Title:
Shipping tube content extractor
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shipping tube content extractor preferably includes a retention member and a pull member. The retention member includes at least two upright tabs extending upward from the retention member. The pull member preferably includes a lengthwise strip. A snap pin is formed on one end of the lengthwise strip that is sized to be firmly received by a base interference fit hole in the retention base. A plurality of snap sections are formed on the other end of the lengthwise strip. Any number of snap sections are broken-off the other end of the lengthwise strip to accommodate a particular length of shipping tube. A pull tab includes a finger opening and a tab snap pin extending therefrom. The tab snap pin is sized to be received by a strip interference fit hole formed through each snap section.



Inventors:
Ponzini, Richard J. (Brewcler, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/077538
Publication Date:
02/16/2006
Filing Date:
03/11/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D85/67
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
CHIN, PAUL T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DONALD J. ERSLER, S.C. (1165 Terrace Drive, Elm Grove, WI, 53122, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A method of withdrawing material from a shipping tube, comprising the steps of: providing a retention member having at least two upright tabs extending upward therefrom; extending a pull member upward from said retention member, said pull member having a first end and a second end; and retaining material inside the inner perimeter of said at least two upright tabs.

2. The method of withdrawing material from a shipping tube of claim 1, further comprising the step of: inserting said retention member into the shipping tube using the material.

3. The method of withdrawing material from a shipping tube of claim 1, further comprising the step of: withdrawing the material from the shipping tube by pulling said pull member.

4. The method of withdrawing material from a shipping tube of claim 1, further comprising the step of: forming a snap pin on said first end of said pull member, forming a base interference fit hole in said retention member to receive said snap pin.

5. The method of withdrawing material from a shipping tube of claim 1, further comprising the step of: forming a plurality of snap sections on said second end of said pull member by forming a plurality of separation lines between adjacent said plurality of snap sections.

6. The method of withdrawing material from a shipping tube of claim 5, further comprising the step of: forming a plurality of finger openings through said plurality of snap sections to receive a finger.

7. The method of withdrawing material from a shipping tube of claim 5, further comprising the step of: providing a pull tab having a tab finger opening and a tab snap pin, forming a plurality of tab interference fit holes in a second end of said pull member to receive said tab snap pin.

8. The method of withdrawing material from a shipping tube of claim 1, further comprising the step of: forming a plurality of peripheral snap sections on said second end of said pull member, forming a plurality of peripheral recessed areas between adjacent said plurality of peripheral snap sections.

9. The method of withdrawing material from a shipping tube of claim 1, further comprising the step of: forming a plurality of contoured snap sections on said second end of said pull member, forming a plurality of separation lines between adjacent said contoured snap sections.

10. A method of withdrawing material from a shipping tube, comprising the steps of: providing a retention member having at least two upright tabs extending upward therefrom; extending a pull member upward from said retention member, said pull member having a first end and a second end; retaining material inside the inner perimeter of said at least two upright tabs; and inserting said retention member into the shipping tube using the material.

11. The method of withdrawing material from a shipping tube of claim 10, further comprising the step of: withdrawing the material from the shipping tube by pulling said pull member.

12. The method of withdrawing material from a shipping tube of claim 10, further comprising the step of: forming a snap pin on said first end of said pull member, forming a base interference fit hole in said retention member to receive said snap pin.

13. The method of withdrawing material from a shipping tube of claim 10, further comprising the step of: forming a plurality of snap sections on said second end of said pull member by forming a plurality of separation lines between adjacent said plurality of snap sections.

14. The method of withdrawing material from a shipping tube of claim 13, further comprising the step of: forming a plurality of finger openings through said plurality of snap sections to receive a finger.

15. The method of withdrawing material from a shipping tube of claim 13, further comprising the step of: providing a pull tab having a tab finger opening and a tab snap pin, forming a plurality of tab interference fit holes in a second end of said pull member to receive said tab snap pin.

16. The method of withdrawing material from a shipping tube of claim 10, further comprising the step of: forming a plurality of peripheral snap sections on said second end of said pull member, forming a plurality of peripheral recessed areas between adjacent said plurality of peripheral snap sections.

17. The method of withdrawing material from a shipping tube of claim 10, further comprising the step of: forming a plurality of contoured snap sections on said second end of said pull member, forming a plurality of separation lines between adjacent said contoured snap sections.

