Thomas J. MacDonald was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1966. A relocation in the first grade brought Tommy and his family to Canton, Mass., where he resides to this day. Tommy discovered a passion for woodworking in middle school, where Shop classes and an after school program fed his growing love for the craft. In 9th grade, Tommy entered the Blue Hills Regional Vocational Technical High School in Canton, where he studied carpentry and built a foundation of skills that serves him to this day. After dropping out, he joined the Carpenters union and in 1985 began a four-year apprenticeship program at the Robert D. Marshall training center in Millbury, Mass. Tommy finished the program in 1989, earned his journeyman's certificate and then went on to earn his Massachusetts supervisor's license in 1991.
In the eight years that followed, Tommy busied himself with the carpenter's life, working on everything from highways and bridges to windows and doors. In 1995 he joined the thousands of workers who toiled on Boston's famous Big Dig. One day on the job, Tommy separated his shoulder swinging a sledgehammer. The injury proved fatal to his career. In 1999, after numerous surgeries and months of rehabilitation, Tommy's surgeon told him his days of heavy lifting and swinging sledgehammers were over. He would have to find a new line of work.
On a wing and a prayer, Tommy applied to the North Bennet Street School, an internationally renowned craft and trade school in Boston's North End. He was accepted in 2000 and spent the next two years honing his woodworking skills and learning the art of fine furniture making. Since graduating in 2002, Tommy has been featured in Forbes Magazine, Fine Woodworking Magazine, Woodshop News and The Boston Globe. His furniture has been displayed at the Massachusetts Historical Society, the Rhode Island School of Design museum, the Concord Museum and Doric Hall in the Massachusetts State House. As host of WGBH's new television series, Rough Cut – Woodworking with Tommy Mac, Tommy strives to be a responsible steward of his craft and to share his passion and knowledge with a new generation of woodworkers.
Thomas J. MacDonald
28 Draper Lane
Canton, MA 02021
Welcome to the 207, our community forum for woodworkers. It's like an extended family of folks who love this craft. Come talk shop or show off your latest project. All are welcome!
Check out behind the scenes stills from the show or browse through images in the Historic Galleries where Tommy finds inspiration for his projects.
Got Skills? The 2012 WoodExpo will be Feb. 23rd-26th, 2012, at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.
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