Title:
Tactical Spray Canister Deployment System
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A holder for a tactical spray canister, comprising a sheath formed with a cavity, wherein the cavity comprises at least one c-shaped flexible member; a means for variably positioning the sheath during use; and a means for securing the sheath to a user. A variably positionable sheath for a tactical spray canister comprising a sheath, wherein the sheath is formed with an interior and exterior, having at least one c-shaped flexible member in the sheath interior and an axial post on the sheath exterior; a rotatable disk mountable on the sheath, having at least two pegs extending substantially perpendicularly from the disk, one peg recessed; a Leverage back; a disk base, having at least one peg extending substantially perpendicularly from the disk base; at least one o-ring demountably positionable on a recessed disk peg and on a peg on the disk base; and a means for detachably securing said sheath to a user. A method for manufacturing a sheath for a tactical spray canister comprising providing a sheath; including at least one c-shaped flexible member and an axial post; configuring a disk for rotatable mounting on the axial post; disposing on the sheath a means for returning the sheath to a zero position; and furnishing means for securing the sheath on a user.



Inventors:
Martinez, Michael Anthony (Albuquerque, NM, US)
Application Number:
12/269845
Publication Date:
05/14/2009
Filing Date:
11/12/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
224/197, 224/250
International Classes:
A45F5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VANTERPOOL, LESTER L
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Yorgos D. Marinakis (Albuquerque, NM, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A holder for a canister, comprising A. a sheath formed with a cavity, said cavity including at least one c-shaped flexible member, said c-shaped flexible member having a proximal end and said distal end, said sheath having a proximal end and a distal end, said sheath formed as a pocket, said c-shaped flexible member having a leaf at its proximal end; B. i. a disk formed with an anterior side, a posterior side, a wall extending between the anterior side and the posterior side, ii. a plurality of posterior pegs extending at substantially right angles from said posterior side of said disk, and a plurality of anterior pegs extending at substantially right angles from said anterior side of said disk, where at least two of said anterior pegs are recessed, iii. a disk center hole that is formed through said disk substantially in the middle of said disk and extending between said anterior side and said posterior side, iv. a disk base formed with an anterior side, a posterior side, a recess in said anterior side, an axial post extending from said recess, one or more base pegs extending at substantially right angles from said recess, v. said disk rotatably mounted on said axial post on said anterior side of said disk base, said disk rotatably mounted on said disk base by the elastic action of one or more elastic o-rings that demountably positionably engage one or more of said anterior pegs of said disk and one or more anterior pegs of said disk base; and C. a means for securing the sheath to a user.

2. The holder of claim 1, wherein at least one c-shaped flexible member extends along a longitudinal axis through said cavity between said proximal end and said distal end of said sheath.

3. The holder of claim 1, wherein said c-shaped flexible member is connected to said sheath by a fastening means selected from the group consisting of screws, nails, rivets, staples, nuts and bolts.

4. The holder of claim 3, wherein said fastening means enters from said leaf of said c-shaped member.

5. The holder of claim 1, wherein said c-shaped flexible member is removably insertable into said cavity.

6. The holder of claim 1, wherein said disk further comprises at least one recessed anterior peg and one unrecessed anterior peg extending at substantially right angles from said anterior side of said disk.

7. The holder of claim 6, wherein said posterior pegs and said anterior pegs extend monolithically from said disk.

8. The holder of claim 1, wherein said posterior side of said disk base is connected to said anterior side of said sheath by a fastening means selected from the group consisting of screws, nails, rivets, staples, nuts and bolts.

10. The holder of claim 1, further comprising a leverage back formed in the shape of a block and having an anterior side, a posterior side, a top and bottom, a leverage back center hole, and a plurality of leverage back peripheral holes.

11. The holder of claim 10, wherein said leverage back is connected to said means for securing said sheath to a user by a fastening means selected from the group consisting of screws, nails, rivets, staples, nuts and bolts.

12. The holder of claim 10, wherein there are eight leverage back peripheral holes symmetrically arranged around the leverage back center hole, and the leverage back center hole is laterally positioned in the top of the leverage back.

13. The holder of claim 10, wherein one or more of said disk anterior pegs each fits into a leverage back peripheral hole.

