US 3107390 A
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Oct. 22, 1963 D. L. SHELTON 3,107,390
GATE HINGE Filed July s, 1958 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTOR DOTHAN L. SHELTON FlG.l BY
Oct. 22, 1963 D. 1.. SHELTON GATE HINGE 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed July 8, 1958 INVENTOR DOTHAN L. SHELTON ATTORNEY United States Patent 3,107,390 GATE HINGE D'othan L. Shelton, 2100 S. Polk, Amarillo, Tex. Filed July 8, 1958, Ser. No. 747,284 1 Claim. (Cl. 16-152) This invention pertains to gate hinges and more particularly to gate hinges of the gravity-closing type.
It has long been recognized if the hinges of a gate were angled with the lower pivot closer to the gate post than the upper, it would cause the gate to rise as it was opened and therefore be self-closing by gravity. Simple as this has been in theory, it has been rather difficult in practice because the pintles or bolts of the hinges must be ccurately aligned at an angle to vertical.
I have solved this problem by using ball and socket hinges. The obvious advantage of this type of hinge is that it is not necessary to align it, it being a self aligning joint. However, previously self-aligning ball and socket type joints were difiicult to manufacture and therefore the cost was prohibitive for gates such as used on residential fences.
Therefore, I have invented, inter 'alia, -a method of making a ball and socket hinge in an inexpensive fashion, well suited for gates.
An object of this invention is to provide a gravityclosing gate hinge.
Another object of this invention is to provide such a hinge which may be readily attached to either wooden or steel gates.
A further object of this invention is to provide such a hinge which will adequately support the gate over a long period of time without sagging.
Still further objects are to achieve the above with a device that is sturdy, simple and reliable.
Still further objects of the invention are a method of manufacturing such a hinge which is both easy and inexpensive both as to time and materials.
The specific nature of the invention as well as other uses, objects and advantages thereof will clearly appear from the following description and the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 illustrates a gate post and gate with the hinge according to this invention.
FIG. 2 is a side elevation of the hinge, the socket portion thereof beingin sections. 1
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the ball half of the hinge.
FIG. 4 is an elevational view of the post plate.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a modified post plate particularly adapted for use with wooden posts.
FIG. 6 illustrates a modification of the ball half of the hinge.
FIG. 7 illustrates a strip of material in the process of forming the socket half of the hinge. i
FIG. 8 is a view of the socket half of the hinge after being formed except for bending.
FIG. 9 is a cross sectional view of the strip shown in FIG. 7 taken on line 9-9.
FIG. 10 is a cross sectional view of FIG. 8 taken on line 10-10.
FIG. 11 is a plan view of the socket half of the hinge after it has been partially folded.
FIG. 12 is an elevational view of the hinge after it has been completed.
FIG. 13 is a plan view of a modified socket half of the hinge in the process of forming.
FIG. 14 is a plan view of the socket half after it has been completely formed except for the folding.
FIG. 15 is a plan view of the socket half after partial folding.
3,167,399 Patented Oct. 22, 1963 An embodiment of the invention as seen in the accompanying drawings has the upper hinge oiiset from the lower hinge so that the gate 28 is gravity-closing. The ball halves of the hinges are in the form of J-bolts 22 and 24 which extend through cylindrical post 26. The bolts have an elongated shank portion with V-shaped notch 28 cut from the upper portion thereof. The shank of upper bolt 24 is longer than that of lower bolt 22. This shank portion is also threaded. The posts have holes (notshown) through each of Which a shank portion extends. A nut 30 is run on the bolt to form one stop; then the shank portion of the J-bolt is passed through a hole of the post; and post plate 32 placed over the shank. Nut 34 is threaded onto the shank to hold the assembly in place. The post plate has boss 36 on it so that the nut seats against a plane surface. The plate itself is of arcuate form so that it fits snugly against the post. The boss has a V-shaped tooth 38 which fits within the notch 28. When the bolt is attached to the post, the plate cannot rotate on the post because of its arcuate form. Likewise, the bolt cannot turn relative to the post because of the mating notch 28 and tooth 38.
As assembled each bolt has upward turned spherical protuberance or ball 40 which fits within socket 462 of the socket half of the hinge member 44. As the ball turns up and the socket down, the gate is supported by both the upper and lower socket. This is obviously better than the usual practice of turning one pintle up and the other down to prevent lifting the gate from the pintles. In such a case the entire weight is carried by the bottom hinge. The gate cannot be lifted from the hinges because the socket extends over the ball. Both the upper and lower socket face down-ward. This prevents dirt and rain from being caught within the socket. The upper fold of the metal of the socket acts as a roof over socket to prevent foreign matter from falling therein. Also, the bearing surface is greatly increased, thereby reducing wear.
The socket half of the hinge has a bifurcated portion 46 which straddles a cylindrical portion of the gate 20. On the cars which project past the cylindrical portion ofthe gate there are apertures 48 in each of the surrounding legs. These apertures 48 are square so that the square projection from a round-headed bolt may interfit and prevent the bolt from rotating. The legs of the bifurcated portion are arcuate within the area 50. The distance from the socket to the arcuate area 50 is less on the upper hinge half than on the lower hinge half 52. Therefore, as may be seen in FIG. 1 when the gate is closed, the cylindrical portion of the gate is parallel to the gate post 26. When the gate is open, the cylindrical portion will no longer be parallel and this is what provides the gravityclosing action Well known in the art.
