Patent application title: Fireplace Grate For Firelogs
Scott Byberg (King City, CA)
IPC8 Class: AF24B1193FI
Class name: Grate structure relatively movable parts including means facilitating ash removal
Publication date: 2014-09-11
Patent application number: 20140251306
A fireplace grate is taught which includes one or more artificial logs
which can easily be moved between a combustion position, wherein they are
located over a firelog, and a loading position, wherein a firelog can be
put into the fireplace and ignited and/or ashes of a firelog can be
removed after it has been combusted. When in the combustion position, the
artificial logs assist in altering the overall appearance of the burning
of the firelog to more closely resemble that of a fire of natural wood
logs and also assist in reflecting heat from the combustion of the
firelog into the room containing the fireplace.
1. A fireplace grate, comprising: a base having a combustion area to
receive at least one firelog; a cradle mounted above the base and
moveable between a combustion position, wherein one or more artificial
logs on the cradle are positioned over the combustion area to resemble a
stack of natural wood logs, and a loading position wherein access is
provided to the combustion area to place a firelog therein.
2. The fireplace grate of claim 1 wherein the combustion area includes at least two andirons to support a firelog above the base.
3. The fireplace grate of claim 1 wherein the base includes a pair of frame members, located at opposed sides of the base and extending upwardly therefrom and wherein the cradle is pivotally mounted to the frame members.
4. The fireplace grate of claim 1 further comprising a removable tray which can be placed in the combustion area to receive a fireplace log and to capture any ashes produced by the combustion of the fireplace log.
5. The fireplace grate of claim 4 wherein the removable tray further comprises at least two andirons to support a firelog above the removable tray.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
 The present invention relates to a fireplace grate. More specifically, the present invention relates to a fireplace grate for use with manufactured firelogs.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
 While wood burning fireplaces are still widely used for heating and as an attractive addition to room decor, many people prefer to burn firelogs in such fireplaces rather than natural wood logs.
 As used herein, the term "firelogs" is used as a generic identifier for man made logs, which are sold under a variety of brand names such as Duraflame, Enviro-Log, etc. and/or for home-made similar combustibles. Firelogs typically comprise a combustible material, or combination of materials, such as sawdust, newsprint or, more recently, used coffee grounds, combined with a combustible carrier such as a wax, and the resulting combination is pressed to form a cylindrical structure resembling a log.
 Firelogs provide a number of advantages over natural wood logs as they can allow for the reuse/recycling of sawdust and/or coffee grounds and can, in some circumstances, produce less greenhouse gasses when burned than do natural wood logs. Further, handling and storing firelogs is cleaner than handling and storing natural wood logs as natural wood logs tend to shed bark, dirt, insects, etc. unlike firelogs.
 While firelogs are popular with many people, they do suffer from some disadvantages. In particular, the appearance of a burning firelog often does not closely resemble the appearance of the burning of a natural wood log. Further, for safety reasons it is often advised to only burn a single firelog at a time in a fireplace and thus the fireplace may look somewhat empty compared to the case wherein it contained multiple natural wood logs.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
 It is an object of the present invention to provide a novel fireplace grate which obviates or mitigates at least one disadvantage of the prior art.
 According to a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a fireplace grate, comprising: a base having a combustion area to receive at least one firelog; a cradle mounted above the base and moveable between a combustion position, wherein one or more artificial logs on the cradle are positioned over the combustion area to resemble a stack of natural wood logs, and a loading position wherein access is provided to the combustion area to place a firelog therein.
 The present invention provides a fireplace grate which includes one or more artificial logs which can easily be moved between a combustion position, wherein they are located over a firelog, and a loading position, wherein a firelog can be put into the fireplace and ignited and/or ashes of a firelog can be removed after it has been combusted. When in the combustion position, the artificial logs assist in altering the overall appearance of the burning of the firelog to more closely resemble that of a fire of natural wood logs and also assist in reflecting heat from the combustion of the firelog into the room containing the fireplace.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
 Preferred embodiments of the present invention will now be described, by way of example only, with reference to the attached Figures, wherein:
 FIG. 1 shows a perspective view of the top, front and side of a fireplace grate, and artificial logs, in accordance with the present invention, in a combustion position;
 FIG. 2 shows a perspective view of the bottom, back and opposite side of the fireplace grate and artificial logs of FIG. 1;
 FIG. 3 shows a side view of the fireplace grate of FIG. 1 with the artificial logs removed with the grate in the in a loading position;
 FIG. 4 shows a perspective view of the top, side and front of the fireplace grate of FIG. 1 with the artificial logs removed and the grate in the combustion position; and
 FIG. 5 shows a perspective view of the top, back and side of another embodiment of a fireplace grate in accordance with the present invention, in a combustion position.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
 A fireplace grate in accordance with the present invention is indicated generally at 20 in FIG. 1. Grate 20 comprises a base 24 with a pair of side frames 28, each one of which extends upwards from a respective and opposite side of base 24.
 In the illustrated embodiment, base 24 is shown as a solid, rectangular member and while this is presently preferred, it will be understood by those of skill in the art that base 24 can be constructed in a wide variety of configurations, including a mesh rectangular member, a rectangular framework enclosing an open center, a combination of a framework enclosing a mesh center, etc. It is preferred, but not essential, that base 24 have sufficient mass to inhibit undesired movement of grate 20 when it is moved between combustion and loading positions, as described in more detail below.
 Grate 20 further comprises a support cradle 32 (best seen in FIG. 4) which supports one or more, and specifically in the illustrated embodiment four, artificial logs 36. Artificial logs 36 can be formed in any suitable manner and in a presently preferred embodiment are logs of a fire proof ceramic material such as those typically used in gas-fired fireplaces or the like. Further, the particular arrangement artificial logs 36 on grate 20 is not limited and it is contemplated that artificial logs 36 can be positioned in a wide variety of configurations that can be pleasing to the eye.