14. A variably positionable sheath for a canister comprising: A. a sheath, wherein the sheath is formed with an interior and exterior, said sheath having at least one c-shaped flexible member in the sheath interior and an axial post on the sheath exterior, said sheath having a proximal end and a distal end, said sheath formed as a pocket, said sheath having a leaf at its proximal end; B. a rotatable disk mountable on a disk base on the sheath, said disk having a disk anterior and a disk posterior, said disk base having a disk base anterior at least one peg extending substantially perpendicularly from said disk base anterior, a plurality of posterior pegs extending at substantially right angles from said posterior side of said disk, and a plurality of anterior pegs extending at substantially right angles from said anterior side of said disk, where at least two of said anterior pegs are recessed; C. at least one o-ring demountably positionable on at least one each of said disk anterior peg and one each of said disk base anterior peg; and D. a means for securing said sheath to a user.

15. The sheath of claim 14, wherein said c-shaped member is engagable with said canister bell when said canister is inserted into said cavity.

16. The sheath of claim 14, wherein different sizes of said c-shaped flexible members are available to accommodate different sizes of canisters.

17. The sheath of claim 14, wherein said posterior pegs and said anterior pegs extend monolithically from said disk.

18. The sheath of claim 14, wherein the number or weight of said o-rings may be changed.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Provisional application 60/987,745 is the original of the present application.

STATEMENTS REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

BACKGROUND

The embodiments of the present invention satisfy the needs of providing a way of holding a wide variety of tactical spray canisters securely and placing them in ideal custom ready-to-draw positions from which original positions they may be rotated and to which original position the automatically return, of providing an improved holder for a tactical spray canister, and of providing a variably positionable sheath for a tactical spray canister.

Information relevant to attempts to address these problems can be found in U.S. Pat. No. 6,817,499, and patent application 60/981,201, both by the present inventor; which are not admitted to be prior art with respect to the present invention by its mention in this Background Section. There are numerous structural differences between these devices. For example, patent '499 has a locking tongue in a chamber adjacent to the cavity and not in the cavity, and it has no c-shaped flexible member. Patent application '1201 has a locking tongue at the top of the cavity and a unshaped flexible member and not a c-shaped flexible member. Moreover the peg and o-ring configurations differ between the inventions. In '1201 the o-rings attach the locator disk to the sheath, whereas in the present application and '499 the o-rings attach the locator disk to the leverage back. Patent '499 fixedly non-rotationally attaches the locator disk to the sheath. Application '1201 fixedly non-rotationally attaches the locator disk to the leverage back. The present application non-fixedly rotationally attaches the locator disk to the sheath.

SUMMARY

The embodiments of the present invention are directed to an apparatus that satisfies the needs set out in the Background section.

The embodiments of the present invention comprise a holder for a tactical spray canister, comprising a sheath formed with a cavity, wherein the cavity comprises at least one c-shaped flexible member; a means for variably positioning the sheath during use; and a means for securing the sheath to a user. They further comprise a variably positionable sheath for a tactical spray canister comprising a sheath, wherein the sheath is formed with an interior and exterior, having at least one c-shaped flexible member in the sheath interior and an axial post on the sheath exterior; a rotatable disk mountable on the sheath, having at least two pegs extending substantially perpendicularly from the disk, one peg recessed; a leverage back; a disk base, having at least one peg extending substantially perpendicularly from the disk base; at least one o-ring demountably positionable on a recessed disk peg and on a peg on the disk base; and a means for detachably securing said sheath to a user. They further comprise a method for manufacturing a sheath for a tactical spray canister comprising providing a sheath; including at least one c-shaped flexible member and an axial post; configuring a disk for rotatable mounting on the axial post; disposing on the sheath a means for returning the sheath to a zero position; and furnishing means for securing the sheath on a user.

