|Publication number||US3923085 A|
|Publication date||Dec 2, 1975|
|Filing date||Jan 28, 1975|
|Priority date||Jan 28, 1975|
|Publication number||US 3923085 A, US 3923085A, US-A-3923085, US3923085 A, US3923085A|
|Original Assignee||Nimer Fred|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (4), Referenced by (14), Classifications (14)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
Unite States Nimer Primary Examiner-William D. Martin, Jr. Assistant Examiner-Steven L. Stephan Attorney, Agent, or FirmBiebel, French & Bugg  ABSTRACT A semi-automatic pipe loader for loading and tamping a pipe. The pipe loader is adapted to be mounted beneath the dashboard of an automobile and can be operated by the vehicle driver while using only one hand. The pipe loader includes a funnel-shaped spout which projects downwardly from a lower surface of the pipe loader casing and is received in the bowl of the pipe being loaded. A tamper also projects downwardly in spaced relationship to the spout and either the tamper or the spout is slidably mounted in the pipe loader casing. Therefore, with the spout received in the pipe bowl and the pipe bowl held between the thumb and forefinger of the hand, the same forefinger of the hand can engage the tamper in a trigger-like fashion and by squeezing, the tamper and spout can be caused to move relative to each other. The slidably mounted member, whether the tamper or the spout, operates mechanism within the pipe loader casing which places the spout in communication with a discharge opening from the casing and displaces tobacco from the casing through the discharge opening and spout. After the pipe bowl has received a charge of tobacco in this manner, the tamper can then be used to pack the tobacco to the desired firmness.
10 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures US. Patent Dec. 2, 1975 3,923,085
SEMI-AUTOMATIC PIPE LOADER BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION A number of pipe loaders have been proposed.for carrying a supply of tobacco and discharging, and in some cases tamping, the tobacco into the pipe bowl. See for example, U.S. Pat. Nos. 779,095; 1,001,242; 1,622,407; 1,769,550; 1,858,735; 1,927,092; 2,303,167; 2,641,361; and 3,524,535.
Many of these require the use of both hands, contain fairly complicated mechanical elements, or both. Additionally, in a very common type of pipe loader, the tabacco is discharged from the loader and tamped into the pipe bowl by means of a plunger whose handle projects from the side of the pipe loader opposite the side in which the discharge opening is formed. This renders it impossible to attach the loader to a downwardly facing horizontal surface, such as beneath the dashboard of an automobile, and still allow the pipe bowl to be held in an upright position during filling.
The adaptibility for mounting beneath the dashboard of an automobile and the capability of being operated with one hand is extremely important to a driver who smokes pipes, since it is almost impossible for the driver to load and tamp his pipe while driving safely using currently available pipe loading equipment.
It will be seen, therefore, that despite the antiquity of the pipe loader art, a need still exists for a pipe loader which is of relatively uncomplicated design, can be mounted beneath the dashboard of an automobile and allows a driver toload and tamp his pipe safely with one hand while continuing to drive.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention provides a semi-automatic pipe loader which is adapted to be mounted beneath the dashboard of an automobile and which is readily operated by the driver of the automobile with minimum distraction of his attention from driving and while using only one hand.
In accordance with the present invention, the pipe loader includes a substantially air-tight chamber, including a cover adapted to be secured beneath the dashboard and slidably received in sealing relationship to a casing which, together with the cover, constitutes a tobacco storage chamber.
A discharge opening is formed through the bottom of the chamber and is closed by a spring loaded slide, mounted in trackways in a bottom portion of the casing. A discharge spout projects downwardly from the lower surface of the casing and is adapted to be received in the bowl of a pipe. The slide functions to place selectively the discharge opening in the casing in communication with the discharge spout to allow tobacco to pass into the pipe bowl.
In accordance with one embodiment of the invention, the spout is formed integrally with the slide and the slide is actuated by placing the pipe bowl over the spout and moving the spout toward a tamper which projects downwardly from the casing in spaced parallel relationship to the spout.
In another embodiment, the tamper is formed integrally with the slide so that squeezing the tamper and spout together causes the tamper to move toward the stationary spout.
In either case the slide carries a toothed rack which meshes with a pinion mounted on a cross shaft which extends transversely of the storage chamber above the discharge opening and carries a vaned paddle wheel. Therefore, actuating the slide not only places the discharge spout in communication with the interior of the storage chamber but causes the paddle wheel to displace positively tobacco from the storage chamber through the discharge opening and discharge spout into the pipe bowl.
As noted above, the pipe loader of the present invention is particularly adapted to be mounted beneath the dashboard of an automobile. This can be accomplished simply by bolting the cover beneath the dashboard through predrilled openings in the cover or, by using double faced adhesive tape, merely adhering the cover to the supporting surface. In this latter case, the tape is preferably applied over the area of the cover which includes the predrilled holes to maintain the air-tightness of the storage chamber.
