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#TECH: Handyman's lair

Stuck at home due to the pandemic, former engineer and skilled carpenter Sharifudin Mamat creates an online platform to share his knowledge about home improvement tools

IT'S 10 minutes to 9pm on a Sunday night. Sharifudin Mamat is getting ready for his Facebook Live session on the Tools Chap Berudu (TCB) Facebook page, where he normally talks about home improvement, wood carpentry, as well as the many handyman tools available in the market.

With the help of his son, Wan Syamil Hakimi, and wife, Normazlina Osman, the session is recorded at a carpentry room-turned-studio at the back of his house in Bukit Subang, Shah Alam. The Facebook Live session normally lasts for two hours.

"I do this because there are many people out there who are into home improvement and its related tools, but have no idea what tools to buy for a certain type of work, or how to use it properly," he said.

HOW IT STARTED

The 49-year-old former DRB Hicom employee is a long-time woodwork hobbyist, a skill he learned from his late father, who was a full-time carpenter.

"Carpentry has been my hobby since I was small, and now I would like to share my knowledge in this field with people out there, hence the creation of TCB," he said.

His skills in carpentry can be seen from the furniture in his house, like tables and chairs, which he made himself.

Sharifudin now works full-time as a consultant and trainer in the field of quality management, problem-solving and process improvement for factories.

"The Facebook community page was created last October, with the support of my family," he added.

Now it has about 23,100 followers in the span of just eight months, with 10 moderators from all over the country.

Due to the increasing number of followers and viewers, Sharifudin started getting sponsors in the form of tool importers and manufacturers, who loaned their products to him for his presentation online.

OBJECTIVE

One of the objectives of TCB is to let people know that there are many tools available out there for carpentry and home improvement work. These are tools such as the circular saw, cordless drill, table saw, impact drill, brushless drill, cordless rotary hammer, cordless nail gun, etc.

"The reason I named this online community TCB is to let people know that they can use the cheapest, unknown tools if they want to do small home improvement work or woodwork. It's common that people normally call cheap tools cap ayam tools here in Malaysia, but what I'm trying to show here is that there are tools that are even cheaper than cap ayam tools, which are called cap berudu, another word for 'tadpole' brands," explained Sharifudin.

The cap berudu tools are even less renowned than cap ayam products.

"It's at the bottom of the tool chain, but it is not necessarily true that these products are not good," he said.

Being a trained and skilled carpenter, Sharifudin has tried and used a lot of tools for his work.

"So I know that these cheapest tools work fine. It's just that the brands are less heard of here," he added.

Sharifudin gave an example of the brand Dongcheng, which likely does not ring a bell with many people here.

"But the brand is big in China and is used by millions of people," he said.

To make it easy for people, Sharifudin has categorised the tool levels to six, with one being the cheapest and six the most expensive and famous.

For instance, a cordless drill at Level 6, the highest level, costs RM500 and above, while level 5 (RM350 to 500), level 4 (RM250 to RM350), Level 3 (RM150 to RM250), level 2 cap ayam

(RM90 to RM150) and level 1 cap berudu (below RM90).

The level 1 tools include brands such as Dongcheng, Worx, DCA and Hitz, while the highest are Makita and Milwaukee.

VIDEOS

Sharifudin has laid out a progress plan for TCB, which includes a YouTube video channel and e-commerce website.

"Prior to creating the TCB Facebook community, I attended an online marketing course for YouTubers in Melaka, under Penjana.

"It's a free 10-day course and participants were taught how to make videos for YouTube. Besides that, I also joined an Internet marketing course for selling hardware tools online, something like Shopee," he said.

The TCB YouTube channel will be launched in the middle of this month, and the TCB online shop is slated for next month.

"I've recorded a few sessions of the TCB YouTube channel, which will feature sections such as Tools, Reviews and Tutorials," he said.

"With the videos, I will be able to tell people in more technical terms about certain tools, like how to select a drill if you want to drill a wall."

In the long run, Sharifudin hopes he could one day set up an academy for this type of interest.

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