US 3356117 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec.5,1967 L T.R.WAGNER A 3,356,117
' TORQUE-APPLYING TOOL DEVICE Filed Oct. 19, 1964 INVENTOR THEODORE R. WAGNER ["lg- 5 BY l /JJK v ATTO EY United States Patent O 3,356,117 TGRQUE-APPLYING TODL DEVIC Theodore R. Wagner, 433 Lima St., Aurora, Colo. 80010 Filed Oct. 19, 1964, Ser. No. 404,577 14 Claims. (Cl. 145-71) This invention -relates to a novel and improved tool device, and more particularly relates to a torque-applying tool holder for interchangeably holding and applying torque to various different types of tools, as well as to a novel `and improved ratchet mechanism incorporated in the tool holder for selectively applying torque in either the forward or reverse direction of rotation, or in both directions of rot-ation as desired.
It is customary to design torque-applying devices, such as screwdriver sets or socket wrench sets with a specially designed tool handle or holder which will accommodate different sizes and types of tool members and wherein the tool holder is provided with `a ratchet mechanism which can be manipulated to impart rotation in either the forward or reverse direction or in both directions. In accordance with the present invention, a tool holder has been devised which is relatively inexpensive and simple to manufacture, compact and versatile in use. More specifically the tool holder is so constructed and arranged that a tool member can be adjustably but securely retained within the tool holder to be of the desired length, and further in such a way that the tool holder will facilitate grasping either by the hand or fingers to apply the necessary torque to the tool member. Moreover, it is desirable that each tool be so positioned within the tool holder as to be securely held therein but easily released without the use of special tools, or turning or adjustment of any part of the tool handle or holder itself. In addition, the ratchet mechanism is so designed that it is capable of effecting positive engagement and release between the pawl and ratchet elements and with the entire mechanism being retained within the body of the tool while being 'accessible to the user so as to prevent accidental loosening or damaging of the mechanism.
Accordingly, it is a principal and foremost object of the present invention to overcome a number of drawbacks and disadvantages in the prior art by providing a novel and improved torque-applying tool device which will accommodate different types and sizes of tool members and which will further permit reelasable positioning of each tool member within the tool holder for the application of torque to the tool member in the desired direction of rotation.
It is another object of the present invention to provide for the adjustable disposition of a tool member within a tool holder in such a way as to control its length of extension from the tool holder and specically to enable the reversible disposition of each tool member within the holder to project unequal distances from opposite sides of the holder according to its intended use.
It is a further object of the present invention to provide for a tool device which is compact, simple to manipulate `and control, and further is inexpensive and economical to manufacture; yet is designed in such a way as to facilitate grasping either by the lingers or the hand for application of torque to a tool member positioned therein; and further wherein the tool holder is characterized by incorporating means for selectively applying additional torque through the tool holder to the tool member when required.
It is a still further object of the present invention to provide an improved ratchet mechanism for a tool holder which is adjustable to effect positive locking and release of a tool member for rotation in either or both direc- 3,355,117 Patented Dec. 5, 1967 ICC tions and wherein the ratchet mechanism is characterized by being completely contained within the body of the holder so as to avoid accidental adjustment, loosening or damage to the mechanism while being easily accessible for positive adjustment by the user.
It is a still further object of the present invention to provide for a tool device having a novel form of drive cavity .and specially designed drive end portion on each tool member which will permit secure but detachable connection of each tool member in the tool holder during use without requiring the use of special tools or adjustment of the tool holder; and further wherein the entire tool device is small, compact, smooth and easy to operate, rugged and dependable in use while being highly versatile and conformable for use in a number of different torque-applying applications.
The above and other objects, advantages and features of the present invention will become more readily appreciated and understood from a consideration of the following detailed description of a preferred form of invention taken together with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE l is an elevational view partially in section of a preferred form of tool device in accordance with the present invention.
FIGURES 2 and 3 are cross-sectional views illustrating the ratched mechanism incorporated in the tool handle in different positions of operation.
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged detail view of a directional control member for the ratchet mechanism.
FIGURE 5 is an enlarged detailed View of a portion of the directional control member shown in FIGURE 4.
