US 20080010840 A1
A reciprocating shaft assembly in a reciprocating saw moves in a reciprocal motion and drives a saw blade via a blade holder. At least one bore is formed in an end of the reciprocating shaft assembly opposite the blade holder. A pin fixed to the saw passes through the bore and acts as a bearing to support the reciprocating shaft assembly in its reciprocating motion.
1. A power operated reciprocating tool comprising:
a reciprocating shaft adapted for reciprocal movement along a longitudinal axis, and adapted to support a working tool;
a drive assembly operatively associated with the motor for driving the reciprocating shaft in a reciprocal motion;
a drive housing enclosing at least a portion of the shaft and the drive assembly;
a counterweight positioned at least partially within the drive housing and operatively connected with the drive assembly,
the counterweight including a slide which rides in a slot formed on an inside surface of the drive housing; and
a main body housing including a handle portion,
the main body housing enclosing the drive housing.
2. The power operated reciprocating tool of claim 19, the motor comprising: a motor shaft operatively coupled with the drive assembly, the motor shaft extending through the drive housing.
3. The power operated reciprocating tool of claim 20, wherein the motor shaft extends at least partially through an opening in the counterweight.
4. The power operated reciprocating tool of claim 19, the counterweight slide comprising:
a first tab extending from the periphery of the counterweight.
5. The power operated reciprocating tool of claim 22, the counterweight slide further comprising:
a second tab extending from the periphery of the counterweight in a direction opposite the first tab with respect to an axis of reciprocating motion.
6. The power operated reciprocating tool of claim 19, the drive assembly comprising:
a crank gear having a toothed peripheral wall,
wherein a portion of the counterweight extends around at least a portion of the crank gear peripheral wall
7. The power operated reciprocating tool of claim 19, the counterweight comprising:
at least one surface adjacent to the crank gear which has a radius of curvature substantially corresponding to that of the crank gear.
This application is a divisional of, claims priority to, and incorporates by reference in its entirety, the following U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/871,592, entitled “RECIPROCATING COUNTERWEIGHT STRUCTURE FOR A RECIPROCATING SAW,” filed Jun. 21, 2004, which is a continuation of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/364,472, entitled “BEARING STRUCTURE FOR A RECIPROCATING SHAFT IN A RECIPROCATING SAW,” filed Feb. 12, 2003 (issued as U.S. Pat. No. 6,810,589), which is a divisional of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 09/627,780, entitled “RECIPROCATING SAW HAVING COMPACT CONFIGURATION AND INDEPENDENT STABILITY,” filed Jul. 28, 2000 (issued as U.S. Pat. No. 6,568,089), which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 29/123,137, entitled “BATTERY POWERED RECIPROCATING SAW,” filed May 10, 2000 (abandoned), which is a continuation-in-part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 29/105,953, entitled “BATTERY POWERED RECIPROCATING SAW,” filed Jun. 4, 1999 (abandoned).
This invention relates to the field of power tools and in particular to the field of hand-held reciprocating saws.
Reciprocating saws are often used by tradesmen, such as carpenters, plumbers, and electricians for making rough cuts in wood or other hard materials. Manually sawing these materials would be a difficult and time consuming undertaking. Further, many applications require a saw to be used in a confined area where it would be even more difficult to move a saw blade manually back and forth. Consequently, reciprocating saws relieve the user from having to generate the reciprocating action of the saw blade. The motive force in a reciprocating saw is conventionally provided by a motor instead of by the user. The motor typically drives a drive assembly, which in turn reciprocates a saw blade or other tool.
Known reciprocating saws suffer from several drawbacks. In some known reciprocating saws, the motor, drive assembly, reciprocating shaft and blade are each longitudinally aligned along a common axis, creating a tool having a length at least as long as the combined longitudinal length of the motor, drive assembly and reciprocating shaft. This configuration causes the saw to be longer than necessary, which can render impossible, or at best complicate, some cuts to be performed in a limited space. A long saw is also generally awkward to use and unwieldy, and is difficult to store when not in use. Furthermore, the length of the saw can prevent the saw from balancing and standing upright on a flat surface such as a tradesman's scaffolding, a ladder, or a retail shelf.
