Title:
Shop bag
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A shop bag 120 has a curved hook 100 with a first finger 101 inside the bag and a curved finger 104 outside the bag. The curved finger 104 provides a hook that may be clipped over a belt or pant top. The hook 104 has an opening 105 for receiving a nail or other bracket so that the bag and its contents may be suspended from the nail or bracket.



Inventors:
Carone, Robert (Dansville, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/103736
Publication Date:
12/01/2005
Filing Date:
04/12/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A45C15/00; A45F4/00; A45F5/00; A45F5/02; B25H3/00; (IPC1-7): A45F5/00; A45C15/00; A45F4/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LARSON, JUSTIN MATTHEW
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Barclay Damon, LLP (Syracuse, NY, US)
Claims:
1. A bag for storing, carrying, identifying, and retrieving for use any of a wide range of small fasteners or other hardware, or of small quantities of surface treatments such as paint, putty, calk, or spackle, comprising: a puncture-resistant bag having one or more transparent faces for viewing the bag's contents; a closure for the bag; a means of reinforcement for stiffening the bag to facilitate access to the bag's contents; and a means of hanging the bag from a belt, a hook, a peg, a surface, or another bag.

2. The bag of claim 1 wherein the puncture-resistant bag is flat in shape.

3. The bag of claim 1 wherein the puncture-resistant bag is cylindrical in shape.

4. The bag of claim 1 wherein the puncture-resistant bag is semi-cylindrical in shape.

5. The bag of claim 1 wherein the closure comprises: two corner flaps of the bag; and contact surface fastenings for each of the corner flaps.

6. The bag of claim 1 wherein the means of reinforcement comprises: a vertical spine affixed to the back of the bag; and a horizontal crosspiece affixed to the back of the bag.

7. The bag of claim 1 wherein the means of reinforcement comprises a stiffened back side of the bag.

8. The bag of claim 1 wherein the means of hanging the bag comprises a hook.

9. The bag of claim 1 wherein the means of hanging the bag comprises a hole for hanging the bag from a peg or nail.

10. The bag of claim 1 wherein the means of hanging the bag comprises a snap fastener.

11. A bag for storing, carrying, identifying, and retrieving for use any of a wide range of small fasteners or other hardware, or of small quantities of surface treatments such as paint, putty, calk, or spackle, comprising: a puncture-resistant bag having two walls permanently fixed on most of their border and having a closure device on the remaining portions of the wall for closing or opening them to access the interior of the bag or to close the bag to keep its contents from escaping; said bag having a first opening in one of its walls, said opening having a first length; a hook having one portion disposed inside the bag and extending through said opening and terminating outside the bag.

12. The bag of claim 11 wherein the hook comprises an elongated body with a first finger at one end, a central body with two lateral fingers extending in opposite directions, and a third, curved finger.

13. The bag of claim 12 wherein the opening in the bag is smaller than the distance between the ends of the lateral fingers.

14. The bag of claim 12 further comprising an adhesive disposed between the first finger and the wall of the bag for holding the first finger to the wall of the bag.

15. The bag of claim 12 further comprising a second opening in said wall disposed below the first opening for permitting the distal portion of the first finger to extend outside said bag.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This patent application claims the benefit of the priority date of Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/561,458 filed Apr. 12, 2004.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates to bags for storing and carrying objects, and more specifically to bags used for storing, carrying, and accessing parts and liquids for use in construction or fabrication, fishing and artistic and craft activities.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In the process of construction, a worker ordinarily must use large numbers of small parts in fastening, connecting, securing, and covering the components and members of the object, surface, or structure being constructed. For example, a carpenter applying a molding fastened with finishing nails must use large numbers of such nails in the process. The storage of finishing nails during the application of the molding requires that the carpenter carry the nails in some kind of convenient container such as a pocket or pouch. The carpenter can then reach the nails quickly and without wasted movement, the fisherman can readily access bait and the artist or craftsperson may access materials for the art or craft activity.

