US 2703247 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 1, 1955 c. R. WOLF ETAL 2,703,247
SAFETY CATCH FOR OVERHEAD DooRs Filed April 9, 1953 2 Sheets-Sheet l ZZZ March 1, 1955 c. R. WOLF ET AL SAFETY CATCH FOR OVERHEAD DOORS 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed April 9, 1953 INVENTORS @aL/Z 4%!2 g}: W/m 4 United States Patent SAFETY CATCH FOR OVERHEAD DOORS Cecil R. Wolf, Rock Falls, and Charles E. Seidel, Sterling, 111., assignors to Frautz Manufacturing Company, Sterling, lll., a corporation of Illinois Application April 9, 1953, Serial No. 347,648
3 Claims. (Cl. 292-220) This invention is concerned with overhead opening garage doors of the sectional type and particularly is concerned with a door latch device for holding such doors in fully open position.
Overhead opening garage doors of the manually operable type, as opposed to those operated by motors and various types of drive mechanisms, are always counterbalanced, usually with springs, to simplify opening. At least a part of the weight of the door at first must be lifted when the door is raised from closed vertical position, and in addition the inertia of the stationary door must be overcome. Most of the door is moving horizontally when it reaches fully open position, the lowermost door section usually coming to rest in a curved track section. Consequently, much more force is necessary to start an overhead opening door upwardly toward open position than is necessary to complete the opening operation. The momentum imparted to the door causes it to overshoot its normal overhead balanced or quiescent position and then to rebound with considerable danger to the operator and results in a very jerky and noisy operation. The rebounding force often is augmented by the counterbalancing springs because the momentum of the door carries it beyond the normal quiescent position, reversing the spring action and imparting, a downward force on the door. Furthermore, sectional overhead opening doors tend to come to rest in a balanced position with the bottom section of the door in an angular and somewhat lower elevation in relation to the other door sections.
An object of this invention is to provide new or improved means for latching an overhead opening garage door in full opened position thereby preventing rebound.
A further object of this invention is to provide means for holding an overhead opening sectional door in the farthest overhead position reached, thereby leading to lower headroom requirements and a completely clear opening.
Another object of this invention is to provide means for latching an overhead door in opened position and requiring a minimum of latching structure to be carried by the door.
Yet another object of this invention is to provide a latch mechanism for holding an overhead opening door in open position wherein all moving parts of the latch mechanism are carried by the track or fixed supports.
A more specific object of this invention is to provide a latch mechanism for latching overhead opening doors in open position wherein the mechanism requires only a single stud or the like to be mounted on the door.
Other and further objects of the invention are to provide a latching device for the purpose stated, which is (1) most easily assembled on either the right or the left side of the door, (2) reversible so that it will operate on either side of the door, and (3) can be manufactured at lowest cost, consistent with the ease and simplicity of installation of the device on either side of the door with equal facility.
Other and further objects and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:
Fig. l is a cross-sectional view through a garage showing our invention as applied to a garage door;
Fig. 2 is a sectional view taken along the line 2-2 2,703,247 Patented Mar. 1, 1955 ICC of Fig. 1 showing the latch securing the door in open position;
Fig. 3 is a top view of the latch taken along the line 3-3 of Fig. 1;
Fig. 4 is a side view of the latch on an enlarged scale with the latch in releasing position;
Fig. 5 is a side view similar to Fig. 4 showing the latch in latching position; and
Fig. 6 is a perspective view of the latch release lever.
Referring first to Fig. 1 for the setting of our invention, there will be seen a garage generally designated by the numeral 10 and having side walls 12, a roof 14, and a front wall 16 including a door opening 18. The door opening 18 is closed by a hinged sectional door 20 closing at its upper edge against a header 22.
The door 20 comprises a plurality of sections 24 hingedly connected to one another as at 26. Each hinge 26 comprises a pair of hinge plates (not shown in detail) mounted on confronting edges of adjacent door sections or panels 24 and connected by hinge pins. An angle bracket is connected to one of each pair of hinge plates and carries an axle rotatably supporting a wheel or roller 28.
The rollers 28 are received in a pair of parallel guiding tracks 30 on opposite sides of the door opening 18 and of substantially conventional construction. Each track has vertical and horizontal sections 32 and 34 interconnected by a curved portion 36. The vertical track sections 32 are supported from the front wall 16 by suitable brackets (not shown) which may be of conventional construction. The horizontal track sections 34 are supported at the rear or inner ends by hangers 38 secured to a rafter or beam 40 of the garage. The tracks further are supported by angle brackets 42 fixed to the tracks adjacent the curved sections thereof by any suitable means, and also fixed to the header 22.
The upper section 24 of the door is provided with a roller 44 mounted on a bracket 46 spaced downwardly from the upper edge of the door and supporting the roller at a greater distance from the door than the rollers 28 are supported so that the upper section of the door will close completely with the roller in the curved track section. The lowermost door section 24 is provided with a roller 48 mounted on a bracket 50 shown in detail in Figs. 2-5. The bracket 50 is substantially U-shaped having a plate 52 on the inner face of the door connected to a plate 54 on the outer face by a web 56 lying along the edge of the door. Rivets or bolts 57 passed through the plates 52 and 54 and through the door secure the bracket on the door adjacent the lower edge thereof. The bracket 50 further includes an arm 58 which is welded or otherwise suitably secured to the inner plate 52 and which carries an axle 60 on which the roller 48 is rotatably mounted.
The door is counterbalanced by a pair of tension springs 62 (Fig. 1) suitably fixed to the hangers 38. Cables 64 secured to the sides of the door near the lower edge thereof pass upwardly over pulleys 66 rotatably mounted by brackets 68 on the angle members 42, and over sheaves 70 secured to the front ends of the springs 62. The free end of each cable 64 is secured to a linkchain 72, and each chain is looped over a hook 74 in the front wall or header. Tension on the spring 62 is adjustable by looping one or another of the links of each chain 72 over the corresponding hook 74 to adjust the opening force imparted to the door by the springs 62.
The door latch mechaism forming the subject matter of this invention is generally located on one of the tracks 30 and its supporting angle bracket 42 substantially at the junction thereof and is designated in general by the numeral 76. The latching mechanism comprises a latch bar bracket 78 of generally Z-shaped configuration having one flange 80 secured by means such as nuts and bolts 82 to the angle bracket 42. The latch bar bracket includes a second flange 84 parallel to the flange 82 and spaced therefrom by a web 86. A latch bar 88 is pivotally mounted on the flange 84 of the latch bar bracket by any suitable means such as a rivet 90.
The latch bar 88 is reversible and along with the latch bar bracket 78 can be mounted on either side of the door. The latch bar is provided with a tip 92 which is generally in the form of a slightly rounded off isosceles triangle. The tip is provided with curved, indented shoulders 94, and the latch bar continues from these shoulders in a series of teeth 96 having tapering leading edges toward the tip 92, and having curved, recessed shoulders 98. The latch bar 88 is provided with a transversely extending stud 100 relatively near the tip 92 and forming a latch release pin as will be brought out shortly hereinafter.
The latching mechanism further includes a latch release lever 102 pivotally mounted at 104 on a latch release lever bracket 106 bolted or otherwise suitably affixed to the angle bracket 42. The release lever 102 may be seen in Figs. 3-6 to comprise a fiat, bar-like portion'108 having a right angularly extending flange 110 at one end thereof. The flange 110 is provided with a pair of fingers 112 reversely .bent vinto parallelism to the bar portion 108 and spaced apart to provide a slot 114. The bar portion 108 of the lever 102 further includes an aperture 116 at its free end, and a pair of apertures 118 at an intermediate position and each positioned near the opposite longitudinal edges of the lever. The slot 114 between the fingers v112 receives the stud or latch release pin .100. A spring 120 is stretched between the lowermost of the two apertures 118 and an aperture 122 in the lowermost portion of the release lever bracket 106. This spring normally urges the release lever in a counterclockwise direction, and the limit of counterclockwise movement is determined by abutment of the free or tail end of the lever against the under side of the angle bracket 42 as may be seen in Fig. 5. A release pull strap 124 hangs from the aperture 116 in the free end of the release lever for pivoting the release lever to allow lowering of the door as will be apparent shortly.
