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Publication numberUS3479769 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateNov 25, 1969
Filing dateMar 29, 1968
Priority dateMar 29, 1968
Publication numberUS 3479769 A, US 3479769A, US-A-3479769, US3479769 A, US3479769A
InventorsDiack Arthur G
Original AssigneeDiack Arthur G
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Latching and locking device for bypassing sliding doors
US 3479769 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent O US. Cl. 49449 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A latching and locking device for bypassing sliding doors which is mounted on one end of a lower rail of one of the doors. The device includes a generally Z-shaped latch having an intermediate leg which is located between and parallels the paths of the doors. The intermediate leg of the latch is provided at one end with a generally perpendicular latching arm engageable with an edge of the other door to latch both of the doors. At its other end, the intermediate leg of the latch is provided with a generally prependicular actuating arm engageable by an actuating means for pivoting the latch about the axis of the intermediate leg thereof to pivot the latching arm from an operative, extended position, wherein it engages the edge of the other door, to an inoperative, retracted position.

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION This application is related generally to may co-pending application Ser. No. 548,514, filed May 9, 1966, now Patent No. 3,395,490, granted Aug. 6, 1968.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION The aforementioned co-pending application relates to a sliding door latching and locking device which permits the door to move freely between its open and closed positions, which latches the door in its closed position automatically upon movement of the door into its closed position, and which locks the door in its closed position whenever desired. This latching and locking device is particularly useful with bypassing sliding doors, such as the bypassing sliding doors of showcases. In such an enviroment, the device permits free movement of both d ors between their closed and open positions when this is desired, automatically latches both doors together in their closed positions upon movement thereof into their closed positions when this is desired, and locks both doors together in their closed positions when this condition is desired.

The latching and locking device of the invention may be used with either framed or frameless doors running on either lower or overhead tracks. The doors may be equipped with rollers engaging the tracks, or they may simply slide in grooves acting as tracks.

The present invention relates in general to a latching and locking device which is capable of performing the foregoing general functions, but which is a substantial improvement on the device disclosed in the aforementioned co-pending application.

SUMMARY AND OBJECTS OF INVENTION A primary object of the invention is to provide a latching and locking device, capable of performing the functions hereinbefore outlined, which may be installed "ice on one of a pair of bypassing sliding doors with virtually no alteration of the door on which it is installed, and with no alteration of the other door.

Another object is to provide a latching and locking device capable of being mounted very simply on one end of a sliding door rail, preferably a lower sliding door rail, in abutting relation with one end of the rail.

Still another object is to provide a device of the foregoing nature adapted to abut one end of a sliding door rail and having a prong inserted longitudinally into such end of the sliding door rail and secured thereto by screws, or the like. Preferably, the sliding door rail is or has a channel which receives the prong mentioned. The sliding door rail may be simply a channel, or it may be a member, such as an H-shaped member, having a channel.

Yet another important object of the invention is t provide a latching and locking device of the foregoing nature which is engageable with an edge, preferably a vertical edge, of the other door of the pair to latch the two doors together in their closed position. Thus, the invention requires no modification of the other door of the pair, since the device engages a vertical edge thereof.

Considering the invention more specifically, another primary object thereof is to provide a device for latching a member which is movable along a predetermined path, comprising: a support alongside the path of the movable member; a generally Z-shaped latch carried by the support and including an intermediate leg paralleling the path of the movable member and provided at its respective ends with latching and actuating arms projecting generally perpendicularly therefrom, the intermediate leg of the latch being pivotable about its axis relative to the support to pivot the latching arm between a retracted, inoperative position wherein it is out of the path of the movable member, and an extended, operative position wherein it projects laterally into the path of the movable member and is adapted to engage and latch the movable member, preferably by engaging an edge thereof; and actuating means carried by the support and engageable with the actuating arm for pivoting the latch about the axis of the intermediate leg thereof in a direction to pivot the latching arm from its extended position to its retracted position.

Still another object is to provide a latching arm which will not prevent movement of the movable member if it engages an edge thereof opposite the edge it is intended to engage to latch the movable member.

Yet another object is to provide spring means carried by the support for pivotally biasing the latch about the axis of its intermediate leg in a direction to urge the latching arm toward its extended position.

An additional object is to provide a device which includes locking means carried by the support and engageable with the actuating arm of the latch for locking the latching arm thereof in either its extended or its retracted position.

