Title:
Work storage unit
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A work storage unit having a base and a door pivotally attached to the base. The door may be in a vertical, closed position, with respect to the base providing secure storage of items. When in the closed position, the door of the work storage unit fits within the outer edge of the base. The door may also be moved to a horizontal, open position, with respect to the base. When in the open position, various compartments are revealed which provide access to the items. The work storage unit can be mounted on a wall, the base lying generally parallel to the wall, thereby not taking up valuable floor space.



Inventors:
Rodon, Frank C. (Batavia, NY, US)
Reinhart, Jerry L. (Batavia, NY, US)
Application Number:
10/417979
Publication Date:
10/21/2004
Filing Date:
04/17/2003
Assignee:
RODON FRANK C.
REINHART JERRY L.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B25H3/02; B25H3/06; (IPC1-7): A47F5/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
EDELL, JOSEPH F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HODGSON RUSS LLP (BUFFALO, NY, US)
Claims:

We claim:



1. A wall mounted work storage unit, comprising: a base unit configured for being vertically mounted to a wall and defining a base plane, the base unit having at least one opening extending to a horizontal surface disposed in the base unit, the base unit having a plurality of slots disposed therein; a door pivotally attached to the base unit and defining a work plane, the door movable between an open position wherein the work plane is disposed generally perpendicular to the base plane and a closed position wherein the work plane is generally parallel to the base plane, the door having a stop structure extending therefrom, the stop structure extending through the opening in the base unit and engaging with the horizontal surface when the door is in the open position; at least one partition wall disposed on the base unit and having a plurality of slots disposed therein; and, at least one drawer having a lid capable of engaging with at least one of the slots in the base unit and at least one of the slots in the partition wall.

2. The wall mounted work storage unit of claim 1, wherein the door further comprises a planar work surface.

3. The wall mounted work storage unit of claim 1, wherein the door further comprises a planar work surface surrounded by at least one storage compartment.

4. The wall mounted work storage unit of claim 1, wherein the door further comprises a planar work surface surrounded by a plurality of storage compartments.

5. The wall mounted work storage unit of claim 1, further comprising a tape measure disposed on the door adjacent to a planar work surface.

6. The wall mounted work storage unit of claim 1, further comprising a planar work surface on the door surrounded by at least one compartment having a translucent cover pivotally attached adjacent thereto.

7. The wall mounted work storage unit of claim 1, further comprising at least one shelf capable of engaging with at least one of the slots in the base unit and at least one of the slots in the partition wall.

8. A wall mounted work storage unit, comprising: a base unit having top and bottom walls, side walls, and a rear wall, the side walls having slots defined therein, the rear wall having a groove disposed on an exterior surface thereof and having a plurality of openings defined therethrough, the base unit configured for being vertically mounted to a wall and defining a base plane, the base unit having at least one opening extending to a horizontal surface disposed in the base unit; a mounting bracket having a straight portion with openings defined therein and having an angled portion, the straight portion of the mounting bracket capable of being mounted to a standard wall having studs spaced apart at a uniform standard distance, the angled portion capable of sliding into the groove disposed on the exterior surface of the rear wall for attachment thereto; a door pivotally attached to the base unit and defining a work plane, the door movable between an open position wherein the work plane is disposed generally perpendicular to the base plane and a closed position wherein the work plane is generally parallel to the base plane, the door having a stop structure extending therefrom, the stop structure extending through the opening in the base unit and engaging with the horizontal surface when the door is in the open position; at least one partition wall disposed on the base unit and having a plurality of slots disposed therein; and, at least one drawer having a lid capable of engaging with at least one of the slots in the base unit and at least one of the slots in the partition wall.

9. The wall mounted work storage unit of claim 8, wherein the door further comprises a planar work surface.

10. The wall mounted work storage unit of claim 8, wherein the door further comprises a planar work surface surrounded by at least one storage compartment.

11. The wall mounted work storage unit of claim 8, wherein the door further comprises a planar work surface surrounded by a plurality of storage compartments.

12. The wall mounted work storage unit of claim 9, further comprising a ruler disposed adjacent to the planar work surface.

13. The wall mounted work storage unit of claim 8, wherein the door has a planar work surface surrounded by at least one compartment having a translucent cover pivotally attached adjacent thereto.

