Title:
Closet rod assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
In a closet rod assembly having a non-circular cross-section tube extending between first and second mounting brackets, an improvement includes the tube having first and second hollow tubes having complementary shaped cross-sections with the first tube slidably received in the second tube. The mounting brackets may be identical and configured to receive the ends of either the first or second tubes. In a variation, each bracket has a positioning guide. In a variation, each bracket is dimensioned to provide a clearance distance between a top edge and the closet rod.



Inventors:
Koudys, Terry Q. (St. Clements, CA)
Vanderwerf, Kevin Peter Joachim (Guelph, CA)
Wagner, Raymond R. (Waterloo, CA)
Application Number:
11/242281
Publication Date:
04/06/2006
Filing Date:
10/03/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47H1/08
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PUROL, SARAH L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HARNESS DICKEY (TROY) (Troy, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. In a closet rod assembly having a tear drop shaped cross-section tube that extends between first and second mounting brackets, the improvement comprising: the tube including first and second hollow tubes having complementary shaped cross-sections with the first tube slidably received in the second tube.

2. The improvement of claim 1 wherein the first and second mounting brackets are substantially identical and can receive the ends of either one of the first and second tubes.

3. The improvement of claim 2 wherein each mounting bracket has a vertical dislodgement feature that prevents the one of the first and second tubes received in the mounting bracket from being dislodged vertically.

4. The improvement of claim 2 wherein each mounting bracket has a horizontal dislodgment feature that prevents the one of the first and second tubes received in the mounting bracket from being dislodged horizontally.

5. The improvement of claim 4 wherein each mounting bracket has a vertical dislodgement feature that prevents the one of the first and second tubes received in the mounting bracket from being dislodged vertically.

6. The improvement of claim 1 wherein each bracket has a positioning guide.

7. The improvement of claim 6 wherein the positioning guide is an indent centered in a top edge of the bracket.

8. The improvement of claim 1 wherein the first and second brackets are dimensioned to provide a clearance distance between tops of the first and second tubes and top edges of the brackets when the first and second tubes are received in the brackets.

9. The improvement of claim 8 wherein the clearance distance of the second bracket is about 1.40 inches and the clearance distance of the second bracket is about 1.23 inches.

10. The improvement of claim 3 wherein each bracket has a positioning guide including an indent centered in a top edge of the bracket, each bracket dimensioned to provide a clearance distance between a top of one of the first and second tubes and a top edge of the bracket when that one of the first and second tubes is received in the bracket.

11. The improvement of claim 10 wherein the clearance distance of the first bracket is about 1.40 inches and the clearance distance of the second bracket is about 1.23 inches.

12. In an extendible closet rod assembly having a tube with a tear drop shaped-cross section that extends between first and second mounting brackets, the improvement comprising: the tube including first and second hollow tubes having complementary shaped cross-sections with the first tube slidably received in the second tube; and each mounting bracket having a positioning guide.

13. The improvement of claim 12 wherein the positioning guide is an indent centered in a top edge of the bracket.

14. The improvement of claim 12 wherein each bracket is dimensioned to provide a clearance distance between a top of one of the first and second tubes and a top edge of the bracket when that one of the first and second tubes is received in the bracket.

15. The improvement of claim 14 wherein the clearance distance of the first bracket is about 1.40 inches and the clearance distance of the second bracket is about 1.23 inches.

16. The improvement of claim 12 wherein each bracket has a vertical dislodgment feature that prevents the one of the first and second tubes received in it from being dislodged vertically and a horizontal dislodgment feature that prevents the one of the first and second tubes received in it from being dislodged horizontally.

17. The improvement of claim 14 wherein each bracket has a positioning guide including an indent centered in the top edge of the bracket.

18. In a closet rod assembly having a non-circular shaped tube extending between first and second mounting brackets, the improvement comprising: the tube including first and second hollow tubes having complementary shaped cross-sections with the first tube slidably received in the second tube.

19. The improvement of claim 18 wherein the first and second mounting brackets are substantially identical and can receive the ends of either one of the first and second tubes.

