Traitement en cours

Veuillez attendre...

Paramétrages

Paramétrages

Aller à Demande

1. WO2007104983 - METRES A RUBAN

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

TAPE MEASURES

The present invention relates to measuring devices. More particularly, the invention provides a tape measure which is convertible reversibly into a drafting device.
Commercially available tape measuring devices share a common feature wherein they allow the user to measure objects and distances. However, the tape measuring function is often insufficient when the task is immediately followed by the need to make changes to a design in order to incorporate newly taken measurements. Furthermore, the tape concerned, semi-rigid and flexible (usually steel) has a curvilinear profile across its width with its concave indicia-bearing surface uppermost to enable considerable extension prior to eventual bending and collapsing under its own weight after further extension. Conversely, with the convex surface uppermost, the tape collapses when barely extended, making this orientation impractical for normal commercial use. If the typical currently available tape is laid flat to mark off or measure at intervals along a work surface, two disadvantages are encountered: the width of the tape cannot lay flat because only the bottom of the concave tape profile rests on the work surface, so reading off is unreliable when sensitivity is critical; second, the gap between the edges of the tape and the work surface makes direct drawing on the latter of a straight and accurately placed line difficult and inconvenient without aid from a separate more stable tool, or impossible, particularly if the work surface too is convex e.g. piping. Furthermore, direct use of a knife for cutting is risky. Users of the available measuring tape are usually forced to carry rulers, a T-rule, or other drafting aids, whose fixed linear dimensions render them cumbersome on construction sites, shop floors and confined spaces where the regular drafting aids, found in a clean, secure office environment, prove to be too delicate for use, or are easily lost or taken and too expensive for such risks.
Measuring tapes of prior art have been modified to address various problems associated with flexible semi-rigid measuring tapes. One such solution is taught in US Patent No. 6,839,981 to Rafter. The device is a flat and rigid attachment that is designed to temporarily engage a tape measure with a work-piece being measured. The tape does not offer drafting solution, and highlights the necessity to stabilize it relative to the work-piece. Here too, a ruled concave tape surface is used for measurement, not allowing the stable, firm apposition to a work surface needed to ensure the fine measurements, very accurate markings and convenient line drawing required for drafting. Furthermore, precise extension/ retraction of the said tape frequently requires an inconvenient successive releasing and locking of the tape.
In US Patent No. 6,370,790 Stenger discloses a self-holding tape measure having a tape end with a magnet and housing also with a magnet capable of attaching both to steel surfaces, and the tape end with a pin capable of attachment to wood and similar surfaces so as to allow a user to measure in a limited number of difficult conditions. The device is not and does not claim to be a drafting aid and retains the disadvantages of a concave measuring tape.
US Patent No. 6,691,425 teaches a tape measure having tape extended out of the housing through a vertical surface that is pronouncedly protruding and perpendicular to the bottom surface of the housing, allowing limited engagement with an edge of a work-piece. The tape end is equipped with a plate claimed to add reliability of measurement and stability to the tape measure, including when using a pencil or a knife. The latter two means can be applied in only limited circumstances (e.g. wood, flat board with specific shape and edge) and also do not overcome the inaccuracies of a concave tape. Though the device may help in a narrow range of situations it is basically no more a drafting aid than the ordinary steel measuring tape.
US 6976318 (Odachowski) discloses a retractable tape measure with the features of a standard measure, including a housing with front and rear sides, a boundary edge and a tape opening, a retractable measuring tape positioned within this housing, with the tape having a free end that extends through the housing's opening, plus the improvements yielded by: (a) configuring the housing sides to be tear-drop shaped with a tip end, and (b) locating the tape opening in a portion of the boundary edge proximate the tape's tip end. The measuring tape is bendable between two directions of extension using a slidable member. The default direction of extension of the tape measure enables the tape measure to be used overhead, e.g. for measuring ceilings.
The measuring devices in the prior art do not provide the essential means for conversion of the common, extensible, retractable, flexible and semi-rigid measuring tape into a practical, simple, reliable and inexpensive drafting aid and measure that can also be easily converted back to the current typical tape with its conventional measuring role.

It is therefore a preferred object of some aspects of the present invention to obviate disadvantages of prior art measuring devices and to provide a measuring device which incorporates features enabling its use also as a drafting aid during which role the usual tape-locking slide will usually be kept open.

Another preferred object of some aspects of the present invention is to enable a measuring device to provide for a means to bend the measuring tape so that it will extend in a direction at right angles to the normal direction of extension wherein the tape will be configured to provide drafting support and also to measure, without preventing the capability of bi-directional movement of the tape and without restricting at any time the possibility of releasing the bent tape from the said retaining attachment means allowing it to return to its unbent previous configuration, thereby simply and rapidly converting the device back to functioning as current measuring tapes do.
Another preferred object of some aspects of the present invention is to enable a measuring device to provide for a means to bend the measuring tape backwards along and in close juxtaposition to a flat straight part of the rim of said housing in the direction wherein the tape will be configured to provide drafting support and also to measure, without preventing the capability of bi-directional movement of the tape and without restricting at any time the possibility of releasing the bent tape from the said retaining attachment means allowing it to return to its unbent previous configuration, thereby simply and rapidly converting the device back to functioning as current measuring tapes do.
Another preferred object of some aspects of the present invention is to provide a means whereby when the tape is bent backwards from the aperture in the housing, its convex surface comes into contact with a protrusion from the edge of said aperture around which said tape is to be bent, said protrusion shaped to contact said tape only midway between its two edges and down its length during extension/ retraction, said protrusion acting as a fulcrum pressing on the convex surface of the tape and changing its profile thus easing the bending process and preventing stress damage to the tape while ensuring also that when said tape is engaged by retention means, rotation of the extending or retracting tape around the edge of the aperture is smooth, steady and controlled not only by the spring within the housing but also by the pressure of said fulcrum on the tape, making movement of the tape firm, yet sensitive and accurate for drafting and without long term disfiguration or erasure of rulings on said tape by said fulcrum.
Another preferred object of some aspects of the present invention is to provide an adapter plate for the toehold at the distal end of the tape to be used when said tape is orientated in a drafting mode, by mounting a small additional slotted plate which is able to rotate and slide on a pin centrally fixed on that side of the standard toehold plate distal to the tape end, so that when said adapter plate is not in use, it is parked and locked parallel to the standard toehold plate, whereas when said tape is applied to a work surface with its convex surface uppermost, said revolvable toehold adapter plate can be released, turned through 90 degrees and locked to provide an additional toehold for holding firmly against the edge of a work surface so as to stabilize the tape during drafting and measuring.
In a first aspect, the present invention provides a tape measure, comprising a measuring tape and a housing having two major spaced-apart surfaces and a surrounding rim connecting the edges of said surface to form a closed housing,
the rim of the housing having a first surface for placing proximate a surface to be measured,
the measuring tape having a curvilinear profile across its width such that it has a convex surface and a concave surface, each surface being provided with measuring indicia,
the measuring tape being coilable within the housing and extendable out of the housing via an aperture on the rim proximate the first surface,
the tape measure having a default configuration in which the measuring tape extends in a default direction out of the housing and in which the convex surface of the extended measuring tape faces in substantially the same direction as the first surface, wherein the tape measure further comprises a retention means for temporarily affixing the tape, when extended, in a second configuration in which the measuring tape extends in a substantially different direction from the default direction of extension.
The default configuration of the tape measure is accordingly suitable for taking measurements much in the same way as a standard tape measure. This is
advantageous because users are familiar and comfortable with standard tape measures, and understand their operation.
In the second configuration, the tape measure may be used as a drafting aid or tool, e.g. for ruling a line, or may be used overhead, e.g. for measuring a dimension on a ceiling. The tape measure may comprise a biasing means, e.g. a spring, for biasing the measuring tape to retract into the housing. A locking mechanism may be provided to lock the measuring tape at a desired extension from the aperture of the housing, preventing it from being retracted by the biasing means. However, since the retention means is capable of temporarily affixing the tape in the second configuration, there may be no need to use an additional locking mechanism for locking the measuring tape at a desired length of extension from the aperture in the second configuration in order to prevent it being retracted into the housing. In this way, the tape measure can be used as, for example, a drafting aid, when the tape measure is in the second configuration, without the inconvenience of having to operate both the retention means and a separate locking mechanism to fix/change the length of extension. Preferably, the retention means frictionally engages the measuring tape to change the direction of the measuring tape, the frictional engagement being such that it can hold the measuring tape at the desired length of extension, but permits the length of extension to be adjusted by a user pulling or pushing on the measuring tape to temporarily overcome the frictional engagement. o The default direction of extension of the measuring tape is essentially the direction in which the tape extends when unaffixed by the retention means (effectively the natural direction in which the measuring tape leaves the housing via the aperture).
A standard tape measure design may be easily modified to provide a tape measure according to the present invention.
5 The following features may be combined with the first aspect, or with any other aspect of the present invention.
Preferably, the rim has a second surface for placing proximate a surface to be measured, wherein, in the second configuration, the concave surface of the measuring tape faces in substantially the same direction as the second surface.
o Preferably, the first and/or second surfaces are substantially flat.
Preferably, the aperture is located at a corner of the rim between the first and second surfaces.
Preferably, the planes of the first and second surfaces are substantially at right angles to one another.
5 Preferably, the retention means is located on the second surface.
Preferably, in the second configuration the measuring tape extends in a direction substantially 90 or 180 degrees to the default direction of extension.
Preferably, the retention means can affix the measuring tape at a desired extension in the second configuration.
o Preferably, the retention means comprises a slide which is slidable from a rest position to an engaging tape retention position. Preferably, the slide engages the concave surface of the measuring tape in the tape retention position.

