Title:
Billiard cue case with detachable stow away base
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention is a billiard cue case which incorporates a two section detachable base which can be removed and separated so that it can be stowed in the front standard jump cue pocket for transport. The case also has interior tubes which are self centering and maintain the two piece billiard cue sticks in a vertical position suspended above the bottom of the case for long term storage with no lateral stress to avoid the possibility of warping. The interior of the case also features a plastic perforated container with silica gel desiccant pillows to eliminate atmospheric humidity from the case interior. The base is attached by a threaded stud which screws into a female threaded anchor in the bottom of the case. This allows the case stand in a vertical position at a right angle to the plane of the floor.



Inventors:
Ketel, Carol Fae (Kennesaw, GA, US)
Application Number:
12/567738
Publication Date:
04/01/2010
Filing Date:
09/26/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
206/315.1, 206/523
International Classes:
B65D81/26; B65D81/113; B65D85/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DESAI, KAUSHIKKUMAR A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Carol Fae Ketel (Kennesaw, GA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. Claimed is a billiard cue case with a detachable two part base to maintain the case in a stable perpendicular position at a right angle to the plane of the floor on which it is standing. a. Detachable base claimed in claim 1. above shall consist of two molded polyurethane sections which interlock and secure to the bottom of the case as a unit by utilization of a threaded stud which engages a threaded anchor in the bottom of the case. b. Sections of the detachable base of claim 1. above shall be of suitable size to allow for storage in the standard size jump cue pocket on the front of the case.

2. Claimed interior tube design which is self centering and supports cue stick sections in a suspended fashion above the bottom or sides of the case and not touching the sides or bottom of the tube except for the top few inches at the thickest part of the cue components. a. Tube design of claim 2. above shall consist of a PVC tube with a wedge shaped foam rubber ring, the thinnest part of the wedge oriented toward the top of the tube and inside the top inner circumference of the tube with the foam ring and inner tube surface covered by felt. b. The interior diameter of tube design of claim 2. above shall be of proper size to support the cue components in a suspended fashion and not allow them to drop to the bottom of the tube and be of a snug fit.

3. Claimed a perforated plastic tube having removable caps at both ends, and secured by a leather strap to upper rear of the case to contain silica gel desiccant pillows to absorb and remove moisture from the interior atmosphere of the case.

Description:

This non provisional patent application includes by reference previously filed provisional patent application No. 61/100,385 filed on 26 Sep. 2008 for the benefit of claiming earlier filing date.

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates to a billiard cue case with a detachable two piece pedestal base, made of molded polyurethane with a steel threaded stud in one of the components, which can be removed and stowed away in a front zippered pocket. This base will support the case in a vertical position and make it stable. The interior of the case will have separated tubes with a tapered foam rubber ring around the top interior to suspend the pieces of the cue in a vertical position above the bottom of the case to avoid any lateral stress on the cue components. These tapered foam rubber rings will serve to self center the cue components within the tubes and provide a snug fit. The two piece base will consist of two interlocking components with a threaded steel steel stud molded into one component projecting through a bored hole in the other component which when the components are interlocked can be threaded into a metal threaded receiver in the base of the case. When attached, this base will increase the surface area of the bottom of the case making it stable. This will place the cue components in a position suspended from the top, allowing for long term storage without risk of damage or warping.

When this base is attached, with the aid of the interior tube design and foam rubber rings will provide safe long term storage, and allow the case to be used as cue holder for the assembled cues during use. This will further protect the cues from damage which may be incurred during play.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION

Billiard cue sticks used in any of the various games of billiards are normally of two piece construction and can be separated for storage and transport. The vast majority of cue sticks are manufactured from exotic hardwoods and can be very expensive. Quality cue sticks can range in price from hundreds to thousands of dollars. By the nature of their construction and materials used these cue sticks are susceptible to damage from contact with a hard surface, or exposure to high humidity or even the forces of gravity. The shaft end of a cue stick is tapered from the connection point to the tip. Most of the cue sticks in use today utilize what is known as a pro taper, this means that they do have an even taper from end to end but rather a more radical taper at the joint end and less taper as they progress down the shaft to the tip. As a result of this shape if they are placed on hard surface the force of gravity will cause a cue to warp and render it unusable. As a means of providing protection for these expensive pieces of equipment most billiard players transport their cues in various cases. While most cases currently in production seek to minimize risk of damage from shock and the elements they provide only minimal protection from the gravitational forces. Most cue cases currently in production do not stand well in a vertical position and fall over easily. If these cases are stored in a horizontal position the cues inside will often warp over time. Even if the case is leaned against a wall or propped up in some way they provide only a minimum of protection. Several versions of cue cases have been made with either an apparatus or frame that swing out from against the case or with telescoping legs that can be deployed from the back of the case. These cases while providing an increased level of protection are still less than optimal.