14. The wall mounted work storage unit of claim 8 further, comprising at least one shelf capable of engaging with at least one of the slots in the base unit and at least one of the slots in one of the partition walls.

15. A wall mounted work storage unit, comprising: a base unit having top and bottom walls, side walls, and a rear wall, the side walls having slots defined therein, the rear wall having a groove disposed on an exterior surface thereof and having a plurality of openings defined therethrough, the base unit configured for being vertically mounted to a wall and defining a base plane, the base unit having at least one opening extending to a horizontal surface disposed in the base unit; a mounting bracket having a straight portion with openings defined therein and having an angled portion, the straight portion of the mounting bracket capable of being mounted to a standard wall having studs spaced apart at a uniform standard distance, the angled portion capable of sliding into the groove disposed on the exterior surface of the rear wall for attachment thereto; a door pivotally attached to the base unit and defining a work plane, the door movable between an open position wherein the work plane is disposed generally perpendicular to the base plane and a closed position wherein the work plane is generally parallel to the base plane, the door having a stop structure extending therefrom, the stop structure extending through the opening in the base unit and engaging with the horizontal surface when the door is in the open position; at least two partition walls disposed on the base unit and having a plurality of slots disposed therein; at least one drawer having a lid capable of engaging with at least one of the slots in the base unit and at least one of the slots in one of the partition walls; an accessory shelf disposed in the middle of the unit and having a first end engaged with the slots in one of the partition walls and having a second end engaged with the slots in the other partition wall; and, a center divider disposed adjacent the accessory shelf and having a plurality of slots disposed therein, the slots arranged so as to align with the slots in one of the partition walls.

16. The wall mounted work storage unit of claim 15, wherein the door further comprises a planar work surface.

17. The wall mounted work storage unit of claim 15, wherein the door further comprises a planar work surface surrounded by at least one storage compartment.

18. The wall mounted work storage unit of claim 15, wherein the door further comprises a planar work surface surrounded by a plurality of storage compartments.

19. The wall mounted work storage unit of claim 15, further comprising a tape measure disposed adjacent to the planar work surface.

20. The wall mounted work storage unit of claim 15, wherein the door has a planar work surface surrounded by at least one compartment having a translucent cover pivotally attached adjacent thereto.

21. The wall mounted work storage unit of claim 15, further comprising a lock.

22. The wall mounted work storage unit of claim 15, further comprising a handle formed integrally in the lower surface of the door such that the door can be grasped by the handle when the door is in the closed position.

23. The wall mounted work storage unit, of claim 15 further comprising at least one shelf capable of engaging with at least one of the slots in the base unit and at least one of the slots in the partition wall.

24. The wall mounted work storage unit of claim 15, wherein the accessory shelf is reversible such that it has a groove on a first side and has at least one compartment disposed on a second side opposite the first side.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application claims the benefit of priority to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 29/168,321, filed on Sep. 30, 2002, now pending.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates generally to a work storage unit, and more particularly to a wall-mountable work storage unit for providing a retractable work surface and providing for storing and organizing parts, tools, supplies and the like.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] In many areas such as garages, basements, laundry rooms, or the like, space is limited. There exists a need for a work storage unit that is foldable to a relatively thin depth and which is wall-mountable for use and/or storage, whereby floor space is made available for other tools, equipment and/or vehicles; a work storage unit that provides for easy access to tools and deployment of a work surface by pivoting the work surface from a closed storage position to an open working position; a work storage unit that has a work platform that is easily adjustable between a closed, vertical position and an open, working position, whereby the work surface may be positioned horizontally with respect to the base; and that, when not in use, the work surface may be pivoted to a closed position, positioned vertically with respect to the base.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The present invention meets the above-described need by providing a base unit with a retractable work surface and a plurality of storage compartments and shelves. The work surface is pivotally attached to the housing such that it pivots between a vertical closed position and a horizontal open position.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0005] The invention is illustrated in the drawings in which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the figures of which:

[0006] FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of a work storage unit shown in a closed position in accordance with the present invention;

[0007] FIG. 2 is a rear elevational view of a work storage unit in accordance with the present invention;

[0008] FIG. 3 is a right side elevational view of a work storage unit shown in a closed position in accordance with the present invention;

[0009] FIG. 4a is a front elevational view of a bracket for mounting the work storage unit to a wall in accordance with the present invention;

