Title:
Christmas Tree Stand Adapter Ring
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A typical Christmas tree stand has legs made of stamped metal with thumbscrews threaded through the stamped metal, which provides almost no resistance to lateral movement of the thumbscrews. The rotational action of tightening the thumbscrews actually causes the tree trunk to rotate about its axis thus twisting the thumbscrews laterally and loosening the contact of the thumbscrews with the tree trunk thus allowing the tree to lean or fall over.

The present invention is a Christmas tree stand adapter ring, hereinafter referred to as adapter ring, having unthreaded screw holes arranged radially to coincide with thumbscrews in the legs and collar of a typical Christmas tree stand. The adapter ring is positioned inside the collar of the typical Christmas tree stand in an orientation that allows the thumbscrews of the Christmas tree stand to pass through the adapter ring and make contact with the Christmas tree trunk. The adapter ring holds the screws in alignment with the center of the tree trunk and prevents lateral movement of the screws, thus holding the tree firmly in a vertical position.




Inventors:
Reed, Roger Glenn (Indianapolis, IN, US)
Application Number:
12/027372
Publication Date:
08/13/2009
Filing Date:
02/07/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G33/12
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
STERLING, AMY JO
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROGER G. REED (INDIANAPOLIS, IN, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A Christmas tree stand adapter ring, hereinafter referred to as adapter ring, comprising; a right cylinder shape with a concentric hole; any structurally suitable material such as metal, wood or plastic; a plurality of unthreaded screw holes spaced radially around and perpendicular to the centerline of said adapter ring, with the diameter of said unthreaded screw holes being a size that provides a slip-fit with screws that are furnished with a typical stamped steel Christmas tree stand, said screws being arranged radially to converge on and anchor a Christmas tree trunk, either natural or artificial, in a vertical position; a thickness that is sufficiently greater than said unthreaded screw holes to provide adequate structural strength to withstand the forces required to hold said Christmas tree trunk in a vertical position; an outer diameter of said adapter ring that is sufficiently smaller than a collar of said Christmas tree stand, through which said Christmas tree is inserted, to avoid interference and to facilitate easy alignment of said screws into said unthreaded holes of said adapter ring; an inside diameter of said adapter ring that is the maximum possible while leaving enough material to provide sufficient structural strength to support said Christmas tree trunk in a vertical position without fracturing.

2. An adapter ring as in claim 1, wherein it has a torus shape in lieu of having a right cylinder shape with a concentric hole.

3. An adapter ring as in claim 1, wherein it has a right pentagon shape with a concentric hole in lieu of having a right cylinder shape with a concentric hole.

4. An adapter ring as in claim 1, wherein it has a right hexagon shape with a concentric hole in lieu of having a right cylinder shape with a concentric hole.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The field of the present invention relates to an apparatus that supports a Christmas tree in a vertical position, commonly referred to as a Christmas tree stand.

2. Description of the Prior Art

Most Christmas tree stands are designed to accommodate tree trunks of varying diameters. One usual method is to use multiple screws that converge on the tree trunk and hold it in a vertical position. Each thread that a screw passes through is one thread in length because the thread is created by punching and forming the thread in a stamped sheet steel leg of the tree stand. When the diameter of the tree trunk is rather small, each screw has to be extended farther through the single thread to make contact with the tree trunk. Under this condition, the single screw thread in the stamped sheet steel tree stand offers almost no resistance to lateral movement of the screw. Due to this weakness, as the screw is tightened against the tree trunk, the tree trunk rotates and the screw “walks” laterally thus losing its ability to hold the tree in a vertical position because the screw is no longer in alignment with the axis of the tree trunk.

The present invention addresses the above deficiency of the prior art by providing for a device that rigidly holds the screws in alignment with the axis of the Christmas tree trunk.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is an adapter ring that fits inside the collar of a commercially available Christmas tree stand. The screws of the tree stand pass through holes in the adapter ring and are held in convergent alignment about the tree trunk. The adapter ring has sufficient structural strength to prevent lateral movement of the screws. As a result, the screws remain in alignment with the axis of the tree trunk and firmly hold the tree in the vertical position.

An additional benefit to the present invention is that it can be applied to existing tree stands so a person can, in effect, upgrade his/her tree stand inexpensively.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

For the purpose of illustrating the current invention, there is shown in the drawings a form that is presently preferred; it being understood, however, that this invention is not limited to the precise arrangement and instrumentalities shown. For example, the preferred shape is a right cylinder, however it could also be in the form of a torus, or a right pentagon (for five screws) or hexagon (for six screws). It could be made of wood, metal or plastic or any material having suitable structural strength.

FIG. 1 is an orthographic top view of the prior art showing lateral misalignment of the screws allowing the tree trunk to shift out of the center of the tree stand and lean to one side.

FIG. 2 is an orthographic side view of the prior art showing the tree trunk leaning to one side.

FIG. 3 is an orthographic top view of the invention shown positioned within the collar of a typical commercially available Christmas tree stand. It illustrates how the screws are constrained in alignment with the axis of the tree trunk.

FIG. 4 is an orthographic side view of the Christmas tree stand.

FIG. 5 is an orthographic top view of the invention.

FIG. 6 is an orthographic side view of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Referring to the drawings in detail wherein like elements are indicated by like numerals and the invention is referred to as an adapter ring 1, FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 illustrate the inability of the prior art to maintain the thumbscrews 5 in convergent alignment with and perpendicular to the axis of the tree trunk 3. Other elements of the tree stand are the collar 6, the legs 8, and the bowl 9.

FIG. 3 and FIG. 4 illustrate how the holes 2 in the adapter ring 1 constrains the thumbscrews 5 in convergent alignment with and perpendicular to the axis of the tree trunk 3.

FIG. 5 and FIG. 6 illustrate the adapter ring 1 removed from the Christmas tree stand for clarity. It has one hole 2 for each thumbscrew 5 in the Christmas tree stand. The thumbscrew holes 2 are about the same size as the thumbscrews 5 to provide a slip fit. The outside diameter of the adapter ring 1 is smaller than the inside diameter of the Christmas tree stand collar 6. The diameter of the concentric hole 7 is the maximum possible while leaving enough material to provide sufficient structural strength to support the tree in a vertical position without fracturing.





 
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