Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR RESURFACING AN APPLIANCE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2004/016423
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A method and apparatus are provided for re-surfacing an appliance surface, in particular a refrigerator door. A kit includes a veneer sheet including a magnetic side and a design side. The veneer sheet has length and width dimensions that are substantially the same as the length and width dimensions of the appliance surface to be covered.

Inventors:
ELEDGE CHRIS (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2003/025551
Publication Date:
February 26, 2004
Filing Date:
August 15, 2003
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
ELEDGE CHRIS (US)
International Classes:
B32B27/00; F25D23/02; (IPC1-7): B32B3/06; B32B5/16; B32B27/00
Foreign References:
US6217958B12001-04-17
US5503891A1996-04-02
US4663874A1987-05-12
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Stephens, Raymond E. (P.C. P.O. Box 5129, Knoxville TN, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims Having thus described the aforementioned invention, I claim:
1. An apparatus for resurfacing an appliance surface comprising: a magnetic sheet having a first side and an opposing second side and having length or width dimensions substantially equal to or greater than the length and width dimensions of said appliance surface, said first side having magnetic properties for securing said sheet to said appliance surface, and said second side carrying a design.
2. An apparatus in accordance with Claim 1 wherein said design is printed on said sheet.
3. An apparatus in accordance with Claim 1 wherein said design is applied with a cover sheet laminated to said magnetic sheet.
4. A kit for resurfacing an appliance surface comprising: a magnetic sheet having a first side and an opposing second side and having length and width dimensions greater than the length and width dimensions of said appliance surface, said first side having magnetic properties for securing said sheet to said appliance surface, said second side carrying a design, and a pattern for transferring the length and width dimensions of said appliance surface to said magnetic sheet.
5. A kit in accordance with Claim 4 and further comprising a cutting tool for reducing the dimensions of said sheet to substantially the length and width dimensions of said appliance surface.
6. A kit in accordance with Claim 4 wherein said design is printed on said sheet.
7. A kit in accordance with Claim 4 wherein said design is applied with a cover sheet laminated to said magnetic sheet.
8. A method for resurfacing an appliance surface comprising: applying to said appliance surface a sheet having a first side and an opposing second side and having length or width dimensions substantially equal to or greater than the length and width dimensions of said appliance surface, said first side having magnetic properties for securing said sheet to said appliance surface, said second side carrying a design.
9. A method in accordance with Claim 8 wherein said length or width dimension of said sheet is greater than the respective length or width dimension of said appliance surface and further comprising a preliminary step of cutting said sheet to reduce a length or width dimension of said sheet to substantially equal the length or width of said appliance surface.
Description:
TITLE OF INVENTION METHOD AND APPARATUS FOR RE-SURFACING AN APPLIANCE CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS [0001] This application claims the priority, pursuant to 35 U. S. C. ยง 119, of Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/403,840, filed August 15,2002.

STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT [0002] Not Applicable BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of Invention [0003] This invention pertains to a method and apparatus for providing a new surface for an appliance.

[0004] More particularly, this invention pertains to a kit providing a removable veneer sheet for a steel appliance surface that maintains the magnetic feature of the underlying steel surface.

2. Description of the Related Art [0005] When household appliances are sold, they generally include a plain painted steel surface. In recent years it has become popular to provide a cover, such as wood cabinetry, for appliances, particularly for kitchen appliances. It has also become popular to cover appliances with stainless steel. Most of these covers have been used on the higher- priced models of appliances, making the styles unavailable to many of the consuming public.

[0006] Over the years it has become quite popular to use magnets to secure artwork, notes or other items to the front surface of appliances, particularly refrigerators. The kitchen is a place where essentially everyone in a household enters at least daily and is likely to notice and enjoy the items located on the refrigerator. However, neither the wood cabinetry nor the stainless steel covers permit the use of magnets. They are both non-magnetic. The user must use tape or other adhesive materials to secure pictures, notes or other items to the refrigerator door. Such adhesive materials frequently leave a residue of tacky material when they are removed from the door. In contrast, magnets leave no residue on the refrigerator door, nor do the magnets damage the picture, note or other item temporarily secured to the refrigerator door.

[0007] Manufacturers make refrigerator doors in a variety of sizes and shapes.

Stainless steel and wood cabinetry covers must be custom made to fit each size and shape of refrigerator door. Consumers cannot simply adjust the cover to fit a particular model of refrigerator. From a manufacturer's perspective, it would be prohibitive to maintain an inventory of refrigerator door covers adequate to satisfy the wide variety of doors consumers may desire to cover.

[0008] Some consumers like to decorate their homes for holiday seasons or to celebrate a favorite sport team in various seasons. It is therefore desirable to provide a refrigerator door cover that is easily removable, without doing any damage to the refrigerator door, and then easily replaceable with a differently designed cover to celebrate a different holiday, team, celebrity or even a piece of art. As desired a personal photo may be a desired design for a refrigerator door.

