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Publication numberUS3212806 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 19, 1965
Filing dateJun 4, 1963
Priority dateJun 4, 1963
Publication numberUS 3212806 A, US 3212806A, US-A-3212806, US3212806 A, US3212806A
InventorsRussell Fred J, Solovieff George B
Original AssigneeRussell
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Return spring mechanism for a lock
US 3212806 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 19, 1965 F. J. RUSSELL ETAL 3,212,806

RETURN SPRING MECHANISM FOR A LOCK Filed June 4, 1963 i l 4 3 2o 35 2s 2 15 I 4) JIQED J; RUSSELL 37 GEO/26E BISOLOs/IEFF INVENTOR5 BY I 5: 43 49 3M 2; jXama/wru ATT'O IZNEYS United States Patent Ofitice 3,212,806 Patented Oct. 19, 1965 3,212,806 RETURN SPRING MECHANISM FOR A LOCK Fred J. Russell, 8635 Otis St., South Gate, Calif, and George I5. Solovietf, San Clemente, Calif-g said Solovieff assignor to said Russell Filed June 4, 1963, Ser. No. 285,501 2 Claims. (l. 292-3363) The invention relates to door locks and in particular to a spring return for the operating member which is usually in the form of a knob. The mechanism involved is a spring resistance to rotation of the operating member arranged in such fashion that when the operating member is rotated, the spring is compressed. When released, the spring returns the operating member to its normal position.

The average door lock is so constructed that a spring at one location or another within the mechanism serves to hold the knob, handle, or operating member in an initial or neutral position, the spring being usually so constructed and mounted as to permit the operating member to be turned in either direction. Although a great variety of expedients are available to manufacturers of door locks by means of which the knob can be spring actuated as desired, many of these fail to take into consideration the necessity for occasionally disassembling the lock for various purposes. On many occasions the resilient return mechanism employed to return the knob to initial position is constructed in such fashion that it can be installed only at the factory where special tools are available and which, once installed, can be removed only at the expenditure of considerable effort and time.

Structure and parts heretofore employed for spring returns of the torsion spring character have made use of a considerable number of extra parts and the manner of mounting is one which leaves much to be desired from the point of view of simplicity. Further still, the construction of a torsion spring type of return usually requires the spring to be bent to configurations which tend to render the spring brittle and subject to breaking after being in use for a time.

It is therefore among the objects of the invention to provide a new and improved lock spring return mechanism which makes use of a compression spring.

Another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved lock spring return mechanism which in the employment of a compression spring makes possible a particularly compact and inexpensive spring mounting which is easy to assemble and disassemble.

Still another object of the invention is to provide a new and improved lock spring return mechanism which can be assembled as a unit in such fashion that it is easy to install in a door lock and also to remove therefrom.

Further included among the objects of the invention is to provide a new and improved lock spring return mechanism featuring in particular a compression spring means, thereby to make use of a spring which is particularly durable and almost never likely to break as the result of continued use.

With these and other objects in view, the invention consists in the construction, arrangement and combination of the various parts of the device, whereby the objects contemplated are attained, as hereinafter set forth, pointed out in the appended claims and illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

In the drawings:

FIGURE 1 is a side elevational view of an operating member for a door lock partially broken away to show the location of the lock spring return mechanism.

FIGURE 2 is an end elevational view on the line 22 of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional view taken on the line 3-3 of FIGURE 1.

FIGURE 4 is a fragmentary longitudinal sectional view taken on the line 4-4 of FIGURE 2.

FIGURE 5 is a cross-sectional view similar to FIGURE 3 but showing a modified form of spring.

In the embodiment of the invention which has been selected for the purpose of illustration only, there is employed a fixed or stationary member indicated generally by the reference character 10 and which consists of a mounting plate 11 and a decorative rosette or escutcheon 12. Following conventional practice, the mounting plate 11 is provided with holes 13 through which conventional bolts (not shown) extend and which ordinarily pass through the door for attachment to structure on the opposite side. The mounting plate 11, also following conventional practice, may be provided with a bearing sleeve 14 for the mounting of the knob shank 15, the knob shank 15 being rotatably mounted in the bearing sleeve 14.

