Title:
Drawer construction
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A drawer includes a pair of opposite drawer side members and a pair of opposite drawer end members. Each of the opposite side members have ends and are joined at their ends to ends of the opposite end members to form a perimeter frame for the drawer. Each of the opposite side members and opposite end members have a drawer bottom stop extending along a lower portion thereof and a bottom clip receiving channel below and spaced from the bottom stop. A drawer bottom sized and shaped to fit within the perimeter frame is positioned in the perimeter frame against the drawer bottom stops and drawer bottom holding clips are inserted into and received by the clip receiving channel to sandwich and hold the drawer bottom between the drawer bottom stops and the drawer bottom holding clips to provide a bottom or floor for the drawer.



Inventors:
Clark, Brent L. (Ogden, UT, US)
Application Number:
11/607462
Publication Date:
06/28/2007
Filing Date:
12/01/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B88/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CALABRESE, MICHAEL A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THORPE NORTH & WESTERN, LLP. (SANDY, UT, US)
Claims:
1. A drawer, comprising: opposite drawer side members; opposite drawer end members; each of said opposite side members having ends and being joined at their ends to ends of the opposite end members to form a perimeter frame for the drawer, and each of the opposite side members and opposite end members having a drawer bottom stop extending along a lower portion thereof and a bottom clip receiving channel below and spaced from the bottom stop; a drawer bottom sized and shaped to fit within the perimeter frame and against the drawer bottom stops; and drawer bottom holding clips adapted to be inserted into and received by the clip receiving channel to sandwich and hold the drawer bottom between the drawer bottom stops and the drawer bottom holding clips.

2. A drawer according to claim 1, additionally including drawer corner pieces having tabs extending therefrom, and wherein each of the opposite side members and opposite end members includes internal channels adapted to receive tabs therein extending from the drawer corner pieces.

3. A drawer according to claim 1, wherein the ends of each of the opposite side members and opposite end members are straight cuts and abut a drawer corner piece.

4. A drawer according to claim 3, wherein the ends of each of the opposite side members and opposite end members are miter cuts and abut a drawer corner piece.

5. A drawer according to claim 1, wherein the opposite side members and opposite end members are cut from an elongate extrusion.

6. A drawer according to claim 5, wherein the elongate extrusion is an elongate plastic extrusion.

7. A drawer according to claim 1, wherein the drawer bottom holding clips are elongate to extend along the drawer bottom holding clip receiving channel.

8. A drawer according to claim 1, wherein the perimeter frame formed by the sides and ends is rectangular.

9. A drawer according to claim 1, wherein the sides and ends are cut to desired length from a plastic extrusion.

10. A drawer, comprising: opposite drawer side members; opposite drawer end members; each of said opposite side members and opposite end members being cut to desired length from an extrusion and being joined end-to-end to form a substantially rectangular perimeter for the drawer, and each having a drawer bottom stop extending from a lower portion thereof and a bottom clip receiving channel below and spaced from the bottom stop; a drawer bottom of substantially rectangular shape sized to fit within the assembled rectangular drawer perimeter and against the drawer bottom stop; and clips adapted to be inserted into and received by the clip receiving channel to sandwich and hold the drawer bottom between the stop and the clips.

11. A drawer side or end member, comprising: a member having a length and having opposite sides, an upper edge, and a lower edge, the distance between the upper edge and the lower edge defining the width of the member; a drawer bottom stop extending along a lower portion of one side of the member; and a drawer bottom holding clip receiving channel extending into the lower portion of the one side of the member and spaced below the drawer bottom stop and adapted to receive therein a portion of a drawer bottom holding clip.

12. A drawer side or end member, according to claim 11, wherein the drawer bottom holding clip receiving channel includes at least one reentrant portion adapted to receive a projection of the drawer bottom holding clip therein to secure the drawer bottom holding clip in the drawer bottom holding clip receiving channel.

13. A drawer side or end member, according to claim 12, wherein the drawer bottom holding clip receiving channel includes two reentrant portions.

14. A drawer side or end member, according to claim 11, wherein the drawer bottom stop extends from the member and has an arcuate surface toward the upper edge of the member to provide a smooth transition between the one side of the member and the drawer bottom stop.

15. A drawer side or end member, according to claim 11, wherein the member includes internal channels adapted to receive tabs therein extending from drawer corner pieces.

16. A drawer side or end member, according to claim 11, wherein the member has ends configured to be joined to an end of a second similar member.

Description:

PRIORITY CLAIM

Priority of Provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/742,127, filed on Dec. 1, 2005, is claimed.

BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to drawers and more particularly to plastic drawers which can be easily assembled.

