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Publication numberUS2663976 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 29, 1953
Filing dateNov 30, 1949
Priority dateNov 30, 1949
Publication numberUS 2663976 A, US 2663976A, US-A-2663976, US2663976 A, US2663976A
InventorsJacoby Jr George W
Original AssigneeJacoby Jr George W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Device for sharpening hypodermic needles and other instruments
US 2663976 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Dem 1953 G w JACOBY, JR 2,663,976



Dec. 29, 1953 JACOBY JR 2,663,976


BY L14? am? Patented Dec. 29, 1953 DEVICE FOR SHARPENING HYPODERMIC NEEDLES AND OTHER INSTRUMENTS George W. J acoby, Jr., Wooster, Ohio Application November 30, 1949, Serial No. 130,304

1 Claim.

This invention relates to the sharpening of medical and surgical instruments, and is embodied in a machine to facilitate the sharpening of hypodermic needles of various types, and of knives, scalpels, scissors, and other surgical instruments. The preferred embodiment of the invention incorporates apparatus described in my Patent No. 2,565,309, dated August 21, 1951, for Hypodermic Needle Sharpener. The present invention involves certain additions and improve ments to the invention described in said patent which will be particularly described.

The apparatus disclosed in said patent is particularly adapted for the pointing and refacing of hypodermic needles with concave faces. The present invention includes a gaging device by which this operation may be performed with greater celerity, uniformity, and precision. A commercial embodiment of the invention disclosed in said patent has been most favorably received. However, although the instrument is highly successful, it is essentially a specialized single-purpose machine. This invention involves the elaboration of the machine so that the basic machine may be used for sharpening hypodermic needles with fiat faces and also for sharpening surgical instruments. One of the great merits of this invention is that the additional structure by which the machine is made a. versatile general purpose device for use by hospitals and clinics is that the additional structure does not lessen the usefulness of the machine for its original function and does not involve any substantial complication of the machine or significant increase in the cost. It is thus possible, by virtue of the invention, to provide an extremely useful general-purpose machine which greatly facilitates the sharpening of surgical instruments of various sorts and makes possible the accomplishment of satisfactory sharpening by persons of no great skill.

The principal object of the invention is to facilitate the sharpening of hypodermic needles of various types and various edged tools of the surgeon and to provide a machine for this purpose. Subsidiary objects are to improve the precision of hypodermic needle sharpening, to provide for the sharpening of fiat-faced needles, to provide a stropping or honing element, to provide an abrasive element particularly suited to knives and the like, and to provide a guiding member to insure the correct beveling of scissors and similar instruments. A further object of the invention is to provide a slightly flexible abrasive disk which is particularly suited to the sharpening of knives,

chisels, scissors, and the like and which is economical to manufacture.

The manner in which the various objects are realized and the advantages of the invention will be better understood by reference to the detailed description of the preferred embodiment of the invention and the accompanying drawings. Fig. 1 is an axonometrio view of a sharpening device in accordance with the invention; Fig. 2 is a plan view of the same; Fig. 3 is a vertical sectional view; Fig. 4 is a partial plan view illustrating the method of sharpening scissors; Fig. 5 is a view of a head for holding needles to grind a straight bevel or flat face; Fig. 6 is a transverse sectional view of an abrasive disk according to the invention; and Fig. 7 is a partial view illustrating the honing element.

The apparatus comprises a base H preferably supported on rubber feet l2. A small motor I3, which may be of a type commonly used for driving small apparatus, is mounted on the base by uprights l4 bolted to the base, the uprights supporting the motor through resilient fittings of a type known in the art coupled to the ends of the motor frame. The brackets are fixed to the frame by bolts IS. The motor may be provided with a cord and switch (not shown) in any conventional manner. The motor shaft is extended to form a spindle or arbor IS on which a sharpening element comprising a grinding cylinder I9 and a polishing cylinder 2| is mounted. The cylinders l9 and 2| may comprise a rubber core 2!] covered with cylinders of abrasive paper which are retained by axial compression of the rubber, and are identical except that the cylinder I9 is coated with a coarser abrasive than the cylinder 2 l The abrasive on the grinding wheel I9 is of a fine grade such as 280 to 340 grit and the wheel 2| is coated with an extremely nne abrasive, 500 grit or finer, to perform a smoothing and polishing operation after the grinding. The cylinders are retained by axial compression against a, shoulder at the end of the shaft I8 by a nut 22 threaded on the outer end of the shaft. The shaft turns clockwise as viewed in Fig. 1.

