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Title:
HANDLE ASSEMBLY FOR DRYWALL FINISHER BOX
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2015/123066
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A handle assembly for a container dispensing a seaming compound comprises a connector plate configured for coupling to the container, a first handle, and a second handle, wherein each of the first handle and the second handle is coupled to the connector plate.

Inventors:
WILSON, Mark, S. (101 Corbel Ct, Peachtree City, GA, 30269, US)
JUNGKLAUS, Matthew, W. (332 Birchmore Walk, Lawrenceville, GA, 30044, US)
Application Number:
US2015/014474
Publication Date:
August 20, 2015
Filing Date:
February 04, 2015
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
AXIA ACQUISITION CORPORATION (1380 Beverage Drive, Suite WStone Mountain, GA, 30083, US)
International Classes:
E04F21/165
Foreign References:
US2711098A1955-06-21
US1828738A1931-10-27
US2630703A1953-03-10
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SARET, Larry L. (Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, 180 N. Stetson Avenue Suite 200, Chicago IL, 60601, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A handle assembly for a container dispensing a seaming compound comprising

a connector plate configured for coupling to the container;

a first handle; and

a second handle,

wherein each of the first handle and the second handle is coupled to the connector plate.

2. The handle assembly according to claim 1, the second handle is detachably coupled to the connector plate.

3. The handle assembly according to claim 1, wherein the second handle is movable between a first orientation and a second orientation.

4. The handle assembly according to claim 3, wherein the second handle is movable when detached from the connector plate and not movable when coupled with the connector plate.

5. The handle assembly according to claim 3, wherein the second orientation is 180 degrees from the first orientation.

6. The handle assembly according to claim 1, wherein the connector plate includes a pair of spaced edges and one of the first handle and the second handle is coupled to the connector plate between the pair of spaced edges.

7. The handle assembly according to claim 6, wherein the pair of spaced edges are parallel.

8. The handle assembly according to claim 6, wherein both of the first handle and the second handle are coupled to the connector plate between the pair of spaced edges.

9. The handle assembly according to claim 1, wherein the second handle includes a first angled portion and a second angled portion defining a gripping surface, the first portion having a longitudinal axis, the second portion extending from the first portion, such that the longitudinal axis of the first portion and a longitudinal axis of the second portion intersect.

10. The handle assembly according to claim 1, wherein the connector plate includes a pair of openings, each configured to receive a fastener for securing the accessory to the finisher box.

11. A handle assembly for a container comprising

a pressure plate configured for coupling to the container;

a first handle; and

a second handle having a longitudinal axis extending substantially orthogonal to the pressure plate,

wherein each of the first handle and the second handle is coupled to the pressure plate.

12. The handle assembly according to claim 11, wherein the pressure plate has a pivot axis and a pair of spaced edges, one of the first handle and the second handle is coupled to the pressure plate between the pair of spaced edges.

13. The handle assembly according to claim 11, wherein the pressure plate, the first handle, and the second handle are one-piece.

14. A handle assembly for a finisher box comprising

a connector plate including an extension, the connector plate configured to secure to the finisher box;

a first handle coupled to the extension and defining a first gripping surface; and a second handle including a first portion and a second portion, the second portion defining a second gripping surface, the first portion coupled to the connector plate, the second portion extending from the first portion such that longitudinal axes of the first portion and the second portion form an acute angle,

wherein the second handle is attachable to the connector plate in either one of a first orientation and a second orientation.

15. The handle assembly according to claim 14, wherein the second orientation is 180 degrees from the first orientation.

16. The handle assembly according to claim 14, wherein the connector plate is detachable from the finisher box.

Description:
HANDLE ASSEMBLY FOR DRYWALL FINISHER BOX

BACKGROUND

[0001] This application claims the benefit of and priority to U.S. Provisional Patent

Application No. 61/940,736, filed February 17, 2014, the entire contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

[0002] The present disclosure relates to handles for a container. In particular, the present disclosure relates to finisher boxes and handles for finisher boxes.

