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Publication numberUS3083390 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 2, 1963
Filing dateDec 23, 1959
Priority dateDec 23, 1959
Publication numberUS 3083390 A, US 3083390A, US-A-3083390, US3083390 A, US3083390A
InventorsWroten Don I
Original AssigneeKrogh Ind Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bowling lane maintenance apparatus
US 3083390 A
Abstract  available in
Images(4)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 1963 D. WROTEN 3,083,390

BOWLING LANE MAINTENANCE APPARATUS Filed Dec. 23, 1959 4 Sheets-Sheet l D QN I. WROTEN M WNW! ATTORNEYS April 2, 1963 D. l. WROTEN BOWLING LANE MAINTENANCE APPARATUS 4 Sheets-Sheet 2 Filed Dec. 25, 1959 INVENTOR. DON I. WROTEN A 7' TORNE rs April 2, 1963 D. WROTEN 3,083,390

BOWLING LANE MAINTENANCE APPARATUS DON l. WROTEN BY A 7' TOP/VEVS April 2, 1963 D. l. WROTEN BOWLING LANE MAINTENANCE APPARATUS 4 Sheets-Sheet 4' Filed Dec. 23, 1959 INVENTOR. B DON I. WROTEN Y M, wfi fi i ATTORNEYS United States Patent Ofifice 3,083,390 Patented Apr. 2, 1963 3,933,399 BGWLEQG LANE MAINTENAN (1E APPARATUS Don I. Wroten, San Mateo, Caiifi, assignor of one-half to Krogh Indusnies, 1339., San Francisco, (Iaiifi, a corporation of tlaiifornia Filed Dee. 23, 1959, Ser. No. 861,489 11 Qiairns. (Iii. 103.5)

This invention relates to bowling alley maintenance equipment and more particularly to apparatus for cleaning and bufiing bowling lanes.

In a typical bowling alley, a plurality of hardwood surfaced bowling lanes are provided upon which heavy hard rubber or plastic bowling balls are rolled. Because of the hard usage given the bowling lane surfaces, it is necessary for the bowling alley operator to periodically clean and buff such surfaces to maintain them in proper order. In addition, it is the usual practice to apply a very thin coat of light oil or other dressing to the bowling lane surface to protect it and provide it with the proper surface characteristics.

Heretofore, such maintenance has been accomplished by the use of conventional floor polishing equipment of the type employing rotary brushes or polishing discs which are power driven to scour the alley lane surface. Such equipment has been hand-operated, in the sense that maintenance personnel have pushed such floor polishers along the bowling lane and from side to side to buff the entire surface in a plurality of passes.

Among the difficulties arising from such operation are the time and labor involved in pushing the floor polishing equipment over the operating surface of the bowling lane, which is approximately 4 feet wide by approximately 62 feet in length. In addition, the results obtained by the use of prior lane maintenance equipment have been significantly inconsistent to the extent that different portions of the same lane and different lanes have had difierent characteristics depending upon the difierent cleaning and dressing application given them. These substantially different characteristics are of great importance to the operability of the lane from the standpoint of the bowler attempting to improve his scoring ability.

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide bowling lane maintenance apparatus which uniformly and consistently cleans and buffs the entire operative surface or any portion thereof of a bowling lane.

Another object of this invention is the provision of apparatus for cleaning, bufiing, and dressing a bowling lane surface which apparatus after initiation performs its function without human intervention.

It is a further object of this invention to provide apparatus for maintaining a bowling lane which apparatus performs its function in a fraction of the time and at a higher efiiciency than prior known apparatus.

Still another object of this invention is the provision of bowling lane maintenance apparatus which may be set as desired to perform one or more of various maintenance functions and then, once initiated, will continue its operation unattended and will shut itself off at the completion of such functions.

A still further object of this invention is the provision of automatic bowling lane maintenance equipment which is compact and comprises detachable units for easy handling and storing.

Other objects and advantages will become apparent from the following description taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of the apparatus of this invention shown in use in bufiing a bowling lane;

FIG. 2 is a front elevational view of the apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of the apparatus of FIG. 1 with the top cover removed to show internal details;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view as seen from line 4--4 of FIG. 3 showing the butfing roller in the lowered position.

FIG. 5 is a sectional view similar to FIG. 4 but showing the butting roller in raised position;

FIG. 6 is a diagrammatic wiring diagram of the control circuit of the apparatus of FIG. 1;

FIG. 7 is an enlarged sectional view as seen from line 7-7 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 8 is an enlarged sectional view as seen from line 8-8 of FIG. 3 with the butfing roller in the raised position; and,

FIG. 9 is a side elevational view of a portion of the apparatus as seen from line 9-9 of FIG. 3, showing the return limit actuator.

The apparatus :of this invention comprises, generally, a carriage 1 having pairs of spaced front and rear ground wheels 2, 3 (FIGS. 3, 4) and a pair of spaced drive wheels 4 for rolling on the upper surface 5 of an elongated bowling lane 6 (FIG. '1). Typically, such bowling lanes are constructed of hardwood and the operative portion thereof extends from the foul line 7 to the pit end (not shown) where the pins are placed. Each such lane is bounded along its longitudinal edges by parallel gutters 8 (FIG. 1) depressed from surface 5 and extending to the pit. At the foul line end gutters 8 are each provided with an upwardly slanting surface 9 which merges with the floor 10 from which the bowler rolls the ball while standing behind foul line 7. The portions 11 between the respective gutters 8 of lane 6 are usually raised above the level of surface 5 and floor 16 (FIG. '1).

Since the upper surface 5 is subject to considerable usage and collects dust and the like, carriage 1 carries at its forward end an elongated bufiing and cleaning roller, generally designated 12 (FIGS. 2, 3, 4), adapted to extend transversely of lane 6 and rotatably mounted for peripherally engaging surface 5.

The frame of carriage 1 comprises a horizontal bottom plate 13 to which are secured opposing, upright end plates 14 and intermediate bearing plates 15 (FIG. 3). A fixed central cover and back plate 16( FIG. *1) extends over the drive motor 17 at the rear end of carriage 1 (FIG. 3), and a pair of fixed end and back covers 18 (FIGS. 1, 4) and an elongated front cover 19, hingedly connected to covers 18, complete the enclosure which comprises the carriage 1. I

The drive motor 17 is mounted on bottom plate 13 under the central cover 16, and is preferably a singlephase induction motor of the capacitance start type and includes a 10 to 1 reduction gear unit therein. The motor shaft 20' (FIG. 3) is connccted'by a chain and sprocket drive 21 to the main drive shaft 22. which extends across the carriage I about centrally thereof and is suitably journalled in bearings carried by side plates 14 and intermediate plates 15.

Shaft 22 carries a pair of spur gears 23 on opposite sides of motor 17, each of which is meshed with a respective drive gear 24- secured on the axle 25 of each drive wheel 4. Axles 25 are suitably journalled in bearings carried by side plates 14 and intermediate plates 15 for supporting said drive wheels for rotation. Drive wheels 4 are secured to axles 25 and are preferably relatively wide and of large diameter and are provided with non-marking rubber tires, or the like, for rolling on the upper surface 5' of the bowling lane without marring the same. It will be noted from FIGS. 3, 4 that bottom plate 13 is apertured, as at 26, for the projection of the lower periphery of drive wheels 4- therethrough.

Although drive wheels 4 are driven at the same speed and in the same direction by the previously described gear connection, it is preferable that the diameter of drive wheel 4 on theright sideof FIG. 3 be slightly larger than that on the left. Such Construction results in the right hand side of carriage 1 in FIG. 3 being driven at a slightly faster rate so that it will tend to get ahead of the left hand sideof carriage 1whenrolling onthe bowling lane surface 5, for a purpose tobe described. I

In their normal operating position drive wheels 4- support the rear portion of carriage 1 (FIG. 4) and therfront portion is supportedon the pair of smalleridl er wheels 2 (FIGS. 3, 4; 7). .Each wheel 2 is journalled on .its own axle 30 (FIG. 7) which is secured across theopen end of an inverted U-shaped block Each block 31 and its associated wheel 2 is positioned ina forwardly opening notch 32 (FIG. 3) inthe front edge of the bottonrpla te 13 and is supported for verticalmovement in a bracket, generally designated 33 (FIGS. 3, 7).

Bracket 33 comprises 'an elongated angle member 34, one leg of which is secured, as by-bolts 35 to bottom plate 13 and the other leg of which, projects upwardly from the inner edges of notches 32. An elongated bar 36 is secured to the upper edge of the upwardly projecting leg of angle number 34 and projects forwardly over notches 32. Two pair of flanged guide members 37 are secured to the upwardly projecting leg of angle number 34-, extending vertically between bar 36 and bottom plate 13 with each pairpositioued on opposite sides of each notch 32 so as to provide a vertically extending guide extending upwardly from each of said notches. Each block 31 is supported loosely between a pair of members 37 and behind the flanges thereof for free vertical movement in theguides formed thereby. Blocks 31 are connected by an elongated bar 38, extending across the front of guide members 37 and loosely pinned to each block 31, as by pins 39. In this manner, wheels 2 are mounted for vertical movement generally together, but with each said wheel having a limited range of individual movement.

When carriage 1 is in normal operating position, wheels 2 arch the upper position illustrated FIGS. 4, 7. and are adapted to be in rolling engagementwith the upper surface of the bowling lane 6. Vertical adjustment of wheels 2 in this upper position is accomplished by means of set screws 40 threaded throughbar 3 6 an d each engaging thetop. of itsrespective block31. For a purpose later to be described, the vertical height at which each front wheel 2 supports bottom plate 13 oif howling lane surface 5 may be individually set by screws 40.

At the left hand side of carriage 1, as viewed in FIG. 3, bottom plate 13, left hand side plate 14, and one ofthe intermediate plates 15 project forwardly of theremaining portion of the forward edge er carriage 1 to providesupports in: bearings 41 inwhich is journalled a short shaft 42. Shaft .42 is connected by sprocket and chain drive 43 to an intermediate shaft 44 suitably supported in hearingson the left hand side plate 14 and an intermediate plate 15. Shaft 44 is driven through a sprocket and chain drive 45 from the motor shaft 20. It be noted, therefore, that shaft 42 is driven in a direction opposite to the drivendir'ection of drive wheel axles- 25.

Atits inner end shaft 42 is provided with ananially outwardly opening soeket46 (FIG. 3) having a cross key.47 therein adapted to be receivedin a corresponding slot in one endof the shaft 48 of the hufiing rolier 12'.- When the end of shaft 48 is received in socket 46vwith the cross key 47 in engagement with the slot in shaft 48, the latter and shaft42'areconnected for rotation together. i

Buffing roller 12 preferably comprises an elongated tubularbody 51 of sponge rubber or the likeseeured coaxially about Shaft tern; length-of may j 4s is slightly l h Width o h bowl g l n su a e-5 be tween gutters 8 and is suthciently yieldable so that its greater peripherymayvbe pressed against such surface.

