US 2540750 A
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H. E. MORRISON SELF-ADJUSTING LEG Feb. 6, 1951 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Nov. 8, 1947 Feb. 6, 1951 H. E. MORRISON SELF-ADJUSTING LEG 5 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Nov. 8, 1947 a Hi iF 6 54 244- l I" ,I. I .6! 4.
ALIA. a 1 J. M I
IIIII 'IIIIIIIIIIIIII 198040 5 /%ee/ s'a/v Patented Feb. 6, 1951 SELF-ADJUSTING LEG Harold E. Morrison, St. Joseph, Mich., assignor to Nineteen Hundred Corporation,
Mich., a corporation of New York Application November 8, 1947, Serial No. 784,917
My invention relates to self-adjusting legs capable, of automatically accommodating themselves to an uneven supporting surface to sustain an: object predetermined: position relative thereto.
In automatic laundering machines and like mechanisms wherein: rotational motions arev imparted to unbalancedmasses, it: is: of considerable importance that the mechanism be sustained from the supporting surface in a positive manner and at predetermined direction relative to the: vertical. Moreover, it is important that each leg: provided for this purpose sustain its share of the load. In this fashion, a maximum. degree of stability is imparted to the structure and optimum performance procured. In accordance with the present invention, the mechanism such as a laundering machine is supported from four legs. One pair of these legs. is individually adjustable for alignment of one, axis of the machine in a vertical direction. The. other two legs are mounted for up and. down movements relative to the object and are inter-connected by elements operable to exert equal downward forces on each. Thus, if the machine is'mounted on: a: tilted support surface and the first pair of legs is adjusted toalign the axis of the machine in one direction, the other two legs automatically accommodate themselves to this alignment and will each; sustain an equal proportion of the weight. The ad,- justable legs can then be simultaneously adjusted to align the axis of the machine in, the other direction to achieve the desired orientation of the axis of the machine;
A frequently encountered difficulty in supporting an object from four legs; resides in the fact that the lengths of the legs are not properly proplane of the support to portioned relative to the cause them to share the load equally; With the mechanism of the present invention, this problem is overcome, by the automatic action of the elements described: above which equalize the loadbetween two of the legs and thereby cause each of the four legs to bear its proper share of the burden.
In the form of the present invention, the automatically adjustable legs are mounted on bearings attached to the object. tov permit ,up and down movements relative thereto. Cranks, each having a, horizontally disposed. arm bearing on the top of one of the legs and a vertically disposed arm extending downwardly, are pivotally supported. from the object. A bar is pivotally attached to the two downwardly extending crank arms to cause each crank to urge its corresponding leg downwardly with. like force. This bar is tensioned by increased load and hence may be of relatively small cross section. When the unit is placed upon an uneven or tilted supporting surface, the legs move up and down until the forces supported by each are equal.
It is therefore a general. object of the present invention to provide an. improved automatically adjustable leg structure.
A further object of the present invention is to provide an improved automatically adjustable leg structure utilizing interconnecting elements held in tension.
It is yet another object of the present inven* tion to provide an improved automatic leg structure wherein movable leg elements are frictionally supported to stabilize the unit and prevent rattle.
Another object of the present invention is to provide improved automatically adjustable leg structures suitable for use on automatic washing machines.
Still another object of the present invention is to provide an improved automatic laundering machine having leg elements automatically operable to distribute the weight thereof in a mannercausing minimum tendency of the machine to walk or creep during operation.
My invention further resides in features of construction, combination and arrangement whereby improved automatic leg. structures of simple and,
economical construction and reliable operation are achieved to the end that a unit of maximum utility is achieved.
The novel features which I believe to be char 3 1 present invention and broken away to show the clothes basket and agitator portions of the mechanism;
Figure 2 is a View of the machine in Figure 1, as seen through the section II-II, Figure l, and showing the self-adjusting legs, together with the remaining legs of the mechanism;
Figure 3 is an enlarged fragmentary view through the axis III-III, Figure 2, and showing the positions assumed by the legs on an uneven support surface;
Figure 4 is an enlarged fragmentary view of the elements shown in Figure 3, but showing the positions assumed by the legs on a level support sur face;
Figure 5 is an enlarged cross sectional view through the axis V-V in Figure 2; and
Figure 6 is an enlarged cross sectional view through the axis VI-VI in Figure 4.
In Figure 1, there is shown at H a housin which encloses a machine to be supported. This machine may, for example, comprise an automatic laundering machine wherein a clothes laundering cycle is automatically carried out. In such amachine, for example, a rotatable clothes basket B is provided and an agitator A rotatably disposed therein. 'The agitator A is supported on the inner shaft 16 which imparts wobbling motions thereto when rotated and the basket B is supported on the shaft [8 for rotational movements therewith. During the sequence of operations during the automatic clothes laundering cycle, the basket B is rotated at high velocity to create centrifugal forces causing the water to be driven out of the clothes therein. During this portion of the cycle, experience has demonstrated that substantial vibrations are imparted to the rotating basket by reason of the inherent unbalances in the disposition of the clothes within the basket. These forces are transmitted by the shaft [8 to the housing H and the supports therefor, and thus tend to cause the unit to creep or walk relative to the supporting surface. For this reason it is essential that each leg provided to support the housing H bear its proportionate share of the total weight. Moreover, in a mechanism of this type, it is highly desirable to use four legs rather than three because of the increased stability associated with the presence of the four legs over the stability which can be obtained with only three legs.
As shown in Figure 2, a plurality of angle members 20, 22, and 26 are disposed with their bottom sides 22a, 22a and 26a in a horizontal plane about the bottom of this housing and extend along the front and two sides thereof. In addition, a U-shaped channel beam 24, having an upper flange portion 24a and a lower flange portion 24b is attached to the housing H with its lower flange portion 24b in the plane of the bot tom sections of the angle members. The sides of the angle members 2%, 22 and 26 and the web of the beam '24 are attached to the shroud or skirt portion 28 of the housing H by spot welding or a similar method. 'Each of the angle members 22, 22 and 26 is cut off at its end and the plates 32, 34 and 36 mounted across the corners. The plates 32 and 34 are further attached to the lower flange 24b of the channel beam 24. Each of these plates acts to sustain the housing H and make a more rigid structure thereof, and, in addition, provides a support for the legs.
Two sets of legs may be seen in the view of Fi ure 2. One set, the front legs, includes legs 38 and 40 which are individually adjustable but not 4 inter-connected. The other set of legs, including legs 42 and 44 are the rear legs and are interconnected in a manner described in further detail hereafter for automatic accommodation to the surface configuration of the support upon which the housing H is placed.
The construction of the legs 35 and to may best be understood by reference to Figure 5, which is a cross sectional view through the axis V-V, Figure 2, and which shows the leg 38 in elevation. As will be evident from this view, a nut 46 having a threaded opening is welded to the upper surface of the triangular support plate 36 which is, in turn, attached by spot welding or similar means to the lower portions 26a and 26a of the angle irons 253 and 25. The triangular support plate 35 is provided with an opening immediately below the threaded nut 46, to permit the latter to receive the threaded support bolt or leg 48. A jam nut Fall is mounted in threaded engagement with the bolt 48 and underneath the washer 52 to bear against that washer and plate 36 and lock the leg 48 against rotation.
At its bottom end, the bolt 48 enlarges to a conical portion 4811 which expands out to form the dish shaped head48b. A cup-shaped shoe 54 of rubber or similar resilient material is'interposed between the dish shaped head portion 48b of the bolt 48 and the surface 55 upon which the unit rests. This shoe fits snugly about the portion 48b of the bolt 4t and is provided with an inwardly extending upper peripheral flange portion 54a to sustain it thereon when the unit is lifted.
