Adjustable outrigger unit
US 3127021 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
March 31, 1964 H. NOLEN ADJUSTABLE OUTRIGGER UNIT INVENTOR.
#5986? m4 IVOlEIY act/11h! WHWWMEEEWMHMMWWP HMW m m m W u United States Patent 3,127,021 ADJUSTABLE OU'I'RIGGER UNIT Herbert Ira Nolan, 8095 Chalmers Ave., Warren, Mich. Filed Dec. 4, 1961, Ser. No. 156,866 12 Claims. (ill. 211-175) This invention relates to racks and, in particular, to portable stock racks.
Hitherto, portable stock racks for holding workpieces, such as sheet metal stampings, and other articles of extended size have been made in the form of an elongated open rectangular framework having four uprights or posts, one at each corner. These uprights have been connected at the opposite ends of the frame work by cross members and along their sides by permanent lower longitudinal members and removable upper longitudinal members or side bars. The latter are made removable in order to facilitate the insertion and removal of the workpieces. In such prior racks, however, the side members or side bars consisted of long wooden bars connected at their opposite ends to perpendicular angle arms of fixed lengths having tongues on their free ends hooking into slots in the sides of the uprights. In order to change the width of the framework to handle broader or narrower workpieces, it is necessary in such prior racks to employ side bars with different lengths of such angle arms for the different widths desired. Furthermore, the heights at which these side bars could be placed were limited by the locations of the slots in the uprights. As a result, the prior stock racks have been relatively inflexible in meeting different workpiece size requirements for the reason that these different sizes of side bars and fixed length angle arms had to be kept on hand and workmen had to hunt them up when the size or shape of workpiece to be accommodated by the rack was changed. The present invention eliminates these disadvantages by providing for such racks an adjustable outrigger unit of flexible size adjustment.
Accordingly, one object of the present invention is to provide an adjustable outrigger unit for portable stock racks which is quickly and easily adjustable to diiferent widths of workpiece, without the necessity of using prior angle arms of different fixed lengths to support the side bars.
Another object is to provide an adjustable outrigger unit of the foregoing character wherein the adjustable outriggers are slidably mounted in an elongated housing which is readily attachable to the corner posts or uprights of a standard portable stock rack, means being provided for locking the adjustable outriggers in widely difiering adjusted positions.
Another object is to provide an adjustable outrigger unit of the foregoing character wherein the elongated housing containing the adjustable outriggers is also adjustable vertically to different heights on the stock rack uprights or posts, so as to further adapt the unit most efiiciently to different sizes and shapes of workpieces.
Another object is to provide an adjustable outrigger unit of the foregoing character wherein the Outriggers include elongated bars with multiple notches therein and wherein the housing carries locking devices having locking members which are selectively movable into and out of these notches between locking and unlocking positions whereby the outrigger can be unlocked by the use of one hand of the operator while with the other hand he slidably extends or retracts the outrigger according to the size and shape of the particular workpieces or other articles which the rack, for the time being, is required to accommodate.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent during the course of the following description of the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective View of an adjustable outrigger unit, according to one form of the invention, with ihe stock rack uprights and side bars shown in dotted mes;
FIGURE 2 is a top plan view of the adjustable outrigger unit shown in FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is a vertical longitudinal section, taken along the line 3-3 in FIGURE 2;
FIGURE 4 is a cross-section through the outrigger locking device, taken along the line 4-4 in FIGURE 3;
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary longitudinal section similar in location to FIGURE 3, but showing the modified locking device; and
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary perspective view of the right hand clamping bracket and adjacent outrigger housing portion looking downward from above and from the rear of FIGURE 1.
Referring to the drawings in detail, FIGURE 1 shows a conventional portable stock rack, generally designated 10, of which only the upper portions of two of the corner posts 12 at one end are shown, and in dotted lines, in order not to obscure certain portions of the present invention. Also shown in FIGURE 1 and forming parts of the conventional portable stock rack it) are longitudinal workpiece-retaining side bars 14, each consisting of an elongated wooden bar or beam 16 having angle arms 18 bolted or otherwise secured to its opposite ends; the angle arms 18 have longitudinal portions 20 which are bolted or otherwise secured to the ends of the bars or beams 16 and transverse portions 22 disposed perpendicular thereto. The transverse portions 22 terminate in reduced-size end hooks 24.
