|Publication number||US3822924 A|
|Publication date||9 Jul 1974|
|Filing date||2 Mar 1973|
|Priority date||2 Mar 1973|
|Publication number||US 3822924 A, US 3822924A, US-A-3822924, US3822924 A, US3822924A|
|Original Assignee||D Lust|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (37), Classifications (11)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent [191 Lust [111 3,822,924 [451 Jul 9,1974
[ MODULAR STORAGE UNIT AND STRUCTURES FORMED THEREFROM David A. Lust, 1829 N. Oakland, Milwaukee, Wis. 53202 22 Filed: Mar. 2, 1973 211 App1.No.:337,313
 US. Cl 312/111, 312/108, 312/263, 312/345, 312/348  Int. Cl A47b 47/00, F16b 12/00  Field of Search 312/7, 108, 111, 140, 257, 312/263, 330; 211/182, 348, 148, 345; 297/440', 108/17 Primary Examiner-Casmir A. Nunberg Attorney, Agent, or FirmJames E. Nilles  ABSTRACT A modular knock-down storage unit,'usable alone or with one or more similar units, comprises rectangular wall members or panels, each bevelled and grooved along certain edges to accommodate removable locking strips which secure adjacent panels together. A
given unit may comprise four, five or six panels. Each panel is provided with several rows of regularly spaced dowel-receiving holes therethrough which are available to support optionally usable long dowels inside the unit between opposite walls thereof which serve as space dividers. The dowel-receiving holes are also available to support optionally usable short dowels outside the unit which serve to secure adjacent units together in horizontal, vertical, back-to-back and other arrangements. Small drawers are provided for insertion in a unit, being slidably supported therein on long dowels.
23 Claims, 18 Drawing Figures PATENTED L 9 74 SHEET u 0F 4 BACKGROUND OF'THE INVENTION formed therefrom. In that patent, each unit comprises top, bottom and side walls joined at mating edges by clip-like securing members, which members also serve to join adjacent units horizontally and vertically into a larger structure. However, in that patent means other than clip-like securing members are required to secure the rear wall in place and no conveniently usable means are provided to further subdivide the storage space in each unit or to enable a wise variety of stacking arrangements of a plurality of units. The following U.S. Pats. show other types of prior art storage units and structures formed therefrom: Stoessel U.S. Pat. No. 3,203,124; Berkowitz U.S. Pat. No. 3,583,780; and Dutmers U.S. Pat; No. 2,962,334. 1
SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION In accordance with the present invention there is provided a modular knock-down storage unit cubical in shape usable alone or in combination with other similar units to provide structures for storing of articles. The unit comprises rectangular panels releasably secured together at adjacent edges by a locking strip to define 'the sides, top, bottom and rear walls of the unit. Each THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an exploded view of a modular storage unit in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the inside surface of one form of panel used in the unit shown in FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a view of a side edge of the panel shown in FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is a plan view of the outside surface of the panel shown in FIGS. 2 and 3;
FIG. 5 is a plan view of the inside surface of another form of panel used in the unit shown in F IG. 1;
FIG. 6 is a view of a side edge of the panel shown in FIG. 5; v
FIG. 7 is a plan view of the outside surface of the panel shown in FIGS. 5 and 6;
FIGS is an isometric view of long and short dowels usable in the unit of FIG. 1;
FIG. 9 is an isometric view of three lengths of locking strips used in the unit of FIG. 1;
FIG. 10 is an enlarged cross section view of a corner formed by two mating panels and their associated locking strips;
FIG. 11 is an isometric view of the unit shown in FIG. 1 with long dowels employed therein;
FIG. 12 is an enlarged cross section view through two units in side-by-side combination;
FIG. 13 is an isometric view of three units secured together;
FIG. 14 is an isometric view of a unit similar to that shown in FIG. 1, but including a front panel;
vention could be fabricated in any desired size but if already assembled or can be sold disassembled in kit form in a small flat package with each kit comprising, I
forexample, at least the minimum essential components for one storage unit, such as the top, bottom, side and rear walls, the necessary locking strips, and several long and short dowels. Accessory devices such as drawers, could also be marketed individually or in sets.
