US 3574380 A
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United States Patent Inventor Robert J. Tague 4908 E. Lake Shore Drive, Wonder Lake, 111. 60097 Feb. 6, 1969 Apr. 13,1971
Appl. No. Filed Patented FIREPLACE LOG-HANDLING TONGS HAVING SEPARATE TONG ARMS 3 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
US. Cl 294/16, 294/26 Int. Cl .1 B65g 7/12 Field of Search 294/25, 26,
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 929,173 7/1909 Stone 294/26 1,547,046 7/1925 King 135/475 2,488,312 11/1949 Millican et al. 294/26 2,817,348 12/1957 Holliday, Jr. 135/51 2,882,084 4/1959 Eatinger 294/26 FOREIGN PATENTS 805,665 5/1951 Germany 135/475 Primary Examiner-Harvey C. Hornsby Assista nt Examiner--Merle F. Mafiei Attorney-Norman H. Gerlach ABSTRACT: Fireplace log-handling equipment consisting of two separate tong arms, each of which is engageable by a hand of the user and which, when so engaged and applied to a log, exerts a tongs action thereon for lifting purposes.
FIREPLACE LOG-HANDLING TONGS HAVING SEPARATE TONG ARMS The present invention relates to fireplace log-handling tongs having separate tong arms. More specifically, the invention is concerned with a pair of counterpart jaw-forming devices which when properly manipulated by the two arms of the user may be caused to exert a tongs action on a fireplace log and clamp the log between the outer ends of the long arms for loglifting and handling purposes.
Conventional fireplace tongs having pivoted tong arms are generally of three types. In one type, the tong arms are pivoted to each other medially of their ends so as to afford a scissors action with handles on one side of the pivot point and jaws on the other side. In another type, the tong arms are pivoted to each other at their proximate or inner ends, the distal ends of the arms constituting the log-gripping jaws. In a third type, multiple tong arms are pivoted to one another to produce a lazy tongs effect with manipulating handles at one end and jaws at the other end. Each of these three types of fireplace tongs is possessed of certain limitations.
Where, in the case of the first-mentioned type of tongs, the tong arms are pivoted together medially of their ends, the wider the jaw spread, the less is the gripping factor so that all but very short legs must be gripped by a transverse gripping action. This is not conductive toward accurate log placement in a fireplace. Where, in the case of the second-mentioned type of tongs, the tong arms are pivoted together at their proximate or inner ends, no magnification of gripping force can be attained and such tongs also have a gripping action which is effective at small jaw angles so that long logs cannot be handled except by a transverse gripping action. Where, in the case of the third-mentioned type of tongs, lazy tongs are employed, practically all logs must be gripped transversely because jaw spread is extremely small. Such tongs have but one advantage, namely, the ability to handle logs at a distance so as to avoid intense heat radiation from the fireplace. Great strength is required in order properly to manipulate such tongs.
The present invention is designed to overcome the abovenoted limitations that are attendant upon the construction and use of conventional fireplace tongs, and toward this end, the invention contemplates the provision of a pair of separate counterpart log-lifting and-handling devices, one for each hand of the user, the two devices, when properly used, being capable of exerting a tongs effect upon a log with wide jaw spread so that relatively long logs may be grasped at their ends and thus lifted or otherwise handled for placement purposes. According to the invention, the two devices are constructed from relatively heavy wire or rod stock, each device being designed for support from one of the forearms of the user. The two devices are in the form of elongated tong arms having logengaging jaws or prongs at their distal or outer ends, depending reentrant loops at their medial regions capable of being grasped by the hands, and depending reaction braces at their proximate ends designed for engagement with the forearms in the vicinity of the elbows, adapted to assimilate the outward thrust that is exerted by the jaws when a log is engaged therebetween, and also adapted to assimilate the downward thrust that is applied to the jaws as the result of the gravitational weight of the log. Such a tongs construction affords numerous advantages and among these are the attainment of a wide jaw spread with a substantially constant gripping factor for logs of varying length; the ability to utilize the two devices conjointly or, alternatively, to use either of them individually as a fireplace poker for log and log-ember distribution purposes in the hearth so that the maintenance of a separate fireplace poker is not required; and the provision of a safeguard against log slippage when normal gripping force is relaxed.
The provision of tongs in the form of two separate log-handling devices or arms which are extremely simple in their construction, may be readily fashioned from rod stock, and utilize a conventional rodJorming mechanism for their fabrication, thereby reducing manufacturing costs; tongs in which the individual devices are devoid of relatively moving parts and, therefore, will not get out of order; tongs which are rugged and durable so that they will withstand rough usage; tongs which comprise parts that are capable of convenient nesting within a small space for packaging purposes, and tongs which, otherwise, are well adapted to perform the services required of them, are further desirable features which have been borne in mind in the production and development of the invention.
In the accompanying single sheet of drawings forming a part of this specification, one illustrative embodiment of the invention is shown.
In these drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the improved two-piece loghandling tongs of the present invention, showing the same in their operative log-lifting position;
FIGS. 2 and 3 are, respectively, a top plan view and a side view of the tongs;
FIG. 4 is a fragmentary front end view of one of the two pieces or tong arms, showing the same in operative lifting position against a log; and
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary front end view similar to FIG. 4 but showing the other piece or tong arm similarly positioned against a log.
Referring now to the drawings in detail, the log-handling tongs of the present invention consist of two independently formed and separate tong arms 10 and 12, the arm 10 being adapted for support and manipulation by the right hand and forearm of the user and the arm 12 being designed for support and manipulation of the left hand and forearm of the user. The two tong arms are counterpart devices, and when properly held by the hands and forearms of the user and applied to a log for lifting purposes, exert a tongs action on the log at the opposite ends thereof, thus justifying classification of the device as a tongs although there is no mechanical pivoted or other interconnection between the two arms other than that which is supplied by the forearms and the body of the user when the invention is put to use. The two arms 10 and 12 are complementary in their design, and due to this similarity, it is believed that a description of one of them will suffice largely for the other.
Considering the left-hand tong arm 12, which is so termed because it is used by the left hand and forearm of the tongs user for log-lifting and -handling purposes, this arm is in the form of a single length of wire or rod stock which is bent to provide a medial depending reentrant loop 14. The latter constitutes a grip or handle which is adapted to be grasped by the left hand of the user as shown in FIG. 1, and has an enlarged lower bight portion 16 in the form of a major circle sector which gradually merges with a pair of reentrant closely spaced parallel straight proximate reentrant portions 18. From the upper end of the handle-forming loop 14, the rod stock of the arm 12 extends forwardly to provide a front section 20 which preferably is linearly straight and the forward end of which is turned or bent laterally at right angles to provide a log-engaging prong 22. The forward end of the prong 22 is pointed in order to enhance the frictional log-gripping characteristics of the prong. The rod stock of the arm I2 also projects rearwardly from the handle-forming loop 14 to provide a rear section 24 which, likewise, is linearly straight and the rear end of which is turned outwardly at 25, and then downwardly to provide an outwardly bowed brace section 26. The latter is adapted to extend alongside the left forearm of the user on the outer side thereof as shown in FIG. I so that the forearm may assimilate the outward thrust that is exerted on the log-engaging prong 22 when the log is engaged and lifted in a manner that will be made clear presently. The lower end region of the depending brace section 26 of the tong arm I2 is curved in a lateral direction as indicated at 28 so that it may underlie the forearm and constitute a supplementary reaction brace or hook portion to assimilate the downward thrust on the log-engaging prong 22 due to the gravitational weight of the log when lifted as likewise will be described subsequently. The front section 20 and the rear section 24 are coaxial or longitudinally aligned and these two sections, together with the depending handle-forming loop 14, lie in a common vertical plane. The pointed prong 22 and the lower curved portion 28 of the brace section 26 are displaced out of the general plane of the tong arm 12 on the same side of the plane and lie in parallel transverse planes.
