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Publication numberUS3308536 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMar 14, 1967
Filing dateDec 28, 1965
Priority dateDec 28, 1965
Publication numberUS 3308536 A, US 3308536A, US-A-3308536, US3308536 A, US3308536A
InventorsRobert N Freedman
Original AssigneeEndura Appliance Corp
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Cutting or slicing apparatus
US 3308536 A
Abstract  available in
Images(2)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

March 1967 R. N- FREEDMAN CUTTING 0R SLICING APPARATUS 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed Dec. 28, 1965 INVENTOR. ROBERT N. FREEDMAN ATTORNEYS rates Patented Mar. 14, 1967 3,308,536 CUTTING GR SLKCING APPARATUS Robert N. Freedman, Great Neck, N.Y., assignor to Endura Appliance Corporation, Freeport, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Dec. 28, 1965, Ser. No. 526,654 6 Claims. (Cl. 30-272) Statement of the invention The present invention pertains, generally, to cutting or slicing apparatus, and more particularly, to self-powered portable slicing knives adapted to perform ordinary household culinary chores.

Objects of the invention Selfpowered slicing knives intended primarily for use in the home are presently commercially available. They are, however, subject to certain inherent and significant disadvantages, particularly with respect to those that are self-powered.

For example, self-powered knives are not capable of obtaining the same output or mechanical advantage at the location of the reciprocating blades as are slicing devices of this type adapted to be operatively associated with a conventional source of energy. This is true for a number of reasons, among which are the loss of efficiency between the motor and the location of the output at the reciprocating blades, due for example to the tremendous friction developed at the transmission, the number of cells comprising the source of energy, and many other reasons.

Additionally self-powered slicing knives that are presently commercially available and attempt to obtain a sufficient output at the location of the reciprocating blades rely upon a large number of cells that comprise the power source, such as four cells or five cells, resulting in the presentation of a device of this type that is heavy, cumbersome, difficult to handle and maneuver, and is therefore unwieldy and expensive.

Having in mind the foregoing disadvantages, and others that will be considered readily apparent to those skilled in the art, it is therefore a primary object of the present invention to provide portable cutting or slicing apparatus or devices particularly adapted to perform culinary chores that are constructed and arranged to present maximum output at the location of the reciprocating cutting, slicing or severing blades.

Another primary object of this invention, in addition to the foregoing object, is to provide self-powered portable cutting or slicing apparatus or devices particularly adapted to perform culinary chores that are constructed and arranged to provide maximum output at the location of the reciprocating cutting, slicing or severing blades, said output being substantially the equivalent of the output provided by a device or apparatus of this type constructed and arranged to be operatively associated with a conventional source of energy.

Yet another primary object of the present invention, in addition to each of the foregoing objects, is to provide self-powered portable cutting or slicing apparatus particularly adapted to perform culinary chores that are constructed and arranged to substantially reduce the weight of a device or apparatus of this type, thus presenting a self-powered portable cutting or slicing apparatus or device that is easy to handle, readily maneuvered, comfortable to hold and manipulate during use, compact and generally able to be wielded with facility.

A further primary object of this invention, in addition to each of the foregoing objects, is to provide self-powered portable cutting or slicing devices or apparatus particularly adapted to perform culinary chores that are constructed and arranged to present foolproof safety features, enabling the cutting or slicing devices or apparatus of the present invention to be utilized without danger to the user, and without danger to such other individuals as children, young adults, and the like.

The invention resides in the combination, construction, arrangement and disposition of the various component parts and elements incorporated in cutting or slicing apparatus constructed in accordance with the principles of this invention, and more particularly, the cutting or slicing apparatus of the invention, in one embodiment or modification thereof, comprises a housing having a source of electric power disposed therewith; an electric motor within said housing having a rotating shaft extending therefrom; a driving bevel-led pinion gear mounted on said rotating shaft, said pinion gear comprising a material having the physical characteristics of powdered metal impregnated with oil; a driven bevelled gear operatively associated with said pinion gear, comprising a material having the physical characteristics of Delrin filled with a material having the physical characteristic of Teflon; said driven gear further comprising eccentrics disposed in degree out-of-phase relationship to each other; said driven gear and said eccentrics being mounted on a shaft in rotating relationship therewith; said shaft comprising a material having the physical characteristics of centerless ground steel; said eccentrics comprising a material having the physical characteristics of Delrin filled with a material having the physical characteristics of Tefion, and rotating in response to rotation of said driven gear; knife blade actuators responsive to rotation of said eccentrics for reciprcating movement relative to one another; said eccentrics being disposed in direct operative relationship with respect to said driven gear and with respect to said knife blade actuators; knife blades operatively associated with said actuators; and load bearing means mounted within the housing forwardly of the driven gear and above the blade actuators, and within the housing to the rear of the driven gear and below the blade actuators.