18. A method of withdrawing material from a shipping tube, comprising the steps of: providing a retention member having at least two upright tabs extending upward therefrom; extending a pull member upward from said retention member, said pull member having a first end and a second end, forming a plurality of snap sections on said second end of said pull member by forming a plurality of separation lines between adjacent said plurality of snap sections; and retaining material inside the inner perimeter of said at least two upright tabs.

19. The method of withdrawing material from a shipping tube of claim 18, further comprising the step of: inserting said retention member into the shipping tube using the material.

20. The method of withdrawing material from a shipping tube of claim 18, further comprising the step of: withdrawing the material from the shipping tube by pulling said pull member.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This is a utility application taking priority from provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/600,852 filed on Aug. 12, 2004.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to shipping tubes and more specifically to a shipping tube content extractor, which allows material inserted into the shipping tube to be quickly removed.

2. Discussion of the Prior Art

There appears to be no device available for quickly removing material inserted into a shipping tube. Flat paper products, such as posters, drawings, photographs, blueprints or the like are frequently rolled-up and mailed in a shipping container. Inserting the above rolled paper products is not very difficult. The item is rolled up tightly and quickly inserted into the shipping tube. However, removing the rolled-up paper products is not easy; it requires trying to reroll a top portion of the material, while thereof is contained in the shipping tube. Frequently, the material is damaged during extraction from the shipping tube.

Accordingly, there is a clearly felt need in the art for a shipping tube content extractor, which allows material inserted into the shipping tube to be quickly removed without damaging thereof.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a shipping tube content extractor, which allows material in a shipping tube to be quickly removed. The shipping tube content extractor preferably includes a retention member and a pull member. The retention member includes a retention base and at least two upright tabs. The at least two upright tabs extend upward from the retention base. The pull member includes a lengthwise strip. A snap pin is formed on one end of the lengthwise strip that is sized to be firmly received by a base interference fit hole in the retention base. A plurality of snap sections are formed on the other end of the lengthwise strip. Each snap section may be broken-off the other end of the lengthwise strip to accommodate a particular length of shipping tube. A pull tab includes a finger opening and a tab snap pin extending therefrom. The tab snap pin is sized to be received by a strip interference fit hole formed through each snap section.

In use, the snap pin is snapped into the base interference fit hole. The appropriate number of snap sections are broken off an end of the lengthwise strip. The tab snap pin is inserted into the strip interference hole closest to the end of the lengthwise strip. The pull tab preferably extends outward from the shipping tube. A paper product or the like is rolled-up, such that the outer perimeter is less than the inner perimeter of the at least two tabs. The lengthwise strip is inserted through the paper product, such that the outer perimeter of the material is retained in the inner perimeter of the at least two tabs. The pull tab is inserted into the shipping tube and the shipping tube is sealed. When the shipping tube is unsealed; the pull tab is extracted from the shipping tube. The user inserts their finger into the finger opening in the pull tab and pulls the material out of the shipping tube.

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a shipping tube content extractor, which allows material inserted into the shipping tube to be quickly removed without damaging thereof.

These and additional objects, advantages, features and benefits of the present invention will become apparent from the following specification.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective exploded view of a shipping tube content extractor in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a cross sectional view of a shipping tube content extractor disposed in a tube retaining a rolled-up paper product in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of a pull member of a shipping tube content extractor in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a third embodiment of a pull member of a shipping tube content extractor in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a fourth embodiment of a pull member of a shipping tube content extractor in accordance with the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

With reference now to the drawings, and particularly to FIG. 1, there is shown an exploded perspective view of a shipping tube content extractor 1. With reference to FIG. 2, the shipping tube content extractor 1 preferably includes a retention member 10 and a pull member 12. The retention member 10 includes a retention base 16 and at least two upright tabs 18. The at least two upright tabs 18 extend upward from the retention base 16. The retention member 10 and the at least two upright tabs 18 are preferably fabricated from a single piece of material. The retention member 10 is preferably fabricated from plastic, but other materials may also be used.

