M. BLOOM PIPE CLEANER Dec. 10, 1968 Filed Aug. 19, 1966 2 MM Q. I
7 k a (w Hanl \KAA sfi-\\\\\\\I 1N VEN TOR. MEYER BLOOM ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,414,926 PIPE CLEANER Meyer Bloom, 955 Rutland Road, Brooklyn, NY. 11212 Filed Aug. 19, 1966, Ser. No. 573,593 Claims. (Cl. 15--104.3)
ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE In apparatus for cleaning pipes by means of a cutter on the end of a snake (cable), the snake is drawn from a coil in a rotatable storage compartment and emerges from a hollow shaft connected to the storage compartment. The shaft and the snake are rotated by rotating the storage compartment, and the snake, which has a helical jacket, is advanced from the end of shaft by relatively stationary jaws engaging the jacket so that rotation of the snake screws the snake through the jaws. The snake is adapted to be oscillated longitudinally by a cam follower mounted on, and extending outwardly from, the shaft and straddled by a pair of parallel cam plates that extend across the axis of the shaft and are adapted to be inclined relative to the axis of the shaft.
This invention relates to an improved mechanical apparatus for the cleaning of obstructions in pipes such as sewer pipes and the like.
In order to clear obstructions from pipes such as sewer pipes and the like, the art has provided a variety of machines adapted to rotate a flexible cable having a cutter mounted on the end thereof. The flexible cable is inserted within the obstructed pipe and as the cable is rotated, it is caused to advance into the pipe until the obstruction is reached. At this point, the cutter at the head end of the rotating snake breaks up or dislodges the obstruction.
In most of the apparatus, the snake feed is continuous. For example, in many of the popular devices, the snake is provided with a helical outer jacket engaged by a clamping device at the front end of the machine. As the snake is rotated, the helical jacket engages the clamping device and advances as the helical jacket coacts with the clamping device in the manner of an advancing screw.
However, when the obstruction is reached, advancing cutter digs into the obstruction, applying a sudden torsional load to the end of the advancing snake. Since the length of the snake is often quite long before the obstruction is reached, this often causes a snake whipping which is hazardous for the operator. If the obstruction stalls the cutter, snake breakage is a possibility. Even if the snake does not break, it is difficult then to back the snake away from the obstruction. Further, with a steadily advancing cutter, it is often difficult to remove the obstruction because the cutter advancement tends to compact the obstruction.
It is, therefore, an object of the present invention to provide an improved pipe cleaner in which the snake advancement can be controlled by the operator and can be an oscillatory motion, the stroke of which is controllable by the operator.
In accordance with this object, there is provided, in a preferred embodiment of this invention, a compartment for storage of a snake. The compartment is provided with an end wall joined to a hollow shaft extending axially therefrom. One end of the snake is fed into the hollow shaft and after passing through said hollow shaft, is provided with a cutter at the free end thereof. Means are provided to rotatably drive the compartment and attached shaft. A feed mechanism of conventional nature may be mounted at the exit end of the shaft to advance the snake into the pipe to be cleaned. In order to provide controlled oscillatory motion to the advancing snake, the shaft is provided with a radially extending cam follower. Cam plates are positioned astraddle the cam follower. The carn plates are hinged at one end thereof and are coupled together at the other end so that the cam plates are disposed in parallel relationship. The separation of the cam plates corresponds to the axial length of the cam follower. Thus, when the cam plates are disposed radially of said cam, rotation of the: cam follower will impart no axial motion to the shaft. Means are provided, however, to incline the cam plates from the radial disposition and to hold said plates in the selected inclination. As the shaft is rotated, the cam follower follows the inclined surface of the cam plates, establishing an oscillation in the shaft, thereby to oscillate the advancing snake.
With this arrangement, the snake cutter oscillates even during advancement of the snake. Thus, approach to an obstruction is momentarily with the cutter hitting the obstruction and then being retracted therefrom. In this manner, the cutter will not cut deeply into the obstruction, jamming rotation thereof but will instead sequentially during the oscillation cycle, cut portions from the obstruction. Thus, machine jamming is considerably reduced with the concomitant difiiculties due to snake whipping. The ability to clear obstructions is improved due to the oscillatory motion since the material cut from the obstruction tends to be dispersed on the return stroke of the cutter oscillation and does not become jammed more tightly against the obstruction as in the case with linearly advancing snakes.
Having briefly described this invention, it will be described in greater detail along with other objects and advantages, in the following portions of the specification, which may best be understood by reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:
FIG. 1 is an elevation view of the apparatus constructed in accordance with the present invention;
FIG. 2 is a section view taken along lines 2-2 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a section view taken along lines 3-3 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 4 is a section view taken along lines 44 of FIG. 1', and
FIG. 5 is a section view taken along lines 5-5 of FIG. 4.
