Title:
Bag clip for a wire rack for trash bags
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A bag clip for connecting a trash bag to a bag holder, such bag clip utilizing two downwardly-extending, parallel, interconnecting and tensioning portions in contact with each other to retain the trash bag therebetween.



Inventors:
Malik, James Joseph (Parma Heights, OH, US)
Application Number:
10/865892
Publication Date:
12/15/2005
Filing Date:
06/14/2004
Assignee:
EAGLE WIRE WORKS
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47H1/16; B65B67/12; B65F1/14; F41C33/02; (IPC1-7): A47H1/16; F41C33/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WOOD, KIMBERLY T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TAROLLI, SUNDHEIM, COVELL & TUMMINO L.L.P. (CLEVELAND, OH, US)
Claims:
1. A bag clip for a wire rack for holding trash bags, the wire rack including a top frame and means to support the top frame in respect to a ground surface, a bag clip, said bag clip including an interconnecting portion and a tensioning portion, said interconnecting portion having a top and two axially spaced side sections, means to affix said top of said interconnecting portion to the top frame of the wire rack with said axially spaced side sections extending downwardly therefrom, a tensioning portion, said tensioning portion having two axially spaced side sections and means to affix said tensioning portion to said interconnecting portion with its said side sections adjacent to and aligned with said axially spaced side sections of the interconnection portion respectfully.

2. The bag clip for a wire rack of claim 1 wherein the bag material lies in a plane and characterized in that said side sections of said interconnecting portion and said side sections of said tensioning portion contact the bag material between the two substantially perpendicular to the plane of such bag material.

3. The bag clip for a wire rack of claim 1 characterized in that at least one of said side sections of said interconnecting portion or said tensioning portion has an angled bottom in respect to the plane of said side sections.

4. The bag clip for a wire rack of claim 1 characterized in that said side sections of said tensioning portion are axially aligned and parallel to said side sections of said interconnecting portion with said side sections clipping the trash bag material therebetween utilizing a spring force substantially perpendicular to the plane of the bag material.

5. The bag clip of claim 1 characterized in that said tensioning portion and said interconnecting portions both have widths and in that the width of said tensioning portion is substantially equal to the width of said interconnecting portion.

6. The bag clip of claim 1 characterized in that said interconnecting portion is affixed to the wire rack at two spaced locations.

7. The bag clip of claim 1 characterized in that one of the axially spaced side sections of the tensioning portion is welded to the top of an axially spaced side section of the tensioning portion.

8. A bag clip for a wire rack for holding trash bags having material lying in a plane, the wire rack including a top frame and a side to support the top frame in respect to a ground surface, the top frame being substantially perpendicular to the side of the wire rack, at least two bag clips, each said bag clip including an interconnecting portion and a tensioning portion, said interconnecting portion being affixed to said tensioning portion, said interconnecting portion having a top and two axially spaced side sections, said top of said interconnecting portion being affixed to the top frame of the wire rack with said axially spaced side sections extending downwardly therefrom, a tensioning portion, said tensioning portion having two axially spaced side sections, said tensioning portion being affixed to said interconnecting portion with its said side sections adjacent to and aligned with the axially spaced side sections of the interconnection portion respectively, said side sections of said tensioning portion being axially aligned and parallel to said side sections of said interconnecting portion respectively with said side sections clipping the trash bag material therebetween utilizing a spring force substantially perpendicular to the plane of the bag material, said side sections of said interconnecting portion and said side sections of said tensioning portion contacting the bag material between the two substantially in line with the plane of such bag material, and at least one of said side sections of said interconnecting portion or said tensioning portion having an angled bottom in respect to the plane of said side sections.

9. The bag clip of claim 8 characterized in that said tensioning portion and said interconnecting portion both have widths and the width of said tensioning portion being substantially equal to the width of said interconnecting portion.

10. The bag clip of claim 8 characterized in that said interconnecting portion is affixed to the wire rack at two spaced locations.

11. The bag clip of claim 8 characterized in that one of the axially spaced side sections of the tensioning portion is welded to the top of a top of the axially spaced side section of the tensioning portion.

