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Publication numberUS3763794 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 9, 1973
Filing dateDec 27, 1971
Priority dateDec 27, 1971
Publication numberUS 3763794 A, US 3763794A, US-A-3763794, US3763794 A, US3763794A
InventorsFleck D
Original AssigneeAmerican Hospital Supply Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Clamp assembly for supporting a wire shelf
US 3763794 A
Abstract
A clamp assembly for connecting a wire shelf to a support member. The clamp includes upper and lower brackets adapted to be secured to each other and in cooperative clamping relation with the support by means of a screw. The upper bracket includes a recess for receiving a wire rod of the shelf which is wedged and securely retained in the recess by the head of the screw and, in particular, by the conical bearing surface provided by that head.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent 1191 Fl k Oct. 9, 1973 [54.] CLAMP ASSEMBLY FOR SUPPORTING A 3,599,918 8/1971 Patchett 248/215 WIRE SHELF 1,049,396 1/1913 Rassmann 248/228 2,631,809 3/1953 Jacobson 248/228 [7 Inventor: avi C- eck, C n na O 1,707,933 4/1929 Gibbons 339/263 R 1,343,930 6/1920 Neely 24/125 R X [73] Assgnee' ai'zgz r gg fgg 3,068,445 12/1962 Crowther 24/125 R x [22] Filed: Dec. 27, 1971 Primary Examiner-James T. McCall Assistant Examiner-Peter A. Aschenbrenner [21] Appl' 212,488 Attorney-Dawson, Tilton, Fallon & Lungmus [52] U.S. Cl 108/64, 108/114, 2482/22/66; [57] ABSTRACT 51 Int. Cl A47b 57/00 A clamp assembly nnecting a wife a [58 Field of Search 108/64, 111, 114; member- The dam! includes and 21 182, 3. 339/263. 248/214 brackets adapted to be secured to each other and 1n 215 226 228 24/81 125 cooperative clamping relation with the support by means of a screw. The upper bracket includes a recess [56] References Cited for receiving a wire rod of the shelf which is wedged and securely retained in the recess by the head of the 2 23 8 8 iI PATENTS 335/263 R screw and, in particular, by the conical bearing suren b 3,191,140 6/1965 Coldren 339/263 R face provided y at hea 2,819,937 H1958 Bullock 108/64 14 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures 1 CLAMP ASSEMBLY FOR SUPPORTING A WIRE SHELF BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY The presentinven'tion relates to a clamp for connecting the transverse end rod of a wire shelf to a support member; and in the preferred embodiment, the clamp is adapted to secure the end rod of one horizontal shelving unit to a longitudinally extending front rail of a transversely positioned Shelving unit. Thus, the two shelving units extend at right angles, for example, in the formation of corner units or corner shelving assemblies. Other uses will be readily apparent to persons skilled in the art.

7 Corner braces or connectors have been suggested in the art. One such corner connector contemplates connection of the two transversely extending wire shelving units to a common vertical post. Another requires a preliminary assembly of the corner brace to a shelving unit which is then assembled to a second shelving unit already in place.

In the former type of corner shelving arrangement, the common vertical post becomes an obstacle to access of the shelf toward the corner. In the latter arrangement, assembly becomes somewhat difficult because the attaching shelving unit must be positioned and held in place while the corner brace is assembled to the unit which is already in place.

in the present system, a clamp is provided for connecting an end rod of a shelving unit to a front rail of a transversely extending siinilar shelving unit. The front rail has a vertical cross section shape in the form of a C with the ope'n portion of the channel facing toward the rear or wire rods forming a shelf. I

The clani'p includes upper and lower brackets which are adapted to be secured to each other and in cooper ative clamping relation with the C-shaped channel by means of a screw having a conically-shaped head.

