Title:
Portable grind rail assembly
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable grind rail assembly includes a grind rail, two base portions, and two T-sections. Each of the two base portions includes a planar ground-contacting surface for supporting the base portions above a ground surface. Each of the two T-sections is adapted for connecting one of the two base portions with the grind rail for supporting the grind rail above the ground surface. The grind rail is preferably constructed of multiple rail sections that are adapted to be interconnected using a dowel.



Inventors:
Nestel, Scott A. (Costa Mesa, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/016738
Publication Date:
05/02/2002
Filing Date:
12/13/2001
Assignee:
NESTEL SCOTT A.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63C17/00; (IPC1-7): E04H17/14
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GARCIA, ERNESTO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Law Offices of Eric Karich (Aliso Viejo, CA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A portable grind rail assembly comprising: two base portions, each of the two base portions having a planar ground-contacting surface and a first interlocking portion; two T-sections, each of the two T-sections having a second interlocking portion, a bar receiving portion, and an outer T-surface, the second interlocking portion being adapted to interlock with the first interlocking portion for mounting each of the two T-sections upon one of the base portions; a grind rail having two ends and an outer rail-surface; and a means for connecting each of the two ends to the bar receiving portion of one of the two T-sections such that the outer T-surfaces of the two T-sections cooperate with the outer rail-surface to form an outer grind surface.

2. The portable grind rail assembly of claim 1 wherein the two base portions each include a pair of laterally extending support legs that together provide the planar ground-contacting surface.

3. The portable grind rail assembly of claim 2 wherein each of the pair of laterally extending support legs is covered with a rubber layer.

4. The portable grind rail assembly of claim 1 further comprising a means for means for adjustably locking the first and second interlocking portions with respect to each other to adjust the height of the T-section with respect to the base portion.

5. The portable grind rail assembly of claim 1 wherein the grind rail includes two rail sections removably attached to each other with a rail dowel.

6. A portable grind rail assembly comprising: a grind rail including two rail sections and a rail dowel, each of the two rail sections having a tubular body, two ends, and an outer rail-surface, the two ends of each of the two rail sections having an end perimeter that defines an inner bore having an inner diameter, the dowel having an outer diameter that is slightly less than the inner diameter of the two rail sections, the rail dowel being adapted to slidably engage the inner bore of each of the two rail sections and thereby interconnect the two rail sections to form the grind rail; and two base portions, each of the two base portions having a planar ground-contacting surface and a means for engaging the grind rail for supporting the grind rail above the planar ground-contacting surface.

7. The portable grind rail assembly of claim 1 wherein each of the two base portions includes a first interlocking portion; and wherein each of the base portions further includes a T-section having a second interlocking portion, a bar receiving portion, and an outer T-surface, the second interlocking portion being adapted to interlock with the first interlocking portion for mounting each of the two T-sections upon one of the base portions, and the bar receiving portion is adapted to engage the end of one of the two rail sections.

8. The portable grind rail assembly of claim 7 wherein each of the two T-sections further includes a dowel shaped to frictionally engage both the end of one of the rail sections and the bar receiving portion of one of the T-sections.

9. A method for assembling a portable grind rail assembly upon a ground surface, the method comprising the steps of: a) providing two rail sections having a tubular construction, each of the rail sections having an outer rail-surface, and two ends; b) providing two base sections, each of the base sections having a planar ground-contacting surface and a dowel receiving portion; c) providing a rail dowel; d) connecting the two rail sections by inserting the rail dowel into one of the two ends of each of the two rail sections, thereby positioning the two rail sections so that their ends are adjacent each other and forming a grind rail; e) positioning each of the two base sections upright so that the planar ground-contacting surface rests upon the ground surface; and f) connecting each of the two base sections with one of the ends of the grind rail so that the grind rail is supported by the two base sections above the ground surface.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application for a utility patent claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/282,457, filed Apr. 9, 2001.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

[0002] Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] 1. Field of the Invention

[0004] This invention relates generally to grind rails, and more particularly to a grind rail assembly that is portable.