Other features, objects'and advantages of the invention will hereinafter appear. v
FIG. 15 is an isometric view of five units in various configurations secured together;
FIG. 16 is an enlarged cross section view of a unit such as shown in FIG. 1 but having drawers therein;
FIG. 17 is anisometric view of a drawer shown in FIG. 16; and
FIG. 18 is an enlarged cross section view of another means for fastening two units together.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Referring to FIG. 1, there is shown an exploded view of a modular storage unit 10 in accordance with the invention which is generally cubical in form and which is usable, for example, individually in the form shown in FIG. 1, or in the modified forms shown in FIGS. ll, 14 and 16, or in combination with other units as shown in FIGS. l2, l3 and 15.
Storage unit 10, shown in FIG. 1, comprises a top wall member 11, a bottom wall member 12, side wall members 13 and 14, a rear wall member 15 and a plurality of locking strips designated 20, 21A and 20B (and shown to be of different lengths in FIG. 9) for securing adjacent wall members or panels together along their mating edges. It is to be understood that the terms top, bottom, side, rear and front are used herein in connection with the panels and the units for purposes of identification and not by way of limitation. For example, unit 10 shown in FIG. 1 could be rested on any of its sides in use. The wall members l1, l2, l3 and 14 are identical in size and configuration to each other and, as FIGS. 2, 3 and 4 show, each comprises an inner surface 22, an outer surface 23, a flat front edge 24, inwardly bevelled side edges 25 and 26, and an inwardly bevelled rear edge 27. The panels may be fabricated, for example, of wood, metal, plastic, composition material or the like.
The members 11, 12, 13 and 14 are also each provided with locking strip engaging means on outer surface 23 thereof along the side and rear edges thereof. This locking strip engaging means comprises an angularly disposed groove 30 of rectangular cross-sectional configuration, formed by sawing, cutting or molding, lying parallel to an edge of a panel, with a relieved portion 31 between the groove 30 and the panel edge. As FIG. shows, when two panels to be joined mate along their common edges at a 90 angle, the two adjacent relieved portions 31 cooperate to define an arrowshaped projection 32 which is engagable in the groove 33 of an appropriate locking strip 20, 20A, or 208. The locking strips may be fabricated by extrusion from metal or plastic and cut to appropriate length at the factory or by the user. As FIG. 10 best shows, each strip 20, 20A, and 20B comprises two flat outer sides 20C, two inwardly facing angularly disposed spaced apart projections 30, and an inner triangularly shaped channel 27 for receiving the composite projection 32 formed by mating panel edges. It is preferred that the strip be formed during manufacture so that the angle between the outer side 20C is slightly less than 90 so that slight expansion of the strip is necessary during insertion so that it tightly grips the panel edges.
As FIGS. 1, 5, 6 and 7 show, rear wall member or panel is similar to the wall members 11, 12, 13 and 14 hereinbefore described, except that it is inwardly bevelled along all four of its edges, including its edge 34, and is provided on its outer surface 23 with locking strip engaging means, such as grooves 30, along all four edges, and is not provided with the same hole arrange ment as are the members 11, 12, 13 and 14.
Each member 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 is provided with a group of circular holes 35, nine being shown, regularly arranged, for example, in three rows of three holes each, and extending entirely through the wall member. The member 11, 12, 13 and 14 (but not member 15) also each comprise a row of circular holes 38 parallel to and along the front edge thereof and extending entirely through the wall member.
The holes 35 (and holes 38, if desired) are available to support the ends of long dowels, such as dowel 36, shown in FIG. 8, in the interior space in unit 10 between oppositely disposed panels. The long dowels 36 are arranged transversely to one another as shown in one unit in FIGS. 11 and 15 to define several small compartments in which an article such as, for example, a pencil may be supported. The long dowels 36 are arranged in parallel in another unit as shown in FIG. 15 to define compartments in which a flat article such as, for example, an envelope may be supported. The long dowels 36 may also be arranged in parallel as shown in FIG. 16 to serve as drawer supports.
The holes 36 (and holes 38, if desired) are also available to receive short dowels, such as the dowel 42 shown in FIG. 8, which are employed to secure two or more adjacent units 10 together to provide a modular structure comprising two or more units.
The holes along the front edges of the wall members ll, l2, l3 and 14 can be used like the holes 35 to accommodate the long dowels 36 for divider purposes or to accommodate the short dowels 42 for joining adjacent units. However, an additional function of the holes 38 in the side wall members 13 and 14, for example, is to support long dowels designated 36A in FIG. 16, which serve as a support and bearing member for drawers 45, as FIGS. 15, 16, and 17 show. Another additional function of the holes 38 in the side wall members 13 and 14, for example, is to receive short dowels designated 42A in FIG. 16 which serve as drawer slides or guides and engage grooves such as 46 provided in outside surfaces of the sides 52 and 53 of a drawer 45.
