Title:
Fuel burning logset and hearth
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An apparatus is provided that includes a freestanding fireplace hearth having a cradle, a leg assembly supporting the cradle and a rear curved deflector extending upwardly from a rear edge of the cradle. The apparatus further includes an artificial logset having a base disposed on the cradle, with the logset further including a flame deflector pivotally mounted on the base, a fuel burning chamber removably mounted on the base and at least a pair of artificial non-burning log members. One of the log members is removably mounted on the base and the other is removably mounted on the flame deflector.



Inventors:
Hoffmann, Paul J. (Chicago, IL, US)
Desautels, John (Mill Creek, WA, US)
Machacek, Robert W. (Lombard, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/123365
Publication Date:
02/23/2006
Filing Date:
05/06/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
126/552, 431/125
International Classes:
F24C3/00; F24B1/18; F24C5/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SAVANI, AVINASH A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WOOD, HERRON & EVANS, LLP (CINCINNATI, OH, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An artificial logset for producing the aesthetic appearance of a wood burning fire, the logset comprising: a base; a flame deflector movably mounted on said base; a fuel burning chamber removably mounted on said base; and at least a pair of artificial non-burning log members, one of said log members being mounted on said base and the other of said log members being mounted on said flame deflector; a linkage connecting said flame deflector to said base for movement relative to said base and to said chamber, said linkage supporting said flame deflector and said other of said log members above said chamber in an operating position when a fire is burning in said chamber, said flame deflector and said other of said log members being sufficiently spaced apart from said chamber in said operating position to permit flames to escape said chamber, said linkage being moveable to a flame extinguishing position, to close said chamber and extinguish flames burning in said chamber

2. An artificial logset as recited in claim 1, further including: a spring, said spring biasing said flame deflector toward an upward direction away from said fuel burning chamber.

3. An artificial logset as recited in claim 2, further including: an operating handle attached to said flame deflector for raising the flame deflector away from said chamber for loading the fuel and for bringing said flame deflector toward said fuel burning chamber to position said logset in an operating position and, when desirable, to lower the flame deflector further to extinguish any fire in the chamber.

4. An artificial logset as recited in claim 1, wherein: said base includes a plurality of upwardly extending positioning studs; said fuel burning chamber is positioned on said base by said studs.

5. An artificial logset as recited in claim 2, wherein: said base includes an upwardly extending rear wall, said rear wall being positioned rearward of said fuel burning chamber; said rear wall includes a plurality of apertures formed therein; said spring has one end that passes through one of said apertures; said spring has a second end in contacting engagement with said linkage.

6. An artificial logset as recited in claim 2, wherein: said fuel burning chamber includes an upwardly extending forward wall and an upwardly extending rear wall, each of said walls having an outwardly extending lip at an upper end thereof, said chamber further including an open top; said spring is sized and configured so that a space exists between each of said lips and said deflector when said other of said log members is mounted on said flame deflector thereby permitting flames to escape said chamber out of said top, through said spaces and adjacent at least one of said non-burning log members when a fire is burning in said chamber.

7. An artificial logset as recited in claim 1, wherein: said linkage includes first and second sets of parallelogram linkages.

8. An artificial logset as recited in claim 1, wherein each of said artificial non-burning log members has a plurality of apertures formed therein and said artificial logset further comprises: a first plurality of clips attached to said base; and a second plurality of clips attached to said flame deflector; said one of said log members being mounted on said base with said holes formed therein and said first plurality of clips, each of said first plurality of clips being inserted in an aligned one of said holes formed in said one of said log members; said other of said log members being mounted on said flame deflector with said holes formed therein and said second plurality of clips, each of said second plurality of clips being inserted in an aligned one of said holes formed in said other of said log members.

9. A freestanding fireplace hearth comprising: a cradle; a leg assembly supporting said cradle; a rear curved deflector extending upwardly from a rear edge of said cradle, said deflector being mounted to at least one of said cradle and said leg assembly, said deflector further including an upper, freestanding edge disposed upwardly and forwardly from said rear edge of said cradle.

10. A freestanding fireplace hearth as recited in claim 9, wherein: said leg assembly includes at least one mount adaptor integral with a rear portion of said leg assembly; said rear curved deflector includes a lower flange portion that extends downwardly away from a remaining portion of said deflector having an arcuate shape as viewed in side profile, said lower flange portion of said deflector engaging said at least one mount adaptor thereby mounting said deflector to said leg assembly.

11. A freestanding fireplace hearth as recited in claim 10, wherein: said cradle includes a rear, downwardly extending flange that engages said at least one mount adaptor of said leg assembly.

12. A freestanding fireplace hearth as recited in claim 11, wherein: said rear, downwardly extending flange of said cradle is disposed between said leg assembly and said lower flange portion of said deflector.

13. A freestanding fireplace hearth as recited in claim 11, wherein: said cradle further includes an arcuately shaped portion attached to a forward portion of said leg assembly.

14. A freestanding fireplace hearth as recited in claim 9, wherein: said rear curved deflector includes a plurality of apertures formed therethrough, said apertures providing an aesthetically pleasing design.

15. A freestanding fireplace hearth as recited in claim 10, wherein: said at least one mount adaptor of said leg assembly comprises a plurality of upwardly facing hooks integral with a rear portion of said leg assembly; said lower flange portion of said deflector has a plurality of recesses formed in a lower edge thereof, each of said recesses engaging one of said hooks thereby mounting said deflector to said leg assembly.

16. An apparatus comprising: a freestanding fireplace hearth having a cradle, a leg assembly supporting the cradle and a rear curved deflector extending upwardly from a rear edge of said cradle; and an artificial logset having a base disposed on said cradle, said logset further including: a flame deflector pivotally mounted on said base; a fuel burning chamber removably mounted on said base; and at least a pair of artificial non-burning log members, one of said log members being removably mounted on said base and the other of said log members being removably mounted on said flame deflector.

17. An apparatus as recited in claim 16, wherein said artificial logset further includes: a linkage connecting said flame deflector to said base for movement relative to said base, said linkage being operably effective for supporting said flame deflector and said other of said log members above said chamber when a fire is burning in said chamber and, when lowered, said flame deflector is proximate said chamber and is operably effective for extinguishing flame burning in said chamber.

18. An apparatus as recited in claim 17, further comprising: a second rear curved deflector secured to said rear curved deflector; said rear curved deflector having a plurality of apertures formed therethrough, said apertures providing an aesthetically pleasing design, said second rear curved deflector being disposed rearward of said apertures.

19. An apparatus as recited in claim 16, wherein: said fuel burning chamber has a width and a vertical centerline; said rear curved deflector has an upper, freestanding edge that is positioned rearward of said vertical centerline by a distance of at least about 0.76 times said width of said fuel burning chamber.

20. An apparatus as recited in claim 19, wherein; said rear curved deflector has a radius of curvature that has a value of at least about 3.75 times said width of said fuel burning chamber.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCES

This application claims the priority benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/568,930, “Fuel Burning Logset”, filed May 7, 2004, which is expressly incorporated by reference herein in its entirety. This application also claims the priority benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 60/568,909, “Freestanding Artificial Logset Hearth”, filed May 7, 2004, which is expressly incorporated by reference herein in its entirety.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a fuel burning logset and a freestanding hearth and more particularly to a set of artificial non-burning logs and a fuel burner mounted on a hearth or in a fixed fireplace for producing flame, to provide, in combination with the logs, an aesthetic impression of a naturally burning wood fire.

It is desirable to provide an aesthetic impression of a naturally burning wood fire but without actually burning natural wood products, both in existing fireplaces and in freestanding or non-fireplace environments, as well as out-of-doors. Additionally, while artificial logsets used in conjunction with natural gas or other sources have been proposed, it is desirable to produce an aesthetic appearance of a naturally burning wood fire in a freestanding hearth-like fire setting. Most, if not all, of the prior artificial logsets are typically utilized in an existing fireplace in conjunction with a chimney flue or the like, or in a freestanding circular or square geometric configuration providing a luminaria effect. It is desirable to produce a hearth-like setting for an open fire which is not limited to use in a present standing fireplace and does not constitute a fully enclosed fire burning compartment, such as those sold as luminaria or the like.

