Residents’ inventions combat sagging chaises, sloppy cords

Aggravated by sagging and sloppiness, three valley residents came up with creative solutions to their problems — and hopefully others.

Neighbors Bill Wilderman and Jacques Rodrigue created the Chaise Lounge Repair Kit to alleviate sagging straps on backyard chaise lounges, while Randy Watson developed the Cord Cradle to harness power cords and keep them from being visible behind media centers and desks.

Wilderman said he and Rodrigue came up with the idea for the repair kit one day during a casual conversation after complaining about how the straps on a new chaise were sagging, making the lounge uncomfortable to sit on.

The two wondered how many chaise lounges end up in the landfill because of the same problem. They soon realized that the answer to their question was quite a few.

"My landscape guy says he sees chaise lounges every week on the side of the road out in the trash," Rodrigue said.

So they began thinking about a solution.

"Jacques is a master cabinetmaker," Wilderman said. "He thinks all the time and says ‘I can fix that.’"

The two had been looking for just the right idea to form a partnership and felt the repair kit would be appreciated by homeowners as well as hotels and casinos. At less than $30, the repair kit would easily extend the life of any chaise lounge and help people save money and the environment.

Rodrigue came up with several prototypes before, working out any bugs along the way. Wilderman, who is retired, is focusing on sales and marketing.

The Chaise Lounge Repair Kit consists of a slatted metal plate that duplicates the look of chaise lounge straps and covers the area that bears the brunt of a person’s weight. The metal plate attaches to the chaise with aluminum clamps that are specially molded to fit over the rounded frames.

Made of powder coated 16-gauge metal, the repair kit adjusts for chaises ranging between 19 and 28 inches wide. By powder coating the metal, it becomes resistant to rust.

Rodrigue also created a special head for his drill that makes all eight holes in the clamp simultaneously.

"It was too labor intensive to do them individually," he said.

He also developed a way to properly bend the clamps so they match the shape of chaise lounge frames and won’t slide out of place.

Currently, Rodrigue and Wilderman do much of the manufacturing process — including bending and drilling the clamps — in Rodrigue’s garage.

The Chaise Lounge Repair Kit sells for $29.95, plus shipping, handling and Nevada sales tax. A smaller version for a patio chair also is available.

Rodrigue and Wilderman will be displaying their repair kit from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Smith’s grocery store at the corner of Desert Inn Road and Decatur Boulevard.

Additional information is available on their Web site, www.chaiseloungerepair

For Watson, the Cord Cradle was developed as a way to conquer the tangle of cords typically found behind a computer or television.

"My wife is one of those people who is really particular about cords," he said. "She doesn’t like the mess and I always had to hide the cords."

After trying to use a variety of products already on the market to tame the cord monster, Watson figured there had to be something that would accommodate the cords’ curves, could easily be hidden and was reusable.

When he couldn’t find what he was looking for, he created it and developed his own company, HUG (Handy Useful Gadgets) Products.

Basically, the Cord Cradle is a concaved piece of flame-resistant material with specially designed notches on each end to secure a retaining band and hold the cords in place. The retaining band is made of a rubber created for outdoor use and has a 26-year life span, Watson said.

The cradle is available in two sizes, one designed to hold as many as six cords and one designed to hold as many as 13 cords. The small Cord Cradle is sold in a pack of five and the larger one is sold in a package of three; both packages are priced at $3.99.

The cord holder can be attached to nearly any surface with a rubberized, two-sided tape that is included in the package and bonds instantly.

Watson also made sure his design wasn’t any deeper than the typically baseboard. That allows furniture pieces to sit flush with the baseboards while still containing the cords.

Currently, the Cord Cradle is available via Watson’s Web site, as well as at the Sunrise Food Mart on Charleston Boulevard.

Watson said he eventually plans to invite other inventors to showcase their creations with HUG Products on his Web site.

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