The apparatus includes means for clamping the shaft of the needle'N and reciprocating it over the abrading element, this means comprising a reciprocable carriage incorporating mechanisms for adjusting the relation of the needle to the abrasive stones to secure the proper angle or bevel of the point of the needle and means for feeding the needle into engagement with the stone. Obviously, an arrangement for this purpose may be widely varied in structure. A form of apparatus which is simple in structure and light in weight which has been devised for the purpose comprises two uprights 26 and 2'! fixed to the base and bored to receive two rods 28 and 29 slidable in the uprights. A support 3| fixed to the rod 28 by a setscrew 32 is pivoted by a pin 33 to a clevised adjusting member 34 formed with a clearance slot 35 for the rod 29. An adjusting screw 38 passes through a transverse bore in the rod 29 and is formed with a shoulder 31 bearing against the rod. The portion of the screw 38 beyond the shoulder is unthreaded and extends into a bore 38 in the member 34. A coil spring 39 urges the member 34 upwardly, but, as will beappare'nt, it may be moved downwardly by adjustment of the screw 35 or by pressure on the member 34. The spring 39 allows for depression of the needle against the abrasive by manual force thereon.

A needle slide 4| is mounted on the support 3| to slide toward and away from the abrading element, being formed with a groove 42 on its under surface which receives the support 3|. A feed screw 43 is threaded in the end of the support 3| and is formed with an unthreaded portion passing through an opening 44 in the slide 4|. A pinch collar 45 is fixed on the feed screw 43 abutting the end portion of the slide ii so that the feed screw 43 is rotatable in the slide 4% but incapable of axial movement relative thereto, so that rotation of the screw 43 moves the slide 4| toward or away from the abrading element. A pin 4; fixed in the inner end of the slide 4| is received in a bore =18 in the support 3| to retain the slide 4| in engagement with the support 3|.

Means are provided on the inner end of the slide 4| to clamp or hold a hypodermic needle during the sharpening operation. While this structure may take various forms, it is desirable that it accommodate needles of various gages and lengths and hold them positively. Ofcourse, no substantial force is involved in this light abrading operation, but the angular relation of the needle to the cylinders l9 and 2| and the pressure thereon should be capable of accurate control. Also, it is highly desirable for precise work that the needle be held near its point. A feature of the machine lies in the provision of means whereby the needle may be rotated about its own axis to bevel the face produced by the sharpening and thereby create a razor edge. In the form illustrated, the needle holder comprises a small block retained against the end face of the slide 4| by a shouldered screw 52 which serves as a pivot for the block. The needle N is inserted through an aperture 54 in the block which is parallel to the pivot of the block and formed with a V bottom, and is clamped therein by a screw '55 threaded into the upper end of the block. The bore 54 is large enough to accommodate needles of large size. The block is formed with lateral flanges 5-! which embrace the end of the slide '4| but are spaced slightly therefrom so that the block 5| may be rotated preferably some ten degrees to each "side of its normal upright position.

The structure above described corresponds to that disclosed in my above-mentioned patent.

The present invention includes means by which the needle may be accurately set in the clampin'g block 5| so that a group of needles may be ground with the same angle or degree of sharpness of the point. The gaging device by which this result is obtained comprises a stud 6| fixed to and extending from the forward motor bracket |4 and a thumb screw 82 threaded through the stud 6|. The manner in which this gage is used is illustrated in Fig. 3. Hypodermic needles usually are formed with a fiat face on the butt which is in alignment circumferentially of the axis of the needle with the ground face of the needle, which face may be exposed to the abrasive wheel by resting the butt of the needle against the upper surface of the slide i to which the needle is clamped. The thumb screw 56 may be adjusted so that when the needle is inserted into the opening 54 in the clamping block, the point of the needle engages the thumb screw 62. The location of the end of the needle is thus determined by its engagement with the screw 62 and the needle is then clamped by the thumb screw 56. To perform the refacing operation the slide 4| and support 3| are rotated slightly about the rod 28-, as indicated by the broken lines in Fig. 3, to bring the needle into engagement with the abrading cylinder i9. As will be apparent, the angle of the ground face of the needle with respect to the longitudinal axis of the needle may be varied by adjustment of the thumb screw 62 to determine the zone of engagement of the end of the needle with the abrasive. Thus, by virtue of the gauge, a group of needles of the same or approximately the same size may be ground to the same desired degree of acuteness of the point and much more accurate results may be obtained than by merely relying on the skill of the operator to locate the needle correctly.

Once the needle has been properly located and clamped it is refaced and polished by the wheels i9 and 2|, the needle being shifted longitudinally of the wheels by the operator while it is held in engagement therewith by the depression of the needle holder. The preferred technique of sharpening, needles need not be further described herein, since it is described in detail in the aforesaid patent.