These apparatus tend to make the cases which employ them heavier than necessary and more cumbersome. These cases also stand at an inclined angle as opposed to perpendicular. This leaves significant room for improvement. In an effort to improve upon the various cases currently in manufacture, the inventor sought to produce a case which would be stable in a perpendicular position with no major increase in weight or bulk. This case would need to be easy to carry from place to place and yet be able to provide the maximum level of protection possible at the same time. Most cases also have two pockets on the front of the case, one small pocket for accessories used by the player such as chalk and a glove or items used to manicure the tip on the cue, and one longer pocket usually approximately sixteen inches in length for the storage of a handle for a jump cue which is shorter than a standard playing cue and as such will fall to the bottom of a case and be inaccessible. This longer pocket usually is wider than needed for this handle so it usually has a zipper down one side to access the inside and a fabric divider inside to stabilize the handle. This only utilizes approximately one third of the width of this pocket and as such many cases have a second zipper for interior access to the other side. This area is generally used for additional storage. The goal of the inventor was to develop a support mechanism that could be applied easily and securely to the bottom

of the case and be removed and placed in this pocket when the case is being transported from place to place. In order to achieve this goal the inventor devised a base consisting of separate components made of molded polyurethane which would interlock and provide a secure platform and increase to bottom footprint of the case to stabilize it. This was first attempted using a series of four snaps in a square configuration with two snap fasteners on each component. This however proved to be less than optimal in the prototype stage as people would come to look at the case and in an effort to see it better tilt the case which would release the snaps.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF INVENTION

One of the components of this invention consists of a rectangular molded polyurethane bar one and one half inches tall three quarter inches wide and twelve inches long having a square cutout in the top center three quarters of an inch wide and three quarters of an inch deep with a threaded steel rod in the exact center which protrudes above the cutout three quarters of an inch. The steel threaded rod to be one quarter inch in diameter with twenty threads per inch. The second component of this invention is a molded polyurethane bar one and one half inches tall, three quarters of an inch wide, and twelve inches long with a with a square cutout in the center bottom with a hole five sixteenths of an inch diameter bored in the exact center. By placing this component on top of the other component and engaging the corresponding cutouts the threaded stud in the bottom component will go through the bored hole in the top component and protrude three quarters of an inch above the top of the interlocked pieces. The case is manufactured with an integrated wooden bottom, covered in leather which has a bored hole in the center and a female threaded steel anchor with twenty threads per inch affixed to the top of the wooden case bottom and protruding down into the bored hole. When the two components of the base are interlocked they are at right angles to each other with the interlock and threaded stud in the exact center. The protruding threaded stud can then be threaded into the female threaded anchor in the bottom of the case until tight. This provides a solidly attached platform on which the case will stand in a straight perpendicular orientation in relation to the plane of the floor.

The second part of this invention consists of PVC tubes anchored to the bottom of the case of sufficient length to accommodate the cue components. The PVC tubes will have a tapered foam rubber sleeve affixed to the inside top circumference with the taper beginning at zero inches at the top and increasing to a thickness sufficient to hold the cue shafts securely suspended above the bottom of

the case within the tubes. The foam rubber tapered ring at the top will project one and one half inches down into the tube. The foam rubber tapered ring and the interior surface of the tube will have a felt material affixed from top to bottom with a suitable cloth adhesive, to prevent abrasion as the cue components are inserted and removed. The tapered foam rubber rings will serve to self center the cue components as they are inserted and provide sufficient resistance to keep the components parts of the cue from sliding all the way into the tubes and resting on the bottom of the case. With this configuration the cue components will be situated in a totally vertical position, suspended by their top one and one half inches and have no lateral forces acting on them. This orientation will serve to prevent them from warping or sustaining any damage.

The third and final part of this invention consists of a perforated plastic tube with removable caps on both ends attached to the upper rear section of the case interior by two leather straps. This plastic tube will contain silica gel desiccant pillows of suitable size to control moisture content of interior atmosphere of the case.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE VIEWS OF THE DRAWING

FIG. 1 is a front view illustrating the case with base attached;

FIG. 2 is a side view illustrating the case with base attached and a dotted line showing the plane on which cutaway view in FIG. 5 is oriented;

FIG. 3 is a top view illustrating the case with base attached;

FIG. 4 is a bottom view illustrating the orientation of the base;

FIG. 5 is a cut away view illustrating the interior components of the case the plane on which this cut away view is oriented is illustrated by dotted line in FIG. 2;

FIG. 6 is an enlarged cut away section of an interior tube;

FIG. 7 is a top view of the top spacer block that retains the tubes;

FIG. 8 illustrates the structure of the plastic desiccant tube;

FIG. 9 illustrates a front view of one of the base components;

FIG. 10 illustrates the top view of the base component in FIG. 9;

FIG. 11 illustrates a front view of the second base component;

FIG. 12 illustrates a top view of the base component in FIG. 11;

