said at least two sides of said cover and dimensioned to rest upon said seat of said drawer when said cover is positioned thereon.
8. The combination of claim 7 in which said rib is defined by a downwardly projecting groove in said cover whose outer wall is resiliently biased outwardly away from said inner wall; 'said cover including a generally horizontal peripheral flange extending outwardly from said outer wall of said groove for engaging the top of said drawer to prevent said cover from being accidentally pushed into said drawer.
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|U.S. Classification||312/107, 312/108|
|International Classification||A47B87/00, A47B87/02, A47B88/00|
|Cooperative Classification||A47B88/0003, A47B87/02|
|European Classification||A47B88/00A, A47B87/02|