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Chapters Win Free Tools at EAA Blue Barn
This year’s main highlight in the EAA Blue Barn was a mock-up tool crib, supported by Lowe’s and Lincoln Electric, which featured EAA Chapter 640’s Wittman Legacy project. Tools supplied by Lowe’s included basic hand tools, an air compressor with air tools, a standing drill press, and tool cabinets, while Lincoln Electric supplied a Square Wave 200 TIG welder.
The primary goal of the tool crib/workshop setup was to encourage chapters to think about how they can better assist the homebuilding members of their chapter, through tool cribs and workshop space. Offering unique and sometimes expensive tools for chapter members to check out to use on their own project is one of the greatest member benefits that chapters can provide. In addition, offering space for members to complete final assembly is also a great benefit, which can also be used as a source of income.
To help highlight the tool crib idea and to help chapters jump-start or enhance their tool crib offerings, EAA conducted daily tool giveaways. The giveaways included small hand tools each day and was capped off with the grand prize drawings on Saturday morning at the Chapter Leaders Breakfast. The winning chapters were all able to bring these tools home and further their support to the homebuilding community.
Two of the winning chapters included EAA Chapter 41 in Neenah, Wisconsin, and EAA Chapter 1219 in Lufkin, Texas. Chapter 41 won a Kobalt Air Compressor with air tools, and it intends to use the air tools on the chapter build Murphy Rebel kit. The Lufkin, Texas, chapter won the Lincoln Square Wave 200 TIG welder, which it is planning to use for welding workshops and to lend out to chapter members.
Keep an eye out for a later announcement of the EAA Chapter Tool Crib initiative, which will focus on assisting chapters to jump-start or add to their tool crib.