1. Field of the Invention
The present invention relates to leveling devices for a container and particularly to a utility bucket having a second bottom attached by a hinge to the first bottom and adjustable locking rods sliding in tracks to adjust the angle of the second bottom relative to the first bottom to maintain the bucket in a vertical orientation for any roof angle.
2. Description of Related Art Including Information Disclosed Under 37 CFR 1.97 and 1.98
There are a wide variety of supports used for providing a horizontal surface on an inclined surface, such as inclined roof platforms, container support brackets that attach to the container and container support stands. Such devices allow a worker to carry out a number of work projects while on the inclined roof, while permitting buckets, paint containers or tools to be supported vertically on a generally horizontal surface. It is very important that a utility bucket loaded with tools and parts and paint or sealant or other items used in working on a structure be stable and secure in a vertical upright orientation on an inclined surface so that the contents do not spill and the utility bucket does not slide off possibly damaging the roof or the contents of the utility bucket or the bucket itself and possibly causing injury or damage on the ground below as well as the inconvenience and loss of time in retrieval and possibly replacement of the bucket and contents. Prior art devices have not adequately solved this problem for a self-contained stable utility bucket which remains vertically oriented on sloped surfaces.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,533,227, issued Mar. 18, 2003 to Rom, shows an adjustable support for holding a paint bucket or other container level on an inclined surface, such as a roof surface. The device includes a sleeve which is clamped around the bucket and a support releasably connected to the sleeve. The support includes two support members which are angularly adjustable. The support is interchangeable with other supports to accommodate differently shaped inclined surfaces.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,321,932, issued Nov. 27, 2001 to Butters, III, claims a non-slip bucket holder for angled surfaces, which comprises a combination bucket and bucket holding apparatus. The device includes a bucket of the type that is commonly used in construction trades, and a bucket holding apparatus comprising a cylindrical body part having a closed end at one end thereof, and integral thereto, a sidewall with a flared annular edge at an open opposing end thereof, the closed end comprising a flat plate set at an angle to the longitudinal axis of the body part, so that the apparatus may be set onto a non-horizontal surface with the longitudinal axis of the body part plumb and a bucket supporting means fitted within the sidewall, the bucket supporting means providing a rest surface normal to the longitudinal axis for supporting the bucket within the apparatus.
U.S. Patent Application #20040200937, published Oct. 14, 2004 by Scannell, is for a container support having a base formed of a single, substantially planar, piece of rigid material. Connected to opposing sides of the base are a pair of hinge elements which allow for pivotable attachment of a pair of opposing support arms to the base. Braces are pivotally attached to each of the arms at one end, the other end of the braces removably attached to the base to allow for fixing the arm in a relatively upright position. An annular retainer releasably attached in rotatable relation to posts extending inwardly from each of the support arms allows a container to be suspended therefrom in a substantially vertical position. Non-slip surface engagement material may be attached to the underside of the base.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,232,187, issued Aug. 3, 1993 to O'Farrell, provides a device for leveling and stabilizing a paint bucket on an inclined surface, which consists of a wedge-shaped housing having a cavity formed in an upper surface for insertion of the paint bucket therein. A non-slip base plate is affixed to a lower surface of the wedge-shaped housing to prevent slippage of the lower surface of the wedge-shaped housing on the inclined surface. A mechanism is for carrying the wedge-shaped housing with the paint bucket and the non-slip base plate, so that the device can be transported from place to place by gripping the carrying mechanism with a hand of a person.
U.S. Pat. No. 4,842,229, issued Jun. 27, 1989 to Murray, describes a paint bucket holder comprising a portable adjustable roof platform for use by painters on inclined roof surfaces. The roof platform has two moving parts for quickly adjusting the platform vertically to a horizontal position.
U.S. Pat. No. 5,078,350, issued Jan. 7, 1992 to Zorichak, discloses an adjustable holder for supporting a container on an inclined surface, the holder having a container band with support leg apertures, a hook and loop fastener, having the hook and loop portions thereof secured to a fabric and to the container band. An attached rectangular threading loop is provided where the fastener-holding fabric is inserted to secure and fasten the container band to a container. Two support legs, each with a taper terminus located at the bottom end thereof, and an angle in each support leg located where the support leg protrudes from the container band, are weaved through the support leg apertures thus securing the legs in place on the band.
U.S. Pat. No. 1,193,307, issued Aug. 1, 1916 to Sorley, indicates a painter's bucket having a complicated support apparatus with a spring locking bottom plate for attachment to the bucket, whereby is necessary to have a container with a surface-engaging beaded edge. The support apparatus has two tubular guides for slidably holding adjustable legs.
U.S. Pat. No. 733,984, issued Jul. 21, 1903 to Lucas, puts forth a rectangular paint bucket having a supplemental paint brush support tray and two folding, height adjustable support legs, which when extended keep the bucket in level condition on an inclined surface, such as a roof.
U.S. Pat. No. 606,100, issued Jun. 21, 1898 to Thompson, is for a combination paint-bucket with leg-lock members located inside of the bucket and capable of independent adjustment.
While the prior art provides a clamp-on ring for a bucket with a hinged bottom and a number of different adjustable angle stands or legs attached to buckets, all intended for use on a roof, none of the prior art patents showed a self-contained adjustable angle utility bucket which locks securely at any desired angle providing a stable vertically positioned utility bucket for use on sloped surfaces.
