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Publication numberUS3408069 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 29, 1968
Filing dateOct 5, 1964
Priority dateOct 5, 1964
Publication numberUS 3408069 A, US 3408069A, US-A-3408069, US3408069 A, US3408069A
InventorsLewis Jack R
Original AssigneeJack R. Lewis
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Springboard
US 3408069 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 29, 1968 J. R. LEWIS 3,408,069

SPRINGBOARD Filed Oct. 5, 1964 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 CIACM J9. .l/Ew/s, W waw #rroeusgn United States Patent 3,408,069 SPRINGBOARD Jack R. Lewis, El Monte, Calif. (Pl). Box 344, Broken Arrow, Okla. 74012) Filed Oct. 5, 1964, Ser. No. 401,374 15 Claims. (Cl. 272-66) ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A method of making a springboard by forming an extrusion having ribs projecting from one side of the extrusion, removing the ribs from the transverse midsection of the extrusion, folding the extrusion about its ribless midsection to locate the extrusion ends in confronting relation about and secure the ends to intervening reinforcing beams of control flexibility and to bring these ends into contact, and joining the contacting ribs to form a completed springboard. A springboard produced by the method.

The present invention relates generally to improvements in diving boards, or springboards as they are generally called; more particularly, the invention relates to a novel springboard construction and to a novel method of making the same.

Many and varied springboard constructions have heretofore been devised. Some boards are constructed of wood while others are constructed of metal, such as aluminum. Because of their spring characteristics, strength, durability, and weather resistance, metal boards are generally favored over wood boards. Most, if not all, metal boards are hollow and comprise spaced upper and lower walls and intervening structural members which join and reinforce the walls and provide the completed board with the required bending strength and spring rate.

While metal springboards are highly favored by diving enthusiasts, the existing metal boards are deficient in that they are constructed, in most cases, of several complex structural shapes which are difficult and costly to initially fabricate and subsequently assemble into a completed springboard. Moreover, in many cases, the spring rate of the existing springboards is diflicult or impossible to control, except by changing the construction of the board itself. In consequence, several different boards having different spring rates must be constructed and handled. This, of course, increases the cost of construction and handling. In addition, once a springboard is constructed, its spring rate cannot be varied.

It is therefore a general object of the present invention to provide an improved metal springboard which avoids the foregoing and other deficiencies of existing metal springboards.

A more specific object of the invention is the provision of an improved metal springboard which involves a relatively small number of simplified extruded parts that may be economically fabricated and assembled, and wherein certain of the extruded parts are bent in a new and unique way to form the main body of the springboard.

An object of this invention is to provide an improved springboard which is relatively simple, economical, and otherwise ideally suited to its intended purposes.

An object of the invention is the provision of an improved springboard of the character described, having unique decorative inserts which provide the completed board with a novel and highly pleasing appearance.

Other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will become apparent to those versed in the art from a consideration of the following description, the appended claims and the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the completed springboard;

ice

FIGURE 2 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line 2-2 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 3 is an enlarged sectional view taken on line 33 of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 4 is an enlarged side elevational view of the completed springboard of FIGURE 1;

FIGURE 5 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view of the springboard at one stage of a construction method according to the invention;

FIGURE 6 is a perspective view of the board at a subsequent stage in a construction method of the invention; and

FIGURE 7 is an enlarged fragmentary perspective view, illustrating the manner in which the upper and lower walls of the completed springboard are joined and reinforced by intervening connecting members or beams.

The completed springboard 10 of the invention, shown in FIGURE 1, comprises a main body 12 including upper and lower walls 14 and 16, respectively. The outer ends of the walls 14 and 16 are joined by a curved connecting wall 18. A channel-shaped end cap 20 fits over the rear end of the board. Extending along the side edges of the board are strips 22 (only one visible in FIGURE 1) which are preferably colored to enhance the appearance of the board. As explained in detail hereinafter, the springboard 10 is fabricated from two long extrusions 12a and 12b which are placed side by side with their confronting edges in abutment and joined along their abutting edges, as by welding. The extrusions are milled or otherwise machined along their transverse mid-sections and are bent or folded, in the milled central region thereof, to positons in which one-half of each extrusion overlies the other half of the extrusion to form the top and bottom walls 14 and 16, respectively, of the completed board. The arcuately bent midsections of the extrusions form the curved connecting wall 18. The two ends of each extrusion are joined by intervening connecting means, as explained below, and by the end cap 20. The colored strips 22 comprise inserts which are contained in opposing longitudinal channels along the sides of each extrusion.