12. A bag clip for a wire rack for holding trash bags having material with an opening having two laterally opposed edges lying in a plane, the wire rack including a rectangular top frame having two side pieces and a single unsymmetrical side to support the top frame in respect to a ground surface, the rectangular top frame being substantially perpendicular to the single side of the wire rack, four bag clips, each said bag clip including an interconnecting portion and a tensioning portion, said interconnecting portion being affixed to said tensioning portion, said interconnecting portion having a top and two axially spaced side sections, said top of said interconnecting portion being affixed to the two side pieces of the top frame of the wire rack substantially at the four corners of the rectangular top frame with said axially spaced side sections extending downwardly therefrom, a tensioning portion, said tensioning portion having two axially spaced side sections, said tensioning portion being affixed to said interconnecting portion with its said side sections adjacent to and aligned with the axially spaced side sections of the interconnection portion respectively, said side sections of said tensioning portion being axially aligned and parallel to said side sections of said interconnecting portion respectively with said side sections clipping the trash bag material therebetween utilizing a spring force substantially perpendicular to the plane of the bag material, said side sections of said interconnecting portion and said side sections of said tensioning portion contacting the bag material between the two substantially in line with the plane of such bag material, and at least one of said side sections of said interconnecting portion or said tensioning portion having an angled bottom in respect to the plane of said side sections.

13. The bag clips of claim 12 characterized in that said tensioning portion and said interconnecting portion both have widths and the width of said tensioning portion being substantially equal to the width of said interconnecting portion.

14. The bag clips of claim 12 characterized in that said interconnecting portion is affixed to the wire rack at two spaced locations.

15. The bag clips of claim 12 characterized in that one of the axially spaced side sections of the tensioning portion is welded to the top of a top of the axially spaced side section of the tensioning portion.

16. A method for making a bag clip for a wire rack for holding trash bags, the wire rack including a top frame and means to support the top frame in respect to a ground surface, said method comprising forming an interconnecting portion having a top and two axially spaced side sections, affixing said top of said interconnecting portion to the top frame of the wire rack with said axially spaced side sections extending downwardly therefrom, forming a tensioning portion having two axially spaced side sections, and affixing said tensioning portion to said interconnecting portion with its said side sections adjacent to and aligned with said axially spaced side sections of the interconnection portion respectfully.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a bag clip utilized with a wire rack designed to hold bags for filling. A typical use would include a holder for any paper or plastic bag used for bagging leaves and other lawn debris.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Wire racks have been utilized to support bags for many years. Typically, these wire racks are sturdy devices utilized in the bagging to help a consumer bag lawn and garden debris at the owner's home. Wire racks are also used in other industrial and agricultural applications in order to support bags in their upright position for filling. This includes grocery checkout bagging and other commercial applications.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of this present invention to provide a quick disconnect for a trash bag rack.

It is another object of this present invention to simplify the connection of trash bags to a retention rack.

It is still another object of this invention to facilitate re-cycling of lawn debris.

It is a further object of the present invention to provide for a sturdy wire rack for trash bags.

It is still another object of the present invention to simplify the design of wire racks.

It is a further object of the present invention to facilitate the collection of leaves and other lawn debris.

Other objects and a more complete understanding of the invention may be had by referring to the following description and drawings in which:

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The structure, operation, and advantages of the presently disclosed preferred embodiment of the invention will become apparent when consideration of the following description is taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a wire rack incorporating the invention of the application and shown in a four clip configuration to be used by a consumer;

FIG. 2 is an enlarged side view of the support utilized between the side and top extension of the rack of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side view of the preferred clip and is taken generally from lines 3-3 in FIG. 5;

FIG. 4 is an unassembled perspective view of the pieces of the bag clip of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged view of one of the bag clips utilized in the four rack configuration of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a side view of the wire rack of FIG. 2 in a collapsed storage mode and is taken generally from lines 6-6 in FIG. 7;

FIG. 7 is an end view of the wire rack of FIG. 2 in a collapsed storage mode; and,

FIG. 8 is a side view of a drawing of an alternative bag clip.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a sturdy bag clip for supporting trash bags.

The invention will be described in its preferred embodiment of a clip 50 for a wire rack for use with recycling trash bags 100 such as are utilized in consumer collection of leaves and other lawn debris (see FIG. 1). Note the bag 100 is slightly displaced from the clips 50 for clarity in this figure. The approximate operative position of the top of the bag 100 to the clip 50 is shown in FIG. 5.

Multiple clips are typically utilized to hold a trash bag 100 to the rack. Each clip 50 shown has contact surfaces to hold the paper or plastic material 100 to the rack. The preferred bags typically are paper. Upon insertion of the material into the clip 50, the compression action of the sides of the clip retains such material within the clip without the necessity of further consumer action. The linear contact length 120 of an individual clip 50 serves to retain the bag material within such clip 50 by a compression action. The cooperation of adjoining clips 50 reduces the separation of the material 100 from any individual clip perpendicular to the axis thereof. Preferably, the initial contact with the clip 50 is spaced from the tip of the clip to allow for preliminary guidance of the bag material into an opening 80 and through such opening into the body of the clip 50. The distance between the sides 110 of the clip allows for the physical contact between the consumer's fingers and the bag material being associated with the wire rack within any individual clip. This guides the consumer into proper use of the wire rack. This is further aided by the top frame 40 of the wire rack, which frame separates the user's fingers at the top of the adjoining motion.

One clip rack would serve to hold the bag in place; two clips would orient the bag, for example in respect to an opening therein; three clips would define a planar triangular opening; while four clips would define a rectangular opening. The rack, thus, cooperates with the clip to hold the bag in position.

The rack 10 shown is a wire rack having a side 11, a base 13, and a top 14 (FIGS. 1, 2, 6, 7).

The side 11 is designed to retain the top 14 of the wire rack 10 a spaced distance from the ground substantially parallel thereto. In the preferred embodiment disclosed, this is accomplished by supporting the top 14 (later described) a fixed distance from the ground which distance is substantially equal to the length of the open trash bag to be utilized with the wire rack from the base 13. A ratio of 90-110% could be utilized if suitable for this purpose.

The side 11 is preferably simple in overall shape and mirror imaged about its centerline in order to lower the manufacturing costs for the rack by minimizing the number of construction jigs as well as easing the assembly of the rack. It is preferred that the side 11 be formed out of a unitary piece of bent rod, both to facilitate manufacture and in The first upright 21 and second upright 22 are located substantially in a single plane with the top portion 23 and bottom portion 24 slightly offset therefrom (see FIG. 2).

In the preferred embodiment disclosed, the top and bottom portions 23, 24 extend off the two ends of the uprights at a backward angle (approximately 25° shown in FIG. 2 although the angle could vary from 15-45°). This angle at the very top and the very bottom of the first and second uprights 21, 22 provides an offset in order to displace the top portion 23 and the bottom portion 24 slightly outwards from a continuation of the longitudinal axis of each upright. This reduces the number of separate parts making up the rack 10 by providing an available portion for the physical support for the top 14 and base 13, respectively.

The support for the top 14 and base 13 in addition uses top stop pieces 25, 26 extending between upright 21 and upright 22 substantially parallel to the top portion 23 and bottom portion 24 slightly spaced therefrom respectively. These stop pieces 25, 26 form ledges on which the top 14 and base 13 rest in their extended use position, allowing a cantilever-type physical support between the single side 11 and such top 14 and base 13 (see FIGS. 1,2). While the stop pieces 25, 26 can be segmented or self-formed in each side (this latter, for example, by an integral sideways inwardly extending “U” bend in each upright replacing the stop pieces), it is preferred that a single rod serves both sides. This design provides simplicity, as well as a comfortable handle for moving the rack.

The dimensions of the side 11 are chosen in view of the bag to be utilized with the rack (i.e., the length of the uprights 21, 22 aid to define the operational height of the rack 10 while the top portion 23 and bottom portion 24 define the operational width of the rack 10).

The base 13 serves to physically support the side 11 (and remainder of the rack 10) to the ground.

The preferred base 13 consists of the two parallel sides 30, 31 joined by an end cross wire piece 35. An alternative base would be two longitudinal extensions of the sides 21, 22 of the rack 10 for use as prongs for pressing into the grass soil with which the alternative rack 10 is to be utilized (see FIGS. 6, 7 dotted lines at 36).

The primary purpose of the parallel sides is to provide a physical support for the rack 10 as well as connecting the end cross wire piece to the side 11 of the rack 10. In the preferred embodiment shown, the base 13 connection is provided by tip end loops having a diameter substantially equal to that of the bottom portion 24 of the side 11 (see the tip end loop 32 in FIG. 2 for the similar interconnection design utilized between the base 13 to the side 11 of the rack 10 in this embodiment). The purpose of the end cross piece 35 is to form the outer end of the base 13. The end cross piece 35 also spaces the two parallel sides 30, 31 by a distance approximately equal to that of the side uprights 21, 22. This construction provides for the rectangular shape of the preferred base.

