Matt Berger, Silicon Valley, CA, US

I'm a writer, producer, woodworker and author of the book, The Handmade Skateboard (Springhouse Press, 2014). For seven years I worked as an editor and producer at Fine Woodworking and The Taunon Press, where I edited and produced articles and videos with some of the best authors and educators around the country. There I developed my interest in traditional woodworking tools and techniques, and many of the projects I've built are inspired by the articles and videos I helped publish.

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Custom Skateboard Decks

High-performance skateboard decks pressed from 7 layers of maple veneer

Vintage Pinstripe Cruiser Skateboard

Handmade pinstripe cruiser skateboard deck from various hardwoods

'Gibson Sunburst' Skateboard Deck

Handmade skateboard deck with marquetry design

Make a Bed in 60 Seconds

Well, not exactly. Catch this quick silent film where I assembled my 'Morris' bed and finish it off with sheets and pillow cases in the conclusion of my Video Workshop, How to Build a Bed

Arts and Crafts 'Morris' Bed

I based the design of this bed on the popular Morris Chair. It is made of quarter-sawn white oak and is loaded with mortise and tenon joinery

Crash Course in Fine Homebuilding: Build a Classic Colonial Shed

Learn to build a stylish backyard shed in a few weekends, and get a crash course on sound building techniques for framing, roofing, siding, and installing windows and doors

UPDATE: Fine Woodworking Classic Covers: The Game

What's wrong with that cover? Play our new Spot the Difference game and get a close up look at 15 classic Fine Woodworking covers.

Top 7 Woodworking Pet Peeves

Dented furniture parts, stained hands, dried glue on your favorite shirt? We share your pain. Tell us your woodworking pet peeves and read our top 7 list.

Audio: Wood Turning For the Birds

Listen to the sound of a Canada goose played by woodworker and hobby bird call maker, Adam Clarkson

Walnut Barrel Box

A small lidded box turned to look like a miniature barrel

Forms and Small Turned Box

I turned this small collection of forms and a box with lid from some chunks of redwood burl left over from bigger bowl projects

Free Plan: Workbench Extension For Extra Clamping

Don't struggle to hold down long workpieces on your workbench. Make this handy workbench accessory that extends your clamping capacity by nearly 5 feet.

Redwood Burl Platter with Bark Inclusion

This platter is turned from a hunk of California Redwood burl. The bark inclusion on the rim gives it an artistic kick

Round Mirror with Carved Rim

This round mirror made from African Mahogany with a carved diamond detail around the rim is based on an example produced by Charles Shackelton

Spalted Sugar Maple Bowl with Tap Hole

This turned bowl is made from a spalted sugar maple log from New Hampshire. By chance, the perimeter features an abandoned maple syrup tap hole.

World's Smallest Cordless Drill

Woodworkers are always looking for the lightest and most compact cordless power tools. Look no further...

Tour Lonnie Bird's Tombstone Tool Cabinet

We open up the tombstone doors on Lonnie Bird's hanging tool cabinet for a personal tour of his hand plane collection

Sam Maloof: 1916-2009

The iconic furniture maker from Southern California, admired by everyone from former presidents to museum curators to hobby woodworkers, died last week in his home at 93

Protect Your Lungs from Harmful Dust with a Dust Mask or Respirator

Protecting your lungs from tiny dust particles in the woodshop isn't just good advice, it's good health. Watch this timeless public service announcement from the 1930s promoting respirators and sound off with your own safety advice.

Make a Wooden Greeting Card

Add a woodsy touch to your next gifting occasion with a handmade greeting card made from wood veneer

How to Safely (and not so safely) Dispose of Oil-Soaked Rags

Can't meet OSHA regulations? Tell us how you dispose of oily rags in your shop to prevent a fire hazard. Plus, watch a video of a rag combusting.

About Your Safety: An Introduction

To help you avoid learning safety lessons in the woodshop the hard way, the editors of Fine Woodworking have compiled a comprehensive Guide to Safety, which features articles, videos and quizzes that will arm you with the know-how to work safely in the workshop

A Tablesaw Accident: No Power Required

Not all tablesaw accidents involve the blade or even a power supply. Here's my cautionary story that proves you should stay alert any time you're even near the shop.

Test Your Woodworking IQ

Try out our new trivia quiz and test your woodshop chops. And don't forget to report back with your high score!

