Title:
Mud retriever
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A mud retriever 10 which includes a handle portion 12 and a blade portion 16 which includes a straight edge 22 which may be used to selectively open a mud container 70 and a semi-elliptical edge 32 which conforms to the curvature of the inner surface 93 of the container 70 and which allows mud 90 (or other material) to be easily retrieved from the container 70 and applied to a desired location 100 or placed within an applicator assembly. The blade portion 16 also includes an edges 30, 22 which each allow the mud 90 to be easily “smeared” or distributed over location 100.



Inventors:
Hansen, Lawrence Jay (Pleasant Ridge, MI, US)
Application Number:
12/075675
Publication Date:
09/17/2009
Filing Date:
03/13/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
15/245.1
International Classes:
E04F21/165
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20070157424Bag carrying device for a vacuum/blowerJuly, 2007Mottahedeh
20080209658Offset taping knifeSeptember, 2008Rosso et al.
20080172818Double sided suction nozzle for use in vacuum cleanerJuly, 2008Yoo
20080250594Wall mountable back body scrubbing deviceOctober, 2008Green
20040055622Cube white board eraserMarch, 2004Neal
20090313780ADJUSTABLE SWIVELING T-HANDLEDecember, 2009Martin
20070101523Drain clearing cable guideMay, 2007Thompson
20090084401APPARATUS FOR REMOVING MATTE-STICKING AND METHOD FOR USING THE APPARATUSApril, 2009Tsuchie et al.
20080209660Window Wiping DeviceSeptember, 2008Lauk et al.
20030029791Scraper bar apparatusFebruary, 2003Tuomikoski
20090183331Toothbrush With Faceted HandleJuly, 2009Gross et al.



Primary Examiner:
KARLS, SHAY LYNN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
John G. Chupa (Farmington Hills, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A mud retriever comprising a handle portion; and a blade portion having a straight edge which integrally terminates into a second semi-elliptical shaped edge and wherein said blade portion further includes a third arcuate shaped edge.

2. The mud retriever of claim 1 wherein said third arcuate shaped edge has a non-uniform radius of curvatures.

3. The mud retriever of claim 2 wherein said blade portion is generally flat.

4. The mud retirever of claim 3 wherein said handle has a longitudinal axis of symmetry.

5. A mud retirever comprising a handle portion having a longitudinal axis of symmetry; and a blade portion which integrally terminates into said handle portion and wherein said blade portion is unsymmetrical about said longitudinal axis of symmetry of said handle portion and wherein said blade portion is also unsymmetrical about any axis which is perpendicular to said longitudinal axis of symmetry.

6. The mud retriever of claim 5 wherein said blade portion is generally flat.

7. The mud retriever of claim 6 wherein said handle has a longitudinal axis of symmetry.

8. The mud retriever of claim 7 wherein said blade portion has a semi-elliptical edge.

9. A mud retriever comprising a handle portion having a longitudinal axis of symmetry, wherein said handle portion includes a generally round bottom portion and a pair opposed and substantially identical flared side portions; and a blade portion which integrally terminates into said handle portion, wherein a first of said pair of said opposed and substantially identical flared side portions terminates into a first edge of said blade portion which is parallel to said longitudinal axis of symmetry and wherein a second of said pair of opposed and substantially identical flared end portions terminates into a second edge of said blade portion which protrudes away from said longitudinal axis of symmetry and wherein said first and said second edges terminates into a third semi-elliptical edge portion.

10. The mud retriever of claim 9 wherein said blade portion is generally flat.

11. The mud retriever of claim 10 wherein said handle portion forms an acute angle with said blade portion.

Description:

GENERAL BACKGROUND

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention generally relates to a mud retriever and more particularly to a mud retriever which may easily and efficiently be used to selectively retrieve mud or drywall joint compound material from a can or other receptacle and then allow the retrieved material/mud to be easily applied to a certain desired surface or placed into an application assembly (e.g., a trough type assembly) after which it may be applied to a desired surface.

2. Background of the Invention

Mud retrievers are used to selectively retrieve mud or drywall joint compound from a typically and generally round can or other receptacle and then to deposit the retrieved mud in an applicator assembly, such as one which includes a trough or other receptacle. From the trough or other receptacle, various types of applicators are used to apply the mud/material to various surfaces or desired locations.

While these prior retrievers do allow the mud or drywall joint compound to be selectively retrieved and then eventually applied upon a surface, they are difficult and awkward to use and such deficiencies cause mud to be unintentionally splattered or distributed over a relatively wide area, thereby necessitating an undesirable and time consuming “clean up” effort. Moreover, these prior mud retrievers do not effectively and efficiently retrieve all or most of the material contents from a cylinder shaped or generally round container, such as a one gallon or five gallon container.

