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Publication numberUS20090181606 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/353,911
Publication dateJul 16, 2009
Filing dateJan 14, 2009
Priority dateJan 15, 2008
Publication number12353911, 353911, US 2009/0181606 A1, US 2009/181606 A1, US 20090181606 A1, US 20090181606A1, US 2009181606 A1, US 2009181606A1, US-A1-20090181606, US-A1-2009181606, US2009/0181606A1, US2009/181606A1, US20090181606 A1, US20090181606A1, US2009181606 A1, US2009181606A1
InventorsMichael Loveless, Spencer Loveless
Original AssigneeMichael Loveless, Spencer Loveless
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Vacuum shroud for use with drilling tools
US 20090181606 A1
Abstract
A flexible vacuum shroud provides an improved seal to the work surface and allows for use on curved surfaces. The shroud incorporates support structures around the cutting tool hole which improve performance with different cutting tools and which prevent collapse of the shroud.
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Claims(21)
1. A device, comprising:
a body having an upper surface extending to a lower edge, the lower edge being configured to be placed against a work surface to form an enclosed cavity between the body and the surface;
a vacuum port extending from the body in fluid communication with the cavity,
a drilling hole formed in the body, the drilling hole being configured to provide access for a tool to the work surface; and
a support structure located adjacent the drilling hole and defining at least a portion of the drilling hole, the support structure being attached to the body and being configured to contact the work surface and support the body against the surface, preventing the collapse of the body due to vacuum pressure.
2. The device of claim 1, wherein the support structure is a support wall extending away from the body, the wall extending around the drilling hole so as to generally enclose the drilling hole, and the wall being within the enclosed cavity.
3. The device of claim 2, wherein the support wall includes at least one opening formed therein to allow the passage of air therethrough.
4. The device of claim 3, wherein the at least one opening comprises a plurality of slots formed in a lower edge of the support wall.
5. The device of claim 1, wherein the body is made of a flexible material so as to be capable of bending to conform to a curved surface.
6. The device of claim 1, wherein the support structure is a support post disposed adjacent to the drilling hole.
7. The device of claim 1, wherein the support structure is made of a material different from the material of the body.
8. The device of claim 1, wherein the lower edge is configured such that when a vacuum is applied to the vacuum port, the body is maintained against the surface due to the vacuum pressure.
9. The device of claim 1, wherein the body is configured such that dust created in the drilling hole is conveyed through the body and out the vacuum port when a vacuum is attached.
10. A method, comprising:
selecting a shroud, wherein the shroud includes,
a body formed from a flexible material, and
a hole formed in the body;
attaching a vacuum to the shroud;
placing the shroud against a work surface;
placing a tool against the work surface through the hole; and
working the surface with the tool and removing dust and/or debris formed during the working through the shroud by the vacuum.
11. The method of claim 1, wherein the method comprises supporting the shroud with a support structure adjacent to the hole.
12. The method of claim 11, further comprising supporting the body with the support structure against collapse due to the vacuum.
13. The method of claim 11, wherein the method comprises selecting a shroud having a support structure which includes a wall extending from edges in the hole in the body such that the wall is located within the body.
14. The method of claim 13, wherein the method comprises selecting a shroud wherein the wall includes at least one slot configured to allow passage of the dust and/or debris from the hole to the vacuum.
15. The method of claim 11, wherein the support structure is a post extending between the body and the surface.
16. The method of claim 10, wherein the tool is a power drill.
17. The method of claim 10, wherein the shroud is held against the surface by vacuum pressure.
18. The method of claim 17, wherein the shroud is configured to be placed against a flat or a curved surface.
19. The method of claim 10, wherein the work surface is a curved surface.
20. The method of claim 10, wherein the hole has a diameter larger than one inch.
21. A shroud comprising:
a body formed from flexible material, the body having an upper surface extending to a lower edge, the lower edge being configured to be placed against a work surface to form an enclosed cavity between the body and the surface;
a vacuum port extending from the body in fluid communication with the cavity, a hole formed in the body, the hole being configured to provide access for a tool to the work surface; and
a support structure located adjacent the hole, the support structure being attached to the body and being configured to contact the work surface to prevent collapse of the body due to vacuum pressure.
Description
    PRIORITY
  • [0001]
    This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/021,320, filed on Jan. 15, 2008, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • FIELD
  • [0002]
    This patent application relates to a vacuum shroud. More specifically, this application relates to a vacuum shroud, which is used with a vacuum and a drilling tool to remove dust and debris as it is generated by the drilling tool.