SUMMARY

To these ends, according to one aspect of the invention, an artificial logset is provided for producing the aesthetic appearance of a wood burning fire. The logset includes a base, a flame deflector pivotally mounted on the base and a fuel burning chamber removably mounted on the base. The logset further includes at least a pair of artificial non-burning log members, with one of the log members being removably mounted on the base and the other being removably mounted on the flame deflector. A linkage connects the flame deflector to the base for movement relative to the base, with the linkage being operably effective for supporting the flame deflector and the log member mounted thereto above the chamber when a fire is burning in the chamber and, when lowered, the flame deflector is proximate the chamber it is operably effective for extinguishing flame burning the chamber.

The artificial logset can further include a spring that biases the flame deflector toward an upward direction away from the burning fuel chamber. The spring can be sized and configured so that a space exists between outwardly extending lips at the upper end of each side of the fuel burning chamber and the flame deflector. This permits flames to escape the chamber out of the top, through the spaces and adjacent at least one of the non-burning log members when a fire is burning in the chamber for producing an aesthetic appearance of a wood burning fire.

The logset can also include an operating handle attached to the flame deflector for raising the flame deflector away from the chamber for loading fuel into the chamber and for lowering the flame deflector toward the fuel burning chamber to position the logset in an operating condition. When desirable, the handle can be used to lower the flame deflector further for extinguishing a burning flame in the chamber.

The non-burning log members can be removably mounted to the base of the flame deflector via a plurality of clips, thereby permitting easy installation and removal of the non-burning log members.

According to a second aspect of the present invention, a freestanding fireplace hearth is provided that includes a cradle and a leg assembly supporting the cradle. The hearth further includes a rear curved deflector extending upwardly from a rear edge of the cradle, with the deflector being mounted to at least one of the cradle and the leg assembly. The deflector further includes an upper, freestanding edge disposed upwardly and forwardly from the rear edge of the cradle.

The leg assembly can include at least one mount adaptor integral with a rear portion of the leg assembly. The rear curved deflector can include a lower flange portion that extends downwardly away from a remaining portion of the deflector having an arcuate shape as viewed in side profile, with the lower flange portion of the deflector engaging the at least one mount adaptor of the leg assembly, thereby mounting the deflector to the leg assembly.

The cradle can include a rear downwardly extending flange that also engages the at least one mount adaptor of the leg assembly and the downwardly extending flange of the cradle can be disposed between the leg assembly and the lower flange portion of the deflector. The cradle can further include an arcuately shaped portion attached to a forward portion of the leg assembly.

The at least one mount adaptor of the leg assembly can comprise a plurality of upwardly facing hooks integral with a rear portion of the leg assembly. In this case, the lower flange portion of the deflector can have a plurality of recesses formed in the lower edge thereof, with each of the recesses engaging one of the hooks thereby mounting the deflector to the leg assembly.

According to a third aspect of the present invention, an apparatus is provided comprising a freestanding fireplace hearth having a cradle and a leg assembly supporting the cradle, and a rear curved deflector extending upwardly from a rear edge of the cradle. The apparatus further includes an artificial logset having a base disposed on the cradle with the logset further including a flame deflector pivotally mounted on the base and a fuel burning chamber removably mounted on the base. The logset also includes at least a pair of artificial non-burning log members, with one of the log members being removably mounted on the base and the other of the log members being removably mounted on the flame deflector.

The freestanding fireplace hearth and the artificial logset can include various combinations of the features discussed previously with respect to the logset and the hearth.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

This invention will be more readily apparent from the figures, which are described as follows:

FIG. 1 is an isometric view of an artificial fuel burning logset according to one embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2A is an isometric view of the logset shown in FIG. 1, with the artificial non-burning log members omitted for purposes of illustration; illustrating a fill position of the logset that permits a gel fuel to be added to a fuel chamber of the logset;

FIG. 2B is an isometric view similar to FIG. 2A, but illustrating an operating position of the logset with a flame deflector of the logset being lowered partially over the fuel chamber to permit flames within the fuel chamber to escape;

FIG. 3A is a side elevation view of the logset shown in FIG. 1, with the logset illustrated in the fill position shown in FIG. 2A and the artificial non-burning log members included in cross-section for purposes of illustration;

FIG. 3B is a side elevation view similar to FIG. 3A, but partially in cut-away view and with the logset illustrated in the operating position shown in FIG. 2B;

