It turns out that being both a farmer and an inventor has benefits beyond helping customers and making some extra money on the side—Eliot Evans got to appear in a video with former "Tonight Show" host Jay Leno.
"It was a really good experience," recounts Evans, who farms 1,000 acres of corn and soybeans around Joice, Iowa. "He’s a super nice guy and down to earth, and I was kind of surprised that he’s always cracking jokes."
Evans appeared by invitation on the "Jay Leno’s Garage" channel on YouTube, where the comedian highlights his love of cars, engines and shop tools. Evans holds design and utility patents on two products—the Make Sense Tap Adapter and the Make Sense Socket Extension.
The Tap Adapter helps farmers etch internal threads into the thick casting that might be found on a clutch housing or an axle assembly.
"They make universal wrenches, but that adds 4" to the length of the tap, and when you go to swing the handle, there’s not enough room," he explains. The Tap Adapter can be used with a standard ½" or ¾" wrench.
The Socket Extension is hexed all the way around, meaning a wrench can be placed on it at any point for accessing components in tight spaces. A ratchet can be used as needed for added functionality.
Evans grew up on a farm and attended a vocational school for four years after college. He started a shop doing jobs for companies such as Cummins, Winnebago and AGCO. While Evans enjoyed his work, the number of jobs coming in varied widely depending on the season.
"You want to invent, but it takes time, and I didn’t want to put all the eggs into one basket," he explains. After a big fire tore through his shop four years ago, Evans decided to make his inventions a priority. His tools recently won a gold medal at the Invention New Product Exposition, better known as INPEX.
Sales of both products have increased since the Leno appearance, and Evans has several other products in progress.
For more information on the Tap Adapter and the Socket Extension, visit www.eliotinc.com.