Title:
Power tool dust-collecting assembly and accessories
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A power tool dust-collecting assembly for collecting dust from a dust port of a power tool includes an airflow-producing subassembly for sucking sawdust and/or other dust from the dust port. A coupling component is provided for coupling an air-and-dust input port of the airflow-producing subassembly to the dust port of the power tool, and a bag subassembly is included for collecting dust from a dust output port of the airflow-producing subassembly. Those parts form a motorized dust bag that is adapted to be physically supported by the dust port of the power tool without requiring other support. One embodiment includes a secondary input portion of the coupling component for capturing dust from beneath the power tool. Various adapters and accessories enable use for various tasks while disconnected from the power tool.



Inventors:
Williams, Danny P. (Temecula, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/077568
Publication Date:
06/04/2009
Filing Date:
03/20/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
383/64
International Classes:
A47L9/10; B65D33/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
REDDING, DAVID A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mr. Loyal M. Hanson (Fallbrook, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An assembly for collecting dust from a dust port of a power tool, the assembly comprising: means for sucking dust from the dust port, including an airflow-producing subassembly having an air-and-dust input port and a dust output port, which airflow-producing subassembly is adapted to suck dust and air into the air-and-dust input port and release the dust through the dust output port; means for coupling the air-and-dust input port of the airflow-producing subassembly to the dust port of the power tool, including a coupling component connected to the air-and-dust input port of the airflow-producing subassembly; and means for collecting dust from the dust output port of the airflow-producing subassembly, including a bag subassembly connected to the dust output port; wherein the coupling component, the airflow-producing subassembly, and the bag subassembly form a combination of components that is adapted to be physically supported by the dust port of the power tool without other support when the coupling component is connected to the dust port of the power tool.

2. An assembly as recited in claim 1, further comprising means for sucking dust from beneath the power tool, including a secondary input portion of the coupling component for coupling to a region beneath the power tool.

3. An assembly as recited in claim 1, wherein the coupling component includes a rigid member adapted to slip onto the dust port of the power tool.

4. An assembly as recited in claim 1, wherein the bag subassembly includes a zipper for enabling a user to empty dust from the bag assembly.

5. An assembly as recited in claim 1, wherein the bag subassembly is at least partially composed of a flexible fabric material.

6. An assembly as recited in claim 1, further comprising means for coupling electrical power to the vacuum-generating subassembly.

7. An assembly as recited in claim 1, further comprising an adapter component having a first end portion that mates with the input port on the subassembly and a second end portion that mates with the dust port on the power tool.

8. An assembly as recited in claim 1, further comprising at least one accessory for enabling use of the assembly as a separate vacuum cleaner apparatus when disconnected from the power tool.

9. An assembly as recited in claim 1, further comprising at least one accessory enabling use of the assembly as a separate blower apparatus when disconnected from the power tool.

10. An assembly for collecting dust from a dust port of a power tool, the assembly comprising: means for sucking dust from the dust port, including an airflow-producing subassembly having an air-and-dust input port and a dust output port, which airflow-producing subassembly is adapted to suck dust and air into the air-and-dust input port and release the dust through the dust output port; means for coupling the air-and-dust input port of the airflow-producing subassembly to the dust port of the power tool, including a coupling component connected to the air-and-dust input port of the airflow-producing subassembly; and means for collecting dust from the dust output port of the airflow-producing subassembly, including a bag subassembly connected to the dust output port; wherein the coupling component, the airflow-producing subassembly, and the bag subassembly form a combination of components that is adapted in size and weight to be positioned immediately adjacent to the dust port of the power tool, to be connected directly to the dust port without an interconnecting hose, and to be physically supported by the dust port without other support when the coupling component is connected to the dust port of the power tool.

11. An assembly as recited in claim 10, further comprising means for sucking dust from beneath the power tool, including a secondary input portion of the coupling component for coupling to a region beneath the power tool.

12. An assembly as recited in claim 10, wherein the coupling component includes a rigid member adapted to slip onto the dust port of the power tool.

