US 3644011 A
A cabinet is formed with hinged sidewalls, a removable top and a hinged inner shelf adapted to fold into a thin, compact unit for shipping and storing. The cabinet is readily folded and erected without the use of tools, the top locking in and out of position by means of snap catches.
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United States Patent MacDonald 1 Feb. 22, 1972  COLLAPSIBLE CABINET 795,844 10/1905 Marsh 16/ 135 2,522,210 9/1950 Cohen 312/258 X  Inventor. Kenneth MacDonald, 251 York St., 2,764,462 9/1956 McDonald 312/258 X Cam, 0221 1,559,878 11/1925 Humphreys.... ..312/2e2  Filed: July 20, 1970 3,347,609 10/1967 Mann 312/257 R 3,403,641 10/1968 Baker ..312/263 1 1 pp No.: 56,535 3,458,242 7/1969 Williams ..3l2/258 Primary ExaminerJames T. McCall (C11 ..3l2/258 Ammey M0rse, Altman & Oates A cabinet is formed with hinged sidewalls, a removable top 5 Reerences Cited and a hinged inner shelf adapted to fold into a thin, compact unit for shipping and storing. The cabinet is readily folded and UNITED STATES PATENTS ereeted without the use of tools, the top locking in and out of 2 8 305 0/1957 Jackson 312/258 position by means of snap catches.
933,210 9/1909 Ullom ..312/262 X 3 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures a 56 i 4 m,/ ////y/// PAIENTEDFEB22 1972 3,644,011
KENNETH A. MOCDONALD mdi A T 7' ORA/E Y5 COLLAPSIBLE CABINET BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates generally to cabinets and more particularly is directed to a collapsible cabinet such as used in kitchens, bathrooms and the like.
2. Description of the Prior Art Conventional cabinets of the sort made. foruse in kitchens, bathrooms and the like, usually are fabricated at a factory and shipped as assembled units to a customer for installation. The units come in a variety of sizes andshapes depending upon their particular function. The majority of these units are quite bulky, and as a result not only require an unusually large storage area for warehousing but are relatively expensive to ship. Furthermore, fully erected conventional cabinets of this type present problems for salesmen-calling on potential customers and the consumer since most units cannot fit conveniently in an automobile and are awkward to carry. While cabinets of this type could be shipped fully disassembled, much of the cost saved by shipping and storage is lost in subsequent assembly costs by the customer or his installer. Also, it is impractical for salesmen to demonstrate units of this type if the units must be assembled and disassembled each time a call is made on a potential customer.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide improvements in cabinets of the foregoing type. A further object of this invention is to provide a collapsible cabinet which may be folded into a flat, compact unit to save on storage and shipping costs and yet which may be quickly and easily erected without the use of tools.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention features a collapsible cabinet, comprising a fixed front frame portion, a pair of opposing sidewalls hinged to either side of the frame portion for folding in against the frame portion, an interior shelf port-ion hinged to the lower part of the frame portion and also adapted to fold in against the frame portion, and a detachably connected top portion adapted for locking engagement with the frame and sidewalls when in an erected position. Hinged joints are hidden by shadow lines formed by fabricating the frame portion from thicker stock than the sidewalls. Special hinges also serve as structural components for the frame'portion.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. I is a view in perspective ofa collapsible cabinet made according to the invention,
FIG. 2 is a top plan view. thereof with the counter top removed, 1
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 is a view in perspective showing the cabinet in a folded condition,
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view taken along the lines 5-5 of FIG. 4, and,
FIG. 6 is a view in perspective showing the underside of the counter top.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Referring now to the drawings. the reference character 10 generally indicates a collapsible cabinet which, in the illustrated embodiment, is in the style known in the trade as a vanity. The cabinet is generally organized about a front frame section I2 including a facing panel 14 and a transverse kicker wall panel 25. the panel 14 defining a central opening 16 over which are hinged doors I8 and 20. The frame section also includes rcarwardly extending fixed vertical side panels 22 and 24 extending from top to bottom of the cabinet and to which are hinged the doors I8 and 20. The transverse wall 25 extends between the side panels 22 and 24 and is recessed from taken along the lines 3-3 of the front edge thereof as best shown in FIG. 3 to afford foot clearance.
