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Publication numberUS3925862 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateDec 16, 1975
Filing dateNov 7, 1974
Priority dateNov 7, 1974
Publication numberUS 3925862 A, US 3925862A, US-A-3925862, US3925862 A, US3925862A
InventorsYoungblood Jr Hugh A
Original AssigneeYoungblood Jr Hugh A
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Quick closing clamp
US 3925862 A
Abstract
A quick closing, automatically actuated clamp which comprises a base, a generally L-shaped slotted jaw pivotally mounted on the base, a generally L-shaped cooperating male jaw pivotally connected to said first jaw along a hinge line which moves in a direction normal to the axis of pivotation through said hinge line as said jaws pivot toward and away from each other, spring means biasing said jaws away from each other, and a latching tongue pivotally connected to one of said jaws and adapted to engage the other jaw when the male jaw extends through the slot in the slotted jaw.
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United States Patent 1191 Youngblood, Jr.

[ QUICK CLOSING CLAMP [76] Inventor: Hugh A. Youngblood, Jr., 3225 N.

Virginia, Oklahoma City, Okla. 73118 22 Filed: Nov. 7, 1974 [21] Appl. N0.: 521,582

[52] US. Cl. 24/252 R; 248/229 [51] Int. Cl. A44B 21/00; F16M 13/02 [58] Field of Search 224/4231, 42.45;

294/83 R; 211/64, 5; 248/41, 229; 24/248 SL, 249 SL, 252 R, 252 BC, 248 L, 248 SB [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 607,545 7/1898 Martin 24/249 51. ux 621,072 3/1899 Gregory 211/5 848,257 3/1907 Madler et a1 294/83 R 2,439,623 4/1948 Howells 248/229 x 2,459,970 1/1949 Smith 24/252 x Dec. 16, 1975 9/1971 Reimels 24/248 SL 1/1973 Marchal 24/252 R Primary Examiner-Donald A. Griffin Attorney, Agent, or FirmLaney, Daugherty, Hessin & Fish ABSTRACT A quick closing, automatically actuated clamp which comprises a base, a generally L-shaped slotted jaw pivotally mounted on the base, a generally L-shaped cooperating, male jaw pivotally connected to said first jaw along a hinge line which moves in a direction normal to the axis of pivotation through said hinge line as said jaws pivot toward and away from each other,

spring means biasing said jaws away from each other, and a latchingstongue pivotally connected to one of said jaws and adapted to engage the other jaw when the male jaw extends through the slot in the slotted jaw.

11 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures US. Patent Dec.16,1975 Sheet1of2 3,925,862

Euzg. Z

U.S. Patent Dec. 16,1975 Sheet2'of2 3,925,862

f 1 Q E QUICK CLOSING CLAMP Background of the Invention 1. Field of the Invention i This invention relates to clamps which include piv oted jaws, and more particularly, to a quick closing, automatically actuated clamp which is normally sprin biased to an open position. v

2. Brief Description of the Prior Art.

Various types of clamp structures have been proposed for gripping structures of different sorts, including clamps for holding pipes and other elongatedmembers. It is believed, however, that a quick acting clamp which automatically closes upon, the imposition of weight on the open upper side of the clamp, and which can be easily and quickly mounted on vehicles in pairs so as to support elongated structural members, such as pipe, lumber and the like, or which can be used for quickly clamping and engaging a ladder carried on the truck, has not been devised. The clamps which have been used for this purpose require manual manipulation, or are complicated structurally, or are unreliable in use.

Among the types of patented clamps which have previously been proposed are those shown in Weeks, US. Pat. No. 1, 827,498; Doht US. Pat. No. 1,894,164; Hansen U.S. Pat. No. 2,248,170; Howells US. Pat. No. 2,439,623; Burns US. Pat. No. 2,529,372 and Lowe US. Pat. No. 3,601,295. These clamps generally do not provide the concept'of providing a pair of hingedly connected jaws which automatically andquickly close when the weight of a plurality of pipes or a ladder or the like are superimposed on the hinged joint of the jaws, thereby providing an automatically actuated clamp which is quickly latched when the element to be clamped thereby is placed in the clamp.