Furthermore, in some known reciprocating saws, the housing for the saw assembly is unnecessarily complicated and expensive. Openings in the housings of reciprocating saws to facilitate cooling the motor also allow saw dust and other debris to enter into the housing and contaminate the components within the housing. Thus, separately sealed gear box housings are used to enclose some of the working components of the saw, protecting them from debris.
One known arrangement, such as that disclosed in U.S. Patent No. Re. 35,258, has a separate gear box outside of and attached to the exterior of the housing which surrounds the motor. Having the separate gear box attached to the exterior of the motor housing presents several drawbacks.
First, the exterior surface of the gear box can be expensive to manufacture. For aesthetic and comfort reasons, the external surfaces of the saw are generally smooth and polished. Since, with this design, the exterior surface of the gear box is also an external surface of the saw, at least a portion of the exterior surface is sometimes manufactured to be smooth. Manufacturing a smooth gear box can increase the cost of the saw.
Second, an insulating cover is sometimes required to be fitted around the exterior surface of the gear box in this design. The insulating cover can protect the user from electrical shock if a live electrical wire is cut with the saw. Also, since the gear box can become very hot during prolonged use of the saw, an insulating covering is sometimes necessary to insulate a user's hands from the heat of the gear box. Applying an insulating covering to the gearbox, while potentially eliminating the cost of producing a smooth gear box, is nonetheless still an added expense.
Third, with the design of the '258 patent, the external gear box must be securely attached to the exterior of the motor housing. This can add to the cost of manufacturing the saw.
Furthermore, reciprocating saws create vibration. U.S. Patent No. Re. 35,258 attempts to address this problem. It discloses a reciprocating saw having a counterbalanced reciprocating mechanism. The counterbalance in the '258 Patent purportedly uses the momentum of a counterbalance to reduce the vibration caused by the combined momentum of a reciprocating shaft and saw blade. While such a configuration may diminish undesirable vibration, it does not provide a configuration as compact and convenient as possible.
These and other drawbacks of known reciprocating saws are overcome by the invention as disclosed herein in conjunction with the preferred embodiments.
According to one embodiment of the invention, a reciprocating shaft and bearing combination for a reciprocating saw comprises a housing, a first pin fixed to the housing, and a reciprocating shaft assembly having a blade holder at a first end thereof for holding a saw blade. The reciprocating shaft assembly moves in a reciprocating motion relative to the first pin and parallel to an axis of motion. The reciprocating shaft assembly also has at least a first bore formed in a second end thereof opposite the first end, with the axis of the first bore being formed parallel to the axis of motion. A portion of the first pin is positioned inside the first bore such that the first pin supports the reciprocating shaft assembly as a bearing during its reciprocating motion.
The preferred embodiments of the invention pertain to a hand-held reciprocating saw. Although the invention is described in connection with a particularly preferred arrangement of components, various alternative configurations are also possible. Modifications to the preferred embodiments will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Thus, the following description of the preferred embodiments are illustrative only. For convenience, similar elements are designated throughout the drawing figures with the same reference numerals.
With reference to
A switch assembly 120 selectively operates the saw. The switch assembly 120 may be conveniently captured between the two mating clam-shell halves 110 a, 110 b, and positioned in the vicinity of the handle portion 111. The switch assembly 120 preferably includes an infinitely adjustable potentiometer for infinitely varying the speed of the reciprocating saw 10. A button 121 (see
Lockout assembly 150 prevents the switch assembly from operating the saw when in its locked position. The lockout assembly 150 may be conveniently captured between the two mating clam-shell halves 110 a, 110 b, and positioned in the vicinity of the handle portion 111. In the preferred embodiment, lockout assembly 150 is a sliding mechanism which, when it is slid into its locked position, physically prevents the button 121 of switch assembly 120 from being moved to the “ON” position to prevent operation of the reciprocating saw 10 and to isolate the motor from the power source.
One preferred embodiment of the invention is a cordless, battery-operated reciprocating saw. However, corded reciprocating saws are also within the scope of the present invention. In the cordless, battery operated reciprocating saw 10, a battery 200 is removably attachable to the two-piece housing 110 and provides power to the reciprocating saw 10. The battery is attachable at a position on the reciprocating saw 10 advantageous to the overall balance of the reciprocating saw 10. A battery lock assembly 130 locks the battery 200 onto the two-piece housing 110 when the battery is slid into its attached position relative to the two-piece housing 110, and includes a button portion 131 (see
Many systems are known for the releasable attachment of batteries to portable power tools. Any of these known systems may be used with the present invention. In a particularly preferred embodiment, which is the subject of a separate patent application by the assignee, a battery engaging surface 140 is formed beneath the handle portion 111. The engaging surface 140 includes battery terminals (not shown), which are adapted to engage battery posts 230 on the battery 200. The engaging surface 140 also includes shoulders (not shown) for receiving flanges 222 of battery 200.
The battery 200 includes a tub-shaped bottom 210 and a lid 220. Battery cells (not shown) are positioned in the tub-shaped bottom 210 and the lid 220 is secured thereto. The lid 220 has a curved heel cup 221 at the rear end thereof. The pair of parallel flanges 222 extend above the top surface of the lid 220. The battery posts 230 are positioned between the flanges 222.
To engage the battery 200 with the two-piece housing 110, the flanges 222 are positioned parallel with and adjacent the opening of the shoulders (not shown) of the engaging surface 140. The battery 200 is slid in a direction parallel with the flanges 222 and the flanges 222 are received by the shoulders of the engaging surface 140. Eventually, the battery 200 reaches the limit of its sliding movement and abuts against the two-piece housing 110, while the battery lock assembly 130 moves into its battery locking position and locks battery 200 onto the two-piece housing 110.
The reciprocating saw 10 includes a base 20 connected to the two-piece housing for providing a surface for the reciprocating saw 10 to rest upon. In a preferred embodiment, the base 20 is integrally formed with a surface of the motor portion 112 of the two-piece housing 110 and the tub-shaped bottom 210 of the battery 200. Preferably, these two surface are substantially coplanar and flat, or at a minimum provide three points of contact for engagement with a surface. However, the base 20 may be formed by some portion of the two-piece housing 110 alone, or may be formed by the battery 200 alone. Or, the base 20 may be formed by some other cooperation of the battery 200 with another portion of the two-piece housing 110. All of these alternative arrangements for the base 20 are within the scope of the present invention. The base 20 may be formed from any surface of the reciprocating saw 10, so long as the base 20 provides a surface for the reciprocating saw 10 to rest upon.
The overall arrangement of components of the reciprocating saw 10 has been chosen so that the center of gravity of the reciprocating saw 10 is at a point where a line intersecting the center of gravity and perpendicular to a surface upon which the base 20 of the reciprocating saw 10 is resting would intersect the base 20. Having the center of gravity of the reciprocating saw 10 at such a point relative to the base 20 means that any force less than a predetermined force applied to the reciprocating saw 10 when it is resting on base 20 will not cause the reciprocating saw to tip or roll relative to the surface upon which it is resting. Thus, the reciprocating saw 10 is capable of upright standing without the use of external supports.
One of the important features of the preferred embodiments for both retail and functional reasons is the ability of the reciprocating saw 10 to stand upright independently, i.e., without any external supports. In the retail context, by standing upright independently, retailers may display the tool in its most desirable upright orientation without the need of external fixtures.
