1997: C-Clamp

I was fortunate to grow up in a small town in the East Kootenays that happened to have the worlds largest lead zinc mine. One byproduct of the mine was an extremely well-equipped high school designed to prepare students for a life in the trades. The metalwork shop included four lathes, a shaper, sheet metal forming equipment, and its own small foundry. One of the projects that I undertook was to build all the components of a C-clamp including casting the C shaped body. I still remember the teacher instructing us how to get the moisture content of the sand just right so that is held its shape but wasn’t too wet to avoid casting defects. A deft touch was required to get the consistency just right. Unlike many of my classmates I was able to get this critical part of the process correct which yield a smooth uniform surface nearly free of porosity. The result was a tool that still gets used decades later.