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From the Archives — Great Idea, From Fifty Years Ago!
By Ian Brown, Editor
September 2020 – It's not clear to me if this ever got off the ground but what a wonderful way of generating difficult-to-obtain tools to be shared by a group of EAA'ers, while training youngsters in basic shop skills. The international organization is probably a bit too big to do this centrally these days, but maybe a chapter here or there could get creative. How about a regional registry of tools? Let your fellow readers know if you've ever been involved in tool creation for your chapter. — Ed.
From time to time we have, in SPORT AVIATION, ideas and plans to make tools for special purposes (bending brakes, hole flanging tools, etc). Some of our members are probably, like myself, industrial arts (machine shop) teachers. It would surely be possible to have these tools made as projects by our students at a very small cost or no cost at all, the students having to practice on something anyway.
My idea is that these tools could then be rented to our fellow members to help them build their planes. The system could work this way:
- Tools could be made and sent either to Headquarters or to a Chapter that would accept, on a voluntary basis, to manage the program.
- A list of tools available could be published in SPORT AVIATION, along with the amount of deposit and rental fee.
- The member who wants to rent the tool would send a money order. This deposit should be high enough to replace a lost tool by having it machined by a regular machine shop if need arise.
- A small fee of .25 or .50 a day would be charged to discourage a member from keeping it for longer than needed. He would also have to pay shipping charges both ways.
- When the tool is received in good shape, a money order for the balance would be sent.
- The money made that way could be used to buy material to make other tools or given to the Air Museum Foundation.
I think it would be a good idea to invite the members to submit ideas for new tools or improvements to the tools already in use. These ideas could then be forwarded to the interested teachers and within a few years we could have a fine tool crib at the disposition of the members.
Andre Belanger, EAA 25354
Box 30, R.R. 3
Gaspe, Quebec, Canada