US 2826813 A
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March 18, 1958 w. FLOCKE POCKET KNIFE 5 Shets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. 15 1952 INVENTOR. WILL! FLOQKE iz M W W. FLOCKE POCKET KNIFE March 18, 1958 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 Filed Dec 15, .1952
' INVENTOR. WQLLI FLocKE I thereof.
by anadditional spring effect.
United States Patent 2,826,813 POCKETKNIFE Willi Elocke, Solingen-Wald, Germany, assignor toArthur Salm, Inc.,' Chicago, ill a corporation of Illinois This invention relatesto pocketknives pocket. tiles and similar pocket toolsflforjlight duty household and per sonal use; particularly to la tool ,oflthis .type which is carried in a small pocket, handbag, or cornpartment ThemeWpocket tool or knife isof the automatic or fiy-open type whereintheknife blade orjtoolhit isejected from a sheath or haftsbylthe actionof a spring' This avoids thelnecessity of open'nglthe knife .withthe fingernails. However the spring ejctionofthebladeis possible only in .a certainpositionofthe device; normally,
for carrying ina pocket, the device is securely locked (a in au oma Qp ninsand sp ngejecti m- I It is a primary object of the new construction to controlboththe autornatic springoper ation and the normal secure lockingfagainstthe same by one of the inherently required parts of the knife,, that is by apart of the sheath or .haft; thereby ,reducingthe .number of mechanical parts required and also making the entire pocketlknife or pocket tool particularly compact and s mooth. Several joffthe parts previously used in automatic knives, such as small latches, dogs and keys are" conspicuous by absence. This reduces the chance for breakage of small parts, and cloggingofthe mechanism.
Accordingly the new knife comprises a skeleton frame in which theblade is loosely pivoted soithat it can :be ejected even by a very slender ,leaf spring. A sheath memberis slidable on this skeleton frarneand prevented from being removed therefromby a simple slot and key In one position of the ,slidable sheath member and blade .the blade is .securelylocked in closed position against automatic ejection. In another position ofthe slidable sheath member the blade is swung out of the skeleton frame by the small spring as mentioned;
the shank of the blade being caused to pass through suitable slots in the skeleton frame and slidablesheath member at this time. In the open position of the blade the slidable sheath member can be returned to the first position, wherein it now looks the blade in open position In the first position of the slidable sheath member the entire sheath or haft is practically unitary and'compact although it is composed of separate parts. The knife is preferably made as an all-steel unit of smooth and slender exterior design, resembling a plain rectangular bar when closed but actually incorporating sufficient power and control features to provide the operation as generally described above.-
These various features and'advantages of the new knife will be understood more clearly-from the detailed description of a preferred embodiment, which follows.
'It .souldbe understood, however, that the specific description and illustration are merely'illustrative. The scope ,of the closed knife of Figure 1, thesectionbeing taken Q like.
of the invention is defined by the claims appended hereto. 1
In the drawing:
Figure 1 is an enlarged side view of a closed pocket knife according to this invention.
Figure 2- is atop view of the knife of Figure 1.
,Figure 3 is a view similar to Figure 1, but showingthe knife being opened.
Figure 4 is a view. similar to Figure 3, but showing he knife open.
' Figure 5 is another similar view, showing the knife while being closed.
Figure 6 is a more enlarged vview, .generallysimilar to Figure 2, but showing the device partlyinsection and without the knife blade and thesliding portion of the sheath handle; the section being takenialonglines6- 6 Figure 7. 4 Figure 7 is asection through Figure 6, on lines 7:7.
Figure-8 is a section generally similar to Figure 7 ,;but showing the removed and separated sliding portion of the sheath handle. V
' Figure 9 isa view taken along the *lines .99 of Figure .8. Figure 10 is aview. taken along lines'10 -10in Figure '7.
Figure 11 is a fragmentary section of the buttportion in the plane identified by lines 7-7 in Figure 6.