The completed springboard 10 is mounted on the conventional supports 24 and 26. In accordance with the customary mounting procedure for springboards, the rear or inner end of the board is attached to the rear support 24, as by bolts 28. The board merely rests on the forward support 26, which forms a fulcrum for the board.

Considering the springboard 10 and its method of construction in more detail, FIGURE 5 illustrates the extrusions 12a and 12b prior to bending to form the body 12 of the springboard. The extrusions 12a and 12b are identical and have a cross-sectional shape best illustrated in FIGURE 2. Referring to FIGURE 2, it will be seen that each extrusion 12a and 12b comprises a flat wall having a right angle flange 32 along one longitudinal edge. Along the opposite longitudinal edge of each extrusion a'e ribs 34 which parallel and project in the same direction from the wall 30 as the flanges 32. The outer surface of the outermost rib 34 is flush with the adjacent edge surface 35 of the wall 30. Adjacent but spaced a distance inwardly from each longitudinal edge of the wall 30 is a generally T-shaped rib 36 extending lengthwise of the extrusion. Each rib 36 projects normal to the wall 30, in the same direction as the flanges 32 and the ribs 34. Along the outer edge of each rib 36 is a cross flange 38 having a surface 40 in a plane parallel to the plane of the wall 30. Located between, and projecting from the wall 30 in the same direction as the ribs 36 are a pair of ribs 42 whose dimension, normal to the wall 30, is somewhat less than the corresponding dimension of the ribs- 36. Ribs 42 extend lengthwise of and are spaced substantially equal distances to opposite sides of the longitudinal center line of the extrusion. Along the inner surface of each rib 42 is a shoulder surface 44 which faces and is disposed in a plane parallel to the plane of the extrusion wall 30. A beveled surface 46 extends from the inner edge of each shoulder surface 44 to the upper edge of the respective rib 42.

As mentioned hereinbefore, the extrusions 12a and 12b are milled, or otherwise machined, along their transverse mid-sections, prior to bending to form the body 12 of the springboard. In FIGURE 5, the region in which the extrusions are thus milled is designated by the numeral 48. After milling, the extrusions are bent in the region 48, as indicated in phantom line in FIGURE 5, to positions in which one-half of each extrusion overlies the other half of the respective extrusion. It is apparent, therefore, that the reason for milling the extrusions is to remove or cut away the flange 32, and ribs 34, 36 and 42 in the region 48, thereby to permit the extrusions to be bent in this region. To this end, the extrusion flanges and ribs are milled away flush with the adjacent surfaces of the extrusion walls 30. The extrusions are bent to positions wherein the rib flanges 38 on one end of each extrusion abut the rib flanges 38 on the opopsite end of the extrusion, and the two end edges of each extrusion are aligned. This bending of the extrusions is carried out in such a way that the extrusion walls 30, within the milled regions 48, assume an arcuate configuration, thereby forming the curved connecting wall 18 of the completed springboard.

In the completed springboard, the abutting longitudinal edges 35 of the two extrusions 12a and 12b and the abutting rib flanges 38 are joined, as by welding. In addition, the overlying ends of the wall 30 of each extrusion are joined and reinforced by an intervening connecting beam 50. As shown best in FIGURE '7, the connecting beam 50 has a generally I or H section and includes a web 52 and flanges 54 along opposite edges of the web. The outer longitudinal edge portion 54a of each flange turn toward the opposite flange at an arcuate angle to the plane of the flanges. Flanges 54 have inner projecting ribs 56 which define, with the web, longitudinally extending channels 58. These channels are adapted to receive metal bars 60 for reinforcing the springboard in the vicinity of the fulcrum support 26. Each connecting beam 50 has a length approximatingly one-half the length of the extrusions, that is one-half the length of the extrusions prior to bending along their transverse mid-sections. Each connecting beam is transversely slotted at intervals, as shown at 62. In the completed springboard, the turned longitudinal flange edges 54a of the connecting beams 50 engage between the rib shoulders 44 and the walls 30 of the extrusions, thereby to join the overlying ends of each extrusion and reinforce the completed springboard. The slots 62 in the connecting beams 50 are cut to a depth which provides the completed springboard with the desired spring rate.

It will be immediately apparent to those skilled in the art that the present springboard may be fabricated by various sequences of method steps. According to the preferred practice of the invention, however, the following sequence of steps is employed in the fabrication of the board.

