Title:
Exterior cabinet doors and drawers
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An outdoors cabinet includes a door and a drawer which when closed prevent liquids from windy rain or counter top spills from entering into the cabinet or drawer. The door includes a frame having a back-side face which includes a groove at a top thereof. Similarly, the drawer includes a front-panel having a back-side which also includes a groove at a top thereof. When the door and/or drawer is closed shut against the cabinet's exterior surface, the frame and/or front-panel overlaps the cabinet's exterior surface about the door, and their respective grooves project through the cabinet's exterior surface into the cabinet. Configured in this way, when the door and/or drawer is closed shut against the cabinet's exterior surface, the door's and/or drawer's grooves respectively prevent liquids from windy rain or counter top spills from entering the cabinet or the drawer.



Inventors:
Hauck, Robert F. (Morgan Hill, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/302355
Publication Date:
06/15/2006
Filing Date:
12/12/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B81/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HANSEN, JAMES ORVILLE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DONALD E. SCHREIBER (KINGS BEACH, CA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A door adapted for inclusion in a cabinet, the door and the cabinet being adapted for use outdoors, locatable on a supported structure, and resembling a conventional interior cabinet; the cabinet having an exterior surface with which the door becomes juxtaposed when the door is closed shut, the door comprising: a center panel; and a frame formed by frame pieces which enclose the center panel; the frame pieces and the center panel being formed from a maintenance-free material that needs no painting or superficial maintenance; and when the door is closed shut against the exterior surface of the cabinet, the frame: b. overlaps the exterior surface of the cabinet about the door; and a. has a back-side face at a top thereof that includes a groove which projects through the exterior surface of the cabinet into the cabinet and horizontally across the back-side face whereby the groove becomes: i. disposed within the cabinet through the exterior surface thereof: and ii. adapted for preventing liquids from windy rain or counter top spills from entering into the cabinet when located outdoors.

2. The door of claim 1 wherein maintenance-free material forming the frame pieces projects through the exterior surface of the cabinet into the cabinet when the door is closed shut against the exterior surface of the cabinet, and the groove is carved into material forming the frame piece.

3. The door of claim 1 wherein a gutter strip secured to the frame piece provides the groove and projects through the exterior surface of the cabinet into the cabinet when the door is closed shut against the exterior surface of the cabinet.

4. The door of claim 1 wherein the maintenance-free material is predominantly recycled polyethylene plastic.

5. The door of claim 1 wherein the frame further includes a vertically oriented groove along a side thereof that is disposed within the cabinet through the exterior surface thereof when the door is closed shut against the exterior surface of the cabinet thereby adapting the frame for eliminating liquids from windy rain or counter top spills internally within the cabinet.

6. The door of claim 5 wherein maintenance-free material forming the frame pieces projects through the exterior surface of the cabinet into the cabinet when the door is closed shut against the exterior surface of the cabinet, and the grooves are carved into material forming the frame pieces.

7. The door of claim 5 wherein a gutter strips secured to the frame piece provides the grooves and project through the exterior surface of the cabinet into the cabinet when the door is closed shut against the exterior surface of the cabinet.

8. The door of claim 5 wherein the maintenance-free material is predominantly recycled polyethylene plastic.

9. A drawer adapted for inclusion in a cabinet, the drawer and the cabinet being adapted for use outdoors, locatable on a supported structure, and resembling a conventional interior cabinet; the cabinet having an exterior surface with which the drawer becomes juxtaposed when the drawer is closed shut, the drawer comprising: a bottom panel; a back; at least a pair of side pieces; and a front-panel; the back, side pieces and front-panel collectively surrounding the bottom panel; the back, side pieces, front-panel and bottom panel being formed from a maintenance-free material that needs no painting or superficial maintenance; and when the drawer is closed shut against the exterior surface of the cabinet, the front-panel: b. overlaps the exterior surface of the cabinet about the drawer; and a. has a back-side with a top thereof that includes a groove which projects through the exterior surface of the cabinet into the cabinet and horizontally across the back-side whereby the groove becomes: i. disposed within the cabinet through the exterior surface thereof: and ii. adapted for preventing liquids from windy rain or counter top spills from entering into the drawer when located outdoors.

10. The drawer of claim 9 wherein maintenance-free material forming the front-panel projects through the exterior surface of the cabinet into the cabinet when the drawer is closed shut against the exterior surface of the cabinet, and the groove is carved into material forming the front-panel.

11. The drawer of claim 9 wherein a gutter strip secured to the front-panel provides the groove and projects through the exterior surface of the cabinet into the cabinet when the door is closed shut against the exterior surface of the cabinet.

12. The drawer of claim 9 wherein the maintenance-free material is predominantly recycled polyethylene plastic.

13. A cabinet adapted for use outdoors, locatable on a supported structure, and resembling a conventional interior cabinet; the cabinet comprising: an exterior surface; and a door which becomes juxtaposed with the exterior surface when the door is closed shut, the door including: a center panel; and a frame formed by frame pieces which enclose the center panel; the frame pieces and the center panel being formed from a maintenance-free material that needs no painting or superficial maintenance; and when the door is closed shut against the exterior surface of the cabinet, the frame: b. overlaps the exterior surface of the cabinet about the door; and a. has a back-side face at a top thereof that includes a groove which projects through the exterior surface of the cabinet into the cabinet and horizontally across the back-side face whereby the groove becomes: i. disposed within the cabinet through the exterior surface thereof: and ii. adapted for preventing liquids from windy rain or counter top spills from entering into the cabinet when located outdoors.

14. The cabinet of claim 13 wherein maintenance-free material forming frame pieces of the door projects through the exterior surface of the cabinet into the cabinet when the door is closed shut against the exterior surface of the cabinet, and the groove is carved into material forming the frame piece.

15. The cabinet of claim 13 wherein a gutter strip secured to the frame piece of the door provides the groove and projects through the exterior surface of the cabinet into the cabinet when the door is closed shut against the exterior surface of the cabinet.

16. The cabinet of claim 13 wherein the maintenance-free material is predominantly recycled polyethylene plastic.

17. The cabinet of claim 13 wherein the frame of the door further includes a vertically oriented groove along a side thereof that is disposed within the cabinet through the exterior surface thereof when the door is closed shut against the exterior surface of the cabinet thereby adapting the frame of the door for eliminating liquids from windy rain or counter top spills internally within the cabinet.

18. The cabinet of claim 17 wherein maintenance-free material forming frame pieces of the door projects through the exterior surface of the cabinet into the cabinet when the door is closed shut against the exterior surface of the cabinet, and the grooves are carved into material forming the frame pieces.

19. The cabinet of claim 17 wherein gutter strips secured to frame pieces of the door provides the grooves and project through the exterior surface of the cabinet into the cabinet when the door is closed shut against the exterior surface of the cabinet.

20. The cabinet of claim 17 wherein the maintenance-free material is predominantly recycled polyethylene plastic.

21. A cabinet adapted for use outdoors, locatable on a supported structure, and resembling a conventional interior cabinet; the cabinet comprising: an exterior surface; and a drawer which becomes juxtaposed with the exterior surface when the drawer is closed shut, the drawer including: a bottom panel; a back; at least a pair of side pieces; and a front-panel; the back, side pieces and front-panel collectively surrounding the bottom panel; the back, side pieces, front-panel and bottom panel being formed from a maintenance-free material that needs no painting or superficial maintenance; and when the drawer is closed shut against the exterior surface of the cabinet, the front-panel: b. overlaps the exterior surface of the cabinet about the drawer; and a. has a back-side with a top thereof that includes a groove which projects through the exterior surface of the cabinet into the cabinet and horizontally across the back-side whereby the groove becomes: i. disposed within the cabinet through the exterior surface thereof: and ii. adapted for preventing liquids from windy rain or counter top spills from entering into the drawer when located outdoors.

22. The cabinet of claim 21 wherein maintenance-free material forming the front-panel of the drawer projects through the exterior surface of the cabinet into the cabinet when the drawer is closed shut against the exterior surface of the cabinet, and the groove is carved into material forming the front-panel.

23. The cabinet of claim 21 wherein a gutter strip secured to the front-panel of the drawer provides the groove and projects through the exterior surface of the cabinet into the cabinet when the door is closed shut against the exterior surface of the cabinet.

24. The cabinet of claim 21 wherein the maintenance-free material is predominantly recycled polyethylene plastic.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/634,673 filed on Dec. 10, 2004.

BACKGROUND

1. Technical Field

The present invention relates generally to household type cabinets, and, more particularly, to such cabinets as adapted for outdoor use.

2. Description of Background Art

There exists a well-established trade for fabricating kitchen and bathroom cabinets both by custom cabinet-making shops and highly mechanized standard cabinet fabrication facilities. Presently, cabinet manufacturers predominantly use natural wood and wood-derivative products such as plywood, veneered multi-density fiber board (“MDF”) and pressboard for indoor cabinets.