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF INVENTION

The embodiment of this invention is a cue case for storage and transport of billiard cue sticks having a detachable two component base which will maintain the case in a perpendicular position

having interior self centering tubes to retain the disassembled cue components in a vertical position and suspended prom the top without any contact with the case on the bottom so as to avoid any lateral stress being exerted on the cue components. By storing the cue components in this manner the risk of warping due to gravitational force exerted on the cue components is eliminated. Further protection is provided through the incorporation of a plastic tube containing desiccant pillows filled with silica gel to control atmospheric moisture within the case. Billiard cues are built in two sections which can be screwed together to form the cue. Billiard cues are tapered from the largest diameter at the handle end to the narrowest diameter at the tip. The taper on most billiard cues is not uniform from end to end but is exaggerated near the handle end of the shaft and decreases as it approaches the middle of the shaft. Do to this construction if left with force excerpted on the sides they are prone to warping. A billiard cue if placed on a flat surface will often not touch the surface at all points along its side, it will be touching the flat surface along the handle and the beginning of the shaft but there will be a gap in the middle of the shaft, and be in contact again at the tip. The current class of cue cases fails to take this into consideration in their design. They also fail to provide for a means of removing moisture from the air surrounding the cue components within the case. The best means of cue storage is to hang the components in a position which is perpendicular plane of the ground held in place by the largest diameter end of the components, in a moisture controlled environment.

This invention achieves this goal by manufacturing cue case illustrated in FIG. 1 part 100 of leather with a wooden base as illustrated in FIG. 5 part number 110. This wooden base is covered on the outside with leather and has a hole bored through the center in which a steel threaded anchor is mounted as illustrated in FIG. 5 part number 111. This anchor is of the type with a female thread pattern one quarter inch in inside diameter with twenty threads per inch. This invention utilizes a molded two component interlocking base. The first component of this base as illustrated in FIG. 9 part number 103 is manufactured using a molding process of polyurethane resin poured into a mold into which a two inch threaded stud, having twenty threads per inch as illustrated in FIG. 9 part number 112 which is one quarter inch in diameter has been placed in an upright position with the resin poured around it. This will produce a single base component which is twelve inches in length, one and one half inches in height and three quarters of one inch deep, as illustrated in FIG. 9.part number 103 with a three quarter inch wide and three quarter inch deep cutout located at the top center, and having a threaded stud as illustrated in FIG. 9 part number 112 protruding from the exact center of this square cutout and protruding to a height of three quarters of an inch above the tallest section of this

Component as illustrated in FIG. 109. The second component of this base as illustrated by FIG. 11 part number 102 is manufactured using a molding process of polyurethane resin and will be twelve inches in length, one and one half inches in height, and three quarters of one inch deep, with a three quarters of one inch wide by three quarters of one inch deep cutout located at the bottom exact center. This cutout will have a five sixteenths inch diameter hole bored in the exact center as illustrated in FIG. 11 and identified by part number 113. The second component of this base as illustrated in FIG. 11 part number 102 is placed over the top of the first base component as illustrated by FIG. 9 part number 103. The stud FIG. 9 part number 112 is then pushed through The five sixteenths inch hole as illustrated in FIG. 11 part number 113 bored in the second component as illustrated by FIG. 11 part number 102 until the Cutouts in part number 102 and part number 103 are fully engaged, and stud identified as part number 112 in FIG. 9 protrudes through the hole bored in part number 102 to a height of three quarters of one inch. Parts number 102 and 103 will now act as single unit. This unit can now be attached to the base of the cue case identified as part number 100 in FIG. 1, by threading the protruding stud part number 112 as illustrated in FIG. 9 into the female threaded anchor illustrated in FIG. 5 part number 111 until base is sits securely against the bottom of the case. The case identified as part number 100 in FIG. 1 will now appear exactly as it does in FIG. 1. The case will now stand upright and be stable. This case as configured can be manufactured to accommodate varying numbers and combinations of cue stick handles and shafts to meet the needs of any player. The top of the case as illustrated by FIG. 5 part number 113 can be hinged back to reveal the plastic perforated tube and caps as illustrated in FIG. 5 parts numbered 108 and 109 affixed to the rear interior of the case and secured by a leather strap as illustrated in FIG. 5 part number 116. Below this tube will be wooden spacer block as illustrated in FIG. 7 part number 107 with PVC tubes as illustrated by FIG. 5 part number 104 protruding the through top of the spacer. These tubes illustrated in FIG. 5 and identified as part number 104 will be manufactured with a foam rubber tapered ring illustrated in FIG. 5 part number 105 affixed to the to inner diameter of the tubes of proper diameter to hold The cue stick components snugly suspended by the uppermost parts of the cue shafts and handles. These tapered foam rubber rings and PVC tubes will be covered with a soft felt material illustrated in FIG. 6 part number 106. These cases to be manufactured with varying configurations of tube sizes to accommodate the number of handles and shafts owned, carried and stored by the player. When the player wishes to transport his cues he can remove the base components in the reverse order from which he installed them and separate them. These components will have a combined weight of
Approximately three quarters of a pound, and can be placed in the zippered pocket as illustrated in FIG. 2 part number 101. Once the base components are stowed in the pocket case will resemble any traditional cue case and can be easily carried. This cue case represents a substantial improvement in all existing art currently available in that it places the cue components in a position to be free of any stress or forces applied to cues in storage. This case further conditions the internal atmosphere to reduce moisture. Finally this case when the base is removed for transport has no more bulk than a standard available cue case and no significant weight increase. This case provides a degree of protection currently unavailable.