Title:
Paint roller storage system and apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A paint roller storage apparatus. The apparatus includes a substantially cylindrical housing having an open top end and a closed bottom end. The housing has dimensions to closely accommodate a paint roller. The apparatus also includes a spiral embossment on the inside surface of the housing. A paint roller is received by the housing. A paint roller storage system is also disclosed. The system includes an apparatus and a disposable lining. Also, a method of storing a wet paint roller. The method includes pushing the paint roller into a storage apparatus and removing entrapped the air in the wet paint.



Inventors:
Parr, Guy H. (Baltimore, MD, US)
Application Number:
11/478239
Publication Date:
01/03/2008
Filing Date:
06/29/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45D44/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
REYNOLDS, STEVEN ALAN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DEVINE, MILLIMET & BRANCH, P.A. (111 AMHERST STREET, MANCHESTER, NH, 03101, US)
Claims:
The invention claimed is:

1. A paint roller storage apparatus comprising: a substantially cylindrical housing having an open top end and a closed bottom end wherein said housing having dimensions to closely accommodate a paint roller; and a spiral embossment on the inside surface of said housing, whereby a paint roller is received by said housing.

2. The apparatus in claim 1 wherein said housing further comprising at least one lock hingably attached to said open top end.

3. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein said open top end is sloped.

4. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a removable lining dimensioned to accommodate a paint roller wherein said lining protects interior of said housing from direct contact with the paint roller.

5. The apparatus in claim 4 wherein said housing further comprising at least one lock hingably attached to said open top end and whereby said lock maintains said lining in a closed position.

6. The apparatus of claim 5 wherein said open top end is sloped.

7. A system for storing a paint roller, said system comprising: a paint roller storage apparatus comprising: a substantially cylindrical housing having an open top end and a closed bottom end wherein said housing having dimensions to closely accommodate a paint roller; and a spiral embossment on the inside surface of said housing, whereby a paint roller is received by said housing; and at least one removable lining dimensioned to accommodate a paint roller wherein said lining protects interior of said housing from direct contact with the paint roller.

8. The apparatus in claim 7 wherein said housing further comprising at least one lock hingably attached to said open top end whereby said lock maintains said lining in a closed position.

9. The apparatus of claim 7 wherein said open top end is sloped.

10. The apparatus in claim 9 wherein said housing further comprising at least one lock hingably attached to said open top end whereby said lock maintains said lining in a closed position.

11. The system of claim 7 wherein said housing further comprising: a first section; a second section; and a hinge joining said first section and said second section along a common edge enabling said sections to be positioned between an open position for receiving a paint roller and a closed position whereby said sections are brought together about the paint roller to define an enclosed chamber of a predetermined shape and size whereby said chamber accommodates said paint roller within said housing.

12. The apparatus in claim 11 wherein said housing further comprising at least one lock hingably attached to said open top end whereby said lock maintains said lining in a closed position.

13. The apparatus of claim 11 wherein said open top end is sloped.

14. The apparatus in claim 13 wherein said housing further comprising at least one lock hingably attached to said open top end whereby said lock maintains said lining in a closed position.

15. A paint roller storage apparatus comprising: a substantially cylindrical housing having an open top end and a closed bottom end wherein said housing having dimensions to closely accommodate a paint roller, said housing comprising: a first section; a second section; a hinge joining said first section and said second section along a common edge enabling said sections to be positioned between an open position for receiving a paint roller and a closed position whereby said sections are brought together about the paint roller to define an enclosed chamber of a predetermined shape and size whereby said chamber accommodates said paint roller within said housing; and a spiral embossment on the inside surface of said housing, whereby a paint roller is received by said housing.

16. The apparatus in claim 15 wherein said housing further comprising at least one lock hingably attached to said open top end.

17. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein said open top end is sloped.

18. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein said housing further comprising a tab hingably attached to either of said sections along a non common edge.

19. The apparatus of claim 15 further comprising a removable lining dimensioned to accommodate a paint roller wherein said lining protects interior of said housing from direct contact with the paint roller.

20. The apparatus of claim 19 wherein said open top end is sloped.

21. The apparatus of claim 20 further comprising at least one lock hingably attached to said open top end and whereby said lock maintains said lining in a closed position.

22. The apparatus of claim 21 wherein said housing further comprising a tab hingably attached to either of said sections along a non common edge.

