US 3299750 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 24, 1967 D. CAMPANILE ET AL 3,299,750
SOCKET WRENCH Filed March 22, 1965 DOMINIC CAMPANILE HENRY S. CUMMINGS, JR.
INVENTOR$ United States Patent ()fiice 3,299,750 Patented Jan. 24, 1967 3,299,750 SOCKET WRENCH Dominic (Iampanile, Holden, and Henry S. Cummings,
31a, Worcester, Mass, assignors to Lowell Wrench Company, Worcester, Mass, a corporation of Massachusetts Filed Mar. 22, 1965, Ser. No. 441,506 3 Claims. (Cl. 8162) This invention relates to a socket wrench and, more particularly, to apparatus arranged to tighten or loosen bolts, nuts, and the like.
In the design and construction of ratchet wrenches, many problems present themselves. Not the least of these problems is arranging the parts in such a way that an interchangeable socket will alford the advantage of a hole through its center, which permits it to tighten a bolt down a long, threaded shaft. Another problem is the arrangement of parts in such a way that they are readily accessible for repair or replacement. Also, it is desirable to provide all of the functions in the least expensive manner. In the past, however, ratchet wrenches have been notoriously difficult to take apart for repair and they have been quite expensive to construct. These and other difilculties experienced with the prior art devices have been obviated in a novel manner by the present invention.
It is, therefore, an outstanding object of the invention to provide a ratchet wrench, which is capable of tightening a nut down a long, threaded shaft, which extends through the socket and through the wrench head without impairing its ratchet features.
It is also an object of the invention to provide a ratchet wrench, wherein ready access is available to the working parts.
Another object of this invention is the provision of a ratchet wrench in which the socket element is readily removable and exchangeable for another.
A further object of the present invention is the provision of a ratchet wrench having operating parts which are simple and inexpensive to manufacture.
It is another object of the instant invention to provide a ratchet wrench which is simple in construction, which is rugged in nature, and which is capable of a long life of useful service with a minimum of maintenance.
With these and other objects in view, as will be apparent to those skilled in the art, the invention resides in the combination of parts set forth in the specification and covered by the claims appended hereto.
The character of the invention, however, may be best understood by reference to one of its structural forms,
as illustrated by the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a ratchet wrench embodying the principles of the present invention; and
FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the wrench with the handle removed.
Referring first to FIG. 1, which best shows the general features of the invention, the ratchet wrench, indicated generally by the reference numeral 10, is shown as having a body 11 from one side of which extends an elongated handle 12. Extending from the underside of the body 11 is a socket element 13 having a non-circular recess (hexagonal or square) adapted to fit over a nut, bolt, or the like. A hole 13A of size suitable to pass over the bolt diameter onto which the nut is being tightened passes through the entire socket and wrench head, opening into the hexagon-shaped recess mentioned above. On the top of the body 11 is fastened a plate 14 by means of a socket screw 15'. Extending along the upper surface of the handle 12 and extending from under the plate is a selector finger 16, while over the top of the plate lies an actuating finger 17 forming part of a snap ring.
Referring to FIG. 2, it can be seen that the socket element 13 is provided with a cylindrical portion 18 which carries the nut or bolt recess (not shown) which connects to the hole 13A, which passes all the way through the socket. Extending from the inner side of the cylindrical portion 18 is a ratchet wheel 19 having individual teeth in the usual manner. From the ratchet wheel extends a neck 21 which is provided with two annular, spaced grooves 22 and 23.
The body 11 of the wrench is provided with a bore 24 having a diameter slightly larger than the outside diameter of the ratchet wheel 19 at the ends of the teeth. Extending into the surface of the upper part of the body and extending laterally of the bore 24 is a recess 25 having a semi-cylindrical pocket 26 which carries a similarly formed end of a pawl 27. The opposite side of the recess is provided with a similar pocket 28 carrying one end of a pawl 29. A coil spring 31 presses the pawl 29 toward the center of the bore 24, while a similar spring 32 biases the pawl 27 toward the bore. The inner end of the selector finger 16 is pivotally mounted by means of an aperture 33 through which the socket screw 15 extends on its way to being threaded into a bore in the body 11. The finger 16 is provided with a head 34 which engages in the usual way with the pawls 27 and 29 to cause one to engage the ratchet wheel 19, while the other one is held away from the ratchet wheel; in an intermediate position, both pawls contact the ratchet wheel and lock it in place, so that the wrench may be used as an ordinary wrench.
Extending into the upper face of the body 11 and raised on a slightly higher plane than the recess 25 is a secondary recess 35 in which is mounted the plate 14. The plate 14 is made up of a bottom layer 36, an intermediate layer 37, and a top layer 38, all having the same external configuration. The bottom layer 36 is provided with a circular aperture 39 which fits loosely over the neck 21 and with a small aperture 41 through which the socket screw 15 may extend. The intermediate layer 37 is provided with an aperture 42 which is somewhat larger in diameter than the aperture 39; it is also provided at its lower portion with a tangential slot 43. The intermediate layer is also provided with an aperture 44 having the same diameter as the aperture 39 of the bottom layer 36. From the bottom of the aperture 44 extends a wide radial slot 45. Finally, the top layer 38 is provided with a countersunk aperture 46 to receive the socket screw 15 and its head.
FIG. 2 also shows the details of construction of a retaining ring 4-7 which has the actuating finger 17 described above. The snap ring is made of a wire having a square cross-section and it has a ring-like main portion 46A which forms almost a complete circle with an inner diameter approximately the same as the diameter of the bottom of the grooves 22 and 23 of the neck 21 and an outer diameter slightly larger than the diameter of the apertures 39 and 44. The main portion is almost a complete circle, but fails to be a complete circle by having free ends. One free end is provided with a straight, tangential locking finger 48, while the other end is provided with the aforementioned actuating finger 17. The free end of the main portion 46A is connected to the actuating finger 17 by a connecting portion 49 which extends perpendicular to the plane of the main portion 46A and is connected by a slight loop to the actuating finger 17 at which point the extreme end of the actuating finger is bent back upon itself to form a thickened portion 51.
