Title:
Drawer guide rail assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A guide rail assembly is used with a drawer to guide the movement of the drawer into and out of an article of furniture. The assembly has a supporting rail attached to a supporting surface and a pull-out rail attached to the drawer. At least one carriage is positioned between the supporting rail and the pull-out rail, and the supporting rail and the pull-out rail have stops for limiting movement of the pull-out rail and the carriage with respect to the supporting rail. A spring is loaded as the drawer is moved to the drawer-open position and actuated when the drawer is moved toward the drawer-close position. The noise associated with closing the drawer as it is pulled by the spring is controlled and suppressed by a shock absorbing device formed by a plunger and plunger-receiving cylinder. When the pull-out rail engages the plunger as it is moved toward the drawer-close position by the spring, the air within the cylinder is compressed by the plunger so that the pull-out rail and carried drawer and slowly and silently move to the full drawer-close position as the air in the cylinder is discharged.



Inventors:
Domenig, Georg (Kernersville, NC, US)
Joseph Jr., Bent Larsen (Belews Creek, NC, US)
Application Number:
10/159734
Publication Date:
01/15/2004
Filing Date:
07/15/2002
Assignee:
DOMENIG GEORG
LARSEN JOSEPH BENT
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B88/04; (IPC1-7): A47B88/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
TRAN, HANH VAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Charles Y. Lackey (Winston-Salem, NC, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A guide rail assembly for use with a drawer having a front, two sides, a back and bottom to guide movement of the drawer into and out of an article of furniture comprising: a supporting rail mounted to a furniture side wall; a pull-out rail attached to the drawer; at least one carriage positioned between the supporting rail and the pull-out rail, the supporting rail and the pull-out rail having at least one stop for limiting movement of the pull-out rail and carriage with respect to the supporting rail; spring means loading when the drawer moves in the drawer-open direction and activating when the drawer is moved in the drawer-close direction; and a shock absorbing device armed when the drawer is moved toward the drawer-open position and activated when the drawer is moved in a drawer-close direction to cause the drawer to slowly and silently move to the drawer-close position.

2. The assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein the shock absorbing device includes a plunger and a plunger-receiving cylinder.

3. The assembly as claimed in claim 2 wherein the plunger and plunger-receiving cylinder are secured to the supporting rail.

4. The assembly as claimed in claim 2 wherein the plunger is extended to a substantially withdrawn location within the cylinder when the pull-out rail is moved in a drawer-open direction, released from the pull-out rail when the pull-out rail passes the plunger partially-withdrawn location, remains in the partially withdrawn location until the pull-out rail is moved in a drawer-close direction and re-engages the pull-out rail and moves back into the cylinder to seat the drawer carried by the pull-out rail in a full drawer-close position.

5. The assembly as claimed in claim 3 wherein the plunger is extended to a substantially withdrawn location within the cylinder when the pull-out rail is moved in a drawer-open direction, released from the pull-out rail when the pull-out rail passes the substantially withdrawn plunger location, remains in the substantially withdrawn location until the pull-out rail is moved in a drawer-close direction and re-engages the pull-out rail and moves back into the cylinder to position the drawer carried by the pull-out rail in a complete drawer-close position.

6. The assembly as claimed in claim 1 further comprising: an intermediate rail positioned between the supporting rail and the pull-out rail and having at least one stop; and a second carriage positioned between the intermediate rail and the pull-out rail.

7. The assembly as claimed in claim 6 wherein the shock absorbing device includes a plunger and a plunger-receiving cylinder.

8. The assembly as claimed in claim 7 wherein the plunger and plunger-receiving cylinder are secured to the supporting rail.

9. The assembly as claimed in claim 8 wherein the plunger is extended to a substantially withdrawn location within the cylinder when the pull-out rail is moved in a drawer-open direction, released from the pull-out rail when the pull-out rail passes the substantially withdrawn plunger location, remains in the substantially withdrawn location until the pull-out rail is moved in a drawer-close direction and re-engages the pull-out rail and moves back within the cylinder to seat the drawer carried by the pull-out rail in a fully closed condition.

10. The assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein the spring means is engaged and activated by the drawer moving in a drawer-close direction and urges the drawer to move to the drawer-close position.

11. The assembly as claimed by claim 9 wherein the spring means is engaged and activated by the drawer moving in a drawer-close direction and urges the drawer to move to the drawer-close position.

12. The assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein one assembly is positioned on each side of the drawer.

