Title:
Upright Fireplace Grate for Use in Rumford-Style Fireplace
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A fireplace grate that fits a Rumford-style fireplace and is capable of supporting firelogs in an upright position, allowing more air to circulate behind and beneath the logs increasing the temperature of the fire. The fireplace grate includes a top transverse bar, a bottom transverse bar, and a plurality of support beams. In one embodiment, the fireplace grate includes a raised bracket bar and a pair of legs. Firelogs are vertically orientated so that one point is in contact with either the fireplace hearth or the raised bracket bar and another point contacts at least one of the support beams.



Inventors:
Ferringer, Tedd (Knox, PA, US)
Application Number:
12/037708
Publication Date:
08/28/2008
Filing Date:
02/26/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
126/152B
International Classes:
F24B1/193
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BASICHAS, ALFRED
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
The Webb, Law Firm P. C. (700 KOPPERS BUILDING, 436 SEVENTH AVENUE, PITTSBURGH, PA, 15219, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A fireplace grate for use in a Rumford-style fireplace, comprising: a top transverse bar comprising a first top segment, a second top segment, and a third top segment; a bottom transverse bar comprising a first bottom segment, a second bottom segment, and a third bottom segment; and a plurality of support bars, wherein the fireplace grate allows for logs to be positioned in an upright position.

2. The fireplace grate of claim 1, wherein the first bottom segment is substantially parallel to the first top segment, the second bottom segment is substantially parallel to the second top segment, and the third bottom segment is substantially parallel to the third top segment.

3. The fireplace grate of claim 1, further comprising at least two legs.

4. The fireplace grate of claim 3, wherein the legs are connected to the bottom transverse bar.

5. The fireplace grate of claim 1, wherein the angle formed between the first top segment and the second top segment is within 10° of the angle formed between the third top segment and the second top segment.

6. The fireplace grate of claim 1, wherein the second top segment is shorter than the second bottom segment.

7. The fireplace grate of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of members extending from the bottom transverse bar and defining a platform.

8. The fireplace grate of claim 1, wherein at least one of the support bars are connected to both the top transverse bar and the bottom transverse bar.

9. The fireplace grate of claim 8, wherein at least one of the support bars is connected to both the second top segment and the second bottom segment.

10. The fireplace grate of claim 9, wherein at least one of the support bars is connected to both the first top segment and the first bottom segment.

11. The fireplace grate of claim 10, wherein at least one of the support bars is connected to both the third top segment and the third bottom segment.

12. A method of building a fire, comprising the steps of: providing a fireplace grate comprising a top transverse bar, a bottom transverse bar, and a plurality of support bars; providing a plurality of logs; and positioning said logs in an upright position, wherein the top transverse bar comprises a first top segment, a second top segment, and a third top segment and the bottom transverse bar comprises a first bottom segment, a second bottom segment, and a third bottom segment.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the method is performed in a Rumford-style fireplace.

14. The method of claim 12, wherein the fireplace grate further comprises a plurality of members extending from the bottom transverse bar defining a platform and the plurality of logs are positioned so that each log is at least partially supported by the platform.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/904,073 filed Feb. 27, 2007, and entitled “Upright Fireplace Grate for Use in Rumford-Style Fireplace,” the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The invention relates to fireplace grates, and more specifically to fireplace grates that fit a Rumford-style fireplace and are capable of supporting the wood in an upright position allowing more air to circulate behind and beneath the wood increasing the temperature of the fire.

2. Description of Related Art

Fireplace grates have been used for a long time to support firewood above the floor of a hearth. The gap between the hearth floor and the grate allows for air to circulate beneath the wood and also allows ash to drop away from the burning logs. This assists in maintaining air circulation around the logs and helps prevent the flames from being smothered by the ash. Typically fireplace grates have been manufactured from a number of intersecting iron bars that form a cradle for holding the wood in a log cabin style arrangement, though recent modifications have began to surface. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 6,886,555 (Lee) shows a fireplace grate that includes a compartment for holding a starter material. Fireplace grates come in various shapes and sizes to fit fireplaces of varying dimensions and styles.

