Title:
Devices and methods for attaching decorative trim pieces to shelving
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An assembly for use with a shelf generally includes a trim piece having a slot along at least a portion thereof. The assembly also includes at least one device configured for attaching the trim piece to the shelf. The at least one device includes an interlocking member configured to be interlockingly retained within the slot.



Inventors:
Nawrocki, John Richard (Ocala, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/190227
Publication Date:
02/01/2007
Filing Date:
07/27/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
211/153, 248/250
International Classes:
A47F5/08; A47G29/02
View Patent Images:
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20050133391CD storage boxJune, 2005Chen
20060243689Decorative shelfNovember, 2006Groff et al.
20080110841MULTI-FUNCTION VEHICLE-CARRYING FRAMEMay, 2008Huang
20040200789Modular storage system for cylindrical objectsOctober, 2004Woodbury
20040060880Support rackApril, 2004Lang et al.
20080149579Decorative Concrete Rod Device for Material Hanging & DisplayJune, 2008Burns et al.



Primary Examiner:
PUROL, SARAH L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Harness Dickey (St. Louis) (St. Louis, MO, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An assembly for use with a shelf, the assembly comprising at least one trim piece including a slot along at least a portion thereof, and at least one device configured for attaching the trim piece to the shelf, the at least one device including an interlocking member configured to be interlockingly retained within the slot.

2. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the interlocking member is configured to be positioned in a first orientation within the slot and rotated to a second orientation in which the interlocking member is interlockingly retained within the slot.

3. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the interlocking member and the slot form a dovetail joint when the interlocking member is interlockingly retained within the slot.

4. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the slot comprises a dovetail slot, and wherein the interlocking member comprises a dovetail.

5. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the slot has a generally T-shaped transverse profile, and wherein the interlocking member has a generally T-shaped transverse profile.

6. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the at least one device includes a clip configured to engagingly receive a portion of the shelf for attaching the at least one device to the shelf.

7. The assembly of claim 1, wherein the at least one device includes a thumb screw portion generally opposite the interlocking member.

8. A shelving system comprising at least one shelf, at least one trim piece including a slot along at least a portion thereof, and at least one device attached to the shelf, the at least one device including an interlocking member interlockingly retained within the slot.

9. The shelving system of claim 8, wherein the interlocking member is configured to be positioned in a first orientation within the slot and rotated to a second orientation in which the interlocking member is interlockingly retained within the slot.

10. The shelving system of claim 8, further comprising a dovetail joint formed between the interlocking member and the slot.

11. The shelving system of claim 8, wherein the slot comprises a dovetail slot, and wherein the interlocking member comprises a dovetail.

12. The shelving system of claim 8, wherein the slot has a generally T-shaped transverse profile, and wherein the interlocking member has a generally T-shaped transverse profile.

13. The shelving system of claim 8, wherein the at least one device includes a clip engaged to the shelf.

14. The shelving system of claim 13, wherein the at least one shelf is a ventilated shelf including at least one rod member engaged by the clip.

15. The shelving system of claim 13, wherein the at least one shelf is a ventilated shelf having at least two rod members disposed generally vertically relative to one another and engaged by the clip.

16. The shelving system of claim 8, wherein the slot is disposed longitudinally along the trim piece but the slot does not extend completely through to each end of the trim piece.

17. The shelving system of claim 8, wherein the at least one device includes a thumb screw portion generally opposite the interlocking member.

18. The shelving system of claim 8, wherein the at least one shelf is a ventilated shelf having at least two rod members spaced apart from one another, wherein the at least one device includes a portion positioned within the space defined between the at least two rod members.

19. The shelving system of claim 8, wherein the shelf includes a portion sandwiched generally between the trim piece and a portion of the at least one device, whereby the sandwiching attaches the at least one device to the shelf.