FIG. 5 illustrates a modified form of the post plate adapted to be used with a wooden gate post. It comprises a plate 54- with a spike 56 on either side of a flat surface. In the center of the flat surface is an aperture 58 for the passage of the shank of the bolt. Also, there is a tooth 60 to enter and engage the notch 28 for the purposes described above. In use a hole is bored through the gate post and the spikes 56 driven into the gate post so that the aperture 58 mates with the hole through the gate post. The rest of the gate is assembled as described above.
If a wooden gate is used a socket half may be made with no arcuate portion 50 but vw'th additional apertures. Also, one of the legs could be cut off to conserve metal. Other variations will readily suggest themselves for different applications.
FIG. 6 illustrates a modified form of the ball half of the hinge. In it a ball 62 is supported by short vertical shank or post 64. The vertical post is clamped within the bight 66 of a strap. The strap has legs with an arcuate area 50 and square apertures 48, as described in the socket half above. It would be attached to a cylindrical gate post by passing the plate around the gate post so that the post was in the arcuate area 50, and a bolt attached through the apertures 48. It would also be made in pairs, one with a short distance between the arcuate area 50 and the ball post 64 and the other with a long distance between these two areas.
FIGS. 7 through 12 illustrate the method of making the socket half of the hinge. A strap or strip of thin metal is fed through a progressive stamping die from left to right. Therefore, the left end of FIG. 7 illustrates the first operation which is performed upon the strip which is to become the socket half of the hinge. The first operation is performed before the strip is shown, i.e., the two square apertures 48 are punched. Therefore, in each succeeding position a dowel may fit in these apertures and position the strip for the next operation. The next station draws the sockets 42 to their final shape. This final shape is the segment of a sphere. The next station cuts the slot 68 which forms the two bifurcated legs. It also cuts the individual half hinges from the strip and forms the rounded edge 70 near the socket end of the hinge and rounds the bifurcated legs as 72. After the half hinge has been cut free from the strip, the final station forms the arcuate portion 50 as shown in FIGS. 8 and 10. It will be noted that the socket half of the hinge is symmetrical about a longitudinal axis with a segment of a sphere on either side of this axis.
The next step is to partially fold the half hinge about this longitudinal axis. It is folded in such a way that both the sockets formed face together on their concave sides as do the arcuate areas 50. Such a position is H lustrated in FIG. 11. The socket has been called a clam shell because of the manner it folds over. However, the actual shape more resembles a scallop. This fold is such that the clearance between the two edges of the sockets 42 is just suificient for the passage of the ball 40 of the ball half of the hinge. The ball 40 is then inserted within the sockets and the final bending is accomplished with the ball in place. At the time of the final bending a lubricant such as graphite is also enclosed in the joint. The manufacturing work is then completed upon the hinge and all that is necessary is the installation upon the gate and gate post. The entire forming of the socket half of the hinge is done cold from low cost steel strips. In this manner a very inexpensive ball and socket hinge is formed.
It may 'be seen that the finished socket half comprised two parallel plates joined at the top with a 'bend along the axis, the sockets in the socket position being symmetrical about the bend. Also, the sockets in the two parallel plates are spherical concavities mating around the ball. The cylindrical or arcuate portion 50 will have an axis normal to the bend or longitudinal axis. Of course, the operation could be performed on small 4 plates instead of cutting the short plates from the long plate (strip) after some of the forming.
FIGS. 13 through 15 illustrate the manufacture of a modified form of the socket half of the hinge. In this modification, a single concavity 74 is formed along the longitudinal axis of the strap. Otherwise, the stamping process of the same sequence of FIGS. 7 through 10. Also, surrounding concavity 74 at this stage of progression is a portion of plane surface material 76 which extends for approximately an equal distance around the concavity. After the half hinge has been formed, as seen in FIG. 14, it is likewise bent along its longitudinal axis as seen in FIG. 15. Then the ball of the ball half of the hinge is inserted in it and the hinge is completely bent around with the lower skirt portion 76 being bent inward so that the ball is surrounded for more than degrees of the sphere, therefore it cannot be removed without bending of the metal of the socket half of the hinge.
It wilt be apparent that the embodiments shown are only exemplary and that various modifications can be made in construction, materials, and arrangement within the scope of the invention as defined in the claim.
I claim as my invention:
A gravity-closing hinge for a gate comprising:
(a) a vertically disposed gate post,
(1;) a gate,
(0) two ball half-hinges attached to the gate post,
(d) two socket half-hinges attached to the gate,
(e) each of the ball half-hinges having an upward turned ball,
(f) the socket half-hinges having downward turned sockets,
(g) the balls mated in the'sockets,
(h) the upper of said balls disposed farther from the gate post than the lower of said balls whereby the gate is self closing,
(i) each of said socket half-hinges formed from a relatively thin plate of metal having a concave depression, and
(j) each top of each socket halfhinge being an integral part thereof without openings therein.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 91,724 Deweese' June 22, 1869 498,208 Dulaney May 23, 1893 406,412 Eberhardt July 2, 1899 974,073 Kesbenger Oct. 25, 1910 990,681 Streepey Apr. 25, 1911 995,760 Anderson June 20, 1911 1,050,422 Birchwood Jan. 14, 1913 1,338,209 Bruber Apr. 27, 1920 2,010,468 Spencer Aug. 6, 1935 2,708,286 Tollefson May 17, 1955 2,740,649 Latzen Apr. 3, 1956 2,841,427 Sheppard July 1, 1958