US 3892452 A
The disclosure describes a modular cabinet system, composed of hanging units and standing cabinet units. The hanging cabinets have sloping sidewalls and a sloping top wall which enable nesting of the cabinets during storage and shipment. The disclosure also describes a vertical stile for connecting two base members or platforms of a standing cabinet in which pins in the shape of the frustum of an inverted quadrangular, regular pyramid hold the platforms together without the need for additional fasteners. The disclosure also describes drawers having sloping sidewalls and a sloping rear wall which enable nesting during storage and shipment, as well as an improved drawer guide apparatus which prevents horizontal and vertical chatter during the operation of the drawer.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Williams et a1. 1 1 July 1, 1975 (54] MODULAR CABINET ASSEMfiLY 3,394,517 7/1938 Caterina 52/284 X  Inventors: Chauncey L. Williams, Beverly 582 my 3 2,330
Hills, Ca1if.; Alfonso Villa; David H. FOREIGN FATENTS 0R APPLICATIONS 2,011,675 10/1971 Germany 312/111 Humphrey, both of Santurce, all of PR.
 Assignee: Duraform Inc., San Juan, PR.
 Filed: Mar. 28, 1973  Appl, No: 346,680
 U.S. Cl. 312/330; 312/107; 312/198; 312/257 R [51) Int. Cl. A47B 47/04  Field of Search 312/33 D, 107, 111, 108, 312/257 R, 257 SK, 346, 347, 198, 330, 245; 52/284, 593; 108/64, 60, 111; 220/97 C, 97 E, 97 F; 206/507, 509
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,489,493 11/1949 Kuenzie 312/111 X 3,033,635 5/1962 Glass 312/111 X 3,113,401 12/1963 Rose 52/284 X 3,170,594 2/1965 Nascher.... 206/507 3,252,614 5/1966 Evans 206/509 3,301,622 1/1967 Dasovic et a1, 312/245 Primary Examlhrjames T. McCall Attorney, Agent, of FirmMolinare, Allegretti, Newitt & Witcoff  ABSTRACT The disclosure describes a modular cabinet system, composed of hanging units and standing cabinet units. The hanging cabinets have sloping sidewalls and a sloping top wall which enable nesting of the cabinets during storage and shipment. The disclosure also describes a vertical stile for connecting two base members or platforms of a standing cabinet in which pins in the shape of the frustum of an inverted quadrangular, regular pyramid hold the platforms together without the need for additional fasteners. The disclosure also describes drawers having sloping sidewalls and a sloping rear wall which enable nesting during storage and shipment, as well as an improved drawer guide apparatus which prevents horizontal and vertical chatter during the operation of the drawer.
5 Claims, 16 Drawing Figures sum 2 t I I; Al I 11 w I I F |G.6 M I I; i=7 p? I04 05 |1 I! 1 MODULAR CABINET ASSEMBLY BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to modular cabinets and more specifically relates to hanging cabinets which are nestable for shipping purposes. and standing cabinets which are demountable for storage and shipping.
Kitchens are generally fitted with hanging cabinets which are mounted under wall soffits and with standing cabinets which are mounted on a floor beneath the hanging cabinets. In the past, such cabinets frequently have been assembled on site by skilled laborers. If this technique is used. the shipping costs are low, because only rough lumber and other construction materials need to be shipped. However, since the cabinets must be built on site by skilled craftsmen, the final assembly costs are extremely high.
Kitchen cabinets also have been constructed in a factory, and then shipped to the building site for final installation. Although this technique reduces the cost of constructing the cabinets, the shipping costs are relatively high due to the bulkiness of the assembled cabinets. Moreover, final installation costs are relatively high due to the complexity of conventional installation techniques. For example, the cabinets generally are installed by using conventional screws and fasteners that require carpentry tools. In addition, and even more important, movable parts, such as drawer guides, generally must be carefully adjusted by hand if chatter-free operation is to result. Each of these installation steps requires the attention of a highly-skilled and experienced craftsman.
Accordingly, a principal object of the present invention is to provide modular kitchen-type cabinets and drawers which are nestable to reduce the cost of shipment.
Another object of the present invention is to provide modular cabinets of the foregoing type in which shelf supports are provided in the form of grooves so that nesting may be more readily achieved.