The same requirements exist for electricians dressing cables with ties, or plumbers anchoring tubing to joists, or painters applying paint or spackle in small quantities, or for many other workers performing construction-related tasks. There is a need for a suitable, wearable container to carry small parts and small amounts of surface treatments such as paints and spackle.

Another requirement for small parts and surface treatments is that they may be stored conveniently, safely, and with minimum space waste between uses.

Numerous products attempt to address these requirements. U.S. Pat. No. 5,114,061 (Brady), U.S. Pat. No. 3,446,420 (Rinecker), U.S. Pat. No. 4,444,342 (Powell), and U.S. Pat. No. 1,751,229 (Bigelow) all represent earlier efforts to store and carry small objects. Some of these patents, e.g., Brady and Powell, hang a bag from a belt loop or clamp. Three other patents, U.S. Pat. Nos. 1,113,590, 4,416,315, and 5,181,637, also incorporate the belt loop.

Belt loops and clamps have disadvantages. The user of a belt loop must keep the loop on the belt—if the loop must be threaded on the belt, or if more than one loop is needed, the belt must be adjusted to add the loop. The user of a clamp is faced with the inconvenience of fumbling with clamp handles and tolerating the clamp's shape during movement.

Some of the conventional bags lack transparency to allow visual identification of their contents. Some lack puncture strength. Some lack closures. Most lack means of suspension that provide for easy use either with a peg or nail or with a shaft or belt. None can be used with liquids or semi-liquids.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention is a bag for storing, carrying, identifying, and retrieving for use any of a wide range of small fasteners or other hardware, or of small quantities of surface treatments such as paint, putty, calk, or spackle. The invention's bag is made of tough transparent plastic such as 6 to 8 mills thick, to resist puncture or ripping by sharp objects and to facilitate identification of the stored objects or substances. The bag closes at the top by the folding over of its upper corners to contact surface fastenings such as Velcro, or by the use of a locking plastic linear closure such as Zip-Loc or by a slider commonly found on freezer bags. However, in contrast to such bags, the invention provides plastic bags with welded edge seams on the sides and the bottom. In the preferred embodiment the edge seams are between one quarter to three inches deep. In contrast, ordinary bags has shallow seams and only the sides, not the bottoms, are welded.

The bag is fabricated with a flat vertical spine. In the preferred embodiment the spine is inside the bag and is retained in the bag by a top closure rib formed in the bag. In an alterative embodiment, the spine is fixed to the outside surface of the bag In both embodiments, the top of the spine is attached to a hook or is configured in the form of a hook. The hook is positioned to allow the bag to dangle or otherwise hang from a belt or shaft. The hook contains one or more openings allowing the convenient hanging of the bag from a peg or nail. Two flat horizontal arms project from the bag's vertical spine, to limit the degree of the sagging open of the bag when the bag's contents add weight and to keep the bag open for easy access. The horizontal arms are held against the bag wall by an adhesive, preferably a piece of double faced adhesive tape. Additional contact surface fastenings on the front and back of the bag provide for stacking of bags when hung for either storage or use. The bag may be flat, cylindrical, or half-cylindrical, and its bottom may be either square or rounded.

The bags are light weight and so the user may carry multiple bags at one time. The bags may hang on rods, nails or brackets attached to a wall of a workplace or on rods attached to a wall of a van or truck. Each bag may be labeled to identify its contents.

DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is a frontal view of an open bag with a hook.

FIG. 1B is a partial view of the bend in the hook.

FIG. 1C is a frontal view of a closed bag with a hook.

FIG. 1D is a side view of a bag with hook.

FIG. 2 is a bag with a rounded bottom and a hook.

FIG. 3 is a bag with rounded internal corners and a hook.

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of a bag with a hook.

FIG. 5A is a top plan view of a large cylindrical bag with a hook.

FIG. 5B is a top plan view of a small cylindrical bag with a hook.

