US 3848440 A
A padlock case adapted to contain the body portion of a padlock. The case includes a container and a cover that mate to surround the padlock body of a padlock. Bevelled holes in the cover tightly receive the legs of the shackle of the padlock so that water can not get into the case via the openings provided by the cover holes. Container lips on flexible container walls act to hold the padlock body within the container. A container flange fits into a cover flange to form a seal between the cover and the container. The above and other features of the case increase its utility. The case is well suited for outdoor use on a padlock body and is especially suited to keep mud, water, or other harmful elements away from the body portion of a padlock.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
' nite States Patent Manuel, deceased PADLOCK CASE  Inventor: Larry, N. Manuel, deceased, late of 6161 N. Clark, Lakewood, Calif. 90712 Ruby Joy Manuel, administratrix  Filed: Feb. 21, 1973  Appl. No.: 334,491
 US. Cl 70/55, 206/527, 150/52 R  Int. Cl E05b 67/38  Field of Search 70/52, 54, 55, 56, 455; ISO/.5, 52 R; 206/46 H, 527; 249/92, 97, 121
[56} References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,662,612 3/1928 Junkunc 70/55 X 2,375,488 5/1945 Olson 70/54 X 2,980,039 4/1961 Jolly 249/97 3,189,071 6/1965 Balkema et al. ISO/.5 3,705,508 12/1972 Fritsch 70/455 FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS Germany 70/55 Primary Examiner.loseph I-I. McGlynn Assistant ExaminerRichard P. Tremblay Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Andrew M. Lesniak A padlock case adapted to contain the body portion of a padlock. The case includes a container and a cover that mate to surround the padlock body of a padlock. Bevelled holes in the cover tightly receive the legs of the shackle of the padlock so that water can not get into the case via the openings provided by the cover holes. Container lips on flexible container walls act to hold the padlock body within the container. A container flange fits into a cover flange to form a seal between the cover and the container. The above and other features of the case increase its utility. The case is well suited for outdoor use on a padlock body and is especially suited to keep mud, water, or other harmful elements away from the body portion of a padlock.
ABSTRACT 11 Claims, 7 Drawing Figures PATENIE NOV 1 91914 M w m 22 36a 36b Y PADLOCK CASE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to cases adapted to contain the body portions of padlocks in order to protect the padlock body portions from being ruined by direct exposure to mud, sand, water, dirt, rain, etc.
Padlocks are used outdoors on vehicles, boats, and elsewhere to lock up articles such as vehicle spare tires, bicycles and other articles. Any padlock that is left outdoors can be ruined in a short time by mud, sand, dirt, water, rain, or moisture. Mud can clog up the key slot of a key operated padlock. Water or moisture can get into the body portion of the padlock causing the parts of the lock mechanism to rust up. The padlock can become tarnished. A rusty padlock can freeze up so that it can not be unlocked. Many of the padlocks that are currently sold are bought as replacements for padlocks that have been rendered useless due to-having been directly exposed to outdoor conditions in which they have been covered with mud, placed in water, or otherwise subjected to harmful elements.
It is the main object of the present invnetion to pro vide a case that is adapted to contain the body portion of a padlock that is to be used outdoors. The case serves to keep the padlock in good working condition when it is subject during normal use to mud, water, moisture, or the like.
The case provided by the present invention can be made in varios forms and can include various features. The The particular padlock described hereinafter is comprised of a container and a cover that removably mates with the container. The cover has two bevelled holes adapted to receive respective shackle legs of a padlock. A padlock body portion can be disposed within the container with the legs of the padlocks shackle extending through the holes in the cover to the outside of the case. The cover holes are sized to form a close fit between the shackle legs and the surrounding portions of the cover. The described padlock case includes several features that add to the utility of the case. One feature is flexible container walls having lips that act to hold the container onto the padlock body portion. Another feature is a container flange that fits into a flange on the case cover to to form a seal between the cover and the container.