The bottom layer 36, the intermediate layer 37, and the top layer 38 are welded together by spot welds 52 (shown in FIG. 1). After they are so welded, the retaining ring 47 is put in place. Actually, the main portion 46A fits within the aperture 42 of the intermediate layer 37 with the locking finger 48 lying in the slot 43. The connecting portion 49 extends upwardly through the aperture'44 of the top layer 38 and through the slot 45 so that the actuating finger 17 lies on the outer surface of the entire plate 14 and of the top layer 38. The snap ring is configured in such a way that the actuating finger 17 normally occupies a position at the left side of the slot 45, as shown in FIG. 1. When the actuating finger is moved to the right of the slot 45, the entire main portion 46A disappears into the slot formed by the portions of the bottom layer 36 around the aperture 39, the inner diameter of the aperture 42 in the intermediate layer 37, and the portions of the top layer 38 surrounding the aperture 44, these portions forming a groove.
The operation of the wrench will now be readily understood in view of the above description. In use, the socket element 13 is placed over a nut or bolt which is to be tightened or loosened; then, force is applied to the outer end of the handle 12 to operate the wrench. As is customary with ratchet wrenches, it is not necessary to move the handle 12 on a complete 360 arc around the element to be loosened or to be tightened. Because of the hole 13A, which passes all the way through the socket and wrench head, the wrench may be placed over a long, threaded shaft, and a nut may be tightened on this shaft at any distance from the end of this shaft. A slight reciprocation of the handle 12 produces through the pawls and ratchets the unidirectional rotation of the socket element 13. When the selector finger 16 is in the position shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 (that is, to the left), the pawl 29 engages the ratchet Wheel 19 and clockwise rotation of the handle 12 about the socket 13 will cause the socket to move, whereas counter-clockwise motion will leave the socket motionless. When the actuating finger 16 is moved to the opposite side (that is, to the right) of the handle 12, the opposite motion will take place because the pawl 27 will be permitted to engage the ratchet wheel 19, while the pawl 29 will be maintained out of contact with the ratchet wheel. When the selector finger 16 is in the intermediate position, :both pawls 27 and 29 engage the ratchet wheel 19 and lock the socket in place so that motion in either direction will cause torque to be applied to the bolt or nut, as the case may be. In order to remove the socket element 13 and replace it with a socket having the proper size recess to suit a given bolt head, it is only necessary to move the actuating finger 17 to its right-hand position in the slot 45. When this is done, the main portion 46A of the snap ring 47 disappears into the groove in the plate 14 that has been described above and moves out of the groove 22 in the neck 21 of the socket element. The socket element may, therefore, be pulled through the apertures in the plate 14 and through the bore 24 and another one moved into place. The inner surfaces of the main portion 46A of the snap ring 47 engage a suitable groove, usually the groove 22 on the neck 21 of the socket element and permit the socket element to rotate freely under the movement of the pawls 27 or 29. If it is necessary to examine the pawls, pawl springs, gear teeth, or selector finger, to determine if replacement or repair is necessary, one need only remove the socket 13 by manually pressing the actuating finger 17 to the right of slot 45, thus preventing the socket 13 to drop out of the handle. If,
indeed, repair or replacement is necessary, then one need only remove the socket screw 15 and the plate 14, thereby completely exposing all inner parts.
It can be seen that, when a ratchet wrench is constructed in the manner described above, it is capable of being maintained in good operating condition without any difiiculty. The operating parts are readily available for inspection, for oiling, and for replacement. On the other hand, by this simple novel method, it is possible to replace the socket element without any ditficulty. The mechanism by which the socket element is locked in place is inexpensive and simple in construction.
It is obvious that minor changes may be made in the form and construction of the invention without departing from the material spirit thereof. It is not, however, desired to confine the invention to the exact form herein shown and described, but it is desired to include all such as properly come within the scope claimed.
The invention having been thus described, what is claimed as new and desired to secure by Letters Patent 1s:
1. A socket wrench, comprising (a) a 'body having a handle extending therefrom, the
body having a bore therethrough and a recess located laterally of the bore on one side of the body,
(b) a socket element having a ratchet wheel which resides in the bore and having a grooved neck extending from the ratchet wheel,
(c) a pair of spring-biased pawls mounted in the recess for selective engagement with the ratchet wheel,
(d) a plate mounted on the body to cover the recess, the plate having an aperture located over the bore through which the said neck extends, the plate consisting of three layers of thin sheet fastened together, the intermediate layer having an aperture slightly larger than the other two to provide the plate with a groove in its aperture to provide the plate with a groove, and
(e) a retaining ring mounted in the groove in the plate and engaging the said neck to lock the socket element in place.
2. A wrench as recited in claim 1, wherein the retaining ring has a ring-like main portion from which extends a locking finger, the inter-mediate layer having a slot extending from its aperture to receive the said locking finger.
3. A wrench as recited in claim 1, wherein the retaining ring has a ring-like main portion from which a connecting portion extends perpendicular to the plane of the main portion and terminates in an actuating finger which lies on the outer surface of the plate.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,407,558 9/1946 Kress 8162 X 2,570,779 10/1951 Dodge et al. 8l--62 2,735,324 2/1956 Goldwater et al. 81--59.1 X 2,803,980 8/1957 Vogel 8162 WILLIAM FELDMAN, Primary Examiner, JAMES L. JONES, JR., Examiner.