Update #7 The Hula Hoopin' Gardener
What is the Ring Weeder and how does it work ?
The Ring Weeder is a garden tool that slips onto your index finger that helps when pulling weeds by hand in those densely planted areas where larger tools wont fit. Hand weeding is still the most convenient method of weed control and this tool is designed to help you better extract the root of the weed. Weeds are tricky, and if you don't get the whole root, the weed will grow back. The Ring Weeder allows you to get the whole root which will save you time and effort in the long run. Better weeding, fewer weeds.
Vegetable gardens, flower beds, and every space in between, they all need to be weeded. We want to improve this process so you spend less time weeding and more time enjoying the fruits of your labor.
Even if you don't weed yourself you know someone that does. So get them one, it makes a great gift.
Here's how it works:
Research and Development
While weeding a flower bed using this screw driver-like tool (pictured below), I came up with the idea of a tool that attaches to my hand to make the weeding quicker and more efficient. I was frustrated while using the screwdriver-like tool since I am right handed and didn't like to use my left hand to pull out the weed which forced me to put the tool down and then pull out the weed with my preferred hand. This made for a slow and boring process.
The highlight of my frustration was when one day I misplaced the tool and spent twenty minutes searching for it since I didn't want to run it over with my lawn mower and risk damaging the machine or even worse: potentially hitting someone with it.
Images of a tool that attached directly to my hand started to bounce around in my head.
On the day after Thanksgiving, 2012, I searched for a welder to make my prototype. After being rejected by one welder, and another not returning my call, I decided to stop by Tom Malloy’s Welding Shop in Glen Head, NY. After carefully explaining my idea, Tom went to work quickly on what was dubbed "The Garden Claw".
"The Claw" was very awkward to use so I went back to the drawing board to refine the concept.
I realized that using only the tool on my index finger along with the help of my bare thumb felt more natural and comfortable. My next thought was 'What if I had a long metal finger nail to get under the weed instead?'. This next prototype was dubbed "The Garden Nail". After testing, it was clear that rotating the nail tip under the finger greatly improved leverage and comfort. Soon after, the name "The Ring Weeder" emerged since you actually slip the device on you finger like a ring.
After getting my patent pending, I reached out to local State Colleges and Universities and this is how I met Mechanical Engineer and future Project Advisor, Dr. Jeff Hung.
With his advice, I conducted my own research to find the average size of peoples fingers. The finger width along with the glove is vital in fitting of The Ring Weeder. My research suggested that offering two sizes: A large and a small version would fit most fingers. Dr. Hung then suggested a small slit on the top of the tool to allow for some flexibility to make an improved fit. You can find the best size for your Ring Weeder in the FAQ.
The only question left was what material to make the tool out of. ABS plastic was the number one choice for its strength, durability, and lightweight properties. This resilient material is commonly used in the making of protective headgear, small kitchen appliances, and toys like Legos.
I choose orange as my first production run color because it is bright and easy to locate amongst clutter or if misplaced in the field.
With the help of your pledges I will be able to get the tooling needed ( cavity mold) and the first production run of your Ring Weeder. The research and development was done in NY. The final production will be done overseas. We already have a quote from an injection molding company for the molds and the production. The cavity mold will take about 8 weeks to make upon my ordering it. So once i am funded I can place the order.
So that’s my story and this is my project. Thank you so much for looking at my project and learning more about it. I hope you will take part in my vision to help me launch this new and innovative tool.
SO REMEMBER, EVEN IF YOU DONT WEED YOURSELF, YOU KNOW SOMEONE THAT DOES. IT MAKES A GREAT GIFT!
AND REMEMBER, LET THE RING, BE YOUR WEEDER!!!
How to size your Ring Weeder
What are my short term goals?
1. Tooling for my cavity mold
2. First production run of your Ring Weeder
1. Develop a carrying case
2. Have The Ring Weeder available in different colors
3. Secure my patent
4. Show it at trade shows
5. Sell it at major retail stores
A special thank you goes out to my wife Anna for her constant support these past seven months. Also to my mom for shooting that last scene in my video. It was so much fun and a memory I will cherish forever.
Risks and challenges
One risk would be a delay in shipment date due to quality issues for the first production run. However we are using a trusted manufacturer so we do not expect any issues, but we will be prepared for the unexpected.
Communicating how to choose the best fit the tool with your glove will be a challenge we hope to best address in the FAQ's and in the comments section. We want every backer to have the best experience possible when they first receive their tool.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)