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Publication numberUS3834695 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 10, 1974
Filing dateMay 7, 1973
Priority dateMay 7, 1973
Publication numberUS 3834695 A, US 3834695A, US-A-3834695, US3834695 A, US3834695A
InventorsBoggild R, Dale W
Original AssigneeBoggild R, Dale W
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Mounting and accessories for flexible pole
US 3834695 A
Abstract
A flexible pole, preferably of fiberglass is removably mounted in a socket by elastomeric spaced bushings. One or more steps are removably positioned on the pole by means of a self-locking tapered clamp. The top of the pole has an elastomeric fitting having one or more flexible fingers which prevent a step from inadvertently flying off the pole.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Unite States Patent 1 1 1 3,834,695 Boggild et a1. Sept. 10, 1974 MOUNTING AND ACCESSORIES FOR 3,246,893 4/1966 Boggild et a1 272/60'A FLEXIBLE POLE 3,458,234 7/1969 Bates 248/230 X Inventors: Robert Boggild, 8770 Indian Hill Rd, Cincinnati, Ohio 45243; William L. Dale, 822 Corine Ln., Cincinnati, Ohio 45218 Filed: May 7, 1973 Appl. No.: 357,667

U.S. Cl. 272/60 A, 272/702 lint. Cl A63b 9/00 Field of Search 272/1 B, l R, 70.2, 57 R,

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 6/1951 Bremer 287/5206 Primary ExaminerRichard C. Pinltham Assistant Examiner-Joseph R. Taylor Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Wood, Herron & Evans [57] ABSTRACT A flexible pole, preferably of fiberglass is removably mounted in a socket by elastomeric spaced bushings. One or more steps are removably positioned on the pole by means of a self-locking tapered clamp. The top of the pole has an elastomeric fitting having one or more flexible fingers which prevent a step from inadvertently flying off the pole.

5 Claims, 6 Drawing Figures MOUNTING AND ACCESSORIES FOR FLEXIBLE POLE This invention relates to a gymnastic amusement device and more particularly, the invention relates to improvements in the mount and steps and protective devices of poles of the type described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,246,893 and 3,480,274.

In these patents there is described a gymnastic amusement device consisting of an elongated, flexible resilient pole preferably made of fiberglass. The pole is mounted in a socket in the ground or gymnasium floor or the like. The resilient characteristics of the pole enable it to be gripped close to its top and flexed through an angle of greater than 45 while supporting the weight of the user so as to permit the user to perform a wide variety of acrobatics for amusement, education and physical training.

One of the objectives of the present invention has been to improve the structure by which the pole is mounted in its socket. One of the features of the new mount has been the combination of a mounting tube which is secured to the pole in part by means of elasto meric bushings, the mounting tube having a flared upper flange. The mounting tube is adapted to be removably inserted in a tubular socket which itself has a flared upper flange engageable by the upper flange of the mounting tube so as to suspend the mounting tube in the tubular socket.

Several advantages flow from this construction. The centering action of the flared flanges provide friction against rotation of the pole when in use. The loose fit of the mounting tube within the socket permits easy removal and storage of the pole which is desirable for getting the pole out of the way of other athletic events as well as for extending the life of the pole by preventing its abuse and/or being exposed to climactic conditions which tend to degenerate the quality of the pole.

The random insertion of the pole in the socket tends to distribute the wear more or less uniformly about the circumference of the pole. This is particularly desirable where there is a higher incidence of approach to the pole from one direction than from others.

Another feature of the invention has been the structure of the lower. bushing. In the present invention, the pole is, during its construction, inserted in the mounting tube and a collar is fitted around the pole and inserted into the tube at a location spaced from the bottom of the tube. An elastomeric material is poured into the cavity defined by the collar, the elastomer forming an intimate bond with both the tube and the pole.

Prior to molding, aligned holes are formed in the tube and pole and a pin having a length equal to the outside diameter of the tube is inserted in the holes. The holes in the tube are of slightly larger diameter than the diameter of the pin so that the elastomer flows into the space created between the pin and the holes in the tube to maintain the pin spaced from those holes. The thus cushioned pin flexes with the pole, prevents slippage of the molded bushing and transmits the force on the pole to the mounting tube.

