A combined shelf and clothes bar unit adapted to be cut to the proper length at the time of installation and installed on support members affixed to the opposite interior side walls of the enclosure receiving the shelf and clothes bar unit, the combined lineal shelf and clothes bar unit includes a substantially planar support surface having front and rear downwardly extending flanges, the rear flange adapted to extend between the rear of the support member and the rear wall of the enclosure and the front flange having a plurality of apertures to receive clothes hangers inserted therethrough from both in front of and behind the flange. The front flange terminates in a circular reinforcing bar having a curvature adapted to support the curved portion of a clothes hanger and having an elongated central axis lying in the same plane as the front flange to provide substantially equal support to clothes hangers regardless of the direction of insertion of the hangers through the apertures in the front flange.
What is claimed is
1. A combined shelf and clothes bar system adapted to be cut to the proper length at the time of installation in a closet of a house, mobile home, motor home or the like including:
2. A combined shelf and clothes bar system adapted to be cut to the proper length at the time of installation in a closet of a house, mobile home, motor home or the like including;
3. The invention as in claim 2 wherein said supporting means further includes an elongated generally U-shaped downwardly opening bracket, said bracket having a first end adapted to be secured to a wall,
4. The invention as in claim 2 wherein said supporting means further includes an elongated generally U-shaped downwardly opening bracket, said bracket having a first end adapted to be secured to a wall,
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Homeowners are well aware of the two typical forms of shelves and clothes bars in closets.
The first type includes a separate shelf and clothes bar with the shelf nailed or otherwise fastened within the closet and with a round bar fastened in the closet just below the bottom of the shelf. One problem with this type of unit is that appropriate grooves must be cut in the wood utilized to support the round clothes bar.
To overcome this difficulty of installation, the art has developed to an integral shelf and clothes bar with the shelf terminating in a downward flange which curves back inwardly and upwardly at its bottom. These are installed by cutting them to the appropriate length and fastening them in a closet. The hangers containing the clothes are hooked over the curved bottom of the flange and may only be so utilized by moving the hanger inwardly past the curved bottom of the flange and then hooking the curved portion of the hanger onto the curve of the flange. This is referred to as rear entry of the hanger. These integral shelf enclosed bar units are typically made of metal such as stainless steel. Stainless steel is relatively heavy, causing increased shipping cost and is usually pre-cut to length at the factory because carpenters at the installation site do not wish to blunt the edge of their cutting tools by cutting the shelf to length at the time of installation. Thus, there is the attendant waste if a shelf is an inch or two short.
Thus, the prior art units present one or more of a series of problems; the integral units are pre-cut to length causing waste; integral units are heavy causing increased shipping costs and provide only one-way entry of hangers. The two piece units are wood, and while they can be cut to length at the job site, require special carpentry work to provide support blocks for supporting the clothes bar.
Furthermore, in all of the prior art systems, the hangers may slide along the bar and clothes may become crushed or wrinkled.
Hence, the invention herein relates to an improved shelf and clothes bar unit which may be cut to length at the time of installation, which provides for two-way entry of hangers and which is light and less costly than prior art units. Furthermore, the improved shelf and clothes bar unit of the present invention does not require elaborate brackets for installation and has spaced apart apertures for the two-way entry of hangers so that the clothes remain spaced apart and not crushed.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The invention herein relates to a shelf and clothes bar unit adapted to be cut to the proper length at the time of installation and including a substantially planar support surface having front and read downwardly extending flanges. The shelf and clothes bar unit is adapted to be installed in a closet by resting the same on the top surface of a support means with the front and rear flanges of the shelf extending behind and in front of the support means respectively. The front flange has a plurality of apertures therein to receive the clothes hangers therethrough with both, front and rear entry of the hangers, and the apertures are spaced apart to keep the clothes from becoming crushed.
The front flange terminates at its lower end in a substantially circular bar with the curvature of the bar adapted to support hangers regardless of the direction of insertion of the hangers through the apertures and with the central axis of the bar lying in the same plane as the front flange to provide substantially equal support to the clothes hangers regardless of the direction of insertion of each hanger.
Depending upon the length of the shelf, intermediate brackets may be utilized to support the shelf; these intermediate brackets have a first end for fastening to the rear wall of the closet or enclosure below the level of the shelf and have a front end with a notch to receive the edge of the apertures, thereby providing a positive lock at the front end of the support bracket.
The means for supporting the sides of the shelf unit within the closet may take one of several forms. One form is merely rest the shelf on pieces of scrap lumber nailed to the side walls of the closet with the front and rear flanges of the shelf extending in front of and behind the lumber, respectively. A second support means is the provision of a bracket having projections which may be inserted into the wall of the closet and having a top surface to removably receive the shelf of the shelf and closed bar unit.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The foregoing features of the present invention, together with other advantages which may be attained by its use, will become apparent upon reading the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the drawings.
