Title:
Universal rack slide panel
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rack slide panel for use in a storage cabinet including a planar wall, and first and second side walls extending from the planar wall substantially perpendicular to the planar wall. First and second end walls extend from the first and second side walls. The first and second end walls are substantially perpendicular to the first and second side walls. A plurality of notches are formed in the planar wall, which include a first set of notches and a second set of notches, wherein the first set of notches has a different configuration than the second set of notches to receive drawer rails for supporting a drawer.



Inventors:
Golias, Bernard J. (Hinckley, OH, US)
James, Gary W. (Parma Heights, OH, US)
Application Number:
12/011408
Publication Date:
07/31/2008
Filing Date:
01/25/2008
Assignee:
Metal Fabricating Corporation
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
29/428
International Classes:
A47B88/12; B21D39/03
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070278913Mobile tool chest with a safety deviceDecember, 2007Liu
20080190046Refrigerator and/or Freezer UnitAugust, 2008Hecht et al.
20050231083Undermount drawer slideOctober, 2005Garcie Jr.
20090072692System for Fastening a Furniture FrontMarch, 2009Laible et al.
20080265728BOLTLESS STORAGE CABINETOctober, 2008Collins et al.
20050042247Inner part for a refrigerating deviceFebruary, 2005Gomoll et al.
20090243446Housing of an Electrical Machine Comprising Cooling Channels Extending in a Housing WallOctober, 2009Platen et al.
20080238272HOUSING APPARATUS AND HOUSING RACKOctober, 2008Chinuki
20100056913ULTRASONIC DIAGNOSIS SYSTEM AND ULTRASONIC DIAGNOSIS APPARATUS DOCKING CARTMarch, 2010Hirakui et al.
20080143221Modular Reader PortalJune, 2008Svalesen
20050116591Home appliance assemblyJune, 2005Hwang et al.



Primary Examiner:
TRAN, HANH VAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
FAY SHARPE LLP (Cleveland, OH, US)
Claims:
1. A rack slide panel for use in a storage cabinet, comprising: a planar wall, first and second side walls extending from said planar wall substantially perpendicular to said planar wall; first and second end walls extending from first and second side walls, wherein said first and second end walls are substantially perpendicular to said first and second side walls; a plurality of notches formed in said planar wall, wherein said notches comprise a first set of notches and a second set of notches, wherein said first set of notches has a different configuration than said second set of notches.

2. The rack slide panel of claim 1, wherein said first and second side walls extend along a longitudinal axis of said planar wall.

3. The rack slide panel of claim 1, wherein said first and second side walls are substantially parallel to each other.

4. The rack slide panel of claim 1, wherein said first and second end walls are substantially parallel to each other.

5. The rack slide panel of claim 1, wherein said first and second end walls are substantially parallel to said planar wall.

6. The rack slide panel of claim 1, wherein said first set of notches comprises notches substantially rectangular in shape.

7. The rack slide panel of claim 1, wherein said second set of notches comprises notches substantially square in shape.

8. The rack slide panel of claim 1, wherein said first set of notches extends along a longitudinal axis of said planar wall.

9. The rack slide panel of claim 8, wherein said second set of notches extends along a longitudinal axis of said planar wall.

10. The rack slide panel of claim 9, wherein said first set of notches is positioned offset from said second set of notches.

11. The rack slide panel of claim 1, further comprising a third set of notches formed on said planar wall.

12. The rack slide panel of claim 11, further comprising a fourth set of notches formed on said planar wall.

13. The rack slide panel of claim 11, wherein said third set of notches comprises notches which are substantially rectangular in configuration.

14. The rack slide panel of claim 13, wherein said fourth set of notches comprises notches which are substantially square in shape.

15. The rack slide panel of claim 1, wherein said panel is fabricated of one piece.

16. A storage cabinet, comprising: first and second side walls, a top wall and a bottom wall connected to each first and second side wall, a first rack slide panel comprising a planar wall having a first set of notches formed therein, wherein said first rack slide panel is installed adjacent said first side wall, and said first set of notches accommodates a first drawer rail.

17. The storage cabinet of claim 16, further comprising a second rack slide panel installed adjacent said second side wall, wherein said second rack slide panel comprises a second set of notches formed therein for accommodating a second drawer rail.

18. The storage cabinet of claim 17, wherein said first and second rails comprise clips which are installed into said first set and second set of notches for receiving said first and second drawer rails.

19. The storage cabinet of claim 18, further comprising a drawer which is supported by and slides along said first and second drawer rails.

20. The storage cabinet of claim 16, wherein said first rack slide panel can be rotated 180 degrees to be installed adjacent said second side wall.

21. The storage cabinet of claim 17, wherein said second rack slide panel can be rotated 180 degrees to be installed adjacent said first side wall.