Brief Description of the Present Invention The present invention provides a quick closing, automatically actuated clamp which closes under the weight of the structure to be clamped. Broadly described, the clamp of the invention includes a pair of cooperating jaws, one of which is slotted or bifurcated, and the other of which is a male jaw which, during the clamping action, projects into the slot or bifurcation in the first mentioned jaw, and is retained therein to clamp an object in position within the clamp. The slotted jaw is pivotally connected to a base plate which can be secured to a wall or other surface and, in a particularly useful application of the clamp, to a vehicle so that a pair of the clamps, mounted in spaced relation on the vehicle, can be used for transporting pipe, a ladder or the like. i i

The clamp of the invention is constructed so that the male jaw is pivotally connected to the slotted jaw for pivotation about a horizontal axis. The hinge line and the horizontal axis of pivotation are moved in a direction which is substantially normal to the pivotal axis as the jaws are moved toward and away from each other. The result of this movement is that the hinge which interconnects the jaws is brought into an exposed position where it is contacted by thearticle to be clamped, and the weight exerted on the hinge line at this time causes the jaws to be biased in a direction such that they are engaged or clamped to each other. For the purpose of engaging the male jaw once it has been extended through the slot in the slotted jaw, one of the jaws has pivotally secured thereto, a latching tongue which can be pivoted into a position of'engagement with the other jaw when the male jaw passes through the slot in the slotted jaw during the clamping action of the clamp.,Means is preferably provided vfor resiliently biasing the jaws of the clamp to the open or spaced apart position so that the clamp is in a receiving status for receiving the article to be clamped.

An object of the present invention is to provide a relatively simple,. structurally strong clamping device which closes quickly and automatically when an article to be clamped thereby is placed between the jaws of the clamp, and its weight rested upon the hinge line which joins the two jaws of the clamp.

A further object of the invention is to provide a strong mechanically sturdy clamp which will remain in its clamped status until intentionally released by the manual movement of the latching tongue, and which, when the article to be clamped thereby is removed from the clamp, will automatically open with the jaws spaced apart preparatory to the reception of an article to be clamped at a later time.

Additional objects and advantages of the invention will become apparent as the following detailed description of certainpreferred embodiments of the invention is read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which illustrate {such preferred embodiments.

General Description of the Drawings FIG. 1 is a side elevation view of the clamp of the present invention as it appears when viewed from one side thereof and in its locked or clamping status.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the clamp depicted in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an end elevation view of the clamp shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is an end elevation view of the clamp similar to FIG. 3, but illustrating the clamp as it appears when it is in its opened position.

FIG. 5 is a side elevation view of the clamp illustrated in FIG. 1 as the clamp appears when viewed from an opposite side of the clamp from that shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a side elevation view of an alternate embodiment of the invention.

Detailed Description of Preferred Embodiment of the Invention Referring initially to FIG. 1 of the drawings, the clamp of the invention is there illustrated and includes a slotted jaw designated generally by reference numeral 10, and a male jaw designated generally byv reference numeral 12. The clamp also includes a base plate designated generally by reference numeral 14.

Referring to the slotted jaw 10, this jaw is of generally L-shaped configuration as will be perceived in referring to FIGS. 3 and 4.- The jaw includes a generally rectangularly shaped upstanding plate 16 having a rectangular slot 17 formed therein, and a substantially horizontally extending foot plate 18. Secured to the foot plate 18 at opposite ends thereof and projecting downwardly from the foot plate are a pair of pivot plates 20 (see FIGS. 1 and 4). The pivot plates 20 are secured by suitable rivets or pins 22 to upwardly extending cooperating pivot plates 24 which are bent out of the major plane of the base plate 14. A pair of compression springs 28 are provided between the base plate 14 and the foot plate 18 of the slotted jaw 10, and bias the slotted jaw to the open position illustrated in FIG. 4 of the 3 drawings.

