Title:
Rotational stand for game equipment
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A rotating pool cue holder has a table from which an inner tube extends upwardly and is held coaxial with an outer tube. The outer tube is held rotationally in a bearing within the table. A carrousel is fixedly engaged with the outer tube for rotation with it and the carrousel is positioned above the table. A tray is also fixedly engaged with the outer tube for rotation and positioned above the carrousel with a spacing enabling the game equipment to be rested on the carrousel while being inserted into apertures within the tray. The inner tube forms a conduit for an electrical cord for a lamp and as a support for mounting the lamp above the tray.



Inventors:
Sator, Karl (Anaheim, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/207923
Publication Date:
02/22/2007
Filing Date:
08/19/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PUROL, SARAH L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
PATENT LAW & VENTURE GROUP (1668 E. Verde Blvd., San Tan Valley, AZ, 85140, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A rotating storage and display apparatus for holding and dispensing table game equipment, the apparatus comprising: a table; an inner tube fixed to the table and extending upwardly therefrom; a rotating outer tube in coaxial alignment with the inner tube; a carrousel fixedly engaged with the outer tube for rotation therewith; a receiver spaced vertically above the carrousel and fixed with the outer tube for rotation therewith, game equipment rested on the carrousel while terminating in apertures within the receiver; the inner and outer tubes held in concentricity by low friction bushing spacers, the non-rotating and the rotating elements supported positionally through engagement with a bearing set held by the table.

2. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a lamp mounted at an upper terminal end of the inner tube, an electrical conductor interconnected with the lamp from below the table through the inner tube.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the inner tube is engaged with the table by a threaded clamping fastener.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the inner tube is formed from a lower and an upper inner tube segments, the segments joined by a coupler in threaded engagement, the coupler spacing the inner and outer tubes concentrically.

5. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein a bushing is engaged with the tubes at terminal ends thereof for maintenance of the tubes in coaxial alignment and for low friction mutual rotation.

6. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the carrousel provides depressions for receiving the rested game equipment.

7. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the carrousel is clamped between an inner race of the bearing set and a compression plate tightened by a nut threaded onto the outer tube.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Related Applications: none

2. Field of the Present Disclosure

This disclosure relates generally to supports and stands for holding elongated objects such as pool cue sticks and such in a near vertical attitude, and more particularly to a rotating stand for holding pool table equipment.

3. Description of Related Art

The following art defines the present state of this field:

Beckwith, U.S. Pat. No. 599,925, discloses a display-rack, with a sleeve or hub, a series of legs secured thereto, a standard passing through the sleeve or hub, a set-screw for adjustably securing the standard to the sleeve or hub, a series of wheels or frames mounted on the standards and adapted to support whips; and braces connecting the wheels or frames so as to cause them to revolve together.

White, U.S. Pat. No. 663,838, discloses a display stand with a suitably-supported standard, a tray mounted thereon capable of turning, a perforated disk also mounted on the standard, stay-rods connecting the disk with the tray and having their intermediate portions converging, a sleeve threaded on the standard, and a block seated on the sleeve and attached to the converging portions of the stay-rods.

Abbe, U.S. Pat. No. 739,275, discloses a whip-stand that is portable and revolves, and including a combination of a base-plate, a smaller plate arranged above the base-plate, a sheet-metal frame formed with pockets secured to the base-plate and surrounding the upper plate, the frame extending above the upper plate and having the upper ends of its pockets open, a supporting-base, and a standard secured in the base and extending through the base-plate and upper plate.

Matteson, U.S. Pat. No. 1,478,043, discloses a cue rack comprising a rotary standard having a plurality of spiders spaced apart to rotate therewith and having outwardly projecting registering arms, the lower spider having sockets on the upper side of each arm adjacent the edges thereof, the intermediate spider having recesses in the side edges of each arm and the upper spider having slots in each arm.

Pryde, U.S. Pat. No. 1,761,088, discloses a display stand that revolves, a stationary member; a moveable member associated therewith; and means for preventing accidental disengagement of the latter from the former, comprising a sliding bolt in the stationary member, which in one of its positions is projected into the path of a part connected with the movable member and thereby prevents relative vertical movement thereof in either direction.

