US 3846005 A
A kitchen utensil storage unit whereby utensils, such as knives, can be stored in a readily accessible housing hingedly mounted to the underside of a kitchen cabinet. The unit comprises a shallow, box-like housing, which is either hinged to a frame support, which is affixed to the cabinet, or hinged directly to the cabinet itself; and wherein a slidable hinge device is operably disposed between the housing and frame support for lowering the housing to a depending angle, thereby exposing a utensil-mounting block fixedly secured within the housing. A snap latch is provided at the free end of the housing whereby the housing can be retained in a closed position.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 Harper et al.
[ .11 3,846,005 [45'] Nov. 5, 1974 UTENSIL STORAGE UNIT  Inventors: Marie R. Harper, 13947 Whiteroek, La Mirada, Calif. 90638; Maxine R. Blea, 12906 Longworth, Norwalk, Calif. 90650  Filed: Sept. 4, 1973  Appl. No.: 394,299
Related 1.1.8. Application Data  Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 296,716, July 7,
1972, abandoned Primary Examiner-Paul R. Gilliam Attorney Ag or F rmrfraeeisfi L0 l wns  ABSTRACT A kitchen utensil storage unit whereby utensils, such as knives, can be stored in a readily accessible housing hingedly mounted to the underside of a kitchen cabinet. The unit comprises a shallow, box-like housing, which is either hinged to a frame support, which is affixed to the cabinet, or hinged directly to the cabinet itself; and wherein a slidable hinge device is operably disposed between the housing and frame support for lowering the housing to a depending angle, thereby exposing a utensil-mounting block fixedly secured within the housing. A snap latch is provided at the free end of the housing whereby the housing can be retained in a closed position.
2 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures PATENTEUunv 5 1974 3.846005 SHEET 10F 3 UTENSIL STORAGE UNIT CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This application is a continuation-in-part of the following:
Inventors: MARIE R. HARPER and MAXINE R.
BLEA Title: UTENSIL STORAGE UNIT Serial No.: 296,716 now abandoned Filed: July 7,-1972 BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a utensil storage device, and
more particularly to a device for storing kitchen knives in a very accessible manner.
2. Description of the Prior Art As is well known in the art, various problems and difficulties have been encountered in providing a safe,
simple area, and/or device, in which knives used in the home can still be readily accessible. Generally, kitchen utensils are stored in cabinet drawers. These drawers are at a height whereby small children can easily reach them. This, therefore, provides an unsafe condition. However, generally the placing of dangerous, sharp objects in areas that are not easily accessible also makes it inconvenient for those in need of using such objects.
Thus, there is needed a simple, readily-accessible storage device that is easy to operate and economical for the average homeowner to have installed.
To the applicants knowledge, there is no such device wherein sharp knives can be stored in a very inconspicuous area, with easy accessibility, and at the same time outside the reach of small children.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION such a manner that they are held in place, regardless of the position of the housing. One end of the housing is hingedly connected to a frame support which is secured, generally, to the underside of a kitchen cabinet. The opposite or free end of the housing is provided with a snap-latching means whereby the housing is held in a closed position within the frame support until access is required thereto, and at this time the housing is lowered by a knob to a depending angle through hinging means that is disposed between the housing and frame support.
An alternative arrangement is also included within this disclosure wherein the hinging means is directly secured to the underside of the kitchen cabinet, without the use of a frame support. However, this hinging means is of a different design, said means being spring loaded to provide the necessary, positive, closed position.
OBJECTS AND ADVANTAGES OF THE INVENTION The present invention has for an important object a provision whereby sharp kitchen knives can be stored in a safe manner and yet be readily accessible when needed.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a kitchen-utensil-storage device that is capable of being operably located beneath hanging kitchen cabinets.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a kitchen-utensil-storage device that comprises a retractable housing that is exposed for use only when necessary.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a device of this character that is relatively inexpensive to manufacture.
It is still a further object of the invention to provide a device of this character that is easy to install on an existing kitchen cabinet without the need for special tools.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide a device of this character that is easy to maintain.