 As best seen in FIGS. 3 and 4, in the illustrated embodiment support cradle 32 includes a portion 40 which, when support cradle 32 is in the combustion position (FIG. 4), is substantially horizontal and a portion 44 which depends forwardly and downwardly, from the horizontal. Portion 40 can include upward extending tabs 48 and a cross piece 50 which assist in maintaining one or more of artificial logs 36 in place on support cradle 32 or such features can be eliminated, depending upon how artificial logs 36 are mounted to cradle 32. Similarly, portion 44 can include one or more tines 52 which extend upwardly and forwardly from a cross piece 56 when cradle 32 is in the combustion position to assist in maintaining one or more of artificial logs 36 in place. Support cradle 32 can include other features, such as bosses 60, to aid in the positioning of artificial logs 36 such that they more closely resemble a stack of natural wood logs sitting on a grate.
 It is known to fabricate artificial logs, such as artificial logs 36, with features which promote their interlocking into a desired stack up. For example, in some cases artificial logs 36 include complementary recesses and bosses which inter-engage to maintain the relative positioning of artificial logs 36. In other cases, bores are formed in artificial logs 36 and metal connectors are inserted between the bores of complementarily located logs in the stack. Accordingly, the present invention is not limited to any particular method of positioning artificial logs 36 on support cradle 32 and it is contemplated that this can be achieved in a wide variety of manners as would occur to those of skill in the art.
 Support cradle 32 is pivotally connected to side frames 28, via pivot pins 64, which allow it to be moved (arrow 68) between the combustion position, shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 4 and a loading position shown in FIG. 3. In the illustrated embodiment, pivot pins 64 are fixed to cradle 32 and extend through, and pivot within, apertures in frames 28 to allow cradle 32 to be pivoted between the combustion and loading positions while preventing other movement of cradle 32 with respect to frames 28 and/or base 24. However, the actual mechanism used to provide for the movement of cradle 32 between the combustion position and the loading position is not particularly limited and a wide variety of other suitable mechanisms will occur to those of skill in the art.
 Preferably, cradle 32 further includes a handle 72 which extends generally forwardly from grate 20 and which allows a user to easily move cradle 32 between the combustion and loading positions, as needed. Ideally, handle 72 extends sufficiently far forward from a fire buring in grate 20 (described below) that it will not become too hot for a user to easily manipulate.
 Base 24 includes a combustion area in which firelogs 76 can be placed and combusted. Grate 20 preferably includes a set of andirons 74, on base 24, to define the combustion area and upon which a firelog (76 in FIGS. 1 and 2) can be placed to permit airflow under the firelog 76 as it is being combusted. In the illustrated embodiment, andrions 74 are cylindrical rods, but it is contemplated that any suitable structure, as will occur to those of skill in the art, which can serve as an andiron can be employed or, if desired, andrions 74 can be omitted from the combustion area.
 As should now be apparent, in use grate 20 will be located within a fireplace and artificial logs 36 will have been placed on cradle 32. Normally, cradle 32 will be left in the combustion position as this provides an attractive appearance within the fireplace, even when no firelog 76 is being burned.
 When it is desired to load a firelog 76, a user moves cradle 32 from the combustion position to the loading position, using handle 72 (if present) and places firelog 76 onto the andirons 74 (if present) or onto base 24 (if andirons 74, or equivalent, are not present). If it is desired to burn firelog 76 at this time, it can be ignited before the user returns cradle 32 back to the combustion position. Otherwise, the user returns cradle 32 to the combustion position.
 If a firelog 76 was previously loaded and not ignited and the user now wishes to ignite firelog 76, the user can move cradle 32 to the loading position, ignite firelog 76 and return cradle 32 to the combustion position.
 In either case, when firelog 76 is burning and cradle 32 is in the combustion position, the flames from firelog 76 will extend up and through artificial logs 36 creating an appearance that the stack of artificial logs 36 is burning and, to some extent, obscuring the view of firelog 76. Futher, the heat produced by the combustion of firelog 76 is reflected, to some extent, by artificial logs 36 and can direct some proportion of that heat into the room containing the fireplace and grate 20.
 As firelog 76 approaches being fully combusted, the user can move cradle 32 to the loading position, load another firelog 76 and then return cradle 32 to the combustion position to extend the burn time of the fire.
 When the fire in grate 20 is completed, the user can move cradle 32 to the loading position and the user will then have easy access to allow for the removal of the ashes of any combusted firelogs 76.
 In FIG. 5 another embodiment of a fireplace grate, indicated generally at 95, is shown and wherein like components to those discussed above are indicated with like reference numerals. As shown, in this embodiment the andirons 74 of the previous embodiment have been omitted and, instead, a removable tray 100 has been provided. Tray 100 receives firelog 76, as shown in the Figure, and can include a set of andirons 104, or equivalent. In normal use, tray 100 rests on base 24 and receives and supports firelogs 76 as needed. However, when the fire is completed and a user desires to remove ashes from grate 95, they move cradle 32 to the loading position, remove tray 100 and carry it to a waste receptacle to remove the ashes and .they return tray 100 to grate 95 and return cradle 32 to the combustion position.
 While the discussion above only includes description of a single firelog 76 being placed in grates 20 and/or 95, the present invention is not so limited and, grates 20 and 95 can accommodate the loading of multiple firelogs 76 in cases where multiple firelogs 76 can be safely combusted simultaneously.
 The above-described embodiments of the invention are intended to be examples of the present invention and alterations and modifications may be effected thereto, by those of skill in the art, without departing from the scope of the invention which is defined solely by the claims appended hereto.