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LAWN RAKE AND CROSS HEAD ASSEMBLY


U.S. PATENT 6,131,381

Issued: October 17, 2000



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IMAGES 2- Raking Leaves

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Preparing to rake.

The new rake invention can be manipulated similar to a conventional rake, by extending the rake forward, placing it on the ground and drawing it towards the user.

Specification link




Raking a pile of leaves

Each individual tine is free to chatter along the ground and individually trap leaves, and at the same time, the backstop action of the entire cross-head assembly serves to gather and trap additional leaves. This action is also similar to conventional rakes. Each tine is uniformly effective in gathering leaves because each tine has identical dimensions, and because each tine takes an identical position in a line perpendicular to the raking path. Each tine also has freedom of moving within its mounting apertures such that additional resilient or "spring" energy can be captured, stored and released.

Drawing link | Specification link




Raking laterally

The tines are individually attached to the cross-arm. This characterisitic, coupled with the tines' circular cross-section, provides uniform raking resistance in all directions. Therefore, it is easy to rake in any direction, including in a direction parallel to the cross-arm. It is also possible to change raking directions with the tines touching the ground, or to rake in swirling or curving motions with minimal additional effort compared to normal straight-ahead raking. This additional raking capability lends variety and efficacy to the raking task. Raking laterally is especially useful in digging-out leaves from the edge of a flower bed, or for sweeping-out a curb gutter.

Drawing link | Specification link




Close-up of cross-head with one tine released

During raking of leaves a force imposed on the end of a tine by a protruding rock in the lawn, for example, may cause the endloop to release from the cross-arm. The geometry of the opposite, bent end of the tine that touches the ground, together with the size of the apertures through which the tine is mounted, prevent the tine from flying off the rake. The tine is essentially trapped on the cross-arm until the endloop is repositioned on the cross-arm.

Drawing link | Specification link




Raking with one tine released

Even when one or more tines releases from the cross-arm, raking can still continue. Most likely the user of the rake will quickly notice the released tine and push it back into position on the cross-arm. At worst, a small trail of leaves may ensue where there is a gap in the tine array due to the released tine. Unlike a tine that breaks-off of a conventional rake, the gap can be filled by repositioning the endloop of the released tine to engage the cross-arm once again and thus full raking capability is restored. In the infrequent event a tine breaks-off completely, a tine at the end of the array can be removed and inserted in place of the broken tine. Replacement tines can be purchased.





A tine completely removed

Installation, removal, and replacement of tines can be done by hand without the use of any tools. The plastic tines have a circular cross-section which minimizes the potential for cuts or scrapes. There are no sharp edges anywhere on the rake. All exposed surfaces present a curvilinear contour.

Drawing link | Specification link

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