Title:
Cabinet Receptacle Apparatus and System
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention provides apparatus and systems for cabinet receptacles, including a horizontally swingable door and an interior floor with a receptacle support affixed to the inside surface of the door and a receptacle retained on the receptacle support in a position adjacent to the inside surface of the door. One or more wheels attached to the receptacle support engage the cabinet floor for substantially bearing the weight of the receptacle.



Inventors:
Hui, Sue (Plano, TX, US)
Application Number:
11/420735
Publication Date:
11/29/2007
Filing Date:
05/27/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B97/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HANSEN, JAMES ORVILLE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MICHAEL T. KONCZAL, PATENT ATTORNEY (PLANO, TX, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. In a cabinet comprising a horizontally swingable door and an interior floor, a receptacle system comprising: a receptacle support affixed to the inside surface of the door; a receptacle retained on the receptacle support in a position adjacent to the inside surface of the door; one or more wheels attached to the receptacle support and engaging the floor for substantially bearing the weight of the receptacle.

2. A receptacle system according to claim 1 wherein the one or more wheels further comprise one or more casters.

3. A receptacle system according to claim 1 wherein the one or more wheels are situated to support the receptacle through a range of motion approaching 90 degrees.

4. A receptacle system according to claim 1 wherein the one or more wheels are situated to support the receptacle through a range of motion exceeding 45 degrees.

5. A receptacle system according to claim 1 wherein the receptacle support is affixed to the door by means of one or more permanent fastening.

6. A receptacle system according to claim 1 wherein the receptacle support is attached to the door by means of temporary fastening.

7. A receptacle system according to claim 1 wherein the receptacle support further comprises a platform.

8. A receptacle system according to claim 1 wherein the receptacle support further comprises a rack.

9. A receptacle system according to claim 1 wherein the receptacle support further comprises plastic.

10. A receptacle system according to claim 1 wherein the receptacle support further comprises metal.

11. A receptacle system according to claim 1 further comprising a receptacle retaining member for securing the receptacle in position.

12. In a cabinet comprising a horizontally swingable door and an interior floor, a moveable receptacle-bearing apparatus comprising: a receptacle support affixed to the inside surface of the door; one or more weight-bearing wheels attached to the receptacle support and engaging the floor.

13. A moveable receptacle-bearing apparatus according to claim 12 wherein the one or more wheels further comprise one or more casters.

14. A moveable receptacle-bearing apparatus according to claim 12 wherein the one or more wheels are situated to support the receptacle through a range of motion approaching 90 degrees.

15. A moveable receptacle-bearing apparatus according to claim 12 wherein the one or more wheels are situated to support the receptacle through a range of motion exceeding 45 degrees.

16. A moveable receptacle-bearing apparatus according to claim 12 wherein the receptacle support is affixed to the door by means of one or more permanent fastening.

17. A moveable receptacle-bearing apparatus according to claim 12 wherein the receptacle support is attached to the door by means of temporary fastening.

18. A moveable receptacle-bearing apparatus according to claim 12 wherein the receptacle support further comprises a platform.

19. A moveable receptacle-bearing apparatus according to claim 12 wherein the receptacle support further comprises a rack.

20. A moveable receptacle-bearing apparatus according to claim 12 further comprising a receptacle retaining member for securing a receptacle in position.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The invention relates to cabinetry and receptacles in general and in particular to systems and apparatus for combining and coordinating the use of cabinetry and receptacles for miscellaneous items. Still more particularly, the invention discloses embodiments in the context of built-in household cabinetry with kitchen trash and/or recycling receptacles ubiquitous in homes and cabinet storage bins.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

It has long been known to incorporate waste and/or recycling receptacles in kitchen or bathroom cabinets, typically under the sink. The receptacle is usually used to receive and accumulate trash or recyclable items, and is then emptied periodically. In general, a user first opens a hinged cabinet door, deposits an item in the receptacle, and then shuts the cabinet door. The act of depositing the item into the receptacle typically requires some degree of reaching or extending the hand or arm into the cabinet to position the discard item for dropping into the receptacle. Another common approach, especially for less dexterous and/or inattentive users, is to toss the discarded item into the cabinet in the general direction of the receptacle, sometimes successfully depositing it in the receptacle, and sometimes not, often without verifying which has in fact occurred. Another shortcoming often encountered with receptacles typically found in the arts is that a person generating a number of messy discards, for example when removing a plurality of eggs from their shells, must either extend the discards into the cabinet, or manually remove the receptacle from the cabinet in order to reposition it for more convenient access.

One approach sometimes used in an attempt to address these problems is to provide the cabinetry with a drawer mechanism whereby the receptacle is carried outward when the drawer is pulled horizontally toward the user. This type of system requires a departure from the conventional hinged cabinet door and may be awkward to use, subject to space limitations, or difficult to retrofit into pre-existing cabinetry. Additionally, some sort of handle suitable for pulling the drawer horizontally is required, which might be unbecoming in the context of the surrounding decor.

Another type of system known in the arts uses some form of door-mounted receptacle. Such systems provide a receptacle suspended on the back side of the cabinet door. This positioning facilitates movement of the receptacle corresponding to the opening and closing of the cabinet door. However, such systems are of limited utility, chiefly due to the constraints imposed by the limited weight-bearing capacity of the cabinet door. The relative thinness and cosmetic requirements of the door material generally precludes the use of long or through-fasteners, and the design and material of ordinary cabinet hinges is often insufficient to bear much weight in addition to that of the door itself. As a result, relatively small capacity receptacles are used to reduce the risk of exceeding the weight-bearing capacity of the door.

Thus, it is desirable and useful to address one or more of these and other problems by providing a robust system whereby a receptacle is caused to move outward from the cabinet, toward the user, without additional manual steps, when the cabinet is opened.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In carrying out the principles of the present invention, in accordance with preferred embodiments thereof, a moveable receptacle-bearing apparatus includes a receptacle support having one or more weight-bearing wheels. The apparatus is affixed to the inside surface of a horizontally swingable door in a cabinet receptacle system.

According to one aspect of the invention, in a cabinet having a horizontally swingable door and an interior floor, a receptacle system includes a receptacle support affixed to the inside surface of the door. A receptacle is retained on the receptacle support in a position adjacent to the inside surface of the door. One or more wheels attached to the receptacle support engage the floor and substantially bear the weight of the receptacle.

According to another aspect of the invention, the receptacle support and its one or more wheels are situated to support the receptacle through a range of motion in excess of 45 degrees.

According to another aspect of the invention, the receptacle support and its one or more wheels are situated to support the receptacle through a range of motion approaching 90 degrees.

According to still other aspects of the invention, in exemplary preferred embodiments, the receptacle system includes a receptacle support affixed to the door by either temporary or permanent means.

The invention has one or more advantages including but not limited to providing convenient and robust receptacles in cabinet locations. This and other features, advantages, and benefits of the present invention can be understood by one of ordinary skill in the arts upon careful consideration of the detailed description of representative embodiments of the invention in connection with the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be more clearly understood from consideration of the following detailed description and drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a top front perspective view of an opened cabinet showing an example of a preferred embodiment of the receptacle system of the invention;

FIG. 2 is a vertical section view through an opened cabinet showing an example of a preferred embodiment of the receptacle system of the invention from the side;

FIG. 3 is a horizontal section view through a closed cabinet showing an example of a preferred embodiment of the receptacle system of the invention from the top; and

FIG. 4 is a top front perspective view of an opened cabinet showing an example of an alternative preferred embodiment of the receptacle system of the invention.

