Title:
Storage caddy for food processor
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
There is provided a storage caddy that can safely store a variety of blades for a food processor. The storage caddy includes a housing and a handle to enable easy transport of the storage caddy. The housing can include a top portion, a middle portion, and a bottom portion. Within these portions can be various cutouts or grooves that can hold various food processor accessories, such as blades, disks or stem holders. In a preferred embodiment, a circular opening can be located on the bottom of the storage caddy. This opening can enable the entire storage caddy to be placed within a food processor for storage purposes. The opening at the bottom of the storage caddy can be placed over the drive shaft of a food processor and the food processor can then be closed with the storage caddy inside.



Inventors:
Leung, Chi Wah (Kowloon, HK)
Application Number:
11/544151
Publication Date:
05/17/2007
Filing Date:
10/06/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D1/34
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
KIRSCH, ANDREW THOMAS
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Lawrence Cruz (STAMFORD, CT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A storage caddy for holding food processor accessories comprising: a housing comprising a first portion, a second portion and a third portion; a first lever to selectively disengage said first portion from said second portion; and a second lever to selectively disengage said second portion from said third portion.

2. A storage caddy according to claim 1, further comprising a latch connected to said first portion releasably attached to the top of said first portion to contain one or more accessories.

3. A storage caddy according to claim 1, further comprising an opening in the bottom of said housing to enable said storage caddy to be placed within a food processor.

4. A storage caddy according to claim 3, wherein said opening has a circular shape.

5. A storage caddy according to claim 3, wherein said opening enables said storage caddy to be placed over a drive shaft of said food processor.

6. A storage caddy according to claim 1, further comprising a first groove in said second portion to hold one or more accessories.

7. A storage caddy according to claim 1, further comprising a second groove in said third portion to hold one or more accessories.

8. A storage caddy according to claim 1, further comprising a spring biased tab connected to said third portion; and a post connected to said second portion, whereby said spring biased tab biases said post away from said tab to bias said second portion away from said third portion.

9. A storage caddy according to claim 1, further comprising a clasp connected to said first lever and a hook connected to said first portion, whereby said hook is biased toward obstructing said clasp unless said first lever is depressed.

10. A storage caddy according to claim 1, wherein said housing further comprises a housing support, said housing support having a flat profile to enable said first portion to rest flat against a generally flat surface.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/724,590 filed on Oct. 7, 2005, incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a blade and disk holder. More particularly, the present invention relates to a storage caddy that can safely store a variety of blades for a food processor.

2. Description of Related Art

It is known to provide electric food processors that come with a variety of blades for completing such tasks as chopping, shredding and slicing. These blades are very sharp and the consumer must exercise care when handling them to prevent injury to themselves.

Inherent shortcomings associated with many food processors are that they do not provide a way to store the blades so that they are not damaged and not left out in the open so that an injury may occur while retrieving or storing the attachments. In addition, the variety of blades can take up valuable counter or drawer space. Thus, there is a need for an accessory that allows one to store a variety of blades in a manner that is safe to a user and protects the blades from damage as well. In addition, there is a need to store these blades in a way that does not take up valuable counter or drawer space.

OBJECT AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is an object of the present invention to overcome the shortcomings of the prior art mentioned above. These and other objects are achieved by the present invention described herein.

The present invention achieves these and other objectives by providing a storage caddy that can safely store a variety of blades for a food processor. The storage caddy includes a housing and a handle to enable easy transport of the storage caddy. The housing can include a top portion, a middle portion, and a bottom portion. The top portion preferably includes a latch to keep the top portion closed. A first lever can be used to open the top portion from the middle portion, so that the accessories in the middle portion can be accessed. A second lever can be used to open the middle portion from the bottom portion, so that the accessories in the bottom portion can be accessed.

Within these portions can be various cutouts or grooves that can hold various food processor accessories, such as blades, disks or stem holders. In a preferred embodiment, a circular opening can be located on the bottom of the storage caddy. This opening can enable the entire storage caddy to be placed within a food processor for storage purposes. The opening at the bottom of the storage caddy can be placed over the drive shaft of a food processor and the food processor can then be closed with the storage caddy inside.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention is more fully understood by reference to the following detailed description of an illustrative embodiment with the drawings identified below.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a storage caddy for a food processor in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a partially exploded perspective view of the storage caddy for a food processor of FIG. 1, showing different illustrative aspects thereof.

FIG. 3 is a rear perspective view of the storage caddy for a food processor of FIG. 1 in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is a partially exploded perspective view of the storage caddy for a food processor of FIG. 1, showing the middle portion open.

FIG. 5 is a partially exploded perspective view of the storage caddy for a food processor of FIG. 1, showing the bottom portion open.

