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Патент USA US2124129

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july 19, l938.,
H. |_. THEROLF
2,124,129
JOINT BREAKER
Filed June 5D, 1936
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Patented July i9, 193s
'
STT És PAT E T
2,l24,129
FFEQE
2,124,129
JOINT BREAKER
Harold L. Therolf, Los Nietos, Calif., assigner to
Eason & Therolf Tool Company, Los Nietos,
Calif., a cla-partnership composed of Ernest L.
Eason and Harold L. rl‘herolf
Application June 30, 1936, Serial No. 88,123
’7 Claims. (Cl. 254--1‘73)
This invention relates to well drilling equip- tion of a typical draw works illustrating the joint
ment and relates more particularly to an automatic cat head or joint breaker for use on or ap~
l
plication to the draw works of a well drilling rig.
5> A general object of this invention is to provide a
practical, effective automatic joint breaker'that is
safe and convenient to operate.
Another object of this invention is to provide
an automatic joint breaker intended for applical10 tion to the line shaft of a draw works that may
be governed or engaged from a remote point to
15
20
breaker of the present invention in its operative
position. Fig. 2 is an enlarged vertical detailed
sectional View of the joint breaker being a view
taken as indicated by line 2_2 on Fig, l. Fig. 3 »
is a longitudinal detailed sectional View of the
joint breaker taken as indicated by line 3-3 on
Fig. 2. Fig. 4 is a fragmentary transverse detailed
sectional view taken substantially as indicated
by line 4_4 on Fig. 3 and illustrating the clutch 10
means and Fig. 5 is a fragmentary horizontal de
exert a pull on tongs or the like for breaking a
joint in a drilling string, or the like, at the ro-
tailed sectional View taken substantially as in
dicated byline 5-5 on Fig. 4.
a pull of limited and known extent and then releases, whereby it is particularly safe to use or
operate.
the drawing I have illustrated a portion of a
'5571310211 GMW WOTkS aS Used íIl Well drilling Opel”
tary table.
Another object of this invention is to provide
an automatic joint breaker that exerts or applies
Another object of this invention is to provide
an automatic joint breaker of the character mentíoned in which the moving or working parts are
entirely enclosed and cannot foul the lines or injure the workmen.
25
Another object of this invention isl’to provide
an automatic joint breaker of the character men-
The improved joint breaker of the present in
vention is adapted to be employed in connection là
with draw works of various makes and types. In
ations and have shown a typical preferred-em
bodiment of the invention operatively applied to 20
the draw works. It is to be understood that the
invention is not to be construed as limited or re
stricted to the specific form or application about
to be described, but is to be taken as including any
features or modifications that may fall Within the 25
scope of the claims.
tioned that embodies a simple, dependable clutch
The lJOftìOYl Of the typîßal dl‘â'W WOrkS illus
and a clutch control operable from a convenient
trated includes a frame having a header l0 and
remote point to engage the tong-line drum with
«30 the line shaft of the draw works.
Another object of this invention is to provide
an automatic joint breaker of the character mentioned embodying a novel effective means for
automatically disengaging or de-clutching the
35 tong-line drum when the drum has been turned
substantially one revolution thereby rendering
the device safe to operate under practically any
conditions.
Another and important Object 0f the inven4o tion is to provide an automatic joint breaker of
the character mentioned that may be easily and
quickly assemmed in the une Shaft even though
the Shaft wobbles @pis out of alignment
A further object of this invention is to provide
45 an automatic joint breaker of the character mentioned that is simple and inexpensive and that is
adapted to be applied to the line shafts of the
various typical makes and forms of draw works,
a post l l. A substantially horizontal line shaft I2
is rotatably supported by ‘bearings (not shown)
and has an end portion @Xtendîng laterally from
011€ Side 0f the POSE H. A drum Shaft i3 is
spaced below the line shaft l2 and is rotatably
carried by a bearing M'On the post Il and a sim
ilar bearing on the other post (not shown) of the
frame. The drum shaft I3 carries the usual
Winding drum I5. The DOI‘ÈÍOD 0f the drum t5
illustrated has a brake flange I6 engageable by
the usual lined brake band ll for controlling the
rotation of the Winding drum- A chain and
SDTOCket drive I3 íS DTOVíded between the line
shaft l2 and the drum shaft i3. It is to be under
stood that the line shaft I2 is driven or operated
by the drlïlîïlg .engine 0f the Iig.