This deficiency is oftentimes due to the inability of these prior retrievers to readily and structurally conform to the round internal surface of the container and consequently material is often left on the surface when the container is disposed of. The “unretrieved” material is often thrown away as waste. As earlier indicated, one non-limiting attribute of these prior retrievers which makes them difficult to use is that their blade or material reception portions are typically formed in the shape of a square or rectangle, while the containers are generally round. This “nonconformity” or “shape dissimilarity” makes it difficult to retrieve the material from the container and makes it difficult to then deposit the retrieval material to or upon an applicator assembly. Moreover, this “unconformity” often causes the material to be undesirably “splattered” or deposited in the surrounding environment as the surface of the relatively square blade forcibly meets the rounded internal surface and an attempt is made to “scoop” the surface material on the blade. The flexible blade typically moves or flexes against the round surface and such forced movement causes the material to forcibly emanate from the container and into the surrounding environment.

Thus, these prior retrievers further do not allow the retrieved mud to be efficiently retrieved for placement within a mud application assembly and/or for placement upon a desired drywall surface, thereby increasing waste and overall cost. These prior retrievers also cause the material which is being retrieved to oftentimes splatter or become deposited in the ambient environment, thereby making for an overall aesthetically displeasing appearance.

There is therefore a need for a new and improved drywall joint compound or mud retriever and the present invention provides such a new and improved retriever.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is a first non-limiting object of the present invention to provide a mud or drywall joint compound retriever which overcomes the various previously delineated deficiencies of prior mud or drywall joint compound retrievers.

It is a second non-limiting object of the present invention to provide a new and improved mud or drywall joint compound retriever which allows drywall joint compound to be easily and efficiently retrieved from a container and then to be selectively and accurately placed within a mud application assembly and/or upon a desired surface or location.

According to a first non-limiting aspect of the present invention, a mud retriever is provided and includes a handle portion; and a blade portion having a straight edge which integrally terminates into a second semi-elliptical shaped edge and wherein the blade portion further includes a third arcuate shaped edge.

According to a second non-limiting aspect of the present invention, a mud retriever is provided and includes a handle portion having a longitudinal axis of symmetry; and a blade portion which integrally terminates into the handle portion and wherein the blade portion is unsymmetrical about the longitudinal axis of symmetry of the handle portion and wherein the blade portion is also unsymmetrical about any axis which is perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of symmetry.

According to a third non-limiting aspect of the present invention, a mud retriever is provided and includes a handle portion having a longitudinal axis of symmetry and wherein the handle portion includes a generally round bottom portion and a pair of opposed and substantially identical flared side portions; and a blade portion which integrally terminates into the handle portion wherein a first of the pair of opposed and substantially identical flared side portions terminates into a first edge of the blade portion which is parallel to the longitudinal axis of symmetry and wherein a second of the pair of opposed and substantially identical flared end portions terminates into a second edge of the blade portion which protrudes away from the longitudinal axis of symmetry and wherein the first and second edges terminate into a third semi-elliptical edge portion.

These and other aspects, objects, and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from a reading of the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment of the invention, including the subjoined claims, and by reference to the following drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a retriever which is made in accordance with the teachings of the preferred embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a container of drywall joint compound being selectively opened with the retriever which is shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of drywall joint compound being selectively retrieved from the container which is shown in FIG. 2 by the use of the retriever which is shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the retriever which is shown in FIG. 1 being used to apply mud or drywall joint compound upon a desired or selected surface or location according to the teachings of a non-limiting aspect of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown a mud retriever 10 which is made in accordance with the teachings of the preferred embodiment of the invention. It should be appreciated that the term “mud”, throughout this application, means drywall joint compound or some other type of substance which may be selectively retrieved from a container and applied in a desired manner. Thus, the present inventions are not limited to use with such drywall mud or any other specific type of material. Thus, retriever 10 may be used with substantially any type of material.

As shown, the mud retriever 10 includes a generally elongated handle portion 12 having a generally round or bulbous shaped bottom portion 14 and a blade portion 16 which integrally terminates into the handle portion 12 (e.g., the term “integrally terminates” means that the applicator 10 is, in the most preferred embodiment, formed as a “one piece” item).