As will be apparent, the cylindrical abrasive forms a concave face on the needle which is preferred for many uses of hypodermic needles.

- However, needles formed with a fiat or straight bevel face are also employed, and the present invention provides for forming or sharpening needle points of hypodermic needles with such faces. This is accomplished by an abrasive disk 63 fixed on the shaft of the machine and a head for holding the needles in correct position for engagement with the disk. The abrasive disk 63 is mounted on the shaft |8 abutting the outer end of the polishing cylinder 2|. The preferred structure of the abrasive disk. is shown more clearly in Fig. 6. It comprises a disk 64 of light sheet metal formed with a hole 66 to fit over the shaft. Disks 6! and 68 of paper or cloth coated with abrasive and formed with central openings for the shaft are cemented to the face of the disk 5d. The disk G l is preferably about one and three-quarters inches in diameter and the abrasive disks are of sufiicient size to extend approximately a quarter of an inch beyond the metal disk. The portions of the abrasive disks which extend beyond the metal are cemented to each other. The assembly thus provides an abrasive disk the center portion of which is slightly flexible because of the resiliency of the metal and the outer portion of which is much more flexible. The central portion is substantially rigid under the small forces involved in refacing needles. It will be appreciated, however, that the circumferential portion is far stiffer than a single sheet of abrasive coated paper since the two sheets cemented together are relatively stiff. The flexible outer edge of the abrasive disk makes it much more suitable for operation on curved edges.

The needles are held and guided for formation of the straight bevel point by a head (Figs. 2 and 5) adapted for mounting on the needle slide 45. This head it is preferably in the form of a block with a slot H in the lower surface dimensioned to straddle the needle slide 4| and with a clamping screw 12 threaded in one leg of the block. When it is desired to sharpen straight pointed needles the block 10 is fitted over the slide 4! in the approximate position indicated by Fig. 2, and retained thereon by tightening the clamping screw 12. A needle clamping screw 73 is threaded into the central part of the block and passes through a hole in a jaw M which rests on the block ID. The jaw 14 is formed with a rib is which rides in a slot 16 in the upper face of the block Hi. The jaw 74 extends beyond the left end of the block Hi so that the end portion '11 of the jaw may be depressed to insert a needle under the other end. The upper face of the block 10 is formed with a plurality of radiating grooves 18 at various angles to the plane of the abrasive disk 63. The needles may be laid in any one of the grooves 18 to determine accurately any one of several angles of beveling of the point, and is retained by tightening the thumb screw 13. After the needle is clamped, it may be brought into engagement with the rigid central part of the abrasive disk by sliding the carriage and may be traversed over the surface of the disk by rotating the carriage or holder about the rod 28. The block 19 may be removed when not in use, or may he slid toward the outer end of the slide 4i so as not to interfere with other operations.

The abrasive disk 63 is not only useful for sharpeningneedles, but may also be used for sharpening knives, scissors, and other instruments. The disks are preferably covered with a fine abrasive and are therefore not especially adapted for rough sharpening jobs, but are particularly suited for producing a fine edge on a slightly dulled instrument. The disk 63 may be used for sharpening knives, scalpels, and such by merely holding the device to be sharpened against the face of the disk at the proper angle to produce the desired edge. Ordinarily, no great difiiculty is experienced in sharpening devices of this sort freehand.

Scissors, however, often prove troublesome to sharpen for those who are not expert, and for this reason I have provided a conical sleeve 8| by means of which the edge of the scissor blade may be exposed to the disk at a constant and suitable angle. In its preferred form the sleeve or guide for scissor sharpening is a frusto-conical element 8! formed with a central hole to fit over the threaded end of the shaft l8 and slightly larger than the nut 22. The angle of the cone may vary over a range from about three degrees to about fifteen degrees to the axis of the shaft, and cones of various angles may be supplied to suit various needs. An angle of ten degrees, which is a median value, is illustrated. As illustrated in Fig. 4, the edge of the scissors blade S is pressed against the disk 63 with the inside face of the blade bearing on the smooth cone 8 I. The blade may then be moved longitudinally thereof to grind or sharpen from one end to the other, and a constant angle is easily maintained.

The blade is held slightly spaced from the central portion of the disk and bearing against the flexible edge portion at one side so that the grinding movement of the abrasive over the surface being ground is in one direction only, which provides a better edge. The shaft turns clockwise as viewed from the end. It is preferable to engage the blade with the downwardly moving edge of the wheel.

