Popular Woodworking in America: An Interview with Matt Cremona
Matt Cremona is a full time woodworker who produces videos about woodworking and milling lumber. His furniture projects span the full woodworking process from tree to finish. When he’s not toting around his chainsaw, he’s in front of the camera teaching and inspiring woodworkers to challenge themselves through his online YouTube videos. His own designs have a contemporary feel, but Matt also enjoys building period furniture with his own flair. Matt can be seen every week on his shop update posted on his YouTube channel and can be heard as a co-host of the weekly Wood Talk Podcast.
What did your first woodshop look like?
My first shop started out in the one car garage of the house I rented with my friends in college. I started woodworking in the summer so the garage worked great but as it got colder, I expanded my shop into the basement of the house. I had my table saw and a workbench out in the garage and had all of my bench top power tools and another workbench in the basement. I even had an assembly table…the house’s beer pong table.
What gave you the inspiration to begin sharing your woodworking on Youtube?
I had always wanted to start a Youtube channel. About a year into my woodworking journey (2009), I began shooting videos but was greatly discouraged by my inability to talk to a camera. I tried many times over the next few years to start making woodworking videos but always came away discouraged. In 2014 I decided to give it another go. I knew I wouldn’t get better if I didn’t practice and I could see how being able to talk to a camera would help me grow professionally. In January 2014 I started doing my weekly shop update. I thought that would be an easy thing to do. After all, how hard can it be to talk about what I’ve been working on the past week? My first updates were riddled with outtakes. Most of them are around 5 min long but the raw footage for those was close to 20 min.
When did you start milling your own lumber and why?
Milling my own lumber was a natural progression to save money on materials. I started woodworking while I was a college student in 2008. I had a very limited budget and early on I discovered how much money I could save if I invested in a jointer and planer and stopped buying surfaced material (2010). About a year later I discovered how much I could save if I dried my own lumber so I started buying wet lumber from a local mill. A year after that, I met my friend Jim and started sourcing lumber directly from the forest at his family’s farm. Right around the same time, I got a chainsaw and a chainsaw mill and started milling right in my backyard.
What is your favorite style/period of furniture to build?
My favorite style is period furniture and I specifically lean towards Queen Anne. What I like about period furniture is the wide range of skills and techniques that go into building a piece in that style.
Would you rather fight 1 horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?
I’m going to go with a horse-sized duck. Horses have hooves and I don’t care how small they are, those things hurt!