US20120118843A1 - Expandable Interlocking Shelving System - Google Patents

Expandable Interlocking Shelving System Download PDF

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Publication number
US20120118843A1
US20120118843A1 US13/297,839 US201113297839A US2012118843A1 US 20120118843 A1 US20120118843 A1 US 20120118843A1 US 201113297839 A US201113297839 A US 201113297839A US 2012118843 A1 US2012118843 A1 US 2012118843A1
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shelf
vertical supports
plurality
shelving
expansion
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Abandoned
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US13/297,839
Inventor
Charles C. MacLean, III
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Maclean Iii Charles C
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Application filed by Maclean Iii Charles C filed Critical Maclean Iii Charles C
Priority to US13/297,839 priority patent/US20120118843A1/en
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Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47BTABLES; DESKS; OFFICE FURNITURE; CABINETS; DRAWERS; GENERAL DETAILS OF FURNITURE
    • A47B47/00Cabinets, racks or shelf units, characterised by features related to dismountability or building-up from elements
    • A47B47/0075Flat or flat-like panels connected without frames

Abstract

An expandable shelving system that can be assembled without special hardware or tools comprises vertical supports, intermediate shelves, a removable top shelf, a bottom shelf, a rotational assembly attached to the bottom shelf and a base attached to the rotational assembly. Slots along the side of the vertical supports cooperate with slots on the shelves to create an interlocking stable shelving structure. The shelves can rotate to provide access to all sides of the shelving structure. The shelving system can further include expansion vertical supports and expansion anchors to create longer vertical supports. The expansion vertical supports cooperate with the slots on the shelves to create an expanded shelving system.

Description

    CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims the benefit of co-pending provision application No. 61/414,067, filed Nov. 16, 2010.
  • FIELD OF INVENTION
  • This invention relates to shelves. This invention relates particularly to an expandable interlocking shelving system.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Many people have items they wish to store on shelves or organizers. For example, many people have numerous pairs of shoes that clutter valuable floor space. Often a person will organize his or her shoes on shoe stands, racks, or shelves. Additionally, some people may wish to organize on shelves other items, such as sweaters, sheets, towels, cleaning supplies, toiletries, cans or boxes of food, dishes, cookware, garden supplies, automotive supplies, tools, and sports items. While organizers are readily available to the consumer, they typically are made for one specific type of item, are not expandable, and require time, hardware, and tools to assemble.
  • Traditionally, organizers are available for a specific purpose. For example, specialized shoe trees and shoe stands are designed to organize one's shoes. Similarly, sweaters can be organized in specialized sweater bags or sweater boxes, and garden supplies can be organized in specialized garden or potting benches. While dedicated organizers can be very useful for their intended purpose, they may not work as well to organize other items. For example, if a person no longer needs a shoe tree, he cannot repurpose it easily for sweater storage. It would be desirable to have an organizer suitable for many purposes.
  • Another disadvantage to traditional organizers is that they often are not expandable or easily modified. In other words, a consumer cannot add on to or change the existing organizer to create more organizational space. Instead, the consumer must simply buy and build a second or third organizer. It would be desirable to have an organizer capable of expanding or being modified. Moreover, it would be further desirable for the organizer to be expandable without increasing its footprint.
  • Traditional organizers must be assembled by the consumer using tools and special hardware. For example, a typical shelving unit is sold as a kit of shelves, supports, screws and nuts. Depending on the complexity of the shelves, it can take a couple of hours to assemble and may require the use of power tools. It would be desirable to have an organizer that can be assembled without hardware and without needing specialized tools.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention is an expandable shelving system that can be assembled without special hardware or tools. The system comprises three or more vertical supports with two or more slots formed along one side of each vertical support, one or more intermediate shelves with three or more slots formed along each shelf's perimeter, a removable top shelf, and a bottom shelf with three or more slots formed along its perimeter. The shelves can be any shape such as circular, rectangular, square, triangular, octagonal, or a free-form shape. Additionally, the shelving system comprises a rotational assembly attached to the bottom shelf and a base attached to the rotational assembly. The slots along the side of the vertical supports cooperate with the slots on the shelves and bottom shelf to create an interlocking stable shelving structure. The shelves can rotate to provide access to all sides of the shelving structure. The shelving system can further include expansion vertical supports with slots formed along one side of each expansion vertical support. The expansion vertical supports can be attached to the vertical supports with expansion anchors to create longer vertical supports. The expansion vertical supports cooperate with the slots on the shelves to create an expanded shelving system.