Fig. 7 illustrates a stropping element which is provided for eliminating the small roughness which remains after the abrading operation. The stropping element 90, which may be mounted on the shaft in place of the conical guide member 8| with or without removing the abrasive disk 63, comprises three leather disks 92 formed with central openings for mounting on the shaft. The central portions of the disks are compressed together lightly by the nut 22, and washer 93, if desired, and the disks are thus driven frictionally. When a knife or other blade has been sharpened, the ragged edge may be removed by the rubbing action of the edges of the leather disk.

The disks are particularly useful in removing ragged edges from the refaced needles. As will be noted, the inner edges of the outer disks and both edges of the central disk are slightly beveled to form grooves 83 which are adapted to receive the shaft or end of the needle. The grooves, which may be provided by filing the disks or in any other suitable manner, greatly.

facilitate the stropping of needles since it has been found that with a plain cylindrical element the needles tend to be thrown oif the disk because of the engagement of the sharp edges of the needle faces with the leather. As illustrated in Fig. '7, the end portion 85 of the needle may be laid in the groove to prevent this. Since the leather disks are resilient and may, be spread apart, the shaft of the needle may be pushed between the rotating disks and rotated about its own axis as it is drawn longitudinally of the shaft between the disks so as to clean and polish the shaft of the needle.

Normally, when the instrument is used for hypodermic needles, the disks 92 will be mounted on the shaft, but they may be easily removed and replaced by the conical element 8| when scissors are to be sharpened.

It will be seen from the foregoing that the invention provides an extremely versatile, flexible, and convenient instrument for sharpening hypodermic needles and various edged tools such as are used in surgery. It will be apparent to those skilled in the art that many variations of form may be devised within the scope of the invention, which is not to' be regarded as restricted by the description herein of the preferred embodiment of the invention.

I claim:

A device for sharpening hypodermic needles comprising in combination a rotatable cylindrical abrasive element, power means for rotating said abrasive element, a needle support, means on the support for releasably clamping a needle to engage the periphery of the abrasive element to forma face on the needle shaft, mechanism for positioning the clamping means and a needle relative to the abrasive element, a mounting, and a gauge threaded in said mounting for adjustment in a path normal to a radial plane through the centerline of the abrasive element whereby the extreme end of the needle may be positioned along the periphery of said abrasive element and the position of the clamping means established before the needle is engaged with the abrasive element.


Number Number Name Date Frei June 16,1940 Francis Sept. 24, 1940 Graenser Apr. 14, 1942 Holms'ten July'l, 1942 Sharpe et a1 Aug. '6, 1946 Jacoby Oct. 21, 1947 Sax Apr. '26, 1949 Milner et a1 Oct. 10, 1950 Jacoby Aug. 21, 1951

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2730844 *Jul 8, 1953Jan 17, 1956Lea Edward SMachines for grinding hypodermic needles
US2741073 *Sep 8, 1953Apr 10, 1956Herman SchwabeShoe upper roughing machine
US2802310 *Jul 13, 1955Aug 13, 1957Rubin ChaplikHypodermic needle sharpener
US3037330 *Apr 15, 1959Jun 5, 1962Fidelitone IncAutoamtic grinding and polishing machine
US3043060 *Oct 28, 1959Jul 10, 1962Commw Scient Ind Res OrgNeedle sharpening apparatus
US3069814 *Jul 17, 1959Dec 25, 1962Malpas Delmar GHypodermic needle sharpening machine
US3883995 *Oct 3, 1973May 20, 1975Ohashi TaroAutomatic sharpening device
US4543857 *Dec 9, 1983Oct 1, 1985Urban Engineering Co., Inc.Surgical instrument and method of making same
US4773186 *Jun 10, 1987Sep 27, 1988G-C Dental Industrial Corp.Portable polishing units for dental instruments
US5044123 *Mar 22, 1990Sep 3, 1991Douglas HoffmanConcave-convex faceting method and apparatus
DE1167687B *Apr 4, 1960Apr 9, 1964Fidelitone IncSchleif- und Poliermaschine fuer Edelsteinspitzen an Abtastnadeln
DE4304684A1 *Feb 16, 1993Sep 2, 1993Unisis CorpNeedle point grinding and polishing machine - has grinding and polishing wheels mounted side by side on common X-axis spindle and needle held in slide driven in X-Y axes by computer controlled motors
WO1996037340A1 *May 23, 1996Nov 28, 1996Censtor CorpInteractive system for lapping transducers
U.S. Classification451/232, 451/387
International ClassificationB24B19/16, B24B19/00
Cooperative ClassificationB24B19/16
European ClassificationB24B19/16