FIGURE 6 is a view in detail of a preferred form of washer element employed for releasably retaining a tool member within the tool holder; and
FIGURE 7 is a view in detail of the transfer Spring employed in the directional control mechanism.
Referring in more detail to the drawings, in the preferred form of invention, a tool device 10 is broadly comprised of a tool holder or handle portion 12 having an outer, generally tubular casing 13 with a transverse aperture 14 for reception of a directional control mechanism designated at 15. Disposed in inner concentric relation within the casing is a ratchet gear member 16 generally provided with externally disposed ratchet tooth elements 17 and an internal drive cavity 18 extending axially therethrough for releasable insertion of a tool member 2li. Here the tool member is represented as being in the form of a screwdriver blade including a blade end 21, shank 22 and drive end portion 24, the latter being dirnensioned for disposition in snug-fitting relation within the drive cavity in a manner to be hereinafter described in more detail. Essentially, the directional control mechanism 1S is contained within the handle to selectively lock the ratchet member 16 for rotation with the outer casing in either the forward or reverse direction while permitting independent rotation of the member irl the opposite direction, or further may be controlled to lock the ratchet member for rotation ywith the outer casing in both directions.
Considering in more detail the construction and arrangement of the handle portion 12, the outer casing 13 is preferably composed of a lightweight, tough and strong plastic so as to reduce the weight of the device while affording sufficient strength to handle any torque-applying operation throgh the tool member. Most desirably, the outer casing is formed with an upper enlarged, rounded head portion 26 having an outer cylindrical surface provided with longitudinally extending ribs 23 to afford improved gripping action either by the hand or lingers of the user. A lateral bore 30 extends through the head portion 26 for reception of a torque arm 31 in freely slidable relation therein, the arm 31 being in the form of a dowel having an enlarged end 32 movable through inner enlarged space 33 formed between a limit stop 34 and internal shoulder 35. Norma-lly the arm is retained within the inner space, and by tilting the handle will permit the arm to slide outwardly from the bore in order to be grasped by the user for applying additional torque through the handle to the tool member. Preferably the limit stop 34 is threaded in place and provided with a slot 34 so that when desired the limit stop may be removed for removal or insertion of the torque arm V31.
The handle is further formed for reception of the ratchet gear 16 as well as to permit reversible disposition of the tool member within the gear and handle for axial eX- tension in either axial direction, as illustrated in full and in dotted forms in FIGURE 1. Accordingly, the casing is formed with a central bore 3S extending axially therethrough and with the forward or lower end of the bore being enlarged to provide a cylindrical pocket or opening 40 for the ratchet gear element 16, and with the upper reduced part of the bore intersecting the lateral recess for the torque arm. To retain the ratchet gear 16 in normally journaled relation within the outer casing, a pair of stepped annular shoulders separate the enlarged pocket from the reduced end of the bore 38 to provide annular bearing surfaces 42-43-44 for inner reduced end 46 of the ratchet gear element; and a spring clip 48 is disposed in a groove at the lower end of the pocket i0 to retain the ratchet gear 16 in place within the pocket while permitting independent rotation of the gear with respect to the casing.
The ratchet gear 16 is broadly designed to be releasably engaged by the directional control mechanism to apply torque in the desired direction to the tool member, and to this end the gear has a series of circu-mferentially spaced, axially extending tooth elements 5t) on its outer peripheral surface and with a central drive cavity comprised of a reduced circular opening 52 and enlarged noncircular drive opening 54 separated by internal shoulder 55. Moreover, the lower or forward end of the ratchet gear 16 has an annular groove 56 in surrounding relation to the forward end of the drive opening for insertion of a exible washer element 58. As shown in detail in FIGURE 6, the washer is relatively thick and is formed to provide an outer generally circular surface portion 6i) for insertion in the groove 56 and an inner non-circular opening 61 conforming in cross-section to that of the drive opening 54. Preferably, the washer is dimensioned such that the edges 62 defining the opening 61 project inwardly for a limited distance into the drive opening and are tapered as best seen from FIGURE l so as to have somewhat added exibility in gripping the tool member. In turn, the drive end 24 for the tool member 20 is of a length corresponding to the axial length of the drive opening 54, and also is of a non-circular cross-section conforming to the cross-sectional configuration of the drive opening while being dimensioned for insertion in close tting relation to the opening so that the inner edges 62 of the washer will frictionally engage the drive end portion 54 to retain it in place within the opening against accidental displacement. The washer element is most desirably composed of a hard rubber or rubberlike material of limited flexibility, such as, neoprene, to stand up under repeated use and to provide the necessary frictional engagement with the drive end to securely hold the tool member in place without slipping; yet, will permit positive release of the tool member from the drive opening.
