Title:
Adjustable Storage System
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An adjustable storage system provides a space efficient system of storage cabinets. The system includes a rectangular base platform with a pair of primary rails running along the length of the base platform. A plurality of primary storage cabinets is slidably engaged with the primary rails. Each of the primary storage cabinets has a pair of doors on one side and a handle on an adjacent side. A secondary rail running above the primary cabinets and parallel to the primary rails supports a plurality of secondary storage cabinets that are each slidably engaged with the secondary rail via a rolling mechanism. A rotating joint in the rolling mechanism allows the secondary cabinets to be rotated about the vertical axis for greater accessibility. The system can also include a counter top attached to a terminal end of the primary rails via a plurality of support beams.



Inventors:
Flynn, Michael Patrick (Rancho Santa Fe, CA, US)
Application Number:
13/901973
Publication Date:
11/27/2014
Filing Date:
05/24/2013
Assignee:
FLYNN MICHAEL PATRICK
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
312/201
International Classes:
A47B53/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ROHRHOFF, DANIEL J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Michael Patrick Flynn (Rancho Santa Fe, CA, US)
Claims:
1. An adjustable storage system comprising: a rectangular base platform having two opposing longer sides and two opposing shorter sides; a pair of rails attached to, and running along the length of the longer sides of the base platform; a plurality of primary storage cabinets slidably engaged with and resting upon the primary rails, wherein each of said primary storage cabinets has a pair of doors on a front side and a handle on an adjacent outer side; wherein the front side of each primary storage cabinet is parallel to the shorter sides of the platform base.

2. (canceled)

3. An adjustable storage system comprising: a rectangular base platform having two opposing longer sides and two opposing shorter sides; a pair of rails attached to, and running along the length of the longer sides of the base platform; a plurality of primary storage cabinets slidably engaged with and resting upon the primary rails, wherein each of said primary storage cabinets has a pair of doors on a front side and a handle on an adjacent outer side; wherein the front side of each primary storage cabinet is parallel to the shorter sides of the platform base; a counter top rigidly attached to a terminal end of the rails via a plurality of support beams, wherein the plurality of storage cabinets are all movable with respect to the counter top.

4. An adjustable storage system comprising: a rectangular base platform having two opposing longer sides and two opposing shorter sides; a pair of primary rails attached to, and running along the length of the longer sides of the base platform; a plurality of primary storage cabinets slidably engaged with and resting upon the primary rails, wherein each of said primary storage cabinets has a pair of doors on a front side and a handle on an adjacent outer side; wherein the front side of each primary storage cabinet is parallel to the shorter sides of the platform base; a secondary rail running above the primary cabinets and parallel to the primary rails; a plurality of secondary storage cabinets slidably engaged with the secondary rail via a rolling mechanism, the secondary storage cabinets being positioned above the primary storage cabinets, wherein each of said secondary storage cabinets has a pair of doors on a front side and a handle on an adjacent outer side; and wherein the front side of each secondary storage cabinets is parallel to the shorter sides of the platform base.

5. The adjustable storage system of claim 4 wherein the rolling mechanism is comprised of an upper and lower portion that are rotatably connected, thereby allowing the secondary storage cabinets to be rotated about a vertical axis.

6. The adjustable storage system of claim 4 further comprising a counter top attached to a terminal end of the primary rails via a plurality of support beams.

7. An adjustable overhead storage system comprising: an overhead support rail having a lower surface with a channel configured to reversibly receive a plurality of storage cabinets, wherein said support rail is configured to be affixed to a wall or ceiling; a plurality of storage cabinets slidably and reversibly engaged with the rail via a rolling mechanism that is connected with a top surface of each storage cabinet; wherein each of said storage cabinets has a pair of doors on a front side and a handle on an adjacent outer side; wherein the storage cabinets are connected with the support rail such that the front of each storage cabinet faces the back of the adjacent storage cabinet; wherein each storage cabinet is movable with respect to each other storage cabinet and the rail; and wherein storage cabinets can be added or removed from the rail according to the storage capacity needs.

8. The adjustable storage system of claim 7 wherein the rolling mechanism is comprised of an upper and lower portion that are rotatably connected, thereby allowing the secondary storage cabinets to be rotated about a vertical axis.

Description:

RELATED U.S. APPLICATION DATA

This application claims priority to Provisional Application No. 61/655,492, filed Jun. 5, 2012.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to storage cabinet, and in particular, modular storage cabinets.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Residential and commercial garages are commonly used for storage and work spaces. As space is always limited, there is always a desire to conserve space while maximizing the utility of the space. Often, the use of substantial amounts of space for storage precludes the availability of adequate space for work station. Conversely, the creation of work spaces (e.g. work benches) often comes at the cost of decreased storage space. Moreover, conventional storage systems (e.g. cabinets, closets, lockers) are often heavy and fixed, and do not make optimal use of space. Thus, there is a need for a space-efficient apparatus that combines work space and storage space in a versatile manner.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An adjustable storage system provides a space efficient system of storage cabinets. The system includes a rectangular base platform with a pair of primary rails running along the length of the base platform. A plurality of primary storage cabinets is slidably engaged with the primary rails. Each of the primary storage cabinets has a pair of doors on one side and a handle on an adjacent side. A secondary rail running above the primary cabinets and parallel to the primary rails supports a plurality of secondary storage cabinets that are each slidably engaged with the secondary rail via a rolling mechanism. A rotating joint in the rolling mechanism allows the secondary cabinets to be rotated about the vertical axis for greater accessibility. The system can also include a counter top attached to a terminal end of the primary rails via a plurality of support beams. Thus, the system provides a series of primary and secondary storage cabinets that can be moved along rails as needed to access particular cabinets. The ability to stack or nest the cabinets together allow for more efficient use of space because more cabinets can be fit in a space when they are stacked front-to-back instead of side-by-side as is conventional.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of an embodiment of the adjustable storage system having a set of primary storage cabinets and a counter top.

FIG. 2 illustrates a frontal view of the adjustable storage system.

FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of the adjustable storage system with the doors of a middle storage cabinet opened.

FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the adjustable storage system having a set of secondary storage cabinets above the primary storage cabinets.

FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective view of the alternate embodiment of the adjustable storage system with the doors of a middle secondary storage cabinet opened.

FIG. 6 illustrates a perspective view of the adjustable storage system showing the rotation of the secondary storage cabinets via the rolling mechanism.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of an embodiment of the adjustable storage system of the present invention. The cabinet storage system comprises primary cabinets 108-110, primary rails 120, base platform 121, and counter top 130. The primary rail 120 is connected to, and runs along, the edges of the base platform 121. The base platform is a flat, solid structure that is rigid and able to support considerable weight without deformation. For example, the base platform 121 could be made of metal or a hard, heavy-duty polymer. The base platform has two opposing longer sides that are outlined by the primary rails 120, and two opposing shorter sides. The primary storage cabinets are also preferably made of a strong, rigid material such as metal. The primary rail 120 and its body serve as a base on which the cabinets may be moved about. The primary storage cabinets 108-110 are engaged with, and slide along, the primary rails 120. The primary storage cabinets slide over the base platform 121, and there is a small gap or space between the bottom of the primary storage cabinets and the surface of the base platform 121 to prevent contact between the primary storage cabinets and the base platform.

For purposes of reference to assist in describing the invention, the primary storage cabinets have a “front side” and an “outer side.” The front side is designated as the side of the cabinets that contains the doors 113. Thus, as shown in FIG. 1, the front side of the primary storage cabinets 108-110 faces, and is parallel to, the shorter side of base platform 121. The outer side of the cabinets is designated as the side that contains the handles 115 and is perpendicular to the shorter side of base platform 121 (i.e. parallel to the longer side of the base platform 121). As shown in the Figures and description below, the orientation of the cabinets and their mobility, allows for a configuration that allows for greater storage capacity for a given space. This is advantageous for maximizing storage space in residential and commercial garages and similar settings.

Each primary cabinet includes a set of primary cabinet doors 113 which may be opened whenever ample space is available or made available by sliding the cabinets 110 along the primary rail 120 as necessary. The cabinet doors 113 may be opened with the primary door handle 112. The counter top 130 (also referred to herein as “work bench 130”) is attached to the a terminal end of the primary rail 120 via the support legs 131. Because the base platform 121 and primary rails 120 are connected, the counter top 130 is actually attached to the assembly of the base platform 121 and the primary rails 120. The counter top 130 is further supported by support beam 132, which extends from the base of the support leg 131 and the base platform 121. The counter top 130 may be utilized as a storage space or as a work bench. When used as a storage space, items can be stored on top of, and beneath, the counter top 130. Because counter top 130 provides an open storage space, the user would have quick and easy access to items stored on top of or beneath it. Moreover, the counter top 130 could be used as storage as well as a work bench by storing items beneath the counter top and leaving the surface of the counter top open as a work space. Thus, counter top 130 serves a dual purpose.

The sliding or movement of each cabinet is achieved by exerting a force (i.e. pushing or pulling) on the vertical sliding handles 115 attached to the side of each cabinet 108-110, in order to move the cabinet in the desired direction along the primary rail 120. As the cabinets 110 are moved along the primary rail 120, portions of the rail body 121 become exposed, such as the open area on the left side of base platform 121. As shown, the three primary cabinets 108-110 are nested or stacked together on one end (i.e. the right side) of the primary rail 120. This configuration provides an open area on base platform 121, i.e. between the counter top 130 and storage cabinet 110. This space can be used to store additional materials, particularly materials for which quick and easy access is desired. The space can also be used and a standing area for additional access to the counter top 130, which may be advantageous when using countertop 130 as a work station. In particular, this space allows multiple people to simultaneously utilize the counter top 130. Finally, the open space could be preserved (i.e. left empty) in order to allow easy access to the contents of primary storage cabinet 110.

FIG. 2 illustrates a frontal view of the cabinet storage system, wherein one primary cabinet (i.e. the leftmost primary cabinet 210) has been moved to the left along the primary rails 220, away from the other two primary cabinets 209 and 208. The movement of primary cabinet 210 is indicated by motion arrow 200 and is facilitated by the use of the sliding handles 215. This creates an open space on base platform 221 that allows access to the middle storage cabinet 209. As shown, this motion exposes an open area on the base platform 221. The user now has the ability to access the cabinet doors 213 of the middle cabinet which immediately faces the newly open area on base platform 221. The user could also utilized the open space on base platform 321 for additional storage.

FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view showing the opening of the doors 313 on primary cabinet 309. A user may access the interior space of the primary cabinet by grasping the cabinet's door handle 312 and pulling the cabinet door 313 open as indicated by the curved motion arrow 301. After accessing the interior space of a cabinet, to add or remove objects, a user may close off that space once again by closing the doors 313. The user can then slide the cabinets into a new configuration as desired by grasping the appropriate sliding handle 315 to move the cabinets along the primary rail 320.

FIG. 4 illustrates of a frontal view of an alternate embodiment of the cabinet storage system having a series of secondary storage cabinets 448-450 (collectively referred to as “secondary storage cabinets”) that are located above the primary cabinets 408-410. The secondary storage cabinets are smaller than, and located directly above, the primary cabinets, and provide additional storage space for smaller items. As with the primary storage cabinets, the secondary storage cabinets are preferably made of a strong, rigid material such as metal. The secondary storage cabinets 448-450 are each movably engaged with the secondary rail 460 via a rolling mechanism 470 that is attached to the top of the secondary storage cabinets 448-450. The rolling mechanisms 470 include rail wheels 471 that allow the rolling mechanism 470 to roll along the inside of the secondary rail 460. Thus, it is the rail wheels 471 of rolling mechanism 470 that are actually in contact with the secondary rail 460. The rolling mechanism 470 contains a swivel joint that allows the top and bottom portions of the rolling mechanism 470 to rotate about one another. This allows the secondary storage cabinets 448-450 to be rotated about the vertical axis as shown in FIG. 6.

The secondary rail 460 is supported at each end by a supporting wall mount 461 that is attached to the wall for structural support and stability. The secondary storage cabinets 448-450 each have a sliding handle 455 that is used to move the respective cabinet alone the secondary rail 460. As indicated by the motion arrow 402, the leftmost secondary storage cabinet 450 has been slid or moved to the far left towards counter top 430 and away from secondary storage cabinets 449 and 448. As with the movement of the primary cabinets 408-410, the remaining secondary storage cabinets remain nested, while a space is formed between them and storage cabinet 450. In this configuration, a user can access secondary storage cabinet 449 as shown in FIG. 5 and also access secondary storage cabinet 450 as shown in FIG. 6.

As with the primary storage cabinets, the secondary storage cabinets have a “front side” and an “outer side.” The front side is designated as the side of the cabinets that contains the doors 453. Thus, as shown in FIG. 4, the front side of secondary storage cabinets 448-450 face, and are parallel to, the shorter side of base platform 421. The outer side of the cabinets is designated as the side that contains the handles 415 and is perpendicular to the shorter side of base platform 421 (i.e. parallel to the longer side of the base platform 421). As shown in FIG. 4, the primary and secondary storage cabinets both face (and are stacked) in the same direction. The ability to stack or nest the cabinets together allows for more efficient use of space because more cabinets can be fit in a space when they are stacked front-to-back instead of side-by-side as with conventional cabinets.

FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective view of the opening of the doors on secondary storage cabinet 549. A user may access the interior space of a secondary storage cabinet 549 by grasping the cabinet's door handle 552 and pulling the doors 553 open as indicated by the curved motion arrows 503. After accessing the interior space of a secondary storage cabinet, a user may close off that space once again by closing the doors. Once this action is completed, a user is free to nest or stack the secondary storage cabinets together using the secondary sliding handles 555 to move one or more of secondary storage cabinets 548-550 along the secondary rail 560. The rolling mechanism 570 comprises a lower portion 574, upper portion 572, and a rotating joint 573. The lower portion of the rolling mechanism 574 is connected with the top surface of the secondary storage cabinet 550. The upper portion of the rolling mechanism 572 is connected with the rail wheels 571. The lower and upper portions of the rolling mechanism are rotatably connected (i.e. rotate about each other) via the rotating joint 573, which thereby allows the secondary storage cabinets to rotate about the vertical axis (i.e. in the horizontal plane) as shown in FIG. 6. At each end of the secondary rail 560, a rail bracket 562 is attached in order to connect the secondary rail 560 to the wall mounts 561. The wall mounts 561 are connected (i.e. bolted or screwed) to the wall, preferably the wall studs. The rail brackets 562 also prevent the rolling mechanisms 570 from sliding out of the secondary rail 560.

FIG. 6 illustrates a perspective view of the adjustable storage system showing the rotation of the secondary storage cabinet 650 about the vertical axis as indicated by the curved motion arrow 604. As described above, the rolling mechanism 670 contains a swivel joint that allows the upper and lower portions of the rolling mechanism 670 to rotate about one another. This allows the secondary storage cabinets 648-450 to be rotated about the vertical axis to provide easier access to the secondary storage cabinets. The rotation of secondary storage cabinet 650 is advantageous because in its current position access to the doors 653 is somewhat hampered by the counter top 630. Also, opening the doors and accessing the cabinet is difficult when the user is not facing the front side of the cabinet. Thus, the ability to rotate the secondary storage cabinets 90 degrees to face the user makes access easier and in some cases may eliminate the need to adjust the position(s) of one or more secondary storage cabinets in order to have easy access.

While there have been described herein what are considered to be preferred and exemplary embodiments of the present invention, other modifications of the invention shall be apparent to those skilled in the art from the teachings herein. For example, the relative dimensions of the device may be altered while keeping within the spirit and teachings of the invention. It is therefore desired to be secured, in the appended claims all such modifications as fall within the spirit and scope of the invention.





 
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