Title:
Window shelf
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A window shelf with a first hollow long rectangular box member and a second hollow long rectangular box member having one open end. The open end of the second box member slides over the first box member. A ratchet rail is located within the first box member and engages a pawl mechanism located within the second box member. A rubber end cap located at the end of the first box member and a pair of threaded rubber end caps at the end of the second box member are all situated so that when the first box member is slid outward from the second box member the pawl engages the ratchet rail and prevents the first box member from sliding inward and the threaded extension caps are turned until the window shelf is frictionally engaged with the inside frame walls of a window.



Inventors:
Anderson, Laurie L. (Corte Madera, CA, US)
Cotter, Donna M. (San Rafael, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/077030
Publication Date:
09/17/2009
Filing Date:
03/17/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B57/58
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHEN, JOSE V
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Laurie, Anderson L. (22 Morning star course, Corte Madera, CA, 94925, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. window shelf comprising: a first hollow long rectangular box member; a second hollow long rectangular box member having one open end; the open end of said second box member capable of sliding over and engaging said first box member; a ratchet rail located within and parallel to the long direction of said first box member; a pawl mechanism located within said second box member; a pawl sliding mechanism capable of releasing said pawl from said ratchet rail; a rubber end cap located at the end of said first box member; a pair of threaded apertures located at the end of said second box member a pair of threaded, rubber tipped extension caps engaged with said threaded apertures at the end of said second box member; all said elements situated so that when said first box member is slid outward from said second box member by a user, said pawl engages said ratchet rail and prevents said first box member from sliding inward except when said user releases said pawl by engaging said pawl sliding mechanism; and and said window shelf is affixed to the inside window frame when said rubber end cap of said first box member and said rubber tipped extension caps of said second box member are frictionally engaged with the said inside window frame.

2. Window shelf as claimed in claim 1 further comprising an extension cap cover to hide said rubber tipped extension caps, whose width and height matches the dimensions of the width and height of said second box.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not Applicable

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable

DESCRIPTION OF ATTACHED APPENDIX

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to the field of shelving devices and more specifically to a window shelf.

The use of shelves mounted to interior walls of homes and Comerica spaces for the purpose of holding items such as books, vases, picture frames and other small items is well known. In some circumstances it is desirable to mount a shelf in front of a window. For example, a home owner might want to place a small flower pot and plant on a shelf in front of a window. Or perhaps he or she might want to display a vase or other decorative item where the light from a window will accentuate the beauty of the item. Therefore it would be advantageous to provide a shelf system that can be supported in front of a window.

A number of patents have addressed this problem including patents U.S. Pat. Nos. 727,423, 4,188,891, 4,869,451, 5,020,756, 6,360,500, 6,540,093 and 6,796,249. However, there is a deficiency in the prior technology in that the designs in all the prior art require special supporting hardware or brackets that both reduce the aesthetic appearance of the shelf and, in many cases, require the user to use nails or screws to attach support brackets.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The primary object of the invention is to provide a shelf that can be placed within the frame of a window without the need for additional fastening means.

Another object of the invention is to provide a shelf for a window that can be lengthened or shortened to fit a user's window frame.

Another object of the invention is to provide a shelf for a window that can be easily removed and replaced.

A further object of the invention is to provide a shelf for a window that does not rely on the window sill for support.

Yet another object of the invention is to provide a shelf for a window that supports itself at the left and right ends and does not need additional support or bracing.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following descriptions, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein, by way of illustration and example, an embodiment of the present invention is disclosed.