References in the detailed description correspond to like references in the various drawings unless otherwise noted. Descriptive and directional terms used in the written description such as first, second, top, bottom, upper, side, etc., refer to the drawings themselves as laid out on the paper and not to physical limitations of the invention unless specifically noted. The drawings are not to scale, and some features of embodiments shown and discussed are simplified or amplified for illustrating the principles, features, and advantages of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Referring now to FIGS. 1 through 4, the invention is shown in a few exemplary embodiments from various vantage points. A cabinet 10, such as commonly found in a household kitchen or bath, has a door 12 hinged at one edge 14 and designed for swinging between a closed position and an open position. The door 12 may be hinged at either the right edge or left, and the open position is generally somewhere between 45 degrees and substantially perpendicular to the orientation of the cabinet opening 16. Inside, the cabinet 10 has a floor 18, usually several inches higher than the floor 20 of the surrounding room. In many instances, particularly in the case of under-sink cabinets, an interior partition 22 extends perpendicularly into the cabinet 10 beside the opening 16 and adjacent to the hinged edge 14 of the door 12.

In the system of the invention, a receptacle support 24 is affixed to the inside surface 26 of the door 12. The receptacle support 24 may be affixed to the door 12 using permanent fastenings such as screws or glue, or temporary fastenings such as removable mechanical clips or Velcro®, a registered trademark of Velcro Industries. At the bottom of the receptacle support 24, a pivotable wheel mechanism, preferably a swivel-mounted wheel or caster 28, is mounted to engage the cabinet floor 18. The wheel 28 has sufficient weight-bearing capacity to support the receptacle support 24, a receptacle 30 placed on the receptacle shelf 24, as well as heavy household discards or storage items that may be placed in the receptacle 30, such as bottles or watermelon rinds, for example. The weight-bearing aspect of the wheel 28 enables the system to bear more weight than would be prudent to place in a receptacle borne by the door alone.

Thus, the receptacle 30 is moved by the action of operating the door 12, but little weight is borne by the door 12. The receptacle 30 rests upon the receptacle support 24, which may be attached to the door 12 by various permanent or temporary means as long as the movement of the door 12, upon opening, moves the receptacle 30 out through the cabinet opening 16 for access by the user, and upon closing, moves the receptacle 30 back into the cabinet 10. The receptacle 30 is preferably retained in a position adjacent to the inside surface 26 of the door 12 by a receptacle retaining member, such as a bracket 32, or other means to prevent it from sliding off of the receptacle support 24 due to movement of the door 12. The receptacle support 24 may be made from suitably strong materials such as plastic, as in the example of FIG. 1, or a wire rack structure as shown in FIG. 4, or other suitable materials. The receptacle support 24 is configured to permit the door 12 to close completely, and to facilitate engagement of the wheel mechanism 28 with the cabinet floor 18 through a sufficient range of motion when the door 12 is opened. Preferably, one caster 28 is used, positioned at a location on the receptacle support 24 sufficiently remote from the door 12 to provide support for the support 24 through a broad range of motion. Of course, some variation of the wheel position is possible, as well as the use of additional wheels or casters without departure from the invention. Preferably, the shape of the receptacle support 28 and the position of the wheel mechanism 28 are selected to permit the door 12 to be used in a range of motion of up to about 90 degrees in the fully opened position. A stop 34 may optionally be attached to the cabinet floor 18 in order to prevent the wheel 28 from traveling past the edge 36. In another alternative embodiment,

The systems and apparatus of the invention provide one or more advantages including but not limited to providing a conveniently concealed receptacle for trash, recyclables, or other items, whereby upon the opening of the cabinet door, the concealed receptacle becomes more accessible for receiving items. While the invention has been described with reference to certain illustrative embodiments, those described herein are not intended to be construed in a limiting sense. For example, the system may also have a lid on the receptacle arranged with a mechanical opener such that the lid opens and closes by the action of the door. Various modifications and combinations of the illustrative embodiments as well as other advantages and embodiments of the invention will be apparent to persons skilled in the arts upon reference to the drawings, description, and claims.