Easy To Use Patents Search & Patent Lawyer Directory

At Patents you can conduct a Patent Search, File a Patent Application, find a Patent Attorney, or search available technology through our Patent Exchange. Patents are available using simple keyword or date criteria. If you are looking to hire a patent attorney, you've come to the right place. Protect your idea and hire a patent lawyer.


Search All Patents:



  This Patent May Be For Sale or Lease. Contact Us

  Is This Your Patent? Claim This Patent Now.



Register or Login To Download This Patent As A PDF




United States Patent Application 20180035857
Kind Code A1
Fry; Kevin D. February 8, 2018

VACUUM ACCESSORY STORAGE SYSTEM AND METHOD

Abstract

A vacuum accessory storage system includes an elongate rail and an accessory holder that mounts to the elongate rail in order to store a vacuum accessory. The accessory holder may slide along the length of the rail to any selected one of several possible locations. The rail may be mounted to a support structure, such as a wall. The accessory holder is configured to hold a vacuum accessory. One or more rails may be mounted to one or more support in any number of different arrangements, and many different arrangements and types of accessory holders may be mounted to the rails, such that the storage system allows for an easily expandable and customizable system that can be tailored to the individual needs of a given user.


Inventors: Fry; Kevin D.; (South Williamsport, PA)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

SHOP VAC CORPORATION

Williamsport

PA

US
Family ID: 1000002120659
Appl. No.: 15/227396
Filed: August 3, 2016


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: A47L 9/248 20130101; A47B 81/02 20130101; A47G 29/00 20130101
International Class: A47L 9/24 20060101 A47L009/24; A47B 81/02 20060101 A47B081/02; A47G 29/00 20060101 A47G029/00

Claims



1-12. (canceled)

13. A method of storing vacuum accessories with a vacuum accessory storage system including an elongate rail having a length extending from first end to a second end and an accessory holder that mounts to the elongate rail, the method comprising: mounting the accessory holder onto an end of the rail; sliding the accessory holder to a selected location along the length of the rail; and coupling a vacuum accessory to the accessory holder; whereby the rail supports the accessory holder, and the accessory holder supports the vacuum accessory.

14. The method of claim 13, further comprising: disengaging a lock on the accessory holder to unlock the accessory holder and slide the accessory holder along the rail; and engaging the lock to lock the accessory holder at the selected location.

15. The method of claim 13, further comprising: mounting a second accessory holder onto an end of the rail; sliding the second accessory holder to a second selected location along the length of the rail; and coupling a second vacuum accessory to the second accessory holder.

16. The method of claim 13, further comprising: attaching the rail to a support surface.

17. The method of claim 16, further comprising: attaching a second rail to the support surface; mounting a second accessory holder onto an end of the second rail; sliding the second accessory holder to a second selected location along the length of the second rail; and coupling the vacuum accessory to the second accessory holder.

18-21. (canceled)

22. A vacuum accessory storage system that has: a rail that has a back side that is adapted to be mounted to a wall; a row of spaced teeth that are on the rail and are arranged on a plane that extends along the length of the rail between two lateral ends, parallel to the back side of the rail; an accessory holder that holds a vacuum accessory and selectively mounts to the rail for movement along the length of the rail between the lateral ends; an engagement member that is on the accessory holder and releasably seats between the spaced teeth on the rail, selectively locking the accessory holder against movement along the length of the rail; and a release member that is on the accessory holder and is arranged for being resiliently displaced toward the back side of the rail, causing the engagement surface to move out of the plane of the spaced teeth and thus freeing the accessory holder for movement along the length of the rail.

23. The vacuum accessory storage system of claim 22, in which: the spaced teeth have facing edges that are generally perpendicular to the length of the rail; and the engagement member has lateral sides that extend generally perpendicularly to the length of the rail.

24. The vacuum accessory storage system of claim 22, in which the rail slides in a channel on the accessory holder that is defined by a) an upper angle member that protrudes from a back side of accessory holder and b) a lower angle member that protrudes from the back side of the accessory holder.

25. The vacuum accessory storage system of claim 22, in which the accessory holder is arranged to lock the accessory holder at each one of a plurality of locations along the length of the rail.

