US 3199937 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Aug. 10, 1965 J. E. MITCHELL LOCKING DEVICE Filed Sept. 16, 1965 INVENTOR. cfa/7W L: JV/ rfHfL L rro/e/vf'y United States Pater A shaw Controls Company, Richmond, Va., a corporation ot Delaware Fiied Sept. 16, 1953, Ser. No. 3%,174 3 Ciainrs. (Ci. S12- 221) This invention relates to an interlock mechanism for movable devices and more particularly to an interlock mechanism for locking adjacent drawers together for fiie cabinets, consoles, desks, lockers, and the like.
File cabinets, desks, lockers, and other multiple drawer cabinets and the like, ften have locking device which lock all the movable drawers to the cabinet by externally operated locking devices. With such devices, none of the drawers can be opened unless the lock is unlatched thereby allowing one or all of the drawers to be opened.
In such equipment .as consoles and file cabinets, it is common that very heavy equipment or material is placed in these slidable drawers such that if more than one drawer is opened at a time, the entire console or cabinet would have a tendency of tipping in the direction that the drawers are being pulled. In the case of very heavy tiling cabinets, women quite often cannot cope with a tipping filing cabinet and the advantages of the present invention become very apparent since not more than one drawer can be opened at one time.
QuiteA often electronic components and equipment are mounted on slidable drawers within consoles and cabinets which have a resemblance not unlike tiling cabinets. In the case of such equipment, it is extremely necessary to protect the equipment from damage which could occur from a jarring fall. Quite often a plurality of circuit boards and other equipment are mounted in each drawer such that equipment may be serviced merely by opening the drawer. Accidental tipping of such equipment could have disastrous affects in the shock of the fall of the entire unit.
It is therefore desirable to provide a lock mechanism which would effectively prevent withdrawal of more than one drawer, in order to provide proper balance of the component, and to prevent tipping of the cabinet or console by having more than one drawer withdrawn at one time. It is further desirable that such a lock be inexpensive, sturdy, sirnply constructed, and capable of very efficient operation.
Accordingly, it is the primary object of this invention to provide a lock mechanism operable by a movement of a moving member.
Another object of the present invention is to provide an interlock mechanism which due to its relative simplicity can be manufactured at a reduced cost.
lt is a further object of the present invention to provide an interlock mechanism which may be mounted within a file cabinet and is operable by one of the drawers, such that one drawer may be opened at one time.
It is still a further object of the present invention to provide an interlock mechanism for iile cabinets and the like, which is'eiiicient in operation and have a simple construction.
In carrying out my invention, I provide an interlock mechanism which has a shifting lock device fiXedly mounted upon a stationary cabinet. Movable members such as drawers have openings therein for receiving the lock being forced therein. A camming device mounted on one drawer forces the lock into the opening in the opposite rawer by withdrawing the drawer from the cabinet, As the drawer is forced back into the cabinet, the camming device will center itself between the two drawers and allow both drawers to be closed at the same time. Operation of either of the drawers will perform the same locking funcice tion on the adjacent drawer. In the event that more than two drawers are provided in the mechanism, motion transmitting means may be provided to transmit the motion of the moving lock to lock all adjacent drawers.
Other objects of this invention will appear in the following description and the appended claims, reference being had to the accompanying drawings forming a part of this specification, and wherein like reference characters designate corresponding parts in the several views. The invention may best be understood by reference to the following description when taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
FGURE l is a perspective view of the present invention as applied to a file cabinet;
FIGURE 2 is a partial cross-sectional View taken along line 2 2 of FIGURE l and illustrates the present invention positioned between two drawers in the closed position;
FGURE 3 is a partial cross-sectional view taken along line 3-3 of FGURE 4 and illustrates the present invention as locking the lower drawer;
FIGURE 4 is a partial cross-sectional view similar to FEGURE 2 with the exception that the drawing illustrates the adjacent drawers in a closed position;
FGURE 5 is a partial side elevation of a motion transmitting device used in combination with the present invention.
Before I explain the present invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and arrangement of parts illustrated in the accompanying drawings, since the invention is capable of other embodiments and of being carried out invarious ways. Also it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and not of limitation.
Referring now to FlGURE 1, the present invention generally indicated at liti, is illustrated as applied to a three drawer tiling cabinet i2. The cabinet 12 has a support structure )i4 with a plurality of slidable drawers 16, i3, it@ with the top drawer ltd shown in the outward position. An opening 22 formed in a flange 24 of the drawer 16 engages the locking device of the present invention, when the drawer is placed into its normally closed position. A preferred material for the cabinet 12 is metal, however, wooden file cabinets or cabinets made of a composition material would certainly be acceptable for use with the present invention.
While a le cabinet is used for illustrative purposes in FEGURE l, in combination with the present invention, it is to be understood that other devices are fully adaptable for the use of the present invention such as cabinets, consoles, desks, lockers, or other devices which have a stationary support structure and two or more movable elements which may be motivated between an open and closed position. Individuals skilled in the art could adapt the present invention to other areas such as doors, windows, and such mechanical devices which are desired to be opened and closed in particular sequence. It is to be understood that the tile cabinet used in combination with the present invention is used for illustrative purposes and is not of limitation.
