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United States Patent 3,734,515
Dudek May 22, 1973

POWER WRENCH WITH INTERCHANGEABLE ADAPTERS

Abstract

A power wrench which has a spindle is provided with interchangeable adapters having drive portions of various sizes for connecting a socket or the like to the wrench. The adapters can be easily installed and removed from the spindle, but tampering with the wrench is minimized, since upon inspection it is not apparent that the adapter is easily removable from the spindle. Further, the adapter can be provided with two drive portions, one at each end. Should one portion be broken, the adapter can be reversed in the spindle, and the second drive portion can be used.


Inventors: Dudek; Edmund C. (Saint Charles, IL)
Appl. No.: 05/110,942
Filed: January 29, 1971


Current U.S. Class: 279/144 ; 173/29; 279/14; 403/317; 403/359.5; 403/4; 81/464
Current International Class: B25B 23/00 (20060101); B25b 029/00 (); F16d 001/06 ()
Field of Search: 81/52.3,177G,177A 279/1A,14 287/2,535S,127R 145/5R 173/29

References Cited

U.S. Patent Documents
3023015 February 1962 Pankow
3114401 December 1963 Johnson
2822677 February 1958 Reynolds
Primary Examiner: Husar; Francis S.

Claims



I claim:

1. In combination, a power wrench comprising a tool housing, a driving member rotatably mounted in said tool housing, and a driven spindle member rotatably mounted in said tool housing and being relatively rotatable with respect to said driving member, said driven spindle member having one end extending from said tool housing, a plurality of interchangeable adapters each having a non-circular portion of the same size, said one end of said spindle member having a corresponding non-circular opening for receiving said non-circular portions of said adapters, and retaining means on said driven spindle member for detachably securing one of said adapters in said opening of said spindle member, each of said adapters at one end having a socket post of a different size, whereby said wrench can be used with sockets having different size socket post openings by changing adapters.

2. The combination as in claim 1, wherein each of said adapters has a groove therein, and said retaining means comprises a ball detent located in a hole in said spindle member and engageable in the groove of each of said adapters, a sleeve located on said spindle member over said hole, said sleeve abutting said spindle member at one end, said ball detent being held in engagement in the groove of each of said adapters by said sleeve, and removable means on said spindle member fixedly holding the other end of said sleeve on said spindle member.

3. In combination, a power wrench comprising a tool housing, a driving member rotatably mounted in said tool housing and a driven spindle member rotatably mounted in said tool housing and being rotatable relative to said driving member, said driven spindle member having one end extending from said tool housing with a shoulder thereon and a spaced groove therein, an adapter having a groove formed therein and a splined portion, said one end of said spindle member having a corresponding splined opening for receiving said splined portion of said adapter, a ball detent located in a hole in said spindle member and engageable in said groove of said adapter, a sleeve located on said spindle member over said hole and abutting said shoulder, said ball detent being held in engagement in said groove of said adapter by said sleeve, and removable ring means fitting in said groove on said spindle member for fixedly holding said sleeve on said spindle member, said sleeve and ring means having substantially equal outside diameters, whereby said ring means appears to be integral with said sleeve so that it is not apparent said ring means is removable.

4. In combination, a power wrench comprising a tool housing, a driving member rotatably mounted in said tool housing and a driven spindle member rotatably mounted in said tool housing and being rotatable relative to said driving member, said driven spindle member having one end extending from said tool housing, an adapter having a central non-circular portion, said one end of said spindle member having a corresponding non-circular opening for receiving said non-circular portion of said adapter, and retaining means for detachably securing said adapter in said opening of said spindle member, each end of said adapter having a socket post, said adapter being reversible in said spindle member whereby either socket post of said adapter may be used.

5. The combination as in claim 4, wherein said adapter has a groove therein, said spindle member has a shoulder thereon and a groove therein spaced from said shoulder, said retaining means comprises a ball detent located in a hole in said spindle member and engageable in the groove of said adapter, a sleeve located on said spindle member over said hole and abutting said shoulder at one end, said ball detent being held in engagement in said groove of said adapter by said sleeve, and removable ring means on said spindle member fitting in said groove on said spindle member and fixedly holding the other end of said sleeve on said spindle member, said outer diameters of said sleeve and ring means being substantially equal.

6. An adapter as in claim 4, wherein both of said socket posts are of equal size, whereby should one of said socket posts require replacement the adapter need only be reversed in said wrench.

