Title:
Shelf system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The shelf system of the present invention comprises a tray or wire shelf or rack having double running surfaces on two opposing sides, which in use provide support for said shelf on the runners provided within an oven cavity. The shelf may be placed within an oven and slid over the runners formed on opposite side walls of the surface liner of the oven. Either the top running surface or bottom running surface of the shelf may be supported by a runner on either side of the oven. Therefore the shelf may be placed in the oven where the runner is between the double running surfaces, or the double running surfaces may allow for the placement of the shelf between two runners. Therefore the number of shelf positions within the oven cavity may be up to double that provided in conventional ovens, allowing for a finer adjustment of positioning of the shelf within an oven.



Inventors:
Davie, Janette Dianne (Otago, NZ)
Mceldowney, Blake Ramsey (Dunedin, NZ)
Application Number:
10/127386
Publication Date:
03/13/2003
Filing Date:
04/22/2002
Assignee:
DAVIE JANETTE DIANNE
MCELDOWNEY BLAKE RAMSEY
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
126/339
International Classes:
F24C15/16; (IPC1-7): F24C15/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BASICHAS, ALFRED
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TREXLER, BUSHNELL, GIANGIORGI, (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A shelf or rack for an enclosure which includes at least one pair of support means on opposite side walls of said enclosure for supporting said shelf or rack, said shelf or rack having: a pair of upper and lower engagement members located on each of two opposing sides of said shelf or rack, where each engagement member is capable, in use, of engaging with said support means to support said shelf or rack, such that when said upper engagement members are engaged with a pair of support means said shelf or rack is supported at a lower height in said enclosure than when said lower engagement members are engaged with the same pair of support means.

2. A shelf or rack for an enclose according to claim 1 wherein said engagement members are two parallel elongate members attached to opposing sides of said shelf or rack.

3. A shelf or rack for an enclosure according to either of claims 1 or 2 wherein said shelf or rack is formed from wire and said engagement members are integrally formed therewith.

4. A shelf or rack for an enclosure according to either of claims 1 or 2 wherein said shelf or rack and said engagement members are formed of a sheet type material.

5. A shelf or rack for an enclosure according to any one of claims 1 to 4 wherein there is a plurality of support means and the spacing between each of said pair of support means is equal to or greater than the distance between said upper and lower engagement members.

6. A shelf or rack for an enclosure according to any one of claims 1 to 5 wherein the number of positions tat said shelf or rack are placeable within said enclosure is up to but not exceeding twice the number of support means provided within said enclosure.

7. A shelf or rack for an enclosure according to any one of claims 1 to 6 wherein said support means are solid elongate supports.

8. A shelf or rack for an enclosure according to any one of claims 1 to 7 wherein said support means are runners.

9. A shelf or rack for an enclosure according to any one of claims 1 to 8 wherein said engagement members are provided with restricting means to restrict tilting and removal of said shelf or rack when in use.

10. A shelf or rack for an enclosure according to claim 9 wherein said restricting means is an upward tilt provided at the ends, nearest the back of said enclosure, of said upper and lower engagement members.

11. A shelf or rack for an oven which includes at least one pair of support means on opposite side walls of said oven for supporting said shelf or rack, said shelf or rack having: a pair of upper and lower engagement members located on each of two opposing sides of said shelf or rack, where each engagement member is capable, in use, of engaging with said support means to support said shelf or rack, such that when said upper engagement members are engaged with a pair of support means said shelf or rack is supported at a lower height in said oven than when said lower engagement members are engaged with the same pair of support means.

12. A shelf or rack for an oven according to claim 11 wherein said upper and lower engagement members are two parallel elongate members attached to opposing sides of said shelf or rack.

13. A shelf or rack for an oven according to either of claims 11 or 12 wherein said shelf or rack is formed from wire and said engagement members are integrally formed therewith.

14. A shelf or rack for an oven according to either of claims 11 or 12 wherein said shelf or rack and said engagement members are formed of a sheet type material.

15. A shelf or rack for an oven according to any one of claims 11 to 14 wherein there are a plurality of support means and the spacing between each of said pair of support means is equal to or greater than the distance between said upper and lower engagement members.

16. A shelf or rack for an oven according to any one of claims 11 to 15 wherein the number of positions that said shelf or rack are placeable within said enclosure is up to but not exceeding twice the number of support means provided within said oven.

17. A shelf or rack for an oven according to any one of claims 11 to 16 wherein said support means are solid elongate supports.

