Reclaiming Wood

October 20th, 2013


3 x 14 planks seven to eight feet long.  First, they were denailed.


These came out of ten planks.  Some planks had none or just brads, others were full of nails.


The planks were then cut in half on a radial arm saw.  Two passes to get through the thickness, flipping the planks between passes.


Then the planks were split on a table saw.  Again, two passes, flipping end-for-end to keep the same face on the fence.  Clear yellow pine, 40 cents a board foot plus lots of labor.

Flap Sander

June 14th, 2013


I am sanding the shoulders of the Sounder, and the yellow pine is second growth, somewhat softer than old growth.  The difference between spring wood and summer wood is pronounced, and using a sanding mop produces a Shou-sugi-ban finish.  I wanted a full-width flap.


I  made 3 – 4″ octagons 2″ thick.  I had a 2″ polishing head that would mount in the drill press.  Using a 1/16″ blade, I cut 16 slots in the faces of the octagon.  Using hot glue, I glued in 16 2″ x 4″ flaps of 120 grit sanding belt.  I also ran a bead of glue just behind the flap.


Works like a charm.  Wear gloves.


This is what happens if you use staples. Now you see why I made three octagons. The last one uses 240 grit paper.

Update: the latest version has 32 flaps. I made an octagonal column, and cut nine two inch thick octagons.

Sounder, the natural amplifier for the iPad

June 22nd, 2012


I’ve designed and have begun manufacturing a stand for the iPad and iPhone that doubles the volume.  You can purchase one at

Howard Fink

Denver Observing Chair

February 29th, 2012


Denver Observing Chair.  The seat adjusts in height up to 36 inches and down to 8 inches.  Original plans here.

It works fine without stair tread on the face of the post.  I use a bungee instead of velcro straps to keep it closed.  It is very comfortable even without a pad.  The inclined back provides more back support than a lawn chair.

Pentomino Puzzle Cases

December 8th, 2011



Cases for the pentomino sets I made last year.  The sets are far more playable now; you can work the puzzle in your lap and the open tray holds the loose pieces.  To purchase go to my etsy store

Emergency 2-stage dust collector

September 26th, 2011


These shavings from the planer kept clogging the intake to the dust collector. After clearing the intake and shaking out the hose about twenty times, I needed something better.


This worked. All the edges are taped up, and the box held the pressure. It filled up; I emptied it and taped it again, and it filled up again, just when I was finished planing.

Canoe canoeing

May 6th, 2011


The “Mike Fink” about to launch. A featherweight canoe designed by Mac Mcarthy based on Rushton’s “Wee Lassie.” 29 pounds empty.

Mass Production

December 8th, 2010


Ten sets of Squaredance, 6 sets of Pentominoes. for a Crafts Fair December 4.

The shop

October 11th, 2010


Looking south.


Looking North.

The room is 15 feet wide at the South end, 12 feet at the North End, and 21 feet long.  There is a Bandsaw, Radial Arm Saw, Unisaw, two Drill Presses, a Dust Collector, Drum Sander, Planer, Jointer and a bunch of boxes full of stuff.  With the canoe off the floor, there is room to walk around and work.  Also a chest freezer and a dryer intended for tumbling and not used.

Naming the boat

October 7th, 2010


My father, Meyer Fink, saved redwood scraps  for many years intending to use them for projects.  After he passed away, my sister arranged for the basement to get cleared out.  The main room was emptied of lumber, but the redwood was tucked away under a bench.  I took this home and used the redwood in my canoe.  My cousin used to call my dad Uncle Mike, and he was Mike to his friends, so I named the boat Mike Fink.  There was a keelboat captain in the early 19th century with the same name, no relation.