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Publication numberUS3605175 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 20, 1971
Filing dateMar 17, 1969
Priority dateMar 17, 1969
Publication numberUS 3605175 A, US 3605175A, US-A-3605175, US3605175 A, US3605175A
InventorsHarry C Wilson
Original AssigneeHarry C Wilson
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Latching hinge
US 3605175 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Sept. 20, 1971 H, wlLsoN l 3,605,175

LATCHING HINGE Filed Harsh 1'7. 1969 4@ he; L 26 4 ,fea l\// 4/6 /450 57' Fw. 5. Z/ 5 se a/ 27 /0 /4 4\ xNvEN'mR /5 55T f/Afy c. WM sa/V 34? BY Fra. Z fw f//Lw United States Patent O1 3,605,175 LATCHING HINGE Harry C. Wilson, 15126 Rayneta Drive, Sherman Oaks, Calif. 91403 Filed Mar. 17, 1969, Ser. No. 807,796

Int. Cl. Ef 1/12 U.S. Cl. 16-184 21 Claims ABSTRACT 0F THE DISCLOSURE A paintable latching hinge having an adjustable leaf spring supported by a curl portion of one hinge leaf and cooperating with the specially shaped curl portions of the other hinge leaf to bias the hinge toward and away from closed position, and having no biasing effect in other positions hereof. The curl portions of both hinge leaves cooperate in the closed position to present the appearance of a gambrel roof as viewed from one end. Additionally, the biasing spring is so arranged as not to contact any exposed curl surface at any time.

This invention relates to door hinges and more particularly to an improved self-latching hinge featuring improved spring means for resiliently holding a door in closed position and leaving the door free of biasing effect in various open positions thereof.

There have been numerous proposals heretofore to provide door hinges utilizing spring means Within the hinge structure eifective to urge the hinge to its normal closed position and yet leaving the hinge free to remain in different open positions. However, these prior designs are subject to numerous shortcomings and disadvantages eliminated by the present invention. Illustrative of such shortcomings is the fact that prior designs have been bul-ky, unsuitable for painting, costly to construct, lacking in provision for adjusting the strength of the spring bias, subject to excessive wear, and have a short operating life. Other disadvantages include excessive cost of installation and the need for specially shaping the door frame to accommodate the hinge.

The present invention avoids the foregoing shortcomings and provides an unusually simple, rugged, lowknuckle, inexpensive hinge construction utilizing a single leaf spring to provide dual-action door control. The spring and the associated components are totally concealed from view and are so arranged that no part of the spring is in contact with any exposed curl surface. This feature has the important advantage of permitting the exposed hinge surfaces to be painted and resurfaced without risk of defacement by contact with the biasing spring. This is a particularly serious shortcoming of prior spring-biased hinges. The owner, not realizing that the spring is in contact lwith the curl, proceeds to paint the hinge along with the door when redecorating only to discover that the paint is damaged and scraped away when first opening the repainted door. The defacement can be cured only by replacing the hinge with an unpainted hinge, an operation the average user is not prepared to do and the cost of which can be excessive. The invention hinge-biasing spring is fully enclosed, and even when the door is open the parts are substantially concealed and are not unsightly in appearance. The total biasing force provided by the spring is distributed in part to each end with the result that only one-half of the spring force is applied to any one fulcrum means. This accounts for the long life and wearing characteristics of the present construction. A single screw is readily adjusted to vary the eifective spring strength to suit the wishes and the needs of a particular installation.

Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present invention to provide a new and improved self-latching hinge Patented Sept. 20, 1971 construction characterized by its simplicity, ruggedness, long life, and greatly improved appearance and compactness.

Another object of the invention is the provision of a self-latching hinge for use on closures and cabinet doors installable as easily as a conventional hinge and including a readily adjusted spring effective to bias the door closed.

Another object of the invention is the provision of a latchingl hinge concealed within the gambrel-shaped curl portion interconnecting the two hinge leaves and having the opposite ends thereof positioned to fulcrum about the edge of a concealed pair of fulcrumtangs.

Another object of the invention is the provision of a self-latching hinge for cabinet and the like'doors having fulcrum means cooperating with a cantilever type leaf spring so arranged that the spring cannot contact an exposed curl surface.

Another object of the invention is the provision of a self-latching hinge designed for fabrication from inexpensive materials adapted to be painted along with the adjacent surfaces without risk of the paint on the hinge surfaces being defaced by operation of the self-latching components.

These and other more specific objects will appear upon reading the following specification and claims and upon considering in connection therewith the attached drawings to which they relate.

Referring now to the drawing in which a preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated.