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of a half-cylindrical bag and hook.

FIG. 7A is a front view of a bag with a hole in its back panel.

FIG. 7B is a side view of the bag of FIG. 7A.

FIG. 8 is a front view of a bag with a squeeze buckle.

FIG. 9A shows two bags stackable with each other.

FIG. 9B shows a first stacking arrangement.

FIG. 9C shows a second stacking arrangement.

FIG. 10 shows a hook before bending.

FIG. 11 shows a bent hook.

FIG. 12 shows a side view of the bent hook.

FIG. 13 shows a partial view of the hook inserted below a bag closure line.

FIG. 14 shows a partial view of the hook threaded through a wall of the bag.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The invention comprises a tough, transparent, flexible, plastic storage bag 10, as shown in FIGS. 1A, 1C and 1D, open at the top, for storage of hardware such as screws 20, nails or other fasteners, liquids such as paint, or semi-liquids such as putty or spackle. The back of the bag 10 is fabricated with a reinforcement 30 that extends above the edge of the bag far enough to form either a hook 35 as in FIGS. 1D and 1B, or a buckle. The reinforcement extends far enough down the back of the bag 10 to stiffen and reinforce the bag during use. The reinforcement 30 is held against the bag wall by an adhesive that is preferably in the form of double sided adhesive tape. The bag 10 and its opening are large enough to allow a user's hand to retrieve contents from any part of the interior of the bag. The hook 35 has a hole 37 drilled through it to allow the bag to be hung from a peg or nail (FIG. 1B).

In a first outline embodiment, shown in FIG. 1A in a face-on view, the bag 10 is rectangular and flat, with fold over top corners 12, and a cutaway of the top edge 14 of the front panel 13 of the bag to facilitate access to the contents of the bag. The edges 16, 17 of the bag are welded and are preferably between one quarter and three eights inches deep. The edges 16 of the bag may be rounded at the bottom as in FIG. 2 or the bag may have rounded corners and a straight bottom edge 17 as in FIG. 3. The rounded bottom and rounded corners reduce the likelihood of catching an edge of the bag on other objects during use. They also provide easier access to all the spaces in the bag and to reduce the likelihood of bag puncture by pointed hardware stored inside the bag.

In a first cross-section embodiment, shown in FIG. 4 in a top-down view, the bag is flat, and expands to hold a varying number of pieces of hardware or quantity of other substances. In a second cross-section embodiment, the bag 10 is cylindrical as shown in FIGS. 5A and 5B, with a cylindrical bottom. In a third cross-section embodiment, the bag 10 is semi-cylindrical as shown in FIG. 6, with a semi-cylindrical bottom. These cylindrical and semi-cylindrical embodiments provide greater holding capacity for fluids and other bulk materials.

The bag closes at the top to improve retention of pieces of hardware during movement. In a first closure embodiment, shown in FIG. 1C, the closure is provided by folding the two upper corners 12 of the bag 10 over the bag's opening and attaching them to the front 13 of the bag using a contact surface fastening 18 such as Velcro. In a second closure embodiment (not shown), the closure is provided by a locking plastic linear closure such as Zip-Loc, to seal the bag to prevent spillage of fluids and other bulk materials.

In a first reinforcement embodiment as shown in FIGS. 1A and 1D, the back of the bag 10 is fastened to a flat vertical spine 32 having a reinforcing crosspiece 33 also fastened to the back of the bag to prevent the bag from sagging open during use with heavy contents. In a second reinforcement embodiment shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B, the back panel 19 of the bag is fabricated out of a flat piece of a gauge of plastic sufficiently heavy to stiffen the bag and prevent the bag from sagging open. The bag in the second reinforcement embodiment is formed by bonding the thinner, transparent plastic of the front panel 13 of the bag to the thicker plastic of the back panel 19 of the bag. The back panel plastic may be opaque. The back panel may also be made from metal, fiberboard, or other stiff material.