[0010] FIG. 4b is a right side elevational view of the mounting bracket of FIG. 4a;

[0011] FIG. 5a is a perspective view of a work storage unit shown in an open position in accordance with the present invention;

[0012] FIG. 5b is an exploded perspective view of the work storage unit of FIG. 5a;

[0013] FIG. 6a is a cross-sectional view of the work storage unit shown in a closed position taken along line A-A of FIG. 1;

[0014] FIG. 6b is the cross-sectional view of the work storage unit of FIG. 6a shown in an open position;

[0015] FIG. 6c is a cross-sectional view of the work storage unit shown in a closed position taken along line B-B of FIG. 1;

[0016] FIG. 7 is an exploded view of the base of the work storage unit of FIG. 4b;

[0017] FIG. 8a is a top plan view of the door of the work storage unit in accordance with the present invention;

[0018] FIG. 8b is a cross-sectional view of the door of the work storage unit taken along line A-A of FIG. 8a;

[0019] FIG. 9 is an exploded view of the door of the work storage unit of FIG. 8a;

[0020] FIG. 10 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the work storage unit of the present invention;

[0021] FIG. 11 is an exploded perspective view of the base of the work storage unit of FIG. 10;

[0022] FIG. 12 is a perspective view of an accessory shelf; and,

[0023] FIG. 13 is a front elevational view of a center divider.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0024] In FIG. 1, the work storage unit 1 includes a base 2 and a door 3. The base 2 of the work storage unit 1 is configured to be vertically mounted on a wall (not shown). The base further includes a rim 6 which defines the periphery of the base. The base 2 has a depth D, shown in FIG. 3. The rim 6 of the base surrounds and defines an opening 52 in the base, shown in FIG. 5a, used for storage of items.

[0025] The door 3 is hingedly mounted to the base 2, as can be seen in FIG. 5a. The door 3 is moveable between a closed position wherein the door lies substantially parallel to the base 2, and an open, working position, wherein the door lies substantially perpendicular to the base. Further, the door 3 is sized as to fit within the rim 6 of the base 2, when the work storage unit 1 is in the closed position. That is, the outer edge 8 of the door 3 fits within the rim 6 of the base 2, the door being partially recessed into the base.

[0026] The door 3 includes a recess 10 which acts as a handle for gripping and facilitating moving the door to and from the open and the closed positions. An indentation 12 may also be included in the door 3 into which a name plate or other suitable identification means (not shown) can be located.

[0027] The base 2 and door 3, and the various components contained within, which will be discussed later, can be constructed of plastic, metal, composite material, or other suitable material as to provide a lightweight and strong work storage unit.

[0028] A locking mechanism 7 may also be included in the door, which can be any conventional locking mechanism.

[0029] Turning to FIG. 2, as noted above, the door 3 fits within the rim 6 of the base 2 and can therefore not be seen from the rear elevational view. Detachably connected to the rear of the base 2 is a mounting bracket 40, which fits into a mounting slot 22 located on the rear of the base 2. The function of the mounting bracket 40 and the mounting slot 22 is explained in greater detail below in connection with FIGS. 4a and 4b. Stop mechanisms 24 can also be seen from the rear elevational view of the base 2. The stop mechanisms are discussed in greater detail later in connection with FIGS. 5b and 6c.

[0030] As can be seen in FIG. 3, the outer edge 8 of the door 3 fits within the rim 6 of the base 2, and is aligned substantially parallel to the base. The base 2 further includes grooves 14, which will be explained in greater detail below with reference to FIGS. 5b and 7.

[0031] In FIGS. 4a and 4b, the mounting bracket includes a back portion 41 and an angled portion 45. The back portion 41 is configured to be vertically mounted to a wall (not shown). The back portion 41 of the mounting bracket 40 has a plurality of through-holes 44 whereby wall mounting screws 42 are utilized to mount the mounting bracket 40 to the wall (not shown). The through-holes 44 lie on 16″ centers so as to align with studs in a conventionally constructed wall. Washers 43 may also be utilized as is standard practice.

