Title:
Tool case with a hinged cover that slides
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A tool case adapted to store tools comprises a main body and at least one cover member adapted to store tools. The cover member is coupled to the main body such that when the cover is closed, a portion of the cover member at least partially covers a storage side of the cover member. The cover member, while in an open or a closed position, may be positioned such that it covers differing amounts of the storage side of the main body. The cover member may also be detached from the main body.



Inventors:
Hector Jr., Hernandez R. (Fullerton, CA, US)
Romeo, Vincent S. (Corona, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/264054
Publication Date:
04/08/2004
Filing Date:
10/03/2002
Assignee:
HERNANDEZ HECTOR R.
ROMEO VINCENT S.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B25H3/02; (IPC1-7): B65D85/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
FOSTER, JIMMY G
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CONNORS ASSOCIATESpc (SEAL BEACH, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A tool case comprising: a main body having a base side and a storage side adapted to store tools, and at least one cover member having a face side, a tool side adapted to store tools, and opposed edges, said cover member being coupled to the main body substantially at one of said edges and manually moveable between an open position and a closed position, in the open position at least a portion of the face side faces the storage side and in the closed position at least a portion of the tool side faces the storage side, said cover member including a pair of knuckle elements, one knuckle element along one edge and the other knuckle element along the other edge, said knuckle elements enabling the cover member to open by rotating in an arc, said cover member in the closed position lying substantially parallel to the storage side and covering at least partially the storage side.

2. The tool case of claim 1 where in the open position the face side of the cover member covers at least half or less of the storage side of the main body.

3. The tool case of claim 1 where in the open position the face side of the cover member covers at least half or more of the storage side of the main body.

4. The tool case of claim 1 where the cover member is detachable from said main body.

5. The tool case of claim 1 where the cover member is mounted to the slide along the main body.

6. A tool case comprising: a main body having a storage side adapted to store tools; a pair of parallel, spaced apart walls extending from the storage side, each wall having an inner side with at least one indentation and an elongated slot extending from the indentation along a portion of the wall, said slot being parallel to the storage side; at least one cover member having a face side and a tool side adapted to store tools that is attached to the main body by a hinge member that enables the cover member to be manually moved between an open position and a closed position; said hinge member including a pair of coupling elements, one of said coupling elements being connected to one of said walls and moveable from the indentation in said one wall along the slot in said one wall and the other coupling element being connected to the other of said walls and moveable from the indentation in said other wall along the slot in said other wall; said the coupling elements when in said indentations enabling the cover member to be moved between the open and closed positions, said cover member, when in the open position with the tool side facing outward, said coupling elements being moveable along said slots to enable the cover member to move parallel to the storage side.

7. The tool case of claim 6 where the main body is substantially rectangular.

8. The tool case of claim 6 where the slots are substantially rectangular.

9. The tool case of claim 6 where each coupling element has a pair of opposed parallel sides that are connected at opposed ends by rounded sides.

10. The tool case of claim 9 where the indentations are substantially circular shaped having a predetermined diameter and the rounded sides of the coupling elements are segments of a circle having a diameter substantially equal to said predetermined diameter of said circular shaped indentations.

11. The tool case of claim 6 where, with the cover member in the open position, a portion thereof covers the storage side of the main body.

12. The tool case of claim 6 where said cover member is detachable from said main body.

13. A tool case comprising: a substantially rectangular main body having a storage side of a predetermined area for storing tools, a pair of parallel, spaced apart walls extending from the storage side at substantially a right angle, each wall having opposed outer ends and an inner side, a cylindrical indentation with a predetermined diameter at or near each said outer end of the walls, an elongated slot extending from each indentation inward along at portion of the wall, said slot being parallel to the storage side, a pair of substantially rectangular cover members that each have a tool side adapted to store tools with a predetermined area substantially corresponding to a bisection of the predetermined area of the storage side, a pair of opposed edges with outer ends, each outer end in each edge carrying a knuckle element thereat; each knuckle element being in one of said indentations to enable the cover member to be moved between an open position and closed positions, said cover member, when in the open position with the tool side facing outward, said knuckle elements being moveable along said slots to enable the cover member to move parallel to the storage side; and each knuckle element having a pair of opposed parallel sides that are connected at opposed ends by rounded sides that correspond to segments of a cylinder having a diameter substantially equal to said predetermined diameter of said cylindrical indentation in which each knuckle element is received.

