Village Tool Set

Photos by Larry Bentley

Life without tools is barbaric. But even simple tools can be expensive in rural parts of developing countries. Import duties bump the costs up higher than they are in the United States or elsewhere, and sometimes only low-quality brands are available anyway.

So, we’d like to show how to build a simple tool set on a very low budget.

Larry Bentley, the man who figured out how to make these tools, said a wise thing: “Without tools, kids don’t take stuff apart, and without taking stuff apart, you don’t learn how things work.”

These tools, Bentley says, could be in the hands of the next William Kamkambwa,who made a working wind power generator from backyard scraps in a village in Malawi.

So, this tool kit could make a difference in education. And it allows people to repair broken things and repurpose old things.

“When you see, as I have in Cotonou Benin, a street side blacksmith with a blower using a wheel off a bicycle, to get air to his forge with a charcoal fire and a hand cranked grinder wheel, I think what would I do if that was me,” Larry says.

The answer, obviously, is that he would make his own tool set. Here’s Bentley’s quick guide to DIY tools, hosted on Instructables.

Tools in this guide:

  • Saw
  • Pliers
  • Wooden vise
  • Wood drill bit / star drill bit
  • Chisel
  • Strap hinge vise

How to make a village tool set

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