20. A device for attaching a trim piece to a ventilated shelf, the device comprising a clip and a dovetail portion disposed generally opposite the clip, the clip configured to engagingly receive a portion of at least one rod member of the ventilated shelf, the dovetail portion configured to be retained within a dovetail slot disposed along at least a portion of the decorative trim piece.

21. The device of claim 20, further comprising a catch at an end portion of the clip for helping to retain the shelf portion within the clip.

22. A method of attaching a decorative trim piece to a shelf with at least one device having an interlocking member, the method comprising retaining the interlocking member within a slot disposed along at least a portion of the decorative trim piece, and attaching the at least one device to the shelf.

23. The method of claim 22, wherein the at least one device includes a clip disposed generally opposite the interlocking member, and wherein attaching the at least one device to the shelf includes positioning a portion of the shelf within the clip.

24. The method of claim 22, wherein the slot comprises a dovetail slot, and wherein the interlocking member comprises a dovetail.

25. The method of claim 22, wherein the interlocking member has a generally T-shaped transverse profile, and wherein the slot has a generally T-shaped transverse profile.

26. The method of claim 22, wherein retaining the interlocking member within the slot includes sliding the interlocking member into the slot from an open end of the slot.

27. The method of claim 22, wherein retaining the interlocking member within the slot includes positioning the interlocking member in a first orientation within the slot and then rotating the interlocking member to a second orientation.

28. The method of claim 22, wherein no tools are required for retaining the interlocking member within the slot and attaching the at least one device to the shelf.

29. The method of claim 22, wherein the at least one device includes a thumb screw portion generally opposite the interlocking member.

30. The method of claim 22, wherein attaching the at least one device to the shelf includes positioning a portion of the at least one device within a space defined between at least two wire members of the shelf.

31. The method of claim 22, wherein attaching the at least one device to the shelf includes sandwiching portions of at least one wire member of the shelf generally between a portion of the at least one device and the trim piece.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to devices and methods for attaching decorative trim pieces or molding to shelving, such as wire ventilated shelving and panel shelving.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Efficient and organized use of space is very desirable, particularly with respect to storage or utility space in businesses, residential homes, and apartments. In addition to efficiency and organization, aesthetic appearance can also be an important factor.

With respect to closet organization and the design of closet storage units, particularly for residential use, many different options are available. One common example is the use of ventilated shelving (e.g., wire or plastic, and associated components) to construct storage units within closets. Typical ventilated shelving varies in size (e.g., different lengths and widths, etc.) and configuration (e.g., different wire mesh spacing, etc.). At times, however, the wire-like appearance of ventilated shelving can interfere with the overall aesthetics and interior decoration of the closet or other location at which the ventilated shelving is being used.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect of the invention, an assembly for use with a shelf generally includes a trim piece having a slot along at least a portion thereof. The assembly also includes at least one device configured for attaching the trim piece to the shelf. The at least one device includes an interlocking member configured to be interlockingly retained within the slot.

According to another aspect of the invention, a shelving system generally includes at least one shelf. At least one trim piece includes a slot along at least a portion thereof. The trim piece is attached to the shelf with at least one device having an interlocking member interlockingly retained within the slot.

According to a further aspect, the invention provides various devices for attaching trim pieces to shelving. In one embodiment, the device generally includes a clip and a dovetail portion disposed generally opposite the clip. The clip is configured to engagingly receive a portion of a shelf. The dovetail portion is configured to be retained within a dovetail slot disposed along at least a portion of the decorative trim piece.

Another aspect of the invention provides methods of attaching decorative trim pieces to shelves with at least one device having an interlocking member In one exemplary implementation, a method generally includes retaining the interlocking member within a slot disposed along at least a portion of the decorative trim piece, and attaching the at least one device to the shelf.

