I owe you an apology…apparently…

September 19, 2013

No one wants to admit when things aren’t going good and I’m no exception. I’ve always believed we need to try our best at whatever we do, but in reality SHIT happens and we sometimes fall short of the mark. Is that an acceptable reason for doing less than our best? Probably not…but sometimes it’s a reality and that’s all there is to it.

Aside from the usual buddy-buddy ribbing me and my co-hosts give each other on the show, we don’t really share much of what happens behind the scenes on our joint show Wood Talk.

The warts of my own personal show is one thing and sometimes there’s no covering them up, but the beauty of a co-hosted show is that you have friends who can catch you when you fall and maybe even finish your thoughts when you get side-tracked.

sad matt

Recently I’ve been feeling more and more like the weakest link on Wood Talk and it’s a fear I’ve shared with Marc and Shannon. But like the good friends they are they remind me we all have our moments and that’s all there is to it. And believe it or not, my perspective matters (they’re a great couple of friends to have).

From the very beginning I’ve never attempted to make myself more than what I am in my woodworking experience, I’m an amateur woodworker who has a nice little home shop.

Woodworking is what I do for fun and far from what I do for a living, so my experience is much different than Marc’s and because I like to dabble in hand tools AND power tools it’s also different from Shannon’s.

The beauty of our show has always been that it’s three guys sharing their experiences and perspectives and attempting to help other woodworkers along the way. What we’re trying to say is that there is no ONE RIGHT WAY to do anything, regardless of what some of our most outspoken critics in the audience like to say.

And because our approach to topics on the show is from the three different perspectives it can be difficult sometimes to NOT be persuaded by each other’s arguments and change our perspective mid-conversation.

The truth of the matter is that we’ve had our fair share of angry emails from disgruntled listeners with a bone to pick and a desire to tell one or more of us off. But at the end of the day, the reality is that we ask ourselves if there was something to learn from the underlying message of their comment or was it just mean spirited (of which there are plenty of those).

In the past month we’ve had two pretty strongly worded emails suggesting my presence is ruining the show. One who despises my “humor” and wanted me in no uncertain terms to know that I’m not funny one bit and that the purpose of a woodworking show is woodworking and nothing more. Then the latest just arrived and wanted us to know that I provide no usable answers what-so-ever in the history of the show and that I must be removed for the sake of it.

As I’m writing this post I want all of you to know that I’m not leaving Wood Talk yet. So sorry Brian and RP1 your wishes for a “Matt-less” Wood Talk are not about to come true. But I did manage to find the silver lining in your venom-filled tirades. Of which I’ll be sharing in various ways in shows to come

So to all of you (including those who have always wanted to say something similar but didn’t…for whatever reason) I want to say I’m sorry if I’ve let you down in some way recently. I’ll try harder in the future.

And for those of you for whom this means nothing and still want to see me go…BITE ME…if you don’t like the content we create for free then create your own. We’re always happy to share it on the show.

***A HUGE THANK YOU to all of you!!! Your support, well wishes and anger in some situations is a fantastic reminder of what great people we are in the woodworking community.

I have to admit though, I feel as if I’ve broken one of the unwritten codes of the online content creator.

When it comes to dealing with trolls and haters one of the worst things you can do is to acknowledge them in the first place…but at the same time one of the worst things you can do is let them run amuck thinking that they somehow have all the power…CHORTLE!

As I said before I am not everybody’s cup of tea but hey that’s what sugar and cream is for…to sweeten the bitterness or completely hide it so you can enjoy the experience.

So thank you once again, I’m done with the whining…let’s get on with a woodworking!!!***

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Comments (175)

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  1. JoeW says:

    The show seemed like a three legged chair with only two legs when you were on vacation. Keep on doing it your way. I really enjoy the interplay. If it meaningful for you and your two host-friends, you don’t have to please everyone. Best regards, Joe

  2. Mark M says:

    Despite my 58yrs. I am still surprised how people can be such horse’s ass.IGNORE THEM ,
    I think Matt has always held up his part of the show.

  3. Don VJ says:

    Matt buddy,
    Without you the WTO show doesn’t have that “kick”. You are a key ingredient that makes the recipe work. To put it into food terms, it’s like having pizza without the cheese. Now that wouldn’t work. (Maybe they are lactose intolerant?! Chronic bowel mouth syndrome? Cranio-rectal implants?)
    Heck even Marc and Shannon dubbed in your voice several times when you were absent…LOL.
    Chortle Power!

    Keep on truckin Matt!


  4. CharlieG says:

    Matt, you have to ignore the riff raff. I have always enjoyed listening to WTO and without you it just would not be the same. I’m sure it takes a lot of time and work to do this podcast, and we are all grateful. Thanks and keep up the good work.

  5. Hey Matt, I am a very new listener and have been constantly listening to past episodes in my shop and I am a big fan of the show now. The three different perspectives you guys bring to the show creates a great dynamic for listening and not only taking in valuable info but enjoying and lauging while we do it. I can only emagine some of the comments you guys must get when you put yourself out there like this but kudos to you all for doing it.

    Love the podcast and will continue to listen. Thanks for sharing!


  6. Kevin says:

    Well said sir. I just amazes me the ignorance of people these days that they feel they have the right to say anything on their minds in the electronic world where they would never do it in a face to face confrontation. And what is worse, they are complaining about free content!!! If they don’t like it, go somewhere else for it.

    Matt, while I don’t listen to Wood Talk due to lack of time, I do enjoy your video series. I appreciate the content you provide.

    Keep the chin up dude!!!

  7. Chris M says:

    I hope you do not decide to leave Wood Talk. I’m not a super experienced wood worker, so I enjoy your perspective, and it melds well with Marc and Shanon. Please stay, and ignore the haters.