In the figures, there is shown an improved pipe cleaning apparatus comprising a framework 10 within which a snake storage compartment 12 is rotatably mounted. The snake storage comparment contains the snake 14 loosely coiled therein and may be provided with an enclosing peripheral wall, although for lightness, the compartment is preferably enclosed merely by a plurality of axially extending straps 16 connected to the radialy extending end walls 18 and 20. A hollow shaft 22 is coupled to end Wall 20 encircling the aperture 24 therein. The shaft is coupled by means of flange 26. For convenience in disassembly, a flange joint 28 may be provided in the shaft. The shaft is journalled in a bearing 30. The opposite end of the reel is carried by a stub axle 32 journalled in bearing 34. The snake 14 is fed through the aperture 36 in the rotatably mounted sleeve 38 within the reel storage compartment. To prevent binding, a guide 37 may be used. The sleeve 38 is journalled in bearings 40, 42. The snake is then fed through the hollow shaft, the end of which is journalled in bearing 44 and extends outwardly therefrom. A cutter 46 may be mounted on the end of the snake. The device is provided with a feed mechanism 48 to selectively advance the snake.
The feed mechanism consists of jaws 45, 47 hinged at one end and coupled to respective levers 49, 51 at the other. Tightening of nut 53 will move the levers and thus, jaws 45, 47 together to clamp on the spiral jacket 52 of the snake. The jaw 45 is connected to a sleeve 55 which is rotatably coupled to shaft 22 via coupling members 57 and 59. Coupling member 59 is not drawn tight to permit relative rotation between shaft 22 and sleeve 55 while maintaining coaxial positioning. Friction will tend to rotate sleeve 55 but rotation is stopped by interaction of lever 51 with stop 61 on the frame. By this feed mechanism, control over automatic feed of the snake is afforded. Of course, manual feed may be used, as is common in present equipment.
The storage compartment 12 and shaft 22 are rotatably driven by drive motor 54. The drive motor preferably drives the assembly through a belt 56 so that if any snake jamming occurs, the belt slippage will prevent breakage of the snake.
In order to provide oscillatory motion of the advancing snake, there is provided a first and second cam plate 58 and 60, respectively. The plates are coupled to a mounting frame 62 by hinges 64, 66, respectively. The shaft is provided with a cam follower 68 mounted on a radially extending shaft 70 clamped to shaft 22 by a set screw 72. The cam follower 68 is provided with rollers 74 at the ends thereof which engage the cam plates 58 and 60. The cam plates are positioned in parallel disposition by a tie strap 76 coupled to lugs 78, 80 on plates 58, 60, respectively, and bolted to the tie plates 76 by bolts 82. The bolts permitted limited rotation of the lugs with respect to the strap 76.
When the plates are positioned in the radial plane of shaft 22 as illustrated in the dotted outline, the shaft motion is purely rotational. However, when the cam plates 58, 60 are inclined from the radial plane, as illustrated in solid outline, the cam follower fol-lows the surface of the cam and the shaft is imparted with an oscillatory motion. To adjust the stroke of the oscillation, there is provided a coupling lug 84 which is bolted to lever 86 by bolt 88. The lever 86 is provided with a plurality of holes 90, a selective one of which can be pinned to the vertically extending lug 92 by bolt 94, thereby to maintain the lever 86 and, thus, cam plates 58, 60 in the position selected.
Thus, the stroke of oscillation can be selected during use of the apparatus and can be varied during use thereof.
The entire unit may be mounted on casters 96 for ease of movement.
This invention may be variously modified and embodied within the scope of the subjoined claims.
What is claimed is:
1. A pipe cleaning apparatus comprising a hollow shaft for guiding a snake therethrough, means for rotatably driving said hollow shaft, means for advancing said snake through said hollow shaft, a cam follower mounted on said hollow shaft and extending radially outwardly therefrom, a first and second cam plate positioned astraddle said cam follower, each of said cam plates being hinged at one end thereof, a strap coupling the unhinged end of said cam plate together to position said plate in parallel plane, means for inclining said plates to impart oscillatory motion to said shaft and for holding said plates at the desired inclination.
2. A pipe cleaning apparatus in accordance with claim 1 in which said means for advancing said snake through said hollow shaft includes a snake storage compartment coupled to said rotating shaft thereby to rotate the snake with the shaft, said snake storage compartment being provided with an opening for feeding said snake through said compartment and into said hollow shaft, and relatively stationary feed mechanism for engaging and moving the snake past said mechanism as the snake rotates relative thereto.
3. A pipe cleaning apparatus in accordance with claim 2 in which said means for rotatably driving the shaft comprises a motor drivingly connected to rotate said snake storage compartment.
4. A pipe cleaning apparatus in accordance with claim 2 in which said snake is provided with a helical jacket and in which said feed mechanism includes a cramping means adjacent the open end of said hollow shaft to engage said helical jacket, thereby to advance said snake as it is rotated.
5. A pipe cleaning apparatus in accordance with claim 1 in which said means for including said plates comprises an adjustment lever coupled to said strap, said adjustment lever being provided with a plurality of apertures therein, and lIIl6al'lS for pinning a selected one of said apertures to define the inclination of said cam plates.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,272,387 2/1942 Therrien 15104.3 2,488,490 11/1949 Buch-miller 15-1043 3,095,592 7/1963 Hunt 15104.3 3,213,473 10/1965 Singer 15-104.3 3,329,044 7/1967 Singer 15-104.3 EDWARD L. ROBERTS, Primary Examiner.
US. Cl. X.R. 15-104.1