MOST Malaysians will aim to get a university degree if they have the chance because in order to get a decent job, paper qualifications are pretty much the pre-requisite.
Daniel Salehuddin studied engineering and has a degree in Industrial Design but instead of looking for a design job in some corporation, he opted to start his own business involving woodwork.
Upon graduating, he teamed up with his friend, Khairul Asyraf, who was also an engineer with a degree in Mechanical Design, to create Fine Grit Studio.
The only work experience he had before embarking on this was an internship at a custom furniture shop.
But Daniel knew what he wanted to do and decided to dive in—head first. And he has not looked back since.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO WOODWORK?
Woodworking started off as hobby to feed my interest in making things. As a child, I used to borrow my dad’s power tools to do small projects on weekends. These projects grew more complicated as I went through high school. It was then I decided that I wanted to make products for a living.
WHAT KIND OF WOODWORK DO YOU DO?
I consider myself a modern woodworker. This means that I use modern machinery and power tools to get the job done. This doesn’t mean that I don’t use hand tools. There are times when I need to use a chisel and a mallet to get things done. So I use a mix of both.
WHAT KIND OF WOOD DO YOU WORK WITH?
We mainly work with local wood at Fine Grit Studio, with the main ones being Nyatoh, Kembang Semangkok, Kasah and Rubberwood. Once in a while we’d also use Chengal. We like to introduce local wood to our clients.
WHERE DO YOU GET THE WOOD FROM AND WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE TYPE?
We have a few local suppliers not far from our studio. I don’t really have a favourite type of wood but if I had to choose one, it would probably be Nyatoh because of its tight grains, strength and workability.
DO YOUR CUSTOMERS USUALLY KNOW WHAT THEY WANT OR DO YOU MAKE SUGGESTIONS?
We would offer them some suggestions and then we’d come up with a solution on how to turn their ideas into reality.
WHO ARE YOUR TYPICAL CUSTOMERS?
Our customers are mainly homeowners who are looking for custom furniture that meets their specific needs.
DO YOU DO WOODWORKING EVERY DAY?
I’m very hands on. I spend roughly eight hours a day doing this.