A further object of importance is to provide a device of the foregoing character wherein the latching and actuating arms of the latch project in generally opposite directions from the intermediate leg of the latch.

While the invention has as one of its primary objects the provision of a latch arm forming part of a pivoted Z-shaped latch as hereinbefore set forth, the latch arm may in some instance be a simple plunger engageable with an edge of the movable member.

The foregoing objects, advantages, features and results of the present invention, together with various other objects, advantages, features and results thereof which will be evident to those skilled in the latch and lock art in the light of this disclosure, may be achieved with the exemplary embodiment of the invention illustrated in the accompanying drawing and described in detail hereinafter.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING In the drawing:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary isometric view of the rear of a showcase having bypassing sliding glass doors, and shows the latching and locking device of the invention mounted on the lower or bottom rail of the rear door of the pair;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary horizontal sectional view taken as indicated by the arrowed line 22 of FIG. 1 and showing a latch of the invention locked in an extended position;

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken as indicated by the arrowed line 3--3 of FIG. 2 and also showing the latch locked in its extended position;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3, but showing the latch in unlocked condition;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken as indicated by the arrowed line 5-5 of FIG. 4, but showing the latch locked in a retracted position; and

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary vertical sectional view taken as indicated by the arrowed line 6-6 of FIG. 5.

DESCRIPTION OF EXEMPLARY EMBODIMENT OF INVENTION Referring initially to FIG. 1 of the drawing, fragmentar ily illustrated therein is a frame 10 for bypassing horizontally-sliding doors 12 and 14 which may be located at the rear of a showcase, the front of a display cabinet, or the like. For convenience, the doors 12 and 14 will be regarded as located at the rear of a showcase and will be referred to hereinafter as front and rear doors, respectively.

The frame 10, which is shown by way of example only, includes an upper rail 16 provided therein with downwardly-facing front and rear channels 18 and 20 for the upper edges of front and rear glass panels 22 and 24 forming parts of the respective front and rear doors 12 and 14. In the particular construction illustrated, the respective lower edges of the front and rear panels 22 and 24 are disposed in upwardly-facing channels 26 and 28 of front and rear lower rails 30 and 32 of the respective front and rear doors 12 and 14. The front and rear lower rails 30 and 32 respectively include downwardly-facing channels 34 and 36 respectively containing front and rear wheels 38 and 40 for supporting the respective front and rear doors 12 and 14.

The front and rear doors 12 and 14 ride on front and rear track means 42 and 44 which are illustrative only and which are respectively disposed in front and rear channels 46 and 48 in a lower rail 50 of the frame 10. The front and rear track means 42 and 44 respectively include rib-like front and rear tracks 52 and 54 on which the respective front and rear Wheels 38 and 40 run, these wheels being grooved to receive the tracks.

It will be noted that the lower door rails 30 and 32 are H-shaped and respectively include horizontal webs 56 and 58 respectively separating the upper and lower channels of these rails.

The foregoing structures of the frame 10 and the bypassing sliding doors 12 and 14 are conventional and illustrative only and are disclosed merely to illustrate one possible environment for the present invention. The latter resides in a device 60 for latching the doors 12 and 14 together in their closed positions, and, when desired, for locking the doors in such positions.

The latching device includes a support 62, preferably a housing, which is carried by the lower rail 32 of the rear door 14. More particularly, the housing 62 abuts one end of the rear door rail 32 and is provided with a tongue or prong 64 projecting into the downwardly-facing channel 36 in the rear door rail, such channel in effect providing a socket for the prong in the adjacent vertical edge of the door 14, and the support 62 abutting such vertical edge. The housing 62 is secured to the rear door rail 32 by two countersunk screws 66 extending downwardly through the web 58 of the rear door rail and threaded into bores 68 in the prong 64.

The screw holes 68 constitute the only alterations of the rear door 14 necessary to mount the latching device 60 thereon. As will be pointed out hereinafter, no modification whatsoever of the front door 12 is required since the latching device 60 engages a vertical edge thereof. Thus, only insignificant alterations of the rear door 14 are required to equip the bypassing sliding doors 12 and 14 with the latching device 60 of the invention. This is an extremely important feature of the invention since it permits utilizing the latching device 60 in existing or new installations with inconsequential changes which are made very readily.

The latching device 60 comprises as its principal component a generally Z-shaped latch 70 having an intermediate leg 72 between and paralleling the paths of the front and rear doors 12 and 14. One end of the intermediate leg 72 is journaled in a bore 74 in the housing 62 so that the latch 70 may pivot between an extended, operative position, shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, and a retracted, inoperative position, shown in FIGS. 4 and 5.