  • The expandable shelving system components can be packaged together as a kit comprising vertical supports, shelves, a top shelf, and a base assembly comprising the bottom shelf, rotational assembly, and base. Preferably the base assembly is preassembled. The kit can further include expansion vertical supports, or expansion vertical supports and additional shelves can be available separately. To assemble the shelving system, a consumer first interlocks the lowest slot on a vertical support with a slot on the bottom shelf. Next, the consumer interlocks additional shelves with the same vertical support. Once the shelves are in place, the consumer interlocks the slots of each of the remaining vertical supports with the series of vertically-aligned slots around the perimeter of the shelves and the bottom shelf. After all of the vertical supports are placed, the consumer can expand the shelving system with expansion vertical supports or can connect the top shelf to the top edge of the vertical supports. If the consumer wishes to expand the shelving system, an expansion vertical support is connected to an expansion support with the expansion anchor. Next, shelves are interlocked with the expansion vertical support, and then the remaining expansion vertical supports are interlocked with the newly added shelves and are connected to the existing vertical supports. Finally, the consumer can attach the top or further expand the shelving system. Additionally, the consumer can modify the shelving system by removing, adding, or replacing vertical supports or partially disassemble the shelving system to create storage areas of different sizes or to transport the shelving system.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of the shelving system.
  • FIG. 2 is a side view of the vertical support of the shelving system.
  • FIG. 3 is an alternative side view of the vertical support of the shelving system, presenting the face of the left side of the vertical support of FIG. 2.
  • FIG. 4 is a side view of an alternative embodiment of the vertical support.
  • FIG. 5 is a side view of an expansion vertical support of an expansion system for the shelving system.
  • FIG. 6 is an alternative side view of an expansion vertical support of an expansion system for the shelving system, presenting the face of the left side of the expansion vertical support of FIG. 5.
  • FIG. 7 a is a side view of an alternative expansion anchor for an expansion system for the shelving system.
  • FIG. 7 b is a side perspective view of the alternative expansion anchor for an expansion system for the shelving system.
  • FIG. 8 is top view of the shelving system.
  • FIG. 9 is a partial cutaway view of the lower portion of the shelving system, cut along the dotted line 9-9 in FIG. 8.
  • FIG. 10 is a top view of the shelves of the shelving system.
  • FIG. 11 is a top view of a first alternative embodiment of the shelves of the shelving system.
  • FIG. 12 is a top view of a second alternative embodiment of the shelves of the shelving system.
  • FIG. 13 is a top view of a third alternative embodiment of the shelves of the shelving system.
  • FIG. 14 is a bottom view of the removable top shelf of the shelving system.
  • FIG. 15 is a top view of the removable top shelf of the shelving system.
  • FIG. 16 is a flow chart depicting how to assemble the shelving system.
  • FIG. 17 is a partially-exploded side view of an expansion vertical support attached to a vertical support with a pin through a fastening aperture.
  • FIG. 18 is a partially-exploded side view of an expansion vertical support attached to a vertical support with a bolt and wingnut through a fastening aperture.
  • FIGS. 19A-K show alternative fasteners.
  • FIG. 20 is a partial side view of an alternative embodiment of the removable top shelf of the shelving system.
  • FIG. 21 is a top view of the shelves of the shelving system with an alternative shelf slot arrangement.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • FIG. 1 illustrates the expandable and interlocking shelving system 10 of the present invention. In general, the system comprises three or more vertical supports 14, one or more intermediate shelves 12, a removable top shelf 16, and a bottom shelf 17. Additionally, the shelving system comprises a rotational assembly 18 and a base 19. Each of the intermediate shelves 12 and each of the vertical supports 14 have slots formed into their structure. The top shelf 16 and bottom shelf 17 may also have slots formed into their structure. The vertical supports 14 have support slots 15 that cooperate with shelf slots 13 on the intermediate shelves 12 and bottom shelf 17. The vertical supports 14 interlock with the intermediate shelves 12 and the bottom shelf 17 to create a stable shelving structure. The bottom shelf 17 is further attached to a rotational assembly 18 and base 19. The shelves can rotate due to the rotational assembly 18 to provide access to all sides of the shelving structure.
  • FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate the vertical supports 14 of the shelving system 10. Each vertical support 14 defines two or more support slots 15 to facilitate interlocking with intermediate shelves 12. Each support slot 15 is approximately as tall as the height of intermediate shelves 12 and preferably as deep as one half of the width A of the vertical support. Alternatively, support slots 15 are larger or smaller than one half of the width A of the vertical support 14. For either embodiment, the depth of support slot 15 plus the depth of shelf slot 13 preferably is substantially equal to width A of vertical support 14. Support slots 15 are preferably equally spaced from each other. The upper-most support slot 15 can also be spaced an equal amount from the top edge 14 c of the vertical support 14 or at a larger or smaller distance. Optionally, each vertical support preferably includes one or more seats or anchors 14 a to stabilize the vertical supports 14 when they have been interlocked with other shelves. The anchors 14 a can either be positioned at the top or the bottom of each vertical support 14. FIGS. 2-4 show the anchors 14 a at the bottom edge 14 b of vertical support 14, and FIGS. 17 and 18 show the anchors 14 a at the top edge 14 b of vertical support 14. Preferably anchors 14 a are either permanently adhered or attached to vertical support 14 or are integral with vertical support 14. Alternatively the anchors can be separate pieces that fit together with the vertical supports, like the expansion anchors 61 shown in FIG. 7 b and explained in more detail below.
  • Additionally, the lowest support slot 15 is preferably spaced from the bottom edge 14 b of vertical support 14 an amount approximately equal to the height of the anchor 14 a. In a preferred embodiment, each vertical support is approximately 24 inches tall and 5 inches wide and comprises four support slots 15 spaced approximately 6 inches from each other. Additionally, the upper-most slot is positioned approximately 4 inches from top edge 14 c, and the lowest slot is positioned approximately 2 inches from the bottom edge 14 b. In a preferred embodiment, each slot is approximately 2.5 inches deep. FIG. 4 illustrates an alternative embodiment of vertical supports 14 where support slots 15 are not equally spaced. By including additional slots at various intervals, shelves can be placed at varying heights within the shelving system 10.
  • FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate expansion vertical supports 24 for expanding the size of the shelving system 10. The expansions vertical supports 24 are similar to vertical supports and define two or more expansion slots 25. To expand shelving system 10, intermediate shelves 12 are attached to expansion vertical supports 24 by interlocking shelf slots 13 with expansion slots 25. Expansion vertical supports 24 also can include two expansion anchors 24 a for securing expansion vertical supports 24 on the top of vertical supports 14. Expansion anchors 24 a are positioned so that they extend below the bottom edge 24 b of expansion vertical support 24 as shown in FIG. 6. When expansion vertical support 24 is placed on top of vertical support 14, the bottom edge 24 b of expansion vertical support 24 abuts the top edge 14 c of vertical support 14. Expansion anchors 24 a are either permanently adhered or attached to expansion vertical support 24 or are integral with expansion vertical support 24. Expansion anchors 24 a rest on either side of vertical support 14 and preferably have a friction fit. Expansion anchors 24 a may be, but are not necessarily, permanently attached to vertical support 14.
  • FIGS. 7 a and 7 b illustrate an alternative expansion anchor 60 for expanding the shelving system 10 with expansion vertical supports 24. Expansion anchor 60 comprises two side supports 61 and a center support 62. The two side supports 61 are attached to either other with center support 62 as shown in the figures. The side supports 61 and center support 62 can be integral with each other or permanently adhered or attached to each other as shown. Center support 62 is preferably centered along the height of side supports 61. The side supports are preferably the same width and thickness as vertical supports 14 and expansion vertical supports 24. In a preferred embodiment, the side supports are 5 inches wide and 2.5 inches tall. To connect an expansion vertical support 24 with a vertical support 14, expansion vertical support 24 rests in one side of expansion anchor 60 so that its bottom edge 24 b abuts center support 62, and vertical support 14 rests in the opposite side of expansion anchor 60 so that its top edge 14 c abuts center support 62, as shown in FIG. 7 a. Expansion vertical supports 24 do not include expansion anchors 24 a when used with expansion anchor 60. Expansion anchors 60 rest on either side of vertical support 14, preferably with a friction fit. Expansion anchors 60 may be, but are not necessarily, permanently attached to vertical support 14 or expansion vertical support 24.
