Title:
Modular rack
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A modular rack includes a number of lower legs and upper legs, one or more shelves to be selectively secured between the lower legs and the upper legs, one or more housing secured to the shelves, one or more sleeves may be engaged between the lower legs and the housing and the lower plates for anchoring the lower legs to the housing and the shelves, one or more connectors may be engaged between the upper legs and the shelves and the upper plates for anchoring the upper legs to the shelves and the housing, and for forming an improved or reinforced structure for allowing the modular rack to be solidly assembled together to form a stable structure.



Inventors:
Lin, Ming Mo (Taichung, TW)
Lin, Hsiao Ting (Taichung, TW)
Application Number:
11/520361
Publication Date:
03/13/2008
Filing Date:
09/13/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B57/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20050121403STICK ORGANIZERJune, 2005Stubbs et al.
20100025344FOLDABLE DUAL SHELF PRESENTATION SYSTEMFebruary, 2010Virvo
20090084742Retail Display StandApril, 2009Winkler et al.
20090101606Product shelf divider system and methodApril, 2009Olson
20070144993ASEISMIC SERVER RACKJune, 2007Knoop
20060006095Universal storage tray for electronic componentsJanuary, 2006White Jr.
20050006322Retainer for ballsJanuary, 2005Kershaw
20070045209Stacking shelving system for utility shedMarch, 2007Richardson et al.
20070056916Rotatable desk organizer with lidMarch, 2007Marano
20070272629Customizable organizerNovember, 2007Spirer



Primary Examiner:
KRYCINSKI, STANTON L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Charles, Esq. Baxley E. (90 JOHN STREET, THIRD FLOOR, NEW YORK, NY, 10038, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A modular rack comprising: a shelf including at least one opening formed therein, a housing secured to said shelf and including at least one orifice formed therein, a back-up device disposed in said housing and including a first plate and a second plate secured to said housing, said first and said second plates each including an aperture formed therein, said aperture of said first plate being aligned with said at least one orifice of said housing, said aperture of said second plate being aligned with said at least one opening of said shelf, at least one first leg including a first end engageable into said at least one orifice of said housing and said aperture of said first plate, a sleeve engageable between said at least one first leg and said housing and said first plate for anchoring said at least one first leg to said housing and said shelf, at least one second leg including a first end engageable into said at least one opening of said shelf and said aperture of said second plate, and a connector engageable between said at least one second leg and said shelf and said second plate for anchoring said at least one second leg to said shelf and said housing.

2. The modular rack as claimed in claim 1, wherein said connector includes a tubular member engaged into said at least one opening of said shelf and said aperture of said second plate of said back-up device and engaged between said at least one second leg and said shelf and said second plate of said back-up device.

3. The modular rack as claimed in claim 2, wherein said tubular member of said connector includes an inclined outer peripheral surface formed thereon for forming said tubular member into a wedge engaging member and to be wedged between said at least one second leg and said shelf and said second plate of said back-up device.

4. The modular rack as claimed in claim 3, wherein said second plate of said back-up device includes a peripheral fence extended therefrom for forming said aperture of said second plate and for engaging with said tubular member.

5. The modular rack as claimed in claim 4, wherein said peripheral fence of said second plate of said back-up device includes an inclination for engaging with said inclined outer peripheral surface of said tubular member.

6. The modular rack as claimed in claim 2, wherein said connector includes a peripheral skirt extended around said tubular member for engaging with said shelf.

7. The modular rack as claimed in claim 6, wherein said connector includes a peripheral channel formed between said tubular member and said peripheral skirt, and said shelf includes a peripheral fence extended therefrom for forming said at least one opening of said shelf and for engaging into said peripheral channel of said connector.

8. The modular rack as claimed in claim 1, wherein said sleeve includes an inclined outer peripheral surface formed thereon for forming said sleeve into a wedge member and for being wedged between said at least one first leg and said housing and said first plate of said back-up device.

9. The modular rack as claimed in claim 8, wherein first plate of said back-up device includes a peripheral fence extended therefrom for forming said aperture of said first plate and for engaging with said sleeve.

10. The modular rack as claimed in claim 9, wherein said peripheral fence of said first plate of said back-up device includes an inclination for engaging with said inclined outer peripheral surface of said sleeve.

11. The modular rack as claimed in claim 8, wherein said housing includes a peripheral fence extended therefrom for forming said at least one orifice of said housing and for engaging with said sleeve.

12. The modular rack as claimed in claim 11, wherein said peripheral fence of said housing includes an inclination for engaging with said inclined outer peripheral surface of said sleeve.

13. The modular rack as claimed in claim 1, wherein said back-up device includes an end segment coupling said first and said second plates together and secured to said housing.

14. The modular rack as claimed in claim 1, wherein said first and said second plates of said back-up device each include a side flap extended therefrom and secured to said housing.

15. The modular rack as claimed in claim 1, wherein said first and said second plates of said back-up device each include at least one reinforcing rib extended therefrom.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a worktable or modular rack, and more particularly to a modular rack including an improved or reinforced structure for allowing the worktable or modular rack to be solidly assembled together to form a stable structure.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Typical modular racks comprise a number of posts units, a number of tubular sleeves and a number of trays to be detached from each other to form a relatively small volume after packaging, and also to be selectively assembled together to form a rack or table or shelf.

For example, U.S. Pat. No. 5,676,263 to Chang discloses one of the typical modular racks also comprising a number of posts units, a number of tubular sleeves and a number of trays to be selectively assembled together to form a rack or table or shelf, and further comprising a connector for connecting two posts together. However, the posts may not be solidly or stably anchored or secured to the tubular sleeves.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,659,410 to Lu discloses another typical metallic table comprising an elongated supporting portion for attaching to a connection portion of the metallic table. However, the connection portion may be used for connecting the elongated supporting portion to the metallic table only, but may not be used to couple the other elongated supporting portion to the metallic table.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,776,106 to Lin discloses a further typical worktable comprising one or more legs for attaching to a table top with one or more supporting housings. However, similarly, the supporting housings may be used for connecting the legs to the single table top only, but may not be used to couple the other table tops together.

The present invention has arisen to mitigate and/or obviate the afore-described disadvantages of the conventional worktables or modular racks.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary objective of the present invention is to provide a modular rack including an improved or reinforced structure for allowing the worktable or modular rack to be solidly assembled together to form a stable structure.

The other objective of the present invention is to provide a modular rack including two or more table tops to be selectively and solidly connected or secured together.

In accordance with one aspect of the invention, there is provided a modular rack comprising a shelf including at least one opening formed therein, a housing secured to the shelf and including at least one orifice formed therein, a back-up device disposed in the housing and including a first plate and a second plate secured to the housing, the first and the second plates each including an aperture formed therein, the aperture of the first plate being aligned with the orifice of the housing, the aperture of the second plate being aligned with the opening of the shelf, at least one first leg including a first end engageable into the orifice of the housing and the aperture of the first plate, a sleeve engageable between the first leg and the housing and the first plate for anchoring the first leg to the housing and the shelf, at least one second leg including a first end engageable into the opening of the shelf and the aperture of the second plate, and a connector engageable between the second leg and the shelf and the second plate for anchoring the second leg to the shelf and the housing.

The connector includes a tubular member engaged into the opening of the shelf and the aperture of the second plate of the back-up device and engaged between the second leg and the shelf and the second plate of the back-up device.

The tubular member of the connector includes an inclined outer peripheral surface formed thereon for forming the tubular member into a wedge engaging member and to be wedged between the second leg and the shelf and the second plate of the back-up device.

The second plate of the back-up device includes a peripheral fence extended therefrom for forming the aperture of the second plate and for engaging with the tubular member. The peripheral fence of the second plate of the back-up device includes an inclination for engaging with the inclined outer peripheral surface of the tubular member.

The connector includes a peripheral skirt extended around the tubular member for engaging with the shelf. The connector includes a peripheral channel formed between the tubular member and the peripheral skirt, and the shelf includes a peripheral fence extended therefrom for forming the opening of the shelf and for engaging into the peripheral channel of the connector.

