One thing leads to another: meet maker Dr Rashid Ali
Step into BloQs and you’ll immediately be inspired by the vastness of it all.
Within this great, buzzing workspace is not only a mixture of colour and sound, of machines and workspaces, but also of people, lived experiences, and dreams. Long-time professional manufacturing business owners ply their trade alongside freelance textile designers, accomplished set builders, and innovative artists and engineers. Amongst these professional makers, BloQs also welcomes a fair few seriously talented and experienced DIY enthusiasts.
Meet Dr Rashid Ali: by day a mathematician and aeronautical engineer with a PhD in flight control, Rashid teaches aircraft design, flight mechanics and design and manufacture of drones. That’s quite a base point for innovation, which could explain his long-time passion for DIY. Rashid has already delivered a fair few large scale projects over the years, including a conservatory, a few garage extensions, and plenty of furniture pieces.
A seemingly harmless kitchen install cooked up his latest flurry of activity. After prepping the space to receive installation of a new high end kitchen in his home, he stepped back to inspect their handiwork. His creative wheels were turning. “I could’ve done it better,” he grinned.
Not missing a clear opportunity, his daughter offered him a chance to prove it. “Perhaps you could make one for me?”
Having agreed without hesitation, Rashid knew he had to fit the work in alongside his other commitments, so would need to complement his home workshop with additional machinery to deliver the project at a faster clip. It was during the hunt for a wide belt sander that a Google search steered him to BloQs.
“It was a no brainer to join,” says Rashid. “It’s so convenient and cost effective, and such a great business model.”
Rashid got straight to work on his own machines, then later popped over to BloQs to more quickly deliver the finishing touches using BloQs’ Edge Sander, Panel Saw, Wide Belt Sander, Planer and Thicknesser. The installation for his daughter included a full kitchen comprising of carcasses, cabinets, facias, shelves, and a coffee trolley.
His daughter’s delight only increased when she put the house on the market in late 2020. The estate agents chose photos of that new kitchen as a key selling point, and after a mere 5 days and 12 viewings the house sold.
After that amazing result, Rashid’s wife was ready with a request of her own. Their scullery kitchen needed an overhaul, so back to BloQs he came, once again complementing his home workshop with BloQs workspace and machinery. As of late, with just one small end panel remaining to complete, the news is that “the Boss loves it!”
Rashid has enjoyed working with the great range of machinery at BloQs and is now teeing up his next project with more detailed plans in mind, along with a view to completing the full project with us. “The use of BloQs’ facilities makes light work of so many tasks,” says Rashid.
“This time I will do full drawings, and use the CNC router to machine all the parts. My plan is to take two weeks off work and hire space at BloQs for one month to make and finish everything there. I’ll use my home machines to do stiles and rails for doors and frames and the rest will be done at BloQs.”
We will look forward to watching the latest project come to its fruition!
Whether making is your profession or you’re a skilled DIY enthusiast, our setup makes it perfectly ordinary for people from all walks of life to work side by side exchanging tips and ideas, all with the purpose of turning ideas into realities. In some cases, the inspiration for those ideas comes from far dearer sources than others.
And what better way to create, than straight from the heart?
We want to share more stories about the many makers who call BloQs home. If you’ve got a great story to tell, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos from top: Rashid's daughter's kitchen, kitchen trolley, the renovated scullery, Rashid on BloQs' wide belt sander, Rashid on BloQs' edge sander, Rashid and family in their original kitchen