FIG. 3C is a side elevation view similar to FIGS. 3A and 3B, but with the logset illustrated in a flame extinguishing position;

FIG. 4 is a fragmentary perspective view illustrating a spring and associated apparatus that can be used to bias the flame deflector in the operating position shown in FIGS. 2B and 3B;

FIG. 5 is an isometric view of a hearth according to one embodiment of the present invention with the artificial fuel burning logset illustrated in FIGS. 1-4 mounted on the hearth;

FIG. 6 is an isometric view similar to FIG. 5, but with the artificial logset shown in phantom lines to illustrate additional details of the hearth;

FIG. 7 is a side elevation view of the hearth shown in FIGS. 5 and 6; and

FIG. 8 is an isometric view further illustrating the hearth shown in FIGS. 5-7.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Referring now to the drawings, FIG. 1 is an isometric view illustrating an artificial logset 10 according to one embodiment of the present invention. Logset 10 includes an upper, artificial non-burning log member 12 and a lower non-burning log member 14. As illustrated and subsequently discussed further in FIGS. 2A and 3A, the upper log 12 may be raised above a fuel burning chamber 16 to allow a combustible gel-like fuel 18 to be poured from a container 20 into the fuel burning chamber 16. Gel-like fuel 18 can be obtained from any suitable source, and one suitable fuel is the “Hearth Fuel” gel provided to applicant by The Blaze Products Corporation of Shelbyville, Ky. When burned, such gel fuel produces a natural color and an audible, authentic woodburning crackling sound.

The artificial logset 10 of the present invention further includes a base 22 with the fuel burning chamber 16 being removably mounted on the base 22 and positioned on base 22 by a plurality of studs 24 extending upwardly from the base 22. Accordingly, the fuel burning chamber can be easily removed from the base for cleaning or emptying. The fuel burning chamber 16 can also be positioned on base 22 by a variety of other means as may be appreciated by one skilled in the art.

The artificial logset 10 also includes a flame deflector 26 that converges downwardly as best shown in FIGS. 3A-3C, so that viewed form the side, in the illustrative embodiment the deflector 26 has a generally V-shaped configuration. In the illustrative embodiment, the flame deflector 26 includes a first member 27 and a second member 29 attached to one another by conventional means such as spot welding. The first member 27 includes a forward upwardly extending flange or fin 31 and a rear upwardly extending flange or fin 33. The second member 29 includes a pair of downwardly extending flanges 34 disposed at opposite sides of the flame deflector 26 and further includes a pair of upwardly extending flanges or fins 35. Each of the flanges or fins 31, 33 and 35 are effective for providing structural stability of the flame deflector 26, i.e., to prevent or significantly reduce warping due to exposure to relatively high temperatures from the flames in the fuel burning chamber 16 during operation and subsequent cooling when the logset 10 is not in operation. Additionally, the flanges or fins 31 and 33 help direct flames upward when a fire is burning in chamber 16.

The flame deflector 26 is pivotally mounted on base 22 in the illustrative embodiment by a linkage including first set 28 of parallelogram linkages having links 28a and 28b and a second set 30 of parallelogram linkages (one link shown). More particularly, in the illustrative embodiment, the flame deflector 26 is pivotally mounted to a rear portion of the base 22 as may be appreciated by reference to FIGS. 2A, 2B and 3A-3C. The links 28a and 28b are pivotally coupled at one end to an upstanding rear flange 32 of base 22 and are pivotally coupled at opposite ends to one of the downwardly extending flanges 34 of the flame deflector 26. The downwardly extending flange 34 at the opposite end of flame deflector 26 is coupled to the second set of linkages 30 which are pivotally mounted in a similar manner as discussed with respect to linkages 28a and 28b. It should be understood that the first set 28 and second set 30 of parallelogram linkages are illustrated by way of example. However, other linkages can be provided within the scope of the present invention and such other linkages could provide different travel of the flame deflector 26 relative to the base 22 and the fuel burning chamber 16.