The end of roller shaft ltl rernotefrom drive shaft 42 is journalled for rotationin a self-aligning outboard bear- 5 2 (1316,31) secured to the end plate53 of the roller housing, generally designated 54. In addition to end plate 53 roller housing 54 comprises an elongated back plate 55 and a top plate 56 (FIGS 2, 3) secured together to form an elongated box open on the bottom, one side, and at the end remote plate 53. Housing 54 carries a pair of angle brackets 57 secured to the rear side of back plate 55 and each providing a slotted, rearwardly extending flange adapted to be releaseably secured in overlying relation to bottom plate 13 of housing 1 by bolts 58' (FIG. 3). In this manner, roller housing 54 is detachably secured to carriage 1 and supports roller 12 therein, extending across the front of said carriage transversely of the direction of movement thereof.

The open front of housing 54 is closed by an elongated door 59 (FIGS. 1, 2, 4) which is hingedly connected along its upper edge to top plate 56. Latch means 60 (FIGS. 1, 2) may be provided on end plate 53 of housing 5}} and the portionof carriage housing bearings 41 for the purpose of holding the bottom free edge of door 59 in a closed position.

The most suitable material for cleaning and buffing the hardwood bowling lane surface "5 is a fabric similar to light canvas or heavy muslin. Therefore, a sleeve 61 (FIGS. 2, 3, 4) of such material preferably encompasses the sponge rubber body 51 of roller 12. Sleeve 61 is preferably formed so as to loosely receive body 51 therein with one end of shaft 48 projecting through an opening in one drawn end 62 of said sleeve. The other end 63 of sleeve 61 may be provided with draw strings 64 (FIG. 3) so that it may be drawn about the other end of body 51 with the other end of shaft 48 projecting therethrough into bearing 52. In use it has been found that a leeve 61 will clean and buff approximately lanes before replacement is required. v 4

When the apparatus of this invention is in the operative position for buihng the bowling lane surface 5, carriage 1 and the connected roller housing 54 roll on the surface 5 on drive wheels 4 and frontwheels 2 (FIG/4). In this position the periphery of roller 12, that is sleeve 61, is in engagement with surface 5 across the entire width of the bowling lane 6 between gutters 8 (FIG. 1). i

. The vertical positioning of front wheels 2 is preferably adjusted by set screws 40 so that a portion of the weight of the apparatus, in the neighborhood of 20 pounds, is carried by roller 12. Individual adjustment of front wheels 2 permits this weight to be evenly distributed along buffing roller 12 across the width of the lane so that the roller'periphery of roller body 51 will be slightly flattened asseen in FIG. 4. I

Since fabric sleeve 61 is loosely received on body 51, said sleeve will billow slightly, as at 65 (FIG. 4), rearwardly of the line of engagement of roller 12 with surface 5. Both this billowing of sleeve 61 and the flattening of yieldable body 51 causes the buffing roller to press against the lane surface 5 and into and around any depressions or irregularities therein. Complete contact between hufiing roller 12 and the entire surface 5 of the bowling lane is thereby assured. 7

Since the direction of rotation of the drive wheels 4 and the roller drive shaft 42 are opposite, the portion of the periphery of buffing roller 12 in engagement with surface 5 will move in a direction opposite to the direction of movement of carriage 1 relative to the bowling lane surface. Such opposite ro tation will cause bufiing roller 12 to swetp dust and the like ahead of it and throw such foreign material against the inside of door 59 when carriage '1 is moving in the forward direction indicated by arrow 66 (FIG. 4).

As will be further, explained, thecarriage 1 carrying buffing roller 12 is adapted to move in the direction of arrow 66 (FIG. 4), from some initial point on the lane 6 (usually near foullin e 7) toward the pit end where it automatically reverses itself and travels back up the lane to the initial point. In order to further assure a consistent bnfling'and cleaning operationand to pick up any stray lint and the like, the lower edge of door 59' is provided with an elongated felt wiper Strip 67 (E65. 1, 2, 4). Said Wiper strip extends across the length of the lane 6 between gutters 8 and is mounted in an inverted U-shaped clip 68 supported for vertical movement with respect to door 59 by a plurality of plungers e9. Springs 7% serve to yieldably urge wiper strip 6'7 into engagement with surface of the bowling lane 6.

In addition to cleaning and buffing bowling lane surface 5 it is often desirable to apply a dressing thereto, usually in the form of a light film of oil. The apparatus of this invention is therefore provided with a plurality of oil reservoirs 7.3 (H68. 1, 2, 4) in the form of small cups supported on top plate 56 of roller housing 5%. Each reservoir 73 is connected by suitable conduit means with a valve 74 therein to an elongated discharge pipe 75 supported under top plate 56 over bufiing roller 12. Pipes '75 are preferably supported in end to end alignment, generally parallel to the axis of boiling roller 12. and are provided with holes or nozzles 76 (PEG. 2) along the upper surface thereof for permitting oil to flow by gravity from reservoirs 73 through the conduit means with valves 7% and overflow out of pipes 75 through holes rs.

Although a single such reservoir and discharge pipe arrangement extending the entire length of buffing roller -12 may be employed, the arrangement shown in PEG. 2 is preferable in which the center pipe 75 is approximately half of the length of roller 12 and the opposite end pipes 75 are approximately one quarter of such length. With this arrangement all or only certain of said discharge pipes may be used at one time by closing off the reservoirs 73 which are not intended to be used, as by plugging their outlets.

The amount of oil dressing to be applied to a bowling lane surface is usually rather small, being in the neighborhood of one half ounce. Automatic application of the required amount of such oil at the desired time may be accomplished by solenoid operators 77 connected to each valve 74. Solenoids 77 are operative to open valves 74 only when said solenoids are energized, valves 74 remaining closed at all other times. By placing holes 76 along the tops of pipes 75, said pipes are always full of oil and the opening of valves '74 by solenoids '77 will cause the oil to overflow out of holes 75, which is more likely to result in even distribution of the oil along pipes 75 and thereby along buffing roller 12.

The arrows in FIG. 3 and 4 indicate the direction of forward operative movement of the apparatus of this invention which is usually initiated at or near the foul line 7 of the bowling lane 6. The apparatus travels longitudinally of the bowling lane toward the pit end where it is adapted to automatically reverse itself and return to the foul line. The reversal is accomplished, by means to be described, of the direction of rotation of drive motor 17, which reverses both the direction of drive wheels 4 and of rotation of bufi'lng roller 12. On the return trip, therefore, buffing roller 12 will rotate in a direction opposite to that shown by arrow 78 (FIG. 4) which will cause the billow 65 in sleeve st to be on the side opposite that shown. In addition, bumng roller 12 will tend to sweep before it the dust and other material cleaned from the alley and to throw such material against the back plate 55 of roller housing 54.

In order to maintain the carriage l rolling in the proper path along the bowling lane. rollers guides '79 (FIGS. 1-2) are mounted on one of the side plates 14 of said carriage. Said roller guides comprise rubber surfaced Wheels 80 journalled for free rotation on vertical shafts 81 which are mounted on the outer ends of arms 82. Each said arm is provided with a downwardly projecting tongue 83 (FIGS. 2, 3) at its inner end receivable in a slotted bracket 84 secured to side plate 14 of carriage 1.

Wheels so are positioned to engage the edge of raised portion 11 adjacent to gutter 8 which extends parallel to the longitudinal axis of bowling lane 6. As seen in PEG.

6 3, rollers guides 79 are positioned on the left hand side of carriage 1 or that side opposite to the location of the larger diameter drive wheel 4.

One of said roller guides is adjacent to the forward end of carriage l and the other adjacent to the rear end so that when said carriage is moving in the forward direction the forward wheel as rolls along the raised portion ll of the left hand gutter 8 (FIG. 1) thereby maintaining carriage l on bowling lane surf-ace 5 against the tendency of said carriage to roll toward said gutter. On the return trip of carriage 1 from the pit end of the lane, moving in the reverse direction, the larger drive wheel 4 on the right side (FIG. 3) will tend to drive carriage it toward the left hand gutter and the rear guide wheel 8d will overcome this tendency by rolling in engagement with the raised portion 11 at the left hand gutter 8 (FIG. 1).

As a further assurance for maintaining carriage l rolling in a proper direction longitudinally of the bowling lane 6, a pair of hardened pins (FIGS. 1, 3) project downwardly into the left hand gutter 8 just outside the longitudinal edge of bowling lane surface 5. The forward one of said guide pins 85 is mounted on door 59 (FIG. 1) and the rear pin 85 projects downwardly from the bottom plate 15 of carriage 1. Rear pin 35 is preferably spring-urged to its downwardly projecting guiding position so that it may be retracted by engagement with portion 9 of gutter S as carriage '1 rolls across foul line 7.

As previously explained, when carriage lie in the operative position it rolls along the bowling lane surface on drive wheels 4 and front wheels 2 with a buffing roller 12 engaging said surface. When moving carriage 1 and its associated buffing roller between lanes 6, it is desirable that buffing roller 12 be elevated so that it will not engage the surface of floor 1ft. An elongated handle 85 (FIGS. 1, 2) releasably secured to central covers to projects rearwardly and upwardly therefrom for tilting carriage l by depressing said handle to raise buffing roller 12 from surface 5 (FIG. 5). Upon so tipping the carriage with handle 86 the roller will be supported on rear wheels 3, which are journaled on axles 87 (FIGS. 3, 5) secured to the rear edge of bottom pate 13. Notches 88 may be cut out in the rear edge of bottom plate 13 to accommodate rear wheels 3 whereby said wheels will support the rear end of carriage 1 in rolling engagement with bowling lane surface 5.

At the same time that carriage 1 is tilted to engage rear Wheels 3 with the lane surface, the front end of the carriage and bufiing roller 12 are raised from the surface causing front wheels 2 to drop by their own weight to the lowered position indicated in FIGS. 5, 8. Said front wheels are releasably held in said lowered position, supporting the front end of carriage 1 and boiling roller 12 in the raised position, by latch means, generally desig nated 90 (FIGS. 5, 8).

Latch 99 includes a vertical shaft 91 journaled for rotation in bottom plate 13 and bar 36, approximately centrally of bracket 33 between front wheels 2. At its lower end shaft 91 is provided with collars 92 above and below plate 13 to prevent vertical displacement thereof. Approximately centrally thereof said shaft is provided with a radially outwardly projecting pin 93 which extends forwardly over the top of bar 38 (FIG. 8) when front wheels 2 are in the lowered position supporting the front end of carriage 1 in the raised position. A torsion spring 94, connected to shaft 91 and bracket 33, yieldably urges pin 93 to this position engaging a vertically extending stop 95 on bar 38.

The upper end of shaft 91 projects through cover 19 and may be provided with a knob 96 connected by a key and slot connection 9'7 for rotating said shaft. Rotation of shaft 91 by knob 96 against the urgency of spring 94 causes pin 93 to be retracted from the upper edge of bar 38 so that said bar may be moved upwardly when the front end of carriage l is tilted downwardly.

When the front end of carriage 1 is inthe operative position of FIG. 4 pin 93 is behind bar 38 and has no effect on the vertical positioning of said bar and the connected front wheels 2. Upon tilting the front end of carriage 1 and roller 12 tothe raised position of FIG. 5 with handle 86, front wheels 2 drop to the position of FIG. 8 and spring 94 automatically rotates pin 93 tothe latching position extending over bar 38. In this position, carriage 1 and roller housing 54 are supported for rolhng on rear wheels 3 and front wheels 2 only and the apparatus in this invention may be easily pushed from lane to lane or to a storage closet. When the apparatus has been moved to an initial position on a bowling lane turning knob 96 causes pin93 to release bar 38 for upward movement whereby the front end of carriage 1 and bufling roller 12 may be lowered to the operative position of FIG. 4. 7

When carriagel is rolling on floor or some surface other than that of a bowling lane 6,.fixed projections 8 (FIGS. 1, 2) depending from end plate 53 and the bearing support at opposite ends of roller 12 further prevent saidroller from comingin contact with said surface. Roller 12 can, therefore, be engaged only with a bowling lane surface 5 when carriage 1 is in the proper operating position on thelane and where projections 93 can extend into gutters 8. Furthermore, when the carriage is being rolled on another surface, front pin 85 will be raised with the roller housing 54 and rear pin 85 will be retracted against its spring so neither will interfere with such rolling.

In order to provide for adjustable and yet automatic operation of the apparatus of this invention, the same is provided with a control circuit illustrated in FIG. 6. Such diagrammatical illustration generally corresponds to the layout of FIG. 3 as to the positioning of the various components with respect of the carriage 1.

Such control circuit includes a distance limit switch 100 whose function it is to initiate both forward and reverse movement of the apparatus. vSwitch 109 is of the type that is stable in either of two positions indicated by F and R adjacent its two contacts. Switch 160 is closed to the F contact by a reset button 101 (FIGQ 3) which projects through a side plate .14 ofcarriage 1 (FIG. 3) for manual operation. V 7

Switch 100 is closed to th R .contact (shown in dotted line FIG. 6) by engagement Of itsactuating button 102 (FIG. 3) by a cam operator 103 supported on the elapsed-distance indicating disc 104.

Disc 1041s supported for rotation withthe output shaft 105 of a distance limit gear box 106 mounted in carriage 1 and connectedby meshed gears '71 to main drive shaft 22. As motor 17 turns drive shaft 22 and thereby drive wheels 4, gear box 106 causes disc 104 to rotate with its vertical shaft 105. Cam operator 103 may be positioned radially in slot 1970f disc 1114 so that whenit is opposite actuating button 102 it will cause the arm ofswitch 1.00 to move from contact F to coni$RID Disc 1114 is further provided with an upwardly extending handle 108 with which it may be turnedwith respect to shaft 1115 in order to position cam operator 103 the desired circumferential distance from actuating button '102 of switch 190. Since the circumferential distance which cam operator 103 travels to actuating button 162 is related to the elapsed distance over which drive wheels 4 have rolled carriage 1 from some initial point, disc 104 may be set initially so as to operate switch 100 with cam 103 as desired. Indicating marks 109 on disc 104 and gear box 106 may be used as guides for proper setting of thedisc.

Switch 101) is located in the circuit between the motor 17 and the power input socket 110, as is a return limit switch 111. Switch 111 is either closed (as shown in solid lineFIG. 6) or open and it is stable in either of such positions. When open switch 111 may be closed by a reset button 112 (FIG. 6) which projects upwardly through cover 19 (FIGS. 1, 2). Switch 111 is opened by swinging movement of an actuating arm 113 con nected thereto (FIGS. 2, 3, 9). Arm 1 13 normally depends into gutter 8 and, upon carriage 1 crossing foul line 7 on its return, arm 113 swings upwardly as a result of the engagement by a cam follower 99 carried by its lower end with the slanting surface 9 at the end of the gutter.

' Motor 17 is preferably of the type provided with four input terminals, numbered 1, 2, 3, and 4 in FIG. 6. For operation in one direction said terminals are intended to be connected in pairs of 1--2 and 34 with each such pair connected to one of the hot leads 114, 115 of a single-phase circuit. Such a motor may be operated in the reverse direction by connecting its terminals in the pairs 13 and 24 and connecting such hot leads to said latter pairs. The motor must be stopped, however, to make such reverse connection.

This invention provides a pair of relays 116, 117 (FIG. 6) denoted forward and reverse to accomplish the reversal of the direction of rotation of motor 17 automatically. Each such relay is provided with three pairs of contacts, a, b, and c, connected for operation together by their relay solenoids 118, 119. When solenoids 118, 119 are connected across hot leads 114, 115 and thereby energized, their respective pairs of contacts, a, b, and c, are closed (as in the forward relay in FIG. 6), and when said solenoirs are de-encrgized their respective pairs of contacts are open (as in the reverse relay).

FIG. 6 illustrates the control circuit in condition for energizing motor 17 in the direction of forward movement of carriage 1. In such condition hot lead 115 is connected by wire 12% to one of the leads of each of solenoids 118, 119 and to motor terminal 1. Lead 115 is also connected via wire 120 and wires 121 to one of the contacts of pair a of relay 116 and one of pair a of relay 117.

The other hot lead 114- is connected through return limit switch 111, by wire 122 through switch 100, and by wire 123 from the F contact of switch to the other lead of solenoid 118 and one of the contacts of pair 0 of relay 116. One of the contacts of each pair b and c of relay 1-16 are connected together and the other contacts thereof are respectively connected by wires 124, 12 5 to, motor terminals 3, 4. The other contact of pair a of relay 116 is connected by wire 126 to motor terminal 2.

