US20140338231A1 - Metal shovel blade - Google Patents

Metal shovel blade Download PDF

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Publication number
US20140338231A1
US20140338231A1 US13/897,737 US201313897737A US2014338231A1 US 20140338231 A1 US20140338231 A1 US 20140338231A1 US 201313897737 A US201313897737 A US 201313897737A US 2014338231 A1 US2014338231 A1 US 2014338231A1
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Prior art keywords
sidewalls
blade
snow shovel
shovel blade
blank
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Abandoned
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US13/897,737
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Chun Wai Hung
Barry Albert
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Ames Companies Inc
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Ames Companies Inc
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Priority to US13/897,737 priority Critical patent/US20140338231A1/en
Assigned to AMES TRUE TEMPER, INC. reassignment AMES TRUE TEMPER, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: ALBERT, BARRY, HUNG, CHUN WAI
Assigned to THE AMES COMPANIES, INC. reassignment THE AMES COMPANIES, INC. CHANGE OF NAME (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: AMES TRUE TEMPER, INC.
Publication of US20140338231A1 publication Critical patent/US20140338231A1/en
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • EFIXED CONSTRUCTIONS
    • E01CONSTRUCTION OF ROADS, RAILWAYS, OR BRIDGES
    • E01HSTREET CLEANING; CLEANING OF PERMANENT WAYS; CLEANING BEACHES; DISPERSING OR PREVENTING FOG IN GENERAL CLEANING STREET OR RAILWAY FURNITURE OR TUNNEL WALLS
    • E01H5/00Removing snow or ice from roads or like surfaces; Grading or roughening snow or ice
    • E01H5/02Hand implements

Abstract

A snow shovel blade is provided. The snow shovel blade is a stamped metal body with a generally planar portion, a curved portion, and two opposed lateral, depending sidewalls. The sidewalls are supporting sidewalls.

Description

    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The disclosed and claimed concept relates to snow shovel blades and, more specifically, to a stamped metal snow shovel that includes a pusher portion.
  • 2. Background Information
  • Devices for moving snow can generally be divided into snow shovels and snow pushers. A snow shovel includes a shovel blade having a substantial length, i.e. a length extending in a direction parallel to the handle. That is, a snow shovel blade generally, but not always, is longer than it is wide. The snow shovel blade allows the user to scoop a quantity of snow. That is, the user slides the snow shovel blade under a quantity of snow, lifts the snow, and deposits the snow at a different location. To effectively accomplish this task, a snow shovel blade often includes sidewalls. That is, the lateral edges of the snow shovel blade are bent upwardly so as to assist in retaining the snow over the snow shovel blade. The rear edge of a snow shovel is generally not vertically offset from the plane of the blade.
  • A snow pusher includes a wide, arcuate or curved blade. That is, a snow pusher blade tends to be wider than it is long. Further, a snow pusher is structured with the blade rear edge substantially higher than, i.e. vertically offset from, the blade front edge. This shape is required so that a sufficient amount of snow may be pushed. That is, in use, a snow pusher blade is used to move snow without lifting the snow pusher blade off the ground. As a user moves the snow pusher over the ground, the snow is moved forward and snow that travels over the arcuate blade is redirected by the blade onto the snow in front of the blade. If the snow pusher blade is not vertically offset from the front edge, the snow would simply travel over the blade. In this configuration, the snow pusher blade is not structured lift the snow.
  • Snow shovels and snow pushers are generally made from either stamped metal, such as but not limited to aluminum and aluminum alloys, or plastics/composites (hereinafter “plastic” or “poly” blades). Each of these materials have advantages and disadvantages. For example, metal blades tend to be less expensive to manufacture and can be used in extremely cold temperatures. Stamped metal blades, however, are limited to shapes that can be formed by the stamping process. These shapes are generally limited to having curved portion(s) that are either generally parallel or perpendicular to the shovel's longitudinal axis, but not both. Poly blades can be molded in a wide variety of shapes, but are more expensive than metal blades and, in extreme cold, may become brittle.