The bag's back panel 19 extends above the top of the bag as shown in FIGS. 7A and 7B. In a first attachment embodiment, the reinforcement terminates in a hook 35 that curves back away from the back to engage with a carrying belt or a storage shaft. The back panel 19 and hook 35 have holes 37 drilled through them to enable the hanging of the bag from a peg or nail during storage.

In a second attachment embodiment, as shown in FIG. 8, the reinforcement or back panel terminates in a side-release buckle 40, also called a squeeze buckle. The reinforcement 19 is attached to the male half 41 of the buckle 40, which clips into a female half 42 of the buckle 40. The female half 42 of the buckle comprises one end of a hanging hook, a belt extension, a belt loop, or one of multiple such female halves of buckles attached to a vertical storage belt, a wall panel, or a sheet of fabric. In other attachment embodiments, the male and female halves of the buckle are swapped.

See FIGS. 9A, 9B and 9C. In a stacking embodiment, the bag may be stacked with other such bags both for storage and for use while being carried. On the front and back of each bag are mounted added contact surface fastenings 51 such as Velcro, so that a bag may be attached to a bag either in front or in back or both in front and in back.

Different outline embodiments, cross-section embodiments, closure embodiments, attachment embodiments, and stacking embodiments may be combined to produce numerous embodiment combinations having the advantages of specific features of the instances of the different embodiment classes. For example, the semi-cylindrical cross-section embodiment may be combined with the locking plastic linear closure embodiment to produce an embodiment suitable for paint storage and use. In another example, the rectangular flat outline embodiment combines with the stacking embodiment to produce an embodiment suitable for the stacking and use of multiple bags on one attachment. The examples and embodiments described herein indicate only a few instances of the possible range of embodiment combinations possible with the invention.

FIG. 10 shows the hook 100 in its reformed, flat state. The hook 100 has an elongated body with a lower finger 101 at one end, an upper finger 104 at the other end, and a central body portion 102 with lateral fingers 106, 108. The upper finger 104 has a hole 105 for receiving a nail or other hanging support. The central body 102 has an opening 103. The upper finger is bent at bend line 107 to extend over the opening 103 as shown in FIGS. 11 and 12. The hook 100 is made of any suitable material such as metal or plastic, that can be bent and hold its bent shape and provide a resilient upper finger 104 that may attach over a belt or pant top.

Turning to FIG. 13, there is shown a hook 100 inside a bag 120 that has an upper closure device 118 such as a press lock or zipper lock. An opening 122 is made in one of the walls of the bag below the closure device. The hook 100 is inserted through the opening 122 so that the lower finger 101 and the central body 102 are inside the bag and the curved, upper finger 104 is outside the bag. In one embodiment an adhesive 114 is placed between one surface of the lower finger 101 and the facing surface of the bag wall to hold the finger 101 to the bag wall. In another embodiment, a second opening 124 is made in the bag wall and below the first opening 122 and wide enough to permit the lower finger to extend through and outside the bag wall. See FIG. 14.

In operation, a user opens the closure device on the top of the bag and fills the bag with nails, screws, nuts, bolts, etc. The user then hangs the bag by the hook over a belt worn by the user or any other suitable accessory or component of the user's clothing. When the user is finished with the bag, he may close it and then store the bag on a nail or support hook by placing the opening 105 on the curved finger 104 over the nail or support hook.

All of the embodiments of the invention may provide the supporting spine 30 either outside the bag or inside the bag. Those skilled in the art understand that the embodiments shown in FIGS. 1D, 4, 5A, 5B and 6 may be reconfigured to dispose the spine 30 inside the bag. Likewise, the embodiments shown in FIGS. 13, 14 may be reconfigured to attach the hook 100 to the outside surface of the bag. In both instances it is preferred to provide an opening in the top of the bag proximate and below the top closure rib and to use the top closure rib to retain the spine or hook in place. The double faced adhesive tape keeps the spine or hook from moving.