SANDER WITH ORBITING PLATEN AND
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED
This is a continuation of application Ser. No. 08/477,069 filed Jun. 7, 1995, now issued as U.S. Pat. No. 5,702,287 on Dec. 30, 1997, which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 08/260,360 filed Jun. 15, 1994, now issued as U.S. Pat. No. 5,443,414 on Aug. 22, 1995, which is a continuation of 10 Ser. No. 08/006,379 filed Jan. 19, 1993, now issued as U.S. Pat. No. 5,321,913 on Jun. 21,1994, which is a continuation of application Ser. No. 07/787,897 filed Nov. 5, 1991, now issued as U.S. Pat. No. 5,181,342 on Jan. 26,1993, which is a divisional continuation of application Ser. No. 07/568,902 15 filed Aug. 17, 1990, now issued as U.S. Pat. No. 5,081,794 on Jan. 21, 1992.
This invention relates to a sanding machine and more 20 particularly to a finishing sander with an orbiting platen and abrasive.
A sander is a machine that uses an abrasive such as 25 sandpaper to smooth or polish wood. Typically, the abrasive is moved back and forth across the product, abrading its surface and thereby smoothing it. Different abrasives can be used to achieve different results. For example, a coarse grit ^ abrasive is used to abrade quickly and deeply. A fine grit abrasive is used to produce the final, desired smoothness.
However, even sanding machines that use a fine grit abrasive can leave sanding patterns in the product. A sanding pattern is simply a collection of scratches in the product's 35 surface. For wood products, cross-grain sanding patterns, or scratches running across the wood's grain can result. To remove sanding patterns, finish sanding is often done by hand with a hand-held sander or with steel wool.
The invented sander provides an alternative to hand-held 40 finishing sanders while removing sanding patterns. In other words, the invented sander eliminates the need for finish sanding to be done by hand.
DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION
The invented Sander with Orbiting Platen and Abrasive includes a platen, an abrasive secured to the platen, and a motor connected to the platen to move the platen and abrasive in an orbit or circular pattern. The motor is connected to the platen by a belt that extends around at least one 50 drive shaft, where the shaft includes two ends with a step between the ends so that when the shaft is rotated around one end's longitudinal axis, the step causes a portion of the shaft and the platen to orbit around that axis. The preferred embodiment of the invented sander includes a frame, a 55 conveyor, first and second drive shafts that support a brace and that cause the brace to move in a first orbit, second and third drive shafts that are supported by the brace and connected to a platen so that when the second and third drive shafts are rotated, the platen moves in a second orbit, and a 60 plurality of rubber or synthetic rubber stabilizers positioned between the brace and platen. The invented sander also includes a conveyor to feed a product toward the platen and a rotating brush to abrade and polish the product after it has been sanded by the platen. 65
A product placed on the conveyor is fed toward the abrasive and platen, both of which are moving in a dual
orbit. The first orbit is a high speed circular motion. As stated, the abrasive and platen are supported by a brace and the brace, platen and abrasive are all moved in a second orbit. The second orbit is also circular but at a much lower speed. The combination of the motions of the first orbit and the second orbit generally results in a single point on the abrasive and platen moving to produce a contact pattern on the product that includes a series of loops extending generally back and forth across a portion of the product surface and extending generally along the product surface in the conveyor feed direction.
Because of the orbiting movement of the abrasive and platen, virtually all sanding patterns are removed from the product. For hard surfaces or to remove deep scratches, the product may be fed through the machine multiple times. The product is then directed toward a rotating brush which removes any remaining surface scratches or sanding patterns.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view of the preferred embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the preferred embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 3 is a view of the preferred embodiment of the invention similar to FIG. 2 but with parts of the invention broken away to show additional detail.
FIG. 4 is a top view of the preferred embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 5 is a simplified sectional view taken along the line
5— 5 in FIG. 1.
FIG. 6 is a simplified sectional view taken along the line
6— 6 in FIG. 1.
FIGS. 7 and 8 are simplified views of the drive shafts used in the preferred embodiment of the invention.
FIG. 9 is a simplified drawing of an embodiment of the invention having opposed orbiting platens.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION AND BEST MODE
FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION
The invented sander is shown generally at 10 in FIGS. 1-4. Sander 10 is housed in a protective casing 12 and it is controlled by a control panel 14, both of which are shown in dashed lines in FIG. 2. Casing 12 may be removed to allow for maintenance and repair of the invented sander. Casing 12 may also include ports or apertures to access the enclosed structure.
Inside of casing 12 the invented sander is supported by a frame 16, including a horizontal base support 18 and a plurality of vertical supports 20. In the embodiment shown in the drawings, there are three vertical supports 20 on each side of the sander.
Frame 16 also includes horizontal support plates 22, 23 and 24. Plates 22 and 23 are connected by vertical support plate 26 and plates 22 and 24 are connected by vertical support plate 28. Plates 26 and 28 are, in turn, connected to vertical supports 20 on their respective sides of the sander. A cross support 30 extends from one side of the sander to the other and connects two of the vertical supports 20.
Mounted to horizontal support plates 23 and 24, respectively, are two additional vertical supports 32 and 34. Supports 32 and 34 are positioned one on each side of the sander. Extending across the sander between supports 32 and 34 is a horizontal beam 36.