A Woodworker in Assam

Raj Kumar Moudgil of Assam

I have a lot to learn from a person like Raj Kumar Moudgil, who lives and works in a remote part of Assam.

Unlike me who constantly hungers for more tools and jigs, Raj makes do with very little.

He has taught himself woodworking and produced useful and great looking furniture with the most rudimentary of tools.

Seeing his tools and facilities and the pieces he has built, leaves me ashamed for possessing so much and achieving so little.

Raj's modest set of tools

Raj works at a public sector Oil Refinery as Assistant Manager at Digboi at one end of Assam. He is an electrical engineer by training.

He lives with his mother, wife and two school going children but finds industrial life quite challenging and stressful.

"To reduce stress I do yoga and Wood working as my hobby," he says. He started wood working in mid-2014 with only a few tools. He has three hand planes - a 14 inch, 8 inch and 6 inch block - as well as some other tools like a chisel purchased locally.

Bookcase made by Raj

His first project was a workbench, built in October 2015. After that he never looked back.

His latest project is one that he takes most pride in. A few months ago last year he decided to build a queen size bed for himself.

Raj's bed

"I purchased raw wood from local sawmill here in Assam called as Sham; its grains are not so fine and it needs lots of effort to smooth and finish properly," he says.

This project took four months to complete. "It was a box bed, 6 feet by 6.5 feet of pure wood, all finishing, mouldings and so on made by self," he says proudly.

Completed bed

Raj says he took advice from my blog to finish the project. For final polishing, he used shellac purchased locally. He sanded everything through a progression of grits from 120 to 320.

"My total expense was ` 9500 plus my hard work. Whereas the market price in Assam for a similar bed is ` 28000 and that too made with commercial ply while I used waterproof ply for the top."

Good show, Raj! You are an inspiration.

Indranil Banerjie
30 January 2016


  1. 'Seeing his tools and facilities and the pieces he has built, leaves me ashamed for possessing so much and achieving so little.' - if you feel like this, imagine what a sloppy woodworker like me would feel !!
    One advantage in Assam (from what I have heard) is that good quality wood is comparatively cheap and easy to come by.

    1. See he dont have any power tool. Not even a simple drill machine or a power jig saw.I wonder how he make holes & how he cut the wood with perfect staright and square cut.

  2. Another story. Another inspiraton. Thanks for sharing and good luck to mr. Rajkumar

  3. Raj's hard work and art left me astonished.... Great goingπŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘

  4. Great Inspiration for people who think woodworking cannot be done without power tools, one of the main discouragement for beginners.


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