[0005] 2. Description of Related Art

[0006] Grind rails are well known in the art. A user typically uses an existing railing or curb to practice grinding. A skating rail that is permanently built into a location is disclosed in Levanas, U.S. Pat. No. 5,718,412. The Levanas skate rail, however, is not portable but is permanently cemented into the ground. Furthermore, the coaxial connections between each of the sections of the skate rail form a lip that might hinder grinding in at least one direction.

[0007] The prior art teaches grind rails. However, the prior art does not teach a portable grind rail assembly that can be carried to a location, easily assembled, used for grinding, and then easily disassembled and carried home. The present invention fulfills these needs and provides further related advantages as described in the following summary.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] The present invention teaches certain benefits in construction and use which give rise to the objectives described below.

[0009] The present invention provides a portable grind rail assembly that can be carried to a location, assembled, used for “grinding,” and then disassembled and carried home. The portable grind rail assembly includes a grind rail and a means for supporting the grind rail above a ground surface. The grind rail is preferably comprised of at least two rail sections that are modular and can be disconnected from each other for easy transportation. The means for supporting the grind rail includes two base portions and two T-sections, each of the two T-sections being adapted for connecting one of the two base portions with the grind rail.

[0010] A primary objective of the present invention is to provide a portable grind rail assembly having advantages not taught by the prior art.

[0011] Another objective is to provide a portable grind rail assembly that can be carried to a location, easily assembled, used for grinding, and then easily disassembled and carried home.

[0012] A further objective is to provide a portable grind rail assembly that is modular so that many different configurations of the grind rail can be provided from simple stock components.

[0013] Other features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, which illustrate, by way of example, the principles of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0014] The accompanying drawings illustrate the present invention. In such drawings:

[0015] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the present invention, a portable grind rail assembly;

[0016] FIG. 2 is an exploded perspective view of a first embodiment of a base portion;

[0017] FIG. 3 is an exploded perspective view of a second embodiment of a base portion;

[0018] FIG. 4A is a front elevational view of the portable grind rail assembly in a raised configuration;

[0019] FIG. 4B is a front elevational view of the portable grind rail assembly in an angled configuration;

[0020] FIG. 4C is a front elevational view of the portable grind rail assembly in a shortened configuration; and

[0021] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an alternative embodiment of the portable grind rail assembly.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0022] The above-described drawing figures illustrate the invention, a portable grind rail assembly 10 that can be carried to a location, assembled, and then used for “grinding.” “Grinding” is the term used in the sport of skateboarding to refer to the act of sliding along a rail, step, wall, or other elongate or angled surface on the body or axles (known as “trucks”) of a skateboard. While we discuss “grinding” on a skateboard, those skilled in the art will recognize that the portable grind rail assembly 10 is also adapted for use with skates, roller blades, bicycles, or any other equipment that can be used for grinding in this manner.

[0023] The portable grind rail assembly 10 includes a grind rail 50 and a means for supporting the grind rail 50 above a ground surface 12. The grind rail 50 is preferably comprised of at least two rail sections 52 that are modular and can be disconnected from each other for easy transportation, although one rail section 52, or many rail sections 52, can also be used to provide the grind rail 50. Those skilled in the art can devise many alternative embodiments of the preferred designs described herein, and equivalent arrangements, and these constructions should be considered within the scope of the claimed invention.

[0024] In one embodiment, as shown in FIG. 1, the means for supporting the grind rail 50 includes two base portions 20 for supporting the grind rail 50 above the ground surface 12. While the portable grind rail assembly 10 preferably includes two base portions 20, there are embodiments, described in greater detail below, that include only one base portion 20; and since the portable grind rail assembly 10 is modular, it is of course possible to provide a portable grind rail assembly 10 with more than two base portions 20. For purposes of clarity, the two base portions 20 are described in both the plural and the singular, depending upon what makes the description easiest to understand; however, the scope of protection should not be limited to the singular or plural description herein, but only by the limitations provided in the claims.