One style of fireplace, known as a Rumford fireplace, has inwardly sloping rear and front walls and a throat which is approximately 4″ deep no matter how large the other dimensions of the fireplace are. Additionally it has a smoke shelf which is 3″ to 4″ deep, a front wall 13″ to 15″ long, and is arranged so that a plumb line dropped from the middle of the throat will fall precisely in the middle of the floor or hearth of the fireplace. The advantage of this type of fireplace is that it reflects more heat and its streamlined throat eliminates turbulence and carries away smoke with little loss of heated room air. The problem with such a fireplace is that its shallow dimensions do not allow for many logs to be burned at any one time using traditional fireplace grates. Further, if the logs are packed too tightly against the rear and side walls, air cannot properly circulate under and behind the wood diminishing the ability of the fire to burn at a high temperature. A high temperature is advantageous since the higher the fire temperature, the more heat is transferred to the room and the cleaner the burn. A cleaner burning fire eliminates more of the volatile gasses driven from the wood and minimizes the build-up of creosote in the chimney.

SUMMARY

The invention provides a fireplace grate that addresses the problems in the art.

The novel fireplace grate includes a top transverse bar, a bottom transverse bar, a plurality of support beams, and, optionally, a raised log bracket and pair of legs. The grate is manufactured from material suitable to withstand the heat of an ordinary fire, such as steel or cast iron, although other materials may be used without departing from the spirit of the present invention. Both the bottom and top transverse bars are composed of at least three segments.

In one embodiment, which does not include a raised log bracket or legs, firelogs can be vertically oriented and leaned so that one end is in contact with the fireplace hearth and the other end is in contact with one or more of the support beams.

In another embodiment, which includes a raised log bracket and legs, firelogs can be vertically orientated and placed so that one end is in contact with the raised log bracket and the other end is in contact with one or more of the support beams.

The invention also includes a method of building a fire using a fireplace grate includes a top transverse bar, a bottom transverse bar, and a plurality of support beams.

BRIEF DESCRIPTIONS OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front elevation view of an embodiment of a fireplace grate.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of a fireplace grate.

FIG. 3 is a bottom plan view of the fireplace grate of FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of the fireplace grate of FIG. 1.

FIG. 5 is a bottom plan view of another embodiment of the fireplace grate.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

As used herein, spatial or directional terms, such as “left,” “right,” “inner,” “outer,” “above,” “below,” “top,” “bottom,” and the like, relate to the invention as it is shown in FIG. 1. However, it is to be understood that the invention may assume various alternative orientations and, accordingly, such terms are not to be considered as limiting. Further, as used herein, all numbers expressing dimensions, physical characteristics, and the like, used in the specification and claims are to be understood as being modified in all instances by the term “about.” Accordingly, unless indicated to the contrary, the numerical values set forth in the following specification and claims are approximations that may vary depending upon the desired properties sought to be obtained by the present invention. At the very least, and not as an attempt to limit the application of the doctrine of equivalents to the scope of the claims, each numerical value should at least be construed in light of the number of reported significant digits and by applying ordinary rounding techniques. Moreover, all ranges disclosed herein are to be understood to include the beginning and ending range values and to encompass any and all subranges subsumed therein. For example, a stated range of “1 to 10” should be considered to include any and all subranges between (and inclusive of) the minimum value of 1 and the maximum value of 10; that is, all subranges beginning with a minimum value of 1 or more and ending with a maximum value of 10 or less, e.g., 5.5 to 10.