20. The improvement of claim 19 wherein each mounting bracket has a horizontal dislodgment feature that prevents the one of the first and second tubes received in the mounting bracket from being dislodged horizontally.

21. The improvement of claim 19 wherein each mounting bracket has a vertical dislodgement feature that prevents the one of the first and second tubes received in the mounting bracket from being dislodged vertically.

22. The improvement of claim 19 wherein each bracket is dimensioned to provide a clearance distance between a top of one the first and second tubes and a top edge of the bracket when that one of the first and second tubes is received in the bracket.

23. The improvement of claim 22 wherein the clearance distance of the first bracket is about 1.40 inches and the clearance distance of the second bracket is about 1.23 inches.

24. The improvement of claim 18 wherein each bracket has a positioning guide including an indent centered in a top edge of the bracket.

25. The improvement of claim 22 wherein each bracket has a positioning guide including an indent centered in the top edge of the bracket

26. The improvement of claim 19 wherein each mounting bracket has a horizontal dislodgment feature that prevents the one of the first and second tubes received in the mounting bracket from being dislodged horizontally, a vertical dislodgment feature that prevents the one of the first and second tubes received in the mounting bracket from being dislodged vertically, and a positioning guide.

27. The improvement of claim 26 wherein the positioning guide is an indent centered in a top edge of the bracket.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/615,762, filed on Oct. 4, 2004.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to closet rods, and more particularly, to a closet rod assembly.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Closet rods are used to hang clothes in closets. In one common arrangement, mounting brackets are affixed to two opposed walls and one end of the closet rod is held in each mounting bracket.

One type of closet rod is the extendible closet rod. The extendible closet rod typically has two tubes with complementary, but different diameters, with the smaller diameter tube slidably received in the larger diameter tube. The smaller diameter tube can be slid in and out of the larger diameter tube so that the extendible closet rod can be adjusted to fit between opposed walls that are spaced apart varying distances. In this type of closet rod, the tubes are typically thin wall tubes made of material such as steel and typically have circular or round cross-sections.

In many instances, closet rods are mounted beneath shelves. In these instances, the closet rod must be appropriately distanced from the bottom of the shelf so as to allow hangers to be easily hung on the closet rod. This typically requires that the installer measure the appropriate distance from the bottom of the shelf and position the brackets which typically hold the closet rod accordingly. Also, the closet rod must be spaced an appropriate distance from the wall of the closet along which it extends, again requiring the installer to make appropriate measurements and position the brackets accordingly.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In a closet rod assembly having a non-circular cross-section tube extending between first and second mounting brackets, an improvement includes the tube having first and second hollow tubes having complementary shaped cross-sections with the first tube slidably received in the second tube. The mounting brackets may be identical and configured to receive the ends of either the first or second tubes.

In an aspect, the mounting brackets are dimensioned so that the distance from the rod to the top of the bracket is appropriate for a hanger to be easily hung on the rod. This allows the brackets to be installed by butting them up against the bottom of a shelf without the need of measuring from the bottom of the shelf to properly locate the brackets.

In another aspect, the brackets are provided with a positioning guide to aid in positioning the brackets an appropriate distance from a wall. In an aspect, the positioning guide is a tick or indent located in a center of a top edge of the bracket.

Further areas of applicability of the present invention will become apparent from the detailed description provided hereinafter. It should be understood that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating the preferred embodiment of the invention, are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description and the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an extendible closet rod assembly in accordance with an aspect of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an end the closet rod of the closet rod assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a mounting bracket of the closet rod assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a mounting bracket and end of a tube of the closet rod assembly of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a larger cross-section tube of the closet rod assembly of FIG. 1 received in a mounting bracket of the closet rod assembly of FIG. 1; and

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a smaller cross-section tube of the closet rod assembly of FIG. 1 received in a mounting bracket of the closet rod assembly of FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The following description of the preferred embodiment(s) is merely exemplary in nature and is in no way intended to limit the invention, its application, or uses.

