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The present invention relates to drawer handles, and more particularly to a universal drawer handle having a hidden, internal clamp assembly configured to clamp the handle against and center the handle on a drawer front, regardless of the position of pre-drilled mounting holes in the drawer front.
Decorative drawer pulls or handles come in a wide variety of designs, and are used in a wide variety of applications, such as on desk drawers, file cabinets, clothes dressers, china cabinets, and the like. However, over time and as a result of excessive use, such decorative handles may become damaged, requiring replacement. Likewise, users of such devices may occasionally wish to change the decorative appearance of such handles to provide a more updated design to the underlying piece of furniture. Unfortunately, however, the variety of handle designs available creates a good amount of variability in how any given handle might be attached to a surface. For instance, in a typical configuration, one or more screws will extend through a drawer front or cabinet door from the inside of such drawer or cabinet, and will screw into the back of a handle to affix it to the front of such drawer front or cabinet door. If one finds it desirable to thereafter change the handle to a different design, such person may be faced with creating new holes to align with the openings in the back of the intended replacement handle. This can leave the drawer front or cabinet door scarred with the old openings, thus losing the intended benefit of improving the aesthetic appearance of the drawer front or cabinet door. Likewise, such new design may require the user to drill new holes to receive the new handle, which process may be less than desirable for complicating what should be an easy replacement project, and in fact may cause additional scarring of the surfaces if errors are made in aligning the drill during the installation.
Efforts have previously been made to provide handles that might universally adapt to any drawer front or cabinet door configuration. For instance, U.S. Pat. No. 5,272,858 to Shapiro discloses a drawer handle having two posts that extend outward from a drawer front and that slidably engage a handle. While the posts can be affixed to pre-existing mounting holes in the drawer front, they remain quite visible after the handle is installed. If the holes were off center on the drawer front as a result of the configuration of the previously installed handle, the newly installed posts will likewise be off center, presenting an undesirable appearance after the new handle is installed. Likewise, the posts are configured to receive screws that must extend all the way through the drawer front and each post, and must ultimately push against the inside wall of the outer face of the handle in order to secure the assembly to the drawer front or cabinet door. Such configuration not only is subject to wearing down the inside wall of the outer face of the handle, but likewise may result in the screw piercing through the outside wall of the outer face of the handle if installation is not carried out carefully.
It would therefore be beneficial to provide a universal handle for a drawer front, a cabinet door, or other such structure that could be affixed to the drawer front or cabinet door using a pre-existing mounting hole configuration while hiding the mechanism that joins the new handle to such drawer front or cabinet door, in turn allowing the handle to be centered, even if such pre-existing mounting hole configuration is not centered, on the drawer front or cabinet door.
Disclosed is a universal drawer handle capable of being mounted to drawer fronts using pre-existing mounting holes extending through the drawer fronts, regardless of the position of such mounting holes. In accordance with an embodiment of the invention, the universal drawer handle includes one or more clamping members, preferably in the form of a T-nut, that clamp a base of the drawer handle to the outer surface of a drawer front or cabinet door. A clamping member anchor, such as a bolt or screw, extends through the drawer front from the back of the drawer front and into each clamping member, in turn pulling the base of the drawer handle against the drawer front. Each clamping member is configured to slide within a channel extending through the base, thus allowing the longitudinal position of the clamping member with respect to the base to be adjusted as may be necessary to accommodate pre-existing mounting holes in the drawer front that resulted from prior installations of alternative drawer pulls. In this manner, the base may be positioned wherever desirable on the drawer front (e.g., centered on the drawer front) without requiring that new mounting holes be drilled through the drawer front.
A faceplate covers the outer face of the base (i.e., the face opposite the face that abuts the drawer front) and entirely conceals the clamping members from view. Preferably, the faceplate is removably attached to the base, such as by way of one or more anchors, such as screws or bolts, extending through the base from the back side thereof, through the front side of the base, and into threaded channels on a back side of the faceplate. With this configuration, the connection between the faceplate and the base is likewise concealed, making the universal drawer pull appear as a single cast assembly.
By concealing both the clamping mechanism that clamps the base to the drawer front and the anchors that secure the faceplate to the base, the universal drawer handle maintains the aesthetic benefits of appearing as a single cast drawer pull, while still allowing the position of the clamping members to be adjusted with respect to the pull, and thus allowing the pull to be variably positioned on a drawer front without having to drill new mounting holes in the drawer front. Further, by providing a faceplate that is removable, a user may enjoy the added benefit of being able to quickly and easily modify the external appearance of a drawer, again without having to create new mounting holes, and likewise while maintaining the appearance of a single cast drawer pull. Likewise, by mounting such faceplate to the base by use of threaded anchors extending into a threaded channel on the back side of the faceplate, there is no need to have the clamping members engage the faceplate (as has been required by prior art adjustable drawer handles, such as that described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,727,858), thus maintaining ease of adjustment of the longitudinal position of the clamping members with respect to the base and avoiding the risk of having anchors or other connecting members inadvertently piercing the faceplate during the installation process.
The above and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention are considered in more detail, in relation to the following description of embodiments thereof shown in the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is an exploded top view of a universal drawer pull according to an embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is an exploded bottom view of the universal drawer pull of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a side, sectional view of the universal drawer pull of FIG. 1; and
FIG. 4 is a rear perspective view of the universal drawer pull of FIG. 1.