30-Second Spot: Getting Started in Woodworking

Everything takes practice, woodworking and producing videos alike. Have a quick laugh with this 30-second blooper reel from Getting Started in Woodworking

Start Woodworking: Buy it on Newsstands

Looking for a great gift for a beginning woodworker? Want to brush up on the basics? Then go to your local grocery store, bookstore, or big box retailer and pick up a copy of our special issue, Start Woodworking, based on the series Getting Started in Woodworking

Walnut Veneer for Your Internet Browser

Cool add-on for Firefox makes your Web browser look like it's been veneered with walnut (well, sort of)

Best Kickback Ever: Pepsi's Super Bowl Ad

Pepsi Max, dubbed 'The first diet cola for men," demonstrates tablesaw kickback in its new commercial that appeals to target audience.

Download Woodworking Videos to Your iPod or Computer

Check out our new video download store powered by iAmplify.com. Browse the library of woodworking and home building videos and download them to your desktop.

Rattlesnakes and Other Unwanted Shop Visitors

Do you ever get unwanted visitors in your shop? A rowdy neighbor, a mouse or two? They probably don't compare to the one that invaded one reader's shop in Pheonix, Arizona.

Flashback: The 1956 Debut of the Eames Lounge Chair

Watch part one of a black and white television interview with the iconic furniture designer Charles Eames moments before he unveiled to a national audience the Eames Lounge Chair.

Silas Kopf: On the Record with the Furnitologist

If you know anything about marquetry then you probably also know about Silas Kopf, the premier marquetry artist of our time. Neil Lamens of Furnitology.com takes you into Kopf's workshop in this fact-filled video interview.

The New and Improved Woodworking Life

Life just keeps getting better for us woodworkers. That goes for our blog as well. Starting with this post, The Woodworking Life community blog has a new home and new features.

Design. Click. Build. Has a New Home!

Your favorite blog about using Sketchup for woodworking has moved. Take a look at our new format and access our archive.

Shop-Made Veneer Press

It looks like the folks over at ShopSmith can add one more trick to their multi-tasking tool set: Videos. Learn the basics of pressing veneer to a solid core like plywood in this video tip from the ShopSmith series.

The Editors Mailbox Has a New Home

What to expect from our new format: We're upgrading all of the blogs on FineWoodworking.com and today marks the premiere of our house blog live at a new Web address. Create a profile and post your comments!


We might have just found the coolest tablesaw cross-cut jig ever made. Take a look in this video profile of puzzlemaker Lee Krasnow who constructs some of the most sophisticated wooden puzzles this side of the Atlantic.

GlueTube Has a New URL

We've moved! Come check out our new digs. This week, GlueTube and all of the other FineWoodworking.com blogs got a technical upgrade. Get the lowdown on what's new and find out how to continue accessing our vast archive of user-submitted woodworking videos.

Greatest Hits: James Krenov on the Record

Go inside the home and workshop of celebrated furniture maker James Krenov in this video produced by the Web site of the San Francisco Chronicle. Although only a week old on GlueTube, this one has become an instant Greatest Hit.

Greatest Hits: Short Film, Elegant Chair

This musical think piece about a chair and its maker is undoubtably our all-time favorite video featured on GlueTube. In pure cinematic excellence, it follows the process that goes into making the Palo Alto chair, an iconic piece from furniture maker Jared Rusten. Turn up the volume and get comfortable.

Greatest Hits: Custom Profile Sanding Blocks

We were first introduced to the prolific Web video woodworking star Charles Neil when we came across this video originally posted on YouTube. Neil has now gone on to publish dozens of woodworking video tips, but this tutorial on how to make a sanding block from Bondo remains one of our all-time favorites.

Greatest Hits: 'The Woodworker' Vo-Tech Video from Pre-WWII

Things have come a long way since the 1940s, before the term "furniture maker" was en vogue and "carpenter" encompassed anyone working with wood. This educational film from the '40s is one time capsule worth opening.

Turned Salad Bowls

I turned this set of poplar bowls from a log salvaged after a tree fell in my neighborhood. Each was finished on the lathe with food-safe walnut oil. The wood isn't the most exciting, but theyre...

Checkerboard Veneer Skateboards!