  • BACKGROUND
  • [0003]
    Drilling and other similar processes create undesirable dust and debris. The debris often tends to spread in all directions, is usually difficult to remove, and can be harmful to the operator's health. Many types of debris, such as from fiberglass, can be quite harmful to the health of the worker. Capturing this dust before it can circulate helps ensure a cleaner, safer environment for workers, as well as making it easier to clean up after the desired work is done. In addition, the dust and debris often collects in the power tool itself, such as in the gears, chuck, or motor, and can cause increased wear and a decrease in the tool's life.
  • [0004]
    Various devices have been developed for collecting dust during drilling with a hand-held power drill. Many of these devices are designed for collecting drywall dust when a home owner must drill into a wall. Available devices, however, perform poorly when used for drilling into other substances, such as metal where long strings of metal are generated rather than a fine dust. These devices are also difficult to use as a person must hold the vacuum hose and shroud in one hand while drilling with the other hand. Some devices have been created which are attached to the tool itself. While these need not be held independently of the tool, they can inhibit the operator's ability to use the tool, as the bulk of the device and the vacuum hose are cumbersome and limit the ability to accurately position the drill bit.
  • [0005]
    Thus there is a need for a vacuum shroud for drilling tools that overcomes the limitations of the available devices. There is a need for a vacuum shroud that efficiently removes debris other than fine dust, such as metal chips and strings. There is a need for a shroud which can be used with curved surfaces as well as flat surfaces. There is also a need for a vacuum shroud which aids the worker in securing the shroud while using the same so that the worker can concentrate more on drilling accurately.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY
  • [0006]
    In some embodiments described below, a vacuum shroud may be made using a flexible material, enabling it to bend and be used on a non-planar surface. Using a flexible material may allow the shroud to seal better to both flat and curved surfaces, such that the vacuum helps hold the shroud to the workplace more securely.
  • [0007]
    Vacuum shrouds may also be provided to assist in dust and debris removal in tasks other than drilling in drywall. In some embodiments, a vacuum shroud may include a hole in the upper surface and a wall that extends from the top of the vacuum shroud to the surface to be drilled. The wall may provide support and may prevent the vacuum shroud from collapsing once suction is applied. The edge of the wall in contact with the surface to be drilled may have interspersed slots that allow for dust and debris created from the drilling process to pass through and be collected simultaneously. Vacuum shrouds according to such embodiments may work well for operations such as grinding out rivets which require larger diameter tool bits or additional clearance around the bit.
  • [0008]
    Similarly, some embodiments of vacuum shrouds may include a support post attached to the inside surface of the shroud that extends towards the surface to be drilled in order to support the vacuum shroud once suction is applied. Such vacuum shrouds may allow a flexible material to be used with an open hole without causing the collapse of the shroud. In such embodiments, the vacuum shroud may be well suited for drilling metal where longer strings of metal are produced.
  • [0009]
    These and other aspects of embodiments of vacuum shrouds for use with power drilling tools are shown and described in the following figures and related description.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0010]
    Various embodiments of the present invention are shown and described in reference to the numbered drawings wherein:
  • [0011]
    FIG. 1 shows a top perspective view of an embodiment of a vacuum shroud for drilling tools;
  • [0012]
    FIG. 2 shows a bottom perspective view of the vacuum shroud of FIG. 1;
  • [0013]
    FIG. 3 shows a side view of an embodiment of a vacuum shroud;
  • [0014]
    FIG. 4 shows a bottom perspective view of the vacuum shroud of FIG. 3; and
  • [0015]
    FIG. 5 shows a side view of an embodiment of a vacuum shroud being used on a non-planar surface.
  • [0016]
    It will be appreciated that the drawings are illustrative and not limiting of the scope of the invention. The embodiments shown accomplish various aspects and objects of embodiments of a vacuum shroud. It is appreciated that it is not possible to clearly show each element and aspect of all embodiments of vacuum shrouds in a single figure, and as such, multiple figures are presented to separately illustrate various details of embodiments of vacuum shrouds in greater clarity. Similarly, not every embodiment of vacuum shrouds disclosed or otherwise covered by the claims need be discussed in detail in the specification or in the drawings. The drawings and descriptions are exemplary of various aspects of vacuum shrouds do not define the scope of the claims.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • [0017]
    Turning now to FIG. 1, a top perspective view of an embodiment of a vacuum shroud for drilling tools is shown. Vacuum shroud 10 may include an upper surface 34 connected to lower edge 38, which may be configured to contact a work surface to be drilled, or a surface adjacent thereto. Upper surface 34 and lower edge 38 may be connected by sides 42 and 44, creating enclosed cavity 36 (see FIG. 2) between vacuum shroud 10 and the surface to be drilled.
