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The present application claims priority from previously filed U.S. provisional patent application 61/324,488 titled Modular Collapsible Gardening Rack by Archie Vermeer on Apr. 15, 2010.
The present device relates to gardening racks in particular relate to a modular and collapsible gardening rack that can be used for storage of goods typically sold in gardening centers.
Currently gardening racks used in the gardening industry are made entirely of steel and are available with or without wheels for being able to roll the gardening rack from one location to the other.
The base and uprights typically are made of steel as are each individual shelf. Present day gardening racks can be partially disassembled in that the one-piece steel shelves can be removed from the vertical uprights such that one is able to disassemble the current state of the art gardening rack into individual rigid steel shelves as well as a base and vertical uprights for the purpose of transportation.
The disadvantages of the current state of the art gardening rack are firstly that these racks are extremely heavy in that they are made entirely of steel including the shelf material. The shelf panels are normally made of expanded steel mesh and/or steel plate type material.
Goods are typically stored onto the shelves of the gardening racks and transported from manufacturing locations and/or warehouse locations to the final retail outlets. Once the goods have been sold by the retailer the empty gardening racks are then partially disassembled and loaded back onto trucks for shipment back to the manufacturing facilities and/or the warehouses.
Current gardening racks are extremely heavy are not easily collapsible, break down into components which are fairly large and bulky and normally require two or more persons in order to put together the gardening rack and again disassemble the gardening rack.
There is a need for a gardening rack which is easily collapsible and modular in nature that can be easily assembled and disassembled by a single person which is much lighter in weight and less expensive to manufacture than, the current gardening racks and can be effectively used to store and move about gardening type items.
With the intention of providing demonstration of the characteristics of the device or method, an example is given below, without any restrictive character whatsoever, with reference to the corresponding figures, of a preferred embodiment of the device and method as follows;
FIG. 1 is a top plan view of the base of the modular collapsible gardening rack
FIG. 2 is a partial side elevational view of the base together with vertical uprights of the modular collapsible gardening rack
FIG. 3 is a schematic perspective view of the base together with vertical uprights mounted thereon.
FIG. 4 is a schematic perspective view of the base together with the vertical uprights together with the shelf cross members mounted thereon
FIG. 5 is a partial top plan view of a portion of a shelf cross member.
FIG. 6 is an end elevational view of the shelf cross member showing its cross section.
FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of a shelf cross member.
FIG. 8 is a bottom plan view of a shelf cross member.
FIG. 9 is a schematic partial perspective view of a shelf cross member.
FIG. 10 is a schematic side perspective view of an entire shelf cross member.
FIG. 11 is a schematic perspective view of an assembled modular collapsible gardening rack.
FIG. 12 is a cross sectional view of a shelf together with cross members showing a tensed panel.
FIG. 13 is a partial side elevational view of a modular collapsible gardening rack together with a plant placed on the tensed panel.
FIG. 14 is a cross sectional view of a shelf mounted onto shelf cross members showing a deep panel.
FIG. 15 is a partial side elevational view of the modular collapsible gardening rack showing plants resting on the deep panel.
FIG. 16 is a cross sectional view of a shelf mounted onto shelf cross members showing a shallow panel.
FIG. 17 is a partial cross sectional elevational view of the modular collapsible gardening rack showing a tray together with plants resting on a shallow panel.
FIG. 18 is a side schematic perspective view of rolled shelving material.
FIG. 19 is a schematic perspective view of a modular collapsible gardening rack together with shelving having end flaps.
FIG. 20 is a schematic side perspective view of the base of the modular collapsible gardening rack.
FIG. 21 is a schematic perspective view of the shelf cross members and the vertical uprights and the shelf material disassembled from the modular collapsible gardening rack.
FIG. 22 is a schematic perspective view showing the vertical uprights the shelf cross members and the shelf material rolled up into a storage position.
Referring to FIG. 11 the present device and method a modular collapsible gardening rack shown generally as 100 includes the following major components namely base 102, vertical uprights 104 and shelf 108. Shelf 108 is preferably made of flexible sheet or film material such as plastic or fabric for example.
Referring now to FIGS. 11, 1 and 2 base 102 includes the following components namely longitudinal frame member 110 transverse frame members 112 bracket flanges 114 wheels 116 and wheel brackets 118.
Modular collapsible gardening rack 100 can be placed in an assembled position shown generally as 120 in FIG. 11 and in a collapsed position shown generally as 122 in FIGS. 20, 21 and 22 for example. For clarification in the collapsed position 122 all of the components of the modular collapsible gardening rack 100 are shown in two separate figures namely FIG. 20 which includes the base 102 and FIG. 22 which shows the vertical uprights 104, shelf cross members 106, and the shelf 108 in a storage position 130.
It is apparent from drawings that in collapsed position 122, base 102 of modular collapsible gardening rack 100 is not further disassembled but rather the vertical uprights 104 are removed from base 102 and the shelf cross members 106 and the shelves 108 are also removed from the vertical uprights 104.
It is possible to disassemble base 102 further however in practice it is seldom done.
Vertical uprights 104 are manufactured from known sectional steel tubular material, which contains slots 132 for receiving a retainer portion 134 of an end of the shelf cross member 106.
Referring now to FIGS. 5 through 10 inclusively shelf cross member 106 is preferably made from tubular steel type material of rectangular or square cross section as shown in FIGS. 5 through 11 with each cross member end 138 including a notch 140 defined therein.
The notch 140 on each cross member end 138 of shelf cross member 106 includes a bearing surface 142 and a retainer portion 134.
