Title:
Ice cutter
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An ice cutting apparatus including a driving mechanism, a shaft, a plate, a web and a blade. The shaft is connected to the driving mechanism. The plate has at least one opening therein, the plate being detachably connected to the shaft. The web borders a portion of the at least one opening. The blade is attached to the plate, and is shaped to accommodate the web.



Inventors:
Pepple, Gregory A. (Edgerton, OH, US)
Application Number:
11/416092
Publication Date:
11/16/2006
Filing Date:
05/02/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
299/24
International Classes:
F25C5/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NEUDER, WILLIAM P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
TAYLOR IP, P.C. (Avilla, IN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An ice cutting apparatus, comprising: a driving mechanism; a shaft connected to said driving mechanism; a plate having at least one opening therein, said plate being connected to said shaft; a web bordering a portion of said at least one opening; and a blade attached to said plate, said blade being shaped to accommodate said web.

2. The ice cutting apparatus of claim 1, wherein said blade includes a slot into which said web is inserted thereby straddling a portion of said web.

3. The ice cutting apparatus of claim 2, further comprising an other blade substantially similar to said blade, said at least one opening including a first opening associated with said blade and a second opening associated with said other blade.

4. The ice cutting apparatus of claim 3, further comprising an auger connected to said shaft, said auger having a first outer diameter and said plate having a second outer diameter, said first outer diameter being smaller than said second outer diameter.

5. The ice cutting apparatus of claim 4, wherein said web has a portion that is proximate said second outer diameter, said web sweeping inwardly therefrom.

6. The ice cutting apparatus of claim 1, wherein said plate includes a protrusion, said shaft including an opening into which said protrusion is inserted.

7. The ice cutting apparatus of claim 6, further comprising a connecting device, said shaft and said protrusion each having corresponding holes that align and through which said connecting device is inserted.

8. The ice cutting apparatus of claim 7, further comprising a centering blade inserted into said plate and detachably connected thereto by said connecting device.

9. An ice cutting apparatus, comprising: a plate having at least one opening therein; a web bordering a portion of said at least one opening; and a blade attached to said plate, said blade being proximate to at least two sides of said web.

10. The ice cutting apparatus of claim 9, wherein said blade includes a slot into which said web is inserted thereby straddling a portion of said web.

11. The ice cutting apparatus of claim 10, further comprising an other blade substantially similar to said blade, said at least one opening including a first opening associated with said blade and a second opening associated with said other blade.

12. The ice cutting apparatus of claim 9, further comprising a shaft detachably connected to said plate.

13. The ice cutting apparatus of claim 12, further comprising an auger connected to said shaft, said auger having a first outer diameter and said plate having a second outer diameter, said first outer diameter being smaller than said second outer diameter.

14. The ice cutting apparatus of claim 13, wherein said web has a portion that is proximate said second outer diameter, said web sweeping inwardly therefrom.

15. The ice cutting apparatus of claim 12, wherein said plate includes a protrusion, said shaft including an opening into which said protrusion is inserted.

16. The ice cutting apparatus of claim 15, further comprising a connecting device, said shaft and said protrusion each having corresponding holes that align and through which said connecting device is inserted.

17. The ice cutting apparatus of claim 16, further comprising a centering blade inserted into said plate and detachably connected thereto by said connecting device.

18. A method of cutting a hole in ice, comprising the steps of: rotatably driving a shaft connected to a shaped plate; and positioning a cutting blade that is detachably attached to said shaped plate on the ice, said cutting blade straddling a portion of a web of said plate.

19. The method of claim 18, further comprising the step of reverse driving said shaft once the hole is cut in the ice thereby cleaning the hole by driving cut ice into water under the ice.

20. The method of claim 18, further comprising the steps of: inserting a centering blade through said shaped plate; and detachably connecting said shaped plate and said centering blade to said shaft with a connecting device.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This is a non-provisional application based upon U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/680,162, entitled “ICE CUTTER”, filed May 12, 2005.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to an ice cutting device, and, more particularly, an ice cutting device for use by ice fishermen.

2. Description of the Related Art

The catching of fish utilizing bait on a concealed hook is a practice that goes back before recorded history. Fishing in winter time can be rather arduous and requires making a hole through the ice in order to use the baited hook to attract fish thereto. Ice fishermen have utilized various techniques include chopping holes through the ice and utilizing powered augers to drill holes through the ice. A powered auger may also be utilized for drilling holes in the ground for the placing of fence posts therein. The unit consists of an auger device that is positioned at a desired location and is powered by a motor, which is most often a gasoline powered motor used to drive the auger through the ice or into the ground.