As FIGS. 16 and 17 show, each drawer 45 comprises a front panel 50, a rear panel 51, two side panels 52 and 53, and a bottom panel 54. Each drawer may be fabricated of plastic, for example as a unitary member by well-known injection molding techniques, or each could be made of separate wood, plastic, or composition panels suitably secured together as by gluing. The drawerside panels 52 and 53 are of generally rectangular configuration but are cut away or sloped downwardly along the top rear edge thereof, as at 56, so as to expose the top portion of the drawer rear panel 51 and enable it to engage a dowel 36, as shown in FIG. 16, and thereby prevent a partially open drawer from sliding out of unit 10. The outer surface of the drawer side panels 52 and 53 are also provided with grooves 46, hereinbefore referred to, for engaging the guide dowels 42A and thereby facilitate even tracking of a drawer as it is inserted and withdrawn from a unit 10. Drawer front panel is provided with a suitable drawer pull 60, which may take the form of a short dowel such as a dowel 42.
In its most basic form, a unit 10 comprises only four panels, such as 11, 12, 13 and 14. A rear panel 15 may be added, as shown in FIG. 1, and a front panel such as 15 may also be added to provide a complete cube, as shown in FIG. 14. Long dowels 36 may be added for desired uses, as shown in FIGS. 11, 12, 13 and 15, and drawers 45 may be added, as shown in FIGS. 15 and 16.
Units 10 in a desired configuration may be assembled in various combinations. FIG. 12 shows two units 10 in side-by-side relationship secured by short dowels 42 in the holes 35. FIG. 13 shows three units secured together to form an L-shaped module resting in pyramidal position on a flat surface 62. FIG. 15 shows five units secured together. Of course, numerous other combinations are possible.
If larger units 10 are employed and it is desired to secure them together semi-permanently for stability or aesthetic reasons, flat-headed countersunk nut and bolt type fasteners such as 65, shown in FIG. 18, may be employed instead of short dowels 42.
It is to be noted that the design of the locking strips 20, 20A, and 20B and the locking strip engagement means on the panels is such, that the outside surfaces of a strip are flush with the outside surfaces of its associated panels. This provides each unit 10 with a smooth uncluttered appearance and enables flush juxtaposition of adjacent attached units.
1. In a modular storage unit usable individually or in combination with at least one other similar storage unit:
a plurality of wall members defining sides of said unit and having inner surfaces and outer surfaces and mating side edges,
a plurality of dowel holes through each wall membe between said inner and outer surfaces thereof for accommodating first dowels for securing one unit to another unit and for accommodating second space-dividing and supporting dowels between opposite inner wall surfaces within each of said units, some of said dowel holes in opposite wall members in said unit being in registry with each other,
and means for releasably securing adjacent pairs of wall members in said unit together, said means comprising grooves in the outer surface of each wall member, each groove being parallel and adjacent to a mating side edge, and said means further comprising a locking strip flush-mounted with respect to the outer surfaces of its associated wall members and having projections for slidably engaging the adjacent groovesin adjacent pairs of wall members in said unit.
2. A storage unit according to claim 1 wherein each wall member is bevelled along the inner surface at a mating side edge.
3. A storage unit according to claim 2 wherein said dowel holes are arranged in rows.
.4. A storage unit according to claim 2 wherein said bevelled mating side edges of adjacent wall members meet along an interface and wherein the associated grooves slope toward said interface.
5. A storage unit according to claim 4 including a re lieved portion between each groove and an associated side edge and wherein each locking strip comprises flat outer sides which are flush-mounted in their associated relieved portion.
. 6. A storage unit accordingto claim 1 including at least one of said first dowels.
7. A storage unit according to claim 1 including at least one of said second dowels.
8. A storage unit according to claim 1 including at least one of said first and at least one of said second dowels.
9. A storage unit according to claim 8 including at least two of said second dowels disposed in spaced apart relationship in a common plane to define a drawer support and including a drawer slidably mounted on and supported by said second dowels.