What is needed is a utility bucket for use in roof work with a built-in hinged second bottom having a high friction non-skid bottom and a lockable adjustable arm for adjusting the angle to differently sloped roofs or other surfaces to maintain the utility bucket in a vertical orientation for all slopes.
An object of the present invention is to provide a utility bucket for use in roof work with a built-in hinged second bottom having a high friction non-skid bottom surface with an adjustable lockable arm for adjusting the angle to differently sloped roofs or other surfaces so that the bucket adjusts to slopes of any angle to maintain the utility bucket in a stable vertical orientation for all slopes.
In brief, a utility bucket has a second bottom attached by a hinge to the first bottom. Adjustable locking rods slide in tracks at one end to adjust the angle of the second bottom relative to the first bottom to maintain the bucket in a vertical orientation for any roof angle.
An advantage of the present invention is that it enables the use of a utility bucket adjustably maintained in a vertical orientation on sloped surfaces.
These and other details of my invention will be described in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are furnished only by way of illustration and not in limitation of the invention, and in which drawings:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the self leveling roof utility bucket of the present invention showing the second bottom of the bucket angled downwardly to compensate for a sloped surface on which the bucket might rest to maintain the bucket in a vertical orientation;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged cross-sectional view through one of the pair of tracks and one of the pair of adjusting rods of the invention showing the spring loaded adjusting pin fitting between the holes in the bottom of the adjusting rod and one of the series of spaced holes in the track;
FIG. 3 is a side elevational view showing the self leveling roof utility bucket of FIG. 1 resting on a sloped roof of a building.
In FIGS. 1-3, a self leveling roof utility bucket device 20 maintains the bucket body 21 in a vertical orientation on sloped surfaces, such as a roof 50 of a building.
A bucket body 21 comprises a flat first bottom 23A and an enclosing wall attached to the first flat bottom around the entire perimeter of the first flat bottom, the enclosing wall extending upwardly from the first flat bottom to form an interior space with an open top. A second flat bottom 23B hinged, preferably by an elongated piano type hinge 29, to the first flat bottom 23A below the first flat bottom so that the second flat bottom pivots downwardly to contact an external sloping surface, such as a roof 50 of a building, below the bucket upon which sloping surface the utility bucket rests. An underside of the second flat bottom further comprises a high friction surface 39, such as a rugged foam rubber pad, attached to the second bottom to prevent sliding of the bucket positioned on a sloping surface.
In FIGS. 1 and 2, an adjustable lockable bracket 30 extends adjustably between the first flat bottom 23A and the second flat bottom 23B to support the bucket 21 at a wide variety of angles relative to the second bottom so that the bucket 21 is positionable on a wide variety of sloped surfaces with the bucket maintained in a secure vertical orientation, as shown in FIG. 3.
The adjustable lockable bracket comprises a pair of adjusting rods 27 each pivotable attached by a pivot pin 28 at a top end to an under side of the first bottom 23A and slidably attached at a bottom end to a pair of tracks attached to an upper side of the second bottom, the pair of tracks 24 each having a series of spaced track holes 25 therethrough along the length of each track. The pair of adjusting rods 27 each have at least one mating hole 35 in a bottom of the adjusting rod in alignment with each of the track holes 25 alternately to modify the angle between the first bottom 23A and the second bottom 23B. A spring loaded adjusting pin 32 with a spring 31 attached to each end attaches to both of the adjusting rods 27 so that the adjusting pin 32 is retractably insertable through the holes 35 in the bottom of the adjusting rod 27 and alternately through each of the holes 25 in the track to lock the adjusting rod 27 into a desired position to lock in the angle between the first bottom 23A and the second bottom 23B to adjust for a sloping surface, such as the roof 50 in FIG. 3, on which the second bottom 23B rests to maintain the bucket in an upright vertical position.
In FIG. 3, an angle bracket 15 attached to an edge of the second bottom 23B so that a temporary fastener 16, such as a nail, is attachable between the angle bracket 15 and a sloped surface, such as the roof 50, upon which the second bottom is resting to further prevent the bucket from sliding on the sloped surface.
The bucket may further comprise a cover 22 hinged to a top of the bucket body 21 by a hinge 17 to removably cover a top opening in the bucket 21 and preferably also comprises a handle 29 for carrying the bucket.
The bucket may be made of any rugged plastic or metal to withstand working conditions and weather.
In use, the bucket 21 is carried by the handle 29 to a roof 50 or other location where the contents of the bucket are needed. The second bottom 23B is angled downwardly and locked into place at the desired angle and the bucket positioned on the roof 50 with the body of the bucket in a vertical orientation with the rubber pad 39 of the second bottom contacting the roof. A nail 16 may also be secured through the angle bracket 15 to further secure the bucket on the sloped roof.
Another use for the present invention would be on a sloping hill side for gardening, weeding, holding tools or other uses. The first bottom dimension may be 14″ by 28″ and would be large enough and strong enough to hold a couple of buckets of paint as well as holding tools, including power tools.
It is understood that the preceding description is given merely by way of illustration and not limitation of the invention and that various modifications may be made thereto without departing from the spirit of the invention as claimed.