The alltOmatlC 3011115 breaker 0f the Present ÍIIvolition inoludes, generally, a CaSe or housing 20
surrounding tho ond portion of the lino Shaft l2,
a sleeve or collar 2| secured to the shaft l2 with
The various objects and features of my inven-
in the hOUSîng 29. a Cat head 01' SDOOI 22 0n the
50 tion will be fully understood from the following
detailed description of a typical preferred form
and application of my invention, throughout
which description reference is made to the accompanying drawing, in which:
55
Fig. lis a fragmentary elevation view of a por-
30
A"
35
'4o
45
collar 2l, a shíftable tong-line drum 23 in the 50
housing 2U, Cllltßh means 24 adapted to form a
dríV‘â betWeSn the C0115? 2l and the drum 23,
means 25 for shifting the drum 23 to engage the
clutch means 24 and means 2B for automatically
returning the drum 23 to disengage the clutch 55
2
2,124,129
means 24 at the termination of substantially one
revolution of the drum 23
The case or housing 23 is provided to enclose
the moving or working parts of the device to pre
vent the fouling of lines, etc. with the device, and
to protect the workmen against injury. The
housing 20 is relatively stationary vand is rotat
ably mounted on the projecting portion of the
shaft I2 in the manner to be hereinafter de
10 scribed.
In the typical form of the invention
illustrated the housing 20 is a substantially cy
lindrical hollow structure comprising two com
plementary sections 23a connected by axially ex
tending flange and bolt connections 21. The
housing 2t! is provided with normal inner and
outer ends 28 and 29. A radial inwardly facing
annular flange Síl is provided on the interior
of the inner end 28. An outwardly projecting
wall Section extends from the outer end 23 of
20 the housing 2B and has an angular rlip or flange
32 at its outer end. Means is provided for pre
venting rotation of the housing 23. A stop lug
33 projects from the upper section 25a and is
adapted to abut or bear against a convenient
25 or suitable abutment to hold the housing against
turning in one direction. In the particular appli
cation of the invention illustrated in the ydraw
ing the post II forms the abutment for the lug
33; that is, the lug 33 abuts against the station
30 ary abutment or post I I to prevent rotation of
the housing 29 with the shaft l2. A bolt Sil
passes through an opening Si in the lug 33 with
substantial clearance. 'I‘he bolt 93 has a shoulder
92 engaging against the post II to prevent the
35 head of the bolt from clamping the lug against
the post. A reduced portion of the bolt 99 passes
through an opening in the post l I, or a flange
of the post II, and has a threaded nut 93 to hold
the bolt in place. The lug 33 is only loosely en
gaged on the bolt 90 and does not serve to secure
the housing 23 to the post but merely holds the
housing against rotation in both directions. The
loose association of the housing 2U with the abut
ment or post I I is important as it allows the joint
45 breaker to be easily and quickly arranged on the
shaft I2 even though the shaft is out of align
ment. It is apparent that the lug 33 or another
part of the housing 20 may engage any suitable
stationary abutment to hold the housing against
50 rotation with the shaft I2. The housing 23 just
described surrounds the end portion of the line
shaft I2 with substantial clearance to receive the
collar 2i, the drum 23 and the associated parts.
The collar 2l is provided to shiftably support
55 the line drum 23 and to present certain clutch
parts of the means 24 to be hereinafter described.
