Title:
Hand Rest Vacuum and Method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A hand rest vacuum and method is provided for the nail care industry. A body is configured to be supported by a desk between a client and a nail care technician. A cushioned hand rest pad is supported by the body. The body has a retractable nozzle on the technician side of the body. The nozzle is in fluid communication through an interior volume of the body to a body discharge location. Air is pulled through the nozzle opening and through the body interior volume by a vacuum source. The vacuum source may be located within the body interior volume or may be located separately from the body. The interior volume may incorporate a particulate filter, a carbon filter or a cyclone particulate matter separator.



Inventors:
Chang, Youn Jung (Hong Kong, CN)
Chang, Mun Kyung (Westampton, NJ, US)
Application Number:
12/558497
Publication Date:
03/17/2011
Filing Date:
09/12/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/345, 132/73.6
International Classes:
A45D29/00; A47L5/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PHAM, MINH CHAU THI
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROBERT J. YARBROUGH, ATTORNEY AT LAW (201 NORTH JACKSON STREET, MEDIA, PA, 19063, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A hand rest apparatus, the apparatus comprising: a. a body, said body defining an interior volume, said body being configured to rest upon a desk between a nail technician and a client, said body having a top, said top being configured to support a pair of hands of said client when said client is seated at said desk, said body having a client side and a technician side, said client side being proximal to said client when said client is seated at said desk, said technician side being distal to said client when said client is seated at said desk; b. an air intake opening, said air intake being located on said technician side of said body; c. a vacuum source, said vacuum source being operably attached to said body, said vacuum source being in a fluid communication with said air intake opening through said interior volume of said body.

2. The hand rest apparatus of claim 1 wherein said air intake opening comprises: a nozzle, said nozzle being operably connected to said air intake opening.

3. The hand rest apparatus of claim 2 wherein said nozzle has an upper side, said upper side being distal to said desk when said body is resting on said desk, said upper side defining a nozzle opening, said nozzle opening being in fluid communication with said vacuum source.

4. The hand rest apparatus of claim 5 wherein said nozzle has a first position and a second position, said nozzle when in said first position being extended from said technician side, said nozzle when in said second position being retracted against said technician side of said body.

5. The hand rest apparatus of claim 4 wherein said nozzle is telescoping, said nozzle having a plurality of positions intermediate between said first and said second positions.

6. The hand rest apparatus of claim 5 wherein said fluid communication comprises said hand rest being configured to direct a flow of air from said nozzle to said vacuum source, the apparatus further comprising: a particulate matter filter, said filter being disposed within said interior volume of said hand rest, said particulate matter filter being configured so that said flow of air from said nozzle to said vacuum source passes through said particulate filter.

7. The hand rest apparatus of claim 6, the apparatus further comprising: a carbon filter, said carbon filter being disposed within said interior volume, said carbon filter being configured to that said flow of air passes through said carbon filter downstream of said particulate filter.

8. The hand rest apparatus of claim 1 wherein said vacuum source comprises: a. a motor; and b. a blower rotatably connected to and configured for rotation by said motor, said blower having a high pressure side and a low pressure side, said low pressure side of said blower being in said fluid communication with said air intake opening, said motor and said blower being disposed within said interior volume.

9. The hand rest apparatus of claim 1 wherein said vacuum source comprises: a. a motor; b. a blower rotatably connected to and configured for rotation by said motor, said blower having a high pressure side and a low pressure side, said motor not being located within said interior volume; and c. a vacuum source duct, said vacuum source duct communicating between said low pressure side and said body.

10. The hand rest apparatus of claim 9, said vacuum source further comprising: a body duct, said body duct being in fluid communication between said vacuum source duct and said air intake.

11. The hand rest apparatus of claim 9, the apparatus further comprising: a cyclone particulate matter separator, said cyclone particulate matter separator being disposed within said interior volume of said hand rest, said cyclone particulate matter separator defining a cyclone inlet and a cyclone outlet, said cyclone inlet being in fluid communication with said air intake, said cyclone outlet being in fluid communication with said vacuum source duct.

12. The hand rest apparatus of claim 10 wherein said cyclone particulate matter separator comprises a circular cyclone side wall defining a cyclone interior volume, said cyclone inlet being configured to direct said flow of said air from said air intake into said cyclone interior volume annularly to and adjacent to said cyclone side wall.

13. A method of providing nail care, the method comprising: a. providing a hand rest apparatus, said hand rest apparatus having a body, said body being configured to rest upon a desk between a client and a nail technician, said body having a top, said body defining an interior volume, said body having a technician side and a client side, said body defining a air intake on said technician side, said body being movable when said body is located on said desk; b. providing a vacuum source, said vacuum source being in fluid communication with said air intake of said hand rest through said interior volume; c. shaping a fingernail of a client by said nail technician when a hand of said client is supported by said top of said hand rest and said fingernail of said client is located above said air intake.

14. The method of claim 13 wherein said air intake comprises: a nozzle, said nozzle being operably connected to said air intake.

15. The method of claim 14 wherein said nozzle has an upper side, said upper side being distal to said desk when said body is resting on said desk, said upper side defining a nozzle opening, said nozzle opening being in fluid communication with said vacuum source.

16. The method of claim 15 wherein said nozzle has a first position and a second position, said nozzle when in said first position being extended from said technician side, said nozzle when in said second position being retracted against said technician side of said body.

17. The method of claim 16 wherein said fluid communication comprises said hand rest being configured to direct a flow of air from said nozzle to said vacuum source, and wherein a particulate filter is disposed within said interior volume of said hand rest, said particulate matter filter being configured so that said flow of air from said nozzle to said vacuum source passes through said particulate filter.

18. The method of claim 17 wherein a carbon filter is disposed within said interior volume, said carbon filter being configured to that said flow of air passes through said carbon filter downstream of said particulate filter.

19. The method of claim 13 wherein said vacuum source comprises a motor and a blower rotatably connected to and configured for rotation by said motor, said blower having a high pressure side and a low pressure side, said low pressure side of said blower being in said fluid communication with said air intake opening, said motor and said blower being disposed within said interior volume.

20. The method of claim 13, the method comprising: a. providing a flexible tube, said flexible tube and said nozzle being configured for selectable engagement; b. providing an attachment, said attachment being in selectable engagement with said flexible tube, said attachment being in selectable fluid communication with said nozzle.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The Invention relates to dust and vapor collection for the nail care industry and particularly to point-of-use dust and vapor collection while a nail technician is filing, polishing, or otherwise providing care to the fingernails of a client. The Invention is a hand rest incorporating a vacuum system and is also a method of providing nail care.

2. Description of the Related Art

In a nail salon, the nail technician and the client receiving nail care sit opposite each other at a desk. The wrist and hand of the client are supported by a hand rest on the desk while the nail technician manipulates the fingers of the client. The nail technician uses hand or power tools to file and shape the nails of the client. The nail technician also may strip old nail polish from the nails of the client and apply new polish. The nail technician may apply artificial nails and shape and polish the artificial nails.

Nail care generates nail dust in the immediate vicinity of the face of the nail care technician and of the client. Biological dust from hand and foot care procedures may deposit in the conjunctiva, nose, and throughout the respiratory tract of the technician or client. Nail dust is a respiratory sensitizer; namely, a substance that when inhaled can trigger an allergic reaction in the respiratory system. Nail dust also may be a vector exposing the nail technician to other biological sensitizers, such as trichopyton fungi. Sensitization does not usually take place immediately, but rather after months or years of exposure to the sensitizing agent. Once sensitized, even the smallest amount of the agent can trigger serious health issues for the nail technician, including asthma, rhinitis, or conjunctivitis

Nail care technicians are exposed to nail polishes, solvents and nail adhesives containing organic chemicals that also can be sensitizers. Sensitizers in such products include formaldehyde and methyl and ethyl methacrylates. Other components of polishes, solvents and adhesives can be irritants, such as xylene, toluene, acetates and ketones.