Preferably, the retention means comprises a tongue member which is rotatable from a rest position to an engaging tape retention position.
Preferably, the retention means comprises a swivelling bracket which is rotatable from a rest position to an engaging tape retention position.
Preferably, the retention means comprises a clip, by which the measuring tape may be retained.
Preferably, the retention means comprises a clasp which is capable of holding the measuring tape at edges thereof.
Preferably, the tape measure further includes a protrusion arranged to facilitate the movement of the measuring tape from the default configuration to the second configuration by applying pressure on a surface of the measuring tape.
Preferably, the protrusion facilitates the movement of the tape from the measuring configuration to the drafting configuration by applying pressure on the convex surface of the measuring tape.
Preferably, the tape measure further includes a toehold at a free end of the measuring tape extending from the convex side of the measuring tape, and a toehold adapter plate which is moveable to provide an additional toehold extending from the concave side of the measuring tape.
Preferably, the toehold adapter plate is connected to the toehold via a pin, such that the toehold adapter plate can rotate relative to the toehold.
Preferably, the toehold adapter plate includes a slot, and the toehold adapter plate is connected to the toehold via a pin passing through the slot, such that the toehold adapter plate can rotate and slide relative to the toehold.
In a second aspect, the present invention provides a tape measure, comprising a measuring tape and a housing having two major spaced-apart surfaces and a surrounding rim connecting the edges of said surface to form a closed housing,
the rim of the housing having a first surface for placing proximate a surface to be measured,
the measuring tape having a curvilinear profile across its width such that it has a convex surface and a concave surface, each surface being provided with measuring indicia, the measuring tape being coilable within the housing and extendable out of the housing via an aperture on the rim proximate the first surface,
the tape measure further including a toehold, at a free end of the measuring tape, extending from the convex surface of the measuring tape, and a toehold adapter plate which is moveable to provide an additional toehold extending from the concave surface of the measuring tape.
The toehold adapter plate is preferably moveable between the position in which it provides an additional toehold and a position in which it does not extend from the concave side of the measuring tape, i.e. a parked position.
In a third aspect, the present invention provides a method of using a tape measure as a drafting aid, the tape measure comprising a measuring tape and a housing having two major spaced-apart surfaces and a surrounding rim connecting the edges of said surface to form a closed housing, the rim of the housing having a first surface for placing proximate a work surface, the measuring tape having a curvilinear profile across its width such that it has a convex surface and a concave surface, each surface being provided with measuring indicia, the measuring tape being coilable within the housing and extendable out of the housing via an aperture on the rim proximate the first surface, the tape measure having a default configuration in which the measuring tape extends in a default direction out of the housing, the tape measure further comprising a retention means for temporarily affixing the tape, when extended, in a second configuration in which the measuring tape extends in a substantially different direction from the default direction of extension,
the method comprising the steps of:
placing the measuring tape proximate a work surface such that the concave surface faces the work surface; and
using an edge of the measuring tape to guide the movement of a drafting tool across the work surface.
The method may further comprise the initial step of affixing the measuring tape in the second configuration using the retention means.
In a fourth aspect, the present invention provides a drafting aid and measuring device comprising a housing having two major spaced-apart surfaces and an integral surrounding rim connecting the edges of said surface to form a closed housing, said housing being provided with an aperture in said rim and said housing containing an extendable and retractable measuring tape made of steel or other strong flexible material and preformed to a curvilinear profile across its width, said tape being spirally held and fixed by a spring at its proximal end within said housing and having a distal end extendable through said aperture, said device being characterized in that said tape is provided with measuring indicia on at least one of its two surfaces and in that said housing is further provided with a retention means for temporarily affixing said tape to a surface of said rim, said retention means and said rim surface to which said tape is temporarily affixed serving to facilitate the use of said tape as both a drafting aid and measuring device, without restricting a return at any time to the common configuration of the device for its traditional only measuring role.
In a fifth aspect, the present invention provides a drafting aid and measuring device comprising a housing having two major spaced-apart surfaces and an integral surrounding rim connecting the edges of said surface to form a closed housing, said housing being provided with an aperture in said rim and said housing containing an extendable and retractable measuring tape made of steel or other strong flexible material and preformed to a curvilinear profile across its width, said tape being spirally held and fixed by a spring at its proximal end within said housing and having a distal end extendable through said aperture, said device being characterized in that said tape is provided with measuring indicia on at least one of its two surfaces and in that said housing is further provided with said protruding fulcrum and a retention means for temporarily affixing said tape to a surface of said rim, serving to facilitate the use of said tape as both a drafting aid and a measure, when concave side of said tape is applied facing and contiguous to a surface on which work is to take place, the ruled convex surface is uppermost and readable and the tape able to be stabilized with the aid of toehold plate adapter fixed distally to the standard toehold plate and used if required when said tape is in said drafting orientation.
Preferably, said tape is provided with measuring indicia on both its upper and lower surfaces.
The following preferable features may be combined with either of the fourth or fifth aspects, or with any other aspect of the present invention.
Preferably, said retention element is provided at an area of said rim spaced away from said aperture.
Preferably, said retention element is configured to retain said tape when extended in a direction opposite to the direction of extension of said tape from said housing through said aperture.

