Title:
PORTABLE OUTDOOR FIREPLACE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable outdoor fireplace which can also be used as a cooking grill. The fireplace includes a base member, a four-sided screened enclosure, a top member and two wheels. Only a few fasteners are needed to assemble and hold all of the components together.



Inventors:
Sykes, Brian J. (Mission Viejo, CA, US)
Stamper, Leonard R. (Anaheim, CA, US)
Application Number:
12/466235
Publication Date:
11/18/2010
Filing Date:
05/14/2009
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
29/428
International Classes:
F24B1/181
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MASHRUWALA, NIKHIL P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Dickinson Wright PLLC (Bloomfield Hills, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A portable fireplace device comprising: a base member; a screened enclosure having a plurality of planar screen panels; and a top member; said screened enclosure being attached to said base member; said top member being positioned on said screened enclosure.

2. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 1 wherein said base member, screened enclosure and top member are substantially square in cross-section.

3. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 1 wherein said base member, screened enclosure and top member are substantially polygonal in cross-section.

4. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 1 further comprising at least one wheel member positioned on said base member.

5. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 4 wherein two wheel members are provided.

6. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 4 wherein said at least one wheel member is rotatably positioned on al axle member which in turn is connected to said base member.

7. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 6 wherein said axle member is securely affixed to said base member by a pin member.

8. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 7 wherein said pin member is a cotter pin.

9. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 5 wherein said two wheel members are rotatably positioned on at least one axle member which is in turn connected to said base member.

10. The portable fireplace device as described in claim. 9 wherein said axle member is securely affixed to said base member by a pin member.

11. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 10 wherein said pin member is a cotter pin.

12. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 1 wherein said screened enclosure comprises four planar screen panel members.

13. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 12 wherein said screen panel members are each substantially trapezoidal in shape.

14. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 12 wherein said screen panel members comprise a screen member inside an outer frame member, said outer frame member comprising a lower edge member which is positioned on said base members two angled side edges and an upper edge member.

15. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 14 wherein at least one of said lower edge member has fastening means thereon for securely connecting said screen enclosure to said base member.

16. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 15 wherein said fastening means comprise a bolt member and wherein a nut member is utilized to securely connect said screen enclosure to said base member.

17. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 16 wherein said nut member is a wing nut.

18. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 14 wherein two of said lower edge members have fastening means thereon for securely connecting said screen enclosure to said base member.

19. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 18 wherein said fastening means comprise a bolt member and wherein a nut member is utilized to securely connect said screen enclosure to said base member.

20. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 19 wherein said nut member is a wing nut.

21. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 12 wherein said four screen panel members are interlocked together along their side edges.

22. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 12 wherein at least one of said four screen panel members has at least one door member thereon.

23. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 23 wherein two door members are provided in one screen panel member.

24. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 22 wherein one door member is provided.

25. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 22 further comprising a latch mechanism for securing said at least one door member in a closed condition.

26. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 1 further comprising a handle member on said base member.

27. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 12 wherein said top member has a channel thereon for holding upper edge portions of said four screen panel members.

28. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 1 wherein said top member has a handle member thereon.

29. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 1 wherein said top member has an air cavity which contains heated air when a fire is burning in said fireplace device.

30. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 29 further comprising at least one opening in said top member for expelling said heated air.

31. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 1 further comprising a grate member, said grate member adapted to be positioned inside said screened enclosure, wherein said fireplace device can also be used as a cooking grill.

32. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 1 wherein said base member has a recessed portion for holding fire components.

33. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 1 wherein said screened enclosure is attached to said base member with four fasteners.

34. A portable fireplace device comprising: a polygonal shaped base member; a pair of wheel members and a handle member attached to said base member; a screened enclosure positioned on said base member and comprising four planar screen panel members; said screen panel members being interlocked together and each having a substantially trapezoidal shape; a door member in one of said four screen panel members; and a top member positioned on the upper edge portions of the secured enclosure.

35. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 34 further comprising a handle member on said top member.

36. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 34 further comprising fastening means for securely attaching said screened enclosure to said base member.

37. The portable fireplace device as described in claim 34 further comprising a cooking grill member.

38. A method of assembling a portable fireplace device, said method comprising the steps of: providing a polygonal shaped base member; attaching at least one wheel member to said base member; interlocking together a plurality of planar screen panel members to form a screened enclosure; attaching said screened enclosure to said base member; and positioning a top member on said screened enclosure.

39. The method of assembling a portable fireplace device as described in claim 38 further comprising the step of providing a door member in at least one of said plurality of screen panel members.

40. The method of assembling a portable fireplace device as described in claim 38 wherein the steps of attaching said screened enclosure to said base member comprises securing the screened enclosure to said base member with a plurality of fasteners.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates to outdoor fireplaces and more particularly to portable outdoor fireplaces.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to portable fireplaces, and more particularly to portable outdoor fireplaces that are easy to assemble and inexpensive and can also be used as outdoor cooking grills.

