US 3150395 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Sept. 29, 1964 P. L. LUCKY BOWLING ALLEY BUFFER 3 Sheets-Shee'c 1 Filed Deo. ll, 1961 Sept. 29, 1964 P; LQ LUCKY 3,150,395
BOWLING ALLEY BUFFER Filed Dec. ll, 1961 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 5' UML J E o o |e /n lo i 2 9 l5 i i, ,g e INVENTOR. A
'5 L 90 PHIL l.. LUCKY n BY ATTORNEY sept 29, 1954 P. L. LUCKY 3,150,395
BOWLING ALLEY BUFFER Filed D66. ll, 1961 3 Shee's-Sheet 3 SOL. VALVE /TO 7|@ A m RELAY 70 TRAVEL MOTOR 76 START SWlTCH 70 BUFFER MoToR 82g 8 3/ 4s 44 INVENToR.
PHIL L. LUCKY ATTORNEY United States Patent O 3,150,395 BQWLlNG ALLEY BUFFER Phil L. Lucky, Gregori City, Greg., assigner to Max Ashahr, @regen City, Greg. Filed Dec. 11, 1961, Ser. No. 153,335 8 Claims. (Cl. 15-98) This invention relates to a fully automatic machine for cleaning and bufring the lanes of bowling alleys.
Good bowlers can malte consistently better scores on lanes that are kept in first class condition. One of the most important requisites for the condition of a bowling lane that will most improve the consistency of the scores of the best bowlers is the absolute uniformity of the surface of the lane over which the ball travels before it strikes the pins. Foremost among the factors establishing a uniform condition of such surface is the uniformity of the cleaning and polishing of the surface, assuming that the floor itself is of good quality and is true and level and otherwise in good condition.
Bowling lanes have heretofore been cleaned and polished with the same kind of equipment used on other floors such as dance floors, gymnasium floors and the like. It is found, however, that the use of such equipment on bowling lanes does not achieve the degree of uniformity that is desired by the best bowlers. It is found that much of the erratic performance which has heretofore been charged to the bowler himself has, in fact, resulted from the non-uniform condition of the surfaces of the lanes.
Conventional cleaning and polishing appliances introduce certain variables into the operation which produce noticeable variations in the condition of the floor surface from point to point along and across the lane. This causes an erratic break in a hook ball which is the delivery used by most high score bowlers. In the final analysis, there is probably involved slight variations in the coefficient of friction between the ball and the floor from lane to lane and from place to place in a single lane. This is understandable considering the nature of conventional floor cleaning and polishing equipment.
When a solution is applied by hand tools and bued by hand tools, a multitude of variables are introduced by the average operator involving variations in the quantity of solution, the application of pressure and the rubbing time on each local area. Conventional machine equipment has the same variables built into the mechanism in addition to the variables introduced by the operator. With conventional equipment it is diiicult even for a skilled and conscientious operator to apply and distribute the solution uniformly, conventional cylindrical brushes are not uniform from end to end and they may not be advanced at uniform velocity over all areas. Conventional disc bui-fers may be tilted, causing greater pressure on one side than on the other. When moved longitudinally' of the lane, the velocity of the disc relative to the floor is dierent on opposite sides of the disc and the disc may be caused to linger longer in certain spots than others. The result in all cases is lach of uniformity in the condition or, more specifically, the coeflicient of friction between the lane surface and the bowling ball.
The primary object of the present invention is, therefore, to provide a buffer for bowling lanes which will achieve greater uniformity in the polish imparted lto the surface than has heretofore been attainable either manually or by machine.
Another object is to provide an automatic buiiing machine which will start at the foul line of a bowling lane, clean or polish the lane for a predetermined distance, stop and reverse itself, travel back to the foul line and shut itself off.
Another object is to provide a buliing machine of the ice type described which is easily movable from lane to lane without dragging the burmnng element across the surface of tue floor between lanes.
Another object is to provide a machine that will lubricate the lanes uniformly against bowling ball burn.
Another object is to provide a machine of the type described having a cross buliing action.
Another object is to provide a machine of die type described which may be pre-set to automatically clean or polish any predetermined length of lane according to the wishes of the operator.
Other objects are to provide a machine of the type described which Will apply oil, wax or cleaning iiuid uniformly, which will `apply the buffmg pressure uniformly, which will buff mi areas of the lane-for substantially equal time intervals, and to provide a new and improved machine which is relatively simple and inexpensive to manufacture, which is rugged and reliable in use and which will produce good results by a relatively inexperienced and unsln'lled operator.
The present machine is motor driven and automatically controlled to travel from the foul line and then stop at any p edetermined point short of the pit. After stopping the machine automatically reverses and travels baci: to the foul line where it shuts itself off and waits to be moved to the next lane. During its travel down and back along the lane, a buffrng carriage reciprocates transversely from ide to side across the frame of the machine, carrying a disc-type hurling head to cross buff the lane in a zigzag pattern. Liquid solution is fed through the hollow buffer shaft and is distributed by centrifugal force throughout the bufng cloth for uniform application to the floor as long as the machine is in motion. Preferably, the supply of solution is cut off when the macln'ne stops its forward movement, the return travel producing a dry buff.
The machine has a three-point suspension wherein two points of Contact with the floor are through traction wheels which propel the machine. The third point of support is the bufling disc itself whereby the pressure applied to the iioor is always uniform and cannot accidentally be varied or misadjusted by the operator. One side of the machine is provided with casters so that it can be tipped up and moved from one lane to another on the casters without either the traction wheels or the buing pad touching the floor when the machine is not in operation.
Although the machine is referred to generally as a buffing machine, it is also equally capable of waxing, oiling, polishing and cleaning, depending upon the type of solution supplied to its tank.
The foregoing and other objects and advantages will become apparent and the invention will be better understood from the following description of a preferred embodiment of machine illustrated in the accompanying drawings. Various changes may be made, however, in the construction and arrangement of parts and certain features may be used without others. All such modifications within the scope of the appended claims are ineluded in the invention.
In the drawings:
FIGURE l is a top plan view of a machine embodying the principles of the invention;
FGURE 2 is a sectional view taken on the line 2-2 of FIGURE l;
IGUREL 3 is a sectional view taken on the line 3-3 of FIGURE l;
FiGURE 4 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 4 4 of FIGURE l;
FIGURE 5 is a fragmentary sectional view taken on the line 5--5 of FIGURE l;
FIGURE 6 is a sectional view taken on the line 6 5 of FIGURE l;
FIGURE 7 is a sectional view taken on the line 7-7 of FIGURE i; with parts broken away;
FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary bottom plan View of the buiiing disc; y
FIGURE 9 is a fragmentary View taken on the line 9 9 of FEGURE l;
FIGURE l is a diagram of the dressing pattern on a bowling lane with a seventeen inch disc;
FIGURE ll is a diagram of the cleaning pattern on a bowling lane using a twenty-four inch disc; and
FIGURE 12 is a wiring diagram of the electrical control system.
Referring first to FIGURE l, the machine has a rectangnlar frame 1Q which has three point support on a pair of drive wheels 11 and a builing disc 12 when the machine is in operation. On the upright forward side of the frame are mounted four caster wheels 13 for moving the machine about by hand in a tipped up position when it is not in oaeration. By lifting the rear side of the frame, the machine will stand on edge on the wheels 13 with the drive wheels 11 and huing disc 12 elevated above the licor. When the machine is in operation the wheels 11 roll on the lane surface adjacent to the ball gutters and the machine is kept from wandering by four guide wheels 14 which are spaced more widely apart than the wheels 11 and are mounted in a lower position to engage the vertical edges of the ball gutters.
The wheels 11 are keyed to a shaft 1S which is mounted in bearings in the ends of bracket arms 16 attached to the frame. One endof the shaft is equipped with a gear 17 which is driven by a worm 1S on a shaft 19. Shaft 19 is driven by a motor 2t) through a chain 21 to the sprocket wheel 22, as shown in FIGURE 2.
Extending across the frame 19 is a pair of parallel rods 24 supporting a reciprocating carriage 25. The carriage is reciprocatedy on rods 24 by means of a pin and roller 26 on endless chains 27 on the front and rear sides of the frame. Each roller 26 is confined in a vertical slot 2S in a slot plate 29 on the side of the carriage. The chains 27 are trained around sprocket wheels 3@ and 31 on stub shafts mounted on the frame 11i. The sprocket wheels 39 are connected with sprocket wheels 32 which are driven byV chains 33 fromV sprocket wheels 34 on the shaft 19, as shown in FIGURE 7. Operation of the motor 2@ rotates the drive wheels 11 and reciprocates carriage 12 a distance equal to the length of the path of travel of roller 26 on the endless chain 27.
Mounted on the carriage 25 is a motor 4l) for driving the disc 12. A hollow shaft 41 is mounted in bearings 42 and d3 on the Ycarriage 25. T he lower end of the shaft is reducedV at 44 to tit loosely in a central hole in the disc. A shoulder' on the shaft at the upper end of the reduced portion supports the rear side of the machine on the disc. A flanged collar or hub 45 connected with the disc by screws 46 has a pair of internal recesses or pockets in its opposite sides to contain the blocks 47 with a loose fit. These blocks are pinned to the shaft by transverse pin 4S to drive the disc. Compression spring 49 bears against the upper intumed frange on collar 45 to hold the disc normally perpendicular to the shaft.
The loose iits in the connection between the shaft and disc provide a universal joint having suhicient freedom of relative movement to permit the disc to adjust itself to the plane of the iloor while it is rotating whereby the disc bears against the door with uniform pressure over the whole area of the disc at all times. Separation of the disc from the shaft is prevented by the upper inturned flange portions of collar 45 which overlie blocks 47 and coniine them loosely in the collar recesses. Shaft 41 is driven by belt 50. This belt may be of any suitable type such as rubber composition or a metal chain belt, or shaft 41 may be geared to the motor shaft if desired.
Mounted on the carriage 25 is a tank 51 for polishing or cleaning liquid. The tank has a filler opening 52 in one corner which is located so as to be on an upper side of the tank when the machine is resting on wheels 11 and disc 12 and, also, when the machine is tipped upright on its caster wheels 13. The tank feeds its liquid through a conduit 53 to a solenoid valve 5S andl thence to a manually adjustable meteringv valve 56. From valve 56 the liquid drips into hollow shaft 41 through a discharge tube 57. The electrical conductors for motor 4t! and Valve 55 are contained in a coiled spring cord 58 which will stretch and contract to accommodate the reciprocating movement of the carriage. The electrical conductors for solenoid valve 55 are contained in the conduit 54 in FIGURE 3 extending from motor 46 to the valve.
Cemented to the under side of the metal disc 12 is a rubber disc 61 having a central opening S9 and radial grooves 6h. The composite disc is then covered with a porous and absorbent material 62, such as toweling, which from whence it escapes into the absorbent cover 62. By
this manner of application the liquid is distributed uniformly on the il'oor surface directly by the polishing and buiiing element itself, it being remembered that in addition to its rotative movement the disc 12 also reciprocates from side to side with the carriage 25 as the machine travels down the lane.
FIGURE l0 shows the dressing pattern with a seventeen inch diameter disc. As the machine moves down the lane L, the revolving disc reciprocates from side to side without quite reaching the edges of the lane. This leaves along each edge a narrow undressed track 11a in which the wheels 11V travel.
FIGURE l2 shows the cleaning pattern using a twentyfour inch diax leter disc, the two discs being readily detachable from the end of shaft 41 by means of screws 46. The larger disc sweeps over the edges of the lane a surticient distance to insure thorough cleaning ofthe whole lane surface from gutter to gutter.
Control Syetem The electrical system is energized from a pair of alternating current supply wires 79 and 71 in FIGURE l2. These wires are embodied in a flexible cable 68' in FIG- URE l which is pulled behind the machine in one of the ball gutters without interference with the guide wheels 14. When the machine returns to the foul line, the cable doubles back and is pulled along by Vthe machine. The machine is equipped on its opposite'sides with electrical receptacles to receive the cord plug 69 so that the cord may be disposed in either the left or right gutter.
Supply wire 7G connects with one terminal of the coil in solenoid Valve 55 and also one terminal of a relay solenoid 72. Wire 76 also connects with one terminal of delay relay solenoid 73 and one terminal of the main contacter solenoid 74. Further, the wire 70 connects with a Contact 75 in the latter. Supply wire 71 connects with a make contact in push button start switch 76 and a contact 77 in the main contactor whichV is designated generally by the number 74. Y
The other terminals of valve solenoid 55 and relay solenoid 72 are connected through a branched wire 7S to the other make contact in start switch 76. The start switch also has a pair of break contacts connected, respectively, with wires 80 and 81.V This switch is spring actuated to the normal position shown. Wire Slis connected with one terminal of reverse relay solenoid 82, the other terminal being connected with a branched wire 83. Wire Y83 is in the power circuit for travel motor 2l)V and is energized from supply wire 70 through .the contact bar 84 in main contactor 74. Y
Another branch of wire 83 forms one side of the power circuit to buffer motor 40. These circuit connections Vare made through .Contact 8S when contactor solenoid V'i4 is energized. The other power circuit wire for buffer motor 4G is a wire 86 having several branches including a connection with a contact 87 in the main contactor 74. Contact har 88 bridges the contacts 77 and 87 when the contactor is energized. When solenoid 74 is deenergized the contact bars 84 and 8S are spring returned to open circuit position as shown.