The intermediate leg 72 of the latch 70 projects from the housing 62 between and in the direction of the path of the front and rear doors 12 and 14 and terminates in a generally-perpendicularly-extending latching arm 76 which is engageable with a vertical edge 78 of the glass panel 22 of the front door 12 to latch the two doors in their closed positions. The length of the projecting portion of the intermediate leg 72 of the latch 70 is suflicient to accommodate the normal overlap of the front and rear doors 12 and 14 when they are in their closed positions.

Considering the latching arm 76 in more detail, it comprises one arm of a generally triangular cam 79 at the end of the intermediate leg 72 of the latch 70, the cam also having an arm 80 inclined at an acute angle to the latching arm and to the intermediate leg of the latch. If the sliding doors 12 and 14 are inadvertently moved to fully overlapped relative positions such that the cam 79 is inserted into the path of the vertical edge of the glass panel 22 opposite the vertical edge 78 thereof, the inclined arm 80 of the cam 79 will be engaged by such opposite vertical edge, upon relative movement of the sliding doors toward their closed positions, to pivot the latch 70 in a direction to displace the cam 79 angularly out of the way. Thus, the sliding doors 12 and 14 cannot be latched together except in their closed positions.

Since, as will be pointed out hereinafter, the apex of the latching arm 76 and the cam arm 80 may slide along the rear surface of the front glass panel 22 during sliding movement of the front and/or rear doors 12 and 14, the latching and cam arms are preferably covered with a sleeve 81 of a suitable non-marring and low friction material, such as Teflon.

At the opposite end of the intermediate leg 72 of the latch 70 from the latching arm 76, and within the housing =62, is a generally-perpendicularly-extending actuating arm 82, which preferably extends in generally the opposite direction from the latching arm 76. A spring means 84 acting on the actuating arm 82 pivotally biases the latch 70 about the axis of the intermediate leg 72 thereof in a direction such as to bias the latching arm 76 toward its extended position, wherein it projects laterally into the path of the front door 12 to intercept the vertical edge 78 thereof. An actuating means 86 carried by the housing 62 and engageable with the actuating arm 82 acts to pivot the latch 70 about the axis of the intermediate leg 72 thereof in a direction to pivot the latching arm 76 from its extended position to its retracted position, thereby unlatching the front and rear doors 12 and 14 and permitting sliding movement of either or both of them along their respective tracks 52 and'54.

Considering the actuating means 86 in more detail, it includes an actuating lever 88 which extends in the direction of movement of the rear door 14. The end of the actuating lever 88 nearest the adjacent vertical edge of the rear door 14 is pivotally connected to the housing 62 by a transverse pivot pin 90. From its pivoted end, the actuating lever 88 extends in the direction of opening movement of the rear door 14 and terminates in an upstanding projection 92 which is engageable by an index finger to produce opening movement of the rear door 14.

The free end of the actuating lever 88 is biased upwardly by a coiled compression spring 94 having one of its ends seated in a recess 96 in the free end of the actuating lever and having its other end seated against a portion of the housing 62. When the free end of the actuating lever 88 is depressed, the actuating lever is disposed almost entirely within a groove 98 in the housing 62.

Depending from the free end of the actuating lever 88, and extending through the coiled compression spring 94, is an actuating pin 100 the lower end of which is engageable with the upper side of the actuating arm 82 of the latch 70. When the actuating lever 88 is depressed, the actuating pin 100 angularly displaces the actuating arm 82 from the position shown in FIG. 3 to that shown in FIG. 4, thereby angularly displacing the latching arm 76 from its extended, operative position, shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, to its retracted, inoperative position. Assuming that the free end of the actuating lever 88 is depressed with the index finger to unlatch the doors 12 and 14, the rear door 14 may be moved toward its open position by concurrent index-finger pressure against the upstanding projection 92 on the actuating lever.

The spring means 84 for biasing the latch 70 angularly toward a position corresponding to the extended position of the latching arm 76, is shown as comprising simply a rattrap spring 102 disposed in an extension of the bore 74 for the intermediate leg 72 of the latch. One end 104 of the spring 102 is suitable anchored to the housing 62, while the other end 106 is hooked under the actuating arm 82 of the latch 70.

