US 3428986 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
1969 c. c. RUDOLPH CROSSLANE BUFFING MACHINE INVENTOR.
Sheet CURTIS C. RUDOLPH Filed June 5. 1966 AT TORNE Y5 Feb. 25, 1969 Filed June 5, 1966 at m. v
nm N ll lvl I! t 3 5 m1 9 nv m 4 HU & I LWI. I i \II I I l I I I. wl WA 1 v t u an Feb. 25, 1969 c. c. RUDOLPH CROSSLANE BUFFING MACHINE Sheet Filed June 5, 1966 A G H FIG 5 FlG 6 CURTIS C. RUDOLPH I N VENTOR.
ATTORNEYS F eb. 25, 1969 c. c. RUDOLPH 3,428,986
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ATTORNEYS United States Patent 6 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A crosslane buffer is provided with a traction driven, endless buffing belt which moves transversely across the surface of a bowling lane as the buffer is moved forwardly or rearwardly along the lane and is provided with a wick-type lane dressing applicating sub-assembly mounted ahead of the endless bufling belt.
This application is a continuation in part of my pending application Ser. No. 429,417, 'filed Feb. '1, 1965, and now Patent No. 3,377,640, issued Apr. 16, 1968.
The present invention relates in general to buffing machines and in particular to a device for buffing the surface of a bowling lane employing an endless buffing belt which moves transversely across the surface of the lane as the device is moved forwardly or rearwardly along the lane.
As will be appreciated by those familiar with bowling alley maintenance, it is essential to maintain a thin film of oil or other lane dressing evenly distributed over the lane surface for the best playing results and also to prevent damage to the lane surface. It is especially critical that the thin film of oil or dressing be maintained on the area of the lane which receives the most use which, in most cases, will be a narrow strip to the right of the center line since the majority of bowlers are right handed. If the lane surface is allowed to become dry, a moving ball will actually burn or oxidize the lane surface since the ball is spinning at the same time it is traveling down the alley and acts as an abrasion wheel against the lane surface. In the area of concentrated use, the effect of this action is naturally greater. It may be appreciated that, in the event an excess of oil or dressing is allowed to remain on the lane surface, the bowler looses control of the ball and even the best bowlers will get poor results.
To add to the problem, proprietors are not usually able to attend to the dressing and buffing of the lanes except at the beginning or the end of the days use since buffing with devices available in the prior art requires considerable time and unduly interrupts play on the lane. In addition such devices are large and cumbersome and are usually electrically driven, thus involving interruption of play on several lanes due to electrical cords etc.
Although several prior art butting machines are available, these devices are usually of the rotatable disc type which must be passed back and forth across the lane while proceeding along the lane and are consequently very time consuming and ineflicient. According to the present invention, a device is provided which enables an attendent to condition a lane any time during the day by quickly moving the device down the lane and returning. Since the device will not normally be power driven, there is no necessity for electrical cords and interruption of play on adjacent lanes. The device is lightweight and simple so as to be easily moved and requires only one man for operation. In addition, with the present invention, the lane is treated by an endless buffing belt which moves transversely across the lane as the device is moved along to insure that the entire width of the lane is covered with a film of oil or dressing. When the device is returned along the lane, the direct-ion of travel of the buffing belt reverses to insure equal treatment of all areas of the lane.
The primary object of the present invention is, therefore,to provide a crosslane butting machine which is economical to manufacture and maintain and which will perform the buifing operation quickly and efiiciently with minimum interruption of playing time.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a crosslane butting machine of the character described which can be used between leagues or squads without interrupting play on adjacent lanes in the alley.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a crosslane buffing machine of the character described which functions to obtain an improved distribution of oil over the entire surface of the lane.
Another object of the present invention is to provide a crosslane buffing machine of the character described which is lightweight, easy to store and can be handled or operated by one man by merely pushing the device down the bowling lane and returning it with bufling being accomplished in both directions.
A further object of the present invention is to provide a crosslane buffing machine of the character described wherein an endless bufling belt is caused to move across the entire surface of the lane with cleaning means being applied to the lane surface ahead of the moving belt.
