Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS20080207099 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/037,448
Publication dateAug 28, 2008
Filing dateFeb 26, 2008
Priority dateFeb 28, 2007
Publication number037448, 12037448, US 2008/0207099 A1, US 2008/207099 A1, US 20080207099 A1, US 20080207099A1, US 2008207099 A1, US 2008207099A1, US-A1-20080207099, US-A1-2008207099, US2008/0207099A1, US2008/207099A1, US20080207099 A1, US20080207099A1, US2008207099 A1, US2008207099A1
InventorsJohn E. Brown
Original AssigneeBrown John E
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Resilient abrasive article and method of manufacture
US 20080207099 A1
Abstract
The present invention provides a resilient hand-held abrasive article comprising a flexible and/or conformable grip comprising a top surface, a bottom surface and individual small high-grip pads attached to each other in a pattern that leaves voids therebetween, the individual small high-grip pads comprising a top and a bottom. The top surface of a sanding article is attached, and in certain embodiments removably attached, to the bottom of the high-grip pads and a bottom surface having abrasive particles coated thereon. In certain embodiments, the flexible and/or conformable grip may not comprise voids.
Images(37)
Previous page
Next page
Claims(32)
1. A hand-held abrasive article, comprising:
a flexible grip comprising a top surface, a bottom surface and individual small high-grip pads attached to each other in a pattern that leaves voids therebetween, the individual small high-grip pads comprising a top and a bottom;
a sanding article having a top surface attached to the bottom of the high-grip pads and a bottom surface having abrasive particles coated thereon.
2. The hand-held abrasive article of claim 1, wherein the sanding article comprises a sanding sponge.
3. The hand held abrasive article of claim 1, wherein the sanding article comprises an abrasive sheet.
4. The hand-held abrasive article of claim 1, wherein the top of the high-grip pads are convex.
5. The hand-held abrasive article of claim 1, wherein the bottom of the high-grip pads are substantially flat.
6. The hand-held abrasive article of claim 1, wherein the high-grip pads are substantially uniform in size and shape.
7. The hand-held abrasive article of claim 1, wherein the high-grip pads comprise a foam material.
8. The hand-held abrasive article of claim 1, wherein the flexible grip is substantially without voids.
9. A resilient, hand-held abrasive article, comprising:
(a) a flexible conformable backing layer having opposed first and second major surfaces, the backing layer comprising a multiplicity of separated resilient bodies connected to each other in an array that provides open spaces between adjacent connected bodies, each body having a first surface and an opposite second surface; and
(b) a flexible reinforcing layer having a first major surface affixed to the first surface of the separated resilient bodies, and a second opposed major surface having abrasive particles arranged thereon, thereby defining an abrasive surface.
10. The abrasive article of claim 9, wherein each of the resilient bodies has a size and shape that is substantially uniform.
11. The abrasive article of claim 9, wherein the flexible reinforcing layer is an abrasive sheet.
12. The abrasive article of claim 9, wherein the flexible reinforcing layer is a continuous film.
13. The abrasive article of claim 10, wherein the first surface of each resilient body is dome-shaped.
14. The abrasive article of claim 13, wherein the resilient bodies comprise a foam material.
15. A method for manufacturing a resilient hand-held abrasive article, comprising:
providing a flexible conformable backing layer having opposed first and second major surfaces, the backing layer comprising a multiplicity of separated resilient bodies connect to each other in an array that provides open spaces between adjacent connected bodies, each body having a first surface and an opposite second surface;
providing a flexible reinforcing layer having a first major surface and a second opposed major surface;
fixedly attaching the first major surface of the flexible reinforcing layer to the first surface of the separated resilient bodies; and
coating the second major surface of the flexible reinforcing layer with abrasive particles.
16. The method of claim 15, wherein the flexible reinforcing layer comprises a sanding sponge.
17. The method of claim 15 wherein the flexible reinforcing layer comprises an abrasive sheet.
18. The method of claim 15, further comprising providing the separated resilient bodies with convex top surfaces.
19. The method of claim 15, further comprising providing the separated resilient bodies with substantially flat bottom surfaces.
20. The method of claim 15, further comprising irremovably attaching the first major surface of the flexible reinforcing layer to the first surface of the separated resilient bodies.
21. A hand-held abrasive article, comprising:
a flexible grip comprising a top surface, a bottom surface and individual small high-grip pads attached to each other in a pattern that leaves voids therebetween, the individual small high-grip pads comprising a top and a bottom;
a sanding article having a top surface that is irremovably attached to the bottom of the high-grip pads and a bottom surface coated with abrasive particles.
22. The hand-held abrasive article of claim 21, wherein the sanding article comprises a sanding sponge.
23. The hand-held abrasive article of claim 21, wherein the sanding article comprises an abrasive sheet.
24. The hand-held abrasive article of claim 21, further comprising pressure sensitive adhesive on the bottom of the high-grip pads and a removable liner thereon, wherein removal of the liner exposes the pressure sensitive adhesive to which the top surface of the sanding article may then be affixed.
25. The hand-held abrasive article of claim 21, further comprising one part of a hook and loop attachment system attached to the bottom of the high-grip pads and a second part of the hook and loop attachment system attached to the top surface of the sanding article.
26. The hand-held abrasive article of claim 21, further comprising the sanding article being disk-shaped.
27. The hand-held abrasive article of claim 21, wherein the top of the high-grip pads are convex.
28. The hand-held abrasive article of claim 21, wherein the bottom of the high-grip pads are substantially flat.
29. The hand-held abrasive article of claim 21, wherein the high-grip pads are substantially uniform in size and shape.
30. The hand-held abrasive article of claim 21, wherein the high-grip pads comprise a foam material.
31. An improved sanding block comprising:
a sanding sponge having a plurality of exterior surfaces, including one abrasive first major surface and one second major surface and side surfaces and abrasive material coated onto at least the one abrasive first major surface; and
apertures that extend from the one abrasive first major surface to the one second major surface.
32. A sanding system comprising:
a sanding sponge having a plurality of exterior surfaces, including an abrasive first major surface and a second major surface and side surfaces and abrasive material coated onto at least the abrasive first major surface;
a multiplicity of apertures that extend from the abrasive first major surface to the second major surface, wherein the flexible resilient core is configure and arranged to be operatively connected to a suction device; and
a holder configured and arranged to hold the sanding sponge, the holder being configured and arranged to be operatively connected to a suction device.
Description
RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims benefit to provisional application Ser. No. 60/903,984 filed on Feb. 28, 2007 which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to abrasive articles for abrading a work surface and, more particularly, to resilient abrasive articles.

2. Description of the Related Art

Hand-held abrasive articles are used in a variety of sanding operations. The user generally holds the abrasive article in his or her hand, moving the abrasive article across the surface to be sanded. Difficulties may arise if the abrasive article does not provide necessary and sufficient ergonomic accommodations.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,613,113 to Minick discloses a flexible abrasive product comprising a flexible sheet-like substrate comprising a multiplicity of separated resilient bodies connected to each other in a generally planar array in a pattern that provides open spaces between adjacent connected bodies. Abrasive particles are provided on one surface of this product. Such an arrangement, however, results in premature degradation of the sheet like substrate due to the forces experienced during use.

The present invention addresses, inter alia, these listed deficiencies in the known devices.

Sanding sponges are also known in the art wherein a resilient flexible foam material is coated with abrasive particles providing an abrasive surface on the sanding sponge. Wherein sanding sponges are in a sheet like form having only one side coated with abrasive particles, a problem exists in that the opposite side of the sanding sponge which is gripped by the hand may be slippery when grasped. In particular this problem exists when the friction between the abrasive particles and the work surface is significantly greater than the friction between the hand and the back of the sanding sponge where it is gripped. This problem also exists with common sheets of abrasive such as sandpaper or cloth backed abrasive sheets wherein the cloth or the paper backing slips off the hand rather than grips the hand when abrading a surface. The present invention addresses this problem by providing a grip to the backing of a sanding sponge or an abrasive sheet. The grip increases the friction between the hand and the abrasive sheet or sanding sponge thereby reducing the chance of the abrasive sheet slipping off the hand when abrading. As is well known by those who use hand held abrasive articles, a degree of energy is exerted not only in the force applied to an abrasive article but also a force applied in grasping the abrasive article so that it will not slip off the hand when abrading. For example many people grasp a portion of the abrasive sheet between the thumb and the index finger while abrading thereby preventing the abrasive sheet from slipping off the hand. It is one of the objects of the present invention to provide a grip to an abrasive product thereby reducing the chance of slippage from the hand and reducing the amount of work or energy expended while abrading. In many applications it is not necessary to grasp the abrasive sheet between the thumb and index finger when a grip is applied to the backing of the abrasive sheet. The grip provides a more ergonomic abrasive article as well as a flexible resilient backing layer.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a resilient hand-held abrasive article comprising a flexible and/or conformable grip comprising a top surface, a bottom surface and individual small high-grip pads attached to each other in a pattern that leaves voids therebetween, the individual small high-grip pads comprising a top and a bottom. The top surface of a sanding article is attached, and in certain embodiments removably attached, to the bottom of the high-grip pads and a bottom surface having abrasive particles coated thereon. In certain embodiments, the flexible and/or conformable grip may not comprise voids.

