US 3561715 A
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United States Patent  Inventor Herbert Klein Arlington Heights, 111.
[211 App]. No. 817,642
 Filed Apr. 21, 1969  Patented Feb. 9, 1971  Assignee Unarco Industries Inc.
a corporation of Illinois  SHELF CONSTRUCTION FOR RACKS Primary Examiner-David J. Williamowsky Assistant Examiner-Wayne L. Shedd Attorney-Norman Lettvin ABSTRACT: A removable shelf-mounting clip, for supporting sheets of shelving material on upright posts of a storage rack, is provided as an integral unit shaped to define a post-entering finger and two flanges at right angles to each other. The flanges serve dual purposes of engaging the post to stabilize the clip and to support and maintain a shelf on the clip. The finger and two flanges lie in three planes each of which is perpendicular to the other two planes One flange has a post-engaging edge which is spaced from the plane of the finger by an amount substantially equal to the thickness of the material which forms the post so as to receive the post therebetween when the clip is mounted upon the post.
SHELF CONSTRUCTION FOR RACKS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a shelf attachment for rack shelving units, and more particularly to a removable clip for attaching and supporting shelves to the upright support posts of a rack shelf unit.
One of the objects of the invention is to provide a simple and inexpensive mounting clip for firmly engaging a post a for a so supporting a shelf on the upright post of a storage rack, and which clip is so constructed that it may be easily and quickly positioned upon or removed from the post and positioned in any one of a plurality of desired positions.
Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more clearly understood through a consideration of the following detailed description.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the course of this description, reference will be made to the attached drawing in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of portions of a storage rack having upright support posts and in which the storage shelf is shown supported at its comers by a plurality of post-carried mountings clips constructed in accordance with the principles of my invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the shelf mounting clip shown substantially within circle 2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary, cross sectioned view taken substantially along line 3-3 of FIG. 1, and showing in broken lines the shelf-mounting clip in the process of the being attached to the post;
FIG. 4 is a view taken substantially along line 4-4 of FIG. 3', and
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary view taken substantially along line 5-5 of FIG. 3.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT Portions of a typical storage rack are illustrated in FIG. 1, and generally include four upright supports posts 1, 2, 3 and 4. Each of the posts is preferably formed of sheet metal and is of a generally rectangular cross section. The posts are held in spaced relation to each other by suitable conventional, horizontal braces (not shown). Such braces may take the form of the braces shown in US. Pat. No. 2,815,130, issued Dec. 3, I957. Each post is of a generally channel shape as shown with one side defined by spaced flanges 6 that terminate at reinforcing flanges 8. At least two comers of the post, as shown at opposite longitudinal edges of one side of the rectangular cross section, are formed with a series of longitudinally spaced elongated openings 10.
A plurality of removable mounting clips, generally 12 and 12, are positioned at the four comers of a suitable sheet of planar shelving material 14, such as plywood or the like. Each of the mounting clips 12 and 12 is adapted to be firmly attached to one of the upright posts l4 through one of its openings 10, so s as to be in condition to support a comer of the shelf.
A preferred embodiment of mounting clip 12 is shown in FIG. 2. The mounting clip is a sheet metal part shaped to provide three flat elements that lie in three mutually perpendicular planes. One of the flat elements is an elongated upright finger 16 having a substantially straight longitudinal edge 18 and a beveled longitudinal edge 20, whereby to form a taper from apex 20a toward the upper end of the finger. In addition, the edge 21 at the bottom of the finger tapers downwardly from apex 20a. The second flat element is a vertical flange 22 that is spaced from the straight longitudinal edge 18 by a bend or neck 24 extending from the plane of finger l6 and of a length such that flange 22 substantially engages an edge of slot when the clip is assembled as seen in FIG. 5. The vertical extent of flange 22 is less than the length of finger 16 above apex a, so that the finger may be inserted into a slot 10 without interference from flange 22. The third flat element is a horizontal flange 26 that is bent horizontally from the vertical flange 22 at its lower edge 28. The edge of flange 30 that is closest to finger 16 is apaced from face 31 of the finger 16 by an amount substantially equal to the thickness of the sheet metal of a post 1-4. The apex 20a lies substantially at the midpoint of horizontal flange 26, as best seen in FIG. 3.
