Project image
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$1,015
pledged of $45,000pledged of $45,000 goal
13
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, April 20 2014 5:48 PM UTC +00:00
$1,015
pledged of $45,000pledged of $45,000 goal
13
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, April 20 2014 5:48 PM UTC +00:00

About

Dig it! Sift it! Clean it!  

          Two NEW Home & Garden Tool Products—USA Patent

Screener-.-.-Thing™ tools sit atop a wheelbarrow, garden cart, bucket or other container. They are operated manually to sift, screen, clean and size garden landscape rocks, sod, dirt, sand, compost, potting soils and the like. They are light-weight, conveniently portable and of strong construction. The basic platform and embedded screen unit has no moving parts. Lift-out top screen(s) are available where smaller sized thru-put fractions are desired.

Customers use three (3) criteria in choosing their home and garden tools: function, price and durability. Screener-.-.-Thing™ tools are designed and built to meet the demands of durability and function.

“People still invent really simple things, and some of them are really useful.” Michael Pate, San Francisco Patent Attorney, quote in WSJ, 1/07/12.

 Direct “product interest” research conducted by the Company has elicited universal interest in, and reflected a need for, the Company’s products among individual homeowners and gardeners. “I need one of those…” or, “Why didn’t I think of that…”, or “…I tried to build one of those….” Such statements are common whenever Screener-.-.-Thing™ tool prototypes have been shown, demonstrated or used.

Feedback 

“… we are yet to identify a product that could be considered direct competition for the Wheelbarrow Screener Thing (WST) or Bucket Screener Thing (BST) within the hardware, home center, lawn and garden equipment and nursery and garden center retail markets.” (GROWTHINK, INC., Consultants to Company, 2/28/13)

“I liked the removable smaller screen, that when held horizontally, made removing the gravel easier, rather than dumping the whole screen thing out. I liked the way it stayed put in the wheelbarrow while being used. I liked the use of handles that allowed me to shake the matter. The use of expanded steel was nice, and that was the key reason I liked it. Rugged. “(Don C.)

“We love our Screener Thing tools. The wheelbarrow tool was a huge improvement over my past efforts to sort partially ready compost and resulted in a much better product, more quickly. The bucket tool replaced my by-hand efforts to remove roots and sticks and was much quicker.” (Don S.)

“Perhaps, over time, develop a strong-but-light plastic version. But I like the screener-thing as–is. It is incredibly DURABLE and easy to use.” (S.W.)

The Need and the Market

For many who enjoy gardening, landscaping, composting, yard clean-up and maintenance, or other outdoor up-keep projects, reliable time-saving hand tools are valuable for their efficiency, durability and utility. Screener-.-.-Thing™ tools sift, screen, clean and size garden landscape rocks, dirt, sand, compost, potting soils and the like.

Professional outside market research reveals a market opportunity of nearly 164 million homeowners in the USA. (The Company estimates approximately 14 million Canadian homeowners.) In the top-50 USA cities with “Gardening Homeowners”, over 50% are active gardeners. Interestingly, 22% of Gardening Homeowners in the USA are retired – this figure is growing rapidly, as approximately 10,000 individuals retire each day in the U.S.

Confirmation and support for the appeal and utility of our WST and BST prototype products was demonstrated at the U.S. National Hardware Show in Las Vegas, Nevada in May 2013. There we were selected to compete for the Lawn and Garden Outdoor Living Innovation Awards. We received good exposure and strong interest from industry wholesale and retail vendors in the U.S., Canada and internationally.

Proof of Concept

Narrative of responses to questionnaires (10) returned from trial users of the Screener-Thing™ tools in the Summer and Fall of 2012.

Q1: What was the number of users? One or two primary users reported; plus friends.

Q2: Describe how the Screener-Thing™ tool was used.

  • Compost only. (3 users)
  • Screening of landscape rocks in pathways only. (2 users)
  • In one application dirt piles that had been composting (including some lawn areas) were sifted to remove rocks and un-composted matter. The desired product was what passed through the screen(s) and the top filtered items were dumped in the alley, consisting mostly of rocks. I tried to use it for coarse sorting of compost, but felt it was too harsh on my worms, and the size of the large screen was even too small for passing things I’d be willing to call composted. (Don C.)
  •  1) Separating landscape rock from dirt, and 2) separating grass/roots/gravel from dirt. (S.W.)
  • Screening pine needles out of topsoil, and screening dirt out of driveway gravel. (C.T.)
  • Screening clay soil to remove rocks and organic debris (sticks/leaves) to make a ‘clay slip’ for infilling/building walls with straw-clay insulation. (D.W.)
  • The wheelbarrow tool was used to screen compost before application to vegetable beds this fall. The bucket tool was used to screen soil in a bed being prepared for garlic planting in October. (Don S.)

Q3: Tools used w/Screener-Thing™ ?: wheelbarrow, shovels, rakes, trowels, spading fork.  

Q4: What did you LIKE?

