Beam box storage container
Kind Code:

A self retracting storage container for general purpose storage in unfinished basements is disclosed. The storage container of the present invention is attached to a pivot bar and mounting plates and equipped with a spring loaded ratcheting device. The entire assembly mounts between the basement floor joists of a house and provides easy access storage in what would normally be wasted space. A storage container with a cooperating spring loaded ratchet mechanism is new to the art. The way in which the mounting components are configured makes installation by one person possible and eliminates the need to “lay out” or mark the joists prior to actual placement of the storage container. This makes installation inherently simple and quick compared to prior applications in the art and is also new.

Ceglarski, John W. (Auburn, IN, US)
Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B46/00; A47B67/02; (IPC1-7): A47B67/02
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Primary Examiner:
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
1. A spring loaded ratcheting self retracting overhead storage container for use in basements, designed to fit between the ceiling joist's of said basement.



U.S. Patent Documents

2,435,755 Feb., 1948 Schimpff.

3,331,645 Jul., 1967 Vercellotti.

3,627,397 Dec., 1971 Rominsky.

4,026,434 May., 1977 Howard.

4,699,437 Oct., 1987 Genereaux.

4,733,925 Mar., 1988 Duran et al.

5,242,219 Sep., 1993 Tomaka.

5,407,261 Apr., 1995 Mercer.

5,456,529 Oct., 1995 Cheung.

5,460,280 Oct., 1995 Feddeler.

5,595,028 Jan., 1997 Handzlik.

5,628,153 May, 1997 Fontanez.

5,725,293 Mar., 1998 Wilkening et al.

6,088,239 Jul., 2000 Zeiss


The present invention relates to general purpose storage containers and space saving devices. It reduces or eliminates cluttered work surfaces by the addition of easily accessible storage space. This device utilizes a part of the home that is normally not used at all.


Space saving devices and containers are always useful around the home. Anytime a container or storage device can provide usable storage in what would otherwise be wasted space it is always useful.


The main object of the present invention is to provide additional storage space in the average home.

Another object of the present invention is to utilize space that is normally wasted. Instead of taking up additional floor space, wall space or counter space, this device creates overhead storage where previously there was none.

Another object of the present invention is to enable a person of sleight build to access the storage container easily even when it is fully loaded. This is accomplished by means of the spring loaded ratchet bar which counters the weight of the box itself and any items that are stored in it. When the latch is operated the storage container can then be pulled downward rather than having to be caught and supported while swinging to its fully open or downward position.

Another object of the present invention is to allow the tension on the spring to be infinitely variable by means of the ratchet bar. This allows for loading of various degrees without changing the level of effort used to lower and raise it.

Another object of the present invention is to allow the entire storage container to be installed without having to alter the dwelling in any way. It is designed and dimensioned to fit neatly between joists that are spaced sixteen inches on center which covers most houses built in compliance with contemporary national and state building codes.


The storage container of the present invention may be used for general purpose storage in the home. In addition, it can also be subdivided into a plurality of smaller compartments using the modular shelves mentioned later in the description.

FIGS. 1 and FIG. 2 illustrate the fully assembled storage container and latch bar prior to installation. The preferred embodiment shown in FIG. 3 illustrates the installation of the storage container in a residence and shows the moved position of the storage container when access is desired.

The storage container and shelves are made of injection molded plastic and incorporate a number of integral features detailed in later views. The installation straps 21 shown in FIG. 4 are made of woven nylon and are used to aid in the installation of the storage container. The ends of the straps are secured to the outer vertical surface of the joists of the bay in which the storage container is to be installed using a screw or nail. The straps are then hung loosely across the bay and secured to the far side joist in the same manner.

The entire storage container assembly can then be inserted into the bay and supported by the straps until the mounting plates 4,8 are secured to the joists. FIG. 5 shows the four holes 32 in each plate for securing the plates to the joists with wood screws. The latch plate 19 can then be installed and the latch 18 engaged at which time the straps can be removed.

The ratchet gear 15 is made of steel or die cast metal and the remainder of the components are made of steel.

The overview in FIG. 4 shows all of the components and the general order of assembly. As shown in FIG. 5 the left or mounting boss side pivot stud 3 is attached to the left mounting plate 4 with screw 5. The right or ratchet side pivot stud 7 shown in FIG. 6 is attached to the ratchet side mounting plate 8 in the same way using screw 9. The fully seated countersunk screw 9 is shown in cross section 1/1.

Section 2/2 in FIG. 7 shows the placement of the ratchet pawl 10 which is attached to the ratchet mounting 8 plate using the pawl shoulder bolt 11. The pawl spring 12 is then mounted on the pawl spring shoulder bolt 13 and attached to the ratchet mounting plate 8.

The pawl spring 12 shown enlarged in FIG. 9 can then be manually held in tension while the pawl spring tension pin 14 is pressed or driven home into the ratchet plate 8.

FIG. 9 shows the ratchet tube 16 which is threaded into the center hole 33 of the ratchet gear 15. The present embodiment of this assembly uses a threaded end on the tube but future embodiments may consist of an unthreaded tube upon which the ratchet gear is secured by a weld on one or both sides.

Once the ratchet gear and tube are assembled the tension spring 17 can be sleeved onto the tube and the offset end of the spring inserted into the offset hole 25 in the ratchet gear.

Shown in FIG. 11 is the ratchet end of the storage container I which has an integral mounting boss 29. The pivot plate 2 shown detailed in FIG. 10 is secured to the boss with eight ANSI type BT hex head self tapping screws 6 shown in FIG. 4. The screws are inserted thru the holes 27 shown in FIG. 10 and turned into the boss until seated. The pivot plate and boss are dimensioned to provide a clearance fit for the ratchet tube assembly which is inserted into the boss until the offset end on the tension spring is seated in the tension spring hole 30 shown in FIG. 11. The pivot studs 3, 7 on the respective mounting plates can then be inserted in each end of the ratchet tube which completes the assembly of the ratchet end of the storage container.

The container latch 18 shown in FIG. 9 is a generic key type cabinet latch which is inserted in the hole 24 shown in FIG. 8 in the latch end of the storage container.

Once the storage container has been installed as described earlier, the tension spring 17 can be adjusted as necessary to offset the weight of the container and its contents. This is accomplished by inserting the ratchet bar tensioning lever 22 into the hole 26 provided in the ratchet tube 16 shown in FIG. 9. The tensioning lever is inserted all the way thru the ratchet bar and seats in the recess 31 of the mounting boss 29 shown in section 4/4 of FIG. 11. The slot in the pivot plate 28 shown in FIG. 10 and the recess in the mounting boss allows the tensioning lever to be pulled backward thus loading the tension spring. Due to the small amount of clearance between the top of the mounting boss and the sub floor when the storage container has been installed, the tensioning lever is necessarily short. Additional leverage can be gained however by gripping the tensioning lever with vise grips after it has been inserted thru the tube or by placing a short length of pipe over the end of the tensioning lever.

The ratchet tube may also be modified in future embodiments to consist of a heavier wall thickness in order to allow the tension spring to be loaded to a higher degree.

After the tension spring has been loaded enough to accommodate the weight of the storage container, the container can then be unlatched and lowered in order to be fitted with a plurality of shelves 20 shown in FIG. 12 and section 5/5. The shelves are dimensioned to fit into the spaces between the ribs 23 shown in section 3/3 of FIG. 8.