18. A shelf or rack for an oven according to any one of claims 11 to 17 wherein said support means are runners.

19. A shelf or rack for an oven according to any one of claims 11 to 18 wherein said engagement members are provided with restricting means to restrict tilting and removal of said shelf or rack when in use.

20. A shelf or rack for an oven according to claim 19 wherein said restricting means is an upward tilt provided at the ends, nearest the back of said enclosure, of said upper and lower engagement members.

21. An oven having a rack or shelf, said oven including at least one pair of support means on opposite side walls of said oven for supporting said shelf or rack, said shelf or rack having: a pair of upper and lower engagement members located on each of two opposing sides of said shelf or rack, where each engagement member is capable, in use, of engaging with said support means to support said shelf or rack, such that when said upper engagement members are engaged with a pair of support means said shelf or rack is supported at a lower height in said enclosure than when said lower engagement members are engaged with the same pair of support means.

22. An oven having a rack or shelf according to claim 21 wherein said engagement members are two parallel elongate members attached to opposing sides of said shelf or rack.

23. An oven having a rack or shelf according to either of claims 21 or 22 wherein said shelf or rack is formed from wire and said engagement members are integrally formed therewith.

24. An oven having a rack or shelf according to either of claims 21 or 22 wherein said shelf or rack and said engagement members are formed of a sheet type material.

25. An oven having a rack or shelf according to any one of claims 21 to 24 wherein there is a plurality of support means and the spacing between each of said pair of support means is equal to or greater than the distance between said upper and lower engagement members.

26. An oven having a rack or shelf according to any one of claims 21 to 25 wherein the number of positions that said shelf or rack are placeable wit said enclosure is up to but not exceeding twice the number of support means provided within said oven.

27. An oven having a rack or shelf according to any one of claims 21 to 26 wherein said support means are solid elongate supports.

28. An oven having a rack or shelf according to any one of claims 21 to 27 wherein said support means are runners.

29. An oven having a rack or shelf according to any one of claims 21 to 28 wherein said engagement members are provided with restricting means to restrict tilting and removal of said shelf or rack when in use.

30. An oven having a rack or shelf according to claim 29 wherein said restricting means is an upward tilt provided at the ends, nearest the back of said enclosure, of said upper and lower engagement members.

Description:

BACKGROUND TO THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to shelves or racks and in particular but not solely to shelves or racks for supporting trays and pans within cooking ovens.

[0003] 2. Summary of the Prior Art

[0004] Ovens are usually provided with an oven cavity liner that has runners formed within the side walls which support racks at different heights. Only a limited number of runners are formed within the oven cavity liner therefore limiting the position of racks within the oven chamber. Typically around five rack positions are provided for.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] It is an object of the present invention to provide an oven or other enclosure with a rack or shelf that can be supported at a greater number of positions without increasing the number of runners.

[0006] Accordingly in a first aspect the invention consists in a shelf or rack for an enclosure which includes at least one pair of support means on opposite side walls of said enclosure for supporting said shelf or rack, said shelf or rack having:

[0007] a pair of upper and lower engagement members located on each of two opposing sides of said shelf or rack, where each engagement member is capable, in use, of engaging with said enclosure support means to support said shelf or rack,

[0008] such that when said upper engagement means are engaged with a pair of support means said shelf or rack is supported at a lower height in said enclosure than when said lower engagement means are engaged with the same pair of support means.

[0009] In a second aspect the invention consists in a shelf or rack for an oven which includes at least one pair of support means on opposite side walls of said oven for supporting said shelf or rack, said shelf or rack having:

[0010] a pair of upper and lower engagement members located on each of two opposing sides of said shelf or rack, where each engagement member is capable, in use, of engaging with said oven support means to support said shelf or rack,

[0011] such that when said upper engagement means are engaged with a pair of support means said shelf or rack is supported at a lower height in said oven than when said lower engagement means are engaged with the same pair of support means.

[0012] In a third aspect the invention consists an oven having a rack or shelf, said oven including at least one pair of support means on opposite side walls of said oven for supporting said shelf or rack, said shelf or rack having:

[0013] a pair of upper and lower engagement members located on each of two opposing sides of said shelf or rack, where each engagement member is capable, in use, of engaging with said oven support means to support said shelf or rack,

[0014] such that when said upper engagement means are engaged with a pair of support means said shelf or rack is supported at a lower height in said enclosure than when said lower engagement means are engaged with the same pair of support means.