The other terminal of contacter solenoid 74 is energized through a wire 89 and gutter limit switch 99 which is normally spring closed. This switch is opened by the actuating spring finger 90a in FIGURE 9 which depends into the left ball gutter. One terminal of gutter switch 90 is connected to a branch of wire S6. Another branch of wire 86 is connected to the armature contact bar 91 of the relay designated generally by the numeral 72. This contact bar normally engages a contact 92 connected with the wire 81 when solenoid 72 is deenergized.
Another branch of wire 86 is normally connected through contact bar 95 with a power circuit wire 96 for travel motor 2G. Contact bar 95 is lifted when the solenoid of delay relay 73 is energized. Reversing relay 82 is normally spring actuated to forward position. Energization of solenoid 82 reverses the travel motor.
The synchronous timer motor lll() is energized through branches of wires 70 and 78. This motor operates a pair of cam switches 101 and 102. One branch of wire 78 is connected through switch 101 to a wire 103. Wire 193 is connected to a Contact 164 which is engaged by the relay contact bar 91 when the relay solenoid 72 is energized. When timer switch 102 is closed it completes a circuit from wire 103 to a wire 1115 connected with one terminal of delay relay solenoid 73.
The timer mechanism is contained within the housing 110 in FIGURE 1. As shown in FIGURE 9, this mechanism has an instrument face with a scale 111 and two movable pointers 112 and 113. The pointer 112 is a stop or limit pointer connected with a setting knob 114 while the pointer 113 is a progress pointer driven by timing motor 100. Timing motor 100 is a synchronous motor and travel motor is a constant speed motor whereby the scale 111 may be cm'ibrated in units of travel distance instead of units of time.
Operation The operator sets the limit pointer 112 to the distance he wants the machine to run forward from the foul line toward the head pin position and thereafter the setting of pointer 112 remains xed and does not have to be readjusted until the operator wishes to change the distance. For example, in bufling he may wish the machine to run a distance of thirty or forty feet from the foul line while for cleaning he may want the machine to travel all the way to the pit. As will presently be described, the motordriven progress pointer 113 automatically resets itself counterclockwise to the position of manually adjustable limit pointer 112 after each operation and then as the machine travels forward from the foul line in the next operation, the pointer 113 moves clockwise back to zero on scale 111 at which point the machine is stopped and reversed to return to the foul line.
The machine can be started from the foul line or any point forward from the foul line where the flexible actuating nger 99a for gutter switch 96 will project into the gutter. As illustrated in the preferred embodiment, the drive wheels 11 and gutter switch linger 99a are on the leading side of the machine in its forward direction of travel whereby the switch linger projects into the left gutter. Switch 90 is normally closed and the other switches and relays are in the positions shown at FIGURE l2 when the machine is ready to start. All circuits are disconnected from supply line 71 at switch 76 and contact 77. Progress pointer 113 is in reset position coinciding with limit pointer 112.
The machine is started forward by momentarily depressing push button start switch 76. The back contacts in this switch first open the reverse relay circuit through wires 8l) and 81 so that reverse relay 82. cannot be momentarily actuated before the forward drive circuit is established. Further depression of push button switch 76 closes a circuit through the several branches of wire 73 to open solenoid valve 55, start timer motor 166, energize rela' solenoid '72 and energize relay contact 194 through wire 1tl3 and the closed switch 101.
Energization of relay 72 closes relay switch 91 on energized contact ldd to energize wire 85. This operation of the relay switch also opens the circuit to wire 81 to prevent energization of reversing relay 32 when start switch 7d is released to return to its original position shown.
Wire 86 energizes the main contact or solenoid 74 through closed switch and wire S9. The energization of the main contactor moves contact bars S4 and S3 to cornplete the power circuits to the motors 2@ and 46 and also establishes a holding circuit through contact bar 88 to wire 85 to maintain the energization of the circuits just described ater push button start switch 76 is released. As the machine moves forward away from the foul line, motorriven pointer 113 rotates clockwise away from the preset pointer 112 Vtoward the bottom zero position on scale 111, as shown in FIGURE 9. Since motor 104) runs at constant synchronous speed and motor 2lb also runs at constant speed, the result is the same as though the armature shaft of timer motor 1li@ were geared directly to the drive wheels 11 and pointer 113 indicates the distance travelled as well as the distance remaining to be travelled.