For the purpose of illustration, the tool member 20 is shown as being in the form of a screwdriver blade which in addition to the drive end portion 24 has a rounded shank 22 terminating in a straight-sided blade 21. It will be noted that the drive end portion is enlarged in relation to the shank and in cooperation with the common central opening 38 formed through the ratchet gear and casing the tool member may be positioned within the drive opening for extension of the blade in either axial direction from the handle. Moreover, since the ratchet gear 16 and drive opening are located at one end of the handle, when the blade is passed upwardly through the handle, as shown dotted, its effective length will be decreased, or in other words, will project outwardly a lesser distance from the handle than in the normal position illustrated in full in FIGURE l. Of course, in the former position, the torque `arrn 31 must either -be removed or displaced outwardly from the inner space 33 so as not to interfere with passage of the blade through the opening 38.
The directional control mechanism 15 is so disposed within the control aperture 14 as to effect positive locking engagement between the outer casing structure and ratchet gear in either or both directions of rotation of the handle, and to accomplish this in such a way that the mechanism will insure positive control in all positions and not be subject to loosening of misalignment under repeated use. For this purpose, the outer casing structure is provided with a relatively thick body portion as designated at 70 for the aperture 14; and specifically the aperture includes an enlarged rectangular opening 72 extending through the greater thickness of the body and terminating in spaced shoulder portions, the latter defining outwardly facing the seating surfaces 73 and a vertical slot 74 of reduced width communicating between the cnlarged opening 72 and the pocket 40 within the casing. r[he seating surfaces 73 serve to support a pair of correspondingly formed pawl elements 75 aligned in opposed facing relation within the control aperture, the pawl elements having generally concave or inwardly directed, tapered locking ends 77 and outer rounded corner portions 78 which lare rockably or tiltably disposed on the seating surfaces 73. The corner portions 78 taper upwardly or outwardly from the under surfaces 76 into ledge portions 89, and the relatively near locking end portions 77 taper outwardly for termination in relatively flat control surfaces 82 by means of which in cooperation with the ledge portions it is possible to independently control tilting movement of each of the pawl elements into and out of locking engagement with one of the tooth elements S0 on the ratchet gear.
In order to control tilting movement of the pawl elements, a pawl control assembly includes a cylindrical control button 84 having an inwardly projecting pin 85 which is eccentrically disposed on the inner end surface of the button, together with a transverse groove 86 in the 1body of the button just outwardly of the pin for reception of a retainer spring 88. As shown in dotted form in FIGURES 4 and 5, the transverse groove 86 terminates in a central rounded bearing section 89 for insertion in a generally U-shaped slot 90 on the retainer spring 88. To retain the button securely in place within the control aperture, the retainer spring 83 is further dimensioned to fit snugly within the control aperture and has outer rounded projections 91 for insertion in arcuate slots 92 formed on opposite vertical sides of the control aperture. In addition, a raised portion or ridge 93 is formed on the exterior surface of the control button so that the button may be turned by manipulating the raised portion 93 thereby causing eccentric movement of the pin 85 within the control aperture. As shown in FIGURE 7, a transfer spring 94 has an elongated, generally rectangular opening 95 through which is inserted the eccentric pin 85, and the spring has inwardly curving divergent sides 96 which in assembled relation are engageable with the outer control surfaces 82 on the pawl element. Most desirably, the pin 85 is relatively square in cross-scction and is sized for insertion in close-tting relation to the rectangular slot 95 so that, upon eccentric movement of the pin in response to rotation of the control button, its lateral or lsidewise movement is imparted to the transfer spring while being free to move axially through the slot in a direction parallel to the main axis of the handle.
From a consideration of FIGURES 2 and 3, it will be noted that when the control button is rotated to a neutral position the divergent ends 96 of the transverse spring will be centr-ally disposed in relation to the pawl elements and by exerting pressure on the control surfaces will force the locking ends 77 inwardly into engagement with opposite sides of a tooth element 50 on the ratchet gear. However, by rotating the control button 90 in either direction, for instance, in a clockwise direction when viewed from the exterior of the handle, one of the divergent ends 96 will he forced laterally against the ledge portion 80 on the pawl element to tilt the locking end upwardly away from engagement with one side of the tooth, whereas the opposite divergent end is moved in a direction away from the ledge portion so as to continue to urge the locking end for that pawl element into locking engagement with the tooth element. In this position, the mechanism will lock the entire ratchet gear for rotation with the outer casing in a clockwise direction while permitting independent rotation of the casing with respect to the ratchet gear in a counterclockwise direction. Conversely, rotation of the control button in a counterclockwise direction would have the opposite effect thereby locking the ratchet gear for rotation with the casing in the counterclockwise direction. It will be noted that by virtue of the relatonship established between the transfer spring and outer control surface the transfer spring will not impose any restraint on outward movement of the locking pawl element when the casing is permitted to rotate independently of the ratchet gear but will immediately move into locking engagement with the side of a tooth element when rotation is reversed in the locking direction as described. Moreover, through a single transfer spring it is possible to simultaneously control locking and release of the pawl element either individually or simultaneously thus contributing to relatively smooth, easy action in shifting the pawl elements from one position to another under a very slight movement of the transfer spring.
From the foregoing, it will be evident that the tool holder of the present invention is readily conformable for use in cooperation with various types of tool members in torque-applying operations. Preferably, the tool member itself is specially designed with an enlarged drive end portion which may be reversibly positioned within the drive cavity of the ratchet gear for extension of the tool in either direction. In certain applications however it may be that due to the configuration of the tool it is not possible to reversibly position the tool in relation to the tool holder, but nevertheless since the drive cavity is at one end of the handle would permit retention of the tool for outward extension in one direction from the handle. The configuration of the tool handle further lends itself well to torque-applying applications in that the enlarged head portion can be grasped either in the palm of the hand or by the ngers for rotation Vof the tool; or in cooperation with the torque arm will again facilitate grasping both in the hand and ngers to apply the necessary torque to the tool member.
It is to be understood that various modifications and changes may be made in the construction and arrangement of parts without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A torque-applying tool -device for a tool member having a shank and an enlarged drive end portion, said torque-applying device comprising a handle provided with a tool-receiving opening exten-ding axially therethrough for reversible insertion of the shank portion of said tool through the opening, at least a portion of the opening extending inwardly from one end of said handle being non-circular in cross-section and being dimensioned for close ttng insertion of the enlarge-d drive end portion of said tool therein, and an internal shoulder disposed in the non-circular portion of the opening relatively near one end and away from the opposite end of said handle to limit inward extension of the enlarged drive end portion of the tool through the opening such that said tool member will project outwardly from the opening alternatively in either direction for unequal distances away from said handle, and releasable retaining means disposed in the non-circular portion of the opening to releasably retain said drive end portion therein for rotation with said handle.
2. A torque-applying tool device according to claim 1, said releasable retaining means being defined by a ringlike member being composed of a material to frictionally engage said drive end portion upon insertion of said tool member through the opening into abutting relation against said internal shoulder.
3. A torque-applying tool device according to claim 1, said handle including anl arm member being slidably disposed for movement between a retracted position within said handle and outward la-teral extension from said handle.
4. A torque-applying tool device comprising an outer casing provided with a transverse aperture extending therethrough, an inner concentric ring gear having eX- ternal tooth elements being disposed for independent rotation within said casing and being provi-ded with a toolreceiving drive opening therein, releasable pawl elements disposed in the transverse opening in said outer casing, and a pawl control member disposed outwardly of said -releasable pawl elements including resilient means to yieldingly engage said pawl elements and an eccentric control element being responsive to rotation of said pawl control member to urge said resilient means into engagement with said pawl elements, and said pawl control member being movable to urge said resilient means into engagement with each of said pawl elements whereby to displace said pawl elements alternatively into locking relation with one of said tooth elemen-ts on said ring gear to lock said ring gear for rotation with said outer casing in a selected direction.