The upper bracket of the clamp, in cross section, provides oppositely-facing channels. These channels face respectively downwardly and upwardly, and they are separated by a common wall portion of the upper bracket. The outward end of each channel is defined by an inclined portion which tapers toward the center of the bracket. Thus, the downwardly-facing rearchannel of the upper bracket fits snugly over the upper horizontal wall of the C-shaped channel forming the front rail of'a first shelving unit which has already been placed in the corner This upper bracket, may be moved longitudinally of the front rail of the first shelving unit, as desired; and it is an important aspect of the present invention that the upper bracket of the clamp when thus assembled to the front rail of the first shelving unit is stable enough to stippo'rt the weight of a second shelving unit, the end rod of which is placed in the upwardlyfacing channel of the upper bracket. I

The lower bracket of the clamp, when assembled to the upper bracket by means of the screw, cooperates withthe upper bracket to securely clamp to the front rail of the first shelving unit. The conical head of this screw wedges the end rod of the second shelving unit to the recess of the upwardly-facing channel of the upper bracket formed by the inclined outer wall of this channel. Thus, the end rod of the second shelving unit is firmly held against any radial motion, yet permitted to rotate about its axis in adjusting the second shelving unit during installation.

Thus, the present invention provides a corner clamp in which no special skills or tools are required for assembling two transversely extending shelving units toge'the'r. Further, the assembly facilitates horizontal alignment of the shelving units and disassembly of the two units if it is desired to modify the arrangement.

The clamp may be adjusted longitudinally of the front rail of the first shelving unit which permits a much wider range of adjustment than if it had to fit first between adjacent wire rods of the second unit since these are 'much more closely spaced than are the transverse support rods of a conventional shelving unit.

The wedging action of the screw in holding an end rod of a second shelving unit in place while permitting both longitudinal adjustment of the clamp along the front rail of the first unit as well as rotation of the second unit about its end rod is considered an important feature of the present invention not only for the reasons already mentioned, but also because of the economies of manufacture brought about by the present invention due to the simplicity of the structure.

Other features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent to persons skilled in the art from the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment accompanied by the attached drawing wherein identical reference numerals will refer to like parts in the various views.

THE DRAWING FIG. 1 is an upper perspective view of transversely Referring first to FIG. 1, there are shown portions of three separate shelving units designated respectively '10, i1 and 12. The two shelving 'units 10 and 11 are connected end to end, and the shelving unit 12 is connected in transverse relation with the shelving unit 11. Each of the shelving units 10-12 is similar in construction, so that only the shelving unit 11 need be described in detail to understand the invention.

The shelving unit 11 includes a plurality of longitudi nally extending wires or rods 13 The wires 13 extend parallel to each other and are spaced laterally of each other at fixed intervals. The wires 13 are welded to transversely-extending support rods 14 which may also be spaced at fixed intervals, but the spacing of the transverse support wires 14 is much greater than the spacing of the longitudinal wires 13. At each end of the shelving unit 11 there is an upper transverse end rod, only one of which is shown in FIG. 1 and designated 15.

The forward ends of the transverse rods 14 are welded to a front rail 16 which takes the form of a channel having the shape of a C, as best seen in cross section view in FIG. 3. The channel 16 is arranged so that the open portion of the C-shape faces the rear (i.e., the longitudinally extending rods 13). The front rail 16 therefore includes a vertical forward wall portion 17 and upper and lower horizontally extending wall portions 18 and 19.

Turning again to FIG. 1, the shelving unit 12 includes a horizontal upper end rod which is designated 20. The two shelving units 11, 12 are secured together so as to form a corner by means of clamps, one of which is shown in FIG. 1 and generally designated 21. The clamp 21 is better seen in FIGS. 2 and 3; and it includes an upper bracket 24, a lower bracket 25 and a screw The upper bracket 24 is formed to define a downwardly facing channel 27 and an upwardly facing channel 28. The channels 27, 28 are separated by a vertical wall portion 29. The channel 27 is further defined by a horizontal upper wall portion 30 and an inwardly inclined end wall 31. The channel 28, on the other hand, is further defined by a lower horizontal wall 32 and an outer, inwardly inclined wall 33. A clearance aperture 36 is provided in the bottom wall 32 of the channel 20 so as to receive the threaded screw 26.

The lower bracket 25 of the clamp 21 includes first and second horizontal flanges 37 and 38 separated by a vertical wall 39. The lower horizontal flange 37, as best seen in FIG. 3, is adapted to engage the lower surface of the lower wall 19 of the front rail 16 of the shelving unit 11 when the lower bracket 25 is assembled to. the upper bracket 24 of the clamp. The upper flange 38 is provided with internally threaded aperture 40 for threadedly receiving the screw 26. The screw 26, as mentioned, is threaded, and it includes a head 42 which defines an outer tapered wall 43 such as is commonly found in a flathead screw.

