This past weekend I exhibited at the Wood Working Shows in Somerset N.J. at the Garden State Exhibit Center. I was pleased with the traffic at the show and I was able to show off my product to a new audience. As a first time exhibitor at this show, I was greeted with a tremendous response to my product. Wood workers were impressed at the quality of the PCW while contractors were amazed at how much time and money they can save by eliminating setting up and breaking down their tools on a daily basis. I had help from my friends and co-workers Chris and Pete at the show and I would like to thank them for helping me handle the crowd and packing up my display. I made some good contacts and I would like to thank Joe and Anne of the Wood Working Shows for a great weekend.


Life after INPEX

22nd September 2009

After winning top prize at INPEX, we decided to relax a bit and catch up with family and friends. After a couple of weeks, it was time to prepare for our next show in September at Javits Center ion NYC. The show was the 2008 Construction Expo. This would be our fist attempt to sell our PCW. At the end of August and early September, I was preparing everything and waiting for all our new literature to arrive - business cards, brochures… Early September is when I got the news from Pete that he would need to resign from our new company and that he could not continue forward. After a week of signing all the appropriate documents, Pete was no longer with Rolling Trades Inc. I continued preparing for the trade show and when it finally arrived, I was greeted by attendees with great enthusiasm and appreciation for my new product. Although no sales were made, I connected with contractors that told me I had a great product. This was worth the hard work prior to the show.

My next connection was with and old friend from the neighborhood, John DeSilvia. John made a name for himself as the owner of a successful construction company called Design Tech Construction Corp. He and his partner John Palanca also host a tv show on the DIY Network called “Under Construction” - a reality show based off of the everyday life of their company. I reached out to John to find out if he could connect me to the DIY Network. Before I could blink, he had me filming for an episode on his show in October 2008. They did a spectacular job in introducing the PCW to the world and had me fill in as an extra carpenter on the show. The name of the episode is “Old Dog, New Toys” and it has already aired twice. It was very exciting filming for a tv show and I truly appreciate Johns efforts to help me expose my product to the world.

Next, I researched and worked my way into filming for a second tv show on the DIY Network called “Cool Tools”. I had to fly to Denver, CO in Feb, 2009. I built a crate and shipped my PCW. Again, all those who saw the PCW were impressed and after an afternoon of filming, I was on my way back. Again very exciting and very expensive!

My next trip after Denver was to Las Vegas, NV in May 2009. Here I built a new booth display for the 2009 National Hardware Show. Exhibiting in the Inventors Spotlight Area, I was again greeted with great enthusiasm from contractors to executives from the business. Once again, no sales however the feedback was well worth the trip and expense.

I connected with another old friend, Mark Powers, an editor of This Old House Magazine. Mark wrote about the PCW on his blog called “The Hardware Aisle” and I appreciate his help and exposure.

Finally in July of 2009, I am very proud and excited to say the Rolling Trades Inc. sold its 1st PCW to a Theatrical Production Company named Troika Entertainment. I would like to thank Production Manager, Geoff Quart of Troika for being the first to purchase a PCW and I know that Geoff and his crews carpentry life on the road will be much more exciting, safer and more productive with their all-in-one PCW - Roll it up, Plug it in, BANG IT OUT!


June 2008, Pete and I loaded up my van and began our journey from Brooklyn, NY to Pittsburgh, PA. We left at 10 pm and arrived at the David Lawrence Convention Hall at 6 am. We loaded in our booth display and PCW and couldn’t wait for the show to begin. This was the first time we presented the PCW to the public. We entered INPEX with hopes in finding an investor or manufacturer. Although it seemed attendee traffic was slow, everyone that visited our booth was very impressed by the PCW.  We got a great reaction to the detail and quality of our design and construction.  When we began our presentation in it’s closed position, it didn’t seem much more than a nice box with tools.   What impressed people the most was that the PCW transformed into a fully functional workshop in seconds with all the supporting features you would need on any jobsite. We were told that our PCW was “sleek and sexy” and that we had designed a product that was “useful” and had the “wow factor”. Once our presentation was complete, that’s exactly what everyone said “wow!” The final moments of INPEX were indeed the most exciting, the awards dinner. With so many categories at the show, we entered the construction category and walked away with a gold medal and at the final moments of the evening, Pete and I were presented with the INPEX 2008 Grand Prix award and a check for $7,500.00. This was a week I will never forget!  visit www.inpex.comÂ


Moving forward

01st February 2009

September 2007, while Boris our patent agent was moving forward with the search, I kept making changes in the design and hired my friend Waring to draft the PCW. By the time Boris got back to us with the good news that we could continue our quest for a patent, Waring had the preliminary drawings ready for us to review. Meanwhile on the jobsite, things were going really well. Â

At this time, Pete and I were thinking ahead, deciding what we would call our product and company. Between October and December of 2007, we took all of the following steps. We decided on the compnay name - Rolling Trades Inc. and the invention name - PCW - Portable Carpentry Workshop. We began the process of logo’s and design and hired my friends Ernesto for the graphic’s and Vince for the website. We even took a bigger step and placed a deposit for a booth at INPEX, an inventors trade show which we would attend in June of 2008. This was all very exciting so we kept on plugging away.