26. The vacuum accessory storage system of claim 22, in which the rail has a central web, an upper track that extends along an upper edge of the central web along the length of the rail, and a lower track that extends along a lower edge of the central web along the length of the rail, and the upper track and the lower track are each slidingly received within a channel on a back side of the accessory holder.

27. The vacuum accessory storage system of claim 22, in which the accessory holder has a channel that slides over the end of the rail, and at least one of the ends of the rail is tapered and guides the rail into the channel.

28. A vacuum accessory storage system that has: a rail that has a back side that is adapted to be mounted to a wall; a row of spaced teeth that are on the rail and are arranged on a plane that extends along the length of the rail between two lateral ends, parallel to the back side of the rail; facing edges on the spaced teeth that are generally perpendicular to the length of the rail; an accessory holder that holds a vacuum accessory and selectively mounts to the rail for movement along the length of the rail between the lateral ends; an engagement member that is on the accessory holder, has lateral sides that extend generally perpendicularly to the length of the rail, and releasably seats between the spaced teeth on the rail, selectively locking the accessory holder against movement along the length of the rail; and a release member that is on the accessory holder and is arranged for being resiliently displaced while the accessory holder is on mounted on the rail, causing the engagement surface to move out of engagement with the spaced teeth and thus freeing the accessory holder for movement along the length of the rail.

29. The vacuum accessory storage system of claim 28, in which the rail slides in a channel that is defined by a) an upper angle member that protrudes from a back side of the accessory holder and b) a lower angle member that protrudes from the back side of the accessory holder.

30. The vacuum accessory storage system of claim 28, in which the accessory holder is arranged to lock the accessory holder at each one of a plurality of locations along the length of the rail.

31. The vacuum accessory storage system of claim 28, in which the rail has a central web, an upper track that extends along an upper edge of the central web along the length of the rail, and a lower track that extends along a lower edge of the central web along the length of the rail, and the upper track and the lower track are slidingly received within a channel on a back side of the accessory holder.

32. The vacuum accessory storage system of claim 28, in which the accessory holder has a channel that slides over the end of the rail, and at least one of the ends of the rail is tapered and guides the rail into the channel.
Description



FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates generally to a system and method for storing vacuum accessories, and more particularly, to a system with one or more accessory holders that mount to one or more rails and configured to store one or more vacuum accessories.

BACKGROUND

[0002] A vacuum cleaner, and in particular a vacuum cleaner designed for home or shop use, typically includes a vacuum assembly and a collection bin or tank that are provided together as a single, often easily movable, unit that draws a vacuum and collects debris. Typically, there may be several accessories that may be attached interchangeably to some portion of the vacuum cleaner. Each accessory typically is designed to meet a particular functional purpose. Some typical accessories include different nozzles of various shapes and sizes, extension tubes, and/or hoses, that are adapted to be releasably attached to the vacuum cleaner, such as interchangeably and operatively attached to a vacuum inlet into tank or to a hose or tube attached to the vacuum inlet to provide the user with various different functional benefits relative to each accessory, in a manner well understood in the art.

[0003] For a user, having multiple different accessories for use with the vacuum cleaner can be very convenient and helpful. However, as the number of different accessories grows, so too grows the challenge to store the accessories in a neat and orderly manner. While many different methods of storing the accessories are possible, many are either confined to a specific location and/or arrangement of specific accessories, or do not provide a neat and orderly arrangement.

SUMMARY

[0004] It is an object of the vacuum accessory storage system of the present disclosure to provide an improved system for storing one or more vacuum accessories.

[0005] According to some aspects of the present disclosure, a vacuum accessory storage system includes an elongate rail having a length extending from first end to a second end, and an accessory holder that mounts to the elongate rail, for example, in order to store a vacuum accessory. In some arrangements, the accessory holder may include a body having a front side and a back side, and at least one bracket disposed on the front side that holds a vacuum accessory. The back side of the accessory holder may slidably mount to the rail, such that the rail supports the accessory holder, and the accessory holder slides along the length of the rail.