FIG. 6 is a bottom perspective view of the storage caddy for a food processor of FIG. 1 in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to FIG. 1, a storage caddy for a food processor in accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the present invention is shown and generally represented by reference numeral 10. The storage caddy 10 includes a housing 12 and a handle 14 to enable easy transport of the storage caddy 10. In a preferred embodiment, the housing can include a top portion 16, a middle portion 18, and a bottom portion 20. The handle 14 can be secured to the top portion 16 of the housing 12 by one or more protrusion 15 attached to the top portion 16.

The top portion 16 preferably includes a latch 22 to keep the top portion 16 closed. This will enable the storage caddy 10 to securely hold food processor disks. As shown in FIG. 2, this latch 22 can be opened by pulling the top area 24 of the latch away from the top portion 16 of the housing 12. This enables a user to access any disks that may be held in the top portion 16 of the storage caddy 10. In one example, the storage caddy can hold a slicing disk 26 and a shredding disk 28. By opening the latch 22, a user can access these disks 26, 28 and pull them from the top portion 16 of the storage caddy 10 for use in a food processor (not shown). A user can then replace the latch 22 by pushing the top area 24 of the latch to clasp against the top portion 16 of the housing 12.

FIG. 3 shows the back of the storage caddy 10. A housing support 38 is located on the back of the storage caddy 10. At the bottom 40 of the support 38 is a hinge (not shown) about which the support 38 can rotate when the top portion 16 is opened. The housing support 38 preferably has a flat profile. This enables the top portion 16 to rest flat against a table or counter top so that the disks 26, 28 will not fall out when the top portion 16 is open.

FIG. 4 shows the storage caddy 10 with the top portion 16 in an open position. To open the top portion, a first lever 30 is depressed. In a preferred embodiment, the depression of the first lever 30 rotates a first clasp 32 until the clasp clears a first hook 34 located on the bottom side 36 of the top portion 16 of the housing 12. When the first lever 30 is not depressed, the top portion 16 cannot be opened since the first hook 34 cannot clear the first clasp 32. When the lever 30 is depressed, the first clasp 32 is rotated away from the first hook 34 so that the first hook is unobstructed. The top portion 16 can then be opened.

Within the middle portion 18 of the housing 12, there can be located several cutout or groove portions to hold various food processor accessories. For example, there can be a first cutout portion 42 that can hold a dough blade 44 for bread. The middle portion 18 can have a second cutout portion 46 that can hold a stem holder 50. This stem holder 50 can be attached to the disks 26, 28 so that they may be connected to a drive shaft (not shown) of a food processor.

FIG. 5 shows the storage caddy 10 with the bottom portion 20 in an accessible position. To access the bottom portion 20, a second lever 52 is depressed. In a manner similar to the first lever 30, the depression of the second lever 52 rotates a second clasp 54 until the clasp clears a second hook 55 located within the housing 12. When the second lever 54 is not depressed, the bottom portion 20 cannot be accessed since the second hook cannot clear the second clasp 54. When the second lever 52 is depressed, the second clasp 54 is rotated away from the second hook 55 so that the second hook is unobstructed. The top 16 and middle 18 portions can then be rotated simultaneously about a hinge and the bottom portion 20 can be accessed.

To assist with the opening, a tab 60 and post 62 can be provided. Preferably, the tab 60 can be spring biased in the upward position. When the second lever 52 is not depressed and the middle portion 18 is in full contact with the bottom portion 20, the post 62 pushes against the tab 60, pushing it down toward the bottom portion 20. When the second lever 52 is depressed, the second clasp 54 is rotated away from the second hook 55 and the middle portion can be released from the bottom portion. The spring biased tab 60 pushes up against the post 62 and the middle portion 18 of the housing 12. This assists in ensuring that the second clasp 54 does not re-engage the second hook 55 should the second lever 52 be released before the middle portion 18 is lifted from the bottom portion 20. This can also assist in preventing the middle portion 18 from being closed back onto the bottom portion 20 with excessive force, possibly damaging the storage caddy 10. Similar tab and post structure can also exist between the top portion 16 and middle portion 18.

The bottom portion 20 can have a third cutout portion 56. This cutout or groove can hold, for example, a chopping blade 58. However, other types of blades and attachments may be provided in this bottom portion 20 or in other portions within the storage caddy 10.

In a preferred embodiment, a circular opening 64 can be located on the bottom of the storage caddy 10, as can be seen in FIGS. 5 and 6. This opening 64 can enable the entire storage caddy 10 to be placed within a food processor for storage purposes. The opening 64 at the bottom of the storage caddy 10 can be placed over the drive shaft (not shown) of a food processor and the food processor can then be closed with the storage caddy 10 inside. A congruent aperture 66 can be located at the bottom of the chopping blade 58, so that the chopping blade does not obstruct the storage caddy 10 from being placed over the drive shaft.

While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been herein disclosed and described, it is understood that various modifications can be made without departing from the scope of the invention.