The bushing is preferably molded with a lowermost flange extending below and projecting out to the outside diameter of the tube so as to provide a scuffresisting lower cap on the tube which permits the pole with its attached tube to be dragged across a gymnasium floor without damage to the floor.

Another feature of the improved mount resides in the upper bushing which is also molded on the pole. The upper bushing has a plurality of circumferential slots of the type described in US. Pat. No. 3,482,274 which permits a greater degree of cushioning in the radial direction while the pole is in use.

The upper bushing has an upper flange which projects beyond the bushing and overlies the flange of the mounting tube. Preferably, the bushing flange is cup-shaped and resiliently pressed against the flange of the mounting tube to form a good seal with the mounting tube on all points around its circumference even though the pole is severely flexed thereby forming a dust cover blocking rain and dirt from the mounting tube.

The bushing further has an upwardly projecting sleeve which is in snug engagement with the pole to prevent dirt from sifting between the bushing and the pole and thereby preventing the grinding of the dirt against the fiberglass which would reduce the life of the pole.

Another feature of the mount is the provision of a generally cylindrical spacer extending between the upper and lower bushings. The spacer assures the proper location of the upper bushing above the lower bushing in the event that the bond between the upper bushing and the pole becomes loosened. If the bond becomes loosened, in the absence of a spacer, the upper bushing would drift downwardly, thereby permitting the pole, when in use, to bend against the rigid mounting tube structure which would result in a destruction of the pole.

Another objective of the invention has been to provide an improved step structure and means for mounting the steps on the pole. 1

The step has a disc portion and a central collar, a portion of which extends well above the disc portion to prevent or minimize the scuffing of the pole by the feet of the user standing on the step.

The collar has a tapered inner surface which is in engagement with an elastomeric split clamp. The split clamp has an inner surface adapted to engage and clamp against the pole and a tapered outer surface mating with the tapered surface of the collar.

When the step and clamp are applied to the pole, downward pressure on the step causes the tapered surface of the collar to force the clamp into tight friction engagement with the pole to fix the position of the step on the pole.

The clamping action is improved by the provision of one or more circumferential ribs on the outer surface of the split clamp. The ribs apparently tend to localize or concentrate the pressure applied by the tapered collar surface on the clamp, thereby providing a tighter locking engagement of the clamp with the pole than is possible without the ribs. Further, the ribs permit the easy removal of the step when desired, by simply rocking the step with respect to the split clamp until it becomes loose and removable.

The internal surfacev of the split clamp has one or more longitudinal slots which permit the clamp to adapt itself to any position on a tapered pole aswell as two poles of slightly differing diameters.

The split clamp is in two pieces and is hinged together by at least one, preferably two straps which assure alignment of the halves of the split clamp during application and which retain the split clamp around the pole and prevent loss as well as simplifying adjustment when that is necessary.

A further feature of the step, usually only the uppermost step when two or more steps are used, is the elastomeric cover or tread. The cover has a lateral depending flange which is spaced from the step structure by spaced ribs. The ribs create with the flange a honeycomb structure which provides a cushion tending to minimize injuries should the pole and step inadvertently strike someone.

As another objective of the invention, and cooperating with the steps, is the provision of a top fitting for the pole. The top fitting is of elastomeric material and has at least one, preferably three downwardly depending and outwardly flaring fingers. The fingers create a maximum lateral dimension which is greater than the internal dimension of the collar on the step so that when the step is applied, it is prevented, by the fingers, from inadvertently flying off the pole. The fingers, however, resiliently flex inwardly in order to permit the step to be applied and deliberately removed.

Where the pole is of tubular construction, the top fitting also serves to close the pole against rain, which if it freezes and expands in the interior of the pole would shorten the life of the pole.

The elastomeric material of the fitting also prevents inadvertent injury to a person who might be struck with the end of the pole.

The several objectives and features of the present invention will become more readily apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is an elevational view of the pole;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view through the mounting structure;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view partly in elevation illustrating the step and top fitting;

FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken along lines 44 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the split clamp; and

FIG. 6 is an elevational view of an alternative pole tip construction.