An object of the invention is to provide a flexible, and in certain embodiments a resilient, article and method of manufacturing same that provides for a high-grip abrasive device that is ergonomically comfortable for the user and that is not damaged during normal use.

The figures and the detailed description which follow more particularly exemplify these and other embodiments of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention may be more completely understood in consideration of the following detailed description of various embodiments of the invention in connection with the accompanying drawings, which are as follows.

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a resilient sanding block.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a resilient sanding block.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of yet another embodiment of a resilient sanding block.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a corner sanding sponge.

FIG. 5 is a perspective view another embodiment of corner sanding sponge of FIG. 4

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of yet another embodiment of the corner sanding sponge of FIG. 4

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the corner sanding sponge of FIG. 4

FIG. 8 is a side view of the corner sanding sponge of FIG. 7

FIG. 9 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the corner sanding sponge of FIG. 4.

FIG. 10 is a side view of the corner sanding sponge of FIG. 9

FIG. 11 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the corner sanding sponge of FIG. 4

FIG. 12 is a perspective view of yet another embodiment of the corner sanding sponge of FIG. 4.

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the corner sanding sponge of FIG. 4 having attachable handles.

FIG. 14 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the corner sanding sponge of FIG. 4

FIG. 15 is a side view of the sanding sponge of FIG. 14

FIG. 16 is a perspective view of corner sanding sponge with holder

FIG. 17 is a perspective view of another embodiment of a corner sanding sponge with holder.

FIG. 18 is perspective view of a corner sanding sponge

FIG. 19 is a side view of the corner sanding sponge of FIG. 18

FIG. 20 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the corner sanding sponge of FIG. 18.

FIG. 21 is a side view of the corner sanding sponge of FIG. 22.

FIG. 22 is a side view of an embodiment of the corner sanding sponge of FIG. 18.

FIG. 23 is a side view of another embodiment of the corner sanding sponge of FIG. 22.

FIG. 24 is a perspective view of a holder for the corners sanding sponge of FIG. 26

FIG. 25 is an end view of the holder of FIG. 24

FIG. 26 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the corner sanding sponge of FIG. 18.

FIG. 27 is a perspective view of a holder for the corner sanding sponge of FIG. 29.

FIG. 28 is an end view of the holder of FIG. 27.

FIG. 29 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the corner sanding sponge of FIG. 18.

FIG. 30 is a perspective view of a holder for the corner sanding sponge of FIG. 31

FIG. 31 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the corner sanding sponge of FIG. 18.

FIG. 32 is an inverted overhead perspective view of the holder of FIG. 30

FIG. 33 is an end view of the holder of FIG. 30

FIG. 34 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the holder of FIG. 24 and the sanding sponge of FIG. 31.

FIG. 35 is a perspective view of the holder of FIG. 30.

FIG. 36 is a perspective view of the corner sanding sponge of FIG. 31.

FIG. 37 is an inverted overhead perspective view of the holder of FIG. 37.

FIG. 38 is a side view of the holder of FIG. 35.

FIG. 39 is a front view of the end cap of FIG. 38.

FIG. 40 is a perspective view of a corner sanding sponge of a dustless sanding system.

FIG. 41 is a side view of the corner sanding sponge of FIG. 40

FIG. 42 is a perspective view of a handle of a dustless sanding system.

FIG. 43 is a side view of the handle of FIG. 42.

FIG. 44 is a perspective view of a holder of a dustless sanding system for a corner sanding sponge.

FIG. 45 is a side view of the holder of FIG. 44.

FIG. 46 is a perspective view of a holder of a dustless sanding system.

FIG. 47 is a side view of a the holder of FIG. 46.

FIG. 48 is a perspective bottom view of a resilient sanding block of a dustless sanding system.

FIG. 49 is perspective view of a handle of a dustless sanding system.

FIG. 50 is a perspective view of a resilient sanding block

FIG. 51 is a side view of a drywall corner sanding tool.

FIG. 52 is an end view of the corner sanding tool of FIG. 51.

FIG. 53 is a perspective exploded view of a drum sanding tool.

FIG. 54 is a perspective view of a flap of the drum sanding tool of FIG. 53.

FIG. 55 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the resilient sanding block of FIG. 1.

FIG. 56 is an exploded side view of the sanding block of FIG. 55 showing an attachable abrasive sheet.

FIG. 57 is a side view of the resilient sanding block of FIG. 55.

FIG. 58 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the resilient sanding block of FIG. 55.

FIG. 59 is a top plan view of an abrasive sheet used in conjunction with the sanding block of FIG. 58.

FIG. 60 is a perspective view of the sanding block of FIG. 58 having an abrasive sheet attached.

FIG. 61 is a side view of the holder of FIG. 62

FIG. 62 is a holder of a sanding block of a dustless sanding system.

FIG. 63 is a side view of the flexible sanding pad of FIG. 64.

FIG. 64 is a top plan view of a flexible sanding pad.

FIG. 65 is a perspective view of a resilient sanding block of a dustless sanding system.

FIG. 66 is a perspective view of another resilient sanding block of a dustless sanding system.

FIG. 67 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the resilient sanding block of FIG. 66.

FIG. 68 is a side view of the resilient sanding block of FIG. 67.

FIG. 69 is a top plan view of an abrasive article of a dustless sanding system.

FIG. 70 is a side view of the abrasive article of FIG. 69.

FIG. 71 is an embodiment of the resilient sanding block of FIG. 1.

FIG. 72 is a top plan view of the resilient sanding block of FIG. 71.

FIG. 73 is an end view of the resilient sanding block of FIGS. 71 and 72.

FIG. 74 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the resilient sanding block of FIG. 1.

FIG. 75 is a side view of a vacuum attachment device of the resilient sanding block of FIG. 1.

FIG. 76 is a top view of the vacuum attachment device of FIG. 75.

FIG. 77 is an exploded perspective view of a resilient sanding block of a dustless sanding system.

FIG. 78 is a bottom view of the resilient sanding block of FIG. 77.

FIG. 79 is a perspective view of a resilient sanding block of a dustless sanding system.

FIG. 80 is a bottom view of the resilient sanding block of FIG. 79.

FIG. 81 is a bottom view of the resilient sanding block of FIG. 79 with an abrasive sheet attached.

FIG. 82 is a perspective view of a vacuum attachment device for a the resilient sanding block of FIG. 79.

FIG. 83 is a perspective view of another embodiment of the vacuum attachment device of FIG. 82.

FIG. 84 is an end view of the vacuum attachment device of FIG. 83.

FIG. 85 shows a perspective view of a sanding block of a dustless sanding system.

FIG. 86 shows a perspective view of another sanding block of a dustless sanding system.

FIG. 87 shows a perspective view of a sanding pad.

FIG. 88 shows a side view of the sanding pad of FIG. 87.

FIG. 89 shows cross sectional view of another sanding pad.

FIG. 90 shows cross sectional view of yet another sanding pad.

FIG. 91 shows a cross sectional view of an embodiment of the sanding pad of FIG. 89.

FIG. 92 shows a cross sectional view of another embodiment of the sanding pad of FIG. 89.

FIG. 93 shows a cross sectional view of an embodiment of the sanding pad of FIG. 90.

FIG. 94 shows a circular shaped sanding pad.

FIG. 95 shows a cross sectional view of another embodiment of the sanding pad of FIG. 90.

FIG. 96 shows a cross sectional view of another embodiment of the sanding pad of FIG. 90.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION, INCLUDING THE BEST MODE

While the invention is amenable to various modifications and alternative forms, specifics thereof are shown by way of example in the drawings and described in detail herein. It should be understood, however, that the intention is not to limit the invention to the particular embodiments described. On the contrary, the intention is to cover all modifications, equivalents, and alternatives falling within the spirit and scope of the invention.

FIG. 1 illustrates a tool comprising a sanding sponge 10 having vacuum channels 14 in a grid form recessed into the large flat surface 15 or surfaces of the sanding sponge. The sponge 10 is of a type known to the skilled artisan and is commonly used for sanding wood or drywall. The sponge is typically made of a resilient material such as urethane foam or foam rubber or sponge but should not be limited to only these materials and should include all materials having a resilience including, e.g., rubber and plastic. The sponge has an abrasive coated on its outer surfaces. A center vacuum hole 12 is located in the sponge's center and extends through the thickness of the sponge from one surface to the apposing surface. Vacuum channels 14 are cut or molded into the sponge and connect to each other by means of intersecting with each other and intersecting with the center vacuum hole or aperture 12. Vacuum is channeled to the center vacuum hole or aperture by means of a vacuum hose having a nozzle at the end of it that inserts into the center vacuum hole 12 thereby transferring the vacuum to the vacuum grooves 14 in the sponge. Vacuum may also be directed to the center vacuum hole by means of a sponge holding device having a vacuum channel that directs the vacuum to the sponge.

