US 3580412 A
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Umted States Patent 1 1 3,5s0,4 1 2  Inventor Hubert L. Weiss  References Cited g if 'f 055 w UNITED STATES PATENTS J 'f'sg 5 3,165,225 1/1965 Reitzel .3 220 35 [211 App, NO. 875,416 3,307,734 3/1967 Campbell 220/35  Filed Nov. 10, 1969 Primary Examiner-George T. Hall  Patented May 25, 1971 Att0rneyFlam and Flam Continuation of application Ser. No. 724,187, Apr. 25, l 968, now abandoned.
 HINGE STRUCTURE FOR ELECTRIC POWER DISTRIBUTION BOX OR THE LIKE ABSTRACT: A hinge structure is provided by hinge knuckle elements snapped into position at apertures of the members designed to be hingedly connected. The hinge knuckles are provided with stop flanges and spring means to secure the hinge knuckles in position. A straight hinge pin interconnects the knuckles and the members to be connected, and is restrained against longitudinal movement by the friction imposed by the lateral thrust of a cover closing spring.
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2 A Mil- HINGE STRUCTURE FOR ELECTRIC POWER DISTRIBUTION BOX OR THE LIKE RELATED APPLICATIONS This is a continuation of application Ser. No. 724,187, filed Apr. 25, 1968, and now abandoned.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to hinge structures and, more particularly, to the method for attaching hinge knuckles and pins to parts intended to be hingedly connected.
Securing a hinge element to parts to be connected is often a time consuming and expensive task. Welding hinge leafs to boxes and covers is effective, but time consuming and expensive. Special equipment and skilled personnel are required. Threaded fasteners can be used to attach hinge leafs, but manipulating screws, nuts and lock washers is tedious.
The primary object of this invention is to provide simple, inexpensive hinge knuckles that without any tools are simply and quickly snapped into position at apertures of the parts to be connected without bending, twisting or other physical alteration. A straight hinge pin completes the hinge connection, and is held frictionally in proper longitudinal position by a coil spring that also urges the hingedly connected parts to closed position.
Another object of this invention is to provide a hinge knuckle structure of this character that is installed in such manner as to provide a neat appearance to the completed item. For this purpose, only the operative ends of the knuckles project from the parts to be connected, the remaining parts being concealed.
This invention possesses many other advantages and has other objects which may be made more clearly apparent from a consideration of several embodiments of the invention. For this purpose, there are shown a few forms in the drawings accompanying and forming part of the present specification, and which drawings are true scale. These forms will now be described in detail illustrating the general principles of the invention. Structural and operational characteristics attributed to forms of the invention first described shall also be attributed to forms later described, unless such characteristics are obviously inapplicable or unless specific exception is made. It is to be understood that the following detailed description is not to be taken in a limiting sense, since the scope of the invention is best defined by the appended claims.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1- is a pictorial view of a power distribution box incorporating the present invention FIG. 2 is an enlarged side elevational view of the box shown in FIG. I, a portion of the apparatus being broken away and shown in section.
FIGS. 3 and 4 are fragmentary sectional views taken along planes corresponding to lines 33 and 4-4 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along the plane corresponding to line 5-5 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a pictorial view of the hinge knuckle.
FIG. 7 is a pictorial view of a modified hinge knuckle.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION In FIG. 1 there is illustrated a power distribution unit 10 of the type shown and described in my prior Pat. No. 2,995,670 issued Aug. 8, 1961. Such units are often used to provide temporary power in tract home constructions. The power distribution unit includes a box 12 made of sheet metal, a top 14, and four legs 16. The top 14 covers the upper opening of the box 12 and is extended beyond the box sides in order to provide a weather shield. Moreover, the corners of the top 14 provide sockets 18 for frictionally receiving the legs 16.
As shown in FIG. 2, one sidewall 20 of the box has a series of openings 22, 24 and 26 at which power service sockets 28, 30 and 32 are installed. The adjacent end wall 34 mounts a female cable connector socket 36. The opposite endwall mounts a male cable connector socket that is electrically connected to the female cable connector socket by suitable conductors. By the aid of the connector sockets, the unit is inserted in a powerline. Suitable conductors connect the service sockets to the powerline directly or through circuit protectors.
In order to shield the service sockets 28, 30 and 32 from the elements including sand or dirt, a cover 38 is provided. The cover 38 has a peripheral flange 40, the edge of which is adapted to contact the outside of the box wall 20.
In order to mount the cover 38, a hinge structure is provided. Two spaced hinge knuckles 42 are carried on the upper flange of the cover 38, and two identical spaced hinge knuckles 42 are carried at the upper part of the wall 20. The box carried knuckles are located between the cover carried hinge knuckles to determine a centered position of the cover. A hinge pin 44 extends through the aligned knuckles 42. A coiled spring 46 is carried on the intermediate part of the hinge pin 44 and has ends 48 and 50 respectively engaging the sidewall 20 and the cover 38. The cover 38 is thus normally urged toward a closed position. Longitudinal movement of the hinge pin 44 is restrained by providing a tight friction flt between the pin 44 and the knuckles 42. ACtual abutments on the ends of the pin 44 need not be provided, whereby assembly is uncomplicated. The hinge pin 44 is long enough to ensure that it remains in a proper position. If it slides to such an extent as to separate from one of the hinge knuckles, remedial measures are quite simple.