The sleeve includes an inclined outer peripheral surface formed thereon for forming the sleeve into a wedge member and for being wedged between the first leg and the housing and the first plate of the back-up device. The plate of the back-up device includes a peripheral fence extended therefrom for forming the aperture of the first plate and for engaging with the sleeve.

The peripheral fence of the first plate of the back-up device includes an inclination for engaging with the inclined outer peripheral surface of the sleeve. The housing includes a peripheral fence extended therefrom for forming the orifice of the housing and for engaging with the sleeve. The peripheral fence of the housing includes an inclination for engaging with the inclined outer peripheral surface of the sleeve.

The back-up device includes an end segment coupling the first and the second plates together and secured to the housing. The first and the second plates of the back-up device each include a side flap extended therefrom and secured to the housing. The first and the second plates of the back-up device each include at least one reinforcing rib extended therefrom.

Further objectives and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a careful reading of the detailed description provided hereinbelow, with appropriate reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a modular rack in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged partial perspective view of the modular rack, in which a portion of the modular rack has been cut off for showing the inner structure of the modular rack;

FIG. 3 is a partial cross sectional view of the modular rack taken along lines 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a plan schematic view of the modular rack, in which a portion of the modular rack has been cut off for showing the inner structure of the modular rack, and an additional shelf has been attached to the modular rack;

FIG. 5 is an exploded view of the modular rack;

FIGS. 6, 7, 8 are enlarged partial perspective views illustrating the shelf and the back-up device and the connector of the modular rack, in which some portions of the shelf and the back-up device and the connector have also been cut off for showing the inner structure of the modular rack;

FIGS. 9, 10 are partial cross sectional views similar to FIG. 3, illustrating the operation of the modular rack;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view similar to FIG. 1, illustrating the other arrangement of the modular rack;

FIG. 12 is a plan schematic view of the modular rack as shown in FIG. 11;

FIG. 13 is a partial exploded view of the modular rack as shown in FIGS. 11 and 12; and

FIG. 14 is a partial cross sectional view of the modular rack taken along lines 14-14 of FIG. 11.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to the drawings, and initially to FIGS. 1-6, a modular rack in accordance with the present invention comprises a table top 10 and one or more plates or shelves 11 each including a rounded outer peripheral portion or a downwardly dependent peripheral wall 12, and one or more legs 50, 51 to be secured to the table top 10 and the shelves 11 with one or more supporting housings 20. The shelves 11 each include one or more (such as four) openings 13 formed therein and each defined by a peripheral fence 14 (FIG. 6) which is extended upwardly from the shelves 11 respectively, and the legs 50, 51 each include one or more peripheral grooves 52 formed in such as the outer peripheral portion thereof.

The supporting housings 20 may be made of or formed with a planar or sheet material (not shown) by such as one or more hammering or forging or punching processes, and each include two side walls 21 extended upwardly from a bottom panel 22 and each having a laterally or outwardly extended flange 25 for securing to the bottom of the table top 10 and/or the shelves 11 by such as latches or fasteners (not shown), adhesive materials, or by welding processes, etc. The housings 20 each include one or more, such as two orifices 23 formed in the bottom panel 22 thereof, and each orifice 23 formed or defined by a peripheral fence 24 (FIGS. 2-3 and 9-10) that is extended upwardly from the bottom panel 22 of the housing 20 and extended into a chamber 28 of the housing 20.

The housing 20 may include one or more screw holes 27 formed in either of the side walls 21 for threading with such as fasteners 80. The peripheral fence 24 includes an inclination or slope arranged such that the peripheral fence 24 is slightly inclined upwardly and inwardly into the orifice 23 of the housing 20 or narrowed upwardly, and for allowing the orifice 23 of the housing 20 to be formed as a frustum-shaped orifice 23 in the housing 20. The housing 20 includes two end panels 26 folded or extended upwardly from the ends of the bottom panel 22, for enclosing the two open ends or the chamber 28 of the housing 20, and for preventing the bugs or insects from entering into the chamber 28 of the housing 20.

One or more back-up devices 30 are received in the chamber 28 of the housing 20, and secured to the housing 20, and arranged or aligned or disposed above the orifices 23 of the housing 20 respectively. The back-up devices 30 each include a substantially C-shaped structure having two parallel plates or first and second plates 31, 32 arranged one above the other and secured to the housing 20, and coupled together at one end segment 39 (FIG. 7), the plates 31, 32 each include a side flap 33 extended downwardly or upwardly from the other side opposite to the end segment 39. The side flaps 33 of the plates 31, 32 and the end segment 39 of the back-up device 30 may be secured to the side walls 21 of the housing 20 with such as latches or fasteners (not shown), adhesive materials, or by welding processes, etc. The plates 31, 32 of the back-up device 30 each include an aperture 34 formed therein and defined by a peripheral fence 35, 36 that is extended downwardly or upwardly from the respective plates 31, 32 of the back-up device 30.

As also shown in FIGS. 2-3 and 9-10, the apertures 34 of the lower plates 32 of the back-up device 30 are aligned with the orifices 23 of the housing 20, and the peripheral fence 36 of the lower plate 32 also includes an inclination or slope arranged such that the peripheral fence 36 is slightly inclined upwardly and inwardly into the aperture 34 of the lower plate 32 or narrowed upwardly, and for allowing the aperture 34 and the peripheral fence 36 of the lower plate 32 to be formed as a frustum-shaped aperture 34. The upper portions 53 of the legs 50 are to be engaged into the orifices 23 of the housing 20 and the apertures 34 of the lower plates 32 of the back-up devices 30 and to be coupled or anchored or secured to the housing 20 and the back-up devices 30 with such as one or more sleeves 4. The plates 31, 32 of the back-up device 30 each preferably include one or more reinforcing ribs 37 extended therefrom (FIG. 7).

The sleeves 4 each include one or more, such as two semi-cylindrical sleeve casings 40 further provided and engaged between the upper portions 53 of the legs 50 and the housing 20 and the back-up devices 30, for forming the cylindrical sleeve 4. The sleeve casings 40 each preferably include one or more ribs 44 extended in the inner portion thereof (FIG. 2) for engaging into the peripheral grooves 52 of the legs 50, 51, and for stably attaching or securing the sleeve casings 40 onto the respective legs 50, 51, and for preventing the sleeve casings 40 from being moved relative to the respective legs 50, 51. The sleeve casings 40 or the sleeve 4 may include an inclined outer peripheral surface 41 formed thereon and having an inclination or slope arranged for forming the sleeve 4 into a wedge member 4 and for allowing the sleeve casings 40 and the legs 50, 51 to be easily and solidly engaged into the orifices 23 of the housing 20 and the apertures 34 of the lower plates 32 of the back-up devices 30 respectively.

The inclination of the inclined outer peripheral surface 41 of the sleeve casings 40 may be equal to or slightly greater or smaller than that of the peripheral fences 24, 36 of the housing 20 and the back-up devices 30, for allowing the sleeve casings 40 and the legs 50, 51 to be solidly engaged with the peripheral fences 24, 36 of the housing 20 and the back-up devices 30 by such as a wedge engaging action. The fasteners 80 may optionally or further be provided and threaded with the holes 27 of the housing 20, and engaged with the sleeve casings 40 (FIGS. 2-3, 9-10), for further solidly securing the sleeve casings 40 to the housing 20 and the back-up devices 30. The legs 50, 51 may also be secured to the housing 20 by the wedge shaped sleeve casings 40, without the fasteners 80.

One of the sleeve casings 40 may include one or more, such as two opposite recesses 42 formed therein (FIG. 5), such as formed in the sides or ends thereof, and the other sleeve casing 40 may include one or more, such as two corresponding ears 43 extended therefrom, such as extended from the sides or ends thereof for engaging into the respective recesses 42 of the other sleeve casings 40, and for preventing the sleeve casings 40 from moving up and down relative to each other. The upwardly extended side flaps 33 of the plates 31, 32 and the end segment 39 of the back-up device 30 may be solidly and firmly secured to the side walls 21 of the housing 20. In addition, the legs 50, 51 may be solidly secured to the housing 20 and the back-up device 30 with the sleeve casings 40, such that the legs 50, 51 may be solidly secured to the table top 10 and/or the shelves 11 with the housing 20 and the back-up device 30.