  • Because poly blades may be molded in a wide variety of shapes, there are combination snow shovel/pusher blades. That is, the poly material is formed with both a curved rear edge and sidewalls. Such blades may be used to both push snow and lift snow. These blades are, however, expensive and have the other disadvantages of poly blades. It is difficult to form a metal blade into a shovel/pusher blade. That is, a shovel/pusher blade requires that the rear edge be curved generally perpendicular to the shovel blade longitudinal axis while the lateral edges are bent generally parallel to the shovel blade longitudinal axis. When such a deformation is attempted, the metal displaced by the curving and the bending causes undesirable results such as, but not limited to, crumpling (localized distortions) in the sidewalls and tears where the curved portion and the sidewalls intersect.
  • It is noted that some general purpose shovels, including but not limited to those with square blades, are generally concave in a longitudinal direction and include flared sidewalls. Such square shovel blades, however, do not include a sufficiently offset back edge or sufficiently angled sidewalls to act as an effective snow shovel/pusher. That is, back portion of the blade and the flared sidewalls are not angled in a manner that maintains snow on the blade. Further, aluminum scoops, while having longer curved and bent portions, are still not as effective as desired. Thus, such blades are generally too planar to act as an effective snow shovel/pusher.
  • There is, therefore, a need for a metal blade that is configured as both a snow shovel and a snow pusher. There is a further need for such a blade to be inexpensive.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • These needs, and others, are met by at least one embodiment of the disclosed and claimed shovel blade. That is, the disclosed and claimed shovel blade is a stamped metal blade having a shape and configuration such that the forming process does not result in a metal blade with unwanted deformations. Further, the blade sidewalls are angled so that snow is retained over the blade while the curved portion has a sufficient height to act as a pusher. Thus, the size and shape of the disclosed shovel blade solves the stated problems. In an exemplary embodiment, the snow shovel blade includes a stamped metal body with a generally planar portion, a curved portion, and two opposed lateral, depending sidewalls. The sidewalls are supporting sidewalls.
  • The method of making the snow shovel blade includes orienting trapezoidal blanks so that adjacent blanks are in opposition. In this configuration the amount of scrap metal is reduced allowing for reduced cost.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • A full understanding of the invention can be gained from the following description of the preferred embodiments when read in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
  • FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a snow shovel.
  • FIG. 2 is a top view of a snow shovel.
  • FIG. 3 is a side view of a snow shovel.
  • FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of a shovel blade planar portion.
  • FIG. 5 is a plan view of a number of blanks.
  • FIG. 6 is flow chart of the method of making a snow shovel.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • Directional phrases used herein, such as, for example, clockwise, counterclockwise, left, right, top, bottom, upwards, downwards and derivatives thereof, relate to the orientation of the elements shown in the drawings and are not limiting upon the claims unless expressly recited therein. It is noted that such directional phrases further relate to the position of the snow shovel in use. That is, the forward edge is the edge opposite the handle.
  • As used herein, the singular form of “a,” “an,” and “the” include plural references unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.
  • As used herein, the term “number” shall mean one or an integer greater than one (i.e., a plurality).
  • As used herein, the statement that two or more parts or components are “coupled” shall mean that the parts are joined or operate together either directly or indirectly, i.e., through one or more intermediate parts or components, so long as a link occurs. As used herein, “directly coupled” means that two elements are directly in contact with each other. As used herein, “fixedly coupled” or “fixed” means that two components are coupled so as to move as one while maintaining a constant orientation relative to each other.
  • As used herein, the statement that two or more parts or components “engage” one another shall mean that the parts exert a force against one another either directly or through one or more intermediate parts or components.
  • As used herein, the word “unitary” means a component is created as a single piece or unit. That is, a component that includes pieces that are created separately and then coupled together as a unit is not a “unitary” component or body.
  • As used herein, a “coupling assembly” includes two or more couplings or coupling components. The components of a coupling or coupling assembly are generally not part of the same element or other component. As such the components of a “coupling assembly” may not be described at the same time in the following description.