Other objects and important features of the present invention will be apparent from a study of the specification following taken with the drawings, which together show, illustrate, describe and disclose at least one preferred embodiment or modification of the invention, and what is now considered to be the best mode of practicing the principles thereof. Other embodiments or modifications may be suggested to those having the benefits of the teachings herein, and such other embodiments or modifications are intended to be reserved especially as they fall within the scope and spirit of the subjoined claims.

Description In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is an exploded isometric view of a self-powered portable cutting or slicing device or apparatus constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view of the device or apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1, with part of a housing removed to show the interior details of construction;

FIG. 3 is a partial bottom plan view of the device or apparatus illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 2;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 3, but with the bottom portion of the housing removed to show the interior details of construction at that location;

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of one of the components of the self-powered portable cutting or slicing device or apparatus of the present invention;

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is a partial isometric view of the components comprising a safety feature constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 8 is a cross-sectional view illustrating a certain detail of construction in accordance with the principles of this invention; and

FIG. 9 is a partial elevational view illustrating the manner in which certain components of the present invention cooperate with one another to render the self-powered portable cutting or slicing device or apparatus of this invention comfortable and easy to wield, handle and maneuver.

With particular reference now to FIG. l of the drawings, there is illustrated therein a self-powered portable cutting or slicing deviceor apparatus constructed in accordance with the principles of the present invention, and generally designated by the reference character 10. This device or apparatus, which will hereinafter be .referred to as an electric or electrical slicing knife to facilitate an understanding of this invention, comprises a bottom housing portion 12, and an upper housing portion (not shown) which is of similar shape and configuration, and is constructed and arranged to be complementary thereto. The bottom housing portion comprises upstanding bosses 14 enabling the housing portions to be fixedly secured with one another in any suitable manner, as is considered readily apparent to those skilled in the art. In order to further facilitate an understanding of this invention, there will hereinafter be referred to a housing in general which is not completely shown and illustrated in the drawings, but which, it is to be understood, comprises the bottom housing portion 12 and the aforementioned upper housing portion (not shown).

The housing comprises a rear location 16 and a front location 18. A source of power or energy 20, in this case electrical, is positioned at the rear location 16 of the housing, and comprises a plurality, preferably three, energy cells 22 that may be of any suitable and conventional construction, and preferably are the long-lasting type. It is significant to'note, at this point, that a selfpowered portable cutting or sliving device or apparaus constructed in accordance with this invention need be supplied with no more than three energy cells, such as the cells 22 in order to provide a device of this type which has a power output at the location of the reciproeating blades, hereinafter to be described, that is substantially the equivalent of similar devices that are constructed and arranged to be operatively associated with a conventional source of energy, such as an electrical outlet, from which it receives the current to operate the same. Of course, if desired, the source of energy or power 20 may comprise more than three cells 22, though it is emphasized that that number will provide more than sufficient energy to provide the necessary and requisite output at the location of the reciprocating blades enabling the latter to perform their function quickly, efficiently, and the like.

The power or energy cells 22 are secured with respect to one another in any suitable manner, and for example, there is provided a band 24 which may be fabricated of any suitable material extending thereabout.

With continued reference to FIG. 1, and with reference now to FIG. 2, the device or apparatus will be seen to further comprise a motor 25 which may be of any suitable and conventional construction, having an output shaft 26. As is considered readily apparent, the motor 25 is adapted to receive its energy from the power source in any suitable manner, as for example, through the medium of the conductors 28 and 30.

A plurality of brackets 32 and 34 are fixedly secured to the motor at the front thereof, and extend for war-dly towards the front location 18 of the housing. The brackets 32 and 34 may be generally of triangular configuration, and have integral ears 36 extending towards the motor which function as braces to provide rigidity and stability. If desired, and though not shown, the motor 25 may be constructed and arranged to comprise a rear housing portion, and a front cover plate adapted to be fixedly secured thereto in any suitable manner, and the brackets 32 and 34 may be fabricated integrally with this front cover plate;

The power output available at the output shaft 26 of the motor 25 is adapted to be transmitted to a plurality of reciprocating blade-element actuators 33, and 3) through the medium of a transmission generally designated by the reference character 40. Self-powered cutting or slicing devices that are presently commercially available utilize transmissions that, however, involve ap proximately a 40% loss in transferring the electrical energy available at the source 26) into mechanical energy. and transmitting that energy to the reciprocating blade= element actuators 38 and 39. A substantial portion of this loss in available energy is due to the inefficiency of a number of the components or elements comprising pres ently commercially available devices of this type, one of the most important among them being the transmission. For example, the gearing elements that are presently used frequenly are fabricated of a baklite linen laminate, or nylon. Other materials presently used are for example a hardened steel. These materials have been found to present a very high coefiicient of friction which as is considered readily apparent, is responsible for inefiieiency, and therefore, the loss in transmitting available power. Moreover, presently commercially available devices of this type utilize gearing elements that, when fabricated of the foregoing materials, tend to be at least in part responsible for the very high coefficient of friction, and the resulting inefficiency and loss in transmitting the available power. As an example, a conventional helical gear is frequently used.