Therefore, with relay 118 energized, switch 111 closed, and switch 100 closed to the F contact, motor terminals 1 and 2 are connected together to hot lead and motor terminals 3 and 4 are connected together to hot lead 114 causing motor 17 to drive carriage 1 in the forward direc tion (indicated by arrow 66 in FIG. 4).

After sufficient travel of carriage 1 along bowling lane 6 to cause cam operator 103 to engage actuating button 102 of switch 100', motor 17 will stop because of the interruption of the circuit through wire 123 caused by opening. switch 101} from the F contact. This causes de-energization of solenoid 118 and disconnection of the pairs of contacts a, b, and c of relay 116.

The circuit through wire remains the same but the circuit from the other power lead 114 through wire 122 is then connected from contact R of switch 100 through wire 127 and a time-delay relay 128 and wire 129 to the other lead of solenoid 119 and one of the contacts of each pair a and b of reverse relay 117. One of the leads of solenoid 130 is connected by wire 131 to hot lead 115 and the other lead of said solenoid is connected to wire 127.

Relay 128 is of the type that is normally open and closes only after the elapse of a predetermined time interval from energization of its solenoid 130. With switch 100 closed to the R contact (shown in dotted 9 line in FIG. 6) the circuits from hot leads 114, 115 are completed to the leads of solenoid 1311, thereby causing it to close the contacts of relay 128 (to the dotted line position) after an appropriate time delay. Thereafter, the solenoid 119 is energized thereby closing the pairs of contacts a, b, and c of reverse relay 1 17.

The other contact of pair a of relay 117 is connected by wire 132 to motor terminal 4 by Wire 125, the other contact of pair 12 is connected by wire 133 to motor terminal 2 via Wire 126, and the other contact of pair c of relay 117 is connected by wire 134 to motor terminal 3 via wire 124. In this condition it will be noted that hot lead 115 is connected across motor terminals 1 and 3 and hot lead 114 is connected across motor terminals 2 and 4-, thereby causing motor 117 to operate in a reverse direction.

This condition of the control circuit causes motor 17 to drive carriage 1 from the pit end of the lane toward the foul line on its return trip. As butfing roller 12 approaches the foul line 7, actuating arm of 113 swings upwardly in response to engagement of its cam follower 99 with slanting surface 9, thereby opening switch 111. This interrupts the power circuit to motor 17, causing it to stop, and the circuit to solenoids 139 and 119, causing their respective contacts to open. When the apparatus is moved to the next lane and it is desired to initiate forward motion thereof pushing reset buttons 1131 and 112 causes switch 1% to be closed to the F contact and switch 111 to be closed.

It will be noted that unless carriage 1 is in the proper position on a bowling lane with arm 113 depending into gutter S, switch 111 cannot be reset to the closed position and, therefore, the apparatus cannot he accidentally started with drive wheels 4 in engagement with a supporting surface. Even if the apparatus is accidentally started on a lane in reverse, by failure to reset switch 18-9, it will travel only a short distance before arm 113 acts to disconnect switch 111. In this manner the operator will be immediately notified of his error and after repositioning the apparatus at the initial point of the bowling lane he can reset both switches 1410 and 112.

In addition to the connections heretofore described, hot lead 115 is connected via wire 131 and wire 135 (FIG. 6) to a socket and plug connection 136 mounted on a side plate 14 (FIG. 3) and thence through wire 137 to one of the leads on each of the operating solenoids 77 for valves 74. The other lead of each solenoid 77 is connected by wire 138 through socket and plug 136, via wire 139, through an oil feed selector switch 140, and via wire 141 to wire 123.

Since it is usually desired to deposit the oil dressing from reservoirs 73 to boiling roller 12 on the forward trip of the apparatus, the connection of wire 141 to wire 123 completes a circuit from hot lead 114 through the *F contact of switch 1%. If it is desired to operate the oil feed solenoids 77 on the reverse trip of the apparatus, wire 141 may be connected to wire 127.

Switch 1 16 is of the type normally held in the open position by spring means, such as indicated at 1142. Switch 140 is closed by a cam operator 143 positioned on the periphery of disc 194 (FIG. 3) to engage the actuating button 144 of switch 140 as said disc rotates past it. Cam operator 143 may be positioned in any desired location on the periphery of disc 1114 so as to engage button 144 and operates switch 141 to deliver oil to overflow pipes 75 at any desired location in the path of travel of carriage 1. It will be noted that as cam operator 143 passes it, switch 140 is only momentarily closed and therefore solenoids 77 open valves 74 only momentarily to permit flow of the limited amount of oil desired. The closing of the switch 140 on the return travel of cam operator 143 (when carriage 1 is making its return trip on the bowling lane) will have no 1t) effect because at that time wire 123 is disconnected from hot lead 114 by switch 101).

Since roller housing 54 is considerably longer than carriage 1 need be (FIG. 1) provision is made for detaching said roller housing upon storing the apparatus of this invention. All that is necessary to detach said roller housing is to unbolt brackets 57 (FIG. 3) from bottom plate 13, unplug the wires 137, 138 (FIG. 6) from the socket 136 (FIG. 3) and remove the left hand end of roller shaft 48 from its bore or socket 46 in roller drive shaft 42. Roller housing 54 and its associated bufier roller 12 may thereby be separately stored and carriage 1 may be more easily rolled to and from the cleaning site.

In operation, carriage 1 with roller housing 54 and bufling roller 12 carried thereby is positioned by the operator at the head end of the bowling lane to be cleaned with buffing roller 12 extending across the lane surface 5 and in engagement therewith just forward or" the foul line 7. With front Wheels 2 in the upper position, carria-ge 1 in the lower position shown in FIG. 4, and with return limit switch actuating arm 113 depending into gutter 8, forward movement of the carriage is initiated by depressing reset buttons 101 and 112.

The conventional electrical cord plugged into socket 116 may be looped around a pin (FIGS. 1, 2) projecting upwardly from forward guide arm 82 and then laid to trail in gutter 8 while carriage 1 travels down toward the pit end of the lane. Prior to initiating such forward movement, disc 194 is set so that cam operator 103 will reverse the contacts on distant limit switch 1011 after the desired elapsed distance of travel of carriage 1 from its initial position. It will be obvious that a conventional elapsed time switch may be employed in this connection to perform the motor reversal as a function of elapsed time rather than elapsed distance. It has been found preferable, however, to use the elapsed distance mechanism disclosed herein.

The point at which it is desired that the dressing oil be applied to bufiing roller 12 may also be set at the initial point in the bowling lane by adjusting the position of cam operator 143 on disc 1114. After the carriage 1 has traveled a predetermined distance, solenoids '77 will open valves 74 and discharge the desired amount of oil on bufiing roller 12 from pipes 75.

The drive gear ratios preferably employed in this apparatus cause carriage 1 to be driven at the rate of approximately 50 feet per minute, so that an average of two minutes elapses between the initiation of travel down the bowling lane and return to the foul line. Preferably the buifing roller 12 (which moves in a direction opposite to travel of carriage 1) rotates at ap proximately 900 rpm.

After the carriage has traveled the appropriate distance toward the pit end of the bowling lane distance limit switch 10% is switched by cam operator 1113 from the F contact to the R contact, thereby stopping and reversing the direction of motor 17. The apparatus then returns to the head end of the lane where it shuts itself off as a result of the opening of return limit switch 111 by arm 113.

Since buffing roller 12 engages the entire width of the bowling lane surface '5 on both the forward and return movement of the carriage 1, a consistent and uniform cleaning and finishing of all parts of the surface 5 is accomplished. In addition, wiper strip 67, in following buffing roller 12 on the return of the apparatus toward the head end of the lane further assures complete cleaning and even application of the dressing oil. This result is particularly important in that an inconsistently or nonuniformly dressed lane will substantially alfect a bowlers scoring.

Although this invention has been described and illustrated in detail such is not to be taken as restrictive 1.1 thereof, since modifications that .wouldappear to one skilled in the art are intended to be withinvthe spirit and S e P th t ew g la I claim:

l. Bowling lane maintenance apparatus, comprising: a carriage, ground wheels supporting said carriage for rolling along a path of travel extending longitudinally of a bowling lane, motor means connected to at least one of said ground wheels for driving said carriage along said path, a lane surface engaging roller mounte d on said carriage for rotation aboutfan axis extending transversely of said path, means connected to said roller for rotating the same, and controlrneans wholly carried by said carriage for stopping said motor means api edetermined distance froman initial point on said path.

2. Bowling lane maintenance apparatus, comprising: a carriage, ground wheels supporting said carriage for rolling along a pathoftr avel extending longitudinally of a bowling lane, motor means connected to at least one of said ground wheels for driving said carriage along said path, a lane surface engaging roller mounted on said carriage for rotationabout an axis extending trans versely of said path, means connected to saidroller for rotating the same, control means wholly carried by said carriage for stopping said motor means at a terminal point apredeterrnined distance from an initial point on said path including means for reversing said motorrmeans at said terminal point for returning said carriage to said initial point.

3. Bowling lane maintenance apparatus, comprising:

a carriage, ground wheels supporting said carriage for rolling along a path of travel extending longitudinally of a bowling lane, motor meansconnected to at least one of said ground wheels for driving said carriage along said path, a lane surface engaging roller mounted on said carriage for rotation about an axis extending transversely of said path, means connected to said roller for rotating the same, control means wholly carried by said carriage for stopping said motor means at a terminal point a predetermined distance from an initial point on said path including means for reversing said motor means at said terminal point for returning'said carriage to said initial point, and means engageable with a portion of such lane at said initial point for stopping said motor means at said initial point. i

4. Apparatus for dressing a bowling lane having an elongated horizontal surface bounded on its edges by depressed gutters, comprising: a carriage, at least one pair of ground wheels supporting said carriage for rolling on said surface longitudinally thereof, a reversible electric motor carried by said carriage and operatively connected to said ground Wheels for so rolling said carriage, a bufiing roller mounted on said carriage for rotation about an axis extending transversely of the direction of rolling of said carriage for pulling said surface, means connecting said motor to said roller for rotating the same, the peripheral speed ofone wheel of, said pair being slightly greater than the other whereby said carriage tends to roll toward one of sai d gutters, and guide means on said carriage engageable with said one gutter-for maintaining said carriage rolling on said surface against the tendency to rolltoward said one gutter.

5. Apparatus or dressing a bowling lane, comprisin a carriage, wheels supporting said carriage for rolling on the surface of-a bowlinglane, reversible motor means on said carriage for driving the same inpboth directions longitudinally of the lane, a butfing roller mounted on said carriage for rotation about an axis extending transversely of said direction and positioned to engage its periphery with said surface when said carriage is so supported, meansconnecting said motor means to said roller for rotating the same with its engaging periphery moving opposite to the directionof movement of said carriage, and control means connected to said motor means and operable to shut olf said motor means at a predetermined point on such lane.

