If you’re headed east on Beach Boulevard in Biloxi, Mississippi and you get past all the bright casino lights of Harrah’s and the Beau Rivage, you hit the Biloxi Bay Bridge, and across the bridge is the town of Ocean Springs.
Once you roll into Ocean Springs, if you keep real quiet, and listen real close, you’ll hear the sound of a carbide tip blasting through hardwood and that is also the sound of magic happening. The creator of that magic is a tremendous maker, woodturner, podcaster, and all around craftsmen. A man who is mastering all aspects of the content creator game. This week on Meet the Maker we dive into the world of Donny Carter so let’s get started.
Donny is an accomplished and renowned woodturner who is a huge contributor to the online woodworking community. At his home, he has temporarily walled in his back porch, around 350 square feet, and made this his shop space. The area is heated and cooled, which makes it a space he can use year round.
Donny has been a tinkerer since he was young. Always interested in making things. Always interested in taking things apart. He first started building things when he was 12. He and his Dad would build toys for his brothers and sisters. With that as a base, and years of tinkering and doing some woodworking and turning on the side, he has now moved into full-time content creating and building. Donny had a long career, and it wasn’t until a work injury kept him out of work, and then he lost his job that he decided to make the move. Donny’s wife is his biggest fan, biggest supporter, and the biggest motivator when it comes to his creativity. It was here idea for him to start The Green Woodworker Podcast, the one on one interview formatted weekly show that has moved up into the elite ranks of the maker/woodworker realm of podcasts. Since Donny is currently in the infancy of his full-time business, he takes advantage of every minute he can in the shop, having to put the brand before fun on many occasions.
Donny tells me that he pulls inspiration every day from the community. I can definitely agree, since while I write this article, there are Amazon packages with new lathe and turning goodies headed my way for my new lathe, and Donny is one of the people who inspired me to get into turning and give it a try. Not to mention the frequency I bug him with millions of “do I need this? and what do I need to do this” questions. But he never once has been anything other than enthusiastic with his responses. Donny is just one of those great guys who really loves helping people. That’s part of what drives him. He loves this community. He admits that one of the reasons he started his podcast in the first place was to give him the chance to get to sit down and meet and hang out with all the amazing members of the community when they come on the show. The interview format on the show is great because it allows us the listener the chance to not only hear how people find the success that they have achieved, but how they get there. Some of the most influential people to Donny are Matt Cremona, James Wright, Zach Manring (who created Southern Woodworkers and brought Donny to that community), and of course Marc Spagnolo.
When it comes to balancing life in and out of the shop, finding that perfect balance is key. We all know we can go through those phases where we may fall behind on work in the shop because our personal life has been hectic. We also all have those times where we are just focused as can be on the task at hand and we can become neglectful of loved ones. Now that Donny is full time, he said that creating a schedule for himself is important. He has to make time in the shop, he has to make time for interviews, and of course, he has to make time for his wife.
Donny’s favorite project is one he made for his wife Ann. She loves to write things like thank you cards and letters so a card box was the perfect gift. The box is made of sapele and has hickory splines and handles. Below is the build video from Donny’s YouTube channel which I will have links for below. Check out this amazing work.
A little more about Donny in the shop. Donny is a fan of a lot of the other podcasts out there. Most of them are woodworking podcasts like WoodTalk, Making It, Woodturners Anonymous, Made For Profit, but he also enjoys Car Talk and The Renegade Republican. The question I enjoy the most each episode is finding out what people DON’T know how to do and want to learn. For Donny, it’s more in depth hand tool work such as dovetail joints and more fine furniture builds. You can find Donny online as both Donny Carter and The Green Woodworker Podcast. Thanks again for coming by to check out the article and stay tuned next week for another edition of Meet the Maker.
You can find more from Donny at the following:
The Green Woodworker Podcast:
See you guys next week!
“Every woodworker needs a fireplace.”