Title:
TOOL SUPPORT FOR LADDER
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A tool holder for a ladder for supporting heavy or irregularly shaped tools. The tool holder includes a clamping member adapted to be removably coupled to the rail of a ladder and also includes a tool receiver securely attached to the clamping member in opposition to the ladder rail. An aperture is created between the tool receiver and the clamping member for engagement with a gripping flange adapted to be secured to a tool.



Inventors:
Mclain, James E. (Rio Vista, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/958792
Publication Date:
06/18/2009
Filing Date:
12/18/2007
Assignee:
Windward Leasing LLC
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
248/210
International Classes:
E04G5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHIN-SHUE, ALVIN CONSTANTINE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CIONCA IP Law P.C. (Irvine, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A tool holder for a ladder comprising: (a) a clamping sleeve being adapted to be frictionally secured to a ladder rail; (b) a receiver being secured to the clamping sleeve in opposition to the ladder rail creating a receiving aperture therebetween; and (c) a tool positioner comprising a support strip and a positioning strip in parallel spaced relation to each other, said support strip being secured to the tool, said positioning strip being slidably disposed within the aperture.

2. A tool holder as defined in claim 1 wherein said clamping sleeve comprises: (a) a planar base plate having a top surface and opposing margins in parallel spaced relation with each other; and (b) first and second clamping flanges each depending downwardly from a respective one of said margins parallel to the top surface of said base plate, said clamping flanges being adapted to frictionally engage the ladder rail.

3. A tool holder as defined in claim 2 including first and second flange enclosing members depending perpendicularly inwardly from the terminus of said first and second clamping flanges respectively and being disposed about the ladder rail.

4. A tool holder as defined in claim 2 wherein said receiver comprises an elongated member having opposed margins in parallel spaced relation to each other and depending downwardly at each of said margins into uniform extension members, said extension members being secured to the top surface of said base plate.

5. A tool holder as defined in claim 4 wherein the positioning strip of said tool positioner is disposed between the elongated member of said receiver and the top surface of said base plate.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention generally relates to tool holders and more particularly, relates to a tool holder adapted to be removably secured to a ladder rail.

2. Description of the Prior Art

The prior art discloses numerous brackets and holders for tools and the like that are adapted to be coupled to ladders. The relevant devices disclosed by the prior art are either loosely connected to the ladder, such as removable hooks and the like, or are secured to the ladder in a manner that prevents easy removal and even structurally weakens the ladder. The inherent inadequacies in these prior art devices will result in dropping tools with the loose brackets and precluding flexibility of the bracket remains secure to one place on the ladder.

A typical apparatus disclosed by the prior art employs a sleeve that is coupled about a ladder rail with attached hooks being disposed over rungs of the ladder. Affixed to the side of a sleeve is a utility tray having clips on the side thereof to support tools. The inadequacy of this design is inherent in its construction. Firstly, the tool supporting tray is supported by hooks that are merely disposed over ladder rungs. Since the hooks can be inadvertently dislodged by the ladder user, any tools supported by the affixed tray could be dislodged and thereby damaged.

Another conventional tool support disclosed by the prior art provides for a sleeve that is adapted to be securely positioned at predetermined locations along the ladder rail. In such apparatus, apertures are drilled or otherwise disposed along the ladder rail and the sleeve secured thereto through the use of conventional couplings. The inadequacies of this design are inherent in the manner in which the sleeve is secured to the ladder rail. By disposing apertures in the ladder rail, the ladder itself becomes structurally weakened. In addition, the ability to change positions of the sleeve are unduly time consuming.

The present invention resolves the inadequacies inherent in the designs disclosed by the prior art. A clamping sleeve having a pair of opposed clamping flanges is slidably positioned along a ladder rail. The opposing clamping flanges are spaced to provide sufficient force against the ladder rail to maintain the clamping member in a selected position when a tool is being supported. A substantially U-shaped receiver is secured to the top surface of the base plate of the clamping sleeve in opposition to the ladder rail. An aperture is defined between the receiver when it is secured to the base plate of the clamping sleeve. A top positioner having a positioning strip is adapted to be received between the receiver and the clamping sleeve, the tool positioner being secured to the tool that is to be supported. When the tool positioner is secured to a tool and the support strip engaged within the aperture intermediate the receiver and clamping member, the tool will be safely supported and be readily available for use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to an apparatus which can be changeably positioned on a ladder rail for the purpose of holding tools that are heavy or irregularly shaped. A clamping sleeve is adapted to be positioned along a ladder rail at any position selected by the user. The clamping sleeve comprises an elongated, rectangular base plate. A pair of clamping flanges integral with the base plate are in parallel, spaced relation to each other extend perpendicular from the opposing longitudinal edges of the base plate. The distance between the clamping flanges is adapted to allow the clamping member to be positioned upon a ladder rail with the clamping flanges imposing sufficient force on the margins of the ladder rail to maintain the clamping member in a selected position along the ladder rail.

