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Publication numberUS3784996 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJan 15, 1974
Filing dateNov 7, 1972
Priority dateNov 7, 1972
Publication numberUS 3784996 A, US 3784996A, US-A-3784996, US3784996 A, US3784996A
InventorsK Ambrose
Original AssigneeK Ambrose
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Golf ball cleaning machine
US 3784996 A
Abstract
A washing machine for washing small articles comprising a generally horizontal drum having a circumferential wall and end walls; means mounting said drum for rotation about its axis so that the articles to be cleaned are tumbled within the lower part of the drum during rotation thereof; an adjustable scoop device within said drum and rotatable therewith, said scoop device being selectively adjustable between a first position in which it forms a surface projecting inwardly from the circumferential wall of the drum for gathering articles from the lower portion of the drum and for retaining such articles during a portion of any given revolution of said drum and a second position in which it is inoperative to gather and retain articles; and outlet means including a movable closure member in a wall of said drum through which articles retained by said scoop device may be removed when said drum is not rotating.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

ilnited States Patent [191 Ambrose [451 Jan. 15, 1974 GOLF BALL CLEANING MACHINE [76] Inventor: Karl J. Ambrose, 9009 Bag Cove Ln., Jacksonville, Fla. 33217 [22] Filed: Nov. 7, 1972 21 Appl. No.: 304,344

[52] US. Cl 15/21 A, l5/3.l2, 134/159 [51] Int. Cl A63b 47/04 [58] Field of Search l5/3.l, 3.1l, 3.12-3.16,

l5/3.l9, 3.2, 2l'A, 97 R; 134/159 [56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,l20,669 2/1964 Montuori l5/2l A Primary Examiner-Edward L. Roberts Attorney-John W. Malley et al.

[57] ABSTRACT A washing machine for washing small articles comprising a generally horizontal drum having a circumferential wall and end walls; means mounting said drum for rotation about its axis so that the articles to be cleaned are tumbled within the lower part of the drum during rotation thereof; 'an adjustable scoop device within said drum and rotatable therewith, said scoop device being selectively adjustable between a first position in which it forms a surface projecting inwardly from the circumferential wall of the drum for gathering articles from the lower portion of the drum and for retaining such articles during a portion of any given revolution of said drum and a second position in which it is inoperative to gather and retain articles; and outlet means including a movable closure member in a wall of said drum through which articles retained by said scoop device may be removed when said drum is not rotatmg.

7 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTEUJAN l 5 $974 SHEET 10E 2 GOLF BALL CLEANING MACHINE This invention relates to drum-type cleaning machines which tumble the articles to be cleaned, and in particular it relates to a machine for cleaning ballshaped articles such as golf balls.

Rotatable drum-type cleaning machines are broadly known in the prior art, and reference is made to U.S. Pat. No. 3,120,669 which discloses a machine of this type which is particularly adapted for cleaning golf balls. This prior art machine comprises a rotatable drum constructed of spaced-apart scrubbing bars which define the circumferential wall of the drum. The drum dips into a body of cleaning solution contained in a fixed outer container so that the balls are tumbled within the lower part of the drum during rotation of the latter while being bathed with cleaning solution which enters and leaves through the spaces between the scrubbing bars.

The present invention provides a drum-type cleaning machine which represents an improvement over the prior art in that it includes an internal configuration which permits all of the balls to be scrubbed at the same time and which is adjustable to scoop the balls from the bottom of the drum at the end of a washing cycle and deliver them to an outlet opening in the drum.

In the preferred embodiment, the internal structure includes a scoop or trough assembly extending from one end of the drum to the other end and including a movable wall section by which the scooping action of the assembly is controlled. In one position, the wall section forms a side wall of the trough and extends to the internal surface of the circumferential wall, while in the other position it is disposed generally flush with thecircumferential wall so that the remainder of the trough is essentially inoperative during a wash cycle.

The machine of the present invention also provides a novel arrangement of internal scrubbing structure, together with a novel arrangement of inlet and outlet openings for the balls. The circumferential wall of the drum is constructed of spaced apart wall sections which carry on their inner surfaces alayer of brush-like material, such as Astroturf. In order to provide ready access to the interior of the drum for maintenance and for delivery of the balls to be washed, one of the wall sections is hinged for swinging movement about an axis which is parallel to the axis of the drum.

The invention will be further understood from the following more detailed description of a preferred embodiment taken with the drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a cleaning machine embodying the principles of the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a side elevational view, partly broken away, of the machine of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a sectional view taken on the line 33 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken on the line 44 in FIG. 3.