The side panels 22 and 24 are relatively narrow being on the order of perhaps 3 inches or so and are connected by hinges 26 and 27 to sidewalls 28 and 30. The sidewalls 28 and 30 extend to the rear of the cabinet when the cabinet is fully erected, as in FIG. 1, the dimensions ofeach of the walls being not greater than the width of the facing panel 14 to permit the sidewalls to fold in overlapping relationship as best shown in FIG. 4. In accordance with the invention, the sidewalls 28 and 30 are rectangular in outline and have a thickness somewhat less than the thickness of the side panels 22 and 24 as may be seen in FIG. 2. By forming the walls 28 and 30 from thinner stock, not only is the weight of the overall cabinet reduced but also a shadow line 32 is formed along the hinge line between the frame and the hinged walls. The shadow line effectively obscures the joint where the walls are hinged.
The hinges 26 and 27 each includes a flat leg 34 which is screwed or otherwise secured to the hinged wall and an L- shaped leg 36 which is screwed or otherwise secured to the frame side panels 22 and 24 and also fastened to the facing frame member 14. Typically, two such hinges are provided on each side of the unit one hinge being located at the top while the other is located near the base of the unit. The construction not only provides a firm hinge support for the folding walls but also, by reason of the L-shaped leg, serves as a connecting joint between the facing panel 14, transverse panel 25 and the side frame panels, thereby reducing the parts involved in the structure as well as assembly steps. The combination hinge and joint provides a very rigid and durable structure and one which is of simple, low-cost design.
Detachably mounted to the top of the cabinet when erected, is a counter top 38, typically a square or rectangular panel having a forward overhang and an upwardly projecting rear backsplash 40. Attached to the underside of the counter top 38 are spaced locking devices 42, preferably in the form of a flat backing place 44 screwed or otherwise secured to the counter and formed with a downwardly projecting ear 46. each provided with an indent 48 for snapping engagement with a cooperating socket plate 50 screwed or otherwise fastened to the upper marginal edge of each hinged wall and to the upper marginal edge of the facing panel 14. The socket plate 50 is formed with a central channel or socket 52 having a cooperating detent 54 for snapping engagement with the indent on the ear 46. The locking elements are aligned so that the counter top may be dropped into place when the sidewalls are extended and snapped down into locking position. The top is removed by merely lifting the counter top out of its locking elements.
Hinged to the interior of the cabinet is a bottom wall or shelf 56 which extends from the front to the rear of the cabinet when in its erected position. The shelf 56 is hinged by means of pivot pins 58 extending from opposite edges of the shelf near the front edge thereof and into cooperating sockets formed in the inner face of the side panels 22 and 24 near the lower edge thereof, slightly forward of the transverse wall 26. The shelf is positioned so that when it is in its down position shown in FIG. 3 the front end will bear against the upper edge of the transverse 25 which becomes the load-carrying member in place of the pivot pins 58. The rear portion of the shelf 56 is supported by locking devices 60 similar in construction to the locking devices by which the counter top is secured in position.
The cabinet is collapsed by first lifting off the counter top clear of the cabinet, swinging the shelf 56 upwardly and forwardly in towards the facing panel 14 and then folding first one hinged wall and then the other hinged wall into overlapping relationship in the manner shown in FIG. 4. The overall size of the cabinet is thereby greatly reduced for storage and shipping. The cabinet may be readily erected for either demonstration or installation by merely swinging the sidewalls out, dropping the shelf down into a horizontal position, locking it in place, and then dropping the counter top in place. The locking elements are sufficiently secure that a cabinet may be set up permanently in place without any additional fasteners and without the use of any tools whatsoever unless the cabinet is to be attached to a wall. in practice, the counter and other parts of the cabinet may be covered by laminated plastic material.
Having thus described the invention, what i claim and desire to obtain by Letters Patent of the United States is:
l. A collapsible cabinet, comprising a. a front frame section,
b. said from frame section including a planar facing panel, a fixed recessed transverse panel, a rearwardly extending narrow vertical panel fixed to each side of said facing panel and said transverse panel and defining an opening,
0. at least one door hinged to one of said vertical panels across said opening,
(1. a wall hinged to each side of said frame section and movable from a position substantially parallel to said section to a position perpendicular thereto,
. a shelf pivoted by its edges to said section between said vertical panels along a transverse axis inward of said facing panel and forward of said transverse panel and movable from a position substantially parallel to said section to a position perpendicular thereto and to said walls, said shelf resting along the upper edge of said transverse panel when in a position perpendicular to said section and,
f. a counter top detachably mounted to said section and said walls when in extended positions.
2. A collapsible cabinet according to claim 1 including at least one hinge for each of said walls, said hinge including a pair of legs, one of said legs being flat and fastened to said wall, the other of said legs being formed with a bent portion and fastened to both of said facing panel and said vertical panel.
3. A collapsible cabinet according to claim 1 including locking means fastened to said shelf and each of said walls for locking and supporting one end of said shelf in an extended position and a transverse member between said vertical members and below said shelf for supporting the other end of said shelf.
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