Title:
Motion control bracket with integrated motion control device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A motion control bracket (100) for use with a drawer slide includes a mounting plate (102) for fastening the bracket (100) to a cabinet drawer slide. A motion control device (101) is used for controlling the rate of speed with which a drawer closes against a cabinet frame. Other embodiments of the motion control bracket (130, 160) include fastening tabs (113, 115 and 119) for mounting the bracket to an existing drawer slide and a substantially L-shaped bracket (131) for mounting motion control device (101) under a cabinet drawer. The invention enhances existing drawer slides by adding motion control with minimal cost and effort.



Inventors:
Hoffman, Keith A. (Hudsonville, MI, US)
Application Number:
11/212072
Publication Date:
03/01/2007
Filing Date:
08/25/2005
Assignee:
Knape & Vogt Manufacturing Co.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B88/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ING, MATTHEW W
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
COOK ALEX LTD (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A motion control bracket for use with a drawer slide comprising: a mounting plate for fastening the bracket to a cabinet drawer slide; and a motion control device for controlling the rate of speed with which a drawer closes against a cabinet frame.

2. A motion control bracket as in claim 1, further including a mounting channel formed on the mounting plate using at least one tab extending from the surface of the mounting plate.

3. A motion control bracket as in claim 1, wherein the motion control device includes an arm extending from the motion control bracket.

4. A motion control bracket as in claim 1, wherein the mounting plate may be fastened to a drawer slide without the use of tools.

5. A motion control bracket as in claim 1, wherein the mounting plate includes at least one tab to locate the motion control bracket along a drawer slide.

6. A motion control bracket as in claim 1, wherein the mounting plate is fastened to the cabinet drawer slide using at least one mechanical fastener.

7. A motion control bracket as in claim 1, further comprising at least one support tab for mounting the motion control bracket to a cabinet frame.

8. A motion control bracket as in claim 1, wherein the motion control bracket is configured in a substantially L-shape for mounting the motion control device below a cabinet drawer.

9. A motion control bracket as in claim 1, further comprising a self-closing mechanism for automatically closing the cabinet drawer when in a predetermined position.

10. A motion control bracket as in claim 1, wherein the motion control device includes a bumper for contacting a cabinet drawer.

11. A motion control bracket for adding motion control to a cabinet drawer slide comprising: a mounting surface for fastening to the drawer slide; and a dampener for controlling the speed with which the cabinet drawer contacts the cabinet frame.

12. A motion control bracket as in claim 11, wherein the dampener includes an arm that contacts the face of the cabinet drawer.

13. A motion control bracket as in claim 11, wherein the dampener includes an arm that contacts the back side of a drawer wall.

14. A motion control bracket as in claim 11, wherein the dampener includes an arm that contacts a surface attached to the drawer.

15. A motion control bracket as in claim 11, further comprising a mounting channel extending from the mounting surface.

16. A motion control bracket as in claim 11, wherein the motion control bracket is frictionally engaged to the cabinet drawer bracket without the use of tools.

17. A motion control bracket as in claim 11, wherein the mounting surface attaches to the drawer slide though an attachment hole located in the mounting surface.

18. A motion control bracket as in claim 11, further comprising at least one mounting tab for mounting the drawer slide to the cabinet frame.

19. A motion control bracket as in claim 11, wherein the bracket is substantially L-shaped for positioning the dampener beneath the cabinet drawer.

20. A motion control bracket as in claim 11, further comprising a self-closing mechanism for allowing the cabinet drawer to self close.

21. A motion control bracket as in claim 11, further comprising a locating tab on the mounting surface for positioning the motion control bracket in the correct mounting location.

22. A motion control bracket as in claim 11, wherein the dampener includes a bumper for contact the cabinet drawer.

23. A bracket for adding closing features to a drawer slide comprising: at least one mounting surface for fastening the bracket to the drawer slide; a motion control device for controlling the rate of speed with which the cabinet drawer closes against a cabinet frame; and a self-closing mechanism for self closing the cabinet drawer.

