Title:
SHELF MOUNTING SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shelf mounting system with a rigid shelf track having a face substantially free of apertures other than those used to mount the track to a wall, two sides having slots, and a bracket to engage and support the shelf track. In the preferred embodiment, the bracket includes a pair of opposed side flanges joined at a proximal end, and having two free distal ends terminating in engaging portions attachable to the track slots. A method for constructing a shelf mounting system according to the present invention is also provided.



Inventors:
Davenport, John (Clarendon Hills, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/744423
Publication Date:
11/06/2008
Filing Date:
05/04/2007
Assignee:
J. DAVENPORT, LLC (Clarendon Hills, IL, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F5/08
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080184475ILLUMINATED GRAB BARAugust, 2008Sladick et al.
20020171340Support member having a recess for routing cables and method of routing cables in an electronic equipment cabinetNovember, 2002Chandler
20070012637Foldable rack assemblyJanuary, 2007Yu et al.
20090084745SPACE SAVING MANUAL SHELF MANAGEMENT SYSTEMApril, 2009Goehring
20060191859Hairbrush holderAugust, 2006Leszczak
20050161416Multi-configurational sports organizerJuly, 2005Anderson
20080314847VENDING SHELFDecember, 2008Colelli
20080251472Cooking caddyOctober, 2008Kasden et al.
20100038329Decorative wall mountFebruary, 2010Pan
20020178664Adjustable rack for supporting firestop material in a through-penetrationDecember, 2002Dykhoff
20070227988Device and a method for attaching a label on a folder coverOctober, 2007Sabelstrom



Primary Examiner:
BARNETT, DEVIN K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MICHAEL P. MAZZA, LLC (GLEN ELYN, IL, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A shelf mounting system, comprising: a shelf track adapted to be mounted on a wall, the track having a front face, two sides having slots; one or more brackets adapted to securely engage the side slots, the one or more brackets adapted to support shelving.

2. The shelf mounting system of claim 1, wherein the shelf track is a vertically extending, rigid member, and the face of the track is substantially free of apertures other than those used to mount the track to the wall.

3. The shelf mounting system of claim 1, wherein the bracket comprises a pair of opposed side flanges joined at a proximal end, the side flanges each having a free distal end, the distal ends being laterally moveable between an open position in which the free distal ends are separated by a distance greater than a width of the track, and a closed position in which the distal ends each securely engage the side slots.

4. The shelf mounting system of claim 3, wherein the brackets include one or more fins mounted on at least one of the opposed side flanges, the one or more fins having an aperture for receiving a fastener which may be attached to shelving.

5. The shelf mounting system of claim 3, wherein each of the free distal ends terminates in an arcuate surface adapted to abut the face of the track when the track is engaged with the bracket.

6. The shelf mounting system of claim 5, wherein engaging tabs are affixed to or integral with the arcuate surface, the engaging tabs being adapted to securely engage the side slots of the track.

7. A shelf mounting system, comprising: a vertical, rigid shelf track adapted to be mounted on a wall, the track having a face and two sides having a plurality of vertically-spaced slots, and the track being substantially free of apertures other than those used to mount the track to the wall; and one or more brackets adapted to securely engage the side slots and thereby support shelving.

8. The shelf mounting system of claim 7, wherein the one or more brackets comprise a pair of opposed side flanges joined at a proximal end, the side flanges having two free distal ends laterally moveable between an open position in which the free distal ends are separated by a distance greater than a width of the track, and a closed position in which the distal ends each securely engage the side slots.

10. A shelf mounting system, comprising: a vertical shelf track adapted to be mounted on a wall, the track having a face and two sides each having a plurality of vertically-spaced slots, the face being substantially free of apertures other than those used to mount the track to the wall; and at least one bracket adapted to engage the side slots, the bracket comprising a pair of opposed side flanges joined at a proximal end, the side flanges having two free distal ends laterally moveable between an open position in which the free distal ends are separated by a distance greater than a width of the track, and a closed position in which in which the distal ends each securely engage the side slots.

