Title:
MAGNETIC RETAINING SYSTEM FOR TOOL, UTENSIL, FASTENER OR EYEGLASSES
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A magnetic retainer system, device, and process for tools, utensils, fasteners, and eyeglasses. The device includes a lanyard or strap to be worn around a neck of a user, with the lanyard having a pair of opposed ends. The opposed ends are held together by a break-away safety release mechanism which will release the ends from each other upon application of a certain force. A magnetic retainer is suspended from and affixed to the lanyard. A tool, utensil, fastener or eyeglasses having a ferromagnetic element affixed thereto will be attached by the magnetic retainer. The retainer device will hold by magnetic force a tool, utensil, fastener or eyeglasses at approximately chest level for easy access, retrieval and use.



Inventors:
Sasick, Amy (Bellvue, CO, US)
Sasick, Stefan (Bellvue, CO, US)
Application Number:
11/164991
Publication Date:
09/07/2006
Filing Date:
12/13/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
24/3.4, 224/257, 24/3.3
International Classes:
A45F5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
WAGGENSPACK, ADAM J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HEAD, JOHNSON, KACHIGIAN & WILKINSON, PC (TULSA, OK, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A magnetic tool, utensil, fastener, or eyeglasses retainer device, which device comprises: a lanyard to be worn around a neck of a user, said lanyard having two ends; a break-away safety release mechanism joining said two ends together; and a magnetic retainer assembly affixed to said lanyard wherein said retainer will attract and hold ferromagnetic tools, utensils, fasteners or eyeglasses thereto.

2. A retainer device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said magnetic retainer assembly includes a magnet fit into an opening in a steel casing.

3. A retainer device as set forth in claim 2 wherein said steel casing is cylindrical.

4. A retainer device as set forth in claim 2 wherein said casing includes an opening therethrough to receive said lanyard therein.

5. A retainer device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said two ends of said break-away safety release mechanism are magnetized to join together.

6. A retainer device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said break-away safety release mechanism includes a snap clasp.

7. A retainer device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said utensil includes writing utensils.

8. A retainer device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said tools, utensils, fasteners or eyeglasses become ferromagnetic by attachment of a ferromagnetic element thereto.

9. A retainer device as set forth in claim 1 wherein said lanyard is fabricated from material chosen from the group consisting of leather, cotton, neoprene, and nylon.

10. A process to retain a tool, utensil, fastener or eyeglasses, which process comprises: suspending a magnetic retainer assembly from a lanyard; placing a lanyard around a neck of a user wherein said lanyard has a pair of ends held together by a break-away safety release mechanism which will release the ends upon application of a certain force; and retaining a ferromagnetic tool, utensil, fastener or eyeglasses to said magnetic retainer suspended from said lanyard.

11. A process as set forth in claim 10 wherein said magnetic retainer assembly is attached to said lanyard by an opening through a casing surrounding a magnet wherein said lanyard is threaded through said opening.

12. A process as set forth in claim 10 including the additional step of adding a ferromagnetic element to said tool, utensil, fastener or eyeglasses.

13. A magnetic tool, utensil, fastener or eyeglasses retainer device, which device comprises: means to suspend a magnetic retainer from a neck of a user with a lanyard; safety release means to break away said lanyard from said neck of said user in response to a force; and means to hold a ferromagnetic tool, utensil, fastener or eyeglasses with said magnetic retainer.

14. A magnetic retainer device as set forth in claim 13 wherein said magnetic retainer includes a magnet fit into an opening in a steel casing.

15. A magnetic retainer device as set forth in claim 13 wherein said safety release means includes a pair of opposed ends on said lanyard which are held together by magnetic force and are separated in response to a force greater than said magnetic force.

16. A magnetic retainer device as set forth in claim 13 wherein said means to suspend a magnetic retainer from a neck of a user includes an opening through said magnetic retainer to receive said lanyard.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE OF RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/635,697, filed Dec. 13, 2004.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a magnetic retainer system, a device, and a process to hold, suspend, access and retrieve a tool, utensil, fastener or eyeglasses for easy accessibility and retrieval.

2. Prior Art

Various carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and handy men, as well as others, will, from time to time, have a need to access, retrieve and use a tool, utensil, fastener, or eyeglasses. One example, from among many, would be a carpenter who is required to access, retrieve, and use a pencil from time to time in his or her work, all the while using his or her hands.

While the tool or other item may be retained in a pocket or behind the carpenter's ear, the pencil may fall off or be difficult to access. This problem has been addressed in the past in several manners. A belt clip has been employed with a magnet to secure ferromagnetic devices. While a belt clip might serve the intended purpose, it is not as accessible as a retainer at chest level and is, additionally, prone to be knocked off by movement of the user. Alternatively, a wrist band or wristlet has been employed which will retain ferromagnetic fasteners. The wrist band would require a user to use both hands to access and retrieve a fastener. Finally, an article of clothing has been inserted between a magnet and a ferromagnetic piece so that fasteners or other devices may be held by the magnet.

All of these prior devices have various shortcomings which are addressed in the present device, method and system.

Accordingly, it is a principal object and purpose of the present invention to provide a magnetic retainer device which will suspend a tool, utensil, fastener or eyeglasses at approximately chest level of a user allowing one handed retrieval.

It is a further object and purpose of the present invention to provide a lanyard or neck strap having a break-away safety release mechanism which will release the lanyard from the neck of the user in the event of a certain force.

It is a further object and purpose of the present invention to provide a method of retaining a tool, utensil, fastener or eyeglasses suspended from a lanyard or neck strap.