Kravitt, U.S. Pat. No. 2,488,087, discloses a lamp structure comprising a base member, a central tube extending upwardly therefrom for supporting lamp bulbs and a shade, and a device rotatably mounted on the central tube having a lower-disc-like member provided with a plurality of spaced depressions adapted to receive the bowls of the smokers' pipes, an upper disc-like portion provided with a plurality of similarly spaced openings to receive the stem portions of the smokers pipes, and a sleeve surrounding the central tube and connecting the upper and lower disc-like portions, the rotatable device being positioned below the lamp bulbs, and in such location that the lamp bulbs will illumination to a mild degree of heat and air circulation when not in use.

Blumenschein, U.S. Pat. No. 3,381,824, discloses a rack for pool cues and the like comprising: a telescopic extensibly biased pole adapted to be held between the floor and ceiling of a room by the bias of the pole, a platform on the pole adjacent the lower end thereof, adapted to support the handle ends of the cues, a formed wire rack adjacent the top of the pole comprising a plurality of circular loops formed from a single piece of wire and extending to opposite sides of a central open bight formed in the single piece of wire and adapted to fit partially about the pole, and having parallel legs extending from the central open bight forwardly of the pole and forming supports for the circular loops, and clip means clipped to the outer sides of the parallel legs and compressing the bight into firm engagement.

Castano, U.S. Pat. No. 5,947,583, discloses an illuminating cue stick rack made up of a rack frame and a lighting system built into or attached onto the rack frame. The lighting system is electrically connectable to a power supply such as a wall outlet and includes provision for selective illumination by a customer to request customer assistance.

Baughman et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,676,261, discloses a holder that is designed to hold fishing rods, poles or pool cues for storage when transporting or when not in use. Our designed holder is free standing and basically consists of very few components. There are five major parts: a foundation plate; a bottom plate of the holder; a turntable assembly that allows the holder to rotate in a circular manner, a base plate that fastens to a turntable assembly, the base plate having a number of recesses to support bottoms of stored items, a rod or post that is recessed into the base plate and top plate; and a top plate that has the same number of recesses as base plate. Here the top ends of rods or cues are locked into place by a recess closure lock. Holder being upright in design with a larger foundation plate than top plate it will not fall over easily. To use and operate this holder is very simple. Place the bottom end of rod or cue into the base plate recess. Next lift the recess closure lock from recess closure lock pin. Then place top of rod, pole or cue into aligned top plate recess. Close recess closure lockdown over closure pin. One item is now secure for storage or transporting repeat procedure for number of pieces to be stored by turning holder in either direction. To remove rods or cues reverse the procedure above. To transport holder grasp by rod and carry to desired location. Being of light weight and free standing, this holder is superior to all previous rod or cue holders. Our holder is of wood structure and holds eight items.

Our prior art search with abstracts described above teaches that it is well known to provide a holder for pool cue sticks and other elongated objects, where the objects are arranged in near vertical attitudes on a revolving carrousel; witness Beckwith, White, Abbe, etc. It is also known to illuminate a cue stick rack as shown in Castano. Further, it is known to provide a revolving support rack which is also a lamp as shown in Kravitt. The Kravitt rack rotates about a central tube which is used for lamp wires. Of interest, Pryde teaches a rotating object support or rack that has an inner rod or tube as a stationary support element, with an coaxial outer tube rotating on a pivot at the top of the inner rod. However, the prior art fails to teach a cue stick rack of the type described herein. The notable improvement in the present apparatus being that a pair of tubes are mounted concentrically with an inner one of the tubes providing rigid and fixed structural support, and in one embodiment, a path for electrical wires as in Kravitt, while the outer tube is mounted in a novel manner for rotation about the inner tube without blocking its upper end which may be used to support an upper fixture spaced apart from a lower carrousel all of which revolve with the outer tube and carry with them in rotation, pool cue sticks or other game equipment. The rotational and fixed elements of the invention are mutually engaged by a bearing set in a novel arrangement. The present disclosure therefore distinguishes over the prior art providing heretofore unknown advantages as described in the following summary.

SUMMARY

This disclosure teaches certain benefits in construction and use which give rise to the objectives described below.

As shown in the above described references, the use of rotating devices for display and access convenience of sport and miscellaneous equipment is well known. However, the present apparatus provides advantages over the prior art as will be understood in the following summary and the detailed description to follow. In this apparatus, an inner tube extends upwardly and coaxially with an outer tube both centered in a fixed table. The outer tube is held rotationally in a bearing within the table. A carrousel is fixedly engaged with the outer tube for rotation with it and the carrousel is positioned just above the table at a level convenient for placing and removing pool or billiards cue sticks; referred to herein as cue sticks. The table may have one or more drawers for holding items related to the games of pool. A tray is also fixedly engaged with the outer tube for rotation and is positioned above the carrousel with a spacing enabling the cue sticks to be rested on the carrousel while being inserted into apertures within the tray so that the cue sticks are secured on the apparatus. Since the inner tube is stationary it is advantageously used as a conduit for an electrical cord for a lamp mounted above the cue sticks. Such a lamp is optional, but when used it provides an electrical switch preferably mounted in a convenient location near the top of the apparatus.