Briefly, the present invention provides an apparatus and a method for manufacturing a variably positionable sheath for a tactical spray canister that includes a sheath having a cavity. At least one c-shaped flexible removable grasping member is formed in the cavity. The c-shaped member applies pressure to the tactical spray canister when it is inserted into the cavity. Also provided are means for variably positioning the sheath during use by a user. The variably positioning means includes a disk. A disk with a plurality of pegs is rotatably mounted on a disk base on the sheath, one or more of the pegs recessed, with o-rings demountably positionable around the recessed pegs on the disk and around pegs on the disk base, allowing the sheath to be rotated by the user and causing it to return automatically to its original or zero position. The present invention also includes means for securing the sheath to a user during use of the invention. The securing means includes a clamp, band, or lap-over band, one end of which is engagable with the block, the other end of which maybe attached to the user of the present invention by inserting the lap-over band over, for example, a belt. The present invention, therefore, is particularly, but not exclusively, useful for allowing the sheath to return to an original or zero position after a tactical spray canister has been removed from or reinserted in the sheath.

The advantages of the embodiments of the invention include but are not limited to the feature that, upon removing the tactical spray canister from the sheath, when grasping the handle of the sheathed tactical spray canister no matter how aggressively, the locator disk rotates in a clock-wise or counter clock-wise direction around its collar, and the o-rings are distended in one or more directions. When the sheathed object is removed from the sheath, because the o-rings are elastic the sheath rotates back to the original start position ready for reinsertion of the tactical spray canister into the sheath. The o-rings allow for up to 32 degrees rotation parallel to the direction of the pull. Approximately 75% of the draws require only 18 degrees rotation. Approximately 12% of the draws require 24 degrees rotation. Only a few skilled draws require the full 32 degrees rotation. Moreover, the resting sheath angle is adjustable to the desired draw position, and can be rotated to any of eight different locator positions by simply adjusting the locator disk; the number or weight of -rings may be changed to customize the tension of the draw or to suit the weight of the tactical spray canister; and different sizes of bell membranes are available to accommodate different sizes of tactical spray canisters. Using the embodiments of the present invention, a drawing action becomes a single action that takes less than a second. They allow for multiple carry placements and draw positions per the preference and need of the user, such as left or right, on the belt, front or back, high (on a shoulder holster, webbing, suspenders or tactical vest or pack) or low (on a thigh pocket or boot).

DRAWINGS

These and other features, aspects and advantages of the embodiments of the device and/or methods will become better understood with reference to the following description, appended claim and accompanying drawings where:

FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of the variably positionable sheath for a tactical spray canister in an operative manner;

FIG. 2 shows a perspective unassembled view of the sheath comprising front, back and bell membranes; the locator disk and locator disk base; the leverage back; the belt clip; and screws and o-rings;

FIG. 3 shows an exploded perspective view of the sheath comprising the locator disk and locator disk base; the leverage back; the belt clip; screws and o-rings; and the main body, tigger, tension membrane, riser tab and trigger cover strip.

FIG. 4 shows an exploded perspective view of the sheath comprising the locator disk and locator disk base; the leverage back; the belt clip; screws and o-rings; and the assembled main body.

FIG. 5 shows an end view of the sheath; and

FIG. 6A and FIG. 6B show front and side views of the sheath, respectively.

REFERENCE NUMERALS FOR DRAWINGS

  • 11 main body;
  • 12 snap nipple;
  • 13 hole for membrane screw 25;
  • 14 hole for hook 23;
  • 15 axial post;
  • 16 hole for king screw 65;
  • 17 anterior peg on locator disk base 57 for o-ring 45;
  • 18 recesss;
  • 20 top leaf of tension membrane 21;
  • 21 tension membrane;
  • 22 hole for membrane screw 25;
  • 23 hook;
  • 25 membrane screw;
  • 30 trigger cover strap;
  • 35 riser tab;
  • 36 hole for membrane screw 25;
  • 37 hole for hook 23;
  • 38 slot for trigger cover strap 30;
  • 40 locator disk;
  • 41 posterior peg;
  • 42 locator disk center hole;
  • 44 anterior peg on locator disk 40 for o-ring 45;
  • 45 o-ring;
  • 46 cavity;
  • 50 cone head screw;
  • 51 leverage back peripheral hole;
  • 55 leverage back;
  • 56 center hole in leverage back 55;
  • 57 locator disk base;
  • 60 Sam Brown screw;
  • 65 king screw;
  • 70 belt clip;
  • 75 trigger;
  • 76 hole for receiving snap nipple 12;
  • 77 slots;
  • 81 tactical spray canister;
  • 90 the embodiment of the invention in its totality.

DESCRIPTION

Definitions

As used in this document, elastic means that the o-ring 25 is manufactured of synthetic rubber or similar material, is capable of recovering size and shape after deformation, is also capable of recovering quickly after expansion or retraction, is easily stretched or expanded, resumes it original or former shape, resists deformation by stretching, and may be bent twisted or folded without any perceptible sign of injury.

Zero position means the position the thing was originally at before it was displaced to a second position, that zero position is a synonym for original position.

Description of the Preferred Embodiment

In overview, the embodiments of the present invention consist of: a sheath means; a means for variably positioning the sheath means; and a means for securing the sheath means to a user. The sheath means includes a main body 11 and at least one c-shaped flexible removable grasping member or tension membrane 21 that is formed in a cavity 46 in the main body 11, said c-shaped flexible removable grasping member having an uncurved leaf on one end which is attached to said cavity. In the preferred embodiment, the grasping member is a c-shaped member 21 that bends medially to apply pressure to the tactical spray canister when it is inserted into the cavity 46. Also provided are means for variably positioning the sheath means during use by a user. The variably positioning means includes a locator disk 40 with at least two anterior pegs 44, one which is recessed, and at least one posterior peg 41, which locator disk 40 is rotatably mounted on the main body 11, preferably by means of an axial post 15 extending from the main body 11. At least one o-ring 45 is demountably positionable both around a recessed anterior peg 44 on the locator disk 40 and around an anterior peg 17 on the locator disk base 57 on the sheath, allowing the main body 11 to be rotated by the user and causing it to return automatically to its original or zero position. The embodiments of the present invention also include means for securing the sheath means to a user during use of the invention. The securing means includes a clamp, band, or lap-over band 70, one side of which is engagable with a leverage back 55, the other side of which may be attached to the user of the present invention by inserting the lap-over band 70 over, for example, a belt. The embodiments of the present invention, therefore, are particularly but not exclusively useful for allowing the sheath to return to a zero position after a tactical spray canister has been removed from or reinserted in the main body 11.

Means for Variably Positioning the Sheath

As shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, the embodiments of the invention include a means for variably positioning the sheath means, comprising a locator disk 40 with at least two anterior pegs 44 where one is recessed and at least one posterior peg 41; a means for fastening 65; o-rings 45; locator disk base 57 with recess 18, axial post 15, at least one anterior peg 17; and a leverage back 55.

Leverage Back

As shown in FIG. 2, the leverage back 55 is formed with an anterior side, a posterior side, a top and bottom, a leverage back center hole 56, and a plurality of leverage back peripheral holes 51. In the preferred embodiment there are eight leverage back peripheral holes 51 symmetrically arranged around the leverage back center hole 56 (hence “center” hole), and the leverage back center hole 56 is laterally positioned in the top of the leverage back 55. For the purpose of securing the leverage back to the clamp, band, or lap-over band 70, into at least one leverage back peripheral hole 51 is affixed a fastening means 50 selected from the group consisting of screws, nails, rivets, staples, nuts and bolts, which fastening means 50 extend through the leverage back and into the clip. In the preferred embodiment the fastening means is a plurality of “cone-head set screws” 50. In the preferred embodiment, four cone-head set screws 50 fasten through four leverage back peripheral holes 56.

The leverage back 55 functions in part as a platform to which the locator disk 40 is fastened with one or more unrecessed disk anterior pegs 44 that extend from the leverage back 55 into one or more each leverage back peripheral holes 56. In the preferred embodiment, four disk anterior pegs 44 fasten into four leverage back peripheral holes 56.

Locator Disk

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the locator disk 40 is formed with an anterior side, a posterior side, and a wall extending between the anterior side and the posterior side.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, the locator disk 40 includes at least one posterior peg 41 extending at substantially right angles from posterior side of the locator disk 40, and at least two disk anterior pegs 44 extending at substantially right angles from the anterior side of the locator disk 40, where at least one disk anterior pegs 44 is recessed for mounting an o-ring 45. In the preferred embodiment, a plurality of disk anterior pegs 44 and a plurality of posterior pegs 41 extend monolithically from the locator disk 40, where at least two disk anterior pegs 44 are recessed and two are not recessed. In the preferred embodiment, four disk anterior pegs 44 from the anterior side of the locator disk 40 fasten into four leverage back peripheral holes 56.