Once a hole is drilled through the ice the resulting chips of ice that are present in the hole float in the water. The chips generally rise into the hole that has been cut in the ice. Fishermen have ladles with strainer holes in them to remove the ice chips and to clear the hole for the pursuit of fishing.

What is needed in the art is a cost efficient quick method of cutting through the ice and clearing the chips therefrom.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to an ice cutting device for quickly cutting through a layer of ice on a body of water.

The invention comprises, in one form thereof, an ice cutting apparatus including a driving mechanism, a shaft, a plate, a web and a blade. The shaft is connected to the driving mechanism. The plate has at least one opening therein, the plate being detachably connected to the shaft. The web borders a portion of the at least one opening. The blade is attached to the plate, and is shaped to accommodate the web.

An advantage of the present invention is that it quickly shaves through the ice.

Another advantage of the present invention is that one size auger is utilized for several diameters of holes by the interchanging of the cutting plate on the end of the auger.

Yet another advantage of the present invention is that a single connector holds the shaped plate and centering bit to the shaft.

Still yet another advantage of the present invention is that it is very efficient and can be driven by a battery operated drive apparatus.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above-mentioned and other features and advantages of this invention, and the manner of attaining them, will become more apparent and the invention will be better understood by reference to the following description of an embodiment of the invention taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of the ice cutting apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side view of the ice cutting apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective exploded view of the ice cutting apparatus of FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 is a top view of the shaped plate of the ice cutting apparatus of FIGS. 1-3 taken along lines 4-4;

FIG. 5 is a bottom view showing each of the cutting blades of the shaped plate of the ice cutting apparatus of FIGS. 1-4;

FIG. 6 is a side view of the shaped plate of the ice cutting apparatus of FIGS. 1-5;

FIG. 7 is a partially sectioned view of an upper portion of the shaped plate used in the ice cutting apparatus of FIGS. 1-6;

FIG. 8 illustrates the ice cutting apparatus of FIGS. 1-7 as it is cutting through a layer of ice;

FIG. 9 illustrates the disbursement of ice fragments in the hole underneath the ice by utilizing the ice cutting apparatus of FIGS. 1-8; and

FIG. 10 illustrates the removal of the ice cutting apparatus of FIGS. 1-9 as it is withdrawn from a hole in the ice.

Corresponding reference characters indicate corresponding parts throughout the several views. The exemplification set out herein illustrates one preferred embodiment of the invention, in one form, and such exemplification is not to be construed as limiting the scope of the invention in any manner.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to the drawings, and more particularly to FIGS. 1-3, there is shown an ice cutting apparatus 10 including a drive unit 12 and a cutter unit 14. Drive unit 12 includes handles 16, batteries 18, a motor 20, a gear housing 22 and a shaft 24. Handles 16 are oriented so that the user can easily lift and operate ice cutting apparatus 10 and to prevent the rotation of drive unit 12 so as to allow drive unit 12 to rotate shaft 24 for the driving of cutter unit 14. Batteries 12 are oriented to balance the weight of motor 20 on alternate sides of shaft 24. Advantageously, the placing of batteries 18 and motor 20 balance the weight that is supported by way of shaft 24 when ice cutting apparatus 10 is in operation. Gear housing 22 encloses a gear, not shown, that is driven from motor 20 and is attached to shaft 24.

Shaft 24 includes a groove 26, O-rings 28 and a hole 30. Groove 26 interacts with a roll pin located in shaft 32 of cutter unit 14. O-rings 28 are situated in annular grooves, not shown, which accommodate O-rings 28 and are used to seal and to provide a cushioned-tight fit between shaft 24 and shaft 32. Hole 30 is utilized by a connector to attach shaft 24 to cutter unit 14.

Cutter unit 14 includes a shaft 32, an auger 34, a shaped plate 36, a centering blade 38, cutting blades 40 and connectors 42. Shaft 32 may be completely hollow having two roll pins inserted one at each end. One roll pin is positioned to orient shaft 24 within the hollow portion of shaft 32. Shaft 32 and auger 34 may be made of a lightweight material, such as aluminum with auger 34 permanently affixed to shaft 32. Although a single flight auger 34 is illustrated, more than one flight may be utilized. Shaped plate 36 is removably connected to an end of shaft 32 by way of a connector 42. Centering blade 38 extends into a portion of shaped plate 36 and is also connected to shaft 32 by way of connector 42. Connector 42 simultaneously connects shaped plate 36 and centering blade 38 to shaft 32. Cutting blades 40 are removably connected by way of screws to shaped plate 36. While any number of cutting blades 40 may be utilized, for the sake of clarity two cutting blades 40 are illustrated in the drawings.