Secured to the opposite side of the slotted jaw 10 from that which faces the male jaw 12 is a latching tongue 30. The latching tongue 30 is an elongated member having a spring stop tab 32 pressed out of one side of the tongue, and extending substantially normal to the major plane of the tongue. One end of a spring 34 bears against the spring stop tab 32, and the other end of this spring bears against a second spring stop tab 36 which is pressed out of a side edge of the upstanding plate 16 of the slotted jaw 10.

At its lower end, the latching tongue 30 is secured to a laterally and horizontally extending lever plate 38 through which is extended, in close proximity to the latching tongue 30, a pivot screw 40 used to pivotally secure the-lever plate 38 and the latching tongue 30 to the side of the plate 16. At the opposite end of the lever plate 38 from that which is secured to the latching tongue 30, the lever plate carries an outwardly projecting manual release tab 42 which extends substantially normal to the plane of the plate 16 of the slotted jaw 10. Aa keeper plate 44 has one of its ends secured to a side edge of the plate 16 and is bent into an L-shaped configuration so that the major portion of the keeper plate extends substantially parallel to, and is spaced from, the plate 16. The keeper plate 44 projects across that side of the latching tongue 30 opposite its side adjacent the plate 16 and serves to guide and retain the latching tongue 30 in operating position during use of the clamp. An arresting stud 46 is secured at a location approximately beneath the lower end of the slot 17 in the plate 16, and is located so that the lower edge of the arresting tongue 30 will be pivoted into contact with the arresting stud 46 when the tongue is biased to its limit of travel at a time when the male jaw 12 is in its open status.

The male jaw 12 includes an elongated upwardly extending arcuate clamping portion 50 and a base portion 52 formed integrally with the portion 50, and bent through substantially a right angle, so that the male jaw 12 is of L-shaped configuration when viewed in side elevation as shown in FIGS. 3 and 4. It will be noted in referring to FIGS. 2 and that the base portion 52 is of relatively wide transverse dimension as compared to the portion 50 of the male jaw 12, and is substantially equal in width to the width of the slotted jaw 10. It will further be noted in referring to FIGS. 2 and 5 that the clamping portion 50 of the male jaw carries along a side edge thereof, a series of serrations or teeth 54 which are positioned to engage the latching tongue 30 during operation of the clamp in a manner hereinafter described.

In referring to FIGS. 3 and 4, it will be noted that the clamping portion 50 of the male jaw 12 is formed so that that side of the portion 50 which faces the slotted jaw is concavely curved and terminates in a reversely bent end portion 56 disposed at the upper end of the male jaw. The transverse edge of base portion 52 is connected to the transverse edge of the foot plate 18 of the slotted jaw 10 by means of hinges 58, so that the jaws 10 and 12 can pivot toward and away from each other by pivotation about a horizontal axis. Secured to the lower side of the base portion 52 of the male jaw 12 is a U-shaped rod 60 which forms a loop movably extended over a stop plate 62 secured to the base plate 14 and extending parallel to the upper surface thereof.

Operation In the use and operation of the quick closing clamp of the invention, the clamp, in its inactive, out-of-use status appears as shown in FIG. 4 of the drawings. Here, the slotted jaw 10 and male jaw 12 are opened apart from each other, and it will be noted that in this status, the hinge line provided by the hinges 58 projects above the general plane of the foot plate 18 and the base portion 52 of the jaws 10 and 12, respectively, and is generally exposed to contact from the open side of the clamp. It will further be noted that in this status of the clamp, the bent end portion 56 of the arcuate clamping portion 50 of the male jaw 12 is curved outwardly and affords an exposed convex surface to a length of pipe or other article which is to be inserted between the ends of the jaws 10 and 12. It will further be noted that in this status of the clamp, the compression springs 28 are ex tended to force the jaws apart from each other, and that the male jaw 12 is prevented from falling down, or opening further by pivotation about the pivotal axis constituted by the hinges 58 by engagement of the U- shaped rod 60 with the stop plate 62.