22. The storage cabinet of claim 16, wherein said first set of notches comprises notches which are substantially rectangular in shape.

23. The storage cabinet of claim 17, wherein said second set of notches comprises notches which are substantially square in shape.

24. A method for assembling a drawer rack in a storage cabinet, comprising: inserting a first slide rack panel adjacent a first side wall of said cabinet; inserting a second slide rack panel adjacent a second side wall of said cabinet opposite said first slide rack panel; inserting a first rail into notches formed in said first slide rack panel; inserting a second rail into notches in said second slide rack panel; and mounting a drawer onto said first and second rails.

25. The method of claim 24, wherein said step of inserting said first slide rack panel includes snap-fitting the first slide rack panel adjacent said first side wall of said cabinet.

26. The method of claim 24, wherein said step of inserting said second slide rack panel includes snap-fitting the second slide rack panel adjacent said second side wall of said cabinet.

27. The method of claim 24, wherein said step of inserting said first rail into said notches of said first slide rack panel includes snap-fitting clips formed on said first rack into said notches.

28. The method of claim 24, wherein said step of inserting said second rail into said notches of said second slide rack panel includes snap-fitting clips formed on said second rail into said notches.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to storage cabinets and the like, and more particularly to a universal rack slide panel for a storage cabinet which receives sliding drawers and facilitates cabinet assembly.

With reference to FIG. 1, it is generally known to provide a cabinet structure A into which one or more sliding drawers B are received. In certain applications, the drawers are compartmentalized or otherwise configured to hold screws, nuts, bolts, and other articles. For example, a compartmentalized storage box C (FIG. 2) may be adapted to rest on a cabinet drawer B. The storage of such articles in this manner oftentimes leads to the drawers B being heavily loaded. As such, the drawers and the cabinet structure, including a conventional slide rack E mounted to side wall D via mounting structure F, must be sufficiently strong to withstand the weight. Of course, the cabinet must also be affordable and preferably relatively easy to move about.

Thus, there has been found a need for a cabinet structure which provides reinforcement of the drawers that overcomes the above-noted deficiencies and others while also providing a low-cost and easily assembled structure.

There is also a need for a universal slide rack insert panel which can be inserted or snapped into position on either side of a cabinet with many different configurations of holes for installing drawer support rails in various conformations.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with a first aspect of the present invention, a cabinet structure includes universal slide rack panels which can be positioned respectively on opposite left and right lateral sides of the cabinet. Drawer support rails are connected to the left and right side panels. Each of the rails is positioned in support rail receiving notches or openings within the panels and generally horizontally extends from a cabinet front region to a cabinet rear region when installed. A drawer is then movably or slidably connected to the drawer support rails and moves or slides between an open position extending from the cabinet and a closed position within said cabinet.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, a universal slide rack panel for a cabinet comprises a generally planar surface which includes a raised panel and two side walls which extend from the raised panel and have two end walls extending from the side walls. The raised panel and two end walls are parallel to each other, while the two side walls are perpendicular to the raised panel. The raised panel has a flat, planar face with a plurality of notches or openings therein which are oriented in a manner that the panel can be used in a right side or left side configuration in the cabinet. The panel can be rotated 180 degrees between the left side and right side orientations. The panel has a series of rectangular-shaped notches and square-shaped notches, where the rectangular notches are offset from the square notches.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, a rack slide panel for use in a storage cabinet has a planar wall, first and second side walls extending from the planar wall substantially perpendicular to the planar wall; first and second end walls extending from first and second side walls, wherein the first and second end walls are substantially perpendicular to the first and second side walls; a plurality of notches formed in the planar wall, wherein the notches comprise a first set of notches and a second set of notches, wherein the first set of notches has a different configuration than the second set of notches.

Each of the rectangular or square support notches comprises a generally horizontal drawer support region. The cabinet further includes a plurality of horizontally extending drawer support rails connected to each slide panel. Each of the rails is supported by a support region of one of the plurality of support notches. A plurality of drawers is then supported on opposite lateral sides by one of the plurality of horizontally extending support rails and can move between a storage position and an open position in the cabinet.

In accordance with another aspect of the invention, a storage cabinet has first and second side walls, a top wall and a bottom wall connected to each first and second side wall, a rack slide panel having a planar wall having a first set of notches formed therein, wherein the panel is installed adjacent one of the side walls. The first set of panel notches accommodates a first drawer rail.

In accordance with still another aspect of the invention, a method for assembling a drawer rack in a storage cabinet, includes inserting a first slide rack panel adjacent a first side wall of the cabinet; inserting a second slide rack panel adjacent a second side wall of the cabinet opposite the first slide rack panel; inserting a first rack into notches formed in the first slide rack panel; inserting a second rack onto notches formed in the second slide rack panel; and sliding a drawer onto the first and second racks.

