Gary Swain finds success with Fiddle Tite and GoBob Pipe and Steel

Photos and words by Mary Frost, NPDC undergraduate communications intern

When building a fence, it can be difficult to keep strands of wire tight and in place. The Fiddle Tite fence clamp, an invention brought to life by inventor Gary Swain and the Oklahoma State University New Product Development Center’s Inventor’s Assistance Service, solves the problem of sliding and loose fencing wire.

Swain, a 75-year-old living in Okay, Oklahoma, has been building fence since the age of 10. The idea of the Fiddle Tite came to him a little over a year ago while building fence for his boss, Swain said. 

“I thought, ‘I wonder if I could put something in this post that would keep it tight,’” Swain said. “So I grabbed a washer and it wouldn’t hold, so I knew I had to think of something else [that would be] similar to the function of a wood steeple and thicker metal than the washer.”

Swain found the IAS through word of mouth and began working with Tim Hartman, a patent marking agent, and Jessica Stewart, associate director of the NPDC.

 “IAS helped with the CAD drawing and his manufacturing file,” Hartman said. “So with that we built a prototype of the clip and [Swain] literally did everything he could to buy the die to make this piece.”

Once he began working with NPDC, an intern was assigned to prototype and build the idea of Fiddle Tite. Later on, the IAS helped Swain begin work with Mary Lee, a patent attorney, to help Swain achieve a patented. With the guidance of the IAS team, Swain’s product became prototyped, patented and ready for market in about a year.

 “Getting [the NPDC/IAS team] to help me out and get the Fiddle Tite to the market was the best part of the process,” Swain said. “I’d recommend them any time, any day!”

Fiddle Tite can be used on panels and hog wire in addition to cable, construction and barbed wire fences.

The Fiddle Tite is easy and fast to use, saves wire, and will hold various steel wires, Swain said. You can find Swain’s product at GoBob Pipe & Steel Sales  (  and at Stillwater Milling’s location in Claremore, Oklahoma.

The OSU New Product Development Center (  is an engineering extension unit of the Oklahoma State University College of Engineering, Architecture, and Technology, the New Product Development Center has a service-oriented delivery model that focuses on providing education, guidance, technical engineering assistance, resources and referrals. The OSU NPDC is funded in part by the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology and is a partner in the Oklahoma Innovation Model. 

Slideshow Title: 
Gary Swain finds success with Fiddle Tite wire clamp invention
Slideshow Subtitle: 
Inventor debuts invention at Oklahoma Farm Show 2018
Slideshow Image: 
Gary and Shannon Swain and GoBob Pipe & Steel