Title:
Holding device for spare string trimmer line spools with slotted inner cavities
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The holding device comprises a clamp body attached to a pair of support arms. Each support arm has a round lug near its upper surface that engages a slot in the inner cavity of the trimmer line spool. The holding device is held on the shaft of a string trimmer by a pair of resilient clamp arms.



Inventors:
Knizner, Robert (Copper Canyon, TX, US)
Application Number:
10/164440
Publication Date:
12/11/2003
Filing Date:
06/06/2002
Assignee:
KNIZNER ROBERT
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
242/597.2
International Classes:
A01D34/00; B65H49/20; (IPC1-7): B65H75/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
JILLIONS, JOHN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Robert Knizner (Copper Canyon, TX, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A device for holding a spare string trimmer spool on a string trimmer, comprising: (a) a clamping means to hold the device on the string trimmer's shaft, and (b) a pair of support arms that utilize round lugs to engage the grooves in the spare spool of trimmer line's inner cavity as a means of holding the spare spool of trimmer line in place whereby the spare spool of trimmer line is securely held on the string trimmer during use of the string trimmer and can be conveniently removed from the spare spool holder and put into use on the string trimmer when required.

2. The holder of claim 1 wherein the clamping means comprises a pair of clamp arms that grip the string trimmer's shaft after the shaft is pushed between the clamp arms.

3. The holder of claim 1 wherein the clamping means comprises a split collar and threaded fastener.

4. The holder of claim 1 wherein the support arms each have an outer surface that is substantially curved to fit inside the spare spool of trimmer line's inner cavity.

5. The holder of claim 1 wherein a cross bar spans the gap between the support arms to prevent deflection of the support arms

6. The holder of claim 1 wherein the loose ends of trimmer line are pushed into gaps between clips and the clamp body as a means of keeping the loose ends of trimmer line from unwinding from the spool while the trimmer is in use.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] This invention relates in general to string trimmers used to cut grass and weeds. In particular, the invention relates to a holding device comprising a single member for holding a spare spool of trimmer line on the string trimmer while the string trimmer is in use.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Without limiting the scope of the invention, its background is described in connection with holding a spare spool of trimmer line on an operating string trimmer.

[0003] String trimmers are the most popular means to cut grass and weeds where larger machines such as lawn mowers cannot go, such as in ditches and along borders. String trimmers use a consumable plastic filament or line to accomplish the cutting action. Since this line is constantly abraded during the operation of the string trimmer, most string trimmers employ a spool that holds a quantity of line and dispenses it to allow continuous operation of the string trimmer.

[0004] There are no means to verify the quantity of line present on the spool without partially disassembling the spool assembly. Many operators of string trimmers, particularly commercial landscapers, use string trimmers a significant distance from where spare spools of line are stored. The size of these spare spools is large enough that they will not easily fit in the pockets of pants. The combination of these factors commonly results in wasted time and effort from walking back to where the spare spools of line are kept.

[0005] A popular string trimmer line spool design that is used by a number of manufacturers utilizes a slotted inner cavity as a means of holding the spool in the rotating head of the string trimmer.

[0006] As such, a need exists for a holding device for spare string trimmer spools with a slotted inner cavity, which provides a means to attach a spare spool of line to a string trimmer while the trimmer is in use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0007] The present invention provides for a holding device for spare string trimmer line spools.

[0008] Disclosed in one embodiment is a holding device for spare string trimmer line spools. The holding device, shown in FIG. 1, comprises a clamp body attached to a pair of support arms. The clamp body consists of two curved clamp arms that are arranged so that a resulting hole for the trimmer shaft, and clamp opening, forms a spring-action clamp when made of a resilient material.

[0009] A spool is shown for reference in FIG. 2. The reference spool is hollow, with a spool inner cavity having a cylindrical shape. A pair of grooves in the spool inner cavity are oriented parallel to the axis of the spool inner cavity and on opposite sides of the spool inner cavity. The spool inner cavity is open at one end, and closed at the other. The interior of the closed end of the spool inner cavity forms an upper surface of the inner spool cavity.

[0010] The support arms, project from the upper surface of the clamp body. These support arms have curved surfaces that allow the support arms to fit inside the spool inner cavity. The center area between the support arms is cut away to save material, except for a cross bar that acts to prevent the support arms from deflecting towards each other during use. Each support arm has a round lug located near its top surface. These round lugs project from the curved surface of the support arms a distance slightly less than the depth of the grooves in the spool inner cavity, and have a diameter slightly less than the width of the grooves in the spool inner cavity. During use, these lugs each engage the grooves in the spool inner cavity.