Figure 12 isa view generally similar to Figure l1 but showing theknife in process of'beingopened; and
j-Figure '13 is a viewgenerally similar-to Figure -11 but showing the knife in process of being locked in open position.
The steel ,knife blade or tool bit 20 ,of the present pocket tool is joined to a sheath handle 21, preferably made of stainless steel or the like. This joint is eifected -by.a pin v22rigidly secured to the pivot end of the sheath handle .so as to extend across the same. This pin has accurate but easily pivoting or somewhat loose fit with thepivot portion of the blade.
This kind of joint allows ejection of .the blade from the sheath handle by a fairly small and weak leaf spring. Such aspring 23 is installed in the bottom 'of the sheath handle. Being installed in this manner, the spring :23 is not much wider than theblade v 20 is thick.
The sheath handle 21 has cheek portions, basically .known in other knives; that'is, forthe combined purposes of keeping the knife rigid and presenting a .suitable outside surface.
In the present sheath handle, one portion 24.0f the cheek section is .slidable to the left, along the remainder of the sheath handle, thereby replacing latch dogs, etc. previously used in fly-open knives. (It may benotedat this point that throughout this description, the 'terms right, left, bottom and top refer to the orientation of the knife as shown in Figures 1, 3, etc.)
.Relatively movable sections of a casing are known in cigarette lighters, watch cases, lipstick containers and the Somewhat similar parts have also been used-in jackknives, but not in the present form or manner so far as I know.
The sleeve section 24 and'indeed all parts of the present unit other than the blade and pivot pin are preferably made of the same metal as the handle 2-1.
In the closed position of Figures 1 and '11, the sleeve section 24 locks the blade against ejection by the spring 23. In the open position of'Figures 4 and 13, the sleeve section 24 looks the blade against practically all motion relative to the handle. In the intermediate position of Figures-3 and 12, the blade is completely unlocked and swings lreely on its low friction pivot 22; In this swinging movement a butt portion of the blade passes through of the closed knife.
3 or butt 25 of the blade depresses and distorts the free end of the leaf spring 23, while the opposite end of that spring is secured to the handle adjacent the heel ofthe knifetsee Figure 7). Preferably an offset A isprovided in that part of the -shank25 .which faces the bottom This ofiset has some similarity with those for the locking. of jackknives in open position.
However, in the present knife the offset is provided only to accommodate the free end of the spring 23; no attempt is made to insure an accurate abutment. In the position as shown, ejection of the blade by the spring is prevented by engagement between (1) a flat shoulder surface 26 on the front edge of the blade shank 25 and (2) a top surface 27 of a web or wall 28 forming part of the sleeve section 24, between the side walls 29 of said sleeve section.
Thesleeve or sliding butt portion 24 of the sheath handle, issubstantially U-shaped in crosssection, as best shown in Figure 9. A similarly shaped sleeve, check or liner30 forms a rigid heel portion of the knife handle 21. It provides stop surface 31 for. the slidable sleeve 24 on this handle 21. The sleeve section 24 is held to the body of the handle 21 by inwardly extending ribs 32 forming the upper edge portions of the sleeve walls 29.
The sleeve-supporting portion or skeletonv frame 33 of the handle or sheath 21' has sidewalls 34 of similar cross sectional form as the walls 29 of the slidable sleeve sec tion but sufficiently smaller to provide free sliding and telescoping fit, as best shown in Figure 10. The slidable sheath'handle portion 24 by means of its ribs 32 and its web 28 engages respectively the top edges 35 of the walls -34 and the bottom surface 36 of the bottom web 37 of frame 33.
Due to the omission ofany fingernail slot in the blade 20, no fingernail recess is required in theside walls 34 of the frame. This, in turn, facilitates the production of a knife which is strong even when made from metal of thin and light section. Likewise the provision of at least some little space for the spring 23 is facilitated, without increase in overall width.
