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This invention relates generally to the field of leg protection devices and more specifically to a resilient, inexpensive lower leg leg protector.
There are times when it is desirable to have some sort of lower leg protection while doing jobs that put the leg at risk of laceration. A prime example is that of a person using a power weed trimming machine, especially while the user is wearing shorts. In this case the cord from the weed trimming machine has the capability of coming too close to the user's leg while the cord is whipping around, which can create a welt on the user's lower leg.
Other leg protectors have been designed for protecting the lower leg. However all of the previous designs use elaborate and expensive fastening means, making the resulting leg protector time consuming to put on and relatively expensive to manufacture.
The primary object of the invention is to provide a leg protector that can be worn by a person while doing chores that put the lower leg at risk of laceration, such as when using a power weed trimmer.
Another object of the invention is to provide a leg protector that does not require additional closure mechanisms to help retain the leg protector on the user's leg.
Another object of the invention is to provide a leg protector that automatically adjusts to the user's leg diameter.
Another object of the invention is to provide a leg protector that is resilient in nature so that it can remain snuggly in place around the user's leg.
Another object of the invention is to provide a leg protector that is inexpensive to manufacture.
Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following descriptions, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, wherein, by way of illustration and example, an embodiment of the present invention is disclosed.
In accordance with a preferred embodiment of the invention, there is disclosed leg protector comprising: a sheet of die cut resilient plastic, said sheet heated and wrapped around a mandrel to form a tubular shape, said shape sized to fit over the lower portion of a person's leg, said tubular shape including a cut out knee joint portion, said tubular shape including an outwardly disposed protrusion at its upper most wall surface to accommodate said user's knee, said tubular shape including a partial shoe covering portion at its bottom most wall surface, one side of said sheet coming in close proximity to the other side of said sheet forming an adjustable diameter tubular shape, and said resilient nature of said plastic allowing said tubular shape to be pulled apart for attachment to a user's leg and to spring back to remain snuggly attached to the user's leg during use.
The drawings constitute a part of this specification and include exemplary embodiments to the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. It is to be understood that in some instances various aspects of the invention may be shown exaggerated or enlarged to facilitate an understanding of the invention.
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the invention being worn by a user.
FIG. 2 is a top perspective view of the invention.
FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the invention being pulled open prior to attachment to a person's leg.
FIG. 4 is a rear view of the invention.
FIG. 5 is a left side view of the invention.
FIG. 6 is a plan view of the die cut sheet of the invention.
FIG. 7 is an exploded view of the mold used to form the invention.
FIG. 8 is a perspective view of the bottom portion of the invention.
Detailed descriptions of the preferred embodiment are provided herein. It is to be understood, however, that the present invention may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but rather as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed system, structure or manner.
Referring now to FIG. 1 we see a perspective view of the invention 2 being worn on a user's lower leg 6. The device 2 is made of thin sheet plastic such as ABS and is resilient so that it can be pulled apart, applied to the leg and then let go of, so that the unit 2 forms a tubular protective sleeve around the user's lower leg, knee 10 and upper foot area 20. A cut out portion 26 allows the user to flex his or her leg 6 during use. This device 2 is especially useful when protecting a user who is wearing shorts 40 and is in the process of using a power tool such as a weed trimming device, which can lacerate the user's lower leg if not protected. An outwardly protruding portion 10 creates space to accommodate the user's knee. Uppermost edge 14 is rounded to reduce the chance of chafing on the user's leg.
FIG. 2 shows a top perspective view of the invention 2. In this view one can see that the two edges 16, 18 are wrapped to form a tubular configuration so that they almost meet each other at longitudinal gap 28. sheet edge 8 is rounded to prevent chaffing during use. The rolled sheet 2 can be pulled outward as shown in FIG. 3 to allow the user to insert his or her leg into the device 2. When the user releases the edges 16, 18, the tubular sheet 2 springs back and conforms to the diameter of the user's lower leg.
FIG. 4 shows a rear view of the invention and shows edges 16, 18 clearly in close proximity to each other.
FIG. 5 shows a left side view of the invention bottom edge 12 is clearly shown and rises at the front to accommodate the user's shoe top. FIG. 6 shows the sheet 2 in its original flat die cut state. ends 16, and 18 are clearly shown as well as upper most edge 14 and lower most edge 12.
FIG. 7 shows a perspective view of the sheet 2 as it is about to be formed. The tool for forming the sheet 2 consists of a bottom mold 30 a mandrel 32 and and a top mold 34. The ABS plastic sheet is heated to approximately two hundred degrees Fahrenheit where it then becomes rubbery and formable. A person then wraps the die cut sheet 2 around the mandrel 32 where it starts to assume the shape of the mandrel 34 including knee protrusion and foot protrusion. as shown in earlier Figures. The warm sheet 2 and mandrel 34 are then inserted into the base mold 30 and the top mold 34 is placed over the sheet 2 so that the sheet 2 is forced to conform to the shape of the mandrel and mold surfaces. When the sheet 2 cools to room temperature, it retains the shape that it has been formed to.
FIG. 8 shows a perspective view of the invention while not in use.
Although ABS plastic is a preferred material for making the present invention, other plastics can be used such as polypropylene, polyethylene or vinyl. The leg protector of the present invention is economical and easy to manufacture in comparison to other leg protectors that require expensive and time consuming fasteners to hold the leg protector onto the user's leg.
While the invention has been described in connection with a preferred embodiment, it is not intended to limit the scope of the invention to the particular form set forth, but on the contrary, it is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.