The collar 2I is a tubular member of substan
tial length surrounding the shaft I2 at one side
of the post II and extending through the hous
In practice the collar 2l may project
outwardly beyond the end of the shaft I2 as
illustrated in the drawing. A feather or key 34
cooperates With suitable key-ways 35 in the shaft
60 ing 2G.
I2 and the collar 2l to connect the collar with
65 the shaft for rotation therewith. The major por
tion of the collar 2l is cylindrical and of uni
form diameter. The inner end portion of the
collar 2I is preferably of enlarged diameter and
is provided with an annular groove 33. The
70 housing 20 surrounds a portion of the rotatable
shaft I2 and is held against rotation with the
shaft by the engagement of its lug 33 with the
abutment or post II so that it is desirable or
necessary to provide bearing means for support
75 ing the non-rotatable housing on the rotatable
shaft.
A bushing or bearing 31 is arranged in
the groove 3G and receives the flange 30 of the
housing 20.
'I‘he housing 2D is thus rotatably
supported on the shaft I2 through the medium
of the flange 30, bearing 31 and collar 2|. Suit
able lubricant ports 38 are provided in the bear
ing 31. A lubricant reservoir 39 may be provided
on the upper portion of the housing 20 and a port
40 may extend downwardly through the housing
2G from the reservoir 39 to the flange 33 to con
-duct lubricant to the bearing 31. An annular
flange 4I is provided on the collar 2l at the outer
side of the groove 33 to carry certain clutch parts
of the means 24 as will be hereinafter described.
The cat head or spool 22 is provided to replace 15
the cat head usually provided on the end of the
line shaft I2 and >has the same uses as the usual
cat head. The spool 22 is secured to the project
ing end portion of the collar 2| to rotate with
the shaft I2. The spool 22 is cylindrical in its 20
general configuration and has annular flanges
42 at its opposite ends to» prevent the displace
ment of the line. The spool 22 is preferably made
hollow to lighten its Weight and reduce its cost.
In practice the spool 22 may be tubular and its
25
outer end may be closed by a plate 43 secured in
place by a spring ring 44. The cat head or spool
22 is threaded on the projecting end portion of
the collar 2| and is locked against unthreading by
a feather or key 45. The inner flange 42 of the 30
spool 22 is received in the angular flange 32 of
the housing 2li and the inner end of the spool
acts to close the outer end of the housing.
The drum 23 is provided to- pull or operate a
line L which in turn may pull or operate tongs or
35
other tools in the rig. The drum 23 is arranged
in the housing 2li and is shiftable axially therein.
In accordance with the invention the drum 23
is a tubular member surrounding the major cy
lindrical portion of the collar 2I. The drum 23 40
is preferably rotatably and shiftably supported
on the collar 2I through a suitable bearing or
bushing 46. The bushing 46 may be shiftable with
the drum 23. An annular internal groove 41 is
provided in the drum 23 to carry lubricant for
the bushing 46. A port 48 extends outwardly 45
through the drum 23 to conduct lubricant to the
groove 41. An annular external channel or
groove 49 is provided in the drum 23 to receive
or wind in the line L. An opening 98 is provided
in the wall of the housing 20 to facilitate the lu 50
brication of the bushing 46 and is normally closed
by a door 99.
An end of the line L is secured to the drum
23. In accordance with the invention any suit 55
able means. may be provided for securing the line
L to the drum 23. In the particular structure
illustrated a tubular rope socket 5U is fixed in the
groove 49 to receive the line L, The inner end
part 5I of the line L is spread or enlarged to 60
prevent the line from- being pulled outwardly
through the socket 50. The line L extends from
the joint breaker and is adapted to be connected
with a tool, for example, tongs, for breaking the
joints of a string extending through the rotary.
An opening 52 is provided in the lower wall por
tion of the housing 25 in alignment with the
groove 49 to pass the line L.
is horizontally elongated.