13. An assembly as recited in claim 10, wherein the bag subassembly includes means for enabling a user to empty dust from the bag assembly.

14. An assembly as recited in claim 10, wherein the bag subassembly is at least partially composed of a flexible fabric material.

15. An assembly as recited in claim 10, further comprising means for coupling electrical power to the vacuum-generating subassembly.

16. An assembly as recited in claim 10, further comprising an adapter component having a first end portion that mates with the input port on the subassembly and a second end portion that mates with the dust port on the power tool.

17. An assembly as recited in claim 10, further comprising at least one accessory for enabling use of the assembly as a separate vacuum cleaner apparatus when disconnected from the power tool.

18. An assembly as recited in claim 10, further comprising at least one accessory enabling use of the assembly as a separate blower apparatus when disconnected from the power tool.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application is a continuation in part of copending U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/998,490 by the same inventor that was filed Nov. 30, 2007 and later abandoned in favor of and subsequent to the filing date of this application.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

This invention relates generally to the fields of woodworking and power tools, including power saws, power sanders, and the like. It relates more particularly to a dust-collecting assembly for collecting sawdust and/or other dust produced and/or expelled by such a tool, and to accessories for adapting the dust-collecting assembly to other tasks.

2. Description of Related Art

Health, hygiene, and work-site cleanup issues make the production of sawdust and/or other dust by a power tool a major concern. Many dust-collecting techniques and devices have been invented as a result. Some current dust-collecting designs for chop saws, miter saws, and the like, for example, include a one-inch diameter dust outlet port on the tool (i.e., a dust port or dust duct) through which sawdust is expelled. An air flow produced by operation of the tool carries dust through the dust port and into a dust-collecting bag attached to the dust port.

Although such a dust-bag arrangement proves useful in some respects, it relies only on the tool-produced airflow. As a result, users often desire to enhance the movement of dust through the dust port. They do so at times by attaching an available shop-vac (i.e., a workshop vacuum cleaner device that is frequently designed for heavy duty use in cleaning up wet and/or dry material) to the dust port via a length of ordinary shop-vac hose. The shop-vac produces an airflow resulting in a vigorous sucking action that draws sawdust through the dust port more effectively.

Using a shop-vac connected to the dust port in the manner described introduces some concerns, however. First, a typical shop-vac is somewhat large and bulky, and connecting it to the dust port involves some time and inconvenience. In addition, the use of multiple dust-producing power tools means multiple shop-vacs, or disconnection from one tool and connection to another tool as needed, or the extra task of obtaining and connecting a manifold for multiple shop-vac hoses. Furthermore, the electric power required by a shop-vac can be significant for such a use, and the use of multiple shop-vacs only compounds that concern. Moreover, use of a shop-vac affects tool portability because the shop-vac must be transported with the power tool. Beyond all that, shop-vac use involves connecting the shop-vac(s) to electric power via suitable extension cord(s) and powering on the shop-vac at the right time when it is needed. Thus, a need exists for a better way to collect dust from a dust-producing power tool of the type described.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In view of the foregoing, it is an object of the present invention to provide a dust-collecting arrangement for power tools of the type described that overcomes the above concerns. The present invention achieves this objective by providing a dust-collecting assembly in the form of what may be called a motorized dust bag. The dust-collecting assembly is a powered device that fits on an existing dust port of a power tool in place of the usual dust bag accessory, and it is supported by the dust port of the power tool without requiring other support. Once mounted on the dust port of the power tool and powered up, the assembly sucks sawdust and other dust from the dust port, collecting it in an attached dust bag assembly for convenient removal when desired.

Thus, the dust-collecting assembly of the present invention avoids the time and inconvenience of connecting a shop-vac to the power tool. It avoids the space requirements of a typical shop-vac. Less electric power is required. Power-tool portability is not affected. Emptying the smaller bag assembly is less work.