Preferably, said retention element is arranged for temporarily affixing said tape to a surface of said rim with said tape bent back to expose a concave surface which can be temporarily applied to a surface on which work is to take place with convex surface uppermost to serve as both a drafting aid and measuring device.
Preferably, said retention element is fixedly disposed on one of said spaced-apart surfaces so as to admit said tape therethrough.
Preferably, said aperture of said housing is provided with a fixed protrusion for pressing on curvilinear profile of said tape as said tape is extended and rotated backwards thereby allowing said tape to bend smoothly and consistently.
Preferably, to distal side of toehold at distal end of said tape is attached a slotted adapter plate free to rotate on a pin fixed to said distal side of said toehold and lockable in a resting position parallel to said toehold plate or at 90 degrees to said toehold plate if and when required for drafting.
Preferably, said housing is provided with a lockable swiveling bracket fixed proximal to said aperture so as to facilitate bending back and holding down of said extended tape on said surface of said rim.
Preferably, said retention element comprises two symmetrical resilient plates, wherein said plates are spaced apart and designed and configured to hold the width of said extended tape for temporarily affixing said tape to said surface of said rim.
Preferably, said retention element is arranged for temporarily affixing said tape to a surface of said rim without preventing bi-directional movement of said tape along said rim and with said tape bent back to expose a concave surface which can be temporarily applied against a surface on which work is to take place causing the convex surface to be uppermost and serve as a drafting aid and measuring device.
Preferably, said retention element is fixedly disposed on one of said spaced-apart surfaces so as to admit said tape therethrough without preventing bi-directional movement of said tape through said retention element.
Preferably, said housing is provided with a lockable swiveling bracket fixed proximal to said aperture so as to facilitate bending back of said extended tape and without preventing bi-directional movement of said tape within said retaining bracket, to temporarily apply convex side of said tape in apposition to a part of the rim of said housing on which two protrusions are disposed one to each side of said part of said rim so that when said tape is bent back it, lies between said protrusions which prevent sideways movement of said tape.
Preferably, said retention element comprises two parallel symmetrical resilient lamellae spaced apart face-to-face and designed and configured to open further and then resiliently clasp the width of said extended bent back tape when said tape is manually pressed between said lamellae for temporarily affixing convex surface of said tape to said surface of said rim without preventing bi-directional movement of said tape between said lamellae.
In a sixth aspect, the present invention provides a drafting aid and measuring device comprising a housing having two major spaced-apart surfaces and an integral surrounding rim connecting the edges of said surface to form a closed housing, said housing being provided with an aperture in said rim and said housing containing an extendable and retractable measuring tape made of steel or other strong flexible material and preformed to a curvilinear profile across its width, said tape being spirally held and fixed by a spring at its proximal end within said housing and having a distal end extendable through said aperture, said device being characterized in that said tape is provided with measuring indicia on its upper and lower surfaces and in that said housing is further provided with a retention means for temporarily affixing said tape when extended in a direction substantially at right angles to the direction of extension of said tape from said housing through said aperture, said retention means serving to facilitate the use of said tape as both a drafting aid and measuring device, without restricting a return at any time to the common configuration of the device for its traditional only measuring role.
The following preferable features may be combined with the sixth aspect, or with any other aspect of the present invention.
Preferably, said retention element is arranged for temporarily affixing said tape with said tape bent to expose a concave surface of said curvilinear profile which can be temporarily applied to a surface on which work is to take place with the opposite convex surface of said curvilinear profile uppermost to serve as both a drafting aid and measuring device.
Preferably, said retention element is slidingly attached to a surface area of said rim adjacent said aperture.
Preferably, said retention element is articulatedly attached to said housing adjacent said aperture.