The invention summarized above may be better understood by referring to the following description, which should be read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which like reference numerals are used for like parts. This description of an embodiment, set out below to enable one to practice an implementation of the invention, is not intended to limit the preferred embodiment, but to serve as a particular example thereof. Those skilled in the art should appreciate that they may readily use the conception and specific embodiments disclosed as a basis for modifying or designing other methods and systems for carrying out the same purposes of the present invention. Those skilled in the art should also realize that such equivalent assemblies do not depart from the spirit and scope of the invention in its broadest form.
As shown in the perspective top and bottom views of FIGS. 1 and 2, respectively, and the cross-sectional view of FIG. 3, a universal drawer pull (shown generally at 100) comprises a base 110, a faceplate 120, and one or more clamping members 130.
Base 110 comprises a generally rectangular body having a longitudinal axis (running parallel to line A-A of FIG. 1), a preferably planar front face 111, a preferably planar bottom face 112 opposite front face 111 and configured to abut the outer surface of a drawer front, and a channel (shown generally at 113) extending through the base. Channel 113 has a lower portion 113A (FIG. 2) adjacent bottom face 112 of base 110, and an upper portion 113B (FIG. 1) adjacent top face 111 of base 110. Lower portion 113A preferably has a width dimension that is less than that of upper portion 113B, thus forming a ledge 114 within channel 113 and extending the length thereof. As discussed in greater detail below, ledge 114 provides a stop against which a top portion of clamping member 130 rests, with the lower portion of clamping member 130 extending through lower portion 113A of channel 113.
Base 110 is also preferably provided one or more bore holes 115 through which an anchor, such as a threaded screw or bolt 116, may extend in order to engage faceplate 120 so as to removably affix it to base 110. Those of ordinary skill in the art will recognize that alternative attachment devices may likewise be used to removably join faceplate 120 to base 110, such as mating sections of hook and loop fastening material or other non-temporary joining mechanisms without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
While base 110 is shown in FIGS. 1 through 3 as having generally curved ends, those of ordinary skill in the art will also recognize that alternative configurations of base 110 may likewise be provided without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, so long as base 110 provides a closed exterior that fully conceals clamping members 130 and, when assembled with faceplate 120, appears as a single cast drawer handle.
Faceplate 120 likewise preferably has a front face 121 and a bottom face 122. Bottom face 122 is preferably slightly indented so as to form a slight lip 123, which lip is preferably shaped to overlap the outer edge of front face 111 of base 110 when it is joined to faceplate 120. Faceplate 120 is also preferably provided one or more threaded openings 124 configured to receive the threaded ends of anchors 116. Threaded openings 124 extend only partially into the body of faceplate 120, but not through the body of faceplate 120, so as to keep the anchors that join faceplate 120 to base 110 hidden once installed, further maintaining the appearance of a single cast drawer handle.
Clamping members 130 are provided preferably in the form of a T-nut having a lower leg 131 and a top plate 132, with top plate 132 situated atop lower leg 131 at a generally 90 degree angle thereto so as to form a “T.” A threaded bore hole 133 (FIG. 3) extends into each lower leg 131, and is configured to receive a threaded anchor 134 in the form of a bolt or screw. Lower leg 131 is sized to fit within lower portion 113A of channel 113 in base 110, and so as to be able to slide within channel 113 once placed therein. Likewise, top plate 132 of clamping members 130 is configured to fit within upper portion 113B of channel 113 in the base 110, and so as to be able to slide within channel 113 once placed therein.
The bottom surface of top plate 132 provides a stop surface 134 on each side of lower leg 131 configured to rest on ledge 114 in base 110. Thus, when clamping member 130 is situated in channel 113, and a threaded anchor 134 engages threaded bore hole 133 (after extending through a drawer front 500 as shown in FIG. 3), anchor 130 is pulled toward bottom face 112 of base 110, such that stop surface 134 presses against ledge 114, in turn pushing the entirety of base 110 against the front of drawer front 500, clamping base 110 in place against drawer front 500.
In use, and with particular reference to FIG. 4, a user may simply position the universal drawer handle 100 on a drawer front having previously existing mounting holes, position the drawer handle 100 where desired, move clamping members 130 so that they align with such pre-existing mounting holes, feed anchors 134 through the back of drawer front 500 and into each clamping member 130, and tighten anchor members 134 to clamp universal drawer handle 100 in place against the front of drawer front 500. In the event that drawer handle 100 inadvertently moves during such installation process away from the desired position, anchor members 134 may be slightly loosened, and the complete drawer handle 100 may be slid to the desired position, at which point anchor members 134 may be retightened so as to lock universal drawer handle 100 in place. Should a user desire to later change the appearance of such drawer handle by providing an alternate faceplate, they may simply reverse the process to remove universal drawer handle 100, remove faceplate 120 by loosening anchor members 116, replace the old faceplate with a new faceplate 120, tighten anchor members 116, and repeat the installation process set forth above to clamp the drawer handle in the desired position on drawer front 500.
Having now fully set forth the preferred embodiments and certain modifications of the concept underlying the present invention, various other embodiments as well as certain variations and modifications of the embodiments herein shown and described will obviously occur to those skilled in the art upon becoming familiar with said underlying concept. It should be understood, therefore, that the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically set forth herein.