Outdoor fireplaces in the past have typically been made of stones, bricks, and the like and have been constructed behind many homes for many decades. Outdoor fireplaces which are portable and able to be moved around and are not permanently constructed on site have more recently come into existence. Such portable fireplaces are found, for example, in. U.S. Pat. No. 5,836,298.

Although the known portable fireplaces have performed adequately in some respects, they are still relatively expensive and are difficult to assemble and put into operation.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide an improved portable outdoor fireplace which is relatively inexpensive and also easy to assemble and construct.

It is also an object of the present invention to provide a portable outdoor fireplace which is attractive in appearance and can also be used as an outdoor cooking grill.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention accomplishes these and other objects and provides a portable outdoor fireplace that is relatively inexpensive, provides an aesthetic appearance, is easy to construct and assemble, and also can be used as a cooking grill.

The present invention includes a base member, four screened side panel members, a top member, and a pair of wheels. A cooking grate is also provided so that the fireplace can be used as a barbecue or cooking grill. All of the components are designed so that they can be easily assembled with a minimum of time or difficulty. The components of the present invention can also be assembled without the need for pliers, screw drivers, or other tools.

In this regard, as few as four butterfly nuts and two pin members (cotter pins) are all that are needed to fully assemble the present inventive portable outdoor fireplace.

The four side screen panel members are generally trapezoidal in shape and fit together to form a truncated pyramid-type structure. The four screen panel members fit together along their side edges.

A door is situated on one of the four screen panel members in order to allow access to the inside of the fireplace. A cooking grate can also be provided to allow use of the fireplace as a cooking grill or barbecue.

The wheels are positioned on the fireplace by short axle members which are positioned on openings in the sidewalls of the base member.

Further features, benefits and advantages of the inventive process and system will become apparent from the following description of embodiments of the invention, particularly when viewed in combination with the accompanying drawings and appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is an exploded view of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a perspective view illustrating the assembly of the side screen panel members in one embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 4 is another perspective view illustrating assembly of the four screen panel members in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 5 is a cross-section taken along lines 5-5 in FIG. 4.

FIG. 6 is a cross-section taken along lines 6-6 in FIG. 4.

FIG. 7 is an enlarged view illustrating the front clasp or latch mechanism of the embodiment shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 8 illustrates an embodiment of the present invention when viewed from the bottom.

FIGS. 9 and 10 illustrate the insertion and use of a cooking grate in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 11 illustrates the portability of an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 12 illustrates an alternate embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

FIG. 1 illustrates a portable outdoor fireplace 10 in accordance with a preferred embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 2 is an exploded view of such embodiment illustrating its various components.

FIG. 2 illustrates the construction or assembly of the various parts and members of the preferred embodiment of the present invention. This shows that the entire fireplace can be assembled without any tools, such as screw drivers, pliers, and the like and with a minimum number of fasteners. For example, as shown in FIG. 2, only four wing nuts and two pin members (cotter pins) are necessary in order to fully assemble the invention.

As illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 9, the embodiment of the invention as shown includes a base member 15, four screen side panel members 20, 25, 30 and 35, a top member 40, and a pair of wheel members 50 and 52. All of the components of the portable outdoor fireplace 10 as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 are preferably made of a metal material except for the two wheel members 50 and 52 and portions of the preferred type of handle members 60 and 62.

The base member 15 is preferably made from sheet metal material, either as a one piece stamping or a series of metal plates welded together. The base member is generally square in shape, as shown in FIG. 2, and includes a recessed area 16 in the center thereof. The recessed area 16 is provided for positioning of the materials which are to be burned or ignited in the fireplace. These materials can be any type of kindling, leaves, paper or other combustibles when the invention is used as a fireplace, or can be charcoal or the like when used as an outdoor cooking grill.

In this regard, although the fireplace shown and described is substantially square in cross-section, it is to be understood that it could also be any polygon in shape.

The side screen panel members 20, 25, 30 and 35 include sections of a metal screen-type material inside an outer frame member. Each of the screen panel members are trapezoidal in shape as shown in the drawings. The two side screen panels 25 and 35 are the same. The front screen panel member 20 has one or more door members 70 and 72 thereon. The door members 70, 72 are hingedly attached to the outer frame 21 of the front screen panel member 20 as shown. The hinges are identified by the reference numeral 74. As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, preferably two door members 70 and 72 are provided in the front screen panel member 20. It is also possible in accordance with an alternate embodiment of the invention to utilize a single door member in the front panel member. This embodiment is shown in FIG. 12 where the front screen panel member is identified by reference numerals 20′ and the single door member is identified by reference numeral 76.

The door members 70, 72 and alternately the single door member 76, are fastened together, or fastened to the front screen panel member by a latch mechanism. 80. The latch mechanism 80 is shown in an enlarged view in FIG. 7. As shown, the latch member includes a rotating member 82 and an I,-shaped holder member 84. The latch rotating member 82 is held in place by a screw or other fastener member 86. In this regard, although a specific latch mechanism 80 is shown in the drawings, it is understood that any conventional or known type of fastening or latching mechanism can be used to hold the door member or members in place so they cannot be easily opened or dislodged when the fireplace is in use.