Preferably, said retention means is a Iockable swiveling bracket fixed proximal to said aperture so as to facilitate bending said tape at substantially 90 degrees relative to its normal direction of extension.
Preferably, to a distal side of a toehold at a distal end of said tape there is attached a slotted adapter plate free to rotate on a pin fixed to said distal side of said toehold and Iockable in a resting position parallel to said toehold plate or at 90 degrees to said toehold plate if and when required for drafting.
It will thus be realized that the novel device of the present invention is best used for drafting when said tape is temporarily held in firm apposition to a surface on which work is to take place with the tape convex surface uppermost, i.e. in the drafting mode, or second configuration. The tape is sensitively, accurately and conveniently extendable and retractable during drafting. The provision of scale markings on both sides at both edges of the tape adds much to the convenience of use for drafting.
The invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the drawings, in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of the drafting aid and measuring device with retention means according to an embodiment of the invention, said tape in process of reversal;
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a protrusion in the housing aperture, for facilitating tape bending and control of tape movement in drafting mode;
FIG. 3 is a perspective view showing the tape being held in a clip;
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a toehold adapter plate distal to the end of said measuring tape, not in use and locked in place;
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of device rotated to place tape, convex side up, in apposition to a flat work surface, toehold adapter plate turned from parking and locked position to drafting position;
Fig. 6 is a perspective view of tape in apposition to a curved work surface, convex surface of tape facing upwards, during drafting;
Fig. 7 is a perspective view of drafting aid and measuring device, with said tape turned back towards resilient retaining clasp according to the invention;
FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view of said resilient clasp with tape pressed in;
FIG. 9 is a perspective view of the tape bent back and retained in the clasp;