A still further object of the present invention is to provide a crosslane butting machine of the character described having drive wheels for engaging gutters on each side of the lane with the device being adjustable for any gutter depth.
Other more particular objects and advantages of the invention will, with the foregoing, appear and be understood from the following description and claims, the invention consisting of the novel construction and adaptation and combination of parts hereinafter described and claimed.
Reference is made now to the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG 1 is a plan view of the crosslane bufiing machine;
FIG. 2 is an end elevation of the machine;
FIG. 3 is a cross sectional view taken along line 33 of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 is an elevational detail of FIG. 1;
FIG. 5 is a cross sectional detail taken along lines 55 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 6 is an elevational detail taken along lines 6-6 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 7 is a cross sectional view taken along lines 7-7 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 8 is a detail plan view illustrating an oil-applying sub-assembly of the invention;
FIG. 9 is a detail end elevation view of the FIG. 8 sub-assembly; and
FIGS. 10 and 11 are detail perspective views further illustrating the invention.
Referring now to the drawings, wherein like reference numerals indicate identical parts in the various views, FIG. 1 illustrates the overall device which includes generally the bufling unit 1, the cleaning means 2 and the handle portion 3. The buffer portion 1 includes a rigid frame comprising a transverse angle iron or the like 4 which extends across the rear of the machine and front transverse angle iron 5 parallel to the member 4. A rectangular metal plate 6 extends between the members 4 and 5 and is secured to the rear angle iron 4 by means of the bolts 7 and the spacers 8 so that the plate is located a slight distance below the horizontal leg of the angle iron 4. The plate 6 is secured to the front angle iron 5 by taken along lines 44 means of the bolts 9 which extend through the plate and the horizontal leg of the angle iron.
Cylindrical rollers 11 and 12 are journaled for rotation between the ends of the angle irons 4 and 5 as shown in FIG. 1 and serve to support the endless bufling belt 13. The rollers 11 and 12 may be hollow cylindrical mem bers and are provided with axial shafts 14 and 16 respectively. The rear ends of the shafts 14 and 16 are journaled for rotation in the bearing members 17 and 18 respectively which are adjustably mounted on the outer ends of the angle iron 4 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. As illustrated, the ends of the angle irons 4 are slotted to permit lateral adjustment of the bearing members 17 and 18 so as to maintain the belt in a tight condition.
The forward ends of the shafts 14 and 16 are journaled in bearing members which may be identical to the hearing members 17 and 18 with only the bearing 19 for the shaft 16 being shown in detail in FIG. 7. Since the bearing members for the forward ends of the shafts are identical in structure, only the mounting for the bearing member 19 will be described in detail with reference to FIG. 7. As illustrated in FIG. 7, the bearing block 19 is bolted or otherwise fixed to an angle bracket 21 which is adjusta bly fixed to a protruding end portion 22 of the vertical leg of the angle iron 5. The bracket 21 may be secured by means of suitable bolts 23 which pass through the slots 24 in the bracket so as to adjustably clamp the bracket to the protruding portion 22. Adjustment of the position of the bearing block 19 may be accomplished by an adjusting screw 26 threadably engaged with the end of the angle iron 5 and bearing against the block 19. In order to adjust the block 19, it is merely necessary to loosen the bolts 23 and turn the screw threaded member 26 to move the bearing block laterally in order to tension the belt 13. In a like manner, the shaft 14 is journaled in a bearing block fixed to the bracket 27 which is adjustably fixed to the protruding portion 28 by the bolts 29 and may be positioned by an adjusting screw 31. Thus both of the bearing blocks for the two roller shafts 14 and 16 may be moved laterally for alignment and for tensioning the bufiing belt 13.
The buffing belt 13 is rotated during forward or rearward movement of the machine by drive means connected to the forward end of the shaft 14, as will be presently explained, with the bottom run of the belt being in contact with the surface of the lane 32 as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3. Although any type of buffing material may be used for the belt 13, it has been found that best results are obtained with a material such as nylon pile since it will not absorb the oil or dressing from the lane surface but 'will serve to spread the dressing in an even film as it moves across the surface. In order to insure that the lower run of the belt is maintained in full face contact with the surface of the lane, pressure rollers 33 may be mounted on support arms 34, as illustrated in FIG. 2, with the arms 34 being pivoted to suitable brackets carried by the underside of the plate 6. A cable or the like 36 and tension springs 37 are provided between the arms 34 with the ends of the springs 37 being suitably attached to the arms 34 in order to bias the arms, and consequently the rollers 33, downwardly against the top side of the bottom run of the belt.