I learned to ride a skateboard after I began making them in the college woodshop in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Since then I've built more than 50 from laminated hardwood veneers.

Vanity with Stool and Turned Mirror

I built this vanity using air-dried local cherry. The two drawer boxes are dovetail construction. They are connected by stretchers that join to each box with sliding dovetails. The top is attached...

Dovetail Tool Chest

This dovetailed tool chest was constructed using the plans and procedures detailed by Chris Gochnour in Fine Woodworking #169. The box is made of alder, a species that is well-suited for...

Horseshoe Armchair

The design for this chair was inspired by a 17th-century Ming Dynasty horseshoe armchair on display at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. Dozens of sketches later, it took on a look...

Safety Week: Hand Tools Draw Blood Too

We launch into day two of Safety Week with tips from Matt Berger, of our Getting Started in Woodworking series. When you hear “woodworking safety,” most woodworkers probably think of...

Recent comments

Re: Update: The Handmade Skateboard by Matt Berger

Thanks everyone for the amazing comments about my book! I love reading these.

Just like many of you have commented so far, a skateboard is the perfect project to jump-start the woodworking careers of your kids and grandkids. It will introduce them to many common shop tools and techniques, and the end result is something they'll be proud to show off to their friends.

If you don't win a copy, I hope you'll go buy one and follow through with your pledge to bring up the next generation of woodworkers!

Matt Berger

Re: Arts and Crafts 'Morris' Bed

Hey Irish89! Looks like I found you here so I'll answer your question about modifying for a king-size in case anyone else wants to try it.

You're idea is right on. Adjust the dimensions for the wider king-size mattress set and add a few more slats. One other addition I'd recommend: Add a center rail to support the mattress and prevent it from sagging in the center.

You can easily integrate this into the head and footboard with mortise and tenons. It could sit below the slats, and support them in the center. Or you could make the center rail flush with the slats and then install two sets of slats, one on each side of center.

I think this is covered in Jeff Miller's bed book or in another article from the Mag.

Let us know how it goes!

Re: Shooting a FWW article with NBC's Nick Offerman

Wha!?!? You were in LA and didn't stop by for a visit! P.S. if you give me the address I promise I won't tweet it. Maybe I can use my former FW credentials to make a celebrity woodworking friend, too :)

Re: Total garage shop makeover

Congrats, Mike! This looks great. I guess this means you won't be storing your in-progress furniture projects in the FW shop anymore for clumsy (former) editors like me to bang up with clamps. The doors are my favorite part....

Re: Built-in Buildoff Update

John and Ron: This is just behind-the-scenes coverage. The fully edited articles and videos won't be published for a few months. We just thought you might enjoy some photos of our work in progress.

Re: Grizzly Recalls Bandsaws

this post seems to really have made a connection with readers, both positive and negative...

Re: Arts and Crafts Bed

This turned out great! When I saw your SketchUp plan in Knots I saved it to my computer and studied it because I'm smack dab in the middle of building a A&C bed. Thanks for the tip about the dimensions. I was worried about that but your comment puts me at ease since I went for tight dimensions around the mattress.

Re: What do you do while glue dries?


I like to glue up parts at the end of the day so I can sleep through the drying process. Then I wake up earlier than I should and rush back to the shop to take the clamps off.

Re: Mission Settle

This is great! I'm building a bed with a similar design right now. Can you tell me what thickness you made the posts, slats and rails? I'm a bit stumped on the question. Much appreciated!

Re: Walnut Barrel Box

Blackwill: Start with a mini lathe (sometimes called midilathe). They can handle most hobby projects, at least when you're starting out.

Re: Broken power tool: Junk it or fix it?

I have great envy for woodworkers who buy up old woodworking machinery and revive them. Phil Lowe's shop is almost entirely stocked with 50s era stationary tools that he has restored and they are some of the best machines I've seen. Not sure I'd repair an old router before buying a new one, but a jointer, maybe.

Re: Redwood Burl Platter with Bark Inclusion

Thanks applewax. I turned this platter on a big Powermatic lathe at a community woodshop about 10 years ago, so I'm not exactly sure which model lathe I used. It looked a lot like the current 3500 series that measures 20 in. from bed to center.

Re: Building a Banjo

what tool are you using to drill the holes for the tensioning hardware? Horizontal mortiser? You should enter the finished piece in our gallery contest. (http://www.finewoodworking.com/contest/wood-turning-contest) I'd say the banjo's turned ring makes it a valid entry!

