US 2917335 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 15, 1959 J. P. PYKA GARAGE DOOR LATCH 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed April 22, 1957 INVENTOR. Joy/v A. Pym? Dec. 15, 1959 Y J. P. PYKA 2,917,335
GARAGE DOOR LATCH Filed April 22 1957 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. J: Jo /v2 V/Zfl United States Patent GARAGE DOOR LATCH John P. Pyka, Van Nuys, Calif.
Application April 22, 1957, Serial No. 654,176
' 7 Claims. (11. 292-1 This invention relates to devices for preventing unauthorized entry of persons into buildings, and more particularly to catches to be used with locks on overhead doors employed in garage buildings and the like.
Those skilled in the art will already recognize that an extremely large number of overhead garage door latches would be of practical value if all such doors were precision made and precision hung. For example, hasps or bolts or many other devices would be used. However, as a practical matter, most all garage doors are not precision doors because it is uneconomical to make and install such doors. For this reason most all conventional door latches are unsuitable for use on such doors, because a door may close at a somewhat different posi tion each time and, because no shock absorbing mechanism is normally ever provided on an overhead garage door latch to minimize wear and damage on the latch.
Still further, conventional garage door latches are not normally easily operable from both the inside and outside of a garage.
It is therefore an object of the invention to provide a mechanical latch for use on overhead garage doors which are not precision made or installed.
It is another object of the invention to provide a shock absorbing garage door latch.
It is another object of the invention to provide a latch for an overhead door of a garage which may be easily operated from both the inside and outside of the garage.
These and other objects of the invention are achieved and the above-described and other disadvantages of the prior art are overcome by providing a latch for a door in a garage building or the like having a front wall overhanging an entrance way, the door of the garage being adapted to travel from an overhead position inside the garage to a vertical position covering the entrance way. This latch then comprises a projection mounted inside the garage on the front wall in a position to rotate about a horizontal axis through one end perpendicularly to its own longitudinal axis. Bias means are then provided to hold the projection in a position extending upwardly and rearwardly in the garage. The bias means preferably includes resilient means to resist yieldingly rotation of the projection to a position extending downwardly and rearwardly in the garage. A bracket is then fixed to the upper end of the garage door and a constraining member is fixed to the bracket in a position to present a frustoconical or equivalent type of tapered surface to a free end of the projection opposite said one end. The frustoconical surface then is a surface of revolution about an axis which is horizontal when the garage door is lowered to a position covering the entrance way. The constraining member is provided with an aperture at the center of the frusto-c'onical surface to receive the free end of the projection, A catch member or pawl is then rotatably mounted on the free end of the projection to engage a rear surface of the constraining member to prevent removal of the door from the entrance way when engaged by the pawl; The pawl is preferably spring-loaded so radially downwardly of the projection at a particular circumferential' position there around at the free end. Release means are then provided to permit removal of the constraining member from the projection so that the 5 garage door may be raised to its overhead position.
Thus, it can be seen that use of the projection with the aperture in the constraining member and its frustoconical type surface facilitates positive actuation of the latch by guiding the projection toward the aperture and through it to securely latch the door in its position covering the entrance way by use of the spring-loaded pawl, that is, side to side movement of the door cannot prevent positive actuation of the door latch of the invention because the frusto-conical surface of the constraining member will always guide the projection to the central aperture provided in it. In addition, the means used to mount the projection in a position extending upwardly and rearwardly in the garage-facilitates positive actuation of the latch because allowance in this manner can be made for the angular movement of the door relative to some pivot point; This is true whether or not the whole door is rotated about a single horizontal axis or whether the door is put together in a number of hinged panels which are lowered successively to their operative position covering the entrance way on suitable trackways on each side of the garage.
Although it is not necessary thatthe pawl be maintained at a particular angular position on the projection, preferably his so maintained so that when the constraining member is provided with a radially extending slot it may be rotated to a position such that the slot is aligned with the pawl and the constraining member may be removed from the projection as the garage door is raised to its overhead position.
In accordance with a feature of the invention, resilient means are employed to urge the projection to a position normally extending upwardly and rearwardly in the garage. This resilient means thus performs two functions. In the first place, it yields to force applied to the projection downwardly as the constraining. member surrounds the projection and the door is lowered to its operative position covering the entrance way. Secondly, it provides a shock absorbing mechanism for the latch to prevent unnecessary wear and damage to the latch itself.
