CA2028075A1 - Toolbox and tray assembly - Google Patents

Toolbox and tray assembly

Info

Publication number
CA2028075A1
CA2028075A1 CA 2028075 CA2028075A CA2028075A1 CA 2028075 A1 CA2028075 A1 CA 2028075A1 CA 2028075 CA2028075 CA 2028075 CA 2028075 A CA2028075 A CA 2028075A CA 2028075 A1 CA2028075 A1 CA 2028075A1
Authority
CA
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
tray
handle
gripping portion
side walls
trays
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
CA 2028075
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Keith Brightbill
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Rubbermaid Inc
Original Assignee
Rubbermaid Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

Links

Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B25HAND TOOLS; PORTABLE POWER-DRIVEN TOOLS; MANIPULATORS
    • B25HWORKSHOP EQUIPMENT, e.g. FOR MARKING-OUT WORK; STORAGE MEANS FOR WORKSHOPS
    • B25H3/00Storage means or arrangements for workshops facilitating access to, or handling of, work tools or instruments
    • B25H3/02Boxes
    • B25H3/021Boxes comprising a number of connected storage elements
    • B25H3/023Boxes comprising a number of connected storage elements movable relative to one another for access to their interiors
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B25HAND TOOLS; PORTABLE POWER-DRIVEN TOOLS; MANIPULATORS
    • B25HWORKSHOP EQUIPMENT, e.g. FOR MARKING-OUT WORK; STORAGE MEANS FOR WORKSHOPS
    • B25H3/00Storage means or arrangements for workshops facilitating access to, or handling of, work tools or instruments
    • B25H3/06Trays

Abstract

ABSTRACT

The subject invention comprises a tool tray having top and bottom surfaces, with side walls extending upwardly from the bottom surface to the top surface. An intermediately disposed handle extends upwardly between the side walls of the tray, and has a horizontal gripping portion and supportive end portions. A profile passageway is also provided to extend through the bottom surface of the tray in commumincation with the hand opening, whereby upon stacking positionment of the bottom surface of one of the trays upon the top surface of a substanially like configured second trays the handle gripping portion of the second tray projects through the profiled passageway of the first tray into close underlying proximity with the handle gripping portion of the first tray. So positioned, the handle gripping portions nest and can be simultaneously lifted from the confines of a toolbox in single handed fashion.

Description

~ 2 ~ 7 t~

TOOLBOX AND TRAY ASSEMBLY

Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to toolboxes of the type having a removable utility tray for transporting tools from the toolbox to a work site; and more specifically to a toolbox havin~
more than one such utility tray.

Toolboxes incorporating a removable utility tray are generally well known in the industry. Typically such boxes are four-sided containers having a pivotally attached lid, and an internally directed ledge for supporting a rectangular tool tray.
The tool tray is generally configured as a four-sided rectangular box, and includes a handle which extends upwardly from the ends of the tool tray. ~he tool tray can be lowered into the toolbox, and is there supported by the internally directed ledge of the box. Various hand tools can be stored within the confines of the tray. A user withdraws the tray by manually lifting up on the handle, and thereupon can carry the tray and its contents to a remote work site.
While the above configuration, known to the industry, works well and has been well accepted, certain shortcomings prevent it from achieving an optimal utility. One shortcoming is that the relatively small storage capacity represented by the tray limits the number of 2S tools whlch can be transported from the toolbox to a work location.
A second shortcoming is that the tray is generally exposed at the top, and therefore tools can fall from the tray in-transit from the l' 2~2~PJ~