ASSEMBLY In the illustration of FIG. 1, shelving would be provided in a corner by first installing the shelving units and 11, the unseen upper corner of the shelving unit 11 fitting flush into the corner of a room. Next, the shelving unit 12 (sometimes referred to as the second shelving unit) is attached to the front rail 16 of the shelving unit 11 (sometimes referred to as the first shelving unit). Normally, only two of the clamps 21 are required to secure these two shelving units together; however, more clamps may be used if desired.

In making this connection, the upper bracket 21 of each of the clamps desired to be used is first placed onto the front rail 16 of the shelving unit 11 in a rotating motion. That is, the recess defined by the upper wall 30 and the inclined end wall 31 is first placed onto the distal end of the upper wall 18 of the C-shapedchannel 16, and the upper bracket 24 is then rotated downwardly until the center wall 29 of the upper bracket 24 engages the vertical wall 17 of the C-shaped channel 16, as seen in FIG. 3. The downwardly-facing channel 27 of the upper bracket 24 is so dimensioned as to snugly fit onto the upper portion of the front rail 16 and to be held there while the end rod 20 of the second shelving unit 12 is placed in the upwardly-facing channel 28 of the upper bracket 24. This is considered to be an important feature of the present invention because in being able to hold the second shelving unit 12 in a stable position without complete assembly of the clamp, the time required to connect the two shelving units is minimized. That is, with the end rod 20 of the second shelving unit 12 thus held, the person doing the assembly may then hold the lower bracket 25 of the clamping unit in the position shown in FIG. 3 with one hand and align the threaded aperture 40 with the clearance aperture 36 of the upper bracket and then, with the other hand, begin to thread the screw 26 into the lower bracket. In order to make the connection tight, of course, a screwdriver is used to tighten the screw 26; and this action causes the outer conical surface 43 of the screw 26 to wedge the end rod 20 of the second shelving unit 12 into the recess defined by the lower wall 32 and the inclined outer wall 33 of the upper bracket. It will be observed that these two walls are inclined at an acute angle so that the end rod 26 is completely trapped in this recess when the screw 26 is assembled to the bracket 25, thereby restraining the end rod 20 against lateral or vertical motion while permitting it to rotate about its axis, as indicated somewhat exaggeratedly in FIG. 3 in chain line. This facilitates aligning of the second shelving unit 12; and for other applications, of course, it permits the two shelving units to be fastened at inclined angles. That is, it permits one of the shelving units to assume a disposition other than the horizontal.

When this screw 26 is thus tightened, it not only wedges the end rod 20 into the recess described above, but it will be seen that the same action rigidly clamps the upper and lower brackets 24, 25 to the C-shaped front rail 16 of the first shelving unit 11.

Thus, the assembly or erection of two shelving units in a corner relation requires no special skills or tools, and this assembly is greatly facilitated by the construction of the corner clamp that has been described.

Persons skilled in the art will be able to modify certain of the structure while has been illustrated and to substitute equivalent elements for those which have been disclosed while continuing to practice the principle of the invention; and it is, therefore, intended that all such modifications and substitutions be covered as they are embraced within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A clamp connector for connecting a wire shelf with an end rod to a support means comprising: an upper bracket member and a lower bracket member adapted to be secured together and in cooperative clamping relation with said support means; said upper bracket member defining an upwardly-facing recess to receive and engage said end rod of said wire shelf; and a screw threadedly connecting said lower bracket member to said upper bracket member for drawing said bracket members towards each other into tight clamping engagement with said support means, said screw having an enlarged head disposed within said recess of said upper bracket member to wedge said end rod of said shelf into said recess when said upper and lower bracket members are in assembled relation and urged together by means of said screw into clamping engagement with said support means.

2. The connector of claim 1 wherein said upper bracket member includes a horizontal lower wall providing the base for said upwardly facing channel thereof and an inwardly inclined wall extending upwardly from the distal end of said horizontal wall and inclined at an acute angle relative to said horizontal wall to provide said recess.

3. The system of claim 2 wherein lower bracket member is provided with a horizontal wall portion for placement beneath the horizontal wall portion of said upper bracket member, said horizontal wall portion of said upper bracket member defining a clearance aperture for said screw and said horizontal wall portion of said lower bracket member defining a threaded aperture for receiving said screw, said clearance aperture and said threaded aperture being in register when said bracket members are in assembled relation with said shelf end rod.

