Professional Builder’s Lee Jones talks to inventor and tradesman David Brewer about Klip_Ez, a new device for marking and cutting board material.
A builder’s lot on site can often be a solitary one, and when working alone there are any number of relatively routine tasks where arms like Mr Tickle or the litheness of a yoga master would be eminently welcome. Of course, on some of the jobs that a local jobbing tradesman might find himself the available space most certainly makes two a crowd anyway, but here again there is an issue because, when it comes to handling board materials, size really does matter.
“From our own experience, whether it’s a new build house or an extension, the amount of room you had to work with would demand that you store the likes of plasterboard or ply in an upright position against a wall – and it’s often cut that way as well,” explains Midlands-based tradesman, David Brewer. “Trying to hold a straight edge or level against the material opens up the potential for error. It will either move or the plasterboard will bow. With Klip Ez, marking and cutting boards is simple and accurate every time, and you can easily get it done on your own.”
The highly visible Klip_Ez device can be adjusted to different thickness of board by simply pinching or prising the metal ears on each side inwards or outwards, whilst its powder coated steel construction ensures durability. Clamp one either end, lock them in position, and they will accommodate a straight edge or level, which is itself fixed in place. That then offers an immoveable and exact line that won’t deviate from the required measurement. “It means you can achieve long lengths on your own, but you can equally mark and cut angles if needed,” enthuses David. Indeed, since its creation Klip_Ez has since found a multitude of uses. If you’re cutting timber boards placed horizontally with a circular saw, for example, simply fix the Klip_Ez devices in the same way, and the straight edge or level acts as a guide rail for the power tool.
David is himself and experienced tradesman, whilst his son Warren. of Gloucestershire-based WKB Plastering has been an invaluable source of feedback in the development process. “It quickly became apparent that we could extend the concept to make it a Klip_Ez system, so we’ve introduced a complementary ‘Straight_Ez’ to work with it, the Straight Ez+ version of which will feature metric measurements along its length. If builders still want to use their existing box level, however, it can be adjusted to for the width of almost every brand on the market. We’ve even added a belt loop so it’s to hand when you need it.”
First conceived as an idea just two years ago, David has moved quickly to produce what is now a British-manufactured solution to the trades. “When we first set out on this journey it seemed like such a simple answer to a common problem that we first had to satisfy ourselves that nothing like it was already out there,” he recalls. “Throughout the process, the aim has been a product that’s easy to use, and that is, of course, reflected in the name. If you’re working on your own, it’s ideal, but even if you’re not, pulling someone away from their own job to help you is not ideal, and with Klip_Ez that’s not something you’ll need to do. It’s from using it in the field, that we’ve been able to fine tune the construction, and we’re now in the process of achieving a patent.”
“I work on a lot of domestic refurb jobs, often alone, so I’m just the kind of tradesman that Klip_Ez is targeted at,” concludes David’s son Warren. “It works and it’s pitched at the kind of price that builders can comfortably try it out and, if they do, I can say with confidence that it will save you time.”