11. A method for creating a shelf mounting system, comprising the steps of: providing a shelf track adapted to be mounted on a wall, the shelf track having a face free of apertures other than those used to mount the track to the wall, and the track having a plurality of side slots; providing a bracket adapted to engage the side slots; and securely engaging the bracket with the side slots.

12. The method of claim 11, wherein the bracket includes a pair of opposed side flanges joined at a proximal end and having two free distal ends.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the free distal ends are laterally moveable between an open position in which the free distal ends are separated by a distance greater than a width of the track, and a closed position in which the distal ends are engaged to the track.

14. The method of claim 12, wherein each of the free distal ends terminates in an engaging portion attached to or integral with an arcuate surface of the side flange, the arcuate surface being adapted to abut the face of the track when the track is engaged with the bracket.

15. A method for creating a shelf mounting system, comprising the steps of: providing a shelf track adapted to be mounted on a wall, the track having a front face and a plurality of side slots; providing a bracket adapted to engage the side slots, the bracket having a pair of opposed side flanges joined at a proximal end, and the side flanges each having a free distal end and being laterally moveable between an open position in which the free distal ends are separated by a distance greater than a width of the track, and a closed position; and engaging the free distal ends of the bracket with the side slots of the shelf track so that the free distal ends are placed into the closed position.

16. The method of claim 15, wherein the track is a rigid member free of apertures other than those used to mount the track to the wall.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a shelf and/or accessory mounting system. Current shelf mounting products and systems are constructed from vertical shelf tracks that contain front slots, and brackets that fit into these front slots for shelving and other hanging accessories. These tracks are typically constructed from steel vertical uprights, which are fastened to a wall by fasteners, such as anchors, screws, bolts, hooks and so forth.

Current shelf mounting products and systems have not gained wide acceptance into the home market even though they were designed for home use. One of the problems with the current products and systems is that the color of the track and the bracket do not blend easily with the typical household shelving or wall color schemes. Another problem is that the current shelf mounting products and systems are not aesthetically pleasing because of the position of the slots on the front face of the shelf tracks.

Accordingly, it would be advantageous to provide a shelf mounting system that includes shelf tracks that have side slots and have a front face that is substantially free from slots in order to blend with the color schemes of the typical household and to be aesthetically pleasing.

DEFINITION OF CLAIM TERMS

The following terms are used in the claims of the patent as filed and are intended to have their broadest meaning consistent with the requirements of law. Where alternative meanings are possible, the broadest meaning is intended. All words used in the claims are intended to be used in the normal, customary usage of grammar and the English language.

“Shelf track” means an elongated member mountable on a wall and having slots for receiving brackets therein.

“Bracket” means a support member.

“Arcuate” means curvilinear.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The objects mentioned above, as well as other objects, are solved by the present invention, which overcomes disadvantages of prior shelf mounting systems, while providing new advantages not believed associated with such systems.

In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the shelf mounting system includes a shelf track and a bracket. The shelf track preferably has a front face and two sides having slots. The shelf track is adapted to be mounted on a wall. The shelf track may be a vertically extending, rigid member, preferably substantially free of apertures other than those used to mount the track to the wall. The bracket is adapted to securely engage with the side slots, so that the bracket may support shelving. The bracket may include a pair of opposed side flanges joined at a proximal end, and having two free distal ends laterally moveable between an open position in which the free distal ends are separated by a distance greater than a width of the track, and a closed position in which the free distal ends are engaged with the track slots.

In a particularly preferred embodiment, the free distal ends may terminate in an arcuate surface having engaging portions such as tabs or hooks for secure engagement to the track side slots. The arcuate surface is preferably adapted to abut in mating proximity to the face of the track when the track is engaged with the bracket, to help stabilize the system.

In another embodiment, the brackets may include one or more fins mounted on at least one of the opposed side flanges and having an aperture for receiving a fastener secured to adjacent shelving.