Functionally, the ability to stand upright independently protects the saw blade and the surface on which the saw is resting from damage. Known reciprocating saws are not capable of upright standing. Unless placed very carefully, when the saw is placed on a surface after use, the saw may tip and roll until it reaches a final resting position. In these situations, the saw blade may strike the surface before the saw comes to rest, causing the saw blade to be dulled or bent, or worse yet, damaging the surface upon which the saw has been placed. However, with the present embodiment, the user can be confident that the surface upon which he is placing the reciprocating saw 10 will not be marred by the saw blade because the saw stands upright independently.
Also, the user can more easily retrieve the reciprocating saw 10 when it is resting in an upright standing position because the handle portion 111 is also in an upright position and can be easily accessed. An upright position of the handle portion is a position where, when the handle portion is grasped by the user, the flat top and bottom surfaces of the user's hand are generally parallel with the longitudinal axis of the user's body. With the handle portion 111 in an upright position, the user can easily grasp the handle portion 111 without twisting his or her wrist into position for grasping the handle portion 111.
Preferred embodiments of the drive assembly and other components of reciprocating saw 10 will now be described with reference to
With reference to
Many of the drive assembly components of the reciprocating saw 10 are protectively enclosed in a sealed drive housing 400. The drive housing 400 comprises upper housing 400 a and lower housing 400 b which mate together and are attached with fasteners 401 and sleeves 402. The upper housing 400 a and the lower housing 400 b together form a sealed interior chamber. This provides for the proper lubrication of the drive assembly parts as well as minimizes debris from reaching the drive assembly where it would tend to wear the drive assembly parts.
The drive housing 400 is itself enclosed by the two-piece housing 110. None of the exterior surfaces of the drive housing 400 forms an external surface of the reciprocating saw 10. Therefore, the drive housing 400 is somewhat less expensive to manufacture because the exterior surfaces of drive housing 400 do not need to be smooth or polished. Nearly all of the external surfaces of reciprocating saw 10 are part of the two-piece housing 110. Since the two-piece housing 110 is preferably an injection molded plastic component, nearly all of the external surfaces of reciprocating saw 10 are electrically and thermally insulated. Also, the connection between the drive housing 400 and the reciprocating saw 10 is accomplished cost effectively using internal ribs on the two-piece housing 110.
Motor 300 is attached to the lower housing 400 b by fasteners 301. Motor shaft 302 extends into the lower housing 400 b and is supported by bearing 303 which is fit into a bore in the exterior of the lower housing 400 b. An O-ring 306 is positioned between the bearing 303 and the lower housing 400 b to prevent the outer race of bearing 303 from spinning. Bearing retainer 304 is affixed to lower housing 400 b by fastener 305 and holds bearing 303 in place in the bore on the exterior of the lower housing 400 b.
Pinion 510 is connected to the end of motor shaft 302. Pinion 510 drives crank gear 520. Crank gear 520 is supported for rotational movement inside of the drive housing 400 on bearings 521, which are in turn mounted on shaft 522. Thrust washers 523 are also arranged on either side of bearings 521 around shaft 522, and retaining ring 524 holds bearings 521 and thrust washers 523 in place axially on shaft 522.
Eccentric crank pin 530 is eccentrically mounted to crank gear 520 at bore 525. Eccentric crank pin 530 supports crank bearing 532. Crank bearing 532 is mounted to the eccentric crank pin 530 surrounded by washers 531, and held in place axially on eccentric crank pin 530 by retaining ring 533.
With reference to
Yoke pins 545 are fixed in a parallel relationship and secured to the inside of upper housing 400 a (see
With reference to
The weight of the reciprocating shaft assembly 540 and its high-speed reciprocating motion can cause significant vibration of the reciprocating saw 10 when in use. The reciprocating movement of counterweight 550 helps to reduce this vibration. Eccentric shaft 528 is formed on crank gear 520 in a position relative to crank pin 530 so that the direction of the reciprocating motion of counterweight 550 will at each instant be opposite the direction of the reciprocating motion of the reciprocating shaft assembly 540.