Referring to FIG. 1, a pole 10 is shown inserted in a mounting structure 11 buried in the surrounding earth 12. The pole preferably has three steps 13, 14 and 15, the uppermost step being covered with an elastomeric material to be described. The top of the pole is capped with a fitting 16, also to be described below.

In use, the gymnast climbs the steps 13 and 14 to reach the uppermost step 15 and then, by shifting his weight, causes the pole to flex and assume different positions as indicated by the broken lines 17, it being understood that the pole is capable of flexing to any position in the 360 around the pole.

The pole is preferably made of fiberglass and in one embodiment is hollow and tapered with the larger end of the pole being at the base and the smaller end being at the top of the pole. The taper may be, for example, 0.003 inch per inch so that with a 12 feet pole, the base may be approximately 7/16 inch larger than the tip of the pole.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the pole is mounted in a tublar socket which is buried in concrete 21. The concrete 21 is of an hourglass configuration created by digging out the surrounding earth to the desired configuration as indicated at 22, and thereafter pouring the concrete. The concrete is capped off by earth or sod 23. The hourglass configuration is preferred for it creates a bearing surface against which the concrete 21 pushes as the pole is flexed and more satisfactorily resists loosening in the earth than does a cylindrical concrete mount.

In the illustrated embodiment, the pole is mounted in the ground by means of concrete. It should be understood that it is contemplated that the pole would be mounted on a gymnasium floor for example and in that event, a different mounting would be provided depending upon the structure of the floor in which the pole is mounted.

The lower end of the pole 10 has a mounting tube 25 secured to it, the mounting tube flaring outwardly as at 26 at its upper end. The flange 26 bears against a similar gange 27 which flares outwardly at the upper end of the socket 20 to provide the sole support for the pole.

The lower end of the pole, indicated at 29, is secured to the mounting tube 25 in part by an elastomeric urethane bushing 30 which is molded in situ as will be described below. A collar 31 is previously molded and slipped onto the pole and into the mounting tube 25 to define the limit of the bushing 30. The tube had diametrically opposed apertures 32 through which a pin 33, of substantially smaller diameter, passes. The pin is fitted into holes 34 in the pole 10, the holes 34 being aligned with the apertures 32.

The lower bushing 30 fills not only the cavity within the mounting tube but also the clearance between the pin 33 and the larger diameter apertures 32. The lower bushing also is formed over the bottom edges of the mounting tube by flanges 36 which prevent the tube from scuffing a floor scross which it might be pulled.

The lower bushing and associated structure is formed by inserting the pole 10 into the mounting tube 25 with the lower end of the pole being flush with the lower end of the mounting tube. The collar 31 is slid into the illustrated position. The pole has the holes 34 drilled out in order to receive the pin 33 which is inserted in the position illustrated. Thereafter tape is wrapped around the apertures 32 to block the flow of urethane out of the apertures and a plug 37 is placed in the end of the pole. The urethane is then poured into the end of the tube 25 to complete the formation of the bushing.

At the upper end of the mounting tube 25 the pole is connected to the mounting tube by an upper bushing 39. The upper bushing 39 is spaced from the lower bushing by approximately nine or ten inches and is maintained there, against inadvertent loosening from the pole, by a spacer 41 of a diameter intermediate that of the tube 25 and the pole 10. The spacer has longitudinal slots 42 extending from the top of the spacer almost to the bottom of the spacers to create fingers 43 which flare outwardly to engage the underside of the upper bushing 39. The fingers permit the spacer to flex slightly, thereby preventing the upper bushing from being locked against the normal flexing which it requires. a

The upper ush n is an e tqme ic m erial which is molded on the pole and thereby bonded to the outer surface of the pole 10. The outer surface of the bushing 39 has four circumferentially spaced slots 45, the slots permitting the segments of elastomer between each of them to bulge individually thereby creating a soft but firm engagement of the bushing with the mounting tube and thereby reducing the stress on the pole at the location of the upper bushing when the pole is bent severely toward the ground.