The lower links of the first set 28 and second set 30 of parallelogram linkages are coupled to one another by a common hinge pin 38 which is rotatably coupled at one end to the rear flange 32 of base 22 and is rotatably coupled at the other end to a similar structure (not shown) of base 22. The lower links of the first set 28 and second set 30 of parallelogram linkage are fixed to pin 38 by conventional means so that the lower links of both sets 28 and 30 of parallelogram linkages pivot about a longitudinal centerline 40 of pin 38. A handle 36 is integral with the first set 28 of parallelogram linkages and is operably effective for moving the flame deflector 26 relative to the base 22 in various positions such as those illustrated in FIGS. 2A, 2B and 3A-3C.

As best seen in FIG. 4, an intermediate portion 42 of a spring 44 is coiled about an end portion of hinge pin 38 that is fixed to link 28b. The spring 40 also has a first end portion 46 that passes through one of a plurality of slots 48 formed in an upwardly extending rear wall 50 of the base 22 that is positioned rearward of the fuel burning chamber 16. A second end portion 52 of spring 40 extends transversely to the link 28b and is positioned in contacting engagement with a lower surface of link 28b so that an upward biasing force is exerted against link 28b as may be appreciated by one skilled in the art. The biasing force exerted by spring 40 can be adjusted somewhat by the selection of the particular slot 48 that end portion 46 of spring 40 passes through. The particular purpose of spring 40 is subsequently discussed.

As shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B, logset 10 includes a plurality of resilient clips 54 mounted to the base 22 and the flame deflector 26 for purposes of mounting the upper non-burning log member 12 on the flame deflector 26 and for mounting the lower non-burning log member 14 on the base 22. In the illustrative embodiment, a pair of clips 54 are mounted on base 22 and a pair of clips 54 are also mounted to the flame deflector 26. However, other numbers of clips 54 may be used within the scope of the present invention. The upper log member 12 and lower log member 14 each include a pair of apertures or slots 56 (one shown in each member 12, 14) formed in a lower surface of each of the log members 12, 14. The two apertures formed in log 12 are spaced apart by a distance (not shown) that is substantially equal to the spacing between the clips 54 mounted on the flame deflector 26. Similarly, the apertures 56 in lower log member 14 are spaced apart by a distance (not shown) substantially equal to a distance between clips 54 mounted on base 22. Accordingly, the clips 54 mounted on flame deflector 26 can be inserted into the slots 56 in upper log member 12, thereby mounting the upper log member 12 to the flame deflector 26. Similarly, the clips 50 mounted on base 22 can be inserted into the slots 56 formed in lower log member 14, thereby mounting log member 14 on base 22.

It will be appreciated that the log members 12, 14 are essentially non-burning artificial members configured of any suitable materials and coloration to produce the aesthetic appearance of a burning log. Such logs can be made of fiber/ceramic or any other suitable flame resistant materials. Log member 12 is made as a monolithic construction but includes various slots and openings such as slots 56, used for mounting, and an aperture 13 (FIG. 1) that extends from a bottom surface of log member 12 to and through a top surface of log member 12 so that flame can pass through aperture 13. In operation, this can give the appearance that log member 12 comprises two logs, notwithstanding its monolithic construction.

The fuel burning chamber 16 includes a bottom wall 58, a forward wall 60a and an opposing rear wall 60b extending upwardly from the bottom wall 58. The forward wall 60a includes an outwardly extending lip 62a at an upper end thereof. Similarly, the rear wall 60b includes an outwardly extending lip 62b at an upper end thereof. In operation, after the gel-like fuel 18 is added to the fuel burning chamber 16, as depicted in FIGS. 2A and 3A, the handle 36 can be used to lower the flame deflector 26 and the upper non-burning log member 12 mounted thereon to an operating position such as that shown in FIGS. 2B and 3B. The parameters of the spring 44 are selected so that when an upper log such as the upper non-burning log member 12 is placed in the deflector 26, the deflector 26 will be maintained, or float, at a position spaced apart from the fuel burning chamber 16 so that a space 64 exists between the forward lip 62a of the fuel burning chamber 16 and the flame deflector 26 and also that a space 66 exists between the rear lip 62b of the fuel burning chamber 16 and the flame deflector 26. The spaces 64 and 66 and the open sides of deflector 26 permit flames to escape the fuel burning chamber 16. The flames are directed forwardly around the forward side of the upper log member 12, and across the upper portion of the lower log member 14, with the assistance of flange or fin 31 and a lower surface of the adjacent portion of deflector 26. The flames are also directed rearwardly around the back side of the upper log member 12 with the assistance of flange or fin 33 and the lower surface of the adjacent portion of deflector 26. Flames are also free to pass upward through the slot 13 formed in log member 12 and out the top of log member 12. The various flame paths are illustrated generally in FIGS. 1 and 3B at 15, 17 and 19, respectively, and create the aesthetic appearance of a naturally burning wood fire.

