US 3887077 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 1191 Frey [ 1 CONTAINERS OR RACKS FOR SHEET MATERIAL  Inventor: Martin Oscar Frey, Hill House Gloucestershire, Newnham, England 22 Filed: Feb. 11, 1974 21 Appl. No.: 441,323
 Foreign Application Priority Data Feb. 27-, 1973 United Kingdom 9678/73  US. Cl 211/45; 211/691  Int. Cl. A471 1/16  Field of Search 211/45, 69.2, 69.1, 69.4,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,153,062 9/1915 Gourlay 211/132 X 2,062,577 12/1936 Kaplan 211/60 R X 2,294,144 8/1942 Weidner 211/45 2,553,377 5/1951 Loventhal 211/133 [111 3,887,077 June 3,1975
2,626,078 l/1953 Hutchisson et a1. 248/346 X 2,911,180 11/1959 Dunagan et a1 248/346 3,176,504 4/1965 Shapiro 3,365,067 1/1968 Miller et al.
3,419,240 12/1968 Santic 248/350 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 162,997 5/1921 United Kingdom 211/45 1,224,465 2/1960 France 220/20 857,489 12/1960 United Kingdom. 211/45 975,357 10/1950 France 248/350 752,444 7/1956 United Kingdom 211/45 Primary ExaminerR0y D. Frazier Assistant Examiner-Thomas J. Holko Attorney, Agent, or F irm--Young & Thompson [5 7] ABSTRACT A compact storage container for flexible sheets such as drawings, comprising a long length of thin sheet material coiled into a spiral and located on a base with an open upper entry slot. The outer end of the slot is closed and at the centre there may be a vertical hollow column which may serve as a sub-compartment.
6 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATH-NED JUH 3 I975 SHEET PATEHTEU JUH 3 I975 SHEET PATENTEDJUH 3 m5 SHEET CONTAINERS OR RACKS FOR SHEET MATERIAL This invention relates to a container or rack for flexible sheet material such as paper or thin cardboard and the invention is particularly applicable to a container or rack for storing quantities of cut sheet material as opposed to continuously wound lengths.-
Conventional methods of storing quantities of loose cut paper tend to be bulky and expensive and in many cases do not provide ready access to different types of the material being stored. For example if large quantities of drawing sheets of different sizes and materials are stacked on open shelves it is difficult to withdraw a selected sheet from the lower part of a stack and the same applies to containers of the drawer type such as plan chests where considerable quantities of sheet material may be stored in each individual drawer, and in addition such plan chests are cumbersome, heavy and rather expensive. Accordingly it is an object of the invention to provide an improved container or storage rack for flexible sheet material such as paper which will overcome some of the existing disadvantages.
Broadly stated the invention consists in a container or rack for cut sheets of thin flexible sheet material, comprising a coiled or helical wall having a plurality of turns, with successive turns spaced apart to form a coiled or helical slot with an open upper entry, while the lower parts of the wall are anchored to a support structure which also locates the wall in the required helical configuration.
Although the container has been described above as standing vertically it will be understood that in practice the whole container may be tilted or may be on a horizontal axis. However for convenience herein it will be assumed that the axis is vertical.
The upper edges of the turns may lie at'differing heights: for example they may be sloped to one side or dished towards the centre. This makes it easier for the cut sheets to be inserted into the helical slot, and in one particular construction the upper edge of the innermost part of the wall is lower than the upper edge of the outermost part of the wall. It will be understood that if the height of the wall is not uniform it is relatively easy to insert one or more sheets of paper into the helical slot merely by canting the sheet before it is inserted. If the upper edge of the wall is lower towards the centre any thin sheet located in the coiled slot will have greater natural rigidity where it is coiled more tightly at the centre and the reduction in the height of the helical wall at the centre is not a disadvantage.
Preferably the wall extends continuously from a central vertical edge or axis to a peripheral edge or axis, and according to a particular preferred feature of the invention the wall is formed of a thin sheet of synthetic plastics material, which is sufficiently rigid to be selfsupporting, but sufficiently flexible to be capable of being wound into a spiral, and has a smooth antifriction surface.
