Hand tools abstract
A method and apparatus facilitate the efficient, safe use of storage
space in a building structure. The apparatus stores hand tools of
differing shape and dimension in a compact area in nested, canted
storage units shaped to receive the handles of tools.
Hand tools claims
Having described my invention in such terms as to enable those
of skill in the art to make and practice it, and having described
the presently preferred embodiments thereof, I claim:
1. A tool storage system comprising (a) a building structure; (b)
a vertically oriented wall in said building structure; (c) a floor
in said building structure; (d) at least first and second tool storage
units mounted side-by-side above said floor on said wall, each unit
including (i) a base having a first side with a tongue and a second
side with a U-shaped opening, said opening of said first unit receiving
said tongue of said second unit, (ii) a horizontally oriented nest
of hollow tubular side-by-side interconnected tool storage elements
fixedly mounted on and extending outwardly from said base, each
of said elements (A) including a cylindrical wall, said wall of
one of said storage elements connected to the wall of said storage
elements immediately adjacent said one of said storage elements,
(B) including a mouth, said mouths of said storage elements generally
lying in a common plane parallel to a horizontally oriented line,
(C) canting away from said wall; and (D) shaped and dimensioned
to receive the handle of a tool such that a portion of the tool
is prevented from extending laterally past said mouth of said element.
Hand tools description
This invention pertains to a method and apparatus for storing tools
indoors on or adjacent a vertical surface in a building structure.
More particularly, this invention pertains to a method and apparatus
for storing, prior to use, hand tools, and for facilitating the
efficient, safe use of storage space in a building structure.
In a further respect, the invention pertains to a tool storage
apparatus that facilitates the suspended storage on a wall of hand
tools of differing shape and dimension.
In another respect, the invention pertains to a tool storage apparatus
that does not require the use of a perforated "peg board"
which must be mounted and used in conjunction with well known prior
art systems that use metal loop holder units that receive, for example,
the end of a screwdriver, and that include angled legs that are
inserted in perforations in a peg board to mount the holder units
on the board.
In still a further respect, the invention pertains to a tool storage
apparatus that functions to store tools in a canted orientation
that facilitates insertion and removal of the tools in and from
the apparatus when the apparatus is mounted adjacent a wall.
A variety of tool boxes and other receptacles for storing tools
are known in the art. Storage of tools on the wall of a garage or
shop or other building structure is often accomplished with a peg
board and with holder units. The peg board has a plurality of equally
spaced holes that form a grid of columns and rows on the peg board.
The peg board is mounted on a wall such that the peg board is spaced
away from the wall. The holder units ordinarily are formed from
metal. Each holder unit includes a body comprises of one or more
loops shaped to receive the end of a screwdriver or to receive another
tool. The body of each holder unit is connected to one or more feet.
Each foot is bent and is otherwise shaped such that the foot can
be inserted in a perforation in the peg board to secure the holder
unit in position on the peg board.
The afore-mentioned holder unit--peg board tool storage devices
are widely known and used, and unquestionably facilitate the storage
of tools. One disadvantage of such storage devices is that they
require the mounting of a peg board. Another disadvantage is that
the peg board must be mounted such that it is spaced apart from
the wall of a garage. This complicates the installation of the peg
board. A further disadvantage of holder unit--peg board tool storage
devices is that the loops on the holder units typically can only
receive a particular type of tool. For example, loops sized to receive
the end of a screwdriver usually can not be used to store most other
tools. Still another disadvantage of holder unit--peg board storage
devices is that it is likely that the user's hand will contact the
peg board if the used attempts to wrap his hand around the handle
of a tool that is mounted in a holder unit. While such contact normally
is harmless, there is a risk that the user can scrape his knuckles
on the edges of the holes formed in the peg board. More importantly,
contacting the peg board with the user's hands facilitates the spread
of contagious diseases like SARS that often are passed from one
person to another via the hands. Still a further disadvantage of
holder unit--peg board storage devices is that they often cannot
store the handle of a tool. For example, even if the loop on a holder
unit is large enough to receive the handle of a screwdriver, the
screwdriver likely will pass completely through the loop and will
not be retained by the loop. Yet another disadvantage of holder
unit--peg board storage devices is that a holder unit mounted on
the peg board often is readily dislodged from mounting holes in
the peg board when a tool is being removed. The holder unit must
then be reinserted in the mounting holes.
Accordingly, it would be highly desirable to provide a method and
apparatus for storing hand tools which would facilitate storing
tools on a wall in a building structure, which would readily permit
the storage of hand tools, which would permit the storage of the
handles of hand tools, which could be installed more readily than
convention holder unit--peg board storage devices, which would facilitate
the insertion and removal of hand tools, and which would reduce
the risk that the apparatus would facilitate the spread of contagious
Therefore, it is a principal object of the instant invention to
provide an improved method and apparatus for storing hand tools.
