United States Patent 3805965

A storage unit comprising a plurality of carriers adapted to be rotatably supported one on top of the other and detachably connected one to another, so that one can select the number of carriers to be used, with each carrier having its own post extension, so that there are no posts protruding from the topmost carrier irrespective of the number of carriers being used. Each carrier comprises a central pipe and an annular concentric plate connected to the pipe by spokes. The annular plate has a plurality of screw caps fixed to the underside thereof. A plurality of jars removably fit the screw caps and serve to store, for instance, different types and sizes of small hardware parts. The pipe of each carrier, except of the lowermost carrier, receives a rod secured thereto protruding from the lower end of the pipe and terminating at its top end below the top end of the pipe. The top and bottom faces of each rod have a recess and a thrust ball is located in the recess of adjacent rods. Thus, the rod of a carrier is introduced within the top end of the pipe of a lower carrier with the interposition of the thrust ball. Thus, several carriers can be fitted one on top of the other and are independently rotatable, and there is no rod or post protruding from the topmost carrier. A post supports the entire assembly; the pipe of the lowermost carrier is rotatably fitted on the post and is secured to the rod of a superposed carrier.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
108/94, 211/144, 211/163, 248/131
International Classes:
A47F5/00; A47F5/05; A47F7/28; B25H3/00; (IPC1-7): A47B73/00
Field of Search:
211/77,78,163,144 248
View Patent Images:
US Patent References:
3315819Saddle support stand1967-04-25Kingsbery
3306464Receptacle holder and support1967-02-28Rogers
3194403Holder on upright support of detachable rotatable trays1965-07-13Van Horn
3134487Dishwashing machine1964-05-26Blanchard
2803513Rotatable shelf structure for refrigerators1957-08-20Davey
2750051Multiple rotary card file1956-06-12Wassell
2662644Rotary stand for parts containers1953-12-15Alexander
2052801Rotary support1936-09-01Russakov
1732131Display and dispensing apparatus1929-10-15Mahaffey

Foreign References:
Primary Examiner:
Frazier, Roy D.
Assistant Examiner:
Frankel, Abraham
What I claim is

1. A storage unit comprising a plurality of superposed carriers independently rotatable, each carrier including an annular plate, a plurality of screw caps secured to the underside of said annular plate, a plurality of jars removably fitting said screw caps, a pipe and spokes mounting said annular plate centrally upon said pipe, said carriers further including a rod fitted within said pipe and secured thereto, said rod protruding from the lower end of the associated pipe and terminating short at its top end from the top end of the associated pipe, the protruding end of the rod being rotatably inserted within the top end of a pipe of a lower carrier, thrust bearing means between adjacent ends of the rods of the superposed carriers, to allow independent rotation of one with respect to the other, a post of circular cross-section for supporting the assembly of carriers, an additional carrier similar to the said carriers but devoid of a rod, the pipe of said additional carrier receiving the top portion of said post and rotatable thereon, said additional carrier constituting the lowermost carrier, and means to secure the pipe of said lowermost carrier to the rod of the next upper carrier, while allowing relative rotation between these two carriers.

The present invention relates to a storage unit particularly for use in workshops, where large numbers of different type and different size small hardware parts, such as nails, screws and the like, have to be separately stored and readily accessible.

A well known way of storing such hardware parts is in glass jars with screw caps, and one conventional method involves fastening the caps to the underside of a shelf, the jars being removed and screwed back in as needed.

In a similar, commercially available arrangement the screw caps are fastened on a drum which is rotatable on a horizontal axis. This arrangement, while providing the convenience of card file access, is somewhat wasteful of space and also presents the disadvantage that the drum is in most cases not balanced, because some jars are heavier than others. As a result, the drum tends to rotate on its own away from a desired position.

The present invention seeks to overcome these drawbacks by providing a storage unit comprising an upright post, at least one carrier with a plurality of fastening devices thereon, a plurality of containers engageable with such fastening devices and bearing means mounting such carriers on the post for rotation about the axis of the post.

More specifically, according to the invention, the carrier comprises an annular plate with the fastening devices, preferably screw caps, secured to the underside thereof, a pipe slidably and rotatably mounted on the post, and spokes mounting the pipe centrally of the annular plate.

The advantage of the foregoing arrangement is that the containers or jars are always in upright position and can thus, if desired, be used even for storing liquids or other materials or items liable to be damaged if turned over or agitated.

According to a further specific feature of the invention, a thrust member is secured to the top end of the pipe in the interior thereof, and the bearing means is a ball located between the bottom of the thrust member and the top of the post. The main thrust is thus carried by the for making fir smooth and easy operation.

Further, according to the invention, the thrust member may consist of a post section carrying an additional carrier, so that any number of carriers may be stacked one above the other, resulting in great savings of space.

