Need Input On Invention" PLEASE"

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Blog entry by gene posted 10-17-2007 01:43 PM 1352 reads 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Fellow Lumber Jocks,
I just recently became a member here at LJ”s and happened onto a forum topic, posted by bryano (thanks Bryan) that made my heart skip a beat. It as about keeping up with your pencil.

I desperately need and want your input on an invention that I have a temporary patent on. I have it in the hands of a marketing firm at this time. However in a couple of months, I will have to file for a full patent and I will have to hire a patent attorney for that, which will cost me big time.

I have invested a lot of time and money in this over the past year and Before I go full bore, I would appreciate your input. Just to see if there is even a market for a item like this out there ?

I designed this ( using Sketchup) with the woodworker, carpenter and do it your self person in mind. I will appreciate any and all input that is given. (good or bad) “So here goes”!

God bless

The item name is Handi-Marks and it will preform the following tasks .

• you will always be able to keep up with your pencil, construction pencil or bic style pen.
• has a built- in combination pencil sharpener
• has a 10’ nylon retracting line attached to the pencil that can be locked in place
• has a built-in level
• will have either a small watch or compass in the top
• when used in conjunction with a laser pointer, it will become a laser level with laser lines coming out both sides

• will have a small retractable box knife
• will mount almost any where. clip it to your belt or shirt ,on the sun visor or dash, hang over work stations, also it has a magnet mounted on the belt clip
• can make small measurements 0” Thur 2” marked in 1/16ths on the front side and metric on the reverse side
• will have a small protractor on one corner adjacent to a triangular hook used for hanging or just hook it over a nail and simply lock the string to the desired length to draw a arch or circle
• it will come with 2 weighted pencil adapters, that will allow you to use the pencil as a
plumb bob and the adapters will have Velcro attached to keep pencil from just dangling

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-- Gene, a Christian in Virginia

18 comments so far

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 4664 days

#1 posted 10-17-2007 02:09 PM

Gene, great idea. You also might want to consider making it a retractable pen/pencil so you can use it for a back scratcher etc.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4804 days

#2 posted 10-17-2007 02:27 PM

holy moly that’s a lot of tools in that little gadget. Impressive.
It sure does sound handy and functional.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4633 days

#3 posted 10-17-2007 02:47 PM

I think you just about got it nailed. Good luck with it.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Betsy's profile


3393 posts in 4539 days

#4 posted 10-17-2007 03:11 PM

Gene—- Wow – lots of work and thought went into this – very apparent. However, I’m of the thought that it may be an attempt to get to many woodworking tools/gadgets into one small package. We all certainly do loose our pencils and can never find it when we want it, but I’m not sure any one gadget, that does so many other things, will save the day.

I have no doubt that if you can get this on the market that some people will buy it. I’m just not sure that you’ll make the money back that will you invest in doing the prototype and lawyer fees to get it patented and then onto the market.

I could be wrong, because we all like gadgets, call me a pessimist. I do think it’s genius, I just don’t think it will fly long.

Sorry, but that’s my honest thoughts.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View jpw1995's profile


377 posts in 4941 days

#5 posted 10-17-2007 03:27 PM

I agree with a lot of what Betsy is saying. I love the idea of a good quality retractable pencil holder, but all that other stuff seems to clutter it up and take away from the basic idea. When I see something that small with all that stuff I immediately think “gimmick”. The level, box knife, watch, etc…. these are all things that the average woodworker, contractor and homeowner already have, and they would probably rely on their’s instead of the one’s on your invention. I think this thing would do better if some of the “extras” were left off and you focused on the quality of the pencil holder/sharpener. Again, I think this is a wonderful idea, and I’m just trying to offer some honest, constructive criticism. I hope this helps, and keep us informed of your progress. Good luck to you!

-- JP, Louisville, KY

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 4528 days

#6 posted 10-17-2007 03:27 PM

I agree with Betsy and JP. Sorry but I don’t think you would sell lots, but with billions of people on Earth who knows?

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4804 days

#7 posted 10-17-2007 03:37 PM

after reading the above comments, I tried to picture me working with this …
pencil holder, obviously.
pencil sharpener – definitely. very convenient.
I think i’d like the little level as well
I think I’d use the protractor thingy as well if I ever needed to draw an arc…

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View gene's profile


2184 posts in 4527 days

#8 posted 10-17-2007 04:06 PM

Hay Folks,
I do appreciate all of your comments. I have all of my ideas listed above. After I weigh all considerations and selling points , it may go to market with just the line and the level. I’ll be using your input to make a decision on that later.
Please!, Do not worry about hurting my feelings on this. I need your input.

Bob, Great idea on the back scratcher! (NOTE TO SELF) Need longer pencil. LOL
Thanks again
God bless

-- Gene, a Christian in Virginia

View A.W. "Pappy" Ford's profile

A.W. "Pappy" Ford

98 posts in 4525 days

#9 posted 10-17-2007 08:31 PM

Gene, looks like you’ve put a lot of effort into this. I guess I’m a bit split on this. I agree that your primary focus on the product should be the pencil holder and sharpener and you may want the simplest version to include only these things. On the other hand I don’t think it would hurt at all to have several different versions of this, each with some of the expanded features you mentioned.

That would allow you to market to all personality types – the gadget lovers and those who prefer to keep it as simple as possible. In the software world we release products this way by design. It allows you to give the essentials in the cheapest possible package for those to whom budget is a concern while still offering every possible module for them that wants it all. Heck, if most the tools can be “modularized” to fit on a single face of the unit you could sell them as add-ons and just let your users customize to what’s most important to them. Just my $.02 :)

Good luck, I hope it works out well for you.

-- --==[ Pappy ]==--

View markrules's profile


146 posts in 4758 days

#10 posted 10-17-2007 11:28 PM

Today I saw a tape measure that had a small piece of lead on the body so that you could quickly mark the piece by rubbing the bottom of the tape measure on the wood.

Nice idea.

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4605 days

#11 posted 10-17-2007 11:57 PM

Hi Gene,
I think I would start with the pencil holder and the sharpener. You can always add more to a second edition. After all the fun we had with the pencil forum I thought about a head piece I have on my sun glasses. It would slide on the end of a pencil and stay put until you pulled it out. Might help with the pencil on this invention.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 4523 days

#12 posted 10-18-2007 12:19 AM

man! if you could just get it to do laundry! lol last time i checked a patent laywer is about 50 large

View bryano's profile


546 posts in 4576 days

#13 posted 10-20-2007 03:33 AM

Hi Gene. I agree with Pappy. Keep it simple, then cater to different markets or trades using the same basic design. Good luck.

-- bryano

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4804 days

#14 posted 10-20-2007 11:35 AM

this sure would make a great “stocking stuffer” present

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View gene's profile


2184 posts in 4527 days

#15 posted 10-23-2007 04:04 AM

Thanks to all who have responded. It really means a lot to me that you took the time to give it some thought for me. Seems like most think simple is better and may be the way I need to go. Thanks for the input.
It really is appreciated.

I hope that you have one in your stocking on Christmas day 2008, ( if things go as planed )
God bless

-- Gene, a Christian in Virginia

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