While as noted above, the pipeloader may incorporate either a movable tamper or a movable discharge spout, that embodiment having the movable discharge spout may provide an advantage over the movable tamper version. Thus, operation of the movable spout embodiment of the invention requires a forward movement and, it is believed, there is less likelihood of tearing the pipe loader from its mounting than would be the case where operation of the pipe loader is accomplished by a rearward movement.
In either case it will be seen that the present invention provides a semi-automatic pipe loader adapted to be mounted beneath the dashboard of an automobile and operable by the automobile driver using only one hand and with only minimal diversion of his attention from operating the automobile.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view showing operation of a pipe loader in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 shows a pipe being tamped following loading;
FIG. 3 is a side view with portions broken away for clarity;
FIG. 4 is a view taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the pipe loader with the cover thereof removed; and
FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 3 but showing a second preferred embodiment of the invention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS Turning first to FIGS. 3 through 5 of the drawings, it will be seen that a pipe loader 10 in accordance with the present invention includes a casing having a forward portion 12, a rearward portion 14 bolted thereto by means of bolts or the like 16 and a cover 18 which has outwardly projecting flanges 20 and is received in complementary grooves in the casing, one of which is shown at 22 in FIG. 5 of the drawings.
In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 3 through 5 of the drawings, a tamper 24 is formed integrally with the rearward portion 14 of the casing and projects downwardly from a lower surface thereof. A bottom portion of the casing is provided with a trackway 26 which slidably receives a slide plate 28. The slide plate 28 has integrally formed therewith a frustoconical, downwardly tapered, funnel-like discharge spout 30 which projects downwardly through a slot 32 formed in and extending lengthwise of the casing.
It will also be noted, particularly from FIGS. 3 and 4 of the drawings, that a discharge opening 34 is formed through a bottom wall of the casing and is covered, as seen in FIG. 3 of the drawings, by the slide plate when the slide is moved to its forwardmost position by the spring 36.
An upstanding rack plate 38 projects substantially perpendicularly from the slide plate 28 and carries a toothed rack 40 along its upper edge which meshes with a pinion 42 fixed to a shaft 44 which extends transversely of the casing and is journalled into opposite side walls thereof. Also fixed to the shaft 44 is a paddle wheel 46 having radially outwardly projecting vanes 48.
As can be seen particularly from FIG. 4 of the drawings, the rack plate 38 and the pinion 42 are received in a pocket 50 formed in one wall of the casing to prevent interference with their operation by grains of tobacco being caught between their opposing teeth.
In order to attach the pipe loader beneath the dashboard of an automobile the cover of the casing may be provided with attaching means in the form of predrilled openings 52, as seen in FIGS. 3 and 4 of the drawings, or, in the alternative, the attachment means may take the form of double faced adhesive tape 54, with the latter applied over the predrilled openings 52 to preserve the air-tightness of the storage chamber.
Regardless of the manner in which the pipe loader is mounted, it can be operated easily by a driver while using only one hand. Thus, with reference to FIG. 1, as well as FIGS. 3 through 5, it will be seen that a pipe bowl 56 is placed over the discharge spout 30 with the bowl held between the thumb and forefinger of the hand and the index finger placed about the tamper 24, similarly to a trigger grip.
By squeezing the pipe bowl and tamper together the slide plate 28 is caused to slide forwardly, placing the opening 58 through the discharge spout in communication with the discharge opening 34 from the chamber. At the same time, the rack 40 moves forwardly in engagement with the pinion 42, causing rotation of the shaft 44 and paddle wheel 46 and forcing tobacco downwardly through the discharge opening and discharge spout into the pipe bowl.
The operators grip is then released, to allow the spring 36 to return the spout and slide plate to their rearward position, closing the discharge opening from the chamber. Then, as seen in FIG. 2, the tobacco in the pipe is tamped on the tamper 24. Of course, if additional loads of tobacco are required or desired the above operation may be repeated as necessary to fill and pack the pipe to the desired extent.
In accordance with the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 6 of the drawings, the pipe loader is the same as that illustrated in FIGS. 3 through 5, except that the discharge spout is stationary and the tamper is formed integrally with and moves with the slide plate.
Thus, as seen in FIG. 6 the discharge spout 60 may be formed integrally with the rearward portion 62 of the casing which, similarly to the previous embodiment, is bolted to a forward portion 64 of the casing. A slide plate 66 has a tamper 68 formed integrally therewith and is slidably received in a slideway 70 formed in a lower portion of the casing with the tamper 66 projecting downwardly through a slot 71 formed through the bottom of the casing. An opening 72 is formed through the slide plate, such that when a pipe bowl is held over the spout and the tamper and spout are squeezed to bring them together, the opening 72 aligns with a discharge opening 74 formed through the bottom portion of the casing.