The support structure may include a vertical post acting as an anchorage for the inner end of the wall, and possibly a further post acting as an anchorage for the outer end of the wall, and may also include a rigid base formed with a helical groove to receive the lower edge of the wall. The outer post may also act as an end closure for the helical slot. Alternatively the inner part of the wall may be wound on itself to form a central hollow cylinder, and its outer edge may be curled inwards to close off the outer end of the slot. In one particular construction the base comprises a U-section helically disposed channel element providing the helical groove, or alternatively the groove may be formed in a solid body, or may be built up from a large number of individual segments.
The invention may be performed in various ways and one specific embodiment with several possible modifications will now be described by way of example with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a somewhat diagrammatic sectional side elevation through a spiral paper storage container according to the invention,
FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic plan view of the storage container of FIG. 1,
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the container,
FIG. 4 is a sectional view through the base of a modification of the invention,
FIG. 5 is a plan view of a further embodiment,
FIG. 6 is a perspective view illustrating yet another embodiment, and
FIG. 7 is a sectional side elevation through the base only of a further embodiment.
Referring first to FIGS. 1 to 3 the storage rack illustrated is intended for storing quantities of cut sheets of drawing paper and comprises essentially a base 10 and a helical upstanding wall 11. The base is provided with a central vertical pillar or post consisting of a metal tube 12 anchored to a rigid base plate 13 by a central threaded rod 14 having washers and nuts at opposite ends, and a similar pillar 15 is provided at the periphery of the base. These pillars or posts act as anchorages for the inner and outer edges of the helical wall 11, which are conveniently attached to the pillars by wrapping the wall tightly around the metal tube and securing it to the tube by one or more small screws.
The helical wall 11 is preferably formed of a synthetic plastics sheet material such as ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) or polypropylene, having an extremely smooth polished surface providing good antifriction properties, and also having sufficient flexibility to allow the wall to be coiled into a helix, but sufficient rigidity for it to be self-supporting when so coiled. A suitable sheet thickness is about 1mm or 0.04 inches. ABS has the further advantage that it facilitates bonding to itself or other materials by means of an adhesive. In this particular example the wall is coiled into a generally cylindrical shape having an external diameter of approximately 2 feet and a spacing between successive turns of approximately 3 inches, the coiled length of the wall being approximately 16% feet. These dimensions determine the dimensions of the helical slot formed by the wall, but it will be understood that since the slot is open-sided upwards there is no precise limit to the dimensions of the stored paper measured vertically. The peripheral end of the helical slot is effectively closed in this example by the outer pillar 15, which spans the width of the slot. In this example the upper edge of the coiled wall 11 is of progressively reducing height towards the centre, as seen in FIGS. 1 and 3 but the edge may be of uniform height, or may be sloped from front to rear, as illustrated in FIG. 6.
The base in this first example is a rigid structure comprising the circular base plate 13 with a plurality of separately formed segments or formers 16 secured to its upper surface so as to form a continuous helical groove in which the lower edge of the helical wall 11 is anchored. In constructing the rack it is convenient in this example to wrap the helical wall around one turn after the innermost segments 16 have been located in position around the central pillar 12, then to tack the lower edges of the wall 11 to these inner segments, as illustrated at 17, then locate a further ring of segments around the wall, and thereafter wrap the wall around one further turn, continuing the procedure in this way until the whole wall has been coiled. The individual segments may be screwed or otherwise secured to the base 13, as shown at 18. The base itself is preferably mounted on a number of castors 19 so that the whole unit is readily movable around a studio, schoolroom, or drawing office, and the periphery of the-base may be protected by a rubber buffer hoop 20 formed with a projecting hollow resilient bead or ring 21.
