Mechanical assembly and maintenance of the prototype NIF amplifiers in the AMPLAB at LLNL requires specialized equipment designed to manipulate large and delicate component in a safe and clean manner. Observations made during the operation of this assembly and maintenance equipment in AMPLAB provide design guidance for similar tools being built for the NIF. Fixtures used for amplifier frame installation, laser slab and flashlamp cassette assembly, transport, and installation, and in-situ blastshield exchange are presented. Examples include a vacuum slab gripper, slab handling clean crane, slab cassette assembly fixture, sealed transport vehicle for slab cassette movement between the cleanroom and amplifier, slab cassette transfer fixture between the cleanroom and transport vehicle, and equipment needed for frame assembly unit, blastshield, and flashlamp cassette installation and removal. The use of these tools for amplifier assembly , system reconfiguration, reflector replacement, and recovery from an abnormal occurrence such as a flashlamp explosion is described. Observations are made on the design and operation of these tools and their contribution to the final design of their NIF counterparts.