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Publication numberUS3227015 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 4, 1966
Filing dateJun 14, 1965
Priority dateJun 14, 1965
Publication numberUS 3227015 A, US 3227015A, US-A-3227015, US3227015 A, US3227015A
InventorsTremblay Thedore C
Original AssigneeTremblay Thedore C
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Extending socket wrench
US 3227015 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Jan. 4, 1966 T. c. TREMBLAY 3,227,015

EXTENDING SOCKET WRENCH Filed June 14, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 INVENTO/P THEODORE C. TREMBLAY ATTORNEY Jan. 4, 1966 T. c. TREMBLAY 3,227,015

EXTENDING SOCKET WRENCH Filed June 14, 1955 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTO/P THEODORE C. TREMBLAY pwmg hm ATTORNEY United States Patent 0 3,227,015 EXTENDING SOQKET WRENCH Theodore C. Tremhiay, 7 Page Road, Redford, Mass. Filed .iune 14, 1965, Ser. No. 463,784 6 Ciaims. (Cl. 81-177) This application is a continuation-in-part .of my copending application Serial No. 396,962 filed September 16, 1964, entitled, Extending Socket Wrench, now abandoned.

This invention relates to hand tools such as wrenches and the like, and more particularly to socket wrenches.

Socket wrenches have long been known, being the basic and most useful of wrenches for most automotive work. Extensions and adapters are available which can be combined with sockets in a variety of configurations to reach almost any nut in todays complex engine. There are situations, however, for which suitable extenders are either unavailable or are ineflicient to use. Spark plug sockets, for example, to which the present invention has particular applicability, must be of a predetermined minimum length to accommodate the hexagonal base of a spark plug and its porcelain parts. In some present day motors, the spark plugs are situated deep in the block and/ or behind accessories of the engine, presenting different conditions of accessibility from one plug to the next. For instance, on some motors, to remove a spark plug located behind the generator it is necessary to use a socket of standard length plus a one-half inch extender, whereas a plug behind the steering column requires a one and one-half inch extender. An extender having a minimum length of one-half inch obviously cannot be extended to a length of one and one-half inches, and accordingly, two or more extenders would be required in the situation described, which, in turn, would require changing from one extender to another several times during what should be the relatively simple job of changing a set of spark plugs.

It is the primary object of the present invention to provide a unitary socket wrench so constructed that it may be readily adjusted in length from a predetermined minimum length to different longer lengths.

Another obiect of the invention is to provide a unitary extending socket wrench of simple and relatively inexpensive construction.

A more specific object of the invention is to provide an improved socket wrench of adjustable length for the removal and installation of the relatively inaccessible spark plugs of an internal combustion engine.

Briefly, the socket wrench according to the invention is constructed of two main body portions, a tubular drive body slightly shorter than a standard spark plug socket and having a drive in one end thereof for receiving the square shank of a suitable handle, and a shank longi' tudinally adjustable within the body portion and terminating at its free end in a socket of desired size and shape. The shank is hollow for a portion of its length to accept the porcelain parts of a spark plug. The shank is held in a number of different positions within the body portion by a detent mechanism, and relative rotation between shank and body portion under driving conditions is prevented by forming the shank to have the same crosssection as the bore in the drive body, or by a pin extending transversely through the shank and engaging longitudinal slots in the wall of the drive body.

Other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become apparent, and its construction and operation better understood, from the following detailed description, considered in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view, partially cut away, of

one embodiment of the invention, showing the wrench in fully extended position;

FIG. 1a is a cross-sectional view of the shank taken along line 1a1a of FIG. 1;

FIG. 2 is a perspective View of a preferred embodiment of the invention, showing the socket in fully extended position;

FIG. 2a is a perspective view of the embodiment of FIG. 2 in closed position;

FIG. 2b is a cross-sectional view taken along line Zia-2b of FIG. 2;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of an alternate construction of the embodiment of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 3a is across-sectional view taken along line 3a3a of FIG. 3.

Referring now the the drawings, FIGS. 1 and 1a illustrate one construction of an extensible socket according to the invention which comprises a drive body 10 formed of suitable material having a bore 12 of uniform crosssection throughout substantially its entire length. At the right end of the drive body, as viewed in FIG. 1, there is provided a square opening 14 of a size (e.g., inch) to receive the square shank of a ratchet handle or adapter. In this embodiment, the bore 12 is of polygonal cross-section, for example, hexagonal, and the outer surface is shown as being cylindrical in cross-section and having a knurled area 16a near the right end to facilitate handling of the tool. However, the outer surface of body 16 may be square, or may conform to the shape of the bore 12, if desired.

The other principal part of the wrench is a shank 16 of a length substantially equal to the length of bore 12 and having a socket 13 of conventional hexagonal (or other) shape integrally formed on the free end thereof. Shaft 16 is of the same uniform cross-section as the bore 12 and slightly smaller so as to be received by and easily slidable in the bore. The bore 12 is preferably broached after boring so as to provide angularly disposed faces coinciding with corresponding faces of the shank. Thus, while asliding fit is provided between the shank 16 and the driver body i the engaged faces prevent turning of the shank within the body under driving conditions. A cylindrical bore 28 extends inwardly from the free end of shank 16, coaxially with the socket head, being of a length and diameter to accommodate the porcelain portions of a spark plug.

In order that the shank 16 may be held in a number of different longitudinal positions within drive body 10 to vary the overall length of the tool between socket and driver, the shank is provided with a series of spaced recesses 22 cut in one of the faces of the shank. These recesses are spaced at regular intervals, for example, every half inch, any one of which is adapted to be engaged by a retaining detent, such as a ball 24 urged against the shank by a spring 26 and screw 28 secured in a radial opening in the wall of the drive body 10. In order to prevent the shank from being entirely pulled out of the body portion, a stop screw 30 extends through the wall of the body It) and engages a groove 32 machined in another one of the faces of the shank. The groove 32 terminates short of the inner end of shank 16, so that when the shank is fully extended, the screw 30 engages the shoulder 32a at the end of the groove to prevent withdrawal of the shank. The shoulder 32a is positioned sufficiently in from the inner end of shank 16 that even when the shank is fully extended, a sufficient portion of the shank will be disposed within the driver body to be held against turning with respect to the body portion. It will be obvious that removal of screw 30 is all that is necessary to disassemble the shank from the body portion of the tool.

Referring now to FIGS. 2, 2a and 2b there is shown construction of an extensible socket wrench embodying the principles of the just-described embodiment, but offering the advantages of simpler and less costly con struction. In this embodiment, the drive body comprises a cylindrical tubular member of circular crosssection having a coaxial cylindrical bore 42 of circular cross-section throughout substantially its entire length. At the right end of the body, as viewed in FIGS. 2 and 2a there is provided a square opening (corresponding to opening 14 in the device of FIG. 1) for receiving the shank of a drive handle. The outer surface of body 40 is knurled at 44 to facilitate adjustment of the length of the tool. A pair of longitudinal slots 4-6 and 48, diametrically opposite each other, are formed, as by milling, in the wall of body 20, and extend from essentially the bottom of the square drive opening to just short of the other end of the body.

The shank is of circular cross-section throughout and has a diameter slightly smaller than bore 42 so as to be easily slidable therein. At its outer end, and integral with the shank, is a socket head 52 of hexagonal shape, for example, having a circular outer surface of a diameter substantially equal to the outer diameter of body 40 such that when the shank is fully inserted, the tool presents a smooth surface throughout its length. The peripheral surface of the socket head 52 is also knurled at 54, and a cylindrical bore 56 extends inwardly from the socket end of the shank to a depth sufiicient to accommodate the porcelain portions of a spark plug. The shank is prevented from turning within the body portion by a pin 58 extending through a diametral opening 60 in shank 50, near the inner end thereof, the pin being of a length slightly less than the outside diameter of the body portion and of a diameter to be freely slidable in slots 46 and 48. Thus, the elongated slots allow the shank to be freely inserted and withdrawn, and the pin 58 extending radially into and engaging the sides of the slots prevents turning of the shank within the body. The termination of slots 46 and 48 short of the inner end prevents withdrawal of the shank in its fully extended position.

In order that the shank may be held in a number of different positions within drive body 40 to vary the length of the tool, the inner surface of the body portion is provided with a series of spaced recesses 62, which may be a series of peripheral cuts, which are conveniently made on a lathe. Each of these recesses, which may be spaced a half inch apart, for example, is adapted to be engaged by a detent mechanism, such as a ball 64 supported at the outer end of a diametral opening 65 through shank 50 and urged against the inner wall of the body portion by a spring 68 disposed between the ball and pin 58. It will be obvious that opening 68 lies in the same transverse plane as opening 60, the openings preferably intersecting each other at right angles. To assemble the detent retaining mechanism, the ball and spring are first inserted in opening 66, the shank inserted in the bore 42 with opening 60 aligned with slots 46 and 48, and pin 58 inserted in opening 60. Pin 58 engages opening 60 with a press fit, thereby maintaining the spring 68 in position. While a single spring and ball is adequate to maintain the shank in adjusted position, if greater retaining force is desired, a second ball and spring may be inserted in opening 66 at the other side of pin 58, as shown.

FIGS. 3 and 3a illustrate an alternate construction of the embodiment of FIG. 2, the modification consisting mainly in different means for retaining the shank in different adjusted positions within the body portion. As in the embodiment of FIG. 2, the drive body 70 comprises a cylindrical tubular member of circular cross-section having a coaxial cylindrical bore throughout substantially its entire length for receiving the shank 72 which is of circular cross-section throughout and of a diameter to be easily slidable in the bore. The shank has a socket head d 74 of the same configuration as the tools of FIGS. 1 and 2, and the free end of drive body 70 has a square opening 76 therein for receiving the shank of a drive handle.

The body has a pair of longitudinal slots 78 and 80 formed therein which extend for essentially the full length thereof. One of the slots, for example slot '78, is provided with a series of spaced recesses 78a, which are conveniently formed with a counter-sinking tool. Each of these recesses, which may be spaced a half inch apart, is adapted to engage the tapered head 82a of a pin 82 extending through a diametral opening 84 in shank 72, near the inner end thereof. The pin 82 is of a length slightly greater than the outer diameter of drive body 70 and of a diameter to be freely slidable in slots 78 and 80. The slots allow the shank to be freely adjusted, and the pin engaging the slots prevents turning of the shank within the body.

The pin 82, in cooperation with recesses 78a, permit the shank to be held in a number of different positions within the drive body. As best seen in FIG. 3a, the tapered head is urged into engagement with the edges of slot 78 by a spring 86 surrounding pin 82 and held in compression against the inner wall of shank 72 by a holding pin 88 extending through pin 82. When the tapered head 82a engages one of the recesses 78a, the spring holds the pin in locked position. The lock is released to allow adjustment to another position to vary the length of the tool by application of sufficient pressure to the other end of the pin to overcome the force of the spring and lift the tapered head out of the engaged recess 78a. The spring 86 is preferably of a size that release can be accomplished by thumb pressure.

From the foregoing it will be evident that applicant has provided a unitary socket wrench, of relatively simple and inexpensive construction, which is readily adjustable to different lengths. Although several embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, it can be expected that minor modifications will now be suggested to ones skilled in the art. It is to be understood, therefore, that the specific details and terminology are not intended to be restrictive except insofar as they appear as limitations in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

1. An extensible socket Wrench comprising, in combination, a cylindrical drive body having a bore of uniform circular cross-section extending from one end thereof to substantially the other end, said other end of said body having an opening therein for receiving a drive handle, said body having a pair of diametrically opposite longitudinal slots in the wall thereof each terminating short of the ends of said body, a shank of uniform circular crosssection longitudinally movable within the bore in said drive body formed with an integral socket head at the end thereof beyond said body portion, said shank having a coaxial bore therein, the length of said shank inwardly of said socket head being substantially equal to the length of the bore in said drive body, a pin extending transversely through said shank near the end thereof opposite said socket head and engaging the slots in said drive body to prevent relative rotation between said shank and drive body under driving conditions, and spring-loaded retaining means within said shank arranged to engage one of a plurality of longitudinally spaced recesses in said drive body to releasably hold said shank in a number of diifer' ent longitudinal positions within said drive body, the engagement of said pin with the ends of said slots nearest said one end of said drive body preventing complete withdrawal of the shank from the drive body.

2. An extensible socket wrench in accordance with claim 1 wherein the bore in said shank extends inwardly from the socket end thereof for a portion of the length of said shank, said recesses are formed in the surface of the bore in said drive body, and said retaining means comprises a ball disposed at the outer end of a radial opening in said shank near the end thereof opposite said socket head, and a compression spring in said opening arranged to urge said ball into contact with the surface of the bore in said drive body.

3. An extensible socket wrench in accordance with claim 1 wherein the bore in said shank extends throughout the length of said shank, said recesses are formed in the outer surface of said drive body along one of said slots, and said retaining means comprises a tapered head on the end of said pin which engages the slot having said recesses formed therealong, and a compression spring within the bore in said shank and surrounding said pin and arranged to urge said tapered head into a selected one of said recesses.

4. An extensible socket wrench in accordance with claim 1 wherein the length of said slots is substantially equal to the distance between said socket head and said pin.

5. An extensible socket wrench in accordance with claim 1 wherein said socket head has a cylindrical outer surface of outside diameter substantially equal to the outside diameter of said drive body.

6. An extensible socket wrench comprising, in combination, an elongated drive body having a bore of uniform polygonal cross-section extending from one end thereof to substantially the other end, said other end of said drive body having an opening therein for receiving a driver handle, a shank of uniform polygonal cross-section longitudinally movable within the bore in said drive body and formed with in integral socket head at the end thereof beyond said body portion, said shank having a coaxial bore therein extending inwardly from the socket end for at least a portion of the length of said shank, the length of said shank inwardly of said head being substantially equal to the length of the bore in said drive body, the surfaces of said shank engaging corresponding surfaces of the bore in said drive body to prevent relative rotation between said shank and drive body under driving conditions, one of the surfaces of said shank having a plurality of longitudinally spaced recesses formed therein, spring-loaded detent means in the wall of said drive body arranged to engage one of said recesses to releasably hold said shank in a number of different longitudinal positions within said drive body, another of the surfaces of said shank having a slot formed therein extending from said socket head and terminating in a shoulder near the opposite end of said shank, and means secured in the wall of said drive body and projecting into said slot a distance to allow longitudinal movement of said shank within the bore in said drive body but to engage said shoulder to prevent complete withdrawal of the shank from the drive body.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 845,717 2/1907 Miller 81-121 1,269,413 6/1918 Finnigan 145-64 2,051,953 8/1936 Leathers -32 2,382,291 8/1945 Carlberg 287-58 2,963,930 12/1960 Clothier et a1. 81177 FOREIGN PATENTS 681,319 10/1952 Great Britain.

WILLIAM FELDMAN, Primary Examiner.

MILTON S. MEHR, Examiner.

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Referenced by
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US4130152 *Oct 19, 1977Dec 19, 1978John SawyerSlot-head fastener and driver therefor
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Classifications
U.S. Classification81/177.2, 16/429
International ClassificationB25B13/06, B25B23/00, B25B13/00
Cooperative ClassificationB25B23/0021, B25B13/06
European ClassificationB25B13/06, B25B23/00A2