US20100147912A1 - Heavy Tool Tether - Google Patents

Heavy Tool Tether Download PDF

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Publication number
US20100147912A1
US20100147912A1 US12/637,404 US63740409A US2010147912A1 US 20100147912 A1 US20100147912 A1 US 20100147912A1 US 63740409 A US63740409 A US 63740409A US 2010147912 A1 US2010147912 A1 US 2010147912A1
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US
United States
Prior art keywords
extension
attachment
tethering
retraction
clip
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
Application number
US12/637,404
Inventor
John A. Salentine
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
HAMMERHEAD INDUSTRIES Inc
Hammerhead Ind Inc
Original Assignee
Hammerhead Ind Inc
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US20159208P priority Critical
Application filed by Hammerhead Ind Inc filed Critical Hammerhead Ind Inc
Priority to US12/637,404 priority patent/US20100147912A1/en
Assigned to HAMMERHEAD INDUSTRIES, INC. reassignment HAMMERHEAD INDUSTRIES, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: SALENTINE, JOHN A.
Publication of US20100147912A1 publication Critical patent/US20100147912A1/en
Assigned to HAMMERHEAD INDUSTRIES, INC. reassignment HAMMERHEAD INDUSTRIES, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: COLLIN, KENNETH S., JR
Abandoned legal-status Critical Current

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45FTRAVELLING OR CAMP EQUIPMENT: SACKS OR PACKS CARRIED ON THE BODY
    • A45F5/00Holders or carriers for hand articles; Holders or carriers for use while travelling or camping
    • A45F5/02Fastening articles to the garment
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45FTRAVELLING OR CAMP EQUIPMENT: SACKS OR PACKS CARRIED ON THE BODY
    • A45F5/00Holders or carriers for hand articles; Holders or carriers for use while travelling or camping
    • A45F2005/006Holders or carriers for hand articles; Holders or carriers for use while travelling or camping comprising a suspension strap or lanyard
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45FTRAVELLING OR CAMP EQUIPMENT: SACKS OR PACKS CARRIED ON THE BODY
    • A45F2200/00Details not otherwise provided for in A45F
    • A45F2200/05Holder or carrier for specific articles
    • A45F2200/0566Tubular, rod-shaped articles, e.g. batons
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45FTRAVELLING OR CAMP EQUIPMENT: SACKS OR PACKS CARRIED ON THE BODY
    • A45F2200/00Details not otherwise provided for in A45F
    • A45F2200/05Holder or carrier for specific articles
    • A45F2200/0575Portable tools
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45FTRAVELLING OR CAMP EQUIPMENT: SACKS OR PACKS CARRIED ON THE BODY
    • A45F5/00Holders or carriers for hand articles; Holders or carriers for use while travelling or camping
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45FTRAVELLING OR CAMP EQUIPMENT: SACKS OR PACKS CARRIED ON THE BODY
    • A45F5/00Holders or carriers for hand articles; Holders or carriers for use while travelling or camping
    • A45F5/02Fastening articles to the garment
    • A45F5/021Fastening articles to the garment to the belt

Abstract

Apparatuses and methods for tethering devices capable of securing heavy articles are disclosed. In one possible embodiment, a tethering device comprises: an extension and retraction mechanism with a non-tangling coil system portion; a first attachment mechanism coupled to a first end portion of the extension and retraction mechanism; and, a second attachment mechanism coupled to a second end portion of the extension and retraction mechanism. The tethering device is capable of bearing a substantially heavy load. The first attachment mechanism may comprise a carabiner, and the second attachment mechanism may comprise a carabiner or a clip mechanism with male and female portions. A tertiary attachment mechanism may also be provided, which provides an internal attachment in the device to prevent it from extending. In one possible method for tethering a heavy article, a first attachment mechanism is attached to a user's person is provided, with the first attachment mechanism coupled to a first end of an extension/retraction mechanism. A second attachment mechanism is attached to a heavy article, with the second attachment mechanism coupled to a second end of the extension/retraction mechanism. The extension of the extension/retraction mechanism is caused by applying a force against a coil system of the extension/retraction mechanism, and the retraction of the extension/retraction mechanism is caused by removing the force.

