US 2765947 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Oct. 9, 1956 J. R. WATKINS 2,765,947
CORNER HINGE CONSTRUCTION Filed May 9, 1951 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 23 14 1/6 14 1e 22 i ia 26 31 -3 m 15 2a 2 7 L I. "16 i li' 1L.
Unite The present invention relates to a simplified and inexpensive construction of wire hinge for connecting the corners of collapsible crates or other containers. By forming the novel hinge from a relatively short piece of straight wire that is inserted into a preformed hole or opening in the adjacent corner members or cleats of the panels or sides of a collapsible container, the cost of production and replacement of a hinge or of parts of the container is reduced to a minimum.
An important object of the present invention is the provision of a novel wire hinge that can be readily and easily applied to the adjacent corner members of a collapsible crate, box, chest or other container for securely yet hingedly connecting the panels or sides of the container.
Another important object of the present invention is the provision of a novel wire corner hinge that is so simple in construction and assembly that it may be quickly assembled by an inexperienced worker and with inexpensive tools of the type that are readily available. Similarly, the novel corner hinge may be readily removed and replaced by a person with no previous experience as all that is required is a short piece of straight wire and a hammer or other tool for bending or clinching the ends.
The present invention further comprehends a novel wire hinge that provides greater strength than possible with nails, the clinching of the ends of the hinge member into the cleats resisting withdrawal to a much greater degree than possible with use of nails which are not now clinched in the assembly of crates or other containers. Another distinct advantage resulting from the use of the present form of hinge over the use of nails is that it permits the use of thinner cleats on the sides and ends for the reason that with nails, cleats of greater thickness are required to prevent splitting of the Wood. Furthermore, the present novel form of hinge permits the use of a relatively thin cleat on one side and a relatively thick cleat on the adjacent side, when required.
The present invention further comprehends the provision of a novel hinge construction which permits the assembly of the four side panels or sections of a crate by the crate manufacturer and the shipment of the assembled, collapsed crate to the user. This appreciably reduces the handling charges as Well as the required storage space. Furthermore, the handling of the four side panels or sections as a unit when packing on a conveyor saves a substantial amount in labor and effects greater speed of production.
The present novel form of corner hinge permits the assembly of a novel collapsible crate or container that may be returned for frequent reuse Without damage to the hinges. However, in the event one or more of the hinges should become damaged or require replacement, this may be readily accomplished by mere removal of a damaged hinge, inserting a new, relatively short length of straight wire and clinching the ends therof. Similarly, broken sides or parts of the side panels of the crate or States Patent 2,765,947 Patented Oct. 9, 1956 container may be readily removed and replaced by simply unclinching the ends of the hinge by a screwdriver or other instrument available and removing the hinge by grasping an end thereof and withdrawing it. That same hinge when straightened may be inserted in the drilled holes and reused with the new or repaired panel. Thus it is not necessary to stock any preformed hinges.
Another object of the present invention is the provision of a novel corner hinge for a collapsible crate or container in which one or more of the panels or sides thereof may be removed for inspection of the packaged article or for the installation of parts prior to reshipment. Such inspection or installation is frequently required in the radio, television and refrigeration industries, especially when the cabinet is made in one plant and the unit installed or assembled in another. Furthermore, a panel or side may be released at one corner and with the other corner forming a hinge the released panel or side may then be opened in a manner similar to a door.
Another advantage of this novel form of corner hinge is that it provides no projection either on the inside or on the outside of the crate capable of causing damage to the packaged article or to the hands of the Workman handling the crate.
A further object of the present invention is the provision of a novel corner hinge which assures a uniformly tight fitting corner assembly that is substantially stronger and provides a more rigid corner than possible with prior types of hinges. In fact, the present hinge is sufficiently rigid to hold the collapsible crate in a substantially squared position when it is opened prior to placing it over the article to be packed. There is no tendency of the squared crate to fold up during this operation as results from the use of the loose hinges of the prior art with the resultant damage to the finish of the article being housed.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide a novel corner hinge and a novel means and manner of assembling the hinge in the corner cleats and the like. Unlike most types of corner hinges which are driven into the Wood of the sides and thus must be employed with woods not subject to ready splitting, the present form of hinge may be used with any kind of wood and regardless of its degree of hardness. In fact, any of the harder woods may be employed as the holes to receive the hinge members are drilled or preformed and not made by nails or staples which frequently split the wood, particularly hard woods.
