US 3797291 A
A key system especially suited for encasing a multiplicity of different sized keys with facility, reducing their weight and bulk and with indicating means assuring the selectivity as circumstances require; and comprised of separable keys and a common head therefor with a releasable self-binding latch for manipulation of said keys respectively; and all of which reduces the keys to their minimum shank configurations containing the lock combinations and adapted to be stored in a case associated therewith and having individual pockets selected according to their relative size.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [191 Simorghi [451 Mar. 19, 1974 SEPARABLE KEY-HEAD LATCH AND CASE Parviz Simorghi, 10645 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, Calif. 90024 Filed: Aug. 14, 1972 Appl. No.: 280,658
Us. cl 70/395, 70/408, 70/456 R Int. Cl E05b 19/04 Field of Search 70/395, 408, 456 R, 393
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,349,589 lO/l967 'Fricke 70/395 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS 24,138 3/1927 France: ..70/408 Primary ExaminerRobert L. Wolfe Attorney, Agent, or Firm-William H. Maxwell [5 7] ABSTRACT A key system especially suited for encasing a multiplicity of different sized keys with facility, reducing their weight and bulk and with indicating means assuring the selectivity as circumstances require; and comprised of separable keys and a common hea'd therefor with a releasable self-binding latch for manipulation of said keys respectively; and all of whichrecluces the keys to their minimum shank configurations containing the lock combinations and adapted to be stored in a case associated therewith and having individual pockets selected according to their relative size.
9 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures SEPARABLE KEY-HEAD LATCH AND CASE BACKGROUND The usual key for the lock is an elongated metal article comprised ofa shank and a head. The shank and head are joined by a neck which may or may not be narrowed, and all of which are integrally formed of a substance metal such as brass and in some instances steel or other metals. For example, keys tend to be heavy in which case light weight metal such as aluminum is used in their formation. Thus, suchkeys which vary in size also vary in the configuration of both the shanks and heads, but in any case become cumbersome and difficult to handle and to identify when accumulated together in multiplicity. For instance, a key ring with a substantial number of keys thereon is space consuming, rather heavy, and detrimental to furnishings into which it necessarily comes into contact. ,That is, approximately half the bulk and weight of a usual key is the head, and the hard nature of the heavy metals used is damaging to the fabrics of clothing and as well to the decorative surfaces which are invariably contacted. Furthermore, key identification out of an aggregation of keys can be difficult, since keys often have an undefinable similarity in appearance. Therefore, it is an object of this invention to provide for separability of the basic key element from the head element thereof so as to effect a commensurate reduction in bulk and weight while increasing utility with a correlated case which advantageously employs a head which is universally applicable to all of the key shanks prepared therefor. 3 1
FIELD OF INVENTION I There is a variety of key designs and configurations and the art is well developed in its supply of various key blanks which fit into the tumblers of locks so as to activate them into and out of opening positions. Not only does the size vary widely but also the cross sectional configuration of the shanks. It is an object therefore to provide for key head separability which is universally applicable to most all keys. With the present invention, any key shankor blank of more than a predetermined minimum thickness can beprocessed to have the necessary coupling configuration required, and/or specially prepared key blanks having said thickness and coupling configurations can be provided.
An object of the present invention is to provide a universally applicable latch for joining key shanks to a head adapted to be manipulated in the usual manner. With the present invention, freedom and separability of the key-head combinationis accomplished with the shifting of a latch button, while the drive capability of With the present invention there is no danger of accidental separation during key extraction.
It is still another object of this invention to provide a key-head and case combination which involves these three cooperative elements, there being a multiplicity of the first mentioned key elements which vary in size and which are removably insertable in identified pockets of graduated size adapted to be associated with the key sizes respectively. With the present invention the keys per se are pocketed so as to lie flat and thereby occupy a minimum of space in this respect.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to keys for locks and facilitates the handling and/or carrying of a multiplicity of keys in an ordinary manner and within a confined space. The size and shape of keys vary greatly, and it is the head portion of the key which aggrevatesbulk and weight. Consequently, the aggregation of a. number of keys usually results in a cumbersome arrangement, as and when they are arranged upon chains, rings or within holders and cases; and it is these characteristics which are objected to and which are obviated to by the present invention that involves the separation of the key shank S from thekey head H and that advantageously utilizes a latch means L that relatively couples male and female members for the transmissionof rotative torque. Practicality resides in the'separable key, as it is disclosed herein, due to the reduction in size and weight and all of which makes feasible the cooperative case C' combined therewith" and havingpockets accommodating the individually identified key shanks S. As is shown, there is one head H adapted to receive any one of said key shanks S for its subsequent manipulation in a lock (not shown).
DRAWINGS The various objects and features of this invention will be fully understood from the following detailed description of the typical preferred forms and applications thereof, throughout which description reference is made to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the separable keyhead and cooperative case of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is an enlarged exploded view illustrating the separation of the key and head.
FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2 showing the cooper ative assembly of one of the keys and the head that is common thereto.
FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken as indicated by lin 4-4 on FIG. 3, and i g vFIG. 5 is an enlarged sectional view taken as indicated by lines 5--5 on FIG. 3.
PREFERRED EMBODIMENT There is a wide variety of key shapes, each characterized by a shank S and a head joined by a neck N. The Y tend into the base, beyond the normal plane of stop shoulder 10, and typically enter into the neck N as shown. The head (not shown) of the ordinary or original key is an enlarged flat sided member adapted to prehensile manipulation between the thumb and finger of a person's hand,'and it is this head which is eliminated and/or modified so as to establish the cooperative features of the anchor A later described. Dependent upon design, the shank S and anchor A of the key are joined by the neck N which may or may not be reduced or indented; but in any case the anchor A continues from the neck and is of reduced size as shown. Thus, the key of the present invention is characteristically a flat article with the extended anchor of reduced cross section and all of which is disposed in a modified key or a specially made key. That is, this invention lends itself to versatility in the use of old as well as new keys, and either of which are adapted to be used with a common key head H. Disregarding the flatpattern shape of an ordinary key, the anchor A is substantially reduced in cross section compared with the cross section of the neck N so as to present a stop shoulder 21. A profile cutter of the type commonly employed to cut key combinations to shape can be employed to shape the two half breadths of the anchor A as shown, the profiling operation being repeated along opposite sides so as to shape the opposite half breadths along a central axis a.
The thickness of usual keys varies nominally from 0.060 to 0.125 of an inch, and consequently a uniform thickness for the coupling member of shank S is limited to the minimum thickness of 0.060 and to this end a straddle cutter (not shown) is operated there-over so as toreduce the thickness of heavy keys to a uniform size adapted to cooperate with a socket in the head H as latter described. 1
Referring now to the latch means L, a releasable snap-together connection is to be desired, and to this end a male and female joinder of anchor A to head H is established by means of a sliding bolt 40 carried by th head and which forcibly engages the anchor A. The anchor A is comprised of a male member projecting from the base and/or neck N of shank S accommodated in a complementary female socket 30 recessed in the head H. These two complementary features 20 and 30 are slideably fitted one into the other for releasable engagement. The male coupling member 20 is essentially a driven member that projects from shoulder 21 of the neck N. Shoulder 21 is in a transverse plan normal to the sides and axis a of the shank S and from which the member 20 projects rearwardly.
The member 20 is a longitudinally extended barshaped member with spaced opposite and parallel edges 22 and is characterized by flat and opposite parallel sides 23. The terminal end 24 is preferably of rounded semi-circular configuration and in accordance with the invention the opposite edges 22 are provided with aligned indentations 25 adapted to engageably receive the sliding bolt '40. In practice, the indentations 25 are concaved semi-circular depressions having a radial depth substantially less than the radius forming the circular arc thereof. As is clearly shown, the edges 22 of anchor A slideably engage with top and bottom walls 31 and 32 of socket 30, and the sides 23 thereof slideably engage with side walls 33 formed in the head H and by its cover 50. The bottom of socket is closed by a convexly rounded semi-circular configuration or seat '34, and all to the end that the male key member firmly seats in the female socket. The bar-shaped member 20 can be reduced in thickness if so required between sides 23 thereof when the shank S is heavier than the nominal dimension required for fitting into the complementary female coupling socket 30.
The female socket 30 is essentially a driving socket that extends into the front face of the head H. In carrying out this invention, the head H and the cover 50 are bodies of structurally rigid material which embrace the said member 20 when in coupling engagement therewith. As shown, the front face 35 is flat and the female socket enters therein with a seat 34 to have firm seated engagement with the end 24 of the male member.
In accordance with the invention the latch means L comprises the bolt and spring means that yieldingly urges the bolt into pressured engagement with the male member 20 of the key shank S. The bolt 40 is slideably carried in a guideway that diverges from axis a and extends tangentially away from the above described indentations 25 (when in latched position) and rearwardly from said front face 35 of the head. It is preferred that the bolt and guideway be rectangular in cross sectional configuration, and the arcuate extent of the indentation 25 and/or tangency angle of bolt 40 and guideway 55 can be 30, as shown. The forward end or nose 41 of the bolt 40 is rounded on a radius complementary to the aforementioned radius of indentation 25 and thereby presents a convexed semi-circular nose 41 that enters the guideway 55 and having a radial depth equal to that of said indentation and with an arcuate circular face coextensively engageable with the concaved surface of said indention. In practice, the dual or opposite indentions in the key shank renders the key reversible in the socket 30.
The bolt 40 is reciprocably movablein the guideway 55, the top wall 56 of the guideway presenting an inclined bearing face for the bolt. The wall 56 extends laterally and rearwardly from the opening thereof into the socket 30, and to the end that the convex nose 41 projects so as to intercept the indention 25 of the key shank. The rear end of bolt 40 is pressed forwardly by a compression spring means 45, preferably a U-shaped spring captured in a lateral recess 46 at the rear end of guideway 55. The forward and rearward movement of bolt 40 is limited by a button 42 at the exterior of head H and that is carried on a stem 43 projecting from the bolt and through a slot 44 in the side of the head. Thus, entry of the male member 20 into the female socket 30 retracts the bolt 40 until the nose 41 thereof returns forwardly and enters into engagement with indention 25, whereupon the nose 41 is in locked position to fully occupy said indention.- Extraction force applied to the key shank then causes the bolt 40 to bear upon the guideway wall 56 and which inherently wedges the bolt tightly between the head and shank. Thus, it is a selfbinding action which, with the spring pressure, assures a tight fitting assembly.
In carrying out this invention, an identifying snubber is provided and is carried on the shank S so as to facilitate selection of the desired key and so as to assure tightness of the lock means L. As shown, the identifying snubber 100 is a surrounding collar that is frictionally held onto the shank S against the shoulder 21. The collar is made of rubber or plastic material which has memory and is adapted to be depressed or deformed to a substantial degree when forced against the front face 35 of the head H. Although not shown, the various collars are molded in distinguishable colors which afford a means of identification when applied to individual keys. When the coupled engagement isestablished as shown in FIG. 3, the shank S is held tensioned against the latch means L.
In accordance with the invention, the case C isa folder of pliant supple material such as leather of the like, with one or more tapered multi-pocket members 60 with dividers 61 that establish individual key pockets of varied length. A strap 62 extends transversely of the folder at the hinge line, there being two complementary halves that fold flatly together, or open as a book as shown. The common head H for the multiplicity of varied keys is coupled to th'ecase by a chain64 or the like that passes through the strap 62 and through an eye in the head. i
' From the foregoing it will be seen that l have .provided a coupling means that is universally applicable to substantially all keys whether made especially for this.
purpose or modified tobe' so used. It is a simplematter to extract an identifiable key shank S, to forcibly insert the same into the head H, and to subsequently manipulatethe same in a lock, all as circumstances require.
Having described only a typical preferred form and application of my invention, 1 do not wish to be limited or restricted to the specific details herein set forth, but wish to reserve to myself any modifications orvariations that may appear to those skilled in the art.
l. A self-binding latch for a separable key shank and head therefor and comprising axially and slideably disengageable male and female coupling members, there being a lateral depression in the male member, there being a lateral guideway in the female member and disof the male member in saidfemale member.
4. The latch for a separable key shank and head therefor as set forth in claim 1, wherein the lateral depression in the male member is semi-circular, and wherein the retractable bolt is shiftably carried by the female member in a line of motion parallel to the tangency of said semi-circular depression.
5. The latch for a separable key shank and head therefor as set forth in claim 1, wherein the lateral depression in the male member is semi-circular and curved to extend longitudinally, and wherein the retractable bolt has a rounded nose complementary to and coextensively engageable with said lateral depression and disposed divergently parallel to the tangency posed acutely divergent with respect to the sliding mo- I tion between said members, there being a laterally retractable sliding bolt shiftably carried in the guideway and engageable in said lateral depression and with spring means opposing retraction thereof, and manually engageable means to retract said bolt.
2. The latch for a separable key shank and head therefor as set forth in claim 1 wherein the male and female members are elongated with minimal clearance adapted to slideably fit one into the other, the male member having a nose complementary to and seatable 7 onto a bottom in the female member.
3. The latch for separable key shank and head therefor as set forth in claim 1 wherein the retractable bolt is slideably carried in the a guideway disposed divergently at an acute angle with respect to sliding motion of said semi-circular depression.
6. The latch for a separable key shank and head therefor as set forth in claim 1 wherein the male and female coupling members are of rectangular cross section, the retractable bolt having a flat wall faced away from the male member and engaged with an opposing wall of the a guideway carrying said bolt and disposed divergently at an acuteangle with respect to sliding motion of the male member in said female member.
- 7. The latch for a separable key shank and head therefor as set forth in claim 1, wherein the male and female coupling members are of rectangular cross section, wherein the lateral depression in the male member is semi-circular, and wherein the retractable bolt has a flat wall faced away from the male member and engaged with an opposing wall of the a guideway in the female member shiftably carrying said bolt in a line of motion parallel to the tangency of said semicircular depression and disposed divergently at an acute angle with respect to sliding motion of the male member in said female member.
8. The latch for a separable key shank and head therefor as set forth in claim 1, wherein the male and female coupling members are of rectangular cross section, wherein the lateral depression in the male member is semi-circular and curved to extend longitudinally, and wherein the retractable bolt has a rounded nose complementary to and coextensively engageable with said lateral depression and has a fiat wall faced away from the male member and engaged, with an opposing wall of the guideway in the female member shift-- ably carrying said bolt in a line of motion parallel to the tangency of said semi-circular depression and disposed divergently at an acute angle with respect to sliding motion of the male member in said female member.
9. The latch for a separable key shank and head therefor as set forth in claim 1, wherein the male and female members are elongated to slideably interengage in stopped relation with spaced opposed faces, and wherein a snubber collar of depressibly resilient material is carried by one of said members and disposed compressibly between said spaced opposed faces.