Referring to FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, it will be seen that the cleaning machine includes a rotatable horizontally disposed drum having a rear wall 12, a front wall 14 and a circumferential wall 16 which is constructed of a plurality of arcuate wall sections 18. The drum 10 is carried within an outer container 20 which includes front and rear end walls 22,24 on which the drum I0 is supported by suitable bearings 26 for rotation about its own axis. Rotation of the drum 10 is effected by means of an electric motor 28 and belt drive 30 connected to a pulley 32 carried by a shaft 34 which projects from the rear wall 24 of the container 20. The container 20 is supported from the floor by a suitable framing 36.

The wall sections 18, which may be constructed of sheet metal, extend between the end walls 12,14 of the drum 10 and are secured to the end walls by means of rigid'rods 38. In the illustrated embodiment, the rods 38 are threaded at both ends and are clamped to each end wall 12,14 by means of inner and outer nuts 40,42. As seen in FIG. 3, each longitudinal edge of all but one of the wall sections 18 is wrapped around one of the rods so as to be secured thereto. The remaining wall section 18a is adapted to be pivoted along one of its longitudinal edges so that the entire section 18a can be swung outwardly from the remainder of the circumferential wall 16. As shown, this is accomplished by wrapping one edge of the wall section 18a around one of the rods 38 sufficiently loosely that the rod 38 serves as a fixed hinge axis. The opposite longitudinal edge of the wall section 180 rests on but is not secured to another rod 38. Any suitable means is provided for locking the wall section 18a in a closed position. As shown, a pair of sliding bolt latches 44 is provided, the bolt 44a being slidable along an axis parallel to the hinge axis and in the latched position projecting through a hole 46 in the adjacent end wall 12 or 14 of the drum 10.

In order to provide a scrubbing surface for the balls, the inner surfaces of the arcuate wall sections 18 are provided with tough brush-like material 47 which provides a large number of bristles projecting radially inwardly. One sutiable material is Astroturf, a mat of synthetic plastic resembling grass. The brush-like material 47 covers the entire surface of the wall sections 18, and, as shown, each wall section 18 carries its own layer of material so that cleaning solution may pass into and out of the drum through the spaces 48 between ad jacent wall sections. The material 47 may be secured to the wall sections 18 by a suitable adhesive 49.

The internal arrangement of the drum 10 also includes a scoop 50 or trough which is selectably adjustable between an operative and an inoperative position. In the operative position, the scoop 50 serves to lift the balls 52 during part of a given revolution of the drum 10 so as to deliver the balls 52 to an outlet door 54 in the front wall 14 of the drum 10. The scoop 50 includes a fixed bottom wall 56 and a fixed side wall 58, each of which extends between the end walls 12 and 14 of of the drum. These walls 56 and 58 may be supported by rods 60in a manner similar to the arcuate wall sections 18. The adjustable nature of the scoop 50 is achieved with a pivoted side wall, or retrieve panel 62, which is movable between the solid line position and the dotted line position illustrated in FIG. 3. As shown, the outer edge 64 of the adjustable retrieve panel 62 is secured to a rod 66 which is mounted at its ends in the end walls 12 and 14 of the drum 10 for rotation about its own axis. The forward end of the rod projects through the front end wall 14 and carries a lever arm 68 by means of which an operator can adjust the position of the panel 62. The outer end of the lever arm 68 carries a latch device 70 which permits the assembly to be latched in either the operative or inoperative positions. A suitable latch device includes a pin 72 which is spring-biased so as to project through either of two apertures 74,76 located in the front wall 14 at positions which correspond to the operative and inoperative positions of the retrieved panel 62. In FIG. 1 the device is illustrated in its inoperative position, and in FIG. 3, the device is illustrated in its operative position.

The scoop 50 is arranged within the drum so that it presents a generally radially facing surface which will retrieve or collect the balls as it passes counterclockwise through the six oclock position at the lower portion of the circular path of revolution of the drum 10. The scoop 50 is also inclined so that its forward end is perhaps one-half inch lower than its rear end. This will assure that the balls 52 will roll by gravity through the outlet door 54 of the drum 10. It will be seen that the forward end of the wall 56 of the scoop 50 is flush with the lower hinged edge of the door 54 so that once the latter is opened the balls 52 are free to roll out of the drum 10. During a washing cycle the door 54 is, of course, maintained in a closed position as by means of a suitable latch such as a toggle latch 78a,78b. It is also possible to mount the drum 10 within the container so that the entire drum 10 is inclined. Alternatively, the entire apparatus may be mounted so that the rear of the container 20 is at a higher elevation than the front. In operation of the machine, a quantity of golf balls is placed in the drum 10 after unlatching and raising the hinged wall section 18a. At this time, the retrieve panel 62 of the scoop structure 50 resides in the dotted line position illustrated in HO. 3. After the wall section 18a has been closed and latched, the drum 10 is rotated through the motor drive for a period of time so that the balls 52 are continuously tumbled within the lower portion of the drum 10. The action of the brush-like material 47 on the balls loosens surface dirt which then passes out of the drum through the spaces 48 between wall sections 18. After an appropriate clean-ing period, the drum 10 is stopped, and the retrieve panel 62 of the scoop 50 is swung counterclockwise to the solid line position of FIG. 3. Then the drum 10 is rotated counterclockwise one revolution so that the scoop 50 gathers and retains a quantity of the balls 52. When the scoop 50 arrives at the FIG. 3 position, the drum 10 is again stopped, and the outlet door 54 is opened so that the balls 52 roll out of the drum 10 by gravity. Any suitable collecting device may be disposed below the lever of the door, such as an inspection table 80 illustrated schematically in FIG. 1. Depending on the number of balls 52 in the drum 10, it may be necessary to revolve the drum 10 through another revolution in order to gather any balls 52 still remaining in the lower part of the drum 10. Cleaning solution may be drained from the container 20 through a valve 82.

While a preferred embodiment of the cleaning machine has been described, it is not intended that the details thereof be limiting except as they appear in the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

l. A washing machine for washing small articles comprising a generally horizontal drum having a circumferential wall and end walls; means mounting said drum for rotation about its axis so that the articles to be cleaned are tumbled within the lower part of the drum during rotation thereof; an adjustable scoop device within said drum and rotatable therewith, said scoop device being selectively adjustable between a first position in which it forms a surface projecting inwardly from the circumferential wall of the drum for gathering articles from the lower portion of the drum and for retaining such articles during a portion of any given revolution of said drum and a second position in which it is inoperative to gather and retain articles; and outlet means including a movable closure member in a wall of said drum through which articles retained by said scoop device may be removed when said drum is not rotating.

2. A washing machine as in claim 1 wherein said scoop device includes a movable wall and at least one other wall, said movable wall having a first position in which it cooperates with the other wall to define a gathering and retaining surface and having a second position in which it is spaced from said other wall.

3. A washing machine as in claim 1 wherein said scoop device includes a movable wall which is adjustable between a first position in which it projects inwardly from the peripheral wall of the drum to form a scooping surface and a second position in which it is disposed generally parallel to the peripheral wall of the drum.

4. A washing machine as in claim 1 wherein said scoop device extends substantially from one end wall to the other end wall of the drum and is inclined toward one of said end walls, and wherein said outlet means is disposed in the end wall which is adjacent the lower portion of said scoop device whereby ball-shaped articles being washed can roll by gravity through said outlet means.

5. A washing machine for washing ball-shaped articles comprising: a generally horizontal drum having opposite end walls one of which is provided with a closeable opening through which articles may be removed from the drum, the drum also including a circumferential wall which is provided with a closeable opening through which articles may be passed into the drum, said circumferential wall including a plurality of panels extending between and connected to the end walls, at least some of the panels being provided with flexible brush-like projections covering the surface which faces the interior of the drum, said panels being spaced apart around the circumference of the drum to provide openings between panels; means mounting the drum for rotation about its axis so that articles to be cleaned are tumbled within the lower part of the drum; a container surrounding at least the lower portion of the drum whereby cleaning liquid placed in the container may enter and leave the drum through the openings therein; and means within the drum for delivering ball-shaped articles to the opening in the end wall of the drum by gravity, said means including a inclined surface extending in a generally axial direction and terminating at its lowest part adjacent the opening in the end wall.

6. A washing machine as in claim 5 wherein one of the panels is hinged for swinging movement toward and away from the remainder of the circumferential wall of the drum thereby providing the closeable opening.

7. A washing machine as in claim 6 wherein the inclined surface within the drum extends from one end wall to the opposite end wall and faces generally in the direction of the hinged panel.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3120669 *Jun 19, 1962Feb 11, 1964Felix C MontuoriGolf ball washing apparatus
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3949443 *Dec 2, 1974Apr 13, 1976Edgar John BCoin controlled golf ball washer
US4069536 *Oct 26, 1976Jan 24, 1978Hartz Robert EGolf club washer
US4601080 *Apr 29, 1985Jul 22, 1986Cook Terrence EWashing apparatus
US5772778 *Oct 5, 1993Jun 30, 1998Baeck; Bengt Adolf EmanuelMethod and means for washing and dispensing of balls
US8118043 *Sep 9, 2008Feb 21, 2012Ennis G ThomasVehicle washing installation with artificial turf covered wash bay
Classifications
U.S. Classification15/21.2, 15/3.12, 134/159
International ClassificationA63B47/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63B2047/046, A63B47/04
European ClassificationA63B47/04