“I have been really lucky in terms of finding wonderful teachers and mentors throughout my life. I was fortunate to find Abid ji right when I began my woodworking journey.
As a person who had just picked up tools, I was pretty clueless and hardly had any skills. He patiently took me through each and every aspect of the craft and introduced me to a whole new world.
As a teacher he has allowed me to experiment and taught me how to remain open to creative ideas. He has made me comfortable to the notion of trying new things, making mistakes and learning from them, and enabled a space for me where I can make things in my own way.
In this process, I have failed many times. But I always ended up learning something new. Abid ji has a bag full of remedies and always has a way to fix or deal with errors.
And he is really invested in my skill building and learning. From helping me pick the right tools to designing my workshop, he has helped me at each and every step.
Without his support and guidance I wouldn’t have been able to acquire the skills, knowledge or the sheer drive for this craft.”
“For my 50th birthday in 2019 my wife, after some thoughtful research, offered me a choice between three birthday presents. One of them was “woodworking classes with this person I’ve managed to find in Gurgaon, who sounds quite interesting”. Am I glad I chose this option!
From the first class itself – in Abid’s super-organised, amazingly stocked, compact workshop – it was clear that this was going to be great fun, a tremendous learning experience and a deeply satisfying pastime. In the past couple of years since, woodworking has come to mean many things to me, as it probably does to most woodworkers. The joy of learning new skills and the confidence that I can still learn, even if slowly. The excitement of working a new species or getting familiar with a new tool. A fun, meditative way to de-stress from the 24×7 treadmill of working from home. An outlet to nurture creativity. And most of all, reconnecting with family and friends by renewing relationships with little personalised gifts.
At the centre of this is Abid, who is simply a great teacher, mentor and now friend. Of course he is deeply knowledgeable, skilful and passionate about woodworking, tools, techniques and networks. He never ceases to amaze with his precise and helpful advice. But more than that, he is an amazing human being. Despite being a guru, he is always curious and interested in learning, at every opportunity – whether trying a new procedure, a new tool, or problem solving together. I’ve found him unfailingly, incredibly gentle and generous, even through doubtlessly frustrating mistakes and questions from newbies! If you’re looking for inspiration on how to follow your passion in life, look no further than Abid Ali!
Abid – nice to see your next step into the digital online world. I’m sure this will allow many more people to benefit from knowing you!”
VIPUL TULI, CEO-SOUTH ASIA, SEMBCORP INDUSTRIES LTD
“I had always wanted to pursue woodworking hobby post retirement and had collected an assortment of basic hand tools and power tools during my travels abroad.
However, post retirement (2014), I found that woodworking skills, like cooking, cannot be learnt by books alone and need practical learning . I realized I didn’t know the correct way of using my tools to make a good item. Thereby, I searched for a Tutor and found Abid Sir!
My association with Abid Sir started from 2015. He is a passionate woodworker / craftsman and I rate his skill level in hand tools or power tools @ 10/10. He has in depth knowledge of most woodworking techniques and wood and keeps himself up-to-date on the latest woodworking developments. His knowledge of local names of tools / wood/ hardware and availability is immensely helpful when it comes to procuring materials.
He is a patient, systematic tutor with positivity and wit, making sessions with him a lot of fun.
I learnt the finer points of many techniques such as planing, sawing, types of saws, types of wood, joinery, assembly and finishing. Knowing my age / skill profile and the kinds of projects I desired to make (not larger than 2ft by 2ft), he helped me to develop my workshop and recommended the appropriate tools.
Today, having completed more than 85 projects in 5+ years, I consider myself an advanced amateur woodworker, made possible only due to everything I learnt from Abid Sir. He is ever ready to help when I am stuck on a project.
He has given me the confidence and pride that being a senior citizen is no bar in becoming a good craftsman.”