Title:
Broom apparatus with insert
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A broom apparatus is described that includes a handle, an insert and a cleaning head. The proximal end portion is a tube defines an aperture that is approximately aligned with axis of the handle. The aperture extends a predetermined distance within the handle. The insert is stored in the proximal end portion of the handle. The insert includes a proximal handle and a distal cleaning head that has a cleaning pouch. The insert is removed for dusting from the proximal end portion of the handle and can be returned and stored in the proximal end portion of the handle thereafter.



Inventors:
Sampaio, Andre (Blauvelt, NY, US)
Application Number:
11/699245
Publication Date:
05/31/2007
Filing Date:
01/29/2007
Assignee:
Casabella Holdings Inc.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/106, 15/118
International Classes:
A47L13/12
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
GUIDOTTI, LAURA COLE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CURTIS, MALLET-PREVOST, COLT & MOSLE, LLP (NEW YORK, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A broom apparatus that comprises: an elongate handle that includes a proximal end portion and a distal end portion that define a central longitudinal axis, the proximal end portion defines an aperture aligned with the longitudinal axis; an insert that includes a proximal handle and a distal cleaning head, the cleaning head has a cleaning pouch positioned on a frame; a broom head that includes a neck and a base plate, the neck connects to the distal end portion of the handle, a plurality of bristles extends distally from the base plate; a first position in which the insert is positioned in the aperture; and a second position in which the insert is removed from the aperture for use as a separate dusting device.

2. The broom apparatus of claim 1, wherein the pouch is removable from the frame.

3. The broom apparatus of claim 1, wherein the handle has a terminal end portion that has an annular rim that locks the insert in the first position.

4. The broom apparatus of claim 1, wherein the pouch is connected to the frame by a locking mechanism.

5. The broom apparatus of claim 4, wherein the locking mechanism includes a slider and a key.

6. The broom apparatus of claim 5, wherein the slider locks the key in a proximal position on the frame to secure the pouch on the frame and unlocks the key in distal position to allow for the removal of the pouch from the frame.

7. The broom apparatus of claim 1, wherein the proximal end portion of the handle includes a flange that is connected to a terminal end of the handle, the flange being rotatable about the longitudinal axis relative to the handle.

8. The broom apparatus of claim 7, wherein the flange defines a second aperture transverse to the longitudinal axis.

9. The broom apparatus of claim 1, wherein the insert is returned to the first position.

10. The broom apparatus of claim 1, wherein the frame of the insert is a wire.

11. The broom apparatus of claim 10, wherein the wire forms two loops and the distal most loop provides structural support for the pouch.

12. The broom apparatus of claim 1, wherein the frame is flexible.

13. The broom apparatus of claim 1, wherein the frame is resilient.

14. The broom apparatus of claim 1, wherein an insert locking mechanism retains the insert in the first position independent of the angular position of the broom.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part of co-pending application No. 11/108,973, hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to brooms, and in particular with brooms that have an insert as a secondary cleaning device.

2. Description of the Related Art

Brooms typically have an elongate handle and a cleaning head that with a plurality of bristles that are specialized for cleaning floor surfaces such as concrete, tile or wood. Furniture and fixtures, however, require a different cleaning device. This creates an awkward situation in which different cleaning implements are used for different cleaning tasks.

The process of cleaning furniture, fixtures and floors of a home or business is frequently done in a routine sequence. Dusting, for example, is often done initially and the sweeping of the floor is one of the last steps. Flexibility is needed in this cleaning routine, however, because problems commonly occur during the cleaning process. For example, if a dusty spot is noticed during sweeping that was omitted during dusting, the broom has to be set aside and the duster retrieved for dusting. This break in the cleaning routine is inconvenient, interrupts the sweeping process and increases the time and effort for cleaning as different dust spots are observed that require additional cleaning attention.

A broom apparatus is needed that includes a secondary cleaning implement that can advantageously clean alternate surfaces in addition to normal sweeping operations of the broom apparatus.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A broom apparatus is disclosed that comprises an elongate handle, an insert and a broom head. The elongate handle includes a proximal end portion and a distal end portion that define a central longitudinal axis. The proximal end portion defines an aperture aligned with the longitudinal axis. The insert includes a proximal handle and a distal cleaning head that has a cleaning pouch positioned on a frame. The broom head includes a neck and a base plate. The neck connects to the distal end portion of the handle. A plurality of bristles extend distally from the base plate. The broom apparatus has a first position in which the insert is positioned in the aperture and a second position in which the insert is removed from the aperture.

The pouch is removable from and positionable on the frame. The handle has a terminal end portion that has an annular rim that locks the insert in the first position. The pouch is connected to the frame by a locking mechanism. The locking mechanism includes a slider and a key. The slider locks the key in a proximal position on the frame to secure the pouch for operational use and unlocks the key in distal position to allow for the removal of the pouch from the frame. The proximal end portion of the handle includes a flange that is connected to a terminal end of the handle and the flange is rotatable about the longitudinal axis relative to the handle. The flange defines a second aperture transverse to the longitudinal axis.

