Street Use

Home-made Car Repair Tools in Nairobi

The true craftsman makes his own tools. That’s especially true where you have no choice. Eric writes in Afrigadget, a blog about appropriate technology in Africa, of the home made tools he found in the Jua Kali lawnmower repair shop in Nairobi, Kenya.

Tools for specific needs can be expensive or hard to come by in some places in Africa. It could be something as simple as a certain sized wrench that is needed to remove a particular bolt.

I decided to take a short walk in Nairobi and just see what caught my eye. Bernard runs a small engine repair shop on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. Mostly, he fixes lawn mower engines for the wealthy people living nearby, however he also fixes about any other small engine that you can think of.

The tools shown below are just what he works with. Many times he has to fabricate pieces that would be impossible to buy, or to expensive for him to make a profit on. It is really amazing to see him work, and to watch the problem-solving take place.

African Tools-1

The tool below is a socket welded to some rebar.

rebar tool

Posted on August 3, 2006 at 10:21 am | comments

  • Patrick

    So reminds me of the way my old Irish Dad – Tom – would work on his vehicles. Buy a tool? Perish the thought!

  • Henk

    tip from a guy from Holland

    There are adresses witch collect and send your old tools to Afrika so it becomes a second live
    Mutch better than throw it away
    Especially when you now wat really poor is

    with friendly greetings

    Henk Smit

  • SD

    That socket is not welded to that bar I think. If, as I assume, it is the same bar as in the prior picture then it is just functioning like a simple non-ratchet socket driving bar with a 1/2 inch square drive on the end, and the socket is still interchangable.

    Also that does not look like especially like rebar, just some type of wrought iron twisted stock. In that locale though that could be what is used for rebar.