The latch mechanism is completed by a strike pin 126 mounted on the door bracket 50 and extending at right angles from the edge of the door.
When the door is raised, the strike pin ,126 engages the under side of the nose 92 of the latch bar 88 and earns the bar upwardly so that the strike pin engages behind the shoulder .94 as shown in Fig. :5. If the .door has sufiicient momentum, it ratchets over one 'or more of the teeth 96 and comes to rest behindthe farthermost of the shoulders 98 reached. When the door reaches its farthest open position, the strike pin .either is in engagement with one of theshoulders or is so close thereto that there'is negligible return movement of the door before it is.halted by engagement of the strike pin with one of the shoulders. Since the door is stopped,
or substantially so, at the time the strike pin engages behind a shoulder with the door in its fullest open position, little or no physical shock is imparted to the latching mechanism and to the supporting track and brackets.
The latching of the door in open position as just described positively prevents rebounding of the door and possiblyinjury to the person raising the door. Furthermore, since the latch mechanism stops thedoor in the fullest open position reached, the lowermost section of the door is held in approximately the same horizontal plane as the remainder of the door. Consequently less space above the top of theopening is required for operation of the door. The mounting of all 'of the movable parts of the latch mechanism on the track and bracket positions them where they are most unlikely to be damage'd'while the carrying 'of nothing but fixed parts by the door insures the greatest possible simplicity for the construction of the shiftable door.
It should be noted that the latch bar 88 and also the release lever 102 are each symmetrical about a central longitudinal plane passing through its pivot axis so that each may be mounted with equal facility at either side of the door, the levers being simply swung about their pivots from one side to the other side of their mounting brackets to accommodate the latching mechanism to one or the other side of the door. Regardless of the conditions which are encountered in the installation of a door or the latching mechanism for the door, the latching mechanism may be assembled with maximum ease and facility on either side of the door by simply turning the mounting bracket through an angle of degrees and then swinging the latching lever and the release lever from one to the other side of the bracket. It will be evident that by reason of the structure of the latching mechanism herein shown, the manufacturer is enabled to supply at lowest cost, consistent with ease and simplicity of installation, a rebound preventing latching mechanism which can be mounted with equal facility on either side of the door.
It is to be understood that the specific example of our invention herein shown and described is for illustrative purposes only, and that the invention includes all that which falls fairly within the spirit and scope of the appended claims.
I. A latch construction comprising a bracket, means on said bracket for mounting said bracket on a supporting member, a latch bar pivotally mounted on said bracket and having a series of teeth each having a camming surface and a locking shoulder, a second bracket, means on said second bracket for mounting said second bracket on a supporting member, a lever pivotally mounted on said second bracket and connected .to said latch bar by a pin-in-slot connection, and spring means normally urging said latch bar into a predetermined position.
2. A latch construction comprising a bracket, means on said bracket for mounting said bracket on a supportingmember, a latch bar pivotally mounted on saidbracket and having a series of teeth each having a camming surface and a locking shoulder, a second bracket, means on said second bracket for mounting said second bracket on a supporting member, a lever pivotally mounted on said second bracket, said lever having a body portion and a pair of fingers spaced from said body portion at one end thereof and directed away from said end in parallelism with said body portion, said fingers being spaced apart, a stud on said latch received between said fingers for pivoting said latch bar in response to pivoting of said lever, and spring means acting between said second bracket and said lever to cause said lever to urge said latch member into a predetermined position.
3. A latch construction as set forth in claim 2 wherein the latch bar is of symmetrical construction having similar t eeth along opposite edges for installation in reverse positions.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS