US 3453975 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
July 8, 1969 n. D. GUNTER 3,453,975
CHARCOAL STARTER Filed Oct. 20, 1967 F (D (3 (0 Mg INVENTOR: r 1 IBALTON D. G UNTER BYM 9 25:14.01
ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,453,975 CHARCOAL STARTER Dalton D. Gunter, Rte. 2, Kings Forest, Salisbury, N.C. 28144 Filed Oct. 20, 1967, Ser. No. 676,878 Int. Cl. F23b 3/00, 7/00 US. Cl. 110-1 1 Claim ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A charcoal starter wherein a perforate grate member of predetermined dimensions is secured in position within an open ended tubular housing of predetermined dimensions by engagement of the grate member with an internally concave bead which extends circumferentially of the housing intermediate the two extremities thereof.
Fire starters for charcoal have heretofore been proposed wherein a generally tubular member is superposed on a body of ignitible material, charcoal to be ignited is supported above the ignitible material, and the ignitible material is burned to initiate combustion of the charcoal. Best results with which charcoal starters have been obtained when the charcoal is supported above and out of immediate contact with the ignitible material, so as to permit efficient circulation of air to the ignitible material for proper combustion.
Heretofore, and particularly where provision was made for supporting a body of charcoal above a body of ignitible material, such charcoal starters have frequently been relatively expensive to produce, in that particular materials have been required or relatively complicated manufacturing steps and procedures must be undertaken. For this reason, charcoal starters of the type described have not been as popular with consumers as otherwise would be warranted by the ease with which such starters ignite charcoal.
With the foregoing in mind, it is an object of the present invention to provide a charcoal starter which facilitates the initiation of combustion in a body of charcoal and which is more easily and inexpensively produced and sturdier when assembled. In realizing this object of the present invention, an open ended tubular housing and a grate member are produced by simple straightforward sheet metal operations, such as shearing and punching, and are assembled to securely position the grate member in position to receive and support a body of charcoal above a body of ignitible material.
Some of the objects and advantages of the invention having been stated, others will appear as the description proceeds, when taken in connection with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIGURE 1 is a perspective view of the charcoal starter of the present invention;
FIGURE 2 is an exploded view of the elements comprising the charcoal starter of FIGURE 1;
FIGURE 3 is an enlarged elevation view, in section, through the charcoal starter of FIGURE 1, taken substantially along the line 3-3 in FIGURE 1; and
FIGURE 4 is an enlarged detail from the view of FIG- URE 3 taken as indicated by the dashed lines in FIGURE 3.
Referring now more particularly to the drawing, the charcoal starter is shown in an overall view in FIGURE 1, and is indicated generally by the numeral 10. The starter comprises two principal components, namely an open ended tubular housing 11 and a perforate grate member 12 positioned within the housing 11 to partition the volume therewithin.
Preferably, the housing 11 is formed from relatively 3,453,975 Patented. July 8, 1969 thin, incombustible sheet material such as a light gauge of stainless steel, aluminum or other non-corroding material. A non-corroding material is preferable, in order that the charcoal starter 10 may safely be exposed to the weather. The relatively thin sheet of material from which the tubular housing 11 is to be formed is iniatially in planar sheet form, and the form of the tubular housing 11 is such that it may be laid out on such planar material, cut from the material, and thereafter rolled into a tubular or cylindrical con-figuration. For reasons to be pointed out more fully hereinafter, the preferred form for the tubular housing is that of a frustum of a right-circular cone, having parallel bases of different diameters. Adjacent one extremity of the tubular housing 11 are provided a series of circumferentially spaced apart openings 14, for the admission of air into the housing 11, and an internally concave circular bead 15 is formed intermediate the openings 14 and the other extremity of the housing 11. The bead 15 (FIGURE 4) is formed to provide a concave surface as viewed from the interior of the tubular housing 11 and is therefore referred to as internally concave.
