Title:
Wire dispenser
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable wire dispenser which provides a housing/shell with an interior cavity shaped to receive a roll of wire. On a surface of the housing/shell is a circular opening which communicates with the interior cavity. An end of the spool of wire, from the interior circumference of the spool, extends through said circular opening so that a user is able to easily draw a length of wire therethrough for use. In one embodiment, a belt loop on the housing/shell allows the user to easily carry the dispenser; in another embodiment, the housing/shell is equipped with a hand-tool receptacle to hold a wire cutter or a screwdriver for easy access by the user.



Inventors:
Mccarthy, Terrance Leon (Tucson, AZ, US)
Application Number:
09/817006
Publication Date:
07/17/2003
Filing Date:
03/23/2001
Assignee:
MCCARTHY TERRANCE LEON
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
242/588.3, 242/593, 242/588.2
International Classes:
B65H49/08; B65H49/38; (IPC1-7): B65H49/04; B65H49/38
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Primary Examiner:
ARNOLD III, TROY G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mark E. Ogram (TUCSON, AZ, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A portable wire dispenser comprising: a) a housing having, 1) an interior cavity, and, 2) a first surface having a circular opening therethrough, said circular opening communicating with the interior cavity; and, b) a spool of wire contained within said interior cavity, an end of said spool of wire extending from an interior circumference of said spool of wire through said circular opening.

2. The portable wire dispenser according to claim 1, wherein said interior cavity is generally circular.

3. The portable wire dispenser according to claim 1, wherein said housing further includes a belt clasp adapted to secure said housing to a belt of a user.

4. The portable wire dispenser according to claim 3, wherein said housing includes a hand-tool receptacle adapted to receive and hold a hand-tool from a user.

5. The portable wire dispenser according to claim 4, further including a window located on said first side and extending radially from near said circular opening to a location proximate to an edge of said interior cavity.

6. The portable wire dispenser according to claim 1, wherein said housing further includes a base positioned on a side opposite a side of said housing having said circular opening.

7. The portable wire dispenser according to claim 1, wherein said housing includes: a) a first shell adapted to receive said spool of wire; and, b) a second shell configured to encase said first shell.

8. The portable wire dispenser according to claim 7, wherein said second shell includes said circular opening therein.

9. The portable wire dispenser according to claim 1, wherein said housing further includes: a) a handle configured to be grasped by a user, said handle positioned on an upper side of said housing; and, b) at least two legs extending from a lower portion of said housing.

10. The portable wire dispenser according to claim 1, further including means for selectively exposing an entirety of said interior cavity for placement of said spool of wire therein.

11. The portable wire dispenser according to claim 10, wherein said means for selectively exposing said interior cavity includes a door hinged to an exterior surface of said housing.

12. The portable wire dispenser according to claim 10, wherein said means for selectively exposing said interior cavity includes a removable rear panel from said housing.

13. The portable wire dispenser according to claim 1, wherein said housing member has a generally circular shape.

14. A wire spool housing comprising a generally circular rigid shell having: a) an interior cavity adapted to receive a spool of wire; and, b) a first surface having a circular opening therethrough, said circular opening communicating with the interior cavity and positioned such that, when a spool of wire is positioned within said interior cavity, a wire end from an interior circumference of said spool of wire extends through said circular opening.

15. The wire spool housing according to claim 14, wherein said generally circular rigid shell includes a hand-tool receptacle adapted to receive and hold a hand-tool from a user.

16. The wire spool housing according to claim 14, a) wherein said interior cavity is generally circular; and, b) wherein said circular rigid shell further includes a belt clasp adapted to secure said circular rigid shell to a belt of a user.

17. The wire spool housing according to claim 14, wherein said rigid shell includes: a) a first member adapted to receive said spool of wire; and, b) a second member configured to partially encase said first member and wherein said second member includes said circular opening therein.

18. The wire spool housing according to claim 14, wherein said generally circular rigid shell further includes a handle configured to be grasped by a user, said handle positioned on an upper side of said housing.

19. The wire spool housing according to claim 18, wherein said generally circular rigid shell further includes at least two legs extending from a lower portion of said housing.

20. A portable wire dispenser comprising: a) a generally circular housing having, 1) a generally circular interior cavity, 2) a first surface having a circular opening therethrough, said circular opening communicating with the interior cavity, and, 3) a clasp configured to secure said generally circular housing to a belt of a user; and, b) a spool of wire contained within said interior cavity of said generally circular housing, an end of said spool of wire extending from an interior circumference of said spool of wire through said circular opening.

21. The portable wire dispenser according to claim 20, wherein said generally circular housing includes a hand-tool receptacle adapted to receive and hold a hand-tool from a user.

22. The portable wire dispenser according to claim 20, wherein said generally circular housing includes: a) a first member adapted to receive said spool of wire; and, b) a second member configured to partially encase and engage said first member, said circular opening positioned in said second member.

Description:

[0001] Priority for this application is claimed from U.S. Provisional Patent Application serial No. 60/192,603, filed on Mar. 27, 2000, and entitled, “Wire Dispenser”.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This invention relates generally to construction and more particularly to wire dispensers used within the construction industry.

[0003] Wire is used throughout the construction industry. This usage ranges from insulated electrical wires to tie wires used to connect reinforcing bars together. Typically these wires are delivered in rolls from which the worker withdraws the length required.

[0004] As with all industries, the ease and speed upon which a job can be completed dictates the costs of the job. When wire is used, a task which requires a great deal of time is the simple task of obtaining a length of wire for the job.

[0005] To assist with the dispensing of wire, a variety of mechanisms have been developed, including, but not limited to those described in: U.S. Pat. No. 5,551,647, entitled “Cable Storage and Feeding Device” issued to Browning on Sep. 3, 1996; U.S. Pat. No. 5,944,280, entitled “Hand Carried Wire Spool Rack for Dispensing Wire and Method of Manufacturing Same” issued to Dimitri on Aug. 31, 1999; and, U.S. Pat. No. 5,634,610, entitled “Portable Wire Dispenser” issued to Walsh on Jun. 3, 1997; all of which are incorporated hereinto by reference.

[0006] All of the above devices require the use of an elaborate mechanism which rolls the wire as it is unwound. Further, these devices are not designed to be carried continuously by the user, rather, they are transported to a site and placed on the ground for dispensing the wire.

[0007] To address these problems, a current apparatus provides for a dispensing wheel which is secured to a belt of the worker. The wire is secured to the dispensing wheel and the outer end of the wire is fed through a guide. As the exposed end of the wire is manually pulled, the dispensing wheel turns, allowing the roll of wire to dispense the required wire.

[0008] Unfortunately, this apparatus is heavy and mechanically complex.

[0009] It is clear there is a need for a simple and easy to use wire dispenser.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] The present invention provides a portable wire dispenser which provides a housing/shell with an interior cavity shaped to receive a roll of wire. The wire is protected within the housing/shell from becoming entangled during the work process.

[0011] While a variety of different types of housings/shells are contemplated, the preferred embodiment uses two mating members which are rigidly formed and which slide together to form one unit. This embodiment allows the user to place the roll of wire into one of members and then connect the two members to each other by sliding them together.

[0012] In one embodiment of the invention, the housing/shell is formed in a “shrink wrap” relationship with the roll of wire so that it conforms tightly with the exterior surface of the roll of wire.

[0013] On one surface of the housing/shell is a circular opening which communicates with the interior cavity. The diameter of the circular opening is less than the overall diameter of the roll of wire. This prevents the roll of wire from falling or being pulled through the circular opening during use.

[0014] In one embodiment of the invention, the surface with the opening is either clear or equipped with a window (such as an open slot), thereby allowing the user to monitor the quantity of wire left within the housing/shell.

[0015] An end of the spool of wire, from the interior circumference of the spool, extends through the circular opening so that a user is able to easily draw a length of wire therethrough. In use, when a length of wire is desired, the user merely pulls the extended end from the housing/shell to get the desired length of wire dispensed. Since the wire is drawn from the interior of the roll of wire, snags and bindings are eliminated.

[0016] In the preferred embodiment a belt clasp on the housing/shell allows the user to easily carry the dispenser. By securing the dispenser to a belt, the hands of the construction worker are freed for other uses. Also, since the dispenser is always carried with the user, the user never has to “find” the roll of wire as it is constantly with him.

[0017] In another embodiment, the housing/shell is equipped with a hand-tool receptacle to hold a tool such as a wire cutter or a screwdriver for easy access by the user. This allows the user to have a single device which contains both the supplies (the wire) as well as the tool that is necessary.

[0018] Described in another way, the present invention provides a cup or glove which encircles and engages the roll of wire. The glove is used to assure that the roll does not move during use.

[0019] While one embodiment of the invention provides for a belt loop/clasp, thereby allowing the glove to be secured to a user, other embodiments of the invention do not and are used for larger rolls which are dropped onto the ground and the wire is dispensed from the center of the roll.

[0020] In use, when the worker needs a length of wire, the wire is pulled from the center of the roll, the worker cuts the length needed, and performs the task at hand.

[0021] The invention, together with various embodiments thereof, will be more fully explained by the accompanying drawings and the following description.

DRAWINGS IN BRIEF

[0022] FIG. 1A and 1B are side and perspective views of the preferred embodiment of the invention.

[0023] FIG. 2 is a side view of an embodiment of the invention used for large rolls of wire.

[0024] FIG. 3 is a side view of an embodiment of the invention for a large roll of wire.

[0025] FIGS. 4A and 4B are side views of an embodiment of the invention which uses a door to allow the loading of wire into the container.

[0026] FIG. 5A is a perspective of an alternative embodiment of the invention.

[0027] FIGS. 6A and 6B illustrate two embodiments of the invention which are equipped to hold hand-tools with the spool of wire.

[0028] FIG. 7 is a side view of an embodiment which allows rear loading of the spool of wire.

[0029] FIGS. 8A and 8B are top and bottom views of an embodiment configured as a single use item.

DRAWINGS IN DETAIL

[0030] FIG. 1A and 1B are side and perspective views of the preferred embodiment of the invention.