2. Related Art

Wooden drawers have been used for many years in furniture such as cabinets, dressers, and the like particularly in the home. The wooden drawers blend well with the remaining structure to create nice looking furniture. Wood has typically also been a relatively inexpensive material from which to construct furniture. Conversely, industrial furniture such as file cabinets, medical cabinets, and the like which have drawers typically are constructed mostly from steel for durability during industrial usage. While wood and steel drawers work well, there are some drawbacks such as cleanabality, cost (particularly with the rising cost of wood and steel), weight, and non-modularity (each drawer is made to a particular size from raw stock rather than having at least some common pieces). There have been various drawers made from plastic in an attempt to solve such shortcomings of wood and metal drawers. Such drawers are disclosed, for example, in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,678,909, 4,108,520, 4,099,815, 3,556,626, and 3,282,635. Such drawers generally comprise a plurality of plastic parts including four corner pieces, a pair of side members, a pair of end members, and a bottom plate forming the bottom of the drawer. The bottom plate is usually held in a channel in the side and end members and has to be inserted into the channel before all of the side and end members can be secured together. This slows assembly and makes assembly of the completed drawer more difficult. A wooden front member may be affixed to one end member for decorative purposes.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention, a drawer is constructed from mostly plastic component parts including sides and ends made from a common plastic extrusion which is cut to length to make the desired size drawer. Injection molded corner pieces can be provided to aid in assembly of the extrusions, or the extrusions can be secured directly together without corner pieces. A bottom panel can likewise be cut to size to fit the desired size drawer, and is assembled to the drawer after assembly of the side and end members using a plurality of spring clips, which may be in the form of strips, which fit into mating grooves along the bottoms of the drawer side and end members. This permits easy assembly of the drawer and allows the draw, except for the bottom, to be assembled prior to addition of the bottom. This can also permit removably fitting and changing the drawer bottom between a standard flat bottom, various colored bottoms, and specialty bottoms such as a vacuum molded bottom with raised portions and recesses to hold various kitchen utensils, medical instruments, etc., to each drawer. Color coding may be used on the bottom panels to show the correct location for each item. Likewise, the remainder of the drawer can be color coded. A decorative or color coded front panel of wood, plastic, or other material may be added to the drawer at the front thereof.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Additional features and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the detailed description which follows, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which together illustrate, by way of example, features of the invention; and, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a rear quarter perspective view of a plastic drawer constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an individual end member and an individual corner piece used to construct the plastic drawer;

FIG. 3 is a perspective exploded view showing the assembly of a drawer according to the invention;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary view to an enlarged scale showing an embodiment of the fastening of the drawer bottom to one of the side panels using a drawer bottom holding clip;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view similar to that of FIG. 1, but showing drawer slides and roller mounts attached to the drawers;

FIG. 6, a rear quarter perspective view of an alternative plastic drawer constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 7, an enlarged perspective view of a front corner of a drawer showing a different embodiment of front corner piece;

FIG. 8, an enlarged perspective view of a front corner of a drawer showing a further different embodiment of front corner piece;

FIG. 9, a view similar to that of FIG. 2 with a different embodiment of corner piece;

FIG. 10, a view similar to that of FIG. 7 showing the drawer sides and ends attached directly together; and

FIG. 11, a view similar to that of FIG. 7, showing a further embodiment of corner piece.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENTS

Reference will now be made to the exemplary embodiments illustrated, and specific language will be used herein to describe the same. It will nevertheless be understood that no limitation of the scope of the invention is thereby intended.

FIGS. 1-4, illustrate an example of a drawer constructed according to the invention, and designated generally at 20, which comprises a pair of opposite drawer sides 22, a pair of opposite drawer ends 24, a plurality of drawer corner pieces 26, a drawer bottom panel 28, a plurality of drawer bottom holding clips 30, FIGS. 3 and 4, and a decorative front panel 32. Each of the opposite sides and opposite ends provides a drawer bottom stop 34, FIGS. 2-4, and a drawer bottom holding clip receiving channel 36.

The sides 22 and the ends 24 are made of an extrusion 38, such as a plastic extrusion, having respective walls 40 and 42 which are interconnected by an upper or top wall 44, a lower or bottom wall 46, and a plurality of interior ribs 50, 52, 54, 56, and 58 to define a plurality of longitudinal internal channels 60, 62, 64, 66, 68, and 69. For the embodiment shown, extrusion side wall 42 will form the drawer inner wall when the drawer is assembled. The drawer bottom stop is formed by lip 70 extending from extrusion side wall 42. As shown, the upper surface 72 of lip 70 is arcuate to provide a smooth transition between the side of the extrusion and the lip 70 forming the drawer bottom stop and drawer bottom 28. The rounded corner between the inside sides and ends of the drawer and the bottom of the draw makes cleaning around the bottom edge of the drawer easier. The rounded inside edge provided by the drawer corner pieces makes cleaning of the drawer corners easier. The bottom surface 74 of lip 70 extends straight out from wall 42 substantially perpendicular to wall 42 so as to abut the peripheral edge of drawer bottom 28. The drawer bottom holding clip receiving channel 36 is formed in wall 42 spaced below lip 70 to receive a portion of a holding clip 30 inserted thereinto. The portion 76 of the wall 42 extending below the bottom surface of lip 70 to the top of drawer bottom holding clip receiving channel 36 abut the peripheral edges 29 of and thereby receive and position the drawer bottom 28 in the bottom of the assembled drawer as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. With drawer bottom holding clips 30 inserted into drawer bottom holding clip receiving channels 36, drawer bottom 28 is sandwiched between clips 30 and the bottom of stop 34 to securely position and hold drawer bottom 28 in position to serve as the bottom or floor of the drawer.

The drawer bottom holding clip receiving channel 36, FIGS. 3 and 4, includes at least one, and in the embodiment shown, two, reentrant portions 78 and 79 to receive and mate with flanges 80 and 81 extending from door bottom holding clips 30 to secure drawer bottom holding clips 30 in drawer bottom holding clip receiving channel 36 when inserted thereinto.

The drawer corner pieces 26 in the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1-4 each comprise a body 82, FIG. 2, made of plastic having a pair of flat outer walls 83 and 84 connected to a curved inner wall 85 by respective top and bottom walls 86 and 87, and a pair of end walls 88 and 89. A plurality of hollow plugs 90, 92, 94, 96 extend from each of the respective end walls 88 and 89 to closely fit within the respective mating channels 60, 62, 66, and 68 of the extrusion 38. Indentations 98 can be provided on the sides of plugs 90, 92, 94, and 96 to hold glue applied to the plugs as the corner pieces are slid into the sides and ends of the drawers. A flared lip 99 corresponds with the flared lip 70 of the extrusion 38 forming the sides of the drawer.

The drawer bottom panel 28, FIGS. 3 and 4, is made of a single piece of plastic, melamine, wood, or other material.

As shown in FIG. 4, the drawer bottom holding clips 30 are made of plastic, each having an base 100 and a hollow resilient holding portion 102 extending from the base. The resilient holding portion includes a tapered nose portion 104 extending to the flanges 80 and 81 with neck portion 106 extending from flanges 80 and 81 back to the base. When installing drawer bottom holding clips 30, tapered nose portion 104 is inserted into drawer bottom holding clip receiving channel 36. The clip is pushed into the channel with the taper causing the holding portion to squeeze together so that flanges 80 and 81 move toward one another allowing the flanges to be pushed into the channel and into reentrant portions 78 and 79. When reaching reentrant portions 78 and 79, the holding portion 102 expands to move flanges 80 and 81 into reentrant portions 78 and 79, respectively, thereby securing the drawer bottom holding clips in the drawer bottom holding clip receiving channel 36 as shown in FIG. 4. In this position, an edge 108 of clip base 100 abuts the bottom of drawer bottom 28 to hold drawer bottom 28 in position against the bottom surface 74 of stop 70. With the embodiment shown, an edge 110 of clip base 100 abuts the bottom of drawer wall 42 so that base 100 extends between the drawer bottom 28 and the drawer inner wall 42. Similarly to the drawer sides and ends, the clip may be an extrusion and cut to desired length for a particular drawer. The clips may be of any desired length. A plurality of narrow clips can be inserted into the receiving groove along its length to hold the bottom panel of the drawer in place in the drawer, or the clip can be provided to extend substantially the entire length of the draw side or end with which it is used. Such a strip inserted into the receiving groove will support substantially the entire side or end of the drawer bottom panel extending along that side or end of the drawer. In this way, substantially the entire periphery of the drawer bottom panel is supported. The-drawer bottom holding clips can be configured to be removable from the drawer bottom holding clip receiving channel or the drawer bottom holding clips can be glued in position in the drawer bottom holding clip receiving channel so as to be non-removable. If desired, a seal (not shown), such as a bead of silicone rubber or foam tape can be placed between the drawer bottom panel 28 and the respective sides 22, ends 24, and corners 26 at assembly to provide a more positive liquid and dirt seal therebetween.

The decorative front panel 32 is optional depending upon the use of the assembled drawer, and can be made of a solid piece of finished wood such as oak or maple, a laminate covered member, or other such decorative piece as is typically used on drawers. Alternatively, decorative wood grain or other such plastic can be used.