Yet another object of the present invention is to provide kitchen-type cabinets parts which can be held together by pins which require no tools for installation and which require a minimum of screws or other fasteners.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide improved drawer guide apparatus which prevents both horizontal and vertical chatter during operation of the drawer.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS These and other objects, advantages and features of the present invention will hereafter appear in connection with the accompanying drawings which disclose a preferred embodiment of the invention, and wherein:
FIG. 1 is an isometric view ofa kitchen in which cabinets made in accordance with the present invention have been installed;
FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of a preferred form of hanging cabinet made in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 3-3 in FIG. 2',
FIG. 4 is a top plan, broken, partially cross-sectional view of the cabinet shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 5 illustrates the manner in which cabinets of the type shown in FIGS. 2-4 can be nested for shipment;
FIG. 6 is an isometric, fragmentary view of a preferred form of standing cabinet and drawer guide apparatus made in accordance with the present invention and supported by base members;
FIG. 7 is a front elevational view of a preferred form of vertical stile made in accordance with the present invention in which base members supporting the stile are partially broken away to illustrate the manner in which pins attached to the stile are fitted into the base members;
FIG. 8 is a side elevational view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 7;
FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 9-9 of FIG. 8;
FIG. 10 is an isometric view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 9;
FIG. 11 is a front elevational view ofa preferred form of cabinet end panel made in accordance with the present invention in which a base member supporting the end panel is partially broken away to show the manner in which pins attached to the end panel are fitted into the base member;
FIG. 12 is a side elevational view of the apparatus shown in FIG. 11;
FIG. 13 is a fragmentary, top plan view of a portion of the side panel shown in FIG. 12 taken along the l3-l3 in FIG. 12;
FIG. 14 is a top plan view of a preferred form of drawer made in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 15 is a side elevational view of the drawer shown in FIG. 14; and
FIG. 16 is an isometric view showing the drawer of FIGS. 14 and 15 mounted on the drawer guide apparatus shown in FIG. 12, together with a similar complementary drawer guide apparatus.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIG. 1 illustrates a preferred form of modular cabinet assembly 20 made in accordance with the present invention comprising hanging cabinets 22 and standing cabinets 24.
An exemplary hanging cabinet 30 made in accordance with the present invention is shown in more detail in FIGS. 2-4. Cabinet 30 comprises a bottom wall 32 having a front edge 34 and a rear edge 36. A brace flange 37 is attached to the rear of wall 32 and an L- shaped flange 40 is attached to the front of wall 32.
Cabinet 30 also comprises a rear wall 44 having an upper edge 46 and a lower edge 48. The wall is fitted with shelf supporting grooves 50-54 and with corresponding ribs 58-62 that reinforce the grooves. An upper brace flange 64 assists in mounting the cabinet on a wooden cleat attached to a vertical wall surface.
Cabinet 30 also includes a left-hand sidewall 65 that is fitted with stops 66a and 66b which prevent nesting cabinets from wedging too tightly. The front edge of wall 65 terminates in an L-shaped flange 67 in which door hinge and latch mounting holes 68 and 69 are formed. Wall 65 is fabricated with shelf supporting grooves 70-74 that form continuations of corresponding grooves 50-54. Left-hand sidewall 65 is perpendicular to bottom wall 32 and forms an angle A of 97 with rear wall 44.
Cabinet 30 also includes a right-hand sidewall that is fitted with stops 76a and 76b. The front edge of wall terminates in an L-shaped flange 77 in which door hinge and latch mounting holes 78 and 79 are fabricated. Right-hand sidewall 75 is fabricated with shelf supporting grooves 80-84 that form extensions of corresponding grooves 50-54. Sidewall 75 is perpendicular to bottom wall 32 and makes an angle 8 of 97 with rear wall 44.
Cabinet 30 also includes a top wall 86 having a front edge which terminates in an L-shaped flange 88. Top wall 86 makes an angle C of 104 with rear wall 44.