FIG. 10 is a perspective view of the drafting aid and measuring device according to an embodiment of the invention, showing a swiveling retention bracket parked in not-in-use position;
FIG. 11 is a perspective view of the swiveling bracket locked and holding said tape bent back;
FIG. 12 is a detailed perspective view of open and closed configurations of the swiveling bracket;
FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a preferred embodiment of a drafting aid and measuring device with retention means according to the present invention, before said tape is extended;
FIG. 14 is a perspective view of the drafting aid and measuring device shown in FlG. 13 with said tape extended at substantially right angles to the direction of normal extension after articulation of said retention means;
FIG. 15 is a perspective view of a toehold adaptor plate distal to the end of said measuring tape not in use, and locked in place;
FIG. 16 is a perspective view of a device rotated to place the tape convex side up in apposition to a flat work surface, in which the toehold adaptor plate is turned from its locked non-use position, to a drafting position;
FIG. 17 is a perspective view of a tape in apposition to a curved work surface, in which the convex surface of the tape is facing upwards during drafting;
FIG. 18 is a perspective view of another preferred embodiment of a drafting aid and measuring device with retention means according to an embodiment of the present invention, before said tape is extended;
FIG. 19 is a perspective view of the drafting aid and measuring device shown in FIG. 18 with said tape extended at substantially right angles to the direction of normal extension after sliding extension of said retention means;
FIG. 20 is a perspective view of yet another preferred embodiment of a drafting aid and measuring device with retention means according to an embodiment of the present invention, before said tape is extended;
FIG. 21 is a perspective view of the drafting aid and measuring device shown in FIG. 20 with said tape being shown as being rotated to an extended position at substantially right angles to the direction of normal extension as a result of articulation of said retention means; and
FIG. 22 is a perspective view of the drafting aid and measuring device shown in FIG. 20 and 21 with said tape extended at substantially right angles to the direction of normal extension after articulation of said retention means.
In all the figures similar reference numerals identify similar parts.
In the embodiments of the drafting devices 10 or 109 herein, fine and accurate bidirectional movement of the tape is allowed when tape-locking slides 18 or 118 are open.
o There is seen in FIG. 1 a measuring tape device 10 comprising a shell, or housing, 16, a metal measuring tape 11 with a convex surface 14 (shown uppermost in FIG. 1) and a concave surface (not seen in FIG. 1), the tape 11 having measurement units imprinted on both sides thereof. A toehold 12 is attached at the tape start end (the free end). Attached to toehold 12 is a slotted toehold adapter plate 22 which, as seen in FIG. 4, is 5 mounted on pin 28. The toehold plate 22 is shown parked and not in use in FIG 4, and in use in FIGS. 5 and 6.
Best seen in FIG. 2 is the ceiling of an aperture 6 for extending the tape therefrom, which is provided with a protrusion 24 to facilitate the back-bending of the tape by pressure on its convex surface 14 as shown in FIG 1. As in prior art devices a slide o button 18 is provided for locking the extended tape at any desired extension.
The device 10, according to the present embodiment of the invention, is further provided with a substantially flat clip 20, fixed to one side of and parallel to the first, or contact, surface of rim 8, shown in FIG.1 as the upper surface, of the shell of the device 10.
In order to use the device 10 as, for example, a drafting aid or for overhead 5 measurement, the tape 11 is extended out of the housing to a desired length and bent back up to 180 degrees relative to the standard, or default, direction of extension thereof, and inserted under the clip 20, allowing the clip 20 to hold the tape with its concave surface 26 uppermost, as shown in FIG. 3.
Subsequently to the tape 11 having been bent, the device 10 is configured so that it can, 0 for example, be used as a drafting aid, wherein the measurement units, or indicia, on the convex side 14 of the tape render themselves for easy viewing by the user of the device 10 when the concave surface 26 is applied to a work surface, as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. In this configuration, the second surface of the rim 8 of the housing can be placed proximate a work surface to be measured, such that the concave surface of the tape 11 faces in substantially the same direction as the contact surface of the rim 8. Thus, as can be seen in FIG. 6, edges of the tape 11 may contact the work surface and may be used to guide the movement of a drafting tool, such as, for example, a pencil, pen, chinagraph, scribe, cutting edge, etc., when marking up the work surface.
Referring now to FIG. 7, there is seen another embodiment 90 of the device 10. The retention of the tape 11 is accomplished by the use of a resilient clasp 44, manufactured to hold the tape at the width thereof.
The clasp 44 is shown in use in cross-sectional FIG. 8 and shown again in FIG. 9. The clasp is mounted on the first surface of the rim 8 of the housing, for placing proximate a surface to be measured. Finger pressure on the tape 11 after pressure on concave tape surface 26 has served to insert tape into clasp 44.
Referring to FIG. 10, there is seen yet another embodiment 60 of the device 10, wherein retention of the tape is accomplished by means of a swiveling bracket 32 having therein longitudinal slots 34. The slots 34 allow the bracket 32 mounted on two co-axial spaced-apart holding pins 36 fixed to housing 16, to swivel up to 90 degrees on pins 36 between the configuration, wherein the tape is retracted within the shell 16. The device pins 36 and the bracket 32 are retained in revolvable relationship by protrusions 38 seen best in FIG. 12.
As seen in FIG. 11 , the tape is extended and bent up to 180 degrees relative to the standard extension thereof. The bracket 32 is retracted on pins 36 in the slots 34 allowing the bracket to slide and swing over the tape and be retained by protrusions 38 in order to lock the bracket in position. The bracket 32 temporarily and firmly holds down the convex surface 14 of the bent-back tape against rim 8, the tape lying between the stabilizing protrusions 40 located on the edges of the housing shell 16.
FIG. 12 illustrates details of the bracket 32 and the slots 34 thereof, as well as the capacity to swivel thereof.
There is seen in FIG. 13 a measuring tape device 109 comprising a housing 110 having two major spaced apart surfaces 116 and an integral surrounding rim 108 connecting the edges of said surfaces 116 to form the closed housing 110 provided with an aperture 106 in said rim 108. Said measuring device 109 is further provided with a retention means 120, said retention means 120 being articulatedly attached to said housing 110 adjacent said aperture 106. The retention means is a swivelling bracket 120 which is rotatable between a rest position, illustrated in FIG. 13, and an engaging tape retention position, illustrated in FIG. 14.
Referring now to FIG. 14, there is seen the measuring device 109 of FIG. 13 with tape