If and when the sleeve section 24 is slid away leftwards from the position shown in Figure 11 (see Figure 12), the contact between the sleeve and blade surfaces 27 and 26 is interrupted, since there is a closed slot 38 in the web 28 of the sleeve, whichslot is now brought into register with an open "slot 39 in the butt end of the bottom web 37 .of the frame 33. In the closed position of the knife (Figure 11) these slots 38 and 39 were out of register; the bottom part 26 of shank 25 extended into the slot 39 of the frame but contacted a rigid slide wall surface 27, with some slight pressure transmitted by the shank 25 and originating with the spring 23.
During the leftward sliding of the sleeve section, the contact between the surfaces 26 and 27 is broken as soon as the lefthand end of the slot 38 passes the lefthand end of the shank 25. This allows the loosely pivoted blade 20 to be flipped out of the sheath into the open position (Figure 12), by the spring 23. Corners 40 of the shank 25 rotate into and through, the slot 38, incident to the rising and turning motion of the blade.
This unlocking and flying open of the blade must be followed by a locking of the blade in open position since it is impossiblqwith light and safe operating means like the spring 23, to flip the blade directly into a locked-open position, that is, to overcome the resistance of the required firm locking means for such position. In the present knife, the locking of the blade in open position is obtained by the same web 28 which has been mentioned. This locking of the knife, in open position, is particularly strong, since the open knife must be rigid. The following details should be noted.
Referring to Figure .11, the back edge 41 of the blade 20 starts at the butt of the knife with a flat surface or shoulder 42, extending approximately equally to both sides of the pivot pin 22. and being approximately parallel with shoulder 26. This flat surface 42 is followed by a 4 short cam surface 43, slightly inclined from the former direction toward the edge of the blade and thus providing a slight shallow recess 44 in the back edge 41 of the knife. The back 41 is completed by a blade edge 45, either straight or suitably curved.
When the sleeve section 24 of the handle has been moved to the left (Figure 12), only a short portion of this section is supported by the frame 33. Th opposite portion at the left end of the sleeve section 24 has its web 28 below or in the recess 44 and substantially out of contact with the back edge 41 .of the knife (Figure 13). It is largely by this lack of contact and pressure between the blade and sleeve that the knife, upon leftward extending of the sleeve section 24, is able to fall freely into the wide open position, while being able subsequently to be locked in that position by the sleeve.
When the knife blade is open but the sleeve 24 is moved back to the right so far as allowed by the stop surface 31 (Figure 13), the former relative looseness of friction both along the shoulder 42' and the circumference of the pin 22. In the unlocked position, on theother hand, practically all of this friction is eliminated.
It is also necessary to prevent leftward over-extension or loss of the sleeve 24. Therefore, I provide a raised 'point or punched-in portion 46 in the web 28 of the sleeve section 24. This raised point is formed between the slot 38 and the right hand end 47 of the sleeve (which right hand end faces the stop surface 31 and is adapted to abut against the same). The raised point 46 extends into and is adapted to move along a further slot 48 formed in the bottom of web 37 of the frame 33. It acts as a stop pin, preventing over-extension of t'he sleeve section 24 toward the left.
In the open position of the blade the flat shank surface 42 extends below the lower edge of the frame 33, to allow the resilient spring action of web 28 and locking of blade 20 as described. When locking the open knife blade, the user in effect causes the cam surface 43 progressively to distort successive portions of web 28. Such operation is facilitated by the slight inclination of the cam surface. The operation is reversed upon the unlocking stroke. In both instances a very slight manual effort sutfices to produce very adequate locking and unlocking of the opened knife, the sliding on and off being gradual, While the unlocking forces act upon the full, exposed locking surface 42.
The cheek or sleeve sections 24 and 30 and spring 23 are desirably made from metal of identical or similar thickness, thereby reducing the number of raw material parts required in the manufacture of the knife. This also facilitates the productionof a smooth knife handle, and at the same time produces adequate spring effects in the web 28. Of course, it will be understood that both magnitude and moment of the spring force obtained by the springing of the sleeve section 24, are considerably greater than those of the ejector spring 23.. This ejector spring is required only. to lift the slight weight of the knife blade. while the locking-open action must overcome substantial bending or collapsing forces, applied when the knife is used for cutting purposes and the like.
