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Publication numberUS3349655 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 31, 1967
Filing dateJun 24, 1966
Priority dateJun 24, 1966
Publication numberUS 3349655 A, US 3349655A, US-A-3349655, US3349655 A, US3349655A
InventorsLocke William N
Original AssigneeLocke William N
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Wrench having a bundle of rods individually retractable to conform to a variety of fastener configurations
US 3349655 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

w. N. LOCKE 3,349,655


FIG. 2

WILLIAM N. LDCKE Has H BY ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,349,655 WRENCH HAVING A BUNDLE OF RODS INDI- VIDUALLY RETRACTABLE T0 CONFORM TO A VARIETY OF FASTENER CONFIGURATIONS William N. Locke, 25 Berkshire Road, Newtonville, Mass. 02160 Filed June 24, 1966, Ser. No. 560,330 Claims. (Cl. 81-185) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An adjustable tool for installing or removing fasteners of various sizes and comprising a bundle of rods sur rounded by a girdle and resiliently mounted in a chuck. The rods may be pressed into conformity with the head of a fastener, and, upon the application of torque to the chuck, the girdle will be constricted and torque will be applied to the fastener through the rods.

My invention relates to hand tools, and more particularly to a novel combination screwdriver and Wrench.

Varying requirements of design and performance have resulted in the development of an almost infinite variety of head shapes for screws, bolts, nuts and the like. To mention but a few, the slotted head, Phillips head and Allen head bolts and screws, and square and hexagonal nuts of a great variety of sizes and proportions are commonly encountered. It is the primary object of my invention to reduce the inventory of tools required by a mechanic in order to install and remove these various types of fastenings.

Basically, the objects of my invention are attained by a novel combination of torque-applying elements bound together in a common chuck and selectively projectable into engagement with a set of points on the head of a fastener, whereby the torque-applying elements conform to a shape complementing the shape of the head of the fastener to be installed or removed. Means are further provided for applying torque to the bundle of torqueapplying elements thus conformed to the head of a fastener, and thereby rotating the associated threaded stud into or out of engagement with the parts receiving the fastening. By that arrangement, it is possible to deal with a wide variety of sizes and shapes of fastener heads with only a single tool.

The novel combination screwdriver and wrench of my invention will best be understood in the light of the following detailed description, together with the accompanying drawings, of a preferred embodiment thereof.

In the drawings,

FIG. 1 is a cross sectional elevation, with parts shown in cross section and parts broken away, of a combination screwdriver and wrench in accordance with the preferred embodiment of my invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of the apparatus of FIG. 1 taken essentially along the lines 22 in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a schematic view of a spring forming a part of the apparatus of FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 is a schematic fragmentary view, with parts shown in cross section and parts broken away, of a handle usable with the apparatus of FIGS. 1, 2 and 3; and

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary end view of a modification of my invention.

Referring to FIG. 1, the apparatus comprises a chuck generally designated as 1 and comprising an upstanding reduced collar portion 3, to receive a suitable tool handle, as to be described below in connection with FIG. 4, or to be connected to the output shaft of a power tool. A control ring 5 is rotatably mounted on the chuck 1, for

purposes to appear. Various means may be employed for so mounting the ring 5, but as here shown there is provided an outstanding flange 7 on the body of the chuck recessed as indicated at 9 to slidably receive the ring 5. The ring 5 may be secured at the bottom by any conventional means, here shown as a collar 11 threaded to receive cooperating threads, as indicated at 13, on the body of the chuck.

As best shown in FIG. 1, a spring support plate 15 is disposed within a cylindrical recess in the chuck 1 and is provided with an upstanding head 17 grooved as indicated at 19 to receive a retaining split ring 21 mating with a cooperating recess in an aperture 23 formed in the collar 3 of the chuck 1. The spring support plate 15 is thereby rotatably mounted in the chuck and held against movement axially thereof. As shown, a washer 16 is disposed between the chuck 1 and the plate 15 to provide support for the plate while spacing its periphery from the chuck.

Disposed within and projecting from the body of the chuck 1 is a bundle of torque-applying rods 25 relatively tightly constrained by a girdle 27 of stainless steel or the like. While the rods 25 are shown as having a square crosssection, they may be made of triangular, hexagonal or other cross-section if so desired without departing from the scope of my invention in its broader aspects. The maximum transverse dimension of each of the rods 25 should be such as to fit within the smallest aperture or slot in a fastener head to be engaged by the tool.

At the upper end of each of the rods 25 is formed a pin 29. Cooperating with each of the pins 29 is a confronting pin 31 formed on the bottom of the spring support plate 15. Between each pair of confronting pins 29 and 31 is disposed a spring 33, here shown as comprising a plastic tube of oil resistant plastic tubing, such as neoprene or the like. Alternatively, the springs 33 could be conventional coil springs if so desired. Such springs would require anchoring to the pins, however, and the tubes are preferred as being self-anchoring.