As shown in FIG. 4, the locator disk 40 further comprises a locator disk center hole 42 that is formed through the locator disk 40 substantially in the middle of the locator disk 40 and extending between the anterior side and the posterior side of the locator disk 40.

As shown in FIG. 4, the locator disk 40 includes at least two disk anterior pegs 44 extending at substantially right angles from the anterior side of the locator disk 40, where at least one disk anterior pegs 44 is recessed for mounting an o-ring 45. As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the posterior peg 41 fits into the recess 18 on the locator disk base 57, thereby limiting the movement of the main body 11.

The locator disk 40 is rotatably mountable on the anterior side of the locator disk base 57 by the elastic action of a plurality of elastic o-rings 45, which o-rings 45 demountably positionably engage the recessed anterior peg or pegs 44 of the locator disk 40 and the anterior pegs 17 of the locator disk base 57. The o-rings 45 bring the locator disk 40 back to its original resting position after it is rotated.

Locator Disk Base

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the locator disk base 57 is formed with an anterior side, a posterior side, a wall extending between the anterior side and the posterior side, a top and a bottom.

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the locator disk base 57 includes a recess 18, which accommodates the posterior pegs 41 of the locator disk 40. An axial post 15 in the anterior side of the locator disk base 57 for internally receiving the king screw 65 and externally receiving the locator disk 40 extends monolithically and perpendicularly along the center axis of the locator disk base 57 towards the locator disk 40. One or more anterior pegs 17 extend at substantially right angles from the anterior of the locator disk base 57.

The locator disk 40 is rotatably mounted on the axial post 15 in the anterior side of the locator disk base 57.

The locator disk base 57 functions in part as a platform to which the locator disk 40 is non-fixedly rotatably fastened with a plurality of elastic o-rings 45 that are each demountably positionable around one of the anterior pegs 44 that extend from the locator disk 40 and around one or more anterior pegs 17 that extend from the locator disk base 57.

In the preferred embodiment, the locator disk base 57 monolithically extends from the anterior of the main body 11.

Means for Securing Sheath to User

The means for securing the sheath means to the user comprises a belt clip 40.

Belt Clip

As shown in FIGS. 2 and 3, the lap-over bad or belt clip 40 is fixedly attached to the leverage back 55 by a fastening means selected from the group consisting of screws, nails, rivets, staples, nuts and bolts, and in the preferred embodiment by a plurality of “Sam Brown” screws 60 and by the king screw 65.

Sheath Means

As shown in FIG. 2, the sheath means comprises a main body 11 having a cavity 46, a tension membrane 21, a riser tab 35, a trigger 75, a trigger cover strip 30, and a means for fastening.

Main Body

As shown in FIG. 2, the main body 11 comprises an anterior side, a posterior side, a wall connecting the anterior side and the posterior side, a distal end and a proximal end. It further comprises a cup forming a cavity 46.

Tension Membrane and Riser Tab

As shown in FIG. 2, the tension membrane 21 comprises approximately an elongated c-shape, having an anterior side, a posterior side, a wall connecting the anterior side and the posterior side, a distal end and a proximal end. The tension membrane 21 further comprises an uncurved leaf 20 on its proximal end.

As shown in FIG. 3, a riser tab 35 comprises in part slots 38 for receiving and adjusting the trigger cover strip 30.

The tension membrane 21 and riser tab 35 are attached to the posterior interior of the main body 11 by a fastening means selected from the group consisting of screws, nails, rivets, staples, nuts and bolts, which fastening means extends through a hole 22 in the tension membrane 21, a hole 36 in the riser tab 35, and a hole 13 in the main body 11. In the preferred embodiment, the fastening means comprises a screw 25.

The combination of the membrane 21 and main body 11 form a cavity 46 that accepts the tactical spray canister.

Trigger

As shown at least in FIG. 2, a trigger 75 is fastened to the main body 11 by pushing a snap nipple 12 on the main body 11 through a hole 76 in the trigger 75. The upper portion of the trigger 75 contains slots 77 for receiving the strap 30.

