Title:
Mobile Tool Caddy and Bag
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A tool caddy has a bottom surface with an inverted v-shape for supporting a tool and first and second side walls that connect to the bottom surface. The side walls have side openings for receiving a handle of the tool. A tool caddy bag has an interior compartment, and an external interface on a front side for removably mounting the tool caddy during use. The interior compartment can be sized to house the tool caddy during storage and transit.



Inventors:
Mckenzie, Ron (San Juan Capistrano, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/114697
Publication Date:
08/27/2009
Filing Date:
05/02/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/349
International Classes:
B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
COGILL, JOHN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KOPPEL, PATRICK, HEYBL & DAWSON (2815 Townsgate Road, SUITE 215, Westlake Village, CA, 91361-5827, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A tool caddy, comprising: a rectangular box with liquid impervious front and rear walls, first and second side walls, a bottom wall and an open top, the bottom wall having a v-shape with a center wall portion thereof elevated above end portions thereof for supporting a tool within said caddy and the first and second side walls connected to said bottom wall, said first and second side walls having side openings for receiving a handle of said tool.

2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said tool caddy is leak-proof.

3. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising one or more attachment means for removably mounting said tool caddy to another surface.

4. The apparatus of claim 1, said attachment means comprises one or more extensions mounted to the rear surface of said tool caddy.

5. The apparatus of claim 4, where one or more extensions comprise twist lock mechanisms.

6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said first and second side openings are substantially U-shaped.

7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said tool caddy is formed from a plastic material.

8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said tool caddy is formed from a rubber material.

9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said v-shaped bottom is symmetrical.

10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein said v-shaped bottom is asymmetrical.

11. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a top and bottom length, said top length greater than said bottom length.

12. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a top and bottom width, said top width greater than said bottom width.

13. A utility pouch, comprising: a rectangular box with liquid impervious front and rear walls, first and second side walls, a bottom wall and an open top, the bottom wall having a v-shape with a center wall portion thereof elevated above end portions thereof for supporting a tool within said caddy and the first and second side walls connected to said bottom wall, said first and second side walls having side openings for receiving a handle of said tool; and a tool caddy bag having an interior compartment for receiving tools during use thereof and an external interface on a front side for removably mounting said tool caddy during use.

14. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein said tool caddy bag is made from nylon.

15. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein said interior compartment is sized to house said tool caddy during storage and transit.

16. The apparatus of claim 13, further comprising a stiffener arranged to shape said interior compartment such that said interior compartment remains open when empty.

17. The apparatus of claim 16, wherein said stiffener has side openings.

18. The apparatus of claim 17, wherein said caddy bag has side windows for receiving and anchoring items, said side windows aligning with said side openings of said stiffener.

19. The apparatus of claim 17, wherein said side openings comprise slits.

20. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein said tool caddy is leak-proof.

21. The apparatus of claim 13, further comprising one or more attachment means for removably mounting said tool caddy to another surface.

22. The apparatus of claim 21, wherein said attachment means comprises one or more extensions mounted to the rear surface of said tool caddy.

23. The apparatus of claim 22, wherein said extensions comprise twist lock mechanisms.

24. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein said external interface comprises holes arranged to receive said extensions.

25. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein said first and second side openings are substantially U-shaped.

26. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein said tool caddy is formed from a plastic material.

27. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein said tool caddy is formed from a rubber material.

28. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein said v-shaped bottom is symmetrical.

29. The apparatus of claim 13, wherein said v-shaped bottom is asymmetrical.

30. The apparatus of claim 13, further comprising a top and bottom length, said top length greater than said bottom length.

31. The apparatus of claim 13, further comprising a top and bottom width, said top width greater than said bottom width.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of provisional application No. 61/034,920 to McKenzie filed on Mar. 7, 2008 and of provisional application No. 61/030,491 to McKenzie filed on Feb. 21, 2008.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to tool bags, and more particularly, to a mobile tool caddy and bag.

2. Description of the Related Art

Painters, cleaners and other workers have long utilized tools to transfer liquids from and to various surfaces. These tools can include, for example, paint rollers and multiple paint brushes of varying size and width having varying different brush textures.

One problem that arises in the course of such work is providing the painter, cleaner or other worker easy access to his or her tools. To this end, Stierle (U.S. Pat. No. 6,435,304 B1) teaches a tool bag for use with scaffolding and ladders having rails and rungs. The bag is composed of soft fabric and fits between the rungs, and the sleeves are dimensioned to slide over the top rails of a ladder. Fang (U.S. Pat. No. 6,085,902) teaches an article transport and organizer that can be used either as a tote bag for transport and storage of small articles or alternatively can be used in connection with an empty bucket for the transport of larger articles as well as for the transport of smaller articles and tools. Gilman (U.S. Pat. No. D510,813S) discloses an ornamental design for a foldable paintbrush holder. Gordon (U.S. Pat. No. 6,073,823) teaches a multi-purpose utility belt having an elongated planar strap.

When tools are used with liquids, they should preferably be used in conjunction with a leak-resistant container that can accommodate the shape of the tool and make it accessible to both left and right-handed individuals. Additionally, the leak-resistant container for housing the tools should be easily transported and be easily accessible during use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

One embodiment of the mobile tool caddy and bag provides a tool caddy which preferably has a bottom surface having an inverted v-shape for housing a tool within the caddy. First and second side walls connect to the bottom surface, and have side openings for receiving a handle of the tool.

Another embodiment provides a tool caddy and a tool caddy bag. The tool caddy preferably has a bottom surface with an inverted v-shape for supporting a tool and first and second side walls that connect to the bottom surface. The side walls have side openings for receiving a handle of the tool. The tool caddy bag has an interior compartment sized to house the tool caddy during storage and transit, and an external interface on a front side for removably mounting the tool caddy during use.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a tool caddy in one embodiment of the mobile tool caddy and bag.

FIG. 2 is a rear view of the tool caddy of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a side view of the tool caddy of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a bottom view of the tool caddy of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective view of the tool caddy of FIGS. 1-4 used in combination with a tool caddy bag.

FIG. 6 is a perspective expanded view of the tool caddy bag and tool caddy.

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of a stiffener used in one embodiment of the mobile tool caddy bag.

FIG. 8 is a perspective front view of an alternative embodiment of an attachment mechanism which utilizes a clip-on mechanism for the tool caddy and bag.

FIG. 9 is a perspective side view of the clip-on mechanism of FIG. 8.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIGS. 1-4 show several views of one embodiment of the mobile tool caddy. The tool caddy 100 has bottom surfaces 110 and 112, a front surface 119, a back surface 120, a first side wall 121, and a second side wall 122. Side openings 130 are in each of the sidewalls 121, 122, and one or more mounting holes 125 are located in the back surface 120. Tool caddy 100 is preferably made of a plastic, rubber or other hard/semi-hard supportive material, and is rigid enough to support the weight of various tools typically used by painters, and preferably does not leak any liquid that may accumulate inside. These tools include, but are not limited to, paintbrushes, rollers, paint removers, scrapers, or any other tool used to transfer to or remove materials from surfaces to be painted. Additionally, the term “tools” may be used interchangeably with “instruments” or liquid compositions.

FIG. 2 shows a rear view of the tool caddy 100, having a top length 143 preferably greater than a bottom length 137. Alternatively, the top and bottom lengths may be the same, or the top length can be smaller than the bottom length. As shown in FIG. 2, the bottom surfaces 110, 112 are at an angle 115, 117 with the normal, respectively, and connect to form a ridge 128, thereby giving the bottom surface of the tool caddy 100 an inverted v-shape.

In one embodiment, the angles 115, 117 are equal so that the ridge 128 is near a centerline 113 of the tool caddy 100. This results in a symmetrical inverted v-shaped bottom surface. In another embodiment, the angles 115, 117 may differ in value, resulting in a ridge that is off-center, resulting in an asymmetric inverted v-shaped bottom surface.

The inverted v-shape of the bottom surface helps confine a painting tool to one side of tool caddy 100, thereby reducing undesired commingling of the tools and/or liquids. The inverted v-shape can also help the bottom surfaces 110 and 112 better conform to the shape and angle of the bottom of the tool. Additionally, the sloping surfaces 110, 112 guide liquid away from the ridge 128, and thus prevent paint or other liquid in one section from flowing into the other section. This allows a painter to carry paintbrushes dipped in different colors of paint, for example, in the same tool caddy without contaminating one paintbrush with the paint of another. Additionally, paint of a single color, for example, may be poured in one or both sections separated by the ridge 128 and used for touch-up work.

A set of mounting holes 125 arranged on the back surface 120 of the tool caddy 100 allows the caddy to be affixed to other surfaces. There may be any number of mounting holes 125 and they may be arranged in any pattern in the back surface 120 of tool caddy 100 to accomplish the desired mounting. Alternatively, mounting extensions 315 are attached to the back surface 120 at the holes 125 for connection to the bag 200 as described below. The mounting extensions 315 can include, but are not limited to turn buckles, pins, washers and/or other structures capable of connecting to the back surface 120 of the tool caddy 100 at the holes 125.

FIG. 3 depicts a side-view of the same tool caddy 100 of FIG. 1 having a top width 135 that is preferably greater than a bottom width 140. Alternatively, the top and bottom widths may be equal, or the bottom width can be larger than the top width. As shown in the figure, an opening 130 in a side edge 132 of tool caddy 100 is shaped to receive a handle of a painting tool, such as a paintbrush or paint roller, or other tool. The other side edge of the tool caddy 100 has a similar opening that functions in a similar manner. A paintbrush or other tool handle can be placed into the opening 130, preferably with the bristles of the brush contacting one of the bottom surfaces 110 or 112, so that the paintbrush remains in its own section. When multiple painting tools are arranged within a section defined by the ridge 128, their handles stack atop and/or beside one another in the opening 130, so that several tools may be housed in each of the sections defined on either side of the ridge 128. The opening 130 helps secure the tool in place, and directs the handle to the side, so that it does not contact a user's body if the tool caddy is mounted, as described below, near or around a user's waist. Additionally, the location of the opening 130 on both sides of the tool caddy 100 allows for use by either right- or left-handed individuals.

FIG. 4 depicts a bottom view of the tool caddy 100. The bottom view illustrates the tapering effect created when the top length 143 and width 135 is greater than the bottom length 137 and length 140.

FIG. 5 illustrates an embodiment wherein the mobile tool caddy is removably attached to a waist mountable bag 200. This embodiment includes the tool caddy 100 described above used in conjunction with a tool caddy bag 200. The tool caddy 100 can be removably attached to an outer surface of the tool caddy bag 200 for easy use and transport, so that it can be removed and attached to the outside of the tool caddy bag 200 during use. An interior compartment 240 can be used to carry other useful tools such as masking tape, scrapers, etc. Pouches 242 may also be mounted within the interior compartment 240. An adjustable belt 230 connected to the bag 200 can be placed around a user's waist, or alternatively, the strap can be connected so it can be slung over a user's shoulder for easy transport.

FIG. 6 is an expanded view which illustrates several features of the tool caddy 100 and the tool caddy bag 200. Tool caddy bag 200 includes an external interface 320 having bag holes 322 and bag side windows 323. A stiffener 325 is preferably enclosed completely within the external interface 320 of the tool caddy bag. The stiffener 325 is preferably made of plastic, although any suitable rigid/semi-rigid material, including rubber, may be used. Stiffener 325 includes stiffener holes 326, which align with bag holes 322, as well as slits 327 for rag attachment, which align with bag side windows 323. The slits 327 and aligning bag side windows 323 are located on either side of the stiffener 325 and the tool caddy bag 200, respectively, allowing for use by both left- and right-handed individuals. Hole surrounds 310 and backing plates 329 connect the external interface 320 to stiffener 325 as shown. The bag side windows 323 can receive items such as rags, etc., which are held in place by the stiffener slits 327.

During use, tool caddy 100 can be removably mounted to an external interface 322 of tool caddy bag 200 using fasteners 310 which are secured in the mounting holes 125. The fasteners 310 are inserted into and through the bag holes 322 to secure the tool caddy 100 to the bag 200.

The fasteners 310 preferably comprise twist lock fasteners permanently attached by rivets 305 to tool caddy 100. The external interface 322 preferably comprises bag holes sized and arranged to receive the twist lock fasteners. To removably mount the tool caddy 100 to the tool caddy bag 200, the twist lock fasteners 310 are inserted through bag holes 322 and stiffener holes 326. The twist lock fasteners are rotated to anchor the tool caddy 100 to the stiffener 325, thereby supporting the weight of painting tools and the tool caddy. Other fasteners and fastening interfaces are also contemplated. For example, hooks may be used in combination with holes and/or rings to attach the caddy to the bag. Alternatively, Velcro, magnets or any other removably attachable mechanism may be used to removably mount the tool caddy 100 to the tool caddy bag 200 during use.

The external interface 320 and stiffener 325 and a rear bag portion 335 define the interior compartment 240. Preferably, stiffener 325 is completely covered by the bag's material, and is not exposed. The bag's material is preferably nylon, but can be any other material that is preferably water-resistant. Inner pockets 330 in interior compartment 240 can be included to provide additional compartments for other items such as writing, measuring, scraping or cutting instruments.

FIG. 7 depicts stiffener 325 in greater detail. Slits 327 may be cut into stiffener 325 in any pattern. Alternatively, holes or other openings large enough to accommodate and anchor rags, gloves, etc. may be used in place of the slits, or other attachment means such as magnets or hooks and loop fasteners (Velcro®) may be used. The slits 327 or alternative openings are on either side of the stiffener 325, allowing for use by both left- and right-handed individuals. Stiffener 325 has a bottom portion 405, and stiffener side portions 410, all of which provide rigidity to tool caddy bag 200 and give it shape. The stiffener 325 allows tool caddy bag 200 to remain open and therefore accessible even when the tool bag is empty, thus easing the re-attachement of the tool caddy 100 onto the caddy bag 200.

As shown in FIGS. 8 and 9, the tool caddy 100 can be attached to tool caddy bag 200 using other attaching mechanisms. For example, a fastening end 815 on a clip-on fastener 800 can be affixed to the tool caddy 100. A clipping end 810 on the clip-on fastener 800 can be removably clipped onto the tool caddy 100. This allows for easy tool caddy 100 attachment to and removal from the tool caddy bag 200. Preferably, two clip-on fasteners are affixed to a tool caddy, although more or fewer clip-on fasteners can be used to accommodate the size and weight of the tool caddy and bag.

The clip-on fasteners are preferably made from plastic, although metal or other materials may also be used. In one embodiment, the clip-on fasteners are 1″ in width. However, other widths are also contemplated and may be used.

In a preferred embodiment, the interior compartment 240 of the tool caddy bag 200 is sized so that the tool caddy 100 will fit within the interior compartment 240 for storage when the tool caddy bag 200 and/or tool caddy 100 is not in use.

While several illustrative embodiments of the invention have been shown and described, numerous variations and alternate embodiments will occur to those skilled in the art. Such variations and alternate embodiments are contemplated, and can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.