Clamped to each pair of the stock frame posts or uprights 12 in the manner subsequently described below is an adjustable outrigger unit, generally designated 30, according to one form of the invention. The adjustable outrigger unit 30 consists generally of an elongated tubular housing, generally designated 32, which is clamped to the corner posts 12, right-hand and left-hand outriggers 34 and 36 respectively slidably mounted in the housing 32, and a pair of locking devices 38 of similar construction mounted in longitudinally-spaced relationship on the housing 32, one for the right-hand outrigger 34 and the other for the left-hand outrigger 36. Welded at W or otherwise secured to the housing 32 near its opposite ends are clamping brackets 4t) of similar construction but facing in opposite directions and adapted to adjustably secure the housing 32 to the corner posts or uprights 12 of the portable stock frame 10.
Each clamping bracket 4% includes a fixed oifset plate 42 and a fixed angle plate 44 having attachment portions 46 and 48 respectively welded or otherwise fixedly secured to the rear wall 50 of the tubular casing 32 in spaced relationship slightly greater than the width of each corner post 12. The oflfset plate 42 has an outer portion 52 oifset relatively to the attachment portion 46 in spaced parallel relationship, with a transverse connecting portion 54 joining the portions 46 and 52. The connecting portion 54 contains a vertical slot or notch 56 extending approximately halfway across the connecting portion 54. The fixed angle plate 44 has a bolt-receiving portion 58 disposed substantially perpendicular to the attachment portion 48 and therefore substantially parallel to the rear wall 50 of the housing 36.
Interlocking with the notched oifset plate 42 and cooperating with the angle plate 44 is a detachable closure plate 60 having spaced parallel long and short arm portions 62 and 64 respectively interconnected by a bridge portion 66, the shorter arm portion 64 terminating in an offset bolt-receiving portion 68 disposed substantially parallel to the bolt-receiving portion 53 of the angle plate 44 and parallel to the bridge portion 66. The longer arm portion 62 is provided with a notch 70 extending inward from the edge opposite to the edge of the offset plate 42 from which the notch 56 extends and also of half-width extent so as to interlock with the notch 56 and cause the closure plate 60 to align itself edgewise with the offset plate 42. The angle portions 58 and 68 of the angle plate 44 and closure plate 60 are drilled in alignment to receive one or more clamping bolts 72. By this construction, the closure plate 60 can be removed by removing the bolt or bolts 72 and sliding the closure plate 60 laterally relatively to the plates 42 and 44 so as to cause the notch 70 to move out of interlocking engagement with the notch 56. The outrigger unit 30 can then be placed against the corner post 12 of the portable stock frame 10, the closure plates 60 replaced in their original positions, and the bolts 72 restored and tightened so as to clamp the clamping brackets 40 and the housing 32 firmly to the corner posts 12 at any desired height.
The elongated tubular housing 32 is of rectangular cross-section and, in addition to its rear wall 50, has a top wall 74, a front wall 76 and a bottom wall 78 (FIG- URES 2 and 3). These walls define and bound a tubular chamber or passageway 80 having open right and lefthand ends 82 and 84 respectively (FIGURE 3) and elongated rectangular ports or openings 86 disposed in the top wall 74 in longitudinally-spaced relationship. Rising from the top wall 74 of the casing 32 at the opposite ends of each opening 86 are upstanding guide lugs 87. Mounted in the chamber or passageway 80 and welded or otherwise secured to the inner surface of the forward wall 76 of the housing 32 adjacent the openings 86 are two notched keeper plates 88 having multiple longitudinally-spaced locking notches 90 in their upper edges. Slidably mounted in the passageway 80 rearwardly of the keeper plates 88 are the elongated longitudinal bar portions 92 and 94 of the outriggers 34 and 36 respectively, these also having perpendicular end portions 96 and 98 respectively. The upper edges of the elongated portions 92 and 94 are provided with longitudinally-spaced locking notches 100 and 102 respectively. The bar portions 92 and 94 are slidably mounted within the chamber 80 in overlapping relationship, the right-hand bar portion 92 lying in front of the left-hand bar portion 94 (FIGURE 2). The notches 102 are of the same spacing and width as the notches 90.