The present application is directed to a fireplace grate, and more particularly to a fireplace grate that can be used in a Rumford-style fireplace. The fireplace grate of the instant invention comprises a top transverse bar, a bottom transverse bar, and a plurality of support bars. The fireplace grate allows for firelogs to be positioned in an upright position. Each of the top and bottom transverse bars is comprised of multiple segments. One advantage of the fireplace grate is that it allows more air to circulate beneath and behind the firelogs in a Rumford-style fireplace which increases the temperature of the fire. A higher temperature allows more heat to dissipate into the room and burns off more volatile gasses driven from the wood, decreasing the build-up of creosote in the chimney.

A first embodiment of the fireplace grate of the present invention is indicated generally by the numeral 1 and is particularly shown in FIGS. 1-4. Grate 1 is preferably made of a material suitable to withstand the heat of an ordinary fire, such as steel or cast iron, although other materials may be used without departing from the spirit of the present invention.

The grate 1 includes a top transverse bar 2, a bottom transverse bar 3, and a plurality of support beams 4a-e. Optionally, the grate 1 may include a raised log bracket 9, as seen in FIG. 5, and a plurality of legs (not shown).

The top transverse bar 2 is composed of multiple segments, such as three. In one embodiment, shown in FIG. 2, top transverse bar 2 includes one top flat segment 6 and two top segments 5a and 5b that are individually disposed at opposite ends of top flat segment 6. Each of top segments 5a and 5b may be connected to top flat segment 6 at an angle relative to top flat segment 6. The angle between each of top segments 5a and 5b and top flat segment 6 may be substantially similar, such that the angle between top segment 5a and top flat segment 6 is within 10° of the angle between top segment 5b and top flat segment 6. Top segments 5a and 5b can be connected to top flat segment 6 by way of a weld, solder, braze, or other joint-forming process so long as the joints can sufficiently survive exposure to temperatures commonly encountered during a fire.

Bottom transverse bar 3 generally has a similar construction as top transverse bar 2, and is also composed of multiple segments. Bottom transverse bar 3 may be composed of the same number of segments as top transverse bar 3. In one embodiment, bottom transverse bar includes one bottom flat segment 8 and two bottom segments 7a and 7b that are individually disposed at opposite ends of bottom flat segment 8, as shown in FIG. 3. Each of bottom segments 7a and 7b are typically connected to bottom flat segment 8 so as to create an angle between bottom flat segment 8 and bottom segments 7a and 7b, respectively. The angle between bottom segment 7a and bottom flat segment 8 may be substantially similar, such as within 10°, of the angle between bottom segment 7b and bottom flat segment 8. While the arrangement of bottom transverse bar 3 may be similar to the arrangement of top transverse bar 2, each of the bottom segments 7a, 7b, and 8 are typically longer in length that the corresponding top segment 5a, 5b, and 6, respectively. In one embodiment, top flat segment 6 may be parallel, or at least nearly parallel, to bottom flat segment 8. Top segment 5a may be parallel, or nearly parallel, to bottom segment 7a, and top segment 5b may be parallel, or nearly parallel, to bottom segment 7b. The angle between top segment 5a and top flat segment 6 may be substantially similar to, such as within 10° of, the angle between bottom segment 7a and bottom flat segment 8. The same can be true for the angle between top segment 5b and top flat segment 6 and the angle between bottom segment 7b and bottom flat segment 8. Each of bottom segments 7a and 7b may be connected to bottom flat segment 8 by way of a weld, solder, braze, or any joint-forming process sufficient to withstand the temperature of a fire.

