Title:
Folding Table for Barbeque Kettle Grill
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A folding table (10) for a barbeque grill, providing a convenient, stowable table to be used with the grill, having a downwardly extending support (14) pivotally attached to a leg of the grill and having an upper end, with a tabletop (12) that is pivotally connected on the upper end of the support (14), and having a means for connecting (22, 24) the tabletop (12) to the grill and holding the tabletop (12) in a generally horizontal position for use.



Inventors:
Tourounjian, Robert (Evergreen Park, IL, US)
Application Number:
12/083109
Publication Date:
02/19/2009
Filing Date:
10/05/2006
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
108/115
International Classes:
A47B3/00
View Patent Images:
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20080035408REVERSIBLE DRIVING ARRANGEMENTSFebruary, 2008Gristenbrei et al.
20050150432Portable table for notebook computerJuly, 2005Wen
20030177961Foldable shipping shelfSeptember, 2003Wang
20050000395Pallet support unitJanuary, 2005Apps et al.
20080035032Pallet locksFebruary, 2008Kimener
20080060562EXTENDABLE ASSEMBLY FOR SUPPORTING SOFA TABLEMarch, 2008Lor



Primary Examiner:
ROHRHOFF, DANIEL J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
I Claim as my invention:

1. A table for a grill having at least three legs, the table comprising: a downwardly extending support pivotally attached to a leg of the grill and having an upper end, a tabletop that is pivotally connected on said upper end of the support, and means for connecting the table to the grill and holding the table in a generally horizontal position for use.

2. The table of claim 1 wherein the means for connecting the table to the grill includes a clip on the underside of the table for attachment to the grill.

3. The table of claim 1 wherein the grill has a peripheral edge and the means for detachably connecting the table to the grill includes a clip on the table for overlapping said edge of the grill.

4. The table of claim 3 wherein the means for connecting the table to the grill includes more than one clip for overlapping the edge of the grill.

5. The table of claim 3 wherein the means for connecting the table to the grill include a pair of clips mounted on the outer edges of the table for overlapping the edge of the grill and supporting the inner end of the table in a spaced relationship from the periphery of the grill.

6. The table of claim 1 wherein the grill has a handle and the means for connecting the table to the grill includes a clip for attaching the table to said handle.

7. A folding table for an outdoor cooking kettle having multiple legs and a peripheral edge, the table comprising: a downwardly extending support pivotally attached at a first end thereof to a leg of the kettle, a tabletop pivotally supported on a horizontal axis on a second, upper end of the support, wherein the tabletop is detachably supported in a use position adjacent the peripheral edge of the kettle and pivoting about the upper end of the support when detached from the peripheral edge of the kettle to a generally vertical position adjacent the kettle for storage.

8. The table of claim 7 further comprising means for detachably connecting the table to the grill, including a clip that lies over the edge of the grill when the table is in its use position.

9. The table of claim 8 wherein the means for detachably connecting the table to the grill includes more than one clip that lies over the edge of the grill when the table is in its use position.

10. The table of claim 8 wherein the means for detachably connecting the table to the grill include a pair of clips mounted on outer edges of the table for overlapping the edge of the grill and supporting the inner end of the table in a spaced relationship from the periphery of the grill.

11. A foldable table for a generally circular outdoor cooking kettle having at least one handle and a peripheral edge, the table comprising: a support pivotally attached to the kettle at a lower end and having an upper end; a tabletop pivotally connected generally near said upper end of the support, and means for detachably connecting one edge of the table to the cooking kettle in a generally horizontal position for use, whereby the tabletop is pivotable about the upper end of the support to a generally vertical storage position.

12. The folding table of claim 11 wherein the tabletop has outer peripheral edges and the means for detachably connecting the table to the cooking kettle includes a pair of clips mounted on the outer edge of the table extending in the direction of the grill and each including a curved portion for overlapping the edge of the grill and supporting the inner end of the table in a spaced relationship from the periphery of the grill and in a generally horizontal orientation.

