Title:
Fireplace ashtray
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
This invention is a metal tray that is removed quickly and easily from the fireplace after burning firewood. It must be manually transported to a disposal receptacle for dumping ash then returned to the fireplace thus greatly eliminating messy cleanup.



Inventors:
Kendrick, William Gregory (Fontana, CA, US)
Application Number:
10/087991
Publication Date:
01/09/2003
Filing Date:
03/05/2002
Assignee:
KENDRICK WILLIAM GREGORY
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24B1/191; F24B13/00; (IPC1-7): F24B1/18
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BASICHAS, ALFRED
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
William Gregory Kendrick (Fontana, CA, US)
Claims:

I make the following claims in regards to my Fireplace Ashtray:



1. It encourages the use of expendable natural resources. More wood would be used since much of the drudgery of cleaning is eliminated.

2. Fireplaces can be cleaned using a few easy steps. It saves time. Most people using this product can clean fireplaces within minutes.

3. There is minimal clean-up mess. No vacuum cleaners or fireplace shovels are used which may scatter particles There is significantly less airborne particles or dust to contend with.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] When standing and talking with a relative in front of their fireplace, I became aware of the aroma of recent burned firewood. I also become overwhelmed with sympathy for I was glad I did not have this difficult task of cleaning this fireplace before me. I recalled thinking there had to be a better way to clean a fireplace without exposing yourself to the dirty mess of cleaning ash, the health risk of breathing these particles, and the ungodly amount of time expended on this task.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0002] This invention is a safe, simple, revolutionary new cleaning system that greatly reduces the amount of time and mess when cleaning a fireplace after burning firewood or artificial fire logs.

[0003] This very simple invention takes some of the same materials currently used in the firebox of the fireplace. Its basic concept is to add a tray or a removable floor to the firebox that can be easily removed and dumped outside into a disposal receptacle.

[0004] It improves upon fireplace cleaning by giving the laborer the ability to carry away most, if not all, the ash in one fleeting moment with little or no mess.

[0005] Several optional items maybe used in conjunction with the ashtray to make its use more convenient and long lasting. First a custom-fit cover is placed over the ashtray to trap the ash within the tray as it is transported to a fireproof receptacle for disposal. Secondly, the tray has optional detachable handles for lifting and carrying the ashtray to it disposal receptacle.

[0006] Built to last, the main components of the system are the ashtray, liner, tray handles, and temporary storage receptacle.

[0007] Steps have been taken to accommodate the many sizes and shapes of fireplaces. All fireboxes are not of the same height, width, and length; the ashtray must catch the ash as it falls to the floor of the firebox. It is best that the ashtray be “custom fitted” to your fireplace. With a better fit, the ash lands in the tray and not around it, minimizing additional cleanup.

[0008] Several other benefits are realized besides time and less mess. More real wood can be burned since the hard task of cleaning up the fireplace is eliminated. Conversely, it also cuts back on using non-renewable energy products like artificial and gas fire logs.

[0009] The metal tray (especially the custom-fit version) radiates the heat from the floor of the fireplace back to the center of the firebox where heat is drawn out into the room adding more heating and comfort.

[0010] From start to finish, anyone with this product can clean the fireplace within fifteen minutes or less.

[0011] The Fireplace Ashtray minimizes airborne ash and flying dust particles when cleaning the fireplace. All ash and dust is trapped in the tray.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS

[0012] This patent application contains four drawing. These drawings are not required per the instruction outline in Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) literature. However, several drawings of two different types of ashtrays have been submitted. Each is discussed in detail in the following paragraphs.

[0013] At first glance, the only difference between the six-sided tray (pages 10/11) and the four-sided tray (pages 12/13) is the number of sides (four as opposed to six). All sides are modified or custom-fit.

[0014] As discussed earlier, all fireplaces are not made the same, but all designs must not block, hinder or touch the natural gas pipe that jettison from the firebox wall. The same is true for the ventilation ducts and vents.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0015] This section describes the components for which I seek a patent, followed by several safety and convenience items. The best mode of operation is to have all items available to aid in cleanup. The last section describes a step-by-step narration of the its proper use

[0016] Patented Components

[0017] The two main components of the tray are the ashtray and tray liner. Each is listed below with a specification.

[0018] Ash Tray

[0019] The tray can accommodate of plethora of sizes, but the best mode of operation is to have the tray custom-fitted to the floor of the firebox. This accommodates the many sizes and shapes of the firebox. The better the fit, the better the chances that all of the ash will remain in the tray and not fall outside or around it.