In the drawings, wherein like references numerals identify corresponding parts:
FIG. 1 is a perspective illustration of the shelf and clothes bar unit of the present invention;
FIG. 2 is an illustration partly broken away, of the means for supporting the shelf of FIG. 1 in a closet;
FIG. 3 is a view of the side wall of the closet with the shelf installed as seen in the direction of the arrows 3-3 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an perspective illustration of a second type of support means for supporting the shelf in a closet or the like;
FIG. 5 is a side view of an installed shelf showing an additional support means;
FIG. 6 is an enlarged illustration of one end of the support means of FIG. 5;
FIG. 7 is a view of the support means of FIG. 5 as seen in the directions of arrows 7-7 of FIG. 5; and
FIG. 8 is an enlarged view of the end of the support means of FIG. 5 as seen in the direction of arrows 8-8 of FIG. 6.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
The combined lineal shelf and clothes bar unit or system 10 of the present invention includes a substantially planar, elongated support surface 12 having a plurality of elongated locking slots 13 and downwardly projecting stiffening beads 14, the beads 14 extending the full length of the shelf from a first end 16 to a second end 18. At the rear of the surface 12 there is a ridge 20 which rises slightly above the plane of the support surface 12 then terminates in a downwardly extending rear flange 22.
At the front of the planar surface 12 is a front ridge 24 extending slightly above the plane of surface 12 and continuing in a downwardly extending front flange 26. The bottom of the front flange is curved as at 28 to form a substantially circular hollow bar having a elongated axis 30 which is in the same vertical plane as the front flange 26.
The front flange 26 includes a plurality of oval apertures 32 having a lower edge substantially abutting the begining of the curved portion 28 of the front flange. Hangers 34 and 35 each have a curved, hooked portion 36 thereof inserted through the apertures 32, hanger 34 from the front and hanger 35 from the rear.
One important feature of the present invention is that the clothes and thus the hangers receive substantially equal support from the reinforcing hollow circular bar 28 regardless of the direction of insertion of the hangers. To this end, the curved portion 28 forms almost a complete circle as shown in greater detail in FIGS. 3 and 6, so that the hook or curved portion 36 of the hanger is substantially supported on the curved surface of the bar regardless of the direction of insertion.
Another advantage of the present invention is that the lengths of the shelf unit 10 may be cut as desired during installation. For this reason, the units are manufactured of aluminum which may be easily cut without blunting the tools of the carpenter. Furthermore, these aluminum shelfs provide high strength and are light in weight, thereby lowering shipping costs. The aluminum may be painted with a life time bonded paint which is washable and does not peel. Typically, the thickness of the shelf would be .032 inch.
The spacing of the apertures 32 one from another permits clothes to be hung without the crushing or wrinkling of adjacent clothes and the hangers will not slide.
Similarly, as an improvement over the clothes bar or the one-piece shelf and clothes bar of the prior art, the garments must be removed individually rather than at one at a time. Should a thief enter the premises and attempt to steal coats from a closet, this extends the length of time that the thief be present and acts as a deterrent to a quick taking of a large number of garments from a closet.
The installation of the shelf and clothes bar unit of the present invention will be explained with respect to FIGS. 2-9. FIG. 2 shows a partially broken away view of a closet 50 or the like having a rear wall 52 and side walls 54 and 56. Short blocks of scrap lumber 58 are shown secured to the side walls 54 and 56 such as by nails or the like. As illustrated in greater detail in FIG. 3, the shelf unit 10 may be installed by merely resting the ends 16 and 18 on the top surface 60 of the block 58 with the rear flange 22 extending downwardly between the block 58 and the rear wall 52 of the closet and with the front flange 26 extending in front of the block. In this fashion, the load on the clothes bar 28 of the shelf will not tend to lift the shelf off the block 58 because of the resistence to such lifting created by the rear flange 22 abutting the rear wall 52 of the closet.
Yet another mode of installing the shelf unit 10 of the present invention in a closet or the like is through the use of brackets 70 as illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5. Brackets 70, which are of galvanized steel and easily cut to length, have a body portion 72 and a flange 74 extending perpendicular to the body 72. The flange 74 has a plurality of locking tabs 75 projecting upwardly therefrom to engage slots 13 on the support surface 12. Within the body 72 below the vertical height of the flange 74 there are a plurality of triangular shaped knock-outs 76 which are formed by a stamping or punching operation. During this punching operation, the knock-out is bent backwardly in a direction opposite to the flange 74 to form a triangular shaped fastener 78 which may be forced into the side walls 54 and 56 of the closet such as by hammering the bracket.
As the length of the shelf increases within a closet, it may be desireable to provide intermediate support brackets or braces 80. These braces, which are of galvanized steel, may have a general U-shaped body 82 opening generally downward and having a first end 84 with a knock-out 86 in a flat plate 88. The formation of the knock-out again creates a triangular pointed fastener which may be hammered into the rear wall of the closet and, furthermore, other fasteners such as screws or nails may be inserted through suitable apertures in plate 88 to further fasten the first end 84 of the brace or bracket 80 to the rear wall 52 of the closet.
The front or second end 90 of the brace or bracket 80 has a generally open angled tab 92 at one end of the U-shaped body. After the shelf and the first end of the bracket 90 are suitably installed, the open angle tab is inserted into ridge 24 above the front flange thus providing a suitable locking and bearing action between the shelf and the brace or bracket 80. Alternately, the tab 92 may have notches and the tab may be inserted through an aperture 32 with the top edges of the aperture fitting within the notches.
The foregoing is a description of the basic concepts of the present invention and should not be read in a restrictive sense but only as describing the underlying principles. The invention should only be limited by the scope of the following claims.