Building the Chapter 1000 Booth

Mike Pelletier

Originally published May 1997 as President's Two Cents

This month I'd like to extend a thank you to several members of the chapter for their help in making something happen I've wanted to see for a long time. By the time you read this, we will be getting ready to proudly display for the first time at the annual Chapter 49/1000 Scotty Horowitz yada yada yada, our very own EAA Chapter 1000 booth. We now have a transportable, easily-erected, easily-stored (total floor space for storage is 8'6"x4') structure to use at fly-ins, airshows, mall displays, or any other event where we wish to promote sport aviation, EAA, and Chapter 1000.

The project began as a discussion at the March board of directors meeting. While discussing the upcoming BBQ/fly-in, I commented it would be nice if we had a booth that we could set up and use to sell items, act as a command post, and display the various pieces of EAA literature available from EAA HQ. Although the idea for a booth was certainly not new-it had probably been suggested following every previous Edwards AFB open house, annual BBQ, and the Fox Field Air Races-the difference in this case was people were in place who wanted to act and not just talk. As I recall, after a bit of musing it was George Gennuso who simply suggested "Why don't we just build one?" With that simple question all of us on the board said, "Well, why not?" After examining our financial situation we decided we had enough money from the Fox Field Air Races that we could afford to build a booth.

The obvious pick to come up with a booth design that would meet our mission needs was the Chapter 1000 Master Designer, Charlie Wagner. I contacted him that night, asked if he would draw up something to present to the members at the March meeting, and then stayed out of his way. Charlie brought to the March meeting a great design with all sorts of nifty little features like: removable shelves, a locking door, fold-down panels to protect us from the wind, and electrical outlets. The panels making up the booth were light enough so two men could easily set it up. To ensure this was truly a chapter project Charlie took design suggestions at the meeting and incorporated them into a revised design, which he presented at the April meeting. At this meeting a motion was made to accept Charlie's design and the cost involved, and we were on our way! To offset the cost of the booth (estimated at around $400) several members offered to donate materials and cash. Thank you to Ron Applegate for the fiberglass roof panels and Jack Roth for supplying a 4' fluorescent light fixture. By the way, it's not too late to make a contribution to the building fund. Just send a check (any amount) payable to "EAA Chapter 1000" and we'll dedicate a 2x4 to you.

Assembling a work crew was the next step. On Saturday, 26 April, several of us gathered at Charlie and Glenna Wagner's place. Ready to help and with tools in hand were George Gennuso, Jack Roth, Russ Erb, Miles Bowen, Gary Aldrich, and Sten Martinez (Brian Martinez' son). After a thorough pre-construction briefing to cover all critical design features, we split into cutting and assembling teams. One design feature we all found pretty neat was a locking latch mechanism Charlie made for the rear door. It was made of steel and riveted together (naturally, since Charlie's building a RV-6A). By the end of the day we had an assembled structure that looked like a booth, ready for the finish work and painting (like any homebuilt project, this meant we were 90% done with 90% to go). Due to Charlie's lumber cutting schedule, we were able to minimize scrap and no pieces had to be re-cut. Glenna really helped out by providing the work crew lemonade, tea, and an outstanding BBQ lunch with high fructose snacks (chocolate brownies) for dessert. Thanks, Glenna!

We decided to leave the booth set up in Charlie's driveway until we could return the following week. Since Charlie couldn't just leave the booth alone until we came back, he made several modifications on his own during the week to make the building more secure. Russ and I returned the following Saturday (3 May) to help add some additional pieces and wire the booth for power. Hardware was also installed to strengthen the corner joints. On Thursday, 8 May, Jack and I returned to help disassemble the booth for painting. Charlie and Glenna had installed all the latching hardware, finished the roof panels, finished shaping the shelves, and hung the fluorescent shop light inside. After disassembling the booth and performing some minor cutting and finishing the booth was laid out flat on Charlie's garage floor for painting. Glenna then took paint roller in hand and put on two coats of white stain. We'll be looking for some ideas for trim colors and designs-stay tuned for more. After another 8 hour building session on Saturday, 10 May, to construct a transport rack (also designed by Charlie) that could fit in the back of a pickup truck or on a trailer, Gary, Russ, Charlie and I declared the booth had reached initial operational capability (IOC). This was just in time for the fly-in the following week.

The reason I've documented this booth construction project was to show you how an idea is turned into a reality. From George's simple question wheels were put in motion to accomplish a task that, as you can see, required a large commitment of man-hours and labor. The next time you see our booth, check out its construction and remember the commitment that Charlie and Glenna Wagner, Ron Applegate, George Gennuso, Jack Roth, Russ Erb, Gary Aldrich, Miles Bowen, and Sten Martinez have made to this chapter. It's this spirit of cooperation and enthusiasm that keeps EAA and Chapter 1000 alive and strong. I'm grateful to have such a talented and dedicated group of individuals in the chapter to call on when projects need to be accomplished. Thanks, folks!

EAA Chapter 1000 Home Page
E-Mail: Web Site Director Russ Erb at

Contents of The Leading Edge and these web pages are the viewpoints of the authors. No claim is made and no liability is assumed, expressed or implied as to the technical accuracy or safety of the material presented. The viewpoints expressed are not necessarily those of Chapter 1000 or the Experimental Aircraft Association.
Revised -- 19 December 1997