One of the hinge knuckles 42 is shown in FIG. 6. The knuckle 42 is of substantially U-shaped configuration made of a rectangular piece of resilient metal. The metal piece is bent about a central transverse axis x to form spaced parallel side portions 52 and 54 and a semicircular bight, bend or connecting portion 56. The free ends opposite the bend have outwardly turned stop flanges 58 and 60.
The inside surface of the bend 56 is so sized as to form a suitable bearing for the hinge pin 44 and rotation of parts about the axis x.
The hinge knuckle 42 is installed by being passed through rectangular apertures in the cover flange 40 and the box wall 20. Thus, as shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, the sidewall 20 has a rectangular aperture 62 through which the hinge knuckle 42 is projected. Pairs of outwardly pressed detents or protuberances 64 and 66 on the side portions 52 and 54 cooperate with the stop flanges 58 and 60 to sandwich the sidewall 20 and thus lock the hinge knuckle 42 in place. In order to insert the hinge knuckle 42, the sidewalls 52 and 54 are squeezed together and passed through the opening 62. The rounded portions of the detents 64 and 66 may serve as cams to produce the requisite flexure. Since the detents 64 and 66 are paired, any tendency of the knuckles to rock or tilt about an axis parallel to the plane of the mounting aperture is resisted.
In a similar manner the other hinge knuckles 42 are installed at rectangular apertures 68 and 70 (FIG. 3) in the top flange of the cover 38 and an aperture 72 (FIG. 2) in the sidewall 20.
The mounting apertures 68 and 70 in the cover flange 40 (FIG. 3) are located inwardly a sufficient distance to ensure that the stop flanges 58 or 60 of the knuckles are recessed within the flange edge to allow proper closure of the cover 38. This inward offset (Figs. 4 and 5) determines the required length of the knuckles carried by the box. Thus, the offset d (FIGS. 3, 4 and 5) corresponds substantially to the distance between the axis x and the contacting surfaces of the stop flanges 58 and 60, less the thickness of the wall 20.
In order to hold the hinge pin 44 in the recesses recessed provided by the bends 56, each side portion of each of the hinge knuckles 42 has a pair of inwardly struck projections, as at 74 (see also FIG. 5). These projections, as well as the detents 64 and 66, are conveniently formed before the knuckle is bent.
In the form of the invention illustrated in FIG. 7, the hinge knuckle has a pair of integrally struck springs 82 and 84 to interlock at the aperture in place of the detents 64 and 66. In all other respects, the knuckle 80 is similar to the knuckle 42. Instead of forming the knuckles of metal they could, of course, be made of molded plastic.
As shown at the lefthand portion of FIG. 2, the cover 90 at the sidewall 34 is installed by knuckles 42.
1. ln combination: wall means forming a box, said box having a pair of spaced longitudinally aligned rectangular openings; wall means forming a cover, said cover having a peripheral flange, said flange having at one side a pair of spaced longitudinally aligned rectangular openings; a hinge knuckle for each of said openings, each of said hinge knuckles being pressed in the corresponding aperture and providing a bearing recess, said bearing recesses being capable of alignment, each hinge knuckle having spring lock means for attaching the hinge knuckle in position; and a hinge pin seated in said bearing recesses.
2. The combination as set forth in claim 1 together with spring means carried by said hinge pin and urging said cover to closed position and exerting a lateral thrust on said hinge pin to produce a frictional interaction between said pin and said bearing recesses whereby said pin is restrained from axial movement so that stop means need not be provided on said pin to limit axial movement.
3. In combination: wall means forming a box, said box having a pair of spaced longitudinally aligned rectangular openings; wall means forming a cover, said cover having a peripheral flange, said flange having at one side, a pair of spaced longitudinally aligned rectangular openings; a hinge knuckle for each of said openings, each of said hinge knuckles comprising a substantially rectangular strip of material bent to a U-shape configuration, the free ends having outwardly turned stop flanges engaging the edges at the inside of the corresponding aperture, and having spring means engaging the edges at the outside of said aperture to lock said knuckle in position; and a common hinge pin threaded through said knuckles.
4. The combination as set forth in claim 3 in which each hinge knuckle is made of resilient metal and has detents struck outwardly to define with said flanges, a space for reception of the edges about the corresponding aperture whereby said hinge knuckle is locked in position at said aperture.
5. The combination as set forth in claim 3 in which each hinge knuckle is made of resilient metal and has springs struck outwardly from its side portions to engage adjacent the outside edges of said aperture while said flanges engage adjacent the inside edges of said aperture.
6. The combination as set forth in claim 3 in which said hinge knuckle is provided with inwardly extending projections to confine said hinge pin against lateral movement in the bearings provided by said bends.
7. The combination as set forth in claim 3 in which said rectangular apertures of said peripheral flange are spaced from the edge of said peripheral flange by an amount equal to the distance between the axis of the bearings provided by said bends and the engaging surfaces of said stop flanges, less the thickness of said sheet metal cover.