Further aspects and features 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 exemplary embodiments 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 partial perspective view of a shelf having a trim piece attached thereto with a device according to one exemplary embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the device aligned for positioning with a dovetail slot of the trim piece shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the device shown in FIG. 1 but assembled to the trim piece in an alternate configuration according to one exemplary embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of the device and trim piece shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the device shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is another perspective view of the device shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is another perspective view of the device shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 8 is another perspective of the device shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 9 is a left side elevation view of the device shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 10 is a right side elevation view of the device shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 11 is a front elevation view of the device shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 12 is a back elevation view of the device shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 13 is a bottom plan view of the device shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 14 is a top plan view of the device shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a device;

FIG. 16 is another perspective view of the device shown in FIG. 15;

FIG. 17 is another perspective view of the device shown in FIG. 15;

FIG. 18 is another perspective of the device shown in FIG. 16;

FIG. 19 is a perspective view of a device aligned for positioning within a T-shaped slot of a trim piece according to one exemplary embodiment on the invention;

FIGS. 20A and 20B are perspective views of devices including an interlocking member with a compression slot according to exemplary embodiments of the invention;

FIG. 21 is a perspective view of a device assembled to a trim piece having a dovetail slot that does not extend completely through to the end of the trim piece according to one exemplary embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 22 is a partial perspective view of a shelf having a component attached thereto with a device according to one exemplary embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 23 is a rear partial perspective view of a shelf having a trim piece attached thereto with a device according to one exemplary embodiment of the invention;

FIG. 24 is a front partial perspective view of the shelf and trim piece shown in FIG. 23;

FIG. 25 is a top view of the shelf shown in FIG. 23;

FIG. 26 is a side elevation view of the shelf shown in FIG. 23;

FIG. 27 is a side elevation view illustrating the device shown in FIG. 23 in a first orientation; and

FIG. 28 is a side elevation view of the device shown in FIG. 27 after the device has been rotated to a second orientation in which the device's interlocking member is interlockingly retained within the slot of the trim piece; and

FIG. 29A through 29E are perspective views of exemplary ventilated wire shelves for which can be used one or more of the embodiments of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENTS

The following descriptions of various embodiments are merely exemplary in nature and are in no way intended to limit the invention, its application, or uses. Although various embodiments are described in connection with shelves or shelving trim component parts, it is not so limited, and may be used with various component parts and may be modified as needed or desired.

FIGS. 29A through 29E show exemplary ventilated wire shelves for which can be used one or more of the devices of the present invention. Ventilated shelves may be of different sizes (e.g., four foot, six foot, eight foot, ten foot, and/or cut to a custom size, etc.) and may be mounted to walls of a closet (or at other locations, such as a bathroom, grocery store, department store, etc.) using brackets and/or other suitable means. The depth of the shelves and the spacing of the wires or rod members may also be different than what is shown in FIGS. 29A through 29E. Further, the wires may be oriented generally longitudinally, transversely, diagonally, etc. relative to the shelf. Accordingly, aspects of the present invention should not be limited to implementation into any specific form/type of shelf. In addition, any of the aspects of the present invention can be used in combination with any one or more of the other aspects of the present invention.

In various aspects of the invention, one or more devices may be employed in a wire ventilated shelving system to attach a trim piece (e.g., decorative wooden or plastic fascia trim piece, molding, etc.) to a front edge (and/or other portions) of a shelf. Once attached, the trim piece or molding can provide the shelf with a more aesthetically pleasing appearance, such as that shown in FIG. 24.

In various embodiments, one or more devices of the present invention can be used to attach decorative trim pieces to shelving in a relatively quick and efficient manner without the use of tools. In addition, various devices of the present invention do not have associated therewith the positional limitations to the location of conventional mounting hardware (e.g., screws and fastener holes, etc.), thereby providing greater flexibility and ease-of-use. In other aspects, one or more devices of the present invention may also be employed in a wire shelving system for connecting a wire shelf to a horizontal support member for supporting the wire shelf. Again, however, embodiments of the present invention may be employed in shelving systems and assemblies other than ventilated wire shelving systems.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 through 14, there is shown a device 30 that can be used for attaching a trim piece 22 to a wire ventilated shelf 50 (or other shelf type) according to one exemplary embodiment of the invention. As shown in FIG. 1, the trim piece 22 includes a back side 24 and a dovetail slot 26. The dovetail slot 26 includes a generally dovetail or fan-shaped transverse profile. The dovetail slot 26 includes a channel having angled or tapered sidewalls 28 (FIG. 3) such that that channel is wider at its bottom (D4) than at its top (D3), as shown in FIG. 2. The dovetail slot 26 is configured to interlockingly receive a mating component having edges that have been beveled at an angle corresponding to the angle of the slot's sidewalls 28. When assembled, the mating component may be interlockingly retained within the dovetail slot 26.