[0003] Mastic or other seaming compounds are typically applied over seams in drywall and other building materials. These seaming compounds are viscous and dispensed from containers such as flat finisher boxes, which are used to apply finish coats of joint compound over taped drywall joints. Flat finisher boxes currently include handles that allow the operator to control the orientation of the box during use and to extend his reach. Controlling the orientation is a matter of allowing the box to pivot from the handle or locking the handle in place when the operator applies a locking mechanism (i.e., a brake lever) at a distal end of the handle. Conventional handles for finisher boxes come in a variety of lengths, generally from about 34" long to as long as 72" or longer.

SUMMARY

[0004] In one embodiment, a handle assembly for a container dispensing a seaming compound comprises a connector plate configured for coupling to the container, a first handle, and a second handle, wherein each of the first handle and the second handle is coupled to the connector plate.

[0005] In another embodiment, a handle assembly for a container comprises a pressure plate configured for coupling to the container, a first handle having a longitudinal axis extending at a first angle to the pressure plate, and a second handle having a longitudinal axis extending substantially orthogonal to the pressure plate, wherein each of the first handle and the second handle is coupled to the pressure plate. [0006] In yet another embodiment, a handle assembly for a finisher box comprises a connector plate including an extension, the connector plate configured to secure to the finisher box. The handle assembly further comprises a first handle coupled to the extension and defining a first gripping surface and a second handle including a first portion and a second portion, the second portion defining the second gripping surface. The first portion is coupled to the connector plate and the second portion extends from the first portion such that longitudinal axes of the first portion and the second portion form an acute angle. The second handle is attachable to the connector plate in either of a first orientation or a second orientation.

[0007] Other aspects of the disclosure will become apparent by consideration of the detailed description and accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008] FIGS. 1-4 illustrate perspective views of a container or finisher box with a handle assembly according to a first embodiment of the disclosure.

[0009] FIGS. 5-8 illustrate perspective views of a container or finisher box with a handle assembly according to a second embodiment of the disclosure.

[0010] FIG. 9 illustrates a perspective view of a handle assembly including a connecter plate for a container or finisher box according to a third embodiment of the disclosure.

[0011] FIG. 10 illustrates a partially exploded perspective view of a container or finisher box with the handle assembly of FIG. 9.

[0012] FIG. 11 illustrates a perspective view of the finisher box and the handle assembly of FIG. 10, including the handle assembly coupled to the finisher box.

[0013] FIG. 12 illustrates a perspective view of a handle assembly including a connecter plate for a container or finisher box according to a fourth embodiment of the disclosure.

[0014] FIG. 13 illustrates a partially exploded perspective view of a container or finisher box with the handle assembly of FIG. 12. [0015] FIG. 14 illustrates a perspective view of the finisher box and the handle assembly of FIG. 13, including the handle assembly coupled to the finisher box.

[0016] FIG. 15 illustrates a perspective view of the finisher box and the handle assembly of FIGS. 13-14, with the handle assembly in a different orientation from that of FIGS 12-14.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0017] Before any embodiments of the disclosure are explained in detail, it is to be understood that the disclosure is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the following drawings. The disclosure is capable of other embodiments and of being practiced or of being carried out in various ways.

[0018] FIGS. 1-4 illustrate a container or finisher box 10 including a handle assembly or accessory 12 according to a first embodiment of the disclosure. For the purposes of this application, the finisher box 10 is for drywall finishing. Drywall finishing is described herein as an example for what the various embodiments of the handle assembly 12 may be used for.