As shown in FIG. 3, the side screen panel members 25 and 35 are slidingly interlocked with the front screen panel member 20. This is also shown in the enlarged cross sectional view in FIG. 6, which is a cross-section taken through the intersection of screen panels 20 and 35 in FIG. 4. As shown in FIG. 6, the side screen panel member 35 has an outer frame 36 and a central metal screen or mesh member 37. The side screen panel member 35 is slid in place into channel 90 that is formed on the side edges of the front screen panel 20. This is shown in FIG. 3 relative to side screen panel member 25. The channel 90 is formed by an edge flange 21 on the sides of the front screen panel member 20, together with elongated member 22, which is attached to the frame of the screen panel member 20.

FIG. 4 illustrates the assembly of the four screen panel members 20, 25, 30 and 35. As indicated and shown in FIGS. 3 and 4, the two side screen panel members 25 and 35 are first slid into the channels in the side frame members of the front screen panel member 20 and assembled as shown. Thereafter, the rear screen panel member 30 is situated in place and rotated such that the frame edges 26 and 38 are positioned in channels 92 in the side edges of the rear screen panel member 30.

The cross-sectional view shown in FIG. 5 illustrates the assembly of the rear screen panel member 30 with side panel member 35. Similar to the structure of the edges of the front screen panel member 20, the side edge members 31 of the rear screen member 30 have an outwardly bent flange 32 that acts together with elongated bent member 33 to form the channel 92 in which the rear edges of the side panel screen panel members 25 and 35 are positioned.

In order to secure the four-panel screen enclosure to the base member 15, fastener members, such as bolts 100, are provided on the outer corners of the front screen panel member 20 and the rear screen panel member 30. The bolts 100 or other fasteners are positioned to pass through openings 102 in the base member 15. This is shown particularly in FIGS. 2 and 8.

Thereafter, four nuts or other fasteners, such as wing nuts 104, are screwed onto the ends of the bolts or other fasteners 100 to secure the four-panel screen enclosure to the base member 15. This is best shown in FIG. 8.

The two wheel members 50 and 52 are positioned on and attached to the base member 15 as shown in FIGS. 2 and 8. Short axle members 51 and 53 are positioned through openings in the centers of the wheels and then inserted through openings 54 and 55 in the base member.

The axle members 51, 53 are also positioned through openings 56, 57 in bracket members 58, 59 which are welded or otherwise affixed to the inside of the base member 15.

The axle members 51, 53 are held in place by any conventional fastener members, such as cotter pin members 110, 112. If desired, it is also possible to position washer members (not shown) between the wheels 50, 52 and the outer surfaces of the base member 15.

It is also to be understood that the two wheel members could be positioned on a single axle which traverses the width of the base members. In this embodiment, the pin members would be positioned on the outside surfaces of the wheel members and preferably washers would be utilized.

Once the screen enclosure and base member are assembled together, the top member 40 can be positioned in place. This is shown in FIGS. 1, 2, 9-10 and 12. The top member 40 preferably has a series of openings 120 on one or more of its side surfaces. This helps direct air that is heated in the interior of the top member 40 towards persons sitting or standing nearby. As indicated, the openings 120 can be positioned on one or all of the side surfaces, as desired, although openings 120 are only shown on one surface in the drawings. In addition, the openings 120 can have any size and shape.

The top member 40 has an elongated groove or channel 130 positioned around its outer edges. The channel 130 is adapted to be positioned over the four top edges of the four screen panel members 20, 25, 30 and 35. This is best shown in FIG. 9. The top member 40 holds the four screen panel members in place without the need for fasteners.

The handle members 60, 62 have pairs of metal leg members 61 and 63, as well as central wooden handle members 64 and 65. Handle member 60, which is attached to the base member 15, is used to lift the front edge of the fireplace and move it to an new location. The use of a handle to accomplish this is shown in FIG. 11. Handle member 62 is used to lift the top member 40 on and off the portable fireplace 10.

In this regard, in FIG. 11, an alternate type of handle member 66 is shown. The handle member 69 comprises a bent wire structure whose ends are positioned in sockets 67 and 68 positioned on the front side of the base member 15. When the front edge of the fireplace 10 is elevated, as shown in FIG. 11, the fireplace 10 can be easily moved to any other location.

As indicated above, the portable outdoor fireplace 10 has two principal uses. The first is building a fire in the fireplace and using it for heat and atmosphere on a patio or other outdoor location. The second use of the fireplace 10 is as a cooking grill or barbecue. For this purpose, a grate member 130, as shown in FIGS. 9-10 and 12, can be utilized. As shown, the grate member 130 includes a large wire grate 132 and a plurality of leg member 134, but any conventional size and style of grate member can be utilized.

The screened door or doors allow direct access to the fire chamber in the center of the screened enclosure. The doors allow access from the side of the fireplace 10, rather than by removing the top cover member 40. This reduces the likelihood of occurrence of burns to a user of the fireplace.

While preferred embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described herein, numerous variations and alternative embodiments will occur to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, it is intended that the invention is not limited to the preferred embodiments described herein, but instead is limited to the terms of the appended claims.