GREAT INVENTIONS

Coffee-can curling rocks

By Ray Ford

How to make your own curling rocks

Coffee-can curling rocks

Photo by Mike Goulet

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You can’t confuse Wildgoose Lake’s annual Boxing Day Folger’s Curling Classic with the Brier. It lacks rinkside TV cameras, big-money sponsors, and 18-kg hunks of Ailsa Craig granite roaring down the sheets. But there’s no shortage of curling fun on this lake near Geraldton, Ont., thanks to Mike Goulet’s coffee-can rocks.

Goulet’s curling rocks are similar to the jam-can stones once common in Prairie schoolyards, but the plastic coffee containers he uses have a concave bottom that lets them slide and curl more like the real thing. Goulet welds the handle for each rock out of steel rod, then fits it with a painted dowel for the grip. For heft, he adds exercise weights salvaged from garage sales. When curling season beckons, all he has to do is open the coffee containers, drop in the handle assembly, fill the containers with water, and let them freeze—slowly, since a fast freeze makes them bulge.

The result is a set of cottage-friendly curling rocks, at a fraction of the $5,000 or so that you’d spend to get a set of used, reconditioned granite stones suitable for club play. “They’re lighter than a real rock, so anyone can throw one,” Goulet says. “You don’t need to be an experienced curler. You just have fun.”

 

Here’s a look at how the rock handle is assembled:


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Ray Ford