Patent application title: SANDING IMPLEMENT
Emiddio Zarro (Royal Oak, MI, US)
IPC8 Class: AB24D1100FI
Class name: Abrading flexible-member tool, per se laminate
Publication date: 2011-07-14
Patent application number: 20110171891
A sanding implement for filing nails or for general sanding purposes
includes a readily compressible elongated body having contoured sides,
with a sheet of sand paper bonded to at least one of a pair of planar
surfaces defined between the sides, the sides of a substantial thickness
to provide smooth side surfaces able to be comfortably gripped by a user
during use. The body sides converge at either end to form rounded tips
useful for sanding small confined surfaces
1. A sanding implement comprising: a contoured body having sides of a
substantial thickness and made of a readily compressive material; a sheet
having an abrasive bottom surface having an upper surface bonded to a
planar surface of said body with said abrasive surface facing outwardly
from said body, said sheet having sufficient tensile strength to
substantially strengthen said body against bending across directions
parallel to said planar surface to resist bending of said body during
sanding, said body being easily compressible allowing limited deformation
of said sheet into said planar area to be somewhat conformable to a
surface being sanded.
2. The sanding implement according to claim 1 wherein one side of said body is curved along an edge of said planar surface extending between opposite ends of said body.
3. The sanding implement according to claim 2 wherein said opposite ends are each shaped as a narrow rounded tip, said planar surface and abrasive sheet extending over said opposite tips.
4. The sanding implement according to claim 3 wherein an opposite side of said body has a pair of straight segments which extend in from a respective tip and are inclined away from said curved side of said body.
5. The sanding implement according to claim 4 wherein a curved recess is located between said straight segments and forms a thumb grip.
6. The sanding implement according to claim 1 wherein said body and sheet are several inches long.
7. The sanding implement according to claim 6 wherein said body is approximately at least 1/2 inch deep beneath said planar surface to form said grippable sides.
8. The sanding implement according to claim 7 wherein said planar surface is approximately at least one inch wide at a maximum width thereof.
9. The sanding implement according to claim 1 wherein said abrasive sheet comprises a sheet of wet or dry sand paper.
10. A sanding implement according to claim 1 wherein said body is comprised of polymeric foam.
11. A sanding implement comprising a contoured body having opposite sides converging to tips at either end of said body, with opposite planar areas defined between said sides, and wherein at least one planar top or bottom area extending between said sides defines an abrasive surface, said body sides defining a substantial thickness of at least about one half inch, said body being readily compressible.
12. The sanding implement according to claim 11 wherein at least one side is curved.
13. The sanding implement according to claim 11 wherein a sheet of sand paper is bonded to said at least one planar area to provide said abrasive surface.
14. The sanding implement of claim 13 wherein an abrasive sheet is bonded to both planar areas.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
 This application claims the benefit of U.S. provisional No. 61/293,749 filed on Jan. 11, 2010, hereby incorporated herein by reference.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 This invention concerns sanding or filing implements, such as nail files used by manicurists and pedicurists for smoothing the nails, and sanding blocks used for general sanding purposes.
 In manicuring, the conventional practice has been to use flat pasteboard or metal sanding boards or files having an edge contour suited to filing a person's nails.
 A significant problem arises from the abrasive surfaces of such nail files necessarily gripped during use which can cause soreness of the fingers of the user, particularly professional manicurists who use the implements for extended periods.
 Such nail files have been made with handles to avoid the problem of skin irritation.
 The addition of a handle makes the file less easily manipulated and increases the cost over simple nail boards or files.
 Sanding implements also been available for general use such as rectangular sanding blocks and sanding sponges, used to smooth surfaces or to remove paint or rust, etc. as in preparing for painting or staining.
 Such blocks are effective for sanding flat areas but are less effective for sanding contoured surfaces having small confined areas that need to be sanded since only large area flat surfaces of abrasive are provided on such implements.
 It is an object of the invention to provide a sanding implement which is low in cost and easily manipulated but can be comfortably and securely gripped without contacting the abrasive surface, and which has a shape which effectively allows sanding of small area or contoured surfaces.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 The above recited object and other objects which will be understood upon a reading of the following specification and claims are achieved by a sanding implement having a body of a substantial thickness and made of a self supporting but easily compressible material such as a polymeric foam.
 A sheet of abrasive paper or other suitable abrasive covering is bonded to at least one planar surface defined by the body to provide an abrasive surface. The tensile strength of the sheet stiffens the body against bending in the plane of the sheet and also supports and braces the abrasive paper sheet so as to hold its shape even during vigorous use but allows some give for conforming to contoured surfaces.
 The body has curved side and an opposite angled side, with a tip at each end created by convergence of the sides of the body to provide a larger planar of abrasive surface with small areas at the top which can reach small confined areas on a surface to be sanded.
