US 3825226 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
ited States Patent 1 Appleman [451 July 23, 1974 STAPLE REMOVER  Inventor: James D. Appleman, 4 Filbert St., Hanover, Pa. 17331  Filed: Jan. 18, 1973  Appl. N0.: 324,765
 US. Cl. 254/28  Int. Cl. B25c 11/00  Field of Search 254/28; 145/61 C  References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 775,856 11/1904 Ranck 254/28 1,160,568 11/1915 Bottle 1,802,687 4/1931 Vrana 2,375,942 5/1945 Palmer..... 3,587,121 6/1971 Morrow 254/131 Primary Examiner-Al Lawrence Smith Assistant Examiner--Robert C. Watson Attorney, Agent, or Firm-C. Hercus Just [5 7 ABSTRACT A staple remover having handle and a shank terminating in a sharply tapered tip which at its extremity is substantially semi-circular in plan view to facilitate insertion beneath the cross member of an inserted staple, the lower surface of the tapered tip portion being gradually curved to form a progressive fulcrum engageable with an article from which a staple is being removed by rocking said curved surface thereon. The upper surface of the extremity of said tip portion also is offset downwardly to provide a stop shoulder for engagement by the cross member of a staple to limit insertion of said tip and also increase the sharpness of said extremity and thereby facilitate the insertion thereof beneath such cross member of a staple.
1 Claim, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTED 3.825.226
n In. Ill. MW
STAPLE REMOVER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION U-shaped staples are used for many purposes to secure various sheet-type objects togetherfln addition, however, staples are also widely used to secure various thin objects to an article such as, for example, attaching textile or similar material to frames of furniture in upholstery operations. Also, decorative material frequently is connected to supporting surfaces by the use of staples when the supporting surface is of such nature that it is capable of receiving the opposite legs of a staple, whereby wood, composition board, and various other substances frequently are used as supporting surfaces.
Especially in certain occupations, such as upholstering furniture, it becomes necessary to remove the staple to disconnect olf material from a supporting surface such as a frame of an article of furniture. Normally, such staples are firmly embedded in such supporting frame or the like and it is difficult to insert a tool, such as a screwdriver or the like, beneath the cross member of such staples when attempting to remove the same from the supporting member. Accordingly, a number of attempts have been made heretofore to provide tools which can be inserted beneath the cross member of the staples and be operated to pry the same from the article in which the staples are embedded. Examples of prior patent pertaining to such tools are as follows.
U.S. Pat. No. 2,563,227, to Emory, dated Aug. 7, I951, showsone example of tool in which a relatively blunt, tapered prong projecting forwardly from a handle is adapted to be inserted beneath a staple and a laterally extending fulcrum extends from opposite sides of said prong to facilitate the removal of a staple by first extracting one leg thereof and then shifting the tool to extract the opposite leg of the staple. Due to the bluntness of the-inserting point, insertion of the same beneath the cross member of a staple would appear to be difficult. Further, the fulcrums area substantial distance rearwardly from' the bluntly tapered forward end of the tool, whereby fulcrumming appears to be inefficient from a mechanical standpoint.
U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,583,673, issued June 8, 1971, and
3,698,689, issued Oct. 17, 1972, both in the name of adapted to serve as insertion-limiting means when introducing the prong beneath a cross member of a U- shaped staple. Due to the fulcrum being located a substantial distance rearwardly from the prong end of the tool, operating the tool about said fulcrum also appears to be inefficient from a mechanical standpoint.
The inefficiencies and other shortcomings of the tools shown in said aforementioned patents are obviated by the present invention in which various improvements, setforth in detail hereinafter, are included, not only for purposes of facilitating the insertion of the forward tip of the tool beneath the cross member of a staple, but also improve the fulcrumming action of the tool incident to withdrawingthe staple completely from an article in which the same is embedded.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is the principal object of the present invention to provide a staple removing tool comprising a handle from which a metal shank extends at one end, the
shank terminating in a sharply tapered staple engaging and lifting end, said end not only being sharply tapered in side elevation but, in plan view, also having side edges tapering outwardly toward each other at a relatively sharp angle, the terminal extremity of said tapered end being substantially semi-circular in plan view to facilitate insertion of the sharp terminal extremity beneath the cross member of a staple, the lower surface of said tapered lifting end of the remover also being gradually curved convexly to provide a gradually shifting fulcrum engagable with the surfacr of surface object from which the staple is being withdrawn, whereby a short lever arm operates during the initial portion of the withdrawing operation and the actual fulcrum for the tool progessively moving rearwardly as such fulcrumming proceeds, resulting in ready and complete withdrawal of the staple with a minimum consumption of effort.
It is another object of the invention to offset the upper surface of at least the semi-circular tip portion of the lifting end of the tool to further sharpen the tip end to facilitate insertion beneath the cross member of a staple, said offset portion terminating in a short, perpendicular shoulder serving as a stop when inserting said terminal tip beneath thecross member of a staple, thereby minimizing the possibility of gauging the surface of the article from which the staple is being removed due to accidental extensive projection of the sharp tip of the tool beneath the cross member of the staple in a direction to dig into the surface of the article which contains the staple.
A further object of the invention is to provide on the shank of the tool a gradually curved and broadened fmger-engaging-surface on the upper surface thereof to permit the operator to exert substantial force upon the shank of the tool without any appreciable indentation of the shank into the finger of the operator, for example.
Details of the foregoing objects, and of the invention, as well as other objects thereof, are setforth in the following specification and illustrated in the accompanying drawing comprising apart thereof.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING of the tip portion of the tool shown in FIGS. I-3 as seen along the line'-4-4 of FIG. 2.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION The staple removing tool which embodies the principles of the present invention is shown in operative posi tion in FIG. l'with respect to an article from which a staple is in process of being extracted or removed. The tool comprises a handle 10 which preferably is cylindrical and may, for example, be'similar in shape and size to the types of handles commoningly employed on screw drivers. The handle 10 is of such shape that it may comfortably be held in the hand 12 of an operator and, for example, may include an annular recessed portion 14 within which, for example, the tip of the thumb 16 of the operator may be disposed to facilitate positioning the handle 10 within the hand 12 of the operator.
Projecting from the forward end of the handle 10 is a metal shank 18 which, for example, is formed from a cylindrical rod. lntermediately of the ends thereof. however, the upper surface of the shank 18 is depressed, such as by simple forging operation, to provide a gradually curved finger-receiving surface 20 which at least at the deepest portion thereof is broader than the shank 18, thus providing a more comfortable surface to be engaged by the finger of the operator.
The shank 18 terminates in a tapered staple-engaging and lifting end 22 which, as will be seen in FIGS. 1 and 3 in particular, is gradually curved toward the terminal extremity 24 thereof. Such gradually curved surface 26, which is best shown in detail in FIG. 3, provides a progressive fulcrum surface which is operable in a manner described hereinafter. Said curved surface extends substantially from adjacent the forward end of the finger-receiving surface 20, to within a very short distance of the terminal extremity 24. Preferably, the terminal extremity 24, on its lower surface, is relatively flat, as best shown in FIG. 4 in somewhat exaggerated manner.
From FIGS. 1, 3, and 4', it will be seen that, in side elevation, the end 22 of the tool is sharply tapered and is defined by upper and lower surfaces which extend at a sharp angle to each other, not substantially in excess of l, as shown in exemplary manner in FIG. 4. Such a sharp angle, as can be visualized in exemplary manner in FIG. I, greatly facilitates the insertion of the terminal extremity 24 of the tool beneath the cross member 28 of a staple as shown in said figure. Under such circumstances, the axis of the main portion of the shank 18 of the tool is disposed at an angle of approximately 20 to the surface 30 of an article from which the staple is being removed. In the event the staple cross member 28 is somewhat embedded in the surface 30, it may be that a somewhat greater angle will have to be imposed upon the shank 18 relative to surface 30, especially to establish initial insertion of the terminal extremity 24 beneath said cross member. Further, although the angle of approximately between the upper and lower surfaces of the staple and engaging lifting end 22 provides a very sharp tip, it nevertheless also provides adequate strength in said tip portion to resist bending incident to prying and withdrawing a staple from an article in which it is embedded.
From FIG. 2, it also will be seen that the tapered end 22 of the tool also is tapered in plan view. The taper is relatively sharp and the opposite sides of said end 22 preferably are disposed at an angle to each other of approximatley 12. However, while this angle is relatively optimum, said angle may vary, for example, between about 10 and This arrangement provides sturdiness to the tip of the tool and also affords a gradual broadening of the width'to facilitate the removal of staples under certain circumstances, especially after the staple has been partly withdrawn from an article.
Another important feature of the invention resides in the fact that the terminal extremity 24, in plan view, is substantially semi-circular, as shown best in FIG. 2. This arrangement greatly facilitates the initial introduction of the terminal extremity of the tapered end beneath the cross member 28 of a staple, due to the fact that the outermost surface portion of said semi-circular extremity offers only a very small width of the tool to the cross member 28 but said width rather rapidly increases as said initial insertion progresses. Such insertion also is of such nature that it offers only very limited, if any substantial possibility of damage to the surface 30, during such insertion operations.
Further to facilitate the insertion of the terminal cxtremity 24 beneath the cross member 28 of a staple. it will be seen that the upper surface 32 of the semicircular terminal extremity 24 is offset downwardly, as
best seen in FIG. 4, such as by grinding away said upper surface in a manner to very substantially increase the sharpness of the angle between the surface 32 and the lower surface of the terminal extremity 24, as viewed in FIG. 4. As a result, the angle between these two surfaces is approximately of the order of about 5 or 6. In addition however, and importantly, such offseting of the upper surface 32 results in the formation of a short, substantially perpendicular shoulder 34 which serves as a stop to limit the insertion of the terminal extremity 24 beneath the cross member 28 of a staple, especially when initially being inserted under said cross member. The arrangement also is such that the sharper angle afforded by the offset surface 32 will facilitate the initial insertion of said semi-circular terminal extremity but, in normal operation, the initial insertion will extend to engagement of the cross member 28 of a staple with the shoulder 34, where the terminal extremity is sufficiently strong to readily resist bending incident to fulcrumming the extremity 24 such as by rocking the tool upon the gradually curved lower surface 26 thereof. As readily can be visulized especially from FIG. 1, such initial fulcrumming occurs by a portion of the curved surface 22 adjacent the terminal extremity 24 initially being brought into operation, followed by gradual movement of the fulcrum engagement of surface 26 with surface 30 rearwardly from the terminal extremity 24. The curved surface 26 also is so arranged in axial direction with respect to the terminal extremity 24 that by the time the encircling fingers around the handle of the tool are in engagement with the surface 30, the movement of the terminal extremity 24 away from the surface 30 will be sufficient to completely withdraw the entire staple from the article in which it has been embedded.
From the foregoing, itll be seen that the staple removing tool embodying the principals of the present invention is relatively simple, quite inexpensive to produce and involves only simple and common manufacturing operations but, very importantly, is provided with a very sharp but damage-restricting terminal extremity to facilitate the initial insertion thereof beneath the cross member of a staple, followed by a gradually curved lower surface on the tool serving as a fulcrum which progressively moves rearwardly from an initial position in which a relatively short lever arm is provided to effect initial dislodgement of the staple from the article in which it is embedded and successively provides a gradually lengthing lever arm between the fulcrum and the terminal extremity of the tool as the continued removal of the article progresses and becomes easier, thereby affording maximum efficiency in the operation. Downward offsetting of the upper surface of the terminal extremity of the tool also provides a very sharp entry tip for introduction beneath the cross member of the staple, coupled by providing a short stop shoulder capable of being engaged by the cross member of the staple to limit insertion of the terminal extremity of the tool therebeneath until sufficient withdrawal of the staple makes it possible to insert more rearward portions of the tapered end of the tool beneath the cross member of the staple.
While the invention has been described and illus trated in its several preferred embodiments, it should be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the precise details herein illustrated and described since the same may be carried out in other ways falling within the scope of the invention as illustrated and described.
1. A staple remover comprising in combination, a handle, a metal shank projecting from one end of said handle and terminating in a staple engaging and lifting end tapering in both plan and side elevations, said end having side edges which are sharply tapered and defined by the opposite edges of slightly curved upper and lower surfaces which are disposed at an angle to each other not substantially exceeding about and said lifting end in plan view being substantially wider than the thickness of said end to provide a relatively broad end having side edges tapering outwardly toward each other at an angle not substantially exceeding about 12, the terminal extremity of said lifting end being substantially semicircular in plan view and sharp at the tip to adapt said end to be slid under the cross member of a staple mounted upon an article in which the legs are embedded to dispose at least the sharp tip of the terminal extremity of said end thereunder, the lower surface of said lifting end being gradually curved convexly from said shank substantially to approximately midway of the length of said tapered side edges of said lifting end, said curved lower surface merging at its forward end with a short substantially flat surface portion extending rearwardly from the terminal extremity of said lifting end and disposed at an angle of approximately 20 to the axis of said shank, thereby to afford a curved fulcrum surface of appreciable length upon which said remover may be rocked while the fulcrum point progressively moves rearwardly from said terminal extremity and thereby provides a relatively short lever arm during the initial withdrawing action of a staple'from an article and followed by gradual lengthening of said lever arm to increase the withdrawing movement of the staple as fulcrumming of said shank continues, said tapered end of said remover being offset downwardly from the rearwardly extending portion of said upper surface of said lifting end of said remover to a level substantially midway between the upper and lower surfaces of said lifting end and thereby further increase the sharpness thereof by decreasing the angle between said upper and lower surfaces to substantially less than 10 and thereby further facilitate the slidable positioning of said terminal extremity beneath the cross member of a staple, the rearward portion of said offset surface-of said terminal extremity being defined by a short substantially perpendicular shoulder operable to engage said cross member of a staple and limit the insertion of said terminal extremity beneath said cross member of a staple at least during the initial insertion and lifting of a staple from said article, and said shank being provided with a grad ually curved and broadened finger-engaging surface on the upper surface of said shank rearwardlyof the portion thereof upon which said curved fulcrumming surface is provided.