US 3713356 A
The invention concerns itself with an improvement in release mechanisms for wrench sockets which are detachably connected to a turning shank such as but not limited to a ratchet driven shank by a spring impelled detent. The spring impelled detent is readily adapted to frictionally hold and retain wrench sockets to a turning shank, but it usually involves the use of two hands to remove such sockets from turning shanks equipped with spring impelled detents, and to obviate this requirement and to afford the ready release of the sockets from their turning shanks with one hand manipulation, and elongated displaceable and combined detent positioning and release member is provided in the turning shank that is simple and serves as a detent camming element cooperating with the detent to displace it relative to the socket recess responsive to finger longitudinal displacement thereof.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent  Knudsen 1 Jan. 30, 1973  SOCKET RELEASE MECHANISM FOR WRENCHES AND THE LIKE I Primary Examiner-James L. Jones, Jr.  inventor; Raymond G. Knudsen, Kenosha, Ammey Ha"y Albem 57 ABSTRACT  Asslgnee: snap-0n Tools Corporation The invention concerns itself with an improvement in Kenosha, Wis.
release mechanlsms for wrench sockets which are  Filed: Jan. 18, 1971 detachably connected to a turning shank such as but not limited to a ratchet driven shank by a spring im- 107335 pelled detent. The spring impelled detent is readily adapted to frictionally hold and retain wrench sockets  US. Cl ..81/177.6, 81/62 to a turning shank, but it usually involves the use of  Int. Cl ..B25b 13/00, 8251) 1/00 two hands to remove such sockets from turning shanks Field Search 53 equipped with spring impelled detents, and to obviate 24/2 N; /5 B this requirement and to afford the ready release of the sockets from their turning shanks with one hand  References Cited a manipulation, and elongated displaceable and combined detent positioning and release member is pro- UNITED STATES PATENTS vided in the turning shank that is simple and serves as 3,532,013 10/1970 Haznar ..81/177.6 a detent Camming element cooperating with the detent 3,068,737 12/1962 Newse ..24/211 N to displace it relative to the socket recess responsive 3,393,587 7/1968 Jolliff tal ..81/63.2 to finger longitudinal displacement thereof. I 3,438,291 4/1969 Betgquist ..81/62 3,117,484 1/1964 Myers ..85/5.8 1 Claim, 3 Drawing Figures INVENTOR RAYMOND G. KNUDSEN PAIENTEU JAN 3 0 I973 ATTORNEY SOCKET RELEASE MECHANISM FOR WRENCHES AND THE LIKE This invention relates to a simple and effective wrench socket connector and release mechanism which enables the manual positioning control of the detent for ready connection and release of wrench sockets relative to a turning shank.
It contemplates more especially a simple elongated shaft longitudinally displaceable within a turning head to lock and release wrench sockets relative to its turning shank for single-handed turning operation and detent positioning control.
Locking and releasing wrench socket locking and releasing mechanisms are not new in the art, but the provision of a positive wrench socket lock-on and release mechanism involving a single elongated shiftable control shaft capable of sealed confinement in the turning head and manipulated by the finger of the same hand that grasps and turns the head, constitutes an improved adjunct to a ratchet or other type of turning head equipped therewith.
One object of the present invention is to simplify the construction and improve the operation capabilities of the turning head for wrench sockets for varying fastener sizes. I
Another object is to provide a wrench socket connector and release mechanism involving a single elongated shaft mounted for longitudinal displacement within a turning head to control the lock-on and release positioning of wrench sockets relative thereto.
Still another object is to provide a built-in elongated shaft detent positioning control to lock-on and release wrench sockets responsive to the longitudinal displacement thereof relative to the turning socket head within which it is spring mounted.
Other objects and advantages will appear from the following description of an illustrated embodiment thereof.
In the drawing:
FIG. 1 is a plan view of a ratchet wrench with part of the turning head broken away to clarify the showing.
FIG. 2 is a sectional fragmentary view in elevation of the turning head showing the wrench socket detent control mechanism embodying features of the present invention.
FIG. 3 is an enlarged quarter sectional view of the ratchet wheel sub-assembly with the detent control mechanism taken substantially along line Ill-[ll of FIG. 1.
The structure selected for illustration is not intended to serve as a limitation upon the scope or teachings of the invention, but is merely illustrative thereof. There may be considerable variations and adaptations of all or part of the teachings depending upon the dictates of commercial practice. The present embodiment comprises an elongated turning handle and shank 11 which, in this instance, is formed integral with a ratchet housing 12 in which a standard revoluble ratchet wheel 13 is journalled to cooperate with a double-toothed pawl 14 to which a directional positioning lever 15 is attached. A spring impelled ball 16 mounted in the handle shank 11 and extending into the housing 12, en-
connected thereto by means of threaded screw fasteners 18. The pawl lever 15 is positioned in a recess 19 to avoid any appreciable protusion of the lever 15 above the closure plate 17.