114 extended therefrom. As stated hereinbefore, said tape is an extendable and retractable measuring tape made of steel or other strong flexible material and preformed to a curvilinear profile across its width, said tape being spirally held and fixed by a spring at its proximal end (not shown) within said housing 110 and having a distal end 112 extending through said aperture 106 wherein not only is said tape provided with measuring indicia on its concave surface (not shown) as known in the art, but is also provided with indicia on its convex surface 107 as seen in FIG. 14.
As will be noted, said retention means 120 have been rotated to an engaging tape retention position to affix said tape 114 in an extended position as shown, in a direction at right angles to the default, or natural, direction of extension of said tape from said housing 110 through said aperture 106, said retention means 120 serving to facilitate the use of said tape 114 as, for example, both a drafting aid and measuring device, without restricting a return at any time to the common configuration of the device for its traditional only measuring role. In FIG. 14, the device is in the second configuration, and a second surface of the rim 108 of the housing is placed proximate the work surface, such that the concave surface of the tape 114 faces in substantially the same direction as the second surface. Thus, the edges of the tape 114 may engage the work surface and may be used to guide the movement of a drafting tool (not shown), such as, for example, a pencil, pen, chinagraph, scribe, cutting edge, etc., when marking up the work surface.
In preferred embodiments of said invention as seen in FIG. 14, a toehold 113 is attached at the tape start end (free end), as shown in FIGS. 15 to 17. Attached to toehold 113 is a slotted toehold adapter plate 122 which, as seen in FIG. 15 is mounted on pin 128. The toehold plate 122 is shown parked and not in use in said FIG. 15, and in use in FIG. 16 and FIG. 17. In FIG. 15 the toehold adapter plate 122 is parked in a rest position so that the tape 114 can be used as a drafting aid in the manner of a ruler, the adaptor plate 122 not obstructing the contact between the edges of the tape and the work surface. In FIGS. 16 and 17 the toehold plate 122 has been moved from the rest position to a position in which it provides an additional toehold extending from the concave surface of the tape 114. In FIG. 17 the tape 114 is affixed in the second configuration, and the concave surface of the tape faces the work surface so that the edges of the tape engage the work surface.
Referring now to FIG. 18 there is seen another embodiment of a measuring tape device 109 comprising a housing 111 having two major spaced apart surfaces 116 and an integral surrounding rim 108 connecting' the edges of said surfaces 116 to form the closed housing 111 provided with an aperture 106 in said rim 108. Said measuring device 109 is further provided with a retention means 121 , said retention means 121 being slidingly attached to said housing 111 adjacent said aperture 106, and being slidable along a first surface of the rim 108 of the housing.
Referring now to FIG. 19, there is seen the measuring device 109 of FIG. 18 with tape 114 extended therefrom. As stated hereinbefore, said tape is an extendable and retractable measuring tape made of steel or other strong flexible material and preformed to a curvilinear profile across its width, said tape being spirally held and fixed by a spring at its proximal end (not shown) within said housing 110 and having a distal end, or free end, 112 extending through said aperture 106 wherein not only is said tape provided with measuring indicia on its concave surface (not shown) as known in the art, but is also provided with indicia on its convex surface 107 as seen in FIG. 19. Said measuring device is provided with another preferred embodiment of a retention means 121 wherein said retention means is formed of a bracket, or slider, 123 attached to the rim 108 of said housing 111 adjacent aperture 106 and with a slide, or rail, 125 adapted to move from a rest position as seen in FIG. 18 to an engaging tape retention position as seen in FIG. 19.