In the second embodiment illustrated in FIG. 4, instead of a rigid solid base, a die-cast metal structure is provided having a number of radial arms or spokes 25 cast integral with a helically formed U-section channel element 26 with an open upper entrance into the groove provided by the channel, so as to receive the lower edge of the helical plastics wall 1 1. This wall may be anchored in the groove by means of small screws or the like passed through apertures drilled through the U-section channel element 26.
It will be understood that other materials may readily be substituted. For example the whole base may be formed of a synthetic plastics material, as an injection moulding. Also the rack may be provided with a removable protective lid, mounted on an upward extension of the central column, so as to protect the contents, without bearing down on the edges of the paper. The lid may have a depending skirt around its periphery, which effectively seals the whole unit, and excludes dust and light.
In the embodiment of FIG. the base is formed from a number of chip-board formers attached to a circular disc and shaped appropriately to define the spiral groove for the helical wall. The inner and outer posts 12 and of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 3 are however omitted. The helical wall 30 is itself shaped to define a closed central hollow cylinder 31, and its extreme outer end is curled against the adjacent inner coil, at 32, and secured by an adhesive, to close off the outer end of the helical slot. In assembly a central circular disc 35 is first screwed in position on the underlying base board or disc (not shown) and a sheet of thin flexible ABS plastics is curled around this circular disc, to which its lower edge is stapled, after which the remaining formers 36 39 are located successively, screwed to the base board, and the lower edge of the ABS sheet stapled to their outer surfaces. Thus the formers are progressively attached in the sequence 36, 37, 38, 39 etc. Finally the end 32 of the ABS sheet is bonded against the adjacent part of the same sheet. In this example the central hollow cylinder 31 is left open at its upper end and acts as a further storage compartment. Depending upon the size of the unit this may be useful for holding rolls of paper, metre rules, walking sticks, umbrellas, or in smaller sizes articles such as slide rules or drawing pens.
The storage rack illustrated in FIG. 6 comprises a helical coil strip 40, mounted on a base 41, with the top edge of the strip inclined downwardly from one side to the other as seen in the elevation. This is conveniently manufactured by taking a flexible plastics sheet of uniform width and coiling this between two end or base fittings, each as described in one or other of the previous examples. When so assembled the whole coil is then cut through on a slant by a knife or hot wire thus producing two storage racks, each with an inclined upper edge as shown in FIG. 6. When manufactured in a relatively small size this embodiment may be particularly useful as a desk-top container for pens, pencils, stationery and other office requisites.
In the embodiment illustrated 'in FIG. 7 the base of the rack comprises a chipboard circular supporting disc 45 provided with casters 48 and having a vacuum formed plastics sheet 46 attached to its upper surface, this sheet being formed to provide a spiral groove as illustrated at 47. A coiled helical wall (not shown) is fitted in and located by this groove, and secured with adhesive or mechanical fasteners.
1. A container for cut sheets of thin flexible sheet material, comprising a rigid base formed with a spiral groove, a continuous coiled spiral wall formed of a thin sheet of synthetic plastics material, which is sufficiently rigid to be self-supporting but sufficiently flexible to be capable of being wound into a spiral, and has a smooth anti-friction surface, said wall having a plurality of turns, with successive turns spaced apart to form a coiled slot, having a substantially continuous open upper entry, the lower parts of the said wall being anchored in the spiral groove of said base, which locates the said wall in the required coiled configuration, the inner end of said wall being arranged to provide a closed hollow central cylinder, and the outer end of said wall being formed to close off the outer end of said coiled slot.
2. A container according to claim 1, in which the upper edges of the turns of the said coiled wall lie at different heights.
3. A container according to claim 2, in which the upper edge of the innermost part of the said wall is lower than the upper edge of the outermost part of the said wall.
4. A container according to claim 2, in which the height of said wall diminishes progressively from one side of the container to the other.
5. A container according to claim 1, in which said base comprises a U-section channel element providing the said spiral groove.
6. A container according to claim 1, including vertical posts secured to said base and acting as anchorages for the inner or outer ends of said wall.