  • [0018]
    Vacuum shroud 10 may include vacuum port 30 connected to upper surface 34 of vacuum shroud 10 with opening 26, which may be connected to a vacuum hose, or which may be formed integrally with a vacuum hose. Vacuum port 30 may also be open to cavity 36. Debris created by the drilling process may be removed by a vacuum (not shown) connected to vacuum port 30 through opening 26 through cavity 36.
  • [0019]
    Upper surface 34 of vacuum shroud 10 may include hole 14 generally enclosed by wall 18 extending from upper surface 34 of vacuum shroud 10 towards the surface to be drilled. The hole 14 may be used to receive a drill or other tool.
  • [0020]
    Lower edge 20 of wall 18 may have one or more slots 22 formed in wall 18, which may be intersperced. Edge 20 of wall 18 may contact the surface to be drilled, providing support to upper surface 34 of shroud 10 and preventing cavity 36 from collapsing when vacuum pressure is applied through vacuum port 30. Slots 22 may allow air to flow from the interior of hole 14, through slots 22, into the cavity 36, and through the vacuum port 30, causing dust and debris to be collected by a vacuum.
  • [0021]
    FIG. 2 shows a bottom perspective view of shroud 10 of FIG. 1. FIG. 2 illustrates wall 18 surrounding hole 14, slots 22, cavity 36, and the fluid connectivity and relationship between the various components of shroud 10. For example, the open fluid communication between hole 14 through slots 22 allows air and debris to flow from hole 14 through cavity 36 vacuum port 30.
  • [0022]
    Shroud 10 may provide several advantages. Wall 18 and slots 22 may allow shroud 10 to keep a stronger vacuum pressure in cavity 36, such that shroud 10 may hold itself to a work surface during use by vacuum pressure, while still allowing proper removal of dust and debris from the work area in hole 14 through slots 22. This arrangement may allow hole 14 to have a diameter sufficient to allow relatively large tools to work on a surface to be drilled or otherwise work on through hole 14 while still having airflow sufficient to remove debris and dust from the work surface, while still providing sufficient vacuum pressure to hold shroud 10 against the work surface.
  • [0023]
    Additionally, wall 18 or some analogous structure, may support upper surface 34 to provide additional support to shroud 10 to prevent upper surface 34 from collapsing due to vacuum pressure when shroud 10 is made from flexible material. Thus, the use of wall 18 and slots 22 may allow shroud 10 to be made from a flexible material and utilize larger holes 14 without collapse or loss of suction. Using a flexible material (such as a vinyl or rubber compound) to make shroud 10 may allow shroud 10 to be used on curved surfaces and may allow shroud 10 to seal better to both flexible and flat surfaces and to provide some resistance to sliding on the work surface. This arrangement may keep shroud 10 from sliding around during use and allowing shroud 10 to be more self supporting, i.e. to attach itself to the work surface with vacuum pressure.
  • [0024]
    Turning now to FIG. 3, some embodiments of shroud 10 may include one or more support post 50 attached to the lower side of upper surface 34 adjacent to hole 14, through which a drill bit may be inserted. Similar to the embodiments described with respect to FIGS. 1 and 2, shroud 10 may form cavity 36 between shroud 10 and the work surface as discussed above. In embodiments such as those described in FIG. 3, hole 14 may be open to the cavity 36. In such embodiments, hole 14 may be open to the cavity 36 to allow for capture of longer strings or debris, such as are formed while drilling metal. Support post 50 may extend downwardly towards the work surface to prevent vacuum shroud 10 from collapsing when suction is applied, similar to the embodiments of FIGS. 1 and 2. The absence of wall 18, as described with respect to FIGS. 1 and 2, may allow larger debris to pass through compartment 36 and vacuum port 30 for collection and removal.
  • [0025]
    FIG. 4 shows a bottom perspective view of shroud 10. As illustrated in FIG. 4, post 50 supports upper surface 34 and may prevent collapse of cavity 36 without obstructing access to hole 14. Similar to wall 18 of the embodiments discussed with respect to FIGS. 1 and 2, post 50 may allow shroud 10 to be constructed from a flexible material without the shroud collapsing due to the negative pressure. As discussed above, the use of a flexible material may allow shroud 10 to conform to a curved surface, and may improve the seal between lower edge 38 of shroud 10 and the work surface. The flexible material may also better provide resistance to shroud 10 from slipping around during use. Flexibility may be provided by making the shroud 10 from a flexible PVC or vinyl, or some other material which allows the shroud to function will imparting sufficient flexibility to conform to a curved work surface.