The ejector spring 23 is anchored to the. heel end of the frame 33 by a slug 49. This slug also serves to hold the frame walls 34 apart by the same distance as maintained by the pin 22. Thus the heel slug 49 also adds required rigidity to the frame 33.
No such heel or slug is provided at the opposite end of the knife, the free end of the sleeve section 24; this must be keptresilient, as explained. However, in the closed position of the knife (best shown in Figure 11) the end surface 50 of the shank 25, interposed between the sidewalls of the slide presents a flush and smooth end surface of the butt end, similar to the heel end 49. This prevents the entrance of dirt into such ends. Interception of any dirt is also prevented by the feature that the top of the knife (best shown in Figure 2) is substantially closed by the back 41 of the blade 20. Likewise the bottom edge of the closed knife exposes a smooth surface, interrupted only by the slots 38, 48 in the sleeve section 24 and frame 33. These slots are effectively closed by the spring 23 (see Figure 11).
It will be obvious to persons skilled in the art that a number of modifications can be applied, all within the scope of the present invention.
1. A pocket knife, comprising: a shank; a blade carried thereby; a sheath handle frame including a pair of walls and a web joining said walls to form a knife housing of substantially U-shaped cross-section, the web of said frame having a slot adjacent one end thereof; a heel at the other end of said frame; a pivot adjacent said slot and between the walls of said frame loosely mounting the shank thereto; a first sheath handle cheek secured to said frame adjacent the heel; a second sheath handle cheek including a pair of walls and a web joining said walls to form a sleeve having a cross-section similar to that of said frame, said second cheek being mounted for sliding on said frame in nested relation therewith from a first position abutting said first cheek to a second position partly beyond said pivot, and vice versa, the web of said second cheek having a second slot alignable with the slot in the web of said frame when the second check is in said second position; a surface on said shank engageable with the web of said second cheek to lock said blade when the same is within said frame and said second check is in said first position; a leaf spring anchored to said frame to eject the blade therefrom when said slots are aligned; and a second surface on said shank engageable with the web of said second cheek to lock said blade when the same is in open position and said second cheek is in said first position.
' 2. A pocket knife as described in claim 1, wherein the second surface on the shank is adapted to contact the corresponding web portion of the second cheek member,
in the open position of the blade, with substantial pressure.
3. A pocket knife as described in claim 2, wherein the back of the blade comprises, in addition to the second shank surface contacting the check web in open position, a cam surface slightly inclined toward the edge of the blade and adapted to guide portions of the cheek web into and out of positions wherein such portions are slightly distorted by the pressure applied by the shank surface.
4. 'A pocket implement comprising: a shank; a tool carried thereby; a sheath handle frame including a pair of walls and a web joining the walls to form a tool housing of substantially U-shaped cross-section, a pivot between the walls of said frame, adjacent one end thereof, and loosely mounting the shank thereo, a spring anchored to said frame for urging said tool therefrom, and means for locking saidtool in open and closed positions, including a sheath handle cheek having a pair of walls and web joined to form a sleeve of similar cross-section to that of said frame, said cheek being slidably mounted on i said frame for movement between a first position thereon and a second position whereat said cheek extends partly beyond said pivot, a first surface on said shank engageable with the web of said cheek to prevent pivoting of said tool when the same is within said frame and the check is in said first position, a second surface on said shank engageable with the web of said cheek to prevent pivoting of said tool when the same is in open position and the cheek is in said first position, said webs each further having a slot, the slot in the web of said cheek being alignable with the slot in the web of said frame only at such time as said cheek is in said second position, whereby said shank surfaces clear said webs, allowing pivoting of said tool from within said frame to open position, and the reverse.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 444,094 Drabble Jan. 6, 1891 873,206 Berns Dec. 10, 1907 1,972,147 Jones Sept. 4, 1934 2,774,139 Polk Dec. 18, 1956 FOREIGN PATENTS 316,651 Italy Apr. 12, 1934