About this project
We have added a hidden storage container that hides inside the handle of the WorkingStick. Every WorkingStick comes with one (if you want it). Thanks for your support!
We made our first goal!
Thanks to those that shared our project and pledged, we have reached our first goal of $2,000. We are excited! Some of our backers suggested we add some stretch awards that would be nice and wouldn't impact our production plan. We like the idea so here they are. When $3,000 is pledged we will offer the three most favorite backer selected colors to choose from. When we pass $4,000 we will offer the next 3 favorite colors. Thanks again for your help!
The WorkingStick is a multi-tasking walking stick that provides great support, yet weighs just 12-14 ounces, depending on the length. The WorkingStick’s buttery-soft leather grip and strap provide just the right comfort and strength.
Much more than a mere walking stick, the WorkingStick boasts many additional features and uses:
Remove the cap to reveal a standard camera mount. Attach a camera and shoot steady photos in low light or from extended points of view.
Remove the grip and your smartphone and its case can be inserted and then held firmly in place by sliding the compression sleeve up the shaft.
Using the WorkingStick in this format allows you to snap photos above a crowd, or to reach up into a tree or shoot in low or confined areas. This feature works especially well with those smartphones that trigger the shutter with the headphone cords.
Backpackers will find the WorkingStick especially useful as a quad-pod.
- Use it to hang water containers to supply “running water” for your backpacking kitchen.
- Protect your “kitchen” with the quad-pod and prevent others from stepping inadvertently into it.
- Use it to create a lantern from your headlamp for lighting your campsite.
Day hikers find the WorkingStick useful as a convenient rack.
- Use it to hang clothes as you take a dip in the lake.
- Use it to hang wet socks, suits, or towels to dry.
You will discover new features and advantages as you use your own WorkingStick!
Is the WorkingStick strong enough to handle all these tasks? Yes! The individual shafts are made of clear pine making them light and flexible, yet strong. Coated with a protective finish to repel dirt and water, the stick is remarkably durable.
The compression sleeve is made from UV-resistant fabric designed to maintain its springiness and long wear. It dries quickly and can be washed as needed.
You will love your WorkingStick, printed with your own, custom message, logo or graphic. What’s more, it is a perfect gift or award for teachers, friends, parents, new scouts, youth leaders, employees, etc. Below are some examples:
Want to see the WorkingStick converted into a quad-pod? This video will show you five of them opening in 30 seconds! (3 of these guys had only seen the WorkingStick 10 minutes before the shooting of this video.)
As a reward for those who do not need a WorkingStick but still want to support us, we engraved our logo on a piece of reclaimed mahogany. It is designed to organize earbud cords and has a notch that serves as a phone stand.
(NOTE: You can now get engraving on your $55 or $59 pledges by adding $10 to your pledge. If you have already pledged you can update your pledge amount.)
My father had a wood shop in our basement when I was young, and he encouraged us to use it. I am sure he was none too happy when I used his prized hardwoods to make a boat for floating in the ditch! Seeing nails and paint on walnut is a sad thing! Thanks to a very patient father I developed a love for building things. That led to getting a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering and entering the aerospace world where I participated in projects that yielded five patents. I joined Apple and loved my time there. Since then I have been involved with several entrepreneurial companies and have developed a love for creating in many different areas, from software to relationships.
I have worked with scouts for many years and this project had its genesis in my own training as a leader. I learned that the original scouts always carried hiking sticks or “staves.” A group of scouts often combined their staves to create useful camp tools such a tripod or a table.
On several backpacking trips with the scouts I learned that it was easy to trip over someone’s “backpacking kitchen” because we were spread all around on the ground. That is when I made the first discovery and converted my hiking stick into a quad-pod.
Over time the design has been refined and features have been added.
As we addressed the challenge of mounting a smart phone on the WorkingStick, we found that current solutions on the market either targeted a particular phone or were too complicated or bulky to be attached to a walking stick.
We set out to create some of our own solutions. We investigated and built various solutions. We liked the look of some of them but they still did not easily secure various thicknesses of phones and their cases.
One of our design ideas required long flexible members that could be tightened. We realized the WorkingStick already had that! So we notched the tops of the shaft members and added some grip and padding and it worked great with the added bonus of no added weight!
In this case Leonardo da Vinci's words proved true "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."
Where will the WorkingStick be made? Right here in Mesa, Arizona.
Fortunately, my father still likes to have me to work in his shop. We work together on many projects including his amazing kinetic sculpture wind vanes.
My children also love to create and together we hope to build a small business delivering creative solutions and providing income opportunities for them. The WorkingStick is our first product.