The opening 52
A tangential tubular
guide 53 may be provided on the body 20 at the 70
opening 5G to guide the line L,
The clutch means 24 is operable to impart ro
tation from the collar 2I to the drum 23 for the
purpose of winding the line L on the drum and
thus effect pulling of the line L and operating 75
ya
2,124,129
of the tool connected therewith. The clutch
means 24 includes a plurality of circumferen
tially spaced clutch parts 54 on the inner end of
the drum 23; The clutch parts 54 have flat
radial faces 55 opposing the direction of rotation
of the shaft I 2 and inclined surfaces 55 sloping
away from the tops or extremities of the surfaces
55. The means 24 further includes clutch parts
on the flange 4l of the collar 2l. The clutch
150 parts on the ñange ¿il comprise flat radial faces
5l facing in the direction of rotation of the shaft
l2 and inclined surfaces 58 sloping away from
the tops of the faces 5l. The faces 5l and the
surfaces 58 may constitute walls of spaced'notches
15 in the outer side of the flange 4I. These notches
are adapted to receive the clutch parts 54 with
suitable clearance. Upon inward shifting of the
drum 23 the inclined surfaces 56 and 58 are
adapted to cooperate to provide for smooth mesh
ing or engagement of the clutch parts. The faces
51 are adapted to cooperate with the faces 55 to
transmit rotation from the collar 2| to the drum
23.
The means 25 is adapted to be operated from
25 any suitable remote point to effect axial shifting
of the drum 23 to engage the clutch means 24
described above. The means 25 includes a lever
or bell crank pivoted on a pin 6B supported by
spaced lugs 6l on the upper side of the housing
The bell crank has an arm 62 projecting
downwardly or inwardly through an opening 63a
in the wall of the housing 2i! and an outwardly
and axially projecting arm 63. An annular
groove 64 is provided in the outer end portion of
35 the drum 23 and a cup-like member 65 seats in
30 2i).
the upper portion of the groove 64.
The mem
ber 65 also bears on the cylindrical periphery of
the drum 23. The inner end of the arm i572 is
rounded to cooperate with or seat in the member
40 65.
The means 25 may further include a line 55
connected with the outer bell crank arm 63. The
line EG extends from the arm 53 and may pass
over suitable pulleys 6l on the header IS to a
45 convenient lpoint for actuation. Pulling of the
line 66 effects inward swinging of the arm @2
which in turn shifts the member G5 and the drum
23 inwardly to engage the clutch means 24.
Spring means may be associated with the means
50, 25 to yieldingly hold the drinn 23 in its de~
clutched position. In the particular case illus
trated in the drawing an extensible coiled spring
68 is connected with the arm 63 and a lug 5i to
urge the arm 63 to the position where the drum
5.5. 23 is idle.
The means 26 for automatically de-clutching
the drum 23 from the collar 2i and the shaft l2
is an important feature of the invention as it
renders the device entirely safe to operate. The
means 2S is a simple cam means that automati
cally shifts the drum 23 axially outward at the
termination of substantially one complete rota~
tion of the drum. The automatic de-clutching
means 26 includes a lug 'lll projecting inwardly
65 from the upper wall portion of the housing 20 and
a cam 'H on the inner end of the drum 23.
The
projection T0 may have substantially flat parallel
sides as illustrated in the drawing.
The cam 'Il
has a fiat end surface 'l2 facing counter to the
70 direction of rotation of the shaft l2 and an in
clined or pitched surface 13 on its forward side.
The cam face 13 is of substantial length and is
adapted to cooperate with the lug 'lil to shift the
drum 23 axially or outwardly a sufficient distance
75 to disengage the clutch parts 54 from the clutch
parts of the flange 4l. A fiat axial face Iûll'is
provided at the outer end of the cam face 73.
The projection or lug 'Hl- and the cam `-H are
related so that when the flat face î2‘of the cam
is in cooperation with the lug ‘l0 the rope socket
5@ is adjacent to and in alignment with the open'
ing 52 as illustrated in Fig. 2.
It is believed that the operation of the auto
matic joint breaker of the invention will be ap
parent from the foregoing detailed description.
