FIELD OF THE INVENTION
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates generally to special receptacles or packages for tools.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Women have long treated their hair with curling irons to obtain a fashionable look. While successful in improving appearance, curling irons have burned many curious children and inattentive adults. In an effort to cure this problem, insulative covers for curling irons have been proposed, but they have seen limited use. Most are too cumbersome to repeatedly attach to, and detach from, a curling iron. Others are so easily removed from a curling iron that they offer no protection to children. Still others are poor insulators.
In light of the problems associated with the known apparatus for preventing curling iron burns by swathing a curling iron in an insulative layer, it is a principal object of the invention to provide an insulative cover that is easy for an adult to fix upon a curling iron but is difficult for a child to remove. The cover requires neither special tools nor prolonged training to apply. It is, in fact, particularly intuitive to use.
It is another object of the invention to provide a curling cover of the type described that can be employed with curling irons of many makes and models.
It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof in a curling iron cover for the purposes described that is lightweight in construction, inexpensive to manufacture, and dependable in use.
Briefly, the curling iron cover in accordance with this invention achieves the intended objects by featuring a tubular body for receiving the heating wand of a curling iron. The tubular body has a closed portion and an open portion connected together by a tapered portion. The outer diameter of the tapered portion reduces toward the open portion. The open portion has external helical threads and a pair of longitudinal slots that bisect the open portion so as to define a pair of clamping arms. A clamping ring is snugly, yet slidably and rotatably, fitted upon the open portion. The clamping ring has internal helical threads that mate with the external helical threads of the open portion such that rotating the ring drives the ring against the tapered portion to press the clamping arms inwardly against the heating wand of a curling iron positioned in the tubular body. Apertures provided to the tubular body ensure rapid cooling of the curling iron. Longitudinal fins on the exterior of the tubular body prevent the apertures from becoming blocked and dissipate radiant heat.
- BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
The foregoing and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.
The present invention may be more readily described with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a top view of a curling iron cover in accordance with the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a longitudinal cross-sectional view of the curling iron cover of FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a partial longitudinal cross-sectional view of the curling iron cover showing an alternate positioning of the locking ring.
FIG. 4 is a side elevational view of the curling iron cover positioned upon a curling iron.
- DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the accompanying drawings.
Referring now to the FIGS., a curling iron cover in accordance with the present invention is shown at 10. Cover 10 includes a tubular body 12 adapted to receive the heating wand 14 of a conventional curling iron 16. Body 12 is provided with a closed end 18 and an opposed open end 20 having a relatively smaller outer diameter than that of closed end 18. A tapered portion 22 located proximate the midpoint of body 12 connects ends 18 and 20. Adjacent tapered portion 22, end 20 is provided with external helical threads 24. A pair of longitudinal slots 26 and 28 penetrates the top and bottom of end 20 bisecting body 12 and threads 24 to form a pair of clamping arms 30. A clamping ring 32, having internal helical threads 34 that mate with threads 24, is movably positioned on end 20. By rotating ring 32, the cooperative action of threads 24 and 34 drives ring 32 into tapered portion 22 causing arms 30 to selectively grasp wand 14.
Body 12 is provided with a constant internal diameter along its length—one sufficient to contain wand 14. So, to provide ends 18 and 20 with different outer diameters, the wall thickness of body 12 varies. As shown, the wall thickness of end 18 is about twice that of end 20. Portion 22 varies evenly in thickness along its length, having the same thickness as end 18 at its junction therewith and having the same thickness as end 20 at its junction therewith.
Closed end 18 is provided along its opposite sides with a plurality of apertures 36 for dissipating heat emanating from wand 14 positioned within body 12. A plurality of longitudinal fins 38 project radially outward from end 20 at 30° intervals between apertures 36 to prevent apertures 36 from becoming blocked when cover 10 is positioned atop a vanity or countertop and to maintain unimpeded air circulation through end 20. Fins 38 also serve to conduct heat outwardly from the interior of body 12 where it can be dissipated to the environment.
Open end 20 is provided with an enlarged terminal portion 40 remote from threads 24. As shown, terminal portion 40 has somewhat greater internal and external diameters than the balance of open end 20. Internally, portion 40 serves to accommodate the front end of the enlarged handle 42 of curling iron 16. Externally, however, portion 40 acts as a stop to prevent ring 32, which is snugly fitted against the balance of open end 20, from slipping from body 12 and potentially becoming lost.
Slots 26 and 28 divide open end 20 into a pair of arms 30 having C-shaped cross-sections capable of grasping the top, bottom and sides of curling iron 16. To enhance the grip of arms 30 on curling iron 16, nonslip rubber pads 44 having high coefficients of friction are secured to the inner ends of arms 30 at tapered portion 22 and threads 24. Pads 44 extend from slot 26 to slot 28 in opposition to one another and have C-shaped cross-sections. With pads 44 firmly pressed against curling iron 16, it is extremely difficult to withdraw curling iron 16 from body 12 without unscrewing ring 32 first.
Although slots 26 and 28 have substantially the same length, slot 26 is somewhat wider than slot 28 so as to accommodate the upstanding lever arm 46 of curling iron 16. As is well known, lever arm 46 is employed to elevate a C-shaped hair clamp 48 from wand 14. Arm 46, like handle 42, is designed by the curling iron manufacturer to remain cool to the touch so it need not be enclosed by cover 10.
Ring 32 is configured to press evenly against tapered portion 22. Thus, the forward end of ring 32 is provided with a mouth 50 having a gradually diminishing diameter for receiving portion 22. The rate at which mouth 50 diminishes in diameter is substantially the same as the taper of portion 22 so that mouth 50 and portion 22 can be engaged flush against one another.
Such flush engagement permits a user to tighten ring 32 to an optimum degree to secure cover 10 in place and, later, easily untighten ring 32 for access to curling iron 16.
From the foregoing, it should be appreciated that use of cover 10 is straightforward. Once a user of curling iron 16 has finished curling her hair, such is first turned “off” to stop wand 14 from generating heat. Then, with ring 32 partially engaged with, or disengaged from, threads 24 as shown in FIG. 3, wand 14 is inserted into open end 20 of body 12 until lever arm 46 is fully seated in slot 26. Next, ring 32 is rotated against threads 24 to the position illustrated in FIGS. 1, 2 and 4 to press arms 30 and pads 44 inwardly against curling iron 16. Curling iron 16 cannot now burn the user of inattentive passersby. The curling iron 16 enclosed in cover 10 will cool slowly and can be conveniently stored in a drawer or other convenient place.
To gain full access to curling iron 16, the steps outlined above need only be reversed. The process of uncovering curling iron 16 requires about as much time as covering it—mere seconds. The strength or dexterity possessed by an average adult is all that is required to accomplish either task.
While the invention has been described with a high degree of particularity, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that modifications may be made thereto. For example, cover 10 is preferably made from a heat-resistant plastic that is a poor conductor of heat but could be formed from a multitude of other substances known in the art. Therefore, it is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the sole embodiment described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims.