Title:
MULTI-TIERED ROTATING SHELF SYSTEM
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A multi-tiered shelf system is provided. The multi-tiered shelf system includes a base, a lower shelf, an upper shelf and a mast. The base is configured to support the multi-tiered shelf system on a surface. The upper shelf is located a first distance from the surface. The mast extends between the lower shelf and the upper shelf. At least one of the upper and lower shelves is configured to be rotatable relative to the base and configured to separate into a plurality of shelf sections. At least one of the shelf sections is movable to a second distance from the surface.



Inventors:
Naden, Mark C. (New York, NY, US)
Oxley, Nicholas A. (New York, NY, US)
Austern, Inbal P. (Brooklyn, NY, US)
Lee, Alexander T. F. (New York, NY, US)
Vernon, Ryan (New York, NY, US)
Application Number:
12/402149
Publication Date:
09/17/2009
Filing Date:
03/11/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F5/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KRYCINSKI, STANTON L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Seyfarth Shaw LLP (Chicago, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A multi-tiered shelf system comprising: a base configured to support the multi-tiered shelf system on a surface; a lower shelf; an upper shelf located a first distance from the surface; and a mast extending between the lower shelf and the upper shelf; at least one of the upper and lower shelves configured to be rotatable relative to the base and configured to separate into a plurality of shelf sections, at least one of the shelf sections movable to a second distance from the surface.

2. The multi-tiered shelf system of claim 1 wherein the upper shelf is separable into a plurality of shelf sections.

3. The multi-tiered shelf system of claim 2 wherein the upper tier is separable into two halves.

4. The multi-tiered shelf system of claim 1 wherein each of the shelf sections are independently rotatable and vertically adjustable.

5. The multi-tiered shelf system of claim 1 wherein both of the upper and lower shelves are independently rotatable with respect to the surface.

6. The multi-tiered shelf system of claim 1 wherein the relative positions of the upper and lower shelves are releasably secured with respect to one another.

7. The multi-tiered shelf system of claim 1 further comprising at least one cam lock to releasably secure at least one of the shelf sections.

8. A multi-tiered shelf system comprising: a base configured to support the multi-tiered shelf system on a surface; an upper shelf located a first distance from the surface and configured to be separable into a plurality of shelf sections; and a mast extending between the base and the upper shelf, the plurality of shelf sections being operably coupled to the mast to permit at least one of the shelf sections to be vertically and rotationally adjustable about the mast relative to the other shelf sections without removing the at least one shelf section from the mast.

9. The multi-tiered shelf system of claim 8 wherein the upper tier is separable into two halves.

10. The multi-tiered shelf system of claim 8 wherein each of the shelf sections are independently rotatable and vertically adjustable.

11. The multi-tiered shelf system of claim 8 wherein the relative positions of the shelf sections are releasably secured with respect to one another.

12. The multi-tiered shelf system of claim 8 further comprising at least one cam lock to releasably secure at least one of the shelf sections.

13. A multi-tiered shelf system comprising: a base configured to support the multi-tiered shelf system on a surface; a mast having a fixed portion and a movable shaft portion, the movable shaft portion being releasably secured to the fixed portion; a lower shelf operably coupled to the mast; and an upper shelf operably coupled to the mast, at least one of the upper and lower shelves configured to separate into a plurality of shelf sections such that at least one of the shelf sections is movable vertically and rotationally about the mast relative to the other shelf sections.

14. The multi-tiered shelf system of claim 13 wherein the upper shelf is separable into a plurality of shelf sections.

15. The multi-tiered shelf system of claim 14 wherein the upper shelf is separable into two halves.

16. The multi-tiered shelf system of claim 13 wherein each of the shelf sections are independently rotatable and vertically adjustable.

17. The multi-tiered shelf system of claim 13 wherein both of the upper and lower shelves are independently rotatable with respect to the surface.

18. The multi-tiered shelf system of claim 13 wherein the relative positions of the upper and lower shelves are releasably secured with respect to one another.

19. The multi-tiered shelf system of claim 13 further comprising at least one cam lock to releasably secure at least one of the shelf sections.