Vacuum channels may be molded or cut into the sponge and are recessed just below the surface of the sponge to allow air to be sucked into the vacuum grooves 14 from outside the sponge and into the center vacuum hole 12. The air bringing the dust with it then travels through the sponge holder device and into the vacuum hose and into the vacuum cleaner or suction source.

The channel or groove pattern or grid consists of eight grooves in the embodiment shown, each approximately ⅛ inch wide by ⅛ inch deep. These dimensions are approximations and those skilled in the art will recognize other dimensions that are well within the scope and spirit of the present invention. The channels or grooves are in the largest rectangular portion or portions of the sanding sponge which may be referred to as the top and bottom surfaces, respectively, or alternatively and equivalently, the first major and second major surfaces.

FIG. 1 shows the top, or first major surface, with a vacuum groove or grid pattern having eight vacuum grooves or channels 14 that make up a vacuum grid pattern. Three grooves or channels extend the length of the sponge and are recessed below the top surface. The two outer grooves are positioned approximately ⅛ inch from the edge or sides of the sponge in the illustrated embodiment. The middle groove is centered between the two outer grooves and intersects with the center vacuum hole or aperture 12 thereby connecting the grooves or channels to the center vacuum hole or aperture.

Two diagonal grooves or channels extend from corner to corner creating a cross-cross or “X” formation. The two diagonal grooves or channels also intersect with the center vacuum hole or aperture 12 thereby connecting the diagonal grooves or channels to the center vacuum hole or aperture 12.

The groove or channel pattern allows all grooves or channels to be interconnected with each other and with the center vacuum hole or aperture 12 thereby creating a means for the vacuum suction to be distributed in all vacuum grooves or channels by means of a single center vacuum hole or aperture 12. Those skilled in the art will recognize that the illustrated channel grid pattern is exemplary only and any grip pattern that serves the purpose of collecting dust while abrading a surface is within the scope of the present invention.

Moreover, the sponge should not be limited in the number of sides coated with abrasive particles. For example, the top and/or the bottom surfaces, alternatively stated the first and/or second major surfaces, may comprise abrasive coating. In alternate embodiments, the side surface(s) may also comprise abrasive coating.

It is understood that any combination of sides with or without abrasive coating or with or without a vacuum grid may be included in the scope of the invention and the present invention should not be limited in scope by excluding any such combination.

By way of example, FIG. 2 illustrates a sanding sponge having independent vacuum holes or apertures that are offset and with one or more surfaces having abrasive coating thereon, e.g., the top and/or bottom, i.e., the first major and/or second major surfaces. Each hole or aperture extends through the sanding sponge's two large flat surfaces, i.e., the top and bottom surfaces, alternatively and equivalently stated the first and second major surfaces, and through the sponge's thickness. This sanding sponge configuration may be used with commonly known sanding sponge holders in operative communication or connection with a vacuum source. In certain embodiments, the known sponge holder comprises a backing plate as is well known to the skilled artisan. This known configuration may be modified to comprise a ridged screen as is well known in the art in replacement of the known backing plate to assist in distributing the vacuum's air pressure across the multiple holes or apertures. In this configuration, the grooves or channels may or may not be provided on the top and/or bottom, alternatively stated the first major and/or second major surfaces. A particularly preferred embodiment comprises multiple vacuum apertures or holes without a groove or channel grid pattern.

FIG. 3 shows an alternate embodiment of the dustless sanding sponge shown in FIG. 2 having hook material 226 commonly known as Velcro™. attached to one surface, i.e., the top or bottom and/or first or second major surface. The sanding sponge 250 has no central vacuum hole rather it uses multiple vacuum holes or apertures 252 to channel the vacuum to the sanding surface. The holes extend through the thickness of the sponge. The sanding sponge is used in the known holder described above in connection with FIG. 2. Vacuum is transferred to the holes and to the sanding surface. A sandpaper sheet having a hole or apertured grid pattern that coincides with the hole pattern in the sponge may be attached to the sanding sponge.

FIG. 4 shows a corner sanding sponge used for sanding the inside corners of drywall having three abrasive sides and two slots for a handle. The sanding sponge has a triangular longitudinal shape having three large flat surfaces on the longitudinal portion and two ends. Two of the large flat surfaces form a right angle 81 which is used to fit into a right angle corner. All three of the longitudinal surfaces of the sponge are coated with an abrasive. The two surfaces formed at a right angle 81 have an abrasive 78 preferably of the same particle size or grit. The larger flat surface 79 having the slots for the handle may have the same grit size or a different grit size preferably a finer grit for finish sanding. The side of the sponge opposite the right angle is the handle side 79. The handle side has two slots 76 a perpendicular to the length of the sponge with one near each end. The slots extend partially into the sponge approximately ¾ of an inch, having enough depth to accept the sponge holder portion of a handle preferably the sponge holder handle that is known in the art and having cleats that dig into the sponge ends, however any handle may be designed with a holder portion that extends into the slots for the purpose of holding the sponge to the handle. The depth and length of the slots should not be limited here, for example the length of the slots 76 a may be only a length needed to accept the portion of the handle that extends into the sponge as shown in the drawing. Or a slot 77 may extend the entire width of the sponge surface as shown in FIG. 6 any and all slots used for accepting a sponge holder device may be formed into the sponge by means of a knife blade a saw blade or directly molded into the sponge. The slot may be a simple straight slot or have a Tee shaped slot 77 a as shown in FIGS. 7 and 8. The quantity of slots should also not be limited. For example FIG. 6 shows a corner sanding sponge having only one slot 77 located near the center of the sponges handle side 79 and extends the entire width of the sponge, FIG. 5 shows a corner sanding sponge having two slots 77 one near each end of the sponge and also extend the entire width of the sponge, They may also be made shorter in length as shown in FIG. 4.

A corner sanding sponge may have any combination of slots in quantity, length, width, depth, and profile, for example a profile having a T-shape. The slots being used as a means of holding the sponge by means of a handle or by inserting the fingers directly into the sponge's slots.

FIGS. 9 and 10 show an alternate embodiment of the corner sanding sponge 74 a having abrasive 78 on the right angle sides and no abrasive on the handle side 79 of the sponge. Two slots are located on the handle side of the sponge one near each end. As described earlier any combination of slots in quantity, size and shape may be used. It should also be noted that all embodiments of the triangular corner sanding sponge may be made with any combination of slots in size, shape, quantity and with or without abrasive on the handle side 79 of the corner sanding sponge. The handle side of a corner sanding sponge may have a hook or loop fastening material such as Velcro™ attached to it so it may be attached to a handle via hook or loop attached to the adjoining surface of the handle.

FIG. 11 shows an alternate embodiment of the corner sanding sponge 80 having a longer length with four slots so that the sponge may accept two handles 82 instead of only one. The handle side of the sanding sponge has no abrasive, but should not be limited to a sanding sponge having four slots with no abrasive on the handle side, but should include the corner sanding sponge having four slots with abrasive on the handle side 79 as well. Again any combination of slots with abrasive or without abrasive on the handle side should apply, and any length of the triangular sanding sponge suitable for sanding a drywall corner could be used and the scope of the invention should not be limited in length or width of the sanding sponge. The preferred size of all the embodiments of the triangular sanding sponge however is approximately 7 inches long with each of the right angled sides approximately 3 inches in width and the handle side 79 approximately 4½ inches in width is the preferred dimensions of the corner triangular sanding sponge. These dimensions are only the preferred dimensions and should not be limited in any way to these dimensions only. For example FIG. 11 shows a triangular sanding sponge nearly double in length but having the same width as a sponge half its length.

FIGS. 12 and 13 shows an alternate embodiment of a corner sanding sponge, having two 90 degree sides 81 and a handle side 79 with two grooves 86 one on each side for gripping the sponge with fingers, and two small grooves one on each end for a handle to grip the sponge. The handle side 79 has two slots 76 a one near each end as previously described in previous embodiments. The sanding sponge is known in the art and is made for a handle to grip the sponge by the ends, by having the teeth on the handle grip each end of the sponge and hold onto the handle. The embodiment of the present invention provides two slots for the handles extended grippers or teeth to insert into and hold the sponge onto the handle by gripping the sponge inside the slots. The sponge is made longer than the design currently known in the art so that the two slots may be formed into the sponges handle side 79 and still have approximately ½″ to 1″ left over on each side. The space left over on each side provides support for the handle when abrading a surface so that the sponge does not become disengaged with the handle due to force being applied and compressing the sponge longitudinally thereby disengaging the leading end of the sponge from the handle. The portion of the sponge 79 a between each slot and the end of the sponge prevents the handle from disengaging from the sponge. The distance of the slot from each end of the sponge is only an approximation and should not be limited to the distance described here, but should include any distance that adequately provides enough support for the handle to not disengage from the sponge while abrading a surface. Again the slots should not be limited in quantity size or shape, for example the slot may extend across the whole width of the handle side 79 of the sponge as shown in FIG. 13.