In another embodiment a method is provided for creating a shelf mounting system. The method include the step providing a shelf track with a face substantially free of apertures other than those used to mount the track to the wall. Side walls of the track may include a plurality of side slots. A bracket may also be provided, adapted to engage the side slots. When the bracket and track are thus securely engaged, the bracket can securely support shelving.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The novel features which are characteristic of the invention are set forth in the appended claims. The invention itself, however, together with further objects and attendant advantages thereof, will be best understood by reference to the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings. The drawings illustrate currently preferred embodiments of the present invention. As further explained below, it will be understood that other embodiments, not shown in the drawings, also fall within the spirit and scope of the invention.

FIG. 1 is an isometric view showing the shelf track and the bracket;

FIG. 2 is a view of a section of the pair of the opposed side flanges;

FIG. 3A is a top view showing an open position of the free distal ends of the bracket and a free shelf track;

FIG. 3B is a top view showing a closed position of the free distal ends of the bracket engaging the shelf track; and

FIG. 4 is a rear view showing the bracket before and after engaging the shelf track.

The components in the drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon clearly illustrating the principles of the present invention. In the drawings, like reference numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the several views.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Set forth below is a description of what are currently believed to be the preferred embodiments and/or best examples of the invention claimed. Future and present alternatives and modifications to these preferred embodiments are contemplated. Any alternatives or modifications which make insubstantial changes in function, in purpose, in structure or in result are intended to be covered by the claims of this patent.

Referring first to FIG. 1, a preferred embodiment of the invention is shown, in which shelf mounting system 10 includes at least one shelf track 20 and at least one bracket 30 for supporting and engaging the shelf track 20. Shelf track 20 includes a face 22, a wall mounting aperture 24, a first side 26, a second side 28 and a width 23. Both first side 26 and second side 28 have side slots 29. Shelf track 20 is preferably a rigid member, which is free from apertures on face 22 other than wall mounting aperture 24. Bracket 30 includes a pair of opposing side flanges 32 joined at a proximal end 31 and has two free distal ends 33. Proximal end 31 may be curved, squared-off, cramped or otherwise bent, for example.

Referring to FIG. 2, a side view showing a through section of the pair of opposing side flanges 32 of bracket 30 is provided. Flanges 32 are preferably rigid members in order to withstand the weight of the shelf and the other hanging accessories mountable on top of bracket 30.

Referring to FIGS. 3A and 3B, FIG. 3A shows free distal ends 33 of flanges 32 in an open position separated by a distance, width 35A, which is greater than width 23 of adjacent free shelf track 20. Free distal ends 33 are flexibly laterally moveable between the open position and a closed position when free distal ends 32 are separated by a distance 35B, which is less than the width 23 of shelf track 20, as shown in FIG. 3B. Free distal ends 32 of bracket 30 preferably terminate in an engaging portion 38 attached to or made from an arcuate surface 36. Surface 36 could be of any shape and geometry, preferably matching the shape of face 22 of shelf track 20.

In a further embodiment, bracket 30 may include at least one fin 40 with an aperture 42 for receiving a fastener such as nails, screws and so forth, in order to fasten a shelf (not shown) mountable on top of bracket 30. Fin 40 provides additional stability for bracket 30 and the mountable shelf (not shown).

Referring now to FIG. 4, a rear view of shelf track 20 and bracket 30 is provided. Securing tab 39 of engaging portions 38 of bracket 30 is shown before (in dotted lines) and after (in solid lines) slideably engaging into side slots 29 of shelf track 20. One or more of securing tabs 39 may be permanently attached to side slots 29 of track 20. However, this is not a preferred embodiment because it makes it difficult to transport shelf track 20 and bracket 30 is no longer adjustable to track 20.

FIG. 4 shows the steps of creating a shelf mounting system, which includes providing shelf track 20 with side slots 29, which is free of apertures on its front face 22 other than those used to mount track 20 to the wall, such as aperture 24, providing a bracket 30 with at least one securing element, such as securing tab 39, which engages side slots 29.

It will be understood that various modifications to the preferred embodiment disclosed above may be made. The above description is not intended to limit the meaning of the words used in the following claims that define the invention. Rather, it is contemplated that future modifications in structure, function or result will exist that are not substantial changes and that all such insubstantial changes are intended to be covered by the following claims.