23. A method for storing a paint roller wet with paint, said method comprising the steps of: pushing said paint roller into a storage apparatus wherein said storage apparatus having dimensions to closely accommodate said paint roller; and removing entrapped air and excess wet paint, whereby said paint roller is stored in said storage apparatus wherein said roller is substantially free of air bubbles and excess wet paint.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to the field of paint rollers, and particularly, to a paint roller storage system and apparatus.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Paint rollers of various sizes and shapes are used both by amateur and professional painters to apply paint to surfaces. It is preferred that the paint roller is wet with paint. While in use, the paint rollers are kept partially or completely immersed in paint, for example, in a paint tray. However, maintaining the usability of the roller is challenging when the paint roller is no longer in immediate use.

To avoid cleaning the wet paint roller in order to store the paint roller, different methods have been employed to keep the paint roller wet. These include using plastic wrap, wrapping the roller in aluminum foil or paper, or some combination of these techniques. Additionally, other methods have included applying small amounts of solvent to the roller before storage to help retard the drying out process. Still other methods include storing the roller in a device.

All of the foregoing include drawbacks, including the fact that all of these methods lack an effective ability to remove entrapped air from the roller, thus leading to premature drying of the roller. Additionally, some devices described require cleaning after use.

Accordingly, there is a need for an apparatus and system for storing a wet paint roller that allows storage of the paint roller without cleaning and does not require cleaning of a device following and does not require removal of a solvent or wetting agent following. Additionally, there is a need for an apparatus and system for storing a wet paint roller that includes a method of removing entrapped air from the wet paint roller.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, the invention is a paint roller storage apparatus. The apparatus includes a substantially cylindrical housing having an open top end and a closed bottom end. The housing has dimensions to closely accommodate a paint roller. The apparatus also includes a spiral embossment on the inside surface of the housing. A paint roller is received by the housing.

Some embodiments of this aspect of the invention may include one or more of the following. The housing may also include at least one lock hingably attached to the open top end. The apparatus may have a sloped open end. The apparatus may include a removable lining dimensioned to accommodate a paint roller wherein the lining protects interior of the housing from direct contact with the paint roller and whereby the lock maintains the lining in a closed position. The housing may also include at least one lock hingably attached to said open top end whereby the lock maintains the lining in a closed position.

In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, a system for storing a paint roller is disclosed. The system includes a paint roller storage apparatus which includes a substantially cylindrical housing having an open top end and a closed bottom end and dimensions to closely accommodate a paint roller. The housing also includes a spiral embossment on the inside surface of the housing, whereby a paint roller is received by the housing. The system also includes at least one removable lining dimensioned to accommodate a paint roller wherein the lining protects the interior of the housing from direct contact with the paint roller.

Some embodiments of this aspect of the invention may include one or more of the following. The housing may further include at least one lock hingably attached to the open top end whereby the lock maintains the lining in a closed position. Also, the open top end of the housing may be sloped. The housing may also include at least one lock hingably attached to the open top end whereby the lock maintains the lining in a closed position. Also, the housing may further include a first section, a second section and a hinge joining the first section and the second section along a common edge enabling the sections to be positioned between an open position for receiving a paint roller and a closed position. The sections are brought together about the paint roller to define an enclosed chamber of a predetermined shape and size whereby the chamber accommodates the paint roller within the housing. This housing may further include at least one lock hingably attached to the open top end whereby the lock maintains the lining in a closed position. Also, this housing may include a slope open to end. The housing may further include at least one lock hingably attached to the open top end whereby the lock maintains the lining in a closed position.

In accordance with one aspect of the present invention, a paint roller storage apparatus is disclosed. The apparatus includes a substantially cylindrical housing having an open top end and a closed bottom end. The housing has dimensions to closely accommodate a paint roller. The housing includes a first section, a second section and a hinge. The hinge joins the first section and the second section along a common edge enabling the sections to be positioned between an open position for receiving a paint roller and a closed position. The sections are brought together about the paint roller to define an enclosed chamber of a predetermined shape and size whereby the chamber accommodates the paint roller within the housing. The apparatus also includes a spiral embossment on the inside surface of the housing, whereby a paint roller is received by the housing.