In addition shelf cross member 106 includes a top portion 144 a bottom portion 146 and side portions 148.
FIG. 6 shows the cross section 150 of shelf cross member 106. This is a typical cross section 150 however in practice many other cross sections 150 could also be used.
Referring now to FIG. 18 shelf 108 is made of shelving material 160, which preferably can be supplied in roll form shown in FIG. 18 as rolled shelving material 162. Shelving material 162 may have predefined shelf pockets 164 which are spaced at pocket spacing 166 shown as S1 and shown as 167 S2 in FIG. 18. In this manner the user could simply unroll rolled shelving material 162 to a predetermined distance and simply cut off a preselected length of shelving material 160 from roiled shelving material 162 depending upon the width of the modular collapsible gardening rack 100. The shelving material 162 includes shelf pockets 164 at preselected pocket spacings 166, the pockets for connected the shelf 108 to the cross members 106 by inserting the cross members 106 there through.
Shelf 108 can be placed into either a tensed panel configuration 172 as shown in FIG. 12 in which the shelf panel 170 is placed under tension prior to placing any weight on the shelf thereby creating a tensed panel 172 as shown in FIG. 12. One could also select to place the shelf 108 into a deep panel 174 configuration as shown in FIG. 14 in which the depth D 173 is greater than one inch. One could also select to place the shelf 108 into a shallow panel 176 configuration as shown in FIG. 16 in which the depth D 173 is less than or equal to one inch.
FIG. 13 shows a plant 180 placed onto a tensed panel 172 wherein there is a minimum of a deflection downwardly of shelf 108. FIG. 15 on the other hand shows plants 108 placed into a deep panel 174 having depth D 171 and FIG. 17 shows a tray 182 placed onto a shallow panel 176 having depth D 173 wherein the tray then houses plants 180 thereon.
Shelf 108 could further include end flaps 190 as shown in FIG. 19 which can be placed in the display position shown as 192 in FIG. 19 and can be placed in an upright position not shown in FIG. 19 for transportation of the goods, which are placed upon the shelves 108.
Referring first of all to FIGS. 1 through 4, modular collapsible gardening rack 100 is assembled by taking a base 102 and inserting vertical uprights 104 into upright brackets 114 which are attached to base 102 via a bracket flange 202.
It is possible to disassemble base 102 by removing upright brackets 114 from each corner of base 102 by unbolting bracket flanges 202 from both the transverse frame members 112 and longitudinal frame members 110. In practice however as already indicated base 102 is left assembled since further collapsing of this portion of the modular collapsible gardening rack usually does not provide any further efficiencies.
Shelf 108 is attached at a first side 121 to a cross member 106 and at a second side 123 to another cross member 106. The material between the cross members 106 is a shelf panel 170. In the case the shelf material 160 is used having predefined shelf pockets 164 two shelf cross members 106 are inserted into individual shelf pockets 164 prior to positioning them onto vertical uprights 104. By selecting pocket spacing S1 and 52 one can choose to have either a tensed panel 172 or a deep panel 174 or a shallow panel 176. With each shelf pocket 164 in position over top of each shelf cross member 106 each shelf cross member 106 is then demountably placed into the desired slot 132 of the respective vertical upright 104.
Retainer portion 134 of shelf cross member 106 is inserted into slot 132 such that bearing surface 142 comes to rest to the bottom of each slot 132 thereby securely ensuring that shelf cross member 106 is demountably attached to vertical uprights 104. Retainer portion 134 of shelf cross member 106 prevents accidental removal of the shelf cross members 106 from vertical uprights 104.
Once the modular collapsible gardening rack 100 has been assembled one can place plants 180 and/or trays 182 containing plants 180 onto each of the shelves 108 of modular collapsible gardening rack 100.
One can select to have a number of different shelves 108 at various elevations thereby one can take advantage of all of the space circumscribed by the modular collapsible gardening rack 100. For example it may be desirable to have a deep panel 174 shelf near the bottom of modular collapsible gardening rack 100 and shallow panel 176 shelves 108 and/or tensed panel 172 shelves 108 approximate the upper portion of modular collapsible gardening rack in order to take advantage of all the space available on modular collapsible gardening rack 100.
In order to collapse modular collapsible gardening rack 100 the reverse of the assembly procedure is performed. Firstly shelf cross members are demounted from the vertical uprights 104 by slightly raising or lifting each shelf cross member end 138 such that retainer portion 134 is clear of each slot 132 and can be easily removed from slot 132.
Once shelves 108 are removed thereafter, vertical uprights 104 can be slideably removed from each upright bracket 114.
Disassembled components are shown in FIGS. 20 and 21. In FIG. 20 is depicted base 102 in FIG. 21 is depicted 4 vertical uprights 104 and two shelf cross members 106 and one shelf 108.
In FIG. 22 the suggested storage position 130 is wherein the vertical uprights 104 and the shelf cross members 106 are rolled inside of shelf 108 as depicted in FIG. 22 schematically.
The shelving material 160 can be selected from a wide variety of materials that are flexible in nature. For example plastics, fabrics, reinforced flexible sheet materials can be used for shelving material 160. The shelving material 160 will be selected depending upon the strength requirements of the shelf. The advantages of using flexible material is among others the savings in weight, the ease of use, the reduction in collapsed size and the reduced cost to name a few.
It should be apparent to persons skilled in the art of various modification and adaptations of the structure described above are possible without departure from the spirit of the invention the scope of which is defined in the appended claims.