Description

  • This application claims the benefit of provisional application No. 61/201,592 to Salentine, which was filed on 12 Dec. 2008.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention relates generally to securing articles, and more particularly to tethering devices and methods for securing heavy articles, with one end of such a device mounted to a structure, a user's person, or the like, and another end mounted to a heavy article.
  • 2. Description of the Related Art
  • Tethering devices are well known in the art. Various tethering devices have been developed for use with tools, hardware, and other helpful devices. However, tethering devices may be used for holding heavier tools and the like, and many tethering devices known in the art are not strong enough for heavier applications and may become dangerous should breakage occur. A tethering device that can withstand heavier applications is beneficial so safety can be maximized and tool damage and/or personal injury can be minimized. For example, in U.S. Patent Pub. No. 2003/0102342 to Fogg, a tool or set of tools is provided with a heavy-duty tether permanently secured thereto. The tether is load-rated for heavier applications.
  • Moreover, retractable tethering devices have been developed that can be attached to a person through use of common attachment mechanisms such as snaps, clips, Velcro straps, pin mounting systems, bracket mounting devices and belt clipping devices. See, e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 6,290,158 to Huang, U.S. Pat. No. 5,938,137 to Poulson, U.S. Pat. No. 6,966,519 to Salentine, et al., and U.S. Pat. No. 7,478,776 to Salentine, et al. Conventional belt clipping and bracketing systems are desirable for some applications in that they are easy to mount to an article of clothing that does not have means for attaching a snap, Velcro or pinning attachment. A belt clipping system also provides an attachment means that reduces the overall hanging length of the device and minimizes its movement during activities. However, many known tethering devices are prone to entanglement. This can be particularly problematic when tethering devices are coupled with retraction/extension capabilities.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention seeks to provide tethering devices/tethers for tools and the like with an improved mechanism to minimize entanglement, with the tethering devices being durable, inexpensive, easy to operate and adjust, capable of withstanding heavy applications, and capable of extension and retraction. In one embodiment according to the present invention, a tethering device is provided comprising an extension and retraction mechanism with a non-tangling coil system portion, a first attachment mechanism coupled to a first end portion of the extension and retraction mechanism, and a second attachment mechanism coupled to a second end portion of the extension and retraction mechanism. The tethering device is capable of bearing a substantially heavy load.
  • In another embodiment according to the present invention, a tethering system is provided comprising a non-tangling extension/retraction mechanism, a first attachment mechanism coupled to a first end portion of the extension/retraction mechanism, and a second attachment mechanism coupled to a second end portion of the extension/retraction mechanism. The first attachment mechanism is capable of bearing a substantially heavy load. The second attachment mechanism comprises a clip mechanism with a male clip portion and a female clip portion.
  • In still another embodiment according to the present invention, a method for tethering heavy articles is provided, with the method comprising attaching a first attachment mechanism to a user's person, with the first attachment mechanism coupled to a first end of an extension/retraction mechanism. The method further comprises attaching a second attachment mechanism to a heavy article, with the second attachment mechanism coupled to a second end of the extension/retraction mechanism. Furthermore, the method comprises causing the extension of the extension/retraction mechanism by applying a force against a coil system of the extension/retraction mechanism, and causing the retraction of the extension/retraction mechanism by removing the force.
  • These and other further features and advantages of the invention will be apparent to those skilled in the art from the following detailed description, taken together with the accompanying drawings, in which:
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a tethering device according to the present invention;
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the tethering device as shown in FIG. 1, with a portion of the tether disengaged to demonstrate functionality;
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a tethering device according to the present invention, with a portion of the tethering device disengaged to demonstrate functionality;
  • FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a user using the tethering device as shown in FIG. 1;
  • FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the tethering device in use as shown in FIG. 4, with a portion of the tethering device disengaged to demonstrate functionality; and
  • FIG. 6 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a tethering device according to the present invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • The following description presents several possible embodiments. This description is not to be taken in a limiting sense but is made merely for the purpose of describing the general principles of the invention, the scope of which is further understood by the appended claims.