A lower closure plate 20 is press-fitted into the bottom of the housing 12 to confront the upper closure plate 17, and these confronting closure plates 17-20 are provided with aligned bores 21-22, respectively, to serve as bearings for the revoluble ratchet wheel 13.
An elongated detent positioning shaft 23 is mounted for longitudinal displacement in 'the bore 23' of the ratchet wheel 13 and its integrally extending axial geometric, in this instance square, turning shank 24 projects downwardly through the housing 12 and its closure and bearing plate 20. The elongated shaft 23 has an elongated peripheral groove 25 proximate to the lower end thereof in the region of the square projecting turning shank 24. The elongated peripheral groove 25 has tapered peripheral shoulders 26-27 to cam a spherical detent ball 28 in and out relative to a confining guide aperture 29 drilled radially through one fiat surface of the projecting turning shank 24 to communicate with the ratchet wheel bore 23' and confront the elongated peripheral groove 25 to expose the ball detent 28 thereto and its extreme peripheral tapered camming shoulders 26-27.
As shown, the shaft 23 has enlarged peripheral and longitudinally spaced shoulders 30-31-32, in this iristance three, serving as an upwardly projecting finger depressing knob 30, an intermediate bearing guide peripheral shoulder 31, and a lowermost bore closure peripheral head 32 to define the lowermost tapered camming surface 26 and substantially close the bottom opening of the bore 23' against the entrance of foreign matter. A compression spring 33 envelops the shaft 23 between the upper head 30 and the intermediate bearing guide shoulder to normally urge the shaft 23 upwardly and displace the detent ball 28 outwardly to lock a standard detachable wrench socket (not shown) thereto. The wrench socket (not shown) has depressed recesses in the four sides of the tubular driving end thereof which is loosely complemental to the turning shank 24 to smoothly slipon and off relative thereto when the upper shaft head or knob 30 is depressed against the upper urge of the spring 33. This can be accomplished with the forefinger of the same operators hand holding the turning shank 11 of the wrenching handle 10.
The depressing displacement of the shaft 23 permits the locking detent ball 28 to move inwardly in the elongated peripheral groove 25, and this will allow the wrench socket to drop off the turning shank 24 or removed by the operators other hand. The depressing displacement should be limited, since the full displacement is only utilized to lock a socket to the turning shank 24 or any extension thereof for retrieving it should one become dislodged in a normally inaccessible location. In order to preclude any foreign matter, oil, and dirt to find access to the shaft top knob 30 and the interior of the ratchet wheel bore or other associated mechanical parts, a yieldable cap seal 34 of neoprene or the like is preformed to fit loosely over the shaft knob 30, and it is flanged as at 35 to provide a peripheral upstanding shoulder 36 for frictional retention in a complementally shaped peripheral groove 37 cut into the upper edge of the ratchet wheel 13.
This expedient will seal the interior and still allow the shaft 23 to be displaced downwardly by the operators finger to release the wrench socket or by extreme displacement to lock a wrench socket thereon for removal from an otherwise inaccessible location or manually apply a wrench socket thereto and allow the spring 23 to raise the shaft 13 so that the lower camming peripheral shoulder 26 will displace the ball detent 28 outwardly to engage and lock a wrench socket thereto (not shown). Should commercial practice so dictate, the peripheral flange 35 of the rubber seal 34, may be positioned into a plain recess 37' which is open at the top to receive a collar 38 for press-fitted engagement therein over the rubber seal flange 35 to retain the seal 34 in position. While the wrench socket locking and release mechanism has been described in connection with a ratchet wrenching device, it can be advantageouslyr used with any turning tool to which wrench sockets are detachably connected.
It should be noted that the illustrated and described preferred embodiments of the invention, are capable of considerable variation and modification without departing from the spirit of the invention. I, therefore, do not wish to be limited to the precise details of construction set forth, but desire to avail myself of such variations and modifications as come within the scope of the appended claims.
1. A wrench locking and release mechanism in combination with a turning tool having a geometric turning shank thereon, there being a longitudinal bore extending axially in said turning shank a locking detent loosely mounted in a lateral aperture in a wall of said geometric turning shank to communicate with said longitudinal bore therein, a shaft in said longitudinal bore reciprocally mounted therein, there being an elongated groove in said shaft in the region of said locking detent, said longitudinal shaft groove being peripheral around the entire shaft to define circumferential camming shoulders for said locking detent to effect the locking engagement between said turning shank and said socket responsive to the displacement of said-shaft in said'shank bore in either direction, a spring enveloping said shaft in said longitudinal bore to retain said camming shoulder against said detent in one direction of displacement to normally lock the wrench socket to said geometric turning shank, a finger displaceable button head on said shaft extending beyond said longitudinal bore in said turning shank to release said locking pin detent against the urge of said spring irrespective of the relative radial relation between said shaft and locking detent within the full circumferential sweep of said peripheral shaft groove, and a yieldable seal cover over said button head and anchored to said longitudinal shaft bore in the region of said button head to yield within the reciprocal range of said enveloping shaft spring to preclude the entrance of foreign matter into said longitudinal bore.