Finska - or Mölkky - is a fun outdoor game, not unlike 10 pin bowling, where you throw a log of wood at wooden pins to score points. I made this set as a fun Christmas present for my family.
The first step for me was to make the pins. This set is full size, meaning the pins are 60mm in diameter and 15cm high. The top is cut at a 45 degree angle, with the numbers applied to that cut.
I couldn't get any premade dowels at 60mm, so I made my own! I laminated two lengths of hardwood together, then turned them into a cylinder on the lathe. I used a table saw with a sled to cut the angle, then used a stencil to number each one.
The throwing log is similar - 60mm in diameter, but cut straight, and 22cm long.
With all of the parts cut, I moved on to the box. It's super simple construction - timber from an old pallet I had lying around, butt joints, glue and a few nails to hold it all together. To get the size (and position the handles) I laid the pins out, as I wanted them in the box, and measured the space they took up. That became the inside measurement for my box, and I added the width of the box timber to get the outside measurement.
If you don't have (or don't want to use) a lathe, you could just as easily make this set using dowels, either 45mm (as the biggest sold by Bunnings) or there's also a mini Finska set, with 30mm pins. Any sort of saw (circular saw, jigsaw, hand saw, etc) will all make short work of the 45 degree cut. I have even seen a kit to make your own wooden crate at Bunnings!
The final step was to provide the instructions and scorecard. Fortunately, you can download both of these, in PDF format, from https://www.finska.com.au/how-to-play-finska. After printing, I laminated them and the set was all ready to go!
What a fun project, @bullfrogchamps! I'm sure your family loved playing. Did you break out the set on Christmas day? Who won?
Many thanks for sharing this simple project with the community and including instructions, as I trust it would make an excellent first woodworking project.
Looks terrific @bullfrogchamps, many thanks for sharing. I'm sure this will inspire others to have a go, too.
Well done @bullfrogchamps - great use of the lathe. I have previously made a set of these and we use them a lot at home. One small point of order, the pins should be 55mm wide - not 60mm. Not a big deal I know but just for others that might be interested. The other thing I did was to oil mine, looked better and less likely to stain.
Keep up the good work.
FYI, my investigations have led me to these rules established by the most officially recognized Mölkky (Finska) associations and federations. 😎
An authentic Mölkky game is made from birch wood. The 12 numbered pins are 15cm high, flat at their base and bevelled (45°) at the top. Their diameter is 5.9cm. The pins are numbered from 1 to 12 on their bevelled part. The throwing pin is 22.5cm long and is also 5.9cm in diameter.