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Publication numberUS1141927 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 8, 1915
Filing dateNov 17, 1911
Priority dateNov 17, 1911
Publication numberUS 1141927 A, US 1141927A, US-A-1141927, US1141927 A, US1141927A
InventorsPeter Boyd, Augustus M Saunders
Original AssigneeNat Tube Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Well-sinking apparatus.
US 1141927 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)




Patented. June 8, 1915.






Patented. June 8, 1915.



I APPLICATION FILED NOV. 17, 1911. LELLQK Patented June 8, 1910.


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1 1,411 927., Patented June 8, 1915.





Specification of Letters Patent.

Patented June a, 1915 To all whom it may concern Be it known that we, PETER BOYD and AUGUSTUS M. SAUNDERS, both citizens of the United States, residing at Pittsburgh and McKeesport, respectively, in the county of Allegheny and State of Pennsylvania, have invented certain new and useful Improvements in Well-Sinking Apparatus, of which the following is a specification.

Our invention relates to the means employed in forming bored wells by what is known as the hydraulic rotary system in which system the well casing is provided with a cutting head or cuttin bit on its lower end and is turned or rotated during its descent into the well as the depth of the opening or hole is increased during the well sinking operations.

Heretofore, with the hydraulic rotary system of sinking both shallow and deep wells, it has been the universal practice to employ a casing which is cylindrical in cross section, a cutting head or drill bit which is slightly larger than the diameter of the casing being attached to the lower end of the lowermost section of the casing. Water, under considerable pressure, is forced into the hollow casing through a swivel head de tachably secured so as to be rotatable on the upper end of the casing while the casing is being turned, and issuing from the lower end of the casing is forced upwardly in the small annular space between the earth wall of the hole and the outer surface of the easing. The stream of water, in rising between the casing and earth wall of the well washes or carries all of the loosenedearth or other material dislodged by the cutting head or bit, upwardly out of the well to the surface. In sinking wells with cylindrical casings which are freely movable lengthwise, the turning mechanism frictionally engages the surfa es of the casing, and the sharp edges of the turning mechanism, having a point or line contact with the "surface of the casing, dig or bite into and cut deep grooves or channels in the casing. The casings, when grooved or scored in this manner, are weakened to such extent as to frequently split or break, which is the cause of frequent delays in the well sinking operations and a source of great expense in removing and replacing the damaged sections of the well casing. It is also necessary with the cylindrical casing used heretofore, to retract the gripping mechanism when engaged by the couplings connecting the ends of the sections of easing on account of the larger diameter of these couplings.

One object of our invention is to provide improved apparatus for forming or sinking such Wells having novel means whereby the clearance or area of the opening between the earth wall and outer surface of the casing is increased, the removal of the earth and finely divided solids from the hole or opening is facilitated and more readily accomplished, while the openings or holes are drilled straighter, liability of breakage or other damage to the wall casing is prevented and overcome and a stronger and more durable construction is provided.

Another object of our invention is to provide a well sinking apparatus having novel means for rotating the casing bythe use of which the casing is positively turned or r0- tated and splitting or other damage to the casing is avoided and overcome, and having novel means whereby the casing is rotated during the intervals the rotating mechanism is in engagement with the connected ends of two adjacent sections of the casing, in the passage lengthwise of the joints or connected ends of the casing sections through the rotating mechanism.

Referring to the accompanying drawings forming part of this specification, Figure 1 is a side elevation of a portion of a drilling rig showing hydraulic rotary well sinking apparatus constructed and arranged for use in drilling wells in accordance with this invention. Fig. 2 is a planshowing, on an construction forming? part of the turning apparatus shown in igs. 1 to 6. Fig. 5 1s a detail plan showing in closed position theconstruction of the hinged jaws forming part of the sliding connection between the casing and the chuck on the turning mechanism. Fig. 6 is a plan showing the apparatus of Fig. 5 in open or disengaged position. Fig. 7 is a sectional elevation showing a modification in the construction of the casing turning mechanism shown in Figs. 1 to 6, as arranged in accordance w1th our invention. Fig. 8 is a plan, the casing being in transverse section and Fig. 9 is a side elevation showing a modification in the; construction of the turning apparatus. Fig. 10 is a similar plan and Fig. 11 is a side elevation showing a further modification 1n the construction and arrangement of the parts forming the casing turning mechanlsm. Fig. 12 is a detail longitudinal section showing one form of coupling for the square casing forming part of this invention. F g. 13 is a transverse section through the oint of the coupling shown in Fig. 12. Figs. 14 to 20 are views similar to Fig. 12 showing modifications in the coupling means employed, inconnecting together the abutting ends of two adjoining casing sections in accordance with our invention. Figs. 21 to 27 are transverse sections similar to Fig. 13 showing further modifications in the construction of the joints or coupling means illustrated in Figs. 14 to 20, as made in accordance with our invention.

In the drawings, referring to Figs. 1, 2 and 3, 2 designates the base plate of the turning mechanism by which the well casing is rotated which is mounted upon suitable timbers forming the sills 3 of a derrick 4. R0- tatably mounted on the base plate 2 is a bevel gear 5 having an annular axially projecting extension on one side forming a hub 6 by which the gear 5 is rotatably mounted in the bearing formed in the base plate 2. This extension or hub 6 is provided at an intermediate point in its length with a peripheral recess 7 and the upper end 8 of the projection is made hexagonalin cross section for a purpose described later. The horizontal upper surface of the base plate 2 has a circular flange 9 which projects upwardly to form a seat for one race" ring 10 of the ball bearing mounted on the base plate 2. A split flange 11 made in halves is bolted together in place with the inner surface defining the bore of in place on thesills 3 of the derrick is a horizontal shaft 15 having on one end a bevel pinion 16, the teeth ofv which are in mesh with the teeth of the bevel gear 5. The outer edge of the gear 5 is arranged to contact with an anti-friction thrust roller 17 which is permanently mounted in the recess for that purposejn the base plate 2 on the pin 18 secured to the base plate 2. The opposite end of the shaft 15 is connected by any desired means to a driving motor (not shown) by which the rotating mechanism forming part ofthe well sinking apparatus is actuated in the well forming operations.

On the upper end of the hub extension 6 of the gear-wheel 5 is a chuck 19 which is divided axially or lengthwise, the two halves of which are hinged together by means of pins 20, one of these pins having a reduced portion 2O by which it is secured in the boss 21 on the top surface of the split ring or flange 11 forming part of the turning mechanism. The hinged sections of the chuck 19 are detachably secured together in operative position on the hub 6 of the gear 5 by means of an eye bolt 22 pivoted to one section of the chuck. The other section of the chuck has flanges 23 forming a slotted opening into which the opposite end of the eye bolt is lo- The hinged sections of the chuck 19 are hollow, the upper portion of the opening thereon, as shown, being rectangular in cross section. The lower portion 19 of the axial opening in the chuck, when in closed position, is hexagonal in cross section and embraces the hexagonal outer end 8 of the hub or extension 6 on the gear 5 whereby the chuck is positively turned or rotated with the gear 5 in the operation of the turning mechanismr Movably secured in the upper portion of the axial opening in the chuck are two plates forming opposing jaws 25, 25, each having a V-shaped recess 26 in one edge thereof. The jaws 25 are of such size as to be freely movable vertically in the chuck 19 when the halves of the chuck are secured together in closed position and the opening formed by the notches 26 in the opposing edges of the jaws 25 is arranged to surround and adapted to engage with the surfaces of and rotate the square casing 27 when the parts are assembled in operative or casing turning position. Eye bolts 25* secured on the jaw plates 25 and extending through slotted openings in the top end of the chuck 19 are employed in lifting the jaw plates from the bottom to the top of the opening or recess in WlllCh they are loosely mounted as is more fully described hereinafter.

In the modification shown in Fig. -7 the clutch on the top of the rotating gear is dispensed with and a hollow sleeve 42 having a rectangular opening therein is secured in the rectangular axial opening in the hub of the gear 5, being held in place by means of a cap screw 43. This construction 1s adapted for use in cases where the diameter of couplings for the square casing is less than or does not greatly exceed the short diameter of the casing such as for example the couping constructions shown by Figs. 15 to 20,

and 22 to 27. The sleeve 42 is made somewhat greater in length than the length of the couplings by which the casing sectlons are connected together, so that the lower end of the upper section of the casing is operatlvely engaged by the surfaces of the recess or opening in the sleeve 12 before the upper end of the adjacent section of casing is entirely clear of the sleeve. I