In an alternative construction, also in accordance with the invention, the carrier comprises an inverted conical member with the fastening devices, preferably screws caps, secured to the underside thereof. In this arrangement, the bearing means is a ball bearing secured to the post and supporting the conical member at the apex thereof, so that, here again, a plurality of carriers may be stacked on a single post.

Preferred embodiments of the invention are illustrated by way of example in the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is an elevation of a storage unit according to a first embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a vertical fragmentary section along line 2--2 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 3 is a vertical fragmentary axial section along line 3--3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a horizontal cross-section along line 4--4 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is an elevation of a storage unit according to a second embodiment of the invention;

FIGS. 6, 7, and 8 are schematic views of three variations of the embodiment of FIG. 1;

FIG. 9 is an elevation of a storage unit according to a third embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 10 is a vertical fragmentary axial section along line 10--10 of FIG. 9; and

FIG. 11 is a horizontal fragmentary cross-section along line 11--11 of FIG. 9.

With reference to FIGS. 1-4, the storage unit according to the first embodiment of the invention comprises a pipe 14, welded at the bottom to a base plate 16 which can be bolted to any suitably solid support such as a work bench 18. Pipe 14 carries at the top an extension rod 20 (FIG. 3) fitting thereinto and welded to it. Pipe 14 and extension rod 20 constitute a post having an upwardly facing shoulder 14' below the top end of the post.

A plurality of carriers 22 are stacked above the post 14 in a manner to be described hereinafter. Each carrier 22 comprises a flat annular metal plate 24 having at its inner edge a downwardly projecting reinforcing flange 25 (FIG. 2). A number of screw caps 26 are fastened to the underside of the plate 24, for example by means of rivets 28. Jars 30, preferably of glass or other transparent material, screw into the caps 26. Each carrier 22 further comprises a pipe 32 mounted centrally of the annular plate 24 by means of spokes 34. Each carrier 22, except the lowermost carrier, further includes a rod 36 fitted within the pipe and secured thereto as by welding 36'. Each rod 36 has a top face disposed below the top end of its associated pipe 32 and protrudes downwardly from the lower end of its associated pipe to rotatably fit the top portion of the pipe of a lower carrier and be guided thereby. The top and bottom faces of each rod 36 and the top face of rod 20 are recessed to receive a ball 41 constituting a thrust bearing. Each rod 36 has an annular groove 38 near the bottom end, which is penetrated by a set screw 40 passing through the pipe 32 of a lower carrier. Set screw 40 allows rotation of rod 36 relative to pipe 32 but prevents accidental upward removal of rod 36 from within the pipe 32 of a lower carrier. The rods 36 act as thrust members for the several carriers and together with pipes 32 as post extensions. The dimensions of the various parts are such that the lower end of a pipe is maintained spaced from the upper end of the pipe of the lower carrier. As noted above, the lowermost carrier has no rod 36 and its pipe 32 is simply rotatably mounted on rod 20 of the post and is secured, so that the lower end of the pipe 32 of the lowermost carrier will be spaced from the shoulder 14". In this case, the securing means include the set-screw 40 engaging the groove 38 of the rod 36 of the next upper carrier and the thrust ball 41. It is to be noted that the topmost carrier, as shown in FIG. 3, constitutes the top of the several post extensions, whereby there is no need for a central post going through all of the pipes of the several superposed carriers and which would protrude upwardly in the case where there is less than the maximum number of carriers being used. It will be noted that each carrier 22 can be rotated independently of the others.

As indicated by the variants of FIGS. 6-8, carriers 22, of like construction but different diameters, may be used as dictated by requirements of space or convenience.

As shown in FIG. 5, the storage unit may be mounted between shelves 42 or in the interior of a cabinet. In this case, the construction is the same as in FIGS. 1-4 with the exception that bottom post 14' is shorter and a top post 44 is added which extends into the pipe 32' of top carrier 22' and is fastened to the top shelf 42 by means of a plate 46.

The embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 9-11 is particularly suited for use as a floor mounted unit. In this embodiment, a one-piece upright post 48 is used which is rigidly fixed on a caster mounted truck 50.

The bottom carrier 52 comprises an inverted conical member 54 with screws caps 56 fastened to the underside thereof in concentric rows. At the apex of the conical member 54 is a flattened annular portion 58 (FIG. 10) with an upwardly projecting cylindrical flange 60 at the inner edge thereof. The conical member 54 has in the interior thereof a number of spokes 62 connected to a central ring 64 (FIG. 11). Flange 60 and ring 64 mount the carrier 52 on the post 48 and the carrier is supported by a bearing 66 having an upper race 68 juxtaposed to the flattened portion 58, a set of balls 70, and a bracket-shaped lower race 72 secured to the post 48 by a pin 74.

The next upper carrier 76, and any further ones, are of similar construction and are similarly supported, except that the inverted member 78 is in this case in the shape of a truncated cone with the flattened annular portion 80 correspondingly wider. Due to the lesser weight to be carried, the spokes and central ring are omitted.