[0011] The spool holder is placed on a string trimmer shaft by positioning the clamp opening over the string trimmer shaft as shown in FIG. 4a, and then forcing the spool holder manually towards the centerline of the string trimmer shaft. The clamp arms will deflect to allow the clamp opening to enlarge sufficiently to slip over the string trimmer shaft as shown in FIG. 4b. Once on the string trimmer shaft, the slightly smaller inside diameter of the hole for trimmer shaft compared to the outside diameter of the trimmer shaft provides an interference fit that securely holds the spool holder in place on the shaft.

[0012] Each groove in the spool inner cavity has an offset in the groove in the spool inner cavity located at the end of the groove in the spool inner cavity closest to the upper surface of the inner spool cavity. These offsets in the groove in the spool inner cavity are at a nearly right angle to the inner spool cavity grooves. These offsets in the groove in the spool inner cavity are not parallel to the upper surface of the spool inner cavity, but are inclined slightly with a relief at the end of each offset in the groove in the spool inner cavity.

[0013] The spool is placed in the spool holder by first aligning the round lugs with the grooves in the spool inner cavity as shown in FIG. 3. The spool is pushed towards the top surface clamp body until the top surfaces the support arms contact the upper surface of the spool cavity. At this point, the round lugs, are lined up with the offset in the groove in the inner spool cavity. The spool is then twisted counterclockwise so that the round lugs enter the offset in the groove in the spool inner cavity. As the spool is twisted, and the round lugs move to each end of the offset in the groove in the inner spool cavity, the incline in the offset in the groove in the inner spool cavity, cause the ends of the support arms to be forced against the upper surface of the spool inner cavity, until the round lugs enter the relief in the offset in the groove in the inner spool cavity. The relief relieves the interference fit produced by the incline in the offset in the groove in the inner spool cavity, and causes the spool to be positively retained on the spool holder.

[0014] The spool is removed from the spool holder by twisting the spool clockwise and lifting it off of the spool holder.

[0015] An advantage of the present invention includes the ease with which a spool can be placed into or be removed from the holder, and the positive way that the spool is held. Other advantages of the present invention include its relatively small size, and the ease of manufacturing and the low costs associated therewith.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the preferred embodiment of the spare spool holder.

[0017] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a string trimmer spool for reference.

[0018] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a string trimmer spool being installed on the spare spool holder.

[0019] FIGS. 4a and 4b are perspective views of the spare spool holder being installed on the string trimmer shaft.

[0020] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the spare spool holder with an alternate clamping arrangement.

[0021] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of the spare spool holder with clips to hold the trimmer line ends in place. 1

Refereoce Numerals Used In The Drawings
18Spool Holder, Preferred Embodiment
20a, 20bRound Lug
21Top Surface of Clamp Body
22a, 22bSupport Arm
23a, 23bCurved Surfaces of Support Arms
24Cross Bar
25Clamp Body
26a, 26bClamp Arm
27a, 27bTop Surfaces of Support Arms
28Clamp Opening
30Hole For Trimmer Shaft
32Spool (Prior Art, For Reference Only)
33a, 33bRelief
34Spool Inner Cavity
36a, 36bGroove in the Spool Inner Cavity
38Upper Surface of the Inner Spool Cavity
40a, 40bOffset in the Groove in the Spool Inner Cavity
42String Trimmer Shaft (Prior Art, For Reference Only)
44Spool Holder, Alternate Embodiment, clamping arrangement
46Fastener Hole, Alternate Embodiment
48Split Collar, Alternate Embodiment
50Spool Holder, Alternate Embodiment, Line end holder clips
52a, 52bClip, line end holder
54a, 54bGap, line end holder clip

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0022] The present invention provides for a holding device for spare string trimmer line spools.

[0023] Disclosed in one embodiment is a holding device for spare string trimmer line spools. The holding device, shown in FIG. 1, comprises a clamp body 25 attached to a pair of support arms, 22a and 22b. The clamp body 25 consists of two curved clamp arms 26a and 26b that are arranged so that a resulting hole for the trimmer shaft 3, and clamp opening 28, forms a spring-action clamp when made of a resilient material.

[0024] A spool 32 is shown for reference in FIG. 2. The reference spool 32 is hollow, with a spool inner cavity 34 having a cylindrical shape. A pair of grooves in the spool inner cavity 36a, 36b are oriented parallel to the axis of the spool inner cavity 34 and on opposite sides of the spool inner cavity 34. The spool inner cavity 34 is open at one end, and closed at the other. The interior of the closed end of the spool inner cavity 34 forms an upper surface of the inner spool cavity 38.