  • FIG. 8 illustrates the lower section of shelving system 10 as seen from the top of bottom shelf 17. FIG. 9 is a cutaway view of the lower section of shelving system 10 if it were cut along the dotted line 9-9 of FIG. 8. As shown in FIG. 9, bottom shelf 17 includes a pedestal section 17 a to raise it above rotational assembly 18. The height of the pedestal section 17 a is sized to accommodate the lowest section of each vertical support 14. Pedestal section 17 a can be an integral part of bottom shelf 17 or it can be a separate piece or assembly of pieces adhered, affixed, or attached to bottom shelf 17. As shown in FIGS. 8 and 9 pedestal section 17 a is a series of T-shaped supports arranged around the perimeter of bottom shelf 17 without interfering with slots 13. Alternatively, a series of blocks arranged in a T-shape or alternative arrangement can be used. Bottom shelf 17 and pedestal section 17 a are also adhered, affixed, or attached to rotational assembly 18 such that rotational assembly 18 causes bottom shelf 17 to rotate. Rotational assembly 18 can be any assembly of parts that permit rotation, such as a turntable device with ball thrust bearings, as is known by someone skilled in the art. Preferably the rotational assembly 18 does not extend through shelves, allowing more area for storage. As shown in the figures, rotational assembly comprises an upper support plate 18 a, an upper rotational track 18 b, a plurality of ball bearings 18 c, and a lower rotational track 18 d. Rotational assembly 18 can in turn be permanently or removably attached to a base 19. As shown, base 19 is a solid platform slightly larger in size than the intermediate shelves 12 to provide stability. Base 19 can alternatively be several legs that extend radially from rotational assembly 18. Base 19 can be any shape and can consist of one or more support structures. Base 19 can further include features such as locking wheels or glides. The bottom shelf 17, rotational assembly 18, and base together are referred to as the base assembly.
  • Preferably, rotational assembly 18, base 19, and bottom shelf 17 are concentric to facilitate the shelving system rotating about its central axis. Alternative embodiments, however, include attaching the rotational assembly 18 at locations other than the center of bottom shelf 17. For example, rotational assembly 18 can be located near a corner of a square or rectangular bottom shelf 17 to allow the shelving system 10 to pivot around that corner.
  • Intermediate shelves 12 and bottom shelf 17 can be any geometric shape and any size. For example, the shelves can be square, rectangular, circular, triangular, octagonal, or a free-form shape. Additionally, the shelves can have sharp or rounded corners and edges. FIGS. 10-13 illustrate several embodiments of intermediate shelf 12. Bottom shelf 17 has the same shape as intermediate shelves 12. Around the perimeter of each of intermediate shelves 12 there are three or more shelf slots 13. Shelf slots 13 are sized to interlock with support slots 15 on vertical supports 14 and with expansion slots 25 on expansion vertical supports 24. Each shelf slot 13 is approximately as wide as the thickness of vertical supports 14 and preferably as deep as one half of the width A of the vertical support. Shelf slots 13 can be equally spaced from each other about the perimeter of the shelf. For example, for a circular shelf with eight shelf slots 13 as shown in FIG. 10, each shelf slot 13 extends radially toward the center of the intermediate shelf 12 and is positioned 45 degrees from adjacent shelf slots 13. The slot is preferably 2.5 inches deep to accommodate a vertical support that is five inches wide, and the circular intermediate shelf 12 preferably has a diameter of 24 inches. FIG. 11 illustrates a square intermediate shelf 12 with eight shelf slots 13, and FIG. 12 illustrates an octagonal intermediate shelf 12 with eight shelf slots 13. The number of shelf slots 13 about the perimeter of the intermediate shelves 12 can vary, however at least three shelf slots 13 are preferred for a stable shelving system 10. FIG. 13 illustrates a circular intermediate shelf 12 with three shelf slots 13 equally spaced about the perimeter of the intermediate shelf 12. Alternatively, the shelf slots 13 are not equally spaced from each other around the perimeter, and instead are inequally spaced so that smaller and larger compartments are formed. FIG. 21 shows an alternative shelf slot arrangement. Not all shelf slots 13 are necessarily used when a shelving system is assembled.