24. A motion control bracket as in claim 23, further comprising at least one mounting tab extending from the at least one mounting surface.

25. A motion control bracket as in claim 23, wherein the motion control device includes an arm for contacting a drawer.

26. A motion control bracket as in claim 25, wherein the arm includes a bumper.

27. A motion control bracket as in claim 23, wherein the self-closing mechanism automatically closes the cabinet drawer when moved into a predetermined position.

28. A motion control bracket as in claim 23, wherein the bracket is substantially L-shaped to allow the motion control device and self-closing mechanism to be mounted under the cabinet drawer.

29. A motion control bracket as in claim 23, wherein the motion control device includes a bumper for contracting the cabinet drawer.

30. A motion control bracket as in claim 23, wherein the motion control deice includes at least one locating tab on the mounting surface for positioning the bracket in a predetermined location on the drawer slide.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

This invention relates in general to mechanical drawer slides used for cabinet drawers and, more particularly, to a bracket with motion control device that can be added to preexisting drawer slides for controlling the speed with which a drawer is closed.

BACKGROUND

Drawer slides are well known in the art and are used in many applications to allow drawers to easily slide in and out of the cabinet frame. One initial improvement for drawer slides included a detent or bumper that allowed the drawer to be pulled from the cabinet frame when applying a pulling force to the drawer. This allowed the drawer to remain in a closed position without accidentally opening due to contract or vibration. Over time, drawer slides were again improved to allow the drawer to self-close. A self-closing feature allows the drawer to automatically close when the user pushes the drawer a predetermined position back into the cabinet frame. Either a ramped surface built into the slide or a biasing spring allows the drawer to retract back into the cabinet frame after release.

Still further improvements to the self-closing slide included integrated dampening devices that work to control the speed with which the drawer retracts into the cabinet frame. In general, this feature utilizes a motion control device to operate once the drawer reaches a predetermined position in the track of the drawer slide. A dampener works to slow movement of the drawer allowing to it gently return to its closed position. This has an advantage of allowing the drawer to softly close into a shut position without slamming or bumping the drawer face against the cabinet frame.

One problem associated with the slides that include an integrated self-closing device is that there is no easy way to add a motion control feature to preexisting drawer slides. If the user wants to add a motion control feature, most often the cabinet slide must be completely removed and replaced.

In most instances, the cost to add motion control to a drawer involves more expense than replacing the drawer slide. The motion control feature is currently available largely, if not exclusively, on drawer slides that are concealed beneath the drawer box. This type of slide requires drawer construction and drawer sizes unlike those utilized with conventional side mount slides, necessitating a new drawer box. This obviously can be costly and burdensome and may require the services of a skilled carpenter. Although it is possible to drill out a cavity in the cabinet frame to add a motion control cylinder, this is difficult process for the ordinary consumer. Drilling large holes in the cabinet frame that are the right size and location is difficult for an ordinary consumer to accomplish. This method also runs the risk of improperly positioning the motion control device in the cabinet frame.

Another problem associated with the current art extends to builders of new cabinets. Since the motion control feature is currently available largely, if not exclusively, on drawer slides that are concealed beneath the drawer box, cabinet makers must utilize drawer construction techniques and drawer sizes unlike those utilized with conventional side mount slides. For example, the drawer must often be notched in two locations and two holes drilled in the back of the drawer in order to mount the drawer slide. These construction changes can be costly to implement in both equipment and production costs.

Accordingly, there is a need to provide a motion control device that can easily be retrofitted to existing drawer slides. The motion control device should be operable with standard slides or ones having a self close feature. The device should be capable of controlling the rate upon which the drawer closes into the cabinet frame.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The features of the present invention, which are believed to be novel, are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The invention, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in the several figures of which like reference numerals identify like elements, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of the motion control bracket with mounting plate and dampener.

FIG. 2 is a side perspective view of the motion control bracket with integrated motion control device in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a side perspective view of the motion control bracket as showing in FIG. 2 attached to a drawer slide.