Conveniently a handle may be rotatably mounted through the garage door to operate the-latch from the outside of the garage by-means of, for example, a chain fixed to an operating arm extending radially downwardly from the radially slotted constraining member. It is therefore an advantage of the invention that the garage door latch may also be opened from the inside simply by pulling the chain to rotate the constraining member to a position such that the pawl is aligned with the radial slot in the constraining member. Thus, the garage door It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawings are for purposes of illustration and description only,- and that they are not intended as a definition of the:
limits of the invention.
Fig. 1 is a broken-away sectional view of a front er;-
tion of a garage for the latch of the invention in itsoperative position;
Fig. 2 is a'sectional view of a garage door showing a front view of the latch in place and taken'on-the line 22 shown in Fig. 1;
Fig. 3 is a perspectiveview of abracket, an adjustment screw, and a projection rot-atably mounted in the the bracket employed =insthegarage door latch ot-the present invention;
Fig. 4'is a sectional view of the door latchofthe invention itself shown in its operative position and taken on the line4-4 shown in Fig. 2;
Fig. 5 is .a sectional view of a constraining member and associated mechanical structure taken on the line 55 shown in Fig. 4; and V Fig. 6 is a sectional view of theconstraining member taken at the-same position as on line 5-5'-shown'in'Fig. 4 -but with theconstraining member rotated to a;position such that a radial slot therein is aligned with a pawl on the projectionshown in Fig. 3, wherebytheconstrziining member may be removed'frorn the:projection'to open the garage door to which it is attached.
Inthe drawing in Fig. :1, a garage 'is indicated generallyat 10having a roof 12 with a front'wall '14 overhanging an entrance way indicated generallyat 16. Entrance way 16 is covered by a garage door 18 which may be located at the position shown in solid lines from an overhead position from which it swings along an arc indicated by an arrow .20, an intermediate. position of which is indicated bythe dottedlines 22.
Although a garage door made of several horizontally hinged sections may be moved on trackways on each side of the garage, the door 18 shown in Fig.1 is one which is rotatably mounted by a single horizontal axis. Door 18 is for this reason fixed to braces 24, only oneof which is shown in Fig. 1.
The garage door latch of the invention is indicated generally at 26 in Fig. 1. It'includes two principal parts. One is a bracket 28 fixed to front wall 14 and the other is a bracket 30 fixed tothe upper. end of garage door 18. As can be seen in Fig. 4, wood screws 31 extend through a horizontal portion 33 of bracket 30 into a beam 32 of door 18. Bracket 30 also includes a vertical body portion 37 strengthened by means of a triangular Web 39 also fixed tohorizontal portion 33. Garage door 18 is provided with a covering wall 34 for entrance way 16 as shown in Fig. 1. The covering wall 34 need not necessarily bear against a rear portion of the front wall 14, as shown in Fig. '1, but may hang loosely on a pro jection .36 .of the door latch 26 which will provide a shock absorbing function as will be explained subsequently.
The manner in which the door latch 26 may be 0perated is' better illustrated in Fig. 2 where a handle 38 is shown rotatably mounted through door 18 and has an arm 40 fixed to it by means of a longitudinal screw 42. Handle 38 has a transverse portion rotatably mounted from a bracket44 that is fixed to the inside of enclosing wall 34 of door '18 by means of screws 46. Rotation of handle 38 in the direction of arrow 48 will cause door latch 26 to open, arm 40 actuating an arm 50 of door latch 26 through a vertical chain connection 52. Operating arm 50 of door latch 26 includes a'screw 54 threaded through an ear -56Jand into the body portion of a rotatable constraining member 58, better shown in Fig. 5. As can be seen, a hole 60 is provided through the beam 32 in the door 18 to permit the passage of chain 52 therethrough.
Bracket 28 is perhaps best shown in Fig. 3 including holes 62.which are provided for screws 64 to maintain the bracket in a fixed position on wall 14 as best indicated in Fig. 4. A sha.ft.66.is then located through side portions of bracket 28 and through projection 36 to rotatably mount projection 36 about a horizontal axis perpendicular to its longitudinal axis. Preferably projection 36is tapered at itsgfree endinch'cated at 68 and is provided with a pawl 70 at that end rotatably mounted about a shaft 72 at a particular circumferential position on the projection 36. The pawl 70 is spring-loaded by a spring 74 best indicated in Fig. 4 which urges pawl 70 to rotate to the position shown in Fig. 4, this being limited by a stop 76 on projection 36. Spring 74 is located at its upper end in a groove 78 in a lower surface of pawl 70 and in a groove 80 in a slot of projection 36.
