Following in both my grandfathers’ footsteps, I use my mechanical aptitude and design capabilities to create solutions for complicated problems.
My maternal grandfather Henry was a skilled machinist whose job required accuracy and finesse, using calipers that measured to 1/1000 of an inch. His father was also an inventor and fixer of all sorts of implements and devices that were used to support the farm economy. The family run machine shop stayed small as Henry did not go for flare, and did not want to expand into a big business. I too struggle with the ambitious entrepreneurial spirit compared to supporting a small business.
As a young man, my paternal grandfather, Julius had some woodwork training under a master craftsman. When he arrived in Canada, he began to assemble a woodwork shop, with power supplied by a large gas engine. Julius was a kind of intuitive engineer, and built a number of his tools himself: table saws, lathes, and drill presses. To make the parts, he fashioned a model out of wood, then took it to the foundry to make castings. Sometimes he took these to my other grandfather, Henry, for machining. He built ladders, spinning wheels, coffins, furniture, truck-boxes, etc. Doodling and designing were his after-hours past-time.
In 2014, I initiated the design process to manufacture a flat bed laminator, as the ones available on the market were not affordable, and not exactly what I wanted. Unlike my forefathers, I had access to the world wide web which allowed me to research and develop this project. I spent some time on the phone with manufacturing suppliers in Canada, United States, and internationally to acquire the parts to create this solution for our business needs.
In 2015, the flatbed pneumatic laminator was built. This was a great moment for myself and the Checker Signs staff. It continues to perform beyond expectations. In memory of both my grandfathers this piece of equipment bears their name.