When it is desired to extinguish the burning fire, the handle 36 can be grasped and pulled downwardly, thereby further lowering the flame deflector 26 against the bias of the spring 44 so that the deflector 26 comes into such close proximity to the lips 62a and 62b, or contact with lips 62a and 62b, of the fuel burning chamber 16 so that any burning flame is extinguished. The flame extinguishing position of the artificial logset 10 is illustrated in FIG. 3C The artificial logset 10 can be utilized in any freestanding fashion but is particularly adaptable for use on a grate, in a fireplace or in another environment in which burning flame is desire, or in combination with a freestanding fireplace hearth 70 as shown in FIG. 5.

The freestanding fireplace hearth includes a cradle 72 and a leg assembly 74 that supports the cradle 72. The hearth 70 further includes a rear curved deflector 76 extending upwardly from a rear edge 78 (best seen in FIG. 8) of the cradle 72. The deflector 76 includes an upper, freestanding edge 80 that is disposed upwardly and forwardly from the rear edge 78 of the cradle 72. As best seen in FIG. 7, the rear curved deflector 76 has an arcuate shape as viewed in side profile. The deflector 76 can include a plurality of apertures 82 formed therethrough, with the apertures 82 providing an aesthetically pleasing design. For instance, in the illustrative embodiment, the deflector 76 includes a plurality of apertures 82 having a variety of geometric shapes such as squares and rectangles arranges in a configuration that is determined to be aesthetically pleasing. In other embodiments, the curved deflector 76 may include one or apertures that give the appearance of a burning flame. In other embodiments, the curved deflector 76 can incorporate apertures having different shapes or apertures formed therethrough such as apertures 82 can be omitted altogether. For those embodiments including apertures such as apertures 82 or apertures exhibiting other designs, a second rear curved deflector 79 (FIGS. 7 and 8) can be attached to the curved deflector 76 so that it is disposed behind and spaced apart somewhat from deflector 76 to enhance the visual effect produced by the design of apertures 82. The second rear curved deflector 79 includes a continuous surface, i.e., without apertures, disposed behind the apertures 82 so a viewer cannot see through the hearth 70 due to apertures 82. The second rear curved deflector 79 can be mounted to curved deflector 76 in a variety of ways. This can include the utilization of holes 77 formed in deflector 76, to accept fasteners for instance. In embodiments that do not include the second rear curved deflector 79, holes 77 can be omitted.

In the illustrative embodiment, the leg assembly 74 includes a pair of spaced apart forward legs 84 interconnected by a cross member 86. The leg assembly 74 can further include a pair of spaced apart rear legs 88 interconnected by a cross member 90. For further stability the leg assembly 74 can include a pair of struts 92 disposed on either side of the leg assembly 74 and interconnecting corresponding ones of the forward 84 and rear 88 legs. In the illustrative embodiment, the rear cross member 90 includes a pair of flanges 94, disposed at a top end thereof, with each of the flanges 94 being disposed at contacting engagement with one of the rear legs 88. Similarly, the cross member 86 includes a pair of rearwardly extending flanges 96 (one shown), with each being disposed in contacting engagement with one of the forward legs 84. The cross members 86 and 90 can be secured to the forward 84 and rear 88 legs, respectively, as subsequently discussed.

As best seen in FIG. 7, the cradle 72 includes a first portion 98 having an arcuate shape as viewed in side profile and a rear, downwardly extending flange 100 that is integral with the arcuate portion 98. The rear curved deflector 76 has a lower flange portion 102 and a plurality of notches 104 formed in a lower edge thereof. The leg assembly 74 includes at least one mount adaptor which, in the illustrative embodiment, comprises a pair of upwardly facing hooks 106 which are effective for receiving the flanges 100 of cradle 72 and 102 of the curved deflector 76.

