US 3713468 A
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United States Patent 1 [111 3,713,468 1 Jan. 30, 1973 Walsh 1541 HAND NUTCRACKER WITH SHELL GUARD AND NUT UNLOADER  Inventor: Carroll ll. Walsh, 2002 Cherry Street, Pine Bluff, Ark. 71601  Filed: May 28, 1971  Appl. No.: 147,920
 US. Cl ..99/580, 30/120.2  Int. Cl. ..A47j 43/26  Field of Search ..146/l6,l4,l3,12
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,038,229 9/1912 Suzzi ..146/12 3,578,047 5/1971 Diggs ..l46/l6 1,424,675 8/1922 Paolucci i t ..146/12 2,740,439 4/1956 Dillard ..146/l6 Primary Examiner-Gi1 Weidenfeld Att0rneyRalph R. Pittman  ABSTRACT A hand nutcracker having a hollow, horizontally extending guide cylinder containing a piston reciprocably movable with respect to a spaced stationary jaw for cracking and releasing a nut placed therebetween in response to predetermined movements of a handle associated with the piston and a hollow cylindrical shell guard moving with the piston, includes a trough-shaped nut rest hinged to the forward end of the guide cylinder for swingable movement between (1) a horizontal nut-retaining position along the space separating the guide cylinder from the jaw and (2) a downwardly sloping position spaced from the jaw. The nut rest is disposed in the path of movement of the shell guard, and the alternate swingablyattained positions of the nut rest correspond to definite reciprocably-attached positions of the shell guard.
7 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJAII 30 I973 SHEET 1 0F 2 INVENTOR. Cqr o W 1 PATENTEDJAN 30 I975 SHEET 2 [1F 2 I NVENTOR.
(Mm- I H Mum HAND NUTCRACKER WITH SHELL GUARD AND NUT UNLOADER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Many manually operated piston type nut crackers are in existence'and a number of them are currently offered for sale. A specific embodiment of this invention relates to improvements in this type of nutcracker. Among the numerous devices heretofore described or available, some of which embody shell guards and cracked nut dischargers or unloaders, there appears none in which a shell guard, effective for preventing the scattering of nutshell fragments as a shell is compressed to fracture, is also utilized as an actuator member to control the movement of a nut rest between a nutretaining and a nut-unloading position. This inventive concept, disclosed herein, enables the incorporation of additional and advantageous nut-handling members with substantially no increase in size, resulting from the dual or plural functioning of certain members of the structure.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Herein is disclosed an improvement in a swingablehandle, cylinder-piston-anvil type of nutcracker which eliminates the necessity for placing the fingers of one hand of the user between the piston and anvil in order to hold a nut in position for compressing while the other hand moves the handle in the compression direction; the use of only one hand is required to operate the nutcracker herein described.
A trough-shaped nut rest is disposed along a space separating the piston from the anvil, and a nut placed anywhere on the rest is in a position to be cracked as the piston is moved toward the stationary jaw or anvil, in response to an appropriate movement of the handle. The nut rest is swingably mounted at the forward end of the guide cylinder along which the piston moves, and operates to swing downwardly to dump a cracked nut into a receptacle as the cracked nut is released when the piston is retracted.
A hollow cylindrical shell guard is disposed for reciprocal movement over the guide cylinder, and a connecting rod joins the shell guard to the handle so that the shell guard moves to enclose the nut while its shell is being fractured. The mechanical members which actuate the shell guard are also effective to actuate the nut rest alternately between the nut retaining position and the nut unloading position.
IN THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a side elevational view of the invention, shown partly in section, after actuation of the nut rest to the downwardly-sloping unloading position by the movement of the handle to the fully retracted position.
FIG. 2 is a plan view of the invention.
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary elevational view, showing the positions to which the movable members are biased by the spring 39 when the handle is released, the nut rest assuming the nut-retaining position for receiving an un-" cracked nut.
FIG. 4 is another fragmentary elevational view, showing the positions assumed by the members during a forward nut-cracking stroke.