FIG. 13 shows an alternate embodiment of the sanding sponge described in FIG. 27 having the handle side 79 coated with an abrasive 78. The handle side has two slots 76 that extend the entire width of the handle side of the sanding sponge. A corner slot 86 is located on the 90 angled side of the sponge and extends part way into the sponge. The slot intersects both 90 degree surfaces 81, of the sponge and is located in the center portion of the sponge and is perpendicular the length of the sponge. The preferred depth of the slot is approximately one inch but should not be limited to only one inch. As in other embodiments the slots should not be limited in size, quantity, or shape. The slot is for a handle having a corresponding holder that inserts into the slot thereby holding the sanding sponge to the handle. The handle is described in FIGS. 17, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35, and 37.

FIG. 14 shows an alternate embodiment of the triangular sanding sponge 84 having the handle side 79 and two right angle sides 81 coated with an abrasive 78. Two slots 77 are located on the handle side 79 of the corner sanding sponge as described in previous embodiments and one corner slot 86 is located on the 90 angle side intersecting the two 90 angled sides, The corner slot is to accept a handle as mentioned in FIG. 12, The handle being described in FIGS. 31 through 51.

FIG. 15 shows a front view of the corner sanding sponge described in FIG. 14. As shown the slots extend through the width of the sanding sponge. The corner slot 86 intersecting the 90 degree angled sides is located opposite the two slots on the handle side and centered between them. The location of the slots do not have to be exactly as described and any number of combination of slots may work as well and arranged in a fashion that would provide adequate means of holding the sanding sponge to the handle, or by inserting the fingers directly into the slots as a means of holding the sanding sponge. The slots may be made wider to accommodate fingers.

FIG. 16 show a handle attached to the corner sanding sponge having the prongs of the handle inserted into the two slots 77 on the handle side 79 of the sponge. The corner slot 86 located on the 90 side of the sponge provides a place for the corner support 94 on the handle 90 shown in FIG. 17 to insert into the sponge as shown in FIG. 17.

FIG. 17 shows a handle designed to hold the triangular sanding sponge with the 90 angled sides 81 of the sponge inserted into the 90 degree cavity of the handle. This allows the handle side of the sanding sponge to be flipped over so as to expose the abrasive on the handle side when held into the corner sanding sponge holder 89. FIG. 17 demonstrates how the triangular sanding sponge is held into the handle so as to expose the abrasive 78 on the handle side, and the handle itself will be described in FIGS. 24 through 37.

FIG. 18 shows a rectangular corner sanding sponge 95 having a square profile looking at it from the ends and having 4 sides at a right angle to each adjacent side. The sponge is longer than the width of any one side thereby making it a rectangle looking at it from a side and not the ends. The preferred size of the sanding sponge is approximately 3″ square on the ends and approximately 7 inches long thereby having 4 sides that make an approximate 3″×7″ rectangle. And each side at a 90 degree angle to its adjacent side.

Although this is the preferred approximate size, the invention should not be limited in size as many variations of size may adequately work. For example a rectangular block of dimensions 3¾″×10″ would constitute a sort of super-sized block for more rapid removal of material when sanding. The preferred size however provides a lower center of gravity for the handle when connected to the sanding sponge thereby providing more support to the sanding sponge and eliminating chatter when abrading. The rectangular sanding sponge 95 has four corner slots 86 located perpendicular to its length. The slots are located on two opposing corners with two slots per corner and each located near opposing ends of the sanding sponge. The corner slots 86 intersect the 90 degree angled sides of each side that make the 90 degree angle. An approximation of the preferred depth of the slots are one half the distance between the tip of the corner and the center of the sponge looking at it from the side. This would be about 1 1/16″ on a sponge having a 3″ square end profile. The depth of the slot should not be limited here and only an approximation is described as a preferred depth, and it should be obvious that the depth should correspond to the size of the sanding sponge and to provide adequate support. The slots provide a means of inserting a portion of a handle into the slot so as to allow a gripping mechanism or corner support 94 on the handle to hold the sanding sponge to the handle.

The gripping mechanism may be a corner support 94 as shown in FIGS. 17, 24, 39, 30, 32, 33, 34, 35, and 37. The gripping mechanism may also be an end cap 92 that inserts into the corner slots as shown in FIGS. 17, 24,25,34,35 and 37. The gripping mechanism may also be a corner and handle support 112 as shown in FIGS. 27 and 28. The gripping mechanisms 94, 92 and 112 may be used in any combination of arrangements on the handle to correspond with any combination of slots in the corner sanding sponges and should not be limited in size shape or quantity, The drawings show preferred embodiments but it is evident that any combination of any holding devices or slots in the sponges and handles will work, and the scope of the invention should not be limited to only those combinations described here.

FIG. 19 shows a side view of the rectangular corner sanding sponge 95 described in FIG. 18. The slots 86 show that they extend through two adjacent right angled sides on the two opposing corners one on the top and one on the bottom.

FIG. 20 shows an alternate embodiment of the rectangular corner sanding sponge having two corner slots located midway between the ends of the sanding sponge. The slots are located on two opposing 90 degree corners used for abrading, with one per corner. The depth of the slot is the same as previously described in FIG. 18. The sanding sponge 98 would be held by a handle having the corresponding gripping mechanism such as the corner support 94 as shown in FIGS. 44 and 46 as the sole means of gripping the sponge or in combination with a handle having end caps 92 as shown in FIGS. 17, 24 and 25, 34, 35, and 37.

FIG. 21 shows an alternate embodiment of the rectangular corner sanding sponge 100 having eight corner slots 86 instead of two or four as previously described in FIG. 18 through 20. The corner slots 86 are located on each of the longitudinal corners of the sponge that are used for abrading. Four slots are located near each end of the sponge and at the base of each slot it connects with the adjacent slot as shown in phantom lines.

FIG. 22 shows a side view of the rectangular sanding sponge shown in FIG. 21. Each slot extends through two sides at a right angle to each other to create a square core of sponge material as shown in FIG. 21 in phantom lines.

FIG. 23 shows an alternate embodiment of the rectangular corner sanding sponge 102 having four corner slots located midway between the ends of the rectangular corner sanding sponge instead of two sets of slots one on each end as shown in FIGS. 21 and 22. The slots are arranged as described in FIG. 22 but having only one set of slots.

FIGS. 24 and 25 shows a sanding sponge holder 104 for holding the triangular or rectangular corner sanding sponges previously described. The handle is made of plastic or metal or other rigid material, non rigid materials such as rubber may also work. The handle has a triangular base having two longitudinal sides 105 that form a right angle having a corner support 94 located on the inside corner of the right angle and midway between two end caps 92. A handle 106 is located on the exterior of the right angled sides at the apex of the corner. The handle is slightly convex with the convex side up and extends the length of the holder and is attached to the triangular base by means of two handle supports 108 having an inside right angle with a convex curve corresponding with the curve of the handle.

The convex curve is opposite the end of the support 108 having the inside right angle. The inside angle fits onto the outside of the triangular base at its apex. The rectangular sanding sponge 98 shown in FIG. 26 fits into the inside corner of the holder with the end caps 92 and the corner support 94 which slides into the slot on the sponge providing support and a means of gripping the sponge thereby holding the sponge onto the sponge holder 104. The handle 106 provides a means of holding the sponge holder 104 with the hand.

FIGS. 27 and 28 show a rectangular sanding sponge holder 110 having two longitudinal sides 105 that form a ninety degree angle at the apex of the ninety degree angle a handle 106 is attached by means of two handle supports 112 having a rectangular bottom and a convex top. The rectangular bottoms slide into two slots 113 in the triangular base thereby extending across the inside corner of the triangular base and creating two independent corner supports similar to the ones shown in FIGS. 38 and 39 and also creating a convex shaped handle support on the top of the triangular base. The rectangular sanding sponge holder will hold the rectangular sanding sponge as described in FIGS. 18, 19, 21, 22, and 23.

FIG. 29 shows a rectangular sanding sponge that the holder will fit onto.

FIGS. 30, 32 and 33 shows an alternate sanding sponge holder 115 that will hold a triangular or rectangular sanding sponge. A handle 116 is attached at the apex of two rectangular sides 105 that form a right angle. A corner support 94 is triangular in shape and is located between the two ends of the holder on the inside corner of the triangular base. as described in FIGS. 24 and 25. In this embodiment the only holding mechanism for the sanding sponge is the single corner support 94. The invention should not be limited in quantity size or shape of corner supports, and only one is shown here as an alternate embodiment, it should be obvious that any number of supports may be used to provide necessary support to hold the sanding sponge firmly in place.

FIG. 31 shows a rectangular corner sanding sponge as described in FIG. 26 for the purpose of demonstrating which type of sanding sponge would fit the holder shown in FIGS. 30, 31 and 33. The triangular sanding sponge shown in FIGS. 14 and 15 will also fit into the holder.

FIG. 32 is a bottom view of the holder 115 and FIG. 33 is an end view of holder 115.

FIG. 34 shows the preferred embodiment of the corner sanding sponge holder 87 for the rectangular or triangular corner sanding sponges. The holder 87 is the same as the embodiment described in FIGS. 24 and 25 except the preferred embodiment has a different handle. The handle 88 is made of a resilient material such as a dense foam or a rubber material. The handle has a convex top portion and the sides are rounded providing a place to grip the handle with the fingers. The bottom of the handle has a ninety degree v shape that extends the length of the handle so as to provide a v shaped channel for the apex or peak of the ninety degree angle of the triangular base to fit into the channel and be fastened to the handle. A rectangular shaped sanding sponge 98 having two slots 86 is shown attached to the holder 87.

FIGS. 35 and 37 are essentially the same as FIGS. 30 and 32. The only difference is that the holder shown in FIGS. 35 and 37 have an end cap 92 located on each end of the holder. The end cap provides more holding power to hold the sponge into the holder. The end cap is comprised of a ridged material that is triangular in shape having a right angle, and closes off the ends of the inside cavity of the holder. The end caps 92 a and corner supports 94 a may also have prongs or tines 91 similar to protrusions on a cheese grater. The prongs allow the sponge to slide over them but dig into the sponge when force is applied in removing the sponge thereby holding the sponge firmly in the holder. The tines could be v shaped with the v pointing away from the tool. FIG. 38 shows a side view of the holder with tines or prongs 91. FIG. 39 shows an alternate corner support 94 a having tines or prongs 91. The tines or prongs could be applied to any of the sponge holder embodiments. It should be noted that all the tools and handles described in the embodiments of the invention could be made of plastic or metal or other rigid material. Rubber may also work.

FIG. 36 is a rectangular shaped sanding sponge 98 having two slots 86 providing a means of attaching the sponge to the holder in conjunction with the end caps of the holder 92.

FIG. 40 shows a triangular sanding sponge 120 having a vacuum grid 124 and center vacuum hole 122 and two slots 77 located on the handle side of the sponge 79. the vacuum grid is comprised of channels cut into the sanding sponge as described in FIG. 1. The vacuum grid is laid out on the abrasive sides of the sponge in the design shown in FIG. 41 having on each side three vertical vacuum channels connected to the center vacuum hole by means of two diagonal vacuum grid channels. This is a combined 6 vertical and 4 diagonal vacuum grid channels. The holders for the triangular sanding sponge are shown in FIGS. 42 and 43. The slots as described earlier should not be limited in size quantity or shape.

FIGS. 44 and 45 show a corner sanding sponge holder 139 having a vacuum attachment. The holder 139 attaches to an existing vacuum sander. The holder has a top plate 150 having two triangular ends 146 that extend at a right angle from the top plate and form and end cap. An inside bottom plate 141 having two triangular ends 148 that extend at a right angle is of the same shape as the top plate and ends but shorter in length so as to fit inside the top plate and ends and leave a space in between the two plates and ends. The space between the two plates and ends is a vacuum chamber 144. The sides of the holder have holes 152 so as to allow air to be sucked through the holes and out the tool bringing dust created by abrading drywall with the air. The top plate has two tubes that extend into the top plate but not into the bottom plate. The tubes provide a port for the vacuum to enter the vacuum chamber of the holder, thereby providing a vacuum to the holes in the exterior side walls that are positioned near the abrading edge of the corner sanding sponge so as to suck dust into the holder when abrading. Two prongs 142 having a triangular shape extend downward from the bottom plate and insert into slots in the triangular sanding sponge. The prongs may be straight or have an elbow with a right angle having teeth. The two tubes located on the top of the plate are distanced apart from each other at an equal distance to the holes in known vacuum sanders, so that the tubes will slide into the known vacuum sander holes and create a direct vacuum channel from the known tool to the vacuum chamber 144 in the corner sanding sponge holder with vacuum attachment 139. Corner sanding sponge 74 is shown in FIG. 45 attached to the vacuum tool 139.

FIGS. 46 and 47 show a rectangular sanding sponge holder 154 for a large 9″×3¼×1″ sanding sponge 16 a having a vacuum attachment that hooks up to a known vacuum sander. The holder 154 has a top plate 156 having four sides 160 that extend at a right angle to the top plate so as to create a rectangular dish with a depth slightly less than the thickness of the sponge it is designed to hold. The top plate has two tubes 140 that extend into the top plate of the dish and out the other side 162 extending slightly into the cavity of the dish and also extending above the top plate so as to allow the tubes on the top of the tool to insert into the holes 161 in the known tool in FIG. 49. And the portion of the tubes extending into the dish would insert into a sanding sponge having a vacuum grid 14 and two main vacuum holes 12 into which the gridded vacuum channels in the sponge are directed. The tubes are located a distance apart from each other equal to the distance the suction holes in the known vacuum sanders are apart from each other.

FIG. 48 shows an alternate version of a dustless sanding sponge having no diagonal vacuum channels as does the sanding sponge shown in fig. The sanding sponge may also have perforations or apertures instead of having vacuum channels as described in FIG. 2.

FIG. 50 shows a small cube shaped sanding sponge 164 having abrasive 78 on all 6 sides. The small cube is approximately 1¼ cubic inch and may have different grits on each side or all the same grit on each cube. The size of the cube is only an approximation and it is the intent of the inventor to create a small cube with abrasive on all sides so as to have a small sanding cube that will fit into a belt loop or into the pocket of a person such as a painter. The size should be such that it does not become too small to be useful or to large to loose is useful intention as a small mini sized sanding sponge that will fit into a belt loop or easily into the outer edge of a pocket. It may be rectangular or square so as to fulfill its purpose and have any number of combinations of grit. It may even be color coded so as to identify its grit.

FIGS. 51 and 52 shows a drywall corner sanding tool having a circular disc shape wherein the disc is folded or bent in half having two half round sides 176 at a right angle to each other. A handle having a half round shape with an inside and outside radius, is positioned in the inside of the ninety degree angle created by the folded disc shaped walls. The outside radius of the handle 174 is approximately the same as the outside radius of the disc shaped walls 176. The inside radius 173 provides a place to grip the handle with fingers. The sides of the tool that create the disc may be made of plastic or sheet metal having a flexible quality so that the sides may conform to the angle of the corner. The sides are laminated with a resilient material such as sponge rubber 178 giving the abrasive discs more ability to conform to the wall angle as well as a cushion for more effective abrading The sides are also laminated with a hook material 180 from the hook and loop fastening system such as Velcro™. The hook allows abrasive discs having the loop material of the hook and loop fastening system attached to their back side to be attached to the tool via hook and loop. The abrasive disks are commonly used with orbital sanding tools. The common sizes of discs are 5″ and 6″ thereby dictating the different diameter sizes the tool may be made from. The tool should not be limited to only the diameter sizes of the popular disc shapes, although the 5 and 6 inch diameters would be the most advantageous to readily find abrasive discs.

FIGS. 53 and 54 show a flap sanding tool having four major components. The tool has a cylindrical drum 198 having multiple holes 202 located near the outer diameter and having a slot connecting the outer diameter of the cylinder to the holes. The slot 200 extends the length of the cylinder but does not extend out the other side leaving a small end cap to the cylinder. The drum has a mandrel 208 located on the closed end of the drum and is used to attach the tool to a drill or motor. The cylindrical holes accommodate a series of abrasive flaps 214 mounted onto a molded rod 216 The rod is of a slightly smaller diameter than the cylindrical holes 202 so that the rod with the abrasive flaps may be inserted into the cylindrical holes with abrasive flaps extending out of the drum. The abrasive flaps may be molded directly into the rod as a single component. A drum cap 212 is of a disc shape equal to the diameter of the drum and has a hole through its center allowing a bolt or screw 222 to extend through the hole and screw the drum cap to the end of the cylindrical drum thereby locking in the abrasive flaps.

FIG. 55 shows an alternate embodiment of the dustless sanding sponge having a hook material 226 such as Velcro™ attached to one side and vacuum channels 14 cut through the hook material 226 and into the sponge The tool comprises a sponge or resilient material 224 having a center vacuum hole 12 that connects the vacuum to the grooves as described in earlier embodiments. The sponge has no abrasive coating, rather it uses hook or Velcro to attach an abrasive sheet 228 FIG. 56 having vacuum ports. The Velcro is used to hold an abrasive sheet onto the sponge. As described in earlier embodiments any number of vacuum channel patterns may be used to achieve the end result of channeling the dust into the central vacuum hole 12.

FIG. 56 shows a side view of the dustless sanding sponge shown in FIG. 55. An abrasive sheet 228 having an abrasive 230 on one side of the sheet and a loop material 231 of the hook and loop fastening system such as Velcro is attached to the opposite side as the abrasive.

FIG. 57 shows an alternate embodiment of the sanding sponge shown in FIG. 55 having vacuum channels 232 that are not cut all the way through the hook material. The vacuum channels are cut into the hook 226 by cutting away only the hooks themselves leaving the substrate 227 that the hooks extend from intact, thereby giving added strength to the surface on which the Velcro is attached.

FIG. 58 shows an alternate embodiment of the dustless sanding sponge in FIG. 55 having loop material 234 such as Velcro™ attached to the back of the sponge. The loop holds the sponge to a vacuum attachment sponge holder such as described in FIG. 61.

FIG. 59 shows an abrasive sheet 236 having vacuum holes 238 punched through the sheet in a pattern that coincides with the vacuum channel pattern in the sanding sponge to which it attaches. Loop material of the hook and loop fastening system is attached to the back of the sandpaper sheet allowing it to be attached to a sanding sponge with hook attached laminated to it.

FIG. 60 shows the sanding sponge shown if FIG. 55 with a sandpaper sheet 240 attached via hook and loop. The sandpaper sheet has an alternate vacuum slot pattern. The pattern comprises four T-shaped slots 241 with the base of each T overlapping the center vacuum hole or aperture.

FIG. 61 shows an alternate embodiment of a vacuum attachment sponge holder having hook material 226 attached to the bottom surface of a triangular plate. The tool comprises a vacuum tube 244 having a right angle bend at one end. The end of the bend extends below the surface of the triangular plate 242.

FIG. 62 shows the sponge holder shown in FIG. 61. The triangular plate 242 is shown from a top view.

FIGS. 63 and 64 show a sanding pad having a perforated or woven checkered pattern with negative spaces 262 to allow for more flexibility. The material has a high grip surface for gripping the hand when used. The material is of the type used for lying under rugs so the rug does not slip on a floor. The pattern of the material can be any pattern that allows for negative spaces in the pattern much like a sanding screen does. The material is of a sponge like consistency. One side of the pad is coated with abrasive grit 260 and the other side is not coated and acts as a high grip surface to grip the pad when sanding. The design should not be limited to only a checkered design but any design having negative spaces in the pattern to allow for flexibility. The pad may also be made out of a high grip material as described and having no negative spaces but only a flat sheet of spongy high grip material having abrasive on one side. FIG. 63 shows a side view of the pad, FIG. 64 shows a top view of the pad showing the high grip spongy nobules 264 having abrasive grit adhered to the top surface.

FIG. 65 shows an alternate embodiment of the vacuum sanding sponge described in FIG. 55. The sponge is of a rectangular shape and has a hook material 226 of the type known commonly as Velcro™ laminated to the surface having the vacuum grooves. The hook 226 or Velcro™ material is laminated over the top of the grooves 14 in the sponge. Tee shaped vacuum slots 241 perforate the hook and are shaped so that they correspond with sections of the vacuum grooves in the sponge, and when the hook is laminated to the sponge the Tee shaped vacuum slots 241 in the hook are positioned directly over the vacuum grooves 14 in the sponge their by transferring the vacuum through the hook and onto the work surface. In this embodiment only one side of the sponge has vacuum grooves 14 it should be noted that one or both sides of the sponge top and or bottom may have vacuum grooves with hook laminated over them as described here. It should also be noted that in all embodiments of the dustless sanding sponge having vacuum grooves, one or more sides may have vacuum grooves with one or more sides having an abrasive coating or a means of attaching an abrasive material including abrasive sheet, sanding screen, abrasive having foam backing or any other abrasive having a means of transferring vacuum to its work surface including round or slotted perforations but not limited to only round or slotted perforations. It should also be noted that in all embodiment of the dustless sanding sponge that the material the sponge is made of may be of any resilient material having adequate resiliency to flex and conform to an irregular surface. Since the tool is used primarily on flat surfaces high conformity is not necessary and the range of flexibility or resilience of the foam can be anywhere from very flexible or soft to a semi ridged or dense material, and should include foam, sponge, rubber, gel, or any material having resilient qualities. Polyurethane foam or sponge that is commonly used for making sanding sponges is the preferred material. The resilience of the sponge allows the sanding block to create a seal around the vacuum grooves when pressed against a flat or semi flat surface, their by directing the vacuum through the channels or grooves to create maximum vacuum efficiency. It should also be noted that although the shape of the dustless sanding sponge described here is rectangular it should not be limited to only rectangular and should include any and all shaped described in all embodiments to the present invention. No one embodiment of the dustless sanding sponge should be narrowed in scope to any particular size or shape, it should be obvious that the principle features of the dustless sanding sponge including the vacuum grooves or perforations described in the many embodiments may be applied to any number of shapes and sizes of sanding sponges or blocks and it is impossible to cover all the shapes and sizes and different materials in the present invention.

FIG. 66 shows a thin sanding sponge 266 made of a resilient material such as urethane foam and has Tee shaped slots 239 that perforate its thickness. The slots are the same shape as the Tee shaped slots 241 in the hook material 226 shown in FIG. 88. The sanding sponge has an abrasive material 240 coated on one side and loop material 234 on the opposite side. The loop is of the type commonly known as Velcro™. The loop allows the sanding sponge to be attached to a dustless sanding sponge that is made of a ridged or resilient material having corresponding vacuum grooves that match the slot pattern in the sponge. Although T-shaped slots are shown in this embodiment of the sanding sponge it should be noted that the sponge may alternately have perforations or holes or smaller slots that form a pattern that corresponds with the vacuum grooves in the dustless sanding sponge or dustless sanding block made of a ridged material such as plastic as shown in FIG. 109.

FIGS. 67 and 68 show a thin dustless sanding sponge having loops 234 of the hook and loop fastening system commonly known as Velcro™ on one side and abrasive 240 on the other side. The sanding sponge has multiple perforations or vacuum holes 243 that allow the vacuum to be transferred to the abrasive surface. The sponge may be attached to a sanding block having corresponding vacuum holes and hook or Velcro™ as a means of attaching the sanding sponge to the dustless sanding block.

FIGS. 69 and 70 show a sanding screen 245 comprised a plastic or synthetic such as nylon. The screen 247 has a loop material commonly known as Velcro™. Laminated to one side and an abrasive coated on the other side. The abrasive may also be ingrained into the plastic or synthetic mesh. The sanding screen may be used with the dustless sanding sponges having hook material laminated to it such as described in FIG. 58. Known sanding screens have a loop material already attached to one side and may be used with the dustless sanding sponge and may be readily used within the present invention.

FIG. 71 shows an alternate embodiment of a sanding sponge. The sanding sponge has a U shaped recess 288 that is centered in the top of the sponge and extends the length of the sponge. The U shaped recess provides a cavity into which a hollow vacuum connector tube 287 having a right angle nozzle 289 may be recessed so that the connector tube 287 rests below the top portion of the handle their by removing it as an obstruction while holding the block with the hand. The vacuum connector tube 287 is attached to the end of a vacuum hose that is connected to a vacuum cleaner. A ridge 291 that is slightly larger in diameter than the connector tube is positioned at the end of connector tube and acts as a catch that holds the vacuum hose onto the connector tube. The right angle nozzle 289 is inserted into the central vacuum hole 12 and transfers the vacuum to the vacuum grooves 14 in the bottom of the sponge.

FIG. 72 shows the top view of the sanding sponge shown in FIG. 71. The U shaped recess 288 is shown extending the length of the sponge's top portion. The U shaped recess may also be slightly closed 285 near the top more like a semi circle than a U shape. This would allow the vacuum connector tube 287 to snap into the recess and be held more securely.

FIG. 74 shows an alternate embodiment of the sanding sponge shown in FIG. 55 with both top and bottom having vacuum grooves 14 and the sides not coated with abrasive. It should be noted that any of the vacuum groove or hole patterns may be applied to any of the dustless sanding sponges described and no one sponge should be limited to only the vacuum groove pattern shown on that particular sponge.

FIG. 75 shows a vacuum attachment device comprising a vacuum connector tube 294 having a right angle nozzle 32 that extends at a right angle from the end of the tube. The connector tube has a round retainer ring 291 that is of a slightly larger diameter than the connector tube and holds the vacuum hose onto the connector tube by fitting into a matching recess in the end of the vacuum hose when it is attached to the connector tube. The nozzle has a flange 296 at its top. The flange is of a larger diameter than the nozzle and prevents the nozzle from being inserted to far into the central vacuum hole, and also provides stability and a vacuum seal at the top of the central vacuum hole. The nozzle 32 has a tapered retainer shoulder 272 at its end portion that holds the nozzle into the central vacuum hole.

FIG. 76 shows the top view of FIG. 75 showing the flange 296.