6. Apparatus for buffing and dressing a bowling lane,

comprising: ,acarriage, .wheels supporting said carriage for rolling on the surface of a bowling lane, electric motor means on said carriage connected to at least one of said wheels for driving said carriage in a direction longitudinally of the lane, an elongated bufling roller mounted onsaid carriagefor rotation about an axis extending transversely of said direction and positioned to engage its periphery with thelane surface when said carriage is so supported, driv e means connecting said roller and said motor means for rotating said roller opposite to the rotation of said one wheel, and motor control means connected to said motor means and including means wholly carried by said carriage responsive to the elapsed distance travelled by said carriage for reversing said motor means after travel of said carriage a predetermined distance from an initial point on said lane for returning said. carriage to said initial point.

7 7. Apparatus for buiiing and dressing a bowling lane, comprising: a carriage, wheels supporting said carriage for rolling on the surface of a bowling lane, electric motor means on said carriage connected to at least one of said wheels for driving said carriage in a direction longitudinallyof the lane, an elongated bufiing roller mounted on said carriage for rotation about an axis extending transversely of said direction and positioned to engage its periphery with the lane surface when said carriage is so supported, drive means connecting said roller and said motor means for rotating said roller opposite to the rotation of said one wheel, and motor control means connected to said motor means andincluding means wholly carried by said carriage responsive to the elapsed distance travelled by said carriage for reversing said motor means after travel of said carriage a predetermined distance from an initial point on said'lane for returning said carriage to said initial point, and means for setting said responsive means to respond to the desired predetermined distance. i

8. Apparatus for bufiing and dressing a bowling lane, comprising: a carriage, u /heels supporting said carriage for rolling on the surface of a bowling lane, electric motor meanson said carriage connected to at least one of said wheels' for driving said carriage in a direction longitudinally of the lane, an elongated bufling roller mounted on said carriage for rotation about an axis extending transversely ofisaid direction and positioned to engage its periphery with the lane surface when said carriage is so supported, drive means connecting said roller and said motor means for rotating said roller opposite to the rotation of said one wheel, liquid dresing discharge means positioned over said roller and including valve means for discharging liquid dressing on said roller upon opening of said valve means, and motor control means connected to said motor means and including means responsive totheelapsed distance travelled by said carriage for reversing said motor means after travel of said carriage a predetermined distance from an initial point on said lane for returning said carriage to said initial point, said responsive means including operating means connected to said valve means for opening the same at a predetermined point in the travel of said carriage on said lane.

9. Apparatus for bufling a bowling lane, comprising: a carriage, wheels supporting saidcarriage for rolling on the surface of a bowlingtlane, a single-phase, fractional horsepower electric motor on said carriage connected to at least one of said wheels for driving said carriage in a direction longitudinally of the lane, an elongated bufiing roller mounted on saidcarriage for rotation about an axis extending transversely of said direction and positioned to engage tits periphery with the lane surface when said carriage is so supported, drive means connecting said roller and said motor for rotating said roller opposite to the direction of said one wheel, said motor being of the type having four input terminals adapted to be connected in pairs across a power supply, control means connected to said input terminals and a power supply and operable to forward and reverse positions alternately connecting different pairs of said input terminals across such power supply, and means responsive to the elapsed distance travelled by said carriage for operating said control means from said forward to said reverse position.

10. In an automated surface treating apparatus adapted to produce in succession a uniform surface condition on a plurality of adjacent bowling lanes, the combination of: a carriage, a bufiing roller carried thereby having its longitudinal axis extending across and its periphery in engagement with said lane when in operative position, driving means for propelling said carriage in both directions lengthwise over said lane and for rotating said bufiing roller, said driving means including means tending to urge said carriage toward one side edge of said lane, and guide means on the side of said carriage ad jacent said one edge of said lane engageable with a vertical wall extending therealong for maintaining said carriage travelling in a substantially straight path.

11. In an automated surface treating apparatus adapted to produce in succession a uniform surface condition on a plurality of adjacent bowling lanes, the combination of: a carriage, a bufling roller carried thereby having its longitudinal axis extending across and its periphery in engagement with said lane when in operative position,

driving means for propelling said carriage in both directions lengthwise over said lane and for rotating said buffing roller, dispensing means for applying a treating fluid to said buifing roller and in turn by said buffing roller to said lane at a predetermined interval during the travel of said carriage lengthwise along said lane, and integrated control means for automatically determining the travel of said carriage in one direction, for automatically reversing the travel of said carriage to cause it to travel in the opposite direction, and for automatically actuating said dispensing means during a predetermined portion of the travel of said carriage.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 794,817 Slattery July 18, 1905 826,897 Shely July 24, 1906 979,614 Warner Dec. 27, 1910 1,195,780 Chappell Aug. 22, 1916 1,330,733 Britt Feb. 10, 1920 1,667,729 Fleming May 1, 1928 1,900,331 Clarke Mar. 7, 1933 1,908,399 Boland et a1 May 9, 1933 2,167,296 Farmer July 25, 1939 2,265,354 Dahl Dec. 9, 1941 2,275,356 Funk Mar. 3, 1942 2,483,712 Schafer Oct. 4, 1949 2,598,053 Harris May 27, 1952 2,633,045 Conway Dec. 22, 1953 2,68 8,217 Winkler et a1 Sept. 7, 1954

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US3150395 *Dec 11, 1961Sep 29, 1964Max AsbahrBowling alley buffer
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Classifications
U.S. Classification15/103.5, 15/49.1, 451/352
International ClassificationA63D5/10, A47L11/00, A63D5/00, A47L11/18
Cooperative ClassificationA47L11/4011, A47L11/4041, A47L11/4072, A47L11/18, A63D5/10, A47L11/4088
European ClassificationA47L11/40K, A47L11/40F4, A47L11/40N6, A47L11/40C, A63D5/10, A47L11/18