[0020] The tray is made from fourteen to sixteen gauge galvanized steel. The tray can have up to six sides depending on the design of the fireplace. The sides of the tray are approximately two inches high. The side(s) of the tray can be modified to accommodate the easy removal and replacement of the tray. Each side is folded at a ninety-degree angle with the top edge folded over forming a flange; this strengthens the sides of the tray.

[0021] The tray is drilled in four places (off-centered), two holes in the front and back allowing for the attachment of the tray handles.

[0022] The tray is painted with a high-temperature fire resistant paint (usually flat black) for cosmetics.

[0023] Tray Liner

[0024] The tray liner is made of a proprietary refractory material made by Thorley Industries located in the City of Industry, California. It is tan in color and is made of refractory material similar to the wall linings of a kilm or ceramic-making furnace. The tray liner protects the tray from excessive heat emanating from the fire, thus extending the life of the tray by keeping it from warping.

[0025] The liner is approximately one-half to three-quarters of an inch in thickness. The width of the liner is approximately twenty to twenty-four inches depending on the size of the tray. The liner can be cut to make a precise fit in the tray. The tray liner does not necessarily need to cover the entire tray. It must cover the center area where most of the heat is generated and where most of the protection is need. The tray liner can also be painted with a high-temperature fire resistant paint (usually flat black) for cosmetic reasons.

[0026] Optional Cleaning and Safety Items

[0027] A list of optional components is detailed below. They are part of the safety and convenience package. The fireplace ashtray can be used and operated without these items, but, as noted below, they provide an added degree of comfort and safety.

[0028] Tray Handles—The tray handles are made from over-the-counter link chain, usually thirteen to sixteen inches in length with a snap clamp on each end for attachment. The tray handles facilitate easy removal, transport, and replacement of the tray.

[0029] For added comfort, a soft plastic tube is pasted over the chain to prevent pinching by handles during use.

[0030] Temporary Storage Receptacle (Ash Can)—This can is a fireproof receptacle that is placed outside and away from any flammable items. One may fail to ensure embers from a fireplace are completely extinguished. For safety reasons, before dumping the ash into a permanent receptacle for disposal, temporary storage is provided to allow ash and embers to completely extinguish. This ashcan can be simple or fancy; it is usually made of steel. It is important to keep the ash separated from other combustibles until it is completely extinguished.

[0031] Ashtray Cover—The tray cover looks a lot like the fireplace ashtray. The main differences are the lighter gauged steel and the side notches cut out to allow the cover to fit over the ashtray during transporting to a disposable receptacle.

[0032] Cleaning Brush—A generic hand cleaning brush is used to sweep the ash off the tray and tray liner.

[0033] Dust Mask—Dust mask come in handy when the ash is dumped outside. The dust mask deters the inhalation of ash and dust particles that may flies during the outside dumping.

[0034] Plastic Gloves—Gloves, like the ones medical professionals wear, keep the hand and fingernails from get dirty during this entire process.

[0035] Safety Glasses—Glasses, like the ones mechanics wear provide added eye protection.

[0036] Best Mode of Operation:

[0037] The best mode of operation follows:

[0038] 1. First, spread newspaper in front of the fireplace, usual about three overlapping sheets, enough to allow the grate to set. Ensure the grate is out of the way so it does not become a tripping hazard.

[0039] 2. Don your optional safety equipment (gloves, mask, and goggles).

[0040] 3. Gently, remove the grate from the firebox while trying not to disturb the ash. Do not allow the grate to impact the tray liner. The tray liner is very fragile.

[0041] 4. Attach the optional tray handles to facilitate the removal of the ashtray from the firebox. Attach the front set of handles; then drag the tray out just far enough to attach the rear handles. Some balancing may be required. As you become familiar with the process, you may decide not to use the handles and omit this step.

[0042] 5. Remove the tray from the firebox using the handles or both hands and set it on the newspaper.

[0043] 6. Attach the tray cover. The cover should slide right over the tray.

[0044] 7. Lift the tray by the handles and carry it outside to the temporary storage receptacle. Ensure that you do not drop, shake, or stumble with the ashtray full of ash.

[0045] 8. Once outside, remove the tray cover.

[0046] 9. Grab the dust broom, tilt the ashtray, and gently sweep the ash into the disposal receptacle. Remember to secure the ashtray and tray liner because they are two separate pieces. Be extra careful when handling the tray liner, it is very fragile.

[0047] 10. Once the ash is disposed, brush clean the tray and liner.

[0048] 11. After cleaning, the tray, liner, and grate, placed all items back into the fireplace for its next use.

[0049] 12. Pick up all newspaper and put away all cleaning items.