US 3831805 A
A portable container adapted to receive and support tool implements or the like therein in a predetermined organization. The container comprises a pair of box-like container sections each of which is open along one side but is otherwise completely closed. The container sections are hingedly secured to each other for swinging movements between open and closed positions to permit access into the chamber defined within the interior thereof, and a plurality of partitions are pivotally supported within the chamber and effectively divide the same into a plurality of compartments. Each partition and at least certain of the inner surfaces of the container are equipped with support means adapted to releasably secure a plurality of tool implements in an organized array within the container. A handle structure is recessed into at least one of the walls of the container in a manner such that a part of each handle structure is defined by each of the container sections which enables each such section to be supported when the container is carried, thereby relieving the hinge connection of the container sections and any latch mechanism associated therewith from asymmetrical stress.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Yonce l Aug. 27, 1974 PORTABLE TOOL CONTAINER OR THE LIKE  Inventor: Everett R. Yonce, 259 E. 12th St.,
Oakland, Calif. 94606 22 Filed: May 6,1971
21 Appl. No: 140,860
 US. Cl. 220/94 A, 206/373  int. Cl. A45c 11/26  lFieid of Search 224/45 R; 220/94 A, 23;
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,340,997 9/1967 McCready et al. 206/] Primary Examiner-William I. Price Assistant Examiner-John M. Caskie Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Joseph B. Gardner  ABSTRACT A portable container adapted to receive and support tool implements or the like therein in a predetermined organization. The container comprises a pair of boxlike container sections each of which is open along one side but is otherwise completely closed. The container sections are hingedly secured to each other for swinging movements between open and closed positions to permit access into the chamber defined within the interior thereof, and a plurality of partitions are pivotally supported within the chamber and effectively divide the same into a plurality of compartments. Each partition and at least certain of the inner surfaces of the container are equipped with support means adapted to releasably secure a plurality of tool implements in an organized array within the container. A handle structure is recessed into at least one of the walls of the container in a manner such that a part of each handle structure is defined by each of the container sections which enables each such section to be supported when the container is carried, thereby relieving the hinge connection of the container sections and any latch mechanism associated therewith from asymmetrical stress.
2 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures 54 l l I I a 7,. 2/ *i l j 56 .19 59 palzmiuw zmu INVENTOR:
'fi" E ATTORNEY EVERETT 1 PORTABLE TOOL CONTAINER OR THE LIKE This invention relates to container structure and, more particularly, to a portable container for tool implements and the like.
Mechanics and other similarly skilled workmen are required by the character or nature of their work to accumulate and have available for use rather large quantities of tools each of which has a specific use or purpose. Although it is common for the workman to keep and transport his tools in a container therefor, the usual container does not organize the tools in any particular order making them readily available. On the contrary, such known containers are for the most part boxes having a common chamber into which substantially all of the tools are placed so that one tool may be covered by others, thereby making its retrieval difficult.
A general object of the present invention is to provide an improved portable container adapted to receive therein a plurality of implements and support the same in a particular or predetermined organization. Another object of the invention is that of providing an improved portable tool container of the character described adapted to receive a plurality of mechanics tools or the like therein and support the same in an organized, pre determined manner.
Further objects, among others, of the present invention are in the provision of a tool container or the like of the character described having a casing formed of a pair of container sections each having an open side and being hingedly connected to each other for swinging movements between open and closed positions, having also a plurality of partitions hingedly supported within the chamber defined by the container sections and subdividing such chamber into a plurality of compartments, having a plurality of fastener or support means carried by the partitions on each side thereof and by certain of the walls of the container sections within the compartment so as to removably support tools and the like in a predetermined organization enabling the same to be readily seen or located and both removed and replaced with ease and facility, having support means associated with at least one of the partitions especially adapted for use with open end wrenches and the like to transfer the weight of such wrenches directly to the partition rather than through intermediate structure, and also having a recessed handle structure with portions thereof provided by each of the container sections so that each such section is supported directly when the container is carried which obviates asymmetrical loadings on the hinge structure interconnecting the two container sections and on latch means used to releasably secure the same in their closed position.
Additional objectsand advantages of the invention, especially as concerns particular features and characteristics thereof, will become apparent as the specification continues.
Embodiments of the invention are illustrated in the accompanying drawing, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a tool container embodying the present invention, the container being shown in a partially open position;
FIG. 2 is a transverse sectional view of the container taken along the line 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a modified container embodying the present invention, the container being illustrated in a closed position;
FIG. 4 is an enlarged, broken perspective view illustrating the details of any one of the handle structures forming a part of either of the containers respectively illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3, the view being taken along the line 44 of FIG. 3; and
FIG. 5 is a broken transverse sectional view taken along the line 5-5 of FIG. 3.
The embodiment of the invention illustrated in FIG. 1 is denoted in its entirety with the numeral 10, and it is in the form of a box-like structure comprised of substantially identical container sections 11 and 12 hingedly or pivotally interconnected for swinging movements between open and closed positions to provide access into a chamber 15. In more particular terms, the container 10 is a strong rigid structure adapted to support the relatively heavy weight (often between 50 pounds and pounds) of a workmans tools. Accordingly, the container is advantageously formed from a metal such as steel which offers a relatively high strength to weight ratio.
The container 10 comprises a casing having a plurality of walls defining the chamber 15, and consideraing each casing or container section, the section 11 includes a side wall 14, laterally spaced end walls 16 and 17, and longitudinally spaced top and bottom walls 19 and 20. For the most part, the container section 11 and various walls thereof may be formed or folded from a substantially planar metal sheet with the various walls being welded or otherwise rigidly interconnected at their lines of mergence. Since the container section 12 is substantially identical, it has a side wall 21, end walls 22 and 24, and top and bottom walls 25 and 26.
Each of the container sections 11 and 12 is open along one side thereof, and the container sections are pivotally interconnected along the end walls 17 and 24 by an elongated or piano-type hinge 27 for swinging movements between a completely closed position, as illustrated in FIG. 4, in which the open sides of the container sections are disposed in facing juxtaposition and a fully open position in which the open sides of the container section lie in generally the same plane with the end walls 17 and 24 in substantial facing abutment. The hinge 27 may be spot welded, riveted, or otherwise fixedly secured to the respectively associated end walls 17 and 24 of the container sections.
The container 10 in the form thereof shown is a geometric polyhedron and, more particularly, a hollow rectangular prism so that the chamber 15 is of substantial volume when the container sections are in their closed positions. The relatively large capacity chamber 15 enables the container to be equipped with a plurality of movable partitions disposed within the chamber 15, and in the container 10 such partitions comprise two in number and they are respectively denoted with the numerals 28 and 29. The partitions are for the most part planar components but are respectively equipped at the inner edges thereof with transversely turned flanges 30 and 31 pivotally secured to the respectively adjacent end walls 17 and 24 of the container sections by elongated piano-type hinges 32 and 34. As in the case of the hinge 27, the hinges 32 and 34 may be welded or otherwise fixedly secured to the respectively associated flanges of the partitions and end walls of the casing sections. It will be observed that the partitions 28 and 29 are reversely oriented in the sense that the flanges 30 and 31 thereof each face toward the hinge 27 so that each partition recesses slightly into the compartment (i.e., portion of the chamber 15) provided by the asso ciated container section. As a result, the partitions 28 and 29 define a compartment therebetween when the container is closed.
The container is adapted to receive and support articles therewithin such as the tools of a workman, a mechanic, for example. Accordingly, the container is provided within the chamber thereof with a plurality of fastener or support members respectively adapted to cooperate with a tool to support the same within a predetermined location specifically intended therefor. In FIG. 1, a very few typical support members are shown for exemplary purposes, and those illustrated take the form of a spring clip 35 of one type welded or otherwise fixedly secured to the side wall 14 of the container section 11, a second spring clip 36 of somewhat different construction similarly affixed to the side wall 21 of the container section 12, and spring clips 37 and 38 respectively mounted upon the partitions 28 and 29. The spring clip 38 on the partition 29 is disposed in substantially vertical alignment with an opening or recess 39 cut in the partition 29, and the spring clip 38 in cooperation with the recess 39 is adapted to support an end wrench such as the open end wrench 40 shown by broken lines in FIG. 1. It will be evident that one of the bifurcated legs at an end of the wrench 40 extends through the opening 39 and that the upper end portion of the wrench is fitted between the resilient legs of the support 38. As heretofore stated, a considerable number of supports or fasteners are provided within the chamber 14 along each of the side walls 15 and 21 and along each side of the two partitions 28 and 29, but only a few are shown for purposes of clarity of illustration. The fact that there are supports on each side of the partitions 28 and 29 is suggested by the opening 41 at the upper end of the partition 29 and the portion of a tool 42 extending therethrough.
Since the contents of the container 10 are very valuable, it is advantageous to prevent ready access into the interior thereof by unauthorized persons, and such prevention may take the form of a conventional latch and lock mechanism which is typified in FIGS. 1 and 2 by a latch 43 pivotally supported along the end wall 22 of the container section 12 and a receiver 43a mounted along the end wall 16 of the container section 11 in a position adapted to receive therein the usual projection provided for this purpose by the pivotal latch 43. A combination lock 43b is associated with the latch receiver 43a so as to prevent unauthorized separation of the latch 43 therefrom and entrance into the interior of the container. As respects the present invention, any suitable and conventional latch and lock arrangement may be used.
The container 10 is further equipped with handle structure recessed into one of the walls of the casing to enable the container to be manually gripped with relative ease for movement and transport. In FIG. 1, the handle structure is generally denoted in its entirety with the numeral 44, and generally stated it includes a longitudinally extending and inwardly projecting concave segment forming a recess adapted to receive the knuckles of a clenched hand, and it further includes a longitudinal handle spanning the recess and adapted to be gripped by such clenched hand. In more particular terms, and as seen best by comparing FIGS. 1 and 5 (the latter of which is tipped into a generally vertical orientation to more clearly illustrate components of the handle structure), the composite handle structure is formed in part by recess and handle elements respectively provided by the container sections 11 and 12 which are brought together for cooperative disposition when the container 10 is closed.
Referring to the container section 1 l, the top wall 19 thereof has an inwardly concave segment 45 of arcuate configuration defining, in cross section, a segment of a circle having an angular length approximating Along its outer edge the segment 45 is welded or otherwise rigidly attached to an edge 46 bordering one side of a relatively large opening 47 cut in the top wall 19. At each end, the arcuate segment 45 is formed integrally with or otherwise has attached thereto a closure wall 48 welded to the top wall 19 of the container section along an edge 49 of the recess 47. Thus, the concave segment 45 together with the closure walls 48 thereof forms a hand-receiving recess 50 that is closed along three sides.
Spanning the recess 50 in the longitudinal direction is a handle element 51 which may be formed integrally with the top wall 19 of the container section 11. That is to say, the opening 47 in the wall 19 may be struck or cut therefrom with the result that the released metal flap can be folded or bent downwardly along the edge 52 defining the border between the opening 47 and handle 51 to form the arcuate handle surface 54. The arcuate handle surface 54 generally corresponds in curvature and in angular extent to the concave segment 45 although it is spaced substantially therefrom to define the recess 50 therewith. The flap is then turned upwardly and outwardly at the edge of the curved surface 54 so as to return to the plane of the wall 19 to which it is then welded or otherwise fixedly secured along the edge 55. Consequently, the handle segment 51 is a hollow component forming a quadrant of a cylinder. Should the amount of metal struck from the wall 19 to form the opening 47 be greater than required to complete the hollow handle segment 51, the excess metal is simply cut off and discarded.
The container section 12 is similarly provided with a concave segment defining a recess and handle element spanning the same, and since the structural composition thereof is identical to that of the container section 11, as heretofore described, no further description thereof will be presented except to assign numerical designations to the various components. Thus, the concave segment is designated with the numeral 56, the associated end closures with the numeral 57, and the handle element with the numeral 58. The entire recess is denoted 59, and the opening in the wall 25 is designated 60, but no other elemental members are numerically identified.
Use of the container 10 is evident from the foregoing description, and it simply entails placement of the various tools or work implements within the supports provided therefor along each side of the partitions 28 and 29 and along each of the side walls 14 and 21. When the container is closed, it may be latched to prevent its opening by interconnection of the latch 43 with the receiver 43a, and if desired, the latch may be locked in place by manipulation of the lock element 43b to prevent unauthorized entry into the container. When opened, the container may be supported in the generally upright position illustrated in FIG. 1 or it may be disposed in a horizontal orientation with the side walls 14 and 21 being supported along the floor or other platform. The partitions 28 and 29 are movable in either such open position of the container to provide access to the tools within the various compartments defined within the chamber by the partitions. Since all of the tools or work implements supported within the con tainer 10 have a predetermined location, it is easy to keep the tools in order and to note when one or more might be missing so that steps can be taken to find and replace the same. Further, all of the tools comprising the contents of the container 10 are available for immediate use in that they are not buried or hidden beneath a pile of other tools as is frequently the case when ordinary tool boxes are employed. Still further, the support arrangement defined by the spring clips 38 and recesses 39 for the wrenches 40 not only maintain and present the wrenches in an organized array, but it makes the wrenches easy to remove and replace yet holds the same firmly. In this latter respect, substantially the entire weight of each wrench is borne directly by the partition 29 because each wrench rests upon the lower edge of the associated opening 39 so that the spring clip 38 need only grip the wrench with sufficient force to prevent it from falling outwardly from the partition about the pivot defined by the lower edge of the opening 39.
The handle structure 44 being defined in part by half sections respectively provided by the container sections 11 and 12 permits the container to be carried when closed by one hand without imparting unequal or inordinate stress on one or the other of the container sections and, therefore, on the hinge 27 interconnecting the same and on the latch assembly 43, 43a. As a result, each of the sections 11 and 12 tends to be supported as though it were the entire container even though both sections are supported at the same time in one hand. When the container 10 is open, however, the separate handle sections comprising the composite handle structure 44 permits each of the container sections to be lifted at the same time with the two hands of a workman so that the entire container can be shifted from place-to-place quickly and easily and with any danger of spilling or overturning the container so that it can be changed from location-to-location as desirable or necessary to make it more convenient to the workman.
A modified container 10 is illustrated in FIG. 3, and it differs from the container 10 only in the addition of a second handle structure and the location of the latch and lock assembly as a consequence thereof. In more particular terms, the additional handle structure 44" is disposed along the outer end walls 16 and 22' of the container sections 11' and 12' although the aforementioned handle structure 44' is retained along the top walls 19 and 25, as in the case of the container 10 heretofore described. Except for this inclusion of the additional handle structure 44" and shaft of position of the latch, latch receiver 43a and lock, the container 10 is essentially the same both in terms of structure and function as the container 10', and no further description of the modified container will be set forth, it being observed that the components of the modified container that correspond to components of the container illustrated in FIG. 1 are respectively denoted with the primed form of the same numerals. Thus, the modified container 10' has all of the advantages attributable to placement of the handle structure along the top of the container, as heretofore described with respect to the container 10, and it further has the advantages of better balance for longer carriage attributable to the location of the handle structure 44. As shown in FIG. 5, the construction of the handle structure 44' is substantially identical in all respects to the handle structure 44 shown most clearly in FIG. 4.
While in the foregoing specification embodiments of the invention have been set forth in considerable detail for purposes of making a complete disclosure thereof, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that numerous changes may be made in such details without departing from the spirit and principles of the invention.
What is claimed is:
l. A portable container for tools or the like, comprising: a casing formed of complementary container sections each having a side, end, and top and bottom walls defining a chamber therewithin; and each of said sections having an open side defined at corresponding edges of said top, bottom and end walls; means connecting said sections and operating to guide said sections to a closed position with said edges of one section meeting the corresponding edges of the other section; handle structure located entirely within and having a recess in corresponding walls of the sections and designed so as to be substantially flush with the outer surface thereof and enabling said container to be manually gripped for movement and transport; each said handleequipped wall having a longitudinally extending inwardly projecting concave segment extending from the recess and adapted to receive the knuckles of a clenched hand therein, and each said recess having also a longitudinally extending handle spanning same and provided with a curvilinear inner surface and adapted in the closed position of the container to be in parallel juxtaposition with each other and to be gripped by such clenched hand, said handles being substantially flush with the outer surface of the walls on which same are provided and being substantially flush with each other in the closed position of the container.
2. The container of claim 1 in which both of the recesses of the handle structure are located in the same side of the container, the end of said inwardly projecting segments remote from said recesses being positioned and formed to engage with each other and close the area within the segments from the interior of the container in the closed position of the latter.