Shaft 42 includes openings 44 and 46 at each end of shaft 32. Holes 48 and 50 pass through an outer surface of shaft 32 and allow for the insertion of connectors 42 therethrough. Roll pins 52 and 54 are positioned at each end to accommodate grooves 26 and 62 on shafts 24 and 60 that are, respectively, inserted into openings 44 and 46. Roll pins 52 and 54 serve to orient the shafts that are inserted causing holes in the shafts to align with holes 48 and 50 respectively.

Shaped plate 36 includes openings 56, webs 58 and a shaft 60. Shaped plate 36 generally has a smooth uplifting curve to direct ice that is cut by ice cutting apparatus away from shaped plate 36 directing it towards auger 34 as ice cutting apparatus 10 is used. Openings 56 are partially bounded by webs 58. Webs 58 generally sweep inwardly from an outer diameter and serve to generally direct ice particles away from an outer edge of the hole and to provide stability to shaped plate 36. Shaft 60 includes a groove 62, a hole 64 and O-rings 66. Groove 62 is positioned to accommodate roll pin 54 when shaft 60 is inserted into opening 46 of shaft 32. Once shaped plate 36 is properly oriented and shaft 60 has been inserted into opening 46 hole 64 aligns with hole 50 of shaft 32 and a hole 70 of centering blade 38. Connector 42 is inserted through holes 64, 50 and 70. Centering blade 38 has a cutting edge 68 oriented away from shaped plate 36 yet is inserted into a portion of shaped plate 36 and a portion of centering blade 38 extends into an internal portion of shaft 60.

Cutting blades 40 each include a cutting edge 72, holes 74 and a slot 76. Shaped plate 36 holds cutting blades 40 at an angle and cutting blades 40 are connected to shaped plate 36 by way of fasteners inserted through holes 74. The fasteners, which may be screws, are threaded into tapped holes in shaped plate 26. Slot 76 extends around a portion of web 58 so that a portion of the cutting edge extends underneath web 58.

Auger 34 has a diameter 78 and shaped plate 36 as a diameter 80. Diameter 80 is larger than diameter 78. For example, diameter 78 may be approximately four inches while diameter 80 may be ten inches. A feature of the present invention is that multiple shaped plates 36 may be included in a kit allowing the user to select the diameter of the hole that is desired and by replacing plate 36 with a different diameter utilizing the same centering blade 38 which is then reconnected to shaft 32 by way of a connector 42. Auger 34 is mainly utilized to move excessive ice debris from the hole and is such that diameter 78 does not have to extend out to diameter 80. This advantageously allows the user to drill different sized holes while only using one auger assembly.

Advantageously, ice cutting apparatus 10 can be easily broken down by the removal of connectors 42 in the disconnecting of shaft 32 from shaft 24 and shaft 60. The efficiency of the present invention allows for high speed operation of cutting unit 14 thereby allowing the reverse direction to be applied by way of drive unit 12 to drive ice particles underneath the surface of the ice, thereby cleaning the ice hole providing quicker use of the hole.

To utilize ice cutting apparatus 10, drive unit 12 is connected to cutter unit 14 having shaped plate 36 attached thereto. Ice cutting apparatus 10 is placed on a desired location on the ice and then an activation switch on drive unit 12 is depressed causing a clockwise rotation of cutter unit 14. Cutter unit 14 is driven at a high speed thereby allowing blades 38 and 40 to quickly shave and cut through the ice. The high speed operation removes a large amount of the shaved and cut ice, with that which remains in the hole being dispersed by reversing the rotation of cutting unit 14 to operate a counterclockwise manner with shaped plate 36 proximate to the bottom side of the hole. This advantageously, very rapidly clears the ice chips from the hole by dispersing them in the water underneath the ice, causing them to accumulate underneath the layer of the ice. The ice chips escape downwardly through shaped plate 36 by way of openings 56 and the open area that lies beyond web 58.

While this invention has been described as having a preferred design, the present invention can be further modified within the spirit and scope of this disclosure. This application is therefore intended to cover any variations, uses, or adaptations of the invention using its general principles. Further, this application is intended to cover such departures from the present disclosure as come within known or customary practice in the art to which this invention pertains and which fall within the limits of the appended claims.