[0019] The finisher box 10 also includes a body or housing 14 with a bottom wall and spaced apart sides 16a, 16b, 16c, 16d. The bottom wall and the sides 16a-16d are adapted to receive joint compound in a cavity they form. The bottom wall and sides 16a-16d may be formed as one piece or coupled by any suitable fastener. A top wall or pressure plate 18 includes a first edge 20 and a spaced second edge 22 that may be parallel to the first edge 20. The pressure plate 18 is retained within the finisher box 10 and is pivotable within the finisher box 10 relative to the sides 16a-16d. In particular, the first edge 20 is slidable along the side 16d, which essentially forms a front wall, while the second edge 22 remains positioned substantially adjacent the side 16c (which essentially forms a back wall). In the illustrated embodiment, two fasteners 24 (i.e., set screws) define a stop that prevents the pressure plate 18 from being completely displaced from the finisher box 10. Other structures may retain the pressure plate 18 relative to the finisher box 10. For example, in the embodiment of FIGS. 10-11, which will be described in greater detail below, two rotatable latches 242 define the stop that prevents the pressure plate 218 from separating from the finisher box 210. The finisher box 10 also includes an opening or aperture (not shown) located between adjacent edges or surfaces of the bottom wall and the side 16d, through which joint compound or a seaming compound can be extruded. As the pressure plate 18 is pushed along the side 16d toward the bottom wall, seaming compound is forced out through the aperture. In the illustrated embodiment, the aperture is substantially the same length the bottom wall and side 16d, although the aperture in other embodiments may be any suitable length. The side 16d or bottom wall also includes a blade finisher, which helps to evenly distribute and smooth the seaming compound as it is pushed out of the aperture. The finisher box 10 may also include wheels 26 to facilitate movement of the box 10 against the wall. The finisher box 10 may also include a skid or skids 128 in place of one or both of the wheels 26, as illustrated in FIGS. 5-8. Additionally, fasteners 30 (i.e., stubs or screws 30a and wingnuts 30b, respectively) may be coupled to the pressure plate 18, and a tensioning mechanism 32 may be included on the side 16d for adjusting the amount of seaming compound crown when filling the cavity between the drywall panels.

[0020] The handle assembly 12 according to the first embodiment of the disclosure is coupled to the finisher box 10 and includes a first handle 34 (i.e., a knife handle) and a second handle or a push post 36. In particular, the first handle 34 is coupled to the pressure plate 18. The first handle 34,which is shaped and sized similarly to a conventional knife handle, is also sized and shaped to fit comfortably in the operator's hand and gives the operator much improved leverage and control when maneuvering the box 10 during use, as compared with conventional handles. For example, the operator can use the box 10 with one hand by holding only the first handle 34. Additionally, the first handle 34 may include a grip 38, which defines a first gripping portion that emulates the size and shape of the grip used on standard drywall finisher knives, thereby allowing the operator to operate the finisher box 10 much like he would a finisher knife. Drywall finishers are very comfortable using a tool in this way.

[0021] The push post 36 may be coupled to one or both of the pressure plate 18 and the first handle 34. The first handle 34 and the push post 36 are positioned in close proximity to one another. In the embodiment of FIGS. 1-4, the first handle 34 and the push post 36 are coupled to one another on the pressure plate 18. As such, while the operator holds the first handle 34 with one hand, he may use his other hand to manipulate the push post 36. Dual use of both the first handle 34 and the push post 36 gives the operator substantial control over the path of the finisher box 10. Pressure applied by hand to the push post 36 gives much more leverage as well, which helps to push the seaming compound out of the finisher box 10 (and onto the wall to be finished). The pressure is applied orthogonally to the pressure plate through the push post 36, therefore not wasting a user's energy. In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1-4, the first handle 34 and the push post 36 are bolted to the pressure plate 18 of the finisher box 10. However, the first handle 34 and the push post 36 may be secured in other ways to the pressure plate 18, as described below and shown in FIGS. 5-8. The push post 36 and the first handle 34 may also be attached to one another or to the pressure plate 18 in one of the ways as described above and below, or in other ways not described within.

