Tonawanda News

Local News

January 5, 2014

Creative Craftsman


Tonawanda News — While Lyndaker uses mostly local woods, friends and family often find more diverse woods in their travels and he has purchased some exotic woods from a hobby store.

Standing in his workshop is a bark-covered log that looks like it might be ready for a fire, but it’s a special treasure waiting to be cut. It’s a common evergreen, and most people would be surprised to learn that an arborvitae can be fashioned into a beautiful piece of woodwork.

“If you look at it, you’ll see that there is a beautiful heart in the middle of the cross-section, and that’s what I will put into a design,” Lyndaker said.

Old quilting pattern books provide ideas for some of Lyndaker’s ornate inlay patterns.

There is no stain or paint on any of Lyndaker’s creations. The amazing patterns are the result of natural wood hues, and only a thin protective veneer is added so that the items can be used and not just displayed in a cabinet.

Lyndaker has had more time on his hands since the passing of his wife Elsie, so he and Rascal spend a lot of time in the workshop. He also grows and sells strawberries from a roadside stand. Giant sunflowers in a row greet visitors who enter under the wooden arch proclaiming “Memory Lane” that straddles the tree-enclosed driveway.

Stepping into Lyndaker’s modest home, one can see his handiwork everywhere. Intricate quilt square patterns are inlaid in the wood flooring throughout his home and everything from lamps to a giant grandfather clock are his creations.

Many of Lyndaker’s works grace the homes of his children, and he keeps photographs of some pieces lovingly crafted for others.

A member of the local Barker Seniors group, Lyndaker sometimes brings an intricate walnut vase filled with home-grown flowers to grace the lunch table of his companions, or an inlaid bowl holding fresh strawberries in season.

To the active nonagenarian, talent is something that should be shared and enjoyed by everyone, so he’ll keep slicing walnuts and turning old logs in little masterpieces, one by one.

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