The insert is returnable to the first position. The frame of the insert is a wire. The wire forms two loops and the distal most loop provides structural support for the pouch. The frame is flexible. The frame is resilient. The insert is retained in the first position by an insert locking mechanism independent of the angular position of the broom.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a broom apparatus with insert, the broom apparatus constructed in accordance with the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a front view of the broom apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of a proximal end portion of the broom apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a front view of a head of the broom apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is a front view of the insert of the broom apparatus of FIG. 1 that includes a frame and a cleaning pouch;

FIG. 6 is a side view of the insert of FIG. 5;

FIG. 7 is a front view of the insert of the broom apparatus of FIG. 1 in a second position with the cleaning pouch separated from the frame;

FIG. 8 is a side view of a proximal end portion of the insert of FIG. 5 that shows steps involved in locking a key with a slider;

FIG. 9 is a front view of the proximal end portion of the insert of the broom apparatus of FIG. 1 that shows the key in a locked position;

FIG. 10 is a front view of the insert of the broom apparatus of FIG. 1 that shows one method of removing the frame from and inserting the frame into the cleaning pouch of the insert of FIG. 5;

FIG. 11 is a right side view of the proximal end portion of the broom apparatus of FIG. 1 that show the insert aligned with an axis for storing in the handle; and

FIG. 12 shows one method for positioning the insert of FIG. 11 into the proximal end portion of the handle.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

Although specific terms are used in the following description for the sake of clarity, these terms are intended to refer only to a particular structure of the invention selected for illustration in the drawings, and are not intended to define or limit the scope of the invention.

A broom apparatus 10 in accordance with the present disclosure is described herein below with reference to the drawings and initially in particular to FIG. 1. The preferred embodiment of the broom apparatus 10 includes a handle 12, an insert 14 and a cleaning head 16. Apparatus 10 is shown in a first position with insert 14 stored in a proximal end portion 18 of handle 12.

Referring to FIG. 2, the handle 12 in this one preferred embodiment, is made of a steel alloy and has an elongate cylindrical shape that is approximately 1400 mm long. It is understood, however, that length, shape and materials of construction of handle 12 can vary with the intended application. Broom handle 12 defines an axis 22. When broom 10 is in a plane XY, handle 12 is preferably inclined at an angle of approximately 10° from a vertical axis YY. Distal end portion 20 of handle 12 is preferably coupled with broom head 16 by a threaded arrangement.

Referring to FIG. 3, proximal end portion 18 includes a terminal end 24 and a flange 26. Proximal end portion 18 of handle 12 is a tube that defines an aperture 28 that is approximately aligned with axis 22 of the handle 12. Aperture 28 extends a predetermined distance distally from terminal end 24 within handle 12.

Flange 26 extends in the distal direction beyond the terminal end 24 of handle 12 and defines a through hole 30. The terminal end 24 of handle 12 has an annular rim or projection 32 that is preferably approximately normal to axis 22. Terminal end 24 also defines an opposed pair of grooves 34 that are approximately aligned with axis 22.

Referring to FIG. 4, the broom head 16 includes a neck 36 that defines an aperture. Interior wall of the tubular neck 36 is removably coupled with distal end portion 20 of the broom handle 12 by standard threads 38. Head 16 is preferably constructed such that attachment of the distal end portion 20 with the head 16 is offset from the centre of the head 16. The head 16 can be made of moldable thermoplastic such as polystyrene, polythene, polypropylene, polycarbonate or other suitable material. A plurality of bristles 40 are retained by a base plate 42 of the head 16. Bristles 40 extend distally and preferably flare out at their ends.

As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, insert 14 is in a second position separated from handle 12. Insert 14 includes a proximal handle 44 and a distal cleaning head 46. The proximal handle 44 preferably includes a circular indentation or channel 48. The proximal handle 44 of insert 14 also has a through hole 50. Insert 14 can be grasped by curling fingers around handle 44 in a traditional manner or by grasping the terminal end of handle 44 through hole 50. The cleaning head has a cleaning pouch 52 positioned on an elongate frame 54. The pouch 52 is preferably made of smooth and dense micro-fibers having approximately 5 mm length. Frame 54 can be constructed for repeated washing and reuse or as a consumable component of insert 14.

Referring to FIG. 7, frame 54 is separable from pouch 52. Frame 54 is a structure that provides a desired shape for pouch 52. In this one preferred embodiment, frame 54 is a flexible wire that includes a first loop 56 and a second loop 58 in a single plane. Frame 54 is preferably resilient and biased to the first position as shown. Frame 54 can be made of metal, polymer, composite, cellulose or other materials depending upon the desired characteristics for cleaning. Cleaning pouch 52 is preferably removed from frame 54 by the sliding of pouch 52 relative to loop 58.