If it is desired to lock the doors 12 and 14 in their closed positions, this may be accomplished by a locking means 108 engageable with the actuating arm 82 of the latch 70 to prevent pivoting of the latch into a position to retract the latching arm 76. The locking means 108 is shown as comprising a lock 110 operated by a key 112 and mounted on and extending through the rear wall of the housing 62. The lock 110 is preferably an axiallyshort lock of a conventional construction, and is provided with a locking arm 114 rotatable from an operative position, FIGS. 2, 3 and 5, to an inoperative position, FIG. 4. When the locking arm 114 is in its operative position, it engages the lower side of the actuating arm 82 of the latch 70, as best shown in FIG. 3, to prevent the pivoting of the latch necessary to displace the latching arm 76 angularly out of its extended position. Consequently, the doors 12 and 14 cannot be opened without the key 112 necessary to unlock the lock 110.

When the locking arm 114 is rotated into its inoperative position, FIG. 4, by the key 112, it extends downwardly, as shown in FIG. 4, so that it cannot engage the actuating arm 82 of the latch 70. Under such conditions, the latch 70 can be pivoted from its extended position to its retracted position by the actuating lever 88 and pin 100, or it can be pivoted from its retracted position to its extended positionby the spring 102 if the front and rear doors 12 and 14 are in their closed positions so that the latching arm 76 can move into a position to intercept the vertical edge 78 of the front door. Thus, one desiring to move the rear door 14 to its open position, wherein it registers with the front door 12, can do so merely by depressing the actuating lever 88 and simultaneously pushing on the upstanding projection 92 in the direction of opening movement of the rear door 14. Once the latching arm 76 is opposite the glass panel 22 of the front door 12, the actuating lever 88 can be released so that the sleeve 81 bears against the glass panel 22, whereupon the two doors may be moved back and forth in unison, or moved relative to each other. In the latter event, the sleeve 81 slides on the front glass panel 22. If, under these conditions, the front and rear doors 12 and 14 are returned to their closed position, the spring 102 will automatically return the latching arm 76 to its extended position, wherein it is so located as to intercept the vertical edge'78 of the front door 12 to latch the two doors in their closed positions.

Referring to FIG. 5, the latch 70 can also be locked in an angularposition such that the latching arm 76 is in its retracted position. This permits free movement of the frontand= rear doors 12 and 14 without sliding contact of the sleeve 81 with the front glass panel 22, and without automatic latching of the two doors in their closed posit-ions upon their arrival in such positions. To achieve this situation, the actuating lever 88 is depressed to pivot the latch 70 into an angular position corresponding to the retracted position of the latching arm 76. Thereupon, the lock is operated by the key 112 to pivot the locking arm 114 into its operative position. When the actuating lever 88 is subsequently released, the spring 102 pivots the latch 70 slightly to bring the upper side of the actuating arm 82 into engagement with the lower side of the locking arm 114, as shown in FIG. 5. Thus, the latch 70 is locked with the latching arm 76 in its retracted position.

Thus, it will be apparent that the latch 70 can be locked in its operative position to lock the front and rear doors 12 and 14 in their closed positions, or it can be left free to provide for automatic latching of the doors when they arrive at their closed positions, or it can be locked in its inoperative position to provide for free opening and closing movement of the two doors. This triple function of the latch 70 is an important feature of the invention.

In my aforementioned co-pending patent application there is disclosed a lock similar to the lock 110 and provided with another locking arm engageable with a track similar to the track 54 to preclude lifting of the rear door otI" its track when the doors are locked. If desired, the lock 110 can also be provided with such a locking arm.

Although an exemplary embodiment of the invention has been disclosed herein for purposes of illustration, it will be understood that various changes, modifications and substitutions may be incorporated in such embodiment without departing from the spirit of the invention as defined by the claims appearing in the next section of this specification.

I claim as my; invention:

1. In combination:

(a) two bypassing sliding doors each including a lower rail;

(b) a support abutting one end of and connected to said lower rail of one of said doors;

(c) a generally Z-shaped latch carried by said support;

(d) said latch including an intermediate leg between and paralleling the paths of said doors and provided at its respective ends with latching and actuating arms projecting generally perpendicularly therefrom;

(e) said intermediate leg being pivotable about its axis relative to said support to pivot said latching arm between a retracted, inoperative position wherein it is out of the path of the other of said doors, and an extended, operative position wherein it projects laterally into the path of said other door and is engageable with an edge of said other door to latch both of said doors; and

(f) actuating means carried by said support and engageable with said actuating arm for pivoting said latch about the axis of said intermediate leg thereof in a direction to pivot said latching arm from said extended position to said retracted position.