  8. Leonard Doty (The Maple Guy) says:

    Mat you guy’s are doing Great keep it up. Bit Me that was the right thing to say!!

  9. Wooden Shoe says:

    Matt, keep up the good work! It’s much appreciated!!

  10. Formidable says:

    Dude, they’re just jealous because your a demiurge and all.

  11. Brad says:

    Matt, I consider you to be a forefather of the online woodworking revolution. Your show was the first podcast (at least the first on I know of) about woodworking. Before you, all we had were books, magazines, and PBS shows, which since Norm hung it up are about as amateur as they come. Without your early vision, I doubt online woodworking content would be anywhere near as good as it is today. Sure, Marc and Shannon have a more professional approach. That doesn’t make them better, just different. Don’t get me wrong, I love those guys, but I don’t have a shop full of Festool, Powermatic, or Lie Neilsen. In fact, far too often, Marc has me coveting his tools more than inspiring me to create. I feel a need to wait for the money to buy a drum sander before buying wood for a project. Like you, I have a day job and woodworking is my way of getting my mind off of work. The hobbyists need representation on WoodTalk. I definitely think that representation is you, and you should stay on the show.

    If I may offer a bit of constructive criticism though… Your self-denegration makes you seem more amateur than you really are. Humor and sarcasm are like salt – a dash will turn an otherwise bland food into something delightful to the palate. A cupful puckers your mouth and sends you reaching for your water glass. I think this is why you have been the target of the haters (it still doesn’t excuse their rudeness, though). I say, BE MORE CONFIDENT! You have meaningful insight and a great opportunity to represent the weekend warriors who, despite lack of sponsorships and multi-thousand-dollar shops, make beautiful furniture. Show us how to get great results with what we have.

    I think we need more content for “regular guys.” We can build quality furniture with basic tools, and you should represent that mentality. As I read your post, it seems you are not ready to give up. I hope you can use this as an opportunity to improve yourself. Remember, soft wood dulls edges, but hard abrasives sharpen them. Be sharpened, my friend!

  12. John Gaudreau says:

    Hey Matt,

    The hosting formula on wood talk is perfect. So many times I hear Mark and Shanon explain their approach and then decide yours is exactly what I am thinking. Probably because your setup and experience represents the majority of the wood working community.

    I appreciate your humor and like it in the show.

    You take a risk putting yourself out there. It is 100 times easier to criticize/destroy than it is to create/build. Keep it up buddy.

  13. Carmen says:


    Although I’m not a regular listener to the podcast, I do try to catch your videos. It’s a no-brainer that three people will have different approaches and opinions on any subject. Although I might not agree with someone’s approach, I greatly appreciate their own unique expertise and generosity in providing me free content. Keep it up and don’t let anyone bully you!

    We look forward to anything you have to say or demonstrate.


  14. Matt Hartley says:

    Don’t tell the others, but you are my favourite on the wood talk show.

    Keep up the fantastic show, and the great videos that I (and my boys) enjoy…

  15. Ty says:


    I really enjoy WTO and it helps having someone from all avenues of woodworking. Your perspective is very important to me and the show. I am a 90% power tool guy, Shannon’s perspective is interesting to me but not really relevant to my shop (though I really like understanding his position as well).

    Marc’s shop is my dream shop! But, truly, I like having woodworking as a hobby and would not want it as career (I’m one of those nutbags that actually likes his job). WTO online would not be relevant to me if it only had Marc and Shannon’s perspective. I can’t devote the time and money Marc does to his shop, (though I wish I could have his SHOP!) he has the “dream shop” perspective. You accomplish things in a “real world” setting. That may sound like a backhanded compliment to you and an insult to Marc but it is not intended to… I kept trying to word it better but I couldn’t figure it out… Time to get back to the shop and listening to WTO.

  16. Jb says:

    Matt, Shannon, Mark,
    IT’S A SHOW!!! Shows entertain. Classes inform. If certain cretins want just woodworking info they should unsubscribe and take a class. The money they save by unsubscribing …. oh wait; there’s no charge. They’re bitching about what they get for nothing. Who needs ash holes like that?

    Keep up the good work and thanks for the SHOW.

  17. I’m glad to see that you are putting the negative in perspective. The first complaining comment I received was a shock. It had nothing to do with the content or even the premise that I was operating under. It was just a stupid comment with nothing more than an f bomb to bring it to my notice.
    Fortunately despite their best effort they have to stay who they are. That’s enough punishment in my estimation.
    Keep up the good work. If everyone doesn’t appreciate your talent it’s their problem if they keep being annoyed. No one has a gun to their head forcing them to watch.
    Or do they? Hmmmmm…. That could explain the frenzied writing and poor spelling. 🙂

  18. John says:

    Let’s say — purely for the sake of argument — that you suck at the three-guy thing you do with Marc and Shannon. Not saying you do. Just saying, if you did, for the sake of argument, thought experiment, feel like you are the lowest of common denominators … based on that hypothetical reckoning, if you were to quit the show, that would only serve to prove that you’re an idiot. Which, by the way, you do not seem to be. Again, just sayin’.
    But if you quit the show based on the fulminations of Internet trolls, who by their very nature and lack of all other abilities, can do no more than troll bark, what would that signal? It would signal that you quit a show with Marc and Shannon. Dayum!
    Matt! How many guys with 3/64s of your wit wouldn’t miter saw off an important appendage to be on that show? But you’re the one, right? Mr. 64/64s. Live it. Bathe in it. And hang in there.
    And if March and Shannon kick you off the show … please see me. We’ll start one ourselves. And brother, I will give the trolls something to complain about.
    Be good. Do wood. Hang in there.

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