The illustrated design of counterweight 550 and its placement inside of drive housing 400 result in an advantageous compact arrangement. For example, counterweight 550 includes at least one radial surface 551 which has a radius of curvature substantially the same as the radius of curvature of crank gear 520. Radial surface 551 allows counterweight 550 to be positioned closely adjacent to crank gear 551.
With crank pin 530, crank bearing 532, and eccentric shaft 528 all eccentrically mounted on crank gear 520, crank gear 520 is not, without further provision, dynamically balanced about its own rotational axis. Balancing holes 526 are therefore formed in crank gear 520 in order to dynamically balance crank gear 520 for smooth rotation about its rotational axis.
With reference to
A tool clamp 700 is provided on an end of reciprocating shaft 541 of reciprocating shaft assembly 540. Tool clamp 700 is adapted to hold a working tool onto reciprocating shaft 541 so that the reciprocating shaft 541 will drive the working tool with its reciprocating motion. Tool clamp 700 may be any of a number of mechanisms known in the art.
In a preferred embodiment, tool clamp 700 is a keyless blade clamp including an eccentric collar 710, torsion spring 720, roll pin 740, wire 750, and pin clamp 730. This general type of tool clamp is more fully described in U.S. Pat. No. 5,575,071, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference. Briefly, the end of shaft 541 is formed with an axial slot wide enough to accept a saw blade. A through-hole is formed perpendicular to the slot and extends from the slot to the exterior of shaft 541. Pin clamp 730 is inserted into and through the hole. Eccentric collar 710 includes an eccentric slot which cams against one end of pin clamp 730.
The keyless blade clamp has two positions. In one position, eccentric collar 710 will hold pin clamp 730 in a position where pin clamp 730 extends into the axial slot formed on shaft 741. A saw blade positioned in the slot will include a hole which accepts the other end of pin clamp 730. In this position, the saw blade is held in the slot because pin clamp 730 will partially pass through the hole in the saw blade. If the eccentric collar 710 is rotated to a second position, then the eccentric slot formed in the collar will no longer cam against pin clamp 730 inside of the hole in the saw blade, and the saw blade may then be removed in this second position. Torsion spring 720 biases eccentric collar 710 to the first position. Roll pin 740 engages with another slot formed in eccentric collar 710 and prevents the eccentric collar 710 from over-rotating and holds it in place axially on shaft 541. Wire 750 is forced inside of a hole in roll pin 740 to create an interference fit with roll pin 740 and shaft 541 when roll pin 740 is positioned in a hole in the end of shaft 740.
n a preferred embodiment, a shoe 600 is provided for helping to support and position the reciprocating saw 10 relative to a work-piece during use. The shoe 600 is pivotally attached to a shoe bracket 610 by rivet 611. Fasteners 612 engage shoe bracket 610 at slots 613 and attach to upper housing 400 a of drive housing 400. With fasteners 612 engaging shoe bracket 610 at slots 613, the position of the shoe bracket 610 and the shoe 600 relative to the upper housing 400 a may be adjusted by loosening fasteners 612, sliding shoe bracket 610 along slots 613, and re-tightening fasteners 612 to upper housing 400 a. A slot 614 (see
With the above described construction, reciprocating saw 10 is capable of independent, upright standing. The handle is easy to access when the reciprocating saw 10 is in its upright standing position so that the reciprocating saw 10 is easy to retrieve. The housing of reciprocating saw 10 is aesthetically and functionally pleasing and can be simply manufactured. Many of the drive assembly components are sealed in a drive housing for longer-life operation. Finally, reciprocating saw 10 is compact, battery powered, and includes a counterweight for reducing vibration during use.
Additional advantages and modifications will readily occur to those skilled in the art, and those modifications are within the scope of the claimed invention. The invention in its broader aspects is not limited to the specific details in representative embodiments shown and described herein. Accordingly, various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the general inventive concepts of the invention, which are defined by the appended claims.