12. The assembly as claimed in claim 9 wherein one assembly is positioned on each side of the drawer.

13. A guide rail assembly for use with a drawer having a front, two sides, a back and bottom to guide of the drawer into and out of an article of furniture comprising: a supporting rail mounted to a furniture side wall; a pull-out rail attached to the drawer; at least one carriage positioned between the supporting rail and the pull-out rail, the supporting rail and the pull-out rail having at least one stop for limiting movement of the pull-out rail and carriage with respect to the supporting rail; a spring mounted on the supporting rail loading when engaged by the pull-out rail when the pull-out rail and carried drawer move in the drawer-open direction and activating when the pull-out rail and drawer are moved in the door-close direction to urge the drawer to move to the door-close position; and a shock absorbing device including a plunger and a plunger-receiving cylinder, the plunger being engaged by the pull-out rail and substantially withdrawn from the cylinder when the drawer and pull-out rail are moved in a drawer-open direction, released from the pull-out rail when the pull-out rail passes the substantially withdrawn location, remains in the substantially withdrawn location until the pull-out rail and drawer are moved in a drawer-close direction, and re-engages the pull-out rail and is urged back into the air-filled cylinder when the pull-out rail and drawer are moved in the drawer-close direction by the activated spring, the movement of the plunger and the responsive pull-out rail and drawer being yieldably resisted by the air filled cylinder causing the pull-out rail and drawer to move slowly and silently to the full drawer-close position.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] The present invention relates to a guide rail assembly for use with a drawer and, more particularly, to an assembly to guide the movement of the drawer into and out of an article of furniture that includes a noise controlling feature.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] Slidable drawer opening and closing devices are well known and conventionally utilize supporting and slidably connected guide rails and rail engaging slides to support the drawer within its frame and allow for openable and closeable movement therein. These devices are usually made of metal which can cause excessive noise when the drawer is closed. Some devices have been developed to at least partially suppress such noise. Flexible buffers have been used in a variety of configurations, and yieldable stops are sometimes implemented in slide assemblies to soften the impact of the a drawer closing. Even with such improvements, closure noise usually is directly related to the force used in the closing exercise and can still frequently occur unless the individual involved is very sensitive to the need to carefully and slowly close the drawer and avoid the noise.

[0005] More controlled and effective drawer closure noise management is very desirable, and it is to that end that the present invention is directed.

[0006] More controlled and effective drawer closure noise management is very desirable, and it is to that end that the present invention is directed.

SUMMARY AND OBJECTIVES OF THE INVENTION

[0007] The present invention includes a guide rail assembly for use with a drawer to guide the movement of the drawer into and out of an article of furniture. The assembly is made up of a supporting rail mounted to a supporting surface such as a furniture side wall, a pull-out rail attached to the drawer and at least one carriage positioned between the supporting rail and the pull-out rail. The supporting rail and the pull-out rail have at least one stop for limiting movement of the pull-out rail and carriage with respect to the supporting rail. A magnet-actuated shock absorbing device is a part of the assembly and includes a plunger and a plunger-receiving cylinder forming an air cylinder. As the drawer-carrying pull-out rail is moved toward the drawer-open position, a tab on the rail engages the small magnet in the outer end of the plunger and withdraws the plunger from the cylinder as the drawer continues to open. When the plunger reaches its maximum withdrawn position, it disengages from the from the pull-out rail and remains at that location until the pull-out rail is moved back toward the drawer-close position. When the drawer is moved toward the drawer-close position, the pull-out rail engages the plunger, the loaded spring is actuated and moves the pull-out rail and plunger and the carried drawer in the drawer-close direction. Movement of the plunger is yieldingly resisted by the air filled cylinder and the pull-out rail carried drawer slowly and quietly moves to the fully closed position.

[0008] From the foregoing summary, it can be see seen that a primary objective of the present invention is to provide a rail guide assembly that has all of the advantages of prior art devices and more and none of the disadvantages.

[0009] Another primary objective of the present invention is to provide guide rail closing assembly that suppresses noise when the drawer on which it is mounted is closed.

[0010] Yet another objective of the present invention is to provide a rail guide assembly having a noise suppressing feature that includes an air cylinder combining with a loading and unloading spring to eliminate noise associated with drawer closure and cause the drawer to slowly close.

[0011] Thus there has been outlined the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description that follows may be better understood and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto. In that respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its arrangement of the components set forth in the following description and illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways.

[0012] It is also to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting in any respect. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the concept upon which this disclosure is based may readily be utilized as a basis for designing other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of this development. It is important that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent methods and products resulting therefrom that do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention. The application is neither intended to define the invention, which is measured by its claims, nor to limit its scope in any way.

[0013] Thus, the objects of the invention set forth above, along with the various features of novelty which characterize the invention, are noted with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and the specific results obtained by its use, reference should be made to the following detailed specification taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein like characters of reference designate like parts throughout the several views.