The invention further resides in the construction, combination and arrangement of parts illustrated in the accompanying drawings, and while there is shown there in a preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that the same is susceptible of modification and change, and co-mprehends other details, arrangements of parts, features and constructions without departing from the spirit of the invention.
In the drawings:
Figure 1 is a perspective view of one form of collapsible crate or container employing the novel corner hinge assembly, the top and bottom or end sections being omitted.
Fig. 2 is a fragmentary view in horizontal cross section through a corner setup with the novel hinge shown in full lines assembled and in operative position, and with the clinching ends of the hinge also shown in dotted outline in the position they assume when the length of wire forming the hinge is projected through the aligned openings of the adjoining panels.
Fig. 3 is a fragmentary view in horizontal cross section similar to Fig. 2 but showing the corner in collapsed position.
Fig. 4 is another fragmentary view in horizontal cross section of the corner assembly with the corner collapsed in a position in which the adjoining sides are disposed in alignment.
Fig. 5 is a view similar to Fig. 4 but showing a corner hinge of twisted or braided wire in which the ends of the hinge are stapled or suitably anchored to the end or anchoring cleats of the sides or panels of the crate.
Fig. 6 is a view similar to Fig. 2 but employing a corner hinge of twisted or braided wire in which the ends of the hinge are bent around the corner of the anchoring cleats and stapled or otherwise afiixed or anchored to the edges of these cleats.
Fig. 7 is a top plan view of the crate or container in collapsed position.
Figs. 8 to 11, inclusive, are fragmentary top plan views of another form of the novel wire hinge assembly employed in hingedly connecting the overlapping corners of a shipping crate or container, and showing the successive steps of (Fig. 8) projecting the wire through aligned openings in the panels to be joined with the ends of the wire projecting therebeyond; (Fig. 9) folding the adjoining sides to retain the wire in position for clinching the projecting ends; (Fig. 10) clinching and countersinking the ends of the wire; and (Fig. 11) arrangement of the corner hinge setup when the crate is open.
Figs. 12 to 16, inclusive, are fragmentary top plan views of another form of wire hinge assembly for joining the overlapping corners of a shipping crate or container, and showing the successive steps of (Fig. 12) projecting the length of wire through aligned openings in the adjoining panels with the ends of the wire projecting therebeyond the preformed openings through a cleat and slat in one panel being somewhat larger than the thickness of the wire forming the hinge; (Fig. 13) rotating the upper panel to a position perpendicular to the adjoining panel whereby the wire is bent in the manner disclosed; (Fig. 14) lifting the upper panel to a position in which the exposed end of the wire passing through the enlarged opening of the lower panel is of a length sufiicient to permit proper clinching thereof; (Fig. 15) rotating the upper panel to a position of alignment with the adjoining panel and clinching the ends of the wire; and (Fig. 16) moving the adjoining panels to the operative setup there shown in which the corners are disposed in overlapping relation.
Fig. 17 is a view in perspective of a collapsible shipping crate or container employing the overlapping corner hinge assemblies of Figs. 8 to 16 inclusive.
Fig. 18 is a top plan view of the shipping crate or container of Fig. 17 in setup or open, operative position, and
Fig. 19 is a top plan view of it in collapsed position.
Referring particularly to the disclosure in the drawings in which there are disclosed several illustrative embodiments of the novel corner hinge and the novel means and manner of assembling this hinge whereby to hingedly connect adjoining panels or sides of a collapsible crate or other container, Fig. 1 discloses a crate body or container 10 comprising adjoining panels or sides 11 hingedly connected at the corners 12 by the novel hinge 13.
The hinge 13 shown more particularly in Figs. 2, 3 and 4 comprises a length of wire 14 adapted to be inserted into and through angularly arranged predrilled or preformed openings in the ends of the horizontal slats 15 and vertical corner cleats 16, the wire being of such length that its opposite ends 17 and 18 project outwardly from the outer surface or face of the cleats an amount suflicient to permit these ends to be clinched over and preferably countersunk by a hammer or other tool into the outer surface of the cleats and thereby anchor the hinge in fixed position.
