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Publication numberUS3881793 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 6, 1975
Filing dateJan 2, 1974
Priority dateJan 2, 1974
Publication numberUS 3881793 A, US 3881793A, US-A-3881793, US3881793 A, US3881793A
InventorsAnderson Kenneth M
Original AssigneeAvm Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Anti-tilt mechanism
US 3881793 A
Abstract
In a filing cabinet having a plurality of aligned drawers supported for horizontal movement between closed and open positions, the improvement of an anti-tilt mechanism for preventing the opening of other of such drawers after a first drawer has been opened.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent Anderson May 6, 1975 [54] ANTI-TILT MECHANISM 3,404,929 10/1968 Wright et a] 312/216 [75] Inventor: Kenneth M. Anderson, Jamestown, 3,622,216 11/1971 Havnost 312 219 [73] Assignee: AVM Corporation, Jamestown,

NY. Primary ExaminerPaul R. Gilliam Assistant Examiner-Andrew M. Calvert [22] Ffled: 1974 Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Bean & Bean 211 App]. No.: 429,750

[57] ABSTRACT 52] U5. Cl 312/217; 312/276 In a filing cabinet having a plurality of aligned drawers [51] Eosb 65/46; EOSC 15/04; A47b 81/00 supported for horizontal movement between closed [58] Fleld of Search 312/217, 218, 219, 216 and open positions the improvement of an ammflt mechanism for preventing the opening of other of [56] References C'ted such drawers after a first drawer has been opened.

UNITED STATES PATENTS I D F 3,371,974 3/1968 Vermeersch 312/218 15 Clams 8 gums 5 F I I I I I 5 r I I i s I i I PATENIEUHAY' SISTS SHEET 10F 3 FIG. 1

FIG. 2a

PATENTEMY 61975 SHEET 3 OF 3 FIG- 5 FIG. 6

ANTI-TILT MECHANISM BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to filing cabinets of the type having a plurality of drawers arranged in linear alignment with one another and more particularly to an antitilt mechanism for interlocking the drawers within such cabinet so that once any given drawer has been opened, the other drawers are prevented from being extended in order to prevent the filing cabinet from becoming unbalanced.

More particularly, the present invention is directed towards an improvement in anit-tilt mechanisms of the general type disclosed in US. Pat. No. 3,454,320. In this prior mechanism, a plurality of cam members are fixed for simultaneous rotation with a rod and spaced therealong one in association with each of a plurality of abutments carried one by each drawer. Each cam member is formed with two finger elements, which successively cooperate with leading and trailing surfaces of the abutment carried by the first drawer to be opened for initially moving all of the cam members into a drawer latched condition as the first drawer is opened and then returning such cam members to drawer unlatched condition as such first drawer is closed. When the cam members are in their drawer latched condition, engagement of the leading surfaces of the abutments of the other drawers with their associated cam members serves to prevent opening of such other drawers.

It is believed that an undesirable feature of this general type of construction is the manner in which the latched and unlatched conditions of the cam members are defined. Specifically, the latched and unlatched conditions are defined by resiliently driving the finger elements alternately into engagement with a side wall of the cabinet. Thus, this construction will produce noise each time a drawer is moved either in or out and repeated striking of the finger elements against the cabinet side wall may cause the formation thereof, particularly when formed of a thin gauge metal.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention is directed towards an improved anti-tilt mechanism for interlocking the drawers of a cabinet, so that once any given drawer has been opened, the other drawers are prevented from being extended in order to prevent unbalancing of the cabinet.

DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a drawer file cabinet with portions thereof broken away to show the anti-tilt mechanism of the present invention;

FIG. 2a is a sectional view taken generally along the line 2-2 in FIG. 1 and showing a cam member of the mechanism arranged in drawer unlatched condition adjacent its associated drawer;

FIG. 2b is a view similar to FIG. 2a, but showing the drawer moved into open position and the resultant drawer latched condition of its associated cam member;

Flg. 3a is a sectional view taken generally along the line 3-3 in FIG. 1, and showing the condition of the spring device when all drawersare in closed position;

FIG. 3b is a view similar to FIG. 30, but showing the condition of the spring when a drawer has been moved into open position;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken generally along the line 4-4 in FIG. 1 and showing a cam member when in drawer latched condition in association with a closed drawer;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken generally along the line 55 in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 2a, but showing an alternate form of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION The present invention possesses utility in cabinets of the general type having two or more linearly aligned drawers, wherein it is desired to prevent opening of other drawers after a first drawer has been opened in order to prevent unbalancing of the cabinet. A preferred form of the invention will now be described with initial reference to FIG. 1, wherein a typical vertical file cabinet is generally designated as 10 and shown as including a plurality of file drawers 12 mounted in a spaced, vertically aligned relationship for horizontal movements between closed and open positions by rail structures 14, which are in turn suitably supported within the cabinet casing or frame 16, as by vertically disposed U-shaped, support channels 18. It will be understood that drawers l2, rail structures 14 and cabinet casing 16 may be of any conventional construction, other than that illustrated in the drawings and thus the invention to be hereinafter described is not to be considered as being limited thereto.

Interlocking of drawers 12 for the purpose of preventing other drawers from being opened after a first drawer has been opened, is effected by the anti-tilt mechanism of the present invention, which is generally designated as 20 in FIGS. 1 and 5. Mechanism 20 includes an elongated rod 22; a plurality of latch devices 24, which are arranged one in association with each of, that is, carried one by each of drawers 12; a plurality of cam members or devices 26, which are spaced lengthwise of rod 22 one in operative association with each of latch devices 24; and a spring device 28. It will be understood that the term plurality as used herein is meant to include two or more, and that therefore the term other drawers is meant to include one or more additional file cabinet drawers.

With particular reference to FIGS. 1, 2a and 5, it will be understood that in a preferred form of the present invention, rod 22 is mounted in and by casing 16 to extend perpendicular to and immediately adjacent drawers 12, as by being end journaled within circular cutouts 30 and 32 formed in upper and lower casing structural parts 34 and 36, respectively. Sidewise movement or deflection of rod 22 intermediate its ends may be prevented by angle brackets 38, which are formed with rod receiving or journaling circular openings 40 and fixed to one of support channels 18. Preferably, rod 22 is of a non-round, such as square, cross-sectional configuration in order to facilitate mounting of the cam members 26 in the manner to be described.

Each of latch devices 24 may be considered as including an abutment and a stop. In the preferred form of the invention best shown in FIGS. 2a-5, each stop is defined by the outwardly facing surface of a side wall 12a of its associated drawer; and each abutment is defined by a flange 42, which is fixed to a rear end poriton of its associated drawer side wall 12a, as by welding, and arranged to extend forwardly in a diverging relationship relative to such outwardly facing surface. Flange 42 may be considered as having leading and trailing surfaces 42a and 421), respectively, relative to its path of travel as its associated drawer is moved towards open position in the direction indicated by arrow 44 in FIG. 2a and 2b.

Cam members 26 are shaped to define an operator finger 46 and an interlock-return finger 48, which are arranged in an essentially right angular relationship and extend horizontally and radially of the rotational or lengthwise extending axes of rod 22. Operator finger 46 may be considered as having an operator or rearwardly disposed edge surface 46a, where interlock-return finger 48 may be considered as haivng a return or forwardly disposed edge surface 48a, an interlock or rearwardly disposed edge surface 48b and a stop or intermediate edge surface 480.

Cam members 26 may be fixed for simultaneous rotation with rod 22 in any suitable manner. However, they are preferably coupled for conjunctive rotation by forming each cam member with an aperture 50, which extends vertically therethrough and has a non-round configuration corresponding to that of rod 22. Apertures 50 are dimensioned to permit cam members 26 to be freely slid onto rod 22 in order to facilitate assembly of mechanism the cam members being thereafter constrained against movement downwardly along the rod surface engagement with angle brackets 38.

It will be understood that cam members 26 alternately assume first drawer unlocked and second drawer latched conditions, shown in FIGS. 2a and 2b, respectively. When the cam members 26 are in their first condition, which they assume when all drawers are closed, their operator fingers 46 are arranged in operative alignment with the path of travel of their associated abutment 24 and their interlock-return fingers 48 are removed from such alignment. On the other hand, when the cam members are in their second condition, which they assume when any one of drawers 12 has been opened, their interlock-return fingers are disposed in operative alignment with their associated abutments and their operator fingers are removed form such alignment. Cam members 26 are moved or rotated through about 45 from their first condition into their second condition upon movement of a first of drawers 12 into open position by driving surface engagement of leading surface 42a of its abutment 42 with operator edge surface 460 of its operatively associated operator finger 46. Thereafter, the other drawers are prevented from being opened by engagement of leading surface 420 of their associated abutments 42 with interlock edge surfaces 48b of their operatively associated interlock-return fingers 48, which are in turn prevented from movement from their second condition in a direction away from their first condition by surface engagement of stop edge surfaces 48c with side walls 120 of the other drawers. as shown in FIG. 4. In effect, the other drawers are prevented from opening by wedging engagement of their associated abutments and stops with their associated interlock-return fingers.

As a practical matter, engagement of stop edge surfaces 48c with the side walls of the non-opened drawers may be relied upon to positively establish the second condition of the cam members, as indicated in FIG. 4. However, if manufacturing tolerances permit, it would be preferable from the standpoint of operating noise reduction to employ spring device 28 to establish the second condition of the cam members, so as to permit a slight spacing to exist between the stop edge surfaces and the side walls. Thereafter, whenever an attempt would be made to open another drawer, engagement of its abutment with operatively associated interlockreturn finger would merely cause the latter to swing into engagement with the side wall of the drawer; the

extent of such swinging movement being of course insufficient to remove the interlock-return finger from operative alignment with its associated abutment, i.e. over-center relative to rod 22.

The cam members are automatically returned to their first condition when the first drawer to be opened is closed by driving engagement of trailing surface 42b of its abutment or flange 42 with the return edge surface 48a of its operatively associated interlock-return finger.

Spring device 28 is best shown in FIGS. 3a, 3b and 5, as being of generally U-shaped configuration and as resting on casing structural part 36 with its base portion constrained from movement or positionally oriented relative to rod 22 by cooperation of the lower end of support channel 18, the upper surface of part 36 and casing side wall 16a. Extending from spring base portion 60 are a pair of leg portions 62 and 64, which have their free ends bent to define rod engaging parts 66 and 68, respectively. Leg portion 62 and parts 66 and 68 have facing surfaces 62a, 66a and 68a, which are adapted to engage planer surfaces of the rod and junctures of such planer surfaces in order to releasably retain the rod alternately in first and second rotatable positions thereof, shown in FIGS. 3a and 3b, respectively, which correspond to the first and second conditions of cam members 26. During movement of rod 22 between its first and second positions, spring device 28 is resiliently deformed and subject to slight displacements in a direction extending lengthwise of leg portions 62 and 64.

Reference is now made to FIG. 6, wherein like parts of an alternative form of the present anti-tilt mechanism are designated by primed numbers. This form of the invention differs primarily from that previously described in the design of latch device 24'. Specifically, latch device 24' includes a flange member 42, which is shaped to define both an abutment portion having leading and trailing surfaces 42a and 42b and a stop portion 420, which is adapted to be engaged by interlock-return finger stop edge surface 48c, as indicated in phantom line.

I claim:

1. In a file cabinet of the type having a plurality of drawers supported by said cabinet in linear alignment with each other for horizontal movements between closed and open positions and an anti-tilt mechanism for preventing opening of other drawers after a first drawer has been opened, the improvement wherein said anti-tilt mechanism comprises:

a plurality of latch means carried one on each of said drawers, each said latch means including abutment means and stop means, each said abutment means having leading and trailing surfaces relative to its path of travel as its associated drawer is moved towards open position;

an elongated rod mounted in and by said cabinet to extend perpendicular to an immediately adjacent said drawers for rotary movements about its own longitudinal axis; and

a plurality of cam members fixed for simultaneous rotation with said rod and spaced therealong one in operative association with each of said latch,