In the illustrated embodiment, the dovetail slot 26 is integrally defined longitudinally along at least a portion of the length of the back side 24. Alternatively, the dovetail slot 26 can be defined vertically or transversely along the back side 24 of the trim piece 22. In yet other embodiments, the dovetail slot 26 may not be monolithically or integrally formed into the trim piece 22. Instead, the dovetail slot 26 may be formed by one or more components separately attached to the trim piece 22. In further embodiments, the slot 26 can have other configurations besides a generally dovetail or fan-shaped transverse profile. For example, FIG. 19 illustrates an embodiment in which the trim piece 222 includes a slot 226 with a generally T-shaped transverse profile. By way of further example, FIGS. 25 through 28 also illustrate an embodiment in which the molding 622 includes a slot 626 having a generally T-shaped transverse profile.

The various trim pieces and molding described herein can be formed of a wide range of suitable materials, such as wood, plastic, composite materials, etc. In various embodiments, trim pieces are formed from wood. In other embodiments, trim pieces are molded out of plastic. Alternatively, other suitable materials and manufacturing processes can be used to form trim pieces.

With continued reference to FIG. 1, the device 30 includes a clip or clamp 32. The clip 32 is configured to engagingly receive a portion of a shelf. In the illustrated embodiment, the clip 32 has a generally U-shaped transverse profile. The clip 32 includes a slot 34 configured (e.g., sized, shaped, etc.) to engagingly receive a portion of the shelf 50. In this particular embodiment, the clip 32 engagingly receives portions of two wire members 52 vertically disposed one above the other. Alternatively, the clip 32 may be configured for engagingly receiving only one rod member 52, such as the lower rod member shown in FIG. 1. In yet other embodiments, the clip 32 may be configured for engagingly receiving other shelf portions besides wire or rod members. For example, other embodiments can include the clip 32 engagingly receiving a generally flat panel portion of a shelf. In further embodiments, other means besides clips can be employed for attaching a device to a shelf. For example, FIGS. 23 through 28 illustrate a device 630 having a thumb screw portion 632 generally opposite the interlocking member 638. As shown in FIGS. 25 and 28, the device 630 is attached to the shelf 650 by way of the shelf members 652 being sandwiched generally between the thumb screw portion 632 and the trim piece 622.

Referring now to FIG. 4, the device 30 may also include a catch 46 at about the end portion of the clip 32. The catch 46 can help retain the rod members 52 within the clip 32.

In various embodiments, the clip 32 can be resiliently biased or spring loaded. For example, the clip 32 can be resiliently biased such that the clip 32 grips the rod members 52 after they are positioned within the clip 32. This feature can advantageously provide a more secure connection to the shelf 50 by helping retain the rod members 52 within the clip 32.

The device 30 also includes an interlocking member disposed generally opposite the clip 32. In this particular embodiment, the interlocking member comprises a dovetail portion 38 having a transverse profile comprising beveled angles. The dovetail portion 38 has a transverse profile or cross-section which, at least at the center of the dovetail portion 38, has opposing edges 40 that have been beveled or tapered at an angle corresponding to the angle of the dovetail slot's sidewalls 28. At least one of the opposing beveled edges has at least one tapered end portion 42. In some embodiments, both beveled edges 40 have at least one tapered end portion 42.