The nail technician may wear a nuisance dust mask to reduce nail dust exposure or may use a dust and vapor collection system. Nuisance dust masks do not capture organic chemicals and are only partially effective to prevent inhalation of nail dust. The prior art does not teach the hand rest vacuum system of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The Invention is a nail care hand rest including an integral vacuum air intake for collection of nail dust and organic vapor at the point that the dust and vapor are generated. The hand rest of the Invention includes a body and a cushioned hand pad supported by the body. An air intake is defined by a side of the body that is proximal to the technician and distal to the client when the hand rest vacuum is in use.

The air intake may take the form of a mesh screen on the side of the body. Alternatively, the air intake may take the form of an extendable nozzle. The nozzle defines an opening that faces in the upward direction. The nozzle has a first and a second position. When in the first, or deployed, position, the nozzle extends outward from the side of the body and the opening is exposed. When in the first position, the nozzle is directly below the hand of a client when the hand of the client is supported by the hand rest and when the client is receiving care from the nail technician. When in the second, or stowed, position, the nozzle is collapsed into the body and does not protrude from the body. The telescoping nozzle may be located intermediate to the first and second positions.

Enclosed within the body may be a particulate filter to collect nail dust. Also inside the body may be a filter containing activated carbon to capture organic vapor.

Air is moved through the nozzle and through the particulate filter and carbon filter by a vacuum unit. The vacuum unit may be located separately from the hand rest and connected by piping to the hand rest. Alternatively, the vacuum unit may be located within the body of the hand rest. The vacuum unit comprises a blower and a motor configured to power the blower.

Dust-laden air passing from the air intake or nozzle and into the body may pass through a cyclone. The cyclone features a circular top portion. The air enters the cyclone at the periphery of the circular top portion and travels annularly to the circular top portion. Air exits the circular top portion and is directed to the vacuum unit through an exhaust vent at the center of the circular top portion. The circular movement of the air drives the dust to the outside walls of the cyclone, where the air slows and the dust is separated from the air and falls down the outside walls of the cyclone into a hopper.

A bottom of the hopper features a hopper opening. A removable dust tray has a fully engaged position and a dust receiving position. When in the fully engaged position, the dust tray seals the hopper opening and prevents air from entering the hopper through the hopper opening and prevents dust from leaving the hopper through the hopper opening. When the tray is moved from the fully engaged position to the dust-receiving position, the hopper opening is un-blocked, allowing dust to fall through the opening from the hopper into the tray. The tray may be withdrawn from the body and the dust discarded. Alternatively, the body may define the hopper.

The body includes an air discharge location to which the tubing of the vacuum unit is attached. The air discharge location may be located on either of opposing sides of the body.

The cushioned hand pad is composed of a gel, foam, rubber or other resilient material. The body may include a power switch to operate the motor of the vacuum unit blower. Alternatively, a foot switch may control the operation of the motor.

The nozzle may be configured to receive attachments, such as a flexible hose, a brush attachment and a high-velocity nozzle for cleanup of the desk and work station of the nail technician. Attachments such as the flexible hose, brush and nozzle may be packaged with the hand rest vacuum as a kit.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the Invention in the first position.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the Invention in the second position.

FIG. 3. is a detail plan view showing a hand of a client in location to receive nail care.

FIG. 4 is a partial cutaway side view showing the Invention on a desk with an external vacuum source.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of one embodiment with a top removed.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a second embodiment with the top removed.

FIG. 7 is a plan view of an embodiment with the top removed.

FIG. 8 is a plan view of an embodiment with the top removed.

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the drawer of the embodiment of FIG. 8.

FIG. 10 is a plan view of an embodiment with the top removed with the nozzle in the second position.

FIG. 11 is a plan view of the embodiment of FIG. 10 with the nozzle in the first position.

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of the drawer of the embodiment of FIGS. 10 and 11.

FIG. 13 is a partial cutaway plan view of an embodiment incorporating a cyclone.

FIG. 14 is a side section view of the cyclone embodiment.

FIG. 15 is a perspective view of an embodiment having an air intake flush with the technician side.

FIG. 16 is a perspective of a second embodiment having an air intake flush with the technician side.

FIG. 17 is a cross section plan view of the embodiment of FIG. 10 in which the motor and blower are contained within the body.

FIG. 18 is a detail plan view of the flexible tube.

FIG. 19 is a perspective view of the brush attachment.