(1) Remove the flanges and ribs from the transverse mid-section 48 of each extrusion.

(2) Position a connecting beam 50 between the ribs 42 on one end of each extrusion and force the beam downwardly between the ribs until the lower beam flange 54 snaps under the rib shoulders 44.

(3) Bend each extrusion within its transverse midsection 48 until the rib shoulders 44 on the other end of the extrusion snap under the upper flange 54 of the underlying connecting beam and the rib flanges 38 on the ends of the extrusion abut one another.

(4) Weld the abutting rib flanges 38 of each extrusion at 68 by inserting a welding torch through the gap along each longitudinal edge of the extrusion.

Place the two bent and welded extrusions side by side with their edges 35 in abutment and weld the abutting edges at intervals at 64 and 66, thereby to join the extrusions and complete the structural fabrication of the springboard.

Conceivably, both the lower and upper abutting edges 35 of the extrusions 12a and 12b could be welded from the outside. According to the preferred practice of the invention, however, the welds 64 which join the lower abutting edges 35 of the extrusions are made from the outside of the springboard and the welds 66 which join the upper abutting edges of the extrusions are made from the inside of the board. To this end, the lower walls 30 of the extrusions 12a and 12b are formed with openings 70, located between the lower welds 64, as shown best in FIGURE 6, through which a welding torch may be inserted to weld the upper abutting edges of the extrusions from the inside.

The springboard is completed by installing the colored strips 22, reinforcing bars 60, and end cap on the board. To accommodate the color strips 22, the

' opposing edges of the extrusion flanges 32 are formed with confronting slots 74 which open through the rear ends of the flanges to slidably receive the strips. These color strips are substantially equal in length to the length of the springboard and are inserted into the rear ends of the slots 24 and pushed forwardly approximately to the curved connecting wall 18. The color strips, therefore, close the gaps between the spaced confronting edges of the extrusion flanges at each side of the board. The semi-circular openings at the ends of the curved connecting wall 18 are preferably closed by semi-circular fillers 76 which may be welded or otherwise secured in place. The color strips and the fillers may comprise plastic or other suitable material. The reinforcing bars are tack welded in place through openings in the bottom wall 16 of the board. These reinforcing bars are located over the forward fulcrum support 26 and are proportioned to prevent excessive bending of the springboard in the vicinity of the fulcrum support 26. In accordance with the conventional practice, a resilient cushion or pad 78 is interposed between the springboard and the fulcrum support. After installation of the color strips 22 and reinforcing bars 60, the end cap 20 is fitted over the rear end of the springboard to complete the board.

Attention is directed to the fact that the welds 68 which join the contacting rib flanges 38 on the extrusions 12a and 12b are located substantially in the neutral plane of bending of the board. Accordingly, the welds 68 are not appreciably stressed during flexing of the springboard.

Those versed in the art will appreciate that the present invention achieves the objects and realizes the advantages hereinbefore mentioned.

Although a specific embodiment of the present invention has been illustrated and described herein, it will be understood that the same is merely exemplary of presently preferred embodiments capable of attaining the objects and advantages hereinbefore mentioned, and that the invention is not limited thereto; variations will be readily apparent to those versed in the art, and the invention is entitled to the broadest interpretation within the terms of the appended claims.

The inventor claims:

1. A Springboard comprising upper and lower flexible of laterally flexible ribs straddling the adjacent beam flange and having shoulders engaging under said adjacent flange to secure the respective wall to said beam, and

said shoulders on the ribs of each wall having confronting beveled surfaces extending in diverging relation from the inner longitudinal edges of the respective shoulders toward the opposing wall, whereby said ribs are adapted to be forced over said connecting beam flanges to engage the rib shoulders beneath said flanges.

2. A springboard comprising an extrusion including a continuous elongate wall having longitudinally extending, reinforcing ribs projecting from one surface of said wall, said ribs being removed along the transverse section of said extrusion at one end of said board, and said extrusion being bent within said section to place one end of said wall in spaced approximately parallel relation to the opposite end of said wall and to place the ribs on one end of said wall in contact with the ribs on the opposite end of said wall, means joining the contacting ribs, a longitudinally extending flexible connecting beam interposed between the ends of said extrusion wall and having flanges confronting and parallel to said wall ends, respectively, and means securing each end of said wall to the adjacent flange of said connecting beam.

3. A springboard according to claim 2 wherein said connecting beam is transversely slotted at intervals to provide said beam with controlled resilient flexibility.

4. A springboard comprising upper and lower extrusion members of similar transverse cross-section each including a relatively thin and substantially planar flexible wall, and relatively thin longitudinal ribs integrally joined along one longitudinal edge to and projecting from one side of said wall, said members being disposed one over the other with said wall side of one member confronting said wall side of the other member and the corresponding ribs on the members abutting one another approximately in the neutral plane of bending of said board, means joining the abutting ribs of said members along the contacting edges of the abutting ribs, thereby to join said members, at least one longitudinal beam formed separately from and positioned between said members with said beam seating against said wall sides of said members, means securing said beam to each member, said members including laterally outer abutting ribs adjacent the longitudinal sides of said board, said walls having longitudinal edge portions which project laterala ly a distance beyond said outer ribs and are spaced to define therebetween longitudinal side openings along said board through which said outer ribs are exposed to permit joining of the abutting outer ribs, closure members closing said side openings to obscure said outer ribs, and means for retaining said closure members in opposition in said side openings.

5. A springboard according to claim 4 wherein said closure members comprise decorative insert panels and said closure retaining means comprise confronting grooves in said projecting wall edge portions receiving the longitudinal edges of said panels, respectively.

6. A springboard comprising upper and lower extrusion members of similar transverse cross-section each including a relatively thin and substantially planar flexible wall, and relatively thin longitudinal ribs integrally joined along one longitudinal edge to and projecting from one side of said wall, said members being disposed one over the other with said wall side of one member confronting said wall side of the other member and the corresponding ribs on the members abutting one another approximately in the neutral plane of bending of said board, means joining the abutting ribs of said members along the contacting edges of the abutting ribs, thereby to join said members, at least one longitudinal beam formed separately from and positioned between said members with said beam seating against said wall sides of said members, means securing said beam to each member, said board being split into mating half sections along a parting plane parallel to the longitudinal center line of said board, means joining the abutting longitudinal edges of said mating sections, and said members include abutting laterally inner ribs adjacent said abutting edges of said sections which are exposed through inner side openings in said sections prior to joining of said sections, whereby the abutting inner ribs may be joined through said inner side openings prior to joining of said sections.

7. A springboard according to claim 6 wherein said lower member has openings along said parting plane whereby the upper abutting edges of said mating sections may be joined from below through said latter openings.

8. A springboard comprising upper and lower extrusion members of similar transverse cross-section each including a relatively thin and substantially planar flexible wall, and relatively thinv longitudinal ribs integrally joined along one longitudinal edge to and projecting from one side of said wall, said members being disposed one over the other with said wall side of one member confronting said wall side of the other member and the corresponding ribs on the members abutting one another approximately in the neutral plane of bending of said board, means joining the abutting ribs of said members along the contacting edges of the abutting ribs, thereby to join said members, at least one longitudinal beam formed separately from and positioned between said members with said beam seating against said wall sides of said members, means securing said beam to each member, said board being split into mating sections along a parting plane parallel to the longitudinal center line of said board, means joining the abutting longitudinal edges of said mating sections, said members include laterally outer abutting ribs adjacent the outer longitudinal sides of said board and laterally inner abutting ribs adjacent said abutting edges of said mating sections, said walls have outer longitudinal edge portions which project laterally a distance beyond said outer ribs and are spaced to define therebetween outer longitudinal side openings along said board through which said outer ribs are exposed to permit joining of the abutting outer ribs, said mating sections have inner longitudinal side openings in their confronting sides through which said abutting inner ribs are exposed prior to joining of said sections to permit joining of the abutting inner ribs, and means closing said outer side openings to obscure said outer ribs.

9. A springboard according to claim 8 wherein each of said mating sections has a set of abutting outer ribs and a set of abutting inner ribs defining therebetween a longitudinal space, said beam is located within said longitudinal space of one mating section, and said board includes a second longitudinal beam located within said longitudinal space of the other mating section and seating against said walls of said members, and means securing said second beam to said walls.

10. A springboard according to claim 9 wherein said abutting ribs are weldedto one another, said beams comprise I-beams having flanges seating against said wall sides, respectively, and said beam securing means comprise extruded ribs on said members having locking shoulder engageable over said beam flanges.