The leg is is constructed like the leg 38 and is likewise'individually adjustable by rotation relative to the triangular support plate 39 to which the nut 46a is attached. 7
The construction'of the legs 42 and 44 may best be understood by reference to Figures 3, 4 and 6. As shown in Figure 3, the legs 42 and 44 each comprise cylindrical shaft or leg members 58 and 60 respectively, having a headed lower end 58a and 60a, respectively, with a rubber friction shoe attached thereon. The head portions 58a and 60a of the members 58 and 50 are like the head portions of the support bolt 48, Figure 5. The shaft 58 rides at its'lower portion in an' formed in the triangular support plate flange 24b of the channel 24.- At its upper portion, the member 58 rides in an opening 34 and the lower opening provided in the upper flange 24a of the channel bar 24. This opening may be seen in the view of Figure 2. Similarly, the shaft 60 is supported at its lower end by openings in the tri-' angular plate 32 and ing provided in the upper flange 24a of the channel beam 24.
The triangular support plates 3 32, 34 and 35 are made of identical construction'to facilitate mass production. Two openings, such as 32a and 321), are provided in each of these brackets so thateach may be placed in any corner and with 1 either side up and will then have an opening to r the web portion'of beam receive the member 58 or 60 as necessary.
The members 58 and 60 of the legs 42 and 44 are interconnected by the cranks 64 and 66. These cranks have arms disposed at right angles to each other, the arm 64a of crank 54 and the arm 65a of crank 66 bearing on the tops of members 53 and 62 respectively. The other arms 54b and 66b of the cranks 64 and 66 extend down wardly and are attached to opposite ends of non Crank 54 is supportedifrom 24 by an upwardly ex-" extensible rod 68.
the lower flange 24b of the 24 and at its upper portion by an open sumo/mo tending plate which la attached to the web pontion of, beam. 24 by spot, welding or similar means and supports the pin 72 at its upper portion. The crank. 64 is pivotally supported by this pin and held therea-gainst bycotterpin M. The
support, bracket 19 is bent. inwardly to align the crank arm-64. with the axis of. the shaft 58: as; will be; evident from the view of Figure: 6. shaft 58; is terminated in a flat portion: 53b at its-upper end: to; receive the arm of crank 6 for positive engagement therewith.
The crank 66 is mounted: for; pivotal movement about the pin, 76 and held. thereagainst by the cutter pin 18;. The pin 16 is mounted in the sup:- Dort: bracket 80 which. is. attached. by spat weldsing or other suitable means to the web portion of the beam 24.
The rod 68 extends between the downwardly extending arms 64b and 66b of the cranks 54 and 66. At each of its opposite ends, the rod 68 is bent at right angles to extend in a direction away from the observer in the views of Figures 8 and i and towards these cranks. This construction is seen best in the View of Figure 6 in which the bent in end portion of the rod 68 is indicated at 68a. The cranks 64 and 66 are each provided with an opening to receive these bent ends of the rod 68 for pivotal movement relative thereto. The ends of the rod 68 are inserted in these openings and held therein by cotter pins 82.
The shaft or leg members 58 and E553 are held in position when the housing H is lifted by the cotter pins 84 which are positioned suitable openings in these members and are located between the upper and lower portions of the beam 24.
In the view of Figure 4, the cranks 54 and 66 are shown in the position corresponding to a level support surface 56. As will be evident from this view, the two shafts 58 and fill extend in equal distance above the top flange 24a of the beam 24 and bear against the cranks 64 and :56 to cause them to assume like positions relative to the pins 12 and 16. Since the crank 64 tends to rotate in a clockwise direction by reason of the upward forces exerted by the member 58 and the crank 66 tends to rotate in a counterclockwise direction by reason of the upward forces exerted by member 56, the rod 68 is tensioned and holds both of the members in position.
In the view of Figure 3, however, the mechanism is shown for the condition wherein the support surface 56a is not level. In this case, the forward legs 33 and 46 are individually adjusted to align the axis of the housing H in a vertical direction as seen in the view of Figure l. The members 58 and 66 thereupon assume positions corresponding with this alignment. Thus, the member 58 is shifted upwardly relative to the housing H and swings the crank 64 in the clockwise direction. This pulls the arm 68 and shifts the crank 66 in the same direction, thereby forcing the shaft 60 downwardly until the sunporting effort by member 58 is equal to that cf member 60.