When it is desired to use the clamp for securing or holding an elongated member such as pipe or the like, the pipe is inserted between the jaws l0 and 12 and is allowed to gravitate downwardly or come to rest upon the hinge line constituted by the hinges 28. As the weight of the pipe or other structure to be clamped bears against the hinges 58 and against the base portion 52 of the jaw 12 and the foot plate 18 of the jaw 10, these structures are pushed downwardly to cause the jaws 10 and 12 to move toward each other. Continued movement of the male jaw 12 toward the slotted jaw 10 brings the male jaw to a position in which it extends through the generally rectangular slot 17 formed in the slotted jaw 10. Also, movement of the male jaw 12 through this slot causes the serrations or teeth 54 to move, in ratchet fashion, across the adjacent edge of the latching tongue 30. The latching tongue 30 can yield and pivot about its pivotal axis which extends through the pivot screw 40 at this time to allow passage of the arcuate clamping portion 50 of the male jaw 12.

When the pipe or other article to be clamped has forced the hinges 58 and the adjacent edges of the foot plate 18 and base portion 52 of the jaws downwardly into contact with the stop plate 62, the reverse inclination of the serrations or teeth 54 allow the teeth to engage the latching tongue 30 and prevent the arcuate clamping portion 50 of the male jaw 12 from being reversed or backed out of its position in the slot 17 of the slotted jaw 10. The clamp is thus locked in its clamping status to retain the pipe or otherstructure in clamped position between the engaged jaws 10 and 12.

When it is desired to release the clamp, the manual release tab 42 on the end of the lever plate 38 is depressed to pivot the latching tongue 30 to the left as viewed in FIG. 1. The pipe or other clamped article is then lifted upwardly torelieve the weight acting downwardly on the foot plate 18, the base portion 52 and the hinges 58. The springs 28 will then cause the jaws 10 and 12 to be opened apart from each other, opening the clamp, and allowing the article previously held thereby to be removed. The clamp is thus returned to its open status as shown in FIG. 4 ready for use at a later time for again clamping articles in the manner described.

From the foregoing description of the operation of the quick closing clamp of the invention, it will be perceived that the clamp acts automatically when a device is placed in it so as to exert a force in a direction normal to the axis of pivotation of effectively pivotal axis extending through the hinges 58. Where the clamp is disposed with its jaws extending vertically, the weight of the article to be clamped is generally sufficient to effect the automatic clamping action. Moreover, clamping occurs in an expeditious or rapid fashion, andentails no time delays. Release of the clamp is relatively easy, and can be performed with one hand without difficulty.

An important usage of the quick closing clamp of the invention is to secure a pair of such clamps in spaced relation to support both ends of elongated members, such as pipe lengths or sections and ladders. In the latter regard, the clamps can be used very effectivley in pairs on vehicles for transporting pipe, ladders or the like to a construction site or to a point of usage.

An alternate embodiment of the invention is depicted in FIG. 6 of the drawings. Since the structure illustrated in FIG. 6 is generally similar to that previously described and contains many identical structural elements, the same reference numerals have been utilized for identifying the same structural elements which are employed in the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 1-5. In the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 6, the male jaw 12 is constructed slightly differently in that the arcuate clamping portion 50 thereof does not have serrations or teeth provided on one of the side edges thereof. Rather, engagement of the arcuate clamping portion in its clamped position is effected by providing serrations or teeth 64 in the contacting side ege of the latching tongue 30. It will be perceived that such engagement can be employed as effectively as that previously described where the arcuate clamping portion 50 of the male jaw carries such serrations or teeth.

Although certain preferred embodiments of the invention have been herein described in order to illustrate and exemplify the incorporation of the principles of the invention in physical structure, it will be perceived that various changes and innovations in such illustrated exemplary structure can be effected without departure from such basic principles. Changes and innovations of this type are therefore deemed to be circumscribed by the spirit and scope of the invention except as the same may be necessarily limited by the appended claims or reasonable equivalents thereof.

What is claimed is:

l. A quick closing, automatically actuated clamp comprising:

a base;

a generally L-shaped slotted jaw pivotally mounted on the base for pivotation about a horizontal pivotal axis, said jaw including a foot plate terminating in an edge spaced from said horizontal pivotal axis and another plate extending substantially normal to said foot plate and having a slot therein;

a generally L-shaped male jaw having a base portion pivotally connected to said plate at said edge for pivotation about a pivotal axis spaced from, and extending substantially parallel to, said first-mentioned pivotal axis, said second pivotal axis moving toward and away from said base as said jaws are respectively pivoted toward and away from each other, said male jaw further including a clamping 6 portion dimensioned to fit into the slot in said slotted jaw; means resiliently biasing said jaws apart from each other to a location where said second-mentioned 5 pivotal axis is located at its furthest distance from said base; means movably interconnecting said male jaw to said base for limiting the distance said male jaw can be pivoted away from said slotted jaw; and a latching tongue movably mounted on said slotted jaw for engaging said male jaw when it is pivoted toward said slotted jaw, and said clamping portion enters the slot in said other plate of said slotted jaw.

2. A quick closing, automatically actuated clamp,

comprising:

a base;

' a first jaw pivotally mounted on the base;

a second jaw pivotally connected to said first jaw for pivotation toward and away from said first jaw about apivotal axis extending parallel to the pivotal axis of the first jaw on said base, said jaws being pivotally interconnected so that the point of connection therebetween moves in a direction normal to said first-mentioned pivotal axis;

spring means biasing said jaws apart to a position where the point of connection between the I jaws is exposed to an object placed between the jaws; and

a latching tongue pivotally mounted on one of said jaws for pivotation into engagement with the other of said jaws when said jaws have been pivoted in convergent, clamp-closing motion to a predetermined position.

3. A quick closing, automatically actuated clamp,

comprising:

a base;

a first jaw pivotally mounted on the base;

a second jaw pivotally connected to said first jaw for pivotation toward and away from said first jaw about a pivotal axis extending parallel to the pivotal axis of the first jaw on said base, said jaws being pivotally interconnected so that the point of connection therebetween moves in a direction normal to said first-mentioned pivotal axis;

spring means biasing said jaws apart to a position where the point of connection between the jaws is exposed to an object placed between said jaws;

latching means on one of said jaws for automatically engaging the other of said jaws when said jaws are converged;

a U-shaped rod secured to one of said jaws; and

a stop plate secured to said base in a position to engage and arrest the movement of said U-shaped rod in the course of pivotation of the jaw carrying said U-shaped rod. I

4. A quick closing, automatically actuated clamp,

comprising:

a base;

a first jaw pivotally mounted on the base and having a slot therein;

a second jaw pivotally connected to said first jaw for pivotation toward and away from said first jaw about a pivotal axis extending parallel to the pivotal axis of the first jaw on said base, said jaws being pivotally interconnected so that the point of connection therebetween moves in a direction normal to said first-mentioned pivotal axis, said second jaw including a portion dimensioned to pass into said slot in said first jaw when said clamp is closed by convergence of said jaws;

spring means biasing said jaws apart to a position where the point of connection between the jaws is exposed to an object placed between the jaws; and

a latching tongue pivotally mounted on said first jaw for pivotation across said slot, and engagement with said portion of said second jaw dimensioned to pass into said slot.

5. A quick closing, automatically actuated clamp as defined in claim 4 and further characterized as including means for limiting the extent to which said jaws are biased apart from each other by said spring means.

6. A quick closing, automatically actuated clamp as defined in claim 5 wherein each of said jaws are of L- shaped configuration, and together are of generally U- shaped configuration when the clamp is opened, and together are of generally triangularly shaped configuration when the clamp is closed.

7. A quick closing, automatically actuated clamp as defined in claim 6 wherein said base comprises a substantially flat plate having a pair of pivot plates extending normal thereto; and wherein said first jaw is generally L-shaped in configuration and includes:

a foot plate extending substantially parallel to said fiat plate, bearing against said spring means, and pivotally connected to said second jaw;

pivot plates projecting normal to said foot plate and pivotally connected to said first-mentioned pivot plates; and

an upstanding plate connected to said foot plate.

