US 3832754 A
A gravity actuated hinged mounting for a door comprises two or more hinges which individually have the appearance of conventional butt hinges, but the several hinges in each mounting are individually different so that their respective pivot axes define the hinge axis of the door along a line which is inclined to the vertical. This result is accomplished by construction of the individual hinges to locate their respective knuckle portions in laterally spaced vertical planes and by constructing the complementary pivot members which connect each pair of knuckle portions to provide for relative rocking movement of the knuckle portions as the door swings on its inclined axis.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
I Unlted States Patent 1 1111 3,832,754
Maertin et a1. Sept. 3, 1974 [5 GRAVITY ACTUATED HINGED DOOR 721,738 3/1903 Peay 16/152 MOUNTING 1,338,209 4/1920 Bruber 16/52 X 1,563,154 11/1925 Brager et al.7 16/152 X 1 Inventors: Klaus Paul Maerfin, 10 Weerroona 1,944,386 1/1934 Winslow 16/152 Ave., Elanora Heights, New South 2,619,673 12/1952 Evans 16/153 X Wales, Australia 2101; Stewart 3,134,134 5/1964 McCubbin 16/153 Cecil Combs, 32 Forestville Ave., Forestville, New South Wales, Primary Examiner-Francis K. Zugel Australia 2087 Assistant Examiner-Peter A. Aschenbrenner  Filed: July 14, 1972 Attorney, Agent, or FzrmB1ebel, French & Bugg  App]. No.: 271,677 57 ABSTRACT A gravity actuated hinged mounting for a door com-  Foreign Application Priority Data prises two or more hinges which individually have the Aug. 11, 1971 Australia 5864/71 appearance of Conventional butt hinges, but the Aug. 26, 1971 Australia 605 7 71 era] hinges in eaeh mounting are individually different Oct. 26, 1971 Australia 6791 71 1 that their respective P axes define the hinge axis of the door along a line which is inclined to the verti- 52 US. Cl 16/152, 16/171, 16/136 ThiS result is accomplished y construction of the 51] Int. Cl E05t 1/06 individual hinges to locate their respective knuekle  Field 61 Search 16/152-155, Ponions in laterally spaced vertical Planes and y 171 13 structing the complementary pivot members which connect each pair of knuckle portions to provide for 5 References Cited relative rocking movement of the knuckle portions as UNITED STATES PATENTS the door swings on its inclined axis. 86,658 2/1869 Farmer 16 152 5 Claims, 8 Drawing Figures LQII PATENTED I974 3.832.754
srm 1m 2 FIG-l PATENTED 1974 3,832,754
SHEET 8 OF 2 GRAVITY ACTUATED HINGED DOOR MOUNTING CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS Reference is made to our copending US. applications Ser. No. 159,463, filed July 2, 1971, and Ser. No. 271,678, filed July 14, 1972 filed of even date herewith.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to door hinges, and more particularly to hinges used on self-closing or self-opening doors in rebated door frames.
Various types of self-actuating door hinges are known, such as rising butt hinges, torsion spring hinges, and cam plate and roller hinges. These hinges generally suffer from various drawbacks, inasmuch as they require a gap at least at a top portion of the door adjacent the frame (for gravity actuated types), or they are complicated mechanisms which are expensive to manufacture, or both. Spring-loaded hinges themselves are unsuitable for many installations due to the force imparted by the spring to assure effective and complete closing of the door. Similarly, many such hinges are subject to frequent mechanical failures and require considerable maintenance. Further, they may deteriorate when exposed to the elements, making them unsuitable for exterior applications.
Our above application Ser. No. 159,463, now abandoned discloses self-closing hinged mountings which utilize two hinges mounted respectively above and below the corners of the door. Those mountings are entirely satisfactory from the standpoint of effectiveness of operation, but they have found limited commercial application, for a variety of reasons. For example, they are limited to use at the top and bottom corners of the door, and theyv cannot incorporate an intermediate hinge, which is contrary to accepted standards in the United States. They also require special fabrication of the door and the frame. Perhaps the most important reason is that they have a distinctively different appearance from conventional butt hinges, mortised in the usual way into the door edge and frame, with which the purchasing public is familiar.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is the primary object of the present invention to provide a gravity actuated hinged mounting which overcomes the practical disadvantages of prior art constructions, and especially to provide a self-closing hinged mounting which is gravity actuated and which will have as closely as possible the overall appearance of a conventional butt hinge mounting utilizing two or more hinges located in conventional positions along the edge of the door.