5. A torque-applying tool holder according to claim 4, said pawl elements being tiltably disposed in facing relation within the opening and having relatively near, inwardly projecting terminal edges each engageable with an opposite side of a tooth element on said ring gear.
6. In a tool device, a tool handle comprising an outer cylindrical casing provided with a transverse opening therein, a ratchet gear disposed for independent rotation concentrically within said casing including an axial toolreceiving opening and external tooth elements thereon, a pair of tiltable pawl elements disposed in aligned, oppositely facing relation in the transverse opening, said elements having outer control surfaces and relatively near end portions movable into engagement with opposite sides of a tooth element on said ratchet gear whereby to lock said ratchet for rotation with said outer casing, a pawl control member including a transfer spring extending inwardly therefrom for lateral movement in response -to movement of said control member to alternately engage a control surface on each of said pawls whereby to tilt one of said pawl elements outwardly away from locking engagement while urging the other of said pawl elements inwardly into locking engagement with one side of a tooth element, and said control member being further movable to simultaneously tilt both of said pawls inwardly into locking engagement with opposite sides of a tooth element on said ring gear whereby to lock said gear for rotation with said outer casing in both the forward and reverse directions.
7. -In a tool device according to claim 6, said tool handle being further characterized by including a retainer clip on said pawl control member to yieldably position said control member within the transverse opening.
8. In a tool device according to claim 6, said pawl control member -being further characterized by including an inwardly directed eccentric pin disposed in a slot in said transfer spring to impart lateral movement to said trans-fer spring in response to rotation of said pawl control member.
9. In a tool device according to claim 8, said transfer spring lbeing further characterized by being in the form of an arcuate spring having inwardly divergent sides engageable with an outer control surface on each of said pawl elements.
10. A torque-applying tool device comprising an outer, generally tubular casing of limited ylength having an enlarged rounded end portion and a relatively thick body portion on one side of said casing with a transverse aperture extending through said body portion, an inner concentric ring gear disposed for independent rotation within said casing and being provided with a tool-receiving drive opening therein, releasable pawl means being disposed in the transverse aperture, and directional control means disposed in the transverse aperture outwardly of said releasable pawl means being movable to selectively urge said pawl means into locking relation with one of said tooth elements on said ring gear whereby to lock said ring gear for rotation in a selected direction in response to rotation of said outer casing.
11. A torque-applying tool device according to claim 10, said enlarged head portion including a torque arm positioned in a transverse bore in the enlarged head for slidable lateral extension therefrom.
12. A torque-applying tool device according to claim 10, said tool-receiving drive opening being non-circular, and releasable retaining means being disposed within the drive opening for frictionally engaging a `tool positioned therein.
13. A torque-applying tool device according to claim 12, the drive opening being square in cross-section, and said releasable retaining means being defined by a compressible washer disposed in a groove in the wall of the opening, said washer having a square opening of reduced size in relation to the size of the drive opening to frictionally engage a tool `member inserted into the opening, and means Adisposed in the drive opening inwardly of said washer for limiting inward movement of the tool through the opening.
14. A torque-applying tool device comprising an outer casing of limited length having an enlarged end portion, an inner concentric ratchet gear being provided with a tool-receiving opening extending axially through said casing, a tool member having an enlarged drive end portion thereon being adapted for insertion within the toolreceiving opening, directional control means in said casing for releasably engaging said ratchet gear to impart rotational movement from said outer casing to said tool member, and a torque-applying arm being slidably disposed in a bore extending transversely through said enlarged end portion, the -bore being closed at one end and having a terminal shoulder at its opposite end, said torque-applying arm having an enlarged inner end portion to provide for movement of said arm between a position abutting the closed end of said bore and an extended position with the inner end of said arm abutting said terminal shoulder in the bore.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,143,350 6/1915 Benedict 81177.2 1,222,448 4/ 1917 Nelson 145-75 1,406,841 2/ 1922 Foss.
2,720,296 11/1955l Briglia 145-75 2,833,548 5/1958 Clark 81-177 FOREIGN PATENTS 894,363 4/1962 Great Britain.
WILLIAM FELDMAN, Primary Examiner.
R. V. PARKER, In., Assistant Examiner.