Rough Cut star carpenter Tommy Mac countersued by former TV station
January 3, 2019 | 11:21 am CST
BOSTON - Tommy Mac, former star of the popular "Rough Cut: Woodworking with Tommy Mac", is being countersued by his former Boston TV station WGBH.
Mac, legally known as Thomas MacDonald, was replaced by WGBH December 2017 after starring on the series for seven seasons. The show returned April 2018 with new host Tom McLaughlin and under the name "Rough Cut with Fine Woodworking."
Tommy Mac, above, was replaced for the show's eighth season.
MacDonald filed a lawsuit in June, claiming trademark infringement on the common-law "Rough Cut" and claiming that WGBH was profiting from using his image in this season's promotion. WGBH claimed they are not infringing on MacDonald's trademarks and that MacDonald's rights only cover his name and nicknames.
Now, a countersuit from WGBH claims that while “discussing the possibility of extending” MacDonald’s contract to an eighth season, MacDonald posted on social media that he quit the series. MacDonald claims he did this because he was led to believe the show was ending. 
WGBH also claims that MacDonald's lawsuit did not follow the rules of federal civil procedure, due to allegations that are vague and confusing. WGBH says it has spent more than $4 million on the series and trademark.
The show, which airs on more than 200 stations, is produced in partnership with Fine Woodworking magazine, which reports it has 1.8 million readers.
New host Tom McLaughlin
New host Tom McLaughlin has been making and designing commissioned custom furniture since 1990. After years of higher education in his twenties, he decided to pursue his love for fine furniture making full-time. His training launched forward when he entered a rare apprenticeship with master craftsman P.A. “Pug” Moore in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. Tom remained close to Pug, even after branching out on his own, which included returning to his native New England roots where he’s been making fine furniture ever since.
“What I like most about fine woodworking is the power to say something beautiful without words,” says McLaughlin, who will be joined by expert guests, including frequent contributors to Fine Woodworking, who will help demonstrate a particular technique. Each project will be created out of hardwoods garnered from the woods of New England.
Tom McKenna, Editorial Director for Fine Woodworking adds, “Tom McLaughlin has a calm expertise that inspires woodworkers to pick up their tools and start working. His ability to connect to people is genuine, and his teaching skills are topnotch.”
Projects this season: A Craftsman-style dining chair in white oak; a Shaker-style hall table in cherry; a hanging bow front cabinet in American ash; an Adirondack-inspired lawn chair in cypress; a tilt-top round breakfast table in curly maple; a Shaker blanket chest with drawer in cherry; and a live-edge coffee table made from New England walnut.
Tommy Mac first hit the airwaves nationally in 2009 as host/writer/executive producer of the WGBH series, Rough Cut – Woodworking with Tommy Mac. The show was an instant success, accruing multiple Emmy Nominations and several Telly Awards, including a Silver, along the way. MacDonald is a wood industry favorite and a perennial presence a trade shows, where he is a spokesman for Pony Tools, Inc. and other suppliers such as Titebond. His show was often sponsored by Woodcraft, and he and has become involved in educating children across North America as the Celebrity Spokesperson of the Hardwood Forest Foundation.

Have something to say? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

Profile picture for user rdalheim
About the author
Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at