The drawer 20 may be assembled together by first assembling together the sides 22 and the ends 24 to the corner pieces 26, such as by applying a suitable solvent or other type adhesive to the outside of the plurality of hollow plugs 90, 92, 94, and 96 extending from the respective end walls 88 and 89, and inserting them into the mating longitudinal channels 60, 62, 66, and 68 to glue the components together. The adhesive is then allowed to set for a sufficient period of time. Other means of securing the components together in assembled position can also be used, such as ultrasonic or other plastic welding techniques. After this complete assembly of the drawer sides and ends to provide a peripheral drawer frame for the drawer, the drawer bottom panel 28 is then placed in the bottom of the drawer against the bottom surface 74 of lip 70, and secured in the bottom of the drawer against the drawer bottom stop 34 (lip 70) by drawer bottom holding clips 30. This provides a drawer bottom that is easier to install in the drawer than a bottom that is installed in a groove in the sides and ends of the draw during assembly of the sides and ends. If the drawer bottom holding clips 30 are removable from the clip receiving channels 36 by applying sufficient force to the clips 30 to disengage the holding flanges 80 and 81 from the reentrant channel portions 78 and 79, the drawer bottom 28 will be removable so can be replaced, if and when desired.

A front panel 32 may be connected to one end 24 of the drawer using a plurality of round headed bolts 112 and respective nuts 113, FIG. 1, which extend through the front panel 32, and through the inner wall 42 and the outer wall 40 of drawer end 24, such as between the closely spaced interior ribs 54 and 56 which prevent crushing of the drawer end if the nuts 113 are overtightened on bolts 112. The closely spaced internal ribs 54 and 56 provide reinforcement to the extrusion sides for passage of bolts or screws for securing a front panel as described or for securing drawer handle hardware. However, the extrusions are generally strong enough so that bolts 112 may pass through drawer end 24 at various locations, as can the drawer handle hardware. The front panels 32 can be of various materials depending upon the use of the drawers. If the draws are to be used in a wood cabinet, the front panels will generally be of matching wood. If the drawers are to be used in a plastic or metal cabinet, the front panels can be of plastic or metal and may be of any desired colors, such as a color that matches the cabinet, a color that matches the room, or if in a kitchen, a color that match the color of the appliances. The front panel will generally extend beyond the sides of the drawer as shown at 115 in FIG. 1 to cover the usual opening between the drawer sides and the cabinet when the drawer is inserted into a cabinet or other piece of furniture to give a finished look to the cabinet or other piece of furniture. The front panel may also extend above the drawer front as at 116 and below the drawer front as at 117 to further provide the finished look of various pieces of furniture.

Conventional drawer slides 120, FIG. 5, or other such drawer mounting devices can be easily attached, such as by PVC coated screws 121, to the completed drawer 20, such as to sides 23, to slidably mount the drawer 20 into a cabinet (not shown) or other such device in which the drawer 20 will be used. Alternately, conventional drawer slide roller mounts 122, can be easily attached, such as by PVC coated screws 121, to the completed drawer 20, such as to bottom side walls 46, to slidably mount the drawer 20 in desired locations. While, for ease of illustration, FIG. 5 shows both the drawer slides and the roller mounts, normally only one or the other will be used with the drawer. Further, these can be mounted in various positions on the drawer.

Rather than mounting separate door slides on the drawer, drawer slides may be molded directly into drawer sides 23. Thus, FIG. 6, shows a drawer 129, similar to that of FIG. 1, but with the addition of respective external U-shaped drawer slide roller grooves 130 to the extrusion forming sides 131 and ends 132 and to the corner pieces 133. The roller grooves 130 permit the plastic drawer 129 to be mounted to the cabinet using a plurality of rollers (not shown), or other slides, such as a plastic or wood slide, fixedly connected to the cabinet, which rollers roll or slides slide in the roller grooves 130 of the sides 131 and corner pieces 133. Appropriate stops (not shown) may be provided to prevent the drawer 129 from inadvertently sliding completely out of the cabinet. While the door slide is shown in the end of the drawer, this is a result of using the same extrusion for the sides and ends of the drawer. The door slide in the ends of the drawer serve no purpose for mounting the drawer.

