Title:
Magnetically lined containers
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A multi-compartment container such as a chest or cabinet with multiple drawers, a multi-compartment tool chest or a multi-compartment fishing tackle box which is designed to contain magnetically attracted objects has one or more of the sides, ends and/or bottom lined with a magnetic material whereby the magnetically attracted objects are held thereagainst.



Inventors:
Wilkins, Jannise Diane (San Pedro, CA, US)
Milliren, Karen Lynn (Redondo Beach, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/307717
Publication Date:
09/23/2004
Filing Date:
03/19/2003
Assignee:
WILKINS JANNISE DIANE
MILLIREN KAREN LYNN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A01K97/06; B65D25/04; B65D25/14; (IPC1-7): B65D25/14; B65D35/14; B65D90/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
CASTELLANO, STEPHEN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Karen Lynn Milliren (Redondo Beach, CA, US)
Claims:

We claim:



1. An improved storage arrangement comprising, in combination: a storage container having a plurality of compartments, each of the compartments having a plurality of walls defining a storage volume therebetween; a liner for positioning in at least one of said plurality of compartments, said liner having a plurality of wall members, one of each of said wall members adapted to lie closely adjacent one of the walls of one of said compartments, said plurality of walls of said liner fabricated from a magnetic material, whereby magnetizable items placed in said storage volume are securely held adjacent one of said wall members of said liner.

2. The arrangement defined in claim 1 wherein: said liner has at least three wall members.

3. The arrangement defined in claim 1 wherein: said liner has more than three wall members.

4. The arrangement defined in claim 1 wherein: said liner has five wall members.

5. The arrangement defined in claim 1 wherein: a plurality of liners, one of said plurality of liners for each of said compartments of said container.

6. The arrangement defined in claim 1 wherein: said liner is affixed to said walls of said compartment.

7. The arrangement defined in claim 1 wherein: said compartments comprise a plurality of drawers.

8. The arrangement defined in claim 5 wherein: each of said liners is affixed to said walls of said compartments.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Field of the Invention

[0002] This invention relates to the container art and more particularly to a multiple storage compartment container such as a multi-drawer cabinet and a multi-segmented container in which the compartments are magnetized to retain magnetically attracted material therein.

[0003] 2. Description of the Prior Art

[0004] In many applications it is desired to store or retain a plurality of similar or dissimilar items in a compartment of a container. Often, such items are not retained in a particular orientation in the compartment. Such applications are often encountered in storing small hardware items such as screws, bolts, washers, nuts or the like. These, and similar items are often just placed into a compartment of a multi-compartment container, such as a compartment in a multi-compartmented tool chest, with no preferred orientation. Should such a container be inadvertently overturned or placed into an orientation which allows the items to spill out of the compartment by gravity, the items spill out of the compartment and require wasted time and energy to pick them up and replace them into the compartment.

[0005] In other applications the compartments may be multi-drawers in a container such as a chest or the like. Such drawers are often utilized for the same type of storage of miscellaneous items as the hardware items described above and can often suffer the same inadvertant spilling of the items.

[0006] In those applications where the items are magnetizable material, the use of magnets may prevent the inadvertant spilling of the items. One example of such a use of magnets is in the conventional paperclip dispenser where a storage compartment is provided for the clips and the top of the storage compartment has an aperture therethrough to allow removal of a paper clip. Surrounding the aperture there is provided an annular shaped magnet which attracts the steel paper clips and retains them thereagainst to allow convenient removal of the paper clips.

[0007] However, such considerations have not been given to other types of storage containers or for other types of magnetizable items. Accordingly, there has long been a need for a magnetic type retraining arrangement for a multi-compartment container to retain magnetizable materials therein.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] It is an object of the present invention to provide a secure retaining arrangement for magnetizable materials

[0009] It is another object of the present invention to provide a container compartment for securing magnetizable items in a secure relationship to the walls defining the compartment.

[0010] It is yet another object of the present invention to provide a magnetic liner sized to fit in a container compartment for retaining magnetizable items therein in a secure relationship.

[0011] The above and other objects are achieved, in a preferred embodiment of the present invention by providing, in a multi-compartment container, a magnetic liner sized to fit the compartment, in one or more of the compartments of the container. The liner may be fabricated of a flexible or a rigid magnetic material and have a plurality of wall members. Each of the wall members of the liner are adapted to lie in close proximity to one of the walls defining the storage compartment. In one embodiment, the liner has three wall members in a ā€œUā€ shape and is sized so that each of the legs lies adjacent the side walls of the compartment and the base of the liner lies against the bottom wall of the container. The liner may be held in place in the container by glue, adhesive, mechanical attachment such as screws, nuts and bolts, rivets or the like.

[0012] In other embodiments, the liner may have four wall members for placement closely adjacent to the side walls, bottom wall and back wall of the container.

