Title:
Rotary shelf assembly mechanism with pin adjustment means
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rotary shelf assembly mechanism having shelves mounted on a vertical post arrangement is connected to a cabinet frame by upper and lower mounting brackets interacting with the top and bottom of the cabinet frame to support the post and shelves carried thereby. The post has pin-receiving apertures at the location of each shelf. Each of the shelves has a post securing section that includes a hub and a pin receiving recess within the hub. A pin housing is positioned against and connected interiorly with the hub and its pin receiving recess, and a pin is positioned within the housing and is movable from the housing through the hub into the pin receiving recess and through the pin-receiving apertures of the post to secure the shelf to the post. When shelf removal is desired, the pin is withdrawn from the post apertures back into the housing. The pin has an engaging lever extending out of the housing to facilitate pin movement, and locking features of the housing provide for selectively locking the pin in the shelf releasing and shelf securing positions.



Inventors:
Rapier III, James L. (Kernersville, NC, US)
Application Number:
11/187318
Publication Date:
01/25/2007
Filing Date:
07/25/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
211/78
International Classes:
A47F5/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PUROL, SARAH L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Charles Y. Lackey (Winston-Salem, NC, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A rotary shelf assembly mechanism comprising: post means; at least one shelf connected to the post means, the post means having pin-receiving apertures at the location of the at least one supported shelf, each of the at least one shelves having a post-securing section including a hub and a pin-receiving recess within the hub; a pin housing adjacent the hub and connected with the hub recess; and a pin positioned within the housing movable from the pin housing through the post pin-receiving apertures and cooperatively received by the post securing section recess of the at least one shelf to secure the at least one shelf to the post means.

2. The mechanism as claimed in claim 1 wherein the pin is a cylindrically formed segment of flat metallic material.

3. The mechanism as claimed in claim 1 wherein the pin is slidably movable from the pin housing to the hub recess to secure the at least one shelf to the post means and from the hub recess to the pin housing to release the at least one shelf from the post means.

4. The mechanism as claimed in claim 3 wherein the pin has an engaging lever extending outwardly from the housing when the pin is being slidably moved within the housing.

5. The mechanism as claimed in claim 3 wherein the at least one shelf has a plurality of ribs extending from the hub and the housing is secured to the hub between at least two of the ribs.

6. The mechanism as claimed in claim 3 wherein the housing contains spring means biasing the pin in a shelf securing direction to urge the pin into the post pin-receiving apertures.

7. The mechanism as claimed in claim 4 wherein the housing has locking means at the shelf securing position of the pin and locking means at the shelf releasing position of the pin.

8. The mechanism as claimed in claim 7 wherein the housing shelf securing locking means is an offset slot to receive the pin engaging lever when the pin engaging lever is rotated.

9. The mechanism as claimed in claim 7 wherein the housing shelf releasing locking means is an indent to hold the pin in place in the shelf releasing position.

10. The mechanism as claimed in claim 7 wherein the locking means at the shelf releasing position of the pin is an offset slot receiving the pin engaging lever when the pin engaging lever is rotated.

11. The mechanism as claimed in claim 8 wherein the locking means at the shelf releasing position of the pin is an offset slot receiving the pin engaging lever when the pen engaging lever is rotated.

12. The mechanism as claimed in claim 5 wherein the pin housing is releasably secured to the hub.

13. The mechanism as claimed in claim 3 wherein the at least one shelf has a plurality of radially positioned ribs extending from the hub with at least two of the ribs being connected with a closing member to form a pin housing receiving compartment, the pin housing is positioned within the receiving compartment and connected with the hub, the pin has an engaging lever extending outwardly from the housing when the pin is being slidably moved within the housing, the housing has locking means at the shelf securing position of the pin and locking means at the shelf releasing position of the pin, the housing shelf securing means is an offset slot to receive the pin engaging lever when the pin engaging lever is rotated, and the housing shelf releasing means is an offset slot to receive the pin engaging lever when the pin engaging lever is rotated.