As will be noted in FIG. 19, bracket 125 has been advanced from its rest position to affix said tape 114 in an extended position as shown, in a direction at right angles to the direction of extension of said tape from said housing 111 through said aperture 106, said retention means serving to facilitate the use of said tape 114 as, for example, both a drafting aid as shown and a measuring device, without restricting a return at any time to the common configuration of the device for its traditional only measuring role in which the bracket 125 would return to its rest position as shown in FIG. 18, and tape 114 would be extended in the normal manner at substantially right angles to the direction of extension shown in FIG. 19. In FIG. 19, the device is in the second configuration, and a second surface of the rim 108 of the housing is placed proximate the work surface, such that the concave surface of the tape 114 faces in substantially the same direction as the second surface. Thus, the edges of the tape 114 may engage the work surface and may be used to guide the movement of a drafting tool (not shown), such as, for example, a pencil, pen, chinagraph, scribe, cutting edge, etc., when marking up the work surface. While the device is in the second configuration, the tape 114 can be extended from, and retracted into, the housing 111, as indicated by the arrows.
There is seen in FIG. 20 a measuring tape device 109 comprising a housing 123 having two major spaced apart surfaces 116 and an integral surrounding rim 108 connecting the edges of said surfaces 116 to form the closed housing 123 provided with an aperture 106 in said rim 108. Said measuring device 109 is further provided with a retention means 127, said retention means 127 being articulatedly attached to said housing 123 adjacent said aperture 106 and comprising an axis 129 attached to an extending between said major surfaces 116 and having attached thereto a tongue member 131 rotatable around said axis 129 and adapted to move from a rest position as seen in FIG. 20 to an engaging tape retention position as seen in FIG. 21.
Referring now to FIG. 21, there is seen the measuring device 109 of FIG. 20 with tape 114 in three different positions, A, B, and C, wherein the first position A has tape 114 extended from aperture 106 in its normal direction of extension. In position B, shown in broken lines, both tongue member 131 and tape 114 are shown as being rotated away from said first normal direction of extension towards position C, also shown in broken lines, wherein both tongue member 131 and tape 114 in a direction at right angles to the direction of extension of said tape from said housing 123 through said aperture 106. As stated hereinbefore, said tape is an extendable and retractable measuring tape made of steel or other strong flexible material and preformed to a curvilinear profile across its width, said tape being spirally held and fixed by a spring at its proximal end (not shown) within said housing 123 and having a distal end(free end), 1 12 extending through said aperture 106 wherein not only is said tape provided with measuring indicia on its concave surface 115 as known in the art, but is also provided with indicia on its convex surface 107 as seen in FIG. 22.
Referring now to FIG. 22, as will be noted, tongue member 131 of said retention means 127 has been rotated to affix said tape 114 in an extended position as shown, in a direction at right angles to the direction of extension of said tape from said housing 123 through said aperture 106, said retention means 127 as a whole, serving to facilitate the use of said tape 114 as, for example, both a drafting aid and measuring device, without restricting a return at any time to the common configuration of the device for its traditional only measuring role. In FIG. 22, the device is in the second configuration, and the second surface of the rim 108 of the housing is placed proximate the work surface such that the concave surface of the tape 114 faces in substantially the same direction as the second surface. Thus, the edges of the tape 114 may engage the work surface and may be used to guide the movement of a drafting tool (not shown), such as, for example, a pencil, pen, chinagraph, scribe, cutting edge, etc., when marking up the work surface.
In preferred embodiments of said invention as seen in FIG. 22, a toehold 113 is attached at the tape start end. Attached to toehold 113 is a slotted toehold adapter plate 122 which, as seen in FIG. 15 is mounted on pin 128. In FIG. 22 the toehold adapter plate 122 is parked in a rest position so that the tape 114 can be used as a drafting aid in the manner of a ruler, the adaptor plate 122 not obstructing the contact between the edges of the tape and the work surface. In FIG. 22 the toehold plate 122 is shown parked and not in use, as in said FIG. 15. The toehold plate is shown in use in FIGS. 16 and 17.

It will be evident to those skilled in the art that the invention is not limited to the details of the foregoing illustrative embodiments and that the present invention may be embodied in other specific forms without departing from the spirit or essential attributes thereof.

The present embodiments are therefore to be considered in all respects as illustrative and not restrictive, the scope of the invention being indicated by the appended claims rather than by the foregoing description, and all changes which come within the meaning and range of equivalency of the claims are therefore intended to be embraced therein.