13. The table of claim 11 wherein the means for detachably connecting the table to the kettle includes a clip for attaching the table to said at least one handle on the grill.

14. A foldable table for a generally circular outdoor cooking kettle of the type having three generally triangularly arranged legs and a pair of handles, at least one of which is aligned generally vertically with one of the support legs, the foldable table having a top with a peripheral edge and comprising: a support leg pivotally attached at a lower end to the leg of the kettle aligned with the handle, and having an opposite, upper end; a generally rectangular tabletop, pivotally connected on the upper end of the support leg; means for connecting a portion of the edge of the tabletop spaced from the upper end of the support leg to the kettle for supporting the tabletop in a generally horizontal position for use.

15. The table of claim 14 wherein the means for detachably connecting the tabletop to the grill includes a pair of clips mounted on a portion of the edge of the tabletop spaced from the pivotal support, each clip including a portion for overlapping the edge of the cooking kettle for supporting said portion of the edge of the tabletop in a spaced relationship from the periphery of the cooking kettle and supporting the tabletop in a generally horizontal position for use.

16. The table of claim 14 wherein the means for connecting said portion of the edge of the tabletop to the cooking kettle includes a spring clip mounted on the underside of the tabletop for engaging one of the handles on the kettle.

17. The table of claim 14 wherein the tabletop includes a generally rectangular opening aligned with the handle on the kettle when the tabletop is in its stored position, whereby the handle is received in the opening for compact for storage.

18. The table of claim 17 wherein the support includes a pair of generally converging leg portions that are pivotally connected at their bottom ends to one of the legs of the kettle.

19. The table of claim 14 wherein the tabletop is made of heat resistant material.

20. The foldable table of claim 19 wherein the tabletop is made of stainless steel.

Description:

Priority is claimed to U.S. Provisional Pat. App. Ser. No. 60/724,389 filed on Oct. 7, 2005, the contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference.

1. TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to accessories for outdoor barbeque grills, particularly of the “kettle” type popularly sold under the Weber® and other trademarks.

2. BACKGROUND ART

Outdoor kettle type barbeque grills are well known and popular in the United States and other nations for cooking over charcoal, gas or other heat source. Weber® several makes very fine and popular lines of kettle grills of varying sizes. A typical kettle type grill has three supporting legs, two of which may have wheels and the third “free” leg that may include a rubber tip or other covering at its lower end. This type of kettle grill generally has two handles, one of which is generally vertically positioned above the third leg and positioned somewhat below the top edge of the lower half of the kettle grill.

Prior U.S. Pat. No. 4,665,888 shows a barbeque kettle with a fold-down serving table, but there is no attachment to the leg or to the handle of the kettle as one form of the present invention conveniently provides. U.S. Pat. No. 5,460,104 provides a table for an RV or other use, with a complex sliding, folding, and supporting mechanism. Prior U.S. Pat. No. 5,685,468 shows a portable external tool tray for auto mechanics, the tray being removably positionable on the car body and braced against the body. U.S. Pat. No. 5,706,593 similarly shows a portable ironing board for use in tight quarters, one end of the board catching on a vertical surface and the other end being supported by an adjustable brace.

None of these patents shows or suggests the combination of the elements of the present invention as arranged for convenient assembly, use, and storage.

3. DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

Summary of the Invention

The object of the present invention is to provide a sturdy, safe, fire resistant, useful horizontal table surface adjacent a kettle grill's cooking area, for holding food, utensils, and accessories such as condiments and drinks for use before, during and after the grilling process. The table has a pivot assembly that is attachable to the bottom of the “free leg” of the grill, replacing any end fitting that may have been there. The assembly pivotally connects a plurality of upwardly extending legs of the table to the base of the free leg, for pivotal movement from an extended use position to a generally retracted stowed position leaning against the kettle handle. The legs hold a tabletop at their upper ends, again in pivoting relation so as to allow the tabletop to move from a horizontal use position to a generally vertical, stowed position for storage. The table, preferably of heat resistant material, for instance of metal such as stainless steel or a composite, is broad, sturdy, and stable enough to hold needed implements, pots of water and saucers, bowls, and other accessories and tools. One edge of the table, opposite that supported by the legs, is generally curved to fit adjacent to, but spaced from, the circumferential edge or rim of the kettle and generally at the same height as the edge of the kettle and above the handle on the side of the kettle above the third leg of the kettle. The inner curved end of the table is securely but removably attached to or adjacent to the kettle edge by one or more clips that attach to or rest on the rim or that attach by a spring clip to the handle. Accessory hangers can be fitted to the tabletop or to upper legs of the added assembly. The table also may fit within the existing cover sold for the grill, when folded for storage.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The photographs in the priority application and drawings submitted herewith show the invention in several early and later embodiments in its various views, forms, positions, and configurations. The following drawings are submitted herewith:

FIG. 1 is a side perspective view of an embodiment of a table according to the invention as installed on a barbeque kettle grill.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an embodiment of a table according to the invention attached to a leg of a barbeque kettle grill, showing pivot and attachment directional arrows.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a first embodiment of a tabletop portion of a table according to the invention, attached to a handle of a barbeque kettle grill.

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a second embodiment of the tabletop portion of a table according to the invention, with brackets or clips for attachment to or resting on the rim of the kettle.

FIG. 5 is a rear elevational view of an embodiment of a table according to the invention, shown in a stowed position.

FIG. 6 is a front elevational view of an embodiment of a table according to the invention, shown in a stowed position.

FIG. 6A is a front elevational view of an alternate embodiment of a table according to the invention, shown in a stowed position.

FIG. 7 is a left side elevational view of an embodiment of a table according to the invention, shown in a stowed position.

FIG. 8 is an exploded front perspective view of an embodiment of a table according to the invention.

FIG. 9 is a rear perspective view of an embodiment of a lower pivotal connection means of a table according to the invention, for connecting a leg of the grill to the table support.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE BEST MODES FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

Early and presently preferred embodiments are shown in the drawings submitted herewith.

FIG. 1 shows an embodiment of a table 10 according to one form of the invention, as installed on a kettle grill 200 and extended to its use position. The table 10 includes a tabletop 12 which is pivotally connected by means 18 for pivotal connection to the upper end of a support 14, here shown as a leg 14. The support 14 extends downwardly from its pivotal attachment to the tabletop 12 to a lower end at which there is a means 20 for pivotally attaching the support 14 to a leg 210 of the grill 200. As can be noted from FIG. 1, tabletop 12 extends in a generally horizontal position for use. Tabletop 12 can be of any suitable shape or size to provide a tabletop area to hold grilling equipment and supplies, such as ingredients, condiments, utensils, trays, bowls, platters, and the like. An edge 12a of tabletop 12 near the grill 200 can be shaped in any suitable manner, but in one preferred embodiment, tabletop edge 12a abuts the kettle rim 230 of the kettle grill 200, and in another preferred embodiment, tabletop edge 12a follows along but does not directly abut grill rim 230, so as to provide a gap between rim 230 and tabletop edge 12a, in order to provide a buffer between tabletop edge 12a and the high heat emanating from grill 200 including its rim 230. Tabletop 12 can be made of any suitable material for holding grilling utensils and supplies and can preferably be made of heat resistant materials such as metals, as aluminum or stainless steel, or composites such as resin materials, in order to prevent damage due to heat emanating from grill 200. In a preferred embodiment, tabletop 12 includes at its side opposite from the grill rim 230 a plurality of extensions or hooks 30, on which grilling tools can be hung, such as spatulas, tongs, and heat mitts. An embodiment of the tabletop 12 includes an opening 16 into which a handle 220 of the grill 200 (shown in FIG. 2) can be received when the table 10 is placed into its stowed position.

FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of an embodiment of the table 10 attached to a leg 210 of a barbeque kettle grill 200. As shown in FIG. 2, the tabletop 12 has at its tabletop side facing the grill 200 a means 22 for attaching the tabletop 12 on its side facing the grill 200, in the nature of a spring clip. As shown in FIG. 2, the means for attaching 22 embodied as a spring clip 22 is adapted to detachably affix to the grill handle 220 by a clipping action onto or around the grill handle. Any other suitable means of detachably connecting the tabletop 12 to the grill handle 220 could be substituted for the spring clip 22 shown in FIG. 2. The means for attachment shown as spring clip 22 in FIG. 2 should be adapted to hold the tabletop 12 in a stable manner essentially horizontally. Because it is contemplated that a large amount of weight, up to an indicated safe maximum, could be placed upon tabletop 12, such as a heavy pot full of food, the means for attachment 22 should be properly adapted to stable holding of the tabletop edge 12a. Thus, the invention contemplates that a plurality of means for attaching 22 might be used depending upon the needed stability. FIG. 2 also shows an opening 16 for receiving insertion of handle 220 when the table 10 is place in a stowed position.

FIG. 2 also shows pivotal connection means 18 by which the upper end of support 14, shown here as a leg, is pivotally attached to tabletop 12. FIG. 2 also shows the lower means for pivotal attachment 20. In the embodiment shown, the lower means for pivotal attachment 20 is depicted as a pivoting “T” style pivotal attachment. This particular pivotal attachment is discussed in more detail below.

FIG. 2 shows by directional arrows the movement of the parts when the table 10 is put into its open use position from its closed or stowed position. To put the table 10 into use, the lower means for pivotal attachment 20 is first attached to the leg 210 of the grill 200, as discussed in more detail below. The legs 14 and tabletop 12 are then respectively pivoted on the pivotal attachment 18 and 20. Specifically, legs 14 are pivoted outwardly relative to the grill leg 210 to allow space for the side of tabletop 12 having edge 12a to be rotated upwardly in the sense of the upward arrow depicted in FIG. 2, to allow for the means for attachment 22 to be attached to the grill 200. Then the tabletop 12 is detachably secured into its position by the means for attachment 22. Means for attachment 22 can be positioned abutting, under, or on top of tabletop 12 to accommodate the grill shape.

FIG. 3 provides a perspective view of tabletop 12, showing its opening 16 for receiving the handle 220 of the grill 200 when the table 10 is placed in its stowed position. FIG. 3 also shows an embodiment of the means for attachment 22, here shown as a spring clip, for detachably affixing tabletop 12 to the handle 220 of the grill 200. The grill handle 220 here is schematically depicted as being detached from its grill 200 for purposes of illustration.

FIG. 4 presents an alternate embodiment to the spring clip embodiment depicted in FIG. 3. In FIG. 4, the tabletop 12 has affixed to it means for attachment 24, here shown in the form of a plurality of brackets adapted to overlap or rest upon the rim 230 of the grill 200. This presents an alternate means for attachment of the tabletop edge 12a to the grill 200. While the means for attachment 24 are here shown as brackets, suitable alternatives could be effectively employed, such as extensions of the tabletop which would rest upon the rim 230, clips which provide a snap-in attachment to the rim 230, hooks that would overlap and secure around the rim 230, or other suitable parts. Two means for attachment 24 are shown in FIG. 4. It is to be understood that a single means for attachment 24, or a plurality thereof, would be suitable as needed to provide for stable detachable connection between the tabletop 12 and the grill 200. Variation in the weight, strength, and stability of the materials chosen for the table 10 components would affect the number of, and positioning of, means for attachment 22 or 24, as would the need to accommodate the grill shape. Similarly, a single means for attachment 22 is depicted in FIG. 3 in the form of a spring clip for the handle, but it is to be understood that a plurality of such means for attachment 22 might be appropriate, given the strength, stability, and materials chosen for the components of the table 10.

FIG. 5 shows a rear elevational view of an embodiment of a table 10 according to the invention shown in a stowed position. FIG. 5 shows the view from the side of a table 10 that abuts the grill 200 when the table is stowed flat against the grill. In the state shown in FIG. 5, the pivotal means for attachment 20 is shown with a sleeve 26 which has a round center opening and thus is adapted to receive insertion of the grill leg 210, which is not presently inserted as shown in this view. FIG. 5 shows a first embodiment of utensil hooks 30 at the top end of tabletop 12. A single hook or plurality of hooks would be used.