14. The mechanism as claimed in claim 13 wherein the pin housing is releasably secured to the hub.

15. The mechanism as claimed in claim 3 wherein the at least one shelf has a plurality of radially positioned ribs extending from the hub with at least two of the ribs being connected with a closing member to form a pin housing receiving compartment, the pin housing is positioned in the receiving compartment and connected with the hub, the pin has an engaging lever extending outwardly from the housing when the pin is being slidably moved within the housing, and wherein the housing contains spring means biasing the pin in a shelf securing direction to urge the pin into the post pin receiving apertures and secure the at least one shelf to the post.

16. The mechanism as claimed in claim 3 wherein the at least one shelf has a plurality of radially positioned ribs extending from the hub with at least two of the ribs being connected with a closing member to form a pin housing compartment, the pin housing is positioned within the receiving compartment and connected with the hub, the pin has an engaging lever extending outwardly from the housing when the pin is being slidably moved within the housing, the housing has locking means at the shelf releasing position of the pin, and the housing shelf releasing locking means is an indent to hold the pin in place in the shelf releasing position.

17. The mechanism as claimed in claim 15 wherein the housing is releasably positioned within the receiving compartment.

18. The mechanism as claimed in claim 16 wherein the housing is releasably positioned within the receiving compartment

Description:

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a rotary shelf mechanism to secure shelves to a post in a pre-selected relationship, and more particularly to enable the efficient and speedy attachment and detachment of shelves to the post.

2. Description of the Prior Art

It has been common practice to provide corner kitchen cabinet shelves of a rotatable or “Lazy Susan” type. Such shelves are desirable because, without them, much cabinet space in the corner either above or below the kitchen counter is wasted due to the inaccessibility of items well back in the corner.

The shelves are conventionally secured to the post in corner units like those described by the insertion of screws and other post securing attachments to permit movement of the shelf upwardly and downwardly along the post. Usually it is necessary to utilize several elements in combination to accomplish this securement thus making shelf securement rather expensive and time consuming.

Shelf construction for Lazy Susan assemblies have traditionally included the use of several separate components that were combined to form the finished shelf. Additional and separate structure was also needed to affix the shelf to the supporting post. A collar was often positioned under the shelf with a pin extending through it to engage the post and frictionally hold the collar in a stationary position and thereby support the shelf during use. Shelves made of multiple components are expensive and involve considerable time and adjustment when installed.

More recently, single piece or integral shelf construction has been developed such as that disclosed in pending application Ser. No. 09/744,554 owned by the assignee of the present application. This application discloses the provision of an integral shelf utilizing a single pin extending through the shelf hub into a integrally formed recess within the hub and through apertures in the post. While shelf installation is considerably simplified with the use of these components, installation requires that the pin be manually inserted through the shelf hub then through the post apertures and an integrally formed recess to secure the shelf to the post and support the shelf.

Thus there is perceived a need for a more efficient technique for positioning shelves on the post in a rotary shelf mechanism and assuring that the pins for holding the shelves against the post will maintain their fixed location in either the shelf securing position or the shelf releasing position. It is to this need that the present application is directed.

OBJECTIVES AND SUMMARY OF INVENTION

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a rotary shelf mechanism utilizing a single pin to secure each of the shelves to the post wherein the shelves can be easily secured, released or otherwise adjusted with respect to the post.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a rotary shelf mechanism for use in corner areas of kitchen cabinets than can be utilized for shelves within the cabinet frame without the tedious assembly of a combination of components.

A further objective is to provide a uniquely formed one piece shelf with a post-securing shelf section which enables securement of a shelf to the post with a single pin.

Still another objective of the present invention is to provide a positive securing device to maintain installed shelves in a fixed securing or releasing condition with respect to the post.

Yet still another objective of the present invention is to provide a rotary assembly mechanism of the type described that utilizes a pin housing adjacent to and connecting with the shelf hub to house the shelf connecting pin in a fixed position when the pin is in the shelf releasing position and to ensure the positive connection of the shelf to the post by the pin when the pin is in the shelf securing position.