[0022] In the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1-4, the push post 36 is connected to the first handle 34 by an attachment piece 40 (e.g., a piece of sheet metal). The attachment piece 40 is stiff enough that the operator can control the box 10 very well and also apply enough pressure to the pressure plate 18 to push the seaming compound out of the box 10 and onto the wall to be finished. In other embodiments, the attachment piece 40 may be rather flexible. In those embodiments, the first handle 34 is pivotable at the attachment piece 40 relative to the pressure plate 18 to allow the operator to find a hand position that is most comfortable. The first handle 34 has a longitudinal axis defining an acute angle relative to the pressure plate 18.

[0023] The push post 36 is bolted (or otherwise fastened) directly onto the pressure plate 18 or the attachment piece 40, and the push post 36 extends substantially orthogonally from the pressure plate 18. A longitudinal axis of the push post 36 defines an angle relative to the pressure plate 18 that is greater than the angle formed by the longitudinal axis of the first handle 34 to the pressure plate 18. Additionally, as illustrated, the push post 36 is positioned near the first edge 20 of the pressure plate 18, which allows the operator to get maximum mechanical advantage on the plate 18 and reduces the amount of pressure and effort to push seaming compound out of the finisher box 10. The push post 36 is substantially rounded (i.e., knob shaped) at a distal end to be comfortable in the palm of the operator's hand and to define a second gripping portion.

[0024] The entire handle assembly could also be made in one piece, such as by molding or casting. FIGS. 5-8 illustrate a container or finisher box 110 including a handle assembly or accessory 112 according to a second embodiment of the invention. Therefore, structure of the second embodiment similar to the first embodiment will be identified with reference numerals of the first embodiment plus "100," and only the differences will discussed herein.

[0025] FIGS. 5-8 show the pressure plate 118, the first handle 134, and the push post 136 molded as a one-piece assembly. The one-piece assembly is shaped substantially similar to the design as shown in FIGS. 1-4. However, notably, the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 5-8 may or may not include features on a top side of the pressure plate 118, such as the fasteners 30a, 30b. Similarly, the handle 134 may be formed as one piece with the pressure plate 118. In that embodiment, the push post 136 may be formed as one piece with either the pressure plate 118 or the first handle 134. The push post 136 and the first handle 134 may also be attached to one another or to the pressure plate 118 in one of the ways as described above and below, or in other ways not described within.

[0026] The second embodiment shows one wheel 126 and one skid 128, but may include a second wheel 126 in place of the skid 128 or a second skid 128 in place of the wheel 126. The skid 128 is configured to reduce the contact area between the wall and the finisher box 110 at an end of the finisher box 110 opposite the aperture, therefore making maneuvering the finisher box 10 along the wall easier. Preferably, the finisher box 110 will include wheels 126 on both sides, or skids 128 on both sides. An axle 144, molded with the pressure plate 118 in the illustrated embodiment, provides attachment points on its opposite ends for the wheels 126. The pressure plate 118 is held in place through a rotatable latch 142 at a corner of the pressure plate 118 and the finisher box 110.

[0027] In reference to both the first and the second embodiments, one or both of the first handle 34, 134 and the push post 36, 136 may be used to move the box 10, 110 along a drywall joint and push the seaming compound out of the finisher box 10, 110 and onto the wall. The connection of the first handle 34, 134 and the push post 36, 136 to the pressure plate 18, 118 gives the operator increased leverage on the pressure plate 18, 118 as compared with the single handles that are standard in the industry. Experienced drywall finishers will be very comfortable manipulating the box 10, 110 with the first handle 34, 134 because holding only the first handle 34, 134 works and feels very much like using a drywall finishing knife. As such the handle assembly for the finisher box 10, 110 of the present invention is ideal for all drywall projects regardless of the operator's skills and experience finishing drywall.

[0028] FIGS. 10-11 illustrate a container or finisher box 210 according to a third

embodiment of the invention that includes a removable handle assembly or accessory 212. The finisher box 210 and the handle assembly 212 of FIGS. 9-11 have similar structure to that of the finisher box 10 and the handle assembly 12 of FIGS. 1-4. Therefore, structure of the third embodiment similar to the first embodiment will be identified with reference numerals of the first embodiment plus "200."

