INVENTOR’S CORNER: QuikCore

INVENTOR’S CORNER: QuikCore

A quick-thinking plumber has come up with a device for safer core drilling. Lee Jones meets the inventor behind Quikcore.

Lessons of the painful variety can often have the most lasting impact and when one plumber broke his thumb on site, it would inspire a brand-new solution for the trades. “I was removing my core bit from my drill in the same way that pretty much every tradesman does it – and that’s by hitting a spanner with a hammer,” explains Devon-based Ty Harnett.

“Unfortunately, I missed and fractured a bone. That put me out of action for a couple of weeks, incurring loss of earnings as a result, which gave me plenty of time to ponder that there must be a better way.” It is a predicament with which many a tradesperson can identify… because the torque tension of a drill is so powerful, the core bit will bind very tightly on the equipment, which then presents a problem when you need to remove it.

Spanners are not designed to be hit with hammers. As Ty found to his cost – however commonplace it might be – it’s a dangerous and time consuming practice but, once you have successfully removed the bit, you’re then faced with the next challenge of how to eject the waste material. Again, the solution has traditionally been brute force, with the inherent risk of denting the metal construction of the core bit.

“It was easy to come to the conclusion that what we currently had on the market was not really fit for purpose but it’s much harder to come up with an alternative,” admits Ty. “I was, however, pretty determined and sketched out a design, from which some prototypes were commissioned. I was then able to test these out on my own jobs and found the idea itself was sound – and the result is QuikCore.”

The 47-year-old’s focus was on producing a product that would not only prevent such injury, but also damage to the tools themselves. QuikCore features a quick release clip for easy removal of the core bit from the drill or extension bar, as well as an accompanying knock out tool that will safely punch the core from the core bit.

A simple solution, perhaps, but behind that concept lies some complex design work to ensure that the bit’s construction is up to the rigours of the job at hand, as Ty explains: “A core drill can run at anything up to 3,000rpm, so the clip had to be incredibly robust to withstand those stresses, but also easily removable by hand when required, and that’s where the real work was required.

As well as using the device on site, during the early stages of the product’s development many years ago, I actually built my own test rig, for instance. To ensure that it was up to standard, it was a set-up that featured concrete blocks of different levels of hardness, on which the QuikCore was subjected to prolonged use. The design passed every test we could give it and it has since been patent protected.” Ty has worked tirelessly on sourcing a manufacturer and distribution, all whilst maintaining his successful plumbing business, and has been rewarded with a product that is quickly establishing itself in the marketplace.

“The beauty of QuikCore is that it works in exactly the same way as any conventional core drill, but it will do it quicker and safer,” concludes Ty. “Whether it’s boiler flues, waste pipes, soil or gas pipes for a plumber, or extractor fans for a sparks, they will not need to change their working practices, but will save time. It’s actually also available through electrical wholesalers and there is, of course, a market for builders as well.” Indeed, whatever your core skills this is one time-saving tool you should be “Quik” to adopt.

QuikCore is manufactured in the UK and is available from independent and national merchants.

To watch the QuikCore demo video, click here

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