The clips 12' are a mirror image of clips 12. so that in supporting a shelf 14, clips 12 are employed with posts I and 4 and clips 12 are employed with posts 2 and 3.
To attach the mounting clip 12 to its upright post 1, the tapered upper end of the mounting finger 16 is first inserted into the desired opening 10 at the height at which it is desired to mount the shelf. The finger 16 is shown being inserted into the opening 10 by the dotand-dash lines of FIG. 3. When the upper end of the linger above flange 22 has been inserted into the interior of the post 1, above the upper edge of slot 10 the remaining portion of finger I6 is then swung inwardly through slot 10 so that it also enters the interior of the post. The beveled edge 21 facilitates such movement through opening 10. Now that the finger has been fully inserted into the post, the mounting clip 12 slides downwardly so that the lower edge of neck 24 comes to rest upon the lower edge of the opening 10, and the sheet material which forms the side 32 of the post is positioned between the face 31 of the finger, and the spaced edge 30 of horizontal flange 26. This dimensional relationship acts to firmly clamp the side 32 of the post between the finger face 31 and the flange edge 30 and prevent wobbling of the clip when the clip has been mounted on the post.
Once the finger 16 has been fully positioned within the opening 10 and moved downwardly, a accidental dislodging of the clip from the post due to rotation of the clip 12 in a counterclockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 3, is prevented by the contact of the lower end of the longitudinal edge 18, that is below neck 24, with the inner surface of the post. In addition, rotation of the clip in either the clockwise or counterclockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 4 is also prevented by the contact of the face 31 of the finger 16 at either its top or bottom end with the inner surface of side 32 of the post and by contact of the edge 30 of flange 26 with the outer surface of side 32 of the post.
The overall length of the finger 16 is greater than the length of the opening 10. Thus, if the clip is accidentally moved upwardly by a slight amount, the finger will span the height of the opening to prevent the accidental falling of the clip from the opening. If the clip and its shelf however are accidentally jarred or moved upwardly by such an amount that the lower end of the finger clears the lower edge of the opening, the clip will remain attached to the post, since the clip can only be removed by also imposing a rotation upon the clip to rotate it back toward the dot-and-dash line position shown in FIG. 3. Such rotation will be substantially prevented when a shelf 14 is supported upon flange 26, since the weight of the shelf will tend to oppose such rotation of the clip.
Once the clips 12 and 12' have been attached to their posts 1, 2, 3 and 4 at their desired height, the corners of the sheet material 14 which forms the shelf are supportably positioned on the horizontal flanges 26 of the clips and the upright flanges 22 serve to prevent lateral movement of the shelf. It will be noted that the weight of the shelf, and in addition the weight of any items which may be stored upon the shelf, actually tend to further securely seat the clips upon their respective posts.
It should be understood that the embodiment of the present invention which has been described is merely illustrative of one application of the principles of the invention. Numerous modifications may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention.
1. A removable clip for supporting a shelf on a storage racks support post which is formed of sheet metal and provided with a plurality of spaced elongated openings therein, said clip comprising, in combination:
a sheet metal part bent to define three flat elements each lying in a plane perpendicular to the other two elements;
one of the elements being an elongated finger adapted to be inserted into the interior of an elongated opening in a rack's support post, said finger having an elongated straight edge adapted to engage the upright inner surface of the post;
the second flat element being a vertical flange portion extending perpendicularly from said straight edge of the elongated finger intermediate the ends of the finger; and
the third flat element being a horizontal flange portion extending perpendicularly from the lower edge of the vertical flange portion and providing a horizontal edge that is parallel to and spaced from the elongated finger by an amount substantially equal to the thickness of the sheet metal of the post.
2. The clip of claim 1 wherein there is a neck of smaller vertical height than the height of the vertical flange which connects the vertical flange to the elongated finger.
3. The clip of claim 1 wherein the length of said finger is greater than the' length of the elongated openings in the post.
4. The clip of claim 1 wherein the'spacing between the upper end of the elongated finger and the upper edge of the vertical flange is greater than the space spacing of the lower edge of the elongated finger from the lower edge of the vertical flange.
5. The clip of claim 1 wherein the horizontal flange is located in aplane that intersects the elongated finger intermediate the ends of the finger and closer to thelower end or the finger, and the edge of the finger oppositesaid straight edge tapering from adjacent said intersection with'the plane of the horizontal flange toward each end of the finger.
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