Title:
Drawer guide with built-in latch
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A drawer guide has a longitudinally extending outer rail, a longitudinally extending inner rail nested with the outer rail and forming a longitudinally extending space therewith, and a plurality of balls engaged between the rails and allowing the inner rail to move longitudinally relative to the outer rail. A first latch member extending longitudinally in the space is carried on one of the rails. A second latch member in the space fixed to the other of the rails is latchingly engageable with the first member to prevent longitudianl displacement of the rails.



Inventors:
Muller, Torsten (Hilchenbach, DE)
Application Number:
10/465745
Publication Date:
01/15/2004
Filing Date:
06/19/2003
Assignee:
Westfalia Profiltechnik GmbH & Co. KG
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B88/14; (IPC1-7): A47B88/04
View Patent Images:
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20060138919Support structure for a telescoping extension in furnitureJune, 2006Lautenschlager
20130099634HOUSING OF ELECTRONIC DEVICEApril, 2013Wang et al.
20060017357Method and apparatus for accessing a plate storage deviceJanuary, 2006Riling et al.



Primary Examiner:
HANSEN, JAMES ORVILLE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KF ROSS PC (Savannah, GA, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A drawer guide comprising: a longitudinally extending outer rail; a longitudinally extending inner rail nested with the outer rail and forming a longitudinally extending space therewith; a plurality of balls engaged between the rails and allowing the inner rail to move longitudinally relative to the outer rail; a first latch member extending longitudinally in the space and carried on one of the rails; a second latch member in the space, fixed to the other of the rails, and latchingly engageable with the first member to prevent longitudinal displacement of the rails.

2. The drawer guide defined in claim 1 wherein the first latch member is an elongated lever pivoted on the one rail about a transverse axis and carrying a transversely projecting part and the second latch member is a transversely open seat in which the part is engageable.

3. The drawer guide defined in claim 2 wherein the part is a pin on an inner end of the lever, the other rail being provided with a hook forming the seat.

4. The drawer guide defined in claim 2, further comprising a spring braced between the lever and the one rail and urging the part transversely toward the seat.

5. The drawer guide defined in claim 3 wherein the other rail is provided adjacent the seat with a cam surface engageable with the part and urging the part away from the seat on engagement of the part with the cam.

6. The drawer guide defined in claim 2 wherein the lever has a bump engageable with the one rail.

7. The drawer guide defined in claim 2 where the lever has an externally accessible outer end projecting out of the space.

8. The drawer guide defined in claim 1 wherein the first latch member is an elongated lever centrally pivoted on the one rail about a transverse axis, having an outer end projecting out of the space, and an inner end provided with a transversely projecting pin, the second latch member being a hook fixed on the other rail, open transversely, and positioned to receive the pin, the guide comprising a spring braced between the lever and the one rail and urging the pin transversely toward the seat.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates to a drawer guide. More particularly this invention concerns a drawer guide having a pair of nested rails that ride on each other via rollers.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] A drawer guide as described in EP 1,110,482 has an outer longitudinally extending rail, an inner longitudinally extending rail, and arrays of balls between the rails so that they can move smoothly longitudinally relative to each other. The outer rail is typically secured to the support or stationary part of the piece of furniture or cabinet and the inner rail to the slidable drawer, which term here is intended to include any slidable part such as a keyboard, cutting board, or the like.

[0003] Such guides are standard items that can support considerable weight yet that allow the supported part to move very easily relative to its support. The arrays of balls typically ride in inwardly open grooves formed between flanges of the outer rail and engage flat surfaces of the inner rail, so that the inner rail cannot move significantly transversely of the outer rail.

[0004] It is frequently convenient to be able to latch the slidable part relative to its support, for instance when the guide is used in something that is portable, so that the drawer or the like cannot accidentally slide open. A latch of some variety is therefore provided adjacent the above-described guide, and is normally separately attached to the support and supported part. Such a latch therefore adds considerably to the cost of the assembly, not only by the cost of its own parts, but also because of the extra costs entailed in mounting it in place. In addition space must be provided for the latch, taking away from space usable by the supported part, e.g. the drawer.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

[0005] It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved drawer guide.

[0006] Another object is the provision of such an improved drawer guide which overcomes the above-given disadvantages, that is which has an inexpensive and easily installed latch.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] A drawer guide has according to the invention a longitudinally extending outer rail, a longitudinally extending inner rail nested with the outer rail and forming a longitudinally extending space therewith, and a plurality of balls engaged between the rails and allowing the inner rail to move longitudinally relative to the outer rail. A first latch member extending longitudinally in the space is carried on one of the rails. A second latch member in the space fixed to the other of the rails is latchingly engageable with the first member to prevent longitudinal displacement of the rails.

