Title:
Removable hanging bin system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A container bin construction comprises the combination of molded plastic bins fitted through frame openings in a molded plastic housing attached to the front side of a sheet metal drawer. The bins are configured to enable their partial removal and cantilevered support by the molded plastic frame or to permit complete removal of the bins through the frame opening. The construction enables manufacture of the drawer for a work chest comprised of the metal drawer in combination with plastic storage bins that are removable from or supported by the drawer.



Inventors:
Hay, Michael E. (Dysart, IA, US)
Klemmensen, Ramon L. (Cedar Falls, IA, US)
Edwin Jr., Null Dams (Waterloo, IA, US)
Ritchie, Fred P. (Cedar Falls, IA, US)
Hoffman, Richard K. (Waterloo, IA, US)
Application Number:
10/198891
Publication Date:
01/22/2004
Filing Date:
07/19/2002
Assignee:
Waterloo Industries, Inc. (Waterloo, IA)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
312/292
International Classes:
A47B88/20; (IPC1-7): A47B88/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WILKENS, JANET MARIE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BANNER & WITCOFF, LTD. (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A container bin construction comprising, in combination: a formed bin having an open top, a first lateral side with a top edge, a second lateral side with a top edge, said second side spaced from and generally parallel to the first side, a back side, a front side generally parallel to and spaced from the back side, and a bottom side connecting the back side and front side, said sides joined to form an enclosure with an open top, said bottom side configured with a first detent extending between the lateral sides, said back side extending vertically above the top edge of the lateral sides, said first detent for engaging a stop rib of a housing as the top edge engages a top frame of a housing to retain the bin in a cantilever support position.

2. The construction of claim 1 wherein the bin includes a second detent in the bottom side generally parallel to and spaced from the first detent, said second detent for separately engaging a stop rib of a housing for cantilever support of the bin container at a distinct orientation in cooperation with the top edge.

3. The construction of claim 1 further including a handle in the front side.

4. The construction of claim 1 further including a support hook on the back side for fitting over a plate member and supporting the bin container.

5. The bin container of claim 1 wherein the bottom side is comprised of an arcuate section connecting the bottom side and front side.

6. The bin construction of claim 1 wherein the front side and back side each include a top edge and said top edges are generally equal in vertical dimension from the bottom side.

7. The bin construction of claim 1 wherein the front side extends vertically above the top edge of the first and second sides.

8. The bin construction of claim 1 wherein the back side includes first and second spaced support hooks.

9. The bin construction of claim 1 in combination with a drawer, said drawer including a front side with a bin frame member for sliding receipt of a bin, said frame member including a top edge and a bottom edge, said bottom edge including a stop rib for engagement with the first detent.

10. The bin construction of claim 1 in combination with a drawer, said drawer including a front side with a bin frame member for sliding receipt of a bin, said frame member including a top edge, said bin front side including a bin front side top edge, said bin front side top edge extending upwardly from the bin bottom side to engage the frame top edge when the bin is inserted into the frame member in a closed position.

11. The bin construction of claim 10 wherein the frame top edge comprises a pocket for receipt of the bin front side top edge when the bin is in the closed position.

12. The bin construction of claim 9 wherein the frame bottom edge further includes an incline plane section for engaging the bottom side of the bin to guide movement of the bin.

13. The bin construction of claim 1 wherein the bottom side is at least in part a flat, horizontal planar outside surface for supporting the bin.

14. The bin construction of claim 11 wherein the bin front side top edge includes a depending handle flange accessible through the frame member for gripping and removal of the bin by combined pivotal and horizontal motions, or for translation of the drawer by horizontal motion.

15. The bin construction of claim 10 wherein the drawer further includes a planar vertical stop wall in the interior of the drawer, spaced from the frame member inwardly and defining a stop surface for the back side of the bin.

16. The bin construction of claim 10 including a plurality of bins and a drawer frame having a separate frame portal for each bin.

17. The bin construction of claim 1 wherein the bin is comprised of a molded plastic material.

18. The bin construction of claim 10 wherein the frame member and bin are comprised of a molded plastic material.

19. The bin construction of claim 10 wherein the frame member is comprised of a molded plastic material and the drawer is comprised of a sheet metal material.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] In a principal aspect the present invention relates to a bin construction and, more particularly, to a bin construction comprised of one or more bins in combination with the drawer of a work chest or cabinet.