[0025] The primary function of each of the base portions 20 is to support the grind rail 50 at a proper height above the ground surface 12, and to provide the necessary stability once the portable grind rail assembly 10 has been assembled. To provide the necessary stability, each of the base portions 20 includes a planar ground-contacting surface 22 that movably supports the base portion 20 upon the ground surface 12. The ground-contacting surface 22 of each of the base portions 20 is broad enough to limit or even prevent lateral movement during use of the portable grind rail assembly 10. In one embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 1-2, each of the two base portions 20 includes a pair of laterally extending support legs 24 that together provide the planar ground-contacting surface 22. Each of the pair of laterally extending support legs 24 can be covered with a rubber layer 26 or similar structure to provide the ground-contacting surface 22 with a suitable contact surface that provides further stability to the portable grind rail assembly 10. An alternative embodiment of the base portion 20 is shown in FIG. 3.

[0026] Each of the base portions 20 further includes a structure for interconnecting the base portion 20 with the grind rail 50. In one embodiment, as shown in FIGS. 1-3, the means for supporting the grind rail 50 further includes two T-sections 30. Each of the two T-sections 30 is adapted for connecting one of the two base portions 20 with the grind rail 50. Each of the two T-sections 30 has a second interlocking portion 32 for connecting with one of the two base portions 20; a rail locking portion 34 for connecting with the grind rail; and preferably also an outer T-surface 36 upon which the user can grind.

[0027] The second interlocking portion 32 is adapted to interlock with a first interlocking portion 28 of one of the two base portions 20 for mounting the T-section 30 upon the base portion 20. In one embodiment, the first interlocking portion 28 is a tubular upwardly extending sidewall 28 that defines a vertical bore in the base portion 20. In this embodiment, the second interlocking portion 32 is a downwardly extending bar that is shaped to slide into and frictionally engage the tubular upwardly extending sidewall 28. The downwardly extending bar 32 is preferably tubular in construction to facilitate adjustably locking the downwardly extending bar 32 as described below. The benefit of this construction is that the T-section 30 is supported in a manner that enabled the T-section 30 to be raised and lowered, as described below. However, this feature is not required, and simpler locking mounts could be used that lack this adjustment capability. Obviously, those skilled in the art will recognize that many alternative embodiments, including the inverse of the structures described, could be used to perform the function described herein, and such alternatives should be considered within the scope of the claimed invention.

[0028] The T-section 30 preferably includes a means for adjustably locking the first and second interlocking portions 28 and 32 with respect to each other to adjust the height of the T-section 30 with respect to the base portion 20. In one embodiment, the means for adjustably locking is used to lock the downwardly extending bar 32 within the tubular upwardly extending sidewall 28 to adjust the height of the T-section 30 with respect to the base portion 20. This feature enables the portable grind rail assembly 10 to be positioned in either a lowered position, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 5, an angled position, as shown in FIG. 4B, or in a raised position, as shown in FIGS. 2, 3, and 4A, depending upon the needs of the user.

[0029] As shown in FIG. 3, in one embodiment the means for adjustably locking is a pair of base locking pins 38 that are each shaped to fit through a bar locking aperture 40 of the downwardly extending bar 32, and through one of a plurality of bore locking apertures 42 through the tubular upwardly extending sidewall 28, to lock the T-section 30 in one of a plurality of positions depending upon which of the plurality of bore locking apertures 42 the pair of base locking pins 38 are engaged. The pair of base locking pins 38 can be positioned within the downwardly extending bar 32 and biased outward with a base C-spring 44, as shown in FIG. 3. Since the pair of base locking pins 38 must bear the weight of the portable grind rail assembly 10 and the user, they must be relatively strong; therefore, the pair of base locking pins 38 are preferably solid in construction to provide the greatest strength possible. Alternatively, the pair of base locking pins 38 can be a simple pin (not shown) that is manually pushed from the outside through both the bar locking aperture 40 and through one of the plurality of bore locking apertures 42.