  • FIGS. 14-15 illustrate top shelf 16. Top shelf 16 preferably has the same shape as bottom shelf 17 and intermediate shelves 12. FIG. 14 illustrates the bottom surface 50 of top shelf 16. As shown, on the bottom surface 50 around the perimeter of top shelf 16 there are several connectors 51. The connectors secure top shelf 16 to the top edge 14 c of vertical supports 14 or to the top edge 24 c of expansion vertical supports 24. Connectors 51 can be any type of fastener for removably securing an object on top of another object, such as brackets, grooves, clips, or adhesive. In a preferred embodiment, each connector 51 comprises two sections that extend vertically downward from the bottom surface 50, as shown in FIG. 14. Preferably the sections are integral with the top shelf. Each connector is oriented to accommodate a vertical support 14 between the two sections of the connector 51 such that friction maintains the top shelf in place. FIG. 20 illustrates an alternative embodiment of the upper section of shelving system 10. Similar to the bottom shelf 17 and pedestal 17 a as seen in FIG. 9, FIG. 20 shows top shelf 16 and a pedestal section 16 a above an intermediate shelf 12 forming an opening into which vertical supports 14 can be slotted. The height of the pedestal section 16 a is sized to accommodate the uppermost section of each vertical support 14. Pedestal section 16 a can be an integral part of top shelf 16 or it can be a separate piece or assembly of pieces adhered, affixed, or attached to top shelf 16. The upper surface 52 of top shelf 16 can smooth or it can contain further organizational features. For example, it can include recesses for removable trays or for loose items.
  • The vertical supports 14, expansion vertical supports 24, top shelf 16 and pedestal 16 a, bottom shelf 17 and pedestal 17 a, and intermediate shelves 12 are all preferably constructed from the same material. The material can be any substantially rigid material including plastic, for example an acrylic or polycarbonate resinous material, wood, cardboard, particle board, fiberboard, plywood, or foam board. Preferably, the material is a transparent acrylic plastic such as Plexiglas®, so that the shelving unit is transparent and yet structurally sound. Each shelf or support can be made from the plastic or, alternatively, the parts can be made of different materials. For example, the vertical supports 14, top shelf 16, and intermediate shelves 12 may be made of plastic, while shelf 17, base 19, and upper support 18 a of rotational assembly 18 are made substantially of wood or fiberboard.
  • Alternative embodiments of the interlocking shelves include versions where the shelves increase or decrease in size from the bottom shelf 17 to top shelf 16 and where the vertical supports 14 can be angled to accommodate the diminishing or increasing size of the shelves. While the preferred embodiment employs three or more vertical supports, the system can also employ only two vertical supports. A three-support embodiment is typically more stable than a two-support embodiment, but a two-support embodiment may suffice, depending on the number of shelves used, types of materials employed, goods stored within the shelving system, and the location of use.
  • The expandable shelving system components can be packaged together as a kit comprising vertical supports, shelves, a top shelf, and a preassembled base assembly comprising the bottom shelf, rotational assembly, and base. Alternatively, the base assembly can be packaged in the kit in its component parts with out preassembly. The kit can further include removable blocks that can be used to support the shelves when the consumer assembles the shelving system. The blocks are not connected to the system, and instead act as temporary spaces and stabilizers, and are removed once the shelving system is assembled. The blocks are pieces of any material with a height substantially equal to the distance between support slots 15 on the expansion vertical supports 14. The blocks can be comprised of any material that the shelving system is made of or of packing material such as closed-cell extruded polystyrene foam. The kit can further include expansion vertical supports and additional shelves, or the expansion components can be sold as a separate kit.
  • For convenience and easy transport, the unassembled components can be collected and, if desired, bound together. The collection of unassembled components take up far less volume than if assembled, which decreases shipping costs and makes the kit easier to carry and transport. The vertical supports 14 can be stacked in parallel and bound with a detachable. Stacking them and binding them together makes the components easy to carry and transport, for example in the trunk of a car, bed of a pick-up truck, or cargo area of a longer-haul vehicle. The binder can be nearly any binding means, so long as it is detachable from the stack of vertical supports 14 and preferably detachable without tools. For example, the binder may be a band, a box, a bag, a wrap, or adhesive. The binders may be made of metal, plastic, cardboard or paper, elastic or inelastic materials. In the preferred embodiment, there are two binders, each a plastic band that can be slipped off the end of the stack of vertical supports to unbind them. Alternatively, the binder can be cut off or, after being detached from the stack, remain attached to one of the vertical supports. This is useful if the shelving will be disassembled and stored for next season. For further convenience, the shelves can also be bound, similarly to how the vertical supports are bound as described above.