[0002] The use of open top bins to store small articles such as nails, screws, bolts, nuts and the like is often a desirable feature in a storage chest or work cabinet. Incorporation of bins in a work cabinet or work chest or a drawer in a cabinet or chest generally requires that the bins are designed to permit easy access, easy removal from the storage chest or cabinet and permit replacement thereof easily and quickly. Further, it is desirable to provide a system wherein multiple bins may be incorporated with a single, sliding drawer.

[0003] Heretofore bins for the storage of small objects have typically been included in single purpose storage chests or cabinets and have been designed to be incorporated only with a cabinet solely holding the bins. The use of bins in combination with drawers of a work chest or cabinet is not commonly found. Often bins are constructed from a plastic material, whereas a work chest or a cabinet is typically constructed from a sheet metal material. Thus combining molded plastic bins with sheet metal cabinetry may be difficult and not commonly found. As a result, there has developed the need for a storage cabinet or storage chest or work chest which will accommodate multiple small storage bins that are removable and which may be incorporated in or with a drawer of the cabinet or chest.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] Briefly the present invention comprises a bin container or bin construction wherein a bin is formed with a back side or panel, a front side or panel, parallel to and spaced from the back side, and connecting lateral sides or panels extending between the front side and back side. The connecting lateral sides have a reduced height relative to the front side and the back side. A bottom side also connects the front side, back side and lateral sides and is curved or angled at the front side and back side to facilitate tilting and easy removal of the bin from a drawer or storage cabinet. The top of the bin is open for access to the contents in the bin.

[0005] The back side includes molded hooks which enable placement or storage of the bin on a rack or other support. The bottom side includes at least one and preferably two detent slots cooperative with a frame of a housing incorporated in and attached to the front of a drawer to hold the bin in a partially withdrawn or partially open position in the drawer or a fully open position. Thus, the bin includes a back side which extends upwardly above the lateral sides or walls and engages against the top of drawer front housing of the drawer and, in combination with the detent slot on the bottom side which engages a rib incorporated in the bottom of the drawer front housing of the bin, holds the bin in cantilever fashion in a desired open condition.

[0006] The front side of the bin includes a molded handle which facilitates gripping and removal of the bin from a drawer of a cabinet and provides additional functions in combination with the front housing frame of the drawer into which the bin is inserted or placed. That is, the bins are designed to be cooperative with a frame construction or housing incorporated in a drawer. The frame construction or housing is preferably molded from a plastic material such as polystyrene just as the bins are preferably molded from a plastic material such as polypropylene. The housing includes an upper frame cross member and a lower frame cross member as well as vertical side members. The upper frame member cooperates with the back side of the bin and the lower frame member cooperates with the bottom side of the bin to hold the bin cantilevered in a fixed open or partially open position.

[0007] The upper frame member further includes a pocket for receipt of the molded handle on the front side of the bin thereby enabling the molded handle of the bin to engage the pocket and serve as the handle for the entire drawer when the bin is positioned or moved to a fully closed position in the drawer.

[0008] The bottom surface of the bin or the bottom side of the bin is preferably, at least in part, flat so that the bin, upon removal from a drawer, may be placed on a surface such as a table top without tilting or tipping over and thereby discharging the contents thereof. Further, the bottom side or bottom surface includes an arcuate section connecting the bottom side to the front panel or front side. The arcuate section is designed to permit tilting of the bin to facilitate removal thereof from the drawer through the front housing frame.

[0009] In a preferred embodiment multiple bins are positioned in the molded front housing frame side by side. Thus the molded housing, comprised of a series of frames, defines the front side of a drawer and one bin fits through the front side of each one of the molded frames to provide for storage within the bin and also to provide a handle member for opening and closing the drawer as well as a handle member for moving the bin into and out of the drawer. The molded housing includes various surfaces and sections which promote the ease of accessibility and movement of the bins from the drawer or into the drawer.

[0010] In a preferred embodiment, the detent associated with the bottom surface or bottom side of a bin permits placement of the bin in a fully extended position supported by the housing frame or in a partially extended position supported by the housing frame. If the drawer is fully closed, but accessible from the topside thereof, the bins may also be removed upwardly through the topside of the drawer. However it is preferable that the bins be removed from the drawer through the frame associated with the housing on the front side of the drawer.

