US 3733645 A
A mixer-mount attachment is included on the end of a rotatable mandrel driven by an electric drill or the like. The attachment has a star-shaped cross-section, is made of flexible material, and has a maximum diameter slightly larger than the inner diameter of a hollow paint roller jacket. It constitutes an efficient paint mixer, and, when inserted in the paint roller jacket, constitutes a mount for rotating a paint roller jacket within a helical channel for cleaning purposes.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 Seiler  PAINT MIXING AND PAINT ROLLER MOUNTING APPARATUS  Inventor: Edwin Nail Seile'r, 80 l'lunterdon Boulevard, Murray Hill, NJ. 07974  Filed: Aug. 31, 1971  Appl. No.: 176,488
 US. Cl ..15/257 R, 34/58, 259/114,
. 259/D1G. 38  Int. Cl. ..B08b 1/04  Field of Search ..68/213, 241, 220,
68/233, 214; 34/58, 59; 259/DIG. 38, 107, 108, 114; 69/19; 15/1, 257, 97,104.92
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,542,491 2/1951 Engel 34/58 UK 1 May 22, 1973 3,328,005 6/1967 McMaster et a1. ..259/114 3 ,608,l20 9/1971 Seiler 2,794,264 6/1957 Sch0ltka.....
2,830,383 4/1958 Weil 3,436,264 4/1969 Allen ..34/58 X Primary Examiner-Leon G. Machlin Attorney-Roderick B. Anderson  ABSTRACT A mixer-mount attachment is included on the end of a rotatable mandrel driven by an electric drill or the like. The attachment has a star-shaped cross-section, is made of flexible material, and has a maximum diameter slightly larger than the inner diameter of a hollow paint roller jacket. It constitutes an efficient paint mixer, and, when inserted in the paint roller jacket, constitutes a mount for rotating a paint roller jacket within a helical channel for cleaning purposes.
10 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures PATENTEDmma I975- SHEET 1 BF 2 FIG .3 (PR/OR ART) /Nl ENTOR EDWIN NAIL SE/LER ATTORNEY PATENIEDMAY22 197a SHHII 2 I]? 2 Ill) PAINT MIXING AND PAINT ROLLER MOUNTING APPARATUS BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to apparatus for cleaning paint rollers, and also, to apparatus for mixing paint.
My US. Pat. No. 3,608,120, issued Sept. 28, 1971, describes a paint roller cleaning device comprising a hollow cylinder having a helical projection extending from the inner surface of the cylinder. A paint roller to be cleaned is contained within the cylinder and is rotated on a mandrel driven by the motor of an electric drill or the like. One end of the cylinder extends into a pool of cleaning fluid, and as the roller is rotated, fluid is sucked into the device through one aperture and expelled through another aperture at the opposite end. As the roller rotates, the helical projection compresses it to squeeze residual paint from it as it is being flushed and washed by the cleaning fluid.
Since the purpose of the device is to facilitate paint roller cleaning, its practicality depends in large part on its ease of use and over-all convenience. Accordingly, one can appreciate that there is a need for a device for facilitating the mounting of a paint roller on an appropriate mandrel so that it can be rotated within the cleaning cylinder.
Most popular paint roller assemblies comprise a rotatable frame for supporting a hollow cylindrical paint roller jacket. The jacket can be easily mounted or removed from the frame and may be discarded after the nap becomes worn. Thus, one obvious technique for improving the convenience of the paint roller cleaning operation would be to provide a similar frame attached to a rotatable mandrel so that when a roller needed cleaning, the jacket could be removed from the roller, placed on a mandrel frame, and appropriately rotated within a cylindrical cleaning device as described before. While such a technique obviously would work, the mandrel frame would be relatively expensive and cumbersome.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to facilitate the cleaning of paint rollers, particularly in conjunction with cleaning devices of the type having a helical projection for compressing the roller as it rotates.
It is another object of this invention to reduce the cost of devices for mounting rotating paint rollers during a cleaning operation.
It is a subsidiary object of this invention to facilitate the mixing of paint.
These and other objects of the invention are attained in an illustrative embodiment thereof as described in the Abstract of the Disclosure. I have found that the star-shaped mixer-mount is admirably suited for mounting a roller jacket within a cleaning device in that, while it provides the friction and support required in the cleaning operation, it is of simple structure and easy to use. Fortuitously, it can be shown that this same attachment configuration is ideally suited for the mixing of paint when it is rapidly rotated within a paint can. The same flexibility that permits the attachment to be compressed by a paint roller jacket during cleaning, permits an efficient wiping of the sides and corners of the paint container during the mixing operation.