[0006] According to some aspects of the present disclosure, a method of storing vacuum accessories with a vacuum accessory storage system as disclosed herein includes mounting the accessory holder onto an end of the rail, sliding the accessory holder to a selected location along the length of the rail, and coupling a vacuum accessory to the accessory holder. Optionally, the rail may be attached to a support surface, such as a wall. In some arrangements, the rail supports the accessory holder, and the accessory holder supports the vacuum accessory, for example, for storage when not in use on the vacuum cleaner.

[0007] According to some aspects of the present disclosure, an accessory holder configured to hold a vacuum accessory includes a body, at least one bracket that holds a vacuum accessory, and a channel that slidably receives an elongate rail to slidably mount the accessory holder to a rail. The bracket may be disposed on a front side of the body, and the channel may be disposed on a back side of the body.

[0008] In further accordance with any one or more of the foregoing aspects and exemplary arrangements, a vacuum accessory storage system, accessory holder, and/or a method of storing vacuum accessories according to the teachings of the present disclosure may include any one or more of the following optional features and/or forms.

[0009] In some arrangements, the bracket or brackets may be configured to be complementary to and releasably hold at least one vacuum accessory. For example, the bracket or brackets may be configured to releasably hold any one or more of a vacuum tube, a vacuum nozzle, and a round brush. The brackets may be complementary to and configured to releasably hold other various different types, shapes, and sizes of vacuum accessories. Preferably, although not necessarily, the brackets are configured to correspond and be complementary to only one type, shape, and size of vacuum accessory.

[0010] In some arrangements, the accessory holder may include a channel on the back side of the body that slidably receives the elongate rail. To operatively mount the accessory holder to the rail, the channel of the accessory holder may slide over the end of the rail. An end of the rail may be tapered, such as by being rounded, so that the tapered end helps guide the rail into the channel. The channel may be defined by one or more angle members. For example, the accessory holder may have an upper angle member protruding from the back side of the body and a lower angle member protruding from the back side of the body, which together may define all or at least a portion of the channel along the back side of the body.

[0011] In some arrangements, the accessory holder may include a lock that locks the accessory holder at each one of a plurality of locations along the length of the elongate rail. The lock may include an engagement member that is resiliently urged toward a locked position against the rail and a release member that, when pushed, moves the engagement member to an unlocked position away from the rail. The lock may have the form of a resilient tab with the shape of an angle member, which may also help define a portion of the channel.

[0012] In some arrangements, the elongate rail may include a plurality of teeth spaced apart from each other along the length of the elongate rail. The engagement member of the lock may engage the teeth in the locked position to lock the accessory holder in one of the locations along the length of the elongate rail. The engagement member of the lock may disengage from the teeth in the unlocked position to allow the accessory holder to slide along the length of the rail.

[0013] In some arrangements, the rail may have a central web, an upper track extending along an upper edge of the central web, and/or a lower track extending along a lower edge of the central web. One or both of the upper track and the lower track may extend along the entire length of the rail. One or both of the upper track and the lower track may be slidingly received within the channel on the back side of the accessory holder. The upper track may include an upper flange extending upwardly from the central web and forming an elongate upper groove extending along a portion of or the entire length of the rail. The upper track may be smooth along its entire length or may have the teeth for engaging the lock. The teeth may be disposed within the elongate upper groove and spaced apart from each other along the length of the elongate rail. The lower track may include a lower flange extending downwardly from the central web and forming an elongate lower groove extending along a portion of or the entire length of the rail. The lower groove may be smooth along its entire length or may have teeth for engaging the lock.

[0014] In some arrangements, the location of the accessory holder may be adjusted along the rail, for example, by disengaging the lock on the accessory holder to unlock the accessory holder and sliding the accessory holder along the rail. The accessory holder may be locked at a selected location along the rail, for example, by engaging the lock to lock the accessory holder at the selected location.

[0015] In some arrangements, a second accessory holder may be mounted onto an end of the rail. The second accessory holder may be slid to a second selected location along the length of the rail. A second vacuum accessory may be coupled to the second accessory holder.