  • [0026]
    FIG. 5 shows a side view of a vacuum shroud 10 of FIGS. 1 and 2 on curved work surface 54 with attached vacuum hose 62. In FIG. 5, drill bit 58 is inserted through hole 14 in order to drill into surface 54. Vacuum shroud 10 may flexible such that it may conform to surface 54, allowing bottom edge 38 of shroud 10 to remain in contact with surface 54. This may maintain suction and provide for more efficient removal of dust and debris 66. Wall 18 (or post 50) may, therefore, support upper surface 34 of vacuum shroud 10, preventing collapse of cavity 36 due to suction.
  • [0027]
    In some embodiments, making vacuum shroud 10 out of flexible material may allow for compact shipping, lower shipping and manufacturing costs, as well as the other advantages discussed above, such as allowing shroud 10 to conform to various surfaces, such as curved or uneven surfaces, allowing sufficient suction through hole 14 to remove debris and dust. For example, flexible material used to make shroud 10 may provide a better seal to a work surface and improve the vacuum generated within cavity 36 compared to prior devices. Wall 18 or post 50 may also prevent deformation of shroud 10 and further improve the seal and increase the vacuum within cavity 36. For large holes 14, wall 18 and slots 22 may maintain a higher degree of suction within shroud 10. These elements may work together to provide shroud 10 with high performance and utility.
  • [0028]
    In some embodiments, shroud 10 may resist accidental movement during use as the flexible material provides greater friction than a rigid plastic in addition to the improved vacuum present in the cavity 36. This may, in some cases, allow shroud 10 to be held in place only by vacuum pressure while in use, allowing the operator to concentrate on the drilling process, or other work process through hole 14. This may improve the quality of work being done, and may improve worker compliance and interest in using shroud 10.
  • [0029]
    In some embodiments, wall 18 and post 50 may be included in a single shroud 10, providing the advantages of each in a single device. For example, the embodiment shown in FIG. 1 may include both wall 18 and one or more posts 50 to help support shroud 10 from collapse. Likewise, the width of the slot(s) 22 (FIGS. 1 and 2) may be varied. Such embodiments may allow shroud 10 to be flexible while still preventing collapse of the shroud when suction is applied.
  • [0030]
    Similarly, in some embodiments, wall 18, post 50, or both may be made of a material more rigid than other portions of shroud 10. In such embodiments, wall 18, post 50, or both may provide structure without limiting the flexibility of upper surface 34. Similarly, wall 18 may be removable and replaceable, allowing for differing sizes of hole 14 or slots(s) 22 for different tools being used on the work surface. In other embodiments, shroud 10 may be made integrally, and may be made using known processes, such as vacuum molding, injection molding, casting, machining, etc.
  • [0031]
    In some embodiments, wall 18 may have a diameter sufficiently large to observe the work surface during any work being performed on the surface. For example, if a hole is being drilled in the work surface, the hole may be sufficiently large to allow a user to view the work surface through the hole to observe the progression, position, alignment, etc, of the drill bit in the surface. For example, if a inch hole is being drilled in the surface, the hole may be at least one inch to allow observation of the surface and the hole, while still allowing for the functionality of shroud 10 as discussed above.
  • [0032]
    The present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from its essential characteristics. The described embodiments are to be considered in all respects only as illustrative, and not restrictive. The scope of the invention is, therefore, indicated by the appended claims, rather than by the foregoing description. All changes within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are to be embraced within their scope.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification451/456
International ClassificationB24B55/06
Cooperative ClassificationB23Q11/0046, Y02P70/171
European ClassificationB23Q11/00F1
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Jun 25, 2009ASAssignment
Owner name: DUST COLLECTION PRODUCTS, LLC, UTAH
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:LOVELESS, MICHAEL;LOVELESS, SPENCER;REEL/FRAME:022876/0345
Effective date: 20090113
Jan 12, 2010ASAssignment
Owner name: DUSTLESS DEPOT, LLC, UTAH
Free format text: CHANGE OF NAME;ASSIGNOR:DUST COLLECTION PRODUCTS, LLC;REEL/FRAME:023770/0370
Effective date: 20091015