[0029] The first handle 234 and the push post 236 are coupled to a connector plate 246, forming the handle assembly 212 which is removably coupled to the pressure plate 218 of the finisher box 210. The connector plate 246 includes a first edge 247a and a spaced second edge 247b that may be parallel to the first edge 247a. In the illustrated embodiment, the push post 236 is positioned near the first edge 247a of the connector plate 246, which allows the operator to get maximum mechanical advantage on the pressure plate 218 through the connector plate 246 and reduces the amount of pressure and effort to push seaming compound out of the finisher box 210. The push post 236 is connected to the first handle 234 by the attachment piece 240 (e.g., a piece of sheet metal). The attachment piece 240 may be coupled to the connector plate 246 by fasteners or other coupling means.

[0030] The connector plate 246 also includes two openings or notches 248. The two notches 248 are sized and shaped to receive fasteners 230 (i.e., studs 230a and wingnuts 230b, respectively) provided on most commercially available flat finisher boxes. As a result, an operator that already owns a conventional finisher box can attach the handle assembly 212 very easily to his finisher box. This way, the handle assembly 212 may be attached as an auxiliary accessory to be used when desired.

[0031] To assemble the finisher box 210, the operator unscrews the wingnuts 230b away from the pressure plate 218 and slides the connector plate 246 under the wingnuts 230b (i.e., between the pressure plate 218 and the wingnuts 230b). The notches 248 receive the studs 230a disposed between the pressure plate 218 and the wingnuts 230b. The connector plate 246 is slid under the wingnuts 230b until the notches 248 in the plate 246 fully seat against the studs 230a. Once the connector plate 246 is appropriately positioned, the wingnuts 230b are tightened against the connector plate 246 such that the handle assembly 212 is secured to the pressure plate 218 of the finisher box 210, which is ready for use.

[0032] In reference to the first, second, and third embodiments, the handle 34, 134, 234 may be formed as one piece with the pressure plate 18, 118, 218. Similarly, any combination of the handle 34, 134, 234, the push post 36, 136, 236, the pressure plate 18, 118, 218, and/or the connector plate 246 may be formed as one piece in other embodiments, and as similarly shown in FIGS. 5-8. The push post 236 and the first handle 234 may also be attached to one another or to the connector plate 246 in one of the ways as described above and below, or in other ways not described within.

[0033] The connector plate 246 may have any suitable shape and size, including that illustrated in FIGS. 9-11. Though it is possible to operate a finisher box 10, 110, 210 by grasping only the first handle 34, 134, 234, using both the first handle 34, 134, 234 and the push post 36, 136, 236 is advantageous. For example, using two hands on the handle assembly 12, 112, 212, placed close to the box 10, 110, 210 gives exceptional control of the box 10, 110, 210 as it is moved along the drywall joint to be finished. Because of the leverage the push post 36, 136, 236 gives, applying pressure with both hands greatly reduces the overall effort required to push seaming compound out of the finisher box 10, 110, 210 especially when compared to the forces that must be generated to use any of the current finisher box handles.

[0034] FIGS. 13-15 illustrate a container or finisher box 310 according to a fourth embodiment of the invention that includes a removable handle assembly or accessory 312. The finisher box 310 and the handle assembly 312 of FIGS. 12-15 have similar structure to that of the finisher box 10 and the handle assembly 12 of FIGS. 1-4. Therefore, structure of the fourth embodiment similar to the first embodiment will be identified with reference numerals of the first embodiment plus "300." As the fourth embodiment is also similar to the third embodiment, only the differences between the third and fourth embodiments will be discussed herein.

FIGS. 12-15 illustrate the connector plate 346 including the first edge 347a, the edge 347b parallel to the first edge 347a, and an extension 350. The extension 350 includes a first end 352 and a second end 354. The first end 352 is coupled to the connector plate 346, whereas the second end 354 couples to and extends into the first handle 334.

