This is Matt, the main guy behind WoodWorkingTrade. I grew up in Minnesota and was surrounded by wood all my life. Wood furniture, wood paneling on the walls and firewood to heat the house!
My grandfather was a farmer but was also very skilled with his hands and could make almost anything out of wood. One of his sons, my uncle, was a professional carpenter all his life. I used to love to help him out in his workshop after school and learned a lot of basic woodworking from him, from measuring accurately and making precision cuts to finishing jobs with all different kinds of wood finishes.
From there, life took me down a different path and I ended up in a cubicle at a tech company for over two decades. After the financial crisis, I was laid off and found my self out of work. I decided I never wanted to work for a large corporation again that would put profit before its employees and I definitely didn’t want a boss looking over my shoulder. That decision led me down a new path to try to follow in my uncle’s footsteps and become a professional woodworker.
I started this website to chronicle my steps as I try to make a living as a woodworker. My past computer job involved a lot of internet research so I started with the basics by creating detailed lists of the kinds of wood and the types of tools needed to get started in woodworking. As the website grows I’ll add more step-by-step tutorials and how-to guides along with recommendations on quality tools I find useful.
Below is a look at my first paid woodworking project! It’s really not what I ever would have imagined for my first paid gig and some pros probably wouldn’t even consider it “real woodworking” – but I’ve realized that when starting out, I have to take anything I can get even. I need the work and money to pay the bills.
It’s just an old 16″ aluminum Lund boat that the owner wanted new wooden seats in, so not a high-end job but the angled cuts did take some careful measuring and getting the marine-grade plywood to fit in the hull supports did take little time. Stainless steel screws were used (rust-proof) and the finish was marine-grade “Spar”. It’s a simple project…but the client was very happy with the results (and I was too).
Hopefully, I’ll work my way up to restoring a vintage Criss-Craft and be able to share that with you on the website someday.