It will be observed that the point of application of force from the member 58 against the upper arm 54a of the crank 64 is the same distance from a pin 12 as is the tion of force from the member 60 on the portion 56a of the crank 66 is from the pin 16. Moreover, since the distance between the pins 12 and 16 and the axis of rod 68 is the same, it will be evident that equilibrium is established in the system shown in Figure 3 only when the actual load on point of applicathe member 58 is equal to theload. on the: mem ber 60. Accordingly; the legs 58 and so are in equilibrium only if" they bear equal loads and shift in accordancerwith; the previous adjustment of the legs and 40 until the four legs provided for the housing H share the total load thereon.
It will. further be evident that the nonextensible= rod 68:- isunder tension at all times since the forces exerted by the member 58 tend to rotate the crank 64 in the clockwise direction and thef orces-ofmember 66 tend to rotate the crank 66 in the counterclockwise direction. It is accordingly unnecessary to construct the rod 68 of any greater diameter than is necessary to sustain' the. tension exerted. thereon. Moreover, a cord, a wire, or other element may be used in place of the rod 68.
It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that in the foregoing form of my invention, I provide mechanism suitable for use with an automatic laundering machine and which is operable to assume an equilibrium position wherein the force exerted by the legs on the supporting surface is the same.
While I have shown particular embodiments of my invention, it will, of course, be understood that I do not wish to be limited thereto since many modifications both in the elements employed and the structures disclosed may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of my invention. I, of course, contemplate by the appended claims to cover any such modification which falls within the true spirit and scope of my invention.
The term bearing is intended in the appended claims to indicate broadly a device to sustain a leg or other element for movements in a predetermined direction while opposing tilting or shifting movements in other directions.
What I claim is new and desire to secure by Letters Patent in the United States is:
1. In a self-leveling support of the type particularly adapted to support a rotating object in a level condition, a base, a plurality of legs supporting said base in vertically spaced relation with respect to the ground, means for mounting at least two of said legs on said base for free vertical slidable movement with respect thereto, means transmitting the vertical movement of one of said movable legs to the other of said movable legs in an opposite direction from the direction of movement of said one leg including two rocking members pivotally mounted on said base intermovement about parallel spaced horizontal axes, each of said rocking members having one arm having supporting connection with one of said legs and having another arm extending at angle with respect to said first arm, and a transversely movable tension link connecting the other arms of said rocking members together and oppositely moving one of said rocking members upon movement of the other solely by the tension on said link.
2. In a self-leveling support of the type particularly adapted to support a rotating object in a level condition, a base, a plurality of legs supporting said base in spaced relation with respect to the ground, means for mounting the legs on one side of said base for vertical slidable movement with respect thereto, and means restraining vertical slidable movement of said legs and moving one of said legs in an opposite direction from the direction of movement of the other upon vertical movement of said one leg including two bell crank members, means pivotally mounting HAROLD E. MORRISON. is 2,302,134 McNabb Nov. 17, 1942 7' V r I said bell crank members on said base for pivotal REFERENCES CITED r i movement about parallel axes disposed intermediate their ends, each of said lbell crank memi t; ifig g ig am of q bers having one arm engaging the top of one of p said legs and restraining vertical movement 5 UNITED STATES PATENTS thereof, and having another arm depending Number Name Date therefrom, and a tension link connecting the de- 467 811 Humphrey's Jan. 26 1892 'pending arms Of Said. bell crank members 110- 734 7 4 s t July 2 1903' gether and moving one of said bell crank mem- 1 907 754 Dina May 1933 bers oppositely to the other, to depress its asso- 10 1 993458 Sintz 1935 ciated leg or to allow it to move vertically upon 30 Heise a Mai? '7 1935 vertical movement of the other of said legs solely 2032324 Crafts '1 5 June 1937 by the tension imparted thereto by the other of Richter 1939 Sam Wank members- 2,249,356 Goodman July 15, 1941