How this (Patented) BarbSaver tool got its start? In late fall 2020 I installed a quite sophisticated micro drip irrigation system in my newly landscaped back yard that included about twelve 1/2 inch PCV pipe, each with 1/4″ barbed drip manifolds connected to micro feeder tubing and drip devices servicing about 50 plants of various sizes and plant varieties around my yard. It however didn’t take very long for my 2 year-old Golden Retriever to sniff-out the tubing, drippers, emitters and other end-points and “chew” off the ends proudly bringing them to me (like Retrievers do) and set them before me.
While I did my best to hide and bury them, she continued her somewhat destructive puppy nonsense even with scolding’s and correction. Eventually I have learned to cover the fittings and drippers with rocks and stone paver pieces and the problem has gone way-down.
While I proceeded to repair the damage, cut and correct the feeder pipe, salvage undamaged drippers and end-points, I found my fingers being sliced while trying to hold the often wet and slippery 1/4″ pipe and the barbed ends while slicing along the barb with a scissor or utility knife. There’s got to be some kind of a slicing tool at Home Deport or On-line, I thought! In frustration I looked everywhere, as the problem with my Retriever continued and as I found I had to reconfigure my system for MORE and sometimes LESS dripping capacity. Changing-out emitters and drippers I didn’t want to throw away perfectly good ones, adjustable valves and other somewhat expensive devices either.
Around February 2021, to prove this concept I needed to create a working prototype of the slicing tool I envisioned with a channel to securely hold 1/4″ feeder pipe. To my amazement I found in my garage some unused oak wood flooring from years ago that had a 1/4″ channel for tongue and groove flooring installation.
I used my planer, my radial-arm saw and a friends drill press to securely hold an X-acto-knife at a 45 degree angle in the 1/4″ channel and created a few working proto-types. While I started testing many different barbed fittings and devices using the new too, I decided to do some serious Patent searches on www.USPTO.GOV which is the US Patent website. Key to this possible invention, I found nothing close to my possible invention having a channel that restricted side movement while slicing a tubing pipe wall at the apex with a precise depth so as not to damage the attached barbed device or fitting. At the prompting of several friends, and with the consulting assistance of a Patent and Intellectual Property Director employed by UC Davis, we performed a number of additional Patent searches and after validation of nothing like what I had invented I proceeded to develop the tool specifications for Patent Application submission which was completed in July 2021. My invention received a patent, issued on January 17th, 2023. This of course is great news.