Some embodiments of this aspect of the invention may include one or more of the following. The housing may include at least one lock hingably attached to the open top end of the housing. The housing may include a sloped open top end. The housing may include a tab hingably attached to either of the sections along a non common edge. The apparatus may further include a removable lining dimensioned to accommodate a paint roller wherein the lining protects interior of the housing from direct contact with the paint roller.

In accordance with another aspect of the present invention, a method for storing a paint roller wet with paint is disclosed. The method includes the steps of first pushing the paint roller into a storage apparatus having dimensions to closely accommodate the paint roller. Next, removing entrapped wet paint and air bubbles in the wet paint. The paint roller is stored in the storage apparatus substantially free of excess wet paint and air.

These aspects of the invention are not meant to be exclusive and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art when read in conjunction with the following description, appended claims and accompanying drawings, all of which illustrate the principles of the technology, by way of example only.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other features and advantages of the present invention will be better understood by reading the following detailed description, taken together with the drawings wherein:

FIG. 1A is a front view of the paint storage apparatus including embossment hidden lines according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 1B is a front view of the paint storage apparatus system according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2A is a top view of the paint storage apparatus as shown in FIG. 1A according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2B is a top view of the paint storage apparatus system as shown in FIG. 1B according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a front view of the paint roller storage apparatus and system according to one embodiment of the present invention illustrating use of the apparatus with a paint roller inside in the open position;

FIG. 4 is a top view of invention as shown in FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a front view of the paint roller storage apparatus and system according to one embodiment of the present invention illustrating use of the apparatus with a paint roller inside in the closed position;

FIG. 6 is a top view of invention as shown in FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged view of a section view of the paint roller storage apparatus and system according to one embodiment of the present invention illustrating use of the apparatus with a paint roller;

FIG. 8 is a section view of the paint roller storage apparatus system according to one embodiment of the present invention illustrating use of the apparatus with a paint roller inside in the open position;

FIG. 9 is a pictorial view of the paint roller storage apparatus according to one embodiment of the present invention illustrating the apparatus in the open position;

FIG. 10 is a front view of the paint roller storage apparatus system according to one embodiment of the present invention illustrating use of the apparatus with a paint roller inside a liner and in the apparatus in the open position;

FIG. 11A is a front view of the paint roller storage apparatus according to one embodiment of the present invention illustrating use of the apparatus with a paint roller inside in the closed position with tab extension;

FIG. 11B is a front view of the paint roller storage apparatus according to one embodiment of the present invention illustrating use of the apparatus with a paint roller inside in the closed position without use of the tab extension;

FIG. 12A is a top view of the invention as shown in FIG. 11A; and

FIG. 12B is a top view of the invention as shown in FIG. 11B.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The present invention is a paint roller storage apparatus and system. In practice, the system works together to preserve a wet or essentially wet paint roller. The apparatus includes a housing that is substantially cylindrical and the shape of the apparatus is based on the size and shape of a given paint roller. The housing can be any size depending on the size paint roller. The housing is dimensioned such that a limited space is between the paint roller and the interior surface of the apparatus when a paint roller is inserted. In one embodiment, the housing includes a sloped open top section allowing for easy insertion of the wet paint roller. The housing includes a closed bottom portion. The interior surface of the housing includes embossing, the embossing is either spiral or concentric. In one embodiment, a disposable lining is placed inside the apparatus. The wet paint roller is placed into the apparatus such that it is inside the lining. The embossing ensures proper pressure of displaced air when inserting the wet paint roller into the apparatus. This pressure causes the excess paint to be circulated upwards between the embossments along with any attendant bubbles of air that are trapped in the paint roller nap. The free end of the lining is then twisted to a closed position and locked into the closed position by a lock that is hingably attached to the sloped top of the apparatus.

The invention includes any apparatus capable of functioning as described above. Also disclosed is a method for removing paint and air from a paint roller which includes pushing a wet paint roller into a housing and displacing or removing the excess paint and air bubbles.

Referring to FIG. 1A, one embodiment of the paint roller storage apparatus 10 is shown. The paint roller storage apparatus 10 is substantially cylindrical in shape. The top is open while the bottom is closed. In the embodiment shown, the open top portion is sloped or flared slightly. In the preferred embodiment, the sloping angle is approximately 35 degrees off vertical when the storage apparatus 10 is in the upright position. This shape aids in the insertion of the wet paint roller (not shown). However, in other embodiments, the entire apparatus 10 is a true cylinder with an open top and a closed bottom. The sloped or flared top is a functional improvement, thus the apparatus will still function, although not optimally, without a sloped top.