Engaging a plurality of the notches 90 in the fixed locking plates 88 and the notches 100 and 102 in the bar portions 92 and 94 of the outriggers 34 and 36 are the shanks of a corresponding number of latch bolts 104 mounted in the casings 106 of the locking devices 38. The casings 106 (FIGURE 4) are of approximately U-shaped cross-section with spaced parallel side plates 108 interconnected by a bottom plate 110, the side plates 108 and bottom plate 110 being preferably integral with one another and formed by bending operations upon a sheet metal strip. The side plates 108 are of greater extent vertically than the vertical heights of the front and rear walls 76 and 50 of the casing 32 and near their upper edges are drilled at spacings corresponding to the spacings of the notches 90, 100 and 102 to receive the latch bolts 104 and enable the shanks of the latter to fall into the aforesaid notches when the latter are aligned with one another (FIGURES l and 2). The shanks of the outermost latch bolts 104 are guided in their vertical motion into and out of locking engagement with the notches 90 and 100 or 102 by the guides lugs 87 (FIGURE 3).
The side plates 108 are of sufficiently great height (FIGURE 3) that when the latch bolts 104 are in their lowered or locking positions in their respective notches, the bottom plate 110 is spaced below the bottom wall 78 of the casing 32 a suflicient distance to accommodate a bow-shaped leaf spring 112 having its central portion 114 of approximately U-shaped cross-section held in position by a retaining bolt 116. The opposite ends 118 of the leaf spring 112 are reversely bent for sliding engagement with the bottom wall 78 of the housing 32 as the casing 106 of the locking device 38 is pushed upward to disengage the latch bolts 104 from their locking positions in their respective notches and or 102, as indicated by the dotted line positions of the bolts 104 in FIGURE 3.
The modified locking device, generally designated 120, shown in FIGURE 5 is intended to be substituted for the locking devices 38 in FIGURES 1 to 4 inclusive and is similar in construction therewith except at the top. Accordingly, similar parts bear the same reference numerals. Secured as by welding to the upper edges of the side plates 108 and spanning the gap between them is a toothed locking plate 122 having a top or base plate portion 124 from which integral transversely-disposed teeth 126 extend downwardly. The teeth 126 are of approximately the same length and spacings as the shanks of the latch bolts 104 in FIGURE 1 and are shaped to fit into the notches 90 and 100 or 102 when these are disposed in alignment with one another. The opposite ends of the base plate portion 124 are guidingly engaged by guide lugs 128 similar to the guide lugs 87 and similarly welded or otherwise secured to the top plate 74 of the housing 32.
In the operation of the invention, an adjustable outrigger unit 30 is mounted upon the corner posts 12 of the portable stock rack 10 in the manner described above in connection with the construction of the clamping brackets 40. When the outrigger units 30 have been positioned at the desired heights relatively to the corner posts 12, they are clamped in position by tightening the clamping bolts 72 on the clamping brackets 40. In this manner, the outriggets 34 and 36 can be placed at heights most suitable for retaining irregularly-shaped stampings or other workpieces in most eflicient positions for storage and transportation.
Having secured the outrigger units 30 to the corner posts 12 at the opposite ends of the portable stock rack 10, the operator then adjusts each outrigger 34 or 36 by pushing upward on its respective locking device 38 with one hand while he grasps the outrigger 34 or 36 with the other hand and slides it inward or outward relatively to the housing 32 until its end portion 96 or 98 is disposed at the desired distance from its respective corner post 12 to accommodate the particular workpieces most suitably, at the same time halting the outrigger 34 or 36 when its notches 100 or 102 are in line with the notches 90 in the respective locking plate 88. He then releases the locking device 38, whereupon the leaf spring 112 acting against the bottom plate of the locking device casing 106, pushes the latter and the latch bolts 104 downward so that the shanks of the latch bolts 104 enter the thusaligned notches, locking the outrigger 34 or 36 firmly and immovably in its adjusted position.
The operator then installs the side bars 14 by hooking the hooks 24 in the ends of their respective angle arms 18. During loading of the stock rack 10 with the workpieces, however, one of the side bars 14 is of course left off until loading has been completed, the other side bar 14 being installed at the commencement of loading operations to serve as a stop bar for properly locating the stampings or other workpieces being loaded. The remaining side bar 14 is then hooked onto its respective outrigger 34 or 36 so as to close the side of the stock rack 10 which was left open during loading operations. If the workpieces are now to be transported, a fork truck operator does so by inserting the forks of his fork truck (not shown) beneath the floor of the stock rack 10, raising it and its contents off the floor or ground and conveying the entire load to the point of storage or transportation, such as into a warehouse or freight car.
The operation of the modified locking device shown in FIGURE 5, is similar to that of the locking devices 38 shown in FIGURE 1 and is preformed in a similar manner. In this form of the invention, however, the base plate portion 124 of the toothed locking plate 122 also serves as a cover plate to cover the top of the casing 106 and thus prevent the entry of metal chips, dirt or other undesired foreign matter.