FIG. 20 is a perspective view of the restricted flow nozzle attachment.

DESCRIPTION OF AN EMBODIMENT

The Invention is a hand rest apparatus and method for providing nail care. FIGS. 1-4 illustrate one embodiment of the apparatus. As shown by FIG. 1, the hand rest apparatus 2 features a body 4. The body 4 has a technician side 6 and a client side 8. In use, the client side 8 is proximal to the client and the technician side 6 is proximal to the nail technician.

As shown by FIGS. 1 and 3, the body 4 supports a cushioned hand rest 10 which supports one or both hands 12 of the client while the client receives nail care from the nail technician. The hand rest 10 is composed of a foam, a gel, a rubber, or any other suitable resilient material.

An air intake opening 14 is defined by the technician side of the body 4. In the embodiment illustrated by FIGS. 1-3, the air intake opening 14 is defined by an upper side 16 of a retractable nozzle 18. When the air intake opening 14 is defined by the retractable nozzle 18, the air intake opening 14 is referred to herein as ‘nozzle opening 20.’

Retractable nozzle 18 telescopes between a first position, illustrated by FIG. 1, and a second position illustrated by FIG. 2. In the first position, the nozzle 18 is deployed and nozzle opening 20 is prepared to accept nail dust and organic chemical vapor. In the second position illustrated by FIG. 2, retractable nozzle 18 is telescoped and retracted into body 4. The ‘first position’ is also referred to herein as the ‘deployed position.’ The ‘second position’ is also referred to herein as the ‘stowed position.’ The retractable nozzle 18 also may be in any position intermediate between the first and second positions. The retractable nozzle 18 is retractable because of the sliding engagement between telescoping tubes defining the nozzle 18 and because of the sliding engagement between the telescoping tubes and the body 4.

As illustrated by FIG. 4, the nozzle opening 20 is in fluid communication with a vacuum source 22. The body 4 rests on a desk 38. The vacuum source 22 rests on the floor, in a cabinet, in another room or at any other suitable location. The vacuum source 22 includes a motor 24, a blower 26, a particulate filter 28 and a carbon filter 30. The blower 26 has a high pressure side 32 from which the blower 26 discharges air and a low pressure side 34. A vacuum source duct 36 connects the low pressure side 34 of the vacuum source 22 to the discharge location 40 of body 4. The vacuum source 22 therefore pulls air from the discharge location 40 of body 4. The air moving through the vacuum source 22 passes through the particulate filter 28 to collect particulate matter and through the carbon filter 30 to collect organic chemicals. The clean air is discharged from the high pressure side 32 of blower 26. The body 4 may include a switch 42 to operate the motor 24. Switch 42 alternatively may be incorporated into a foot-operated pedal or onto vacuum source 22.

In use, and as illustrated by FIG. 3, the nail technician manipulates the fingernails of the client immediately above the nozzle opening 20 while the vacuum source 22 is engaged, collecting the nail dust and organic chemicals as they are released.

FIG. 5 is a cutaway perspective view of one embodiment of the apparatus with the top of the apparatus removed. FIG. 5 illustrates a fluid communication between the nozzle opening 20 and the discharge location of body 40. A body duct 44 connects the nozzle opening 20 to the discharge location of body 40, passing through the interior volume 46 of body 4. As shown by FIG. 5, body duct 44 has two branches leading to opposing ends of the body 4. Vacuum source duct 36 can be attached to either one of body discharge locations 40, while the other of the body discharge locations 40 is blinded by a cover. For the embodiment of FIG. 5, air entering the nozzle opening 20 passes through the nozzle 18 and into body duct 44. The air then passes through body discharge opening 40 and through vacuum source duct 36 to vacuum source 22.

In the embodiment illustrated by FIG. 6, nozzle 18 is not retractable. In the embodiment of FIG. 6, the body 4 has a removable top 45 that is removed in the figure. A particulate matter filter 28 is configured as a flat panel within interior volume 46 and spans all or part of the body 4, engaging matching grooves 46 defined by the opposing ends of body 4. The activated carbon filter 30 also is configured as a flat panel within the interior volume 46 and spans all or part of the body 4, engaging matching grooves 46 defined by opposing ends of body 4. The carbon filter 30 is located downstream of particulate matter filter 28. Application of a partial vacuum from the vacuum source 22 to the body discharge location 40 provides an air pressure within the interior volume 46 that is less than the ambient pressure outside the body 4. Air is pulled through the nozzle opening 20, through the particulate and carbon filters, through the interior volume 46 and out the body discharge location 40.