[0014] The drawings are included to provide a further understanding of the invention and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification. They illustrate embodiments of the invention and, together with their description, serve to explain the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] FIG. 1 is a top perspective view of a closed drawer within a frame simulating an article of furniture incorporating the present invention;

[0016] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of connected supporting rail, intermediate rail and pull-out rail in the fully extended position showing the placement of the spring and plunger-withdrawn air cylinder with respect thereto;

[0017] FIG. 3 is an enlarged, perspective and fragmentary view of the spring and plunger-withdrawn air cylinder shown in FIG. 2;

[0018] FIG. 4 is a top perspective and fragmentary view of the drawer and frame of FIG. 1 in the drawer-open position;

[0019] FIG. 5 is a bottom perspective and fragmentary view of the drawer and frame of FIG. 1 in the drawer-open position;

[0020] FIG. 6 is a top perspective and fragmentary view of the drawer and frame of FIG. 1 in the drawer-open position with the connecting tabs of the pull-out rail away from the plunger of the shock absorbing device;

[0021] FIG. 7 is a top perspective and fragmentary view of the drawer and frame of FIG. 1 in the partially open position with the connecting tabs of the pull-out rail near the plunger of the magnetic drawer seating device;

[0022] FIG. 8 is a top perspective and fragmentary view of the drawer and frame of FIG. 1 in the near close position with the connecting tabs of the pull-out rail in contact with the plunger of the magnetic drawer seating device; and

[0023] FIG. 9 is an end elevational view of the rails and carriages of the guide rail assembly of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0024] Referring now to the drawings and particularly to FIG. 1, drawer 10 is positioned within a frame 12 in the closed position, the frame simulating a cabinet or chest. Drawer 10 is shown in the top open position in FIG. 2 wherein a guide rail assembly shown generally as 14 includes a supporting rail 16, a pull-out rail 18, an intermediate rail 20 and a magnet-actuated shock absorbing device shown generally as 22. One or more carriages are located between pull-out rail 18, and intermediate rail 20 has at least one stop for limiting movement of pull-out rail 18 and carriage with respect to supporting rail 16.

[0025] The operating arrangement of the rails and carriages are shown in FIG. 9. Supporting rail 16 is attached to cabinet or frame wall 32, and pull-out rail 18 is secured to drawer side 43. Intermediate rail 20 is positioned between supporting rail 16 and pull-out rail 18. One or more carriages 34 are positioned between pull-out rail 18 and intermediate rail 20. One or more additional carriages 36 are positioned between the upper horizontal edge 38 of intermediate rail 20 and the lower horizontal end of supporting rail 18. Connecting tab 28 is secured to pull-out rail 18 as shown.

[0026] Pull-out rail is secured to drawer 10. When drawer 10 is opened, pull-out rail 18 and intermediate rail 20 move outwardly with the drawer until intermediate rail 20 is about halfway extended outside the drawer front opening. Here it engages a stop and pull-out rail 18 then continues outwardly alone until it reaches its outermost position. When drawer 10 is closed, pull-out rail 10 moves inwardly alone, then engages intermediate rail 20 and the two rails move on together until connecting tab 28 engages outer end 30 of piston 24 and actuates loaded spring 31 so that shock absorbing device 22 operates to fully close drawer 10.

[0027] Shock absorbing device 22 includes a plunger 24 and a plunger-receiving cylinder 26 with plunger 24 being movable from completely within cylinder 26 to a partially withdrawn location as shown. Connecting tab 28 on pull-out rail 18 engages the outer end 30 of plunger 24 which contains a small magnet 27. When drawer 10 is opening, tab 27 affixed to pull-out rail 18 engages magnet 27 and plunger 24 is withdrawn from cylinder 26 until it reaches its maximum withdrawn position where it disconnects from tab 27. It remains in this withdrawn position until drawer-carrying pull-out rail tab 27 engages it again. As the pull-out rail moves toward the door-open position, it also connects with and loads a spring 29.

[0028] When drawer 10 is moved toward the drawer-close position, pull-rail 18 engages plunger 24, pull-out rail 18 and plunger 24 reconnect, loaded spring 29 is actuated and moves pull-out rail 18 and plunger 24 toward the drawer-close position. Movement of plunger 214 is yieldingly resisted by air filled cylinder 26, and the pull-out rail carried drawer 10 slowly and quietly moves to the fully closed position.

[0029] The present invention is usually applied to each side of a drawer so that two units like that described are required for each drawer. However, a single unit of the present invention may be adapted for use on a single drawer, the unit being positioned midway of the drawer front and adjacent the lower part of the frame or cabinet.

[0030] From the proceeding description, it can be seen that a guide rail assembly has been provided that will posses all the advantages of prior art devices and offer additional advantages not heretofore achievable. With respect to the foregoing invention, the optimum dimensional relationship to the parts of the invention including variations in size, materials, shape, form, function and manner of operation, use and assembly are deemed readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed herein.

[0031] The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, and it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described. All suitable modifications and equivalents that fall within the scope of the appended claims are deemed within the present inventive concept.