[0011] Thus it is an object of the invention to provide an improved bin construction for use in combination with drawers of a work chest or work cabinet or the like.

[0012] It is a further object of the invention to provide a design for an open top bin which may be partially withdrawn from a drawer or fully withdrawn into a full open position from a drawer or entirely removed from a drawer for access to the contents thereof.

[0013] Yet another object of the invention is to provide a bin construction which may be manufactured from a molded plastic material such as polystyrene and which is rugged, durable, easy to manufacture and easy to assemble in a cabinet or chest without fasteners.

[0014] Another object of the invention is to provide a bin construction wherein the bin includes a handle on its front side which may be utilized for movement and removal of the bin from a drawer or alternatively may be utilized as a handle for movement of the drawer into which the bin is placed.

[0015] A further object of the invention is to provide a molded plastic housing having a frame which may be utilized in combination with one or more bins and which may be incorporated in a sheet metal cabinet drawer.

[0016] Another object of the invention is to provide a bin which when fitted into cabinet drawer is designed to engage a panel within the drawer that limits the position of the bin in the drawer and separates the bin from the remainder of the drawer.

[0017] These and other objects, advantages, and features of the invention will be set forth in the detailed description which follows.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0018] In the detailed description which follows reference will be made to the drawing comprised the following figures:

[0019] FIG. 1 is an isometric view of the bin construction of the invention in combination with a drawer of a work chest or storage cabinet;

[0020] FIG. 2 is an isometric view of a drawer of the type incorporated in the storage chest or cabinet of FIG. 1

[0021] FIG. 3 is an isometric view of the combination of a drawer and a series of the removable bins viewed from the front side of a drawer;

[0022] FIG. 4 is an isometric view of a bin as viewed from the top side thereof and incorporating the features of the invention;

[0023] FIG. 5 is an isometric view of the bin of FIG. 4 as viewed from a lateral side thereof;

[0024] FIG. 6 is an isometric view of the bin of FIG. 4 as viewed from the back side thereof;

[0025] FIG. 7 is an isometric view of the molded plastic front of frame assembly or housing incorporated with a sheet metal drawer;

[0026] FIG. 8 is an enlarged isometric back side view of the housing of FIG. 7;

[0027] FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view of the housing of FIG. 8 taken along the line 9-9;

[0028] FIG. 10 is a cross-sectional view of the bin and drawer construction taken along the line 10-11 and in FIG. 2;

[0029] FIG. 11 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 10 wherein a bin has been partially removed from a drawer; and

[0030] FIG. 12 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIG. 10 wherein a bin has been further removed to a fully open position.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

[0031] Referring to FIGS. 1,2 and 3, there is illustrated a cabinet 8 having a drawer 10 which includes removable bins 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 and thereby illustrates a preferred embodiment of the invention. More specifically, drawer 10 may be formed from sheet metal with a molded plastic front housing 22, for example, and includes a series of five separate molded plastic bins 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20. The bins 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 fit through frame openings, e.g. frame 24 in FIG. 7, in molded plastic housing 22 affixed to the front side of the drawer 10. Each of the bins 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, is substantially identical and thus the description of one of the bins, 12 will be applicable to each and every bin 12, 14, 16, 18, 20. In addition, the housing 22 is adapted to receive and cooperate with five bins 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20. However each separate bin 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 fits through a separate frame 24 (to be described hereinafter) incorporated of the housing 22. Thus the following description focuses on a single bin 12, and a single frame 24 associated with the housing 22.

[0032] The number of frames 24 as well as the number of bins 12 associated with a housing 22 may be varied. In the embodiment depicted there are five bins 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 associated with five frames 24, and five frames 24 are incorporated into a single housing 22.

[0033] The drawer 10 is preferably made from a sheet metal material and includes a base plate or bottom 32 having two upwardly extending lateral sides 32 and 34, a back side 36 and an intermediate vertical panel 38 generally parallel to and spaced from the back side or panel 36. The vertical panel 38 extends between the lateral sides and 32 and 34 and defines an internal stop or wall against which bins 12, 14, 16, 18, and 20 may rest upon insertion into the drawer 10 through the frames 24 in the housing 22.