FIG. 6 shows a front elevational view of an embodiment of a table 10 according to the invention when the table 10 is in stowed position. This view shows the side of table 10 that would be in view, opposite the grill side, while the table 10 is in stowed position. In stowed position, the handle 220 of the grill would be able to extend through the opening 16. In an alternate embodiment, the tabletop 12 can be positioned farther away from the grill 200, so that the opening 16 is not necessary, and the handle 220 would be concealed behind the tabletop 12 as shown in this view.

Means for pivotal attachment 18 are shown in FIG. 6 as brackets attached to tabletop 12, pivotally holding the upper ends of legs 14, so that the legs 14 are pivotally attached to tabletop 12 along an axis of rotation A. In the embodiment shown in FIG. 6, means for attachment 24 are shown as clips that would rest upon and/or clip to the rim 230 of the grill 200. As shown in FIG. 6, means for pivotal attachment 20 at the base of the legs 14 is shown attached to support legs 14 in a manner in which the legs 14 are pivotable along a second axis of rotation A′. Means for attachment 20 includes a sleeve 26 for receiving insertion of the grill leg 210. As positioned in FIG. 6, sleeve 26 would receive grill leg 210 inserted downwardly into a top round opening of sleeve 26, which is tubular in shape. After insertion of the leg grill leg 210 into sleeve 26, the attachment between means for attachment 20 and grill leg 210 is secured by tightening a securing knob 28. The securing knob 28 is in the nature of a molded knob adapted for hand tightening a bolt-like portion of the knob 28, which in turn is adapted to screw into a nut-like receptor inside means for attachment 20. Inside the means for attachment 20, beyond the nut-like receptor, is an opening through which the bolt-like portion of securing knob 28 can enter when it is in screwed-in position, in order to abut the inserted grill leg 210. The engagement between the bolt-type portion of securing knob 28 and the nut-like part inside means for attachment 20 would allow for screwing inwardly the bolt-like portion so as to press against the grill leg 210 after it has been inserted into the sleeve 26. Once securing knob 28 has been tightened so that its bolt-like portion engages against grill leg 210 inserted in sleeve 26, the assembly provides a secure but detachable attachment between the table 10 and the grill leg 220, via the means for attachment 20. It is noted that also in FIG. 5, sleeve 26 is depicted without an inserted grill leg 210.

FIG. 6A depicts another embodiment of a table 10, wherein the two support legs as shown in FIG. 6 are replaced by a single support piece 14. In FIG. 6A, the support 14 is comprised of a single piece of bendable material, shown here as piece of aluminum tubing, bent into a flattened, upside-down U-shape at the top of support 14. The top of support 14 is pivotably attached to tabletop 12 by means for attachment 18. Support 14 pivots at means for attachment 18 along an axis similar to the first axis of rotation A depicted in FIG. 6. Benefits of this alternate embodiment of support 14 as shown in FIG. 6A are economy of manufacture by virtue of using fewer parts than the embodiment shown in FIG. 6, and potentially preferable gains in stability from use of a single support piece 14 rather than a pair of support legs 14 as depicted in FIG. 6.

Also in FIG. 6A, a second form of utensil hooks 38 is provided, supported by a crosspiece 32. It is contemplated that the crosspiece 32 is composed of a molded thermoplastic material or any other suitable material. Crosspiece 32 shown in FIG. 6A includes a midsection 34 that spans the distance between the two downwardly extending portions of the bent support 14. Crosspiece 32 is affixed to support 14 by means of its sleeve openings 36, into which the downwardly projecting portions of support 14 can be inserted during manufacture, or by a user. After such insertion into an appropriate position, crosspiece 32 can be held in place by frictional forces, or by gluing, screws, or riveting. On the midsection 34 of crosspiece 32, there is depicted a second embodiment of utensil hooks 38, shown as molded into midsection 34 and extending downwardly therefrom. These hooks 38 serve a purpose similar to the first utensil hooks 30 depicted in FIG. 6, namely providing hooks onto which grilling tools and utensils can be hung. The number and positioning of utensil hooks 38, as well as of hooks 30, can be selected as a matter of convenience and desired function. Crosspiece 32 also provides improved stability to the table 10 by providing lateral support between the two downwardly projecting portions of support 14, at a point between the two means for attachment 18 and 20. Crosspiece 32 can also be used with the alternate embodiments of legs 14 discussed above.

