Howard Lewin-Bio

BA and MA University of California at Santa Barbara 1963

International Voluntary Services, Inc. 1963-65 Laos

United States Agency For International Development, Department of State 1965-75 Civil Engineer Public Works Division/Laos

Upon my return home after 12 years working in the country of Laos, I decided to open a cabinet shop. 1975

The company logo was originally conceived for and used as bookends. That is back to back. Placing them front to front created the logo. It was kind of an accident, that they were placed front to front. I was removing some books that they had supported and placed them on the floor, happily front to front. I liked that look and used it to create my company logo.

Our family started with the birth of Katherine Gabrielle (Gaby) August 1975, then Timothy Kipp, January 1977 and Penelope Meg in March 1980.

Established Custom Wood Design later part of l975.
Design, create and build custom cabinetry and furniture.
Established a reputation for completing work on time, and doing it well.
Employed 6 cabinet maker / apprentices by l980. Several have established their own businesses, and appear to be quite successful.
Gradually shifted business emphasis to higher quality furniture and cabinetry
Began creating art work.
Started getting serious about wood turning.1982

Began teaching at the Cutting Edge, a woodworking store in Culver City, Ca. 1982
Classes in wood turning
Power tool cabinet and furniture making.
Router techniques.
Table saw techniques.

Started classes at my shop in wood turning, cabinet making, table saw techniques, steam bending, bent wood laminating, etc.
Began designing a bowl lathe. 1983
Fully developed and began manufacture in Australia, by WoodFast Machinery Co. Australia in 1986.
Developed Divide and Rule, a measuring device.
Developed the Lewin Tail Stock. A jam/reverse turning appliance.
Developed the Lewin Center finder.
Developed the Lewin Outboard turning platform.
Helped in the development of a new Hi-Tech system of turning gouges manufactured by Gerry Glaser.

Established myself as a nationally known wood turner. @1985
Cosponsored the Southern California Woodworking Conference. A four day symposium of invited woodworkers known for their skill, inovations,and for the excellence of their craft. 1986-1990 Among the invited demonstrators were; Gary Knox Bennet, Brian Boggs, Kelly Mehler, Rudy Osolnik, Gerry Glaser, Art Carpenter, Richard Raffan, Bob Stocksdale, Clead Christiansen, Max Krimmel, Sam Maloof, Micheal Dunbar, Todd Hoyer, David Sloan, and many many others.

I Was a demonstrator for the Wood turning symposium at BYU, Berea Art festival, in Berea Ky. For the Phoenix, Az Wood Turners, the SanDiego, Wood Turners, Sacramento Wood Turners, Orange County Wood Turners, and many many more.

My work has been selected by several galleries across the country.
Several noted collectors have my work.
My work was selected by several juried craft shows, so I hit the road. The craftshow circuit is a tough way to make a living.

Began manufacture of the Lewin Router Compass, Straight Edge, Router Compass Extender, and Pencil Layout compass. 1990. Presently in 6 national catalogs.

Began teaching Woodworking, wood turning, cabinet and furniture making at TriCommunityAdultEducation, in West Covina, Ca. We are doing some amazing things. Many of my students are women, who are just beginning to discover the joys of working with wood. l990-to the present

Wrote,”Technicolor Turnings,” for American Woodworker, June, l992.
Wrote, ”Creating On Speculation,” for Woodwork, June, l995.

Have applied for a patent on the Lewin Drill Press Clamp. I expect issuance of this patent, within the next week or so. Issued. I am no longer a patent pending. 1999 Woodcraft Supply is manufacturing and marketing it.Woodcraft no longer makes or sells it. I do.

Recently @ six years ago, March l997, I purchased a computer, with 2 printers, a scanner, digital camera, and enough RAM to operate Photo Shop, Quark Express, and Illustrator at the same time. I had never turned on a computer before my purchase, and was a bit intimidated. However I am making good progress.

In March, 1998 I purchased a second computer for my business. Much bigger and faster than my first. Then I went on line, built a web site, and have now established my domain at

Taught a course on Materials and Methods at Otis College of Art and Design. Spring 1998.
Published, A Woodworkers Glossary, Howard Lewin, 1998.
Made a mold of “Devil Colt,” a hand carved horse in Mahogany, casting him with Hydra-Cal and now resin.1998. Have made additional molds, Man and Woman, Platters, and Large Vases.

1999 will be giving a series of lecture/demos at the Southern California Institure of Architecture. Affectionately called SCI-ARC.

Completed a course of study at California State University at Long Beach and was awarded my teaching credential. 1999

Wrote article on “Table Saw Safety”, Fine Woodworking August l998
Wrote article on “Beading With Your Router.” Woodwork, April 1999
Wrote article on ”Turning Green Wood.” Fine Woodworking, January 2001.
Wrote article on "Hollow Vessel Turning," Fine Working, January 2002.
Wrote article on "A Revolution in Woodturning Technology," FineWoodWorking, January, 2003

Present projects:

Making additional Molds of some of my work and having resin castings made from them. Art From A Mold.
A Woodworkers Pictorial Vocabulary for students who have absolutely no idea of what woodworking tools look like.
A tape measure for beginners.
Purchased a CNC mill and am trying to learn how to make it work. Recently sold the CNC.
It was not suited for woodworking.

I am writing a book about my experiences in the country of Laos, 1963-75. Book is published. "Sunsets, Bulldozers, and Elephants:Twelve Years in Laos, The Stories I Never Told, 2004."

Retired from teaching in June, 2008

Started working on another book. Tentative title is "What Don't I Understand." It turns out that I don't understand a lot. It's a kind of what happened to common sense rant. There is a lot to talk about.