It is a further object and purpose of the present invention to provide a magnetic retainer system that will retain and suspend non-ferromagnetic items.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is directed to a magnetic retainer system, a device and a process for use in retention, accessibility and retrieval of tools, utensils, fasteners, or eyeglasses. In one preferred embodiment, the device includes a lanyard or neck strap to be worn around the neck of a user. The lanyard would have a pair of opposed ends. When the two opposed ends are drawn together, the lanyard forms a continuous loop to be worn around the neck of a user. A break-away safety release mechanism is provided on the lanyard. In a preferred embodiment, each opposed end terminates in a magnetic end member. When the magnetic end members are brought near each other, they are attracted thereto. If a pulling force is exerted on the lanyard greater than the magnetic attraction force, the opposed ends will separate.

The device also includes a magnetic retainer assembly which is suspended from and affixed to the lanyard. In one preferred embodiment, the magnetic retainer assembly includes a magnet element received within a steel, cylindrical casing.

The steel casing has an opening therethrough so that the lanyard passes into and through the opening in the casing. The magnetic retainer assembly is thereby suspended from and held by the lanyard.

A ferromagnetic item or an item having a ferromagnetic component, such as a tool, utensil, fastener or eyeglasses, would be attracted and retained by the magnetic retainer assembly at chest level of the user.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a device to suspend and hold a tool, utensil, fastener or eyeglasses, constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates a front view,

FIG. 3 illustrates a top view, and

FIG. 4 illustrates a side view of the magnetic retainer assembly which is a part of the retainer device shown in FIG. 1; and

FIG. 5 is a sectional view taken along section line 5-5 of FIG. 2 of the magnetic retainer assembly.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The embodiments discussed herein are merely illustrative of specific manners in which to make and use the invention and are not to be interpreted as limiting the scope of the instant invention.

While the invention has been described with a certain degree of particularity, it is to be noted that many modifications may be made in the details of the invention's construction and the arrangement of its components without departing from the spirit and scope of this disclosure. It is understood that the invention is not limited to the embodiments set forth herein for purposes of exemplification.

Referring to the drawings in detail, FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of a magnetic retainer device 10 for use in retaining tools, utensils, fasteners or eyeglasses. The device 10 includes a strap or lanyard 12 to be worn around the neck of a user (shown in dashed outline 24). The lanyard 12 may be fabricated from a cord or braided fabric or may be fabricated from a wide variety of materials including, but not limited to, leather, cotton, neoprene, or nylon.

The lanyard 12 would have a pair of opposed ends 14 and 16. When the two opposed ends 14 and 16 are drawn together, the lanyard forms a continuous loop so that it can be worn around the neck of a user.

The device may be worn by a user by separating the ends 14 and 16 and then bringing the ends 14 and 16 together once around the neck of a user.

A break-away safety release mechanism is provided on the lanyard 12. In one preferred embodiment, each end 14 and 16 terminates in a magnetic end member 18 and 20, respectively. In normal operation, the ends are held together by magnetic force. In the event a force is applied to the lanyard which is greater than the magnetic force holding the ends together, the ends will separate.

Alternative safety release mechanisms might be employed, such as a snap closure (not shown). The snap closure would be designed to separate upon application of a certain force level.

The device 10 also includes a magnetic retainer assembly 22 which is suspended from and affixed to the lanyard 12. The lanyard provides a mechanism or means to hold a ferromagnetic tool, utensil, fastener or set of eyeglasses at approximately chest level.

The magnetic retainer assembly 22 is shown apart from the device 10 in FIGS. 2, 3 and 4. FIG. 5 illustrates a sectional view taken along section line 5-5 of FIG. 2. The magnetic retainer assembly 22 may take various embodiments within the spirit and scope of the invention. In the present preferred embodiment, the magnetic retainer assembly 22 includes a magnet element 26 received within a steel cylindrical casing 28. The cylindrical casing may be provided with a knurled or burr-type edging as seen in FIGS. 3 and 4 and recesses on the front as seen in FIGS. 1 and 2.

The cylindrical steel casing 28 has an opening 30 therethrough as best seen in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5.

As seen in FIG. 1, the lanyard 12 passes into and through the opening 30. The opening 30 serves to receive the lanyard 12 and thereby suspend the magnetic retainer assembly 22 from the lanyard 12. The device 10 is arranged so that the magnetic retainer assembly 22 is on or near the chest of the user. Accordingly, the magnetic retainer assembly 22 is easily accessible to the user with either hand.

The magnetic retainer assembly 22 may be suspended from the lanyard in alternate ways.

As best seen in FIG. 1, the magnet element 26 and casing 28 are both magnetized by force of the magnet element 26. Accordingly, a ferromagnetic item will be attracted thereto and retained thereon. As seen in FIG. 1, a mechanical pencil 36 having a ferromagnetic element or barrel would be attracted and retained on the magnetic retainer assembly. Various metal fasteners, such as screws or nails (not shown), will be easily retained on the magnetic retainer assembly. When use of the screws or nails is desired, they may be pulled away from the magnetic retainer assembly by overcoming the magnetic force. Utensils or eyeglasses would be similarly retained and accessed.

The invention may also be used with non-ferromagnetic tools, utensils, fasteners or eyeglasses. Likewise, a non-ferrous object or tool, such as a wooden pencil, may be altered by adding a layer of ferrous material, securing a steel clip or bar to the object, or impregnating the object with a magnetic element of its own. A ferrous element 40 might, thus, be added to non-ferrous objects or tools. Accordingly, a non-ferrous object might, thus, easily be used with the present invention.

The present invention allows the user to retain items while keeping both hands free until the item is needed.

Whereas, the present invention has been described in relation to the drawings attached hereto, it should be understood that other and further modifications, apart from those shown or suggested herein, may be made within the spirit and scope of this invention.