To paraphrase some of the more precise language appearing in the claims and further introduce the nomenclature used, a motorized dust bag assembly constructed according to the invention for connection to a dust port of a power tool includes a first element in the form of an airflow-producing subassembly. It sucks dust from the dust port. It has an air-and-dust input port (i.e., an input port through which air and dust flow) and a dust output port (i.e., an output port through which dust passes), and it is adapted to suck dust into the air-and-dust input port and release the dust through the dust output port.

The motorized dust bag assembly also includes a second element in the form of a coupling component for coupling the air-and-dust input port of the airflow-producing subassembly to the dust port of the power tool. In addition, a third element is provided in the form of a bag subassembly for collecting dust from the dust output port of the airflow-producing subassembly (i.e., receiving dust as it passes through the dust output port). The bag subassembly is connected to the dust output port.

According to the major aspect of the invention, the coupling component, the airflow-producing subassembly, and the bag subassembly form a combination of components (i.e., a motorized dust bag with some vacuum-cleaner-like functionality) that is adapted to be physically supported by the dust port of the power tool without other support when the coupling component is connected to the dust port. The dust port supports the coupling component, the coupling component supports the airflow-producing subassembly, and the airflow-producing subassembly supports the bag subassembly. Additional support for the motorized dust bag is not required.

One embodiment of the invention includes a secondary input portion of the coupling component for coupling to a region beneath the power tool in order to suck dust from beneath the power tool. A power cord is provided for coupling electrical power to the airflow-producing subassembly, and a zipper is included on the bag subassembly for enabling a user to empty collected dust when desired. Moreover, adapter components are included that enable use with different sizes of power tool dust ports, while various accessories facilitate use of the motorized dust bag assembly as a vacuum cleaner apparatus and as a blower apparatus.

Thus, the invention overcomes some prior art dust-collecting concerns with a small, lightweight, motorized dust bag that replaces the usual shop-vac or dust-bag accessory of the prior art while requiring no modification to the existing power tool. In addition, the various accessories facilitate use as a handheld shop vac and blower. The following illustrative drawings and detailed description make the foregoing and other objects, features, and advantages of the invention more apparent.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 of the drawings is a perspective view of a first embodiment of a motorized dust bag assembly constructed according to the invention, shown connected to an existing chop saw form of power tool that is illustrated in phantom lines;

FIG. 2 is a diagrammatic representation that represents a side elevation view of the first embodiment connected to the power tool;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a second embodiment having a different coupling component with a secondary input portion for capturing sawdust from beneath the power tool;

FIG. 4a is a perspective view of a first adapter component having a circularly shaped first end for connection to the motorized dust bag input and a circularly shaped send end for connection with a clamp component to the power tool dust port;

FIG. 4b is a perspective view of a second adapter component having a circularly shaped first end for connection to the motorized dust bag and an oval-shaped second end for connection with a clamp component to the power tool dust port;

FIG. 4c is a perspective view of a third adapter component having a large first end for connection to the motorized dust bag and a smaller second end for connection with clamp component to the power tool dust port;

FIG. 4d is a perspective view of a fourth adapter component having a small first end for connection to the motorized dust bag and a larger second end for connection with a clamp component (not shown in this figure) to the power tool dust port;

FIG. 4e is a front elevation view of just the clamp component;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the dust bag assembly with a vacuum cleaner head accessory that enables use of a motorized dust bag as a handheld vacuum;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the dust bag assembly with a nozzle accessory that enables use of a motorized dust bag as a handheld blower; and

FIG. 7 is shows an accessory with a vacuum cleaner head on an extension piece for the dust bag assembly that enables vacuum-cleaner use of a motorized dust bag by a user in an upright standing position;

DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 of the drawings shows a power tool dust-collecting assembly constructed according to the invention in the form of a motorized dust bag assembly 10. Generally, the assembly 10 includes an airflow-producing subassembly 11, a bag subassembly 12, and a coupling component 13. Those parts are connected together to form a combination of components (i.e., the motorized dust bag assembly 10) such that the assembly 10 is adapted to be connected to a dust port 14 on a power tool 15 and to be physically supported by the dust port 14 without resting upon a support surface 16 of a table, bench, or other supportive structure.

