A Chat with Matt Donohue, the Winner of Shop Time with Greg Gloor

Besides the owners’ saw-cutting at the grand opening of our Fairfax showroom last weekend,

Owners (left to right): John Hillgren, John Buss, Mark Gatterdam, Ricardo Berrum, Kevin Carlson, Curt Smay

Owners (left to right): John Hillgren, John Buss, Mark Gatterdam, Ricardo Berrum, Kevin Carlson, Curt Smay

Hardwood Artisans version of a ribbon-cutting

Hardwood Artisans version of a “ribbon-cutting”

One of the highlights of the afternoon was the auction of 30 hours in our Woodbridge shop with general manager Greg Gloor.

Greg Gloor, Matt Donohue, and auctioneer Stan Schelhorn

Greg Gloor, Matt Donohue, and auctioneer Stan Schelhorn

Of 15 bidders, Matt Donohue placed the winning bid at $1,650 – a real bargain, he said, since few finished pieces of Hardwood Artisans furniture cost so little, and on top of that, he gets shop time with one of the masters to build his own piece.

Matt is a budget analyst for the Army by day, but in his free time he loves to do woodworking in his basement shop in Burke, VA. Keep reading for a full interview on what he wants to do with his prize.

Matt Donohue and Greg Gloor stand with Kids R First President Susan Ungerer.

Matt Donohue and Greg Gloor stand with Kids R First President Susan Ungerer.

He bought a bed from us in the ’80s when we were The Loft Bed Store, but he says he has only admired us from afar ever since. He looks for our ad in The Washington Post Magazine every Sunday “to see the cool designs you guys are doing.” Last week, his wife pointed out an ad for the grand opening with information about the auction, and that’s all it took.

Matt Donohue and Greg Gloor stand with Kids R First President .

Asked what he wanted to do with his 30 hours, he said, “I’m an OK woodworker, but I want to do better.”

Greg, don’t let his modest comment fool you.

When he said he had only built furniture for around the house, I’m thinking, “OK, maybe a toy box for the kids.” I asked him to elaborate, and he did: “A chest-on-chest dresser – seven to eight drawers, six and a half feet tall; a craftsman-style TV stand for the flat screen; I built a round solid-oak dining room table with curved legs for a wedding present; a blanket chest …”

Sounds like Greg won’t have to teach beginner woodworking when the two start building together.

And it turns out that Matt has a very specific agenda. “I want to do better gliding dovetails and dovetail drawers,” he said, obviously ingrained (so to speak!) in woodworking lingo. Plus, he added, “I have experience with different styles and different techniques, but I’m not fast, because it’s a hobby. I would like to be more efficient in planning and layout.”

Matt wants lean those skills while he builds “some kind of wall unit with bookcases for around the fireplace,” he said.

Hear that, Greg?

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