In a preferred embodiment, the main body 11, membrane 21, trigger 75, riser tab 35, locator disk 40 and locator disk base 57, and leverage back 55 are manufactured preferably of a material such as an acrylic/PCB thermoplastic with high impact and abrasion resistant qualities. Preferably, the materials used would be impervious to most chemicals, solvents, petroleum-based products, and moisture, including salt water. The material, when heated and manipulated, should retain its shape without shrinking or cracking, even under repeated stress. Preferably, such a material would be a synthetic resinous compound in the form of powder or pellets for use in the manufacture of molded parts. In addition, preferably the material would be fire retardant. The material should no decay, rot, dry out or absorb moisture. Despite repeated use, material used in manufacturing the present invention should hold its shape so as to allow safe one-handed removal of a tactical spray canister from sheath, as well as reholstering a tactical spray canister. In a preferred embodiment, the aforementioned parts are manufactured of KYDEX or CONCEALEX, both products of the KLEERDEX company.

Method for Manufacturing the Embodiments of the Invention

The method for manufacturing the embodiments of the invention comprise: providing a sheath with a cavity and having an axial post; providing at least one c-shaped flexible removable grasping member in the cavity; configuring a disk for rotatable mounting on the sheath; and disposing on the sheath means for returning the sheath to a zero position.

Some Advantages of the Embodiments of the Invention

As previously mentioned, the embodiments of the present invention are designed to hold a wide variety of tactical spray canisters securely and place them in ideal custom ready-to-draw positions. Using the embodiments of the present invention, a drawing action becomes a single action that takes less than a second. They allow for multiple carry placements and draw positions per the preference and need of the user, such as left or right, on the belt, front or back, high (on a shoulder holster, webbing, suspenders or tactical vest or pack) or low (on a thigh pocket or boot). They can be rotated to any of eight different locator positions by simply adjusting the locator disk 40.

Method for Using the Embodiments of the Invention

To adjust the resting sheath angle to the desired draw position, the king screw 65 is removed, and the leverage back 55 is separated from the locator disk 40. The anterior pegs 44 on the locator disk 40 are then placed into the leverage back peripheral holes 51 in the leverage back 55 that correspond to the desired sheath angle. The leverage back 55 and the the king screw 65 are then replaced.

Using a similar procedure, the number or weight of o-rings 45 may be changed to customize the tension of the draw or to suit the weight of the tactical spray canister. The king screw 65 is removed, the leverage back 55 is removed, and the locator disk 40 is separated from the locator disk base 57. The o-rings are strung around or removed from one of the posterior pegs 44 on the locator disk 40 and one of the anterior pegs 17 on the leverage back 55. Replace the parts in the opposite manner.

Different sizes of tension membranes 21 are available to accommodate different sizes of tactical spray canisters. The tension membrane 21 may be removed or installed by removing or installing the tension membrane screw 25. Then disengage the riser tab 35 from the tension membrane 21. Replace the tension membrane 21 in the opposite manner.

To use the embodiments of the invention, a tactical spray canister is inserted by securely gripping with the hand, and then pushing the tactical spray canister into the cavity 46. Upon removing the sheathed tactical spray canister, when grasping the handle of the sheathed tactical spray canister no matter how aggressively, the locator disk 40 rotates in a clock-wise or counter clock-wise direction, and the o-rings 45 are distended in one or more directions. When the sheathed object is removed from the sheath, because the o-rings 45 are elastic the sheath rotates back to the original start position ready for reinsertion of the tactical spray canister into the sheath. The o-rings 45 allow for up to 32 degrees rotation parallel to the direction of the pull. Approximately 75% of the draws require only 18 degrees rotation. Approximately 12% of the draws require 24 degrees rotation. Only a few skilled draws require the full 32 degrees rotation.

The strap 30 is woven through the slots 38, 77 in the riser tab 35 and in the trigger 75. The strap is made from rubber that is designed to adhere to itself. Therefore the strap 30 should be woven back onto itself through the slots 38, 77.

Due to wear and tear, the strap 30 will occasionally need replacement. To replace the strap 30, back the damaged or worn strap out of the slots 38, 77. Then weave the new strap 30 through the slots 38, 77 to the desired tension.

Some advantages of the embodiments of the apparatus were previously enumerated in the Summary section. Every advantageous feature does not need to be incorporated into every embodiment of the apparatus and/or methods.

Although these versions of the invention have been described in considerable detail, other versions are possible. Therefore, the spirit and scope of the appended claims should not be limited to the description of the versions contained therein.