As such, the assembly 10 can be connected to and supported by the dust port 14 in place of a commonly used dust bag accessory (not shown) of the type existing in the prior art. So connected and supported, the assembly 10 more effectively captures sawdust and/or other dust produced by the power tool 12 without otherwise affecting operation or portability of the power tool 12, and without introducing the various drawbacks of using a shop-vac connected to the dust port 11.

The power tool 15 represents any of various types of tools, including chop saws, miter saws, and the like, that include a dust port (see, for example, the compound miter saw 10 shown in U.S. Pat. No. 6,431,040 B1). The dust port 14 represents a typical dust port on such a power tool, with such a typical dust port taking the form of a cylindrically shaped tube having an outside diameter of about 1.0 inches to about 1.5 inches or so (e.g., the dust duct 33 shown in U.S. Pat. No. 6,431,040 B1). Many commercially available power tools include a dust bag accessory that slips onto such a dust port (e.g., the dust collection bag accessory 63 shown in U.S. Pat. No. 6,431,040 B1). The coupling component 13 of the motorized dust bag assembly 10 slips onto the dust port 14 in place of such a prior art dust bag accessory.

As shown diagrammatically in FIG. 2, the airflow-producing subassembly 11 includes a housing 11A composed of a rigid material (e.g., metal or plastic) that has an air-and-dust input port 11B and a downwardly facing dust output port 11C. The coupling component 13 mounts on the input port 11B by suitable means (e.g., a screw-on collar arrangement). The airflow-producing subassembly 11 produces an airflow (i.e., a flow of air) that flows into the input port 11B while carrying along dust from the dust port 14 of the power tool 15. The dust is released within the housing 11A, passing through the downwardly opening dust output port 11C into an upwardly opening bag subassembly 12 that is connected to the dust output port 11C. Thus, the airflow-producing subassembly 11 functions similar to the suction-producing device of a vacuum cleaner (i.e., a device that uses an air pump to create a partial vacuum to suck up dust and dirt), and it may include a known type of vacuum cleaner device. A blower port 11D may also be included.

The airflow-producing subassembly 11 has an electrically powered motor (not shown) that is supplied with electrical power via a power cord 11E (or by a battery power supply) and a suitable On/Off switch (not shown). A foot-actuated switch may be included as part of the setup. The electrically powered motor provides rotational energy to an impeller component (not shown) that rotates within an impeller enclosure 11F to produce the airflow. The motor and impeller may take the form of well-known components. In terms of the claim language, the airflow-producing subassembly 11 is adapted to suck dust and air into the air-and-dust input port 11B and release the dust through the dust output port 11C. It is adapted to do so in the sense that it includes the components necessary to function as stated. Based upon the foregoing and subsequent descriptions, one of ordinary skill in the art can readily implement an airflow-producing subassembly 11 as part of a motorized dust bag assembly constructed according to the invention.

The bag subassembly 12 serves as means for collecting dust from the downwardly opening dust output port 11C. It includes an upwardly opening flexible bag 12A (e.g., composed of fabric material) having a zipper 12B (or a suitable quick release arrangement) that provides access to the interior for purposes of emptying dust from the bag 12A when desired. The bag subassembly 12 is connected to the dust output port 11C by suitable means so that dust released through the dust output port 11C collects within the bag 12A. For wet/dry vacuum use, the bag assembly 12 may take the form of a rigid plastic dust container with a quick release mechanism.

The coupling component 13 is composed of a rigid material (e.g., plastic or metal). It is connected to the air-and-dust input port 11B by suitable means and it is adapted to fit on the dust port 14 of the power tool 15 in place of a prior art dust bag accessory. It couples the dust port 14 and the air-and-dust input port 11B in fluid communication so that the airflow-producing subassembly 11 can suck air and dust from the dust port 14. It is adapted to fit on the dust port 14 in the sense that the coupling component 13 is suitably sized and shaped to mate with the size and shape of the dust port 14.