Angles A, B and C are important features since the applicants have found that these angles enable the nesting of the cabinet without interferring with its ability to hold kitchen items. Since bottom wall 32 remains flat and horizontal when the cabinet is hung on a wall, it can be used as a storage shelf. The applicants have discovered that nesting can be best achieved and bottom wall 32 can remain perpendicular to rear wall 44 if angle C minus 90 is approximately twice as large as angle A minus 90, and if angles A and B are about equal. When cabinet 30 is manufactured in accordance with FIGS. 2-4, it can be nested with additional cabinets 90, 91 and 92 as shown in FIG. 5. As a result, the cost of storage and shipping the cabinets is substantially reduced.
It should be noted that the grooves in the rear wall and sidewalls are indented from the inner surfaces of the walls to to provide shelf-supporting surfaces that do not interfere with the nesting process. By proportioning and arranging a cabinet as shown in FIGS. 2-4, the cabinet can be integrally formed from relatively inexpensive plastic material, thereby reducing the manufacturing cost, as well as the shipping cost, of the overall cabinet assembly.
FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary standing cabinet of the type collectively shown by the numeral 24 in FIG. 1. Cabinet 100 is mounted on a kick base 102 that supports platforms 104 and 106 having front edges and 107, respectively. The upper surfaces of the platforms lie in a common plane P. Cabinet 100 includes an end panel 108, a vertical stile 109 and a horizontal stile 110 that connects panel 108 with vertical stile 109. Cabinet 100 also includes a symmetrical drawer guide 111 that is connected to vertical stile 109 and a counter top 112. Since it is symmetrical, the same drawer guide part 111 supports a drawer 113 that is mounted above a door 114. A shelf 115 is supported by a shelf support 116 that plugs into platforms 104 and 106. Components of cabinet 100 shown generally in FIG. 6 are shown in more detail in FIGS. 713.
Referring to FIGS. 7 and 8, vertical stile 109 comprises a top flange 117 and a bottom flange 118. The stile supports roller mounts I19, 120, hinge and latch mounting holes 124-129, and horizontal stile locks 132, 134. Referring to FIGS. 7-10, identical pins 136 and 138 are connected to bottom flange 118 adjacent to the front edge of platforms 104 aand 106. Pin 138 comprises sidewalls 140-143, a base 144, and a bottom wall 145. The walls are fabricated in the shape of a frustum of an inverted, regular, quadrangular pyramide having the base 144 attached to the lower surface of flange 118. The base of the pyramid comprises edges 147 150 that form a rectangle. As shown in FIGS. 7 and 8, platforms 104 and 106 are fabricated with cavities having a shape complementary to pins 136 and 138 and having center points 152 and 153. The cavities are adapted to receive the pins in a tight-fitting arrangement. The applicants have found that this arrangement of fitting vertical stile 109 to platforms 104 and 106 draws the edges of the platforms toward one another, rigidly holds the parts together, and obviates the need of additional fastenings. The same type of pins connect shelf support 116 to platforms 104 and 106 (FIG. 6). Moreover, the component parts can be assembled without the use of any tools.
Referring to FIGS. 11 and 12, an end panel 160, which is the same as end panel 108, is shown in more detail. End panels 108 and are symmetrical about a vertical axis which obviates the necessity of fabricating mirror image parts End panel 160 includes a top flange 162, and a bottom end 164 that is fitted with pins 166 and 168 that are identical to pin 138. The pins fit in identically-shaped cavities in base member 104. Panel 160 is fitted with hinge or latch mounting holes 170-172. Flange 162 is supported by an upper mounting strip 174 and an angle brace 173.
The left-hand part of the symmetrical drawer guide 180, similar to corresponding part 111, is shown in more detail in FIGS. 11-13. The design comprises a drawer supporting surface that is part of end panel 160 in the position shown. The left-hand part of upper drawer guide 184 having an inner edge 186 and a lower surface 188 is fitted with a stop member 189. The lefthand part of lower drawer guide 190 has an upper surface 192 parallel to surface 188, as well as a sloping guide surface 194 which terminates at a front end point 196.
The right-hand part of the symmetrical drawer guide assembly 199 is shown in part in FIG. 16. Assembly 199 has a right-hand upper drawer guide 200, an inner edge 202 and a lower surface 204 that is coplanar with surface 188. A right-hand lower drawer guide 206 has an upper surface 208 that is coplanar with surface 192. In addition, guide 206 terminates in a sloping guide surface (not shown) parallel to surface 194.