[0008] With this system the latch is wholly integrated in the guide, occupying space not normally otherwise used. Thus it does take any space away from the other structure, allowing the drawer otherwise to fill its slot. Since it is almost wholly housed between the two normally steel rails, the latch is very well protected and can be counted on to have a long service life. What is more, it does not add to the difficulty of installing the guide itself.

[0009] In accordance with the invention the first latch member is an elongated lever pivoted on the one rail about a transverse axis and carrying a transversely projecting part and the second latch member is a transversely open seat in which the part is engageable. The part is a pin on an inner end of the lever. The other rail is provided with a hook forming the seat.

[0010] According to the invention a spring braced between the lever and the one rail urges the part transversely toward the seat. The other rail is provided adjacent the seat with a cam surface engageable with the part and urging the part away from the seat on engagement of the part with the cam.

[0011] The lever according to the invention has a bump engageable with the one rail and defining a rest position for the lever. In this rest position the pin is aligned longitudinally with the cam surface so that, as the lever moves toward the hook, the pin is first cammed down and, once the pin passes the cam surface and aligns transversely with the seat, it snaps up into the seat and locks the two rails together.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0012] The above and other objects, features, and advantages will become more readily apparent from the following description, reference being made to the accompanying drawing in which:

[0013] FIG. 1 is a cross section through a combined drawer guide and latch according to the invention; and

[0014] FIGS. 2 and 3 are longitudinal sections illustrating the system of this invention in the unlatched and latched positions, respectively.

SPECIFIC DESCRIPTION

[0015] As seen in FIG. 1 a guide 1 for supporting a drawer shown schematically at D on a support shown schematically at S comprises a U-section outer rail 2 and a U-section inner rail 3, both extending longitudinally perpendicular to the view plane. The outer rail 2 has a horizontal central web 5 from whose longitudinal edges extend flanges 4a and 4b each formed by three planar webs 6, 7, and 8. The inner rail 3 has a horizontal central flange 24 from whose longitudinal edges extend flanges 9a and 9b each formed by two planar webs 10 and 11. Four rows of balls 12 support the inner rail 3 for longitudinal movement on the outer rail 2. One row of the balls 12 is in the corner between the outer web 8 and intermediate web 7 of the one flange 4a and bears on the corresponding web 10 of the flange 9a, another row is in the corner between the outer web 8 and intermediate web 7 of the other flange 4b and bears on the corresponding web flange 10 of the flange 9b, another row is in the corner between the flange 6 of the web 4a and the web 5 and bears on the web 11 of the flange 9a, and the last row is in the corner between the flange 6 of the web 4b and the web 5 and bears on the web 11 of the flange 9b. The two nested rails 2 and 3 form a longitudinally extending space 13. This structure is all generally standard.

[0016] According to the invention a latch 14 is provided in the space 13 between the rails 2 and 3. As best shown in FIGS. 2 and 3 it comprises a main element or lever 15 pivoted on a gudgeon 16 about an axis A perpendicular to the longitudinal direction of movement of the rail 3. The pivot 16 is fixed to the web 24 of the rail 3. The lever 15 has an upwardly projecting outer end 17 urged downward by a spring 22 and an inner end provided with a transversely projecting pin 18 engageable in seats 19 of hooks 20 fixed to the web 5 of the rail 2. The hooks 20 have angled cam surfaces 21 that are engageable with the ends of the pin 18 to cam the inner end of the lever 15 downward as it moves inward (to the right in FIGS. 2 and 3). A bump 23 on an upper edge of the inner end of the lever 15 can engage the web 24 to define for the lever 15 in which the pin 18 is aligned longitudinally with the cam surfaces 21.

[0017] Thus when the drawer D attached to the movable rail 3 is slid inward, the pin 18 will first engage the cam surfaces 21, pivoting the pin 18 downward and the outer end 17 upward. The pin 18 will slide under the outer ends of the hooks 20 and be pushed by the spring 22 up into the seats 19 when the rail 3 is all the way in, latching the rail 3 solidly in the rail 2.

[0018] In order to move the rail 3 out (to the left in FIGS. 2 and 3), the outer end 17 is raised against the force of the spring 22 to swing the pin 18 down out of the seats 19. Once the pin 18 is clear of the hooks 20, the drawer D attached to the rail 3 can be pulled out.





 
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