14. The display tool case of claim 13 further comprising a handle coupled to the main body.

15. A tool case comprising: a main body having a base side and a storage side adapted to store tools, and at least one cover member having a face side and a tool side adapted to store tools, said cover member being detachably mounted to the main body and manually moveable between a closed position where the tool side faces the storage side and a multitude of open positions where, in any one of said open positions, at least a portion of the face side faces the storage side and the cover member lies substantially parallel to the storage side, said cover member in the closed position lying substantially parallel to the storage side and covering a substantial portion of the storage side.

16. The tool case of claim 15 where said cover member is mounted to the main body to slide and to rotate.

17. The tool case of claim 16 where said main body has a pair of opposed slots therein, and said cover member has opposed edges with each edge having knuckle element, each knuckle element being received in one of the slots, said knuckle elements enabling the cover member to slide along the slots and at a predetermined position along the slots enabling the cover member to open by rotating in an arc.

18. A tool case comprising: a main body having a base side and a storage side adapted to store tools, and a pair of cover members, each cover member having a face side and a tool side adapted to store tools, said cover members mounted to the main body to side and to rotate, being manually moveable between a closed position where the tool side faces the storage side and an open position where at least a portion of the face side faces the storage side, said cover members in the closed position lying substantially parallel to the storage side and covering a substantial portion of the storage side.

19. The tool case of claim 18 where said cover members are detachable from said main body.

20. The tool case of claim 18 where said main body has a pair of opposed slots therein, and said cover members each have opposed edges with each edge having knuckle element, each knuckle element being received in one of the slots, said knuckle elements enabling the cover member to slide along the slots and at a predetermined position along the slots enabling the cover member to open by rotating in an arc.

Description:

INCORPORATION BY REFERENCE

[0001] Applicants incorporate herein by reference any and all U.S. patents, U.S. patent applications, and other documents cited or referred to in this application or cited or referred to in the U.S. patents and U.S. patent applications incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

[0002] Portable tool cases are used to store tools as a person uses and reuses the tools. Typically, they comprise a main body storage area in which individual tools are retained with a cover that encloses the tools. The main body storage area often has recesses where individual tools are stored. The cover typically does not have a portion that is usable to store tools. It would be advantageous if a tool case had a cover that stores tools, allowing more tools to be stored in a case having a particular profile. It would be advantageous if this case with its cover could be oriented such that the tools stored in the cover and in the main body storage area were easily accessible. Furthermore, if the cover could be separated from the main body, it would allow a user to carry conveniently only a portion of the tools stored in the case.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0003] This invention, with its several desirable features, is summarized in the CLAIMS that follow. After reading the following section entitled “DETAILED DESCRIPTION,” one will understand how the features of this invention provide its benefits. The benefits of this invention include, but are not limited to providing a tool case that has a cover that (1) stores tools and displays the tools stored in the cover in a highly visible and easily accessible manner, and (2) can be separated from the main body of the case, allowing a user to conveniently carry only a portion of the tools stored in the tool case.

[0004] With this invention, the tool case has a cover member that is mounted to the main body of the case to either slid or rotate about a hinge. The cover member has one side that is adapted to carry tools and the cover member may be positioned on the main body so this side either faces inward towards the main body or outward exposing the tools stored therein.

[0005] Some, but not all, of the features of this invention are:

[0006] A first feature of the tool case is a cover member that has a face side and a tool side for storing tools. The tool side may have recessed portions where the tools are stored within. The recessed portions are shaped to the outline of the stored tools such that when a tool is stored within a recess, the tool is frictionally secure within the recess.

[0007] A second feature of the tool case is a coupling element for the cover member that allows the cover member to be opened, and also to be positioned while open, such that the tool side of the cover member faces outward from, and is parallel to, the storage side of the main body. In this open position, the cover member is slideable parallel to the storage side of the main body.

[0008] A third feature of the tool case is a coupling element that allows the cover member to be detached from the main body. The detachable cover member allows the user to conveniently carry only a portion of the tools stored in the tool case.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0009] The preferred embodiment of this invention, illustrating all its features, will now be discussed in detail. This embodiment depicts the novel and non-obvious tool case of this invention as shown in the accompanying drawings, which are for illustrative purposes only. These drawings includes the following figures (Figs.), with like numerals indicating like parts:

[0010] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the tool case, with one cover member in an open position and a second cover member closed.

[0011] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the tool case with the two cover members in an open position.

[0012] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the tool case with two cover members moved into a position that exposes the tools stored in the cover members, and the tool case resting on the tool case's handle.

[0013] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the tool case with two cover members in different open positions.

[0014] FIG. 4A is a perspective view of the tool case with the cover members detached.

[0015] FIG. 5 is a fragmentary perspective view of a knuckle coupled to a cover member.

[0016] FIG. 6 is a sectional view of the tool case taken along line 6-6 of FIG. 4 with a cover member moved into a slid open position.

[0017] FIG. 6A is a view of the tool case similar to that of FIG. 6 with a cover member in a partially slid closed position.

[0018] FIG. 6B is a view of the tool case similar to that of FIG. 6 with a cover member in a partially slid open position.

[0019] FIG. 7 is view of the tool case similar to that of FIG. 6 with a cover member in a hinged position and partially opened.

[0020] FIG. 8 is base side view of the tool case with both cover members in a slid open position.

[0021] FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the tool case with the cover members detached from the main body of the tool case.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

One Preferred Embodiment

[0022] As best shown in the FIGS. 1, 2, and 8, the tool case 10 comprises a rectangular shaped main body 11 defined by opposed pairs of sidewalls 42 and 44 and 15a and 15b, and two cover members 22, 24. Each cover member 22, 24 is connected to the main body 11 and each has a closed position (FIG. 1 shows cover member 22 in the closed position), an open position (FIG. 1 shows cover member 24 in the open position), and a multitude of slide positions (FIG. 3 shows cover members 22, 24 both in the slide positions where the main body is completely covered).

[0023] The main body 11 has a base side 10a, a storage side 10b having a number of recesses 12 where the tools are stored. These main body recesses 12 usually have an overall shape that conforms to the shape of the tool to be stored therein. An individual tool is placed within its designated recess 12, fitting snugly therein to secure by friction a tool within a recess, so that it will not be dislodged unless manually pulled from the recess 12. The sidewalls 42 and 44 and 15a and 15b connect the storage side 10b to the base side 10a. There is handle 30 along the one side 44 of the main body 11.

[0024] The sidewalls 42 and 44 are larger in height than the sidewalls 15a and 15b. Sidewalls 42 and 44 form a channel 16 between them in which the cover members 22, 24 move laterally therein over a pair of spaced apart parallel ledges 52 and 54 that have planar surfaces 52a, 54a that lie in a common plane. The storage side 10b lies below the common plane of the planar surfaces 52a, 54a of the ledges 52, 54 and the ledges 52, 54 are below top edges 42a, 44a of the extended wall portions 42, 44. These top edges 42a, 44a are parallel and lie in a common plane. Also referring to FIGS. 4 and 4A, below these top edges 42a, 44a and along the inside of the extended walls 42, 44 are coupling elements, such as, for example, knuckles, 70, 72, 74, 76 that provides hinge components to connect the two cover members 22, 24 to the extended walls 42, 44. The knuckles 74 and 76 project outwardly from opposed corners of the cover member 24 and the knuckles 70 and 72 project outwardly from opposed corners of the cover member 22.

[0025] The ledges 52, 54 position the cover members 22, 24 over the storage area 10b. When the tool case 10 is laid on its base side 10a, the ledges 52, 54 support the cover members 22, 24 when closed. As shown in FIG. 3, when the cover members 22, 24 are manually moved into a slide position (discussed infra), the tool sides 22b, 24b of each the cover member 22, 24 is flush with the top of the extended walls 42a, 44a.

[0026] As best shown in FIGS. 4, 4A and 6B the inner sides 42b, 44b of each of the extended wall portions 42, 44 have outer cylindrical indentations 80, 82, 84, 86 and inner cylindrical indentations 91, 92, 93 94 therein. One pair of outer indentations 80, 82 are spaced apart with each indentation at or near sidewall 15b, and the other pair of outer indentations 84, 86 are spaced apart with each indentation at or near the sidewall 15a. Each outer cylindrical indentation 82, 84 on the extended wall 42 lies opposite of the cylindrical indentation 80, 86 on the other extended wall 44, respectively. There are a pair of slots 62, 64 and 66, 68, typically rectangular, extending along the inner sides 42b, 44b of each sidewall with extended portions 42, 44. Each slot 62, 64, 66, 68 has one end terminating at an indentation 80, 82, 84, 86, respectively, and an opposed end terminating about midway along the extended wall portion at inner indentations 91, 92, 93, 94, respectively. Each slot 62, 64, 66, 68 is parallel to the storage side 10b of the main body 11. The depth of the slots 62, 64, 66, 68 are typically the same as the depth of the indentations 80, 82, 84, 86 and 91, 92, 93, 94, and each slot has a width w2 (FIG. 6B). Each inner indentation 91, 92, 93, 94 has a slotted portion 91a, 92a, 93a, 94a, respectively. The slotted portions 91a, 92a, 93a, 94a are at least as wide as the width w2 of the slots 62, 64, 66, 68. The slotted portions 92a, 93a and 91a, 94a extend from the inner indentations 92, 93 and 91, 94, respectively, to the top of the extended walls 44a, 42a, respectively.