This assembly of the hinge 13 is readily accomplished as the wire piece may be easily inserted and pushed through the preformed openings in the cleats 16 and slats 15 when the adjoining sides or panels 11 to be hinged together are disposed at a right angle to each other and with the openings in the adjoining cleats and slats arranged in registry or alignment as shown in Fig. 2. Upon the wire being inserted and the opposite ends thereof exposed as in dotted outline in Fig. 2, the upper panel or side 11 may be folded downwardly or collapsed on top of the lower panel or side 11 as in Fig. 3, or the upper panel or side may be folded down or collapsed in the manner shown in Fig. 4 in which the panels or sides are in extended, horizontal alignment. In either position the deformable wire hinge member is bent at 19 and by reason of such bending or deformation the wire is held tightly or rigidly in the openings in the cleats and slats and prevented from displacement, and the exposed or outwardly projecting ends 17 and 18 may be quickly and easily clinched and embedded or countersunk in the outer surface of the cleats 16.
The deformable wire hinge member may be made or formed of any suitable metal having the inherent flexibility and strength or rigidity to provide a relatively tight fitting corner assembly, yet sufficiently ductile or deformable to permit bending thereof without fracture. The wire may be solid and round or it may be flat throughout its length, or it may be round at the ends and flat in the center where the hinge is subjected to bending. Such fiat wire or wire provided with a flat center portion permits easier bending than with the round wire and also resists to a greater degree than the round wire crushing of the wood of the panels of the crate or container. Or the wire may be a twisted wire as shown in Figs. 5 and 6.
Fig. 5 shows a length of twisted, braided or stranded Wire 21 inserted through preformed openings in the cleats 16 and slats 15 and with the ends 22 and 23 anchored onto the outer surface of the cleats by relatively short staples or other anchoring means 24. In Fig. 6 the hinge also comprises a length of twisted, stranded or braided wire 25 but with the ends 26 and 27 thereof bent over the edges of the cleats 16 of the adjoining panels or sides and anchored thereto by staples or other anchoring means 24. The construction disclosed in Fig. 6 when employing either stranded or solid wire, provides a hinge having exceptional strength to resist inside pressures. Thus it is particularly adapted for use with a crate, box or container intended to receive heavy loads.
Figs. 8 to 11, inclusive, disclose another novel embodiment of the present invention adapted for use in crate or container assemblies in which the cleats 16 overlap to provide an overlapping corner assembly 28. In this embodiment the wire hinge member 29 is inserted and passed through angularly arranged openings in a cleat 16 and slat 15 of one panel or side 31 and through an opening extending substantially perpendicular throughthe adjoining cleat 16 and slat 15 of an adjacent panel 32. When the openings of the adjacent panels are disposed in the position of Fig. 8, the lower panel 32 may be arranged horizontally and the upper panel disposed at an angle of approximately 45.
With the ends 33 and 34 of the wire projecting a desired amount beyond the openings and outer or exterior surfaces of the cleats 16 and 16 the upper panel 31 is folded down onto the lower panel 32 whereby the wire is bent in the manner shown in Fig. 9. This anchors the hinge member 29 against displacement and the ends 33 and 34 are then clinched and preferably embedded or countersunk in the wood of the cleats so as to avoid any projecting portions which might cause damage or injury. Then when the upper panel 31 is elevated to a vertical position as shown in the drawing or to a position at a right angle to the adjoining panel, the corner hinge setup of Fig. 11 is secured.
Figs. 12 to 16, inclusive, disclose another illustrative embodiment of the novel hinge construction adapted for overlapping corners 35, and differs from that previously described in the manner in which the hinge is secured to one of the adjoining panels. In the illustrative embodiment, the upper panel 31 is similar to that of Figs. 8 to 11, inclusive, and similar reference characters have been applied thereto. But the lower panel 32 with its cleat 16 and its slat are each formed with an opening 36 of substantially greater size or diameter than the thickness of the wire 37 forming the hinge. Also this Wire is of substantially greater length than the length of the wire hinge member 29 of the embodiment of Figs. 8 to 11, inclusive.
In the assembly of the wire hinge member 37, it is inserted through the openings in the upper panel 31 and in the lower panel 32 when these openings are arranged in alignment or registry. In this latter position as shown in Fig. 12, the top panel 31 is disposed at an angle of approximately 45 with respect to the lower panel 32, and the end 38 of the wire hinge member projects a pre etermined distance beyond the face of the cleat 16 or" the upper panel.
Then the top or upper panel is rotated to a vertical position (Fig. 13) in which the Wire hinge member is bent at 39 and held within the slat 15 and cleat 16 of this upper panel. Next the upper panel is lifted or moved to the position of Fig. 14 or an amount approximating the thickness of the slat 15 and cleat 16 of the lower panel 32. In this position the lower end 41 of the Wire hinge member 37 extends beyond the face of the cleat 16 an amount suflicient to permit it to be clinched.
The next step in the assembly of the Wire hinge member 37 is to rotate the upper panel 31 to the position of Fig. 15 in which the panels 31 and 32 are in horizontal alignment, and then clinch or bend the ends 33 and 41 of this member to retain or interlock the hinge with the adjacent cleats. When the panel 31 is then moved to the setup position of Fig. 16 in which the cleats 16 and 16 overlap, the end 41 of the hinge member 37 and its adjacent portion leaves the enlarged openings 36 in the slat 15 and cleat 16 and is disposed or bent around the corner to the position shown. When in this setup position disclosed in Fig. 16, the hinge may be further secured in place by partially or wholly embedding the end 41 in the wooden cleat 16'.
Figs. 17, 18 and 19 disclose a shipping crate or container employing the corner hinge assemblies of both the embodiment of Figs. 8 to 11 inclusive and the embodiment of Figs. 12 to 16 inclusive. These particular hinge assemblies are shown arranged at the opposite overlapping corners of the crate or container. In this particular embodiment the side panels of the shipping crate or container are shown as covered by sheathing 42 to enclose and pro tect the contents or packaged article being shipped, a1- thou-gh the crate may be provided with open sides if desired. This sheathing may be of relatively thin Wood generally of substantially less thickness than the cleats and the slats, or it may be of cardboard or any other material suitable for the purpose.
With the corner hinge assemblies 28 and 35 at the opposite overlapping corners, the shipping crate or container may be readily opened and arranged in setup relation as in Fig. 18, or it may be readily collapsed for storage or shipment, or for return and reuse, as in Fig. 19.
Although the drawings disclose shipping crates or containers of the open and so-called closed type, it is to be understood that the several embodiments of wire hinges of the present invention may be used with either and with any suitable construction of end or top and bottom closures. Furthermore, the word crate is intended to in clude any type, style or construction of box, chest or other container to which the invention is susceptible. The material of which the hinge is constructed is preferably ductile steel wire, although copper, aluminum or other ductile or flexible wire suitable for the purpose intended and which will bend through an angle of approximately without fracture, is contemplated. Thus the composition of the hinge may depend upon the number of times the crate is intended to be opened and closed in use.
Having thus disclosed the invention, I claim:
.1. A wire hinge for connecting the overlapping corners of adjoining panels of a collapsible crate with said panels having overlapping slats and cleats, comprising a length of Wire inserted through preformed openings extending through the adjoining cleats and slats of adjoining corners of the panels Where they overlap, the opening in the corner of one panel extending diagonally through its slat and cleat and conformably receiving an end of the wire and the opening in the corner of the other panel extending transversely through its slat and cleat and being substantially larger than the cross section of the wire, the opposite ends of the wire after insertion extending through the openings and projecting beyond the outer face of the corners of the panels with the end projecting through the larger opening being of greater length than the other and extending over the corner of its panel, these projecting ends being clinched over the outer face of the corners of the panels to avoid any projecting portions that might cause damage or injury.
2. In a collapsible crate having the corners of adjoining panels in overlapping relation when the crate is opened for use, a cleat and slat at each corner adapted to overlap when the crate is opened and each panel and its cleat and slat provided with an opening therethrough with the opening in one panel and its cleat and slat extending transversely therethrough and the opening in the other panel and its cleat and slat extending diagonally therethrough, and a single length of Wire inserted through these openings with the opposite ends of the inserted Wire extending through and beyond the outer face of the cleats with the end projecting through the transversely extending opening of one of said cleats being of greater length than the other and projecting over the corner of its cleat, these extended ends being clinched over the outer face of the cleats to avoid any projecting portions that might cause damage or injury.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 693,519 Hill Feb. 18, 1902 2,110,150 Hile Mar. 8, 1938 2,399,989 Coye May 7, 1946 FOREIGN PATENTS 409,467 Great Britain- May 3, 1934