The girdle 27 may be stamped from stainless steel or the like, and as indicated in FIG. 2 is formed at its lower ends with a first set of indented portions 35 forming teeth adapted to drive the girdle and the enclosed bundle of rods in a counter-clockwise direction as seen in FIG. 2, and a second set of indentations forming notches 37 arranged when engaged to drive the girdle and enclosed bundle of rods clockwise in FIG. 2. The upper portion of the girdle 27 may be formed to be of circular crosssection, and provided with a rim 39 arranged to engage the rim of the spring support plate 15.

The inner wall of the chuck 1 is slotted as at 41 to receive a series of pawls adapted to cooperate with the teeth 35 and 37 formed on the girdle 27. These pawls comprise a first set including the pawl 43 adapted to cooperate with the teeth 35, and a second set including the in the wall of the chuck 1, and engages at its other end a pin 53 secured to the pawl. The springs 51 normally hold the pawls out of engagement with the teeth such as 35 and 37, and if unopposed would permit free rotation of the girdle 27 in the chuck 1. In certain positions of the control ring 5, springs such as 55 secured to the ring en- 1 gage certain of the pins 53 to urge the associated pawls outward into engagement with teeth on the girdle. Slots such as 57 are provided in the wall of the chuck 1 to per-r mit the springs 55 to extend through the wall of the chuck into engagement with the selected pins 53.

As indicated in FIG. 2, the springs 55 are secured to the ring 5 by means of slots in the ring into which the ends of the springs 55 protrude. In the position shown in FIG. 2, a central notch formed in each pin 55 engages one of the pawls 43 such that by cooperation with the teeth 35 torque applied to the chuck will rotate the girdle 27 and its enclosed bundle of rods 25 counter-clockwise as shown in FIG. 2. By rotating the ring 5 counterclockwise with respect to the chuck 1 as seen in FIG. 2, a pair of notches on the spring 55 would each engage one of the pins 53 on adjacent pawls 43 and 45, such that the girdle 27 would be locked against rotation in either direction. Upon further counter-clockwise rotation of the ring 5, only the pins 53 on the pawls such as 45 would be engaged, locking the girdle 27 against counter-clockwise rotation with respect to the ring 5, but permitting clockwise rotation.

While the apparatus of my invention is adapted to be driven in any desired way, FIG. 4 shows a convenient handle for attachment to the chuck 1. The handle is arranged for operation in various modes to permit access to fasteners in locations otherwise difficult to reach. For that purpose, the handle generally indicated at 59 is provided with a tubular shaft 61 in which a first slot 63 is formed through which passes the head portion 65 of a locking lever 67 provided at its lower end with a latching portion 69. The locking lever 67 is provided with an elongated slot 71, for purposes to appear, and is normally resiliently held in the position shown by a spring 73. The collar 3 and the shaft 61 are secured against relative rotation about the axis of the shaft 61 by a pin 75 extending through the walls of the collar 3. An elongated slot 77, shown partly in dotted lines behind the locking lever 67, is provided for purposes to appear, and upon rotation of the shaft 61, the edges of the slot will engage the pin 75 and turn the collar 3 in the associated chuck 1. In the position shown, the latch 69 engages the collar 3 and prevents rotation of the shaft 61 about the axis of the pin 75. If it is desired to use the handle in a horizontal position with respect to the axis of the chuck 1, the protruding portion 65 is pushed up against the spring 73, and the handle 59 may be folded down, rotating about the axis of the pin 75, to assume the position generally indicated in dotted and broken lines.

The operation of the tool of my invention will next be considered. The chuck 1 is first pressed down with the rods 25 engaging the head of the desired fastener, and depending on the shape of the head of the fastener, certain of the rods will protrude into slots, grooves or notches formed in the head of the fastener, while others will be pressed back against the springs 33 so that the end of the bundle of rods 25 will assume a profile complementary to the profile of the fastener. When torque is then applied to the chuck 1, with the ring 5 in a position to apply torque to the girdle 27 in the desired direction of rotation, the girdle 27 will tighten about the rods and they will rotate as a unit, applying torque to the fastener by means of the projecting ones of the rods 25 engaging cooperating surfaces on the head of the fastener. Such surfaces may be formed by slots or other recesses in the head of the fastener, as in screws or the like, by projecting portions of the fastener head, as in bolts or the like, or may corn prise combinations of surfaces, as in fasteners such as self-tapping screws with hexagonal heads. Thus, a wide variety of fasteners can be dealt with by this means.