FIG. 77 shows an alternate embodiment of the dustless sanding sponge shown in FIGS. 71 and 72 comprised of a longer sponge having no angled end. The longer length requires a vacuum groove pattern of the type shown in FIG. 78 and is more like two vacuum grid patterns that are aligned end to end, however having one common vertical groove in the center as apposed to two grooves that would be close together in the center if the two grid patterns were placed end to end. Two central vacuum holes 12 extend from the bottom of the U shaped recess 288 in the same manner as described in FIG. 71 and provide vacuum to the vacuum grooves 14 as shown in FIG. 78. A dual nozzle connector tube 300 as described in FIGS. 82 83 and 84 is shown as it would be inserted into the sponges U shaped recess 288. It should be noted that the length of the sponge may be longer and the vacuum grid pattern would change accordingly by adding more central vacuum holes. Each central vacuum hole would be in conjunction with each individual vacuum grid pattern added. For example if the sponge were made so long that more central vacuum holes needed to be added to supply adequate vacuum to the grid it would involve placing multiple grid patterns end to end as previously described with each individual grid pattern as shown in FIG. 1 having its own central vacuum hole. An individual vacuum grid pattern may be comprised of a vacuum grid pattern as shown in FIG. 1 having a single central vacuum hole or aperture 12. By extending the length of a dustless sanding sponge you would connect individual vacuum grid patterns as shown in FIG. 78. It should be noted that the dual nozzle connector tube 300 may be a ridged tube that does not flex easily or it may be made of a flexible tube that allows the sanding sponge to flex more easily when it is inserted into the U shaped recess 288. It should also be noted that The U shaped recess should not be limited to only the handled sanding sponge shown here but may be incorporated into a simple rectangular shaped sponge or any other shaped sponge where it would serve its intended purpose.

FIG. 78 is a bottom view of the sanding sponge shown in FIG. 77 and shows the vacuum groove pattern without diagonal grooves.

FIGS. 79 and 80 show an alternate embodiment of the dustless sanding tool shown in FIGS. 77 and 78 having a hook material 226 commonly known as Velcro™ laminated over the top of the vacuum grooves 14 on the bottom of the tool. The hook or Velcro 226 has vacuum slots 314 that perforate the hook and form a pattern that creates small rectangles as shown in the diagram.

FIG. 80 shows the vacuum slots 314 in the Velcro and are positioned so that they coincide with the pattern of vacuum slots 14 in the large handled sanding sponge 312 as shown in FIG. 78. It should be noted that any slot pattern may be used so long as the slot pattern in the hook or Velcro™ material matches the slot pattern in the sponge or block 312. The hook 226 is laminated over the top of the grooves in the bottom of the sponge so that the slots in the hook 314 are directly over the slots in the sponge 14 FIG. 78 The vacuum transfers from the grooves in the sponge to the slots in the Velcro and ultimately to the slots or perforations in the sanding sheet or sponge that is attached to the hook their by sucking dust away from the work surface while abrading.

It should be noted that that the method and means by which the hook or Velcro is configured on the sanding sponge described in FIGS. 79 and 80 may be applied to any of the other embodiments of dustless sanding sponges including the different shapes sizes and materials and wherein the intended purpose of the hook and the grooves or slots would serve their intended purpose. In general applying hook in the manner described in FIGS. 79 and 80 should not be limited to only the sanding sponge having a handle but should include any and all shapes of sanding sponges wherein the hook and grooves would serve their intended purpose. For example a small sanding sponge having only one central vacuum hole as shown in FIG. 55 may have the hook applied to it in the same manner as shown in FIGS. 79 and 80, however the vacuum grid pattern would be changed to fit the sanding sponge, and should not be limited to only one particular vacuum groove pattern.

FIG. 80 shows a bottom view of the dustless sanding sponge 312 showing the vacuum slot pattern in the Velcro Material™. The center vacuum holes 12 and vacuum grooves 14 in the sponge are shown in hidden lines.

FIG. 81 shows a thin sanding sponge 316 perforated with vacuum slots 318 and has a loop fastening system also known as Velcro™ 234 on one side of the sanding sponge and sanding abrasive 260 on the other side. The thin sponge 316 has vacuum slots 318 that perforate the thickness of the sponge and are arranged so that the vacuum slots 318 coincide with the vacuum slots 314 in the Velcro™ hook on the bottom of the sanding sponge in FIGS. 79 and 80 The loop 234 allows the thin sanding sponge 316 to be attached to the large dustless sanding sponge 312 via hook and loop fastening system. The vacuum is transferred to the slots 318 in the thin sanding sponge when attached to the large dustless sander 312 because the slots 318 align with the slots 314 in the Velcro™ which in turn align with the grooves 14 in the bottom of the tool 312.

FIGS. 82 and 83 show a dual nozzle vacuum connector having a vacuum tube 300 and two vacuum nozzles 302 and 304 that extend at a right angle to the vacuum tube. A hose retainer ring 308 is positioned on the end of the tube. The dual nozzle vacuum connector has a long tube 300, having at one end a right angle nozzle 304 and in the center portion of the tube another right angle nozzle 302. The nozzle diameter is slightly larger than the center vacuum holes in the dustless sanding sponge it connects to. The two nozzles 302 and 304 insert into the central vacuum holes in the large dustless sander shown in FIGS. 77, and 78 their by connecting a vacuum source to the vacuum grooves 14 in the dustless sanding block. The vacuum tube 300 recesses into the vacuum tube groove shown in FIGS. 77 and 79. The nozzles insert into the central vacuum holes their by connecting the vacuum to the center vacuum holes and to the vacuum grooves and slots in the tool and the abrasive. The hose retainer 308 allows a vacuum hose to be connected to the dual nozzle vacuum connector by sliding onto the tubes end and slipping over the retainer ring their by holding the hose onto the connector tube 300.

FIG. 83 shows an alternate embodiment of the dual nozzle vacuum connector tube having a u shaped bottom and a slightly convex top. The convex top is of the same radius as the top of the handle on the dustless sanding sponge 312 shown in FIG. 79.

FIG. 84 shows an end view of FIG. 83 showing the U shaped bottom of the tube 320 and the convex top 322.

FIG. 85 shows a hollow dustless sanding block comprising a hollow rectangular chamber 324 perforated with vacuum holes 326 and a hook material 226 commonly known as Velcro™ attached to the side of the block that is perforated. A hose fitting 332 is attached to the end of the block allowing a vacuum hose to be attached to the block the vacuum hose is connected to a vacuum cleaner on the other end a vacuum is created in the hollow vacuum chamber of the block their by providing vacuum to each individual vacuum hole 326. Finger grooves 328 having a concave recess are recessed into the sides of the block. The Velcro allows an abrasive sanding sponge or sheet having perforations of the same hole pattern as the dustless sanding block 324 to be attached to the block their by allowing a vacuum to be transferred to the holes in the sanding sponge or sheet as they align with the holes in the sanding block 324. It should be noted that Velcro is only a brand name for hook and loop fastening system and is only used for description purposes and the invention should not be limited to only Velcro as a source for hook and loop, this applies to all embodiments where hook and loop is used. The vacuum sucks dust away from the work surface via the holes in the sanding sponge and holes in the sanding block 324.

FIG. 86 shows an alternate embodiment of the hollow dustless sanding block shown in FIG. 85 having vacuum slots 14 instead of vacuum holes. The vacuum slot pattern is of the same pattern described in FIG. 1 excluding diagonal channels and has a hook material or Velcro™ laminated over the slots in the block as described in FIGS. 79 and 80. The Velcro has six horizontal slots and four vertical slots. Hook or Velcro™ provides the means by which an abrasive sheet or sanding sponge may be attached to the dustless sanding block. A sanding sponge as shown in FIG. 89 having a hole or slot pattern that matches the slot pattern in the sanding block may be attached to the sanding block via hook and loop or Velcro. A vacuum is transferred to the slots or holes in the sanding sponge via the vacuum slots 14 in the sanding block. It should be noted that although plastic is the preferred material for making the ridged dustless sanding blocks shown in FIGS. 85 and 86 it should not be limited to only plastic. Materials such as Styrofoam or wood or any ridged material suitable for making the block may be used.

FIG. 87 shows a high grip foam sanding pad 263 having checkered pattern of voids 262 in the pad. The foam pad is comprised of individual small foam pads 264 that are attached to each other at their corners leaving voids 262 in a checkered pattern. The small foam pads 264 have a flat bottom and a pillowy convex top. The foam pad is made from an existing high grip liner used for putting under a rug to keep the rug from sliding on a floor. The pad is of a type well known in the art. The high grip pad 263 may be laminated with an abrasive as described in connection with FIG. 88.

FIG. 88 shows a side view of the high grip sanding pad in FIG. 87 having an abrasive 260 coated on the bottom of the pad. The individual foam pads connected at the corners have a convex top 264 and flat bottom that is coated with abrasive 260.

