Title:
Mason's magnetic trowel holster and holstering method
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A system and method for holstering a mason's trowel, known as THE THIRD HAND, comprising a magnetic holster 10 having slots 40 or other means for attachment to a person's clothing and having a base protector sheet 20 with two holding magnets 30, the entire system providing a “touch and feel” double click engagement method for securely and releasably holding a trowel, and eyelets 50 disposed about the perimeter of the base protector sheet 20 for receiving stop posts 60 for orienting a trowel in a preferred position for a user on the holster 10.



Inventors:
Goffinet, Rodney Arthur (Sacramento, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/200954
Publication Date:
02/16/2006
Filing Date:
08/09/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/673
International Classes:
A45F5/00
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Primary Examiner:
LANDOLFI, JR., STEVEN M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Murray Tech Law (DAVIS, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A magnetic trowel holster comprising: a base protector sheet; a flat magnet portion; and means for attaching said base protector sheet to a person's clothing.

2. A trowel holster as defined in claim 1 wherein said base protector sheet further includes: at least one hole formed in said base protector sheet; and at least one alignment post mounted on said base protector sheet in said at least one hole.

3. A trowel holster as defined in claim 1 wherein said flat magnet portion is comprised of at least two separate magnets.

4. A trowel holster as defined in claim 1 wherein said flat magnet portion is annular in shape.

5. A trowel holster as defined in claim 1 wherein said base protector sheet includes a plurality of said holes formed about the perimeter of said base protector sheet.

6. A trowel holster as defined claim 2 wherein said at least one hole includes an eyelet sized to fit said at least one hole and to securely receive said at least one alignment post.

7. A trowel holster as defined in claim 2 including at least two alignment posts installed in at least two holes to form a linear guide on said base protector sheet to properly align the trowel on the holster.

8. A trowel holster as defined in claim 4 wherein said annular magnet includes an annular protector piece surrounding, but spaced from said annular magnet.

9. A trowel holster as claimed in claim 1 wherein said attachment means is an enclosed loop formed in said base protector sheet to receive a person's belt.

10. A trowel holster as claimed in claim 1 wherein said attachment means is a spring clip member for clamping on an article of clothing or a belt.

11. A magnetic trowel holster for releasably mounting a mason's trowel or float in a secure, yet easily accessible manner which comprises: a generally rectangular base member having a spring biased tongue mounted on one side for engaging an article of clothing; a magnetic member attached to said rectangular base member for securing the trowel by its blade to the holster; and an alignment edge comprised of two posts configured to cooperatively engage the trowel or float blade adjacent said magnetic member and to properly align the trowel on the holster.

12. A magnetic trowel holster comprised of: a hand-sized sheet of material; a means for attachment of the material to a belt or other article of clothing of a wearer of the trowel holster; at least two magnets for flexibility and better adhesion of the trowel and to reduce downward rotation of the trowel handle to prevent inadvertent disengagement; and at least one eyelet for mounting at least one mechanical stop for ensuring preferred orientation of the trowel handle for quick grasping.

13. A method of holstering and unholstering a mason's trowel by its blade in a holster attached to the mason's hip having two magnetic members attached to a protector sheet including the steps of: to holster, wiping the blade of the trowel to remove excess mortar or other cementious material: swinging the trowel by hand back toward the holster bringing the blade in close proximity to the two magnetic members; pressing the blade of the trowel against a first magnetic member; sensing through the handle of the trowel the engagement of said first magnetic member; bringing the blade in close proximity to a remaining second magnetic member; sensing through the handle the engagement of said second magnetic member with the blade of the trowel; releasing the handle of the trowel, thereby fully holstering the trowel against said two magnetic members; to unholster, grasping the handle of the trowel; pulling the handle of the trowel away from the holster: sensing by “touch and feel” the release of said first magnetic member; reducing the force of the pull on the trowel handle; sensing by “touch and feel” the release of said second magnetic member: moving the trowel to the desired place of work.

14. The method of claim 13 wherein said holster further comprises eyelets penetrating the protector sheet in which are disposed at least one alignment post and wherein said method further includes the additional step of bringing the blade of the trowel to rest against the at least one alignment post before the step of pressing the blade of the trowel against said first magnetic member.