The dovetail portion 38 is preferably sized dimensionally such that the dovetail portion 38 can be inserted generally sideways (FIG. 2) into the dovetail slot 26 of the trim piece 22. The dovetail portion 38 can then be rotated (e.g., about ninety degrees, etc.) to an orientation in which the dovetail portion 38 is retained within the dovetail slot 26. For example, in the illustrated embodiment shown in FIGS. 2 and 6, the distance D1 is less than the spaced distance D3 separating the outermost edge portions of the dovetail slot 26. But the distance D2 is greater than the distance D3. In other embodiments, the distances D1 and D2 may both be greater than the distance D3. In such alternate embodiments, the dovetail portion can be slidably positioned into the slot from an open end portion of the slot. Further embodiments include devices having interlocking members with a configuration besides a dovetail.

For example, FIG. 19 illustrates another embodiment including a device 230 having an interlocking member 238 with a generally T-shaped transverse profile. FIGS. 23 through 28 also illustrate a device 630 having an interlocking member 638 with a generally T-shaped transverse profile. In various embodiments, the T-shaped interlocking member can be slidably positioned within the slot from an open end of the slot. The T-shaped interlocking member can also be inserted into the slot sideways, and then rotated into an orientation in which the T-shaped interlocking member is retained within the slot.

With reference back to FIG. 2, the dovetail portion 38 can be inserted into the dovetail slot 26 generally sideways. After it is positioned within the slot 26, the device 30 may then be rotated (e.g., clockwise as represented by the arrow in FIG. 2, or counterclockwise as represented by FIGS. 3 and 4) to an orientation in which the dovetail portion 38 is retained within the dovetail slot 26. In various embodiments, the dovetail portion 38 can be configured such that when rotated, the dovetail portion 38 cams into position and is wedged relatively tightly into place within the dovetail slot 26, thus creating a stop and inhibiting the device 30 from sliding relative to the trim piece 22.

In various embodiments, the dovetail portion 38 can be configured such that it compresses when retained within the dovetail slot 26, such as when the dovetail portion 38 is either rotated or slidably positioned within the slot 26. This compression can help create a more secure engagement of the dovetail portion 38 within the dovetail slot 26.

As shown in FIGS. 5 through 10, the device 30 includes recesses or pockets 48. These recessed pockets 48 can provide a degree of compression to the dovetail portion 38 for engaging the dovetail slot 26. In this particular embodiment, the dovetail portion 38 is preferably rotated (counterclockwise or clockwise) about ninety degrees to reach a relatively secure position within the dovetail slot 26.

The recessed pockets 48 also allow the device 30 to be fabricated with less material. The recessed pockets 48 can be configured (e.g., sized, shaped, positioned, etc.) to provide for some degree of compression while still maintaining sufficient structural stiffness for the particular application.

The device 30 can be formed of a wide range of suitable materials, such as nylon, plastics (e.g., acetal, polyethylene, etc.), metals (e.g., steel, bronze, etc.), rubber, composite materials, etc. In various embodiments, the device 30 is molded from plastic. Alternatively, other suitable materials and manufacturing processes can be used to form the device 30. For example, other embodiments include a device that is not monolithically or integrally formed as a single component. Instead, one or more of the device components, such as the interlocking member, clip, and/or catch, may be separately attached to one another to form the device.

Still other embodiments include a device that does not have any recessed pockets. For example, FIGS. 15 through 18 illustrate a device 130 that does not include recessed pockets. In this particular illustrated embodiment, the device 130 without recessed pockets can allow for an easier molding process due to the less complex cavity needed for molding the device 130. The device 130 can be formed of a wide range of suitable materials, such as nylon, plastics (e.g., acetal, polyethylene, etc.), metals (e.g., steel, bronze, etc.), rubber, composite materials, etc. In various embodiments, the device 130 is molded from plastic. Alternatively, other suitable materials and manufacturing processes can be used to form the device 130.

In various embodiments, a device can have an interlocking member (e.g., dovetail, etc.) that includes a compression slot or slit. This slot can allow the interlocking member to compress about the slot to thereby reduce the size of the interlocking member. For example, FIGS. 20A and 20B respectively illustrate devices 330A and 330B that include an interlocking member 338 having a compression slot 344. The compression slot 344 extends along a portion of the interlocking member 338. During use, the slot 344 provides for compression of the interlocking member 338 within a slot, such as a dovetail slot or other slot configuration. The compression slot 344 also allows the interlocking member portions 338′ and 338″ to be moved towards one another, to thereby compress and reduce the width of the slot 344. Depending on the relative size of the interlocking member 338 and the slot into which it is positioned, the portions 338′ and 338″ may contact or abut against one another. This reduction in slot width facilitates the positioning and/or engagement of the interlocking member 338 within a slot. The compressed interlocking member 338 can frictionally conform to the slot when the interlocking member 338 is being interlockingly retained within the slot.

In various embodiments, the device's dovetail (or other interlocking member) may be configured such that the dovetail portion can slide within the dovetail slot even after the dovetail portion has been rotated into an orientation (e.g., FIGS. 1 and 3) in which the device is interlockingly retained within the dovetail slot. Advantageously, this sliding feature can allow the device to be relatively easily adjusted and slidably moved within the dovetail slot. In such alternate embodiments, the trim piece may include a dovetail slot (or T-shaped slot, etc.) that does not extend all the way to either or both ends of the trim piece. For example, FIG. 21 illustrates a trim piece 422 having a dovetail slot 426 that does not extend completely through to the end 456 of the trim piece 422. In this embodiment, the device 430 can be inserted within the dovetail slot 426 and then rotated about ninety degrees to thereby interlockingly retain the device 430 within the dovetail slot 426. In various embodiments, the device 430 may still be able to slide within the dovetail slot 426 even after it has been rotated to a position in which the dovetail portion 438 has been rotated and interlockingly retained within the slot 426. Conversely, the trim piece 422 in such embodiments may also be able to slide relative to the device 430. For example, two devices 430 could be inserted at each end portion of the dovetail slot 426 and rotated about ninety degrees to a retained position, after which each device 430 may be clipped onto the front portion (or other portion) of a wire ventilated shelf (or other type of shelf). Once assembled, the devices 430 can be held in a relatively stationary position by the shelf, while the trim piece 422 is able to slide relative to the devices 430. By virtue of the dovetail slot 426 not extending completely through to the end portion 456 of the trim piece 422, the trim piece 422 would not be able to slide completely off the dovetail portion 438 of the devices 430. As such, the trim piece 422 would be slidably retained on the devices 430, which in turn, would be mounted to the shelf.

FIG. 22 illustrates another shelving application in which a device can be used to connect a shelf (e.g., wire ventilated shelf, etc.) to a horizontal member (e.g., trim piece, support member, etc). As shown in FIG. 22, the devices 530 are connecting a wire shelf 550 to a horizontal support member 522. The devices 530 can be inserted within the dovetail slot 526 (or other slot configuration) defined by the horizontal member 522. The horizontal member 522, in turn, can be affixed or secured to a wall or other vertical support surface. Accordingly, the devices 530 in this example are used to help support the shelf 550 by allowing for the transfer of loads from the shelf 550 to the horizontal member 522. The transferred loads may arise from the weight of the shelf 550 and/or from the goods or supplies on the shelf 550.

With continued reference to FIG. 22, the devices 530 have been positioned within the slot 526 such that the generally U-shaped clip 532 is oriented with the opening of the clip's slot 534 facing generally upward. Alternatively, the devices 530 could instead be positioned such that the opening of the slot 534 faces generally downward (as shown in FIG. 1). In which case, the clip 532 would have a generally upside down U-shaped transverse profile.

In FIG. 22, the shelf members 552 are positioned within the clip slots 534 of two devices 530, thereby attaching the devices 530 to the shelf 550. Although FIG. 22 illustrates two rod or wire members 552 positioned within the clips 532, the clips 532 and/or shelf 550 may alternately be configured such that more or less than two rod members 552 can be positioned with the clip slots 534. In addition, other means besides clips can be employed for attaching the devices 530 to the shelf 550.

In the particular shelving system shown in FIG. 22, the shelf 550 also includes support arms 554. These support arms 554 can help stabilize the shelf 550 and inhibit pivoting of the shelf 550 about the rod members 552. When the rod members 552 are positioned within the clips 532, the shelf 550 receives vertical support from the clip members 532 of the devices 530. Arms 554 can also provide support to inhibit the shelf 550 from rotating about the rod members 552. The arms 554 can include a bent portion for contacting another surface, such as the vertical wall to which the horizontal member 522 is mounted. In this exemplary manner, the arms 554 can help counteract the moment about the rod members 552 created by a cantilever load resulting from items placed on the shelf 550. It should be noted that for the shelving system shown in FIG. 22 (and other shelving structures), any number of (i.e., one or more) devices 530 may be employed to secure the shelf 550 to the horizontal member 522.

FIGS. 23 through 28 illustrate another embodiment including a device 630, trim piece or molding 622, and a ventilated wire shelf 650. As shown in FIG. 23, the ventilated shelf 650 includes two wires or rod members 652 disposed generally vertically relative to one another. The shelf 650 also includes wire members 660 extending over the upper rod member 652 and cascade downwardly to connect to the lower rod member 652. The shelf 650 also includes at least one hook member 662 having a first end 664 and a second end 666. The first end 662 is connected to the upper rod member 652, and the second end 666 is connected to a hanger rod 668. The device 630 and/or trim piece 622, however, can be used with other types of shelves besides the ventilated wire shelf shown in FIGS. 23 through 28.

The device 630 includes a thumb screw portion 632 generally opposite the interlocking member 638. As shown in FIGS. 25 and 28, the device 630 is attached to the shelf 650 by way of the shelf members 652 and 660 being sandwiched generally between the thumb screw portion 632 and the trim piece 622. More specifically, the shelf members 652 and 660 are sandwiched between the flange or shoulder 672 and the trim piece 622. Alternatively, other means can be employed for attaching the device 630 to the shelf 650.

A portion 670 of the device 630 is positioned within the space defined between the rod members 652 and 660. In other embodiments, the device 630 (or other devices of the present invention) may be positioned within other openings defined by shelf components including holes, slots, slits, voids between the wire members, etc.

In the particular illustrated embodiment, the device portion 670 is a generally circular and cylindrical. Alternatively, other suitable shapes can be employed for the device portion 670, such as rectangular, triangular, ovular, etc.

As best shown in FIGS. 27 and 28, the device 630 includes a projection or tab 658. This tab 658 allows a user to readily rotate the device 630 between a first orientation (FIG. 27) and a second orientation (FIG. 28). Alternatively, other means can be employed for allowing a user to rotate the device 630 between the first and second orientations.

Certain terminology is used herein for purposes of reference only, and thus is not intended to be limiting. For example, terms such as “upper”, “lower”, “above”, and “below” refer to directions in the drawings to which reference is made. Terms such as “front”, “back”, “rear”, “bottom” and “side”, describe the orientation of portions of the component within a consistent but arbitrary frame of reference which is made clear by reference to the text and the associated drawings describing the component under discussion. Such terminology may include the words specifically mentioned above, derivatives thereof, and words of similar import. Similarly, the terms “first”, “second” and other such numerical terms referring to structures do not imply a sequence or order unless clearly indicated by the context.

When introducing elements or features of the present invention and the exemplary embodiments, the articles “a”, “an”, “the” and “said” are intended to mean that there are one or more of such elements or features. The terms “comprising”, “including” and “having” are intended to be inclusive and mean that there may be additional elements or features other than those specifically noted.

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.