[0034] The housing 22 includes a transverse, horizontal top frame member 40 and a generally parallel, transverse horizontal bottom frame member 42 with a series of vertical lateral side frame members, such as frame members 44 and 46, joining the top frame member 40 with the bottom frame member 42 to thereby define generally rectangular openings or frames 24 for insertion of a bin, for example, the bin 12. The vertical side frame members at the opposite ends of housing 22, such as frame member 46, include a laterally or horizontally extending stud or post 48 with a central opening 50 for receipt of a retention fastener 52. The stud or post 48 fits through an opening in the lateral side 34 of the drawer 10 and is retained therein by the fastener 52 to secure the housing 22 to the drawer 10. Of course, retention studs or posts, such as post 48, are provided to attach the opposite sides of the housing 22 with the opposite lateral sides 32 and 34 of the drawer 10.

[0035] Each of the bins 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 has a substantially identical construction in the embodiment of the invention disclosed. However the bins may be of various sizes provided they are compatible with the appropriate frame opening of housing 22. The construction of the bins is illustrated in FIGS. 4, 5, and 6. The construction of the housing 22 is illustrated in FIGS. 7, 8, and 9. Referring therefore to the construction of the bin, for example bin 12, reference is directed to FIGS. 4, 5, and 6.

[0036] The bin 12 includes a generally flat bottom side wall or panel 50, a first lateral side wall or panel 52, a second lateral side wall or panel 54 generally parallel to and spaced from the first lateral side wall 52 by the bottom wall 50 and by a back side wall or panel 56 and a front side wall or panel 58. The front side wall 58 joins with the bottom wall 50 by means of an arcuate or curved wall section 60. The bottom side wall 50 joins to the back side wall 56 by means of an inclined, generally flat planar wall section 62. A detent slot 64 is formed at the junction of the inclined back side wall 62 and the bottom wall 50. The slot or detent 64 comprises a recess on the outside of the bin 12 extending transversely between the lateral side walls 52 and 54 generally perpendicular to the side walls 52, 54.

[0037] The front side wall 58 is connected to and integrally formed with a handle 66. The handle 66 comprises a folded over, molded forwardly inclined section or plate 67 shaped for easy manual gripping. The handle section or handle 66 extends outwardly and downwardly from the top of the front side wall 58. The front side wall 58 and the handle section 67 are thus joined together by means of an arcuate curved wall section 70.

[0038] The back side wall 56 and the front side wall 58 are generally parallel to one another as are the lateral side walls 52 and 54. Together the front side wall 58, the back side wall 56, and the lateral side walls 52 and 54 define an enclosure in combination with the bottom side wall 50, the inclined bottom wall 52 and the arcuate forward wall 60. The enclosure has an open top for access to the contents of the bin 12. The back side wall 56 includes a top edge 72 which extends above top edge 74 of side wall 52 and top edge 76 of side wall 54. The top edge 72 of the back wall 52 is substantially at the same vertical height or extent from the bottom side wall 50 as the vertical height of frame opening 24. The side edges 74, 76 are spaced vertically from bottom side 50 approximately two times distance of the junction 59 of the front wall 58 and the arcuate wall 60 from bottom wall 50. The back wall 56 further includes first and second support tabs or hooks 80 and 82 molded in the top edge 72. These tabs or hooks facilitate hanging of the bin 12 on a board or panel separate and apart from drawer 10; the front bin handle 66 can also perform this hanging function.

[0039] The bin 12, as more particularly shown in FIG. 6, also includes a second detent assembly comprised of first and second projecting wings or tabs 90 and 92 extending from the sloped back side wall 62. The tabs 90 and 92 are generally parallel to one another. Each tab 90, 92 includes a notch 94 and 96, respectively, which together define a second detent 52 extending transversely from side to side of the bin 12 between the lateral sides 52 and 54. Thus the bottom side 50 of the bin 12 has associated therewith a first detent construction (groove or slot 64) and the second detent 52 comprising the notches 94 and 96.

[0040] Referring next to FIGS. 7-11, there is depicted the housing 22 with the top horizontal frame cross member 40 and the bottom horizontal frame cross member 42. Vertical frame members 44 and 46 define rectangular frame 24 into which the bin 12 may be inserted. The housing 22 and, more particularly, the top frame member 40 includes a molded pocket 102 defined by a front lip or flange 104 and a back brace member 106. The pocket 102 is sized to receive the handle 66 formed on the front wall 58 of the bin 12. In this manner when the bin 12 is inserted through the housing 22 into frame 24 between the frame members 40, 42, 44 and 46, the bin 12 may be utilized as a handle to pull the drawer 10 or push the drawer 10 into and out of a cabinet.