As previously indicated, the right-hand tong arm is similar and complemental to the left-hand tong 12, the only difference being in the direction of displacement of the pointed prong 22 and the brace section 26'. In order to avoid needless repetition of description, similar reference numerals with the prime() suffix have been applied to the corresponding parts as between the disclosures of the counterpart arms.
The manner in which the present fireplace log-handling tongs are put to use in lifting a log is shown in FIG. 1, the log being designed by the reference letter L. It will be observed that when the two handle-forming loops 14 and 14' are gripped by the left and right hands respectively, with the depending brace sections 26 and 26' bridging the outer sides of the forearms, and with the pointed prongs 22 and 22' engaging the opposite ends of the log, the inward pressure or jaw effect which is applied to the log causes the handleforming loops l4 and 14 to function in the manner of pivot points so that the brace sections 26 and 26' serve as reaction members for assimilating this pressure by bearing inwardly against the users forearms at medial regions, preferably not far removed from the elbows. At the same time, the curved portions 28 and 28' of the brace sections 26 and 26 underlie the forearms, and in the case of heavy logs, may be used to assimilate the gravitational weight of the log by hearing upwardly against the bottom or lower portion of the users forearms. In the case of a child who may use the present fireplace log-lifting tongs, the brace sections 26 and 26 will lie relatively close to the elbows.
The invention is not to be limited to the exact arrangement of parts shown in the accompanying drawings or described in this specification as various changes in the details of construction may be resorted to without departing from the spirit or scope of the invention. Nor is the invention to be limited to the specific use described. For example, due to the pointed ends of the prongs 22 and 22' extremely good frictional characteristics are offered to the log so that, if desired, these prongs may be caused to engage the log at diametrically opposed points on the generally cylindrical surface thereof, thus enabling one end of the log to be lifted within the fireplace hearth for log-adjustment purposes. The prongs may also be used as hook portions to adjust the position of a partially burned log or a log fragment on the hearth. The same principles as have been described in connection with the handling of logs are applicable to kindling wood, as well as to large chunks of Cane! coal. Therefore, only insofar as the invention is particularly pointed out in the accompanying claims is the same to be limited.
1. Fireplace log-lifting and -handling tongs comprising a pair of separate counterpart tong arms of similar configuration and including a left-hand arm adapted to be conjointly supported from the left forearm and left hand of the user, and a right-hand arm adapted to be conjointly supported from the right forearm and right hand of the user, each arm being comprised of a shaped length of metal rod stock of elongated design and linearly straight throughout a major portion of its length, and a hand-receiving handle depending from a medial region of each arm substantially midway between the latters ends and adapted to be grasped by the fingers of one hand, said handle being in the form of a reentrant loop presenting closely spaced linearly straight parallel portions which extend at right angles to the lengthwise direction of the arm and the lower ends of which are connected together by a reentrant bend, the extreme forward end of each arm bein turned laterally at right angles to the lengthwise direction 0 the arm and providing a pointed log-engaging prong, the extreme rear end of each arm being turned laterally at right angles to the lengthwise direction of the arm and in a direction opposite to the direction of extent of said log-engaging prong and then downwardly to provide a downwardly extending brace section designed for engagement with the outer side of the forearm when the handle is engagedby the hand and the log-engaging prong is in engagement with an end of the log, the direction of extent of the log-engaging prong on the right-hand arm being opposite to the direction of extent of the log-engaging prong on the left-hand arm when said arms are in use and the prongs are in engagement with the opposite ends of a log.
2. Fireplace log-lifting and -handling tongs as set forth in claim 1 and wherein said downwardly extending brace section of each arm is curved laterally in the lower region thereof so as to provide a hook portion which is adapted to underlie the forearm.
3. Fireplace log-lifting and -handling tongs as set forth in claim 3 and wherein the reentrant loop which comprises each handle is formed at its lower end with an enlarged portion which is generally in the form of a major circle sector.