Title:
OUTDOOR KITCHEN UNIT
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present disclosure provides new outdoor kitchen unit assemblies as well as new methods of assembling an outdoor kitchen unit. The kitchen unit includes a construction that facilitates quick and easy assembly as well as easy transport. When assembled, the units are structurally stable and durable.


Inventors:
Castillo, Nick T. (Yorba Linda, CA, US)
Application Number:
13/949671
Publication Date:
01/29/2015
Filing Date:
07/24/2013
Assignee:
CASTILLO NICK T.
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
29/525.01, 108/161
International Classes:
A47B37/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20080011206Furniture line comprised of a systemJanuary, 2008Warriner
20050211138Portable lap-supported work stationSeptember, 2005Gupta
20080006184Hitch receiver tableJanuary, 2008Simon
20080041282MODULAR MULTI-WALL TRAY RETROFITABLE TO A WHEELCHAIRFebruary, 2008Goschy et al.
20080276839CONVERTIBLE FURNITURE ITEMNovember, 2008Louis et al.
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An outdoor kitchen unit comprising: a frame assembly including: a base frame; a front frame; a rear frame; a first side frame; a second side frame; a countertop including a top surface and a bottom surface, the bottom surface including a locking structure that mates with the top edges of the base frame, front frame, rear frame, first side frame, and second side frame; wherein the first and second side frames are configured to be secured between the front frame and the rear frame such that the first and second side frames do not contribute to the overall length of the assembled frame assembly, wherein the base frame is configured to be secured between the front frame and the rear frame, such that the depth of the assembled frame assembly is defined by the distance between an outwardly facing face of the front frame and an outwardly facing face of the rear frame.

2. The outdoor kitchen unit of claim 1, further comprising a fastener assembly that is configured to apply a force that drives an edge of the first side frame against an edge of the front frame and rear frame.

3. The outdoor kitchen unit of claim 1, further comprising a bracket that engages an inside facing edge of a vertical frame member of the first side frame, a threaded nut fixed to an inside edge of a vertical frame member of the front frame, and a threaded bolt that engages the bracket and the nut and is arranged and configured to drive the bracket along with the vertical frame member to which it is engaged against the vertical frame member of the front frame.

4. The outdoor kitchen unit of claim 1, further comprising a fastener assembly that secures the first side frame in place between the front frame and rear frame wherein the fastener assembly includes a threaded bolt that extends from an inside edge of a vertical frame member of the side frame and a tab with an aperture therein that is configured and arranged to receive the threaded bolt that extends from an inside edge of a vertical frame member of the front frame.

5. The outdoor kitchen unit of claim 1, further comprising a first fastener assembly that secures the first side frame in place between the front frame and rear frame, a second fastener assembly that secures the first side frame in place between the front frame and rear frame, and a third fastener assembly located between the first fastener assembly and second fastener assembly, the third fastener assembly configured to apply a force that drives an edge of the first side frame against an edge of the front frame and rear frame.

6. The outdoor kitchen unit of claim 1, wherein the base frame is configured to interlock with the front frame and rear frame and relative vertical motion therebetween is limited so long as the front and rear frames are held in place by the first and second side frames.

7. The outdoor kitchen unit of claim 1, wherein the base frame is configured to be engaged with the front frame and rear frame by sliding the front and rear frames towards the based frame horizontally.

8. The outdoor kitchen unit of claim 1, wherein the base frame is configured to be secured to the front frame and rear frame such that releasing the side frames simultaneously releases the front and rear frames from the base frame.

9. The outdoor kitchen unit of claim 1, wherein the base frame includes a plurality of protrusions that are configured to be received in recesses on the front frame and rear frame.

10. The outdoor kitchen unit of claim 1, wherein the base frame includes a plurality of tabs that are configured to slide over the inside surface of horizontally members of the front frame and rear frame.

11. The outdoor kitchen unit of claim 1, wherein the base frame, front frame, rear frame, first side frame and second side frame are configured such that when disassembled they can be stacked in a box with the countertop that is less than 10 inches thick and has a length that is less than 110 percent of the length of the front frame and a width that is less than 110 percent of the height of the side frame.