The line L is adapted to be connected with tongs
or any other similar tool in the drilling- rig. The
shaft l2 may be constantly rotating and the
spring 68 holds the drum 23 in its retracted posi#
tion where the clutch parts 54’are out of engage '115
ment with the clutch parts» on the flange' 4l.
When the drum‘23 is in this normal positionthe
flat face 'l2 of the cam ll is in engagement .with
the lug 110. When it is desired to operate the
tongs or tool connected with the line L the oper~
ator pulls the line 56 to shift the drum 23 in
wardly. As the drum 23 shifts inwardly the in
clined surfaces 56 and 58 may come into engage
ment to facilitate the smooth engagement of the
fiat clutch faces 55 with the faces 51. Whenv the
faces 55 and 5l are in cooperation the drum 23
of course rotates with the collar 2| and the shaft
l2. As the drum 23 rotates the line L is. wound
or wrapped into the groove 49A and is thus actu
ated or pulled to operate its tongs. The rotation
or turning of the drum 23 continues until the cam
'il cooperates with the lug lil. The cam face 'f3
cooperates with the lug 'l0 to shift the drum 23
axially or outwardly. As above described the
surface 3 is formed to shift the drum 23 out
20
25
35
wardly to fully disengage the clutch parts 54 from
the clutch parts on the flange 4I. This, of
course, completely de-clutches the drum 23y from
the collar 2i and the shaft l2. The face |08
definitely limits the movement of the drum 23.
Thus the joint breaker is operable to exert a lim
ited or definite pull on the line L and no more, so
that there is no danger in the operation of the
tongs or tool. To recondition the device'for a
succeeding operation the line L is pulled out-y 45
wardly to effect reverse rotation of the drum 23.
The ñat face 'l2 of the cam ‘il is adapted to strike
the lug 'It to‘limit this reverse rotation of the
drum 23 and set the drum in position for a sec
ond operation. The spring 68 acts to yieldingly 50
hold the drum 23 in its (ie-clutched position and
to automatically return the line 66.
'
The automatic joint breaker of the present
invention is entirely safe to operate and is adapt
ed to give tongs or similar tools a definite and 55
known pull or stroke of movement. The operat
ing parts of the device are entirely enclosed
against dirt and so that they cannot foul the lines
or injure the workmen. The joint breaker is
such that it may be easily and quickly assembled
on the line shaft of a typical draw works with
little or no alteration of the draw works struc
ture. The device is simple and easy to operate
and is inexpensive to manufacture.
Having described only a typical preferred form 65
and application of my invention, I do not wish
to be limited or restricted to the specific details
herein set forth, but wish to reserve to myself any
variations or modifications that may appear to
those skilled in the art or fall within the scope of 70
the following claims.
Having described my invention, I claim:
l. A joint breaker for application to the shaft
of a draw works having a post, said joint breaker
including, a housing surrounding the shaft, a 75
4
2,124,129
member arranged on the shaft to rotatethere
with and extending into the housing, means ro
tatably supporting the housing on the member, a
rotatable and axially shiftable drum arranged on
the member, a tool operating line associated with
the drum to be wound thereon, clutch means en
gageable by axial shifting of the drum in one di
rection to cause the drum to rotate with the
shaft, means for shifting the drum in said direc
.10 tion to engage the clutch means, cam parts on
the drum and housing cooperable to shift the
drum in the opposite direction to disengage the
clutch means when a >predetermined length of
the line is wound on the drum, and means loosely
15 associating the housing with the post to prevent
rotation of the housing.
’
2. A joint breaker for application to the shaft
of a draw works including, a housing surrounding
the shaft, a member in the housing arranged on
20 the shaft to rotate therewith, a bearingY rotatably
supporting the housing on the member, a rotat
able and axially shiftable drum arranged around
the member, a tool operating line associated with
the drum to be wound thereon, clutch means en~~
gageable by axial shifting of the drum in one di
rection to cause the drum to rotate with the
shaft, means for shifting the drum in said direc
tion to engage the clutch means, cam parts on
the drum and housing cooperable to shift the
drum in the opposite direction to disengage the
clutch means when a predetermined length of the
line is wound on the drum, and means loosely
associating the housing with a relatively fixed
abutment to prevent rotation of the housing.