Re: girl with the umbrella..

all of your photos are wonderful. thanks for posting them!

Re: Sights, Sounds, and More Tool News From Las Vegas

Love the festool sanding block! Fits all those sticky-backed sanding discs I have laying around.

Re: Sharpening 101: A Lesson in Cutting the Cheese?

I sure hope Gary was using sharp cheddar cheese for that demonstration :)

Re: Maloof Rocker - Roughing into SketchUp

I think we can all agree this project is well on its way to becoming a great chair.

Re: Maloof Rocker - Roughing into SketchUp

Just as I thought in my original comment. Your woodworking skills are impressive! What the commenter below me probably didn't read is that your photo is the rough chair before shaping not the finished product. Keep us posted on your progress...

Re: Maloof Rocker - Roughing into SketchUp

Tim, your sketchup skills are simply amazing! But for me, seeing a Maloof rocker like this is almost too hard to wrap my head around. To use a bad Star Wars analogy, it's the difference between C3PO and Princess Leah. That said, I can't wait to see how your finished piece turns out. I'm sure it will be a masterpiece as always.

Re: Wood Shop Al Fresco

Stephany! Glad you're building our Getting Started bench. You really can build it in a weekend. We made ours on camera in less than two days and that included the multiple retakes.

You're post also hit home for me because I spent 5 years living in San Francisco trying to pursue my woodworking hobby. Here's what I did:

1. Found a pro shop to do all my big cuts. I made friends with the guys over at Woodshanti. you can look them up online. Not cheap, but I made sure all the tasks were very clear and organized to limit the time (they charged by the hour).

2. I rented a "shop" that was actually just a metal storage container with a roll-up door and power supply. It was located on the corner of Pennsylvania Ave and Ceasar Chavez. A guy named Dennis Magri rented the space and owned British-Magri Motorcycles next door. Cost me $300 bucks a month but I was able to outfit the space with enough tools to make furniture. I basically had to sell one thing per month to pay the rent.

Good luck with everything and keep us updated on your progress!

Re: TV/Computer Tray

I think this project represents my life pretty well: work on computer, eat, watch tv. If it only turned into a bed it would be the only piece of furniture I need!

Re: About Your Safety: An Introduction

Thanks for the comment toolswede. I was trying to get some humor into the quiz. Perhaps it wasn't the right place for that. I agree, focus on your health, not your project...

Re: Calling all benchtop warriors

I don't have much of a home shop to speak of but I do own a benchtop tablesaw, bandsaw and lathe. Along with a miter saw, circular saw, and small router table I can accomplish most home improvement projects...

Re: Safety Manual: Tablesaw

You can use the online Tool Guide to browse all the tablesaws we've reviewed in the magazine. Click on the "Tool Guide" link in the top navigation then navigate to the section on tablesaws. Whatever you buy, make sure it has a splitter or even better a riving knife!

Re: reclaimed wood end table

If that's a solid lamination I presume you need the casters to move it around. Perhaps they could be recessed or replaced with something from a catalog? Then again, if you lived in a Brooklyn loft they'd fit right in!

Re: My Cuban mahogany adventure

What are you going to use it for?

Re: Bosch Cuts the (Power) Cord

This sounds a lot like a technology I wrote about a few years ago when I was a technology reporter: http://www.computerworld.com/action/article.do?command=viewArticleBasic&articleId=75489

Re: John Hall Frame

This is really cool Marc. Darrell Peart was featured in a video and audio slideshow a few years back that featured this frame. Awesome story behind it.

You did a nice job with the recreation!

Re: Test Your Woodworking IQ

I guess everyone knows the answer to #3 now!

Sorry about that forwoodonwood. We fixed up the questions. Give it another try.

Re: Tile-top entry table

Very nice, Mike! Even better than the pair of small tables you made. BTW, How did you inset the tiles on the table top? Will there be a gap as the top frame shrinks and expands with the seasons?

Re: Free Plan: Humidor

ThumbBanger: You don't have to pay to join the blogging community. This is all free stuff. Not sure what you're referring to...

Re: Working Wood: The Music Video

If Tom Waits were a woodworker, this is the song he'd write! Excellent. I can't stop whistling the melody.

