US 3539213 A
Abstract available in
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Primary Examiner-Marvin A. Champion Assistant Examiner-Robert L. Wolfe Attorney-Drummond, Cahill and Phillips ABSTRACT: A rectangular housing is provided with a closed top and a removable bottom. Openings in one side of the housing permit the extension of a latch member and a plunger. The latch member is pivotally mounted within the housing and is spring-loaded to a locked position; the plunger is springloaded to extend from the housing. A removable bottom is provided with a tubular guide for receiving a trigger shaft slidably mounted therein. The trigger shaft is positioned beneath the latch member to cause the latter to pivot to an unlocked position. The trigger shaft extends'from the housing through the tubular guide and terminates in a flared end to facilitate manual actuation of the latch member. A latch plate includes a surface positionable opposite the openings in the housing for abutment with the plunger; further, the latch plate includes an opening to receive the portion of the latch member extending from the housing to secure the latch plate in position.
Patented Nov. 10, 1970 INVENTOR. WILLIE L. ATTAWAY ATTORNEYS LATCH. MECHANESM The present invention pertains to latch mechanisms, and more particularly, to a mechanism for latching and conveniently unlatching the doors of cabinets. In many rooms, such as kitchens, floor-mounted cabinets are provided for storage. The cabinets characteristically have doors which are latched in the closed position by a variety of prior art latch mechanisms. Generally, these latch mechanisms require a handle'to be affixed to the outside of the door or, alternatively, include some sort of latch trip or release mechanism manually operable to unlock the latch. Under some circumstances, especially when the operators hands are occupied such as by holding packages, it is exceedingly inconvenient to attempt to unlatch the cabinet door. To overcome this difficulty, remote latch releasing mechanisms have been proposed in the prior art but have suffered from the complexitics of the mechanism, rendering the apparatus expensive to manufacture, expensive to install, or unreliable in operation.
It is therefore an object ofthe present invention to provide a latch mechanism intended for maintaining a cabinet door locked and which may be unlatched by remote operation.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a latch mechanism that is manually actuated by foot and does not require touching of any hardware on the cabinet door.
It is still another object of the present invention to provide a latch mechanism that may be foot-operated and which, when operated, will forcibly open the cabinet door.
These and other objects of the present invention will become apparent to those skilled in the art as the description thereof proceeds.
The present invention may more readily be described by reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view, partly in section and partly exploded, of a latch mechanism constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view, partly in section, of the latch mechanism of FIG. 1 in situ.
Referring now to the drawings, the mechanism of the present invention includes a rectangular housing having a top 11 and an open bottom 12. The housing includes a pair of openings 13 and 14 in one side 15 of the housing. A latch member is pivotally mounted within the housing by means of a pivot pin 21 extending through a pin support 22 through the latch 20 into the remote side (not shown) of the housing. A spring-biasing means in the form ofa coil spring 23 is fitted over an upright extension 24 on the latch and is compressed between the latch 20 and the top 11 of the housing. The latch member 20 includes a camming surface 25 and a locking shoulder 26.
A plunger is axially movably mounted in the housing 10 and extends through the opening 14 as shown in FIG. 1. The plunger 30 may conveniently be of dual diameter with the smaller diameter portion 31 extending through the farther end 32 of the housing. A coil spring 34 is compressed between the end 32 of the housing and a shoulder 35 formed integral with the plunger 30.
To facilitate fastening the housing to a surface, flanges on either side of the housing, such as flange 38, are provided and include openings 39 to receive screws. A removable bottom member 40 isprovided with stepped edges 41 and 42 to facilitate proper fitting of the bottom to the housing 10. The removable bottom 40 includes an opening 43 and is also formed integrally with a tubular guide 44. A trigger shaft 46 in the form of a cylindrical shaft slidably fits into the tubular A latch plate 56 is generally L-s'naped in cross section and includes openings 57 to receive screws forattachment to an appropriate'surface. The plate includes a surface 58 which, when the latch plate is in the latched position, opposes the openings 13 and 14 in the side of the housing 20. In this manner, the surface 58 abuts the plunger 30 and a portion of the surface 59 acts as a striker plate for engaging the camming surface 25 of the latch 20. A latch opening 60 is provided in the latch plate 56 to receive the latch 20 in locking engagement therewith.
The housing 10 will conventionally be installed on the floor 61 of a cabinet at that location where the cabinet has an overhang and adjacent the cabinet door. A hole 62 will first be drilled in the cabinet floor and the tapered tubular guide 44 will be driven therein. Subsequently, the housing 10 will be placed over theremovable bottom 40 and fastened in place by means of screws 63. The latch plate 56 will then be fastened in the appropriatelocation on the cabinet door 65 by means of screws 66. Thus, as the cabinet door is closed, the portion of the surface 59 acting as a striker plate will engage the camming surface 25 of the latch member 20, causing the latter to pivot about its pivot pin 21 against the force of the coil spring 23. The surface 58 will abut the plunger 30, causing the latter to be forced into the housing 10 against the force of the coil spring 34. Continued closing movement of the cabinet door will result in the latch 20 snapping into the latch opening 60 to cause the shoulder 26 to lockingly engage the latch plate 56. At this point, the coil spring 34 will be compressed and the plunger 30 will be exerting a continuous force against the surface 58. When the cabinet is to be opened, the toe of the foot is inserted under the overhang of the cabinet and under the flared end of the trigger shaft 46. Upward motion of the toe imparted to the trigger shaft will force the latter against the latch member 20. The latch member is subsequently pivoted about .its pivot pin 21 to compress the coil spring 23. Continued pivotal movement of the latch member 20 results in the lifting of the shoulder 26 out of engagement with the latch plate. At this moment, the force of the compressed coil spring 34 acting on the plunger 30 will push the latch plate 56, and the attached cabinet door, away from the housing 10. It may therefore be seen that the cabinet door will be opened by merely actuating the trigger shaft with the toe of the foot without intervention of the hands and without the utilization of complex remote latching mechanisms. The elements of the combination are conveniently formed at little expense and, when assembled, are compact and rugged to provide inexpensive but reliable latching.
1. A latch mechanism comprising: a rectangular housing having a closed top and an open bottom and having a pair of openings in one side thereof; a latch member pivotally mounted within said housing and extending outwardly through one of said openings and vertically pivotable between a locked and unlocked position; spring-biasing means connected to said latch member for pivoting said latch member to said locked position; a plunger axially movably mounted within said housing and extending outwardly through the other of said openings; second spring-biasing means connected to said plunger for urging said plunger outwardly of said housing; a bottom member removably positioned over at least a portion of said open bottom and having an opening therein aligned guide and extends through the opening 43 in the removable bottom 40. It may be noted that the opening 43 in the bottom 40 is positioned so that when the bottom is in place, the axis 47 of the trigger shaft intersects the latch member 20. The
' trigger shaft 46 is provided with a flared end 50 to facilitate with said latch member; and a trigger shaft, movably extending through the opening in said bottom member and having an axis intersecting said latch for contact with said latch member to force the latter to pivot said unlocked position.
2. The combination set forth in claim 1, including a tubular guide secured to said bottom member communicating with the opening in said bottom member and extending away from said housing to guide said trigger shaft.
3. The combination set forth in claim 1, wherein said trigger shaft extends from said housing and terminates in a flared end to facilitate imparting movement thereto.
3 4 4. The combination set forth in claim 2, wherein said trigger plate having a surface opposing the openings in the side of said shaft extends from said housing and terminates in a flared end housing for abutment with said plunger, and having a latch to facilitate imparting movement thereto. opening to receive said latch member.
5. The combination set forth in claim 4, including a latch