  • Compost of uniform size. (Z.J.)  
  • I liked the removable smaller screen, that when held horizontally, made removing the gravel easier, rather than dumping the whole screen thing out. I liked the way it stayed put in the wheelbarrow while being used. I liked the use of handles that allowed me to shake the matter. The use of expanded steel was nice, and that was the key reason I liked it. Rugged. (Don C.)
  • Screens compost very well, user-friendly. (City of Golden)  
  • Very effective at separating materials; what we can reuse, and what we can trash. It is a great product/invention! (S.W.)
  • Light-weight yet efficient. Liked the handle. (C.T.) Love the stiff screens! (M.T.)
  • Very durable screen, sturdy wooden frame, well-made. (D.W.)
  • I used it to clean pine needles and dirt from the rock path in front of the house. The tilt-to-dump proved much easier than my lift-and-dump 2 x 4 (home-made screen) box. (M.D.)
  • We love our Screener Thing tools. The wheelbarrow tool was a huge improvement over my past efforts to sort partially ready compost and resulted in a much better product, more quickly. The bucket tool replaced my by-hand efforts to remove roots and sticks and was much quicker. (Don S.)

Q: How do I get one?   A: BACKER REWARDS!!

We need your help to fund our manufacturing start-up. Your interest and action will demonstrate our products' marketability on a substantial scale. Your funding will be a signal, demonstrating market viability, to financial and manufacturing partners for the Company in the future. Thanks!

Your support at this time is critical and, we APPRECIATE it! We will keep you informed via special Backer-only email updates.

You can grab an "Original" BST unit by pledging $45; or the "Original" WST by pledging $120.  There are other levels of support as described in the above "Backer Rewards" table:  Reward products will be shipped in Spring and early Summer, 2014  

Our plans during the coming year are to be a presence at local, regional and national gardening shows. 

We are also active on-line at www.screenerthing.com Watch us as we bring our NEW Screener-Thing™ garden sifting tools to your town!

For example, in early 2015 we plan to be a notable presence at the Colorado Garden & Home Show, in Denver, CO. Founder level pledges will get free entry and a host of other special recognition at Company sponsored events. Founder Patrons will be flown to Denver for the festivities.

Inventor’s Story

We retired about 10 years ago; blessed with good health, a growing third-generation family, and a determination to stay as fit as we could. Gardening fits into this plan well; especially in the Spring.  Then it is time to clean-up the gardens and landscape, plant, fertilize and start another "garden life-cycle." Time to get out tools and get organized.   Sifting tools have always been a problem; time to re-build them for the tasks ahead. In 2011 instead of building/repairing an old one, I decided I would buy a new Garden Sifting Tool to do the job.  NONE COULD BE FOUND!!  So I decided to apply my general engineering instincts and skill to build "one that would do-the-job --- and would last for many years."  In June 2011, I applied for a United States Patent which was ultimately approved. On January 29, 2013, anticipating patent approval, I formed Screener-Thing Company LLC (the Company) in Colorado.  

Legal Drawing for Patent Submission
Legal Drawing for Patent Submission

On May 1, 2013, I as the Inventor, signed an Exclusive License Agreement with the Company, covering all Home and Garden uses of my patented technology. The Patent is sufficiently detailed yet broad-based to discourage direct competition in the foreseeable future. Indeed, we anticipate rapid growth as we make our Screener-.-.-Thing™ garden sifting tools available to all who need them. "We relish this First-to-Market opportunity; and promise you a motivated and vigorous effort within the Company. God willing and with your support, we will find success in the marketplace and help to bring a better gardening experience for all."

Screener-Thing Company LLC Team

Company management consists of Carl Treat (“CT”) Westgard. He acts as President and Treasurer, and Manager of the Company. There are no other employees. The Company is advised by an informal Advisory Group of skilled and experienced technical and professional individuals. Mr. Westgard is also the Inventor, Owner and Licensor of USA Patent and Trademark rights held by the Company. He also has a patent pending application pending in Canada, which when approved will accrue to the Company under the Exclusive License Agreement.

R & D, Engineering Concept, Design and Specifications Team:   Link Product Development linkpd.com, Carl Westgard, 

Prototype, Proof-of-Concept and Field Testing Team: (Company management plus numerous citizen and group volunteers in Golden, CO area; 2012-13.)

Manufacturing, Materials and Suppliers Team: (Denver Woodworking Co., Mid-West Machine Products, Peterson Company, Erickson Metals, Grainger, Boise Cascade, Austin Hardwoods, Home Depot.)

Warehousing, Packaging and Shipping Team: (Company fulfillment personnel and systems.)

Financing, Marketing, Sales and Management Team: (Company management plus advisors.)  

  • Denver Small Business Development Center (SBDC) – Consultants
  • Colorado Enterprise Fund
  • Growthink, Inc. – Market Research and Business Plan Consultants
  • Greenworks Video – Video production professionals  
  • Successful Creative Solutions – Project Management  
  • National Gardening Association – Advertising  
  • Friends, family, and acquaintances with invaluable experience 
  • KICKSTARTER ™ -- Crowd funding website

Risks and challenges

Management’s first priority upon completion of this Offering is to start-up production and shipping “Original” Screener-.-.-Thing™ tools. Our first shipments of products will be direct to you, our Backers. Shipments will be on a first come first served basis.