The drive for the bufiing belt 13 is provided by the support wheels 38 which ride in the gutters 39 of the lane and provide the support for the machine. The drive wheels 38 are fixed to a rotatable axle or shaft 41 journaled in the bearing blocks 42 fixed to the under side of the rear portion of the plate 6 as shown most clearly in FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. Since the shaft or axle 41 extends completely across the width of the machine, an additional bearing block 43 is also connected to the underside of the plate 6 and may be located near the mid-portion of the shaft or axle 41. The rotation of the axle 41 is transferred to the drive shaft 44 by means of the miter gear arrangement provided by the bevel gear 4-5, fixed to the mid-porell) tion of the axle 41, which is in mesh with a second bevel gear 46, fixed to the rear end of the shaft 44. The shaft 44 may be supported for rotation beneath the plate 6 by the bearing blocks 47 and 48. A pulley 49 is fixed to the forward end of the drive shaft 44 and the rotation of the pulley 49 is transferred to a second pulley 50, on the forward end of the shaft 14, by means of the V-belt 51. It is understood, of course, that the exact drive arrangement for transferring the rotation of the axle 41 to the shaft 14 of the roller 11 may be varied and it would also be possible to drive the belt 13 through either of the rollers 11 or 12.
The handle 3 may be constructed of rod or pipe stock strong enough to withstand the force necessary to push the butting machine. In the embodiment illustrated handle 3 is U-shaped with the ends of its legs being provided with elongated slots 52 for reception of cross pins or bolts 53. The bolts or pins 53 pass through suitable brackets 54 carried on the top side of the plate 6 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 3. The ends of the handle 3 may be locked into the operative position, as shown in FIG. 3, by means of the keepers 56 fixed to the vertical leg of the angle iron 4. The keepers 56 may engage suitable slots or recesses in the ends of the legs of the handle 3 as shown in FIG. 3 to hold the handle in the operative position. The handle 3 may be pivoted and raised to a position to allow the machine to be more easily carried by simply lifting up on the handle and pulling back so that the handle may be pivoted upwardly and then downwardly on top of the machine about the pivot pins or bolts 53.
The cleaner attachment indicated generally at 2 is carried on the forward portion of the machine by means of the bracket arms 56 which are right angular in shape and the angled portions of the brackets being bolted to the extended portions 22 and 28 of the forward angle iron member 5 as seen most clearly in FIG. 1. Each of the angle brackets 56 carries a downwardly extending generally triangular shaped plate 57 bolted thereto by bolts 58. As shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, additional holes 59 may be provided in the brackets 56 to provide a certain amount of vertical adjustment for the cleaning attachment.
A transversely extending pipe or support bar 61 extends between the plates 57 and projects a considerable distance laterally beyond each plate to overlie the gutter on each side of the lane. The transverse pipe 61 is fixed to the bottom end of each of the plates 57 by means of a suitable brace such as the triangular structure shown in FIG. 5 comprising an angular member 62 and the brace member 63. As illustrated, the members 62 and 63 are rigidly connected between the plates 57 and the pipe 61 so as to provide rigidity to the structure. Each end of the :pipe 61 provided with a conventional caster 64 which extends into the gutters 39. It will be noted that, during use on the lane, the casters 64 do not quite engage the bottom of the gutters such that the entire weight of the machine is supported on the drive wheels 38 with some of the weight of the machine being taken by the contact between the bufling belt and the top surface of the lane. The purpose of the caster wheels 64 is to support the forward end of the machine when it is being wheeled to and from the alley so that the machine may be rolled about without concern as to dragging the cleaning attachment or the buffer belt on the floor.
