In this three-part special, we profile three electricians and their problem solving solutions. Second up, the Super Rod Duoxim Arbor Tool.
For every inventor whose dream has fallen by the wayside, there may be another whose life will have been changed forever thanks to their bright idea.
While working on a job at a London location known ironically to the locals as ‘Billionaire’s Road’, electrician Kyle Gamble conceived an idea that might one day allow him to become a resident of such an esteemed community.
“A client of mine lives down there and we’d been recommending to him for a while that he change his old halogen downlights out for new LED versions, as he could save himself a fortune by doing so,” Kyle recalls.
“Although he liked the idea of replacing his halogens, there was one stumbling block: he’d recently spent £50,000 on having the house decorated so we’d have to do it without damaging any of the newly furnished décor.”
At the time this presented a considerable challenge, as to install a new raft of LEDs would require Kyle to make the existing holes bigger in every ceiling, which would prove virtually impossible if no damage to the décor was permitted. It was here that he spotted a gap in the market for something new.
“The ﬁrst way that electricians have tried to solve the problem in the past is through the use of a pad saw and then very carefully sawing around the space that needs creating. That wouldn’t work with this particular client, however, as his house used lave and plaster and the pad saw would’ve ruined the ceiling,” he adds.
“The second is that you get your existing Arbor tool and put another holesaw in the middle, before ﬁlling it with cable to pack it into place. This method rarely gives you an even ﬁnish, and you also have to take it down and reset it after every hole.
“My idea is essentially a reﬁnement of the current Arbor tool which allows you to cut around 30 holes in ﬁve minutes – the same time as it would take you to cut one or two holes with a pad saw. All you do is get
your cables out of the way and drill your hole. It’s a, nice, quick and clean process that will save hours and ensures no re-decorating and no damage to the ceiling.”
As a young entrepreneur running his own electrical business in St Albans, Kyle has never been afraid to rub shoulders with other like-minded professionals at networking events, and it was on one such occasion that he met a contact with a good knowledge of the patenting process and offered Kyle the guidance that would help to ensure the concept would see the light of day.
Kyle says: “We managed to ﬁnd someone who could create a prototype and after a bit of reﬁning we then produced our ﬁrst unit, which I started to use immediately in my daily work so that I could recommend further improvements.
“Once these had been incorporated and I was happy with the tool, I got in touch with the Editor of PE’s sister title – Professional Builder – to see if the magazine would be able to help with giving the product a bit of exposure, especially as it’s relevant to all types of tradesmen, and to see if there were any companies that they could put me in touch with to help with further developing it.
“Fortunately it wasn’t long before I made contact with Super Rod’s MD, Malcolm Duncan.”
As the son of an electrician himself, Malcolm champions the cause for the next generation of electrical talent as well as investing in the bright ideas and new products that have become the hallmark of the Super Rod business. As a result, he was only too happy to learn more once Kyle had pitched the original idea of the product to him.
“Although Super Rod had a similar product in its stable, Malcolm told me to put together some details about why my version was better, which I did. I even offered him a few tips for how he could improve the existing tool they had,” Kyle explains.
“It was a simple sell really as the tool’s main USP is how easy it is to use. It fits every brand and type of hole saw that an electrician could have in their toolbox and can save them hours on-site.”
With Malcolm and Super Rod’s backing now behind him, it wasn’t long before Kyle was holding a fully developed and produced version of the tool in his hands, and things have been upwardly mobile ever since.
Kyle says: “We officially ‘launched’ the Duoxim Arbor at the Alexandra Palace ELEX show earlier this year. I was both nervous and excited as I’d been asked by Super Rod to become a member of their team for both days to help demonstrate the tool and its beneﬁts to the punters.
“It went down that well that we had to order some more in before the next day started. Seeing the tool there, with the promotional material that Super Rod had created for it, was like a dream really.”
Despite being in it’s infancy, the product has sold well in the early months since launch and Kyle hopes to use the rest of this year to raise awareness of a product that he believes can solve a problem that thousands of electricians have encountered or are likely to encounter in the near future.
He says: “Most electricians are now coming across jobs where they’re being asked to replace older downlights with fire-rated and LED equivalents, which both require a larger hole space. This product will enable you to complete the task in a nice, simple and clean way.”
Although the day-to-day running of his own firm – KG Electrical – still takes up the majority of Kyle’s time and manpower, he’s constantly kept abreast of how things are progressing with the Duoxim Arbor. Indeed, he hopes one day that the tool will be a big enough hit to allow him to embrace his passion for F1 by visiting, and driving on, the major circuits around the world.
So what nuggets of advice would Kyle share with other would-be inventors? “Always try and follow through with an idea, as you just never know what will come of it, but make sure you search the proper channels and talk to the right sort of people. You can easily throw thousands at this type of thing and not have a bean to show for it.”
He concludes: “I’ve been very lucky to meet a great company in Super Rod that has a business built on trust, ethics and good relationships so I’d certainly recommend that you get in touch with them if you’re looking for some help with developing a great idea.”