FIG. 7 shows a left side elevational view of the table 10 in a stowed position. From this position, it can be appreciated that means for attachment 18 allows for pivotal rotation of the tabletop 12 with respect to the support 14 in a manner that allows tabletop 12 to be stowed in a vertical direction, approximately abutting the outer edge of grill 200. This flat stowing position provides the advantage of taking up little storage space when stowed. It can also be appreciated from FIG. 7 that the means for pivotal attachment 20 allows for a range of pivot of support 14 with respect to sleeve 26, where the grill leg 210 would be inserted, so as to allow extension outwardly (rightwardly as shown) when moving the table 10 from its stowed position as shown in FIG. 7 to its position for use as shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 8 is a schematic presentation of a front exploded perspective view showing a number of the parts of an embodiment of a table according to the invention. FIG. 8 illustrates in particular an embodiment of support legs 14 having upper bent portions to be inserted into the means for pivotal attachment 18 to tabletop 12. Similarly, legs 14 as depicted in FIG. 8 show an embodiment wherein the support legs 14 have lower bent regions adapted to be inserted into sleeve-like lateral extensions of means for attachment 20. This embodiment can be contrasted to the embodiment depicted in FIG. 6, wherein the lower portion of the support 14 could be formed as separate pieces as shown in FIG. 8, or could be one continuous bent piece running all the way through the means for attachment 20 without any break, and then extending upwardly to form the two supports 14 depicted respectively on the left and right sides of FIG. 6.

The lower portions of support 14 as shown in FIGS. 6 and 6A can be adapted to fit the embodiment of lower means for attachment 20 as depicted in FIG. 9. In FIG. 9, the means for attachment 20 is depicted as a T-shape assembly including the sleeve 26 for receiving insertion of the grill leg 210. After insertion of grill leg 210 into sleeve 26, securing knob 28 is turned so as to tighten its bolt portion against the leg 210 of the grill 200, thereby securing insertion of the leg 210 in sleeve 26 as previous described. A shown in FIG. 9, the lower portions of support 14 are depicted as flattened ends, it being contemplated that support legs 14 would be comprised of tubular metal material, such as aluminum tubing, capable of being flattened at its ends as shown at the lower extremities of support 14 in FIG. 9. The flattened lower ends of support 14 then could be provided with a hole, essentially in the position of axis of rotation A′ shown in FIG. 6. Through the hole would extend pivotal attachment means, such as rivets, screws, bolts, or other appropriate methods, to the means for attachment 20. Thus, the flattened lower ends of support 14 are pivotally attached via the means for attachment 20 to the grill leg 210. Therefore, it can be appreciated from the different views that support 14 can have alternate embodiments at its lower ends, namely a single bent support 14 essentially in a U-shape in the bottom as shown in FIG. 6; or separate support legs 14, substantially as shown in FIG. 8, suited for inserting into lateral sleeves of means 20; or having flattened end portions riveted, screwed or bolted for permanent but pivotal attachment to be means for attachment 20. Similar options are contemplated for the top portion of support 14.

INDUSTRIAL APPLICABILITY

The folding table 10 for a barbeque grill, provides a convenient table to be used with the grill to hold grilling utensils and supplies, which is collapsible for compact storage and transport.

Many variations may be made in the invention as shown and its manner of use without departing from the principles of the invention as pictured and described herein and claimed as my invention. Minor variations will not avoid the use of the invention.