An operating member here shown in the form of a knob 16 has a knob neck 17 which extends from the knob shank 15. The knob 16 is attached to the knob neck 17 at a staked-over portion 18. A spindle (not shown) is nonrotatably engaged with the square hole 15 in the knob shank 15 and various conventional means (not shown) attach to the spindle (not shown) in order to enable latch mechanisms to be manipulated by rotation of the knob 16 in either a right-hand or left-hand direction. In most locks, there is an initial position of the various parts which means that the knob 16 has a corresponding initial position to which it is adapted to be returned after operation. The lock spring return mechanism herein made the subject matter of this disclosure is for the purpose of resiliently retaining the knob in its initial position and for returning the knob to that initial postion after it has been rotated through an operatng cycle, all independently of any aid from the latch mechanism (not shown).

As shown in the drawings, there is provided a spring housing 20 which may advantageously be constructed of a low friction material such as one or another of the commercially available synthetic plastic resins, examples of which are nylon and Delrin. Within the spring housing 20 is an annular chamber 21 in which is nested a coiled compression spring 22. Extending radially inwardly from an outer wall 23 of the spring housing 20 is a boss 24 which occupies approximately one-half of the transverse breadth of the annular chamber 21, leaving a space 25 between an end wall 26 of the boss 24 and an inside wall 27 of the annular chamber 21. To secure the spring housing 211 against rotation, a recess 19 in the mounting plate 11 is adapted to receive a projection 19' of the spring housing 20.

In actuality the inside wall 27 for the chosen embodiment comprises the exterior circumference of the knob shank 15, as is readily apparent from an examination of FIGURE 4. One end 28 of the compression spring 22 bears against a side face 29 of the boss 24 and another end 30 bears against another side face 31 of the boss 24. It is particularly significant to note the because of the boss 24 occupying only about one-half of the breadth of the annular chamber 21, only about one-half of the area of the end of the spring 22 in each instance actually bears against the boss 24, the remaining half of the area being free and accessible.

In the form of invention of FIGURES 1, 2, 3 and 4, the compression spring 22 is a single endless coil extending from the end 28 of the end 30 arcuately throughout the major portion of the circumferential length of the annular chamber 21.

A spring plate 32 overlies an end wall 33 of the spring housing 20, the spring plate 32 being disc-like in form and being contained by a snap ring 34 of the usual characteristics which engages a recess 35 in the inner end of the knob shank 15. Radially inwardly extending lugs 36 on the spring plate 32 are seated in slots 37 at the inner end of the knob shank 15, and these render the spring plate 32 nonrotatably engaged with the knob shank 15.

A spring driver 38 forming part of the spring plate-32 extends from the spring plate 32 axially inwardly, as shown in FIGURES 3 and 4, approximately at the axial center line of the annular chamber 21, so that the spring driver 38 is positioned approximately in face-to-face contact with the end wall 26 of the boss 24. It should be noted that because the end wall 26 of the boss 24 lies in a position about on the center line of the annular chamber 21, the spring driver 38 will engage both the end 28 and the end 30 of the spring 22 at approximately the mid-point.

From the foregoing description it will be apparent that when the knob 16 is rotated in one direction, which direction will be assumed to impart a clockwise rotation to the knob shank 15, as viewed in FIGURE 2 and 3, the spring plate 32 will simultaneously be rotated in a clockwise direction, as will also the spring driver 38. Accordingly, the right-hand edge of the spring driver 38, as viewed in FIGURE 3, will be pressed against the end 28 of the spring 22, and the spring 22 will be compressed as rotation continues. Ordinarily, rotation will be through an arc of more or less ninety degrees, although the precise arc of rotation may vary appreciably. Further, in accordance with usual principles of spring performance, the coils of the spring 22 nearest the end 28 will compress to a somewhat greater degree than the coils near the mid-portion and the opposite end.

When the knob 16 is thereafter released, tension built up in the spring 22 will cause the spring 22 to expand in a direction counterclockwise against the spring driver 38, and this will rotate the spring driver 38, the spring plate 32, and the knob shank 15 in a direction counterclockwise, as viewed in FIGURES 2 and 3, until the end 28 of the spring 22 engages the side face 29 of the boss 24. Where this occurs, the spring 22 will be at the end of its expansive movement and the knob 16, attached as described to the knob shank 15, will be again at its initial position.

When the knob 16 is rotated in a contraray direction, causing a counterclockwise rotation of the spring driver 38, as viewed in FIGURES 2 and 3, the spring driver 38 will press against the end 30 of the spring 22, causing the spring 22 to compress and contract in the opposite direction. Thereafter, when the knob 16 is released, tension built up in the spring 22 acting against the left side of the spring driver 38, as viewed in FIGURES 2 and 3, will cause the spring driver 38, the spring plate 32, the knob shank 15, and knob 16 to be rotated in a clockwise direction, as viewed in FIGURES 2 and 3, until the end 30 of the spring 22 abuts against the side face 31 of the boss 24, at which point the knob 16 will again be in its initial position.

Under those circumstances where the outer wall 23 of the spring housing 20, or in any event the inside face of the outer wall 23 is constructed of low friction material, the spring 22 will expand and contract with great ease. The outer edges of the coils or turns of the spring 22, when compressed and also when expanding, will tend to frictionally engage the inside surface of the outer wall 23 and will slide with extreme ease. Since it is always the tendency of the spring 22 to bow outwardly, there will be no frictional engagement during operation between the inside edges of the coils of the spring 22 and the inside wall 27 of the annular chamber 21.

T .In" the form of invention of FIGURE 5, the spring means takes the form of a double spring having springs 41 and 42 to make up a suitable compression spring means.

4 Other portions of the structure are essentially the same as described in connection with FIGURES 1, 2, 3 and 4, except that there is employed a second boss 43 which extends radially inwardly into the annular chamber 21 at the side diametrically opposite the location of the boss 24.

As shown in FIGURE 5, one end of each of the springs 41 and 42 are adapted to bear against opposite sides of the boss 43 in position. Otherwise, the structure of FIG- URE 5 operates in substantially the same fashion as does the structure of FIGURES 1, 2 and 3 in that the spring driver 38 presses against one or another of the springs 41 or 42, as the case may be. When the spring driver 38 is pressed against end 46 of the spring 41, the spring 41 compresses, and the spring 42 remains unaffected. When the knob 16 is released, tension built up in the spring 41 acts to return the spring driver 38 and the knob 16 to initial position. When the knob 16 is rotated in a direction causing a counterclockwise rotation of the spring driver 38, as viewed in FIGURE 5, the spring 42 will compress as pressure is brought against its end 47 by rotation of the spring driver 38; and in this instance, the spring 41 remains unaffected. Subsequent return of the knob 16 is accomplished, as will be apparent from the description, by expansion of the spring 42.

Referring to the version described by FIGURES 2, 3 and 4, it is worthy of note that the spring housing 20 and the disc-like spring plate 32 comprise a substantially unitary package for packaging the compression spring 22. These three parts can be assembled together and the spring 22 will remain in proper position because of the tendency for it to expand outwardly against the outer wall 23 of the housing 20. The parts can be applied together over the inside end of the knob shank 15 and there anchored in place by operation of the snap ring 34.

Although it is only rarely necessary to disassemble the parts once in position, should disassembly become necessary, the only operation needed is to remove the snap ring 34, whereupon the spring housing 20 and spring plate 32 containing the spring 22 can be removed as a unit from the end of the knob shank 15.

Moreover, because of the compression spring assembly herein described, initial or normal position of the knob 16 can be snugly held by reason of the ends 28 and 30 of the compression spring 22 being pressed snugly against opposite sides of the spring driver 38 and thus minimize to a substantially degree any likelihood of the knob 16 being possessed of any looseness. The strength of the compression spring 22 can be very easily chosen to provide all the desired spring tension which might be needed, but the freedom of motion of the compression spring 22 in its chamber 21 is so advantageous that a relatively light spring pressure is all that is needed to resist manual rotation of the knob 16 and to return the knob 16 to initial position after being released. Ample length is provided in the compression spring, irrespective of whether it may be the form of FIGURE 3 or the form of FIGURE 5, with the attendant advantages.

Such coiled springs are of substantially conventional construction. The technique of winding them is well established, and since no sharp bends are needed to fit the spring into its environment, there are no sharp corners to become broken off either because of bad bending or tempering or because of crystallizing during long periods of use. A compactness of construction and smoothness of operation is therefore enjoyed which is inherent in the composite assembly, details of which have hereinabove been described.

While the invention has herein been shown and described in what is conceived to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is recognized that departures may be made therefrom within the scope of the invention, which is not to be limited to the details disclosed herein but is to be accorded the full scope of the claims so as to embrace any and all equivalent devices.

Having described the invention, what is claimed as new in support of Letters Patent is:

1. In a door lock, a fixed member, an operating member rotatably mounted in said fixed member, a unitary spring assembly for one of said members including a spring housing. having outer and inner circumferential Walls forming a chamber, a compression spring means nested in said chamber with ends thereof in opposed relationship, a portion of said housing extending from the outer circumferential wall inwardly into the chamber and partly over the ends of the spring means to form a stop for said ends, a releasable nonrotatable connection between said housing and said one member, said connection being removed from and independent of said stop, the other of said members including a driver nonrotatably mounted thereon, a driver element on said driver extending into said chamber in a position inwardly of said stop and adjacent the ends of said spring means, said driver and the driver element thereon being movable in an arcuate direction alternatively against ends of the spring means upon manual rotation of the other of said members, causing compression of said spring means, said stop and said driver element being removable with the housing from said one member.

2. In a door lock, a fixed member, an operating member rotatably mounted in said fixed member, a unitary spring assembly for one of said members including a spring housing having an arcuate chamber having an outside arcuate confining wall, a portion of said wall extending into said chamber forming a stop and a compression spring means nested in said arcuate chamber with the ends in engagement with said stop, and a releasable nonrotatable connection having complementary engaging parts respectively on said housing and said one member, one of said parts being a depression and the other of said parts being a projeciton fitting in said depression, the other of said members including a driver nonrotata'bly mounted thereon and a driver element on said driver extending into said chamber at a location inwardly relative to said stop opposite at least one end of said spring means, said driver member having an arcuate path of movement corresponding in length to a predetermined movement of said operating member, the length of said arcuate confining wall being at least as long as said arcuate path of movement of the driver member, said driver and the driver element thereon being movable in an arcuate direction upon manual rotation of the operating member, causing compression of said spring means, said stop and said drive-r element being removable with the housing from said one member.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,729,485 1/56 Schlage 292--1 2,812,204 11/57 Squire. 3,073,640 1/ 63 McBurnie. 3,156,495 11/64- Holden 292-3363 FOREIGN PATENTS 653,653 12/62 Canada.

JOSEPH D. SEERS, Primary Examiner.

M. HENSON WOOD, ]R., Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2729485 *Aug 20, 1951Jan 3, 1956Schlage Lock CoDoor lock spring unit
US2812204 *Feb 14, 1955Nov 5, 1957Midwest Mfg CorpDoor lock
US3073640 *Jun 28, 1960Jan 15, 1963Stuart G McburnieLatch set
US3156495 *Feb 21, 1962Nov 10, 1964Holden Ernest JohnDoor furniture
CA653653A *Dec 11, 1962Fred J RussellLatch operating assembly
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4438963 *Jun 26, 1981Mar 27, 1984Peter FriedrichDoor latch mechanism with generally linearly movable operating member
US4925222 *Aug 29, 1988May 15, 1990Adams Rite Manufacturing Co.Door latch actuating mechanism
US4998760 *Oct 13, 1989Mar 12, 1991Best Lock CorporationDoor handle return assembly
US5718468 *Oct 25, 1996Feb 17, 1998Schlage Lock CompanyDoor handle modular return spring cage assembly
US6880872Jul 29, 2003Apr 19, 2005Sargent Manufacturing CompanyLever handle return spring assembly
US7900978 *Feb 2, 2006Mar 8, 2011Sargent Manufacturing CompanyReturn spring assembly for a lock mechanism
US8215685 *Jul 10, 2012Newfrey, LlcDouble draw bar spring mechanism
US20050023846 *Jul 29, 2003Feb 3, 2005Eller Darren C.Lever handle return spring assembly
US20070176435 *Feb 2, 2006Aug 2, 2007Sargent Manufacturing CompanyReturn spring assembly for a lock mechanism
US20100264672 *Apr 17, 2009Oct 21, 2010Ellis Philip CDouble draw bar spring mechanism
Classifications
U.S. Classification292/336.3
International ClassificationE05B3/06, E05B3/00
Cooperative ClassificationE05B3/065
European ClassificationE05B3/06S