In this connection, it will be'understood that the motor 25 inherently involves a certain loss in transferring the electrical energy available at the source 20' to the mechttiihcal energy available at the output shaft 26'. It is there fore a criteria that the transmission 44} be constructed and arranged to transmit a maximum amount of the available mechanical energy at the output shaft 26 to the reciprocating blade-element actuators 38 and 39. To this end, the transmission 46) comprises a drive pinion 42 having a plurality of teeth 44- extend'ing about the pe riphery thereof. The teeth 44' may be of any suitable form; but preferably are bevel-led gear teeth that are fabricated; in accordance with the coniflex system or process of fabri cating gear teeth by Gleason. Therefore, and while not shown, the sides of the trapezoid defining eac'h bevelled gear tooth 44 will 'be of curvilinear configuration, rather than linear. The driving pinion 42 may therefore hereinafter he referred to as a conifiex bevel drive pinion, the purpose of which is to be described in greater detail Suiiice it to say at present that the coniflex bevel drive pinion 42 tends to reduce friction to a minimum,- and eliminates close manufacturing tolerances for the re maining elements of the transmission 4t), thus reducing manufacturing costs. The coniflex bevel drive pinion 42 may be fabricated of any suitable material, but preferably is fabricated of a powdered iron metal that is impregnated with oil.

The transmission 40 comprises, further, a driven gear 46 having gear teeth 48 extending completely about the periphery thereof. The gear teeth 48 may take any suitable form, but like the gear teeth 44, preferably comprise bevel gear teeth that are also fabricated in accordance with the Gleason coniflex system. The gear 46 may therefore hereinafter be referred to as a coniflex bevel driven gear. The coniflex bevel driven gear 46 may be fabricated of any suitable material, but preferably is fabricated of a material having the characteristics of Delrin that is filled, for example, with Teflon. A hub 50 is non rotatably secured to the conifiex bevel driven gear 46, and for example may be fabricated integrally therewith. The hub 50 is eccentrically rotatably mounted upon a shaft 52 that extends through apertures 54 in the brackets 3-2 and 34. The bottom housing portion 12 is provide-d with a plurality of seats or wells 56 within which the ends of the shaft 52 are particularly adapted to be seated.

As is now considered readily apparent, the conifiex bevel drive pinion 42 is particularly adapted to transmit the power available at the output shaft 26 to the rotating hub 50 through the medium of the meshing engagement between the bevelled gear teeth 44 and the bevelled gear teeth 48. As pointed out above, the transmission 49 will be responsible for a major portion of any inefiiciency in transmitting mechanical energy to the reciprocating blade-element actuators 38 and 39. To this end, the pinion 42 and the gear 46 preferably are bevelled gears with their teeth being fabricated in accordance with the foregoing system or process. In addition, the conitlex bevel drive pinion 42 preferably is fabricated of a powdered iron impregnated with oil, while the coniflex bevel driven gear 46 preferably is fabricated of a material such as Delrin filled, for example, with Teflon. In accordance with this construction, it has been found that the transmission 40 operates at maximum efficiency. The efficiency with which the transmission 40* operates is further enhanced by injecting a grease thereinto, as for example, between the meshing teeth of the pinion 4-2 and the gear 46. While any suitable grease may be utilized, a Teflon grease or other material having similar characteristics is preferred. A material having the characteristics of a Teflon grease is of heavy consistency, and, since the device or apparatus It? operates at fairly low speeds, it has been found that this material will last for years, and will stay in place. Moreover, it has been found that such a material tends to migrate into the moving elements or components of the transmission 49. Furthermore, a material such as Teflon grease assists in ironing out the fine points of the gear teeth 44 and 4.8, so that they tend to lap together slightly.

The hub 5%, which is fixedly secured to the coniflex bevel gear 46, is adapted to transfer its rotational movement about the shaft 52 to a reciprocating movement of the reciprocating blade-element actuators 38 and 39. To this end, the actuator 38 comprises a follower 58 fixedly secured thereto in any suitable manner, as through the medium of a connecting link 60. The follower 58 comprises an aperture 62 therein which is of oval configuration in a vertical direction. The hub St? is particularly adapted to be disposed within the aperture 62, and as is now considered readily apparent will transfer the eccentric rotational movements of the hub 50 into reciprocating movements of the actuator 38.

A second hub 64 is fixedly secured relative to the coniflex bevel gear 46 on an opposite face thereof, and may be fabricated integrally therewith. The hub 50 and the second hub 64 preferably are positioned 180 degrees out of phase with one another since as is also considered readily apparent, the actuators 38 and 39 are adapted to be reciprocated out of phase with one another. The actuator 39, like the actuator 38, comprises a follower 66 fixedly secured thereto in any suitable manner, as through the medium of a connecting link 68. The follower 66 comprises an aperture 70 extending therethrough which is of the same configuration as the aperture 62. The second hub 64 is adapted to be positioned within the aperture 70, and to transfer the eccentric rotational movements thereof relative to the shaft 52 into reciprocating movements of the actuator 39.