FIG. 4 is a top perspective view of the motion control bracket as in FIG. 2 where the bracket is substantially L-shaped allowing orthogonal mounting to a cabinet frame.

FIG. 5 is a top perspective view of an alterative embodiment to that shown in FIG. 1 where the bracket is used as an integral portion of the drawer slide.

FIG. 6 is a side perspective view of the motion control bracket as shown in FIG. 5 attached to a drawer slide.

FIG. 7 is a side perspective view of an alterative embodiment to that shown in FIG. 1 where the motion control bracket includes both a self-close apparatus and a motion control device.

FIG. 8 is a side view of the motion control bracket as shown in FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a side view of the motion control bracket as shown in FIG. 8, where the motion control bracket is attached to a drawer slide.

FIG. 10 is a side perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the motion control bracket as shown in FIG. 8, where the bracket is L-shaped allowing orthogonal mounting to a cabinet frame.

FIG. 11 is a side view of the motion control bracket as shown in FIG. 10.

FIG. 12 is a side perspective view of an alterative embodiment to that shown in FIG. 7 where the self-close mechanism and motion control device operate from a single point of contact.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring now to FIG. 1, a motion control bracket with integrated motion control device 100 includes a dampener device 101 that is used to control the closing motion of a cabinet drawer. The dampener device 101 includes a body section 103 and an arm 105 with bumper 107. The body section 103 may be mechanically fastened or frictionally engaged within an attachment area formed into the mounting plate 102. The mounting plate may be any size or configuration allowing it to be easily fastened to the side of a drawer slide. The attachment area 109 is defined by a side section 111 and one or more fastening tabs 113, 115 where the top of the body section 103 is also held into place with a fastening tab 117. Those skilled in the art will recognize that although the body section 103 is shown frictionally engaged by the fastening tabs, other means of attachment may also be used such as welds, glues, screws, pins, or other types of mechanical fasteners that work to hold the dampener device 101 into a fixed position. A locating tab 104 and attachment hole 106 may also be used singly or in combination to allow the mounting plate 102 to be correctly fastened at some predetermined position on a drawer slide. Additionally, although the dampener is depicted in FIG. 1 and subsequent figures as a cylinder type device, it will be further evident to those skilled in the art that a dampener may operate in a linear or rotational fashion and may be configured in any manner to control the speed with which the drawer contacts a cabinet frame.

In an alternative embodiment, FIG. 2 illustrates a motion control bracket 150 similar to that shown in FIG. 1. In this embodiment, one or more mounting tabs 119 are formed substantially perpendicular to the surface of the bracket where each mounting tab 119 may include a locking tab 121. As seen in FIG. 3, the locking tabs 121, 123 are used to engage the motion control bracket 101 to a drawer slide positioned in a mounting channel located between the tab section, 113, 115 and the side section 119. A locating tab 125 may be used to position and locate the bracket 101 when fastened to an accompanying slide. The embodiment shown in FIG. 2 as well as the other embodiments herein using mounting tabs are very useful in that they may be attached to a drawer slide without the use of tools and other mechanical fasteners.

FIG. 3 illustrates the motion control bracket as described in FIG. 2 attached to the side of a drawer slide 200. As will be evident to those skilled in the art, the drawer slide 200 is one typically used for bathroom and/or kitchen cabinetry. The drawer slide 200 may use either a roller or ball bearing to provide a smooth action when the drawer is opened or closed. The motion control bracket 100 is positioned at some predetermined location on the drawer slide 200 and may be fastened using a screw (not shown) within hole 127. In operation, the dampening device 101 works in combination with either the back of a drawer face or the back of the drawer body so that the bumper 107 contacts the drawer upon closure. The dampening device 101 operates to control the rate upon which the drawer is closed. This ensures a smooth closure of the drawer face without bouncing and/or other vibration against the cabinet frame.

