Title:
Shelf bracket
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bracket for securing a shelf to a frame includes a body portion having an opening to receive a first segment of a U-shaped shelf support member and a body channel on a surface to receive a second segment of the U-shaped shelf support member. The bracket can be used in a shelving system having a shelf mounted between a left and a right frame each having one or more mounting holes along a vertical length to receive the bracket. When the bracket is mounted to the frame, the opening and the channel are aligned substantially parallel to a vertical axis of the frame.



Inventors:
Lee, James (Old Tappan, NJ, US)
Application Number:
11/811133
Publication Date:
12/11/2008
Filing Date:
06/08/2007
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
248/246
International Classes:
A47G29/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MCKINNON, TERRELL L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HAUG PARTNERS LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A bracket for securing a shelf to a frame, comprising: a body portion having an opening to receive a first segment of a U-shaped shelf support member, a body channel on a surface to receive a second segment of the U-shaped shelf support member, wherein, when the bracket is mounted on the frame, the opening and the channel are aligned substantially parallel to a vertical axis of the frame.

2. The bracket of claim 1, wherein in the opening extends completely through the body portion.

3. The bracket of claim 1, comprising a flange portion for mounting to the frame.

4. The bracket of claim 3, wherein the flange portion has at least one mounting hole to enable mounting of the bracket to the frame.

5. The bracket of claim 3, comprising: a bracket washer having an aperture to receive the body portion and a bracket washer channel on a surface to receive the first segment of the U-shaped shelf support member, wherein the body portion is sized to pass through a bracket hole in the frame but the flange portion precludes the entire bracket from passing through the bracket hole.

6. The bracket of claim 2, comprising: a plurality of bracket washers each having an aperture to receive the body portion and a bracket washer channel on a surface to receive the first segment of a respective U-shaped shelf support member, wherein the body portion has two openings, each opening to receive a respective first segment of the U-shaped shelf support member, and two body channels on opposing surfaces of the body portion, each body channel to receive a respective second segment of the U-shaped shelf support member.

7. A shelving system, comprising: a frame member having one or more mounting holes along a vertical length; a shelf having a U-shaped shelf support member; a bracket mountable to the mounting holes, each bracket having a body portion with an opening to receive a first segment of the U-shaped shelf support member and a body channel on a surface to receive a second segment of the U-shaped shelf support member, wherein, when the bracket is mounted to the frame, the opening and the channel are aligned substantially parallel to a vertical axis of the frame.

8. The system of claim 7, wherein the bracket has a flange portion for mounting to the frame.

9. The system of claim 8, wherein the flange portion has at least one mounting hole to enable mounting of the bracket to the frame.

10. The system of claim 8, comprising: a bracket washer having an aperture to receive the body portion and a bracket washer channel on a surface to receive the first segment of the U-shaped shelf support member, wherein the body portion is sized to pass through a bracket hole in the frame but the flange portion precludes the entire bracket from passing through the bracket hole.

11. The system of claim 7, comprising: a plurality of bracket washers each having an aperture to receive the body portion and a bracket washer channel on a surface to receive the first segment of a respective U-shaped shelf support member, wherein the body portion has two openings, each opening to receive a respective first segment of the U-shaped shelf support member, and two body channels on opposing surfaces of the body portion, each body channel to receive a respective second segment of the U-shaped shelf support member.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a mounting bracket and, more particularly to a bracket for mounting a shelf to a frame.

2. Description of Related Art

When assembling racks, such as for shoes or shelving, frame pieces are often connected with screws to shelving components. However, using screws to assemble the frame and shelving requires the user to perform complicated assembly operations. The use of screws also implies the need for tools, such as a screwdriver.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

In one aspect, a bracket for securing a shelf to a frame includes a body portion having an opening to receive a first segment of a U-shaped shelf support member and a body channel on a surface to receive a second segment of the U-shaped shelf support member. When the bracket is mounted on the frame, the opening and the channel are aligned substantially parallel to a vertical axis of the frame.

In one embodiment, the bracket also includes a bracket washer having an aperture to receive the body portion and a bracket washer channel on a surface to receive the first segment of the U-shaped shelf support member. The body portion is sized to pass through a bracket hole in the frame but the flange portion precludes the entire bracket from passing through the bracket hole.

In another embodiment, the bracket includes a plurality of bracket washers each having an aperture to receive the body portion and a bracket washer channel on a surface to receive the first segment of a respective U-shaped shelf support member. The body portion has two openings, each opening to receive a respective first segment of the U-shaped shelf support member, and two body channels on opposing surfaces of the body portion, each body channel to receive a respective second segment of the U-shaped shelf support member.

