AT factory

This article deals around the tools frequently used in AT factories or workshops. Not all tools are generally required; it depends on the exact nature of material/device created in the AT factory; this as not all materials/devices are made in each AT factory. Instead, each AT factory specialises to some degree, and needed materials/devices for particular AT villages can simply be transported there when required. This allows each village to attain every type of material/device it requires, while still allowing the AT factories to operate efficiently.

The use of tools, and the ability to make them using local resources and equipment, are certainly very important in any appropriate technology effort. In some areas where small blacksmith shops, foundries, woodworking or machine tool workshops exist, many of the tools and processes covered in these books may have been in use for many years. In other areas, most of these crafts and skills are unknown. Therefore, the tools found in this category are of many different types, from simple hand tools to wood-turning lathes to metalworking equipment. Some may be made at the village level, others may require metalworking shop facilities.

Tools list[edit | edit source]

AT factory door details

The following list standardises the tools frequently used to some degree, to ensure that as little as possible money/materials are used by incorporating different tools that can execute a same task.[1][2]

  • Multipurpose clothing + goggles, ... REPLACES protective clothing, safety glasses
  • Welding helmet
  • Mounting clamp + stationary clamp REPLACES vise
  • Hand screw
  • German benchhammer REPLACES English benchhammer
  • Lump hammer REPLACES sledge-hammer
  • wooden mallet REPLACES rubber mallet
  • cold chisel REPLACES breaking chisel, cross-cut chisel
  • awl
  • flat file REPLACES block file, milling file, round file, basterdvijl, sweet file
  • swing angle with protractor indications REPLACES block hook, flat angle hook, flange hook, Plumb-bob, small angle gauge, steel protractor
  • carpenter's bubble level REPLACES bubble level, magnetic window bubble level
  • roll-up tape measure REPLACES carpenter's rule, tape measure
  • caliper (simplified without nonius or knifes) REPLACES large angle gauge, micrometer
  • Scriber
  • pencil REPLACES carpenter's pencil
  • metal ruler REPLACES ruler
  • Beam compass REPLACES scribe-compass, center punch
  • Plumber wrench with milled grooves REPLACES adjustable spanner
  • socket wrench REPLACES wrench, ring spanner, pipe wrench
  • allen key
  • standard screwdriver REPLACES ratcheting screwdriver
  • Phillips head screwdriver REPLACES screwdriver with internal hexagon head, ratcheting screwdriver
  • Plumber key (light version) REPLACES round-nose pliers, platte fitterstang, Swedish plumber key
  • Pincer REPLACES diagonal pliers, kopkniptang, combination pliers
  • Bolt cutter
  • Hacksaw + blade for wood REPLACES junior hacksaw
  • Mitre box REPLACES manual mitre saw
  • jigsaw REPLACES beugelzaagmachine, stabbing jig saw, portable circular saw with manual control,
  • electric hand drill with screwdriving feature REPLACES column-type drilling machine, table drill, hammer/impact drill, pneumatic hammer drill, wood drill
  • Tap wrench with built-in ratchet mechanism + tool heads
  • Tap + dies
  • cutting oil
  • electric threader
  • electric soldering iron REPLACES electric soldering gun, gas-fired soldering iron, propane burner
  • plaatsnijder REPLACES straight pattern snips, offset tinner's snips
  • bench shear REPLACES throatless shear, spoorhandschaar, kitchen scissors, stokschaar
  • regular nibbler + conductance REPLACES guillotine shears, punch and die-type nibbler
  • roll bender
  • Mandrel + rivets + rivet collector + snapper
  • pop rivet gun + pop rivets
  • press brake REPLACES small press brake
  • bending brake
  • Hydraulic tube bender
  • Doorslijpmachine with manual control REPLACES pipe cutter, knife sharpeners, conical milling sharpeners, axial grinder
  • Chain pipe cutter
  • Conical flaring pliers
  • Tube expander for ratcheting socket wrench
  • expander head for drill REPLACES cylindrical flaring pliers
  • expander head + grenstang
  • Welding power supply (with point and roll-electrodes) + welding cable + welding pliers + chipping hammer + steel brush REPLACES welding torch, cutting torch
  • axial hand grinder REPLACES horizontal milling machine, spiraalboorslijpmachine, beitelslijpmachine
  • Tripod for axial hand grinder
  • elektrische stomplasspiegel
  • center lathe REPLACES vertical milling machine
  • wood bending machines
  • shaping machines for plastic


The "jigsaw" noted here is a regular jigsaw, and not a stabbing jigsaw. This is because this first type is more accurate to work with and more safe, also conductance can be placed on the tool. The safety issue is also the reason whythe portable circular saw was eliminated from the list. Although it is possible with both devices to immediatelly start cutting on any point of a plate or metal object (without having an opening), the device can get off the plate and potentially wound a person; at least if no clamp is foreseen. Instead, we will opt to make an opening by means of the hand drill, then insert the jigsaw blade and start cutting.

The nibbler has been kept in the list, despite that the job could also be done by means of the jigsaw. A nibbler (which can however only be used on metal sheets/objects), has no saw blades and does not wear easily. It will also work faster. These 2 issues make it economical/appropriate to still include it into the list, despite that the jigsaw can be used to also perform the work of the nibbler.

Locations of AT factories[edit | edit source]

See AT factory locations

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Installatietechniek: Gereedschappen by A.Heling
  2. Gereedschapsleer deel 2 by K.J. Heeren & A. Heling
FA info icon.svg Angle down icon.svg Page data
Keywords workshop, manufacturing, factories, tools, sustainable gift
SDG SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
Authors KVDP
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related 0 subpages, 4 pages link here
Aliases The Workshop, Welding equipment
Impact 626 page views
Created June 6, 2010 by KVDP
Modified October 23, 2023 by Maintenance script
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