A primary objective inherent in the above described apparatus and method of use is to provide advantages not taught by the prior art.

Another objective is to provide a combination cue stick holder and lamp.

A further objective is to provide such a holder enabled for rotation so as to efficiently provide access to cue sticks placed by simply rotating the cue sticks until the one desired has been brought within reach.

A further objective is to provide such a holder that is fixtured to hold cue sticks, pool or billiard balls and cue chalk.

Other features and advantages of the described apparatus and method of use will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the presently described apparatus and method of its use.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The accompanying drawings illustrate an embodiment of the present apparatus and method of use. In such drawings:

FIGS. 1 and 2 are perspective views of a first and second embodiments of an apparatus described herein;

FIG. 3 is a partial vertical section of the second embodiment taken along line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged partial vertical section defined by line 4 in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged partial vertical section defined by line 5 in FIG. 3, and

FIG. 6 is an enlarged partial vertical section defined by line 6 in FIG. 3.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The above drawing figures illustrate the described apparatus and its method of use in two of its preferred embodiments, which are further defined in detail in the following description. Those having ordinary skill in the art may be able to make alterations and modifications what is described herein without departing from its spirit and scope. Therefore, it must be understood that what is illustrated is set forth only for the purposes of example and that it should not be taken as a limitation in the scope of the present apparatus and method of use.

A rotating storage and display apparatus, as shown in FIG. 1, is capable of holding a plurality of elongated game equipment pieces 10 and other game equipment, as described herein with respect to the game of pool with the elongated game equipment pieces being pool cue sticks 10. However, those of skill in the art will realize that the present apparatus may be used to support and hold objects other than pool cue sticks 10; including such items as are shown in the references above. FIG. 1 shows a first embodiment with a table 20 and a carousel 60 mounted on top; and FIG. 2 shows the same apparatus as a second embodiment with a lamp 85 mounted thereon. The lamp 85 comprises a lighting fixture, a lamp bulb, a lamp shade and a switch, the latter not shown in the figures. Preferably, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, depressions 62 are provided in the carousel 60 for resting game balls 5 and cue sticks 10 for the games of table pool and billiards, etc. Other objects may be facilitated by providing recesses, draws, hangers and other accoutrements on, or in, table 20, carousel 60 and other parts of the apparatus as will be recognized by those of skill in the art. The table 20 and carousel 60 are preferably made of fine wood with a fine furniture finish, but may also be constructed of metal, plastic and other structural materials.

In the preferred embodiment, as shown in FIG. 1, a receiver disk 70 is fixedly engaged with the apparatus. The tray 70 is positioned above the carrousel 60 with a spacing between that enables the placement of the cue sticks 10, which are rested on the carrousel 60 to extend upwardly in engagement with apertures 72 in the tray 70, i.e., the tips of the cue sticks 10 terminate within apertures 72 as shown in FIG. 1, and the opposite ends of the cue sticks 10 rest in depressions 62 in the carrousel 60. A chalk tray 75, as shown in FIG. 1, may be fixedly engaged with the apparatus.

As shown in the cross-sectional view of FIG. 3, an inner tube 30 and an outer tube 40, both preferably of a rigid material such as metal, are in coaxial vertical alignment and held fixedly within the table 20 as will be described in detail below. The outer tube 40 is able to rotate relative to the inner tube 30, the two tubes being of such relative diameters as to create a diametric space between them.

Preferably, as shown in FIG. 4, a threaded fastener 90 is engaged with a lower end of the inner tube 30, joining it to a bracket plate 22 fixed to the table 20.

The tubes 30, 40 may be each a single continuous tube, or preferably, as shown in FIG. 5, each may be made up of two or more segments joined together linearly by any conventional means, but preferably as described herein. In FIG. 5 it is seen that the a lower inner tube segment is joined to an upper inner tube segment by a threaded coupler 95. The coupler 95 is preferably made of a low friction material, and is positioned for contact with the outer tube 40 so that it not only joins the tube segments of inner tube 30, but it also acts as a spacer to maintain the diametric spacing between the inner tube 30 and outer tube 40. In a similar manner, upper and lower segments of the outer tube 40 are joined by mutual threaded portions 44. The carrousel 60 is fixedly engaged with the outer tube 40, so that it rotates with the outer tube 40 in a position just above the table 20.