The shaft 52 may be fabricated of any suitable material, but preferably is fabricated of a steel or other similar material that is centerless ground. As is considered readily apparent, the shift 52 is not prevented from Iotating, but does not tend to rotate due to the pressure created between the shaft and the surface of the ears 32 and 34 surrounding the apertures 54 as the hubs 50 and 64 eccentrically rotate thereabout. However, a centerless ground steel shaft, such as the shaft 52, presents a very highly polished bearing surface. The hubs 50 and 64 may be fabricated of any suitable material, and like the bevel gear 46, preferably are fabricated of a plastic material, such as Delrin, that is filled with a ma terial having characteristics similar to Teflon. Teflon filled Delrin hubs, such as the hubs 5t and 64, in conjunction with the centerless ground steel shaft 52, presents a very low friction bearing surface between these elements. This is particularly true when the bore (not shown) in the hubs 50 and 64 to which the shaft 52 extends is filled with a grease, such as a Teflon grease. It is of course desirable that the materials, namely, a plastic such as Delrin, and a material such as Teflon, be commingled in such a manner as to present a homogeneous mixture of resulting composition from which the hubs 50' and 64 are fabricated. To this end, for example, the hubs 50 and 64 may be fabricated through the medium of any suitable process, such as injection molding techniques. As pointed out above, the hubs may be fabricated integrally with the bevel gear 46 since that element preferably is fabricated of the same material. Accordingly, the hubs and this gear may be injection molded as a single unit.

In accordance with the foregoing construction, and emphasizing that the shaft 52 is preferably a centerless ground steel shaft, that the hubs 5t} and 64 preferably are fabricated of Teflon filled Delrin, and that the bore in the hubs through which the shaft 52 extends is preferably filled with Teflon grease, the transmission 40 presents an unusually efficient construction. This is true since the coefiicient of friction is maintained at a minimum, friction losses are therefore substantially reduced, and the transmission 4@ therefore is unusually efficient in transmitting the power of the output shaft 26 to the reciprocating blade-element actuators 38 and 39. In this connection, it is noted that the hubs 5t} and 64 actually comprise both a shaft and an eccentric, and function to transmit the rotational movement of the bevel gear 46 directly to the followers $8. That is, the complex arrangement of parts and elements usually relied upon in devices of this type to transmit rotational movement into reciprocating movement of the actuators 33 and 39 is eliminated. In its stead, the transmission 4% comprises a minimum number of parts comprising a bevel pinion and -a bevel gear, and a plurality of eccentric shafts or hubs, the latter being positioned in a degree out of phase relationship with respect to one another, and being rotata-bly mounted on a shaft that is constructed of a material and in such a manner as to present a very fine bearing surface.

In accordance with the foregoing construction, it has been found that the transmission 4%) is capable of transmitting up to 98% of the mechanical energy available at the output shaft 26 to the actuators 38 and 39. It is to be remembered that one aspect, among others, of constructing and arranging a transmission of maximum efiiciency is that, as pointed out above, the hubs 5d and 64 act or function as both a shaft and as an eccentric, and that the eccentrics transfer their motion directly to the followers 58 and 66. Another important aspect is to maintain the coefficient of friction as low as possible, and in this connection, it will be noted that the materials from which the hubs 50 and 64 and the followers 58 and 66 are fabricated preferably should be dissimilar materials. Thus, while the followers may be fabricated of any suitable material, preferably they are fabricated of a material having characteristics similar to Delrin. Since the hubs are fabricated of Teflon-filled Delrin, and the followers are fabricated of Delrin, these elements are fabricated of dissimilar materials. In addition, a Teflon grease or other suitable material is injected between these elements. It has been found that this relationship of elements, and

7 the materials from which they are fabricated, provides a maximum reduction in the coeflicient of friction, thus presenting an unusually efficient transmission capable of transmitting up to 98% of the available energy at the output shaft 26 to the actuators 3-8 and 39.

It is considered readily apparent that an upward force will be directed against the reciprocating blades (hereinafter to be described) of the device or apparatus it} during use. This upward force will cause the blades and thus the reciprocating blade-element actuators 38 and 39* to pivot about a location disposed at the front 18 of the housing for reasons that will also be set forth more fully hereinafter. The blades, the actuators 38 and 39, the links 6t? and 68, and the followers 58 and 66, as units, will therefore tend to pivot in a generally clockwise direction, as viewed in FIG. 1, during use when this upward force is applied to the blade. Once the maximum available energy has been transmitted by the transmission 40 to the followers 8 and 66-, it is desirable that every effort be made to insure that the coefficient of friction particularly between all moving parts is maintained, as low as possible, as well as to take-up any applied load. To this end, the brackets 32 and 34 each comprise guide housings 72 which are of L-shaped configuration having a lower open and unobstructed end. The followers 58 and 66 each comprise guides 74 which are particularly adapted to extend into the housing 72. Each housing therefore tends to maintain in alignment the units comprising a follower, a connecting link, an actuator and a blade-element. Since the guide 74 and the housing 72 reciprocate with respect to one another, friction will be developed therebetween. To maintain the coefficient of friction as low as possible, a grease or other suitable lubricating material, such as Teflon grease, is injected therebetween.

The tendency of the followers to pivot about the front location 18 of the housing in view of the upward force applied to the blade elements during use is precluded by a bearing assembly 75 comprising a shaft 76 extending transversely of the motor between the brackets 32 and 34, and being journalled with respect thereto. A plurality of bearing wheels 78 are rotably mounted on the shaft one at each end thereof in vertical alignment with respect to a respective one of the housings 72. The hearing wheels 78 may be held in position on the shaft 76 adjacent the responsive one of the brackets 32 and 34 in any suitable manner, as through the medium of collars (not shown). It will now be understood that the downward pressure of the guides 74 will be taken up by the bearing wheels 78. To maintain the coeflicient of friction at an absolute minimum, the bearing wheels preferably are fabricated of a material such as Delrin, though they may be fabricated of any other suitable material. In addition, a suitable lubricant, such as Teflon grease, is injected in-between, about and upon these elements.

The front location 18 of the housing is defined by an end wall 8!) having a rectangular channel-like opening 82. The substantially complementary top housing portion (not shown) will comprise a similar opening in an end wall through which a plurality of blade elements 84 and 86 are particularly adapted to extend. The actuators 38 and 39 are, though not shown, of channel-shaped configuration, and are particularly adapted to receive the blade elements 84 and 86. The blade elements are constructed and arranged to be removably connected to a corresponding one of the actuators 38 and 39. This may be accomplished in any suitable manner, and for example, may be accomplished in the manner and by the structure shown, described, disclosed and illustrated in the patent to A. H. Freeman, U.S. Patent No. 3,153,- 852 the patent to J. W. Beisheim et al, US. Patent No. 3,189,998 or the like.

To guide the actuators 3S and 39 and to maintain them in longitudinal alignment, the housing further comprises an upstanding arch generally designated by the reference character 33. The arch is fixedly mounted upon a plat- 0 form 96 which is fabricated integrally with the bottom housing portion 12, and has a vertical wall 92 spaced from the front location 18 to define a well 94 therebetween.

With particular reference now to FIG. 5, it will be seen that in front elevation the arch- 88 is generally of rectangular configuration, and comprises a bottom wall 96, a top wall 98, and a plurality of side walls 180 and 102 which in elevation (see FIG. 6) are of generally trapezoidal configuration. A shaft 1M extends transversely of the arch 83 and is journalled within a plurality of bosses 186 fabricated integrally therewith. A plurality of bearing wheels 16% and are rotably mounted upon the shaft 104. The bearing wheels may be fabricated of a material such as Delrin, or other similar material having substantially the same characteristics. The arch further comprises a plurality of stops or abutments 112 that are fabricated integrally with the arch 88 and extend downwardly from the top wall 98 thereof. The abutments 112 function conjointly with the bosses 106 to retain the hearings or bearing Wheels 108 and 110 in their position illustrated in FIG. 5, for example.

The arch 38 further comprises a separator 114 that may be fabricated integrally with the arch, and extends downwardly from the top wall 98 thereof. The separator 114 is generally of L-shaped configuration, as clearly shown in FIG. 6, enabling the shaft lit-t to extend transversely of the arch. The arch further comprises a lower separator 116 that extends upwardly from a ridge 118, both of which may be fabricated integrally with the arch $8 at the bottom wall 96. The separators 114 and 116 function conjointly to define guide areas for each 5 the reciprocating blade-element actuators 38 and 39. Accordingly, the actuators will be retained in longitudinal alignment and any undesirable lateral movement will be substantially, if not completely, eliminated.

As pointed out above, there is an upward force applied to the blade-eiements 84 and 86 during use. This force will tend to pivot or rotate the units comprising, respectively, the element 84, actuator 3% link 69 and follower 58; and the element 86, the actuator 39, the link 68 and the follower 66 in a generally clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 1. Accordingly, the arch 38 becomes the pivot point or pivot location for these units. It will now be understood that this upward force will cause the units to bear against the bearing wheels N8 and 111?. The bearing wheels 1G8 and 11% will herefore act to take-up a portion of the load developed as a result of this upward force applied to the blade-elements during use. Since the actuators bear against these hearings or hearing wheels, they are preferably fabricated of a material such as Delrin, as pointed out above. It has been found that this choice of materials tends to reduce the coefiicient of friction between these elements to a minimum. To insure this result, a suitable lubricant, preferably a lubricant such as Teflon grease, may be installed between these elements. It will also be understood, at this point, that another portion of the load will be taken-up by the hearing wheels 78. It has been found that the coefficient of friction at this location, as well, is reduced to a minimum in view of the choice of materials of the elements as Well as the lubricant installed therebetween. It is emphasized, therefore, that the construction and arrangement. of the transmission at the choice of materials of the elements there-of, the specific manner in which they co act with one another, and even the choice of material of the lubricant utilized is responsible for transmitting a maximum percentage of the mechanical energy available at the output shaft 26 to the blade-elements 84 and 86. As hereinbefore pointed out, it has been found that up to 98% of this available mechanical energy is made available at the reciprocating blade-elements. Accordingly, it is only necessary to utilize three of the energy cells 22 in order to present a source of power 23 that 9 provides a more than adequate amount of available electrical energy.

The reciprocating blade-elements 84 and 86 each comprise a grease guard 120. The grease guard may be fabricated of any suitable material as, for example, a material such as Delrin. It is considered readily apparent that the inside surfaces of the elements 84 and 86 will be disposed very close to one another during use of the device or apparatus 10. Accordingly, the entire inside surface of each of the elements 84 and 86 must be as flush as possible to insure efficient operation. In addition, it is considered readily apparent that the method, procedure or technique for fixedly securing the grease guards 120 to the elements 84 and 86 should be chosen with a view towards ease of assembly, economics of assembly, and with a view towards insuring that the guards remain fixedly secured to the blade-elements during the life of the device or apparatus 10. To this end, each blade-element is provided with an aperture 122 having a bevelled or tapered surface or wall 124 defining the confines or area of the aperture. The grease guards also com rise an aperture 126 the diameter of which is approximately the same as the smallest diameter of the aperture 122 in the blade-element.

The grease guards preferably are fixedly secured to the blade-elements through the medium of a rivet 128. While this rivet may be of any suitable and conventional form, preferably it is an annealed stainless steel semitubular rivet which may be applied by any conventional apparatus, procedure or technique, such as through the medium of an automatic riveting machine. The rivet is applied cold so that when the flanges 130 and 132 are turned outwardly, they will be firmly applied against the bevelled surface 124, and will remain fixed in this position during the life of the device or apparatus 10. In this manner, the use of such fasteners as screws is eliminated, as is therefore the need to utilize highly controlled power screwdrivers to avoid stripping the fasteners. Therefore, the grease guards 128- will not be inadvertently dislodged from the blade-elements during the life of the device or apparatus 10. In addition, the inside surfaces of the blade-elements are perfectly flush, so that no projections, protuberances, or the like exist that will rub against the opposite blade-element during use. This is particularly important since, as is considered readily apparent, any separation of the blades during use will in effect cause, for example, two slices of an edible product to be severed, each being of a different width. This in addition causes sticking, and otherwise decreases the efiiciency of the apparatus 10.

With particular reference now to FIGS. 3, 4, 6 and 7, there is illustrated therein a switch assembly generally designated by the reference character 134. The switch assembly comprises an actuator 136 of generally rectangular configuration disposed within an aperture 138 of similar shape in the bottom housing portion 12. The actuator 136 is adapted to reciprocate within the aperture 138, and in addition is biased to one position through the medium of a biasing element or spring 140. The actuator 136 comprises a projection 142 about which one end of the spring 140 is secured. The other end of the spring 140 is secured Within a slot 144 extending through the bottom housing portion 12 at the front location 18 thereof. The actuator 136 further comprises a serrated portion 146 to facilitate its being gripped and reciprocated within the aperture 138 by the finger of a users hand.

The switch assembly 134 further comprises a circuit closing or contact element generally designated by the reference character 148. This element at one end 150 thereof is adapted to be fixedly secured to the bottom housing portion 12. To this end, the latter comprises-ta boss 152 having a bore 154 within which a suitable fastener, such as a screw 156, is particularly adapted to be run home. This one end 150 of the circuit closing element or contact 148 is, as just pointed out, adapted to be actuator 136 in this position of the latter.

affixed to the housing at this location, as through the medium of the fastener 156, and is therefore adapted to function as one contact in the circuit controlled by the switch assembly 134, hereinafter to be described. Another end 158 of the circuit closing element 148 is adapted to function as the other contact in this circuit, and is particularly adapted to cooperate with a third and stationary contact 160. The third and stationary contact 160 may be connected to the source of energy 20 in any suitable manner, as through the medium of a conductor 162. The source of energy may then be connected to the motor 25 through the medium of the conductor 28, as pointed out above, which is then connected to the first and stationary contact 156 through the medium of the conductor 30. The contact 158 at the other end of the circuit closing element 148 must therefore be a movable contact, and to this end, the circuit closing element may be fabricated of a suitable flexible material, such as Phosphor bronze, that tends to be normally retained in the position clearly shown in FIG. 6.