12. An outdoor kitchen unit comprising: a frame assembly including: a base frame; a front frame; a rear frame; a first side frame; a second side frame; a countertop including a top surface and a bottom surface, the bottom surface including a locking structure that mates with the top edges of the base frame, front frame, rear frame, first side frame, and second side frame; a fastener assembly configured to pull a longitudinal surface of at least one of the rear frame or front frame into face-to-face engagement with a longitudinal surface of at least one the first side frame or the second side frame; wherein the first and second side frames are nested between the front frame and the rear frame.

13. The outdoor kitchen of claim 12, wherein the fastener assembly includes a nut fixed to at least one of the rear frame or front frame that aligns with a bolt that extends through a clamp bracket, the clamp bracket configured to engage an inwardly facing surface of the at least one the first side frame or the second side frame.

14. The outdoor kitchen of claim 13, wherein the clamp bracket is configured to engage the inwardly facing surface of the at least one of the first side frame or the second side frame at a number of different longitudinal positions.

15. The outdoor kitchen of claim 12, wherein the fastener assembly further comprises a plurality of fastening members that limit the longitudinal movement of the at least one the first side frame or the second side frame relative to the at least one of the rear frame or front frame.

16. The outdoor kitchen of claim 12, wherein the base frame includes a plurality of tabs that limit the movement of the base frame in a vertical direction.

17. The outdoor kitchen of claim 12, wherein the base frame includes a plurality of bosses that interlock with the front frame and rear frame that limit the movement of the base frame in a horizontal direction.

18. The outdoor kitchen of claim 12, wherein the base frame is configured to be releasable from the front and rear frames upon releasing the front and rear frames from the first and second side frames.

19. The outdoor kitchen of claim 12, further comprising at least a grilling unit or refrigerator unit supported by the frame assembly.

20. A method of assembling an outdoor kitchen unit comprising: leveling a base frame member of a frame assembly; engaging a first wall frame member of the frame assembly with the base frame; fastening a second wall frame member of the frame assembly to a first wall frame member; fastening a third wall frame member of the frame assembly to a first wall frame member; engaging a fourth wall frame member of the frame assembly with the base frame and fastening the fourth wall to the second wall frame member and third wall frame member; securing a countertop to the frame assembly; and securing a grill unit to the frame assembly.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure provides an outdoor kitchen unit and a method of assembling the same.

BACKGROUND

Outdoor cooking is common practice. Commonly, outdoor cooking is done on free-standing grill units. Free-standing grill units typically include a metal frame supported on wheels and including a grilling surface positioned under a pivot cover above a propane tank that fuels the grill.

In addition, some outdoor cooking is done in outdoor kitchen units that include burners and other grill components that are integrated into an “island.” An “island” typically serves functions other than grilling or in addition to grilling For example, “islands” can provide a counter surface for food preparation, include multiple drawers for storage, burners and grill for cooking, sink and faucets, and refrigerators and freezers. Also, the “islands” often serve a decorative function as they include surfaces that are often cladded with decorative outdoor materials such as tiles, rocks, etc. There is a need for islands that are sturdy, easy to install and assemble, and easy to transport.

SUMMARY

The present disclosure provides new outdoor kitchen unit assemblies as well as new methods of assembling an outdoor kitchen unit. The kitchen unit includes a construction that facilitates quick and easy assembly as well as easy transport. When assembled, the units are structurally stable and durable.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of a kitchen unit according to an embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a top view of a base frame of the frame assembly of the kitchen unit of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a side elevation view of a base frame of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a side elevation view of a rear frame of the frame assembly of the kitchen unit of FIG. 1;

FIG. 5 is side elevation view of a front frame of the frame assembly of the kitchen unit of FIG. 1;

FIG. 6 is a side elevation view of a portion of the rear frame of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 is an isometric view of a portion of the rear frame of FIG. 4;

FIG. 8 is an isometric view of the engagement between the rear frame and the base frame;

FIG. 9 is a front elevation view of a first side frame of the frame assembly of the kitchen unit of FIG. 1;

FIG. 10 is a side elevation view of the side frame of FIG. 9; and

FIG. 11 is an isometric view of the engagement between the rear frame and the side frame.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring to FIGS. 1-11, an embodiment of the present disclosure is described in greater detail. In the depicted embodiment the kitchen unit is a free-standing structure commonly referred to as an island 10. The structure supports and houses kitchen related components such as grilling surfaces, refrigerators, sinks, etc. The structure also provides storage space within and a working surface thereon. The working surface thereon is referred to herein as a countertop 12. In the depicted embodiment the countertop includes a channel/groove in the bottom surface that matches the upper edges of the frame assembly. During assembly the channel aligns with the top edges of the frame assembly and affixes thereto with adhesive and fasteners.