The top 45 is removable to allow access to particulate and carbon filters 28, 30 to allow cleaning and replacement. The connection between the particulate and carbon filters 28, 30 and the body 4 and top 45 is substantially air-tight, so that substantially all of the air passing through the nozzle opening 20 also will pass through both the particulate and carbon filters 28, 30.

FIG. 7 is a partial cutaway plan view of another embodiment of the apparatus with the removable top 45 removed. In the embodiment of FIG. 7, the motor 24 and blower 26 are included within the interior volume 46 of the body and are not a separate vacuum unit 22. In the embodiment of FIG. 7, nozzle 18 is not retractable and nozzle opening 20 communicates through nozzle 18 into body duct 44. Body duct 44 communicates to filter bag 48, which includes both particulate and carbon filters 28, 30. Air passes through the filter bag 48 into interior volume 46 of body 4. Air pass over motor 24, cooling motor 24. Blower 26 pulls air through the blower low pressure side 34 and expels the clean air through body discharge opening 40, which coincides with the high pressure side 32 of blower. The top 45 is removable to clean or change filter bag 48 or to service motor 24. Motor 24 is selectably activated by electrical switch 42.

FIGS. 8-12 illustrate two embodiments in which particulate and carbon filters 28, 30 are contained within body interior volume 46 a removable drawer 50. FIG. 8 is a section plan view of the body 4. FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the drawer 50. As shown by FIG. 9, drawer 50 is open on two sides to allow the passage of air through the particulate and carbon filters 28, 30. When the drawer 50 is in place, the drawer 50 define a substantially airtight connection between the drawer 50 and the body 4 so that substantially all of the air passing through body discharge location 40 also passes through nozzle opening 20 and then through filters 28, 30. In the embodiment of FIGS. 8 and 9, the nozzle 18 is not retractable.

FIGS. 10-12 illustrate an embodiment similar to that of FIGS. 8 and 9, except that the nozzle 18 is retractable and has a first and a second position. FIG. 10 is a cutaway plan view showing the nozzle of this embodiment in the second, or stowed, position. FIG. 11 shows is a cutaway plan view showing the nozzle in the first, or deployed position. As shown by FIG. 11, a body duct 44 directs air from the nozzle opening 20 when the nozzle 18 is in the first position past drawer 50 and through particulate and carbon filters 28, 30. The air passes through the interior 46 and through body discharge opening 40 to the vacuum source 22 through the vacuum source duct 36. Drawer 50 may be removed for maintenance of filters 28, 30. Vacuum source duct 36 may be connected to body discharge locations 40 at either end of body 4, with the other body discharge location 40 blinded by a cap. The movement of air is illustrated by arrows in FIG. 11.

The embodiment shown by FIGS. 10-12 may include a motor 24 and blower 26 in the interior volume of body 4, as shown by FIG. 7.

FIGS. 13 and 14 illustrate an embodiment incorporating a cyclone particulate matter separator 52. FIG. 13 is a partial cutaway plan view while FIG. 14 is a section view of the technician side 6. The cyclone 52 appears in the interior volume 46 of body 4. The cyclone 52 is circular in plan view and has a cyclone side wall 54 and defines a cyclone interior volume 56. Nozzle 18 communicates with the cyclone interior volume 56 at a cyclone inlet 58 along the side wall 54. Dust laden air entering the nozzle opening 20 and passing through nozzle 18 enters the cyclone interior volume 56 at cyclone inlet 58. The air is directed annularly to the cyclone side wall and adjacent to the cyclone side wall 54. The air is directed in a circular motion by the cyclone side wall 54. Dust entrained in the air strikes the cyclone side wall 54 and slows. The dust settles from the air and drops into drawer 50. Drawer 50 slides from body 4 for disposal of the dust. The air exits through cyclone outlet 60 and through body discharge location 40 to the vacuum source 22.