The circuit closing element 148 further comprises an actuating portion 164 of generally triangular configuration, having an apex 166 adapted to bear against the inner surface of the actuator 136 opposite the serrated portion 146 thereof. Additionally, the circuit closing element 148 comprises a stop or projection 168 adapted to bear against an upstanding end wall 170 of the actuator 136 when the latter is disposed in the position to which it is normally biased by the biasing element 140. Because of this abutting relationship between the abutment 168 and the end wall 170, a user is precluded from pushing upwardly against the actuator portion 164 of the circuit closing element 148, the apex 166 being spaced from the However, if the user not only pushes upwardly on the actuator 136, but also causes it to reciprocate rearwardly of the bottom housing portion 12 against the force of the biasing element 140, the upstanding end wall 170 will move to a position disposed rearwardly of the abutment 168 into a space defined between that element and the boss 152. This space is of sufficient dimension to enable the end wall 178 to move upwardly thereinto. As a result, the actuator 136 will bear against the actuating portion 164 of the circuit closing element 148, and cause it to move upwardly against this inherent biasing force. The movable contact 158 will then be moved into engagement with the stationary and third contact 160 to close the circuit to the source of energy 28 in the motor 25. In connection with the third and stationary contact 168, this elenent comprises a bracket 172 fixedly secured to the bottom Wall 96 of the arch 88 in any suitable manner, as through the medium of rivet 174. This rivet 174 also serves the function of fixedly securing the arch 8S relative to the bottom housing portion 12 at the front location 18 thereof.

As hereinbefore pointed out, the platform 98 has a vertical or upstanding portion 92 that defines a well 94 with the front location .18 of the bottom housing portion 12, that is, with the front wall 80 thereof. The upper limits of this well are defined by the bottom wall 96 of the arch 88. The lower limits of this well are defined by a bottom wall 176 of the bottom housing 12 which, at the longitudinal center thereof, comprises the slot 144. The bottom wall 176 is recessed at this location, as indicated by the reference character 178 to provide a ridge 180 about which the other end of the spring 140 is adapted to be disposed. The reciprocating actuator 136 comprises a projection 182 of generally rectangular configuration that extends towards the front location or front wall 80 of the bottom housing portion 12 from an upstanding front or end wall 184 of the actuator. The projection 182 comprises a slot 186 located at the longitudinal center thereof within which that end of the biasing element 140 wrapped around the ledge 180 may be disposed, enabling the actuator 136 to be reciprocated in the manner hereinbefore set forth. The projection 182 further comprises a transverse slot 188 for a purpose presently to be described.

As hereinbefore pointed out, it is necessary for an operator or user of the device not only to push upwardly against the actuator 136, but to cause the same to reciprocate rearwardly of the bottom housing portion 12. This inherently introduces a safety feature to cause inadvertent actuation of the device or apparatus. A device of this type inherently requires fool-proof construction to avoid the inadvertent actuation thereof, thus preceluding even the slightest possibility of injury. To this end, the switch assembly 134 still further comprises a safety lock assembly which, in addition to the projection 182 of the actuator 136, comprises a safety lock element generally designated by the reference character 190. This element may be constructed of any suitable material, and is of channel-like configuration having a top wall 192, and a plurality of side walls 194 and 196. Each of the side walls 194 and .196 are recessed, as indicated by the reference character 198, enabling the safety lock element 190 to be disposed within the well 94 about or on either side of the projection 182. The top wall 192 is punchedout to provide or present a finger-like element 200 against which the arch 88 is particularly adapted to abut, insuring that the safety lock element 190 will be retained in its position within the well. It is desirable that the finger element 206 inherently present a certain degree of resiliency, and to that end, the material from which the element 190 is fabricated should be chosen accordingly.

The side wall 196 comprises a projection or ear 202 which is adapted to extend through a slot 204 in the bottom wall 176 of the housing portion 12. Since the side walls 194 and 196 are recessed, the side wall 196 will define a ledge 206 adapted to reciprocate into and out of the slot 183. It will now be understood, therefore, that when the safety lock element .190 is caused to reciprocate transversely of the bottom housing portion 12 in the direction of the arrow clearly shown in FIG. 3, the ledge 206 will be caused to move into the slot 188, thus precluding an operator from reciprocating the actuator 136 rearwardly of the housing portion. However, when the safety lock element 190 is caused to reciprocate transversely of the bottom housing portion 12 in an opposite direction, the ledge 266 will be moved out of engagement with the slot 188, and an operator will be able to move the actuator 136 both rearwardly of the bottom housing portion 12, and upwardly thereof. In this connection, it is noted that the maximum dimension of the recess 198 in each of the side walls 194 and 196 is chosen accordingly.

In view of this construction, there is provided an absolutely fool-proof switch assembly 134 that cannot be actuated until a positive step is taken to release the safety locks (in this connection, suitable indicia may appear on the bottom wall 176, as shown in FIG. 3) assembly. Another positive movement is required, in that upward movement of the actuator 136 alone, is not sufficient. Neither is a reciprocal movement of the actuator against the influence of the biasing element 140 rearwardly of the housing portion 12 sufficient. Rather, a combination of these types of movement must be effected before the actuating element 148 will cause the movable contact 158 to engage the stationary contact 160.