[0032] The mounting slot 22 of the base 2 of the work storage unit 1, shown in FIG. 2, engages the angled portion 45 (best shown in FIG. 4b) of the mounting bracket 40. When the mounting bracket 40 is mounted to a wall, the mounting slot 22 can then be aligned with the mounting bracket 40, thereby supporting the work storage unit 1 vertically against the wall (not shown). After engaging the mounting slot 22 on the angled portion 45 of the mounting bracket 40, base mounting screws 46, shown in FIG. 5b, are inserted through mounting holes 49, shown in FIG. 5a, and the base 2 is thereby secured to the mounting bracket at base mounting locations 48. Further washers 43 may also be utilized in conjunction with the base mounting screws 46. Securing the base to the mounting bracket ensures that the work storage unit will be stable both in the closed position, and when in use in the open position. Although work storage unit 1 is illustrated with four mounting holes 49, it will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that fewer mounting holes 49 may also be used, as shown in FIG. 11.

[0033] As the base 2 of the work storage unit 1 is secured to the mounting bracket 40 by means of base mounting screws 46, the work storage unit 1 may at any time be removed from the mounting bracket 40. However, the mounting bracket 40 is retained on the wall (not shown) to ensure easy re-mounting of the work storage unit to the wall.

[0034] In the open position, shown in FIG. 5a, the door 3 lies substantially perpendicular with respect to the base 2. This is accomplished by the stop mechanisms 24. As shown in FIG. 5b, the stop mechanisms 24 include guide blocks 26 and channels 30. The guide blocks 26 protrude generally perpendicular from the rear edge 81 of the door 3. The channels 30 are formed proximal to the lower surface 62 formed in the base 2, which can be seen in FIG. 6c. When the door 3 is moved between the opened and the closed position, the guide blocks 26 ride within the channels 30, inhibiting lateral movement of the door 3 within the base 2. In the open position, a top portion 28 of the guide blocks 26 abut against the lower surface 62 formed in the base 3, shown in FIG. 6c. This arrangement provides rigidity to the door in the open position.

[0035] In FIG. 5b, the door 3 attaches to the base 2 by means of pins 80 being inserted into holes 70. Guide blocks 26 also align with channels 30.

[0036] The base 2 further includes a plurality of grooves 14 which protrude into the opening 52 of the base 2. The functionality of the grooves 14 will be discussed in greater detail later with regard to FIG. 7.

[0037] As can be seen in FIG. 6a, the outer edge 8 of the door 3 is dimensioned to fit within the rim 6 of the base 2. In the closed position, the door 3 is partially recessed into the opening 52 of the base 2. This provides secure closure of the work storage unit 1 as well as reduces the overall depth of the work storage unit 1 when in the closed position.

[0038] As can be seen in FIG. 6b, the door 3 lies generally perpendicular to the base 2. This allows access to the various items stored within the work storage unit.

[0039] In FIG. 6c, this cross-sectional view shows the stop mechanism 24. As previously discussed, the stop mechanism includes a guide block 26 formed integral with the rear edge 81 of the door 3. During operation, i.e., opening and closing the door 3, the guide block 26 rides in the channel 30. When the door 3 is opened, and lies generally perpendicular to the base 2, the guide block 26 abuts with a lower surface 62 formed in the base. To improve stability and strength in the door 3 in the open position, a step-like protrusion 64 molded integrally with the door 3, abuts with the rim 6 of the base 2.

[0040] Turning to FIG. 7, depending upon a user's storage requirements, various components can be used interchangeably within the work storage unit. For example, removable wall 55a is configured to be inserted into and removed from slot 58a. Although not shown, the base 2 has a further slot formed opposite to, and corresponding to, slot 58a, thereby forming a pair. Removable wall 55a accordingly fits into the pair of slots, and is thereby supported. The removable shelf 56, which can be inserted through the inlet 53 of removable wall 55a, is configured to be inserted into slot 58c. Removable shelf 56 has fingers 57 at one end which may be used to store drill bits, screwdriver bits, or other small items. Removable wall 55b is configured to be inserted into and removed from slot 58b and its corresponding slot (not shown) which is formed in the base opposite to slot 58b.

[0041] When removable wall 55b is inserted into slot 58b, storage boxes 50 are able to be utilized as needed. Removable wall 55b includes a pocket 59 on one side for storing pencils, rulers, et al., and on the other opposite side includes furrows 54. The storage boxes 50 are supported on, and are slideably moveable, in the furrows 54 of removable wall 55b, and in grooves 14 formed in the base 2 which protrude into the opening 52 of the base 2. The storage boxes 50 can be any conventional storage box which include lids 51 that are detachably connected to the storage boxes 51. The various components of the base 2 can also be seen in FIGS. 5a and 5b.