20. The multi-tiered shelf system of claim 13 wherein the movable shaft portion extends from within the fixed portion.

21. The multi-tiered shelf system of claim 20 further comprising at least one cam lock to releasably secure the movable shaft portion relative to the fixed portion.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 61/069,383 which was filed on Mar. 14, 2008.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to rotating shelf systems, and in more particular applications to multi-tiered rotating shelf systems.

BACKGROUND

Rotating shelf systems, such as lazy susans, have been used to provide quick access to stored items within cabinets and for serving items, such as on a table. Generally, such lazy susans have at least one rotating shelf so that a user can quickly and easily find and retrieve items located on the lazy susan.

In one form, portable lazy susans can be moved from location to location as desired. Furthermore, such lazy susans can be placed within a cabinet without being physically attached to the cabinet. However, the shelves or tiers of such lazy susans are oftentimes located in fixed vertical positions, which can be problematic for taller items, such as for aerosol cans and olive oil containers. Such taller items can be located on a top shelf, but the items may then interfere with the original shelves installed within the cabinets.

Other rotating shelf systems can be installed within a cabinet in a more permanent manner, such as by bolting or otherwise affixing the rotating shelf system to the cabinet. Generally, these systems include shelves which can be positioned at a variety of vertical heights as desired. However, the shelves are generally fixed in position in a permanent or semi-permanent manner such that it can be difficult to quickly and easily adjust the shelves to different vertical positions. For example, the shelves may be held in position using bolts and the like which must be removed to adjust the vertical position of the shelf.

SUMMARY

In one form, a multi-tiered shelf system is provided. The multi-tiered shelf system includes a base, a lower shelf, an upper shelf and a mast. The base is configured to support the multi-tiered shelf system on a surface. The upper shelf is located a first distance from the surface. The mast extends between the lower shelf and the upper shelf. At least one of the upper and lower shelves is configured to be rotatable relative to the base and configured to separate into a plurality of shelf sections. At least one of the shelf sections is movable to a second distance from the surface.

According to one form, a multi-tiered shelf system is provided. The multi-tiered shelf system includes a base, an upper shelf and a mast. The base is configured to support the multi-tiered shelf system on a surface. The upper shelf is located a first distance from the surface and configured to be separable into a plurality of shelf sections. The mast extends between the base and the upper shelf. The plurality of shelf sections are operably coupled to the mast to permit at least one of the shelf sections to be vertically and rotationally adjustable about the mast relative to the other shelf sections without removing the at least one shelf section from the mast.

In accordance with one form, a multi-tiered shelf system is provided. The multi-tiered shelf system includes a base, a mast, a lower shelf and an upper shelf. The base configured to support the multi-tiered shelf system on a surface. The mast has a fixed portion and a movable shaft portion. The movable shaft portion is releasably secured to the fixed portion. The lower shelf is operably coupled to the mast. The upper shelf is operably coupled to the mast. At least one of the upper and lower shelves is configured to separate into a plurality of shelf sections such that at least one of the shelf sections is movable vertically and rotationally about the mast relative to the other shelf sections.

In one form, the upper shelf is separable into a plurality of shelf sections.

According to one form, the upper tier is separable into two halves.

In accordance with one form, each of the shelf sections are independently rotatable and vertically adjustable.

In one form, both of the upper and lower shelves are independently rotatable with respect to the surface.

In accordance with one form, the relative positions of the upper and lower shelves are releasably secured with respect to one another.

According to one form, the multi-tiered shelf system further includes at least one cam lock to releasably secure at least one of the shelf sections.

In one form, the movable shaft portion extends from within the fixed portion.

In accordance with one form, the multi-tiered shelf system further includes at least one cam lock to releasably secure the movable shaft portion relative to the fixed portion.