FIG. l is a cross-sectional view through a typical installation showing the invention hinge from one end thereof with the door closed;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary elevational view of the hinge portion of FIG. l;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional rView on an enlarged scale taken along line 3-'3 on FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a broken-line elevational view on an enlarged scale taken along line 4-4 on FIG. 2;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary cross-sectional View taken along line 5-5 on FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view on an enlarged scale similar to FIG. 3 but showing the door partially open and free of biasing effect from the hinge spring; and

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6 but showing the door approaching closed position with the stressed spring on dead center and substantially ineffective to bias the door away from its dead-center position.

Referring initially more particularly to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a preferred embodiment of the invention self-latching hinge, designated generally 10, having a rst leaf 11 secured by screws 12 to a door frame 13 and a second leaf 14 supporting door 15. Door 15 is of the type commonly used in cabinet work to close an access opening 16 to the interior of the cabinet and is rabbeted about its inner edge, as is indicated at 17. As is customary in the construction of hinges designed for such doors, hinge leaf 14 is stepped at 18 to conform to the contour of rabbet 17. It is also pointed out that it is customary to mount a resilient pad 19 (FIG. 1) to provide a resilient stop for the door as it reaches its fully closed position.

The first and second hinge lea-ves 11, 14 are pivotally interconnected by a hinge pin 20 having its opposite ends 21 upset to hold it in assembled position. This hinge pin passes through a pair of curls 23, 23 formed along one edge of leaf 11 and interleaved between curls 24, 25, 26 integral with the adjacent edge of hinge leaf 14. As is clearly shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, curls 23 are positioned one between curls 24, 25, and one between curls 25 and 26. Center curl 25 is a gambrel shape, as viewed from one end, and includes a pair of converging upper hip portions 27 embracing the hinge pin and a pair of lower hip portions 29, 30 lying generally parallel to one another,

as is clearly illustrated in FIG. 3. These upper and lower hip portions cooperate to provide a low height knuckle of unusual compactness for a self-latching hinge. The lower edges of hips 29 and 30 are interconnected by a support bracket provided by a crosspiece 31 having its free end notched and projecting into an opening 32 in hip 30 FIG. Tongue 33 of cross-piece 31 may be brazed or staked, as is indicated at 34, to lock the cross-piece rigidly to hip where the end of the tongue is normally concealed from view by the edge of door 15. The midportion of cross-piece 31 is provided with a threaded opening 35 seating a snug fitting adjustable screw 36 for a purpose to be described presently.

Referring to FIGS. 6 and 7, it is pointed out that curls 23, 23 have their free ends Wrapped about the end portions of pin 20 and include upper and lower hip portions 27', 29 having the same shape and proportions as the corresponding hips of center curl 25. It Iwill also be understood that curls 24 and 26 have upper and lower hips conforming to the shape of hips 27 and 30 with the result that all similarly located hips are in alignment with one another in the closed position of the hinge and present an unusually neat exterior appearance free of bulges or irregularities.

The simple means herein provided for biasing hinge 10 to its closed position comprises a bowed leaf spring 40 notorious for its long trouble-free life and preferably having its ends formed as shown in FIG. 4 and a dimple 42 at its center. Thus each end is formed with a curve 41a of relatively long radius merging at its outer end with a short radius curve 411), The long arc curve 41a provides maximum bearing surface with fulcrum 46 in different open positions of the door, whereas curve 41h contacts the surface of curls 24, 26 after the door pivots until the spring rides off the fulcrum. When curved portions 41h are in contact with curls 24, 26 curved portions 41a are supported close to but out of contact with curls 23 and therefore can not damage the surface finish of the latter. This dimple seats firmly in opening of crosspiece 31. Preferably, however, this opening supports an adjusting screw 36 having a countersunk end seating dimple 42. This screw may have a kerf across its end for convenience in adjusting the set screw to vary the position of spring 40 relative to fulcrums 46. Spring 40 has a Width corresponding generally to the length of the crosspiece or support bracket 31 with the result that hips 29 and 30 cooperate with dimple holding the spring captive and parallel to pin 20.

Curls 23, 23 of the first hinge leaf 11 are here shown as wider than the others, the adjacent lateral halves of these curls encircling the hinge pin; whereas the remotely spaced outer halves of the curl are bent to provide tangs lying generally normal to the plane of the opening normally closed by door 15. These tangs are herein designated fulcrum means, the edges 46 of which are positioned to have wiping contact with the adjacent end portions of spring 40 and which serve as the actual fulcrum for the spring when in engagement therewith.

When door 15 is closed, the parts are positioned as illustrated in FIGS. 1, 3 and 4. Under these conditions spring 40 is under slight stress `with its ends supported on fulcrum means 45 adjacent one lateral edge of spring 40. Ends 41 of the spring are out of contact with curls 24 and 26 and the spring transmits pressure to cross-piece 31 and therethrough to the second hinge leaf 14 to hold the door firmly closed.

If the user places finger pressure against ledge 50 of the door (FIG. l) and pulls the door toward him, spring 40 pivots about the yaxis of hinge pin 20 and wipes crosswise of fulcrum 46. When the door is pulled to the position shown in FIG. 7, fulcrum 46 bears against the spring ends along the longitudinal center line thereof and in a radial plane passing through the axis of hinge pin 20, `as is readily apparent from FIG. 7. Under these conditions and if the stressed spring is truly on dead center, it is ineffective to CFI urge the door in either direction. Actually, however, this position is so unstable that the door will swing either to a more open position or to its fully closed position. If the door swings to a more open position, such as that shown in FIG. 6, then it will be clear that the spring passes out of contact with fulcrum 46 and rests against concealed portions of end curls 24 and 26. Since these curls are integral with the second hinge leaf 14, there is no relative movement between the spring and the curls and, accordingly, there is no risk or possibility of paint or other finish on the curls being harmed. So long as the door is in its fully open position, such as is indicated in FIG. 6, it is free to pivot without placing spring 40 under stress. However, as the door is swung toward closed position the right-hand lateral edge of spring 40, as viewed in FIG. 7, rides onto fulcrum edge 46 gradually increasing the stress in the spring as the door pivots farther toward closed position. When in dead-center position, as indicated in FIG. 7, the spring is fully stressed and effective to apply a strong closing force to the door and assuring that the door will be snapped closed. To be noted is the fact that part of the closing pressure applied to the spring acts through the fulcrum provided yby the upper one of tangs 45, whereas the remainder is applied to the lower one of tangs 45. This distribution of the spring stress greatly minimizes the friction and wear.

Desirably, fulcrums 46 are heat treated to harden them. The portion of fulcrum edge 46 subject to wear varies depending on the position of the door and the bowed condition of the spring. The wear on the spring itself is distributed over the full width of the spring. This fact together with the hardness of the spring material results in little or no wear occurring on the spring. If, after long usage, some wear reduces the effective strength of the spring, this condition is easily compensated for by adjusting screw 36 inwardly by an appropriate amount. It will be understood that the heat treating of fulcrums 46 is preferably performed by case-hardening the entire hinge leaf of which it forms a part.

While the particular latching hinge herein shown and disclosed in detail is fully capable of attaining the objects and providing the advantages hereinbefore stated, it is to be understood that it is merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention and that no limitations are intended to the detail of construction or design herein shown other than as defined in the appended claims.

I claim:

1. A latching hinge for moving a closure into firmly closed position as it approaches closed position, said hinge including first and second hinge leaves each having interleaving curls pivotally interconnected by hinge pin means, the curls of said first hinge leaf having a pair of fulcrum means parallel to and offset from the axis of the hinge pin means, said fulcrum means comprising a portion of the curl of said first hinge leaf with the fulcrum end portion thereof lying generally tangential to said hinge pin means and lying in a plane coincident with said hinge pin axis and intersecting the plane of the opening controlled by said hinge at an acute angle, said second hinge leaf including a rigid support parallel to and spaced from the mid-length of said hinge pin means, an elongated leaf spring lying generally parallel to said hinge pin means with its non-fiexing midportion bearing against said rigid support and movable with said second hinge leaf as the latter pivots relative to said first hinge leaf, the opposite end portions of said leaf spring being positioned to have wiping contact with a respective one of said fulcrum means thereby to flex and thereby stress the opposite end halves of said leaf spring as said hinge leaves pivot between the normally closed and partially open positions thereof, and said spring end portions being out of wiping contact with all except said fulcrum means for all movements of said hinge leaves between the partially and fully open positions thereof.

2. A latching hinge as defined in claim 1 characterized in that said spring leaf has means centrally thereof having an interlocking fit With said rigid support and cooperating therewith and with portions of said first hinge leaf to retain said spring leaf in assembled position.

3. A latching hinge as defined in claim 1 characterized in that said rigid support and said spring leaf have juxtaposed mutually interlocking means effective to hold saidv spring leaf in assembled position.

4. A latching hinge as defined in claim 1 characterized in that said spring leaf has dimple means shaped to seat in a cooperating seat therefor in said rigid support to retain said lspring leaf against longitudinal displacement from said rigid support.

S. A latching hinge as defined in claim 1 characterized in that the opposite ends of said spring leaf are upturned crosswise thereof in a direction away from said hinge pin means.

6. A latching hinge as defined in claim 1 characterized in that the rigid support for said fulcrum means comprises a support bracket integral with said second hinge leaf.

7. A latching hinge as defined in claim 1 characterized in that said fulcrum portions lies in a plane generally normal to the opening to be controlled by said latching hinge.

8. A latching hinge as defined in claim 1 characterized in that each of said first and second hinge leaves have staggered interleaved curl portions of each embracing alternate portions of said hinge pin means and including a gambrel-shaped portion centrally of one edge of said Second hinge leaf, said support for said spring leaf including a cross-piece between the opposite sides of the generally parallel opposite lower side -walls of said gambrelshaped portion and on which said spring leaf rests.

9. A latching hinge as defined in claim 8 characterized in that said spring leaf has a width closely approximating the length of said cross-piece forming the support for said spring leaf.

10. A latching hinge as defined in claim 9` characterized in that said gambrel-shaped portion is an integral part of said second hinge leaf.

11. A latching hinge as defined in claim 8 characterized in that one end of said cross-piece -is integral with one lower edge of said gambrel-shaped portion and the other end of said cross-piece being secured to the corresponding other lower edge of said gambrel-shaped portion.

12. A latching hinge as defined in claim 11 characterized in that said other end of said spring leaf support is staked to the adjacent lower edge of said gambrel-shaped portion.

13. A latching hinge as dened in claim 8 characterized in that the mid-length of said hinge pin means extends along and is closely embraced by the crest of saidgambrelshaped portion.

|14. A latching hinge as defined in claim 13 characterized in that each of said interleaved curl portions of said first and second hinge leaves are of similar gambrel shape as viewed from one end of said hinge pin means.

15. A latching hinge as defined in claim 14 characterized in that said gambrel-shaped portions include upper and lower hip portions along either side of said hinge pin means, at least part of the lower hip portions along one side of the gambrel-shaped portion of said first hinge leaf being cut away and the associated part of the -adjacent upper hip being deflected toward said hinge pin means, the lower edge of said deflected upper hips comprising the fulcrum portion of said fulcrum means.

16. A latching hinge as defined in claim 15 characterized in that one longitudinal edge of said deflected upper hip portions has wiping contact crosswise of the adjacent end portions of said spring leaf as said second hinge leaf pivots toward and away from the closed position thereof.

17. A latching hinge as defined in claim 1 characterized in the provision of means for adjusting the pressure eX- tended by said spring leaf in urging said hinge leaves toward the closed position thereof.

18. A latching hinge as defined in claim 1 characterized in that the support means for said leaf spring includes adjustable screw means effective to vary the pressure eX- erted by the spring on said fulcrum portion. j

19. A latching hinge as defined in claim 18 characterized in that said adjustable screw means has a recessed end seating over a dimple-like protrusion at the midlength of said leaf spring.

20. A latching hinge as defined in claim 1 characterized in that said spring leaf pivots with said second hinge leaf and moves in an arc therewith crosswise of said fulcrum portion between a closed position with the end portions of said leaf spring bearing against and placed under stress by said fulcrum portion and various open positions wherein the end portions of said leaf spring are free of contact with said fulcrum portion.

21. A latching hinge as defined in claim 1 characterized in that the same is formed of inexpensive materials lacking a permanent non-corrodible finish and adapted to be painted along with the adjacent surfaces of an operating environment for said hinge, and the relatively moving contacting surfaces of said bowed spring and of said first and second hinge leaves being normally concealed from view in the various operating positions of said hinge.

References Cited UNITED sTATEs PATENTS 553,484 1/1896 Detwiler 16-184 1,759,237 5/1930 McClure 16- 140 2,174,986 10/1939 Lickteig 16-.184 3,262,149 7/1966 Garten et a1 16-142 FOREIGN PATENTS 94,431 2/1939 sweden 16-142 BOBBY R. GAY, Primary Examiner P. A. ASCHENBRENNER, Assistant Examiner

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4388783 *Jun 23, 1980Jun 21, 1983American Store Equipment CorporationPrefabricated partition arrangement
US4796944 *Dec 28, 1987Jan 10, 1989Irvin Industries, Inc.Spring-loaded hinge assembly for vehicle accessories
US4845810 *Jun 13, 1988Jul 11, 1989Ron BrownSelf closing hinge
US4993772 *Feb 20, 1990Feb 19, 1991Irvin Automotive Products, Inc.Spring-loaded, dual-action hinge assembly for vehicle accessories
USRE33610 *Dec 28, 1989Jun 11, 1991Takata Inc.Spring-loaded hinge assembly for vehicle accessories
USRE33631 *Dec 28, 1989Jul 9, 1991Takata Inc.Spring-loaded hinge assembly for vehicle accessories
EP0261906A2 *Sep 21, 1987Mar 30, 1988Irvin Automotive Products, Inc.Spring-loaded hinge assembly for vehicle accessories
U.S. Classification16/278, 16/293
International ClassificationE05D11/10
Cooperative ClassificationE05Y2900/20, E05D11/1014
European ClassificationE05D11/10D