Based in Toronto and NYC, Mark Robbeson is a designer, builder, Co-inventor and Co-founder of the 1 Shot steel stud anchor. A 1SHOT™ Steel Stud Anchor is a fastener designed specifically to be used with 25-gauge steel studs on interior walls of today’s condominiums, hotels, hospitals, schools and other modern buildings.
Their website is www.steelstudanchor.com.
TS: I was recently introduced to your product line by industry veteran, Mike McGuire who was very familiar with your products. 1Shot is interesting. Where do you see the biggest opportunity for this product? Where is it going to be used?
Mark: The biggest opportunity I see today is implementation in the installation of kitchens and bathrooms in steel framed High rise buildings so common today in the United States and Canada.
This simple device saves builders time and money. Plenty of both. I also see a great synergy alongside IKEA and have been discussing the possibility of licensing the use of our patented technology to them. This product works flawlessly with the Ikea Sektion rail used to mount all IKEA kitchen cabinets.
TS: Does it replace other products or is it a new solution to an old problem?
Mark: Yes, It replaces a couple of products. Typically the builders use solid plywood backing between the steel studs so they can mount cabinets and the mounting cleats to the walls with wood screws. This is done because the typical stud (by code) is 25 gauge. Something too light and thin to properly and securely thread in conventional fasteners.
Adding plywood and the requisite mounting hardware is expensive and time consuming when compared to the use of our simple product. Aftermarket installations necessitate cutting open the drywall, adding that wood inside, repairing and repainting the drywall and then mounting your millwork or TV or stereo set up or whatever else you’d like to wall mount.
Butterfly clips and toggle bolts were an answer to this but frankly they are pesky. They frequently cross thread, requiring a messy cleanup and they sink down the wall underweight, usually by and 1/8” or more. This makes lining up all that millwork somewhat more challenging.
Both of the aforementioned fasteners also take longer to install than a 1SHOT™.
TS: What is your background? Do you have background in the construction industry or do you have more of a product engineering background?
Mark: My background is thoroughly in construction. I went to Mohawk College here in Canada more than 20 years ago for steel stud construction. I remember asking back then “why we had to add in the plywood”.
After this I worked extensively in construction and also studied extensively in interior and industrial design along the way. One of my partners, Franklin has more of an engineering background and has run a machining and prototyping business for many years.
TS: When I first saw the 1Shot anchor and its simple, practical application my first impression was, “well, that makes sense”. But it is a new product. So, where did it come from? How did you develop it and what were the biggest challenges?
Mark: Being a long time resident of Toronto Canada and someone working in the construction industry I was constantly having to mount my millwork in steel framed apartments and condos.
(As you know Toronto is second only to NYC in its total count of high rise buildings, #2 in North America)
I had tried all the off the shelf solutions and all the things my boss had told me to use and frankly I just knew we could do better. I started sketching thread profiles on cocktail napkins and searching for something similar. As you can imagine I found nothing like this. Sitting in my shop one day, I wrote a letter to a fastener company detailing the specs and benefits of this idea explaining that if they made them I and I’m sure many other builders would buy them all day long.
I put the note in an envelope and started to walk to the mailbox. Somewhere along the way I had a brief lapse of sanity and said “to hell with this! It’s time to build a team”. It just didn’t seem right to give it away. I started looking for people that could get the job done and just put one foot in front of the other.
TS: You are rolling out the product to a mature construction and fastener marketplace. What are your biggest challenges introducing your products?
Mark: I think the biggest challenge was getting the word out and working through the intellectual property around the idea to properly protect it going forward.
Actually, it’s all been challenging but I’m now part of a team I love and trust that works alongside me to do better and be better at every step.
TS: I know you are just getting started with the 1Shot product line but do you have other product line ideas that you’d like to introduce down the road?
Mark: I’m glad you asked we do indeed.
Both myself and Franklin love getting our hands dirty and figuring things out. Simply put we thrive on problem solving via hard work and tinkering. We both come from a long line of makers (frankly I think we were both raised with a “can do” “figure it out” disposition). We have designed a line of products that integrate perfectly with or fastener to simplify mounting many things around the home and office. From mirrors to wire utility shelves.
We are also developing a rather exciting type of eco friendly sheet good to compete with or replace MDF commonly used in the manufacture of home and office furniture all over the world.