It is also an important object of the invention to provide such a hinged mounting wherein the individual hinges are mounted in the same mortised manner and spacing as in conventional hinged mounts, and which is particularly suitable for use in hanging a door leading to the outside of a dwelling or other building.
A preferred embodiment of this invention includes a two-part top hinge, a two-part center hinge, and a twopart bottom hinge. Each hinge part has a mounting leaf and a knuckle portion connected together by a web portion. One leaf of each hinge is attached to a side edge of the door, and the other leaf is attached to the surface of the door frame which faces the edge of the door when the door is closed, hiding the leaves in the closed position. The web portions of the top hinge extend differently from the web portions of the bottom hinge, causing the knuckle portions of the top hinge to be offset with respect to the knuckle portions of the bottom hinge. As a result, the pivot members of the top and bottom hinges define a non-vertical axis of rotation for the door. The knuckle portions of the center hinge are offset, if necessary, so as to be located on this axis.
The pivot members connecting each two-part hinge are constructed to provide for relative rocking movement of the knuckle portions of each hinge, so that the hinges do not bind but rather cause the door to be moved by gravity toward a position where the center of gravity of the door is lowest. Such a position is where the center of gravity of the door is within a plane defined by the non-vertical axis of rotation of the door and the projection of that axis onto a horizontal surface.
It is therefore among the objects of this invention to provide an uncomplicated gravity-actuated mounting for supporting a door in a door frame, a door mounting which is readily adaptable to a wide variety of applications, a door mounting which may be easily constructed to move the door toward any desired position, a door mounting having high durability and requiring an absolute minimum of maintenance and servicing, and a door mounting which has a minimum of moving parts, and to accomplish these objects and purposes in an inexpensive configuration which is fully compatible with conventional door constructions and may be used directly in place of normal butt hinges.
Other objects and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following description, the accompanying drawings, and the appended claims.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a partial view of a door mounted in a door frame by means of self-closing hinges of this invention;
FIG. 2 is a partial section of the top hinge of FIG. 1 taken on'line 2-2 thereof, with the open position of the hinge shown in phantom;
FIG. 3 is a partial section of the center hinge of FIG. 1 taken on line 3-3 thereof with the open position of the hinge shown in phantom;
FIG. 4 is a partial section of the bottom hinge of FIG. 1 taken on line 4-4 thereof with the open position of the hinge shown in phantom;
FIG. 5 is a partially broken away view of the bottom hinge of FIG. 1 in the open position,
FIG. 6 is a partially broken away view of the top hinge of FIG. 1 in the open position;
FIG. 7 is a cross-sectional view, similar to FIGS. 2-4, of another version of self-closing hinged mounting of this invention; and
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view, similar to FIGS. 2-4, of a self-opening version of the hinged mounting of FIG. 7.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In FIG. 1, the door 10 has its edge face 11 mounted on the opposed edge face 12 of the door frame 13 by three hinges of individually different construction which combine to form a self-closing hinged mounting. The bottom hinge comprises a part 15 attached to the door and a part 16 attached to the door frame. The top hinge similarly comprises a part 19 attached to the door and a part 20 attached to the door frame, and the central hinge comprises a part 21 attached to the door and a part 22 attached to the door frame. The bottom hinge 15-16 carries the load or weight of the door, and the other two hinges guide the swinging movement of the door about an axis which is inclined to the vertical to provide gravity actuated closing movement of the door as described in detail hereinafter.
Referring particularly to FIGS. 4 and 5, the bottom hinge parts 15 and 16 include respective mounting leaf portions 25 and 26 which are attached to the door and door frame, respectively, by mortised mountings and screws 27 in the same manner as conventional butt hinges. Each of these hinge parts also includes a cylindrical knuckle portion 28 and 29 connected to the leaf portions 25 and 26 by respective web portions 30 and 31. As best seen in FIG. 4, the web portions 30-31 extend in such laterally inclined relation with respect to the associated leaf portions that the knuckles 28-29 are offset by the dimension a on the door frame side of the reference plane, identified by the line x, which is defined by the opposed edge faces 11 and 12 of the door and frame in the closed position of the door. As shown in FIG. 5, however, the webs 30 and 31 are of individually uniform lateral dimensions so that the knuckles 28 and 29 extend parallel with the height of the door and frame, respectively and thus are essentially vertical in the closed position of the door. In addition the common axis of knuckles 28-29 is offset forwardly of the face of the door by the dimension b in FIG. 4.