In the modified form of turning mechanism shown in Figs. 8 and 9, anti-friction rollers 30 are adjustably secured on horizontally extending rods or shafts 29, these shafts being provided with a series of disk washers 28 to permit the anti-friction rollers 30 rotatably mounted thereon to be adjusted axially and brought into operative engagement with opposite side walls of the square casing 27. Disk guides 31 contact with one face of each anti-friction roller 30 to provide means for guiding and holding the casing 27 in position while moving downwardly during the well forming operation. The shafts 29 for the anti-friction rollers 30 are mounted in swivel bearings 32 which in turn are adjustably mounted on the transversely extending screw threaded bars 33, screw threaded nuts 34 having hand wheels 35 thereon being mounted in the swivel bearings on the opposite ends of the transverse threaded bars 33 to permit of sidewise adjustment being made. The transversely extending threaded bars 33 are pivoted intermediate of their ends on pins 33 to the upper face of a bevel gear 37 rotatably mounted upon the base plate 38, and the teeth of a bevel pinion 39 mesh with the teeth of and drive the bevel gear 37. A horizontally extending drive shaft 40 in bearings 41 has the bevel pinion 39 secured on one end thereof the other end of the shaft -10 being connected to a suitable motor or other prime mover (not shown).

In the apparatus shown in Figs. 10 and 11 a modification of the apparatus shown in Figs. 8 and 9 is shown.v The arrangement ofthe bevel gears 37 and 39 on the base plate 2 is the same as in Figs. 8 and 9, and the manner in which the anti-friction rollers are mounted on the bevel gear 37 is-similar. In this construction but one anti-friction roller 44: is used on each side of the axis of the casing, the periphery of these anti-fric tion rollers each having a V-shaped groove or recess 45 therein which engages with two ad acent sides of the square casing 27 in rotating the casing when the turning mechalar "thereon and a screw threaded coupling 46 is employed to connect the abutting ends of the adjoning casing sections. Ihe outer diameter of the cylindrical end portions 27 is approximately the same as the short diameter or width of the rectangular body "of the casing.

In Figs. 15 and 22 the cylindrical end portions 27 are reduced in diameter and are screw threaded to receive the couplings 46, the outside diameter of the couplings being approximately the same as the short diameter or width of the body of the casing sections.

In Figs. 16 and 23 a construction is shown in which a nipple 4.7 is employed to connect the abutting cylindrical end portions 27 of adjoining casing sections and in Figs. 17 and 2d the connecting nipple 47 is the same, the outer surface of the ends 27 of the casing sections being rectangular in cross section, so that the cross section of the easing sections is rectangular for their entire length.

As shown in Figs. .18 and 25 the ends 27 27 of the casing sections are cylindrical and one end 27 of each section is reduced in diameter and externally threaded. The cylindrical opposite end portion 27 of each casing section is provided with internal threads to receive the externally threaded end of the adjacent section so that the coupling is dispensed with.

In Figs. 19 and 26 a construction is shown which is similar to that of Figs. 18 and 25 in having one end 27 of the casing sections threaded internally and in having the opposite end 27 of each section cylindrical and reduced in diameter with external threads thereon, and differs from that of Figs. 18 and 25 in having the outer surface of the one internally threaded end 27 of each section rectangular in cross section, instead of being cylindrical.

In Figs. 20 and '27 the casing sections, when connected together are of the same 45 through the medium of the eye bolts 25 the rectangular cross section throughout. One

' bevel gear 5 is then caused to rotate and.

end 27 of each sectionis increased in thickness and is provided with internal screw threads, the other end of each section havgear, with the jaw. plates 25 operatively'engaging the. lower end of the casing. The

through the chuck and casing engaging jaw plates the casing iscaused to rotate, and as the casing is rotated it descends and gradually enters into the earth as th well is deepened by the cutting action of the cutting head. When the casing .is rotated, water under considerable, pressure is forced through the casing from the opemng or openings in the lower end thereof and is caused to rise between the outside of the casing and the earth wall of the well. As

the Water rises the finely divided solids loosened and broken up by the cutting head or drill bit are washed upwardly to the surface and outof the well in the usual manner. The corners of the square casing act as a reamer upon the earth walls of the drilled hole or opening during the drilling" operation and causes a straighter hole to be formed than when cylindrical casings are employed. As the upper end of the last section of casing to be placed in position reaches a point adjacent to the chuck during its downward'movement, a new section of casing is coupled thereto and after the swivel head is connected to its upper end to supply water thereto, the turning operation is continued. When the adjacent ends of two sections of casing approach or reach the position in the chuck shown in Figs. 1 and 6, the chuck is opened into its disengaged'position as shown in Fig. 4 and jaw plates 25 mounted inthe chuck are lifted to the upper end of the recess in the chuck when the two halves are again closed or moved intothe position shown in Figs. 1, 2 and 5, with the jaw plates 25 above the casing coupling connecting the two adjoining ends of the casing sections. The rotating operation is then continued until the upper end of the last coupled section of casing reaches the position shown in Figs. 1 and 6 and the above described operations are repeated.

I With the construction shown in Fig. 7 the opening in the sleeve 42 permits the casing to move downwardly lengthwise while at all times rotatively engaging with the casing sections, and as the couplings also pass freely through the sleeve and the sleeves are made of a length sufiicient to engage the connected ends of two casing section's, delays in detaching the turningmechanism from one section and connecting it to another section of the casing, are avoided and overcome. Y

With the construction shown in- Figs. 8 and 9, or l0-and 11, the anti-friction-rollers are adjusted by means of the hand wheels on the screw threaded nuts 34 so as to bring the anti-friction rollers 30 or 44-. into turning engagement with the section of the casing 27 then extending between the opposing anti-friction rollers. The mechanism is then rotated through the medium of the drive shaft as has been before described.

As will be seen by reference to Figs. 12 to 27, the cross section of the coupling members is substantially the same as the cross section of the square casing and when these couplings are engaged by theanti-friction rollers on the turning mechanism the antifriction rollers ,do not need to be moved backward so as to become disengaged to such extent as to not positively rotate the casing. The clutch jaws which are detachable when employed, may vary in size to suit casing of different sizes, as will be readily understood. The anti-friction rollers are ad justable on the turning mechanism, and when employed are movable toward each other to operatively engage, with casings of varying sizes. The hollow sleeves of Fig. 7

in cross section the necessity for frictionally turning the casing or rods is avoided and overcome and the formation of grooves and resultant splitting of the casing or drill rods is avoided and overcome. The area of the opening between the earth" wall of the well and the flat sides of the casing is much greater than when a cylindrical casing is employed; The corners of the square casing ream the opening formed by the drill bit and causes the'wells to be straighter than when drilled with a cylindrical casing. By the use of our improved casing turning mechanism the turning mechanism has a surface contact with the casin instead of a line contact, as heretofore, an the positive rotation of the casing and the prevention of slippage is made an absolute certainty.

Modifications in the construction and arrangement of the parts may be made withreamer and casingof polygonal cross-see tion, said chuck having angularly-disposed the alls of the Well during the drilling 10 straight bearing faces for loosely embracing operation.

and rotating the casing by engaging a plu- In testimony whereof, We have hereunto rality of the plane sides thereof with broad set our hands.

bearings against said sides of the polygonal PETER BOYD. tubular casing, and also permitting endwise AUGUSTUS M. SAUNDERS. movement of the polygonal tubular casing Witnesses: through the chuck, the corners of the polyg- M. K. Cos'mn,

onal tubular casing operating as a reamer on C. D. TERRY.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2728555 *Apr 6, 1951Dec 27, 1955Texas Instruments IncPortable drill rigs
US3169586 *Mar 11, 1963Feb 16, 1965Shell Oil CoUnder water well-drilling method
US3891394 *Apr 10, 1974Jun 24, 1975Love Oil Company IncCrystal generator to inhibit scale formation and corrosion in fluid handling systems
US4073352 *Mar 3, 1976Feb 14, 1978Occidental Oil Shale, Inc.Raise bore drilling machine
US4095656 *Mar 3, 1976Jun 20, 1978Occidental Oil Shale, Inc.Raise bore drilling
US7028787 *Dec 30, 2003Apr 18, 2006Weatherford/Lamb, Inc.Tong for wellbore operations
US20040154835 *Dec 30, 2003Aug 12, 2004Weatherford/Lamb, Inc.Tong for wellbore operations
U.S. Classification175/195, 175/406, 464/166, 285/417, 173/148, 285/390, 175/320
Cooperative ClassificationE21B33/085