In January 2008, our company - Rolling Trades Inc. was born with the help of my cousin Frank, CPA. Everything else was moving along as I began the process of building the prototype in my small garage. I live in Brooklyn and Pete lives in Long Island so it was hard for Pete to help build with our conflicting family schedules. I kept him updated on my progress daily.  It took a few months with some parts fabricated by a sub-contactor and the steel welded by Dave and Ned.  With so much going on and time flying by, it was already May.  The prototype was complete and painted by Ceasar. It was now ready and looked great! I contacted Audrey, editor of the NYC District Council of Carpenters to ask if she would put together an article about our invention in the Union trade magazine. She agreed and wrote an nice article about us and the PCW. You can view this article on the website. We also contacted Pete’s friend Hal to film a video presentation of how the PCW works and all of it’s features. We needed this ready for our trip to Pittsburgh, PA at the tradeshow. At the same time the video was shot, my friend Lou took professional pictures of the PCW which are used constantly. Last, I designed our trade show display and everything else came together and it was now time to debut the PCW at INPEX 2008.


Life on the jobsite gets easier

01st February 2009

It took us no more than a few lunch breaks to build our plywood cart. It wasn’t pretty but it had plenty of storage for our tools and hardware. The best features were that the tablesaw and mitersaw each had it’s own space and could each be used independently. For the types of jobs we were doing it worked out just fine but we were limited to the use of the tablesaw to only rip narrow widths. In the meantime we were getting some positive feedback from the crew. The guys liked our new set up and we enjoyed the attention.

One day in August of 2007,  I was asked to rip 4″ - 8″ wide by 8′ lenghts of plywood out of 4×8 sheets of 3/4″ pressure treated plywood. 40 sheets total were sitting on the stack. Normally, a carpenter would need to set up the tablesaw on a stand and then build surrounding cut off tables to support the sheet goods as they move past the blade. I had my new cart in front of me so I lifted off the mitersaw platform to expose the tablesaw surface. We had a flip up extension on the back end of the cart to help us rip longer lenghts of lumber but we didn’t have any right or left support. After a coulpe of rips with a 4×8 sheet I found myself getting tired from suuporting the sheet on the left. This is when the whole idea of the PCW was born. I made a modification that made my job of ripping narrow widths out of a 4×8 sheets much easier with full support all around. I took pictures, documented my idea and began the search for a possible patent.  By the end of the month, we hired a Patent Agent and began the process.


The beginning

03rd January 2009

Jobsites all over New York City and I’m sure all over the country can use some help getting organized and working more efficiently. If carpenters have the tools and equipment they need on the jobsite, they would work better, safer and be more pleasant to be around. I’ve had foreman yell and scream that the job wasn’t going as fast as they would like. When they took a minute to listen to me as I explained my situation, “no wheels to move my equipment from apartment to apartment, constantly setting up and dismantling my equipment, no hardware in my current location and so on”, they would calm down and agree that we wern’t set up the way we should be. As a carpenter, shop foreman and project foreman for a combined 20 years, I’ve played both sides of this equation and know from experience that the skilled carpenter that is well equipped and organized is the one that will get things done all the time!Â

When I got to a particular jobsite on my first day of work with a company in Brooklyn N.Y. - my hometown, I was given a table saw, miter saw, material and hardware plus I had my own tool bag. The foreman at the time told me to trim all the windows on the 4th floor. When I asked for a dolley or an A-frame to transport everything, he laughed at me and said that I was on my own because they didn’t have enough equipment on the job.  I got to the 4h floor after several trips and there I was assigned to work with a fellow carpenter named Pete. Pete and I remained partners for almost 1 1/2 years at this location.

For approximately two weeks, Pete and I carried each tool in and out of every apartment and set up and dismantled our table saw and miter saw each time on buckets and scrap plywood or just sat them on the floor.  This was pretty frustrating and dangerous. We were now assigned to install kitchens and our situation got worse by the day.  When installing kitchens and all other tasks, you need your table saw and miter saw mounted securely to get accurate cuts. After being on the job for a month, I decided it was time to do something to help our situation. I found scraps of plywood and designed a cart for all of our equipment.  I felt it was necessary that one tool can be used without the need to move the other stationary tools. I asked Pete to help me build this cart and life on the jobsite was about to get a whole lot easier for us. This was back in june of 2007.


My 1st post

04th December 2008

- My name is Fred Cona and my company Rolling Trades Inc. was formed in January of 2008. I decided to create this blog to inform everyone of my progress and to be available in giving some informative information as a carpenter and also as an inventor of a new product.  I’m the inventor of the PCW - Portable Carpentry Workshop.Â

 After 21 years of carpentry, I’ve realized that what I would like to do more than anything is to help people to work safer and more efficient. The PCW was born out of frustration and necessity on a jobsite.  My desire to be more organized and productive led me to the creation of this functional storage box.  From it’s first introduction in June of 2007 as a plywood cart built durrng lunch breaks, it has developed and has been transformed into what is now a jobsite must have! I will go through the steps I took to get the PCW from concept to where it stands currently.  Rolling trades Inc. is ready to manufacture and ready to take orders for this one of a kind jobsite workshop. Please feel free to comment on my website, ask me a question and any informative information you may have to give me will be greatly appreciated.