15. The method of claim 13 wherein the steps of engaging both magnetic members create a tactile and audible signal to the user.

16. The method of claim 15 wherein the tactile and audible signal constitutes a “double click.”

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Priority is claimed to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/600,186 filed Aug. 10, 2004, titled “Mason's Magnetic Trowel Holster and Holstering Method,” which is referred to and incorporated herein in its entirety by this reference.

FEDERALLY-SPONSORED RESEARCH:

Not Applicable

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM:

Not Applicable

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION—FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention relates to a system and method for holding flat-bladed tools. More particularly, this invention relates to a magnetic holster for holding a mason's trowels and floats on his person in a preferred position while the mason performs his work.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Persons engaged in professional trades where flat-bladed forming or smoothing tools are used include brick and block masons, concrete formers, plasterers, stucco plasters and sheet rock installers. Generally, these forming tools are known as trowels or floats and have smooth, flat metal blades attached to a handle.

Effective use of trowels or floats by a craftsman is critical to his efficiency and quality of work. For example, a brick or block mason uses a trowel to apply mortar to every block. The speed and dexterity with which a mason can both manipulate and access his trowel directly impacts the mason's productivity, the speed at which he can lay the brick or block, and hence, his income.

Typically, as a mason places a block, he lays his trowel next to the work area and close to, or on, a mortarboard holding mortar for application by the mason. After laying the trowel down, the mason will have to reach to pick his trowel back up to apply mortar to the next block. Inherently, as the mason places each block, his work location will change slightly. The location where the mason lays his trowel may change depending on what part of a structure he is building. Where a mason is laying structural block, and two hands are required to place the block, the mason must lay down his trowel to pick up the block.

When laying block or brick, the mason typically wipes his trowel clean on the edge of the previous block. If he then sticks the trowel in his mortar for temporary holding, he will have to wipe the blade of the trowel once more before cutting a portion of mortar from the mortar board for placement on the next block. This additional step consumes valuable time.

Masons also work on elevated scaffolding to build higher structures. Due to vibration of the scaffolding caused by block movement or activity by a mason's helper, a mason's trowel may fall off the scaffolding. The mason then has to spend additional time retrieving his trowel from wherever it lands on lower levels of scaffolding or down on the ground. Additionally, falling trowels create an extreme safety hazard for persons on the ground.

Unfortunately, the way a trowel is used by a mason does not allow the trowel to be connected via a tether to the mason to prevent it from falling.

Consequently, a trowel holster is needed which does not require a tether, will follow along with the mason as his work along a wall progresses, allows a secure, rapid, reliable and repeatable conveniently releasable access to the trowel while temporarily holstered, and allows the mason to adjust positioning and orientation of the trowel to suit his particular work style and the way in which he holsters the trowel or reaches to grasp the trowel.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a magnetic holster for securably yet releaseably holding a mason's trowel or float. The holster of the present invention is to be marketed under the trademark, THE THIRD HAND, which trademark has been filed by Rodney A. Goffinet. The holster includes a hand-sized sheet of semi-rigid material with a means for attachment to a worker's clothing or belt. Two flat magnets are affixed to the sheet to hold the trowel by its flat, bladed portion. The sheet includes a plurality of perforations to receive small alignment posts. The alignment posts protrude from the outward face of the sheet to act as a stop against the bladed portion of the trowel. Modifying the placement of the alignment posts may vary the position of the trowel handle. The user may adjust the alignment post positioning to cause the handle of the trowel to rest in a predetermined position whenever the trowel is placed against the magnets on the outward face of the sheet.

Two slots are cut in the upper portion of the sheet to allow attachment to a worker's belt. Other means of attachment may be used without departing from the spirit of the present invention. The sheet may be attached to the worker using a clip affixed to the inward face of the sheet to allow attachment to a pocket, waistband or other piece of clothing. Also, Velcro may be affixed to the inward face of the sheet that meshes with an opposing piece of Velcro attached to the worker's clothing. The holster could also include a flap attached to the upper edge of the sheet, which is tucked into a pocket or waistband of the worker's clothing. The worker might also have buttons attached to a waistband; the sheet would then have corresponding buttonholes in the upper portion of the sheet, which would then be used to attach THE THIRD HAND to the worker.