Conventional interior cabinet designs are not readily transferable for outdoor use because additional design considerations must be given to rain diversion and stability in wind.

Outdoor kitchens heretofore have been built using stainless-steel doors and drawers, and are designed to be set into heavy masonry. These steel cabinets are expensive and bulky. Furthermore, they consume much more space than would be required by more conventional cabinet designs. The weight characteristics of stainless steel cabinets alone preclude their use for outdoor kitchens located on supported structures such as second-story decks.

There also presently exist cabinets that are made from injection-molded plastic, but they are hollow in structure and have rounded edges and corners due to constraints imposed by injection molding. Such cabinets are being sold only for storage cabinets because they just lack an appearance that mimics interior cabinet designs. Such cabinets also lack exposed drawers.

There. also exist cabinet doors made mainly from wood fiber-board that is clad with a thin veneer of polyethylene (“PEI”) plastic using a vacuum process. The problem with such cabinet doors is that if the veneer is punctured, the fiberboard swells with moisture and the door becomes permanently damaged and primarily non-functional in its intended environment. Hinge recesses and hinge mounting screws require puncturing the backside of fiberboard doors, and these holes invite imminent failure. Some fiberboard doors only possess a plastic veneer on the front side leaving the interior exposed to moisture in a damp environment.

With the introduction of high-density polyethylene (“HDPE”) plastics in standard board sizes, kitchen cabinets fabricated from such materials are presently experiencing strong reception for application to outdoor uses, such as outdoor BBQs and exterior kitchens. Such solid plastic, wood-alternative material made from predominantly recycled polyethylene plastic obtained from soda bottles, detergent bottles, and milk containers is available from a number of different manufacturers. This solid plastic, wood-alternative material is strong, impact resistant, and “wood-like” in appearance. Furthermore, this material is maintenance-free, and needs no painting or superficial maintenance. Similar to wood, the solid plastic, wood-alternative material can be cut, drilled, mitered, routered, and sanded with conventional woodworking tools.

One characteristic of the solid plastic, wood-alternative material, in comparison with most types of natural wood used in fabricating outdoor architectural structures is that it has slightly less mechanical rigidity. However, because in many instances mechanical requirements of structures are moderate or may be accommodated by an appropriate design or hidden structural supports, the solid plastic, wood-alternative material's lesser mechanical rigidity does not prevent its use in such structures.

Using such solid plastic, wood-alternative materials, fabricating comparatively light weight kitchen base and wall cabinets for outdoor use which in appearance resemble conventional interior cabinets is a new development. Fabricating the doors and drawers for outdoor cabinets from solid-plastic presents a problem for preventing liquids from windy rain or counter top spills from penetrating the cabinets' interior when the doors and drawers are closed shut.

BRIEF SUMMARY

An object of the present disclosure is to provide a cabinet that is adapted for use outdoors locatable on a supported structure, and that resembles a conventional interior cabinet.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a door that is adapted for use outdoors, and that resembles a conventional interior cabinet which when closed shut against a cabinet is adapted for preventing liquids from windy rain or counter top spills from entering into the cabinet.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a drawer that is adapted for use outdoors, and that resembles a conventional interior cabinet which when closed shut against a cabinet is adapted for preventing liquids from windy rain or counter top spills from entering into the drawer.

Yet another object of the present disclosure is to provide an easily manufactured cabinet including a door and/or drawer that is adapted for use outdoors locatable on a supported structure, and that resembles a conventional interior cabinet.

Yet another object of the present disclosure is to provide a durable cabinet including a door and/or drawer that is adapted for use outdoors locatable on a supported structure, and that resembles a conventional interior cabinet.

Yet another object of the present disclosure is to provide a cost effective cabinet including a door and/or drawer that is adapted for use outdoors locatable on a supported structure, and that resembles a conventional interior cabinet.

Yet another object of the present disclosure is to provide an easily maintained cabinet including a door and/or drawer that is adapted for use outdoors locatable on a supported structure, and that resembles a conventional interior cabinet.

Yet another object of the present disclosure is to provide an economically manufactured cabinet including a door and/or drawer that is adapted for use outdoors locatable on a supported structure, and that resembles a conventional interior cabinet which is.

Briefly, disclosed herein is a cabinet which is adapted for use outdoors and locatable on a supported structure, and resembles a conventional interior cabinet. The disclosure also includes a door and a drawer for the cabinet which when closed shut are adapted for preventing liquids from windy rain or counter top spills from entering into the cabinet or the drawer.