A substantially U-shaped receiver is secured to the base plate and is directed in opposition to the clamping flanges. A substantially uniform aperture is formed between the receiver and the base plate. A tool positioner comprises a rigid support strip is integral with a positioning strip that is in parallel spaced relation thereto. The support strip is adapted to be secured to a tool to be supported by the present invention. When the present invention is mounted upon a ladder rail, the positioning strip is inserted in the aperture between the receiver and the base plate at the upper end thereof. The positioning strip maintains the tool stable with respect to the ladder rail and makes the tool available to the user when necessary without the danger that the tool will be inadvertently dislodged.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved apparatus for supporting tools on a ladder.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a tool holder that can be changeably positioned along a ladder rail.

It is still another object of the present invention to provide a tool holder for a ladder that can support tools that are heavy or are irregularly shaped.

It is still yet another object of the present invention to provide a tool holder for a ladder that is within easy each of the user and maintains proper balance on the ladder.

The novel features which are believed to be characteristic of the invention, both as to its organization and method of operation, together with further objectives and advantages thereof, will be better understood from the following description considered in connection with the accompanying drawing in which a presently preferred embodiment of the invention is illustrated by way of example. It is to be expressly understood, however, that the drawing is for the purpose of illustration and description only, and is not intended as a definition of the limits of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating the present invention tool support being positioned upon a ladder rail.

FIG. 2 illustrates a tool positioner affixed to an exemplary tool for support in accordance with the present invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates an end elevation view of the clamping member.

FIG. 4 is an end elevation view of the clamping sleeve and secured receiver.

FIG. 5 illustrates a top plan view of the tool positioner coupled to the clamping member shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the coupled tool positioner and clamping member shown in FIG. 5 taken through line 6-6 of FIG. 5.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

The present invention provides an improved tool holder adapted to be secured to a ladder at selected positions. As shown in FIG. 1, the present invention tool holder 10 is mounted along a ladder rail 11. The present invention tool holder 11 is adapted to be used with conventional ladders having rails that are defined by a defined width 12 and thickness 13. The present invention comprises a clamping sleeve 20 having a substantially rectangular base plate 21. Clamping flanges 22 are integral with the elongated parallel edges of base plate 21 and extend downwardly and perpendicular to the planar surface of base plate 21. A tool receiver 23 which will be described in detail hereinbelow is mounted upon the upper surface of base plate 21. The width of base plate 21 intermediate the clamping flanges 22 is substantially equal to the width 12 of the ladder rail 11.

An objective of the present invention is to provide a tool holder that can be changeably secured along a ladder rail. As stated hereinabove, clamping flanges 22 are integral with base plate 21. Clamping sleeve 21 and depending clamping flanges 22 are formed from a rigid sheet material such as sheet metal. The distance between the terminus 24 of each clamping flange 22 is less than the width of base plate 21. When clamping sleeve 21 is mounted upon ladder rail 11 as shown in FIG. 1, the elasticity of the interface between the clamping flanges 22 and the base plate 21 will impose a lateral, frictional force against the opposed surfaces 13 of ladder rail 11 sufficient to maintain clamping sleeve 21 in any selected but fixed position along ladder rail 11.

In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, flange enclosures 25 depend inwardly from each of the clamping flanges 22 at terminus 24 of clamping flanges 22. The distance between flange enclosures 25 and base plate 21 is substantially equal to the thickness of ladder rail 11. The interface between flange enclosures 25 and ladder rail 11 will reduce torsional forces on clamping sleeve 20 that would otherwise tend to inadvertently dislodge the present invention from the ladder rail.

As shown in FIGS. 4 and 5, receiver 23 comprises a substantially U-shaped member 26 that, when secured to the top surface of base plate 21, creates uniform aperture 27 therebetween. In the preferred embodiment, receiver extensions 28 are secured to the top surface of base plate 21 by welding or other conventional coupling methods.

An objective of the present invention is to provide a tool holder for heavy or irregularly shaped tools and to make them available to the user from a ladder. FIG. 2 illustrates a tool positioner 30 secured to an exemplary tool 31. Tool positioner 30 comprises support strip 32 and a positioning strip 33 that are in parallel spaced relation to each other. Support strip 32 is secured to tool 31 by conventional means such as welding or self-tapping screws. As can be best seen from FIG. 6, after support strip 32 is secured to a tool 31, positioning strip 33 is disposed within aperture 27 to support tool 31 from the present invention. As can be best seen in FIG. 1 and FIG. 3, when the present invention 10 is secured to a ladder rail and positioning strip 33 disposed within receiver 23, a tool 31 can be maintained in a stable position and be readily available to the user.