Referring now to FGURES 2 and 4 a locking device taking the shape of a rod 36 is slidably supported within the support 32 which may take the form of a hat-shaped section 34 iixedly mounted upon the support structure or cabinet wall 36. A bushing 33 xedly mounted within support 32 encircles the rod 3@ and provides a bearing surface for the rod Sti to allow movement upwardly and downwardly with relation to the support 32. The upper drawer liti has a flange ft2 thereon which has an opening lid positioned directly above the rod Sii to allow engagement therewith. The lower drawer 45 also has a flange 48 thereon with an opening Si? engageable with the rod 3d.
Referring to FIGURE 3, means for camming the rod Sil may take the form of a tapered portion 52 formed in the opening Sli on the drawer ange 48. A comparable tapered portion 54 is formed in opening 44 of the upper drawer 40. Thus as the upper drawer 4@ is pulled outwardly, the rod 3% rides up the tapered portion 54 and enters the opening t) on the lower drawer 46 as the upper drawer 49 continues to be pulled outwardly. The rod 36 completely enters the opening Sti and acts as a lock between the lower drawer 46 and the support structure 36, preventing its withdrawal unless the upper drawer 40 is pushed back to its closed position. Where- Vupon the lower drawer 46 may be withdrawn in a like manner with the upper drawer 40 being locked.
A means for centering the rod 36 in the closed position may take the form of a flat spring 56, S8 xedly attached to the drawer liange 42, 4S respectively, such as by welding or rivets. As illustrated in FIGURES 2-4,
the spring 58' tends to force the rod 30 back into the opening as the drawer 40 is closed. In the fully closed position, both springs 56, 5S center the rod 3l) within the openings 44, S0 as shown in FIGURE 2.
The preferred embodiments of the supporting means, camming means, and centering means have been illustrated on a tile cabinet constructedfrorn metal and thus take a form most advantageous for that type of construction. This structure may be altered to conform with the particular type of surrounding structure and still not depart from the scope of the present invention.
The present invention has been illustrated in FIGURES 2-4 as interlocking two adjacent drawers 40, 46 in a file cabinet. Referring now to FIGURE 5, the present invention may be easily applied to a plurality of moving members for such things as file cabinets. Referring now to FIGURE 5, a means for transmitting motion between adjacent drawers, 46, 6l), may lock all adjacent drawers while one drawer is pulled to the open position. The motion transmitting means may include a support 62 taking the form of a U-shaped flange 64 xedly mounted on the vertical portion of the drawer 46. Within the support 62 is a vertically movable shaft 66 heldin a central position by two springs 68, '70 mounted around the shaft 66 and within the U-shaped flange 64. Springs 68, 70 constantly bear upon the pin 72, thereby tending to center the shaft 66. Thus in the event a single drawer is opened, as illustrated in FIGURE 5, the motion transmittetl by the downward movement of the rod similar to that illustrated in FIGURE 3, will also force the shaft 66 downwardly to push the rod 30a, in the lower drawer 60 as illustrated in FIGURE 5. The` flat springs 58, 58a, may have holes 74, 76 formed therein large enough to allow the shaft 66 to pass therethroughand move in the upward or downward direction to transmit the motion from the locking pins 30, 30a. The motion transmitting means may be placed on each of a plurality of drawers to lock all drawers to the cabinet, while one drawer is'in the open position.
Although a specific embodiment of the invention has been shown and described, it is to be understood that it is only illustrative and that various modiications may be made therein without departing from the scope and spirit of this invention as defined in the appended claims.
'1. A drawer interlock device including a cabinet structure having a supporting frame for a plurality of draw- 4. ers and such device for preventing the opening of more than one drawer at a time to prevent tipping of the cabinet structure comprising:
a rod positioned between iirst and second of said plurality of drawers,
a support mounted on said frame andslidably receiv- -ing said rod,
said first drawer having an opening therein for receiving an end portion of said rod,
a cam surface formed adjacent said first drawer openllg,
a return spring mounted on said first drawer, and positioned opposite the end portion-of said rod for forcing the rod back to its original position as said second drawer is slidably returned within the cabinet, Y i
a cam surface formed within said second drawer openlng,
a second return spring mountedgon said second drawer, for biasing the other end portion of said rod,
whereby opening either first or second drawer will lock the other drawer.
2. A drawer interlock device as defined in claim 1 wherein said rod is of such a size to bereceived by both said first and second drawer openings such that said first and second drawers are closed within said cabinet frame, the rod extends within both the rst and second drawer openings.
3. In a cabinet structure, the combination' comprising:
a supporting frame,
a plurality of drawers slidably carried by said frame,
a plurality of rods with one `rod for each pair of adjacent drawers,
a similar plurality of rod supports mounted on said Vframe with .one Support slidably receiving one rod,
means defining openingsin said drawers with one draweropening receiving an end portion of saidV one rod and with an adjacent drawer opening receiving an opposite portion of said one rod, A
cam surface means on each'drawer adjacent its opening to facilitate movement of the corresponding rod therethrough,
return spring means on each ydrawer adjacent its opening to be engaged by the corresponding rod whereby opening of one drawer forces the corresponding rod into the adjacent drawer opening to prevent opening of the adjacent drawer, and
motion transmittingl means between adjacent pairs of said rods and including a slidable shaft mounted on each drawer in axial engagement between the ends of adjacent pairs of said rods whereby opening of one drawer prevents opening of allrother drawers.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 732,971 7/03 Stoeler 312-'222 X 1,162,854 12/15 Forbes S12-222 2,240,067 4/41 Bolesky S12-221 2,674,510 4/54 Gray 312--221 2,719,770 10/55 Roberts 312-221v FRANK B. SHERRY, Primary Examiner. CHANCELLOR E. HARRIS, Examiner.