4. The structure of claim 1 wherein said support means comprises an elongated C-shaped rail, the open end of said rail facing centrally of a shelf unit; said upper bracket member further comprising a downwardly-facing channel adapted to fit over said C- shaped rail in snug engagement with the upper wall member thereof; whereby said upper bracket member may be placed on said rail and support the first shelving unit by itself, thereby freeing an operator to assemble said lower bracket member and said screw to said upper bracket when in place.

5. The structure of claim 1 in which said screw is provided with an enlarged head having a downwardly and outwardly facing conical bearing surface engagable with said rod for wedging said rod within said upwardly-facing recess.

6. The structure of claim 2 in which said screw has an enlarged head engagable with said rod for retaining the same within said recess.

7. The structure of claim 6 in which said head provides a downwardly and outwardly facing conical bearing surface engagable with said rod for wedging the same against said inwardly inclined wall of said upper bracket member.

8. A clamp connector for connecting a wire shelf with an end rod to a support means comprising: an upper bracket member and a lower bracket member adapted to be secured together and in cooperative clamping relation with said support means; said upper bracket member defining an upwardly-facing recess to receive and engage said end rod of said wire shelf; and a screw adapted to secure said upper and lower brackets together, said screw being disposed to partially define said recess of said upper bracket member to wedge said end rod of said shelf into said recess when said upper and lower bracket members are in assembled relation and secured together by means of said screw; said support means comprising an elongated C-shaped rail, the open end of said rail facing centrally of a shelf unit; said upper bracket member further comprising a downwardly-facing channel adapted to fit over said C- shaped rail in snug engagement with the upper wall member thereof; whereby said upper bracket member may be placed on said rail and support the first shelving unit by itself, thereby freeing an operator to assemblesaid lower bracket member and said screw to said upper bracket member when in place; said upper bracket member including first and second horizontal wall members joined by a vertically-extending wall member and further including inwardly inclined end wall members, thereby to define said downwardlyfacing channel for attachment to said upper wall member of said C-shaped rail, the horizontal wall of said upwardly extending recess partially defining said recess for receiving the end rod of said shelf and further defining a clearance aperture for said screw.

9. A system for connecting a first wire shelving unit with a second transversely extending wire shelving unit to form a corner assembly comprising: a longitudinally extending front channel on said first shelving unit opening inwardly thereof; a transversely extending end rod on said second shelving unit; an upper bracket having a downwardly facing channel and an uwardly facing channel separated by a vertically extending wall member, said downwardly facing channel being adapted to snugly attach to said rail of said first shelving unit in a stable position sufficient to hold the wieght of said second shelving unit when said end rod thereof is placed in said upwardly-facing channel of said upper bracket, said upwardly-facing channel further including a horizontal wall providing a clearance aperture; a lower bracket having an upper horizontal wall adapted to engage the lower surface of the horizontal wall of said upwardly-facing channel of said upper bracket and a lower horizontal wall adpated to engage the lower side of said front rail of said first shelving unit when assembled thereto, said upper horizontal wall of said lower bracket providing a threaded aperture for registering with the clearance aperture of said upper bracket; and a screw adapted to fit through said clearance aperture of said upper bracket and be threadedly received in the aperture of said lower bracket to secure said brackets together in cooperative clamping relation with said front rail, said screw having an enlarged head engaging the end rod of said second shelving unit when the same is placed in said upwardly-facing channel to limit radial movement of said end rod.

10. The structure of claim 9 in which said head is provided with a downwardly and outwardly facing surface engaging said end rod and wedging the same tightly within the upwardly facing channel of said upper bracket.

11. The structure of claim 10 in which said upper bracket includes an inwardly and upwardly inclined wall engaging said rod on a side opposite from said screw, whereby, said rod is clamped between said inclined wall and said conical surface.

12. In combination with a wire shelf having an end rod, and support means for said shelf, an upper bracket member and a lower bracket member clampingly engaging said support means, said upper bracket member defining an upwardly-facing recess receiving and engaging said end rod of said shelf, and a screw passing through an aperture in said upper bracket member and threadedly received in an aperture in said lower bracket member, said screw having an enlarged head disposed within said recess of said upper bracket member and tightly engaging said rod to wedge said rod within said recess and simultaneously to urge said upper and lower bracket members into tight clamping engagement with said support means.

13. The structure of claim 12 in which said upper bracket member includes a horizontal lower wall providing the base for said upwardly-facing recess and an inwardly-inclined wall extending upwardly from the distal end of said horizontal wall and inclined at an acute angle relative to said horizontal wall.

14. The connector of claim 12 in which said support means comprises a rail having horizontal and vertical wall members, said upper bracket member defining a downwardly-facing channel receiving the horizontal wall member of said rail, whereby, said upper bracket member may be placed on said rail for supporting said end rod and shelf prior to the threaded attachment of said lower bracket member and prior to the tightening of said screw for the simultaneous clamping of said bracket members against said rail and the anchoring of said rod within said recess.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1049396 *Nov 12, 1912Jan 7, 1913Hugo C RassmannTrack-hanger.
US1343930 *Aug 22, 1917Jun 22, 1920Neely Joseph AAttaching device for trolley-hangers
US1707933 *Jun 1, 1928Apr 2, 1929William J GibbonsLocking device for screws and the like
US2231868 *Feb 26, 1940Feb 18, 1941Square D CoSolderless connector
US2631809 *Sep 30, 1950Mar 17, 1953Level Line Ceiling IncFurring hanger
US2819937 *Aug 15, 1955Jan 14, 1958Steelcase IncMeans for joining desk and table together with edges abutting
US3068445 *Sep 21, 1959Dec 11, 1962Crowther Edmond CElectrical connector
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3994242 *Oct 8, 1975Nov 30, 1976A/S E. Damberg GroupGusset for shelves
US5513908 *Jun 2, 1994May 7, 1996Kloppenberg & CompanyModular system for assembling food service fixtures
US6478112 *Jan 4, 2001Nov 12, 2002Protecta International, Inc.Rail mounted fall arrest assembly
US7086543Aug 1, 2005Aug 8, 2006Clairson, Inc.Standard and track shelving systems
US9788667 *Jul 16, 2014Oct 17, 2017Fasteners For Retail, Inc.Lock for securing front rail to wire shelving
US20050284828 *Aug 1, 2005Dec 29, 2005Remmers Lee EStandard and track shelving systems
US20060011568 *Sep 21, 2005Jan 19, 2006Remmers Lee ETrack-mounted shelving systems and components
US20150023727 *Jul 16, 2014Jan 22, 2015Fasteners For Retail, Inc.Lock for securing front rail to wire shelving
US20160362250 *Jun 11, 2016Dec 15, 2016J&L Wire Cloth, LLCBarrier panel assemblies and storage rack assemblies including same
EP0389864A2 *Mar 13, 1990Oct 3, 1990Selfix, Inc.Support mounting system; and mounting and support system
EP0389864A3 *Mar 13, 1990Jan 9, 1991Selfix, Inc.Support mounting system; and mounting and support system
Classifications
U.S. Classification108/64, 108/181, 248/231.61, 108/192, 211/182
International ClassificationA47B55/00, A47B55/02, A47B96/06
Cooperative ClassificationA47B96/067, A47B55/02
European ClassificationA47B55/02, A47B96/06R
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jan 30, 1990ASAssignment
Owner name: BAXTER INTERNATIONAL INC.
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:BAXTER TRAVENOL LABORATORIES, INC., A CORP. OF DE;REEL/FRAME:005050/0870
Effective date: 19880518
Dec 9, 1988AS02Assignment of assignor's interest
Owner name: BAXTER INTERNATIONAL INC.
Owner name: INTERNATIONAL INDUSTRIES, INC., 5500 MUDDY CREEK R
Effective date: 19881202
Dec 9, 1988ASAssignment
Owner name: INTERNATIONAL INDUSTRIES, INC., 5500 MUDDY CREEK R
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:BAXTER INTERNATIONAL INC.;REEL/FRAME:004998/0432
Effective date: 19881202
Mar 2, 1987ASAssignment
Owner name: BAXTER TRAVENOL LABORATORIES, INC. A CORP. OF DE
Free format text: MERGER;ASSIGNOR:AMERICAN HOSPITAL SUPPLY CORPORATION INTO;REEL/FRAME:004760/0345
Effective date: 19870126