Additional versatility and a stronger tool can be provided by making some of the rods 25 smaller than the others. As shown in FIG. 5, two orthogonal rows of small rods 25a are arranged to intersect at the center of the bundle, and are surrounded by larger rods 25b. By that arrangement, the size of the rods can be graduated in dependence on the size of the fastener. If desired, more than two sizes of rods can be employed.

Various modifications can be made in the apparatus of my invention without departing from the invention in its broader aspects. For example, the girdle 27 may be replaced by a woven wire mesh, anchored at the upper end to the chuck. Upon rotating the chuck in either direction, the mesh would tighten about the rods and at the same time apply torque to the rods. Alternatively, one or more coil springs may be wound about the bundle of rods and anchored at one end to the chuck, each behaving as a one-way clutch to tighten about the rods and drive them in a selected direction. Theapparatus can obviously be made in various sizes, although it is apparent that a single tool may be employed with a variety of sizes of fasteners.

While I have described the apparatus of my invention with respect to the details of a preferred embodiment thereof, and have noted various instances in which the construction can be modified, other modifications and variations will suggest themselves to those skilled in the art upon reading my description, and such can obviously be made without departing from the scope of my invention.

Having thus described my invention, what I claim is:

1. An adjustable tool, comprising a bundle of rods, a girdle circumferentially spaced about said bundle, a chuck recessed to receive said girdle and said bundle, resilient means disposed between said girdle and one end of each of said rods to urge said rods outwardly from said chuck, and means connected to said chuck for applying torque to said girdle, whereby when the end of said bundle opposite said resilient means is pressed into engagement with the head of a fastener shaped to receive a torque applying tool the protruding rods assume a complementary shape and torque applied to said chuck will be applied to the fastener.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, in which said girdle comprises a metal shell.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, in which said girdle comprises a woven wire sheath secured at one end to said chuck.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, in which said girdle comprises a coil spring wound about said bundle and secured at one end to said chuck.

5. An adjustable tool, com-prising a bundle of rods extending along parallel axes from first ends to second ends, said rods comprising a first set and a second set of smaller cross-sectional area than the first set, the rods of said second set being arranged in at least one row through the middle of the bundle, means resiliently mounting said rods for relative movement along said axes and urging said rods to a reference position in which said first ends lie in a predetermined surface, and means for applying torque to said bundle, whereby when said first ends are pressed into engagement with an object including the head of a fastener shaped to receive a torque applying tool and torque is applied to said bundle, said rods move to a relative position in which said first ends lie in a surface complementing the shape of said object and torque will be applied to the fastener.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,711,112 6/1955 Durand 81185 3,127,798 4/1964 G01 81l85 X 3,251,251 5/1966 Popper et al 81-185 FOREIGN PATENTS 315,926 11/1919 Germany.

OTHELL M. SIMPSON, Primary Examiner.

MILTON S. MEHR, Examiner.

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US3251251 *Sep 1, 1964May 17, 1966Hans Popper RudolfGripping tool provided with means automatically adjusting the size of the clamping mouth in correspondence with the configuration of a workpiece to be gripped thereby
*DE315926C Title not available
Referenced by
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US3674070 *Jun 2, 1969Jul 4, 1972Mahoney MichaelUniversal screwdriver
US3883449 *Apr 30, 1973May 13, 1975Hercules IncPolymerization of 1,4-halosubstituted-2,3-epoxybutanes
US4887498 *Oct 31, 1988Dec 19, 1989Charles ZayatClamping tool
US5460064 *Oct 11, 1994Oct 24, 1995Zayat, Jr.; Charles D.Universal socket tool
US5806385 *May 14, 1996Sep 15, 1998Continental Automotive Parts Center (H.K.) Ltd.Universal socket device
US5937715 *Aug 19, 1997Aug 17, 1999Lin; Chin HoSocket for fasteners of various sizes
US6092443 *Sep 23, 1997Jul 25, 2000Zayat, Jr.; Charles D.Universal socket tool
US6098507 *Apr 5, 1999Aug 8, 2000Lin; Chin HoUniversal socket wrench
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US20050186055 *Nov 19, 2004Aug 25, 2005Hyatt Daniel W.Aircraft handler
US20050199104 *Mar 11, 2004Sep 15, 2005Chih-Ching HsienBox end wrench
US20060042427 *Jul 26, 2005Mar 2, 2006Walters Maynard ALarge self-forming socket
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U.S. Classification81/185, 81/177.5, 81/460
International ClassificationB25B13/00, B25B13/10, B25B13/46
Cooperative ClassificationB25B13/463, B25B13/105
European ClassificationB25B13/10C, B25B13/46B1B