[0016] In some arrangements, a second rail may be attached to the support surface. A second accessory holder may be mounted onto an end of the second rail. The second accessory holder may be slid to a second selected location along the length of the second rail. One of the vacuum accessories may be coupled to the second accessory holder.

[0017] The vacuum accessory storage system disclosed herein is believed to provide the user with an easy system of storing vacuum accessories in a neat and orderly manner. The vacuum accessory storage system may be customizable and easily adapted for installation in different locations and arrangements and to store different combinations of vacuum accessories. The vacuum accessory storage system may be easily expanded and/or may be contracked to accommodate additional or fewer accessories.

[0018] Additional optional aspects, arrangements, forms, and/or advantages of the vacuum accessory storage system disclosed herein will be apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description and the appended drawings, each different functionally operable and technically effective combination of which is expressly included as a part of the present disclosure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0019] FIG. 1 is a front elevation view of a vacuum accessory storage system assembled according to some aspects of the present disclosure;

[0020] FIG. 2 is a front perspective exploded view of the vacuum accessory storage system of FIG. 1;

[0021] FIG. 3 is a rear isometric view of an accessory holder and rail of FIG. 1;

[0022] FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view of the vacuum accessory, accessory holder, and rail operatively mounted on a wall along the lines 4-4 of FIG. 1;

[0023] FIG. 5 is an enlarged detail cross-sectional view of the circled portion of FIG. 4 showing a slide lock of the accessory holder in a locked position; and

[0024] FIG. 6 is an enlarged detail cross-sectional view of the circled portion of FIG. 4 showing the slide lock of the accessory holder in an unlocked position.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0025] Turning now to the drawings, FIGS. 1 and 2 show one exemplary arrangement of a vacuum accessory storage system 10 in accordance with some aspects of the present disclosure. The vacuum accessory storage system 10 includes at least one elongate rail 12 and at least one accessory holder 14 that mounts to the elongate rail 12. The term accessory holder 14, as used hereinafter, refers to any one of the specific types of accessory holders 14a-d as the description relates to common elements across all of the individual types of accessory holders 14a-d. Each accessory holder 14a-d is configured to releasably couple to and carry a different vacuum accessory 16, 18, or 20. Each accessory holder 14 includes a body 22 having a front side 24 (visible in FIG. 1) and a backside 26 (visible in FIG. 3). At least one bracket 28 is disposed on the front side of the body and configured to releasably hold one of the vacuum accessories 16-20. The backside 26 of the accessory holder 14 slidably mounts to one of the rails 12 such that the rail 12 supports the accessory holder 14 and the accessory holder 14 can slide along the length of the rail. Thus, a vacuum accessory may be stored on the front side 24 of the accessory holder 14, while the back side is slidably attached to the rail 12.

[0026] In the depicted arrangement, two elongate rails 12 are shown. However, the storage system 10 could include only a single elongate rail 12 or more than two elongate rails. Each of the rails 12 has a length extending along an axis from the first end to a second end and is configured to be mounted to a support structure. In this exemplary arrangement, each of the elongate rails 12 is mounted to a wall 30. However, the rails 12 can be mounted to any support structure suitable for supporting the rails 12 and the vacuum accessories 16-20. For example, the rails 12 could be mounted to a column, a ceiling, a floor, a workbench, or any other type of suitable support structure, as would be understood in the art. In the present example, the rails may be attached to the wall 30 with fasteners, such as screws or nails, extending through opposite ends of the rail and into the wall. However, the rails 12 may be mounted to the support structure in any suitable fashion, such as with other fasteners, adhesive, clips, clamps, magnets, and so on.