[0027] As best shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 4 and 4A, the cover member 22 has a face side 22a, a tool side 22b for storing tools, and inner opposed edges 22c, 22d, and outer opposed edges 22e, 22f that define the area of the face side 22a and tool side 22b. The cover member 24 has a face side 24a, a tool side 24b for storing tools, and inner opposed edges 24c, 24d, and outer opposed edges 24e, 24f that define the area of the face side 24a and tool side 24b. As shown in FIG. 1, when the cover members 22, 24 (cover member 22 shown closed) are in the closed position, face sides 22a, 24a of the cover members 22, 24, respectively, are flush with the top edges 42a, 44a of the extended walls 42a, 44a. The tool sides 22b, 24b have recessed portions 21, 23, respectively, that are shaped to the outline of a tool, such that, when a tool is placed within the recessed portions 21, 23, the tool is frictionally secure within the recess 21, 23.

[0028] Referring to FIGS. 4 and 4A, the knuckle 70 is along the edge 22e nearby by the junction between the edges 22e and 22d, the knuckle 72 is along the edge 22f nearby the junction between the edges 22f and 22d, the knuckle 74 is along the edge 24f nearby by the junction between the edges 24f and 24d, and the knuckle 76 is along the edge 24e nearby by the junction between the edges 24e and 24d.

[0029] Each knuckle 70, 72, 74, 76 may be of similar size, shape and is used in the same manner to couple a cover member 22, 24 to the main body 11. As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6B, and using knuckle 70 for purposes of illustration, knuckle 70 has an insertion side 70e, a pair of opposed rectangular edges 70a, 70b, and a pair of opposed rounded edges 70c, 70d. The rounded edges 70c, 70d have a diameter d1 (FIG. 5) that is substantially as the same the diameter d2 of indentation 80. Indentions 82, 84 and 86 may also have a diameter of d2. Referring to FIG. 4A, cover members 22 and 24 are coupled to the main body 11 by inserting knuckles 70, 72, 74, 76 into indentions 80, 82, 84, 86, respectively. Referring to FIGS. 4A, 5, and 6A, and using knuckle 70 as an example, knuckle 70 is disposed in indentation 80 by inserting the insertion side 70e into indentation 80.

[0030] When knuckle 70 is disposed in an indentation 80, the rounded edges 70c, 70d are in frictional contact with the inner wall 80a of indentation 80. The friction rotationally biases knuckle 70 causing the cover 22 to also be rotationally biased. The rotational bias allows cover member 22 to be positioned into a multitude of open positions, such as, a position where the tool side 22a of cover member 22 and the storage side 10b form an angle less than ninety degrees (not shown), and as shown in FIG. 4, a position where the angle α between the tool side of 22a of cover member 22 and the storage side 10b is between ninety and 180 degrees.

[0031] Referring to FIGS. 5 and 6B, the distance w1 between rectangular edges 70a, 70b is substantially the same as the width w2 of the slot 68, in which knuckle 70 may be disposed. The distance between the rectangular edges of knuckles 82, 84 and 86 may also equal w1. The width of slots 62, 64 and 66 may also equal w2. Again using knuckle 70 as an example, knuckle 70 is disposed in slot 68 such that the rectangular edges 70a and 70b are in contact with the inner walls 68a, 68b of the slot 68. The rectangular edges 70a, 70b are in frictional contact with the inner walls 68a, 68b of the slot such that the knuckle 70, and thus the cover member 22, is frictionally biased from sliding in slot 68. The frictional bias prevents the cover member 22 from moving in the slot, allowing the cover member 22 to be held in a desired position. Similarly, knuckles 72, 74, 76 may be frictionally biased in slots 82, 84 and 86, respectively.

[0032] Each cover member 22, 24 has a closed position where the tool sides 22b, 24b face the storage side 10b of the main body 11, and each cover member 22, 24 covers a portion of the storage side 10b. FIG. 1 shows cover member 22 in a closed position. Cover members 22 and 24 are opened by first moving each of the knuckles 70, 72 and 74, 76, into a respective indentation 80, 82, and 84, 86. Next, each cover member 22, 24 is opened by rotating the cover members 22, 24 in an arc about the knuckles 70, 72, 74, 76 as each knuckle 70, 72, 74, 76 rotates in the indentations 80, 82, 84, 86.

[0033] Each cover member 22, 24 is positionable into a multitude of open positions. As best shown in FIGS. 2 and 6, in one open position, each knuckle 70, 72, 74, 76 of a cover member lies in indentations 80, 82, 84, 86, respectively, the face sides 22a and 24a of each cover 22, 24 faces the storage side 10b of the main body 11, and a small portion of a cover member 22 or 24 covers the storage side 10b. The open position disclosed is used for illustrative purposes, and is not exhaustive of all open positions possible.

[0034] Referring to FIGS. 4A and 6A, cover members 22, 24 may be placed in a slide position. Each knuckle 70, 72 and 74, 76 of a cover member lies in a slot 68, 64 and 62, 66, respectively, is slid proximate to an indentation 80, 82 and 84, 86, respectively. The face side 22a, 24a of each cover member 22, 24 faces the storage side 10b of the main body 11, a small portion of each cover member 22, 24 covers the storage side 10b, and the cover members 22 and 24 are parallel to the storage side 10b of the main body 11.

[0035] In another slide position, and as best shown in FIG. 3, the cover members may be placed in a slide position where each knuckle 70, 72 and 74, 76 of cover members 22 and 24 lies in slots, 68, 64 and 62, 66, respectively, substantially midway along the length of a respective extended wall 42, 44. The face side 22a, 24a of each cover 22, 24 faces the storage side 10b, a majority of either, or both cover members 22 and 24, covers the storage side 10b, and the tool sides 22b, 24b of cover members 22 and 24 are parallel to the storage side 10b. While a slide position is shown where the knuckles 70, 72 and 74, 76 of cover members 20 and 24 lie substantially midway along the extended walls 42 and 44, the knuckles 70, 72 and 74, 76 may be slid along slots 68, 64 and 62, 66, respectively, in a number of slide positions.

[0036] As best shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, in one aspect of the invention, a handle 30 is used to carry the tool case 10. The handle 30 comprises two feet members 34 and 36, and a leg 32 disposed between, and connecting the two feet members 34, 36. A user holds the handle 30 by wrapping his or her fingers around the leg 32. FIG. 3 illustrates one embodiment where the tool case 10 is positioned upright and a flat surface of the the handle 30 rests on a supporting surface 100.

[0037] In one aspect of the invention, each cover member 22, 24 is detachable from the main body 11. Using cover member 22 for purposes of illustration, and as best shown in FIGS. 4A, 9 and 9, cover member 22 is detachable from the main body 11, from a closed position, by first sliding knuckles 70 and 72 into indentations 80 and 82, respectively. Cover member 22 is then rotated in an arc about indentions 80 and 82 into an open position where the tool side 22b of the cover member 22 is parallel to storage side 10b. While in the open position, knuckles 70 and 72 are slid along slots 68 and 64, respectively to inner indentions 91 and 92, respectively. Cover member 22 is then rotated in an arc about the inner indentations 91 and 92 to a position where the tool side 22b is perpendicular to the storage side 10b of the man body. Knuckles 70 and 72 are then slid through the upper grooves 91a and 92a of inner indentations 91 and 92, respectively, until the cover member 22 is detached from the main body 11.

SCOPE OF THE INVENTION

[0038] The above presents a description of the best mode contemplated of carrying out the present invention, and of the manner and process of making and using it, in such full, clear, concise, and exact terms as to enable any person skilled in the art to which it pertains to make and use this invention. This invention is, however, susceptible to modifications and alternate constructions from that discussed above which are fully equivalent. Consequently, it is not the intention to limit this invention to the particular embodiment disclosed. On the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications and alternate constructions coming within the spirit and scope of the invention as generally expressed by the following claims, which particularly point out and distinctly claim the subject matter of the invention: