D.Narmandakh: I can do anything as long as I have a chisel, saw and power planer

Trans. by B.DULGUUN


The WorldSkills Competition is the world’s largest professional education event held every two years.  This year’s event, WorldSkills Sao Paulo 2015, was organized from August 11 to 16 in Brazil. It became the biggest in WorldSkills history with 1,189 registered competitors from 59 WorldSkills Member countries and regions competing in 50 skills.

D.Narmandakh is a young carpenter who represented his country in the competition and returned with Best of Nation award. The Mongolian Wood Producers Union also rewarded the young carpenter with the Best Employee award for his performance at the international event.

D.Narmandakh graduated the Vocational Training Center of the Mongolian University of Technology and Science.  Although born in Ulaanbaatar, he was raised in Mandal soum in Selenge Province where his hobby in carpentry sparked. Selenge Province is located in Khangai region where forests grow abundantly and bustles with wood businesses and plants. It is the best place for D.Narmandakh who’s eager to make chairs, stools, tables, windows and anything that can be shaped from wood.

The following is an interview with this brilliant carpenter, D.Narmandakh.

What task did you have to complete at the WorldSkills Sao Paulo 2015? 

Mongolia entered nine skills of this event, including turner, electrical installations, welding, carpentry, cooking, hair dressing and beauty therapy. I scored the highest among Mongolian contestants and won the Best of Nation award. I’m a construction carpenter so I entered the interior carpentry event. Each individual received two tasks worth 50 points respectively. One of my tasks was to make a window frame structure and the other to make 3D design for a staircase.

 Have you ever tried making these things? How difficult was it for you?

Introduction to tasks was given to contestants with photos two month before the competition. This reduced the difficulty quite a bit. During the competition, the photographs showing the tasks were about 30 percent different from the ones we received in advance. 

Are contestants given specific amount of time to complete tasks? How does individuals’ experience and practice influence this?

How well a person has practiced impacts directly on their productivity. Contestants are given blueprints and raw material. They have to make everything from scratch all by themselves. Each task is given a time limit of 11 hours. So in total, each person gets 22 hours to complete both tasks. Experience and practice of people is connected to how well they can produce and complete tasks. 

How much do you think you’ve acquired while studying in university?

Until now, I’ve gained knowledge on all theory and practical things. Right after university, I only knew some things about carpentry. It’s true that you learn one thing from theories and another from practical work. It’s useless if you bombard your brain with theories, but don’t have any practical experience. However, you can create theories while doing practical work. 

How well did you research about the WorldSkills Competition beforehand?

Before I left, I went to South Korea twice to train. A team with the most successful experiences in this competition resides in South Korea. That team won their 19th victory from WorldSkills Competition last year. I got general information and access to surveys about the competition while training there. 

How many people competed in the carpentry competition? What did you think about the skills of your competitors?

Carpenters from 25 countries competed in the carpentry competition. I could feel that they prepare at a relatively high level. They were better methodologically and at using technologies that facilitate their work. 

What was the first woodwork that you made?


I first created a chair and a table. Before then, I used to fix all sorts of broken items.

 Do you get many orders for different types of furniture? Does your house have any furniture that you made yourself?

I constantly receive orders. Even school directors and teachers come to me to have school chairs and tables made. The furniture around my home such as tables, chairs and shelves are all made by me. 

Do you usually get free time?

Whenever I have time, I do carpentry. I’ve been busy on both weekdays and weekends during the last two years because I was preparing for WorldSkills Sao Paulo 2015. 

Do you give your woodwork as a souvenir to people?

Rarely. I carved morin khuur instruments and horses during my training in South Korea and gifted it to the instructors who taught me there. They were very interested in the morin khuur. 

What is your principle of life?

The most important principle of life that I uphold is to finish whatever I have to do. No matter how much time it requires, I’m able to rest after I’ve finished what I started. Otherwise, I feel so unfulfilled and can’t rest at all.

 How have you changed since your childhood?

The young D.Narmandakh was infatuated with the arts. I was interested in music, dance and even aerobics. Now I value creative thinking more.

 Is natural talent more important than hard work?

I agree with people who say that you can do anything if you have one percent of talent and 99 percent of effort. People can achieve anything if they love what they do and are able to devote their whole heart to that specific thing. Nothing is impossible. If you can devote all of you, there’s absolutely nothing that can’t be achieved. 

Do you have a weakness?

I’m unable to decline or say no to people. 

How do you separate yourself from social pressure and frustration?

I either play billiard or just listen to music with an earphone. If this doesn’t help, I go to my workshop and make things. 

Tools are essential to carpenters. Which tools are the most important to you?

That’s right, tools are very important. I can do anything as long as I have a chisel, a saw and a power planer. 

What are your plans for the future?

I’m still receiving job proposals. I’d like to get employed in a job with good salary in the near-future. Whilst working, I will continue to prepare and train for the next competition. In the distant future, I’d like to establish my own company and start a carpentry workshop. 

Source: Unuudur


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Posted by on Aug 27 2015. Filed under Prime Interview. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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