[0027] In addition, in this exemplary arrangement, four different individual accessory holders 14 are depicted, each of which is specially adapted to hold a different vacuum accessory 16, 18, or 20. For example, accessory holders 14a and 14b are configured to releasably hold a pair of extension tubes (also called wands) 16. Accessory holder 14c is configured to releasably hold a vacuum nozzle 18. Accessory holder 14d is configured to releasably hold a round brush 20. However, fewer or more accessory holders 14 and/or different types of accessory holders 14 may be operatively used with the rails 12 as part of a vacuum accessory storage system 10 in accordance with the present teachings. To accomplish this, each different type of accessory holder 14 may include a different type of bracket or set of brackets 28. Each bracket or set of brackets 28 is specifically configured to releasably hold a respective one of the accessories 16, 18, or 20. For example, the accessory holders 14a and 14b include brackets 28 that are complementary to and configured to releasably hold the vacuum tubes 16. The accessory holder 14c includes brackets 28 that are complementary to and configured to releasably hold the nozzle 18. The accessory holder 14d includes brackets 28 that are complementary to and configured to releasably hold the round brush. The specific configurations of the brackets 28 relative to each different vacuum accessory 16-20 may take any of various forms suitable for releasably holding the given vacuum accessory 16, 18, or 20. Further, the accessory holders may include additional types of brackets 28 which are adapted and configured to couple to yet other types, forms, and/or shapes of vacuum accessories.

[0028] From the above description, it can be seen that the vacuum accessory storage system 10 can provide significant flexibility to a user to adapt the storage system 10 to accommodate more or fewer vacuum accessories, different support arrangements, and so on. The storage system 10 is expandable and/or modular such that the system can be extended to store additional different types of vacuum accessories and can be expanded and/or rearranged by a user. The storage system 10 also allows the user to mix and match what types of accessory holders 14 to use as part of the storage system 10, which allows the user to easily adapt the storage system 10 to any of many different sets of vacuum accessories.

[0029] In FIG. 3, it can be seen that the accessory holder 14 includes a channel 32 on the backside 26 of the body 22. The channel 32 extends between opposite open ends and is shaped and sized to slidably receive the rail 12 so that the accessory holder 14 slides over either end of the rail 12 and then slides along the axis of the rail 12. In this way, the accessory holder 14 can be slidably positioned in any desired position between the opposite first and second ends of the rail 12. The channel 32 may be formed in any suitable manner capable of slidably receiving the rail 12 as described above. In this exemplary arrangement, the channel 32 is defined by a plurality of angle members, including at least one upper angle member 34a and at least one lower angle member 34b, extending outwardly from a back side of the body 22 and defining opposite upper and lower edges of the channel 32. In this arrangement, the accessory holder 14 includes two such upper angle members 34a and one such lower angle member 34b, which are spaced apart vertically (as seen in the drawing) to define the channel 32 there between. However, the channel 32 may be formed by any number of angle members and/or by other structures suitable for forming the channel 32 along a back side of the body 22 of the accessory holder 14 capable of slidably receiving the rail 12 therethrough.

[0030] One or both of the ends of the rail 12 may be tapered, which may make it easier to guide the end of the rail 12 into either end of the channel 32. The tapered ends may take any of many different forms. In the depicted example, each end is rounded with a semi-circular radius. However, the tapered ends may have a wedge-shaped taper or any other similar taper that leads from a thinner profile at the end tip of the rail to a thicker profile along the majority of the length of the rail 12.

[0031] As best seen in FIGS. 3-6, in the exemplary arrangement of the drawings, the rail 12 includes an elongate central web 36 extending along the axis from the first end of the rail to the second end of the rail. An upper track 38 extends along the upper edge of the central web 36 from the first end of the rail to the second end of the rail 12. A lower track 40 extends along the lower edge of the central web from the first end of the rail to the second end of the rail. When the accessory holder 14 is operatively mounted onto the rail 12, each of the central web 36, the upper track 38, and the lower track 40 are disposed within the channel 32, and the upper track 38 engages the upper wall of the channel 32 and the lower track 40 engages the lower wall of the channel 32. In this arrangement, the upper track 38 is formed by an upper flange 42 the projects upwardly from the top edge of the central web 36. The back side of the upper flange 42 is offset inwardly from the backside of the central web 36, thereby forming an elongate upper groove 44 that extends along the backside of the rail 12, which is configured to be facing the support surface, such as the wall 30, when operatively mounted thereon, along the entire length of the rail. Similarly, the lower track 40 is formed by a lower flange 46 that projects downwardly from the bottom edge of the central web 36. The backside of the lower flange 46 is offset inwardly from the backside of the central web 36, thereby forming an elongate lower groove 48 that extends along the backside of the rail along its entire length. Thus, when the backside of the rail 12 is mounted against a support surface, such as the wall 30, the upper groove 44 and the lower groove 48 are formed between respective upper flange 42 and lower flange 46 and the opposing surface of the wall 30. Thus, when the accessory holder 14 is mounted onto the rail 12, the downwardly extended flanges of the upper angle members 34a slide into the upper groove 44 and the upwardly extending flange of the lower angle member 34b slides into the lower groove 48, and thereby prevent the accessory holder 14 from falling off the rail 12. It is contemplated, however, that the exact form of the rails 12 and the channel 32 may take different forms suitable for slidably mounting the accessory holder 14 to the rail 12, and need not necessarily be limited to the shapes and forms shown in the drawings.