In view of the foregoing, it will now be appreciated that the present invention is capable of achieving each and every one of the objects set forth at the outset of this specification, as well as others that will be apparent to those skilled in the art. A device or apparatus constructed in accordance herewith is capable of providing an output at the blades substantially the same as apparatus of this type to be connected to a conventional outlet, while yet being compact, of light-weight, and easy to manipulate and maneuver during use. This is particularly true since the device is constructed and arranged to be operable under conditions of maximum efilciency, specifically, among other things, with respect to transmitting up to 98% of the mechanical energy available at the output shaft of the motor. In addition, a device or apparatus constructed in accordance herewith is foolproof from the point of view of safety. This is particulariy true since, not only is a positive action required to release the lock, but the actuator of the switch assembly requires not only an upward movement, but a reciprocating movement to the rear of the bottom housing portion as well. Therefore, if the device or apparatus 14 is resting upon a table, fork, plate, or the like, a mere upward force applied to the actuator 136 will not close the circuit, since it is necessary to reciprocate the actuator forwardly as Well. Of particular importance, the safety features of the present invention present a deterrent to children or young adults, thus precluding the possibility of danger thereto by way of injury.

While the invention has been shown, illustrated, described and disclosed in terms of embodiments or modifications which it has assumed in practice, the scope of the invention should not be deemed to be limited by the precise embodiments or modifications herein shown, illustrated, described or disclosed, such other embodimerits or modifications intended to be reserved especially as they fall within the scope of the claims here appended.

What is claimed is:

1. Portable slicing apparatus comprising, in combination, a housing having a source of electric power disposed therewithin; an electric motor within said housing having a rotating shaft extending therefrom; a driving bevelled pinion gear mounted on said rotating shaft, said pinion gear comprising a material having the physical characteristics of powdered metal impregnated with oil; a driven bevelled gear operatively associated with said pinion gear, comprising a material having the physical characteristics of Delrin filled with a material having the physical characteristics of Teflon; said driven gear further comprising eccentrics disposed in degree out-ofphase relationship to each other; said driven gear and said eccentrics being mounted on a shaft in rotating relationship therewith; said shaft comprising a material having the physical characteristics of centerless ground steel; said eccentrics comprising a material having the physical characteristics of Delrin filled with a material having the physical characteristics of Teflon, and rotating in response to rotation of said driven gear; knife blade actuators responsive to rotation of said eccentrics for reciprocating movement relative to one another; said eccentrics being disposed in direct operative relationship with respect to said driven gear and with respect to said knife blade actuators; knife blades operatively associated with said actuators; and load bearing means mounted within the housing forwardly of the driven gear and above the blade actuators, and within the housing to the rear of the driven gear and below the blade actuators.

2. Portable slicing apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said knife blade actuators each comprise a follower having an aperture within which a respective one of said eccentrics is disposed; said followers comprising a material having the physical characteristics of Delrin.

3. Portable slicing apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein there is further provided an arch positioned rela tive to said housing; and wherein said load bearing means comprises a shaft carried by said arch for. defining a pivot location about which said actuators tend to pivot when a force is applied thereto during manipulation of said apparatus; a plurality of rotatable load-bearing wheels mounted upon said shaft for cooperation with a respective one of said actuators; a second shaft positioned relative to said housing in spaced apart relationship to said first mentioned load-bearing shaft; and a plurality of rotatable load-bearing wheels mounted with said last men- 13 tioned shaft for cooperating with guides extending from a corresponding one of said followers.

4. Portable slicing apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said bevelled pinion and driven gears comprise coniflex form gear teeth.

5. Portable slicing apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein said eccentrics and said driven gear are integrally formed with respect to one another.

6. Portable slicing apparatus as defined in claim 1, wherein there is further provided a lubricant comprising a material having the physical characteristics of Teflon grease disposed between the parts of said apparatus which are disposed in cooperative moving relationship with respect to each other.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS Pickering 143-685 Cautley 85-37 Knab 30-272 Nelson 30-272 Beisheim et a1. 30-272 Elligson 30-272 Great Britain.

JAMES L. JONES, JR., Primary Examiner.

Patent Citations
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US1826187 *Jan 17, 1929Oct 6, 1931Portable Electric Tool CorpJig saw
US2018913 *Sep 11, 1931Oct 29, 1935Bendix Brake CoWheel
US3152399 *Jul 29, 1963Oct 13, 1964Gen ElectricPower-operated slicing knife having fluid flow control means
US3203095 *Jul 29, 1963Aug 31, 1965Gen ElectricPower-operated knife
US3203096 *Jul 29, 1963Aug 31, 1965Gen ElectricElectric slicing knife
US3217559 *Jan 21, 1963Nov 16, 1965Black & Decker Mfg CoTrigger locking means for portable electric device
GB191400090A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3432702 *Aug 24, 1966Mar 11, 1969Sunbeam CorpBattery powered electric knife
US4711030 *May 5, 1986Dec 8, 1987Ruston Sr Robert BVariable speed fillet knife
DE3730847A1 *Sep 15, 1987Mar 30, 1989Georg KrauseSchneidgeraet mit fremdkraftantrieb
Classifications
U.S. Classification30/277.4, 30/DIG.100, 83/746
International ClassificationB26B7/00
Cooperative ClassificationB26B7/005, Y10S30/01
European ClassificationB26B7/00A