The perforate grate member 12 preferably is formed from the same material as the open ended tubular housing 11, and retains a planar form. Aditionally, the grate member 12 is provided with a number of openings 16 formed therein, as by punching or the like, and is positioned within the housing 11 to partition the volume therewithin into ignitible material receiving and charcoal receiving areas, as pointed out more fully hereinafter. The predetermined dimensions of the perforate grate member 12 are such that the member 12 is engaged by the internal concavity of the head 15 (FIGURE 4) so as to be secured in position within the housing 11. Preferably, the outline configuration of the perforate grate member 12 corresponds to the circular cross-sectional configuration of the housing 11 taken at the bead.
In forming the housing 11 and grate member 12 of the charcoal starter 10, and assembling these members into the completed starter, it is preferred that the bead 15 be located to define a plane substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the tubular housing 11. Further, the dimensions of the blank which is rolled to form the tubular housing 11 are such that the ends of the blank overlap at a side seam, where the housing is secured in tubular form by a plurality of rivets 18' or similar fastening means, as is well known in the art of manufacturing sheet metal articles. In order to facilitate handling the starter 10, a handle 19 ofthermally insulating material such as wood is provided and is secured to the housing 11 intermediate the extremities thereof by a pair of spacing members 20 and suitable fastening means such as screws 21 securing the handle 19 and spacer members together. The spacer members 20 are secured to the housing 11 by rivets 18, which also function as described above to hold therolled blank in the desired tubular configuration.
In use, the handle 19 may be gripped by a user to manipulate the charcoal starter 10 and position the starter standing on the extremity having air openings 14 formed adjacent thereto, with the grate member 12 overlying a body of ignitible material. Placement of the starter 10 in this position is facilitated by the tubular housing 11 being of right-circu1ar conical configuration and the extremity thereof adjacent which the openings 14 are formed being the base of greater diameter. A body of charcoal may be introduced through the other open end of the tubular housing 11 to be supported on the grate member 12 either before or after the starter 10 is positioned with the grate rnember overlying a body of ignitible material. With both the ignitible materal and charcoal in position, the ignitible material may be lgmted by any sultable means and, while burning, will ignite charcoal supported on the grate 12.
Thereafter, when the body of charcoal is fully ignitcd, the starter may be lifted by the handle 19, the charcoal dumped through the open end of the tubular housing 11 into the body of a grill and the starter then set aside to cool.
In the drawings and specification, there has been set forth a preferred embodiment of the invention, and although specific terms are employed, they are used in a generic and descriptive sense only and not for purposes of limitation, the scope of the invention being defined in the claims.
1. A charcoal starter comprising:
an open ended tubular housing of predetermined dimensions and in the form of a frustum of a right-circular cone formed from an initially planar thin incombustible sheet material, said sheet material overlapping along a longitudinal seam extending the length of said housing, said housing having a series of circumferentially spaced apart openings adjacent the larger extremity thereof and in internally concave circular bead extending circumferentially of said housing intermediate said openings and the smaller extremity of the housing, said bead defining a plane substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of said housing.
handle means including a member of thermally insulating material adapted to be engaged by a hand of a user for manipulation of the charcoal starter,
a plurality of fastening members penetrating said sheet material along said longitudinal seam with some of said fastening members also penetrating said handle means for securing said seam together and for secur ing said handle means to said housing at said seam, and
a perforate, planar sheet of thin, incombustible material formed with a circular outline configuration substantially identical with the internal circular crosssectional configuration of said housing taken at said bead and engaging the internal concavity of said bead and secured in position thereby to partition the volume within said housing,
said charcoal starter adapted to be stood on said larger extremity with said grate member overying a body of readily ignitible material and supporting a body of charcoal so that the ignitible material may be fired to ignite the charcoal.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,934,339 11/1933 Winberg 126-595 3,112,716 12/1963 Knight.
3,307,506 3/1967 Rose.
3,339,505 9/1967 Bean.
3,384,066 5/1968 Tufts 126--9 FREDERICK KETTERER, Primary Examiner.