The disclosed door includes a frame formed by frame pieces which enclose a center panel. The frame pieces and the center panel are formed from a maintenance-free material that needs no painting or superficial maintenance. When the door is closed shut against the cabinet's exterior surface, the frame overlaps the exterior surface of the cabinet about the door. Also, the door has a back-side face at a top thereof that includes a groove which, when the door is closed shut against the cabinet's exterior surface, projects through the exterior surface into the cabinet and extends horizontally across the door's back-side face. Configured in this way, when the door is closed shut against the cabinet's exterior surface, the door's groove becomes adapted for preventing liquids from windy rain or counter top spills from entering into the cabinet.

The disclosed drawer includes a bottom panel, a back, at least a pair of side pieces; and a front-panel. The back, side pieces and front-panel collectively surround the bottom panel. The back, side pieces, front-panel and bottom panel are formed from a maintenance-free material that needs no painting or superficial maintenance. When the drawer is closed shut against the exterior surface of the cabinet, the front-panel overlaps the exterior surface of the cabinet about the drawer. Also, the drawer has a back-side with a top thereof that includes a groove which, when the drawer is closed shut against the cabinet's exterior surface, projects through the exterior surface into the cabinet and extends horizontally across the back-side of the drawer. Configured in this way, when the drawer is closed shut against the cabinet's exterior surface, the drawer's groove becomes adapted for preventing liquids from windy rain or counter top spills from entering into the drawer.

These and other features, objects and advantages will be understood or apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art from the following detailed description of the preferred embodiment as illustrated in the various drawing figures.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional, plan view of a grooved door frame piece and a portion of a mating center panel both in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is an elevational view of a drawer in accordance with the present invention having a grooved front-panel;

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional, elevational view of the door frame and mating door panel of FIG. 1 showing preferred dimensions thereof which are fabricated with complementary rotating cutter knives for forming opposite edges of the door frame and the drawer's front-panel;

FIG. 4 is an elevational view of a pair of complementary rotating cuter knives used for forming interior edges of the door frame and ends of door frame pieces mating therewith;

FIG. 5 is an elevational view of a rotating cuter knife used for forming exterior edges of the door frame, and also an upper edge of the drawer's front-panel;

FIG. 6 is an elevational view of an alternative embodiment door;

FIG. 7 is a top view of the alternative embodiment door taken along the line 7-7 in FIG. 6;

FIG. 8A is a plan view depicting a gutter strip used for grooves of the alternative embodiment door depicted in FIGS. 6 and 7;

FIGS. 8B and 8C are elevational views depicting gutter strips, having alternative shapes to that of the gutter strip depicted in FIG. 8A, that may also be used for grooves of the alternative embodiment door depicted in FIGS. 6 and 7; and

FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional elevational view of an alternative embodiment drawer taken along the line 9-9 in FIG. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

  • Doors:

Illustrated in FIG. 1 is a portion of a door, referred to by the general reference character 10, adapted for use in an outdoor cabinet. The door 10 is preferably constructed using 112-inch
thick 312-inch
wide solid all-plastic frame pieces 12 that enclose a 5/8-inch thick solid all-plastic center panel 16. A back-side face 18 of each frame piece 12 projects 1/2-inch into a cabinet's door opening with a 5/8-inch flange 22 overlapping the cabinet's exterior surface around the cabinet's door opening. When the door 10 is fully closed, the flanges 22 of the frame pieces 12 enclosing the center panel 16 become juxtaposed with the cabinet's exterior surface, not illustrated in FIG. 1.

A curved rain-catching groove 24 is carved at the top and along both sides of the door 10 into penetrating back-side faces 18 of frame pieces 12 which surround the center panel 16. The rain-catching groove 24 prevents liquids from windy rain or counter top spills from penetrating the cabinets'interior, deflects liquids to the sides for elimination internally within the cabinet down side gutters provided by rain-catching grooves 24, and is the subject of this disclosure.

A key element for shielding door hinges from exposure to the elements outdoors is the use of European-style hidden hinges. European hinges are composed of two pre-assembled components: an “arm” and a “base”. For any door 10 having both a 1/2-inch recess and a 5/8-inch flange, a 9 mm base must be used with a 135° arm. Two (2) European-style hinges available in the United States of America from Grass Hinge Co. can accommodate the 5/8-inch overlap of the cabinet's frame by the flange 22.