toolbox to the work site. Also, because of this risk, small items such as nails or screws cannot be stored in the tray, because of the possibility of their spilling out of the tray enroute to a work site.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
According to the subject invention a four-sided stackable tool tray is provided compris;ng bottom and top surfaces, wlth side and end walls extending upwardly from the bottom surface to the top surface. An intermediately disposed profiled handle extends upwardly be-tween the side walls of the tray, the handle having an upper horizontal gripping portion and supportive end portions. A hand opening is located below the gripping portion, between the handle end portions. A profiled passageway is also provided to extend through the bottom surface of the tray, in communication with the hand opening, whereby upon stacking positionment of the bottom surface of a first tray upon the top surface of a substantially like-configured second tray, the handle gripping portion of the second tray projects through the profiled passageway of the first tray into close underlying proximity with the handle gr;pping portion of the first tray. The handle gripping portions of the top and bottom tray, so positioned, nest and can be simultaneously lifted from the confines of the toolbox in single handed fashion. Furthermore, since the lower tray is completely ccvered by the upper tray in storage as well as in transit, small items contained in the lower tray cannot spill when the upper and lower trays are moved. According to a further aspect oF the present invention, the tray handle gripping portions are configured such that they are offset and define an opening therebetween, whereby admitting a user's fingers for manual separation. Consequently, a user can either lift both trays simultaneously, or alternatively, individually lift the first tray from the second tray by separating the handle portions.
Accordingly, it is an objective of the present invention to provide a toolbox and tray assembly consisting of upper and lower trays which, when nested together, can be plcked up with one hand.
A further objective of the present invention is to provide a toolbox and tray assembly having upper and lower trays which interlock together to prevent the trays from separating while the trays are transported from one location to another.
Yet a further objective of the present invention is to provide a toolbox and tray assembly having stackable trays offering an assortment of storage compartments suitable to receive small items and tools.
Yet a further objective of the present invention is to provide a toolbox and tray assembly having trays which nest by their handles, characterized by an offset in the handle alignment, forming an opening by which a user can readily separate the trays.
Another objective of the present invention is to provide a toolbox and tray assembly comprising stackable trays which can be stored within the confines of a toolbox, and yet can be simultaneously and s~ngle handedly transported to a remote work location.
Yet a further objective of the present lnvention is to provide a toolbox and tray assembly havlng stackable trays which are free standing in the stacked condition, and receivable into toolbox in the stacked conFiguration.

2 ~

Yet a further objective of the present invention is to provide a toolbox and tray assembly which can be readily manufactured out of inexpensive plasticc material and which can be readily assembled by the user.
A further objective of the present invention is to provide a toolbox and tray assembly comprising stackable trays, wherein the upper tray, in addition to functioning as a storage container, also functions as a lid to the underlying tray.
These and other objectives, which w~ll become apparent to one skilled in the art, are achieved by a preferred embodiment which is described in detail below, and which is illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

Fig. 1 is an exploded perspective view of the upper and lower trays comprising the subject invention.
Fig. 2 is an assembled perspective view of the upper and lower trays comprising the subject invention.
Fig. 3 is a transverse sectional assembly v;ew of the stacked upper and lower trays within the confines of a toolbox, configured pursuant to the teachings of the present invention.
Fig. 4 is a partial top plan view of an empty toolbox configured so as to receive upper and lower tool trays configured according to the present invention.
Fig. 5 is a partial top plan view of the toolbox showing the bottom tray in the storage position.
Fig. 6 is a partial top plan view of the toolbox showing the upper tray in its storage pos~tion within the toolbox.

2 ~ 2 ~

Fig. 7 is a longitudinal section view through the subject toolbox and tray assembly, illustrating positionment of the upper and lower trays within the toolbox in the storage position.
DETAILED DESCRlpTION oF_THE PREFERBED EMBODIMENT
Referring initially to Figs. 1 and 3, a first tool tray 2 and a second tool tray 4 are depicted, each being unitarily molded of conventional plastics material. The first tool tray 2 is configured as a substantially rectangular four-sided container, having a top surface 6, a bottom surface 8, and vertical side walls 10 extending upwardly from the bottom surface 8 to the top surface 6. A plurality of storage compartments 12 are fornled within the confines of the -tool tray 2, each separated by divider walls 13. While the compartments 12 are depicted as being longitudinal and parallel9 other compartment configurations may be designed and utilized if so desired.
Parallel end walls 14 enclose the upper tool tray 2, and a downturned lip flange 16 extends the periphery of the side walls 10 and end walls 14, along the upper rim of the tray 2. As shown in Fig. 1, a pair of spaced apart notches 17 extend into the portions of the downturned lip flange 16, extending along end walls 14.
As shown in Figs. 1 and 3, a handle 18 extends upwardly from between side walls 10 and end walls 14. The handle 18 consists of a horizontal gripping portion 20 into which a longitudinal U-shaped groove 22 is formed. End walls 24 support opposite ends of the horizontal gripping portlon 20, and extend upwardly from the bottom surface 8 of the tray to the upper gripp~ng portion 20. As~
shown in Fig. 1, the handle 18 protrudes upwardly beyond the upward 3 r~ ~

