The Washington Times-Herald

December 5, 2013

Looking to shake up the hardware business

Lindsay Owens Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald

---- — Wendy Jo Shake was trying to install vinyl fencing when her frustrations were getting the best of her.

“I was trying to hold the brackets and screws in place and use the drill and it just wasn’t working,” said Shake, a registered nurse. “I needed three hands. So I went into the house, found some tape, put it on the brackets and was able to finish the fence in less than half the time.”

Shake, who has a provisional patent for her idea, said her hardware assembly for hands free installation is unlike other products on currently on the market.

“This isn’t like the hooks and other hardware you can get now that use only adhesive to permanently attach the items,” she said. “Adhesive on this hardware is used to secure the item long enough to get it properly mounted.”

With Shake’s creation, the adhesive allows users to affix the bracket, hinge, door hardware or other piece to the area and then it can be permanently attach it using screws or other methods.The hands free installation totally eliminates the need for balancing small piecing of hardware when trying to use power tools. “We looked online and thought surely that someone else had come up with something like this but there was nothing. And the adhesive doesn’t increase the cost of the pieces by much, just pennies per piece,” Shake said.

“The adhesive helps align door locks and other items that need to be installed. It sticks so you can have both hands free to use the drill or other device used for permanent installation, “ said Shake. “Not only is this convenient and easy to make repairs and installations, it would also be convenient for those in commercial building, or those with dexterity problems.”

Shake said she is currently in the marketing stage of the patent process. “This was not something I intended to do anything with,” she said. “It was just something I did to help myself and others were telling me how it could help others.”

Her brochures market the product as being beneficial to do-it-yourself home improvers, general contractors, local hardware stores looking for a niche market and individuals with partial or limited physical abilities. “This is something that could help individuals gain back some of their independence. There are so many people who have limited abilities in some area but are otherwise able to be pretty independent but they can’t change a lock or hang a shelf. With this, they will be able to do those things independently again.”

Currently, Shake’s hands-free hardware assembly is not available for purchase but she hopes to find a company to manufacture the product. “This isn’t something I want to make. I’d just like for another company to pick this up.”