The Production Plan
Who will be making the WorkingStick? The answer depends on how many we need to make. If it is a few (< 100), it will be me and a family member or two. If it is many (around 1,000) it will expand to other family members and friends. The good news is the WorkingStick components can be manufactured in parallel by different groups. If we need to manufacture more than a 1,000 we will acquire local warehouse space and assemble a team. A great advantage of Kickstarter is having some advance notice of the size of the order, giving you time to put things in place.
Here's a little more detail on how we will get your rewards to you:
Campaign Successfully completes:
- Create and release survey for customer specific requirements
Once funds received:
- Place order for materials (leather, shafts, tips, compression material and handle hardware)
- Send update to all backers on status
- Print packing sheets and labels
- print envelopes for workingstick-mini only orders
- Assemble boxes for shipping
WorkingStick-mini Plan (while waiting for order to arrive)
- Rip, plane and sand stock for WorkingStick-mini
- Laser-cut WorkingStick-minis
- Spray finish coat
- Assemble WorkingStick-mini with packing notice and stuff in envelopes
Quality check and shipping (completed by different team member)
- Verify correctly sized WorkingStick-mini & packing info is included, and envelope is printed correctly and seal envelopes
- Mail WorkingStick-mini only rewards
- Send update to backers on status
WorkingStick Plan (can begin before order arrives)
- Rip, plane and sand stock for caps
- Laser-cut cap components
- Assemble caps
- Sand and finish caps
WorkingStick Handle (once order arrives)
- Update backers on status
- Cut and prepare handle shells
- Assemble handle internal hardware and insert into handle shells
- Cut leather for handle and strap
- Final assembly of handles
Shafts & Tips
- Sand shafts and apply finish
- Match shafts and cut to customer requested lengths
- Prepare shafts for tip and attach tips
- Layout and cut material and pull tabs
- Sew sleeves
- Install compression sleeve
- Install handle
Quality Test, Packing and Shipping (completed by a different team member)
- For each order verify WorkingStick functions properly and is correct length
- Attach packing list and WorkingStick-mini, if ordered, and place in box
- Attach shipping label
- Update backers on status
Final step...everyone rejoices as they receive and use their new WorkingSticks!
Kickstarter states: "Your funding goal should be the minimum amount needed to complete the project and fulfill all rewards. Because funding is all-or-nothing, you can always raise more than your goal but never less."
We set the goal to $2,000 because that is the minimum amount to purchase the materials in volume (and pay the 5% Kickstarter fee, 5% Amazon fee and taxes).
However, our hope is to generate much more. Every dollar submitted will help us grow our little enterprise and bring even more cool ideas to the world.
How you can help
1- Tell your friends about us. Share on Facebook, send an email, call. This really does matter. It is a numbers game at this point. Every person counts, so please take the time to tell others if you think it is cool.
2- If you think what we have is awesome or you just want to help us then pledge now. Acting now will get things rolling and others that visit the page will see they are not alone.
Sizing your WorkingStick
When the project completes successfully you will be asked to specify the length of your WorkingStick. What is the right length? It is really up to you. There is no right answer. Some like it longer and others shorter. We have found that most like it so it holds their hand slightly above their elbow.
To size your WorkingStick hold your hand out in a comfortable position and measure from the floor to the top of your hand. Then add two inches to account for the top of the handle.
Here is someone that likes their WorkingStick short!
A word about International shipping
Although each WorkingStick is under a pound, the dimensions make shipping more expensive. In many cases shipping costs were greater than the product itself.
Kickstarter only allows us to specify a single dollar amount for international shipping. This would mean that everyone would overpay for shipping except the most expensive country. This didn’t seem fair.
It appears we have two options.
First, we could have each backer increase their pledge by the shipping amount to their country. Message us and we will calculate the amount of shipping required.
The second option might make sense for some and is real easy for us. There are several companies that provide a “US address” for international customers. You use that new address when ordering and you pay as if you were a US customer. This company then combines your packages together and ships them, often saving you money. These sites show you how much your package (and VAT and other fees) will cost to ship. We have provided the dimensions and weight so you can determine the fees.
We do not have experience with any of these companies. We list them for your convenience only. Please search online or contact others in your country to see which is best for you.
Risks and challenges
Each part of the WorkingStick was designed with manufacturing in mind. We have jigs and other tools set up to allow efficient production.
Of course, we have never built hundreds of them quickly. Even though we have carefully planned the manufacture and production, there are always things that can happen that we may not anticipate including equipment failure, design changes, accidents and other unknowns.
As a member of the WorkingStick Kickstarter Team, you will receive regular information regarding progress, challenges and successes. Thank you so much for your support!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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