7. In combination, a power impact wrench comprising a tool housing, a driving member rotatably mounted in said tool housing, a driven spindle member rotatably mounted in said tool housing and being rotatable relative to said driving member, said spindle member extending from the forward end of said tool housing and having an exposed circumferential shoulder adjacent said tool housing and a circumferential groove in said spindle member spaced forwardly of said shoulder, a radial opening in said spindle member between said shoulder and said groove on said spindle member, and a splined axial opening in the forward end of the spindle member extending beyond said radial opening, a sleeve slidable on said spindle member to abut said shoulder at one end, said sleeve being of a length substantially equal to the distance between said shoulder and said groove on said spindle member, said sleeve having an inside diameter substantially equal to the outside diameter of said spindle member, removable ring means fitting in said groove and closely adjacent said sleeve to fixedly hold the other end of said sleeve, said ring means and sleeve have substantially the same outside diameters so as to appear to be integral, a plurality of adapters each having a splined portion at one end and at least one socket post at the opposite end, said splined portion having a circumferential groove therein, said grooves in said adapters aligning with said radial opening in said spindle member, a ball detent insertable through said radial opening and partially engageable in said radial opening and said groove in each of said adapters to hold one of said adapters in position, each of said adapters having a socket post of a different size, whereby, though not visibly apparent, said adapters may be changed to permit sockets with different socket post openings to be used with said power wrench.

8. The combination of claim 7, wherein one of said adapters has a socket post of the same size at each end so that should one post break another identical post can be substituted.
Description



This invention relates to power or impact wrenches and more particularly to novel means for securing drive sockets or the like to the wrench.

Heretofore, impact wrenches or other power wrenches have been provided with an anvil or other driven spindle having an integral outer end portion or tool drive of square cross-section and fixed size which would accept a socket or other tool. Since the tool-mounting outer end portion or drive was integral with the spindle, it could not be changed without disassembling the wrench and replacing the spindle. Consequently, users of such wrenches found it necessary to have separate wrenches for each size tool drive. For example, if socket members with 1/4 inch, 3/8 inch, and 1/2 inch tool drive sizes were used, three separate wrenches having spindles with corresponding drive sizes were required.

The drive end portions of the spindles, particularly in the smaller sizes, have been subject to wear or have been broken easily. At times, a replacement spindle is not available and cannot be conveniently secured. The wrench becomes inoperable until a new spindle is installed, and replacement of the spindle requires disassembly of the wrench, as mentioned above.

These disadvantages of power wrenches constructed according to the prior art result in time lost in replacing a spindle or the additional expense of having to have several wrenches with various size tool drives.

The foregoing disadvantages of prior art wrenches have been eliminated by the present invention which provides a driven spindle which accepts interchangeable accessory spindles or adapters having various size drive portions or other means for detachably mounting a socket or other tool member having a corresponding opening. If desired, the adapter connection with the driven spindle may be such that the adapter is not easily changed by an unauthorized person; for upon casual examination of the wrench, such person would be led to believe that the tool drive is integral with the spindle and could not be changed or removed without complete disassembly of the wrench. Further, in one form the adapter may be reversed in the tool so that drive portions at either end of the adapter may be used. Should one of the drive portions become worn or broken the adapter may be removed from the wrench, reversed, and then installed in the wrench so that the other drive portion may be used. Thus, an extra drive portion is available and can be conveniently carried with the wrench.

Accordingly, it is a general object of the present invention to provide, in a power wrench, a novel multiple adapter arrangement which makes available in a single tool the versatility of several conventional impact wrenches.

A further object of the invention is to provide, in a power wrench, a novel combination of a spindle and a plurality of interchangeable adapters having drive portions of various sizes for mounting sockets or other tool members.

Another object of the invention is to provide an adapter for the foregoing purpose which has two drive portions and is reversibly attachable to the spindle.

Still another object of the invention is to provide, in a power wrench, a removable adapter mounted in the wrench so as to appear to be removable only upon complete disassembly of the wrench.

Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following description and accompanying figures of the drawing in which:

FIG. 1 is a sectional view, with some parts shown in elevation, of an impact wrench and an adapter comprising a first embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a sectional view taken along the line 2--2 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevational view of the adapter shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of a second adapter;

FIG. 5 is a side elevational view of a third adapter, with parts broken away and in section;

FIG. 6 is a side elevational view of a fourth adapter; and

FIG. 7 is a side elevational view of a fifth adapter.

Referring now to FIG. 1, an impact wrench is illustrated which incorporates an impact spindle and an accessory spindle or adapter in accordance with the present invention. The wrench has a housing 10 comprising a rear housing section 12, including a handle 14, and a forward housing section 16. Enclosed within the rear housing section 12 is a pneumatic motor 18 of the usual reversible rotary vane type which has a center motor shaft or rotor 20 journaled in ball bearing units 22 and 24. Air under pressure can be selectively admitted through an inlet 21 to operate the motor 18 under the control of a trigger 23. The forward housing section 16 is removably secured to the rear housing section 12 and is provided with a forward nose portion having an opening 26 in which a bushing 30 is mounted.