2. The combination set forth in claim 1 including:

.(a) spring means carried by said support and engaging said actuating arm for pivotally biasing said latch about the axis of said intermediate leg in a direction to tend to maintain said latching arm in said extended position;

(b) locking means carried by said support and engageable with said actuating arm for locking said latching arm in said extended position; and

() locking means carried by said support and engageable with said actuating arm for locking said latching arm in said retracted position.

3. In combination:

(a) two bypassing sliding doors respectively having rails;

(b) a latch support abutting one end of and being connected to said rail of one of said doors; and

(c) a latch carried by said support and engageable with an edge of the other of said doors.

4. The combination set forth in claim 3 wherein said rails have channels, and wherein said support has a prong inserted into said channel of said rail of said door.

5. In combination:

(a) two bypassing sliding doors one having a socket in an edge thereof and extending parallel to the direction of movement of said doors;

(b) a latch support abutting said edge of said one door and having a prong extending into said socket;

(0) means for securing said prong in said socket; and

(d) a latch carried by said support and engageable with an edge of the other of said doors.

6. In combination:

(a) two bypassing sliding doors;

(b) a support carried by one of said doors;

(0) a generally Z-shaped latch carried by said support;

(d) said latch including an intermediate leg between and paralleling the paths of said doors and provided at its respective ends with latching and actuating arms projecting generally perpendicularly therefrom;

(e) said intermediate leg being pivotable about its axis relative to said support to pivot said latching arm between a retracted, inoperative position wherein it is out of the path of the other of said doors, and an extended, operative position wherein it projects laterally into the path of said other door and is engageable with an edge of said other door to latch both of said doors;

(f) actuating means carried by said support and engageable with said actauting arm for pivoting said latch about the axis of said intermediate leg in a direction to pivot said latching arm from said extended position to said retracted position;

(g) spring means carried by said support and engaging said actuating arm for pivotally biasing said latch about the axis of said intermediate leg in a direction to tend to maintain said latching arm in said extended position;

(h) said latching arm being formed by one side of a generally triangular cam on the corresponding end of said intermediate leg; and

(i) said cam comprising a cam arm making acute angles with said latching arm and said intermediate References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,049,860 8/1936 Olson 95 X 2,171,123 8/1939 Gapinski 70-95 X 3,115,763 12/1963 Bartlett 70l00 3,118,298 1/1964 Holmes 70l00 3,395,490 8/1968 Diack 49-449 REINALDO P. MACHADO, Primary Examiner J. KARL BELL, Assistant Examiner U.S. CI. X.R. 70-95,

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2049860 *Sep 10, 1934Aug 4, 1936Automatic Musical Instr CompanSliding panel lock
US2171123 *Feb 8, 1939Aug 29, 1939Gapinski Edmund JShowcase lock
US3115763 *May 18, 1961Dec 31, 1963Mosler Harbor Metal Products CLock for sliding doors
US3118298 *Feb 16, 1961Jan 21, 1964 Sliding doors locking arrangement
US3395490 *May 9, 1966Aug 6, 1968Arthur G. DiackSliding-door latching and locking device
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4587759 *May 30, 1984May 13, 1986Gray Ronald ALocking window assembly
US4937979 *Oct 16, 1989Jul 3, 1990Liou Chih CUpper and lower sliding mechanisms for showcases
US5865480 *Nov 13, 1997Feb 2, 1999Bain, Jr.; Lincoln GradySliding door security and child safety latch
US6018915 *May 18, 1999Feb 1, 2000Pci Industries, Inc.Sliding and locking wall panels
US6665983 *Jul 9, 2002Dec 23, 2003Fred L. ZimmermanLockable sliding window apparatus
US7278695 *Apr 17, 2006Oct 9, 2007The Mills Company Inc.Storage unit
US7510249Oct 9, 2007Mar 31, 2009The Mills Company Inc.Storage unit
US7699412Apr 26, 2007Apr 20, 2010The Mills Company Inc.Storage unit
US7789471Mar 30, 2009Sep 7, 2010The Mills Company Inc.Storage unit
US8113602Apr 16, 2010Feb 14, 2012The Mills Company Inc.Storage unit
Classifications
U.S. Classification49/449, 70/95, 70/100
International ClassificationE05B65/08
Cooperative ClassificationE05B65/0894
European ClassificationE05B65/08P