Creating Fine Wood Heirlooms with Matt Haack of Old Goat Custom Woods
By Maryann Valentine
Matt Haack grew up in Wisconsin on a dairy farm. He joined the Navy after high school and served for 24 years after his high school graduation. Haack served as an air crewman and spent many deployments overseas after the September 11th attacks on the United States. After returning to the states, Haack found himself falling in love with the craft of woodworking and began designing custom pieces for his friends and family for fun. He began his woodworking journey by focusing on making specialized shadow boxes for Navy retirees. He began getting a lot of requests for military chief anchor shadow boxes and began to think that he could make a business out of his woodworking hobby. He knew he could not do all of the work by hand and, eventually, planned on purchasing a CNC router. He put together a small business plan but was intrigued to learn a little more about what some of the local woodworking shops were doing in his region. He called a few local production shops to find out what CNC equipment they were using in their production and, from there, learned about Techno CNC Systems.
Haack continued his research on equipment via YouTube videos and began to teach himself everything he needed to know to be up and running. “I also was considering building a CNC router myself, since I was a start-up company based out of my garage. But if I was going to be serious about this and make a full time career out of this, I was going to eventually need a high quality Techno CNC machine that I could rely on, and push hard, to mass produce my product. I realized without a strong, robust CNC router, I wouldn’t be able to stand up to my competition. I couldn’t do half of what the other companies were doing. So I went for it and invested in a Techno CNC”. Old Goat Custom Woods opened after purchasing the Techno CNC machine. The company focuses on creating custom legacy gifts, shadow boxes, furniture, décor, plaques and awards. Old Goat Custom Woods is currently based out of Middleburg, Florida and was recently voted Northeast Florida’s Premiere Woodworking Specialist. The company focuses on creating pieces that are heirloom quality and can be cherished for generations. “As a Veteran Owned & Operated business, it is our honor, privilege, and duty to serve our community as well as our men and women who serve(d) our country! My passion for woodworking is what allows me to do just that– continue serving by providing a high quality service that you and your family can enjoy for generations to come. Our heirloom pieces are custom built to suit your vision and needs”.
“I now design a lot of custom shadow boxes of all different sizes. These are special to other Navy retirees and hold a lot of value for the years of hard work and sweat these men put into our country. It commemorates a service member’s history and acts as a keepsake for their awards, ribbons, medals, and other valuable items from their time of service”. Matt uses his Techno CNC router to design and carve all of the parts for each shadow box. He also purchased a laser engraver for a special effect on his pieces as well.
“There are no cons to having a Techno CNC router. It is strong and robust, and gets the job done every time. It really comes down to what you can do personally… if you can design and program it, the router can do the rest. I have done an array of different projects for customers. I have put a 4×8 table on the bed of my CNC router and resurfaced the entire thing flat on both sides. It’s amazing how versatile the CNC machine is. It takes a lot of dust and dirt and never stops running – It can do anything”.