US 3722280 A
A portable tool for fastening together superposed metal members. The tool has two movable frame portions which are operable to firmly clamp the metal members together. With the metal members firmly clamped, a punch element, movable within one of the frames, is moved to punch integral tabs in the members through die openings provided in the other frame. As the punch is withdrawn the tabs are bent by a bender element movable within the other frame, the bending being sufficient to firmly lock the members together without a complete bending of the tabs back against the surface of the superposed members.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Van Greuingen [451 Mar. 27, 1973 PORTABLE FASTENING TOOL  Inventor: Theodore A. Van Greuingen, Dana Point, Calif.
 Assignee: Aluminum Company of America,
 Filed: Mar. 25, 1971  Appl.No.: 127,930
 US. Cl. ..72/294, 72/335, 29/521  Int. Cl ..B21d 43/28, B21d 39/00  Field of Search ..72/294, 335, 379, 391 453;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 12/1968 Reincke ..72 335 6/1967 Spangler.....' ..72 453 2,927,548 3/ 1960 Wellington .29/521 Primary Examiner-Charles W, Lanham Assistant ExaminerR. M. Rogers AttorneyElroy Strickland ABSTRACT A portable tool for fastening together superposed metal members. The tool has two movable frame portions which are operable to firmly clamp the metal members together. With the metal members firmly clamped, a punch element, movable within one of the frames, is moved to punch integral tabs in the members through die openings provided in the other frame. As the punch is withdrawn the tabs are bent by a bender element movable Within the other frame, the bending being sufficient to firmly lock the members together without a complete bending of the tabs back against the surface of the superposed members.
9 Claims, 11 Drawing Figures HPATENTEDHARZYIHYS SHEET 1!)? 3 PATENTEUMARZ? 197s SHEEI 2 OF 3 ClE PORTABLE FASTENING TOOL BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The present invention relates generally to a tool for punching tabs in superposed metal members, and particularly to a compact, portable tool having means for bending the tabs after they are punched to provide a lasting, rigid connection between the metal members.
In recent times, the building industry has become increasingly interested in metal framing (in place of wood frames) for family type houses and other building structures. Metal frames have particular advantages over wood frames, especially if the metal is a lightweight metal such as aluminum. Studding and beams made from such lightweight metals are easily handled by personnel erecting a building, and can be rapidly produced, for example, by extrusion processes, and preassembled in a production line basis. Aluminum and other metal framing members, however, cannot be suitably fastened together by nails, so that other fastening means and methods are required. Screws and bolts have been used but fastening together metal members by such means is time consuming and thus costly from a labor standpoint.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a portable hand tool for fastening together such metal members in a rapid and economical manner without the useof separate fastening handware such as screws or bolts. Basically,
the tool comprises two frame portions, a movable punch mounted in one frame and a die and movable bender element mounted in the other frame, and means for mechanically moving the frames, the punch and the bender element. To fasten two (or more) metal members together, superposed portions of the members are disposed between the frames to be firmly gripped thereby when the operator closes and locks the frames thereon. The punch element is next moved into punching engagement with the superposed members to punch at least two integral superposed tabs simultaneously therein through corresponding die openings in the die on the other frame. As the punch is withdrawn, the bender element is simultaneously moved to engage and bend the tabs in a manner that does not bend the tabs back upon the members so that a strong, rigid mechanical connection is provided between the superposed members without excessively working, and thereby weakening, the metal of the tabs. In this manner, strength and rigidity is insured over a long period of time. As can be appreciated, such a lasting, rigid connection is of paramount importance in building constructions.
To increase the operating speed of the tool, and otherwise enhance its utility, the punch and bender are preferably actuated by a mechanism operated by a source of pressurized fluid.
THE DRAWINGS The invention, along with its objectives and advantages, will be best understood from consideration of the following detailed description in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a vertical section (with portions in elevation) of a portable tool constructed in accordance with the principles of the invention, and shows a punching operation of the tool;
FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the tool of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a rear elevation view of the tool of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a side elevation of the tool of FIG. 1, and shows a tab bending operation of the tool;
FIGS. 5 and 6 are respectively side elevation and end views of the bending element of the tool;
FIGS. 7 and 8 are respectively side elevation and end views of the punching element of the tool;
FIG. 9 is a plan view ofa die element employed in the tool of the invention;
FIG. 10 is a perspective view of an actuating arm of the tool, one of which is employed to impart linear motion respectively to the punch and bending elements; and
FIG. 11 is a plan view of peripherally spaced tabs as v punched in two superposed workpieces by the tool of the invention.
PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION In reference to the drawings, FIGS. 1 to 4 show a portable tool 10 of the invention capable of clamping, punching and bending tabs 12 in two or more superposed metal members 14, as shown in dash outline in FIGS. 1 and 4. More particularly, the tool 10 comprises a first (lower) L-shaped frame 16 having a barrel portion 18 supporting a punch 20 for movement therein. In the position of the tool depicted in FIGS. 1 to 4, the movement of the punch is vertical.
In a similar manner, a second (upper) L-shaped frame 22 includes a barrel portion 24 supporting a bending element 26 for movement therein, the axes of the barrel portions, and of the punch and bending element, being in vertical alignment (as shown in FIG. 1) when the frames are disposed in clamping engagement with the metal members 14.
The end of the barrel portion 24 adjacent the opposed barrel portion 18 is provided with a die 28 that is shown in FIG. 1 as an integral portion of the barrel 24 though the invention is not limited thereto. A separate die may be employed that is suitably attached to the end of the barrel 24.
The end of the barrel portion 18 facing the die 28, and the die, provide a closeable space 29 for receiving and clamping the metal members 14 therein.
The ends of the punch and bending elements 20 and 26 remote from the clamping space 29 are mechanically connected to the opposed ends of a rod 30 respectively by actuating arms 32 and 34, the arms being pivotally connected to the respective frames 16 and 22 by pins 36 and 38 respectively. The pins extend between and are supported in side wall portions 39 of each frame as best seen in FIG. 2. The arms pivot about the pins as explained in detail hereinafter. The ends of the arms adjacent the punch and bending elements engage the same witha rounded extension 41 thereof providing a bearing surface which seats in a corresponding curved recess 42 provided in the punch and bending element as best seen in FIG. 1. The other end of each of the arms 32 and 34 is bifurcated (FIG. 10) to form two extensions 43, the ends of which are enlarged and rounded to provide bearing surfaces for sliding movement in the openings 44 of hollow extensions 34 attached to the opposed ends of the rod 30. The axes of the openings 44 extend in a direction essentially perpendicular to the axis of the rod. 7
As shown in FIG. 1, the rod 30 extends through an opening 46 in the lower frame 16 and through an upper wall 47 which is an integral part of the upper frame 22. As seen from the view of FIG. 2, the wall 47 is a circular structure which forms the top wall of a chamber 48 for containing a pressurized fluid, the chamber being further defined by the wall of a cylinder 50 having an integral bottom wall 51. The upper end of the cylinder wall is attached to the upper wall 47 by bolts 49 (FIG. 2).
The wall portion on the right side of the cylinder 50 (FIG. 1) is provided with two openings 54 and 55 traversing the wall at locations adjacent the bottom and top respectively of the cylinder (and chamber 48), and at locations below and above a disc-shaped piston 56 attached to the rod 30. The piston is suitably sealed about the rod as well as within the cylinder for sliding movement therein. This latter sealing is provided, as shown in FIG. 1, by an 'O-ring 57 located within a peripheral groove 58 provided in the piston.
The chamber 48 is sealed about the rod 30 by bushings 59 and 60 located and sealed respectively in the upper and lower walls 47 and 51.
The wall portion of the cylinder 50 having the openings 54 and 55 is further provided with a flat exterior surface, preferably machined, to receive a flat valve plate 63 of a valve 62, the valve plate being suitably fixed to the flat surface of the cylinder. The valve is connected in fluid communication with the openings 54 and 55 provided in cylinder wall by passages 64 and 65 provided in a valve plate 63. The valve has a manually operative handle 66, and conduits 67 (FIGS. 2 and 3) which connect the valve plate, and thus the valve, to a source of pressurized fluid'(not shown).
As best seen in FIG. 1, the lower frame 16 is prpvided with an integral handle 68 which extends outwardly and downwardly from the rear of the tool 10. The handle and frame are pivotally attached to two integral projections 70 extending downwardly from the bottom wall 51 of the cylinder by a pin 69 extending through the frame 16 and through the projection, as best seen in FIGS. 3 and 4.
Attached to the integral projections 70 is a fixed handle 72 extending downwardly from the projections in substantial parallel relationship with the handle 68. The handle 72 is attached by bolts 73 (FIGS. 3 and 4) extending through two integral, spaced arm portions 74 of the handle and into the projections 70, the arm portions positioned astraddle the two projections 70, as best seen in FIG. 3. The handle 72 is provided with an outwardly facing hollow portion 72A for reasons explained hereinafter.
The lower frame 16 is further provided with two bosses 75 integral with and projecting outwardly from the sides of the lower frame, as best seen in FIG. 2. Beneath each of the bosses extends respectively the bevelled ends of two elongated bars 76, the bars extending to the rear of the tool through openings 77 in a housing 78, the housing being an integral part of the cylinder 50 at a location beneath the cylinder. The bars are mechanically connected respectively to two L- shaped links 80 by pins 81, the links, in turn, being coupled to. the fixed handle 72 by a pin 82 extending through and between the two links and through the handle 72. As best seen in FIG. 3, the lower portions of the two links are connected together by the upper, integral, T-portion 83 of a handle 84 extending outwardly between the handles 68 and 72. The links 80 and the handle 84 (with its upper T-portion 83) preferably form a single unitary structure. In FIG. 3, the handle 68 is shown cut away to expose the handles 72 and 84.
The handle 84 is shown resiliently connected to the arm portions '74 of the handle 72 by two coil springs 86 extending along the arm portions (beneath bolts 73) to the links 80. The ends of the springs are suitably respectively attached to the arm portions and links. Though two springs 86 are shown, only one may be used, the choice of one or two springs depending upon the spring parameters as manufactured, and the amount of bias desired on the bars 76 and handle 84.
At two diametrically opposed locations on the sides of the cylinder 50 are two integral projections 88, with tapped holes 89 therein, for receiving suitable threaded means to support the tool 10 in a working position, for example, in a position over a production line (not shown), for fastening together metal members on a mass production basis.
The punch 20 for the tool 10, as thus far described, has preferably three peripherally disposed, and spaced punching elements 90 at the end of the punch as shown in FIG. 7, the punching elements being bevelled at an angle to provide a cutting edge suitable for the metal to be punched thereby. The elements are spaced approximately degrees apart.
In a similar manner, one end of the bending element 26 of the tool is provided with three bending portions 92 peripherally spaced 120 apart, the bending portions having inclined surfaces as best seen in FIGS. 5 and 6 of the drawings.
The die 28, as employed in the invention, has a solid body portion comprised of three, 120 peripherallyv spaced integral wings 93, as best seen in FIG. 9, which are shown as an integral part of the barrel 24 of frame a 22 in FIGS. I and 4. The spaced wings provide similarly spaced openings 94 sized to accommodate the elements 90 of the punch 20, and the bending portions 92 of the bending element 26.
In the use and operation of the tool 10, the lower frame 16 (with its punch 20) is moved away from the upper frame 22 and the die 28 bymoving its handle 68 upwardly (as shown in phantom in FIG. 4), the frame 16 and handle 68 pivoting about pin 69, as indicated in phantom by 16' and 18' in FIG. 4. However, before the frame 16 can be moved, the bars 76 must be retracted from the bosses 75, as indicated by 76' in FIG. 4, against the bias of the spring 86 by pressing the handle 84 towards and into the hollow 72A of the handle 72. This translates the links 80 rearwardly of the tool to pull the bars 76 to the rear. With the bars retracted, the frame is free to move away from the frame 22. With the frames 16 and 22 moved apart, the tool is positioned about a workpiece, such as the two superposed mem bers 14 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 4.
With the tool 10 so positioned, the frame 16 is moved to have its barrel portion 18 engage the underside of the superposed members 14 by moving its handle 68 towards the handle 84 about the pivot pin 69. This movement brings the die 28 of the upper frame 22 and barrel 24 into engagement with the upper surface of the superposed members 14 as shown in FIG. 1. When this occurs the spring biased bars 76 return to their normal position beneath the bosses 75 of the frame 16 to lock the same and the frame 22 firmly in place against the metal members, the bosses moving against and past the bevelled surfaces of the bars as the frame 16 is moved into place. The barrel 18 and the die 28 engage the members 14 in the space 29 therebetween with a firmness sufficient to prevent their relative slipping when the members are punched and bent, as described hereinafter, the bars 76 engaging the bosses in the manner shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 4.
The metal members 14 are next punched by the punch 20 being moved into punching engagement with the members 14. This is accomplished by moving the handle 66 of the valve 62 to direct fluid, under suitable pressure, to the chamber 48 via the openings 55 and 65 in the cylinder wall valve plate 63. The fluid enters over the disc-piston 56 to force it and the rod 30 downwardly as shown in FIG. 1. The downward thrust of the rod 30 moves the punch actuating arm 33 downwardly about its pivot pin 36. This, in turn, moves the bearing extension 41. of the arm in an upward direction which moves the punch elements 90 into punching engagement with the members 14, the punch elements piercing the members as the elements move into the openings 94 of the die 28. The elements 90 of the punch, as operated in the manner just described, punch superposed tabs 12 in the members 14, which tabs extend in an upright direction essentially perpendicular to the plane of the members, as indicated in FIG. 1.
The punch 20 is next withdrawn from the die 28 and the punched members 14 while the bending portions 92 of the bender 26 are simultaneously moved through the die openings 94 to engage the tabs 12 as shown in FIG. 4. This is accomplished by moving the valve handle 66 of the valve 62 to admit the actuating fluid to the chamber 48 at locations beneath the piston 56 via openings 54 and 64 in the cylinder wall and valve plate 63 respectively. With the actuating fluid directed beneath the piston 56, the piston is moved upwardly (FIG. 4) thereby moving the rod 30 and the end of the bender actuating arm 34 in upward direction, the arm pivoting about pivot pin 38. This action moves the bender 26 in a downward direction so that its bending portions 92 engage the upstanding tabs 12 on the inside surfaces thereof to bend the tabs slightly in an outward direction, as shown in FIG. 4.
After the tab bending operation, the tool is removed from the punched members 14 by first pulling back the bars 76 from the bosses 75 by operation of the handle 84, as explained earlier, to free the frame 16, and then opening the clamping space 29 by moving the frame 16 away from frame 22, as shown by 16' and 18 in FIG. 4.
The punch elements 90 of the punch punch the tabs 12 in a superposed, circular, peripheral array leaving corresponding openings 96 in the members 14, as best seen in FIG. 11 of the drawings. The spaced peripheral array of tabs provides the connection formed thereby with a high strength characteristic.
The inclined surfaces of the bending elements 92 function to bend the superposed tabs 12 by an amount sufficient to lock the members 14 together, and thereby provide a rigid mechanical connection between the members. The bender, however, does not bend the tabs completely back upon the members from which the tabs were struck. In this manner, excessive working and thus weakening of the tab material is avoided thereby insuring the longevity of the strength and rigidity of the connection.
From the foregoing description it should now be apparent that a compact, portable tool 10 has been disclosed which is capable of first firmly grasping superposed metal members, and then punching and bending tabs therein to provide a long lasting, high strength connection between the members.
While the invention has been described in terms of preferred embodiments, the claims appended hereto are intended to encompass all embodiments which fall within the spirit and scope of the invention.
Having thus described my invention and certain embodiments thereof, I claim:
1. A portable tool for fastening together at least two superposed metal members by punching and bending together integral superposed tabs therefrom, the tool comprising a movable punch supported in a first frame,
a die having an opening for receiving said punch and mounted on a second frame, said first and second frames having a space therebetween forreceiving the superposed metal members,
a tab bending element movably mounted within said second frame, and having an inclined surface oriented for engagement with a tab punched in said superposed metal members by the said punch,
means connected to said punch and die frames for moving at least one of said frames toward the other frame to bring the frames, including said die, into respective clamping engagement with opposed surfaces of the superposed metal members in said space,
means connected to said punch for moving the same to punch integral, superposed tabs in superposed metal members in said space, and
means connected to said bending element for moving the same through the opening in said die to bend said tabs while said first and second frames remain in clamping engagement with the superposed metal members.
2. The tool of claim 1 in which the bending element bends the integral tab by an amount sufficient to provide a rigid mechanical connection between the superposed metal members but insufficient to weaken the metal of the tabs by the excessive working thereof.
3. The tool of claim 1 in which the punch includes at least three punch elements located in a circular array, and is adapted to punch the tabs in a corresponding circular, peripheral array.
4. The tool of claim 1 including means for locking the frames in clamping engagement with the superposed metal members.
5. The tool of claim 1 in which the means for moving at least one of the frames comprises a handle portion attached to the movable frame, and means pivotally connecting said handle portion and frame to the other frame.
6, The tool of claim 1 in which the means for moving the punch and bending elements includes two arms, means pivotally connecting said arms respectively to the frames of the punch and bending element intermediate the ends of said arms, with one of the ends of each arm respectively engaging the punch and bending element, and means connecting theother ends of said arms together to effect the simultaneous movement thereof.
7. The tool of claim 6 in which the means connecting the other ends of the arms together is a rod extending therebetween, and means adjacent each end-of said rod disposed in respective, slidable engagement with the ends of the arms.
8. The tool of claim 7 including a walled structure defining a chamber, and located between the ends of the arms connected together by the rod, a piston mounted within said chamber for reciprocal movement therein, the rod extending through said chamber, and connected to said piston for movement therewith, and means for directing a pressurized fluid to said chamber for effecting the movement of said piston and rod.
9. Means for effecting the simultaneous movement ofa punch and a bending element mounted for reciprocal, longitudinal movement within respective frames pivotally connected together for engaging and disengaging a workpiece, the means comprising two arms respectively pivotally connected to the frames intermediate the ends of said arms, with one end of each arm respectively engaging the punch and bending element, a walled structure defining a chamber, and located between the other ends of said arms, a rod extending through said chamber, and connecting the other ends of said arms together, a piston mounted for reciprocal movement within said chamber, and attached to said rod, and means for directing pressurized fluid to said chamber to effect the simultaneous movement of said piston and rod, and thus the simultaneous movement, of said arms, and said punch and bending element.