What I claim is:
An adjustable outrigger unit adapted for attachment to the corner posts of a portable stock rack, said unit comprising an elongated housing,
means on said housing for securing said housing to the corner posts,
an elongated outrigger member slidably mounted in said housing for adjustment motion therealong and projecting outwardly from one end thereof, said outrigger member having multiple longitudinally-spaced locking notches thereon,
and a locking device movably mounted on said housing and having a locking element thereon movable relatively thereto selectively into and out of locking engagement with said notches of said outrigger member.
2. An adjustable outrigger unit, according to claim 1, wherein said housing has an opening therein adjacent said outrigger member, and
wherein said locking device has a locking element disposed adjacent said opening and movable into and out of locking engagement with said notches of said outrigger member.
3. An adjustable outrigger unit, according to claim 1, wherein said locking device includes a plurality of said lock-ing elements disposed in spaced mating relationship with said notches and simultaneously engageable with a plurality of said notches.
4. An adjustable outrigger unit, according to claim 2, wherein yielding means is disposed between said locking device and said housing and urges said locking element into locking engagement with said notches of said outrigger member.
5. An adjustable outrigger unit, according to claim 1, wherein a second outrigger member is slidably mounted in said housing and projects outwardly therefrom in the opposite direction from said first-named outrigger memher, said outrigger members being disposed side by side in overlapping relationship.
6. An adjustable outrigger unit, according to claim 1, wherein said locking device includes a plurality of locking elements disposed transversely to said outrigger member and engageable with a plurality of said notches.
7. An adjustable outrigger unit, according to claim .1, wherein said locking device includes a stationary locking member fixedly mounted in said housing adjacent said outrigger member and having a stationary locking notch therein, and
wherein said locking element is selectively movable into and out of substantially simultaneous locking engagement with said locking member notch and with one of said outrigger notches.
8. An adjustable outrigger unit adapted for attachment to the comer posts of a portable stock rack, said unit comprising an elongated housing,
means on said housing for securing said housing to the corner posts,
an elongate outrigger member slidably mounted in said housing for adjustment motion therealong and projecting outwardly from one end thereof,
and a locking device movably mounted on said housing for travel relatively thereto into and out of locking engagement wth said outrigger member,
said outrigger member having multiple longitudinally-spaced locking recesses therein, said locking device having a plurality of locking elements disposed in spaced relationship thereon and movable into and out of locking engagement with said recesses,
and said locking device having a casing of approximately U-shaped cross-section with spaced opposite side members disposed on opposite sides of said casing and with said locking elements secured to and extending across the space between said side members.
9. An adjustable outrigger unit, according to claim 8, wherein said locking elements comprise fasteners extending between said side members.
10. An adjustable outrigger unit, according to claim 1, wherein said locking element comprises a locking memher having longitudinally-spaced projections extending therefrom toward said notches.
11. An adjustable outrigger unit, according to claim 1, wherein a guide member is mounted on said housing in guiding engagement with said locking device.
12. An adjustable outrigger unit adapted for attachment to the corner posts of a portable stock rack, said unit comprising an elongated housing,
means on said housing for securing said housing to the corner posts, an elongated outrigger member slidably mounted in said housing for adjustment motion therealong and projecting outwardly from one end thereof, and a locking device movably mounted on said housing for travel relatively thereto into and out of locking engagement with said outrigger member,
said securing means including a pair of clamps mounted in longitudinally-spaced relationship on said housing,
each clamp having fixed and removable components with interlocking ends on one side thereof and parallel fastener-receiving portions on the opposite side thereof,
said fixed component being secured to said housing and said removable component being adapted to be temporarily removed from interlocking engagement with said fixed component for reception of a corner post in said fixed component, said removable component being thereafter replaceable in interlocking engagement wth the fixed component with said fixed and removable components adapted to substantially encircle their respective corner posts, and a fastener interconnecting the fastener-receiving portions of each clamp,
the fastener-receiving portions of said clamps facing inwardly toward one another.
References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 321,101 Graef June 30, 1885 436,806 Sears Sept. 23, 1890 1,021,432 Smith Mar. 26, 1912 1,911,380 McFarlin May 30, 1933 2,530,877 Heck Nov. 21, 1950 2,701,928 Keenan Feb. 15, 1955 2,930,564 Maier Mar. 29, 1960 2,947,566 Tower Aug. 2, 1960 FOREIGN PATENTS 471,893 France July 22, 1914