The pull member 12 preferably includes a lengthwise strip 20. A snap pin 22 is preferably formed on one end of the lengthwise strip 20 that is sized to be received by a base interference fit hole 24 in the retention base 16. A plurality of snap sections 26 are formed on the other end of the lengthwise strip 20. The snap sections 26 are separated from each other with a plurality of separation lines 28, perforations or any other suitable method. Each snap section 26 is broken-off the other end of the lengthwise strip 20 to accommodate a particular length of shipping tube 100. However, the retention member 10 and the pull member 12 may be fabricated from a single piece of plastic material or any other suitable material; thus eliminating the need for the snap pin 22.

A pull tab 14 includes a finger opening 30 and a tab snap pin 32 extending therefrom. The tab snap pin 32 is sized to be received by a strip interference fit hole 34 formed through each snap section 26. The strip and tab snap pins each preferably include a relieved portion 36 and a cone portion 38. However, other types of snap connections may also be used. The relieved portion 36 extends outward from the pull member 12 or the pull tab 14. The cone portion 38 extends outward from the relieved portion 36. The largest perimeter of the cone portion 38 is larger than the base or strip interference fit holes. The outer perimeter of the relieved portion 36 is smaller than the perimeter of the base or strip interference fit holes.

With reference to FIGS. 3-5, a second embodiment of a pull member 40 includes a lengthwise strip 42. The snap pin 22 is formed on one end of the lengthwise strip 42 that is sized to be received by the base interference fit hole 24 in the retention base 16. A plurality of contoured snap sections 44 are formed on the other end of the lengthwise strip 42. Each contoured snap section 44 includes two opposing recessed areas 46 and a separation line 48. Each recessed area 46 is sized to receive a forefinger, middle finger or thumb. The separation line 48 allows each contoured snap section 44 to be separated from each other to accommodate a particular length of shipping tube 100.

A third embodiment of a pull member 50 includes a lengthwise rod 52. The snap pin 22 is formed on one end of the lengthwise rod 52 that is sized to be received by the base interference fit hole 24 in the retention base 16. A plurality of peripheral snap sections 54 are formed on the other end of the lengthwise rod 52. Each peripheral snap section 54 includes a peripheral recessed area 56 and a peripheral separation area 58. The peripheral recessed area 56 is sized to receive a forefinger, middle finger or thumb. The peripheral separation area 58 or any other suitable method allows each peripheral snap section 54 to be separated from each other to accommodate a particular length of shipping tube 100.

A fourth embodiment of a pull member 60 includes a lengthwise strip 62. The snap pin 22 is formed on one end of the lengthwise strip 62 that is sized to be received by the base interference fit hole 24 in the retention base 16. A plurality of finger snap sections 64 are formed on the other end of the lengthwise strip 62. Each finger snap section 64 includes a finger hole 66 that is sized to receive a forefinger. The finger snap sections 64 are separated from each other with a plurality of separation lines 68, perforations or any other suitable method. Each finger snap section 64 is broken-off the other end of the lengthwise strip 62 to accommodate a particular length of shipping tube 100. The second, third and fourth embodiments of the pull member eliminate the need for a separate pull tab. The second, third or fourth embodiments of the pull members and the retention member 10 may be fabricated from a single piece of material; thus eliminating the need for the snap pin 22.

In use, the snap pin 22 is snapped into the base interference fit hole 24. The appropriate number of snap sections 26 are broken off an end of the lengthwise strip 20. The tab snap pin 32 is inserted into the strip interference hole 34 closest to the end of he lengthwise strip 20. The pull tab 14 preferably extends outward from the shipping tube 100. A paper product 102 or the like is rolled-up, such that the outer perimeter is less than the inner perimeter of the at least two upright tabs 18. The lengthwise strip 20 inserted through the paper product 102, such that the outer perimeter of thereof is retained in the inner perimeter of the at least two tabs 18. The paper product 102 and the shipping tube content extractor 1 are inserted into the shipping tube 100. The pull tab 14 is inserted into the shipping tube 100 and the shipping tube 100 is sealed. When the shipping tube 100 is unsealed; the pull tab 14 is extracted from the shipping tube 100. The user inserts their finger into the finger opening 30 and pulls the paper product 102 and the shipping tube content extractor 1 out of the shipping tube 100.

While particular embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from the invention in its broader aspects, and therefore, the aim in the appended claims is to cover all such changes and modifications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the invention.