[0013] In yet other embodiments of the present invention, the liner may have five wall members for placing adjacent the side walls, bottom wall, front wall and back wall of the container.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0014] The above, and other objects of the present invention may be more fully understood from the following detailed description taken together with the accompanying drawing wherein similar reference characters refer to similar elements throughout and in which:

[0015] FIG. 1 illustrates a multi-compartment container such as often included in a fishing tackle box for containing various items useful in fishing including some magnetically attracted items;

[0016] FIG. 2 illustrates a magnetic liner which may be utilized to line one or more of the compartments of the container illustrated in FIG. 1;

[0017] FIG. 3 illustrates a multi-drawer chest of the like which may be utilized to store at least some magnetically attracted items; and,

[0018] FIG. 4 illustrates a magnetic liner which may be utilized to line one or more of the drawers in the chest illustrated in FIG. 3.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0019] Referring now to the Drawing, there is illustrated in FIG. 1 a preferred embodiment generally designated 10 of the present invention. As shown on FIG. 1, there is illustrated a multi-compartment container 12 such as often utilized in a fishing tackle box (not shown) to store various items and implements (not shown) useful in fishing therein. The multi-compartment container 12 is divided into a plurality of separate compartments designated 14a, 14b, 14c, 14d, 14e and 14f. At least some of the items to be stored in the compartments 14a-14f may be magnetically attracted items such as steel fish hooks, steel leaders, etc. The compartments are divided by dividers 16a, 6b, 16c, 16d and 16e which provide the side walls of the containers. A a pair of end walls a 18a and 18b at opposite ends of the container 12 provide the closure to compartments 14a and 14f. A back wall 20 provides a backing to the container 12 and a bottom wall 22 provides a base or bottom wall to the container 12 thereby defining the storage volume therebetween for the containing of the desired items. A lid 24 is hingedly connected to the backwall 20 along the top edge 20ā€² thereof to allow closure to the top of the multi-compartments in the container 12. The lid 24 may be provided with a clip 26 for engagement with the bottom wall 22 in the closed position. to allow retention of there lid in such closed position.

[0020] According to the principles of the present invention, a magnetized liner may be provided in one or more of the compartments 12a-12f to provide secure retention of the magnetic attractive items to be stored in the compartments. FIG. 2 illustrates a three wall member magnetic liner generally designated 28 having side wall members 28a and 28b and a bottom wall member 28c. The liner 28 is fabricated of a magnetic material which may be flexible or rigid and may be sized as to length, width and height to fit into one of the compartments such as compartment 14e closely adjacent to the side walls and bottom walls of the compartment. If desired, the liner 28 may be secured into the compartment by glue, adhesive, mechanical fastening by screws, nuts and bolts, or the like. The liner 28 may, in other embodiments, be four or five sided sized to fit into one of the compartments 12a-12f. against the side walls, bottom wall and back wall. A liner 28 may be utilized in one or more of the compartments 12a-12f as desired for particular applications.

[0021] Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown an embodiment generally designated 50 of a container 52 which may be in the configuration of a chest or cabinet having a plurality of drawer members 54a to 54f which are designed to slide in and out of the container 52 in the directions indicated by the arrow 56. Each of the drawers defines a compartment in the container 52 and has five walls defining them storage volume in the drawer: two side walls as indicted for example at 58 and 60 for drawer 54h, a front wall 62 and a back wall 64 as well as a bottom wall 66. The container 52 is also provided with end walls 68 and 70 and a top wall 72.

[0022] In accordance with the principles of the present invention, a liner 74 fabricated from a flexible or rigid magnetic material and sized in length, width and height to fit in the drawer 54h closely adjacent to the walls thereof. The liner 74 has side wall members 76 and 78, front wall member 80, back wall member 82 and bottom wall 84. The liner 74 may be fixed into the drawer 54h by glue, adhesive or by mechanical means such as screws, rivets, nuts and bolts or the like. Liners 74 may be provided for one or more of the drawers 54a-54h. Any magnetizable items placed in a drawer will adhere to one of the wall members of the liner 74 in a secure manner to prevent the inadvertent spilling thereof from the drawer.

[0023] The degree of magnetic strength in each of the magnetic materials used for fabricating the liners 28 or 74 as installed in each compartment such as the compartments 14a-14f or drawers 54a-54h would depend on the compartmentalized containers original intended usage. The material used may be labeled in such a manner so as to reference the magnetic strength of the magnetic material of the liner against the intended magnetically attracted object rendering a user-friendly compartmentalized container. Thus, smaller magnetizable material items would require a lower strength of magnet in the liner and, conversely, larger magnetizable material items would require a stronger magnet strength.

[0024] For example, should the original compartmentalized container be intended for comparatively smaller fishing items, the strength of the magnetic material used in the liner for the the individual compartments would be in accordance of keeping fishing hooks, lures and intended tackle from falling free of the box should the tackle box be overturned while the lid is in an unsecured position.

[0025] Should the original compartmentalized container be intended for (but not limited to) larger items such a larger nails, screws, nuts, bolts or washers, the strength of the magnetic material used to fabricate the liner for the compartments would have a greater magnetic strength to retain the items therein in a secure position. The individual compartments would, therefore, be in accordance of keeping such items more secure.

[0026] The application of the invention would remain consistent with any such compartmentalized container and its original intended use, should any of such compartmentalized containers be intended to carry materials and or objects that would be considered magnetically compatible.

[0027] From the above it can be seen that the present invention provides a structure for holding magnetizable items in a compartment to prevent the inadvertent spilling of the items therefrom. Those skilled in the art may find many variations and adaptations of the present invention and the appended claims are intended to cover all such variations and adaptations falling within the true scope and spirit of the invention.