[0041] The housing 22 further includes bottom frame member 42 having an inclined inside face section 108 and a detent bar member 110 extending between the lateral sides 44 and 46. The detent bar section or rib 110 is designed to be cooperative with either of the detents, i.e. groove 64 or the notches 94 and 96 of the bin 12. The detent bar 110 is spaced from the cross brace 106 by a distance which is less than the distance between the detents 64 or notches 94, 96 and the top edge 72 of the back side 56. Thus, when the bin 12 is positioned with, for example, groove or notch 64 engaging cross bar 110, the top portion or edge 72 of the back wall or back side 56 will engage against the cross brace 106 thereby supporting the bin 12 in cantilever fashion as depicted in FIG. 12. Similarly when the notches 94, 96 are engaged with the cross brace member 110, the bin 12 will be supported in cantilever fashion as depicted in FIG. 11. The top edge 72 of the back side wall 56 in combination with the notch 64 or the notches 94, 96 serve to support the bin 12 in one of two cantilevered positions. Each of those positions provides for partial or substantially fully opened access to the bin 12 from outside the front of drawer 10 as illustrated in FIG. 1 which depicts bins 12, 14 in closed position, bin 18 in a partially open tilted downward position as in FIG. 12, and bin 16 in a fully open, untilted position as shown in FIG. 11.

[0042] The top edges 74, 76 of the lateral side walls 52, 54 being lower than the top edge 72 of the back side wall 56 enables maneuvering of the bin 12 between the cantilevered positions and between a position of being totally inserted into the housing 22 or removed from the housing 22. That is, the bin 12 may be horizontally moved and vertically lifted and tilted to move the bin 12 into and out of the housing 22 as illustrated by the arrows in the figures.

[0043] In sum, the bin 12 may act or be utilized as a handle for the drawer 10 by virtue of the handle 66 being engaged with the pocket 102 as shown in FIG. 10. The bin 12 may be moved to a partially exposed or open position and retained therein in cantilever fashion as depicted in FIG. 12 and FIG. 1. The bin 12 may be moved to a second cantilever position as depicted in FIG. 11 and FIG. 1. Finally, the bin 12 may be entirely removed from the drawer 10 and supported on its flat bottom side 50 for access to the contents thereof.

[0044] With the construction of the present invention, the plastic housing 22 may be assembled with a sheet metal drawer 10 by fastening the parts together in the manner described. Thus a hybrid drawer construction comprised of molded plastic components, such as the polystyrene molded plastic bin 12 and housing 22, may be used in combination with a sheet metal drawer 10. The bin, such as bin 12, can be accessed through the open top when the drawer 10 is in the open condition. The bin 12 can removed with the drawer 10 in the open or closed condition in a cabinet. The bin 12 may be separately hung from a plate or bar by virtue of the hooks or tabs 80, 82. The metal divider or wall 38 will separate the bin 12 from a larger storage area within the drawer 10. The bin 12 can be positioned in one or two or more cantilevered positions depending upon the number and position of notches at the bottom side 50 of the bin 12. When fully inserted in drawer 10, the bin 12 is nested within the housing 22 and, more particularly, within the frame members particularly the lower frame member 42 which has an inclined surface 108 sloping downwardly and inwardly into the drawer 10 to thereby function to retain the bin 12 unless and until it is moved vertically upward and outward from the drawer 10. Dimensions and dimensional relationship as depicted in the figures, particularly FIGS. 10-12, illustrate the relative sizes, heights and extent of the various bin 12 and housing 22 parts.

[0045] Various features of the invention may be altered without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, the relative dimensional relationships of the walls may be varied while the functions thereof are retained. The shape of the handle, for example handle 66 and pocket 102, may be varied. The support hooks 80, 82 and their configuration, number and size may be varied. The angle of inclination and orientation of the bottom wall 50, and inclined bottom wall 56, as well as front curved wall 60 may be varied. Numerous other features of the construction may be varied without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. The invention therefore is to be limited only by the following claims and equivalents thereof.