A further object of the invention is to provide a hand tool storage
unit that minimizes the likelihood that an individual's hands will
contact the unit while inserting and removing tools from the unit.
Another object of the invention is to provide a hand tool storage
unit that facilitates the storage of tools by inserting the tool
handles in the storage unit, especially when the handle is larger
than the remainder of the tool.
Still a further object of the invention is to provide a hand tool
storage unit that readily used in conjunction with and installed
on a wall.
Still another object of the invention is to provide a hand tool
storage unit that minimizes the accumulation by the unit of dirt,
dust, and other debris.
Yet another object of the invention is to facilitate the insertion
and removal of tools from a storage unit by allowing the tool to
assume a canted orientation when being inserted in the storage unit.
Yet a further object of the invention is to facilitate the storage
of a plurality of tools in close proximity in a small area.
Yet still another object of the invention is to maximize the number
of tools that can be stored on a selected area inside a room in
a building such that the room can more readily be used for functions
other than storing tools.
These and other, further and more specific objects and advantages
of the invention will be apparent from the following detailed description
of the invention, taken in conjunction with the drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view illustrating a tool storage unit constructed
in accordance with the invention;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view illustrating another embodiment of
the tool storage unit of the invention;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view illustrating still another embodiment
of the tool storage unit of the invention;
FIG. 4 is a side view of the tool storage unit of FIG. 1 illustrating
the mode of operation thereof;
FIG. 5 is a front elevation view illustrating an interlocking embodiment
of the tool storage unit of the invention in a tiered configuration;
FIG. 6 is a top view illustrating still another embodiment of the
tool storage unit of the invention.
Briefly, in accordance with my invention, I provide an improved
tool storage system. The system includes a building structure; a
floor in the building structure; a vertically oriented wall in the
building structure; and, a plurality of tool storage elements fixedly
mounted above the floor on the wall. Each of the storage elements
cants away from the wall; and, is shaped and dimensioned to receive
the handle of a tool.
In another embodiment of the invention, I provide an improved tool
storage system. The system includes a building structure; a vertically
oriented support surface in the building structure; and, a plurality
of nested hollow tool storage elements fixedly mounted on the support
surface. Each of the storage elements extends upwardly and outwardly
from the support surface; includes a proximate end adjacent the
support surface; includes a distal end spaced apart from the support
surface; includes at least one wall circumscribing and defining
an inner storage space, the inner storage space being shaped and
dimensioned to receive at least one tool; and, is adjacent at least
one of the remaining ones of the storage elements.
In a further embodiment of the invention, I provide an improved
method for inserting and removing a tool adjacent a vertically oriented
wall structure without contacting the wall structure with the tool
or with a hand holding the tool. The improved method includes the
step of providing a plurality of hollow tool storage elements. Each
of the tool elements includes a proximate end; includes a distal
end; includes at least one wall circumscribing and defining an inner
storage space, the inner storage space being shaped and dimensioned
to receive at least one tool; and, is nested with the remaining
ones of the storage elements. The method also includes the step
of mounting the hollow tool storage elements on the vertically oriented
wall structure such that the elements each extend upwardly and outwardly
from the wall structure; such that the proximate end of each of
the elements is adjacent the wall surface; and, such that the distal
end of each of the elements is spaced apart from the wall surface.
The method also includes the step of inserting the handle of a tool
in one of the hollow tool storage elements such that the tool cants
outwardly away from the wall structure.
Turning now to the drawings, which depict the presently preferred
embodiments of the invention for the purpose of illustrating the
practice thereof and not by way of limitation of the scope of the
invention, and in which like reference characters refer to corresponding
elements throughout the several views, FIG. 1 illustrates a tool
storage system constructed in accordance with the invention and
including a vertically oriented wall 19 in a room in a building
structure. The tool storage system can also, as would be appreciated
by those of skill in the art, be mounted on the inside or outside
of a door or to any other vertically oriented surface. Wall 19 upwardly
depends from a horizontally oriented floor in the building structure
(not shown). Base 11 is fixedly secured to wall 19 above the floor
with screws, nails, adhesive, or any other desired fastening means.
A plurality of hollow cylindrical tool storage units 13 14 15
are secured to base 11. The proximate end of each unit 13 14 15
is connected to base 11. The distal end 13B, 14B of each unit is
spaced apart from wall 19. Each unit 13 14 15 cants away from
base 11 and wall 19 in the manner illustrated in FIG. 1.
Each unit 13 14 15 is canted at an angle D (FIG. 4) with respect
to base 11 and wall 19. Angle D can vary as desired, but is in the
range of ten degrees to forty-five degrees, preferably twenty degrees
to thirty-five degrees. Angles greater than forty-five degrees are
not preferred for several reasons. First, when angle D exceeds forty-five
degrees, the torque generated by a tool on a unit 13 14 15 increases.