The lower knuckle 29 carries a pivot pin 32 on the upper end thereof which receives a complementary pivot member in the knuckle 28 comprising a cylindrical socket 33 having a ball 35 fixed in the inner end thereof and adapted to be received in the seat 36 in the upper end of pivot pin 32. As also shown in FIGS, the diameter of socket 33 is sufficiently larger than the diameter of pin 32 to provide for substantial relative rocking movement of the two knuckles 28-29. Satisfactory results have been obtained with these dimensions of the order of nine thirty-seconds inch and fivesixteenths inch, respectively, and with the pin 32 projecting one-fourth inch into the socket 33 and supporting the upper hinge part with a clearance of the order of one-sixteenth inch at 37 between the adjacent ends of the two knuckles.
The top hinge parts are like the bottom hinge parts in that they include respective mounting leaf portions 40 and 41, web portions 42 and 43, and knuckle portions 44 and 45. The web portions 42-43, however, are inclined in the opposite direction from the web portions 30-31 of the bottom hinge so that the knuckles 44-45 extend vertically, in parallel relation with the bottom knuckles 28-29, but their common axis is offset by the dimension on the door side of the reference plane x, and by the dimension d in front of the face of the door, the dimension d being slightly less than the corresponding dimension b for the bottom hinge. As shown in FIG. 6, the web portions 42 and 43 are of individually uniform lateral dimensions so that the knuckle portions 44 and 45 extend vertically in the same manner as the knuckle portions 28 and 29. The result of the double offset arrangements of the top and bottom knuckles is therefore to define the actual swinging axis of the door along a line extending upwardly from the bottom pivot pin 32 in inclined relation to the left of the reference plane x and also in inclined relation toward the door to the extent of the difference between the offset dimensions b and d.
As already noted, the cooperating pivot members in the bottom hinge support the weight of the door, and it is therefore essential that the upper knuckle part be attached to the door and the lower knuckle part to the frame. The top hinge knuckles incorporate complementary pivot members which guide the swinging movement of the door about the inclined axis just indentified. Referring particularly to FIG. 6, the lower knuckle 45, which is mounted on the frame 13, carries an upwardly projecting pivot pin 46 which is received within and of substantially smaller diameter than the complementary socket 47 in the knuckle 44. A barrelshaped bushing 48 is fixed on the upper end of pin 46 and is sized for slip fitting within the socket 47. With this arrangement, as the door swings open from the closed position in which all the knuckles are vertical and parallel, the knuckle 44 can rock with respect to knuckle 45 while the bushing 48 retains guiding engagement with the surface of socket 47. Instead of the bushing 48, the pin 46 may be of integral barrel-shaped construction, or any of the alternate forms shown in application Ser. No. 271,678, filed July 14, 1972 may be used.
The center hinge is similar in construction to the other two hinges in that the two hinge parts include respective mounting leaf portions 50 and 51, web portions 52 and 53, and knuckle portions 54 and 55. The web portions 52-53, however, extend in such relation to their respective leaf portions that the knuckles 54-55 have their axes in a vertical plane intermediate the planes occupied by the axes of the other two pairs of knuckles. Thus as shown in FIG. 3, the knuckles 54-55 are laterally offset by only the small dimension e from reference plane x and by a dimension f from the face of the door which is slightly less than the corresponding dimension b for the lower pair of hinge knuckles.
Except for the different offset arrangement, the center hinge parts closely resemble the top hinge parts in that they incorporate a similar pivot pin 56, socket 57 and barrel-shaped bushing 58. Th proportions and functions of these parts are similar to those of the corresponding parts of the top hinge, and the purpose of the center hinge is therefore primarily to assist the top hinge in supporting and guiding the door during its swinging movement, and also to retain the middle portion of the door against possible warpage or the development of otherwise out-of-line relationship with the top and bottom hinges or the door frame.
While the extent of the differences in the offset relation of the knuckle portions of the several hinges may seem obvious when the hinges are examined in the manner illustrated in FIGS. 2-4, these differences are normally mounted a substantial distance apart, namely about 6 feet, and the casual observer will ordinarily not compare them visually enough to realize that there is a difference between them. Further, the relative offsets are in fact not very great, typical values for the lettered dimensions in FIGS. 2-4 being one-half inch for dimension a, five-eighths inch for dimension c and five thirtyseconds inch for dimension e. The other offset dimensions, with respect to the face of the door, are of the same order as those for the knuckles of conventional butt hinges, namely in the range of nine-sixteenths to eleven-sixteenths inch, so that the knuckle portions of all three hinges can fairly be described as in substantially uniformly spaced relation to the face of the door.