Referring to FIG. 1, an extendible closet rod assembly 100 includes an extendible closet rod 102 having a first hollow tube 104 and a second hollow tube 106 having complementary cross-sections. Closet rod assembly 100 also includes first and second end mounting brackets 108. In an embodiment, first and second mounting brackets 108 are identical to each other and can receive respective ends 110, 112 of either first or second tube 104, 106. It should be understood, however, that first and second mounting brackets 108 need not be identical to each other and each first and second mounting bracket 108 could be configured to receive the end of one or the other of the first and second tubes 104, 106.

First and second tubes 104, 106 may illustratively have complementary tear drop shaped cross-sections as best shown in FIG. 2. As used herein, tear drop shaped means that the cross section tapers from a larger diameter to a smaller diameter. Tube 104 has a smaller cross-section than tube 106 so that tube 104 can be slidably received in tube 106 and can be slid in and out to adjust the length of closet rod 102. First and second tubes 104, 106 may illustratively be thin wall tubes made of any suitable material, such as, by way of example and not of limitation, steel, plastic or aluminum. A thin wall steel tube having a thickness of 30 thousandths of an inch (0.030 inches) may illustratively be used for first and second tubes 104, 106 for a typical residential hall or bedroom closet application. It should be understood that the thickness of the tubes would be selected based on the intended application and thicker tubes would be used for applications needing higher weight bearing capability. The tear drop shaped cross-sections of first and second tubes 104, 106 imparts greater strength to closet rod 102 compared to thin wall tubes of the same thickness having a round or circular cross-section, which have been conventionally used in extendible closet rods.

It should be understood, that first and second tubes 104, 106 can have non-circular cross-sections other than tear drop shaped cross-sections, such as elliptical, oval, oblong or triangular.

As best shown in FIGS. 3-6, each mounting bracket 108 includes a base 300 having screw holes 302 extending therethrough. Screws (not shown) are inserted through screw holes 302 and tightened into a wall to affix mounting bracket 108 to the wall. Base 300 may illustratively have a rectangular shape as best shown in FIG. 3. Mounting bracket 108 may illustratively have a vertical dislodgment feature, which is a structural feature that prevents the tube 102, 104 received in the mounting bracket 108 from being dislodged upwardly from the mounting bracket 108. The vertical dislodgment feature may illustratively be retaining clip 304. Mounting bracket 108 may also illustratively have a horizontal dislodgment feature, which is a structural feature that prevents the tube 102, 104 received in the mounting bracket 108 from being dislodged horizontally from the mounting bracket 108. The horizontal dislodgment feature may illustratively be pin 308. Base 300 of mounting bracket 108 includes retaining clip 304 disposed therein at generally the center thereof and a flange 306 disposed generally at the bottom (as oriented in FIGS. 3-6) thereof that extends out therefrom. Pin 308 extends upwardly from generally the center of flange 306. Flange 306 may illustratively be an upwardly opening arcuate flange. It should be understood that flange 306 can have other shapes, such as flat.

Retaining clip 304 may illustratively be a spring type of retaining clip having a base 309 that extends at a top edge 310 from base 300 of mounting bracket 108. Retaining clip 304 further includes first and second ridges 312, 314. First and second ridges 312, 314 may illustratively taper outwardly from top to bottom (as oriented in FIGS. 3-6) and their lower edges 316, 318, respectively, may also be arcuately shaped and open downwardly as best shown in FIG. 3. It should be understood that the lower edges 316, 318 of first and second ridges 312, 314 can have shapes other than arcuate, such as flat. Lower edge 316 (FIGS. 3 and 5) of first ridge 312 is spaced from flange 306 a distance approximately equal to and illustratively slightly greater than a width 200 (as best shown in FIG. 2) of second tube 106 taken along a major axis 202 of its cross-section. Lower edge 318 (FIGS. 3 and 6) of second ridge 314 is spaced from flange 306 a distance approximately equal and illustratively slightly greater than a width 204 of first tube 104 taken along major axis 202 of its cross-section. This allows the same mounting bracket 108 to be used with both first and second tubes 104, 106 even though they have different sized cross-sections.

Each mounting bracket 108 may illustratively be made as a single piece by injection molding of a suitable plastic, such as nylon or polypropylene.

Each mounting bracket 108 may illustratively also have a positioning guide 114 for aiding in locating the mounting bracket 108 from a closet wall during installation. The positioning guide may illustratively be a tick or indent in top edge 116 of bracket 108 at a center 118 thereof.

As best shown in FIG. 4, tubes 104, 106 have holes 400 in bottoms 600, 500 (respectively) thereof adjacent ends 110, 112 of the tubes 104, 106. With reference to FIGS. 4 and 6, when first tube 104 is inserted in mounting bracket 108, bottom 600 of tube 104 is placed in arcuate flange 306 so that pin 308 extends through hole 400 and a top 602 of tube 104 is received against lower edge 318 of second ridge 314 of retaining clip 304. With reference to FIGS. 4 and 5, when second tube 106 is inserted in mounting bracket 108, bottom 500 of tube 106 is placed in arcuate flange 306 so that pin 308 extends through hole 400 and a top 502 of tube 106 is received against lower edge 316 of first ridge 312. The retaining clips 304 of mounting brackets 108 engaging the tops 602, 502 of first and second tubes 104, 106, respectively, and the pins 308 of mounting brackets 108 extending through holes 400 in the bottoms 600, 500 of first and second tubes 104, 106 hold the closet rod 102 in place both vertically and horizontally.

Closets typically have shelves, such as shelf 504 (FIG. 5) below which the closet rods are mounted. With reference particularly to FIG. 5, the mounting brackets 108 are illustratively dimensioned so that a distance 506 from the top edge 116 of each mounting bracket 108 to top 502 of tube 106 provides adequate, and preferably optimum, clearance between a bottom 508 of a shelf 504 and top 502 of tube 106 so as to allow a hanger to be easily hung on tube 106. By optimum it is meant that the clearance is sufficient to allow a hanger to be easily hung on the tube 106 yet minimize the space between closet rod 102 and the shelf 504. Similarly, the mounting brackets 108 are illustratively dimensioned so that a distance from the top edge 116 of each mounting bracket 108 to top 602 of tube 104 provides such clearances. Illustratively, the distance 506 between top edge 116 of bracket 108 and top 502 of tube 106 when tube 106 is received in bracket 108 is 1.23 inches (which is also the distance between top edge 116 and the center of bottom surface 316 of ridge 312 which is the closest point to top edge 116), and the distance between top edge 116 and top 602 of tube 104 is 1.40 inches (which is also the distance between top edge 116 and the center of bottom surface 318 of ridge 314 which is the closest point to top edge 116). These distances are referred to herein as “clearance distances.”

Positioning guide 114 of brackets 108 and dimensioning the brackets 108 to provide the above discussed clearance distances facilitate installation of brackets 108. Installation instructions would illustratively advise an installer of the appropriate distance that brackets 108 must be spaced from a wall, such as a back wall of a closet. Assuming that twelve inches is the appropriate distance, the installer then measures twelve inches from the back wall and makes a mark on the wall of the closet on which the bracket is to be installed. The installer then positions the bracket so that the positioning guide 114 lines up with the mark, butts the top edge 116 up against the bottom of shelf 504, and mounts the bracket to the closet wall as discussed above. By dimensioning the brackets 108 to provide the above discussed clearance distances, the installer need not measure the distance from the bottom 508 of the shelf 504 from which to space brackets 108 and then position the brackets accordingly. All the installer need to do is butt the top edges 116 of brackets 108 up against the bottom 508 of shelf 504 and when closet rod 102 is placed in brackets 108, it is spaced an appropriate, preferably optimum, distance from the bottom 508 of shelf 504.

Closet rod assembly 100 is illustratively installed so that the major axis 202 of first and second tubes 104, 106 is vertical to impart the greatest strength to closet rod 102 when in use.

In a variation, closet rod 102 has a fixed length with a tear-drop shaped cross-section.

The description of the invention is merely exemplary in nature and, thus, variations that do not depart from the gist of the invention are intended to be within the scope of the invention. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the invention.