The use of two parallel sides 30, 31 integral with the end cross wire piece 35 is again preferred due to the structural simplicity and physical strength of the design. It also provides some external support for the trash bag utilized with the rack. The identity and nature of the cross piece 35 is not critical as long as this function is performed.

The top 14 serves to physically support the top of the trash bag 100 in addition to spacing the sides of such bag a certain distance apart. The top 14 also provides a handy fill opening for and physical protection of the open top of the trash bag 100.

The preferred top 14 disclosed includes a top frame 40 and bag clips 50. (The bag clips 50 provide the primary support for the bags to be utilized with the rack as later disclosed.)

The top frame 40 serves to provide the protected fill hole for the trash bag 100 in addition to providing the physical location of the bag clips 50. (The fill hole 41 in the top frame 40 provides for holding the opening for the trash bag 100 about its edges. The bag clips 50 retain the top of the trash bag to the top frame 40.)

The opening for the trash bag occurs because of the interconnection of the top, open end of the trash bag 100 to the bag clips 50. As the bag clips 50 are physically separated and spaced in respect to each other, they cooperate to retain the top of the trash bag open. The bag clips 50 thus serve to physically hold the material that forms the top walls of such bag in its proper, open position relative to the remainder of the bag rack 10.

Each bag clip 50 (shown in FIGS. 1, 3, 4, 5) is formed of two non-continuous windings having adjoining portions 60, 70 extending from the top 14. The first portion 60 is an interconnecting portion, while the latter is a tensioning portion. Together they form a planar contact between the bag 100 and clip 50

In the preferred embodiment disclosed, the extending ends of the two portions cooperate to form an opening 80 to initially guide the top of the trash bag into its retention position in respect to the bag clips 50. The reason for this is that the portions 60, 70 themselves are designed to serve as a guide for the user's fingers (again typically forefinger and thumb) during the process of engaging the trash bag with the clips 50. This movement also inherently aligns the top of the bag with the bag clips 50. The distance between the portions is preferred to be ¼″ to ⅝″ to provide gripping between the user's fingers and the top of the bag between the portions 60, 70 of the rack (½″ further preferred). (An extension downwards is preferred for these bag clips 50 for ease of operation as well as providing an overweight release of the bag from the rack 10.)

At least one top end 61, 71 of the respective portions 60, 70 of the bag clips 50 serves to attach the bag clips 50 to the top 14 of the wire rack 10. In the preferred embodiment disclosed, this attachment is provided for the welding of the top end 61 of the clip 50 to the top frame 40. This welding securely connects the clip 50 to the side pieces 42, 43 against torsion forces as well as lateral and longitudinal forces.

In the embodiment disclosed, the portions 60, 70 are each a generally U-shaped piece having a top end 61, 71 respectively and a bottom loop 65, 75. The end locations 52 is spot welded to the top frame 40 to securely interconnect the bag clip 50 to the top 14 of the rack 10 (top frame 40 side piece 43 shown).

The bottoms 65, 75 of the portions 60, 70 are formed into an upright U-shape with two spaced sides 66 (76), 67 (77) and an outer end 68 (78).

The two spaced sides provide for a resilient reaction surface for the retention of the trash bag (later described). The spaced sides 66, 67 provide this reaction surface by forming two spaced substantially parallel contact lines with the spaced sides 76, 77 of the other portion 70. These contact lines hold the top of the trash bag to the rack 10 (as later set forth).

The outer end 68 of the portion 60 cooperates with the outer end 78 of the other portion 70 to form an opening 80 into which the material of the trash bag may be inserted by the consumer. In the preferred embodiment disclosed, the outer end 78 is slightly deflected from the plane of the two spaced sides 76-77. This facilitates the proper and instinctive location of the trash bag with the opening 80 of the bag clip 50. (One need not compensate for the central junction of an alternative opening formed by two angled surfaces; instead one merely pushes the top edge of the bag into the opening and picks up to engage the clip 50.) This one outer end deflection is thus preferred.

The main spaced sides of the portion 60, 70 of the bag clip 50 serve to retain the bag material in respect to the top frame 40 of the wire rack 10. The sides 76-77 of the portion 70 are parallel and substantially aligned with the spaced sides 66-67 of the portion 60. This forms two straight spaced friction lines of contact to retain the bag material in the clip 50 by a compression-type force. This reduces tearing by spreading out the forces while at the same time extending service life by eliminating the need to retention or realign the bag clip on use.

The outer end 78 of the portion 70 is spaced from the outer end 68 of the portion 60 so as to create an opening 80 for the insertion of the bag material into the bag clip 50 against the spring-like action of the two portions 60, 70 of such bag clip 50. This facilitates use by eliminating any complex threading of the bag material into the bag clip 50.

In the preferred embodiment disclosed in FIGS. 1-8, the sides 66-67, 76-77 of the clip 50 are laterally spaced by a distance approximating the width of the fingers of the intended user (0.4″ to 0.9″ preferred). This causes the sides to steady and guide the user's fingers when they are threading the bag material into the clip 50. Once started, a straight pull and the connection is made. This reduces the possibility of doubts of correct operation from the user. The rod 43 of the top frame further aids in this operation by assisting in separating the user's fingers at the top end of the engagement movement, subtly guiding the user into the proper movements.

In the preferred embodiment disclosed, the length of the bag clip 50 is within 1″ to 2″ preferred (some 1.7″ in length shown). The top of the bag clip 50 is within the preferred 0.4″ to 0.9″ wide (some 0.750″ in width shown). There is a 0.063″ to 0.250″ offset between the two non-aligned parts of the bag clip 50 (at 80) (0.125″ shown). The clip material is some 0.1″ to 0.075″ preferred in diameter (some 0.092″ shown). The outer end 78 of the portions 60, 70 is angled at substantially 25° for the last ¼″ of its length (some 15° to 35° preferred for the last 0.125″ to 0.350″ in length).

The dimensions of the wire rack should substantially match the height and width and length of the bag to be utilized with the rack 10. For example, a particular paper bag has an opening 12″ wide by 16″ deep by 35″ high (30 gallons). The 12″ would define the base 13 and top 14 dimensions of the rack, while the 16″ and 35″ would define the side dimensions.

It is preferred that the rack 10 have a height within the range of 12″ to 36″, a width within the range of 8″ to 20″, and a depth within the range of 5″ to 20″. It is further preferred that the dimensions of the rack 10 substantially match those of the bag. It is further preferred that the height of the top of the bag clips 50 be substantially equal or less than the height of the bag. This allows the bag itself to provide part of the support of the items within the trash bag.

To use the rack 10, one moves the top 14 and base 13 approximately 270° in respect to the plane of the side 11 of the rack 10. The base 13 is then placed on the ground. At this time, the trash bag to be utilized with the rack 10 is opened and its top edges are pulled into the bag clips 50, one clip at a time. The bag can then be filled through the bag opening 40. Upon the completion of filling the bag, one removes the bag from the rack 10, one clip at a time. The bagged material is then amenable to disposal. On completion of all bagging, the wire rack 10 is collapsed back into its compact storage position and put away for use at a later time.

With a large trash bag in the wire rack 10, the rack is being utilized for its intended purpose.

Although the invention has been described in its preferred embodiment with a certain degree of particularity, it is to be understood that numerous changes can be made without deviating from the invention as hereinafter claimed.

A bag clip could be utilized with both of its now symmetrical pieces welded to the top rod 40 (see 50A in FIG. 8). The offset of both pieces inwardly aligns the control axis of the bag clip with the axis of the rod 40. Whether the two pieces of the clip are also welded to each other is a matter of choice. A second weld would strengthen the bag clips.

An example, extending a looping back of the tips of both portions 60, 70 of the bag clip 50 increases the friction exerted to the bag clip 50 on the bag (see extension in dotted lines 90 in FIG. 5). Also, the looping back the top 14 of such section allows two spaced welds to retain the clip 50 to the rest of the rack (dotted lines 91 in FIG. 5).

An additional example, the bag clips 50 can be utilized with differing racks. An example of such a rack is that contained in U.S. Pat. No. 5,303,889 or U.S. Pat. No. 5,014,944, the contents of which are included by reference. Other changes can also be made.

Other modifications are also possible.