[0036] FIGS. 12-15 illustrate a second handle 356 in place of the push post 36. Similar to above, the second handle 356 and the first handle 334 may also be attached to one another or to the connector plate 346 or the extension 350 in one of the ways as described above and below, or in other ways not described within.

[0037] The second handle 356 resembles a "seven" in shape and includes a vertical portion 358, a first angled portion 360, and a second angled portion 362 that defines the second gripping portion. The vertical portion 358, similar to the push post 236 of the third embodiment, extends substantially orthogonal to the connector plate 346. Therefore, when pressure is applied to the second handle 356, force is exerted orthogonally to the connector plate 346. The first angled portion 360 includes a longitudinal axis and extends from the vertical portion 358 partially in the same direction that the vertical portion 358 extends (i.e., away from the connector plate 346), but also toward the first handle 334. In FIGS. 12-14, the second angled portion 362 includes a longitudinal axis and extends from the first angled portion 360 away from the first handle 334, such that the longitudinal axis of the first angled portion 360 and the longitudinal axis of the second angled portion 362 intersect to form an acute angle. The second angled portion 362 may extend from the first angled portion 358 as illustrated in FIGS. 12-15, i.e., either slightly away from the connecter plate 346, or it may be substantially parallel to the connector plate 346. The second angled portion 362 may also include a knob 364 at an end of the second angled portion 362 away from the first angled portion 360.

[0038] Some operators may prefer the second handle 356 extend toward the first handle 334, as shown in FIG. 15, as opposed to the first orientation illustrated in FIGS. 12-14. Therefore, to allow the operator's preference, the second handle 356 is capable of being reversed. FIG. 15 illustrates the second handle 356 rotated 180 degrees compared to the second handle 356 shown in FIGS. 12-14. In the preferred embodiment, the second handle 356 includes four threaded openings (not shown) which at least partially extend through the vertical portion 358 and may further extend into the first angled portion 360. The connector plate 346 also includes four holes (not shown) that substantially align with the openings of the second handle 356. Four threaded fasteners (not shown) extend through the holes of the connector plate 346 and into the openings of the second handle 356. The fasteners are tightened to secure the second handle 356 to the connector plate 346. Therefore, when the fasteners are removed, the second handle 356 may be reoriented and refastened to the connector plate 346 in a different operator's preferred orientation. Although described as requiring four holes, four openings, and four fasteners, any number of holes, openings, and fasteners sufficient to secure the second handle 356 to the connector plate 346 may be used. Similarly, the second handle 356 may be rotated either less or more than 180 degrees and secured by other methods not described within. Those other methods may provide possibilities of orientating and securing the second handle 356 in a manner not illustrated in FIGS. 12-15.

[0039] In reference to the four embodiments, the length of the first handle 34, 134, 234, 334 can vary greatly depending on the operator's preference. The end of the first handle 34, 134, 234, 334 may include an attachment (not shown) configured to attach an extension pole. The extension pole would allow an operator to use the finisher box 10, 110, 210, 310 in difficult to reach places, such as ceilings. The embodiments illustrated show a first handle 34, 134, 234, 334 that has a relatively short length, however, embodiments not shown may include a first handle design 34, 134, 234, 334 that has a much greater length allowing an operator to reach ceilings, or the other difficult areas, without the use of the extension.

[0040] Other handle shapes and connections other than those illustrated herein, which may have various amounts of flexibility (and means of achieving that flexibility), as well as rigid connections, may be used. For example, the first handle 34, 134, 234, 334 could be thinner and longer, similar to handles used on many garden tools. The push post 36, 136, 236 could be removable or have a variety of shapes, similar to that shown in FIGS. 12-15 and described above. For example, the rounded flat distal end of the push post 36, 136, 236 shown herein could be replaced by many other possible shapes.

[0041] Various features and advantages of the invention are set forth in the following claims.