FIGS. 15 and 16 illustrate a body 4 having an air intake 14 that is not in the form of a retractable nozzle 18. The air intake 14 is flush with the technician side 6 of the body 4. Body discharge location 40 is in fluid communication with air intake 14. Interior volume 46 of body may define the fluid communication. Alternatively, a body duct 44 may be provided, as illustrated by FIG. 5. The flush air intake 14 of FIGS. 15 and 16 may be combined with a nozzle 18 as illustrated by FIGS. 1, 3, 5, 6, 7 and 8, among others, with air passing through the flush air intake passing through a carbon filter to collect odors and organic compounds and with air passing through the nozzle 18 passing through a particulate filter to collect nail dust.

The shoulders of the client generally will be wider than the width of the body 4. For the embodiments illustrated by FIGS. 1 through 15, this difference in width causes the arms and hands 12 of the client to engage the cushioned hand rest 10 at an angle when both hands 12 are supported by the cushioned hand rest 10. FIG. 16 illustrates a body 4 that defines an angle between the cushioned hand rest 10 for each hand 12 to more comfortably support both hands 12 of the client at the same time. The difference in the orientation of the two hand rests 10 shown by FIG. 16 can be defined by either a curve in body 4 or by an angle in body 4. The feature of the angle between two cushioned hand rests 10 may be incorporated into any of the embodiments illustrated by FIGS. 1-15.

FIG. 17 illustrates a version of the apparatus of FIG. 10 with a motor 24 and a blower 26 located within the interior volume 46 of the hand rest 2. Motor 24 turns blower 26, which draws air through the nozzle 18, shown in the retracted position, and pulls the air past the particulate filter 28 and the carbon filter 30. The cleaned air is discharged through the body discharge opening 40.

In the embodiments illustrated by FIGS. 7 and 17 in which the motor 24 and blower 26 are mounted in the interior volume 46 of the hand rest 2, the motor 24 and blower 26 specifications are: an AC brushless motor with a design lifespan of 5000 to 10,000 hours, the motor 24 and blower 26 generating less than 70 db of noise and able to pull a suction equivalent to a water column 8 inches tall.

Nozzle opening 20 may be configured to receive attachments, illustrated by FIGS. 17-19. The attachments may include a flexible tube 62, shown by FIG. 18, a vacuum brush 64, shown by FIG. 19 and a restricted flow nozzle 66, shown as element 66 of FIG. 20. The flexible tube 62 is configured to selectably engage nozzle opening 20 and to receive the brush 64 or the restricted flow nozzle 66. The attachments are in fluid communication with the nozzle opening 20 through the flexible tube 62. The nail technician may utilize the attachments 62-66 and hand rest vacuum 2 to clean the technician's workstation. The attachments 62-66 and the hand rest vacuum 2 in combination may form a kit.

In describing the above embodiments of the invention, specific terminology is selected for the sake of clarity. However, the invention is not intended to be limited to the specific terms so selected, and it is to be understood that each specific term includes all technical equivalents that operate in a similar manner to accomplish a similar purpose.

CLAIM ELEMENTS

The following elements are included in the claims, drawings and specification. Each element is followed by the element number by which it is designated in the drawings and specification. The elements are presented generally in the order in which they appear in the claims.

  • a hand rest apparatus 2
  • a body 4
  • an interior volume 46
  • a desk 38
  • a top 45
  • a hand 12
  • a client side 8
  • a technician side 6
  • an air intake opening 14
  • a vacuum source 22
  • a nozzle 18
  • an upper side 16
  • a nozzle opening 20
  • a particulate filter 28
  • a carbon filter 30
  • a motor 24
  • a blower 26
  • a high pressure side 32
  • a low pressure side 34
  • a vacuum source duct 36
  • a discharge location of body 40
  • a body duct 44
  • a cyclone particulate matter separator 52
  • a cyclone inlet 58
  • a cyclone outlet 60
  • a cyclone side wall 54
  • a cyclone interior volume 56
  • a flexible tube 62
  • an attachment 64, 66