  • FIG. 16 is a flow chart showing how a consumer assembles shelving system 10. First, a consumer places the base assembly on a flat surface. The base assembly comprises the base 19, rotational assembly 18, and bottom shelf 17. If the base assembly is not preassembled (not shown), the components are assembled with the base 19 on a flat surface, onto which rotational assembly 18 and bottom shelf 17 are stacked. Next, the consumer interlocks the lowest support slot 15 on a first vertical support 14 with a shelf slot 13 of bottom shelf 17. Interlocking refers to sliding or mating two opposing slots together. For example, to interlock the vertical support 14 with the bottom shelf, support slot 15 is slid onto bottom shelf 17 at shelf slot 13, and shelf slot 13 is slid onto vertical support 14 at support slot 15. Next, the consumer interlocks shelf slots 13 of a first intermediate shelf 12 into the next lowest support slot 15 of vertical support 14. For ease of installation and stability during assembly, the consumer can place one or more blocks between the intermediate shelf 12 and the shelf below. If there are any more support slots 15 on the first vertical support 14, then the consumer can interlock another shelf if desired. The consumer continues interlocking intermediate shelves 12 until there are no more slots available on the first vertical support 14 or until the consumer has created the desired number of shelves. Then, the consumer interlocks the support slots 15 on the vertical support 14 to a series of vertically aligned shelf slots 13 of intermediate shelves 12 and bottom shelf 17. If there are any more shelf slots 13 around the perimeter of intermediate shelves 12, then the consumer continues interlocking vertical supports 14 as indicated above. At least three vertical supports 14 must be used. When the number of desired vertical supports have been interlocked with the shelves, then the consumer can connect the top shelf 16 to the top edge 14 c of the vertical supports 14.
  • If the consumer wishes to expand the shelving system 10, the consumer removes or simply does not connect the top shelf 16. The consumer then connects a first expansion vertical support 24 to a vertical support 14 with expansion anchor 24 a or 60. Next, the consumer interlocks a shelf slot 13 of an intermediate shelf 12 into the lowest expansion slot 25 of the expansion vertical support 24. The consumer continues interlocking intermediate shelves 12 with expansion vertical support 24 as desired or until there are no more available expansion slots 25 on the expansion vertical support 24. Then, the consumer interlocks the expansion slots 25 on the remaining expansion vertical supports 24 to series of vertically aligned shelf slots 13 of intermediate shelves 12 and bottom shelf 17. When all of the expansion vertical supports 24 have been interlocked with the intermediate shelves 12, then the consumer can connect the top shelf 16 to the top edge 24 c of the expansion vertical supports 24. Alternatively, the consumer can add additional expansions to the shelving system by repeating the above steps.
  • After the shelving system 10 has been assembled, the consumer can alter it to accommodate different sized items or can partially or completely dissemble it for storage of relocation. To alter the shelving system 10, the consumer can slide out one or more vertical supports 14 from the shelving system 10 as long as enough vertical supports 14 remain to maintain stability. This will create larger individual storage compartments. Likewise, a consumer can slide in one or more vertical supports 14 to the shelving system 10. This will create smaller individual storage compartments. The depth of each vertical support can be increased to ensure separation between compartments, and may be so deep as to touch in the center of the device. Preferably however rotational assembly 18 does not extend through shelves, allowing more area for storage.
  • The preferred embodiment of the shelving system is fit together without tools or fasteners, however fasteners of various sorts may be used to further secure the components of the shelving system to each other. Fastening the pieces together may be particularly useful for helping maintain the structural integrity when the device is rotated quickly or with great vigor. For example, FIG. 17 shows a side view of a vertical support 14 attached to an expansion vertical support 24 with anchor 24 a using a peg 72 through a fastener aperture 71. In contrast to FIGS. 5 and 6, FIGS. 17 and 18 show the anchor 24 a integral with the top of the vertical support 14, instead of with the bottom of vertical support 14. FIG. 18 shows a side view of a vertical support 14 attached to an expansion vertical support 24 with anchor 24 a using a bolt 73 b and wingnut 73 a fastened through a fastener aperture 71. Similarly, bottom, top and intermediate shelves can be secured to vertical supports using fasteners in cooperation with fastener apertures, as can the base and rotational assembly. FIG. 19 shows several other types of fasteners that may be used, all available commercially form a retail hardware store. Other types of fasteners may also be used.