[0032] Optionally, the accessory holder 14 can include a lock 50 to lock the accessory holder at any selected location along the length of the rail 12. As best seen in FIGS. 3-6, the lock 50 includes an engagement member 52 and a release member 54. The engagement member 52 is configured to resiliently press against and/or engage the rail 12 to lock the accessory holder 14 in a selected location along the rail 12. The release member 54, when pushed by a user, moves the engagement member 52 to an unlocked position disengaged from the rail 12. In the exemplary arrangement of the drawings, both the release member and the engagement member 52 are formed as different parts of a resilient tab that is partially cut out of the body 22. The tab is shaped as an angle member that also helps define the upper edge of the channel 32. Preferably, at least the body 22, and preferably the entire accessory holder 14, is formed of relatively rigid plastic, such as by injection molding, so that the tab forming the engagement member 52 and the release member 54 can be resiliently pushed inwardly as shown by the arrow A in FIG. 6 and will spring back to its normal position shown in FIG. 5 when nothing is pushing against it. However, the lock 50 does not need to be limited to the exact arrangement shown in the drawings, but rather may take other forms that include an engagement member 52 to lockingly engage the rail 12 and a release member 54 to disengage the engagement member 52 from the rail 12 when it is desired to slide the accessory holder 14 along the length of the rail 12.

[0033] Optionally, the elongate rail 12 may include a plurality of teeth 56 axially spaced apart from each other along the length of the elongate rail configured to interact with the lock 50 to provide a positive locking action of the accessory holder 14 with the rail 12. In this arrangement, the teeth 56 are disposed in an along the upper groove 44, extending almost entirely from the first end to the second end of the upper groove 44. Thus, the teeth 56 define alternating projections and recesses along the upper groove 44. The engagement member 52 of the lock 50 is formed by a downwardly projecting finger or flange member of the resilient tab that fits into the recesses between adjacent teeth 56. In the locked position, as shown in detail in FIG. 5, the release member 54 is in its unstressed normal position and the engagement member 52 sits in one of the recesses between adjacent teeth 56, in which position the engagement member 52 prevents the accessory holder 14 from sliding axially along the length of the rail 12 by abutting against the side of the adjacent teeth 56. In the unlocked position, as shown in detail in FIG. 6, the release member 54 is pushed inwardly in the direction A, for example by a user's finger, which pushes the engagement member 52 out of the recess between the teeth 56, in which position, the accessory holder 14 can slide axially along the length of the rail 12. When pressure is removed from the release member 54, the entire tab including the engagement member 52 springs back to the locked position shown in FIG. 52 and again locks the accessory holder 14 at a selected position along the rail 12. It is understood that the lock 50 could simply clamp against a portion of the rail 12 without including the teeth 56. However, addition of the teeth 56 may provide an even more secure locking mechanism to maintain the accessory holder 14 in any one of a plurality of different selected locations along the length of the rail 12. The lower groove 48 in this arrangement does not include any teeth, but rather is smooth along its entire length. However, in other arrangements, the lower groove 48 could also or alternatively include teeth 56 to engage with the lock 50, either in the exemplary form shown in the drawings or in another form.