Another aspect of frame pieces 12 is a 1/2-inch outside-corner 45° bevel 28 around an exterior surface of the door's frame pieces 12. The bevel 28 along the hinged side of the door 10 allows the door 10 to rest snugly up against the cabinet's exterior frame when the door 10 is in its fully-open 135° position (135°−90°=45°)

Drawers:

Illustrated in FIG. 2 is a drawer referred to by the general reference character 30. The drawer 30 is preferably constructed with a 112-inch
thick, solid-face, one-piece all-plastic front-panel 32. Side pieces 34 and a back 36 of the drawer 30 are 5/8-inch thick solid-plastic boards that preferably have a dovetail interlock at their rear corners (not necessary but convenient for off-site assembly). Front edges of the side pieces 34 of the drawer 30 insert into 3/4-inch recesses 38 carved into a back-side 42 of the front-panel 32. The side pieces 34, back 36 and front-panel 32 collectively surround and frame-in a 1/4-inch thick plastic bottom panel 44.

The illustration of FIG. 2 also includes a cross-sectional view of a frame 52 of the cabinet which encloses the drawer 30. The frame 52 includes an upper horizontal piece 54 above the drawer 30, and a lower horizontal piece 56 below the drawer 30. Two side pieces 58 of the frame 52, only one of which is depicted in FIG. 2, span between the horizontal pieces 54, 56 along opposite side pieces 34 of the drawer 30. Configured in this way, the horizontal pieces 54, 56 and the side pieces 58 establish an exterior surface 62 for the cabinet. The horizontal pieces 54, 56 are preferably a composite structure with the outer portion thereof forming the exterior surface 62 being made from solid plastic, wood-alternative material, and with the inner portion thereof being wood, preferably cedar. The exterior surface 62 becomes juxtaposed with the front-panel 32 when the drawer 30 is fully disposed within the cabinet. All the preceding aspects of the construction of the drawer 30 and of the cabinet are conventional cabinet making.

The present invention further provides a 1/2-inch extension at the back-side 42 of the front-panel 32 that, when the drawer 30 is fully disposed within the cabinet, recesses into the cabinet's opening with 5/8-inch flanges 72 overlapping the exterior surface 62 around the drawer 30. When the drawer 32 is closed shut, the back-side 42 becomes recessed 1/2-inch into the cabinet's opening. The recessed portion of the front-panel 32 includes a rain-catch groove 76 carved along the top of the back-side 42. The rain-catch groove 76 extends horizontally across the entire top edge of the front-panel 32 to terminate openly beyond the side pieces 34 of the drawer 30. When the drawer 32 is closed shut, the back-side 42 together with the rain-catch groove 76 projects into the cabinet. The rain-catch groove 76 carries any liquid that enters the cabinet from above past the front-panel 32 to beyond the side pieces 34 of the drawer 30 where the liquid falls to the top of the next lower drawer 30, or to the bottom of the cabinet. In this way, this construction prevents liquids from entering the interior of the drawer 30.

Material:

For use outdoors, the preferred material for the door's frame pieces 12 and the center panel 16, for the drawer's front-panel 32, the side pieces 34, the back 36 and bottom panel 44, and for the cabinet itself is solid plastic, wood-alternative materials made from predominantly recycled polyethylene plastic. The solid plastic, wood-alternative material is preferred because it is:

1. resembles natural wood materials;

2. impervious to the elements; and

3. homogeneous, i.e. lacks any grain along which it may possibly split.

Furthermore, should such solid plastic, wood-alternative materials become available in suitable widths and thicknesses, then the door 10, rather than being assembled by joining individual frame pieces 12 about the center panel 16, could be carved from a single piece of the material.

Carving Method:

Opposite sides of the grooved door frame pieces 12 are preferably formed by milling edges of 112-inch
thick plastic boards on a shaper using a pair of custom rotating cutter knives. FIG. 3 provides detailed dimensional specifications for various preferred shapes formed by the rotating cutter knives. FIG. 4 illustrates a pair of complementary rotating cutter knives 82, 84. The cutter knife 82 illustrated at the top of FIG. 4 is used for forming interior edges of door frame pieces 12. The cutter knife 84 illustrated at the bottom of FIG. 4 is used for forming ends of door frame pieces 12, e.g. sides of frame pieces 12, which mate with the interior edges of door frame pieces 12 formed using the cutter knife 82, e.g. top and bottom of frame pieces 12. Alternatively, ends of frame pieces 12 may be mitered thereby dispensing with any need for the cutter knife 84. FIG. 5 illustrates a cutter knife 88 used for forming exterior edges of door frame pieces 12, and also an upper edge of the drawer's front-panel 32. Preferably, each of the cutter knives 82, 84 and the cutter knife 88 are wider than the thickness of the plastic boards so during milling the cutter knife 82, 84 or 88 extends at least 1/8-inch beyond both sides of the board.

Alternative Embodiment:

FIGS. 6 and 7 depict an alternative embodiment for the door 10, FIGS. 8A-8C depict various shapes for rain-catching grooves 24 and 76, and FIG. 9 depicts an alternative embodiment for the drawer 30. Those elements depicted in FIGS. 7, 8A-8C and 9 that are common to the embodiments illustrated in FIGS. 1-3 carry the same reference numeral distinguished by a prime (“′”) designation.

The back-side faces 18′ of the frame pieces 12′ of the alternative embodiment door 10′ illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7 overlap the cabinet's exterior surface 62′ around the cabinet's door opening when the door 10′ is closed shut against the exterior surface 62′. However, the frame pieces 12′ don't project into a cabinet's door opening. Instead, the frame pieces 12′ and the front-panel 32′ of the door 10′ remain outside the cabinet's exterior surface 62′ when the door 10′ is closed shut against the exterior surface 62′. To provide the rain-catching grooves 24′ for the door 10′, which when the door 10′ is closed shut against the exterior surface 62′ of the cabinet become disposed within the cabinet through its exterior surface 62′, metallic or polyvinyl chloride plastic (“PVC”) gutter strips 92 having grooved shapes are secured to back-side faces 18′ of the frame pieces 12′.

FIGS. 8A-8C depict alternative shapes for the gutter strips 92 together with fasteners 94 that respectively secure the differently shaped gutter strips 92 to the frame piece 12′. In the illustration of FIG. 8A, the rain-catching groove 24′ of the gutter strip 92 is trapezoidally-shaped. FIG. 8B illustrates a gutter strip 92 which has a V-shaped rain-catching groove 24′, while the rain-catching groove 24′ depicted in FIG. 8C is arcuately-shaped. The gutter strips 92 and the fasteners 94 are preferably made from stainless steel, or alternatively from extruded PVC.

FIG. 9 depicts the back-side 42′ of an alternative embodiment drawer 30′ viewed from within the interior thereof. The flanges 72′ of the front-panel 32′ overlap the cabinet's exterior surface 62′ around the cabinet's door opening when the drawer 30′ is closed shut against the exterior surface 62′. However, the back-side 42′ doesn't project into a cabinet's door opening. Instead, the back-side 42′ and the flanges 72′ of the front-panel 32′ remain outside the cabinet's exterior surface 62′ when the drawer 30′ is closed shut against the exterior surface 62′. To provide the rain-catch groove 76′ for the drawer 30′, which becomes disposed within the cabinet through its exterior surface 62′ when the drawer 30′ is closed shut against the cabinet's exterior surface 62′, a gutter strip 92 of any of the types depicted in FIGS. 8A-8C is secured to the back-side 42′ of the front-panel 32′. Similar to the rain-catch groove 76, the gutter strip 92 extends horizontally across the entire top edge of the front-panel 32′ to terminate openly beyond the side pieces 34′ of the drawer 30′.

Although the present invention has been described in terms of the presently preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that such disclosure is purely illustrative and is not to be interpreted as limiting. Consequently, without departing from the spirit and scope of the disclosure, various alterations, modifications, and/or alternative applications will, no doubt, be suggested to those skilled in the art after having read the preceding disclosure. Accordingly, it is intended that the following claims be interpreted as encompassing all alterations, modifications, or alternative applications as fall within the true spirit and scope of the disclosure including equivalents thereof. In effecting the preceding intent, the following claims shall:

1. not invoke paragraph 6 of 35 U.S.C. § 112 as it exists on the date of filing hereof unless the phrase “means for” appears expressly in the claim's text;

2. omit all elements, steps, or functions not expressly appearing therein unless the element, step or function is expressly described as “essential” or “critical;”

3. not be limited by any other aspect of the present disclosure which does not appear explicitly in the claim's text unless the element, step or function is expressly described as “essential” or “critical;” and

4. when including the transition word “comprises” or “comprising” or any variation thereof, encompass a non-exclusive inclusion, such that a claim which encompasses a process, method, article, or apparatus that comprises a list of steps or elements includes not only those steps or elements but may include other steps or elements not expressly or inherently included in the claim's text.