Also disclosed is a shelving system that includes a frame member having one or more mounting holes along a vertical length and a shelf having a U-shaped shelf support member. The shelving system includes a bracket mountable to the mounting holes, each bracket having a body portion with an opening to receive a first segment of the U-shaped shelf support member and a body channel on a surface to receive a second segment of the U-shaped shelf support member. When the bracket is mounted to the frame, the opening and the channel are aligned substantially parallel to a vertical axis of the frame.

In an embodiment of the shelving system, the bracket has a flange portion for mounting to the frame. In another embodiment, the flange portion has at least one mounting hole to enable mounting of the bracket to the frame.

In another embodiment, the shelving system includes a bracket washer having an aperture to receive the body portion and a bracket washer channel on a surface to receive the first segment of the U-shaped shelf support member. The body portion is sized to pass through a bracket hole in the frame but the flange portion precludes the entire bracket from passing through the bracket hole.

In another embodiment, the shelving system includes a plurality of bracket washers each having an aperture to receive the body portion and a bracket washer channel on a surface to receive the first segment of a respective U-shaped shelf support member. The body portion has two openings, each opening to receive a respective first segment of the U-shaped shelf support member, and two body channels on opposing surfaces of the body portion, each body channel to receive a respective second segment of the U-shaped shelf support member.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of a shelf bracket according to the present disclosure in a typical installation;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of a shelf bracket according to the present disclosure; and

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a third embodiment of a shelf bracket according to the present disclosure

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The bracket of the present disclosure can be used to mount a shelf to a frame. The bracket has an opening in a body portion to receive a first segment of a shelf support and a body channel on a surface of the body portion to receive a second segment of a shelf support. The opening and the body channel cooperate to hold the shelf support in a fixed position. In some embodiments, the force of a shelf attached to the shelf support is used to hold the bracket in position to the frame.

FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment of a bracket 100 according to the present disclosure. Bracket 100 has a body portion 110. A flange portion 120 is on a first surface of the body portion 110 and is adapted to mount the bracket 100 to a frame 130. In one embodiment, flange portion 120 has mounting holes 140 to enable mounting of bracket 100 to a surface of frame 130. Alternative mounting arrangements of the flange portion may be provided. Body portion 110 has an opening 150 either partially or completely through the length of body portion 110. A body channel 160 is provided on a second surface of the body portion 110 opposite the flange portion 120.

Bracket 100 can be used to mount a shelf 170, only a portion of which is illustrated in FIG. 1, to the frame 130. In one aspect, bracket 100 may be used to mount a wire shelf to a substantially vertical frame. Shelf 170 can have an inverted U-shaped shelf support 175. Opening 150 is sized to receive a first segment 180 of the U-shaped shelf support 175 and body channel 160 is sized to receive a second segment 185 of the U-shaped shelf support 175. An axis of body channel 160 can be parallel to an axis of opening 150, as illustrated in FIG. 1, or at an angle to the axis of opening 150.

In one shelving system using the bracket 100 of FIG. 1, a right-side bracket is mounted to a right-side frame using the mounting holes in the flange portion. Similarly, a left side bracket is mounted to a left-side frame. The shelf (not shown) has an inverted U-shaped shelf support 175 on each of the right and left sides of the shelf. The first segment of the right-side U-shaped shelf support 180 is positioned in the opening 150 of the right-side bracket and the second segment 185 of the right-side U-shaped shelf support rests in the body channel 160. The opening 150 in the bracket can be sized to provide a friction fit for the U-shaped shelf support. Moreover, the distance between the opening 150 and the body channel 160 is sized so the second segment 185 of the U-shaped shelf support is captive in the body channel 160 when the first segment 180 of the U-shaped shelf support is positioned in the opening 150. The left-side assembly is substantially the same as the right-side assembly. When assembled, the right and left frames are held apart a distance determined by the length of the shelf. Also, the opening in the bracket and the body channel are substantially parallel to the frame. In an embodiment, the body channel is angled with respect to the opening in the bracket and, when mounted to the frame, the opening is substantially parallel to the frame. In this embodiment, the first and second segments of the U-shaped support also are angled with respect to one another.

FIG. 2 illustrates a second embodiment of the disclosure having two pieces: a bracket washer 200b and a main bracket portion 200a. Main bracket portion 200b includes an elongated body portion 210 and flange portion 220 on a first surface thereof. Elongated body portion 210 is sized to pass through a frame mounting hole 280 in a frame 230. Flange portion 220 is sized to preclude the entirety of bracket main portion 200b from passing through the frame mounting hole 280. Body portion 210 has an opening 250 either partially or completely through the length of body portion 210. A body channel 260 is provided on a second surface of the body portion 210 opposite the flange portion 220. Bracket washer 200a includes a bracket washer aperture 240 sized to allow the elongated body portion 210 to pass therethrough. A first surface of bracket washer 200a includes a bracket washer channel 270 having an axis that can align with an axis of the opening 250 in elongated body portion 210.