Other characteristics, advantages and objects of this invention can be more readily appreciated from the following description and appended claims. When taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, this description forms a part of the specification wherein like references and characters designate corresponding parts in several views.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS Referring more particularly to the accompanying drawings, which are for illustrative purposes only:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating the present invention secured to a kitchen cabinet with the housing portion thereof in an open position;
FIG. 2 is a side-elevational view of the invention with a portion broken away to show the knives disposed in the mounting block;
FIG. 3 is a side-elevational view showing the housing thereof in an open position;
FIG. 4 is a top-plan view with a corner thereof broken away to better illustrate the hinging means;
FIG. 5 is a side-elevational view of the alternative embodiment;
FIG. 6 is a partial, side-elevational view of the device in an open mode;
FIG. 7 is a sectional view taken along line 7-7 of FIG. 5;
FIG. 8 is a top-plan view of an alternative arrangement;
FIG. 9 is a partial, enlarged sectional view taken substantially along line 9-9 of FIG. 8; and
FIG. 10 is a reduced, top-plan view of the housing having a plurality of partitions positioned therein.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring more particularly to the drawings, there is shown in FIG. 1 a hanging kitchen cabinet, indicated generally at 10, having fixedly secured to the underside of its bottom shelf 12 a kitchen-utensil-storage device, generally indicated by reference character 14. Said kitchen utensil storage device 14 can be designed to hold various kitchen utensils. However, the present disclosure relates to knives which are to be kept out of the reach of small children, yet providing easy access thereto. Therefore, said device is shown operably secured to the kitchen cabinet and comprises a shallow, rectangular housing 16 being defined by a front wall 18 and a rear wall 20 interconnected by side walls 22 and 24, respectively. Covering the lower portion of the housing 16 is a bottom wall 26 fastened to the abovementioned walls in any known, suitable manner such as glueing, nailing, screwing or stapling.
Disposed within the central area of the housing and affixed to the bottom 26 is a utensil-mounting block 28 having a plurality of slightly-diagonal, transverse slots 29 cut-therein. Said slots are also cut to a depth of at least half that of the blocks thickness, as seen in FIG. 2. This disclosure illustrates the utensils as being knives 30 and, therefore, a suitable width for the slots is shown in order to accommodate said knives. However, the slots can vary in width, depending on the particular utensils to be disposed therein.
Hence, to provide the storage housing with the capability of being opened and closed with ease, a support frame, generally indicated at 32, is fixedly secured to the lower side of said bottom shelf 12 by a plurality of screws 33, as seen in FIGS. 2 and 3. The support frame comprises a pair of end walls 34 and 36, respectively,
interconnected by a pair of side walls 38 and 39, re-
spectively. As seen in FIG. 4, said storage housing is interposed within support frame 32, whereby the rearward end portion is adapted with oppositely-disposed hinging means, indicated generally by reference 40. The hinging means includes a substantially flat bar 42 provided with counter-sunk holes 44, and each hole is adapted to receive a pivotscrew member 45, whereby each end of each bar 42 is permitted to rotate thereon. However, to provide stability to the swingable storage housing 16, there is also included a pair of guide pins 46 secured to the ends of side walls 22 and 24, from which said pins project outwardly so as to be received in longitudinal slots 48, thereby permitting the storage housing to hang in such a manner as to give an easy access to the utensils stored therein. (See FIG. 3.)
Referring to FIG. 4, there is shown a latching means having a spring-loaded, head member 50, disposed in the face of said front wall 18 and biased outwardly by spring 52, for positive engagement with a detent member 54, said member 54 being secured to the inner face of end wall 34 of the frame support 32.
Thus, the storage housing is held in a closed position when not in use and can be readily pulled to an open position by any suitable pull means, such as knob 56 which is fastened to bottom wall 26.
ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENT Referring now to FIGS. 5 through 7, there is illustrated an alternative arrangement of the utensil-storage device in which the storage housing, generally indicated at 60, is operably attached directly to the underside of the bottom shelf 12 of cabinet 10. That is, the support frame as disclosed hereinbefore is no longer required since said housing 60 is hingedly secured by a spring-loaded, cam-action, hinge and combinationlatch means 62. Said housing is constructed in a similar manner to that as previously described, having one portion of the hinge means attached to its rear wall, while the other stationary portion isfixedly secured to the shelf 12.
Thus, the means comprises a pair of arm members 64 and 65, pivotally connected at one end by pin 66. Arm 64 is a stationary member affixed to cabinet 10 by suitable means such as screws 67, and arm 65 is also suitably affixed to housing 60 by screws 68. Said arm 64 is provided with an ear member 69, to which a pin is mounted inwardly therefrom to form a springlatching means. The spring-latching means includes a spring 72 disposed about pin 70 formed with a depend ing leg 74 which is biased against back plate 76. Additionally, there is an upstanding, biased, L-shaped leg member 78, said leg 78 being provided with a rubber roller 79 which makes positive engagement with arm 64 along its concave, cam-like edge 80. (See FIGS. 7 and 8.) When storage housing 60 is in a closed position, leg 78 forces roller 79 against said edge 80. The force against said edge 80 is greater than the weight of the housing and the utensils disposed therein. However, when said housing is pulled downwardly, this spring force is then overcome, as seen in FIG. 6. The roller is held ata predetermined distance from back plate 76 by horizontal extension 82. Thus, roller 79 is permitted to re-engage the edge 80 when said housing is being closed. It should be understood, however, that there are many suitable spring hinges and latches which are commercially available that will perform to provide the end results necessary to operate the herein-disclosed invention.