The combined effect of this series of offsets for the several pairs of knuckles is that the actual axis of swinging movement of the door runs from the point of engagement of pin 32 and ball 35 upwardly and to the left as viewed in FIG. 1 to the point of engagement of bushing 48 with socket 47, and therefore also slightly toward the face of the door. The projection of this axis onto the horizontal surface of the floor accordingly defines a vertical plane running at an oblique angle through the closed position of the door. For theoretically optimum results, therefore, the parts should be so proportioned that thecenter of gravity of the door will lie in this plane when the door is fully closed. This is because when the door is moved away from the closed position and then released, gravity will cause it to swing back to the closed position as defined.
It will also be seen that when the door is closed, all of the knuckles stand vertically. As the door is opened, it will rise slightly as its edge face 11 is inclined slightly to the increasing extent necessary to conform to its hinge axis. This in turn will require that the knuckles on the door rock slightly with respect to the framemounted knuckles, and clearance is provided as described to accommodate this action. As soon as the door is released, however, it will be actuated by gravity to return to its closed position.
It will be apparent that the hinges shown in FIGS. 2-6 provide self-closing action only for a door mounted along its right hand edge as viewed in FIG. 1. For a door of opposite hand, the hinges must be similarly made of the opposite hand, or they could be used in reversed relation, in which case the ball 35 in knuckle 28 mounted on the frame would be the main loadsupporting pivot member through the pin 32. It is more desirable to locate the parts as shown, however, particularly for mounting doors having one face exposed to the outdoors, since this ensures that moisture cannot collect and freeze in the sockets as might otherwise happen if the hinges were reversed from the positions shown. It will also be noted that the arrangement shown facilitates mounting and removal of the door by lifting it on or off the fixed hinge parts in a position clear of the frame. A fixed, non-lift off, mounting can be provided by reversing the relation of the pivot pin and socket of either of the top and center hinges, but as noted, the lower knuckle part of the bottom hinge must be mounted on the frame.
FIG. 7 shows a simplified version of hinged mounting in accordance with the invention providing for selfclosing mounting of the door 10 on door frame 13' in essentially the same manner as the arrangement of FIGS. 1-6. The bottom hinge parts 70-71 and the top hinge parts 72-73 are constructed to offset their respective knuckle portions 74 and 75 by the same dimension g on opposite sides of the reference plane x, for example a dimension of three-eighths inch, the center hinge parts 76-77 are symmetrical so that their knuckle portions 78 are centered on the reference plane x, and all knuckle portions are spaced by the same distance from the front face of the door. It will be understood that the pivot members in these respective hinge parts may be the same as described in connection with FIGS. 2-5, but with all knuckles offset by the same amount from the face of the door, the hinge axis will lie in a vertical plane parrallel with and spaced by the dimension g in front of the face of the door in its closed position. The operation of this mounting, however, is essentially the same as already described since although the theoretical equilibrium position of the door would be with its center of gravity in the vertical plane of its hinge axis, its momentum will be sufficient to cause it to swing the extra fraction of an inch into closed position.
FIG. 8 shows a self-opening hinged mounting of a door 10 in frame 13" by hinges which may be identical with the hinges of FIG. 7 except that the top and bottom hinges are reversed. Thus the bottom hinge parts -71 and the top hinge parts 72-73 are turned over so that parts 70 and 72 are mounted on the frame and parts 71 and 73 are mounted on the door. The center hinge parts 76-77 do not need reversal. The actual axis of the door will therefore extend from the bottom pivot upwardly in inclined relation toward the right with respect to reference plane x, and since the door will accordingly tend to swing away from frame 13" to an open position which is slightly lower than its closed position, appropriate clearance must be provided below the bottom edge of the door. Alternatively, the top and bottom hinges in FIG. 8 may be of the opposite hand from hinge parts 70-74, and if such hinges are mounted along the left hand edge of a door as viewed in FIG. 8, the result will be a self-closing mounting which is in effect the mirror image of the arrangement of FIG. 7.
As may be seen, therefore, this invention has numerous advantages. The pivot pins are enclosed entirely within the knuckle portions when the door is mounted, making a substantially burglar proof installation, although the door may still be lifted from its hinges when in an open position. To make'it impossible to remove the door from the hinges in any position, it is necessary only to invert one of the hinges. Another advantage of this invention is that it may be used as a replacement for normal butt hinges in existing installations. Further, since the center of gravity of the door goes up when the door is displaced away from its equilibrium position, the angular lift of the door also allows increased clearance for carpets and the like, while still maintaining a close relationship with the floor when the door is restored to its equilibrium position. Similarly, the angular lift of the door when it is opened maycompensate for misalignment of the door frame in relation to the floor while still allowing a close relationship between the door and the floor when in the equilibrium position.