Other forms are also contemplated as understood by those skilled in the art.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For the purpose of facilitating an understanding of the subject matter sought to be protected, there are illustrated in the accompanying drawings embodiments thereof, from an inspection of which, when considered in connection with the following description, the subject matter sought to be protected, its constructions and operation, and many of its advantages should be readily understood and appreciated.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one form of a multi-tiered rotating shelf system in a configuration having upper shelf sections forming an upper shelf;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the multi-tiered rotating shelf system of FIG. 1 in a different configuration having the upper shelf sections separated forming multiple tiers;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view taken along line 3-3 of the multi-tiered rotating shelf system illustrated in FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a partial cross-sectional view taken along line 4-4 of the multi-tiered rotating shelf system illustrated in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a multi-tiered rotating shelf system located within a cabinet;

FIG. 6 is a top view of a multi-tiered rotating shelf system in a configuration having upper shelf sections separated forming multiple tiers;

FIG. 7 is a top view of a multi-tiered rotating shelf system in a different configuration having upper shelf sections separated forming multiple tiers;

FIG. 8 is a top view of a multi-tiered rotating shelf system in yet another configuration having upper shelf sections separated forming multiple tiers;

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of another form of a multi-tiered rotating shelf system in a configuration having upper shelf sections separated forming multiple tiers;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the multi-tiered rotating shelf system of FIG. 9 in a configuration having upper shelf sections separated forming multiple tiers in one vertical arrangement;

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the multi-tiered rotating shelf system of FIG. 9 in a configuration having upper shelf sections separated forming multiple tiers in another vertical arrangement; and

FIG. 12 is a partial enlarged view of a portion of the shelf sections.

Various figures are presented to further aid one skilled in the art in understanding the various forms of the multi-tiered shelf system. However, the present invention should not be construed to be limited to the forms depicted in the figures and described herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Various forms of multi-tiered shelf systems are illustrated in the figures. For example, one form is illustrated in FIGS. 1-8, while another system is illustrated in FIGS. 9-12. Those skilled in the art should readily appreciate the structures and operation of the systems from the figures and the description herein. Further, it should be noted that while specific structures may be referenced with regard to one or more above embodiments, it should be understood that the structures and operation may be interchanged and included in other embodiments.

Referring to FIG. 1, a multi-tiered shelf system 20 is illustrated. The system 20 includes a base 22, a lower tier or shelf 24, an upper shelf 26 and a post or mast 28 extending between the lower and upper shelves 24,26. The base 22 is configured to support the system 20 on a surface 30, such as on a table or in a cabinet.

The system 20 may be rotatable with respect to the surface 30 and/or the base 22. For example, in one form, the lower shelf 24 and the upper shelf 26 are operably coupled such that if a user were to rotate the lower shelf 24, the upper shelf 26 would also rotate. Alternatively, the lower shelf 24 and the upper shelf 26 can be independently rotatable with respect to the base 22 such that one of the shelves 24,26 could rotate in a first directions while the other shelf could remain in position and/or rotate in the opposite direction.

Similarly, each of the lower and upper shelves 24,26 may be independently vertically adjustable with respect to the base 22. For example, the upper shelf 26 may be vertically adjustable along the mast 28 and/or the mast 28 itself may be vertically adjustable to move the location of the upper shelf 26. The lower shelf 24 may be adjusted vertically in a similar manner. However, in one form, such as shown in FIG. 1, the lower shelf 24 is not vertically adjustable, but instead only the upper shelf 26 is vertically adjustable.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, in one form, the upper shelf 24 is separable into a plurality of shelf sections 32,34. While two shelf sections 32,34 are shown, it should be understood that the system 20 can include more than two shelf sections and that the shelf sections can include larger and smaller shelf sections such that the sizes of each need not be equal. In one form, as shown in FIG. 1, each of the shelf sections 32,34 are approximately equal in size. Additionally, it should be understood that the lower shelf 24 may also be separable into one or more shelf sections. In this regard, while the present application may refer to shelf sections 32,34, which are shelf sections which form the upper shelf 26, the descriptions and functionality described herein are also applicable and should be construed to also cover the lower shelf 24 being configurable into a plurality of shelf sections.

In one form, each of the shelf sections 32,34 includes a bottom wall 36, a side wall 38 and a dividing wall 40. These walls 36, 38, 40 can cooperate to retain items in the shelf sections 32,34 as the system 20 is rotated. Further, the walls 36,38,40 can be integral to form a substantially fluid tight container to hold liquids and other materials that might spill.

As best seen in FIG. 3, the mast 28 extends substantially between the lower shelf 24 and the upper shelf 26. While the mast 28 is shown in FIG. 3 as being connected to the lower shelf 24, it should also be understood that the mast 28 may extend through the lower shelf 24 and be coupled to the base 22. Moreover, the mast 28 may be coupled to the lower shelf 24 and/or the base 22 in a variety of manners as understood by those skilled in the art. For example, referring to FIG. 4, a base 42 of the mast 28 is shown. In this embodiment, the base 42 includes a lower portion 44 having a number of protrusions 46 that extend into and engage slots (not shown) in the lower shelf 24. Further, the slots include one or more retaining beads 48 that each can be used to engage a portion 50 of the protrusion 46 to help couple the mast 28 to the lower shelf 24.

It should be understood that the mast 28 can take a variety of forms. For example, referring to FIG. 1, the mast 28 includes a fixed portion 52, a movable shaft portion 54 and a lock 56. In one form, the lock 56 is located on the fixed portion 52 and is configured to releasably secure the movable shaft portion 54 relative to the fixed portion 52. As best shown in FIG. 3, the movable shaft portion 54 is located at least partly within the fixed portion 52 and is configured to extend therefrom. While the movable shaft portion 54 is illustrated as being slidable within the fixed portion 52, it should also be understood that the movable shaft portion 54 may also be configured to be slidable on an exterior of the fixed portion 52 and further that the lock 56 may be configured to be located on the movable shaft portion 54.

The movable shaft portion 54 may further include additional features, such as stopper 58 and cap 60. The stopper 58 may be located at a lower end 62 of the movable shaft portion 54 to prevent the movable shaft portion 54 from being inadvertently removed from the fixed portion 52. Furthermore, the cap 60 may be located at an upper end 64 of the movable shaft portion 54 to allow the shelves 24,26 and/or shelf sections 32,34 to be coupled to the mast 28. In this regard, the shelves 24,26 and/or shelf sections 32,34 can be assembled by an end user onto the mast 28 to minimize the shipping size for the system 20 and further aid in the cleaning and storage of the system 20 when not in use.

The lock 56 may be any conventional structure understood by those skilled in the art to permit the movable shaft portion 54 to be releasably secured relative to the fixed portion 52. For example, as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the lock 56 is a cam lock 66. The cam lock 66 includes a lever arm 68, a cam surface 70 and a friction pad 72. The lever arm 68 can be used to manipulate the cam lock 66 between a released and an engaged position. The cam lock 66 is illustrated in FIG. 4 in the released position whereby the movable shaft portion 54 is free to move relative to the fixed portion 52. As shown in FIG. 4, the lever arm 68 may be rotated in a counterclockwise direction whereby the cam surface 70 will engage and apply increasing pressure on the friction pad 72. The friction pad 72 will consequently begin to engage and apply pressure to the movable shaft portion 54. Therefore, when in the engaged position, the cam lock 66 will frictionally engage and secure the movable shaft portion 54 such that it will be prevented from moving in either a vertical or rotational direction relative to the cam lock 66. Alternatively, the cam lock 66 can be configured to engage a vertical adjustment lock (not shown) on the movable shaft portion 54 such that when the cam lock 66 is in the engaged position the movable shaft portion 54 is free to move in the rotational direction.

As discussed above, one or both of the lower and upper shelves 24,26 can be configured to be separable into a plurality of shelf sections, such as sections 32,34. However, for the sake of brevity, the use and function of only the sections 32,34 will be discussed. The shelves 24,26 and shelf sections 32,34 may be rotatable and/or vertically adjustable relative to one another. For example, the upper shelf 26 can be rotatable and vertically adjustable relative to the lower shelf 24 and/or base 22. Additionally, the lower shelf 24 may also be rotatable relative to the upper shelf 26 and/or base 22. Furthermore, the shelf sections 32,34 can be rotatable and vertically adjustable relative to one another as well as the lower section 24 and/or base 22.