One advantage of the present invention is that is provides a cabinet structure that is sufficiently rigid to support heavily loaded drawers.

Another advantage of the present invention is that it is easily assembled and cost-effective.

Still another advantage of the present invention is that the universal rack slide panel allows for easy installation of the same panel on either a right side or left side of a cabinet interior, thus eliminating the need to fabricate two different design rack panels.

A further advantage of the present invention is that it facilitates accurate horizontal placement of the drawer support rails by easy snap-fit into the notches of the slide panels.

Still other benefits and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art upon reading and understanding the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention may take physical form in certain components and arrangements of components, preferred embodiments of which will be described in detail in this specification and illustrated in the accompanying drawings which form a part hereof and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a prior cabinet structure with portions broken away;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a prior compartmentalized storage box;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a new and improved universal rack slide insert panel in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of the universal rack slide panel in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 5 is a rear view of the panel of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 is a top plan view showing drawer support rails, installed on the slide panel;

FIG. 7 is a rear view of a panel to illustrate snap clips of the support rails, which attach the support rails to the panel; and

FIG. 8 is a perspective view of a cabinet assembly with the rack slide panels, drawer rails and drawers.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to FIG. 3, a universal rack slide panel 10 -in accordance with the present invention includes a raised flat panel 12, and left and right side walls 14, 16 which extend from panel 12. Side walls 14 and 16 extend along a length of a longitudinal axis 17 of the panel 12. The slide panel 10 is fabricated from metal or other suitable material. The panel is shown as made of one piece, but can be fabricated of several sheets fastened together without departing from the scope of the present invention. Left and right outer end walls 18, 20 extend from walls 14,16. The raised panel and two end walls 18, 20 are substantially parallel to each other, while the two side walls 14, 16 are substantially perpendicular to the raised panel and are substantially parallel to each other.

The raised panel 12 has a substantially flat planar face 22 which has a plurality of notches 24, 26 formed therein. Notches 24 are shown to be of a substantially rectangular conformation, while notches 26 are shown to be of a substantially square conformation. Other shapes and sizes of the notches such as ovals, circles, etc. can also be used without departing from the scope of the invention.

The rectangular-shaped notches 24 are aligned along a longitudinally extending axis 28 as well as along a transverse axis 30. Similarly, the square-shaped notches 26 are aligned along a longitudinally extending axis 32 and a transverse axis 34. The square notches are shown positioned as offset from the rectangular notches. However, the notches can also be aligned with one another without departing from the scope of the invention.

The notches 24, 26 are oriented in such a manner that the panel can be used in conjunction with either a right side wall of a cabinet or a left side wall of a cabinet. The panel is simply rotated 180 degrees to be used between the right side and left side orientation. The panel is easily snap-fitted into position within the cabinet interior adjacent the side walls of the cabinet. Each panel extends at least substantially from a cabinet top to the cabinet floor and from the cabinet front region to a cabinet rear region. Thus, the slide panels are generally coextensive with the left and right side of the cabinet. The slide panels are provided to support the one or more drawers therebetween.

Referring now to FIG. 6, a plurality of drawer support rails 40 is positioned in a cabinet and is connected to the slide panels to movably support the drawers in the cabinet through rollers, sliders, or other suitable means. Referring to FIG. 7, resilient clips 42 are formed on the rear side of the drawer rails which are easily snap-fitted into the notches 24, 26 of the panel. Each drawer is supported by a pair of support rails, with the support rails of each pair being affixed respectively to slide panels on opposite sides of the cabinet and aligned with each other. The notches are preferably spaced along the horizontal and vertical axes at locations corresponding to points where drawer support rails are to be affixed to the panels. As such, each notch formed results in the formation of a horizontal rail support surface 50, 52, 54, 56. The cabinet with the rack panel, the drawer rails and drawers installed is shown at FIG. 8.

As previously mentioned, the panel can be rotated 180 degrees between a right side orientation in a cabinet and a left side orientation in a cabinet. Thus, the panel is universal in that a single panel design can be manufactured to be used on either the left side or right side of the cabinet interior. Various orientations and sizes of clips for support rails can be accommodated by the universal rack slide panel. The universal panel also provides reinforcement to the drawer rails and drawers for supporting heavier loads, such as a toolbox, etc.

One or more drawers are supported in the cabinet interior. The drawers are preferably slidable on a horizontal axis, along the support rails, between a storage position within the cabinet, and an extended “open” or access position.

The exemplary embodiment has been described with reference to the preferred embodiments. Obviously, modifications and alterations will occur to others upon reading and understanding the preceding detailed description. It is intended that the exemplary embodiment be construed as including all such modifications and alterations insofar as they come within the scope of the appended claims or the equivalents thereof.