I have found that the optimum design for the attachment occurs when the length is approximately equal to its maximum outer diameter. For example, the outer diameter may be slightly greater than one and one-half inches in order to compress firmly within standard paint rollerjackets having an inner diameter of one and one-half inches. While the length of the attachment is only approximately one and one-half inches, it will appropriately support a roller jacket seven to nine inches long within the cleaning device, because the cleaning device tends to keep the roller jacket in proper alignment. When the device is used for paint stirring or mixing, unwanted splashing is practically eliminated.
These and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will be better understood from a consideration of the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing.
DRAWING DESCRIPTION FIG. 1 is a schematic illustration of a mixer-mount included on a rotatable mandrel in accordance with one embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 2 is a view taken along lines 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a partially sectional view of a paint roller and paint roller jacket of the prior art;
FIG. 4 is a view showing how the mixer-mount of FIG. 2 may be used for mounting the paint roller jacket of FIG. 4;
FIG. 5 is a sectional view showing how the assembly of FIG. 5 may be used for rotating a paint roller jacket within a paint roller cleaning device; and
FIG. 6 illustrates the use of the mixer-mount of FIG. 1 for paint mixing purposes.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a mixer-mount attachment 11 in accordance with an illustrative embodiment of the invention. The attachment 11 is fitted to one end of a rotatable mandrel 12 which extends into a central aperture 13. The mandrel may be rotated by an electric motor device 14 of a type generally known as an electric drill. The various components of FIG. 1 are not intended to be drawn to scale; in fact, the attachment 11 is typically only about one and onehalf inches long, while the usual hand-held electric drill would normally be proportionately much larger.
An important feature of the mixer-mount attachment 1 1 is that it is made of a flexible material having a Shore Durometer Hardness (ASTM-D-2240-68) in the approximate range of A- to A-90, and is preferably made of vinyl plastic. The mandrel 12 preferably has a slightly larger diameter than that of aperture 13 and therefore makes a tight friction fit with the attachment. Inner diameter d may be approximately seven-eighths inch and maximum outer diameter d may be 1% inches, with the mandrel inserted; the ratio of d to d is therefore l3/7.
The mixer-mount attachment is designed to be used in conjunction with a known paint roller jacket of the type shown in FIG. 3. Paint roller 16 comprises a rotatable flexible frame 17 upon which the hollow cylindrical paint roller jacket 18 is adapted to fit. When the jacket 18 is slidably mounted on frame 17, it compresses elongated spring-like members of the frame and is thereby held firmly on the frame and rotates freely with it.
In accordance with one feature of the invention, the mixer-mount attachment 11 is of appropriate size to be compressed within the paint roller jacket 18 as illustrated in FIG. 4. The inner diameter of the paint roller jacket 18 may typically be 1% inches, which is slightly smaller than the maximum outer diameter d of the mixer-mount attachment, which causes the attachment to be compressed and distorted slightly within the jacket. This can be shown to provide sufficient friction to hold the jacket in firm engagement with the mixermount attachment 11.
Referring to FIG. 5, the firm engagement ofjacket 18 on attachment 11 permits the jacket to be rotated by rotatable mandrel 12 within cleaning device cylinder 19. As described in detail in the aforementioned US. Pat. No. 3,608,l20, such rotation causes cleaning fluid to be pumped from a reservoir and to flush the nap of the paint roller jacket in conjunction with a continuous squeezing operation by a helical projection 21 on the inner surface of the cleaning cylinder.
It has been determined experimentally that, with the design described, the friction between roller jacket 18 and attachment 11 is sufficient to permit the jacket to be rotated at a high speed by mandrel 12 while being vigorously compressed and scrubbed by helical projection 21. On the other hand, because of the star-shaped configuration, the friction is not so great as to inhibit easy sliding of the paint roller jacket to be cleaned over the attachment 11. Note that the length of the attachment 11 is only a small fraction of the length of the paint roller jacket 18 which may typically be from seven to nine inches long. Nevertheless, this small length of attachment 11 has been found to be sufficient, partly because the roller jacket automatically aligns itself axially within the cleaning device 19. Also note that the attachment 11 is of much simpler and less cumbersome construction than the frame 17 of FIG. 3.
After the roller jacket has been scrubbed within the cleaning cylinder 19, the jacket can be dried by first removing reservoir 20, driving the roller jacket within cylinder 19 to squeeze out excess fluid, and then spindrying the roller jacket by driving it at a high rotational speed outside the cleaning cylinder. The attachment 1] secures the roller jacket effectively during this operation, and after a few moments of spinning the roller jacket is clean, dry, and fluffy.