Each of the plates 57 is provided with a forward angularly directed slot 66 and a second angularly directed slot 67 for the purpose of rotatably receiving the ends of a shaft of a supply roll 68 and the ends of the shaft of a take-up roll 69. The web of cleaning cloth or treated paper 71 is pulled from the roll 68, extends about a cushion or pad 72, fixed on the underside of a pipe 61, and is taken up on the roll 69. The paper or cloth 71 may be any commercially available product of that type normally used for cleaning bowling lanes and serves the purpose of clearing dust or other foreign particles from the surface of the lane ahead of the bufiing belt 13 when the machine is moved forwardly down the lane. It will be understood that the cleaning web 71 normally remains stationary while the machine is moved and the take-up roll 69 is only rotated when it is desired to move a clean portion of the web beneath the pad 72. The shafts of the rolls 68 and 69 are held in their respective slots by means of the springs 73 which extend between the collars 74 and 76 at each end of the rolls so as to prevent the rolls from moving out of the slots. The take-up roll 69 is rotated by hand and may be provided with any conventional ratchet mechanism operated by the ratchet arm 77 shown in FIG. 6.
In utilizing the crosslane bufiing machine of the present invention, the machine may be wheeled or carried by one man to the lane to be treated and the cylindrical rollers 11 and 12 will be adjusted so as to maintain the bufiing belt 13 in a substantially taut condition with the lower run of the belt in full engagement with the surface of the lane. It may also be necessary to adjust the position of the drive wheels 38 with respect to the axes of the rollers 11 and 12 and this may be done by utilizing the proper size of spacers 8 between the angle iron 4 and the plate 6. Once these initial adjustments are made, there will be no need for any further adjustment for any given lane. As illustrated in FIG. 2, the position of the belt with relation to the surface of the alley should be such that the full width of the alley is contacted by the lower run of the belt. The vertical position of the cleaner attachment 2 is, of course, adjusted by the proper choice of the spaced holes 59 in the brackets 56 and this coarse adjustment is usually satisfactory for all purposes.
Once the machine is properly adjusted to the lane, the operator merely pushes on the handle 3 to move the machine down the lane with the cleaning web 71 serving to remove dust and other foreign particles from the surface of the lane ahead of the belt. When the machine is moved down the lane toward the pit, the driven roll 11 is caused to rotate counter clockwise to move the bottom run of the belt from left to right in order to take advantage of the ample dressing on the middle and left side of the lane and to spread the dressing over the right side of the lane which is the ball track which receives the most use. On the return trip back to the foul line, the operation of the bufiing belt 13 is reversed and the lower run of the belt moves from right to left to insure even distribution of the film of dressing across the entire lane. The ratchet arm 77 may be utilized to move the cleaning web 71 as desired when it becomes dirty.
A further embodiment of the invention comprises a lane dressing or oil applicating sub-assembly. This subassembly can be employed to evenly distribute a thin film of oil to be buffed by the buffing unit 1. A preferred applicating sub-assembly 100 comprises an elongated oil storage cylinder or tank 102 extending between plates 157 which carry the cleaner attachment 2. Each end of the cylinder 102 is fitted with a bearing race and a shaft, as at 104 and 106. These shafts are journalled to the bearing races and extend through the plates 157 so that the cylinder 102 is rotatably carried by the shafts 104-106. Shaft 104 is solid and constitutes a plug to prevent oil from leaking out the respective end of the cylinder. The other shaft 106 is hollow and capped or plugged at its outer end and provided with an oil filler cap 106a to provide a means for filling the cylinder with oil.
As shown in FIGS. and 11, the sub-assembly 100 is provided with an elongated felt wick 108 afiixed to the cylinder so that oil can be applied to the wick when the latter is in contact with the surface to be oiled. In FIG. 10, the cylinder is provided with a slot 102a through which the wick extends to the opposite side of the cylinder so that oil can rise into the wick by capillary action, the wick being provided with side slots to receive the edges of the cylinder wall as shown. In FIG. 11, the cylinder is provided with a plurality of aligned openings 1021) which are abutted by the wick and through which oil can pass into the wick, the portion of the cylinder containing the openings being flattened as shown to facilitate placement of the wick.