With the coupling component 13 connected to the dust port 14, the dust port 14 portion of the power tool 15 supports the coupling component 13, the coupling component 13 supports the airflow-producing subassembly 11, and the airflow-producing subassembly 11 supports the bag subassembly 12. Additional support for the motorized dust bag 10 is not required. The bag 12A need not contact the support surface 16 or a base portion 15A of the power tool 15 for support. In terms of the claim language, the coupling component 13 combines with the airflow-producing subassembly 11 and the bag subassembly 13 to form a combination of components that is adapted to be physically supported by the dust port 14 of the power tool 15 without other support when the coupling component 13 is connected to the dust port 14. It is so adapted in the sense that it is suitably sized with a suitable weight to be so supported. Among other things, that arrangement facilitates connection and disconnection, with a small dust collecting assembly fitted directly to the power tool dust port that requires less electrical power and no shop-vac hoses or manifold for multiple shop-vac hoses. Stated another way, the coupling component, the airflow-producing subassembly, and the bag subassembly form a combination of components that is adapted in size and weight to be positioned immediately adjacent to the dust port of the power tool (e.g., the dust port 14 and the input port 11B are separated by no more than about twelve inches), to be connected directly to the dust port without an interconnecting hose of the type used for typical shop vacs, and to be physically supported by the dust port without other support when the coupling component is connected to the dust port of the power tool.

As a further idea of size, the weight of a motorized dust bag assembly constructed according to the invention falls within a range of about 1.0 pounds to about 6.0 pounds, with the illustrated assembly 10 weighing about 3.0 pounds. The overall height of a motorized dust bag assembly constructed according to the invention falls within a range of about 6.0 inches to about 18.0 inches, with the illustrated assembly 10 having an overall height of about 12.0 inches, depending in large part on the height of the dust port on the particular power tool of interest. In operation, the airflow-producing subassembly draws in the range of about 2.0 amperes to about 8.0 amperes, with the illustrated assembly 10 drawing about 5.0 amperes. Of course, the precise values may vary significantly according to the particulars of the power tool and the characteristics designed into the motorized dust bag assembly.

Turning now to FIG. 3, it shows a second embodiment of the invention in the form of a motorized dust bag assembly 100. The assembly 100 is similar in many respects to the assembly 10 and so only differences are described in more detail. The major difference is that the assembly 100 includes a coupler component 113 having a secondary input portion 113A. The coupler component 113 is otherwise similar to the coupler component 13. The secondary input portion 113A serves as means for sucking dust from beneath the power tool 15 for even greater dust-collecting action.

FIGS. 4a through 4d show particulars of several adapter components (e.g., composed of plastic) that connect the input port 11B on the subassembly 11 of the assembly 10 to various sizes and shapes of dust port 14. Each adapter component has a first end portion that mates with the input port 11B on the subassembly 11 and a second end portion that mates with the dust port 14 on the power tool 15. A first adapter component 120 in FIG. 4a is provided for a circularly shaped dust port 14 having a size similar to a circularly shaped input port 11B of the subassembly 11. The first adapter component 120 includes a tube 121 with a circularly shaped first end portion 122 and a screw-on collar component 123 that couples the first end portion 122 to the subassembly 11. The tube 121 also includes a second end portion 124 having a size and shape similar to the first end portion 122 that fits on the similarly sized circularly shaped dust port (the dust port is not separately illustrated in FIG. 4a). A user operates a hose-clamp type of clamping device 125 to compress the second end portion 124 so that it grips the circularly shaped dust port.

Similarly, a second adapter component 130 in FIG. 4b includes a tube 131 with a circularly shaped first end portion 132 and a screw-on collar component 133 that couples the first end portion 132 to the subassembly 11. The tube 131 also includes a second end portion 134 having an oval shape that is sized to fit on an oval-shaped dust port (the dust port is not separately illustrated in FIG. 4b). A user operates the clamping device 125 to compress the oval-shaped second end portion 134 so that it grips the oval-shaped dust port.