[0030] While the means for supporting the grind rail 50 preferably includes the two base portions 20 and the two T-sections 30 described above, those skilled in the art can devise alternative support structures for supporting the grind rail 50. For example, the T-section 30 could be integrated with the base portion 20 so that they were formed as a single unit. Also, the base portion 20 could be circular for providing a disk-shaped support structure. These and other alternative embodiments should be considered within the scope of the claimed invention.

[0031] The grind rail 50 is the elongate portion of the portable grind rail assembly 10 upon which the user grinds. The grind rail 50 includes at least one rail section 52 and potentially two or more rail sections 52. An example of the grind rail 50 having only one rail section 52 is shown in FIG. 4C, and an example of the grind rail 50 having two rail sections 52 is shown in FIG. 1. The grind rail 50 can also include the outer T-surfaces 36 of the two T-sections 30. The grind rail 50 can also include additional structures, as shown in FIG. 5, described in greater detail below. For purposes of clarity we will simple discuss the grind rail 50 as a whole, which may include one or more rail sections 52.

[0032] As shown in FIG. 1, the grind rail 50 has two ends 54 and an outer rail-surface 56. The grind rail 50 is preferably a tubular construction that has a cross-section that is suitable for grinding, preferably round, as shown in FIG. 1, rectangular, as shown in FIG. 3, or other shape including but not limited to oval, triangular, or any other shapes that could be devised by those skilled in the art if the user desired an alternative shape.

[0033] As shown in FIG. 2, the rail locking portion 34 of the T-section 30 is shaped to abut one of the two ends 54 of the grind rail 50. In the preferred embodiment, the two ends 54 are mirror images so that the connections are interchangeable; and the rail locking portion 34 is an outwardly extending tubular sidewall having a cross-section that is similar to the cross-section of the grind rail 50 so that the outer rail-surface 56 and the outer T-surface 36 have a smooth interface. In this arrangement, the outer T-surface 36 of the T-section 30 cooperates with the outer rail-surface 56 to form an outer grind surface 66. It is helpful to have such a smooth interface because this enables the user to grind over the entire length of the portable grind rail assembly 10 without catching on a gap in the construction.

[0034] As shown in FIG. 1, the grind rail 50 further includes a means for connecting the end 54 of the grind rail 50 to the rail locking portion 34 of the T-section 30 such that the T-section 30 and the grind rail 50 form a single unit. The means for connecting is preferably a dowel 60 that is shaped to slide into and frictionally engage both the T-section 30 and the grind rail 50. In this embodiment, the grind rail 50 has an end perimeter 62 that defines an inner bore 64 having an inner diameter; and the ends 54 of the grind rail 50 are shaped so that, when the grind rail 50 is connected to the rail locking portion 34 using the dowel 60, the end perimeter 62 of the grind rail 50 is adjacent the rail locking portion 34, thereby enabling the outer rail-surface 56 and the outer T-surface 36 to combine to form an outer grind surface 66. The dowel 60 has an outer diameter that is slightly less than the inner diameter of the grind rail 50 and the rail locking portion 34 so that the dowel 60 is adapted to slidably engage the inner bore 64 of the grind rail 50 and the rail locking portion 34, and thereby interconnect the grind rail 50 with the T-section 30 such that the two base portions 20, together, support the grind rail 50 above the ground surface 12. The dowel 60 is preferably about 12 inches long to provide a secure connection between the T-section 30 and the grind rail 50. Those skilled in the art will recognize that attachments other than the dowel 60 described can also be used, and should be considered within the scope of the claimed invention.