The size of the apparatus can vary, although in all cases, the size closely mimics the size of a given paint roller. Thus, the apparatus can be any size depending on the paint roller intended to be stored inside. Although the shape of the apparatus remains constant (with the variation of either a sloped or non-sloped top), the size ratio will remain constant. Thus, the following description will be based on a “typical”, or commonly used roller size, however, the description is intended to describe only the preferred embodiment, and other size ratios as well as variations depending on the roller are intended and within the scope of this description.

The apparatus closely resembles the dimensions of a wet paint roller. Thus, the bottom 14 conforms to the size and shape of the paint roller while in the preferred embodiment, the top 12 is sloped and thus does not conform to the shape of the paint roller.

In the preferred embodiment, the apparatus 10 is approximately 250 mm tall with an outer diameter of approximately 60 mm. The internal diameter is approximately 56 mm, leaving a wall width of approximately 2 mm. The preferred embodiment is for use with a typical paint roller, which is approximately 230 mm long having a total diameter of approximately 50 mm dry and approximately 53 mm wet. However, this is only one embodiment of the apparatus 10. The apparatus can be dimensioned to have dimensions within the following ranges. The height can be from approximately 50 mm to approximately 260 mm. The outer diameter can be from approximately 34 mm to approximately 76 mm. The internal diameter can be from approximately 30 mm to approximately 70 mm.

A typical roller would have a length of approximately 230 mm, a nap thickness of approximately 5 mm dry, and a thickness of approximately 7 mm wet. A typical core diameter (O.D. measurement) excluding the nap, would be approximately 40 mm.

In the preferred embodiment, the apparatus 10 is made from a rigid or semi rigid plastic. However, in other embodiments, the apparatus can be made from any material, including but not limited to, wood or metal or a composite variation including two or more of the following: wood, plastic or metal.

In some embodiments, the apparatus 10 includes a lock 28. The lock is attached to the top 12 of the apparatus 10 at a hinge 30. The lock 28 is shown in its preferred embodiment, however, can be a different shape as long as the lock 28 is capable of maintaining the lining (not shown, described below) in the closed position. Although the lock 28 is shown in this embodiment to be attached to one side of the apparatus 10, in other embodiments, the lock 28 can be anywhere on the apparatus 10. Additionally, in still other embodiments, more than one lock can be included on the apparatus 10. In still other embodiments, the lock 28 can be detached from the apparatus 10.

Still referring to FIG. 1A, the apparatus 10 includes an embossment 16 on the interior surface. The embossment 16, in the preferred embodiment, is a spiral extending through a predetermined portion of the interior surface. In the preferred embodiment, the embossment 16 extends as far as possible from the bottom of the apparatus 10 to the top (excluding the sloped top). In other embodiments the embossment extends from 70 to 90 percent of the interior surface, excluding the sloped top. The effective minimum that would allow for functionality of the apparatus is approximately 70 percent.

The interior wall dimensions including the embossment 16 are such as to bring the embossment 16 in sufficiently close proximity to the paint roller (not shown) so as to cause any paint on the surface of the paint roller, and its entrapped air bubbles, to be dislodged from the roller nap.

In the preferred embodiment, the embossment width is approximately 5 mm, however, in other embodiments, the embossment width ranges from approximately 1 mm to approximately 15 mm. The height of the embossment is governed by the distance of the embossment from the outside core diameter of the roller, to the root diameter (inside diameter of the apparatus excluding the embossment) of the apparatus.

A typical paint roller has core dimensions in the range of 40 mm with a nap thickness as great as 38 mm. The typical total maximum paint roller diameter falls in the range of 50 to 100 mm including nap. Because the roller naps are readily compressible by a factor of two times, the effective diameter for a 100 mm roller becomes 50 mm for the purposes of application. Since the critical surface area of the embossment is less than 15 percent of the total nap area, a further compression of the nap in the region of the embossment is readily accomplished.