An important additional advantage of the mixermount of FIG. 1 is that it is extremely effective in mixing paint prior to application by the paint roller. Referring to FIG. 6, when attachment 11 is rotated within a container of paint, it produces vigorous currents within the paint fluid as indicated by the arrows. Note that fluid at the surface tends to flow downwardly toward the central axis of the rotating attachment 11. This current has been observed visually to cause a slight whirlpool effect, and it plainly results in very little splashing or other inconvenience.
One characteristic of conventional paint is that it tends to thicken and deposit on the inside surfaces of the container, particularly at the corners as illustrated at locations 23. Another advantage of the mixer-mount attachment 1] is that its flexibility and configuration permits an efficient wiping action of the sides of the container thereby desirably causing such deposits or sediments to mix into the paint fluid. The flexibility of attachment 11, particularly at the tips of its projections, is adequately demonstrated in FIG. 4, and it can therefore easily be appreciated that these projection tips will very effectively wipe against the inner surfaces of a paint container, and particularly the corners. The illustration of FIG. 6 is again not to scale, the paint containers normally used being relatively larger than that shown.
In summary, it can be appreciated that I have described a new and novel dual-purpose electric drill attachment. The attachment is very effective for mixing paint, and after the painting operation is completed, it can be used for mounting and supporting a paint roller jacket. It is especially well adapted for use in conjunction with paint roller cleaning devices of the type having a helical projection that compresses the paint roller during the cleaning operation. This small attachment, preferably made of vinyl plastic, is considerably less cumbersome and expensive than would normally be required for rotating the jacket during a vigorous cleaning operation within the cylindrical cleaning device. Of course, the attachment is itself cleaned during the cleaning operation. The specific size and configuration described permits easy mounting and removal of the paint rollerjacket while providing sufficient friction for securing the jacket during rotation, and also provides for efficient and effective paint stirring in a manner permitting the paint container inner surface to be wiped and to minimize splashing and other inconvenience.
The foregoing description is intended to be only illustrative of the inventive concepts involved. Various other embodiments and modifications may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. In combination:
a hollow cylindrical paint roller jacket of the type adapted to be slidably mounted on a rotatable paint roller;
a cylindrical mandrel of the type adapted to be mounted in apparatus such as an electric drill for rapid rotation about its central axis;
a mixer-mount attachment adapted to be mounted on one end of said mandrel;
said attachment having a star-shaped cross-section in a plane perpendicular to the mandrel axis, said cross-section being substantially uniform throughout the length of the attachment, said attachment being made of flexible material, and having a maximum diameter slightly larger than the inner diameter of the hollow paint roller jacket, whereby said attachment, when mounted alone on the mandrel, may be used as a paint mixing device, and when forced onto the hollow jacket, may be used to mount the jacket on the rotatable mandrel for cleaning purposes.
2. The combination of claim 1 further comprising:
a cleaning device of the type comprising a helical channel having an inner diameter slightly smaller than the outer diameter of said roller jacket, which is adapted to flush and clean the outer surface of the jacket when the jacket is rotated therein; and
wherein the friction between the mixer-mount attachment and the roller jacket, when the attachment is compressed within the rollerjacket, is sufficient to cause the roller jacket to rotate with the mandrel when said roller jacket is encased within the helical channel of the cleaning device.
3. The combination of claim 2 wherein:
the attachment is made of a material having a Shore Durometer Hardness in the range of A- to A-90.
4. The combination of claim 3 wherein:
the mixer-mount attachment cross-section is in the shape of a star having more than four points and a maximum diameter approximately equal to its length.
5. The combination of claim 4 wherein:
the mixer-mount attachment has the shape of a symmetrical six-pointed star.
6. The combination of claim 5 wherein:
the mixer-mount attachment is made of vinyl plastic.
7. The combination of claim 6 wherein:
the roller jacket has an inner diameter of approximately 1 /2 inches, and the attachment has a maximum diameter of approximately 1-9/16 inches, and the minimum diameter of approximately seveneights inch.
8. A paint mixing device comprising:
a rotatable mandrel;
a mixer attachment mounted on one end of said mandrel;
said attachment having a star-shaped cross-section in a plane perpendicular to the mandrel axis, said cross-section being substantially uniform throughout the length of the attachment, said attachment being made of flexible material, whereby it is capable of rotating at a relatively high velocity within fluid without causing splashing, and is capable of wiping the inner surfaces of a container for such fluid.
9. The mixing device of claim 8 wherein:
the cross-sectional area of the mixer attachment is in the shape of a star having approximately six points, and the length of the mixer attachment is approximately equal to the maximum of a diameter thereof, whereby mixing efficiency is optimized while minimizing splashing tendencies.
10. The mixer of claim 9 wherein:
the ratio of the outer diameter of the cross-sectional area of the mixer attachment to the inner diameter thereof is approximately equal to 13/7.