Woodworking in America: Anika Gandhi
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We are interviewing producers from all 50 states. Today we introduce Anika Gandhi, a DIY and carpenter from California.
How did you start the woodworking? Who were your mentors?
I started woodworking about 8 years ago when I was looking for fun baby furniture for my 18 month old. The online journey quickly took me to the rabbit hole discovering that with a few tools I could have made them myself. Before then I had no exposure to woodworking / do-it-yourself and I had just touched an electric drill.
Once the first piece was built, I was captured.
I am self-taught – I learn from the generous online bloggers and YouTubers – many of whom are now also friends, asking questions and, in general, researching and taking into consideration all the details and information. If I had to choose a mentor, I consider him Ana White because it was her plans and plans that helped me learn in the early years.
What do you think is your best or favorite job? What kind of work do you do most?
My favorite recently is the A-frame desk I built for my daughter. It was a simple design with clean lines but it is a real glance. I must also give a shoutout to the coffee table with its legs tilted. It was a great challenge to understand all those bevels and corners, but the end result was worth it!
Much of my work is focused on making woodworking accessible to everyone, especially beginners. I focus on simple techniques and basic tools and try to keep my projects easy to build, while making sure there is something unexpected.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start carpentry or pursue it as a profession?
Just get started Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Start small and learn new skills with each project. It is about learning from mistakes and evolving. Ask questions. There are many generous carpenters in the online community who are ready to help you learn and understand. In the end it comes down to patience, practice and persistence.
What is your practical advice or the best woodworking technique?
I would say it is to outline the project correctly before starting. Pen and paper work to sketch it, but software like Sketchup is easy to learn and use. You can have all the cuts and joints traced, filter all the joints that are not possible. It will also give you an idea of the sequence in which to insert it. You will save a lot of time, material and headaches.
Is there anyone you would like to scream or recommend to follow? Who inspires you? (It doesn’t even have to be tied to carpentry.)
Lately, I’ve been inspired by Rachel Metz (@rachel_metz). He has an extraordinary vision for all his projects and I love the way he brings them to life. Another one of my favorites is The Awesome Orange (@theawesomeorange). Sadie always adds an absolutely incredible personality to every project!
See more works by Anika Gandhi on her website, YouTube channel or Instagram @anikasdiylife
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