In a preferred embodiment, the sheet is made of leather, a semi-rigid material. Other suitable semi-rigid material includes canvas, duck cloth, plastic, rubber, nylon mesh, or other material having similar properties. The sheet may also be made of a non-magnetic metallic material such as aluminum.

Although one larger magnet may be used, the preferred embodiment of the present invention, THE THIRD HAND, includes two smaller magnets. Two smaller magnets cause the metal face of the trowel to be held firmly in place while not in use, but easily removed when needed. Additionally, the use of two smaller magnets creates an “attachment effect” where the user physically and mentally confirms that the trowel is firmly attached by the “touch and feel” as each magnet engages the trowel blade at distinct moments.

If one magnet were used, the mason can be misled into believing the trowel is firmly attached to THE THIRD HAND, when in reality, an insufficient surface area of the trowel blade is actually contacting the face of the single magnet to hold the weight of the trowel. The juxtaposition of two magnets on the protector sheet and confirmation of engagement of the two magnets by the mason's touch and feel ensures that sufficient surface area of the blade of the trowel is adjacent the face of the magnets to prevent the trowel from disengaging once released by the mason.

Additionally, although the blade of the trowel may be initially attached to a single magnet, upon release of the trowel handle by the mason, the handle of the trowel might rotate downward creating sufficient momentum to cause the trowel to release from the single magnet.

The placement of the two individual magnets on the sheet prevents this tool rotation, thereby preventing inadvertent disengagement caused by rotational momentum.

In a preferred embodiment, one or more eyelets are included about the perimeter of the protector sheet of THE THIRD HAND. Each eyelet is sized to receive an alignment stop post to orient the position of a trowel attached to THE THIRD HAND. One or more stop posts may be used in combination to accommodate a particular size or shape of trowel or other tool. A stop post protrudes outward from the outward face of the holster sheet. The stop post may be attached to the sheet using standard means of attachment including a threaded or other similar system.

A stop post, singularly or in combination with one or more additional stop posts, serves several functions. First, the stop post can align the trowel by its blade such that the trowel handle comes to rest in the user's preferred position for grasping. Second, the stop posts serves to minimize trowel rotation to prevent inadvertent disengagement from THE THIRD HAND. Third, singularly or in combination with the double magnet engagement signal, the “double click,” a stop post acts as a physical, non-visual clue or signal to the user that the trowel is properly oriented and firmly attached to THE THIRD HAND and may be released without fear of unintended disengagement.

A stop post for a blade portion of the trowel need only extend one-quarter inch above the surface of the magnetic portion attached to the holster sheet. Stop posts of multiple lengths and diameters may be used to accommodate particular trowel sizes or shapes. Stop post placement may be customized to each user's preferences and particular style.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

One object of the invention is to provide a secure, yet easily releasable means for holding a mason's trowel to enhance accessibility by the mason to his or her trowel.

An additional object of the invention is to provide a holder for a mason's trowel that orients the trowel in a manner preferred by the mason.

Another object of the invention is to provide a rugged trowel holder system that is easy and inexpensive to manufacture and which can be sold at a very reasonable price to a user.

Another object of the invention is to provide a trowel holder that provides non-visual clues to the user whenever the trowel is securely engaged by the holder.

Another object of the invention is to provide the equivalent of a third hand to hold a mason's trowel so that he can use his two hands for other tasks.

Other objects and further scope of applicability of the present invention, THE THIRD HAND, will become apparent from the detailed description to follow, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings and claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates the preferred embodiment of a magnetic trowel holster, THE THIRD HAND, in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 2 provides a side view of the magnetic trowel holster, THE THIRD HAND, in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3 provides a top view of THE THIRD HAND according to the present invention.

FIG. 4 provides a bottom view of THE THIRD HAND according to the present invention.

FIG. 5 provides an outward-facing view of THE THIRD HAND according to the present invention.