A conventional impact clutch 32, such as is disclosed in the Kaman U.S. Pat. No. 2,801,718, is rotatably supported in the wrench housing 10 and includes a drive shaft 34 having a splined end 36 and a cam lug 38. The splined end 36 engages a corresponding opening 40 in the motor shaft 20 to rotate the drive shaft 34 and to support one end of the clutch 32. The cam lug 38 engages a cam opening 42 in an impact clutch member 44 and reciprocates the impact clutch member 44 in guides 43 located on the front of a rotating hammer member 45. The impact clutch member 44 has an impact surface (not shown) which, when the impact clutch member 44 is in an extreme end position, strikes an impact jaw 46 on an anvil or impact spindle 48. The spindle 48 is rotatably mounted in the bushing 30 in the front housing section 16 and is driven or rotated by the blows that strike the impact jaw 46.

The spindle 48 removably receives an adapter, designated generally at 52, and to this end has at its forward end a central non-circular or splined opening 50. The splined opening 50 engages a mating splined portion provided on the adapter 52 to transmit torque from the spindle 48 to the body of the adapter.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 3, the adapter 52 has a splined portion 56 located on a central large diameter part of the adapter body and has a tool-mounting or drive portion 58 of square cross-section at each end. The relative lengths of the splined portion 56, the drive portions 58, and the opening 50 are selected so that one end of the adapter 52 may be inserted into the splined opening 50 in abutting engagement with the base 51 thereof and with the splined portion 56 engaging the splined opening 50 and fully received therein so that the outermost end of the portion 56 is in flush alignment with the outer end of the spindle 48. The adapter 52 has a circumferential groove 60 in the splined portion 56 in which a ball detent 62 can partially lie, the other part of the ball 62 being received in a hole 64 in the drive spindle 48. Engagement of the ball detent 62 in the groove 60 and the hole 64 retains the adapter 52 in the spindle 48.

While the wrench could be provided with a quick change chuck to retain the adapter in the spindle, in this instance the wrench has been constructed so that the drive portion 58 and drive spindle 48 appear to the casual observer to be integral with each other and removable only upon disassembly of the tool. The ball detent 62 is retained in the hole 64 by a sleeve 66 which fits over the hole 64 in the spindle 48 and abuts a shoulder 68 on the spindle. Removable means in the form of a spiral or snap ring 70 is received in a groove in the spindle 48 and fixedly retains the other end of the sleeve 66, the snap ring being removable by a tool or pliers. Since the ring 70 and sleeve 66 have substantially equal outside diameters the ring appears to be integral with the sleeve and not removable. The adapter 52, however, can be easily detached from the spindle by removing the ring 70, sleeve 66, and ball 62, as is shown in the dashed lines in FIG. 1.

While an adapter could be provided with different size socket posts or drive portions at each end (e.g. 1/2 inch square and 3/8 inch square) for convenience when various drive sizes are needed, in this instance the adapter 52 has been provided with two drive portions 58 of equal size. This feature is particularly advantageous in the most frequently used small size drives which are subject to heavy use, e.g. 1/2 inch. Should one drive portion 58 be broken, the adapter 52 may be reversed and the other drive portion used.

As is shown in FIG. 2 each drive portion 58 has a plunger 72 which is slidable in a hole 73 for retaining a conventional nut or bolt-engaging socket or the like on the drive portion 58. The plunger 72 is urged outwardly by a spring 74 and is retained in place by a roll pin 76 which is disposed in the drive portion 58 transversely of the plunger 72 and extends through a slot 75 in the plunger.

Adapter 77 shown in FIG. 4 has a larger drive portion 78 (e.g. 5/8 inch square) and a lengthened splined portion 80 which can transmit increased torque from the wrench to the adapter. In this case the adapter has only a single drive portion, and when the adapter is mounted in the spindle 48 the forward end of the splined portion 80 projects beyond the outer end of the spindle 48.

The adapter 82 shown in FIG. 5 has a splined end portion 83 and at its other end is constructed to provide a conventional quick change chuck 84 for rapid changing of sockets or other tool members. The chuck 84 comprises an axial recess 85 in the end of the adapter, a ball 86 sealed in an opening 87 in the adapter which extends into the recess 85 to engage the socket or other tool member (not shown) to retain it in the chuck, and a retractable sleeve 88. The sleeve 88 is slidable between a first position which keeps the ball 86 in engagement with the socket and a second position in which the ball 86 is free to move out of engagement with the socket or the like so the socket can be removed. The sleeve 88 is urged into the first position by a spring 90 which abuts a ring 92 held in place by a retainer ring 94.

FIG. 6 and FIG. 7 show two extended adapters 96 and 98 which have splined end portions 97 and 99, respectively, and drive end portions 58. The adapters can be of any length required and are useful in reaching into corners and openings.

Although the invention has been described with particular reference to certain specific structural embodiments thereof, it should be understood that other modifications and equivalent structures may be resorted to without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.

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