In the depicted embodiment, the island includes four walls that extend from a base frame 14. Each of the walls and base frame includes a frame that is configured to be cladded by outdoor appropriate material such as a cement board (e.g., HardieBacker®), stucco, title, rock, etc. or combinations thereof. In the depicted embodiment the walls include a first wall including a frame (e.g., a rear frame 16), a second wall including a frame (e.g., a first side frame 18), a third wall including a frame (e.g., a second side frame), and a fourth wall including a frame (a front frame 20). It should be appreciated that many alternative configurations are possible including, for example, embodiments with more or less walls (e.g., three walls or five walls).

In the depicted embodiment the island is configured for easy transport and efficient transport. The frame members/walls are configured such that they can be shipped in a stacked orientation. For example, in the depicted embodiment the longer members (front and rear frames 16, 20 and base frame 14) generally define the overall length L of the shipping package, the first and second side frame members/walls can be stacked adjacent to each other over the longer frame members. The height of the shipping package is generally defined by the height H of the frame members/walls (e.g., the package length could be 105, 110, or 120 percent of the length L of the base frame). The thickness/depth of the shipping package is generally defined by the combined width of the frame members/walls (e.g., the width of the base frame+the width of the front and rear frames+the width of the side walls). In an embodiment where the width of the frame is one inch, the package can be as thin as four inches. In most embodiments additional packaging materials are inserted between the frame elements, and the frame elements can include cladding materials affixed thereto so the thickness of the package is greater than four inches but less than ten inches. It should be appreciated that many alternative configurations are possible.

In the depicted embodiment the island is configured for easy and efficient assembly. In the depicted embodiment the base frame 14 wall can be leveled on the ground surface as an initial step. Subsequently, either the back frame 16 or front frame 20 can be engaged with the base frame 14. Then the first and second side frames 18, which in this embodiment are substantially the same, can be fastened to the frame that is engaged with the base frame 14 (either the back frame 16 or the front frame 20). Finally, the remaining frame (either the back frame 16 or the front frame 20) can be fastened to the first and second side frames 18, which are already fastened to one of either the back or front frames 16, 20 so that the remaining frame is also engaged with the base frame 14. Once the frame assembly is assembled, the countertop can be secured thereto and the kitchen components can be connected to the assembly. It should be appreciated that the above steps for assembling the island is only one of a number of methods of assembly that are all consistent with the present disclosure. For example, in alternative embodiments the leveling step can be last, the side frame members can be connected to one of the front or rear frame members as an initial step, and the cladding material for the frame can be attached before or after the frame members are connected to each other.

Referring to FIGS. 2 and 3, the base frame 14 of the depicted embodiment is described in further detail. In the depicted embodiment the base frame is generally rectangular including a length L and a width W. In the depicted embodiment the length L defines the overall length of the frame assembly because the side frame members 18 are nested between the front and back frames 16, 20. The side frame members rest over the upwardly facing surfaces 22, 24 of the end members 26, 28 of the base frame 14. The front and back frames 16, 20 include apertures 30 that receive bosses 32, 34, 36, 38 that extend outwardly from the base frame 14 in a widthwise direction. See FIGS. 7 and 8. The bosses 32, 34, 36, 38 constrain the front and back frames 16, 20 from moving downwards towards the ground relative to the base frame 14. The bosses 32, 34, 36, 38 constrain the front and back frames 16, 20 from moving horizontally in the longitudinal direction (the lengthwise direction) relative to the base frame 14. The front and back frames 16, 20 include longitudinal members 64, 66 (see FIGS. 4 and 5) that abut the vertical outwardly facing faces 40, 42 of longitudinal frame members 44, 46 of the base frame 14. In the depicted embodiment the base frame 14 includes a plurality of tabs 48, 50, 52, 54 that extend in the widthwise direction from the top surfaces 56, 58 of longitudinal frame members 44, 46 of the base frame 14. The tabs 48, 50, 52, 54 are configured to extend over the top surface 60, 62 of longitudinal frame members 64, 66 and limit the relative vertical movement between the front and rear frames 16, 20 and the base frame 14 when the island is assembled. When the front and rear frames 16, 20 are lifted upwardly, for example, during relocation of the island, the base frame 14 is also lifted upwardly since the tabs 48, 50, 52, 54 extend from the base frame 14 over the longitudinal frame members 64, 66 of the front and rear frames 16, 20.