A cylindrical bushing 80 of a low friction bearing material, such as bronze (FIG. 4), is pressed into the outer tube 40, at its lower end so that the outer tube 40 is able to rotate freely relative to the inner tube 30 while maintaining its concentric relationship with the inner tube 30. The same bushing 80 is used at the upper end 42 of the outer tube 40 as shown in FIG. 6.

As shown in FIG. 6, a lamp 85 is preferably mounted at an upper terminal end of the inner tube 30 which extends upwardly beyond outer tube 40, and its electrical wiring 82 is interconnected with the lamp 85 from below the table 20 through the inner tube 30. In the embodiment of FIG. 2, the tray 70 includes a cylindrical housing 74 extending upwardly and terminating in proximity to lamp 85.

Preferably, as shown in FIG. 5, a flat washer 49 is fixed to tube 40, preferably by welding it in place as shown. A dish-shaped metal support frame 51 is placed into accommodating recesses 53 in table 20 as shown. This support frame 51 rests on the table 20 at annular flange 51′. Next Bearing set 50 is placed over tube 40 and rested on annular flange 51′ of support frame 51. Bearing set 50 comprises outer race 50′, bearing cage 50″ and inner race 50′″. Outer race 50′ and bearing cage 50″ rest on the annular flange 51′ while inner race 50′″ rests on flat washer 49 and is fixed to outer tube 40 by set screw 52. Compression plate 55 is placed on top of bearing set 50 and rests on the outer race 50′ and against support frame 51. Screws 57 are set into table 20 through lower compression plate 55 and support frame 51 which places the outer race 50′ in compression between the lower compression plate 55 and the lower flange 51′ of the support frame 51. Therefore, the outer race 50′ cannot rotate as it is fixed to table 20.

Next, a key 42 is placed into a recess in outer tube 40 and then sleeve 43 is engaged over key 42 with both the key 42 and the sleeve 43 in contact with the inner race 50′″, but, as shown, not into contact with the outer race 50′ or the bearing cage 50″. Carrousel 60 is placed over sleeve 43 until it rests on sleeve shoulder 43′ where it is spaced apart from table 20. Next, upper compression plate 46 is positioned on top of carrousel 60 and sleeve 43 and compressed downwardly by nut 45 which is threaded onto the lower segment of outer tube 40 as shown. After nut 45 has been tightened against upper compression plate 46, the upper segment of tube 40 is threaded onto the remaining threads of the lower segment of tube 40 until it is locked against nut 45.

As can be seen from the figures and especially from FIG. 5, the assembly allows the carrousel 60 to rotate independently of table 20 while providing rigidity and engagements that will not loosen in use.

The enablements described in detail above are considered novel over the prior art of record and are considered critical to the operation of at least one aspect of the apparatus and its method of use and to the achievement of the above described objectives. The words used in this specification to describe the instant embodiments are to be understood not only in the sense of their commonly defined meanings, but to include by special definition in this specification: structure, material or acts beyond the scope of the commonly defined meanings. Thus if an element can be understood in the context of this specification as including more than one meaning, then its use must be understood as being generic to all possible meanings supported by the specification and by the word or words describing the element.

The definitions of the words or drawing elements described herein are meant to include not only the combination of elements which are literally set forth, but all equivalent structure, material or acts for performing substantially the same function in substantially the same way to obtain substantially the same result. In this sense it is therefore contemplated that an equivalent substitution of two or more elements may be made for any one of the elements described and its various embodiments or that a single element may be substituted for two or more elements in a claim.

Changes from the claimed subject matter as viewed by a person with ordinary skill in the art, now known or later devised, are expressly contemplated as being equivalents within the scope intended and its various embodiments. Therefore, obvious substitutions now or later known to one with ordinary skill in the art are defined to be within the scope of the defined elements. This disclosure is thus meant to be understood to include what is specifically illustrated and described above, what is conceptually equivalent, what can be obviously substituted, and also what incorporates the essential ideas.

The scope of this description is to be interpreted only in conjunction with the appended claims and it is made clear, here, that each named inventor believes that the claimed subject matter is what is intended to be patented.