X75/hen pointer 113 reaches zero distance on scale 111, marking completion of the predetermined travel distance, cam switch 192 closes, energizing relay solenoid 73 to lift relay contact bar and break the power circuit through wire 96 `to travel motor 20. Bilder motor 40 continues to run. Three seconds time are allowed for the travel motor to decelerate to standstill and at this time the timer switch 1tl1 opens to deenergize and close solenoid valve SS, stop the timer motor and deenergize relay solenoid 72. The deenergization of relay 72 drops contact bar 91 back to contact 92 to energize reverse relay S2 through wn'res S6 and 81.
The deenergization of timer motor 10i? releases a spring reset, not shown, which returns pointer 113 countercloclrwise to the position of pre-set limit pointer 112 and returns cam switches 101 and 162 to the positions shown. The re-closing of switch 101 by this reset movement does not re-energize the timer motor because its circuit remains interrupted at contact 194 and push button switch 76. The re-opening of switch 192 drops relay contact bar 95 to start the travel motor in reverse. During the return travel the machine operates as a dry bud with the liquid supply shut oliE at solenoid valve 55. During the return travel only the main contacter 74, the reverse relay 82 and motors 26 and 4@ are energized.
It desired, liquid may be applied during the return travel as well as during the forward travel. Such change in the program is readily accomplished by merely connecting solenoid valve 55 to one of the motor circuits which remains energized during return travel.
When gutter switch finger 99a reaches the foul line end of the gutter, gutter limit switch 919 is opened, deenergizing the main contacter 74. This stops both motors and deenergizes the whole system, returning it to the condition illustrated in FIGURE l2.
The machine is now ready to recycle. It is upended by the operator and rolled on casters 13 to the next lane and placed in position to start. While it is upended the bufng cloth 62 may be replaced if necessary.
Thus, it will be observed that the synchronous timer control enables the operator to bud or clean the lanes to any desired distance away from the foul line. Once this distance is set by pointer 112, all the lanes will be buied the same distances without any further adjustment until it is desired to change the distance as previously eX- plained.
Having now described my invention and in what manner'the same may be used, what I claim as new and desire to protect by Letters Patent is:
1. A machine for cross Ybuing and polishing bowling lanes transversely of therdilection of ball travel along the lane, comprising a frame, driving wheels on said frame engageablewith the lane surface, a travel motor on said frame arranged to drive said wheels along the lane, guide wheels onV said frame engageable with the ball gutters of the lane, a carriage mounted in said frame for reciprocation relative to said frame and transversely of the lane, means for4 thusly reciprocatingY said carriage, a vertical shaft mounted in bearings on said carriage, a exibly mounted oor treatingdisc on the lower end of said shaft arrangedy to bear at against said lane surface, and a motor on said carriage driving said shaft.
2. A machine as defined in claim 1, said reciprocating Y means being driven by saidtravely motor in such ratio that said disc treats the lane surface `in an overlapping zigzag pattern'as the machine travels along the lane.
3. A machine as defined in claim l, said reciprocating means comprising an endless chain trained around sprockets on opposite sides of said frame, means for driving said chain, a pin on said chain, andv a slotV plate on said carriage having a slot engagingV said pin.
' 4. A machine as dened in claim l, wherein the wheels engageableV with the lane surface are positioned to track along pathsladjacent to the ball gutters at the side edges of the lane.
5. Arnachineras defined in claim 4, said disc being of a size to reciprocate over an area between the wheel tracks.
6. A machine as defined in claim l,V said. disc beingof a size to overlap the'side. margins Voi the lane in its reciprocating movements.
7. A machine as dened claim 1 including means to feed polishing liquid through said shaft to said disc.
8. A machine as dened in claim 1 includingan upright end on said frame, and caster- Wheels onsaid upright end for moving the machine from'lane to lane in` end-up position.
References Cited in` the lile of this patent-7 UNITED STATES PATENTS 924,443 Fischer June 8, 1909 1,432,994 Gart011f 00h24, 1922 1,547,115 Grant 111151.21, 1925 1,588,943- Clark June' l5, 1925 2,075,359y Stetler Mar. V30, 1937 `2,289,117 Harrison July 7, 1942 2,468,929' Holt-et al. May: 31, 1949 2,489,398 Bryan Nov. 29; 1949. 2,763,019 Huber .Sept'l 1:8, 1956 2,978,721 Simmons Apr. 11, 1961 3,083,390' Wroten Apr. 2, 1963 FOREIGN PATENTS- 260,822 Switzerland, Aug. l, 1949. 414,207
Germany May 26, 1925