Projection 36 is normally canted upwardly and rearwardly in the garage as indicated in Figs. 1, 3 and 4. This is performed by means of a wire spring 82 that is located in a hole 84 in projection 36, wound about shaft 66 one or two turns, and located in a hole 86 in a lower transverse portion 88 of bracket 28. Theupward canted angle of projection 36 may be and probably is adjustable with a screw 90 threaded through an upper transverse portion 92 of bracket 28.
Rotary member 58 is provided with a frusto-conical surface 94 which need not be exactly frusto-conical .but which preferably istapered inwardly toward its center 360 around its circumference as indicated in Fig. 4. Constraining member 58 is rotatably mounted in a housing 96 fixed to bracket 30 by means ot'bolts 98, three of which are indicated in both Figs. 5 and 6. Constraining member 58 is provided with an aperture 100 at its symmetrical center and at the converging end of frustoconical surface 94. Thus, body portion 37 of bracket 30 must be apertured at 120m permit projection 36 to extend therethrough. Similarly, housing 96 for constraining member 58 is also provided with an aperture 122. Projection 36 thus projects through aperture 100 when the latch 26 of the invention is maintained in its operative latching position. As indicated in Fig. 5, rotary member 58 is provided with a radial slot 102 which may be movedto the position of the pawl 70 as indicated in Fig. 6 to permit release of projection 36. The peculiar shape of projection 36 which maybe noted in Figs. 5 and 6, it will be observed, comes from the fact that the section of the latch of the invention taken on the line 5-5, shown in Fig. 4, is at an angle with respect to projection 36.
Constraining member 58 is normally urged to the position shown in Fig. 5 to cooperate with pawl 70 on projection 36 to prevent movement of garage door 18 upwardly and rearwardly in garage 10 to its overhead position by a torsion spring 104 that extends from a hole 106 extending through housing'96 loosely around constraining member 58 as indicated in Fig. 5 'and then into a hole 10.8 inconstraining member 58 extending approximately radially into it. Thus, when constraining member 58 is moved to the position in Fig. 6 torsion spring 104 is moved to a position radially closer to the exterior of constraining member 58, torsion spring 104 also extending into a groove 109 in constraining member 58itself.
Housing 96 is provided with a radial slot 110 having one terminal portion112 at its upper end to provide a stop for screw 54 of operatingmember 50 and a lower terminal portion 114 to provide a lower stop for operating member 50.
Although the invention should not be limited to any specific lock, it will obviously 'be desirable to use a lock with a latch of the invention. For this reason a tumble lock 118, as indicated in Fig. 2, may be provided to lock handle 38in a fixed position as indicated in Fig. 2.
Although much of the structure shown in the drawings in this case are preferably used with the invention, all of course need not necessarily be employed and many changes and modifications thereof may be made without departing from the invention. .However, certain structures necessarily must be employed. In the first place, it is necessary to employ projection 36 pivoted at one end as in Fig. 4 so that vertical and arcuate movement of garage door 18 will not affect positive actuation of the latch of the invention. In addition,.resilient means must be employed to urge projection 36 to extend upwardly and rearwardly in garage 10. This is necessary because of the arc movement indicated at arrow 20 in Fig. 1 of garage door 18. Further, although of course surface 94 of constraining member 58 need not be expressly frustoconical, it must be tapered towards its center as indicated in Fig. 4 approximately 360 about its circumference. For purposes of definition, however, it is to be understood that the adjective frusto-conical, as used hereinbefore and hereinafter, is not tobe limited to a specific tapered shape. This mechanical structure must be employed to locate the end of projection 36 positively within aperture 100 in constraining member 58. Of course, some deterrent or pawl must be provided on projection 36 to engage a rear portion or back surface 116 of constraining member 58 to latch garage door 18 securely in place.
Although it is not necessarily employed, it is to be noted that use of adjustment screw 90 is very advantageous when the door with which the latch of the invention to be used is very poorly hung and where provision cannot appropriately be made to locate the position of bracket 28 accurately on front wall 14.
It is to be noted that no resilient means is required to return constraining member 58 to its position as the use of torsion spring 104 is indicated. This certainly is convenient, but is not a necessary expedient. Still further, it will be obvious that the invention should not be limited to the use of any specific release means for the pawl 70 on projection 36, or operating arm such as the arm 50. Still further, pawl 70 may take various forms as deterrent means on projection 36. Furthermore, the specific structures of spring 82, projection 36, and constraining member 50 may be varied considerably under the abovedescribed qualifications. It is to be understood that springs 76, 82 and 106 need not be wire springs as shown but may take the form of any resilient means.