10. A storage unit according to claim 9 wherein said drawer comprises side panels having guide slots in the outer sides thereof and wherein said unit comprises at least some of said first dowels for engagement with said guide slots. I
1]. A storage unit according to claim 9 including at least another of said second dowels disposed'above, parallel to and intermediately of said two second dowels to serve as a drawer, and wherein said drawer is slidably mounted between said other second dowel and said two second'dowels and supportable by the latter, said drawer being provided with stop means for engaging said other second dowel when said drawer is-partially withdrawn from said unit and tilted downwardly to prevent said drawer from being withdrawn further.
12. A storage unit according to claim 11 wherein said drawer comprises a rear panel which comprises said stop means.
13. in a'modular storage unit:
a plurality of wall members defining sides of said unit,
each wall member having an inner surface and an outer surface and at least two oppositely disposed wall members each being provided with at least one dowel receiving hole extending therethrough between said surfaces, said dowel hole in one wall member being in registry with that in said opposite wall member, each of said plurality of wall members having a bevelled side edge which mates with a bevelled side edge in an adjoining wall member, each wall member being provided with a locking groove parallel to each bevelled side edge, locking means for releasably securing each adjacent pair of wall members together, said locking means being flush-mounted with respect to its associated wall members and comprising a pair of projections, each projection being releasably engaged with a locking groove in one of said wall members and at least one space dividing dowel having its ends releasably secured in registering dowel holes in oppositely disposed wall members.
14. A'unit according to claim 13 including at least one dowel receiving hole in each of said plurality of wall members, each hole being in registry with a hole in an oppositely disposed wall member.
15. A unit according to claim 14 including a plurality of regularly arranged dowel receiving holes in each wall member.
16. In a modular storage unit:
a plurality of rectangular wall members defining at least four sides of said unit,
each wall member having an inner surface and an outer surface and at least two of said wall members each being provided with at least one dowel receiving hole extending therethrough between said surfaces, said dowel hole in one wall member being in registry with those in an opposite wall member, each wall member having at least two opposite side edges which are bevelled toward said inner surface, each bevelled side edge in one wall member mating with a bevelled side edge in an adjoining wall member, each wall member being provided with at least two locking grooves in its outer surface, each of said grooves being parallel to and spaced from an associated one of said side edges, and a plurality of flush-mounted locking means for releasably securing each adjacent pair of wall members together, each of said locking means comprising a pair of projections, each projection being releasably engaged with a locking groove in one of said wall members. a
17. A unit according to claim 16 including at least one dowel having its ends releasably secured in registering dowel holes in oppositely disposed wall members, said dowel serving as a space divider within said unit.
18. A unit according to claim 16 including at least one dowel receiving hole in each of said wall members, each hole being in registry with a hole in an oppositely disposed wall member.
19. A unit according to claim 11 including a plurality of regularly arranged dowel receiving holes in each wall' member.
20. In a storage structure:
a plurality of modular storage units, each unit comprising a plurality of wall members and means for releasably securing each adjacent pair of wall members in said unit together along their adjacent side edges, said means including grooves in said wall members parallel to said adjacent side edges, said means further comprising a flush-mounted locking strip for each pair of adjacent side edges and slidably engageable with the grooves associated with said pair of adjacent side edges, each wall member having a plurality of dowel holes therethrough, and at least one dowel releasably engaged with dowel holes in adjacent walls of adjacent units to secure adjacent units together.
21. A structure according to claim 20 wherein said storage unit is generally cubical in shape and wherein at least one of said units includes a rear wall member having a plurality of holes therethrough.
22. A structure according to claim 21 further including at least one other dowel releasably engaged with dowel holes in oppositely disposed walls of at least one unit to serve as a space divider or support.
23. In a storage unit:
at least three modular storage units, each unit comprising a plurality of wall members and means for releasably securing each adjacent pair of wall members in said unit together along their adjacent side edges, said means including grooves in said wall members parallel to said adjacent side edges, said means further comprising a flush-mounted locking strip for each pair of adjacent side edges and slidably engageable with the grooves associated with said pair of adjacent side edges, each wall member having a plurality of dowel holes therethrough,
at least one dowel releasably engaged with dowel holes in adjacent walls of two adjacent units and at least one other dowel releasably engaged with dowel holes in adjacent walls of two other adjacent units, the axes of said dowels being disposed transversely to each other.
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|U.S. Classification||312/111, 312/108, 312/330.1, 312/263|
|International Classification||A47B47/00, A47B87/02|
|Cooperative Classification||A47B87/0284, A47B47/0041, A47B87/0276|
|European Classification||A47B47/00H4, A47B87/02D|