[0034] The vacuum accessory storage system 10 can be used to store vacuum accessories, such as 16-20 and/or other types of vacuum accessories, in many different ways and methods. In fact, one of the advantages of the storage system 10 is its flexibility and adaptability to be used in many different ways. In one anticipated method, an accessory holder 14 is mounted onto the end of one of the rails 12, for example, by inserting one of the ends of the rail 12 into one of the ends of the channel 32. Thereafter, the accessory holder 14 may be slid along the length of the rail 12 to any selected one of many different potential locations along the length of the rail 12. The appropriate vacuum accessory 16, 18, or 20 may be coupled to the accessory holder 14 at any convenient time either before or after the accessory holder 14 has been mounted to the rail 12 and/or slid to the selected location along the rail 12. In the exemplary arrangement of the drawings, it may be most convenient to couple the vacuum accessory to the accessory holder 14 after the accessory holder has been slid and locked into the a desired position along the rail because the front side of the release member 54 of the lock 50 is covered by the vacuum accessory when operatively mounted to the accessory holder 14 with the brackets 28. However, in some arrangements, the lock 50 may be positioned on the accessory holder 14 in such an arrangement that the vacuum accessory does not cover the release member 54 when operatively mounted, or the accessory holder 14 may completely omit the lock 50, in either of which cases the accessory holder 14 can be adjusted along the length of the rail 12 with the vacuum accessory operatively mounted thereto. Assuming the rail 12 is attached to and/or supported by a suitable support structure, either before or after the accessory folder 14 has been mounted thereon, the rail 12 in this arrangement thereby supports the accessory holder 14, which in turn supports the respective one of the vacuum accessories 16, 18, or 20 for storage.

[0035] In the arrangement in which the accessory holder 14 includes the lock 50, the lock 50 may be disengage, for example by pushing in the release member 54 in the direction of the arrow A, and the accessory holder 14 may then be slid along the length of the rail 12 with the lock 50 so disengaged. Then, when the accessory holder 14 is located at a selected location along the rail 12, the lock 50 is reengaged, for example by removing the pressure from against the release member 54, such that the engagement member 52 resiliently springs back towards the locked position against the rail 12 and/or between the teeth 56, thereby locking the accessory holder 14 in the selected position along the rail 12.

[0036] The vacuum accessory storage system 10 may be used with a single rail 12 and one or more various accessory holders 14 operatively mounted to the rail 12 as described above. However, as is shown in the figures, the vacuum accessory storage system 10 may be expanded to include more than one rail 12. For example, in the arrangement shown in the drawings, an upper rail 12 and a lower rail 12 are attached to a support surface, such as the wall 12. The accessory holder 14c may be operatively mounted to the upper rail 12 in order to store the nozzle 18. The accessory holder 14d may be operatively mounted to the lower rail 12 in order to store the round brush 20. In order to store the vacuum tubes 16, an upper accessory holder 14a is operatively mounted to the upper rail 12 and a lower accessory holder 14d is operatively mounted to the lower rail 12 directly below the upper accessory holder 14a. In this arrangement, a lower end of each vacuum tube 16 is mounted to the lower accessory holder 14b with the appropriate brackets 28, and an upper portion of each vacuum tube 16 is mounted to the upper accessory holder 14a with the appropriate brackets 28. Of course, this is just one exemplary arrangement of a nearly infinite number of arrangements that could be implemented by a user depending upon the specific support structure circumstances and/or which vacuum accessories the user wishes to store.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

[0037] A vacuum accessory storage system according the teachings of the present disclosure provides a convenient way to easily and neatly store any number and variety of different vacuum accessories. The vacuum accessory storage system may be adapted and/or configured for use with other types of vacuum cleaners to provide improved user configurability for carrying various vacuum attachments.

[0038] The technical examples described and shown in detail herein are only exemplary of one or more aspects of the teachings of the present disclosure. Additional aspects, arrangements, and forms within the scope of the appended claims and all technically operative combinations of features disclosed herein are contemplated, the rights to which are expressly reserved.

* * * * *

File A Patent Application

  • Protect your idea -- Don't let someone else file first. Learn more.

  • 3 Easy Steps -- Complete Form, application Review, and File. See our process.

  • Attorney Review -- Have your application reviewed by a Patent Attorney. See what's included.