[0035] When multiple rail sections 52 are interconnected to form the grind rail 50, a rail dowel 61 similar to the above-described dowel 60 can be used in the same manner. The rail dowel 61 functions to hold the end perimeters 62 of the two rail sections 52 adjacent, thereby enabling the outer rail-surfaces 56 of the two rail sections 52 to combine to form the outer grind surface 66 (preferably also with the outer T-surface 36, although this is not required in alternative embodiments). The rail dowel 61 has an outer diameter that is slightly less than the inner diameter of the two rail sections 52 so that the rail dowel 61 is adapted to slidably engage the inner bore 64 of each of the two rail sections 52 and thereby interconnect the two rail sections 52 such that the two base portions 20, together, support the two rail sections 52 above the ground surface 12. Since the rail dowel 61 is subjected to considerable stress during use of the grind rail 50, the rail dowel 61 is preferably 24 inches long to provide a secure connection that will not bend during use.

[0036] To lock the dowels 60 and the rail dowel 61 in their proper location within the rail sections is 52 and/or the T-sections 30, the dowels 60 and the rail dowel 61 are preferably tubular in construction and includes a dowel locking pin 68 that is adapted to fit through both a dowel aperture 70 of the dowel 60 and a dowel locking apertures 72 through either the T-section 30 or the rail section. In the preferred embodiment, the dowel locking pin 68 is located within the dowel 60 and biased outwardly with a dowel C-spring 74. Alternative embodiments, as described above, can be adapted by those skilled in the art.

[0037] Since the portable grind rail assembly 10 is preferably modular, it is also possible to create an unlimited number of alternative embodiments by adding rail sections 52 and by using rail sections 52 that are custom shaped to the needs of the user. As shown in FIG. 5, a bent rail section 80 that terminates in a base end 82 can be used for different grinding maneuvers. If one of the bent rail sections 80 were placed on either side of the base portion 20, only a single base portion 80 would be required, although more than one would typically be used. Furthermore, a curved rail section (not shown) can be used to create a grind rail 50 having curved grind sections. The rail sections 52 are preferably 36 inches long, but they can have different lengths as long as the rail section is strong enough to support the user while he or she is grinding. The rail sections 52 can also have different diameters, as long as the ends 54 have the same diameter as the adjoining rail section 52 and/or the T-section 30. Finally, it is worth noting that the modular construction allows an unlimited number of rail sections 52 to be linked together supported by an appropriate number of base portions 20 and T-sections 30. Elaborate constructions can be built using the various elements described above, and the entire construction can be disassembled and moved as needed.

[0038] The invention includes a method for assembling the portable grind rail assembly 10 upon the ground surface 12. The portable grind rail assembly 10 described above is provided, including preferably at least two rail sections 52 having a tubular construction. If only a very short grind rail 50 is required, it is possible to use only a single rail section 52; and if a very long grind rail 50 is required, many rail sections 52 can be used. If a large number of rail sections 52 are used, additional base sections should be used to prevent the rail sections 52 from being bent by the considerable stresses to which they are subjected. Also, as described above, various components that have been modified, bent, or otherwise customized, can be integrated with the structure to provide various unique properties.

[0039] As shown in FIG. 1, the two rail sections 52 are connected by inserting the rail dowel 61 into one end 54 of each of the two rail sections 52, thereby positioning the two rail sections 52 so that their ends 54 are adjacent each other and forming a grind rail 50. If the dowel locking pin 68 is positioned within the rail dowel 61, as described above, the dowel C-spring 74 will automatically snap the dowel locking pin 68 into place. The dowel locking pin 68 should be positioned on the underside of the rail section 52 so that it does not interfere with the use of the grind rail 50. Each of the two base portions 20 is then positioned upright so that the planar ground-contacting surface 22 rests upon the ground surface 12. As shown in FIG. 2, each of the two base portions 20 is then connected with one of the ends 54 of the grind rail 50, as described above, so that the grind rail 50 is supported by the two base sections above the ground surface 12. Additional structures can also be added, as shown in FIG. 5.

[0040] While the invention has been described with reference to at least one preferred embodiment, it is to be clearly understood by those skilled in the art that the invention is not limited thereto. Rather, the scope of the invention is to be interpreted only in conjunction with the appended claims.