[0025] The support arms, 22a and 22b project from the upper surface 21 of the clamp body 25. These support arms 22a and 22b have curved surfaces 23a and 23b that allow the support arms 22a and 22b to fit inside the spool inner cavity 34. The center area between the support arms 22a and 22b is cut away to save material, except for a cross bar 24 that acts to prevent the support arms 22a and 22b from deflecting towards each other during use. Each support arm 22a and 22b has a round lug 20a and 20b located near its top surface 27a and 27b. These round lugs 20a and 20b project from the curved surface of the support arms 23a and 23b a distance slightly less than the depth of the grooves in the spool inner cavity 36a and 36b, and have a diameter slightly less than the width of the grooves in the spool inner cavity 36a and 36b. During use, these lugs 20a and 20b each engage the grooves in the spool inner cavity 36a and 36b.

[0026] The spool holder 18 is placed on a string trimmer shaft 42 by positioning the clamp opening 28 over the string trimmer shaft 42 as shown in FIG. 4a, and then forcing the spool holder 18 manually towards the centerline of the string trimmer shaft 42. The clamp arms 26a and 26b will deflect to allow the clamp opening 28 to enlarge sufficiently to slip over the string trimmer shaft 42 as shown in FIG. 4b. Once on the string trimmer shaft 42, the slightly smaller inside diameter of the hole for trimmer shaft 30 compared to the outside diameter of the trimmer shaft 42 provides an interference fit that securely holds the spool holder 18 in place on the shaft 42.

[0027] Each groove in the spool inner cavity 36a and 36b has an offset in the groove in the spool inner cavity 40a, 40b located at the end of the groove in the spool inner cavity 36a and 36b closest to the upper surface of the inner spool cavity 38. These offsets in the groove in the spool inner cavity 40a, 40b are at a nearly right angle to the inner spool cavity grooves 36a and 36b. These offsets in the groove in the spool inner cavity 40a, 40b are not parallel to the upper surface of the spool inner cavity 38, but are inclined slightly with a relief 33a, 33b at the end of each offset in the groove in the spool inner cavity 40a, 40b.

[0028] The spool 32 is placed in the spool holder 18 by first aligning the round lugs 20a and 20b with the grooves in the spool inner cavity 36a and 36b as shown in FIG. 3. The spool 32 is pushed towards the top surface clamp body 21 until the top surfaces the support arms 27a and 27b contact the upper surface of the spool cavity 38. At this point, the round lugs, 20a and 20b are lined up with the offset in the groove in the inner spool cavity 40a and 40b. The spool 32 is then twisted counterclockwise so that the round lugs 20a and 20b enter the offset in the groove in the spool inner cavity 40a and 40b. As the spool 32 is twisted, and the round lugs 20a and 20b move to each end of the offset in the groove in the inner spool cavity 40a and 40b, the incline in the offset in the groove in the inner spool cavity 40a and 40b, cause the ends of the support arms 27a and 27b to be forced against the upper surface of the spool inner cavity 38, until the round lugs 20a and 20b enter the relief 33a, 33b in the offset in the groove in the inner spool cavity 40a and 40b. The relief 33a, 33b relieves the interference fit produced by the incline in the offset in the groove in the inner spool cavity 40a and 40b, and causes the spool 32 to be positively retained on the spool holder 18.

[0029] The spool 32 is removed from the spool holder 18 by twisting the spool 32 clockwise and lifting it off of the spool holder 18.

[0030] An advantage of the present invention includes the ease with which a spool can be placed into or be removed from the holder, and the positive way that the spool is held. Other advantages of the present invention include its relatively small size, and the ease of manufacturing and the low costs associated therewith.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ALTERNATE EMBODIMENTS

[0031] One alternate embodiment provides for the clamp arms 26a and 26b described in the preferred embodiment to be replaced with a clamping arrangement utilizing a split collar 48 and a fastener hole 46 to accommodate a threaded fastener as shown in FIG. 5. This embodiment provides a more positive clamping action at the expense of higher manufacturing cost and reduced ease of installation.

[0032] Another alternate embodiment provides for trimmer line end clips 52a and 52b as shown in FIG. 6. These trimmer line end clips 52a and 52b provide a means of securing the loose ends of trimmer line that extend downward from the spool 32 when it is filled with trimmer line. The trimmer line is pushed into a gap 54a and 54b between the trimmer line end clips 52a and 52b and the clamp body 25. The trimmer line end clips 52a and 52b are arranged so that the trimmer line is pulled out of the gaps 54a and 54b as the spool 32 is twisted clockwise to remove it from the spool holder 50. This embodiment prevents the loose ends of trimmer line from unwinding off of the spool 32 while the trimmer is in use.