Referring to FIGS. 4, 5 and 6, both the front and rear frames 16, 20 in the depicted embodiment, like the base frame 14, are comprised of a number of connected together square cross-sectional metal tubes that are arranged generally in a single plane. As discussed above, the back frame 16 includes a longitudinal frame member 66 that abuts the longitudinal frame member 44 of the back frame 14. A pair of vertical frame members 68, 70 extends upwardly from the longitudinal frame member 66. The vertical frame members 68, 70 include first tabs 72, 74 and second tabs 80, 82 that extend inwardly from inside surfaces 76, 78 of the vertical frame member 68, 70. On each of the vertical frame members between the first tabs 72, 74 and second tabs 80, 82 are nuts 84, 86 connected to the inside surfaces 76, 78 of the vertical frame members 68, 70. The first and second tabs 72, 74, 80, 82 include apertures therein that receive bolts 88, 90 that extend from the side frames 18 (see FIG. 10). The tabs retain the side frames 18 sandwiched between the front and back frames 16, 20 and limit relative motion between the frame members (in the longitudinal direction, vertical direction, horizontal direction, and widthwise direction).

Referring to FIGS. 9 and 10, the side frames 18 located at the opposed ends of the island in the depicted embodiment share similar features. The side frames 18 include a base member 92, a first vertical member 94 extending from the base member 92, and a second vertical member 96 extending from the base member 92. In the depicted embodiment the bottom facing surfaces 98 of the base member 92 rests on the upwardly facing surfaces 22, 24 of the end members 26, 28 of the base frame 14. The exterior facing surfaces 100, 102 of the vertical members 94, 96 abut and engage the inside surfaces 76, 78 of the vertical frame members 68, 70 of the back frame 16 and the inside surfaces 104, 106 of the vertical frame members 108, 110 of the front frame 20. As discussed above the bolts 88, 90 extend through apertures in the first and second tabs 72, 74, 80, 82, 112, 114, 116, 118 on both the front frame 16 and the back frame 20. See FIG. 11.

In the depicted embodiment a bracket assembly is used to drive the exterior facing surfaces 100, 102 of the side frame 18 into engagement with the inside surface of the vertical frame members of the front frame 20 and back frame 16. The engagement includes face-to-face direct contact between the square tube members, which results in a construction that is similar to welding the two members together in that the island has little wobble even without additional cross-members or struts that connect the frame members at an angle. It should be appreciated that in an alternative embodiment angled struts, cross-members, and cables could also be used to add structural rigidity to the island. In the depicted embodiment the bracket assembly includes an L-shaped bracket member that engages the inside facing surfaces 120, 122 of the vertical frame members 94, 96. Bolts with a wing nut shaped end 124 extend though the L-shaped bracket and engage the nuts 84, 86. As the bolts with a wing nut shaped end 124 are tightened, the side frame is squeezed against the rear frame and the front frame. It should be appreciated that many alternative bracket assemblies are also possible. For example, many different bolts and bracket configurations are possible. For example, the L-shaped bracket could be replaced with a collar welded to the vertical frame member that allows the bolt to extend therethrough and engage the nuts 84, 86.

As discussed above, in the depicted embodiment the first and second side frames 18 are configured to be secured between the front frame 20 and the rear frame 16 such that the first and second side frames do not contribute to the overall length of the assembled frame assembly (i.e., they are nested between the front and rear frames). Also, the base frame 14 is configured to be secured between the front frame 20 and the rear frame 16 such that the depth of the assembled frame assembly is defined by the distance between an outwardly facing face of the front frame and an outwardly facing face of the rear frame. Also as discussed above, the fastener assembly is configured to pull a longitudinal surface of a frame member of at least one of the rear frame or front frame into face-to-face engagement with a longitudinal surface of a frame member of at least one the first side frame or the second side frame.

The above specification, examples and data provide a complete description of the manufacture and use of the composition of the invention. Since many embodiments of the invention can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention, the invention resides in the claims hereinafter appended.