Re: Free Plan: Humidor

The link to the free plan has been corrected. We erroneously linked to a page on our member site. If you continue experiencing issues accessing the PDF, please use the link below to access the free PDF.


apologies for the error.

Re: PCs With Wood Roots

Thanks for the shoutout Gina. I haven't made one yet, but this article changes the game entirely!

Re: Tablesaw techniques I wouldn't recommend

this guy's a darwin award candidate

Re: Plan Spotting: Platform Bed and Murphy Bed Ideas

I built a great murphy bed for my house using free plans. The catch is, I had to buy the $300 piston hardware in order to get the free plans that come with it:) I'd recommend it though, if you really do want to install a murphy bed. I purchased the hardware online here: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=17212

Re: 5" Round Nantucket Lightship Basket

Thanks! This really is a beautiful basket!

Re: Serving tray

This is beautiful. My great aunt had a company called Courac back in the 1950s that produced decorative trays and platware from a special plastic that her chemist husband invented. She inlaid natural materials to make pictures and designs. Your tray reminds me of that. Do an eBay search and you can find some examples...

Re: keepsake box

neat! Can you post a photo of it open?

Re: Highway rest area for woodworkers

I love the rocking chair they have on display. I can't remember who makes it but it's a really cool design and oh so comfortable!

Re: Tiff Box

Very nice. Thanks for being the first to post to this contest!

Re: More on Ladder Back Chair Back Slats

Hoop: can you send me an email telling me what browser and operating system so are using. It could be a bug with our new blogs. Send to mberger@taunton.com.

Re: Hemlock Wall Cabinet

Great details. I'm interested to know how you handled making and assembling the back frame and panel? Looks tricky around the lower inside chest.

Re: Dining Table

I'm not always big on "bell-bottom" table legs but the proportions on these are really pleasing. I also like the thinning on the breadboard ends. If you get a chance, add some close-up photos of the bb-end detail. Thanks!

Re: Studio Furniture of the Renwick Gallery

I visited this collection a few years ago with Chris Gochnour (of Fine Woodworking fame) and came away from the exhibit with mixed feelings. I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit but did think that some pieces were over-rated. \

Re: The ICON

Woodworking and technology, my two favorite things :) Did you know that Steve Jobs made the first Macintosh computer from Rosewood! You might be on to something.

Re: The Gadget Station

Nice photos Marc! The finished piece looks great. I added a link to your video series under "Design or Plan used."

As for your profile picture. You look a lot like the carving a few posts back: http://finewoodworking.taunton.com/item/1334/hatta-in-prison

Re: Hope chest

I like the single dovetail drawers.

Re: Aalto Inspired Tea Cart

This is great. I really like all of your furniture posts. Modern but very handmade...

Re: Desk Kaddy

All of your carvings are really great.

Re: Elegant Tapered & Splayed Legs Table

Garrett Hack produced a similar table in issue #168 of Fine Woodworking if anyone is interested: http://www.taunton.com/finewoodworking/ProjectsAndDesign/ProjectsAndDesignPDF.aspx?id=2898

Re: My interpretation of Garrett Hack's Huntboard

Nice job with this. Garrett would be proud!

Re: Make Waves

This is really nice! Could you add a bit of commentary to the description to tell us about the process? Also, where is it displayed?

It gives me an idea: what if you turned a ripple effect from a single center point on a piece of wood (smaller than this of course) and then cut it into pieces and assemble it? I digress...

Re: Lacewood Desk

Nice legs!

Re: Demilune Table

Thanks for posting your pictures Sheraton! The fan is nicely executed.

Re: Nakashima Inspired Coffee Table

Thanks for posting the extra pictures. You really did a nice job blending the natural edges with the cross-cut edges. I enjoy furniture like this...

Re: Checkerboard Veneer Skateboards!

Thanks MV! I produced an audio slideshow for the Website detailing how I made the checkerboard. You can watch it by clicking on the link next to "Design or Plan Used." These are fun to make, mostly because it's a change of pace from the typical woodworking project.

Re: Nakashima Inspired Coffee Table

Nice piece of lumber. How did you prepare the edges? Is it completely natural or did you have to touch them up?

Re: Vanity with Stool and Turned Mirror

For photography purposes, I hung the mirror from a string. In real life, it's hung from the wall like a painting...

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