Title:
Dustpan, or dustsheet, and receptacle
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An alternate form of a dustpan, described as a dustsheet, and a receptacle for storage of the dustsheet.



Inventors:
Rapala, Gregg R. (Arlington Heights, IL, US)
Rapala, Diane C. (Arlington Heights, IL, US)
Application Number:
12/319842
Publication Date:
07/23/2009
Filing Date:
01/13/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/257.1, 206/320
International Classes:
A47L13/52; B65D85/00
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Primary Examiner:
SCRUGGS, ROBERT J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Gregg R. Rapala (Arlington Heights, IL, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A dustsheet comprising a generally flat and flexible semi-rectangular shaped sheet with one edge of said semi-rectangular shaped sheet being curved, and an area of the semi-rectangular shaped sheet near the curved edge providing a grasping area to hold the said dustsheet and wherein ones thumb may be used to depress said grasping area to produce a desirable contour of the dustsheet for use.

2. The dustsheet of claim 1 wherein said grasping area has an elastomeric or foam layer.

3. The dustsheet of claim 1 wherein the dustsheet has ridges, raised sections, or raised edges not exceeding ¾ inch in height from a flat surface, when the main body, not an edge, rests against the flat surface.

4. The dustsheet of claim 1 wherein the dustsheet has ridges, raised sections, or raised edges not exceeding ½ inch in height from a flat surface, when the main body, not an edge, rests against the flat surface.

5. The dustsheet of claim 1 wherein the dustsheet has ridges, raised sections, or raised edges not exceeding ⅜ inch in height from a flat surface, when the main body, not an edge, rests against the flat surface.

6. The dustsheet of claim 1 wherein the dustsheet has ridges, raised sections, or raised edges not exceeding ¼ inch in height from a flat surface, when the main body, not an edge, rests against the flat surface.

7. The dustsheet of claim 1 wherein the curved edge is at a radius of about 13 to 17 inches.

8. The dustsheet of claim 1 made of plastic.

9. The dustsheet of claim 1 made of a laminate of plastic and paper or paperboard.

10. A receptacle for a dustsheet providing for wall or kitchen base cabinet door attachment comprising a back wall, a bottom wall, two side walls that are tapered increasing in width from the bottom wall upwards, and a front wall being at an angle from the back wall.

11. The back wall of claim 10 wherein said back wall provides a means of attachment to a wall or cabinet door.

12. The means of attachment of claim 11 being an adhesive.

13. The side walls of claim 10 having unequal lengths.

14. A combined unit of a dustsheet of claim 1 and a receptacle for the dustsheet wherein the receptacle provides for wall or kitchen base cabinet door installation and comprises a back wall with an adhesive as a means of attachment to the wall or kitchen base cabinet door, a bottom wall, two side walls that are tapered increasing in width from the bottom wall upwards, and a front wall being at an angle from the back wall.

15. The receptacle of claim 10 wherein said front wall extends from said back wall at a maximum of about ¾ to 1½ inch.

16. The combined unit of a dustsheet and receptacle of claim 14 wherein the dustsheet, as stored in the receptacle, typically extends outward and at an angle from the back wall when the receptacle is attached to a wall or base cabinet door.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/011,448 filed Jan. 17, 2008 by the present inventors, Gregg R. Rapala and Diane C. Rapala.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to an alternate form of a dustpan, to be described as a dustsheet, and a receptacle for storage of the dustsheet.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In a household, it is often desirable to sweep a floor, e.g. kitchen floor, quickly. Several means include a vacuum cleaner, a mechanical push sweeper, and the conventional dustpan and broom. All take up substantial space, either on a floor or hung up on a door or wall. If a dustpan is hung up, it often dirties and scratches the door or wall.

Dustpans are very well known, and are typically stored in three ways; hanging it on a hook by a hole in the handle, tossing it on the floor of a closet or under a counter-cabinet, or attaching it to a broom handle by using a U-shaped groove in the length of the dustpan handle. A dustpan has also been used as a receptacle for holding a small whiskbroom or brush, where the bristle end of the whiskbroom or brush is inserted into it.

A typical dustpan has no “docking station” or container to hold it and keep any clinging dust from falling to the floor or transferring on to something else. It is not typically washed before being re-stored after use either. Therefore, a receptacle would be desirable for isolating dirt, as well as keeping the dustpan in a single specific location.

Unlike the old-fashioned corn broom, lighter-weight and more space saving brooms are now manufactured for the kitchen and home. These are typically of the plastic bristle angled broom types. Practically every household already has one. The present invention advances the dustpan to a “dustsheet”, and a receptacle for convenient storage of the dustsheet. The combination of this dustsheet and receptacle works well with the newer household brooms. It eases retrieval (no unhooking or pulling out from under a cabinet or closet floor), and places the dustsheet in a specified spot, to be more organized. The receptacle also catches loose dust that may remain with the dustsheet after use, and minimizes the overall storage space required.

The present inventors are using the term “dustsheet” (one word; as is dustpan) to refer to a dustpan that is not using a pan or scoop shape, but rather is a flat shape more like a sheet. It should be noted that the term “dust pan”, two words, is also often used. However, “dust sheet”, two words, is already used to describe a cloth sheet used to cover furniture and the like from accumulating dust; but that meaning is not intended here. Therefore, and again, we are defining a “dustsheet”, one word, in the present invention to refer to a dustpan that is shaped more like a sheet.

The present invention is very inexpensive, very easy to use, and very conveniently stored for accessibility.

The contour of the dustsheet may be controlled by the pressure applied by ones thumb when holding it.