Our Screener-.-.-Thing ™ tool production process is not complex. All materials are available from wholesale wood and metal products suppliers. Special patented metal “dumping brackets” are made to our specifications, in quantity, on short notice. Other materials such as screws, nuts, washers, handles, glue and water-resistant coating are available at most any hardware supply sources.

The manufacturing process for both Wheelbarrow and Bucket Screener-Thing ™ tools is generally described as follows:

• Woodworking
- High capacity CNC Router– cutouts from Standard 4 x 8 outdoor plywood sheets.
- Cut framing strips and insert pieces; round and smooth all outside edges of base pieces.
- Sand and Brand: “Screener-.-.-Thing ™ “- move finished wood pieces to Assembly.
• Assembly
- Install pre-cut primary screens and framing pieces into plywood base.
- Frame-in base screens and secure permanently in place.
- Attach 1” x 1” containment (WST only) and screw down in place.
- Attach patented “dumping bracket.” QC inspection.
- Apply water-resistant coating on all wood surfaces; set and dry.
• Packaging
- Add WST top screen with handle.
- Package with “Helpful Information – Operating Instructions.”

Our funding goal has been established in order to enable Screener-.-.-Thing ™ tool production to commence as soon as possible; we know that you, our Backers need these tools ASAP!

Baring unanticipated delays caused by parts and materials availability, transportation or sub-contractor production scheduling, shipments of products are expected to begin in May, 2014 if not before.

Our next priority is to constitute a formal working Board of Directors, who will assist in hiring key management, staff and operating personnel. Management is committed to recruiting and hiring an experienced and competent team of employees to contribute to the Company’s future growth and success.

Background:

Founders CT and Sandi Westgard have four children and six grandchildren. They are both retired and reside in Golden, Colorado. CT graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy, is a Viet Nam veteran and has an MBA degree from the University of Denver. Sandi holds a Bachelors degree in Education from the University of Colorado. After four years in the U.S. Navy, CT held project, administrative and executive management positions in companies from entrepreneurial start-ups to mid-sized private and public companies. Sandi, after being an active mom, school and community volunteer for 25 years, was employed in the fund-raising Office of Institutional Advancement at the Colorado School of Mines for 12 years.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT:
    Thanks for helping us take our screener tools to market! You will receive Backer-only updates on our progress of where you can get a Screener Thing!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    SCREENER THING EXPLODED T– SHIRT:
    A limited Kickstarter-only edition T-shirt
    of the wheelbarrow screener thing. You will also receive Backer-only updates on our progress of where you can get a Screener Thing!

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    THE BUCKET SCREENER THING:
    Get one of the first BST’s and show your apartment complex or duplex gardening friends on the patio or porch how it should be done! You will also receive Backer-only updates on our progress of where you can get a Screener Thing!

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    THE BUCKET SCREENER THING plus EXPLODED T-SHIRT:
    Get one of the first BST’s and show your apartment complex/duplex gardening friends on the patio or porch how it should be done! THEN show off your dig it sift it clean it T-Shirt! You will also receive Backer-only updates on our progress of where you can get a Screener Thing!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    THE WHEELBARROW SCREENER THING:
    The original! You have the beautiful landscaped home garden and the wheelbarrow is your best friend. Get the screener tool you always wanted! You will also receive Backer-only updates on our progress of where you can get a Screener Thing!

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $140 or more About $140

    THE WHEELBARROW SCREENER THING plus EXPLODED T-SHIRT:
    The original screener thing and limited
    Kickstarter t-shirt! Get the screener tool you always wanted! You have the beautiful landscaped home garden and the wheelbarrow is your best friend. You will also receive Backer-only updates on our progress of where you can get a Screener Thing!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $165 or more About $165

    THE WHEELBARROW SCREENER THING AND BUCKET SCREEER THING:
    The originals! Have one of each and depending on the sifting job have the tool that makes it all easy! Be one of the first to have both! You know you can use them and make your projects as easy as dig it sift it clean it!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    THE BUCKET SCREENER THING FOUNDER CERTIFICATE:
    As a Founder supporter you will be in a special relationship with the Inventor and Company as you will receive a signature edition BST along with a handsome wood-framed certificate. Be our guest at next year’s Colorado Home and Garden show and be invited to a special reception.

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    Pledge $650 or more About $650

    THE WHEELBARROW SCREENER THING FOUNDER CERTIFICATE:
    As a Founder supporter you will be in a special relationship with the Inventor and Company as you will receive a signature edition WST along with a handsome wood-framed certificate. Be our guest at next year’s Colorado Home and Garden show and be invited to a special reception.

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    Pledge $6,000 or more About $6,000

    FOUNDER PATRON:
    As a Founder Patron, and as a new member of our team, you will be in a special relationship with the Inventor and Company. You will be our guest with a return-trip flight to Denver from anywhere in the USA, a two night hotel stay in Denver and special admission to the Colorado Home and Garden Show. You will receive signature editions of the BST and the WST, along with a handsome wood-framed Certificate. As our guest, you will be an integral part of a special reception and dinner.

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Funding period

- (45 days)