US 3858270 A
A refrigerator cabinet has each of the pair of front wheels or rollers supported on a front frame member at opposite ends thereof for vertical adjustment. Each of the wheels is rotatably supported in a housing having guide flanges on each side for cooperation with tracks which are formed between the front frame member and a track member to cause the housing to move only vertically when a screw is rotated. The screw is connected to the top of the housing for rotation relative thereto and threaded in a horizontal flange of the front frame member.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Crowe Jan. 7, 1975 REFRIGERATOR CABINET HAVING 3,187,371 6/1965 Winnan et al. l6/l05 ADJUSTABLE WHEEL OR ROLLER gigs? grydolf et al. 16/ 1&5, I);
. 0 an  Inventor: William P. Crowe, Louisville, Ky. g  Assignee: General Electric Company, Primary ExaminerRoy D. Frazier Louisville, Ky. Assistant Examiner-Peter A. Aschenbrenner  Filed: Nov. 9, 1973 21 Appl. No.: 414,143  ABSTRACT A refrigerator cabinet has each of the pair of front wheels or rollers supported on a front frame member  U.S. Cl 16/19, l6/1O51,6l/63/12;, at pp ends thereof for animal adjustment Each  Int Cl B60b 33/04 of the wheels is rotatably supported in a housing hav-  Fie'ld 105 29 30 ing guide flanges on each side for cooperation with tracks which are formed between the front frame member and a track member to cause the housing to  Reerences Cited move only vertically when a screw is rotated. The
UNITED STATES PATENTS screw is connected to the top of the housing for rotation relative thereto and threaded in a horizontal flange of the front frame member.
2 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures Patented Jan. 7, 1975 FIG. 2
REFRIGERATOR CABINET HAVING ADJUSTABLE WHEEL R ROLLER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION In refrigerator cabinets, it is desired to be able to move a refrigerator from its normal stored position to enable access to the area of the floor on which the refrigerator cabinet is supported for cleaning purposes, for example. Thus, refrigerator cabinets have previously been supported on rollers or wheels to provide this mobility to the refrigerator cabinet.
When the refrigerator is in its stored position, it is necessary that the cabinet be level. US. Pat. No. 3,656,203 to Waflart, Jr. discloses an arrangement in which the front wheels of a refrigerator cabinet or other appliance are vertically adjustable to level the cabinet.
The present invention is an improvement of the vertical adjustment arrangement of the aforesaid Waflart,
Jr. patent in that a guide and track arrangement is employed to insure that each of the housings for the front wheels moves only vertically when adjustable. Furthermore, the present invention enables the adjusting screw to act directly on the wheel housing.
SUMMARY OF- THE INVENTION An object of this invention is to provide a refrigerator cabinet having vertically adjustable wheels or rollers to level the cabinet while still providing mobility thereto.
In accordance with the illustrated embodiment of the invention, a refrigerator cabinet has a frame member extending across its front and adjacent its bottom with the frame member supporting a wheel housing adjacent each end thereof with each of the wheel housings having a wheel rotatably supported thereby. The frame member supports a pair of rotatable means with each being connected to one of the wheel housings. The frame member and each of the wheel housings has cooperating means to allow each of the wheel housings to move only vertically relative to the frame member when the connected rotatable means is rotated to adjust the vertical position of the wheel housing relative to the frame member to level the reflrgerator cabinet.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The attached drawing illustrates a preferred embodiment of the invention, in which:
FIG. 1 is a side elevational view, partly in section, of the lower portion of a refrigerator cabinet utilizing the wheel assembly of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view, partly in section, of one of the wheel assemblies of the present invention and taken along line 2-2 of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 3 is a sectional view, partly in elevation, of the wheel assembly of FIG. 2 and taken along line 33 of FIG. 2.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring to the drawing and particularly FIG. 1, there is shown a refrigerator cabinet 10 having a substantially horizontal frame structure beneath a machinery compartment 11. The horizontal frame structure includes a transversely extending rear frame member 12 and a transversely extending front frame member For the purpose of providing the desired mobility of the refrigerator cabinet 10, a wheel or roller is disposed adjacent each of the four corners of the horizontal frame structure. A wheel or roller 15 (one shown) is supported at each of the two rear corners of the refrigerator cabinet on the rear frame member 12. The wheels or rollers are not adjustable.
A roller or wheel 16 is supported at each of the two front corners of the refrigerator cabinet 10 on the front frame member 14. Each of the wheels or rollers 16 is vertically adjustable to level the refrigerator cabinet 10 when it is moved to its desired position. Thus. the wheels 15 and 16 permit the refrigerator cabinet 10 to be rolled to any desired position, while still enabling leveling of the refrigerator cabinet 10 at the position in which it is normally located.
Each of the wheels or rollers 16 is rotatably supported in a wheel housing 17 by an axle 18. The housing 17 includes a horizontally disposed top wall 19 and a pair of vertically disposed and substantially parallel side walls 20 and 21 extending downwardly from the top wall 19 and integral therewith.
Each of the wheel housings 17 is supported on opposite ends of the front frame member 14 for vertical adjustment. The front frame member 14, which has a generally inverted L-shaped cross section (see FIG. 3),includes a vertically extending flange 22 and a horizontally extending flange 23, which extends rearwardly from the vertical flange 22. I
A pair of track members 24 (one shown) is mounted on the vertical flange 22 of the front frame member '14 in longitudinally spaced relation to each otherqEach of the track members 24 is secured by screws 25 tothe vertical flange 22.
Each of the track members 24 includes a central portion 26 (see FIG. '2), which is in contact with the rear surface of the vertical flange 22 and has the screws 25 extending therethrough to secure the track member '24 to the vertical flange 22, and offset end portions 27 and '28. As shown in FIG. 2, each of theoffset end portions 27 and 28 is spaced from the rear surface of the vertical flange 22 of the front frame member 14 to form tracks 29 and 30, respectively, between the front framemember 14 and the end portions 27 and 28, respectively.
The side walls 20 and 21 of each of the housings 17 have inwardly turned guide flanges 31 and32, respectively, for disposition within the tracks 29 and 30, respectively. Accordingly, with the flanges 31 and 32 disposed in the tracks 29 and 30, respectively, each of the housings 17 is movable only vertically relative to the front frame member ,14.
Each of the housings 17 is moved vertically relative to the front frame member '14 by a screw 33 (see FIG. 3), which is disposed in a threaded hole 34 in the horizontal flange 23 of the front frame member 14. The screw 33 extends through an opening 35, which is larger in diameter than the screw 33, in the top wall 19 of the housing 17. The screw 33 has a shoulder 36, which is of larger diameter than the opening 35 and is disposed between the lower surface of the horizontal flange 23 of the front frame member 14 and above the Thus, the screw 33 is connected to the housing 17 while being freely rotatable relative thereto. When the screw 33 is rotated in the threaded opening 34 to produce vertical movement of the screw 33, this causes vertical movement of the wheel housing 17 in the same direction through the guide flanges 31 and 32 of the side walls 20 and 21, respectively, riding in the tracks 29 and 30, respectively.
The screw 33 has a hexagonal shaped upper end 38 to enable rotation of the screw 33 by a suitable tool. When the screw 33 is rotated to move the wheel housing 17 vertically, the location of the axle 18 relative to the floor is moved vertically. This adjusts the level of the refrigerator cabinet 10.
While the present invention has shown and described control of the vertical movement of each of the housings 17 relative to the front frame member 14 as being by the guide flanges 31 and 32 riding in the tracks 29 and 30, respectively, it should be understood that only one of the guide flanges 30 and 31 and one of the tracks 29 and 30 need be employed. Furthermore, instead of using the tracks 29 and 30 and the guide flanges 31 and 32, it should be understood that any other suitable arrangement for insuring that the housing 17 moves vertically when the connected screw 33 is rotated may be employed.
An advantage of this invention is that it reduces the cost of manufacture of a wheel or roller for a refrigerator cabinet. Another advantage of this invention is that it provides an easy arrangement for leveling a refrigerator cabinet having mobility.
For purposes of exemplification, a particular embodiment of the invention has been shown and described according to the best present understanding thereof. However, it will be apparent that changes and modifications in the arrangement and construction of the parts thereof may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
1 claim: 7
1. A refrigerator cabinet, comprising:
a frame member having first and second portions and extending across the front of said cabinetadjacent the bottom thereof, said first portion being oriented generally vertically and said second portion being oriented generally horizontally;
a wheel housing supported on said frame member second portion adjacent each end thereof;
a wheel rotatably mounted on each wheel housing;
a pair of rotatable adjusting means each supported by said frame member second portion and connected to one of said wheel housings;
a pair of frame flange sets each connected to the frame member first portion adjacent one of the wheel housings, each frame set comprising a pair of opposed flanges each extending along and being spaced from the frame member first portion for forming a pair of spaced, generally vertical tracks; and
a housing flange set connected to each wheel housing, each housing flange set comprising a pair of opposed flanges oriented relative to a respective frame flange set for disposition in said tracks.
2. The refrigerator cabinet according to claim 1 in which each of said rotatable means comprises a vertically disposed screw threaded in said frame member second portion and connected to said wheel housing, said screw being freely rotatable relative to said wheel housing.