Tony Donato - FM Designs

May 6, 2020 by
Tony Donato - FM Designs
Stepcraft .Inc, Erick Royer
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Tony Donato spent a large part of his life as a volunteer firefighter in New York as well as a health and safety officer for the Chester fire department. From there he became a 911 dispatcher for Orange County, NY, taking 9-1-1 calls for 9 years.  After knowing Tony for a couple of years now, I know that he has a huge heart and cares deeply for everyone, especially when he was on the job.  He earned two life-saving awards during his time as a dispatcher made a difference in so many lives.  However, that job had its fair share of heart-wrenching moments which led him to retire early and dealing with some very bad PTSD from dealing with so many traumatic calls.   

Tony has always had a talent for art and design and he started making walking sticks as a way to help him recover and give him an outlet to be creative and focus on making beautiful things to brighten people's lives.  He quickly realized that he could turn his passion for art and creating things into a side business.  He knew that if he could get a small CNC system, it would open up a whole new world of possibilities.  

He reached out to STEPCRAFT and purchased a D.600 CNC system with a spindle and a laser attachment and got to work.  

"Having never used a CNC before I dove right in and began to learn everything I could as fast as I could and was able to make my first part the very same day I got the D.600.", said Tony. "From that point on the future of my business was virtually unlimited."

Soon after he needed more capacity and added a D.840 to his shop.  His business continued to grow to a point where he needed a CNC that could handle production volumes.  This was just around the time that the Q-Series machines were introduced.  He traded in his D.840 for a Q.204 and then his business really took off. 

Today his business is booming and he enjoys working side by side with his son, Anthony Jr., who is also a very talented artist and designer.   Their business is called FM Designs. They design many different things from large sign projects to small commemorative keepsakes and just about everything in between.  "A big focus for us now is our sign and souvenir business. We love working with our clients on projects that are very personal to them. Additionally, we make a lot of flags with badges and other very cool patriotic stuff. " Tony commented. 

"The guys at STEPCRAFT, for lack of better words, are my 'CNC Family'.  They have shown me so much patience and willingness to make my business succeed.  Their dedication to this craft and their customers is unlike any other business I have worked with.  I owe them a big thank you. Being able to grow this business with my son has really helped me and it would not be where it is today without my STEPCRAFT.  I know that may sound like an exaggeration but it is truly how I feel." said Tony.  "I love my Q.204 and I can't wait until I can get to a point where I can put a Q.408 with a vacuum table into my shop."

"I can not recommend STEPCRAFT enough. Erick and his team are great to work with and the machine quality is second to none. Feel free to reach out to me should you ever have any questions; I am always happy to help!"

How To Contact Tony

Website -

Instagram -

Podcast - Listen to an interview with Tony on the THINK IT. MAKE IT. Podcast: Click to listen

Tony's Gallery

Tony and his son create such a large variety of very cool projects.  They are very talented and creative as you will see from this gallery.  

Tony Donato - FM Designs
Stepcraft .Inc, Erick Royer May 6, 2020
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