Tommy Mac

Tommy MacDonald is a carpenter, furniture maker turned television star from Boston, Massachusetts. He is the eighth of 9 children. His dad, a civil engineer, taught Tommy at a young age how to repair and modify just about anything. During middle school, Tommy attended an after school program at a local voca-tional-tech school where he later attended high school to study carpentry. Through his high school years, Tommy struggled with alcohol and drug abuse which led to multiple run-ins with police, dropping out of school and ultimately, a short incarceration. Through his late teens and early 20’s, Tommy continued to struggle with addiction and suicidal tendencies. After a major car accident landed him in the hospital with life threatening injuries, in 1988, Tommy had a second chance at life and got clean and sober. At Age 19 he entered the carpenters union and 4 years later became a journeyman; quickly went on to pass the Massachusetts Supervisors license exam at age 22. Tommy was off to a promising career in commercial and residential carpentry. In 1990, Tommy found himself at the Boston City Morgue identifying the remains of his oldest sister Grace who was the victim of a violent murder. Tommy and the MacDonald family were forever changed. Over the next decade, he bounced around, but always made a living swinging a hammer. After being injured on the job, Tommy had to make a career change. In 1999 at the age of 34 he applied and was accepted into the Prestigious North Bennett Street School’s furniture making program. As a student, Tommy and his work were featured on Bob Vila’s Home Again. He quickly began to receive national attention for his work and was again beginning a promising careerIn 2006, Tommy’s career was about to take another turn. He was offered an opportunity to create video and blog content on making furniture for Before smart phones and selfie sticks flooded the market, Tommy developed his on air style of teaching while build-ing one of the most complicated pieces of furniture the web has ever seen. Over the next few years Tommy learned the in’s and outs of video production, while amassing a huge following of fans. Tommy brought his talents to television in 2010 when he began working with WGBH on their co-creation, Rough Cut: Woodworking with Tommy Mac, which became the most watched woodworking broadcast of it’s time. Over the next 7 years Tommy co-executive produced, hosted, and was furniture designer/furniture maker for 91 episodes which were recognized with 5 Emmy nominations and countless other accolades. Throughout his years on TV, Tommy has continued to be a force on social media, being one of the first to use FB live and FB watch. Tommy has spent countless hours streaming and posting progress from start to finish on two complete home renovation projects, interacting with followers along the way. It has been 28 years since Grace’s murder which remains unsolved and Tommy knows all too well the personal struggles to move forward in grief. Now, with all the skills he has developed over the last 30 years and the help of his wife Rachel, Tommy endeavors to help grieving families, raise awareness, and shine new light on unsolved murder in America through his new passion project, Murder Matters. “Nothing means more to me than helping families of unsolved murder and for the first time in my life I know this is what I was meant to do.” -Tommy Mac

Other Notables

  • Co-creator, host, co-executive producer, furniture designer/maker for Rough Cut Woodworking with Tommy Mac which continues to be #1 woodworking show on TV
  • Prism Awards Host
  • Guest Speaker Wood Magazine
  • 4 Emmy Nominations
  • 10 Telly Awards
  • 2 Books On Woodworking
  • Featured in Bill Brett’s “Boston Irish” books
  • 2 Online Home Improvement Projects
  • Featured Bob Vila’s Home Again TV Show
  • Featured on for 4 years
  • Three years of in store and event appearances with Woodcraft
  • Product Development consultant for Pony Tools
  • Tommy’s furniture displayed in museums
  • Multiple instructional DVD Project Series
  • Spokesperson for Hardwood Forest Foundation

Woodworking Projects

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Shore Drive Home Renovation

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Blue House Home Renovation

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