FIGS. 14-16 illustrate a preferred form of drawer 118 made in accordance with the present invention. The drawer comprises a bottom wall 220 and a front wall 224 connected perpendicular to the bottom wall. A left-hand sidewall 226 is fitted with a slide flange 228 having a lower surface 230 and an upper surface 232. Sidewall 226 makes an angle D of 100 with bottom wall 220. The drawer also includes a right-hand sidewall 236 that is fitted with a slide flange 238 having a lower surface 240 and an upper surface 242 Sidewall 236 makes an angle E of 100 with bottom wall 220, Sidewalls 226 and 236, as well as bottom wall 220, are connected by a rear wall 246 that makes an angle F of l l0 with bottom wall 220.
Left-hand sidewall 226 is fabricated with an arch member 250 having an arcuate slide surface 252 that is adapted to slide along surface 188 of drawer guide 184. Right-hand sidewall 236 is fabricated with an arch member 254 having an arcuate slide surface 256 that is adapted to slide along surface 204 of drawer guide 200. As shown in FIGS. 12 and 16, slide surfaces 252 and 256 prevent vertical chatter of the drawer as it is moved along the drawer guides.
A left-hand upstanding member 260 is connected to left-hand drawer sidewall 226 adjacent rear wall 246. Member 260 has an outer edge 262 that slides in contact with inner edge 186 of left-hand upper drawer guide 184. An opposed right-hand upstanding member 266 is connected to right-hand sidewall 236 of drawer 118 in the position shown adjacent rear wall 246. Member 266 has an outer edge 268 that slides in contact with inner edge 202 of right-hand upper drawer guide 200. As shown in FIG. 16, members 260 and 266 prevent horizontal chatter of the drawer as it is moved along the drawer guides.
While there has been described a presently preferred form of the invention, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the invention is not limited thereto since it may be otherwise embodied within the scope of the following claims.
What is claimed is:
l. A container unit comprising a first wall;
a second wall substantially perpendicular to the first wall;
a third wall perpendicular to the first wall and attached to the second wall at a first predetermined obtuse angle;
a fourth wall perpendicular to the first wall and attached to the second wall at a second predetermined obtuse angle;
a fifth wall attached to the third and fourth walls and attached to the second wall at a third predetermined obtuse angle, so that multiple container assemblies can be nested inside each other for storage and shipment;
the first wall comprising a front drawer wall;
the second wall comprising a bottom drawer wall;
the third wall comprising a left-hand side drawer wall;
the fourth wall comprising a right-hand side drawer wall;
the fifth wall comprising a rear drawer wall, said walls being integrally molded;
an upper left-hand drawer guide having an inner edge and having a lower planar surface;
a lower left-hand drawer guide having an upper planar surface parallel to the lower planar surface of the upper left-hand drawer guide;
an upper right-hand drawer guide having an inner edge and having a lower surface coplanar with the lower planar surface of the upper left-hand drawer guide;
a lower right-hand drawer guide having an upper surface coplanar with the upper planar surface of the lower left-hand drawer guide;
a left-hand drawer slide connected to the left-hand drawer wall and adapted to slide on the upper planar surface of the lower lefthand drawer guide;
a right-hand drawer slide connected to the right-hand side drawer wall adapted to slide on the upper planar surface of the lower right-hand drawer guide;
means for defining an arcuate surface connected to one of said drawer sidewalls and adapted to slide against the lower planar surface of the upper lefthand or upper right-hand drawer guide, so that vertical chatter is elminated as the drawer is operated;
a left-hand upstanding member connected immobile with respect to the left-hand side drawer wall and adapted to slide along the inner edge of the upper left-hand drawer guide; and
a right-hand upstanding member connected immobile with respect to the right-hand side drawer wall and adapted to slide along the inner edge of the upper right-hand drawer guide, whereby horizontal chatter is eliminated as the drawer is operated.
2. A container unit, as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first and second obtuse angles are equal.
3. A container unit, as claimed in claim 2, wherein the third obtuse angle minus is substantially twice as large as the first obtuse angle minus 90.
4. A container unit, as claimed in claim 3, wherein the third and fourth walls and the second wall each comprises means for defining shelf-supporting grooves.
5. A container unit, as claimed in claim 1, wherein said walls are integrally formed of a plastic material.