11. A springboard comprising upper and lower extrusion members of similar transverse cross-section each including a relatively thin and substantially planar flexible wall, and relatively thin longitudinal ribs integrally joined along one longitudinal edge. to and projecting from one side of said wall, said members being disposed one over the other with said wall side of one member confronting said wall side of the other member and the corresponding ribs on the members abutting one another approximately in the neutral plane of bending of said board, means joining the abutting ribs of said members along the contacting edges of the abutting ribs, thereby to join said members, at least one longitudinal beam formed separately from and positioned between said members with said beam seating against said wall sides of said members, means securing said beam to each member, said members comprising opposite ends of a long unitary extrusion having a midsection devoid of ribs and folded at said midsection to locate said members in confronting relation and said ribs on said members in abutment, whereby said members are integrally joined at one end of said board by a curved connecting wall which comprises said extrusion midsection.

12, A springboard according to claim 11 wherein said beam comprises an I-beam having flanges seating against said Walls of said members, and said beam securing means comprise extruded ribs on said members having locking shoulders engaging over said flanges and beveled camming faces on said shoulders, whereby said shoulders may be snapped over said beam flanges by forcing said members toward one another and against said beam.

13. A springboard comprising upper and lower extrusion members of similar transverse cross-section each including a relatively thin and substantially planar flexible wall and relatively thin longitudinal ribs integrally joined along one longitudinal edge to and projecting from one side of said wall, said members being disposed one over the other with said wall side of one member confronting said Wall side of the other member and the corresponding ribs on the members abutting one another approximately in the neutral plane of bending of said board, means joining the abutting ribs of said members along the contacting edges of the abutting ribs, thereby to join said members, said ribs including laterally outer abutting ribs adjacent the longitudinal sides of said board, respectively, said walls having longitudinal edge portions which project laterally a distance beyond said outer ribs and are spaced to define therebetween longitudinal side openings along said board through which said outer ribs are exposed to permit joining of the abutting outer ribs, and closure members closing said side openings to obscure said outer ribs.

14. A springboard comprising upper and lower extrusion members of similar transverse cross-section each including a relatively thin and substantially planar flexible wall, and relatively thin longitudinal ribs integrally joined along one longitudinal edge to and projecting from one side of said wall, said members being disposed one over the other with said wall side of one member confronting said Wall side of the other member and the corresponding ribs on the members abutting one another approximately in the neutral plane of said board, means joining the abutting ribs of said members along the contacting edges of the abutting ribs, thereby to join said members, said board being split into mating sections along a parting plane parallel to the longitudinal center line of said board, means joining the abutting longitudinal edges of said mating sections, and said ribs including abutting laterally inner ribs adjacent said abutting edges of said sections which are exposed through inner side openings in said sections prior to joining of said sections, whereby the abutting inner ribs may be joined through said inner side openings prior to joining of said sections.

15. A springboard according to claim 14 wherein said ribs include laterally abutting ribs adjacent the longitudinal sides of said board, said walls have longitudinal edge portions which project laterally a distance beyond said outer ribs and are spaced to define therebetween longitudinal side openings along said board through which said outer ribs are exposed to permit joining of the respective abutting outer ribs, and closure members closing said side openings to obscure said outer ribs.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,036,834 5/1962 Zalkind 124-7 X 1,710,350 4/1929 Dewoitine 272-66 2,678,213 5/1954 Buck 272-66 2,919,133 12/1959 Eggers 27266 3,037,590 6/1962 Pavlecka 52-619 3,184,233 5/1965 Cook 272-66 FOREIGN PATENTS 27,983 3/ 1956 Finland.

RICHARD C. PINKHAM, Primary Examiner.

T. ZACK, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US1710350 *Mar 7, 1925Apr 23, 1929Julien Dewoitine EmileConstructional element
US2678213 *Mar 13, 1951May 11, 1954Norman BuckDiving board
US2919133 *Aug 19, 1957Dec 29, 1959Eggers Gene DDiving board
US3036834 *Dec 22, 1959May 29, 1962Albert M ZalkindNovelty game
US3037590 *Dec 26, 1952Jun 5, 1962John PavleckaInterlocked panel structure
US3184233 *Apr 16, 1962May 18, 1965R E ScottSectioned metal springboard
FI27983A * Title not available
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3862754 *Oct 13, 1971Jan 28, 1975Patterson James AMetal springboard
US4824101 *Feb 8, 1988Apr 25, 1989Karlas Hermanus L JSpring board
US8075452 *Sep 3, 2010Dec 13, 2011Duraflex International Corp.Composite diving board
USRE39180Sep 19, 2002Jul 11, 2006Colassi Gary JTreadmill belt support deck
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/30
International ClassificationA63B5/10, A63B5/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63B5/10
European ClassificationA63B5/10