  • As used herein, a “coupling” is one element of a coupling assembly. That is, a coupling assembly includes at least two components, or coupling components, that are structured to be coupled together. It is understood that the elements of a coupling assembly are compatible with each other. For example, in a coupling assembly, if one coupling element is a snap socket, the other coupling element is a snap plug.
  • As used herein, “associated” means that the elements are part of the same assembly and/or operate together, or, act upon/with each other in some manner. For example, an automobile has four tires and four hub caps. While all the elements are part of the automobile, it is understood that each hubcap is “associated” with a specific tire.
  • As used herein, “correspond” indicates that two structural components are sized and shaped to be similar to each other and may be coupled with a minimum amount of friction. Thus, an opening which “corresponds” to a member is sized slightly larger than the member so that the member may pass through the opening with a minimum amount of friction. This definition is modified if the two components are said to fit “snugly” together or “snuggly correspond.” In that situation, the difference between the size of the components is even smaller whereby the amount of friction increases. If the element defining the opening and/or the component inserted into the opening are made from a deformable or compressible material, the opening may even be slightly smaller than the component being inserted into the opening. This definition is further modified if the two components are said to “substantially correspond.” “Substantially correspond” means that the size of the opening is very close to the size of the element inserted therein. That is, not so close as to cause substantial friction, as with a snug fit, but with more contact and friction than a “corresponding fit,” i.e., a “slightly larger” fit.
  • As used herein, “snow” includes particles of frozen water as well as ice, slush, and debris that is commonly incorporated into snow.
  • As used herein, a snow shovel blade “pusher portion” is structured to push snow and extends a vertical distance above the snow shovel blade planar portion by between about 2.0 and 4.0 inches, and in an exemplary embodiment about 3.0 inches. The “pusher portion” may be curved.
  • As used herein, a snow shovel blade “curved portion” may be generally arcuate, i.e. a generally circular arc, and may include a planar portion extending at the rearward edge thereof. Alternatively, the “curved portion” may be generally parabolic or generally curvilinear. The “angle” of the “curved portion” is measured as a line tangent to the surface at the rearward edge thereof relative to the snow shovel blade planar portion.
  • As used herein, a “generally curvilinear” includes elements having multiple curved portions, combinations of curved portions and planar portions, and a plurality of planar portions or segments disposed at angles relative to each other thereby forming a curve.
  • As used herein, a snow shovel blade “supporting sidewall” is structured to maintain snow over the snow shovel blade and extends at an angle of between about ninety degrees and about one-hundred and thirty degrees relative to the snow shovel blade planar portion.
  • As used herein, a snow shovel blade “holding sidewall” is structured to maintain snow over the snow shovel blade and extends at an angle of between about ninety degrees and about one-hundred and twenty degrees relative to the snow shovel blade planar portion.
  • As used herein, a snow shovel blade “retaining sidewall” is structured to maintain snow over the snow shovel blade and extends at an angle of between about ninety degrees and about one-hundred and ten degrees relative to the snow shovel blade planar portion.
  • As used herein, a “stamped metal body” means a thin metal body wherein the localized thickness of the body is generally uniform. That is, while the body may have curves or protrusions, the thickness as measured normal to the surface at any given point is generally uniform with the rest of the body.
  • As used herein, a “curved portion” of a snow shovel blade is a portion that is deformed along a line generally perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the shovel. Conversely, as used herein, a “bent” sidewall is a portion of the shovel blade that is deformed along a line generally parallel to the longitudinal axis of the shovel.
  • As used herein, a “take-up protrusion” is a protrusion in a metal snow shovel blade that accommodates metal that is displaced during a stamping operation. It is noted that metal and composite snow shovel blades include ridges or grooves to provide or enhance the stiffness of the blades. Such stiffening protrusions, e.g. elongated protrusions that are substantially parallel to the handle attached to the blade are not structured to “take up” material displaced during a deforming operation. Further, no protrusion on a plastic, or “poly” blade can be a “take-up protrusion” in that protrusions in a plastic snow shovel blade are the result of molding operations, not stamping.
  • As used herein, “irregular” when used to modify “take-up protrusion” means that the protrusion does not have a common shape such as, but not limited to, elongated straight or curved ribs. Such elongated ribs may be, but are not limited to, ribs that extend parallel to the shovel handle, ribs that radiate (extend from a common origin), ribs disposed in tree branch-like pattern (a number of ribs extending at an angle from a common, central rib), or ribs disposed in a menorah-like pattern (lateral ribs that curve into ribs parallel to the handle). That is, protrusions in any of these patterns are not “irregular.”
  • As used herein, a “generally smooth curve” is a curve, or a curved member, wherein there are no localized bends, undulations, wrinkles, or folds.
  • As used herein, a “blank” is a work piece upon which a number of processes are preformed to create a final product. The work piece maintains the status of being a “blank” until all processes are complete. That is, the work piece is still a “blank” even if a number, or substantially all, processes have been performed.
  • As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a snow shovel 10 includes a handle 12 and a blade 20. The handle 12 is elongated and defines a longitudinal axis 14 for the snow shovel 10 as well as the shovel blade 20 and blade body 22 (discussed below). The handle 12, in an exemplary embodiment, includes a D-grip 15 at the upper end. The shovel blade 20 is made from metal and, in an exemplary embodiment, from aluminum and/or an aluminum alloy. Further, the shovel blade 20 is, in an exemplary embodiment, a stamped metal body 22. That is, the blade 20 includes a body 22 and a socket 24. The blade socket 24 defines a cavity that corresponds to the cross-sectional shape of the handle 12. The blade socket 24 is, in an exemplary embodiment, unitary with the blade body 22. The blade body 22, in an exemplary embodiment, has a general thickness of between about 0.04 inch and 0.08 inch, or about 0.06 inch. As described below, the blade body 22 is stamped from a generally flat blank 190 (FIG. 5). It is noted that the blade body 22 is deformed and includes a curved portion 32 and a number of take-up protrusions 160; thus, the blade 20 has a much greater thickness than any localized portion of the blade body 22.
  • The blade body 22 includes a generally planar portion 30, a curved portion 32, and two opposed lateral, depending sidewalls 34, 36. It is noted that the sidewalls 34, 36 are, in an exemplary embodiment, substantially mirror images of each other. As such, the following description will discuss a single sidewall 34 and it is understood that such a description is applicable to the other sidewall 36 as well.
  • The planar portion 30 includes a leading edge 40 and a trailing edge 42. In an exemplary embodiment, the planar portion 30 is unitary with the curved portion 32 and the trailing edge 42 does not exist as an “edge.” That is the name trailing “edge” is used for the sake of consistency and the trailing edge 42 is the rear boundary of the planar portion 30. The planar portion 30 is, in an exemplary embodiment, generally trapezoidal with the longer base being the planar portion leading edge 40. The planar portion leading edge 40, in an exemplary embodiment, has a first width of between about 16.0 inches and 24.0 inches, or, about 20.0 inches. The planar portion trailing edge 42, in an exemplary embodiment, has a second width of between about 13.0 inches and 15.0 inches, or, about 13.35 inches. Further, in an exemplary embodiment, the planar portion 30 has a length of between about 6.0 inches and 12.0 inches, or, about 9.0 inches. It is noted that the planar portion leading edge 40 is also the blade front edge 41.
  • The curved portion 32 also includes a leading edge 44 and a trailing edge 46. As before, the term leading “edge” is used for consistency and it is understood that the curved portion leading edge 44 is the front boundary of the curved portion 32. As noted above, the curved portion leading edge 44 is, in an exemplary embodiment, unitary with the planar portion trailing edge 42. Viewed in plan form, e.g. from above, the curved portion 32 is, in an exemplary embodiment, generally trapezoidal with the longer base being the curved portion trailing edge 46. The curved portion leading edge 44, in an exemplary embodiment, has a third width of between about 13.0 inches and 15.0 inches, or, about 13.35 inches. Thus, the second and third widths are substantially the same. The curved portion trailing edge 46, in an exemplary embodiment, has a fourth width of between about 14.0 inches and 16.0 inches, or, about 15.0 inches. It is noted that the lateral sides of the curved portion 32 are curvilinear but, as used herein, the shape described above is “generally trapezoidal” when viewed from above. It is noted that the curved portion trailing edge 46 is also the blade back edge 43.
  • As shown in FIG. 3, the curved portion 32 is generally curvilinear, generally parabolic, or generally a circular arc. In an exemplary embodiment, the curved portion 32 is generally curvilinear and extends over an arc “A,” but not a substantially circular arc, of between about 110 degrees to about 130 degrees relative to the planar portion 30. In another exemplary embodiment, the curved portion 32 is generally curvilinear and extends over an arc “A” of about 117.4 degrees. The curved portion 32, in an exemplary embodiment, includes a generally planar segment 48 extending along the curved portion trailing edge 46. The curved portion trailing edge 46 is at a vertical height above the plane of the planar portion 30 of between about 4.0 inches and 6.0 inches, or about 5.0 inches. Thus, the curved portion 32 is a pusher portion 38.
  • The sidewalls 34, 36 extend along lateral sides of the planar portion 30 and substantially all, or all, of the curved portion 32. The angle “B” of the sidewalls 34, 36 relative to the planar portion 30 and the curved portion 32 is substantially the same over the length of the sidewalls 34, 36. The angle “B” of the sidewalls 34, 36 is measured outwardly relative to the shovel blade longitudinal axis 14 as shown in FIG. 4. In an exemplary embodiment, the sidewalls 34, 36 are supporting sidewalls. In another exemplary embodiment, the sidewalls 34, 36 are holding sidewalls. In another exemplary embodiment, the sidewalls 34, 36 are retaining sidewalls. In another exemplary embodiment, the sidewalls 34, 36 are at an angle of 99.6 degrees. In another exemplary embodiment, the sidewalls 34, 36 are at an angle of 110.0 degrees. The sidewalls 34, 36 each include a front end 50, 52 that extends generally perpendicular to the plane of the planar portion 30. Each front end 50, 52, in an exemplary embodiment, has a height of between about 0.5 inch and 2.0 inches, or about 1.0 inch. The sidewalls 34, 36 each include an upper surface 54, 56. Each sidewall includes an upper surface 54, 56 that is generally planar when viewed from the side, as in FIG. 3 The sidewalls 34, 36 extend substantially the length of the blade body 22, but may not extend to the curved portion trailing edge 46. Further, with the blade body dimensions and configuration noted above, the sidewall 34, 36, at the interface of the planar portion trailing edge 42 and the curved portion leading edge 44, has a height above the plane of the planar portion 30 of between about 2.0 inches and 3.0 inches, or about 2.81 inches. It is noted that the sidewalls 34, 36 are generally concave. That is, a medial portion of the sidewalls 34, 36 is disposed closer to the blade longitudinal axis 14 than the ends of the sidewalls 34, 36. Further, the sidewalls 34, 36 are generally smooth curves.
  • The planar portion 30 and the curved portion 32 include a number of take-up protrusions 60. In an exemplary embodiment, a subset, hereinafter the “first set,” of take-up protrusions 60 are irregular take-up protrusions 62. That is, the irregular take-up protrusions 62 are take-up protrusions 60 having irregular cross-sectional shapes. As discussed below, the act of stamping a substantially flat blank 190 into a construct including curves and bends displaces material in the blank 190. The take-up protrusions 60 and the irregular take-up protrusions 62 allow the blade 20 to be formed in a selected manner without distortions caused by displaced material. As shown, the take-up protrusions 60 include take-up protrusions 60A, 60B disposed along the blade longitudinal axis 14. As shown, take-up protrusion 60A is elongated in the direction of the blade longitudinal axis 14 and take-up protrusion 60B is elongated laterally over the socket 24. In an exemplary embodiment, the take-up protrusions 60 have a maximum offset, that is the greatest depth or greatest height relative to the plane of the adjacent surface of the blade body 22, of between about 0.15 inch and 0.35 inch, or about 0.25 inch.
  • Each irregular take-up protrusion 62 is generally elongated and includes a longitudinal axis 64. Each irregular take-up protrusion longitudinal axis 64 does not, however, extend generally parallel to the blade longitudinal axis 14. That is, as shown, each irregular take-up protrusion longitudinal axis 64 extends at an angle relative to the blade longitudinal axis 14. In an exemplary embodiment, the irregular take-up protrusions 62 have a maximum offset, that is the greatest depth or greatest height relative to the plane of the adjacent surface of the blade body 22, of between about 0.15 inch and 0.35 inch, or about 0.25 inch.
  • The method of making the shovel blades, shown in FIG. 6, described above includes the following. Providing 200 an elongated strip of metal. As is known, the strip of metal may be provided in a coil. As noted above, in an exemplary embodiment, the metal is aluminum or an aluminum alloy. Cutting 202 blanks 190 from the strip of metal. The blanks 190 are generally planar and have, in an exemplary embodiment, a generally trapezoidal shape with a major base 192, a minor base 194, a first lateral side 196 and a second lateral side 198. In an exemplary embodiment, the width of the major base 192 is between about 18.0 inches and about 24.0 inches, or about 21.0 inches. In an exemplary embodiment, the width of the minor base 194 is between about 12.5 inches and about 18.5 inches, or about 15.5 inches. In an exemplary embodiment, the length of the first and second lateral sides 196, 198 is between about 15.0 inches and about 18.0 inches, or about 16.5 inches. Thus, cutting 202 blanks includes cutting 202A generally trapezoidal blanks 190. As shown, the corners of the blanks may be rounded.
  • When the blanks 190 have a trapezoidal shape, adjacent blanks 190 may be oriented in opposing directions, as shown in FIG. 5. In this configuration, the adjacent blanks may be positioned closer together, thereby reducing the amount of scrap metal resulting from the cutting 202 operation. Accordingly, cutting 202 the blanks includes orienting 204 trapezoidal blanks 190 so that adjacent blanks are in opposition. That is, “orienting 204 trapezoidal blanks 190 so that adjacent blanks are in opposition” means that the major base of one trapezoidal blank 190 is generally parallel with the minor base 194 of the adjacent trapezoidal blank 190, as shown in FIG. 5.
  • Stamping 206 the blanks 190 substantially transforms the blanks 190 into snow shovel blades 20 described above. That is, stamping 206 the blanks 190 includes curving 210 a portion of the blank 190 to be a pusher portion. This step creates the curved portion 32. Stamping 206 the blanks 190 further includes bending 212 the lateral sides of the blank 190 to create the sidewalls 34, 36. In an exemplary embodiment, curving 210 a portion of the blank 190 to create the curved portion 32 includes curving 210A a portion of the blank 190 adjacent the minor base 194 so that the curved portion extends over an arc of between about 110 degrees to about 130 degrees relative to the plane of the blank 190. In an exemplary embodiment, the curving 210 a portion of the blank 190 to create the curved portion 32 includes curving 210A a portion of the blank 190 adjacent the minor base 194 so that the curved portion extends over an arc of about 117.4 degrees relative to the plane of the blank 190. It is noted that the portion of the blank 190 adjacent the major base 192 becomes the planar portion 30.
  • Stamping 206 the blanks 190 further includes bending 212A the blank first and second lateral sides 196, 198 to create sidewalls 34, 36. In one exemplary embodiment, the blank first and second lateral sides 196, 198 are bent 212A to be supporting sidewalls 34, 36. That is, the sidewalls 34, 36 are at an angle of between about ninety degrees and about one-hundred and forty degrees relative to the plane of the blank 190. In another exemplary embodiment, the blank first and second lateral sides 196, 198 are bent 212A to be holding sidewalls 34, 36. That is, the sidewalls 34, 36 are at an angle of between about ninety degrees and about one-hundred and twenty degrees relative to the plane of the blank 190. In another exemplary embodiment, the blank first and second lateral sides 196, 198 are bent 212A to be retaining sidewalls 34, 36. That is, the sidewalls 34, 36 are at an angle of between about ninety degrees and about one-hundred and ten degrees relative to the plane of the blank 190.