[0031] Container 10 has an opening 11 at its top through which wire 12B is drawn, wire end 12A. Note, end 12A connects to an interior surface of wire coil 12B allowing the wire to be withdrawn from the interior windings outward.

[0032] In this embodiment, belt loop/clasp 13 allows container 10 to be connected to the user and readily accessible.

[0033] This embodiment is particularly useful for tie wire application where short lengths of wire are need to connect reinforcing bars prior to the application of cement. This embodiment is also useful for electricians when they need short lengths of wire for applications such as switches and such.

[0034] FIG. 2 is a side view of an embodiment of the invention used for large rolls of wire.

[0035] Container 20 holds a roll of wire. Foot or base member 21 assures that container 20 is held in an upright position so that user 23B is able to pull wire 23 as directed by arrow 24, from container 20. In this manner, user 23B is able to dispense a length of wire, and cut it from the roll. Note, wire 22 is dispensed, the roll does not move, rather, the roll unwinds from its interior.

[0036] Handle 25 allows user 23A to easily move container 20 to a new location.

[0037] FIG. 3 is a side view of an embodiment of the invention for a large roll of wire.

[0038] Container 30 sets flat upon the floor and is properly secured using footing 31. When wire 32 is dispensed, guide 33 maintains the end of the wire 32 at a easily accessible position.

[0039] FIGS. 4A and 4B are side views of an embodiment of the invention which uses a door to allow the loading of wire into the container.

[0040] Referring to FIG. 4A, door 42A is opened exposing cavity 41 within container 40A.

[0041] Once door 42B is fully opened, as illustrated in FIG. 4B, wire roll 43 is inserted into cavity 41 as indicated by arrow 44. Once fully inserted, the interior end of wire roll 43 is fed through a top opening within container 40B.

[0042] FIG. 5A is a perspective of an alternative embodiment of the invention.

[0043] In this embodiment, two pieces or shells connect to make the container. Base 50B is configured to accept the roll of wire 52. Lid 51A is closed over base member 50B and is secured using notches 51A which engage teeth 51B.

[0044] An end 52A of wire 52 is fed through opening 53 during the assembly of lid member 51A with base member 51B.

[0045] Once fully assembled, belt loop/clasp 54 is used to secure the assembly to the user.

[0046] FIGS. 6A and 6B illustrate two embodiments of the invention which are equipped to hold hand-tools with the spool of wire.

[0047] Referring to FIG. 6A, housing/shell 60A has circular opening 61A therein. Within case/frame 60A is contained spool 62A. Wire end 63A is positioned through opening 61A allowing spool 62A to be unwound from its interior circumference.

[0048] Attached to housing/shell 60A is holder 65A which is configured to receive hand-tool 64A (a screwdriver in this illustration). On an opposing side of opening 61A is a belt loop/clasp permitting housing/shell 60A to be secured to a user. Once the housing/shell 60A is placed on the user's belt, hand-tool 64A is positioned for easy access by the user.

[0049] A similar structure is shown in FIG. 6B. Housing/shell 60B contains spool 62B so that end 63B is accessible through opening 61B. By pulling on end 63B, spool 62B is unwound from its interior circumference.

[0050] Holder 65B receives hand-tool 64B (a pair of wire cutters in this illustration). As before, a belt loop (not shown in this angle) permits housing/shell 60B to be secured to a user; thereby positioning hand-tool 64B for easy access by a user.

[0051] In this embodiment, window 66, an open slot shown here, allows the user to monitor the amount of wire 62B which remains with housing/shell 60B. Other embodiments of this invention provide for a clear plastic window. Those of ordinary skill in the art readily recognize other “windows” which can be used in this context.

[0052] FIG. 7 is a side view of an embodiment which allows rear loading of the spool of wire.

[0053] In this embodiment, housing/shell 70A is square shaped with a circular opening (not shown) on side 70C. The housing/shell 70A is loaded by removal of doorway 70D which slides within slot 70E.

[0054] Once doorway 70D has been removed, spool 71 is inserted as illustrated by arrows 70 so that wire end 73 passes through the circular opening on side 70C as illustrated by arrow 74.

[0055] With spool 71 loaded within housing/shell 70A, doorway 70D is reapplied to housing/shell 70A as indicated by arrows 75, thereby encasing spool 71 within housing/shell 70A.

[0056] Belt loop 70B, attached to doorway 70D allows housing/shell 70A to be easily carried; but, when not attached to a belt, housing/shell 70A is also transported using handle 70C.

[0057] FIGS. 8A and 8B are top and bottom views of an embodiment configured as a single use item.

[0058] In this embodiment, housing/shell 80 is a shrink wrap material which is formed around the spool of wire (not visible). On one side of housing/shell 80 (FIG. 8A) is punched circle 81 which is easily removed (to create the circular opening) by the user to expose the center of the enclosed spool of wire. On the opposing side of housing/shell 80 (FIG. 8B) is belt loop/clasp 82 which permits the housing/shell to be easily secured to a user's belt.

[0059] This embodiment of the invention is particularly useful as a packaging for the wire so that it may be immediately used in the field.

[0060] It is clear that the present invention provides for a simple and easy to use wire dispenser.