A dustsheet and receptacle appropriately sized for kitchen base cabinet door installation is an intended application for this invention. It takes up very little storage space and the receptacle will catch any loose particles that may fall from the dustsheet after use. It is easily accessible on the inside of a kitchen base cabinet door, and with no usual handle of a dustpan, or loose bottom corners of a hanging dustpan, it will not get caught on other items stored in the base cabinet, or have unrestricted movement such as to swing on the door or pull away from the door.

Consideration must also be given to a dustsheet that is not completely flat, but has ridges or raised sections or edges. One needs to establish a level that these ridges or raised sections or edges may extent—in other words, what is considered a sheet and what is considered a pan. The present inventors looked at the cooking field, specifically baking sheets and cookie sheets. Baking sheets and cookie sheets have raised edges that are generally ¾ inch to 1 inch high. When raised edges are 3/4 inch in height or less, the item is typically described as a sheet, when the raised edges are 1 inch in height the term sheet or pan may be used, and when the raised edges are beyond 1 inch in height the item is typically described as a pan. Baking sheets and cookie sheets also do not have handles as are used on typical dustpans or scoops. They are held near an edge of the sheet in a somewhat more similar fashion of hand placement to the grasping hand on the dustsheet as described herein. Therefore, a dustsheet will be defined as a flat or mostly flat sheet having ridges, raised sections, or raised edges that are 3/4 inch or less in height. A dustsheet may also be made to flex somewhat easily, or as a mostly rigid sheet. The main body of the dustsheet can be constructed as a single piece design, or consist of a laminate of plastics or of plastic and paper such as is done in pouch or roll lamination of paper sheets.

Further advantages of this invention will become apparent from a consideration of the drawings and ensuing description.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a more sheet shaped dustpan, to be defined as a dustsheet, and a receptacle for storage of the dustsheet.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a presently preferred embodiment of a dustsheet.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the dustsheet of FIG. 1 with a hand holding the dustsheet for use, and showing contouring of the dustsheet with thumb pressure on it.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the dustsheet of FIG. 1 resting in a presently preferred receptacle, for storage of the dustsheet when it is not in use.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the dustsheet of FIG. 1 resting in an alternate receptacle that may be preferable for right-hand use. For example, when the receptacle is mounted on the inside surface of a door that swings open to the right, and the user is right-handed.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the backside of the receptacle shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a dustsheet, with a hand holding the dustsheet for use. The alternate embodiment shown in FIG. 6 may be flexible or mostly rigid, and is tapered as can be seen by its side edges.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a presently preferred embodiment of a dustsheet 10. The dustsheet 10 has a grasping area 30 located along the curved edge 20 of the otherwise generally rectangular dustsheet 10. The dustsheet 10 is a thin sheet of plastic, with the grasping area 30 preferably having a thin elastomer layer, or foam layer, attached. Grasping area 30 would most likely have printed or placed upon it text and/or graphics for describing or advertising the item.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the dustsheet 10 of FIG. 1 with a thumb depressing the grasping area 30 to contour the sheet for use. The edge 25 will conform to a floors flat surface when pressed against the floor during use.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the dustsheet 10 of FIG. 1 resting in a receptacle 40 for storage when it is not in use. The receptacle 40 is very similar to a single pocket brochure holder, literature holder or magazine holder. The dustsheet 10 is preferred to rest in the receptacle 40 at a slight angle from the vertical position of the receptacles back wall. The dustsheet 10 is presently desired to be slightly less than 12 inches in width, so it and the receptacle may be about 12 inches in width, and easily fit on the inside surface of most kitchen base cabinet doors, as are typically located under the kitchen sink. Edge 50 of the front wall of the receptacle 40 defines the receptacles opening, and is somewhat typical of other brochure and literature holders.

The receptacle 40 may be produced in a way, e.g. some sort of a bulge in the back wall or bottom wall, so that the dustsheet 10 always will be angled outward at the top of receptacle 40 for easy grasping, and not somehow stuck straight (vertically) upward—which would make it more difficult to grasp. The grasping area 30 may also contain a layer of foam, covering all or part of it, that not only provides improved grasping qualities, but also provides a “weight-forward” sort of force to make the dustsheet 10 want to angle from the receptacles back wall and toward edge 50.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the dustsheet 10 of FIG. 1 resting in an alternate receptacle 60. The edge 70 defining the opening of the receptacle 60 is contoured downward toward the right, and thus allows easier insertion of the dustsheet 10, especially when dustsheet 10 is coming in from the right and at an angle. This alternate design may be preferable for right-hand use, especially when the receptacle 60 is mounted on the inside surface of a door (cabinet, pantry, or closet) that swings open to the right. Its arced frontal design and uneven side lengths may allow for a more esthetically appealing receptacle, while allowing the dustsheet to be returned for storage at more of an angle due to the reduced height of the right-hand side wall.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the backside 80 of receptacle 40 of FIG. 3 showing adhesive strips 90 attached. The adhesive strips 90 may have a foam layer for added thickness and they initially would have release liners attached that would be removed prior to affixing the receptacle to a wall or the inside surface of a cabinet door.

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an alternate embodiment of a dustsheet 110 with a hand holding the dustsheet 110 without any thumb pressure on the grasping area 130 to contour it for use. The alternate embodiment shown in FIG. 6 is a single piece design and is more rigid than the dustsheet 10 shown in FIG. 2. The edge 125 that is placed against the floor, or other surface to be cleaned, is shown to be straight or straighter than the dustsheet 10 shown in FIG. 2. The grasping area 130 is shown at the top surface of the single piece dustsheet 110, and along its' curved edge 120. This dustsheet 110 has a tapered cross-section, as can be seen by its' side edge. The side edge shows an area 150 that is of constant thickness, and another area 140 that is tapered. Various other forms of a dustsheet may also be made using other cross-sectional profiles.

While various embodiments of the invention have been disclosed and described herein, it may be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes in form and detail may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope thereof.