The apertures 34 of the upper plates 31 of the back-up device 30 are aligned with the openings 13 of the shelves 11, and the peripheral fence 35 of the upper plate 31 and the peripheral fences 14 of the shelves 11 include an inclination or slope arranged such that the peripheral fences 35, 14 are slightly inclined upwardly and outwardly or opened or widened upwardly, and for allowing the peripheral fences 35, 14 of the upper plate 31 and the shelves 11 to be formed as a frustum-shaped structure. The lower portions 54 of the upper or other legs 51 are to be engaged into the openings 13 of the shelves 11 and the apertures 34 of the upper plates 31 of the back-up device 30 and to be coupled or anchored or secured to the shelves 11 and the back-up devices 30 with such as one or more barrels or connectors 60.

As shown in FIGS. 2-3 and 8-10, the connectors 60 each include a tubular member 61 for engaging into the openings 13 of the shelves 11 and the apertures 34 of the upper plates 31 of the back-up device 30 and for engaging between the lower portions 54 of the upper or other legs 51 and the shelf 11 and the upper plate 31 or the housing 20, and each include an inclined outer peripheral surface 62 formed thereon and having an inclination or slope arranged for allowing the tubular member 61 of the connector 60 to be easily and solidly engaged into the openings 13 of the shelves 11 and the apertures 34 of the upper plates 31 of the back-up device 30. The tubular member 61 of the connector 60 may thus be formed or acted as a wedge engaging member to solidly anchor and couple the lower portions 54 of the upper or other legs 51 to the shelves 11 and the back-up devices 30.

It is preferable that the connectors 60 each further include a downwardly and outwardly extended peripheral skirt 63 located or extended around the tubular member 61 for engaging with the shelves 11 and/or for forming or defining a peripheral channel 64 between the tubular member 61 and the peripheral skirt 63 and for engaging or receiving the peripheral fences 14 of the shelves 11 and thus for limiting the movement of the connectors 60 relative to the shelves 11 and the back-up devices 30 and the lower portions 54 of the upper or other legs 51 and the housings 20, and for allowing the lower portions 54 of the upper or other legs 51 to be solidly anchored and secured to the shelves 11 and the back-up devices 30 by the wedge-shaped tubular member 61 of the connector 60.

The legs 50, 51 each may include a block 55 disposed or secured therein, such as disposed in the lower portion 54 of the upper leg 51 and the upper portion 53 of the lower leg 50, and the blocks 55 each may include a screw hole 56 formed therein for threading with a bolt or fastener 70 which may be used to solidly secure and couple the legs 50, 51 together. In operation, as shown in FIGS. 1-5 and 9-10, the lower legs 50 may be solidly anchored and secured to the shelf 11 with the sleeve casings 40 of the cylindrical sleeve 4 and the housings 20 and the back-up devices 30, and the upper leg 51 may be solidly anchored and secured to the shelf 11 with the back-up devices 30 and the connector 60. One or more shelves 11 may be selectively attached or secured onto the legs 50, 51 with the sleeve casings 40 of the cylindrical sleeve 4 and/or the fasteners 80.

As shown in FIGS. 11-14, without the shelves 11, the upper portion 53 of either of the legs 50, 51 may be directly engaged into the orifices 23 of the housing 20 and the apertures 34 of the lower plates 32 of the back-up devices 30 and may be coupled or anchored or secured to the housing 20 and the back-up devices 30 with the cylindrical sleeves 4, in which the back-up devices 30 are secured in the housing 20 and the housing 20 is secured to the bottom of the table top 10, such that the table top 10 and one or more shelves 11 may be selectively secured or coupled or constructed together with the legs 50, 51 and the housing 20 and the back-up devices 30 and the cylindrical sleeves 4 and/or the connectors 60.

Accordingly, the modular rack in accordance with the present invention includes an improved or reinforced structure for allowing the worktable or modular rack to be solidly assembled together to form a stable structure.

Although this invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is to be understood that the present disclosure has been made by way of example only and that numerous changes in the detailed construction and the combination and arrangement of parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as hereinafter claimed.