  • While there has been illustrated and described what is at present considered to be the preferred embodiment of the present invention, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes and modifications may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the true scope of the invention. Therefore, it is intended that this invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the description, drawings, and their equivalents.

Claims (20)

1. A shelving system comprising:
a. a plurality of vertical supports, each vertical support having two or more support slots formed along one side of each vertical support;
b. one or more intermediate shelves, each intermediate shelf having a plurality of shelf slots formed along each intermediate shelf's perimeter, wherein each intermediate shelf is interlockable to each vertical support by sliding a support slot of one or more vertical supports into a cooperating shelf slot;
c. a removable top shelf attachable to the vertical supports;
d. a bottom shelf with a plurality of shelf slots formed along its perimeter, the bottom shelf attachable to the vertical supports;
e. a rotational assembly attachable to the bottom shelf; and
f. a base attachable to the rotational assembly.
2. The shelving system of claim 1 wherein:
a. the plurality of vertical supports numbers three or more; and
b. the plurality of shelf slots numbers three or more.
3. The shelving system of claim 1 wherein the rotational assembly further comprises:
a. an upper support plate in connection with an upper rotational track; and
b. a plurality of ball bearings separating the upper rotational track from a lower rotational track.
4. The shelving system of claim 1 further comprising:
a. a plurality of expansion vertical supports with one or more slots formed along one side of each expansion vertical support.
5. The shelving system of claim 4 further comprising:
a. a plurality of expansion anchors.
6. The shelving system of claim 4 wherein the vertical supports and expansion anchors each comprise at least one fastener aperture and the shelving system further comprises fasteners.
7. The shelving system of claim 1 further comprising:
a. connectors used to secure the top shelf to the vertical supports.
8. A shelving kit comprising:
a. a plurality of vertical supports with a plurality of slots formed along one side of each vertical support;
b. one or more intermediate shelves with a plurality of slots formed along each shelf's perimeter;
c. a removable top shelf;
d. a bottom shelf with a plurality of slots formed along its perimeter;
e. a rotational assembly;
f. a base; and
g. a binder containing components a-g in an unassembled configuration.
9. The shelving kit of claim 8 further comprising:
a. a plurality of connectors for securing the top shelf to the vertical supports.
10. The shelving kit of claim 8 further comprising:
a. one or more blocks for supporting the vertical supports during shelving system assembly.
11. The shelving kit of claim 8 further comprising:
a. a plurality of expansion vertical supports with one or more slots formed along one side of each expansion vertical support.
12. The shelving kit of claim 11 further comprising:
a. a plurality of expansion anchors.
13. The shelving kit of claim 11 further comprising fasteners.
14. The shelving kit of claim 8 wherein the binder is a box.
15. A shelving kit comprising:
a. a plurality of vertical supports attachable to one or more intermediate shelves;
b. a removable top shelf attachable to the plurality of vertical supports;
c. a bottom shelf attachable to the plurality of vertical supports;
d. a rotational assembly attachable to the bottom shelf;
e. a base attachable to the rotational assembly; and
f. a binder containing components a-g in an unassembled configuration.
16. The shelving kit of claim 15 further comprising:
a. a plurality of connectors for attaching the top shelf to the vertical supports.
17. The shelving kit of claim 15 further comprising:
a. one or more blocks for supporting the vertical supports during shelving system assembly.
18. The shelving kit of claim 15 further comprising:
a. a plurality of expansion vertical supports attachable to the vertical supports.
19. The shelving kit of claim 18 further comprising:
a. a plurality of expansion anchors for attaching the expansion vertical supports to the vertical supports.
20. The shelving kit of claim 15 wherein the vertical supports and expansion anchors each comprise at least one fastener aperture and the shelving system further comprises fasteners.
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US10070720B2 (en) * 2016-10-04 2018-09-11 Jason Currie Variable-support-point span-aligned-grid framing system
US10334967B2 (en) 2016-07-25 2019-07-02 Retail Space Solutions Llc Merchandiser and methods relating to same

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