The assembly of the freestanding fireplace hearth 70 can be further appreciated with reference to FIGS. 7 and 8. The cradle 72 is lowered onto the leg assembly 74, with the rear, downwardly flange 100 engaging the hooks 106 of the leg assembly 74 and disposed in a face-to-face abutting relationship with a rearwardly facing surface 108 of cross member 90. The arcuate portion 98 of cradle 72 is disposed in contacting engagement with the flanges 94 and 96 of the leg assembly 74 and can be further secured to the leg assembly 74 with fasteners such as rivets 110 passing through holes formed in the arcuate portion 98 of cradle 72 and mating holes in the flanges 94 and 96. Other conventional fasteners may also be used to secure the arcuate portion 98 to the leg assembly 74. Furthermore, other conventional means, such as welding, etc. may be used to secure the arcuate portion 98 to the leg assembly 74.

The curved deflector is lowered until the recesses 104 of the flange 102 engage hooks 106 of the leg assembly 94, thereby mounting the deflector 76 on the leg assembly 74. In the illustrative embodiment, the flange 100 of the cradle is disposed between the leg assembly 74 and flange 102 of deflector 76, giving the appearance of a joint or seam 112 between cradle 72 and deflector 76. As may be appreciated by one skilled in the art, mount adaptors other than the hooks 106 can be used for mounting the cradle 72 and curved deflector 76 to the leg assembly 74. Furthermore, the cradle 72, leg assembly 74 and curved deflector 76 may be mounted to one another in other ways within the scope of the present invention. For instance, rivets 110 may be omitted, with the arcuate portion 98 of cradle 72 resting on top of the leg assembly 72. In this embodiment, the cross members 90 and 96 may be attached, by tack welding for instance, to the rear 88 and forward 84 legs, respectively. As another alternative, holes may be included in flange 100 of cradle 72, the lower flange portion 102 of deflector 76 and cross member 90, with flange 100 and lower flange portion 102 attached to cross member 90 using conventional fasteners. In yet another alternative embodiment, the arcuate portion 98 of cradle 72 may be made as a one piece construction with the lower flange portion 102 of deflector 76 being omitted, as well as the flange 100 of cradle 72. This one piece deflector and cradle can be secured to the leg assembly 74 using various conventional means including fasteners, and others.

As best seen in FIGS. 6 and 8, the arcuate portion 98 of cradle 72 includes a laterally extending slot or cutout 114. The slot 114 is effective for receiving a rear corner portion 116 of the artificial logset 10, so that the logset 10 is disposed in a generally horizontal orientation when it is mounted to the hearth 70, notwithstanding the shape of the arcuate portion 98 of cradle 72.

The shape of the curved deflector 76 and the spatial relationship between the deflector 76 and the fuel burning chamber 16 can be selected to minimize flame damage, such as tarnishing, to the forward surface of deflector 76. In one embodiment, this can be accomplished as follows. The fuel chamber 16 has a width D1 shown in FIG. 7. The upper edge 80 of the deflector 76 is positioned aft or rearward of a vertical centerline 81 of chamber 16 by a distance of D2. The deflector 76 includes a radius of curvature R1 with the center located at a distance D3 forward of the centerline 81 of chamber 16 and upward a distance of H1 from a bottom surface of leg assembly 74. Flame damage to the front surface of deflector 76 can be minimized if R1 has a value of at least about 3.75 times the width D1 of chamber 16 and if D2 has a value of at least about 0.76 times the width D1. In this embodiment, the value of D3 is about 1.36 times D1 and the value of H1 is about 4.21 times D1. However, it should be understood that in other embodiments flame deflector 76 can have a radius of curvature different from the foregoing value, or may have a different shape than that shown in the illustrative embodiment, and the center of the radius could be located in a different position. Also, the upper edge 80 of deflector 76 can have a different spatial relationship to the centerline 81 of fuel chamber 16 than that noted previously. Furthermore, the selection of the material of construction for deflector 76 may be such that tarnishing is not a design consideration. The deflector 76 can be made of steel or other materials can be selected.

In operation, the freestanding fireplace hearth compliments the aesthetic effect of the artificial logset, when a fire is burning in the fuel burning chamber 16 of logset 10.

Further advantages and modifications will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art without departing from the scope of the invention and applicant intends to be bound only by the claims appended hereto.





 
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