[0015] To those skilled in the art to which the invention relates, many changes in construction and widely differing embodiments and applications of the invention will suggest themselves without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims. The disclosures and the descriptions herein are purely illustrative and are not intended to be in any sense limiting.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] FIG. 1 is a partial perspective view of an oven side wall and shelves of the present invention,

[0017] FIG. 2 is a side elevation in partial cross-section of an internal side wall of an oven showing the interaction between the runners and shelves, and

[0018] FIG. 3 is a partial front elevation in partial cross-section of an oven side wall and shelves.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0019] The shelf system of the present invention comprises a tray or wire shelf or rack having double running surfaces on two opposing sides, which in use provide support for the shelf on the runners provided within an oven cavity. The shelf may be placed within an oven and slid over the runners formed on opposite side walls of the surface liner of the oven. The top most surface of the shelf can be supported by a runner on either side of the oven, or alternatively, the bottom most running surface can be supported by a runner on either side of the oven. Therefore the shelf may be placed in the oven where the runner is between the double running surfaces, or the double running surfaces may allow for the placement of the shelf between two runners. Therefore the number of shelf positions within the oven cavity may be up to double that provided in conventional ovens. Furthermore, the shelf system of the present invention also provides a finer adjustment for positioning the shelf within an oven.

[0020] Referring to FIG. 1, an oven liner 1 is provided within the cavity of an oven. This liner is usually a steel cavity, but may be made from other materials. A series of support means 2, are located on the vertical sides of the oven liner 1. The support means are protruding runners 2 in the preferred form of the present invention, but may be solid elongate members in lesser preferred forms. The pairs of runners 2 line up horizontally across the oven cavity liner 1 to provide a level surface for a shelf or rack 3. The shelf or rack 3 has a main body 3a and upper 4 and a lower 5 engagement members that in the preferred form of the present invention are elongate running surfaces. The spacing between of the runners 2 and the spacing between the upper 4 and lower 5 running surfaces must be of a corresponding space, or at least the spacing between each runner must be of a similar width to (but not necessarily equal to) the width of the double running surface of the shelf. Alternatively, in less preferred forms of the present invention, supports may be provided within an enclosure where a shelf or rack with double running surfaces can, in use, be supported within the enclosure.

[0021] Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the shelf of the present invention may be placed in a number of positions within an oven. When the shelf 3 is placed in a first location within the oven, the upper running surface 4 of the shelf 3, sits on the upper level 6 of the runner 2. As shown in FIG. 2 the topmost shelf is placed in such a position. In this position, to prevent tilting of the shelf when withdrawn from the enclosure the running surfaces 5, 6 have restricting means 4, 7 at their ends nearest the back of the enclosure. The restricting means are themselves upward tilts 4, 7 of the running surfaces 5, 6. In the position as shown in FIG. 2, when the upper shelf is withdrawn from the enclosure, the upward tilt 7 of the lower running surface 5 catches on the node 8 in the runner 2. When the shelf 3 has reached its full extension, node 8 and tilt 7 meet and prevent the shelf 3 from being fully removed from the oven and the shelf 3 is restricted from tilting up or down, particularly at times where there is weight placed on the shelf.

[0022] When the shelf is in use in a second position, namely between a first runner 9 and a second runner 10, the lower running surface 5 sits on the upper level 11 of the lower 10 of the two runners. In this position, the upward slope 12 of the upper running surface 4 catches on the node 13 in the upper runner 9 when the shelf 3 has reached its full extension, thus preventing the shelf from being fully removed from the oven.

[0023] The front of each runner angles back from the node thereby reducing the width of the runner. The angle of the runner in front of the node corresponds to the angle of the upward slope on both running surfaces of the shelf, such that the shelf can be inserted or removed from the oven cavity by lifting the front of the shelf upwards.

[0024] The shelf 3 may be a wire rack configuration or be of a tray configuration. In either of these forms the upper running surface is connected to the lower running surface by way of an angular connector 14. This connector 14 also connects the double running surface to the main body 3a of the shelf. Preferably the angular connector is made of wire, but may be made of a sheet type or other appropriate material.

[0025] The advantages of this system are that the shelf of the present invention provides for finer shelf adjustment to allow for the positioning of food at an optimum cooking height within the oven cavity. In the past achieving optimal cooking heights has been difficult when using conventional oven cavities with formed runners. Furthermore, in the preferred form, the rack system of the present invention has two safety features. Firstly, the system has a stopping mechanism to prevent the shelf from being fully withdrawn, and secondly it has an anti-tilt mechanism to prevent the shelf from tipping. To achieve these safety features there is a requirement that the spacing of the runner forms and the spacing of the running surfaces on the shelf correspond and the shelf is provided with an upward tilt in the rear section of the shelf.





 
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