means, each said cam member having an operator finger and an interlock-return finger, said cam members having a first drawer unlatched condition when all of said drawers are closed wherein their operator fingers are disposed in operative alignment with said path of travel of said abutment means of said latch means with which said cam members are operatively associated and their interlock-return fingers are removed from such alignment and a second drawer latched condition wherein their interlock-return fingers are disposed in operative alignment with said path of travel of said abutment means of said latch means with which said cam members are operatively associated and their operator fingers are removed from such alignment, said cam members being movable from said first condition into said second condition upon movement of said first drawer into open position by driving surface engagement of said leading surface of its associated abutment means with its operatively aligned operator finger, said cam members being returned to said first condition from said second condition upon return movement of said first drawer to closed condition by driving surface engagement of said trailing surface of its associated abutment means with its operatively aligned interlock-return finger, said other drawers being prevented from being opened while said first drawer is in open position due to surface engagement of said leading surface of their associated abutment means with their operatively aligned interlock-return fingers and said interlock-return fingers of said cam members operatively associated with said latch means carried by said other drawers surface engaging with said stop means of said other drawers to prevent movement of said interlock-return fingers from operative alignment with said abutment means in a direction away from said first condition.

2. The improvement according to claim 1, wherein said cam members when in said first and second conditions are angularly spaced through about 45 of rotation of said rod, and said fingers of each of saidcam members are arranged in an essentially right angular relationship.

3. The improvement according to claim 2, wherein said anti-tilt mechanism includes resiliently deformable means for releasably retaining said cam members alternately in said first and second conditions, said resiliently deformable means being of generally U-shaped configuration and having a base portion positionally oriented relative to said rod by said cabinet and having leg portions formed with facing surfaces disposed in engagement with surfaces of a square cross-sectioned portion of said rod, said resiliently deformable means being deformable upon rotation of said rod to move said cam members between said condition thereof.

4. The improvement according to claim 1, wherein said stop means associated with each said drawer comprises an outwardly facing surface of a side wall of said drawer and said abutment means associated with each said drawer comprises a flange fixed to said side wall adjacent a rear end portion thereof to extend forwardly in a diverging relationship relative to said outwardly facing surface.

5. The improvement according to claim 4, whereir said rod is of square cross-sectional configuration anc said anti-tilt mechanism includes resiliently deformable means for releasably retaining said cam members alternately in said first and second conditions, said resil iently deformable means being a generally U-shapec spring device having a base portion positionally oriented relative to said rod by said cabinet and a pair 0: leg portions, said leg portions having facing surface: thereof arranged to alternately engage planar surface: and junctures of adjacent planar surfaces of said roc when said cam members are in said first and seconc conditions, said spring device being deformable during rotation of said rod to move said cam members intc said first and second conditions.

6. The improvement according to claim 1, each 01 said latch means comprises a flange member fixed to its associated drawer and formed to define said stop means and said abutment means.

7. The improvement according to claim 6, whereir each said flange member is fixed to a side wall of its as sociated drawer and includes a flange portion disposed parallel to said side wall for defining said stop means and another flange portion joined to a rearwardly disposed edge of said flange portion and extending forwardly and in a diverging relationship relative thereto to define said abutment means.

8. The improvement according to claim 7, wherein said rod is of square cross-sectional configuration and said cam members are releasably retained alternately in said first and second condition by resiliently deformable means, said resiliently deformable means being a generally U-shaped spring device having a base portion positionally oriented relative to said rod by said cabinet and a pair of leg portions, said leg portions having facing surfaces thereof arranged to alternately engage planar surfaces and junctures of adjacent planar surfaces of said rod when said cam members are in said first and second conditions, said spring device being deformable during rotation of said rod to move said cam members into said first and second conditions.