The uppermost section of the bushing is formed as a laterally projecting flange 46 which is normally straight, but when the pole is forced into its final position in the mounting tube 25, the flange 46 is caused to flex upwardly into a cup shape so that the flange bears resiliently against the flared flange 26 of the mounting tube. This resilient engagement of the bushing flange 46 with the mounting tube flange 26 keeps the elastomeric flange in continuous engagement with the mounting tube regardless of the degree of flexure of the pole, thereby providing assurance that no dirt will enter the mounting tube.

The upper bushing 39 has an upwardly projecting sleeve 47 which snugly surrounds the portion of the pole immediately above the bushing and prevents dirt from creeping between the bushing and the pole. This blocking of the introduction of dirt is an important consideration, for the dirt would tend to scratch the pole and seriously shorten its life.

At the lower side of the bushing, a boss 48 is formed to provide a greater length of contact between the bushing and the pole.

The step and cap structure is shown in FIGS. 3, 4 and 5. The step is a rigid plastic material 50 which has a disc-shaped portion 51 terminating in a depending flange 52 and has a central collar 53. The central collar has a tapered internal surface 54 having a continuous upper portion 55 and a discontinuous lower portion 56 formed by ribs 57.

The step is secured to the pole by a split clamp 59 having two identical halves 60 and 61 which are joined together by two straps 62. The split clamp has a tapered outer surface 63 which mates with the inner surface 54 of the collar 53. The outer surface also-has two centrally located, spaced circumferential ribs 64. The split clamp has an internal surface 65 which is generally cylindrical and mates with the outer surface of the pole 10. The internal surface is slotted in both halves as at 66 to permit the clamp to accommodate itself to varying diameters of pole or pole section. Further, the halves are not sufficiently large to completely surround a pole so that there is a gap between the two halves of the split clamp which further permits the clamp to accommodate itself to a pole. The straps 62 hold the two halves together and hold the two halves around the pole so as to prevent loss when the step is not applied. They also urge the two halves into proper alignment when the step is being applied.

The step is applied by sliding it over the split clamp and, as downward pressure is applied to the step, the tapered surface 54 of the collar 53 forces the split clamp tightly against the pole thereby securing the step to the pole. The circumferential ribs 64 tend to concentrate the application of the clamp to the pole (as shown by arrows 67) and thereby provide a higher clamping force than is obtainable without the ribs. Further, when thest'ep is to be removed or its position readjusted, it may be freed from the split clamp simply by rocking the step and its collar about the ribs while lifting up on the step.

The top of step is preferably covered by an elastomeric tread shown in broken lines at 70. The two lower nast mounts the pole. The tread 70 provides the functions of presenting a non-skid surface as well as reducing the possibility of injury arising out of the step striking a bystander. The tread includes an upper disc like portion 71 covering the top of the step and a depending peripheral flange 72. The flange 72 is spaced from the step flange 52 by ribs 73, thereby creating a honeycomb cushion surrounding the lateral edges of the step.

The cap or fitting 16 at the upper end of the pole is bonded to the pole to prevent its removal. It is of an elastomeric material so as to minimize the hazards of the upper end of the pole striking a bystander. The cap has preferably three downwardly extending fingers 75, the outer dimension of the fingers being greater than the internal dimension of the collar 53 so that once the step is applied, the fingers prevent the step from inadvertently flying off the end of the pole. The fingers, as can be seen from FIG. 3, are capable of flexing inwardly which they do when the collar is applied and further may be forced inwardly when the step is to be removed from the pole.

An alternative to the cap 16 is shown in FIG. 6. There, instead of flexible fingers, the lower portion of a cap is formed of a flexible circular rim 81 of about one-eighth inch thickness and of a diameter approximately the same as or slightly greater than that of the smallest internal diameter of the step collar 53. The rim may be segmented. The flexibility of the rim permits the step to be forced on and off the pole, but it is still sufficiently resilient to prevent the step from flying off the pole.

In the operation of the pole, the socket is permanently mounted in its environment and the pole, when not in use, is normally stored so as to prevent its being scuffed and also to prevent its exposure to climactic conditions which tend to degenerate the binder for the fiberglass. When it is to be used, the pole is brought to the tubular socket and inserted in random fashion. This random insertion of the pole tends to increase its life for its continued removal and reinsertion changes the orientation of the pole so that the pole does not tend to be stressed in one direction to a greater extent than another.