A third adapter component 140 in FIG. 4b includes a tube 141 with a circularly shaped first end portion 142 and a screw-on collar component 143 that couples the first end portion 142 to the subassembly 11. The tube 141 also includes a circularly shaped second end portion 144 having a smaller size that fits on a smaller dust port (i.e., a circularly shaped dust port having a size smaller than the input port 11B on the subassembly 11). A user operates the clamping device 125 to compress the oval-shaped second end portion 134 so that it grips the oval-shaped dust port.

FIG. 4d shows a fourth adapter component 150 having a tube 151 with a circularly shaped first end portion 152 that fits the input port of the subassembly 11. A larger circularly shaped second end portion 154 of tube 151 first a larger circularly shaped dust port (not illustrated). FIG. 4e is a front elevation view of the clamping device 125. A resiliently deformable body portion 125A responds in a known way to operation of a handle portion 125B by changing diameter in order to thereby squeeze or release the second end portions 123, 133, 143, and 153 of the adapter components 120, 130, 140, and 150.

Having described the motorized dust bag assembly 10 as it is used when connected to and supported by the dust port 14 of the power tool 15, various attachments (i.e., accessories) are now presented with reference to FIGS. 5, 6, and 7 that expand use of the assembly 10 to other tasks. In other words, the assembly 10 includes at least one accessory for enabling use of the assembly as a separate vacuum cleaner apparatus and/or blower apparatus when disconnected from the power tool. First consider FIG. 5. It shows a motorized dust bag assembly 200 with a vacuum head accessory 201 connected by a tube 202 to an input port 203 of the assembly 200. The assembly 200 is similar in many respects to the assembly 10, so that it can be coupled to and supported by the dust port of a power tool. Preferably, it has the capabilities for wet and dry shop-vac use. The accessory 201 enables use as a handheld vacuum that may be used, for example, to pick up dust and other particulate material located on a table supporting the power tool. The accessory 201 and the tube 202 may be plastic components and similar to existing vacuum cleaner attachments.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the motorized dust bag assembly 200 with a nozzle accessory 204 that is connected to an air output port 205 of the assembly 200 to thereby enable use of the assembly 200 as a handheld blower (e.g., for blowing dust from the power tool and from a table supporting the power tool). The accessory 204 may be a plastic component measuring one to two feet in length, for example.

FIG. 7 shows the motorized dust bag assembly 200 with a standup vacuum cleaner accessory 206 (i.e., an extended wand) that enables vacuum-cleaner use of the assembly 200 by a user 207 in an upright standing position. The accessory 206 includes a vacuum head 208 that is connected by a tube 209 and elbow 210 to the input port 203. After using the assembly 200 as a dust collector connected to a power tool dust port, and as a handheld vacuum and handheld blower for cleaning up in the immediate vicinity of the power tool, the user 207 adds the standup vacuum cleaner accessory 206 and continues to clean up the surrounding area while in a standing position.

Thus, the invention overcomes some prior art dust-collecting concerns with a small, lightweight, motorized dust bag assembly that replaces the usual shop-vac or dust-bag accessory of the prior art while requiring no modification to the existing power tool. The motorized dust bag assembly avoids the time and inconvenience of connecting a shop-vac to the power tool. It avoids the space requirements of a typical shop-vac. Less electric power is required. Power-tool portability is not affected. Emptying the smaller bag assembly is less work. And, various adapters and accessories enable use for various tasks while disconnected from the power tool. Although exemplary embodiments have been shown and described, one of ordinary skill in the art may make many changes, modifications, and substitutions without necessarily departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. As for the specific terminology used to describe the exemplary embodiments, it is not intended to limit the invention; each specific term is intended to include all technical equivalents that operate in a similar manner to accomplish a similar purpose or function.





 
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