surface 6 of the tray 2, in the preferred embodiment. However, if so desired, the height of the handle 18 can be lowered below the top surface ~ of the tray 2, without detrimentally altering the function of the present invention.
The handle 18 is further provided with a downturned edge 26 as best viewed in Fig. 3. It will be appreciated that the downturned edge 26 is radiused along an outward surface for a purpose explained below. Extending upwardly through the bottom surface 8 of tray 2 is a profiled passageway 28. It w~ll be appreciated that the horiiontal grippin~ portion 20 and supportive end walls 24 define a hand opening 29 therebetween. Passageway 28 communicates with hand opening 29 as illustrated in Fig. 1.
The lower tray 4 is configured substantially similar to the upper tray 2. The lower tray 4 is defined by a top surface 30, a bottom surface 32, and side walls 34 extending vertically upward from the bottom surface 32 to the top surface 30. A plural;ty of compartments 36 are defined within the tray 4, separated by dividers 38. Some of the compartments, as shown, have concave bottom surfaces designed for containing small items such as tacks or nails. End walls 40 are provided to enclose the bottom tray 4, and a downturned lip flange 42 extends along the top edge of the end walls 40 and the side walls 34. Recessed into end portions of the lip flange 42 and extending along the end walls 40 are intermediate end recesses 44.
Four corner protrusions 46 extend outwardly from the corners of the tray 4, for a purpose explained below.
As with the upper tray 2, the lower tray 4 has a handle 48 extending upwardly from between side walls 34, defined in part by a 2 0 ~ r7 horizontal gripping portion 50. Horizontal gripping portion 50 is provided with edge flanges 56 which extend upwardly to define a U-shaped groove 52. The hor~zontal grlpping portion 50 ~s supported at its ends by end walls 54 which extend upwardly from the bottom surface 32.
Referring now to Figs. 3 and 4, the trays 2, 4 are intended for receipt within a four-sided toolbox 60, open at the top and having an enclosure lid 62. As best seen in Fig. 4, the empty toolbox has a central chamber 64 extending downwardly from the top, between its slde walls. At both ends of the toolbox 60 are rectangular compartments def;ned by a longitudinal vertical wall 65 and vertical end walls 66. The upper edges of the integrally molded walls 65 and 66 are coplaner. Situated adjacent to the end walls 66 are integrally molded inclined surfaces 67 which extend downwardly at a forty-five degree angle into the chamber 64. Situated at the lower end of surfaces 67, and extending outwardly in horizontal fashion therefrom are U-shaped molded bosses 68.
Use of the subject stacking trays and toolbox will be appreciated from the following. Referr~ng initially to Figs. 3, 4, and 5, the lower tray 4 can be placed within the confines of the central chamber 64 of toolbox 60, whereby corner protrusions 46 of tray 4 are supported by the boss protrusions 68. It w;ll be appreciated from Fig. 5 that the recess 44 enables the lower tray 4 to clear vertical walls 65, 66, whereby reaching the lower confines of chamber 64 and achieving engagement with the bosses 68. So supported, the lower tray 4 is in a horizontal and stationary position at a relatively low level of central chamber 64.