[0009] It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a refrigerator door veneer kit that is easily mounted by a consumer.

[0010] It is also an object to provide a refrigerator door veneer kit that is adaptable to a variety of sizes and shapes of refrigerators.

[0011] It is an additional object to provide a refrigerator door veneer kit that includes a desired theme.

[0012] Further objects and advantage of the present invention will be apparent when the following description is considered along with the drawings.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION [0013] According to one embodiment of the present invention, a refrigerator door veneer kit includes a flexible magnetized sheet carrying a design on its outer surface and of a size having dimensions equal to or greater than the dimensions of the refrigerator door to be covered.

[00141 Another embodiment provides a refrigerator door veneer kit including a pattern of a specific refrigerator door for temporary attachment to a flexible magnetized sheet carrying a design on its outer surface and of a size having dimensions equal to or greater than the dimensions of the refrigerator door to be covered.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS [0015] The above-mentioned features of the invention will become more clearly understood from the following detailed description of the invention read together with the drawings in which: Figure 1 is an elevation view of a refrigerator door veneer sheet.

Figure 2 is a perspective view of a refrigerator before application of a veneer sheet.

Figure 3 is perspective view of a refrigerator after application of a veneer sheet.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION [0016] A method and apparatus for removably applying a veneer to an appliance is disclosed herein. Referring to the drawings, in which like numbered parts refer to like parts, there is disclosed a veneer sheet 10, generally rectangular in shape. The dimensions of the veneer sheet 10 are equal to or greater than the outer dimensions of the refrigerator door 12 that is to be covered. The veneer sheet 10 comprises a flexible magnetic sheet 14 having a first side 16 and a second opposing side 18. The magnetic sheet preferably comprises a plastic or rubber material that contains magnetic particles to make the whole sheet magnetic for attachment of the first side 16 to the refrigerator door 12. Such flexible magnetic materials are well known to those skilled in the art.

[0017] A design sheet 20, comprising a vinyl material, for example, includes a first side 22 and an opposed second side 24. The dimensions of the design sheet 20 are substantially the same as the dimensions of the magnetic sheet 14. The first side 22 of the design sheet 20 is adhesively secured to the second side 18 of the magnetic sheet 14 to provide an integral veneer sheet 10 providing both magnetic properties for attachment to the refrigerator door and the aesthetic design desired for the outer surface of the refrigerator door.

Alternatively, a design may be painted or printed directly onto the magnetic sheet 14.

[0018] The design of the design sheet or painted design may comprise a sports logo, a holiday theme, a picture of a celebrity, an abstract pattern, a photograph from nature, a picture of a loved one, an inspirational message, etc. It may also comprise a wood grain pattern or merely a different color than the appliance being covered. It may even have the appearance of stainless steel or brushed aluminum.

[0019] As discussed hereinabove, the length and width dimensions of the veneer sheet 10 may be pre-cut to an exact match with a refrigerator door 12 of a specific model manufactured by a particular company. In this case, the installer merely removes a door handle 26, and then applies the first side 16 of the magnetic sheet to the refrigerator door 12.

Then the door handle 26 is re-secured to the refrigerator door. The refrigerator door is thus re-surfaced with a selected design.

[0020] Alternatively, a kit may include a veneer sheet 10 that has dimensions greater than the dimensions of the refrigerator door 12. In this case, a template having the specific dimensions for a particular model of a particular manufacturer may be provided, along with a cutting tool, such as scissors or razor tool. A consumer can then use the template to transfer a cutting pattern to the veneer sheet 10 and then cut the veneer sheet 10 around the pattern to reduce the dimensions of the veneer sheet 10 to match the exact dimensions of the refrigerator door 12. Thereafter, the veneer sheet is applied to the refrigerator door in the same manner as described hereinabove.

[0021] When the veneer sheet 10 is applied to the refrigerator door 12, magnetic items, such as calendars, notepads, pictures, etc. are magnetically attracted to the design surface of the veneer sheet. [The] [0022] Those skilled in the art will recognize that various modifications of designs and magnetic sheets can be used without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention.

[0023] From the foregoing description, it will be recognized by those skilled in the art that a kit for resurfacing a refrigerator door. It will also be recognized by those skilled in the art that various other metal appliances, such as freezers, washers, dryers and dishwashers may similarly be re-surfaced with pleasant designs that maintain the magnetic quality of the original surface.

[0024] While the present invention has been illustrated by description of several embodiments and while the illustrative embodiments have been described in considerable detail, it is not the intention of the applicant to restrict or in any way limit the scope of the appended claims to such detail. Additional advantages and modifications will readily appear to those skilled in the art. The invention in its broader aspects is therefore not limited to the specific details, representative apparatus and methods, and illustrative examples shown and described. Accordingly, departures may be made from such details without departing from the spirit or scope of applicant's general inventive concept.