Preferably door latch 26 is located centrally of garage door 18 to minimize rotational movement of garage door 18 about its central horizontal axis. However, it is to be understood that the door latch 26 is to be used for the specific purpose of making irregular movements of door 18 immaterial as far as its positive actuation goes. For this reason, provided that a door latch of the invention is fitted to a particular door, one may be provided at each side of a garage door. The fact that preferably the door latch of the invention is used at the center of a door is not only desirable from the point of view of positive actuation, but also makes an operating mechanism for it easier and more economical to make and install. For example, it may be necessary to employ a latch of the invention at each side of a garage door because of the considerable leverage one might obtain to break the latch if a person attempted to enter the garage by forcing the garage door 18 at one side.
Since all these and many other changes and modifications of the invention will be obvious to those skilled in the art, it is to be understood that the invention is by no means limited to any more than to the general structures which are required and not to the specific forms shown. Further, although only one specific embodiment of the invention has been shown, this embodiment has been shown merely for purpose of description and illustration. For this reason, the invention is not to be limited to the embodiment shown but it is to be understood that the true scope thereof is defined only in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A latch comprising: a projection to rotate about a predetermined axis perpendicular to its own longitudinal axis; bias means to hold said projection yieldingly in an inoperative rotational position about said predetermined axis; a bracket having a constraining member mounted thereon, said constraining member having a substantially frusto-conical surface of revolution, said constraining member having a hole approximately at the center of said fmstd-conical surface to receive the free end of said projection; a catch member on the free end of said projection to engage a rearward surface of said constraining member; and release means to permit removal of said constraining member from said projection.
2. A latch comprising: a projection to rotate about a predetermined axis perpendicular to its own longitudinal axis; bias means to hold said projection yieldingly in an inoperative rotational position about said predetermined axis; a bracket having a member rotatable thereon, said rotatable member having a substantially frustd-conical surface of revolution, said rotatable member also having a hole approximately at the center of said frusto-conical surface to receive the free end of said projection; a pawl rotatably mounted on said projection about an axis perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said projection; and resilient means to hold said pawl yieldingly outwardly of said projection in a manner to be depressed when entering the aperture of said rotatable member, but to snap outwardly after passing through it to engage a rearward surface of said rotatable member to prevent subsequent removal of said projection from said rotatable member, said pawl normally extending radially outwardly of said projection at a particular circumferential position therearound, said rotatable member having a slot of a width larger than that of said pawl through said frusto-conical surface at a circumferential position different than that of said pawl on said projection, said rotatable member being rotatable to the position of said pawl to release said projection.
3. The invention as defined in claim 2, wherein resilient means are additionally provided to urge said rotatable member to move to a position in which said rotatable member slot and said pawl are not aligned.
4. The invention as defined in claim 3, wherein said projection is pivotally mounted on a shaft, wherein a bracket is also provided to retain the ends of said shaft, and wherein said bracket is provided with a lower transverse portion having a vertical hole, said projection means being normally maintained in an inoperative position by a wire spring extending longitudinally into said projection having at least one turn wrapped around said shaft and extending downwardly into said hole in said bracket.
5. The invention as defined in claim 4, wherein said bracket is provided with an upper portion, and wherein an adjustment screw is threaded through said upper portion to adjust the unlatched angular position of said projection.
6. The invention as defined in claim 3, wherein the following are additionally provided: a housing fixed to said bracket, said housing having a slot extending radially therethrough, and an operative arm fixed to said rotatable member extending through said housing slot.
7. The invention as defined in claim 6, wherein a torsion spring is provided to urge said rotatable member to a position in which said operating arm engages one terminal portion of said housing slot as a stop, said housing and said rotatable member both having holes extending approximately radially through them at different angular positions, said torsion spring extending from the hole in said housing, around said rotatable member and into the hole in said rotatable member in a position to be drawn towards said rotatable member as said operating arm is moved from said one terminal portion of said housing slot to an opposite terminal portion thereof.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 744,985 Stuart Nov. 24, 1903 2,164,648 Ferris July 4, 1939 2,211,586 Schwarz Aug. 13, 1940 2,228,361 ONeil Ian. 14, 1941 2,472,791 Clark June 14, 1949 2,552,390 Bacon et a1. May 8, 1951 2,616,739 Allen Nov. 4, 1952 2,687,320 Moler Aug. 24, 1954