The present invention is a rotary shelf assembly mechanism for securing and releasing rotatable shelves to a supporting post and ensuring the speedy and efficient installation of the mechanism within the cabinet frame. The mechanism may include a uniquely formed one piece shelf with a post-securing shelf section which enables securement of a shelf to the post with a single pin. The post-securing shelf section is a hub-like configuration accommodating the post and containing a molded recess to cooperatively receive a pin that has been passed through apertures in the post and extends outwardly from the post on opposite post sides. The post has pin-receiving apertures at the location of each shelf. Each of the shelves has a post securing section that includes a hub and a pin-receiving recess within the hub. A pin housing is positioned against and connected interiorly with the hub and its pin-receiving recess, and a pin is positioned within the housing and is movable from the housing through the hub into the pin-receiving recess and through the pin-receiving apertures of the post to secure the shelf to the post. When shelf removal is desired, the pin is withdrawn from the post apertures back into the housing. The pin has an engaging lever extending out of the housing to facilitate pin movement by the installer or operator. Locking features of the housing provide for selectively locking the pin in the shelf releasing and shelf securing positions. These include offset locking slots within the housing wall to receive a pin-engaging lever when it is rotated and a detent to hold the pin in place in the shelf releasing position. Alternatively, a spring may be positioned with the housing to continuously bias the pin in a shelf securing direction to urge the pin into the post pin receiving apertures.

Thus there has been outlined the more important features of the invention in order that the detailed description that follows may be better understood and in order that the present contribution to the art may be better appreciated. There are, of course, additional features of the invention that will be described hereinafter and which will form the subject matter of the claims appended hereto. In that respect, before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its arrangement of the components set forth in the following description and illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced and carried out in various ways.

It is also to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein are for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting in any respect. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the concept upon which this disclosure is based may readily be utilized as a basis for designing other structures, methods and systems for carrying out the several purposes of this development. It is important that the claims be regarded as including such equivalent methods and products resulting therefrom that do not depart from the spirit and scope of the present invention. The application is neither intended to define the invention of the application, which is measured by its claims, nor to limit its scope in any way.

Thus, the objectives of the invention set forth above, along with the various features of novelty which characterize the invention, are noted with particularity in the claims annexed to and forming a part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and the specific results obtained by its use, reference should be made to the following detailed specification taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein like characters of reference designate like parts throughout the several views.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a partial perspective view of the underneath portion of a rotary shelf embodying a part of the present invention showing the pin in the shelf securing position;

FIG. 2 is a partial perspective view like that of FIG. 1 showing the pin in the shelf releasing position;

FIG. 3 is a partial perspective view of those of FIGS. 1 and 2 showing the shelf secured to a post and the pin in the shelf securing position;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the pin housing of the present invention showing the pin and engaging lever positioned midway between the shelf securing position and the shelf releasing position;

FIG. 5 is a top plan schematic view of the pin housing and shelf hub with a spring biasing the pin in the shelf securing position;

FIG. 6 is a top plan schematic view of a pin housing with the pin held in the shelf releasing position by a detent;

FIG. 7 is a perspective of another embodiment of a pin housing with the pin held in an intermediate position between the shelf securing and shelf releasing positions; and

FIG. 8 is a top plan and fragmentary view of the pin housing shown in FIG. 7 in engagement with a shelf hub showing the pin in the shelf securing position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A rotary assembly mechanism incorporating various features of the present invention is illustrated generally as 10 in FIG. 1. Mechanism 10 is designed to be used with a supporting post 12 (FIG. 3) both of which may be installed in a cabinet having installation surfaces comprising a ceiling surface or top and a floor surface or bottom However, it will be appreciated that the use of mechanism 10 is not confined to cabinet interiors, and it can be adapted for mounting in various storage areas having the necessary installation surfaces.

Shelf 14 with a post-securing section shown generally as 16 enables the securement of shelf 14 to post 12 with a single pin 18. The bottom 20 of shelf 14 is shown in FIGS. 1, 2, and 3 respectively. Shelf 14 is molded of a plastic or other suitable material and provided with a plurality of ribs 22 that extend radially of the circularly configured shelf 14 from post-securing section 16. Radially positioned ribs 22 extend from hub 24 and provide additional shelf strength.

Post-securing section 16 is made up of circular hub 24 and a pin-receiving recess 26 within hub 24. Pin-receiving aperture 27 in the wall 30 of hub 24 aligns with pin-receiving recess 26 so that a pin 18 when inserted through post 12 will extend through hub wall 30 via pin-receiving recess 26 and nest within the notches formed by pin-receiving apertures 27.

Thus, shelf 14 can be positioned on post 12 and sustained at a predetermined location by the insertion of single pin 18 through pin-receiving apertures in post 12 with the pin ends extending out of post 12 cooperatively received by the notched formed by apertures 27.

A pin housing 34 is positioned against and connected interiorly with hub 24 and pin-receiving recess 26. Pin 18 positioned within housing 34 is slidably movable from housing 34 through hub wall 30 through the pin-receiving apertures of post 12 into hub pin-receiving recess 26. When shelf removal is desired, pin 18 is withdrawn from the post apertures back into housing 34.

Pin 18 has an engaging lever 36 extending out of housing 34 to facilitate pin movement. A slotted opening 38 is formed in the top of housing 34, and engaging lever 36 extends upwardly out of opening 38 at a right angle to pin 18. As shown in FIG. 4, housing 34 may have slotted openings 40 forming locking means connected to top slotted opening 38 and substantially formed in a side wall 42 of housing 34. Locking opening 40 at the forward end of slotted. opening 38 provides for the securing of pin 18 in the shelf securing position when engaging lever 36 is rotated and rests in locking opening 40. Locking opening 40 at the rearward end of slotted opening 38 provides for the securing of pin 18 in the shelf releasing position when engaging lever 36 is rotated and rests in locking opening 40.

An alternative locking technique is shown in FIG. 6 for securing pin 18 in the shelf releasing position. An indent 44 is formed in the rearward end of slotted opening 38 of housing 34 so that pin 18 is frictionally gripped and held thereby when it is fully withdrawn to the shelf releasing position.

Another alternative locking feature is illustrated in FIG. 5 for providing a securing means for pin 18 in both the shelf securing and shelf releasing positions. Housing 34 in this embodiment has only top elongated slotted opening 38 with no other slotted openings forming stops. A spring 46 is positioned in the rearward end of housing 34 and pin 18 engages spring 34 directly so that pin 18 is normally biased in the shelf securing direction. Thus spring 46 holds pin 18 in the shelf engaging position under normal conditions. When it is desired to release or remove a shelf 20 from post 12, engaging lever 36 is pulled rearwardly to overcome the biasing action of spring 46 and pin 18 is moved to the shelf releasing position.

Yet another alternative locking arrangement is illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8 for providing securing means for pin 18 in both the shelf securing and shelf releasing positions. In this version, slotted opening 38 has a detent 44 formed in the rearward end of housing 34 and a detent 50 formed in the forward end of housing 34. Thus in both the shelf securing and shelf releasing positions, pin 18 is frictionally gripped—in the shelf securing position by detent 50 and in the shelf releasing position by detent 44.

From the proceeding description, it can be seen that a rotary shelf assembly mechanism has been provided that will meet all of the advantages of prior art devices and offer additional advantages not heretofore achievable. With respect to the foregoing invention, the optimum dimensional relationship to the parts of the invention including variations in size, materials, shape, form, function, and manner of operation, use and assembly are deemed readily apparent to those skilled in the art, and all equivalent relationships illustrated in the drawings and described in the specification are intended to be encompassed herein.

The foregoing is considered as illustrative only of the principles of the invention. Numerous modifications and changes will readily occur to those skilled in the art, and it is not desired to limit the invention to the exact construction and operation shown and described. All suitable modification and equivalents that fall within the scope of the appended claims are deemed within the present inventive concept.





 
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