FIG. 89 shows the high grip foam pad 263 described in FIG. 87 laminated to a thin foam sanding sponge 334 as is well known in the art. The foam sanding sponge 334 has an abrasive coated to its bottom surface.

FIG. 90 shows an alternate embodiment of the high grip foam pad shown in FIG. 87 having one part of the hook and loop, e.g., hook material 226, attachment system also known as Velcro™ attached to the bottom of the pad. The hook allows an abrasive having a second part of the hook and loop, e.g., loop material, attachment system known as Velcro to be attached to the pad via hook and loop, or Velcro™.

FIG. 91 shows an alternate embodiment of the high grip foam pad 263 having pressure sensitive adhesive laminated to its bottom with the pressure sensitive adhesive 336 (PSA) having a liner 265 so that the liner may be removed exposing the PSA so that the high grip foam pad 263 may be laminated to an abrasive sheet or sponge or any abrasive wherein a high grip surface for the purpose of holding the pad is desired.

FIG. 92 shows an alternate embodiment of the high grip sanding sponge shown in FIG. 89 having a solid high grip pad 338 laminated to a foam sanding sponge 334. The solid high grip pad 338 is known in the art and does not have a checkered pattern of voids and is thus substantially solid foam. This embodiment comprises the foam sanding sponge having abrasive 260 coated on its bottom surface. It should be noted that a solid high grip pad may be coated with abrasive on one side and not laminated to another sponge having an abrasive coating. It would comprise a solid high grip foam pad having abrasive coated on one side.

FIG. 93 shows an alternate embodiment of the high grip pad 263 shown in FIG. 87 having vinyl or rubber or other substrate laminated to its bottom for the purpose of attaching an abrasive having pressure sensitive adhesive as an attachment means.

FIG. 94 shows a round or disk shaped high grip pad having the checkered voids 262 in the pad. It should be noted that any of the embodiments showing the high grip pad could be made into any shape including round, square, rectangular, triangular or any other shape.

FIG. 95 shows an alternate embodiment of the high grip pad shown in FIG. 89 having a high grip pad 264 laminated to a foam pad 334 having a hook material 226 also known as Velcro™ laminated to its bottom surface for the purpose of attaching an abrasive sheet having Velcro loop as an attachment means.

FIG. 96 shows an alternate embodiment of FIG. 95 showing a high grip pad 263 laminated to the top of a foam pad 334 having a vinyl or rubber or other flexible material 340 laminated to its bottom for the purpose of attaching an abrasive material having a pressure sensitive adhesive as an attachment means. The PSA would be attached to the vinyl or rubber surface their by attaching the abrasive sheet to the pad.

As will be recognized by the skilled artisan, the inventions and embodiments thereof illustrated in FIGS. 87 and 89 may be described with equivalent terminology while remaining within the scope of the illustrated Figures. The same applies for the inventions illustrated in FIGS. 88 and 91-96. For example, the hand-held abrasive article may be resilient and/or conformable. Further, such article may be flexible. The high grip foam pad 263, e.g., may be referred to alternatively and equivalently as a flexible grip and/or a flexible conformable backing layer. The high grip foam pad, flexible grip and/or flexible conformable backing layer defines and/or comprises a top surface and bottom surface or, equivalently, a first major surface and a second major surface. These alternate and equivalent descriptive terms are well represented in, e.g., FIGS. 87 89 and 91 and, as a result, are well within the scope and spirit of the present disclosure and invention.

Moreover, the individual small high-grip pads that are attached to each other in a checkered pattern that leaves voids between the interconnections of the high-grip pads may be equivalently referred to as separated resilient bodies connected to each other in an array that provides open spaces between adjacent connected bodies. Further, each individual small high-grip pad may be equivalently described as having a top and a bottom or a first surface and an opposite second surface. The Figures, especially FIGS. 87, 89 and 91, provide support for such equivalent and alternate descriptions; each of which is within the scope of the present invention.

Similarly, the sanding article having a top surface attached to the bottom of the high-grip pads and a bottom surface having abrasive particles coated thereon may be equivalently described as a flexible reinforcing layer having a first major surface affixed to the first surface of the separated resilient bodies, and a second opposed major surface having abrasive particles arranged thereon, thereby defining an abrasive surface. The abrasive article, e.g., a sanding sponge or abrasive sheet as discussed and illustrated herein, provides additional functionality beyond that shown and described in the U.S. Pat. No. 6,613,113 to Minick, discussed above. Thus, the present invention provides, inter alia, reinforcement beyond simply coating the high-grip backing layer with abrasive. This reinforcement, provided by the abrasive article, imparts durability to the present invention. Described either way, the sanding article, e.g., a sanding sponge having abrasive coating thereon, or an abrasive sheet, or the reinforcing layer having abrasive particles coated thereon serve the same purpose with identical structure, i.e., they are equivalents; each such equivalent is illustrated in the Figures and is within the scope of the present invention.

Additionally, though the Figures, e.g., FIGS. 87, 89 and 91, illustrate a preferred pattern of high-grip pads or resilient bodies having a substantially uniform size and shape, this uniformity is not a requirement of the present invention. Similarly, the Figures illustrate the top or first surface of the high-grip pads, or resilient bodies, as having a preferred convex or dome shape, though this particular shape is not a requirement of the present invention. Further, the high-grip pads, or resilient bodies, may be preferably manufactured from a foam material, though equivalent materials will readily present themselves to the skilled artisan while remaining within the scope and spirit of the present invention.

Clearly, no matter how the inventions illustrated herein, and in particular in FIGS. 87-96, are described using equivalent nomenclature, the structure and the purpose are the same: providing a high-grip material upon which an abrasive article, e.g., a sanding sponge with abrasive coating, or an abrasive sheet is affixed, either permanently or removably, wherein the high-grip material is flexible and/or conformable and/or resilient. Each such equivalent description and associated embodiment is within the scope of the present invention.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3964213 *Mar 17, 1975Jun 22, 1976Tobey Alton EAbrasive cleaning tool
US4759155 *Mar 6, 1987Jul 26, 1988Shaw Christopher JParticle collecting sander
US5283988 *Aug 5, 1992Feb 8, 1994Brown Geoffrey PManual vacuum sander
US5337523 *Dec 2, 1992Aug 16, 1994Walsh David CUtility tool
US5707903 *Jan 21, 1997Jan 13, 1998Griptex Industries, Inc.Decorative non-slip liner
US5993306 *Mar 4, 1998Nov 30, 1999Pro-Line, Inc.Sanding and cleaning device for drywall bullnose cornerbeads
US6227959 *Sep 23, 1998May 8, 2001Donald W. BeaudrySanding sponge
US6439983 *Nov 17, 2000Aug 27, 2002Pro-Line, Inc.Sanding and cleaning device for drywall bullnose cornerbeads
US6613113 *Dec 28, 2001Sep 2, 20033M Innovative Properties CompanyAbrasive product and method of making the same
US6957934 *Dec 4, 2002Oct 25, 2005Wallboard Tool Co., Inc.Wallboard rasp
US7285146 *Dec 28, 2005Oct 23, 20073M Innovative Properties CompanyResilient abrasive article
US7311591 *Jul 23, 2003Dec 25, 20073M Innovative Properties CompanyAbrasive materials
US7396276 *May 19, 2006Jul 8, 2008Ali Industries, Inc.Composite support structure for use in sanding and sanders formed therefom
US20040043715 *Aug 27, 2002Mar 4, 2004Miles Jody W.Corner sanding pad
US20090047882 *Aug 16, 2007Feb 19, 2009Collins Darlene KSanding Tool
US20090117836 *Nov 6, 2007May 7, 2009Terry AliHolder for sanding block
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7901275 *Apr 17, 2008Mar 8, 2011Cousin's Abrasives LlcSanding apparatus
US8210910 *Nov 18, 2008Jul 3, 2012Lake Country Manufacturing, Inc.Multi-faceted sanding/finishing tool
US8360831 *May 10, 2010Jan 29, 2013Chin-Hsiung LienSanding tool
US20100124873 *Nov 18, 2008May 20, 2010Lake Country Manufacturing, Inc.Multi-Faceted Sanding/Finishing Tool
US20110124274 *Jan 7, 2011May 26, 2011Ec Sander, L.L.C.Drywall sander
US20110275294 *May 10, 2010Nov 10, 2011Chin-Hsiung LienSanding tool
US20120309273 *Jun 6, 2011Dec 6, 2012Popov Georgi MHand-powered polishing apparatus and kit for stainless steel sinks
US20130045668 *May 25, 2012Feb 21, 2013Saint-Gobain AbrasifsMulti-sided shaped abrasive sanding aid
Classifications
U.S. Classification451/524, 51/297, 451/456
International ClassificationB24B55/06, B24D11/00, B24D18/00, B24D15/04
Cooperative ClassificationB24D9/003, B24D15/00
European ClassificationB24D9/00B, B24D15/00