Title:
DRYING RACK FOR ATHLETIC EQUIPMENT
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention provides a natural wood, odor neutralizing, drying rack for sporting equipment, and other items to be dried. The wood which makes up the portion of the rack in contact with sporting equipment or other objects to be dried is not finished in any way, but is rather is left in its natural condition.


Inventors:
Jackson, Elizabeth (Portsmouth, RI, US)
Jackson, Colin (Portsmouth, RI, US)
Application Number:
13/191582
Publication Date:
02/02/2012
Filing Date:
07/27/2011
Assignee:
JACKSON ELIZABETH
JACKSON COLIN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B81/00
View Patent Images:
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Claims:
We claim:

1. A drying rack comprising a base, a vertical member, a plurality of horizontal members attached to the vertical member, a plurality of pegs attached to the vertical member, a plurality of pegs attached to the horizontal members, and a plurality of upward angled members attached to the vertical member, wherein the vertical member, horizontal members, pegs, and pegs attached to the horizontal members, and upward angled members are constructed from natural unfinished wood.

2. A drying rack according to claim 1 in which the base is constructed from natural unfinished wood.

3. A drying rack according to claim 1 in which the vertical member further comprises holes.

4. A drying rack according to claim 2 in which the vertical member further comprises holes.

5. A drying rack according to claim 1 comprising 2 to 4 horizontal members.

6. A drying rack according to claim 2 comprising 2 to 4 horizontal members.

7. A drying rack according to claim 1 comprising two to eight pegs.

8. A drying rack according to claim 2 comprising four to eight pegs.

9. A drying rack according to claim 1 comprising three to four pegs.

10. A drying rack according to claim 2 comprising three to four pegs.

11. A drying rack according to claim 1 having odor neutralizing properties.

12. A drying rack according to claim 2 having odor neutralizing properties.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application asserts priority from provisional application 61/369,258, filed on Jul. 30, 2010 which is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention provides a drying rack for athletic equipment which allows air circulation around the equipment.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

During play, sporting equipment can become very damp especially heavy equipment such as that used in hockey or football. Frequently such equipment is stored on the floor, in a closet, or even in a bag, where it dries very poorly. The long period of dampness allows for bacterial growth and the development of a rather unpleasant odor. U.S. Pat. No. 6,073,783 relates to a light weight foldable drying rack having a number of adjustable members which may be moved to various positions. The drying rack may be folded into a small package for convenient storage. The preferred construction material is a moisture resistant plastic. A potential problem with a light weight drying rack is that care must be used in placing heavy sports equipment on the rack to avoid having the unit tip. A potential problem with a plastic rack is that plastic is hydrophobic and does not wick water away from damp clothing. Drying racks made of steel are available, however, steel has a tendency to rust, and the rust can stain the items being dried.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a natural wood, odor neutralizing, drying rack for sporting equipment. The wood which makes up the portion of the rack in contact with the sporting equipment or other items to be dried is not finished with oil finishes, paints, varnishes and the like, but rather is smoothed, and left in its natural condition. The rack has a base, a vertical member, a plurality of horizontal members attached to the vertical member, a plurality of pegs attached to the vertical member, a plurality of pegs are attached to the horizontal members, and a plurality of upward angled members attached to the vertical member. The base may be made from a wide variety of materials and may be finished. The wood has the advantage that it is sturdier than plastic, and that won't rust like steel.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of the drying rack.

FIG. 2 shows a side view of the drying rack.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of the drying rack. At the bottom of the rack is a base 1 which supports the rack. A vertical member 2 is attached to the base 1 and extends upward. Horizontal members 3 are attached to the vertical member 2. Pegs 4 are attached both to the horizontal members and to the vertical member. Upward angled members 5 are attached to the vertical member.

FIG. 2 shows a side view of the drying rack. At the bottom of the rack is a base 1 which supports the rack. A vertical member 2 is attached to the base 1 and extends upward. Pegs 4 are attached to the vertical member. Upward angled members 5 are attached to the vertical member.

The function of the base 1 is simply to provide a place to attach the vertical member 2, and to support the drying rack when sports equipment or other items to be dried are placed upon it. Accordingly, it must be sufficiently wide and sufficiently heavy to resist tipping of the rack. The base 1 may constructed from a variety of materials. For example, it could be made from the same wood material used to construct the remainder of the rack. The base 1, could be made from a different wood than that used to construct the rest of the rack or from wood products such as plywood, chipboard and fiberboard. If the base 1 is made from wood or a wood product it may optionally be finished with a finish such a lacquer, varnish, or paint. Optionally, the base 1 could be made from metal. A metal base 1 may be lacquered, painted, or plated with a damage resistant metal such as chromium or nickel. For aesthetic reasons it is preferred that the base 1 be made from the same natural wood as the rest of the rack.

The portion of the rack which supports the items to be dried is made from natural unfinished wood. The wood is shaped and smoothed, but is not finished with any oil finishes, paints, varnishes and the like. A wide variety of woods can be used such as pine, fir, cedar, bamboo, walnut, oak, mahogany, cherry, pecan, maple, birch, and ash. Less common woods such as beech, Brazilian cherry, ebony, hickory, teak, rubber wood, and rosewood may also be used. The choice of wood is dictated by availability, and the appearance which is desired. Cost is also a consideration since rare expensive woods do not add to the functionality of the drying rack. The use of natural unfinished wood is important because wood has the ability to wick water away from wet clothing items. In addition, wood does not support bacterial growth. A wooden rack helps the items to be dried to dry more quickly, while developing less of the odors which could be caused by bacteria. While all woods have odor neutralizing properties, cedar wood has especially good odor neutralizing properties, and has a pleasant aroma. It is a preferred wood for construction of the rack. Where cost is a consideration, pine or fir function well, and can provide a pleasing utilitarian appearance. Finishing the wood with a varnish or other such finish destroys the desirable water wicking and antibacterial properties of the wood. Accordingly, the base 1 of the rack, which does not come in contact with the items being dried, may be finished in some manner, while the remainder of the rack should be unfinished natural wood. If desired, different portions of the rack may be constructed from different woods. For example, the various members of the rack could be constructed from oak, while the pegs 4 might be maple. Alternatively the base 1 and vertical member 2 could be pine, while the horizontal members 3 could be cedar.

The vertical member 2 supports the rest of the members and pegs used for drying. It should be of sufficient strength to support the weight of the items to be dried on the rack. It is preferred that the vertical member have a square or rectangular cross section. A preferred size is 2×4 inches (prefinished size). It is possible to use a vertical member 2 having a circular cross section. However, the use of a vertical member 2 having a circular cross section increases construction difficulties. The vertical member 2 may be any convenient length. A length of between 5 and 6 feet is generally convenient.

The horizontal members 3 are made of somewhat smaller wood pieces than the vertical member 2. This is because each horizontal member 3 has less weight to support than the vertical member 2. Examples of the sort of equipment which may be hung on the horizontal members are skates, protective gloves, shoes, cleats, and protective pads. It is preferred that the horizontal member have a square or rectangular cross section. A preferred size is 1×2 inches (prefinished size). It is possible to use a horizontal member 3 having a circular cross section. However, the use of a horizontal member 3 having a circular cross section increases construction difficulties. The horizontal member 3 may be of any convenient length. A length of approximately two to three feet is preferred. There may be a plurality of horizontal members 3. The number is preferred to be in the range of one to four horizontal members 3. Two to three horizontal members 3 has been found to be convenient. The horizontal members 3 may be of different lengths, or cross sections. For example, a lower horizontal member 3 might be constructed from thicker wood than an upper horizontal member 3 on the basis that the lower horizontal member 3 will be used to support heavier items.

The pegs 4 may be attached to the vertical member 2 and to the horizontal members 3. It is preferred that the pegs be attached to the horizontal members in a symmetrical manner. Thus, if a horizontal member 3 has a peg 4 at one end, it is preferred that a similar peg 4 be placed at the other end of the horizontal member. The main reason for this placement is to preserve balance. The pegs 4 may be close to the end of a horizontal member, or they may be placed closer to the center. Wherever they are placed, on the cross member, symmetrical placement is preferred. Pegs 4 may also be attached to the vertical member 2. The pegs 4 attached to the horizontal members 3 or vertical member 2 may be either horizontal or extend at an upward angle. If the pegs have an upward angle, it can vary over a wide range. A range from 20° above horizontal to 20° away from vertical has been found to be useable. An angle of 45° is preferred. Pegs attached near the top of the vertical member may be used to hang longer items. The advantage of this is that these items can have more contact with the wood of the vertical member. If desired, the pegs on the horizontal members may be used to hold long items such as hockey sticks. Although hockey sticks don't require drying, it is convenient to have them associated with the other equipment. It is preferred that pegs 4 preferably have a circular cross section although pegs 4 having a rectangular cross section could be used. The pegs should be of sufficient diameter to support a heavy item such as an athletic shoe. Peg diameters of ¼ to ½ inches have been found to be appropriate. The may be a plurality of pegs 4. The number is preferred to be in the range of two to eight pegs 4. Three to eight pegs 4 have been found to be convenient. For many applications three to four pegs 4 are preferred.

The upward angled members 5 can be constructed from the same material as the horizontal members 3. A square or rectangular cross section is preferred. A preferred size is 1×2 inches (prefinished size). It is possible to use a upward angled member 5 having a circular cross section. However, the use of an upward angled member 5 having a circular cross section increases construction difficulties. The upward angled member 5 may be of any convenient length. A length of approximately 1 to 1.5 feet is preferred. The may be a plurality of upward angled members 5. The number is preferred to be in the range of two to 8 upward angled members 5. Four to eight upward angled members 5 have been found to be convenient. The upward angled members 5 may be of different lengths, or have different cross sections. For example, a lower upward angled member 5 might be constructed from thicker wood than an upper upward angled member 5 on the basis that the lower upward angled member 5 will be used to support heavier items. The upward angle can vary over a wide range. A range from 20° above horizontal to 20° away from vertical has been found to be useable. An angle of 45° is preferred. Examples of the sort of equipment which may be hung on the upward angled members are skates, protective gloves, shoes, and cleats.

Optionally the vertical member 2 may have holes allowing better air circulation. The holes cannot be so numerous or so large that they weaken vertical member 2. In a vertical member constructed of 2×4 inches (prefinished size) wood, one ¼ inch hole per foot would provide air circulation without seriously damaging the vertical member 2. Alternatively, a larger number of smaller holes could be used. One additional use for an optional hole in the vertical member 2 would be to hold a small container of a deodorant material, such as a citrus gel air freshener.

EXAMPLE I

A dying rack was constructed from pine and cedar woods. The base was made from 2×4 lumber and was approximately 20 inches wide. The vertical member was made from 2×4 lumber and was 26.5 inches tall. There were no holes in the vertical member. The two horizontal members were made from 1×2 lumber and were 26.5 inches wide. There were three ¼ inch pegs. One was placed near the top of the vertical member, and two were placed on the lower horizontal member. The six upward angled members were made from 1×2 lumber and were 15.5 inches wide. The drying rack weighed 9 pounds. Damp hockey equipment including face guards, pads, a shirt, skates, and gloves were placed on the rack and dried in three hours.





 
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