The shelves 24,26 and/or shelf sections 32,34 can be secured in desired vertical and/or rotational orientations using one or more securing devices. For example, lock 56 may be sued to secure the shelves 24,26 and shelf sections 32,34. Additionally, referring to FIG. 3, shelf section 34 is secured to the movable shaft portion 54 by the cap 60 such that the section 34 is vertically and rotationally movable when the movable shaft portion 54 extends and rotates. As discussed above, the movable shaft portion 54 extends and rotates when the cam lock 66 is in the released position. Similarly, the section 32 can be secured to the movable shaft portion 54 by an additional lock, such as cam lock 76. Cam lock 76 is substantially similar to and functions in the same manner as cam lock 66. In this regard, section 32 can be moved vertically and/or rotationally about the movable shaft portion 54 when the cam lock 76 is in the released position and secured to the movable shaft portion 54 when the cam lock 76 is in the engaged position. Therefore, as seen by this example, the shelf 26 and sections 32,34 can be moved vertically and rotationally with respect to each other, the shelf 24 and the base 22. It should also be understood that the lower shelf 24 may be manipulated in a similar manner.

FIGS. 5-8 illustrate various configurations of the shelves 24,26 and sections 32,34. For example, referring to FIG. 5, it may be desirable to place a tall bottle 88 on the lower shelf 24, one or more medium height bottles 90 on the section 32 and shorter bottles 92 on the section 34. FIGS. 6-8 illustrate other uses where the sections 32,34 are moved vertically and/or rotationally to accommodate various numbers and sizes of bottles. Therefore, the system 20 can include any number of different configurations of the shelves 24,26 and sections 32,34 as desired to accommodate different items.

A further system 100 is illustrated in FIGS. 9-12. In this form, the mast 28 includes the fixed portion 52 and further includes a threaded shaft 102. The threaded shaft 102 threads into the fixed portion 52 to vertically and rotationally adjust the upper shelf 26 and the sections 32,34. Section 32 may be configured to cooperate directly with the threaded shaft 102 and/or cooperate with a further threaded shaft (not shown) to adjust vertically and rotationally. In this form, the mast 28 may or may not include one or more locks 56 to secure the threaded shaft 102. In some forms, the friction between the shaft 102 and the fixed portion 52 is sufficient that the lock 56 is not necessary.

The above systems 20,100 may include additional features and structures. For example, referring to FIGS. 9 and 10, the system 100 further includes securing structure, such as protrusion 104 and slot 106. The protrusion 104 and slot 106 can be configured to cooperate and releasably secure the sections 32,34 together to form the upper shelf 26. Additionally, referring to FIG. 3, the system 20 may include one or more feet 108 to grippingly engage the surface 30. In one form, these feet 108 may be rubber or other polymeric material to increase the friction between the feet 108 and surface 30. Moreover, the system 20,100 may also include ball bearings, bushings and the like to assist in the rotation of the shelves 24,26 and sections 32,34. Other structures and features may also be included as understood by those skilled in the art. It should be understood that the above-described features are structures may be included on either of the systems 20,100.

The shelves 24,26 and sections 32,34 can take a variety of shapes. For example, as illustrated in the figures, the shelves 24,26 are substantially round and the shelf sections 32,34 form arc sections. However, it should be understood that other shapes of the shelf and shelf sections may be utilized, such as, for example, square, rectangular and the like.

The system 20,100 can be made from a variety of materials. For example, the shelves and post can be made from plastic or other materials. Furthermore, the shelves 24,26 and sections 32,34 may include a textured and/or rubber coatings. In this manner, the coating or surface can assist the user in grasping and interacting with the shelves and shelf sections and prevent items from falling off of the shelf or shelf section. It should be understood by those skilled in the art that other materials may also be utilized.

The matter set forth in the foregoing description and accompanying drawings is offered by way of illustration only and not as a limitation. While particular embodiments have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from the broader aspects of applicants' contribution. The actual scope of the protection sought is intended to be defined in the following claims when viewed in their proper perspective based on the prior art.





 
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