By Nur Adila Abdul Wahab
KEPALA BATAS (Bernama) -- Unlike other teenagers who while away their time on social media or surfing the net, Mohamad Afiif Zhoriff Aminuddin turns to YouTube whenever he is free to learn the ins and outs of carpentry.
And, having grown up observing his father, a carpenter, at work, the 18-year-old has become quite adept at making a variety of wood products -- to think that he has not even attended a single carpentry or woodwork class at any institution.
Mohamad Afiif Zhoriff said besides the YouTube tutorials, he also learnt a lot from his father Aminuddin Abu Bakar, 50, whose workshop is located near their house in Rantau Panjang, about 14 kilometres from here.
He said when they were schooling, he and his brother Mohamad Amirul Ifrhan, 20, would help their father after school to produce all types of furniture and other items made entirely of solid wood.
INSPIRED BY SWORD IN CARTOON
Recounting how his interest in carpentry grew, Mohamad Afiif Zhoriff said he was about 10 years old when he was drawn to the swords used by the characters in some of his favourite cartoon series such as Power Rangers and Ben 10.
Mohamad Afiif Zhoriff Aminuddin with some of the wood products he made.
--fotoBERNAMA (2019) COPYRIGHTS RESERVED
"When I watched them wielding the sword, I wanted one too. So I made my own -- out of wood," he said, adding that his very first handiwork sparked his fascination for carpentry.
"I told my father I wanted to do some carpentry work as well. He said 'okay' but I was only allowed to buff the wooden surfaces with sandpaper, drive nails and fix the various furniture components. My father didn't allow me to use the wood-cutting machine," he told Bernama.
Among the products that emerge from their workshop are chairs, tables, cupboards, keyholders, coin boxes, letter boxes, pirate chests (to store things), gazebos and woodworks for the ceiling.
Mohamad Afiif Zhoriff Aminuddin (right) with his father, Aminuddin Abu Bakar and brother, Mohamad Amirul Ifrhan,20, working in their workshop.
--fotoBERNAMA (2019) COPYRIGHTS RESERVED
Asked about his future plans, Mohamad Afiif Zhoriff said he intended to take up a course in carpentry at an institution to gain more knowledge and upgrade his skills.
"After I've obtained my formal qualifications, I plan to share my knowledge with youths who are keen to venture into woodworking. I also plan to use our workshop here to train them," said the teenager, who is now not only a skilled carpenter but is also good at carving designs on the products he makes.
In order to be successful in carpentry, the number one requisite is interest, followed by the necessary skills, explained Mohamad Afiif Zhoriff.
It did not surprise him that not many people ventured into carpentry because, as he admitted, the work can be tedious and difficult, not to mention the dusty environment they work in.
His father Aminuddin, meanwhile, is happy that his two sons are involved in carpentry as he is confident about the wood industry's good prospects.
"The wood product business yields good returns. What's more, our products are made of solid wood and handmade, whereas most other carpenters use pine wood (which is less durable).
"This business has the potential to go far," he said, adding that they also received orders through their Facebook and Instagram accounts.
Sharing how he went into carpentry, Aminuddin said in the past when he worked as a construction worker, he would collect the unused wood pieces and use them to make furniture for his house.
"Over time, people who knew I could make furniture and wood products started ordering from me," he said.
Initially, for the purpose of making his products, he would buy used wood, particularly wooden structures that served as pillars as they were more sturdy and of better quality.
"I used to buy the secondhand wood from the owners of old houses that were demolished," he said, adding that he eventually ventured into the woodwork business full-time when his orders grew in number.
Besides Penang, he also receives orders from Kedah, Negeri Sembilan, Selangor and Pahang now.
Translated by Rema Nambiar