Adhesive tabs cut down on wall tape.
When inventor Jeff Yakobics isn’t flipping burgers at the greasy-spoon restaurant he owns in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, he is at home slinging drywall mud to test new wallboard prototypes.
The Marenisco, Mich.-based entrepreneur had a Eureka moment about 10 years ago while he was working for a building contractor. “I said it would be great if it came with a tab or a tongue-and-groove,” he says. “Then I started playing around with the concept.”
What resulted is a product he calls “tapeless” drywall. Incorporated into the board’s paper backing is a flap impregnated with a pressure-sensitive glue. You screw the panel to studs, peel off a plastic backing, stick the tab and mud the seam. Workers still have to tape butt joints and bead outside-corner joints, but Yakobics says it cuts down tape by 66%.
Wall-commodity innovations, however promising, can be a tough sell, especially to cost-conscious manufacturers. “It’s not a bad idea,” says Myron R. Ferguson, a drywall installer and author. “You’d have to find a small company willing to change their equipment around.” Extra precautions would also be needed to protect the tabs from shipping damage, others note.
Yakobics is searching for someone to build the board. Meanwhile, he has to turn down eager consumers because “I can’t make drywall in my garage,” says the inventor. One patent is pending.
True Dual 2-Stage Heaters are an indoor heating system designed for garages, hangers and machine shops. The system radiates heat without blowing air, thereby warming the space without circulating any potential pollutants. The system is fueled by natural gas or propane, and requires no periodic maintenance. Features include high- and low-heat settings to minimize fuel costs. Solaronics; 800-223-5335
Beckson Wire Guides allows installation of computer network cables, electrical lines and other wires through walls without chafing or damage. They are made of durable, UV-resistant ABS plastic and can be installed by friction fit or with the light use of a silicone sealant. They are available in black or white and a variety of shapes and diameters, including 1.5 in, 1.75 in and 2 in. Beckson Manufacturing Inc.; 203-366-3644; www.becksonmfg.com