The plurality of support beams 4 may be connected by way of a weld, solder, braze, or other joint-forming process to either or both bottom transverse bar 3 and top transverse bar 2. In one embodiment, shown in FIG. 1, a support beam 4a is connected to both bottom segment 7a and top segment 5a. Support beam 4a may be connected to bottom segment 7a at, for example, the end of bottom segment 7a furthest from bottom flat segment 8. Another support beam 4d may be connected to both bottom segment 7b and top segment 5b. Additional support beams 4b, 4c, 4e may also be connected to top transverse bar 2, bottom transverse bar 3, or both. In one embodiment, support beams 4b and 4c, respectively, connect to bottom transverse bar 3 at the point where bottom segments 7a and 7b, respectively, connect to bottom flat segment 8. Support beams 4b and 4c, respectively, also may connect to top transverse bar 2 at the point where top segments 5a and 5b, respectively, connect to top flat segment 6. A further support beam 4e may connect to bottom transverse bar 3 but not to top transverse bar 2. In one embodiment, support beam 4e connects to bottom transverse bar 3 and also to adjacently disposed support beams 4b and 4c by way of a V-shaped sloping beam 12.

As seen in FIG. 4, top flat segment 6 may not be disposed directly above bottom flat segment 8. Instead, bottom flat segment 8 is horizontally offset from top flat segment 6 by a distance of between about 6″ to about 15.″ Such an offset allows for support beams 4 to be disposed at an angle between bottom transverse bar 3 and top transverse bar 2. By disposing support beams 4 in a slanted orientation, firelogs can be more easily rested against support beams 4 in a substantially vertical arrangement.

Grate 1 may also include a pair of legs. The legs may be between about 0.5″ and 1.5″ in length and between about 0.25″ and 2.0″ in width and may be connected to the lower transverse bar 3 by a weld, solder, braze or other like process at a point at or near the point where bottom segments 7a and 7b connect with bottom flat segment 8.

Grate 1 may also include a raised log bracket 9, as seen in FIG. 5. Raised log bracket 9 is disposed so as to allow for supporting a point of firelog. Firelog can then be further supported at a second point by one or more of support beams 4. The raised log bracket 9 includes a plurality of members 10, such as three, extending from lower transverse bar 3, preferably in a direction perpendicular or nearly perpendicular to at least one support beam 4. Such arrangement may result in members 10 being disposed at a slight angle with respect to bottom transverse bar 3. Members 10 may individually be from between about 2″ and 6″ in length. Raised log bracket 9 also includes a bracket bar 11. Bracket bar 11 may be composed of multiple segments. As shown in FIG. 5, bracket bar may be composed of three segments 13a, 13b, and 13c. Bracket bar 11 may be constructed in a manner similar to bottom transverse bar 3 with a flat segment and two segments connected at an angle at either end of flat segment. However, in such an arrangement, each segment of bracket bar 11 may be longer in length than the corresponding segment on bottom transverse bar 3. Members 10 connect bracket bar 11 to lower transverse bar 3 and such connection can be effectuated with a weld, solder, braze, or any other joint capable of withstanding high temperatures.

The method of using grate 1 is described below. In a first embodiment, grate 1 is stood upright with bottom transverse bar 3 in direct contact with the fireplace hearth and bottom flat segment 8 parallel to the rear wall of the fireplace. Firelogs are then leaned against grate 1 in a nearly vertical position with one point of the firelog in contact with the fireplace hearth and the other in contact with one or more of support beams 4 and, optionally, top transverse bar 2. By positioning firelogs in such an arrangement, more firelogs can be placed in a Rumford-style fireplace using grate 1 than when a conventional fireplace grate employing a traditional log cabin stacking method is employed. Additionally, more air can circulate behind the logs allowing the fire to burn hotter and, thus, cleaner. If grate 1 includes raised log bracket 9, the firelogs are positioned so one point is again supported by support beams 4 and another point is placed in contact with raised log bracket 9, and more specifically bracket bar 11 and members 10. Raised log bracket 9 prevents the firelogs from directly contacting the fireplace hearth and allows additional air to flow from under the firelogs to further increase the temperature of the fire.

While specific embodiments of the invention have been described in detail, it will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that various modifications and alternatives to those details could be developed in light of the overall teachings of the disclosure. The presently preferred embodiments described herein are meant to be illustrative only and not limiting as to the scope of the invention which is to be given the full breadth of the appended claims and any and all equivalents thereof.