Referring now to FIGS. 8 and 9, there is still another embodiment of the utensiI-storage device. Said storage device comprises a storage housing, generally indicated at 85, and is similar to the other embodiments. It can be attached to various stationary members as represented at 86 in FIG. 9. The storage housing is shown as being defined by a bottom wall 88, front wall 90, side walls 92 and 94, and a rear wall 96, all of which are integrally formed as a single unit.
A pair of hinge means 98 is secured to the inner face 99 of the rear wall 96 and is similar in construction to that described and shown in FIGS. 5 through 7. However, the hinge is rearranged to match the design of this particular housing. That is, the hinges are secured in such a manner that they are disposed within the housing 85, having the arm portions 100 of each spring received in a slot 102 formed in the rear wall 96, and with one arm being attached directly to wall 96 and the other arm being directly secured to a mounting bar 104. Said mounting bar 104 is so arranged that it is received within the housing 85 when said housing is in a closed position, as seen in FIG. 9. Slots 106 are also provided along one edge of said bar 104 to accommodate the arm 100. In addition, the bar includes holes 108 by which screws (not shown) are received therein and whereby the storage device is readily mounted. Thus, it can be seen that this unit is designed to eliminate all outside obstructions.
Further, a utensil-mounting block 110 is included, but in this embodiment said mounting block 110 is removably disposed within the housing. It is contemplated that the various uses for the storage device will be more fully utilized by the removability of said block or the relocation of said block within the housing, as indicated in phantom lines in FIG. 8. Hence, in order to provide a more stable condition for the block, particularly when said housing is in an open mode, there is provided a longitudinal rib member 112. This rib is formed as an integral part of the bottom wall 88, protruding upwardly and having a forwardly-inclined wall surface 114, a flat top surface 116, and a rear flat wall surface 118, which is adapted to be received in a matching transverse keyway 120 disposed in the bottom of said block 110.
Accordingly, with the above rib member being provided as described, it is contemplated that various other arrangements can be established with respect to other uses for said device. This is readily illustrated in FIG. wherein the block 110 has been replaced by a plurality of partitions 122, thereby providing a'plurality of storage pockets or compartments 124.
The invention and its attendant advantages will be understood from the foregoing description and it will be apparent that various changes may be made in the form, construction and arrangement of parts of the in vention without departing from the spirit and scope thereof or sacrificing its material advantages, the arrangement hereinbefore described being merely by way of example, and we do not wish to restricted to the specific forms shown or uses mentioned, except as defined in the accompanying claims.
1. A utensil storage unit operably attached to the bottom of a kitchen cabinet shelf, wherein knives and the like are removably stored, said unit comprising:
a box-like housing having a front wall,
a rear wall,
a pair of side walls interconnected to said front and rear walls, and
a bottom wall;
a hinging means secured to one end of said housing,
whereby said housing can be rotated in a downward, angular, open position, and wherein said hinge means comprises:
a stationary arm member fixedly secured to said cabinet,
a second arm member secured to said housing,
a pivot pin interconnecting both of said arm members, whereby said second arm rotates thereon with respect to said stationary arm member;
a biasing spring supported by said stationary arm member, and wherein said spring includes:
a depending leg biased against said stationary arm member,
an upstanding biased leg, and
a roller mounted to the upstanding leg, whereby direct latching contact is made with said second arm member when said housing is moved to a closed position;
a latching means positioned on said unit to hold said housing in a closed position; and a utensil-mounting block removably disposed within said housing, said block having a plurality of diagonal, transverse slots for reception of said utensils, said hinge means is combined with said latching means, and wherein said roller engages an outer,
cammed edge surface of said second leg to hold said housing in a closed, latched position; the bottom wall of said housing includes an elongated rib member formed as an integral part thereof to protrude upwardly therefrom, and wherein said utensil-mounting block is provided with a transverse keyway for reception of said rib member, thereby allowing said block to be removably positioned along said rib member.
2. A utensil storage unit as recited in claim 1, wherein said elongated rib member is defined by a forwardlyinclined wall surface, a top wall surface, and a rear, flat wall surface; and wherein said keyway is provided with a matching wall surface whereby said block is held in a stable position within said housing during the opened and closed mode thereof.