The above and other objects of the present invention and advantages and features of the invention will be made clear upon review of the following discussion of an embodiment of the present invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is an elevation, frontal view of a padlock and a case, comprised ofa container and a cover, which encloses a body portion of the padlock.
FIG. 2 is a view similar to the view of FIG. 1 except that the case is shown in cross section in this instance.
FIG. 3 is an elevation view ofa case contanier shown with a portion of its front wall cut away.
FIG. 4 is a plan view, taken along line 4-4 of FIG. 3, of a case container.
FIG. 5 is a transverse section view taken along line 55 of FIG. 4.
FIG. 6 is a plan view of the bottom side of a case cover also shown in FIGS. 1 and 2.
FIG. 7 is a view taken on line 77 of FIG. 6.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT FIGS. 1 and 2 show a conventional padlock 10 in combination with a case 12. The padlock includes a padlock body portion and a shackle. The padlock body portion, or padlock body is labelled 14 and the shackle is labelled 16. The shackle includes a bight portion connecting two shackle legs 16a and 16b. A key slot (not shown) in the bottom end of the padlock body receives a key which can be turned to release a free end (not shown) of the shackle legs 16b from locked engagement with a lock mechanism within the body 14. The illustrated padlock is a key operated padlock and the illustrated case is particularily designed for use in combination with this padlock. Similarily, a combination type padlock, having a combination dial, can be protected, by following the principles of the invention, by a case particularily designed for use in combination with the padlock.
The case 12 surrounds the padlock body portion 14 which is contained, or nested, therein and thereby protected by the case against direct exposure to mud, water, or other harmful elements of an outdoors environment.
The case 12 is comprised of a case container 20 and a case cover 22 which mate with each other to define an enclosed space therein which is adapted to receive the body portion 14 of a padlock 10 in the manner shown in FIG. 1. The space defined by the case is slightly greater in volume than the volume occupied in the case by the padlock body 14.
The case container 20 includes a bottom wall 20a, a front wall 20b, a back wall 200, and side walls 20d and 20e. The upper end of the container is open so that a padlock body can be placed into the container.
The container bottom wall 20a includes four recesses 24 provided to receive respective rivet ends 26 protruding from the bottom end of the padlock body near its lowermost corners. Two tiny bumps, or bosses, 28a, 28b protrude from side walls 20d and 20e near bottom wall 20a to locate the padlock body in the center of the container, which container is slightly wider than the width of the padlock body, as indicated in FIG. 2, with the sides of the padlock body pressed between the bumps 28a, 28b which are somewhat resilient. Two elongated, narrow lips 30a, 30b are formed on the inside of the upper edges of the container front wall 20b and the container back wall 20c. Each of these lips extends sidewardly a slight distance toward the center of the container to hang over the inside surfaces of the front and back walls. The width of the gap between these lips is slightly less than the thickness of the padlock body 14. The width of the gap between the front and back container walls in slightly greater than the thickness of the padlock body.
The container lips 30a, 30b cooperate to lightly, but firmly, embrace the upper portion of the padlock body to hold the container on the padlock body and thereby keep the container from falling away from the padlock body. A narrow rim flange extends around the upper end of the container and fits in the case cover (see FIG. 2) to provide a more effective seal between the container and the cover and to provide a tighter fit between the container and the cover.
The case cover 22 includes a top wall 22a and a cover flange defined by a front wall 22b, a back wall 220, and side walls 22d and 22e. The cover mates with the container so that the cover flange overlaps with the upper end of the container which endd fits snugly into the cover flange.