FIG. 5 is a sectional view, illustrating particularly the nut rest 30, taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT 0 screws 13, and to the upper base by the rivets 21,
thereby providing a cavity 14 between the bases. An open top receptacle 15, in the form of a drawer, is slidably movable into and out of the cavity 14, and an aperture 38, through which the nut rest is shown downwardly projecting, is provided in the upper base 10.
At the forward end of the upper base 10 the adjustable threaded stationary jaw 16 is secured, by the rivets 21, being directed rearwardly at an elevation above the base 10, and at the rearward end of the base 10 the manipulating handle 19 extends normally rearwardly and upwardly from its swingable mounting on the pivot 20.
A piston guide cylinder 18 is rigidly fixed on the upper base 10 along an intermediate portion thereof, extending therealong with its forward end in spaced relation to the fixed jaw 16. A shell cracking piston 17 is disposed for slidable, reciprocable movement along the inner side of the guide cylinder 18, and a hollow, generally cylindrical shell guard 23 is disposed for slidable, reciprocable movement along the outer side of the guide cylinder 18, forward to enclose, and rearward to expose, the space 35 between the forward end of the piston 17 and the jaw 16.
The forward ends of the first pair of connecting rods 22 are pivoted, at the pin 26, to a rearwardly extending portion of the piston 17, and the rearward ends, at the pin 25, to the handle 19, the location of the pin 25 along the handle being chosen so that the piston is reciprocably movable to a point spatially adjacent to the jaw 16 and rearward therefrom in response to definite swingable movements of the handle. Similarly, the forward ends of the second pair of connecting rods 24 are pivoted, at the pin 28, to an upwardly extending car 29 of the shell guard 23, and the rearward ends, at the pin 27, to the handle 19, the location of the pin 27 along the handle being such as to reciprocate the shell guard 23 to enclose the nut rest 30 when the handle 19 is in the forward position and expose the nut rest when in the rearward position.
As shown at FIGS. 3, 4 and 5, the longitudinally extending, trough-shaped nut rest 30 is pivotally mounted at its rearward end on the pin 34, attached to a downwardly extending portion of the forward end of the stationary piston guide cylinder 18, and disposed in position to swing through the upper base aperture 38 downward into the cavity 14, as shown at FIGS. 1, 2 and 5.
The underside of the U-shaped or trough-shaped nut rest 30 is formed with a downwardly projecting track portion 37, extending linearly therealong, this track portion merging at its rearward end with the downwardly directed hook-shaped detent 36, and a roller 33, journaled on a shaft 32 between a pair of downwardly projecting ears 31 of the shell guard 23, is disposed to engage the nut rest along the track 37 as the shell guard is urged in a forward direction, and the detent 33 as the shell guard is retracted. In this way the position of the nut rest is established in accordance with the position of the operating handle.
To establish a free-standing, ready-to-use posture of the device, a flat spring 39, attached at its upper end to the back side of the handle 19 by the screw 40, at an elevation above the pivotal hinge connection 20 and between the upper base and the handle, extends downward along and below the lower end of the handle, and in position to engage at its free end the rearward end of the upper base 10. The spring 39 is effective to normally maintain the handle slightly forward from its fully retracted position, just sufficient to cause the small but necessary forward movement of the shell guard 23 as required to actuate the nut rest to the nutreceiving position, as illustrated at FIGS. 3 and 4.
In operation, with the members of the machine initially as shown at FIG. 3, a nut to be shelled is placed in the space 35, on the nut rest 30. As the handle 19 is swung forward, the nut is first scooped up by an initial forward movement of the piston 17, the nut partially entering the respective facing recesses formed in the opposing piston and jaw, and subsequently the shell is cracked as the piston continues a forward movement toward the jaw.
Upon the attainment of this condition, the movable members assume the relative positions shown at FIG. 4, the shell guard having moved to enclose the space in which the nut' is cracked, and thus preventing nutshell scattering.
After a nut has been cracked, the handle is fully retracted, causing the movable members to revert to the positions shown at FIG. 1. It may be noted that the roller of the shell guard 23 has engaged the detent portion 36 of the nut rest 30, and the latter is illustrated in the position for unloading the cracked nut 41 into the drawer-receptacle. It may also be noted that the spring 39 is deformed in a direction to urge the handle in a limited forward direction upon its release.
Upon release of the handle, it immediately moves, under the bias of the spring 39, to the position shown at FIG. 3, and concurrently the accompanying forward movement of the shell guard 23 lifts the nut rest 30 to the nut-receiving position. As previously indicated, the handle 19 is normally over-balanced to a position slightly rearward of vertical, to assure that the device continues in the nut-receiving position except during the nut cracking process.
What is claimed is:
l. A hand nutcracker comprising an elongate base, a hollow guide cylinder rigidly fixed to and extending along said base, a reciprocable piston slidingly movable along and guided by said guide cylinder, an opposed spaced stationary jaw secured at the forward end of said base and a nut rest disposed therebetween, means pivotally mounting said nut rest for swingable movement between a horizontal nut-retaining position and a downwardly sloping nut-discharging position, means pivotally mounting a swingably movable operating handle on said base, and connecting means joining said operating handle to said piston and said nut rest, said connecting means being effective to swing said nut rest to the nut-retaining position and move said piston toward said jaw concurrently with a predetermined forward movement of said handle in one direction and to swing said nut rest to the nut-discharging position and retract said piston concurrently with a predetermined rearward movement of said handle in the opposite direction, and resilient means associated with said handle effective, upon release of said handle following said rearward movement thereof, to actuate said nut rest to and maintain said nut rest in the nut-retaining position.
2. The nutcracker in accordance with claim 1, wherein said connecting means includes a hollow cylindrical shell guard disposed concentrically over said guide cylinder, a first connecting rod joining said piston to said handle and a second connecting rod joining said shell guard to said handle, said second connecting rod being joined to said handle at a point to reciprocate said shell guard to enclose said nut rest when said handle is in the forward position and expose said nut rest when said handle is in the rearward position, and a nut rest engaging member attached to said shell guard and effective with said forward movement of said handle to contact and hold said nut rest in the nut-retaining position and effective with said rearward movement of said handle to contact and swing said nut rest to the nutdischarging position.
3. The nutcracker according to claim 2, in which the nut rest engaging member attached to the shell guard is a transversely disposed roller journaled to the forward end of said shell guard.
4. The nutcracker as defined in claim 2, wherein a spring means bridging the pivotal connection between said handle and said base biases said handle to the position along its path of movement in which said piston and said shell guard are partially retracted and said nut rest is in the nut-retaining position.
5. The nutcracker as claimed in claim 2, in which the nut-retaining portion of said nut rest is in the form of an upwardly opening V in section.
6. A hand-operated nutcracker having an elongate subbase and an upper base mounted on said subbase and extending thereover in spaced coextensive relation to provide a cavity between the base and the subbase, a nut-engaging jaw secured at the forward end of said base, a hollow guide cylinder rigidly secured to an intermediate portion of said base and extending therealong in opposed spaced relation to said jaw, a shell-cracking piston slidable in said guide cylinder and a hollow cylindrical shell guard slidable along the outside of said guide cylinder through concurrent reciprocable movements alternately toward and away from said nut-engaging jaw, a swingably movable handle pivotally fulcrumed to and extending upwardly from the rearward end of said base, connecting means joining said piston and said shell guard to said handle for effecting said reciprocable movements in response to predetermined swingable movements of said handle, an aperture disposed in said upper base between said jaw and said guide cylinder, an upwardly opening, longitudinally extending trough-shaped nut rest pivotally mounted on the forward end of said guide cylinder and swingably movable downwardly into said cavity and upwardly therefrom, a transversely directed roller journaled to the forward end of said shell guard for reciprocal travel therewith, a lower track portion of said nut rest extending forwardly from the pivotal mounting of said nut rest and a detent portion of said nut rest projecting downwardly and rearwardly from said pivotal of said roller.
7. The nutcracker as claimed in claim 6, wherein a slidably withdrawable open-top receptacle is disposed below the aperture in the upper base, in position to receive cracked nuts passing therethrough.