  • Stamping 206, in an exemplary embodiment, further includes forming 206A take-up protrusions 62. In an exemplary embodiment, the take-up protrusions 60 includes irregular take-up protrusions 62. That is, forming 206A take-up protrusions 60 includes forming 206B irregular take-up protrusions 62.
  • While specific embodiments of the invention have been described in detail, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that various modifications and alternatives to those details could be developed in light of the overall teachings of the disclosure. Accordingly, the particular arrangements disclosed are meant to be illustrative only and not limiting as to the scope of invention which is to be given the full breadth of the claims appended and any and all equivalents thereof.

Claims (19)

What is claimed is:
1. A snow shovel blade comprising:
a stamped metal body including a generally planar portion, a curved portion, and two opposed lateral, depending sidewalls; and
said sidewalls are supporting sidewalls.
2. The snow shovel blade of claim 1 wherein said sidewalls are holding sidewalls.
3. The snow shovel blade of claim 1 wherein said sidewalls are retaining sidewalls.
4. The snow shovel blade of claim 3 wherein said metal body is an aluminum body.
5. The snow shovel blade of claim 1 wherein said metal body is an aluminum body.
6. The snow shovel blade of claim 1 wherein said curved portion extends over an arc of between about 110 degrees to about 130 degrees relative to said planar portion.
7. The snow shovel blade of claim 6 wherein said curved portion extends over an arc of about 117 relative to said planar portion.
8. The snow shovel blade of claim 1 wherein said curved portion is a pusher portion.
9. The snow shovel blade of claim 6 wherein said sidewalls are generally concave.
10. The snow shovel blade of claim 6 wherein:
said planar portion includes a leading edge and a trailing edge;
said planar portion leading edge having a first width;
said planar portion trailing edge having a second width;
said curved portion includes a leading edge and a trailing edge;
said curved portion leading edge having a third width;
said curved portion trailing edge having a fourth width;
wherein said second width and said third width are substantially the same;
wherein said fourth width is greater than said third width; and
wherein said first width is greater than said fourth width.
11. The snow shovel blade of claim 10 wherein said sidewalls are generally concave.
12. The snow shovel blade of claim 1 wherein:
at least one of said planar portion and said curved portion include a number of take-up protrusions; and
wherein said take-up protrusions are symmetrical about a centerline of said blade body.
13. The snow shovel blade of claim 12 wherein a first set of said number of take-up protrusions are irregular take-up protrusions.
14. The snow shovel blade of claim 12 wherein:
said blade body including a longitudinal axis;
wherein each said take-up protrusion includes a longitudinal axis; and
wherein each said take-up protrusion longitudinal axis is not generally parallel to said blade body longitudinal axis.
15. A method of making a snow shovel blade including:
cutting generally planar blanks from a strip of metal;
stamping the blank to create a pusher portion; and
bending the lateral sides of the blank to create sidewalls.
16. The method of claim 15 wherein of cutting generally planar blanks from a strip of metal and stamping the blank to create a pusher portion includes:
cutting generally trapezoidal blanks having a major base, a minor base, a first lateral side and a second lateral side; and
curving a portion of the blank adjacent the minor base so that the curved portion extends over an arc of between about 110 degrees to about 130 degrees relative to the plane of the blank.
17. The method of claim 15 wherein bending the lateral sides of the blank to create sidewalls includes bending the lateral sides of the blank to create supporting sidewalls.
18. The method of claim 15 wherein bending the lateral sides of the blank to create sidewalls includes bending the lateral sides of the blank to create holding sidewalls.
19. The method of claim 15 wherein bending the lateral sides of the blank to create sidewalls includes bending the lateral sides of the blank to create retaining sidewalls.
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