3. A cat head for use in combination with a
rotatable shaft and a relatively stationary abut
nient, the cathead including a collar .secured to
the shaft to rotate therewith, a rotatable line
drum shiftable axially with respect to the shaft,
clutch parts on the collar and drum cooperable
upon shifting of the drum in one direction to
effect rotation of the drum, means for shifting
the drum in said direction to eifect engagement
of the clutch parts, a. housing surrounding the
45 drum, bearing means supporting the housing on
the collar, cooperable parts on the drum and
housing for shifting the drum in the other direc
tion to effect disengagement of the clutch parts,
and a stop part on the housing engaging against
50 the abutment to prevent turning of the housing
and shiftable relative to the abutment to allow
lateral working of the housing with the shaft.
4. A cat head for use in combination with a
rotatable shaft and a relatively stationary abut
55 ment, the cathead including a collar secured to
the shaft to rotate therewith, a rotatable line
drum shiftable axially with respect to -the shaft,
clutch parts on the collar and drum cooperable
upon shifting of the drum in one direction to
60 effect rotation of the drum, means for shifting
the drum in said direction to effect engagement
of the clutch parts, a housing surrounding the
drinn, bearing means spaced axially of the shaft
for supporting the housing on the collar, cooper
able parts on the drum and housing for shifting
the drum in the other direction to effect disen
gagement of the clutch parts,y and a stop part
on the housing engaging with the abutment to
prevent turning of vthe housing and shiftable
relative to the abutment to allow lateral working
of the housing with the shaft.
10
5. In combination with a rotatable shaft and a
stationary abutment, two elements, one a mem
ber rotatable with the shaft, the other a rotatable
drum, one of said elements being shiftable axially
of the shaft relative to the other, clutch parts on 15
the elements cooperable to effect rotation of the
drum with the shaft upon axial shifting of said
shiftable element in one direction, a housing for
said elements, means rotatably supporting the
housing on the member, means loosely associat 20
ing the housing with said abutment to prevent
turning of the housing and to allow lateral work
ing of the housing, means for shifting said shift
able element in the direction to engage the clutch
parts, and cooperable cam parts on the housing 25
and said axially shiftable element to shift said
shiftable element in the other direction to effect
disengagement of the clutch parts.
6. A cat head for use in combination with a
rotatable shaft and a relatively stationary abut 30
ment, the cat head including a collar secured to
the shaft to rotate therewith, a rotatable line
drum shiftable axially with respect to the shaft,
clutch parts on the collar and drum cooperable to
effect rotation of the drum, a housing for the 35
drum rotatably supported on the collar, means
for shifting the drum to engage the clutch parts,
cooperable parts on the housing and drum for
shifting the drum to disengage the clutch parts,
a projection on the abutment, and a part on the
housing engaging against the abutment and hav
40
ing an opening loosely receiving said projection to
prevent rotation of the housing and to allow lat
eral working of the housing with the shaft.
'7. A cat head for use with a shaft and a post,
the oat head including an assembly comprising a 45
collar adapted to be slid over the shaft, a drum
carried by the collar to rotate and shift axially
thereon, a housing, and bearing means rotatably
supporting the housing on the collar to surround
the drum, means for securing the collar to the 50
shaft to rotate therewith, cooperable clutch parts
on the collar and drum to leffect rotation of the
drum, means for shifting the drum to engage the
clutch parts, cooperable parts on the drum and
housing for shifting the drum to release the 55
clutch parts, and a stop on the housing engaging
the post to prevent rotation of the shaft and
shiftable with respect to the post to allow lateral
working of the housing.
HAROLD L. 'I'I-IEROLF.
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