Receipt of the upper tray 2 within the box is illustrated by Fig. 6. As shown, the upper tray is supportedly received into the toolbox 60, as notches 17 in downturned edge flange 16 receive the end walls 66 of the toolbox 60. The upper tray 2 is therefore S supported by the end walls 66 of toolbox 60, and held in a horizontal position within internal chamber 64. The positionment of the upper and lower trays in the stacked and stored positions is illustrated by Figs. 3 and 7.
As will be appreciated, the upper and lower trays 2 and are ;ntended to be stackable. As shown in Figs. 1 and 2, as the trays are brou~ht together, the handle 48 of the lower tray 4 protrudes through the profiled passageway 28 of the upper tray 2 until it nestingly receives the handle 18 of the upper tray 2. The U-shaped transverse sectional profile, of handles 18, 48 facilitate the nesting of the upper handle 18 within the lower handle 48, as illustrated by Fig. 3.
It will be appreciated that the downturned edge 26 of handle 18 is offset from the arcuate lower surface 70 of handle 48, by a gap 72. Penetration of gap 72 by a user's fingers enables the user to separate the handles and lift the top tray independently of the bottom. However, alternatively if so desired, the nesting arrangement between the U-shaped handles 18, 48 facilitates a s;multaneous, single handed lifting of the trays.
As shown i~ Fig. 3, the outer surface of downward l;p flange 26 and the arcuate surface 70 of the lower handle are complementarily radiused and cooperate to form a hand grip, whereby one hand can comfortably grip the two surfaces s;multaneously.

2 ~
Howevert as explained above, the surfaces are separated by gap 72 such that separation of the handles can be easily and readily facilitated if so des;red.
It w;ll be apparent from F;g. 2 that the stack;ng trays can be transported frcm the toolbox storage condition of Fig. 3 to a remote work site. The stacking trays are free standing in the conf;guration shown ;n Fig. 2, as the lower surface 8 of the top tray 2 rests upon the top surface 30 of the lower tray 4. Furthermore, the bottom surface 8 of the top tray 2 entirely encloses the bottom tray 4 such that the contents of the compartments of tray 4 cannot spill out in transit, or mix from one compartment to another.
Resultingly, the upper tray 2 serves a dual function; first as a lid for tray 2, and secondly as an independent storage tray.
Wh;le the above descr;bes a preferred embod;ment of the present invent;on, the scope of the subject ;nvention is not to be so confined. Other embodiments, which will be obvious to those skilled in the art, and which utilize the teachings herein set forth are intended to be within the scope of spirit of the subject disclosure.

Claims (13)

1. A tool tray comprising:
a top and a bottom surface and side walls extending upwardly from said bottom surface to said top surface;
an intermediately disposed profiled handle extending upwardly between said side walls, said handle having an upper gripping portion and supportive end portions, and defining a hand opening below said gripping portion and between said end portions; and a profiled passageway extending through said bottom surface and communicating with said handle hand opening.
2. A tool tray according to Claim 1, said tool tray gripping handle portion having a U-shaped transverse sectional configuration.
3. A tool tray according to Claim 2, said bottom tray surface being substantially planar, whereby said tray being free standing.
4. A tool tray according to Claim 3, said tray being adapted for receipt within side walls of a container, and having peripherally located means for engaging said container side walls, whereby said tray is supported by said container side walls and is freely removable from therebetween by a manual lifting of said tray by said handle.
5. A stackable tool tray comprising:
a bottom and top surface and side walls extending upwardly from said bottom surface to said top surface;
an intermediately disposed profiled handle extending upwardly between said side walls of said tray, said handle having an gripping portion and supportive end portions, and a hand opening located below said gripping portion and between said handle end portions;
a profiled passageway extending through said bottom surface and communicating with said handle hand opening, whereby upon stacking positionment of the bottom surface of a first said tray upon the top said surface of a substantially like-configured second said tray, the handle gripping portion of said second tray projects through said profiled passageway of said first tray into close underlying proximity to said handle gripping portion of said first tray.
6. A tool tray according to Claim 5, said first tray handle gripping portion having downwardly directed means for nesting with complementary means of said second tray handle gripping portion.
7. A tool tray according to Claim 6, said first and second handle gripping portions having respectively sized U-shaped transverse sectional configurations, said first tray handle gripping portion being receivable within said second tray handle gripping portion.
8. A tool tray according to Claim 7, wherein said supportive end portions of said profiled handle diverging outwardly in a downward direction.
9. A tool tray according to Claim 7, wherein said first and second handle gripping portions in said nested condition having offset surface means for defining an opening therebetween, whereby admitting a user's fingers for manual separation of said handle gripping portions.
10. A tool tray according to Claim 5, wherein said bottom tray surface is substantially planar, whereby said first and second
11 trays are free standing in the stacked condition.
11. A tool tray according to Claim 5, wherein said stacked first and second trays being receivable within a storage container, having vertical side walls, and said trays having peripherally located means for engaging said container side walls, whereby said trays are simultaneously or, alternatively, individually removable from said container by a manual lifting of said trays by said handles.
12. A tool tray according to Claim 11, said simultaneous removal of said trays being by a manual lifting of said underlying handle gripping portion of said second tray.
13. A tool tray according to Claim 12, wherein said bottom surface of said first tray substantially covering said second tray in the stacked condition.
CA 2028075 1990-03-13 1990-10-19 Toolbox and tray assembly Abandoned CA2028075A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US49219290 true 1990-03-13 1990-03-13
US07/492,192 1990-03-13