  • Embodiments of the invention are described herein with reference to illustrations that are schematic illustrations of idealized embodiments of the invention. As such, variations from the shapes and configuration of the illustrations are expected. Embodiments of the invention should not be construed as limited to the particular shapes illustrated herein but are to include deviations in shapes and combinations of shapes that result, for example, from different desired designs. A feature illustrated or described as square or rectangular can have rounded or curved features in various embodiments. Thus, the features illustrated in the figures are not intended to illustrate the precise shape of a feature or configuration of various shapes and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.
  • The present invention provides apparatuses and methods for tethering articles such as tools, keys, phones, and the like, with the tethering apparatuses and methods being particularly adaptable for securing heavy articles. Furthermore, the apparatuses and methods according to the present invention are capable of extension and retraction, with mechanisms included for minimizing the possible entanglement of tether components. Embodiments of the present invention may comprise interchangeable components such that one tethered article may be easily changed out for another article to be tethered. Additionally, embodiments of the present invention may comprise an adjustable securing portion for connection to an article. Further possible embodiments of the present invention are discussed below and/or are contemplated by the present invention.
  • At least one advantage of the present invention is the ability for a tethering device user to secure a heavy article, such as a power tool, to his/her own person, a building, or other structure. This allows for a heavy article to be securely attached to a person or structure both while in use and not in use, which can prevent such articles from being accidentally dropped. This can decrease accidental breakage of such articles while increasing the safety of using such articles, particularly when dropping them could result in the injury of another individual.
  • The apparatuses and methods of the present invention also offer extension and retraction capabilities, which increase the range of the tool while it is secured to a person or structure. Moreover, the extension and retraction capabilities are related to a mechanism which prevents or substantially minimizes the chance of the tethering device tangling. As such, the tethering device does not tangle on itself when it returns from an extended position to a retracted position.
  • FIGS. 1, 2, 4, and 5 show one embodiment of a tethering device 10 constructed in accordance with the present invention, with the tethering device preferably designed for personal attachment applications or attachment to a lift bucket or the like. FIGS. 4 and 5 more specifically show the device 10 in use. Tethering device 10 generally comprises an extension/retraction portion 12, an attachment mechanism 14, a secondary attachment mechanism 16, and a tertiary internal attachment mechanism 18. The extension/retraction portion 12 is preferably comprised of a supple, low-profile coil system allowing for full-arms reach and tool use without any adverse retraction force. To allow portion 12 to extend, the user applies a force against the coil system force via either the weight of an attached tool or like device or through the force of arm extension. To allow portion 12 to retract back to its original position, the force used to allow the portion 12 to extend must be released and the force of the coil system returns to the original coil position. The coil system is preferably enclosed in a resilient nylon webbing to provide strength and added safety, but it is understood that other suitable materials may also be used. The coiling attributes of the coil system prevent the portion 12 from entangling when the mechanism is retracted.
  • Attachment mechanism 14 is preferably comprised of a carabiner 20 as is well known in the art, with the carabiner attached to an end portion 22 of extension/retraction portion 12. The carabiner 20 can attach to the user's belt, pants, pocket, strap, purse, or to a lift bucket or the like, with the mechanism shown attached to the user's belt as demonstrated in FIGS. 4 and 5. The carabiner 20 is preferably comprised of aluminum, although other suitable materials may also be used. The carabiner 20 may also bear up to a 500 kg load as depicted in FIGS. 1-6, although carabiners able to bear greater or lesser loads may also be used. While a carabiner is depicted in the preferred embodiment as shown, it is understood that many other suitable attachment mechanisms may also be used within the scope of the present invention. End portion 22 is preferably comprised of a tough material such as nylon, but it is understood that any suitable resilient material may also be used.