9. in a file cabinet of the type having a plurality ol drawers supported by said cabinet in linear alignment with each other for horizontal movement between closed and open positions and an anti-tilt mechanism for preventing opening of other drawers after a first drawer has been opened, the improvement whereir. said anti-tilt mechanism comprises:

a plurality of latch means carried one on each of said drawers, each of said latch means including abut ment means and stop means, each said abutment means having leading and trailing surfaces relative to its path of travel as its associated drawer is moved towards open position;

an elongated rod mounted in and by said cabinet tc extend perpendicular to and immediately adjacent said drawers for rotary movement about its owr longitudinal axis; plurality of cam members fixed for simultaneous rotation with said rod and spaced therealong one ir operative association with each of said latcf means, each of said cam members having an operator finger and an interlock-return finger, said carr members having a first drawer unlatched conditior and a second drawer latched condition, said carr members when in said first condition having their operator fingers disposed in operative alignment with said path of travel of said abutment means of said latch means with which said cam members are operatively associated and their interlock-return fingers removed from such alignment and when in said second condition having their interlock-return fingers disposed in operative alignment with said path of travel of said abutment means of said latch means with which said cam members are operatively associated and their operator fingers removed from such alignment, said cam members being movable from said first condition into said second condition upon movement of said first drawer into open position by driving surface engagement of said leading surface of its associated abutment means with its operatively aligned operator finger, said cam members being returnable to said first condition from said second condition upon return movement of said first drawer to closed position by driving surface engagement of said trailing surface of its associated abutment means with its operatively aligned interlock-return finger, and movement of said other drawers into open position when said first drawer is open being prevented by wedging surface engagement of their associated abutment means and stop means with operatively aligned interlock-return fingers of said cam members with which said latch means of said other drawers are operatively associated.

10. A file cabinet comprising in combination:

a cabinet frame;

a plurality of file drawers;

means for supporting said drawers on said frame in vertical alignment and for horizontal movements between open and closed positions; and

an anti-tilt mechanism for preventing opening of other of said drawers after a first of said drawers has been opened, said mechanism including an elongated rod supported within and by said cabinet frame to extend vertically and immediately adjacent a side wall of each of said drawers and for rotary movements about its own longitudinal axis, a plurality of latch means carried one on each of said drawers, each said latch means including an abutment means'and stop means, each of said abutment means having leading and trailing surfaces relative to its path of travel as its associated drawer is moved horizontally towards open position, and a plurality of cam members fixed for simultaneous rotation with said rod and spaced vertically therealong one in operative association with each of said latch means, each said cam member having an operator finger and an interlock-return finger, said cam members having a first drawer unlatched condition when all of said drawers are closed wherein their operator fingers are disposed in alignment with said path of travelof said abutment means of said latch means with which said cam members are operatively associated and their interlock-return fingers are removed from such alignment and a second drawer latched condition wherein their interlock-return fingers are disposed in alignment with said path of travel of said abutment means of said latch means with which said cam members are operatively associated and their operator fingers are removed from such alignment, said cam members being movable from said first condition into said second condition upon movement of said first drawer into open position by driving surface engagement of said leading surface of its associated abutment means with its operatively aligned operator finger, said cam members being returned to said first condition from said second condition upon return movement of said first drawer to closed position by driving surface engagement of said trailing surface of its associated abutment means with its operatively aligned interlock-return finger, said other drawers being prevented from being opened while said first drawer is in open position due to surface engagement of said leading surface of their associated abutment means with their operatively aligned interlock-return fingers, and said interlockreturn fingers of said cam members operatively associated with said latch means carried by said other drawers surface engaging with said stop means of said other drawers to prevent movement of said interlock-return fingers from operative alignment with said abutment means in a direction away from said first condition.

11. A filecabinet according to claim 10, wherein said rod is of non-round cross-sectional configuration, each said cam member is formed with an aperture extending vertically therethrough, said aperture having a configuration corresponding to said rod configuration for slidably receiving said rod while constraining its cam member for rotation with said rod, and means are fixed to said frame for constraining said cam members from vertical movement downwardly along said rod.

12. A file cabinet according to claim 11, where the last said means are apertured to rotatably receive said rod and constrain horizontal deflection thereof intermediate upper and lower ends of said rod.