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
CA2028075A1 true true CA2028075A1 (en) 1991-09-14

Family

ID=23955306

Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
CA 2028075 Abandoned CA2028075A1 (en) 1990-03-13 1990-10-19 Toolbox and tray assembly

Country Status (8)

Country Link
BE (1) BE1004270A5 (en)
CA (1) CA2028075A1 (en)
DE (1) DE4106751A1 (en)
DK (1) DK32791D0 (en)
FR (1) FR2659587B1 (en)
GB (1) GB2241940B (en)
LU (1) LU87906A1 (en)
NL (1) NL9100448A (en)

Families Citing this family (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5595228A (en) * 1994-08-12 1997-01-21 Black & Decker Inc. Utility box incorporating an integral clamping vise
DE69508113D1 (en) * 1994-12-21 1999-04-08 Jens Ole Madsen A device for storing tools and accessories to be mounted on the bearing device
DE19500827A1 (en) * 1995-01-13 1996-07-18 Festo Tooltechnic Kg Insert system for serving for the storage of objects container
US6786561B1 (en) * 2004-01-13 2004-09-07 William F. Glenn Tool box

Family Cites Families (7)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US3392874A (en) * 1967-04-11 1968-07-16 Peebles David Meade Container stack with common carrying handle
US3907105A (en) * 1973-12-26 1975-09-23 Tucker Manufacturing Corp Utility case
US4040517A (en) * 1975-12-08 1977-08-09 Scepter Manufacturing Company Limited Stacking case
US4204617A (en) * 1978-03-17 1980-05-27 Kyowa Electric & Chemical Co., Ltd. Two bottle carrier
DE7838774U1 (en) * 1978-12-29 1979-04-12 Mueller Klaus F stackable tray
DE3517308A1 (en) * 1985-05-14 1985-09-26 Daimler Benz Ag Parallelepipedal upwardly open carrying box
US5040681A (en) * 1987-02-26 1991-08-20 Dart Industries Inc. Desk organizer or the like

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
FR2659587B1 (en) 1996-02-09 grant
GB2241940A (en) 1991-09-18 application
NL9100448A (en) 1991-10-01 application
DE4106751A1 (en) 1991-09-19 application
DK32791D0 (en) 1991-02-26 grant
BE1004270A5 (en) 1992-10-20 grant
FR2659587A1 (en) 1991-09-20 application
GB9102178D0 (en) 1991-03-20 grant
GB2241940B (en) 1994-02-09 grant
DK32791A (en) 1991-09-14 application
LU87906A1 (en) 1992-01-15 application

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Legal Events

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EEER Examination request
FZDE Dead