Second, a tool stored in a unit 13 14 15 is more likely to fall
out inadvertently or to be knocked out inadvertently. Third, tools
portions extending outwardly from units 13 14 15 pose an increased
risk of injury. Angles less than ten degrees are not preferred because
it is difficult to insert and remove a tool in and from a unit 13
14 15 with contacting base 11 or wall 19 with the tool or with
the hand of the user.
The shape and dimension of each unit 13 14 15 can vary as desired
as long as each unit 13 14 15 functions to receive a desired portion,
preferably but not necessarily the handle, of a tool. For example,
a unit 13 can have a hexagonal shape instead of a cylindrical shape.
If desired, a portion of the proximate end of unit 12 can be removed
by cutting along dashed line 18 (FIG. 2). This would create an opening
at the bottom of unit 12 that would permit dirt and debris to fall
downwardly out of unit 12 toward the floor.
The inner diameter or width of a unit 12 13 14 15 can vary but
is preferably in the range of one-quarter inch to two inches, preferably
one-half inch to one and one-half inches.
In FIG. 1 units 12 13 14 15 are nested together such that each
unit 12 13 14 15 contacts another adjacent unit 12 13 14 15.
This facilitates storing a plurality of tools in a small area. Units
12 13 14 15 need not touch in order to be in the preferred nesting
configuration of the invention. Units 12 13 14 15 can be spaced
apart. If, however, units 12 13 14 15 are spaced apart more than
one-half inch from each other, units 12 13 14 15 are no longer
deemed to be nested for purposes of defining the invention. As illustrated
in FIG. 6 adjacent units 12A and 13A can deemed nested when portions
of the wall(s) separating units 12A and 13A are omitted or removed.
Units 12A and 13A still circumscribe and define a storage space,
but some of the material intermediate units 12A and 13A is removed
to reduce the cost of material required to produce nested units
12A and 13A. Nested units 12A and 13A function in accordance with
the invention to promote the storage of multiple tools in a small
The height E (FIG. 4) of a tube 12 13 14 15 can vary as desired,
but is presently in the range of one to six inches, preferably one
and one-half to three inches. The bottom surface 12B of a tube 12
is canted with respect to centerline 40 and is not normal to centerline
40. A canted bottom surface 12B facilitates the capture or lodgment
of an end of a tool between surface 12 and the side wall 12C of
a tube 12.
FIG. 2 illustrates another nested configuration of units 21 22
23. In contrast to the nested configuration illustrated in FIG.
1 in the nested configuration of FIG. 2 units 21 to 23 are stacked
one on top of the other. The inner diameter B of each unit 21 to
23 is in the range of one-quarter inch to two inches, preferably
of one-half inch to one and one-half inches. The distance C from
the lower edge of one unit 23 to the lower edge of the adjacent
unit 22 is preferably in the range of one-quarter inch to three
If desired, a portion of the proximate end of a unit 12 can be
removed by cutting along dashed lines 18 29 (FIG. 2). This creates
an opening at the bottom of unit 12 that would permit dirt and debris
to fall downwardly out of unit 12 toward the floor.
FIG. 3 illustrates a further embodiment 30 of nested units 32 to
35 constructed in accordance with the invention. Vertically oriented
units 32 to 35 upwardly depend from diamond-shaped base 31. The
weight of tools placed in units 32 to 35 helps to stabilize embodiment
30. The close proximity of units 32 to 35 to each other facilitates
the storage of multiple tools in a small area. Kitchen utensils,
artist's brushes, cosmetic brushes and other articles can be stored
in embodiment 30 or in other embodiments of the invention depicted
In FIG. 5 the panel-shaped base of unit 50 includes U-shaped opening
52 and U-shaped tongue 53. Opening 52 received U-shaped tongue 63
of the panel-shaped base of unit 60. The base of unit 60 also includes
U-shaped opening 62. Tongues 53 and 63 are of equal shape and dimension.
Openings 52 and 62 are of equal shape and dimension. Screws inserted
through apertures 62 to 65 can be utilized to secure a unit 50 to
a wall 70 or other surface. Any desired fastening system can be
used to mount a unit 50 on a vertically oriented surface. The distance
from aperture 62 to aperture 66 can be selected such that when the
studs of a wall are sixteen inches apart on center, apertures 62
and 63 align with a first vertically oriented stud and apertures
65 66 align with a second stud that is parallel to and spaced sixteen
inches (or some other distance) from the first stud. Such an alignment
facilitates the installation of a unit 50 on a wall.
FIG. 6 illustrates a plurality of nested adjacent units 12A, 13A.
Each adjacent pair of units 12A, 13A has an opening interconnecting
the pair, i.e., a portion of the wall intermediate the pair is removed.