Further, as shown, the handle portion 12 includes a pair of opposed and substantially identical flared side portions 18, 20 and the side portion 18 integrally terminates into a straight edge portion 22. That is, the handle portion 12 includes a longitudinal axis of symmetry 24 and the straight edge portion 22 is parallel to the longitudinal axis of symmetry 24. The second edge portion 20 integrally terminates into edge portion 30 which protrudes away from the longitudinal axis of symmetry 24 and the edge portions 22, 30 each integrally terminate into the semi-elliptically shaped edge 32. Arcuate edge 30, in one non-limiting embodiment, has a varying radius of curvature (i.e., in one non-limiting embodiment, the distance from point 29 to each point on the surface of edge 30 is not constant).

As is evident from FIG. 1, the blade portion 16 is unsymmetrical about any longitudinal axis (i.e., about any axis which is parallel to axis 24) and blade portion 16 is unsymmetrical about axis 24 and blade portion 16 is unsymmetrical about any axis which is perpendicular to the axis 24, such as axis 7. This “unsymmetrical attribute” is important because it allows for different shaped blade edges 32, 30, 22, each of which, as will be seen, may have a respectively unique function.

In one non-limiting embodiment of the invention, the blade portion 16 is generally flat and is coplanar with the portions 12, 14. However, in another non-limiting embodiment of the invention, as shown best in FIG. 1, the handle portion 12 forms an acute angle 40 with the blade portion 16 (i.e., the handle portion 12 is positioned away from the blade portion 16) such that portion 12 and 16 are not coplanar.

In one-non limiting embodiment of the invention, the width 50 varies from about four inches to about six inches, the length 54 of edge 22 varies from about two inches to about three and one quarter inches, the distance 56 varies from about three quarters of an inch to about one inch, and the distance 60 varies from about six inches to about eight inches. Distance 56 is one non-limiting embodiment, is defined as the linear distance between point 2 (the apex of portion 14) and the point 3 which is where the edge 18 first becomes straight as the edge 18 proceeds from point 2 to point 3. The entire retriever 10 may be constructed of plastic, metal, wood, or some sort of composite material or some desired combination of materials. However, nothing in this application limits the retriever 10 to a certain size or construction.

Referring now to FIG. 2, there is shown a fairly conventional or typical and generally cylindrically shaped container 70 of mud or drywall joint compound (not shown in this FIG. 2). The container 70 includes a selectively removable top 72 which is selectively, frictionally, and removably attached to and which overlays the lip 74 of the container 70 (e.g., container 70 may comprise a paint type can). To selectively remove the top 72, a user of the retriever 10 causes the straight edge 22 to selectively engage one or more portions of the top 72 which is, at that time, removably attached to the lip 74 and forces the retriever 10 to move in the direction of arrow 80, thereby causing the top 72 to be dislodged from the container 70 and allowing access to the mud 90 which is resident within the generally round internal cavity 88 of the container 70, as is perhaps best shown in FIG. 3.

Once the top 72 is removed, the retriever 10 is selectively placed within the generally round cavity 88 and the semi-elliptical edge portion 32, which readily conforms to the curved lip 72 and curved interior surface 93 of the cavity 88 is readily used to relatively easily retrieve some of the contained-mud 90 (e.g., including that portion of the mud 90 which “clings to” or is resident upon the curved internal surface 93). There is no need to “Flex” or force the edge 32 against the surface 93 to obtain/retrieve the mud 90. The curved wide blade portion 16 allows the retrieved portion of the mud 90 to be easily removed from the container 70 (e.g., from the curved interior surface 93), without a substantial probability of undesired splattering, and then deposited within a trough or some other applicator assembly, or even directly applied to a surface or location 100, which may be a sheet rock or drywall surface (see, for example FIG. 4). One non-limiting example of such an application assembly is the combination of a trough supplied by WALBOARD TOOLS located at 1697 Seabright Ave., Long Beach, Calif. and referred to as “CAT NO pp-14, Com. No. 027-004” and a drywall application tool which may be purchased from Belmore Tools (www.BelmoreTools.com) (e.g., the flat applicator hand tool).

As shown best in FIG. 4, the edges 22, 32 may each be used to selectively “smear” the applied material (i.e., previous retrieved portion of mud 90) upon the surface 100 in an efficient and accurate manner. When it is desired to closed the container 70, the top 72 is placed upon the lip 74 and the end 14 may be used to selectively strike the top 72, thereby forcing the top 72 to frictionally engage the lip 74 and close the cavity 88.

It is to be understood that the inventions are not limited to the exact embodiments which have been described above but that various changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and the scope of the inventions as delineated within the subjoined claims. Further, it should be appreciated that applicator 10 may be used with virtually any material, not just drywall compound.