Still referring to FIG. 1A, in the preferred embodiment, to accommodate the differing effective roller diameters, the embossment peak height extends from approximately 7 mm to 14 mm from the interior surface of the apparatus 10. A 2 mm spacing between the embossment and the outer diameter of the paint roller (not shown) is the preferred distance to achieve the greatest circulation of the paint. However, in other embodiments, these dimensions can vary, and the embossment can have a peak height of between approximately 2 mm and approximately 6 mm, and spacing between the embossment and the outer diameter of the paint roller (excluding nap) can be from approximately 1 mm to approximately 5 mm. In alternate embodiments of the embossment, concentric rings are using rather than a spiral. The concentric rings are thus discontinuous. For example, a series of 5 or 6 evenly spaced concentric rings, each having one break of approximately 12 mm, with the breaks being aligned one above the other. The function in this case would be the excess pain to be forced upwards along the path created by the gaps in the embossment as the wetted paint roller is pressed downward.

Referring now to FIG. 1B, the preferred embodiment of the paint roller storage system 20 is shown. The system 20 includes the apparatus 10 and a lining 22. The lining 22, in the preferred embodiment, is made from highly compliant 3.0 mm plastic material such as Saranex P188 supplied by United States Plastic Corporation. However, in other embodiments, the lining 22 is made from any type of plastic. The lining is dimensioned such that it fully lines the interior of the apparatus 10 and can accommodate a wet paint roller (not shown). As shown, the lining 22, in the preferred embodiment, extends past the top 12 of the apparatus 10 and folds over the top 12. Thus, the lining 22 is longer than the apparatus and the paint roller (not shown).

Referring now to FIGS. 2A and 2B, a top view of the apparatus and apparatus and system, shown in FIGS. 1A and 1B respectively, are shown.

Referring now to FIG. 3, the apparatus and system is shown in practice. As shown, a paint roller 24 is attached to a roller apparatus 26. The paint roller 24 is placed into the apparatus 10 through top 12. The paint roller 24 is placed directly into the lining 22. The paint roller 24 can also be placed first into the lining 22 (outside of the apparatus) and then the roller 24 and lining 22 can be inserted into the apparatus 10. As shown in FIG. 3, the paint roller 24 remains on the roller apparatus 26. However, in other embodiments, the paint roller 24 is first removed from the roller apparatus 26 before being inserted into the lining 22 or the lining and apparatus 10.

The embossment 16 on the interior surface of the apparatus 10 causes the inserted roller 24 to act as a piston. The piston action of the inserted roller 24 displaces the air within the interior cavity. The displaced air, in turn, is forced upward along the pathways created by the embossment. The pressure of the displaced air at the bottom 14 of the apparatus 10 impinges on the excess paint on the roller 24 surface. This pressure causes the excess paint to be circulated upwards along with any attendant bubbles of air which might be entrapped in the roller 24 nap. Thus, the interior surface embossment, acting together with the dimensions of the interior of the apparatus, work together to remove air bubbles and excess paint from the paint roller, thereby preparing the wet paint roller for storage. Referring now to FIG. 4, a top view of the system shown in FIG. 3 is shown.

Referring next to FIG. 5, the system is shown in the closed position. Again, the paint roller 24 remains on the roller apparatus 26. However, as described above, in other embodiments, the paint roller 24 is first removed from the roller apparatus 26 before being inserted into the lining 22 or the lining and apparatus 10. The system 20 can work either with the paint roller 24 alone, or with the paint roller 24 attached to the roller apparatus 26.

Still referring to FIG. 5, after the paint roller 24 has been inserted into the apparatus 10, the storage system is then closed. This is done by gathering the lining 22 above the paint roller. The lock 28 is then attached around the lining 22 and the lock opening 32 secures the lining 22 in the closed position. As the lock 28 is attached to the apparatus 10 by the hinge 30. A top view of the system in the closed position can be seen in FIG. 6.

Referring now to both FIGS. 7 and 8, a closer look at the construction of the apparatus and system is shown in sectional and enlarged sectional views. The paint roller 24 is partially inserted into the apparatus 10. In this embodiment, the lining 22 was placed into the apparatus 10 prior to the paint roller 24. The interior surface 15 is in close proximity to the lining 22 and the paint roller 24, and includes an embossment 16. The lock 28, shown only in FIG. 8, is shown in the open position, as the system is in the open position.

Although apparatus 10 has been described with the use of a lining 22, in practice, the apparatus 10 will work without the lining 22. Thus, the system of the apparatus 10 with the lining 22 is a preferred embodiment. Additionally, this also applies to the alternate embodiment of the apparatus described below.

Referring next to FIG. 9, a pictorial view of an alternate embodiment of the paint roller storage apparatus is shown 40. The apparatus 40 includes two sides 42,44 hingably attached to one another by a hinge attachment 46 along the edge common to both sides 42, 44. Each side forms a depression that is sized to receive a paint roller (not shown). As with the preferred embodiment of the invention, the dimensions of this embodiment can be altered to receive different sized paint rollers. Each side 42, 44 includes a top, which is, in the preferred embodiment, sloped or flared. Also, each side 42, 44 includes a bottom 50, 52. In alternate embodiments, the top is not sloped or flared.

The apparatus 40 also includes a tab 48 attached to one side along the non-common edge by a hinged attachment 54. Although the tab 48 is shown as being attached to side 44, in other embodiments, the tab 48 is instead attached to side 42. In the preferred embodiment, the tab 48 extends from the base of the slope of the top of the apparatus to the bottom of the apparatus. However, in alternate embodiments, where the top is not flared, the tab 48 extends from the top of the apparatus 40 to the bottom. The tab 48 provides a means for extending the diameter of the apparatus 40, which will be described in more detail below.

Similar to the preferred embodiment, this alternate embodiment 40 includes a lock 28 attached by a hinge 30 to the apparatus 40. Although in the embodiment shown in FIG. 9, the hinge is attached to side 42, in other embodiments, the hinge can be instead attached to side 44. In still other embodiments, additional locks can be attached to the apparatus. In still other embodiments, the lock 28 is not attached to the apparatus.

Similar to the preferred embodiment, the apparatus 40 includes spiral embossment 16 on both sides 42, 44 and on the tab 48. The spiral embossment 16 on the tab 48 is continuous with the spiral embossment on the interior of the remainder of the apparatus 40. The spiral embossment 16 embodiments are as described above with respect to the preferred embodiment.

Referring next to FIG. 10, the front view of apparatus 40 is shown with a paint roller 24 covered in the lining 22. As in the preferred embodiment, the lining 22 and paint roller 24 work similarly in this embodiment. In practice, if the apparatus 40 is in the open position, the paint roller 24 is first placed into the lining 22, then set into the depression on one of the sides 42, 44. However, if the apparatus 40 is in the closed position, in practice, the paint roller 24 is either placed into the lining 22 first, then the paint roller 24 and lining 22 is placed into the apparatus 40, or, the lining 22 is first placed into the apparatus 40, then the paint roller 24 is inserted into the lining 22. As described above with respect to the preferred embodiment apparatus, the apparatus and system function whether the paint roller 24 remains on the roller apparatus 26, or, alternately, if the paint roller 24 is first removed from the roller apparatus 26.

The tab 48 provides a means for adjusting the interior diameter of the apparatus 40. The tab 48 can be any width desired. Referring now to FIG. 11A, the apparatus 40 is in the closed position. The tab 48 provides for an extension to accommodate a large paint roller 24. The lining 22, however, is in the open position. Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 11B, the apparatus 40 can be in the closed position and because an extension is not required, the tab 48 is not in the extended position. Thus, the tab 48 use is optional. Also, in FIG. 11B, the lining 22 is in the closed position. Although the lining is shown in the open position in FIG. 11A, and in the closed position in FIG. 11B, this is for illustration purposes only. In all embodiments, the lining can be either in the open or the closed position.

As shown in both FIGS. 11A and 11B, in the closed position, the lining 22 is gathered at the top of the apparatus and the lock 28 locks the lining in the closed position. FIG. 12A is a top view of FIG. 11A, and FIG. 12B is a top view of FIG. 11B.

Referring again to FIGS. 11A and 11B, in the closed position, the apparatus 40 is held closed by either a rubber band (not shown) or any other type of means for closure (not shown). These and other methods and structure for maintaining the apparatus 40 in a closed position will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art.

While the principles of the invention have been described herein, it is to be understood by those skilled in the art that this description is made only by way of example and not as a limitation as to the scope of the invention. Other embodiments are contemplated within the scope of the present invention in addition to the exemplary embodiments shown and described herein. Modifications and substitutions by one of ordinary skill in the art are considered to be within the scope of the present invention, which is not to be limited except by the following claims.





 
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