[0042] In FIG. 8a, the door has pins 80 formed integrally with the door and located proximal to the rear edge 81 of the door. The pins 80 are inserted into holes 70, shown in FIG. 7, of the base 2 thereby pivotally attaching the door 3 to the base 2. In attaching the door to the base 2, the guide blocks 26 are aligned with the channels 30 of the base. The various components of the door 3 can also be seen in FIGS. 5a and 5b.

[0043] In FIG. 8b, the door 3 has a depth d which allows for troughs 88 and cavities 90 to be formed therein for storage of various items. A depression 84 (FIG. 9) is also formed in the door 3 into which a non-skid mat 85 may be inserted. The troughs 88 and the non-skid mat 85 are used as work surfaces while the door is in the open position. While working, a user may rest tools or parts on the non-skid mat 85, or into the troughs 88, so that the tools or parts are not lost and are easily accessible. A name plate 86 may also be included in the door for identification purposes.

[0044] Formed within opposing ends of the door 3 are cavities 90, as shown in FIGS. 8a and 9. The cavities are used for storing various small items such as nuts, bolts, washers, etc. The cavities are covered by windows 94 which are attached to the door 3 in a conventional manner. The windows are formed of a clear or translucent plastic material so that items stored within may be viewed without the need for opening the windows 94. The cavities 90 include partition slots 93 formed in their bottom 91 and side surfaces 95. Removable partitions 92 may be inserted into and removed from the partition slots 93. The removable partitions 92, when inserted, are vertically arranged within cavities to form separate storage compartments, as needed. The windows 94 include protrusions 96 for gripping and opening the windows. The protrusions 96 fit within holes 98 formed contiguous to cavities 90. When the windows 94 are closed, they lie flush with the inner surface 60 of the door. When in the open position, the doors lie at approximately 100 degrees with respect to the inner surface 60 of the door. This enables easy access to the items stored within the cavities. With the windows 94 closed, the items stored within the cavities 90 are securely held and therefore organized. When the door 3 of the work storage unit is closed into the base 2, the items stored within the cavities 90 remain secured therein.

[0045] Turning to FIGS. 10 and 11, an alternate embodiment of the work storage unit 1 is shown. On the left hand side of FIG. 10, a first partition wall 100 is received in a pair of slots 103 formed in the base unit 106. The partition wall 100 has a plurality of slots 109 arranged to align with slots 112 formed in the side of base unit 106. Removable shelf 115 is capable of being supported in the opposed slots. The partition wall 100 also has slots 118 formed on the side opposite slots 109. On the right hand side of the FIG. 10, a second partition wall 121 has slots 124 arranged to align with slots 112 formed in the right side of base unit 106. The slots 112 are formed in the right side wall the same as shown on the left side. A plurality of drawers 130 are sized such that a lid portion 133 of the drawers slides into slots 124 on partition wall 121 and slots 112 formed in the right side of the base unit 106. The drawers 130 can also be received in the aligned slots 109, 112 on the left hand side. Door 3 fits into base unit 106 in the manner described above. Accordingly, the drawers 130 and shelves 115 may be arranged in numerous ways based on the user's preference. Slots 118 and 127 align and face toward the middle of the unit.

[0046] Turning to FIG. 12, an accessory shelf 140 having molded compartments 143 is sized to span the central opening between slots 118 and 127. The shelf 140 may also include openings 148 for receiving items such as screwdrivers or the like. The opposite sides of the shelf 140 have extended portions 146 sized to engage with the slots 118, 127. The shelf 140 is reversible. When the shelf 140 is flipped over from the position shown in FIG. 12, the divider 200 (FIG. 13) can engage with slot 152 and with a groove in the top wall of the base. With divider 200 installed in the shelf 140, slots 210 and 215 on opposite sides of the divider 200 are brought into alignment with slots 118 and 127 to provide support for additional drawers 130.

[0047] In FIG. 13, a center divider 200 has an extended portion 203 capable of engaging with a slot 152 disposed in the accessory shelf 140. The divider provides for adding additional shelves 115 or drawers 130 to the unit 1.

[0048] While the invention has been described in connection with certain embodiments, it is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to the particular forms set forth, but, on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.