In one shelving system using the bracket of FIG. 2, a right-side bracket is mounted to a right-side frame 230 by passing the elongated body portion 210 through the mounting hole 280 on one side of the right-side frame so a portion of the elongated body extends beyond the opposite side of the frame. The flange portion 220 can rest on the right-side frame and, because of the size of the flange portion, preclude the entire bracket main portion 200a from passing through frame mounting hole 280. The bracket washer 200b is assembled to the bracket main portion with the first surface having the bracket washer channel 270 facing away from the right-side frame. The elongated body portion 210 that extends beyond the frame mounting hole 280 is passed through the bracket washer aperture 240. Similarly, a left side bracket is mounted to a left-side frame. The shelf, not shown, has an inverted U-shaped shelf support, as illustrated in FIG. 1, on each of the right and left sides of the shelf. The first segment 180 of the right-side U-shaped shelf support is positioned in the opening 250 of the elongated body portion 210 of the right-side bracket and also rests in the bracket washer channel 260. A second segment 185 of the right-side U-shaped shelf support rests in the body channel 260. The opening 250 in the elongated body portion 310 can be sized to provide a friction fit for the U-shaped shelf support. Moreover, the distance between the opening 250 and the body channel 260 is sized so the second segment 185 of the U-shaped shelf support is captive in the body channel 260 when the first segment 180 of the U-shaped shelf support is positioned in the opening. The distance from the axis of the opening 250 to the flange portion 220 can be sized so the bracket washer 200b is pressed against the frame 230 when the U-shaped shelf support 175 is assembled to the bracket main portion 200a. The left-side assembly is substantially the same as the right-side assembly. When assembled, the right and left frames are held apart a distance determined by the length of the shelf. Also, the opening in the bracket and the body channel are substantially parallel to the frame. In an embodiment, the body channel is angled with respect to the opening in the bracket and, when mounted to the frame, the opening is substantially parallel to the frame. In this embodiment, the first and second segments of the U-shaped support also are angled with respect to one another.

FIG. 3 illustrates a third embodiment of the disclosure having three pieces: two bracket washers 300L, 300R and an elongated body portion 310. Elongated body portion 310 is sized to pass through a frame mounting hole 380 in a center frame 330. Body portion 310 has two opening 350L, 350R either partially or completely through the length of elongated body portion 310. Body channels 360L, 360R are provided on respective opposite ends of elongated body portion 310. Bracket washers 300L, 300R include a respective bracket washer aperture 340L, 340R sized to allow the elongated body portion 310 to pass therethrough. A first surface of each bracket washer 300L, 300R includes a respective bracket washer channel 370L, 370R each having an axis that can align with a corresponding axis of opening 350L, 350R in elongated body portion 310.

In one shelving system, the bracket of FIG. 3 can be used to assemble a right shelf (not shown) and a left shelf (not shown) to a center frame between a right-side frame (not shown) and a left-side frame (not shown). The elongated body portion 310 is passed through the mounting hole 380 on the center frame 330 so a portion of the elongated body extends beyond each side of the center frame and one of the two holes 350R, 350L in the elongated body portion is exposed on each side of the center frame 330. Respective bracket washers 300R, 300L are assembled to respective sides of the elongated body portion 310 with the surface of each bracket washer having the bracket washer channel facing away from the center frame. The elongated body portion that extends beyond the frame mounting hole is passed through the respective bracket washer aperture 340R, 340L. Each of the right shelf and left shelf has an inverted U-shaped shelf support, as illustrated in FIG. 1, for assembling the shelf to the bracket. A first segment of the right shelf U-shaped shelf support is positioned in the opening 350R of the elongated body portion 310 that extends through the bracket aperture 340R and also rests in the bracket washer channel 370R. A second segment of the right shelf U-shaped shelf support rests in the body channel 360R. The opening 350R in the elongated body portion 310 can be sized to provide a friction fit for the U-shaped shelf support. Moreover, the distance between the opening 350R and the body channel 360R is sized so the second segment of the right shelf U-shaped shelf support is captive in the body channel when the first segment of the right shelf U-shaped shelf support is positioned in the opening 350R. The left-side assembly is substantially the same as the right-side assembly. The distance between axes of the openings 350R, 350L as well as the distance between respective axis of opening 350R, 350L and corresponding axis of body channel 360R, 360 can be sized so the bracket washers 300R, 300L are pressed against the center frame when the right shelf and left shelf U-shaped shelf supports are assembled to the elongated body portion. When assembled, the openings 350R, 350L in the elongated body portion and the body channels 360L, 260R are substantially parallel to the center frame 330. In an embodiment, the body channel is angled with respect to the opening in the bracket and, when mounted to the frame, the opening is substantially parallel to the frame. In this embodiment, the first and second segments of the U-shaped support also are angled with respect to one another.

Other embodiments of the invention are within the scope of the following claims.