8. A quick closing, automatically actuated clamp as defined in claim 7 wherein said second jaw includes:

an arcuate clamping portion;

a base portion connected at an angle to said arcuate clamping portion, and pivotally connected to said foot portion.

9. A quick closing, automatically actuated clamp as defined in claim 8 wherein said means for limited the extent to which said jaws are biased apart from each other by said spring means comprises:

a U-shaped rod secured to one of said jaws; and

a stop plate secured to said base in a position to engage and arrest the movement of said U-shaped rod in the course of pivotation of the jaw carrying said U-shaped rod,

10. A quick closing, automatically actuated clamp comprising:

a base;

a first jaw pivotally mounted on the base and defining a slot extending into said first jaw;

a second jaw pivotally connected to said first jaw for pivotation toward and away from said first jaw about a pivotal axis extending parallel to the pivotal axis of the first jaw on said base, said jaws being pivotally interconnected so that the point of pivotal connection therebetween moves in a direction normal to said first-mentioned pivotal axis, said second jaw including an elongated portion dimensioned to move into the slot in said first jaw when said clamp is closed by convergence of said jaws, and said portion being positioned to pass further into said slot and toward the bottom thereof upon continued convergence of said jaws;

means resiliently biasing said jaws apart from each other to a position where the point of connection between said jaws is spaced from said base and exposed to an object placed between said jaws; and

latching means movably mounted on said first jaw for movement across said slot and including means engageable with said portion of said second jaw dimensioned to pass into said slot for automatically engaging said portion when said jaws are converged, and for preventing said second jaw from moving in one direction to move said portion out of said slot while permitting said second jaw to move in the opposite direction to move said portion further into said slot.

11. A quick closing, automatically actuated clamp,

comprising:

a base;

a first jaw pivotally mounted on the base;

a second jaw spaced from said base and pivotally connected to said first jaw for pivotation toward and away from said first jaw about a pivotal axis extending parallel to the pivotal axis of the first jaw on said base, said jaws being pivotally interconnected so that the pivotal axis of the pivotal connection therebetween moves in a direction normal to said first-mentioned pivotal axis;

spring means biasing said jaws apart to a position where the point of connection between the jaws is exposed to an object placed between said jaws;

latching means on one of said jaws for automatically engaging the other of said jaws when said jaws are converged to prevent pivotation of said jaws away from each other while permitting further converging movement of said jaws; and

a stop plate secured to said base; and

rod means connected to one of said jaws and positioned to contact said stop plate and be arrested thereby at a point when said one jaw is pivoted away from said other jaw to open said clamp. l

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US607545 *Apr 5, 1897Jul 19, 1898 martin
US621072 *Sep 5, 1896Mar 14, 1899 Bicycle holder and fastener
US848257 *Nov 20, 1905Mar 26, 1907Arno MaedlerSnap-hook.
US2439623 *Jun 24, 1946Apr 13, 1948Howells Thomas GSupport for vehicles
US2459970 *Oct 26, 1945Jan 25, 1949Arbee Products CompanyRefuse bag support
US3604071 *Jul 25, 1969Sep 14, 1971Codman & ShurtleffOne-piece plastic towel clamp
US3707743 *Oct 21, 1971Jan 2, 1973Midland Ross CorpTreatment of continuous sheet material
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4684305 *Mar 20, 1986Aug 4, 1987Rapid S.A.Fastening clip device
US5016326 *Dec 10, 1990May 21, 1991Goldenberg Michael PBelt clip
EP0199614A1 *Mar 17, 1986Oct 29, 1986Rapid S.A.Clamp-like fastening device
Classifications
U.S. Classification24/506, 24/507, 248/229.1, 24/509
International ClassificationF16B2/10, F16B2/02
Cooperative ClassificationF16B2/10
European ClassificationF16B2/10