In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention, there is disclosed window shelf comprising: a first hollow long rectangular box member and a second hollow long rectangular box member having one open end, the open end of said second box member capable of sliding over and engaging the end of said first box member, a ratchet rail located within and parallel to the long direction of said first box member, a pawl mechanism located within said second box member, a pawl sliding mechanism capable of releasing said pawl from said ratchet rail, a rubber end cap located at the end of said first box member, a pair of threaded apertures located at the end of said second box member a pair of threaded, rubber tipped extension caps engaged with said threaded apertures at the end of said second box member, all said elements situated so that when said first box member is slid outward from said second box member by a user, said pawl engages said ratchet rail and prevents said first box member from sliding inward except when said user releases said pawl by engaging said pawl sliding mechanism, and said window shelf is affixed to the inside window frame when said rubber end cap of said first box member and said rubber tipped extension caps of said second box member are frictionally engaged with the said inside window frame.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The drawings constitute a part of this specification and include exemplary embodiments to the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. It is to be understood that in some instances various aspects of the invention may be shown exaggerated or enlarged to facilitate an understanding of the invention.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the invention in place within a window frame.

FIG. 2 is a top view of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a side section view of the invention.

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the invention.

FIG. 5 is a partial bottom perspective view of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a partial end view of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Detailed descriptions of the preferred embodiment are provided herein. It is to be understood, however, that the present invention may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but rather as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed system, structure or manner.

Referring now to FIG. 1 we see a perspective view of the invention 100 placed in close proximity to a window 12 encased by window frame 10. The invention 100 is primarily made of two components, a first long rectangular box shape 2 and a second long rectangular box shape 4. A cover plate 6 conceals a shelf securing system as will be described below. First box shape 2 slides into the open end of long box shape 4. The shelf 100 can support items such as a vase, 8 or other decorative items that are visually benefited by the direct exposure to sunlight.

FIG. 2 shows a top view of the invention 100. a rubber end cap 18 interacts with the left side of window frame 10 and a pair of rubber tipped caps 44, 46 interact with the right side of window frame 10. Section line 50 defines the cross section view shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 3 shows a side section view and clearly shows how first long box 2 slides into second long box 4. A user can spread the two box shapes 2, 4 apart to adjust the shelf 100 to the width of the window frame 10. Ratchet rail 20 is fixedly attached to long box 2 and a standard pawl mechanism 22, 26 is slidably attached to long box 4. The pawl 22 prevents the two boxes from pushing in on each other during use. When the shelf 100 is removed or replaced in a different window frame, the user can slide pawl member 26 in retaining legs 24 so that the pawl 22 no longer engages the ratchet rail 20. To provide final isometric pressure to the shelf 100 to hold it in place in window frame 10, the user turns threaded 28 adjustment knobs 14, 16, that are held in mating threaded apertures located in the end cap of long box 4, causing rubber tips 44, 46 to impinge on the interior wall of window frame 10. Rubber end cap 18 impinges on the opposite inner wall of window frame 10.

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the invention 100. In this view sliding pawl holder 26 can be seen. Dotted lines 30 show the position of pawl holder 26 after it has been slid over so that the pawl 22 is no longer engaged with the ratchet rail 20 allowing the user to compress long box 2 into long box 4. End cap adjustment knobs 14, 16 and rubber tips 44, 46 can be clearly seen.

FIG. 5 shows a partial end view of first long box 2. This view shows the end that is normally encased within long box 4. Ratchet rail 20 can be clearly seen as well as the empty space 40 next to ratchet rail 20. The empty space 40 allows room for pawl mechanism 22, 26 to slide over to disengage the pawl 22 from the rail 20 when needed.

FIG. 6 shows a partial end view of second long box 4. with cover plate 6 removed. Adjustment knobs 14, 16, and rubber end caps 44, 46 can be clearly seen. A ledge 42 helps hold cover plate 6 in place.

The above described and illustrated window shelf allows a user to install a shelf between the inner frame of a window without damaging the frame and without special tools and without relying on the window sill for support. The length of the shelf can be adjusted to fit a particular window frame. The shelf can be easily removed and replaced as needed. No special brackets or other hardware are required to mount the shelf to the inside of the window frame.

While the invention has been described in connection with a preferred embodiment, it is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to the particular form set forth, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.