Invention suitable for musicians?

Hi, my name's Jim and although I don't play brass instruments, I am a musician - I play drums and guitar. I was speaking to a friend who plays in a brass band here in Cornwall who said she thought my new invention would be ideal for musicians reading sheet music from a metal stand. It was originally designed for using with a pair of glasses, but it can be used on any flat surface - whether it's made of metal or not! I'm not here to fill the forum with spam - I just wanted to ask some people's opinions on whether they think the magnetic pencil holder I made is something that you guys would use?
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As a carpenter who wears glasses, I kept losing my pencil as there was no space behind my ear to keep it handy. I came up with the Pencil Mate to use when doing woodwork and have found that artists, wood machinists, golfers and crossword lovers all like the idea and many have backed my Kickstarter campaign. I'd really appreciate it if some of you could take a look at the website and let me know your thoughts? Surely you guys must get as frustrated at dropping or losing your pencil as I do!? Any feedback or comments would be gratefully appreciated.
Thanks!
Jim.
www.pencil-mate.com
 

James Yelland

Active Member
A magnetic holder which can be used on any surface, "whether it's made of metal or not". So how does that work?

If you have no joy here, I suggest that the Gnome Christmas Mart in Private Eye might be interested in advertising your invention! Good luck!
 

Ianroberts

Well-Known Member
Wasn't the problem of some where to put your pencils solved when the good lord decided to give us ears ? I think you should concentrate your time on decent, more urgently needed inventions like the age old problem of working the 3rd valve for Baritone players !
 

Bbmad

Active Member
Interesting question, despite Ian's skepticism, the subject of pencils is important to the brass band movement. It is good to see it back in the spotlight where it belongs.

Pencils | theMouthPiece.com Brass Band Forum

This does seem like a sensible solution to an age old problem. However, my fear is that the said invention does not cater for the many who do not wear spectacles. Maybe you could take this forward as a Dragon's Den idea.

I wish you the best of luck.
 
Hey guys, thanks for your input! In reply to James Yelland's "how does that work" - the Pencil Mate comes with a piece of flexible rubber tape that basically contains iron filings, so that magnets can stick to it! You cut a strip of that tape and stick it to any flat surface you'd like to keep a pencil - on the side of your glasses, on a music stand, on your car dashboard or a notebook. The Pencil Mate then slides onto your pencil and keeps it handy wherever you want it. Thanks to Bbmad for posting a link to the Pencils thread - it's good to see that my friend was right and brass instrumentalists do regularly use pencils! I have actually already applied for Dragon's Den, but who knows how far in the future it will be before I hear back from them. I think they film the seasons quite far in advance of showing them. Thanks for the positive feedback! Hopefully Pencil Mate will be available in a store near you soon. Until then...
Kickstarter Campaign
and www.pencil-mate.com
 
First question they're likely to ask you on Dragon's Den is has this not already been done, e.g.

Magnetic Penclip / Pencil Holder

Is the only difference that you're also including some 'metal' tape?
Hi boourns, have you tried one of these pencil clips? I bought one, hoping that it might've solved the problem whilst woodworking, but it didn't. It might work on a fully ferromagnetic surface like a fridge or even on a music stand, but it wouldn't work on a pair of glasses. It's too bulky and the main weight of the pencil is kept outwards from the magnet, meaning that it is not held as securely. The Pencil Mate uses a long neodymium magnet. This, together with a suitably shaped strip of the tape mean that the pencil stays put and doesn't pivot on the small dot magnet or fall off. The Pencil Mate has a much better weight:magnetism ratio as the main part of the Pencil Mate is made of ultra lightweight EVA foam. They also look pretty cool and feel great. I've tried so many different combinations of magnet types and sizes and lots of different materials to make the Pencil Mate and the consensus so far is that it works perfectly for the job. Not all magnetic pencil holders are made the same! The Dragons loved Levi Roots' Reggae Reggae Sauce, even though barbecue sauce had been done before :D
 

boourns

Member
It might work on a fully ferromagnetic surface like a fridge or even on a music stand, but it wouldn't work on a pair of glasses.
Yup, they work fine on music stands.

I'm not trying to pooh-pooh your 'invention', and I'm sure it's the best solution in some situations, but in the musical world at least you have competition.
 
No worries boourns, I appreciate the feedback! I still reckon that if you had both the magnetic drawstring spring clamp and a Pencil Mate in your hands, you'd probably prefer the look and feel of the Pencil Mate. And then once your eyes started going and you needed to wear glasses, you'd already be sorted! :D

Thanks for your input everyone!

Jim.
 

DS2014

Active Member
Interesting idea. Well done.

So, would I need to go around with an unseemly piece of tape on the side of my glasses all the time, even when I don't wish to attach a pencil to them?

Also, our music stands get shifted around all the time, so, it'd be difficult to root around and find the one with the tape on it...if that's where I wanted to keep the pencil?
 

James Yelland

Active Member
- the Pencil Mate comes with a piece of flexible rubber tape that basically contains iron filings, so that magnets can stick to it! You cut a strip of that tape and stick it to any flat surface you'd like to keep a pencil - on the side of your glasses, on a music stand, on your car dashboard or a notebook. The Pencil Mate then slides onto your pencil and keeps it handy wherever you want it.
Kickstarter Campaign
and www.pencil-mate.com
Alles ist klar!
 
DS2014, I originally used the Pencil Mate with a paperclip wrapped around the arm of my glasses! Worked perfectly, but did look a little strange, although at the time, I really didn't mind that! The tape we use is around a third of a millimetre thick and really discreet. You can cut it to the exact width of the arm of your glasses (the strip on the sunglasses was clumsily cut - I was in a rush for the photo!) and it really is hardly noticeable.
Jim.
 

DS2014

Active Member
OK, that sounds pretty good. Maybe a photo of the glasses without the pencil would show what it looks like.
 

Euphonium Lite

Active Member
Personally I dont like pencil. If a piece of music is wrong, it needs changing - I always find a permanent marker pen in the heaviest black ink is ideal for such purposes. It has the advantage of being able to be kept in your shirt pocket (where it can, if you leave the top off) add an interesting splodge motif. Alternatively some are just the right size to wedge in the end of a cornet mute.
 

cjwood555

Member
I think the price point would have to be impulse-purchase cheap - I've always just put it on the stand...

If you sold it as pack with some (6 or 8) small loose magnets (or encased in the foam but not as pencil holder) you may do better as they'd work well in place of pegs. Some of our band members use magnetic notice board pegs, but they don't use neodymium magnets to my knowledge and are therefore relatively weak as compared to the wind.

Chris
 
Hey Chris, great idea! I guess people could use the Pencil Mate not only to keep their pencil handy, but also to secure their sheet music. Maybe that's an alternative package idea aimed specifically at musicians. Awesome!
 

cjwood555

Member
You're almost with me :)

the pencil mate wouldn't be appropriate as its too large and could cover parts of the music. You'd need (in my opinion) to offer something with a much smaller footprint - which I presume you have the wherewithal to do as it would use the same materials and manufacturing process.

The notice board magnets are a circular footprint probably about 7mm, which is a good size.
I've actually just come across some that use a neodymium magnet - Magnetic Notice Board Pins - e-Magnets UK - might be worth buying a pack to see if you could improve on the design. A larger magnet might be helpful as strong winds or multi page scores can overwhelm the ones I've come across.

Chris
 
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