13. A file cabinet according to claim 12, wherein said rod is of square cross-sectional configuration and said cam members are releasably retained alternately in said first and second conditions by resiliently deformable means, said resiliently deformable means being a generally U-shaped spring device having a base portion positionally oriented relative to said rod by said cabinet and a pair of leg portions, said leg portions having facing surfaces thereof arranged to alternately engage planar surfaces and junctures of adjacent planar surfaces of said rod when said cam members are in said first and second conditions, said spring device being deformable during rotation of said rod to move said cam members into said first and second conditions.

14. A file cabinet according to claim 13, wherein said stop means associated with each said drawer comprises an outwardly facing surface of the side wall of said drawer, and said abutment means associated with each said drawer comprises a flange fixed to its side wall adjacent a rear end portion thereof to extend forwardly in a diverging relationship relative to said outwardly facing surface.

15. A file cabinet according to claim 13, wherein each said latch means is defined by a flange member, said flange member being fixed to the side wall of its associated drawer and including a flange portion disposed parallel to said side wall for defining said stop means and another flange portion joined to a rearwardly disposed edge of said flange portion and extending forwardly and in a diverging relationship relative thereto to define said abutment means.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3371974 *Feb 13, 1967Mar 5, 1968Leopold CompanyComponent interlocking and locking apparatus for cabinets
US3404929 *Feb 20, 1967Oct 8, 1968Wright Barry CorpInterlocking of selected units of a storage system
US3454320 *Jun 28, 1967Jul 8, 1969Steelcase IncDrawer interlocking means for cabinets and the like
US3560068 *Jul 15, 1969Feb 2, 1971Stanley WorksDrawer latch mechanism
US3622216 *May 28, 1970Nov 23, 1971Midwest Folding Products Mfg CDrawer interlocking device for cabinets
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4047773 *Jun 2, 1975Sep 13, 1977Semany Joseph GFile cabinet securement structure
US4272138 *Apr 2, 1979Jun 9, 1981Avm CorporationCabinet drawer anti-tip lock device
US4441770 *Aug 19, 1982Apr 10, 1984General Electric CompanyAppliance anti-tip device
US4452498 *Apr 7, 1982Jun 5, 1984B & W CorporationCabinet drawer interlock
US4705326 *Aug 20, 1986Nov 10, 1987Valhi, Inc.Locking system
US5074627 *Jul 13, 1990Dec 24, 1991Reff IncorporatedAnti-tilt and locking mechanism for multi-drawer cabinets
US5333949 *Oct 5, 1992Aug 2, 1994Krueger International, Inc.File drawer interlock mechanism
US5352030 *Sep 11, 1992Oct 4, 1994Wolfgang DerleAnti-tip device
US5567027 *Jun 11, 1993Oct 22, 1996Herman Miller, Inc.Cabinet drawer lock
US5988778 *Oct 16, 1997Nov 23, 1999Accuride International, Inc.Rod-based file interlock system
US6082839 *Jan 30, 1998Jul 4, 2000Inaba Saisakusho Co., LtdDrawer control for office cabinets
US6238024Aug 19, 1999May 29, 2001Waterloo Furniture Components, Ltd.Linkage member for an anti-tip/interlock device
US6296332Aug 26, 1999Oct 2, 2001Accuride International, Inc.File interlock system and mechanism
US6550876Jun 19, 2001Apr 22, 2003Accuride International, Inc.File interlock system and mechanism
US6722749 *Aug 14, 2001Apr 20, 2004Snap-On Technologies, Inc.Drawer open position controller
US7320507Oct 4, 2002Jan 22, 2008Accuride International LimitedRear interlock
DE4394490C2 *Sep 3, 1993Jun 7, 2001Waterloo Furniture ComponentsAnti-Kipp-Vorrichtung
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/217, 312/276
International ClassificationE05B65/46, E05B65/44
Cooperative ClassificationE05B65/465
European ClassificationE05B65/46C2D
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Apr 10, 1986AS01Change of name
Owner name: AMERICAN LOCKER GROUP INCORPORATED
Owner name: AVM CORPORATION
Effective date: 19850627
Apr 10, 1986ASAssignment
Owner name: AMERICAN LOCKER GROUP INCORPORATED
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:AVM CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:004535/0786
Effective date: 19850627