The cover 22 includes two bevelled, round holes 34a, 34b located in the middle of the cover wall 22a and having a center to center spacing equal to the spacing between the centers of the legs 16a, 16b of the shackle 16 of the padlock 10. Each cover hole 34a, 34b is bevelled to have a conical configuration, as shown in FIG. 7, to form a shall diameter edge a at the top side of the cover wall 22a and a large diameter edge b of slightly larger diameter than edge a, at the bottom side of the cover wall 22a. The hole edges a and b of both cover holes are of equal diameter. The diameter of the edge a of each hole is slightly less than the diameter of the shackle legs 16a, 16b(which are of the same diameter). The diameter 12 of each cover hole is slightly greater than the diameter of the shackle legs 16a, 16 b. Shackle legs 16a and 16b are received in the cover holes in a close fit with the legs acting to cause resilient enlargement of the hole edges a. The shackle legs seal the cover holes with the hole edges a resiliently embracing the shackle legs to keep water from getting into the case throught the openings provided by the cover holes. The cover holes serve as aperture means through which the shackle legs project from the padlock body to the outside of the case.
The bottom side of the cover wall 22a includes two rectangular recesses wherein the cover holes 34a, 3412 are located. Some padlocks have body portions with annular lips that surround the shackle legs at their point of entry into the padlock body portion. The recesses, identified as 36a and 361), are provided to receive such annular lips when such padlock has its body portion contained in the case.
The container 20 and the cover 22 are both molded plastic members and are in this instance made of polyethylene. Other suitable plastice material can be used in lieu of polyethylene. The thickness of the walls of the container and of the cover is such that they are not completely rigid but are instead somewhat flexible to make it easy to mate and unmate the cover and the container and yet obtain a close fit between the cover and the container when they are mated.
The case 12 surrounds the padlock body portion 14- and thereby protects it from outdoor conditions. Although the case is primarily useful for protecting a padlock during its use outdoors it is also useful to keep the padlock body portion from scratching up other articles such as a bicycle provided with a chain and an encased padlock used to chain up the bicycle.
The padlock l and the case 12 are assembled as follows. First, the padlock is unlocked to disengage, or release, a free end (not shown) of the shackle legs 16b from the lock mechanism in the padlock body 14. Next, The container is held in one hand and the container side walls d and 20e are squeezed together to bow or flex these walls inwardly of the container toward each other to thereby cause the container front and back walls 20b and 200 to bow outwardly of the container so that they flex away from each other to increasethe width of the gap existing between the container lips 30a and 30b. The lips move away from each other until the gap between them becomes wide enough to receive the padlock body portion 14 without any significant interference between the lips and the nearby sides of the padlock.
The padlock body portion 14 is lowered through the open upper end of the container 20 and made to approach the bottom wall 20a. The lower edges of the sides of the padlock body slip, or move, between the bumps 28a, 28b which thereupon plastically, or resiliently, deform to lightly embrace the padlock body while acting to center the padlock body inside the container so that the sides of the padlock are equally spaced from the container side walls 20d and 20e.
Next, the squeeze pressure exerted on the container side walls 20d and 20a is removed whereupon these walls return, by virtue of their inherent resiliency, to, or toward, their natural, unflexed condition and configuration. The container container front and back walls thereupon resiliently resiliently return to, or toward, their natural, unflexed condition and configuration causing the container lips 30a, 30b to firmly embrace, or grip, the upper end of the padlock body, with the container lips, depending on the precise dimensions of the particular case, either (a) contacting the front and back sides of the padlock body at a point slightly below the upper edges of the padlock body, or (b) projecting over onto the upper end of the padlock body. The container lips act to hold the container on the padlock body so (a) the container will not fall off of the padlock body and (b) the padlock body can not be easily removed from within the container without first causing the container lips 30a, 30b to separate or move away from each other so that the sides of the padlock body will substantially clear the lips as the padlock is withdrawn from the container.
Next, the cover 22 is assembled with the container 20 and padlock 10 as follows. The free end of shackle leg 16b is inserted into cover hole 340 which fits tightly onto the shackle leg so that the edge a of the hole 34a wipes along the shackle leg, and the cover is moved past the bight portion of the shackle onto the shackle leg 16a. The cover is now pivoted about the shackle leg 16 a and aligned with the cover so that the cover flange faces toward the upper end of the container. The cover 22 is now pushed downward onto the upper end of the container to mate the cover and container with the cover flange overlapping the upper end of the container flange, or lip, 32 closely fitted within the cover flange to seal the cover to the container. The cover flange and also the flange 32 act to keep water out of the case. Next, the shackle is pivoted about its leg 16a to locate the free end of the shackle leg 16b over the vacant cover hole 34b, which is in registry with the opening of the padlock body that is adapted to receive the free end of the shackle leg 16b. The padlock can now be locked by pushing the shackle toward the padlock body to drive the free end of the shackle leg 16b through the cover hole 341) and into the padlock body into locking engagement with the padlock lock mechanism. The shackle legs 16b seals the opening provided by the cover hole 34b in the manner shown in FIG. 2. Because of the close fit between the shackle legs 16a, 16b and the surrounding edges, or portions of the cover 22, water can not get into the case via the cover holes 34a, 34b.
The case 12 can be separated from the padlock 10 in the following manner. First, the cover 22 is gripped by its cover flange and the cover is lifted away from the container 20 to unmate the cover from the container. The cover is moved toward the bight portion of the shackle 16 to so locate the cover that the cover holes 34a, 34b encircle the upper ends of the shackle legs near the bight portion. Squeeze pressure is exerted on the container side walls 20d and 20e to cause them to bow inward and force the container front and back walls 20b and 20c to bow outward to carry the container lips 30a, 30]; substantially out of contact with the upper part of the padlock body so that the effective gap between the container lips 30a,30b widens and becomes wider than the thickness, from front to back, of the padlock body portion 14.
Next, the padlock is lifted away from the container to lift the padlock body portion 14 out of the container through its open upper end. The padlock can now be unlocked in the usual manner by the use of a key. After the padlock has been unlocked so that the free end of the shackle leg 16b is disposed outside of the padlock body it is possible to remove the case cover 22 from the padlock by (a) pushing the case toward the padlock body to remove the shackle leg 16b from the cover hole 34b, and (b) slipping the cover along the shackle leg 16a, the shackle bight portion, and the leg 16b until the free end of the leg 16b is removed from within the cover hole 34a.
Although the best mode contemplated for carryout the present invention has been herein shown and described, it will be apparent that modifications and variation may be made without departing from what is regarded to be the subject matter of the invention.
What is claimed is:
l. A case adapted to contain and surround the body portion of a padlock to protect it from mud, water, or other substances, the case including opening defining means adapted for receiving the legs of a padlock shackle, the opening defining means being comprised of two round bevelled holes each sized to form a snug fit with a respective shackle leg whereby a body portion of a padlock can be contained within the case with the padlocks shackle protruding through the case to the outside of the case.
2. The case set forth in claim 1 wherein the case comprises a case container having an open upper end and a case cover that mates with the open upper end of the case container, the opening defining means being situated in the case cover.
3. The case set forth in claim 2 wherein said case container includes a container flange on its upper end and wherein said case cover includes a cover flange, said container flange being adapted to fit tightly into said cover flange.
4. The case set forth in claim 2 wherein said case container and case cover are comprised of plastic material formed to define flexible walls in each of them.
5. The case set forth in claim 2 wherein said case container and said case cover substantially conform in size and shape to a body portion of a padlock to be contained within said case.
6. The case set forth in claim 2 wherein said case container includes flexible walls with lip means on at least one wall adapted for gripping a corresponding side of a padlock body portion.
7. The case set forth in claim 6 wherein said lip means is comprised of respective lips on opposed walls of said case container, said lips being adapted to press upon opposed portions of a padlock body portion to hold the padlock body portion disposed in said case container.
8. The case set forth in claim 6 wherein said flexible walls are relatively nonstretchable.
9. The case set forth in claim 2 wherein said case container includes integral means adapted to center a padlock body portion within said case container.
10. The case set forth in claim 9 wherein said flanges are relatively nonstretchable.
11. The case set forth in claim 10 wherein said case container and case cover are comprised of flexible but relatively nonstretchable material.
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