Rather than attaching a decorative front panel 32 as shown in FIG. 1, an end 24 of the drawer along with the corners 26 at that end can form a suitable front for the drawer in many situations. Where a separate front decorative panel 32 is not used, the corner pieces can be configured to include a front extension such as shown by front extension 135 on front corner piece 136 in FIG. 10. The front extension 135 joining front end 138 and side 139 can be molded integrally with the front corner piece 136, or can be glued or welded onto a corner piece 135. The advantage of gluing or welding the front extensions to the corner piece is that a generic corner piece as shown in FIGS. 2, 3, and 4 can be molded which can be used for all corners, where if the front extensions are molded into the corner pieces, separate right and left front corner pieces are needed which have the front extensions and on opposite sides a separate rear corner piece without the extensions is needed. A front corner piece with front extensions could be molded that would fit either front drawer corner by turning the front corner piece over to change the vertical orientation for opposite corners. The front extensions 135 extend beyond the sides of the drawers to cover the opening between the drawer sides and the cabinet when the drawer is inserted into a cabinet or other piece of furniture and give a finished look to the cabinet or other piece of furniture. In addition, if desired, the front corner pieces can also include a drawer handle molded into or glued or welded thereto as shown in FIG. 8. Thus, in FIG. 8, a drawer corner piece 136 with front extension 135 includes handle 137 extending forwardly therefrom. This provides a decorative handle by which a user can open the drawer when installed in a cabinet or other piece of furniture and eliminates the need to attach separate handles to the drawer. Various configurations of handles could be attached to front corner pieces 136.

The corner pieces can take many forms. FIG. 9 shows a different embodiment of corner piece that can be used. Referring to FIG. 9, corner piece 270 is narrower than corner piece 250 of FIGS. 2-4, and has two plugs 271 extending from each side thereof to extend into channels 252 of the side and end extrusions. The plugs 271 are spaced to fit into the upper and lower channels 252. To use the corner pieces 270, the ends of the side and end pieces 253 and 254, respectively, are cut with a forty-five degree miter cut so that the ends abut opposite angled walls 272 of corner piece 270. Corner piece 272 can include a flared lip 274 which aligns with flared lips 92 on the side and end extrusions. 5 With the side and end extrusions miter cut, the extrusions can be directly glued or welded together without the use of a corner piece. In such instance, no corner piece is used. While a satisfactory drawer can be formed in this manner, care has to be taken to align the ends of the respective side and end extrusions during gluing or welding so that the extrusions are correctly aligned to satisfactorily receive the bottom panel and to satisfactorily fit into the cabinet or other piece of furniture for which the drawer is made. A jig could be provided to help align the extrusions. Use of the corner pieces described above ensures proper alignment of the side and end extrusions during assembly of the drawer. A further embodiment of corner piece is shown in FIG. 14. The corner pieces 276 and 277 of FIG. 14 are similar to the plugs extending from the previously described corner pieces and are configured to fit into channels 252 of the side and end extrusions to align the extrusions as they come together during gluing or welding, but allow the miter cut ends of the extrusions to abut and be joined. It is currently preferred that the corner piece be spaced and inserted into the top and bottom channels of the extrusions. However, the top and bottom channels of the extrusions shown are of different configuration and dimensions so corner pieces 276 and 277 are configured differently specifically to fit into the respective top and bottom channels of the extrusions. However, the three upper channels of the illustrated extrusions are of similar configuration and dimensions so two of the corner pieces 276 could be used in two of the three upper channels, or three corner pieces 276 could be used and the corner piece 277 could be omitted from the bottom channel.

The drawers of the invention can be made in various sizes. As previously indicated, the length and width of the draws are easily selected by cutting the extrusion to form the desired length sides and ends of the drawer. This selection can be easily measured and made at the site of assembly of the drawers, or the sides and ends can be precut to selected sizes. Drawer lengths are more standardized than widths. Thus, standard lengths of about twenty inches, about twenty two inches, and about twenty four inches can be provided, with pieces of extrusion provided for the user to cut on site for the desired drawer width. However, the height or depth of the drawer is determined by the height of the extrusion. Thus, extrusions can be manufactured in various standard sizes. It has been found that extrusions to make drawers of about two and one half inches, about four and one half inches, about six and one half inches depth and about nine inches depth is satisfactory for most uses. Panels for the drawer bottoms can be made of plastic, melamine, or wood with a thickness of about one quarter inch. Of course, components can be made for various other sizes of drawers. Since the bottom of drawer is added after complete assembly of the sides and ends to form a perimeter frame, the sides and ends can be factory assembled in standard sizes and the bottoms installed on site of desired material cut to desired size.

While the forgoing examples are illustrative of the principles of the present invention in one or more particular applications, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that numerous modifications in form, usage and details of implementation can be made without the exercise of inventive faculty, and without departing from the principles and concepts of the invention. Accordingly, it is not intended that the invention be limited, except as by the claims set forth below.