The closing force, and hence the speed of the closing of the door, may easily be selected by the choice of the degree and direction of offset. When the equilibrium position of the door is in the plane of the door frame, for example, the closing force of the door when near thereto will be minimal. This minimizes the discomfort and pain which a child or adult might feel if his fingers were caught between the door and the door frame, and is in contrast to the situation which can occur with spring-actuated closing mechanisms.
The degree to which the axis of rotation of the door is displaced from the vertical may also be controlled by the longitudinal spacing of the top hinge from the bottom hinge. By spacing the hinges closer together, the inclination of the axis is increased, with a resultant increase in the gravitationally induced force. At the same time, the hinges occupy substantially no more space than conventional butt hinges and considerably less space than conventional self-closing hinges. The present invention is therefore ideal for many installations, including special environmental installations where reliability and compactness are called for along with forces sufficient to assure movement of the door as required.
When normal hinge operation (neither self-closing nor self-opening) is desired, one of the top or bottom hinges, for example the top hinge in FIG. 7, may be reversed and the center hinge eliminated or replaced by a similar hinge. The axis of rotation will then be vertical, and no gravitationally induced movement will result. in addition, the center hinge may be eliminated without affecting the mounting or its operation,since the main purposes of the center hinge are for appearance and to provide assurance that the middle portion of the hinge side of the door does not warp.
While the forms of apparatus herein described constitute preferred embodiments of the invention, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to these precise forms of apparatus, and that changes may be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
l. A hinged mounting supporting a door in a door frame for gravity actuated movement to a predetermined position with respect to said frame, comprising:
a. a two-part top hinge and a two-part bottom hinge,
b. each of said hinge parts including a mounting leaf and a knuckle portion connected by a web portion,
c. one of said leaves of each said hinge being secured to a side edge of said door and the other to the surface of said frame opposed to said door edge in the closed position of said door,
d. each of said hinges also including a pivot member carried by said knuckle portion of one part thereof and received in a complementary socket in said knuckle portion of said other part thereof,
e. said web portions of said top hinge extending differently with respect to the web portions of said bottom hinge to offset the respective knuckle portions of said top hinge with respect to the knuckle portions of said bottom hinge to define a nonvertical axis of rotation for the door,
f. a two-part center hinge including knuckle portions and pivot means located on said axis, and
g. said pivot members and the respective said sockets being of relative sizes providing for relative rocking movement of said knuckle portions of each said hinge during swinging movement of said door causing the door to be moved by gravity toward a position coinciding with a plane substantially parallel to the plane defined by said non-vertical axis of rotation and the projection thereof onto a horizontal surface.
2. A hinged mounting supporting a door in a door frame for gravity actuated movement with respect to the closed position thereof in said frame, comprising:
a. a two-part top hinge and a two-part bottom hinge,
b. each of said hinge parts including a mounting leaf and a knuckle portion connected by a web portion,
c. one of said leaves of each said hinge being secured to a side edge of said door and the other to the surface of said frame opposed to said door edge in said closed position of said door,
d. said web portions of one of said hinges extending in such laterally and oppositely inclined relation to the respective said leaves of said one hinge that said knuckle portions of said one hinge are offset on one side of and parallel with the plane defined by said opposed frame surface,
e. said web portions of the other of said hinges extending in such laterally and oppositely inclined relation to the respective said leaves of said other hinge that said knuckle portions of said other hinge are offset on the opposite side of said plane from said knuckle portions of said one hinge,
f. said web portion of each of said hinge parts being of uniform lateral dimensions to maintain the associated said knuckle portion essentially vertical in said closed position of said door,
g. said web portions being proportioned to position all of said knuckle portions in substantially uniformly spaced relation to the face of said door,
h. each of said hinges also including a pivot member carried by said knuckle portion of one part thereof and received in a complementary socket in said knuckle portion of said other part thereof, and
i. each of said pivot members and the complementary said socket therefor being of relative sizes providing for relative rocking movement of said knuckle portions of each said hinge during swinging movement of said door.
3. The hinged mounting of claim 2 further comprising a two-part center hinge including knuckle portions and pivot means located on the axis defined by said pivot members of said top and bottom hinge knuckle portions and parallel with said top and bottom hinge knuckle portions.
4. The hinged mounting of claim 2 wherein said bottom knuckles are offset on the frame side and said top knuckles are offset on the door side for gravity actuated movement of the door to a closed position.
5. The hinged mounting of claim 2 wherein said top knuckles are offset on the frame side and said bottom knuckles are offset on the door side for gravity actuated movement of the door to an open position.