The cylinder 102 is carried by the plates 157 at an elevation such that it can be rotated to bring the wick 108 into contact with a surface to be oiled as shown in FIG. 9. One end of the cylinder is provided with a coiled spring 110 which maintains the cylinder and wick in an upright position depicted in FIGS. 10 and 11. The opposite end of the cylinder has a cord or cable 112 wrapped therearound which extends to an actuating lever or the like on the buffing machine handle. The cable 112 is applied to the cylinder such that the cable can be pulled to rotate the cylinder against the spring action to bring the wick in contact with a surface to be oiled. When the cable is released, the spring action will return the cylinder to an upright position.
For example, the FIG. 10 wick embodiment has a curved outer end 103a whereas the FIG. 11 wick embodiment has a tapered outer end 1081).
The cylinder is provided with parallel fins 114-414 which flank the wick 108 and are spaced slightly therefrom. These flanking fins provide dams which prevent excess oil from leaking out from the wick when the cylinder is returned from an oil applying position to its upright position.
The sub-assembly is preferably located between the cleaning unit 2 and the buffing unit 1 so that, when oil is to be applied to a surface, the surface is first cleaned, then oiled, and finally buffed to insure uniform distribution of the oil. The elongated length of the wick is sufficient to extend across a bowling lane and hence has about the same length as the width of the cleaning web 71.
The quality of treatment obtained by the use of the constantly moving transverse belt with the action of the cleaning web has been found to be far superior to any type of lane mop or disc type buffer heretofore available. The simplicity of structure and the qualities of being lightweight, so as to be easily operated and transported by a single operator, and the absence of electric cords or the like permit the use of the device at any time during the day without undue interruption of play. It will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art that the present invention provides novel and useful improvements in bowling lane buffing devices of the character described. The arrangement and types of stuctural components utilized in the invention may be subjected to numerous modifications well within the purview of this invention and applicant intends only to be limited to a liberal interpretation of the specification and appended claims.
Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:
1. A crosslane bufiing machine which comprises a wheel supported frame; an endless buffing belt on said frame adapted to extend transversely across the surface of a bowling lane in light contact therewith; means to transfer the drive from said wheels to move said belt transversely across said surface upon movement of said machine along said lane; an elongated oil storage cylinder rotatably carried by said frame; an elongated wick afiixed to said cylinder in communication with the interior of said cylinder; and means to rotate said cylinder from a normally upright position to an oil-applying position wherein said wick contacts said surface.
2. A bufling machine according to claim 1 wherein said cylinder is provided with fins which flank said wick.
3. A buffing machine according to claim 1 wherein said cylinder is provided with an elongated slot through which said wick extends into said cylinder, said wick being provided with side slots to receive the edges of said cylinder.
4. A crosslane buffing machine according to claim 1 including cleaning means in contact with said surface and extending the full width thereof, and means for connecting said cleaning means to the front of said frame, whereby foreign particles will be removed from the lane surface ahead of said buffing belt when the device is moved in the forward direction.
5. A device for crosslane buffing of a bowling lane having a bowling surface and gutters on each side thereof comprising in combination; a frame; wheels carried by said frame and adapted to engage said gutters to support said frame above the bowling surface; first and second transversely spaced rollers rotatably mounted on said frame; an endless buffing belt trained about said rollers and extending transversely across said bowling surface with the lower run thereof in light contact with said surface and drive means connected to said wheels and at least one of said rollers for transferring the drive of said wheels to said belt upon movement of said device in either direction along the lane, whereb crosslane buffing of said surface is accomplished by the action of said belt moving across said surface in a transverse direction; an elongated oil storage cylinder rotatably carried by said frame ahead of said endless bulfing belt; an elongated wick affixed to said cylinder in communication with the interior of said cylinder; and means to rotate said cylinder from a normally upright position to an oil-applying position wherein said wick contacts said surface.
6. A device according to claim 5 wherein said cylinder is provided with fins which flank said wick; and wherein said cylinder is provided with an elongated slot through which said wick extends into said cylinder, said wick being provided with side slots to receive the edges of said cylinder walls.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 4/1917 Hodschar. 2/1931 Wright.
US. Cl. X.R. 15-4