 The angled side of the body opposite the curved side may be formed with a recess providing a space to receive a thumb of the user for a secure grip.
 The body may be of a thickness on the order of at least 1/2 inch so as to be easily gripped on the sides and away from the abrasive surface so as to avoid finger or hand contact with the abrasive surface while allowing secure gripping of the body.
 The thickness of the body thus creates non abrasive grippable side surfaces presented by the exposed compressible material on opposite sides.
 At the same time, the preferred use of light weight polymeric plastic foam to form the block body with an abrasive sheet bonded thereto allows the implement to be made at a very low cost.
 The implement may be compact in size, i.e., having a length of only a few inches and a width of about one inch to be easily manipulated by a manicurist, but may be made in much larger sizes to be better suited for general usage.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 FIG. 1 is a pictorial view of a sanding implement according to the invention.
 FIG. 2 is a bottom view of the sanding implement shown in FIG. 1.
 FIG. 3 is a rear view of the sanding implement shown in FIG. 1.
 FIG. 4 is an end view of the sanding implement shown in FIG. 1.
 FIG. 5 is a top view of the sanding implement shown in FIG. 1.
 FIG. 6 is a front view of the sanding implement shown in FIG. 1.
 FIG. 7 is a bottom view of a modified form of the sanding implement embodiment shown in FIG. 1.
 FIG. 8 is a pictorial view of sanding implement comprised of a second embodiment of the invention.
 FIG. 9 is bottom view of the sanding implement shown in FIG. 8.
 FIG. 10 is an end view of the sanding implement shown in FIGS. 8 and 9.
 In the following detailed description, certain specific terminology will be employed for the sake of clarity and a particular embodiment described in accordance with the requirements of 35 USC 112, but it is to be understood that the same is not intended to be limiting and should not be so construed inasmuch as the invention is capable of taking many forms and variations within the scope of the appended claims.
 Referring to the drawings and particularly FIGS. 1-7, an elongated sanding implement according to the invention is shown especially useful for manicures and pedicures but also useable for general sanding purposes, comprised of an elongated body 10 preferably having a curved side 12 and an opposite side 14 made of a pair of angled straight surfaces inclined away from the curved side 12. The sides 12, 14 converge at rounded pointed opposite ends 16. A central concave recess 18 on the opposite side 14 between angled straight side segments thereof provides a convenient thumb grip when the body 10 is gripped on its opposite sides 12, 14.
 The elongated body 10 is formed of self supporting but easily compressed material such as a soft polymeric foam, or other compressible material such as neoprene®, etc., and has a substantial thickness t, preferably on the order of at least 1/2 inch to define easily grippable smooth sides.
 At least one of the top or bottom surfaces extending between the sides 12, 14 defines a main planar area 21 which is covered with an abrasive such as a sheet 20 of wet-dry sand paper bonded thereto, extending completely out to the side edges thereof.
 The body 10 provides support for the abrasive sheet 20 affixed to the main planar surface 21 which tends to maintain the flatness of the sheet 20, and in turn the abrasive sheet 20 stiffens the easily compressive body 10 against bending, especially across the lengthened mode, i.e., across directions lying within the plane of the flat main planar area 21.
 The tensile strength of the sheet 20 is thus able to be effectively utilized to strengthen the body 10 against bending across those directions.
 Since the sheet 20 is supported by its attachment to the body 10, this tends to prevent buckling tending to maintain a planar shape of the sheet 20, while at the same time allowing some yielding or deformation into the main planar area 21 for sanding contoured surface workpieces.
 The user can therefore grip the uncovered sides of the soft, readily compressible body 10 to avoid contact with the abrasive surface of the sheet 20 such that discomfort and skin irritation is avoided even after extended use as by a professional. The combination of curved and straight sides 12, 14 and rounded tips 16 provide particularly useful edge contours for carrying out manicures, pedicures but also for general sanding tasks, while also providing a large planar surface of the sheet 20 for sanding larger areas.
 A lip suggestive appearance can be created by marking with a line 22, extending between the tips 16 (FIG. 7), on the bottom side to create a fanciful lip appearance.
 Referring to FIGS. 8-10, a less elongated body 24 of a readily compressible material can be provided, particularly for general sanding usage, which is wider (i.e., about 1 1/2 inches) to provide a greater flat area 25 covered with an abrasive, as an abrasive sandpaper sheet 28. The sides 30, 32 are not covered with abrasive material as in the first described embodiment to provide a non irritating gripping surface.
 A second abrasive or buffing sheet, strip, or coating 34 can be affixed to the bottom surface 36 opposite the surface 28 as indicated in FIGS. 9 and 10.
Patent applications in class Laminate
Patent applications in all subclasses Laminate