FIG. 6 provides a left-facing side view of THE THIRD HAND according to the present invention.

FIG. 7 shows a rear-facing view of THE THIRD HAND according to the present invention.

FIG. 8 illustrates an expanded view of an alignment stop post and its associated eyelet.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

With particular reference to FIGS. 1 and 2, the magnetic trowel holster 10, hereinafter also referred to as THE THIRD HAND, includes a main protector sheet 20 having two magnets 30 affixed to the protector sheet 20 using standard rivets R. Slots 40 penetrate an upper portion of the protector sheet 20 for attaching THE THIRD HAND 10 to a person's belt L. Eyelets 50 for receiving stop posts 60 are distributed about the perimeter of the protector sheet 20.

More specifically, as illustrated in FIG. 1, the main protector sheet 20 of THE THIRD HAND 10 is attached to a user's belt L by the slots 40 and hangs downward adjacent the user's hip. The protector sheet 20 is preferably made from leather. The protector sheet 20 is semi-rigid to both prevent the holster 10 from swinging while in use, and, to enhance the releaseability of the trowel from the holster 10. Other semi-rigid material may be used for the sheet 20 including leather, canvas, duck cloth, other stiff textiles, rubber, nylon mesh, composite or plastic.

Referring to FIG. 1 and FIG. 2, two circular-shaped magnets 30 are affixed to the protector sheet 20 such that the magnets' holding surface 32 faces outward, away from the wearer's body. The magnets 30 may be provided in other shapes or sizes to fit on the protector sheet 20, but must provide sufficient holding surface area and force to hold the weight of the trowel or float securely, yet releaseably, on THE THIRD HAND 10.

FIG. 3 shows a top view of THE THIRD HAND 10 with a top edge 26 of the protector sheet. FIG. 4 shows a bottom view of THE THIRD HAND 10 with a bottom edge 28. The user wears THE THIRD HAND 10 such that the top edge 26 of the protector sheet 20 is higher on the user than the bottom edge 28.

FIG. 5 provides an expanded view of a stop post 60 assembly. The stop post 60 includes a threaded male pin portion 62 and a threaded female cylindrical receiver 64. The pin portion 62 passes through the eyelet 50 to be threadably attached and secured to the protector sheet 20 by the cylindrical receiver 64.

FIG. 6 is a front view of THE THIRD HAND 10, illustrating the placement of the magnets 30 and stop posts 60. As illustrated in FIG. 6, the magnets 30 are preferably annular or circular in shape since magnets are most readily available in bulk volumes at a reasonable price in this shape. Additionally, circular-shaped magnets 30 do not have corners or other edges that might inadvertently catch the user's hand or the blade B of the trowel when being placed in the holster 10.

In the preferred embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 1 and FIG. 5, two circular magnets 30 are affixed to the protector sheet 20. The magnets 30 include outer protectors 34 made from metal or plastic to prevent the magnets 30 from wearing during use, to hold the magnets 30 in place, and to allow attachment of the magnets 30 to the sheet 20 using rivets R or other means of attachment, including threaded attachments.

Although shown as circular in FIG. 6, the magnets 30 may be of any shape and size that can fit on the outward facing surface 24 of the sheet 20. The prescribed magnetic holding power of the magnets 30 must be sufficient to ensure that the trowel is held firmly in place adjacent surface 32 of the magnets 30 on the holster 10, but low enough to ensure that the mason does not have to exert excessive force to remove the trowel from the holster 10.

FIG. 7 provides a side view of THE THIRD HAND 10, illustrating how the stop posts 60 extend beyond the surface 32 of the magnets 30 for guiding the blade B of the trowel during holstering and unholstering of the trowel.

FIG. 8 is a rear view of the inward face of THE THIRD HAND 10. As shown, slots 40 are cut into the upper portion of the main protector sheet 20 of the holster 10 adjacent the top edge 26 to allow THE THIRD HAND 10 to be threaded onto a user's belt L. The slots 40 may be adjusted in size to accommodate belts of different sizes.

Although slots 40 for a belt L are the preferred method of attachment of THE THIRD HAND 10 to a person's body, other commonly used attachment means may be used for securing THE THIRD HAND 10 to a user's person. Other attachment means include clips; tongues inserted into pockets, waistbands or belts; Velcro; and buttons.

Referring once again to FIG. 5, in the preferred embodiment, a plurality of preferably circular metal eyelets 50 is distributed about the perimeter of the protector sheet 20 of THE THIRD HAND 10. As shown in FIG. 8, an eyelet 50 is sized to receive a corresponding alignment or stop post 60. Referring to FIG. 1, the stop posts 60 serves to orient the position of a trowel attached to THE THIRD HAND 10. One or more stop posts 60 may be used in combination to accommodate a particular size or shape of trowel T or other tool.

Referring to FIG. 6, the distributed eyelets 50 allow a user to vary stop post 60 placements to accommodate trowel orientation preference. As shown in FIG. 56, the preferred embodiment of THE THIRD HAND 10 includes nine eyelets 50. However, in the present invention, the number of eyelets 50 in the protector sheet 20 of THE THIRD HAND 10 may be increased or decreased as desired to increase or decrease the variability of stop post 60 placement.

Although the preferred embodiment illustrated in FIG. 1 includes two stop posts 60, THE THIRD HAND 10 may also be used effectively with only one stop post 60 or without any installed stop posts 60. The magnetic trowel holster 10 of the present invention is configured to receive anywhere from zero to nine stop posts 60. THE THIRD HAND 10 is capable of effectively holding a trowel without the use of any stop posts 60.

In a first method of use, where no stop posts 60 are installed in the protector sheet 20, a mason will bring the trowel blade B in close proximity to the holding surface 32 of the magnets 30. The mason will be able to sense through “touch and feel” when both magnets 30 have engaged the blade B. The mason may then confidently release the handle H of the trowel, knowing that THE THIRD HAND 10 securely holds the trowel.

When holstering the trowel, if the mason feels the engagement of only one magnet 30, he will adjust the position of the trowel and its blade B until he senses that the second magnet 30 has also engaged, thereby communicating to the mason, in a non-visual manner, that a sufficient portion of the trowel blade B is covering a sufficient portion of the holding surfaces 32 of the magnets 30 to hold the trowel securely in place on THE THIRD HAND 10.

As shown in FIG. 1, two stop posts 60 are positioned to rest against the blade B of the trowel. This configuration allows the mason to place the trowel on THE THIRD HAND 10, causing the blade of the trowel to come to rest against the stop posts 60 in a preferred position. Modifications to the placement of the stop posts 60 will change the placement of the trowel.

In a second cooperative method of use, referring to FIG. 5, the complementary interaction between the stop posts 60 and the dual magnets 30 provides a reliable non-visual, multi-signal tool engagement method by which the mason can quickly and effectively holster his trowel. As the mason senses through feel that the trowel blade B has touched the stop posts 60, he will then firmly press the trowel blade B against the magnetic holding surfaces 32 of THE THIRD HAND 10. The dual magnets 30 will then register to snap the blade B against both magnetic surfaces 32. These “touch and feel” signals generated by the touching of the stop posts 60 and the engagement of both magnets 30 allows the mason to confidently release his hold on the handle H of the trowel, without having to look to determine if, in fact, the trowel is securely positioned on THE THIRD HAND 10.

As shown in FIG. 1, two stop posts 60 create a linear guide wherein the straight edges of the blade B of the trowel come to rest against both stop posts 60. This configuration aligns the blade B of the trowel in a specific orientation and causes the trowel blade B to be appropriately aligned over holding surfaces 32 of the magnets 30. The specific alignment of the blade B of the trowel also forces a specific orientation of the handle H of the trowel. The stop posts 60 may be moved among the eyelets to accommodate the preferred placement of the trowel handle H according to a user's preferences.

Further, additional stop posts 60 may be added to accommodate different trowel shapes or sizes. In addition, the dual stop post 60 configuration also allows the mason to more aggressively snap the trowel into place on THE THIRD HAND 10, thereby saving time and increasing his efficiency.

While the invention herein has been particularly shown and described with reference to a preferred embodiment thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes in form and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.





 
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