A connector securely attaches pouch 52 to frame 54. In this one preferred embodiment the connector includes a thread 60, a key 62 and a slider 64. It is understood that this is just one example of a mechanical connector that can include for example a snap fitting, clasp, cotter pin as well as hook and eye. The connector retains the pouch 52 on the frame 54 against cleaning forces and other possible forces from all sides. The slider 64 is moved proximally and distally along the loop 58 to lock key 62 in a proximal position and unlock key 62 in a distal position.

Now referring to FIG. 8, in this preferred embodiment, one end of the thread 60 is connected to opening of the pouch 52 and the opposing end of the thread 60 is connected to the key 62. Initially slider 64 is in a distal position and key 62 is free along with thread 60. To lock the pouch 52 on the frame 54, key 62 is passed through the gap between two parallel wires of the first loop 56 from a first side to an opposite side of the loop 56 as indicated by the steps numbered 1 to 4. Steps 1 and 4 are the initial and final positions, respectively, of the connector. The arrows show one preferred path of motion of the key 62 from the first side to the other side. The upward arrows show a direction of movement of slider 64 to the proximal position to lock the key 62.

Referring to FIG. 9, slider 64 is pushed up to the proximal position to lock the key 62 in position. Key 62 retains pouch 52 in position on loop 56. Pouch 52 is removed from loop 56 pushing the slider 64 to the distal position. The key 62 can then pass through the wires of the first loop 56. Key 62 is made of a material such as a polymer, metal, ceramic or composite that has sufficient strength to securely retain its position when connected to loop 56.

Referring to FIG. 10, one preferred method for the removal and insertion of frame 54 with pouch 52 is shown. In order to separate the pouch 52 from the frame 54, slider 64 on loop 56 is pushed to the distal position. The key 62 on other side of the loop 56 is taken out through the two approximately parallel wires of the loop 56. Then the key 62 is detached from loop 56 to make the pouch 52 free to slide distally. Now the frame 54 is movable relative to cleaning pouch 52. An upward arrow shows direction of removal of the frame 54 from the pouch 52 and a downward arrow shows the direction of insertion of the frame 54 inside the pouch 52.

As shown in FIG. 11, proximal end portion 18 of handle 12 and insert 14 are approximately aligned with axis 22 for positioning insert 14 inside proximal end portion 18. In this one preferred embodiment, insert 14 is about one-third the length of handle 12. Aperture 28 has a diameter and depth for receiving insert 14. Arrow shows the direction of insertion of insert 14 into handle 12.

Referring now to FIG. 12, one method for positioning insert 14 into proximal end portion 18 of handle 12 is shown. The insert 14 is pushed into the aperture 28 of proximal end portion 18 through flange 26 along axis 22 in a direction as shown by a downward arrow. In this one preferred embodiment, as insert 14 is inserted into proximal end portion 18, indentation 48 slidingly crosses the annular projection 32 of the terminal end 24 with a locking mechanism. The locking mechanism is preferably a snap fit arrangement that retains insert 14 in position in handle 12 independent of the position of broom apparatus 10.

The flange 26 can be used to advantageously guide insert 14 inside the proximal end portion 18. When insert 14 is securely positioned in aperture 28 along the axis 22 of handle 12, hole 30 in the flange 26 is approximately aligned with the through hole 50 in the insert 14. The insert 14 can be removed from the handle 12 by reversing the above method.

As shown in FIGS. 1-12, the broom apparatus 10 in operation is advantageously used for cleaning floors and for specialized cleaning, such as dusting, using the insert 14. The aperture 28 in the handle 12 conveniently stores the insert 14. Flange 26 acts as a guide while storing the insert 14 in the proximal end portion 18 of the handle 12. Annular projection 32 locks insert 14 in the first position and retains insert 14 in position independent of the angular position of broom 10. Grooves 32 advantageously allow the expansion and contraction of the terminal end 24 to position and remove insert 14 in the proximal end portion 18 of the handle 12. The provision of insert 14 in the broom apparatus 10, offers a user two separate but integrated devices for cleaning floor surfaces as well as dusting and/or cleaning items such as blinds and furniture.

The novel advantage of the broom apparatus 10 is that a user may employ the broom head 16 for cleaning and selectively use insert 14 for dusting. For example, a user who is involved in sweeping floor comes to a window of an adjoining wall. Instead of bringing another cleaning device to clean the window blinds the user can remove the duster insert 14 and clean up the blinds during the sweeping of the floor without retrieving another cleaning implement. After dusting window blinds, the insert 14 is returned to aperture 28 of handle 12 and the user can continue with cleaning of the floor without any significant interruption.

Although the present invention has been described in terms of the preferred embodiment above, numerous modifications and/or additions to the above-described preferred embodiments would be readily apparent to one skilled in the art. It is intended that the scope of present invention extends to all such modifications and/or additions and that the scope of present invention is limited by the claims set forth below.





 
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