FIG. 4 illustrates an alternative embodiment to that shown in FIG. 2 where the motion control bracket 131 is formed into a substantially L-shaped configuration. In contrast to that shown in FIG. 1, the motion control bracket 131 is designed to operate under the cabinet drawer where mounting tabs 133, 135, mounting tabs 137, 138 and 140 work to mount with a drawer slide to hold the bracket into a fixed position. As will be evident to those skilled in the art, the bracket may be mounted using mounting tabs 133, 135, mounting tabs 141 and locking tabs 141, 142 with no mechanical fasteners such as screws or the like. To even better secure the bracket 131 to a slide, the bracket may be mounted one or more mechanical fasteners attached using locating tab 144 and/or a mounting hole 139 with an accompanying fastener (not shown).

FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate an alternative embodiment to that shown in FIG. 2, where a motion control bracket 300 is formed to be used at the end of a drawer slide to provide support. In addition to the features that are shown in FIG. 1, the motion control bracket 300 includes one or more support tabs 301 that are mounted to a cabinet frame using screws or other mechanical fasteners though an associated mounting hole 303. As seen in FIG. 6, the channel 305 is positioned over the bracket 307 where it can be fastened into position using the support tabs 301. Shown in the retracted position, the dampening device 311 is positioned such that the back of a cabinet drawer face or drawer wall will contract the bumper 313. This enables the dampening device 311 to control the motion of the drawer when retracting into a closed position within the cabinet frame.

FIG. 7 illustrates yet another embodiment of the invention as shown in FIG. 2, where a support bracket 500 is configured to be fastened and/or mounted on a drawer slide. In this embodiment, the bracket 500 includes both a self-close apparatus 501 and a motion control device 503. The motion control device 503 is comprised of a cylindrical dampener positioned beneath the drawer slide. As noted herein, the dampener is depicted as a cylinder type device, it will be evident to those skilled in the art that a dampener may operate in a linear or rotational fashion and may be configured in any manner to control the speed with which the drawer is closed into the cabinet frame.

As best seen in FIGS. 8 and 9, a pin 505 is positioned on the side of the cabinet drawer 507. When the user partially closes the drawer to a position where the pin 505 contracts a seat 507 located at the front portion of the self-closing device 501, the self-closing device 501 works to engage the pin 505 within the seat 507 for automatically closing the drawer without the user applying a closing force. The self-closing device 501 may utilize either a ramp or spring biasing method to pull the drawer to a closed position within the cabinet frame 511. As the self-closing device 501 closes to a position where the pin 505 contacts the motion control device 503, the motion control operates to control the speed with which the drawer face 513 closes against the cabinet 511. FIGS. 8 and 9 illustrate the motion control device in its extended position.

FIGS. 10 and 11 illustrate an alternative embodiment to that shown in FIG. 7 where the support bracket 800 is L-shaped such that it can be configured at a right angle to the drawer side. Although the bracket 800 is mounted to the drawer slide, the self-close apparatus 801 and the motion control device 803 are concealed below the drawer bottom. As noted herein, a pin (not shown) will first engage with a seat 805 on the self-closing device 801. As the drawer retracts into the cabinet, the motion control device 803 works to control the speed with which the drawer face contacts the cabinet frame. Both FIGS. 10 and 11 show the motion control device 803 in a retracted position.

Finally, FIG. 12 illustrates another alternative embodiment to that shown in FIG. 7 where the bracket 1000 includes both the self-close apparatus 1001 and a motion control device 1003. Although a pin engages with a seat 1005, an actuator arm 1007 is used to contact motion control device 1003 during the closing process. Although this device operates in a similar fashion to that shown in FIG. 7, this embodiment offers a single point of contact since the motion control device 1003 does not make contract with the drawer or an attachment thereto.

While the preferred embodiments of the invention have been illustrated and described, it will be clear that the invention is not so limited. Numerous modifications, changes, variations, substitutions and equivalents will occur to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention as defined by the appended claims. As used herein, the terms “comprises,” “comprising,” or any other variation thereof, are intended to cover a non-exclusive inclusion, such that a process, method, article, or apparatus that comprises a list of elements does not include only those elements but may include other elements not expressly listed or inherent to such process, method, article, or apparatus.