Normally the steps would remain on the pole, but they can be easily adjusted. If on the pole, a step is simply rocked and pulled upwardly until it is freed from the split clamp. The position of the split clamp is then changed to a location approximately an inch or two above that which is desired. Thereafter, the step is forced on the split clamp and as downward pressure is applied, the split clamp will slide an inch or two downwardly until the pressure of the tapered surface of the collar forces the split clamp into tight clamping engagement with the pole.

When the steps have been properly positioned, the user climbs the pole and performs the desired gymnastics.

We claim:

1. A step adapted to be mounted on an elongated pole of circular cross section comprising,

a step,

a collar at the center of said step and having a tapered passageway therethrough which is generally circular in cross section,

a clamp of elastomeric material mountable on said pole within said passageway, said clamp being split in the axial direction into a plurality of sections,

at least one strap hinging said sections together,

said clamp having an internal surface for mating with said pole and a tapered outer surface mating with said tapered passageway,

whereby application of pressure on said step forces said clamp, via said mating tapered surfaces, to squeeze against said pole to retain said step on said pole.

2. A step adapted to be mounted on an elongated pole of circular cross section comprising,

a step,

a collar at the center of said step and having a tapered passageway therethrough which is generally circular in cross section,

a split clamp of elastomeric material mountable on said pole within said passageway, said clamp having an internal surface for mating with said pole and a tapered outer surface mating with said tapered passageway,

at least one circumferentially extending rib projecting from the tapered surface of said clamp,

whereby application of pressure on said step forces said clamp, via said mating tapered surfaces, to squeeze against said pole to retain said step on said pole.

3. A step as in claim 2 wherein two said ribs are spaced from each other and located centrally of and approximately cquidistance from the ends of said clamp.

4. A step adapted to be mounted on an elongated pole of circular cross section comprising,

a step,

a collar at the center of said step and having a tapered passageway therethrough which is generally circular in cross section,

5 pole of circular cross section comprising,

a step having a generally disc-shaped portion with a downward depending circumferential flange,

a collar at the center of said step nad having a tapered passageway therethrough which is generally circular in cross section,

a split clamp of elastomeric material mountable on said pole within said passageway,

said clamp having an internal surface for mating with said pole and a tapered outer surface mating with said tapered passageway,

whereby application of pressure on said step forces said clamp, via said mating tapered surfaces, to squeeze against said pole to retain said step on said pole,

an elastomeric material covering said disc-shaped portion and having a downwardly depending circumferential flange located adjacent to said flange of said disc-shaped portion,

a plurality of vertical ribs spaced around the internal surface of said flange of said elastomeric material to provide a honeycomb cushion surrounding said

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2556151 *May 1, 1946Jun 5, 1951Morse Chain CoQuick detachable hub
US3246893 *Jan 14, 1963Apr 19, 1966Dale DriveResilient gymnastic pole device
US3458234 *Nov 3, 1966Jul 29, 1969Hamilton Cosco IncFootrest mounting
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4084814 *Oct 12, 1976Apr 18, 1978Robert BoggildGymnastic pole and mount therefor
US4232862 *Feb 1, 1979Nov 11, 1980Michael MasonObstacle safety device
US4530498 *Sep 29, 1982Jul 23, 1985Heatwole Richard LAmusement and/or exercising device
US5522783 *Dec 27, 1994Jun 4, 1996Gordon Research & Development, Inc.Isotonic-isometric device for exercise and physical therapy
US5674166 *Oct 24, 1996Oct 7, 1997Gordon Research & Development, Inc.Isotonic or isometric exercise and therapy system
US8827874 *Mar 30, 2010Sep 9, 2014Takashi NishimuraEnhancement of the floor of a gym's weightroom
US20120094809 *Mar 30, 2010Apr 19, 2012Takashi NishimuraEnhancement of the floor of a gym's weightroom
WO2001010509A1 *Aug 8, 2000Feb 15, 2001Barry WorkerStilts
Classifications
U.S. Classification482/33, 482/76
International ClassificationA63B25/00, A63B25/02
Cooperative ClassificationA63B25/02
European ClassificationA63B25/02