Similarly to the previously described embodiment, movement of the slide plate not only places the discharge spout in communication with the storage chamher, but through a rack and pinion mechanism 76, 78, causes the paddle wheel to displace tobacco from the chamber through the discharge opening and spout and into the pipe bowl. Of course, after tobacco is discharged into the pipe, spring 80 returns the slide 66 to the closed position and the pipe is tamped on the tamper 68.
From the above it will be apparent that the present invention provides a semi-automatic pipe loader adapted to be mounted beneath the dashboard of an automobile and operable by the vehicle operator with only a minimum of attention and while using only one hand.
While the articles herein described constitute preferred embodiments of the invention, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to these precise articles, and that changes may be made therein without departing from the scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. A semi-automatic pipe loader comprising:
a. a housing defining a storage chamber for holding a quantity of pipe tobacco,
b. a discharge spout projecting outwardly from a lower surface of said housing and having an outer dimension such that said spout is adapted to be received within a pipe bowl,
c. means for attaching an upper surface of said housing opposite said surface from which said discharge spout projects to a suppporting surface,
d. means defining a discharge opening from a lower portion of said chamber,
e. slide means for placing selectively said chamber discharge opening in communication with said discharge spout whereby tobacco in said chamber may be discharged therefrom through said spout and into a pipe bowl in which said spout is received, means disposed within said storage chamber above said discharge opening therefrom for positive displacement of tobacco from said chamber through said discharge opening, and g. means cooperating with said slide means for actuating said tobacco displacement means simultaneously with said placing of said discharge opening in communication with said discharge spout.
2. The pipe loader of claim 1 wherein:
a. said tobacco displacing means consists of a paddle wheel mounted for rotation about an axis extending transversely of said storage chamber.
3. The pipe loader of claim 2 wherein:
a. said actuating means for said tobacco displacement means comprises a rack and pinion, and
b. said rack is mounted on said slide for movement therewith and said gear is fixed with respect to and mounted coaxially with said paddle wheel.
4. The pipe loader of claim 1 wherein:
a. said slide means is spring loaded to a position closing said discharge opening.
5. The pipe loader of claim 1 wherein:
a. said 'spout is movable with said slide means.
6. The pipe loader of claim 1 further comprising:
a. tamping means projecting downwardly from said lower surface of said housing in spaced relationship to said discharge spout.
7. The pipe loader of claim 6 wherein:
a. said tamping means is movable with said slide means.
8. The pipe loader of claim 1 wherein:
a. said upper surface of said housing comprises a removable cover for said chamber.
9. The pipe loader of claim 1 wherein:
a. said discharge spout has a downwardly tapering,
frustoconical exterior surface.
10. A semi-automatic pipe loader comprising:
a. a housing including a forward portion, a rear portion and a cover cooperatively defining a tobacco storage chamber,
b. said cover slidably connected to said forward and rear housing portions and forming a substantially airtight seal therewith,
c. means for attaching said cover to a downwardly facing, horizontal supporting surface,
d. means defining a discharge opening from said storage chamber through a lower surface of said housing opposite said upper surface thereof,
e. a slide plate slidably received in slideways formed within a lower portion of said chamber and permitting slidable movement of said slide plate in forward and rearward directions,
f. a downwardly tapered, frustoconical, funnel-like discharge spout formed integrally with said slide plate and projecting downwardly through said housing beyond said lower surface thereof,
g. an upstanding rack portion formed integrally with said slide plate and extending substantially perpendicular with respect thereto,
h. means defining a toothed rack along an upper edge of said rack portion,
i. a shaft rotatably mounted in opposite side walls of said housing and extending transversely of said chamber above said discharge opening therefrom,
j. a pinion fixed to said shaft and in engagement with said rack,
k. a paddle wheel having radially outwardly projecting vanes fixed to said shaft for rotational movement therewith above said discharge opening,
I. tamping means projecting downwardly from said lower surface of said housing in spaced, substantially parallel relationship to said discharge spout, and
m. spring means urging said slide plate and said discharge spout formed integrally therewith to a closed position wherein said discharge spout and said discharge openings are in noncommunicating relationship to each other.
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|U.S. Classification||141/261, 131/247, 222/235, 206/253, 141/362, 141/373|
|International Classification||B60N3/12, A24F9/02, A24F9/00, B60N3/00|
|Cooperative Classification||A24F9/02, B60N3/12|
|European Classification||B60N3/12, A24F9/02|