US 3234583 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 15, 1966 J. J. KEMPEL A I 3,234,583
RETRACTABLE DOOR PULL Filed Jan. 21, 1963 INVENTOR. JOHN J. KEMPEL.
ATTOR NE Y8 United States Patent Ofi 3,234,583 Patented Feb. 15, 1966 ice 3,234,583 RETRACTABLE DOGR PULL John J. Kempel, Pontiac, Mich, assignor, by mesne assignments, to The Stanley Works, New Britain, Conn., a corporation of Connecticut Filed Jan. 21, 1963, Ser. No. 252,772 7 Claims. (Cl. 16-122) This invention relates to door pulls and more particularly to a retractable pull rope for an overhead door.
To facilitate closing of overhead doors, a pull rope is customarily attached to the inner side of the door so that when the door is overhead in open position the rope hangs downwardly within easy reach. For ease in lowering the door and in order .to minimize strain on the door, it is preferred to attach the pull rope as close as possible to the normally reinforced leading edge of the door. However, due to the length of rope required to insure that it hangs within convenient reach, the loose end of the rope upon being released ofte swings out under the leading edge of the door as it is being closed and hence becomes caught under the door when fully closed, thereby producing an unsightly and annoying condition. Moreover, if the pull rope is located near one side edge of the door, it may upon being released become entangled with the adjacent door track, counterbalance mechanism or other structure adjacent the doorway.
An object of the present invention is to provide an improved pull rope apparatus which overcomes the aforementioned disadvantages of the ordinary pull rope in a very simple and inexpensive manner while also providing improved performance in terms of safety, ease of door handling and longer rope life.
A further object is to provide a very simple device which may be easily attached toa door equipped with a conventional pull rope to convert it to the door pull of the invention.
Other objects, [features and advantages of the inven tion will become apparent from the following description and accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is an elevational view of an overhead garage door as seen from outside the garage with the door in its overhead, open position.
FIG. 2 is a vertical section taken on the line 2-2 of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary perspective view of the door in its vertical, closed position as seen from inside the gar-age.
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken on the line 4-4 of FIG. 2.
Referring to FIG. 1, an example of a preferred embodiment of the door pull apparatus of the present invention is shown attached adjacent the leading edge 12 of a conventional sectional overhead garage door 14, the door being supported on a pair of door tracks 16 in the usual manner. Door 14 is movable from the open overhead position shown in solid lines in FIG. 1 to a vertical closed position as shown in broken lines in FIG. 1.
As best seen in FIGS. 2 and 3, the door pull apparatus 10 of the invention includes a flexible element comprising a pull rope '18 which is secured at one end to the inner side of the door adjacent leading edge 12. If the door is a sectional metal door, this may be done by insetting the rope through a hole 20 in the reinforcing member 22 customarily provided at the center of the lowermost panel of the door, and then tying a knot 24 in the end of the rope so that it cannot be pulled back through hole 20. For other types of door construction, any suitable mode of attachment may be used.
A resilient element comprising a tension coil spring :26 is suitably secured at one end to member 22, such as by inserting a sheet metal screw 28 through the endmost convolution of the spring and then threading the screw into member 22. A ring 30 comprising a two-turn coil of wire is connected to the endmost convolution 32 at the other end of spring 26. The loose end of rope 18 is passed through ring 30 and a handle bar 34 or other suitable grip is strung on the rope prior to tying a knot 36 in the loose end of the rope. Ring 30 is thus free to slide along the length of rope 18 but is prevented from becoming detached by member 22 and handle 34 or, if the handle is omitted, by knot 36.
It is to be noted that spring 26 is attached to door 14 at a point spaced from the connection of rope 18 to the door, preferably inwardly from the rope connection. The optimum spacing is determined by the relative lengths of rope .18 and spring 26 (when contracted) so that the spring normally holds the rope retracted clear of the leading edge' of the door. When'rope '18 and spring 26 are proportioned and connected as illustrated in solid lines in FIG. 2, the spring hangs downwardly from the open door at an angle and a portion of rope 18 hangs free from ring 30 so that handle 34 is in a convenient position for gripping. Similarly, when the door is in its vertical closed position as shown in FIG. 3, spring 26 holds handle 34 suspended above the garage floor so that it is easier togrip and does not become soiled.
The portion of rope 18 which hangs free from ring 30 should not exceed the length necessary to prevent handle 34 from dangling below the leading edge 12 of the door when it is in a vertical position. However, it is permissible to increase the spacing between screw 28 and hole '20 so that when spring 26 is contracted both rope 18 and the spring are held substantially flush against member 22. This latter relationship may be desirable on doors with relatively low overhead clearance, or on doors other than the overhead type.
When it is desired to move the door, handle 34 is grasped and then pulled in the direction of desired door travel. As shown sequentially in the solid and two broken line positions of rope 18 in FIG. 2, when handle 34 is pulled in the door closing direction, rope 18 applies an extension (force on spring 26 and at the same time causes ring 30 to slide along rope 18 towards member 20. Hence the entire length of rope 18 can move forwardly until it extends in a straight line from hole 20 and handle 34 is disposed on out beyond leading edge 12. When door 14 has been pulled down sufficiently to bring the customary outside handle 38 (FIG. 1) within convenient reach of the operator, rope 18 is released. Spring 26 thereupon contracts and snaps the rope back to its ret-racted position on the inside of the door, thereby preventing it from becoming caught under door edge 1-2 when it is lowered to the garage floor.
It is to be understood that other forms of resilien elements may be substituted for coil spring 26, such as a piece of elastic material or a resilient metal leaf spring, although a tension coil spring is preferred since it is an inexpensive, commercially available item which is easily attached to the door and rope. Also, the resilient element may be secured directly to rope 18 rather than having a sliding connection thereto via ring 30, but the latter connection is preferred since it reduces the length to which the spring must extend and therefore permits the use of a smaller, less expensive spring.
From the foregoing it will now be apparent that the invention provides a very simple and inexpensive retractable door pull which overcomes the previously mentioned problems presented by ordinary pull ropes. Spring 26, screw 28 and ring 30 together represent a very low cost assembly which is easily connected to a conventional pull rope to convert the same to the door pull of the invention.
1. A door pull comprising a flexible element having a first portion adapted for attachment to a door and a second portion spaced from said first portion adapted to be manually grasped for exerting a pulling force on the door via said flexible element, said element being flexible from said first .to said second portions, resilient means having a portion adapted for connection to the door and an operable connection with said flexible element between said first and second portions thereof at a point spaced from said portion of said resilient means, said resilient means and said flexible element being positionable relative to one another [for maintaining said flexible element in a retracted position in an unstressed condition thereof, said resilient means being yieldable in the direction of its length when said portion thereof is held fixed to permit movement of said flexible element when it is pulled away from said fixed portion to an extended position.
2. A door pull for applying motive force to a door movable from one side to the other side of a doorway closed by the door, said door pull comprising a rigid structure adapted to be aflixed to said door adjacent a leading edge thereof with respect to door closing movement, a door pulling element connected to said rigid structure and having a flexible portion extending therefrom adapted to be manipulated for moving the door, a resilient element attachedv to said rigid structure and means interconnecting said flexible portion of said door pulling element and said resilient element, said elements being positioned with respect to one another and said rigid structure such that said resilient element is adapted to hold said flexible portion retracted clear of the leading edge of the door upon release of said flexible portion, said resilient. element yielding in the direction of its length when said flexible element is pulled tautv to move the door.
3. The combination set forth in claim 2' wherein said interconnecting means is adapted to provide a slid-ing connection of said elements.
4, The combination set forth in claim 2 wherein said rigid structure is adapted to be attached to said door so as to position said flexible element inwardly from said leading edge of the door to thereby retract said flexible portion of said door pulling element in a' direction away irom said leading edge upon release of said flexible portion.
5. The combination set forth in claim 2 wherein said resilient element comprises a tension coil spring, and
4,. wherein said interconnecting means comprises a ring passing around said flexible portion and through a convolution of said spring to thereby provide a sliding connection of said spring to said flexible portion.
6. A door pull for an overhead garage door, said door pull comprising a length of pull rope adapted to be connected to said door such that one end of said rope hangs loose therefrom, said rope having gripping means at said one end thereof, a tension coil spring having one end adapted to be attached to the door at a point spaced trom .the point of connection of the rope to the door, and a ring connected to the other end of said spring and s-lidaibly receiving the rope therethrough, said gripping means being dimensioned to retain said ring on said rope, said spring being adapted to normally hold said rope retracted clear of the edges of said door in the released condition of said rope and adapted to yield to permit said ring to slide along said rope when it is pulled away from said spring to apply motive force to the door.
1 7. A door pull adapted to be mounted on an overhead garage door, said door pull comprising a rigid rope attachment structure adapted to be mounted on the door adjacent its leading edge and having a rope hole therein, a pull rope passing through said rope hole and having a knot on each side of said hole for securing said rope to the door attachment structure such that one end of said rope hangs loose from one side of the door, a tension coil spring fixed at one end to said attachment structure, a ring secured to the other end of said spring and encircling said rope for sliding movement therealong, said knots being adapted to retain said ring on said rope, said attachment structure being adapted to space said fixed end of said spring inwardly of the leading edge of the door so that the spring when contracted holds said rope when released clear of the leading edge of said door in all positions thereof.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,201,636 5/ 1940 Siess et a1 -201 X 2,547,196 4/1951 Clark 160-201 X 2,709,615 5/1955 Barnes et a1.
2,943,882 7/ 1960 Geisler.
2,973,561 3/ 1961 Jackson.
3,082,472 3/ 1963 Roquemore 16-112 JOSEPH D. SEERS, Primary Examiner.
DONLEY J. STOCKING, Examiner.