  • Secondary attachment mechanism 16 is preferably comprised of a clip mechanism well-known in the art, comprising a female clip end 24 and a male clip end 26. The male clip end 26 fits into the female end 24 when two side tabs are squeezed toward one another. The clip mechanism is preferably formed from a durable, flexible plastic, although other suitable materials may also be used. The clip mechanism is attached to the tethering device via end portion 28, with end portion 28 preferably comprised of a tough material such as nylon. At the male end 26 of the clip mechanism, a lanyard 30 is attached to the clip mechanism via attachment portion 32. Like end portions 22 and 28, attachment portion 32 is preferably formed from a resilient material such as nylon.
  • Lanyard 30 comprises a loop 34, with a sliding mechanism 36 fitted on the loop 34. The sliding mechanism 36 comprises a hole 38 through which the loop 34 passes. A button 40 on the sliding mechanism 36 may be pressed inward against a spring mechanism (not shown) internal to mechanism 36. The button 40 comprises a portion inside the mechanism 36, with a hole (not shown) that may be aligned with hole 38 when a force is applied to the button 40. When the inner hole and hole 38 openings are aligned, the mechanism 36 may be slid up and down the loop 34 to tighten the loop as desired when it is connected to a deserved device such as a tool. When the force is removed from button 40, the spring mechanism causes the button to extend outward such that the inner hole and hole 38 openings become misaligned, thus essentially locking the mechanism 36 in place in a desired position along loop 34. While mechanism 36 is preferably used as part of a lanyard according to the present invention, it is understood that other suitable mechanisms may also be used.
  • Loop 34 is preferably formed from a durable material such as nylon, though other suitable materials may also be used. Loop 34 may also comprise a flexible rubber or similar elastic substance internal to the nylon or other durable material so the loop has elastic characteristics much like a rubber band. The mechanism 36 is preferably formed from a durable plastic or metal.
  • Lanyard 30 may be attached to a variety of different devices, such as heavy tools, lighter tools, keys, cell phones, flashlights, and the like. For example and as shown in FIG. 4, a drill may be attached to lanyard 30. The lanyard provides a protective system preferable to tools and the like weighing up to ten pounds, although it is understood that the lanyard system is applicable to a number of different weight applications. The clip mechanism of secondary attachment mechanism 16 provides a means for easily exchanging a variety of lanyards, each of which may be attached to a different desired tool, keys, or the like.
  • Tertiary internal attachment mechanism 18 is preferably comprised of a carabiner 42 as is well known in the art, with the carabiner attached through end portion 28. The carabiner 42 can additionally attach to carabiner 20 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 4 or to the user's belt, pants, pocket, strap or purse when the tethering device 10 is not in use and/or when no extension is desired due to the weight of the object attached to lanyard 30. Alternatively, carabiner 42 can be unattached to carabiner 20 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 5 when the user is using device 10 and extension of the device is desired. Like carabiner 20, carabiner 42 is preferably comprised of aluminum, although other suitable materials may also be used. The carabiner 42 may also bear up to a 500 kg load as depicted in FIGS. 1-6, although carabiners capable of bearing greater or lesser loads may also be used. While a carabiner is depicted in the preferred embodiment as shown, it is understood that many other suitable attachment mechanisms may also be used within the scope of the present invention.
  • FIG. 3 shows another embodiment of a tethering device 50 similar to the tethering device 10 depicted in FIGS. 1, 2, 4, and 5, having extension/retraction portion 12, attachment portion 14, secondary attachment portion 16, carabiner 20, end portion 22, female clip portion 24, male clip portion 26, end portion 28, lanyard 30, attachment portion 32, loop 34, mechanism 36, hole 38, and button 40. However, FIG. 3 does not depict a tertiary internal attachment mechanism using a carabiner as in FIGS. 1, 2, 4, and 5. Therefore, there is no additional internal attachment mechanism to attach one end of the tethering device to the other end of the tethering device such that extension of the coil system can be prevented when an extension force (such as the weight of an attached tool or the like) is applied. However, the loop 34 of lanyard 30 may still be secured to carabiner 20 to prevent unwanted extension of the tethering device 50.
  • Tethering device 50 also shows the functionality of the clip device of secondary attachment mechanism 16, showing the male end 26 detached from the female end 24. From this illustration of mechanism 16, it becomes clearer how a lanyard with a male clip end may be easily exchanged with another lanyard or like device with an appropriately sized male clip end as shown in FIG. 3.
  • FIG. 6 shows another embodiment of a tethering device 60 similar to the tethering device 10 depicted in FIGS. 1, 2, 4, and 5, having extension/retraction portion 12, attachment portion 14, carabiner 20, end portion 22, and end portion 28. However, the tethering device 60 embodied in FIG. 6 does not depict a secondary attachment mechanism with a clip device or a tertiary internal attachment mechanism using a carabiner as in FIGS. 1, 2, 4, and 5. Instead, tethering device 60 comprises a secondary attachment mechanism 62 comprising a carabiner 64 attached to end portion 28. Like carabiner 20, carabiner 64 is preferably comprised of aluminum, although other suitable materials may also be used. The carabiner 64 may also bear up to a 500 kg load, although carabiners capable of bearing greater or lesser loads may also be used.
  • The carabiner 64 can attach to carabiner 20 or to the user's belt, pants, pocket, strap or purse when the tethering device 60 is not in use and/or when no extension is desired. Alternatively or additionally, carabiner 64 can be unattached to carabiner 20 when the user is using device 60 and extension of the device is desired. Carabiner 64 may also be attached to a tool, keys, phone or the like. Since device 60 comprises similar attachment devices at both ends, it is understood that the described uses for carabiners 20 and 64 are interchangeable.
  • Although the present invention has been described in considerable detail with reference to certain preferred configurations, other versions are possible. The tethering device can be used in many different types of applications. Different extension/retraction means, attachment means, lanyards, clips, and materials can be used in conjunction with the new tethering device. Therefore, the spirit and scope of the above description should not be limited to the versions described above.

Claims (26)

1. A tethering device, comprising:
an extension and retraction mechanism with a non-tangling coil system portion;
a first attachment mechanism coupled to a first end portion of said extension and retraction mechanism; and
a second attachment mechanism coupled to a second end portion of said extension and retraction mechanism;
wherein said tethering device is capable of bearing a substantially heavy load.
2. The tethering device of claim 1, wherein said first attachment mechanism is attached to a user's person, a structure, or a lift bucket.
3. The tethering device of claim 1, wherein said second attachment mechanism is attached to a tool.
4. The tethering device of claim 1, further comprising a tertiary attachment mechanism coupled to said second end portion of said extension and retraction mechanism.
5. The tethering device of claim 4, wherein said tertiary attachment mechanism may be attached to said first attachment mechanism to prevent the extension of said extension and retraction mechanism.
6. The tethering device of claim 4, wherein said tertiary attachment mechanism is comprised of a carabiner.
7. The tethering device of claim 1, wherein said extension and retraction mechanism is comprised of an elastic, low-profile coil allowing for full arm's length extension without any adverse retraction force.
8. The tethering device of claim 1, wherein a force is applied against said coil system force to enable said device to extend.
9. The tethering device of claim 8, wherein the release of said force coupled with the coil system force enables said device to retract and return to its original coil position.
10. The tethering device of claim 1, wherein said first attachment mechanism is comprised of a carabiner.
11. The tethering device of claim 10, wherein said carabiner is comprised of aluminum and is capable of bearing a load weighing up to 500 kg.
12. The tethering device of claim 1, wherein said first and second end portions of said extension and retraction mechanism are comprised of nylon.
13. The tethering device of claim 1, wherein said second attachment mechanism is comprised of a clip mechanism comprising a male clip portion and a female clip portion.
14. The tethering device of claim 13, wherein said male clip portion fits into said female clip portion by squeezing two side tabs on said male clip portion toward one another.
15. The tethering device of claim 13, wherein said clip mechanism is comprised of a durable, flexible plastic.
16. The tethering device of claim 13, wherein a first lanyard is attached to said male clip portion via a durable attachment portion, said first lanyard attached to a tool, wherein said male clip portion and said attached first lanyard are removable from said female clip portion to enable the easy exchange of a plurality of other lanyard/male clip portion combinations.
17. The tethering device of claim 16, wherein said lanyard further comprises a loop with a sliding mechanism, said sliding mechanism movable up and down said loop to tighten or loosen said loop as desired.
18. A tethering system, comprising:
a non-tangling extension/retraction mechanism;
a first attachment mechanism coupled to a first end portion of said extension/retraction mechanism, said first attachment mechanism capable of bearing a substantially heavy load; and
a second attachment mechanism coupled to a second end portion of said extension/retraction mechanism, said second attachment mechanism comprising a clip mechanism comprising a male clip portion and a female clip portion.
19. The tethering system of claim 18, wherein said first attachment mechanism comprises a carabiner attached to a user's person, a structure, or a lift bucket, said carabiner capable of bearing a load up to 500 kg.
20. The tethering system of claim 18, further comprising a tertiary attachment mechanism coupled to said second end portion of said extension/retraction mechanism, said tertiary attachment mechanism attachable to said first attachment mechanism to prevent the extension of said extension/retraction mechanism.
21. The tethering system of claim 18, wherein the extension/retraction mechanism comprises a coil system portion, with the coiling attributes of said coil system portion preventing the extension/retraction mechanism from entangling when said mechanism is retracted.
22. The tethering system of claim 21, wherein a force is applied against the coil system portion to enable extension of said extension/retraction mechanism, with the release of said force enabling said mechanism to retract and return to its original coil position.
23. The tethering system of claim 18, wherein an adjustable first lanyard is attached to said male clip portion, said first lanyard further attached to a tool.
24. The tethering system of claim 23, wherein said first lanyard is easily removable from said female clip portion to enable the exchange for a different lanyard attached to a different tool.
25. A tethering method, comprising:
attaching a first attachment mechanism to a user's person, said first attachment mechanism coupled to a first end of an extension/retraction mechanism;
attaching a second attachment mechanism to a heavy article, said second attachment mechanism coupled to a second end of said extension/retraction mechanism;
causing the extension of said extension/retraction mechanism by applying a force against a coil system of said extension/retraction mechanism; and
causing the retraction of said extension/retraction mechanism by removing said force.
26. The tethering method of claim 25, further comprising attaching a tertiary attachment mechanism to said first attachment mechanism to prevent the extension of said extension/retraction mechanism, and releasing said tertiary attachment mechanism to enable the extension of said extension/retraction mechanism, said tertiary attachment mechanism attached to said second end of said extension/retraction mechanism.
US12/637,404 2008-12-12 2009-12-14 Heavy Tool Tether Abandoned US20100147912A1 (en)

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US20180078024A1 (en) * 2015-08-04 2018-03-22 Tienchi Hu Neck strap structure
US9968180B2 (en) * 2016-09-12 2018-05-15 Ty-Flot, Inc. Drop prevention apparatus and system for hand tools
US20180156385A1 (en) * 2016-12-06 2018-06-07 Saint-Gobain Abrasives, Inc. Safety device to limit kickback on handheld power tools
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EP3517254A1 (en) * 2018-01-09 2019-07-31 Black & Decker Inc. Tethering system for power tool and battery pack
WO2019224562A1 (en) * 2018-05-25 2019-11-28 Kazaka Sanita Tool lanyard device and method of use thereof
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USD888412S1 (en) * 2020-03-19 2020-06-30 Youquan Jin Lanyard
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